Working Clay Studio with Dana Fridays in March

For years people have been requesting that I teach a class here at Chesapeake East. February was a test month to see how that might go. It was so wonderful and invigorating- I and the lovely people who came are now addicted to Clay studio night. New Friends creating together- Excellent! We have just remodeled and spruced up the PIY pottery painting studio to include space for my classes and more. Look for painting, drawing, poetry, writers workshops, quilling and more classes to be added with my wonderful artist friends as teachers as we go forward. PIY is now part of the ARTWORKS at Chesapeake East. Give yourself a treat and the freedom to enjoy making something just for the fun of it.

To request a PDF class list  contact us at 410.546.1534. Best Wishes! Dana

artworks classesMarch-1 artworks classesMarch-2

artsmart . Imagination Exercise 2

How to strip away gray noise and hear single notes.


Imagination rises in a symphonic wake of what you have passed through on your individual journey. The flow of imagery and general quality of the “Life in your day” is lifted and made more vibrant when you pay attention to the larger world. These notes, while making your day spark like chili flakes in a zippy curry are efficiently filed in your massive library of recollection neighboring nose and ears.

Imagination is deeply hooked into all our senses.  That is why we each react to things uniquely. Reaction and ideas are tempered by volumes of what we remember and feel. Imagination is not just about pretty pictures and new notions. It is a lifestyle choice of being aware, noticing and  appreciating. But one step at a time.

This week quiet yourself and listen.

Notice the music of a ceiling fan oscillating.

The slap of a car door shutting.

The tinkle of silverware jostled when you pull out a spoon.

Wings over water. A sink draining. Someone walking briskly down the hall.

If you want to sit down with yourself and study; start a work book/journal and write down sounds that delight you followed by what images they bring to mind. Do likewise with sounds that grind at you or cause discomfort. The strongest gift of imagination is empathy; slipping into another’s story and  listening so deeply you may grow to understand what escaped you before. Little steps forward in a big world.

artsmart; How To Do it . The sad chair goes to the prom

Sometimes I launch into doing things that may or may not go well. This is the basis of invention.

Failing is an option, but you always get a story to tell. Follow rules 1-3 and you will be fine.

1. Don’t be afraid

2. Imagine how to make it happen

3. Enjoy the process no matter what the outcome

paint chair

PROBLEM: a pleasant upholstered chair discolored by time and late evenings to a level of yuck.

ONCE i sat on a lovely couch in my friend Steve Swan’s house and remarked on it’s fine pleather texture and lovely hue. He said proudly:” I paint-rollered that couch like 5 years ago.” I said,” dang” and filed that info away.

A one color chair is easier and feel free to do that- however should you encounter a down on it’s luck striped chair here is what worked remarkably well:

Choose a color of latex paint that is close to what was and try a test to see how it flows onto the fabric. You don’t want it too dense or it will be tedious to apply and not blend into the texture of your upholstery. If you add water, give it a good stir. (an egg whisk is super for this) Apply in a less visible area of your chair. You want it to flow on easily and cover but not be so watery as to bleed out or be drippy. Your tools must be your friends-so make sure you have a good paintbrush- about an inch wide with flexible brush that you can turn side wise and pull forward to get a crisp line. Practice on some paper if that is helpful. Get comfy and prepare to go into a focused, content state which will empty your mind of extraneous issues like whether the fish is defrosting so you can loose yourself in painting calming stripes- each one more glorious then the last. From time to time you may become overcome by your own genius as the chair turns into a prom queen or at least someone who doesn’t have a bra strap showing in the after photos.

paint chair2

The best result of having secretly rescued furniture such as this is that when someone does catapult their glass of red wine into the seat of your newly lovely chair you are unconcerned- and further because this delightful chair is now coated in a thin layer of plastic based paint merely get the sponge, wipe and return to your evening.

Remember to relax.

paint chair3

artsmart . 1 . Get out your imagination and dust it off

Blogs should be useful. Therefore besides stories about paintings or show and tell episodes of the latest thing I have conjured up I will be posting a series of imagination exercises and how to’s here as well.


Some people see my art and wonder what drug I am on.

I try not to take that personally. I have learned to trust my ideas and enjoy exploring them. If you are enjoying yourself you are going in the right direction.

Imagination is fleeting and does not always come when you call it. It has learned to be quiet in those that question it. To bring your creativity out you must encourage it to eat from your hand. Imagination must be coaxed, nurtured, and allowed to sit at the table without restrictions as to conduct. Many people slap their imaginations down, “I am not artistic,” They lament in a fit of self deprivation and excuses. Translation: I am frightened to let my thoughts leap out of the nest- they might fall- I will protect them deep in my breast pocket. “OK.” Think you are safe? You are just boring. Sadly, you are boring yourself- not me. I am busy seeing the world- loving every nuance- every pattern, every color and rhythm. I am never bored. But I work at this- just like that buff mountain biker, I work at building my imagination and giving it free range to keep it healthy everyday. How? By living awake. By paying attention to the beauty of the world that surrounds me.

Today- a small task- consider this is your first day on earth. See your surroundings with new, amazed and appreciative eyes. Find gratitude in light- early morning gold and the magic in the shadows of late afternoon. See invention- good design- color and the symphony of pattern in nature.

Have I thrown you into the deep-end on the first day?

Well drink it in- tred water and look around  . indeed it is a wonderful world.

Sometimes I remind myself to Just Bee

il_570xN.846577440_bnfyBee are busy and focused. They are fufilled by what they do and create a sweet life.
I want to be a bee.
But I am a running around girl in a chaotic world so I remind myself to just bee.
Time goes on bringing us bright new days.
This is my bee painting over a scatter of winter pancies given me to plant by my friends Randy and Bobbie. Winter pancies add a little helpful color in dark times.
Somedays in annoying traffic I remember and just bee.
This is one of my favorite images and the one I wear
( my bee pendent necklace-also here in my shop)

My husband John makes the wooden clock. I decopodge the bee print image and hand paint the clock, hands and pendulum ( which has a tiny complimentary image in a bottle cap a fixed to it)
The clock is about 12 inches tall- 16 with the hanging pendulum, 2 inches thick, and nine inches wide.

It is a jolly addition to any room and makes a really nice wedding, graduation or friend gift.
or of course you can just get one for yourself.il_570xN.846375537_g6go

The clock has a nice quote by Victor Hugo- “Life is the flower for which love is the honey.”

thanks for reading my little chat.

Good Day Rooster wall clock with pendulum

BCroosterThe image on this large wall clock with pendulum is a painting of our “rescue” rooster; Roosie- who road across the country from California, was frowned upon in his new neighborhood and came to live with us out on the bay. You could hold him and scratch his neck and he would coo and fall asleep – but only if you were female. If you were not you would need to fend him off with a golf club on the way to your car. My husband and son tired of this and Roosie went on to another farm-however we girls recall him fondly.

The main rooster image with vines is an archival print decoupaged upon the wooden clock. My husband hand builds the wooden clocks and I add hand-painted details enhancing the main image- on the front and sides. The pendulum has a detail image of a little smiling sun tucked into a bottlecap on it. Or you can ask for a sun image or heart)
The wooden clock is about 15 inches tall, 9.5 inches wide and two inches deep- the pendulum hangs down about 3 more inches and swings. These clocks perk up a room and fit in any decor. At
A nice way to recall just how precious time is.BCrooterPend

peace on earth

wOpeaceWhat if for a gift for the earth and all her creatures, we all wished very deeply all at once for “Peace on Earth & Goodwill to All”. Live in peace & peace will live in you- double sided hand made glass ornament.

The image is inspired by my mom Jackie Fritch.


webmomwhats not to love?


New Quote Cards

People often purchase my Greeting Cards to frame so I decided to create a line of matted images with quotes, that are frame ready, but also are backed with a card that opens so you can add a personal message. I think if you take time to hand write a card to someone dear to you, that is an extra special gift in these days of web-talk.wQfriendsFFind Quote Cards under Stationary on the website and framed quote cards under Gifts.

Welcome to my NEW website!

Hi Everyone-

I am so pleased that my new site is finally up just in time for the holidays! To celebrate a discount coupon is available: Enjoy 10% off when you spend $50 or more and use our coupon code “LOVE” WmbShare some handmade happy with the ones you love this holiday- and thank you! we sincerely appreciate your business. best wishes- Dana

Website Refresh

We’ve updated and refreshed my website to help serve you better while making updates and inventory management easier for me. This means that my website will feature more of my products and artwork and be more up-to-date than ever before. Can’t wait to get your feedback!

– Dana