Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Retrospect of 2010

As i wind down the last days of preparation for Christmas I begin to look back at this year of my life. I cannot separate my art life from my personal one because it is so intertwined that to do so would diminish one or the other. Because this year has been filled with so many blessings I feel it has poured out onto the canvas. I have spent this last year exploring my creative voice and hopefully taking my art to a new level both in content and in skill. It has opened creative doors for me in a way i couldn't even imagine. And I look forward to the coming year as i continue to explore and dance with this series I call "Vessels".

We have so much to be thankful for, each and every one of us, that to dwell on the challenges of both life and relationships would create a negative energy that is only a waste of our life and the moments that make it up. So my mantra for 2011 will be to focus on the positive like never before and let the negative moments fly past me like a cloud in the sky!!

I thank you all for visiting my blog and for your positive support of this artful journey and wish you only peace and creativity in the New Year!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Final works

Spiritual Guide
12 x 15

Freeing Her Spirit
16 x 20

I put the finishing touches on these last two works and have hung them with their sister paintings in a great space at The Art of Reiki, 251 River Street in Troy. The work is so appropriate for the space and we will enjoy a Holiday Open House tomorrow. It is so nice to see them all hung together in a space that enhances their colors and energy.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Freeing the Spirit

Finally, i have resolved the work that has taken up so much of my summer and fall. As you can see from previous posts it has come a long way. My mistake early on was not beginning with a strong design in mind so it has taken quite a few reworkings to resolve the design problems. Since this is a study for a much larger work I will redesign it with the things i learned from this rework and apply them to the next one. I really like the idea of the figure starting out confined to a globe (vessel) and gradually finding her way to freeing herself. Much like many women all over the world today, it takes a long time and a lot of work to truly become free in mind, spirit and body.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A reiki vision

The first time i experienced reiki i had a recurring vision of a young woman beckoning me through an archway. It has stayed with me for two years. I finally was able to express it visually. This is the first study. Eventually the archways will be expanded and then transferred to large canvas.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Where does the time go?

In checking my blogger dashboard I realize it has been almost two months since i last posted!! What have i been doing? Well, for one thing i have been working on a very challenging piece. As it has been unfolding I have taken issue with parts of it and when that is resolved i find another section i am unhappy with. But i am determined to resolve the entire work vs. starting over. I could begin again with a better basic design and I still may do so but the persistent part of me wants to see how far i can take this to a resolution. I will post here the latest of these reworks and as soon as i can post the final solution i will. (The area that is challenging me is the upper left quadrant.) any thoughts?
In the meantime i am beginning another new work in this "Vessels" series and look forward to sharing the process with you.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


"Sisterhood "

36 x 60

The latest in the Vessels series. I am at a loss for words as to how each of these come to be. They just seem to percolate, formulate and make their way to the canvas.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Triptych#2 Nature's Vessels

The great part about artistic license is you get to change your mind, anytime! I was playing around with photomerge and decided to see what my original triptych idea would like putting them altogether. So here it is triptych #2 Nature's Vessels.
I think it works, what do you think?
I'm still sitting on the fence with regards to transferring them to larger canvases. These are on watercolor paper and measure approx 26 across x 16. I'm afraid i won't be able to replicate the same atmosphere of depth and mystery. So for now i'm going to live with them on a smaller scale.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Study of Nature's Vessels

This is a study i have been working on along with two others for my series of Nature's Vessels. I thought i would have a triptych but the more i look at them I think this should remain on its own. The following two i believe belong together maybe as a diptych.

I would like to now transfer these to large canvases.
In the meantime, I had another vessel "epiphany" (sp?). So i have been working simultaneously on that as well. This whole theme is really beginning to take on a life of its own. It seems everywhere i turn there is a vessel connection!
I was talking with someone the other day who was telling me about her daughter's connection with horses and riding and how it was helping her feel grounded. It is common knowledge of how horse therapy has helped many people with various issues and there it was. Horses as vessels!!
i'll have to research this some more.
I am happy to report my Divine Vessels have been invited to show at The Art of Reiki in Troy. It is a beautiful space for them and very appropro for the series.
So while my posts are sporadic I have been working hard and hope to continue posts of my vessel journey! I hope you are all enjoying this beautiful summer and staying cool!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Nature's Vessels

As I was working on this last triptych i had a nagging sensation to create trees. The images of trees kept popping into my head and eventually on paper with charcoal. As i worked the first image a figure began to appear very obscurely. Since the original work was created from design #2 of Divine Vessels (bottles) i knew it had to mean something connected with my vessel series. So i researched the symbolism of trees and the connections began to take form.

