Watercolor and doodles

watercolor and doodles

Watercolor and doodles

watercolor fun

Watercolor and doodles

Bumper Stickers Rock


I just had to snap a pic seated on the bumper of this van loaded with stickers…crazy and fun!



Peonies with pencil

Light As A Feather

Mixed Media

Light As A Feather


Nothing says spring like pink tulips.  Winters are long here in CO and tulips do not grow well. In fact we rarely have spring.  So when friends came over with these tulips in hand it tickled me pink!  I hope you are enjoying the season of new beginnings, and as my 86 year old dad always says….when you’re green, you’re growing!  Simple but true.

Art Journal Class Re-Cap

Spring 2018 Art Journal Class at Bemis

A M A Z I N G       W O M E N       M A K I N G      P A G E S  

It’s all about words and using them for expression.  The first prompt involved making strips of printed deli papers and Citrasolv pages from National Geographic magazines.   These papers were collaged onto the back page with a word holding special meaning..a word to carry with them for the rest of the year.  A cover of tea stained muslin stamped with a stencil and some stitching for flair was added with brads over the last page and another stencil used on the adjacent page.

Fabric and stitching add a unique texture element to art journals.

Expressive underpainting was the first layer, gray tone painting to define organic shapes, and then journaling with a white gel pen.

Paying tribute to a favorite artist gave everyone the opportunity to discover..maybe a new artist or one that had been a favorite for a long time.  One student chose her mother and when she showed the page to her children, they immediately knew that their grandmother was the chosen artist!


From Klimt to Van Gogh, Cezanne to Ansel Adams, Flavia to a beloved mom, and a few others, these pages reflect a tribute to an admired artist.  Looking at another artists work and techniques provides ample opportunity to learn about process, color and brush strokes.

Here is a tribute to one of my favorites…Vincent Van Gogh!

Making and using personal stamps with sticky back foam and a wooden block.

This was inspired by Marks in Place..a book dedicated to the photography of  ancient marks made by native people in North America.  For centuries mankind has used tools to make marks in stone.  We still enjoy the process of designing and making marks! We made ours in the art journal.

Each page tells a story and offers a chance to discover something new.  Whether it involves a technique, a color, a word, or reflection working in an art journal is pure delight.  No pressure just expression and fine tuning the creative muscle.  The best part is meeting others who enjoy making art, sharing stories and celebrating one another’s creativity.

Creative hands playing with mixed media and bringing beauty into our world!

Lots of love and expression goes into these art journals!  They are an artifact of our journey in mixed media and exploring new frontiers.  Thanks for stopping by!

Demo painting tip

When teaching a painting class I like to paint my demos on newsprint coated with clear gesso.  How many times have I bought newsprint for a class and never seem to use it up.  This is a great way to upcycle those pads.  Using a foam brush, coat the newsprint with clear gesso and it removes the porous quality of the paper and gives it new life!  Now acrylic paints or inks or all matter of mixed media can be added to the paper.  I really like this technique because when teaching I prefer to focus on my students and their work. Painting on newsprint gives me freedom and I am not as invested on what is on my easel, rather I am more engaged with what is happening on yours!  And if my painting bombs..no worries, I can toss it or rip it up and use it for collage.  Painting on newsprint coated with gesso requires a board with clips to hold it in place.  Any big box craft store has them and it fits perfectly on my easel.  Let me know if you give it a try and how it works for you.

Expressive Florals at Bemis

Expressive floral painting is all about discovery.  Letting your creative intuition lead the way and learning to trust the path.  This painting was done by an experienced artist and the focus was painting with a palette knife.  It was a new pursuit and look at his success!  We started with a layer of clear tar gel and beaded gel medium, by Golden, dribbled and scraped across the canvas.  Using clear tar gel medium is one of my signature starting points as an instructor and the outcome is always successful. It brings a subtle element of texture to the painting.  The added beaded gel medium by the artist was stunning on this floral painting!

