Friday, March 28, 2014


Daffy-downdilly detail
Here's my little Daffy-down-Dilly flower fairy

I started this one for a local Daffodil Festival, which includes an art show .... but didn't deliver it by the deadline ...

blocks of colour
Daffy-downdilly sketch & finished piece
The idea came after seeing my teacher/friend Elisabeth's work in progress for the same show. I love drawing/painting flower fairies, it was fun bringing this one to canvas.

I'd forgotten (till a friend on FB reminded me) there's a poem about her! 


Has come to town
With a yellow petticoat
And a pretty green gown

Nathaniel Hawthorne

I'm linking to Paint Party Friday 

Saturday, March 22, 2014


A couple of weeks ago, Shiloh Sophia McCloud invited artists interested in her Colour of Woman workshops to celebrate International Women's day by painting two women.

Though I wasn't able to participate in painting along with her livestream at my friend Elisabeth's studio, I set my easel (OK, music stand!!) up out in my yard, & painted away! 

Paint table

I began by painting an undercoat, & then began sketching in the dancers. I love all forms of dance, from Classical Kirov style Russian ballet to free form improvisation, and wanted my dancers to reflect that range.
Outdoor 'studio'

I've sketched the dancers at our ballet studio for years, & pulled up a few images from the last Nutcracker performance as inspiration. 


I was able to paint for several hours, & was grateful for the lovely sunny day!  

The next day was our Artspiration show, which was a lot of fun, but whew!! I have a new appreciation for artists who participate in weekly art/craft markets! It takes a lot of energy to set up even a tiny exhibit like ours, & interact with the guests ....

roughing in Flesh tones
 So I had a break of several days, before getting back to the studio (inside this time) & playing more with my dancers. 

*  Dancers *

There are bits of silver paint in the crown & earrings, a floaty scarf .... and two sweet dancers, caught in a moment between movements

I just discovered a lovely group: 
Paint Party Friday this is my first submission!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Presence - part 2

I think she's finished!

She Who Watches
Over the last couple of days I did more of the details, raised the hairline a bit, then shifted that a bit more, added Prayer Flags & Tsagigala/ Tsagagal - the Columbia River painted petroglyph we know as 'She Who Watches.'

My grandmother Mary grew up not far from this place on the Washington side of the Columbia, & spoke Chinook Jargon (the trade language, with its mix of Columbia dialects, French, English) ... so I was thinking of waiting and using Tsagigala in a future picture of Mary (whom I never knew!)

But after chalking her in, she seemed to want to stay!

Here's the Wishram version, as told by Ed Edmo & artist Lillian Pitt:

"There was this village on the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge. And this was long ago when people were not yet real people, and that is when we could talk to the animals.

"And so Coyote — the Trickster — came down the river to the village and asked the people if they were living well. And they said "Yes, we are, but you need to talk to our chief, Tsagaglal. She lives up in the hill."
*Presence* in morning light

"So Coyote pranced up the hill and asked Tsagaglal if she was a good chief or one of those evildoers. She said, "No, my people live well. I watch to see my people have good salmon, venison, berries, roots. I watch to see they have good shelter. I watch that we live in peace. I watch so good things will happen. 
Why do you ask?" 

And Coyote said, "Changes are going to happen. How will you watch over your people?"  And so she didn't know. 

"And it was at that time that Coyote changed her into a rock to watch her people forever."

Sunday, March 2, 2014


This week I discovered a new FB group - Magical Mixed Art Community - & have been enjoying the BEAUTIFUL pieces members have been submitting! One pair of paintings struck a chord, and resonate with one of my stories, so I've begun a new piece: Presence.

Background & outline
In 1992, several days after my dear dad died, I was sitting in one of the Meadow pools at Breitenbush retreat center where I worked. I happened to glance up at the sky, & saw my father's profile in the clouds! I casually asked the friend with me to look up, & tell me what HE saw ... "Um, your father's face?!" ...
When my dad was in High School in the 20s, he learned to type. One of their projects was to do images with type: a US flag & their own profile! My dad, dutifully did both, & proudly saved them. He had a distinctive nose & wavy hair .... one cloud above us - that profile!

filling in the face
So when my mom died 12 years later, & my oldest granddaughter was sad, I told her we should look for my mom's face in the clouds, & we'd always find fuzzy little cloud faces that we identified as Lois.  Nothing as distinct as my dad's profile (which stayed for several hours, before gradually fading) but quite comforting.

My women's spiritual book group is currently reading Jessica Maxwell's "Roll Around Heaven," a delightful spiritual memoir, which begins with a chapter about her dad's death, and .... seeing HIS face (holographic) FILLING the sky three days later!! She wasn't going to tell anyone, till her sister called, and said "You'll never guess what I saw!!" ... um, dad's face? ....

Mary          Lois          Nadya
Face & hair
So when I saw the paintings with a woman's face in the sky, I thought of  painting of my mom, smiling in the sky! She cherished a set of photos she framed of herself, her mom & me between 18 & 20 years old (she's in the middle), so I used my mom young woman as my starting point! She was born in 1912, & her mom in the 1880s)

I had a 'Flying Dutchman' painting on canvas that I picked up somewhere, & have thought of painting over, so that seemed perfect. (you can see a vague outline of the ship, with the darker ocean on the right in the first picture)

I've used the colour of woman model of painting the background, then the outline of young Lois (I didn't do a distinct portal this time), then filling in face & neck, hair, & background.
Next comes the glaze, then more details! I like the hint of a heart surrounding the face!

On Saturday our Church is having an art show, Artspiration, and we can display up to three pieces per person. I've been working on 'Ariadne's Red Thread' (I'll post pics soon), and "Presence," with my third piece a sumi picture for the Year of the Dragon.

My Colour of Woman teacher Elisabeth plans to show a piece as well.
I've been haunting the art store, picking up new paints, brushes, supplies, & found that my music stand works well for an easel, at least for these smaller pictures! (this one's 12 x 16")