Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Yule! Solstice! New Year!

 Wishing everyone all good things in all ways.

 Winter Fairy - Yule

Winter Solstice

New Year with Patti & Lou 

See you in 2024!

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Patti Smith In Blue and Friends

My health has my main focus right now and I just started radiation therapy, but fortunately, images come my way and inspire me to take time out and go into collage mode.

I'm a fan of Patti Smith, her music, books and her always Patti just being Patti-ness. I came across the three main images in this collage serendipitously on the same day and knew they worked well together. And as I worked on the collage, I felt they all shared a certain life-attitude as well.  Google image search revealed that the red-hatted women was Vita Sackville-West and of course, the Magitte-like image carries his different way of seeing.  The last element I searched for.  It is Arthur Rimbaud, a favorite poet of Patti Smith, which she had just referenced in her 'M Train' book I am reading.  

The back-stories to a work can be interesting, even fun, but in the end, it's the images, the juxtapositions and composition that calls me.


Patti Smith In Blue

Till another time.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Mammograms! Get 'em. They're on your side.

Recently I went for my annual Mammogram.  A few days later I received a call that I needed 'additional screenings.'  The news hit me with quite a shock.   A letter came saying there was an  'architectural distortion'; a term which describes a distorted shape or pattern visible on a mammogram, but a distinct mass is not seen. It may represent a benign condition or possible breast cancer.  Sigh. Of course, I wanted to have my re-screens done the very same day, but instead, I had to wait ten days for an appointment.

I began this collage during the first waiting period.  I typically create an 'avatar' of myself when collages are about or represent me; adding my distinctive curly hair, perhaps my crow feather & spiral tattoo, etc. The figure began rather dark, but then I stumbled upon the first pink flower, which I added to the dark dress.  As time went on, the pink flowers grew and the tenor change.  

It turned out that I did indeed have a tumor; just 7 millimeters and low-level as they grade these things, but it would require surgery.  So 7 mm was added to my avatar.  I had a similar situation 20 years ago, so the star on the left arrow marks the previous success. The questioning symbols on the right, were added while I waited for the pathology report.

All this waiting time gave me a great opportunity to get myself 'aligned' to the next steps that would be required of me and it was a great support to have art as my expression and distraction to move away from fear.

7 Millimeters - Mammogram collage series

I did have surgery, a lumpectomy, in which a 5 centimeter area was removed and a lymph node.  Everything was contained, no cells in the lymph node and I am recovering well.  As of now, it seems I will also have radiation therapy, so the red poppies came into play, representing the fire/heat of radiation.


5 Centimeters - Mammogram collage series

I shared my first collage with a few people and my friend Donna sent me a collection of paper flowers, which inspired me to use them to create this embellished mat with the two collages together.

The Mammogram Series with embellished mat

As scary as the words' breast cancer' are, finding something in its earliest, smallest stage is the gift of the mammogram.  Get 'em.  They're on your side.

Till next time.

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Come visit us @ Paint It Orange in Orange, Virginia!

There were some challenges this summer,  but working on being at Paint It Orange was a wonderful anchor; a creative place to stay in for awhile throughout the difficulties.

Jess created a unique space,  offering classes, events and open-studio space.  She also supports local, and like me, 'kinda local', artists with shows at her space.  

Our opening is Thursday, October 5, 2023, 5-7pm, 137 Caroline Street in downtown Orange. If you're in the area, please join us.  The art will be up through the end of November.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I once lived in Orange county and it has been an interesting journey as I searched for images of Orange that caught my 'collage eye'.  I even came across a house I had once lived in; with many changes, not unexpectedly. 

Jess herself has been a collage muse of mine and I included an array of collages of her in the show; along with other collages that went along for the ride to Orange, like Jackpot Motel


Railroad Avenue - Orange, Virginia Series

Alices At Mayhurst - Orange, Virginia series


On Main Street - Orange, Virginia series

Be Nice Be Kind - Taylor Park, Orange Virginia series

Retro Promenade Jess

Jackpot Motel

Till next time.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Sister Memories

My wonderful sister, and only sibling, left us 2 years ago.  I still have moments when I think I must call her to share something or ask a question. My option now is to send those 'calls' into the ether, and in fact, I do. She's in the stars.

She was a magickal person in so many ways and courageously went through a most difficult last five years of her life.  Ever brave, ever kind, ever willing to still 'be there' for others.  You would have loved her too.


Bastet Jacqui Rose collage.


Sisters - Jacqui Rose collage

 Till another time.

Friday, July 7, 2023

Anthony, The Aces and Crow

Today marks the 36th year since my father, Anthony,  passed from this realm.  He came home from World War II with a Silver Star, which I did not learn of until he passed.  He worked as a civilian for  Naval Air for 40 years and went through life-changing physical challenges of major proportions in my teen years. But through everything, he was that Dad that holds you close, is there for you as best he can be and you know you are always his best you.

People always commented the he looked like the actors Victor Mature and Robert Mitchum and he did carry a kind of gravitas that they portrayed.  So they join him here in this remembrance collage.

Anthony, Robert and Victor collage

I'm always attracted to quirky people and loved an image I came across of The Aces, a wonderful sister group. They are living out loud their story of becoming with their music and, here, with a bit of pie.

The Aces with Pie collage

Crows are always in my sphere and this is my latest crow totem. I was very pleased when I came across the yellow feathers; a unique crow.

Yellow Crow collage

Till another time.


