Happy Solstice!

vectorIII[Vector III] “Solstitium”, acrylic, dark wash pencil on canvas, 24″ X 24″

The word solstice comes from the Latin sol: sun, and sistere: to stand still. The image of the sun standing still before change. That image is a powerful one to me which explains the way the feelings, which have been lined up, walking along in a predictable pattern, suddenly stop and bunch up, and wait for a sign of opening into the future.

I just finished this painting, which is the third in a series called Vectors, where I’m exploring the dynamics of shapes and colors determined by lines leading in new directions.

Paintings are unavoidably metaphors for life events. The sun is there. The bunching up of feelings. The openings. . .

. . .and an opportunity for me to send my best wishes to you in this dark/light season as you find your way into expansive openings in the next year.




acrylic, collage pen and ink on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

Jack’s lesson in the green sphere. . .

Jack on his bean stalk emerges to a strange land where the affluence of money is less than the wealth of a single leaf on his bean stalk ladder. 

Next we focused on GREEN in Muse Group.  A pleasing color known to relax and harmonize the body and spirit (unless you’re nauseous or envious).  We mixed a variety of greens with all our yellows, oranges and blues.  I decided on a neutralized, olivey green for dominance and cut up the color swatches to bring in a bit of “bounce”.   Things got a bit out of hand at some point!  But it’s all in good fun.  Jack came in at the last minute when I realized I had grown a pretty fantastical vine, much like the Jack in the children’s story. (Then I got all nervous that there was some other connotation to “Jack’s stalk” which was NOT my intention!)

Fulton X Gallery Opening


“Vasculum” (Latin for Pod) acrylic on canvas, diptych 4′ X 6′

You are invited to the opening of a preview show for Sonoma County Art Trails open studios at the new Fulton X Gallery, 1200 River Rd., Fulton, CA.,  this Wednesday Oct 15, 6-8pm.  It’s a wonderful gallery space to show larger pieces.  The featured artists will be showing three of their works.  I welcome the chance to show some of my larger works for which I have no space in my studio, such as this newest painting “Vasculum” and two others.  If you can’t make it to the opening, the show will be running through November 2. For gallery hours visit the Fulton X website.

Golden Girl


acrylic, collage, PhotoBooth image, stamping, etc on w/c paper

The Golden Girl Needs Me

such a golden girl

knows how to be siren cool

all gold lame, silver, and diamonds

such an effort to be she


but what’s under that platinum hair

appears absent. . .

looks like she’s gonna need some help 

where she’s going

Looks like more clown folly here.  A second week of playing with PhotoBooth (comic strip) pictures to make self portraits.  Yeah, that’s my  face under the nose, but not my bod!  I was never a siren of the screen except in my dreams perhaps.

I’m off for some camping in the redwoods this week.  Back for a mini-Muse workshop July 14.  We’ll be doing debossing and embossing textures.  There’s still space if you can join us! Visit my workshops page for more info.

Tiger Stalking

iamtigeracrylic, collage, pen, stamping on w/c paper

i am a tiger
wearing the mantle of ancient words
torn and clinging
a queen in disguise

impatient i pace
under the protection of a culture
which leaves me cold

stalking monuments of nature’s making
mossy stones and buzzing flower bowls

Born in the year 1950, I am a tiger sign on the Chinese calendar, something I recently rediscovered.  We were “building a home for our dreams” in Muse Group.  My image at first seemed bizarre, unrelated certainly to any conscious thoughts I have about a home for dreams.  But, ah yes, the pacing tiger, so impatient with the over-culture I live in, preferring nature’s offerings for a home.

I frequently look with envy at Phil, our cat.  He’s the same color as this tiger yet without the stripes, same sinuous body movements.  He gets to live outside, down low in the green grasses right now, stretching languorously in the sun, watching bird television all day.  While I have to worry about sun damage to my skin and ticks, and have no time (or so it seems) to sit and just watch all day the orchestral movements of birds and buds.  Sigh.

Color Me Purple

acrylic on w/c paper, 10 X 10″

Color Me Yellow came first. Then Color Me Green.  And now Color Me Purple.  The process is to pose for Photo Booth on my Mac computer using the Comic Strip filter, print it out in black and white, transfer the lines onto paper, pick a dominant color and paint fast!

