Saturday, November 29, 2014

Experiments in Black and White

Last month, I took a workshop in Victoria BC with Steve Aimone, "The Spiritual Language of Art". We explored abstract painting with exercises in nonobjective composition and the process of abstracting from a reference. This workshop challenged and pushed me in ways that often felt very uncomfortable. My struggles made me realize that I need a regular studio practice to learn the elements of design inside and out. Knowing these elements intimately will help them become more intuitive in my artwork. I want my artwork to come from my intuition which is often elusive. It's hard to turn my left brain off and trust my right brain to take over and go for it. I'm starting with 9x12 inch black and white drawings/paintings on paper. Here's number 1.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Wild Arts Festival November 22 & 23

Come this weekend to the Wild Arts Festival- a fund raiser for the Audubon Society of Portland. Check out this preview of the 202 6x6 canvases of bird Art for sale-

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Audubon 6x6 Wild Art Project

Here's my submission for the 2014 Audubon Society of Portland's 6x6 Wild Art Project.  The 6x6 bird canvases will sell for $45 each and benefit the Audubon Society.  The artwork helps to support their conservation, environmental and wildlife rehabilitation work. The Wild Arts Festival will be November 22nd-23rd at Montgomery Park. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Autumn Flowers

It's raining now.  Autumn flowers bloom and brighten the darker days.  Thank goodness for the dahlias, roses and zinnias.  My weather gram for the Autumn Equinox - morning dew touches flowerbed webs.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Lake Cavanaugh Sketch

Here's the view from Mary's Quilting Cabin at Eagle Point on Lake Cavanaugh. My Seattle and Vancouver BC friends met here for a retreat. We enjoyed the view, ate well and spent time art journaling, stitching, sketching, reading and relaxing.  It's blessing to have wonderful friends.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Plaster, Paint and Wax

Playing with plaster for texture, paint and added wax, I created these pieces on wood. Based on a workshop taught by Dayna Collins and Stephanie Brockway, I really enjoyed the process. The mandala below is 6x6 inches.


Here's a much more abstract interpretation.  I really like the texture created with the plaster. This piece is 8x8 inches.

My favorite is this wooden box. It's five inches square.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Abstract Painting

Cleaning my studio out over Labor Day weekend, I came across some abstract practice paintings from an online workshop I took with Jane Davies called "Sketchbook Practice". I painted large sheets of paper with black and white paint.  From these, I used a view finder to select sections that I liked and cut them out. Later, I added color to a few. It's very freeing to make marks with no intended purpose. Seeing these paintings encourages me to do more.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hughes Water Garden Sketch

Today, we sketched at  Hughes Water Gardens.  I played with a Tombow ABT duel brush pen. I like the watery-look and looseness of the drawing.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Cosmos - What is art?

I'm interested in how geometry influences works of art and our universe. Check out this video by Myron Barnstorm on how he answers the question-  "What is art?"  Is this apple drawing by Ellsworth Kelly in the video an intuitive expression of the artist or is it planned?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Scattered by the Wind Prayer Flag

Dayna Collins started her Scattered by the Wind Prayer Flag project to help fund art programs at Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility.  She sells each flag for $10.  It's a wonderful idea and she's getting lots of response. Contact her if you want to participate.  I made this flag with my Indian rug fabric strips.  you can see how I got these scraps HERE.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Blog Hop

Dayna Collins invited me to participate in my first blog hop.  I met Dayna through our membership in the Portland Art Collective.  Her creative energy always inspires me.  It's fun to see her artwork progress from her curious elements assemblage pieces to her colorful abstract paintings. She shows her artwork at Guardino Gallery and is working on her Prayer Flag project.  It's exciting to see that she plans to teach and share her painting techniques in 2015. Thanks, Dayna, for inviting me to join this artistic blog hop.

How My Creative Process Works

This Spring, I took a brush lettering class and this Rumi quote sums up what direction my creative process takes-

Lately, my heart leads me to mark making and sacred geometry-

The portfolio holds the work-

How My Work Differs from Others of Its Genre
I cannot say that I have one genre that I focus on in my artwork because I like to dabble in many different creative projects- mixed media painting and collage, jewelry, drawing, calligraphy and fiber arts. Nature themes usually inspire a common bond.  I like to study and learn how to use new media and synthesize it into my artwork.  I want to explore watercolor painting beyond my sketchbook-

I tend to be literal in my interpretations of the themes I choose and want to embrace more abstraction in my artwork.

