Thursday, November 16, 2017

SORRY! This giveaway is now closed.


You can still donate to the Aurora Humane Society by visiting 


YES! I want to support homeless dogs and cats- AND hang this painting in my house! 

23" x 24" x 3" 
A butterfly from Madagascar is surrounded by falling leaves and plastered surfaces. 
won the Facebook vote to be this year's giveaway! 

Background on the Piece:  This was a commission for Sue Voss, who was a cultural force to be reckoned with in Aurora! This piece was returned to me after she passed away a couple of years ago.  I believe Sue would approve of its cause... When she came to my studio to talk about a commission, I had both dogs there- at that time Bear was a very young and exuberant pup, and his much older sister Chelsea,  who was not very happy about the whole puppy situation.  Sue ignored the puppy, and sat down and had a good long talk and petting with Chelsea, ignoring pushy Bear's pleas for attention.  I knew this lady and I were going to get along just fine.... 

You can enter online here (click on the Buy Now button below) until Wed. Nov. 29th at 10pm, or in person at open studio on Friday Dec. 1st from 5:30-8pm.  Suggested donation is $5 per entry, and no you don't have to contribute- but you don't want to be THAT person do you??

YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE PRESENT TO WIN! Each entry will be put in a box and we'll do 2 drawings at 6, 7, and 8 pm on Facebook live at the First Friday Open Studio on Dec.1st, with the final one being the painting!! If you are not present or watching on Facebook, we'll contact you afterward via the email you provided upon entry.

The first 5 names drawn will win prints, hand painted ornaments, or greeting cards. If you're present, you get to choose your ornament, print or cards- if you are long distance,  I'll choose for you, and try an accommodate any reasonable requests if inventory allows! and of course the last name drawn wins Madagascar Drift!!

Local peeps- If you are not there already, I'd appreciate you stopping by and picking it up!
Long Distance peeps-I will ship your winnings anywhere within the contiguous United Sates.

Because abandoned animals are a cause near and dear to my heart, and most dogs I know (and some cats) are better than people!   They deserve a shot at the good life!!!!! Lets give it to them. I hear all the time how people LOVE my work, but can't afford it. If I had a $1 for every time someone said that, I'd be rich and living on 10 acres with a barn and could rescue as many dogs, cats, goats, sheep, chickens as I wanted!  So throw your loose change into the "kitty", get a piece of work, and help fund our homeless dogs and cats!!!


THANK YOU!! for supporting those who don't have a voice.

Want to be there in person? I'd love to hand you your new work in person!!

Friday Dec 1st, 5:30-8 pm
Aurora Artists Studios
50 E. Galena, #201

Click here for more info on my First Friday Open Studio...

Click here for info on all the First Friday Happenings!

Click here for more info on the Aurora Humane Society and how to adopt today!

 ....and PLEASE- the next time you consider adding a furry member to your family- check out those who are up for adoption!   They are usually there because some person was irresponsible, NOT because they are defective.  Below are 9 stellar examples of alumni from Aurora Animal Control, ADOPT, and West Suburban Humane Society.



Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Finding Joy in the Planning Process

Although I no doubt love a good studio day where I'm getting dirty and pouring inks and paints, selecting twigs or firing up the blowtorch – I also relish some "couch time" with my sketchbook, stack of art books, and iPad, taking time to consider my next series of group of works.  I look at all the plans for pieces I have yet to make in my sketchbook, images collected from other artists whose I admire, and try and figure out what it is I should be doing exactly at this point in life, career, and the state of mind I'm in.   I have a lot of delicious big tasks in front of me, and I took the afternoon to sit down and organize my thoughts, crank some good tunes (the goo goo dolls were calling me this afternoon), sketch out some ideas, look at past plans that I could incorporate in, and allowed myself to cruise Pinterest for a short time. 

There is a total freedom in imagining things, and you're not delayed by drying time, technical difficulties, or supply concerns. Just free reign, working as fast as your mind can imagine! It’s glorious.  I just try to keep up in my sketchbook (although I always fall short), capturing as much as possible on the page.  

I leave energized and ready to tackle the next big thing.

Which is what??  Assemblage/ totems is where I’m at.  I have always said I keep a toe in sculpture, and now I guess you could say I'm up to my ankles. Most are still wall hangings, but they will be much more sculptural, and able to incorporate (I hope) in a cohesive spiritual way all the natural materials I've been working with all summer on my fairy houses, panels of paintings, and shapes of textured surfaces that could be anything for encaustic to acrylic to ceramic.  It think it’s a good way for me to merge all my interests into one.  When I look back- I have been going back to "totem stacking" for over 20 years- I made a large paper cast from a clay sculpture in grad school, I made a totem vertical rectangular series 10? years back, tiny assemblages last year, so now the seems like the right time for this next progression of my work! 

So I started pulling out my works in progress, lumber, found objects and played with them, stacking, selecting arranging.... 

Here's the "roughs" on the floor....

Stay tuned! 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Wedding Art

It's that time of year –I always end up making a little bit of wedding art during the summer months. This year however, things took a little bit of a different turn when my niece Angie and her bride Maria asked me to create an alternative guestbook for them. At first we talked about using barnboard, but I thought the surface would be too rough for people to sign legibly. So they let me go off on my own tangent and make whatever I want. I loved their invitations, and thought it made sense to incorporate them. I contacted their friend who is the graphic designer who created them, she gave me the font types, and I made a slightly larger altered version to include on their guestbook. Their colors were orange and blue– which initially I found very challenging. But I thought fall rust leaves, and went with that. It was kind of hard to not get textural-but I like the distressed two dimensional effect. I think they did as well. And once I saw the old lodge they were having the reception, it fit perfectly!

"auditioning" the placement and size of the logo before silk screening, and embellishing with inks. 

The"final" piece- before signatures of course! 

Then it was onto the actual wedding gift! These two met in the Army, so that had to be included cause it's been a big part of their life for years. They met in San Diego, so a map of that was included as well. I included part of their wedding timeline on the side and use their wedding colors. 
Encaustic paint encapsulated the whole thing so would last as long as they do!

.... and just when I thought I was done, while  I was helping to set up the reception hall,  they asked me to do some last-minute signage for them. This saying that they wanted cracked me up!

Needless to say, shenanigans did ensue...
But I love my big crazy extended Dougherty family!!


UPDATE- the finished signed "guestbook"

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Bugs and Bird Nests...

So today I spent – well, way longer than I meant to – going through my collection. I had the very generous offer from one of my favorite  collectors to use his companies high-tech technology to scan and reproduce whatever I could give him. At first I thought how perfect for very fragile dragonflies and tiny bugs! 


But then – I started thinking about winged maple seeds, milk pods, and – probably most excited about this –birds nests! I have a tiny fragile hummingbirds nest that would love to have a model of. So anyhow – preparing them for transport and hopefully high-tech reproduction. It's a tall order....we'll see!


Win this Fairy House!

Im doing this giveaway on Facebook, and didn't want to leave out my blog readers!
follow this link to win this fairy house!

see more like it at my Etsy store

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The process behind Fairy House: Trio Towers with Winding Staircase

Going to show you the process behind making a fairy house!  

this one can hang or sit, so started out with a backing for it, because Im using a hollow curl of bark. 

adding two more towers....

i am not sure what kind of wood this is, but it taxed almost all of my tools!  Had to bring band saw to studio, and that is making my life much easier! 

reinforcing base before attaching....

weighting down the red pine bark roof....

now the real fun starts!!  seeing natural materials as house components....

and the end result! 


and then i took it to the forest preserve to find a perfect place to plant it! 

check out the video to see all of the parts...

...and how it looks at night lit up!