Monday, December 30, 2013

Now that the Gift has been given...

A client asked for a drawing of a relative's father for a Christmas gift.  I couldn't post it until it had been given.

I was pleased with the results, and I am told the recipient was happy and touched.

Happy Christmas to all....


Monday, December 2, 2013

First Pass

I've spent about 6 hours on this so far.  It's slow going, but I think I'm getting it.

One thing I need to tone down is that big black rock in the center.  I can see that right away.  

Love how taking these photos helps my focus.


Friday, November 22, 2013

A new media combination - for me.

I'm doing something from this photo as a gift for an event in January.  

Originally I thought I would do it all in pencil, but got to thinking and have decided to do it in pencil and watercolor.  

So the pencil lines would still be all in it, but I can get some very light washes of color on the snow and the house.  

What do you think?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

An Old Church

I made this painting last week while I was demoing at the MAC.  There are a lot of things that need correcting, and I don't even know if I can fix it all, but it was a fun exercise.

These take so long that it's hard sometimes to let go of one that just doesn't work, you know?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

My pretties

I'm having such a good time with my new direction.

Porcelain bottles and jars, about 2 pounds, carved, with more lids, tops.  Temokku glaze with a little sun god on the carving.

My pretties!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

First flower

I painted the front flower today, and just sent it off to my daughter-in-law for approval. 

I wasn't too sure if I could actually paint my cactus flowers in acrylic, but I thing they turned out pretty well.

What do you think?  Also, do you think I should do some aging on this chest.  It looks almost too clean and new.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Step 2

Finished the second coat of ivory on the captain's chest, then did all the bronze work.

Just got done about 1/2 hour ago.  Will give all of that a day or two to set, then start on the flowers.  

We're going to do an adaption of the white flowers from my watercolor painting "Desert Bouquet".  Check it out on my website:

Monday, October 14, 2013

It's a beginning

I did the base coat of paint on the chest this week.

I think I want do do a deeper ivory than this first coat, so I'm going back for one that has a little more color to it.  

Will post the next phase:  2nd coat of paint and beginning on the copper metal bindings next.  Those will be a gold/bronze color.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Just finished - Cactus Creek

Just finished my watercolor of a barn outside Cactus Creek in Colorado.  

I think it turned out pretty well, even trying to figure out how to turn it into my Christmas card this year.

Maybe I can tack a Christmas wreath on it somewhere....??

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Trunk - Before

My daughter-in-law asked me to repaint this old trunk of hers and add some flowers to it for her birthday present this year.

So this is what it looks like this morning.  I'll keep you posted on its progress.


Monday, September 30, 2013

New, New

Told you I had been feeling stale.  So I decided this last month on a solution:  try something new!

So I tried a few new things, all at one time.  I did a new shape, added a lid on one, did some carving into the body of the piece, then to top it all off, I tried a new glaze combination.

I'm so pleased with the results, I think I'm gonna make a few more.  

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Back to work

Decided to try doing the barn picture.  This is it, kind of from far off.  

So I've used this as my base, and moved closer up.  

The picture below is after three sessions:  drawing, first round of basic colors, then starting to add details.

Sorry I haven't been around.  My creative urge has been feeling a little stifled lately.  

Friday, August 30, 2013

Good kiln firing

A client wanted four luminarias in a variety of colors.  So of course I made 10.

This is the photo I sent out today for the client to look at.  All of them turned out, which made me very happy.  

(I hate do-overs!).  So now I just have to wait and see which ones she picks.  Which one do you like?


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Barn or flower?

 Just got back from a trip to Colorado.  Picking next painting from my photos and can't decide:  should I do this old barn, or is another flower in my portfolio future.

Your opinion?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

What you do with samples

About 3 years ago 4 other ceramic artists (and me) made tiles for 10 benches in downtown Chandler.

One the guys, Ted, did a sample for our collaborative bench to test design feasibility and glaze color.  After the project was finished he asked me if I would like to have the sample.  

My contribution to the collaboration was putting the dots on the tiles.  Exhausting!!!  Of course I said yes, and yesterday my husband made a frame for it and put it on one of our backyard walls.

Looks pretty cool, huh?


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Whew! All done.

I know this is really hard to see, but client wanted, and got, subtle.  I took the wall color and mixed it half and half with pearlized mica acrylic.  So it has a little sheen to it.

