Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas 2016

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

I wish you all a very blessed Christmas as we celebrate the traditional time of the birth of Christ. May you be filled with the same awe of the shepherds who saw the babe that first Christmas night, the joy of the angels who sang and the faith of the wise men who followed the star. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

December Activities

Colorful Sails
Watercolor 15 X 22

The first weekend in December I participated in a watercolor workshop with Linda Lucas as the instructor. I've been away from watercolors for a little while so the first painting we won't even photograph. This is the second painting which turned out OK. The unique thing about Linda's work is that she uses very diluted acrylic ink for her background painting. Then she uses watercolor for the subsequent layers. Why haven't I thought of that before? This allows the background colors to remain bright and unmuddied  by the watercolor layers. In this painting we used clear contact paper as a mask for the sails and waves. The acrylic ink was applied over wet paper and allowed to run across the page. When that was dry we removed the contact paper, wet the painting with no fear of removing the background since it is acrylic and allowed our watercolors to flow across the sails. This was a fun and easy way to a watercolor. 
Since the workshop everything has been Christmas! Cards, decorating, making ornaments and baking cookies and bread.
Palm Ornament
Old watercolor and glitter
Glass Ball
Alcohol Ink, acrylic pen, stick on rhinestones

Wishing you all a very blessed Christmas 
a prosperous new year!

Monday, December 05, 2016

On the Sparrow

On the Sparrow
collage, 4 X 6

This is one of my favorite quotes, "His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me." It's from an old song of faith and assurance that if Almighty God knows when a sparrow falls (Matthew 10:29), He certainly knows about me and whatever I'm going through. (Right now it's a respiratory infection like a big percentage of the rest of the country. It's good it get it over with now and not have it during the holidays).
This collage is all hand painted paper with one of the little sketchy bird stamps that I found. I've embellished it with some gold colored brads, just for interest and to repeat the dots on the other side. It's sealed and varnished and ready to be matted and framed or fixed to a panel.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Drama Queen

Drama Queen
Collage, 4 X 6

Drama queens, we all know them; sometimes we get sucked into their vortex even when we try hard not to. Then we are left dizzy, wondering what happened to us. Then there are times when we get a little to dramatic ourselves! Time to take a deep breath and stop spinning. That's what this collage reminded me off. It's the busy paper around her head and the stance with hand on hip. You know she's about to get into it, time to leave the room! 
She's made of hand painted brown paper with a little glitter spray and painted tissue. It has brads and a stamped figure and words. It's coated with clear acrylic and UV varnish. 
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving day with as little drama as possible!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Another Series

Random Thoughts
8 X 8 Collage

I found a package of clear stamps of these sketchy women in interesting poses and I incorporated them into some collage paper that I painted on brown paper. It's an easy way to put a figure or a portion of a figure into a collage. I got a little crazy that day and also sprayed the paper with Krylon Marbelizing Spray (that's how they spell it); some in white, some in black. It was great fun. I also tried some Krylon Glitter Blast. It's easy to get a little heavy handed with glitter, I discovered. The circles are punched out of a painted book page to indicate thoughts. All the papers are coated with acrylic and heat fused. Then they are coated with several layers of acrylic and acrylic UV varnish. The piece was entered into a Show titled Words and Images at our local art league. 

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

My Happy Place

Beach House 2
Collage 6 X 6

With all the election stuff going on we need a place where we can go and find some peace and quiet. How about a little house on stilts out on the water. No internet or TV, just the waves, the sea and the sunset. Ah, makes me happy just thinking about it. 
This little collage is mounted on a gallery wrapped canvas and is paired with  Beach House 1 that I posted earlier. The papers are all hand altered or painted and heat fused to 140 # watercolor paper. The collage is sealed with UV acrylic to resist fading. 

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Playing Catch Up

 Circular Thoughts
8 X 8 Collage on wood panel

I've been doing a lot of collage lately but not keeping up with the photography and blog posting. Today seems like a good day to do some catch up work. This is an older collage that just felt unfinished to me. I finally decided it needed a blackbird and some embellishments. The circle bead embellishments are harder to spot in the photo but there are 3 and they have some dimension to them and I think they add some interest to the collage. I was thinking about how some thoughts keep going around in your head and that's how I came up with the title.

