Going to Santa Barbara

For the past two years I have traveled to Santa Barbara for an art workshop. I am taking the workshop again this year. I enjoy the presenter so much. He is Skip Lawrence. A great watercolorest plus he makes learning fun. Every morning before we start to paint he gives a lecture and slide show. He shows us paintings of the Masters and more contemporary paintings. Skip is never without a joke or two to loosen up the nerves. We take notes and talk about the paintings that we are drawn to. The past two years the lecture and slides are different. There are a few the same but he manages to keep it fresh and interesting. The workshop starts tomorrow at nine o’clock A. M. But I drove up here today. I wanted to get a feel for the new hotel and go find the new venue for the workshop. After a quick drive around I grabbed some dinner (more on that later) ,went back to the hotel and decided to see how long a walk it would be to the venue. It was getting dark by the time I left but the walk was only twenty minutes. I felt much better finding my way around and knowing where I would be going. Can you take the Girl Scout out of the girl? Guess not. Not this Girl Scout anyway. About dinner… I had been to a certain Chineese restaurant last year but had a hard time remembering what it was called and where it was. After some Google and Yelp searches There it was. I think. My daughter is on this adventure with me and she was pretty sure this was the one we ate at before. As we drove up to the restaurant we both sang, “yes this is it!” great food and nice people. China Pavilion on Chapala St. For anyone wanting good Chineese food in Santa Barbara. I have promised to blog about the workshop so will be here every night. There might not be any pictures though. My laptop is sick and I don’t know how to do pictures with my iPad. So if things get better with the laptop I’ll add photos. Stay tuned in for an interesting week.

"Make Writing a Happy Habit"

Time seems to go so fast. It’s the middle of March but it was just December, right? I find that I can get myself into too many things so fast that I am drowning in papers, photos of my work, and business. I have to work very hard to keep on a schedule. It’s a habit that I have but sometimes forget. 

Writer’s coach Cynthia Morris has been helping people get
their words out since 1999. She’s brought everything she
knows about how to get writing done to Make Writing a Happy

This 6-week online class works for writers of all levels
and genres who are ready to focus on and enjoy their


(Update: Unfortunately, Cynthia no longer offers this service. If anyone finds a good on-line writing workshop, let me know and I will post the information here.)

If you are a new writer or a seasoned one this class is for you. It will help you make a habit of writing. And, get and keep you focused.
You’re not a writer? You only want to fling paint? Think of writing also. Write about your art or your process.  I just had to write an Intention Statement for a workshop that I will be attending in Taos, NM. The statement could only be three sentences.  I haven’t done too much writing except here. I was very rusty and kept working and re writing until I thought I was going crazy. After many hours and lots of re writes it’s done. 
I use to use this blog for prompts for my Inland Empire CA Writers Club members. I would write a bit about something that had been on my mind and then post a prompt. 
  This is a famous photo that many writers have used for a prompt. Give it a try. 
Don’t know what to write? Where does this road lead? Is it morning or evening? What state is the road in? What’s around the bend? 
If you are a creative type you can cross over to other creative avenues. And I feel it is good for an artist to write now and then. 
Check out the 6-week online couse at Original Impulse.com
Create something everyday!

Post Class

As promised, photos of some of the papers that were created. The students said that they had a good time and now want to use the papers they created, in a project. So next Thursday which is our “Painting Day”, they will bring their papers and a sub straight to create a collage.  I am so proud of them.

The class was to start at 9:30am and be over at 2:00pm.  We were throwing papers, inks and paint around until 3:30pm!  They didn’t want to stop.  Some of the CirtaSolv papers were beautiful!

  A mix of different papers.

Rubbings of stamps with pastels on newsprint paper.

A collage for collage, to copy/print to use in collages.

One of the hits of the day. FINE TEC Pearl Colors, watercolors.   Shimmery!

Teaching these classes has given me so much. I enjoy working with the students and I am so happy when they create something that they are proud of and like. Their joy inspires me. I get so much out of these classes that I never knew I would. I was hoping to fill a need from some students of art, that had requested I teach some classes. I had no idea that there were all these added benefits to bring me such joy. I am so grateful to my students. You are Art Stars!  ❤

Collage Paper Class

My hubby and I spent the day setting up for my new class, Collage Paper.
Four people have signed up for the class and I am so excited to share all the ways to make papers for collage.
We will be altering brown paper bags, newsprint, newspapers, card stock, tissue paper, Mulberry papers and National Graphic Magazine pages.  Watercolors, acrylics, fluid acrylics, Glimmer Mist, coffee, Distressing inks, gesso and CitraSolv cleaner will be splashed around all day.

