Monday, December 20, 2021

Winter Moon at the Solstice Before Christmas

It's cold today, reminding me that Winter is actually here. I saw the Moon full and bright in the morning sky. I always find 'day' moons give me a mystic feeling, a sense of magic. I came across the face in our Winter Moon in a high-fashion photo campaign for winter fashion, all the clothing was white and her makeup had a stylized white patina.  I recognized her as linked to the Winter Solstice. I further amplified the wintry glow and began to build a winter gown for her.  Ice, snowflakes, white winter flowers and more.  Dashes of silver.   Originally, I thought she was the Moon to the Sun of Solstice, but once I found the image of the moon, which is an actual NASA photo of the moon, I felt no, she is of the Winter Moon itself.

Winter Moon

But a Solstice collage still called me and I especially wanted to do one for my dear friend Michael.  I found the wonderful Sun figure in another high-fashion photo. His golden oranged hair saying Sol!  Our Winter Woman is a construction of images. For me they stand perfectly in their Moon and Sun Wood, aligned to the Solstice symbol.

Winter Solstice Wood


Christmas echoes the past for me. And in that retro sense,   this is my favorite Christmas collage of all.


 Wishing all of you all good things now and in the new year!

Friday, November 5, 2021

Meet Up At The Barn with a Boy and his Cat and the Sun

One of the fun things of collage is image collecting.  Images just grab my attention and then sit in the background of my mind.  I find them online and in print, which I then scan into the computer. I then save them as jpegs, then tag and sort them into many categories.  But other times, I just put them into a 'soon' file because they are strongly with me.  And I never quite know where they will end up.  Will they be the focus, an element or in the background?  

The barn in this collage is on country road near me,  Route 635.  It always catches my eye, but I only stopped and took a photo of it just recently.  I altered the woman figure, happy in her red cart.  She was in my 'soon' file.  All the elements were happy to 'meet up' at the barn.


Meet Up at the Barn


Our gallery - Shenandoah Valley Art Center - has a monthly theme and November was Purple. At times, I like to work in the constraint of a theme.  It takes me a direction I might not have gone it.  I recently found the key figure and altered her with purple. Our high fashion gentleman is aligned to a gold and purple sun.  They, too, were in the 'soon' file.  This collage was especially striking in the 11x14 print size.

Into the Sun In Purple


My friend Jess posted a wonderful picture of her son and his cat.  I always found something quite magical about him and was inspired to put him in an other-worldly setting while still at home.  It seems to suit him perfectly and he was totally in the 'soon' file.

A Boy and His Cat


Saturday, October 16, 2021

A Room of One's Own Meets Purple Mischief in The Golden Age

These collages were not done in a sequence and yet they do seem to travel well together. 

Here I've composed an altered/alternate view of my office/studio The little horse is vintage plaster ware and he is known as Tony the Pony.  My compatriot in this collage is, of course, Frida Kahlo.  I altered her Blue House studio, added one of my favorite paintings to the easel and incorporated one of my favorite Fridas.

A Room Of One's Own

Purple Mischief has a All Hallows Eve feel and is perfect for an October post,  but they were just all the odd elements I was attracted to when it was created.  Halloween elements are an all-around vibe in this house.

Purple Mischief

Golden Age joins the Halloween vibe, and has many dark elements, as it were,  but it too was composed in a season of it's own.


Golden Age



Thursday, September 23, 2021

Mums, Donuts and Fish

I love all things Octo, which I got connected to from my son, who recently reminded me that Cuttlefish are pretty cool too.  


Octomum collage


My friend Jess, lovely muse, inspires me once again.  I told her I think she has great angles and her selfies really capture them in an 'artsy' way.  She wasn't sure about all that, but is happy to inspire me.


Donuts and Bulldog With Jess

Jess has just opened a new venture to inspire creativity in others too.  Check out her new studio/shop Paint It Orange []  in, you got it, Orange, Virginia. 

I came across a cache of vintage tattooed ladies. And quite tattooed they are. A world of their own.  All the images were in black and white but a bit of colorizing, amplifying and they are aglow in their true colors. 

