Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Slumber Party Part Deux

So here are my exquisite corpses. First a close-up of the face on one painted over glued patches of fabric. I had a lot of trouble at first with the free motion quilting attachment and finally broke it trying to figure out how to make it work. The terrific people where I got it allowed me to trade it in for one that worked better on my machine. (Thank you Montavilla Sewing Center.)

This is what the attachment looks like. There are many different kinds. The one I broke cost $29 while this replacement only cost $9. It works great.

This is the entire hanging. My stitching is not well controlled yet but I'm improving.

This is a detail of the 2nd one.

And the entire piece. Painted on lightweight canvas. I love painting "skins"; what I call unstretched canvas or fabric. And now adding stitching is a 2nd way to play around. My friends have all done this a lot but it is a new one for me - now let's see what else I can sew on!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Book Signing and Slumber Party

So on Thursday Katie drove to my house and on Friday the two of us drove to southern Oregon to visit Stephanie and Sue Hadden for a weekend of slumber party, girl sharing, book signing and art making. Girls never outgrow slumber parties, remember that. Few pleasures are better than leaving your responsibilities behind for a few days to hang with the girls.

We all slept at Sue's house and painted on fabric in her converted horse barn. Sue lives in the country just outside of Grants Pass where we woke up to wild turkeys, wild bunnies, sunshine and the most amazing gardens that Sue put in all over her property. It was heaven.

Stephanie and I got right down to business and signed stacks and stacks of books for the people who ordered them from us. We enclosed a print from each of us and they'll go out in the mail today. We are both so proud and happy to share the projects in the book with our friends near and far.

After we painted we sewed on our paintings and Stephanie and Katie showed us how to use the special thingy on the machine that lets you roam around on the fabric and draw pictures in thread. That was a new experience for me and it is so much fun. Now I'm going to do some at home.

Katie shared kimono fabric with all of us. Stephanie is sorting through the treasure in this photo.

We stayed up late to paint and discuss and yes, the wine was available to those who enjoy it. (now who would that be?) We all felt so creative playing exquisite corpse.

Above is part of the long, narrow piece that Sue is going to make into a pillow. It shows the four of us and Sue's little dog Ozzie who was a member of our party. (we let one "boy" come.) We chose nicknames for the weekend: Raven, Moonshine, Stardust and Annie Bedsprings. We'll leave it up to others to guess who is who.

I didn't get photos of all the pieces and mine aren't done but here is another I happened to shoot. I loved everything about this painting-fabric-sewing process.

It's so much fun to see where your friends live, to stare at their studios and the art on their walls, to learn more about each other and to feel the affection growing as we gain insights into each others' accomplishments and challenges. We all have both and it helps to share that amongst ourselves.

Here is a wall in Stephanie's house that is pure amazing, incredible Stephanie. She and Sue whomped up the most delicious food for us, provided every comfort and sensory delight; we even got to see the fuzzy little chicks and meet some new friends during the visit. And she has a treehouse. A big, terrific treehouse that lots of adults can sit in and from which they can look out over the rolling green hills and talk like pirates.

I'll try to finish my exquisite corpses (just the sewing, not the painting) and show that to you tomorrow.

Let's all inspire each other! Pass it on. xo

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New Paintings and Road Trip

Another cold wax painting to add to my growing collection. I learn a bit more from each one and see how they relate to the work I have done in the past. Not the far past (I'll get to that) but the past couple of decades since my work has been celebratory and nervous.

This is a close up. I am not a fast worker. I ponder and pick and change and think about what I'm doing. Of course I'm not satisfied. If I'm ever satisfied I suppose I'll be able to stop and I can't imagine that.

I made a new journal as part of a plaster project and this is the back. It is not plaster; only gesso, acrylic and a bit of textile. My daughters in the photo. 

My latest routine is to paint a spread in my journal each day before I start painting for real. Just a warm up that I can paint over, write over, whatever. An opportunity to play.

And look what I found up in the back of the barn. This is oil - a self portrait that I painted around 1972. Ack. It's weird. But there you go.

