Misc. thoughts & digital collages

..Nothing contributes so much to tranquillize the mind as a steady purpose — a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.
- Robert Walton in Frankenstein

1890 meets 1990 in this altered self portrait.

It amazes me just how lost I was for most of my life (but especially back when this photo was taken). The creative urge was present yet I was fragmented & easily distracted. It was only about a year ago that I started feeling comfortable in my own creative skin. I wake up each day with new images to make. (For more info on my "jump start" click HERE)

Don't get me wrong, I am far from found & still searching. But now I seem to have a map, albeit an invisible, intuitive one. The last 15+ years have brought many responsibilities. I am still easily distracted and can get frustrated by the lack of studio time. But something has clicked & I feel lucky to realize just how much I'm enjoying the journey.

Where is all this coming from? Some talented wonderful people I "know" are having challenges of their own just now. It has caused me to step back from my grumbling & appreciate how fortunate I am. I too have been lost in the dark and in despair. I guess this is my awkward attempt to let them know that they are special, they are loved & that this too shall pass. Your friends, family (& fans) really are here for you.

Ok, switching gears. When I started typing today, I intended to post about a few new pieces in my etsy shop, ArtSnark's Artifacts. This is my 1st attempt at selling prints. I generally prefer to make one of a kind pieces but decided it was time to get some of my digital collages out of the computer & into the world. Please let me know what you think. They are being sold matted but I'm still a little vague on what pricing should be.

I was a child and she was a child, in the kingdom by the sea...
- from Annabel Lee by E.A. Poe

Poe's Muse

Edgar Allan Poe's wife (& cousin) Virginia died of tuberculosis at age 24. When she died Poe is said to have realized that he had no images of her & had a watercolor portrait made of her corpse. This is the only image of Virginia known to exist. She is thought to be the inspiration for the many tragic women found in his writings. Poe's Muse is a blending of Virginia's image and a 1848 daguerreotype of the author.

You seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been
- From Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

In the summer of 1816 a group of friends were forced indoors due to inclement weather. They entertained themselves by reading ghost stories. The host, Lord Byron, challenged his guests to write their own frightful tales. Mary Shelley, then 19 years old, created Frankenstein.

Mary Shelley's Portrait fuses an 1840 portrait of Mary with a page of her original manuscript and an illustration from the 1831 novel.

Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough...
One of my 1st memories is of the lady slippers which grew in the dark woods behind my grandmother's house. I remember reaching for the lush pinkness & being told not to touch. Somehow I was made to understand that these flowers were special. Almost sacred, although that word came much later.

Decided to play around with drawing & painting on this print. I digitally altered my photo of a Paphiopedilum Orchid. After printing, I went over it with watercolors and colored pencil. You can't really see the details in the above pic so here's a closeup:

Hey, if you've made it this far, thanks for your patience today! Seems I had a lot more to say than I realized ;-D Though I don't always get back to you, all comments are read and greatly appreciated. Also if you leave a comment before noon (EST) Thursday May 28, you will be entered in this week's random drawing. This Thursday's amazing prize has been generously donated by Etsy seller SlyViolet. For details and photos of this fabulous prize CLICK HERE. Thanks again for popping by


  1. I love it when you have a lot to say!!!

    It's interesting that sometimes there seems to be a common theme / thoughts about similar things going on in several blogs. This past week I've read quite a few stories about liking yourself, choosing your creative path etc.

  2. I loved reading your post. Great background information on some inspiring images/people.

  3. The Poe piece is my favorite. It gave me CHILLS!

  4. Really enjoyed the musings on your journey thru art...still fragmented and my map very faint...the poe piece with the portrait of the deceased virginia is very powerful...am going off now to think about things....

  5. very cool... often people who don't do art have a tough time realizing that it is something you have to do for your head and your soul...cheers to you for embracing that part of your life and moving forward with it.i totally get it.

  6. wonderful post....very interesting and inspiring :)

  7. I enjoyed reading about your journey. A lot of people don't realize what an artist has to go through sometimes to find out who they are.

    I was really draw to the last image you showed where you had touched up the prints with paints. I hope you get more into that sometime. It's very pretty.

  8. What an interesting wonderful post. I really enjoyed reading it. I'm off now to read some of your later posts. Thank you so much for visiting me.

  9. I appreciate you openness. So many of us have faced the same path and are still struggling to free our creative selves. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Just a curiosity, in Norwegian the Lady Slipper Orchid is called "Jomfru Maria gullsko", translated "the Virgin Mary gold shoe"