Saturday, May 31, 2008

New Toy

Not a very good picture, but the felting adapter I purchased from is pretty amazing. I had the metal plate cut to size by feltcrafts and that holds the foam into place. So, I decided to take the adapter for a test run today; the workshop I signed up for starts on June 4th.

I've decided that painted lutradur felted onto white felt might not have been a good choice, but I couldn't find any black. The colors, burgundy and lime green, were more vivid until they were toned down by the white felt coming through the lutradur, hard to explain! Felting happens when two pieces of fabric are meshed together by the punching with needles. Sometimes the back of a piece can be as interesting as the front because fibers are pulled through, not so with this one. Being that this was an experiment to try out the adapter I didn't have a plan in mind when I felted on yarns, a painted dryer sheet and finally black chiffon, so I'm surprised that the result is interesting. I love that the heat distressed chiffon allowed some of the background to show through. I have no idea why I added the white chiffon strip on the left, but this might become a journal cover.

I scanned my progress from beginning to end and the huge PDF is here:

Quote: Those who work only when the muse strikes them make little progress.
William Dunning

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Handmade Paper

Another piece of two handmade papers fused together. This piece fused a little better than the one in the next post did. The bottom layer is rusted paper and the top layer started out life as a brown paper bag; when the sheet was dry an abstract of acrylic paints was applied.

Question: is anyone having a hard time getting daily updates now that blogarithm has changed? I love getting blog updates daily so that I could quickly go to them. Is there another service like that? The one that took over from blogarithm seems to be a bust.

Quote: Do whatever you do intensely. Robert Henri

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Handmade Paper

Handmade papers and rust monoprinting. (Couldn't get this one to scan straight!) It seems that we're having a bit of a heat wave! 114 yesterday about that again today. Yikes! The monoprinting part of this piece only took about 2 hours instead of overnight. The background paper is my secret, rusted paper and the top layer is a blue speckled piece that was made from copy paper and blue card stock.

The transplant saga continues: My plan to load Dr. L. with as much info as I could along with my plea for help, and I'm positive the good thoughts and prayers from just about everyone we know, allowed things to fall into place in such a way that it now seems ridiculous that I was ever so upset! Faith!! We met with Dr. L at 1pm today and he said that he couldn't figure out why the transplant team needed his approval/clearance so he wrote on a prescription pad, "PT can have surgery." I wonder what the team will think about that? Then we started a plan to wean Stacy off of the Dilantin and increase one of her other meds which should take about 3 weeks. We're hoping for a balance that won't throw her precarious system into high-alert causing seizures. Sounds easy doesn't it?

Dr. L. was also in total agreement with me that it's not necessary to pursue the epilepsy surgery evaluation. Phew! What a load off.

Thank you readers for "listening."

Quote: Moodling, a combination of musing and mental doodling, can lead to floating over any number of obstacles . . . Jane Chanpagne

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Urban and cirque inspired

The urban inspired piece on the top was completed two weeks ago when I was still feeling optimistic; the cirque inspired piece was nearly finished at the same time. I couldn't sleep last night, the second sleepless night in a row, so I finished the bottom piece. The scan is a bit off, the lime green isn't as yellow as it appears. The scan also didn't capture the depth. Notice the line on the left that runs through the circle, that's a surprise. The circle was added after the lines. Nice when surprises happen!

I have great friends. Wait, make that outstanding friends! One sent me in the direction of Eckhart Tolle's earlier book, "The Power of Now," which as it turns out is exactly what I needed now! Thank you Maria!

Ready for some humor?! Mom received a jury summons in the same mail that carried the news about the continuing saga for the kidney transplant evaluation. Can you just picture an 81 year old woman with Alzheimer's on a jury who doesn't know where she lives or what day it is? The devil in me nearly decided to take her on the appointed day, but the good daughter wrote the letter explaining that I'm her caregiver. Both of us have now received summons in the last two months, I imagine that Stacy will be next!

