Art as Communication

My granddaughter was telling me a story and got stumped on a word.  She tried describing it to me, but I still just couldn’t understand what she was talking about. She was a little frustrated until she had the idea to run get a piece of paper and marker.


Ohhh… an ANCHOR!  Pleased and relieved that she had been able to communicate with grandma, the story continued.

That little incident got me to thinking about the many roles of art in our lives.  As a workshop instructor, I am very aware of the therapeutic benefits of art making.  It seems that us humans are just wired to create.  It can be a tension reliever and a healing hobby.

My granddaughter reminded me that art is also a powerful communicator.  Where words fail, art can step in and save the day.  It can communicate not only words, but ideas and feelings.  It can release anger, make strong social commentary, or even just help us understand ourselves and process events in our lives.

A few examples from my own art journals…

angst 1


speed of life watermark

feeling grumpy

You CAN draw!

If you are among the large portion of the population that insists you can’t draw, I thought you might enjoy this video featuring Graham Shaw.  Yes you can draw!


Here are my attempts at following along with his sketches.  Fun! I have the urge to do some cartooning now!


He asked a very thought provoking question… How many limiting beliefs do each of us carry about every day?

Upcoming Schedule

Calendar fragment with half-opened sheets in different angles

August is nearly over, and lots of fun things are coming up on my fall schedule, so I thought I would give an update for those who want to participate in any of the fun that I will be having the next couple of months!

Aug. 27 – Final Thursday Arlington Farm and Art Market, 4-8pm

Aug. 28 – Featured Artist at The Workroom for Final Friday

final friday

Sept. 1-30 – Featured Artist at Artlandia gallery in Hutchinson, with my art hanging for the entire month.

artlandia exhibit card.png

Sept. 12 – Oct. 12  Ecofest art on display

Sept. 17 – Artist’s Reception/Third Thursday at Artlandia

Sept. 19 – Lettering for the Art Journal Workshop at Tessera Fine Art Gallery  9am to noon and 1 to 4pm

lettering flyer

Sept 24 – Final Thursday Arlington Farm and Art Market, 4-8pm

Sept. 25 – Final Friday at Tessera Fine Art Gallery

Oct. 3 – Kansas Barn Sale

kansas barn sale

Oct. 10 – Art Journaling Technique class at Tessera Fine Art Gallery

Oct. 17 – 52 Card Pickup (Artist Trading Card) Class at Carriage Factory Gallery in Newton, KS

atc backgrounds

Oct. 24 – Craftacular

Hope we can catch up at one of these events! Time flies by far too fast…I have been trying to tame the wild and fleeting pages of my calendar with only partial success.  I am just not good at white space- in my art, on my calendar, or in my life in general!

How about you… do you cram your schedule chock full, or do you preserve some mellow time?

2015 Wall and Desk Calendars



New 2015 Calendars featuring some of my recent artwork are available in both wall and desktop versions.


The front features one of my new favorites, “Alternative Poppies”



Each of the months has their own image, so 13 pieces of art all together!


peace in the chaos copy copy 2Heart of the Matter watermark March Watermarkpoppieswatermark copy good thoughts wtrmk copy feathers watermark copy

Aspens in Teal watermark ART PLAY LOVE watermark Groucho11x14 watermark Fear no evil watermark fall colors watermark no place like home copy


And there you have a look at my 2015 Art Calendar.

If you would like to purchase the wall calendar go here.

If you prefer the desk calendar, go here.


Grassroots Art Center


Another highlight of our trip to the little town of Lucas, Kansas, was the Grassroots Art Center who has made it their mission to collect and preserve the folk art of the area.  We were given a wonderful tour, and I was amazed at the prolific imagination these people had.  Many of them had turned to an artistic outlet because of an illness or injury that limited their “normal” activities.  They turned to all kinds of interesting artistic expressions just to have something to live for.  If not for the Grassroots Art Center, many of these creations would have been lost.


In a room that was once a bank vault, we found all kinds of crazy “garage sale art” as was collected by James Perucca. Junk, and ribbons, and baubles hung everywhere.


Ed Root created numerous cement sculptures…I really enjoyed the metal weather vane style work on top of this piece.

5 6

Mri-Pilar (same artist that did the mosaic work) has a whole herd of these altered Barbie dolls.  Some of them had a really cool tribal look to them.

7 10

John Woods made some amazing creations using junk that was dredged out of the bottom of a lake.  It is like a giant 3D I spy game!


He also made this fun electronic matching game with all kinds of interesting postcards, and mysterious clues.


11 12

This car was made by Herman Divers entirely of the old pull tabs that pop cans used to have.  He also made furniture, and a set of clothing for he and his wife.  No framework or materials other than pull tabs – impressive!

16 17

Betty Milliken made a name for herself for making tiny little portraits….out of chewing gum!

19 18

Adolph Hannemann preferred to work in wood.

20 21

When Inez Marshall found herself confined to a wheelchair, she also took up carving, but her works are shaped out of massive blocks of limestone!  This 700+ pound church even has pews full of people, and a preacher at the pulpit inside.

There were also barbed wire sculptures, metal sculptures, ships made from trash, and intricate moving mechanical creations.  So much creativity and repurposing in one place!  It made me anxious to rush home to my stock of “junk” and get busy creating!  What is the most unusual art supply that you use?



When Giraffes Fly…


Giraffe over moon watermark

While in Lucas (there is a lot to talk about in that little town!) we visited the Flying Pig gallery and studio of Eric Abraham.  He did fabulous and fanciful porcelain work, among which was a flying giraffe that really caught my fancy!  So in the car, on the way home I sketched out my own version.  I have been kind of in to moons with faces lately too, so it seemed perfectly natural to have the giraffe flying over the moon!

I love art journaling because it is a place to try out ideas.  Some never go any further, some turn into actual pieces of artwork.  This one has also showed up in a pop up page which I have been wanting to do every since seeing Jane Davenport’s Lifebook 2014 lesson.

Pop up page

Happy art journaling!