Thursday, December 13, 2012

Flying Crystals for December 2012

What started as a random pencil drawing became a series of chances to challenge space and gravity. Each Flying Crystal is painted on 12(w) x 9 (h) 140# Arches Hot Press Paper. 

The five original Flying Crystals will be for sale ($50 each) this weekend at the Vine Arts Center Holiday Sale, and Flying Crystal images are available as prints and postcards at zazzle. If you can't make it to Vine Arts this weekend, contact me directly to purchase originals or to commission one in a size that works for you or in your favorite color..

Green Flying Crystal

Red Flying Crystal

Ultramarine Blue Flying Crystal

Turquoise Flying Crystal
Purple Flying Crystal

Sunday, November 25, 2012

New Obsession: Tiny Random Shapes

They started with a watercolor doodle, but after a week, they became a celebration of Tiny Random Shapes, and, perhaps, a modest and harmless obsession. The original paintings are all watercolor (lots of pigment, not a lot of water) painted with a Raphael 2/0 brush.
First Green 

First Green became digital Purple Leaves
cool stuff at zazzle

Tiny Random
Tiny Random #2 (digital)
Bigger Tree (7.5 x 10.5")

Tiny Tree (Original 5x7")
zazzle postcard

Tiny Bubbles (8x11) zazzle postcard

Tiny Bubbles Inverts in Photoshop (zazzle postcard)

Tiny Green Out the Window (Digital)

Wrapped Kimona (8.5x11")
postcard at zazzle

By the end of the year, I will have put all of the 2012 Image-a-Day project paintings onto postcards at If you see an image that you would like on one of zazzle's zillions of products, or on fabric or wallpaper at spoonflower, contact me directly at

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Philodendron: Then and Now

Stained Glass
Painted Penguin
In Progress
In early 2011 I became slightly obsessed by an image that reminded me of large philodendron leaves. I made one large (22x33) and several smaller "Philodendron" paintings, and a few postcards, just for fun. Until this morning, I'd left them alone.

Having worked on the Stained Glass Penguin for nine hours yesterday, I never quite got around to making a tiny painting for "Image-a-day" so I looked into my archives and found Philodendron 3. I "cut" a piece and made digital magic with it in Photoshop.

Philodendron 3 (22x33 $500, framed)
A piece of Philodendron 3

Philodendron Magic 2012 (poster at

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Image-a-day other visions geometric magic (and a challenge)

Although I do this everyday, taking a tiny watercolor painting and creating digital magic continues to astound me.

Using Photoshop, I scanned in Puzzle Pieces #1. After posterizing it (more Photoshop magic), I created #2 and #3 by copying and flipping the image horizontally and vertically. I take great care to line up the flipped images each time because each new image builds on the previous one. Once the lines are off, I have to start all over again.

Then, the fun begins. Once a pattern is set, then I get to use Photoshop's magical tools.

Red Puzzle Pieces.
Green Puzzle Pieces
Blue Puzzle Pieces
Puzzle Pieces Invert Two
Puzzle Pieces Invert One
Puzzle Pieces One

Image-a-day and the OTHER VISIONS challenge

With nearly 300 images, the collection of digital "other visions" will comprise the the bulk of my 2012 Image-a-Day project when it is complete. I welcome suggestions for organizing and cataloging these images. 


The prizes: an "other vision" poster in your choice of design for the two best suggestions. Deadline: October 22, 2012.

Where are OTHER VISIONS now?

Some are at the nanoscapes website under "other visions." A small number of the designs are on products at, and others are on fabric and soon on wallpaper at spoonflower. Find a Puzzle Pieces Postcard at now.

Because I post each day, my Facebook and Pinterest friends can see all of the images in date-of-posting order.  

Beginning on October 25, 2012, "other visions" designs will begin a limited rotation on this website. I have defined three categories: fabric, tiles and stained glass, and wallpaper.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Have a Halloween Party with Spooky Orange Cat!

Orange Spooky Cat
Ceramic Tile
4.25 inch square
$14.20 each
The Small Friends are getting ready to have a huge Halloween party with invitations, decorations, and other cool stuff from with images of their pal, The Spooky Orange Cat.

Fabrics from Spoonflower

Some particularly ambitious Friends are also working on tablecloths, curtains, and upholstery for the event with Spooky Orange Cat fabrics or Butterfly Wings from my shop. Spoonflower fabric choices are basic combed cotton, Kona© cotton, cotton poplin, cotton voile, cotton silk, linen-cotton canvas, organic cotton knit, organic cotton sateen, heavy cotton twill, and silk crepe de chine. Prices range from $17.50 - $38/yard.

