Thursday, December 1, 2011

Noyes Art Gallery/smArtist Career Blog

This mixed media painting is featured in the Imperial United Methodist Advent Devotional.  It's made with an unusual technique. Citrasolv, a cleaning solution, is poured on printed images, altering the ink on the page and creating the unusual backgrounds. More citrisolv is used to wipe out the facial features, and acrylic paint defines the details. 

In February, I will have art in the Focus Gallery of the Noyes Art Gallery in Lincoln, Nebraska. Hope you can get there. It’s a co-op gallery on 9th Street, and a lot of my artist friends have work there.  First Fridays they are open until 9pm.  Otherwise, it’s 10-5 Monday-Saturday, with metered parking right out front.

I was notified today that I will be Friday’s Featured smARTist on the smARTist Career Blog!  Thanks to Arianne Goodwin—an awesome art-career coach.  Almost a year ago, my mother helped me win a session with the smARTist Telesummit.  I’ve done a lot of art since then.  It’s time to review the goals and get ready for 2012!

Many thanks to all who have encouraged and supported my art.  Bless you this Holiday Season.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Hope is the latest collage.  This was created for use in the Imperial United Methodist Church Advent Devotional which should be printed and ready for distribution by next week!  It is a great little booklet with one page daily devotions for Thanksgiving through Christmas written by members of the local church.  In addition, our pastor wrote descriptions of each of the 5 candles on the traditional advent wreath, and four church members created nine original works of art for this publication.

The first candle of the advent season is to remind us of the HOPE of the coming of a savior as prophesied in the book of Isaiah.  My collage includes some hand-painted tissues, Citrasolv papers, rice papers, cardstock, acrylic paint, part of some jewelry from the collection of Margaret Uden (a dear friend taken last month by invasive cancer), and some musical notations from the hymn, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

My art and the Cancer Therapy Artist's Mandalas will still be at the Meadowlark Gallery in Grant this weekend! The gallery requested an extended showing to provide a backdrop for the opening of a pottery show by a Kansas man with ties to people in Grant.  So, get on over there!  It is open 6-8 Fridays and Saturdays, and will also be hosting an open house on Sunday, October 2nd, 12-3

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Meadowlark Gallery

This is the last weekend for the show at the Meadowlark Gallery in Grant, Nebraska.  The gallery is open Friday and Saturday 6-8pm.  On one wall, there are 24 framed mandalas colored by cancer survivors and family members.  Another wall has sunflower and non-objective art.  In another area, you can see 10 of my postcard sized collage paintings.  It's a great little venue...sure hope you can get there!  And, thanks to all of you who have stopped in already this month.  It's been surprising to those Grant people to have so many visitors from Imperial!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Safari Sunflower

Safari Sunflower
Safari Sunflower #2 happened because a friend saw Safari Sunflower on my website and challenged me to paint another similar, only larger and with different colors. That first painting had been a response to my love of sunflowers, my husband’s love of hunting wild animals, and our recent attendance at the Safari Club International convention.  Part of the challenge in #2 was to limit the cost and weight of such a large painting.  Using canvas on a partial masonite mat addressed both issues, as did eliminating glass.  However, no glass, required less texture because of concerns with dust control.  
My paintings don’t usually start with a particular end in mind, and it was difficult for me to get past the big white canvas!  I took it outside and poured on thinned acrylic.  Then I used a palette knife to apply Liquitex light texture medium into the basic design.  The flexible canvas required a more forgiving texture than the plaster used on the masonite of Safari Sunflower #1. The next step was to paint a base color over the texture of giraffe spots and sunflower, collage in some paper with printed zebra skin designs, and sketch in some possible swirly tendrils.  At this point, the poured background became very distracting.  Using a brush between the textured places and bouncing a sponge across the open spaces, I softened the background and created a wave of blue behind the sunflower.  This color became a bit of a problem as it was too close in value to the brown of the giraffe spots. The spots have many layers of different colors of acrylic put on in an antiquing stain fashion—paint on, wipe off ...lots of rubbing and polishing.  Each color addition changed the balance of other colors in the painting and required multiple adjustments. Notice how the flower center changed from reddish to blue-black...shadows and highlights had to change, too!  

