Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I'd received good input during the opening reception for our gallery show on three landscapes made out of rectangles of art papers. A large collage with topo maps layered over a rock formation also seemed to be a favorite. I decided to make an abstract western landscape with paper and topo maps... I might have to explore this idea some more. What do you think?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Six Women Exhibition

We had a great turnout at our opening last night for my Women's Art Workshop gallery exhibit with 325 people in attendance. The gallery director did a wonderful job of displaying our work, despite running out of pedestals since there was so much 3D work from the three potters! It was fun to share the evening with this group of special women.

Monday, November 29, 2010

New week, new show

Yes, 2010 is ending with a lot of fanfare. My Women's Art Workshop group is having an opening this Friday for our group show! We've had fun over the last two years: pulling a topic out of our jar of ideas, all making something in response to the word or phrase, and meeting 4 to 6 weeks later to workshop the resulting pieces. We picked 6 words to showcase the work that was brought to the initial meeting and subsequent work that was inspired by the project.

"New Business" relating to Rob's and my "Plains and Planes" exhibit...
- We're being interviewed tomorrow by the NPR station in Rock Island to air Dec 12 on their Sunday afternoon "Art Talks" program; they post the show on their website, too, if you want to listen to it at another time.
WVIK Program Listings
- We're going to do a gallery talk at the Galesburg Civic Art Center on December 9th at 7pm.
- Rob has added a section on our website showing photos from the gallery and the opening, and he is in the process of adding individual shots of everything in the show. So, if you aren't able to come to the gallery in person, you can still see the show!
Reed Studios - Plains and Planes Show 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Fabulous Opening

We had a wonderful opening reception for our "Plains and Planes" show on the 19th. The gallery director said we broke the attendance record with 200+ people during the 2-hour reception! We both received lots of great feedback on our new art and felt energized by the experience. I sold seven pieces during the opening, so that was icing on the cake.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ready for the Show!

This weekend, Rob and I are taking care of details for our upcoming exhibit. A couple of my pieces still were needing frames, and I'm checking to make sure all have wires and tags. Then I'll start wrapping them up for transport downtown to the gallery on Tuesday. Rob is finishing a few bases for his sculptures and doing the final sanding on a limestone piece he's hoping to get finished by the opening on Friday night! We're looking forward to seeing all of the art in a nice gallery setting with proper lighting. I have 47 works; 11 are from 2009 and the rest from 2010. Rob has 6 stone sculptures and 10 metal sculptures. I'll try to get some good shots in the gallery after we've hung the show and the lighting is done.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Storm Cell

My friend, Julie, snapped a photo with her cell phone on her drive into work of a dramatic stormy sky and sent it to me since I like sky photos. I kept the photo open on my computer screen and, after several days of looking at it, decided to transform it into a piece of art. It's a small piece (12" x 6") but commands attention with its strong horizontal lines and colors.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

New Plains Landscapes

I made a few landscapes last month that were all rectangles and decided to do another. I digitally moved some MT horses into this pasture, made three sets of prints – all with different digital effects – and then cut rectangles out of the prints to piece together the landscape. I like how some of the rectangles appear to recede or advance due to their value and how the differing digital treatments have altered the trees and shrubs. (This is a 30" x 10" canvas.)
I decided to take the leftover pieces and make a new landscape where nothing quite lines up so that the scene is more abstracted. I had done this once before with a scene that had a lake in it and wanted to see if it would work without the water reflection aspect. (This is a 12" x 12" cradled panel.)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Back in the Studio at Last!

I was able to take a couple afternoons this week to work in the studio, plus Friday and Saturday - yahoo! I wanted to get another large piece done for the November show and decided to revisit the Hoodoos of Yellowstone. I'd done small 6"x6" works from this photo last year and thought it would be fun to go big with it so the topo maps applied to the rock surfaces would really show up. I laid down the image in torn segments and then layered up sections of 1904 topographical survey maps of Yellowstone Park, grassy papers and pine needles. It is on a 30"x24" cradled panel so it has a real presence in the room – kinda like how the hoodoos have along the road in the northern part of the park. (When you click on the detail image, you can see the maps much better.) Then...

Additionally, I worked on two 11"x14" canvases using photos I'd taken of a prairie remnant in Palatine, Illinois. I altered them to look more painterly, added in some vintage grass illustrations, text about prairie in one of them, and art papers to add more blossoms to the plants. I like how the color is so intense in these. They'll go in the show as well as "plants of the plains."

