Friday, December 21, 2018

Happy Solstice!

In the northern hemisphere, where I live, this is the shortest day of the year. I like to celebrate the fact that the days start getting longer from here. I think of solstice as the turning point, the beginning of the new year, and, in keeping with so many traditions, time for a celebration of lights. I am happy to celebrate the fabulously extravagant lighting in my new studio!

One month of the 2019 calendar

We put together a full 2019 wall calendar as a solstice gift to you. Each month has a cropped image of one of my paintings, and we have filled in my workshop schedule for the year. See my website for links and more information on workshops. I may add one or two short workshops in the fall, and the calendar does not include online workshops. Each page should print out on 8.5"x11" paper; use matte photo paper for best results. Happy new year!

Friday, December 7, 2018

New Studio

Although my new studio is not quite complete, I have started moving in, and thought it would be fun to do a little retrospective of its progress.

Here is a photo of the studio I worked in for thirteen years (before that, I was a potter, and when I started doing freelance work and painting I used an upstairs tiny bedroom in the house).
Though this upstairs in a barn served me well for many years, its main challenges were the knee walls and gable ceiling, and the lack of running water in the building. No sink, no bathroom.
Beginning to pour concrete for the foundation

The deck is done and framing the walls begins

Second floor and loft framing begin

Beginning to close it in

Interior, sometime in the summer

Exterior, awaiting exterior insulation, strapping, and siding.
Drywall defines the space.

Exterior is insulated and strapped, shingles are going up.

Here is a brief tour of the studio after the first day of working in it.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Art For Fun

I read this article from the New York Times the other day, and shared it on Facebook because it raised interesting questions for me as a teacher. The article states that fewer people have "hobbies" these days because we have devalued the practice of leisure activities, things we do just for fun and relaxation with no pressure to be good at them.

I will admit to bristling just a little bit when someone comes to a workshop saying "I just want to have fun", and treating it like a vacation. Huh? I ask myself.  
Why shouldn't someone come to a workshop for fun? What is MY problem with this? 

I guess I think that implicit in "just for fun" is the idea that it's easy, and anyone who practices art knows that it is anything but easy. But it IS FUN TOO, or we wouldn't do it.

 Do I feel that "just for fun" somehow diminishes a practice that I take seriously? 

One thing about making art (or singing, or making jewelry, or acting, or cooking - creative endeavors in general) is that you CAN do it for fun. You CAN achieve a skill level that will allow you to enjoy it and get some satisfaction out of your creations. And that engaged enjoyment of a creative activity is valuable in itself. 

If I were to teach a workshop, or maybe "offer a session" is a better way to put it, that was really focused on "art for fun", what would that look like? Easy techniques with which you can make beautiful things? Art Without Agony? ... and then my mind jumps to the slightly cynical "quick and easy ways to make real art".  
Can I just relax with the idea of encouraging art practice for pleasure?

Students making art and having fun at Madeline Island School of the Arts.

Having fun and making art in Green Valley, AZ
Having fun and making art (and goofing around with my ukulele and alligator puppet) at Hudson River Valley Art Workshops

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Prints and Transfers

I teach a workshop called "Monoprint Collage" in which we explore gel plate printing techniques along with collage. For this spring's edition of Monoprint Collage, in Santa Fe, I will be including some deli paper transfer techniques. The video below shows just one of the fun ways you can use deli paper as a printing plate and transfer paper.

Deli paper blobs, scribbles

Deli paper blobs, graphite scribbles

Deli paper blobs, line transfers, scribbles

Deli paper blobs, scribbles, and collage

Friday, November 9, 2018

Kitchen Table Art

Here are a few sketchbook pages I have done at my kitchen table, with "dry" materials: tempera sticks, gel pens, paint markers, crayons, and collage with a glue stick.

Here is my Kitchen Table Art Supply List.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Big Fat Art Weekend Opening

Due to a cancellation, there is one spot open in my Big Fat Art Weekend in Stowe, VT, coming up November 9 - 11.  What is Big Fat Art?
Big Fat Art is a state of mind rather than a specific kind of art.  It is all about loosening up and getting past the thinking/evaluating zone and into the creative spontaneous one, where you can be freely expressive.  Ditch the inhibitions, relax, and have fun playing with paint! Read more here.
Disclaimer: it is easier said than done, getting out of the stuck place and into a freedom of expression.  In Big Fat Art we do specific exercises - such as speed-painting, five-minute painting, painting to a recipe or formula (six of these, one of those type of thing) - that keep us moving forward, and give us tools for getting, and staying, un-stuck.

Call Helen Day Art Center at 802-253-8358

Or e-mail Danielle at

The following video shows clips from a previous Big Fat Art workshop.

