Wednesday, October 9, 2013


I know you love my collage work - me too, if I do say so myself! So I'm sorry to say that until I can find more hours in my day to continue posting here, I've decided to focus on my Illustration Blog instead. Check it out right here. Thanks, hope to see you over there!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Born to Rule

It's been a busy time lately, and I'm finally getting around to posting the final version of the collage I began so long ago. You can see how drastically it changed from the initial sketch I posted on March 29th! But that's the nature of art and collage in particular - the thrill of art-making is in the surprising twists of the journey.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

May Cover Illustration

I was fortunate to work again with Janna Netland-Lover of Local Design Group on the May cover of Minnesota Medicine Magazine. The theme for this issue's cover was the subject of organ transplants. Organ transplants are now able to be used on a much wider base of the population for a wider variety of situations than in the past. Janna envisioned an illustration of silhouettes and organs - so I got out my trusty Wacom pen tool and tablet, and away I went.

First I sent her the following three sketches, using the magazines template to position the elements to work with the type and label.

Version One: Patterned background, organs, which are illustrated in pen & ink style are highlighted in rectangular solid shapes.

Version Two: Plain painterly background, organs depicted in realistic medical illustration style, no backgrounds to highlight them.

Version Three: Another painterly background, but in warm colors, and organs are highlighted by rectangles.

Janna chose the patterned background, but preferred the organs without highlighting shapes behind them. So I went to work on tweaking the figures, completely changing a few, and here's how they came out:

I'll post the finished cover tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Sometimes I like to do a digital rough sketch to see how the composition works when I start on a collage. Colors may change, textures will be added, but so far, I'm liking the composition. That rooster needs a new set of legs!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Illustration Friday - "Toy"

I know those 50's toys were dangerous with their sharp metal edges, impractical because they would rust in the rain and they were certainly heavier than the plastic versions that followed in later years, but they could fly to the moon and back with the same awesome dexterity as their modern counterparts!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tricycle girl

Isn't she a cutie? Love the bow, love the trike (with white tires!) - and soon, I'd love to see her in one of my collages!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Although the last part of this expression has been over-used, I had never heard the entire sentiment. When I read the entire quote, it was so much more meaningful and perfect for today.

This little tyke and her feathered companion are available as a print or the original collage in my Etsy Shop.

Thursday, March 3, 2011




I met an angel at a dinner party last week, and she was trying to pretend she was just a normal human being. But I could tell she was special, especially when she got to the part in her story about the seven dogs sleeping on her bed at home while we were having this lively dinner conversation. It turns out that St. Cheryl is a volunteer for Second Chance, an animal rescue organization here in Minneapolis. Second Chance was recognized by City Pages Magazine as the Best 2010 Charity (you can read the article here). Cheryl, like other foster moms, provides a home for dogs who have been abandoned or rescued until they find their "forever home" through the organization.

This is a special cause for me, since I am an animal lover, and now that the economy has forced so many people into tight situations, their pets are suffering, too, being abandoned or put up for adoption. The equally sad situation is that due to budget cuts, many shelters are closing their doors, and the need for private home foster care is so desperately needed.

Alfie and Sidney, above, need a home. You need a dog or cat. Who can't benefit from a little unconditional love and a nice warm hairy greeting committee when you walk in the door? So check out the list of adorable little creatures who need homes on SECOND CHANCE's website.

The next adoption date is March 12th - go for a visit and take your friends! - It will be the Petco in Roseville between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. For more information, see the website.

I adopted my Suzi years ago and you can see what a difference a little TLC can make with the following photos - her face went from worry lines to snotty confidence. Her TLC made a big difference in my face too, but that's another story:


Several months later

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Night Fall with Snow Fall

This is my front porch at 10:00 o'clock last night. I had to push the door open against the snow piled in front of it to take this photo. (I forgot to adjust the camera, the night and the snow were not this yellow!) Somewhere there are steps winding down to the street. Maybe by spring I will find them. The snow is almost to the top of the porch railing!

I would complain, but aside from the hassle factor, it is a beautiful sight.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Silent Night

As I mentioned in the previous post, I had the opportunity to work on some concepts for the Minnesota Opera, with Amy Kirkpatrick of Kirkpatrick Design, and here is the second opera visual concept in progress, "Silent Night". This World Premiere opera depicts the true story of a Christmas Eve truce in the trenches of the Western Front during World War I. Such a poignant tale - it began with the Germans lining their trenches with tiny Christmas trees and progressed to the soldiers exchanging chocolates, cigarettes and other token gifts in No Man's Land. Apparently they partied all night long, showing off pictures of their loved ones back home, sharing whatever liquor was to be had, and even playing a game of soccer. When the next day came, the war resumed, but with such reluctance on the part of the soldiers that they had to be stationed elsewhere in order to continue to fight.

