Been a while, hasn’t it? But I have a show opening this weekend.

January 10, 2018 § Leave a comment

The last couple of years have kept me off the blog. My husband retired, I have downsized, moved twice, lost my mother, and generally been getting back on my feet and into the new studio. However, it is finally coming together as I am having a solo show opening this Sunday in South Palm Beach, and have been working on a new series of mixed media paintings called “Totems”. Here’s one of my new pieces, entitled “Beneath the Surface” which is also the name of the exhibit:


This is a 48″ x 36 canvas, which has a lot of underpainting, which I scraped into to reveal. I am very pleased with the results–it feels representative of all that has transpired over the past few years–that I am now in a place where I can paint the past over and scrape down and see what colors come through in order to create something new. Surface and depth merge. Present informed by the past.

The opening is Sunday, January 14 from 2-4 pm at 3577 South Ocean Blvd., South Palm Beach, Florida. I will post photos from the reception and reveal the rest of the series.



Art Journaling Tuscany 2013- WOW!

September 20, 2013 § 1 Comment

The mad art journalers in the Journaling Palace, Tuscany 2013

The mad art journalers in the Journaling Palace, Tuscany 2013


What an incredibly powerful journey we had in Tuscany this month. Everyone got really into their journals and even skipped some destinations just to work in the “Journaling Palace” , our stone-walled wine cellar overlooking the Val D’Orcia in Tuscany.

I was very blessed by the incredible group of courageous women who joined me for our Tuscan Art Holiday. Everyone pushed and expanded their creative limits and came away with jam-packed art journals (and lots of memorable moments of laughter and insight).

I am grateful not only to my students for opening me up, as all students do, but to Lisa Zukowski for inviting me again to teach for her Tuscan Art Holiday. She has even invited me back to teach next summer in Ireland, under the auspices of!

journalingsarteano13 My students really took things to heart and enjoyed journaling at cafes in the small medieval villages we toured. We saw Etruscan tombs with frescoes from the fourth century BC, only recently discovered, ate incredible food, experienced la dolce vita, and had fun camaraderie as we toured and explored our creative sides.



journaling page student 13

One simple exercise from one of my students, created an opportunity for depth, exchange with the other artists, and an insight into their own journey.

final journals 2013 group

Here are a few of us, me sitting, showing off some pages from our packed and fat!!! journals at the end of our workshop.

I hope you will consider joining me in beautiful Ireland for our next art journaling experience in July 2014! Go to for more information and to register early, as spaces fill up fast.

I do have a passion for art journaling and for teaching others the depth that can be found from this process. I am so grateful to have gone on this journey with these women, who have shown me so much.

My Top Ten Travel Art Journaling Supplies

March 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

my top ten art journaling supplies

my top ten art journaling supplies








1. Global Arts Handbook Journal, 5 1/2 x 8, has a pocket, and a closure band, and the weight of the paper is perfect for art journaling
2. Small scissors
3. UHU Glue Stick
4. Rubber Stamps (1 Shape, 1 Letters) and ink pad
5. Small watercolor kit
6. Pens: Cartridge Fountain Pen, a few Pitt Brush Pens, Pilot Precise V7
7. Washi Tapes
8. Caran D’Ache NeoColor II
9. Package of Baby Wipes (for cleaning rubber stamps)
10. Niji Water Brush

Art Journaling in Tuscany: Join Me

March 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

An Unforgettable Experience

Creative Journaling with Christopher Staples 2013 will take place September 5 – 14, 2013
Spend an extraordinary holiday in beautiful Tuscany, a land that has inspired many a masterpiece. Witness the harmonious beauty of the Val d’Orcia, a land of golden hills, silver olive groves, and deep green cypress trees. Explore hilltop medieval and Renaissance villages, spend time in the historic city of Siena, and relax at a charming Tuscan Farmstead. Create and view art in one of the most beautiful areas of Italy with award winning artists to guide your way.

piazza la selvella
• Feast on the delicious local cuisine and wines.
• Spend time with working artists and see things through an artist’s eyes.
• Learn about Italian art and culture, explore a Unesco World Heritage Site, or simply relax and enjoy exploring beautiful Tuscany.
• Enjoy the benefits of working and traveling with artists, and receive individualized attention to assist you in creating your art.
• Avoid taking time out from your holiday scouting locations. We take you to the places we love in Southern Tuscany.
• No two days are alike: we will explore hilltop medieval and Renaissance villages, spend time in the historic city of Siena, yet there will be time for relaxation and independent travel should you wish it.
• We will be staying at a charming restored Tuscan farmhouse situated in the breathtaking countryside of the Val d’Orcia, in the south of Tuscany, and only a few kilometres from the delightful medieval village of Radicofani.
• There is much to do for the non-artist as well! Stay with the group or venture out on your own to shop or simply explore some of Italy’s most breathtaking medieval and Renaissance villages. You will feast on delicious local cuisine, taste local wines and even learn to cook Tuscan food! Choose from several optional activities: cycling, hiking, horseback riding, spa, massages.

Tuscan Art Holiday, Creative Journaling 2013 takes place September 5 – 14, 2013.
Cost – $2600 (does not include airfare) Your ten day holiday includes accommodations, most meals, transportation while on holiday .

To reserve your place or receive more information, email

About the course:

Artmaking gets us to the essence of who we are. Expressing how we see the world is to touch the divine within. The art journal is a vessel to record our perceptions and to stretch our creative muscles. There is inherent power in the journal as a tool to transform our personal inner vision into reality, to “put it on the page”. But it is also is a vehicle to learn how to look closely and to listen for what it has to say back to us.
While sketching and recording our travels will be a large component of what we do, we will expand the journal to something beyond just a sketchbook, or travel journal. Through a series of writing prompts, group exercises and assignments, we will learn to look more closely, and open up our deeper creative voice adding an extra dimension to our books. We will draw, paint, collage, drawing, write, meditate and listen. Each day will have a focus and during our travels there will be time for working solo and for sharing our experiences with one another and the group.
Overall, the purpose is to have our own personal renaissance, a unique and rewarding artistic experience in beautiful Tuscany, and to come home renewed.

To reserve your place or receive more information, email

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Back in the studio

March 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

I have been snatching bits of time in the studio, sometimes (I try for weekly) with my mom, at 88 still a fantastic watercolorist. Sometimes a whole glorious day, sometimes a couple of hours here and there. I have been doing work that is informed by my art journaling practice, working on paper in mixed media–charcoal, acrylic, collage, cray pas, caran ‘dache. The studio looks like a holy mess.

I am trying to organize my 4 huge boxes of collage fodder so I can work more efficiently, and I have a table for my mom to work. messy studioAnd, of course, I am doing some printmaking in there as well, which requires a different set up and different tools. It’s all good, though, but I can’t stuff another piece of paper in the studio. So of course I go and buy a 10 yard roll of paper. My friend, Emma, is going to sell me some more flat files, if this snow ever lets up. That’ll be a huge help. I have a pile of work in process that has no home. When I get the flat files, I will stack them almost to the ceiling on top of my other two.

But the good news is that I am working on a new series, Archaeology of the Subconscious, and here is my wall with pieces in various stages of completion. Some are done, others still need work. I love working into the unknown, letting the forms come. I am also playing with color palettes, pushing and pulling. I did a series of large color swatches with pseudo-recipes. No where to put them, of course. But working on paper is wonderful, I enjoy it so much more than canvas, it is durable, (I use Stonehenge paper) takes a beating and love those deckle edges. The downside? Framing. Money. I have been exhibiting finished pieces pinned to the gallery walls. Want to mount them so the deckle shows it’s shadow floating on a neutral background, but haven’t figured out a solution yet. So I will pin away.

Here’s the work in progress on my wall where I can step back and examine, critique and take in the series as a whole.wip 2013

Here’s a piece close up, “Boundaries”boundaries. Next week, more printmaking. Gotta go move the piles around.

Tuscan Art Holiday 2013

December 9, 2012 § Leave a comment


It’s only December, but I am so excited about teaching art journaling in Tuscany again next year. It is so beautiful there and the accommodations at the agriturismo, or farmstead, are fantastic, and the FOOD!!! But I love teaching and sharing about journaling with groups. We sketch, and learn techniques for layering, mark making, collaging and writing our observations. It’s truly a wonderful experience for all, we even have a large room we call the “Journaling Palace” in which to spread out and work. Scheduled for September 5-14, 2013, spots are already filling up, so come join me and artist Lisa Zukowski who does an amazing job of being our tour guide, handling logistics and even does some fabulous cooking, too. One day we learned to make pasta from scratch, no machine.. delicious!!!Image

The little medieval and renaissance towns are so inspiring and fun to explore!



and the Tuscan views are unmatched…Image

Go to for more information. It will be an amazing experience!! I can’t wait!

