Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Crows Forever

Crows Forever
While in Bemidji, MN on the Creative Gents Retreat, Brian Kasstle introduced a journaling activity that shadows what a graffiti wall looks like.  I just finished my spread after a week of working on it.  Brian will be teaching how to do this spread when we team teach at the Pacific NW Art School in August.

Monday, June 29, 2015



I am working in a meandering journal.  I love working in a journal smaller than what I usually work in.  I love the simplicity and the thought behind something minimal.  It has a Wabi Sabi feel to it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

MORE Creative Gents Retreat Photos

metal moose downtown Bemidji

working in Terry's studio

total concentration in Terry's studio
Paul Bunyan, Bemidji, MN

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Buffaloes Roam

Buffaloes Roam
Brian Kasstle, Terry Garrett, and I will be teaching a workshop together at the Pacific NW Art School in Coupeville, WA in August.  The three of us have decided that we will create an example for each of the techniques on each of the fifteen spreads that we will teach.  Brian will be teaching this one.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Chattanooga Stomp

Chattanooga Stomp
I like to listen to music.  In fact, I love listening to music when I work on art but I rarely do unless I am working with others.  Why don't I listen solo?  I guess I am so into the art that I forget about outside stimuli.

Music and I have had a rough bout. When I was in high school I tried out for concert chorus because my friends were trying out.  The choir director allowed us to try out in quartets in front of the class or we could do solos after school with her.  I was a very shy person in high school and would never stand in front of a group unless I was forced to do so.

I stayed after school and sang Green Sleeves.  At the end of my song, Virginia Harder closed the cover over the piano keys, looked up at me and said, "Have you ever considered taking Ceramics?" Needless to say, I did not make it into Concert Chorus and I did take Ceramics.  My art career was off and running!

I shy away from using anything about music in my collages.  However, I found a vintage book on jazz at Goodwill and here is the piece, Chattanooga Stomp, as a result.

Sunday, June 21, 2015


Nothing is busy, busy, busy!  Last week at the Creative Gents Retreat in MN, Terry, Thomas, Brian, and I played the prompt game.  It is a favorite activity whenever we meet.  Each in turn gives out a prompt until we get to the point, usually about prompt 21 or so, when we need to finish with a focal point.  Nothing is the result.

Here are some photos of our retreat in Bemidji, MN.  Thomas LaBadia, John Arbuckle, Terry Garrett, and Brian Kasstle (left to right....

Saturday, June 20, 2015

ATC Bemidji, MN 2015 - Creative Gents Retreat

ATC (front) Creative Gents Retreat, Bemidji, MN 2015 
ATC (back) Creative Gents Retreat, Bemidji, MN 2015 

I just returned from a week in the wilds of Northern Minnesota attending the Creative Gents Retreat at Terry Garrett's home.  Also in attendance were Brian Kasstle and Thomas LaBadia.  Terry lives in a long cabin, if you can say cabin when the house is about 4500 square feet (not sure of the exact footage), surrounded by a forest of birch trees.  What an amazing location and amazing hosts (Terry and Ron)!

While at Terry's we created up a storm and taught each other new techniques.  Too much fun and laughter!  What happens in Bemidji stays in Bemidji!  Well, not exactly because we have been posting all over Facebook.  I will post more here over the next few days.  Let's just say I had an absolutely fantastic experience. :-)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

In the Closet
For so many years I was in the closet.  Times have changed, the majority of peoples opinions have changed, thank goodness.  In the closet no more.  So much time wasted hiding and trying to be someone I was not. So much better accepting oneself.  So much better taking the skeletons out of the closet.  Healthy!

Sunday, June 7, 2015


Relationships when there are three might just be a bit complicated.  Will it end negatively for someone?  Words cut from magazines in coded messages!  Just what is happening here?

Saturday, June 6, 2015

In the Pocket - Worshops - Seth and John

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 workshop

Thursday, May 28,2015 workshop

Seth Apter and I held two one-day workshops in Edmonds, WA last week.  Our workshop, In the Pocket, was attended by 22 artists.  What fun to spend the day creating a journal with pockets, pockets that hold created treasures!  Thanks everyone for attending! :-)

Friday, June 5, 2015


Who doesn't love a good murder mystery?  We watch PBS Father Brown and Grantchester and all of what Masterpiece Theatre  has to offer.  Great television viewing!  So why not a spread in Terry Garrett RR journal that follows the same vain as those shows I watch?  You can make up your own story to go along with this spread.  Let me know what you come up with. :-)

Thursday, June 4, 2015


I am working to complete three RR journals before heading to the Creative Gents Retreat.  This is my spread for Thomas LaBadia's journal.  Isn't Lyon a perfect name for the rabbit?

Creative Gents - Accordion Book - John's

Late last summer or early fall  Terry Garrett created four accordion journals, one for Brian Kasstle, Thomas LaBadia, me, and one for himself.  We call ourselves The Creative Gents.  The journals were mailed to us and we began working in them, one spread at a time.  Each of us had a spread on one side which we called our "property".  The first spread is mine.  I then mailed the journal to Terry who completed the second spread.  Thomas, in Florida, completed the third one, and finally Brian finished it off with the last one.

On the reverse side of the journal was community property.  I started the process in mine by covering it totally with paint and some napkins bits. Then I completed the portion to the left.  Terry added the right section.  Thomas thought that the records looked the part and they are grand.  Brian added the men in the overcoats.  When it was returned to me I needed to add something in the middle, hence the tennis player and the woman.  I just love what everyone completed and now it is done! :-)

I am now working on two journals belonging to Terry and Thomas.  I will bring all three journals with me next week when I go to Minnesota for the Creative Gents Retreat.   Thomas will bring Brian's.  I am so thrilled with my journal.  I keep looking at it and can't believe it is mine.  I constantly think how fortunate it is to have such great art friends to share such a fun activity as this Round Robin was. Thanks guys! :-)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

One Dozen Eggs Series 7 and 8

One Dozen Eggs Series No. 7

One Dozen Eggs Series No 8
I have a ninth postcard but it is not quite done.  So let's consider this the end of the One Dozen Eggs series.  I was so inspired to do this series right after the workshop that Seth and I taught.  I just did not want the experience to end.  Thanks for inspiring me Seth and thanks for two really fun workshops.  I enjoyed teaching with you.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

One Dozen Eggs Series 4, 5, and 6

One Dozen Eggs Series No 4

One Dozen Eggs Series No. 5

One Dozen Eggs Series No. 6
It is funny how one has favorites in ones own work.  I really like No. 4.  These are all rather disparate in composition and that is what I like about them.  There is no real meaning behind any one of these postcards, but they were certainly fun to create.  Maybe someone can find their own meaning.  But for me just being is enough.

Monday, June 1, 2015

One Dozen Eggs Series 1, 2, and 3

One Dozen Eggs No. 1

One Dozen Eggs No. 2

One Dozen Eggs No. 3
A visit to an antique store inspired this series.  I found some ephemera with "one dozen eggs" written on it. They are like stickers without the stick-em.  So I created eight postcards to send out to some deserving snail mail friends.