Shelter-in-Place Quilts

Update to the post below: The quilt was the second quilt in a project started by my friend Josie Carraher in Folsom, California and included my daughter, Karen Falkner in Long Beach, CA.  We each made a house block every day that we sheltered in place and shared them with each other at the end of the day. We assembled these houses into our own quilts.

I laid mine out in weeks, seven days across, Sunday through Saturday like the calendar. Eight to nine weeks down. I did my houses for a year ending in the week of March 18th, 2021. I needed time to add borders, have them quilted, add binding and hand sew the binding and labels. Four quilts are now completely finished. The fifth is in the binding stage and the sixth is waiting for borders and the rest. 

This quilt, along with the other four, was quilted by Maria Tamaoka of Pinwheels Fabrics, in Ridgefield, CT. This quilt now lives in Brooklyn, NY with my daughter, Laura Torell.

Here are some of the blocks from the past year. 

Shelter-in-Place, May 18- July 17, 2020, Shelter -in – Place Quilt #2

Posted in quilts

Shelter-in-Place Quilt #2

This quilt was the second quilt in a project started by my friend Josie Carraher and included my daughter, Karen Falkner We each made our own quilts, a house block a day while we sheltered in place. This quilt was quilted by Maria Tamaoka of Pinwheels, in Ridgefield, CT. The quilt now lives in Brooklyn, NY with my daughter, Laura Torell.

May 18- July 17, 2020, Shelter -in – Place Quilt #2

Posted in quilts


I am posting the progress of my Manzanita project on Instagram and decided I should post it here also. 

This is 3 days progress, about 10 hours of work. I observed  the tree over a nine month period, sketching, drawing, doing color  and value studies. Then came hours of drawing and improving and another full value study. Finally transferring to good paper. The tree lives at U.C. Berkeley Botanic Garden


I am using a palette of Caran d’Ache Pablos, Aubergine, Indigo, Dark Carmine, and English Red with some CD Luminence comparables, Perylene Maroon and Russett. Burnishing with Faber-Castell Ivory and Irojiten Cedar Wood.

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“The International news gets worse and worse, & still I sit and paint leaves. I feel like those Chinese artists who, in ages of great barbarism and unrest, painted images & wrote poems in which metaphor described the tragic events around them so that the message was passed on to later ages in a simple, cryptic fashion. A dying leaf should be able to carry the weight of the world”….Rory McEwen

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ASBA Conference 2016, Pittsburgh, PA 

Too much to write right now about what a fun conference this was and what a great city Pittsburgh is. We got to see the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation’s 15th Invitational Show which was really exciting. Artists from around the world were represented and it was quite amazing to see all their work. 

In addition as usual we were able to attend workshops given by a wide variety of botanical artists. We met and talked and traded ideas and worked together. It was a delight to meet artists from around the globe. I talked fabric with Deidre from Toronto and painted mushrooms with my friend Cissy from Santa Cruz and sketched with Judy Brown from Virginia. 

Here are some samples from the workshops I attended:

Margaret Saylor taught Painting Mushrooms, Creating Browns. I cheated (with the teacher’s permission) and used colored pencil.

Gaynor Dickeson came from the UK to teach Crab Apples in Colored Pencil.


Lara Call Gastinger took us to the Pittsburgh Botanical Garden to do
door sketching.





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Art in Spain

Some thoughts and pictures from our recent trip to Spain and Morocco:

art-in-spain Click here for more patterns.dscn3588

 Pattern in Spain and Morocco

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Class Handouts

I am hoping, planning on posting class handout here on a weekly basis both for ongoing students who may have missed them and students who have attended my one-day workshops and would like more instruction. Hopefully they will be helpful to you. Here are the ones from the past month.



Posted in Botanical Drawing

Color Charts

Inspired by Susan Fisher’s Color Mixing class at Filoli, I have just added new Color Charts to my links page and will continue to update them and add to them as I create new ones. We did three days of color mixing and it was so fun and I think I learned  a lot. Back to mixing my greens!


Posted in Colored Pencil, Pencils

ASBA Conference in Denver

We just returned from four  wonderful days in Denver, meeting with our fellow Botanical Artists, taking workshops and visiting the beautiful Denver Botanical Gardens. An exhausting, creative time was had by all. I took a graphite workshop from Robin Jess and learned some new colored pencil techniques from Libby Kyer. Nancy did a full day session with Colored Pencil Artist Susan Rubin. We had fun visiting with Wendy Hollender and Ann Swan who gave a great techniques demo the first day of the Conference. There was a lovely Small Works exhibit which has become a regular feature of the Conferences.


Nancy Wheeler Klippert enjoying the gardens in her new hat.

ASBA (The American Society of Botanical Artists) holds a Conference every year, hosted by a different chapter in a different city.  Next year the Conference will be held in Miami. Every three years the Conference is held in Pittsburgh, home of the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation at Carnegie Mellon (2016.) In 2017 the ASBA Conference will be held here in Northern California at Filoli Gardens hosted by the Northern California Society of Botanical Artists. 

Our  friend and fellow botanical artist Andrea Wolf invited us to see the Chihuly installation at the Denver Gardens at night. It was quite spectacular but equally beautiful during the day.


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Alcatraz Florilegium

The Tuson Cactus and Succulent Society have published an article on Florilegiums with a special focus on the Alcatraz Florilegium. Here is a link to the pdf.

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  • “I would like to paint like a bird sings.” Claude Monet