Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Red Zone

I've wanted to work with reds for quite some time. Red denotes many things to me including
rage, happiness, and just plain delicious. I was in a rage when I started this diptych, but the longer I worked on it the calmer I became, oddly enough. Maybe it's the richness of the shades and highlights of gold that was the deciding factor in changing my mood, whatever it is I don't wish to dwell on it.

Quote: Silence is a true friend that never betrays.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Tar Gel Tutorial

I've been experimenting with Tar Gel a fun medium made by Golden. For a tutorial go here:

Both of these examples are some sections of larger pieces. The circle one was created for a collaborative and the blue textured piece is a portion of a 7x16 inch piece that is giving me fits.

I've been thinking about friends lately and how much cyber friendships mean to me!!
Who knew that one could have so many great long-distance friendships? I'm grateful for the Internet!!

Quote: "A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out."
- Walter Winchell

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


This is a close-up of a section of the piece I posted yesterday. To answer a question: The texture isn't as evident as it is is some of the pieces, but there is a lot of textured gesso followed by layers and layers of acrylic paint. There were a couple of areas that weren't working so I diluted gesso and painted stripes that were allowed to drip. All of the lines, textures and paint, are vertical which provides a dripping effect. The piece is sealed with Future wax that catches the light when photographed and glares where it shouldn't; I couldn't scan this 7x16 inch piece.

I love diptychs and multiples and have a couple of them in the works. A foam spiral stamp was randomly pressed into gesso creating the design. The performers in Cirque Du Soleil seem to swirl . . .

Quote: When the entire process becomes a prescribed ritual that does not allow for spontaneous variations and reactions, the vitality of the medium and our relation to it suffers.
Jerry Uselsmann, photographer

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Gypsy Wagon

This one reminds me a section of an old circus or gypsy wagon that has been painted over and over and then started to peel. More whimsy than I usually do, that's for sure, but it took on a life of its own and I just followed along for the fun. The odd thing is that the one I worked on today also took me somewhere more whimsical. What's that all about? Cirque, Circus? Ah!

Quote: Spontaneity needn't suffer from pre-planning.
James McFarlane

Monday, April 21, 2008

Cirque inspired

So, it seems that the Cirque Du Soleil inspired work hasn't stopped. What looks something like a dream-catcher showed up in the upper right on this small piece.

Maybe my current fascination with circles has something to do with how chaotic life is; the circle often represents the need for formal structure. I've been obsessed with circle shapes over the years starting with mandalas that I wove and sold in galleries until the work started to become more assembly line than creative.

Upper left: three card cases I whipped last night. I love turning paper bags into something useful.

Quote: Creativity arises out of the tension between spontaneity and limitations, the latter forcing the spontaneity into the various forms which are essential to the work of art or poem.

Rollo May

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Rusted bag

For some reason the fabric for this bag wouldn't rust the first or second time I dyed it! It's a fabric of indeterminate blend that I got in the $1 a yard bin at the fabric store. The weave almost looks like linen but its not; I liked it because it was off-white which I think is often better for rust dyeing than pure white is. If all else fails allow the fabric to rust for over a week.

I've run into a block regarding the Cirque Du Soleil series! Or, maybe it's time, already, to move on to something else. I wondered if I could maintain enough momentum to do a series.

Quote: I started out as a realist painter. I would paint that rock. Now, I paint the essence of rocks--what I feel when I see them. Pat Dewes.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Moi?! Say it isn't so . . .
I’ve been tagged for a game where you share 6 weird quirks or habits you may have. So that means I am tagging anyone who wants to play along . . .!!

Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person that tagged you. Darlene at:
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
1. I don't understand milk chocolate! I'm passionate about dark chocolate, so much so that I have to have chocolate in my coffee. We're not talking Hershey's chocolate, but the best quality I can find.
2. I bite my fingernails; I stopped for 15 years but am at it again! Ugly!
3. I'm not fond of answering questions to the point of hanging up on anyone who phones saying they're taking a survey; and I rarely pass along emails that require answers. Yep, I hate tests!
4. I can't stand anyone near my space; elevators are pure torture! And forget about crowds!
5. What's with the phrase, "No problem." Isn't the response, "you're welcome." ??
6. I hope no wins the election for president!! We need to start over . . . There must be someone out there in the wings. Speak up!!
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

TAG! You're it!

Yes, I'll vote; I'm just waiting to see how things play out before I make any decisions. I made the wrong choice years ago.


