Nov 28, 2009

I'm here and alive

I've been putting all of my energy into family stuff this last week. In addition to Thanksgiving dinner stuff (including waiting in line an hour and a half for our pre-ordered Honeybaked ham and turkey breasts - which were almost worth it), painted our son's room, ripped up the old carpet, cleaned the vintage hardwood floors, put up new base boards, and rearranged furniture. Tomorrow we're getting new blinds for him and new soccer cleats for the daughter. Then we are going to try and decorate for the holidays and sometime in the next couple of days I need to paint the hallway and put in new doorknobs. I'm pretty tired and very anxious to get to the doctor this next week I hope. Went to see Blind Side tonight - best movie I've seen in a long, long time - very inspiring and uplifting and moving. Avoided shopping this weekend and hope to do as much online as possible this year. Printer is giving me headaches so waiting on a new one to do much art - it should be here in the next couple of days. Will really try to get some more art done and get around to say howdy on everyone else's blogs next week. I miss you all and I miss knowing what you are up to - you're my army of inspiration muses. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Nov 22, 2009

Sunday night miscellany

(An update on the Too Much Information post can be found at the bottom of this post if you're interested.)

Inspired by playing FarmVille on FaceBook, here is the first piece of art I've finished in over a week. I am addicted to FarmVille because it requires very little thinking and helps keep me awake when I want to be sleeping and can't be. You know, writing things and creating things takes so much motivation - it takes a lot to bring forth something that didn't exist before you put the letters together or brought the elements together in a piece of art. There's a place and energy you have to tap into to bring those things out. Mine is all plugged up right now. And you don't realize how much motivation it takes to do what we do until you are all of a sudden on empty! Things like doing laundry or running the vacuum have been comforting for me because I don't have to think to do them and still feel productive. Anyway, you can read more about that stuff at the bottom of this post if you want.

Soul Growing

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 11/22/09. All rights reserved. You may not copy, download, print, or use this image in any way without my permision.
This is a 7 3/4 x 9 3/4 collage using bodies from the 1930 painting
American Gothic by Grant Wood, and faces of Albert and Mileva Einstein from the public domain. Both of these elements were altered significantly in PhotoShop, reprinted, hand trimmed with scissors, and hand colored. The corn crowns come from my own vintage seed package, words from, the fish from, the house from, and the small frame from Studio Lorrie at and used with a commercial license. The backwards letters and numbers at the bottom are from Studio Maya at and also used with commercial permission. The Native American photograph and the eggs are from the public domain. The 2 hearts were cut from a 100 year old encyclopedia page. The raspberry pieces and most other border elements are from Gaby Braun of Thank you, Gaby for your generosity. All pieces were reprinted, hand cut, and hand colored and then placed on a background created by merging textures from flickr's JoesSistah and Many thanks to JoesSistah for always providing such lovely textures to play with.

Did you get yours? Oh, my. Anahata Katkin's Papaya catalog is a feast for the eyes and a must have for making your holiday wish list! It is like a little portable museum of her gorgeous work and I want one of everything inside. Anahata has commented my work once or twice before so to see her big amazing 62 page catalog makes me a little star crossed and giddy. She is living my dream and I find so much inspiration in her work and from her example - another art idol to worship.

Once again, the mailbox Gods have been good to me and brought me surprises galore. I received this gorgeous and so fun piece from Janny Tricolore of Tricolore of Mixed Media blog. I have loved Janny's work forever and after gushing over this piece on flickr she up and sent it to me! I just love that guy sitting there so matter-of-factly in his tutu and boots! You'll notice the same words I used in my piece above - Replinish the Soul. They're part of a hot, hot, hot collage sheet from Nancy Baumiller at! Thank you, Janny, for this very much enjoyed piece! I love it.

And then the very kind and talented Lorraine Stobie of Creative Daily blog sent me these beautiful Christmas tags. What another lovely surprise to get! Thank you, Lorraine! You are too good to me and so thoughtful. They will be used and enjoyed and bragged about this holiday season!

Okay more on the previous Too Much Information (TMI) post. Mother nature has given me a break for a couple of days and I've had just enough energy to do what needs to be done and just a bit more. I go in for blood work Tuesday or Wednesday and waiting for paperwork to see the gynocologist, who just happens to be the obstetrician that delivered both of my kids 16 and 18 years ago. I am very pleased with that as I loved him and trusted him completely. Anyway, I imagine I'll get to see him in the next 2 weeks. Thank you for all of the emails and comments. I told my husband it helps so much to know I am not crazy in trying to describe how very exhausted I am feeling because so many of you have been through it, came out of it, and "get" what I'm going through. I'm sure this will be all over soon. Until then, I'll do the best I can with everything! Thanks heaps for your loving thoughts and wishes!