I hate to admit it but this one has actually captured a bit of my likeness.  Hmmmm.  Guess that means purple is my color?  I like lavender but generally shun darker purple because it reminds me of those ladies who dress in purple with red hats and call themselves “Red Hatters”.  Find for them, but I’m not ready for that yet (even though I guess I’m the right age).

Color Me Blue

acrylic and Derwent dark wash pencil on gesso coated w/c paper, 10 X 11″, (Sunday Muse Demo)

color me blue
take me to the skies
a cloud crossing a heart shaped moon

color me el viento (the wind)
sighing the skies with fluttering pollens

color me shards of ice
poking up and out

color me the seas
rearing up wave horses
tossing wet manes

color me rippling waters
fierce tides

color me blue

A favorite Muse Group lesson now – COLOR!  Last weekend we used Bob Burridge’s Goof Proof Color Wheel to get some jazzy color combos. This one is Dominant color: Blue (ultramarine), Focal point: Yellow, Spice color: yellow. . .but then that’s rather obvious!

The connection with the wind, “el viento”, was a reflection of the weather here lately.  Lots of wind blowing pollens around and causing all manner of sneezing, red eyes and drippy noses.  And elsewhere, the fires too.  Just a gentle breeze now, but hot hot hot!

I’m off to camp today, so I’ll “see” you back in a week.  Hope you’re enjoying the end of spring!

Parallel We Walk

powdered graphite, ink, collage on w/c paper

parallel we walk in tandem universes
with interacting corners
that rub and chafe

and if we’re lucky
whole arias unfurl
go air born and drift
across oceans
dip down on continents
taste foreign soil
add more verses

our parallel worlds
get shaken and mixed
our lines find new partners
our colors new complements
our hearts new homes

As I was finishing this piece, started as a demo on Sunday, I realized it was yet another solar eclipse painting.  I’m still feeling the effects of coming shoulder to shoulder with the cosmos during Sunday’s eclipse, wanting to live with one foot in that parallel universe.

This is powdered graphite play.  I painted the paper with matte medium and while it was wet, sprinkled on some powdered graphite.  Then squirted it with water so that the graphite crystals would dissolve and move around on the surface.  Some graphite stayed put, lending texture to the surface.  Then, because I was surrounded by a bunch of eager and curious Muses, I droppered on some acrylic ink and added some gesso as well.  Tipped the paper to get some drips and moved the wet color around with my finger a bit to cover the paper. The matte medium, applied at the beginning, served to keep the graphite from rubbing off with later applications. The collage shapes were cut from magazine ads, which I selected for color and because I liked the random text on them.

And just a reminder. . .I will be doing a Free Demonstration at Rileystreet Art Supply, San Rafael (California) this Saturday May 26, Intuitive Painting With Inks and Gesso. If you are able to join me, please contact Rileystreet San Rafael (415) 457 2787 to sign up!  Space is limited.

A Progression

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

a procession, a progression, a passage
of pharoahs, of sun gods and goddesses
of noble men and women
carrying the wisdom and wealth of centuries

into the green wave of nature’s extravagence
not stopping to wonder
is this the right way?

acknowledging only the inevitable,
change and forward movement,
wedding past with all futures.

trudging past the dark door
noticing but not stopping
each carrying a staff
sacred symbol of immortality

a funeral procession to remind us
not to miss a single flutter
of butterfly wings

This art journaling process is all about allowing the instincts to drive the art.  So one picks images for reasons that are often beyond rational explanation.  And then writes about what one sees and possibly makes some connections that have personal meaning.  In this case, the image of the procession of pharoahs and the dark door appeared initially to be a strange one for me, especially on a beautiful spring afternoon spent with my wonderful Tuesday Muse Group friends.

But the next day the meaning became crystal clear as I was speaking with my 93 year old mother.  She stands bright in spirit yet fragile in body on the doorstep of the dark door, wondering how it will be opened to her, sharing her bewilderment and occasional glimpses of what is beyond.  As her daughter I stand these days looking over her shoulder, hoping to get a glimpse of this great mystery with her.