Friday, December 28, 2007

Holiday greetings

Happy Holidays, everyone. This is one of my Holiday Cards that I collaged. It is Dec. 28 and friends know by now that they can expect my card to show up sometime before Easter. That's why I call them Holiday cards ...any day can be a holiday, right? They are fun to do and take forever so I hope my friends think the delay is worth it.
I collect old photos and this came from my collection...haven't a clue as to who it is but he/she looks sweet enough to be an angel.
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Monday, October 22, 2007

A rose is a rose #2

This is my second drawing of the rose using latex house paint and a little acrylic paint. I was really unhappy with it initially and began to add more and more layers and eventually using a rubber stamp with house paint to add some texture and additional interest. It is done on 22" x 30" watercolor paper.

I love working with the house paint and have found that brands other than Benjamin Moore work very well. B Moore paints have raised their prices to be very, very expensive compared to other paints. I was lucky to find at my local hardware store some little sample bottles. I have no idea what they were for originally and I had the feeling the store's staff thought it a little weird that I was going to paint pictures with it. I recommend giving it a try with some left-over paint.
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A rose is a rose is a rose

Well, I'm going to feel really stupid if this blog shows up twice. I posted but then it didn't show up so I will try again. My painting was created in a workshop taught by Doug Walton, a wonderful teacher. It was done on wet 140# watercolor paper with latex house paint, yeah, really! HOUSE PAINT! and it was done with my fingers, yep, I said FINGERS! It was so much fun and I love the really soft edges that happened.

We worked a lot on composition on index paper before transferring to w/c paper and it paid off. We had critique twice a day during the 3 days and it was so helpful. I loved working this way and will definitely do some more of this. Now to start gathering the paint....he had 80 colors for us to choose from....only takes a little bit. The latex seems to offer an wonderful glow that doesn't seem to happen with watercolors.
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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Working again in water color and trying some blue underpainting. We have had a model for a session which was great. This was fun to do. I may go back over it with burnt sienna to see what may happen to the lights.
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Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Each year Lawndale Center for the Arts in Houston has a fund-raising auction on the Day of the Dead. Artists are given 8" x 10" pieces of tin to create retablos which are donated for the auction. The only rules are that the retablo must include the tin in some way and the wilder the better. This is my retablo for the auction titled "St. George of Immaculate Deception." I used a plastic toy figure of a man that originally was to teach anatomy I suppose. I removed the brain from the head and the organs in the chest cavity and replaced them with dollar bills and streamers saying "Oil money". The paper streamers at the bottom say "WMD". I realize this may offend some but I offer no apologies. It will be interesting to see what happens at the auction.
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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Another day of waiting rooms

It seems to be part of the aging process to spend more and more time in the waiting rooms of doctor offices either for oneself or accompanying another aging companion. The good news is that there are usually some very still models...the frustrating news is that we are all usually there for quite a while. I have, thank God, long passed the waits in pediatrician offices and now look around at fellow passengers on the ship of life with compassion and know that they are probably as bored as I might be without a sketch pad. Rule #1: never leave the house without a sketch book and pen.

Monday, September 10, 2007

EDM Challenge 133

This an EDM challenge...a peach. I continue to try to learn to manipulate water and pigment. Please forgive the wrinkles on the cheap sketch paper. This peach was so sweet...brought back memories of central Texas peaches...beautiful freestone peaches from Johnson City. I used to be able to buy a half bushel and would freeze some to eat in the winter. I don't know why they aren't available anymore.
The EDM challenges are so fun as they force me to really look at something ordinary.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Church at the beach

The beach was loaded with seaweed from a recent hurricane that had crossed the Yucatan peninsula. But along with the seaweed were numerous shells. I can never resist gathering a few.
This was a day to just sit and soak in the Almighty as waves rolled in...water, sun, sand. Food for the soul.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Finally "Spring" has arrived

This is the doll I created in Denise Marie Warner's workshop a couple of weeks ago in Santa Fe, NM. She was created from paper and fabric with an armature of PVC pipe and wire. It was great fun and an amazing amount of work. She is about 22" tall and was shipped as she was too fragile and cumbersome to try to get her on the plane. I am so pleased with her and see her as part of a series of dolls on the 4 seasons. Oh geez, did I just add on to my lists of projects? Help! As a paper addict it was a blast pouring through the exotic papers Denise brought to choose a color scheme for my "Spring". So what do you think?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Things are heating up...

