Sunday, March 25, 2012

ArtFest Trade 2012

ArtFest tops my list of art retreats ever since I went to my first one in 2002. Ten years later, this is the last one. Teesha Moore decided to follow a new creative path. Her vision for ArtFest has inspired many artists and their careers. I'm sure she will do well in her new endeavors. She certainly has set me on a creative journey with many friends, art journaling, opportunities to study with many different artists and a vision to live a creative life. I will miss my annual treks to Port Townsend and Fort Worden.
I wasn't going to make trades but bowed to peer pressure and created some bookmarks. The theme this year is 'stacks of stuff'. I drew a stack of flowers painted with watercolors.
Then added a background color and border digitally. Laminated the image to black card stock and tied an organdy ribbon on top. The back has a quote form Henry Ward Beecher- Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.

I am so grateful to be apart of this wonderful art community for so many years. Thank you, Teesha.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Virtual Studio Tour

Welcome to my studio- in my home, in what used to be the back bedroom. I've reorganized the 12x12 foot space a couple times in the past five years. With limited storage, it's been a challenge to fit supplies for all of my creative interests. If I start working with a new medium, then something else has to go. Moving the books out of the studio gave me lots more storage space and flexibility.

  1. What sort of artwork do you do and what are you currently working on?

    My artwork includes a variety of media- fiber art with fabric, stitching and felting, metalsmithing, jewelry making, painting, collage, book arts, drawing and writing.

Right now, I'm painting two 24x30 inch canvases as part of Flora Bowley's online e-course. I set up an easel on my center work table for my acrylic painting station.

I'm currently taking an Italic calligraphy class and place my slanted drawing board on my desk to practice.

  1. How do you need your studio to function? I enjoy having flexible work stations that can be changed depending on my current project. I like to keep my fiber arts/stitching station in one area with supplies close at hand.

My desk area is for writing, drawing and computer work.

The center, island work table gets used for many projects such as metalsmithing and book arts. I like to stand and work on many projects and adjust the table height to fit me.

  1. What do you love about your studio?

    My studio is a warm, quiet retreat – my sacred space-

surrounded my what inspires me-

a window to bring the outdoors inside-

  1. What would you like to change about it? I'd like to have more space, a wet area with sink and running water, and move the computer out of the studio to another place in the house.

  2. What would your dream studio contain? Besides the above mentioned changes, my dream studio would have a sitting area with a couch and a couple comfortable chairs, a large table where friends could work together and a large blank wall for a design board . My wall space is taken up with storage and artwork now. I'd also love to have space for a separate painting area that is set up all the time. Who knows, my dreams may come true someday. I am a dreamer.

  3. Do you have any organizational tips? Organization helps me use my studio space efficiently. Look at the mess I used to have in my studio-

Now everything has a place-

It's all sorted by item and labeled-

One of my best organizational tips is to use tool caddies or totes. I sorted all of my metalsmithing supplies, pencils and pens into three different caddies.

The metalsmithing tools are all together and ready for my studio or to take to the garage and work-

My idea and sketch books are a handy reference-

Where to put travel souvenirs? I placed them on the top shelves so that I can enjoy them but they are not in the way-

My knickknacks grace a narrow, six inch high shelf at the back of my desk-

My calligraphy supply case hangs on two hooks on the back of my work table up off the floor. See the storage bins under the table?

Thank you for visiting my studio.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Yesterday morning, we awoke to a blanket of snow outside that looked and felt like winter wonderland. It snowed all the time we sketched these yellow tulips. After a couple days in the '60's and spring fever, it's hard for me to adapt to this late winter cold spell. I need to be inspired.

I've been thinking about where I find my inspiration. Check out Alisa Burke's free mini e-course on Finding your Muse. I took one of my photographs from the Berry Botanical Garden to get some ideas to inspire my artwork.

Using Photoshop, I sampled some colors in the photo to come up with an inspired color palette. I made elliptical spheres, took an eye drop color sample and filled the circle with the color.

The color palette-

I drew a sketch of the leaves and flowers-
and made it into a pattern-
Now I can use these ideas in different art projects. I want to find more inspiration in my daily life, as Alisa says, "the ordinary"- by exploring my neighborhood and world close at hand.

On my walk yesterday afternoon, I found these cones, pods and shells. Their shapes, textures, colors will be used in a future project.
To explore one's sense of place intrigues me- the landscape, ecology, history, color, development, human-scape, migration, wildlife and botany. Thank you Flora Bowley, Hannah Hinchman and Alisa Burke for setting me on this journey of exploration and inspiration.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spring is Here in the Northwest

Signs of early Spring greet me on my daily walks. Heather, snow drops and primroses bloom first. The forsythia, crocuses, daphne, and pussy willows follow. Now, the daffodils, camellias and early rhododendrons show their blossoms.

Flowers are my favorite thing to sketch and watercolor. I love the organic forms, colors, lines and diversity of shapes.

Check out Jane LaFazio's tutorials on how to use flower sketches in your artwork. Her blog is full of inspirational ideas.

Spring Bouquet by Raymond A. Foss

An earthen vase
held a bouquet
simple crocuses
at the street corner
in the downtown
of the city, around
the corner, down the block
on the way to school
a bit of color
shining through
the urban tableau
reminding us of beauty
amidst the clutter
of daily life