Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Machine

Work goal is to get this done by the end of the weekend. I'm pretty happy with how it's coming along. By the way, did you know pastels are forgiving? In other words it's possible to correct and change things as you go along (to some degree)...this is a very good thing!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Glimpses work continues....

The incredible photo above was taken by my good friend, Canace. If you examine it closely you may be able to figure out what this piece of machinery is. The minute I saw this photo I knew I wanted to paint it (and also get a copy to frame and give as a gift to my daughter).

I began work on the painting this morning. I'm laying in the darks first with many more layers to come. I suspect I won't be a slave to the original photo and take some artistic license in order to add unexpected swipes of colors here and there.
I realized this morning that I have about 8 weeks....count them - 8 get many paintings ready for the gallery show in March. I need to keep the pastels in hand and work at painting every day. I need to keep the meltdowns at bay by being diligent. Wish me luck!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

This pastel painting is just about at the finished point. Hours....I'm telling you...hours were spent on it. While not entirely satisfied I am intrigued by this piece that forced me to stretch my artistic skills (beginner that they are). This piece might be the focal piece for that gallery show in March. We'll see....

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Have I ever told you how much I love abstract art work? I must have mentioned it from time to time (grin). Anyway, last night I watched a video that I 'rented' from here. The video was "Acrylic Abstract Painting: The Evolving Image - Virginia Cobb". It amazed me as to how similiar my acrylic painting techniques are to hers...although Virginia is much more accomplished than me. I was inspired but instead of painting (it was late and I didn't want to clear off the paint table!) I grabbed a piece of breakdown printed cloth, some scraps and started the piece above. Nothing is stitched yet...but it will be.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Silk charmeuse scarves - breakdown screen printed and then over dyed. These scarves take a lot of time and effort to make. I was hoping to have 10 for the show next week but think I'll be very happy with only 5. I'm learning to not push myself quite as hard as I have in the past....trying to get keep joy in journey.
Yesterday while looking for one thing I found some scanned Santa images I had from years ago. Just about as many years ago Dixie, an old Ebay buddy (Ebay use to be fun and a meeting place for many creative people who joined 'groups' that were similiar to chat rooms), was kind enough to send me a box filled with these shirting samples that she thought I would appreciate. Appreciate them I did but never used them until yesterday. This small 4x6" card will be offered for sale next week at the art/craft show...there are 6 more in line to be hand stitched while sitting watching movies or listening to music. I can't think of a better way to spend time off from the day job. Well, except - maybe - finishing the surface design on those scarves I also started yesterday....and....spending alone time with Steve....and....working on a pastel painting.....sweet.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Catskill shack.
A glimpse of the past.
Pastel painting on sanded paper.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This is finished - I guess. It's hard for me to know when enough is enough, when enough is too much, when it's not quite enough. I've read other art blog postings and heard the same lament at art classes so I know it's a common theme that plagues other creative souls. Sometimes when I'm working on something I have in my mind that if I just do A, B or C it will transform the piece from boring to not. The problem always lies with figuring out...what is the A, B or C perfect touch? Is that something that is pure inspiration or does it come with knowledge, education and practice? Perhaps it's a combination of both of these things? If anyone out there has the answer please share it....or sell it via PayPal on your blog - you'll make a million dollars.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Egg, fruit or portal? You decide.
Only 2 days in that other life this week (you know, the one that helps to pay the bills) and then it's lots of cooking, eating and arting! Have breakdown screens drying in the garage now.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Started laying in some flowers last night. Hopefully I'll some energy tonight to continue. This painting is taking me a long time. I'm a ponderously slow painter. I am always amazed at those artists who just - confidently - start putting the brush to the canvas (or the pastel stick to the paper) and go at it! I always have to think and look and think some more and look some more....and then do some laundry and then think some more and then get a snack and then look some more...get the picture? Of course there are those moments - those moments where it all flows and I am in the right side of my brain and it is the sweetest of time. The ultimate reward.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dropped in a bit more handstitching last night.....more to come!

