Commission Complete

As I wrote in my last entry, I have had a commission this summer and it has gone very well. I have had a lovely lady with whom to work. She and the person she was gifting the art to came by recently to pick up the work. It was, as always, a bittersweet experience to hand over a work that has been one’s obsession for weeks to the other half of the commission equation. But the joy of the lovely lady and the giftee was evident and delightful. Their reactions were exactly what one might hope. Here are some process photos and the finished product. And I am off to work on the other four in the mini series.

Grandmother’s Violin kba 2022

Commissions and a Peek

Commissions seem to go one of two ways, horribly or delightfully.

In the past people have tried to describe what is in their mind and ask that I replicate the vague unknown that only they can see. I admit my lack of communication in these settings and bow out. I have learned not to take those commissions.

Other times a person sees something they really enjoy about my work. That is so rewarding and I am always grateful to hear. It is so uplifting to know something was communicated to another and it touched them! Sometimes that person enjoys the work so much that they want to own it or have something like it.

These people often like to have a work personalized for themselves or as a gift for someone special. This is where I enjoy exploring with that person and these commissions usually go well.

I am currently involved in one of those delightful commissions. We have spoken of timelines, limitations, materials, special interests, price, transportation and potential displays. I won’t get into the details today because the work is still in process. But I will say that the enthusiasm of the person I am working with is so contagious. It has been a pleasure to work on this project with her.

I will show some photos of my process today and then share the finished work in the near future when it rests safely in her hands. I will give the hint though that it is odd to work outside of a book. All the pieces are unattached as opposed to working within a book where all of the pieces of paper are pages and so they are attached to the book and to each other. My goodness unattached is so much easier. I had nearly forgotten lol.

So for today process photos.

Thank you for taking time to stop by and see my words and photos.

I Don’t Have Jury Duty Today

I could expound on the importance of civic duties or talk about current events but today is not that day. Recently I had been requested and then when it came to the day, was excused from jury duty. Things were settled before I even called in to get my juror instructions. It was stated my group had been excused. I finished that afternoon with a smile.

The next morning my first thought was of jury duty. Pack a lunch, clothes for AC vents and walking from building to building, get directions set on the phone, and WHOA, “I’ve been excused from jury duty”! I repeated it in my head, “I have been excused from jury duty!”. As I got up and did the regular coffee and morning start it came to me: I can do anything I want today! What do I want to do? I was thrilled. I danced. I giggled. I had another cuppa. All because I was no longer booked for the day and week. It was an amazing feeling of freedom and possibilities.

I think I will wake tomorrow and not have jury duty again!


In the last year or so I have become fascinated with junk journals. Basically junk journals are homemade books made out of everyday items. Thus the name. They can be scrapbook, journal, and/or collections. They can be strictly for writing or can be made of many pockets that are available to stuff full of ephemera, (often decorative stuff but stuff all the same). Ticket stubs, receipts, tags and writing cards just to name a few items might show up in Junk Journals. I am not doing the variety of these books justice in this brief description. But whatever the mind can think can be.

Much like scrapbooking one can buy anything and everything to create a journal at a local craft store. Equally, antique or thrift stores are full of potential ephemera. Too much reliance on the store bought items, in my opinion, takes away the charm. So junk and actual ephemera are my emphasis. I prefer decorating my own papers and using bits from my life to create books. But the shiny and fancy things do have their allure.

Some of my books are recycled books with painted pages making them art books. I am enjoying getting back into the writing groove and making a combination art, writing and collections.

Besides the variety of junk journals there are also an amazing number of You Tubes that constantly bring unique and interesting approaches to the art form. One person plays off the ideas of another, some give live demonstration, and some people across the globe participate in collaborations which are often centered around a seasonal or other topic theme to keep the ball rolling. And many of us are chasing that ball enthusiastically.

Here are a few of my finished JJs.

Another Room of Her Own

Prior to moving into this house and studio I have had at least five work spaces and seven gallery opportunities since I came to live in Tucson six years ago. All of those have been a boost and some of them have been a drain. But it is good to look back and know I have been working all along.