Cool stuff from

These (and other) products are all at my "Halloween Party With Spooky Orange Cat" store. Most have quantity discounts.

Spooky Orange Cat Address Label
$2.90 for a sheet of 30
Spooky Orange Cat
Halloween Party Invitation
$1.70/each; .85 each for 10
Halloween Party Dishcloth

Spooky Orange Cat
Round Pin-Back Button


Spooky Orange Cat
Candy Jar

Spooky Orange Cat
Halloween Party Apron

Spooky Orange Cat
10-inch Ceramic Plate

12 Spooky Orange Cats'
Halloween Card

Cat Necktie


Spooky Orange Cat
Halloween Totebag

Spooky Orange Cat
Halloween Party T-shirt

Spooky Orange Cat
 (and year-round) Pillow

Spooky Orange Cat
Sheet of  20 Stickers
Halloween Party
Spooky Orange Cat
Pet Bowl
Cats can come to the party!

Spooky Orange Cat Poster
$9.35 and up (depending on size and paper)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

New Stone Paper: Terraskin™

During my last visit to Wet Paint, I bought a new-to-me bright-white paper called Terraskin which is made from 80% calcium carbonate and 20% high density polyethylene (a binding agent.) Neither trees nor water are used to make it. The manufacturer politely warns that it will begin to degrade if exposed to direct sunlight and moisture for six to nine months, but if kept indoors (my plan) it will be fine. It comes in three thicknesses, and I bought the thickest. A 16-point 25x35 sheet was $6.85.

Stone #1
Pencil & Watercolor
5x7"  $20.00

Unlike Yupo, which is also tree-free, but is 100% synthetic, Terraskin  is very smooth and buttery. I have never warmed up to Yupo, and find Terraskin, very soft and friendly to touch and to work with. 

It is very pencil-friendly, and takes watercolor beautifully. After finishing my painting, I hesitated to touch it because the little watercolor puddles looked shiny and wet. Nope.They were dry. 

I am looking forward to drawing and painting on this surface. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bright Glass Bubbles Holiday Card is a "Today's Best" at

Bright Glass Bubbles
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

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Original Art at Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener Gala

Was this your lucky night?

If you were lucky enough to be invited to the gala dinner that was attached to this year's Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener in Waconia, you may have snagged one of the tabletop centerpieces as a prize. Forty tabletops had original "Sculpted Shores" made by Minneapolis artist Russ Dittmar and his merry band of ten artists, crafters, and logicians during the days leading up to the event.

Creating A Shoreline  

Each sculpted shore began with a carved base which was first painted and then painstakingly covered with rocks in three sizes, wood, leaves, organic elements (moss in many colors, dried flowers, shrubs, pine cones and more), and a host of whimsical elements including aluminum waves, individually hand-painted lily pads, and carefully crafted benches.

Finishing Touches

Finishing touches included painstaking wiring to attach fishing lures, trimming out dogwood twigs for the center of each shore, and bending and filling crystal tubes with beads and colored water. The tubes are not in these pictures, which were taken just before each shore was boxed for transport to Waconia.

Hard work but lots of fun 

All of us in the merry band had a great time. I painted lots of the bases, and crafted my share of shorelines. Although I am a huge fan of glue guns, Russ had us all use permanent indoor caulk. I am now an Official Caulking Gunner who only dreamed about white glue and caulk for two nights during this project.

Want a  shoreline for your very own?

If you are interested in having a shoreline sculpted for you and your family that recollects or recreates a lake shore  that is dear to your family, contact Russ Dittmar at 612.721.6849, or visit his website at

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Brayer: a new tool for paper mosaics

A new tool
Now that I have finished four paper mosaics (horse, pig, hippo, and cat) and have decided that I like making them, today I added a new tool to my toolbox: a brayer. It will transform the sometimes awkward act of tamping down each piece tiny piece of recycled watercolor paintings into an elegant rolling glide.

Helena Paper Mosaic Horse
(Helena Equus Papyrus)
appears on a number of cool products

Fredricka Paper Mosaic Cat
(Fredricka Filidae Papyrus)
Herbert Paper Mosaic Hippo
(Herbert Hippopotamidae Papyrus)

Pablo Purple Paper Mosaic Pig
(Pablo Sus Papyrus)

Each of these tiny small friends is part the genus Papyrus, a heretofore unidentified subclass of Mammalia. The Small Friends Research Institute is working very hard to identify and classify more of these whimsical creatures and to create environments that will ensure their safety and security.

The Genus Papyrus will make its first public appearance at the Northstar Watercolor Society's 10th Annual Art-On-A-Line Show and Sale at the Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Building on May 18-20. They will be with dozens of other small friends hanging next to the nanoscapes