The Blank Journal and the Creative Genius

The inscription reads: Blank journal in search of creative genius for long-term relationship. Apply within.

Specially designed pages
Spine sewn together
Many of my art pieces become gifts to friends and family. This book is one of those pieces. A dear friend of ours from grad school has a lovely fiancé whom I wanted to give a hand-made gift. After quizzing him on her favorite colors, and meeting her, I decided to make a blank book. I designed the pages using standard watercolor paper. The cover is made of covers from recycled/thrift store books and packing materials. I attached the pages by sewing them against the fabric binding, through a variety of buttons. This was the first time I used that binding technique and the end result was solid. All of that, and a healthy dose of bookbinding adhesive, became this blank journal.

Jewelry Box

This box marks the first I time I took a class from Mita Saldana of Against the Grain – Center for Bookbinding Arts. This project started as a pile of paper and book board. Book board is essentially really thick, rigid cardboard. I very much appreciated learning all the steps in the process of making a box. For example, I didn’t know that the book board needed to be filed smooth to ensure that the pieces fit together cleanly and securely. Good thing I didn’t try this project on my own! The finished box includes 3 interior boxes and stands 5 inches tall. The interior shelves are 3 x 3 inches square and are fully covered. The top of the box is lightly padded.

Mita is a friendly and engaging artist. She can be reached through her web site at

Altered Passport

This project came from a workshop I took from Orly Avineri called “The Visual Journal as Sanctuary.” We started with expired passports and after two days of work, reflection, and awe, we came away with passports that had taken an entirely new journey.

The passport I used came from an Israeli woman. I bought the thing on eBay. Because of its origin, the passport read backward from the way we do in English. That gave some additional character to this project. I inserted recycled pages, found objects, tea dyed pieces, tags, tea bags, old postcards, stamped paper, painted paper, fabric, and a host of other objects into this now bulging passport. Somewhere along the line I started calling the book “Erna” after the original owner of the passport. I often wonder what she would think of the way her passport looks now, and of the technology I’m using to share this artwork with others.

If you are interested in more information about Orly’s work, visit her web site at She is a very powerful teacher. In early 2018 Orly will be back in Albuquerque and I highly recommend her workshops to other artists.

Welcome to Scarlett Mountain Art! This blog serves as a landing pad for photos of my artwork. When people ask what I do and I reply that I’m an artist, the next question is often, “Where can I see your work?” This web site is one place. I am also showing work at the Aways North Art Studios in Albuquerque. I have studio space there and exhibit my work during special gallery openings. A couple times a month I post photos of completed pieces along with information on artists who taught me techniques. You may also see photos of artwork I show and my work in progress.

Sometimes I add additional pictures of ongoing work to my Instagram feed. That way you can see more details of my work, if you are so inclined. Those are often photos of the messy part of making art.

I hope you enjoy what you see and are inspired to explore my work further.