Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Calvin Worship Symposium

This is the fourth year I'm privileged to participate in the Calvin Worship Symposium. It's always a very rich weekend. Even though I'll be on my little cart, I think I can do this! The theme this year is Parables and it's a visually rich topic. The Calvin Center Art Gallery ( is featuring an amazing collection of works on the theme of the Prodigal Son collected by Larry Gerbens and his wife. It's got everything on the theme from Rembrandt to contemporary abstraction.

I'm going fully armed with pencils and a large sketchbook so that could lead to some interesting work.

Monday, January 26, 2009

going from one thing to another

My friend Nikki Coulombe wrote an interesting piece on her blog which included this:

Career Artists do not generate production like a factory or have the same business formulas and game plans as retailers; for us everything from conception to sale is self-prompted. Motivation to work every day on something often means doing something different every day. I give myself the guilt-free permission to do what I feel best at on any given day. However…

This is especially meaningful to me because suddenly, I'm not called to the collages anymore, but I find that I'm interested in getting back to some icon painting. Yesterday I did research and some printing and tracing. Josph the Worker and the Holy Family are what have caught my eye and I hope at some point to paint the iconic icon, the Holy Trinity after the one by Rublev.

Nikki is an amazing artist with incredibly diverse skills.

Click on the link to the right to her site or go to:
(For some reason I can't embed links in my blog and I don't know how to make that happen- I need my computer guru!)


The last of the LEAF LAYER series for a while. These incorporate blue jay feathers. I stitched them into the piece.

Saturday, January 24, 2009



Two more in the series of 9"x9" collages.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

I just finished reading Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. It's an all time favorite. I was reading a library copy, but I may have to buy it so I can enjoy it again and again. The main character has a sharp tongue and doesn't censor herself very much (and maybe I relate too clearly)! The book covers stories of 15 people and Olive is a character in each chapter. I laughed out loud at a number of sections. Very poignant commentary on aging as well.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


More 9"X9" tissue collages combined with colored pencil, acrylic and leaf skeletons.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

art quotes

At moments of great enthusiasm it seems to me that no one
in the world has ever made something this beautiful and important.

::: M.C. Escher :::

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.
It is the source of all art and science.

::: Albert Einstein :::

Great quotes! The lastest offering from

Another I'm keeping in mind in my recuperation is the Chinese proverb: Don't push the river- it flows by itself.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


This is new work. The first of 2009 and the first from my little studio annex.
These are 9"x9" and mixed media- mostly painted tissue paper collaged and combined with paint and colored pencil.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

permission to move about the cabin

The doctor likes the way my foot looks and I can now move about and only elevate and ice occasionally. It's immobilized in a big black boot. I won't be leaving the house too often as the back stairs are a real challenge. Now I can do the computer work I've been contemplating and see how functional my studio annex is on the main floor. My knee walker, who I've nicknamed Flicka, is a wonder. Crutches are scary. This knee walker makes me feel secure.

"An inconvenience is an unrecognized opportunity."

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Yesterday, I was watching a show about prayer wheels in Nepal and doing some circular sketches and thinking about prayer. I was reminded of this piece which belongs to Angela Conover. It was inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe's painting 'Pink and Blue Music'. I also came upon a photo of the Milky Way that is influencing the drawings...
Time to sit back down and drift in and out and enjoy my medicated state and the time to do 'nothing'. Fernando Ortega has been playing on my ipod and really been blessing my recovery.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


I'm enjoying my time with my foot up and watching the snow. I'm doing a little sketching and reading. Great opportunity for meditating. It's actually rather lovely, aside from the inconvenience. I am so thankful for my wonderful husband who is taking care of me.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Foot surgery

Tomorrow morning I will have 45 minutes of foot surgery which will require me to alter my life for six to eight weeks. If you're curious, Google 'hallux rigidus' and you'll find out about my issue. They will clean the arthritis out of my great toe joint and screw it together so that it will fuse. Less movement, but no more of the pain of bone on bone. This has been an ongoing issue for me for years. I've had cortisone shots every six months for a couple years, but now it's time to fix this! We have many accouterments of disability gathering in our house on loan from other people with recent experience in the medical pipeline. Then when we get through this, I'll decide when to schedule the left foot. Oh goody!!

Thursday, January 01, 2009


I'm having a cooking marathon in advance of my foot surgery and meditating on the ups and downs of life while I make zucchini bread, pot roast and chocolate chip cookies. I'm hoping that a foot without pain will improve my life. Maybe I'll be brave enough to have the second one done. No pity parties for me, I know too many people who are making the most of their lives with less. I went to see my friend Bev yesterday at a local health facility. I've visited her for eight years. She had a stroke and couldn't talk when I met her. Now she can make herself understood if you listen patiently. She's almost totally paralyzed, but her face is expressive and she has a wicked sense of humor. She gives an enthusiastic thumbs up and loves chocolate and ice cream. I gave her a Chippendale calendar a while back. The calendar is meaningless, but the beefcake still is hanging in her room.

So I was thinking about the children's game, Chutes and Ladders, the roll of the dice and the luck of the draw. I have a couple paintings on the table downstairs which may wind up with that title. No wise conclusions, just trying to make the most of what God has sent my way and enjoy the chutes AND the ladders.

Interestingly, I googled the term 'chutes and ladders' and went to the site of artist Rodger Roundy who has wonderful convoluted paintings and one of them is Chutes and Ladders.