Monday, November 30, 2009

tis the season

Our first decoration of the impending holiday season. This year it's my turn to write the holiday letter/recap and husb's turn to illustrate the card. We alternate, and have been creating our own Christmas cards least 15 years. I use to make cards that could hang on the recipient's Christmas tree, but as our own tree got tinier, I just make cards now. Scan, write and print out at home, then mail. So, I guess I'd better start writing!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

tree silhouette

Inspired by the current exhibition, Stephen Curry: Next to Nothing, at the Athenaeum in LaJolla. I've been taking photos of the trees to the sky and then do minor tweaking in Photoshop (I really know very little about photoshop). Not sure how these will influence or work into my art, but I like 'em.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

the view

And here's the view from Ramona Dam, looking towards the Pacific Ocean.......

Day after thanksgiving

Husb and I joined a docent and a small group for a hike in Blue Sky Reserve. We hiked up to Ramona Dam, that would be 5 miles RT with an 800' altitude gain! Great hike and we hope a wonderful new tradition for the day after thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

a peek at a work in progress

You know, I teach on but I also take their online workshops too. Here's a small portion of a piece I'm working on in Janet Lasher's joggles class. It's layered and hand-stitched (hello carpel tunnel!) and it's going to be a little portfolio. If you click to enlarge, you'll see it's made of photocopies of my cyanotype/sunprints. And my black wing bird stamp makes several appearances on this.

And happy thanksgiving dear blog readers! I'm thankful for you, for my creativity, for my strong hands (particularly after stitching on this project all day) and my dearest husb.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

winery hibiscus

My one-on-one classes have been well received. I taught my 13th student yesterday, with 2 more scheduled next week. We meet at a nearby winery, and I show them how I do my journal pages as in "Sketching & Watercolor: Journal Style." This week, I had two blog readers, one from Portland and one from Northern California. They were visiting San Diego, and emailed me in advance. We spent 3 hours, drawing and painting and talking. It's terribly pleasant, and I think all the students have learned a bit. I've had some very good artists and some brand new beginners...All in all, a win-win for both of us. ($75 for 3 hours per person.)

Upcoming: December 5 in Encinitas at the gorgeous California Center for Creative Renewal, Sketching & Watercolor: Journal Style. Register through Ellen at or phone 760-436-3310. 9-5.
Collage 101 on December 12, 1-4 pm, at Bravo Workshops Register: 619-223-0058 or $44 plus $5 materials.

winery leaves

We have autumn in California. You just have to look for it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

winery succulent

Another page from my morning at the winery.

Sketching at the Mingei Museum

I mentioned our sketchcrawl group went to the museums to draw. I chose to draw straight to ink, with a more or less continous line. I got lots of pages drawn this way, it's quick and fun to do in a museum, where they won't allow watercolors. I filled in a little color later at home. A Dia de los Muertos altar at the Mingei Museum.

Sketching at Mingei

The exhibits at the Mingei Museum are always fabulous but the works, story and presentation of Sonabai was especially moving. These little birds are by an artist from her village, in her style of working. The patterns are those wonderful wire stamps make for block printing fabric in India.

I did this in a quick, straight to ink continuous line.

pods at the winery

I taught a one-on-one "sketching & watercolor: journal style" today at the winery to Cynthia from Portland. We spent a lovely morning at the winery drawing and painting. First we did continuous line drawings to warm up, and here's mine of the pods. I can see this as a texture stamp, or maybe sewn lines on a quilt.

winery pods

I do like pods...

november sketchcrawl 2009

We had a wonderful sketchcrawl yesterday! Eight of us met in Balboa Park sketched the morning at the fabulous Mingei Museum, my favorite museum in San Diego, then met for lunch and sharing our journals (photo) then a few of us went to the San Diego Museum of Art to sketch for a few more hours. Just a terrific day.

Hey, Art Unraveled website is up and you can register right now and they'll begin filling the workshops on December 15 for the August event! See registration details on the AU site.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

crow dreams

I do like birds quite a bit, can you tell? This is about 10x10" and mixed media on paper. I've recently found that a can of spray gesso and a piece of lace is an excellent addition to any piece of art.....

black wing bird

I drew a page of very quick continuous line drawings of some little artificial birds, they turned out so cool and funky, that I carved this stamp from one of them.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Another cyanotype (sunprint) creation. Thanks to my fellow artist and friend, Linda Blinn, she and I are really getting into all the things one can do to turn the simple process of cyanotype into a more complex art piece. For this one, I drew and painted on a finished sunprint.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

casa de estudillo, but thinking of Orvieto

This was my quick demo at the workshop last saturday.

One of my new friends is considering going to Orvieto with me and asked about traveling alone.
Here's what Bill, one of the organizers, had to say:
* About half of those who travel with us are single, which is nice because it isn't all pairs. Currently with your group, it looks like 2 are traveling alone.
From the very beginning we get together, meet each other, and start the process of becoming friends. Nobody does anything alone unless they want to. Our groups are small so it is easy to get to know the others.
Orvieto is unbelievably safe, feels that way because it is clean with lots of people about everywhere, is not big so there's no getting lost. Consequently, a single woman feels very comfortable there.
* We gather people's travel plans and help them hook up at the airport to travel to Orvieto together. Most planes from the US arrive in the morning at similar times so it is easy to meet. Our folks share pictures of themselves and we provide pictures and suggestions for where to meet. We also send a very detailed travel guide with pictures and instructions for getting to Orvieto. No one has been lost.
* We don't yet know if people will be staying on after our trip. They usually do. This fall, two ladies who had not met until they got to Orvieto planned the post-trip activities together. These conversations and planning is one reason we will set up a group - to facilitate it all.
Please let her know we would be happy to talk to her about any questions she has. Hope that helps! Ciao - Bill

The Bella Italia: Orvieto Sketchbook workshop is May 23-29. Husb and I will be arriving a few days before the official start, and our plan is to travel to Venice the following week...I promise I won't wear my pajama jacket from the previous post!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Call Anna Wintour

Noel, one of my friends and fave students took photos of the last class of my Mixed Media with Paper & Cloth class. (Next session starts February 1). Check out her photos here.