One of the explanations really resonated with me. Trees symbolize unusual strength, resolution and courage; a constant, dynamic interchange between matter and spirit, earth and heaven. Hmmm. so why does the figure (usually the female) keep surfacing in my work?

I have to conclude that trees serve as a symbol for vessels. That they deliver unusual strength, resolution and courage in nature. I have seen these same virtues in the human spirit (especially females) during my lifetime. So there's the connection!

I have posted below the original charcoal work that will make its way through the process on paper and canvas as well as the draft grisaille of the first of three works in this particular series of Nature's Vessels. With a few minor value and shape changes i have transferred it to watercolor paper approximately 11 x 15. I will then choose my palette and apply glazes.
Perhaps another triptych is in the wind.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Divine Vessels
60 x 76
Acrylic Glazes

This post completes an ongoing project I began in October. I have learned many things from this experience....too numerous to mention here. But the overarching lesson learned was to never underestimate the ability and the need of the human spirit to continue to learn and grow and express ones self. This was truly an amazing experience. I would be remiss if I didn't mention my mentor on this journey, Kathy Cartwright (
Thank you Kathy!
Below is my artist statement for the series "Vessels". Following that is a statement that pertains specifically to the triptych Divine Vessels.
My art reflects my search for life’s meaning through the exploration of the interrelations between the spiritual, physical and emotional realms. In that search, I’ve found a myriad of “vessels” that contain and from which emanate life-giving forces. The paintings in this series utilize vessels to metaphorically contextualize the transference of energies that nourish life both physically and spiritually. Although my paintings include recognizable subjects, I’m predominantly interested in the interplay of color and form, not just representation. Each work begins with the transformation of ordinary containers, such as bottles or vases, into abstracted forms that interrelate to create a symbolic vessel. Because I am a vessel, my canvases are the vessels that carry my thoughts and emotions to the viewer. I choose historically symbolic colors such as red for “life blood,” yellow for “power,” and blue for “truth” to support the message in each painting. I intend to explore the myriad of possibilities of this theme in the future.

Triptych: Divine Vessels
Divine Vessels is the first painting in the Vessels Series that expresses my belief in divine spirits that guide, inspire, and protect us. These vessels connect us to another life plane; they deliver messages and give us faith and hope. This triptych depicts earthly male and female figures in juxtaposition to the central divine figures as an expression of the connections between these two life planes. My palette consists of colors that support this theme expressing truth(blues); wisdom (violets/purples); power/presence (yellows/golds) and faith/peace (white).

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Seeing the Light at the End of the Canvas

Just thought i would report that the triptych is still in progress. Hopefully by the end of the month it will be complete and i will post it. I am presently applying the color glazes. Even though i am working hard to master this technique, I don't know when i have had so much fun applying color! At the same time I am writing my artist statement about this series. This is not so much fun. It is very hard to put into words the emotion and thoughts of my work. I have always struggled with this. With my mentor, teacher and friend Kathy's ( help i am sure i will accomplish this and more. So bear with me a while longer and hopefully you will feel it was worth it!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Divine Spirits III

Here they are: Divine Spirits III, the third in the series I have been working on. It has been an amazing journey to get here. I liken it to learning to paint with my left hand or trying to learn to run backwards!! But it was worth the effort. I am now transferring them to five foot canvases and hoping to end up with a triptych of Divine Spirits. Should be fun!! Stay tuned!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Divine Spirit II

This is the counterpart of Divine Spirit I. If you look closely you can see many of the same formations as the first one. Both designs came from the same original design but with fracturing shapes and viewing it in a different perspective a male figure emerged. I should have Divine Spirits III up in a few days. i just have a few minor changes to make!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Two more works on the horizon...

I have just finished the underpaintings for two more works in this series that seems to be developing from my inner voice. The first one is the male counterpart to my last blog post which I have temporarily named Divine Spirit. It is the second work to be created from the same design. So at this point I shall name him Divine Spirit II.

The third work is from a totally different design of bottles but has nonetheless become a "third
party." I guess an appropriate temporary title would be Divine Spirits III.
At this point i am just wondering how the concept of bottles (or vessels) fits into the designs. In looking up the word vessel in the dictionary i found this definition: a person regarded as a holder or receiver of something nonmaterial: a vessel of grace. for thought!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Art is About....

