Friday, December 30, 2016


Studio busy-ness
An unscheduled workshop for mothers and daughters lit up the studio on the Wednesday after Christmas.  We ordered food from our local healthy Chinese food place--Peony--and ate, laughed, and produced a vast amount of art bits.  The creative energy was amazing and it was so much fun to see the mothers and daughters working separately and together.  

Just another of the blessings of the art life.

Friday, December 23, 2016


"Whoosh!"  is the sound associated with the speed with which this month of December has fled.
Stencils and gelli prints were the name of the art play game this month it seems. We had a fun time in the December 11 workshop with all the holiday themes and more. Laughter and good food and a toast of bubbly were the order of the day as new friends and old gathered together to create.
I truly love these times and they give me renewed energy. I hope the same is true of the students involved.
Happy holidays to all of you.
Please watch for postings of the many new and creative happenings for the new year as we continue to Make Art in Laguna together!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Watercolor leaves
The leaves are falling from the trees. There is a chill in the air mornings and evenings. We've finally had some rain...and some wind. It is definitely feeling more wintry here in Laguna. 
As these weather changes occur I ponder the promised changes to my workshop schedule for the coming year. Some are simmering still like the warm soup on the stove in my kitchen. Others are firmly in place. 
Making Art in Laguna--the idea of it as well as the manifestations--is invigorating.  To see some of what is in store you may click on the link to the right of this post--Mixed Media Workshops. I hope you will be as excited about some of the offerings as I am.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Winter sunset in Laguna
On this Thanksgiving Day 2016, amidst world turmoil, there are still so very many things for which I am thankful.
I daily live in gratitude that I have the freedom to create my art as I wish.
I am thankful for a loving and cherished family.
I rejoice in the many fruitful friendships that have come my way over the years.
I am blessed to live in one of the most beautiful spots in the world, with daily sunsets and sunrises that surpass imagination and allow for greater dreaming.
And...I am grateful that these and more just keep on coming and that I am able to live with joy and happiness in my heart.
Happy Thanksgiving to one and all wherever you may be!!

Thursday, November 17, 2016


On the road again
Following our hearts, daughter Jenna and I have hit the road for ten days filled with plan and no destination involved.  Thus far--a bit over halfway--we have hit on some great spots, some beautiful scenery, invigorating hikes, and more. This is the stuff of creativity. It keeps the juices flowing and opens eyes, heart and mind to the new and different along the way. Off we go again!

Friday, November 11, 2016


Time for some change!  As I ponder the future--at least the coming year of 2017--I think it is time to mix things up a bit for the Mixed Media Playtime. Lots of ideas are playing around in my brain and a few are starting to come to fruition. 
First, I am scheduling workshops in my space that will be taught by other artisans.  This way, we can have a variety of techniques that may not be my forte'. And sometimes it will just be to change things up some. So far what is promised is a junk mail book, some encaustic collage, and enameling on copper.  For each of these, students will go home with at least one project completed or nearly so.
I am also hoping to push myself to more project-oriented classes on occasion. I still like the idea of giving students a lot of mixed media techniques in one session, but realize some folks just don't roll that way.
All of this also means the same low price of $65 may not apply and sometimes there may be a materials list, but I have held the line on that price for a very long time, even while my own costs have gone up.  So, again, time for a change! 
I am always open to ideas and suggestions.  If there is something you are interested in learning, let me see if I can make it happen. 
Now to start scheduling.  I hope to post the schedule next month.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Peaceful morning
I love teaching.  In fact, I have to say it is one of the top five things I love doing in my life. The joy that is seen on the faces of so many students--many of whom thought they were not creative at all--is pretty hard to match. 
Learning is right up near the top of my list also and I find that the two go hand in hand for me. In order to be a better teacher I must constantly also be learning.
So bring it on!--both teaching and learning.

