From Fractured Glass

Two nanoscapes accepted into Altered Aesthetics’ “Straight Trippin'”

Two nanoscapes, Fractured Glass 3 and All the Colors and Paths #1, were juried into Altered Aesthetics‘ 2013 “Straight Trippin‘” Exhibition which will run from February 28 to March 28, 2013 at the gallery which is in the Q’arma Building at 1224 Quincy Street NW, Minneapolis, MN 55413 in the Northeast Minneapolis Artist District. 

Wild Triangles

Fractured Glass 3 is part of a series of watercolor paintings that answers the creative question “What happens when triangles go wild?”

I make these with my five-part Painstaking Exuberance process: (1) make a pencil drawing, (2) outline each shape with Winsor & Newton Davy’s Gray, (3) paint inside the lines, (4) paint an outline for each triangle with a contrasting watercolor, and (5) paint a border for the entire piece. The paintings don’t really come to life until I paint the outlines for each tiny triangle.

I have also used the triangles in a some of the whimsical creatures (small friends) in the Stained Glass Family, which includes Sarah Stained Glass Cat, The Stained Glass Elephant, Hernando Stained Glass Hippo,  Amelia Tall Glazed Window Cat, a Green Stained Glass Camel, and one of  the 7 Hippos Marching.

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Fractured Glass 3 (22×33) Framed  $800 SOLD.

Bright Boxes

All the Colors and Paths is part of a series loosely called Bright Boxes which celebrate the depth of color achievable with watercolor while challenging space and perspective. I like to think that I am painting in two-and-a-half dimensions. Most (including this one) were painted on 300# paper which is like painting on felt or a very welcoming sponge.

All the Colors and Paths #1 (13×23) $350
Altered Aesthetics Gallery is at 1224 Quincy Street NW, Minneapolis, MN 55413 in the Q’arma Building in Minneapolis’ Northeast Minneapolis Artist District.

Bright Glass Bubbles Holiday Card is a “Today’s Best” at

Bright Glass Bubbles

Bright Glass Bubbles: Original sold

What happens when triangles go wild?

Fans of nanoscapes may recall the 13 weeks in 2010 that I spent in the World of Fractured Glass Paintings, when I made Fractured Glass 1, 2, 3, and this glass bubble painting. These paintings are quintessential nanoscapes, as they are nothing if not examples of Painstaking Exuberance. Many steps: make a pencil drawing, paint over with Winsor & Newton Davy’s Gray paint, paint colors inside the lines, paint the “grout” lines, and, finally, paint a border for the painting. A celebration of the Double Zero brush!

The Bright Glass Bubbles blank holiday card was selected as a “Today’s Best” for June 6, 2012 at

It was “…hand-picked as an example of creativity at its finest. Out of billions of products on Zazzle, your design was chosen for being one of the best!” I am honored.

Fans of nanoscapes may recall the 13 weeks in 2010 that I spent in the World of Fractured Glass when I painted Fractured Glass 1, 2, 3, and this glass bubble painting. It was fun!

Click here for the link to this card at my zazzle store.

2012: beginning a new year of nanoscapes image-a-day


The First Image-a-Day Year
The First Image-a-Day Year

Image-a-Day Painting

I posted an image a day to Facebook from October 2010 to September 2011, and it’s time to start again.

During the first year, the images were thematic. They were keyed to months(pumpkins for October, leaves for November, lost-left-handed gloves of January, raindrops for April, ears of corn for July, pencils for September), or joyfully random (introducing the LLLama families in May and 30 new small friends in June).

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January 1, 2012 from a camera photo
of “7 Hippos Marching”

Image-a-Day for 2012

Because both nanoscapes‘ geometric abstractions and whimsical small friends will be part of this project, the theme for 2012 will be “surprise!”  This first image is part of a “7 Hippos Marching,” a family portrait which is featured in The Small Friends Chronicles. Buy a matted print from ETSY here, and cool hippo products at zazzle. Want the original? Contact me directly (

Stained Glass Cat: a creative conundrum

Stained Glass Cat

Stained Glass Cat will be a new small friend, but her roots are with the nanoscapesFractured Glass family. She has brought me to the brink with a creative conundrum: is she finished?Because the Fractured Glass technique is in my comfort zone, I began work on her when I needed a break between identifying and painting new small friends and tackling new nanoscapes projects.

Now that all of her “glass bits” are finished and “grouted” with watercolor, she might be finished. But perhaps not. I might paint a “fractured glass” frame or add a horizontal line to anchor her. Or maybe not.This eerie feeling — hesitating before making a paint stroke — may be as close as I ever get to what I imagine sculptors and gem cutters feel before making a critical cut. Will it work? Will it do what I want it to do? Will it do something better? Will it cause the entire enterprise to fall flat on its face?

Stained Glass Cat: in progress

Stained Glass Cat Day 2

Yes. I love stained glass. Yes. I think that any work with glass is magic. No, I will never work with glass because it requires safety equipment for cutting or being a heat-resistant human who can work with the temperatures required by melting and fusing.

But wait! I can paint. Adding to the nanoscapes’ Fractured Glass and The Glazes, this small friend Stained Glass Cat is based on a needlepoint pattern that I have carted around for 30 years.

Fractured Glass 3: In the beginning there was a triangle

In the beginning, there was a triangle
In the beginning

No sooner did I finished Fractured Glass 2, then I started Fractured Glass 3, which, at 22×30 will be about four times the size of Frac 1 and Frac 2.  When completed, I will have worked on 726 square inches.

A Fractured Glass nanoscape looks like this with just pencil on the paper.

Fractured Glass 2: Step 2 – Winsor Newton Davy’s Gray and Daniel Smith #3 Brush

This should look just the first step of Fractured Glass 2 because much of it is.  I pick up a paintbrush after the pencil lines are in place, and set the design with Winsor Newton Davy’s Gray, a very light gray  watercolor.

In the earliest nanoscapes, I used Winsor Newton Sepia, which has a darker character and is staining (a painter’s word for either delightfully or annoyingly permanent) or Daniel Smith Sepia, which is unabashedly brown.  I also experimented with Daniel Smith Payne’s Gray, which was too dark for the nanoscapes’ framework.

Fractured Glass 2: Step 1 – A triangle, a pencil and an eraser

I am often asked: “How do you begin?”  I started Fractured Glass 2 with one triangle, and was delighted to watch it grow, shrink, and change directions. While working in pencil, I sort out the corners and the places where the shapes meet or overlap.  My two tools are a General Pencil Kimberly Premium Graphite 6H drawing pencil and a Faber-Castell Dust-Free Vinyl eraser.