Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A New Year's Giveaway...

Wild Hare No.5
(party animal)

Wild Hare No.5 (party animal) is looking for a new home for the new year.  Anyone who leaves a comment, hope, dream or resolution between now and midnight on New Year's Day will be entered in a random (name in the hat) drawing to win this 5" x 2.5" original encaustic painting.   I will announce the winner and share my hopes for the new year on January 2nd.  Tonight I will raise my glass to all who have visited this little blog in 2014.  I appreciate your insight, comments and support and am hosting this giveaway as a small thank you.  Best of luck to you and Cheers to 2015!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Ending with new beginnings....

Over break,  I have been up working early while the house is still quiet.  The top images are from the same small piece and the bottom row is a photo of a tree in my backyard and the large(ish) piece it inspired. The tree is full of character and sits next to a slightly larger evergreen and I really love the visual of the two of them out there together, throughout the year.  I feel as if I am moving in a slightly different direction and ending the year with new beginnings. I often think of a passage by Ernest Hemingway 'A Movaeable Feast' where he says that he never stops working until he knows what comes next.  That is how I try to work.  To create with energy and passion and move things forward and to stop and let go knowing what will be layered on when I get back into the studio.  Here is the quote from 'A Moveable Feast' which I listened to on CD while knitting a sweater a few years back:

"The best way is to always stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day, you will never be stuck.  Always stop while you are doing good and don't think about it or worry about it until you start to write the next day.  That way your subconscious will work on it all the time.  But if you think about it consciously or worry about it you will kill it and your brain will be tired  before you start."   

                    -Ernest Hemingway

and while I was looking for that quote I came across this one which I love too...especially the line  about coming to your work and warming as you create and the line about being empty and never empty but filling...

"When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible.  There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write.  You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go on from there.  You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again.  You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that.  When you stop you are as empty, and at the same time never empty but filling..."

              -Ernest Hemingway

Saturday, December 20, 2014

One Of A Kind Booth Photos...

Someone had asked to see images of my display/booth at The One Of A Kind Fair.  The Etsy area was set up as an open concept with each vendor having a 5'x5' space marked out.  I was a little worried about how I was going to display my work with no walls or columns to hang things on but I worked it out.  After lots of searching I lucked into an old retail fixture at a Habitat for Humanity shop and with a quick coat of high gloss white paint it was perfect.  I added a gloss white shelf fixture from IKEA and repurposed a small table base I had into a small desk with storage underneath and a countertop to package paintings.  I machine stitched bags in three sizes out of unbleached parchment and ordered stickers from MOO to seal them.  All in all things went very smoothly and in the end I was so happy to be on an aisle with lots of open space.  I really expected to be overwhelmed and wiped out but at the end of each day I felt tired but energized.  It was great talking to people about the process and seeing people connect with my work.  I can't thanks my friends and family enough for encouraging me to take this leap and for supporting me every step of the way.  It really does take a village...

Friday, December 19, 2014

Winter white...


Wild Hare No.4

Emotional Block No. 27
(that's just what i was thinking)

I think this is my winter palette.  I have a few other pieces in the works that share the same winter white vibe with small pops of color.  It's funny how shifts in the seasons and  in the landscape find their way into my work when I'm not paying attention.  It's like I'm working, working, working and then when I look at what I've created I see a connection, a story, a vibe that reflects what's going on inside and outside my window.  That's a good thing.  That's the thing that makes a piece worker not work. Makes it believable or proves it to to be too forced or contrived.  I guess that's why I like to work on a few pieces at once, so they can jostle for attention, give and take from each other and find where they fit in.  The little blocks of wood are not too different from all of us trying to find ourselves, be ourselves and all the time absorbing and reflecting all that is around us. 

