Ink, Mod Podge & Prayer Pages

Ink, Mod Podge & Prayer Pages

I’ve added a little spin to some of my pen and ink drawings
Instead of drawing on blank pieces of paper,
I’ve been working on printed text.
I’m really happy with my results & wanted to share with you.

I use the following materials:
Stretched cotton canvas (10 inch by 10 inch)
Cheap craft paintbrush
Mod Podge
Faber-Castel Pitt Artist Pens (in varying widths)
Micron Colored Pens (on the “Beetle” only)
Pages from an old prayer book

“Five-Horned Rhinoceros Beetle” for the “Spooky” Collection

If Momsy is reading this post,
I’m a little bit busted.
Because my current favorite source of pages is from a forgotten prayer book I unearthed at her house.
I did ask permission…
And she did give it to me.

The small tight font and the ultra thin pages appeal to me
Though each sheet is light weight, it is quite strong as well.
To adhere the pages to canvas,
I brush Mod Podge on the canvas,
layer the sheets across the space,
then follow up with a second layer of Mod Podge on the sheets.
I use my fingers to rub the Mod Podge into the sheets and to smooth out any wrinkles.

“Crow I” for the “Spooky” Collection

My favorite pens to draw with are Faber-Castell Pitt Artist pens.
No question about it.
These are the best pens I’ve ever used.
If I use the super-fine or fine tip pens, I can get the light look of a rough sketch.
If I press a little harder, I can create a darker line.
Thicker nibs yield a different look.
So far, I’ve had no problem with smudging; even when I brush a final layer of Mod Podge over my drawings.

“Crow II” for the “Spooky” Collection

I chose to use a stretched canvas as the base of each drawing.
Though framed canvases look more finished,
I think a plain canvas hung on the wall works too.
An alternate base surface could be card stock or mixed media paper.

“Skull” for the “Spooky” Collection

I dive into these drawings with my pens.
I do not start with pencil sketches because pencils don’t do well on the Mod Podged surfaces.
I do start with a rough pencil sketch on a separate piece of paper.
Then I just go for it with my pens.

I recently spent some time in the Animation Studio at Disneyland.
(That’s where they teach people how to draw characters in short 15 minute sessions).
The folks at Disney don’t give out erasers.
Just pencils.
They say its because we’re doing rough sketches.
We don’t want perfect lines or perfect circles or perfect shapes.
We start with lightly drawn circles one on top of the other.
We darken the lines and curves that work best.
The others create a feeling of depth.
I like that explanation.
For the drawings in this post,
I didn’t have the option to erase.
So I embraced that spiel from those Disney Artists & just drew.


Just Plain Fun

Just Plain Fun


“Watching You” (Oil on 11×14 inch canvas) recolored for the “Spooky” collection

My kids went back to school today.
(So happy)
Which means fall will be rolling around the corner any minute now.
And Halloween will follow right behind that.

Ah… Halloween.
One of my favorite holidays.
I’m bringing my crochet spiders and webs back to out to play.
As well as a murder of hand stitched crows and other crafty things.
But this year,
I get to share my Halloween vision through my studio at CAL.
So I’m throwing paintings and drawings into the mix.

“Alone” (Oil on 12×15 inch canvas) for the “Spooky” collection

The “Spooky” collection goes live at my CAL studio this Friday, Sept 1, 2017.
Thus far, I’ve completed
Three oil paintings
A bunch of (mostly) pen and ink sketches on canvas,
Creepy crawly spiders.
And a handful of Day of the Dead painted rocks.
I’m also in the middle of a painting a blank faced oracle figure
and experimenting with making spider webs from cord (rather than yarn).
My plan is to add to the “Spooky” collection all the way until Halloween.

“Clown” (Oil on 16×20 inch canvas) for the “Spooky” collection

If you’ve been hanging out with me a bit,
You may have noticed I set up little challenges and deadlines for myself.
Why pressure myself like that?
Why push?
Does anyone even buy this junk?

Sometimes people buy things.
Mostly they don’t.
But I’ve thought a lot about making-art-to-sell…
And I’ve decided I’m not going to do that.