This is one of the cut-and-paste thumbnails that I submitted.

Another thumbnail, with postcards fortifying the trenches.

A third version, featuring the soldier in a more prominent position.

In the end, the last version was chosen, and I'll show you the finished result tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Madame Butterfly



Here's the final version - Madame Butterfly awaits the return of her lover.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Minnesota Opera Project

A while back I had the good fortune to work with the very talented graphic designer Amy Kirkpatrick of Kirkpatrick Design on concepts for the one of Amy's many clients, the Minnesota Opera. Amy thought my collage style of illustration might be a good choice for the upcoming season's brochure and marketing materials, and invited me to submit concepts for consideration. I worked on two of the season's upcoming operas, the well-loved classic, "Madame Butterfly" and "Silent Night", a world premiere libretto based on the true story of the World War I Christmas Eve truce in the trenches of the western front.

In the end, the Opera folks opted to go with photography instead of collage and my fun came to an end, but I really had a good time working with Amy on the preliminary concepts. Speaking of which:

I began with this photo of Kelly Kaduce of Madame Butterfly. With a little Photoshop magic, I reduced those worried lines in her forehead, (if only I could do that with myself) and I reduced the blue hue.


and after

Next I took out my scissors and found my glue stick and created some rough thumbnails with a cut and paste routine. Here's what I sent to Amy, and she decided to go with the last version, which will show in my next post:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cowgirls on Vacation


A while back (May 5th - OK, QUITE a while back) I posted a postcard photo of three cowgirls, Mabel, May and Myrtle. It was my intention to create a collage with their sassy images, and I finally accomplished my goal. Here they are. As I mentioned in my previous post, they were known throughout Montana as the "Red Yearlings" because of their red-blond hair and horsemanship. They were so accomplished that they were sought for hire by the Wild West shows, which they declined. Instead they went to Paris. (I just made up the Paris part, but the rest is true).

Monday, November 29, 2010

Driven Mad By Love

The title of this collage was taken from Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, one of my favorite sources of inspiration. Who hasn't been pushed over the brink by Love?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Minnesota Magaine Cover

This December cover (and inside illustration) for Minnesota Medicine was entirely an exercise in Photoshop, beginning with bodies found in the wonderful image resource site It was like playing Mr. Potato Head, that 50's toy where you got to add body parts to make a new person from scratch.

The illustrated feature article will address the issue of the huge number of baby boomers that are showing up for medical care due to professional sports injuries. You're never to old to go out for a rowdy game of ice hocky, apparently. I'll just sit on the side and cheer them on with my mug of hot chocolate thank you very much.

Here are the bodies that I started with:

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Art Attack!

Yes, another year has passed, and once again it is Fall. This means that "Art Attack" is about to begin in the historic Northrup King Building in Minneapolis, Minnesota, home of my studio, as well as the studios of nearly 175 other artists. Our doors are open, are creations are displayed, c'mon down!

The hours are:

Friday, November 5th - 5 pm to 10 pm
Saturday, November 6th - Noon to 8 pm
Sunday, November 7th - Noon to 5 pm

For more information about the event, check out the building's website.

Hope to see you!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Artist

Oh, to be an artist who earns much more than he/she needs!

This is another quotation from Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, one of my favorite sources of inspiration. Each sentence seems to conjure up a visual image of surrealistic delight.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Old Cars

Collage detail

Farrah look-alike

Farrah look-alike - rear end

I found this vintage postcard in an antique store, and you will soon see this old Ford in the collage that I'm working on. I just love old cars, and I'm not sure why. When I lived in LA, I used to careen around in a 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 that I bought for $400. I named her "Farrah Ford Fairlane 500". I adored her sleek baby blue and white exterior and her shiny chrome dashboard that looked like a cockpit. She was so big you had to plan your turns a block in advance. The only let down I experienced was when I was on the freeway and it began to pour, and I discovered that the windshield wipers didn't work. When she finally fell apart, I realized it was probably for the betterment of my pocketbook and the environment.

Unfortunately, I can't find a photo of Farrah, but I did find a red one on the Internet that is of the same year, courtesy of American Dream Cars.

As you can see, driving Farrah was the closest I'll ever get to being an astronaut.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Backyard Discoveries

Look what I found in the shady part of my backyard. Huge mushrooms! No, the pear was not sprouting, too, I set it there for comparison purposes, so you could see how big those umbrellas are!

And the dahlias. What can I say. They are always the regal show-offs of the garden, lasting until the frost comes.

Stepping away from my drawing board and computer for a moment to see the little wonders of nature does wonders for my nature!