Monday, December 29, 2008

Ornament from Bee

This sweet little character arrived at my doorstep on Christmas Eve day. He made the perfect addition to the tree. Many thanks to Bee for such a whimsical ornament.

Happy Holidays to all!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ornament from Jan

Isn't this darling? This is the ornament I received from Jan. Once the holidays are over it's permanent home will be in my art studio.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ornaments from &drew

I received two beautiful stars from Andrew that have added a touch of nature to my small Christmas tree. The first is made from grapevine and painted metallic gold. The second is an origami star made of birch bark. I love that they are simple forms made of natural materials that bring back happy memories of my garden in Boise, Idaho - the grape-laden arbor that led to my studio that was shaded by a white birch tree. Thank you!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Ornament from Glenny

I got this ornament today in the mail from Glenny, and I like it a lot because of its simplicity. Right after I took it out of the package, I hung it on the tree which was already decorated with other birds of different colors. Thanks so much, Glenny!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Art and images copyright by Traci Donahue 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008


This dragon is one type of fauna on Og. Og is the mythical planet which exists
only in my mind but shows up frequently in my artwork. When my Red Hat
group chose fanciful names, I ended up as Empress of Og and have enjoyed
"picturing" Og ever since.

Art and images copyright by Judi Stack 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ashka, Ghost Wolf

Ashka, Ghost Wolf
Another wolf to add to our blog. I had the hardest time figuring out what animal to use for my piece for November. I have so many to choose from that live up here. I started with a squirrel and decided that she needed to be used for my Cabinet of Curiosities. Then the elk. Wapiti was not cooperative and will be done in a larger format for another time. Rabbits, chipmunks, deer, coyote...none were speaking to me. But then Ashka stepped forward and I knew my wolf was the one.

Ashka is one of my Spirit Animals. He brings new ideas and creative ways when I need to express my soul. He is my Teacher and even though I don't always listen, he is very patient with me.

This is another transparency that is attached to a painted 8 x 8 canvas. I added dried ferns, from one of my leaf gathering walks, to "hide" Ashka in the brush. Letters were colored with StazOn and glued to the canvas. Be careful, Ghost Wolf is watching you!

Art and images copyright by Z'anne Bakke 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008


Must be the snow outside, the wind chill of 9 degrees above zero and more snow to come that inspired this piece and it's black and white theme.

These wolves know how to survive this climate, even thrive. Maybe that's what the key means. . . The birch is as good survivor as well, so beautiful and so strong.

Most of the elements in this piece were collected on my daily walks in the Johnson Creek water shed.

Must confess though, the wolf image was collected from a chocolate bar at Good Seasons! But eating chocolate is part of surviving well too!

I nearly called this piece "Ode to a chocolate bar." But I like winter better.


Art and images copyright 2008 by Suzie Wolfer

Another Squirrel

With snow on the ground, ice, wind and 25°F, I'm keeping warm and getting caught up on lots of projects. Usually, the squirrels chase one another along the fence or up and down the fir trees. They must be trying to stay warm in their little burrows today. I enjoy working with fabric, needle and thread when it is cold outside. It makes me feel cozy and warm. The inspiration for this piece came from Karin Winter's article about quilted pet portraits in Aug/Sept 2008 Quilting Arts. I have not commented recently on all of your posts. I'm really impressed with what everyone is creating. Now what was December's theme?

Art and images copyright 2008 by Paula McNamee

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cat Television
For weeks I have watched this squirrel through my patio window. He watches my cat watch him, fully knowing that he is protected by the window. And every now and then, he runs up and slaps at the cat's face through the window and then runs away. The cat, not nearly as bright as the squirrel, immediately leaps for the squirrel, slams into the window and then looks very puzzled as to why he can't get that squirrel. I tried several times to photograph them, but my digital camera does not shoot fast enough to catch the moment. So I decided to bring them together in Photoshop. Composite of two photos, blended with the watercolor brush and color adjusted. Have a wonderful holiday season!

