Look at this Pretty Little Number I found on Etsy!

I so admire the talents of those who inspire me as a painter, poet, and educator.  As I was browsing for unique and interesting items for a hand-picked treasury list for  Etsy, I found Amanda Archer’s store. This dress is so brilliant, isn’t it?  And she has a shop full of other offerings just as lovely.

And here is the link to the treasury list featuring another of Amanda’s dresses     https://www.etsy.com/treasury/MTAwMTgwOTZ8MjcyNDYxMTUxMg/soft-sage?ref=pr_treasury

flowers and cream pleated collar dress from amanda archer on etsy

Amanda Archer for Etsy, Flowers and Cream Pleated Dress

Amanda Archer for Etsy, Flowers and Cream Pleated Dress on Etsy


Among Some of the New Works

This original mixed media textured piece was given to a friend as a thank you gift recently, but I’ve made prints of it now!   Here is a link to see it on Etsy.  🙂                https://www.etsy.com/listing/153525298/peach-purple-maroon-lavender-floral

"Carnival Glass Abstract" by Tess Farnham

“Carnival Glass Abstract” by Tess Farnham

On the Mend: New Work, New Prints. . .Lucy, You Got Some Splainin To Do!

After having spent a couple of weeks once more in this recurring episode of what I like to call my bride of frankenstein gig. . . undressed, sedated, i-ved. . .

. . .electrodes fastened to my temples,

I now find myself back to almost normal. . .

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From Collage to Canvas

One of the ways I like to jumpstart the creative process is to sit in front of music with a lapful of  assorted magazines and a pair of lightweight padded scissors.  Images can come from most anywhere, not just magazines though, and as type this, I also feel a twinge of pity for the person who inherits my hacked-up coffee table art and photo books.

I also like to shop yard sales, thrift stores and book sales for fodder.

Most forms of media fall into the category of fair game when I am searching for just the right image or language to finish a collage narrative however.

As a result, I have amassed quite a collection of cut-outs methodically and obsessively stored  and organized in notebooks, file folders, and sealed plastic containers.

The activity keeps my hands busy, but it also keeps me in a constant state of daydreaming, imagining and exploring all the surfaces and textures suggested by the photos.

It’s a cheap thrill, I guess. . .but somebody’s gotta do it.

Sometimes stories come as I place images next to each other based on shapes and colors

and sometimes I begin with a story in my head or a loose idea.

Mostly I just like to play though, and proceed with no particular place to go.

Here is the story of a pastel painting, one that began with a tiny artist trading card I made at a friend’s house.

First the baseball-card sized collage, enlarged for the blog:

You may already recognize the woman in this collage as having been mistaken for a famous gunslinger’s girlfriend/wife.  If you guess her name, leave it in the comment box.  🙂

Tomorrow I will show you where I took it from here.  From collage to pastel painting.  🙂

Garden Still Life

“And so our mothers and grandmothers have, more often than not
anonymously, handed on the creative spark, the seed of the flower they
themselves never hoped to see – or like a sealed letter they could not plainly
read. ” —Alice Walker

Yesterday I finished my iris painting, an act which left my easel empty again. . .so afterwards I assembled this outdoor still life with a little help from a gardener friend next door.  I already had the peace roses, yarrow, and coral bells in my yard.  Mary provided the yellow gerbera daisies, lilies, and a few lacy varieties I can’t name at the moment.

I snapped some photos of the bouquet to set aside for future paintings.

Later I brought my easel outdoors to photograph the new painting.  The outdoor light really changed the look of the work, making it seem a little flat and washed out. . .so out came the brushes for some sunlight tweaking. A couple of hours later, I felt like I was really finished (again).

It was nice to see Mary’s reaction when I showed her the new work. Now that the original iris has dropped its petals, the painted one is bringing back some happy memories. 🙂

And now for something completely different:

Mixed Media and Photo Collage: “Eve Meets Bess”


Lily of the Valley

And in his left he held a basket full
Of all sweet herbs that searching eye could cull
Wild thyme, and valley-lilies whiter still
Than Leda’s love, and cresses from the rill.
John Keats (1), Endymion (bk. I, l. 155)


This piece evolved and evolved after putting in the initial strokes. ..lots of layers and some modeling paste added to the tiny blossoms.  The scent of these sends me straight back to the house my parents rented when I was little.  There was a corner grocer  on one side. ..and in spring the shade sheltered rows of these little cloudbursts of scent, such tender stems and sturdy.  We’d gather them and use for May baskets, those little cones made of staples and construction paper, then stuffed with popcorn and flowers.