Sunday, December 30, 2007

Femme Fatale

This is the first collage I have done since before Christmas. It was hard to get back in the groove of creating, as it has been quite a while and also I have come down with the "post-Christmas cold." At least it waited this long to strike and at least I am the only one in the house afflicted so far. I prepped two more canvases today and hopefully tomorrow I will be visited by a muse and will make it back into my studio, which nowadays needs the space heater to be tolerable.

So for my last post of 2007, I wish you all a glorious new year and all the blessings you so deserve. You have done much for this artist's heart and soul through your supportive and kind comments. THANK YOU.

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, December 28, 2007

Illustration Friday ~ Soar

True and passionate makes the heart SOAR.

© Nancy Lefko

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Sewing Mom

This collage was done as a Christmas present for a friend's mom. It is one of a few custom pieces I have made lately. I find it lots of fun to create for a SPECIFIC person and to bounce ideas off a customer and create exactly what they are looking for. (If you are interested in a custom collage, see the link on this blog.)

© Nancy Lefko

Monday, December 24, 2007

"Merry Christmas to All !!"

My most sincere wish to all of you for a blessed Christmas filled with the warmth of family and friends. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the kind comments that you send my way. Your words mean a great deal to me and are most appreciated. All the best to you in the new year !!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Illustration Friday ~ Horizon

This Christmas season, I am feeling especially homesick for my roots...New York, that is. I wish that it were right over the HORIZON and I could be immersed in all that is New York at Christmastime. But alas, it is much farther away than that and I suppose I'll have to settle for watching Christmas movies set in New York. Maybe tonight it will be 'Serendipity'...a little skating in Central Park, dessert in a quaint cafe, shopping at Bloomingdale's...sounds lovely.

© Nancy Lefko

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Merry Christmas to all the Moms !

Dear Santa,

I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited their doctor's office more than my doctor and sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next 18 years.

Here are my Christmas wishes:

I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze, but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store.

I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.

If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music, a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals, and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, 'Yes, Mommy' to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.

I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting 'Don't eat in the living room' and 'Take your hands off your brother,' because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.

If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is calling and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don't catch cold.

Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.

Yours Always,


P.S. One more can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children, healthy, safe and of course, young enough to always believe in Santa.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Illustration Friday ~ Backwards

This gal has the right idea, but some people get things BACKWARDS...they believe the reverse is true. I think it's a sad state of affairs when someone needs to walk around with a phone attached to their ear! But maybe I'm just old-fashioned.

© Nancy Lefko

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Mata Hari

I have found it difficult to make time in my studio lately. I know I should be trying to make as much art as I can, to sell at this time of year, but the demands of the season are upon me. I don't know where I'd be without internet shopping, but I still need to get to the stores and this week of bad weather doesn't help. Yesterday, with a delayed school opening, and the roads just nasty, I stayed at home and was able to create two new collages which are now on ebay. Of course, that still leaves the cards to finish, the wrapping to begin, the cookies to bake....yikes !!

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, December 7, 2007

Illustration Friday ~ Little Things

Such dear sweet little things...they bring magic into our lives. They certainly bring a special sense of wonder to the Christmas season and all who share their company are blessed.

© Nancy Lefko

Thank You, Diane !

The wonderfully talented Diane of Duda Daze has given to me the "You Make Me Smile Award." It pleases me greatly as Diane's paintings ALWAYS make ME smile ! I am happy that I can return the favor with my collages. Please visit her blog for a smile. I will pass along this award to Ginger and Lindsay who both do so much to brighten my days. There is great joy to be found on both Ginger and Lindsay's blogs.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Getting Ready

The excitment factor at our house is growing daily...especially for my youngest. He is singing carols and watching Rudolph and Santa programs every day. I love enjoying the Christmas season through the eyes of my child. It is one of the many things I will miss most when he is grown. For now, I am savoring every moment. Remember, "seeing isn't believing, believing is seeing."

© Nancy Lefko

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Illustration Friday ~ Excess

For this Illustration Friday topic, it seemed apparent that one of the gals would take center stage. Marjorie seemed the perfect fit, as she parties to EXCESS. That must be what makes her parties legendary.