Art and images copyright 2008 by Jan Harris

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Chipmunk Was Peeking At Me...

This year, there were a lot of chipmunks running around the yard, and I was taking pictures of the daylily garden. One chipmunk happened to come out of a drainpipe on the concrete wall, and I immediately took a picture of it peeking out to find out what was going on. I am surprised to see that I was able to take several pictures of chipmunks as they were usually hyperactive and do not always sit still. Most times, as soon as they saw me or heard me, they would usually run away.

Art and images copyright 2008 by Andrew Borloz.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


By definition Fauna means : animal life ; especially : the animals characteristic of a region, period, or special environment.

Although, I had the choice of incorporating any sort of animal into this piece, I could not stop thinking about how closely the word Fauna sounded to the word Fawn.

After pondering this thought for well over a week, I decided to yield to my whim and select a Fawn as the main subject.

In keeping with my continued exploration of pattern and patterning, the contours of the grass are loosely repeated in the sky, creating a very starry night.

Update 12/11: After posting the completed work, I continued to feel as if it was missing something. Since Tuesday, I have been on the hunt for just the right finishing touch. I discovered that perfect piece today while rummaging through a jar of various buckles.

At the bottom of the jar, there was a mother-of-pearl buckle simply begging to be used. Although oversized for the artwork, it makes the perfect half-moon and a nice balance to the fawn.

So, here is the completed work with a slight revision.

Art and images copyright 2008 by Tracie Lyn Huskamp

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Lost Kitty

Here is my finished November challenge. I call it "Lost Kitty" as it shows a kitty lost in a field of lavender. Perhaps it was chasing a butterfly or lady bug and then lost its way........

The kitty is painted with acrylics on fabric then the grass and lavender are attached by felting. The lavender is from Katherine Dunn's lavender farm that Tracie Lyn, Jan and I visited when we attended Art & Soul.

I wanted to do something different but since we seem to keep attracting stray kitties to our house it just seemed appropriate to do a cat.

Art and images copyright 2008 by Marylin Huskamp

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mexican Field Notes

We returned from a wonderful trip to Oaxaca, Mexico a couple of weeks ago. We visited weavers and a candle maker in Teotitlán del Valle. The artisans used natural dyes to color their yarns and wax. This process fascinated me. Using different lengths of time in a dye bat varied the color concentration. The color green differed depending if the moss came from the bark of a tree or a rock. For many years, cochineal insects provided the color red. I loved the use of natural resources to make the colors they needed.

Art and images copyright 2008 by Paula McNamee

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fauna - Happy Giraffe

Art and images copyright 2008 by Traci Donahue

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Field Notes - A Kansas Autumn

Don't let the date inscribed at the top of the artwork deceive you. This piece was indeed created to meet the Field Notes challenge. Last month was very busy for me, with a 13 day trip away from home tucked into the last two weeks of October.

I had actually started on this challenge back in September, but abandoned my first attempt after I became quite dissatisfied with the direction the art was going. Now midway through October, I was faced with beginning again, which made me both disheartened and anxious.

However, my absence from home gave me time to let ideas simmer on the back burner of my thoughts. So when I returned, I had a clear vision for my second try and was eager to start again.

Inspiration for this artwork comes from a 1967 Reader's Digest Illustrations that was reminiscent of a Kansas Fall... I truly longed to capture the essence of my favorite season of the year.

Art and images copyright 2008 by Tracie Lyn Huskamp

Monday, November 17, 2008

Field Notes

"Strange Sighting"

Sketched from memory of a fleeting glance.

When I approached, the object proved to be

only a fallen pod.

I must have imagined the movement of a tiny

leg and wing.

