Sunday, January 31, 2010

A welcome home for me...

So, with traveling all week and being sick Friday and Saturday I haven't been very productive in my art. Today, I did get some calligraphy practice strokes in. I got a nice surprise on my back patio when I got home from being out of town though. A couple of years ago, my brother put a bromeliad on my mom's grave. After it finished flowering I rescued it to my patio. It had not bloomed since. But, as you can see in the photo below... it has sent out a deep red violet set of bracts, from which the flowers will emerge. When it actually blooms, I'll post a photo of the flowers. These are epiphytes, air plants, that grow on the trunks of trees and need no soil. I have bromeliads, tilandsias and orchids, all of which are epiphytes.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I can post again!!!

Thanks so much to Blog*Star DarkUFO for your help in getting Pieces of D back up and running!  I'm sending you the only flowers in my neighborhood that survived our last cold blast... The kalanchoes in front of my house...


Friday, January 22, 2010

Foggy Day on Lemon Bay...

You know those days when you go outside and things are just the way you like them?  The colors, the sounds... smells... even the feel of the air on your skin?  That's what today at Lemon Bay was like.  The sea fog muted the colors of the mangroves and coastal strand.  You could here the Yellow-rumped warblers "chipping" quietly in the trees and the water softly lapping at the shore.  The smell of the salt air and the mist swirling ethereally around me.  I love foggy days on the coast.

Mangroves along the shore

A view of the Bay

A view from the boardwalk

Fog enshrouded pines

A lone fisherman walks to his favorite spot

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Work? Play? Passion...

Well, tomorrow I will be leaving the office in Brooksville and heading down to Venice.  I have a meeting Friday morning in Englewood.  The meeting is one of the 3 per year meetings of the Myakka River Management Coordinating Council.  This Council is a statutorially required body to aid in the management of the Myakka Wild and Scenic River.  I've served on this Council for almost 12 years as the primary voting member for 2 different government agencies.  The Myakka River is beautiful... It's watershed has vast palmetto prairies and pine flatwoods.  It's estuary has extensive salt marshes, dotted with Sabal palm hammocks, and mangrove swamps where wading birds roost and raise their young.  The biggest gators I've ever seen were in the Myakka... one was over 12 feet and had a missing front leg, probably from a fight with another big gator.  The meeting won't be held anywhere on the Myakka, but instead will be held at Lemon Bay Park.  Lemon Bay is a gorgeous lagoon that spans a distance crossing from Sarasota County into Charlotte Coutny, just north of Charlotte Harbor.  After the meeting, I'll be wandering the trails of Lemon Bay Park.  I'll be taking my camera, no doubt.  So, until I can post some pictures from Lemon Bay... I'll leave you with some wildlfie on the Myakka River...

Roseate Spoonbills
Photo by: Jason Utley

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mixed Media Monday Challenge - Wings

This is my (very) quick and easy collage for the Mixed Media Monday Challenge... I only found the site last night and had a big day planned already, so I really didn't have much time to work.  Therefore, the collage is very simple. The subject is Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and she lived a simple life at her home Cross Creek here in Florida.  So, I think she would have appreciated the piece.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Year! New Look!

Well...What do you think of the new look of my blog?  I'll change it up from time to time to keep it fresh and (hopefully) inspiring.  I also added a couple of new blogs to my roll and new links, as well.  I'm also going to start participating in a weekly mixed media collage challenge (see my links list for the link).  What fun!

I bought 9 linear feet of 6 foot high, 18 inch deep shelving for my studio today.  My daughter and I are going to Ikea tomorrow, so maybe I'll find something to help me organize there.  When I get the studio set up, I'll post photos of it.  My husband is so supportive of my art, he's been helping me get things cleaned out and set up.  Also, the other day I was complaining (really I was whining!) that I didn't have more than 2 followers of my blog and very few comments (so of course I'm thinking no one is visiting it).  He blasted an email to his friends and family to check it out and lo-and-behold I got an inquiry for a custom clock!  What a good man!


I think my latest collage is finished. 

I added the layer of matte gel mdium and Robert Frost's Tree at My Window from a vintage book or poetry  and a photo of a tree by my friend Richart Gant.  I then accented the edges of the ephemera and added even heavier "sponge stroke" foliage.  I wish it was easier to get good photos of mixed media. Sometimes it seems that when you try to alter the image with a photo editing software, you either get the colors too bright or too muted.  In the case, the collage colors are somewhat muted in the photo.  I guess a new camera is in my future...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Another day, another layer...

To my tree collage I added a very thin layer of moss green glaze. On the tree itself, I added heavier "sponge strokes" to fill the tree out with "foliage."  Later I'll add another layer of gel matte medium and more collage elements. 

Friday, January 15, 2010

One step forward, 3 steps back!

Okay, I added a layer of mango glaze to my 3 5x7 canvas boards... Hated it!  So, I'll be starting over on those... The 10x10 stretched canvas, however, is progressing.  When the coat of matte gel medium dried, that I put on the tree drawing, I thought it might get lost in the other elements (a photo, vintage poetry and maybe some stamping), so I got out my colored pencils and colored it dark brown.  It shows up much better now and hopefully it will stand up to some glaze and other collage elements.  What do you think?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Couple more layers...

I added 3 green-dyed leaf skeletons, a layer of matte gel medium to my 10x10 canvas...

then a hand drawn (by me in pencil) and cut out tree and it's own coating of matte gel medium.

I'm waiting for this last layer to dry, then I'm going to add a glaze...
I added Pompei Red glaze over parts of the 5x7 chiffon blue canvas boards...

Not sure what I have planned for them yet though... but have no fear... I'm sure my muse will tell me what to do...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Cold Weather...

So... snow flurries as far south as Orlando and Springhill (I live about 8 miles south of Springhill).  We had sleet... go figure.  At least one morning this week, they had to de-ice planes at TIA!  Who would have thought that they even had the equipment to de-ice planes in Tampa, FL???  I've seen it this cold here in the past... I remember when it snowed as far south as Tampa in 1989 and 1979.  However, it has never (at least since I was born) lasted as long as it has... and it's not over yet.  I kind of like the cold, misty, grey days... a few at a time.  I don't think I could do it for an entire winter, but I've never been put to that test... maybe I should be thankful for that.  So I leave you with some pictures of wintertime in Florida...

Photos by: Richard Gant

Friday, January 8, 2010


Bruce fixed supper tonight, so I was able to focus on some projects.  I worked on my valentine boxes...   I gave them a couple of coats of paint on the outside.  I had already painted them ivory on the inside.

I also continued building my background for the collage I've been working on.  I painted roughly diagonally opposite corners Sterling Blue and Buttercup over the Gingerbread... producing sort of a grid...

Then I laid over that, a generous coat of matte gel medium...

It will be clearer when it dries.  I just finished reading a book on collage techniques.  I plan on using some of the new techniques I've learned.  The Dunedin Fine Art Center has a 6 week collage course I'd like to take.  Unfortunately, it is on Wednesdays during the day... and alas... I have a job.  But(!)... There is a 3 day workshop with Josette Urso on my birthday weekend.  I'd just have to take that Friday off.  I've already put in for the day off.  ;)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

So much to say?

I'm at a loss.  I'm not really blocked... All day at work, all I could think about was getting home and working on some collages.  But... I'm not thrilled (understatement) with how the 6 chunky gothic arch collages for the Artchix swap are turning out.  So, I'm scrapping them and I'm not even motivated to start them over.  I'm really not motivated to do much at all. 
I did build a bit on the canvases I started the other night.  I had also started on some valentine boxes, little heart shaped paper mache boxes, that I will be making for my daughter and granddaughters.  But, tonight they sit in their flat, with a couple of coats of dry ivory colored paint on the inside of each. 
I'm not even motivated to write.  I feel like I don't have anything to say, but we all have something to say... be it profound or trivial. 
I need to say something... I just don't know what it is that I need to say.  Maybe... just that it's okay to be silent...
I create art in silence...  Perhaps... I don't need to say anything at all... maybe silence is what I need.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Blank Canvases

Newly prepped canvases for collage...

The 10x10 is gingerbread and the 5x7 canvas boards (there are 3) are chiffon blue...
I also worked on my Chunky Gothic Arch collages for the Artchix Studios swap... Due date is coming up soon... Needless to say I need to get on the stick!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Word for 2010... Committment

So... Following the lead of some other artists and bloggers, I decided to take a word as my intention for the new year.  I chose committment.

Photo by: Bruce Davies
I will recommit to my life.  After such a trying year, I feel I need to renew my committment to my marriage, my career, my health, my art and craft... to myself and all that is me.