Thursday, November 10, 2022

Still Kind of Retired

 I'm still both painting and working with clay.    Definitely choosing to play more and work less than in the past.  As my clay/painting pendulum continues to swing, I'm at this moment leaning more toward painting than clay.  As I often do, I have begun to burn out on clay for now.  I still have my commissioned work and am using my pottery wheel more all the time in my sculptures.  I have reached a point with my large dog, cat, and rooster sculptures that I can throw almost all the body parts (entire core of the animal, legs, and head) on the wheel and, with a lot of "finessing" assemble them all into a pretty good dog sculpture.  I still build the tail, ears, face parts, etc., but all the rest is thrown and assembled.  I won't say it's much easier, but at least it's different and thus more enjoyable.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

I've (kind of) retired

 As I stated in my last entry, I have finally turned my wholesale business over to my daughter, Lara Mogensen.  I will still be selling a few ceramic pieces on Etsy,  ( but am now doing "whatever I want to do!"  

In addition to making one-of-a-kind ceramic pieces, I'm also still painting, including doing custom paintings.  I have one going now, in fact, an absolutely gorgeous English springer spaniel, liver, who should be finished in the next week or so.  And I am painting a pretty little black-and-grey tabby cat next for another customer.  I'm not going to take more than a few custom paintings a year, though, because again, I want to do whatever I feel like doing on any given day.

Gardening has become a renewed passion for me now, too, and I've created a small but beautiful and tranquil front-yard garden.  I would do more in the rest of my yard, but the wind here in Ellensburg, WA, has other ideas.  Every time I've tried planting anything outside my small protected front yard, the wind literally blows the plants to pieces.  I just this summer bought a lot of tree starts that I hope will eventually give me a bit more calm in my yard.  Barriers such as fences provide almost no protection because the wind just blows over the top.  If I stand within around 5 feet of the fence, the air is calm.  Beyond that, it's ferocious still.

Also on the gardening subject, except for the very wet, very cool summer up to now, my vegetable garden looks better than ever -- except that my poor tomatoes and peppers are all huddled up together to try to stay warm.  I have a few little knobs here and there that under a normal summer would be nearly ripe fruits by now.  Oh, well, I have already gotten enough other goodies to call my garden this year a success.  All my "greens" and herbs have been thriving in this unusual weather this year (thanks to La Nina, I hear).  

Things are about to change, though:  The forecast for the next week is over 100 every day.  If my fruiting veggies aren't too shocked by the sudden heat, perhaps many of them will actually grow and ripen.

I also have some goodies going in my little front yard, finally.  My white seedless grape vine is overloaded with grapes this year, the raspberries I planted early this spring are finally fruiting, I have had a smattering of strawberries, and for the first time this year, my black currant bush is loaded with very yummy tiny fruits -- perfect for picking off the bush on an early evening browsing tour of my year.

All in all, (semi)retirement is a good thing.  I do get a bit lonely, but that's because of my tendencies toward being a loner.  My only friend outside my family has moved away, so I really don't socialize outside my family at all anymore, although I am considering doing some volunteer work at the local Habitat store, not only to help them out but also just for getting out among people more.  

I continue to immerse myself in the study of the French language, as I have for many years.  I don't know a single person who also speaks French, so it's a rather lonely endeavor, but I guess you could call it one of my "hobbies."  I have finally graduated to watching pretty much any streaming movie or show I can find dubbed in French with no subtitles of any sort.  I can't say I understand every single word, but I certainly follow the story perfectly well.  Plus I continue to read books written in French by French authors every single day.  It's a very rewarding pursuit. I should add that there are no French language groups or organizations such as l'Alliance Francaise, anywhere near Ellensburg, by the way, so I'm totally on my own.  That's okay, though.  I can handle it.

I had planned way, way back in 2019 to go to France again in 2020, but we all got sidelined with all our plans back then.  This year, I just still don't feel comfortable going yet.  Maybe 2023 will work for me.  We'll see.  

Not that anyone's interested, but more to come, anyway.  Just my musings.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

 Again, to my wholesale customers:  

I have finally decided to retire (it's that time!) and have the business taken over by my daughter and business partner, Lara Mogensen.  Many of you may know her if you attended the Philadelphia show in 2018, I think it was (maybe 2019).  She and her husband attended the show and really enjoyed meeting all of you who stopped by.  

Sunday, August 8, 2021

A quick medical update

 Late last March, I had a severe hand injury which required extensive surgery to repair.  Now, in around mid August, I've recovered sufficiently that I can once again make my ceramic art pieces again.  

