Saturday, December 31, 2011

Party Animals!

Working on this 5"x7" Ampersand Art scratchbord the past two days.  Not sure if it's finished yet.  It's based on a photo by my friend Fay Barclay who puts up the greatest shots of her dogs and other dogs that need adopting on facebook.  She and I are going to collaborate on a project in 2012.  More about that as it develops.  Come on 2012!
Here's a quick re-cap of 2011-
After moving to Fayetteville Arkansas in Oct 2010... In Feb. 2011 I got a studio at the Fayetteville Underground, made great friends there with artists and patrons alike.  Had my first solo show there in Sept.  Had to move out a few weeks ago, after the dysfunctional board decided to dissolve the organization.  In January/Feb. I designed a series of 5x7 scratchbord kits for Ampersand Art and debuted them in April at the art material trade show.  Big success!  They started hitting the stores around August and are now carried in many stores around the country.   June 1st I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer- had surgery to remove it June 15th.  All clear.  Voice finally came back, but I don't think I'll ever be a singer again.  That's a little disappointing.  Considering the alternative tho, I think I can live with it.  And now, here I am, still making art and working on new designs to license and looking forward to a bright new year.  Happy Happy to all of you!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Dog Heart Scratchboard Art

Today we have a small (3"x5") Ampersand Art scratchbord study.  I originally did this design using a sheet foam product with sticky back. I think the purpose of this foam is to make stamps (for stamping with ink). I made several quick pieces using the foam, and then translated them to scratchbord.  At first I was worried that it was too much like Keith Haring.  Upon looking at his work again, I've decided that no, it's close but not that close.  Derivative, maybe, but not a copy.  I am merely being influenced...I love being influenced!  It's always interesting to see what comes from that.
Yesterday I burned a bridge.  Well, let's just say it was already hanging by a thread, and was dangerous to cross on anyway, so it needed burning.  The story behind this?  I told someone who was on the board of a wonderful art organization I was involved with here that they and the rest of the board squandered and mismanaged a perfectly good group. They ran it into the ground.  Am I sorry?  Yes, I'm sorry they did what they did.  Me, not sorry for speaking my mind. Wish I would have done it sooner. And I wish there had been something all of us could have done to stop the decline.  Oh well.  Life goes on.  My studio is at home now.  I look out the window at the birds at the bird feeder, and I try to think up good ideas for future art works. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Orange Cat Face

This is a small (3"x5") Ampersand Art scratchbord.  Note: This size is available only as a sample bord, they don't sell these commercially. I started working on it while doing a demo and finished it a few days ago.  I was trying to illustrate how much of the black ink surface should be removed in order to get the most 'bang' from the claybord ink.  As you can see I scraped away a lot of the black, leaving the outline and some black here and there to give it some nice texture.  I then used some red, yellow, orange and brown ink. One of my techniques is to have a slightly damp paper towel handy so I can use it to pull some of the added ink color out.  The trick with this is to get on it while the ink is still dries quickly so you have to do this immediately after brushing it on. If you find you pull too much out, you can go right back in with more ink to make it darker or more saturated.  It's also a good idea to not have too much ink loaded on the brush.  You can dab it on the paper towel (in an area that won't be used to pull color back out.  I used my favorite tool on the eyes, (the iris)the red fiberglass eraser. It is very effective at pulling out the black, softening the surface, but leaving just enough grey and white to color.  As with everything I do, this is my simple, folk art style.  I could do realism, but my feeling about that is, why?  It just doesn't speak to me.  I love taking photos and then re-working them to make the image my own.  Don't get me wrong,  I'm totally impressed with the hyper-realism style, and it is amazing.
Get out there and make some art.  Whenever and wherever you can.  I'm still trying to convert the world to the joy of scratchbord, one bord at a time...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Scratchboard Classes And Gratitude

Took these photos this week while teaching two scratchbord classes to some great students at Fayetteville High School-Go Bulldogs! Sorry about them being sideways, still don't know how to fix that.  We had a great time together, there were about 30 students per class.  They kept me hopping!  And I totally enjoyed it!  Thank you Ms. Adams, and thank you Ampersand for letting me spread the joy!
I'm feeling very grateful today for many things.  I'm mourning the loss of the space that the Fayetteville Underground used to fill.  We are officially out December 31st. Sad, sad, sad.  Because of the Underground, which I joined in Feb., I have met some of the greatest folks.  Artists and art lovers alike.  Because of the Underground, I have been able to make the contacts to teach scratchbord classes to students at John Brown University (2x) Mary Hardin Baylor College in Belton, TX, and this weeks classes at Fayetteville High School.  In addition, I've taught classes with a cancer survivors group and classes at the Underground.  I will miss all of the artists.  I know we will stay in touch, but still, there not be another group/place like it.  And even tho the A&P commission is going to attempt to re-create the organization at the old post office in the square, it will not be the same.  I hope there will be support from the public for artists here in NWA.  I'm in my studio at home on the hwy.  If you want to see or buy my art, you'll have to come here.  Contact me.  I will continue to make art like crazy.  And my scratchbord kits are at Hobby Lobby, Aaron Brothers, Dick Blick and Jerry's Artarama.  Have fun!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Life Moves On

