Riding Horses with Mike Nesmith

I have been wanting to post photos of the pieces I did for Artists in Dreamland, but this is the first chance I’m getting to do so. For those who haven’t heard yet of this annual exhibit, it’s a show managed by Kat Peters-Midland, of Two Dog Art Studio. Kat is really into dreams and dream art and she conceived this show as a collection of works that are inspired by the artist’s dream, or is a representation of the dream. The viewer gets to view the art side-by-side with a written description of the dream (or dreams) that inspired it. I just love this show and find it a great challenge to turn my often-weird and colorful dreams into something that both pleases me and is intriguing to those who view it.

So, over the next week, I’ll be posting a photo of each of the four pieces I did for this year’s exhibit, along with the dream that inspired it. I’m especially proud of today’s piece because it’s not my usual style AND it came in 3rd place in the People’s Choice vote. That makes me super proud!

Riding Horses With Mike Nesmith
Riding Horses With Mike Nesmith

The Dream:  Riding Horses with Mike Nesmith

It was a week or so after Davy Jones, my first crush, had died. Over the years, I had come to really admire and respect all of the Monkees individually, but Nesmith had become my favorite. I’m not sure why he was in the dream at all, but there was a cool rustic setting – a bar or a honky tonk – and hanging out and sharing stories. Then Mike and I went out on our horses and were going for a bit of a walk. It must have been near the end of winter, because most of the landscape was brown and there were bits of snow on the ground here and there. The trail we were on ended in a big pile of heavy snow, so he said we were turning around and going back. I kept looking off to the distance and said, “why can’t we go there instead?”

(mixed media painting using canvas, acrylics, pencils, twine, cottonwood tree branches, eyelets)

I was mentioned honorably

I have been flying high this weekend because I have received my first art exhibit prize. My piece, Mother Earth, was an Honorable Mention recipient in The 2nd Annual Mary Show, which opened this weekend at Poudre River Gallery. The juror, Suzanne Frazier, is a contemplative artist in Longmont, CO, who I have never met. She said about my piece:

The juxtaposition of elements of the piece created a unique perspective and presented the artist’s intention.  The joy of creation is present in this piece.

I’m blown away because this is the first piece in a long time that’s really turned me on while I was doing it. I am looking forward to becoming more technically proficient in hand stitching, beading and machine sewing, but I loved incorporating those elements with paper and paint. I love this piece so much and am so excited to do more in this style.

Mother Earth
Mother Earth

It’s a Major Award!


Blog Pony, 2011, Fort Collins Senior CenterToday Tim and I went to the Fort Collins’ Senior Center dedication of the Blog Pony, an installation by local artist JJ Edwards.

There are a number of large art horses around the state which were created a few years ago by an assortment of local artists. One of these horses was donated to the Senior Center and JJ won the bid when the center was trying to decide how to best use the horse. Her proposal was to create a snapshot of Fort Collins by letting community members participate and her plan was to create a sort of patchwork quilt design representing the city.

The artists at my co-op, Poudre Studio Artists, were invited to participate a while back and four of us did — Kat Peters-Midland, Bernadette Youngquist, Carol Simmons and myself. We each created an 8″x8″ square that was to be printed and incorporated into the design of the horse. Our squares have a photo of us at work, along with a representation of our art. At the dedication this morning, Kat and I each received a certificate of participation as well as a marble paperweight thing with the pony on it — I thought that was a nice touch. It’s the first time I’ve been involved in one of the public art pieces around town and it makes me happy to have left my mark somewhere in this city that I love so much.



whee! new sharpies!

There is Nothing Left For Me Here
There is Nothing Left For Me Here

As you know, I am a Sharpie fiend. FIEND, I tell you! I’ve been searching for over a month for the new Sharpie Stained fabric pens and finally found some today at Office Max. What made today a banner day, though, was finding out that they were having a buy 2, get 1 free sale. I picked out a set of Sharpie 80s Glam Ultra Fine pens, since I don’t have those colors yet. Then I was torn for the last set of pens…should I replace my dying black big thick gargantuan markers, or try something new? “New” won out and I picked up 2-pack of fine black retractable Sharpie pens. JOY! Tonight will be a feast for my journal, during sofa time, with me and my new pens.

It’s the little things, folks.