The weather was so nice today that I thought it would be great to have the class outside. It’s suppose to be warm tomorrow also. I think the back yard looks like an art retreat.
I will have coffee and snacks for the students so they can keep their energy up throughout the day.

Who wouldn’t want to make art on a beautiful day?  I’ll post the work in progress tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Collage Class 2/16/12

 Some friends/fellow artists kept asking me to teach a class. I wasn’t sure and was a bit worried. But I got over that and did it. After a failed attempt a few months ago in a different venue I decided to try to teach this class here at my home. The students made two framed pieces of collage artwork, a gift box and collage jewelry (earrings and pendants).
With great success one person had never done any kind of collage or design. See her work above.

  This artist had done collage before but had never had a design class. She was quite successful.

  Artist number three has had many classes and she was one that encouraged me to teach a class. She is a wonderful artist and also enjoyed the design part of the class.

 This is her jewelry.  The pendant was made by collageing bits of colored paper onto gessoed watercolor paper. I directed them to cut out traditional shapes for the earrings and pendents. But this student saw two profile pictures and cut her pendant out to show them. It is a wonderful piece. Plus she has a set of earrings to match.

  I am so proud of these students. And they where very pleased. The class moved a a good pace and we were able to finish with a bit of time to spare. I am inspired to teach another class. A request was made for a class on paper.  Not just paper but how to tint tissue paper to use in collage and some other great papers to make for their stash.  Collage artists are hoarders of papers and such.
  After the class I was tired but felt really good. Everything I had semi planned worked. It worked for the students and it worked for me. I was satisfied.  But, when it came time to go to sleep with a big smile on my face….I asked, “So, where did all this come from? Silly rabbit, you didn’t even have an actual lesson plan!”
  As I lay awake asking these questions…it hit me.  Two great teachers that I have been taking classes from for about three years. This is where I received my education on Design and Color.  They are Skip Lawrence and Topher Shinks.  I could not wait to get up this morning to send them an e mail of thanks and gratitude. I hope I made them feel as good as my students made me feel.

“Create Something Everyday!”

Vacation Backlash


After a wonderful vacation in Brookings, OR on the coast I was ready to get home. We were gone for 9 days. My husband and I drove. Well, I drove and he was co pilot.  We were with his family in OR. They had rented a big house on the beach and we all enjoyed the view among other things . We ate, laughed, put a puzzle together, laughed, visited and caught up with each other. Had a beer tasting and discussion. OR is very passionate about beer. Oh and did I say laughed?
  We went up there to support  a cousin who is a dean for Southwestern Oregon Community College. The cousin, Jan, worked to get a new campus built in Curry County. She did it all with help, but was “the chief” in charge. Jan is an artists and used what she learned in her art life to get the land donated, what kind of tile went in the restrooms, the recycle cans and the chairs that went in the Commons. Someone said that she sculptured the campus.  We were so proud at the grand opening when Jan gave her Thank You speech. One of the donations came from the Harvey Mudd foundation. We are so proud of Jan.
   We left for home on Saturday 1/28 and really took our time coming home. I took pictures and we visited some small towns that were very interesting.  We arrived home on Tuesday 1/31. Tired but feeling like we had been gone for a month.
  I was itching to bet back to creating something. I had visited some galleries on our trip and was feeling like I needed to put some paint on something.  I had gone to an Mono Print Class just before the trip. It was great to get back to printing again.

These are just two of the many prints I was able to complete in one day. No titles yet.
 On Thursdays I have three to four fellow artists come over for a painting day. I was so happy to get back with my friends and create yesterday. I worked on some of my jewelery that I have orders for. You can see some of my creations in Claremont’s “A Brush With The Past” (owned by another friend, Anne Seltzer).  I’m taking these into A Brush… today.

Create Everyday. It is something that will bring you much joy and it has been known to heal many afflictions.  Check back for a posting on the healing powers of ART! 

