"When we all think alike, then no one is thinking."
— Walter Lippman

Monday, November 4, 2013

Icons and Opportunities

As artists, we are constantly influenced by what we see and experience.  These images become subconscious prompts for future work, and can sometimes be inspiration for immediate expression.   In all cases, we are gifted with a variety of opportunities on a daily basis.

During my recent long weekend at Valley Ridge Art Studio in Wisconsin, a group of us visited a monastic community that produces beautiful hand painted orthodox icons.   Afterward, back in the studio, this was the journal page I made, influenced by the imagery of the icons.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013


Our Artist Trading Card themes for this month included Palmistry.   This was my offering for the exchange; a composition created from a composite of four different vintage illustrations, using Adobe Photoshop.

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Mixed media collage in my visual journal using Dylusion Inks, matte medium, collage, Molotow markers, Prismacolor pencils, and two of my favorite quotes about endurance:

She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her away, she adjusted her sails.
                                                                                                           -Elizabeth Edwards

On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fate Luck Chance

Visual Journal pages using Dylusion Inks, Molotow markers, Prismacolor pencils, black gesso, matte medium, and collage.
When working with Dylusion Inks, which are NOT waterproof, it is important to note that if you are going to add collage elements or any wet medium, the inked areas must be sealed to avoid color bleeding.   In this journal, I created backgrounds on all of the pages using the Dylusion inks because I love the vibrant colors.  Then, I applied matte medium with a roller to seal.  I used 2 thin coats, drying between coats.   The beauty of this method, is that once you have applied the medium, any further marks can be removed with a damp cloth without distrubing the background.   So, if you make a mistake or want to change something that you have done with marker or pencils, you can do so quite easily.  This works less effectively with permanent markers, if they are completely dry, but early on, there is a chance to change your mind and "erase."   I use baby wipes to do this while I am working.

The text on the pages reads:
That's life.... a long series of little questions that lead you from one moment to the next, never waiting for you to catch your breath.  And in the end it all comes back to three basics:  Fate...Luck...Chance.

In my Art Journals, text becomes an element of design, leading the viewer through the composition, and lending interpretation to the narrative.  

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Working in my journal with Dylusion ink, black gesso, Prismacolor pencils, matte medium and collage, while revisiting some of my favorite quotes about fear.
Social control is best managed by fear, the parent of cruelty and the enemy of logic.
Fear is a Liar.  To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.  

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Mixed Media Journal Pages

Here are two pages from my visual journal today.    These started with background painting using Dylusion Inks.   These inks are wonderful for color richness, but they are not waterproof.  Since I wanted to do some painting and collage on these backgrounds, I sealed them with acrylic medium applied with a roller.   That allowed me to work freely on the backgrounds with collage, paint, and colored pencil after they were dry.    
The writing is done with Molotow markers, which are permanent and waterproof acrylic when dry, so the entire work can be sealed with matte medium when finished, or painted on, without fear of the text running or smearing.   

In mixed media art, it's so important to learn about the characteristics of the mediums you use, to avoid unhappy accidents.   It's all about learning and experimenting.  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Heads or Tails?

 One of the choices for this month's ATC exchange was Mermaids.  I used 7 individual images to create this illustration in Photoshop and then decided to experiment with a reversal  of the "parts."
The second card design is sort of a "reverse mermaid."   I find it both amusing and a little disturbing to see the fish head in this context, and this one is actually my favorite of the two.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Another Set of Three

The fun experimentation with sets of three continues.  This time, inspired by the colors in my garden and a summer sunset.   
Working on three collage paintings simultaneously is a great way to keep the energy flowing, challenge yourself to work intuitively and not linger too long in the decision making process.  
Choosing the basic elements you intend to work with prior to beginning, allows you to work without having to stop and look for things.   Of course, as the process goes on, allow plenty of room for spontaneous inspiration.  
The possibilities are endless.   The important thing is, let this be your own expression.  Don't copy something that someone else has already done.   Work from your own intuition and be genuine.  It's just so much more fun that way anyhow.   

Friday, July 12, 2013

Sets of Three

I have been working with sets of three collages simultaneously.   Here's how it works….. I begin by making 3 background pieces using a mono printing process on my Gelli printing plate, and the same colors on all 3.   Then a layer of painting is added to start building the composition.  Next collage elements are applied using paper and matte medium.   Finally, mark making, paint or detail work.   The rules I am applying to this process are simple…. whatever I use on one, whether it is a specific paper, color of paint or type of mark making, I must use on all 3.  So there is a continuity in the materials and colors as they relate to each other, but all 3 are still unique expressions.  

I am also working very intuitively on these, trying not to "over think" the whole process.  These may or may not be finished.

There are several options for the finished pages…. they could be bound into journal form, or mounted as individual pieces, or as a triptych.  

Thursday, July 4, 2013


"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."
                                              ~Nelson Mandela

This piece was composed of four individual images arranged and altered unsing Photoshop CC.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Annie Oakley

   The theme of this months Artist Trading Card is Cowgirls and Cowboys.   I chose to portray one of my childhood heros, Annie Oakley.  

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Journal Page

"We must walk consciously only part way to our goal, and then leap into the darkness to our success"
                                                                                                                       --Henry David Thoreau

vintage photograph, acrylic paint, paper, ink, vintage sheet music, antique map

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