Nov 17, 2009


Hi all. For my new visitors, I apologize in advance for this post . . . It's definitely a little Too Much Information, but my blog has always been about my journey, mostly art, but personal stuff overlaps sometimes. This is a personal post and I'll be posting art stuff later on Wednesday. I'm very open about what is going on in my life, usually, but try to hold back a bit from personal stuff - I don't a lot of the time because of my openness, but I try.

Anyway, many of you regular visitors know, I am 43 and relatively healthy and happy. But, to be candid, I'm having some female issues that are really taking their toll on me. I have had some ovarian cysts for three years that have caused some concern lately. I had a pap smear in August and it was normal and then had an MRI and pelvic ultrasound which revealed there are more cysts and the tests need to be repeated in about two weeks to decide what to do about them. I was feeling fine and not too worried until September and started having my "monthly visitor" every other week. Now I have had it pretty much constantly and very heavy for the last five weeks and I find myself exhausted. I keep trying to talk myself out of it and that it will all straighten out, but I am just plain old tired, like more tired than I have ever been in my life, with the exception of those first few baby weeks twice (2 kids). I have reached the point the last two days I feel I can't fake it anymore and it's not going away and I just have to let you all know I am not myself. I have calls in to get authorization to see a specialist and hopefully get this taken care of soon, but just wanted you to know that I am having trouble keeping all of the balls I used to juggle in the air now. I am so tired, I find it harder and harder to blog visit, make art, answer emails, or do things that require actual thinking beyond what is absolutely necessary to stay afloat. Coming up with original ideas is the hard part. Etsy is going fine and chore like things I can stay on top of, but mental effort is really not going well for me. I am a very determined person, so some days I pull it off and others I just have to give up. I'm not overly concerned. I think it's just one of those things some of us have to go through in our 40's (my mom had the exact same thing happen at 42) and it will get taken care of pretty routinely once we get the ball rolling. So forgive my absences and flakiness and lack of visiting. I will work through this and all will be fine soon. Thank you!

Nov 13, 2009

Happy Friday!

Another busy week - lots going on but all is good. I ended up not taking the job at Micheal's due to some minor health issues that need to be fixed up and that I decided were more important than the whopping $500 I might make by Christmas. Can't put a price on your body and comfort. My son sent his first two college applications out this week and we are going to visit some campuses this weekend but they're nearby.

Here's my latest piece for the Collage Dreams on Paper class. I'm not really happy with the lettering but I did it - still afraid of that darn lettering and that's probably why I'm struggling with it so much. But, as I struggle with the lettering, I'm getting more comfortable with the new background style at least. I may reuse this main figure and try another one. The main figure will be showing up in parts on one of my collage sheets soon. I'm still working on some other body parts to add to that sheet but I've got it about 3/4 done. Hope to blog visit and flickr visit over the next few days - I miss everyone and I've been hunkered down in my own little world. Time to throw open the curtains and see what's going on outside!

All Star Diva

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 11/13/09. All rights reserved. You may not copy, print, download, or use this image or any part of it in any way without my permission.
This is an 8 x 10 collage (approximately) using a face, body, legs, and shoes from one of my own collage sheets (not yet released), a hat purchased from, and wings purchased with a commercial license from Butterfly Utopia. All but the wings and hat were printed in black and white and then hand colored. Regarding the border pieces: the flowers, wavy black and white stripes, teal and white piece at the bottom, and number 9's are from Studio Maya at; the parking meters were purchased from; the rest of the border pieces are from my own collage sheets at All pieces were attached to a background altered with NeoColors, PanPastels, and ink.

Have a great weekend!


Nov 11, 2009

Not just Veteran's Day for me . . .

We buried my mom 13 years ago today. She died very suddenly at age 66. I was 30 and so not ready to be without her. But, life has a way of working in its own way and honestly, the way things turned out, I got much closer to my dad than I might have otherwise and that has been a very precious gift to me. What they say is true, time heals things and lessens pain and sorrow, but I miss my mom.

