Thursday, December 15, 2022


 This book tree kinda serves two purposes here for me: a reminder to all of you that it is the holiday season and time to shop local artists is running out. The Sawdust Winter Fantasy runs 10 am to 7 pm through this Sunday, December 18th. So come enjoy Santa's Village and all the lovingly decorated trees and artist booths while listening to music and shopping handmade items for gift-giving.

And...when that is all over I can get back to my love of reading for the next few months :)


Tuesday, December 6, 2022



I guess you would have to say it's holiday busy-ness for holiday business since I'm busily working to re-stock on cards at the Sawdust Art Festival's Winter Fantasy.

While the snow at the Sawdust is artificial, it sure feels cold enough there as the sun goes down for the real thing. Definitely all should bring layers if planning to stay late.

There is a lot of holiday cheer and so very many handmade gifts to buy for family and friends (and even for yourself.) Music. Santa. Good food. Good cheer...and, then, there's also that snow πŸ˜€ So take the time to head to Laguna to get into the spirit of things.

Happy Holidays!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022


Thanksgiving just might be my favorite holiday of all. No, it's not the turkey or stuffing or mashed potatoes or even the pumpkin pie. It is the pause to reflect on the things for which to be thankful.

For me, thanks are due not so much for things, though I am grateful for a roof over my head and food on my table. No, gratitude for me is about people and connections, I think.

I am thankful for a supportive family unit that is healthy and whole. I am thankful for friends and relationships that give me joy and opportunity to grow. I am thankful for the opportunity to give back through the Sawdust Art Enrichment Fund--philanthropic arm of the Sawdust Art Festival--and for the many wonderful connections through this giving. I am thankful for creative juices that continue to flow. I am thankful for the opportunity to hold art workshops that fuel me in innumerable ways, not least of which is the delight I feel when joining together with the many creative students involved.

And, last but not least (and I'm certain I have forgotten so many things), I am thankful for each and every day in this beautiful place I call home.

Sunday, October 23, 2022


 Seems like forever since I've contributed anything to this blog. So "Whasup?" seemed the appropriate heading.

So what IS up? 

I have had a couple of really fun workshops filled with not only enjoyment galore but lots of experimenting and learning through the exploration. Fun!

One of the techniques tried was transferring a magazine image using Gelli plates. This opened up several possibilities, including the one pictured here.

Also, what's up is getting ready for the Sawdust Art Festival's Winter Fantasy. I've been at work on some original pieces that can be super affordable for holiday giving and am excited about the result. There are parking challenges for this year's Winter Fantasy, but they are not insurmountable and the city and Sawdust staff are hard at work to create transportation opportunities so don't be daunted...come see us weekends November 19th thru December 18th.

Thursday, September 15, 2022


What is this pile? You wonder, right? Doesn't look like much...and in fact really isn't. But....It has potential, I think.

Every time I receive an order from my printer the green paper that pads things calls out to me with that potential. I see birds especially...sculpted from the lovely stuff. Plump little green guys. Maybe painted. Maybe not. Maybe with wire legs, button eyes? Possibility. Potential.

But each time, after a while, I have not done it and the paper goes to the recycle bin. Will it happen this time?

Does anyone else have more ideas than time to explore them or is it just me? I doubt it's just me.

Friday, August 26, 2022


 The weather doesn't tend to answer that question in the affirmative. But those who are doing the art festivals here in town are thinking that day is REAL close.

Festival season starts winding down this coming Sunday, August 28th, when the Sawdust Art Festival shutters for the season.( If you need tickets for this final weekend, email me at

I'm thinking that it is getting close to time to hit the road for a short road trip (hence the picture here) And workshops start up for me again on September 18th (almost full) so plenty to think about.

What are your plans?

Tuesday, August 16, 2022


After experiencing beginner's luck with subsequent failures at the last mixed media playtime, I decided to take some time, study, and research to see if consistency might be achieved. And so I began. And went on. And tried again. And went on.

Finally, I met with some successes again--some better than others, I will admit. Still....I think if I keep at this.... Meanwhile, I am having some fun with the results (adding ephemera and more.) So stay tuned to see the final result.

For sure we will be doing more of this experimentation at the workshop on September 18th!!

Monday, August 1, 2022



I have long thought that many of us who create do so in part to make connections with others through our art. Recently, I have been blessed to make a few of those connections and I would like to share this one with you because it is so beautiful:

As I do when I can, I reached out to the purchaser of an original piece--Crow in the Snow--and the following is the reply, which I have permission to share. I think it is pretty special.