What I'm Creating Now
My exploration of watercolor painting continues to develop-


Let me introduce you to a couple art bloggers who I admire and inspire my creativity.

Penelope Harris tells stories with her handmade books, zines, journals, sketchbooks and collage art in her Radiant Crust blog. She taught me how to use Microsoft Publisher software to format cards and zines (short little informal, self-published magazines). She's submitted four sketchbooks to the Brooklyn Art Libraries annual sketchbook project and coordinates ATC Vancouver, a group of Vancouver, BC artists, who get together to create artist trading cards. As a writer and story teller, she introduces me to different authors and quirky artists who let me see the world with different eyes.

Jacqueline McIntyre shares her oil paintings, collage and mixed media artwork in her Art from My Easel blog.  Nature influences her work with her fabulous bird paintings and her abstract/botanical landscape paintings.  I first became aware of her artwork on her Pinterest boards.  She participates in the Portland Audubon Society 6x6 Wild Art Project and shows her artwork at Tualatin Art Splash and Side Street Gallery.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hydrangea Sketch

Another flower sketch, trying to be loose with line and color.

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Rose Sketch from My garden

I took a photo with my iPad while watering the garden and used it to sketch this rose.  One of my goals this year is to focus on values/contrasts of light and dark, to leave some areas white.  My tendency is to paint everything with color.  I like the results. It helped that I took a workshop from RenĂ© Eisenbart a couple weeks ago and concentrated on painting white flowers.  I'll have more to share with you from this workshop in future posts.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


I'm taking "Sketchbookery" an online workshop with Mary Ann Moss.  I like her loose style with watercolors, drawing tools, lettering ideas and her sense of humor. She's offering the same class in December. Here's the sketchbook I made ready to sketch and play.

Front cover-
 Chevron stitched spine-
 Back cover-

Monday, July 14, 2014

Drunk with Love Wonky Log Cabin Quilt

It's been a couple months since my last blog post.  I'm here and creating.  My biggest project is finished and that's my first quilt.  I participated in an exchange with fifteen members of the Portland Art Collective.  Each person made a block with my strips of fabric.  It all came together for our picnic last week.  It's "My Garden" and is exciting to see it completed.  I learned a lot about piecing, color and pattern combinations.

Here's the piano key back-

Quilt label with key for who made each block-

All the quilts lined up at our picnic-

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Village Gallery Art Challenge Show Starts May 6th

The Village Gallery of Arts 2014 Art Challenge Show starts Tuesday, May 6th. I totally redid my four 6x6 pieces for the show. I took floral drawings from my sketchbook and reworked them in acyclic paint. I really like using Golden's modern palette.

This year, I also participated in the jewelry challenge.  It was fun to play with painted paper, collage, a Copperplate calligraphic word- "discover", resin, fiber, beads and wire. The Gallery gave each person in this challenge the pendant in the middle of my necklace. I took off the hanging loop on the top, changed the orientation to landscape and filled it with collage and resin, set it in a larger bezel.  Stop by the Gallery and check out the one-hundred participants' four 6x6 pieces and the jewelry.  The show will be up until the end of May.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Works in Progress for Village Gallery of Arts

In May, I'll be showing four 6x6 canvases in the Village Gallery Of Arts 2014 Art Challenge in Cedar Mills. Here are my works in progress. I started with painted tissue paper strips, modern palette paint colors and floral drawings. Next, I plan to paint organic flower shapes on tissue with permanent inks.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Experimenting with Shapes and Spirng Flowers

Here's another exercise from Nita Leland's book- The New Creative Artist. We outlined a shape and then drew the flowers.  We positioned the flowers differently within each shape.
I like how extending the line outside the shape changes the dynamics of the composition.  This exercise also helps to work with negative space.
I had to draw and paint this beautiful bouquet of tulips in my sketchbook.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Modern Color Palette

Jo Reimer (see her One A Day blog) introduced me to the modern color palette.  I love these colors- how they go together, mix without making mud, their light and clear crispness. Patti Brady wrote a great article about Color Mixing for Golden's Just Paint using this palette. I like to use titan buff vs. the titanium white to tint the paints.

Another article from Will Kemp talks about choosing a paint palette for beginners. He also describes the modern palette.  Jane Davies often paints with this palette in her artwork.  I used the palette to create some postcards with painted papers.