Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Gift from my Sister....from the heart

Desk Top Calendar
with my art!
My sister, who is a "techie extraordinaire", put together this calendar using my art that she photographed (unbeknownst to me).  She used Shutterfly. Above is the cover which is actually part of some art on a journal cover that I have.  She said it was challenging to fit the photos to the program as she was using parts of my art, not an entire page.  See further...

The art on the left is part of the first page of a journal I started last January.  

And here is February.....with the bird above.

March...the Raggedy Ann love this if I say so myself.  

April says "Your life is big.  Keep reaching".  The way Dianne cropped the photos so those words weren't lost is perfect!

May...May flowers in bloom!  I'm showing you all of the months....
June is actually the same as the calendar cover, COLOR.
July, below....

For August she chose the boat painting which I did in a Paint and Wine class, and also a painting from one of my journals, Moroccan architecture.

September...a sentimental favorite

October...the artist at work....


...the playful side of me, it says "what do you do when no one is watching"

December, last but not least...HOME.

I can't even begin to share what this calendar means to me.  So special...she put a lot of time into putting it together.  And I love her color choices for the calendar months themselves that go so well with the paintings.  It's all just amazing and I love it.  (When the calendar is sits like a tent, the black being the bottom when the calendar is opened). I LOVE IT!!!

Christmas Rewind....

 ...the rewind
Mirror reflection

My Favorite Things
Christmas for me is always a roller coaster of emotions.  It begins with the boxes in the attic that hold all of the decorations.  The reminders of Christmas' past when I was a child, up through when my son was a child, to present time when you reminisce about it all...lots of stories exchanged and remembering those no longer here.  I set the table with a vintage looking post card, napkins from my neighbor (something new!) and I remember shopping for that china with my mother back in the early '70's.
A glimpse at the table...the red water goblets belonged to my mother, grandmother...and possibly my great-grandmother, but I'm not sure about that.
I didn't take photos of the food...we changed it up this year by having braised short ribs, new potatoes, green delicious.  We had a berry crisp with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream for dessert. 

Virginia's Baby Cup
Virginia was my mother's mother (my middle name), who died before my parents were married.  Based on the time period when she was born, I'm guessing Virginia was a popular name back in the late 1890's, when that famous editorial appeared in The Sun, a NY newspaper , in response to a letter from an 8 yr old girl named Virginia, asking if there was a Santa Claus. Speculation on my part...but the timing is right. So this baby cup is one of my favorite things.
More of my favorites in the kitchen cabinet...old and new.

....and more on the mantel.

...and more...

It was great having my sister, Dianne and Steve here, and of course, my son, Tom...who is the best gift of all. 

Saturday, December 12, 2015


60+ Degrees
I've never gone this long without posting some art...but I haven't had time to do any!  I took this photo this morning because I love the shadows the trees are making on the lawn. As beautiful as the fall is here in requires the most clean-up of any of the takes up my weekends!  
Now I am in my usual Christmas "frenzy" of trying to get things done.  It doesn't feel like Christmas with these temps, but I do appreciate that I'm not out on slippery roads trying to get my shopping done.  
I didn't take any of my sentimental ornaments out for the tree this year...but I do like the overall look...

It's all glass icicles, red wooden bead garland and red glass bead garland.  It sparkles nicely!  

I'm still trying to put my living room and dining room back together after having it painted right after Thanksgiving.  It's a work in progress for sure.  I don't know where I want to hang everything because I don't want it to be the same as it was....thus the art has taken up residence in my guest room along with the books I had in my living room awaiting reassignment.  
This is the first Christmas in awhile that I haven't created something handmade for someone on my list.  That's often the best part of Christmas but it just wasn't meant to be this year. 
Now I'm waiting for the "all is calm" part of Christmas....

Thursday, November 5, 2015

American Flag

MIXED MEDIA - 6pages 
Last weekend I glued the American flag onto the page.  It was a photo of a journal page I had done before, but this time I printed that photo on deli paper. Making a print on deli paper from your copier is a cool technique.  Opposite this page is another American flag, albeit not in good condition.  I actually tore this page from another journal (from 2013) where I was trying an image transfer.  The flag looks like it's had a rough time but sustained.  The blue paint chip is called "Bravura".  And I also have glass gel beads around the perimeter.  
When you flip this page over...

The page on the left has 3 heart shapes on the left side that are cut from pages in a Pottery Barn summer, white & blue.  The picture on the right is from that same journal and is a painting of a little summer beach cottage which I call Haven.  The door knocker is a peace symbol. The American flag flies over the doorway. 

 Then when you flip that page over...

you get a 3-way spread.  I know it's hard to is the right side page...

The fish page has a paint chip that is called "Still Life." (A little humor here). I used my sewing machine to stitch the fish page to the chair page.

This page...I just made a messy background which I actually like, and glued the photo of a chair with, white and blue...a closeup..

Journaling is about capturing things on a page that you like.  

Sunday, November 1, 2015


I was sitting on the floor in my art room this afternoon, trying to figure out how to organize at least some of the bits and pieces of papers I have saved that are intended for either art inspirations to paint or draw or for use in mixed media projects. I have come to the conclusion that I'm just going to start glueing them in a book where I can easily view them.  Perhaps it's a face I want to try and paint or a landscape or flowers. 
The page above is a picture of the musician/artist (musicians are artists!), Hozier.  The photo spoke to me. The composition...the way he's standing, his hand on the guitar, the contrast of his light skin that pops against his dark clothing; the position of his head. I could go on. I decided the photo wasn't doing me any good in a folder as I'd probably forget that I had it.  
I found this great paper to use as the background for his photo.  It's part of a store bag (can't recall the store). The paper adds the perfect dramatic background for this very cool photo.  When I cut the figure out, I left a part of the type all the way around him which makes the figure stand out.  What else am I going to do with this....I don't know....for now it just has a home in my journal and I like to look at it.  