The clear tar gel is easily seen in this photograph and it added a layer of interest to a lovely painting.  The application is unplanned, random, and free flowing.  After seeing the great results of adding the medium, this student said she would like to add more clear tar gel to her canvas next time.  Sometimes taking a risk, moves an artist in a new direction and the process opens a door to new sparks of creativity.

It is a privilege to be on staff at Bemis teaching art!  The joy is overwhelming and I am so grateful for this opportunity.  And now with the Colorado College alliance, it is a top tier venue in all aspects.  My students are talented and creative, with an eagerness to learn and push their art in new directions.  Sometimes we just need to trust that still small voice that says, “This might work…what if I try it?… YES!” It is all about fine tuning our creative instincts and honing this skill is a life long process.

No matter ones age or background, artful expression brings a unique experience to life.  The time melts away during class, and before we know it, two hours have flown by.  It is such a gift to ourselves to slip some creative time into our busy lives which are full of obligation and domestic chores.  Making time for art in any form whether it is as a maker, or an observer never comes back void.  Life is richer because of the experience!


“Nobody sees a flower-really-it is so small it takes time-we haven’t time- and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.”  Georgia O’Keeffe

Making time to paint…opening our eyes to see the beauty in a flower…letting our creative intuition be the guide…holding a brush…finding just the right color…stroking the paint on a canvas…seeing the image unfold…tweaking, highlighting, darkening, pushing ourselves and our art in new ways.  We are never done, we are always on the climb, looking for new vistas, navigating the frustrations and rewards, each time reaching a different level.  THIS is living a creative life!!!  Thanks for stopping by, leave a comment and share your thoughts about the creative journey.  I would love to hear from you.  We learn and grow from one another.  Cheers…hope to see you in class one day!

Happy Easter

Peace be with you….


The Duomo in Florence, Italy was completed in 1436. A feat of architecture that still baffles many as to how the dome was constructed.  This cathedral is one of my favorites, a masterpiece of beauty and engineering… the art of man unto The Savior. To take this photo I had to walk up a tiny circular staircase in the tower next to The Duomo, hundreds of steps.  But it was so worth it!!  Cathedrals are fascinating and to see this one from a unique vantage point was incredible.   They are massive, intricate, and impressive with their adornments of glory and honor.  Today we still have many churches, not quite as fancy as the Duomo, yet they still offer glory and praise not in the form of a structure rather through active worship.  Maybe you find yourself wondering what Easter is all about.  Is there more to it than dyed eggs, chocolate bunnies and jelly beans?  This coming Sunday, Christian churches all over the planet will be opening their doors to persons of faith and seekers.   Maybe instead of just passing by, follow you heart and venture inside. In our present age there are churches a plenty; in shopping centers or schools, cathedrals, some are small or large, ornate, or plain, they are readily available. No matter the building, let your heart lead the way and rest assured…if you seek, you will find!

Attached to the Vine

she found her way

A page in my art journal..moleskine watercolor journal.  Layers of collage including vintage text, and snippets of paper.  I remember exactly where I was when I created this page, a little casita in Taos, NM.  After a day of painting in a workshop with Gwen Fox, one of my favorite mentors, I came back to the casita and began playing in my art journal.  There is something magical about the light in Taos, it is different than any other place.  It is no wonder why so many artists love going to NM and discovering for themselves what it is all about.  I know I do!  “She found her way” was my response to the workshop and new things I learned about painting.  Each brushstroke of color and how it is placed on a page is an expression, unique to a moment in time.  I was thrilled this page was published in Art Journal magazine, one of Somerset Studios publications.  The beauty of art journaling is the freedom it gives us to explore, play, paint, and be ourselves on a page.  To enjoy mark making, writing words describing our thoughts, painting with the colors we love, accessing our creative expression readily are all the reasons art journaling is so popular.  See for yourself and join me for a class in February 2018!  “A101”  at Bemis Art School – Fine Arts Center – Colorado College.  www.coloradocollege.edu/fac