Paris Skyline
 6 X 6 Collage 

If you've followed my blog you know that I like to incorporate Paris into my paintings and collages. This is an actual Paris skyline on the top, other elements are stamps and collage papers that have been painted or altered in some way. 
I love the intuitive nature of  collage and how it can be abstract and still have recognizable elements in it. This one was started as a demo that I did for the art guild in Sun City FL. It took several weeks before I added the tower and tree. Like painting with paint, when you paint with papers sometimes it takes awhile before the painting "tells you" what it needs.
I have 7 more collages that are in that stage of waiting for the finishing touches so stay tuned.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Some Little Additions

 Beach House 1
Heat Fused Collage 6 X 6

Beach House 1 Side View

I just thought I'd show you how I'm mounting my little beach house collages. I'm putting them on deep gallery wrapped canvas that has been painted and collaged on the edges. While sorting through my stuff I found some little bicycle embellishments that I thought went very well with my beach house. Many Sanibel Islanders get around on bicycles, especially in the winter season when the traffic is thick with tourists. I have another beach house finished and I will be posting it soon.
I've done a major art room reorganization. I sorted all my collage papers by color and cleaned off a shelf so that the clear plastic boxes have a home. It's so nice to be able to go to a box for the color I need. The whole thing took hours but it has been worth it. If only I could get the rest of my life organized! 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Starting Small

Pink Roof Beach House 1
 Collage 6 X 6

Wow, was it ever nice to get 3 comments on my last post! Thanks everyone.

I'm starting my Beach House series small to start with. I think I'll continue with my series a little larger because it's easier not to have so many small pieces to work with. 

The beach houses around here have taken on a Key West vibe and have been painted in pastels and brighter colors. Some even have polka dots! I found this paper in an art store and just had to use it just the way it was. The roof is from some Geli plate printing that I did; the sky, sea and trees are altered National Geographic pages and the sand is hand painted printer paper. I finished it with acrylic paint and some pen work. It's finished with a coat of acrylic UV varnish ready to mat and frame or adhere to a 6 X 6 panel.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Sketchbook Collage

I have an idea for a series of collages, beach houses.
I have made some in my collage sketch book. I just used ordinary magazine pages and a glue stick to quickly put together some ideas for little houses by the sea. These are good practice and reference  for some larger collages. I find that Pinterest is a great source for ideas and confess that I spend more time pinning pictures on my board than I do making collages. It's quite addictive. I especially like the one in the middle #4. Now to make one bigger with the heat fused method.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Finally Home

Summer Bouquet
Watercolor 11 X 15

August was a month of travel seeing friends and family "out west and up north". It was good to get away and be out of the heat and humidity for awhile. In between trips I worked on this little watercolor, first laying in a very wet background of cobalt blue, quinacridone gold and opera rose, and some salt for a little texture. After it was dry and days later I found flowers and a vase in it that needed to be further revealed. I probably worked on it over a period of 6 weeks, whenever I was back in town and finished it last week. Well, maybe it's finished, we'll see.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Trees in Silhouette

Trees in Silhouette
Watercolor 15 X 20

I saw a painting similar to this in Oregon when we were there visiting our daughter. I thought it was so striking I had to try it myself. I didn't get my background as bright as the one I saw so it looks more like a winter scene than fall. Still the starkness of it looks striking to me. I added a little dog to the figure so it looks less lonely. I may try it again and try to get my colors a little brighter. I wonder how it would look with yellows and greens? Maybe purples and blues for a night scene with stars. I think I may have a series to paint. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Finished Piece

Souvenir From Paris
8 X 8 Floating Collage

After shopping hardware stores small and large I found turn buttons at Michaels. Who knew? There were no choices as to color or size but at least I found some in a package where I didn't have to buy 50, plus shipping. 
And, yes, the answer to my silly riddle is from the last post is insane, or "in Seine" for the two of you who wrote comments. Thanks, for that. I love getting comments, real ones, not spam. 
Summer is a good time to play around with new ideas and materials. Last week I started making paper for collage in larger format. I'm using paper grocery bags and brown craft paper. They will have many layers on them so they are not finished yet. I'll post pictures after they have as many layers as I want on them. 
I'm thinking about joining the 30 day challenge again in September. Yes, I'm insane, and not in a river! The challenge really gets my creative juices going and I try not to pressure myself but to just have a good time and crank it up a bit. If you're interested look up Leslie Saeta on the internet. I'll try to post the link a little later if I decide to participate.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Before and After


