1000 Journals DVD

The 1000 Journals Project was launched a couple of years ago by a man named 'someguy' who lives in San Francisco. These journals are now traveling all over the world, via random people who make a journal entry and then leave the journal in a random place–ready to be picked up by the next person who finds it. I had the wonderful privilege to make a journal entry in one of these journals last year during ArtFest, in Port Townsend, Washington. I met 'someguy', who is just a regular guy with an ingenious idea! Unfortunately, I did not write down the journal number that I journaled in, so I don't know where it is in the world right now. In many instances, journalers will scan their entries and post them with the journal number and where it is at the moment. The documentary has just been released, and I can't wait to see it. Be on the lookout–you never know when you might find one of these journals! 
(Film clip copyrights belong to its creators.)


Marilyn, 1955

Marilyn, 1955, originally uploaded by jomoma58.

I feel compelled to say a few words about my mother, Marilyn, as this is her birthday month. She would have been 78 years old this year. I lost her when I was just 21 years old, and about to enter into my senior year of college. She was a gentle, creative soul, and managed to do some wonderful things during her 49 years of life.

She cooked the best damned pot roast I've ever had, although I did not come to that realization until I had failed for many years to replicate it. You know, the kind of meat that just falls apart, and the carrots and potatoes that simmered with it all day just melted in your mouth. I still have her Betty Crocker cookbook, the white and red checkered one with the 3-ring binder. The pages are tattered and falling apart, but I believe that this is my favorite treasure she left behind. Some of her own killer recipes were skillet corn bread, chicken and dumplings, banana and vanilla wafer pudding, antelope steak fondue (my father was a big game hunter), fried okra, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, Christmas rum balls...she was a child of the deep South.

She also went back to college in her 40's and studied business and art history. She belonged to the Colorado Mountain Club, and climbed 9 or 10 "Fourteeners" (mountains over 14,000 feet). She was a volunteer candy striper at the local military hospital. She encouraged me to pursue art, and took me to many performances such as the opera, ballet, plays, art exhibitions. She could do a killer imitation of Lucille Ball 'on the verge of tears' when she knew Ricky had found out her scheme of the day. She could laugh at herself. Here's lookin' at you, mom...

The picture? Taken by my father, of course.


Dos Corazones

Dos Corazones, originally uploaded by jomoma58.

I've just completed--yes, this very minute--this wonderful little encaustic wax and found object shrine for Valentine's Day. It also includes a small book with a window cut into it. This was so much fun to do, and I am hooked on the process. I will be teaching a workshop explaining how to make one of these in Everett, Washington, in mid-June (please see sidebar "My Upcoming Workshops"). I will soon be putting this up for sale in my online Etsy shop. This will be a tough one to part with!

To purchase, please go to:


My photograph is now featured in the Schmap Seattle Guide

My photograph, "Red Leaves, Blue Sky" has been featured in the 6th edition of the Schmap Seattle Guide. Check it out! (after you click on words–above map–"Sights and Attractions", click on the category "Washington Park Arboretum", and scroll through the photos, or click on the word "photos" below the map, and scroll through).


A New Beginning...

Obama Buttons, originally uploaded by jomoma58.

I cannot begin to describe my feelings this morning, but I'll try. I watched Barack Obama's Presidential Inauguration with my son in his classroom this morning. It took much self control not to cry during the inaugural activities (thus embarrassing my son!). The whole situation really hit me during the gorgeous musical arrangement that was performed by YoYo Ma, Isaak Perlman and others. Such beautiful music of hope. I am overwhelmed with feelings of joy, hope and a restored faith in the American people–and all those who overcame fear and doubt to allow this day in history to take place. I am SO proud (and it has been a very long time) to be an American on this truly great day...


Shrine-in -progress

Shrine-in -progress, originally uploaded by jomoma58.

I have been really intrigued with the use of old books and used clipboards as shrines lately. Here is one I've been playing with recently. I've used pictures of my grandmother ("Nana") Allie Belle, a muskrat jaw, and old Moose token, broken glass and feathers (provided by my own parakeets "F. and O."...

I will be developing this process into a workshop that I will offer in the near future. Check back for updates!


