Monday, January 30, 2017

In Between

In between the unpacking and organizing I needed to take my work for the Tucson show to one of the members from AZ Pastel Artists Association, who would be doing the delivering. It was well coordinated with a Artist reception, demonstration by Teresa Saia and dropping off our work.

Teresa Saia's work is focused on landscapes in a colorful, layered, impressionist style. It is always good to go to demonstrations or take a workshop. You generally come away with at least one new thing, a reminder of things you may have forgotten and a little inspiration.

I did continue to do some unpacking in the studio and will do more today. It may take a few different times (months) to really organize the studio by medium. Until then, we will do what we can do and take that inspiration when it is presented.

"Wild West" screech owl pastel on coffee stained paper going to Ironwood Gallery, Tucson, AZ

Teresa Saia demo at AZ Pastel Artists Association, Phoenix, AZ

Sunday, January 29, 2017

More Than

It is going to take more than a day to unpack and find a home for not just art supplies but our personal art that goes on our walls.

Things went very well. We hired strong young men employed by a company called Bellhop. They work all over the country. If you need help check to see if they are in your area.

Taking a break today from unpacking. Going to pastel demonstration and dropping off work for the upcoming Tucson show. Back to work tomorrow. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Labor Day

YThe day has finally arrived we are unloading the moving truck today! It will be our Labor Day weekend, maybe week or two. The unloading may be the easier part.

Even trying to write about this I am not sure how it is all going to flow. There will be some fun, creative inspiration as I unpack art supplies. Need to find new spaces to hang art work. This part needs to be done before the upcoming paper making workshop. I will worry about the rest another time.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Art Walk

Scottsdale hosts Art Walks each Thursday throughout the year. Winter in AZ is high season for the arts. Last night I meet with my friend Karen Budan, to attend the opening reception for the IGOR show at Marshall Gallery, Main St., Scottsdale, AZ. Her work is included in this exhibition of works around the world, oils, watercolors, pastels, and more. The show will be up for the next couple of weeks. If you are in town I recommend you drop in to see works from the International Guild of Realism.

Here are a few pictures from the opening.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

On The Move

I am at a stopping point on re-organizing the house and studio in AZ. With some luck Rick will be on the road today from VA and rolling up to the doors in AZ in 4 or 5 days. Once everything is off the truck another few weeks of re-organizing. That will be in-between company, Super Bowl, paper making and marble demonstrations plus eye doctor appointments. Oh and framing art for the Tucson show, making new art for shows coming up this spring.

The paper making workshop in my studio is scheduled for February 20th - 26th 10:00-2:00 each day. It is set up to come one day or multiple days. If you would like more information check the web site or email me at

This afternoon, framing art, and a little work on the screech owl on wood panel. After, I run to the post office, and other assorted stops. Which will be kind of nice today as I am seeing sunshine and blue skies. Had to wait through lots of cloudy days lately but knew there was a silver lining behind those clouds.

There's that blue sky.

Works to be framed, plus larger ones on flat files that are out of the picture.
Cleared a big area to stack boxes of art & supplies coming from VA! Oh My!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Listening To Trees

There has been so much going on that I took a break from writing the blog. This past week, I have been re-organizing my studio and home in preparation for Rick's arriving with the remains of our house in VA. Combining two studios, two kitchens and additional furnishings is a bit of a challenge but doable.

While I was going through things I discovered books in my nightstand. Two of them were intertwined, the two books were marking pages. I believe in the power of books, reading and education. The titles of these two books: "TreeSpiritedWoman" by Colleen Baldrica and "Hunger Mountain" A Field Guide to Mind and Landscape by David Hinton.

I picked them up, keeping the pages marked, reading over them to see what secrets they held. Here are a couple of quotes.

"Silence is hard for many"...When one talks, much is missed. Before we begin, let us sit here and just listen to what is going on around us."...
"There is much one misses if time is not taken to hear and see one's surroundings."

