Monday, March 2, 2015

Thought of the Day

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone.  The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes.  To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”  
- Cynthia Occelli

Friday, February 27, 2015


We have been having some beautiful sunsets lately.  They are very inspiring.

Can you see the sliver of moon high in the sky in this first photo?

These were all taken from my living room with my pocket camera.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Stitch & Post Workshop

I taught my Stitch & Post workshop this past weekend which was in conjunction with the Treasure Valley Artists' Alliance Fiber February.  The sign-ups were through their site, but you didn't have to be a TVAA member to take the class (but TVAA members got a discount).

The workshop was full with eight students.  I think this is the first time I have taught adults.  In the past, I have worked with children.

The workshop was at my house and I think it worked out well.  I was able to do a slideshow on our television screen and if we needed something extra, I had all the materials right there in my studio.  I was also able to show them examples of my own artwork where I had used hand stitching.

The focus of the workshop was on hand stitching.  I showed them some simple hand stitches and many examples of the different ways to use those hand stitches to accent artwork on fabric, paper or canvas.  The students practiced different stitches and then made either a fabric postcard or small square artwork using fused fabrics and accented it with their hand stitching.

For this first time, I learned that we could have used a little more time (I had scheduled three hours for the workshop).  Several people did complete their works.  Most were almost done and they took the stuff home to finish up.

We were set up in our downstairs living room.  I set up a couple extra tables and brought in my ironing board.  Here you can see our new windows!

And here are some of the students working.

Some of the works in progress.  I had fabrics already pre-fused for the participants.  I enjoyed seeing what fabrics and colors people chose and their little compositions.

I didn't get a chance to get a picture of everybody's.  It seemed as though everyone enjoyed the workshop, but could have used a little more time.  I hope to teach this again and now I can refine it a little more.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Treasure Valley Artists' Alliance's Menagerie

The Treasure Valley Artists' Alliance's latest exhibition is Menagerie.

Menagerie: a collection of wild animals kept in captivity for exhibition.
A strange or diverse collection of people or things.

This exhibition was juried by local artists and BSU professors Richard Young and Cheryl Shurtleff. With only around 17 artworks chosen, this is an intimate exhibition.  Artworks can be seen at the Boise State Public Radio offices at 220 E. Park Center during business hours and is up until April 24th.

Here's a sneak peek.

Unfurled by Barbara Louise Bowling

I did not submit any artwork for the exhibition because I did not have anything to go with the specific theme.  Usually, I don't like to make artwork for a specific theme. Even if I had, I don't think this theme lends itself very well to my style. But I did install the exhibition, so go check it out.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Plein Air Painting

Sunday morning I went on what I would call my first "en plein air" painting excursion.  It may not technically be the first if I go by the literal definition of "in open air."  I have done some sketching outside with my sketch book and a few times have actually used watercolors on those sketches. But this is the first time I have gone out with the intention of painting, not sketching.

I have been taking a painting workshop with Rachel Teannalach to learn how to use oil paints. I haven't done much painting since college and we did not use oils in college; we used acrylics.  Rachel invited us students to join her in a paint out at sunrise in the foothills.  We actually arrived a little before the sunrise.  There was a sliver of moon out and several of us headed up the trail to find our painting location.

Here is Carrie, Rachel and Lorna working on their paintings.

This is my little set-up since I am not really equipped to do plein air painting.  I have my large palette I have been using in class, a towel to sit on (the ground was still frosty) and I taped a couple pieces of paper to a piece of sturdy cardboard.

One piece of paper is bright orange because with oil paints the surface needs to be primed before painting.  I chose an orange color.  I'm not ready to show you the finished pieces just yet.  Let's just say they don't look anything like what I was seeing.

Here is Lorna's set-up and painting.  She was using the box to hold her painting while she was working on it.

Although I am still not use to working with oil and get frustrated with it, it was a fun experience to go on the paint out.   

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day is Here

Happy Valentine's Day!  Today may be Valentine's but it is not the last day to bid on the artwork at Flying M's Valentines for Aids auction.  You can celebrate today and tomorrow and go make your final bid.  Auction closes at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

These are the last two pieces I am going to post, but there are many, many more to see.  This first one is a drawing titled, Come Live in my Heart and Pay No Rent, by Patrick Davis.

 Time is running out to bid on this last piece by Ferris Goul.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine for Aids Continues

Have you gotten your love something for Valentine's day yet?  There is still time to bid on artwork at Flying M.