After: Paris Souvenir
Shadow Box Floating Collage 8 X 8

The before you can see had some of the inside paint continuing to the outside, it's harder to tell that the outside paint was a rather dingy tan. I was not happy with my choice so I decided to go with an all off white outside. Four coats of paint later I finally had what I was looking for. It's hard to tell from the photo how the collage floats. It is raised from the back by a foam core base and the top piece has another foam core spacer. It's a nice effect and one I learned from Laura Lein-Svensner. I still have to put a piece of glass on the front which is held in place by turn buttons. 
Now for the question of the day; What do you call a person who jumps in the river that runs through Paris? Leave your answer in the comments.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Painting outdoors

Sample Palette and painting 1

Sample Palette and painting 2

While visiting our daughter in Oregon we went with her to the stable where she boards her horse. As she rode we sat outside in the shade and enjoyed the setting, read, and I painted. I had picked up two sample palettes from Golden's Qor watercolors at the Florida Watercolor Society trade show last year. They were handy to do a couple of quick watercolor sketches. I used sample colors on each packet for the paintings, then I added some pen and used a watercolor pen for the fences. The paintings are about 4 inches square. I enjoyed the challenge of mixing the colors I needed from the palette that was provided.
A very large bird flew across the sky which I tried to capture in the second painting. I should have painted  in the horse and rider but they just wouldn't stand still!

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Is It Collaboration?

Marilyn's Bouquet
Watercolor, 15 X 12

Paris in May
Watercolor, 15 X 10

About a year and a half ago my friend, a fellow artist, passed away suddenly. I probably mentioned it. As a result, I purchased many of her art supplies and was given things that she had left behind. Among them were some half sheet paintings that we used to call, "starts". They were beginnings of paintings that we would start by wetting the paper and letting the pigments flow, then drop in salt or alcohol or water, lay down plastic wrap or wax paper, and just play and leave to chance the outcome. Then the piece would be put aside until we wanted to work on it again. 
These two paintings are from one of Marilyn's starts. I got it out and looked at it one day and it was begging to be finished. As I worked on it I could see that it was two paintings. The larger piece became the bouquet in a vase; to the smaller painting I added some collage elements. The colors she had chosen were so vibrant, it was a lot of fun to work on and made me think fond memories of her and the fun we had painting together with our art friends.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Where to Begin?

Collage in a Shadow Box
10 X 10

I'm behind in my blogging so I don't know where to begin. I finished this floating collage last month and was so excited to get it into a shadow box that I didn't sign it or photograph it first. The picture is of my Mom and her sister many years ago when my Aunt visited Mom in Florida. I think they are on one of the beaches around here. They loved music making when they were young and wrote many letters to one another when they lived far apart. 
I hope to get some of my other works into my blog soon, I'm doing both collage and watercolors in between trips around the country to see family.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Like a Hawaiian Sunset

Hibiscus 2

Hibiscus 1

Watercolor each 5.5 X 6

I was in the garden department of the local home improvement store when I saw the most gorgeous hibiscus I had ever seen. I had to have them! I needed to try to capture the brightness and blend of the colors in these flowers. It was so much fun. The first one I think captures it the best because I was just being wet and free with just getting the colors in. I used pigment as full strength as I could. Yes, there were that many layers of color; yellow orange, coral, pink, magenta and a deep almost black red. On the second one I used a black ink pen to define the edges and folds in the flower. I'm hoping the bushes survive our nasty soil, wet summers, and my tendency to over tend. 

Monday, May 02, 2016

Still Life, New Product

Orchid 1
Watercolor 5.5 X 6.5

Orchid 2
Watercolor 4.5 X 6.5

I was so excited that my orchids were blooming for a second time that I just had to try painting it. It's quite tiny, white with purple speckles. I could have protected the white areas and tried to splatter paint from my brush to make the speckles but I thought an easier way would be to use a new product that I recently bought. It's Brusho Crystal Colors. It's a powdered watercolor that comes in little plastic jars. You can punch a hole in the top of the container and shake the pigment out like a salt shaker. So, I wet the area where I wanted the purple and shook a little onto it. Voila! I had my speckled orchids. Then I could go in with my brush and make the petals and the centers. Of course you get a little bit of pigment outside of your wet area which you can blow away or make into a light wash. I did both. The purple pigment was a combination of red and blue so it made a nice range of color in the flower. The yellow in the top painting was from a spray bottle with a little powdered yellow pigment and water. Like instant sunshine. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

More From the Workshop

All Hands on Deck
Collage 5 X 6

I started this at the workshop I attended and finished it last week. It's an example of what can be added to a collage for embellishments. On this one I added some stamping, hand, circle and squiggle punch outs, brads, heat set silver foil and finally a heart shaped bead. It's a sampler of embellishments, not meant to be a serious work but mostly play. It's mounted raised on mat board.  Play is good!  