If you are a gallery, I'll be back on IndieMe within a few days.  If you are a collector (or just like my work), I'm going to start listing many of my pieces here, and you can contact me to purchase them.  I know there are better ways to sell my artwork online, but this is what I have time to do now.  I also will be listing pieces on Etsy.  Of course, you can also go to any of the galleries who sell my work as well.  When I become  a bit more organized (who knows when that will be!), I will create a list here of galleries who sell my artwork so you can go see it in person if you are in any of their areas.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Making Lots of Ceramic Animal Sculptures

 I've been getting a lot of orders for my large (to me) ceramic animal sculptures lately, and it's been quite a tough go, but I'm getting through them slowly.  

Generally, I can work at a pretty good pace and get a couple done a week, but now, due to a recent hand injury, I'm moving much, much more slowly.  I am a right-handed person generally, but when I sculpt, for some reason, my left hand is dominant.  Unfortunately, the flexor tendon for my thumb in my left wrist just snapped recently, and now I cannot bend my left thumb.  I had no idea how vexing and how incapacitating such an injury could be.  And, unfortunately, because I live in a small town, I guess, the medical community are dragging their feet getting me set up for surgery.  In the meantime, I'm trying my best to get these sculptures done, albeit slowly, because after the surgery, I won't be able to use my left hand for at least a couple of months.  

I have a few that I had already completed before the injury, and I'll post photos of them in a day or two.  Some of the ones I'm building now, I'll show them in their in-progress stages.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

A few paintings I've finished over the past year:

 I've been promising to post a few of the paintings I've done this past year, and here are a few for now:  

This is one I did for my granddaughter.  He's her horse, and his name is Val (short for Valentino because he came into her life on Valentine's Day).  He's about as goofy as he appears to be in the painting but really a very, very sweet horse.  Obviously, the original painting is not for sale.

This is a custom painting of a really beautiful dog named Ruby that I painted recently.    Her mom loved the painting, and I enjoyed painting her.

This is a painting of Cooper that I did for a very long-time customer.  He's an Australian labradoodle.  Again, it was a pleasure to paint him, and I'm so happy that his parents loved the painting.

And finally, this is another custom painting named --- I'm sorry!  I'm drawing a blank.  It'll come to me later.  She's obviously a golden retriever and she loves her little blue guy.  I really enjoyed painting her -- and her little blue toy, too.

This is all for now.  I'll add some more later on.  But now work calls again, so I better get back to it.


Wednesday, January 27, 2021


I have begun taking a limited number of custom pet paintings on stretched canvas, your choice of either oil or acrylic.  See the link to the right for more information. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Still Working

It's been quite a difficult year for me, but I continue to work, at both my ceramic art and paintings. My daughter and her family live next door to my husband and me. Due to the coronavirus, we are unable to visit each other except outdoors and with masks. It has been a hardship, especially for us "seniors." We haven't left the house in over six months now, pretty tough. Fortunately, I am an artist, he a craftsperson/artist, and for some unexplicable reason, our artworks have been in great demand this past year, which kept us both really busy and able to keep the sadness/loneliness, etc. somewhat at bay as we see our family members go about their lives just next door without many restrictions. But I am getting a bit burned out on my ceramic artwork and have stopped taking wholesale orders from galleries -- except for one gallery who only wants my large one-of-a-kind sculptures. As I often do when I tire from one of my two areas of artwork, I am now doing less in the ceramic side of my business and spending more time painting again. Thus, I've begun taking commissions for custom paintings. Just drop me a message at my email address if you're interested. I've re-published my "How to Commission a Painting" page, so it can give you details on prices, etc. The number of paintings I will take is limited because, unfortunately, I am a meticulous, thus slow, painter and don't want to take on more than I'm comfortable with. I can let you know where you will stand in the calendar if you choose to commission a painting. In a few moments, I'll be publishing photos of a couple of cow paintings I recently finished, one of which is a "redo" of one I did a couple of years ago which I just wasn't completely happy with. Now I like it.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

There's a Saying about Regretting what we didn't do . . .

Mark Twain:  “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails."

Okay, I really meant to chronicle every day of our road trip in real time -- and I managed to write one entry, about the end of our first day.  Well, we were sooooooo busy and were having soooooo much fun that I completely forgot to write each day.

Suffice it to say that our road trip was fun, entertaining, very educational, very memorable (in a good way), great bonding time, and very, very tiring.  I drove between 2500 and 3000 miles in 12 days (don't do that!) 

Over the next few days, I'll describe the trip just in case someone else is considering doing something similar and wants to learn from my experiences.

