Saturday, October 13, 2018


Copper Plant
I finally did it. I entered a show out here. The show is called "Copper State" at Tohono Chul Park. I am not counting on getting in but the point is that I did enter a piece. A huge deal for me. I even had it photographed by a professional photographer. This is the piece shown above. The plant is a coppery color and I did it especially for the show.

Doing it has given me some much needed confidence and I will try and enter other shows as well if I feel that my work would be a fit. This is art season after all. Who knew there was even such a thing! I had never heard of an art season before moving here. There are so many artists who live and work here in the Sonoran desert and I am enjoying meeting some of them at my Paperworks meetings and the CASA meetings.

On other notes we are having so much rain here today. We get the rain from hurricanes that come up from Mexico! It is good for the desert and a good day to make some soup!

Also, I have been taking a wonderful online class with Este MacCleod.  The class meets daily for the entire month of October. Este really packs so much into a class. I can barely come up for air. Some of my take-aways are the number and variety of brushes she uses to paint her collage papers. I had never used a fan brush before or a comb brush. The potential for mark making for these brushes is amazing. I am just scratching the surface with them.

She does use Hi Flo Acrylics though of which I am not a fan. The tips clog up continuously and the paint is really sticky. Ugh. Not my favorite medium at all but I will use them for the class and then try and substitute my trusty fluid acrylics when the class is over. I am also discovering the joys of Acrylic inks. I really love those especially for drawing and mark making.

Well, hopefully tomorrow will dry out as we are supposed to head down to Patagonia for their annual fall craft show and festival. I was really looking forward to exploring that part of the region. Today was a total washout for the vendors so I hope for all our sakes tomorrow will be better!

Have a great week!

Sunday, September 23, 2018


Singing in the Desert

My Saguaro

Here are two more pieces I created after taking Laura Horn's class, "Minimal Magic." I really feel like this is a great palette for painting the desert.

These are both on cradled panels. I have never worked on panels before since they take up so much room and I never had a place to keep them before.  Now that I have a studio with plenty of room, I am trying them out. I really do like them a lot. I never really liked painting on canvas because of the texture. It has too much give for me and too much bumpy texture.  These panels are smooth as silk. Like painting on hot press paper. My favorite paper.

I do plan to enter some pieces in a local show. I haven't entered a show since the 1980's. So this is a pretty big deal for me. If it wasn't for social media no one would ever see my work. I am thankful for social media but it is time to hang the work out in the real world now.

Enjoy your week!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018


Today we had a lovely rainy day in the desert. There is nothing quite like it. It is something to be savored and enjoyed. The last few weeks have been quite hot so having the temperatures in the mid 70's is quite different!

Meanwhile, the other night I was up in the middle of the night after having killed a scorpion in the bathroom. I couldn't get back to sleep for obvious reasons, so I logged on to Instagram and discovered an artist from Australia who I had never heard of named Laura Horn.

She has a lovely online class which I am in the midst of taking. It is called "Minimal Magic".  She uses a limited palette which I really like. Earthy tones as well as a variety of ways to  keep a series of paintings and collages related to one another. I am enjoying taking some interesting classes and some not so interesting. That is the way it goes I guess with online classes. There is no review system so you are taking a chance. For the most part, the classes I sign up for have all been helpful in one way or another. Even if I only take away one new skill, I am happy.

That's it for now! Thanks for reading!

Friday, September 7, 2018


Growing Shapes

September is here but in Arizona it really doesn't feel like it. Although I will say it is a bit cooler. Especially in the early morning and the late evening. For the first time I no longer have to worry about going back to work, buying school supplies or freaking out over winter coming.

I have been slowly getting back to my artwork. Here are a couple of collages I did this week. Also, the top piece is a painting I did last year but it never felt finished. So I added some collage to it and now it feels finished.

I had an interesting day today. My neighbor, who is also an artist, invited me to a meeting of an arts organization called CASA.  It was a very interesting experience for me. I have been isolated in my studio for many years now with little to no contact with other artists. The last time I was part of an arts community was when I lived in Key West.

In Boston there really isn't a cohesive arts community like there is here. I am not sure why since there are many artists in the Boston area. Or maybe I just never found it. I am not sure.

At any rate, it was an interesting meeting with a presentation afterwards of a technique called "acrylic pouring". I have only tried making acrylic skins before but this is acrylic skins on steroids! The results look rather like paper marbling. I don't think it is anything I will attempt but it was a great opportunity to learn a new art technique as well as meet other local artists and connect with people.

I am slowly realizing that when you no longer have a day to day job out in the world you really have to get out of the studio once in a while and meet and connect with people. There seem to be many like minded people here in Tucson and I look forward to getting out and meeting them.

Thursday, August 30, 2018


Finally I am back in my studio! Hooray! It has been many, many, months. I am still sharing my studio with the workmen as they need someplace to park all their tools but at least I have my new closet and a corner to work in and set up my scanner.

I decided to take a couple of classes in order to get me moving in a direction again. When I am away from my art for such a long period of time I have trouble getting going again. The only thing I can be sure of is that I will be going in a different direction than the one I last ended on. It is just the way I am.

The first class I am taking is a collage class with Randal Plowman. He has a great following and I already have his book so I feel like this will be a good start for me. And I love collage and I still have a ton of old gelatin prints I can use as collage fodder.

I have also signed up for a painting class with Este Macleod which will begin in October. So I think that between the two classes I will have the opportunity to gather new ideas and get moving again.

The second lesson of the class with Randall was to make a series of collages using just one color.  The two pieces above are from that lesson.

Have a lovely long weekend everyone!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018


I know it has been a few weeks since I last wrote anything but honestly, there isn't much to tell. I still do not have my studio yet. I can't paint or work outside as it is much too hot. So I am biding my time.

Also, tomorrow I leave to go back to Boston to visit my mom who is ailing. I am planning to stay until Monday but I cannot be certain of anything right now.

I hate the idea of spending 2 days in airports and planes. I was hoping I would be done with all that back and forth traveling but who was I kidding?  There is a price to pay when you move 2600 miles away from family.  I really hate to leave here even for a long weekend. I am just so at home here and going back to Boston I will have to stay in a hotel and spend $$$ on Uber getting around.

But I am trying to make the best of it. Hopefully when I get back here my studio will be all ready for me and I can paint again. It has literally been months now since I have painted. A very long time. Too long. I have been making mandalas and things like that but I am antsy for paint and knives and brushes. As well as mixing my own colors again. Something you cannot do with pens and markers.

When I return I hope to get back to my studio practice.

Saturday, August 4, 2018


The porch is finally finished! What a difference the extra 3 feet make! Now we can fit our table over on this side of the porch and we have room for the grill and my bike on the other side. They did a really great job. We couldn't be happier. I love being outside. Especially in the shade since I can't and wouldn't want to spend too much time in the sun. There are two ceiling fans out here so in the summer you can usually sit out until noon. And since it is right outside my studio I can bring my art out to the table if I choose to paint outside!

Outside table and chairs on new floor.

The rest of the work on the condo continues. My studio is getting a new tile floor next week or the week after and then I can bring out my paints and supplies again. Until then I continue to draw and make flowers and mandalas. The geometry is keeping me busy!

Here is one of my recent geometric mandalas:

That is all I have for now! Have a great week!