Sunday, November 30, 2008


Have you been to The Gypsy Bonfire yet? Lisa Hoffman has a storytelling section to her blog where, in her words "I ask my authors to tell a story that you could share over a quick cup. Picture yourself sitting around a Bonfire with VERY close friends. It’s chilly, you’re cozy -maybe wrapped in a soft blanket, hands clutching a mug of steaming hot Mexican Cocoa, the creative energy is hovering just overhead. You could not be more relaxed and everyone’s sharing a story."

I feel lucky that Lisa asked me to share a story at The Bonfire and you can read it here beginning today. So gather round, warm your hands near the fire, and get ready to hear a true tale of synchronicity.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Negative Space

Class this week with Danny Gregory was another adventure for me. My favorite part, as always, was when he shared photographs of his pages. This time, pages from several travel journals he made while on vacation. Right up my alley. Having been to some of the places he journaled about (Italy and Mexico), it was quite interesting for me to see how his journals were completely different from mine.

Our "lesson" for the day was to focus on negative space..."the space that isn't anything." You can use the negative space as an element to draw. In doing so, you erase any preconceived notion of what you are drawing, making the process much more about observation. N'est-ce pas? We completed several exercises to better understand this concept.

As always, Danny provided a lot of inspiration and many random thoughts that struck a chord. When asked about writing in one's journal, he said that you can write the way you draw...just let it flow and don't over think it. When asked about dealing with self-judgment and being too focused on the outcome, he highlighted the importance of the process of drawing and said you need "a willingness to step off the cliff." And when asked about the importance of training and technique, he said the best way to learn to draw is just to draw a lot!


Thursday, November 27, 2008

We Have Only One...

Give thanks.
Be grateful.
Take nothing for granted.
We have only one...

A wonderful Thanksgiving day to all.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Color Chronicle

I have been taking an online art journaling workshop being taught by Vivian Bonder, the talented Australian mixed media artist and journaler. There are five parts to the course and I have just completed part 1, which is primarily creating backgrounds and putting your journal together. Covers and additional work on each page will be taught in parts 2-4. I thought I would share some sample pages throughout completing the parts of the workshop. Below you will find a few spreads from part 1, backgrounds only. I have also included some close-up shots. Click images to enlarge.

Journal Spreads


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tag Along

Supria at Encaustic Musings recently tagged me. Visit her blog to see her amazing work in encaustics and other media. Bending the rules slightly, I am going to share 6 random, art-related facts about me. You can also click here to read 6 other random facts that I posted back in March. If anybody wants to join in a little game of tag, feel free to leave a random art-related fact about you in the comment section (hmmmm, note to self...this could be a good question for the next artist survey for The Pulse).

1. I have tons of art material that I have either found or bought that will probably never end up being used -- just sorted through and admired.

2. When I can, I always look on the back of every art-related item that I have or see because sometimes there is a work of art to be found there too.

3. I use glue sticks all the time but the only brand I will ever buy is Avery.

4. When I was younger I always made a beeline for the impressionist paintings in museums. Now I head straight to the modern/contemporary ones.

5. I always get frustrated when I am in a gallery or museum and photography is not allowed. Although I understand the reasoning, it lessens the whole experience for me.

6. I prefer to work on small sized pieces. In fact the largest artwork I have made is about 10" x 10". I am about to begin a collaborative project on a 2' x 2' canvas and will totally be outside my comfort zone.

I also want to send out thanks to Sarah Kelley at The Beaded Lily's Sketchbook for passing on the Butterfly Award to me. And to Ooglebloops at Ooglebloop's World for giving me the Tree of Happiness Award. Much appreciation and many thanks to both Sarah and Ooglebloop! And if you haven't been, please go check out their wonderful blogs.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fireside Chat

How many of you have memories of wonderfully dark evenings, sitting by a blazing campfire? Telling stories. Watching magical flames flicker and take on a life of their own. Bright ashes being carried away in the breeze. Faces lit up by the amber light. Feeling the heat of the fire on your skin. A million stars in the sky. Join me fireside one week from today on December 1st to hear a story about synchronicity. Click here to get directions to the bonfire.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Three P Post


The most recent issue of Pasticcio, the QUARTZ (QUality ART Zine) by Sarah Fishburn and Angela Cartwright is hot off the presses and now available here. I have all 5 of the issues of this fantastic publication and they keep getting better and better.


I am sending out thanks to Sarah and Angela for spotlighting The Pulse in Pasticcio #5. Their continuing support for my blog and The Pulse project means so much to me.


