Friday, February 9, 2018



hello!  this is a short post, as i have been

playing hockey this week.  actually, i worked

hard at a three day workshop hosted by lisa heaney,

with john arbuckle teaching a million and one  techniques!

i will show results on the next post.  doing all of that 

work requires lots of rest!  






a previous mixed media journal page





me and picasso






daily redondo walk view of which i never tire!



i hope you have fun plans for the weekend.   i wish i could

say i am going to rest up but,  no such luck this week!



posting with paint party friday

Saturday, February 3, 2018


hello and welcome1

today i am posting my daily face and figurative 

drawings in various mediums and substrate




ink and watercolor on vintage dictionary paper





acrylic painting on dictionary paper, 

after a marc chagall painting






ink sketch with watercolor added from my 

daily journal




i wanted to create something larger.

this started with a drawing from a photo

reference.  acrylic and collage was added. 





i also wanted to share these are bean bags 

that i made almost 40 years ago for a friend's 

daughter who was 9 at the time.  we remain

 the closest of friends.  i was touched when 

she shared that she still has freddy and frederica.  





january is the time of spectacular sunsets in 

my neck of the woods.  



thank you for visiting.  if you have the time to visit,
i am linking my post with paint party friday,
a weekly community of artists hosted by
kristen and eva for over five years. 





Friday, January 19, 2018

happy new year friends!

how are you?  I didn't mean to take a 

long break but that's exactly what happened.  

a sinus infection got me for a good month and then

the holidays came.  my son visited for a nice long

time, always a delight to me.  I stop everything while

he's here. 



I'm glad to be back at my dear blog! i've missed

you all and hope all is well!



this year I am working on my drawing skills.

with some pen drawings.  these drawings

are in a little journal I carry with me

along with a mechanical pencil and am

.02 micron pen.






also experimenting with a mechanical pencil, 

black wing pencil, and eraser drawings.

the simplicity of products used is enticing.






 and then missing color, watercolor using a 

soppy brush is added over the pen drawings.

characters do show up!!






lastly, a pelican spotted on my daily walk.




thank you for visiting today!



posting with friends at paint party friday.
thank you eva and kristin.  





Friday, November 17, 2017


we are inching into the holidays and for those who celebrate,

i wish you a happy thanksgiving! 


fruit skewers 


isn't this the most adorable turkey?  i made it for 

my art group meeting.   labor intensive but well worth it!



this week i am sharing some of my daily

coffee shop sketches.  in the future i may use them as a 

coloring book and add some watercolors or collage. my friend 

jacki long says  collage always make thing better. 

but for now, here they are, warts and all!









thanks so much for visiting.  i love to read your comments

and suggestions.  see you next friday!




as i do every week, this post is 
linked with paint party friday

Friday, November 10, 2017


welcome to my weekly blog post.  i am continuing

with the daily collage that i described last week.

i begin when it is still dark. i have been lucky, a fragment of 

a thought, an idea, an internal image comes along with the selected images.

this develops as the images are glued onto the surface.  

i never know what to expect so it is always a surprise.



illusion, mixed media in an altered book



the control you think you have 

is an illustion.

this moment is all there is.

when you meet a kindred spirit,

recognize the connection and 

remember.




i post my art daily on instagram under 
irenerafael and weekly here on friday when i link
with art pals at paint party friday, hosted weekly by
kristen and eva


thank you for visiting and your comments. 

both are much appreciated. 




Friday, November 3, 2017


welcome! 

i am back home from t a few fun days in chicago wedding dress shopping

with my son's finance, eating and enjoying this lovely city. 



the early morning collages that i started to show in the last

post have continued in my altered book.

with each collage comes a story.


picture brides


 the process has taken me deep into my memories in a way that is compelling. 

  i feel like i am writing and collaging the history not only of my own 

family but of the history of the japanese americans from the 

early nineteen hundreds when they immigrated to the united states.






i am integrating what i have researched, images, memories and family stories.

i create them before the sun comes up, the quiet time of the day.  

i find the world is mine to dig deep and that i am surprised at

what comes to me at that time.  





 a limited palate seems to depict the stories best.





 if you are interested in reading more, they are all posted on instagram.  






i visited the art institute in chicago.  when i am there

i am always drawn to the breathtaking marc chagall stained glass.  








thank you for visiting today.
wishing you a lovely week enriched by art, family and friends!




this posted is linked with friends at paint party friday.
thank you eva and kristen for your continued support of 
the art community!









Sunday, October 22, 2017



this week i did a number of collages.  first, i will start

by saying i love college.  i have been asking other artists 

to teach teach me.  i have a couple of future dates where

i will lean from them but while i am waiting for 'lessons'

i decided to try again on my own.  here is what i have done 

so far.  i am loving the process. 





i start out before the crack of dawn with a cup of tea

in my studio.  i start by selecting images from my large

collection that jump out at me.  





i follow a loose story that begins to develop

through the images.





i cut and glue pieces to the background





some acrylic is added




and the story develops




and deepens.   i have found the process

deeply satisfying.





this week i went to the printers fair at the international

print museum in carson, ca.  here are a few images i took there. 











i hope it's been a lovely weekend.

posting late with friends at paint party friday.