Something so nice

There is something so nice about a red bowl, and a red bowl made by a friend. Holly Himes made this lovely vessel. She has the pottery studio near my Kitsune Community Art Studio.

I enjoyed eating my homemade lunch in my new bowl – quinoa with spinach, caramelized onions, yellow squash, and a few pomegranate seeds for accent. It held the meal like a special sacred feast!


Spinning Joy!

“Spin Joy” conjures up memories of bicycling, wheel of fortune, playful pinwheels. It offers the viewer a chance at fun, a moment to smile, a little escape.

This newest piece of mine in totally made of recycled materials. The colored disks are plastic lids for drinks! I painted them with acrylic and they glow when the sun shines through them. I got a case of lids from a place for free because they are defective. I’ve been using them a lot for kids art. We’ve made sun catchers and used them for scales on a giant fish. I’ve also been putting them in the windows at my studio and they are like stained glass.

I hope to make a bunch of them for a public art space.

Beauty and healing with art mandalas in India

The 16 women, all students of art therapy, have been quietly helping ease the pain of cancer patients, differently-abled children in schools, substance-abuse victims, and the homeless and mentally-challenged women of The Banyan. And they do it all with nothing more than pots of paint, and handfuls of clay. Read more by clicking here.

Vision Quest

Here is the stained glass piece I was working on last month. I call it Vision Quest and I’m pretty happy with how it came out. It is currently on exhibit at Art at the Cheese Factory in Petaluma in a wonderful show called Journeys. This is really the first time I submitted a show proposal for an art piece before it was created. I found that to be an interesting process, to create a piece for a site, for a show.

My intention was to make art around the internal journey. The glass in the rungs correspond to the colors of the chakras. In the natural light the top lavender glass is more visible. I will be nice to have it in a location where it can look it’s best next.

Colorful valentine kids’ project


Maybe this would be a perfect Valentine Day project to do with your kids today. I came across this lesson “Heart Rubbings” on this wonderful site, everything preschool.

First I scrounged up a piece of recycled cardboard and cut it into boards about 7 x 10″. Then I hot glue gunned bunches of hearts on each board. I introduced the project to the kids as “invisible bumpy hearts”. They each felt the texture of the raised glue hearts (dry and cooled of course). I taped the boards on the table and then taped recycled white computer paper over the boards. The kids scribbled and excitedly the crayon rubbings revealed the hearts. They had a blast and most of them wanted to do at least 2 rubbings.

Learnings: texture, drawing pressure, movement.

I’m thinking of other subject matter to use for rubbings for more kids’ projects and in my own art. This would also be great for wrapping paper, collage backgrounds, etc.




Elders create eco mandalas

I enjoy facilitating an Elders’ art class in San Francisco every Friday. For the past 6 weeks we have been focusing on mandalas. I discussed the sacredness of the circle symbol in many cultures, in nature, and in religion. We designed rose window mandalas based on the cathedral stained glass windows of Europe. We made shield mandalas to give us strength.

For the eco mandala inspiration, my two high school aids presented a report on Andy Goldsworthy and showed how he used things found in the environment, nature ,to create installations. I scavenged materials for the mandala creating: rose petals from the flower place on highway 92, rocks left over from Carla’s landscaping job, different kinds of rocks and colors from Home Depot, and fallen ginkgo leaves in front of Judy Johnson-Williams house. The biggest score though was from Alena Jean’s Flower Shop. Her dad had just finished pruning and I grabbed beautiful plum branches, geranium leaves, lily flower petals.

The only instructions I gave the elders were to think about: balance, color, texture, placement, and the centers of their mandalas. The elders went right to it and came up with some beautiful designs. Some of them left a lot of black around their materials, so the shapes of each petal and leaf was defined. Others piled the materials on.

I found the project to be very successful for the many different issues that the elders have: hearing loss, stroke restriction, language differences, memory and cognitive variation. Everyone was able to create the mandalas and they enjoyed seeing what their fellow students had done.

Homemade tinker toys

We have been spending a lot of time focusing on painting at the preschool lately. I wanted to mix it up and introduced a 3D project. Another benefit to this project, is it is a lot less messy.

Homemade Tinker Toys
-different colored straws cut to different lengths
– paper cups
– pipe cleaners
– to make holes in the cups – exacto knife and large knitting needle, or pen, whatever for adult to make a round hole

The kids 2.5 to 4.5 years old, went to town immediately filling the holes in the cups with the straws and the pipe cleaners. They were very selective about the colors they choose to incorporate into their pieces. I also found it fascinating that some of them experimented with the orientation of their pieces, using the inside of the cups and the sides, and figuring out different ways to use the pipe cleaners and the straws together.