I spent some time yesterday working on the above commission for an Austinite.  She is not so keen on it, so I'm back to the drawing board soon to see if I can make one that pleases her.  Meanwhile, I like it and may adapt this scratchbord with some changes (and others) into a storyline for a children's book.  I've been thinking about doing a child's picture book ever since I got back from spending 3 weeks in Austin last month.  There is a certain little almost 2 year old who is my dear friends little girl.  We spent a lot of time looking at and reading her books.  I think there may be an 'Adventures of Little Josephine' needing to be written and illustrated soon.
Meanwhile, studios at the Fayetteville Underground are being packed up and moved. The artists are going to various points through out the area.  Me, I'm back in my little blue house on the hwy, sitting at the table in my living room making art, looking at the birds at the feeder, and watching the cars go by.  I'm sorry the group is fracturing, and yet, I had been thinking I needed to move on or change something in how this art business is going for me.  The licensing deal on the scratchbord kits with Ampersand is going great.  Actual art sales at galleries, kind of slow.  And kind of slow does not pay the bills.  So, during the winter I will be working on more designs to license, and making some plans to ramp up the etsy shop and such. The 'such' part is the unknown plan that I'm hoping will come to me while I'm working.
Next week I've got 3 scratchbord demo/classes scheduled, two at the local high school and one with the cancer survivors group. Then, to plow through the whole 'holiday' thing.  Good luck out there folks.  I hope y'all get or give everything you want.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Scratchboard Demo Fun

Ok, please forgive me for the side-ways, out of focus view on this photo.  I finally got a smart phone, and I'm not smart enough to figure out how to use it!  If you tilt your head to the right you get the general idea.  This is a 5"x7" Ampersand Art scratchbord from last night's demo.  The artist, Linda Flores, invited me to come spend the evening teaching a group of cancer survivors some scratchbord techniques. I am a 'member' of that cancer survivor 'club' now, due to the whole thyroid cancer experience in June. We had such a great time.  There were about 10 of us, talking, drawing, scratching, enjoying.  I loved it!  I believe there might even be a few new converts to the scratchbord way.  They liked it so much they asked me to come back on the 19th to continue the class.  It is so satisfying for me to watch as folks discover what they can do with this bord. (that's the Ampersand spelling)  The way Linda F is approaching this design is a very traditional take on using scratchbord as illustration.  It looks very much like a woodcut, or etching. She used a template of a line drawing, transferred it using white chalk on the back.  The scratching beyond the line drawing is her imagination and talent.  I look forward to seeing this completed on the 19th.  She attended a class I taught at the Fayetteville Underground earlier this year, and used her artwork from that class to make inkjet prints of it on greeting cards. I promise I will take better photos next time. 
There is a dusting of snow on the ground outside,  I'm warm and toasty inside.  Thinking about some commission projects that need to be done before Christmas.  Oh my...I'd best jump on those today!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Art Sale At The Fayetteville Underground

Tonight (1st Thursday) there will be a huge art sale going on at The Fayetteville Underground from 5-8. All or most of the artists there will be slashing prices on their work.  It's a great time to be an art buyer!  The above piece is an box assemblage from my earlier body of work(2006-7).  It's "Alice, The Dark Side(drink up)".  Previous price $150.00.  Tonight's price $75.00.  I used a variety of vintage papers, paints and wood in creating this piece. There are also a number of scratchboard and mixed media works in my studio that will be half price.  Hope y'all can stop by and help us celebrate the Underground, on this, our last 1st Thursday in this space, as this organization.  Stay tuned, we are moving on to bigger and better things as the 'Fayetteville Arts Alliance'

Friday, November 18, 2011

Making Art/Not Making Art

I've been in Texas for a few weeks now, visiting friends and doing some art business.  Much is focused on art and the scratchbord kits and demo's and classes.  And yet, I haven't made much actual art since I've been traveling.  Now, mind you, I've been thinking about art a lot.  And planning pieces in my head.  And doing demos I do get to make art, kind of....Plus I've been stocking up on supplies that are not available back in Fay'vlle.  I've got several bottles of my new favorite sealer for collage, Golden's UV Varnish (Matte). Still have to get a few more things before I leave the big city...I'm really getting my fill of breakfast taco's, bbq and a certain little, almost two year old!
Yesterday I stopped in Aaron Brother's Framing store at Sunset Valley Marketfair.  My Scratchbord kits were on the wall, oh joy!  Next step, try and set up some in-store demos to introduce folks who shop there to my world.
Today I'm posting a little mixed media collage piece, of a sweet 'Pointy-Eared Dog'.  This is a 4"x4" artist panel (from Ampersand, of course)  I used some Golden Acrylic paint and gel medium, along with some vintage papers I had lying around...and there you go-ART!  It's not scratchbord, but I did do some scratching texture into the background paint before it dried.  I top-coated with a matte Golden Gel Medium to protect it.
Be sure and mark your calendar for the weekend right after Thanksgiving.  I'll be out in San Marcos, TX with a bunch of other artists selling our creations at the Eye Of The Dog Art Center.  This is the third year I've attended this show as a crafts person.  It is definitely a good time.  Much different from shopping at the mall, in a very good way. You'll need directions as it is out in the country.  But, with art, food, drink and fun, absolutely worth it.  Check it out here.  Friday night is a sweet party there with Ponty Bone playing. All are welcome, hope you can make it out.
And of course,  Ampersand scratchbord demo at Jerry's Artarama Austin, tomorrow, Saturday the 19th from noon to 3pm.  FREE!  Need I say more?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Free Ampersand Scratchbord Demo At Jerry's Artarama Austin!

