Sunday, December 26, 2010

Laurel's First Christmas

My one and only grand child will be one year old at the end of December.  To me she is the prettiest, smartest and most adorable little girl ever! Just indulge me and let me enjoy the moment.

Many gifts for her were store bought but the one I love the most and enjoyed giving the most was a cardboard BOX. You know how young children play with the box more than the toy gift? Well I decorated a large furniture box as a gingerbread house. 
                                                          See for yourself.
Back of the House; see the smoke in the chimney?

Front of the House

Side of the House
All that is left to say is.......TA DA!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday Wishes

Let it Snow!
Let it snow, but just not here where I live! 

     Many a year was spent in the cold north and I did enjoy the beauty of winter. The softness of snowflakes falling on a clear winter night, the rain freezing on tree branches to make a crystal wonderland and of course every year I made snow angels under the stars. Ah , what a bucolic scene.

I won't  venture into black snow, frozen fingers and toes and the white knuckle trips on icy roads.
No, this year I will only  remember the good stuff .

My wish for you is to celebrate in the way that is special to you with the people that mean the most to you.
Mary Ellen

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Art in the Park sponsored by the Vero Beach Art Club is having an open air tent art show and I will be in it!
I must admit it is a lot of work to set up a tent and man it all day but it is good networking, a little selling and a plethora of interesting conversations with the people wandering by.  Puppies, painting, doing lunch and talking are some of my favorite things.

November 21st Show:
The last tent show I focused on Art for Youth. Titles like games, whimsy, coconut art, safari and mini art were were posted around the tent. Big, bold and bright was used to appeal to children not adults, after all children should also be surrounded by art.

Plum Blossom                        
December 12, 2010 my theme will be The Human Form.
All People

Just people in many different styles.
Easter Island

A Child's Wonder       
I am wishing myself warm, sunny weather and a large crowd of people to see my art work and the art work of the 24 other artists. 
Where ever you are I wish you a perfect Sunday.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Yes, I am a little bit overly dramatic, but here I go again with the dyed paper towel thing. This time I decided to create a 3D shoe from the Viva paper towels left over from Lulu's class silk screening project. I wanted to out "Ga Ga" myself  with this shoe and then I promise I am done with the shoe thing.
 What is Cinderella's slipper with out a pillow to sit upon? I then sewed a pillow out of scrap fabric and found items. I used Crown Royal felt bags as the top.
This can truly be labeled one of a kind because I will never, never attempt this again.

Before you is the final product:  CINDERELLA WORE PRADA!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Calendart PR Event

Sometimes you get the bug
sometimes the bug gets you!

 Last week I attended my first "Meet and Greet". It was held at Art Mundo's Underground Bank introducing the 24 artists that were accepted to create paintings for the 2011 calendar.  I chose to do the "Year of the Bug" just to be just this side of silly. Here is some of the art work I did:   Hope they bring a grin to your face!

   The 5x7 pictures were made with hand made paste papers to create a whimsical image of bugs. The wings get their iridescent quality from Angelia film or fibers.
Honey Bee
 Some bugs are realistic and some are pure imagination.
Sunset Moth

Purple Beetle

Praying Mantis
  Some are a simple rendering and others are super detailed.
Geiger Beetles

Yellow Woolly Bear Caterpillar

Adonis Butterfly

All were fun to create and I wish Art Mundo well on their fund raiser.

Opinions on my creations are welcome......

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I kind of got detoured while trying to finish my people pointillism collage, so it is on the "I will get to it someday" pile.

My excuse is signing up for LuLu's class at the Vero Beach Museum of Art . She is presenting a variety of techniques that can be integrated with my own personal style and media. The first class taught us deconstructed silk screening. What most intrigued me was the lack of pre-planning of the found objects and textures that were used.  If you look closely on the first screen print you will see the asymmetrical circles made by rubber bands!

During the second class LuLu showed us resist and how to transfer images onto the surface of a printed page. I noted some cool shoes on the newspaper I was using for a drop cloth so I free hand cut out the general image and placed the cut out on my paper before I printed with silkscreen dyes.  White remained where the shoe template was placed. Secondly, I used the shoe cut out to reverse print with the wet dye by pressing the template on a previously screened paper.  The most fun is just playing around with new "stuff" and figuring out how I can adapt it in my mixed media.

Paste paper shoes
In my studio I created whimsy shoes using paste papers. Even the Viva towels used to clean up our silk screens can be dried and used in collages. Here I glued dyed paper towels to design another pair of fantasy shoes.

Viva paper towel shoes

Wonder what this week will bring? More later as art happens.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pointillism Collage Continued

 Somehow my pointillism experiment morphed into a straight collage of people. I have tried to keep with the dot theme but I don't think that qualifies as a pointillism work. I for one will be surprised at the results.
Stage 1


Stage 2

Stage 3

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Plucky Crone

Abandoned Mt. Cabin
       There are pioneer women in this world that will survive and thrive under the harshest of conditions. I have a dear friend that is one of these women. The latest adventure that she undertook alone was to chase down and capture the dream of living in the North Carolina mountains. She bought a piece of land, made all the arrangements to move a house from Florida to NC, clear the lot of trash, had the house put back together, had a well plus septic dug and lived there a month without electricity during an unusual hot spell.
      Imagine driving 10 hours to get there with two large dogs and two cats in a car packed to the hilt! If anything could go wrong, it did and somehow she found solutions. In six weeks she did all that plus got a flower garden growing and met all sorts of great people and found time for some fun. We all call her the "energizer bunny".
     Girlfriend you exhaust me just thinking about your journey! I flew up and visited for a week; great weather, great activities and yes she is THRIVING.
So that is what I have been up to lately and now back to my art.

