Artist & Teacher

Posts tagged “blogging

Time Stamp

Yesterday I went for a hike here at The Bishop’s Ranch as I often do. Usually my main goal is to exercise and I move with a pace. This time, however, I wanted to soak it in, take the earbuds out, listen to the breeze and birds, feel the morning mist, take note of the colors – in short be more present. It was a glorious morning full of greens and blues with a splash of yellow in the buttercups and rusty brown in the decaying tall grasses at the lake edge.  The tsicka-dee-dee of a Oak Titmouse told me I wasn’t the only one enjoying the sunny morning. Walking back I carefully plucked a fist full of Buttercups and Maidenhair Fern to using to print in printing on fabric. I had the idea to make a “Time Stamp” of this place and time. Not a literal representation but an impression, a feeling, a response. So here it is…

TIME STAMP: 3/29/19 8:47am facing 247° W facing the lower lake at The Bishop’s Ranch

3-29-19 lake hike

Time Stamp #1 (11×14″ paint, stamp and stitch)

My Life is a Wagon Wheel

TOP -2ravenssmfile

Huginn & Muninn mixed media on wood panel 24×48″

My life is a wagon wheel. What? A wagon wheel? Now hear me out. Those of you who have followed me for a while know, I am an artistic nomad – mixed media, encaustic, collage, painting, fabric art, quilting, clothing design. Sometimes I wish I could just stick with one thing. Maybe if I stuck with one thing, I would get really good at it, right? Focus for heaven’s sake! Find my inner Monet and paint a lily pond or hay stack over and over. I guess it’s obvious I’m no Monet, but I do love to make and create. If I don’t have a creative outlet, I’m a bear to live with, just ask my family. So here is my wheel analogy. Creativity, creative forces (perhaps God even?) is the center of the wheel. I am on the outer rim and each spoke of the wheel is a way in. I have to think and problem solve and imagine and create my way to the center. So each endeavor gives me another slice of my creative center, each attempt gets me closer to the whole or at least I’m betting on it working that way because that is who I am. Even if sometimes it is crazy making to juggle all these balls maybe one day one of those balls will plop down on my head and say “concentrate on me, go down my spoke only” but until then I will keep rolling on my wagon wheel theory of life.

This is a way to show you some of the things I’ve been working on – you may have noticed that I’m not walking down the blogging spoke of the wheel as often as I used to, here are a few reasons why.

Teaching: picjpg

 workshop making icons for All Souls day at Incarnation Church in Santa Rosa pic

2 day workshop creating Guardian Angels at The Bishop’s Ranch.


3.magazine artilce

My latest article in Quilting Arts Magazine on creating fabric by the yard from small mono prints. Purchase magazine

Making: (see ravens at top of article)

4.mother bear SM

Mother Bear mixed media collage on canvas panel 11×14″

5.Home is where the heart is small

Art quilt part of a challenge donation put out by Quilting Arts magazine to give as gifts to homeless folks transitioning to permanent housing. 14×14″

Entrepreneurial endeavors: 300

My work at Gallery 300 at The Barlow in Sebastopol CA

7. family art sale

Me, my print maker son Ivan, and blacksmith husband Jack at our Family Art Sale at The Bishop’s Ranch

8.10scarves on line

My line of Cashmere and Modal Scarves go to my website to see detail pictures and to purchase – Website

WOW- that’s a lot even for me! I’m always looking for new places to teach and share my creative energy so if you have any ideas for me let me know. Soon I’ll catch you up on my workshops in 2019.

Peace Be Upon You


It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged – I’ve been working hard to get ready for a solo show at the Mendocino Art Center.  I’m loving the work I’ve done for the show and I’ll share it with you through the next few weeks.

As many of you know I live up in Sonoma County in Northern California, I’m sure you couldn’t miss the news of horrible fires up here. I’m relived to let you know that  West of the Russian River where I am was unscathed.  The tension and fear pervaded the area and everyone in the area was touched in small and big ways by the devastation.  I painted this triptych during the week of the fires as my way to calm my nervous energy and direct the unknown into something I know how to do.  I know how to paint, so I painted.  It brought me peace to do the work and it is my small offering to those who have lost so much.

