Hearts for Arts painting

This is a painting called “Love is a  Circus” that I did for the Hearts for the Arts silent auction for educational arts programs at the Creamery Arts Center. Over 70 small paintings and other original art were donated by regional artists, and you can bid on those online until the end of Friday, February 4th.

It’s acrylic on canvas, 11″ x 14″ and the page to bid is here.

All the artwork is on display in the Creamery Exhibition Hall, and the closing reception where you will have a chance to make your final bids is during the First Friday Art Walk on Friday, February 4th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m

PaMdora & The Doors meet Dorian Gray

My painting for the Open Doors invitational exhibit at the Creamery Arts Center features 7 doors (or 10, depending on how you count people in a group).

The theme of the exhibit curated by painter Stephanie Cramer and underwritten by Dianne Elizabeth Osis, was to create art on doors or about doors, so you can imagine there is a wide variety of two- and three-dimensional interpretations rendered including paintings on house doors, cabinets, coffins, electrical boxes, sculptural gateways and more.

PaMdora and The Doors meet Dorian Gray, 40" x 30" painting by Pam RuBert
"PaMdora and The Doors meet Dorian Gray", acrylic on canvas, 40" x 30"

For me one of the most interesting parts of making art is developing the concept. While getting ready to paint this, I did a lot reading about the characters, and what I call late-night drawing — waking up in the middle of the night and sketching from the subconscious. Anyway, it seemed that I needed to write up something to go with the painting for the exhibit, so I created these footnotes…

Continue reading PaMdora & The Doors meet Dorian Gray

A small painting studio is cozy

With one day left to finish my painting for the Open Doors invitational, I had to organize quickly. I wanted to work on my painting by natural light and in the a/c (my quilt studio is not air conditioned.) By smushing things a bit, there was room to set up small painting studio in my office.

The little drafting table was just the right size for the canvas. Conveniently it fits over the top of my old metal accounting desk. A stainless steel bus cart is a great palette-holder, and the wheels turn on a dime — which is great in such a tight space.

small painting studio

Plus with this arrangement, I can turn my laptop around if I want to check some details for the painting. A cozy arrangement indeed! I just might leave it this way for a while. Although I’ve already delivered the painting to the gallery, I won’t show it on my blog until after the opening reception tomorrow night.

No, I haven’t taken up smoking…


…but I’ve been collecting retro melamine ashtrays that make great brush/water holders for painting. And they come in great colors (I have bigger yellow and green ones at my studio.)


This is a small one, which is good for travel, especially on a boat where your brushes might roll overboard. The watercolor pencils roll also, but at least they float when they hit the water, so you have time to dive in and retrieve them.


Also for travel, I like using old watercolor tins to carry small brushes. They work better than anything new I can find, and add a nice flavor to the process.

Monoprinting and Dye Painting


Maybe everything happens for a reason. That week that I laid in bed and read dye painting books really soaked in (my brain, not the bed). So I got out the dye powders I had ordered last year, and weird tools I don’t remember ordering, and started to fool around. This was done with a sponge brush and syringe.


I have an old chipped glass table top that I got cheap at some auction, and it worked really well when I started to try out monoprinting with dyes as per Melanie Testa‘s inspiring article in this month’s Quilting Arts Magazine.


Actually this one is part monoprinting, and part mistake with a lopsided sponge roller, but a happy mistake.


Once I got a feel for working with the dyes and the right music (jazz is best), it became really fun. My biggest mistake was not letting some of these cure long enough, and when I washed them too soon, some of the intensity was lost. Oh well… live, learn, and happiness through chemicals!

Illustration Friday: Zoo School for Big Cats


The Illustration Friday theme this week is Zoo, but I kept thinking about the new Leopard operating system on my Mac. Then I remembered that all the previous Mac OS X operating systems were named for big cats, and I thought the big cats might have to go to school to learn the difference between a mouse and mouse. So this is my Zoo School for Big Cats. (click on it for a bigger version).The big cats in class from left to right are: Leopard, Cheetah, Tiger, Puma, and Jaguar. Now it probably makes sense why I was drawing big cats in my last post.

The Design Ramblings of Pam RuBert


Haven’t done much creative work in the last couple of weeks other than draw my brain with my sewing machine. Then I drew/painted it with my new Caran D’ache watercolor crayons as recommended by Joanie (actually she recommended the crayons, not drawing my brain.) I was thinking of calling this “Radioactive Brain” or maybe “Thinking of You.”

So since there isn’t much new material here, sort of like when the screenwriters go on strike, we have to either go to reruns or do a highlights of last season recap. Well, Gwen Magee has done it for me. Amazingly, she waded through my blog archives and interviews and complied a big selection of my design rambling she calls The Design Process of Pam RuBert on the Textile Arts Resource blog. She also links back to my forgotten slide-show of a quilt in progress. She’s got a lot of other good stuff there too, so check it out. Thanks Gwen!



Isn’t it great fun, going to the store and looking through about 70 color chips to find just the right one? Except I never seem to pick just the right one. Maybe I’m swayed too much by the names, but when it comes down to it… what would you rather have on your walls? “Grasshopper” or “Gecko”?


And here’s the resident Mixologist at work. I think the name of this color is “I missed the school bus again.”

Faux Painting


Changing gears again! I haven’t mentioned for a while that we’re still in the process of remodeling due to the disaster at our studio last January. After getting a new roof, new ceilings and lighting, we’re finally getting to the point where I can lend a hand — repainting the walls that were damaged by water.


The room where the sprinkler system exploded used to be bright yellow, but now I’m painting it with a green-blue combination — a light green base, layered with periwinkle blue and two variations of green glaze. The layered glazing gives the hand-textured plaster a kind of rich, aged patina.

Faux painting is a great calorie-burning activity because I have to run up and down the ladder three times as often — once for each paint!

The photo below is from my scrapbook of other unique projects. There were five metallic colors layered on top of black walls. The brass tiles were all hand-polished with circular designs by Russ, I think there were thousands…

Oddly enough, some things I’ve learned from faux painting large surfaces seamlessly has helped me to develop some techniques to cover big areas in my quilts with stitch patterns. Some day I hope to also use some of this paint experience to design cloth for my quilts, but for now I’d just be happy to get our studio back together and looking good!