Tuesday, November 04, 2008

NEW (Used) DOG

After much soul-searching, and I must admit, internet searching, I came across a picture of a great little dog up for adoption. Her name was Sally and she's a Jack Russell Terrier about 4 years old. I convinced the poor suffering husband that an adult JRT wouldn't be anywhere near as difficult as getting a puppy. He relented, knowing that there was a hole in my heart that needed filling.

We picked her up and brought her home (as a trial - yeah, right!) She was great, very quiet and well-mannered, but timid and scared. You gotta wonder what she's been through. Sixty days in a high-kill shelter in Bakersfield, rescued at the last minute by Ginger's Pet Rescue, http://www.gingerspetrescue.org/ who then shipped her up to the Seattle area in a dogbox in a van, and put her into a foster home with other dogs.

Her foster-mom was really great, we met at Southcenter where it was agreed we'd take her home.

We went first to Petco to get a leash, some food and a bed and other stuff. Petco wanted me to sign her up for freebies and they needed a birthday for her. Taken by surprise, the first date I could come up with is a date that is meaningful in Darrell's and my life, August 18. When we got back home I was reading 'Sally's information sheet that came with her and the paperwork listed her birthday as, you guessed it, August 18th! It's kismet, karma and Holy Cow! It was meant to be.
It didn't take us long to agree that Sally was not her name. Actually, it's just a name the shelter gives to an animal when they come in. Since she didn't respond to it anyway, we decided to change it.
We bounced around a lot of ideas, and settled on Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

Welcome home, Lucy!

Friday, October 31, 2008


Wow, I was surprised to find myself named
Printmaker of the Month for November
at Four Oceans Press.

Thank you for the honor!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


This is the first in the CLASSICAL ELEMENTS Exchange through Four Oceans Press.
After giving this a lot of thought, I've decided to go with the Elements as we encounter them in our lives now. Our modern society leaves small opportunity for direct interaction with our elements. Here is my take on Earth - the only time we get near it is in the potted plants in our homes.

This is a lino-cut, four plates- the black line (key block), the flesh of the hands, the green plants and the terracotta pots. I used the pin registration I learned from Andrew on Wetcanvas.com. It worked great!

Here is a picture of my wonderful press, an Ettan 24" and the stand my husband, Darrell built for it.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Here's a little portrait on panel. I started out thinking I wanted to do 'little dabs of color'. I seem to start out that way, then as I get into it, I revert back to my 'natural' way of painting.

I like the way this turned out.

Acrylic on panel 8" by 10"

Here's another:

This one is from a contour sketch I did in my sketchbook. I took a photocopy, blew it up and used the acrylic gel medium transfer method to get the sketch onto a panel.
This goofy painting captures more of the personality of Moe.

I guess I should explain the bottle cap. Moe loved chewing on metal objects (?!!). It started when she was just a pup. I think it eventually morfed into an obsession with Snapple bottle caps. She was perfectly content to hold a bottle cap in her mouth for hours. Every once in a while she'dcome over and say, "Go ahead, try to take it away from me....go ahead, try. Try. TRY."
If I ever had a need to get whatever it was out of her mouth, the only way was to turn her upside down over the sink. Ptooey, out it would pop.

Love you, Moe!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Here's my first attempt at acrylic gel medium transfer. I took a 'blind-contour' sketch from my sketchbook and blew it up on the copy machine. Next, layered it with 3-5 coats of acrylic glossy gel medium and then rubbed the paper off the back and glued it, with more acrylic gel medium to a canvas. Then I painted color on top of that. Afterwards, most of the original black line drawing was covered up, so I re-stated them with a Sharpie (will that hold up over time?)

Oh, this is my poor suffering husband, Darrell.

Here's another one on panel:

Darrell's grand-daughter, Victoria says upon seeing these for the first time, "Grandpa's eyes are not like that."

I love this and had great fun doing it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

MOE - Oct. 9, 1994 to Sept. 10, 2008

My constant companion and walking partner, my joy, my responsibility, my Moe passed quickly today. Having lived with diabetes for two years now, she was ready to move on.

I miss her terribly, my arms ache from wanting to hold her one last time.

This was after a hike up Mount Si (2000), while Darrell and I were changing out of our boots, Moe wandered into nearby bushes, only to come out so pleased with herself because she had found some sh*t to roll in...

This was taken last week, on our last dog-biking outing. We made a big loop around West Seattle, stopping to find geo-caches along the way. It was a gorgeous day.
I miss her so much.

Friday, September 05, 2008


Here's the start of the second in the Vanilla Houses series. I put down a blue for the shadow areas and white for the light areas and blocked out the basic shapes. Lots of work still to do!
I prepped this panel of masonite with gesso and then a layer of acrylic gel medium mixed with pumice powder, the same as I would for a pastel board.
This answered the problem of no texture, but I don't know that I like it. It seems like it sucks up the paint! The glossy-ness is gone from the paints. I don't know how to explain it, but the paint goes down in a totally different manner then when painting on canvas.

