Here is another direction I've been exploring. I'm loving the circles these days. Making them in the tank is such a trip. Patience (and more patience), an understanding of what your paints are doing, the depth of the bath, weather (I've been working in humidity levels as low as 13%...yikes!), and more patience all affect the outcome.


These are all on wood panels. I paint a background color, marble over it, sand it a bit, and sometimes marble and sand again. Then I mask off a shape (oh, I'm in love with shapes these days as well!) and marble again. Finally I remove the mask and voila! 


I think these broken ~ or interrupted ~ circles tell such a story and, when combined with the organic shapes and distressed backgrounds, there is quite a narrative going on.


Creating Language


I've been really, really busy in the studio these past few months and have been negligent in keeping my blog (and other social media sites) updated with news. This is not an apology. In fact, I'm very proud of the fact! I'm very protective of my time these days and when my energy feels at its best in the studio, that's where I stay.


But I'm emerging now to share in some of the goodness that has been happening in my world. Over the next few days, I'll share some of the exciting directions I've been exploring.

Today's images are from a little experimenting I was doing with creating backgrounds that I would then marble on. This idea emerged from the mini-residency my friend Liz Kalloch (check out her new website!!) and I did back in August.


She is a BILLION TRILLION times better than I am at making the backgrounds beautiful and interesting ~ but part of collaborating is being able to understand what your partner can and can not do...or needs to be pushed to do. By attempting to make backgrounds myself, I learned so much about the process (and how I can contribute to that process) and can communicate with her in a whole different way. Because that's what collaboration is all about: creating a new artistic language.


Work in Progress: Creating the Supporting Background

I am working on two projects where the featured piece needs to be supported by a strong but unobtrusive background. This is new territory for me as far as incorporating marbling into the process. I'm excited to be experimenting, especially with new materials and techniques, but I'm also feeling out of my element and therefore incredibly novice and, quite frankly, stupid. But what the only live once! Some shots from one of the projects:


Marbled Wood Panels by Ebru Artist Barb Skoog


Marbled Wood Panels by Ebru Artist Barb Skoog

Marbled Vintage Papers by Ebru Artist Barb Skoog

Marbled Wood Panels by Ebru Artist Barb Skoog

There are a few more layers I have in my head that I want to add here but I'll be taking baby steps with those. I'll share the process along the way. Stay tuned. Who knows what will happen!

41 for 41: Visit Watts Towers

Watts Towers It was better than I expected. I wasn't expecting something bad, but I wasn't expecting SO MUCH.

Simon Rodia was an Italian immigrant who was a construction worker by day. For more than 30 years, between 1921 and 1955, he set to work in the evenings single-handedly building his mosaic wonderland piece by piece using nothing more than his hands and simple tools on land he bought for $900. "I had it in my mind to do something big," he said. When he was 75 years old, he gifted the property to a neighbor he liked and moved to Martinez, Calif. never to return again. The Towers have been described as "a unique monument to the human spirit and the persistence of a singular vision." Truer words could not be spoken.

Tour Guide Howard

What drives a person to do something without recognition and without expectation? What compels one to create? Rodia had no formal education let alone an education in the arts or in engineering. His work has survived earthquakes and inspired a community to build an arts center right next door.

Inside Watts Towers

Inside Watts Towers

Close up

Watts Towers is at the top of my "must see in LA" list for any visitor or resident alike. The park surrounding the Towers is beautiful and a perfect place for a picnic. The adjacent Arts Center has three small gallery spaces that are a must see. Take the tour which allows you to go inside this magnificent structure and see the intimate details. You can't help but look at each mosaic piece and wonder why Rodia chose that one and placed it that way and put it in that spot. Everyone associated with the Towers--from the security guard patrolling the grounds to the tour guide (thanks, Howard!!) to the people working in the Arts Center and galleries--is friendly, passionate, and engaging. There is a sense of pride in this place...pride in the community of artists who have come from here (including Charles Mingus), pride in being a place for encouraging and supporting the arts, and pride in self-driven accomplishment. For all of the vile history Watts is attached to, there is no room for pity or excuses here. You can't help but walk away wondering what more you could do with your own life. What would your Watts Towers look like, if you put your mind to it?

For more information: and


Hello, Spring!

My new header this month is in honor of the spring weather we're having here in LA. Rain, cool temps, sun, warm temps, rain, cool temps, sun, warm temps, rinse and repeat. Crocuses and tulips are already gone. Azaleas are on their way out. But my garden is starting to FINALLY burst. After a tough winter with failed crop after failed crop (come on, broccoli...why you gots to be so mean to me?!!), I'm counting on summer to bring me my beloved kale, scallions, beets, Kentucky wonder beans, tomatoes, and more. I'm sort of cheating here as the header comes from this piece, which was featured on my blog earlier this year. I'm not a good flower maker when it comes to marbling. Actually, I'm a horrible one. Catastrophic is probably a better word. You really should check out the work of this AMAZING marbling artist, Gafur Yakar. Dude does flowers like nobody's business.

