Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sustainable Love

                                                              Sustainable Love

Who knows why we are drawn to certain people or places?  In some cases opposites attract and in other cases similarities strengthen our bonds.  This smarmy couple shares a love of good books and local foods...

Monday, September 28, 2009

make it or break it....

...that is the question.  I was contacted recently by the woman who purchased "First Moon" with a question about encaustics and extreme temperature.  "First Moon" is now residing in Alaska (it seems a very fitting place for her) with Jen who wanted to know if the painting would be ok hanging on the wall untouched if she were to leave for a week or two with the heat turned off (the temperature would drop below zero in the house).  My first thought was that the small painting should be taken down, wrapped in parchment (to protect the surface), wrapped in newspaper as an insulator and tucked under the pillows or a down comforter.  But that's pretty high maintenance so I told Jen I would conduct an experiment on a small painting here to see what happens.  So  above you have a photo of "First Moon" hanging out in her new surroundings (thanks for the beautiful photo Jen!) and a photo of an old "Talking Block" sitting in my freezer (where it will remain for the next seven days).  I'll let you know what (if anything) happens... 

* This post has reminded me that i now have no party or glamour girls in my shop....time to get busy!

Friday, September 25, 2009


I love being at home: cooking, reading the paper, knitting, painting, maybe a board game (although truth be told i don't really have the patience for board games so I usually chop and cook while C plays with the kids).   But this autumn weekend we have lots of plans and being at home isn't on the list.  We have "Outdoor Movie Night" at the boy's school tonight, a couple of soccer games tomorrow and dinner with friends and then Sunday we head into the city for a ballgame (Cubs vs. Giants....GO CUBBIES!).  What are you up to this weekend?

Oh-and a special to thanks for all your kind words and inquiries on my last post..."Mistaken Identity" and "She Gets Me" have both found new homes which makes me happy and a bit sad at the same time.  Do you ever feel that way as you sell your work?  On that note I'll leave you with this tune....

Monday, September 21, 2009

I am thankful for....

....this amazing little box of treasures which arrived on my doorstep Friday afternoon from Dana!  My dear blogging friend from across the ocean once again warmed my heart with these lovely housewarming surprises. The lavender filled sachets are part of her new fall line and can tell you that they are a perfect gift!  The sweet little aceo's and postcard were like icing on the cake and I highly recommend stopping into her etsy shop and having a look around at all her stitched, stamped and painted lovelies!
P.S.:   I prepped three 9x12 panels for a group of "Identity" paintings and I'm hoping to work on them a bit more and share them tomorrow (off to lunch duty now...see ya!)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

(the mini-inspiration)

oops...it's a tomato not an apple.  Still aren't they awesome???

P.S. :  this is the cover of edible Marin & Wine Country  Summer 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


These boards aren't going to paint themselves now are they?  I know, I know I was supposed to prep them yesterday but then I got caught up in sharing my collaboration project, the farmer's market, soccer practice, and an unexpected visit from an out of town friend.  So my little studio friend here climbed up on this tower of maple panels to remind me that it's time to get busy!  I'm not sure how this model train figure made his way into the studio but I love him. I was smitten with  the new "Slow Food" poster I saw at the Gravenstein Apple festival a couple weeks ago  and so when I came upon this guy on the floor of the studio I decided to play finders keepers.  ( I can't find the link to the poster but it was two of these mini figures on top of a cut apple....i'll have to show you later).

Public Bookstore (all nine kinds of pie) is a printed collection of art and verse being published by Eyebuzz Gallery in Tarrytown, NY.  I'm  thrilled to be a part of this first book and gallery show!  And today I was introduced on their eyeblog....thanks for your kind words Tara!!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I am so excited to share the results of my first ever collaboration!  The jaw-droppingly talented Cathy Cullis and I put our heads together (via snail mail) and agreed to a basic concept.  After that I created two similar encaustic pieces based on what we had sketched out.  I used newsprint under the tree trunks and in the clouds (which say creative objects and garden of earthly delights).  I used many layers of oil, beeswax and a bit of ground pigment and small steel tacks to get a layered look that would complement Cathy's work.  I then sent the paintings across the pond where Cathy worked some magic and voila!  I love Cathy's spoons and am amazed by variety of materials and textures she incorporates into her work (they are a treasure trove of beauty and detail).  The text on the spoons is from "Wuthereing Heights" and the sticks were all locally collected. Just fabulous...Cathy thank you so much for this great opportunity to work together.  

What do you think of this mixed media magic?

Monday, September 14, 2009

I Live Inside My Head.....

                                                        I Live Inside My Head
                                                                     3 x 5

                                  Contemplating Beauty (in Cassiopeia's light)
                                                              8 x 10

Monday again?  How are you? We had a fabulous weekend complete with a massive thunder and lightening storm Friday evening and some much needed rain on Sunday.  As you know overcast days with a bit of a chill are my favorite kind of day and are perfect for painting (or curling up with the Times and a glass of red).  The 1st piece  I'm sharing is another "house" painting similar to "Identity"  from last week.  These small paintings are a "study" for a group of 9 x 12 paintings I plan to do using this same idea and subject.  I planning to do one more 3 x 5 and then start prepping the larger boards this afternoon.  

