Wednesday, December 02, 2015


Like anyone, I sometimes have strong emotions. I am bad at expressing them when confronted. Perhaps it's because I'm acutely aware how anything I might say in an intense moment could be cause for regret later. It's difficult to un-say a thing. So here's the kind of things I do . . .

Before the advent of visual journal practice, my vitriol might be written out long hand. While it would give me some satisfaction at the time, the regret of anyone reading later how I felt lingers. So I stopped.

However, strong emotion needs expression. Words written, layered under image and paint, and scrawling lines . . .

with the words obliterated, the pages become a different form, a  mess, a ground . . .

whatever I started out feeling shifts into a sort of nothingness . . .

the strong emotion might still be with me at the end of creation, but that's fine. There's been an integration of expression. My anger, sadness, pain doesn't need to be read; only expressed. I'm allowed that.

Sunday, November 29, 2015


Our day began with lighting the first candle of Solstice Advent; that light of Stones and Bones as borrowed from a
Waldorf School prayer and this article.

It was not a day of getting right to creating in the studio. There were some things to manage outside awhile, a little yard maintenance, and the getting of some sun on one's face. Then there was the baking of quick breads using left over mashed pumpkin and sweet potato. I'm ignoring the turkey; we are not on good terms right now.
And so during a bout of Football Tourette's, I started some simple work. Glue stick and fancy tape.
(Photo sent to me by Mindy Tsonas.)

Green and blue spread with a plastic card . . .

A borrowed sunrise and this morning's Instagram image . . .
(Sunrise photo by Hope Fitzgerald. Sometimes, I need someone else's sunrise.)

It is so very nice finding a table-top easel sweet and cheap! It makes the forays into drips and dribbles quite accessible. Bubble-wrap stamping, white acrylic spray, and a little iron oxide.

Top and side edges finished with some cheap Cotton Candy acrylic paint.

Mindy's handwriting finished in gold.

A close peek at the Cotton Candy sparkle paint dots.

When the sun goes over that western mountain, it is my turn for Vigil, lighting the Flame for Brighid.
I am an honored hostess from sun down to sun down.

Friday, November 27, 2015


It is a spread a few days in the making as I've been busy making other things in preparation for yesterday's feast.
Collage and gesso is a fine start.

Another day and an addition of colors with a dash of postal stamp delight.

Micaceaous Iron Oxide does a fine job of reflecting that Black Friday feel.
Such shopping nonsense! I've little reason to leave the comfort of home today.

The finishing touch: Cranberry color daubed, drizzled, and then scratched.
The words can wait. I've more tryptophan to sleep off.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


This past summer, I'd signed on for Mindy Tsona's Inner Alchemy Fire Coven card making activities. Because I love doing more of the same stuff, I'd also signed on for the Earth Coven. Initially, the plan was to create the Earth Coven cards the same way as the Fire Coven cards. (And how many times can I use the word coven in a paragraph?) However, another distinct direction emerged. The backgrounds begged for deep umbers, siennas and pinks. The words wanted a different font. And use glue stick instead of Mod Podge. Okay then.

My Fire Coven cards complete and Earth Coven cards in progress.
The neighbor of 16 years (count 'em ~ includes a few Leap Years, I'm sure) has sold his house and moved. There is, again, a distinct difference between a house standing with no one at home for awhile and a house that is simply empty. Looking across the road to an empty house is an odd sensation. Then there is the wondering of what the new neighbors will be like. One of my dogs is confused by the lack of dog she used to spend her days barking at. Her nemesis is gone. There is no reason to go pee on the neighbor's lawn. Territory. It's a bitch.

Crystal and her stuffed raccoon.
(Actually, it's Tricksy Bean the Ferret's toy, but Crystal steals it any chance she gets.)
Bumbling around in the studio, looking to bump into a bit of inspiration, I turn to some empty pages in the mega-journal. Green tape, gesso, spray ink, orange-blob-smear. And where's that two-inch hole punch? Bleh. Done.