Wishing you a weekend filled with warmth, joy and togetherness.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Recap, regroup, add color...

new work

Hello there.  I'm back from my big adventure in The Windy City and I have to tell you it was an amazing experience!!!  It was so far out of my comfort zone that while I felt organized and prepared when I headed to Chicago, I truly had no idea what to expect. I knew I had to get to the docks, unload, file paperwork, get badges, check into the hotel, set up and prepare for massive crowds of people. I also knew my Mom and Dad, Chuck and some very dear friends were going to be there to help me out at different times over the 4 day event (BIG thanks and big HUGS). What I didn't know was that the Etsy support team would be super, super awesome and that my fellow Etsy Artists would be like little family.  I learned so much by participating in this show and am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that 67 pieces found new homes.  For reals. I feel like an empty nester.  Yesterday after I finished unpacking I got right back to work playing with color and shape.  My One Of A Kind Show adventure was educational, exhausting and energizing all at the same time.  I'm not sure if it's something I would do again next year.  I have a few smaller shows lined up that may be more my speed but then again maybe...


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

road trip...

The day has finally arrived and 12 weeks worth of work are packaged up and ready to head to the One Of A Kind Fair with me this morning.  There is so much more than painting that goes into preparing for a show of this size and while I'm sure there will be something I forgot but I'm super excited to be setting off on this adventure.  If you are anywhere near Chicago you are invited to visit The Merchandise Mart  and say hi to me in booth E32.  If not, have a fabulous weekend and wish me luck!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

How you like me now...

my glitzy gold door's song

I've been on the fence about my new door color since I painted it this summer.  I actually love the color but am not sure it's quite right with the faded blue siding on the house.  The siding isn't going to change anytime soon and so every time I drive up to the house I remind myself that I need to paint the door black (the thing is I don't dislike enough to move it to the tope of the priority list).  A few days ago I purchased a wreath, dolled it up and added some ribbon and I have to say I LOVE the door with the wreath on it.  It seems that the bold, sassy color just needed an accessory to really sing.  So now I'm pretty sure the door color will stay and I will have to think about painting the siding ;-)

In other news There is just one more week until I head to the One Of A Kind Fair.  I'm continuing to paint and frame and am wrapping up final details but feel like I'm in pretty good shape.  As an FYI my Etsy shop will be open thru this Sunday evening but then will be shut down from 12/1-12/10 while I'm away.  So if you had your eye on a special piece for yourself or as a gift drop me a line between now and Sunday as I will be taking everything I have to the show.

Tomorrow I'm hosting Thanksgiving dinner for 14 and I really need to get busy cleaning and chopping and figuring out where I'm going to seat all these peeps.  I'm sticking to a pretty traditional menu and am cooking the main dishes with everyone else is bringing side dishes and desserts.  I've used this recipe for the turkey for many years with great results and made my make ahead gravy base yesterday.  I'm adding this favorite to the menu because it rocks and I plan to marinade the green beans and chop all the stuff for the stuffing later today.  That will just leave whipping up the Zuni Cafe buttermilk mashed potatoes for the last minute.  Amid some chaos and uncertainty this year I have so, so very much to be thankful for and I hope the same is true for you.  Warm wishes for a gathering that fills you up.


Friday, November 14, 2014


Hey there.  Above are a few photos of new work, custom work and parts of my display for the One Of A Kind Fair.  I am so happy that this week is coming to an end but I am also just a wee bit freaked out about time slipping away.  There are less than three weeks until the Chicago show and while I think I am in pretty good shape with my inventory there is still so much more I would like to create.   And I think I have most of my details sorted out but I still need to make a sign, create an inventory list,  make tags and a few other things.  

Last weekend my in-laws were in (to see the kid's play) and this week my father had surgery(it went well) and I accepted a two piece custom order so the whole week really just got away from me.  In addition to all that, technology is making things more challenging.  I am getting used to a new(hand-me-down) computer (after almost 8 years my Mac bit the dust), a new phone (my 7 year old iphone wasn't card reader compatible) and last night my very old but much loved (and wax covered) iPod stopped working.  Arrrg.  Very bad timing for a techno neophyte but have to say I love my new phone and I was able to download all my music onto it (although I have to find a way not to touch it while I work!) and the new computer is slightly different,  but it is much faster and I'm sure we will be friends soon.  