Monday, August 18, 2008


This is just a small masonite panel I had laying around. I thought I would try painting on panel since canvas is more expensive. Having a woodworker downstairs (husband) will really help!

I prepped some panels with gesso and tried it out. Above is about 11" by 8".

It's very different then canvas in that there's no texture. I didn't realize how much I use the canvas texture to put down thin layers of glaze. This is much harder if not impossible to do on this panel.

This one turned out really great! It's only about 10" by 8". I need to do it bigger!
Every time I go down to the area where these structures live I am overwhelmed by the images. I need to paint more of these!

Friday, August 15, 2008


I've been thinking about this painting for a long time. I noticed these houses and the way the morning light hit them years ago while driving a truck. I had to paint them!

Getting a photograph was even a hassle. I had my husband take me up here in his pickup in the early morning. He was able to drive his truck over the curb and onto the grassy area since there is no place to pull over. I needed to stand up in the back of his pickup bed in order to get the high-angle that I would see the scene while driving the KW.

I took quite a few photos, so I will have lots of subject matter for this series.

This type of housing development really bothers me. I see the developers come in and take out every tree, bush and every other kind of living thing. Then, they start building these houses, which are all basically the same, with very little variations, side-by-side-by-side. So close together you can spit on your neighbors house! Giant boxes, no style, no trees....why would people want to live there?

Here is the first, acrylic on canvas, 18" by 24".

Anyway, I'm starting this new series, Vanilla Houses. So entitled because they are so bland, so similar, and almost always pastels and beiges.
[A series? Yikes, does that mean I have to do at least eight of these, too?]

Friday, August 01, 2008


I entered three paintings into Renton River Days Fine Arts Contest. I said to my husband, if I win a prize I want to put that money toward finishing the plumbing in my studio.

Lo, and behold! I won the purchase prize (biggest cash prize) with my Testament #4: Harbor Island. Unfortunately, I hadn't taken a picture of it and now its gone! Lesson learned the hard way.
While at the reception, I was told my other Testament painting, #3 sold to a man that owns a school bus company. Now, I definitely have enough money to get the plumbing finished.
Water in the studio, what a luxury!

Here's #3:

Here's one of my favorites. I put it in the show, but nobody paid any attention to it.

I titled it, Egress:

Saturday, June 07, 2008

TESTAMENT #5 - S-Curve

I really like the way this one turned out. The format would be quite challenging. Inspired by a freeway camera image, I needed a canvas that was three times as long as it was wide. I couldn't find what I wanted premade at Daniel Smith (just down the hill from where I live) so I made my own. I got some advice from one of the great clerks at Daniel Smith's and headed home with supplies, stretchers and canvas. I got my woodworking husband, Darrell to put a reinforcement stretcher cross-wise, since it is so long, 12" by 36".
I was worried about not getting the canvas tight, but, lo and behold, when I put the wet gesso on it tightened right up.
I'm going to have to try making more of my own canvases.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


Here's a departure from the Freeway series.

I've always been fascinated with alleys. I know....dirty, yucky, smelly and even dangerous. But, there's something...it's the industrial, city scene peek at the underbelly. It's also the composition. I tend toward the 'leading off into the distance' kind of composition.

This painting is from a photo I took in Seattle. I've edited it and removed or enhanced stuff.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

TESTAMENT #2 -Marginal

Here is the second in the series.

I like this one better than the first. I'm improving! I struggled with getting the shapes right. I paint from photos that I have taken. I edited this one very little. I moved the bike rider out of the shadows and removed a few distracting details.
I really like the shapes of the freeways in this area. I'll be re-visiting it I think.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The themes of my artwork come from events in my everyday life. Subjects can range from scenes in an alley-way to the view of my husband and dog from the passenger seat.

For the last twenty-five years I've been a full time truck driver. The view from the cab of a Kenworth truck has provided plenty of inspiration. I enjoy the play of light and shadow on the ever-present cement structures found in urban settings.

I've been working on a series of paintings about that - freeways, overpasses, bridges, pillars and buildings. The challenge is to show the beauty in what is generally thought of as just ugly cement. I like the way the light plays on them, the way it highlights their shapes and creates new shapes in the shadow, light interplay.

I've set myself a challenge of at least eight such paintings for this series.

I've entitled the series Testament. I'm not sure if I can explain how I arrived at that title, or if I even should! In my mind, it has to do with what the future archeologists will think about what they find from our culture. Because they are so huge and everywhere, I imagine they will survive us. They will be the testament to our way of life.

This is the first, I've entitled TESTAMENT #1: Columbia