In other news, tomorrow night, 9/2, is Fort Collins Gallery Walk. If you are in the area, please stop by Poudre Studio Artists and Galleries! You can find me in studio 211, working on some project or another or flitting about, visiting with our guests. We have an exhibit in our gallery this month called Recycle It!, featuring artwork made with 75% recycled materials. I have three collages in the show, one of which is shown here (click for a larger view).

If you like garage sales, our studio artists are having an indoor “sidewalk” sale during gallery walk, too. I’ve got 50% off all arty supplies and even some discounts going deeper than that! I’ve also previewed some of the other artists’ sales and boy, you don’t want to miss it! I’m just sayin’! Boyer’s Coffee has been kind enough to sponsor the evening by coming out and serving free coffee to our visitors, so I think you’ll find at least one of your vices covered when you stop by.

So, it’s September, everybody. What neat projects do you have planned for when the weather eventually cools down? Need some inspiration? Check out my new friend Heather’s blog. She’s such a clever gal. I think you’ll like what she has to share with you!

Don’t forget about my upcoming Composition Book Journaling and Reclaimed Envelope Book classes, on October 1 and September 17, respectively. Email me to sign up — it’s guaranteed to be a great time for all! If you register by September 7, you can take $10 off the class fee.

minty fresh springtime thoughts

rainy day photo  by dieraecherin; courtesy of morguefile
photo by dieraecherin, courtesty of morguefile.com (click to see more)

Today is Day 2 of ongoing rain/hail/snow precipitation in Colorado. I love it. Don’t get me wrong — I do love the 300+ sunny days we get here, but when we have a full day of cool, gray, wet weather, I get super happy. I love the gray light. I love being cozy and comfy in the house, or in my studio. I feel creative and a little less stressed. Today I played hooky from the studio and came home to do some work and I realized that I feel a bit optimistic, even, which is unusual for me. 😉 I think I may have spring fever.

This is something I don’t normally experience, but I’m kinda likin’ it! The world is my oyster, there is all kinds of potential ahead of me, etc. I am making some serious changes in my life that will allow me to actually pursue the stuff I love and take care of my family and myself at the same time. We’ll see how it goes and when I have something to report, I will share here.

Oh! I guess I should share some of those minty fresh springtime thoughts, huh?

  • I am not a gardener, but I really want to plant some stuff in our backyard to sort of block out the neighbors and add some whimsy. Trees, flowering shrubs, painting the fence and creating some found-object sculptures are all on the horizon!
    part of the city of fort collins xeriscape demonstration garden in front of city hall. sculpture by Don Mitchell.
    The inspiration for my yard beautification project is this section of the city of fort collins xeriscape demonstration garden in front of city hall. Sculpture by Don Mitchell.
  • Spring cleaning! Not so much the housecleaning part, but the straightening, purging, reorganizing parts.
  • Potentially, some of the rooms in the house will get a fresh coat of paint. At least on one wall in the big rooms. 😉
  • I will be moving studios at the arts center soon and I have a little bit of a mural I’d like to attempt on one of the walls — some of my sketchy flowers, lifesize, with a touch of glitter. Hopefully they will banish any leftover wacky mojo and make the room brighter and truly mine. Super excited about that!

In the meantime, I wanted to show some detail on my piece “The Wall I Must Scale” since the little picture in my last post didn’t show much. Here’s the bottom part of the wall hanging. I never thought white on white would be so challenging! It’s hard to get a good shot of the whole piece and, it appears to go a bit unnoticed in our gallery, hanging along with all of the colorful works in this year’s Artists in Dreamland. But the more I look at it, the more I like it and I’m glad I tried something new.


The Wall I Must Scale - Detail
"The Wall I Must Scale" by Tracey Kazimir-Cree; acrylic on canvas; 12" x 48"; $500

a bit of an update!

I hear it’s springtime outside, so I was thinking I’d venture out a bit and share a bit of an update! I feel like I have been going nonstop lately and it’s hard to take a few moments to sit quietly and reflect. I think I’m out of practice!

A few weeks ago, I took a great workshop with Beryl Taylor. I have been trying to do her fabric paper technique for years now, but I thought it would be rewarding to learn directly from the artist herself. I was not disappointed. Here you can see the piece I did in that class, as it was in progress. I’ve made more progress on it and will show it in my studio tonight during Gallery Walk.

