Total Pageviews

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Technology Art

 Here are two images of watercolors that were imported into an i pad and then altered using special apps.
 The first  image (Brown Abstract) beame this exciting collection of polygons of the same color.
 This watercolor went from a stylized rendition of Fall Trees to:

This image of pixels of the same color with exciting changes.

It's challenging to think of how to use this capability (a friend did these) but somehow there must be a future in these altered images.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Studying Abstract

I have been studying the work of Joan Mitchell and reading books about her, primarily one by Jane Livingston.  I learned a lot by trying to copy some of her work but in very small scale--1:10.  These are all done in 8" x 10" format whereas her work was quite large--many 10 times that in size.  My little endeavors are acrylic on paper and hers were, of course, oil on canvas.

Each time I did one I learned more about how to interpret her work.  It's really quite complex--not just blobs or scratches but rather shapes with line.

I began to see that she often had a light background with shapes on top but the background had many, many subtle shades of color and texture.  Then more definite shapes were painted on top of those.

Her paint dribbled down the canvas to create those interesting vertical lines.  My attempt was done with the edge of a piece of matbard to give an illusion of dribbles.

I am trying one on my own now but it is not finished and it might never be satisfactory but the exercise was worth it!

Grapes with Texture

"Grapes with Texture" is another watercolor that started with lots of random shapes and colors painted onto the paper.  Then, gradually the shapes emerged by painting positive shapes and then embellishing them.  The background was painted behind the shapes.  Details were added with both a fine brush and by lifting out details to get branches to show.  Colors were adjusted to get complementary colors next to each other to give more "pop" to the colors. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pastel Landscapes

This South Carolina landscape is one of three that I have used pastels to create.  This is a new medium for me.  I am attracted to the style of M. Katherine Hurley who paints beautiful atmospheric pastels and oils.  After buying her DVD I tried to capture the feeling of some scenery in South Carolina.

This was the first one that I did.  I'm not sure if I'm getting it!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Harbor Fun

"Harbor Fun" is another watercolor of my popular style of painting random marks, shapes, textures, and splashes followed by discovering a scene to emphasize.

Some of it makes sense and parts of it are pure fantasy.  That's what makes its fun!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Bright Peony

"Bright Peony" glows with color because I painted it with many, many glazes.  I used three watercolor colors: yellow, quinacridone orange (I think) and ultramarine blue.  Each color was applied separately in a very light wash and left to dry.  Then I added the next color, again in a very light wash and left to dry.  Then, I added the final (ultramarine blue) very lightly and dried.  I continued to paint these colors in rotation for probably a total of 20 times or more. 

This painting is about 15" X 15" and will look lovely with a silver chrome frame.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Plantation Bridge

This painting came from a trip to a plantation near Charleston, SC.  The intention was to capture the softness and ethereal atmosphere of the swamp and trees.  I think this method of painting, using lots of water on both sides of the paper, accomplished my goal.  It was very tricky--leaving white yet adding dark with lots of green!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


This monoprint is actually the second one using only green ink to make an image.  It's my intention to make a series of prints using only one color.  This one is titled "Pickle" because it goes with "Cucumber."  Both are about 9" x 12" on printmaking paper.


This monoprint began with the roller but then I added ink to the plate and moved it around.  The original title "Green Roller Print" didn't really say much but I think "Cucumber" gives a little smile!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Moon and Waves Roller Print

Here is another non-objective print made with a roller and some net and a piece of card stock and IMAGINATION!  I titled it after I made it.  It is ink on printmaking paper about 9" x 12."

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cave Horse Roller Print

"Cave Horse" is another piece created with roller printing.  In this image, the horse torso was found by painting the background with light washes of watercolor .  The result is a small but mysterious print, only 4" x 6".

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Roller Print Landscape

This non-objective horizontal design happened when I manipulated ink on a plate and used fine grid with ink.  The shapes are dramatic and, of course, unexpected.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mountain with Totem Roller Print

This image was created by rolling printing ink on a plate and then printing it on to paper.  The image was not pre-determined but rather was a spontaneous application of ink, rolled, and scraped with the edge of a piece of mat board.  This image is only 4" x 4" and actually has greater contrast from what the photo shows.

