Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Painting and Finding Snow

Portrait of Lucrezia Panciatichi (detail) after Bronzino

I'm working on an article for Cloth, Paper, Scissors that will appear in the May-June issue. The article and finished pieces are due January 10, so I've been working away! I won't give details about the article yet, but the assignment includes painting four pieces after famous painters, such as the one above. I learn so much doing this copying. I will never make a professional forger, as my paintings don't look just like the originals. Still, that isn't the point of the exercise. Rather, I do it to learn to see how experienced painters get the effects they do, and to expand my repertoire of skills and practice seeing better what is there.

Vineyard in the Snow

Before I show more of those, I want to share a couple of pictures I took Sunday at Cathedral Ridge Winery in Hood River. Some friends won a tour of the winery in an auction and they were so generous to invite us to go with them. I wasn't sure where we were going when we got in their car, so it was a delight to take the scenic ride up to Hood River and see beautiful snow. The wine was great, too!

At Cathedral Ridge Winery

Saturday, a trip to Monticello Antiques yielded this sweet old doll in need of love. My partner says it's creepy. I think she's beautiful. She has a sweet face and is just suffering the ravages of time. I can relate. Do you think she's creepy or cute?

I vote for cute.

At the Ball(detail) after Berthe Morisot

Portrait of a Young Woman (detail) after Petrus Christus

Two Tahitian Women (detail) after Gauguin

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Giveaway Winner and Altered Books

A Sacred Dish

Last week the PSU class I teach, Women, Creativity, and Healing, met for final projects and a celebration gathering. We dressed in our fancy clothes and had a delicious potluck that included home-made chocolate cupcakes, and the above dish. This is from a student's family recipe and involves bacon, eggs, and spaghetti. What's not to like? We all ate too much while the students shared the altered books they made for one of their class projects.

The students said I could share with you, so here are a few of their pages:


Barbara Lewis has won my current Giveaway Contest! You saw Barbara's lovely work a few posts back. Congratulations, Barbara!

Thanks to everyone who came to the studio Saturday despite the pouring rain and cold. It was a delightful day with you all and a successful event! And congratulations to Phil and Sally Potestio who won the Silent Auction!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Guest Artist Appearance and a Reminder

The Shadow of the Vampire

I'm pleased to be a guest artist this week on
Michael de Meng's blog. He's got some great sketches on his post "Sketched Out Monday", including his drawing of Nosferatu. This Nosferatu is the evil, deliciously scary vampire in a 1921 German Expressionist horror film. I used an image of him similar to the above in my first visual journal to represent the dastardly self-critic that pops up occasionally in the thoughts of artists. I saw this movie only once, in my 20's, and have never forgotten it. Now I'm inspired to watch it again. But not alone...

Vienna Autumn
Encaustic/Mixed Media


This coming Saturday, the 11th, Diane Havnen-Smith and I host our Annual Holiday Art Sale at my studio in the Montavilla area on SE 80th between Salmon and Taylor Court. We'll have lots of affordable goodies, conversation, treats, and a Silent Auction. Hope to see you there!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Wabi-Sabi Accordion Book: An example of
the affordable delights you'll find at our sale

Diane and I want to cordially invite you to our fourth annual holiday sale. Diane and I have shared a therapy office for four years and have shared many happy days creating. We are looking forward to our holiday event and hope you'll join us for art, conversation, and treats. We'll feature a Silent Auction as well as lots of affordable gifts and treasures. Hope to see you there!

Holiday Art & Craft Sale

Serena Barton

Diane Havnen-Smith

Saturday, December 11


The Art of Your Life Studio

SE 80th between Salmon St. and Taylor Court, Portland

Journals, small art work, bags,

altered books, prints, assemblages,

vintage items, original collage papers,

gift certificates for classes, & other delightful curiosities

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Check out this site

Check this out!

A bunch of us art retreat teachers have been talking online about ways to promote each others work.

Lesley Venable,
whose work I profiled a couple of posts ago, has put up a page on her blog called An Artistic Gathering. She's posted images from several artist/instructors with links to their blogs. This is a great way to find out about artists you are unfamiliar with or to check on the latest from your favorites.

It is so exciting to be part of an artist group that is dedicated to sharing about each other and sharing resources. There's enough competition in this world. I believe cooperation is much more powerful, and a lot more fun!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


An encaustic experiment over a student's rejected collage--just playin'

Monday, November 22, 2010

Creativity from Nebraska

Crocheted Sweater in Progress

My dear friend Mary Stilwell in Nebraska sent me some great photos of her projects in progress. Though Mary is a talented painter, she also finds time for other forms of creating. Here's what she said about the sweater above:

"For a long time I've crocheted and knitted sweaters for the Oxfam organization headquartered in England. They send sweaters to children all over the world who are in need. I only have 2 more rows to go before I finish the ends and sew the 2 sides together."

A Shawl Begins

I'm excited to see that Mary is weaving again. Weaving was one of my first efforts to create as an adult. I decided that as a weaver I make a good painter, but I miss it when I see this picture of the lovely shawl taking shape. Mary says:

"A shawl that I've begun weaving for one of our homebound members from church...I've not met her, but when she was able, she made a beautiful quilt wall hanging for the parish reception hall. It is beautiful, so I hope she will like this purple (with green and burgundy hints) shawl."

Yum. I want to eat this soup right now.

