Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Deer of Potential

4" x 6" mixed media collage

Sometimes I am drawn to particular images when creating and I'm not quite sure why. Does this happen to you? Why the deer today? Why is yellow such a prominent color? I understand the egg and the wings -- two very strong symbols for me representing possibility, growth, and transformation.

I was going to name this piece Possibility or Potential, but I'm not sure either of those are "it." After all, there is that deer with a bird on its antlers and something is about to happen. But what is it? The deer is looking up--up at that flowery orb above her. Hmmm....

The creative process is such a mystery for me. I am not one of those artists who has a clear idea of what she is trying to create when sitting down to work. I have a more intuitive approach, I guess I'd say. I find myself drawn to certain colors, textures, and images and I piece them together, adding layers as I go. Put in another way, I am trying to tell a story in my art (usually the story of things/people/animals/ideas in relationship), and yet I'm often not sure what the story is. I taste a hint of it by the time I finish a piece, but my work tends to develop for me like a Polaroid picture. I have to live with it for a while before I understand.

How do you create? Do you sit down and sketch an outline of what you are going to do or do you jump into the big hole of creative mystery? Maybe your approach is a combination of those two approaches or something else entirely.

And what do you make of this deer piece? Any ideas for titles?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Creative Bursting

Trusting Myself, encaustic, 6" x 6" (SOLD)

It's a new year (thank goodness!) and I have several creative ideas up my sleeve. The hard part, though, is to know which ones to follow. I don't want to spread myself so thin with a jumble of half-actualized ideas. I need to focus. And trust my intuition, trust myself (hence the encaustic piece above). As part of my musing process, I thought I would ask you all what you think about a few of my ideas.

My first idea was inspired by the beautiful artist Bridgette Guerzon Mills of
Contemplating the Moon. On her website, Amanobooks, she has a page for sending virtual cards (unfortunately, the link to the virtual cards page is broken at the time of this writing). She has 6-8 art pieces that you can send as e-cards. I love this idea! I've already started thinking about what art pieces might work well for this, and my brother Chris has agreed to work on the web development end of things. Are there any card ideas/messages you'd like to see for such a page, like "I miss you because you make me want to break dance" or "go get 'em, tiger"? I'd love your input on this.

My second idea requires a bit of boldness (see my blog post at The Healing Nest for more information about my burgeoning boldness): I aspire to facilitate more workshops. Over the past year I have given three workshops: two "Abundance Box" art workshops and one "Writing from Your Body" workshop. All of my other workshop attempts were canceled due to lack of participation. Sigh. Double sigh. But because I so love to plan for workshops, all of my energies were not wasted. I now have some tasty kernels to work with if I chose to give these workshops in the future.

But back to my current question: what workshops should I propose to the universe (okay, the Seattle area)? Based on your knowledge of me and your interests, what would you like to see me offer? A friend of mine mentioned to me that she wants to create art, but she doesn't quite know where to start. Another friend showed interest in learning encaustic techniques. I'd love to hear your ideas!

I want to move boldly into this new year, and I would love your scintillating ideas. Thank you!

Monday, January 12, 2009


I was delighted the other day when I walked over to my trusty Whole Foods Market and purchased my very first BARK Magazine. In this January/February 2009 issue (which includes an article about Emmylou Harris' dog sanctuary -- go, Emmylou!), my brother Robb is featured in the Art Section.

The article is called "
Lost & Found—Robb Putnam talks about his misfit mutts." Unfortunately, BARK doesn't show the full article on its website, so I have no article or pretty pictures to show you, but you can visit my brother's website for images of his creations:

I have two very talented brothers and draw so much inspiration from both of them. I feel so lucky to have been part of such a creative family growing up. My brother Robb has been creating art since, well, kindergarten and my brother Chris is an amazing poet who often reads in the Seattle area. Chris does a lot with mixed media creations (word, sound, & image) and his works can be found on his website:

Go, big brothers! Keep inspiring me!

Saturday, January 03, 2009


Together, mixed media collage with wax, 4" x 6" (SOLD)

When Together Is Actually Alone

Today I took myself to the cafe,
squared my body on the hard seat,
and asked my hands to lift the steaming chai
to my lips for several long and silent sips.