Wednesday, March 23, 2011


“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”  ~John Muir

Sunday, March 20, 2011


A few months before my daughter Anna was born, about three years ago, I wasn't making art much at all. There was the quarterly production of Brain,Child that, thank goodness, kept my pen moving but there wasn't much else. My sketchbooks were full of words but not images. I was still trying to figure out the mother/artist balance. For years, I had put a cover on that birdcage. Many artistic mothers talk about how their creativity sprung alive when they had their children, but not for me. There were no sleeping child sketches and no big bag of ideas was dropped off by the stork along with the baby. I didn't mind too much though. I was very busy as you could imagine.
I remember the week that the tides turned. I was in Duck, NC (where I seem to have a lot of epiphanies) at the beach, pregnant with my daughter and just trying to hold on to my sanity with the two boys tugging on every part of me. I thought, I've just plain lost myself. So I employed a rather logical method (weird for me, I know):
1. No time to make art
2. Kids always getting into my stuff
3. Can never finish anything
4. Want to use more elements and media in my art and I don't know how to

1. In between diaper changes and at night no matter how tired just do a little I told myself...anything was better than nothing.
2. Put a high table in my kitchen. I have a tall table that the kids can not reach (well, at the time)...from Ikea- love Ikea. It's positioned right in the middle of the mayhem. I kept my eye on things. I'd work in tiny, miniscule increments-not noticeable to the untrained eye.
3. Work small (which works for my kind of art anyway).
4. Go to the bookstore and find a book about collage. Duh, why hadn't I thought of that before.

Why am I re-hashing all of this? Loyal readers, you know most of this already. I am re-telling this story because the book I found became my like, art bible. I used it, referenced it, adapted it to my style. It was four years of art school all wrapped up into a beautiful and inspirational package. It was my "A Ha" moment, thank you Oprah. I know I sound gushy and that's so not like me. But honestly, if you asked me what changed everything, it was that night in Borders in the Art section and this one copy peeking off the shelf. It should have said For Beth. I tucked it under my arm, checked out and went off to my soccer game that night knowing that things were changing, moving in the right direction for me.

The book was Collage Discovery Workshop by Claudine Hellmuth (see above).
The other day she (Claudine Hellmuth, that is) contacted me. She loves my work. Would she be able to use some my images in an online course she was teaching?
The world works in funny and creative ways.
I told her I was honored.

I'm honored and grateful for all of the friends who support me and let me know everyday that my art makes them smile, reminds them of good times, tells a story. Thank you.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Zombies Part 6

appropriate Zombie like artwork-just for fun

My second grader brought home a reference book on Zombies (yes, you read that right) from his school's library today. It's the kind of book that treats the undead as if they were actually real-I guess you would call it a parody of a reference book. It shows them in various PG to PG-13 states, pretty spooky stuff. Well, let's just say that I would never had cracked its cover as a child because the cataract troubled monster on the front holding an unconscious (dead?) woman would have kept me away like well, garlic and vampires. Now, I am a non-book burning card carrying member. I think that Tom Sawyer should be left alone and explained to the young reader-we teachers, call these teachable moments. But this book kind of stopped me in my tracks. It was a bit eye opening and also a complete reminder of the differences between me at 7 (Little House) and my son at 7 (Little Shop of Horrors).

So I sit down with J and we look at the book together. Something about the title and cover were sending me the I better explain this thoroughly message...hmmm.....
"Now J," I explain, "You know that these are just people in costumes right? Like Halloween?
"Uh huh, uh huh, " the boy confirms.
"This is just a fun book about silly things that are supposed to be scary right?" Head nods.
"Yeah, I KNOW mom," J says a bit exasperated (like let's get on to the head eating part already).
"Okay," I say, "just so you know. It's made up, it's just for giggles and laughs and fun scares. Pretend right?"
"Yes, Mom, I KNOW. I know the book is just for fun."
Soooo......what do REAL zombies look like?" he asks.

Oh brother.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Many a night I would see the beginning of PBS's Mystery blink onto our television mom was turning to her "me" time, watching programs that seemed wholly boring to a child (me) except for the opening to this show. Such an impression it Edward Gorey crush began.


a : to make a slight movement stirring> b : to begin to move (as in rousing) c : to shift to another location 

Monday, March 14, 2011


Pick a Print

Fun little treasury I put together-never have done one. It's kind of like curating a museum or show, kind of that is. More later.....