Thursday, June 8, 2023

Assembled for Tea - Assemblage at SVAC - Shenandoah Valley Arts Center

 June is the annual Members show at the Shenandoah Valley Arts Center.  

The show runs from June through July and if you're in the area, do stop by and enjoy.




 Although these days I work mostly in collage, mixed-media assemblage was my first love.  I loved the collecting of the bits and pieces, finding the right 'container's' and discovering the alignments that would emerge.  I was inspired to do an assemblage for this show.

Some of the key pieces here were box assemblages I had made in the past.  It was great fun to pick and choose who would go in this piece.  There was much arranging/rearranging with various selections.  Once the core units settled, I was in search of a base.  I found the large tray and from that, the theme of a tea party emerged.  Shoes, tea cups and saucers are often featured in my collage work, but first appeared in my assemblage work. I had many such miniatures in my assemblage items collection. And dolls in various ways were always part of my 3-D work.  The piece is 19" long x 14"wide and 24" at it's highest point.

Assembled for Tea - Mixed-Media Assemblage


Assembled for Tea - Detail - TOP

Assembled for Tea - Detail - LEFT

Assembled for Tea - Detail -RIGHT

Assembled for Tea -BACK

At the Gallery...

Till next time.



Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Out and About in the 'Boro

I don't know if people really call our town, 'the 'Boro', but I like the ring.  My 'regional' collages have a fare share of  'hometown' favorites and these are the latest.

Willy's Ice Cream is a long time popular landmark.  Founded in 1995, it occupies a corner of a shopping center parking lot, closes for the winter and has a wonderful retro feel. And yes, the ice cream is great.


Willy's Ice Cream - Waynesboro series


This house has caught my eye before, but recently while driving by, the light was on it just so and I said to my husband, 'Stop the car! Pull over!' and I jumped out and got some shots.

White House on Main - Waynesboro Series

Till another time.


Saturday, May 13, 2023

Painting It Orange with Jess

I've featured Jess in more than a few of my collages; usually inspired by interesting and wonderful photos she herself posts.  Jess is an artist and owns a nifty shop and studio called Paint It Orange.  We've been talking about a little upcoming collaboration, so I've been looking at images of Orange, VA

Jess was indeed working on her car in this photo with the wrench, but more automobiles joined the party.

Auto-Matic Jess collage


Current collaged travels to Orange...

On Main Street collage - Orange, VA

Alices At Mayhurst collage - Orange, VA

Paint It Orange collage - Orange, VA

I lived in Orange in the mid-70's to '80's with my former husband, Perry.  Jess' father, Bill - also an artist - was  a good friend of ours and grew up in Orange. Bill and Perry still do all sorts of projects together.  Bill and his wife Nancy are part of the Rockfish Gallery.  Here is a favorite self-portrait of Bill, which lives in my front hall.


Self-Portrait - Bill Walters


Till next time.



Saturday, May 6, 2023

Fish and Frida

These two collages began with a single moment - coming upon a quote and having an image appear in a news stream.

I laughed out loud when I saw the bumper sticker- 'fish control my brain'.  I assume it is related to the actual act of fishing, as it was on a car in the parking lot by our river walk, but it just stayed with me.  Yes, fish controlled my brain.

Fish Control My Brain collage

I hadn't seen this particular image of Frida Kahlo before and it truly spoke to me. The spacious window felt a perfect expansive backdrop to the concentration of  her while painting, while the aged brick wall, seemed a perfect edgy foil to her things. 

In 2012, Frida's closet was opened after 58 years. Her husband Deigo Rivera had it locked upon her death.  An exhibit was mounted at Frida's home, Casa Asul - the Blue House, and now the Frida Kahlo museum.  Like so many, Frida is an icon of mine and a regular theme and I've used items from 'the closet' in other collages.

Frida Painting Among Her Things collage 

Till another time.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Black and White and Noir

'Black and White' emerged from a theme prompt for our monthly Members' gallery shows at Shenandoah Valley Arts Center, SVAC.  It's fun to sometimes work with an external prompt. Typically my 'prompts' may come from a single image that attracts me or an emotion or situation which goes in search of images; so an outside prompt sends me down it's own path.


Black and White Collage


Here, the core image of a pensive Bette Davis led the way to this collage.  The prominent male figure is another 1940's era star, Leslie Howard. I colorized and altered both figures from the original black and white photos.  Retro film and images are always a vivid part of my mind's collective.

Dark Night Bette

Till next time.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023


It's a glorious Spring day here.  Until now we still have had cold nights, cool mornings and then finally, a warm afternoon.  But today, the day blossomed warm and has been bright throughout.  I don't have a new collage to share, but these two evoke Spring to me.

Nix is a Crow-Hare fairy.  She holds the energy of new beginnings and renewal.

Spring - Nix-Crow Hare Fairy

This collage is perhaps not Spring per se, but Compassion and Endurance are two qualities to bring forth at the time of flowers and trees coming into bloom and new seeds planted.

Spring - Compassion and Endurance

Many of my collages carry and optimistic feel to them. I want to keep my eye turned to a lighter element. The collages of  'place' are filled with associative images, some clear in their association and others not, but often having a fun element within them. I like the 'fun' of adding elements that don't belong - a lime on a roof or a donut in the street. 

But I've noticed there are times the events, the issues, in the world press on me deeply and my creative eye stops; does not turn to brightness nor does it explore the world issues as it overwhelms. So today from that place, I took a breath and  remembered Spring.

Till next time.