The featured artwork for today is a ceramic piece made by Kevin Flynn that is entitled, Bee Mine. So sweet.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Valentine Artwork Preview Continues

More artwork from the Valentine for Aids auction.   There's only a few more days left to bid on some great artworks.  Since we are running out of time, I am going to show you two pieces today.

The first is by my friend, Mike Landa.  I love the simplicity of this.  The title is Equal Are We.  Sorry for the light reflections.  Sometimes there is just no way around them.

This pair of cute cups is made by Brenda Golden. Title is Day of the Dead.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

More Valentine for Aids Artwork

This Valentine for Aids artwork is made by Ardith Tate and is entitled, Loliti.  It looks like a mixed media piece.  Check it out at Flying M Coffeehouse in Boise.  Up for bids until 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 15. 

Pay What You Want Event

In an effort to get more of my artwork out of the closet and to people who would enjoy it, I came up with the idea of a Pay What You Want Event.  I am offering to my newsletter subscribers a chance to name their own price on selected artworks each month.  They have 24 hours to make an offer before I let the public in on the deal.

Last month I did not need to go public.  This month I still have one artwork available that I am now offering to the public.  It will be available for 24 hours.  If you want to read more about how this works and/or make an offer, here is the link to the page.

If you want to sign up for my newsletters and be one of the first to make an offer on future artworks, you can sign up here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Valentine Countdown Continues

There are lots of fun artworks at the Flying M's Valentine for Aids auction.  I am just showing you a few, but there are hundreds.  So you will want to go see them for yourself (if you are in town).

Today's artwork is a little painting by JanyRae Seda.  It is framed with glass which is why there are lots of reflections in the picture.  The piece is entitled, Heart Bird Glance.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Valentine Countdown

Flying M's Valentine for Aids event is up and running.  This is the first year in sixteen that I have not donated an artwork.  The event is very popular and they can only take so many artworks.  I decided it was time to give someone else a chance.

I went to see the artworks and will give you a preview of one (or two) each day as we count down to Valentine's day. First up is a cozy pair of mittens made by Gail Baccheschl. You can bid on these beauties until 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 15th.

There are lots of things to bid on and this picture only shows part of the work.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Fiber February

The Treasure Valley Artists' Alliance has designated this month as Fiber February. On Feb. 2, the group held a panel discussion on Fiber Arts.   I was asked to be a panelist, along with other Idaho artists Thea Belecz, Sara Esquivel-Morrissette, Betty Hayzlett, Shirley McCarter and Kathleen Probst with Boise State University Assistant Professor, Lily Martina Lee, hosting as moderator.

The event was well attended, good questions being asked and lots of interest. Each artist on the panel brought some examples of their work for people to see.

The Treasure Valley Artists' Alliance is also hosting several fiber workshops to go along with the monthly theme.  I will be teaching one and my friend, Kathleen, will also be teaching one.  There is a third workshop in the making with my other friend, Betty Hayzlett, teaching.  But that one has not been finalized (keep checking on TVAA website for information).

Sign-up for the workshops is through the Treasure Valley Artists' Alliance website (scroll down and click on "pay now" button to register).  Since spaces are limited, sign up soon!

Here is the workshop information:

Stitch and Post Workshop
Instructor: Lisa Flowers Ross
Date: Saturday, February 21, 2015
Time: 1 – 4 pm
Place: Lisa Flowers Ross’ studio, 1466 Rimrock Ct., Boise

Maximum number of students: 8


Add a new layer of dimension to your artwork!  In this workshop, participants will learn several different, simple hand stitches that can be used in a variety of ways on fabric, canvas or paper to add extra texture and accent to your work.  Examples from different artists will be shown and lots of stitching ideas generated.  Using fused fabrics, participants will compose and complete a small artwork or postcard, embellished with hand stitching, that can actually be mailed, or just “posted” on the internet.
Workshop fee for TVAA members: $15
Fee for non-members: $30

Mod Fusion

Instructor: Kathleen Probst
Date: Saturday, February 28, 2015
Time: 9 am – 3 pm
Place: Kathleen Probst's studio, 2286 W. Kelly Creek Dr., Meridian

Maximum number of students: 8

Get Your Mod On! In this workshop you will learn how to fuse fabrics and create a variety of fusing effects. You will produce several samples to practice the techniques and then create a small composition.  We will focus entirely on fusing.  No sewing machines are required.

Workshop fee for TVAA members: $35
Fee for non-members: $55

Sign up now!

