Tuesday, December 25, 2012

It Would Be NIce

This cut and paste collage was made for that quote from Alice (in Wonderland). I loved that old photograph with the spoons sewn to the little girls dress.
I sometimes feel like that- when we see and hear about innocent firefighters shot to death and the other horrible school shooting tragedy it's hard not to view the world through that lens.  I try to switch the lens and know there are many good things that go unreported everyday.  I do think that it is important to see with both of those- bifocal if you will.
I hope the holiday season has been a good one for all of you.  And sometimes it's OK to follow the Talking Heads... Stop Making Sense.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Mind Journey

This hand cut & pasted collage is titled: Mind Journey.  The quote seem right for now with the year ending and another one beginning.  A clean slate.  I think I have always loved beginnings and endings.  As a teacher- there was the school year- The school year started and at the end a time to reflect what went well what I wanted to change for the better- then another start when the next year started.  Now the new year is a time I feel that time of reflection.  Sad to see some of it end and yet excited about the new year ahead.  This year has been a very full one and was one full of change.  I feel so blessed to be living in the woods with my soul-mate.  The move was difficult but so worth it.  I also had the wonderful good fortune to connect with some other artists that I feel very close to.  This has filled a void and is a real boost to my continued growth as an artist.
Happy Solstice- let the longer days begin!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I love this quote from Annie Lamott.  I love her books and when I read this quote I wanted ot do a collage.  This is a digital one.  I realize the quote is small but you can read it if you click on the image.  I have to say I do love to do pieces to quotes.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

What Are We?

This is a hand cut and paste collage.  I made this a while back but given the terrible tragedy at the elementary school I find myself asking this question.  What are we?  I spent a major part of my art teaching career in elementary schools.  How things have changed since I first started teaching- my last few years teaching that level we had to have ID badges on at all times- the school doors were locked as classes started for the day.  We had lock-down practice and practiced school evacuations should we need to get the students out of the school for a bomb threat.  We all have lost our innocence.  So sad to see it happen to such young lives.  My heart goes out to the families and the students and staff. Hug each other and tell those close to you that you love them...everyday.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


The title for this digital collage is: He Lived Inside His Stories.   For me it has a surreal quality about it.  For some reason I get a Rene Magritte vibe from this.  It is fun to create a fantasy and invite viewers to make their own stories up.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Inner Critic

This is a journal spread...after all these years of making art I still struggle with this.  But I move on.  I find that the joy of creating so often can overpower that critic.  He still raises his mean head still from time to time.  I like the image I found for him- I put the red X over his mouth.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


This one is related to the previous post.  Self-Criticism makes use of another old art education text piece.  The little boy was in the photograph that I cropped the girl from in the previous collage.  I altered it the same way.  I think he was my great great grandmother's brother.  The background is from a Citrisolv paper that a friend sent me.  I altered it of course.  I find that it made for a dreamy background.  I am anxious to try some of my own papers using that product.  The one was a hand cut and paste collage.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Nature of Creative Teaching

The title for this hand cut & paste collage came from the title of the section of text in the lower left.  While I was teaching art education classes at the university I found a bunch of old art education texts from the 50s and 60s.  They have been a fun source of collage fodder.  The photograph is very old-I believe it is of my great great grandmother as a young girl.  The background is from a scan my partner did-  we both like putting things on the scanner bed- he had these old dried dragonflies and put some fabric over them- I of course had to alter that.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Memory Snip

This cut and paste collage is titled:  Memory Snip.  The woman in the old photograph that I altered is
my partner's mother.  She died two years ago this fall.  This really is a tribute of sorts to her.  She was hard working and very strong in her beliefs.  My partner and I have been together for over 36 years  and the first few years were hard.  His parents did not speak to him for 3 years.  Then slowly they came around and both his mother and father loved me.  This one is for you Marie.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


This cut and paste collage is titled Recovery.  I made this after I ended my teaching career at the university.  As my friends know- I love teaching and loved the whole process- the exchange of ideas with students is something I will never tire of.  I feel great teaching is always an exchange.  I always learned lots from my students not matter if it was first grade or university level.  It was so nice to see the world through the eyes of students besides my own. I have always loved the art of teaching as much as I love making art.  The recovery part comes in because there were some professors in the art department that were down right mean to me and to their students.  As much as I hate to admit it- my confidence as an artist was shaken to the core from that experience.
I am very glad I am over that.   I am also very excited as in 2013 I will begin teaching workshops in my home.   I intend to make art and to teach as long as I am able.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gratitude & Thanksgiving

This digital collage makes me smile- I made it for the quote below the collage.  My art exchange pals have seen this one but I wanted to post it anyway.
I have much to be thankful for.  A loving partner- a wonderful home- good health-good friends- and a group of wonderful artists that share their work and give support.
Time for a gratitude page in my journal.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Natural Knowledge

