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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

August Art Journal Pages

that is what I was trying to capture..

August was a lovely month..
with travel and family visits..

a trip to San Diego
and lots of time at our pool..

it was blissful...

so I wanted to create that feeling of bliss
on my page,
and the star of the skies aligning
with the stars of the 


There was time to relax...
catch up..
take a deep breath..
and visit with family.

it wasn't until the end of the month,
that we became wary..

in the writing above, 
I am urging Irma to go out to sea..

Ingredients: gesso, acrylic paint, antique ephemera, personal photos, graphite pencil, walnut ink, watercolors, molding paste, pencil, pen and ink.

but alas,
that was not meant to be..

I am working on 
September pages right now..

and experimenting 
with watercolors and paper clay..

and mounting some works on board..
for Bis Gallerie
Les Jardin des Amants..
I found some pieces that were unframed 
in May..
but ..
that is a story for another 


Ciao, ciao!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Wrath of Irma

dear readers..
Irma was a long nightmare..
we made the decision to evacuate
a week ago..

and I hope you never have to make that decision..
I agonized over what to take and how to 
protect what we have..

with so many family photos to save,
I left them in a large plastic tub and put them up high 
enough to survive water..

my dear friend Robin told me to put small photos and
antiques in the dishwasher and it would 
be water tight when closed..

We took our current files
and wrapped the older ones in plastic..
I secured my studio,
loading most of my supplies in my closet and hoping for the best..

I took art with me..
some of my current pieces and several pieces that
I treasure..
our computers..
and my current art journal..

the evacuation process was trying and the traffic was difficult
but the waiting and watching from afar was 
knowing that it was going to demolish the Keys as it had
so many of our favorite islands..

was hard to imagine
let alone 

and with family in Orlando and many friends throughout the state,
my attention was divided..

Irma took her time and she meandered around our state
with fickle unpredictability...
she kept us on our toes, just when we thought she would go west 
she shifted to central 
and that saved our home and our village..

The drive home was horribly long
and took 12 hours on back roads..

this is what we came home to..
we almost drove into it in the dark of night..
since we live in a rural place,
 all the power was out due to these large trees that 
came down just one street over from our house..

We regained our power last night..
and it gave me a little time to ponder the nature of power
and how we take so very much for granted..

we are fine, the house is fine and all is well..

thank you for your well wishes and your concern..
I am so grateful and blessed..

so many are suffering in our state,
as well as through out the islands and my heart goes out to them..

I will start unpacking my studio today..
and hopefully have something to show
next week..

Thank you so very much for your kind concern and best wishes!


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

How to Stay Inspired as an Artist

Like many of you..
I can take grey and overcast..
cool, or chilly
weather just so long..
and then my body craves sunshine..

Having lived in California
I know that the beach can be misty cool and downright cold..

and so it was
when we journeyed out to visit family..

but it was lovely to see the blue, grey ocean
through the planks of the decking and feel the sway of the pier..

My brother in law and sisters in law
take cottages at historic

every year on the same weekend at Pacific Beach
and this year we decided to visit them there..

the cottages are right on the pier and the view is pretty

there are pots of succulents on
each and every porch..
which was cheerful..

but my Sister in law
bought us some sunshine

this is the view from the deck of their cottage..

so to find the sun, 
we headed inland to visit
the historic

Balboa Park
and built in

Mr Marston owned 
a beautiful department store at that time
and he built this Arts and Crafts house 
and gardens 
on rock..
yes.. dear reader..

they had to blast the rock
to plant the garden and the trees..
at the turn of the century..

inspiring that they would go to such lengths

While we were there I realized
There are many ways to generate
as an artist..

but one sure way..

is to get out of the studio...

you don't have to go across

the country..
but you do have to leave the house..
leave your environment..

and see..
really see..

see what other artists create..

admire architecture
and arts different than what you create..

follow nature around..

from one color...

to another..

to another..

like a busy bee..
allowing nature to lead you...

fragrance to caress you..

and the unusual to delight you...

is an art in and of itself..

the curve of the leaf..
the lines of the house..
all sing to the soul..

the rows of fragrance..
all beg to be 

and with that clarity comes

"Art is neither a profession or a hobby, art is a way of Being. "
Frederick Franck 
Zen of Seeing

I plan on being here next Tuesday..


we are experiencing 
a dramatic increase in hurricanes
this year..

Mr. La Dolce Vita is in Texas right now,
working on the remediation
which will take a long time..
and we are watching Hurricane Irma
very closely..

so if you would be so kind..
please visualize Irma moving harmlessly out into the

and hold us in your
kindest thoughts..
I would greatly appreciate it..


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Be Back Soon!

I have only just returned home..
and piles of laundry wait for me..

but I wanted to let you know that I 
will be back next 
with a travelogue 
of my journey..
I have not forgotten you...

and this photo of 
water that I am painting

 Mixed media painting, Caterina Giglio

seemed fitting..
for so many reasons..
we just came back from a beach stay in 
San Diego..

but our attention was called
and while we love to be in water
and we need water..
it is also a powerful

it's beauty and force are matched..

my heart goes out to all involved..
as I know your heart is tied up in it also..
gentle reader..


