Tuesday, November 20, 2012

And Life Goes On...

"Les morts vont vite, the dead go fast, the next day absent!
Et les vivants sont dingues, the living are haywire.
Except for a few who grieve, life rapidly readjusts itself...
The dead go quickly
Not knowing why they go or where they go. To die is human,
To come back divine.
Les morts vont vite. We living stand at the gate
And life goes on."
-- from Proverb
by Kenneth Koch

I took this photo yesterday at sunrise. I couldn't believe the color! It was like a beautiful painting! It reminded me of fire. The poem was one I came across in The New Yorker today. 

This time of year is hard for me. It was Mom's favorite. She used to love getting ready for the holidays. She loved cooking for Thanksgiving and anticipating everyone coming home for dinner. And Christmas was her absolute favorite. She had recently started decorating two trees and hosting an open house. Her face would light up at the thought of preparing for the festivities! :-)

But she's been gone for eight years now and that just seems impossible to me. So we continue with some traditions and not others. Dad has remarried and has a new family to celebrate with. So, yeah, I guess it's true. Life goes on...

I hope you all have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving if you celebrate it where you are. HUGS to every one of YOU!  

Monday, October 15, 2012

Why I Wake Early

"Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness."
-- Mary Oliver

These are just a few of my favorite photos I've taken over the last few weeks. Birds are definitely my go-to models! ;-) The hummingbirds have left for the summer but I'm finding new birds to photograph in their place. 

All of these birds are giving me great inspiration in my art as well. More on that front soon. I hope you are all enjoying the change in season. I know I am! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Being Quiet

This was the scene this morning as I walked the neighborhood. It's hard to capture the fog on the camera. It was starting to burn off.

Here are some other scenes from recent walks:

That bird is always there when I come to that particular spot.  :-)

This was the scene one morning as the sun was coming up. I'm not usually that early!

I've been quiet lately. We recently lost a family member, a very dear brother-in-law.

Rest in peace, Richard. We all miss you so very much...

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Book Spine Poetry: The Art of Growing Up

I was inspired by a recent article in Brain Pickings newsletter regarding something called book spine poetry. How intriguing! It was the idea of the artist Nina Katchadourian a few years ago. Evidently she was working on a Sorted Books project and this idea came about. If you search the brainpickings site, you should be able to find an example. Here's the idea. You gather a few books together and make a little poem out of the spines. (Photos by me)

My ears perk up immediately when poetry is mentioned. I have a ton of books here... I couldn't resist the challenge. They don't have to be poetry books; any books will do. Just gather them together and use the titles for your little poem. So I went hunting and here's what I came up with after a few minutes.

My first Book Spine Poem: The Art of Growing Up

One Art:
The art of growing up,
Inspired remnants, curious dreams,
Spilling open
True vision.

Ha! That's it! The site listed the books it used for its poem so I'll do the same:

One Art by Elizabeth Bishop
The Art of Growing up, Simple ways to be Yourself at Last, by Veronique Vienne with photographs by Jeanne Lipsey
Inspired Remnants, Curious Dreams by Kerin Gale
Spilling Open, The Art of Becoming Yourself, by Sabrina Ward Harrison
True Vision, by L.K. Ludwig

This was a lot of fun and very inspiring. Now I'll have to go put these books back in their shelf or I'll lose them! Have a great weekend everybody!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


"Every day I walk out into the world
to be dazzled, then to be reflective."
Mary Oliver

Hubby and I took a short trip this weekend exploring our small community. We haven't really been out and about too much since we've moved here so we made ourselves get out and just drive around. I was excited to see a one-lane bridge out in the middle of the country. With no traffic! Yay! Got this photo and then as we travelled across, took another one:

Have I mentioned how much I love my iPhone? ;-) Yes, I'm playing with my apps for these photos and had a great time doing it! Anyway, we ended up in so many small towns I can't remember their names (my bad) but here are some of the photos from our little trip. I love OLD buildings, alleyways, and iron stairways...

I thought that shadow on the side of the building looked like an alien...

Loved that old iron staircase!

Then we saw this building that had the COOLEST wooden doors! *swoon*

Here is another building, in color, with a little twist... done up in a Kaleidoscope effect to end my little tour:

It's been crazy weather here: unbearably hot. Temps are supposed to be back up in the 100's again today. And we are in a severe drought. I hope the news is better (and cooler) where you are. I'm working on a lot of things behind the scenes when it's not too hot to go upstairs in the studio. I hope to have more things to show soon. Have a great week everyone!! 

p.s. For a REAL treat, visit my friend Pat's blog. He is a FANTASTIC photographer and always visits the most interesting places. Somehow he manages to get the best shots. It's like taking a mini-vacation every time you visit. You won't be sorry!  

