Pressing metal

Pressing metal

Copper disks on which I drew a bathymetric map of the Great Pinnacle and Twin Peaks, scuba diving sites at Point Lobos State Park.  I etched the disks and then shaped the form in a hydraulic form press.  These are samples for my metal class.  We will  saw the forms and then we will learn to make knuckle hinges from tubes to join the two sides together.

Watercolor class project 1

Watercolor class project 1, a flower still life.  Sketch and work in progress.


Fountain Pens

IMG_5326When I think of fountain pens it takes me back to my childhood and my parents’ fountain pens. While I use black for drawing, my parents’ pens used blue ink for writing. There was always a fascination for me, the elegant case, the stylish point, the beautifully written script, in blue ink on writing paper, the old fashioned, thin but sturdy writing paper, slightly translucent. A lever on the side of the pen used to refill the pen with ink, part of the writing ritual.

In drawing class we used a dip pen; it has a tip like a fountain pen but no reservoir for the ink.  There was always some tension for me, a slight worry about when the pen would run out of ink.

I am a favorite pen type of person.  I tried Micron pens which ran out of ink too fast and ball point pens which leaked globs of ink on my drawings. I never imaged it would be so easy to draw and write with a fountain pen.  My new favorite pen.


pen and ink portrait

pen and ink portrait

20160111_170900bMy friend C protests she is not an artist but every year she takes a road trip on which she makes pen and ink landscapes.  I am impressed.  It takes me years before I am brave enough to abandon my pencil and eraser.  Favorite pen #2, Platinum Fountain Pen, Preppy, Fine Nib, Black (PPQ-200-#1)

Unforgettable 2

Natalie Cole, Unforgettable 2, pen and ink portrait.  A few years ago I took a face drawing online video course from PencilKings.  I had a sketchbook filled with eyes, noses, mouths, ears, heads.  And a year ago I enrolled in their figure drawing challenge.  A good way to go if you want a course where you can go at your own pace.




Unforgettable, that’s what you are Natalie Cole.  Pen and ink portrait.  Working with my new favorite pen, Platinum Carbon Desk Fountain Pen, Super Fine (DP-800S#1).  Working in pen and ink is good for me, a bit thrilling as there is no erasing and it keeps me from being too detailed.  It is loose and fresh.


2016, a new year of art

As I look over last year’s art, I see that I am all over the place, quilting, knitting, suncatchers, watercolors, fused glass, oils, acrylics, pen and ink… and more.

Sometimes I think, “if I could concentrate on one thing, I would improve my art so much faster”.  But I have to accept that is not who I am.

That being said, we begin this year with pen and ink portraits.

Blue_Eyes Jessica_Jones

A new year of art

Quick Studies in Oil

Quick Studies – Oil & Acrylic – Friday

oil painting 2 pearsWe are blessed here in Santa Cruz, CA to have so many great art instructors.  For the next 4 Fridays I will be taking an oil, quick studies painting class with Barbara Bailey Porter at the Santa Cruz Art League.  Is there an emoticon for a person jumping for joy?

Using small canvases, big brushes, and a short painting period, the intention is to paint the impression and not overwork or over analyze.  This is a 30 minute painting on an 8×10″ canvas panel, two pears.  I love painting pears, the irregular shapes, the variation in colors, and afterwards the lovely delicious treat of eating the pears!

Pen and ink

Pen and ink sketch of a deep sea creature, the Hatchetfish.


Summer Arts 2015

Cabrillo College Summer Arts 2015 Workshop


Sanzu no Kawa

Our local junior college, Cabrillo College, in Aptos CA, has a fabulous Summer Arts program every year.  For me it is a wonderful “Stay-cation”.  This year Tim Craighead is teaching a week long abstract painting workshop.  It is just what I needed for my River series.  I needed to break away from my source material and take my paintings to another level.