And a special thank you to someone no longer with us who I have also found to ooze wisdom far beyond mathematical equations:

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.  Albert Einstein

Saturday, October 29, 2016


The sky view from my chair on the deck
It is a lazy afternoon, peaceful and quiet on this last weekend of October here in the canyon. Clouds creep across the sky. Birdsong fills the air.A hummingbird whirs overhead. My mind drifts with the clouds as I ponder doors. There is a saying that when one door closes, another opens, and I have generally found that to be true. But what occurs to me in these moments is the question of when someone closes a door intentionally themselves.  Do the same things apply?  Is that other door out there? Or is it messing with the intention of what is to happen on its own?  Hmmmm.
Guess the lazy thoughts kinda go with the lazy afternoon...drifting along without intent or hoopla, just the peaceful quiet. All good.

Saturday, October 22, 2016


Endings can be a little sad sometimes. Celebration of the ending can often alleviate some of this. With that in mind tomorrow one of the Round Robin Journal groups in which I participate is getting together to celebrate. We will toast to the fun we have had with this exercise, the new friends and old, the creativity, the pure joy, the discipline, the play, the exploration, the inspiration, and so much more.  We will toast to what's next as we move past this ending and on to new beginnings.  CHEERS!

Monday, October 17, 2016


Mail art from 10/16
Loved the attitude on this young man! Reminded me of a certain kid that I know. And so it was fun to use this on the mail art card created in the Sunday Studio Workshop this week.  
We were a small group, but had a lot of fun getting to know one another and exchange ideas and more.  Now for the exchange of mail art created in the workshop. I can hardly wait to get mine!  Hope it comes soon.

Saturday, October 15, 2016


Summer's doodling fun
I cannot believe it is already mid-October. Where does the time go? My resolve to keep up with blog posts also seems to have slipped away along with the time. What can I say?  It has been a busy couple of months filled with good things.
As I post this picture a phrase from a song runs through my mind:bluebird on my shoulder makes me happy. Yes!  While no bluebirds have perched on my shoulder, their songs and those of the other birds do fill me with gladness. Even as I sit here writing this the trees are resounding with the songs of wrens, finches, the occasional blue jay, mockingbirds, and the caw of my friends the crows. What good reasons to get up and go to it...a walk, set up for the weekend workshop, play in my art journals, and more. Tick-tock!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


Envelopes can be fun too!
Thanks to long-time student Cindy Schaben I got started doing Round Robin art journaling a few months ago.  It sounded like so much fun to some of my other students that they wanted to start their own group.  So now there are two journals that I work on each month (Cindy does seven!) It can be a lot of fun to see what others are doing when the journals come around.
For me, I use the journals as a chance to try out new mixed media techniques that I might want to use in some larger art piece.  Others might use it as a way to get out some emotions that are fomenting. Some use it for practice, practice, practice.  However the journal is used by each individual, I think it is a great tool and thank Cindy for the push.  
It's also a fun kind of pay it forward thing as the post office employees seem to get a kick out of seeing the decorative envelopes being sent and the mail deliverers enjoy them as well.  Does it brighten their days?  I think it just might.

Saturday, September 24, 2016


Several false starts in this journal entry
Autumn (or Fall) got off to a great start for me with a fun mixed media class I taught for the Sawdust After Dark program at the Sawdust Art Festival grounds.  Good folks, good fun, good art pieces, good wine, good cheese...what more could one ask? It seemed to me to bode well for the future and I have another fun start tomorrow with a Sunday Studio Workshop here at my home. It will be five hours of more mixed media exploration and jolly time (oh, yeah! and the great food brought by the participants to share.)
And, speaking of exploration, that IS half the point and the good time of mixed media and the false starts are merely the "price to play."  I for one am more than willing to pay up.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


On this day that began heavy and grey and turned into an afternoon filled with the pure and beautiful glories of a seaside day, I came across these words:
I dreamed I was a butterfly flitting around in the sky. Then I awoke. Now wonder: Am I a woman who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a woman? (Zhuanzi)
The words seemed too perfect as it was most definitely a day for dreaming.  Hmmmm--woman or butterfly?  Must there be a decision?

