Sunday, December 28, 2008

Here Fishy, Fishy, Fishy

Here are 3 little fish ACEOs for you today:

Red Coral Zig Zag Fish ACEO (SOLD)

Purple Tropical Fish ACEO

Blue Fish ACEO

They are all collages. The fish were made by painting and drawing on a variety of paper. I then cut out the fish shapes and glued them on ACEO-sized cards.

The top one (the red fish with the zig zag design) was made by gluing together strips of paper and then painting over them. I made the backing card by weaving together strips of specialty papers that have wonderful bits of fiber and plant material embedded in them.

The purple fish in the middle has these great gold stripes that give it an exotic feel.

The blue fishy has wonderful watery washes of acrylic over printed scrapbooking paper. I drew the fun branch and box design with sepia ink. The left edge of the card has a ragged deckle edge that adds to the fluttery feel of his tail.

All are for sale in my Etsy shop:

Friday, December 26, 2008

Acronyms and Definitions for Miniature Art: ACEO, ATC, OOAK...

Miniature art is sometimes described with a variety of abbreviations and acronyms. While they're helpful to aficionados, they can be confusing to the rest of us.

Here's an admittedly informal list of acronyms. It's heavily biased toward ACEOs and their cousins, since that's where my interest lies.

What others do you use? Have you found artists using an acronym but can't find the definition? Let me know and I'll try to track it down.

= Art Cards, Editions, Originals. Must be 2.5 x 3.5 inches, but any medium may be used. ACEOs can be sold.

= Artist Trading Cart. Must be 2.5 x 3.5 inches, but any medium may be used. ATCs are only traded not sold.

= Square 1 inch x 1 inch. (Not an acronym, I know.)

= One of a kind.

= Small format art. Usually less than 14 inches in any direction.

= 2 inch x 2 inch square. (Not an acronym, I know.)

Note: miniature art societies, groups, and galleries have their own definitions. Please check with your group to be sure you're abiding by their guidelines.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holy Family ATC by Morris Nelms

This lovely ATC entitled "Holy Family" was painted by Morris Nelms. It found its way to me through the Strathmore Holiday ATC swap.

It's a wonderful card, beautifully done, with a peaceful feel. It truly embodies the spirit of the season. I'm honored to be the recipient.

Mr. Nelms is an accomplished pianist, composer, vocalist, and painter. Visit him on the web:

Sunday, December 7, 2008

If ACEOs Are Pocket Art, Do You Carry Them In Your Pocket?

I do.

Several, usually.

I carry one ACEO that I made for myself with my daily words to live by. It's meaningful to me. I guess that means it's not technically an ACEO -- I wouldn't sell it for anything.

I also carry a small snack-size zip bag with a stack of unfinished ACEOs: some plain white ones and some with colored backgrounds. Plus, I carry a handful of pens and pencils. Sometimes I'll sit at lunch and doodle.

I also sometimes carry a finished ACEO with me. Sometimes I'll finish one and especially like it or make one that's completely different and gets me thinking about a new series or direction. I'll put it in a plastic sleeve and take it with me. I might put it on my desk at the day job, on the kitchen counter at home, or even on the dashboard in my car.

And, I have a little
album with finished ACEOs that I sometimes carry with me so that I can show other people my cards. Friends will often ask what I'm up to, and it's handy to be able to show them my latest cards. Or, I'll take it out of my purse and leave it sitting on the table while I have coffee or lunch, and you'd be surprised how many conversations it starts. So I always tuck a few business cards in the back of it.

Do you carry ACEOs with you?

Friday, November 28, 2008

2009 Calendar Is Here, With All New Paintings

The 3rd annual Life Needs Art calendar is here! Each month shows a different painting done in the past year -- no repeats from previous years -- and 8 of them are ACEOs!

The months have everything from snowflakes to abstracts to pumpkins, and even a chicken! (Yes, check out September. I love my chicken.)

Calendars are available for $16.99 in my gift shop through my web site or directly at this address:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Three White Snowflakes

This card is my entry in the Strathmore ATC Swap:

It's official! The card is in the mail and heading off to the Strathmore Swapping Headquarters in Appleton, WI. You have until November 26 to get yours in the mail. Hurry, hurry!

I'm especially fond of this card, with its bits of three snowflakes as they drift across the scene. And the background colors came out so well. I just love it. And hopefully it's new owner will, too.