As for the classy jacket I'm wearing, it's a pajama top. I bought the pajamas at Target and thought the top looked like a artsy jacket. So I bought another pair of the pajamas, gave the pants to Helen to help her conquer her fear of monkeys, and now I wear the tops as a jacket. Do you think Vogue knows about this yet?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

terra cotta suns

This is one of my drawings from yesterday's visit to Old Town. It's tiny, about 2 x 3" and the rest of the page is empty! I plan on adding to it....Maybe from our sun collection on the back patio.


So, I'm new to knitting. I bought this goregous yarn at The Shepardess yesterday and began knitting. I realize I don't have a concept of what's it called?...the color way?...I'm knitting knitting and only through 3 of the colors on the ball of yarn. I want more immediate gratification of color! I'm thinking I'll unroll the ball of yarn and make two balls, then knit 2 stands at once...Either way, it's gorgeous yarn and I'm going to add it to a wet-felting project I have in mind.


Yesterday, I taught a "Sketching & Watercolor: Journal Style" workshop in Old Town, San Diego. The weather was perfect and the people in the class delightful! Here are some of the students in the garden of Casa de Estudillo an 184 year old hacienda.

My next "Sketching & Watercolor: Journal Style" is on December 5 in the gorgeous gardens of the California Center for Creative Renewal in Encinitas. Email Ellen to register.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Blue Acorns & the Quail

I took this to my framer today.....It will be at the Amigos de Allende Reception on November 21, 3-6pm in San Diego.

Art Reception Nov 21 San Diego

If you're in San Diego, come join us at the Amigos de Allende reception.

telephone wire basket

And oh so practical! here's my completed basket. I knit the sides and bottom with telephone wire. I did this artsy photo with the eggs, so you could gauge the size. Funky, huh?

You know you can check my website for classes and workshops, but I wanted to give a heads up on some recent additions (not yet on the website). I'll be teaching at Idyllwild Summer Arts Program July 4,5 and 6th. A 2-day Mixed Media with Paper & Cloth and a 1-day wet-felting workshop. And I just got word that I'll be teaching 3 one-day workshops at Art Unraveled in August 2010, Recylced Circles; Sketching & Watercolor: Journal Style; Duet: Watercolor Flowers & a hand-carved Stamp. And a week at the Montecito Family Summer Camp, (week 9) August 15-21st of morning workshops in Sketching & Watercolor.

And while I'm plugging, don't forget the week in Orvieto Italy May 23-29. The trip is a go, with just a few spots left!

Gosh, 2010 is promising to be quite an exciting year!

Sunday, November 08, 2009


Another semi-continuous line, loosey-goosey drawing. I'm having fun working freely, not quite knowing how it will turn out. And I love drawing and painting pumpkins!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Studio Art Quilts Associates

Hey, art quilters out there! You are a member of SAQA aren't you? Studio Art Quilt Associates is an international group of more than 2400 members, all who love and support the art of the quilt. Just take a look at the website and you'll see some wonderful artwork. Well, yours truly is the new SAQA co-rep for Southern California. I'm actually the SoSoCal rep, because Loris Bogue is the north Southern Cal rep, Jamie Fingal is the central SoCal and I'm the South SoCal. I'm just learning the ropes, so don't ask me any hard questions--but do take a look at SAQA and think about joining.

The quilt pictured, Rosewood, was created by wet-felting, then I cut it apart and reassembled it, much like I did for Eucalyptus Zen, that was exhibited at both the Long Beach and Houston International Quilt festival. And this photo doesn't do it justice--it doesn't show the bead work that adds a little shine to the piece. Don't forget I'm teaching wet felting in the San Diego area on January 9.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

pears pom thread

A loosely-goosey continuous line, watersoluble ink. Wonky, but with a certain, subtle charm.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

knitting with wire

So, I recently learned to knit (for the third time) and I think it's taking this time. Part of what I learned this time around is that you have to practice...oh!
What inspired me to pick up the needles was seeing a student of mine knitting with wire! Loved it! had to do it. And I have a whole slew of telephone wire. So here's my two pieces, so far, of knitted wire. (I'm also learning about the size of the needles, this time around.)
Then, when I saw Kristine Mays incredible work, I was all the more inspired! I know I won't be knitting any full size dresses anytime soon, but I sure love the concept.
I'll keep you posted...

Sunday, November 01, 2009

it went from this

I've been struggling with this one. I like the concept, but I didn't plan well enough when I drew the petunias on the cyanotype. So, I cut it up, rearranged it, added some more pieces and..........

to this......

I cut up the other one and created this cyanotype collage. I honestly don't know if it's an improvement or not, but it was a very good exercise, and a concept I'll play with some more. But this time, I'll plan better..........famous last words!

winery succulent

winery leaf

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