Texture Tuesdays: Orange

To enhance one's well being it helps to:
taste the earth's bounties
straight from the garden.
to take little side trips
out to the countryside.
to snap the corn, the pumpkins
the tomatoes, the apples
straight from their stem.
to walk briskly in the cool air
to breathe in the autumnal landscape.

Our theme this week with Kim Klassen is ORANGE

The paintings are from an autumn art show in the Maryland countryside.
Click to enlarge image

Shaking with Grief

We shake with joy, we shake with grief.
What a time they have, these two
housed as they are in the same body.
                                                      Mary Oliver

A few months ago, we went with our daughter and husband
to Atlantic Beach, NC.
It was a time of JOY,
 sitting in the evening sun's waning rays, watching the children
frolic, play, jump the waves
and revel in freedom. 

 Sun slipping,  tide rising,  time
to wrap in warm, sandy towels,
find sandals
pack up chairs and sand pails
 head home
filled with 

The world now knows of Atlantic Beach.
48 hours in the news. One of the first areas
for Hurricane Irene
to invade American soil.

As a nation, we sat incredulous in front of our televisions,
Hurricane Irene.
Our daughter and husband live one hour from Atlantic Beach.
They prepared for two days for this unwelcome visitor.
Thousands like them from North Carolina to Vermont
prepared and prayed it wouldn't be bad. 
Irene has calmed down, 
leaving an unwelome present
of destruction and death. 
Joy and Grief
stand shoulder to shoulder.

What do you do with yourself, your emotions, your roiling stomach filled with apprehension and fear?

Paint a picture of renewal...of the sun pushing through.
Children returning
to the beach.

Favorite Plaster Project: Journal

Some who keep art journals enjoy doing the covers FIRST.
They plan, dream and do.

How do you bind 40 or so individual
pages with no apparent theme, 

Part of the plaster course I participated in with Judy Wise and Stephanie Lee, was finding the many ways to apply plaster. The one I favored was working plaster into  rough burlap.

1. plaster on burlap, paint applied when dry. 2. burlap with sufficient plaster to make stiff, then deliberately cracked the surface by bending.
3. piece of painted burlap cut and being adjusted for book cover.

Burlap is adhered with yellow Elmer's Glue. Book weighted to
  avoid warping and thoroughly adhere/dry. 
(If you enlarge the photo you can see the cracked texture of the burlap, which is desirable.) I worked over this layer with multiple colors, sanding away color...and applying a wash of BU acrylic.

A piece of prepared burlap painted blue and cut into heart shape, plus odd Chinese coins were glued to the journal surface. Again weighted down with books and dried.

Finishing touches: acrylic and gouache painted face, small pieces of collage, and old brush were added to complete the cover. Acrylic finish over the top. 

This journal is nearly full. Yay! And for once there is a lovely cover to wrap it all up!

A few pages from the interior.

  This was a great experience and totally creative. I plan on covering other journals.....just don't hold your breath!!!

Have a great Friday...and for those in the path of the impending hurricane, I wish 

My BIGGEST WISH is for this hand of devastation to stay away from the coastline, and where it belongs in the OCEAN.

52 Weeks: Things You May Not Know About Me

This is a rather uncomfortable list 
much prefer to know about YOU!!
The briefest posting I have ever made!!!

Would love to hear from you...what is something no one knows about you, unless of course, they are someone very dear who knows your heart.

 52 Weeks, 52 Lists presented by  Get the Words Out
Have a happy Tuesday!

Tuesday Textures: School Bells Ring

Kim Klassens theme this week is appropriate with school starting all across America and elsewhere.
I used photos to put textures on. If you have a moment or two, take a look.
On this blog, however, I need to use an art material or painting.
So I really had to stretch the theme a bit.
But these are ALL THINGS I love...every time I have a few moments to create paintings and sketches is like a new School-Day.

Original oil painting, Kim's 123 Copy, pdga art.tex, saturation and luminosity.
Can't go to school without school supplies!

Photo of painting brushes, photo of Chinese New Year, Kim's Sepia Scratch and orange photo filter.

Photo of colored pencils, scan of The World Book, Kim's textures: reversett frame, sepia scratched. Color filter and luminosity.
Today I tried something different (for me that is) I super imposed my own photos on top of one another. I found it rather intriguing and fun. 

 If you are into books, I discovered this one at the Rubin Museum in New York City. It is fabulous. Check Amazon.

Until next time, have a super Tuesday!

Plaster a New Medium


I am pretty curious about any new art medium.
Then I read about a class working with plaster.
Yes, as in Plaster of Paris and Joint Compound.
The intensive course was taught by Judy Wise and Stephanie Lee, two very talented artists.  This course was the most professional, sharing, ground breaking class  I have ever taken. It is chock full of videos, specific information, short cuts and materials!
This was a A++ class with a very active on going forum.
 Judy and Stephanie first co-published a book

Plaster Studio: Mixed-Media Techniques for Painting, Casting and Carving

Like all new mediums there was definitely a learning curve for me. 
A bit like going underground and taking root. Those moments when one is taught humility!
A friend asked if I would post my first attempts at this medium.

There are interesting tools to use when working with plaster. The bowls I formed over old plastic bowls. 

On this small bowl I used gouache for the design. It soaks quickly into the soft plaster.
My next bowls will be more detailed.

My second piece was formed on cradle board. I excavated the design lines with the carving tools. Painted in acrylic, sanded then antiqued.

Similar technique on this piece created to give the impression of tiles.

The Pink Chicken is named after the little art studio I created for our grandchildren. The Pink Chicken Studio.