"A pot of soup that I made this afternoon. I thought I'd get a head-start on Thanksgiving leftovers and made a batch of turkey vegetable soup. I caramelized the onions and carrots before adding the broth and potatoes. Then browned the ground turkey before adding to the pot. And finally a tin of wonderful tomatoes. Yummmmm. It is getting cold here on the plains. Only got to 32 today -- and the air is damp. Feels like snow is not far away."

I'm glad you sent this soup picture along with the others, Mary. Creativity comes in many forms, some of them seemingly every day but really part of the art of living. Thank you!

Lesley Venable and Barbara Lewis

Torch-fired enamel bead necklace by Barbara Lewis

Wow, I'm so pleased to be getting exciting photos of work from fellow art retreat instructors! The delicious piece above is by Barbara Lewis. She creates wearable art-- "fun-loving pieces for the woman who embraces the unexpected and makes a statement with her artwear. The winning combination of torch-fired enamel and fabricated metal, along with a playful approach, encourages you to break free of taboos, such as redheads can't wear red and you can't wear white after Labor Day!"

Well, I broke the redheads can't wear red taboo a long time ago, and I'd love to break some more with Barbara's "Playing with Fire" treasures. And anything involving a torch is great with me!
Barbara also has an etsy shop and a blog you'll want to check out. Thanks, Barbara!

Here's work from another talented artist: Lesley Venable.
What a beautiful and unique book!

Book page spread

Book Cover

I'm drooling over Lesley's work and over the vintage and vintage style offerings she has in her etsy shop, A Vintage Season. Especially the santos heads! Below are some amazing original angels from her blog. Her angels were inspired by creations her father made. Lesley teaches how to create your own angels, so check out her blog for classes and her own lovely art work. Thanks, Lesley!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Giveaway, part 2

European Architecture by Sue Tower

Here is the first entry in my giveaway! Portland painter Sue Tower shared this image of her amazing painting. She is one h*** of a painter who shows at Blackfish Gallery.

I'm going to reiterate my request for readers of this blog to send me images of what you've recently created. This includes, art, writing, cooking, whatever. Come on now, folks I know you are out there making stuff. I'd love to share it. When you send in your image you get entered in a drawing for a small piece of my art, but mainly you get to share your wonderful work and your wonderful self!

This project now extends until December 6, so please share the beauty!

Friday, November 19, 2010


Woo-hoo, I got an Etsy treasury! To the uninitiated, this means one of my pieces is featured on Etsy, the site for handmade art and craft, vintage supplies, and more. The whole treasury is gorgeous, featuring items in glowing amber color. Check it out!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Today's Encaustic Class

Today's talented and enthusiastic class

What could be better for a gloomy weather day than an afternoon in the studio? Four intrepid students met at here today for an encaustic session. This was the third for three of them and the first for one. They created for four hours straight with great results.

A blurry photo of Dawn's sweet geese

Deb's enchanting terrace. This was her first encaustic painting class!

Dawn with her pastoral encaustic collage using three different
pictures as source imagery.

Jen with a village landscape full of texture and depth

A set of mysterious pieces by Tysa

Tysa's first portrait (in any medium) in progress!
She got wonderful effects with Encausticbord by Ampersand.

Deb made this wonderfully textured collage for her granddaughter.
She used dress pattern paper for texture.

Jen's evocative collage for Italy. She's as obsessed
with that country as I am!

3-D elements make Dawn's Paris fashion collage tres chic.

Of course, Mr. Lester had to join us today for part of the class. He posed with his portrait by Toulouse Lautrec.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What Have You Created Lately?

Mary's Flower

The evenings are shorter and I'm huddling at my computer or in the studio working alone. What are you all doing? Send me a picture of your latest creation or of something you are working on. Let's share the energy and joy!

I want to see and share with readers what wonderful work goes on out there. Email me a picture of your piece(s) for this blog, and I'll enter you in my current Giveaway! The winner will receive the above 4" square original encaustic collage I've created this week.
But hurry, this offer ends 11/25 :)

I want to see everything and anything. Art, craft, casseroles, bookshelves, a manuscript, or whatever you have made recently!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Student Work Pictures

Jen working on an encaustic collage that recalls her travels

My lovely group of wild women creators came to the studio again this past week for another round of encaustic collage and painting. Here are a few photos that don't really do the work justice... This group is now coming every two weeks or so for creative recreation!

Tysa worked a lot on this piece, including managing to
incorporate chicken wire

She created a powerful and mysterious piece

Dawn's sweet bird collage

Jen's small travel piece uses a vintage book page
and her own photos as collage elements

More of Jen's travel photos evoke the spirit of Venice.
She used metallic pigments mixed into encaustic medium
for the glowing bronze and blue colors.

Dawn used only encaustic medium and paint for this lively abstract.
She played around with the torch to experiment with moving the wax.

Now for a few pictures from work by a ten year old individual student.
She and I roamed the neighborhood for found objects she could use in an assemblage. She used several objects we found in her piece, "The Secret Garden", inspired by the book and the movie of that name.

The student covered the front flap of a cigar box
with collage paper and added a handle made
with a piece of wood she found.

The open assemblage incorporates many objects found on
our walk: paper, "money" plants, a rope bracelet, a plastic arch of unknown
function, and leaves. She added typed text found in the studio and an
old fashioned key to unlock the gate of the garden. She mixed
her acrylic paints until she got just the colors she wanted.

The back of the box was collaged with a vintage book page and painted.
The round designs on the book page was done with a small rubber tip of
something that we found on our walk. It made a great stamping tool.

Thanks to the students for letting me share your work and your creative process!