I am excited about teaching my workshop.  I hope some of you can join me. 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Walk

It's been a lovely day for a walk.  The inversion is gone (for now); the sun is out; the sky is blue and the temperature is in the upper 40's.  Nice.  It almost feels like spring.

As I was walking through the field, it was nice to hear the many birds twittering and chattering in the bushes.  When Anna was in elementary school, we use to walk through the field everyday.  When we heard all the birds in the bushes, we would say they were holding "birdie council."

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Workshop with Abigail Kokai

Surel's Place is a non-profit artist in residency program.  Artists work and live in a house in Garden City near the river.  This month, Abigail Kokai is the residence artist.  She hosted several workshops, building fabric collages, these past two weekends in conjunction with her residency.

The workshops were free, but you had to register.  I went to one this past Saturday to find out what kind of techniques she uses in her work.  Kokai is a young artist who has lived in several different places.  Her work captures the sense of place through her "everyday stories."

Kokai will be talking about and showing her work completed during this residency this Thursday, Jan. 29, at Surel's Place, from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

She spoke a little of her process during the workshop and her impression of the area in Garden City. Kokai told her own stories of how some of the artworks came to be.

Here are a few sketches and works in progress she had on the walls.

Workshop participants with works in progress on the wall.

Detail of a truck.  The black outline of the truck was done with painting or drawing on a sheer fabric then layering it over a gray fabric. In the background on the left, you can see where Kokai stamped an image on the background fabric.  Her method of working is very collage-like, attaching the elements, sometimes with glue, sometimes with fusing and then going back with stitching later.  She incorporates both machine stitching and hand stitching in her works.  She also uses all different kinds of fabrics.

Here is the fabric stash she had for the workshop students to use.

The workshop was very informal, with not much instruction. She showed us, through slides, the progression of steps for one of her pieces.  Then, we were just free to make up our own fabric collage based on our own "everyday story" (or not).  She would help if you had questions.

I just played with the fabrics to put together some small abstract piece.  I glued the pieces down and brought it home.  I don't know if I will finish it or not.

If you want to learn more about her process and the artwork she's done for the residency, attend her talk on Thursday.  I think you will find it very interesting.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Collecting and Pay What You Want

I am a collector.  When I was a child, I collected mice (not real ones).  I think I started collecting postcards in college when I participated in summer school in Vienna, Austria and we traveled to different places on the weekend.  It might have started earlier than that, but the collection grew significantly during that summer.

I also have a collection of art books I keep as my "reference library."  We have shells and rocks around the house from different places and even a sand collection.

Anyone who has visited my house knows I have quite a collection of other artists' work.  Here is one of my latest acquired pieces, a print by John Smith of Chartwell Print.

John Smith
Canoes II
(photo posted with permission of artist)

The collection of my own artwork is growing and overflowing our storage spaces!  Thinking about this storage issue, I came up with an idea.  The idea is to sell some of my older works on a pay-what-you-want basis.

I tried this with a couple of artworks offered to my newsletter subscribers.  I had several offers and was happy for the artwork to have a new home.  I am planning to do this again, offering to my newsletter subscribers first.   If you would like a chance to pay-what-you-want for some of my artwork, I invite you to sign up for my newsletter.  

I will only make the offer public if none of my subscribers purchases the art.  This time both pieces sold before they could be made public.

Here's an explanation of how it works:

"In an effort to share my art with the world, instead of having it hidden away in a closet, I am offering select pieces for purchase for the price you want to pay. That's right, you get to pick what you want to pay to have an original fabric artwork to enjoy in your home or office (or maybe somewhere else)!

My newsletter subscribers receive first chance at the artwork. They will receive the link in my monthly newsletter. After 24 hours, if nobody offers a price, then I will make the link public to others. The page will then be up for another 24 hours. If this works well, I will do this once a month for the rest of the year.

If you see a piece you would like to buy, just send me an email. I am asking that you pay for the shipping costs, in addition to your price offer. I can calculate that amount after I have your address. For Idaho folks, I also have to charge sales tax on the price you offer (tax is 6%).

You will have 24 hours to email me. After the 24 hours is up, I will send an email to all who respond to let you know the results. If more than one person requests the same artwork, then the person with the higher price will receive the piece at that price.

It's a win-win. You get an original work of art at a price you can afford, and my art goes out into the world to be enjoyed (and I free up some storage space, too.)"

My next newsletter will go out at the beginning of February with a few more artworks available at the pay-what-you-want (PWYW) price.  Please sign up if you are interested in seeing the pieces and making an offer.