Thursday, November 25, 2010

Black Friday - Cyber Monday Special

Just for you, I'm offering a special coupon code that's good for 15% off anything in my Etsy shop this weekend!

Use THANKS15 when checking out.

Happy shopping! And, remember, the coupon is only good through Monday, November 29.

Here's the link to my shop:

Happy Thanksgiving - Day 25

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I hope your day is filled with warm memories and good food.

The pumpkin and apple pies and carrot souffle are all done and ready to be packed up so I can head off to spend the rest of the day with family and friends. Can't wait. This is without a doubt my favorite holiday all year.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Trees - Day 21

The inkblots from the other day reminded me of trees and a landscape. I added a few colors and lines to enhance that image. Otherwise, the original inkblot remains unchanged.

Take $10 Off Gifts, Nov 20-23

Just letting you know about a Friends & Family Sale in my gift shop (and throughout CafePress) from November 20-23. You can shop for gifts and save among my designs and many others.

You'll save $10 on orders of $50+ (use code: Friend10). So buy gifts and save.

You'll find my shop at:

Friday, November 19, 2010

Reflections - Day 19


Silly me! I'd almost forgotten these photos until I was cleaning off my phone just now. I took these on Friday the 12th when I went to the Cleveland Art Museum. Any guess what it is?

When I parked in the garage at the museum, I'd backed into my spot. When I left the museum to go home, it was almost 5PM and very sunny. I hopped in my car, stuck the key in the ignition, put the car in drive, and looked up. THAT was right in front of me!

The car opposite me had pulled into its space with its nose up against the concrete wall. Sunlight was reflecting off the hood of the car onto the wall. Don't remember what type of car it was - some SUV crossover van thing I guess. Wasn't paying much attention to the vehicle.

I turned the car off, hopped out, ran across the garage, and clicked a couple pics while dodging traffic exiting the parking lot.

The photo below shows an uncropped version of the photo - you can see a tiny bit of the car in the lower right corner; the upper edge of the wall is at the top of the photo.

Darn cool, if I do say so myself.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Smoosh - Day 18

So I took Leah's advice over at Creative Every Day, and tried making inkblots. Yes, this is just like you used to do when you were a kid -  pour a bunch of paint on some paper, fold it over, press hard (smoosh), and open it up to see what happened.

Great fun!

First Attempt:

I started with a piece of watercolor paper that I'd poured acrylic paint on several weeks ago. The paper is ungessoed, so the paint soaked in and made a soft puddle. I took alcohol inks and drizzled them on the right side of the page, folded it over, and pressed.

Hm. Lesson #1: alcohol inks dry soak into paper and dry almost instantly. They don't hang around long enough to do much blotting. (See the tiny green and purple dots on the left side.)

Since the blotting business didn't work, I drizzled more ink on the paper wherever I felt like it.

Second Attempt:

Fresh sheet of blank watercolor paper. I poured fluid acrylic paint - transparent red iron oxide and interference oxide green - in random shapes. Folded the paper over, a little smooshing, and here we are!



Third Attempt:

Again, another piece of plain blank watercolor paper. This time, dioxazine purple and interference orange. Fold, smoosh, open. Cool, but tough to see the interference orange; it's almost transparent and adds just a sheen in areas - nice but not enough. So I added a few drops of vivid lime green. Refold and resmoosh. Oh, now we're talking!

Some paint held onto some of its body, creating lovely veining that looks organic, like bare trees or the veins in leaves. I can't wait to see what they look like when they're dry.

Call for Artists: Hudson Library Gallery

The Hudson Library is accepting proposals for its gallery. The library has a really nice gallery space at the front of the building - it has windows that face the street, excellent lighting, and a Walker hanging system.

If interested, call the library during weekday mornings and ask for Sue Kissack.

Hudson Library
96 Library Street
Hudson Ohio

National Collage Society Book Signing

Gretchen Bierbaum, author of Creating Collage in All Dimensions and president of the National Collage Society, will be be making two appearances to signs copies of her book.

Stop and out see her - the book is fantastic (I have my copy) and you'll enjoy meeting her.

You can get the book here: 

Saturday, November 20th, 5-7 pm
The first book signing will be held at the Peninsula Art Academy. In addition to the book signing, there will also be a reception for the exhibit of the collages featured in the book!

1600 West Mill St
Peninsula, OH  44264-171

Sunday, December 12th, 1-4 pm
The second book signing will be held at the Hudson Library Gallery.

96 Library Street
Hudson Ohio 44236

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Designing a New Website - Days 16 and 17

So, I haven't been making art for the past couple days - instead, I've been making a new home for my art.