The Pulse zine is still available for purchase. It includes the responses from 94 artists to 7 art-related questions from the most recent artist survey from The Pulse. Email me for details if you are interested.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Observe the Elements

Another week, another class, another artistic adventure. For me, this week's class with Danny Gregory was all about giving myself permission. Part discussion, part lecture, part drawing, and all inspiration. We spent time reviewing art myths, such as "to be an artist you must be a professional" and "everything an artist makes is great." His beliefs that there are no rules for our journals and that there is charm to be found in the screwed up and wonky is so freeing to me and makes me feel so much more comfortable in exploring a new art medium. One of my favorite concepts that he shared with us was the notion that drawing is a reflection of your state of mind and that you can never separate the "you" from the drawing. This may seem obvious but hearing it aloud from Danny brought this thought to a whole new level.

We did a number of fascinating group and individual exercises, many aimed at being better able to observe the elements of drawing.

In one exercise, Danny gave us a drawing of a man that he made and asked us to copy it. The catch...copy it upside down. On the left is part of his original drawing.

This is a portion of my drawing, oriented in the way it was sketched

And here is part of my drawing turned right side up. For some reason, his facial expression looks a little meaner in my drawing. But I think they are pretty close. The observing and focusing on the elements, you break the image down in such a way as to make even the most complex image easier to draw. How ironic that this becomes easier by turning the image upside down.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Words of Wisdom

A Day of Sharing Words

Beginning by James Wright

The moon drops one or two feathers into the fields.
The dark wheat listens.
Be still.
There they are, the moon's young, trying
Their wings.
Between trees, a slender woman lifts up the lovely shadow
Of her face, and now she steps into the air, now she is gone
Wholly, into the air.
I stand alone by an elder tree, I do not dare breathe
Or move.
I listen.
The wheat leans back toward its own darkness,
And I lean toward mine.

Thanks to LK Ludwig for sponsoring this Day of Words, where bloggers post a poem so that we can all spend a day meeting "new words, new poets, new poems, new ways for the heart to beat."

To see the list of other bloggers participating in this Day of Sharing Words, click here.

You can find Beginning by James Wright in Above the River: The Complete Poems.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Faux Dough

I am always looking for unique and creative art projects, so I jumped at the chance to create "faux dough" as part of one of my Yahoo art groups. These 4 and 6 dollar bills were made using coldpress watercolor paper, acrylic paints, dye inks, rubber stamps, rubons, and rusty, found metal washers. Click images to enlarge. Any artist out there accepting faux dough as payment for art???

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

If the shoe fits...

First full class with Danny Gregory. Sat down at the table with sheets of large, blank, white paper waiting. What? No color to throw down on the page? And a pen. What? No chance to erase? Danny believes that using a pen leads the artist to commit. So different then my process with mixed media. Draw a hand. So ironic...because I seem to always be thinking of hands. Draw a shoe. So the only drawing I seemed to have saved from "the early years" was a sneaker. After some discussion and a demonstration...take just a few minutes and do it again. Using his suggested approach, which initially focuses on outline only, you can see my shoe in the picture above. He is all about observation and what I took from tonight's class was that this process is almost more about observing the world around me than it is about drawing. Added some journaling on the page to document my thoughts in the moment. Ended with seeing pictures of many journal pages, by both Danny and other artists. Inspiration! And homework!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Give me Moore

During my recent trip to New Mexico I had so many memorable art-related experiences. But none were quite like the double-header I had on Friday October 17. It will take two posts to cover this bounty.

In the morning, another impossibly sunny day, I drove out to see Kelly Moore at the flea market on the Tesuque reservation.

I had only recently discovered Kelly through this post on Lisa Hoffman's blog. As a relatively new lover of "raw" art, I felt like I had hit the jackpot. No cameras are allowed but the visit is etched in my memory.

Picture a group of outdoor stalls, all unpainted wood and white canvas coverings. Then picture, one booth. With a view of the snow-capped mountains. Painted red. Covered with newspaper clippings, altered photographs, magazine articles, handmade crows, bits and pieces of mud, clay, metal bits, paint drippings, and everything else. I knew I had found Kelly. He not only sells from the booth but he creates there as well. Even his paint brushes are works of art!

Meeting him was quite inspiring. He is one of a kind -- although he makes the good point that we are all one of a kind! His art comes from within. He seems to live it. Breathe it. And is generous in wanting to share it. I was fascinated by the experiences and stories that he shared.

Second only to visiting him is visiting his website. But be prepared to take a journey. Visit more than once and you may never end up on the same page twice.

Visit his blog and sign up here for his newsletter.

Thanks Kelly for the continued inspiration!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Evidence of Autumn

Roxanne from River Garden Studio and I have been collaborating on a project since earlier this year entitled Evidence of Autumn. We each bound our own books and have been sending them back and forth to each other, creating pages in both books. You've seen glimpses of these pages for quite a few months. I feel lucky to have been able to work with Roxanne and am so happy with the results of our collaboration, filled with fall colors, layers, textures, metal, twine, wire, fabric, rust, leaves, words, phrases, and more. Click on the images to enlarge and click here to see Roxanne's book and her beautiful post about the project.

My pages in my book:

Roxanne's Pages in my book:

My pages in Roxanne's book: