Monday, February 27, 2017

Black and White

With a touch of red, green, blue...I keep finding black paper from an edition of prints created long ago. The ink on the prints creates little flecks of color when it is reduced to pulp. I did some experimenting with texture, worked with some pouring of pulp and embedded dried plants. Some of these will become books, some have ideas for pastels and some may stand alone.

The paper making  containers, blenders, screens, blotters and pulp are all packed away until next year or maybe later this year. The next workshop coming up is Suminagashi, floating ink on water for marbling and introduction to mono-type printing.

March 1st there will be lots going on but for today you will just have to wait one more day to see what March brings. And if you want to make handmade papers like these, you will just have to wait till next time or next year...we shall see which comes first.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Settling Down

Things are settling in and settling down here in AZ. Settling down, does not mean slowing down. All the household things are getting organized, one by one checking things off the list. Art is starting to move up the list of to-do's. This week we have been doing paper making. It has gotten me into the routine of being in my studio on a daily bases again. Usually in January I do the 30-30 but there were just too many things going on to make that happen.

I had an idea yesterday, with spring just around the counter and the Desert Botanical Gardens Plein Air Paint Out event coming up I was inspired. For the month of March I will post a piece of art everyday day. It may be an older work, it may be a work in progress, there will be some surprises and maybe some prizes at the end of the month. More details to follow!

If you are in the area most Saturdays I will be at the Desert Botanical Garden, Galvin St., Phoenix, AZ from 9-3. I know I will not be there on the 11th as it is my birthday and we have special plans. I will be doing pastel demo's in Tucson at the Ironwood Gallery and for the Tucson Pastel Society on the 15th. The 19th there will be another workshop at Pebble Creek in Goodyear. Followed by workshops in my studio. Check my web site if you would like to learn more about workshops or private lessons. or email me at

Month by month, new shows, new workshops and new art! Starting to feel the inspiration! Here are a few photos from the gardens in March. The rains this year, should bring another wonderful year for wild flowers.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Close Encounters With A Hummingbird

This weekend was filled with wonderful creative spirit. Rick and I went down to Tucson for the opening of the "Desert Harmony" pastel show, Ironwood Gallery, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. We had a little time before the opening and went over to the hummingbird aviary. This time of year the females are preparing nest to lay eggs.

To my surprise and those around me, this broad-billed female hummingbird thought my woven jacket looked like something she could use in her nest. There was a woman near me with beautiful white curly hair that also got the hummingbirds attention. I became the focal point of this hummingbirds' attention. She began trying to pull little threads from my jacket. I tried to stay still as she moved all around me, pulling at the threads. I could feel her wings on my jacket and her little beak pulling. It is hard to find words to describe how overjoyed I was to have this close encounter with a hummingbird.

I was able to get a few pictures using my cell phone but the best was Rick and a fellow artist, Sandy Cogar from Ontario took videos. I just met Sandy in the hummingbird aviary, she was kind enough to share her video with me and with her permission you get to see it here. Sandy works with metal and rocks to create her garden sculptures, of which there are hummingbird pieces.

What a wonderful way to start off a creative weekend.

                            This first video is created by Sandy Cogar, Ontario, Canada

Second video by Rick Parsons

Thursday, February 16, 2017

With Pencil In Hand

My studio is in pretty good shape. I am ready for weekend events: Saturday opening reception at Ironwood Gallery, Tucson, and Sunday paper making at Pebble Creek Art Center, Goodyear. Monday will be set up for a Free demonstration of paper making at my studio from noon - 2:00. If you are in the area come on by - 9205 N. 128th St., Scottsdale, AZ.

Tuesday - Sunday, February 21-26 from 10 - 2 come make paper with me, there is a small fee $40 for one day, with sliding scale if you want to come more than once. E-mail me if you want more information at

Now to the point of this blog, I will be in my studio this afternoon with pencils, maybe some watercolor, or pastels in hand. I need to put together a sample piece for this years mural. It is coming up in April but the selection process is in March - wish me luck. I have an idea of what I want to do, started pulling pictures out for references. Now, just need to put my thoughts on paper.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Place For Everything

It has been a very busy 18-ish days. Rick and his brother Steve arrived with a truck full of household things, art both personal and studio bound plus office and art supplies. I think I unpacked the last hidden box yesterday. Hung some more art around the house, casita and in my studio. Most things have a place they will live in at least for a little while.

Next, I pulled out everything I need to do a paper making workshop in Goodyear, AZ on Sunday. Saturday we will be at the opening of the joint (AZ & Tucson societies) pastel show at the Ironwood Gallery in Tucson, AZ. Followed by Monday - Sunday my studio will be set up for paper making from 10-2 each day.

