Lavina Blossom Art

Where Art Matters

I chose a bouquet that turned out to be difficult to paint because I could not create a pleasing color arrangement. Two of the flowers were white and one of those white ones was almost directly at the middle top of the vase. (Didn’t get a photo of this.) I kept painting, added collage, and was liking the painting less and less. The arrangement looked top heavy, so I made the vase fatter, made all the flowers red, and finally, frustrated, I altered the painting with apps, found a few I liked the look of, and consulted those to make a more abstract flatter art piece. Here are two phases of the painting (finished painting first) and a photo of the still life. I like the shape of the actual vase better, and plan to attempt this one again with a slightly different design.

Rose in a Glass

I was impressed that several friends have taken on the STRADA 31-day painting challenge and are painting every day this month from life. My husband bought a bouquet of roses from Trader Joe’s, but several of the stems were broken off near the flower, so a shallow “vase” was needed (my smallest water glass.) What a pleasure to paint from life again. I still have another vase of red roses to paint, while they are sort-of fresh, if I’m quick.

I admire many artists who continue to work in a single genre exclusively, such as landscapes, abstracts, portraits…and perhaps use the same media while continuing to make exciting and varied work. It may be that I have a short attention span, although I think my need to work in different genres and with different mediums also has to do with all that I want to learn. Of course the landscape painter is always learning, as is the abstract painter and the portrait painter, and so on. Moving around as I do, I may be learning more slowly in each area. But I can’t do otherwise than create work that draws me to it and gives me the most joy and satisfaction. Here are a few (varied) pieces created recently.

I’ve been taking online art lessons in various methods of painting and collage. Here are some of the pieces I’ve produced in the last few weeks. The two long narrow pieces are 6 x 11 inches. Although the two with birches in them look the largest here, they are the smallest–3.5 x 5 inches. The others are, respectively, 8 x 10, 14 x 14, 16 x 20, & 12 x 16.

I suppose I am a true introvert, because I have, at times, relished this necessity to stay home, even as I miss friends, miss the seniors that come to my class at the Goeske Senior Center. I miss my Life Drawing group, but we will meet on Zoom today. My poetry workshop has met twice on Zoom already. There is Facebook, email, and the phone. I am fortunate to have a home, a garden, a husband who insists on doing all the shopping (he has the best face mask). I am thankful for the sacrifices that many are making, the risks that health care workers take, especially, but also workers in post offices, grocery stores, and all the businesses that provide for us. Politics and the news media remain terribly divisive,. I wish that could change. The air is cleaner now, the neighborhood quieter. I am more aware of what matters most to me.

Her are a few of the drawings I’ve made since early April. It feels good to have one thing I do each day to improve my skills.

I am a member of the Southern California Collage Society, and recently prepared a list of Resources for collage artists to be added to SCCS’s web page. You can find my list below, with links. If you have favorite resources you would like to share, please let me know. I’d also like to hear if any of the methods in the hands-on videos work well or don’t work so well for you. By the way, I use a glue stick for magazine pages, but have found the paper comes loose sometimes, so I’ve been sealing over the top with Utrecht matte gel. A friend said I should use Yes glue, but I read online that it yellows, so am not sure if it’s a good choice.

Jane Davies tutorials (some are specifically on collage).

Bob Burridge, Abstract Collage Demo, first 8.5 minutes.  Bob’s other

videos are called Bob Blasts.

National Collage Society Facebook Group

Some glues to use for various objects (fabric, delicate objects, larger objects)

5 Collage Artists in 5 Minutes

Deborah Shapiro (magazine collage artist)

Rebeca Maloney (creates a landscape collage; works quickly in mixed media)

Joan Fullerton –

Bird and Nest Collage (part 4; 1-3 also on You Tube)


Bridging Worlds Collage (painting over collage)


One way to create a photo transfer

Monoprinting with Gelli Plate (to create decorative collage paper)

Citra Solv and National Geographic magazines

Lavina Blossom’s Pinterest board “Collage Variations (over 500 pins)