TAG Recap

Our pieces in the TAG show: Side Conversation and Liminal #1. These were made by my co-collaborator Liz Kalloch and me during our New Ground residency this summer.

Our pieces in the TAG show: Side Conversation and Liminal #1. These were made by my co-collaborator Liz Kalloch and me during our New Ground residency this summer.


What an extraordinary time in the Bay Area a couple of weekends ago! The TAG pop-up show was such a blast and a huge success. Joyce Conlon did a fantastic job curating the exhibition and the walls were pure eye candy! I loved watching people walk the rooms and take in (and respond to!) the artwork, asking great questions along the way. It was a wonderful evening and a spectacular personal experience.

For me, one of the highlights of participating in a group show is developing relationships with the other artists ~ and standing side-by-side with them in the gallery (with all the trepidation, excitement, and anticipation that comes with exhibiting one's soul work) while sharing our creative stories (the good, the bad, the ugly, the ups and downs, the techniques that worked and didn't, and everything swirling about in between!). This group was no exception. Talented, funny, curious, open-hearted and open-minded ~ my 48 hours with them I will cherish.

Most of the participating artists: Kimberly Rowe, Joyce Conlon, me, Liz, and Bill Russell.

Most of the participating artists: Kimberly Rowe, Joyce Conlon, me, Liz, and Bill Russell.


One of the questions Liz and I got asked most was, "So, how does this collaboration thing work?" And the simple answer is...it just does. Liz and I don't put a lot of effort into the structure of the collaboration. In other words, we don't have regular meetings to establish goals or rules or expectations. There is no pre-nup that outlines who gets what should our collaboration abruptly end. We didn't sign a sacred contract and we didn't do a personality test beforehand. We simply became really good friends and then decided to create something together. We didn't know exactly what that would be but we were both willing to take the journey together.

And that was how New Ground started.

Liz and I have been collaborating together for over a year now and our work has taken us in several directions and on several adventures as we learned (and continue to learn!) how to work with each other and our two mediums. And it was the summer residency, which pulled together all the effort and energy we've put into the collaboration, where things really took off. If you'd like to see more of what we've been doing, head on over to www.NewGroundCollaboration.com and check things out.

Thank you to all who came to the TAG show. You're support, encouragement, and enthusiasm are received with so much gratitude. Liz and I are excited to get back into the studio together again (next month!) and continue to travel down the creative path together.

Marbling on Photographs

Photograph by the talented  Ann Howley .

Photograph by the talented Ann Howley.


Marbling on photographs. Yep. Love it. It's ridiculously fun.

I especially love the one above because of the vibrant, warm colors and how the traditional pattern Bouquet mirrors the shapes of the hot air balloons.

And then there is this one:

Another beautiful photograph by the talented  Ann Howley .

Another beautiful photograph by the talented Ann Howley.


I wanted to replicate the feel of the arctic cold, sparse landscape, and floating ice in this image so I chose to do an Italian Vein in cool colors over the top of it. I think I pulled it off since I feel a chill every time I look at it!

You can learn how to create traditional patterns such as Bouquet (and 15 other traditional patterns!) in my Clouds on Water: Introduction to Paper Marbling eCourse. And if you're up for a marbling adventure, check out my Clouds on Water: Advanced Marbling Techniques eCourse where, among many things, you'll learn about additives (used to create the Italian Vein pattern) and how to marble on photographs and other non-traditional materials.

For a short time, I am offering an incredible special on these two courses ~ buy the Introduction to Paper Marbling eCourse and get the Advanced Marbling Techniques eCourse for free!! That's a savings of $129!! Head on over to www.CloudsOnWater.com to register and use the discount code EBRULOVE. There are still four weeks of guided sessions by me on our very active private Facebook page and you'll have access to all the videos, website content, and downloadable handouts through the end of July!

Hope to see you in the classroom!

Welcome to the New Site!

Hello Blog Subscribers and visitors! Welcome to the new BarbSkoog.com ~ a fresh website design to go with my new logo! Many thanks to those of you who had to re-subscribe to my blog. I'm thrilled to have you along for the ride ~ again!