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


Playing around in the studio while cleaning, I came across these funny fellows and just imagined the conversation they might have. Thinking that I will probably use this in my next newsletter to go out next week...kinda cuz why not, right?
Just couldn't help myself

Friday, September 2, 2016


Crow call to remind you to follow your heart
Can it really already be September? It does feel like it as the early morning temperatures seem to drop and the evening light fades. What lies ahead?  
As I pack away remainders from the summer's festival season I find myself wondering this more and more.  Where do I go next with my art? What do I want it to do? Online sales? And, if so, which one(s)? Studio sales? That seems cumbersome.  Other festivals and/or shows? I tend to resist this, having tried before. I feel that some of what I did this festival season worked really well, while other things did not. With the "not" things, is it only the venue or the art itself or some other of life's vagaries?
This is all head stuff.  What does my heart say? I guess what is best is to just let that crow call remind me, as somehow it so often does--follow my heart and it will show me the way.  Here goes....

Thursday, August 25, 2016


With speed like that of the hummingbird's wings, the summer festival season is drawing to a close.  As always, there are mixed feelings about this finale. Friends, old and new, will be missed.  The good music will float off on the cool evening breeze.  Appreciation, shared laughter, and good conversations will waft away too.
On the other side of this, though, a good night's sleep, time to read and write and create anew, slow, easy time with friends and family...what's not to like there?
The Sawdust Art Festival completes the 50th year on Sunday, August 28th and the artists will pack it all up.  I look forward to the free time and the time to teach again and maybe even a bit of travel.
Fleet flight

Saturday, August 20, 2016


Apollo butterflies at play on canvas
I am a Leo, for all that is entailed in that. This being my birthday month it is an especially good time to reflect and ponder on not only what might be involved in being born with this sun sign but also the many blessings that come each and every day of the year.
Mary Oliver is one of my favorite writers ever. This morning as I re-read her words they seemed to speak for me: Every day I see or I hear something that more or less kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle in the haystack of light. It is what I was born for--to look, to listen, to lose myself inside this soft world--to instruct myself over and over in joy, and acclamation....
Yes, I am blessed and filled with gratitude for each day's offerings of delight and for the growing wisdom to look and to listen...just to lose myself there.

Thursday, August 11, 2016


When approached to teach the Sawdust After Dark class I had no idea just how much fun it would be.  A lot of the credit, of course, goes to the wonderful folks who have signed up for this adventure.  And credit is also due to my fine helper, Faith Fickett, without whom I could never manage the numbers in the setting of Studio One at the Sawdust Art Festival grounds. Kudos to all!
More classes through the Sawdust are coming up and I will be teaching for them again on the evenings of September 22 and October 14, along with my regular--longer and more complete--classes here in my own studio.  Lots of fun--day and night!
Two of several fun students--note the different interpretations

Monday, August 1, 2016


The blessings continue to show up even on these hot dog days of summer.  The wonderful dragonfly seen at left--nicknamed Rusty by my booth neighbor Mary Gulino--showed up for many hours on several days this past week.  He would fly around each of our booths, flit back out, and return moments later.  Mary got some fabulous shots of him (the wings are stupendous!) and I was able to get the colorful one seen here. Rusty drew quite a crowd and opened many wonderful conversations.  So much joy seemed contained in such a small creature.

And then today when the dragonfly did not show up as usual, the one below was gifted to me by the wonderful ceramic artist Trevor Stimson. Trevor knew nothing of Rusty so this seemed especially wonderful.