I found this about "O".
I rarely use purples in my work but today when I was at Michael's craft store I picked up two shades of purple and a metallic red all of which I immediately put to use. The glow created from the metallic red is a nice surprise so much so that I'll be looking for more metallic colors. A little shimmer is always a good thing.
Quote: So while our art cannot, as we wish it could, save us from wars, privation, envy, greed, old age, or death, it can revitalize us amidst it.
Ray Bradbury from Zen in the Art of Writing.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Circus of the Sun

Interesting tidbits about Cirque Du Soleil here:

I'm not sure that I want to name each piece, but if I do this one would be titled Splash. There is a small band of blue on the bottom that seems to be the direction some of the lines and shapes are going to. This is only a section of the 7x16 inch piece.

Thanks for all of the comments on my blog or personally through emails. I appreciate the support beyond words!

Quote: Wake up an artist; be an artist each day. Do what is before you to do. Be still; open, and willing. Aliye Cullu - artist

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Photos - Portraiture - about

A couple more of the Cirque Du Soleil series. Unhappily, I saw one of mine on someones blog, taken without my permission. Flattered, but . . . (click on each photo for a larger view)

A friend asked my why when she looks into the mirror she doesn't see the same signs of aging she does in a photograph. I completely understand how disturbing this is. I had my hair cut in Vegas in a salon at the Bellagio and of course wanted a record of how I looked afterwards. None of the photos will be shown to anyone! The very nature of mirrors is that they soften our features and we only look at small areas at a time. Photos on the other hand are viewed in their entirety and may have been taken under harsh lighting conditions, never a good thing for most of us over a certain age. A flash may have been used and that highlights things we don't wish to notice, or the camera angle might be unflattering. The best portraits are taken in studios with proper lighting so the best we can do is play with filters in PSE or other software programs and get rid of what disturbs us. The other thing we can do is to be photographed in the shade without flash, hold our chins up and try for a 3/4 view rather than straight on; we can also learn to accept the aging process which right now isn't something I'm inclined to do.

is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. ~Mark Twain

Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. ~Samuel Ullman

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional. ~Chili Davis

In youth the days are short and the years are long; in old age the years are short and the days long. ~Nikita Ivanovich Panin

a man's middle years there is scarcely a part of the body he would hesitate to turn over to the proper authorities. ~E.B. White

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cirque Du Soleil

The images running through my head after seeing "O," Cirque Du Soleil's wonder at the Bellagio, have crept into my work. Circles, spirals, lines, fire, water, light/dark and a bit of whimsy or perhaps it's the imagination that dreamt up the indescribable production. Whatever it is I'm grateful for it. A fondness for swirls and circles has finally found a place in my work.
Quote: The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world. Henry Miller (again!)

Monday, April 14, 2008


When an artist strives to imitate nature it's often a disaster. The waterfalls at the Wynn in Vegas must get a lot of justified attention. After a superb dinner which at the moment escapes me, (so much for keeping a Dining out Journal!) I was captivated by the placement of rocks and cascading water. The sun had set at least 5 hours earlier but I decided to take a chance and photograph the showstopper. I saw abstracts in the formations and sure enough they were on the digital film.

Quote: One's destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things.
Henry Miller

Sunday, April 13, 2008

More Vegas

It's in the high 90's today here today so I imagine that it's about the same on the other side of the mountains in Vegas. Good thing we went last weekend; I don't imagine that it's a lot of fun seeing the sights when it's hot.

I love reflections in windows and when the crowd following the Beckham's finally left I was able to take the one on the left. The bird shape was in a jewelry store window; the glass pane surrounding the bird is black. I didn't see the reflection until my camera flashed. Nope, didn't actually see the Beckham's myself, but would have liked to see what Victoria looks like in person. We did see 5 women enter the theater just before "O" started and couldn't figure out why cameras were clicking away. A woman sitting next to me immediately phoned a friend, "You won't believe how many women were with Hugh Hefner tonight!" Ah, so that was the short man with them!

The grinning fool in the middle photo was taken in the butterfly garden at the Bellagio. I think that the carved tree trunk receives more attention than the live butterflies do, sadly! The butterflies are amazing! The third photo is a bit odd; I couldn't get a decent photo of the glass flowers or the butterfly, but the combo is sort of interesting.

Quote: The purpose of life is to remember. Henry Miller

Saturday, April 12, 2008


A mini-vacation just in the nick of time!! I was starting to fold under the stress of getting Stacy through the kidney transplant evaluation tests and trying to figure out mom's continuing disappearance into Alzheimer's. Last weekend Las Vegas seemed to be the place to go, especially seeing how I'd never been there! It's about a 4.5 hour drive which is doable; I had no idea that the Mojave Desert looks different than the Coachella Valley/Palm Springs desert area, but it does. All of these photos were taken at the Bellagio. Art decor on ceilings is something way too many builders/designers don't seem to think is important enough to consider, but not in Vegas; I was tripping all over my feet looking at the ceiling artwork. Very grand. I'm not usually one for glitz, but when it's done well I find that I'm in awe.

