Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Embarking on an Adventure of a Lifetime

From Wyoming with Love

Everyone is due for an extended stay away from their daily life. It has been well over 10 years since I have had a sabbatical. During that time my dear friend Christi opened her home to me. For two months I experienced California and was away from everything that I knew. It was an important time.

I have some amazing people in my life. I honestly believe that we are put on this planet to become the best people that we can be. Part of achieving this requires being around genuinely good people that sincerely support and care for you and what you do.

I really feel that the time I am about to spend in Wyoming is an adventure that I will carry with me for the rest of my life and for that I am grateful beyond words. What makes this trip so special is how I am able to accomplish it. A lot of luck and countless hours of hard work allowed for the opportunity. But the reality of making it happen falls on the shoulders of my wonderful friends and family.

One of the projects during my artist residency is to paint a 4”x6” watercolor postcard for everyone that made my trip to the Ucross Foundation possible. They will receive the postcard during the month of April. Upon my return, I will collect all of the postcards and bring them together for an exhibition titled From Wyoming with Love.

Thanks to all the peeps that helped me…you know who you are!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wishes for Wildlife

Liberty Wildlife's 17th Annual Wishes for Wildlife Benefit Event




5 Burrowing Owls is one of the auction items that will be available on the evening of the event. Help support our wildlife!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Okay...New Game

One box of supplies is already waiting for me in Wyoming and I've begun to pack up the studio for a second shipment. That box will go out within the next 2 days. This means the studio is sparse in supplies.

Painting is out and the only pastels are colors I don't use, broken sticks, and colored pastel powder. No need to dispair! Okay, new game...make art with a very limited supply of art-making tools.

I give you exhibit A. A green apple (I've named her Annie the Apple) that my in-laws left behind after a recent visit. Challenging and delicious!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I Heart Arizona

What's a good way to spend the day...hmmm...let's about, oh I don't know - RELEASING 2 BURROWING OWLS! Cause that's what I did today - my first release! After my volunteer shift at Liberty Wildlife was coming to a close, my lovely friend Nina said she thought she had a release for me today.

2 burrowing owls that were being rehabilitated at Liberty were fit for freedom. I packed them in my truck and we were on our way. The outer perimeter of the Scottsdale Community College campus has large colonies of burrowing owls. So that's were we were headed. We pulled up to an open field and as I opened the box to wish them well and take a pic of the little guys, one busted out and took to the sky.

I gently grabbed the other one and he not so gently grabbed me back with his little talons, I took a pic, and released him to where he belongs. This is the time of year when they will scoping for little lady burrowing owls and will hopefully keep the population going. I told my dad that I released them on campus and he said they would be cruisin' for college chics. (No pun intended).

The weather right now is the reason why people love and live in Arizona. Wide open blue skies, 75 degrees, and ample sunshine. My dogs bathe like little lizards in the mid afternoon sun. The weather was so nice yesterday that I spent the day sprucing up the backyard.

We have mega-enormous agave plants and Mexican fan palms that have gone CRAZY! It was time for a trim. It was dangerous and painful but the garden is back under control. It didn't feel quite right cutting and snipping these beautiful plants but the poor pups have battle wounds from razor sharp points. To pay tribute to these living lovelies I drew a sketch of one of the agave tips I cut.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Eggplant From Lani's Fridge

Eggplant #1

Eggplant #2
(It looks like it rolled over, curled up, and went to sleep.)

Eggplant #3
This eggplant was past it's prime for eating but not for drawing!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Harris Hawk for LP!

This one is for you LP! I bought my plane ticket to Wyoming today and your art patronage helped make it happen - thank you!!

Monday, March 8, 2010


Well, I said I probably wouldn't have a chance to finish this before Wyoming but I couldn't help myself. In an earlier post I documented it's progress. Total time for this painting: 21 hrs. Kestrels are like little helicopters hovering over open fields for prey. They work with the wind currents to become seemingly motionless.

This painting is 2.5'x4'8" - fairly large. One thing I enjoy is the Common Kestrel in the painting is about 4 times larger than he would be in real life. Kestrel-zilla!

Wyoming Or Bust!

Well Arizona, you are gettin' rid of me for a month. I leave for Wyoming in 4 weeks but before I hit the trail the Junior Drama Club Academy was kind enough to let me hang some of my work on their walls. So if you happen to be in the Downtown Phoenix area this Friday, March 12th, swing by! There are paintings both new and old and over 50 sketches. This girl needs some pesos in her pocket!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ode To Wallpaper

One of the most challenging aspects of my paintings is the wallpaper. Sometimes I paint directly onto actual sheets of vintage wallpaper but most of the time I design my own. It is from my ever growing collection of wallpaper sample books that I gain inspiration. My most prized possessions are a 1941 Montgomery Wards Wallpaper Style Book and a 1902 Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalog featuring 40 wallpaper samples!! To touch their covers is inspiration enough!

I not only gain inspiration from these books, I've also developed healthy respect for the designers. I thought it was about time that I paid tribute to two of my all time favorite wallpaper gurus.

William Morris is the rock star of wallpaper and fabric design. One of my favorites is Bird & Anemone. It is once again available for only $225 per roll. This design was used by Morris’ company prior to 1914.

One of the most controversial figures in the design industry was Florence Broadhurst. Her designs, if she designed them at all (this is one of the controversial parts), are insanely wonderful.

Of course one of my favs is The Cranes. It is once again back in production at a heftier price than Morris’ Bird & Anemone. Check out the book, Florence Broadhurst, Her Secret & Extraordinary Lives by Helen O’Neill. Scandalous!

As of right now I have about a dozen wallpaper designs, all on well worn sheets of tracing paper. It’s nice to have them on hand. One of my long term goals is to transfer these designs to something more permanent.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Studio Mates

Kona (aka. Kona-bear, Monkey, Peanut (she is shaped like one), Grey-whiskers, Racoon-face, Fun-patrol (she likes to put the stops on any fun such as dancing, running, or violent laughter)

Papa (aka.Papa Boy, Freckle-foot (his feet are covered with them), Cardboard Ears (they look like someone cut triangles of cardboard and tacked them on his head, Whisker-face, and Rattlesnake Tail (when he receives non-direct attention just the tip of his tail shakes like a rattlesnake

It's a wonder I get any work done at all with these cute furry faces. The pups have a dog bed in the studio which Papa always inhabits when I am working. If Kona is not hanging out with us she will cruise in every hour or so just to check on us and get some pets. On her way out she usually licks Papa on the nose. Speaking of which, his snout totally matches the tile floor. Camo-style. They make my heart happy!