The snowflakes are cut from wrapping paper printed with little gold stars. Hopefully I have enough left to wrap my gifts after having used a bunch for snowflakes!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Two Purple Snowflakes, Light

A variation on the previous snowflakes, but with a much lighter background. Definitely a wintry afternoon rather than evening.

The paper that these snowflakes are cut from has such lovely threads and bits in it. It has terrific texture.

I'm having great fun with this series. More to follow, surely.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Two Purple Snowflakes, Dark

Here's another in my snowflake series. This time it's two purple snowflakes cut from that handmade paper (purchased, not made myself).

The background is acrylics thinned with lots of water and dropped onto wet watercolor paper. The backgrounds for all the cards in this series were done individually -- they weren't done in one big sheet and cut to fit. Each responded differently to the water and paint, giving them unique colors.

I used phthalo blue, acra® blue violet, sap green, and viridian hue permanent. Transparent colors except for the viridian.

The background is darker on this one with less violet than the others. I like the contrast myself.

Again, stay tuned. I'm fond of these little snowflakes and I'm not done yet. :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

One Purple Snowflake

In much the same theme as the last ACEO, but this time the snowflake is cut from a piece of lavendar-purple handmade paper. (No, I didn't make it. I bought a package of handmade papers.) The paper has these lovely thin threads running through it, and you can see them in the snowflake. Made for an interesting time trying to fold and cut them. :)

The background is acrylics thinned with lots of water and dropped in layers onto wet watercolor paper, giving it that soft blended appearance.

NOTE: One of the snowflake series cards will go to the Strathmore ATC swap.

If you haven't sent in your card, there's still time. It sounds like fun, so join in. Postmark deadline is Nov. 26 -- next Wednesday. Get the rules and entry form at:

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Single White Snowflake

Since it started snowing today, this is a fitting ACEO. It's done with acrylics applied in very thin washes on wet watercolor paper to make the background. Then, a large snowflake cut out of wrapping paper printed with little gold stars. (Just like the kind you used to do when you were a kid.)

Overall, a wintry yet cheerful tone.

I'm working on a series of these cards. Check back later for more.

Nov. 28 note: I'm especially fond of this ACEO, so I've had it printed on greeting cards that I am using for my Christmas card this year.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

ACEO Prints is now offering ACEO prints. Upload a scanned copy of your ACEO, and they'll print 8 copies on an uncut 8x10" sheet. For details, visit their web site:
That's the first time I've seen print services specifically for ACEOs.

I haven't tried their services yet, but this sounds interesting. If you try it, let me know about your experience.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


We've had incredible fall colors this year -- brilliant yellows and reds -- and they've lasted longer than usual. It's breathtaking.

My ginkos especially have been gorgeous. Funniest thing: I went to work last Thursday and the ginkos looked great. Came home that evening and they'd dropped every single leaf. My driveway was paved in 4 inches of golden leaves. Very pretty!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Acrylic on paper. We've been having a lot of windy weather lately...funny the influence it has.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


A cheerful, happy, riot of colors. Acrylics on mat board. What the scan doesn't show is that the light areas are irridescent or opalescent - meaning they are slightly sparkly and shiny and change colors depending on the way the light hits.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Acrylic paint and permanent ink on patterned paper. Again, this one just stuck in my head and wouldn't let go. Something about the shapes and the fall colors...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

ACEO Magazine: Call for Entries

ACEO Magazine is now accepting entries for:

  1. The October Artist of the Month Award.
  2. Halloween and Fall Themed Cards for publication in the magazine and or newsletter.
  3. ACEO Card Fiction just like Postcard Fiction. Create a double-sided ACEO. One side must resemble a postcard with stamp, return address section and mail to section. The other side must have oodles of creativity and a short creative fiction paragraph. Winners receive a permanent online ad on and possible publication.
Email entries to :

Friday, August 29, 2008

Another Floral with Textures

Another one of these little pen and ink sketches. This one was done at lunch at the Arabica in Solon, sitting out on their patio. Lovely day.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I didn't set out to draw trillium, I was just drawing generic flowers. They seem close to trillium, though I can't remember the last time I saw one in person.

This is a little pen doodle on paper. Colored with acrylics. For fun, I sprayed it with masking fluid before I colored it. Rubbing off the mask left fun little polka dots all over. Rain drops? Dew drops? Swiss cheese? Who knows. I like them.

