This blog is about process. In art and maybe thought. The quasi-dictionary definitions are to describe the 'feeling' part of the process because there is always an emotional/passionate component beyond the tools and materials. What is it that got this particular piece off the ground? What was the personal involvement? In reading bios/artist's statements, I sort of get lost in the language, so I decided to make this one served by the K.I.S.S. 'one word' principle for each piece.

As for biography, I have had a great life, great friends and teachers, great parents, great husband, great kids and grandkids. Seattle born and permanently attached to living in California. Great high school art program that directed my path. I do lots of stuff. I love it. It's a journey.

Favorite quotes, both from Emil Zola:

"An artist is nothing without the gift, and the gift is nothing without the work."


"If you ask me what I can be in this world, I, an artist, will answer you. I am here to live out loud."

I think both of those quotes have to do with being unafraid. "Today is the day to do it." —carole dwinell

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


with Artists' Books

 — 1. to exercise or employ oneself in diversion, amusement, toy; trifle.
 — 2. to act or sustain (a part) in a dramatic performance or in real life.

How fun to make an artists' book out of hanging sale tags. They're cardboard so it's a case of trees, to paper, to 'trees'! I attached the edges with Tyvek ® scraps and hid that with paper rush to make an accordion type binding behind the bark-looking tree trunks. Some raffia grass and prehistoric looking offcuts and we have traveled to the Arizona desert

Embellished with handmade paper (yes, by me), lots and LOTS of teeny leaves glued to waxed linen cord with my poem about Canyon de Chelly, of course ... and voilá ... it's a BOOK!

The colophon is a pull-up from behind the rock on the panel to the right. To top it off, it has its very own case. 

I think I'll make a forest.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


 — 1. firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.

 Humboldt Campfire    
    Reduction Woodcut. 
    Eleven colors. One block.           

     It's been a while due to a seemingly insurmountable difficulty in understanding how to upload additional art and word musings but persistence pays off and ... I'm BACK! 

     Persistence played a large part in the work I call Humboldt Campfire. It was my first attempt at a reduction wood cut print and persistence became my middle name. Basically with a reduction printmaking, you carve away to expose the previous color. As in ... the first 'color' on this print is, in fact, the white of the moon and stars. Not because I printed white 'ink' but because I carved away the wood so the first 'color' ink printed, a light light blue, exposed the white PAPER. Then because I wanted light blue stars and a bit around the moon to be the next color, I carved away that part of the block and printed the next darker blue, again exposing what was there before. 
     This is also called a suicide block because you are only using one block, carving away to expose each 'previous' color. I started with 40 sheets of paper and with proofs, (and goofs!) ended up with an edition of 18. It was so much fun (FUN!). So ... well, dangerous. Unlike printing with multiple blocks, you simply cannot go back and do it again. What a rush! 

Friday, September 3, 2010


   — 1. spectacular show, pomp
   — 2. ceremony, display, magnificence, extravagance

Queen Anne's Lace: After the Dance

     Sometimes one is just driving along, trying to get some place and there is a vista that just stops you. Along Highway 1 going north to Portland, Oregon, there were vast populations of Queen Anne's Lace along the highway, dancing in the breezes. 
     Of course, mostly on the other side of the road. It was too much. A quick U turn near a pull-out and it was the perfect chance to try a new lens. I have a Nikon D70 and a new 105 mm macro. While it sounds like I know what I'm doing, I don't. It's just a great camera. 
     I've wanted to try to narrow the depth of field down to almost nothing to pick up some detail that is intriguing. Camera was set at ISO 400, f/5.6, Shutter Speed 1/500 second. Now if I can just repeat that. 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


     — 1  ability to endure, persistence 
     — 2  tenacity

Oak Tree Breezes   carved porcelain, celadon glaze

It's been done a lot, carvings in oak wood. It would be interesting to build an oak tree out of clay. Why not? 