Friday, October 26, 2018

New Video Series

Finally, I've finished my new series of videos on making collage papers. Here is a preview:

Stowe October, 9x12

What Else? 10x10

White Dots 9x12

Pink Collage 9x12
In this series of sixteen videos you will learn a whole new vocabulary of techniques for creating your own collage papers, including making your own stamps and stencils, spattering and dripping High Flow paint, staining tissue paper, altering printed text, using oil pastel, and much more. 

Making collage papers that are uniquely yours is a great way to engage with your materials, explore pattern, and discover new color combinations. Each video is all new, original, material. All the techniques are accessible to beginners through advanced painters. 

Buy it here. It's $29.95

Friday, October 12, 2018

Suggestions for New Workshops?

What are your biggest challenges in your art practice?
When looking for a workshop to take, what are your highest priorities?
What are the main things you want to get out of a workshop?

I am always thinking about possibilities for new workshop topics or formats, and your input would be super helpful. Are there particular topics you would like me to address in an online workshop?  As downloadable content? Or in a live workshop?

How about a live workshop preceded by an online forum? That is, about a month before a scheduled in-person workshop, everyone who is signed up gets together in an online forum to share work, meet and greet, and do some preliminary "assignments" or projects to prepare for the live workshop.

Let me know your thoughts and suggestions. What have you been doing in your studio lately?

Friday, September 28, 2018

Student Work from Calgary

Here is a sampling of student work from my "Series as Process" workshop at Leading Edge Art Workshops in Calgary. What a great city this is! All within easy walking distance of the workshop are loads of excellent restaurants and cafés, a great yoga studio, the Esker Foundation, a terrific book store called Fair's Fair , and lots of parks and paths along the rivers.

The assignment is to work with a combination of neutral colors and bright colors in a grid format. The first is one of my examples, the rest is student work.

My example, 10"x10"

All work is on paper, with dimensions between 8" and 12".  Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Sheldon Store Fundraiser and Mixing Greens

As you may know, I am involved in a project to make an old general store into a community center and café in my little town of Rupert, Vermont. We have formed the non-profit Rupert Village Trust to make this project happen, and while we work on our big-picture fundraising plan, we are doing a small fundraiser to help defray our immediate costs through GoFundMe.

Meanwhile, here is a quick video on mixing greens and turquoises. I just love playing with colors and extracting a big huge palette of subtle variations on a couple of analogous colors. Check it out.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Intuitive Painting at Omega

There are a few spots available in my Intro to Intuitive Painting at the Omega Institute the weekend of September 14 - 16. If you've never painted before, or want to refresh your practice, this workshop will get you into your materials and process without the pressure of making "good art". We will draw with a pipe cleaner, color with crayons, paint with our hands, collage with pretty papers, create patterns, make monoprints, and generally PLAY with the art materials in a safe and supportive environment.  Sign up here.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Collage Papers Video Series

I am working on a series of videos that demonstrate various ways to make your own collage paper. This has been such a long-standing interest of mine, as you may know from my DVD that came out in 2012. These are all new videos, and I hope to make them available for download sometime in September. Here is a little preview:

That's me on the uke.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Gel Printed Envelopes

SUCH a fun way to experiment with gel plate techniques!  Printing on envelopes is fun, not precious, and gives you the opportunity to send your art pieces out into the world. This video features (and was inspired by) the song "Checks and Love Letters", by Bernice Lewis. Lucie Duclos, in Victoria, BC, is the one opening the mail, gushing over the collage papers I sent.

Here are some of the supplies I am using:

Have FUN!
And if you feel like sending me checks or goodies, like collage paper, send to:
PO Box 45
Rupert, VT  05768

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Video Preview

I am working on a short video demo of gel printing on envelopes, and here is a little preview. The music, Checks and Love Letters by Bernice Lewis, is used by permission. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018


The last few days I've been trying to get back into a groove of painting. With studio construction back underway and various other projects I'm working on, painting has taken a lower position on my priority list. Building momentum always takes time, and can be frustrating. I flailed around for a while, and then decided to go back to something that feels reasonably comfortable.

As a workshop assignment I often do my Complementary Colors exercise. Here are a couple of  examples, which are 10"x10":

Achieving as much variety as I can within one color is a great exercise, and it helps me focus. So I decided to play with orange on top of "works in progress" (which means works that have been hanging around, unfinished, for a while and need an injection of drama). The following pieces are 20"x20" on panel:

The colors I've used here are:
  • Vat Orange
  • Pyrrole Orange
  • Transparent Pyrrole Orange
  • Cadumium Orange 
  • Dairilyde Yellow
  • Azo Yellow
  • Hansa Yellow
Plus Caran d'Ache NeoColorII crayons.