Wednesday, September 30, 2009


The idea of a labyrinth has intrigued me for quite a while.  Labyrinths seem to keep popping up along  my journey.  Several years ago, after taking my teen-aged daughter to a concert, we walked the rock labyrinth at the Community Garden in Comstock, Nebraska.  Years later, I stumbled upon a blog by Joannah L. Merriman, M.A., a holistic psychologist, counselor, and writer in Fort Collins, Colorado ( She has a labyrinth on her property and encourages full moon serenity walks--the next one is this Sunday, October 4th at 7pm.  I searched for more information about the circular meditations after discovering a classical labyrinth in the Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, NE.  The Labyrinth Society (source of image above, with permission) lists 15 sites in Nebraska.  I recently visited the 11 circuit medieval labyrinth outside the Methodist Church in North Platte, NE.  There was no wind on that bright September day, and it was almost too warm.  I was hungry, but energized after painting with a friend--the first watercolor I'd attempted in ages!  I thought I'd just run through this labyrinth to see what it was like.  But, even with the guy watching from his porch across the street,  I got caught up in the process and amazed at the 1/4-1/2 circle balance.  Rather than just absently following the path, I found myself analyzing the next move, wondering what those Christians of the Middle Ages thought about as they followed their path in the Chartres Cathedral, and actually feeling relaxed and refreshed as I came out of the center.

"At its most basic level the labyrinth is a metaphor for the journey to the center of your deepest self and back out into the world with a broadened understanding of who you are."

So, when that watercolor painting I'd started needed more depth and interest, I took out the old compass from my college design courses and executed some concentric circles--not really in the true labyrinth style, but with that feeling in mind... which led to painted-tissue-collaged lines and checkerboard patterns inspired from my recent exploration with Frank Lloyd Wrght's ideas on graph paper (see post from July 18).  Sometimes my thought processes are pretty random, but I love the layers in this finished product.  It's already framed (20"x16")!  Now I'm ready to try more watercolor.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Last week I substituted in the high school English classroom.  I was intrigued by a poster on the wall  which reminded me of my goals as stated here last February. My journal entry from the poster is pictured here.  So, I went back to review those goals.  Here they are...and I've admitted where I stand, so far!

1) Post on this blog at least once a week. Well, maybe averaging about 10 days instead of 7.
2) Add 15 followers to blog.  I think there may be 4 new followers since February.  Please add your name to followers if you are not already there! 
3) Add 100 to mailing list.  I should have counted my list in February to legitimize this!...maybe 40.
4) Enter and get accepted to National Collage Society Show. Entered this contest 2 weeks ago...notifications are in November.
5) Sell $2000 of art--will need to MAKE MORE ART!, find venues, explore PayPal. I've sold only one painting in the last year.  Surprisingly it was purchased over a year after it had been shown in our local medical clinic.  Never underestimate exposure.  I am researching a couple of online options, including Etsy.  This part about MAKE MORE ART might be some of the problem...procrastination...I have at least three pieces awaiting appropriate framing.  Daily art. Daily art. Daily art!
6) Renew website and make it an official .com thing. No progress here.  I have researched some online website hosting, but more exploration is necessary before decisions can be made.
7) get tax number, instead of sharing husband's.  Is it just an excuse when I say I don't need a tax number if I don't sell anything?
8) Submit for NE Arts Council Governor's Mansion Show.  I was not prepared for the application deadline which was May 31st.  Now it is on my calendar and I am working toward a cohesive series to use in an application.  I'd like to have at least 4 more in a sunflower series, and I may include some aerial landscapes.
9) connect with other artists at least 5 days/week through Internet, guilds, classes. This is going pretty well...  internet helps...I'm learning a lot, and I'm getting better about commenting on other's blogs. I am trying to attend the Ogallala Art Society meetings more regularly (that's not happening all the time, but Janette is good about calling to remind me!)  I went to North Platte last week to paint with Sandy Meyer's cancer survivors class.  It was VERY inspiring!
10) Give back to community without compromising sense of self-worth (limit donations of art, time, expertise or teaching to 4 worthy causes.)  This one is coming along.  So far I don't feel used.  I'm working on starting a therapy painting class...more on that later.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Back on track! During the last week I spent large parts of each day doing art. It's amazing all the roles an artist plays in creating a real business from the art...sort of reminds me of being a mother! Many art blogs speak to the importance of balancing time creating with time doing business...and doing the creating as more than a in--even when you don't feel like it!

Today on Fine Art Views I was met with the following jump start questions (or guilt trip questions, depending on the mood!): "A business cannot succeed if a myriad of jobs remain neglected. Artists are no different. Do you take the time to balance your books? Do you regularly communicate with collectors, dealers, etc.? Do you keep your studio and office clean and organized? Do you set aside regular time to assess your art and business in relation to where you want to be? Do you spend enough time in the studio creating? Do you spend enough time with all the other necessary jobs?" So... it must be time for a business plan reality review, and a thorough cleaning...but, first I want to get some more creating done!

Framing, and finishing are on the agenda, including varnish on the doodlebox pictured here, done as a donation for the local cancer walk to be held October 3rd. The box includes words to the second verse of my favorite hymn: "Make me a channel of your peace. Where there's despair in life, let me bring hope. Where there is darkness, only light. And where there's sadness, ever joy." I first heard this hymn in the funeral service for Princess Diana in 1997. The wording is from the prayer of St. Francis. My hope is that the box will be a blessing to whoever receives it as a doorprize at the event.

Friday, September 4, 2009

National Collage Society Juried Exhibit

Cleaning out my inbox, I found a reminder to enter the National Collage Society 25th Annual Juried Exhibit. In all the busyness, I had not entered the date on my calendar and the deadline is TODAY! So, I set up a paypal account to take care of the fee, filled out the entry form, and attached my photos. The show will be displayed at Mason Murer Fine Art, Atlanta, Georgia from November 6, 2009 to December 31st, 2009. Cross your fingers and say some prayers that one of my two entries pictured here is accepted.

Our first football game will be played at the new home field tonight. As long as you are saying prayers, include the safety of all high school football players, and especially my son. This is a nerve wracking situation for mothers...all the benefits of competition, camaraderie, and leadership, with all the potential for injuries. Maybe the fabulous weather will ease the stress...and, here's to all the time and effort from coaches and players. (Thanks Danny!)

This week I was honored to be able to play the piano, and accompany my brother's singing for the first of two services in memory of my dear cousin, Susan. She fought a courageous battle with cancer, and leaves a grieving husband and two grown children.

Since the last blog post, I finished reading Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth. First published 20 years ago, it's now on Oprah's Book Club list. It's historical fiction (I know--wierd favorite genre!) about building cathedrals in the middle ages. I get sort of lost in the age...can you even imagine living without electricity, toilets, and cars (let alone cell phones!) all while designing and constructing massive stone cathedrals, fighting rogue lords, and playing the politics of the catholic church and the monarchy system?

Back to art...(!)...last week my father-in-law helped me cut some masonite for backing on two large paintings, and we cut channels into frame moulding allowing glass to be held away from the texture of the artwork. It is sort of an experimental framing style. I'll report on the details when I get it all put together. Does anyone out there have any great solutions to framing heavily textured collage works...short of the ready-made shadow-box options at art supply stores?