Road trip. Company coming. Tomorrow. Packing now, reporting later. xo

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Taking A Breather

Exciting times over here. Amazon has shipped the book and you can even look inside it and see some of the projects on their site. Yay! While Stephanie and I are still awaiting our shipment to send out. (boo hoo) And I've been shooting videos for over a week for the online class that starts exactly one month from today on June 14th. Yay! The image above is a teaser from one of the projects in the class. Make it big ... lots of detail.

This is what my studio looks like after days of shooting video on the table. The video is all cool control while chaos swims just outside the lens area. That describes a lot of things in my life - ha!

Spring tiptoes in while we are doing other things. Nature and art are the comforts that sustain me. 

This is my new passion. Vanilla Stevia and aguas made from fruit. I use very little juice; mostly filtered well water and a squeeze of various fruit juices plus the natural sweetener for tart things like limes and lemons. We make our own raisins from grapes we grow so those in hot water make a delicious sweet tea before bedtime. Yes, I'm 2 weeks off the nightly wine drinking and proud that I could give up my old relaxant for something healthier.

This time I left the writing on the right side of the page alone and made the image large enough for you to read if you care to click on it. Years ago the diary of a very old woman fell into my hands and I read that diary breathlessly right up until the day she died; I love to see what others write about, think about, and find important. 

Thank you for the visit. I love knowing we can touch each other without leaving home.  

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Gone Fishin'

The journal is not getting the usual love and time due to the heavy video and editing going on around here. Many of my friends have computer savvy partners who do this task for them and to everyone who envies me for a husband who cooks I can say that if your guy knows how to fix a troubled router or convert a video file then you are lucky indeed.

I'm shooting the video for the online class and it takes me a day to shoot about 15 minutes of video with a tripod and then edit it and save it to DVD. 

So far I've got the first week of videos in the can and last night John and I watched one of them on the TV and he gave me so much praise that I suspect he is just showing me how grateful he is not to be involved. (The stencil of the boy with the shovel is after a photo of John as a little boy - so sweet he was.)

I have to admit that he has been working up beds with his broad fork; sometimes in the rain and cold outdoors. That makes what I do (warm, indoors) seem like an easy ride.

So if I'm not here as often, not churning out the cold wax pieces, be assured that I am preparing wonderful goodies in my time - I'm really proud of how this class is shaping up. I'll do my best to keep you informed. And oh yes! The book. Soon now. 

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

all the way to heaven ...

Before I started painting these abstracts the most beautiful images in my head were my nightly dreams. I am a vivid dreamer; dancing the tango with Picasso, that I am not only a ballerina but that I can hold my jumps for amazing lengths of time, that I can fly above the city and land safely, that I am walking down a long tunnel with brilliantly colored plaster walls, aged and warmly beautiful.

Now it is like I have walked into these dreams. Only these are even more magical. I never know what's coming. I just show up and push the paint. This way and that, all the colors that sing to me. And in the end my heart is so full that I feel complete in a way that is utterly new and wonderful. I am closer to heaven.

One of my teachers in trusting my heart has been my friend Katie Kendrick. I have taken classes with her several times and each time I gain a little more trust in my instinct and benefit from her fearless model of treating the search as a playful adventure.

Katie is teaching in Malibu this weekend; here to be exact.

If you want to curl your toes in the sand, paint with Katie, revitalize yourself as an artist, please consider joining her for one or two days (yes, you can choose). She is a very good teacher; a most wonderful example of how to live and get the most out of our time here.

Sunday, May 01, 2011


This is my most recent cold wax painting that I finished moments ago. I like the depth of field I see in it; that some parts are in focus and some not. I like the colors too. It isn't really getting any easier so a success here and there is a good thing.

This is the mess I still haven't cleaned up in the studio. I worked mostly with powdered pigment in this one.

And halleluia, we finally got up to 70 degrees here. It won't last but we are thrilled for the sunshine; lawnmowers buzzing in the distance.

I ran around the yard and took random pictures for you.

I have been a lousy reporter.

And I have lots of weeds in my garden as well as a few old favorites.

John's pruning grapes today.

The studio door is open.

We have 2 cherry trees now and cherries on the menu for July desserts.

This photo is for William, the Bleeding Hearts you gave me for my Birthday last year are alive and well; that's saying a lot for this lazy gardener. Yes, I see that dandelion in the background - I'm going out now to disappear it. And clean up the studio. xo