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 


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


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!