40 emblems later and both walls are complete.  Now it's time to make the big push on all my fall deadlines.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Wow! Actual size.

This is going to be a very dramatic wall.  This is the pattern for the stencil I'll be making.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013


The client who requested the job I just completed wants another room embellished.  

This is the design of the pattern on the headboard in their guest bedroom and it is to be painted on that wall and one other in a wallpaper type arrangement.  

Depending on the size of the pattern selected I could be doing as many as 44 emblems.

A big job?  Yes ma'am!  I'll let you know how it progresses as we get into it a little bit.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Finished the job yesterday.  It was a huge amount of very detailed work, but the results were totally worth it.

It's now a knockout wall!  

Yay for the designer (not me) and yay for the painter (yes me)!!!!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

One down

Remember I was telling you about that suzani pattern I was working on?

Here's the first wall done.  Each of these medallions has a 24" diameter.  

Start on the facing wall tomorrow morning.  Half way there!


Monday, May 20, 2013

A New Beginning

I've been occupied in other places lately, but now I'M BACK!

My student and I are forging ahead with a host of new challenges today.

Today we will draw from a photo, with thanks for the photo from my good buddy, Sue.  We will use the gridding technique for drawing.  I'm just now teaching her that.  

We will talk about soft and hard edges, use masking in places, ie. stem areas, so that they will move forward later.  

This painting will probably take a couple of sessions, then I'll post some pictures when we're done.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Do you know Suzani?

Well, I didn't.

I now know it is a type of fabric pattern done in Uzbekistan, and several of those other "stan" countries around Iran.

It usually is symetrical, with flower motifs being most often used.

I'm working up a proposal for a potential client who wants a suzani pattern.

Learn something new every day, right?


Monday, April 22, 2013

It only took two years!!!!!

Two years ago this summer I made tiles for the barbeque island we were going to build in the back yard.

Yesterday we finally put the last tile in place.  Still have to grout and do some finish work, but I am SO GLAD to cross this off the list.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Fresh from the kiln

Couple of new things going on:

Changed my "Little Feet" cauldrons to use a different glaze on the inside.  It's a very pale green.  Makes them a little more delicate I think.  Opinion?

Making the "tribal bowls" a little bigger.  Can't use these actually, because the glaze crawled, but I think the idea works.

Started a new bunch, calling them "Feathers".  Actually the folks at the studio called them that, and I liked the name, so that's what that series will be.  There's still some work that has to be done:  they're too heavy, and some of the colors are bleeding out.  I'll be working on that this summer.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Janet Orr - ceramic artist

I went on the Phoenix Magazine annual garden tour with a buddy of mine yesterday and one of the stops was at the home of Janet Orr, ceramic artist.

I was fortunate enough to meet her, and we talked at length about her process.  

My husband loves these totems, and wants me to make him one.  So I wanted to get some tips from her.  Her process is somewhat different in the materials she uses than what I am used to.  I will probably try to convert it to something I'm more comfortable working with.

She was gracious and open, and her garden was fantastic.  Here's the best part:  no landscapers, no architects, all the garden work is hers.  

Thursday, March 28, 2013

New Venue

There's a cool store at The Farm at South Mountain, called Botanica.  They're now carrying the small bowls from my tribal series.  They close during the summer, but I'll have more stuff there in the fall.  I'm truly excited to be part of this place.

If you've never been to The Farm at South Mountain, it's at 32nd and Southern in Phoenix.  Three different places to eat, a pecan orchard, this store and just a cool place to walk around.  Check the store out at

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A matter of perspective

Just finished a little watercolor I was working on.  

Not thrilled with it.  At all.  I like the movement in it, but it's too hard edged.  There's such a difference sometimes in what I do, I wish I could figure out what the trick is to do it right all the time.....

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

At the MAC

Just got back from working at the MAC store today.

If you've never been there it's a cooperative composed of 60 local artists.  We all contribute our time, and join together to have this wonderful venue to showcase (and sell) our work.  Everything displayed there is original.

There's jewelry, glass, ceramics, fabric art, turned wood, acrylic, watercolor, beadwork ... you get the picture.  

It's well worth a visit, so come on down!  And this weekend there's a children's art fair with exhibits and hands on activities.  Lots of fun.  

Wear sunscreen - it's bright out!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Done in the nick of time

So I got it finished and my daughter's going to have it set up over the "treats" table for his party to surprise him.  

