This blog is intended to encourage others on their journey into their creative "artscape". I have enjoyed many years as an artist learner, creator, and teacher. Life is inspiring, and I want to share the vantage point that I have been fortunate enough to view life from. I want to move a smidge over, and invite you to sit right next to me, and enjoy a 360 degree view of my "artscape". Join me in discovering and uncovering the creative soul that we all possess.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Hooray! My Skates won a prize at Tibbits... 1st place People's Choice.  How fun is that! The title of the show was "Kickin up your Heels"
Revelation- The process of these paintings was pretty interesting for me. They were completely unplanned. They started with neon colors that you can still see a bit through the white in the skates. I just put color around the canvas- it reminded me of colors in an 80's roller rink- so I decided to add skates. My first skates weren't drawn or painted very well, so I painted over them and left a bit of the original- you can see some of the outline and laces. Then I decided I wanted the word skate in a stencilish style in the background. I used red which created a need for a change in the neon colors- so I darkened the background and pulled red around more places. There is quite a bit of texture in the diagonal lines which you can't get a feel for in these images, and the color is washed out a bit. The neon still gives an underlying vibrancy. I splashed about paint to give more motion, and called it done!
To me, this is a pretty fun way to paint. I guess I don't really love to have to plan things all out, I prefer to see what happens. The drawback seems to be that my design suffers a bit. When I don't plan, I often think I should've planned the space a little better... but the process is more appealing to me this way.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

time out!

Jamie at the farewell assembly for his retirement.

We have just had some very exhausting, emotional weeks! My last day of school for the year was June 2nd. If you're a teacher you know how tiring those last weeks are! In my last 6 weeks of school I close up 3 rooms of art supplies, and I say goodbye to 1,200 students... While I was doing all of this, we were making some very tough family decisions.
After some very late nights and much discussion, my husband made the difficult decision to retire from his job as an Elementary Principal! The state put forth an incentive, but you had to decide fast! Friday was my husband's last day with students after many years of teaching, coaching, and being a principal. He's been a principal since he was 30 years old.
His last day was a very emotionally draining day. His school had a surprise assembly, and they really did surprise him. The classes each had a little presentation for him. It was adorable! Some sang, some read letters, some gave pictures, some presented gifts... we laughed, we cried. There was a slide show and one of the teachers sang. That's when everyone really started crying. It was extremely moving to see all those kids crying. Then there was a lot of hugging. There were treats for everyone. It was such a sweet way to end a year, and a career. What a lot of loving, caring, endearing children and co-workers! We are still talking about it, it was too much to take in! My husband was extremely touched.
Last Saturday his dad went into the hospital with heart problems. All evening there were tornado warnings- so the hospital staff kept having to move patients to the hall. The warning would be over, they would move patients back to their rooms, then a warning would start again! 3 times they moved patients to the hall and back. We waited in emergency until 4 in the morning- waiting for warnings to be over and he could be put in a regular room. He wound up having heart surgery a few days later. Now he's home and doing well. We are all recovering!
Between late nights with retirement decision making and paper work, days in the hospital, and many other events... like open houses, birthday celebrations, showers, etc. that come in the Spring ... and I had 2 days of curriculum workshops... I'm exhausted!
Hopefully next week will involve some quiet time for art work!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

more links

I'm adding a link to TAB (teaching for artistic behavior).  There are several links to blogsters who are TAB teachers!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

wonderment: empty room

...beginnings of a wild mask!

The students had their last day of school yesterday- of course it was wild happiness. The building could hardly contain all the thrilling fun that was happening! In stark contrast, the art room is pretty empty today. Tables are down, walls are bare, crayons are collected, tubs of art paraphenalia are ready to be tucked away. No giggling children... It hardly looks or feels like an art room now.
Every year I vow to take the time to sort through things better at the end of the year- but the time comes and I just want to hurry up and be done! Right now I am in negotiations with myself on this issue. Do I want to do it now, or in the Fall? This minute, I am leaning toward Fall...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

garden thoughts

more garden girls...
This is a series I would like to continue. Perhaps a project this summer.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

revelation: gardening- art connection

This last weekend I spent a day cleaning up the garden. It was the first time this Spring that I have really dug in and spent quiet hours alone with my plants. It's like getting reaquainted with old friend. I caught up with the roses and checked on who was budding and who was having a little trouble getting started; I checked on the baby climatis that was planted last year and saw that it was thriving; I noticed who was overcrowded, and who was dwindling... The bees are hovering, something has been nibbling my rose leaves, there are bird's nesting everywhere... I was trying to straighten a trellis, and I was mortified to find there was a bird's nest hidden in the climatis! Two baby birds fell out! The mama bird was beside herself, frantically bopping around a bush near my head! The birds fell in the English ivy, I could hear them chirping. I found one, and with my gloved hand tried to replace it in the nest. That was the best I could do, but when I checked on it later, it was gone again. I could still hear the babies and the mama chirping to each other- I'm hoping they live. I feel so bad about that! Later, my husband and I were sitting on the front porch swing and a hummingbird flew right in front of our faces, changed direction, and flew off! It really took us by surprise, we didn't know what it was- it happened so fast! We had quite a start! The hummingbirds love the front porch area. Then the swallows swooped right over our heads to a nest they built right on the porch! It's an ugly, muddy mess of a nest- but I guess it will stay until the babies fly! We decided the porch wasn't at all relaxing- and headed inside!
I love my garden. This is where I do a good deal of thinking. As I weed, trim, and putter around I collect my thoughts. I mull over my art ideas, I memorize colors, I trace petals and leaves in my mind, I think about bible verses, and I gather general concepts. For me, art and gardening go hand in hand. I watch the garden from a distance in the winter, but I think over and plan for the next year. In warmer weather I check on my garden up close and personal. When I am digging and physically working outside, I do my best painting in my mind!

tip #10- learn something new

I'm really trying to learn something new as often as I can, it spurs on the creativity, helps my brain, and adds to my repetoire!
I pick a big thing every year- and it's not necessarily in art- for instance, one year it was learning to crochet, another it was learning about horses, this year was internet networking (thus the blog :)... Every new thing can lead to another! My crocheting is leading to thinking about other textiles, and possibly weaving. I wove a little change purse this year, and will probably do more next Fall.
I try to learn something new everyday. I choose a topic and find a daily email about it.  I have signed up for daily poems, about drawing, about painting, this day in history, about running...
Today I watched a video about portraits on It was steps to a 5 minute portrait. I took notes in my sketchbook!
I also look at quite often for inspiring new ideas! Artbabble, and Art 21 are good sources for me too. I love to see what's new, and what's going on with artists!
I would love to hear ideas from other artists and teachers- what do you do to keep fresh and new?