Monday, November 29, 2010


Goddesses come in all shapes and forms.

I created this one while sharing the practice of art therapy with our International Trauma Treatment Program's practitioner from Sri Lanka. Her graduation and the annual auction will be on Sunday, December 5th from 5-8PM at the Phoenix Inn, 415 Capitol Way North, Olympia, Washington.

This goddess is made with paper mache that comes in a powder form requiring the addition of water. She is a rather hefty goddess in contemplation; she ponders her true potential by the banks of the river.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Colorful Artist

I was just cruising around the Internet this evening and came across an artist whose art I thoroughly enjoy. Being an animal person, I was very drawn to her pet portraits. I really like the way she captures the expressions of the pets and her choice of colors.

She has challenged herself to do 30 pet portraits in 30 days.
She is on number 21.
Take a look.

By the way, here is one of my cats, Gypsy, immortalized in a mixed media collage painting:

and in an oil painting:

She has very expressive eyes and can out stare anyone.

Wonder if this is a message that it is time for me to paint my other pets.....

Friday, November 26, 2010

Greece Paintings

I cannot believe how long this watercolor painting took!

Actually, I found myself getting lost trying for too much detail. Even though I had this fantastic view in mind, I lost the spontaneity of painting that I love. So, this was one of those "labors of love". But I am still not sure I really like the painting.......

The view is from the city of Oia on the island of Santorini in Greece. I was looking down from the main street to the water and the island, Thirasia, that separated from Santorini in one of the many volcanic erruptions.

I might paint a different, more freer, rendition of this view.

Stay tuned.....

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dog Artist

Very clever and just in time for the holidays.

A paint kit for dogs!

This is how it works. First, place plastic on the floor, and then the canvas. Next, apply some paint followed by a top layer of clear plastic. Your dog can now walk and play over the canvas. By the way, a toy is included to help encourage your dog to "paint".

Presto, your dog has created a work of art!

Ready for is called Pup-Casso!

Check it out here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snow Sculptures

Occasionally, we get snow in Olympia, Washington. This is day two of the winter wonderland.

This morning I looked outside and found my garden sculptures wearing white coats.

One more day of snow in the forecast :-)

Monday, November 22, 2010


A foot of snow each day!

This past weekend I was in Lake Tahoe, California, helping my cousin, Anne Roos, celebrate the release of her two new CDs; Velvet and Blue Jeans. Fun evening!

Anne at Play

The snow was an added bonus......little did I know that I would be treated to more when I returned home to Olympia, Washington. I arrived on Friday and the town of South Lake Tahoe was buzzing with the news of the first snow storm of the season. As predicted, about ten inches of snow fell that evening. I was up early to take a walk in the pristine fluff before human intervention.

Camera in hand, I recorded a few photographs.

More snow followed adding another foot the next evening.

I felt like I was in winter wonderland.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Art Symposium Day Two

Last weekend was the fifth annual Arts Symposium put on by the Tacoma Arts Commission at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. It was a two day event dedicated to providing local artist and arts organizations with nuts and bolts information in order to become and remain successful in the arts.

I took advantage of this FREE opportunity to take classes from local professionals and educators.

The second day I attended two classes by Miriam Works, Works Consulting, an artist and consultant; Things You Wish You Learned In Art School: The Art Of Marketing and The Creative Maker: Time Management for Artist. Miriam emphasized the "art" of marketing with crucial tips as well as creating a marketing plan. In the second class, we learned more effective ways to manage our time. I found sharing our "time wasters" and "excuses" similar and it felt as if we were confessing in a support group. Needless to say, I left both classes with great insights and information to uplift and motivate me to create.

November 2010 marks the 9th Anniversary of Art At Work: Tacoma Arts Month. It has become a fall tradition providing a diversity of offerings illustrating the richness of the Tacoma community. Many of the activities are free and most are family friendly.

If you live locally and missed out this year,
mark your calenders for next year.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Art Symposium

This weekend is the fifth annual Arts Symposium put on by the Tacoma Arts Commission at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. It is a two day event dedicated to providing local artist and arts organizations with nuts and bolts information in order to become and remain successful in the arts. You get to choose from a range of informational sessions which are presented by professionals and educators. AND IT IS FREE!

I attended the class, The Business of Art - How to Keep the Starving Away From the Artist presented by Audrey L. Godwin, The Godwin Group PLLC.

In this class, I revisited the idea of a business plan. Audrey shared the four principles of success in business:

1. Have a clear vision for your business.
2. Have a solid strategy for making necessary changes and achieving your goals.
3. Have practical systems to help you achieve your goals.
4. The best ideas, principles or talents are useless unless they are executed consistently.

We also looked at our core values and answered the question, What do I want my business to do for me? Then, we were to write what our business will look like in 25 years when it is finished. Lastly, we assessed our core competency in the areas of developing products and services, generating demand, fulfilling demand, and planning and managing the business by rating our passion, skill, and time for each.

Being an accountant, Audrey went over the big picture of cash flow projection and compared five different business entitles; sole proprietorship, partnership, regular C corporation, S corporation, and a limited liability company.

What a thought provoking, informative session!

Tomorrow, I go back for more.....

I you live in the area and missed this year's event, save the second week in November for next year's Art Symposium.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Picasso in Seattle Washington!

The other day, I went to the Picasso Exhibit
at the Seattle Art Museum.

The exhibition features more than 150 extraordinary paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and photographs which were part of the Musée Picasso Museum in France. Because the Musée Picasso has recently closed for renovations, the museum is allowing the global tour of these works. The Musée Picasso’s holdings stand apart from any other collections of Picasso because they represent the artist’s personal collection of art that Picasso kept for himself with the intent of shaping his own artistic legacy.