Against my wish that you might think me a tidy person I will be posting some photos of my work space. This will help later on when I refer to my printing station or the big cutting table or maybe even that I have cleaned out (don’t hold your breath yet) my paper shelf. The visual comes first to give structure to the future story.

To begin come in my door and take a right and you stand at my printing station. Currently I work on Gelli Plates so no need for a press.

Next there are a sewing area and then a writing desk. (Truth be told though most of my writing still happens from my ancient pillow stuffed chair.)

Sewing spot
Writing desk

A work table that stays stocked with lots of paper tools and a broad cutting table make good use of the center of the room. The cutting table photo also shows the tool cart and large paper shelf.

Round work table
The cutting table and storage areas

Finally the shabby chic storage station. And then we have made it back to the door.

The shabby chic named for how I see it as opposed to how it actually is

Those are the highlights. I am hoping this will be my final studio and the visuals will only vary slightly. So these images will give you, the reader, some sense of the space.

I leave you with one layered print pulled from the Gelli plate (at the printing station, see we are using the visuals already). We were without AC for 4th of July weekend. So this week I have watched my prints turn toward the warm color palette as we wait for our Monsoon season to really begin and cool things down. Until later then,

Hot Sun, Hot Moon by Kathy Baker-Addy at B. Arts

The Parade Marches On

To say I have been away a while is an understatement. Much to that story. Today I focus on today. I will fill in some of the interesting art parts from the days before along the way.

Today I find myself in a new studio, in a new house, in a new city from where I left off in this blog. I have recently closed a gallery/studio and now work exclusively from home. It is my art oasis. My schedule is very free and I spend my days here creating. I will show you my space soon.

Today I will decorate a Gelli print and work on a painting, add paper mache to a violin sculpture, work in my Almanac Journal (see also 1134 Press a lovely vlogger that I have been following) pull some new gelli prints and (to finally close this run away sentence) surprise myself with other topics.

Today I leave you with a few visuals. These are small junk journals i have created in the studio recently. They are my Tea Bag Book, my Coaster Book, my Scrap Book using purchased paper and my own, my Bag Book made entirely of bags, one page of my Daily Collage Book, and my The Queen of Hearts Book. I hope to return on Thursday after a bit of organization for this new era of my blog. Thank you for returning here with me. You make the difference. You help me to keep moving forward.

13 Days But Who’s Counting

 IMG_0105 IMG_20150411_184912_813  IMG_20150415_161758_633             As some of you might remember, recently I wrote that I am interested in trying out painting in the open air at the up and coming Plein Air Art Festival here in Bisbee. This idea of going into a public setting and painting among the general population, much less painting landscapes, is not my strength. But the opportunity is at hand. Now I am out of Alaska and am back in Arizona so the question is: Will I participate with the Plein Air Festival in two weeks?.

The answer is yet to come but I seem to be headed in a good direction! I have now applied for and paid my entrance fee. I am beginning to look at the landscape in terms of light and shadows, of colors and contrasts and of  general composition. I need to get back into the swing of things here in Arizona so that I can get down to actually painting outside.. If I  don’t have that experience before October 9th I am rather certain I won’t participate. So the emphasis must be to prepare and stay informed.

Here is a partial list of the schedule for the festival:

Plein Air Festival in Bisbee, AZ  October 9-10, 2015

“Schedule of Events 

Friday, October 9

10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Registration and stamping of canvas at Bisbee Books & Music in the Convention Center. Artists can begin painting after canvases are stamped. Artists may paint anywhere in Old Bisbee.

7:00 p.m. Artist Reception at Central School Project

Saturday, October 10

 9:00 a.m. to noon Registration and canvas stamping continues at Bisbee Books & Music.

 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Artists set up paintings to be judged and to sell in Grassy Park. Artists must bring their own easels or stands for display of their work.

 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Paintings can be viewed and purchased by the public. Paintings must remain on easels until judging is completed. “

This list goes on a bit including the judging, live music, etc but you get the drift.

So now my TO-Do list looks something like this:

  1. Create Easels to withstand Bisbee wind and hold four works of art.
  2. Purchase 4-8 canvases
  3. Practice drawing/painting outside in the garden, down the street, in Old Bisbee etc
  4. Practice more
  5. Continue to practice
  6. Stay calm and remember I am having fun

There are already 47 other participants signed up but clearly I am trying to not think of this as a competition but as an opportunity of growth. More on all of this soon . . .

