Figurative Abstracts

Tyvek Christmas

More angels of a Tyvek sort. Lumiere paint by Jacguard of the duochrome sort, like Halo Blue Gold, is what I recommend. Paint the Tyvek, cut out shapes and watch them bend and twist as you touch the iron to them. Dancing angels! If you hold the iron too long you get a hole, but since angels are ethereal, they don’t particularly mind.

I found some lovely faces for them, and then made lots more. I think I’ll have an Angel tree this Christmas.


And then there’s the dancing star. . .

butterflyAnd I think I’ll make some more butterflies now. The body is a Tyvek bead wrapped in gold wire. My studio is full of so much color now!


Some Angels

December is always craft making month for me, and I prefer to do it with friends, whether it’s pine-y garlands, ornaments, or hand made presents. This week I invited my coffee friends, Liz and Sandy and Kay, over to play with Tyvek, a synthetic paper that melts in radically cool ways when you heat it with an iron or heat gun. After our session there were some interesting pieces left behind, and one of them became this angel. We all need angels now and so I’ve dedicated the month of December to inviting angels in.

someangelsAcrylic painted Tyvek collaged onto painted 300 lb. w/c paper, 10 X 11″

Some angels wear their hearts on their sleeves, but I prefer mine dangling. I am incognito in my elaborate angel garb, but I am not an illusion. 

Take my heart home with you and you’ll get it. This transcend-dance thing is for all of us.

I would love to do a lesson on this in my Artful Muse classes, but alas, we would need a lot more electrical capacity for the irons than my little studio can handle. However, if you want to do the painting and “melting” of the paper at home and bring it to class, I have discovered a way to adhere it reliably, crinkles and all, to the paper surface! There are videos on line, like this one, about how to do this first part, which just takes some experimentation. Actually I found out about it from a friend/student in my class. Thank you Ellyn!

Next: Christmas tree angels and a bearer of tidings!

The Quest for Beauty


“Chrysalid II”, inks, gesso, pencil, collage on canvas 24″X24″

In his book Wabi Sabi: Further Thoughts, Leonard Koren shares the quest for beauty that led  him to explore more deeply the wabi-sabi way.  In his definition of beauty he writes:

By “beauty” I mean that complex of exciting, pleasurable sensations-ostensibly emanating from things – that makes us feel more alive and connected to the world.  Often these feelings are accompanied by a compelling sense of truth, goodness, and/or love.

I can’t think of a better explanation for why I paint! But it goes beyond that to an honoring of life, with all its natural processes. Wabi sabi is a celebration of the roughness and unevenness of life as it unfolds in bumps and starts, one forward and two steps back. I imagine the gnarled old apple tree in my garden that wears its age with the grace and originality as I aspire to. The rusty garden implements, the grasses draping over my walkway, and in my studio – the torn paper and textured surfaces I love to paint on.


Muddy Angels


acrylic on acrylic textured surface with gold leaf on canvas, 24″ x 24″

I’ve always believed in the angels that walk among us, as us. The ones that get their feet dirty with the messes of everyday living and that occasionally sparkle with divine light shining through the cracks!

In my own struggle to capture these earthly/heavenly creatures of multi-dimensions onto a two dimensional surface,  I started by borrowing from one who succeeded in this – Michelangelo. Through all my struggles with intention, technique and media, not to mention feelings of inadequacy, I finally stopped and saw a rather startling depiction of a story unfolding in my own life just now. In the interests of allowing space for you, the viewer, to react with your own personal interpretation, I must leave it at that.

Technique-wise I employed my favorite Golden acrylics, light molding paste for textural build up and Micaceous Iron Oxide and other copper and gold mixed with other pigments to create that other-worldly patina.

Over the years angels have been coming to roost on my canvases. You can see more of them  and here and here.


I am of two minds


acrylic and Citra solved collage on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

I am of two minds.

I am of the mind that looks into dark spaces and shines light there.

I am of the mind that rests in darkness, seeing the light outside while not feeling a part of it.

And where these two meet I am of the mind of the explorer scaling dangerous peaks to discover the region where darkness meets light and the two sides finally know each other.

Hu-Man Angel


Acrylic and collage on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

 He shimmers on the threshold, this Apollo, this David, this hunk of man flesh.  The winged guardian knows a human angel when she sees one, knows he needs her blessings, for there is no loving among humans without the duel pain of longing and loss. Meanwhile lovers stroll in moonlight, offering prayers to each other, with a reverence born of pairing.

Honestly, I do not seek to either scandalize or incite the passions with this bit of naughtiness.  There are simply times in art play when certain images seem to belong together.  The “assignment” was to take a picture and glue it onto the paper and continue the image out from it onto the larger paper using paint and collage and line.

When my husband saw this piece on my table, he said “When did you catch that picture of me?”  Always the joker!