Sunday, January 24, 2010

Storm of Creation

Arctic Cold Front & New Moon
18” x 12”
acrylic on paper

Have you ever calmed yourself down by doing art? When you are feeling strong emotions, do you channel it into creative expression?

12” x 18”
acrylic on paper

Recently on Mary Buek’s blog, she mentioned "art will save the world" and I believe it! Because it can save you, me, and countless others by re-focusing our current emotion—whether it be pain and turmoil or elation and joy—and coming out the other side with art born from pounding the keyboard, flinging paint, gouging stone or wood, or flooring the sewing machine pedal. Being such sensitive souls, artists have chosen to express their deep feelings by creating, not destroying. When our inner storm has passed, an expressive, heart-felt, even break-through piece of creation can be held in our hands. Looking closely, we may be even be communicating with ourselves, seeing a message only we can discover.

Beneath the Dunes
12” x 18”
acrylic on paper

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Paintings

12" x 18"
acrylic on paper

These two images signal a return to painting. I am reminded once again how much I love flinging paint around. Unlike craft, there is no pre-planning or pre-sketching with the reward of a theme or symbol emerging in the finished abstract. It is a direct connection to the unconscious.

A few additional pieces, not shown, suggested various figures which I am trying to develop using water-soluble crayon. It is easy to erase lines or whole sections with a wet sponge. Using marks on top of dried acrylics has opened my mind to mixed media, beginning with an under-painting of acrylics. Returning to Mary Todd Beam’s book Celebrate Your Creative Self, I see her examples of refining designs using colored pencils. More discoveries!

12" x 18"
acrylic on paper

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I just saw Avatar and it has just become one of my favorite movies of all time!

Artists will appreciate the gorgeous scenery, flora, and fauna of the alien world Pandora as well as the natives themselves. The colors are beautiful, brilliant, vivid. The movie has strong reminders of my favorite science-fiction books—especially “Midworld,” by Alan Dean Foster and The Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey—as well as my favorite movie, “Dances With Wolves.” Some themes come straight out of historic reality, though, such as the military-industrial-corporate complex, the Vietnam war, earth-based/Goddess-based religions, and current events. Even with those reminders, this movie is a fantastic and believable story knitted together with strong characters, a strong plot, and a strong theme.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Great Goddess

Several years ago while walking, I found this on the ground. With its shape, rust, age, and dirt, it struck me as an ancient prehistoric Goddess figure. For a long time, I had it propped up near my work computer. Can you guess what it once was?*

Once I figured out what it was, I bought some new ones and today I played around making a more modern version of the Great Goddess. Using a magnet, a star-like washer, and a pair of ball bearings, I placed her into a mint tin I’d already altered with paint and tucked in a soft brown fabric. Perhaps later I’ll wire the figure into the tin so she can sit propped up.

*It is a battery connector for a car!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy 2010!

Spiral Mountain & Moon
7.25” x 4.50”
Ink on paper

Taking an idea from a recent Cloth, Paper, Scissors article about zentangles I did this doodle. I was quite pleased with the results. I had wanted to try more doodle-type sketching and it was fun to make.

The doodle is in a small notebook I made with unlined sketch paper and a cover recycled from an acrylic painting on watercolor paper. Sporting blue Irish waxed linen thread and some blue seed beads, it’s a favorite place to jot down creative bursts. Because of their small size, these Art Ideas notebooks get filled quickly; I needed to make three last year.

There is a freedom in working so small. The size is perfect for capturing fleeting ideas and has really contributed to my creativity. My drawings are getting better as I try to express myself in sketches rather than words. I love being able to make my own now rather than using commercial notebooks with their thin, lined, acid-full, ink-bleeding pages.

Lately, I’ve been pondering what direction my art will take in 2010. Have you decided what you are going to concentrate on the next twelve months? Will you try something new or refine a certain technique? Will you branch out or stay with a beloved medium?

Wishing everyone happiness, health, and heaps of creativity in this New Year!