Monday, October 11, 2010


I haven't posted anything for awhile as I've been gone the last two weekends and haven't been able to fit in any time for art making. I'm getting a little "twitchy" with all the art ideas jamming up in my brain!!
The first weekend in October, we drove up to Palatine to deliver an alabaster sculpture of my husband's to its new owners... this past weekend, I took the train up to Chicago and spent time with my cousin, Suzanne,  and my MT friend, Karen... this coming weekend is a big fundraiser for the Galesburg Civic Art Center and I'm on the committee, so the whole weekend will be spent on the event. When I get caught up on my social life and graphics work load, I'm going to take off a few days and work on fine art, as I want to get a few more pieces done for our November show!

The photo above is of me with a Dick Tracy bronze that is along the river walk in downtown Naperville, IL. Dick Tracy is talking into his wrist radio, but I'm looking at my watch wondering how many more days until I have to deliver my art for our "Plains and Planes" show....

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I showed Harlow Blum, emeritus art faculty at Monmouth College, the interesting laser prints that were left after cutting rectangles out of them to create the mixed media piece I posted on August 31st of Dailey Lake. He suggested I make a new piece by layering the sheets with their cut out areas. I didn't make it quite that way, as adding matte medium to the process made it a bit difficult to put down such large sections of paper with openings throughout, but I did use some as the base and then added more rectangles – where needed – to cover the white canvas. I like how the scene doesn't line up and looks distorted. I'm calling it "Reflections" since it has the feel of looking at a landscape reflected in water. So... let me know if you think I should do more using this technique....

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A flock

I got all of my deadlines met by Wednesday noon this week, so I turned my attention to making more bird collages. With my friend's permission, I made two pieces that were variations on ones she'd recently purchased from me (goldfinches and white-crowned sparrows). Then I made a 10"-square collage using a vintage illustration of a field sparrow's nest, an 11"x14" using an altered Audubon warbler illustration, and a 9"x12" monarch butterfly collage from a photo my friend Sheila took. I'd like to make another 24" x 24" since it had such impact... but am feeling a pull to make a few more landscapes for the Plains and Planes exhibit and a couple more plants of the plains to go with these birds of the plains... stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More birds of the plains

Over the last few months I'd made four in the "Mise-en-scène" series with birds of the plains for our November exhibit... and then sold three of them to a friend who is getting married and moving into a new home! So, I'm making some more, altering Audubon illustrations and setting a new stage for them. In this one, I took Audubon's Marsh Wrens illustration and modified it digitally, added some vintage grass illustrations to each side of the nest, ran out color laser prints, tore and pieced the image together on a painted canvas, then layered up art papers and dried grasses. The grasses come around the two sides and I have "Marsh Wrens" in script along the bottom right edge, so I added the bug on the top edge for that wren on the branch to be flying after.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Inspiring new work space

This is my new studio space and I LOVE it! We just replaced the 1959 windows in our living room and office, and we decided to switch the room functions while we were at it. We put our graphic design desks/ computers into the former living room and moved my collage desk and drawing board in, too. Now we have a big creative studio for graphics and art (which puts me closer to my computer and color printer when working on fine art, too!) Big plus -- I now have a great view of our backyard while creating instead of looking up at white closet doors!! It's going to be a very inspiring space for my work. Note, there are also plenty of dog beds for my Sheltie furkids....

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


In this piece, I decided to take my new technique – of printing out an altered photo and cutting it into rectangles to piece together with other alterations of the same photo – and add some acrylic paint, grassy papers and pine needles to the marshy area in the foreground. My hubby is going to make a nice cedar frame for it. I really loved walking along this lake in Montana and liked the photo I'd taken of the scene; I'm really happy with how this 24" x 18" mixed media piece captures a sense of Dailey Lake in Paradise Valley.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The finished landscape of rectangles

Here's how the new landscape turned out. I like how some of the rectangles stand out and seem to advance while others recede. I added some acrylic paint to the field and grassy area but wasn't very bold with it -- partly because I didn't want to draw too much attention to that area since this image seems to be about the clouds and how they dwarf the buildings ... and partly because I'm way out of my comfort zone when painting!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