Tattooed Ladies Among Fish

The large fish background is actually a photo of a feature wall in a restaurant.  The happy goldfish joined the crowd and they are the final images i got from my friends at Mischief Circus.

Friday, September 3, 2021

Bastet - Jacqui Rose

For decades, my sister, Jacqui Rose, felt deeply aligned to the ancient Egyptian goddess, Bastet. The essence of Bastet was symbolic in Jacqui's spiritual practices.

Bastet, also called Bast, is the Egyptian goddess of the home, domesticity, women's secrets, cats, fertility, and childbirth. She was the daughter of the sun god Ra and is associated with the concept of the Eye of Ra (the all-seeing eye) and the Distant Goddess (a female deity who leaves Ra and returns to bring transformation).  Bastet's cult was carried to Italy by the Romans, and traces have been found in Rome, Ostia, Nemi, and Pompeii.  Our own family has Italian heritage.

I began this collage about a month after Jacqui's passing. I wanted to capture Jacqui in her strength and power; her fullness.  The orange tabby alludes to her own cat, Keppie, and I was pleased to find an orange tabby goddess figure. The gray cat alludes to a cat I once had. I think of them as sisters' cats. 

And once again, she is in the stars.

I submitted her in the upcoming 'Artist's Choice' exhibit at SVAC, Shenandoah Valley Art Center.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Mischief Circus Meets Retro Girl and Boyz with Antiques

For many years now, I have found the most wondrous images on a site called Mischief Circus. Always something to inspire, something I hadn't thought of or just the very thing I was looking for.  Additionally, there are fonts, layouts and a myriad of collage-related items.  I feature a link on this site.  But sadly, the Circus in closing it's tent for the very last time. And to say goodbye, they are having a huge sale. The sale ends September 12th, so follow this link - MischiefCircus - to see what's under the tent. 


My friend Jess posted a picture of herself in a vintage prom dress.  Captured me totally and she was happy for me to capture her.

Retro Promenade Collage

This funky 'Antique'-cum-junk store is on a road not close to anything, but when I saw it's great array of varied cement lawn sculptures, I had to stop and take a photo.  The photo's been altered and maybe didn't have quite that many sculptures but there you go.  This one's for Mimi.

Antiques On Route 340 collage


The fellow in the white shirt and tie in front of the car, set this one in motion. Naturally, a crowd followed.

Boyz to Men collage

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Retro Girls, Vintage Gals and a Boy

Retro images - 30's to 50's [my version] and Vintage images - 20's and earlier - just speak to me.  I think it's my heritage of old movies and old photos. But I just find a connection. Of course, I like to alter and amp them and add my usual oddities. 

These collages are in the vein of my 'Anonymous Content' work - an image catches my eye and the rest of the collage builds.  For some a title emerges, hence no longer 'anonymous.'  Is there a story to these inspirations?  Not usually. Just evoking a feeling.  If you follow this blog, well, then you know I've shared this all before.  I just love the hours I can spend in these little altered, captured worlds.


Retro Gals At The Pier collage

 The key image here is the pier, which is in Ocean Beach, outside of San Diego.  OB was a favorite get-away place for us for several years.


The Mary Janes Collage

Our vintage lady pals on the right was the key image. A little color and they were ready to dance. Colorful ladies in the tea cup were nursing school graduates.

 A Dog, A Cat & A Chicken Walk Into a Donut

The young lad on the left was the first to arrive. Deserts should appear in Collage World often. And they do.


Sunday, July 18, 2021

My lovely sister, Jacqui

This is in essence an art blog,  but today I want to share about my lovely sister, Jacqui - Jacqueline Rose - who passed away last Sunday, 7/11/21.  Jacqui was a tremendously brave person. In 2016 she had a fall which led to a dramatic change in her life. The fall led to a 3 day coma, but after  two weeks in hospital, it was revealed that the underlying cause was viral encephalitis of an unknown origin. The virus literally damaged Jacqui's brain, impacting her cognition and skills and she woke up in another life, as it were.  I became her 'guardian', helping her negotiate and manage the complexities of life.  We did this journey together for 5 years.