Friday, April 15, 2016

Collage Workshop Week End

Red Roof House of Music
5 X 7 Floating collage

Last week end I was at the Naperville Art League attending a workshop with Laura Lein-Svensner. It was a floating collage workshop. The pieces of collage are mounted on foam core so that they are raised up from the surface of the mat board on which they are mounted. For the first project of the class we all made a little house with a red roof. We were to have earth and sky background, a house with windows and a door and a red roof. The rest of the design was up to us. We had a wonderful variety of red roof houses. Mine has sheet music for the house, a treble clef for the chimney and notes on the red roof with a night sky. 

Floating collage, 12 X 12

The next day we worked on a larger project for which we made our own papers (first day) and included some of our own photos. This collage has a picture of my parents; the map in the background is of South Dakota where they were born. This collage is a keeper for me. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Abstract Collage

Abstract Collage 1
8 X 8

The collage class is going well, the students are learning a lot about making papers, choosing colors and color combinations and putting together their collages. They look simple but abstracts are much more difficult than they appear. It's hard to get that look that you are going for. It takes lots of practice. It's so much easier, in my estimation, to do pieces with objects or subject matter. I like the challenge of abstract or non-objective work even if it is frustrating at times. Even if I start out with a plan I often don't stay with it. I get lured away by a pattern or piece of of paper that I just have to use, then I just go from there. I think this one tied together pretty well. I will use it to show my class how to heat fuse it to a wood panel. Then it will be ready to show or sell. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Collage Class Demo

Collage, acrylic 6 X 6

I made this little collage as a demonstration piece for a collage class I've been teaching. Where do you start? For this piece it was the paper with the flag that got me started. What would make a good background for it? I searched the paper box for compatible red and blue and some neutral tone as well. Then I began piecing it together, sealing it down with a hot iron while protecting it with a piece of non-stick paper. Then the flag was added and then the paper with the words and, finally, I punched stars out of gold paper to add. The torn edges were sealed with burnt umber acrylic which was carefully wiped away so just the edges were stained. Then it's given a coat of acrylic gloss medium. The last steps will be to adhere it to a gallery wrapped canvas and give it a couple of coats of UV varnish. 
America's prayers go out to the people of Belgium and may God protect traveler's everywhere. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Getting Ready for Class

 Skinny Collage
3 X 9

Collage, 3.5 X 10.5

I like the challenge of doing a composition on an irregular shape, in this case long and narrow. I did Skinny with odd pieces of this and that and then added the transfer at the end. 
I thought the painted tissue lent itself to a water like texture so I made the aquarium piece out of scraps of that. I may put this on a long skinny wrapped canvas that I have. 
I don't start out with a design in mind when I start these practice collages, I just pick the colors and papers that I want to use and let it build itself from there. It's very much like play and is very relaxing and freeing way to work. 
My collage class was supposed to start this week but a family emergency put it on hold for a week. Now I'm busy getting ready for the first class on Monday. 

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Workshop- Day 3

Papa John
Watercolor 15 X 22

Just a quick post about day 3. We did a portrait painting of Papa John. It was very fun to do this man with the bushy beard. The strong light and shadow make it a delightful study. My painting on top, Maggie McClellen's below. Once again I had a heavy hand with the dark, I guess I've had too many teacher's telling me to "get the dark colors in!" 

