Vampire mural / street art / Richmond VA.

vampire mural
Now here’s an artist that can communicate. I mean, I doubt he’ll type in to me, “No, that’s not a vampire.”
It can be found on Madison St. at Broad.

It’s my new favorite.


The Baptism / Clare Leighton

wood engraving 1952

wood engraving 1952

This is a quote from Clare Leighton. ” Standing on the bank, in the heat of an August midday Sunday, I managed to scrawl a few lines with my lipstick on the back of an old scrap of paper in my handbag. But these were enough to carry me through the many weeks and months before the print was engraved.”

She was commissioned to produce 24 illustrations for Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore.

Clam Diggers, Cape Cod / Clare Leighton

wood engraving 1946

wood engraving 1946

This was commissioned by the Woodcut Society of Alexandria, VA.

Clare Leighton was an American born in England 1898 – 1989.

She served on the faculty of Duke University Dept. of Art,  Aesthetics and Music from 1943 to 1945

Corsican Washerwomen / Clare Leighton

wood engraving  1934

wood engraving 1934

Clare Leighton produced this image for the Cleveland Print Club.

I saw this show at the VMFA a couple weeks ago and I’ve been thinking of it ever since. What an inspiration! I love the delicate lines showing light and shadows with shades of gray.


sketch of Cold Harbor (road) charcoal

cold harbor road

I’ve heard a lot of stories about the Civil War. It’s complicated. You can study it your whole life and still have questions.

I drove around and looked at the battlefields close to Richmond. Seeing the places and reading the signs brought it together in my mind. The Battlefield National Parks signs have great illustrations and photos from the 1860s that show how it looked, and so much information I have to go back and look again.

The war went on longer than expected. Slaves and soldiers built the earthworks because the landscape was wide open fields. The armies could see each other far away but they were out of firing range. They ran out on the field to fight and die. Now it’s mostly woods.

So many died at Cold Harbor they named the stream Bloody Run because it ran red with the blood of the soldiers.

It’s Only A Paper Moon…and other stories…


Why Girls Go Wild – collage

Ah….a day out with friends! You feel like you’re over the Moon….

And for many the day was captured with a dreamy, Moon inspired photo postcard.

I wondered what brought the women to the photo studio to have their day on the Moon. Their clothes suggest the early 1900’s. Are they friends, family? Many people do walk in and out of our lives…were they friends forever? Did they leave a mark on each others hearts? Did they believe in each other?

The collage is a conventional work on heavy card stock. I used handmade and art paper, found objects, postage stamps, ephemera from magazines and books, and of course the paper moon photo.

I couldn’t help singing the popular 1930’s song while I worked: “It’s only a paper moon…hanging over a cardboard sea…but it wouldn’t be make-believe if you believed in me.”

My Romantic heart wants to believe they did.

Powerful Women…in the Digital Age

Powerful Woman

Powerful Woman

What could be more beautiful than a powerful woman?

 The image was constructed for a Press Kit for the  Egyptian Moon Dance Company Powerful Passionate Woman Retreats. As much as I like to see the traditional two piece costumes, called a bedlah, on dancers in promotional material, I wanted something different for my work.

 Dance and Art are so intertwined in my life that it is hard for me to separate the two. It is something that has been with me for as long as I can remember. It is the reason I do not dance under a “stage name”.  Many dancers like to take on another name in their dance life. For some dancers it makes them feel more authentic..that it is part of the illusion they are creating. A fellow performer said it was like putting on the finishing touches to her costume. Dancers also look at it as a rite of passage. Teachers will bestow a name they feel is fitting for their student when they reach a certain level of expertise. Unfortunately, for some dancers it is a security issue, a way of keeping their private life private. While all of the reason for using a stage name are valid, I never felt the need. The Dance is something intrinsic. Where does it end and my “real life” begin? My Art Life quandary follows the same path…where does my Dancer life take over from my Illustrator life?

 And so goes for the Digital v. Conventional collage debate. For me they are both tools I use to get the work as close as I can to what I see it in my mind’s eye. The collage uses a variety of materials. I incorporated art papers, handmade papers, clipping from old magazines, rubber stamped images, various fonts, postage stamps, postage cancellation stamps, tissue paper, and vintage images. Most started conventionally and ended up in the digital format.  I wanted something that gave the feeling of beauty and grace. I am an aficionado of all things Nouveau and Pre-Raphaelite, so it was natural to have the Muse guide me in that direction. I chose the colour scheme to enhance the overall feeling of sweet languor.

 The debate continues…digital or conventional collage. Why not both? I think the Muse would agree.

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