But as I share in my Face Book post, 2021 simply over came her.



I began this Jacqui collage last Sunday afternoon when a nurse called me to say Jacqui was not doing well, would not take liquids or yogurt and they would try further and check back with me later.  Jacqui had been fading, but things did not seem imminent.  I sat at my computer and began going through photos and gathering ones that spoke to me.  I worked with them and began placing them into a collage. The nursing home called me at 5pm to say they felt she was leaving and I told them to call her husband right away.  I don't live where she was, so I could not get there.  At 5:27, the call came that she had, indeed, 'slipped away'.  

Yesterday, I was emotionally able to return to the collage because I wanted it to mark the first week of her passing.  It is not her whole life, just elements of her and I and with our parents.  It is Sisters. 

Sisters - Jacqui Rose collage

Monday, May 17, 2021

Anonymous Content Collage

 An image gets your attention and off you go.  That key image becomes the anchor of my Anonymous Content collages and the others come into alignment.  These alignments are connected in ways I can't clarify, but they all do like to be together and cohabit their collage space.


Anonymous Content7 Collage



Anonymous Content6 Collage

Anonymous Content8 Collage

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Fellini Rose and February Adieux

My mother Rose left us on the last day of February in a leap year.  There was something apropos to her way in the world that she would leave on a day that is out of sequence with the typical. She was incredibly brave at the end; on her own and knowing her body was leaving and that any last minute interventions would be without success. She made a final phone call to my sister Jacqui, saying goodbye and 'don't call 911'. My sister said, 'Mom, you know I can't do that' and she said, 'It's okay, I won't be here when they arrive'. And she was not. She left on her own terms. Recently my dear friend Perry sent me the black and white photo of Rose and I, circa 1976 that inspired this collage.  It was Mom in what I called 'high Fellini' style ~ a turban, big hoop earrings and her ever present dark glasses. A perfect way to remember her. 
Fellini Rose

Others close to me left in a February as well.  Perhaps the nadir point of the year loosens our bonds.  My three friends were all young and left too soon.  Pat and Oscar had illness take them and we got to journey with them a bit to their farewell. Peter went shockingly suddenly from an aneurysm and there was no shared journey, just a fait accompli.  Their passing was hard but their vitality stays with me.
February Adieux ~ Peter, Pat & Oscar

 I'm glad I can capture a memory.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Valentine and a Bernie

 Not withstanding the odd correlation of Love and a martyred saint, it's still fun to have a Hallmark Card day to celebrate love. Love is a good thing indeed.


Rami Heart Frida


Had to take a moment and join the crowd

Bernie at the Shenandoah Valley Art Center

Friday, January 15, 2021

Two Crows and an Octopus walk into a bar

Ok. I couldn't resist the title - and why should I?? But we do have crows and octopi. These are my last collages [except for cards] of 2020.  Not particularly end-of-year significant, but just a bit.

Crows are my totem, an energy that brings me to closer connection with the 'other' in the world, to more than you can see, to sensing awareness, the interconnection of things.

I find that Crows often emerge in my work when I am feeling overwhelmed, in over my head, too much to bear and they bring with them a integrating effect.  Some collages carry a specific story, others do not.

Two Crows stands as a symbol of Crow energy.  She carries symbols, some personal to me, others not. She stands tall and strong.

Two Crows

Crows Don't Fly At Night emerged from a dream message.  I was lying awake in the middle of the night, thinking about things I needed to do, manage, handle.  I heard the message 'Crows don't fly at night', which I took as a reminder that I couldn't actually take any action in the middle of the night about the things I was ruminating over; to let it go, no flying at night.

Crows Don't Fly At Night

Some time ago my son had an affection for Octopi and I began using them in cards and collages for him, but along the way, I adopted Octopi as my own totem.  They are smart, clever, strong animals who adapt to their environment in amazing ways.  And I like to see them in settings where they are incongruous.   

Retro Octo Girls is just a fun, optimistic collage.  It began as 'anonymous content' collage - no specific theme -  when I found the Retro woman on the left. Other elements caught my eye and then Ocotpi became the cohesive element.

Retro Octo Girls