The horizontal stripes are mostly covered with a wonderful red-iron-oxide, hand-painted paper, and further outlined in another of my favorite painted papers made with black gesso on tissue, and wiped with metallic copper paint.
 A couple different rice papers were added in the upper left and lower right with a wash of quinacridone gold to highlight the texture.  Copper mesh is glued and wired onto the flower center and copper wire is actually sewn in a whipstitch along the top line from the left and trailing into the mesh.  This hardly shows, but will be great with good lighting.  Oil pastels and metallic copper acrylic in a liner brush are used to highlight and outline different areas. A pencil is used to create a grid in the flower center, extending to all sides.

Safari Sunflower #2
The “mat” is painted on masonite and attached with screws from the back into the wooden stretcher bars. Pencil lines and sponged wave are extended onto the mat.  The masonite is larger than the dimensions inside the frame rabbet, allowing the painting to be screwed into the frame and the rabbet to create a shadowbox effect at the depth of the canvas. 

This painting can be seen in the September/October issue of Nebraska Life Magazine (p.110) and at the Meadowlark Gallery in Grant, NE through the month of September, every Friday & Saturday 6-8. On Sunday, September 11th, I will be there from 11-3.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sunset at Memorial Stadium

This piece of illustration board had “a pour” of pink, teal, and gold (watered down acrylic) and was waiting patiently for direction.   Cue the window salesmen, hopefully knocking on our door, leaving estimates and advertising magnets after hail damage.  One magnet was a very useful schedule of the Cornhusker’s football season, but I really didn’t want all the advertising and photo taking up fridge real estate.  So, it was chopped off.  The remains were on my painting table when I set out to tackle the next postcard collage.  The colors of the pour jumped out at me as they echoed the colors of the magnet photo.  I sliced the magnet and peeled off the photo strips...can you see the upper press box of the stadium?  Also, notice the shadowy silhouette of the Nebraska State Capitol inspired by graphics on UNL admissions papers from my son’s impending flight from the nest.   Once the jewel-toned image became all about Lincoln, it couldn’t exist without some red, so the corrugated strip from an old American Girl doll box was included—even split and sliced to underline the stadium images.  I really never know what the end result will be when I start painting, but it is a joy to realize the influence of a higher power.  

This little gem and 29 of my other paintings can be seen at the Meadowlark Gallery in Grant, Nebraska throughout the month of September.  Gallery hours are 6-8 every Friday and Saturday, and there will be an open house on Sunday, September 11th.  Also in this show will be over 30 pieces of art created by Imperial's Cancer Survivor's Art Therapy class.  It's a great show!  Hope you can get there to see it!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Market Volatility

Yesterday was stressful for lots of people.  The stock markets were at their lowest in several years.  To escape the gloom and doom around our house, I went to my studio to paint.  This postcard collage was started a couple months ago and had failed to find a direction.  The antique coin (a gel transfer from a magazine advertisement), the yellow stamping on the left, the green on the right, the cruciform dark lines were there, and I suddenly knew the next step was to include a historical line graph of the Dow Jones Industrial Average! 

I printed one from the internet onto tracing paper.  But when I tried to apply it, the ink smeared.  So, the next one I put on upside down and backwards!  Alphabet stickers spelled out the news of the day..."up, down, DJIA" (with the D and J also upside down and backwards). Today, the graph was enhanced with acrylic paint along the highs and lows, the lettering softened with some rice papers, stenciled circles and some extra yellow put on with markers.  Market Volatility will be shown in the postcard collection at the Meadowlark Gallery during the month of September. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Show Up!