As you can see this is related to the last collage I posted.  Words and images together.  I tend to work in a series and often will have several pieces going at once.  I will leave this one up to your interpretation.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Story We Tell

This cut and paste collage is titled A Story We Tell.  Sometimes I like to use words or phrases I find in magazines in my collages.  Sometimes they become a starting point.  The background in this one is an altered photograph of a leaf I did.  I really like the bottom sentence:  Some questions can only be asked (and answered) as artworks.  I so agree with this- and I also think that's why visual journaling is so powerful as it often contains both word and image-  I am preparing a workshop I hope to teach early next year.  Introduction to Visual Journaling:  When Words Aren't Enough.  Sometimes it takes images to express a thought, feeling or experience.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Artist Trading Cards

I have been making ATCs for gosh- over 12 years now.  I use to be regular about taking pictures of them but not so anymore.  It is fun to look back at some of these.
I love the whole idea of trading cards- not to be sold but traded.  The small size is challenging but yet isn't near as intimidating as other larger art works can seem at times.  It really is amazing what one can do in this 3 1/2" X 2 1/2 " size.
I am in two different groups that trade right now.  One I am the only male- pretty common in the mixed media world.  The other one is new and it is all guys- that's fun for me.
Think I will make some more right now!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Act Your Age?

I love this quote from Margaret Atwood.  I just did a quick digital piece to go with it.  Sometimes it's important to just have fun.  For much of my teaching career I was in the art room with elementary age students.  I have to say that was a real joy- a gift really.  To everyday see the world through the eyes of children made my life so fresh.  Then when I taught at the university it was not like that at all.  I still loved the students but the pressure to make " high art" from the department took the joy out of it.  I also saw how some art professors used their art professor status to crush students.  Why do some people get joy out of making people feel bad?
So back to the quote-I have been called child-like on numerous occasions and to me that is the best thing to be called.  I have learned to have fun in the studio again- making art for fun and for friends is so wonderful.  I am blessed to have a group that I share mail art with and we do it because we love to do it.  I have a T-shirt from Fred Bab that says "Go to your Studio and Make Stuff".  I intend to do just that...

Monday, November 5, 2012


This collage is a cut and paste one.  Flickers of Memory is the title.  I often will spend time cutting out many different collage elements just using my trusty X-acto blade.  That way I have many elements at the ready.  I have learned the hard way that changing the blade often is the key to crisp cuts.  The background for this is an altered photograph of mine taken at the Judy Garland Museum.  This museum is about an hour from us in Grand Rapids Minnesota- Judy spent her very early years there.  And yes the ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz were there until they were stolen a few years ago.  I like the dreamy quality this piece has for me.  The lack of detail of the dresser in the background goes with the concept of the flicker of a memory-sometimes the memory is there but not all in focus if you will.

Friday, November 2, 2012

House Box

I love the house shape- be it 3D or 2D- I love to whole set of meanings it can have.  I occasionally make these house boxes.  The are somewhat unusual as the roof comes off- then you can put things inside.  In this case a folded house-shaped book.  I do make these out of cardstock but the wood ones are so sturdy.  Because they are wood I can glue real found objects on them as well.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


This collage, Dreamer is done on stretched canvas.   I did a whole series  some time ago on canvas.  I like being able to attach actual objects.  The photograph is an altered one- one from my collection of old family pictures.  The ruler piece is from one of those old rulers that fold all up.  I have a few of these from my partner's father.  We found them when we were going through things after he died. 
One of my favorite artists is Joseph Cornell.  For some reason this collage makes me think of him.  I think it is the color and the map and ruler.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Questions of Faith

This collage is titled:  Questions of Faith.  Even though I did this quite a while back it is a good image for what I have been thinking about of late.  The faith card is being played out in this election in some very hurtful ways.  Here in Minnesota there will be an amendment to the state constitution to vote on- if it passes it will forever ban same sex marriage.  We can't get married now here but "they" want to make sure we never can- The Faith comes into play here- there are many churches that are working hard to pass it and I am happy to say there are many churches that are working with us to defeat the amendment.  Then I can go on and say questions of faith in our humanity- can the hate stop?  I strive to be  "the glass is half full" kind of person but the tone in the country and the world for that matter makes that a real challenge.  I still think goodness and love will win out once again- just want to have faith it will be sooner than later.
All the photographic imagery in the collage is my own that I altered and the rest is ephemera from my collection.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lost & Found

This collage is titled Lost Direction.  It was done over a year ago and was very cathartic for me.  I had recently retired from teaching and was dealing with a bout of depression.  I have to say there is a big difference between having the blues and depression.  I am pleased to say I am feeling much better and retirement is incredible.  The lost direction feeling is fading as well.  After teaching for 36 years one may think it would be easy to be done but it wasn't easy for me.  I was use to being in that giving environment- I was tired and knew it was time but didn't realize the transition would be as hard as it was.  There is that feeling of guilt- I should be doing something...  I will forever be the teacher and am excited to have a space in our home where I can teach small workshops.
So I have made a new map for my new life that has lots of unknown territories to be explored.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


