Thursday, April 17, 2014

Studio play and Calla Lily Splendor

 Discharged and dyed fabric. 

Dyed, stamped, and painted. fabric.

 This is the first Calla Lily I've purchased since moving to the desert. I used to grow them up north along the coast. They did very well in the foggy cool climate so for the life of me I can't fathom why every Spring local nurseries sell them here. It's been 85-95 degrees for a few weeks and it's supposedly April. I don't  imagine that the plant will survive the summer like they do up north, but does that matter? Not when it's given me the opportunity to photograph it . . . 

Calla Lily Splendor

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Foto Essay

 I love creating moods so the new App I just discovered, Afterlight, is perfect. 
The sky today is stupendous! 

 Echinopsis, Sea-Urchin, in the garden. This bloom is already fading away but
the one to the right will greet me tomorrow. 

 The bloom in the photo above against Hibiscus.

Afternoon delight.

 Fragment, or maybe more of a tiny collage? the leaf is a metal pin.

MizzMolly,  the studio guardian. 

I cleaned up the blog today. New smaller banner and deleted some blogs that no longer seem to be
active. If you'd like your blog listed please let me know. 

Strip playing with a tiny amount of dyed fabric that very
nearly got tossed; there didn't seem to be enough
to do create anything. Surprise!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Yesterday was Wondrous Wednesday

Dyed or painted? That's the burning question regarding this 
piece of fabric. I don't remember.

 Sea-Urchin cactus . . 
 Sea-urchin bloom.
Euphorbia tirucalli (also known as AvelozFirestick PlantsIndian Tree SpurgeNaked LadyPencil TreeSticks on Fire or Milk Bush) These are blazing for the first time and are
the backdrop
for the fountain in the backyard. 

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

The Dance

 Photographing paintings can be tricky and elaborate of which I'm not a fan of, or simplified and doable. 
I don't have the space to set up lights nor the patience to do that kind of photography. But when the painting I just finished refused to be photographed anywhere near what it looks like I nearly changed my mind. Bravo to the internet and free information. The above version was taken on Auto. 

I found a fabulous site on how to photograph just about any art.  But, I'm really all about easy these days so when I found a Skye Taylor youtube that was quick and provided a brilliant idea for making a white card, well, eureka!

I don't have a full size easel so a table-top one on top of a stool was something my dad would have done; use what you have. I do have a tripod and a digital camera. For a white card I was able to create something like Skye did in the youtube. I needed a refresher on how to program the camera to custom white balance. The photo below is pretty close to what the painting looks like. The info in the first link is more valuable than a book I purchased a few years ago; I'll refer to it if I ever need a more professional photo of my work In the meantime I'll keep using the easy system.
The Dance. Acrylic 20x24

Monday, April 07, 2014

April is Great!

Fabric play in the studio. I love Fragments. They don't pretend to be anything other than what they are which in this case is simply an unattached piece of layered cloth. 

Fragments stitched, cut, stitched, painted, dyed, cut, and stitched again. 
Feels like an entrance to  . . . ?

The white cactus blooms, it turns out, belong to a family of 128 Echinopsis. Sometimes they're called
Sea Urchin due to the size and shape; very fitting for the variety I have. They're also
known as Easter Lily Cactus.  This bloom was
photographed against a painting that I'll share later.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

March Happenings

Hadn't been to the La Quinta Arts Festival in 3 years. It was time for another visit.

We were greeted by Michael Gard's sculpture dancing in the breeze.

Fondness for trees.
The setting for what is known as the #1 Fine Arts and Craft Festival
in the nation.

Hadn't visited Bob William's Nursery in about 4 years.

We bought the plant below about 6 years ago and it's multiplied numerous times. The name on
the pot was Spider Web. But alas at the nursery I found out that it's AKA Lemon Drop Fortnight Lily.
Mmmm, which name is more suitable?