And then I write and write and write . . . continuity.

Green tape and gesso . . .

ink spray and orange acrylic . . .

splotch (it's an Art Term) . . .

(Now it sounds like something out of Batman.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Everyone's blank page is different.
Challenge or opportunity.

So I play with the blank ambiguity.
While the gesso dries, I play with a languishing canvas . . .

layers of interference colors and black ~ just add water.
This might sit another week though.

Meanwhile, back at the pages, drips and daubs.

Layer on the Lemon Yellow.
(And this is when the pages come apart from the book from so much water. A quick repair with masking tape on the other side. It also means the previous spread has been compromised. The hazards of art journal creation.)

Taking in the winter view from the studio while paint dries again.

Golden Yellow dots . . .

a bronzed edge . . .

texture created with stencil and gel medium . . .

Hawaii Blue . . .

and, finally, drips of Red Iron Oxide and orange.
I try not to worry about beginning too much.
It's the work in between that can seem daunting.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015


The day has been a series of interferences. A furnace service person arriving far too early in my morning. (Before tea, no less. The audacity!) Phone calls pouring in hitched on the last ring of the previous call. The Girl Friday workings of being the middle person in getting Stuff done.
And yet . . .
I managed to get some of my work done.
An easy deal with paint and glue.

My femme fatale collage progressed with some paint-dipped rubber band blobs . . .

then a layer of spiral rice paper . . .

a wash of matte medium and magenta . . .

ending with a layer of Interference Violet.
The last interference of my day.

Grunge and glitz.

Waiting for the conversation to begin.

Monday, November 02, 2015


It has been  . . . busy.
So the creating of journal pages (or anything, for that matter) has been more a process of luck and chance
beginning with gesso and some baby blue paint . . .
then lime green . . .

then a little Dylusions grunge . . .

pounced down a bit . . .

stopping here for the night.
Femme fatale ripped collage.
Let it rest, let it percolate. See what tomorrow brings.
Hopefully, more time at the table.

Sunday, October 25, 2015


It is, perhaps, not the correct action to write a blog post when being "unplugged." Do it anyway. Here's the thing: It's important to unplug, disengage, find something else to do other than check e-mails or the daunting Facebook feed or other blogs for that matter. Playing with paint and paper helps, but the computer is still too dangerously close. Setting aside the Android and laptop is easier done when I'm gathering my wool. Cleaning and carding, getting it ready for spinning. It is an activity that can be done if (gods forbid) the power went out. Well, not so much the cleaning. Hot water is a necessity when cleaning excess lanolin and dirt from sheep's wool ~ waiting for it to boil on the gas range makes it an all-day affair, inducing all manner of grapefruit spoon eye gouging fantasies. But beyond that, electricity isn't needed to card and then spin the cleaned wool. Pretty lo-tech.

So. I let my mind dance between complete mindfulness and random thoughts as I card wool. Truth be told, though I love spinning wool, it's meditative quality of repetitive movement, carding it is dead boring. Which is good, I guess. We've lost the ability to be bored in this hi-tech society. In fact, we do whatever we can to avoid boredom at any cost. Time spent carding in the afternoon gives me ample wool to spin during the prime time TV hours ~ enough to spin during Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or The Blacklist or Sleepy Hollow. If the power is out, I can ride the rhythm of treadling as the wheel spins ~ a woolly shaman of sorts.

And then I actually got outside for a little while to collect eggs and take a walk to the lake. Serene beauty!
A spread layered with paints . . .

creating a shiny, rusted landscape . . .

a little crackled paint technique using tacky glue . . .

Interference Orange and Blue Sky dots . . .

magenta and black.
I'm not sure what to do with these pages.
I wrote on them. It seemed to be Enough.

Delicious carded wool in my unplugged moments.

Summer gone and so is the Backyard Oasis.
Gather the chairs for time at the chiminea instead.

And the garden is tired. She's ready to go to bed.