I'm working with someone who designing and building a new site for me. I've been wanting to redo the site for about a year, but just haven't been able to get it to the top of my priority list. My old site was lovely, but I put it together on a snowy Saturday afternoon many years ago using Notepad and Paint, and, well, it showed. It was fine for a while, but I'm ready to grow and take my art to a new level, so it needs an appropriate showplace.

The new site will be something crisp and clean and modern. Easy to update. Searchable. With room for expansion.

I'm ever so impressed by those artists who can do it all with grace and ease, but I've come to the very real realization that I simply can't. My time is limited and I have to choose wisely how to spend it. So outsourcing website development makes an awful lot of sense.

It was a lovely feeling tonight to walk away from our meeting tonight knowing that my website was in good hands. 

The new site should be up in a week or so.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Just Can't Leave It Alone - Day 15

I just can't leave it alone. This collage needs something - I tried adding some new elements, but decided against it for the moment. The new element felt distracting wherever I put it.

Instead, I'm making some darks darker and lights lighter. As usual, my photo taken late at night stinks.  

I'll take more photos when I'm closer to being done and can find some daylight.

Belated Days 13 and 14

Saturday and Sunday won't get their own posts, and this one is coming in late. I took a quick road trip with the fam this weekend to go visit my aunt for her 80th birthday. A lot of driving in 2 days.

It was fun - I haven't taken a road trip in a long while and had nearly forgotten how much I enjoy them. A beautiful day, an easy road, some unexpected stops and a detour - love it.

In the few spare moments to myself, I did a little sketching. This little green spiral, plus some other thumbnail ideas in my journal. Nothing major, just enough to keep my commitment to art every day. And enough to keep the ideas flowing.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Enjoying Art, Take 2 - Day 12

Today started out with the best of intentions of creating art, maybe making progress on something that's in the works.

Well, instead it ended up with another attempt at enjoying art. I found out that an artist friend of mine, who I haven't seen since college, was going to be at the Cleveland Museum of Art today for a few hours.What luck!

So with a quick change of plans and a few phone calls to rearrange some other activities, I dashed off to the museum. We had a short visit, 30-40 minutes, but it was great! 

It started with the "tell me everything you've done in the past 2 decades. In 30 seconds. Go!" game. After that, we got down to discussing art. Good conversation. 

I took a few minutes afterward to wander the galleries and check in with some of my favorite pieces.

Made my day.

Sketch - Day 11

24 hours late, but here's a quick sketch I did last night. Wasn't much in the way of art, but that's all I could do.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wrapped and Ready to Ship - Day 10

Ta Da! The paintings for Art-o-mat are done - finished, labeled, wrapped in cellophane! All shiny and ready for shipping. Nothing left to do but seal the box and slap on an address.

And put my feet up for a few minutes. Ah-h-h!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Enjoying Art - Day 9

Art isn't only about the act of creation; it's also about the act of enjoying it. For me, and I think many artists, we have a need to show someone else what we've done and get their reactions. (I got a really awesome comment on my Day 1 post...check it out and see what I mean.)

I also think it's important to refill the well, recharge the batteries, you know. I can't go go go constantly; I need to stop to see (and hear) what others are doing. My art grows in response to other art.

So in the spirit of art appreciation, I'm off to a performance tonight. I'm going to hear the State Symphony Capella Chorus of Russia at E.J. Thomas Hall in Akron. Based on the description, it should be a fantastic performance, and probably unlike anything I've heard before.

What kinds of art do you enjoy? Have you taken time to appreciate any art lately?

Update: So much for good intentions. I met my friend (who'd invited me to the concert) for dinner beforehand. During dinner, she got a call from her son's wife saying she was taking him to the emergency room. The hospital was right down the street from the restaurant, so we quick paid our checks and met them at the ER. We sat there for a couple hours with him, waiting.

No news on his condition, but we're optimistic that he will be fine.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Labels - Day 8

To continue with yesterday's theme, I worked more on my Art-o-mat paintings and glued the labels on the back. They're one step closer to being done.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Finishing - Day 7

Here we are at the end of week 1 of Art Every Day Month. In all honesty, I felt a little scattered this week. I jumped in determined to do something wonderful outstanding brilliant every day and then jumped from one thing to another.


In reality, I've finished a few things that I'd started a while ago and started a few new ones. I've resolved to explore new things - media, sizes, colors, styles - and see where they lead.

I've done some journaling every day, which is crucial for me. Journaling for me is like sweeping: it clears away the dust and cobwebs so I can see what's really underneath.

I've decided to look at this month as a journey, not a race.

So today I finished my newsletter for my art group - it's all stamped and sealed and ready to go to the post office.

I baked cupcakes, just because.

