Inside a Crooked House

There was a crooked artist who every crooked day,

Walked a crooked path to a crooked room to play.

To awake a crooked brain (4 am’s a crooked time)

A crooked cuppa coffee helped these crooked words to rhyme!

Enter, and on your left is a place to spread out and play, look out the window and make art.

The eastern exposure is my favorite. So lovely to sit and daydream, read, or make art.

On the south wall is a place to snack, make a beverage, cut flowers or make art here too.

When you come back, you get start where you left off.  So go out and make art.

If you stand in the middle and spin around.

If you come upon a crooked house…….go on in and play.


Watercolor Mice Inspired by 100 Year Old Flowers

If you have Multiple Muse Disorder, you know how easy it is to fall down a Rabbit Hole, or in this case a Mouse Hole.  My work illustrating Rascal, by Sterling North, sends me on a lot of research journeys, which I love.  When Sterling is mandated to get a collar and leash for his little pet, he goes to see Mr. Shadwick the harness maker.  The narrative of the story tells of Mr. Shadwick engraving Rascal’s name in the finest Spencerian script.

Well, I know a little about these scripts, but not a lot.  I have many wonderful calligraphy books and a really old book called Hill’s Manual of Business Forms and Guide to Correct Writing,1877.   The fun of getting really old books are the treasures that former owner’s leave in the pages.  Old stamps, news clippings, money (not yet, but someday) and in this case pressed flowers.  The name Emily is written over the name Lester Sullivan, so I’m assuming Emily owned this book at one time.  In the leaves of the book are a few clippings of poems, an ad for an Elmo treadle sewing machine from a Lyon Brothers formerly H. Wolf & Co. catalogue and pressed flowers.  Given the age of the book, the age of the ad and the assumption Emily wanted this sewing machine and she pressed the flowers, I’m guessing the flowers are over 100 years old.  So down the mouse-hole I go.

I figure I better brush up on Spencerian lettering to get my Rascal illustration authentic.  So I get out a Hunt pointed pen, oblique pen holder, guide lines from IAMPETH, Noodlers Black Ink, Bond practice paper and away I go.  But those flowers, what about those flowers?  Emily pressed them for something she wanted to make.  Cards, art, bookmarks are all possibilities.  That’s it, bookmarks.  And I’ll practice lettering on the back.  But I started practicing Engrosser’s Script (Copperplate), which I love, and still need to look at Spencerian, which is where this short story made long started and where I tripped and fell. 

What fun tumbling down the mouse-hole.  Thank you to Emily, this week’s muse.

Why mice?  I dreamed they used the flowers as parasols.

Textile, Meet Sculpture


Usually in the winter my Multiple Muse Disorder flares up.  The cold, short days find me curled up in my living room chair, surrounded by little dogs, thinking up things to make.  I should be in the studio working on my latest illustration, but sometimes the Muses fight and I sit back and roll with it.  Combine this with finalizing the task of organizing the lovely yarn I inherited from my beautiful sister-in-law, and strange things happen.

Leaving for Connecticut

Leaving in a square cardboard space craft and traveling 3000 land miles, the welcome must have been overwhelming and that makes me smile!

Algaelina and Roberto

2004 Art Journals

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron has an exercise called Morning Pages.  She advises to write three stream of consciousness pages each morning upon waking.  The idea is to get all the junk out of your mind for the day.  So about 2002 I started the exercises and went for a long time.  But eventually I got tired of the whiny sessions.  About 2004, I started adding snippets off memorabilia and my books eventually evolved into art journals.  Many pages are still whiny, but it is a very safe place to play, practice and pretend.  I fill a journal about once a year.  I’ve used many different books from cheap composition notebooks to watercolor paper journals, hardbound to spiral bound.  They all have their characteristics and my mission is to just fill them with musings, memories and meanderings.

Art Journal 2004

A place to ponder.

Art Journal 2006

A place to pretend.

Art Journal 2006a

A place to pour out.

Art Journal 2009

A place to practice.

1990’s Sculptural Explorations

So far all I had done was two dimensional work.  In the 90’s I picked up an Art Doll magazine and was immediately intrigued at the imaginative work being done by some amazing doll artists.  It wasn’t the porcelain baby dolls that captured me, but the dolls of fantasy and super realism.

Awhile later I discovered Sculpey clay and decided to make a Santa figure for my sister-in-law’s Christmas collection.  This craft had all the elements I love doing.  Imaginative design, working with my hands, sewing and gathering miniature accessories.  I made several figures over several years and they ended up in private collections.  I even made a Leon Coffee rodeo clown doll for a local rancher who was a personal friend of the rodeo legend.

But the sculpture muse stayed for only five or six years and receded into the shadows.

Golf Santa 072309

Commission for a family of golfers.  I also taught myself to knit with the making of his sweater.

After a Long Night 072309

My last Santa and my personal favorite.

Mario 072309

Mario the Gambler resides in my personal collection.