Saturday, December 25, 2010

Oragami Deer

8"x8" watercolor
No title yet. I'll have to ask my half Japanese sister-in-law. I'm sure she can come up with something clever. So lovely to sit inside on a rainy holiday and paint for four hours. Norman gave me a digital record player, so I situated myself at the table, recording great old vinal, and painting my strange Animeople.
I find animal headed people everywhere now. Perhaps its a Jungian thing, all these artists, fishing images out of the waters of the collective subconscious. I sometimes write to other artists when I find their animeoples. But they never write back. I guess that 'collective subconcious' prefers to remain anonymous on a conscious level. No above ground grouping together.
Two Animeople oils almost done!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Two New Watercolors

Sorry, Kind reader, I am working quite a bit, I just seem to be falling behind at photographing and blogging the work...So, to get started catching up, here are two new watercolors.


The Queens Tea

I think I may have mentioned I paint at a cafe' near Phineas's preschool. Going all the way to my studio would loose me a precious half hour of painting time. But painting at a coffee house is a challenge. I have learned to choose well lit corners where I surreptitiously spread out my painting paraphernalia so that no one can sit too close. I realize it is probably better business to let people see me work but I'd rather glare at people in general than socially chat about the painting. So I tip up the paper block with my purse and try not to smile to invitingly. You can join me anytime, of course, for a cup of tea.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Branching Off Blogs

well, kind Readers, I am sorry you will now have to go to another blog to get my fairy house info. I started a new blog to make it easier to just see paintings and home art if that's what you like or all the workshop and new fairy house pictures if that's where your interests lie. I hope this comes as a pleasant surprise to you!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Birds of Prey and Watercolors in the Rain

Birds of Prey (click for larger image)
another animeople, another bad pun. sorry.
Phineas is in a coop preschool twice a week. Instead of going home and folding laundry or cooking more floors for the next woodland house workshop I'm going to a cafe around the corner from the preschool and working on small watercolors while nursing a cup of black tea. Something about this rainy autumn weather makes me long for the bright light and gentle colors of watercolor painting. My old friend. My paints are dry and crackled. Like the zen grinding of Chinese ink I sit and rub them softly with water to revive them, listening to the rain and the cafe' chatter.

But Im still getting used to the finality of watercolor painting. I think I would have given Mrs.Robin a hand holding up a lollipop to her nestlings. Really I just think it would be fun to paint a lollipop so I imagine it will show up in a later piece. Meanwhile I'm working on Queen Elizabeth having a cup of tea with a Rhino head. hee hee.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Shows Over and Benjamins First Art Sales

Well, kind Reader, and so ends my back to back shows. Fun socially but not paying off any credit card debt any time soon. And I now have quite a few bottles of wine left over to drown my artist angst in, since not many spectators wanted wine in this hot weather.

But Benjamin came home pockets bulging with his earnings. A casual comment about 'passing the hat' and he took to doing dance/performance art to onlookers at Periscope gallery. To his amazement coins really were dropped into his hat. He then went on to draw little pictures for the onlookers and amassed almost six dollars in change. He refused to pay the bridge toll though so any hopes that he'll start supporting me were dashed on the rocks.

Two commissions in the works. One an owl in a tree straight up and the other a double portrait. And the next Animeople painting coming soon, titled, "Birds of Prey". Really I am too tired and need to take time off. Ha ha ha. Not likely. Being a mom and an artist is lovely- two fabulous jobs which I enjoy, up to about 4 o'clock every day, whereupon I would like to curl up in a warm place somewhere and sleep for a quarter century. And today, at 4:00 I only feel the pull of half eaten apples and forgotten lettuce turning into smelly liquid, books socks and toys strewn about, dust buffaloes on parade behind doors, dinner to cook, boys to teach and clean, projects unfinished, holes in fences and cracks in ceilings.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Note to Self

So my new lesson is...don't have an opening during an already visually overwhelming event. yes. That about says it all.
Oh and come to the opening at Periscope Cellars Gallery in Emeryville this Friday night!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sunday at Railroad Square!

