What’s An Artist To Do?


Abstract Tiger Lilly


Lately I’ve been working with watercolor, and acrylics, and my subject is usually abstract.  This time I decided to dig through all my supplies and find a small sample kit of Aqua-Oils to try.  I’ve had them for a few years, and never even opened the box to look.  This time it seemed appropriate to try a new medium.  So off came their lids, out came the brushes, and the only thing that came to mind were more abstract flowers!

After painting with these oils for a while, I realized that I had a learning curve.  The paints didn’t seem creamy like oils, and not as workable as acrylics, I felt like I needed to build the color to get the results I was looking for.  Maybe they were a slight bit dried out, although they didn’t seem that way.  but hey they were inexpensive and I’m trying something new.

When the whole thing was said and done, I think I just like  plain old oils better.  Many artists love Aqua-Oils, and don’t have any trouble with them.  For some reason I didn’t find them as forgiving as oils, or acrylics.  My purchase was small, and I certainly haven’t lost anything, so I’m happy I had the opportunity to use them.  That being said, I still have quite a lot of those little tubes left, some of them without ever having  had their tops off!   So I will use them until they are finished, and keep trying to get  them working for me.

After all….what is an artist  to do?

Back to Work….



My studio is humming, and I am working until I start to think about what I’m doing…..Then I STOP!  I stop because I start to second guess myself, and slip out of my right brain.  It works for me to think of myself as playing like a three-year old, and the minute I grow up,  it’s death to my creativity!

The Mermaid painting is a perfect example of me as a three-year old, spreading molding paste, gesso, and paint all around.  Pushing, and pulling, adding and subtracting, until it is just right.  I decided to stop before she started going in another direction.

More Little Experiments!



This is what happens when you play with wild abandon.  As I start working the crazy just started rolling out of me!  It rolled, and rolled until this is the result.  Lots of black and red, and foil.

My studio has been humming with lots of experimenting lately, and who knows what will hatch next? All things that I see, hear, smell and touch are subject to an abstract interpretation.

What is rolling out of your studio?  Do you see crazy there like I do, or is it more sane?  Email me and let me know, and while your emailing me, send a picture of what you are doing.  I’d love to see it, and maybe post it as well if you don’t mind.

The way we grow is to experiment, so lets all grow, or maybe it sounds better to lets all experiment…….

Soft & Chewy M&M Cookies


Since we are heading into fall, even though our weather doesn’t feel that way here in Southern California, I thought this recipe and this cooking blog would be inspiring.  I don’t do very much cooking any longer, but these cookies are among my favorite of yummy baked goods!

My son in law, John is the baker in our family, and believe me when I tell you that the first thing I do when I’m in their home is to check out the containers in their kitchen.  There haven’t been very many times over the last  several years he has been in our family, that the kitchen  has not held baked goods to die for.

Check out  Kevin’s blog for ideas, and his creative foods.   My guess is if Kevin loves to cook, and you are looking for new ideas, this is the blog to go to.



Soft & Chewy M&M Cookies

Source: Soft & Chewy M&M Cookies

Abstract Faces


As most of you know from watching my blog, Bob Burridge is one of my favorite artists!  He is loose, and fun to take a class from.  But, most of all his method really works.  I have taken many classes from Bob, and have never been disappointed…not even once.  I have however, left his class dragging, unable to do much else for the remainder of the day.  If the class is a week long class, be prepared to take a week to recuperate.  He has that much energy, and isn’t afraid to share it with all the students!

For me, it isn’t as easy as it looks, or maybe I’m trying too hard, regardless of the reason, I keep trying.  While I finish up the last two abstracts, I thought you might like to watch this video.  Even Bob doesn’t get it right the first time!  By the way, he had a great website with all kinds of information.  Check it out, and sign up for his newsletters…it’s free!




Sunset in the Mountains 6"X 6" on wood.

Sunset in the Mountains
6″X 6″ on wood.

Over the holiday weekend I decided to experiment a little.  I grabbed a small 6″X 6″ art board, and covered it with a weathered, crumpled brown bag.  As I continued, tearing up painted brown bags, and cardboard seemed the right direction.  After struggling for it seemed like hours, I dragged out the copper……copper sheets, coper bebes,  copper paint.  The list went on.

Why is something so small such a big deal.  Keeping busy is not easy!

Finally….it came to me!   The coffee pot just sat there, coffee grounds drying out, coffee getting stale, and too weak to call out to me.

Sooooo, what would happen if I mixed coffee grounds with acrylic medium?  Would it just be another big mess? a mistake I would regret? or, would I like the results vowing to try that again?  On the way to the trash, I just hd to drop off a small pile of grounds, and the medium just happened to tip over onto the plate of grounds.   I really had no choice than to mix them up.  I thought it would be really a mess, but it stuck together about like sour cream with dip mix.

Now what?

As I began sliding this coffee smelling mixture off my pallet knife, it just seemed to go in the way of a landscape.  Not my intention, but I love being intuitive and not knowing where the piece will take me.

One thing led to another, and before I knew it, everything was sitting there drying on this little piece of my wood.  It takes with it a piece of my heart and soul.  Hours have gone by just watching it, talking to it, hoping it would let me know what I need to do, and the last thing it said was, “I need a blue bird in my sky, and so it is!”