Monday, February 29, 2016

Art In The Garden

It is that time of year again, plein air painting at the Desert Botanical Gardens. The Scottsdale Artists League has had an on going relationship with the gardens for many years. Each Saturday in March, 40 plus artists set up their easels and paint. They get a bonus Saturday to paint in April. The second weekend of April all the art that has been painted during the paint out will be on display and for sale.

The art for sale, benefits not only the artist but a percentage goes to the DBG and to SAL for their scholarship program. Come on out to see us paint and support a good cause. It is pretty easy to find us in our bright, soon to be revealed, colored tee shirts - last year was neon pink.

Dates To Remember: Opening Plein Air Day - March 5th
Painting Dates: March 12-19-26 plus April 2nd
Show and Sale Dates: April 8-9-10

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, February 28, 2016


I recently had an opportunity to give a talk to an art group in Goodyear, AZ. The conservation started a year ago. The person who coordinates artists talks contacted me from a postcard she picked up for my studio workshops.

In the beginning it would be a talk on Suminagashi Marbling techniques. Which is floating inks on water and transferring it to paper. The more I spoke to Kathy about what she wanted the talk to include I realized it was more about the Art of Paper then one single process.

I prepared a Power Point, brought in show and tell pieces: marbleized works, handmade paper, books and framed works on paper. It was a good talk, lots of great questions and future workshops.

Coming up soon are one day workshops to introduce people to printmaking. Including Suminagashi, monotypes & paste paper. Because of the talk I gave the workshops are full. 

Plans are in the works for additional workshops this year and next. Paper-making will resurface in 2017! Today back to the studio to frame for upcoming shows. More on that in a couple days or tomorrow.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Paper-Paper Everywhere

Now that Papermaking is done what do we do with all this paper?

Let's see - some pieces are ear-marked to become booklets. Some of these booklets will be step-by-step directions on how to make recycled handmade paper. Seem like a good idea to have the cover of the instruction book be handmade paper. 

Other pieces are heading to the drawing board. Have an idea for one of the black pieces with a moon - a raven keeps coming to mind. I have some special pieces that have pottery shards embedded in them. Thank you for sharing with me Scott Wyne. They were found on his brother Roberts property in New Mexico. Not sure that they will be for sale, might just end up as collection of the artist pieces. One of these is larger paper with plenty of space for drawing/painting. Will do some research for appropriate bird or animal to go on this pieces.

To use up the last of the pulp I did a little experimenting creating one of a kind pulp paintings. They can stand alone or be enhanced with added materials. Right now they will stand alone until I look at them sometime down the road. 

What's next pastels, painting and a little fun with paper. I am giving a talk and offering a workshop on paper arts. Introduction to marbling, paste paper & monotypes. Check the web sites or email if you are interested in attending the workshop.

Reworked this piece, it was on the small paper only,  added extra paper with additional pastel work.
Pottery shards embedded in handmade paper
Paper - Paper Everywhere

Saturday, February 20, 2016

A Mocha Moment

Still making paper but got a few moments before students arrive. Since my coffee went cold while I was preparing the pulp thought it was an opportunity for mocha. 

Taking this time to sit with the hummingbirds, gila woodpeckers (who are not happy when I am here because they can't get to the sugar water). The bees this year have no problem kind of sharing the feeders. 

A day off from paper tomorrow then two more days and that's it for the year. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Paper & Pastels

Papermaking is in full swing. Getting set up for today's session. Re-worked a pastel on black handmade paper. It is almost done, went ahead and signed it but may do a few last touches later today  or tomorrow.

Will have papermaking going through Tuesday. Then it all goes away for another year. March will bring marble paper, intro to printmaking and of course there is plein air painting each Saturday at the Botanical Gardens. 

As inspiration is growing I am feeling the need to go bigger in my work. We shall see what happens next. 

Until then here is "Wolf Moon".

Monday, February 15, 2016

One Bird - Two Birds

This weekend was a little busy, preparing for paper making workshop, pastel meeting mid-day Sunday and counting birds. That last part was kind of a nice break. It was the Great Backyard Count. I signed up and recorded what I saw. It was interesting as I did not see near the numbers of birds that I see when I am not counting. Was hoping to include the great horned owl. Of course I hear him this morning. I have seen at least 3 in my yard. They like to sit in the top of the mesquite tree. Have not seen a road runner in awhile but hummingbirds no complaints I am overwhelmed by these little beauties.
Here are a few pictures from my backyard this weekend. The names are my best guest, looking at bird references.
Glided Flicker

Costa Hummingbird

Peach-face or Rosy-face Love Birds

Yellow Warbler

Mourning Dove

"A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song." Chinese Proverb

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Doing What You Love

In honor of Valentine's Day thought I would write about what I love to create. One of my favorite once a year projects is making paper. This year it falls in February. We will start pulling paper on Monday but it takes a couple days to prep. 
This weekend all the containers made there way to the studio. Then there was shredding, old art papers are collected, separated by color. Once shredded they go in buckets with water to soften. Blending and additional water added to a larger tub/vat and we are ready! 
Come Monday recycling acid free rag papers become new works of art. They may end up as books, they could be used for pastel paintings, or other mediums. They are beautiful to work on and fun to create. 
I open my studio up for others to join me in this week of creation. If you are interested check my web site for details or email.

Friday, February 12, 2016

For The Birds

What are you doing this weekend? I just signed myself up for "The Great Backyard Bird Count". The Cornell Lab, Audubon and others host this on-line event to do scientific research. It does not take much time and it is a good way to make yourself sit outside, if weather permits. Look through the window outside, if it is too cold, wet, snowy and watch the birds as they come to your backyard. There is also a photo contest you can enter as you snap a few pictures of the birdies. So, join me in the great backyard bird count.

Here are some pictures of birds that have been in  my backyard in AZ. Later I will post new images from this weekend and my counts.

Great Horned Owl

Gila Woodpecker

Gambel's Quail

Western Tanager

Peach Faced Love Birds

Road Runner

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Getting To Know You...

This past weekend - kind of an extended weekend, family and friends were in town. There was lots of sight-seeing, hiking, a Super Sunday and getting to know my camera again. I use manual settings a fair amount but do switch to program settings when just walking around, taking pictures in even light. That was not a great option for photographs this weekend. We went to the Munro light sculptures at the Desert Botanical Garden. Experimenting with not only camera setting but playing with  movement. It was great fun. Hiking mid-morning in Scottsdale and again at Boyce Thompson Arboretum with lots of dappled light. Shooting photos of birds in the sky, cactus under trees, reflecting water, ducks in the water and hummingbirds.

One afternoon was spent taking photos of hummingbirds, a challenge all it's own. Afternoon to evening light, movement, back lighting and low light. Looking at the silhouetted images, the blur of the wings, trying to catch the iridescence reflection of the head and neck. All of these things made me go back to the days of taking photography classes. The days of shooting with film. The lessons are still the same, thinking about how much light is too much, too little, how to I remove the reflection of the water, what setting works best to capture the movement of the little hummers wings?

Hundreds of pictures later and a renewed respect for my camera. The lessons from this weekend, never stop learning, re-visit what you have learned, and have fun practicing all that you learn.

What's That Sound???

You know you are in Wyoming when you wake to the sound of horses. With limited wi-fi service it has been a lot harder to get blogs written a...