--At Menucha, Oct. 25, 2008


Art and images copyright 2008 by Judi Stack

Field Notes

After much ado (about nothing it seems) I have finally been able to finish and post the piece for October!! Field notes was a very enjoyable piece for me. It's a combination of several of my favorite techniques and I really enjoyed making this one come to life. I started with dying a piece of hotpress watercolor paper with some walnut ink with just a touch of Ranger's Denim ink. This was then adhereed to the surface of my canvas. Then, working with some printmaking sessions I came up with a fern print that made me happy and applied this on the right hand side. Using a bird mask I based in my bird and then added some detail by hand with charcoal, china marker and inks. Finally, using a white pastel pencil I wrote about the "mysteries of vegatable life". All in all I really enjoyed this one very much. It was light hearted and flowed well....until I got to the posting part. A nonworking scanner in PA and a camera in Nantucket were my first obstacles to overcome...once I was able to get back to Nantucket today, it became a breeze!! So much for modern technology!!

Hope you enjoy!!


Art and images copyright 2008 by Bee Shay

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Field Notes, My Version

My primary working media is/are beads so this theme was quite a challenge for me. I don't sketch or draw, but when I take my walks I do carry my camera. I have a goodly collection of photos of all things nature and use both my camera and computer as my "sketchbook". Here is my interpretation of Field Notes.

Since we don't have the horses anymore, the flowers and grasses have taken over the pastures. At the peak of flowering in late spring or early summer, the colors are so beautiful. Daisies are my favorite flower and they have spread throughout, changing the pasture into a meadow. The fungus was a great find, it lasted for over a year and now is on the way to the great fungi heaven.

Sorry for the fuzziness, I scanned this piece and the small bits are somwehat 3D. As all things, this looks better in real life.


Art and images copyright 2008 by Z'anne Bakke

Friday, October 31, 2008

Field Notes: Common Merganser

I LOVED this project and may take off on a tangent of my own using this idea!

Very hard to narrow it down to one creature. We have 2 large beaver dams near here on Johnson Creek and I've been beaver spotting a lot lately. So I thought about featuring them, then there's the wonderful Great Blue Heron I see regularly. The more rare Belted Kingfisher and Little Green Heron, Lesser Scaup with the lavender blue beak and the funny Hooded Merganser couple flating the Brookside Pond.

So many candidates up for this local art election . . .

And the winner is . . . The Mergus Merganser

So I finally settled on this wonderful creature who I've never glimpsed in real life, but hope to one day. . . . and so many more to study and drawn.

Technique: Traced the different images onto tissue paper, glued to canvas board with gel medium, over painted with acrylic paint, gesso, pen and ink, water soluble oil pastels.

What Fun!


Art and image copyrighted 2008 by Suzie Wolfer

I Was Observing and Taking Notes on the Natural Wonders of the Desert...

When I saw that the theme for the month of October is 'Field Notes', I immediately thought about the small notebook that I used to sketch the incredible forms and textures of the cactuses and succulents at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona.
The sketches were done on October 6, 2006 at the same time I was attending the weekend visual journaling workshop in Tempe, AZ. Each time when I went to Phoenix, I made a point of visiting that botanical garden. I had to content with taking pictures early in the morning, as it can get very hot later during the summer days. But because I was there during the cooler month of October, I was able to stay there longer and do the sketches right on the spot.
The photographs of the cactus were taken last summer of 2008, and I converted them into black and white. I later colored them with a mixture of acrylics and glaze medium. The "trees" at the top of the board are duplicated three times from one sketch that I did on the other page in the small book. These trees are not palm trees but I believe they're Joshua trees.

Art and image copyrighted 2008 by &rew Borloz

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Northern Flicker

This months theme was definitely a challenge for me. I researched the theme with the information Tracie sent out and knew I would be going completely out of my comfort zone. I draw with my students all of the time, but to do a complete piece without all of my funky colors and design? The thought caused heart palpitations! But I dove in yesterday and here is my study of a little Northern Flicker using acrylics, pen & ink and colored pencil. I hope it fulfills the requirements of the theme. I was already so far out of my box, I couldn't travel any further.