I am starting a part time job today. I applied for one, kind of on a whim, and got it, not sure that I even really wanted it. It's no great feat - I'm working at Micheal's of all places! If nothing else, a discount will be nice. But, I have to say, it's been a long, long time since I worked for minimum wage. I hear the job and nice pay I left to make art no longer exists thanks to CA's education cuts and I'm just thankful to have a job at all in a state that has the worst unemployment rate in the country. I was sharing somewhere else today that it's just hard to not have a job, regardless of pay rates. I've only not worked 5 years out of the last 29 - I started working when I was 14 and didn't not work until my son was born. I keep thinking he's going to college in less than a year and I can't just play all day everyday. I'm not sure how it will change things art wise . . . we'll see.

I finished one collage sheet and one collage today. Here's what I wrote in flickr about my collage piece . . . "For Nancy Baumiller's Collage Dreams on Paper class . . . Well, I did it. I did what I was afraid to do. I played, no plan, no printing stuff out. I just used scraps AND I finally tried hand lettering. I can't say that I like it, but I like that I finally let go, loosened up, and faced some fears here. Heck, I even scribbled some if you can believe it."


This is an 8 x 10 collage using mostly images from my new collage sheets but also many scrap pieces of paper and a few magazine pictures of trees (altered and recolored). The wings are from, the scalloped border at the top is from designer Sande Krieger, and the hat was made from a piece from Studio Maya at The fish, all the bodies, face, and many other pieces are from my collage sheets at Lots of ink, pastel, and the main background is acrylic.

Here's the new collage sheet


I am so honored to be featured on two lovely blogs today. Thank you to Lorraine of Creative Daily for a lovely post. Lorraine was just published in Somerset Studio and has so many different talents. You must hop over and peruse her lovely blog. And, another big thank you to Nikki Smith (again! I mentioned her on yesterday's post). If you didn't stop by after yesterday's post, jump over now and check out not just her blog but all of her gorgeous galleries!


Nov 8, 2009

A bunch of stuff . . .

I can't believe it's been so long since I blogged. Where has the last week gone? Doesn't it always seem like time speeds up this time of year? Or do we say that all year long, every season? I don't know. I've been busy. The collage sheets I've been making take a lot of time but I've gotten a little more comfortable with it. One soccer season is over so we have a bit of a break as the new team starts practicing. And, we've been filling out or at least talking about filling out college applications with my son. We're going to finish that this Wednesday.

Nancy Baumiller's Collage Dreams on Paper class has been teaching me a lot, but my mind has been all over the place figuring out what it means or what it should mean to my work. I wrote in a comment over there that I think there was this little bit of me thinking if I took the class I would magically be able to make imposter Teesha and Nancy work. This was not the case and at first I was disappointed that my work still looked like mine. But, I've started to accept, I am me and just like I can't hand write just like any of you or you like me doesn't mean a hill of beans and is probably a good thing for variety sake. I know this was in the Being an Artist 101 class but I keep making it harder than it has to be.

This piece was made for a one-eyed zetti postcard swap and I chose to make it in the style of Nancy's class though it is much more organized than Nancy or Teesha would organize something. Many of the elements used are from my new collage sheets and this piece is available as 5 x 7 print - all in Etsy.


copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 11/6/09. All rights reserved. You may not copy, print, download, or use this image in any way without my permission.
This is a 4 x 6 postcard made for a swap. The body is from and the flower crown is from The wings are form designer Nicole Young and used with a commercial license. The eye charts in the borders are from shabby chic papirskatter. The rest of the border pieces and the view master are from my own collage sheets at The face is from the public domain and highly altered. All hand cut, most hand colored, and attached to a background made with NeoColors and Pan Pastels and ink.

There was an auction for our friend, Tina Wright, who is fighting colon cancer. I donated a couple of prints and gift certificates. One of the high bidders was so very sweet to offer me two of her pieces of work and when I went to peek I was just amazed at her beautiful and original Wee Planets. Nikki Smith is a very talented book artist but works in all sorts of mediums. Her Wee Planets just truly caught my imagination. I chose one and she sent me two.

This one is called Planet Path.

And this one, I didn't realize until I looked on the back, she personalized to be Hotel de Tumble Fish!

See in the close up? Isn't that just the coolest thing ever? I just love it! Special touches like that can turn a very lovely and cool piece of art into a meaningful and extremely lovely and cool piece of art! Be sure to go look at Nikki's other work, but here's a link to her Wee Planets You can get to her blog and other galleries from here too.

I finished a few more collage sheets . . .