This technique is my favorite so far. I have used plaster over muslin and burlap. I then excavated (carved) into the plaster, did the design painting with oil sticks.

I am saving my favorite piece for another posting. It is the same technique. I adhered the burlap to a large journal creating a really fun cover.

I will show you the journal later this week.
You might enjoy looking at Judy and Stephanie's book. And more good news. They are in the process of producing an e-book that will cover everything that we did in class. Check their websites for further details.
Judy Wise    Stephanie Lee

When the weather cools down a bit, and I can once again work in the garage...(did I mention that this is messy stuff?)
I will keep on working at this new surface. 
It is way cool to do and fantastically creative.

52 Weeks: What Will You Miss About Summer?

YES, I see the slanted light
filtering through the trees
a warmer yellow
tinged with orange

YES, I see the sunflowers
stooped with age
dropping their seeds 
like raindrops

YES, I feel a subtle drop in 
the temperature
no sweaters yet 

YES, I see stores filled,
virtual waterfalls of school supplies
waiting a place
in a shiny new back pack.

But NO, summer can't just drift away like that.

There is so much to miss about SUMMER
but we aren't there YET!
Toss those shoes aside and run through the grass.

Texture Tuesday: a Favorite Movie

Adding textures to photos is proving to be fun, creative and a wee bit time consuming. Please tell me I will speed up with practice!

This week's challenge was to choose a favorite MOVIE. 
This was easy to do with photos, but I wanted to take it a step further and use PAINTINGS that represent the country where the movie takes place.

These are my two original paintings:
This painting is a collage. It is hanging with several other paintings representing children of other cultures, in a library in Maryland.

A  Balinese Dancer.

These are the two textures I used to get the final results.

Kim Klassen's texture

Natures  Beauty

This texture I created photographing a set of Balinese wooden batik stamps.

Here are the textured photos.
What do you think?

To find out what movie I am illustrating, jump on over to my photography blog

I quite like the texture on these two paintings. Would make great cards or prints.  Feel free to print for your OWN use.

The Tale of the Ancient Conch Shell

catching small moments
a conch shell held to my ear
tells me stories of the 

of winding paths lined with blue cast shadows
horizons that beckon and tease
one more hill
sea-salt fragrance 

giddiness and joy
sailing boats crested over
  effervescent enthusiasm of little boys
 their big splash

one hundred things to search for
dolphins slipping like quick silver
 in and out of view,
 bopping heads of surfers
pirate ships or mermaids

imaginations race with the wind,
tickling waves 
quicksand slips beneath my feet

52 Weeks: Where is your favorite Space or Place

Kelly has presented a very interesting list to compose. 
At first thought, my mind turned to places 
I have visited or lived. 
But with a bit more introspection
I realized that a space can be within our mind and heart 
or a place as vast as the roaring sea
or as lofty as the lavender clouds.

Feel free to copy the little piece of art. 
It is a sketch-y scene of lavender fields
done on plaster over burlap and crackled.
It will end up glued to the front of a journal.

May your day have at least one very touching moment in it. 

Texture Tuesday with Paintings

Good morning friends.
 For the longest time I have wanted to post photographs on Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday blog. Textures on photographs is a Photoshop exercise using layers and various textures and designs to alter the appearance of a photograph. 

I have been rather intimidated by the process, mostly due to not having enough time to really get the techniques "into my noggin'." But with a new photography blog just started,
I have decided to get on the bandwagon and just see where it goes. Please  join in if you love photography and Photoshop manipulations. It can be super fun and very creative!

On this blog, however, I am going to do something DIFFERENT. I will add textures, text, etc. to a PAINTING not a photograph

My first experiment:

  the original painting.

I have used Kim's textures Cotton Candy, KK Scripted and Inspire overlay. 
I like the vintage appearance of this piece.

My second painting is actually for a charity event coming up this month. Calling All Angels benefits Avon Cancer Awareness.
More about that in a later blog.


The painting has taken on a completely different quality
using textures.

I have lost in the "never-land" of my photo files the original to this small portrait. You see it with textures only.

This is pure experimentation with unknown results until I learn a few more aspects of adding textures. The combinations are endless.
To see my textures on actual photographs, pop over to

Summer's Favorite Things: Part 4, The Water

 Living in North Carolina, EVERYONE I chat with has at least one BEACH vacation during the summer. I listen intently, making  mental notes of where they go, the best of the best beaches, tucking away bits and pieces of information for the time we  take our next holiday by the water.

Although I grew up 'landlocked' in the western states, we did our fair share of "water play" but it was boating and water skiing on resevoirs and lakes.

When we had a young family we would go camping on the Oregon coast. Once we drove into a camp late at night, pitch black, with the roar of the waves in our dreams.  In the morning we found ourselves perched precariously on a precipice overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Oregon. 

We pitched khaki colored tents at Lake Tahoe enjoying the ICE COLD CRYSTAL CLEAR water, marshmallows over a fire pit and naughty squirrels that ran off with anything not tied down.

Years later we moved to the EAST COAST, eventually living five year in Havre de Grace...a beautiful village nestled on the corner of the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay.

We would go to the harbor any time, any season for any reason. 
It was as beautiful in summer, as it was glorious iced over in the winter.

A winter interpretation of the frozen docks at Sunrise.

The Chesapeake Bay has a fascinating shoreline. It isn't exactly beach, but mostly rocks, precipices, and occasional drifts of sand. One doesn't swim rather boating, sailing, water skiing and jet skiing are the favored sports.

I will be back later this week with some water sketches. Some evolve  into large paintings. A few are my favorite paintings of all times.

But for now I leave you with another beautiful waterway.


I think I will check out a great movie that is filmed in Venice and dream a bit.