20 May 2019

An invitation and an announcement

The invitation is to take advantage of one or more of my workshops this summer. This summer I am having 10 workshops most of which require no artistic ability, experience or prerequisites. There is a huge array of work and loads of fun along the way.

The announcement is that this is my last year teaching workshops. I have had a lot of fun teaching and meeting people and bringing a huge variety of surface design techniques to a great bunch of lovely and fun women. Now I am moving on to other mediums although I am sure I can never give up my surface design work especially considering the massive amount of supplies I still have. (smile)

So if you have never taken a workshop here on the beautiful coast of Maine or want to squeeze in a few more please check out the workshop schedule.

Next up, is a silk screen workshop on May 30. Here are 25 rayon infinity scarves that I and perhaps you will be silk screening on the 30th.

Ready to go

One from last years Maine Event.

16 May 2019


The next lesson in pastels is clouds. I am still in this section. Here are the first two of the four that I have completed.

The one above is on pastelmat and the one below is Uart 400. There is a huge difference in the way the pastels sit on these papers. I will use all the left over Uart to sample/flatten my pastels.

This (below) was the first things I did and I used Uart. It seems to have come out okay but I am now disenchanted with it.

13 May 2019

and on...

I don't remember if I mentioned that when I first started with Marla (teacher) I started with a Tree course. None of the other courses really appealed to me. I did get a $100. coupon for joining the Facebook group and subscribing to the YouTube channel and inviting three friends to check out her classes so when Marla's 26 week course went on sale for a brief time I took advantage of it and was able to use the $100. coupon as well. I have been taking my time with this course and learning a lot. I had bought a package of pastel paper sample and I am working my way through them to see how I like the papers. Some I love and some not so much.  I tried a new paper called velour to paint this apple.

I really loved this paper and will probably buy more when I'm out. You can see how the particles of pigment are just dancing on the surface.

This was my second fruit done on pastelmat which is nicer than the painting (smile)

09 May 2019

moved upstairs

The back story:
We moved downstairs 3 years ago because I couldn't climb the stairs 70+ times a day. With three dogs and the kitchen downstairs plus, oops I forgot sometime, it was endless climbing. When my sister moved in, she took my fabulous studio which was great. My bed in the former living room was quite an obstacle with her and her two dogs climbing up and down all day so I moved my bed to Brian's old room on the second floor. Now with the easel and all the pastel supplies I have been squeezed so tightly that I have to move furniture to paint. Also the downstairs is darker than Brian bright corner room. He gets sun all day so now I've moved ALL the pastel supplies, pastel box and easel to the bedroom. What a job. I also needed my Chromebook with speakers, a lamp, sketchbook and on and on.....Here is where I am now.

I know it looks austere and it is. I only go up to sleep at night but now........

I moved the easel and pastel box up with a 2 X 4 table to hold the pastel box.

Now a 6' table with light, Chromebook (online lessons) with speakers, sketchbook, pencils erasers and on

First lesson in her 26 week pastel paint course. I have been doing art since I was a kid but I want to approach this as a neophyte. No arrogance on my part. 

A bit wonky but I need to learn how to use these sticks. The periphery of the paper is where I test colors and flatten new stick. They are hand made and irregular so flattening is necessary.

06 May 2019

setting up my painting studio

I have been wanting to get back to painting, my first medium, for a few years. As a matter of fact my daughter gave me a gift certificate for Blick and I bought a raft of paints. I really didn't know where to start since I never had any formal art training when I was painting. I just painted what I saw. When I went back to college in '93, I minored in art like sketching with live models, photography - so long ago we processed our own film and made our own prints. I also took pottery for two semesters and "Aesthetics", the philosophy of art. Every time I saw a certain type of painting I longed to do THAT. I bought the pastel pencils (from previous posts) and went on to YouTube to learn how to use them. Then I stumbled on to a painting instructor and when I saw her work I yelled (to myself) THAT, THAT is what I want to do. I have scrap books filled with photos of painting that looked like THAT. So now I am taking pastel painting lessons and hope one day to approach painting like THAT.

The box for my pastels. I made this myself. You can see the goopy glue on it (smile)

Some of the pastels

Easel assembled and pastels to my right

My first study (not a painting). It's sort of like a sketch in color.

02 May 2019

My solo show

Here is my disclaimer: I took these photos to send to the woman who was printing the labels so she would know which label went with each piece. They are far from good pictures and a few just have partial shots. You have seen most if not all of these over the past few years. Three of the pieces have sold but I don't know which. They are in order so she could identify the piece which went with each label.


I know the one above on the left sold.

