Thursday, November 19, 2009

Beeswax Collage

This is one of my latest pieces, a beeswax collage on canvas board. The images are from Anna Corba. I recently taught a class using this technique and it was a great success! And the studio smelled so wonderful, too! I'll be offering a class in beeswax collage again after the holidays so if you're interested and you live anywhere near Westlake Village in California, please leave me a comment with your email address and I will let you know what the class schedule is.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pretty Crow

Neat! Look what my Iphone can do! It's amazing what you can do with a camera without really knowing how to use it (well). Anyway, I suppose most people wouldn't call a crow pretty but I think they're kind of magnificent. They're so smart and brave and to watch them fly, especially when they're close to you, it's like having little airplanes flying around you. Oh, this I know because I feed them in the morning and then send them back to their own little world.
It started with just a sweet couple and of course they had to go tell all their friends. Now I have some 20 crows waiting for me every morning. They wait, they eat, they go. The whole thing lasts maybe 10 minutes. The noise lasts about one minute! And there are begging stragglers who see that the squirrels seem to get the best food of all , and that it's protected by me. Otherwise the crows would be happy to eat everything.

Yes, my mornings are like living in a zoo, (I didn't mention the ducks, did I). But I love all my visitors. It's nice to be important to someone.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

New Book, New Bookmark!

Here's my new bookmark for my new book: What The Dickens by Gregory Maguire of "Wicked" fame. I've read less than one chapter and can see I'm going to love it. And these few pages inspired me to begin my bookmark. If you know me, you may know that I make a new bookmark for every book that I read and I make it before I read it. So it's interesting to see how and if my artwork has anything at all to do with the story when I've finished.
Maguire's subtitle is "The Story of a Rogue Toothfairy". And the first few pages have to do with some kids at home who have run out of food due to some kind of world disaster. So on my bookmark I've included a little doll who's fallen, a ticket food for 1 drink, a narwhale (whose long horn is sometimes considered a tooth) and a piece of the word 'museum' incomplete and falling off the page. There's also a tiny dove of peace with an olive branch in his mouth but poor thing has been smeared, totally by accident but , hmmm, lets see how THAT plays out!!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Wild Wings

Art is everywhere. Even in a sad situation. No, I didn't draw this.... this is the imprint of one of the many sparrows that mistakenly fly into my window. This happens alllllllll the time and don't worry, they nearly always live! I have left the window dirty so they will see that they can't fly through it but there is always one that will still try.
Anyway, look at the beautiful dust print! I will use this in my art somehow so that his misfortune won't go to waste. (this one was fine and flew off alright.)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A journal page

Another journal page. The photos are not the greatest. "She didn't even know what to wish for."
There are so many directions and possibilities in life. Stuff you truly want but might be totally impractical. Wild dreams. Sensible choices. Achievable in theory but not quite attainable. The first step is to decide what you want. But is that really such an easy question?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Friday Friends

Time again for photos of my garden friends. These are my preying mantis. If there can be such a thing as a sweet bug, this is it. This one is guarding my roses, thank you. I love this shot, the fading tunnel effect which my camera knows how to do, not me.
I'm so fascinated with these guys. There are litterally hundreds born each spring but only a handful make it to adulthood. They start out so teeny tiny and here it is September and this one is about 5 inches long and still growing. Occasionally they leave me butterfly wings for my artwork. Nice.
Look at my sweet, honey-dog Tucker. I just love him. He's 6 now. I think sometimes we stop taking photos of our dogs after puppy hood. I definitely have tons of puppy pictures but I don't want to forget my loving dog in his adulthood. Definitely my bestest friend.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

More portrait practice

Here's another effort at face painting. She is basically Prismacolor pencil, acrylic paints, acrylic inks, collage, and stamping. OH and modeling paste which is stamped into. I'd love to know what you think!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sister Day

By god, I think I've started a new tradition! Sister Day. The date: anytime your husband is out of town. The atmosphere: totally casual, comfy clothes, super easy food, but lots of it. No kids, (or at least send them upstairs and forbid them to come down.) This is the holiday I've created for just my sisters and me!
Of course, being me, I had to infuse art into the situation somehow so I put them all to work. I brought out my hefty supply of rubber stamps and we made these wonderful banners.
My sisters are all very creative in all different ways so I don't think it was a big stretch for them to send a little creative energy to the paper, and, indeed, they created some great artwork! My sister, Cari is a musician and singer of her own band The Black Rose Band. My sister Teresa is a very talented writer and equestrian chic, and also likes to make stuff with polymer clay. And my sister Tomoko makes jewelry, draws, is a superb cook, and all around creative soul. I have one more sister who couldn't make it to Sister Day.
There is nothing quite as fun and relaxing as just talking with my girls without worrying about anything else. Eating without guilt for one day, going on garden tours in my backyard. We even stayed up and watched a great sister flick, Practical Magic (Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman).
All around a fun day, fun art, and a great retreat from our stressed out lives. I'm sure we will make Sister Day an annual thing, or maybe monthly!! ha. Who knows!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ah,, nice.

