November 01, 2017

Autumnal palette (literally)

Know what inspires me in this autumnal season? Copper! 

Here’s a recipe from Bustanoby’s Color Manual, copyright 1939 (no, its not edible):

Copper: Neutral tint of red-orange, typical of this ductile, metallic element. Copper is used in the arts, in electrical manufacture and in alloys.  Color matched from actual copper articles: 
16 parts Zinc White
8 parts Yellow Ochre
1 part Venetian Red

        So there you have it; the recipe for copper paint. And if you’re like me, and feel compelled to pull that dried copper paint off its palette, you might procure pieces such as these. 

       This might be just an ordinary old paint pan with layers of dried creamy caramel and burnt sienna paint to some. To me it is a mouth watering concoction of harmonious blends that make me wanna exile to the studio, fire up the wood stove and make jewelry. 

And yes, this is where it starts....

       When I’m not really feeling the creative juices flowing, when I am in a gray space, desiring some inner spark to ignite, I start pulling paint off the palette. Once I start peeling or cutting that paint from its surface, the juices usually start to flow. Before I know it, I am imagining and designing new jewelry pieces; wearable art from the palette! 

       It helps that my husband does extended work trips to Florida, where he does projects for clients that require acrylic paint. In fact, he is there now. The day after he left Indiana for sunny warm Florida, I was scraping ice off my windshield.  GRRR! I told him, the least he could do is bring me back some new palettes. I know he will not disappoint. 

      I know what you’re thinking: this stuff is way too cool to pitch! Turn it into jewelry! Actually, you may not be thinking that, but I do. Got the idea almost 30 years ago, and been doing it ever since.  Here’s one now: 

Want to see more?
Check out my shop at

       Speaking of doing this for 30 years, yes its true. I started when my daughter was a baby, and she is about to celebrate her 30th birthday. I have decided in honor of my 30 years of Parts of Art, to write a series of articles on exactly that: 30 years in the business of art. 

Please feel free to leave comments and look forward to my new series, which you will find right here!

August 27, 2017

Lorraine earrings


 Many years ago when I did art shows in Del Ray Beach, Florida, one of my clients brought one of her favorite pair of earrings to show me. The earrings from her collection were a fascinating combination of different shapes and colors of vintage glass, wood and lucite bits, suspended from a circular piece that covered the earlobe. I was so inspired by seeing these very unique and artfully designed earrings that I started making a similar style. I was also impressed by my gracious and stately client, Lorraine. She was quite fashion minded and carried herself with elegance. She was a lovely silver haired women who would always seek me out to find just the right piece for her collection. 
     The last time I was in a Del Ray Beach show, her husband came by to pick something out, and told me that Lorraine was now in a nursing home, and no longer able to get to the show. I love that even at the end of her life, she was so concerned with finding the right pieces of jewelry that she sent her husband to find me. 

In honor of my beautiful client, I present my collection of favorite Lorraine earrings to you.

Some of these are available for purchase at my Etsy store.

For those in the Chicago area, I will be at the Mundelein art show, September 9th and 10th, and the Park Forest art show September 16th and 17th. 

August 18, 2017

Salsa for LIFE!!

       So here’s a new perspective on harmonious blends and other musings.... 

      I have been eagerly anticipating my first batch of fresh salsa ever since planting my garden, with the help of my daughters in law back in late May.

Here’s how it started in the Spring.

And after several weeks, this.

     During the time of my salsa garden growing, so much LIFE has happened:

  • I have had three successful art shows
  • I have celebrated another birthday with my friends
  • My husband and I have celebrated our 39th anniversary
  • My mother in law moved back in with us after a year in nursing care, then became ill and went to the hospital
  • I have now lost my mother in law
  • I learned how to operate a Scag zero turn mower (which is fun)
  • A dear friend in my bible study fellowship who was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer four years ago has announced that she is now cancer free!

    By August my sturdy bamboo supports had become like toothpicks, unable to bear the weight of the harvest. We had to provide sturdier stakes to support the bountiful crop of tomatoes.  

It’s been so satisfying to watch LIFE grow! Only one thing could be more satisfying: to EAT of the fruit of the garden!!

So, in honor of celebrating LIFE:

        Here’s my salsa recipe: (sorry, no specific quantities- just make it a harmonious blend!)

red ripe tomatoes
green tomato
chili peppers
jalapeno peppers
sweet onion
Extra virgin love oil
salt and pepper

Put it all together and....


June 14, 2017

A Round of Applause!


