Thursday, January 28, 2010

Doing it the hard me Make-ee Do-ee.

I am all about having my hands in and on everything I do.

I was working in the studio last night and the piece I am working on now is taking me WAY too long! I thought I was doing something simple, but I just don't know how to [or won't] take shortcuts.

I paint everything by hand. Sometimes over and over until I think it's right. Then I cover the whole thing up!

I cut everything by hand. I was thinking about maybe getting some kind of die to cut pieces... nah, I do it by hand.

I have to touch everything. I have to place everything. I have to think about every single little piece I place and the direction it's in, which piece it's next to...


I suppose there are lots of shortcuts I could take, corners I could cut, but it just wouldn't be my art. A friend calls me "make-ee-do-ee" and that is just the perfect nick-name. I make it, I do it... there's a lot of heart and soul and a million touches in every piece I create.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cherry Blossom

I was thumbing through W magazine [one of my favorites] and found a series of fashion photos featuring a model with a sweet face and a bob haircut. It reminded me of the 20's.
I drew her, painted her and started the mosaic on her face.
For some reason, I decided to give it Japanese twist - creating radiating stripes - gold and red behind her. I liked it! I was reading something or other about artist Takashi Murakami and something inspired me to add these big pink blossoms to the compostion. I liked it! Then, I added smaller blue flowers.
Just so you know I have a sense of humor... when people see my work, they often ask if I use Scrabble pieces. Come on! Scrabble?
I found some letters in the same shade as Cherry Blossom's face and added them. It adds a lot of interest to her face and a little bit of my humor.
Cherry Blossom is an example of how I use not only junk mail, but wrapping paper, Christmas cards [gold], photographs and scrap scrap-booking paper in my work. Somewhere in her hair are old photos of...ME [yikes!].
This is one of my favorites, I just love her expression!
Cherry Blossom is currently hanging - and available for purchase - at Translations Gallery in Denver. For more information, please contact

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I saw a photo in a magazine, and loved the face. Long elegant nose, blue eyes, full lips. I knew I wanted to to draw something from this inspiration, something about her spoke to me in pastels.

I knew the title needed to start with a W... and when speaking to my friend Lynne, I asked her to come up with every W name... she rattled them off and when she got to Waverly - I knew that was it!

I drew and painted... and although this is a small piece, it took FOREVER to sort through all my colors to find these colors - in prints. Not a lot of type and text on Waverly - too small, too pretty. At the end, I decided to leave black as paint.

Waverly is 9x12" and available for $400.00 No prints or reproductions. Enjoy! Want to see more? visit


Smoulder. Definition? Slow Burn. With those eyes and pursed lips, arched brow... this girl's on FIRE!
Usually, when I draw and paint faces, I'm very very tight and controlled - a perfectionist. This time, I wanted to be a little loosey-goosey. I drew and painted with fluid motions. I let go of the need to control every detail.
And, I usually paint pretty pictures. This one is perhaps a little deeper.
I painted her face in shades of blue - and then - geez! had to match the odd shades going through a gigantic box of blue paper, junk mail, advertising, cards, etc. Look closely, you'll see icebergs and Hanukah candles and clouds.
I painted her lips red. They just popped. But the hair...hmmm. what to do. I stood back, asked my husband - he said RED! Once the paint hit the canvas, I knew he was right. Look closely to see perfume bottles, Macy's ads, catalog covers and more in the hair.
The original is available from the artist for $4150.00 no prints, no cards, no reproductions. One of a kind! Contact


I love the Arts and Crafts Movement, I love the work of Gaudi, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Frank Lloyd Wright. And, one of my favorite artists is Gustav Klimt. I probably shouldn't group that bunch together, but it works in my mind.
The title is a synthesis of Klimt and Cleopatra. I drew the face first. Deep dramatic shadows, and piercing blue eyes. I knew the background would be mostly black. I was thumbing through a book of Klimt's work and decided to use some of his geometric patterns in this piece [I created a companion piece, Sheherazade - also using some Klimt inspiration - she's in a private collection in Connecticut]. I built the piece from one corner - using, almost exclusively, Christmas cards. There is a lot of metallic and foil - gold, silver and many colors!
I didn't really think about Cleopatra until I was finished, the eyes... I knew others would see the connection.
Klio is one of my favorites. Those eyes, they speak to me. And, that little flourish of Klimt makes me happy.
The original is available for $4600.00. An 18x24x2" Giclee [reproduction on canvas] is available for $400.00, and this image is included in a packet of 8 greeting cards for $24.00. To purchase any of these, email me:

Monday, January 18, 2010

My Grandmother & Needlepoint &...

When I was a little girl, my Grandmother taught me many things. She didn't live with us, but she did visit quite a bit.

She was born in Hungary. When she was a child, she lived on a farm. When she was an adult, she lived in the city - but never forgot.