Sometimes I feel like the more I have to do the more organized I am but yesterday the snow started falling which reminded me that Christmas is just around the corner and that makes me think about how I am going to be very last minute this year which in turn reminds me that I'm hosting Thanksgiving.  Which makes me think it's time to stop writing and get back to work :)

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods-


oh and-
i have a few passes for the one of a kind fair (each one is free admission for two) if you are planning to attend the show drop me a line and I'll email you a pass :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

new moo:

Lots and lots of new Moo Print business cards!  The last time I placed an order, Moo didn't like the quality and they sent me a whole 2nd set for free.  Because of that kind gesture, I haven't needed to order cards in a couple of years. With the upcoming shows the time finally came to stock up and so I was able to incorporate some new images.  This time around I had plenty of mini cards printed but also decided to order some of the new square shaped cards because I thought they would look just like my 'Emotional Blocks' (and they do).   I also ordered a book of stickers to seal up my orders but they are shipping separately.  I know it seems silly to get excited over a box of cards but I just adore these little guys.  The waxy matte finish, the on-timliness, the packaging.  Love, love, love :)

Friday, October 31, 2014

Dress up...

bird in progress 
She Often Found Herself In A Place Of Deep Magic

Many of my subjects dress up from time time and these two are no different.  Once I snapped this photo I realized that it appears each one is trying to be a part of the other's world.  The bird with the party hat and poetry and the female figure with her antlers longing for the time in the woods.  I'm not sure exactly what to make of it but they fit right into this day of disguises and trick and treats.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday share....

new bits::new work

Greetings from the beginning of a week full of promise.  This week, college apps are being checked and rechecked and submitted (yikes!).  Tech week for one play is upon us and rehearsals for another have started (so fun).  Sports and practices have ended for the season(just in time). The power tools are put away and the incredibly loud growl of the air compressor hasn't been heard in two days and the floors are happy.
Details are being taken care of for this show (necessary paperwork, packaging, business cards etc...).  It seems overwhelming if I think about it all together so I am checking off one box at a time and carving out time to create each day.   I think I'm on top of things and in pretty good shape but if anyone reading this post has done an art fair and has any advice or tips please feel free to share. 
Of course, I'm sure things will come up, (like they always do) but right now this week looks like a week where things will get done. It appears to be a week full of promise laid out in front of me like a long open road...time to see where it takes me.  

Monday, October 20, 2014

The start of something...

Three Magic Letters
5" x 2.5"

Carried Away
5.25" x 3.5"

Saying yes to more color this week and wondering where it will lead...

Friday, October 17, 2014

She longed to move the stars...

She longed to move the stars...
7.5"w x 9.5"h

“ if the fullness of the soul did not sometimes overflow in the emptiest metaphors, since no one can ever give the exact measure of his needs, nor of his conceptions, nor of his sorrows; and since human speech is like a cracked tin kettle, on which we hammer out tunes to make bears dance when we long to move the stars.”

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

New work...

If I Had A Hammer
7.5" x 10.5"

Greetings from the middle of a gorgeous week.  The mix of foggy, rainy days and muted blue autumn skies against the golden fall foliage are my perfect kind of days.  I've been in the studio at all hours and have many pieces in progress which I hope to share soon.  It feels so good to be back in a creative groove. I keep finding wee bits of inspiration in my massive pile of bits and scraps and am afraid I am getting a little ahead of myself but for now I'm just going with it.  Some bits are new but some like 'if i had a hammer' have been hiding in the pile for a couple of years, waiting for the right scraps of print and color to come along and give it context.  I love all the color in this piece and I love the process of taking a little block of color and turning it into a house, a home, an abode, a haven and here I've taken many blocks of color and built a whole neighborhood.  I know which house is my favorite (blue w/red dot roof) but if you were my neighbor which house would you live in?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Busy B-

