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slow development

January 18, 2019

iris start_1

A new year and I’m finally pushing forward with completing the much delayed book stack. This is the third rendition for Anna’s book. I won’t mention what the other two subjects were because the season is long gone. Since winter is here, I only have dried iris pods hanging around the back yard that spoke to my brain. There seems to be an overall fear of drawing that has blanketed these past many months. Not sure where or why it developed, but it needs breaking. Today was a designated drawing day (I wrote it down on my calendar to hold myself accountable.) It may be a slow process, but by posting a photo I hope to keep it progressing to completion by months end. The other two books remain packaged up on the shelves above the drawing table. Tucked away from marauding kittens and desperate dogs.

More pencil work to come before adding watercolor and colored pencils.



Welcome 2019!

January 3, 2019

Good bye 2018! Hello 2019!


Benton County Courthouse, Corvallis, OR December 21, 2018

You already look like a year poised on art potential! You’re a clean slate, a brand new sketchbook waiting for pages to be filled, a fresh box of sharp crayons (cause who didn’t love opening a new box with their sharp unblemished tips and colors!) Fingers crossed with keeping the positive energy flowing.

Last night I attended the first dog class of the year. The training center is only 12 minutes from home! Hazel, the terrier, had been in training for Scentwork since adoption 3 years ago. However, she decided 2018 wasn’t the “Year of Hazel” and took a major training break. Stepping back into the ring my expectations weren’t high.  Will she remember how the game is played? Heck YES! Rather than the aloof attitude presented a year ago, she was spot on! She sourced all hides and exhibited a great attitude. Ok, she also had some pretty sweet treats: cheddar cheese and a chopped up homemade pork tamale from New Year’s Eve. So what does dog training have to do with artwork? Indoor Dog Murals! The concept was floated out there last summer but I couldn’t commit to the process until after the Halsey piece was delivered and installed.  After class I finally started talking with Sharon about some of her thoughts and hopes for the space. There are numerous walls and 3 fabulous columns that could possibly receive dog related art. It felt great to be back in the pack of dog loving friends.

So the studio door is back open and I’m looking forward to some serious artistic challenges plus great play moving forward in 2019! Finishing off the collaboration books (started last year) is front and center on the design table. Time to pull out the colored pencils and get to work!

May 2019 bring you many moments of happiness and love. Plus lots of art!


Feeling chuffed

November 29, 2018

It’s official! I have art on permanent public display in the council chambers of Halsey Oregon. Wow, I just can’t believe it’s really there and installed, plus giving the space a more dramatic sense. The photos are from Hilary Norton, City of Halsey administrator/recorder. The work was installed yesterday.

I’ll hopefully head down next week for photos and a paint check.

Wow, it couldn’t have found a better home. Those blank walls needed art!


Thinking South

November 27, 2018


I’m having a hard time figuring out what to focus energy on today. So many things are jumping through my brain. The dogs, amazingly enough, have already been walked (we had a break in the rain). Cats have received a fair amount of attention. There are several errands to run, groceries &  laundry. I have ideas about a simple holiday card, but don’t know how I want to tackle it. Draw it then have another company print it? Print them myself? I also have a holiday tree idea that requires power tools and time in the garage. Then there’s the drawing started for Anna’s book (it actually received attention yesterday!), plus Karen and Cathe’s books waiting for drawings as well. I also have these thoughts of getting product back on the Etsy site. Maybe someone would want a print for the holiday? Or kitchen tea towels? That takes a lot of additional energy to produce photos and everything (the product is completed and just waiting for marketing.)

The big thing that stirred the brain was thinking about moving to Chile. Yes, the country! The current company my husband works for has been shifting into unstable waters. Rather than waiting for the end or a forced move to the Seattle area, ideas are starting to be tossed around about other work options: going to work for current customers or becoming a consultant. One company has been actively reminding him about coming to work for them in southern Chile. It’s certainly an amazing country… fjords, lots of coastline, volcanoes, the end of the world…  Tasmania would be another nice option too if his contacts there said they wanted him.

Time to return to reality and get something done! Errands and back to the studio for work.




Home Again, Home Again Jiggity Jig

November 18, 2018

On my last day in Bend, I took the boys out to Sparks Lake along the Cascades Lakes Highway. We walked along part of the lake, watched people toss huge rocks out onto the ice.

I’m back home. Dogs and cats are super happy that I’m home.

It was an amazing experience and I hope to see the boys again, but I’m not sure it will happen. Home is a good place to be.

A side note. The pass was totally clear and the drive home was beautiful. Couldn’t ask for a better day!

A change of scenery

November 17, 2018

That view should certainly state the obvious, I’m not at home! In fact, I’ve been east of the mountains (since November 1) house and dog sitting for a friend. Sunshine and cold nights! The house is located in the touristy town of Bend. Elevation over 3,200 feet . Everyone drives like they live in Portland! It’s a young hipster outdoors sort of place. Bikes, kayak, running, and anything related to outdoor sports is happening. The snow has yet to arrive, but maybe the mountains will get another dusting around Thanksgiving. The ski resorts are anxiously waiting for the white stuff!

My friend is trekking in Nepal while I stay with the ailing old dogs. You would probably recognize the two Doodles. Reggie and Zeek lived with us for 19 months several years ago. Reggie is currently 14 and has a leg cancer. Zeek , 12 years, has heart disease. Infact, Zeek has been the sickest out of the two since arriving. I’ll get back to him in a moment…

I left the valley in quite a scramble. Getting out the door in a timely fashion hasn’t been my forte. Originally I had planned on leaving October 30th, but an art project was still needing attention before delivery. On November 1st, it was complete and delivered before noon to Halsey City Hall. Yes, the huge wall piece finally moved back to it’s original home as an indoor wall sculpture! I frantically packed up my gear for the 20 day “vacation “and made it to the home around 5pm. The normally boisterous happy boy Reggie gave me a tail wag and went back to his bed. That’s not normal. Then I found vomit in several locations. As the night wore on, his health decreased. More vomiting and diarrhea that turned bloody on both sides. Urgh! I was contacting the emergency vet at 2am, and waiting for their normal vet to open at 8:30. We spent several hours at the clinic and came away with multiple medications and crossed fingers for survival through the weekend. He made it through and has now returned to his more normal self. However, his brothers health shifted from bad to horrible over this same stretch of time.

Zeek was already on heart medication and thyroid support before my arrival. As I would be sitting watching Reggie’s heat and respiration rates, I would compare it against Zeek. That’s when I picked up on the erratic and elevated heart rate. I was pretty surprised! He was also exhibiting head tremors. Pretty freaky! Since Reggie had to return for another round of subq fluids, I dragged Zeek in for a quick check. He was heading into heart failure. Fluid accumulation in the lungs, heart so unstable…. I was starting to think we would be putting Zeek down before weeks end! Not the scenario a pet sitter wants to encounter.

Now we’re well past that initial Zeek checkup. He’s still alive. His lasix was increased twice. We’re on a heart rate reduction med and appetite stimulant. Yes, to top things off, he’s way underweight! I was shocked to feel bones one shouldn’t feel on an elderly dog! We’re trying! The 19th is getting closer!

My original plan was to use the break to create art. HA! I’ve been so stressed with keeping the boys alive that art has hardly crept into my brain. I can’t believe that home is an actual better place for creating work. Go figure! 2 dogs, 3 demanding cats, and a screaming bird is preferable to the 2 elderly dogs! Plus I’m concerned about driving back home on the 20th. Weather is shifting towards storms by that date. I’ll survive. Chains are packed and gloves are somewhere….

I can certainly say that the boys have received the best loving care I could provide. They are now drinking water with less back stress. Food is served on an elevated platform. Canned food is part of every meal for Reggie. Zeek is receiving home cooked food which is sometimes eaten. I’m giving him anything that will be accepted. The list continues to dwindle and his weight loss is not good.

In the image above, you can see the swollen joint problem on Reggie’s left leg.

Zeek watching birds along the Deschutes River in Bend.

It’s certainly been quite the educational experience and I appreciate more what I’ve left behind at home. This will be my last time being with the boys unless something miraculous happens!

Autumn inspiration

October 9, 2018


Life is calming down as the weather shifts towards rain. A couple of friends took a nature printing class that inspired me to play with leaves, colors, and cloth.

Since I really have no idea what I’m doing, the mark of a true adventure, I pulled out fabric screen ink, waxed paper, paper towels, and made a foam covered blotter (a suggestion by the friend). A few maple leaves provided the templates and off I went a dabbing!

The initial attempts used slightly dampened cloth (old cotton sheets) with the inked leaf. If it’s too wet, the ink bleeds creating fuzzy edges. The more I played, the more I leaned towards using dry cloth as in the above images. How thick the ink was also made a difference. Top image used denser ink, lower used more watered down. I’m not sure what I want out of this experiment, but leaning towards creating unique tea towels.

Leaf in print

When pulling out tea towels I discovered a bunch of un-sewn bags cut years ago for another project. The above image is from the testing of one. The material is a light weight cotton canvas and it took the ink rather well.  All it needs now is heat setting and a sew up!

Creativity is slowly creeping back into my life again. Hopefully it will stay for good!