Thursday, September 22, 2016


I am having a bit of creative block right now. Well at least on good paper that is. My sketchbook is going great guns however! I am hoping that some of these rough sketches will somehow translate into more complete work. But for now I am filling my sketchbook with these small collages and getting lots of new ideas. I seem to be in a stripe phase right now. I like the way they look when they are going in two directions next to each other.

I have also been making stamps to paint my papers with and that has been a relaxing bit of fun for a change.

Here are a few more from the sketchbook:

This looks like some kind of alien to me!

I love these little flower thingies.

Saturday, September 17, 2016


Front cover
I recently had the wonderful opportunity of designing a lovely little book for an old friend and fabulous photographer Maureen Neville. You can see the front cover in the above photo.

Maureen and I first met when we were both living in Key West, Florida back in the 1970's. She has always had a real sense of adventure which I have always admired since I am such a homebody and rarely venture beyond the neighborhood! As long as I have known her she has always had a camera in her hand!  At one point we both were living in upstate NY and even though I have moved away from there, we have managed to keep in touch and now with Facebook we are even better able to do that.

You may remember that before I retired I was a graphic designer for a couple of text book publishers. Houghton Mifflin and Pearson Education. I loved my job very much and sometimes I do miss it even though I love painting right now. When Maureen told me that she had been trying to create a book of her photography on Shutterfly but was having some problems with their web site, I couldn't help but jump at the chance to help out an old friend since it was my field of expertise and I do love making books!

 Shutterfly does use very good quality paper unlike some of the other online publishers. Their software does take some getting used to and is not really very user friendly. I think they want you to use their designers and that is OK for snapshots of kids and pets and such but not for serious artwork as her photographs are. We used Dropbox as a place where she could place the photos (she lives in Pennsylvania now and I live in Boston and so we were working remotely).  Dropbox works very well for that since the photos were too large to send via email.

Here are a couple of interior pages from the book:

Interior page (recto)

Interior page (recto)
You can find Maureen's lovely photos on her blog The Neville Lens: Pictures and Words.

Sunday, September 11, 2016


Earth Layers
I usually find myself working in small series. After a few pieces, I can usually tell when it is time to put a series to bed. At least for a while. I have been known to revisit a series but once it is over it is usually over.

This week I had quite a bit of trouble figuring out where to go next. When that happens I usually watch video tutorials until I see something that gives me inspiration. I discovered a video by
Jane Davies on working in a stripe motif so I thought that I might give that a try.

This was the result which I like very much. I am hoping that I can work this series for a while but we will see if it is sustainable or if it leads elsewhere.

Saturday, September 3, 2016


Passing Through the World
I have returned from Tucson. It is always hard to come back to reality. At least this reality. There are so many things I want to be doing out there. Number one of course is setting up my studio. I can't bring much in the way of art supplies onto the plane. So I end up bringing gel pens, crayons, and a sketchbook. I wanted to bring some collage materials but then I would need to bring medium which is NOT allowed on the plane. I did bring a glue stick and made some small collages in my sketchbook but the glue stick does not adhere that well and I can't do much with it. Basically they were just collaged sketches. I thought of buying some supplies for out there but it just seems like a waste since I am never out there for long enough periods to really utilize them. And I have so many art supplies here already. So I will just have to keep doing what I am doing for now until the move when I can ship all my stuff out there. I do try and always leave something there each time. This time I left my Caran D'Arche neocolors out there. Plus a blank sketchbook and some pens.

It is very hard for me living in two places. Especially when you really are not a two places kind of person. As an artist, I just want to go into my same studio every day and do the work.

Anyway, yesterday I made this collage which is a little bit different than my usual collage. It is created from only cut pieces of paper. No painted background this time.

I have been enjoying making patterned paper using gesso for texture.You can do some very interesting mark making with gesso. When it is dry, I scrape paint onto the paper and it gets trapped in the marks and makes them look quite lovely and interesting.

Enjoy the long weekend everyone......

Saturday, August 27, 2016


Sunset in Canyon View

This view from my home in Tucson never gets old.

After living for so many years in the Florida Keys, I never thought I would ever find a place that I could love as much as I did that place.

But I have. The desert has gotten into my bones. I love everything about it. Even the heat in August. There are always so many things to see. I could watch the road runners and lizards all day.

When I die, I want my ashes sprinkled at the base of a saguaro.

In 22 months I will be living here full time.

Friday, August 12, 2016


Pink Collage
In one week we will be on our way out to Arizona for 10 relaxing days at our home in Tucson. We are all looking forward to it. My grandson has been working hard all summer as a camp counselor  and he is especially looking forward to a restful time with no small children to look after.  Of course it goes without saying he will enjoy sleeping late as well!

It has been 4 months since we have been out there. Too long really.

Recently I unearthed my gelatin plate in order to get some interesting painted papers for collage work. I love the serendipitous nature of the gel plate. I am working a bit differently with it this time. I am not trying to make a piece of art with it. Just painted papers. It is fun and relaxing.

Well, that's it for now! See you next week from Arizona!

Saturday, July 30, 2016


Summer Robe
I bet you already know where I am going in a few weeks. Anytime I start to get really homesick for my desert home, I start making art that shows my true feelings!

I struggled with this background all day long. First making it lovely, then making a disgusting muddy mess and then making it lovely again! A lovely stormy, monsoon-y sky. I am always amazed at how if I persevere long enough I am usually able to rescue a gross mess of paint and transform it into something lovely. And this one became a horrifying mess if you can believe it!

Many artists suggest working on more than one piece at a time for that very reason but I cannot seem to do that. I obsess over one painting until I can make it work! Painting over and over again with brayer, brush and knife until I finally get a background I like. Then the real challenge comes with the collage elements. I try to make things abstract and some times I succeed but this piece had a mind of it's own as you can see! The desert won.

Have a lovely week and turn off the news!