Yes dear folks, I am in beautiful Austin, Texas.  Home of Ampersand Scratchbord (and other delicious art bords, like gessobord, claybord etc...) Check out their website to see all of them.  I will be at the Jerry's Artarama Austin on N. I-35 this Saturday November 19th from 12noon-3pm teaching all who stop by about the wonders of scratchbord.  If you are out and about stop by for a bit and play.  If you've ever tried the paper version of scratchboard and been frustrated with how it tears and deteriorates, stop right in and try Ampersand's surface.  I have been in love with this product for 10 years.  Hmmmn, my longest relationship so far.  And it's a good one! Go to the Ampersand website to learn more...about the bord, not my relationship history y'all!

This is a little 5"x7" version of my owl design on the scratchbord, without color added.  Usually I add inks from the Claybord ink set that Ampersand sells, but I thought I'd go grey with this one.  I'm off to more visiting with friends, and some damn good tacos!  Enjoy your day, stay in the moment and make some art...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

What A Mess Of Art!

This is the living room after hauling most of the stuff out of my studio at the Fayetteville Underground.  Dang, I've really got the whole 'body of work' thing a'going on here.  Now granted, some of this is going to Wally Workman Gallery in Austin, TX.  Some of it is going to Eye Of The Dog Art Center in San Marcos, TX for their annual after turkey day home show, and finally, some of it is my Ampersand Art scratchbord teaching materials for demos and workshops.  I'm heading out to Texas for art fun!  Can't wait to see all my friends! and I'm doing a bunch of scratchbord and stampbord workshops.  If you are in Austin, be sure and stop by Jerry's Artarama on I-35, Saturday November 19th from 12-3pm.  I'll be there doing a free demo.  Yippie eye oh!
The sad thing about this picture is that there is another room in the house that I use as a studio, it is full up too. Sad, because I really just want to sell it all to make room for making more. So, what I ask you is, instead of buying the newest phone, fad, or whatever, buy some art...from me, or any other artist.  The economy has hit us hard too.
 I really hope folks will support the Underground artists in our new adventure.  Check out our morph the org website to learn more. 
Meanwhile, I've got a heap o' packing to do...Yah hoo!
I guess all I really wanted to say is...I'm off for a bit, I'll miss all y'all in the Arkansas Ozarks.  But I'll be back for our last 1st Thursday at the Fayetteville Square location.  I hope y'all can come out and visit with us. Bring your dollars and do a little or a lot of art shopping.  And I really hope you will help us continue to bring amazing art to this sweet little burg!  Chow babies!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Artists Of The Fayetteville Underground Are NOT Folding!

Please go here to see how to help.
I was reminded last night, at a really sweet party held for the Fayetteville Underground artists, what a great bunch of folks I get to work with.  Today there was a misleading article in the North West Arkansas Times saying that we are folding...Correction:  The board of this organization, who are unable to raise enough funds to fight their way out of a paper bag, are dissolving the organization at the end of the year.  In spite of our best efforts to take over the organization and thus preserving our momentum and enabling us to receive possible funding from the Warhol Foundation grant that we applied for, they decided on a "Clean Break".
Just so you know, There are two more 1st Thursday events (November and December) and shows at the current location until the very last day of December.  AND THEN:  a metamorphosis, or evolution (maybe even a REVOLUTION!)  The artists, who worked very hard to keep things humming at the galleries all along, are going to create something even better than before.  Stay with us, follow us, help us keep the creative economy going in North West Arkansas,  We Need All Y'all To Step Up And Help!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Everybody Loves A Starving Artist

...But nobody wants to feed them.  I've been thinking about what an friend said the other day.  Someone in a powerful position had said to her that "she was a 'different' kind of artist because she used both sides of her brain, rather than just the right side". I was amused, stunned, a bit confused and a little angry.  I don't even really know what she meant by that statement.  I'm quite sure it was based on ignorance and long held stereotypes of what artists are and are not.  Thinking back to my art school days,  I too had some pretty common myths about what artists should be doing.  Suffering was right up there at the top of the list, along with starving, being a drunken fool, etc...  Trust me,  I tried them all.  None of those things made me a better artist.  In fact, for the most part the works I made while drinking or suffering were absolute crap.  I dropped out of art school after two years to become a plumber.  It seemed like a good move at the time.  Especially since I did not want to become a teacher (surprise, I now LOVE teaching) or a graphic artist (which to me, somehow was 'less' of an artist). I think differently now.
So, a plumber and contractor I became.  And I did it for about 25 years solid, with very little art mixed in with it.  It was good, and then art called me back and I answered the call.
I'm not quite sure which side of my brain I used while having my own contracting business.  Left, right, both sides, what does it matter?  What is important is that I was able to 'stick with it'.  Putting my head down and just getting the job done.  Good lessons that I've been able to apply to my current art career.  And listen, those of you who refuse to be thinking creatively?  Please, step aside and let me move forward.  Artists HAVE REAL JOBS. Really.  In fact,  sometimes I think my job is harder because I have to make something up that didn't exist every single time I start a new artwork. The above is an example of that.  I worked on this yesterday because I'm trying to fulfill a themed group show at a gallery.  "After Dark" is the theme.  This is "2 Monkey Night".  It's an Ampersand Art scratchbord.  I hope the gallery likes it and I can sell it.  That's my reality.  Not only do I have to make stuff up and execute it well, I have to market it and hope someone likes it enough to buy it.  All in a days work for an artist.
Now granted, there are many artists who do fill those stereotypes quite well.  But, there are also a lot of plumbers, lawyers, doctors and every other profession who fit it too. So please, understand when I roll my eyes, or appear less than appreciative of your assessment of my chosen vocation.  You just have no idea.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Toonces The Scratchboard Cat

