Citra-solv for artsy effects

I had so many comments on the painting I did that incorporated papers treated with Citra-solv that I thought I’d share the process with you if you didn’t already know about it (I didn’t until I saw Bonnie and Rosemary’s Show and Tell at the Studio). Here’s the painting – it’s a mixed media piece with altered paper, acrylic, and encaustic on a 16×20′ stretched canvas. Do you see the door in the middle? That’s a weird Citra-solv effect, very strange:


I used torn strips of paper created by slathering Citra-solv cleaning solution all over the pages of an old National Geographic magazine. The results can be fascinating. I’m especially interested in how you can sort of control the dissolution of the images by the amount of the solution you put on the pages. Here you can see that portions of the original image show through the distortion.

Citra-solv effects and result

Citra-solv effects and result

Page with small amount of Citra-solv

Page with small amount of Citra-solv

Here’s a page done by artist Eva Macie that uses a lot of Citra-solv.

Christopher Staples has a great tutorial on his blog! Finally, here’s a link to a tutorial on the Cirta-Solv website – they are now selling their product at art stores like Jerry’s Artarama. It’s a fun process to play around with if you are into unpredictable results and eerie effects!



Copying Gwen Fox with unpredictable results

Gloria Hill and I have been painting together on Wednesdays at the Studio for a year and a half, and we always like to find inspiration from interesting sources. Today I said, “Let’s try to paint like Gwen and see what happens.” Gwen Fox is our beloved Taos-based painting teacher – she’s awesome. So I picked out one of her abstracts for us to copy, and off we went. Here’s the painting that we were attempting to forge (all in the spirit of artful emulation, of course). Scroll down for our results.


We got as far as the layout and background before we realized that copying wasn’t working for us. So Gloria went her way and I went mine – how can two artists who start with exactly the same idea and example end up with such different results?? Take a look (and rest easy, dear Gwen – you are an original, and while we have learned so much from you, we won’t be competition for your glowing abstract style!) Here’s Gloria’s:

And here’s mine – not only do they look like they came from two different artists, they look like they came from two different planets! Go figure –  but it was fun and very insight-full.


Dimensional paintings

This started to be a tirade about Black Friday, but, you know what? People find their joy and purpose in all kinds of weird things, and if shopping for a TV at the crack of dawn gets ya up and out into this beautiful day, then go for it – just be careful out there! Crowds make me twitchy, so I prefer to be in the Studio finishing up these two new – er, dimensional paintings.” I like the description. They’re painted on stretched canvas, not strictly collages, but they have dimensional surface applications. Titles are Copper Mountain 1 & 2, and  I’ll show these next Friday as part of my La Vida Gallery opening. I’m still experimenting, but so far, so good. Feedback? Better yet, come to La Vida on the 6th and check them out in person.
coppermtn1 coppermtn2

Blogging from the Watergate

Hi from DC – I’m visiting my dear friend Victoria (who has a wonderful place at the Watergate on the Potomac) and taking a few days off to fill my artistic well with new inspiration. This city is amazing – so many things to see and do – and eat. One of my favorite places to visit is the Textile Museum – FASA friends, if you want some inspiration, too, check out the pages of the artisans who do work for the gift shop there. Personal favorites are Chris Triola’s Cloud Shawls, which are textile paintings as well as wearable art. Another inspiration – the delightful and super-accomplished Jean Effron, whom I met at dinner last night. She’s the founder of Jean Efron Art Consultants LLC, a Washington, DC, based art advisory firm that provides comprehensive fine art services. Jean finds artists whose work compliments the needs of her corporate clients. I really enjoyed taking with her about what she does, and the some times tough job of finding the right match for both the artist and the client.

Finally, here are some San Antonio connections at the Watergate – ahem. One of my paintings hangs in Victoria’s living room, looking pretty spiffy, if I do say so myself.


And on another wall hangs a wonderfully mysterious figurative painting by Laura Mijangos – if you haven’t seen her work before, there’s an opening tonight at AnArte Gallery featuring her paintings – I’d be there if I weren’t here!