almost complete & just started

A quick hello between projects and travel.  
I spent last weekend in Pittsburg with my 3 best friends from high school. Yes Pittsburg, who knew how great it would be?  If you haven't been there, and you live within driving distance or it's on your way to somewhere else, I would highly recommend spending a night or two.  The city setting is beautiful, the people were super friendly, the food scene is great and The Andy Warhol Museum is there and it is A-W-E-S-O-M-E.
Here at home, I have continued to carve out time in the studio each day and am really grooving on new color combinations and a new playlist (which includes lots of this).  It feels great to be working so much and the energy in the studio is spilling over into the latest house project too.  We have ripped out the variety of flooring in the three remaining rooms on the main floor and will start installing the quarter sawn white oak this weekend.  We had to wait almost 10 months for our supplier to find enough sustainably harvest wood to complete the remaining rooms but it was worth the wait.  Outside my studio door it is a construction zone with furniture and power tools piled everywhere but the end is in site and that makes me happy (of course these things are never really done but we will have the illusion of doneness once the rest of the flooring is in).  I just need to get one more coat of paint in the entryway before the weekend and then I can paint all the trim after the flooring goes down.
So, it's kinda crazy here but it's a creative-energy-messy-transformative-kind-of-big-picture-crazy and for right now it is good.   In fact, it's really good.  Next week I'll check in and share some of my new work.  Until then, wishing you a lovely rest of the week and weekend.

oh and- 
I have to throw in a tiny shout out to mama nature for the weather these days which is just spectacular :)

Monday, September 29, 2014

The New Normal

The New Normal
12.75" x 7"

This is pretty much what it feels like these days.  Sometimes things get turned around but togetherness, color and beauty are constant companions. They are the glue that hold everything together around here.  There are other things too, like music, laughter & good food but I am going to have to say that togetherness, color and beauty are my trinity...they are the carrots, celery and onion in my pot.  What about you, what are your go to ingredients for making the tough days bearable and making the bright days shine a bit brighter?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Tiny new works...

The Polaroid

Emotional Block No. 21
(treasure box)

Emotional Block No. 20
(free thought)
So, it turns out that creating a large body of work takes a lot more time than I had originally anticipated.  Creating work in a group is easy peasy and I love to work that way.  For each group of 4 or 5 paintings, I usually love 2-4 of them and scrap 1-3.  Over the past week things seemed to be humming along nicely with lots of time to paint, ideas coming together and translating well onto the blocks.  But then, all of a sudden, I realized that I needed to really finish these pieces in order to count them as inventory.  Yikes.  Normally I paint sides, sign date and title and attach sawtooth hangers one at a time as things sell (not a great method but it suits my need to procrastinate).  The idea of having 32 painting to finish was really overwhelming.  Having to paint the sides of 32 blocks, sign, date and title them all and attach the sawtooth hangers took the entire week...but I did it!  I officially have a stash started for the One Of A Kind Fair.  I'm sharing a few new pieces here and adding them to my Etsy shop but most of the new work will be part of a slow growing army of paintings.  Wishing you all a super lovely weekend full of whatever you need to fill yourself up :)

Friday, September 19, 2014

All In Good Time...

new work & works in progress

Gotta love the rainbow wheel.  A bright spinning circle of color to distract you from the fact that you are waiting, and waiting and waiting.  This week has been a very full one and I am so glad that Friday has finally arrived.  I am wrapping up a big week in the studio and hope to have 30 small pieces completed for the 'One of a kind Fair' by Sunday.  I still have a long way to go in building up my inventory but as the new work says...all in good time.  And on this gorgeous Friday morning I send you wishes for a lovely autumn weekend :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Finding beauty and quiet in the middle of it all...

American Beauty
7"x 6.5"x 2"

Hey there. There is so much going on here that I don't even know where to I won't.  Today I'll just say that in the middle of it all I am finding beauty and quiet in my surroundings and am so grateful for the gift of open space and breathing room.  There is so much grace and beauty in the many old barns I pass by daily. These antique structures are full of stories and the sight of them nurtures something deep inside of me.  The soothing quiet in the river and woods which flank the short ride to and from school each day fill me up and renew my energy.  So amidst all the driving, cooking, painting and meeting deadlines there is room for pause....and that is a gift. 
 Where do you find breathing room in your day?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Night Swimmers No. 18 & 19

Night Swimmer No.18

Night Swimmer No.19

Just a quick hello before heading into the studio to kick off a creative marathon.  The table is stacked with fully sanded block waiting to be primed and stack of colorful bits of newsprint gathered over the summer.  I am starting my December show stock up with a set of Emotional Blocks.  It's been quite awhile since I've added to that series and I love cutting out the tiny figures and creating their stories.  My plan is to create a large set of original blocks and to put a few in my shop later this week and set the rest  aside as inventory for The One Of A Kind Fair.  I have 12 weeks to pull things together for that show...starting now :)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

trying to decide if this post should be titled 'good news' or 'be careful what you wish for'...