Finished this little guy and sent if off.  It was a commission for a friend in Austin who is giving it to her father this month for his birthday.  Toonces was his favorite cat and, if I have the story right, died sometime in the past year.  I'm always happy to take on a commission, especially if the dog/cat was/is a beloved family pet.  It is a small 3"x5" Ampersand Art Supply scratchbord unframed.  I used a bit of ink for the eyes, ears, and tag. While doing it I kept humming, 'Toonces, the driving cat.' Old Saturday Night Live skit...In the old, old days folks!
Tomorrow I will be giving 4 scratchbord workshops for the VA at the Fayetteville Underground.  Total of about 100 folks. What fun!  I love teaching scratchbord...hope to be doing quite a bit of it this coming year.  Stay tuned.  And let me know if you need/want a scratchboard done of your pet.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Am I Angry?

YES!  I'd even venture to say, 'HELL YES'!  Am I an angry person?  No, in fact I am one of the happiest people around.  I have great friends and a pretty wonderful life.
Here are a few of the things that make me angry.  And, because I have paid for enough therapy over the years to buy a house,  I'm pretty sure there is nothing wrong with being angry about certain things.  In fact, people who 'never' get angry frighten me because I think there must be a shit-load of stuff a'brewing inside of them waiting to explode on someone who doesn't deserve it.
So, to continue, here are a few things that make me really angry;
Bad, rude, dismissive behavior.  Men who think it's ok to treat women badly.  Women who think it's ok to treat men badly.  Mean, ignorant people. Unfair situations. Trying to control me, my behavior or actions (or others) because you are weak or fearful.(or just plain controlling for whatever reason)  BULLIES, physical or emotional. People who think they know me, but have never had a conversation with me who say that I'm angry.
These are just a few of my angry things.  Thanks, I just had to get that off my chest.
Now, here are some happy things to take your mind off of what an angry woman I am.

This is a new collage piece I finished recently.  Since there has been some crazy high drama at the art organization/studio I've been working happily at home on many, many new works.  I'm not going to beat around the bush,  The Fayetteville Underground has become a toxic place for me.  I have loved being there,  but now, not so much.
So for your consideration..."Looking For Dali"  I have to update the photo, I've actually added some color to the clock in the belly.  It's a combination of vintage 1940's magazines with a bit of O mag thrown in.  It measures 9"x14" and could be yours if you want it.  Let me know and I'll shoot a price to you.  It's on gessoed mdf panel.  I will frame it in a black floater type frame. 
Well, that's all for now.  I hope I haven't scared you with my 'anger'.  Tell you what, who would YOU rather be with?  Someone like me who isn't afraid to stand up for what's right and good?  Or someone who 'toes' the line and doesn't want to cause a ruckus?
Me,  I'm sticking up for myself and you, if you need it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

In A Little Red Barn On A Farm Down In Indiana

This is my latest mixed media collage.  I'm moving back into my home studio due to some major unhappiness with the way the management (or should I say, mis-management) of the artist organization I'm involved with. That's all I'll say about it right now.  For me, the making of art is important.  This quasi political brew ha ha is just a bump in the road.  Since the physical/emotional disruption, I've been unable to make art in my downtown studio.  Thus, I've been making collage work at home, like crazy.  I guess I should thank those who have had 'control' over my (and other artists) destiny these past months.  The anger I feel has pushed me onward and upward.  In other words,  thanks, now get out of my way.
This piece is based loosely on my memories of growing up in Northern Indiana.  There was (or maybe still is?) a major AM radio station, WOWO that had huge wattage.  It was an important source of information regarding pork bellies and such.  They had a program that started with a song;  "In a little red barn, on a farm, down in Indiana..."
And so, maybe that is the name of this piece, or maybe it's just "Down On The Farm".  I used a lot of vintage 1940's magazine images, plus some contemporary Oprah mag pages.  It's interesting, at 1st Thursday the other night, a friend looked at it and said, "Oh look, there's the Mother and Father...and their, uh"  I'm pretty sure it's more like 'High Drama On the Farm"...Honestly, I'm not really sure what any of this means.  My collage work is much more in the surreal vein, and more just what feels right together.  So, what it means is more up to the viewer.  I had no deep intentions, really.  I just like putting pieces on a board.
If you are interested, this piece is framed and available.  Let me know and we'll talk $$ and logistics of getting it to you.
Meanwhile, I continue to make scratchboard pieces, and teach and demonstrate the process of making art with scratchboards. I'm a happy girl from up there in farmland, living down here in southland.  And oh yeah,  have a great day out there!

Monday, October 3, 2011

New Mixed Media Collage

Just finished this 8"x10" mixed-media collage last night.  Dang, I have fun with these!  The images are from my collection of 1940's magazines.  Title is "Niblets".  It's framed in a black floater type frame and ready to sell. Mounted on gessoed 1/4" MDF.  Special online price for the next two weeks,  is $150.00.  Usual cost for an 8"x10 from my studio is $250.00 so that's 100 bucks off folks.  I'll be putting this up on etsy tomorrow, same price for two weeks.  Sale ends midnight Oct. 17th. So line up and sign up and buy now, save $$
I know, I know, you think, geez, this is just a bunch of scraps of paper glued together.  Yeah, well, I went through the magazines, picking out images, cut the boards, gessoed them, glued everything together and then put a nice uv protected finish on it and framed it. You know what I'm saying? This is bonafide work.,  I'm tired just talking about it now.
 I hope y'all enjoy my fun cut paper activities.  Hey, have a day out there!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dog and 2 Humans Collage Artwork

