Welcome to my art blog.

This is where you'll find some of the things I'm trying to accomplish... a little of this and that. Paintings, photography, collage and sewing...every artful endeavor helps me keep my sanity in this mixed up world.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Out with the Old - In with the New

New Year's Eve - The clock ticks toward the end of another year.  I've always loved the process of making lists...not the doing of lists, but the making of lists.  I love to imagine how things would be if I actually did the things on those lists.  Need to work on that.  The first two bullet points are always the same....get out of debt and lose ____ pounds.  I need some sub-bullet points of how I plan to make those happen.  This year, point 3 is to start creating and posting archival prints on my Etsy site.  Sub-bullet is to paint new images weekly and re-list on Etsy at least daily.  I'm hopeful that this year I will be adding silk-screened products to the site.  You can visit my Etsy store by clicking on the Etsy grid on the right sidebar.

As I reflect on 2011, I'm so amazed at and thankful for the threads of friendship, family, and well being that make up my tapestry of life.  I wish you all the same for the new year.  

Saturday, December 24, 2011

It's Almost Christmas

Well here it is...Christmas Eve.  Keeping my Christmas preparations very simple has been an interesting development for me.  This year I've spent more time appreciating the holiday embellishments displayed by others, i.e the office, the lights on houses, etc.  I'm going to try to carry that simplicity into the new year, although a flurry of artistic ideas have been percolating and I'm anxious to put them to paper.  Plans include a greater emphasis on my Etsy shop with more bird and animal paintings and completing several large-scale commissioned pieces.  Maybe this is just the calm before another artistic storm.  I hope your holiday has been filled with the things good memories are made of.  Merry Christmas to all.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Super-Size That?

On a recent trip to Dakota Art, I spied some brushes with inordinately long handles.  I wondered, "who paints with those?".   Uh, people doing very large paintings paint with long-handled brushes, that's who. 

With the Allied Arts holiday show set-up complete, my energy has turned to finishing the first in a series of commissioned pieces representing the four seasons.  I'm quite sure this is the biggest painting I've ever done...two panels totalling 48" wide x 24" tall, like a giant jigsaw puzzle until I would step back a couple of feet.  These pine cones were on a huge pine tree in my yard planted by my parents.  Beautiful in the snow.

Now that I'm warmed up, the next one will be even bigger!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

In Praise of Small Shows

Many an artisan participating in art shows has probably taken a gamble on a first-year show.  This past weekend I participated in one such show.  The venue was beautiful, the weather sunny and autumn golden, the products diverse and well made and displayed, but sales overall were a bit lackluster.  As I have some past experience with this sort of thing, I decided that I would bring along some interesting props and do as many small paintings as I could.  As I tend to be a reclusive studio painter, these paintings are never as polished as my studio paintings, but I enjoy doing them and they stimulate conversation with onlookers. 

A couple of jewels for the day were:
1.  I finished the above little painting and started another.
2.  I had sales enough to cover my show expenses and a lovely buffet lunch was served.
3.  I made a possible wholesale contact in another state.
4.  I made two possible Art-Startz contacts for the spring.
5.  I made a possible show contact for the summer.
6.  I got a jump start on my inventory for the next 2 shows.
7.  I met and talked with some wonderful people I would not have met if I'd stayed home.
8.  The cards that were purchased will fly off into the world with kind words for people I'll probably never meet.  Those kind words will make my images look even better.

So, given all that, how could I consider the hours I spent a waste of time.  I don't.  Thanks to all who made the day such a success.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

To Blog or Not to Blog

Well, after several years of pseudo-blogging (many thanks to the faithful few that have found and followed my posts), I'm taking the opportunity to attend a real class on blogging at Whatcom Community College.  Dawn Groves is our very capable and animated guide and I'm reminded of the original passion I felt when I started my journey into the blogosphere.  There is so much that can be done with a blog....even for the techno-challenged.  Community building is something that has been lacking in my blogging.  Twitter, affiliate marketing, back links, video, widgets--all so very exciting.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Letting Go

Summer is over.  Time, once again, for letting go of the anticipated days of warmth and beauty....time for embracing whatever winter brings.  Time to catch up on artistic projects.  Time to curl up with books.  Time to learn new skills, indulge in hot soup and warm bread and watch romantic movies.  I'll hold those thoughts for the next 5 months. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hot, Hot, Hot