29 April 2019

My new medium

Soft Pastels

I can't tell you how much fun I am having with soft pastels. I am taking an online workshop and thank God there are videos. The woman teaching the workshop is Marla Bagetta from Oregon. She has a ton of free videos with everything you would ever care or need to know about pastels. I have some cheap pastels and that box I posted about a few years ago that I bought at an artists yard sale.

Here is the reference photo for my first pastel study (not a finished piece but more a sketch)

I ordered good pastels and they will be here Thursday. Hopefully they will give me a leg up (smile).

25 April 2019


When I was eleven years old in sixth grade, I acquired my first friend. Her name was Joanne Shalmo. She came from a family that had stair step children, one for each year. She was the oldest. Her father was a teacher and her mother stayed home to care for this large family.

That year after Christmas, she showed me a skirt her mother had made her as her present. I was in shock. People can make clothes? I thought they were made in factories by huge machines like other commodities. Fabric went in one end and clothing came out the other. She said that no, her mother had sewed this on a sewing machine.

She took me downstairs and her mother had an old electric Singer. I was fascinated. She let me run a piece of notebook paper through the feed dogs without thread so that the needle made a trail of tiny punctures in the paper. I was mesmerized and knew I had to have one.

 My birthday is a week before Christmas and I was always getting the short shrift with one gift for both. I decided to play this gambit to my advantage. I asked for a sewing machine for BOTH from both my parents and grandparents. It worked. I was the proud owner of a Brother sewing machine which was just being imported to the US.

I bought a pattern and taught myself to sew. I could recount endless stories about the lessons I "gave myself". I'm smiling and shaking my head as I type. By the time I was in ninth grade and was exposed to "Home Ec", I made my dress in a few days and sat around the rest of the time waiting for the others to finish. By the time I graduated, I was making formal gowns for my mother.

A long time ago made with a Vogue pattern

Today I printed and framed my Artist Statement for the solo show. It starts with this: 

From the minute we are born until the day we die, we are wrapped in fabric. We have an intimate relationship with fiber. It is our comfort, our protection and in it we present ourselves to the world.

Today on her blog, Louise Watson  who I follow had used her sewing machine to make perforations in both fabric and paper and sent me off on this stroll down memory lane. Thank you Louise.

22 April 2019

New top

It's been so long since I sewed clothing, usually just slacks. I saw this top on Instagram and got some homespun fabric, 100% cotton that looks like seersucker. It looks like a cool roomy top. Fits great.

18 April 2019

The Pastel Pencil Saga

I have been taking that charcoal pencil online workshop (earlier post) and decided to try out some pastel pencils. I found some on Amazon for $77. for the set of 72. What a deal. All the other sellers were selling them from $124. to over $200. I put them in my cart and before I could check out the price jumped to $95. I was really upset. They changed the price while they were in my check out cart. I called and complained that they had upped the price AFTER I had added it to my cart. They gave me a $20. off coupon so I bought the set. This is what they looked like when they came.

Not just that they were crushed but they were mailed in a pristine box. In other words, this is how they left the sellers.

I returned them immediately and re-ordered and this was the second set

Yeah. Now I was really upset. I called Amazon and told them this was the way the pencils left the seller since both shipping boxes were in perfect condition. I returned them and just asked for my money back. I then ordered the 36 set for $51. since the 72 set was now $124. That was yesterday and today the 36 set arrived FAST.

Color me happy with pastel pencils. Now on to YouTube for some expert instructions!!!

15 April 2019

Random stuff

This first experiment is watercolor with rubbing alcohol dropped on it. I liked it so much is did some other experiments with it.

This was just a random page out of my sketchbook I liked the shape on the left and the right side has a piece of heavy weight vellum from a friend that I added color to to see how well it took watercolrs (very well). I just picked the colors and didn't notice until I was done that I had unconsciously chosen complimentary colors. Funny how the brain works.

This was an experiment I wanted to do to see how well three Derwent pencil products would blend. The first is Coloursoft pencils (dry only). The red and blue blended nicely to purple. The second was Derwent water soluble pencils which also blended well dry but looked pretty anemic when wet. The last was Derwent Inktense pencils. They blended well and looked very saturated both dry and wet. Good to know in case you ever want to buy water soluble pencil or even just heavily pigmented pencils. Today my new Derwent pastel pencils arrive!

Below are the 12 set of Coloursoft pencils. The yellow orange box to the right are Ticonderoga colored pencils which aren't made any more. I was purging things on my desk and in my haste I threw these out. Cleaner's remorse. Only the yellow escaped my grasp.