Mosaic project update

•May 17, 2016 • 3 Comments

So, I told you about this new project I was starting…


here….  In October…. and I was struggling.  With mosaics in general, it is difficult to transfer the design over once I mortar the backpiece.  I find it never looks like the original.  So I procrastinated on this project.  I also procrastinated because I am just learning to cut glass and there is a learning curve.

Anyway, I found a super-cool product for the transferring.  It is sold by Skeew.  It’s called QuikStik Mosaic Mesh and it is sticky.  It’s awesome!


You just put the pieces on the sheet, and when you decide it is where you want it, press.  You can still lift them up and move them.  Then mortar your backing, pick up the sheet, and press it into the mortar.


Just be careful to not let the mortar mush up too high on the side of the tesserae, or it will show through the grout when you get to that step.

Grout as normal!


Eventually I will fill in all the ‘windows’ from this old window frame.



I am thinking I may tint the grout color purple and fade it as it travels down.  It will be an interior mosaic so I won’t have to worry about fading.  I haven’t decided yet!

***The only negative I find with the mesh is that you see it through clear tesserae.  I am working on a solution for that.  Here is what I mean:


Any mesh would do this, it isn’t unique to the product.  I just didn’t expect it to show so much.  That part is a bummer.

Pencil sketch: Kudu

•April 18, 2016 • Leave a Comment


Click on the photo to view it larger.

Pencil sketch: Male lion

•April 16, 2016 • Leave a Comment


Another artist’s Galapagos map!

•April 2, 2016 • Leave a Comment

So, a little while ago I showed you my Galapagos map, which was a collage using printed papers, paint, stickers, stencils and an old world style map I purchased while on my vacation.

You can view it here.

It is so cool when I get to watch what another artist will do with the same anchor piece.  My friend Jaime went to the islands with me, and purchased the same map.

She ended up with completely different results.  I LOVE THAT!

She started with vibrant tones, instead of muted like mine.  It spun her off in an entirely new direction.


I had the perfect stencil!


This is going to look great in her office.

Click on any photo to make it larger.

Tree Bookshelf

•March 31, 2016 • 4 Comments

Pinterest is a dangerous thing.  It gave me the idea for a bookshelf…oh dear.  My dad was an excellent sport and pretty much built this thing for me!


I drew it out on butcher paper, and this was our ‘map’.





Dad tapered the ends by sawing back and forth on an angle, then sanding it smooth.




Then we attached the backing board to his porch so it was upright, and screwed in the boards from the back.



This was a learn-as-we-go process.  Sometimes we would tease about turning it into a bonfire and roasting hot dogs on it!




Using washers on the back helped stabilize the shelves.




We would have the angles perfect, and then the torque from screwing in at the back would pull everything apart!  (What do you want on your hot dog?!?)


Backing out the screws helped this.



It grew and grew until one day, we were able to install it!  I LOVE IT!  I will NEVER make anything like it again!!!




Thanks, papa!!!

Finished Galapagos Journal

•March 5, 2016 • 2 Comments

I sat down the other day and painted the outside of my May, 2015 Galapagos journal, the one that won over on Adventure Life’s site with my blog Galapagos through the Eyes of an Artist.

I thought I would share the process with you!

Underneath is what the journal looked like originally.  I rubbed it with darker browns, and applied the map with gel medium.



Fun stencil!


I used a letter stencil and washed the surface with some blues.



A few more color washes, and some spattering, and I’m done!


The back.


Hope you enjoy it!

The Artist’s Dilemma

•February 29, 2016 • 5 Comments

Being an artist is a funny thing.  Mostly, I love it.  I can’t imagine spending my life any other way than creating.  But there are certain…mind-bending, warped thinking, deflating…other such words like this…elements of being an artist.  I’ll discuss one a bit further here.


Being obsessed with an idea, knowing you have to make it our it will destroy a piece of you.

Afraid that if you DO make it, it will not be any good, and you will have destroyed it in the making.

Working on a project, fully aware of how much time and energy it is taking–and what you are neglecting to do it.

Knowing that when you are done, no one may care a bit about it, or worse, actively hate it.

Or even worse, discovering for yourself that it was a flawed, stupid idea to begin with, you just couldn’t see it at the time, and an utter waste of time.

Or even worse than that, discovering someone else already did it, and theirs was better.


I have had an idea that I have tinkered with for over ten years.  I have worked on it, set it down, picked it up, changed it dramatically, thrown it away and resuscitated it.  I have talked it to death.  I have ignored it.  I have cursed it for taking up so much of my time.  But…it has proved to be a very…loyal?…project?  (I guess that is the word.)  Because it doesn’t take all my abuse as a hint and just go. away.

Projects can tend to have a mind of their own. (Another artist’s dilemma–when the work choses its path and it is different than what the artist envisions.  Happens to me all the time.  Topic for a different post.)

The thing is, the reason I haven’t finished this project is because it is kinda massive.  And requires all my skill sets as a writer, photographer and artist.  It’s overwhelming.  And even more so since I have abandoned it for so long and have to get reacquainted, get intimate with it again.  I think it might even be a little mad at me, because it isn’t revealing itself to me all that willingly.  But I decided a project this loyal deserves to be finished.  And I need to reclaim my integrity, as a person who keeps their word, even if it is an unspoken word to a project, and finish what I start.  Even ten years later.

It is interesting when I can step back and observe what my mind is doing.  I realized I was looking at one way of getting past the dilemma: By hedging the bet.   As I look over all of the things to be done, I find myself thinking about not putting my full effort into it.  Does this reallllllyyyy need to be a full color drawing?  Can’t I just gloss over this?  Does anyone even care?  I think it is just a natural impulse to take the pressure off, to keep the results from being my fault, sadly enough.  But imbedded in those thoughts are these realizations:  that my laziness/lack of enthusiasm and effort might actually sabotage what could have been a good project.  Or worse, it is successful and I will always know it was actually a half assed attempt. It will be a fraud.  Neither of those things will ultimately be acceptable to me. I know this about myself.

So, the decision is made to dive in.  While the voices are still telling me it is a waste of time, that all this effort will have no payoff and why do you do this to yourself?  Usually the decision is made with the shrug of the shoulders and, for me, the thought of,

“What’s a better use of your time?  Reality T.V.?”




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