Saturday, April 30, 2011


started the day hanging art at a massage shop. my dear friend zella brought me this opportunity- she shows here annually and sells and she didn't have enough to fill the space this year so she asked if i would show with her. i was able to hang photos (which i can't at the gallery).

the studio owner didn't seem too thrilled with my work, but i have always wondered why these flower images are still hanging around & this seems the perfect venue to send them off with new happy owners. fingers crossed.

after that, i got to do lots of yard work and make a trip to the dump. at least it was sunny. got a few dog walks in too. then to the studio. tomorrow is hangin' day at the gallery & i had to ready things to go.

my other job today was to find spots to give away art. BOSCO (boise open studios collective) is participating in a big art event in town- modern art (you may remember this from last year when i did it with some friends)- where the modern hotel opens its rooms to artists & has a big party. it's a really fun & packed & crazy high profile event.

our open studios group is working on reinventing ourselves & raising our profile after a few years of focusing exclusively on open studio weekends. it seems that we need to build a brand & keep the public aware of us to get folks to our studios.

for modern art, we are planting free art around town. the room will have photos of the art & a visual and written clue as to where to find it. we have some really great artists giving away some really great art.

i seriously want to find these earrings by barbara bowling-

but who wouldn't love to find this piece by delia delapp

or this shot of our fair city by eric obendorf?

here is one of my pieces for the giveaway-

the other is marinating under a glop of matte medium in the studio. this is going to be fun! i hope that someone wants to find mine.....

my last thought from today is a comment a friend made that they hoped that hanging and selling my art was making me happy. i am never quite sure how to take these things when they come up. this particular friend and i haven't been spending much time together lately, and i find it odd to single out art as the thing that she hopes is making me happy. i spend time on lots of other things that i would equally hope i enjoy- why call out the art?

i have other friends i make art with, but it's been that way for 10 or 11 years ever since i started taking classes on tuesday nights. i have gotten more involved in the community since i've been in the gallery & involved in helping revitalize BOSCO.

my art has become more of a focus, and i do like it. i love learning and being challenged and knowing that something i created means enough to a stranger that they want to have it in their home. that to me is amazing. i love being part of a creative community that is so supportive. i love the way we share ideas and help each other grow. i love having the ability to experiment and play and maybe it works and maybe it doesn't but you learn & build on it either way. i am amazed that i am regarded as a peer by people whose art i admire.

i'd say yeah, pretty much making art and most things associated with it make me happy.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

building bunnymoon

in march i made several backgrounds when i was feeling uninspired. for some reason this one wanted rabbits.

so i googled bunny images (b/c out of the millions of photos i have bunnies are not among them). and then i hoped i would remember how to paint. i traced the outlines ( loser, i know) then blocked in the light & dark.

bunny on the right looks sort of fierce & grumpy. not quite what i was going for.

i wish i had thought about the moon FIRST, but that's the way i work- no planning things out for me! ditto for the foreground. wanted a thru the rabbit hole thing, but it didn't work out so well.

hansa yellow glaze on the moon- better-

brushed a glaze of carbon black, azo green & gold over the bottom, better again, the a glaze of quince nickel azo over all of the background to tie it together, better again

lastly, husband helped me figure out why the right hand rabbit looked grumpy and i fixed it and voila!

and it's funny- b/c i have no idea where the rabbits came from (tho it IS the year of the rabbit), but i am really happy with this. looking forward to more playing in the same vein.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

oh! what a beautiful day!

harrison boulevard is lined with lovely old homes. the median is planted with flowering pear trees, which put on quite a show in both the spring and the fall. every year i mean to get out and take some photos. i finally did this afternoon, with my wide angle.

happy spring all! back to showers tomorrow, so i enjoyed the sun today.
 got some studio time in tonight- i finished the bunnies and actually quite like them- yay! will post a start to finish when i have a decent non- glare photo of the finished piece, which i should be able to get tomorrow since it won't be sunny.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

back on track

back to tuesday studio night- yay! pam is off in mexico (yes, we called her names- til i got an email that she isn't feeling too well), so it was nancy, jenifer & me. jenifer, nancy and i used to take art classes together years ago on tuesday nights, and it was nice to all be together again.

