Thursday, January 29, 2009

Scribble Collage

In my Collage Journeys workshop tonight we are doing one of my favorite projects: Scribble Collage. The idea is to make a collage or series of collages entirely from your own artwork, scribbles, etc. Anything you've created by hand is fair game, even grocery lists, journal pages, or doodles you've made while on the phone. I like to use this project as an opportunity to use drawing and painting materials that I don't use very often - pastels, charcoal, pencil. One way to start this process is to create ten to twelve quick drawings on cheap paper, not spending more than a few minutes on each one. The above images are my results. Then you tear up the drawings and make collages. See my book "Collage Journeys" for more suggestions.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lima Beans

Did anyone ever like lima beans as a kid? I can only remember them tasting like mild cardboard, but on a whim I tried making lima bean puree, and they were SO good I've made them several times since. They are the color of wasabi, and go great with salmon.

Lima Bean Puree

If you have your own home grown lima beans, or some from a local farm, use those. If not, a bag of grocery store frozen lima beans will work perfectly well.

1 pound fresh or frozen lima beans
1/3 - 1/2 cup milk, heated
1 - 2 tablespoons butter
salt to taste

Bring a pot of salted water to boil, and cook the lima beans for about 5 minutes. Drain, and place in the bowl of a food processor. Puree while adding the milk in a stream. Add butter and salt. Puree some more. Serve hot. This dish can be made ahead of time and heated gently in the microwave. Variation: incorporate a head of roasted garlic into the puree (to roast a head of garlic, slice off the top end to expose the cloves; drizzle with olive oil; wrap in foil, and bake in your toaster oven at 275 degrees for about an hour. When cool, squeeze out the softened cloves. MMMmmmm).

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Tonight at my Collage Journeys workshop we are going to explore texture using lightweight papers, gesso, matte medium, and paint. Texture in collage can be bold, three dimensional, in-you-face - think corrugated, wire mesh, objects glued to the surface. But it can also be subtle. Simple brushstrokes of matte medium, or layering of lightweight papers creates texture that you can emphasize by rubbing india ink or paint into the surface and then wiping it with a damp paper towel. Another way to emphasize subtle texture is to drybrush paint over the topmost surfaces, leaving the crevices unpainted. Here are a few examples of texture studies.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


My Collage Journeys workshop in Manchester, Vermont starts this evening, the first of six weekly sessions. I am excited to teach from my new book! Most of my students for this workshop are art teachers, so I expect the teaching and learning will go both ways. We're going to start with my "Color Collage" project, which is a fun way to get going if you've been away from art making for a while. First you gather and organize lots of different papers into color categories. Then you make several collage compositions using only papers from one color group. Of course, each group has many versions of one color - they can be patterns, textures, and all different shades. This project helps you to focus on composition, texture, and value, while exploring materials from many sources. Here are a few examples that I did for my book.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cheese and Goats

We went to the farmers' market yesterday and bought some cheese from one of our favorite cheese makers, Angela, from Consider Bardwell Farm. Check out their site. This farm is just a few miles down the road from Rupert, and in the summer we often stop there on our bike rides to visit with the goats. Here is a photo of me a couple of years ago playing with them in the spring. They are VERY friendly, sweet and funny. Another item to check out is "The Vermont Cheese Book", by my friend Ellen Ogden . Nothing like a bit of cheese and wine after a twilight snowshoe on a snowy Sunday. My "Wine and Cheese" collage is now available as a print from my Etsy site.

Friday, January 9, 2009

My Father at 80

My father, whom I call Jimmy, is turning 80 years old on January 23rd! I can't hardly believe it. He still jogs, swims, skis, sails, and builds things. I had the honor of designing the invitation for his party. Check it out.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

newspaper collage

I have just started fooling around with creating images in newspaper and then painting over them. I've used newspaper for background material in collage, but not as central image. A lot of collage artists make extensive use of newspaper; I don't know why I've never explored this before. Comments and suggestions are most welcome!