Woke up this morning around 4:30am.  Tried to force myself back to sleep, but wouldn't go...finally got up around 5 and put this piece together.  It's an 11"x14" MDF panel.  I prepared the panel with some dandy 'Bob Ross' black gesso and used nori paste to do the glue down.  I had cut out most of the images last night while watching old episodes of 'Iron Chef' on my computer...nice way to spend the time, eh? Thanks for all the issues of Oprah mags Al,  lots of good colors and faces.
I'll do a top coat with some Golden Gel Medium, heavy matt finish.  And then, who knows?  Maybe someone will want to buy this.  Or I will just add it to the growing stack of unsold artwork.  I have to keep on making art....that's what I do, that's who I am, and that's what keeps me sane.  Here's the thing folks,  once they are done...I'm done.  The most recent piece I'm working on is my newest favorite.  The older finished pieces are crying out to go home with someone besides me.  so if you want it, or need it, shoot me a message and we'll talk details.  I had a great weekend.  The scratchboard class at the Fayetteville Underground on Saturday was wonderful.  Lots of fun art being made.  I'll post some photos and more on that next time...stay tuned.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Scratchboard dogs and society pages

Finished these two scratchbords yesterday.  I made them for some new friends.  They were delighted when I dropped them off!  While I was working on them I had a little struggle at first with 'Hattie', but then I just let go and let the scratching and scraping happen without thinking too much about it.  I always know when a piece is going to be successful when I'm laughing and joyful during the process of making it. There was a lot of that happening while doing these. These are both 5"x7" Ampersand Art scratchbords with claybord inks.  They are unusual for me as they are horizontal.  I prefer a vertical subject matter, but the photos I took of them dictated the orientation, so there you go.
Got a check from Wally Workman Gallery yesterday.  The '3Monkeys In A Boat' piece mentioned in the post before this sold to the TV show 'The Lying Game'.  Mostly because it got scratched (which upset me for about a half a second) I had to let it go and not worry about it.  I have no control over what happens to a piece after it leaves the gallery.  As long as they don't use the image without my permission, or reproduce it on products without compensating me; I'm not involved.  I don't like the idea of my piece being damaged...oh well.
This morning I opened the newspaper (I love Sunday mornings with the larger newspaper and NPR) and discovered that I had made the 'Society' page for the Youthbridge Starry Starry Night fundraiser in a photo.  Whoohoo!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Today In Linda Land

Today was a wonderful day in Land O' Linda.  I worked in my studio for a bit...working on some collaged greeting cards.  Then I went to visit some new friends, one of them is an amazing poet and both are all around wonderful folks.  I spent much of the afternoon there with him reading me his poetry and us discussing the way of the world.  Ah, bliss.  If that wasn't enough (and trust me, it was!)  I then came home and watched the most recent episode of The Lying Game to see that finally, my piece of art that was leased from Wally Workman Gallery in Austin was right there on the screen, 2X during the course of the show.  Sorry about the blurry photos.  I watch TV on my computer big flat screen high def for me.  The piece is an 18"x24" Ampersand Art scratchboard.  Funny thing is,  I started this piece in response to having a different piece rejected for a show.  Glad it happened, although at the time I was a bit miffed.  I love the way things turn out when they are out of our control and we just hang on and go for the ride.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Scratchboard Classes at The Fayetteville Underground

Tomorrow, Saturday Sept. 10th, from 12-3pm I will be teaching scratchboard classes to who ever happens by the classroom at the Fayetteville Underground.  I had folks sign up at 1st Thursday, but my system was flawed, and no one paid up, so I'm hoping that at least 10 folks that put their names in the book come out.  I can work with 20+ so if you are thinking about it...come on down and play!  The cost is $15.00 and that includes all of the matericals.  I've got Ampersand Art scratchboards, paints, inks and patterns.  Scratchboard is fun, instantly gratifying, and accessible to all ages and abilities.  Yes, some folks do fabulously detailed drawings right down to the last hair, which is great, others, such as me, draw out a 'Sleepy Bear' like the above. There is room enough for all of us on this scratchboard planet.  So please, even if it's after 12,  stop on by and see if the boards speak to you.  Thanks, and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Scratchboard Still Life And Such

Just finished this fun mixed media piece.  Got 'er framed up and ready to go.  If you love it and want it, give me a holler and we'll do the paypal thing.  It's priced at $375.00.  Here are the details:  It is an Ampersand Art Scratchbord, embellished with inks and vintage paper collage.  The frame is an Illusions Floater frame, black matte. It's 11"x14"
"The Dog And Monkey Show" is up at the Fayetteville Underground in the Revolver Gallery until Saturday Oct. 1.  There will be a 'meet the artist' event on Saturday the 17th, and a closing event Saturday Oct. 1.  I'll post times when they are determined.  I'm also teaching two scratchbord classes at the Underground, both Saturdays the 10th and 24th from noon to 3pm.  They will cost $15.00 a class, all materials included.  Shoot me an email at or come into the Underground and register.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Check out the link below for artist interview for Fayetteville Underground opening. "The Dog And Monkey Show" is featured.  Scroll down page till you see the 'dog and monkey'.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Dog And Monkey Show Fayetteville Underground

