Monday, October 31, 2011


Self-Portrait I
Intaglio (love the way that sounds - so seriously arty!!!)
Ok, so the last two copper plates I had worked on are probably not savable (except maybe one, but I won't find out until tomorrow). So, after a day of regrouping, heaving big heavy sighs and getting over it all, I decided to move on and do a self-portrait.

I was studying myself so intensely that my portrait is quite intense as well. Actually, I'm scaring myself just a little - appropriate for Halloween, isn't it?!
So then I tried to take a photo of myself where I don't look so intense or distraught for maybe another self-portrait etch. Do you know how hard it is to take a decent photo of yourself by yourself?! This one is ok, although the perspective is a little weird. At least I look a bit friendlier. I might have to enlist Daniel's help...

Unfortunately, he is coming down with a cold and I am feeling the beginnings of one as well. Not happy about that!!! Not at all!! So, we are resting today, drinking lots of fluids and staying warm and cozy.

I hope you all are feeling great and wish you a frightening and ghoulish Halloween!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

More Flower Love...

My love for these little loopy flower brooches has not waned! It's so much fun laying out some of the fibers I have and deciding which ones to combine to create a little jewel...
And sometimes, like with the pin above made of sari silk, I don't add anything else to it.
And with others I combine two or three yarns.
I love the one below and wish those were my colors!
And this last one is so delicate in it's colors that are all contained in this beautiful felted yarn. There's even a little sparkle of silver...
This is just a small sampling. If you want to see the entire colorful garden of these flower pins, click here to go to my Etsy shop!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Fall Greeting

Outside it is blustery and dreary today and getting colder by the minute, but inside it's warm and cozy. A perfect day for knitting, crocheting, painting and a little cooking.
It's been so long that I blogged I thought I wanted to at least say hello and I'll be back soon. Right now, my life is a little consumed by creating, and especially with my etching class.

Yesterday, I did something at the studio that might have ruined the plates I was working on, so today I'll make a new one and then hope my professor can help me fix the ones that are now too dark. Today, I feel much calmer about it, but yesterday I wasn't a happy camper...
I hope you all are warm and cozy wherever you are and that you are enjoying a perfect autumn weekend!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Etch in Progress

I just had to show you my etch in progress from today's class. I am so ridiculously proud of it!

First I applied an aquatint (which is why the dark areas are so uniformly dark), then painted all the highlights in with white ground and paint brushes, then left it in the acid it for seven minutes and hoped for a semi-good result. I'm totally in love!!

I still want to make a few changes (like tone down that cheek highlight a bit), but nothing major. And then she'll be printed on good paper (this is newsprint for a proof) and framed for one of the shows.

There's more to share with you, but that'll have to wait until tomorrow!

I hope you are all doing wonderfully!!

P.S. It sounds kind of silly to be so happy about this, but it's simply because this etching process is in some ways so unforgiving. This was a one-step etch and it is almost finished - that's like a miracle to me! :) When I paint, it's so different because I can paint over something or wipe it away if it doesn't look good. Not here - once it has been in the acid, it's etched in metal. So, this is a great success!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Feelin' Good

I don't know about you, but when the temperatures drop and fall is definitely on the way, I just want to nest. So, today, I started some much needed "spring" cleaning and it felt really good. I cannot believe how much dust can accumulate in one house. Our ceiling fans pretty much go non-stop all summer and now that they are shut off for a bit, I am cleaning them - I'm amazed that dust bunnies weren't flying at us when they were on...
Anyway...I'm glad you all liked my latest painting from the previous blog post. I am looking at it while I type and frankly am smitten. I can't believe I made that! Especially the hands - they were soooo hard. I spent hours sketching, erasing, looking at my own hands, sketching, adjusting and finally painting them. I already have ideas for the next stay tuned!
But for now a bit of etching news. My professor wanted to look at my blog and really liked my portraits A LOT  and wants me to do my stylized portraits for my next projects. So, my foray into abstract art is on hold for the moment and I don't mind at all.
So, at the end of last class I did a ten-minute sketch on some white ground and etched it for about seven minutes. Yesterday I went in to print it and work on it a bit. I printed three proofs and this is the last one. I want to figure out how to burnish and smooth out the left eye so it's white around the iris. Not so easy to fix things on copper... However, for a quick sketch, it's not half bad.
Tomorrow, I'll be busy looking for frames for my first four etching project as they are going to be in a print studio open house show mid November. We have to have all the artwork framed and ready by Monday. Plus our class is having a gallery show a few days after that and hopefully I'll have some portraits to show in that one. Exciting times!!

I sure hope you all are having a fun and relaxing and maybe even sunny, but definitely cozy weekend!! Sending you much sunshine and love from here...

