Art documentaries not to be missed

This is just a short post (mostly so I’ll remember go back to it when I have time) listing 19 art/artist documentaries compiled by Alyson Stanfield, author of I’d Rather Be in the Studio.

Here’s a link to her list, and here’s one of the videos, Rothko’s Rooms – it’s only a minute long but has a good joke.  If you’ve ever been to the Rothko Chapel in Houston, you understand the power of his resonant canvases –


Meeting friends at the new studio

My Etsy friends, sister-artists Linda (from Dallas) and Cindy (from Chicago), came to San Antonio today for a visit. We met at my brand new unfinished but spiffy studio. After a quick tour of the new space (stay tuned for more photos and updates) and a visit to Ann Pearce’s bead studio next door, we went to lunch at Twin Sisters Cafe and Bakery. We talked art and beads and foods and friends and classes. It was great fun. Linda gave me one of her wonderful pendants – see below. It has moveable parts that you can play with – I love it!

Sisters Cindy and Linda visit my new studio

Sisters Cindy and Linda visit my new studio

Look at this fine chair and ottoman I got a Goodwill on Friday

Look at this fine chair and ottoman I got at Goodwill on Friday – it matches the Kandinsky-esque rug like it was designed for it!

This corner of teh studio feels comfortable already - that leaves only about 80% of empty space to fill!

This corner of the studio feels comfortable already – that leaves only about 80% of empty space to fill! Gulp.

Pendant by Linda Moody - mixed metals and bronze handcrafted square bead

Pendant by Linda Moody – mixed metals and bronze handcrafted square bead

Boxing Day Challenge

Today, December 26th, is Boxing Day in England where I spent part of my childhood (our father was stationed at Ruislip Base in London for five years). There are all kinds of reasons why it’s called that – giving boxes of Christmas goodies to service workers is one – but I’m going to give you a challenge instead. I decided I wanted to learn how to make a new kind of paper box, and this little mulberry-paper container the result. Simple, right? Not. Even with the video, it’s tricky. See if you can do it. It took me a couple of tries to figure out that x#@% last part.

Origami paper box

Origami paper box

PS The person’s hands in the video are impossibly smooth – I think it’s a plastic robot, personally 🙂

Link address to copy if you want to save it –

Quick gift you can make

These cosalts2ol bath salts are one of the examples I show in my aromatherapy classes (see the site at ). My biochemist friend Dr. Bill Kurtin knows all of the reasons essential oils work scientifically, but you can do this project without knowing any chemistry – whew :). You’ll need some Epsom Salts, some essential oil (Sprouts, Central Market, Whole Foods) and some lunch bags. You can make these for less than a dollar each and they smell wonderful and work great on sore muscles or stressed out psyches. You can store them in your linen closet to make the towels smell fresh. Easy, cheap and nice – there ya have it.

Here’s a video I made for our aromatherapy class site that explains the how-to. Think hostess gifts and stocking stuffers. You can even toss a small handful of the salts into your shower and get the therapeutic effects of the essential oils without soaking!

Thinking About Workshops . . . .

etsyIt’s a new year (almost) and I have a new studio space (almost). More about that soon, but I’ll have room to teach workshops on art and the Internet, among other topics. One thing I thought about was offering a workshop on setting up an Etsy shop. It would include opening a shop or gallery of your own, uploading pictures of your work, making a shop banner, taking payments – all of that. It’s so much easier than you might expect. And honestly, even if you don’t sell one thing, the experience of getting your work out there for the world arts community to see is worth the effort!  Let me know if you’re interested.

spiritThe other topics that I personally want to explore is making Spirit Dolls. Joanna Powell Colbert gave my Etsy Earthshards Shop a real boost when she ordered my little faces for her spirit doll workshop and retreat in Washington last year. I hear from people all over the country who send me pictures of their Spirit Doll creations. They are really exquisite soft sculptures, and if we did a workshop in the new studio space, we could also bring in herbs and essential oils to the magical mix!

Both of these would be later in the spring, after the clay and bead workshops that are already scheduled. I’d love your feedback. Oh, and this evening, I’m doing a Sprig Shard drawing – three subscribers will get a Sprig Shard face for their thank-you-for-signing-up prize! I started to give all three to one person, but I think it would be more fun to spread them out. Stay tuned.


Nueva Street Gallery

I went down to La Villita yesterday to visit with Susan Carlin, one of the owners of Nueva Street Gallery. It always does my heart good to walk into that beautiful light-filled space. It’s the gallery where I showed my work back in the 80’s an 90’s when Richard Conn owned it – it was lovely then, but it seems to  have a whole new persona since Susan and Uger made it their own. Susan has given me the whole table in the middle of the gallery for my work display. Yay! There are some Shard Faces there, some little Earthshard dishes, and some of my small collage-on-canvas work.

When I got to the gallery, Susan had just received a new piece by Reggie Troilo that I loved! I think it’s called “the Gathering” – but it is fantastic. Brian St. John also shows there – he’s the San Antonio Art League’s Artist of the Year. Here’s the gallery – I’ve always been a huge fan of the place, and not just because my work is there. It’s a wonderful space to stop by, hang out – and a perfect starting place for exploring historic La Villita during the holiday season. I just love San Antonio!

Nueva Street Galllery

I ♥ hardware stores

I went to Harbor Freight yesterday to see if they had gotten in more of their canvas drop cloths – what a find. My friends Chip and Jane told me about these – beautiful heavy canvas for stretching on stretchers (or just using loose) to use as a painting surface. The price is right, too – a 4 by 12’ heavy canvas panel for less than ten dollars or 9×12′ for $15.

While I was there, the aluminum tape caught my eye – probably a lot of people know about that stuff, but I had a great time playing around with it. You can crumple it, paint over it, scratch it – great possibilities. In these examples I used black marker, transparent acrylic, and acrylic ink and rubbed it over the surface, then buffed it off. Next time will check out my neighborhood hardware store and see if they have it there. I’ll definitely be using it on some book covers for Nueva Street Gallery – yay for hardware stores! They even smell good.

foilPS The Baby Bee dish is there just cause it looked nice propping up the examples – no foil used in clay – it would vaporize!



San Antonio Art Educators Workshop

Thanks to the SAAE for inviting me to teach a workshop to art teachers! We met at the North East School of the Arts where I did a session on collage using three of my favorite art materials, walnut ink, gold leaf and rice paper. I printed some of my own collage images on rice paper for the teachers to experiment with, but despite this, the collages they created were all different. Here’s a video I made of the process as I was planning the workshop – it’s really pretty easy and the results can be surprising.

And here are some of the great collages that were done during the enjoyable workshop this afternoon.

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