About Me

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I am a Colorado native, so I grew up loving the natural environment and the wild Rocky Mountains. Until recently, I always considered myself a watercolor artist and felt confined to that little “box” I put myself in. On a quest for discovery and healing, I took a workshop in mixed media techniques. Since that day, I’ve been obsessed – I’ve found a new and different way to express myself and my emotions. I’m on a constant quest to find unusual and discarded “things” to use in my paintings. I’ve used everything from plaster, twine, metal, foil, and even broken windshield glass. It all somehow becomes symbolic in my paintings and signifies a feeling or emotion. Thanks for joining me on this journey and this adventure we call life and art!

Monday, March 30, 2015

It really is about the journey....

So it begins...we are on our way to Albuquerque, New Mexico so I can attend a workshop being held by Tracy Verdugo.  I love her work and knew I had to take this workshop.  Tracy has the most fabulous spirit and it shows in all of her work.  Bonus - we love road trips, so Chris was excited to come with me.


We stopped along the Santa Fe Trail.  I love, love history, so this was just another bonus along the way.



Beautiful sunset along the stretch of Highway we were traveling.  It felt like the promise of a magical weekend ahead.


We are starting our first morning of the workshop.  I am so nervous...you guys that know me know that I am shy and not very outgoing.  Wondering how I am going to make it through this - I actually couldn't hide in a corner and play like I was invisible.  Tracy was so welcoming and made us all feel at home.  The sun was shining...I was starting to feel ok.


We started out by dividing our canvas up into rows and columns and painting 2 squares in each column white.


Tracy was helpful and all the people in my class were totally awesome.  It felt like I was among kindred spirits and we all spoke art language that we all understood.  It actually felt like I "belonged" and I haven't felt that way in forever! 

After the white paint on our squares dried, we were to wander around and collect symbols.  They could be things we observed that conjured up some meaning for us...they could even include our own unique fingerprints.  We painted and etched symbols on to the canvas in a dark color.


This next part was so, so much fun.  We took acrylic inks and spattered them on to our canvas.  Warm colors on one side, cool colors on the other side.  We sprayed them with water so they could "play" with each other.  The results were so incredible and surprising!





We were to then turn our canvases every direction and see if we could find any "pictures" within what we had already created.  This was difficult, but Tracy helped us "see".



Tracy then demonstrated how to define the pictures further with inks.  Her process was incredible and the colors are so vibrant.



This was how my picture started looking.  I worked and worked and worked, but still couldn't find my vision for this piece.



The two days of the workshop went way to fast and time was up.  I barely started my second piece and I continued to struggle with the first one on the second day.  I think Tracy sensed my struggle.  She said that I should live with it for a while and then go back to it and I would know what to do.


We are on our way home.  The scenery was breathtaking.  Sunshine and still snow on the ground in some places.  I had made new friends who seemed to understand.  There was no competition, no "cattiness" ~ just a true longing to see the best in each other and be encouragers of one another.   




So I'm back home for a couple of weeks and I almost feel like I've been in mourning...missing the workshop and the people I've met.  Yes, me...I met people and I miss them!  I finally got the courage and the will to pick up this piece again and try to finish it.  I re-painted the entire lower portion of this painting and started adding more symbols.  My little buddy, Wyatt, was not impressed with this process, although he enjoyed lounging around in the sunshine!


So, I poured more ink on top of the bottom and let it dry.  Wow...a little psychedelic at this point!  What have I done!  Panic.


Took the painting inside and just started painting.  Finally, painting without expectation of the outcome.  Finally.  This is what I needed to do, this was the lesson.



This is the finished piece (below).  I struggled, I panicked, I cried, I laughed, I grieved, I savored the memories that were made.  I learned that it's not about the outcome, it's all about the journey.




This piece is 30 X 30, standard depth.  Believe me, it has layers and layers and layers!

I would love to hear from you!  If you have questions or comments, please feel free to send me an email.



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