Old Barn up the Road
Fresh Food Market

Pointillism Continued

A couple of weeks later and the painting looks the same. I have reached a road block but an idea will appear out of nowhere when I least expect it. When it does I will finish this puppy and show it to you!   ME

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Day I Met BJ


BJ at the beach in Glen Arbor, Michigan
 There is something I have been meaning to do for 10 years or so; write and publish a short story about BJ, my soul mate dog. I did write the story and drew some pictures for it but I knew I would never get it formally published.  I post this now so I always remember my dear friend.

BJ sitting in a huge flower pot.
     This short story is dedicated to all of us who love dogs and their unconditional love and the laughter that they bring into our lives.

     Married with children but without a dog for some years. Something began to tug at my heart strings and told me that it was time to welcome a dog into my life again. I could think of so many reasons why  getting a dog would add work to a busy life but all that didn't really matter. I just wanted a dog to love and care for.

     A search for the perfect pet was on and it took almost a year of looking. First I researched the breed that would be just right, I asked a local vet what breed would suit the needs of my family, I visited dog shows, called different dog clubs and one owner even invited me to her home to  meet her poodle. Many thanks to the people that were so kind and caring in sharing with me.

     To ensure the perfect choice of my next dog I had specific requirements that I was insisting upon:
         *Not a puppy
         *Small lap dog
         *Floppy ears, long legs and a long tail
         *Female with a gentle disposition
         *Non shedding due to family allergies
Example of the perfect lap dog!
         * And CHEAP;   Needed to be a rescue dog


     One Saturday I set out for another pet parade where a rescue group showed  unwanted pets  to try and get them adopted. The price was right and I met three dogs which were either hyper or ugly or both! I will not settle this time, I was sticking to my requirement list.
Next I drove to a fancy dog show that was being held in downtown Lansing, Michigan.
There were breeds I had only seen in books and they were so beautiful and SO EXPENSIVE! I will keeping looking until I found the perfect dog, maybe not today but someday.
     I debated on whether or not I had time to stop by the local Humane Society for yet another look at the new animals in the shelter. My son and daughter had been with me on many visits before. They wanted to take every dog home and finally gave up on me saying.."Oh you will never find the perfect dog, you are just too picky". Maybe I was but the choice was so important to me because it would be a forever home.
     Some how I found myself in the shelter's parking lot, then in the shelter on my way to the small dog room which was down the hall past the loud, leaping big dog room. I got side tracked and walked into the room filled the din of barking passing by cage after cage.

BJ looked me straight in the eyes.
The very last cage held a quiet dog peering out at me with dark sorrowful eyes. She was all silver gray with darker floppy ears that filled up most of her big face. Her tail looked like a giant feather duster and at the end of her very long legs were paws the size of mops. The poor dear was so so thin but newly groomed, bow and all. Hum... the card said "BJ: female sheepdog mix, one year old, owner gave her up because she was too big".

BJ's first day with her new family. 
This silent dog just stood there looking into my eyes, her ears perked up surrounding an adorable furry face that seemed to be saying; what's not to love? BJ had the kind of beauty that you saw instantly or you would never see it at all.

     Before giving up for the day I thought it would be charitable I asked if I could take BJ out for a walk in the yard. BJ was big, really big in fact she was huge. This quiet dog was so happy to get out that she dragged me out the door running onto the grass!! This definitely was not the small lap dog I was looking for. Sorry BJ.

Me being dragged for a walk with BJ.

     Only moments after we were outside BJ calmed down and something magical happened, she responded to my voice and looked me straight in the eyes. This not so perfect dog had touched my heart and I felt something good in the pit of my stomach.
I was worried about her size, was she going to grow more to fit the paw mops? Did she shed? I tugged at her fur and none came out. I stuck my nose in her hair to see if I would start sneezing. OK that all checked out. The ladies at the shelter really wanted me to take her because she had been there 10 days and bigger dogs have a harder time finding a new home.
     I did not have the nerve to just take her home and say "surprise" so I brought the family back a few hours later to see this not so perfect dog. When they saw BJ their eyes opened wide and jaws dropped. My son said that was the ugliest dog he had ever seen, my daughter said let's take her and Dad said OK.

    You guessed it she is ours. We piled into the kids and not so perfect dog into the car and celebrated with ice cream cones for everyone even BJ.
    Four out of list of requirements isn't so bad. BJ was our gentle giant with the capacity to love and play as huge as her size.

We had BJ 16 years and she was my dog, my confidant, my comfort and my joy. There will never be another BJ and I am writing this now so that the world knows she lived and still lives in my heart. If the truth be known I did this for me and yes after all these years I have tears running down my face.
Love you BJ.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pointillism Collage

     Today pointillism is back on my artistic plate. I am fascinated by Seurat's famous works but do not have the knowledge nor the patience to paint a million dots. Thought I would kick it up a notch and make it bigger, bolder and abstract. 
First I painted a canvas with jewel toned acrylics in random strokes.

Step two I took my paste paper collection, a 3 ringed hole punch and some scrap booking cutting tools that my daughter gave me and punched out dots of all colors.

At the moment my plan is to glue complimentary dots onto the painted canvas colors.

Step 1

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sugar and Spice Twice

In other words, I changed my mind and here is the finished painting.

Sugar and Spice

Sugar and spice... well you know the rest. This painting is dedicated to all the precious little girls in my life: Laurel, Mya and Mackenzie. You make my world a better place with your sweet sense of wonder of life. Thank you for inviting me into your secret imaginary flower garden.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Plaster Collage Update

The final product of "Sugar and Spice" has been a wee bit elusive but here are the areas that I am pleased with;
these paste paper flowers:
Yellow Flower           

Big Flower
Tulip Just for fun I added a bug and a bumble bee: