Friday, December 28, 2012

African inspired

I have some antique african cloth that I just love, and became inspired to recreate the feel of those designs on some of my ceramics.  

I made these cups last week and painted on some designs in underglaze.  After they are fired, I'm going to glaze with this flat black in our studio that I really like.  It's called "skillet".  

I'll show a picture when I get them done.  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ready for the kiln

I finished underglazing the leaves, then bisque fired my lady.  Then I waxed each leaf, sprayed the whole mask with glaze, and wiped the glaze off each waxed leaf.

What a royal pain that was!!!  

Now she's peacefully waiting for her kiln firing after the 1st of the year.  Really excited to see how she turns out.

Now she needs a name!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Atomica Ceramica in progress

I know this is somewhat hard to see, but I wanted to show you the mask I'm working on for a show in March called "Atomica Ceramica".  You're supposed to do something in clay that you've never done before:  something new to you as an artist.

I've never done a mask.  Have never even been "into" them very much.  Never done any human likeness type sculptures.  So here we go.

This is still greenware, i.e. never been fired.  It's been challenging in another way as well.  The glaze I want to use looks best over Coleman porcelain.  Coleman isn't particularly engineered for handbuilding.  It's better for throwing on the wheel.  It wants to crack, dries pretty quickly and doesn't like to be attached to anything. 
But fingers crossed, so far so good.  Now I have to start working on my chair for the Chairitable event which is in March too.  I'll post progress on that next.  

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Great stuff for Christmas

The Artist's Cooperative Store at Mesa Art Center is a great place to shop for unique, one of a kind Christmas gifts.

Prices range from just a few dollars to a few hundred dollars.  There's a table devoted to just holiday stuff, seen in this picture, jewelry, ceramics, fabric art, beautiful glass, basketry, acrylic and watercolor paintings, and all of it original work by the artist/members.

The store is open Tuesday through Sunday, and well worth a visit.  Next Saturday and Sunday they're doing free gift wrapping.  The store's at Center and Main in Mesa.  Come by and see.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Student Sale

This was my display area at the student sale yesterday.  

It went very well.  Had lots of people stop by and made a few sales besides.  Not as many as I would have liked, of course, but it was respectable.  Got good ideas from what people bought (and didn't buy!) about what to do for next year.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Chairitable Event

The Arts Commission of the City of Chandler is hosting a "Chairitable Event" on Friday, March 15th of 2013.  

30 chairs and some small tables will be given to local artists to embellish, then these items will be auctioned off to raise money for the City's various arts programs.  I'll tell you more about it as we get closer to the day.

I was fortunate to be selected to do one of the chairs - and this is the one I picked.  I'm so excited to start.  I know it's a while away, but this time of year moves pretty fast with everything that's going on.  

I'll keep you posted on it's progress.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Morning or evening: what's your choice?

What type of lighting gives the best effect for landscape type of artwork, is it morning or evening light?

I like the cool feeling of morning light.  It seems crisper somehow.  You can almost feel the sun rising.

I'll try to take this shot one evening this week to compare.  Yesterday morning felt fresh and light to me.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Just for fun

Guess what, I have a student!  She's a lady I met through Art Masterpiece, and she's taking watercolor lessons with me.

She wants to learn to paint in a looser style than she has been doing, so we looked through a watercolor book by Jan Kunz and picked one of her lessons to try.

We decided about half way through that the one we picked was a little ambitious, so we left it and went on to something less complicated. 

I went ahead and finished mine, just for fun.  I actually enjoyed just putting the paint on wet paper and seeing what would happen.  

A good lesson for me too!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Saturday Teacher

Spent Saturday teaching two pencil drawing classes for the Vision Kidz program at Vision Gallery in Chandler.

The kids did a great job, had some fun, and hopefully learned a little.

Anyone with school age kids can sign up through  It's a great program, incorporating many different types of art classes, taught by local artists, for valley kids, and theres no charge to attend.  
It's definitely worth your time to check it out.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Two more sessions

As the work progresses it may become difficult to spot changes, since the main body has been so boldly defined.

I'm working on individual petals, and also going back to define or change petals with a second layer of color.

In the next I'm doing the same thing, plus defining the center.
 Oh yeah, and I'm introducing another couple of accent colors as I go.




Monday, October 1, 2012

Here we go - next step

At this stage I'm working on my color palette.  I tried black, mixed with my two whites for the shading and didn't like it, so I added some violet, and voila, there's my dark color.

Still working on my yellows for the center area.  I'll need three different shades.  

Laying in some of the dark areas, just to keep them in mind as I progress.

Already looking like my white poppy, with another smaller flower in it's shadow.  I'll be doing a bit more today, and post tomorrow, then we'll see what the difference is.

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Charity Project

A friend asked me to do a large painting for a charity auction she's involved with, and I welcomed the chance to do something for them.

So I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to show you the painting as it progresses.  It's gonna end up being a large, open white poppy.