It was actually kind of fun to just slop paint around.  It's like playing to do stuff with so much paint and movement involved.  

Who says you have to grow up!!!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Painting fast!

Oldest grandson's birthday party(he'll be 15) is Friday, and I got this assignment last Friday.  

How's that for some really fast painting?  It's acrylic, 24 X 36, and I only have the bottom right corner to finish.  

There's some popular game with the kids right now:  Dr. Who - so this is a scene from the game.  Not violent at all, right?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Youngest one.

Just finished last week doing a pencil portrait of my youngest grandson.  I was happy with the results, and hope his parents will be too.

Here he is, messing with my camera.  I wanted to get a portrait before he lost his baby cheeks.  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The entry that wasn't

This (cracked) lady was going to be my Atomica Ceramica entry.  Now she is my latest yard art.  Going to plant a vine next to her so she's surrounded by green leaves. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Atomica Ceramica

Going to be in an art show called "Atomica Ceramica"  at Chandler Center for the Arts, with opening night on March 15.

These are the pieces I'll be showing.  I was going to show a wall pieces but the blankety-blank thing cracked in the firing.

So this is Plan B.  What do you think?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Newport Sunset

The last night we stayed in Newport Beach this last summer had the most glorious sunset.  

I hadn't attempted a sunset in years, but decided this was the one I had to try.  

Just finished it today.  

So..... whadya think?


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Another one - my favorite

Another one of my submittals will be this Retablo I made in honor of my father, who passed away a week after Father's Day in 1995.  

It's handbuilt porcelain, with underglazes and a clear glaze over.

It's one of my favorite pieces.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Professional pictures do make a difference

There's a National Community College Fine Arts Competition every year, and this year I'm going to submit a piece.  

But you have to have professional looking photos to go with the application.  Greg Strange, one of the ceramic instructors at CGCC, set up and took photos of three of my pieces. 

I acted as his assistant, moving stuff around, etc.  I also snapped a few of the setups with my little camera.  It's amazing how much better your stuff looks when it's done this way.

This is one of my little "feet" cups.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

It might be finished.

I finished about half an hour ago.  Now I know it's a not my usual style, but it was great fun to do, and for a worthwhile cause.

So, now that's the Chairitable Event, at Chandler Center for the Arts, March 15, at about 6 p.m., I think.  

There will be food, music, wine tasting, and 50 chairs and tables to be auctioned to help fund children's art programs in the City of Chandler.

Do you see anything that needs fixing?


Ta Da!!!

Remember those cups I did last month?  And I was going to show you the results, along with the bowls.

See below!  I'm really happy with the results.  They turned out exactly as I wanted them to.  And as any potter knows, that doesn't happen all that often.  

What do you think?


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I think the back is done...

So, whaddya think?  

I have a couple of whoops spots to clean up, but I think I'm ready to move on to getting the cushion and fabric done.

Then I'll step back and assess what needs to be done to the legs and back.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Doesn't look like a big change...

So it doesn't look like I did a lot, but I did do some:

Sanded the build up around finials.
Repainted the base color around finials.
Filled in the diamonds.
Added some glitter spots on either side of diamonds.  (You have to look at it close up to see them)
Started working more on animal figures. 

Question:  Should I do a matching orange guy on the other side or do it a different color?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Next layer

After I finished the chair I decided to lay in the background for the animals.  I used a black background to make the colors of the animals stand out more.  I may rethink that later.

I put the finials on to test, and decided I needed more wood putty.  Sanded area, glued finials, added more wood putty.

This weekend I'll sand again, repaint the purple and start working on the designs again.  It's a process, right?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Base Coat

So after a week of work, here is the chair with the base coat on it.  I painted the inside of the back area with the darker purple that is in the fabric, and the chair surface in the lighter color.  

I built up the top of the corners in the back with wood putty to support two ceramic finials I made in the studio.  

Going to have to go back and sand them down and repaint, because they didn't sand down as smoothly as necessary.

After that, it's on to the fun part, painting on the critters.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Starting my chair

This week I started on my chair for the Chairitable Event to be held at the Chandler Center for the Arts on March 15.  

There are 50 chairs and tables that have been given to local artists to embellish and contribute toward an auction.  Proceeds will benefit Children's and other art programs in the City.  

Below is a piece of fabric I'm basing my design theme on.  It is Guatamalan, and I love it!

Tomorrow you'll see the base coat on the chair.