Concrete Poems

Surfacing series
Mixed Media on 4- 8x8 stretched canvases.
[handmade paper, rice paper, crackle paste, acrylic, ink, metallic powders]


Still Playing around

I am supposed to be avoiding the computer-- so new work but less typing for the next little while. All acrylic with ink pencils.


a Peace of Joy series

Mixed media on 3- 12x24 stretched canvases.
[ink pencils, graphite, acrylic]

Some days are starting days and some days are finishing days. I have been trying to finish up what I have begun before I get some repair work done on my right wrist which will force me to take a bit of a break for healing. So to prepare, I have also been trying to paint with my left hand when precision isn't required... which is kind of interesting-- my left hand is not well trained at all I am finding-- tends to be a bit raw. I have been working on these ones over the last week. I have been making marks with the ink pencils or acrylic on a brush using my right hand, then pushing them around with paint or medium on a larger brush to blend them with my left hand. I guess I should be grateful I have another hand at least.

Work in Progress

I have been working away at this one over the last week or so. The support had been layered with rice paper and dried. Then I started out by spraying the surface with water and sketching with an India Ink Inktense Pencil [they are fast becoming one of my favourite markmaking tools]. Then I painted wet into wet with inks and acrylics.

After that layer dried, I started painting out to reshape things and glazing with fluid colours, and used the Inktense for additional markings.

The last layer was mostly more markings with the Inktense and a bit more glazing to deepen colours. As usual, there are parts I really like, but I think I will have to live with it a bit longer before calling it done.


Surfacing series

Over the last week, I have been back to my textured works-- cycles upon cycles. I have been focused on the surface-- using a variety of materials to create texture with a simple landscapish theme as a constant. On the top one, I am using rice paper and tissue paper, letting them wrinkle over most of the surface and crumpling them up into folds in the green area.
In the second picture again I am using tissue and rice paper again, but pushing the rice paper together to create the raised lines.

In the third photo, I am using again the tissue paper for sky, crumpled rice paper in the coppery area and crackle paste [I love that stuff!!!] for the burnt sienna base area.

Variety is my Spice

Work in progress.

I seem to need to have alot of pieces of work on the go... I just keep moving from one to the next... I never know if I will finish anything in a day or if suddenly 2 or 3 pieces will come together and feel complete. I also need alot of variety in my processes... so in between painting, I will be collaging or making paper or making journals.

This is a piece I have been plugging away at for awhile. I started by collaging tissue and rice papers onto the canvas support. Some of the papers were already painted and some were white or cream. While it is all still wet I like to introduce the paint [ink, watercolours] so it creeps into the papers creating cool mixtures and textures. Then I will let that dry and have an interesting surface to work on...

Close up.


Sanctuary series

Mixed Media on 3- 12x24 stretched canvases.
[acrylic, ink, drawing media]

love is a place

love is a place
& through this place of
love move
(with brightness of peace)
all places
yes is a world
& in this world of
yes live
(skillfully curled)
all worlds
ee cummings
The Sanctuary series is an ongoing series of work exploring concepts of shelter, refuge, home and sacred space. Each of these works feature at least one window, a way of seeing outside [material reality] and a way of seeing inside [spiritual world].

In progress.



Needless to say, I shouldn't discuss plans for what I am planning to get to here-- the muse seems to get a bit unruly when burdened with expectations. So today, I worked on one for the Sanctuary series--I think it is getting close, it is a bit hardedged and I want to soften some areas.

I also took a few detours-- I think I need to start a new series just titled Detours-- for experiments and explorations that just don't seem to fit in anywhere else-- but are part of my process of discovery and I still like to look at. These 3 seem to be a morph of the cruciform structure of the Sanctuary series but with the curving forms of the Soar series-- they didn't know what they wanted to be-- but the colours make my heart sing and they look so cool together.

Soar mini

Mixed Media on 2- 6x6 stretched canvases.
[acrylic, ink, drawing media]

I tried smaller instead. Just as there are challenges in going larger, there are challenges in going smaller. These 6x6 pieces came out alright-- yet the 4x4 canvases I tried out bombed badly-- I finally figured out that I would need to find smaller brushes as a swipe of the 1 1/2 bristle I have been using to blend pretty much blended everything too much on such a small canvas. So we'll have another try at things tomorrow.