This is a fun and experimental type of art--just what I love!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Whimsical Women

 These whimsical images are monoprints in the style of Henri Matisse.  These are my first attempts at painting faces directly on the plate before running them through my press.  They are kind of cute, I think.  I may try some more.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Environment Exhibit

"Prairie Restoration" was the theme of the MEEC show this year (Marianist Environmental Education Center). The show offered viewers a variety of media, including these hanging "blossoms" which were fashioned like pinatas and suspended from the ceiling. Other items were made from Raku pottery, silk for a quilt, straw for a clump like a nest, branches from a birch tree as supports for a ceramic leaf, collage, and traditional watercolor and acrylic. Here you see my "Prairie Biodiversity" painting again with the narrative posted next to it.

The exhibit also had lots of poetry posted on the walls and placed next to relevant photography. It's always a challenge to create and image suitable for the theme but always gratifying when it all comes together.

Environment Show Exhibit

Here are two more photographs of some of the works of art displayed at Gallery St. John in Beavercreek, Ohio as part of the Marianist Environmental Education Center exhibit 2011. The theme was "Prairie Restoration."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Healthy Choice

"Healthy Choice" is a watercolor done in the style of Matisse. It has a lot of pattern and shows the contents of the room behind the table where the fruit is. It was entered into the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society show and provided an alternative to typical watercolors!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

"Barrier on Island"

"Barrier on Island" is another attempt to create a painting for the MEEC show on the environment. The theme was "restoration." In painting this I thought of how barriers on islands create opportunities for the beach to recover from erosion. This watercolor didn't suit me so it didn't get entered in the show!

Monday, May 30, 2011

From the Mountain to the Prairie

This painting/collage was done for the Marianist Environmental Education Center art show. However, I didn't submit it because I wasn't satisfied with it.

The mountain area was done by making my own stamp using softened plastic on which I pressed bark from a tree. This was then painted and pressed to the paper. The foreground is paint with lacy rice paper glued over it.

The theme for the show was restoration with an emphasis on the prairie as a conservation of soil.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

MEEC Postcard

This is a scanned image of the postcard used by the Marianist Environmental Education Center (meec) to advertise its series of programs offered currently. The programs emphasize the beauty of the prairie that was established to reclaim a "borrow pit" which was disturbed land left after construction of an interstate highway. I was honored to have my painting selected for the card and other advertising. For the complete schedule, go to

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Prairie Weeds

"Prairie Weeds" is another whimsical and imaginary field of weeds generated by interactions among the seeds of biodiversity. It's not real but it's fun!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Seeds of Biodiversity

"Seeds of Biodiversity” exaggerates the makeup of seed formation in a graphic but fun interpretation of possibility. What is possible when nature combines fertilization accomplished by wind and birds and even tramping feet? Is it going to generate fantastic forms like those illustrated in this painting? Probably not! But restoring land condemned to abuse by waste or refuse or unneeded construction can open land for beauty and the unexpected.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Prairie Biodiversity

“Prairie Biodiversity” is a whimsical suggestion of the plants that can spring up in a field left on its own. A stroll through a field of grass can help the observant to discover a variety of plants and flowers that are unexpected at first glance. Restoring land, whether it is a hillside like at Mt. St. John, or seashore where dunes are preserved, encourages growth of the oddly shaped or multi-colored plant.
Imagine the possibilities—just like this painting is full of imagination.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

White Flower

Easter Sunday and the impossible has come true. Jesus has risen from the dead. I chose this watecolor of a white flower that I painted using primarily the shadows. Little color was added so that the effect is somewhat ethereal. To me it suggested the purity and elusiveness of that early morning when the women first saw the empty tomb.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

"Call to the Table"

This painting, "Call to the Table" suggests the inclusion of a variety of people at the Last Supper. The reading for Palm Sunday begins the final stage of Jesus' presence among His followers. This painting represents that time when some of His friends were invited to celebrate a Seder meal. This watercolor version of the story shows that we all are special to the Lord.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spirits of Mt. St. John

The readings for the Fifth Sunday of Lent emphasize living "Life in the Spirit." Therefore I chose this watercolor monotype created for the 2010 Marianist Environmental show.