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Notes on the Art Life

As artists
we are always
emerging and learning, 
we never really arrive... 
we are always becoming..

so, today I offer these tips humbly 
dear reader..

we start with the evil inner critic..

1. Learn to Silence your Inner Critic- I used a capital S because this is really important if you are going to create anything..  do not diminish yourself or your art, (mentally or verbally) you will improve and as you do, when you look back on your work, you will see disparity between where you were and where you are, that will only continue, IF you keep working... 
so deal with it.. 
there are a million books about silencing the critic..
I simply listen to my critic and then I do exactly what she doesn't want me to do..
and I usually stick my tongue out at her when I do it!!

2. Be Yourself- listen to your own inner voice, reject popularity and follow wherever your muse leads, if that also happens to be in the mainstream, so be it, but allow your muse to have her way with you and no body gets hurt! Suffering as an artist comes with always doing what is expected... being pigeon holed....
no matter who you are, you have a unique voice, style and artistic attitude. 

3. Don't Compete- Comparisons are definitely odious and they murder creativity. Being jealous of another artist is artistic suicide. The universe is abundant, and there is room for everyone to succeed. Gardeners have a saying..  "nothing blooms all year" everyone has their time in the sun, and art is not a competition.. 

4. Working VS Creating- if you have to work at a job in order to finance your beginning or budding art career, make sure you love what you do. Picasso said, "Never permit a dichotomy to rule your life, a dichotomy in which you hate what you do so you can have pleasure in your spare time" 
Find a job that you love, in my case I worked as an antiques dealer and sold my art and the beautiful things I loved, holding pop up sales and having the time of my life.. do something you love and that love will be reflected in your work..

5. Do Not Wait For Inspiration- just do it.. get up each day and hit the studio, work at it, play with it allow whatever happens to happen, release agendas, and just go make cool stuff.. When your mojo is gone, that is an indication that you need to PLAY ... you cannot find what you are looking for when you think it is lost..

6. Keep Learning- if you like classes, take one, but keep learning, experiment, try new things, new products... my favorite question in the studio is ... " I wonder what would happen if I did this---?
be a mad artistic scientist... good things happen when we suspend judgment and expectations..

7. Network and Reach out -  Associate with other artists.. the days of isolation in the studio are long gone, it used to be so lonely to be a studio artist, finding your tribe is so important, learn and share, cheerlead and encourage, what you give out has a way of coming back to you..

and that last point leads us to 
someone who has been a friend to me...
another artist..
Pamela Gerard

she sent me these fabulous antique images of butterflies
and stamps..

and if you stop by her blog, please tell her I sent you..

introduce yourself and make a new friend..
but be warned..
she believes in 

we are at ciao for now..

and I am off on another holiday..

and will hopefully have some lovely photos for you when I return ...

Thank you 
for your kind readership..
your subscriptions..
and your comments..

you are much appreciated..


Saturday, August 19, 2017

5 Steps to Creating a Successful Mixed Media Collage

Here is a little video
on some of my
for creating a successful mixed media collage..

of course there are so many things 
that contribute to successful work..

I would love to take longer to 
talk about why a piece is successful..

but here are my quick thoughts..
to elaborate on the video..

1. Texture, texture, texture
2. Main image or focal point- composition
3. Small conversation
4 Large conversation
5. Unification

to clarify,
Texture can be achieved in a million different ways..
The main image or the focal point of the collage can be small, but the composition 
must be cohesive..
The small and large conversation can be as simple as small and large print..
or small and large detail.. the large conversation is seeing the basic composition 
from far away and as you get closer there is interest that holds your attention..

finally.. unification ties the piece together, brings all the different elements into focus, and can be done with color, paint, or similar elements..

Have a spectacular weekend 
gentle viewers..


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Mixed Media- Life is in the Details

The little conversation..

I have said it before..
it is really all in the details..
I call it the little conversation..

The big conversation..
for me is always about love

In my work, texture represents 
the layers of complexity in relationship..
with myself, and others.

and in light of what happened in 
I wanted to express to you
my feelings about my art 

every piece I create has a thought about someone ..
or a feeling about myself or others..
each layer is a devotion to working out
issues, inconsistencies, or simply documenting
what is..
my intention is to be a witness..
documenting the holiness of life

It all ties together perfectly..
I love what I create and I create love..
love of nature..

these are sneaky peeks 
that I am sending to Somerset Studio..

love of relationships
love of creation..

in addition to the layers
I wanted to create..

love of beauty..
Love of life...

the fragility of winged creatures..
and to show

of kindness..

and mirror our own fragility..
to see through the wings..

Which is a religion to me...
Never let anyone tell you that kindness is not enough..

to the layers below..
the words, 
the issues,
the trauma,

that love does not conquer evil..

 love is more powerful than hate..
Love always wins..
Love will find a way..

and reveals
a bigger picture..
of freedom..
and flight,
playing out in the

as we go about our week,
speaking kindness,
cheering on others,
celebrating successes,
opening doors for people with strollers,
buying a coffee for the next person in line..

and feeling our hearts expanding in love of life..

know without a doubt,
dear reader,
 that your loving kindness
is the stuff that wears down mountains of hate,
builds bridges..
and changes 
subtly, softly..
but change, 
it does.