Good Morning!  I am up early to help my Mom with day two of her annual furniture sale.  Yesterday was in the mid-90's so we were all insanely sweaty and busy as at least 60-70% of her work sold.  It was so great to see so many super sturdy, beautifully refurbished pieces of antique furniture find new life.  Today it will be in the mid-70's and the kids will be there too so it should be a really fun day :)

As I mentioned the other day, I have two pieces of news to share that I am really excited about.  The first is that late last week I was notified by email that my large piece 'Home And Garden' was selected to be a part of the Encaustic Art Institute's 4th annual Juried show.  It takes place at the Encaustic Art Institute in Cerrillos, NM and runs from October 4th to November 4th.  I won't be able to make it to the opening reception but am super excited to be a part of this show.  If you are in NM and get to see the show I would love to hear about it.  A good friend here in Ann Arbor also made it into the show so I am doubly happy about this show!

My second bit of news is that I have been chosen to be a part of the Etsy Emerging Artists Pavillion at the 2014 One Of A Kind Fair.  This show takes place at The Merchandise Mart in Chicago December 4th, 5th. 6th and 7th.  I am super surprised, super excited and more than a bit freaked out about this show.  It involves four long days of selling at an event that had over 65,000 visitors last year.  I have never participated in anything close to this size but my studio is organized, I have a good supply of wood and a notebook full of idea so I'm ready to hit the ground running on Monday and create a pretty massive body of work over the next 12 weeks.  My plan is to create a small group of Party Girls, Night Swimmers or All Kinds of Luck blocks each week as a starting point and to create 2-4 additional original pieces.  This show will test me in many ways but I am so excited about meeting some of the great people behind the scenes at Etsy and so excited to spend 5 great days in Chicago with the company and support of my friends there.  If you are anywhere in the area please put this show on your calendar and plan to stop by my teeny, tiny, booth and say hello!  Ok, now I really need to get it together and head out to my parent's house but I will leave you with a quote I came across earlier in the week...

“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.”
- Eckhart Tolle

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

This Was When Her Real Story Began

This Was When Her Real Story Began

I had every intention of working on this piece and sharing it yesterday morning but the day took a turn, and another turn and then a few more (let's just say nothing went quite as planned but all ended well enough).  This morning, in the back to school quiet,  I spent some time in the studio and finished the piece up quickly.  I really like the image and the title and the idea that roads and paths are revealed to us while we sleep and dream.  I actually closed my eyes for 15 minutes before picking up the kids today (something I never ever do) and I woke to the ding of an email with some news.  Some good and exciting news that I will share tomorrow once I am able to wrap my head around it ;-)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

All I Need...

All I Need
acrylic on canvas

Hey, it's been a while.  I hope all is well.  Around here, we are busy squeezing the last bit of summer goodness out of this oh so gorgeous season.  The kids here don't go back to school until next Tuesday and so while friends far and wide are settling into the school year groove we are enjoying the gift of an extra week to hang out, eat picnic lunches and play games after dinner.  Since I wrote last we've visited Saugatuck and Evanston, taken another child to camp for a week and brought them home, had a house guest, visited the Chelsea Fair and brought home a new bunny.  I find myself looking longingly at the studio at least once each day but am really working to be present with the kids, the house and these last few unstructured days together.  Soon, I will have quiet days to start implementing the new ideas, dreams and sketches I have been scribbling down in my notebook :) .
 But, for now,  I thought I would share one of the pieces I created in the abstract painting class that I took a few weeks ago.  It started as a much softer lighter piece with a creamy white background  and a pale blue square surrounding the pile of color.  But, in a flurry of last minute painting before sharing my piece with the class I covered the white with black, scraped it back, etched in the text and suddenly the painting said exactly what I wanted it to say.  I knew what I wanted the piece  to say all along it just took me a while to figure out how to show it and have it feel real and true. Does that make sense?  I had a central idea that filled my head with words and phrases and as the image continued to transform itself on the canvas the ideas became clearer until they condensed themselves down to the very essence of the 
idea and it all came together on the canvas. I would like to re-work a larger version of this with oil paint and wax and have a few other ideas that would play nicely with this one....soon, very soon :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Exploring shape and color...