Art and image copyrighted 2008 by Traci Donahue

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Field Notes from the Columbia River Gorge

I spent last weekend at Menucha, a beautiful retreat in the Columbia River Gorge. The weather was perfect - Indian Summer in all its glory. The deciduous trees were aflame with yellows and reds and the grounds covered with chestnuts, pine cones and leaves. I saw squirrels, deer and rambunctious Steller's Jays. Many flocks of geese flew their "v"s overhead, migrating to warmer climes before the first hard freeze. As I wandered the grounds, I sketched what I found and determined the species and name. The view of Crown Point is looking east down the river. This is a pen and ink sketch highlighted with watercolor. Enjoy!

Art and image copyrighted 2008 by Jan Harris

Monday, October 27, 2008

Notes of the Empty Nest

Art and image copyrighted 2008 by Marylin Huskamp

The birds of the forest are calling for thee,
And the shades and the glades are lonely;
Summer is there with her blossoms fair,
And you are absent only,
No bird that nests in the green-wood tree,
But sighs to greet you and kiss you,
all the violets yearn for your safe return,
But most of all I miss you.
Harry B. Smith

This piece helped me realize that when the young ones leave the nest it is NOT an ending but a beginning. There is evidence left as their tiny feathers stay safely in the nest but they have flown to new heights and experiences.

The tiny creatures begin an new adventure filled with excitement and exploration.

Perhaps they will someday return.

This is constructed of fiber fusion and paint.

Copyright: Marylin Huskamp 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Lilies in the Pond

I am so very sorry it has taken me so long to post September's challenge - I overbooked myself these last two months and have struggled to meet my deadlines, this one included. I took a photo of this lily at my friend's home in her pond. I added a fish, for effect. I covered the canvas with absorbant medium after trying this technique in Lisa Kaus' class at Art and Soul. I then drew the design with pencil and colored the painting with Golden Acrylics. After the painting dried, I went back in and used Titanium White and water soluble crayons to heighten the color. I then waxed the surface and polished it. The wax does not photograph well, so the color is more muted in the photograph than on the canvas.
It was great meeting those of you I had not met in person before and wonderful to catch up with old friends at our Nature Gathered meeting at Starbucks. I look forward to our future challenges together, even more enjoyable now that I can put a face and a name together. Enjoy!

Art and image copyrighted 2008 by Jan Harris

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Hiding Place

Hi everyone.....sorry...I've had the artwork done since BEFORE Art&Soul and just plain forgot to post. I tried to stick to just flowers....then just leaves but it just didn't feel right for me. Trees and tree tops have always been a safe haven for me so I guess this piece just comes naturally if you'll pardon the pun. The quote written in the background is as follows....

To live content with small means, to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion, to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich, to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly, to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart, to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never, in a word to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common, this is to be my symphony.
William Henry Channing

Hope you've enjoyed this entry.....Bee.

Art and image copyrighted 2008 by Bee Shay

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Inspired by Art and Soul, I tried a different approach using Marshall's Photo Oils and water soluble oil pastels to hand color a photo. I used a high end 100% cotton rag paper for inkjet and sealed it with Hahnemule photo preserver. I used the diffused glow setting and sepia toning on the photo then colored it. What fun!

And thanks again Traci for a great class at Art & Soul!

Art and image copyrighted 2008 by Suzie Wolfer

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Under the Canopy of Leaves

I like to take a daily stroll through a small park at the end of the street where I live. Sometimes I would stop in the middle of a group of trees and look up. This piece below shows what it is like to walk through the woods and enjoy the intricate patterns formed by the trees' leaves and branches.
Every time when I walked through this suburban park, I often felt like I was deep in the mountains or large forest. While many people would find it to be intimidating or too isolated, I enjoy going through the larger forests as I often find them to be peaceful or uplifting.

Art and image copyrighted 2008 by &rew Borloz

Friday, October 10, 2008

Flowers From My Garden

Background is fiber fused bits of fabric and yarns. The botanicals are from my garden. The tall light green/grey leaves are "dusty miller" and the flowers are petunias. I had pressed them so decided to use the real thing in my creation.