Another woodland house workshop complete, but I'm too behind to post photos yet. I just booked a november workshop at the Rose school in Berkeley so Im not certain when the winter workshop will be. Perhaps early December. Meanwhile put on your steampunk, Victorian vaudeville best and come on down to Railroad square this Sunday 11-3.
btw- if you want to know what the small print at the bottom says you have to come to the show.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Overlaping Shows and Workshop Deals

first of all a
Special Workshop Offer!!
sign up one child for september 19th Woodland house workshop, sign up second sibling for half off!

I hung up the solo show at daredevils and Queens in Railroad square amidst dye jobs flashing aluminum foil glares on my paintings and the warm sound of blow dryers. It was a challenging space- with only one spot in each space between mirrors on the fabulous cement walls, and a dry wall white holey nightmare on the other side. But it came together. I even have Inside Out House glowing in the hair washing room straightto the back. So go on by if you can and wander through, or get a cool punk rock hair do while studying Sid Vicious with a steller jay head. And join me for the opening, during the Hand Car regatta, 11-3 on Sept. 26th.
Orrrr, gentle Reader, if you miss it, come visit the Animeople paintings that will be marched over to Periscope gallery in the East Bay, for the Animal Pop show, opening October 1st!
busy busy busy bee me.
and until I get over to D and Q and price everything and take pics, here is a visual for you -Phineas making salsa with me...

Friday, August 27, 2010

New Woodland House Building Workshop Date

I have a whole slew of new materials- enough stump/floor circles to last a year(Thanks to my awesome father and his 'best friend'- his chain saw) and some fun items I gathered in Portland. So sign up now! Hope you can make it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Sid or should I call it Steller Vicious?
I think he's about 12" high- too lazy to walk down to the studio to measure the painting. At any rate I was hanging out in a backyard and this Steller Jay was yelling curses at my cat, and I thought- Jays are the punks of the bird neighborhood. Which led to Sid. I love that Sid Vicious always had the eagle pin on his leather jacket. I imagine a Jay would make the jacket out of cat skin. This Animeople piece is more modern than the others but I just have to expand if I don't get dull by the end of painting 30 some odd of them!

and next up- a bit of a challenge- painting a corset for a friends project. I reallly don't have time to do this but I'm a sucker for an interesting project and its a good excuse to visit with some old friends I haven't seen in some time. I'll post it for you, kind reader, when it's done, but only if most of me is out of sight.
Also getting ready for the show at Daredevils and Queens, going up on the 9th. It really will be an ODD show of lots of different work- not a single series like the April show will be.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tu Xiao Jie (Lady Rabbit)

Yes, I know, I know, it is quite different than you expected. I had posted the original sketch a while back, of a Chinese Bunny lady standing, catching plum blossoms. But I happened across an ancient painting that captivated me and adapted it. I'll post some details later, but I'm already a couple minutes late to pick up the boys, so, till then...
Oh and by the way, my fairy house building workshops have been re-titled- they are now "Woodland House Building workshops". So much more room for imagination.;-)

Woodland House Workshop at Mayacama

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sneak Peek

I know it seems like I have been avoiding you, but really I've just been quite busy! I finishes a commissioned piece, that I don't care to post here, and I THINK I finished this other commissioned work as well- a portrait of a Lady and her Grandaughters. But it hasn't yet been 'approved' and until it's officially done I shall wait and just show you, Patient Reader, two unfortunately quite dark close-ups of the grand-daughters. Then, in the next few days I shall scrape together some time from under the fingernail of my days and post a few more small pieces I have finished and better close-ups. Till then...

Monday, July 12, 2010

July Fairy House Workshop

Some of the finished houses. Always so fun to see others creations. One boy devised a window with a curtain in a turret that was fabulous. Another house looked almost Eastern, another choose great fabric combination's and another house has a wonderful play with a simple color palette.
Before we started- here are some of the materials- now almost all gone. I need to prep for my August show so no workshop in August. If you want to sign up write me now to reserve your place for a Sunday in September- probably the 11th or 18th...or if there are enough people- both!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Lady Fox's Outing and a Commision Unseen


Lady Fox's Outing
on my mantle...8" High? Something like that
I like displaying the paintings this way. Perhaps I will create a shelf for the Castle in the Air Show and line a few of the Animeople pieces up, then hang a few, then a get the idea, my faithful reader, you always do.
I finished a commission as well- a trade (don't read this you tax people you!) in exchange for free daycare for my older son over the summer as well as a weekend of babysitting both boys. I looove trades! At any rate- I'm not showing you the finished piece because I had to use a really lowsy low res print of a badly scanned photo for reference (it was a portrait my daycare providers father and recently, sadly, passed away mother). Note to self: DON'T agree to let the berieved father/husband/person choose his favorite picture of his partner to be painter. Get a handful and choose the most interesting photo instead and the
one that is in focus.

close-up of da Bunny. I think he needs a name. Ideas?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Daddy Deerest and Blimp

Rather appropriate for Daddy's Day, eh?