I make art for me.
I’d be thrilled if others liked my work.
But the opinion and purchasing power of “others” can’t be what drives my endeavors.
I work multiple projects at a time.
I use different mediums.
Some days I feel completely abstract.
Other days I just want to stitch something kitschy and cute.
As long as it keeps me imagining, planning and inspired,
I go with it.
I’m in it to learn.
To grow.
To try to communicate the stuff that lurks in my head and just won’t leave me alone.
Sometimes I get a little fatigued.
Other times (like now), I suspect I’m near incoherent I have so much I want to say.
But let me finish with this,
I dream,
I make,
And I keep trying because
1 – I can’t help myself
2 – It’s just plain fun




Flea Market Heaven

Flea Market Heaven

We’re back from our week of serious SoCal fun.
Now that our boys are 11 and 14, we can play so much harder.
In truth, they now outlast me.
I’m exhausted!
We rode bikes along the beach.
Ate far too much.
Visited with family.
Did touristy stuff in LA.
Spent four days (!) in Disneyland…
So much good stuff.
But my favorite activity of all was our morning in Flea Market Heaven.

My guys were looking for a unique So Cal activity.
Something edgy.
Something different.
They wanted something NOT Disney?
That’s when I put my two bits in and requested a field trip to The Rose Bowl Flea Market.
I was happily surprised when they agreed to go.

Initially, we browsed all the vendors around the perimeter of the stadium.
Comic book vendors.
Street food carts.
All very cool stuff…
…but where was the junk?
You know, the actual flea market stuff?

And that’s when I noticed the gates leading out to the parking lots.
Ah ha.
Found what I was looking for.
By this time, the guys were starting to wilt.
Southern California sunshine and asphalt are no joke.
They settled down with cool drinks in the shade of the stadium while I ran around the lots searching for treasure.

I wanted to buy so many things.
These weird little clowns statues.
Bakelite jewelry and beads.
Mid-century chairs.
Old cookie cutters.
A box of frames.
Big random rusty pieces of I’m not sure what.
So much temptation.
So little space in my suitcase.
In the end,
I only purchased a set of vintage metal trays.
Now that’s showing some discipline, huh?

Two things I love about best about flea markets:
The first is potential random treasure.
I never know what I might come across.
And treasure doesn’t necessarily mean expensive.
The second is being inspired by what I stumble across.
Those clowns?
They might show up in a painting or drawing someday.
The trays?
I’m going to use them in my workshops.
This “ART” sign?
How cool that she flipped the letters around and filled in the hollow side.
An idea to tuck away for the future.
Any flea market has potential treasure and inspiration.
The Rose Bowl Flea Market is massive and packed end to end with both.
  It really was Flea Market Heaven.



Hi there!
I’m taking a week off for family playtime.
Got my swimsuit, bike helmet and cool new Instax packed & ready to go.

“Good Lord Willing & the Creek Don’t Rise…”
We should be out & about having a fab time in So Cal.

“Spooky” Sneak Peak

“Spooky” Sneak Peak

September 1 – November 3
On display in my studio at The Charlotte Art League.

Obviously this is coming up just in time for Halloween.
I love:
the crisp cooler days of fall,
The changing colors in the leaves,
picking pumpkins,
baking treats,
designing Halloween costumes and decorations.
When it comes to Halloween,
I’m probably more kid-ish than my kids are!

So “Spooky” is most definitely in honor of Halloween.
All my favorites are coming out to play.
Spiders and webs.
Maybe even a black cat or a couple of rats.
But I’m also aiming for “Spooky” to be more than just Halloween-y.
I want my viewer to actually be a little spooked..

So my first question is this:
What scares you?
What scares me?
…Maybe I”m not the best person to ask, because way too many things scare me…
Seeing things scamper past me in my periphery.
The crows swooping silently into my lawn and then loitering all morning.
I wonder what they are looking at.
Old people with cataracts grown over their eyes.
Empty swings swaying in the breeze.
The dog suddenly barking in the night.
Eyes.  Watching me.
Too much silence.
Being utterly alone.
Or thinking I’m alone but looking up to find someone there.
But who isn’t afraid of clowns?

My next question is:
How do I share this feeling of what frightens me with you?
How do I make you feel it?
Even just the tiniest shiver of fear?