I used a purple fine point permanent marker to outline the flower petals and to make distinquishing markings where the petals had pressed over one another. Although the glitter looks silver it is really a very light pink glitter.

The tiny birds are punched from cardstock and glittered with the same pink glitter as the centers of the flowers.

I am at a loss for the name.

Art copyrighted by Marylin Huskamp 2008

Flower Power

For our flora challenge, I layered decorative paper, acylic paint, one of my line drawings and a collaged tissue paper flower. The flower is much brighter and a deeper rose color in person. I like the combination of line drawings and collage. I enjoyed getting to know many of you at Art and Soul.

Art copyrighted by Paula McNamee 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Flora by Cynthia Mooney

Art copyrighted by Cynthia Mooney 2008

Monday, October 6, 2008

Nature Gathering

On Friday, October 3rd, seven members from the Nature Gathered Art Challenge shared a few brief moments face to face. It was an INCREDIBLE experience!

What started out as a somewhat daunting task to come together for such an early morning meeting, turned out to be a wonderful occasion, and a fond memory.

Jan and I appreciate those members that were able to make it, and truly missed those individuals that could not attend.

We want the entire group to please keep in mind that we will be having our art show at the 6th Street Gallery in August of 2009. There will be an artist reception, and it would be SUPER if we could all be together!

Below are a few photos that were taken while we enjoyed coffee, and each other's friendship.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Flora challenge

What beautiful, clever and artistic flowers you all have created. They make me smile.


Flora challenge

We're in the middle of remodeling our kitchen.I had a friend cut some pieces of the old birchplywood cabinet doors to use in this 8" x 8" challenge. It was heartbreaking to see so much of the great old wood go into the dumpster to be replaced with particle board and veneer.

My "Flora" piece began wilth previously prepared paper with a circle of free-form"iris folding." The petals were formed from old postcards and the whole thing was attached to the birch board with gel medium. I used my new digital camera to take the picture and I learned to get the photo out of my camera and upload it to Nature Gathered for the first time (mostly) by myself.

Art copyrighted by Judi Stack 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

September Flora

Art and image copyrighted by Traci Donahue 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

life is good when the task worth while

A million choices, or so it seems every time I work on a new theme. As I start to narrow down the number of ideas, other thoughts constantly flood my mind concerning each possibility I am carefully weighing.

It is definitely problem solving at its best, taking abstract and/or random thoughts and making something of them, making them tangible. It took forever for me to decide what I was going to do. I felt like I mulled this month's artwork over and over again before I finally settled on a direction.

Sunflowers were not my first choice. I arrived at this floral through a process of elimination from my choice of pattern. And to be honest, this particular pattern was also not my first choice.

My research for this piece began by looking through the pages of a large oversized book on the Quilt's of Gees Bend. If you have never seen these works of art I urge you to RUSH down to your local library or nearest bookstore and check them out. The quilts shown are beyond breathtaking! Even if you have no interest in fibers or fiber art, you can not help but be amazed by their patterns and color combinations. I always feel inspired by looking at them.

I started with full intentions of mimicking a Gee's Bend Quilt pattern, but fate stepped in and led me down another path. Several days before I began working on the piece, I happened to receive a retail catalog in the post. This particular catalog had a patterned pillow that I could not stop thinking about. From that moment, I knew I needed to follow my instincts and go with my own version of the pillow pattern. So, no matter how much I plan there are ALWAYS surprises along the way, where I change my mind or a opportunity presents itself, which I kind of like!

Using such a tall, leafy, repeat pattern also provided that perfect opportunity to incorporate the sunflowers as a believable flower that might appear on such gangly stalks. Again, I try to take the viewer through thoughts of what is real and what is pattern by blurring the line between the two halves.

Art and image copyrighted by Tracie Lyn Huskamp 2008

Monday, September 8, 2008

Forest Flora Fantasy

Here is my September offering to our challenge. It incorporates a leaf from one of my maple trees, twigs from a willow and recycled tin can and copper leaves.

