Medieval book

One of my books had these gorgeous images from the Middle Ages, and it inspired me to make a book, as a class journal for the upcoming DJ Pettitt workshop in Jacksonville, OR, in January.

I admire DJ’s work no end and I am thrilled to be taking a workshop with her. I had to have a journal that would do her justice.

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Yes, I do like John Waterhouse. To a point. His images seemed fitting for the theme.

And yes, I did buy a wedding gown at my favorite thriftstore, to salvage the lace.

Travel book

My beautiful friend is away to Hawaii for 4 (or 5) months.

How could I let her go without a journal of her own, with lots of watercolor paper and pages to record her thoughts.

It had to have a travel bag, to survive the many moves.


This book is a combination of various techniques I learned, or have just seen and yearned to experiment with. I stand on the shoulders of such giants at Mary Ann Moss, DJ Pettitt, whom I will meet in January, and with whom I will take a class, Albie Smith, and my own craziness.

I’ve included bits of failed paintings, found lace and jewelry from my favorite thriftstore, and recently, bits of a wedding gown.

Tiny Treasures

At the last Art & Soul Retreat, I took a wonderful class from Albie Smith, where she taught how to make those gorgeous little books. 

They ARE little: 2x5 x 3.



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The binding is called French Ribbon Stitching.

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Painting on a snowy day

What else is there to do? No electricity for most of the day, no phone, no internet. But a woodstove in my studio. Easy conclusion right? That’s what I said too. 

I played with my FW acrylic inks, and Tim Holtz distress reinkers. I was curious if I could pull a large painting with the same technique I use on smaller formats. It was a great day!

The first one is 30x20 and on top of a previous acrylic painting that I didn’t like. I had obliterated so much, there was mainly a pale gesso background left over. So off I went with lots of texture and inks. A new life!



The next three are smaller, small canvases that I had and was not happy with. It must have been a day to recycle. Fiery colors on a blank snowy day on Vancouver Island.

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I’ll keep working on this last one. It will end up with some trees and an asian person from the back. It has that sort of feel.


A wonderful day!

Post Aimone Workshop

Here are some abstract paintings I have been working on since I completed the recent Steve Aimone workshop on Vancouver Island.

Abstract expressionism is not a description of my paintings, which is what the workshop was about. Having a lot of fun painting them does apply though.


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The next two are older canvases that I didn’t like. Before cutting them up to use them in one of my books, I gave them (and myself) a last chance. I really had nothing to lose.

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Comments from the Steve Aimone workshop on Vancouver Island, October 2010


These two I had painted before the start of the abstract workshop, as a way to get into painting again. Little did I know….


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This next one happened early on in the workshop. It was an automatic drawing. Mine are usually round and closed loops, so I thought I’d try something else. Hummm, as we say, it’s a good underpainting! We then did an exercise where we painted our workshop environment, under Steve’s directions: paint the floor in front of you; 30seconds later: paint what’s above your head; 30 seconds later: paint what’s to your right, change paint color, etc you get the idea.

IMG_0369 So my next one was particularly ugly and disjointed, and I covered it with ‘pretty’ colors. Well, that made for another nice underpainting!!!! I was getting pretty desperate, so I took a drastic step. 



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Thankfully, the others will not see the light of day, they’ve been exposed enough on my easel for a week. Some have found a new life as pages for my altered books. Yeah!

This one is 48x48, and is a colored representation of a dancing model. Nice starting point for something else.



The biggest learning for me is that a painting doesn’t stop at the first step, when it starts coming together and looks pretty. That’s just a better underpainting. The real work starts when the white paint or the black paint start obliterating the ‘underpainting’ to start another painting, but that still retains the spirit of the first layer. For some of the workshop participants, a final painting will have 10 or 15 layers. My easel partner, the lady with whom I shared the table where we lay all our paints out, would do as many as 25 layers. There were some truly gorgeous paintings, and up she would cover them with a thick layer of pale brown. I took it upon myself to interrupt her concentration and acknowledge the beauty of the layers I loved, otherwise, these layers would never have been acknowledge.

I do admit that her final paintings were stunning, some very disturbing, but it was an incredible work and I have been humbled to watch her process and learn so much: not stop at the first satisfactory step, but let the process unfold, and dig deeper and deeper.

After all, the workshop was called: The Spiritual Language of Art. One really had to dig deep to uncover the gem. Fortunately, we had wonderful organizers, thank you Mary Stewart, and beautiful friend, Donna B,, Jill, Eve, Susan, Jean, you know who you are.

This last one happened on the last day, that was my representation of a beautiful oyster shell we were given. Abstracted, definitely.


Steve Aimone workshop on Vancouver Island

I’m only going to post some photos without too much explanations, my brain is not quite functioning yet, after 5 intense days of abstract painting with amazing artist Steve Aimone.

It was pretty intense, and when a workshop is called “The Spiritual Language of Art” one have to expect that stuff comes up, yours or someone else’s. What a week that was!

Here’s a sample.  There are mostly 48x48 (inches) except for the first one, which is 22x30. That one was done under ‘directions’: put an orange triangle in the right corner, but a black bar going through it, put 3 loops on the right end sige, etc. Then we had an hour to finish it.

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All very different, depending on the nature of the exercises. The last one is based on abstracting from an oyster shell.

Now I go rest so I can write more fully later.

And a special thanks to my ‘froup’ for seeing me through the hurdles. You know who you are and I love you all. You make my heart sing.