Work, work, work – rust, rust, rust

handHiya – I’m popping in for a minute to show the latest results from my summer vacation painting month at the Studio – these are the first two in a series called “Sympathetic Resonance.” They are a continuation of my explorations into rust and patina, their color and texture. I love the way these are presented – a craftsman friend constructed heavy cedar boxes that stand by themselves as objects or hang on the wall as frames – either way, the pieces seem to work. The cedar compliments the patinas.If you can’t see the pieces in your email (and if you’re interested), you can look at them in browser view.

Yay! Art is so much fun when things are going well. I am taking a few of these pieces to Dan Pfeiffer’s Gallery in Kerrville next weekend to see if they are a good fit for his space. He is a fantastic woodworker/artist. So I’ll be laboring away on Labor Day doing what I love – hope you will be, too! More soon, happy weekend.

Scintillating Sampler from Saturday’s Show and Tell

basketAnother fine Saturday Show and Tell has come to an end, but the memory lingers in the video sampler (below). Lesta Frank performed some decorated paper magic, and Jasmina Wellinghoff dazzled us with her paintings, as you will see. Another hot topic was Christie Smith’s basketry skills and her information on TOWN, the Texas Outdoors Woman Network. Through the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife, they offer weekend workshops on everything from Natural Fiber Basketry to Scuba Diving to Shotgun Basics – dang! Check it out.

I’m so grateful to all of the Show and Tell participants for teaching each of us who was there something new and inspiring. Before I pop in the Show and Tell video, congrats to SHARDS subscriber for being the random-drawing winner for the Friday Freebie Shard Pin Kit – email me with your mailing info – yay! And if *you* didn’t win, you can order one cheap cheap from my Etsy site. Be sure and tell me if you want warm colors or cool colors in your kit. Now on to the August Studio Show and Tell Revue!

PS – did y’all see today’s Google Doodle honoring tennis great Althea Gibson? Pretty cool.

Althea Gibson’s 87th birthday




Talk amongst yourselves (and Friday Freebie)

Hi, and happy Friday – I’m in the throes of class prep at Trinity, so I’ve found a little design video to inspire and amuse you while I’m off working in my spiffy new computer lab. It’s *hard* to switch an art brain for a tech brain – wahhh.

The finished Magnetic Shard Face pin

The finished Magnetic Shard Face pin

But I didn’t forget the Friday Freebie! A lucky SHARDS subscriber will receive a Face Shard Pin Kit complete with magnet, face shard, paper and beads (your choice of warm or cool colors) to create your own wearable art adornment that looks something like this – it’s easy and fun to put it together since everything in the kit is coordinated and cut to size.

So here’s the design project video by Pierre Lota of Lota Design – pretty cool stuff. Have a great weekend and I’ll be back soon from tech-land.


Gourd art?

If you were a thirsty pioneer, you’d have a trusty dipper gourd to ladle up a drink of well water. But, dang, would you be surprised at the stuff I saw yesterday at the Texas Gourd Society‘s Exhibit in New Braunfels. Gourd skulls, gourd fish with swiveling scales, gourd Santa Clauses – many of these pieces were quite beautiful (well, maybe not the Santa Clauses – kinda creepy).

My favorites were the ones in which the artist incorporated natural materials like pine needles to accentuate the organic form of the gourds (pine needles were big this year, lots of bundles for sale). And it truth be known, I especially loved the plain ol’ unadorned gourds for their shapes, color and texture. I sat in on a gourd-growing lecture (“Anybody can grow a gourd, but not everybody can grow a good gourd”).  I made a quick video tour of the show for you guys, and if it makes you want to starting gourding, there are many good tutorials on You Tube by a gourd artist named Miriam Joy.

Juried art shows – and how to make a crane (the bird kind)

Good news yesterday – one of my pieces was accepted for the International Encaustic Artists “Poetry Bleeds Rust” exhibit in at the NAWA Gallery in New York. Boy, am I surprised, first of all, because encaustic is a stretch for me, and secondly, the piece that was selected was not the one I expected to be, if any were. Here are the three pieces – which one do you think juror Jenn Dierdorf choose?

She chose the third piece, Rune and Relic – that’s the one I had to re-do because the first version didn’t fit the size retirement. I liked the one called Campfire Poems better, but there ya have it. If you decide enter a juried show, remember these things (I try to):

1. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally – put yourself in the juror’s place – it’s a tough job and opinions about art are extremely subjective and subject to one’s own taste. After all, you don’t like every piece you see in a gallery or museum, maybe not *any* of them.

2. If you are accepted, be grateful! But don’t start making every piece of art you do from then on just like the accepted piece – be true to yourself and continue on your own intuitive path, even if it veers off in another direction. Don’t let acceptance of one piece by a juror determine your limits.