Seriously, how insanely spectacular are these? Even the backgrounds are drop-dead gorgeous.

Giving the Gift of Marble

One more post about marbling and then I promise to move on to a different topic for a few posts. I recently had the wonderful opportunity to give a couple of my marbled pieces to people as gifts. The first one was to my hubby, Emmett. (And yes, I count that as gift giving.)

During my last marbling session, Emmett came home from a long day at the office, grabbed a happy hour drink, and meandered into my studio to take a look at my latest creations (talk about a supportive husband!). He was immediately drawn to one particular piece--a large square of canvas that had a stone pattern on it. I was touched by his sincere admiration of the piece, which he kept returning to with much exclamation ("Babe, this is really beautiful!"), and decided to frame it up for him for is office. I figured that even if he decided he didn't want it there, I could find a spot for it in our home (after all, I loved the piece, too) or sell it at the Peach Tree Holiday Show. Well, I didn't have to worry about those alternatives as Emmett happily took the piece to work.

Stone Pattern

Marbled piece hanging in Emmett's office.

I love knowing this piece is in his office, that a little part of the creative me is there with him (besides the cards I frequently send him that he displays on one of his bookshelves), and that he finds my work not only interesting and professional enough to display, but proudly does so. He told me that after he put it up, the next person to walk into his office immediately noticed it and wanted to know more about the art of marbling. I love that! It's all part of my grand plan to bring marbling to the masses!

The other marbled piece I gave as a gift was to my lovely friend, Bill, for his birthday. Bill and his husband Kelly recently bought a vacation get away in Idyllwild. We celebrated his birthday there last month and my gift to him was professionally framing a marbled paper of his choosing. When I brought out my portfolio and started going through it, he immediately zeroed in on a piece and said he just HAD to have it. And this is the end result:

Bill's birthday gift

Bill chose a lovely bouquet pattern made on red Italian paper (oh, how classy!) with accents of gold (oh, how classier!). It is a piece that I knew was special but didn't know what was going to become of it. And then along came Bill. In his own words:

The stunning piece you gave me for my birthday continues to rule over the Idyllwild house. For those of you who haven’t seen it, the piece was made on red paper and is done in my favorite colors, red and orange with touches of gold. This happens to be the colors in the chairs of our living room and we had not found the right piece to hang over the mantel in that room. When Barb gave me my choice of about 30 pieces of paper she’d made for my birthday, I instantly knew that was the one! A few weeks later she arrived with the piece framed in beautiful gold and snuck it into position over the fireplace. I noticed it IMMEDIATELY because it so perfectly tied the entire room together. It even matches my FRINGE. And continues our tradition of filling our home with art made by our friends. So all hail to Barb, master paper maker and great, great friend.

Wow! Does a thank you or praise or endorsement get any better than that? I am simply in heavenly bliss knowing my marbled piece is in their beautiful, warm, and inviting home. How lucky am I?!

Peach Tree Holiday Show Recap

Peach Tree Show Wow! What a wonderful show we had at Peach Tree Gallery this weekend! The gallery looked AMAZING filled wall-to-wall and top-to-bottom with spectacular work from the 13 participating artists. I was blown away when I stepped into the space and took it all in. Blown away!

Peach Tree Show

Our customers were fantastic as well! The enthusiasm and appreciation they expressed for ALL the artists' work, whether they bought something or not, was so beautiful to experience. I must have spoken to a couple dozen people who were genuinely interested in the marbling process. And I overheard lots of conversations between customers and the other artists about their work and process as well. That's what I love so much about the people connected with Peach Tree--they truly have a deep and contagious love for art and the artist. As one of the artists said, "I can't get over how customers thank ME for my work when I'M the one that is grateful for their support."

Peach Tree Customer

I had told a friend prior to the show that I just wanted to "bring the art of marbling to the masses" and my goal with the weekend was to share my love and passion for the art with others. Well that goal was accomplished...and then some. Of course, I was thrilled that many of my individual marbled sheets have new homes and that I sold out of my journals and sold one of my framed pieces!

Peach Tree Show

Many, many thanks to everyone who came and showed their support. I was touched that friends came from all over LA (even Eastsiders made the trek to the West Side!) to check out my latest creative endeavor. And I so value the words of encouragement and cheers from friends and family afar who would have gladly been at the gallery had they not lived in places like Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, and Australia!

Peach Tree Show

In many ways, this show was a test run for me. I have BIG ideas for my work but wasn't sure if there was an audience for it, or if there was, if they were receptive to my style of marbling. The Peach Tree Gallery Holiday Show proved to me that YES, there is a market and YES, people like my work! I am so inspired and look forward to turning my ideas into actual plans with amazing (hopefully) results! Please continue to follow me on this blog and share the journey with me!