The 2nd painting shown is similar to "Clarity" which was the last painting I completed before my move.  I've been thinking a lot lately about questions of beauty, identity, status, self knowledge and self-love.  From my new home you can see millions of stars almost every evening and the constellation are easy to spot.  Cassiopeia was a queen of unrivaled beauty whose boastful ways ending up leading to the downfall of her entire Kingdom. The constellation that bears her name contains two of the most luminous stars in the galaxy but there is a lesson to be learned from this "W" shaped constellation about humility and grace and the meaning of real beauty.  How do you define real beauty?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

my favorite thing....

I love, love, love the fog.  It creeps in every evening and blankets the mountains in coolness but hangs low enough to let the stars have their moment. And it has given me a great photograph (aka: procrastination tool) to share while I deal with a bit of a block on how to proceed with the top portion of my "big" painting.  I always seem to have an issue with finishing a piece once I divide it (remember this?).  I have an idea of where I want it to go but am not ready to commit yet.  You know I think I'm also still adjusting to my new space and am trying to get comfortable there.  In addition,  I had lots of life's messiness to deal with last week which led to 3 or 4 non-painting days (which makes me very cranky).  That said, today was lovely and cool and I got in enough studio time to work up two new pieces to share tomorrow.  Sweet dreams.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

food and shelter.....

Community, farmers and yumminess....isn't that what it's all about?  I have become slightly addicted to the farmer's markets (as they can be on most any day in these parts) and am always in awe of the beauty of real food.  But what I really enjoy is talking to the farmers and finding out new ways to work with and honor ingredients (note the heirloom tomato and gruyere tart which will be making a repeat appearance tomorrow evening).  I also have found some amazing local cheeses, breads and  jams and  (and to-die-for hand made enchiladas and salsas which was a saving grace after managing home work and soccer for two yesterday!)  There is a great line in the beginning of the cookbook "How to Eat Supper" by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift:
The world is divided into two kinds of people: those who wake up thinking about what they're going to eat for supper, and those who don't." I'm decidedly in the former camp.  But enough about food (well kind of...)  My supersized encaustic piece ( 36 x 36) is a bear to work with but I really love the idea of working large.  This painting is in process and has to do with houses, communities, farms and the cosmos.  Did I mention than from our patio we can see about of billion stars and the planet Jupiter almost every night?  With my son's telescope we have been able to see three moons orbiting Jupiter and craters on the moon....how awesome is that???

More tomorrow-

P.S.:  I wish you all at least one bright star to wish upon tonight...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

new studio+new work

I have lots to share today so let's get started!  Above  is a peek at my new work space.  It is slightly larger than my last studio but I need to do something about the lighting (a floor lamp perhaps...) And (this is a biggie) I need to get used to working with the garage door rolled up (which leaves me  exposed to neighbors and dog walkers in this very pedestrian town). That being said I am still sooo grateful to have a dedicated spaced to work at home....and speaking of work here are two new pieces I completed over the weekend.  Both pieces deal with my oh-s0-familiar subject matter of house, home and identity but my thoughts on these subjects is changing (more on that tomorrow and a peek at a 36" x 36" piece I'm working on (yes i said 36 x 36 !).  See you tomorrow!
                                        " they told me the trees were magical"
                                                                  3.5 x 5 
                                             encaustic on solid maple block

                                                                      6 x 6
                                                      encaustic on maple panel 

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Here's how one of us is adjusting:

Yes this little guy is doing just fine.  Yesterday at school he was "person of the day" and can you imagine anything better that that?  Well today was "red day" and we just happen to a have a super hero cape which is red (so it can get better...note the "lord of the flies quality to the 5 year old gang in red as they gather sticks and climb across the rocks in the creek).  We also had a three week monopoly tournament for which the grand prize was breakfast in bed (Sage actually helped whoever was winning but that did not dampen the sweet reward).  And we have our first ever pseudo organized sport (saturday mornings will never be the same).  So as you can see our littlest member is thriving here in our new town.  I have to say the other two are doing pretty well too.  Tomorrow I will write about how  bogged down by "stuff" I felt once we moved and some of the changes we have made to adjust to our new environment and  then on Monday I promise to start sharing new work....sweet dreams and hopes that you may be able to think of yourself as " person of the day" tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

the journey west....

six days
six states
six travelers (5 human + 1 canine)
12 versions of "route 66"
one fabulous book on tape
road food
intense heat (113 degrees in AZ)
unexpected cold (47 and foggy in Mill Valley)
an i told you so (i had suggested bringing fleeces)
lots of laughter
a few tears
a new home

more tomorrow....

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hi Peeps!

How I missed you!  I finished setting up my new work space yesterday and can't wait to start painting once I finish giving you the skinny on what's been going on around here.  Since I last wrote here are a few of the things that have filled my days:

playing games
filling out paperwork
more paperwork
more unpacking
yep...it's been a busy couple of weeks. 

 We are settled in for the most part and school has started so I'm back to work in earnest.  My plan is to share a bit about the cross country trip and my new home and studio this week while I get started on  a few pieces inspired by my new surroundings.  

PS:  Thanks to everyone who convo'd and emailed me about the Somerset Studio and Artful Blogging features!