New idea

Sometimes the littlest thing will inspire a big idea. Looking at the sky of a collage in an art book, it occurred to me that I could make a collage by cutting a photo into rectangles. I printed out three versions of a photo (all with different art filters applied to them) and have been building the art, kind of like a puzzle. The top photo shows the 24"x12" canvas with a couple prints on the drawing board that I've been cutting sections out of; the lower photo shows a detail of the piece. I may add acrylic paint to the foreground, too... stay tuned!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

More plants of the prairies and plains

I made two more plant studies this past weekend, but we've had such a FULL week that we didn't get them photographed until today! I used a different technique of tearing and layering on these that I think will work well for larger pieces, too. On the big bluestem grass collage, I added some actual dry grass at the bottom, too. I have ideas for more plant collages, the bird series, and some new mountain ones... I'm going to have to pick one tomorrow and run with it!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Amazing Week

I had quite a "glow" going all last week. A friend told me she and her fiance wanted to buy the large goldfinch collage for their new home ... our Open Studios event was fun and I sold a dozen works ... I found out that "my" gallery in Montana had sold two of my collages (bringing the total to FOUR in two months!) and the owner asked me to send more work out ... so we wrapped and shipped six more collages off on Friday ... we had friends and their friends from the Chicago suburbs come by for drinks and studio tours before we all went out to dinner on Saturday, and they came back Sunday and purchased a large collage of mine and made a 50% deposit on an alabaster sculpture of Rob's!! (That particular sculpture is going to a national juried show this weekend, so we'll settle up with the purchaser when the show is over and the stone is back in our possession.) Oh, and I made some collages over the weekend, too! The one above is the first of several I hope to make for our November show depicting plants of the plains and/or prairies. We picked and photographed some Queen Anne's Lace and I found a 1913 illustration of the plant that I placed over a cloud photograph. Input on this piece would be welcomed before I go onto more plants.... thanks!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Open Studios

This past Saturday we had an "Open Studios" event in the afternoon and invited our graphic design clients and art-loving friends to see our art studios and celebrate the 25th anniversary of Reed Studios. My husband, Rob, showed how he carves stone with traditional tools and pneumatic-assisted tools, and some of our guests tried their hand at carving. I had some of my older art on sale for the day and displayed new 2010 art. Our guests seemed to enjoy checking out where we work and seeing work in progress – it was a fun day. A shout out to our friend Bob Marsden for taking these photos!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Back in the Studio

After an encounter with a super-heated metal pot lid sitting too close to an open flame, my hand was finally recovered enough from the second-degree burns to get back in the studio! I had all sorts of ideas I wanted to pursue, but landed on using the vintage star charts again with the theme of migrating birds. (I've gotten such amazing responses to the Indigo Bunting piece I posted March 7th, I thought it was worth exploring some more.) I found some wonderful copyright-free illustrations from 1917 by Louis Agassiz Fuertes of North American warblers, so I modified them to become more painterly and soften the details. I put this text at the bottom of the collage: "North American warblers are small songbirds, generally quite colorful and with fine pointed bills; most eat only insects, but a few supplement their diets with berries and seeds. Warblers migrate at night; if you stand outside in the fall or early spring and listen carefully, you may hear their soft “chip” notes as they fly overhead. On a moonlit night, early in the evening, try looking at the moon through your binoculars and you might see the silhouettes of passing warblers." Additionally, I wrapped one of the maps around the cradled panel – I've done that on canvas before but never on wood! I'm pleased with how it turned out, and ... thanks, dear husband, for suggesting softening the bird illustrations instead of using the very precise original illustrations.   :-)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Take Two

The 16" x 8" piece that I posted on May 24 was recently purchased as a birthday gift. When I made that one, I felt like it was a piece that could be bigger, so I decided to revisit the original photo this weekend. I realized we'd taken two photos that I could piece together to get a wider view of the Gallatin Range with the storm clouds enveloping the mountains. On this piece, I did an underpainting and put in areas of color for the ground, mountains and sky. Then I tiled out the altered photo in sections, tore the image and left little gaps between the torn pieces of paper so the underpainting could show through. It is 30" x 10"... but I probably could have made it even bigger! Who knows, maybe there will be a "take three" and I'll really push my comfort zone and go LARGE!!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Going to the show!

