Sunday, December 15, 2013

Have Tools Will Travel

As we near the Winter Solstice I keep dreaming of the “painted skies” of the northern lights (Aurora Borealis) - those thousands of twinkling colors glistening across ink-black skies. In this deepest, darkest, coldest time of year may we find warmth among friends, family and cozy fireplaces stoked with yule logs.

I am feeling a bit like a gypsy these days, connecting here and there with kindred spirits, entertaining invitations to visit new towns and share my skills with eager young students. Temptation entices me. I’m headed back home to live in the DC area where my deepest roots and connections lie. Yet within 30 days, I will leave there to travel to the deep south for a month to work with several hundred students. Dark and light, cold and warm, one foot here and one foot there…it’s been a dance for several years.

March has me dreaming of visiting RubberMoon’s landing zone in Missouri after I revisit Paducah to do an ocean-themed clay mural with the Easter Seals adult clientele.

Every Winter Solstice I write down my intentions for the coming year and then stash it away to open on the Winter Solstice the following year. In 2012 I wished for adventure in 2013 and I certainly have had it this year!

So, with all of that, you can see why I’ve named this painting Have Tools Will Travel.

If you’re interested, here’s how I made it:  

Starting with an Art Square, from Inchie Arts, for my background canvas, I used Derwent’s Inktense watercolor pencils on top of RubberMoon’s very cool Brush and Pencil stamp and Splatter stamp. Then I painted the northern lights I keep dreaming of. In the end, I gently rubbed sparkly mica powders over top of my work.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I invite you to follow my blog, Artists Tell Their Stories, by clicking here: And if you’re interested in the work I do with students, please visit my website,

May your holidays be blessed and may your dreams and wishes come true in 2014.



Friday, December 13, 2013

Greetings from Paducah, KY - Please check out my post today for RubberMoon Stamp Company:

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Good morning Snow Lovers!

It's been snowing and icy here in Paducah for days so I thought a little moonbeam love might help brighten your day. I dug out my RubberMoon stamps (the row of stars, the small group of 3 stars, the vine and of course, the moon) and made this little painting for you. Enjoy!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Mail Art

I heard someone say the other day that all they ever get in the mail are bills and trash mail. And when I thought about it, I agreed and thought that needs to change. A few years ago I was very involved with trading Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) and I remembered how exciting it was to get an interesting envelope in the mail.

I had just purchased some really cool stamps and thought this would be a cool way to try them out. I didn't have a lot of time to spend creating so I decided to see what I could come up with in a half hour. Using stamps from RubberMoon, a really cool stamp company that has whimsical and fun stamps, I sent a bit of happiness off into the world. Here's how I did it:

I started with a blank envelope

And thought that this stamp would be a cool way to highlight the address

Then I added the Sun stamp and a Post stamp

On the back of the envelope I used my very favorite RubberMoon stamp (on the left), the Moon, and in the center the stamp says "Messages from the Center of the Universe". The moon stamp on the right side has a lot of character too

Back to the front again to add the little elfin

This India Ink is waterproof so you can color and paint over it. On the left is a stack of baby wipes that I use to wipe off my stamps to keep them clean

So far, I spent 10 minutes and used these RubberMoon stamps. I am amazed at how quickly you can change a surface with stamping. If you're interested, you can find all of these stamps in RubberMoon's online shop.

Out come the watercolor pencils - this brand is awesome if you want control and great color

I bought a small set and the color range is nice. However, I can see that I will probably expand to a larger set soon!

So, in a few minutes I colored in all of the stamps, took a tad bit of water (and I mean a really really small tad) on a thin paintbrush and brought all of the colors to life

Then I colored in the front and

Added a few drops of water. In less than a half hour I created a simple design that will make people smile when they see it. Even the mailman loved it! Time for a little love note to pop inside and a stamp...

I would love your comments and am curious to know if you ever send mail art. Thanks so much for reading my post. peace...Brenda

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Story Table

This is my tabletop, made from clay and high-fired using oxides. All of the pieces are moveable with the intent that people pick them up and move them to create their own version of a story. My passion is telling stories using ancient symbols. This story came to me in a dream and from it, I created the table. These are all ancient symbols (please see the “Key”, below, for their meaning).

        Forest: 4 Large Squares                                             Canoes: Long Tubes
        He:  Inverted Peace                                                      She:  Inverted Triangle
        Sun: Circle & Cross                                                      Center Symbol: Mother & Child*
Moon: Fish-like                                                             Pebble Path: Small clay squares
          *used here as the Master Stone

Here’s the story:
We are blessed here high up on this mountaintop.  Surrounded by an enchanted forest we live our lives peacefully, sharing our bounty with the ancient spirits who led us here.
Rising before the sun, he leaves in search of firewood to warm us.  Stepping gingerly into his canoe he signals the watcher to turn the master stone skyward.  The drumming begins softly,  the birds begin to sing, and the message is passed through the land to watch over us while he is away.
Soleil, the sun, rises to grace us with her warmth and whispers that she will stay with us throughout this new day.  The children stir and begin to wake from their dream-filled sleep. Creatures, great and small, emerge from the thicket as we gather around the fire for our morning meal.
We take a few moments to thank the earth, water, air, wood, and fire for their alchemical blending that makes our lives complete.  Our day is filled with laughter, exploration and wonder as the animals lead us playfully through the woods.  We frolic in serene lagoons and soothing springs before napping in wild flower fields.  Late in the day, Soleil nudges us to follow the pebble stone paths back home before night fall.
As the moon gently casts its beams upon us, he returns with his canoe filled with sacred cedar and rosemary branches to keep our home fires safely burning.  Silently the watcher turns the master stone back toward the earth, the forest quiets, and stars emerge by the thousands.
Another blissful day has passed as we nestle safely in our beds.  Ink-dark starry skies tease our eyes as the faeries begin sprinkling their magical dust to carry us off to dreamland once again.
May blessings abound for all who share in this path.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


We all have stories to tell...
You are invited to share a piece of your artwork here and tell your story about it.
I'm Brenda and this is my new blog...
Welcome to the journey!

This iron gate captured my curiosity while exploring the River Arts District in Asheville, North Carolina a couple of months ago. Hand-carved steps and a sepia tone reminds me of gardens in the old South.