"The Dog And Monkey Show" opens this week at the Fayetteville Underground. The Galleries will be open this week starting Weds thru Friday from 12noon to 7pm. And Saturday from 10am to 5pm.  The reception is 5- 8pm September 1st which is 1st Thursday y'all.  Big doin's, so I'm hoping folks can make it down.
 It's my first solo show there and it's in the Revolver Gallery (which is huge!)  I've got around 40 new pieces ready to go on the wall.  I'll be in there hanging the show tomorrow, and doing all the finishing touches.  I'm excited.  I'm happy. There is a lot of really amazing art on the walls in the other 3 galleries, so please, check it out.
I'm scheduled to do two scratchboard classes there at the Underground in the classroom, on Saturday Sept. 10th and 24th from noon to 3pm.  The cost is low,  $15.00 per person, per class.  Pre-registration is requested as class size is limited to 20 folks per class.  There will be a sign up sheet in the E Street Gallery, as well as in the Revolver thursday evening.  I'll have Ampersand Art Supply scratchbord samples, tools, inks, patterns to trace, and various paints there, everything you need to walk out with a finished or almost finished artwork.  Scratchboard is fun, instantly gratifying and all ages are invited to attend. Scratchboard is made with an archival sealed hardboard that then has a layer of white kaolin clay with black ink on top. You scratch thru the black, expose the white and if desired, you can add color using inks, paints etc.. There will be a limited amount of the scratchbord kits that I designed for Ampersand Art available for sale 1st Thursday. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Big Little Dog Scratchboard Art

This scratchboard is huge!  2 ft.x3 ft.  I've been scratching for days on this.  Plus it was harder because it was originally a white Ampersand Art Claybord that I inked myself with Speedball India Ink.  The ink on the surface is important as some of them make kind of a hard 'shell' on top of the clay surface.  Unfortunately this was the case so I had to sharpen my tools again and again.  And my hand is aching from all the tough scratching.  Sufferin' for my art! I really prefer using the pre-inked boards.
 I based this on a photo of Loca the little chihuahua.  My friend Joslyn Baker took the photo (she's a fabulous photographer, check her out) and with her permission I translated it into my style.  The original had Loca looking the other way,  I reversed it and then added the text on the left.  It's from an old 'Story A Day' book that I picked up at an estate sale.  It's old enough (early 20's) that it had some really offensive racial stuff in it.  Don't worry, I did edit it.  Hard to believe they could do that with a dog story. And for children.  Come on people!
 I mixed it up a bit too.  Working title is "Really Big Little Dog"  or "The Adventures Of A Really Big Little Dog".  It's not finished,  but has to be done by Monday so I best get going.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Airstream With Leopard Print

Designing a leopard print airstream piece continues.  Really like this version, hope the customer does as well.  This is, of course on Ampersand Art favorite!  The only product I endorse, and would endorse even if I did not receive compensation. (which I do in the form of product and payment for classes I teach)  The 5x7 scratchboard kits have been shipped to stores.  I'm waiting to find out if NW Arkanasas stores have gotten them.  Every time I go into Hobby Lobby to buy something I check the shelves for my kits....not yet, dang it.  It still isn't quite real that I've got 6 different kits now out there in the world. 
I'll be teaching two classes in September at the Fayetteville Underground.  Plan so far is Saturdays 12-3pm the 10th and 24th.  I bring the goods and you bring me $15.00.  Such a bargain!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Airstream With Leopard Skin Scratchboard Art

Been working on this piece for a commission.  It may or may not be the one they choose. But I've had a good time doing it, so what the heck.  If they don't want it someone else will!  It's a 5"x7" Ampersand Art scratchboard with inks.  I used the fine needle tool on the two windows.  Sandpaper on the green ground and scraper knives on the rest of it.  Sprayed with a nice coat of Krylon Workable Fixitif. When I'm not making dogs and monkeys, I'm scratching out what ever folks if you've got a request, give me a holler and I'll see what I can do.
Here is the lowdown...I use and endorse Ampersand Art scratchboard and their other products.  I receive compensation from them for teaching and when they license my designs.  I would use their scratchboard, regardless of compensation, it's that good.  And besides that, they are a great group of folks, who consistently put out a wonderful art product made right here in the U.S.  Buy local, support small mom and pop business'. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

West Coast Scratchboard Info At Flax Art

Very cool site of a West Coast (San Fran Bay Area) Art Supply.   I'll be teaching a Ampersand Art Scratchbord class there within the next 6-8 Months!  I love my life!  I love scratching!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Big Dog Scratchboard WIP

Started this piece yesterday...lots to do before it is done and on the wall at the Fayetteville Underground.  It's an 18"x24" Ampersand Art scratchboard.  Not sure what is going to happen with the background,  maybe some collaged vintage papers, or stencil shapes with color.  Pretty sure the dog is going to remain black and white with the only color the eyes, collar and tag.  The big ball may end up having some design on it...or at least some color.  I spent much of the morning yesterday working on trying to salvage another piece. This was totally finished.  Because of the heat here I've had to spray these with fixatif inside. Usually I take them outside during the day, so I have plenty of light to see what coverage is on the the piece while spraying. What has happened while doing it inside, is either I spray too much which gives a haze on the black or I've gotten dust from the ac vent or other crap on the wet surface.  Anyhow, I'm painting with india ink on the black trying to get it smooth with a brush. Hard to do. Ampersand sprays the black ink on.  May either have to junk the piece (which would make me cry because I love it so much) or live with it as is and tell folks that's how I meant it to be.  Will try more ink today, and then spray it tomorrow and hope for the best.  I love working with scratchboard, but let me tell you, it's not always as easy as it looks.  On to the studio.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

