Sunday, March 26, 2017


OK, are you beginning to see a pattern here?  Every page has a black horizontal line, collage and lots of paint spatters.  I do this for a reason.  The black line is my jump start to drawing on a blank page... the collage and paint spatters are added to provide continuity and visual interest.  If I don't know what to draw before I start a page, an idea will magically appear by the time I draw the black horizontal line and maybe a few colors and patterns.  My favorite saying is…put pen to paper and let the creative juices flow!  This is my way of letting my muse take control and sitting back to see what the page will reveal.

More pages in my "History collides with Art" Journal:

Oops!  The T-Shirts should say "She persisted" or "Nevertheless she persisted." Drat!!!  Maybe, I will insert the quotation marks before and after "She persisted" and be done with it.  I hate when that happens!

Just a note about how I drew the faces.  First, I always draw from a photo because it allows me, if needed, to use a grid system to help with the proportions.  Second, I lightly sketch the face in pencil on deli paper and keep working it until I feel happy with the likeness.  I consider this step a practice run and worry later about how I am going to transfer the faces to the journal page or canvas.  I will either cut and paste the pencil drawing onto the page or graphite the back of the drawing, trace and transfer to the page and then redraw in pencil or ink.

Why draw on deli paper in the first place you ask?  Because it is super easy to erase on deli paper using a kneaded eraser and the paper is so durable that it will allow erasing many times before it breaks down.  The watercolor paper in my journals will not allow this much abuse.  Sometimes, it takes many, many tries before I can get the likeness right.  Hopefully, I will get better with practice and won't need to depend on the eraser so much.

For this page, I decided that I didn't want to redraw the faces so I cut them out and glued the faces directly to the journal page.  This was done by coating both the back and front (in this sequence) of the drawing with Golden soft gel matte medium, letting it dry, and then gluing it to the page.  This method served my objective of sealing the pencil drawing and preventing the deli paper from wrinkling.

Thank you for stopping by.  I am now more than half way through the pages in this journal and I still have a lot more to journal about.  Will I run out of blank pages before things calm down with the Trump Administration or will this turmoil stop before I complete the last page?  Care to guess?

Until next time….


Saturday, March 4, 2017


We are truly living in troubled times.  A time where the state of mankind and the future of Democracy is being questioned.  The Country is divided by those who believe that their life will be better off by undoing years of legislation brought about by past administrations and by those who believe that America, with all its faults, is already the best Country in the world and only needs tweaking.  I didn't realize how much the division of our Country was impacting my life until I found myself being an activist instead of spending time doing what I love most...making art.

With that said…I decided to start a new journal.  I bought an 8" x 5" "hand-book" watercolor journal a while back with the intention of using it for urban sketching but when I saw Deb Weiers' wonderful  illustrations that juxtapositions clean hardline graphics with grungy, I changed my mind.  You see…I was once a graphic illustrator early in my career and of late have wrestled with blurring hardline art with the energy created by scribbles, splashes and dribbles of paint.  If I had accidentally dripped paint on a graphic illustration…I would have immediately set out to remove it!

To begin my journal, I decided to set some rules for delivery: The pages were to be used in a landscape format and the painting to utilize both pages.  Also, the spread would have a bold horizontal line of some sort, have collaged material and decorative lettering.  The materials used would be Faber Castell India Ink Big brush pens, pencil, fine permanent ink black pen (Uniball Vision), Uni-ball Signo white pen and watercolor.  Just a note:  The Big Brush pens do not bleed through the paper as they are made with india ink and not alcohol ink.  I also learned that if you are quick, you can move the ink around with a wet brush.  This worked great when blending small areas like faces.

Now…at first I didn't intend this to be a journal of my political take on the events of the Trump Administration but my first page kind of set the tone when the word "PEACE" appeared and then I wrote "went underground."  What was my subconscious mind trying to tell me?  Maybe, that I should record/preserve the events as I interpret them and happen to see them unfold?  To record for future generations the events as they occur and where no history book will take the time to tell the tale?  Whatever the reason, I found it exhilarating to just run with it and see where it takes me.

Besides the art that you see on these pages, I am creating a separate page of text to explain the event portrayed on each page.  The page of text will then be inserted into a clear plastic envelope (came with the journal) that appears at the back of the journal.  The journal will be a time capsule of sorts that will hopefully be found by an interested person long after I have exited this earth.

Can you think of other ways to create a time capsule like this?  Maybe a time capsule of your child's life or a time capsule of the many places that you have visited or lived?  I hope that you are inspired by my journal just as I have been inspired by Deb Weiers wonderful works of art.  Why not give it a try and tell your story?

Until next time….


