Sunday, February 26, 2012


" Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There's plenty of movement, but you never know if it's going to be forward, backward, or sideways."
- H. Jackson Browne Jr.

People accuse me of never relaxing. It's true that I always have a running list in my head, that I am always problem solving, as most of my work is experimental in nature. I will always be the first person to confess that the older I grow, the less I feel I know for sure. I never know what will be popular. So, I'm always creating new pieces, rarely taking a day off even working when I'm supposed to be on vacation. Often, the pieces that speak the loudest to me, leave other people scratching their heads. I enjoy receiving feedback from people. Some of my pieces take months to complete, and I can get tunnel vision. I love releasing a new work into the wild and seeing how it fares. Many times I need to drag a piece back into the studio for revisions, which can, in the moment, feel like a step backward if I allow it to. In reworking a piece, more often it ends up being a step forward, and a period of growth as a human and as an artist. My greatest desire is that by throwing as much of myself out there into the world, I will leave my mark by inspiring other people to do so as well. Other elements in my life are always shifting, but the need to create and finding a means of doing so will always be the driving force for me opening my eyes every day.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


" Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough. "
- Charles Dudley Warner

This is something new that I am trying....simplicity. This dress was constructed from two men's dress shirts. It is part of my new line of altered men's wear.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Lost and Found

" Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time."
-Thomas Merton

Someone asked about the collages that I've been publishing with my posts lately. They are from a collection of encaustic collages that I created a couple of years ago. Most of them are on 5x7 or 8x10 stretched canvases or canvas boards. Here are a few more.....

Friday, February 17, 2012

" The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Fredrich Nietzsche

I am a cocoon....

"It's easier to stay somewhat grounded if I can allow my mind to roam around on it's own most of the time." - Erin Smith

I am an introvert. It's something that I've struggled with all of my life....mainly because it's difficult for other people I think. I've always been accused of ' being in my head' too much. Growing up on a farm in Minnesota was a blessing for me as a child....hours and years of time alone, or usually in the company of a cat or 12, drawing, sifting through generations of artifacts buried in the buildings and groves of trees surrounding our property, imagining and always creating things. As an adult living in LA, life can become overwhelming for me. I've had to learn how to maneuver the world in a much different way, accepting that I can only control my environment a small percentage at a time. Being ' in my head' is the only way that I can function when crowds of people get to be too much. I love to be out in it, but as an a large degree I am still that little kid standing at the edge of the playground visually taking in information about how people interact. It doesn't bother me to not be in the center of it. I have such a busy inner world that never shuts down and keeps me up nights working through a backlog of creative ideas that flit around like clouds of butterflies. I feel blessed when I hear from anyone who has purchased or received anything I've created. It's a way that I can commune with a world of people whom I am not usually brave enough to just walk up to and start a conversation with. Thank you for appreciating and taking care of my butterflies when I've set them free.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

" We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love."

- Dr Seuss

Friday, February 10, 2012

Everything Old is New Again....

I've been considering this Green Artist title I've fairly recently been given. I think it's kind of funny how a really old idea has been given a hip and cool name. I grew up wearing ' hand-me downs' from cousins and sisters, that my mother would often dress up with decorative trims and groovy patches. She sewed terry cloth towels into swimming suit cover up's for us. My grandmother had sewn dresses for her and her sisters using the decorative fabric that flour sacks were made from. Everyone knew how to sew, repair and alter clothing. Very little was discarded. When shirts were too worn for their intended use, their buttons were snipped off and put into jars for future repair on other things ( and for the visual enjoyment of small children ) and the salvageable bits of fabric were sewn together into quilts that have been inherited for generations of use. The idea that you didn't just throw things away, that you salvaged, reused, altered and fixed as many things as possible is the environment that I was raised in. In our current environment of extreme consumerism I am happy that I have been able to instill these older ideas in my children. Sure, many of the pieces that I 'upcycle' are taking those old ideas and putting them on steroids. It's become more of a form of that you can wear wherever you go. But in my heart, it all began while watching my mom pulling a needle and thread through some one's hand-me-down's.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


" The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

-Fredrich Nietzsche

Friday, February 3, 2012

Imagination and Resourcefulness

The other day I was considering how, at many points in my life, my artistic mediums have been dictated by the lack of finances and my desperate need to ' make things'. Fashioning a gift for someone out of bits and pieces of whatever I had in the house tested me and forced me to stretch my imagination as well as my skills. Sheer poverty has forged my creative path to the point that it defines what I now CHOOSE to use as my medium....found objects and salvaged materials. For years I had friends who would alert me where all of the ' good stuff' sitting on curbs in their neighborhoods was on garbage day. I became frightfully aware of the amount of waste in the world. It wasn't necessarily a ' groovy' thing to be doing when I was doing this...dumpster diving is not the life my parents had hoped for me. I'll never forget the day, four years ago, when a woman walked into the store where I was working, and asked me if, as a ' Green Artist' , I would be interested in teaching a series of workshops at an environmental event weekend she was planning. I was speechless....all of a sudden I had been elevated from ' Dumpster Diver' to 'Green Artist'. In my mind, they are the same things. But for most people, the term Green Artist is a lot more palatable....funny.

" I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of the telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities." - Dr Suess