While most of the U.S. has been suffering a long, hot summer, we here in the Pacific NW have been complaining of our numerous unseasonably gray days....until this past weekend.  That's why we live here...for the 2 days in a row of hot weather.  Today it's raining....but it's a warm rain. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011


With the mist lifting in my early-morning brain, I realize that today is my birthday.  Truly significant only to me and my mother, but Darth seems quite excited when I share that information with him....but then  Darth seems excited with just about anything I say.  Note to self, spend more time with Darth.  Having a summer birthday isn't as disappointing as it was in my grade-school years.  With school being out, there were no cupcakes to share with the class.  Over the years, I've learned to make my own fun and have adopted a personal birthday WEEK.  Let the party begin!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Little bundles of creativity

My earliest recollection of being interested in artistic endeavors was in first grade.  I was not an artistic whiz-kid.  Coloring inside the lines was not my strong suit, which caused me much angst.  My very wise mother kept the art supplies available and I kept trying to do something with them.  I'm so very glad my granddaughters are loving the creative process as well.  A new chalk-board door in my kitchen is decorated with wonderful designs that only children can think of.  Every grandmother should have one.  Priceless. 

Chalkboard paint (available in spray or brush-on applications) from Home Depot.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The not-so-lazy days of summer

I still have very fond memories of childhood summers.  Life seemed to pass in slow motion.  Our Whatcom County Library book mobile would park at the top of our driveway every other week and I can still remember the magical feeling I got inside that vehicle.  It was so quiet, the sun always seemed to stream down through the little sky light, and there were all those books to chose from.  Fast forward several decades...let's just say life is different.   

Monday, July 25, 2011

Faux Splash

With the arrival of my high school reunion and a high school classmate came the need to "feng shway" my house a bit, so that it looked merely lived-in, as opposed to ransacked.  I've always loved tile back splashes, but being too lazy to learn how to do tile work for myself, I've looked for more painterly ways to achieve the look of tile.  This is my latest attempt, which involved wood burning, acrylic paint on pine with a couple of real tiles rescued from a family member's remodel.... what's not to love about aqua tile?  The bathroom walls were painted bright-need-sunglasses white.  Periwinkle bath mat and towels.  Sort of Cape Cod-ish I think.  I'm thinking I should have company more often.

Friday, July 22, 2011


I am so looking forward to being back at the Bellingham Farmer's Market again tomorrow, although I have to say that attending my high school reunion last weekend was well worth the absence.  It was wonderful to see all those faces (that once intimidated me) looking a lot like mine and most conversations were about grandchildren.  If I'd only known then what I know now about what is important in life...

This is a giclee print on canvas that will be going to market with me tomorrow.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

June Art-Startz

The June Art-Startz session was a special time of artistic energy.  Whether it be a simple plate with a couple of strawberries or a garden gate, each of us brings a new perspective to the things that inspire us.  To watch a piece of white paper and some pigment become a new thing is magical.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fate of the Forest

For most of my years, I have lived on family acreage backed by a stand of enormously tall evergreens.   Ravens, crows, eagles, and numerous smaller varieties of birds make their homes in those trees.  Deer, coyotes and rabbits make their homes among those trees.  I have the privilege of observing all of them from my kitchen window.  Those trees have just always been there and I can't imagine....I don't want to imagine.... the scenery out my back door any other way.  When I read the call for artists to submit artwork illustrative of the forest, my mind immediately went to work.  This is the painting that emerged.  Over 200 works of art have been received for the "Fate of the Forest" exhibit at the Whatcom Museum Lightcatcher and Old City Hall, June 17.  I don't want to miss it.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Nothing says “Pacific Northwest” quite like snow falling softly on tulip fields or artisans bundled up in gloves and scarves braving early spring elements to show their wares at the Tulip Festival street fair.  This year, I had the good fortune to visit with and purchase from one of my favorite artists, Jennifer Lommers.  A former Bellinghamster, Jennifer has relocated to Oregon, but ventures up north from time to time.  Check out her web site and blog where she generously shares the details of what it is like to live the artful life.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

New creative energy

How time flies.  I never get used to how fast it passes.  Time to take stock of what has happened in the past 30-some days since I last posted.  Managed to create and ship the above acrylic painting in time to be included in the Northwest Watercolor Society signature members show being held at the Seattle Design Center in May.  I'm hoping for some double mileage out of that venue.  This painting is a result of numerous influences I've been pondering.....trying to reduce an image to succinct shapes in a large-for-me format.  I hope to explore compositions that have an iconic element, that shout from 10 feet away "Hey, I am really into the beach" or whatever.  Aside from that, it was therapeutic to set a creative goal, overcome the obstacles without cutting off an ear, and actually creating something I felt I could share.....with a couple days to spare.  Yeah me!