"Hunger Mountain" 
"It sounds like a dream, and yet, what else are we? Society is a weave of relationships among individuals who each occupy a certain locus in that weave: parent and child, friend and friend, leader and people, merchant and customer." ..."Confucius(551-479 B.C.E.) described this network of relationships as "Ritual," thereby investing the texture of everyday social life with the numinous aspect of the sacred. " 

I am taking away from these two little books a few things: I need to re-read them both, maybe taking the "TreeSpiritedWoman" to the woods to read. Many years ago I did a project where I went into the woods with a recorder. I was to sit for 15 minutes and record the sounds. No drawing, no reading just sit and listen. The "Hunger Mountain" seemed to apply to all that has happened this past week in America. It may help me express my own thoughts to paper (real or virtual) as I write working out the "Ritual" in the weave of relationships.

Bringing this back to the drawing board. Trees, there is something special about trees. I always come back to them in my art. When I can not physically create, I draw in my head and when the image keeps coming back to me, it is meant to be developed.

So, I will go to the mountains, I will go to the forest, I will be still and then I will create words and paintings.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


Last night and predawn the Great Horned Owl came to visit. I love that he brings greatness to my backyard. His powerful voice calling out to others in the area.

It is no secret that I am inspired by the owl. The great horned owl is king of his domain. Nicknamed the tiger owl, he is on the top of his species with no real enemies. His silent flight, tufted crown, along with yellow piercing eyes make him a force in the bird world.

I find my power, creativity and strength in nature. I always have and always will. When I hear the owl hoot before I can see him, when he sees - hears me, looking for a moment and silently glides through the air - how can you not be impressed by the power of nature.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Studio Time

Calm before the chaos was running through my mind. The end of January all of our things from back east will arrive. While I have a few more days before having to unpack and re-organize pretty much the entire house and my studio, I am taking time to do some drawing. 

Here is what is on the drawing table. I have this series of screech owls in my head, My thought on images for my work is, if the image keeps coming back to me, then I need to make it so. 

I did the red screech owl in graphite on wood panel. Now, I am working on a gray screech owl in graphite on wood panel. There will be a third piece, which may actually have color but will be on wood panel. Still thinking that one through, maybe a oil based stain on wood with graphite. 

On the technical side, when I did the coffee staining on the wood panel, it did not take that well. Plus, it opened up the grain in the wood. I do not think I will do many more works on wood. Need to see what I have stored away or packed away. That we will deal with in February.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Artsy Business

The beginning of each new year I try to update web sites, resumes, get newsletter e-blasts out with shows and workshops. I am pretty much done with the web site, still need to do a little fine tuning here and there but that is something that is done all year long. If you have a few moments check out my site and revisit some works you may have seen posted on FB or Twitter. You may find a few works that you had not seen before.

Next on the list adding images to Artists For Conservation, hopefully that will be done over the next couple of days. I have updated my resume on my web site but need to update that in my computer too. As an artist you need to refresh your resume each year. It does become a challenge to create a one page resume which reflects current shows and past important events. I keep a longer resume and the one page for submitting to shows. 

Hope to have a newsletter type blast out this week too. Plus, I need to go through receipts and deposits to submit sale taxes. Then get all my expenses and income on a spread sheet for taxes to be submitted sometime in the near future. Oh, I do not love the business side of being an artist. 

Me at Capital Reef, Utah

Big Horn Ram - inspiration for this piece came from the Utah road trip

Capital Reef - oil on textured canvas  

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Something New

I finally got the little owl that has travel across the country done. It is 5X7" with watercolor background, graphite and white charcoal pencil. It is of a little screech owl I photographed at a rescue center in VA.

Next on the ticket is a graphite on 12X12" wood panel of a screech owl. This one was started in FL, with a little work in VA back in November. Sadly, it has been sitting wrapped in tracing paper since then. Should be able to get a little work on it today. Taking it gently on my eyes, the left one is still healing.

untitled at the moment - suggestions???

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Artists For Conservation

Continuing with our trip down to Tucson, here are some photo images of the art work on display at the Ironwood Gallery within the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson.

