Winged creatures


monoprint, tissue transparency, acrylic and ink on 10 X 11″ paper

From the heart of a tree in the dark of night

Vibration of winged breath and penetrating gaze

Rising of timber crossing a wingspan

Appearing, then disappearing with a piercing call

Wildness breaking through the night air

Nothing left but the moonlit hairs on my arms

Barn owls.  My favorite with their strange flat faces and golden glow. I traced this one from a calendar picture onto some light and textured oriental paper, then collaged it over a monoprint as a transparency (the Monday Muse Group lesson), and kept painting.

I’ve heard owls at night and sighted from a distance, or in benevolent captivity at the Bird Rescue Center, but they live in greatest wildness in the yearning of my psyche.

. . .which is why it has been so thrilling to watch the Eagle Cam in Washington that is snooping round the clock on The President and First Lady with their fluff-ball baby chicks in the nest. Do give them a visit if you haven’t already. And here is my sketch done while I was voyeuring.


Mom and Pop tag team it, so I’m not sure which one this was. He/she set to ripping apart the collosal dead fish and eating and sharing with the open beaks. There are three chicks now.  I missed the birth (crack).  Darn!


One Rooster, Two Pictures

pen and w/c sketch

It’s always fun to see the sketch alongside the photo of the subject. You get to see what I had time to include (while standing and being jostled in the narrow aisles) and what got left out.

Today I had a wonderful tutorial with my friend Suzanne Edminster on how to go from the art to blog posting, all on the iPhone!  Wonders never cease.  Now I’m really armed for travel sketching!  Thank you Suzanne.

Ready for the Red Carpet

Since I took my Party Chick paintings over for the show at Corrick’s Gallery in Santa Rosa I’ve been missing them.  And luckily a new flock flew into my studio just in time for the Academy Awards tonight.  I wonder what the fashion critics will have to say about their sense of style!


#1 – Acrylic and “skins” on canvas, 12″ X 12″

I do hope you’ll help me with names!  I haven’t gotten that far yet and could definitely use ideas.







And of course they would love it if you pretended you were an Academy member and voted for your favorite!

Happy Valentines

handcaressinginks, gesso, collage, pen drawing, feathers and lace texture transfer on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

Love is leaning against your leg all folded up like a new born calf, soft and subtle and strong as your hands say SAFE.

This one for my valentine and for the men and women lovers in the world.  As I posted this image I realized its connection to the One Billion Rising action today, asserting that our world must stop the violence commited against the one billion women of the planet (one in every 3).  I pray for all women to be able to experience the loving care of men like my husband.  And tonight I will dance with women all around the world in a V-day rising up and demanding an end to this violence against women.

On the art side of this. . .another experiment in relationship collage done in the Muse Groups.  I started out with a quick sketch copy in my hand of a Picasso line drawing.  Ending with the downy inner feathers of a chicken of mine that was taken off by two marauding dogs this week.

Another sad chicken story.  The dogs got two more of my chickens and injured yet two more who are now safe and recovering.  Violence in the animal world as well.

The Heart Trails of ARTrails

Oct. 13, 10am and ready for visitors

The signs have been taken down, the studio transformed from gallery showroom to painting studio and classroom, and the stories of the past two weekends  keep floating up from a richly aromatic memory stew.

There was the young man who proudly sported a hawk feather in his cap, added to his bright green t-shirt, making him look like a modern day Robin Hood.  As he gazed at all my bird paintings and nest collection he shared his story of discovering a fully intact but dead, red tailed hawk at road side.  A native American man appeared and let him participate in the ceremony of honoring the bird and harvesting the feathers for a ceremonial headress.  The magic of those moments for this young man in his coming-of-manhood years rested like a blessing on my studio.

One visitor, a woman who had moved to Costa Rica in her retirement said that she treated herself to a trip back to Sonoma Co. each year during the ARTrails season in order to get her art fix for the year, since she had not found a similarly dynamic art culture in her new home.  She spent quite a while in my studio, took pictures in the garden, and bought my book, Conversations With the Muse, hoping to take it back home with her and find others who would do summon the creative Muse with her.

At one point there was a steady stream of people coming in my door until they were shoulder to shoulder and I was suddenly breathless.  I asked if they had come on a bus together.  One of them explained that they were an extended family, enjoying their annual reunion by driving a caravan of cars to ARTrails studios!

Then there was the couple who stood a long time gazing at my painting Because the World Needs Angels and finally decided to buy a print of it for their home.  But when they spoke to me of their wishes, a torrent of feeling was released that left both them and myself in tears.  The painting was part of the healing they needed following a year of intense family loss. There’s something about this painting. . .a kind of reassurance that even when our loved ones cross over, their spirit will still be accessible to us.  I’m thinking I’ll hang it across from the chair where my 93 year old mother sits each day pondering the gifts of the end of life.

Of course it’s always interesting to see who buys the art.  A little girl in pink is the proud owner of Jester Bird, a pink painting from the Party Chick series, which her mother bought for her.  And an older couple on a fixed income bought Entwined on layaway because it illustrated the creative source for them. A pregnant woman picked my Mother Hen painting from the bin, and her mother bought it for her. It’s a very gentle, serene image of a hen and chicks, not my typical cocky rooster or jazzy party chick painting.

And then there was the lady who had brought her friend and stayed for a while, looking through my books and visiting and planning to come paint with me.  The following day she showed up again bearing a gratitude gift bag of sweet cherry tomatoes and succulent raspberries from her garden, sprinkled with flower blossoms and chocolates-just what I needed to sustain me for the last few hours of the open studio.

On the last day, in the final two hours of open studios a cool wind blew up heralding our first real rain of the season, which left a glistening freshness to everything by the next morning.  I’m left with a feeling of sweet serendipity about this open studio and  gratitude for the way that viewers give my art new life again and again.  Thanks to those of you who are among them.

Some of the paintings I’ve mentioned here are in my online gallery if you want to see them.

Origins of Flight

“Origins of Flight”, acrylic, collage on canvas, 24″X24″

It started out with wanting to build a nest. Why should only the birds be allowed to do this?  I collected materials, even tried weaving my own with dried grasses and other plant materials.  They fell apart.  I didn’t have the DNA for it.

But painting is what I do. So I took my two dimensional surface and started with powdered graphite, collage and image transfer and then the color starting working its way in, and now many days later, the fledgelings are ready to fly.

Next week I’ll be hanging this painting and a multitude of other for the ARTrails open studio art sale.  Hope you can come by for a visit, Oct. 13, 14, 20, and 21, 10am-5pm.  You’ll find me on the map, Studio #68 (download here).