"Dear Cherril,
Thank you so much for reaching out to me and I am fascinated to know that you loved this picture so much that you did not want to let it fly!

Let me tell you why I wanted to buy it.

Firstly, it is a beautiful picture and I was attracted to it immediately due to its style and feel.

Beyond that, let me tell you a short story. A true one.

I am English but I live here in Orange County. My daughter was born here. We went to England in June. She had previously bought me a book called 'England's Most Beautiful Villages.' We decided to pick few local ones and make them the centerpiece of individual days.

One day we picked Heptonstall in Yorkshire. On the way there we drove through Mytholmroyd. I knew that Ted Hughes, a former Poet Laureate, had been born there and, according to our charter that all interruptions and segues were to be followed, we stopped and looked for some record of his existence. We found the house he grew up in (until age 8), did some pics, and then I made her listen to me read 'Hawk in the Rain.'

We moved on towards Heptonstall but, in case you didn't know, Ted Hughes' 'Crow:From the Life and Songs of the Crow' was considered his masterpiece.

In Heptonstall, quite unexpectedly, we came upon Ted Hughes' wife's grave. His wife was Sylvia Plath, an American, who was the author of The Bell Jar.

We had a wonderful day.

When I saw your Crow, I wanted it to remind me forever of that day during which we saw Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath but also ourselves and I knew that every time I looked at your Crow it would remind me of that day and my daughter forever.

So thank you for all that!


WOW! Right? Such a delightful connection for all of us. And now I find I see Crow in the Snow through different eyes and I am soooo glad that I decided I could part with it.

Connections are beautiful things and I thank Keith for sharing.

(I thought to shorten his letter, but found I could not leave out one word.)

Wednesday, July 6, 2022



And of course the answer to "Will there be crows?" is a resounding YES! Whether one, two, three, or an entire murder of crows I seem to not be able to create without including at least some of them here and there.

At the summer's Sawdust Art Festival this year you can find them in many forms, from cards to card collections, to prints, to originals. Several have flown away, but we will be there until August 28th is you want to meet the remaining ones. And of course, there are likely to be new ones coming along too.

Sunday, June 12, 2022


The blank gallery wall at the summer's art festival awaits. Shelves and signage and more will go up on Tuesday awaiting the fill with art work on the coming weekend. 

The festival gates will open to the public on June 24th at 11 am. You can check out the scheduled hours and events at

Will there be crows? Well, I guess you will have to show up to find out πŸ˜€ Let me know if you want tickets placed at the box office for you.

Sunday, June 5, 2022


 Just call me twinkletoes, I guess. After writing that last blog a few weeks ago, I was blessed to receive a lovely email from a former student, who had started, along with her sister-in-law, to play in mixed media years ago when Suzette and I taught weekend workshops at the Sawdust Art Festival. 

They have gone on to take more classes from Suzette and me after we moved them here to my studio, but not for several years. They went on to take workshops from a lot of other instructors and are quite addicted. I would love to see what they have created by now as I'm sure they have gotten quite good at it. That's one of the beauties of mixed media play...the vast array of possibilities.

So, yeah, I'm dancing for joy that we were able to start someone on this wonderful path of creativity. And of course it's super to receive a note from someone like that. Purest joy! So, play me a tune, Piano Man.

Friday, May 13, 2022


I just can't say it enough...I have some of the BEST workshop students ever. I cannot remember ever having anyone come who was a bad student in any way.  I am one really lucky gal!! 

Students are welcoming and helpful to all who come for the first time, unlike some workshops where there seems to be a proprietary attitude that is soooo unwelcoming. I applaud them one and all.

That said, I am really looking forward to Sunday's long-awaited workshop and have had a lot of fun playing with ideas for what I can only call mixed media "accoutrements." While there will be some new students mixed in with the returning ones, I kinda think this will be a light-hearted fun thing for all and a great way to start.

Guess this means I will need to be better about updating this blog and fill my readers in next week.
'Til then....

Saturday, April 16, 2022


I am currently working on spring cleaning at my house, but in between...a little bit of art play is called for. And so I am offering up these five cards for your preview and the opportunity to rank them according to your favorites. This will help me in terms of production for the summer Sawdust Art Festival this year so your input is greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance πŸ’“


Sunday, April 3, 2022


I kinda like it when "work" is all play. Somehow crows always do that for me. This time it was adding color to the crow prints. Once started, I was totally mesmerized. WAAAAY too much fun!