A Toe in the Water or Cannonball Right On In?

IMG_20140527_145641_926  One of the most difficult things I know as an artist, and hear from other artist as high on their tough to-do list also,is taking art or portfolios to gallery owners. The thought of handing your heart and soul to a person who’s bottom line is indeed a bottom financial line and asking if they want to take a risk on you can be a very daunting task. I have known the occasional artist that doesn’t think twice about doing it and has a “devil may care – no skin off my teeth” approach to sharing their wares but many of us dread and despair over the very thought.

Coming up on October 9th and 10th we artist have a chance in Bisbee, AZ to dive right on in. There is a Plein Air Art Festival planned by Bisbee After 5  CALL TO ARTISTS: 2015 Bisbee Plein Air Festival!plein-air-festival/cho6

The general info is that a person pays $25 to register as a participant. Then gets their canvases and or painting papers stamped. Then finds a place in Tombstone Canyon in Bisbee to set up and paint for the day. Then repeat the painting part on Saturday until 3pm when you put your top four paintings up on the easels. The judging happens then. Cash prizes and an opportunity to sell those works of art in the open air happen after the judging.

All in all it reads like a fun productive time. For those of us a little shy it gives us, lets say “the opportunity” to jump right in at the public level as we paint outside in the open air and in the full view of Bisbee. But also the chance to sell artwork as well as networking with other artists. Open to any and all artists not just folks from Bisbee.

I am usually a toe in the water kind of person but I have decided I am going to go for it and dive in.I am not even a landscape or cityscape artist but there are so many reasons why it makes sense to give it a go. The organization will keep only 25% of the money I make in sales (You see how I am focused on being optimistic.already) and in the art world that is very good. Cash prizes are worth considering; I could use some new brushes. Making an easel and trying out my outdoor painting techniques can be worked on between now and then. and it is a good chance to saturate myself in a weekend of painting at the same time i exercise my brave genes.

So I put on my metaphoric swimming cap and here we go  . . . I will try to keep posted and pictured as I go.

Layers of Civilization

IMG_20150822_165938_550 Supper and tea on the wood stove while i type away.IMG_20150822_170037_819A peek at the antenna that brings me cell and computer reception.

I am finishing the Alaskan part of my year and becoming a bit reflective about the time that I have had here at home before I return south for the winter.

There is something so interesting about sitting by the wood stove using the internet out here. Thanks to my cell phone’s hotspot I have the luxury of composing this post from my quiet cabin.

This cabin is considered a dry cabin and that basically means no running water. Any electricity that is here is from batteries filled by a generator. There are no refrigerators, microwaves or toasters but ice in a cooler and the wood stove or propane stove accomplish all that are needed. I have no electricity in my studio but instead have two stunningly large windows that flood the room with daylight during the summer.

Long story short this is an amazing blend of old rustic and new modern living. The contrast of that sometimes boggles the mind. Being a city gal sometimes I am still surprised to find myself not only out here doing things from each lifestyle but actually enjoying it!

Tenative Tangles

Traveling means moving about in a faster, fuller pace. I, my art, and my work (Project Management/Virtual Assistant)  are trying to keep up. I am trying to untangle Tumblr., Instagram, Twitter for work and now the art form Zentangles.

The illustration posted here is what I call “doodling while a movie is on” but in all fairness I am supposed to call it “Zentangle inspired art”. Hmmm.

I did purchase the cheap version book and have looked at the idea behind this particular style of doodling so I am  inspired to continue doodling during quiet evening hours. I think that was the goal of the original book.  Although they also would like to have me buy more books, specific papers, pens, go to classes and be mindful.

I find though, that my mind is full of trying to figure out the Tumblr., Instagram, Twitter parts of my work while eating sushi with friends, playing at the playground with grands and catching up with the world Alaska style. So perhaps i will settle for a zen like attitude while I am tangled in instantly tumbling through life in a beautiful place like sunny Alaska.

And so it goes and so it goes, and so it ever goes . . .