Monday, July 25, 2016


One Way just for roads--not art!
So often at the Sawdust Art Festival and in workshops I am asked (as so many other artists are as well) where inspiration comes from. There is no one way, that is for sure. Pablo Picasso said it so well I won't try to top it:  The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place:from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web. Nowhere does this seem more true than in mixed media work.  The mind of a child is likely a must as well, or at least the essence of that mind is necessary. And, as Picasso also said, inspiration has to find us working. I vote for doing more things like the 50 One-A-Days I did earlier this year. As soon as this festival season is over, I will be right back at it, I think.  I can hardly wait. Why don't you join me?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


...went the trolley as it came to a stop.  What a treat these neighborhood trolleys have been so far this summer.  I am finding more and more ways to use them to ease traffic congestion, parking issues, and any other summer driving issues you might think of. Riding the trolley to the Sawdust Art Festival for my shifts, I get off at the depot and walk the rest of the way.  To round out the day, walking from the festival grounds to the library gives me a great chance to unwind.  Such a treat and a blessing! I arrive everywhere refreshed and ready to teach, to sell, and to enjoy meeting new friends and visitors to our great community.

Monday, July 11, 2016


I was going through images for cards and came across this image of work done several years ago.  My first thought-- "Always!" Letting joy rise to the surface is helped along by the songs in my heart and the music in my head. There is enough of the negative and oppressive in the world without me adding to it. art work and my life embrace the joy that just IS--ALWAYS!!!!

Sunday, July 3, 2016


Time honored wisdom
Happy Fourth!  The festivities at the Sawdust Art Festival take a bit of a break tomorrow (after 6) so that we can remember some important truths...and celebrate with fireworks and great food and family and friends.  
Life is full and rich and full of rewards if we only look hard enough. Hope you are enjoying time with the folks important to you on this holiday weekend. I will be cultivating things that I wish to honor, that's for sure!!!!

Thursday, June 30, 2016


The sweet, tense moment of concentrated attention as the child explores...this is something the artist, too, recognizes.  Curiosity is such an essential ingredient to the creative process and children seem to have it in abundance.  To play with the eyes and mind of a child is to know the freedom of artistic exploration.  To me, this is what art is all about.  Without it...well, something is definitely lost.  With it...the chase is on!
Going for the rainbow

Sunday, June 26, 2016


Beginning the summer's Sawdust Art Festival is a bit like the beginning of a mixed media piece. There is an idea, a concept, perhaps.  Some excitement and anticipation exists.  Then, some trial and error.  And, ultimately, the finished piece.  
We are now at the beginning of the festival period of 66 days.  I am recalling from all the previous years the things I love about this process that are so much like the creating itself. In just the one day I have been there the enjoyment of the visitors has been engaging and gratifying--a real boost to offset things like lights not working or not feeling quite "there" yet.
These opportunities to share and swap stories and revisit past times with old and new friends are unmatched.  The "finished piece" of the festival season seems far away on this Sunday morning, but it will be here all too soon.  In the meantime, the moments are here to explore, experience and enjoy. Curious to see how it goes, I lean into the joy of it all!

Monday, June 20, 2016


Not quite ready yet...but there is still some time...and some heat (Oh, my!)  Preview Night at the Sawdust Art Festival is tomorrow.  It is hard to believe, but all will be ready "enough."  Official opening for the summer-long festival is Friday, June 24th.  It is the 50th anniversary and should be quite a hoot with all the celebrations and events planned. 
I have some "new look" work and of course the birds and Little Whimsies. Also going to have a "treasure chest" of older work to move out at greatly reduced prices.  And lots more!!!!! 
I will be teaching some evening classes so watch for posting of those and other events.
Here we go!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


Boy!  Time is really flying by now. The summer's art festival season is so close I can almost smell it (Oh!  That's just the sawdust I dumped into my booth this morning that is cleaning to my still unchanged clothing :))
My booth is painted.  Sawdust in (as mentioned.) Art work matted, framed and wired or placed in a plastic sleeve, labeled, boxed, and ready to take.  Art cards printed, assembled and put in their individual sleeves. Signage almost half finished. Display pieces gathered, cleaned, repainted as needed. Postcards ordered (and reordered after first batch wrong.) Little Whimsies nearly completed and display figured out.  Birds freshened and ready to go. Sales book, Square, pens, etc. all gathered together.  Bags ordered...and reordered when wrong size arrived. And believe it or not, there is still much to do.  Wow!  Looking forward to a great festival season. Stay posted for more of the fun. I think I'll take a breath now.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