A photo for inspiration! Seedlings traveling their path....

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Was inspired to start some hand stitching and appliqueing on this piece last night. I didn't get very far but really enjoyed the meditative time spent with the needle and thread. My mind just seems to ease as time passes. One of the best drugs in the world!

Today Melanie and I are meeting at the Dia Center in Beacon. We'll take in some art and then spend time over a slow lunch in order to put down on paper the guts of a syllabus for a multi-displinary kids arts program connected to the Hudson River & Hudson Valley. I've already been in touch with Mike & Ruthy and they're in for the folk song segment (think The Power of Song...and if you've never seen this documentary about Pete Seeger, you must!). Exciting stuff.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Did some more work on the pastel painting last night. I use very rough, sanded paper because I add lots and lots of layers that are smudged and rubbed together. I need to use a surface with a lot of bite in order to hold these layers. I'm developing callouses on my finger pads as a result of this - really.

All that remains to be done is to lay in the flowers (darks then lights) and this piece should be finished. Shawn told me she sees a gothic quality about my paintings. I have to say I agree with her....a kind of gothic, primitive feeling...perhaps due, in part, to the dark saturated colors I use. I'd love to hear comments regarding this.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Breakdown printed silk cloth overlaid with dyed organza - with a few painted eggs. I'm toying with the idea of securing this to a painted canvas but I'm not sure. If this piece turns out well it will be go into that show I've committed to doing in March. A few textile pieces, a few pastel paintings and a few acrylic abstracts....what a hodge podge...but I'm working towards tying the whole show together with the theme title 'Glimpses'. Wish me luck.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Today I'm working on a pastel painting that's the largest I've ever done (20x16"). I thought some of you might be interested in seeing how pastels are layered so I decided to post this work in progress. Most pastel artists work from darks to lights, layering colors and smudging them with fingertips. The dark shadow around the window top is going to be a mass of trailing flower vines in pinks and purples. At the bottom of the window will be a box filled with other blooms in reds and yellows.
It's time to get back to work on the dishes in the panes....that are a pain....and taking me a very long time.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I dyed this small piece of cotton cloth over the weekend too. It's about 8x10" and was just the piece of cloth I used to experiment with. Sometimes the rag cloth becomes a ragged treasure.

Monday, November 2, 2009

This is a piece of silk cloth with dyed with breakdown printing, silk screening and overdyeing. Do you see the egg? It's about 20x20" so a nice larger size. I think I'm going leave it as a whole cloth piece and add stitching and enhancements.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

It evolved over the week. Now off to prepare some dye paste screens for breakdown printing on the gorgeous silk cloth that arrived a few days ago. And, I guess, some housework needs to be done. We're having a bunch of people over for dinner next Saturday. I need a full week to prepare for this....must remember to make lists....must remember to give some of the lists to Steve (he's such a good sport)....must remember the wine...lots of wine.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What better to do with a rainy Saturday than ART? The photo doesn't do this justice. It's filled with layers, textures and depth.

Anyhoo...I might - just might - clean the kitchen now or - maybe, just maybe - finish a pastel painting I started on Thursday night.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ok...sooooo...most people wouldn't look at this and say "that's Steve" (husband person) but it does bear a resemblance to him...if I do say so myself. I plan to try drawing everyday since I've now committed (hear that, Melanie?) to hanging at least 15 pieces of art on a gallery wall in March. What made me willing to get off the fence and commit was when the gallery director told me she would be thrilled with acrylic abstracts and textile art in addition to some pastel paintings. A complete multi media show - just the thing for this woman who has difficulty committing to any one thing.....

Sunday, October 18, 2009

This is a photo Ellen (who owns the very cool shop Quimby & Smith here in town) sent me showing someone admiring my scarves. They all look orange in this photo but they aren't. The camera and lighting must have been off. Anyway, it seems these scarves are quite a hit.