The food was incredible and might even have surpassed what we've had in Europe, which to me is hard to do. We saw Cirque Du Soleil's "O" and I can honestly say that I was completely blown away! We chose Wynn's "Le Reve" the next night and while it's not quite as good as "O" sitting in the second row made the show quite an adventure. There isn't anything comparable to seeing outstanding physical conditions put through so many twists and turns. I hadn't seen "Phantom of the Opera" since around 1993 so it was time to see it again. It was just as haunting and the music has stayed with me once again. Nope, we didn't gamble, I'm not a fan of games in any capacity, but we did enjoy watching. There was one young man, who looked to be about 12 and all of the spectators thought so too, who had a huge stuffed animal tortoise good-luck charm at his side. He was betting $500 chips and the crowd nearly fainted when he lost $8000! It didn't register on his face and he kept going. We went off to dinner and stopped back by his table afterwards. Neither he or the Black Jack dealer looked like they'd moved from the spot; the only difference was that he now had a drink at his side and was chain smoking. His stack of chips had grown considerably. We couldn't help but wonder how often he plays.

I haven't posted a link in quite some time, but this one be of interest. Nancy Renyor has an
acrylic painting book out so she may be familiar to some of you. Her blog is at:

Quote: Another winner from Sally Huss! Make yourself into a stress-free zone. Everybody benefits.

If only I could figure out how to do this!

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Mystery Technique is . . .

Gesso. Who would have thunk that gesso could be so textural? I must have been using inferior brands until now because I never was able to get the gesso to create such interesting textures. Once the gesso was dry I used Golden fluid acrylics and randomly painted them over the surface and of course the texture was begging for gold highlights.

Carol guessed the technique correctly so a pouch will be winging its way off to her.

The gesso technique is on Trish's group; thanks for the challenge!!
I think you find the instructions here:

Scroll down a little to see more scans of the gesso technique.

Quote: Life is fair. It returns what it is given. Fair enough?
Sally Huss

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Arte Y Pico

Oh my! I was chosen by Val for this award! Val's blog is exceedingly
inspiring, check it out here:

Arte Y Pico is at:
There are 5 rules attached to this:

1. You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and that also contribute to the blogging community, no matter what language.

2. Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his/her blog to be visited by everyone.

3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her/him the award itself.

4. The Award winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of "Arte Y Pico" blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5. To show these rules.
This is the tricky part! So many of the blogs I love have already been chosen for this award so it's more difficult to come up with different choices.

A lot more of my favs are listed on under blogoholic; a few of which need to post again, hint, hint, hint! Enjoy!

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Not finished yet! I'm debating as to whether I should adhere the top piece directly to the background or float in by adding mat board to the textured piece first . . . Any thoughts?

I had no idea that the red shape resembles so a lobster until I scanned it.

Quote: The heart knows no stress, except what the mind introduces it to.
Sally Huss (who else?)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Food Journal

Food Journal, or maybe I should come up with a better
title! In the current issue, #11, of Art and Life Teesha wrote about food in two articles. The first article, How Jamie Oliver Taught Me About Creativity was a fun read, but it was her piece Give your Taste Buds some Creativity that truly spoke to me. Why not keep a food journal?

Recently, some of the best times my friend and I have are when we enter a new establishment, and there are plenty of them springing up all around us, and make new discoveries. We slowly read the menu reading all of the descriptions and then figure out a plan of attack. "If you order this we can share blah, blah, blah, and if I order this we can share blah, blah, blah," I usually tend to make the better choices while he tends to always be on the lookout for the exotic or unusual. We have a great time, but as we get older we're starting to forget some of our favorite meals which leads me to the reason for a purse size journal. We discussed starting one last week while sipping coffee at Old Towne Coffee, which has become a favorite stop on our morning errands. Taking a coffee break at this small place includes finding a table outdoors, enjoying the quiet of the small village, and watching the light change on the mountains; this time we overheard spirited conversation from the table next to us. Two men dressed in bicycle gear, brightly colored shirts, looked like they put in a lot of miles on their bikes. Later that day as we were heading back to our car from an evening swim at the clubhouse when we ran into one of the men. "Hi, I think I saw you at the coffee place this morning, I was wearing the Rice Krispies (sp?) shirt." Sometimes the world is even smaller than we think it is! We chatted about the cycling he does. Most days a group of cyclists go about 42 miles so we were correct; they do put in a lot of miles. Nice memory for our food journal.

The cover is paper brown bag with a lot of color washes on it, distressed and adhered to 4x6 inch spiral bound journal.

Currently reading: My Life in France, by Julia Child. I love her sense of humor, style and way
of looking at life. The book is a great find!
Quotes: "Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it."

"The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook."
Julia Child