Wednesday, January 25, 2017


OK everyone, I am going out on a limb and posting something that I saw at the Women's March Saturday.  I am not posting it for its political content but instead I am posting it for its artistic value.  So, if you are inclined to leave a comment that is political in nature, I may find it necessary to delete it.  Please respect that we all live on the same planet and need to embrace our differences...just as we embrace our differences in our preference for art.

These two ladies were painted to look like the posters by Shepard Fairey.  Head to toe body painting!  Aren't they incredible?  I wish that I had written down the name of the artists/art group as I would have given them the credit that they deserve.

Here are the two posters by Shepard Fairey that inspired the body painting. 

(Please note, if you wish to know more about Shepard Fairey and his posters there are several sites on the Web where you can find information.  I have not linked them here because it is not my intent to make this a political statement.)

Until next time...


Friday, December 23, 2016


As usual…I am finishing up my Christmas projects at the last minute and a few will just not get done.  Like the garland that was to be made of cork, wire, seed pods and beads.  I discovered that it was going to take more effort than simply threading a needle with twine and piercing the used corks and seed pods.  They need to be drilled! Anyway, I thought that I would show you some of my projects and explain how they were made. (Even though it is only two days before Christmas…maybe the techniques could be used for other holidays.)


Materials used:  140 lb. watercolor paper, rubber cement, watercolor paints and white Signo Uniball pen (for snowflakes).

  • Optional - Tape the watercolor paper to a board if you desire a white border around the edge of the card.  I made them both ways and prefer the look of a border.
  • Drip the rubber cement onto the watercolor paper in a pattern resembling a tree.  
  • Allow the rubber cement to dry thoroughly.
  • Once dry, paint the tree, background, star, ground etc. with watercolor paints.  I like to splash water and add salt to obtain a splotchy look. This needs to be done when the watercolor is still wet.
  • When the watercolor is dry, rub the rubber cement off the paper to reveal the white negative space.  I sometimes blot the card with a white tissue to make sure that there aren't any hidden wet areas. These will smear over the white area and ruin your card if you are not careful.

I have always been intrigued by the laser cut wooden ornaments but I didn't like the look of painting them with acrylic paint so I decided to doodle instead with a black Uni-ball Vision or Micron pen.  No need to seal first unless the slight feathering bothers you.  It doesn't matter to me!

And how about stringing snowflakes?  My string is 5.5 ft. long!


Last year I made a Christmas Journal from an Einstein Bagel paper coffee cup. This year it's Starbucks with pages made from Trader Joe's Holiday grocery bags!  
  • First, you need a Starbuck's paper cup with a cozy.  Mine is the medium size.

  • Next, flatten the rim of the cup to get an idea where you would like the opening to be…then cut the lip and bottom off.  Cut the opening on the right hand side and with the cup folded in half, even up the two halves so that they match.

Now, you are ready to make the pages.  Like I mentioned previously, I used a Holiday paper bag from Trader Joe's.  I first cut the bottom off and slit the side in order for the bag to lay flat. (Of course, you could use any paper of choice.  Pretty scrapbook paper, lined note book paper, or watercolor paper are other options.)

  • To make the pages, use the opened cup as a template and trace onto the paper bag.  Cut out the pages.  I wasn't worried where the seams of the bag were located as I knew that ironing them afterward would crisp them back up.  Also, I concentrated on the layout of the designs on the bag instead of where the seams lined up on the page.

  • Stack the pages and stitch them to the cover using a pamphlet stitch. There are lots of tutorials on line to show you how to stitch them together so I won't go into it here.  I used DMC #5 cotton embroidery thread which I first waxed with beeswax.  These can be found in the notion's department of JoAnn's Fabrics.
  • For the closure, I made a loop with elastic cord and glued it to the back cover with E-6000 glue.  I then covered it with part of the cup cozy.  I will eventually stitch around the edge of the cozy by machine but haven't gotten around to that.  Whew boy!  Time got away from me!  

  • I found the perfect rustic looking button, made a heart shape with the remainder of the cup cozy and hand stitched both in place (covering the Starbuck's logo).  In case you are wondering…I did glue the heart in place and added reinforcement on the inside cover to prevent the button from pulling off through use.  

There you have it!  A Christmas Journal ready to decorate and write about your favorite Holiday memories of 2016!

Here are just a few of the decorated pages….

Now..time to make my Pizzelle cookies.  I already ate a dozen or so and need to make another batch.  The recipe above is for the regular cookies using sugar and wheat flour but I make a killer gluten free and Stevia Pizzelle.  I swear...I did not gain a pound pigging out on cookies!  Thanks to Stevia!  Yay!

Wishing you and your family a very Happy Holiday Season and a year of hope and good health in the coming year…2017!  

Until next time….