Wednesday, November 27, 2013


The idea of living artfully is a big one for me.
At first I thought - Oh, okay, make art and make my home an expression of me. Check.

Recently though I've been thinking in terms of artfully facing challenges that arise for me. For me that means really opening my mind to think creatively about new ways of looking at solutions.

Create Today. Original paper collage.
I have this hat I wear called Art Teacher.
Lately I've had a love/hate relationship with that damn hat.
The Love part is that when I'm in the studio with my students it's fun. I enjoy them. I like helping them think about alternative approaches and ideas they could explore. It's rewarding to see a spark ignite in their eye when something connects. I learn new things with them.

The Hate part is that when I'm immersed in my own studio and excited about my current ideas and art pieces, then putting on the Art Teacher Hat feels like dragging myself away from my true love.

So, living artfully.... How do I switch hats gracefully? How do I integrate my own studio work into the time I spend with students? What's the question to ask?

I would love to hear from you about how you live artfully and integrate the different roles in your life.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hope and Love for the Holidays

Hope. Original paper collage. 

These brand new collages are what I made in the studio yesterday. I'm excited about design numbers three and four in a series of holiday word collages I started last year with Joy and Peace. It's been on my mind to do it since last year, so hurray! Mission accomplished.

Love. Original paper collage.

For both of the new designs, to keep continuity in the series, I repeated the map and the snowflakes on sand images. 

Then I shuffled around a bit through my image drawers and found some candy canes, apples, poinsettias, Christmas balls, oranges, and gorgeous botanicals to make the new designs unique.

So now it's a complete set that I am offering as art tiles!
You can get all four for your home to use as coasters or small decorative art pieces, or give them as truly unique holiday gifts.

Buy them now at my Etsy shop:

$16 each art tile when you buy one. 
$14 each art tile for two. 
$13 each art tile for three or more.

Please pass this along to two friends!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I recently gave myself a larger studio space. What a joy! I mean, a studio can never be large enough to hold all the possibilities, but bigger is definitely better.

Unpacking my art materials reveals to me some of the treasures I've been collecting that I so enjoy making art with.

My friend Anne laughed when I used the word up-cycle to describe materials used in my art. New buzz word? Yes, I suppose. But I like it! And it defines what I love to do: Take things that on their own are just interesting artifacts of life, worn by nature, and combine them to make a new something.

Freedom Love began with this old drawer piece. I wonder where I got it. The cross came off an old bird house that has been weathering in my garden for 20 years or so. That rusty metal piece (What IS it?) was found on a hike out near my house. And tree roots have such great undulating form. Any one who knows my art knows I have a fascination with text, letters and words. And Color!

So there you have it. A piece that speaks to me of things worn by time; the spark that color adds to life; and says right out loud two things that I value: freedom and love.

Please pass this on to two friends who might enjoy.

This piece is available at my website

PS, a great blog I came across is Lots of great ideas for reuse of everyday things, and also some beautifully crafted art pieces.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Angel a Day

24/40 Joy
The Joy Love Angels are nearly finished! The last eight need wings and sparkle, then they are all ready to leave the nest. 
An unexpected delight of making these angels has been a boost of loving joyfulness about the upcoming holidays. Go figure.

These are a limited edition of 40 ornaments, so get yours from me now. Or you can stop by Acorn Gallery in Idyllwild to pick one up, along with so many other cool art gifts she carries. OR,,, go to my etsy shop JoannTomscheStudio and I'll ship your choice to you tout suite. A boost of love and joy in your mailbox - that's a good thing!

Please pass this along to two friends. Thanks!

24/40 Love

Friday, November 8, 2013

Limited edition holiday ornaments

I have been busily and happily making a limited edition of 40 Joy Love Angel ornaments. This is my first annual ornament edition and I am enjoying every minute of it!

I begin with text paper from a book of Christmas short stories which I collage over chipboard. Then I make an original ink drawing, each with her own personality, for every ornament. Next I design the word collages, construct the wings, and finish each with a selection of glass, metal or stone beads. My contemporary color palettes include surprising mixes of orange tones, pinks, and aquamarines, frosty blues, elegant black and white, and a range Christmassy greens and reds. 

9/40 Joy side
9/40 Love side

One side of the ornament highlights a flowing, original ink drawing of a woman, a bead nestled at her throat, her delicate, wire, angel wings, the word collage Joy, and a sparkle of gold and crystalline holiday glitter.

The other side features a cluster of colorful beads, the word collage Love, and is finished with a festive dusting of glitter. Each uniquely beautiful ornament is numbered, signed and dated.

I hope you love these as much as I've loved making them. Please pass this on to two friends!

These signed and dated art pieces are made as a limited edition of only 40 ornaments. Each is a unique and original creation.  Now available at Acorn Gallery in Idyllwild, at, or directly from me if you are in Idyllwild.

3/40 Joy side
3/40 Love side