Octopus Blossom

This has been a work in progress for years. It started as one of my MDA doodles - sitting at my desk one day, dialing for dollars, and by the end of the day I had a funky little sketch.

At one point I took the flower out and made it a graphic all on its own. I used it to make a hand-me-down blue striped t-shirt a little more "girly" for Emily - then she outgrew it, and now that shirt is part of the scarf I made from both my kids' outgrown clothes.

I've moved... either four or five times since I made that sketch, and I have kept it with me all that time. Finally about three months ago, I had the image printed up and used a projector to trace it onto a canvas. Then the work began...

"Octopus Blossom"
2016, acrylic on canvas
I've learned a lot throughout this process. My painting style is light-to-dark. I paint the whole canvas in washed-out colors, then I add more color and depth and intensity as I go. I love bright, intense colors, but I always have to push myself to use more color, because I want to be careful not to lose the transparency of the paints. This time, I used layers and layers and layers of color, and one of the last steps was to add highlights with white paint - something I hardly ever use. I am VERY happy with the depth of color, as well as the level of contrast, that I achieved. This is officially my new favorite painting!



I've never had confidence in my ability to paint faces. I've done it before but it's not my favorite thing. Then I snapped a picture of my beautiful daughter, and it came out so good that I've wanted to paint it ever since.

So finally, a year after taking the photo. I started work on the portrait. This is definitely going to be the most challenging thing I've done so far.

I should tell you up-front that I "cheated." I used a projector to trace the photo onto a canvas. Some would call that cheating; I don't. The projector is just another tool - one of the many that I use in my studio - and believe me, the road from a pencil outline to a finished portrait is long and winding.


2nd Friday Art Walk

I got to participate last weekend in the 2nd Friday Downtown Art Walk in Plainview, TX. And it probably took you longer to read that description than it would've taken you to walk from one end of the Art Walk to the other! But there were lots of great people there with their work, who made it worthwhile to take your time, walk slowly, stop and talk.

I brought my newly christened "Blue Louet" and I had several people stop to ask about what I was doing. One lady even tried out the drop spindle I brought along! I didn't sell anything, but I gave out a handful of cards. I had a wonderful chat with a teenage girl about my Weeping Angel picture, and I almost sold the mini-tapestry that I had hung on the front of my wheel!

All in all, not a bad way to spend a Friday evening.


Catch Me A Dream

14" Dream Catcher - hand spun, hand crocheted, hand strung, and dyed with strong tea.
I had fun with this one.

So, Backstory: I'm not a fan of Native American or Southwest-style art (not that I don't admire the skill that goes into many Native American hand crafts - but visually, it's just not a style I'm drawn to.) That includes dream catchers. However,  I've seen a few "hippie dreamcatchers" with crocheted centerpieces, and with colorful ribbons and hand-tatted lace instead of feathers, fur, and leather laces - and I really like those. So I decided to make one.

Then it took a turn into Steampunk Land! I had some beautiful Soffsilk/alpaca in rich brown shades, so I spun some of that, and I used several yards of sari silk ribbon - and several more to make the tassels, which I bound with gold sari silk threads. Old keys and a discarded spring from David's old bed, along with a few odd metal beads, all added their bit of whimsy, and then my favorite - a little, little light bulb, suspended in a macrame cage so that it looks a bit like an old-timey hot air balloon.


Glass Of Wine

This one was four years in the making. My cousin is a wine drinker, and I don't remember if the idea for this was originally mine or hers - whether she asked me to paint something wine-related, or whether I just came up with this and she immediately claimed it. 

Anyway, like most of my paintings, it started with a doodle. Then I put it through photoshop/illustrator to get an idea of where I wanted it to go:

Then I transferred the image to a canvas where I'd already painted the blue background. I used white chalk to place the lines and shapes of the "doily" then went back over it with white paint, a little at a time. Then I started filling in the colors.

Somewhere right about here, something went wrong. The colors weren't working the way I'd envisioned, and I started getting frustrated with it. (That happens a lot) It may also be that we moved from Portland back to New Mexico about that time, and it got forgotten in all the chaos of a cross-country move and preparations for a new baby.

Three years and two moves later, when I finally had my own studio space, this was the first canvas that I got back out. This time, everything clicked and before I knew it, I had a finished painting that I was completely happy with!

"Glass of Wine"
2015, acrylic on canvas


The Dilettante And The Dragon

"The Dilettante And The Dragon"
2014, latex and acrylic on canvas, textile inset


Spinning From A Sketch

This is another one where I spun for someone else, and got part of the fleece in exchange. I love spinning for people who encourage me to be creative and don't have a specific end product in mind. In this batch I got a mix of black & white, and I really wanted to add some color so I took half the white and dyed it in rainbow colors. (with ice cubes and kool-aid)

Since I had an idea of what I wanted to do, I made a sketch of what I had in mind. I'm really proud of how close my final result came to what I had envisioned! I just spun the fiber loose, grabbed a handful of white and a handful of mixed colors and let it blend as I drafted and spun it. Then I took just the colored fleece and made more "thread" to ply with.

Then I did the same thing again, only with black.