For those of us who run out of bubble wrap to pop there is another way!
Tina sent me this! Make sure that your speakers are on. I had a blast popping them!

Quote: And how do I get to that point of realization?
When you surrender to what is and so become fully present, the past ceases to have any power. You do not need it anymore. Presence is the key. The Now is the key.

How will I know when I have surrendered?
When you no longer need to ask the question.
Ekckhart Tolle - The Power of Now

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Monoprinting Challenge

Monoprint challenge. Spread paint onto freezer paper or sheet of glass. Make a design or not, lay fabric over the paint, brayer fabric to create a tight bond, pull the fabric off and you'll have a new piece of fabric to play with. I love this technique! It's been years since I've done any monoprinting and suddenly ideas are springing up everywhere. Tips: brayer from the middle out to the edges, this makes for less movement of the fabric and a crisper lift of the print. Use only a couple of colors, otherwise you'll get mud. Use a brayer or paint spreader to evenly apply paint to the surface, make a quick design or use stencils or rubber stamps. I find that I often need to spritz water over the paint before putting the fabric over the design, but then it is 100+ degrees here in the desert right now!
Thank you Carol Taylor for another fun challenge!!!

I'm working on a couple more rusted objects monoprints similar to one posted a few days ago; they're not quite as instant as using acrylic paints or inks are.

Another piece that didn't make the grade for the collaborative. This one was re-worked numerous times before I finally stopped. There is a peeling paint effect that was achieved with gesso over black paint, sprayed with alcohol and rubbed until I liked it. Depth surprisingly occurred when light and dark shades started playing off of each other. This piece didn't jive with the direction of most of the work for the collaborative so it's now in my collection.

Kidney Transplant Update: We received news by mail late yesterday that an important clearance had been overlooked. Who do I blame and shout at?!?! This important neurology status about Stacy's seizures had been omitted from our list of 14 things to have done! It should have been number one. Unfortunately, yesterday the neurologists office phoned and canceled the appointment Stacy for the 27th with the news that Dr. L. can't see Stacy until July!!!!! I wasn't happy about that, but once the letter from Loma Linda was in my hands I hit the roof! One of the anti-epileptic meds would interfere with a kidney transplant anti-rejection med so unless the anti-epileptic med is changed, and that could have been done over the course of the last few months while the other tests had been done, she can't be put onto a transplant list. I'm having a very difficult time coming to terms with how this happened and what can be done about it. Stacy is wounded beyond reason. We're not having an easy time with this news. Dr. L. is one of the few overbooked neurologists in this area, so simply saying that I'll find another one isn't of much help.
I've just spent the last hour putting together the information and my concerns into a thick package of materials that I will carry to Dr. L's office on Monday. Hopefully, he'll see the need to start doing something about the med and he'll phone me. Plan B is to do a sit-in . . . This particular medicine has concerned Dr. L. for quite some time and he has wanted to wean her off it while trying another med. We're just a little late getting around to it. So, the saga continues . . .

Quote: Sally Huss to the rescue again!! "Give up your concerns, not your attention, but your concerns."

Friday, May 16, 2008


Now that the collaborative I've been involved in has been submitted I can show some of the work I rejected for the project. This piece was done using Nevr-dull Wadding Polish to remove color from a magazine page. I normally use glue for the resist to make patterns, shapes or lettering but this time I used Gel Tar. Copyright issues are always foremost in my mind when I use pages from magazines so I look for pages that mostly have one to three colors on them that will work well under the resist. This time I got lucky; black that turned to grey when removed by the Nevr-dull. A wash of metallic yellow helped to create an interesting background. This piece will go into the works-in-progress bin.

