Thursday, October 15, 2020

Spring Promise

5" x 5" oil on gessoed paper
My donation to the Westmont Ridely-Tree Museum of Art fundraiser. The auction can be seen December 3 - December 18 at Celebrating 10 years: 5x5. It was lovely being invited to submit a piece. Perhaps I will paint again sometime. 😄


Saturday, April 11, 2020

On Dormancy

I bought this unsent Marjolein Bastin card many years ago; maybe it was for me from me. Having survived a significant crisis or two, I am somewhat familiar with being forced to accept an unwanted “new normal”, as well as with creative dormancy. Trauma does not necessarily produce better art, but it can provide some insights.

Recently on Medium, Julio Vincent Gambuto wrote, “what happened is…the greatest gift ever unwrapped. Not the deaths, not the virus, but The Great Pause…What the crisis has given us is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see ourselves and our country in the plainest of views…Take a deep breath, ignore the deafening noise, and think deeply about what you want to put back into your life. This is our chance to define a new version of normal, a rare and truly sacred opportunity to get rid of the bullshit and to only bring back what works for us, what makes our lives richer…” (

May our faded spirits emerge from dormancy renewed with the creative energy this world needs.

Here's a little experiment from just before this all began. I wanted to play more with textures and the Acryla Gouache I enjoyed using for the last book, but failed to get the results I wanted.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Saved by the Bell

8" x 8" Acryla Gouache on panel
Since painting most of the last book in this medium, I have been wanting to try it for something totally different. For a demo next week, I thoughtg this might be easy  and fun for kids. I  love this paint. It's very matte, and I'm debating whether to leave it  or finish it with a gloss varnish. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Loving the Redwoods to Death

Photo by Max Foster, in  Redwoods MagazineBrett Silver, California State Parks Acting Sector Superintendent, points to the base of a Titan where visitors have stripped vegetation and exposed the gigantic tree’s roots.
It's difficult to convey the redwoods' majesty and mystique in a mere children's book. Based on reviews of The Forest in the Trees, I think responses have a lot to do with whether or not readers have actually experienced them. Folks in redwood country love it--for others it's apparently just OK. Only 10% of Americans have ever seen a big redwood up close. And maybe that's for the best.

Visitors have created unofficial trails and trampled plants in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park to get to the Grove of Titans, some of the largest and oldest coast redwoods. Researchers stumbled upon the grove in 1998, and people eventually learned the location despite efforts to protect the area by keeping it secret. The network of trails is compacting the soil, exposing the root systems and creating a host of other serious problems.
"In response, Save the Redwoods League, California State Parks, the National Park Service, and Redwood Parks Conservancy have partnered to mitigate the damage and ongoing threats to the Grove of Titans, while allowing for an unforgettable experience in this magnificent grove. Work will begin in the fall of 2019 to remove unsanctioned trails and rehabilitate the damaged habitat and compacted and eroding soil. The project will also include construction of elevated walkways to and around the grove to guide visitors safely without damaging the understory, and installation of restrooms and trash receptacles along Howland Hill Road. In addition, interpretive materials and signage will tell the story of the grove’s restoration, the ecosystem’s sensitivity, and the global importance of this truly special place." - Redwoods Magazine, Spring/Summer 2019 

Monday, September 9, 2019

First signing event

Books arrived from Charleston on Wednesday, and I had a great evening signing at Eureka Books last Saturday during Eureka's (packed) Arts Alive event. The next day we drove Avenue of the Giants and over to the Rockefeller Grove in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. After all the work on the book and not seeing the redwoods for a LONG time, it was great to finally be IN the forest again.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Redwood Jewelry

When I had the idea of dressing up my electroplated redwood cones and leaves with a little beadwork, did any of my beading friends warn me it could be addictive...or cause a repetitive motion WRIST INJURY?? No, of course not. I've had to learn that the hard way. I bought 24 pendants and  have made 12 necklaces. Now I have to take two days off between each one or suffer the consequences--by which I mean doing anything with my right hand, including holding a coffee cup, causes pain. Good grief.

Expecting printed books in late August, and ramping up for  events that begin in mid-September-- feeling guilty about not working on my "next" book...or maybe painting again for a change.