Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mixed Media

A recent painting ~ 11 x 14 inches on canvas.  Those vertical strips really pop off the canvas, don't they?  It's because of the shadowing.

This piece was inspired by an image I printed off the internet several years ago.  No idea who the original artist was.

I mentioned last post that I was thinking of beginning to use the Inter-Library Loan service to get books that aren't in the Humboldt County library system.  I learned yesterday that it is more efficient and costs the library less money to request books through the library's ZipBook program than through Inter-Library Loan. 

With the ZipBook program, you can request that the library basically buy the book for you, as long as you return it to the library so they can catalog it into their system.  You can't order another book until you've returned the first.  How it works is that you fill out a request form, the library buys the book through Amazon Prime, it's shipped to you at home, and after you've read it, you return it to the library where it's put into the system and made available system-wide for others to borrow.  All for a mere $1.00 each book.  Isn't that fantastic?!  Yesterday I ordered The Drowning River, Christobel Kent's first in the Sandro Cellini series.  The librarian in Fortuna said it would take about a week to get the book.  I'll let you know how quickly it really happens.

I've seen these movies/TV programs recently, via Netflix or streaming, that I can recommend ~
  • In a Better World, Danish film via Netflix.
  • Chef, via Netflix.  I'm probably one of the last to see it and I loved it.
  • Game Change, HBO movie via Netflix.  Julianne Moore channeling Sarah Palin.
  • Ira & Abby, quirky film written by Jennifer Westfeldt, via Netflix.
  • Broadchurch, British mystery TV program, via streaming.
  • Happy Valley, Brit mystery TV, streamed
  • Last Tango in Halifax, Brit dramedy TV, streamed
  • Scott & Bailey, Brit mystery TV, streamed
The TV programs above are multi-series (seasons), all episodes available online.  If you're into watching TV online, as I do exclusively, here are three streaming websites.  Everything I watch (including a few American shows broadcast originally on network TV) is available on at least one of the following sites ~
Happy viewing!  xo

Monday, February 23, 2015


I recently discovered artist Paul Balmer.  I especially love his painted cityscapes and landscapes.  This 8 x 11 inch painting on matte board is my take on one of his cityscapes.  His originals are quite large.

I like the exercise of trying to replicate others' work.  Lots to learn there.  Not to turn out copies, but to experiment with techniques as well as to see the world through other artists' vision and imagination.

Recently, I finished reading A Sudden Light, by Garth Stein.  Really enjoyed that.  He also wrote The Art of Racing in the Rain several years ago, another terrific book.

I also read A Murder in Tuscany, another of Christobel Kent's P.I. Sandro Cellini mysteries.  Wish my library had more of them.  I'm going to have to start requesting books via interlibrary loan.

Yesterday I read most of Rosamund Lupton's Sister, her debut novel.  (I read Afterwards, her second novel, not long ago.)  She's an amazing author, not to be missed.  She has a third book out, currently unavailable from the local library.

In 2011 I planted freesia bulbs around the edge of my rock lawn, digging down through two layers of heavy landscape cloth and clay/rock soil to set the bulbs.  Although I've had flowers every year since 2012, this year the plants themselves are stunning, and the flowers are more beautiful than ever.  I decided to cut them this year, which has created even more blooms.  I have four vases of freesias gracing Rose Cottage at the moment, and I keep replacing spent flowers with new stems daily. 

Hope you have a wonderful week.  xo

Thursday, February 19, 2015

No One Special To Be

Acrylics on canvas, 8 x 10 inches
I began this piece when I painted my recent 20 x 20 inch canvas, and finished it earlier this week.  And now that the busyness of the last few days is over, I plan to get back to painting...and the chiropractor later today.

Had a good birthday yesterday ~ but I'm always glad when the day has passed and I can get on with life.  As much as I love all the good wishes, I prefer to hang out in the mind-state of being referred to as "no one special to be."  So now I can go back to that place, as much as I am able to on a moment by moment and day to day basis.

Speaking of that place of not being anyone special, yesterday was my five month anniversary of daily meditation.  Twice a day, and often three times daily, I meditate.  It is its own practice.  I'm not trying to get anywhere, not trying to become anyone other than who I am, not striving to change anything about my life or the world as it is.  Just aiming to be present.  The practice is its own reward.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Student Work

This is the painting I was working on last week.  It's 12 x 12 inches on canvas panel.  Although all my painting could be considered student work, or perhaps "painting practice" would be a better name for it, this piece in particular I'm referring to as "student work" because it is somewhat of a replication of a step-by-step project taught by Julie Pritchard in her book, Acrylic Solutions, co-authored by Chris Cozen.  It is their online class, Layer Love 2.0, that I plan to take soon.

My birthday is this week, and I have several meal dates with friends set up over the next couple of weeks.  It's not an especially noteworthy year, 66, but I'm feeling more upbeat than usual for this time of year.  That feeling is difficult to describe other than to say that perhaps my vibration is attuned to a higher pitch than previously.  I'm even looking forward to spring this year (shoot, it essentially already IS spring in northern California), whereas in prior years I looked forward with dread to longer days...being that I am constitutionally a "fall" person.

