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01 March 2017

Bring on Spring:)

Until the past few weeks, it's been cold, dreary and colorless so I decided to register for a floral design class at my local community college to break up the monotony. I've always thought that would be an interesting career path to take if I hadn't become a graphic designer:)

The class is so much fun and I get to bring home all the arrangements I create. All the texture and variety in the flowers is starting to wake up my muse. I can see some paintings coming out of this experience. Anyway, here are a few photos of what I done so far.

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One the first pieces assigned was a centerpiece display. I learned how to "green in" the base and then build the framework by using the first flowers inserted to determine the width, length and height of the arrangement.

I also learned about creating texture using different shaped flowers like the Daisy Mum with it's long skinny petals paired with a Carnation's tight ball shape. Baby's Breath and Seeded Eucalyptus added more texture as well.

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Another assignment was to arrange the greenery into a grid to aid in the  placement of the flowers in a vase. This one was a little tough. Every time I inserted a new stem it moved the whole bunch out of place. It is a neat way to keep the flowers in place without using the florist foam. The flowers used in this arrangement were Mini Carnations, Alstroemeria, Fuji Mums and Caspia.

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This was a fun project -- build a topiary out of Alstromeria stems and arrange some Daisy Mums and Salidago into a base to hold the stem. Our instructor also showed us a wrap and twist technique to use for the ribbon.

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And the latest assignment was to design a basket arrangement. The instructor only showed the class how to wrap the handle with Myrtle stems and then it was up to each individual to arrange the rest of the flowers which included Tulips, Mini Carnations and Salidago. I really enjoyed this and even though basket arrangements aren't the "in" thing I can see doing more of these and maybe doing them in mini baskets or other shaped containers.

15 January 2017

Michigan Annual XLIV at the Anton Art Center

Click on image for more information.
All Aboard
***UPDATE -- This piece has sold***

Body Language

Juror Mary Fortuna selected these two pieces to be included in the 44th statewide art show, Michgan Annual XLIV at the Anton Art Center in Mt. Clemens, MI. There were 52 pieces selected representing 36 artists. The show runs through Friday, February 24.

28 November 2016

Good Things Come in Small Packages at the Lawrence Street Gallery's Think Small '16

Two of my art books were chosen by juror Joan Farago for this year's show:  Verdeations and  Squarely Transformed. So excited to see what other little treasures are include in this fun show. Opening reception is Friday, December 2 from 6-9 PM at the Lawrence Street  Gallery located in Ferndale on Woodward Avenue just south of 9 Mile Road.

Squarely Transformed

16 August 2016



When I put this book together, there was no plan or intention on how I would deliver it. There was just a feeling inside telling me that I needed to bring it along for the trip to Chicago to see Steven Tyler in his summer concert, Out On A Limb. Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine how the night would end or how moved Steven would be by my little book.

This idea to create a series of books that I named “SASSAFRASSEEE" began about four years ago and was inspired by what I call Steven’s "visual texture" -- the colors, patterns and in his terms “the-what-it-is-ness” of his design style and of course his iconic scarves . I wanted to create a visual explosion of color and pattern, making it a feast for the eyes and hopefully bring some joy into the world. I also wanted to make the little books more functional than my regular art-based pieces. A gratitude journal with seven pocket pages and a small note card tucked into each pocket to record a word of thankfulness for the day seemed like a good direction. This was the very first journal in the series and I titled it, “SASSAFRASSEEE #1”.

The pages are created from 1/4” strips of patterned papers glued down to a whole sheet. Then the striped sheets are cut into small book pages to be folded and then stitched together into a book form. I placed a piece of decorative washi tape along the fold to reinforce the edge and colorful ribbon and fibers are tied to the spine binding. The cover was kept simple with an interesting dimensional element added to it.

There is a niche inside the back cover to house a dimensional embellishment and gel medium stenciling added some texture to the back cover itself.

I usually do not wait after a show for the artist to come outside to greet the fans. But this time was different. Everything was falling into place. My sister-in-law graciously came with me on the trip and ended up being my personal paparazzi:) I sat in the theatre after the performance and just absorbed the afterglow of a fantastic show. Then I spent a little time in the merchandise line but decided I really didn’t need anything. Those two delays helped determine where I ended up in the greet line, which was one person back from the barrier and at the end of the tour bus. Then the lady in front of me got tired of waiting and let me have her spot. The rest is an incredible encounter with a truly wonderful individual. I have never met such an open-hearted, present-in-the-moment person. It was very moving and here are the pictures my sister-in-law Kym was able to shoot of our exchange.

Click on image to enlarge

An additional blessing was the couple next to us who shot video of the whole exchange and offered to send it to me. I do not know how to thank them.


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And just to add another poignant layer to this whole experience, while I was composing this post it came to mind that the pages of the book I gave to Steven were created during a 2012 visit with my best friend, Priscilla, whom I've known for 30 years. She suddenly passed away Christmas Day 2014. I know she would have been ecstatic for me and maybe it was her that was urging me to take the book in the first place.

Never in my wildest dreams:)