My friend, Liz, was in the studio with me last week as we continued to work on our collaboration, New Ground, and I wanted to share a few work-in-progress pictures. This session focused mostly on working with the masks we have been creating that are inspired by cultural patterns and designs. These masks are then applied to paper or fabric and marbled. The resulting white space is yet another area for us to work in.

The pieces below are all on paper (Arches or Texoprint) and measure 20" x 25."

Liz works her magic on a marbled Native American-inspired geometric pattern.

Liz works her magic on a marbled Native American-inspired geometric pattern.

A marbled Islamic-inspired geometric pattern.

A marbled Islamic-inspired geometric pattern.

A marbled India-inspired design.

A marbled India-inspired design.


Summer Collaboration

For those of you not following me on Facebook or Instagram, here's a little update on the summer collaboration the talented painter/illustrator/designer Liz Kalloch and I are embarking upon. We've been spending time in each other's studios...or Google Chatting or texting when we can't be together...to develop this series where she's adding her flowers and "patchwork" designs to my marbled pieces. Here are some details of works in progress:

Collaboration between marbler Barb Skoog and painter Liz Kalloch

Collaboration between marbler Barb Skoog and painter Liz Kalloch

Collaboration between marbler Barb Skoog and painter Liz Kalloch

I cannot wait to reveal the full pieces to you! They are so stunning...they blow me away every time I look at them (which is all the time!).

These are on paper...but we also have another series in progress that is on wood panel! Stay tuned for more on that!

Pinch Me

Church Of Adagio by Phil Dacey with Cover Art by Barb Skoog. I have been dying to share this news with you and am thrilled I can finally do so!

Above is the cover of a new book by esteemed poet (he's got 12 books and a ton of awards under his belt, after all), Philip Dacey. And if you haven't noticed already, that cover art...it's none other than Symphony I, a collaboration by Rebecca Tager and me for our Triptych Fusion show last fall.

A few months ago, independent press Rain Mountain contacted me expressing interest in using the piece for the cover...and was wondering if I would be willing to work with them. Ladies and gentlemen, how could I respond to this inquiry with anything other than a big, fat YES? So Rebecca and I agreed, a contract was drawn up, and next thing I know, I'm sending image files to the publisher.

But it doesn't end there.

As the editor and I emailed each other back and forth, I shared the story behind Symphony I and Triptych Fusion. She then asked if I would write an appendix for the book, explaining the art of marbling in general and the birth of Symphony I specifically. Would I? How could I pass up another opportunity "to bring marbling to the masses"? Of course I would. The editor gave me free reign on length (when does that ever happen?) and style and I ended up writing less of a technical piece and more of a personal essay about how marbling came into my life and how I engage with the art form. And I have to say, I think this is my favorite piece about marbling that I've written yet.

Which is fitting considering Church of the Adagio is a collection of Dacey's most cherished poems. In his own words:

Church of the Adagio is my first miscellaneous collection since my 1999 book, The Paramour of the Moving Air. Five books have appeared in the 15 intervening years, all with special themes or foci: Thomas Eakins, New York City, sonnets, short poems, and “fives” (a format of five five-line stanzas per poem). It’s therefore been a long while since I could choose poems for inclusion in a book solely because I had a special fondness for a poem or took a certain pride in having made it. Variety is a keynote of the book--variety of style, subject matter, form, and tone. I hope the ultimate effect is kaleidoscopic or cornucopian.

If you haven't read Dacey yet, you're in for a real treat. Wrapped up in his unwavering command of language of structure, you'll find his work to be contemporary and accessible, playful and witty, engaging and emotional without falling victim to over-romanticizing or over-dramatization. In other words, my kind of poetry.

Church of the Adagio will be released on July 1. You can pre-order at Rain Mountain or on Amazon. And if you'd like to get a sneak peak at a few of the poems, you can do so here.

New Note Card Store

GroupNov2013 I couldn't be happier with the beautiful results of my collaboration with artist Amy Sui ~ whose gorgeous script and calligraphy graces my marbled papers. Together, we've created a collection of note cards which have inspiring, engaging, thoughtful, and uplifting quotes on them.

Our first round of quotes sold out immediately. I've just updated the shop with our second round. If you're interested in purchasing, you can get them at the Peach Tree Holiday Show next weekend or you can email me (Cheers "at" BarbSkoog "dot" com).

Check Out the New Note Card Store!