A big series of "postcard" collages has me excited and making art every day.  I Have Decided is the latest. Inspired by a person who loves God, water, and music, this image includes the melody and words to the hymn, "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus". The song is not related to this person, but is there because I played it for church two weeks ago!  It was stuck in my mind and sitting in front of me. The black circular edge on the left is there because of experimenting with cardstock to use for framing the mandalas from our cancer therapy class for the September show in the Meadowlark Gallery. The scraps were sitting on my worktable and it was the first application to this collage. The "bubbles" on the right half of the image make me smile. The last addition to the image, those little circles were started to symbolize this person and her family. Then more circles were added for extended family and friends, which turned into floating bubbles and became notes on the musical staff lines. Many of the papers used here were painted nearly five years ago. Also included are some rice papers and a  lightbulb wrapper, pieces of which have been used in other paintings from over ten years ago! This creative process never ceases to amaze me...the evolving and layering of thoughts, scraps, papers, and history into a balanced and pleasing work of art. There is a magical, wondrous, awesome power in charge. The more I show up to do the work, the greater the power. And, that thought can be applied to every relationship and task in life.  Show up. Be there.

What nobody tells you about creative work...

What nobody tells you about creative work...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Art in the Most Unlikely Place

Nancy's train station at Sedgewick.  
Judy's princess bird

Shirley's beaded shell
Sheila's horses with medium still not dry
Wow.  What a great day in Lewellen, Nebraska!  We had 4 fabulous women come together to play with collage in a 3 hour workshop.  Thanks to Sheila, Shirley, Judy, and Nancy for sharing your afternoon with me.  ELEVEN paintings were created (4 shown here), and lots of information exchanged in the comforting atmosphere of The Most Unlikely Place (bistro and gallery).  Cynthia is amazing as the hostess/waitress/owner of this wonderful place.  Try the beautiful fruit water...the salads and sandwiches are delicious and healthy!  The Ash Hollow Festival is happening there next weekend.  It's a great time to visit and see work by their new guest artist, Cindi Egging. Thanks MUP for hosting my art, and my student's art in your gallery for the last 2 months.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Send One Blessed E-Mail to Whoever You're Thinking Of

Thank you Patti Digh for sharing this wonderful poem.  And thanks to TED for content that matters.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Opening at The Most Unlikely Place--GWR Band

 Saturday was an awesome evening at The Most Unlikely Place in Lewellen, Nebraska.  The left photo shows some of my art on the south wall.  Notice the cornice.  They have painted wonderful words all around the large room in a shadow style that looks like carved stone!  The other photo shows the George William Ray Band warming up in the music area at the east end of the gallery/cafe.  They were wonderful...a top-notch performance after spending all day in the sun and winning medals at the Ogallala track meet.  Thanks guys!  The place was full for the evening, with lots of people traveling over 80 miles for this artist reception/concert/gourmet meal.  I am humbled and grateful.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Here, on the left is the latest postcard collage, titled Moonlight Sonata.  The music in it is a gel transfer from a line in Beethoven's fourteenth Sonata.  I am amazed at how beautifully this turned out.  It sat for several weeks in the confusing, unfinished state shown on the right.  I couldn't decide what to do next...that's the miracle of art...and especially of appears and evolves.  I wonder how and why I make the brushstrokes and additions of ephemera that I do.  There is definitely a Spirit leading the process. Patience and flexibility are essential.

Make your reservations (308-778-9557) at The Most Unlikely Place for dinner Saturday night.  If you can't make dinner, the George WIlliam Ray Band will play from 6:30-8:30.  You will love this great venue for art, music, food and fun.  Moonlight Sonata will be a part of my show there through the month of April.  They are open 8-2 Wednesday-Saturday.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Vote is In! On to Lewellen...