The Artists For Conservation is an international non-profit organization. Their mission " to support wildlife and habitat conservation and environmental education through art that celebrates nature..." I became a member of this organization in 2016. I did not get into this show, the deadline was a little too tight for me to create a new work. This year I hope to be better prepared. It is an organization after my own heart, which is why I applied and was accepted as a juried member.

The art works in general have a percentage of the sale going to AFC or a specific charity to help wildlife and nature. Here are just a few of the works from the show. A side note, some of the images may be slightly cropped, the colors may be off because of inside lighting, reflection from glass, or glare from over head lights. The artists names, titles, mediums are noted with each piece.

Tania Drielinck AFC Chimp-and-See The Soul of a chimpanzee soft pastel on pastelmat $3,500

Michael Dumas AFC Fox Sparrow Study oil on Russian birch $2,600

Eleazer Salnz AFC Desert Paper oil $3,500 SOLD

David Kitler AFC Piece Keepers acrylic on baltic birch $12,000 SOLD note the detail on the inner edge of the frame

Friday, January 13, 2017

A Day For Ravens

Friday the 13th, seemed like a good day to write about ravens. Tuesday, Rick and I did a day trip to Tucson. We wanted to see the Artists For Conservation exhibit at the Ironwood Gallery. The gallery is located within the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum I best describe this place as a combination of botanical gardens with a native animal exhibits, along with art and education. There is much to see and do while you are visiting.

Our usual plan is to get there early enough to catch the Free Flight show. They have several raptors. birds that work with the trainers and show us what they do naturally. The main question people ask is why don't they just fly away. Birds are opportunistic. Most raptors may only live a year in the wild. When they have an easy food, water supply and nice place to sleep, they tend to stay around. Two of these birds are Chihuahuan Ravens. They are highly intelligent and are native to Southern Arizona.

Here are a few photos taken during the Free Flight demonstration. Tomorrow I will post some of the art from the show.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

In Case You Did Not Know

Tonight is a full moon - a wolf moon. With snow on the ground in many parts of the country the wolfs may be howling.

I think it interesting that a lone tree is called a wolf tree. As they have lost their leaves for the winter, these trees appear more alone. Wolf trees are trees that were left to start new forests, are the only tree in a field/pasture or may be the eldest tree at the edge of the woods. 

The theme for today is the wolf. I do have a pastel painting on handmade paper with a moon and wolf head. I am just not sure where it is at this time. I did get recent photo of a wolf while in Tucson. 

Depending on cloud cover there may be a new picture of the wolf moon. But for now here is a wolf moon from last year. Hope the moon is present for all those who would like to do a little howling tonight, of course we may hear a few coyote instead of wolf.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Seeing The Sky

2017 is proving to be a busy year. We have been on the go and I am a bit behind in writing blog posts. I will get in a few here and there. The next two months there will be some down time. Until then I will try to share some of the places we go, art shows, workshops and things I love about AZ.

Since we have been back in AZ there have been some pretty nice sunrises and sunsets. I have been trying to remember to take photos from the same locations. There is something about the color of the sky in AZ that is intriguing. The blue is different then the east coast. In my little part of the world there are not a lot of big trees filling up the. giving this area that big sky feel.

Sunrises, sunsets are special no matter where you are but I do truly enjoy having my coffee watching the sun come up from behind the mountains. I have said it in the past I am not much on doing landscapes. I generally do not like to try to paint sunrises or sunsets as I can not compete with Mother Natures palette. Yet, I am being inspired to try a few experiments in the idea of landscapes. Something in a square format or maybe one of the long narrow may come into play.

Until I get to really working in the studio, here are some photos that have me thinking.

January 2017

Friday, January 6, 2017

Forward ART

I was planning to write a blog post yesterday but got a bit overwhelmed. Going over my calendar of upcoming events, shows, talks, demonstrations, workshops, moving, selling our house in VA and so on... Stepping back thought I just need to look at a month or two at a time. Here's whats coming up Through February:

Open Registration starting for private, semi-private and small group lessons.
Registration for upcoming workshops: paper making, marbling, intro to printmaking, printmaking level 2, relief printmaking, book making, and once a month pastel/water medium/drawing wildlife - nature. I hope to have these set up on the web site shortly. For more details please email me at -

First Friday Art Walk Phoenix - optional meet downtown Phoenix for dinner and art walk each month. For information about the upcoming galleries, events check the web site.