I took a class, taught by Suzie, on playing with acrylics and that is how I painted my background. Using rubber stamps to stamp into gel medium and leaving wonderful impressions. I had already pressed and dried the leaf and then covered it in gel medium to make it more pliable. I cut and tied the twigs and then attached them to the canvas board and glued the heck out of them to make them stay. The "flower" is held together by small wires that are coming from the back and used as the stamens.


Art and image copyrighted by Z'anne Bakke 2008

Sunday, September 7, 2008


This month turned out to be more difficult than I ever imagined. I started off with an image of a praying mantis (one of my very favorite "bugs". I have fond memories from my childhood and my grandmother's garden surrounding these magical walking sticks of the insect family. Alas...the piece would just not materialize. I even wrote to Jan and told her I had put the piece in the corner facing the wall (like all little children who won't behave) and hoped for the best....but it was not to be. I then struck out to work with another favorite....the 17 year cicada but it too escaped my muse (I might add with a great passion) and I had all but given up. I was going to throw in the towel and spray myself down with bug spray and take another tact. THEN.....I looked at the calendar and realized that one of my favorite months was approaching. In October on Nantucket, the Monarch butterflies stop for a rest and to drink their fill of milk weed for their long journey south to Mexico to mate. I've had some amazing experiences standing on the beach at Miacomet Pond, which is surrounded by Golden Rod and Milk Weed, two of the Monarch's favorite foods. They are everywhere and they are so preoccupied with their quest for food and reproduction that they pay little mind to the few humans who come to watch. I've had as many as three of them land on me while observing (quietly I must add) their frenzy.

The moral of this story is not to force the work but let it flow. If it's not working, put it down, walk away and wait for your muse to find you and whisper in your ear. She will and then it's up to you to listen.

Art and image copyrighted 2008 by Bee Shay

Saturday, September 6, 2008


This piece came about from experimental "blob" printing with art paste.. After printing this shape on ledger paper, I cut out the human form. The background is gold foil and acrylic paint. I find the image of the large parasite clinging to the human form to be really humorous and not as scary as a picture of a "real" bug. Have I been reading too much science fiction?

(Posted for Judy Stack)

Art and image copyrighted 2008 by Judi Stack

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I keep being surprised at what emerges this past two months. These are very different from my usual work. It's more bold. Not as delicate as someone described my work . . . This one popped into my mind and it turned out nearly exactly as I had imagined, not usually how I work. I'm enjoying the process.

Sorry for the late post, had company over the last week and I'm about to give birth to a new web site. Feel like I should get a merit badge!


Art and image copyrighted 2008 by Suzie Wolfer

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

This Mosquito Was Caught...

When I was a college student during early 1970s, I had a summer job at Bergen County Mosquito Commission in Paramus, NJ. Sometimes I had to collect live mosquitos out in the meadowlands during early evenings and put them in the freezer. I did ten (10) detailed drawings of the mosquitoes selected from the collection by the supervisor for training purpose, and I kept one of them for my portfolio. A couple of weeks ago, I pulled that colored pencil drawing out of the portfolio case and decided that I would use the image for this artwork.
When I did the colored pencil drawing, I had to use a microscope to examine this mosquito in detail and for color reference. I think that I used Spectracolor pencils on heavy vellum. For the background, I took a photo of the stagnant part of a pond in the woods. This part is a perfect breeding place for mosquitos, and little fishes feed on them. The mosquito above is one of the most common species. There are over 1000 species of mosquitos in this world, and I believe that about 60 species exist in New Jersey if I remembered correctly. And only the females bite.

Art and image copyrighted 2008 by &rew Borloz

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Butterfly Palace by Cynthia Mooney

My suggestion for a monthly theme was butterflies, so of course I wanted to incorporate them somehow. Butterflies have been a part of my art work for many years & to me represent transformation and rebirth.

Art and image copyrighted 2008 by Cynthia Mooney