On my friend kathy cartwright's blog ( we had a discussion about finishing the sentence My Art is About..... I began to think about this and how to explain what my art is about. Not an easy thing to verbalize. So as i let that thought simmer for a while i came up with the following:

My art is more than "just" art.

It's a way of life
It's an expression of myself
It's an extension of myself
It's a daily prayer
It's a meditation
It's a look into my soul
It's my soul speaking, singing and drawing
It's a deep breath
It's inhaliing life
It's gratitude
It's a gift
It's more than "just" art.
It's hard work
It's a best friend
It's sometimes a foe.

So for now this is the only way i can verbalize what my art is. The rest will have to speak for itself on the canvas.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ta Dah! The Finished Work

After many weeks and many many layers of glazes I have finally completed one of the designs i have been working on. It literally took a turn from the original landscape format design (shown below and in previous posts) into an interesting figure. It is amazing to me that the results came from a bottle design. Posted below is the transformation from original design to grisailles to the final work at the left. I haven't named her yet. Any suggestions??

Original design. It needs more division of space or fracturing.
This became too fractured and overdone. I realized i had to go too far to find the middle place to come back to.

I was able to "unfracture" it by going back to the original design and reworking it.

This was much better. I now needed to find the design within the design. This was accomplished by rotating the work and choosing a portrait format. Adding the first glazes helped to define the figure and i continued to develop her with subsequent glazes. I chose a phalo blue and cad red palette. It was interesting working with only two colors. Even more interesting was watching it take shape layer by layer. Working over a grisaille helped me stay within my value ranges.
Adding some opaques in the final stages added definition and depth to some areas needing more than a glaze.

There are approximately 20 layers of glaze on this piece. I am developing her counterpart and hope to share that also with you when it is done. Both figures developed out of one original design. The most interesting part of these works is that the biblical looking figures that are coming out of the designs have been subjects that have been on my mind lately and in my thoughts. Creating designs from your mind or memory will certainly bring more meaning to your art!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tool of the Trade

While i was reworking the design fractures Kathy suggested i use an overlay to see if i liked the changes before making them on the artwork itself. What a great tool! i highly recommend it especially for complex designs. You get so bogged into the work itself you can't see the forest through the trees so to speak. So i made up a piece of .005 overlay plastic and sectioned it off into thirds. By laying this over the top and stepping away i was able to look at the whole area (but also break it down into smaller areas) to check for unity and variety. I could marker in some changes and tell right away whether it might work or not. Best of all i can erase all marks and use it again and again. Thought i would share this with those of you who may not already use an overlay.

I have started to add the glazes and hopefully will be ready to share soon.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Realizing that i went too far to the left on my last grisaille I decided to go back to the drawing board and refracture the piece. I think sometimes you need to go too far in order to know how far that is so you can come back to a place that is moderate. That is what happened to me with the last work posted. As i began to add color i came to the conclusion that i had overdone the fracturing part of the work and needed to go back to a stage where i had not fractured the space enough. From that is was able to come to the two works below. After weeks of dividing up space i think i now get the importance of fracturing with variety, rhythm and unity in mind. Not an easy task for someone who has just gone with her intuition. So much to think about! But i found eventually you are able to keep more than one element in mind when working. It just takes practice, practice, practice!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Final grasaille, really!

A bit more (ok maybe a lot more) fracturing of the shapes before adding the glazes. This one became so much more complex than i could have imagined. I added a few circles for good measure. I'm not sure if i will keep them or not.
The learning curve on this one was how much further i could take it than i thought i could. Kathy kept gently nudging me to go a little more. I think it is really fractured now!
So I will begin adding glazes now. I think i am going to start with an analgalous palette so as not to get into trouble quickly. This is new way of using acrylics for me. While i love layering colors i believe this technique can add many many layers of glazing before complete. It will also be interesting to me to see if i can get down to my original design or if it morphs into something better. We'll see.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Two final here comes the color

Making the final revisions to the designs has really made a difference. The first one i ended up turning upside down. It seems to have more of a dynamic feel to it in this orientation. The second one needed a few more changes that i think gives it a look of design moving off the surface, that maybe there is more to it not shown that may invite the viewer to want to see more. At any rate by the end of the week i should be adding the glazes. this is such a new way of working for me. Very deliberate and thought out. I was never one to want to spend too much time in the planning stage, but i actually enjoyed coating the watercolor paper with gesso to get it ready to transfer these designs over and then repaint in gray scale. It seems like a lot of work but it also seems to prepare my mind for what may come. Sort of like waiting for Santa Clause!!