I just found out today that this piece – The Road to Dailey Lake – was accepted into the national juried show "64 Arts" in  Monmouth Illinois!! The juror was Al Gury, chair of the painting dept of Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, and the show will run Aug 20 - Sept 25. It's so affirming to have an artist you've never met choose your work to be included in a show... sweet!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Double the fun

I decided to step out of my comfort zone and try one of these new bird pieces at a much bigger size. The first three were 10"x10" and this one is 24"x 24". I applied unprimed linen to a cradled hardboard and that is the brown showing through in the "cracks" ... my husband said it seems like there's an old stone wall behind the birds with shadows on it from the plants... I like how it has the feel of a cracked fresco. I added a decorative swirl pattern to the right of the birds and ghosted some of the thistle leaves at the bottom to add more interest to Audubon's composition.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

2 more birds of the plains

I made two more bird collages this weekend and am really enjoying working with the Audubon prints from an old book and giving them new life. Many of Audubon's bird illustrations seem to have exaggerated poses or odd turns of the bird's body – like the bottom bird of this pair of catbirds – so I just used the one catbird in my composition. I altered the color to make the bird slate gray like it is in real life, added text about the catbird's habits, an illustration on the mechanics of flight, and more leaves and berries.

In the piece with the white-crowned sparrows, I added some very subtle Victorian filagree to the background on the left. I showed the first of the mise-en-scène series to a friend this weekend and she remarked that the background had an eggshell feel, so I've used that same technique as part of the manipulation of the art in these two.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


- an expression used to describe the design aspects of a theatre or film production, which essentially means "telling a story."
- stage setting

I'm planning on doing a series under the title of mise-en-scène using bird illustrations by Audubon and others. (I've done a few pieces for our November show with ravens and thought it would be fun to make some more bird collages depicting other birds found in the plains states.) This first one is "Mise-en-scène: bluebirds." I've altered an Audubon illustration I scanned, added art papers onto areas of the birds, and added more flower stalks and faux foliage -- which includes text about bluebirds from "The Source Book" of 1930. I'm essentially telling a story about bluebirds and setting the stage differently than the original production... this one is 10" x 10" but I think it would be fun to see at 36" x 36"!

Monday, June 7, 2010


I said in an earlier post that I might make a piece that had just clouds in it ... and here it is! It is a 24" x 12" canvas with the imagery going around the four sides. I think I might try some with just a hint of ground at the bottom, too. I also had an idea -- after seeing the pile of cloud fragments left on my drawing board -- to just make a piece with random cloud sections. So, I glued strips of canvas to a board to start with an uneven surface (to add another design element), then glued down various fragments of clouds and sky, and decided to add a raven flying amongst the cloud bits. What do you think?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Productive Weekend

I made two new "High Plains" pieces this weekend.

I'm calling the one with the big rock "Sitting..." since the boulder has most likely been sitting in that spot for a LONG time... there are two rock cairns sitting on top of the boulder... and the shape reminds me of a fat Buddha sitting. This one is really a mixed media piece. First I altered the photo by placing a taller rock cairn than what was actually there (using a photo of rocks I'd brought home from Montana) as I wanted it to reach up into the sky area, and then I ran some painterly filters on the photo to abstract it. After applying the two sections of prints to my 11" x 14" cradled panel, I layered topo map fragments over the rocks, painted daubs of straw color in the upper grasses to help distinguish the rock edge from what was behind it, and added grassy papers, pine needles and raw flax to the foreground to make the vegetation more dimensional. (If you click on the image, you can better see the details I'm talking about.)

The second piece shows a two-track road up a hill in Montana that I'm calling "Rising" -- it is 20" x 16". I made three filtered variations of the image and tiled out the large images. Then I tore sections from each to glue down with acrylic matte medium to merge into this new image. I added fibrous art papers to the clouds and grasses to further alter the image.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Great Plains

I stray – when a new idea just must be addressed – but then I come back to preparing new work for our "Plains and Planes" show in November. This one is 16" x 8" but has a "big" feel to it with the dramatic sky. I'm thinking I might try making some collages of JUST big billowy clouds... I'll look through my photos and see which one speaks to me next.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

More Experiments in Encaustic

A local shop that sells artist-made items, asked if I'd bring those two leaf encaustic pieces down to sell on consignment, so I made a couple more: the ash piece is 8x8, the maple is 6x6.
The third piece is also 6x6; I used a photo of a sidewalk as the background, adhered some leaves from my mother's day flowers, pushed some metal nuts (as in nuts & bolts) into the wax and painted oil paint in the shapes they left ... that has possibilities, I think.