Tuesday, January 6, 2009


August 7, 2009

On my way home from town I pass this old house. My Dh calls it a shotgun house. Because the cracks between the slats are large enough to put the barrel of a gun through. The house is old and falling apart but something calls to me every time I pass it. I love old buildings. Old barns. Old houses. It speaks to another time and place, tells a story, and has its own history.

I softened the colors in this shot to a bare minimum. I love the pale gray colors of the house with the light green from the grass. It almost has an antique feel to it.

The sun started to set and it cast a brilliant red hue behind the trees. I love the dark contrast of the house against the sun-lit sky.
Black and white photos are my favorite. I think it takes all the busyness and distraction out of the photos and spotlights the subject better.

The sun is always brighter just before it disappears for the day. I love the last drops of sunlight right before nightfall.

July 10, 2009

Swan Mosaic for my dear friend, Ann

One thing I have not talked about in a long time is my passion for art.
I am a self-taught artist. My favorite medium to work with is glass. Mosaics and stained glass are my addiction. I also love to paint and draw and create ceramics.

This is a stained glass mosaic table I made with left over pieces from teaching students how to make stained glass mosaics.
This was my first attempt at making a stained glass piece for my good friend Marti.
(Notice how I use my friends as guinea pigs for my art pieces?)

My interest started around age 5 or so. I would go out in my front yard with a plastic yellow bowl, a metal spoon, and the garden hose. We had a spot by the garden that was just a patch of dirt, my favorite spot in the yard. I would mix water and dirt to make mud of different consistencies. I could create a clay consistency and form different things, I would create a
runny consistency and draw in it, I would mix grass, rocks and flowers in it to play with texture
and yes, I would make mud pies and give them to my dad.

From then on my interest grew. I taught myself to draw and paint. I made mixed media pieces. I made happy pieces, sad pieces, and downright depressing pieces. Maybe I'll share some of those later on. I got to the point where I could look at most things and just draw them. I have painted murals, painted on canvas, dappled in watercolors, acrylic, and oil. I pretty much love it all.

This is a mixed media piece I made for my sweet friend, Jamie. She was in Alaska for several years and did not have one art piece to remember it by, so I made her a native blanket toss piece in watercolor and ink. This was one of my favorite projects. Simple, colorful, symbolic.

I did quite a few murals as well. My husband is Air Force. I have to state that outright. He wanted me to do a mural for him but we could never figure out exactly what he wanted and where, so I never completed one for him. But, our good friend, the Marine recruiter wanted a mural and knew exactly what he wanted so I made one for him. This is how it turned out. I have a more detailed picture somewhere but can not find it at the moment.

This mural was in my boys room in Alaska. This is when my middle boy was 6 or so and my youngest was 3. Perfect super hero age. They loved it. Until the older boy thought he was too old for super heroes. It just about killed me to paint over this before we moved. The US flag was on the other wall and the whole room was red, white, and blue.

Picasso. Reminiscent of his 1907 piece. It is mask like and similar to his obsession with mask art.

While in Alaska, I taught art. I had about 50 students and taught for one year. I had home school students as well as public school students. Pre-school to 12 years of age. I really, really enjoyed teaching art. I was able to watch the kids blossom, see them express themselves, and even see a few sparks of budding life-long artists.

We dabbled in every medium I could think of. My favorite and I think the kids favorite was our mosaic project. We took 2 months to focus on mosaics. The first few weeks were spent on learning about mosaics. The history and different types. Then they drew their own design, cut their own pieces, placed, glued and grouted. They were so proud of themselves. I was pretty darn proud of them too.

Here are several projects the students completed:

Butterfly MosaicPirate Ship mosaicSumi-EMandalasAndy Worhal style portraits Pointillism
Glass Fusion Wire SculptureImpressionismClay Faces after Edvard Munch...The Scream

PrintingPreschool Collage class after Eric Carle's style

Pre school still life...Oranges.

I am far from being a professional artist and still have a lot to learn. I miss teaching but simply do not have the time or space right now. I have had a few parents ask if I could do lessons over the Internet. That is something I am trying to wrap my head around. A lot can be done with a web cam. I am just not sure about the logistics and time I would have available. I would love to do it though. I had thought about offering lessons here, step by step, for those who may be interested. We'll see how that goes.

I have not had a lot of time for art this past year. We have done so much work on the property and have pretty much changed our whole way of life. We are starting to get use to it and I hope things will settle down enough for me to work art back in.

I am taking time to work on a piece right now. I have a dear, sweet, wonderful friend whom is the would-be recipient....if I ever, ever, ever, get it done. I started this project way back last summer before things became so chaotic. It has been on my heart and mind to get it done, so I am focusing on that today and this weekend. I worked on it for 6 hours today. I have a lot of detail work to do but hopefully will finish it soon.

My dear friend is Eastern Russian Orthodox. She has a saint that she is named after, Saint Irene. I will posts links later on as I am link-challenged at the moment.

I asked her before I started painting this if it was okay for me to do so. Usually, Iconoclasts paint icons and it is a religious process. There is fasting, and prayer and a spirit of creating work for the glory of God, not pride or compliments.

I did not want to be disrespectful to her or to the process. She assured me it would be okay and she would have it blessed when completed. That just touched my heart. So many things about her religion touch my heart.
I have a lot more work to do. I saved the hardest part (for me) for last. The face and hands.
It always takes me a long time to get the right facial tones, shades and tints.

So, here it is, months and months later, I am finally making some progress on it. I hope to have it completed and sent off to her soon.

I hope to use this section to keep track of my art projects and goals. We'll see how much time I can actually devote to it.

If you have read this far, you either have a passion for art like I do or are just really bored. Either way, thanks for reading my dribble. Maybe we can inspire each other.