Thanks to all of you who voted on what I'd enter in the postcard contest with the National Collage Society.  I was amazed at the response.  The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of #4 Tropicalfleur.  This painting is in the mail to the gallery at Kent State University.  The other five collages are framed and ready for the exhibit at The Most Unlikely Place. It's going to be fun on Saturday night, April 2nd!  Come to Lewellen, Nebraska for good art, good food, good music!  Call 308-778-9557 for reservations if you are wanting to eat...dinner served from 5-7, George William Ray Band from 6:30-8:30.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Update: Artist Reception in Lewellen April 2nd

Fast planning happening here.  I told you last week my art will be in Lewellen, NE for the month of April.  Today, we decided the artist reception at The Most Unlikely Place will be NEXT SATURDAY!  They will serve an evening dinner that night.  AND, besides seeing me there, you will have the privilege of hearing the awesome sounds of the George William Ray Band!!!  This group includes three of the greatest boys in the son, Lucas and two of his best friends, Tyler and Paul.  Check out the MUP website HERE...its a great day trip for breakfast or lunch Wed-Sat if you can't make it on the 2nd.

Thanks for voting on the postcard is way ahead of the others!  But I can't tell you which collage will be going to the NCS competition until Monday. The collage here is one of the six you can view on my website, where I'm asking viewers to help me decide which to enter.  It's title: A Rose Is. The rose image is a gel transfer.  It includes hand-painted papers and Zentangle-type doodling.  There's still time to vote. Be sure to let me know which one you think I should enter...either on the contact the artist link there, in a comment here, at my email, or on facebook.  You will be able to see the five pieces that don't enter the competition at the Most Unlikely Place!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Your Vote Will Determine My Entry

I've added a new page to my website, so you can let me know which of six postcard size collages I should enter into this year's National Collage Society show.  It has to be in the mail by March 26th, so hop on over to my site, HERE, and get me a message about your choice! 

The five that don't go to the NCS show will be included in the show at The Most Unlikely Place in Lewellen, NE starting March 31st and running through the month of April.  Make plans to see them in person, and enjoy a very special coffee break or meal!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Last Show, Next Show, Miles, and Memories

 Just had to share a couple more photos from the Nebraska Governor's Residence.  You can see how the space is used for a variety of meetings with a completely different table configuration when I took these photos compared to those I posted the week before.  The show came down last Friday.  It was such an honor to have my art in this space and a pleasure to work with the Residence Staff. 

The next showing of my art will be during the month of April at The Most Unlikely Place, a wonderfully fun art gallery, espresso bar, and luncheon cafe in Lewellen, Nebraska!  Tentative plans call for a reception on April 23rd...the Saturday afternoon before Easter...possibly with live music!  This wonderful space is owned by three sibling artists: Dennis and Rex Miller, and Jean Jensen.  I have painted with Dennis at the Autumn Art Workshop at the 4-H Camp near Halsey.  The cafe is open Wednesday-Saturday, with special menus that change every week!  They have parties once a month and host classes in art, dance and music.  Sure hope you can make it to Lewellen.  You will be amazed.

Lots of miles were covered last weekend.  After the trip across the state to Lincoln, I drove to south-central Kansas to paint a bathroom for my mother.  The extreme winter got the best of some pipes, which flooded their guest house, requiring new drywall and a restoration service.

I ran into a couple of high school friends while I was there.  It was fun to have my art along in the car to show Arlene, an active artist, who was in Richard VanSickle's art class with me--was that 38 years ago? (Yow!)  I found a trace of Mr. VanSickle on Google...teaching on the potter's wheel at Wichita Pottery.  I still have the large acrylic painting I did as a senior in high school--an impressionistic attempt to copy a painting I loved that hung in our high school library! I ran from the basement art room up the stairs to the third floor library many times as I tried to capture the digital cameras to help out!  After all the moves, it has a small hole in one spot, and is a bit warped, but is in pretty good shape.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Governor's Residence

I am so honored to be showing my artwork in the Nebraska Governor's Residence Exhibition Program this month.  The show was hung on February 8th, and will be there until the afternoon of March 11th.  My daughter toured the Residence today and sent these photos.  The colors in the drapes coordinate so well with six of my sunflower paintings on the north wall!  On the South wall, along with a fireplace and two china cabinets, the photo shows eight of my non-objective paintings. The show includes a total of 18 works.