More Monkeys In The Garden

Work in progress.  Monkeys in the know which one.  Still have a lot of work to do before hanging this in my show at the Fayetteville Underground Sept. 1.  It's big,  24"x36". You can see the outline of this piece a few posts back.  Ampersand Art scratchboard with inks and collaged paper.  I'm loving how the mountains turned out. (really? I'm loving all of it...) I may put a wash on top of these, and the foreground.  Both are vintage papers.  I've been working on this at home as my studio at the Underground is packed full.  That's a hint for all y'all to start buying some art.  If not from me, from other artists.  You think you are hurting?  Think of those of us who rely on patrons, gallery sales etc...Sales are slow as can be, the extreme heat and the freaking crazy economy is not helping either. I have no desire to be a starving artist.  No one in their right mind wants that.  So do me and all us artists out there working hard to make your lives a bit brighter, happier and amazing with fresh original art, open your hearts and wallets.  Thank you very much.  I promise your life will be much better with art in hand and on the walls.

Friday, July 29, 2011

2 Monkeys Gathering Eggs

I've been working on a 18"x24" Ampersand Art scratchboard this week.  The images above show before and after.  I based this on a 5"x7" piece I did several years ago.  I do that a lot, make a small piece as a 'study' and then later do a larger version.  Of course I made some modifications so I wasn't just doing an exact copy.  I'm liking this a lot.  It will be finished, sprayed with Krylon Workable fixatif and then framed in an Illusions floater frame.  It's going into my show at the Fayetteville Underground in September.  The Ampersand scratchboard kits I designed should be shipped and into stores (Hobby Lobby) sometime in August.  I am thrilled.  What a year this has been.  Like most years, it's had it's highs and lows, plus plenty of lulls.  I continue to heal from the big Thyroid Cancer scare.  I'm good.  Hope all of you are too.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Airstream Trailer Scratchboards

So I had an assignment from some friends to produce a scratchboard for a trailer rally raffle price.  What could I do?  Look through my stock of monkeys, dogs, birds, etc... or create a new design?  You know what I did!  I developed the basic trailer shape, and then embellished in different ways.  Fun stuff.  And a nice break from the larger monkey and dogs that I'm doing for my September show at the Fayetteville Underground.  KJ if you recognize the trailer,  it's yours, or at least it's based on your facebook photo.  I of course modified it to make it mine.  Working on developing the scratchboard kits for Ampersand Art has changed the way I approach and execute my work.  Make the design, trace it onto the board and go to town on it!  I used to think I had to freehand everything or it wasn't art.  How silly!   I now have a pattern and I can make a million different versions of this.  Is that wrong?  Is it not art, now that I can reproduce again and again?  Still feels like art.  Still has the touch of my hand on it, and I am not a machine so each one has variation.  The ladybug version and the reverse ladybug (#1&2) version are sold.  I can make a different version for you if you like.  Just drop me a line or check out my etsy shop at the link.  I'll be listing some of these soon.  May even make some magnets from these designs.  All good here.  My voice is returning slowly.  I am still cancer free.  Happy.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Living La Vida Monkey

Just put this work in progress up at my other blog so check out the wordage regarding it there.  This is 24"x36" Ampersand Art Scratchboard.  I've got a lot more scratching to do so I've got to get on it.  Go to to see more.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Scratchboard Factory at the Fayetteville Underground

Here's a sneak peek at my latest Ampersand Art scratchboards in progress.  These are all 16"x20" and will be in my show at the Fayetteville Underground this coming September.  They will change a lot before they get hung.  I started adding color yesterday to some of them, I'm loving it.  No more sneak peeks until the show.  I still have at least 4 or 5 more large pieces to do.  Best get started...pronto!  Have a happy and safe 4th of July!  I'll be hunkered down in the studio.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Scratchboard Art and Medical Bills

Just finished these two cute dogs for a friend of a friend.  They are 3"x5" Ampersand Art Scratchboards.  Sample size, not available for purchase in stores.  I use them when I do classes and demos.  So here's the deal folks...I make money making art (which in this economy is just as hard as you can imagine), also by teaching and demonstrating scratchboard techniques.  Recently I had my thyroid removed due to cancer.(like, 2 weeks ago)  I'm ok, we caught it early and I'll make a full recovery...but, in the meantime I can hardly raise my voice above a whisper.  Teaching right now is out of the question so I'm looking for some help raising some funds.  I have insurance, but as a self employed  artist in my 50's it's not so great, pretty basic.  Meaning, I am getting some hefty bills for tests that they won't cover.  I'm bracing myself for the overnight stay in the hospital bill.  Anyhow,  rather than just asking you for money I'd rather sell you art.  That's how I roll.  I've got $5.00 magnets and $10.00 2"x2" original pins at the Fayetteville Underground.  Message me and I'll post some images. I put the donate paypal button up so you can do either or both.  You just need to let me know what you want and I'll ship it out to you. I'm working on setting up an etsy shop, which will make it easier for all of us to see what's what, will post here when it's done.  I will also take commissions on pet portraits etc..   Plus, of course some of my larger pieces are available.  You can check out my website at to see if something grabs you.  Or look at Wally Workman Gallery Austin,TX, Kirchman Gallery Johnson City, TX or Fayetteville Underground Fayetteville, AR.  I'll be working the gallery at the Underground tomorrow from 12-3pm.  Stop on by and say hello.  I'll squeak out as many words as I can before I lose my voice...I only get so many conversations a day lately. It makes life interesting.
 Besides my art, while you're at the Underground, there are some really fine pieces by other artists on the walls in the 4 galleries. The show will change before 1st Thursday (July 7th) so come on down and check it out.  And then come back for the reception on Thursday the 7th from 5-8pm.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Scratchboard Works in Progress