Papa John by Maggie McClellen

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Workshop, Day 2

Old Barn with Truck
Watercolor, 15 X 22

This was the second painting that we did in the Maggie McClellen Workshop. Once again, it was her drawing that we worked from

Maggie's Barn and Truck

I'm not sure if this is Maggie's final on this painting but it's the last picture I had. As you can see I had a much heavier hand with the dark colors and also changed the color scheme. I have to do something to make the painting mine, I don't want to just "paint along". There was no masking fluid used on this painting, every thing that was light was painted around. I much prefer this to applying mask then removing it and dealing with all the hard edges. 
One of the new things that I learned is the ideal color ratio. According to experts at color, the compliments should be in the following ratios; yellow to purple-10% to 90%; blue to orange-30% to 40% and red to green-50 % to 50%. I'm guessing that this is supposed to be more pleasing to the eye but I'm not at all clear how the ratios were derived. I'm not sure if I achieved a 10 to 90 ratio but it explains why my shadows and sky are to the purple shade. 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

A Watercolor Workshop

On February 18, 19 and 20 I took a watercolor workshop with a wonderful watercolorist, Maggie Mc Clellen. Painting someone else's subject in their style and mode of painting is always a learning experience, especially when the style of painting is a little different from your own. I always enjoy it, even if it does stretch me. For a painter you can't complain about 3 days of doing something you love. The first day we watched Maggie's manner of painting as she demonstrated painting an old fishing boat. Then we attempted to do the same. At the end of the day I had my version, and Maggie had hers. And that's why she's the teacher and I'm not! Still, for a first time, it's an acceptable painting. If you are not learning anything, why attend a workshop?

My boat painting
Watercolor 15X22

Maggie Mc Clellen's painting
Watercolor 15 X 22

Friday, February 12, 2016

It's Always Exciting

First Place

It's always exciting to win an award. Today I won First Place in the Small World Category at our local art show.  A Small World painting may not exceed 25 square inches and must be framed no larger than 8 X 10. The subject must be 1/6 or less than actual size. All my little 30 in 30 Days collages paid off, the judges said they had a hard time choosing between the four that I entered. I feel blessed! 

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

The King

 King Fisher # 1
Watercolor, mixed media 11 X 11

This  was my first attempt at doing one of Karen Knutson's "wire drawings". See her work at It's supposed to be a combination drawing, zentangle, with added collage and paint. Well, I got the collage and paint part OK but I didn't like the busy background (permanent ink) behind the bird. I tried to tone it down with gouache, then naples yellow, finally I used white acrylic. See the next picture. I also modified the background colors.

 King Fisher #1 modified
I liked this one much better, I like the bird but thought the background could be better and I could do without the messy acrylic behind the bird.

The King 
Watercolor, ink, and collage 11 X 11

I'm happy with the way this one turned out. I left the circle behind the bird just the white of the paper. The viewer can decide if it's a sun or a moon. I used the "old fashioned" method of collage, just cut and paste for these. I used "Yes" paste to start with so whatever I didn't like could be removed. When I was finished I went over the pasted pieces with matte medium so they would be permanent. Other than the drawing done with ink there was no zentangle going on. I like the idea and I will probably do some more and try to incorporate some of the zentangle or wire drawing. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Day 30 Over the Moon

Over the Moon
Collage 6 X 6

The last day of the Challenge! I made it! There were many who signed up but not everyone made it to the finish. It's not easy and I congratulate everyone who made a commitment to do a piece of art every day. It's huge! Even if you worked everyday but didn't complete a piece that day it's still a commitment to be in the studio and put the effort in. The real challenge now is to keep up the effort, do the work, and get better at what you do. Don't take the next week off, but keep on. (That's me giving myself a pep talk). 
I've done another little valentine for today. It's sort of says what I'm feeling about everyone who has been reading my blog. I'm over the moon for you! Thanks for putting up with my chatter and my collages. I'm blessed.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Day 29 Safari

Collage 6 X 6

The large patterns in the papers of this collage were made by stamping with a hand made stamp. The small ones were from a store bought stamp. The patterns and colors made me think of African textiles so I found a postage stamp from Zambia in my ephemera collection to add to the collage. That's how I came up with "Safari". The papers are all altered National Geographic pages. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Day 28 Paris Memories

Paris Memories
Collage 6 X 6

My 30 day collage odyssey has almost come to an end. I'll be ready to put away the papers for awhile and pick up a paint brush. I do love the design aspect of collage making, some things work better than others. This one doesn't quite work as well as I hoped. Every collage is a learning experience. What could I do to make it better, what other colors could I have used are a couple of questions I ask myself. Learning good design helps in all kinds of art. 
This collage was made from a placemat, a French map, bleeding tissue and acrylic paint.


About Me

My photo

I started watercolor painting earnestly in 1991 after I moved to Florida. My husband and I are retired, and we are both artists. We both have works displayed  at the Wildchild Gallery in Matlacha Florida.