"Margarita and Marigolds"

"Margarita and Marigolds", originally uploaded by jomoma58.

I wanted to share this recently completed collage/assemblage with you. I still don't know how I got from point A to Point B to ....well, you get the picture. Collage is not an art for the 'linear thinking' (and I am a linear thinker!). This piece has been arrange and re-arranged multiple times over the last year, and then, one day, it was FINITO! I don't know why or how. It can be a frustrating experience, this creative process, but well worth it in the long run.

The photo that I used as the basis for this piece was taken in Oaxaca, Mexico, during Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festivities. I was traveling with Michael deMengs' group (art workshop) in 2007. The cemetery was beautiful beyond words...candles, flowers, marigold petals everywhere. The marigold petals were laid down in a path to help lead the souls "home", to be with their families...

Available for sale at:


Past job descriptions: do they make us who we are today?

"Pearl" originally uploaded by jomoma58.

No, I wasn't a 'lady of the evening' or a strip tease dancer...this is a drawing I did (while in art school) of a woman named "Pearl". She was about 75 years old, give or take a few, and she really did this modeling thing for a living. Over the years, she has been my main muse and staunch supporter–even though I have not seen her since art school. When I am kinda blue or creatively blocked, I imagine she would say to me, "Just DO it, honey." I often wonder what her resume looked like, and wish I had taken the time to talk with her during breaks from drawing that day.

Which makes me wonder, do all of our jobs we had in the past make us who we are today. I think so. Here are some of mine: babysitter, "Little Bo Peep"/goat keeper, amusement park ride attendant, Santa's helper (elf), newspaper ad producer (paste-up), graphic designer, illustrator, art director, ski school instructor, retirement home activities director, mother, art instructor, visual artist, main 'spider-getter'...

Do our 'jobs' make us who we are today? What do you think? And, what were some of your most memorable jobs?

Prints of "Pearl" are available in my Etsy shop.


ArtsNow/Edmonds Community College

Shrine of a Lifetime workshop offered in Edmonds, Washington

Shrine of a Lifetime workshop offered in Edmonds, Washington

Memories of Marilyn: inside, originally uploaded by jomoma58.

My upcoming workshop, "Shrine of a Lifetime", will be taking place February 21 and 28 . It will be held at Edmonds Community College (ArtsNow program) in beautiful Washington state. Here's the description:

We will be creating a fabulous shrine dedicated to a beloved person, pet, place, or idea. Learn about Mexican shrines—such as ofrendas and home altars—and their history and place in contemporary society. Discover how to manipulate various mixed media using acrylics, fabric, paper, and found objects, while also learning the art of simple attachments. Express yourself with cherished photos, handwritten notes and your own sacred objects. Your completed cigar box shrine will truly be “art from the heart.”

Pictured above: Shrine of Marilyn (my mother)


Slideshow of some of my work...

Deciding on a blog title is not so easy!

Mud Pies Journal page
Originally uploaded by jomoma58
I had several ideas for a blog title, one that would describe my art, my creative process, my approach to life and the many enriching journeys that I have taken. This journal page describes, in a sense, those very elements. Not only does it dispaly the ingredients of mud pies and paints and pigments, but it shows my approach to life, in a very visual way. Here are come of the other choices I had for my blog title:
Mixtura (It Mixes), Todo se Mezcla (Everything Mixes), Mezcla Artistica (Artistic Mixture), Mixtura Bien (It Mixes Well), Mezcla de Vida (Mixture of Life), and Arte, Vida, Todo! (Art, Life, Everything!).

It was a tough choice.


My FIRST blog post: Numero Uno!

My new toys...
Originally uploaded by jomoma58
Welcome to my new blog, La Vida Artistica=The Artistic Life. I have chosen to have my blog title bi-lingual because I love everything about Latino and Hispanic culture and people. And, it is my firm New Year's resolution to become fluent in Spanish by the end of the year. This blog will cover everything from my art-in-progress to my art workshops to my longings to be back in Mexico and southern climes. I have probably been to Mexico about as many times as I have fingers and toes...and whenever I leave, a part of my heart stays. My art seems to be leaning more and more toward this perpetual yearning...I hope you enjoy what you see and read on these pages.