This digital collage is titled Courage.   I made it after reading the quote.  Just in case you aren't aware of this- you can click on the collage and it will enlarge so you can see it better- that is of course if I saved it right.  I think we all deal with courage issues- it's hard to have courage to speak the truth sometimes- especially to people you love as we don't want to hurt them.  I have learned though that not telling them the truth isn't a good choice.  It takes courage to put your art "out there". It also takes courage to keep on making art after a rejection letter for an exhibit.  Seth Apter on his blog The Altered Page (see my side-bar) asked some artists if they were ever jealous of other artists' work- it sure took courage for sharing their honest replies.

Monday, October 22, 2012


This is a cut and paste collage.  I like to work with old family photographs and alter them.  All of these elements were cut out and then I put them together in this composition.  This came about because one month my ATC group had Alice in Wonderland as a theme.  So I made this collage and then I reduced it down to ATC size.  The words are from Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit song.  Guess that really dates me but I still love hearing Grace Slick sing that.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


This is a digital collage that I made after reading this quote from Augustan.  He wrote Running With Scissors. And as is often the case- I feel the book was way better than the movie.  The quote above is really a nice way to look at things.  We all have flaws but most (not all) people have good intentions.  I love collecting quotes and they often are the inspiration for a collage or a journal page.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


This is a digital collage I made a while ago.  I really liked the quote about friends.  I find that the meaning of being and having a friend is so different for some.  When I see people on Facebook with hundreds and hundreds of friends- or have hundreds of followers on Twitter (I don't Tweet) I wonder what that really means to them- it almost seems like it's a competition.  I guess I am old school- to have a friendship means to me- a real commitment and a bond on many levels.  It is a sharing of interests beliefs- being there for one another.  My friends are so important to me.  I am very blessed to have some very special friends.  Why not take some time today and tell your friends what they mean to you!

Monday, October 15, 2012


This is another older journal page.  Sometimes I can get myself into a place of constant worry- all the big "what- ifs"  What if my art isn't good enough?  What if no one likes my art?  What if my partner's cancer comes back?  I am happy to say making this page felt great and I do still have times of worry but not as intense and I am able to move on.  Big lessons in life- learning to let go. I am way better now at doing and making art for me- for the joy of doing it- for discovery.  I do believe that art can change a person's life.

Friday, October 12, 2012


This is a collage I did for this quote I love from Oscar Wilde.  The images are ones I have found and altered.  I think this quote is so true.  It works in other ways as well-  There's a movie we recently watched again Dummy- the central character played by Adrian Brody uses a dummy to speak to others through.  I have also experienced this truth thing when I have made puppets with elementary age kids- it was amazing to see these "tough" boys totally act differently while operating their puppets.  I also think we all have different masks we put on- one for family...one for dealing with conflict... maybe one for the work place.   I guess it's a coping thing.  I love my friends- with them I can just be myself-no mask needed.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


This is a journal page I did some time ago but it really fits for my thoughts of late.  This election race has been so intense and what is missing is people telling the truth.   I think it is interesting to go back an look at past journal pages.  Often after I finish a journal it goes in the cupboard and that's it but I have been looking through some of them again.  I have been looking through these partly because I am going to be teaching an Intro to Visual Journaling Class in November.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Last One of The Transfer Collages

This is the last one in the series for now- I have some others in various states of completion so there may be more later. This one is titled:  Dark Forest Moon. I have enjoyed doing these.  They are smaller than my usual work- they are around 4 1/2" x 5".  I find that my most successful work happens when I get out of the way- I get into trouble when I over think a piece.  I love it when the muse if you will or my art intuition takes over and things just come together.  I feel my work has a narrative feel- these are like little stories left up to the viewer to decide what happens.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Credit Due

Yes- another transfer collage.  This time I want to credit some of my sources for imagery.  The transfer background is a photo of mine- I set up dollhouse furniture in the garden and did a photo shoot.  This dollhouse chair is on a hosta leaf.  Marsha Jorgenson is a wonderful California artist and has collage clip art under her business name TumbleFish Studio.  You can click on her blog link on my blog list (that I finally figured out how to do)  Some of the other imagery is from other artists found on the Deviant Scrap site.  This collage above is titled 98 Cent Life.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Another Collage

This is another collage in the transfer series.  The title is Still Running with Scissors.  The transfer background is a photograph of mine of a dollhouse interior.  I constructed that dollhouse many years ago to use as a set for photographing.  I think I want to do some more of that- I will add that to the already long To Do List! We woke this morning to the trees frosted in white wet snow- beautiful but early October is a bit much!