3. Keep entering shows even if you don’t get in – it gives you a free critique, a new perspective, and a sense of professionalism. Both of my entries in this year’s San Antonio Art League show were rejected, but I figure they didn’t resonate with the juror. I liked them though, and I’ll keep working and submitting. So there! Neener neener 🙂

And now, for your weekend folding pleasure, here’s one from the vault, a video tutorial I did for a friend two years ago before I had the big Studio. It’s a five-minute origami crane – can you do it in five minutes? Ready – GO! And have a great weekend.

New work, new face, new mix-up

I’ve just finished work for the Fotoseptiembre show at Northwest Vista College – it’s called Mixing It Up. These two pieces are indeed a mix-up of media – heat phototransfer on fabric with encaustic and mixed media over stretched canvas. My model, Ellis, is a good friend’s daughter whom I’ve known since she was a baby – what a wonderful face. She did a half-hour photo session with me and I was inspired by her expressive eyes to create this duo called “Bound” and “Determined.” (I borrowed the dove in the second piece from my friend, Ramesh, a fantastic photographer who is now on a safari shoot in Africa – I steal only from the best 🙂) This exhibit opens on September 18th, but there will be a celebration of art through photography all over the city. Viva Fotoseptiembre USA! And now, to the Friday Freebie winner . . .

Dani Wildason was the randomly drawn winner of the five-pack TerraSkin mixed-media stone paper. Dani, let me know how you’d like to claim your prize – hope you’ll drop by the Studio and say hi! Speaking of claiming Friday Freebies, Rob in Australia, I owe you a Studio t-shirt! Your name was drawn way back in January – check the end of this post!

Friday Freebie: Rock Paper . . . . .

Were you gonna say “scissors”? Nope, this is about Rock Paper! I got this email from my uber-talented pal, Sherrill Kahn, right before I went Boston – “You have to try Terra Skin—paper made from stones.  I bought a lot of it. It is really amazing.  I think you would love it.” So I ordered some. It came while I was gone, and I played with it this morning. It’s very cool! The Terra Skin surface reminds me of Yupo, but it’s totally fiber-free and mineral based (no trees were killed). Here are some of my first test scribbles (I labelled them with Photoshop):


You might want to give this stuff a try – it says the surface is appropriate for mixed media, acrylics, graphite and inks, and oils – doesn’t say anything about wax, but hey – why not? And if you need ideas, check out the TerraSkin blog, titled (appropriately), GET STONED. Love it.

OK, so the Friday Freebie is a five-sheet package of TerraSkin paper – I’ll mail it to you if you’re out of town, or you can pick it up at the Studio if you’re nearby. There are two rules for winning the random drawing – ONE, you have to be a SHARDS subscriber by Sunday at midnight (just enter your email on the blog homepage at the top right) and TWO, you have to give us a report on how you like using it and what you did with your very own Terra Skin rock paper. Off to the Studio, happy to be home – happy weekend, everyone!

Painting with Ellen Rolli – unchain my art

I spent three hours yesterday talking and painting with abstract artist Ellen Rolli at her SoWa studio in Boston. It was a pretty transformative experience – Ellen has a fearless relationship with her work that is contagious (see her website). I am so grateful for a chance to work with her, and am still processing a lot of what I learned, but thought I’d share a few photos and a book recommendation from Ellen. Yesterday’s objective was not to produce a finished painting, but to work in a more intuitive and liberating process with the paint. It was cool.

I learned to trust the painting process a lot more. That is the title of a book that Ellen recommended for me which I’ve already ordered:




And I’ll leave ya with a quote from Hans Hoffman that I found on Ellen’s website –
“Every successful canvas has been painted from the point of view of a student, for a great painter is always a student.”
Thank you, Ellen! Hope to see you on my next visit.

First Friday, Boston-style

Boston has a thriving arts district on Harrison Avenue
, south of Washington (SoWa). I got to check out their First Friday, and came back with a huge stash of new ideas. There was *lots* of exciting encaustic work. We were particularly impressed with Robin Luciano Beaty‘s work with wax, mixed media and found objects:

Refuge No. 24-29 Encaustic, m/m and found objects 42 x 24″

 Even more exciting was getting to meet Ellen Rolli, a Boston abstract painter whose work I love – and I’m going to have a private painting session with her on Sunday! I had contacted her by email, and the timing worked out – will send a report. Here’s a sample of her work – it’s energetic and mysterious and totally engaging:

Glimpses acrylic and mixed media 36″x 36

There were lots and lots of photographic mixed media works – here’s one I liked a lot by artist Melody Postma:

Slightly shifting the subject to using photographs in your own art work, here’s *sort* of a Friday FreebieCloth Paper Scissors magazine just send me a link to a free eBook with four tutorials on digital artmaking. They have a lot of good free tutorials, but this is one of the best if you’re wanting to know more about digital processes and aren’t an expert (who is??). Here’s the link:

You can download it and even print it out.You do have to sign up for an account if you don’t have one, but there are no strings attached and you can access a lot more of their good information if you do.

That’s it for now – gotta rest up for the Red Sox/Yankees game today at Fenway!  More soon from your roving arts and sports reporter in Boston . . . . have a great weekend.