Monday, February 20th is Presidents Day: I will have the studio open for a free demonstration, anyone that wants to stop by and see how paper is created is welcome.  Art will be on display, and the demo's will be going on from 12:00 - 2:00. You can sign up to join me in paper making that week or for other classes coming up this spring. If you want more information check my web site: or you can email me at:

Little by little it is all coming together. Next clear off the drawing table again to get a sketch done for April mural project...

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Backyard Inspiration

I believe that inspiration can come at any given moment in time. Sometimes just being in your backyard at sunrise. My little owl friend was again hooting away. He was on a mission, flying from one place to another. I did my usually taking morning sunrise photos. I went up on the rooftop patio and played around with some reflections in the canal of the mountains and sky.

As I looked up landing for a moment on the saguaro cactus was an American Kestrel and I got the picture. He does rate up there with my favorites. Small but powerful, as he landed all the other birds paid attention. The peach faced love birds that have taken over living in the cactus, just went back in and made not a sound.  Just like that he was gone.

I am hoping, pretty sure, that the workshop I am teaching in June at Common Ground on the Hill we will have an American Kestrel as one of the birds we will photograph and draw. Until then, here are the photos I got, and one of my drawings from a previous photo.

Friday, February 10, 2017

By The Light

Everyone knows I love a full moon but even more love that I have Great Horned Owls that come to my yard. The owls usually come pre-dawn and post sunset. Yesterday late afternoon, as the moon was rising and color was still in the sky, I heard him. The great horned owl was somewhere around the house. I grabbed my camera and went in search. I checked his favorite hangout the mesquite tree, not there. I checked the pine tree, the backyard fence, the ironwood tree out front and could not find him. I went back to the studio and continued framing. He started hooting again, back out I go, again, can not find him. It sounded like his hoots were getting farther away, so I went back to framing.

The love birds were making a fair amount of noise last night. They come back to the Saguaro cactus each night, sitting on top catching the last of the warm sun rays before turning in for the evening. I went out to check on them with my camera. Then I see a shadow in a tree in the front yard, it's the owl! I start taking photos, moving closer with each shot. He does not seem to have any concern for me, he is focus on something in the distance.

I decide, well, if he is not going to take off lets see how close we can get without disturbing him. I went up to the roof. We have a roof top patio and a flat roof, which makes it very nice to walk around on the roof. I slowly walked over and took a few more shots by the light of the moon. The sun was just going down behind the mountains so the owl was in back lighting. I changed my settings a few times but was happy with the photos I got. Yes, there will be more owl drawings coming soon. The little screech owl on wood panel looks at me every day I go in the studio, waiting for me to sit at the drawing table and just finish the job. Soon, very soon, than I can start a great horned owl.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

As Fast As I Can

I am running as fast as I can, I am not where I want to be in terms of my studio being ready for the paper making workshop. I am close and as always I work well under pressure. This combining household, studio and having company slowed things down a little. About 98% of the boxes or containers have been unpacked. Most of the house is in order, my office was in pretty good shape but then we found more things that came to live in my office. Right now they are just in one of two piles, one on my desk, the other on the floor near shelves. Does being near shelves count?

Show applications have started popping up: The Historic Burwell-Morgan Mill show in VA is due, I can check that off the list, on-line application done. Next Mural Projects, I need to come up with a design to be submitted. Sad to say right now there is only one because of funding. I will propose one for the Phoenix/Scottsdale area  in the category of Animals. Any suggestions on what you might want to see me create this spring? There are more but need to go through the pile of papers on the desk to see what I need to address next.

In just a short time the opening to the Ironwood Gallery Pastel shows in Tucson, Feb. 18th from 1-5. There will be lots of art receptions between the Main Gallery and the newer extension gallery. Immediately following I will be doing a one day paper making workshop in Goodyear, AZ at Pebble Creek Art Community Center. We will pack it all up at the end of that day, Feb. 19th head back to Scottsdale and set paper making up in my studio: Feb. 20th - 26th from 10-2 each day. For additional information of fees and registration check my web site: or email me at:

Okay, that is enough for today. I kept wanting to write a blog but by the end of the day was too tired to remember what I was going to write about. Trying to get back to computer work in the morning and afternoon in the studio. Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

My Room In The Morning

Since, I am generally up before the sun rises from behind the mountains in my backyard. I thought why not have my office in a room I can enjoy that view. Plus, I hung a hummingbird feeder right outside the window. The hummingbirds, along with a few other small and large birds have found the sugar water. 

Slowly, the household/studio combining is coming together. I have unpacked most of the boxes in the studio. Now need to re-organize each grouping of things so they all stay together. It will take a little time and patience's this month. 

I am getting closer to having some time to work on drawings and setting up the easel to work on some paintings. First things first, paper making workshops are coming up this month. I am thinking there may be blue jean paper this year. Check the web site if you are interested in making acid free cotton rag recycled paper. or email me if you have a question at:

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...