Friday, June 22, 2012

Stained Glass

This is another painting I've done with the alcohol inks and Yupo paper I talked about in the last post. Thank you all for your kind comments! This one turned out more abstract; could be the addition of the tar gel. ;-) It kind of reminds me of stained glass with all of the different colors. I like playing with the possibilities this technique presents. It's a fun way to see how the inks blend together and interact with the alcohol. Very cool!

It's been a long while since I've had anything to contribute to Paint Party Friday. I'm glad to be able to play again this week. Check it out! I know I plan to.

Have a wonderful weekend everybody!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


This is a painting I finished using a new technique I just learned. I've been kind of uninspired lately. But I was intrigued by an article by Cathy Taylor in the July/August issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine. Of course the colors didn't photograph nearly as vivid as they are in the painting (especially on the left side, for some reason). I'm sure it's due to my poor photography skills.  ;-)

The technique involves using alcohol inks as your "paint" and Yupo paper as your canvas. I just happened to have both on hand. Do you ever buy something thinking, "I'm going to use that someday!" That's what I did with the Yupo paper. Then when I got it, I had no idea what I had originally planned to do with it. It has a very slick surface and I have no idea what you are supposed to actually use it for. I suppose I should Google "uses for Yupo paper" and see what I get.  ;-) Anyway, this article came along at a good time. So I followed her directions and was pretty pleased with the results. This painting is just my practice piece, to see how to work with the alcohol inks on the paper. Cathy gives a lot of useful tips and techniques in her article. Now that I know what the inks will do on the paper, I am getting some ideas for what else I'd like to try!

So I've been painting with alcohol inks, some rubbing alcohol and a little CitraSolv. Lots of different smelly concoctions have been coming from the studio these past couple of days. But it's been nice to actually have something to work on again! Let's hope the positive vibes keep flowing.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Small Treat

"The secret to a happy life is continuous small treats."
--Iris Murdoch, from The Sea, The Sea

This is my small treat for today. Hubby bought a hummingbird feeder while I was away visiting my friend in Ohio last week. I LOVE it! He placed it right outside the window where I sketch. This little guy comes by every 15 minutes (give or take). Now I notice there are two birds that visit. But this one spends a lot of time getting fed. I really look forward to his (her?) visits. 

I took this shot through the window with my iPhone. Not bad, considering I was holding my breath because I was afraid any movement would scare him away. 

I'm still not getting much art done. At least not anything I want to show. It'll come. I am working on some things behind the scenes which I'll share soon. In the meantime, enjoy the little treat for today! 

Have a great week everyone!  :-)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


"It is almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream." -- Bern Williams

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Filling The Well

I've been in somewhat of an art slump lately so I've had to head out and search for inspiration to fill the well. 

Recently, hubby and I went for a walk at one of the local parks. He suggested I take a few photos. I decided to use the Noir app (because I'm just in that kind of mood)!   ;-) I loved this gate at the entrance (could be useful for a future art piece...).

Then we were off to the trails:

We climbed way up the ridge that overlooked the creek. Nice! Found a little foot bridge and had to decide which trail to take... 

We kept going deeper into the woods. Found this guy... I mean this huge tree trunk:

I think it looks like a large, imposing figure of some sort. PERFECT for the Noir filter! Definitely thinking of using this shape in a future art piece... 

Later we ended our walk in an old cemetery and I couldn't resist this shot. No, I'm not a photographer. But I tried to get a good shot of her:

Mission accomplished. A nice little hike through the woods and a few inspirational ideas for some art. I'm starting to fill the will just a little bit. Have a great weekend everybody!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

hAPPy Sketching

I've been spending a lot of time in my sketchbook lately.
Lots of faces popping up but that's nothing new.  ;-)
I'm taking Mindy Lacefield's class, Paint Your Story. 
Lots of Fun! I always wondered how she painted those faces!
We create our own little characters. Right up my alley...

Of course, eventually I'll have to give them bodies. *sigh*
Notice my ever-present helper at my feet!
So, while sketching I get distracted. 
I started playing with my new phone. And apps...
Camera apps!
Cartoon apps sounded like fun.