This fun little guy caught my attention as he landed atop this light post. As with all the birds these spring mornings he was making quite the racket.  I was reminded of a friend who calls her design studio Laughing Raven Design. I figure my studio name would be Giggling Crow Design.  They DO so make me giggle.
Summer festival preparations are in full swing now and yet the daily morning walks with their many bird sightings keep me in the happy, giggling place from which I seem to create best.
Looking forward to June 21st Preview Party at the Sawdust Art Festival, though right now I feel far from ready for that date just a mere two weeks away.
Guess I had better get back to it, eh?
Perched above it all

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


I'm beginning to think that the drifting and dreaming while driving to and from Santa Barbara placed me in a mesmerized state from which I have not yet freed myself. The piece posted here that I am currently at work on even has me thinking of sitting under trees and daydreaming the hours away.  Not sure what this is all about--the gray days, the overwhelming amount of work yet to do to mount the summer's art festival, sheer laziness, spring fever, what???
Onward I drift...readying for a workshop on the 12th (Is it already June?) and then on to summer!Life could certainly be much worse, right?

Sunday, May 22, 2016


Crescent Point early morn
Another downright gorgeous day of sun-drenched, windblown skies and glittering water.  Such a blessing to live here amidst all this glory.
As I walked the shoreline this morning I found myself thinking of the busyness that is this time of year for many of us. This brought me straight through to mind-full vs mindful.  While minds--my own certainly included--may be full to the brim with all there is to be done, it is so worth doing to keep my eye on the mindful as well. Counting blessings!

Friday, May 20, 2016


Ah, the challenges of preparing to do a summer-long festival!  They are many.  Some are more challenging; some more routine. All lead to areas of growth and, hopefully, a WOW presentation.
For me, the routine ones get in the way of creative play and the big challenge there is to stay in a zone like the One A Days provided. 
Perhaps I'm kidding myself; perhaps waiting for that Calvin and Hobbes moment of inspiration--last minute panic. At any rate, taking a short road trip to re-open that creative place that is just at the edge of things. Santa Barbara here I come!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


#131--Home for the Summer
Maybe not much to look at right now, but this will be my home away from home for this summer's busy Sawdust Art Festival season.  Booth pick was done yesterday and now the countdown begins. The 50th anniversary of this Laguna artist showcase opens to the public on Friday, June 24th and there is much to be done before that date arrives.  Not least of these is getting a satisfactory structure built on the pictured site.
I am excited to return to this street-side location with a view of the world outside.  It is deep and open-feeling with plenty of room to create while I am there.  WooHoo!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


One A Days
So here you can see what fifty One A Day paintings can look like when matted and put in plastic sleeves.Not sure just why I felt the need to do this with them, but somehow it felt kind of like an honoring of the commitment.
This was a challenging exercise. It was also one I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone. There is so much of stretch, explore, grow in committing to create a completed piece of art each day. I say give it a try!

Saturday, May 7, 2016


Mary Oliver said it sooo well:  "Hello, sun in my face....good morning, good morning, good morning.Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness."
On this glorious Saturday morning I again wake early and refresh every aspect of me.  Whales and rainbows and paddlers...and oh, those clouds! Oh, my!
Rejoice and begin the day for fortune smiles!

Monday, May 2, 2016


"Put a bird on it" gets bandied about a lot at the workshops (and other places as well.) Since I am exceptionally fond of birds anyway it is especially appropriate. Their song starts my day out well and their antics along my morning walks entertain me.  And, especially in the spring, it seems the mourning doves do sound their mellow crying more--an oddly soothing sound these May evenings.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Not sure at all where these two are going yet, but they remind me of fresh-picked blackberries and the juice running down my sunburned arms as a child. It will be fun to see where I take these and their memories today.

Dark and juicy #1

Dark and juicy #2

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Section of a One a Day piece
The sun is shining. The wind is blustering. I'm in the studio creating. All's right with the world in this moment.
Newsletters, blogs, trustee activities--these are all just the busy stuff of a day.  
Hands busily creating? Well, you know! I'm smiling.