But I will definitely be in San Antonio next Friday for the Shared Spaces opening – hope you can be there too!



Gloria and Lyn (and the golden rooster)

The Friday Freebie golden rooster pendant goes to blog subscriber Sherrill Kahn! That’s really funny – Sherrill, you can pick it up when you come to visit in August, and I can’t wait for your workshops.

And speaking of August, (nice segue) please please save the date (August 16th) for Shared Spaces, an exhibit of paintings by Gloria Hill and me at my Studio. We’ve been painting together on most Wednesdays since the early spring, and you will see how two weird artistic brains can take the same media (and sometimes the same subject) and end up with totally different results. There will be the usual libations and munchies – here’s you OFFICIAL invitation.

invitation copy


No adequate words for these cool fireworks . .

Fireworks in Boston on the 4th of July? Too amazing to describe – too bad they weren’t broadcast nationally for the first time in a zillion years,. Here’s a short video shot from a rooftop above the Charles River. At about the two-and-a-half minute mark, some of the bursts turn in to actual stars. It really was an astonishing kinetic art show in lights and sound. Wow. OK, time to go back home to the Studio, all inspired 🙂

Surface treatment

So I joined the Fiber Artists of San Antonio in March under false pretenses – the only fiber I knew anything about came in my granola. But I am learning so much from this talented group – it started when I met Sherrill Kahn at the first meeting I attended.

Today I took the plunge and worked a bit with surface design on fabric. It was amazing! And fun! After about four hours steady work in the Studio, I completed three pieces (well, the surface part, anyway). I even had time to do some sewing on one piece. The materials I used were Gesso, acrylic paint, India ink (that may have been a mistake – it’s very intense and unforgiving – live and learn), pattern stamps, and gold leaf sealed with acrylic medium. I also tried a digital heat transfer on one of the pieces. Here are the results. i don’t know where I’m going from here, but I do know that I’m hooked on working with fabric and fiber. Look out, FASA 🙂.

An Artful Weekend with the Solomons

Things are so quiet here – our house guests, Pablo and Beverly Solomon are safely home, the Studio is back to its usual self, ready for workshops, and I just finished posting the video from the weekend (below). What great memories we’ll all have! These photos are from both evenings, and include some really great shots of guests posing with their original Pablo Solomon drawings, with Pablo and with his pet monster lizard creature, Diablo. Thanks to everyone who came and helped make this an artful and art-filled weekend!

Hamburger Transformed

Sorry,  I’m probably “over-blogging” from Boston, but rarely do I have such a stretch of time to experiment with art and write about the weirdness of the process. For example, my Taos teacher Gwen Fox always says, “Start with a thumbnail from an existing picture.” So I found this hamburger in a magazine (fig. 1) – it looked interesting through the paper window (or maybe I was hungry). I turned it sideways and sketched in the shapes which started morphing into abstract figures. (fig.2). I tried to make the two figures balance and relate, but it became obvious that the figure on the left was dominant, so . . .whack! Off went the second figure to be used elsewhere. (fig. 3) I put a very few finishing tweaks on the left figure and, when matted, it is intriguing and colorful. (fig. 4). I think I will name it “McDonald.” Or maybe “Hunger and Evolution.” Isn’t art fun??

Paintings at the SoL (Source of Light) Center

I was invited last fall to exhibit my work at the Sol Center, the education outreach of the University Presbyterian Church, in April and May of 2013.  That’s right now!This morning, I was literally painting the edges of a canvas minutes before it was time to go hang the work.Whew! Done in the nick of time.

The SoL Center a beautiful facility with a high domed ceiling. The track hanging system is unique. There are wires that hang down from the crown molding that have hook-y clamp-y things that slide up and down the cables. The whole installation process took less than an hour with help  from some of the great people on the UPC art committee. The show will be up through May. Here’s a look – and it’s up for Easter Sunday!