Saturday, April 1, 2017


It's now April 1 and it's another snow storm here in the great NorthEast.  It's a bitter pill but it has kept me at my easel.  This new work is 24x24 inches and I am loving working big again.  It gives my mind a break from the steady stream of chaos our "administration" dishes up each day. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Old Papers & Art making

Today I was thinking about supplies I use in my art and teaching art. For many years I have collected and been given old paper in the forms of sheet music, books, magazines, maps and letters. I find it fascinating to offer them to students during class and observe how they use them.  Backgrounds (as you see in my drawing above) are popular and so is using the text to express a word or two. I love tearing the paper into strips and using it for landscapes or weaving it into new shapes. Sometimes students find texture within the density of words and play with that in their work.  It's a great go to for collages and all work involving paper. Keep a box or drawer on hand filled with your favorites.
Red Bird City (sold)

October a collage from my paperdoll calendar 2010

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Art for All Seasons: : Paper Quilts

Art for All Season :: Winter Project :: Paper Quilts
 On this blustery cold winter day a warm quilt is something wonderful to wrap yourself in! 
It's also the perfect time of year for a creative indoor activity for all ages to join in on! Let's design our own quilt in paper and use up our leftover paper scraps - just like quilters use up the leftover material scraps to make something beautiful.  This project comes from my fourth book: Art for All Seasons.
 Let's start with the simple materials list below.
Colorful scrap papers from your recycled bin including packaging, envelopes, newspapers and magazines as well as past art projects you want to cut up!

UHU glue stick (it just works the best!)


Ruler if straight is your thing

Washi tape (optional)

Heavier paper for backing the quilt

 Let's go!

1. Decide on your shape and size of shapes for your quilt pieces. Our model chose a square but anything works.

2. Cut one shape out and use it as a pattern for your other pieces, Trace the shape on as many pieces as you need too fill up your quilt!
 3. Square shapes can be easily made into triangles if you cut them diagonally! (She used a ruler for this with a pencil line to guide her cutting)
3. Arrange your pieces on the heavy weight paper before gluing! try different layouts.
 4. When you are happy with your design start gluing from the top row. Use a scrap paper to apply the glue to the back of the piece and then position onto the backing paper.  Press firmly!
5. When you are done gluing you may choose to add a washi tape or paper border! 

Make more paper quilts in the styles of :

A quilt you have

A traditional quilt pattern

A crazy quilt

One of Gee's Bend quilts

Amish style quilts

Have fun!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Summer Highlights

Summer has been full of ART making - in class form and workshop form and in four wonderful camp forms! Our building was made into a work of art as well - spontaneously by this group of campers. Art just happens around these parts.
 We also had two fantastic - utterly adorable and extremely creative helpers during a busy week! They also have a business called A speckle of sunshine. Check out their creations!
 We fired up the printmaking processes and created found object prints, gelatin prints and foam prints. A mustache appeared in the process among other things ...
 BAM! Plaster masks of our alter egos were a big hit with everyone! MEOW. Stay tuned for favorite lessons, inspiration and lots of happy here at the blog each week.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Thursday, May 5, 2016

100 Days Project

I thought I would take today's post to explain my personal project choice and process a bit more. I am pretty cautious when it comes to sharing personal stuff online - and have been since 2005. That said my choice for this project came to me at a time off loss.  I felt that 100 days of taking an hour aside for reflection and illustrating a snippet of memories of my mom was a good thing.

I decided to use watercolor without pencil or ink and to distill the memory to a single image. I most often paint without drawing first - but - with some of these images a pencil would have been nice. That said I feel that my ideas of a memory can be portrayed best by not overthinking. This is both elusive and challenging. I have used references for some paintings, such as a vinegar cruet and a photo of a bookmobile.  There is a freshness for me to paint without drawing first, to make the brush the drawing tool.  To keep the fuzzy part of the memory intact. To let the feeling sink in and to remember.

By annotating the drawing/painting/illustration I have had the "pencil moment".  The writing part gives me a chance to be succinct about the memory and to add a little back story or detail. It is challenging and cathartic experience and yet a healing one all at the same time. The memories are worth keeping.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Around the Studio

Artist Adam Pearson and designer Rainer Schwake installing Que?!

 Friday marked our latest installation of sculpture by Adam Pearson. It's a big beautiful blue one gracing our newly adopted green space adjacent to our studios. Our outdoor room - one that we have big plans for this spring/summer sessions coming up! Our teen classes will play a part in it as will a few local artists. STAY TUNED for more details and photos of this lovely space!