Sunday, April 24, 2016


Number ????
The One A Days continue. Between these and the Round Robin journals and the making of birds and "Whimsies" I seem in a total creative vortex.  I love it!!! One of the things I find about creating a finished piece every day is that I can see patterns emerging.  The art takes on its own themes and energies.  At times, there is even the urge to push on and do even more!  This has resulted, of course, in an abundance of completed pieces for the summer's Sawdust Art Festival.  Who's complaining, right?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Tools of the trade
Another great Sunday Studio Workshop this past weekend. The creative energy was practically bouncing off the walls in spite of the heat.  There was good food and even a bottle of wine to share as we played through the afternoon.  "Let the joy rise to the surface" was never more apparent. Sometimes I wish that my studio could just stay open all the time for these events.  Balance always comes with a price, eh?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


"Let your joy rise to the surface."  This quote was sent to me recently by good friend Michelle. The timing of it was interesting as I had been thinking about how practicing art daily has done that for me.  
I will admit here that the past few months have not all been fun and games. It was often a struggle to maintain my usual sunny disposition and at times I could even feel myself depressing. Stuck, I had no idea where to go with art or life or much of anything else.  There were bright moments, but merely that...moments.
Along came the challenge to do a Round Robin art journal.  Against my own poor advice, I jumped in.  Somehow, this led to the One a Day challenge I set myself. And the joy just started bubbling up.
We all get down sometimes, but I think artists are fortunate to have the time and materials to leave the bleak and let the joy head for the surface.

Journal page for Round Robin

Thursday, April 7, 2016


Section of Day 8 work
Here it is Day 9 already of the One a Day challenge I set myself.  I think I am having way too much fun with this to find it even challenging at this point.  Hoping the attitude sticks around for a while.
In my latest newsletter I asked, "Can't art be fun?"  Darned right it can.  I've said it before and I'll just keep saying it.  Serious fun, but fun nevertheless.
Today, the rain has finally begun here and I look forward to a day filled with creativity--birds, "totems", One a Days, journal work. 
Let the fun begin!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


Not sure why, but I have never done much work on paper.  I tend to like to work on stiffer surfaces, like mat, wood, masonite, etc.  But these Round Robin journals and the one-hour project for the Sawdust Art Festival have pushed me in the direction of paper.  Being me, I just naturally migrated to, "Now what can I do with this?" 
Turns out, I can create one piece of art a day.  For how long?  Well, I don't know yet.  Seven days in.  We shall see.  They are all 9 x 12 and I matted and bagged cause why not? 
Don't you just love where the creative muse takes you sometimes?

The first six, ready to go !

Thursday, March 31, 2016


Teaching has come up yet again. Normally in the summer during the Sawdust Art Festival I teach a small, quick-off workshop on Wednesday nights. Faith Fickett helps me out and we have a lot of fun with it, making bookmarks and the like.  
Well, I thought the same would be the case this coming summer season until I got a call.  Would I instead teach an hour-long class on those nights? The offering would be that for $45 patrons could get admission to the Sawdust, a glass of beer or wine, and a one-hour class.  
The challenge: come up with a class that could be done in the allotted time...and have needed value.  I'm close, but not quite there yet.  Still, it will be something similar to the image above, yet not so much to it.  I would love to get your feedback on this one.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Mixed Media Playtime

I LOVE teaching!  Sharing what I know and am experimenting on with new and returning students is one of the highlights of my life.  I just have a hard time understanding when fellow artists say, "Oh, I could never teach" or "People would copy my work."  Bah!  Teaching is totally rewarding and most copying isn't really.  I find students want to impart something personal to whatever they create, not re-create my work.
The AHA moments, the laughter, the frustrations, the camaraderie...all are a joy to me. 
Teaching is just plain FUN!
Click on Mixed Media Workshops to the right to find out more about the fun.
Yet another bird