Wednesday, February 29, 2012

how things are shaping up...

Just a little peek at how things are shaping up on the large multi panel piece I've been working on.  Lots of houses, lots of stories.  I'm setting it aside to work on a few smaller block paintings this afternoon. 
   I hope your extra day is extra gorgeous : )

Monday, February 27, 2012

The company I keep...

These days once everyone is off to school and work I am left in the company of one fuzzy dog and four lovely ladies.  The dog has been around for over 12 years now and we have worked out a way to spend our quiet days together but the hens, they are another story.  The hens have turned out to be much more social than I expected.  The kids let them out of their coop by 7am and then once everyone is off to school I let them out into the yard.  They scratch, peck and and generally have a great time but if they see me in the kitchen which is 6 steps up from the yard they head up the stairs all together and stand at the sliding glass door looking in.  They will preen themselves for a bit, puff up their feathers and lie right down.  One or two tuck their heads back into their feathers and go to sleep while the others just keep an eye on me.  If I leave the kitchen for more than 5-10 minutes they will go back down into the yard (although one of them is afraid to go down on her own and will make a little noise until I give her a little help).  And then when the hens are all down in the yard and I open the glass door to head outside they all come running at full speed.  Have you ever seen a chicken run? So funny and so endearing. But as cute and sweet and as funny as they are, they are eating everything and they leave their droppings everywhere.  So we are now in the process of building a multi-paneled moveable fence (pictured above).  The fence will allow the chickens to free range outside of their run but will keep them out of the garden and off the sidewalk and back deck.  The kids spend lots of time running around out back so we need to draw the line between living space and livestock space or think about buying a farm....hmmm.

Friday, February 24, 2012

(looking back, looking in)

Memories of the sea live in all of my senses.  This tiny vial of sand brings to life the sound of breaking waves, the feel of hot sand shifting underfoot, the smell and taste of salty water, the fog shrouded coast and a time long ago and far away.  The house in this painting is a monoprint from a series I created while living in Northern California, the sand is from Tennessee Valley Beach and the copper on the bottom is a scrap I found and etched with waves.  I've been thinking about the elements in this piece for a long time and am really happy with the way they finally came together.  Thanks for reading and have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

round and round and round...

Mix, rest, make, bake, repeat.  This chain of activity seems to repeat itself over and over most days around here (of course pizza is not always involved).  There is wax, paint, yarn, thread, fabric, cookie dough, veggies of all shapes and colors and beans-a-plenty to cook up creative yumminess.  Last summer I decided it was time to thin out my ever growing collection of pizza crust recipes  and find a perfect go to recipe for awesome homemade pizza.  One by one recipes ended up in recycling either because they were too labor intensive, too dry or not quite crisp enough.  The one recipe I was planning recommend as my favorite is Williams Sonoma's Thin Crust Pizza Dough.  It is quick to make, easy to handle, can be rolled thin with a rolling pin (which is great for little helping hands) and bakes up nice and crisp with a good chew.  But then, just last week,  Jim Lahey's No-Knead Pizza Dough arrived in my mailbox it on the cover of Bon Appetit begging for another chance.  This recipe still takes 18-24 hours but seems to have less steps than the one which ended up in the bin.  It was easy to mix, easy to rest, easy to shape, easy to bake to crispy perfection in my home oven and made enough for two meals.  So now I have two go to recipes that can turn any night into a that.

ps:  new work to share tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Tending to things has kept me away from my studio and away from the internet much of the past week.  Last week was full of appointments and auditions and I can report that one of us needed a shot in the arm and a little physical therapy, two of us will be getting new glasses, and two of us will be in a play.  Of course there are stories that go with all of those outcomes but let's just say that after a little tending all is well.  Then, there was the hens.  They have had the run of the yard much of this mild winter and that situation needed a little tending to (more on that in a later post).  And then finally, there was Annabel #2.  I finished the knitting over a week ago but with everyone home over a four day weekend I couldn't find the time to weave in the ends and stitch on the buttons until yesterday.  I knit it one size smaller than Annabel #1 and love, love, love it.  I so want to start on Agnes but the budget says not quite yet so I'm going to dig into my stash and try to teach myself (with the help Wisecraft's tutorial) to crochet a granny square.  But right now, before little people and not so little people get home, it is time to head my studio and tend to the making.  More tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

starting something bigger...

Hi there. I wanted to share the very beginnings of a little bit larger painting I started over the weekend. Overall the piece will measure 12.5"x22.5" but it is made up of four 12.5"x5.5" maple boards. I started by painting the background with a waxed pigment stick and giving it a day to dry enough to start laying on paper elements and getting a feel for what the piece will become. The next step will be to add a layer of wax, more paper, more paint, who knows....I'm excited to see where working on this scale takes me. Given the size of my studio and the nature of working with hot wax, necessity really was the mother of invention here. I've tried to create larger pieces just using paint and a canvas but have never been satisfied with the results. I feel so drawn to the lush beauty and depth of using wax that it has become central to my creative process (if that makes any sense). Anyways, I'll be sharing more as this piece progresses and of course I have a few small blocks in the works so I'll see you back here soon.
Wishing you a lovely and creative Wednesday :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012


And So It Goes
3.5 x 4.5

Is it just me or does time seem to be flying by in this new year? A last minute road trip, gallery deadline, sick kiddos and a steady stream of ideas have kept me so busy that I'm finding it hard to believe we're in February already. Extra sunshine and milder temps this week have people talking about the end of the school year, bathing suits and summer road trips...yikes! I'm thinking it's time to slow it down a bit (i'm sure old man winter still has a surprise or two up his sleeve). I'm starting on a large (for me) multi panel painting today which I will share step by step as it progresses over the next week...or two...or three.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

a little bit of everything...

everything in between
4 x 2.5

The in between is where all the messy, happy, sad, silly, small-but-oh-so-important stuff goes on. The in between is the everyday and I've got plenty of the in between going on around here. I still have two kiddos home sick this week and so I'm only getting small bits of time in the studio but was able to finish up this piece I started over the weekend. It's made up of three separate wood blocks pieced together to form one painting. I've been spending big bits of time in the kitchen and am just about to cook up a pot of super yummy tomato bisque for dinner. What are you putting on your table tonight?

ps: i'm also spending lots of time with the knitting needles and am almost done with annabel 2 : )

Friday, February 3, 2012


small talk, big love

outside and in

sometimes i get ahead of myself

where it's at

she felt spring take her by the hand

there was something between them (that day at the beach)

Between the beginning and the end of this week there were three kiddos home on three different days even a mama who caught the nasty little bugger of a cold. Fortunately for all of us it was short lived and today everyone is back at school and I was able to wrap up this new group of paintings (so I can reopen my etsy shop as planned). I'm not sure if it's the extra time indoors, the mood of the more-often-than-not-grey skies or the gentle murmur of spring that brings it on but I feel a creative shift every year right around this time. I fall in love all over again with my studio and find myself knitting into the wee hours of the morning and cooking or baking when my hands aren't in wax or wool. I've got another cook in the kitchen these days(theo), a new knitter in the house(sage) and someone shadowing me to learn about the "science" of working in encaustics(phoebe). So things are busy, busy, busy but in all the best ways.
Thanks for reading and have a lovely weekend : )

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


(the sweet spot where everything starts coming together)

I love the middle. I love that time when you've worked past getting started and the door is open for ideas, images and bits of this and that collected over weeks and years to find their way to each other and take on new life together. It's the point at which what you want to say or share rises to the surface slowly and quietly and greets you with an unmistakable familiarity. Yeah, I love that part.