Tuesday, May 29, 2007


So here is the almost finished portrait of the girls. I will add some details and then get to work figuring out how to attach it to all the other fabric elements. What do you think so far? Right now I think it is a bit washed out. I have to add more contrast. I have not gotten to the much darker darks and lighter lights.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Just a little FYI. One, I promise I will post some more work soon. I will get more into the exciting work soon and that will be much more interesting. So therefore, I have included a couple of links for you. Both are to my friends sights. One an multi talented artist and the other a multi-talented writer :) To see Kaekos great bags and other cool stuff go to; Kaeko Nakagawa's World or for some short stories go to Written Proof, my friend Bridget Pughs site. Have fun 'surfing'.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Here is another layout image. I have been working on pleating one of the pieces of fabric I am going to use. I am using some of the elements in the girls dresses.

Here, I have included a photo of them. I have been using daguerreotypes as and find this one particularly enchanting. Laying out all the fabric gives me an initial visual as to what proportions will look like. I can tweak them until I am satisfied and then start putting everything in place.

Friday, May 18, 2007


Have you ever felt stuck in your life? You know what I mean, you keep coming up against the same problem. For example, maybe it is laundry. (Bridget this is going to sound familiar). Every time I go to do the laundry I freeze. I can not believe the size of the pile. It just grows and grows and I stand there and wonder how the ****** it is so big! I mean, I just did it yesterday! And why am I getting so worked up and upset anyway. It is not that the task is that hard. I would understand if I had to go out back with a scalding hot tub and rub it down with lye. But really, all I have to do is push a button or two. So why do I get stuck with this anger each time. Well, if you have those kinds of issues and maybe even some other more serious types, the featured book on the right is for you. Pema Chodron is a wonderful speaker and writer. I have her book on tape so I can listen to it. I mean, I don't have time to read when I am doing so much laundry right :) She is so clear and really diffuses me. So, if you need that kind of thing, give it a try.

You can click on the "Click and Listen" videos on the right hand side, of Pema Chodron and they give you a little snippets of what she is about. Some are a bit hard to hear, so sorry. I suppose you could go straight to YouTube and get more videos if you are interested. Enjoy.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


I decided I needed a little break. I have been running hard lately and have been a bit tired at night. Night is the time I have typically gotten my more serious work done. So I had to change it up a bit. I started work again on my leaf series. I really enjoy painting, my garden and nature and the result is my leaf paintings. Hope you enjoy them and know that if you should desire one, they are yours for the cheap prices of $40.00 each. Each original painting is gouche on "9 x 12" archival paper and comes unframed. If you should ever be interested in purchasing or finding out more about my art please email me. You can find my email at the top of this site.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Here is an image of my planning. You can see I have started gathering all kinds of threads and embellishments. I love this part. It is so fun to pick all the 'extras'. I have been practicing pleating and tucking with several different fabrics to find out which may look the best on the final piece. I have to have something that is firm and will work well with canvas but yet I want it to have a softness to it as hypothetically, it is the fabric of a 'girls' dress.


"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends, they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors and the most patient of teachers." - Charles Elliot

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Ok, so I have to start again. I have come to terms with that now and am going to study and practice pleating. Here is a sight which is interesting as it shows the actual work; The Renaissance Tailor. I also tried dying some different fabrics to see what the resulting colors would be. One piece was pure white and one; an off-white (with yellow in it). As expected, once dyed, one had a very subtle yellow tone to it but both were very much cotton candy pink. I then added a darker dye to the pure white/cotton candy fabric and it came out a much deeper shade which will probably be more suitable.

I created a few sketches of patterns and dress making techniques I liked and am keeping a log of these things in a sketch book so I can return to them quickly It also gives me a better idea of the construction as I have to look at it very carefully.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Well, I apologize for not posting in several days. I have been playing catch up on all the house chores and stuff and also not that invested in creating. It always seems when I am done with a piece I need some re-grouping time. I tend to envision my artwork before I plan it out on paper. That takes me some time and I am afraid I cant project my brain, so sorry. I am sure you wouldn't want to be in there anyway, too busy and loud!

So, I thought I would catch up on some painting skills and do some small still lifes or work on a traditional portrait of my neice but I cant really get energized so I am going to start the planning of my next piece "Girls". So here is an image of how I have liked to layout my sketches for these recent works. I like this style because they are small and quick but I can compare and add to them as I create more. I also included the fabrics and sometimes techniques and textures I might try.

This is my older daughters work. We were experimenting with different techniques and materials. The color is what has stuck in my head. I am definately not usually a pink person but I am going to give it a shot on my "Girls".

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


So, I had a big chunk of uninterupted time/freedom today and I utilised it! It is rare these days that I get to go into my studio and mess around. I am always expecting to hear that ....Mooooommmmmy, I can't ___________________(fill in the blank). It seems like it happens every five minutes or so. So as you could proabaly understand it is very difficult to maintain concentration. Oh yeah, Im straying from my point (see what happens).

I decided to clean up a bit. Of course that led me to many projects I did not imagine I would get into. One of which was matting old work and things I had claimed I would mat for others which were starting to collect dust. Its funny how that happens, when you set out to work on that really important porject, and fill you time with more mundane things. I do have to say though, I felt very accomplished when I was through and I was happy that my matting skills wern't completly gone.

After all was said and done, my oldest daughter came to see what was going on and claimed, "Wow, cool" when she saw how the painting that was given to her by my Aunt Ellen looked. It is pretty cool what a mat can do for a work. So with out too much futher ado......A matting lesson!

I like to choose a color that can be found in the painting somewhere but is not the central color. I will sometimes choose a shade or two lighter or darker. You could always go with a black or a beige. It really depends on the work or what you have on hand.

Once you ahve choosen a piece flip your mat board over and mark out the borders on two sides. I usually mark the left and bottom sides. When deciding on the width of the border you should consider the size of the artwork being matted. Keep the mat borders in proportion to the size of the work. Two inches is fairly standerd. I tend to like a wider mat. I think it gives the eye some calm space which allows the eye to stay focused on the work....but who am I to say....experiment and do as you like.

Next you will measure the width and height of the piece to be matted. Then take of about a half an inch to an inch from those numbers to get the inside widow dimensions of the mat.
This way your work will overlap the edges of the window so you have some place to secure it.

Now, from the left side border you already marked on the mat board, measure over the width of the art work (minus the half an inch or inch). Do this in two places, somewhere near the middle of your line so you get an accurate line. You have then created the right side of the 'window'. Repeat this process measuring from the bottom, using the height measurement of your art work, draw your ilne, and you will have your 'window'.

To finish your mat you need to measure out from the right window line the number of inches you have choosen for your border.
If you are making a two inch mat then you will measure two inches from the right side line. You do the same for the top of your mat and then you are ready to cut.

Once you have finished the 'marking up' you can cut. You can use a Xacto knife and a straight edge but if you are lucky enough to have a mat cutter then that is the way to go. It is much quicker and less stressfull. You can cut through the mat in one go rather then two or three. This eliminates much stripping away of matboard as you try to match up your cuts! But either way, the more practice you get the better :)

Now it is time to turn your mat over and tape your art work to the back. There are a varity of tapes out there but if I am just doing something that is not meant to last forever and will probably be redone at some point I just use some painters tape. And finito!

Happy matting everyone!