   I had arrived at my art show for the day, unpacked my vehicle and found a parking space. My vehicle is a compact Chevy, which you would think easy to slide right into that parallel parking space on the curb in the heart of downtown. But no, I am apparently parallel parking challenged. I line up next to the car in the space ahead, then slowly back up while turning the wheel. Sure enough my little car goes in to the space at the correct angle. It’s just not close enough to the curb and much too far from the car ahead of me. No problem, redo. Up, back, adjust the angle, back, back, okay now forward, okay back, back, then forward, turn wheel a little bit, no too much, now back, angle is off, adjust, okay forward, then back,  now tweek, adjust, check the mirror. Oh dang I am right on the curb and way too close to the guy behind me. Re-do. (Jeesh, good thing no one is watching.) Finally after about ten minutes of up, back, angle, up and back I manage to land my little vehicle in the perfect space where it is neither intrusive or obtrusive. 
      As I am getting out to head over to the show, I hear cheers and applause coming from above.  I look up to the third story of the high rise I had just parked in front of, realizing that I had an appreciative audience watching every move! Embarrassed but encouraged by their applause, I did my best curtsy and went my way. 

      It would be nice sometimes to hear that applause and those cheers coming from above, to keep us encouraged about the work we do that nobody sees. When we’re chugging away at our artwork in the studio and start wondering things like “Who the heck is going to want this?” or “What was I thinking when I painted this?” Or, worse yet, when the excitement for our craft starts to wane and we have a lull or mental block. Or, the worst anti-inspiration offender of all: discouragement comes to pay a visit and doesn’t want to leave. 

      I remember talking to a friend who is a store manager for a large department store. I mentioned that I have have an art studio in the country. He said sadly “I wish I had an art studio in the country.” At that moment, as at many, many other times, I realized how what I have is but a pipe dream for many people. Because of my friend’s work responsibilities and urban lifestyle, he would in no way have what I have in terms of a space to make art. And yes, I love my country studio, and the work I produce in there. Still, there are times the inspiration, the motivation, the encouragement dries up and blows away like a tumbleweed. Then what do I do?

1. Breathe. Just getting away from your work for a breather can allow you to have a fresh clean perspective when you return. Don’t worry, it will all still be there waiting for you when you’re ready.

2. Organize your space. Nothing zaps inspiration quicker than clutter. Reclaim your space and dedicate it to your art. 

3. Learn something new. Research a new material, technique, or process. Or put new colors out on your palette. 

4. Remember what used to excite and inspire you as a kid, and do that again. For me it was those pure inviting cakes of watercolor paint in the tins. It was playing in the wooded lot next door to my childhood home. So now I do watercolor paintings of woods! 

5. Put it out there. Nothing is more gratifying to me as a professional artist than a customer happily giving me good money for something I made. A juried art show, a gallery show, a studio open house, or whatever it is you do that gets your work out there is the best “applause meter” you can have for that otherwise very private part of your life: your art. 

May 16, 2017

Show schedule for 2017

To my loyal followers and future fans, here is where you can find me in the coming weeks. 

After surviving strong wind gusts and damp chilly air in Palmer Park last weekend, I am happy to report that my booth as well as my inventory is intact and ready to do it again! I hope to see you soon at one of these venues: 

May 20th          Brick Street Market, Zionsville IN

June 3 & 4        Butchertown Art Fair, Louisville KY

June 17 &18     Talbot Street Art Fair, Indianapolis (waitlist)

July 7 -9           Art in the Park, Ft Wayne In 

July 29 & 30      Glenview Art Fair, Glenview IL

August 11-13     Salt Fork Art Festival (waitlist)

Sept. 16 &17     Park Forest Art Fair, Park Forest, IL 

Sept. 22- 24       Funky Ferndale, Ferndale, MI

Oct. 7               Monument Circle Art Fair, Indianapolis IN

Nov. 11              Deja Vu, Columbus, IN

Feel free to visit my online shop, where I am offering 20% your purchase or order. Just type “ARTPARTS111” in the coupon code.

April 03, 2017

The Parts of Parts of Art

     If you were to come to one of my shows, you may hear me refer to the jewelry pieces as collages of "all kinds of stuff from my studio.”

And that is an accurate statement. After all, they are called Parts of Art, and they originated from the stuff in my studio. 

Here is one of my favorite Parts parts, and the story behind it.

      I occasionally make cards and frameable art pieces that involve hand stamped verbiage. The process is wonderful and fun, because the letter stamps have a uniqueness to them that adds to the one of a kind nature of my work. When I am stamping, I keep a piece of paper on hand to practice the stamp before applying it to the art. This paper becomes a story in itself, full of letters that spell nothing but look pleasing and random.
    Because our art studio is out in the country, and because we had not yet plugged all the holes left from the years before we moved back here, sometimes unwanted visitors would venture in at night. One night, one such visitor came in, dipped his paw in my watercolor water container, then walked across my work table, leaving his signature paw print on my practice page. (He left his mark in a few other ways that are unspeakable.)