Here's a studio view of some of the new scratchboard pieces I'm working on.  I'm in production like a wild factory trying to scratch out at least 10 new large (11"x14" to 24"x36") pieces for my solo show at the Fayetteville Underground in September.  Not enough time?  Maybe, but I'm sure game to try!  In fact it's helping me to develop a better approach to design and execution.  Used to be I would draw a small rough sketch from a photo or my imagination and then just freehand it on the board and go at it. There would be lots of unknowns, and I would develop and discover the design elements as I worked.  Now, I'm doing the sketch full size, refining it and then using the chalk on the back technique (rather than carbon paper), transferring it directly to the board.  Faster, better and I'm finding myself more intensely involved in the actual design from the beginning.  In the past the initial portion of the drawing was not as interesting to me.  Just a means to an end.  Now I feel totally passionate and engaged from the start.  And it's easier to have 2 or 3 or 4 pieces going at the same time, most importantly I can focus on each of them, going from one to the other seamlessly.  The boards are my favorite medium, Ampersand Art scratchboards. They will be framed with Illusion floater frames from Jerry's Artarama. Subjects are monkeys and dogs,  I'll probably throw in a few other animals, and maybe a surprise creature, we'll see, I'm sure I'll be surprised where this all goes!

Friday, June 24, 2011

My Review of Illusions Floater Frames

Originally submitted at Jerry's Artarama Art Supplies

Creating the floating canvas effect is simpler than ever! With Illusions, creating the floating canvas effect has never been easier! Back in the 1970's, artists tried to create this floating effect by placing black tape around the edges of their paintings but today you don't need tape! Ill...

Love these frames for scratchboard!

By Blue-Eyed Pony from Fayetteville Arkansas on 6/24/2011


4out of 5

Pros: Versatile

Cons: Good bang for buck

Best Uses: Wall, Framing flat panels

Was this a gift?: No

I use these to frame flat panel scratchboards. The clips are screwed into frame and then glued with e6000 to the back of the board. They are perfect for my work. Only downside is you have to be careful, when dropped they ding pretty badly. Not wood, not sure what the composition is, but easily repaired.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Scratchboard Dog Kits Coming to a Store Near you Soon!

Well, here I go again...time to toot my horn a bit more! This is another one of the designs I licensed with Ampersand Art for a new series of Scratchbord Kits. This is 'Bertie Dog' and the kit contains a 5"x7" board, a tool, a pattern to trace and my instructions for making this yourself! Really, you can do this! This make great gifts to all ages, although kids under 13 or so should be supervised because the tool is sharp. They are not in the stores yet, but soon, darlin', soon! I can't wait to walk into a store and look at them on the shelf. I also hope to be doing a lot of workshops and classes at some of the stores to help folks discover how much fun this medium is.

I'll keep y'all posted here and on facebook for those, friend me or follow me here to stay informed.

The cool thing about these kits is; you can follow my instructions and pattern exactly and have great results, or, you can throw in your own ideas to the mix and get equally good results. Changes such as, adding color to the white of the dog...make it blue, green, yellow, what the heck! Instead of a crown you can pop a little red fez on top of the head. Or maybe have a big white bone shape floating up above! See what I mean? This is not your mother or father's 'paint by numbers' project. One of the things I love about these kits is they are a really affordable introduction to scratchboard, once you get hooked, the possibilities are endless!

I'm so excited about this I can hardly contain myself. Stay tuned...There will be 6 different designs available, Monkeys, Dogs and Still Life.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Linda Sheets: Linda Sheets: Scratchboard Monkeys In A Store Near...

Linda Sheets: Linda Sheets: Scratchboard Monkeys In A Store Near...: "Linda Sheets: Scratchboard Monkeys In A Store Near You and More!... : 'Here is some amazing, exciting news I've been sitting on for a bit to..."

Thursday, June 9, 2011

3 Monkeys

This 18"x24" Ampersand Art scratchboard is on it's way to Wally Workman Gallery in Austin. They are having a group show in July and these '3 Monkeys In A Boat (Without A Paddle)' will be hanging there. I love this piece. Usually when I'm done with a board, I'm done....on to the next one. This one was so enjoyable every step of the way, it's a little hard to see it go. It's great when it happens that way. I hope the public looking at this reads and feels the joy. That's what it's all about for me. If I'm happy making art, I want you to be happy looking at it. I have my share of dark feelings and dark art, believe me. I could fill a couple of galleries with that. The point is though, I'd rather express the goodness. It's a glass half (or 3/4) full kind of view. Why not? Life is so freaking short and hard, might as well make it long and good too. It's odd, this piece is both comical and dark. Being on the rough water in a boat with no paddle, not a good situation. But, somehow it is also dear and amusing. This piece took more time than most of them do, I was scratching day and night. It's priced at $700.00 framed and ready to hang on your wall. I'm off to work in my studio at the Fayetteville Underground! Cheers!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Scratchboard in Johnson City Texas

Here are a few photos from the class/demo I taught in Johnson City Texas at davino and davinci. It was a great day. All were wonderful and fun. You should check out the classes they offer there. And while you are at it check out the gallery down the road. We used some of my design patterns to trace on the Ampersand Art scratchboard. It was pretty sweet to watch folks as they played with my designs and made them their own! I've got a great life.