During the summer, I added two dozen paintings to the series called Sensu, fan paintings I’d created in 2019. They are encaustic & collage.

Last week, I bought new frames for the Sensu paintings and re-worked some of them, and I spent the past few days adding collage items to the new pieces and placing them all in frames.

Next up is to give them titles and upload the individual images here. And figure out where I can exhibit them all. There are thirty-six paintings, all 8″ x 8″.

In my head I heard “make sixty of them” – which would require me to buy twenty-four more canvases and twenty-four more frames, pull out the encaustic supplies and find the time to do it (Chrtistmas break?) – postpone exhibiting them until next summer or whenever.

Do I need to make more though? When I feel like I have to do something rather than wanting to do it, it is not fun.

What is fun though – creation. So fun.


Here is a sampling of the finished products from my Francoise Gilot- inspired still life drawing project. Gilot passed away this year – she was 101. I am in awe of her talent as an artist. She was mother to two of Pablo Picasso’s children and later married Dr. Jonas Salk.

Her floral paintings are a combo of real and abstract, which is a perfect fit for my Art-8 students. Some could simplify their imagery and others could go more realistic depending on talent and interest levels.

I gave them a step-by-step instruction “manual” and the majority of students welcomed that.

At the beginning of the school year, I brought in six aloe vera plants and added fake flowers and peacock feathers to them to create the arrangements. I had a variety of tablecloths to choose from for added visual texture. All of my planters are from Lowes. In fact, the aloe started out as two tiny plants I found on the clearance rack for $1.00 each two years ago and I only recently transplanted them.

I am very pleased with the results! Students used Prismacolor colored pencils on Canton paper. The artwork is currently displayed on the wall across from my classroom at Chittenango Middle School.

Lions Den

My Studio in Art 8th graders created these illustrations for the annual Lions Club Peace Poster contest. The theme this year is “Dare to Dream”. I added a component – lions. I wanted lions somewhere in the posters. And I got lions. Beautiful lions! I am amazed at the quality of this artwork. This represents six or seven weeks of work from idea to rendering, to colored pencil application.

Posters will be on display at the Sullivan Library Community Room, Chittenango, New York during November and December 2023. The winning entry will move on to the Regional competition, followed by a State contest and the chance to win the $5,000 International prize.

Can you guess which poster is our winner?