The After Christmas Decorations

You know the way you pack a suite case when you are leaving on a trip? You make everything fit. But when you go to re pack your stuff to come home it’s hard to make it work. You didn’t even add anything and all your stuff just won’t fit. This is my story of my Christmas Decorations.
I had my hubby take all the boxes down the first part of December. I sorted through each box. Tossing things that were beyond keeping or donating. I gathered boxes to give some ornaments to the kids that are now out on their own. I made a very big pile to donate. Why is it that I can’t put the few things that we used back into the boxes? It might be that when I am done with all the decorating and want to move to next phase of the season I start taking things down and put them in the boxes that are handy. So now I’m left with two strings of garland this little Swedish angel chime thing and a Santa candle holder. They will go into a box soon but not sure if they will fit.

    What to do with all the Holiday cards? I use to keep them until the next year. They were always in a box that was handy that I could get to. I’d go through them in November and do a head count so I knew about how many cards to make. I have been making my Holiday card from the time I took a block printing class in high school. When the kids were small and we didn’t have much money I’d make our cards to send out with the fronts of the cards we received the previous years. This year they will go in the recycle can. They are very pretty or cute but I am getting to the point where I want to minimize this kind of thing.

A friend and I were talking and she said someone told her that the time after Christmas and before New Years is a bummer of a week. All the stuff with the Holiday, good or bad has past and she just wants to get to the next thing: New Years. She starts taking decorations down right away and then makes the most of this kind of blah week waiting for the new year to begin.
I feel at a loss during this week. It doesn’t feel right to start another project. But I just want to get back in my studio. I did have a burst of creative energy just before Christmas. I took some of my pages that are altered with CitraSolv and worked on some faces.

Happy New Year to all. May you have good creative juices flowing in 2012.
Create something every day.

A Day At Trails End Ranch

Friends love you no matter what. You can be away from them for a long time and when you get back together you pick up right where you left off. It’s been awhile since my friend Laura and I have got together. 
Today I went to Laura’s place. I say place because she lives on 52 acres in the hills above Claremont. She lives there with her husband, 2 warm and loving dogs, all the wildlife you can imagine in our foothills and some horses. I love going there. It’s like leaving the rest of the world behind and going on a retreat.
Most of the time Laura and I get together we have lunch, and create. We make journals, resin papers, paint, tear paper and laugh a bunch. We were to create today too. I had some ideas of things to try. And Laura was going to help me with my blog posts. I brought lunch. She had dessert waiting. We ate, talked, laughed and pet the dogs in her warm and cozy kitchen. It’s so relaxing there. Laura has her art work all around. From sculptures, to journal pages to collage artwork hanging on the walls. She also has artwork from friends on display.
After lunch and a yummy dessert we moved to the work room.  Laura showed me some things on Blogger. It was a good lesson on how to post pictures to my blog.  Then…we sat and talked and laughed some more. Out the large windows we watched deer walked through the yard and a big old owl flying around. We never did get the art supplies out. But that’s okay.
The sun was setting and I really didn’t want to leave. I took one last look out the windows at the beautiful view of the valley, watched a large deer wander though the back yard and said good-bye.
“It’s a long and winding road that leads to your door” and I am so grateful to have you in my life Friend. Thank you for sharing your life and beautiful surroundings with me. You truly live in a sanctuary.
Now I will try and post a photo.

Not bad. It took me awhile but I got it. 

Collaging Into the Night

After a day and night of creating I thought it would be good to take a break.
Getting ready for an exhibit, show or art sale takes it’s toll on my brain and body. I still believe that art can heal and it does have restorative powers. I am living proof. Creating all day and into the night does an over load though. It’s like taking too much of your medication. The prescribed amount is what should be ingested. I think I over indulged. I went to bed late and woke up with a headache, fuzzy in the brain and feeling dehydrated. Art hangover? Things could be worse. So I’m drinking more water today an not spending all day and night in the studio. But the hair of the dog and all that.
So…back to work creating for the Gypsy Sister’s art sale that starts on Friday afternoon.  You know Edvard Munch, artist that painted “The Scream”?  Well, that’s me screaming until Friday.
Go Create!

Making Some Changes

Updated some links and added some new ones that you all might like to check out. 
Would like your constructive criticism on my new format of the blog.