Things to do While on Hold

You finally make the lengthy call that you v have been dreading. You know that it will eat up so much of your time. Your stress level is rising… The party would probably FINALLY answer if you couldn’t hear them if you started vacuuming, doing dishes, snowblowing or using a food processor.

I keep an art journal on my kitchen table. Check out this post for my phone activity for today.

The Many Faces of My Art

img_20151019_003205I recently recovered from a year-long injury that greatly impacted my art.  I had a ligament tear in my dominant hand’s thumb.  Anyone who has dealt with a thumb injury knows full well why humans (and other opposable thumb bearing animals)really appreciate the thumb and all of its capabilities.

As a result of this injury, I started creating with my non-dominant left hand.  I was not fully on board with this until my sweetheart pushed my “challenged, I’ll show you” button.  Thank goodness he did this for me!

I started using a watercolor cake set because of its portability – I was determined to do one painting a day.  This “forced” creating method benefitted me in many ways.  I, through little control of my own, was able to create more abstractly, my painting really loosened up, I learned much more about watercolor so I didn’t dislike the media anymore, and I learned forgiveness for my art.  During the year-long process I had a sudden revelation.  I did not judge the results of each day’s exercise as harshly as I would have if I had done the same work with my “right” hand.


Sunrise in the Heartland – acrylic, intuitive painting process

Also, my sister-in-law and fellow artist Kathleen Kvern introduced me to intuitive painting processes.  I could paint with my hands and I finally got the cool and warm color concept down pat.That concept may be a given to you but I had very little learning of color theory.




The long term impact has been a greater appreciation for my health and well-being and my ability to create, I have learned to listen to warning signs and take care in a more conscious manner and I am glad to have had the experience.  Many shared similar stories with me – for one reason or another someone’s creative processes either had to change or the artist made the choice.  So many valuable lessons were shared with me.


I also now have felt the sayings, “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone” and “absence makes the heart grow fonder”.  Prior to the injury I was growing in several creative directions at once, moving away from my master artist role of natural materials basketry and all things wild – birch bark, porcupine quills, roots and more.  The injury made it very difficult to anything that required to hands so I was very grateful for my awkward left handed brush grip.  During the last 2 months, I was getting stagnant in my painting – my mind wasn’t flooded with its usual creative ideas.  I started working with  natural materials again, and once I did,  the creative flow became a flood.

Birch bark work, porcupine quill embroidery, pastel drawings, mono-printing, weaving, acrylic paintings, spray-paint paintings and more make up the body of my work.

I guess I’ll never be a “watercolor artist”, an “oil painter”, a “potter” or any of the other many creative venues.  I am proud to say that I am creative though.  No boxes for me means that the creative world is wide open to me!  Experiment, try, try again and you will find your  niche!



Come One, Come All

2016-09-18-11.17.05.jpg.jpegI believe that the more that you give, the more that you get.  I have often heard that many creative people in our area do not have a place to do art, that they like a class setting, that many are looking for social outlets to share their ideas or to get support and encouragement in their creative endeavors.   I have heard this and have acted!  A huge thank you goes out to our Town Chairman John Hanson and Clerk Dana Hilbert for their assistance in letting us use the wonderful Manitowish Waters Community Center.

Northwoods Art Tour

.    I would like to thank all of the people that have visited The Border Country Art Studio, my working studio, and have helped support local artists by purchasing art during the tour.  On Sunday I will be demonstrating the Ojibwe technique of porcupine quill work embroidered on birch bark.  I will also be showing the use of Robert Burridge’s  Goof-Proof color wheel.  Come share in my creative journey!
Join other artists and creative folks on the second and fourth Tuesday at the Manitowish Waters Community Center from 10 – 3 for a local group called Create Art Manitowish Waters.  Click here create-art-group for a four card page of 2016  meeting dates.  Keep one, share the others with friends!

The Color of Light

Lately I have really been aware of the color of light. The color of light touching the edges of trees, the color of light at dusk, the color of light peeking through the leaves of the forest.  The color of light has been evrywhere – it just seems lately to be more pronounced.  Monet was one of the first artists who noticed that light changes how things look and did many studies of objects throughout a day. If you have ever been to the desert and have seen it throughout the day you know how it changes because of the light that hits it.  An especially telling piece of art called “The Calling of St. Matthew” really shows how light can impact a scene.   As many other artist before me, I am continuing to learn how light and color interact. Using a painting method called intuitive painting, wherein you layer cool and warm colors,  I have really learned to see the impact that contrast has.  I’m also beginning to notice it and predict how colors will be impacted by the next layer of color I lay over it.

This painting was one of 32 of a series but I created for solo art show. The show was entitled “The Naked Truth – inside out”. The work was the study of the relation of perception and reality. This is my result of an exploration of opinions and beliefs – how these factors impact or are impacted by societal changes and opinions that impact personal belief systems and personal values and mores. The pictured piece was created using an intuitive painting technique.

The painting that is shown above is called “January Sunset.  It started with a layer of purple, phtalo blue, Persian blue, hookers green and some deep turquoise.. The next layer was a combination of many shades of yellows, different shades of red, magenta, fluorescent pink, fluorescent yellow and lime green. The layering of cool and warm colors continued until the present image emerged. It very well Iillustrates how essential light is when  creating a successful painting. This is something I continue to learn and I often forget some of the rules. I will continue to practice – my mantra should be dark  next to light, light next to dark.  I hope that you are creating In any way shape or form or enjoying art in any way, shape or form!

Downtown Art Place

The Downtown Art Place in Ironwood, MI is holding a silent auction to raise needed funds for their program.  On a recent visit to their art gallery I was asked if I was an artist.  Upon admittal, I was asked if I would be willing to create a piece for the silent auction.  I thought that I could solicit 4 of my artist friends to also paint a donation.  Only 2 people did – the amazing artists John and Barbara McFarland!  My 3 donations are below.  Make sure to check out the incredible art of the McFarlands by going to and Enjoy!




Two Dimensional Gallery

Lakota, Dakota, Nakota mixed media  framed and matted 12.5

Lakota, Dakota, Nakota
mixed media
framed and matted
12.5″ x 16″

Whew!  After much editing, I have completed my 2D gallery.  You may access by clicking on the link above.  I know that you will enjoy it!  Please contact me with your custom orders and with any questions that you may have!  Update:  I am working on a fix so that details about each piece show by the photo – thank you for your patience!

Last Chance – View and Purchase My Work!

See these works through June 5!

See these works through June 5!

I hung my work for a solo show at the Vilas County Incubator in May. The show will be up through June 5 and is located on Highway 51 south Manitowish Waters at the Vilas Business Incubator located next to the former Sissy Lou’s.  Feel free to contact with any questions about my work and to purchase this original work!