Happy Day Swim Club


And lastly, you've seen this before, but it is now all glued down with lots of ink outlines and shading added. It's in my Etsy too. I wanted to share the image credits now that it's done. A lot of folks have asked about the houses and I got those from Kelly Burton's

Little Traveler

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 11/6/09. All rights reserved. You may not copy, print, download, or use this image in any way without my permission.
This is a large 8 x 10 collage using a face from the public domain, glasses and crown purchased from, legs and boots scanned from catalogs and altered digitally and by hand, skirt from the public domain, bodice and arms from, hearts and wings from designer Nicole Young and purchased with a commercial license, houses from, TV screens & exit sign purchased from, word "entree" from designer Lorie Davison of Studio Lorie at, black and cream border from, scalloped and straight red and white striped border from, small red and black border from, inside side borders from Gaby Braun of, scalloped borders with numbers from designer Sande Krieger and purchased with a commercial license, scraps from Graphic 45 papers, other scraps from the public domain and my own vintage ephemera, and clouds & view master reel from Most of these pieces were hand colored to some degree and all were hand cut and glued to a background made from NeoColors, ink, and PanPastels.


Nov 3, 2009

First digital collage sheets are done!

Whew! I had no idea how much work was involved in digital collage sheets! All of you image sellers I buy from, my hat is off to you! I don't know how you get so many done. I worked pretty much non-stop from Friday to this afternoon and I only have 5 sheets done and have only used about 12 of my 100 or so vintage pictures. I have a long, long way to go! But, here they are . . .

Fun House

Borders and Scraps

Paper and Tin

Little Geishas

Snappy Dressers

I am taking a break from all things art tonight and doing some laundry, going to a soccer meeting, and watching TV later. I might even wear my new lovely bracelet to do these things. I won a prize from Monica Magness's Pink Artist Project and the prize was this very gorgeous bracelet from my friend Sharon of Livewire Jewelry! Sharon, I haven't even written a thank you yet but I'm off to do that now! Thank you so much! I love it and am already fighting my daughter over it! I can't believe I won!


Nov 2, 2009

Contrived intuition

I watched all of Teesha Moore's videos this morning that she has recently posted to her blog. Oh boy, I love watching her work and hearing what she's thinking as she does it. It makes my head spin with urges to work in her style.

I think the word I've been looking for to describe my own work is contrived. Teesha uses the word now and then in the context that she wants to change pieces she collages so they don't look so contrived. I think she means too perfect, too neat and tidy and therefore empty of expression. She uses the word intuitive alot. I think I work intuitively but I don't work very expressively or gesturely. Now, everytime I write about where my head is in regard to my work I get a bushel full of compliments and loving lectures. I want you to understand that I am not looking for assurances about my work, maybe admittedly my thinking and questioning (cuz we all like to know we are not crazy), but I am truly posting my journey on this blog. I'm sharing what's in my head. Eventually and hopefully, you'll continue to read my blog to see how I work these things out, how I overcome or ignore the moments of "stuck". If I don't question my work from time to time, I'm not sure I would keep striving to find my true voice, my true work that is buried down deep in my soul somewhere. I think those times of questioning are that deep down art trying to get a little closer to the surface.

A strange thing has happened to me. Up until a couple of weeks ago, I found myself increasingly very attracted to surealsim and digital artists that use vintage images to create these crazy odd elaborate stories. I started to try and think about working in that direction, but still working with scissors and glue and marrying that crisp odd surrealism with a mostly non-digital presentation. Then, I started Nancy Baumiller's class and I foundmyself trying to work in this crazy un-crisp, very expressive zetti Teesha Moore journal style. And I love both styles and find myself torn and confused about which direction I want to work in or trying to figure a way to work in the two styles at once while still keeping me in my work. I think it is these things that have brought on the questioning and self criticism you've been reading. But, please know that I love making art. I'm not about to quit or throw myself off a cliff. I'm just telling you about my journey.

So, I've left just a few links here to show the two very different types of work and artists I find myself in a love triangle with!

Martine Roch
Maggie Taylor
Casa Jordi
Paul Grand
Teesha Moore
Nancy Baumiller
Jade Adams
Roc Nicholas

I plan to flit amongst these styles and continue to keep playing and continue to keep questioning. I'm even taking a mini-break from creating. That really means, I'm not pushing myself as I had been, to make a set number of pieces a week. I'll make when I can't fight the urge and won't make if I have to force it. In the meantime, if I'm not around much, I am finally working on collage sheets and scanning, scanning, scanning, photoshoping, photoshoping, photoshoping, etc. It's taken me about 10 hours a sheet so far so this is a big project for me. I have a couple of sheets done but want to wait until I get a few more before I "release" them.

Lauren went back to school today and we kicked the flu out of the house over the weekend. All is good.