Soar series

Mixed Media on 8x8 stretched canvas
[acrylic, ink, drawing media]
This is the beginning of a new series that I think I will call Soar-- focused on transformation-- these images to me seem suggestive of birds, butterflies, spirits, even florals perhaps-- evoking fragility and motion. I love the kind of ambiguity that brings the viewers imagination into play.

I am still working mostly with studies, getting an idea of how to make these work larger. That is an ongoing challenge I find-- translating processes that work on a smaller scale to larger scale. I am hoping to take that on this week. I think I will try gradually going larger-- maybe some 12x12 canvases next. Unless I'm feeling particularly brave...


Points of Departure

Lightbulb! I am beginning to get the point of studies as a great place to explore an idea before committing to a larger canvas. Although I experiment and play [alot] I rarely use these as reference for larger work-- it just never occured to me. It was like the blank canvas was always a place for something new, open to possibilities. I've never been a planner-- and I accepted a long time ago the consequences of that being work that is strange and surprises me which is good in my world--but with my random approach there are also alot of false starts. But lately I am finding that it is really helping to play with these smaller canvases to find out what might happen if I did this or that before I do it on the larger work. And once I have a study worked out- usually in several different approaches, I am making better decisions about what is going to work or not work... Now when I take on the larger pieces, the studies are points of departure and I can still let the work develop into what it is going to become, instead of copying or repeating larger where I've already been smaller, but it seems like my trust in where I'm going is surer. I am learning so much through theses studies-- I love my job!


Paint Sketching

[acrylic, ink on 8x8 stretched canvas]
I spent most of today working on little paint sketches, trying to work out some ideas about where I'm going. I usually use small canvases for studies, just in case they develop into something interesting. I am largely playing with colour combinations and composition. I am trying to challenge myself with colour still and will often do a base colour in a colour that isn't a favourite and see where I can take it. This one started with a pink base which is peaking through in areas. I am liking the curving shape and the interplay of fogged out areas with the sketchy areas.


Sanctuary III

Mixed Media on 16x20 stretched canvas.
[acrylic, ink, drawing media]
This series is generating itself-- giving me lots of ideas of where I can go with this theme. I have a couple more in progress-- hoping to get to them soon. I am seeing in alot of ways, these are kind of refining or simplifying things I was playing with in the 'going green' piece I did earlier this year. Variation in the method of getting there, but similar in the mark markings.


Sanctuary II

Mixed Media on 20x26 stretched canvas.
[acrylic, ink, drawing media]
A new one in the Sanctuary series. This one is layers of wet into wet washes of acrylic, ink and Inktense pencils on almost raw canvas for staining effects. Then some sharper contrasts put on top once it all dried. I'm starting to realize how my themes are all interconnected. This series as well really seem to be part of my Crossing Place series. Maybe we all have our thematic obsessions and really can't escape them?


Sanctuary 1

Mixed media on 20x24 stretched canvas.
[acrylic, ink, drawing media]

I think this is the beginning of a new series-- I have the underpaintings in progress to explore a few more ideas with this theme-- I'm having alot of fun with these paintings-- mixing blending and layers of colours with sketchy forms and shapes. In this one, I love the magenta against orange and red orange.


A Good day's Work

Letting in the Light II
Mixed media on 18x18 stretched canvas
3- 12x12 canvases
Letting in the light series

Finally I am getting some focused studio time... and finally starting to feel like I am making some progress. I finished 3- 12x12 canvases in between working on the 18x18 canvas. I am really liking this colour combination-- the lime green/ turquoise with violet red-- and a touch of the quin. gold I've been hoarding. These ones meet my ambiguous 'strange and otherly' criteria and I like looking at them. After monthes of working really hard, these ones came together in the flow of things-- I so wish I could arrange more of those hours/ days.