      So now this page is part of the story of my studio life. It is, like everything else I use, one of a kind. It does find its way into my jewelry pieces. I have made copies of the page, painted it, glazed it, embellished it, and even added resin to it. 

These pieces and more are available at my store at

March 06, 2017


     Greenery is the Pantone color of the year for 2017. Why is this exciting? According to Pantone spokeswoman Beatrice Eiseman, 

“Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the hope we collectively yearn for amid a complex social and political landscape. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate, revitalize and unite, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose.”

This Spring and Summer, Greenery will be showing up in fashion, jewelry and home decor. It is the must-have color for the season.
Here are some jewelry options for you:

Forest Floor cuff bracelet

Green earth dangles 

Spring green dangles 

Want to see more about Pantone? 

Here’s a colorful trip down memory lane for those of you who have lived at least four decades
PANTONE the Right Color: 40 Years of Color
Pantone looks back at four decades of color and
culture on the occasion of its 40th anniversary.
It reflects the influences of world events, politics, art, media, fashion and music. From the avocado and harvest gold of the '70s to the pink that echoes today's hopes for a rosier world, color punctuates our memories and scores our emotional lives.
For 40 years, Pantone, Inc. has been recognized as the global authority on color. Clients the likes of Apple, IBM, Mattel, Nike, Pottery Barn, Liz Claiborne, Whirlpool and KitchenAid rely on Pantone's color prophecies to make million-dollar product development decisions.
The Pantone Color Institute® tracks color trends and produces semiannual forecasts for fashion and home. Here, Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Institute, recounts the major color trends of the last four decades, along with the cultural influences that impacted them.
Youth culture erupted in the '60s, and sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll were the (dis)order of the day. From Swinging London to Haight-Ashbury, Mod to Mondrian, and Jimi Hendrix to Janis Joplin, music and psychedelic drugs turned people onto color. Timothy Leary influenced the fashion scene as much as Mary Quant. Fashion models and photographers were becoming as important as designers, and Twiggy emerged as the face of 1966.
The recession of the 1970s brought a retreat into safe, sober earth colors, and the dreaded "A" word of both fashion and interior designers -avocado- had the American consumer in a full nelson, especially in the kitchen. African-Americans became more aware of their heritage and adopted native African patterns and colors, which were, again, earth tones. Disco was crowned king, and in the fashion world, no one was hotter than Halston, with his luxurious Ultrasuede® pantsuits and decadent Studio 54 lifestyle.
The economic upturn of the '80s heralded a return to vibrant color. Christian Lacroix and Jean-Paul Gaultier's extravagant fashion cacophonies validated flamboyant color at the highest taste level, and women flooded the workforce with glamour, sporting big Dynasty-inspired shoulders and hair.
With the advent of MTV, kids saw and mimicked what pop stars like Michael Jackson and Madonna were wearing. Following Brooke Shields's provocative commercial for Calvin Klein jeans, supermodels like Cindy Crawford and Linda Evangelista emerged as the seraphim of fashion. Nancy Reagan's signature red became popular, later giving way to Barbara Bush blue. Toward the end of the decade, Giorgio Armani's sophisticated neutrals provided Yuppies with a quieter alternative to all-out glitz.
Meanwhile, in the home, designers flipped the color chart for consumers who had OD'd on avocado and spice tones, and America became mad for mauve.
The economic downturn at the end of the '80s became an opening for the dirtied colors of Seattle's "grunge" movement in the early 1990s. In the middle of the decade, the digital revolution with its promise of outrageous amounts of money was reflected in the eye-popping colors of the iMac®. Urban street styles, body piercing and tattooing became mainstream among young culture. Green, a color that became important with the environmental movement of the '60s, hit its vibrant zenith in the '90s with lime green and chartreuse.
Minimalism became a strong influence at the end of the '90s, as evidenced by Jil Sander's fashions and Calvin Klein's Zen-influenced home collections. As the dotcoms began to crumble and the Millennium Bug threatened, people were feeling the need to stop and escape. Spas boomed and designer water abounded. These influences led Pantone to pronounce Cerulean Blue, the color of sea and sky, "the Color of the Millennium."
The minimalist influence continued into the new century. Today, big ticket items have retreated into neutral or deeper colors, but it is the perfect time to bring touches of color into the home with accessories and small appliances, allowing consumers to enjoy color without spending a great deal. Yet neutral does not equal boring - all grays, beiges and taupes are not created equal, and even white has hundreds of subtle variations.
Eiseman is the author of Colors for Your Every Mood and the PANTONE Guide to Communicating Color, as well as The Color Answer Book (Capital Books), due out in the fall.