Finally Friday! This week was very intense with doctor appointments and finally getting the urology clearance Stacy needed in order to be placed on a kidney transplant list. (she's not officially on the list yet.) It must have seemed like the perfect week for mom and Stacy to have melt-downs which left me close to having one myself. Instead I spent a few hours in the garage studio this morning working on some monoprints and backgrounds before the heat forced me indoors. 100+ degrees already!

Quote: Just the right thought can change a moment. Such a moment can change a day.
Sally Huss (to the rescue again!!)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


I'm not crazy about cutting a picture in half with any kind of line, but for some reason this one doesn't bother me. The grid on the lower half is more textural than bold which otherwise would definitely not have worked.

I bought some spatulas at the dollar store yesterday to use as spreaders rather than a much-used credit card that seems to create the same textures over and over. Surprising the spatulas, 5 of them, do make a difference. Changing tools is something to consider more often . . .

Quote: I am interested in art as a means of living a life; not as a means of making a living.
Robert Henri

Monday, May 05, 2008


Urban: of, relating to, characteristic of, or constituting a city.

When I think about urban I envision the decay of buildings, graffiti, and architecture of a by-gone era. Patinas that create abstracts have always been of interest to me and the subject of numerous photographs. Returning to my interest of what Urban means to me suddenly entered my work at about 2am a couple of nights ago. I was putting gesso onto a couple of substrates before I crawled into bed and didn't notice the grid and line patterns that occurred. It wasn't until the next day when I started adding paint that the urbanness (no such word, but it'll do!) became apparent. Odd how a direction will present itself if one simply gets out of the way. Muse at work? Most likely!

On the left is Night-scape and of course "O" is on the right, graffiti perhaps. When I was working on Night-scape I was reminded of how Georgia O'Keeffe got to a point in her work that was not satisfying and began over by working with black charcoal. Her simple lines in charcoal are exquisite. Maybe it's time I start to think about simplicity rather than how much texture and color I can put onto a piece. "O" isn't about simplicity, it's about making marks in a variety of ways including stencils. Exploration is good.

Quote: Robert Henri. "Know that the old masters did. Know who they composed their pictures, but do not fall into conventions they established. These conventions were right for them, and they were wonderful. They made their language. You make yours. All the past can help you."

Sunday, May 04, 2008


Colors sometimes shift when photographed or scanned. This piece is just such an example; in life there is more of a rusted effect in some of the areas than this scan was able to capture.

The first bottle of gesso is now history! I was able to prim and texture more substrates than I expected which pleases me. Cracking open a new bottle today ended up being the highlight of the day! I ended up with more "mud" than anything inspiring or usable. A layer of gesso, hopefully, will allow me to start over.

Quote: Spend time every day listening to your muse is trying to tell you.
Saint Bartholomew

Saturday, May 03, 2008


Regarding a question posted, yes, I often use Quinacridone colors in order to get a rust color; I especially love Nickel Azo Gold over Payne's Grey or Turquoise and Red Iron Oxide over anything, but there's no substitute for the real thing. Washers and nails were used to create this composition. I've discovered that paper towels and muslin work best for mono-printing.

I'll be posting a few pieces in the next few days where I have relied heavily on Quinacridone colors for a rusted effect.

Quote: Thank you Sally Huss for this: Joy lasts as long as you remember that it belongs to you.

Friday, May 02, 2008


High-flying-act, or act-of-despair? The idea for this piece came from a place of wanting to leave the scene on the home-front and not deal with mom's disappearance into Alzheimer's and waiting for news about Stacy's bladder function test. The urologist is insistent that we do a follow-up in his office. May 12Th won't arrive soon enough!

The figure in this piece is attempting to stay out of the flames of despair, the ochre and reds, but is getting a little bit too close for comfort. Working out emotions through my work is something new and I'm not sure that I like going this deep. I prefer to simply react to where the piece is taking me and not give it much thought.

Quote: If you have the perseverance, courage and the confidence to unleash your trained skills without too much interference from the analytical or left side of the brain, the spontaneity that results can be exhilarating.
Ken Strong