This program, sponsored by the Nebraska Arts Council, awards exhibition space to 10 Nebraska artists each year. I am grateful for all the efforts of Arts Council and Governor's Residence staff that have made this opportunity possible.  If you can get to Lincoln before the 11th, try to get in and see it.  The Residence is open to the public on Thursdays 1-4 and at other times by appointment when it doesn't interfere with meetings scheduled in the room.  Call 402-471-3466  for more information on tours.

Monday, February 28, 2011

What's the best part of your day?

My daughter is starting a nanny job and called to ask how I  worded the question that always annoyed her to pieces every day when she came home from school.  "What was the best part of your day?"  It works because I always require an answer...not, "I don't know", or "nothing".  Even on a terrible day, there is always one thing better than something else and for which we can be grateful, even though the scale may be low.  Their answers provide insight that helps my relationship with my children. It's good to know that she values that attitude after so many years of frustration.  It's also good  to ask myself this question for a check on my own attitude of gratitude.

Last night's Oscars show was the best part of my Sunday.  I loved sharing it with my son, and a major part of the world!  It's fun joining in the comeraderie of the acting community, laughing with 94-year-old Kirk Douglas presenting Best Supporting Actress, rooting for the movies we've seen, hearing great music (we loved the closing medly).  I adore the dresses.  One of my favorites was Cate Blanchett's architectural creation from Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci.  The Washington Post put her in the worst dressed category.  The Today Show said that men hated it and women loved this dress.  I thought it was extremely creative design, although not terribly flattering...and I would not have included the strange yellow at the shoulders!  But, I can see it inspiring some paintings....  The colors of the stage set and lighting were amazing...lots of quinacridone gold!  I loved Christian Bale saying, “[Thanks to] my wonderful wife and our little girl, who’s taught me so much more than I’ll ever be able to teach her.”  Isn't that the essence of what it means to be a parent?

It's sort of the same with teaching art classes.  My students teach me so much more than I'll ever be able to teach them.  They make me want to be a better artist, a better person, and to be more purposeful in using the time in my days.  Last week we created some 4 x 6 inch "postcard" collages inspired by the National Collage Society postcard contest held every year.  Small, quick, and inexpensive, it's a great format that lowers the intimidation level, making it easy to get started.  Here is one of my students' results...all the beading is reminiscent of Cate's dress!  More student work will be posted soon.

Monday, January 31, 2011


Last week I found free painting videos on the website for Jerry's Artarama, and could hardly wait to get to my studio to try a diptych in context, a la Joe DiGiorgio.  He talks about 4 basic elements of abstract works: line, color, shape, and texture.  Joe's Black Bag video shows him using only 8 supplies, including just a couple of colors were utilized.  The Liquitex purple jumped right out of my paint box, and of course I had to use my favorite: Golden's Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold.  I tried some Gesso, copper wire, and buttons for texture. As this painting evolved I was intrigued, but frustrated that the purple was just something I "never" use (although the collaged tissue paper was painted a couple of years ago!)  Then, in the smARTist conference I've been involved with, a speaker talked about keeping your body of work cohesive by using the same color palette even when working in diverse mediums or genres.  After a while with that thought, I realized my diptych needed some Cobalt Teal to bring it in line with my other works.  Now it doesn't seem quite so separate from the other paintings on my gallery wall.  It's definitely a different genre from my last post with the watercolor/collage sunflowers, but the palettes are closer.  Thank you Jerry's!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Connect / Out of the Box

last week
Sunflowers Out of the Box
It's been an amazing week with so much creative inspiration and seren-dipitous activity.  First, as I showed you before, I am taking the free online Recycled Journal Pages class with Pam Carriker.  Her idea of using photo copied images from your old paintings jumped me into salvaging an old painting.  I actually put that improved painting into a frame, but had forgotten to sign it, so I took it all out again and while signing, decided to do some Zentangle doodling in the squares...something else I've been experimenting with after reading blogs from other Journal-istas.  This also led to outlining the flowers with the brown marker, which gave definition and depth to the flowers. (Click on the image to see it larger.) You may disagree, but I think Sunflowers Out of the Box is much better than it was last week! 