1st painting in progress::palette from 2nd painting

Loving the abstract painting class.  The teacher is really great and I am learning lots and trying to push myself out of my comfort zone while still painting from a place I recognize.  The piece with the pink and blue (shown above) is still in progress and while I really like where it's going it is much more similar to something I would have done on my own than it should be. Instead of opening up and exploring the entire 30" square board, I divvied up the canvas and made it more manageable (not pushing myself enough). That night's class was about color and emotion and putting something on the board that we connected to emotionally.  I really like the color and feel of the piece and I have it on easel at home and will definitely be working on it over the next few weeks.  The color palette shown is for the 2nd painting I started and that piece is much more abstract in nature and it really resonates with me. I will be bringing that one home to finish up too and look forward to sharing it with you once it's finished and talking through the process of creating it.  We still have two more nights of class and all I know is that we will be exploring color and form.  This class is totally filling the creative well and I really feel like I want to paint something crazy big after it's over.  Today I was pricing 5'x7' canvases...that could be a bit overwhelming but maybe I could try something more like 3'x5'.  Have you worked on a really large painting?  What do you love (or not love) about working crazy big?

ps:  to counter working big in class I needed to work tiny so I created a mini version of 'A Place To Just Be' is titled 'The Getaway':)

Monday, August 11, 2014

A Place To Just Be (and other new work)...

A Place To Just Be

I See You

Cloud Study No.7 (edge of night)

In Cahoots

Hello again.  I have been back from the beach for a week and have been busy unpacking, doing laundry, tending the garden and filling our bellies with all the good stuff we've grown this year and I've been busy painting.  In between all the catch up involved in coming back from 10 days away I have managed to fit in quite a bit of studio time.  In addition to finishing up these four pieces, over the weekend I prepped two 24x24" boards for an abstract painting class I'll be attending this week.  I haven't taken in a class in awhile and I'm excited and a bit nervous about letting go and painting big with others.  I have a feeling the beach trip and/or the idea of water will find it's way into whatever I create in class.  I really miss being close to the water and truly enjoyed every minute of our trip to Charleston and the beautiful beach on Isle of Palm.  There is something about being near the water that opens me up, helps me make sense of things and that is calming and reassuring.  For me, being near the water almost always means slowing down and reconnecting with nature, myself and people I love...I carried that feeling home and unpacked it in 'A Place To Just Be'.   With the last weeks of summer upon us I am savoring the long days, fresh veggies and flowers and the company of my three kiddos.  What about you...where are you finding your bliss this summer?

Friday, July 25, 2014

In the land of plenty (or too much?)

Happy Friday peeps!  We are heading to Charleston, SC tomorrow for a much anticipated visit with Chucks family.  There will lots of time at the beach spent exploring, collecting and reading. And at the house we will all share there is sure to be lots of playing board games, bananagrams, knitting and of course eating.  It's been about 8 years since we last visited Charleston and the food scene there has really many great options for going out when we're not up to cooking.  The garden is going crazy and I am a little intimidated by the amount of produce I harvested today considering I am leaving in less than 24 hours.  So my plan is a batch of Annri's chocolate chip zucchini muffins to take with us, zucchini gratin for dinner with roasted garlic green beans and cherry tomatoes and then I think I will still have 3 or 4 of these monsters to give away.  I have a list of things to get done so I'm going to get going but I wanted to be sure and wish you a beautiful end of July!  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

All kinds of making going on...