I’m pretty excited about Gallery Walk tonight for a couple of reasons:

Reason #1: 4th Annual Artists in Dreamland Opening Reception is tonight. Fellow Poudre Studio Artist Kat Peters-Midland is the organizer and she has pulled together a wonderful and colorful exhibit this year. And I have a piece in the show. If you’re around, stop by and see visual representations of the night dreams of 15 artists.

Reason #2: My fellow artist and friend, Fran Saperstein, will be in town for the opening. I haven’t seen her in two years (ugh!), and although we talk almost every day, I’m so happy to get to spend some quality time with her. She has two amazing art quilts in the exhibit this month and they are really a must-see. If you’re around Old Town tonight, you should stop in!

Reason #3: I have one dream piece in the exhibit myself, and it’s a huge risk for me. There’s a photo here, but it’s a tough one to photograph, with all of the white-on-white. Sharing one’s dreams and the visual interpretation of those dreams can be very tricky, I’m learning. I feel very torn open so that everybody can see my insides. I don’t know if I like it very much. Luckily, I will have chocolate on standby tonight. 🙂



Excited About “Interiors”

Oh HELL no, I did not let another month go by without posting! Criminey!!

Beer on the half shell

It’s Wednesday afternoon, just a couple of days before Christmas, and all is quiet at Poudre Studio Artists & Gallery at Poudre River Arts Center. Only one other artist is working in her studio and the gallery has had a few visitors, giving me plenty of time to work. I’m doing two pieces for our February show, “Interiors.” One is an ode to the Barbie Townhouse I never had and the other is an ode to all of the shorehouses I’ve stayed in during my visits to the Jersey shore.They are coming along really well and I’m getting pretty excited about them. This photo is a part of the shorehouse shrine and I call it “beer on the half shell”.

The show was inspired by the book Mixed Media Dollhouses by Tally Oliveau and Julie Molina.

When I was a child, I always loved making things for my dolls; I had a dollhouse in progress when my friend Eliza showed me the book. We all talked about it here at the center and naturally, we organized a show!

There is still time to enter your work in “Interiors”, if you have a mind to. You do not need to be a Colorado resident in order to join in the fun. You may have already-completed pieces that fit the theme and that are dying for a new audience.

Art Unraveled Recap

The Littlest Rose
5 3/4 x 7 1/2 on watercolor paper.
Bird Lady
Acrylic, collage, wax on wood board.

Another Dream in Which I Am Flying
Acrylic on canvas board.
Quilted Laptop Bag

I’ve finally had a few minutes to upload some of my artwork from Art Unraveled. It’s always so fun to take a breath and a step back and then look at the work with new eyes. I could tell you everything I hate about these pieces, but I won’t. I will tell you how they came about and what I do like about them, though! Some of them are finished, some may get a little more work — some detailing, or will become part of another piece of artwork. (Yes, that means I may tear things up. It’s ok, I’m brave!) Some of it is here, and the rest is on my Flickr site. You can click on these to go there and see them larger, with descriptions.

Art Unraveled was great. I had missed it last year, so I tried to make sure I really enjoyed it this year. It was so wonderful to

  • see my friends
  • take a vacation (mostly — I did do some web work while I was there)
  • make art and relax.
  • I made new friends, too, which was extra cool.

I didn’t really stretch myself in terms of the classes I took, but it was nice to have the extra time to try new things and keep working on the skills I’m trying to improve.

I stayed at the hotel with Leighanna, with the intention to move to Fran’s house on Sunday. That was thwarted when Fran’s husband got sick with a stomach thing and when my doctor called to inform me that my ankle was fractured (something I wish that she told me before I left for AZ!). So, the trip was a little more expensive than I would have liked, but I really do love staying at hotels. I love the soft sheets, especially. And this hotel has the most comfortable pillow top mattresses and soft pillows, I have never been so happy and willing to go to sleep at night! I also love the happy hour and the little kitchen area in the room, where we had a little version of Trader Joe’s to munch on for lunches and snacks. 🙂

Katie Kendrick taught us how to look at other artwork and use it as inspiration. Since I don’t do a lot of faces and people, I was extremely frustrated with my first attempt, The Blessed Mother is Laughing at Me! I ended up doing some intuitive painting and the other two I did in this class were a little more satisfying.