Worked on setting up a studio in what was mom's casita. There is a breezeway
between the house and the Studio. Yes, a separate entrance!
Some furniture I painted for the Studio. 

And once again the magical cactus blooms are starting to greet me daily.
 I think of them as the gift of April! 

Monday, March 24, 2014


Winter barely happened here in the desert making Spring unremarkable.

There was once a strong force of three. Mom, myself, and daughter. Mom's brain has faded too much for me to care for her needs; she's now in a Board and Care home where I know she's being well cared for, but a part of me feels like I've given her up for adoption.

Since Dad's transition fourteen years ago, and Roger's four years ago today March has been a time for reflection. But this year there have been pleasant distractions in the reflection pond. The studio is up and running and I've turned my bedroom into more of a sanctuary than messy studio.

Sometimes being puffy with satisfaction is all one needs.

There are always blue skies ahead . ..

(except for the ducks in the pond, all images were photographed in and from my backyard.)

Saturday, March 08, 2014


Where did February go? I assumed that I had blogged last month but I see that I was mistaken. Plans went awry that's for sure. Mom didn't end up going into a Board and Care home that my brother and I had lined up in December. Instead she fell again and this time fractured her pelvis. So, not only has Alzheimer's wiped out her memory now her bones are breaking. It's a very sad time made more so when we visit her in a nursing home. It's not the place we had hoped she would end up in.

I've never been drawn to Heart shaped anything but suddenly hearts seem to be appearing everywhere. While I was sorting thru art supplies a few weeks ago a container of foam hearts fell out of a box and the tiny hearts seem to have drifted throughout the house; they show up in the unlikely places. A key ring with a silver heart was discovered in a drawer in the dresser. Yesterday at the La Quinta Art Festival  I saw quite a few heart shaped art pieces and this morning when I was moving some things on my desk the above arrangement was on a canvas. Okay. Someone loves me! I believe! After seeing a lot of paintings yesterday Stacy informed me last night that I should make a painting for her and it should be a heart.

The dried roses in the photo are from a bush that bloomed on the day Roger died three years 
ago this month.

Know that you are loved!

Monday, January 27, 2014


Why is it that January seems to be the time of year when so many of  us decide to de-clutter? Perhaps one reason is that there are articles about organizing the clutter along with sales of storage containers? It doesn't matter where the urge comes from it seems to overtake my sanity; I question the purpose of every item in the house including art supplies. In fact, lately I've wondered why in blazes I have so many supplies in which to create art when I can't find a good reason to do anything. Ask a question and the answer often arrives, that is if I wait for it. A Paris Review interview with author Raymond Carver provided an epic reason for creating. FIERCE PLEASURE! And so it is . . .

The photo was taken last summer when the Plumeria bloomed. A Tropical plant in the desert? 
Sure amazed me when I started seeing them here. I've started about 8 from the 2 plants that 
Roger bought 6 years ago. 

Friday, January 03, 2014


 Spencer, aka, Mr. Handsome, greeted 2014 with his usual nonchalance; nothing to get excited about.  His stance on things unless it's something to do with food is to keep his cool. He's all about food and snuggling.We celebrated 14 years of his life in October. His sister graced us with 12, not nearly enough.

Winter here in the desert has been very mild, so far. Snow on the surrounding mountains hasn't  made much of an appearance this year. And while the nights and early mornings are cold the days in the 70's are sublime. Is there anything better than picking oranges from a tree right outside of the kitchen? This is the first year the tree has provided more than 2 so perhaps this year will be even better. One can only trust that abundance in all things will happen. 
      Orange segments added to the morning smoothie along with the twin Omega 3 seeds, as I call Hemp and Chia, a couple of frozen chunks of banana, some strawberries all blended with homemade walnut and sunflower milk and I'm set for hours. This morning it occurred to me that oranges in a smoothie might be even better with the addition of Vanilla. The result was an Orange-Julius type flavor. Yum.

