Friday, January 28, 2011


I will be teaching DOLL MAKING AS A TRANSFORMATIVE PROCESS online at Barb Kobe's new site

Six sessions for $65, includes printed material, pictures, patterns, handouts for fabric, paper, and mixed media projects for each session, as well as unlimited conversation, starting March 1, 2011.

Good for trying new projects to changing yourself and the World! Join women of all ages and nationalities in this inspiring process!

Barb will be teaching her Creative Journey class as well. For inspiration and to get started, go to

See you there!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

More Art!

A wonderful thing about dark and rainy winters on the Peninsula is the opportunity the dark days afford me for making ART.

Even though I offered to go to work this morning, to remove stitches and start exercises on 4 post-operative patients, I spent the rainy and hailing afternoon bringing this painting from laboriously rubbed-out and re-drawn charcoal lines on a primed canvas to an almost-finished painting! There is nothing that makes me happier...AND some crab, mac and cheese, and berry pie from Blackbird for dinner! What could be better! Having limited time sometimes is effective to get me working...instead of procrastinating by cleaning the house or something equally un-fun.

I took this photo of a mother and son getting their pictures taken when I was in Mexico last winter. I hope to capture the boy's rather apprehensive stance. My brother, David, has been encouraging me to return to this flat style. I like it, too.

I'm on a roll for sure! Last year at this time I was motivated by the application deadline for Strait Arts...this year I don't even care whether I make the 2/14 deadline or not, although it would be nice. I'm just happy to be playing and showing here and on Facebook.

I tend to jump around all over the place, so I'm limiting myself to three major art foci: Paintings--mostly portraits, collages, like this one, using stuff I collected on my fall trip to the East Coast. This is built into the concave side of a painting panel, using Apoxie Sculpt to attach dis-parate shapes and materials, telling sub-conscious stories, and the series of drawings inspired by Richar Tuttle's simplicity...There's always something I can work on, and of course continuing my effort to draw, draw, draw and stick ephemera into my daily notebooks.

First two drawings...I'm up over 30 now...makes quite a pile. Limits create freedom!


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Happily Making Art--or at least Happy when Finished

Today in the meditation group, we talked about the difficult and challenging aspects of life and working on being open to what other people present to us, as well as accepting all the aspects of ourselves without being judgmental.

Wanting to make "good" portraits, portraits that satisfy me, has been a goal since this time last do something with a painting that a photograph can't. (I've been reading David Hockney on photography)

I'm more interested in capturing an essence than a likeness, and I've read that the people we know best are often the most difficult to capture.

As those of you who have followed this blog know, I tend to jump all over the place with my art work, and therefore sometimes lose the benefits that constant struggle along one path
can bring.

Drawing and painting, like any other skill
involving eye-hand-brain coordination, improve with practice. Because I want so much to
do well, I invent all kinds of reasons not to
work at the improvement part, the getting through
the ugly stuff to get to the good stuff.

This time I'm trying to stick with it, and keep
addressing the same "problem" again and
again until I'm least for a moment.

As I spend time with the original photograph, different sizes, shapes, and media, I am incorporating new knowledge and skill into my fingertips, my brain, my eyes. I don't know what compels me to
do this, only that Something does, and I feel frustrated and satisfied at the same time to be doing it.

Funny to see one thing and watch the hand
create another, like me trying to sing. At least
with drawing I have a chance to fulfill my
promise to myself. I see that writing is a
constant companion to my visual art as well.

I tell my students: "follow your instincts," and I do. I'm pretty sure I don't have the entrepreneurial skills to become a rich and famous artist, but I do have the self-knowledge to keep doing the things that seem Important to Me, even if no one else ever shares my fascination with what comes out of my pen.

If you're curious, here's what my real David Hastings looks like, the photo I've been working from, which cried out, "paint me." the moment I saw him sitting that way.

The first painting I showed you, finished today, is the one that finally satisfied me--for a few minutes. I can't wait to have time to try another subject. Being called to be an artist seems to be equal parts frustration and joy--on a good day!

On another topic, another know my peripatetic nature. I am in the process, in my "spare" time (ha! ha!) of writing the life change/life celebration online class, HOT FLASH, and am soliciting images on the HOT FLASH theme and stories you may want to share. Please email me at with your contributions...I'm never going to be rich, but might as well have FUN!


Sunday, January 09, 2011

Transitions and Transformations

Two views of the (In)Famous 9.5 foot-tall BIG Doll, who has graced the center of my living space now for several years. I have almost come to the crucial point of finishing her....
New Year, starting and ending projects are challenging for me. Especially on this gray Sunday morning, with a watercolor sky, through which I can glimpse cracks of if I don't hurry and actually
commit my thoughts to type, they will have vanished and I'll be all cheerful again, wondering what all the
gloom and agony were about.

I've been occupied for the last year with finally finishing HOT FLASH: A CELEBRATION,(available on my web site) promoting it (which never motivates me as much as doing it), then all the projects that naturally fall around the holidays, my annual Angels and Exhibits...

Every year I design a new tree angel for family and

And here we are in January, the weather is still cold and dark, the holiday treats are almost all consumed, the weight is creeping up, the Inspiration seems to have dried and blown away...and so how do we re-discover, re-invent our Better Selves, that we almost despair of ever experiencing again?

Zuni Path: (1) Show Up, (2) Pay Attention, (3) Tell the Truth, (4) Stay Open to Results

Barb Kobe called and wants to do a Transformative Doll Making web site, where we can both teach our classes, I was interviewed for a radio show with Mark Harvey, he saying that "Transformation" is the concept that resonates in talking with me, I get an email from
Kat Fasano, saying that she resonates with what I'm talking about...and without doing any more than putting the word out to the Universe, my next step becomes clear...

Of course, my argumentative mind goes: Just because you can do it doesn't mean you HAVE to do it...maybe you should just be drawing and painting and sculpting and writing (in the small amounts of time away from the paying job), and not worrying about reaching out to other folks. Who knows? But at some point one must just choose, go ahead, and see what happens, so I'm putting out an invitation to the Universe and You.

Here's my first description of the HOT FLASH online class, which may evolve as time progresses:

HOT FLASH: Express the wisdom and emotion of this Universal Process through doll making! Celebrate your femaleness and maturity—or your ability to continue to have fun playing at your advanced age.

We’ll share stories and make cloth, paper, mixed media dolls, journals, masks? cookies? on the theme of Hot Flash, giving new meaning to the term, “Power Surge”! Wear comfortable layers and be prepared to have fun with sweat; and since the class will be taught online, you can come in your jammies! This is an opportunity to create your own paper or cloth doll designs, look into your own personal history and aspirations, and to join into group play on a common theme. I will provide inspirations, suggestions, and basic patterns, if you need them...The group will be supportive of every effort—and magical things will happen! Barb Kobe will provide the ethernet play room for our six-session. More Information to follow!