I really should be packing for our upcoming road trip to Charleston, SC but instead I am making (and re-making) things to look at, eat and wear.  Most of Monday was spent in the was spent in the studio and I worked on a few new pieces all at the same time.  I went to my scrap source for wood when we were in Chicago a few weeks back and all the block shapes and sizes are inspiring lots of new work. Most of yesterday was spent in the kitchen pickling and dyeing.  There were quite a few pickling cucumbers ready in the garden and while I wasn't quite up for canning I didn't want them to go to waste so I did a quick batch of refrigerator pickles.  I cross referenced 4 or 5 different recipes in an attempt to try and replicate Rick's Picks 'Hotties' and I think I was able to get pretty close but we'll see on Friday when they are ready for tasting.  And then after allowing these three old favorites to sit in a pile in the back of my closet for months I decided it was finally time to re-make them.  All three pieces had been white about 8 and 10 years ago when they were purchased.  At one point all three were dyed brown but I was tired of that color and so now they are all a perfect jet black. And now that they are dry I guess I really should start packing :)


Monday, July 21, 2014

She's done (!)

Home And Garden
18" x 30"

::up close::

This is one of the largest pieces I've done and it took lots of time, patience and arm strength. A massive amount of heat fusing needs to be done layer after layer on a piece this size and so over the past few weeks I've fused and tweaked my way to this finished painting.  I have a fusing iron that probably would have done the job much more quickly but it would have yielded a much smoother surface and that just wouldn't do.  I love to see the texture and bubbles and depth of the wax and so I just took my time and worked on this a bit each day in between other smaller pieces.  The closer I got to finishing the faster I wanted to work but there truly are physical limitations to working this big.  Home And Garden is a reflection on summer, place, time and change and I really like the overall feel of the work and the idea that it is a visual story.  Thanks for reading...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Lion's Heart

A Lion's Heart
4" x 9"

They had always told her she had 'a lion's heart'. As she found her way in the world she embraced that phrase and bit by bit discovered the courage, strength and bravery she possessed.  It is such a gift to have others see things in you.  That is something to celebrate.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

All You Need

All You Need
4.5" x 4.5"

I know I was here yesterday talking about luck and everything but... at the end of the day love really is all you need, right?


Monday, July 14, 2014

Lucky charms...

All Kinds of Luck No.3

All Kinds of Luck No.4

Here's hoping your week is off to a good start. My computer is acting up and seeing as how it is almost eight years old I think I may need a bit of luck to keep it running.  A new computer is not in the budget right now and so I'm hoping to get at least a few more months out of it...fingers crossed, holding my breath, tossing salt over my shoulder, looking for four leaf clovers, wishing on lucky feathers and hanging a horseshoe for all kinds of luck.  Happy Monday ;-)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Night Swimmer


I'm spending time in the studio today working on the larger floral piece I've shared here recently but wanted to take a quick break to share these three new Night Swimmers. I finished them up last night and have to say that I am still really in love with the process of creating these lovely creatures.  Each one comes together individually but by creating them in small groups they get to  play off one another and shine.  I have a few bits set aside for the next set which I hope to start later this month but now it's time to get back to the big picture.  Happy weekend:)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

what summer looks like right now...

rainy skies::night swimmers::chicken dumpling soup*
the 1st ripe san marzano::summer work::the garden

Here's a peek of what summer looks like around here this week.  The torrential downpours and spectacular lightening have been tempered with near perfect 75 degree days and both of those things suit me (and the garden) very well.  My oldest is away at a creative writing camp for the next three weeks (taking a 17 year old girl out of the mix quiets things down quite a bit) and I really miss her. I'm sure part of that is knowing that this is just a warm up for the next separation (college) which is really just around the corner (she will be a senior this fall!). Anyways, the 16 year old is at theater camp every day all day  and is volunteering some evenings here and the 10 year old just returned from a trip to Niagra Falls with his cousins and grandparents and has play dates lined up for the next few days which leaves me wide open to paint, garden and cook.  After moving and taking on major renovations last summer the pace of this summer seems refreshing.  At one point it seemed like summer was going to fly by but now that we are here with the longest day still two weeks away it feels like there is time to work and play and summer is a long stretch of road and we are cruising with the top down under starry skies.  What does this summer feel like to you?