At the top is a 12x12" abstract I did last night while my husband had a "men's night out" (alone time can be a marvelous thing).
Have a wonderful Sunday everyone. If you're here in the Northeast and experiencing this winter-like weather put on a pot of soup, load CD's in the stereo, pull out some art supplies and enjoy your nest.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Took some of the art cloth I've created along with some pieces I'd already stitched together and came up with this last night. Am I art quilting again???? The colors in this just sing to me.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Another abstract I did today. I like the earthiness of this one and the fact that it's a bit on the edgy side. Lately it seems as if I can't stop egg images from appearing. I suspect this is because I really feeling the sped-up pace of life as it spins by. Still so much to do and so little time to do it in. Yes, youth is often wasted on youth.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Complex Art Cloth - Newest Small Business Venture!

Over the weekend I realized I liked surface designing cloth more than composing and finishing art quilts (oh yes, it's true). A friend encouraged me to follow my desire because - Lord knows - in my day job world I have "musts" but shouldn't have them in my art world. Right?
The small pieces above are for sale (I'm going to try to get them in my Etsy shop tonight).
The yellow piece has at least 3 layers of techniques and measures just a smidge under 9x13". It will be priced at $10.00 for the piece.
The pink fossil piece (which looks a bit lighter on my monitor than it is in real life) is 11-1/2x13" and is priced at $12.00 for the piece. I used at least 5 techniques on this one.
All fabric is smooth weaved, premium Kona cotton. Gorgeous.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I took a found 8x10" frame, overpainted it and added this 4x6" piece secured on a metallic board. If you click on the photo you can better see the hand stitching & beading on the piece that was added to the silk organza overlaying a piece of cotton. This was hard to photograph but it really does look great in person.

The two photos above are closeups of 2 scarves I dyed, silk screened, stamped and discharged. I have some of these to sell since the Didn't-Use-Good-Judgement Show Coordinator from yesterday's outside art show didn't do what we all wanted her to do......use the rain date of today to hold the show since yesterday was a dismal dreary rainy type of day. Today is clear blue sunny skies. What was she thinking? Obviously not much associated with vendors needing customers in order to have sales. Sheesh.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A new piece that I stitched together last night made from cloth that I deconstructed screen printed, stamped and silk screened. I'd love some suggestions on how to machine quilt this. Adding quilt stitching to a piece is not a forte of mine. I'm thinking just some random 'marks', primitive in nature - not too many...just enough to add texture and interest. Anyone have any other ideas?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

While I was getting stuff ready for a show next weekend inspiration hit when I came upon an unused wooden frame. I painted the frame and then stuck this textile piece in it. I do like how this looks. The cloth plays nicely against the texture of the wood. My new yard sale/flea market mission in life? To scout out wonderful wooden frames that can be resurrected with some paint and pigments. How sweet it is.

Friday, September 25, 2009

"Abstract art uses a visual language of form, color and line to create a composition that may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world" Rudolf Arnheim

I believe that these forms, colors and lines (and may I add textures?) engage the viewer's conscious and unconscious experiences plus their imagination.
Archetypal in nature, abstract art encourages the viewer to free associate what is presented on the canvas with their inner most, fundamental psyche.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Another layers upon layers abstract on 140# watercolor paper. This is my new favorite.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Last night I started another series of pastel painting sessions at the Wallkill River School. I think I might use this for Christmas cards this year. I was lusting after that bittersweet. It's been a busy week but I hope to mess around with some surface design stuff on cloth tomorrow. Although the pull to do some more 'advanced finger painting' (as Shawn calls it) is strong.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Some results of scarf dyeing and discharging - unironed. My favorite is that chiffon one, top left.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Starry, Starry Night

Amazing what a bit of discharge paste can do.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fabric Abstract

The paintings I've been doing lately have inspired me to - once again - try to replicate these effects on fabrics. This is the closest I've ever come. I like how this cloth looks. More experiments to time allows.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

In the Eye of the Beholder

What do you see? What do you feel?
Acrylics on 140lb. watercolor paper.