I had these slabs of porcelain greenware, damp and waiting. Why not build a tree? So I cut and assembled the slabs to make the base and trunk, then put the top part (which would be like a platter) on a pillow to form a slightly concave surface. Then covered and sealed it in plastic. I like to dry clay very, very slowly. Plus, I had some other things to do. Six weeks or so later, I took out the top, flipped it over and started carving the dry clay with dental tools. The slab was a little more than 1/4" thick so the process was delicate.
An important thing to remember when carving dry clay is to not breathe the dust. At all. So I did all this carving on a downdraft table and wore a mask. It was an exercise in patience. Probably more than 150 hours of patience. Each separate leaf, branch and acorn was carved into the single top slab so that it was an integral part of the whole rather than being slipped onto it piece by piece. 

This was quite different from the ceramic oak trees that I've constructed before. Working along the edges of this now circular slab, bumping it or pressing too hard with the tool would be a disaster. Leaf by leaf, carving the center swirls as I went along. Came back and added the dots on the acorns with plastic bottle that had a small metal tube. Sort of like icing a cake. Had to sponge a bit of moisture on the acorns so that the dots would stay on the caps. 
I did a very slow bisque fire and then brushed on the celadon glaze with a few accents of Moroccan Sand's Burnt Sienna glaze to break up all that green. I knew it would flow a bit on the celadon and it did. Fired at cone 6, a really long fire. Very happy with the results!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


      - 1. the act or faculty of perceiving
      - 2. intuitive recognition of a truth, aesthetic, quality, etc.                                               

Wild Poppies - watercolor/pastel
          The objective was to loosen up, be less concerned with detail. This was very difficult for a person who is enamored of detail. 
          The process. Using 300 lb Arches cold press watercolor paper, I wet the paper, pooled small containers of different colors on that paper, moved those colors around, pulled them off with rags or paper towels or poured it all off. Manipulated like crazy. Then sprayed it with water, lifted that off, and generally messed around. Woof. That was fun. 

          Finally, when it was dry I accentuated the detail, with more watercolor, even some pastels to make it into 'something' ... or not. What was interesting was figuring out what it was after all that floating, spraying, lifting. Poppies or other flowers are always pretty safe. For a first time wild watercolor, safe is good. There was some addition of a fixative somewhere during the process so that the pastels wouldn't move around while putting in those final touches. All things considered, it was quite a departure from my usual, maybe unhealthy, search for perfection. So in a sense, this exercise was an introduction to 'perception' in a good way. It's a fantastic process. Let go and give it a try. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010


procedure  — 
             1  way of proceeding, performing a task
          2  series of actions, conducted in a certain order or manner

Dragonfly Gourd

This is a hardshell gourd with wood burned design, color pencil, copper wire and my 'plique a jour' dragonfly.

The gourd was first subjected to my wood burning some accents into its already beautifully mottled surface. After that, using just three Derwent color pencils, the primaries of red, blue and yellow, I layered all of the color onto the gourd, then applied a UV protective coating. Paying attention to the resident natural mottling, I twisted and turned, hammered and spiraled the copper wire onto the stem, forming it to match the recently applied embellishments. The last addition was the plique a jour dragonfly. 

Plique a jour is made by hand sawing a design, in this case the dragonfly, from a 18 or 20 gauge commercially available copper sheet with a jeweler's type coping saw. For the enclosed cell, you have to drill a hole first, then unlock the blade of the saw and thread it through the hole, cut the shape, unlock the blade again to get it out. There are about 42 different little cells in this little dragon. Did this while the dragonfly was still 'in' the copper sheet. The hardest part was sawing the whole dragonfly free of that sheet, especially his little feelers!

The edges are then filed smooth, sanded and cleaned really really clean. The piece is placed on a sheet of mica and open cells are filled with different colors of ground glass. Same as the material used for enameling. The little copper piece is then fired which melts the glass ... resulting in a tiny, tiny stained glass window. 

The dragonfly on this gourd is less than 1-1/2" across!