Peace Be Upon You

The Mendocino Art Center show begins November 1st through Thanksgiving. The opening is November 11th from 5-8pm. If you happen to live in Mendocino area or close by I hope you can come. Mendocino Art Center info


I just realized I jumped the gun on my Stencil Girl link. My post doesn’t go live until June 15th…. So check them out NOW but remember to go back on the 15th to see my Stencilgirl Talk. My Etsy Shop is ready to go so click on through to see all the new work…. Oh yeah and don’t forget to breathe…


Check out this painting and more at my Etsy Shop

Seeing in Double & Triple & …. the Joy of Working in Multiples


painting in my latest BREATHE series

Hello dear readers, I promised I would get back to blogging more regularly and here I am! I’m excited to be the guest blogger for Stencil Girl stencils this week and I want you to check it out at stencilgirl talk. They gave me 4 stencils of my choice from their vast collection and asked me to cut loose and produce. The post walks you through all the steps of making my latest expressive paintings – not a surprise I revisited a theme that keeps popping up in my work – BREATHE.

When I’m working on these expressive paintings I like to have a whole bunch of canvases and wood panels to work on at one time. I think that frees me up to experiment more with pattern and color combinations so no one piece gets too precious. I really can “mess it up” because if I do I just add another layer and push the composition to a place I like, if it doesn’t work – no worries I have 10 other canvases that I am experimenting on. This time I used my stencil girl stencils for pattern then cut my own stencils for the figure and the lotus to create my focal point. I have made that stencil in 3 sizes so I can experiment with scale and repetition. I am happy with what I came up with.


a sampling of paintings now available in my Etsy shop

I just posted all these paintings on my Etsy Shop. I have painting in these series and others for small 6×8” pieces for $20 up to 18×24” pieces for $275 and everything in between. I hope you’ll check out my shop and see detail photos of this entire series and my guest blogger post on Stencil Girl Talk to see all the steps in making the work.

Until next time – be well.



I painted this series this week in response to my feelings of sadness and resolve that women all over the world have a right to control their own bodies – REMEMBER – ponders our situation

It has been awhile since I blogged so happy New Year friends. I had a lovely New Years trip to Kauai and before that I was wrapped up in the holidays. I’ll admit to being a swirling mix of feelings this past couple of weeks; dismay, disorientation, disgust to name a few. I don’t talk about politics here but now is the time. I want a conversation, an exchange not just teams sunk in their own huddles listening only to themselves. So I must be part of that conversational solution. I’ll give you a little history. In 1992 my sister, mom and I (oh and half a million other people) marched on Washington in support of  a women’s right to control her own body and for one last push for the Equal Rights Amendment (which didn’t pass so to this day women are still not named in the constitution…). So now as a new conservative government takes charge, I have a choice: hide or engage. I choose engage. Here is a quote that reminds me why my voice is important:

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Even a superficial look at history reveals that no social advance rolls in on the wheels inevitability. Every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. Without persistent effort, time itself becomes an ally of social destruction. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”- Martin Luther King, Jr. in Stride Toward Freedom the Montgomery Story

I will admit that since that march in 1992 I’ve been more talk than action. I guess I thought the wheels were rolling forward so I could take my hands off the cart. I see I was wrong. But what I want to push for is conversation, for understanding and finding common ground. I have something in common with the anti-choice voice – I think we can both agree that abortion is not the best way to control birth. Now from there we diverge on how to prevent abortions but still we have common ground. But maybe, just maybe I can engage in conversation from that point of agreement, right? I’ll try. Tomorrow I march with friends in Sacramento, I march to remind myself that nothing rolls on the wheels of inevitability, I must put my hands to the cart to move the conversation, I want to be a voice of strength, love and inclusiveness, I want to engage with you and the world to ensure that the advances towards “liberty and justice” are truly for ALL. Thanks for reading – now take positive action – ENGAGE!

Here is a link to a great History of Planned Parenthood mini documentary that is very informative; I hope you’ll watch it.


detail from the REMEMBER series

Wrung Out and Hung Out to Dry


“The Place Between Heaven & Earth” – mixed media painting from the Breathe series

I’ve been a bit wrung out these days, my to-do list just won’t get shorter, my sleep is off, the short days and early dark – you know what I mean – I’m out of whack, I’m in disequilibrium. So where the mind goes so goes the body and a few weeks ago I bent to zip my zipper or tie my shoe or something else innocuous – there was a loud pop in my neck and my range of motion stopped at about twenty-five degrees each way. Ok fine universe, I’ll do some stretching, etc and keep on going. Well let me tell you the universe did not abide, so last week after a regular teeth cleaning (nothing unusual) my jaw slipped out of gear just like the clutch going out in your car but this came with gnawing pain with every chew and my bite out of alignment….. OK, OK universe I get it – STOP – I added “take care of self” to my to-do list. There was a masseuse right here at the Ranch for the week – nothing was stopping me. So today (just hours ago in fact) I got an amazing massage!