From Alex Shur, I learned how to use tube watercolors and assorted non-traditional techniques I can use with them. This appealed to me greatly, because I don’t ever intend to follow many rules in my art. I’ve used pan watercolors since college, so stepping up to tube colors was really cool. I painted a lot in this class and have a lot of works in progress as well as pieces to use in other work.

From Traci Bautista, I learned her method for developing project ideas. This was extremely reassuring, because I already do a lot of what she showed us. Neat!

Judy Wise‘s class was GREAT — the Bird Lady (above) is from that class. Judy is a very good teacher and she showed us her techniques for using collage, paint and wax to create depth and really interesting compositions. At the last minute, I decided to add one more class, since I didn’t feel stretched.

Monday night, I took a Crafty Chica (Kathy Cano Murillo) class. I had seen my friend Joanne’s bag, which she made after taking a similar class with CC. I sew a little, but still have some fear of sewing through my finger. It’s great to learn from Kathy because she just eyeballs it and doesn’t use a pattern and “figures things out.” I admire her so much!

OH! I got to meet Joanne, who is just wonderful and was so much fun to hang out with. She makes me LAUGH! I’m so happy about how much time she and Fran and I got to spend together.

And on Saturday night, we watched the 1000 Journals movie, and had a Q&A session with Someguy, the dude who got that whole thing in motion. The movie was a little long, but was really interesting. Then we had a chance to put our own marks in a few of the journals he brought with him. I decided it was a good opportunity to connect my Wreck This Journal experience with AU and 1000 Journals and I brought a page from Wreck This Journal, did some stuff to it and pasted it in. If you ever get 1000 Journals book #742, I’m in there.

1000 Journals cover My page in journal #742
Unfortunately, my Palm Centro camera isn’t that great and we can’t read this now. But it was stamped in each of the books and shows the journal number Cover of the book I worked in. My page that I glued into the book and doodled on.

creativity comes in many forms

This week and last week, I have been extremely creative with my time, with making meals for Tim and myself, with pretty much everything that’s important to me. I have tucked journaling time into the evenings while we watch tv. I carry around Wreck This Journal constantly, on the off chance that I will have a moment to destroy something. I print PDFs and carry them around with me in case I have a moment to read them. And today is the day before I leave on a trip, which means I have left a thousand details until the last minute, whether on purpose or accidentally, and I am a crazy woman. I know there are things that will go unfinished. And I know there are work things that I’ll just have to bring with me and do in the evenings. But I don’t care! You know why? Because…

Tomorrow I leave for a week in Phoenix for Art Unraveled!!

I am very excited for a week of creativity and friendship. I’ll try to check in here when I can. In the meantime I want to leave you with this utterly creative video that will make you smile. Have a great week!

Kelly Kilmer got me drunk on art this weekend…

…and today I have a wicked art hangover!

This past weekend, I took 5 mixed media workshops from Kelly Kilmer, who was the visiting artist at The Artists’ Nook this month. There are no words to describe how much I love Kelly’s classes and how much I get out of her workshops. Every time I take a Kelly class, I am able to play, experiment and I always get new ideas, either from her, or from expanding on something she or another student said.

This weekend’s highlights, not in any particular order:

  • Seeing Kelly and learning from her. She is so creative, free and amazingly supportive.
  • Getting to know Allyson better, and getting an awesome ego boost from her. *waves and paints Allyson’s hand*
  • Learning more about layering and color mixing and composition.
  • Realizing that some of the crazy stuff I do in my journals isn’t as crazy as I thought!
  • Seeing my old pals, like Susan and Marcy and Karen and Terry, who I haven’t seen in a long time. I really admire the talent of these ladies!
  • Meeting new people! Yes, I’m talking about you, you Ladies From Parker!
  • Three full days of making art and playing. Heaven.

Last night, I was so amped up, I made 14 of the little paper journals while we watched tv. I love them.

I think my favorite book was the Reclaimed book. I love the idea of taking old books, gutting them, and making new pages for them.


Clicking on any of the photos below should take you to my Flickr set of photos from this weekend. I should have taken more of the process, but I was too absorbed to even think of that.

Transcribed Altered Photos Revisited

Triptych Book Swatches: Little Paper Books

Reclaimed: An Altered Artist’s Book