I got smart this time and painted the gallery edges first, so I wouldn't have to be cranky later that they weren't done yet.

Then I gridded it and laid in the flower.  I grid when I want the proportions to be close to right on, then I don't have to do so much proportion correction later!  
 More next week....

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Custom tailored

My daughter wanted something special to place above the bar for her hubby's birthday party. And it needed to have a Mexican theme.

So we collaborated on this Day of the Dead acrylic painting, incorporating things that he loves.  The eyes and saying are from a musical group that he likes.  

Then there's the ASU pitchfork, cigars, cards and his favorite beer.  Cartoons of my daughter and grandsons are on the face cards.

We thought it turned out pretty cool, and he liked it too!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Have to pick three!

A client ordered three berry bowls for gifts, so I made seven, just in case. Which three do you like?  The bottom ones look paler in the picture than they are. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

What I did on my summer vacation...

Just finished this little watercolor of a picture I took on the beach this summer.  

I think the chairs were gathered for a summer school class.  Now that's how you do summer school!

Ya gotta love California.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Well, I got all three done.

Are they OK, or are they terrible?  I can't decide.

The colors are fine, but I just don't know.  

Love 'em, like 'em, hate 'em?

Your opinion?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Just playin'

My buddy, Sue, bought a stack of these little mirrors, then didn't do much with them, so was going to give to Goodwill.

I generously volunteered to take them off her hands, and had fun today playing with one of them.

This is what I ended up with.  

Yes?  No?


Friday, August 10, 2012

A new challenge

A new client wanted an iris on his wife's guitar.  

My concern was getting enough "tooth" on the surface so the acrylic paint would stick.  I asked the guy at Lowe's and he said to use steel wool.  He said I didn't need to go all the way down to the bare wood, just lose the shine.

So I did that, then followed with a superfine sandpaper, just to make sure I could get a good stick.  I'd made a stencil of the outline, so that was the only area I sanded.  Put down a light coat of very thin white and let dry to make sure it wouldn't chip off easily. Also taped off the guitar so it wouldn't get any junk on it.

I think it turned out very well.  Hope he likes it.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Fast, fast, fast

A good friend of mine gave me permission to use a photo she'd taken for one of my watercolors.

I liked it so much I finished it in three days.  A lot of that has to do with it's size.  It's small, only 8 X 10, but I'm really happy with how it turned out.  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The finished product

It turned out!  Yay!  And it has been accepted for one of the fall shows at Vision Gallery:  "Things that go bump in the night".

I called it "There's something under my bed".  I know, pretty obvious, right?  

Now I need to find someone to take a decent photo for me. I try, but I just don't do photos well.  


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

New color combination

There's a new color combination, well, new to me, that I tried and I really like the results.  

Ted at Ironwood Studio did some bowls with this combo and they looked spectacular.  It's temmoku over turquoise.  I had no idea it would work this nicely.  Do you like it?

This is one of my berry bowls and I just got an order for three of them!  

Off to Tucson to babysit for the week, so Monday I'll head right back to the studio.    

Monday, July 30, 2012

Learning new stuff

It's really hard to make corrections on a pot once it's been glaze fired, EXCEPT when you're adding more oxide.  

Originally these pod shapes turned out the same color as the salmon stripes in the vase.  There wasn't the contrast I wanted because I had not put a thick enough coating of the oxide on.  So I took a chance, painted on some more oxide, and Voila! it worked.  

It looks better now.  Who knew?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

House numbers

My mud buddy, Steve, made me a cool new placque for the numbers on my house.  We just got our house painted this weekend and I got to put them up.

Pretty cool, huh?  Quail and hummingbirds are my two favorite feathered critters, so I was really happy to be able to finally have a quail in my yard.  


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cactus drawings

These are the two cactus drawings I just finished for my inventory for the MAC.  So the last three days I've been working on framing everything.  Man, this is like, WORK!

Hopefully, there will be something I've done that appeals.  Feeling a real crisis of confidence right now...

Friday, July 6, 2012

The finished product. Empty bowls

I took a picture of these before firing, just to do a before and after.  Below is the "after".  Not loving the interiors, but I think they turned out OK.  Opinions?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Chimayo in watercolor

I had painted the mission at Chimayo twice before, both in acrylic.

Since it's my favorite church, I decided to try it in watercolor for my MAC (Mesa Art Center) inventory.  It looks different from my other Chimayo paintings - brighter, more colorful. I used a lot of thalo blue, and I think that's what did it. Is it too bright?
Now it's on to the pencil drawings.  Bought three little cactus yesterday, and today I begin.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Client's photo

A client of mine wanted one of my tall flower vases for a space above the buffet in her dining room.

She picked out colors  before I made it, then discussed with me what she wanted to put in it.  We had different ideas, but I have to say I really think what she decided to do works really well.

She's pleased, I'm pleased.  It's all good!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

New Patterns - Empty Bowls

A lot of us ceramic students contribute our work to the Empty Bowls Project in the fall, which raises money for the local food banks.