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Week in Pics

It's so weird to see your drawings 4 foot by 10 foot!
I came up with the town square set design for my school's production of The Music Man-it was fun-who knew!
Betsy's tree up close.
Madison's tree up close-a little blurry, sorry-still working on the birdhouses-they are driving me nuts.
Before the birds and birdhouses.....
I tend to stock up when I am going through a dry patch but great things are happening right now-I'll fill you in later!!!.....

Friday, March 11, 2011

For Betsy

The one above one has a 4pt. border in brown and then the black line is the edge of the card-not visible-just shows the card dimension. I like the Papyrus.
This one has the image going right up to the edge (a bleed).

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Black Plague

I have a dream.... my dream is that all of my friends and family are snowed in with me along with a never ending supply of food and drink. It's not unlike the stories of the medieval Black Plague where everyone (rich, that is) holed up behind castle walls, eating, drinking, costuming and ball room tromping...of course, in my snowed in state there is no eminent fear of plague seeping through my walls. It's cozy, there is plenty of delicious crock pots a'crocking, coffee brewing, breads rising, and later wine bottles a'poppin. One can always dream-maybe next winter.

Last night I took all three kids out to a family friendly restaurant by myself. This was a death defying feat, one I never thought possible. With three hungry wild cards (3, 5 and & 7) anything could happen. It went smoothly except for when I had to tell my daughter to keep her behind in her pants-she wanted to switch her jeans around as they were on backwards (they were) right there in the booth. I quickly distracted her with dessert. We drove home in a tempest like rain, careening down sideways. By the time all three were asleep the rain had turned to snow, a surprise. I felt wonderful, all cocooned in my home. Let the feast and festivities begin, I thought as I brought a huge medieval drumstick to my lips. Okay, it was a boneless buffalo wing from the restaurant and my only company was asleep and I was just watching House but what can you do when it's only one inch of snow and there's no Black Plague to be found, you just make do.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Save the Date

I know these are fuzzy because I can't get my InDesign to save for the web. I'm working with an old version on this computer. So I'm posting these for the bride, my friend Betsy to look at. They are getting married under a beautiful tree here in Virginia at an old historic manor. (Ugh-I've got to go there is a Super Mario Bros. smackdown in my living room-day 3 of single parenting, well with Mario and Luigi anyway-but those two aren't all that much help>)

Tuesday, March 01, 2011


You can see where I've taken down some of my art-making room for new.


 Last night I played a soccer game at 11:30pm. I know, it's a little crazy. But the crazy thing is is that there is a game AFTER that and no one looks at each other like they've got an eye in the middle of their forehead. So I am slumping a bit today. But I'm home which is nice and my son just wants me to sit around and play Plants Vs. Zombies with him (that's about the level of brain involvement I can handle today-Zombie level). I like to think that when I'm 80 something, I'll look back fondly on this questionable playing of sports at the witching hour and smile.

I had a really productive day last Friday. It was an art burst. It unfortunately fizzled out like a sparkler after that. But I'll tell you the most amazing part of it all. My three year old daughter asked, yes asked, to go over to her little buddy and co-conspirator's house to play and off she went. It's a whole new world, my friends.

However, all of his makes me think about time. Counting the years (4) until all my kids are all in school full day is nice but also kind of sad. I am not really trying to shuffle them out the door, kick them out of the nest. I've learned to get things done around them. A lot of my art making happens now with all three of them in my studio (it's a popular place-see earlier post). The other night my oldest brought in his How To Draw book (which somehow Santa gave him without him even asking-smart Santa) and we sat down and drew parrots. I told him that it had helped me learn to draw birds better too (well, parrots). I could see that this made him happy. See, I can't draw everything, I explained. He looks slightly convinced. It's always been a YOU DRAW IT MOM battle with him (can't blame him in some ways). I've lead that horse to the drawing table but I've never forced the pen. It was one of those moments, you know. And then of course, later that night he completely lost it because the late parrot drawing session (what can I say, we were in the groove). I rolled my eyes in the darkness, said goodnight and left the room followed by the sound of a stuffed something hitting the wall as I left. Well, you can't always get what you want can you? But if you try sometimes, you'll get what you need. Cracker anyone?