My 7th Blogging Anniversary passed in mid-January without my making note of it.  And now I'm in my eighth year of having an ongoing online presence.  Thanks to all of you, worldwide, for being with me on this journey ~ art and life!  xo

Friday, February 13, 2015

Just Stopping By...

Acrylic on matte board, 8 x 8 inch, February 2015
Just a quick update.  I'm working on a 12 x 12 inch painting, have been slowly working it all week.  Mostly, though, I've been reading and resting my back, which has been acting up this week.

The best thing I've read lately, and I'm nearly finished with it is, is The Water Children by Anne Berry.  Although it's relatively new (2011), it must be out of print because the only versions available at Amazon are Kindle versions...except a new hardbound edition from Amazon Marketplace for $168!  My copy is from the library.  Anyhow, most everything else I've "tried" to read in the last few weeks has been a dud, with the exception of The Long Way Home, Louise Penny's latest Inspector Gamache book, and the last Lynley I read, A Traitor to Memory.  Oh well.  Win some and lose some.

Hope you have a great weekend!  xo

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Room to Move

I finished this painting yesterday ~ 20 x 20 inches on canvas.  This is my first Flora Bowley-style brave, intuitive painting, and I loved every minute of creating it.

I had no plan.  I just started with a drippy background, and built four layers on top of that, drying well between each.

I love painting big, where there's room to move on the canvas.  Twenty by twenty is about as large as I can go in my tiny studio ~ there's not just the challenge of how to arrange things so I can actually paint, there's the bigger problem of where to store the painted canvases once they're complete.  I've got the first issue worked out to my satisfaction, and about where to store finished work, somehow I'll manage.

Something shifted for me recently, likely with this painting.  I'm feeling more confident about everything I paint, big or small, wild or sedate.  It all works for me now.

Having taken a break from painting for most of last year, after my second Jane Davies class, was a good thing.  I've come back to it with fresh eyes and a new sense of wanting to try different things.  I don't have to develop "my own style," I can jump around, experiment, work with a variety of techniques and methods, learn from others' work that I admire.

I'm ready for more instructional input now, as well. I'll likely sign up for Layer Love 2.0 next month, Chris Cozen and Julie Pritchard's online class that so many friends raved about last year.  I'm also looking at taking Jane Davies' 100 Drawings class in September.

I've got a couple of painting books in my cart at Amazon, as well ~ Paint Mojo by Tracy Verdugo (who's style is similar to Flora Bowley's), and The Painting Workbook by Alena Hennessey.

It's pretty much all about paint for me right now.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Two Little Guys

Two little pieces on matte board, 4-1/2 x 6-1/2, acrylics and collage.

Humboldt County has been under siege of heavy rains and wind over the last several days, with more to come through the weekend.  Major flooding and many road closures, power out for thousands of people.  For Mendocino and Sonoma Counties as well.  It's a mess out there.  Although I've been virtually unscathed here in Rose Cottage.

Hope you have a good weekend.  Stay warm and dry wherever you are...or cool, if you're in the SoHem.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Late Start

Collage Painting, 8x8 inches, February 2015
Geez I got a late start this morning.  Often I'll wake up really early, read for a while, then go back to sleep.  I didn't wake up the 2nd time until 9:45 this morning.  Then I had to restart my computer 3 times before Firefox would load.

Anyhoo...I've been painting and/or collaging every single day.  Even if it's just a little bit, that's something.  Usually, though, that little something turns into more time later in the day.

I completed this little painted collage yesterday.  Really liking how it turned out.  This is on 8 x 8 inch matte board.  A friend recently send me matte board cut-outs from her hubby's photography.  They're a dream to paint on.

Two views of my studio table these days.  Intimate.  And I'm wanting to do some bigger work, although 20 x 20 is as big as I can manage in my tiny space.  

These two images show a comparison of Golden Fluid Matte Medium (top) and Golden Glazing Liquid (below).  Everything else is the same ~ matte board substrate, same brush, same colors.  The glazing liquid is more "open" than the fluid medium, although they're both the same viscosity.  "Open" means the paint/medium takes longer to dry, consequently the colors are more easily blended.  I actually like them both.  They're just different.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Handwoven Fabric

The other black fabric is different from this one -- see the PDF!
At the end of my brief weaving career, I wove plain-woven or patterned fabrics that I had intended to use for surface design.  That was years ago, and as you know, I'm well beyond surface designing on fabric these days.  So I decided to sell the eight pieces of handwoven fabric that I never used.

If you work with cloth or on cloth ~ i.e. if you do surface design, dyeing, discharging (for the black fabric), shibori, or even hand stitching ~ you may want to add working with handwoven fabric to your repertoire. 

There are two black pieces available (cotton and/or cotton/tencel) and six white/natural pieces, some cellulose fibers, some silks.  I created a PDF with one fabric per page, along with fiber content, size and price ~ HandwovenFabric ~ on Google Drive.  Anyone can open the link.  The PDF is large and takes a moment to load; the first page will come up right away and the rest will load a few seconds after.  Be patient!

My email is at the top of each page of the PDF.  Email me to purchase ~ and please let me know which page #/fabric name you're interested in.  Sales through PayPal.  Shipping is additional and will depend on how many pieces you order and where you're located.

Please feel free to share this link with your friends.  Thanks very much!

These aren't the actual fabrics available for sale -- see the PDF!