I scheduled a 90-minute massage instead of just 60 minutes (a splurge I have never allowed myself), I told my masseuse of my woes and she got to work, she dug and pressed and smoothed every inch of me with her hot angel hands. While I was on the table an image of a strong, fierce, determined angel wringing out laundry along the Ganges came to mind. The masseuse was the angel, of course, and I the laundry, the pouring rain outside played the part of the mighty holy Ganges River. After almost 2 hours she left me – set out to dry in the tree branches along the riverbank. Neck is moving to 35 degrees each way now (not perfect – but better), jaw thinking about getting back to work (maybe a few more days). Thank you universe for reminding me to take care of myself – but next time can you just send me a text?

So here is your reminder before it’s too late- make time for yourself in the midst of your all your busy!

PS – Thanks Angel Anya for your strong hands and open heart!

Begin Again


This is a large commission painting that I hung recently. (Thank you Beth for believing in me enough to set me loose on a painting for you!) Hanging this was all about beginning again and getting back t0 the business of doing what I love and of course that is what my father would want me to do.  48″x48″ commissioned by Beth MacLean for her office.

It is hard for me to begin again. My dad died just over two weeks ago and I have struggled to write a blog post, since my last passionate one nothing seems as important. The ordinariness of the past two weeks feels like an insult to the intensity of the previous month. The every-day-ness is a affront to the powerful love and the concentration of feeling that went before. But likewise (and in contradiction to what I just wrote) the ordinariness is comforting. The sun sets, the sun rises and a new day begins. Work needs doing, groceries need to be bought, the car needs service, the dog whines for a walk….. The truth is my father wouldn’t have it any other way. He was a doer, a hard worker, someone who got things done. And so my work continues and this blog that he was so devoted to continues. My dad was possibly the first person to read my blog each time I sent it out, and while he rarely commented publicly he almost always sent a text or an email of encouragement and praise. That’s what is hard now – my dad was one of my biggest fans – forever cheering me on. And now he’s not there. NO, that’s not true; his legacy in my veins is made of stronger stuff than that! I hear his encouragement still in my ear, in my heart. So I guess I better get back to work.

Thanks to all of you who sent your kind words and encouragement over the past two weeks, you have buoyed my spirit and I am grateful.


Because commissions can be scary, I painted 2 paintings so Beth could choose.  This one (similar but different) is now hanging in the Ranch dining-hall waiting for the the right home… maybe you? 48″x48″

Be a Creative Lighthouse

Little Luminaria made for The Bishop's Ranch dinning hall and web seminar example.

Little Luminaria made for The Bishop’s Ranch dinning hall and web seminar example.

This week has been full, and I mean full in every sense of the word: bursting, occupied, packed, saturated and satiated.  There were so many deadlines and projects, meetings, activities… oh yeah and teaching, that this voluminous, chockablock week had my head spinning and my nights sleepless.  But now that I’m on the other side I am able to sit in satisfied reflection of a week well done. What came to me this morning on my power walk in the woods with my little dog Lucky was the image of a lighthouse, not a lighthouse to show the way but a lighthouse whose gentle gyrating light spins out creativity. A kind of lighting of a creative torch that inspires someone else to light a torch and so on, an Olympic flame of creativity if you will.

I’ll try to explain what I mean by sharing some of the creative beacons from this week. It started with my assignment to put together center pieces for a dinner party held at The Bishop’s Ranch this week to honor staff and board members.  I wanted something autumnal and warm but wasn’t sure what I wanted to do then a caught sight of a creative lighthouse via a blog that I follow by Jane LaFazio (link to her post).  I took her idea and ran with it in my own way making a digital version that I could make many multiples of for the party of 60 plus guests. The photos below show the “grateful” tags I made to hang on the table trees and send home with the guests.  Thanks Jane for passing the creative torch.

Center pieces for this weeks board retreat at the Bishop's Ranch and Grateful tags for each of the attendees to take home.