So the fun attribute satisfied, I moved on to (well, of course!) more fun.

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022



There's just something about the character of Pooh Bear and his words that somehow always seems to ring true in the very moment of reading.

I can only hope that I never take for granted the birdsong and the ability to listen to it. Such a gift! I remember several years ago having a young lady who was a client who thought that the nearby birdsong at her home was neighbors chatter and it thoroughly annoyed her. Once I had told her it was merely the birds in the bushes and trees she had a completely different take and began to enjoy the sound. I have wondered many times since what exactly it was about neighbors chatter that she found annoying. At the time she was unable to articulate. I hope that to this day she is finding the good in the sound and is grateful for it.

Sunday during the Mixed Media Workshop here several times someone would mention the birdsong in the nearby trees. It is such a gift! As are these workshops for me. To join with a group of convivial creatives for several hours of uninterrupted creative adventure is wonderful. And these talented folks always pull out the stops to make some delightful pieces of artwork.

Oh, yes, I AM grateful!!!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2022


 So many sunflowers! And there can never be enough of them to fill the empty places in our hearts caused by the terrible transgression against the wonderful people of Ukraine.

We strive to find ways to help, but like the sunflowers it seems there can never be enough. Still we must...and we do.

And hope and prayers and ....whatever we can muster to assist these stalwart and desperate people...people not all that different from us.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022


"Old ways won't open new doors."

And that's sure the truth. The image at the right was a totally new way of doing things for me. Why did I try it? What did I think would come of it?

The point is, I guess, that I really had no idea what might show up and yet still went for it. We need to try the new. And sometimes just keep on trying it to get what we might want from it. 

This one was totally playtime in my journal and yet it sparked some desire in me to keep the play going. This was such beginner's luck. Subsequent tries have been all over the map.


I like to think we should make a habit of trying new things, new ways, new roads, new directions. That's where the living is.

Friday, February 4, 2022


 February is traditionally all about love and I LOVE teaching workshops. I could not be happier than I am to have the mixed media playtime workshops happening again on a regular basis...and with some really wonderful folks, returning and new alike. 

So much creative play exists in these five hours. We do wonderful potlucks and just graze as we go amidst the the wonderful and joyful conversations that arise. Life stories and travels and art discoveries and much more are shared as we go about the play of creating.

February's workshop on the 27th has only one spot remaining open at this writing. All are vaccinated and we vote on mask wearing at the very start. If you have an interest in joining a fun group there's that one spot or March and May dates are set as well. on, MacDuff!

Tuesday, January 25, 2022


 It was late last night and I finally just felt I had to give up. Very disappointing, but I wanted to read a bit and then get a good night's sleep so I silenced the phone and picked up my book. 

BUT...I just could not get with the story, my mind too busy focusing on the individual words. I kept trying. And then....

"Knew"--the word just popped out from the page at me and I knew (intended play on words hereπŸ˜‰.) The word had to start with "kn." That was all I needed to solve.

I love this puzzle game and am quite happy that the originator sought to keep it from becoming addictive by doing only one per day. It is addictive, but controlled.

Thanks to my daughter Kendall for turning me on to this.

Monday, January 24, 2022


Sometimes it's all about whimsy in these Mixed Media Playtime work(?)shops. From Picasso to Emerson to Maslow and beyond runs the recognition that play is a necessary attribute of creativity...and life. I adhere to this wholeheartedly and hope you do too.

Play on, MacDuff...and everyone else πŸ˜ƒ

Friday, January 7, 2022


In the midst of my personal "January Clearance"--emptying boxes and bags and crawling around the studio to suss out things hidden, I ordered this book. I have only just begun to read it and am thoroughly impressed by the writing. It is a unique style and might not appeal to all, but I am intrigued.

On the clearance front I've been pretty successful and have a treasure trove of old art work going to the thrift store and a huge pile of empty boxes awaiting the recycling bin. The best part? Letting go makes room for new creative ideas. And in that vein I came across this great quote:  Holding onto something that is good for you now may be the very reason you don't have something better.

Onward with the clearance (with a bunch of breaks for reading.) Oh, and crossing my fingers for omicron heading out to make way for January (full) and February workshops.