*one with allergies or summer cold, hard to tell, but chicken soup with lots of fresh herbs on a rainy day seemed right.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

new work in progress...

Greetings from Sunday.  We are getting ready to head to Chicago for a quick visit with friends but I wanted to take a minute to share this new 18" x 30" painting in progress.  I am using a combination of oil paint, encaustic sticks and collage on these 1st layers and soon I will begin adding layers of wax and etching.  Summer is definitely finding it's way into my work and after attending an absolutely amazing concert last night lots more Beck tunes will be finding their way into my studio :)  Last week was full of color, food from the garden, travel, reunions, growth, art, music and inspiration.  Summer is spilling over into my journal and my work and I am doing my best to go with it and not get in my own way, you know what I mean?  


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Nothing but blue skies (a story in two pieces)...

Nothing But Blue Skies
3.75" x 7" 

These two have a story that involves summertime, the beach and beautiful blue skies.  Each block measures 3.75" wide by 3.5" high and they can be hung directly on top of one another (as though they are one piece) or with a slight gap between them.  I really like the idea of a small space  existing between their physical body and their shared thought and that comes through either way it is hung.  The spare bit of color here feels loose and light and a lot like summer. I'm loving summer right now and I hope you are too:)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Too much of a good thing...

Perhaps picking 13 lbs of tiny, perfectly rip and oh so delicious berries was a bit too much of a good thing?  I was definitely feeling a bit overwhelmed as I worked to clean and preserve this bit of juicy summer goodness yesterday afternoon but after a batch of Strawberry Preserves with Black Pepper and Balsamic (to be served with goat cheese and crostini) and Simple Strawberry Jam (for summertime toast or a winter treat) I ended up freezing 4 lbs to use in smoothies, homemade ice cream and strawberry shortcake.  Making two or three trips is a better way to go but it's been very busy around here and the season is short.  So I'll just say it was too much of a good thing all at one time :)
Since I was here last I sent my youngest off to a two week summer camp with all his friends from Evanston.  He is the 1st child to head off on this type of extended adventure and I had mixed feelings about the whole thing but am so happy to say he seems to be having a great time.  I've received a classic camp note which I will put away and cherish and just returned a call to give him permission to ride horses this week.  I will head over to West Michigan on Thursday to spend time with two dear friends and then pick him up from camp on Friday morning. Can't wait to see him and hear all about his experience.
While the little guy was away C and I celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary.  He had to be in San Francisco for work and thanks to frequent fly miles I was able to join him.  We spent a day in Dry Creek/Russian River Valley tasting wine and sharing good food and conversation.  The next morning we headed off the beaten path for breakfast before visiting Mill Valley and reminiscing about our time there. Then we drove back across the Golden Gate and spent the day walking our old neighborhood in the city and had an amazing and inspired dinner at State Bird Provisions.  It was a short trip but it was packed full with the best of everything Northern California has to offer and togetherness.  It was just the right amount of a good thing:)
So as you can see summer is in full swing around here.  The garden is going wild, ALL of the lettuces are ready to be picked and we will have salads every night this week.  The snap peas are begging to be picked today and the green beans aren't far behind.  Soon we will have zucchini and summer squash galore and the tomatoes...well let's just say that with 14 plants thriving they are probably going to fall into that too much of a good thing category!  
So, now we are caught up. The kids have different places to be over the next few weeks but I will be here painting, cooking, sharing new work and enjoying the mostly unstructured days of summer.  More soon...thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Taking it all in...

Taking It All In
3.5" x 3.5"

For Safe Keeping
3" x 3.5"

It all goes by so quickly (it sounds so cliche but it feels so true).  School ends for all three kiddos later this week and we will celebrate one year in our new home.  Pretty soon after that people go different ways for different parts of the summer and we all go some ways together. But right now, all is good and I am taking a deep breath, taking it all in and getting ready to wrap my arms around summertime.