She was an extremely proud person and very religious. She prayed every morning and every evening.

She taught me how to cook - by intuition, by feel. No cookbooks, no thermometers, no measuring cups or spoons. Everything was delicious. I still cook the same way - and hardly ever use a recipe. I guess when you learn to cook the way I did, you learn to rely on your own senses- sight, smell, taste, you can just tell. You feel your way.

She also taught us to garden. Each of us kids had a garden patch in the backyard. We had to grow our own vegetables. I grew the easy stuff - potatoes, carrots, marigolds to keep the rabbits away from the carrots, pole beans, radishes. We also had baby chickens, but that didn't really work out.

And, she taught me how to make jewelry - how to bead, to glue, to design. No patterns, just by feel. Yes, I can re-string your pearls.

And, she taught me how to sew. Wait - not with a machine - everything by hand. How to hem, how to darn socks, how to embroider, do crewel work, crochet, knit, cross stitch and needlepoint. Yes, I can sew a button on that will never fall off.

Didn't know how to do something? Figure it out. Feel your way.

I created a needlepoint "sampler" when my niece was born. I drew on needlepoint canvas and stitched. Once again, just used my senses.

People stopped me everywhere I went [I worked on it on the bus, at the laundromat, on breaks] and wanted to know if I would make one for them!

I went to a needlepoint store in Beverly Hills [I lived in West Hollywood at the time]. I asked them how to "design" needlepoint - and how to paint canvas. They taught me... in a couple of minutes - on my part by glancing around and the canvas and yarn - and telling me how to "stitch paint." Okay - here it is. Needlepoint is a grid. You design something, you put it behind the grid [canvas], draw on it with a sharpie. Paint with acrylics. Each intersection is a stitch, so you must paint with the grid. People pay a lot for stitch-painted needlepoint! It is also really hard on your eyes... depending on the size of the stitches.

Anyway - I started painting - and selling my designs. I couldn't keep up with my orders, I couldn't hire people to help... so I stopped. These days, when I see those gorgeous stitch-painted canvases in needlepoint shops I get nostalgic... but I digress.

This morning, when my google alerts for "mosaic portraits" led me to a beaded portrait of Heath Ledger as the Joker - I realized many of these projects I see are the same as needlepoint, just using beads or push pins, or sticky notes or gum balls. Or, a mosaic portrait of Jay-Z using swarovski crystals, or all the photo mosaics all a grid - and tile companies use computer programs to create a amazing patterns in glass tiles are on a grid... when I created my bathroom floor, I hand fit and hand cut thousands of tiles - no grid.

Obviously, all of this made me think - my art now is no longer on a grid and there is no computer. It is different - it's organic.

It is by feel. I use my senses. I respond to different images, I feel my way around a variety of colors to create a piece that will express my feelings at the moment. I touch every single piece of paper many times - to choose it, to cut it, cut it again, fit it, glue it. The entire process is a sensory explosion. The sound of the paper cutter when I am chopping up my raw materials, listening to music or the radio, smelling paint or glue...

Because I make art based on my senses, what I feel - I don't like suggestions...Hey, you should do dogs [!] hey, you should do a portrait Johnny Mathis or Johnny Depp or Johnny Appleseed [!]... I really want to do what I want to do, that's the work that turns out best.

I have to thank my Grandmother for teaching me how to use my senses - to feel my way. I use my hands as a response to inspiration of one kind or another - to create something entirely new.

That said, I'm going to embark on a experimental week - no faces this week - stay tuned to view new stuff -

Check out my new work and updated web site here. Sign up for my newsletter and don't forget to follow me on Twitter!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Mother Nature - Inspiration

This is my newest piece [until later today, anway]... Mother Nature is 24x48" on canvas.
While working on my Angels & Icons series, my friend Julie suggested Mother Nature... and that I would figure out a way to incorporate branches...perhaps coming out of her head!

When I drew this face on the canvas, I was thinking of a more traditional tree...but came across an invitation to a grand opening event in San Diego put on by Ran Roy Printing - that featured my art. Lisa Sinclair from Ran Roy called to say they had left over invites, did I want them? Sure! So, the invite featured a bird in a flowering tree. The branches were swirly... and you know, I love swirls.

So the branches became swirls - sort of like ferns - billowing out of Mother Nature's head... thanks, Julie!

I decided to use the colors of earth, sand, dirt as the tones in the face. I sorted the pieces by shade and after creating all the darker shadows, started with the darker shades and moved toward the light - using lighter shades as I went... All of the colors in Mother Nature are pretty natural. Look closely, you'll see some pieces of the invitation in her hair.

The photo doesn't do her gaze justice... she looks pensive, maybe a little suggestive [slightly open mouth].

The colors are browns, greens and a little red & black.

By the way, Ran Roy printed my greeting cards and prints - 8 different images as cards, 12 images as prints. Check them out here.