I've been in limbo for way too long as I'm sure anyone who visits this blog has ascertained. I'm looking forward to getting mom settled into a 24-hour care place even though it breaks my  heart that I won't see her daily. The visit to the nursing home yesterday left me very bereft and numb. Watching  her struggle to walk or make sense of food is painful enough but even more unbearable is no longer hearing her voice. She's become completely non-verbal. Not a huge surprise as she was only able to give short and often erroneous replies, but when it hit Stacy yesterday that her grandmother doesn't respond at all watching Stacy deal with that through her sobbing . . . 
    There are Alzheimer's Gifts though. Stacy decided to hold her grandmother's hand and when mom patted Stacy's hand the communication was heartfelt. Silence can be a good thing. Don't we find ourselves in the silence? I spent most of last year distracting myself from Life. I've chosen a word for this year and once I create and artwork for the word I'll post it. In the meantime, if you've chosen a word, please share by leaving a comment.

When I photographed this sunset at the Salton Sea I started musing about paths.
 Which path will I take this year?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

End of The Year

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.
It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing,
and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past,
brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
~ Melodie Beattie

The above photo was taken in November while standing in a spot I find myself in more often than I care to; the gas station filling the tank. We were just returning from visiting mom who has been in a nursing home since November 24th when she broke a hip. In her Alzheimer's state she doesn't realize that the hip broke nor does she know that she had surgery to repair the break. For seven years I've been her memory keeper;  it's taken a huge toll on me even though I've done my best to not allow that to happen. Anyway, what caught my eye on this day was the afternoon lighting and the clouds. This scene isn't particularly photo-worthy, or at least I've never seen it that way.   I'm glad that I had grabbed the iPhone and took a few photos otherwise I would have missed the opportunity to turn an ordinary looking scene into something fun.  You never know when an open field in front of restaurants and stores including Costco might become a favorite photo.

 A few favorite ornaments. The Maui train from my daughter, the cat in memory of Zeus, 1982-1998. The blue glass snowflake is hand-made by a dear friend. (just noticed that it's hanging backwards.)

May 2014 be a spectacular year for everyone!

Monday, October 21, 2013


I'm clueless as to where the month has gone. Dithered away into the ethers is my best guess. I started this piece in May of 2012 before everything went south, health wise. I never did know what I was going to do with it but it's found a home draped over the Janome Felting Machine. Remember when we all had to have one? What I learned from purchasing the "rarely-used" machine is to wait awhile before getting the latest must have device, machine etc. The bloom often wears off fast. 

This fabric piece was an experiment Rayna Gillman's fabulous book, "Create your Own Free-Form Quilts."
Right now Rayna is off an adventure in England and France of which I'm attempting to not be jealous of. 

Be fascinated is a photo of a decaying plumeria leaf.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Birthday Abstract

Flowing into a new year! Last year at this time I wasn't so sure I'd be here for another birthday. I had the 3rd round of 4 chemo treatments. Life is good on this birthday!

This 14x18 acrylic painting has two layers of under-paintings. The first painting was flowers by someone who donated the piece to a thrift store. I love using recycled canvases. The second under-painting was sort of a graffiti attempt with my name, the month and my age on it. While painting over that this one evolved.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

August Abstract

 Yep, I know it's September, but I never got around to posting the two paintings I did last month. Life is often full of distractions of the unwanted variety. Mom is probably in the last throes of Alzheimer's and it's becoming more evident that it's time to look for a nursing home or? I'm not able to give her the care she now needs and it's breaking my heart. 

Anyway, the above acrylic painting is 11x14 on canvas board.

Woke up to a cloudless sky today, but no complaints as the humidity that had settled in for a lengthy visit has moved on. Over the last few weeks there were some interesting tropical storms that provided great fodder as conversation starters, albeit, boring at times but nevertheless current. This photo was a little manipulated in order to get some green shrubbery into it. Otherwise I think the photo would have been bland.