Artist Highlight — Janice McDonald

Many communities in and around Denver, have weekends where artists open their studios and people can visit, see their art up close and personal, meet the artist, and have interesting discussions about how and why they create the pieces they do.  I had that experience today when I went to my friend Janice McDonald’s open studio.  I had seen her wonderful collages before, but only a few at a time.  Her entire home was covered with her art and it was a wonderful experience to see so many pieces all together.  I also had a chance to see her personal art studio and see not only how she organized her media, but also experience the environment she creates in every day.

Janice has an amazing eye for color and composition and I recommend you visit her website to see her amazing work and if there is an open studios event nearby, go!  It’s a fun way to spend the weekend!

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Watercolor Paintings

I’ve been studying with mixed media artist, Judith Cassel-Mamet as I try to refine my drawing and painting skills.  Lately, we’ve been working on landscapes.  I’ve also been experimenting with watercolor — not only to create texture but also to highlight my drawings.  I love this medium because you can get so many different effects with it.  I also just love pushing around the color to see what patterns and textures I can create on the surface (kind of like how I work in stitch and fabric!).  Here are two paintings I did last weekend.  One is a deliberate “landscape”

and one is an abstract just playing with color to see how it mixes and flows.

Which do you like better?

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DIA Installation and Exhibit

L to R: Janice McDonald, Ken Elliot, Victoria Eubanks, Carol Ann Waugh, Mary Williams

I am honored to be a part of a group of artists that work together to exhibit our work.  We all work in different media and I am the only one working in fiber.  We named ourselves “To Expand” several years ago when we first exhibited at the Madden Museum in Greenwood Village, CO and the name has stuck every since.  We have exhibited together in Breckenridge and at aBuzz Gallery in Denver but our most exciting exhibit is coming up at the Denver International Airport.

DIA was looking to add some color and excitement to the main terminal and we proposed creating unique works of art around the theme of “Here to There”.  We saw that there were two hallways, opposite the elevators, that had 18 large black panels.  We thought adding some art to this space could make it exciting and energizing.  So each of us created new work that could be scanned and printed into panels that would be mounted in these two hallways.

In addition to these panels, we were offered the opportunity to display our original works in the DIA gallery.

Our exhibit will open on November 7th — in time to celebrate Denver Arts Week — and will run through the end of February 2015.

Next time you are traveling, I hope you can spend an extra 5 minutes to see our installation and exhibit!

Here’s one of my pieces that will be in the gallery.



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Artist Highlight – Melissa Jay Craig

Many mediums qualify to be considered “fiber art” and that includes paper.  I absolutely loved the work of Melissa Jay Craig that was recently exhibited at the Center for Visual Arts in Denver. I loved the texture she created and found it hard not to touch it.  (But I didn’t!) I would love to explore how I can create similar effects using fabric.  Perhaps using “Stiffy” would allow me to mold fabric into interesting shapes such as this.

Perhaps my next experiments — or yours!

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It’s time to confess.  I am hooked on drawing and painting classes from Craftsy.  Now that they are into fine art, I think I can become a fabulous artist if I just watch enough “real” artists making art!  WRONG!

The funny part of this is that we always joke about how many quilters enroll in “how to machine quilt” thinking if the watch enough classes, one day they will wake up and be able to machine quilt like a pro.

So here’s the real story.

It’s not the “watching”, it’s the “doing”.

If I want to improve my sketching, I have to practice every day.


It’s just finding the time.

Maybe if I watch that lesson one more time, it will sink into my brain and translate into my hand.  Right.

Here’s my latest passion.  Sketchbooks with Paul Heaston.  (This pitcher is my first assignment!)

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