acrylic inks and gesso

Grandfather Bunny

Out in the side yard doing some garden trimming I suddenly came eye to eye and inches way from a bunny lying under cover of a plant I was about to trim. When he made no effort to move away. . .well, here’s the art and the story to go with it.

acrylic inks on w/c paper

Found in a tangle of lily fronds, eyes open and question posed in absolute stillness, “if I do nothing will she go away? But from my touching proximity, I knew those deep dark eyes that gazed at me would not spur action. You were waiting for that which my world is trying to escape. I restored your soft shell of leaves around you and was drawn to speak to you as that beloved wildness that I have wished to reclaim for these many years, way back into childhood, standing at its door, impeded by my human-ness.

And so I softly pleaded with you Grandfather Bunny to let me step across the threshold with you, to hop and nibble and land softly with grass stained flower fragrant belly onto the softest spot in the garden. For a few moments I was almost close enough, but could not interrupt your last minutes of life with my human gaze, even though my prayers were to spend time with you in a rabbit warren, in the path of deer and all manner of birds and bugs.

Perhaps you knew that and had already sent blessings back to me from the other side, when I found you an hour later, eyes closed and body left behind, not a scratch on it, and I brought you inside because it was darkening out and I was not ready to abandon you to nature’s hungry reclamation crew. . .yet.

Next day I located a resting place under a conifer, on the far side of the ancestral grove, and the hole dug, filled it first with love and then your perfect wild body.

And the day after I found a fresh hole in the earth above you. I wonder, did someone in your home team come to get you and take you home? Or did you find your way back out and beyond so that now you are munching clover in a sunny field somewhere. . . eternal.


There’s No Place Like Home

When evacuation was lifted and we were able to come back to our home, we unloaded the car and collapsed. A week later I was able to sit myself down at the art table to put the feelings down on paper. Here’s what came, along with the Ashes, Ashes pieces I posted yesterday.

acrylic inks on gesso textured w/c paper

There’s no place like home

Click your heels together and repeat 3X

Theres no place like home

It’s the gift a fire bestows

When home becomes so daily and

You take too much for granted

And you have to wait some days

Knowing you could lose it all

And then you don’t

And now you know how Dorothy felt

There’s no place like home



acrylic inks, gesso, collage (netting)

I noticed this one leaning up against the easel when I came in from the rainstorm tonight. My studio is a two minute walk from the house, but I put my rain boots on to ford the puddles.The (usually dry) stream bed beside my studio is a roaring cascade tonight, with nearby gopher holes spouting water like geysers.  We thirsty Californians have become rain worshipers.

Be true to what you see and feel


acrylic inks, gesso, collage on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

hang it up with pins

move it around

be true to what you see and feel

even with a storm at sea,

waves rolling in and

people running in fear,

you’ve got your own drama to watch

stay close to it

pin it here, pin it there

if it clashes, surprises or compels

you have found its target

Four of us in the new Monday Afternoon Muse Group had seen the movie Matisse at Tate Modern and MoMA and were beyond inspired by his “cut outs” art created in the last years of his life.  To watch him confined to his chair or bed, wielding enormous dressmaker’s sheers, cutting into painted paper and creating wall sized vibrant gardens of colorful shapes, was enough to set ones fingers to itching for a pair of scissors!  So the lesson was to paint two paintings quickly using the same color scheme and to cut shapes out of one to collage onto the other.

Cherish the notion


acrylic inks, gesso, clear contact paper on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

Cherish the notion that life is a garden, thorns and blooms and all.  Cherish the potentialities; not just the ones that smell good, but the ones that break the skin and bite.

As the earth starts to rot and mold, does it make you sad? Or do you go out and sketch those polka dotted ‘shrooms and light fires and inhale deeply those rain soaked leaves and pungent soils?

I try not to be sad when the creeping dark and cold of autumn arrive.  We have little to complain about here in California where the rains are what we most cherish now.  But we have become so addicted to sunshine. . . So there is a transition to make, and as with all things, art helps me across.

We started out in this Monday Muse Group by cutting out shapes in clear contact paper and sticking them on the white paper as a kind of resist.  When the contact paper was taken off it became collage pieces of a harmonious nature to use in finishing off the piece.

Wear It or Ride It

I’m woefully behind on posting!  So I’ll be playing a bit of catch up, because the art keeps happening regardless. My Experimental Acrylic and Mixed Media Painting Workshop at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts was over a week ago. Students came from as close as Sebastopol and as far as Little Rock, Arkansas and the creative sparks were flying!


We started out with warm ups and getting the paint on in expressive ways involving squirting, splattering, scraping, finger smooshing, oh and a bit of brush painting as well.


Demo: acrylic inks and gesso on w/c paper, 10 x 10″

The title of this little piece is Wear It or Ride it, though I didn’t see the figure until I looked at the picture I’d taken.

We went on to create ground textures with acrylic mediums and papers. Then, paying attention to design and color factors,we developed the textured beginning by glazing with acrylics.

Magic Carpet Ride


acrylic inks, gesso, image transfer on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

Suzy redhead rules her world, takes her magic carpet ride each day, orange cat by her side.  There’s no place too far to fly on her magic carpet bed with the apple trees outside, and the cows next door. The fabric of each day has enough colors to last, enough textures and smells, sights and sounds to entertain. And then there’s the firefly nights.  . .

Every once in a while I like to pull out some old pictures and do an image transfer with them.  I recently discovered that if you’re careful, you can do an instant transfer with gel or even matte medium (using a toner/laser print, not ink jet).  That’s what I was demonstrating in Mon. Muse group.

When I was in first grade we lived on Cowenton Ave. in Maryland, next to the cows and down the lane from the chickens. And there was a mini apple orchard in our front yard.  Small wonder I once again have found my way to living amongst the apples. And something we don’t have here in California – those magic firefly nights!

3 X Paint to Music


(Celtic Harp) acrylic inks, gesso, lace texture on 12X 12″ canvas

No brushes!  Just ink droppers, fingers, a roller, and a bit of lace to “stamp” texture on.  Not intended as a finished painting, though maybe it is.  An opportunity to let music express itself with paint.  The music for this one was Celtic Harp, tripping as lightly as ripples on an otherwise serene sea.  Bright and spritely.

tribalbeat(Zhoom, Gabrielle Roth and the Mirrors) powdered graphite, inks, phone book collage on 12X12″ canvas

Tribal beat!  The kind you’ve got to MOVE to.  And no wishy washy flowy move, but the kind with some edges in it, with some tell-it-like-it-is in it.  Maybe even with some F-words in it. Raw, like phone book pages, discarded but reclaimed.

That messy powdered graphite sprinkled on in the beginning, invading the white surface. Fingers again as painting tools, and fingernails.  And one last flourish of black ink with a loaded Sumi brush.

Now close  your eyes to clear the screen and open them again for the next.

yoyoma(Yo Yo Ma’s romantic music) acrylics and gesso, pencil and image transfer on 12X12″ canvas

Cello.  Is there anything in the realm of music, except maybe violin, that plays those heart strings more lavishly?

A page of quick line sketched I’d done at the last Figure Drawing Marathon in Oakland, copied, then transferred with gel medium onto the under painting.  There’s some despair in this garden of the nymphs.  Always the pairs of opposites existing side by side in life.