Center pieces for this weeks board retreat at the Bishop’s Ranch and Grateful tags for each of the attendees to take home.

Then later in the week I got to be the creative beacon for someone else. I taught my first web seminar though interweave press, and Cloth Paper Scissors magazine.  If you follow my blog you saw the plug for the class a couple of weeks ago.  This was my first time teaching a live online class, I an wasn’t sure what to expect. Who would sign up? Could I share all the information in the time allotted?  etc.  But the class turned out to be wildly successful! I taught how to make the little luminaria pictured at the top and string light covers.  I was told there were 90 people from all over the country who purchased the seminar and over 60 people participated live! The feed back great and there was a lot of enthusiasm out there in the internet airwaves to take this project out and share it with friends and family. I got the wonderful feeling that a lot of little lighthouses lit up and the creative torch was on the move.

The holidays are a wonderful time to let our creative lighthouses glow.  Everything from fun party décor, homespun gifts, creative cards, family recipes shared, jams and cookies given. Like the old song says; This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine… You never know who you will arouse and inspire. I am grateful to all those who inspire me in big and little ways and I am honored to be able to spread a little creative light of my own along the way… Let it Shine!

PS.If you missed the online webinar about making the luminaria above you can down load the class and learn all about it.  I will provide the link in a couple of days when the folks at interweave have it ready and posted on the web.

PPS. The winner of last weeks poll was image A, if you didn’t vote yet feel free to put your vote in the mix.

An Incomplete Picture

ears and years of journals and sketchbooks. The first started when I was 18 all the way up to a current book of ideas.

Years and years of journals and sketchbooks. The first started when I was 18 all the way up to a book of current ideas.

Hello dear readers, I haven’t forgotten about you.  It has been several weeks and many miles since my last blog post but now I’m back in ordinary time swaying between computer screen and studio time.  One of my summer endeavors is to do some sorting and packing and moving along of stuff, too much stuff, both in my home and studio.  I find it especially hard to get rid of things in my studio, I might need that scrap of fabric, or dab of paste, I might want that old poster to cut up or weathered wood to work on, but space is limited and I find my creativity and my inner calm hampered by the clutter, so I sort.  In the save pile I have a stack journals and sketchbooks.  Not one of these is filled from cover to cover save for one plein air sketchbook (perhaps I should pay attention to that, but not for this post).  Most of these journals were started at the beginning or end of something.  Most detail love lost, or angst, or love and angst. One journal begins with being dumped but doesn’t continue on to brighter days of self-confidence and satisfaction.  Another little book begins with a lovely inscription from my husband at the beginning of our infertility journey.  He gave me the journal to help me  during the daunting and rigorous infertility process, and a fine idea it was.  But reading back I find that I journal the journey through only 3 of the 7 unsuccessful tries and not a note about the triumphant 8th and semi miraculous try that led to birth of our most amazing, gift of a son, Ivan. Some future reader thumbing these pages at a yard sale will find a picture of a woman of dark countenance and even darker future.  But it isn’t so! Here I am, bright and shiny and filled with the joy of living. I just want to get that on the record. Until I sat down to write about these fragmentary texts stacked in my studio, I didn’t realize that this blog right here is my latest journal attempt, I am inching up to three years on this commitment! I will admit there are times when I’m not sure why I’m blogging, I have had confused conversations with people trying to describe the purpose of my blog. Many people want to know if there is a financial or career motive to my blogging.  I would have to say there is no economic reason to blog and it’s debatable if there is any career advancing reason to blog.  But here I am confessing to you.  Ugh I’ve done it again, by blogging my thoughts I’ve come to the root of it. Perhaps it’s a confessional!? I’m not catholic, I fancy myself something of a christianbuddistpagen, but this act of writing to you, confessing to you, my desire to share something of my misgivings and transgressions with you as well as my triumphs and discoveries, is motivational. In the past when I kept a journal it was very insulated and internal, no editing for comsuption and so the thoughts are incomplete, bitter and bruised. But the act of blogging, has been a boiling down, a making of jam, taking the tart fruit and sugar of my life and adding the the spice and tang of you my subscribers, stirring and cooking, stirring and cooking, until a sweet concoction is achieved. So thank you for being out there in the ether, in the cloud, across the interweb, and down the street. I’ll keep at it if you’ll come with me to keep me honest.

I’d love to hear your experiences, struggles and successes, with journaling and blogging, how does it work and what does it mean to you?