ok- i am actually happy with the bunnies, scary! i read up on bunny symbolism (you knew i would) and found that people born in the year of the rabbit are considered lucky because they have the power of the moon. of course the moon had to make an appearance in the painting. i also had to reference the underground part of bunniness- the alice in wonderland down the rabbit hole to another realm stuff- but wasn't quite sure how to do it. and then- a happy accident. i gelled something on and added a black wash and hated it, but when i pulled that off i liked the result. maybe an azo green wash over the black or something, but very close. or a red wash over the entire background- or quince nickel azo...

this is finished (mostly, tho i may drop some more washed color into the lutardur to spread around)

and the wave is done too, i think- i added some green & like it much better.

open studios meeting last night. great energy. we have some fun things in the works to raise the profile of the group and i am actually looking forward to doing open studios this fall. because i love my studio and it will be fun to share. if nothing else, it's a great excuse to spend 2 days painting. more on that project later- 

Sunday, April 24, 2011


progress with the camera, playing with focus & exposure options. i swear this thing could drive a car if i could tell it how to!

and in the studio once home-

i painted some limbs in the lower left corner. i didn't want to mirror the transfer, and i like the idea of using different media anyway, so i dipped the brush in the airbrush black and i think it's ok.

the scary bunnies are better now too (do you think so? please tell me if i'm deluding myself!). the acrylic extender really does help, though why i didn't just paint them with alkyds i don't know. well- probably b/c i may layer more over them so i need them to be acrylic. anyway- now to figure out where to go from here. thinking maybe chinese symbols with solid gel thru stencils or something.

but now, off to bed.... back to work tomorrow, and an open studios meeting tomorrow night. happy easter all!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


when the snow melts in the spring the prairie fills with water, creating some wonderful views

great reflections

and  supporting a wide variety of birds- some leave when things dry up, some stay

there will be wildflowers in a month or so.

 i am challenging myself to learn to use my fancy camera this year. shoot a lot, shoot manually, get the things i want in focus. it's a shame to have such a nice instrument and not do a better job with it. wish me luck- the owner's manual is 400 pages long....

Friday, April 22, 2011

a late night in the studio

the first art related activity yesterday was to head to the airport with julie, hanger extraordinaire, who volunteered to help figure out how to make the small pieces look better.

her advice:
  • hang by artist if at all possible
  • don't look at them as individual pieces, but rather grouped together to become one larger artwork
  • forget about hanging by color
  • provide separation between each artist's work to give the eye a place to rest
this is where the wall started, i wish i had taken a picture of the end result, it was so much more attractive. i am really appreciative of the time put in by the 2 women who are in charge of the airport hangings and julie, who isn't even with the gallery any more, to help solve this ongoing issue.

we have today off, so i took advantage of being able to sleep in and stayed in the studio til late. here are a few (small!) pieces in progress- maybe done-

the bottom of this is a piece of lutradur that i hit with a heat gun, which created the holes and bunched up effect. glued over a canvas that wasn't working for me and odds & ends of watered down paint dropped on. i had painted the canvas blue and when i turned it this direction it reminded me of the foothills in the spring. all i need to do is figure out the sky and how to keep the lutradur more solidly on the canvas.

i think this is done- i put crackle paste & light modeling paste on another canvas that wasn't working. when i turned it it looked like a wave to me, so here you have it-

this one's 4x6 and has been the bystander recipient of all of that spattering. it seems to want something more, but i am not sure what. we'll see where it goes.

lastly, i really hated the plastic look that the tree had after the second transfer. so i washed it off and coated the whole thing with matte gel hoping to get to something i can stand. i also coated another canvas with the ready patch so i can try something else to keep the quality of the base more intact.

