Enjoying My Flowers

My life tends to be full of tasks and I don’t often slow down enough to notice small stuff.  This spring however, I’ve been taking the time to inspect the new flowers I planted this spring; a variety of rudebekia, daisies and coneflowers; and the birds and bugs that have visited me.  I have hopes that my observations will help me in artistic endeavors in future!  But I am certainly enjoying the opportunity to slow down and see the daily changes.


This Rudebekia has been opening slowly and the petals have been lengthening.  Here is a photo of it from this weekend, approximately 1 week later:


You can see the center becoming fuzzier the longer it is open.


This is another Rudebekia of a different variety.  This plant is covered in blooms right now.


This is the last of the Rudebekia varieties to bloom.  This plant has only put up one flower stalk and has been progressing very slowly.


My orange coneflower keeps adding on new blooms.  It’s really striking!


I had a parsley plant that not only survived the winter, but thrived – growing into a 4’ tall bush.  These guys have been munching on it and making a dent in the seed heads by a small bit.  More of them show up each day and I guess the mature ones are dropping off to form their cocoons.


I’ve never seen a green fly before, but this guy has been hanging around my rudebekia and I managed to catch him on the rock lily bloom with a Micro lens.


I noticed this spider hanging in thin air.  It took me quite a while to find its web and even longer to get it in the frame in focus.


This nice lady, a black crested nuthatch, has babies in one of the birdhouses on my back patio.  I noticed her eralier in the year scoping it out, but enver heard babies in it so didn’t realize she’d laid eggs in the nest I discovered there.  The wren family is in another birdhouse on the patio so it makes for interesting listening when both mom’s are delivering meals.

A Love Affair: Gelli Printing

I am continuing my love affair with paint and a Gelli plate.  I continue to try new color combinations and mutliple layers of stencils or combing.  Here is a look at some of my latest pages, many of which are sure to get more layers going forward.






All done with Golden fluid acrylics, stencils from TCW stencils via Scrapbook.com and of course, my Gelli Plate (8×10).

All Dolls are Art 2014

If you are interested in learning sculpture, want to learn more about how artists approach their designs, or just want an interesting read – the ADAA 2014 faculty profiles are getting posted to the all new All Dolls are Art Blog!

Jean Bernard, of the famous Jean and Sherry team, is teaching 2 classes:  Bobble Head Barbie Pulled Herself Together Ontime and Fantasy Chair.


Clarissa Callesen is teaching 3 classes:  Wishkeeper, Steampunk Sally, and Bohemian Gypsy.


Sherry Goshon, the other half of the Jean and Sherry team, is teaching 3 classes:  What’s to a Head, The Illusion of Costuming, and Fun with Wire, Paper, and Cloth.


Angela Jarecki is teaching 2 classes:  About Face, How to Draw Faces, and Titania.


Ellen Kelsey is teaching her Fabulous Fish class.


Myriam Powell is teach a Luna.

Work In Progress & Final Dolls

Books as Sculpture

I had an errand downtown on Saturday mid-afternoon and decided to drop into Gallery Shoal Creek in the Flatbed Press building to see an exhibit that was profiled in the Austin American Statesman of work by Tony Saladino and Karen Hawkins.  I didn’t do much in the way of art this past week, so this was my chance to immerse myself in art.

Karen Hawkins work is derived from books.  It is definitely sculpture and is fantastic to see installed.  I could have spent the day amongst her pillars if I hadn’t had my appointment to get to.  I asked and received permission to photograph her work.  Thanks to Gallery Shoal Creek and Karen Hawkins for this fantastic exhibit!


From Karen’s statement on the Gallery’s postcard:

“Karen Hawkins’ work explores “the book,” a rapidly declining composition, and how, or whether, it remains purposeful in a digital age.”

As an ardent reader, collector of books, art journaler and intermittent book binder, I generally do not subscribe to cutting up books, even though I went through a phase where I altered books.  I can honestly say this is a tremendously moving exhibit.




Karen uses dictionaries, sheet music books and black and white picture books, from what I could see, to construct her sculptured, hanging pillars. In addition to the pillars, there were several small pillars sitting on tables in the gallery.  There were two wall pieces, one of which was incredibly striking.


This was the view as you came into the Gallery proper with the pillars just behind this wall.


I highly recommend visiting the gallery to see this exhibit and the many others which I didn’t photograph in the galleries in the Flatbed Press building.

This exhibit runs through June 14th.  The Gallery’s hours are Tuesday through Friday 10-5 and Saturday 10-3.

Friday Night Art Play May 23rd


It’s the start of a long weekend, after what turned out to be a long and exhausting week.  I’ve not been sleeping well, for reasons I do not yet understand, and that has made it harder to get through the day.  It has become my habit to come home and page through my journal, seeing if I can get the energy to do something creative. 

Last weekend, Saturday, I went downtown to Waterloo (#buylocalATX) Records and bought some new music.  My favorite two CD’s I’ve been gorging on are Fitz and The Tantrums “More than Just a Dream” and Rodrigo & Gabriela’s “9 Dead Alive”.  “Spark” from the Fitz album is my newest earworm.  If I can get myself in front of the Gelli Plate and put on either CD, I can get myself going creatively. 

I experimented with several techniques this week.  I embossed a bunch of white cardstock and used that to lift paint off the plates, printing in my journal and on scrap paper.  I stamped into the plate with my hand-carved stamps and used stencils and punched shapes as masks.  I used leaves from my front flower beds to create really cool organic, but amorphous prints.  And tonight, I did some more printing on the plate, and then I did a page in my art journal.  So, here’s the results of this week’s play ground.


Inspired by the chorus to “Spark”, first layer is gelli plate printed with paint lifted by cardstock embossed with a brick wall pattern (inside joke there).  The center was purposely not textured and painted on the plate with a brush using Green Gold.  I dripped FW Acrylics in orange, green and gold on the background and let it run.  Next I used jar and bottle lids to stamp circles of white gesso on the page.  I used a Dylusions Stencil to get the checkerboard and a Tim Holtz stencil to get the dots.  I used a circle stencil with smaller circles punchd from card stock to do the moon shapes.  I dry-brushed Dalyride Yellow across the top and in the bottom corners.  I used a TCW Rays stencil with a light coat of Liquitex black spray paint.  I went back over the page with the Tim Holtz Stencil and white and block paint.  I added another green gold box offset from the original and then a Turquoise Pthalo box offst from that.  I outlined elements using black and white Painters paint pens.  So far they are the best I’ve tried and do not let the nibs escape to ruin my clothes (Sad smile Sharpie).  Then I wrote in the lyrics of the chorus on the rays in white, outlined in black.  I think it’s done, but I’m not 100% sure yet!


First Gelli print using leaves from my garden and texture from a shelf-liner.


Ghost print from above.


Another leave print.


This one uses stamps I carved to lift paint from the plate and a Balzer Bits Stencil to create the tree mask.


And this one is embossed cardstock used to lift paint.  I started doodling on the top two with a Sakura white paint pen, fine nib.

I also dyed 8 yards of velvet and 7 yards of Rayon Satin for an Etsy order.  My customer is going to make a Cos Play dress and cloak based on one of the Game of Thrones characters.  I can’t wait to see the pictures she sends me!