“Kill The Disease”-Using a Gun in Art

CS Bullets 1

Photograph: Standard range target, Permanent marker,  Glock 43,  9 mm pistol.

To learn more about Cockayne Syndrome and how you can help, please visit Share and Care Network (US) or Amy and Friends (UK) for more information.


I’ve been thinking about art and media.  With all the talk of gun control in the news lately, it’s hard to avoid the question: To what extent are artists influenced by political agendas?

I know my choice to use a gun in this piece may set people off, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take.  February 1st will mark 2 years since my little boy was killed by mutated genes.

Many artists have used controversial imagery in the name of social justice or progressive ideals. But that’s not what I’m doing.

The target is the canvas. Bullets are the medium.  Shooting is the process.

No liberal agenda here. No conservative agenda, either.

It’s an accurate reflection of my feelings about Cockayne Syndrome and what it did to my son.

And what it’s doing to children all over the world that I love deeply.

There were no other materials that could’ve made this image as powerful. As accurate.

Honestly, it felt good to shoot up the name of this disease.

I drew my gun to draw my pain with bullets, to process the agonizing loss of my son.

What about political agendas in the arts?

I’m confident those truly devoted to freedom in the arts and progressive ideals will understand my process and embrace the way in which I choose to express myself.



Chatelaine for the Artist

I still play.  I create things that are totally unrealistic and completely impractical,  just for fun.

I was watching Dowton Abbey and  noticed a chatelaine, worn by the housekeeper, Mrs Hughes.

Chatelaines were a ‘useful’ form of jewellery, worn when women’s clothing had no pockets. They were dangled from the waist, their chains carrying small items. Chatelaines were common in the 18th century but enjoyed revivals at various times during the Victorian era.

I wondered:  What about a chatelaine for the artist? A romantic little tool kit of supplies to wear?

And that’s how I came to collect pieces of chain, jump rings, wires, and loose leaf rings to try and create an artist’s chatelaine, complete with all the necessities one would need to capture a scene at the very moment of inspiration.

A small tube of chalks and drawing papers…


A ‘view-finder’ to help with narrowing down the landscape until you find the perfect composition to draw…

A pencil…

And sharpener…

And a blending stump is always nice to have for the chalks…

And there it is. My very rough prototype of a chatelaine for the artist.

It could be spectacular with the right tools and equipment.


I can’t help but imagine how incredible this idea could become in the hands of a true jewelry and metal-work artist like Luthien Thye.  When I see her creations I’m always amazed at the range of her skill and variety of materials.  If you’ve never seen her work, it’s worth your time.

I appreciate you visiting my blog and always love to hear from you.

Have a lovely weekend!

Altered Photo With Cross-Stitch (#3)

I brushed over the color copy of my photo with gel matte medium and let it dry overnight, face down, on an 8″ x 10″ framed canvas.  The image came out fairly clear so I didn’t need to do a second transfer like I did on my first one.

After I removed the paper, there was still a small un-printed area at the bottom right of the canvas and I’m not sure why.   It’s a learning process!

After doing a ‘half-face’ photo and a ‘whole face’ photo, I decided I like the look of the half-faces more.  They have a whimsical look that I like.

I took some watercolor pencils and added some color back into the red glasses and her lips…


And also her hair and eyes…

Added some fine detail with a .03 pen…

Then I started adding some stitching…

I was experimenting with using the stitching as texture and pattern instead of only accenting details in the photo.

Portrait Transfer with Cross-Stitch (#2)

This photo transfer was made using the same technique as the first one.  This time,  I left the color print to dry overnight.  After it was dry, I sprayed it with water and peeled it off to reveal the image underneath.  It peeled up at the bottom but I actually like the edges to look imperfect.

I used free cross-stitching to accent her braid, her sweater, and her necklace.

Again, colored pencils were used to highlight the eyes and mouth and a fine point pen for some details. I also sponged ‘Red Brick’ Distress Ink onto her cheeks.

Searching thr0ugh my stash of text w0rds, I found this phrase…

I’m finishing up a third transfer this week so I’ll post some photos of it soon.  Hope you’re having a great start to your New Year and I always appreciate the visits and comments!