“Spirits of Mt. St. John” utilizes color and shape to describe the heritage that the people, now gone, have given to us who enjoy the land, the events and the spiritual growth opportunities at Mt. St. John. Those communities of people are represented by the colors in the image: the Society of Mary (blue), the Shakers (brown/green) and the First Nations (red).

Monday, March 28, 2011

Rising Sun

The fourth Sunday of Lent tells the story of Jesus' healing of the man who was blind from birth. The message is seeking light. Paul also deals with living in the light. We all want to be enlightened and as new insights come, our life is enhanced. Those moments of "Aha!" bring important ideas to us to help us lead the fullest life possible.

I chose this painting because of the light from the sun. I painted it after going to the beach at dawn. The lack of light before sunrise made everything look gray. Then--the sun came up and color shown!

Thomas Merton wrote: "My being is given me not simply as an arbitrary and inscrutable, but as a source of joy, growth, life creativity, and fulfillment. But the decision to take existence only as an affliction is left fully to me. Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, Doubleday, New York, 1989, p.221

River Daze

The readings for the third Sunday of Lent focus on the "Living Water" offered by Jesus to the woman from Samaria. Living water is a term used to designate the vitality of water in a symbolic sense.
The symbolism is that of cleansing, purification, life sustaining, thirst quenching, washing, and more. The image on the left is whimsical and yet symbolic in its own way because the river is depicted with unusual waves and creatures. One can never know what living water will bring to our lives.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


This painting, "Sunspot" was chosen to illustrate the dramatic intervention in our world by our God. The reading for the second Sunday of Lent describes the appearance of Moses and Elijah with Jesus: "And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun..." (Mt 17:2)
We can appreciate the importance of such intervention although we are not likely to experience it in the same way.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

After Eden

"After Eden" depicts a fragmented image of what was initially a simple scene of a tree with fruit with grass, sky, and the glimmer of sunshine. In the reading for the first Sunday of Lent, Eve yields to temptation to eat of the tree in the garden that was forbidden to her. This idea of yielding to temptation is behind the meaning of this painting. The original bucolic scene is fragmented into barely discernible shapes to represent our lives when we yield to temptation and fragment our lives.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Experimental Art

"Sun Spot" is a watercolor 8" x 8" monotype that demonstrates line and rhythm.
"Untitled #1" will eventually have a title but for now it was an exercise in spontaneous lines that created shapes to paint.

"Line Abstract" was an exercise to emphasize line and composition. First I developed a composition, then painted the shapes and then outlined the shapes. It is done in acrylic.
These paintings are examples of work that I am doing following the guidance of Rolina van Vliet. Her instructional books teach concepts followed by directives to make a painting based on the concept. I have her two books: Painting Abstracts and The Art of Abstract Painting.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Christmas in January

These are paintings for my Christmas cards for December of this year but created in January. The first is a pen & ink drawing done in a simple style. The next is a "yellow line" painting where the sketch or drawing is done by painting yellow lines through the leaves and petals so the lines make many new shapes. These shapes were then painted without a total reality color. The third painting is more realistic yet has an abstract quality with the petal and leaves painted negatively and the color allowed to drip into the white area below.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Evening Twilight

"Evening Twilight" is a an art quilt using watercolor to paint the fabric. The background was painted and dried. The small pieces were painted separately and then dried. Each piece was then affixed to the background fabric. Finally, the backing, the batting and the topic were sandwiched together and the whole thing machine quilted using the regular needle. Although it doesn't show in this photo, gold and silver was added to embellish the design.

Caribou Coffee Exhibit

Caribou Coffee in Anderson Township invited me to exhibit and the exhibit has lasted for 3 months. Due to be taken down at the end of January, it will be my last exhibit for a while. However, I continue to add more work to in-home studio.