Then, also from exploring other artist's blogs, I found a great one called 37 Days, by Patti Digh, from North Carolina, who has a new book, Life is a Verb.  The next day, I saw on Facebook that she was doing a workshop in Nebraska!  I commented on it, and the day after that I got a message from the local organizer telling me of another workshop in March!  The world gets smaller...

Then, on Tuesday, I read an email from Ariane Goodwin, who was giving a free registration for smARTist Telesummit 2011, to the artist who comes up with the longest qualified list of phrases referring to art, artistic endeavors, or creativity – but were used in a more every day sort of way.  My mother helped me, and we won!  (Thanks Mom, and Ariane!)  So, I'm also spending the next few weeks immersed in information from fabulous artists and business coaches.  This is already influencing the way I'm painting and thinking of what's next.... 

And, since I'm going to visit my daughter in North Carolina in February, I wanted to include an art class with the trip.  I found Joe DiGiorgio, teaching a class at Jerry's Artarama in Raleigh, and signed up....  I've already finished a painting inspired by one of his online videos.  Can't wait to connect with more artists!  

I've come up with my focus word for the year:  Connect...with artists, buyers, family, self.

2011 is definitely off to a great art-focused start.  It's only three weeks until the Governor's Mansion show goes up.  Yikes!  Time to connect with my lists and PR folder.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Crossing Over

This painting is titled Crossing Over...originally because of the color and texture "crossing over" a line and blending together.  Then, I realized the circular glow on the right could be seen as the tunnel of light described in near death in "crossing over" into the other world!  That seemed, at first, a bit too cliche, but it has grown on me.  The intense color and heavy texture make me smile.  This painting was one of the first I did using Behr Interior Texture Paint, as suggested in an ANAC workshop at Halsey.  It sat for nearly three years with the eerie blue blending  in the top, and including the circle which was mostly ivory. I just couldn't decide what to do with it, but I knew it was an interesting start to something.  Where it is now golden on the bottom part, was originally ivory with some blue and brown stain wiped over it to show the texture.  So, in the last couple of months I have added a lot of color, and a lot of oriental papers, as well as adjusted the composition by cutting 6" off the top side, and 4 " off the left side.  It is in a wide black frame with no glass, and can be seen for the next month at The Color Box in Imperial.   Then, it will be in the Governor's Mansion show in Lincoln February 10-March 11.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Inspiration for the New Year

I'm in an online workshop with Pam Carriker, whose blog I've been following for about a year.  She is doing amazing things with her art marketing, creating lots of art, and showing amazing improvement in her techniques.  The free workshop is a series of videos on recycling Journal Pages.  It is sponsored by Strathmore, and by the way all the art supply websites are back-ordering their journals, it must be a good deal for the company!  It is inspiring and fun to share with over 900 other artists involved.  I think you can still join this group if you're interested.

This week we were to add a few papers and images to a journal page.  A new video is posted each of 4 weeks, adding to the journal page each time.  I think most of the "students" are anxious to get on with it!  This photo shows what I've done so far.  I was inspired by the words a friend posted on Facebook after her father died.  More of her words will be added later.  It includes some previously painted tissue papers, scrap-booking leftovers, an old watercolor pencil portrait, and pieces from photocopies of an old painting.  This photo copying of my own work was a great idea.  I even grabbed an inadequate, old watercolor painting of sunflowers and added 17 pieces cut from photocopies of other sunflower paintings for a much improved painting.  This one may still be evolving, but it's good to be inspired.