I will start the Bellingham Farmers Market next Saturday, April 30.  It's under the pavilion, away from the rain, for me this year.  Look for me along the wall with the windows. 

More creative stuff to write about later...hopefully not a month-from-now later.  

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Turning the corner on winter

Everything is coming up primroses and with them the promise of 6 months of warmer weather.  Time to put away the wooly socks and gloves.  I love this time of year.  It makes me forget how long and dark winter is.

I also can be reasonably sure that Art-Startz won't get canceled again on account of icy weather.  Twice was enough.  I've reserved Sunday April 3 and Sunday April 10 for our next sessions.  We will use a watercolor wet-on-dry technique, mixing color on the paper, and try out watercolor pencils and crayons.  They're perfect for capturing the tulip fields.  Very fun!  Ready to paint?  I sure am.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Breaking Rules

I recently have discovered the artwork of British painter, Shirley Trevena.  I have purchased her DVD "Breaking the Rules of Watercolour" from Creative Catalyst Productions and have also purchased one of her books "Taking Risks with Watercolour" from Amazon.  Mixing paint on the paper rather than on the palette reminds me of the way I used to paint before I began glazing.  It's a much more spontaneous approach.  A chance to get excited about surprises.  A chance to suspend expectations.  A chance to throw exactness out the window.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Winter Art-Startz

The January session of Art-Startz brought a welcome dash of color to an otherwise gray day.  Sadly, snow dictated that we cancel the November and February sessions, but spring is coming.  Everyone was asked to bring 3 simple-shaped objects that they would find interesting to paint.  I brought a few of my own favorite things as well.  Already I think they have seen the positive effect of filling the whole picture plane, varying the size of the shapes and thinking about foreground and backgrounds.  So fun.

I am on the edge of a flurry of creativity.  Several wholesale card orders, the spring Antique and Craft fair in Lynden where Christa Warren will include my prints in her lovely display from her shop, Surroundings.  The Bellingham Farmer's Market is only about 6 weeks away for me and I have also committed to 5 large original paintings!  I'm honored to be asked.   Biting off more than I can chew?  Time will tell.  But hey, life is short and anything worth doing is worth overdoing.  I think Mae West said that.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Simple Stems

Spring is just around the corner.  The garden is showing signs of perennial life.  It wasn't such a bad winter here in the Pacific NW, thus far at least.  Winter is a time to paint new things for the farmer's market season coming up.  Life is getting in the way...as usual.  A couple of new card images have been accomplished.  Art-Startz #4 is coming up here shortly on February 27.  I am totally enjoying the time of artful exploration.  Can't wait to see what they paint next.  I hope they're doing their homework.

This painting is one of a series I plan to do, exploring refraction of stems in water.  My market "neighbor" displays her wonderful dahlias and lilies in these wonderful blue jars and I haven't been able to resist taking tons of photos.  Glass and water....what a challenge.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bright Future

I'm intrigued with the idea of applying artwork to the OUTSIDE of a snail-mail envelope.  I'm pretty tired of all the window envelopes that fill my mailbox day after day.  Maybe my friends would appreciate a creative envelope once in awhile too.  It would tie in well with collage using my own artwork.  Hmmmm, another tangent.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 - Year of the Rabbit

Happy New Year! December kind of flew right by...like it does every year. With the new year comes renewed energy for projects. It seems like the perfect spot to make a new start on all the goals I didn't accomplish in the past year... or the year before that. This is the Chinese year of the rabbit. I have a feeling this is going to be a great year for the Whimsical Rabbit. I've already concocted several new artistic endeavors to pursue. Never mind that I won't make a dime from them or have no time to carry them out. It's the scheming that fuels my zest for the creative life.