Anima Animus

Mixed Media on 2- 12x24 stretched canvases.
[acrylic, ink, drawing media]
Sometimes the unconscious is a richer pool for imagery than anything I could ever plan. Most days I try to give my self at least some time to just paint and see what happens-- no plan-- just jump in and follow the brush like meditation. I painted these ones upside down actually [another example of the muse getting my mind out of the way so she can do her thing] When I flipped them to more easily fix something on what I thought was the bottom, I got an uncanny sense of masculine and feminine-- thus anima/ animus. The oddest thing is I have been thinking about figures again-- not sure how they would develop just that they would be different from the handmade paper ones I used to make. But knowing any figures I did would be mythic and archetypal, representative of soul instead of realistic. I'm not sure this is how they will develop-- but I do think it is very interesting to uncover what's on the muses mind.

In Progress


Work in Progress

I am finding that white in addition to being useful for glazing and misting out an area, is very useful for revisions... I've been playing with this one for awhile-- just making marks and reshaping things... it is still too busy, but it gives me a sense of where I'm going... and maybe I don't have to be the gesso queen anymore!


Looking for advice

Passage 6
Mixed media on 22x30 stretched canvas.
[acrylic, ink, drawing media]
I decided to try the passage theme on stretched canvas. I worked this one wet in wet which is quite possibly my absolute favourite way to work. Because the canvas stays wet and absorbent alot longer than hardboard, I had alot longer time for blending and created some transitions I really like.
So I'm looking for advice-- does anyone know if you can stretch canvas over cradled hardboard? I like the hard surface of the hardboard but the absorbency of the canvas-- I think if I could have both I would have my ideal working surface. Any advice out there vis a vis whether this could be workable? anyone done it? would the canvas eventually be damaged by contact with the hardboard? if I used gesso first on the hardboard would that minimize deterioration? Any input appreciated...


Mixed Media on 24x24 cradled hardboard.
[ink, acrylic, rice paper]



Mixed media on 24x24 cradled hardboard.
I've been trying to push myself out of my colour comfort zone. My usual palette tends toward analgous-- either all warm or all cool. This one was a real stretch-- mixing red and oranges with greens... trying to avoid that xmas look. Again the white glaze comes in handy... I have also been trying to bring in more mark making and symbology.


Wrinkle in Time2

Mixed media on 24x24 cradled hardboard.
[rice paper, ink, acrylic, monoprinting, collage]
Behind the scenes, I have continued my obsession with rice paper and monoprinting. The lighter central area is several ripped pieces of rice paper that I reverse monoprinted against various plastics. The border area are all monoprints where I used gesso as a resist on my handmade print plates, then washed colour over them. I am considering deepening the border area with a glaze of indigo, but I suspect the monoprints will be pretty much lost which may or may not be a good thing. For now, it is on the long wall of my Now Whats? Any opinions???


Exploring White

Work in progress.

One of the things I love about my work is there still alot to learn and One of the most frustrating things about my work is there is still alot to learn! I've been exploring white lately--- I tended to avoid white-- it was just too overpowering and chalky-- so usually if I wanted lighter areas I tended to use more of a watercolourist approach-- either using the white of the support and working transparently-- or thin it with lots of water so it was more of a wash... which just doesn't work with heavier bodied paint. So I finally figured out to mix it with alot of medium so it is more of a glaze and doesn't kill the colour when I mix it in. I'm sure it's not rocket science for most of you out there-- but sometimes this 'self taught' approach means learning things the hard way and this has been a revelation for me. I think I like white now-- it certainly has it's uses in layering color over colour.


Earth Forms

Uncharted Territory 8 and 9
Acrylic and inks on 2-12x24 stretched canvas.
I really like these long narrow canvases. These ones kind of painted themselves-- I did an underpainting of warm tones [yellow/ oranges/ red oranges] and let that dry. Then put the paintings on an angle and dripped and poured the cool tones and tints. These ones turned out interesting-- the third one is a mess--- but that's pretty good odds for playing!


Works in Progress

I am still working with almost raw canvas [just a thin wash of gesso to prime] and using inks and fluid acrylics wet into wet. I have been playing with some of my drawing media to make marks. I am especially becoming a fan of the Derwent Inktense Pencils. If you use them while the canvas is still wet, they become insoluble when they dry. I also really like the Caran D'ache Neocolour I which are oil based wax crayons.

On this one I have been layering poured washes of acrylic and inks, letting them mix and intermingle and backrun. In between I have been making marks with oil pastels for resist. I think this one is getting close to done.