and now- off to walk dogs & run a few errands- then studio time!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

another from start to finish, sort of

i need to get better at photographing every step, but this will give you an idea. about a month ago when i was uninspired i decided to just start a bunch of bases. this was the session that the very scary bunnies came from too.

the board in the lower right hand corner is the subject of today's blog. as an aside, i am loving using these panels from blick- they are nice & sturdy and handle layers really well.

here's how it looked at the end of the first night. i had leftover red paint from something else, parts of an old recipe, sheet music, a pattern. i am pretty sure that the circle is the seal from inside of a jar of gel medium. threw stencils in the corners for interest. then looked at it for a few weeks.

i decided that the circle was either the sun or the moon, and had some variegated leaf with this pattern in the middle, so i added that to make it sun like. in going this direction, the letters in the upper right hand corner became less appealing, so i added a glaze of titan white which in turn was too boring, so on my evening of spattering everything in sight i added dark turquoise and bronze spatters, then mixed some liquid red with water, loaded up an eye dropped & added the big red spots.

time for the transfer- one you may recognize if you read this blog much- and i think we're done. not quite sure about the empty lower left corner, but for now i'll call it good.

here's what happened to the one i ruined the other night-

first image

repaired image-

this is ok, but i like the first better for several reasons:
  • i like the color better. the second layer of caulk really washed it out- or maybe that was the wash of mica that got me in trouble in the first place
  • the distressed transfer is more interesting to me
  • the texture of the surface shows through much better
i will add a glaze or two of color (AFTER using spray varnish to fix the image) and see if i can warm it back up a bit, then add a matte varnish to back off the gloss.

 otherwise, i am going to put more ready patch on another canvas & try using lazartran to add the image, to preserve the feel of the surface. can't wait!

i have tomorrow off, so i hope to get some good studio time in- maybe even with those scary bunnies! happy thursday all-

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

i'm scared!

they look fairly benign, but i haven't actually painted anything that is supposed to LOOK like anything in many years. and i don't draw. and i have NEVER tried to actually paint with acrylics.

i'm scared. which is a good thing. it's good to stretch and try new stuff, i just need to jump in. friday will be a good time to do that- i have the day off. i was hoping to drink wine with someone in the studio tonight and just do it- not think about it- but no one could join me. so i'll have to be brave. and i can always use alkyds if i have to- fat over lean & all.

what i did do tonight is destroy the one i finished last night- thought a wash of micaceous iron would be nice, but i put too much on and when i wiped it off i took up the transfer. not all of it of course, so i had to do some scrubbing- now there's another layer & more texture-i put another transfer on top. i'll scan it tomorrow & see if we can tell much difference.

now- to sleep, perchance to dream- b/c i may try it without NyQuil for the first time in over a week. oh, and the new foo fighters rocks :)

one from start to finish

in my never ending quest for new things to try i picked up some ready patch at the hardware store to use as a base for some mixed media pieces.

i really like plaster of paris because of its absorbency, but it is very brittle when put on canvas & requires lots of gel medium to keep it from flaking off. someone suggested trying drywall paste, which is how i ended up with this.

this is an application of watered down quinceadrine nickel azo, soaking in irregularly & making for interesting color variations. so far, so good.

i added several layers of color, including more nickel azo & some sienna, then spattered some prussian blue on for interest.

time to decide on an image- tried on two transparencies-

i like this one better because more of the background shows through

i added more spatters- titan white and copper

then the transfer. i added caulk over the entire area to have the same texture & sheen throughout. i will try with lazertran as well, as that will sink into the base & create a different look. i think that'll wait til i can work outside, though- it requires turpentine!

and here is the finished product- i added another layer of spatters- fine gold this time. if you click on the image & enlarge you will see the texture from both the ready patch and the caulk as well as the depth added by those spatters.

and now off to work! i am hoping to get up the nerve to tackle those bunnies tonight- they have me scared! i haven't painted an image in so long, and never with acrylic. i did buy keep it wet longer stuff, so that should help.

happy tuesday!