Life in Costume


Do you Costume Yourself?


Do you dress to hide, impress, compete with others? Most of us do. For more than 15 years, I’ve played with these questions and how we style ourselves, fashion’s influence and the judgements that permeate our collective psyche around how we look.

Now in the midst of a binge painting period while barely coming up to breathe, I’m really excited about this work.

What fueled my creative binge?

  • A social media frenzy about film star Jennifer Lawrence‘s “inappropriate” dress and her fiery reaction – ““Overreacting about everything someone says or does, creating controversy over silly innocuous things such as what I choose to wear or not wear, is not moving us forward”
  • The “Me Too” movement – stop hiding and covering up
  • Traveling in Morocco, Spain and Portugal – the people, the colors the art
  • The deadline for my upcoming exhibit – I showed up every day in my studio

Join the conversation:

Drawing From Life or Riding Along?

After going to a Life Drawing Session last week, this happened a few days later:

Career Girl
Career Girl Mom

The model our group was lucky to draw from last Saturday was 8 months pregnant and a lovely exhibit of life in the making.

Sketch - Life Drawing
short pose

My short pose sketch (left) doesn’t begin to do her justice, but the sketching session inspired me to take up figurative drawing again this week. Never good at staying real, my figures always go their own way in about 5 minutes. From there forward, it’s like I’m just along for the ride. I didn’t realize I was drawing Career Girl Mom until I was finished. And there she was.

“Career Girl Mom” pays homage to all of the angels working full-time and raising a family inside or outside of the home. So here’s to you!

What do you think?




Paint the Beach

Winter in the Pacific Northwest can be a challenge as the gray skies and drippy days tend to slog along forEVER. Yet it ‘s so worth it to live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. The year round greens, surrounding mountains and idyllic shorelines help escort me to the long summer days to come.  Oh, but what to do in the meantime?

The way to Alki

It’s at this time of year that I immerse myself in warm colors and sunny scenes. I paint myself a summer. The painting above entitled “Alki” is a scene from one of my favorite beaches in Seattle, Washington. Alki was the go-to place in my high school years and still holds special memories for me.

Challenge Throwing outA challenge to my artist readers: Paint yourself summer then share your thoughts on the process with us here.



Explore One at a Time

Where have you been seen lately?

Sensory exploration is so important to me as an artist.

I just returned from visiting one of my exceptional artist friends in southern California, who among other things, is a terrific companion for museum hopping.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t miss out on life-sustaining sunshine, walking the beach or culinary delights, while I was there. As a matter of fact, that’s what I’ve been thinking about today.

We could have explored 50 galleries and museums and still missed out on actually seeing. Rather than a passing glance, actually seeing a thing, anything, has the power to send one flying.  We went to two museums and filled our senses with a few rooms within the massive buildings. We sat at the beach and looked at the intricate markings in the sand and on the table at a beach cafe and talked about beauty in all things.

Cityscape I
Cityscape I by Delila Katzka

This piece was painted after I really saw an inner city playground’s cracked surface where colorfully clad teens were playing basketball.  It was sweltering hot and heat waves rose from the scared asphalt while the skidding of red converse, intermittent laughter and competitive jibes, filled the air. 

Travel isn’t required for artistic inspiration but it sure makes the exploration process exciting. Spending time with a like minded artist is!

Tell me what you’ve really seen that influenced one of your creations.  Post your story below.

Create Like Crazy

OK, I’m ready to start painting. OMG! look at that blank canvas.

So this is what I’ve learned: Volume, not perfection leads to authentic art. Authentic art is not forced, calculated or cajoled. It’s not the genre or style that is “hot right now”.  It’s not what matches that sofa or the dining room of a potential client.  And, it’s not a reproduction of your last sale.  The way to conjure up your next great piece of art is to MAKE A LOT OF ART. Do a lot of drawing. Write a ton of words. Play with new ideas. Do what you love.

7 ideas to go for volume

  1. Go for speed – Set a timer and a number (example: make 20 tile designs on paper in 10 minutes).
  2. Explore options – try a bunch of ways to see or think about one idea or image (example: how many ways can I draw a Llama?).
  3. Free-writing/free-painting  – Do your thing for 20 minutes without stopping to think or edit. Visual artists can try doing this blindfolded.
  4. Use cheap materials for a “no risk” adventure – Take all the pages from the Sunday paper and spread them out on the floor or tape them to your walls with removable blue tape. Now write and draw all over them (be careful not to use materials that will bleed through or drape the area first).
  5. Try making journal cards enmasse rather than one a day.
  6. Give yourself a challenge to make one finished piece at intervals. Share as you go. (example: Make a self portrait and post to instagram every day for 10 days, a month or a year)
  7. Start 5-7 pieces. at once. When you get stuck or tired of one, move to the next. You’ll be happy as they progress together until you’ve finished 1/2 dozen paintings that work together.






Daily Play with Journal Cards

Long periods when creativity seems to be asleep while days, weeks, even months go by without making a single piece of art plagued me for years. I don’t mean good art, I just wasn’t even stepping into my home studio to make something, anything!

The remedy for my malady was a deck of playing cards and a quest to make one little thing every day.  This is not work, it’s daily playtime. And somedays it leads to a fulfilling day of art making.

Challenge Throwing outI’m throwing out a challenge here  a deck of 52 playing cards transformed to Journal Cards in 52 days.  I’d love it if you let me know how it’s going or if you have a daily kickstart that you use.

No rules, no set time or duration except just do one little card every day. I find collage works well for me because materials are free, plus I like to gather clippings while I’m procrastinating. (The actual name of this plague.)

Your process should you accept this challenge:

Do it your way. Remember there are no rules, just do one little thing every day.

My process:

  1. Put a base coat on the card (I use gesso – a base for paint and other materials that are applied )
  2. Rummage through my loot box of clippings and and other items I’ve found, to gather things speaking to me right now (these usually match my mood or something going on in my life, hence “journal cards”)
  3. Trim, tear, cut shapes or forms
  4. Arrange and paste




The Magic Box


The Teacher. . . and why I started this blog

My painting from a decade ago, shows a Teacher holding a “magic box” of knowledge. She shares insights that changed my way of looking at the world.  I’ve learned since, that with my own magic box, full of carefully set intentions, I can manifest amazing things.

I started my magic box ritual 3 years ago and after 2 years of almost unbelievable outcomes my intentions for 2018 are even greater.

Make your own Magic!  Here’s how:

  1. Select a box that you love (any size will do)
  2. Prepare your intentions
    • Clip images, words or write or draw your own that describe what you want for the coming year (start any day of the year though January 1 is an awesome day)
    • Don’t limit your thinking but be sure that what you select is with good intention
    • There is no limit to the amount of intentions you put in the box
  3. Open the box and place your intentions in one at a time
  4. As you place the intention say “Whatever is in this box is” This is crucial because if you can imagine it as already here, you are on your way to attaining your wish
  5. Close the box and seal it (with tape, a rubber band, string or whatever works)
  6. Do not look inside your magic box until the end of the year. I know this part may seem a bit difficult, just go with it. I’d love to hear about your experience. Send me a message.

With my Magic Box, I am a more creative and successful artist, a better person and the happiest I’ve ever been. “This year I will start a blog and share ideas and personal stories about my art and my life”. That is one of my magic box intentions and it is so.

magic box