I’m a creative, experienced, multi-purpose artist and art director
who can take projects start to finish in a variety of styles.

Good designs sell –
my designs sell out!

Saturday, April 25, 2015


I'm too familiar with this word for the week.  I came home from work the other day feeling like I had worked a month of Mondays and felt like I had to unclamp every muscle in my body in order to sit down and pet the dog.

Since out there is stressful, I've been improving my habitat lately and decided to get new living room curtains.  I wanted a floral, white and green and summery.  It seemed so obviously attainable, it didn't occur to me that stores wouldn't have them.  In the end I bought a paisley, but the tops weren't right, and the length was too long.  I dragged out the sewing machine.

I made the curtains what I wanted them to be, which involved all sorts of things that I don't do: ironing, pinning, sewing... and the curtains turned out to be a lot like the old ones, but I'm happier.

I made Sculpey flowers and pinned them on, and put Grandpa's bells on the tie-back.  I ran Sculpey through a pasta machine and made feathers too.  (Not to be confused with my previous Sculpey feathers.)  It's a whole lot of nothing for nothing, and the kind of thing I get into.  It's my world, my space, and I can do whatever I want in it -- and sometimes that's really necessary when the world makes me too tense to pet the dog.

I've been continuing with my linoleum blocks too.  This sun was just fun for fun.  I don't have any plans for it.  Some day I'll be tired of looking at Sculpey flowers and feathers and they'll go to the basement.  I don't know if anyone else will ever want them, and the bother of trying to sell them takes away from my fun in creation.  Sometimes I wonder if my relatives will throw all of it away when I die, and what's the point of any of it.  Sometimes I can go too far into the whole existential philosophy of why bother with anything at all?  Maybe I should mention that I went to another funeral this week.  That kind of thing spurs existential angst.

I told my brother the word for the week is "tense".  He drew tents in a military encampment.  I observed that his tiny 1 1/2" drawing didn't really show the tents well enough so he provided the enlargement detail.

Making stuff is one of the ways I deal with life.  Some people cook, knit, or make furniture in the garage.  It's good to bring something new into the world.  I know other coping skills too, like watching ripples on the river or waves in the ocean, meditating, reading, tv, planting something in the garden.  Whatever feels good to us is what we should do unless it goes against someone else's happiness.

Sometimes we all get to the point where we feel like lashing out and taking our frustrations out on someone else.  It's better to make stuff and think out better solutions to our problems.  Sometimes I need to remind myself of that and pet the dog.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Congrats to Melissa at anthemsweet.com!  She won the flower print I made and colored with pencil.  Thanks everybody for playing :)  Visit her blog here to see her art and the art that inspires her (and me too).

You never know, I might even color some more of the prints, but the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and there's so many things I feel like doing now that Ohio is turning into the beautiful place that makes me glad to call it home -- but if anybody wants to give me a lot of money I'd be even happier to become a snowbird and winter someplace warmer.

The greatest joy lately is being able to open my windows and let new air into my world, but mostly I've been outside whenever possible and doing yard stuff that hasn't been done sufficiently in quite a while and cleaning inside the house when the weather is less cooperative.  Working gets in my way of doing things, and piling up sticks and mucking out the pond is important.  It gives me time to think, and I don't think I've had enough space to do that for quite a while.

The problem with all this thinking is that my moods are fluctuating all over the place.  Sometimes I just want to feel the breeze and be a flower, thinking flower thoughts and feeling a fuzzy bee walking on my face.  Why do people have to think more than that?  Let alone obsessively thinking about stuff without finding a resolution.  I haven't mastered being a flower yet.  I look at my windows and think about washing them.  Flowers never think about that.

I posted this drawing of my window a few years ago, but it fits this week's word too perfectly not to post it again, especially when there's so much spring stuff to do!

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Don't you just hate it when Illustration Friday doesn't give a new word for the week?  Not to be deterred, I posted this as a continuation from last week's post about putting flowers on the fallen soldiers in childhood battles.  I'm not really sure how this plays with "soft", but I wasn't the one missing deadlines.


Win a linoprint of this flower by leaving a comment.  If you "follow" my blog by joining my site (see right column), I'll give you 2 chances to win.  If you're already a follower, just remind me and I'll give you 2 tries too.

It's hard for me to believe I've been blogging for 5 years!  I certainly didn't think I had that much to write about, and if anyone would've told me how much art has to happen in 5 years of posts I probably would never have started.  It's been a blast and I've really enjoyed getting to know so many of you and seeing your blogs in return.  You're the ones who've made it fun and kept me motivated to keep writing and creating.  THANKS!!!