How's Your Journey Going So Far?

Art Journal
File folder pages/Mixed Media
I bought this journal a year ago or so at our local mall.  It had brown paper pages inside that were glued so tightly at the binding, that they weren't really user friendly. I removed those pages.  But I didn't buy the journal for the inside...I loved the fabric cover.  I decided to use primarily manila file folders for the inside pages.  As you can see, it's a small journal.

I spray painted and used stencils when I first put colors on the pages.  This made it easy for me to pick up this journal and add embellishments/words, etc. when I had something to add.  Today I had something I wanted to put in this book.  
These pages are very basic in terms of the art.  What was important to me was having a place to capture the words on the paper I glued down.  It's from a little booklet I pick up at church called Day by Day.  Each day of the month has something written by a different person based on a quote from scripture.  Now I'm not going to get "preachy" on you here...I believe faith is very personal but here is what the writer says...and tell me it doesn't speak to you on some level:

We all experience endings.  The hard part for us is letting go of the old dead things.  It is hard to let go of dreams about where we thought we would be at certain points in our lives--jobs we might have had, risks we might have taken or shied away from, happy endings we might have imagined.  But we know that in order to embrace something new, something better, we have to let the endings be what they are and step into the new with joy and awe.

Below are a couple of more pages in this book so you can see how the ink/stencils look.  I have posted a photo of this before but I do love these two pages.  And I kind of think the quote on this well with the one above.  It says:  Happy are they who take life day by day, complain very little, and are thankful for the little things in life. - Anonymous.
  Food for thought.

Saturday, October 17, 2015


5 x 7 Canvas Board
Inspired by the beauty around me while working out in the yard today, I decided to do a quick little painting.  A spectacular day in New England....

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Acrylics, Tissue Paper

Where to begin with describing what happened here.  The inspiration for these two pages was my painting, The Girl with the Paintbrush.  I made a print of the painting on tissue paper,  which was run through my computer. 
I took the print and tore it into 3 pieces.  On the right hand page, you see parts of two sunflowers....that's tissue paper.  Then I just put all kinds of shapes and colors around them.  I have other journal pages that look similar to this one...I think sometimes I need a "warm up" page to get me going!

I only had a portion of the girl from the original painting to put on the left hand page.  I changed the bodice of the dress and the skirt is different as well.  I am amazed at how clear a print you can get on tissue paper.  Blues and yellows are colors I love to work with. I'm sure I've said that before.

 Altering my own art today!
The original painting on canvas...


Acrylics, Pen
I started this page by dividing it into four blocks.  Below is my inspiration page:

I tore this page probably out of a travel magazine...images of doorways in Morocco.  When I first saved the page, my intention was to actually try and paint the doorways.  What I ended up doing with this is painting the various shades of colors, dark and light within the blocks.  But I wasn't satisfied with that because I'm not really a "linear" person....I like circles and curves.  So I took a large stencil and sprayed over the page with black paint.  Still not enough...I took a black pen and a white pen and just started adding marks to the page.  Am I finished?  Not sure.  I'm just going to have to look at it for awhile....Here are the two pages side by side.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


October 10, 2015
This past weekend, my friend, Jan's daughter got married in NC.  I've watched her grow since she was about 2 months old into an accomplished young woman. 
 I've saved the pieces from her Save The Date postcard to her wedding invitation and assembled them here in my journal, Gifts in my Life.  I've saved her sister, Erica's wedding memorabilia as well. On the left page, I saved the wedding envelope and made a pocket for their Save the Date postcard.  I made it so you can slide it out and be able to read the Maya Angelou quote on the back.  I didn't want to lose the beautiful flower that was the inside liner of the envelope...

I used the polka dot tape to tape the wedding invitation to the page.  This way it flips up so you can see the entire flower....and when the flap is closed, it looks like this...

"Love recognizes no barriers
It jumps hurdles, leaps fences,
penetrates walls
to arrive at its destination full of hope."
Maya Angelou

Wishing them a happily ever after.....

Monday, October 5, 2015

Pam Garrison Download

Pam Garrison, Artist
Faber Castell Pens
Printed on Card Stock

I have done absolutely no art since my last posting.  I have such a love/hate relationship with this time of year.  My weekends are filled with to-do lists.  I can't be creative unless I have enough time to "get in the zone".  
So I was searching some of my favorite art blogs and came across this download from Pam Garrison.  How nice that she provided this!  Not only did I download it, but I sent it on to a couple of other people who I thought might enjoy it.  Pam has such a wonderful, light, doodling, creative kind of art so I sat down this weekend and colored it with my Faber Castell pens.  You might say....I love color!  I also love the saying she chose.  I can look at this every day and be reminded that each and every day can be good if I choose it to be.  I choose it.  This is a no-brainer!  Thank you, Pam Garrison.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Training The Eyes to See

Art Journal
Mixed Media

On the left is the inspiration photo
On the right is my interpretation
I love this photo.  There was a series of photos in the magazine I took this from.  Some had several young women in the hats...they were all wonderful so it was hard to choose which one was going to be my inspiration.  More than the face on this one....I was intrigued as to how the dress would come out in the end.  And I decided to just leave the background with the texture from the papers I had glued and gessoed and not add any color or even the item she's leaning against to the page.  I debated adding some shadows...but again, decided that I was done.  I like her the way she is. I guess that's when you know your painting is finished!

I added some papers to the page

Added white paint that I spread all over the paper

A close up of her skirt

and, alas, her face