Thursday Art Walks in Old Town Scottsdale, once a month meet in town to check out new shows at the gallery on Main Street or on Marshall. As people are interested I will send an e-mail blast out and we will set a time and place to start.

Saturday, February 18th is the Opening Reception for "Desert Harmony" juried pastel show at the Ironwood Gallery within the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney, Tucson, AZ from 3:00-5:00 there is a fee to enter here is the web site for hours and rates:

Sunday, February 19th I will be doing a paper-making workshop for Pebble Creek in Goodyear, AZ registration is required within the Art Community of Pebble Creek.

Monday February 20th through Sunday February 26th Paper Making Workshop at my Studio, 9205 N. 128th St., Scottsdale, AZ. General information demonstration each day with something new introduced for advanced and returning students. Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Fee still just $40.00 per day with discounts for multiple days. Registration requested, space is limited.

Other then thinking about a drawing session date for: coffee-tea and art morning and/or a wine about art evening that about takes care of February. If you have question or want to register email me at or check the web site for details

"Desert Harmony" show at the Ironwood Gallery, Tucson AZ

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Seeing Things Through New Eyes

This passed year I have not been seeing as clearly as I could. I need new glasses and cataract surgery. With that coming up I will not do the 30-30 challenge or 21 Jump-start this year.

I will be organizing the studio, making my lists of shows to apply for and organization to join. This week is pre-op and ordering frames. A strange combo I admit but I do have several works done that need framing for upcoming shows. I even have a little owl piece close to done that was started in AL I think and will be finished in AZ. 

Over the next couple of months I may not have as much new art to post but then you never know what these eyes will see. There will always be photographs. Walks are coming into play and there aren't many times that I walk without some kind of camera. There are exceptions to that rule. missed some nice bird photos when we were in CA but got a few on a return visit.

As I get my new eyes in order, I look forward to a new year with new art, a new life style as Rick works his way into retirement and we move all of our things back east to our home in the west. Here are a few pictures that are calling to me to become a painting sometime in 2017.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Taking A Moment

Rick and I were talking about all the places and things we have done in 2016. As I was going through pictures trying to pick just one that represented that month. It became apparent that much of my memories are about the people I share them with.

January 2016: Rick & I going to Tucson Botanical Gardens discovering a Lego Sculpture exhibit.

February: Beccy & Wayne came to AZ, we took them to see the special light exhibit at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix. 

March:  my favorite month in AZ, especially sitting out back watching the sun rise or set.

April: Marilu, Denise and Tracy came for an adventure, we did the botanical gardens a couple time, went to Sedona, Cottonwood, Jerome and hit a few wineries along the way!

May: A trip to CO and made a new friend - Cheryl 

June: Last month in AZ for 2016, discovered a burrowing owl relocation program

July: A touching trip to N.Y. We will never forget.

August: At least once a year we get out to see our son John in Portland, OR. 

September: Back in Blacksburg, VA fall means football games, lots of company. Beccy and Wayne came for a game and a little family fun time. 

October: We took some time after a hurricane went up the coast to visit with Jed, Trudy, Ed and Tara at Surfside Beach S.C.

November: Continuing to go south, Debby and I were able to get some beach and botanical garden time together. Along with talking about future moves and art projects. 

December: Bringing our year to an end. The last two months held so many events it was hard to pick just one picture. I settled for the one of Rick & I on the train, We went from VA drove to MD, had a couple celebration parties along the way. Rick had a big birthday, he is on his way to retiring from teaching at VA Tech and sometime in this New Year we will sell our house in VA. This means we are full time residence of AZ. That of course does not mean we will not be back east, or for that matter, anywhere in this amazing country of ours. With a little planning, we may be in other parts of the world.

It was great fun looking back and remember all that we have done in a year! Here's to the next year of adventures, welcome 2017!

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...