Between main destinations, we stayed in motels -- not fun but expedient.

Our first main destination:  We went to Arches National Park and saw all the requisite arches and hiked all the requisite trails and had a good time.  But it was way, way too hot, too sunny, and too crowded!  The first day, in fact, we had to wait in a car-line for nearly an hour just to enter the park.  Fortunately for us, all the campsites in the park were filled, so we found a beautiful site just beside the Colorado River on BLM land just adjacent to the park.  The sites were very large, mostly treed, with very clean pit toilets.  No water, though.  The campground ran through the Colorado River Canyon, just alongside the Colorado River.  We had beautiful red canyon walls hovering over us from both sides of the river.  One evening, we got to watch around 8 bighorn sheep somehow scampering on what appeared to be pretty much sheer cliffs.  It was quite a sight.

I have very few regrets from this trip.  Here's the main one:  We were tired and didn't visit Aspen,  Independence Pass, Twin Lakes, and St Elmo, all old favorites of mine.  I regret that very much -- but there are always other trips to be taken.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Something Different: My granddaughter's and my annual road trip!!

Just the two of us, we go on an adventure every year, and we're off already on our road trip to various parts of Utah and Colorado this year.  We're taking our time and wandering as we wish. 

We started Saturday morning in our home town of Ellensburg, WA, and drove to Ontario, OR, where we stayed the night.  On the way to Ontario, we took a side-trip into the little town of Baker City somewhere in Eastern Oregon.  It's a little town with a feel of what I would call a perfect "Small Town" of America, complete with some fun shops in a well-defined downtown, with a true "Main Street," of course, and a wonderful large center-of-town park, where there is a large playground for children, a bandstand for I presume great summer concerts for the whole town, and even a cute gazebo for whatever people do in gazebos -- get out of the rain?

Today, we drove only 50 miles to the city of Boise, where we went a bit out of the way to a great "World Center for Birds of Prey."  It is not only a serious research center but a center for the conservation and rehabilitation of birds of prey.  Further, it's the home of the Peregrine Falcon Fund, which protects, educates, and conserves peregrine falcons world-wide.  At the end of the over two-hours-stay, Elena has decided that she's going to become a scientist dedicated to these beautiful animals.  I would highly recommend that anyone with children around 8 and up swing by if you are passing through the area.  It's well worth the drive.

More tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Still Alive, Just Busy

A fun dog sculpture I finished recently.  S/he stands around a foot tall and is around 15 inches long.

I've also been doing a little more painting lately and will be posting some paintings soon.

I'm only selling my ceramic animal sculptures to galleries these days, but I'll be creating a list of galleries where my work can be purchased in the near future.  Paintings and prints continue to be sold retail, though.

I went through a pretty serious health issue from around mid summer last year until late spring this year but am doing fine now.  It was tough, but it's over now, and I'm back and strong again.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Still Making my Ceramic Works

Here's a large dog mask with a tennis ball in its mouth. 

My daughter, Lara, has joined me now, and we are both creating the ceramic pieces together. 

We're making more large pieces, including some really great sculptures that will be available soon.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Making my Ceramic Animal Sculptures Now - Giving Paintings a Rest

For at least the next few months, I'm going to be working on my always popular ceramic animal sculptures and wall-hangings.  I make each one by hand and have no employees, just me in my home clay studio.  It's a bit lonely, but I have one of my dogs and a radio for company.  And I love, love the "work," too.

Currently, I'm working on some rooster sculptures, and soon I'll be making some goat, alpaca, sheep, and goat sculptures. Also, I'm working on some very different sculptures, too, involving various stacked spheres and very fanciful body parts.  It's a slow process but very enjoyable.  They're more "artsy," and I'll be showing them here very soon.

My clay art and my paintings and prints are available on either Etsy or Amazon Handmade.

A sitting cat wall-hanging with a bird looking down at it

A cow

Another cat with a curly tail

A dog face wall-hanging with a bone in its mouth

One of my large sitting dog sculptures sitting in the grass

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A Ewe and her two babies, A mother sheep and her two lambs

Mother Ewe and her two baby Lambs
This is a painting I finished very recently.  I created it from photos kindly lent to me by a sheep and goat farmer who lives near me.  I'm not mentioning her name because I didn't ask for permission.  But I do thank her.

I've finally started doing many of my paintings in oil.  I love how it flows, but I'm still having a problem with messing areas I've already painted because it dries much more slowly than acrylic paints do.  I think, too, that the colors are more true after the painting has dried.