Thursday, December 24, 2009


Much joy to you and yours at this time of the turning of the sun in the Northern Hemisphere.

Life, as always, interferes with my well-intentioned plans, and the solidification of the classes I'll teach (only 3) at Art-Is-You in CT in October 2010 is lagging behind where I'd hoped it would be. Ah, well, I'm human.

Here are the classes I'm considering: Mixed Media Doll (as shown). This seems a definite, as I've only just begun to explore the possibilities.

So Lucky You, you get to help me narrow the many choices down to three.

Self Portrait in paper and fabric class. That's me, in my twenties, with a painted fabric body and quilted, embroidered wings...I needed wings to fly above all that storm of my first marriage.


1) Mixed Media Doll
2) Star in your own Show--Self Portrait
3) Ancestor Doll
4) Not Your Mother's Paper Dolls
5) Idols and Icons (tiny dolls and jewelry using dolls)
6) Manageable Monoliths (simple non-realistic dolls with wire armature)
7) A Theater of Dreams (fabric journal, imaginary travel journal)

Please help me choose 3

Paper Dolls

Found Objects


Sunday, December 13, 2009


I'm Working away on the HOT FLASH BOOK, although not quickly, as those of you who've contacted me can probably tell. Life always seems to take more time than I expect, and so projects take longer, because I don't want to miss Life to do nothing but projects....BALANCE!

I'm republishing this free HOT FLASH Pattern, so those of you in Reel Dolls in Corvalis, OR, or any other doll group of makers who are interested can use it.

I'm enjoying gathering stories of women's successes in transforming our lives into what we want against all odds.

If you drag the image of the pattern off onto your desk top, it should print to fill an 8.5" x 11" paper.

HOT FLASH artist book, complete with light bulbs, a picture of me, the face of the HOT FLASH doll behind.

I find the topic FuLL of potential inspirations!


Mexico Travel Journal

In addition to relaxation, I determined that my week in Mexico would be productive. An artist can never have too much of training eye and hand to work together.

It also seems that if one concentrates on an experience long enough to write and opposed to just snapping a photo...the Memory is deepened and enforced.
The drawings don't have to be Master Level, as you can see.

Although I have a bureau full of collage papers, I made a point of bringing just a small collection of papers. Since my goal was to complete an entire notebook at the beach, I used a wide light green Coptic Marker, to make parallel lines on each page, vaguely reminiscent of water, tying all the pages together on a subliminal level.

In doing a Travel Journal, count on advertisements and local publications for collage materials as well.
I always find written description a necessary part of recording impressions. Your style may be different.

As long as you are not reproducing for sale, you can work off other artist's pieces to jump start your inspiration, like incorpor-
ating this horse drawing from Seattle Art Museum with my own black drawn lines.
I also packed a small tin box of water soluble crayons and a small watercolor set that my beloved high school art teacher, Jessie Loomis, brought back from her trip to Europe in the early Sixties.

A UHU glue stick and fine-point colored markers completed my kit....Travel Light!

Where else could I have access to so
many scantily-dressed people, lying still. Great models...and free!

What a divided world! The staff vacuumed the sand each morning. Even dolphins were pressed
into servitude, with tourists paying to stand in a cement pool and grab a dorsal fin in each hand to be pulled 100 feet or so.

The pink retro flowers are tissue paper from the gift bags waiting for us in our rooms. The repeated motif ties the story together.

Now, Here's an OPPORTUNITY, speaking of travel journals: I've been invited to teach at the Toscana Americana Workshops in Cortona, Italy, in 2011. The cost would be around $3000 for the week, which includes housing, food, and some tours.

Let me know what you think.


Saturday, December 05, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Straight from vacation in Mexico to Work, then Thanksgiving with the Northwest Family and Friends.

Food is always a Focal Point for us. This year the theme, thanks to Brian, was French.

Here, he enthusiastically surveys the bounty.

Recipe for Sweet Potatoes:

6 baked sweet potatoes, peeled and smashed
1/4C orange marmalade
To taste: cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, coriander
1/8C slivered candied ginger
ginger and pecans on top, baked at 350 degrees 30 min.

Thankful for friends, family, food, health, the high of making art, playing with ideas, books.

I'll post pictures from my Mexico travel journal next, and some ideas for classes at Art_Is You and Tuscany, too. I'll get back to HOT FLASH, too. What a Bounty of Ideas and things to do!


Mexico: Wedding: A few Art Shots

I just finished posting lots of photos onto Facebook...Friend me for the long version. This will be the short one. David and I flew to Mexico for the week before Thanksgiving--a week at an all-inclusive resort for Shannon and Chris' wedding. Luckily David got me to buy the ticket back in March, when I'd just received my tax refund.

Experiences, especially with family and friends, are more important than least I hope to create an appropriate balance. Same challenge of Balance with Time...between work/achievement/experience. For me, it's always a struggle for balance, but I don't beat myself up as much for not meeting my own high standards. Sunrise over the Atlantic from our balcony. Below, workers were vacuuming the white sand before the guests emerged.

Today I got distracted
by the sunshine and walking here, back home in the Northwest. A piece of Apple pie with cheddar cheese crust at Black Bird was my reward for exercise...Food is TOO MUCH FUN. At least food is still a dependable sensual pleasure.

The oldest of my many brothers, Steve, with his oldest, Shannon, walking her down the red carpet over the white sand. Her profession is corporate travel planning, and she did a stellar job of organizing her wedding, at the all-inclusive resort 50 miles south of Cancun.

Steve's wife, Linda, with the bride and groom. They have been good parents with beautiful, kind, and successful daughters.

Steve and Megan...perhaps another wedding next summer?

I haven't been so warm for so many days in a row since I left NY. 80's and 90's in the day and 70's at night just don't happen in the NW, nor do I really want it day after day. By the last day, I was breaking out in hives from heat and looking forward to returning to the Cool Blue North.

My Art Goal (met, with images later) for the trip was to finish out a sketch book with drawings and collage. It was a great opportunity for sketching, with hundreds of almost-naked bodies lying about.

The resort was in an area that must have been created out of coral reef along the east coast of Mexico, with
channels cut through so all the condos can have water views,

and sea critters pressed into the cement for texture between the slabs.

It was a perfect setting for Wedding and Vacation, without much evidence of Reality, except for down side streets seen from the van on the way back to the airport.

I'm reading David Byrne's BICYCLE DIARIES with lots of discussion about how the design of contemporary cities affects the lives that are lived in them.

One small evidence of the incongruity I love.

A perfect bride and groom. We cry at weddings, wish Shannon and Chris all the best. New Life, New Hope, the Future of Humanity.

I am one of the Other 50% of failed marriages. And my legacy is Art, writing, the connections I make with my patients, my students, my readers. Knowing that Happily Ever After is impossible, I do wish them all the Best and as much Happiness as possible.