I'm not convinced this one is completely finished. I'll have to keep looking at it a little longer before I decide.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Finally, some color! This one started out as a pen doodle, but ended up with a few embellishments.

I'd bought the alphabet stamps for $1. They're all stuck together in a block. I'll have to pull them apart to use the individual stamps, but I had to try them as one big bunch. Very cool! Now I need more colors of stamp ink.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mardi Gras

Now here's something fun! Greens and purples and golds -- reminds me of the colors of Mardi Gras. With a little bit of that energy.

I did the central part with acrylics on matboard. Layers of colors, masking fluid (notice some of the dots throughout).

Then I masked out the zig-zag shape and painted over with Golden Fluid Acrylics in Interference Oxide Green. Fantastic color. Changes depending on the way the light hits it. Sometimes it's gold, sometimes green. Good stuff.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Textures and Patterns

Tried some new patterns on this one to see how they'd work out. I'm liking it. May do more of that.

I carry a small zippy bag with precut ACEO blanks in my purse, along with my trusty Identi-pen. If I can get away from my desk at lunch, I'll scribble a quick doodle. They take maybe 10-15 minutes but make all the difference in my afternoon if I can dash off one of these.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


These are great little doodles to do during lunch. Makes my day feel so much more productive when I have one of these little guys to show for it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Letter G

Another lunchtime doodle. The usual Sakura IDenti-pen on preprinted cardstock. Includes a letter G stamp.

Love these Sakura Identi-pens. Permanent ink, hold their shape, don't dry out. Inexpensive. Beautiful.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Some days are just like that

Pretty much self explanatory, don't you think?

Black Sakura IDentipen on preprinted acid-free mat stock. One of those lunchtime doodles.

Monday, August 18, 2008

ACEO Contest - Pink and Red ACEOs

ACEO Magazine is looking for artists to create PINK ACEO cards to support breast cancer research and RED cards to support the MS Society.

All artwork should be sent in by September 20th.

These cards will be auctioned on EBAY to donate to the Cancer Society and the MS Society, each card will have 5 limited edition prints for auction as well. The entries will be featured in our Winter editions of ACEO Magazine and Cardaddix newsletter. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.

Visit for details and contact info.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My Studio in Print!

The latest issue of Cardaddix newsletter has a lovely story about my studio, along with several photos.

The rest of the issue has ACEO tips and tricks, display and collection ideas, artist bios, and lots more. It's definitely worth a read!

Copies can be purchased either by single issues or by annual subscription. Visit for more info, or purchase directly here:

Both printed and PDF versions are available.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Pre-Cut ATC Paper

Strathmore is now offering paper cut to exact ATC / ACEO size (2.5 x 3.5 inches):

Looks like a nice assortment of paper types and weights, as well as envelopes.

I normally cut my own, but the thought of being able to buy pre-cut is very appealing!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

2 More ACEO Doodles

Slightly different than the previous few doodles, but still simple stuff. The first one has a landscape-y feel to me; I rather like it.

The flowers were imaginary, but appropriate for this time of year.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

2 ACEO Doodles

A couple more ACEO doodles. Used a new gel pen: it's a nice shade of blue. I might put color in the second one; we'll see.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Four Doodles

Here are a few scribbles from my sketchbook in ACEO size/format. These are the kinds of things I do while waiting or on the phone. Not finished or anything, and they become ideas for other works -- or not. Who knows. Best just to get the ideas down before they vanish.

I'm calling the last one "Bearing Fruit" for the moment. The others don't have titles.

They're all done with either blue or black pen. Nothing fancy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

To sleep, perchance to dream ACEO

I've been playing with the idea of making an international symbol for "dreaming". You know, one of those white symbols on a blue background that everybody recognizes around the world -- like the one for women's restrooms (that poor female figure in a triangular skirt) or the knife-fork-spoon trio for restaurant. What would a symbol for dream look like?

Here's my take on it.

I didn't want the solid blue background. Instead, I liked the fuzzy gold/blue mix. Dreams are kind of fuzzy sometimes. The eye has somewhat of an Egyptian feel, so the gold fits in.

I tried a cloud (instead of the eye) above the sleeping figure, but that seemed vacuous. I like the eye better.