Daddy Dearest

...and a better image of Aeronaut with original blimp.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pictures from The Latest Fairy House Workshop

Someone actually got a picture of me. I'm helping one of the girls make a swing. Can you believe it, kind reader, ten ladies and 12 kids?! And yet- not chaotic. It was at Berkeley Rose school. A Waldorf school in Berkeley hills. My first workshop away from home, it was a lovely 1905 building, very very homey. I lowered the price a bit- 50-60 sliding scale, and made it a potluck lunch. I also simplified the process so that it is in fact possible to finish a house in four hours. woo-hoo! Everyone in this group did fabulously- they were particularly wonderful at listening to their childrens choices and working as a team. And such inventive houses- with bark slides and ladders and swings, little nooks and crow nests with soft moss carpeting. I wanted to live in them!

half way done..

Ladies working. This was towards the end when most of the children had 'finished' and gone out to play for a bit. Funny my last workshop was mostly guys. This one was all women.

a bunch more photos to share but until I get the slide show function sorted out I don't want to inundate you with too many. Im already planning the next workshop for a bunch of home-schoolers. If you are interested in signing up please write me at Thanks.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Brief Interlude with Reusable Resources

The combination of creating something practical and lovely in my yard combined with getting materials for free makes me a very happy person. So, whilst amidst all the chaos of commissions and workshop prep I thought I'd share my ongoing art project- using reusable (aka-FREE) resources to expand and landscape my yard!

My first project was my greenhouse- for obvious reasons (as well as that growing plants from seeds is a very spiritual practice) it is called the Glass Synagogue. The stained glass window was a gift (free!) from my friend Jim Standard- (a master stained glass artist I illustrated designs for in the past). The windows came from all the local folk (and my Dad) who sadly replaced their fabulous, if leaky, wooden framed windows with ugly aluminum. Four very nice men lifted the top half of the building onto the bottom for me. Its eight years old now and going strong (though leaky as a toddler after drinking a gallon of apple juice).

Spring of last year I built this chicken coop for my six lovely ladies, who seem happy to frolic in it and even happier to escape into the yard to search out worms and poop on my lawn. The wood for the base and edging and some of the fence came from Craigslist and Freecycle- mostly from a remodel in the nice JC neighborhood. And my good friend Sven built the coop but hadn't used it for years. Oddly enough- it was again 4 nice men who helped me move it across town and onto the stilts and floor I had built. Four nice men are a useful thing.

This was my latest project-using everyone's cast off broken cement to create a patio under our canopy. I started with a couple Freecycle links- a nice old man in Sebastopol with a half demolished patio, a young guy in Rincon valley with another half demolished pale blue patio, and then our neighbor down a bit across the street who tore up a sidewalk. Good for the arm muscles, schlepping all those 4" X 2' chunks. Still need to get a patio set with circular bottoms so the legs don't slip into the cracks before the thyme is all grown in.

My next door neighbor demolished a shed. Hooray for only dragging boards a short distance! Its built extra tall in hopes the chickens don't discover the veggies. Phineas drags a little chair over to stand on and coax the tomatoes and little zucchinis along. Also- I like to use my apple tree pruning to build twisty dark purple trellises like the one in the left box. A pink Pearl Apple bears five little apples in the middle.

An simple arch that leads to the tree house my father built for the boys. A dead plum tree taken over by my climbing rose that is sadly past its early spring, once a year explosion of blooms that trail up into the sky.The strong support beam is from Craigslist (did I mention this was ALL free?) and the rest fallen wood from the lower trees.

But I haven't shown you the fallen wood fort or the pruned branches tepee in the front yard. Sorry my kind Reader- another time. I must go and chainsaw slabs of wood and draw portraits now, not to mention make cream cheese and Jam sandwiches for hungry growing boys.