Saturday, July 31, 2010

Playing with some sketchbook scraps.  Little bit dark perhaps but I do like the red, black and dull yellow color palette. Pen and Ink with colored pencil, stencil and watercolor.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I Worry for Us...

Before I left this summer.  Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill aimed at identifying, prosecuting and deporting illegal immigrants in Arizona to be enacted this month.  This law was a major violation of human rights.  I was so grateful that the Federal judge took action and overruled the most controversial aspects of the law.

Arizona's court-altered illegal immigration law went into effect just after midnight yesterday.

I worry that we are becoming more and far too militaristic in our "problem- solving".  

It has been strange to hear some of my Anglo friends and how they defended the need for more border security and thought the law in its original state was a good thing.  I understand their need to feel safe but I believe they fail to realize that a law like that was opening Pandora's box for potential abuse of human rights in the wrong hands.

I have seen abuse of human rights without that law.  Imagine what would happen if it had not been modified.

I am an advocate for education and tolerance as a premise to solve problems.

My soapbox.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Woman Standing in Chair"

I've been drawing quite a bit these past few weeks.  Felt good to get my work ready for the show.  Can't wait to finish cleaning my book studio, then on to my painting studio (a total wreck).  My son needed to store boxes until he had a new apartment... he was staying with us temporarily and has just left for graduate school in another state. Who's gonna' complain about storing a few boxes?  Hope everyone out there is working this summer.  I'm not teaching full-time this semester, just workshops.  This gives me a lot more time for my own art.  Yeah! I like the sound of that.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mt. Vesuvius Requiem

Visited Pompeii and in the distance could see Mt. Vesuvius looming. Saw many strange icons on various fragmented murals of both men and women.  In the bath houses and the bizarre brothel.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

New Work

During the past few weeks I have documented and cataloged all of my print images.  Meanwhile I am juggling some painting and drawings.  This is a recent one...probably influences from Italy.

I am having a show in August and will be showing about 40 works.  This new drawing will be included,  Think they are a good start for getting back to painting.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Local woman checking her watch...

I made many, many, many sketches of the indigenous women in our small Italian town.  It was always clear to me that some of them "tolerated" tourists.  My guess is that their days were filled with no-nonsense responsibilities.  I could see them in the doorways, through the kitchen windows and always running errands. Mostly the younger women worked in the tourists shops. If only I spoke Italian.  Perhaps someday...

The Italian Countess

When we were in Italy one of our friends left for the weekend to visit an old college friend.  This friend married a Count and now lives in an Italian villa north of Florence.   I imagined something rather dramatic after she described her friend to me.  Her dress is cut from a printed paper napkin we were given in a trattoria.  Apparently the Countess' life was very pretentious and she seemed to need to live up to her title.  So, I imagined her making a grand entrance onto the page.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Italian Girl

One of many sketches from the Italy trip. Sometimes due to lack of space I used the bedroom in our apartment for my studio. 

Now that I'm back home I can see that I need to clean up my real studio.  I'm pulling prints for an upcoming show and I can't find anything!  Also, trying to catalog work for a website as well as make a virtual inventory of art.  It's not in my nature to do this so wish me luck.  I need to keep better records PERIOD!!!! or at least records of my editioned prints.  Hopefully, I will discipline myself to organize them immediately after they are printed. 

Saturday, July 10, 2010


For demonstration, I was trying to persuade the watercolor and drawing classes to combine mediums.  I saw this statue of Cleopatra in the courtyard of the Vatican.   I stained my Fabriano paper with red, ochre and burgundy watercolor.  This was from a purchase I made at Zecchi's in Florence (100 sheets of Fabriano paper!!!!). Later I was able to tour the Fabriano museo in the town of Fabriano, Italy.  They demonstrated the paper making process.  There was also an exhibit of watercolors sponsored by the Royal Academy of Art.  Fascinating and priceless.  Their watermarks were the highlight.

No Giotto, Just Pinocchio...


I saw endless versions of Madonna and child as well as Giotto's amazing frescoes in Assisi.  I'm not Catholic but I spent hours upon hours in almost every Duomo in Umbria and in Tuscany observing religious icons, frescoes and bas-reliefs.  For my own escape from "over saturation" I created my own version in my sketchbook.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Italian Shopper...


I am always fascinated with the indigenous women anywhere.  In Orvieto, on market day there would be many women in their middle forties and older who would tote a shopping cart, sort of a shopping bag on wheels.  I could imagine that they would get these as gifts for birthdays or special occasions.  Some of the fancier carts had tri-wheels (6 total).  I have drawn flying women before but I did this sketch in honor of the Orvieto shopping women.  They are no-nonsense at the market, they can be seen rummaging through high piles of shirts with a sign reading "4 for 10 euro".  They haggle with the cheese man, the vegetable man.  They insist on sampling everything first.  They are a strong force and they gave me side-ways glances as I stumbled through the rows of vendors.  I tried to stay out of their way.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Drawing of a Student

This is a drawing of one of the students in Orvieto.  She was over 6' tall and strikingly different from the others.

Roman-Inspired Hair


After visiting numerous museos in Italy I began sketching these classically-inspired hairstyles/coiffes. The more exaggerated the better... The Romans were inspired by the Greeks to do some of the most outrageous things with their hair.  My understanding is that they used hair dyes and gold powder as well as wigs made of real hair taken from slaves.  Obviously vanity has always been around and most unfortunately, slavery.  

Friday, July 2, 2010

My Espresso Expression (inspired by Orvieto)

Being a big coffee drinker I learned to love the espresso-coffee maker. However, I was unaccustomed to not having my American coffee-maker and unfortunately over the course of 5 weeks I managed to melt off the tip of the handle on the espresso-maker at least 3 times.

My studio was in another room and I would get unto making art...time would pass quickly and I would soon forget about the espresso.  I could smell something burning...upon my entry into our tiny apartment kitchen I could see coffee had exploded all over the walls...the tip of the handle was melted and dripping from extreme heat... soon I learned not to leave the stove unattended.

This inspired me to start making art using my little espresso maker.  I decided that I wanted to make it huge in proportion to everything.  It was a big part of the Italian experience.

Pinocchio Watercolor

I did this as a demo for the watercolor class.  I used my recently purchased Pinocchio doll.  These little wooden dolls can been seen all over Italy in a variety of sizes as well as other items, bottle openers, yo-yos, puppets, sling shots and other things.  Even though I was told that the Italian version of the story of Pinocchio said that he was really evil I still had a strong affection for him.