A Different Sort of Creative Pursuit

"Just as an illustrator begins with words and moves to creating an image, a writer can begin with an image and be moved to create a flow of words."

These were the words my friend Melanie used to advertise the creative writing class she conducted at the Wallkill River School yesterday. It was a marvelous class. I learned a lot. (Thank you, Mel) Interestly enough, since I don't consider myself a writer I had no workshop performance anxiety. How freeing that was!
Using Van Gogh's painting as inspiration I wrote the following:
A common pair of time worn shoes
ready to step away.
Earthen, subdued colors
Time tattered ragged edges.
Rich and complex textures rendered as a whole;
indistinguishable individual layers.
History's experiences apparent on their surface.
Been around the block a few times shoes ready to travel.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday Morning

Quick post of the fabric piece I started this week. The black lines are actually shadows but I kind of like them so, perhaps, some dark fabrics will be inserted to replicate what the camera saw. Off to take a creative writing class today...more about that later...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Disintegration Continues

It was a bit of an art night tonight. I messed around with some fabric (no photos yet) and finished least I think it's finished. These abstracts are just happening....layers upon layers upon layers. Tonight I realized this is what I'm always trying to do with fabric but doesn't meld the same as paint it isn't as fluid...I can't get the same effects....although I had one of those 'what if' moments tonight. This weekend I'm going to try something with dye on cloth that I'm hoping might get me close to this type of look...stay tuned (if you're so inclined).

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Not so sure the photo does this one justice. If I do say so's gorgeous, mysterious and filled with interest (sorry, I'm thrilled with it right now). I finished it late last night. When seen in person you can get lost looking, seeing how the underneath layers contribute to the more apparent uppermost layers. These abstracts I'm doing are large at 22x16". They're going to be even larger when I mat them. I think I'll offer these at an upcoming art show matted and ready to be framed. I'm going to put a nice-on-the-wallet price of about $50 on them. They deserve a good home.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Passing Time

Acrylic paint on 140lb watercolor paper. About 20x16". Disintegration. Fun on a Friday afternoon - more fun than being at the day job.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


I've always been fascinated with the disintegration of it an old broken down tractor rusting in its field graveyard , a weathered piece of wood textured with layers of paint colors or a ramshackle structure whose story is forever lost but can almost to be heard if one imagines and listens hard enough. I think the mold on this pepper is gorgeous. I want to carve it as a stamp and also paint it as an abstraction. Dust to dust, ashes to ashes - to be reborn, renewed or evolved.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sweet Dye

Cotton fabric at the top and silk scarves at the bottom....all done up with desconstructive screen printing. I think I'm going to make some scarves using the same method I used on the cotton. Now it's time to go to the store and get something for's been a busy day.

Hot Summer Creativity

I have screens drying in the sun with print paste dye on them. As soon as they are ready I plan to deconstruct screen print them onto silk scarves. While I'm waiting for the dyeing festivities I finished this piece of paper fabric. I'm loving the textures I got with this one.

I have been messing around with making pickles and, after 3 attempts, have developed a recipe we love. If you are a fan of crisp, garlicky, kind of sour pickles here's my recipe. (I share well, I don't get that it's a secret thing some people have with recipes.)
- Find a crock or jar that suits you and add pickling spice (I add about 1/4 cup to this crock that is about 3/4 of a gallon).
- Fill the crock with quartered spears from Kirby or other pickling cukes.
- Slice in half 4-6 garlic cloves and then place them in between the spears.
- In a separate bowl combine 4 cups bottled water, 1 cup white vinegar & 1/4 cup salt. Stir until the salt is completely dissolved.
- Pour over the spears.
- Add as much fresh dill as you think is good.
- Close tightly and shake.
- Cover and put in a cool, dry place to do its thing for 48-72 hours (I like to leave it 1-1/2 days).
- Put in the refridgerator and eat within 2 weeks (they'll really only last about 2 days because you won't be able to stop eating them).