I'm pleased with myself that I carved this linoleum and all my blood stayed inside.  Nobody really appreciates the pain of my earlier carving attempts.

When I was a kid, I carved blocks of brown laundry soap into sculptures...  Okay, I carved blocks of soap mostly into turtles.  Dad would give me a jackknife and I'd happily carve away until the blood started.  Mom would take the knife away.  This happened a lot.  My dexterity didn't match my artistic vision, and I had big dreams.

You'd think that either me or Dad would get smarter about all this, but some say that children need a routine.  Actually, Mom said that a lot so you'd think she'd understand the importance of soap turtles in nurturing creativity.  After all, she's the one who kept buying the Fels Naptha -- though now that I'm thinking of it, she may have started buying soap so I'd quit carving harder things like sticks, firewood, and rocks?

You might think I'm kidding about the rocks, but I'm not.  Sandstone and soft shale by the river seemed carve-able.  I could incise lines into it at any rate, and I could hone my knife on the stone.  That made my knife really good at slicing into my childish self.

Repeated carving lessons from Dad about always cutting away from myself were a waste of time.  At some point I would be too focused on my creative vision to think about safety.  At least I never put lead white coated paint brushes in my mouth, and doctors are really good at stitching up cuts.

Anyway, back to the linocut... I carved the linoleum then printed the image in blue on acid-free yellow paper.  Then I got out my Prismacolors and colored details.  I had fun coloring and may do some more in my tv time at night.  I like it blue on blue without the pencil too.  If you win, let me know which way you prefer it.  You never know, I might color a blue on blue version too depending on my tv time.

I got some more linoleum blocks at the store when I bought the blue ink.  Who knows what else I might carve?  Maybe turtles.

Remember to follow and leave a comment for 2 chances to win!

Saturday, April 4, 2015


The boys in my neighborhood were a war-like group.  They made weapons and forts and had battle plans with shifting allegiances.  Ever the pacifist, I left flowers in their forts.

Someone recently made the assumption that I was a tomboy.  I was certainly told that I was at the time, but I don't know if it was true.  I climbed a lot of trees and resented then, and still resent, pink marketing.  Sitting still and watching fingernail polish dry in a cloud of noxious fumes reminds me of Chinese foot binding as a way of debilitating female brilliance and achievement.

I respect the true warriors of the world like Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Warren, Mother Therese... people who see a problem and do what they can to fix it.  Their gender isn't a gauge of their competence, although perhaps it is critical in how they approach the problems they tackle(d)?

"Boys will be boys" will always be true.  They'll build their forts and kill each other in mock battles.  The "dead" smiled at me when I put flowers on their chests.  We were all true to our natures on the battlefield, and one boy gently tucked his flower in his shirt pocket when the dead resurrected to head off for more of their boyish activities.

It's always a fight to be ourselves as long as we live around other people.  It isn't just gender roles.  Other people want us to behave in ways that make them the most comfortable.  Their pressures can be subtle or oppressive, and it can be a challenge to live our fullest lives.

I think this is especially important for creative people, whatever their specialty.  On the tv show "The Voice", it's often said that technical ability isn't the be all end all.  The singing contestants need to share themselves and their feelings in order for the audience to be with them.  Watching them struggle with fears about opening up reminds me that this is something we all need to do, and to be receptive to others when they do it.

Why was/is it necessary to define whether or not I was a tomboy?  Why did other people feel justified in voicing their labels to a child?  My goal, then and now, is simply to live my life as well as I can live it with as much of myself intact.

And while a sword drawing seems out of whack for a self-affirmed pacifist, it's unapologetically a part of me.  I'm my own kind of warrior who wants a pretty handle on an impractical weapon that's suggestive of an idea -- and that kind of idea and statement is me.  I'm kind of tempted to draw a lot of flowers in the background now too, which gives me the push/pull of OCD perfectionism and laziness -- which is also me, but at least that's all within myself without pressure from anyone else.  That is absolute freedom.

I posted this sword in my 4th blog post ever which you can see here.  It's hard to believe it's been 5 years!  As a thanks to all of you who've shared my journey I'm thinking of doing a giveaway next week, so make sure to come back then.  Course it also depends on whether or not my current project(s) with linoleum blocks work out the way I'd like, but it's a goal :)