And another shot of the room...

Then a sketch app... 

Ha! a sketch of a sketch...  ;-)

Maybe one of my helper?

Enough of this. Time for a break. Here's one of my little sketch area...

Now it's time to get back to real sketching and some painting. 
It's been a silly Saturday...
Now my friend would like to say goodbye.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Shape and Motion

This painting was inspired by a beautiful poem that I came across this week:

Shape and Motion One
by Martin Carter

I was wondering if I could shape this passion 
just as I wanted in solid fire.
I was wondering if the strange combustion
of my days
the tension of the world inside of me
and the strength of my heart were enough.

I was wondering if I could stand as tall
while the tide of the sea rose and fell.
If the sky would recede as I went
or the earth would emerge as I came
to the door of the morning locked against 
the sun.

I was wondering if I could make myself
nothing but fire, pure and incorruptible.

If the wound of the wind on my face
would be healed by the work of my life
or the growth of the pain in my sleep
would be stopped in the strife of my days.

I was wondering if the agony of years
could be traced to the seed of an hour.
If the roots that spread out in the swamp
ran too deep for the issuing flower.

I was wondering if I could find myself
all that I am in all I could be.
If all the population of stars 
would be less than the things I could utter
And the challenge of space in my soul
be filled by the shape I become.

I'm a little late but I'm sharing this with Paint Party Friday.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Hide and Seek

It was the day we laughed so hard
we made the irises bloom

I was five
it was cool

we were running like cats
a game of hide and seek
happiness all balled up in our hands
shooting out of us in shrieks and bellows

I'm a tiger
she declared

and I decided I was too

a fearless tiger
with nothing to do 
but chase the wind

they say it whips you in the face
but this isn't how it works
if you run hard enough
the wind bores right into you

I don't remember anything else
except the smell of the ocean
sweet as ice cream

the wind carried the rest away.

Instapoem by bentlilly.

I have two versions of this painting. The original is posted below. I like this version (with a digital filter added) better. It's still a work in progress. I've started this painting and gesso'd over it three times now so it may end up back in the gesso pile. ;-) Here it is in the raw state (no filters):


The poem was my inspiration, though. If you've been following my site at all you know how much poetry and music inspire my art. I stumbled upon the bentlily site through Susannah Conway's website. She's awesome in her own right as inspiration through her photography, courses, etc.  She mentioned the bentlily site on one of her posts so I had to check it out. You create your own instant poems by filling in some prompts. This was the poem from the introductory prompts. Check out the site; it's pretty cool. I've also signed up to receive the daily poem. ;-) 

I'm offering this for Paint Party Friday. Have a great weekend everybody! 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Hold On

This is a journal page I worked on today. So many things going on right now that I wanted to take a minute, take a deep breath and regroup. Funny how things happen...

I subscribe to Trendland (love it). One of the features they send in their daily posts is usually a music clip. Yesterday (or thereabouts) they sent a free download for music by this group, Alabama Shakes. I've been playing this song and their entire CD, Boys & Girls, on my iPod ever since. LOVE this group! This song, Hold On, inspired the journal page. This woman can sing!

So, just when I needed something to help me hold on... this song comes to me. How cool is that? ;-) Have a great week everybody!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Warhol: Deconstructed

Here is the second encaustic painting in my Deconstructed series. You can tell by the title of the post who the image is: Andy Warhol, one of my favorite artists! Here is the image I transferred onto fabric and began with:

Then I started the screen printing process. I did so many rounds of screen prints and ended up with a ton of different images on fabric to work with. I had originally planned on making an art quilt with these squares. I have so many to choose from that I may still do that with some that are left over. Here are the fabric squares I've chosen to make encaustic paintings with. I've laid the squares out side by side to show the progression of the screen print as the image deconstructed through the process. So cool!  Yes, I changed fabric through the process. Plus, these are my favorite images through a couple of different runs. ;-)

These are 8" x 8" squares and fit perfectly onto the deep wood panels I have. So far I've only done the two with encaustic but I love the finished look of them. Here is a side view of one of the paintings hanging on the wall:

Once I get each square embedded in encaustic, I'll arrange each wood panel on the wall. They will be arranged similar to the way they are laid out in the above photo but I will probably will have more in each row. I will post a photo when the series is completed and on the wall.

This is my Paint Party Friday entry. Check out what everybody else is up to today. Last I checked there are nearly 70 entries! Should be lots of eye candy waiting.