I worked on labeling and wrapping my Art-o-mat paintings. I want them done and in the mail by the end of the week.

All in all, a fine week.


As you begin your holiday shopping, may you consider ornaments from my shop

They're not just for decorating trees! They make great additions to prettily wrapped packages, or table decorations. Imagine one at each place setting at your holiday table. I hang them from little hooks under the mirror in the bathroom. 

These are lovely glossy ceramic, and have a red ribbon at the top for hanging. Very pretty and very affordable.

New Starts - Day 6



Day 6 was a mixture of stuff. I started a few new paintings. They're 12 x 12 inches on watercolor paper. I gessoed the paper the night before, then brushed in puddles of soft colors. My colors are usually really bright so I wanted something softer.

At the moment I'm envisioning line drawings on top but we'll see how that works out.

In between waiting for the colors to dry, I wrote the newsletter for my art group and ran to the copy shop to have it printed. Day 7 will be spent folding, stuffing, stamping, and mailing.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Squashed Collage - Day 2 Update

The collage that I made the other day from campaign literature was feeling a little rough and wrinkly, so off it went to relax with a bottle of wine - or a few. It's in between the boards there, being weighted down by everything heavy I could find in the house. Good thing wine is a multipurpose beverage.

After a few days high-pressure days, the collage is looking much better.

I have one more element that I'm thinking of adding, so I'm playing with the placement. Here's option 1:

And here's option 2:

Any preferences? Can you see the difference? Does it help at all or should I leave it out?

More Little Drawings - Day 5

I'm a little late with my Day 5 posting. I did these drawings yesterday. Day 6 to follow later today.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Bunch of Drawings - Day 4

Day 4 - finished my ACEO-sized series of alphabet letters! These last few drawings have been waiting a long time for some time and attention, and tonight they got it. Plus I wrapped up the evening with a silly little paisley drawing. Just for fun.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Ready for Wrapping - Day 3

The latest on the Art-o-mat paintings: the paper cutouts have all been glued in place (successfully this time) and all blocks have had a coat of clear gloss. Definitely progress. I only lost 1 or 2 in the smeared-paint-gooey-paper debacle.

So, next up: they need to have labels glued on the back and then be wrapped in acetate.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Campaign Collage - Day 2

I don't often do collages and I never do politics, but just couldn't help myself today.

This collage is made from the campaign literature that found its way unbidden into my mailbox, under my doormat, on my doorknob, and in my landscaping. It contains snippets from ads sent both by people I voted and those I didn't. Equal time for everyone, you know.

The literature this year - and I think the campaign too - has gotten nastier and less substantive. Almost none of the literature has told me what the candidates stand for or what issues to vote for. Almost without exception, the ads have bashed the competition. 

They say: my opponent is a liar, my opponent will cost this state jobs, my opponent is corrupt. Almost nothing has said: here's what I stand for and here's what I believe in and here's what I want to accomplish. 

Oddly enough, very few of the ads even used the word "Vote". I had to scrounge - twice - through my pile of papers to find enough instances of the word. If I'd been looking for the words "liar" or "corrupt", I would have had plenty.

A short story: two weeks ago as I was cutting the lawn, a woman walked up and said, "Hi. I'm Mrs. Sunshine*, and my husband Mr. Sunshine* is running for office. Can I put a sign in your yard?" 

Notice that she did not say what office he was running for, nor did she ask if I'd heard of him and planned to vote for him. 

Yet she seemed surprised when I said "No". 

(I don't put anyone's signs in my yard. Nothing personal. She didn't know that.)

I believe it's important to vote, critical even, but it's been tough this year to figure out who and what to vote for. I'm finding it difficult to take anyone seriously. Even so, I did vote - and added my "I voted" sticker to the collage.

I'm fairly happy with the collage. I'll have to look at it for a while to see if it needs anything else. Then, when it's fully dry, it will get a nice long squash under something heavy to flatten out all the wrinkles. :)

p.s. I was going to title this: "Lies, Damn Lies, and Campaign Lies". Might anyway.

Is it Wednesday yet?

*Names have been changed to protect the no-so-innocent. My apologies any real Mr. or Mrs. Sunshines who I'm sure are perfectly lovely people.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Art Every Day Month - Day 1

Just squeaked in under the wire here! Today is Day 1 of Art Every Day Month. I've decided to try different things this month, things I wouldn't normally do - different media, colors, shapes, sizes. Expand my repertoire and get out of my comfort zone.

Here's today's start. It's 12x12 inches square, acrylic paint and alcohol inks on paper. The lines are done with an iridescent blue-white paint.

Not entirely sure that it's done, and can't say I'm all that thrilled with it, but at least it's a start.