Having seen Michael Moore's recent film, Sicko, I' m a bit disappointed in Democratic debate tonight that there was not more opportunity for all candidates to address the problem. How do we change this country one that shares the wealth with concern for the welfare of all our citizens? To move from the "me, me, me" stance to a united "we"? It is ridiculous that we rank 37 in healthcare among Western nations, that people live longer on average in Canada, England and France, and that we have a higher rate of infant death. How do we allow pharmaceutical companies to dictate what we pay for their drugs and insurance companies to decide what health problems they will cover to the exclusion of others? This is something we should be embarassed and truly angry about and yet I hear folk say they won't see the movie because of who made this kill the messenger because they don't like the message? Someone has to speak up!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Drink and recycle

Doing my bit for the planet....drinking Blue Moon beer and using the caps for jewelry. Actually these are entries for a contest at Blue Moon Gallery in Bayview this weekend. 3 pairs of earrings and two pins.

Would Al Gore approve?

Great news! I won first and second place! Cash prizes! Wheeee!

Monday, June 11, 2007

The first quilt for a bed

Well, I finally finished the quilt for my daughter a la "Gee's Bend". It is machine quilted and you ain't gonna get a close up of the stitching as there are places that don't look so hot. But what the hey, I'm learning and my daughter is thrilled. I told her she better love, love, LOVE it as I don't know how many more of these I can crank out. I would like to make one for all the kids but will have to find a more comfortable way of quilting. I love the colors in this and worked very intuitively (probably obvious) as I really know nothing about how it "should" be done and really don't care. My grandson wants one made from blue jeans so I guess I will be collecting old jeans for a while. I think it would be a great thing to send him off to college with...good thing I have a couple of years to make it.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Another quilt

Well, yesterday I bit the bullet and put two quilts in a local juried show. I have no idea what will happen but will find out tomorrow. The juror teaches graphic arts so who knows what he will go for. This has been a big learning curve for me...3 down and 3 to go with binding. It is really tough trying to get the binding printed and straight but I'm learning all along. On this one I tried using some multi-colored thread on her turban to indicate the wonderful fabric this woman uses. I took this from a sketch of her I did at meeting of local artists.
I am open to suggestions on how to use this medium better. I'm tempted to applique and turn to a different sort of art quilt but for now I am content to keep transfering my contour drawings.
I am already missing my drawing class. I get so rusty in the summer and am determined not to let that happen this year and to keep drawing and keeping a sketch book with me at all time.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Oh dear, I've been tagged

Okay....7 secrets that you may not know about me...hmmmmm.....
1. I am a retired art therapist and marriage and family therapist.

2. I lived in Perth, Western Australia while teaching art therapy at Edith Cowan University...the first art therapy program in the country. I've taught everything from 3 yr olds to graduate courses and am still teaching workshops. I retired from teaching art therapy grad courses at the U of H/Clear Lake about 5 years ago.

3. I play BeJeweled 2 on my computer late at night or when I can't sleep.

4. I was a potter for 15 years before becoming a therapist.

5. I can't believe I'm seventy. Only my body tells me so.

6. I love chocolate and coffee, not just love, I mean REALLY LOVE.

7. I've been married to the same man all my life. I love him, too...most days.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

A new quilt

Here is the latest contour drawing converted into a small quilt (2' x 3'). I debated over whether to bind it or not. To bind it puts it into the craft category and perhaps out of fine art. Some artist friends suggested I leave the threads and frayed edges showing. But I went for the binding with the title, "First cup, no talk," on it. I am really having fun enlarging these drawings and putting them to fabric. Must be something about giving them texture. All those years of working in clay seems to still be an influence...always seeking texture.
I find it difficult to photograph black & white work.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Charcoal drawing

Charcoal drawing from my life drawing class on 26" x 40" Stonehenge. Assignment was to create a large portrait from a photo. This came from a tiny photo in an old National Geographic. I love working this large, feels so freeing.

