Barn blocks

3 finished woodblocks, a recent commission project

Today I finished three small woodblocks I was asked to do as a commission. The client provided her own photos from their rugged, tree-filled property. Each year, her family has a large reunion on the 4th of July weekend, so these images feature some of their beloved local landmarks, such as this rocket pinata suspended from the treetops…

The glare from the sunspot was a little tricky, but I think it came out well in the end.

…an old flag hanging on a wire fence near a garden…

Threadbare but proud

… and her dad’s barn/workshop, complete with “horses” out front.

I was nervous about getting the "sun dappled" look right.

I am literally a handful of brushstrokes away from completing my newest nightscape, but I’m waiting on a tube of water-soluble quinacridone magenta oil paint. I know they say you only need red, yellow, blue, black and white, but that’s a dirty, dirty lie. Sometimes you need some hot neon pinky purple that you cannot fabricate from the primaries. So stay tuned for that one, coming soon! In the interim, my husband has given me his cold so I’m off to sulk/heal over a cup of tea and some elderberry syrup. So far my hippie remedy is not cutting the mustard, but I’m holding out hope for a speedy recovery, as tomorrow is my mom’s birthday and we’ll be celebrating, sickly or not!


Return of the Art Jedi

Hidey-ho, neighbors! It’s been 9 days or so since I posted new art, but I’ve got 6 new pieces to show you. So trust I haven’t been resting on my laurels. 😉 While I was enjoying a brief respite from the daily challenge, the years’ art making/blog posting had certainly become ingrained in me. I had a few mini panic attacks with my circadian-art-rhythm still kicking in. But I got the boost to actually get in the studio when I received a call last Wednesday night that someone wanted to purchase all 6 of the little landscapes I had on display at City Art.

As I was heading into San Francisco on Friday afternoon for the opening reception & my month’s only shift, I was compelled by the ratio of money in my bank account to the gas/toll/parking/food cost of additional SF trips to finish my replacements before leaving. (Art lovers & run-on sentences are equally welcome here at my art blog. Thanks. 🙂 )

Did I mention I got that call on Wednesday? From a year’s endurance race to a flurry of fastidious finishing! 4 of these 6 were finished within a span of about 5 hours. I printed out some photos I’d taken from the marshlands near my hometown back in October for these ones…

"Marsh Barn", acrylic on slice of reclaimed fence post, 3.5" x 3.5" x 1.5"

"Stick Trees", acrylic on slice of reclaimed fence post, 3.5" x 3.5" x 1.5"

"Wetlands", acrylic on slice of reclaimed fence post, 3.5" x 3.5" x 1.5" SOLD

…a scene from the Livermore/Fremont area for this one…

"Foothills", acrylic on slice of reclaimed fence post, 3.5" x 3.5" x 1.5"

…and two images from the day I helped photograph a wedding off the coast near Half Moon Bay for these two:

"Lighthouse", acrylic on slice of reclaimed fence post, 3.5" x 3.5" x 1.5"

"Black Rock Beach", acrylic on slice of reclaimed fence post, 3.5" x 3.5" x 1.5" SOLD

These 6 new landscape mini paintings on woodblock are on display for sale now at City Art Gallery through January 30. Well, the 4 of them that haven’t already sold, that is. 😉

The next

"Next", a Nancy Drew poem block

Day 364: “Next”, a poem block

Today’s piece is another Nancy Drew poem block. This one reads: “deeply excited about/ the next” in magenta, pink and blue. I specifically chose these words to signify how I feel at this point. I’m really pleased to have nearly completed this endeavor, but I’m also really excited about what’s to come. I don’t know what that will be, exactly, but I do know that it will include continual artmaking. 🙂

Now that this daily art challenge is winding down, some of you may be wondering what’s next for me. For those of you who have been fretting about a drying-up of eye-art-candy, rest assured that this blog will continue to exist. While I won’t be requiring myself to make & post a new piece every single day after tomorrow, I will continue to post all of my new completed artwork HERE first and foremost, giving my faithful blog readers first dibs at everything. If you’d like to stay up-to-date without having to swing by and see if there’s something new, just subscribe to the blog if you haven’t already to get emails each time I post new art.

I’m working feverishly in the studio to finish a colorful nightscape for tomorrow’s final piece. *Fingers crossed* I’m hoping I’ll get in done in time for some celebratory wine-drinking in the living room. Woohoo!

Found you out

"Found", a Nancy Drew poem block

Day 361: “Found”, a poem block

I love orange. I’ve had orange hair, I’ve painted my walls orange, I use it endlessly in jewelry and paintings, I have an orange jacket and an orange purse (thanks mom!)…it’s almost become a color obsession, if one can have such a thing. I remember thinking orange and brown were the two ugliest colors in the world as a kid, so who knows why it changed suddenly. I don’t even know if other people like orange that much, but I just can’t get away from it for long.

Today’s piece is another poem block (in orange, surprise!), made with acrylic paint, liquid watercolor and snippets from a vintage Nancy Drew book on a slice of fence post. These poem blocks measure about 3.5″ x 3.5″ x 1.5″. This one reads: “found you out/ looking for what/ you knew you couldn’t/ accept”. I also used a bit of oil pastel. The naples yellow provides a nice bright contrast on this orange-rust piece. The orange drips heavy down the top part of the block. Only four days left, boys and girls!

