I See People

I’m stretched out on the sofa after a long day in the studio. Sophie is licking my feet. And I like it. Maybe too much.

Umm…is that TMI?

Sophie is a dog, by the way. Does that make it better? Or worse…

Open Studios Tour is the next two weekends. I’ve been so busy doing other stuff, getting ready stuff, that art, painting, has been on the back burner. But today was ART. ALL. DAY.

Oh my, it was heaven. Pure heaven. I believe Jesus said that very thing. In fact, I KNOW he did. Give a girl a painting, she hangs it on the wall. Teach a girl to paint and she feeds her creative soul, if not her body, for EV-AH. He said that, really. Or he would’ve if he wasn’t so busy doing miracles and pissing off the Pharisees.

But back to MY day, here now in the 21st century. In a word or three it was LALALALALA!!! Wonderful!!! Happy happy time in Studio Grande. First, there was MUSIC. Hours and hours of uninterrupted rockin’ out with the iTunes library. Springsteen! Umm…and other guys!!! And Springsteen!!! LOUD.

The new! improved! Studio Grande has GREAT acoustics. Oh my, yes! Concrete and high ceilings, doesn’t get any better than that.

I started out with this. 40×40 inches of pure possibilities.

And ended up with this. 40×40 inches of work in progress. Layers. More possibilities.

But what else did I do? Oh, thank you for asking. Because I work on multiple canvasses at the same time. A combination of making good use of paint drying time and a short attention span.

This canvas has been hanging out for years. Literally, years. I made a trip upstairs this afternoon, the land where I rarely venture because it was and still is inhabited by offspring. Went upstairs and discovered this hiding out behind a dresser in the hall. Pretty good size, I think 36×40 inches.

I had to dust it off before painting. Imagine that. And notice the empty wall to the left? Not in the top photo now, is it? That’s because I get a little … enthusiastic while mark making. Paint flies EVERYWHERE. I decided it was prudent to remove paintings from the direct line o’fire.

This one needed more paint and dribbles. Here’s where I left it. Don’t know where it’s going but I SEE PEOPLE.

My daughter says me and no one else. She says seeing things like that is creepy.

She’s moving out soon.

And remember the journal page I flashed everywhere? Well, I decided to do it bigger on canvas. Played with it today. Still not done but almost.

So that’s why I’m sitting here letting the dog lick my feet. Those poor tootsies were dancing around on concrete all day. They worked hard and they’re tired. Good tired. Now I’m going to make some popcorn and call it dinner. I think that’s perfectly acceptable, don’t you?

Remember, if you’re remotely local, i.e., the western hemisphere, north of the equator, I hope to see you during Open Studios.

Love to hear from you in the comments below. If you’re a blogger and check the Comment Luv box, the magic CL Fairy  will run and fetch the link to your latest post. How cool is that?

How Do I LUVVV Thee

Oh my sweetums…something SO ECXITING is happening in Arty Life Land. Yes, EXCITING!

It’s called Comment Luv.

Allow me to explain. Those of you who already know about CL, well…go put on a cuppa tea or something. But do come back to look at the pictures. The rest of you gather round because I have something to tell you. Important something.

It’s about sharing your luvvv on Arty Life. And building community. You know that comment box down below, the one that encourages you to share your two cents? Some of you do, some don’t. And that’s okay. I love you all, even when you read ‘n run.

But now if you write a comment and click on the Comment Love box right under the little box you write your comment in, you do that and this AMAZING little plugin will dash over to your blog, retrieve the link from your latest post and invite readers to check it out.

Comment Luv will put in a plug for you right here on my blog!!! Should I repeat that? RIGHT HERE!!! Is that a community builder or what?

So be sure to leave a comment.

And now, YO! Tea drinkers– come back and check out what I made this weekend.

I began with a work in progress that had been languishing, languishing, on a shelf. This is acrylic, by the way.

Got all finger painty until I read the label on Golden’s liquid Bone Black. The label that said blah blah blah cancer. So I washed my hands and put on gloves.

And then I cut up paper. Threw on some more color and began writing with a regular graphite pencil. Just because I could.

More paint. More writing. More stuff. This is not the final version. But you have to wait to see that. I’m writing a guest post for Michele Bergh and the painting will be part of it. I’ll let you know when it happens.

And now I think I’m going to sit back and have a cuppa tea.


If At First You Don’t Succeed

If At First You Don’t Succeed

This week, in between stacking wood, hauling brush, clearing studio patio land…in between bouts of sweaty mountain womanliness, I MADE ART!!!

‘sperimentin’ kind o’art.

Because I wasn’t allowed to lose myself in the studio. Wasn’t allowed to break out the paints and disappear into the zone where five minutes becomes five hours. Or ten hours. Not with Open Studios Tour coming up in three weeks and all sorts of loose ends to tie up.

But in between nipping down little trees with my bare teeth and wiping sweat from my brow, I dashed into the studio and had my way with Nation Geographic magazines and Citrasolve.

I’d heard you could get some interesting results. Internet arty rumors. They made it sound so easy.

Umm, no…it wasn’t.

Because there’s a lot of conflicting info out there. Like, the magazines must be pre- 1970s.

Well, this is what that looked like. The Citrasolve did nothing to dissolve the ink but my impatience did much to dissolve the paper.