Quilt close-up

This is a close-up of the quilt. All quilting was done by machine with black quilting thread.

Henry is quilted

This started out as a drawing of a model from my life drawing class on some twill fabric with some conte and marker. I added some acrylic ink set by heat, then washed out the conte. It is about 4' by 5' and backed with muslin. This is my first quilt so a big learning experience. I'm not sure I'm through with it. I wanted to add some references to language on it. My aging husband is having some short term memory loss and frequently struggles for language. These symbols represent those word and thoughts that are floating out there beyond reach. The whole project was fun to do and I think there will be more to follow this one.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Another version of a Mayan waiter

Okay, I think I'm improving. At least I seem to be headed in the direction that I want. Who cares whether it meets anyone else's criteria. I love to draw with pen and ink and my goal in learning watercolor is to splash some color into my ink drawings a la Danny Gregory. So there you go and there I am...critique welcome!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Watercolor, arrrggghhh!

Oh deary me. It has been a long time since I posted on this blog and for good reason. I just haven't created anything I felt worth posting and still don't but decided what the hey! this is my life and process. I am trying to learn watercolor and finding it damn hard. It is a different way of thinking...all this transparency stuff and thinking light to dark. AND a whole new vocabulary of pigments and stuff. So here is my Guatemalan lady with her amazing head gear and heavily embroidered blouse. Poor thing...she is really much more interesting than you would surmise from this painting. I'm just having a hard time learning the pigment to water ratio and so I keep layering. By the time I'm through layering it looks tired and overworked. Arrrgggghh! This was our assignment last week and today we got another Mayan face to work on. I get a little bored with trying to match the skin color and just want to draw him again throwing some wild purple on him. Is it just me that feels this way? It is all just so controlled...I am used to slinging acrylics on with abandon.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Wrinkle Fairy

Well, while I was sleeping, the Wrinkle Fairy came and laid another couple on me. See, right there, at the corners of my mouth racing past my chin? Good grief. My little fat cheeks have slid down my face into little pouches surrounded by wrinkles. This aging business ain't for sissies. Who is that old woman?
At this rate my boobs will be at my knees and my chins at my waist line before long. I don't look very happy about it, do I? I have discovered a new reason, however, to smile. Those little lines just march right up hill and join the crowd around the eyes. Much more acceptable around the eyes, I think.

And I really don't have a black eye, just some dark circles from this darn bronchitis. Plus I got a little carried away with cerulean blue...oh well.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Another look at the shoe shrine

Well, I just can't seem to leave this one alone. I think it is finally complete. Here is a view of the interior of the patina finish shoe shrine. I have no idea what it means but I just had to add the reptiles and the arms reaching out from the interior. It was fun working with this finish but I may have over done it...hard to find the balance of continuity vs. the unexpected. Would love some comments.....

Saturday, January 20, 2007

A day of shrines and the muse

Wow...what a great day. Here at last is my first shoe shrine. I have been saving this pair of red high heels with the idea of creating shrines a la Michael deMeng. So today I went to a friend's shrine workshop loaded with stuff ready for the muse to strike. And strike she did. The shoe was first covered in Liquid Nails so that the surface would be textured and would receive paint easily. It took longer than I would have thought for the Liquid Nails to dry but finally it was ready to play with.

I used a copper patina mix for the first time and it really works. So cool. I'm all set to move on to the other shoe now.
I also created a male figure shrine from a clear plastic toy which I had been harboring forever...have no idea why I hesitated. I am pleased with both and it just felt so good to spend the day playing with all this "stuff".