Visual Art Journaling

November 9, 2011 § 4 Comments

Some of my Art Journals

What is visual journaling, or art journaling? (The terms are used interchangeably). Many people ask me this question when I tell them that I teach workshops in it. I truly enjoy keeping a visual journal, and it is as much a part of my studio practice as my sketchbook, and of my personal daily practice as my regular journal. So really it is a combination of the two. Yet, it is more.

Artmaking gets us to the essence of who we are. Expressing how we see the world is to touch the divine within. The art journal is a vessel to record our perceptions and to stretch our creative muscles. There is inherent power in the journal as a tool to transform our personal inner vision into reality, to “put it on the page”. But it is also is a vehicle to learn how to look closely and to listen for what it has to say back to us.

Art Journaling utilizes collage, printmaking/stamping, painting, drawing, writing, sketching and, most importantly, is NOT about finished pieces of art. It is really about a process, a dialogue that goes on between you, the materials and the page. Some pages are never finished. For me, it is a spiritual practice. It is not for sharing, necessarily, as the content can be highly personal, but, ironically, is often most rewarding done in groups or with others. There is a creative energy that is generated by the practice that is palpable, and very inspiring. This is really why I love teaching this process, each person gets something out of it, and some are actually surprised by it. There is an “aha” moment. We tap into our deeper creative voice.

A Student's Journal Spread

Our journals can go very deep or stay on the surface. I prefer depth. Motifs and symbols appear, messages are written to be heeded, ideas are excavated and explored. It is internal archaeology, with a record of the process and the discoveries. I have always taught with the purpose of helping people find their own creative voices. Some are just blocked temporarily, others never knew they had one at all. We are all creative in our own unique way. Visual Journaling is a tool to quell the inner critic and to find that voice.

Printmaking without a press

June 20, 2011 § 6 Comments

If you know me, you know I love layers. And I love printmaking. Printmaking is one of the best ways to create layers and texture. Last year (or was it two years?) I learned Gelatin Plate printmaking from one of my printmaking friends, artist Lisa Zukowski ( Gelatin printmaking allows for printmaking without a press. The results are immediate and although I have a press in my studio, I loved it, because it allows for the juxtapositioning, layering and texture build up that I love to work with. And it has a unique texture that the ink/gelatin interaction creates. The making of the plate is a hassle, though, and requires planning and time–I like to work as spontaneously as possible. You have to mix  Knox gelatin in the right proportions and build a framework out of clay for it to set on a piece of glass and then you wait.  It also needs refrigeration, is fragile and lasts only a couple of days or so.

I haven’t printed in almost a year. I have been working with painting and collage, and teaching art journaling. So when I found out about the Gelli Plate (, a pre-made gelatin-like plate that doesn’t require the plate manufacture, the refrigeration, and has a longer shelf life than a traditional gelatin plate, I had to try it.  I bought two in the 8″ x 10″ size and invited fellow printmaker Elizabeth Winchester over to put it through its paces…

First of all, using printing ink instead of the recommended acrylic paint was a critical move. It  allows for a longer working time and greater adhesion of the layers of color. Also, I am more familiar the inking process this way. Secondly, printing on good Stonehenge paper allowed for a richer print as well as something archival if a great print was created.

Here’s some of my results:

One print is on Stonehenge. The other print is on copy paper. In both cases I used Daniel Smith Relief printing ink with extender.

Fun! Fun! And now it is in the studio waiting for another print session. Just take it out of the plastic package and go to it! I love it! Thanks, Gelliarts! Be looking for more prints from me in the future.

Gelli print on Stonehenge

Test print from Gelli plate on copy paper

A name, a show

June 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

Time is flying! I can’t believe I have gone two months without posting…

I titled the work shown in the previous post “Circadian Rhythm Series” as these have to do with that sense of a 24-hour period, rhythm and movement, texture. Thank you to all of you who dug deep for me and came up with some great titles…

I continue to work on this series and it is now being exhibited in Katonah in the show entitled “NINE” which will be up through next weekend. Go see it in person at Offerings Gallery, 59 Katonah Avenue, Katonah, NY 10536.

Challenge: Title this work!

April 20, 2011 § 1 Comment

To Be Named

I am creating a NEW body of work. It hearkens back to my Streams of Consciousness series, with vertical strips juxtaposed to one another. These are collages. As always, I am having a very difficult time naming each work. I would even like a series name as they are all related visually, however, individual names would do well too. I don’t like titles that lock the viewer into one way of seeing a piece, so a bit of ambiguity is nice. So here’s your challenge: Name this piece, or name the series, or both. Your choice. What do you see? What do you call it? Please respond by April 27. Thanks for YOUR creativity…