Sunday, March 17, 2013

It's been quite a while since I posted anything on this blog and over that time my art has really blossomed and evolved. I hardly ever make cards anymore. Now I like collages and mixed media. My most recent work is the one above, which is called SONGBIRD. It started out with a stencil on a green background...with a couple of mistakes that I needed to cover up. So I added some more layers of spray ink, acrylic paint, rubber stamping, acrylic glaze, and finally the image of the bird in the middle.

I like to work spontaneously. I never know what will show up in my paintings! This one is appropriate for the season. It's about springtime, birds singing, refreshing the spirit. This winter had its challenegs for me and I like the idea of looking forward to spring so positively.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Valentine's Day and ATCs

I've gotten interested in ATCs. After watching several videos on YouTube, they seem simple enough. I have to stop demanding perfection from myself.  I made this little card with an acrylic paint background, rubber stamping on a scalloped piece of cardstock, a digital image that I got from an artist on Etsy, and some floral embellishments.  A little bit of the picture got chopped off when I did the scan.  I think I will use it to make some Valentine's Day cards. Looking at everything that's on Etsy has been very inspiring. If others can sell on Etsy...and they can, because I shopped on Etsy for Christmas,,,then, I can too! It sure beats trying to market to people at work who have no interest!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Making Upcycled books

I came across these directions for making a mini book out of a soap box. I've seen a variety of books made out of boxes, usually a cut up cereal box. This one is much smaller. The directions were very, very clear. It's one that I ammo

Recycled'>">Recycled Soap Box Book

Friday, May 13, 2011

Making Small Books

I'm branching out into making small books. I love how special they look! I have a huge collection of books about making handmade books (thanks to Amazon used booksellers!) and now I am starting to do more than look at the pictures!

With so many beautiful books to make, what will I put inside?

And I wonder about the future of books. One of these little books and all of the beauties that so many book artists have made would lead you to think about the impact of the Nook and Kindle. Yes, you can read the book electronically, but you still can't hold the cloth of the cover in your hand or feel the paper, or smell it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I'm an avid magazine collector. I don't have time to read all of them, so they tend to pile up. We'll be moving in a few months, so I've been trying to downsize a bit. I've started going through the magazines and cutting out pictures that I like. The plan is to use them in my own art, maybe do some image transfers and collage. Collage is very challenging for me. I don't quite "get it". I tend to focus on the foreground and forget about the background. I really need to create a lot of different backgrounds so I'll be ready to make the collages. This morning I was looking at some old watercolor paintings that I did on one of my art retreats in Ocean Grove.

The painting was good enough but I felt it was a little muddy in the middle, which took away from the vibrancy of the fall color palette. I thought about my art teacher telling us that when we create a painting and we don't like it, rather than discarding it, consider it "not finished". There are many options for recreating a painting from a mistake. So I decided to experiment with the one I had.

I looked through my collection of fall images that have been accumulating from the old magazines. I kept adding images to the painting, trimming them to fit the image in the painting.  This is the "almost finished" new painting. All that is left is finishing it off with some self-leveling acrylic gel medium.

Title: Harvest Wreath
Materials: Watercolor on watercolor paper, acrylic soft gel, recycled magazine pictures

Sunday, November 7, 2010


In times of stress it's time to turn to art.  It has been a challenging 6 months for me. My 88 year old mother went into the hospital just before Memorial Day Weekend  - to "get checked out" is what she told me. Just days later she was facing life-threatening surgery or the prospect of slowly becoming paralyzed with out it. Her dotors were putting more and more pressure on me to make a deision as Mom stayed in the hospital with nothing being done to address her condition. But how could I make such a decision in a hurry? Mom had multiple medical conditions which made her level of risk higher than usual She could die on the surgical table. I felt that it was her decision to make and I could not tell her what to do. So we gonized through the decision-making process together. Mom did decide to have the surgery.

Mom came through the surgery with flying colors! When she was ready for discharge to rehab I found her a good rehab facility in my town (she lies 3 hours away from me) and she came to stay in rehab for 2 1/2 months. Mom was discharged and went home in mid-August. I found a home attendant who would stay with her 6 1/2 days a week. They are still adjusting but generally seem to be getting along OK. Mom is not thrilled to have someone living in her home, but she realizes that she needs that level of help in orer to stay in her home, so she accepts it.  Not always gracefully, though.

During that entire time of dealing with my mother's situation I was totally stressed out. I had no time for art. I missed my favorite summer art retreat in Ocean Grove, NJ because I didn't have the time, energy, or financial means to go this year. For the same reasons, I just missed the Fall art retreat. I have been eating sugar like there is no tomorrow! I cut back on my gym workouts due to lack of energy. I tried to step up the pace and do more physcially by taking some classe at the gym - yoga, tai chi, and sumba, to try to make working out more interesting. I was so pleased with myself! But I have developed either tendonitis or a stress fracture in my foot, so now I am slowed down again. And the sugar calls seductiely!

Last Monday I went into work after taking off an afternoon on Friday to get a new haircut and style. I felt so good as I walked into the office with my hair swinging! I was a sexy woman that morning! And BAM!  The bosses were there having an emergency meeting and they told us that our clinic was closing down on December 1st! There would be layoffs of 4 out of 7 social workers, plus the 2 secretaries.  The 3 remaining social workers would be reassigned to a unit in the hospital. (That would be me!) So the week at work has been schizophrenic to say the least. People are crying and wondering what their next move is in this economy, they are being sent to other departments of the hospital to work, having to tell their clients that they re leaving and a new therapist will be assigned, and still having to do the day-to-day business in the clinic. Sugar has called and I have answered! Yes, my sweet, come to me and soothe me with your luscious addiction!

So, I decided that this weekend was going to be about self-care. I knew I needed rest! So I slept late yesterday and enjoyed this morning's extra hour of sleep. U spent the afternoon yesterday going through magazines for great pictures to use in making cards, collages, and art journal pages. Last night I prepared some pages as a support for collage pages in my art journal. I do feel better. Just the act of spreading the gesso on the pages and clamping them down to dry felt like "doing something creative". My mind is ready to go to the next step. I find myself thinking about what the background should look like.  Will it be blotches of color or wide sweeps of color or patterned paper? I haven't decided yet. But I am excited by the prospect of creating a page that lifts my spirits and represents the warmth of autumn. I have many pictures of apples, pumpkins and winter squash, fall foliage galore. I am eager to overlap the images, play with the edges, find the right words. This is the true healing power of art. It takes you out of yourself, away from the stress of life, and puts you in a place where you are in control of making something beautiful )or not, if you choose).

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I was in Ocean Grove, NJ last weekend for an art retreat.  I just love going there!  It restores my soul!  I came back really charged up to do more creative activities.  I started thinking about making some cards to send to the women who were at the retreat with me.  I came across these images that I had saved.  I guess they were for this exact occasion and I just didn't know it at the time.

These cards came together really easily and quickly.  I browsed through a great book by Mary Jo McGraw called Vintage Greeting Cards and found a card design that I liked.  I used my images and decorated papers and these cards are the end result.