It is claimed that the exhibition presents iconic works from virtually every phase of Picasso’s legendary career, documenting the full range of his unceasing inventiveness and prodigious creative process.

Despite the crowds, it is well worth seeing.

At the museum, I became intrigued by the work of Cai Gao-Qiang and would have loved to have seen the installation of Inoppotune:Stage One, 2004

At first glance, I wonder why the cars were at the Art Museum?

This work is one in a series by the artist where a sequence of objects is set in motion in space, often acted upon by an invasive force - cars shot through by lights, taxidermied tigers pierced by arrow, or a pack of stuffed wolves that collide into a glass wall. Time appears in suspended animation, compelling viewers to pause and interpret these startling scenarios with narrative or explanations of their own imagination.

Cai Guo-Qiang has also worked extensively with fireworks, a medium which resonates here, and which also has deep culturqal significance in his native China. Wheather celebratory or ominoius, this work is intended to evoke a range of interpretations.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Next Watercolor Painting of Greece

Being that the rains have set in here in Washington and those "sun breaks" are few and far between, I have begun to stay indoors and paint.

Greece is still very fresh in my mind and painting from my photographs actually brings me back into the experience. Painting Greece will be a great way to spend the dark winter months.

This second painting is a composite of favorite elements of the Greek landscape; olive trees, the hillsides, and the architecture. While traveling by car with a friend into the mountain area of Crete, we came across a huge, ancient olive tree which begged to be immortalized in a watercolor painting.

I am just getting warmed up.......there will be many renditions of this theme.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Autumn Leaves and Rainbow

Yes, we get rained on a lot here in Olympia, Washington. Fortunately, it fosters fantastic skies and today while walking the Chehalis Western Trail with my dog, a full rainbow spread across the sky.

I have not been very successful photographing rainbows, but with only my cell phone camera at hand, I gave it a try.

The sunlight came at an angle which highlighted the maple leaves on the trail. As you already know, I love leaves and could not resist another cell phone photo of this spectacular sight.

Close up, it looks like this.

I was reminded of a story Leo Buscaglia, who was a professor at the University of Southern California and beloved speaker, told in one of his speaking engagements about his neighbor's who did not like the look of all the leaves on his front lawn. One day as he was teaching a small class at his home, a neighbor came to his door to complain and request that Leo do something about the leaves because it was a disgrace to the neighborhood. Leo said he loved the leaves (I can relate!). At that moment he told all his students to help him gather all the leaves and bring them into the house. Which they did. The lesson was continued while they sat in the leaves in Leo's living room.
My kind of guy!

I found this last photo very dramatic with the dark sky, a single white cloud, and the dark tree with the moss lit by the sunlight.

Another glorious morning on the Chehalis Western Trail!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Autumn Leaves

The other day, as I walked the Chehalis Western Trail in Olympia, Washington, with my dog, I found myself shuffling the piles of leaves which reminded me of childhood.

Did you ever get a chance to play in the autumn leaves?

The next day I met the person whose job it is to blow the leaves off the trail. For maybe an hour or so the trail was totally void of leaves, imagine that!

When I walked the trail again the leaves returned and the patterns were very striking with the wet, black asphalt as a background. I found one of those huge maple leaves and took its picture.

Nature's still life.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

First Greek Watercolor Painting

Having spent three wonderful weeks traveling in Greece, I took many photographs and did several sketches. Finally, I am creating watercolor paintings from my travels.

I must admit that have developed a fondness for olive trees. I love trees in general, but the olive tree became a focal point as I traveled. The bark has these twisted looking vines with wonderfully shaped holes and the branches stretch out very gracefully. The leaves are silver green; they extend from the branches in all directions especially when laden with lots of olives. The branches in clusters look spotted with olives so you have this wonderful contrast of circles and lines. I learned that it is VERY easy to get lost in an olive grove.

Here is my first watercolor painting of the olive grove.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Reviving The Mandala

I have the honor and privilege to work with a practitioner from Sri Lanka because I am on the faculty of the International Trauma Treatment Program. My role is to facilitate the exchange of information in trauma treatment using art therapy.

My approach is to engage the practitioners in creating art and learning from the process how art therapy might benefit their work with traumatized people of their country.

This is the second practitioner in the program who works at the Butterfly Peace Garden in Sri Lanka. The Butterfly Peace Garden (BPG) is a non-governmental organization established in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka in 1996. Children are brought to the BPG each day from surrounding villages in groups that are mixed with respect to gender and ethnicity (e.g. children from Tamil and Muslim villages). A typical program cycle runs one day a week for nine months and involves activities drawn from a range of visual, dramatic and musical arts. Activities are conducted by adult animators skilled in one or more artistic discipline, who have in many cases experienced psychological wounds similar to those of the children who come to the BPG. The BPG has for several years served as a model for innovative and effective programs for war-affected children, families and communities.

Today, I was feeling a bit "traumatized" from the rushed day I had been experiencing. I explained to the practitioner how "centering" it is to create a mandala especially without any preconceived image. Drawing a circle and creating shapes, lines, and forms with colors inside the boundaries of the circle can be very therapeutic. It is calming and very similar to meditation.

When creating a mandala, I find that images may appear and I can choose to bring forth that image, or not. What appeared today was the image of a female dancing. I wondered if it were a message to me........

to dance with the flow of life rather than to react? There is a free feeling; a sense of joy and power to this movement.
It makes me smile.

This mandala has awakened my intuitive nature and I know that there is more to come. It is posted on my wall so that I can see and hear its message.

It has revived my interest and love of creating mandalas.