Thursday, October 20, 2011


This painting truly was a labor of love. I put many hours into it, first sketching, then erasing, then sketching some more, then painting and adding lots of detail.
For me this piece had a mexican feel to it from the start as the main figure was inspired by a photo I had seen of Lila Downs, a wonderful singer and song writer whose mother was from Oaxaca. We once were fortunate enough to see her perform in Albuquerque and it blew us away! But I digress...
When I was done with the main figure, I thought the background really needed something else.

Daniel reminded me of a monograph we have of Rodolfo Morales, a painter from Ocotlán de Morales in Oaxaca, a place we just adore and have visited often. I had forgotten how much I love Rodolfo's art! Looking at his work did the trick and I suddenly "saw" what the background wanted to be.
I don't know about you, but I like to think (in fact, I am quite sure) that we have guardians around us who love us no matter what, who walk with us on our path, and who occasionally nudge us in the right direction...
This painting is rather large for me, 18 x 24" (45 x 60 cm) and ready to hang with finished sides. The colors are even more beautiful than in the photos and the whole canvas has lots of great texture! 

18 x 24" (45 x 60 cm) acrylic painting
on wrapped canvas

P.S. When I finished the painting, I was so much in Oaxaca in my mind and heart that I made our favorite Tortilla Soup recipe from a great Oaxacan cookbook "Seasons of my Heart." I actually found the recipe online for you (click here) - it's definitely worth making!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Variety in Art

It is quite fascinating to me how I am developing different styles in the different media I now work in.
In my paintings I've developed my own folksy style that is influenced by other things I learn, but still stays recognizable. I'm still working on this larger painting above - I hope to finish her today or tomorrow.
When I draw, I work much more realistically. I had found a beautiful old hand-colored photo of Daniel's mother and tried to make a drawing with some acrylic washes in the same vintage tones that were on the photo. It came out pretty nicely, but she does look a little different than on the photo - her face should be a little rounder and less long and her eyes a bit smaller. I think I'll try again...just for fun!
And then in my etching class, I really want to work more abstractly and moodier than in my other art.
These are the latest prints on good paper that I'm handing in today.
They turned out beautifully I think. I'm not sure what my professor will say, but I'm quite pleased. The one above is named "Leaving Safety" as most of you probably know from my earlier post, and I called the one below "Approaching Storm" as it looks sort of stormy to me.
Now I'm headed upstairs to my studio to paint for a bit before going to etching class.

I wish you all a terrific Tuesday!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

A great day!

Saturday was Daniel's birthday. And we decided to celebrate it just the two of us. This has been a busy quarter for Daniel at school and with me taking a class, we don't see each other as often as we usually do. So, we decided to take Saturday off and play. 
Our day started early (Ramses decided that 5:30 was the proper time to get up), but it was a cool morning and we enjoyed it on our back porch with birthday waffles and a fire in our chiminea. Frankly, life doesn't get much better than that...
Later in the morning, we went to visit Oatland Island Wildlife Center, which is really close to us and we we'd never visited together. I had been there once with visitors, but for Daniel this was new.
It's a fairly large wilderness area with trails through woods and across marshes and with large enclosures housing animals native to Georgia.
The weather was perfect as you can see!
And the views stunning - I can't believe we live in a gorgeous place like that!

We even found a few signs of fall.
And some stunning colors in nature.

We both loved this old structure - what great texture and color.
Now, as to the animals, we saw a few ibis,

all of the wolves (I'm glad Daniel had the close-up lens on the camera so we could get some good photos),

the bison,
and of course alligators, which are everywhere around here. This one was a baby - you can still see the stripes.
Another one was much bigger, but quite peaceful around all the turtles in this pond.
It must not have been hungry.
Now, when we were looking at the turtles, Daniel started talking about how wonderful it would be to have a turtle that could just live in our back yard.
He'd been mentioning this on and off for a couple of weeks, but on Saturday it sounded like he really, really wanted one.
And guess what happened? We went home and while eating lunch on our back porch, Daniel spied this beautiful little visitor who had found his (or her) way into our backyard. Daniel was like a little boy who had gotten a pony for his birthday.
Can you believe this happened?! We were stunned! And just loved it!! We are not sure if it's still in our backyard or if it has moved on, but it sure made Daniel's day! Thank you, little turtle.
In the evening we decided to have dinner in one of our favorite restaurants by the beach and then go for walk barefoot in the sand.
The day had been warm, but it sure cooled off at night and walking into the water felt a little cold at first. But hey, it's mid-October and we are at the beach - how great is that?!?
And, to celebrate this special day the sky put on a show that had us speechless.

A perfect day!!