I did some more research. One article said you had to use the non-spray version of Citrasolve. Well, maybe that was my problem. So I went out and bought a bottle of the concentrate. I brushed it on a page from a later National Geographic, maybe mid 80s. This time I tried some direct manipulation. Ugly but progress.

So I kept playing. Moved up to a 2010 edition. Brushed Citrasolve on lots of pages, squeezed them shut and stuck the magazine under a stack of magazines. Then I walked away.

A few hours later I came back and peeled them apart.

Oh oh oh LOVE!!!

Here’s some of what I ended up with.





Look at all this yummy goodness!!! Can you stand it??? Handsprings! Backflips!

There is soooooo much potential here. For paintings. For backgrounds. For encaustics. For collage. For digital whatevers. But mostly for inspiration!

Now it’s time to scan them into the computer (these are just snapshots). I’ll let the ideas percolate and figure what to do with them later. I’m already feeling the AHA! moments bubbling up.

So give it a try. I have to say though, it’s a crapshoot. You don’t know what you’re going to get or if you’re going to get anything at all. Because not everything I tried worked, even when using the same technique that worked for these. And to recap that technique you need: a fairly recent National Geographic magazine, Citrasolve cleaner, rubber gloves and good ventilation. Brush the Citrasolve on random pages, close the magazine, squeeze it, rub it, bury it under something heavy and walk away for a few hours.

That’s it. Have fun with it and if you give it a try let us know how it turns out!



Exhale mode, sweetums. Great. Big. Exhale.


Open Studios Tour is coming up! Oh, indeed it is, first two weekends of October. This is where I plug the event and tell you if you live anywhere in the western hemisphere northern California, and do not come, I will personally TP your house!

Trust me, I learned from the best, having raised my very own delinquent. Had FirstBorn paid as much attention to his grades as he did the price of toilet paper, he’d be a BRAIN SURGEON by now.

But back to the Studio Tour…. Got a little more than three weeks to get things in order. I’m not worried about the art, got paintings coming out my ears right now. Seriously. Lots of art. But of course I’ll probably get in a frenzy the week before and crank out paint my bum off.

It’s the housekeeping that has me a wee bit, umm… well, see for yourself.

The exterior of the new! improved! Studio Grande is still a construction zone. Tar paper and stucco screen are waiting for the stones to go up. And they will, at least on the front, in the next couple of weeks. Mr. Spouse does stonework but for this, for rock and brick that gets walked under, for this we’re hiring a real mason. YAY!!! I’ll be posting photos of the process, and a conversation or two about all the amazing arty things you can do with cement. Meanwhile you can see some of Grant Weiss’ work here.

I spent the afternoon dealing with construction debris. Bagging up what I could. And then I decided to get a start on the patio I plan on putting in just a little uphill from the wall of windows.

See this? One dead oak and a bunch of construction stuff. Well, by the first weekend in October it will ALL be gone. And if the gods of patio construction are with me, there may even be a patio! At least a clear, level place to put a couple of chairs.

And look! It wasn’t all about garbage bags and recycling cardboard. I got a couple bins of stomped-on-squished-down-tight kindling for winter.

OMG!!! I just remembered I bought some chocolate chocolate chip ice cream to reward my sweaty labor.

OMG! OMG! OMG! I’m outta here. It’s been real but I believe I hear someone calling my name. From the freezer. But I’ll be back in a couple of days. And I’m sure there’ll be some more photos.


Dine ‘n Dash

Dine ‘n Dash

Early this morning, I mean early, like around 4 when it’s still black as pitch, I stood out on the front porch in my jammies. Jammies in this case being a euphemism for an old T-shirt and finest kind panties from JC Penny. Standard romantic sleepwear after thirty years of marriage.

I stood out there scaring off THE BEAR.

And why would I be doing that?

Because for sure he’d knocked over the recycle can, a bin nearly as tall and far broader than I. It’d been the sound of crashing bottles and cans that woke me up. Then he moved on to the garbage. We’ve done this drill before. He’d rip open the bags, drag them who knows where, leaving a trail of yucky things I’d have to clean up later in the day. Damn bear. Worse than kids when it comes to making a mess.

So as soon as I heard the recycle go, I was out of bed in a flash. I flipped on the driveway lights, stood on the porch and…well, how does one scare off a bear?

Easy peasy. If the sudden glare of the lights and the sight of me in my Penneys panties wasn’t enough for Mr. B, I clapped my hands. Five sharp claps.

He answered through the darkness, a few gutteral grunts.

I clapped again. He grunted again.

And then I went back to bed. Because, really, what else could I do? I rolled in beside Mr. Spouse and told him all about my adventures. He grabbed the blanket, rolled over the other way, muttered something about bears. And then he snored.

But in his own way, I’m sure he was quite impressed.

And after breakfast I restocked the recycle bin, located the remains of the garbage about fifty feet from the scene of the crime, put on some gloves and cleaned up the mess left by Ursus Americanus. And I do hope he enjoyed the turkey burger, the one that spent a couple hours ripening in a hot car on a hot day before finding its way to the trash.

Now, to the age old question, does a bear chit in the woods, the answer is well, I’m sure the one who ate nearly ten pounds of pony psyllium does.

But that was another bear. Another adventure.

And now I’m off to Studio Grande to design my new business cards, paint and have a most productive arty life kind of day.

Have a great weekend! And if you didn’t spend the morning cleaning up someone else’s mess, dearest sweetums, then consider yourself ahead of the game.