It's a great opportunity to refine some of your forms, and glazing options - i.e., repetition makes it better.

I've been wanting to incorporate some new African type patterns into my work, and tried the ones you see here.  These have been bisqued, now I'm going to put oxide in the centers and clear glaze them.  I'll post a picture when they're done.

If they turn out as I hope, I think I might just make some more for myself.  Which one do you like?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I've been painting up a storm, working on an inventory to deliver to Mesa Art Center (MAC) by the end of August.

Just finished this one yesterday.  It's an old shack down the road from the cabin we go to every year.

It's title is:  The Hard Sell. Appropriate, doncha think?  

On to the next:  a watercolor of Chimayo.  It's my favorite church to paint, but I've never painted it in watercolor, so it's also a new experience.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Some new work

A friend asked to see some of my new work, so this is the photo I'm sending, plus the one below.

New designs for sugar and creamer, little footed bowls, and some of my new luminaria glazes.  

Also trying to do a little more handbuilding, with the vase below.

Whatcha think?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What a night (and day)

Boy, if I could only paint as well as nature.....

Was down in Tucson Saturday for young Mr. T's 3rd birthday.  Rained in late afternoon and early evening.  We went with our best buds, Dan and Stretch, to dinner at this cute place in the Hotel Congress, The Cup.  Got out of dinner and this is what we saw.  

Perfect ending to a great day.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Step 2

So now my little girl has been bisque fired, and I glazed it today, but as I look at the photo I have to wonder why I didn't put blue underglaze on that one piece of the checkerboard bedspread.  I wonder if I can give an esoteric spin to that and leave it, or do I have to fix it and re-fire.  


Thursday, June 7, 2012

My favorite editing tool

Just before I peel the tape off and count this one done, I decided to take a picture.  And here's what I need to fix, top to bottom:
1.  Vegetation in upper right needs more depth, vegetation on left is too even and needs more depth.
2.  Upper flower's left edge is lost. Have to darken the background.  
3.  Little flower underneath that has a blending lower right edge.  Needs definition.  
4.  Underside left of next flower on right should curve in, not out.  Fix.
5.  Flower just to the left of that has an upper left edge that looks squared.  Huh-uh.  
6.  Lowest right flower's stem is too rigid, needs an inward curve. 

Anything else?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Glazing the new luminarias

So these are the two glazes I tried with those commission luminarias.  I like them both, so I think I'll do half in one and half in the other.  

I have also been liking a new glaze combination:  brown celadon over oribe.  It's not food safe, and it runs a bit, but I find the color combination appealing.  See luminarias below.  What do you think?


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Things that go bump.....

This fall Vision Gallery is doing something a little different than usual.  Instead of having a Dia de los Muertos exhibit, the subject will be "Things that go bump in the night".  

So I thought I'd try my hand at something new to me:  handbuilt sculpture.  

When I was a child I was terrified of the critters under my bed.  So this is my version of that feeling in the greenware stage.  My buddy Steve made the big hand for me, and I did the little hand.  I've also made a ceramic rag rug to put under the bed, and I'm thinking of putting googly eyes in the cracks under the bed. Does anyone have a source for googly eyes that light up?  That would be even creepier, I think.  


Friday, May 25, 2012

And more luminarias!

My husband bought me a new camera for Mother's day:  so I thought I'd test it on the new batch of luminarias I'm making.  My buddy Bobbie has an event in the fall that calls for something "witchy" so I'm making spider web luminarias. Complete with spiders.  The photo came out pretty clear, I thought.  Now to glaze and fire.  

I'll post a picture when they're all done. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Got 'em back

Got the wizards back to the gallery yesterday, completed!  Yay!  Most stayed together, and the colors turned out fantastic!

I think the kids will be really pleased with their accomplishments.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hatching a new idea

Went to the Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building  in San Francisco and saw so many cool displays of produce.  I've wanted to do a produce type painting forever, just don't have it quite down yet.  

How do I set it up, how do I not make it a grocery store ad:  get some "art" into it.  I'll figure it out eventually.... but these just look so cool to me.  There was even a mushroom vendor!

Monday, April 30, 2012


Taught two clay classes on Saturday.  We made Wizards and they turned out great!  

I'm going to go pick them up this morning and I'll post a picture of the results tomorrow.

The kids had a lot of fun and I was totally pooped at the end of the day.  

Registration for new classes is this summer.  I'll let you know the dates.  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cool idea ffor the front of your house

My mud buddy, Steve, made one of these for a friend, and I liked it so much I asked him to make me one with a quail on it. Then I did the underglazing.

How cool is this?  I can't wait to hang it up on my front wall.  Well, actually, you know, I can't wait for MY HUSBAND to hang it up on my front wall.

You know me and tools.  It's just not happening. 

Steve said he could make them for people, with what they want on them.  For a fee, of course.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My next painting

Flowers in the front yard bloomed this morning.  Wouldn't this be a beautiful painting?

A lot of work, though.....