The girl became

"the girl became", a Nancy Drew poem block

Day 360: “the girl became”, a poem block

Oh my gosh, people! Day 360! I feel very much like a kid in that last week of school before summer vacation… in that I’m mentally checked out, but physically here. Then again, I don’t need my mind so much with all of my art making, as it tends to interfere with the creative process from time to time.

I’m still focusing on filling sold-art-holes for my gallery space, so while I did some work on a half-finished cityscape today, I also finished this poem block. It reads “the girl became/ anything/ but herself”. Mom informed me yesterday that I have to do something cool for the last day of the blog, which I should probably have contemplated some time prior to the very last week of this project, so we’ll see what I can pull out of my hat for that. 😉 Here’s this piece from the side:


"Occupied", a Nancy Drew poem block

Day 355: “Occupied”, a poem block

I went to stock up on meat at Whole Foods today (I tend to get most of the other stuff at Trader Joe’s to save money) and discovered that everyone has this week off from work, as my Whole Foods is right smack next to the Galleria in Roseville- a giant mall that was shut down last  night due to an overcrowded turnout hoping to see a Christmas-caroling flash mob. Thankfully they evacuated the place before anyone got hurt, but I have to say the headlines would have been interesting… “Mall collapses under weight of Christmas spirit”… “Capitalism implodes local shopping center”…”Sad Santas stuck with empty sacks”. Hee hee!

Today’s piece reads “occupied by doubt/ searching for belief”. I am plum out of refills for my wall space, so I’ve got to get into high gear in the studio again. Here’s this green-blue guy from the side:

Put away

"Put away", a Nancy Drew poem block

Day 354 : “Put away”, a poem block

Today’s combination of wood, paint and paper reads “put away sympathy/let me see possibility”. I’m a solution-oriented gal. That is, when I’m not distracting myself by baking up bread, cake and cookies in the kitchen. Stacey left a great bread recipe in the comments around Thanksgiving that I started using last week and it’s AMAZING! Thank you Stacey!

In other news, only 11 days left! Here’s this piece from the side:

All that time

"All that time", Nancy Drew poem block

Day 353: “All that time”, a poem block

It finally feels like a California winter with rain coming down in one direction and hail in the other. This morning was full of what I call “Disney wind”, the loud, gusty kind that howls like a Halloween cartoon. I decided to make a trip to Trader Joe’s along the back roads this morning, an impressive reminder as to why we live in what’s designated as a “flood plain”. Every couple of minutes, I’d end up slowly maneuvering around a giant, lane-sized puddle. I saw another surprised driver realizing they’d just entered a little lake about 10 feet wide by 1 foot deep.

It reminded me of the time we drove back from visiting my grandparents up in Paradise (a real town in Northern California, for those of you who aren’t familiar with it) along those very same picturesque agricultural roads I’ve been depicting on my landscape woodblocks, essentially racing the rising water down the two-lane highway and trying to beat an impending road closure. I remember realizing those were treetops in the flooded orchards, not bushes, and having my own private little panic attack in the backseat.

Today’s piece reads “all that time/ lost/ waiting for living”. It has a great whorl mark in the wood on the side, and it’s going to the city along with a few other poem blocks in progress.

Rolling along

"Tumbleweed Lane", acrylic paint on woodblock

Day 352: “Tumbleweed Lane”, acrylic landscape on sliced fence post

One of my favorite things about moving to Sacramento are the tumbleweeds. They’re really quite delicate, airy and pretty when they go rolling through the streets. And now I can recognize what they look like when they’re green, like this bundle of fluff standing sentinel at the path through the straw field in the foreground. I really liked how the saw marks and grain pattern of this piece complemented the cloud pattern. This one’s also in the City Art Gallery. As of the very moment I’m writing this, that is. There’s no telling if it’ll still be hanging around by the time you read this. 😉 Only 13 days left! Here’s “Tumbleweed Lane” from the side:

Hey Hay

"Hay Field", acrylic on woodblock 3.5"x3.5"x1.5"

Day 351: “Hay Field”, acrylic paint on sliced fence post

Only 14 days of ArtProject2010 left! This is another example of how I enjoy compositions that combine organic shapes with man-made shapes. {Note- new landscapes are going on the same round-edged stock I’ve been using for the poem blocks, as opposed to the square-edged ones I used before.} This scene shows evidence of the farmer in his zen garden, scooping up lines of hay and stacking baled cubes of it by the hillside. This little guy and a few friends are now on the walls of City Art Gallery.

In the midst of my 6 hours of driving through dark, drizzly fog pockets (doesn’t it seem like the rain should somehow dissipate the fog?!), I got to say hello to a couple of amazing fellow artists at the gallery, Hadley Northrop who builds vibrant scenes of atmosphere with a focus on light in her oil paintings, and Brenton Bostwick, a wicked sculptor/assemblage artist with an “alien archaeology” aesthetic. I’m always inspired by being around the work at the gallery and of course, the artists who make it. And I was thrilled to see how many pieces of art by the other artists showing this month had sold as well. Hooray for art lovers!