Well, it's been hot, hot, hot here in CA this week, near 102F. But we're overdue for the heat since we had some very mild weather the previous two weeks (90's). But right now it's 7:15pm, the sun is just beginning to go down and the weather is just beautiful! It's about 75. I absolutely love it when it's just warm and comfy and cozy like this, can hardly stay in the house at all.
So I'm on my patio , getting ready to watch the next Suziblu video for my workshop and I'm being visited by all kinds of sweet critters. The photo above is my sweet CooCooMa who is really like a puppy, runs up to me to give me kisses and beg. A russet hummingbird just whizzed by and the California towhee is hop, ho, hoppng by unafraid.

The ducks aren't here now, they're morning visitors, but you can see that even they get along with my crows. The crows come for 15 minutes in the morning and that's it. There's one who will follow me when I walk my dog. I must think of a good name for that smart guy.
And these sparrows and doves, titmice, nuthatches, and goldfinches are all regulars. To me there's just nothing better than being trusted by a wild thing. I love my cats and dogs of course, they're family, but it's so nice to spend some time with my outside friends.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

These beautiful lovebirds showed up one day 3 weeks ago. They are always together and though I seeked advise and attempted to get them to go in a cage (long story, not that interesting) but they seemed to be pretty wild. They have learned from the other birds to be afraid of all the appropriate stuff and I thought they'd be ok in the wild afterall. They came everyday to my feeders for food and I bought special lovebird food for them, too.
But this week there was only one. And two days ago I stopped hearing him, too. I'd like to think that they just found better food than I had to offer, but I have to acknowledge that this is a popular strike zone by the local hawks, and I did see one just the other day. Sad, they were fun to watch every day.

More Suzi drawings

Here's another one of my drawings from the online class I'm taking with SuziBlu ( Definitely looks better full size and not a thumbnail like this because that butterfly takes over the entire face. So many things I would change and do differently next time,,, but, what can I say, I'm learning.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Bookmarks are fun!

Do you like my bookmark? I usually make a new bookmark for every new book I read. It forces me to work a little faster (cause I'm a real slow poke) and since it's "only a bookmark" I don't intimidate myself right out of finishing it. This one is a lot bigger than most bookmarks, no good reason. It's for The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane"

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sketching with SuziBlu

This is a sketch I did in the first lesson of Suzi's class "The Goddess and the Poet". She is teaching many classes and I highly recommend one! Suzi is an amazing teacher, especially because she doesn't just put up a video and disappear. She's on the discussion boards, she answers emails immediately, I don't know when she sleeps! And she's tough with us,, shaking rulers at us thru the computer screen, " no cheating! You must do your grayscales!" I did mine! And what a really nice bunch of people who are taking the class, very friendly and supportive and fun! Her 'school' is called Les Petit Academy , here's the link:

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tucker wants to paint!

My Tucker wants to paint with Suzi Blu!!!
He'll have to wait because we're just using pencil right now!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Taking class, Giving class and Harry

Tomorrow will be fun! I am taking an online drawing class with SuziBlu
called The Goddess and the Poet. She'll be teaching more of a realistic style of portraiture. I could use the practice..,, a lot!


then late in the day I'll be teaching a collage class at Storojev Fine Arts,John Storojev - Home

Looking forward to that, although I have no idea what the intentions of my new student are. So we'll do some playing, gluing, drawing, painting and have fun.

BUT FIRST. tonight at midnight, my son and I will be seeing Harry Potter!!! I HOPE I can stay awake!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Just wondering....

I was just wondering... I've been asked to teach a class in altered books and was wondering if anyone is in the Weslake, or Woodland Hills, Agoura Hills area and is interested in taking a class like this from me? It would be at Storojev Fine Arts Studio in Westlake, CA. If so, email me! or leave a comment.

Handmade book with copper inlay

A new book for me!

Here's a little book I made for a workshop and then decided to keep it for some other purpose. For this book I carved out the curvy lines for the copper wire and then covered it with this beautiful handmade paper and then glued in the copper in the grooves. I have no idea if this is truly the best way to do this but it seemed to work.
It's a coptic stitch and signatures are various papers, drawing paper and watercolor paper.
On the back I unraveled the wires and glued them down like this,, kinda spooky!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Country in Camarillo

I went to see my sister and her hubby perform in Camarillo the other day at Leisure Village. Her band is called Cari and the Black Rose Band and that night they were sharing the stage with the Rick Tucker Band. My guitar wielding sis was awesome and we love to hear her sing all our favorites. She was practically born on the stage and she certainly still looks comfy up there! And Jimmy, her guy for more than 30 years, is a master at the steel pedal guitar. Cari and Jimmy and Rick and his band all made beautiful music together and had the crowd hoppin'. And let me tell you .... those old folks at Leisure Village were kicking up their hills!! I mean the Texas two step, ten step all those dances that I don't know how to do,,, they were doing it in style all night long. And we were all amazed when my Dad walked in with us and was surprised by an old friend whom he hadn't seen in at least 30 years! He tried his best to get my little sister and I dancing (that's sister #2)and we just hope we didn't step on his toes! Fun night. Great music.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Joe page

One of the people that was in the Michael De Meng class was Joe Carrion, whom you may know from his beautiful rubber stamps and even more beautiful artwork, collages, and assemblages. Here is a little page in my journal using one of his fab stamps.  Color is done with Sennelier pastels.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Michael de Meng Treat

Well, I finally treated myself to a gift I thought I'd never get.... a class with artist extraordinaire, Michael de Meng! Michael de Meng website   You know him from his book Secrets of Rusty Things and from the wildly amazing and slightly devious assemblages de Rust that he creates. What a cool guy, what a generous teacher, what a great day I had! It was absolute heaven for me just to spend the entire day doing art, but being taught by someone I admire so much was so great.
 The class was held at Zinnia in south Pasadena, another huge treat! I've been wanting to go there for so long and it proved to be every bit as wonderful as I thought it would be. 
Anyway, these are the photos of the piece I created.  I started right off with an original cab card (daring for me right off the bat because normally I would use a copy). The significant pieces of this are the little clock in the upper corner because it was made by a favorite cousin long ago. 

 I made the polymer clay head, and have saved the tiny soldiers that guard "Little One" since my days in the Berkshires. The dominoes are really, really old, maybe bakelite, And I'm sorry that you can't peer thru the big round metal finding to see the transparency of a face in side. 
The whole piece was overpainted with Michael's secret ingredient called "uszhh"---you'll have to take the class to find out what that consists of! ha . But it does magical things!
I had so much fun creating this piece. And even though I was a bit slow to get going in class, once I got going I knew just where I was headed and finished it quickly at home. I love it not only for the accomplishment of doing it but for the memory of a wonderful day. 

Friday, May 29, 2009

Olde World Faire

So these are the shields that my son and I made for his school event called Old World Faire. They were used to barter with other students in trade for what ever they made. We used about 5 layers of acrylic paints, crinkled up tin foil that's distressed with acrylics, some paint pen and the black doo dads are actually teddy bear joints from my days when I used to make vintage style mohair teddy bears. Base is foam core.
We made 25 of them! 

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mr. Teeny Tiny

Here is my favorite part of the summer garden!! My friends. Here's one of many teensy weensy teeny tiny baby preying mantis!! Oh, they are so cute. If you don't already know, this guy will get to be as big as half my hand. Welcome little ones!This beautiful pom pom of a flower is, believe it or not, an onion! I don't eat onions. But I grow them for their beautiful blooms. Please click on the photos for a larger view, these little pictures don't do justice to the subject.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A little journaling

I've been doing a little journaling but haven't gotten to the journaling part yet. As my friend in one of my groups said, I seem to be a "backgrounder". I love doing the backgrounds of pages and then get totally stifled when it comes to what to write. I'm getting better but still love this step of the process. So here are a couple that I've done. One of them is from a journaling class I'm taking with Pam Carriker , who is a wonderful teacher..

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Collage Class!

Hi all! I've added a new class to the line up for May. Beginning May 20, for three Wednesdays I'll be teaching my Artzy Relatives class. Basically collage using your photos or those of old forgotten folks from antique photos. We'll work on canvas and use papers that we've painted or printed with rubber stamps, doodles, etc. No previous art knowledge needed. 
Class is held at Storojev Fine Arts in Westlake Village, CA. (818-735-0700) 
or email me, Gina,  at  

Other classes you may find interesting are Altered Books, in which we take an old book and turn it into a new artpiece. 
And also Artful Folded Books, make unique little accordion, flag, star, and all kinds of folded books using paper that we collage and paint ourselves. 
If you're interested in any of these classes please inquire at Storojev Fine Arts (818-735-0700) or email me, Gina, at