© Nancy Lefko

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I've Been Tagged

The talented artist Linda Silvestri has tagged me for a meme. This is the first time I have ever been tagged so I hope that I do everything correctly and don't bore you too much in the process. Linda is a very gifted artist and her sketches are so much fun, so do visit her blog and have a look.

The rules of this meme are:
· When tagged, you must link to the person who tagged you.
· Then post the rules before your list, and list eight random things about yourself.
· At the end of the post you must tag and link to eight other people.


1. I am very much addicted to COFFEE. It is not the caffeine that has me hooked, but the taste. Coffee ice cream has been my favorite flavor since I was a child, long before my first cup 'o Joe. I love the scent as well....mmmmmmm. I probably, no definitely, drink too much.

2. I think I was born in the wrong decade. I would have been a perfectly happy June Cleaver or Donna Reed. (although housework in heels would have been a drag.) I long for a simpler time and watch the old black and white sit-coms with yearning. Probably not a very PC thing to admit, but I am very content as a stay at home mom.

3. I didn't learn to drive until I was 24 years old.

4. I love the color combination of pink and green. Sage green and baby pink...lime green and hot all works for me !!

5. I am a die hard Cubs fan. My dad was born and raised in a suburb of Chicago and I am a New Yorker who was raised to cheer on the Cubs. I have indocrinated my husband and children and every other year we make the pilgrimage to Wrigley.

6. I LOVE the beach. Maybe it is because I was raised on Long Island and the beach was never very far away....but it is in my blood. The sights, the smells, the sand, the rejuvenates and soothes me.

7. I am a lazy gardener. I love my flower beds, but I clearly do not spend enough time improving them.

8. I'm a bit...just a bit...of a Felix Unger. (my kids call me the 'clean freak'...but that's just in comparison to them !)

Here are my tags:

Diane at Duda Daze

Lindsay at Painting My World

Susan at My Sweet Imaginations

Patty at Papor Artist

Paulette at Paulette Insall

Roberta at A Mouse in the House

Paige at Fox in Socks

Leigh at Murphy Girl

© Nancy Lefko

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hot Stuff

After looking at this finished collage for a few days, I began to wonder if green was the wrong backdrop for a work entitled 'Hot Stuff.' Perhaps a warmer palette would have been better. In any case, I get the feeling that this little lady made quite an impression wherever she went. She is listed on ebay now, which with any luck will stay as hot as she is !!

© Nancy Lefko

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Cosmopolitan Gal

This little lady has been traveling the globe and living the good life...I'm just glad that she (and her accompanying text) survived the dreaded "spill in the studio."

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, November 23, 2007

Illustration Friday ~ The Zoo

For the Illustration Friday topic, the zoo, I thought of the many creatures my youngest son likes to collect at the beach. We spend countless hours at the tide pool filling his buckets with hermit crabs, snails, clams and small lobsters. He feeds his marine friends with Dad's fishing bait and watches over them quite protectively. At day's end they are released back into the sea and he looks forward to the next day and dreams of what he'll find. There is no finer "zoo" for my little boy and he is the most thoughtful of zookeepers.

© Nancy Lefko

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Busy Day

Yesterday, after baking pies and completing other pre-Thanksgiving duties, I promised myself some time in my studio. Things didn't start off well. I dropped a cutting mat which fell on my cup filled with water and paintbrushes, which spilled all over text that had been awaiting collages and also in the process my clock fell off the wall and broke. It was one big ill-fated domino effect. I tried to remain calm, but I was really, really mad. I commenced to cleaning up and scooped up all the ruined text and threw it away without even looking to see what I had lost...I didn't want to know. It was good that I was able to remain calm, because if I had gotten upset then there wouldn't have been any productive art time. I was able to finish the three collages pictured and also begin work on two larger pieces, but I was still feeling the effects of the "spill" because I was a bit clumsier than usual. In any event, at least I was productive and now these three collages are listed on Ebay. Just when I got through complaining that Ebay had been so slow, suddenly my art has been red hot. I probably won't last after the holidays, but it sure is fun for now !! Happy Thanksgiving to all...enjoy all those leftovers !!

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, November 16, 2007

Illustration Friday ~ Superstition

The story of this little frog prince may be more fairy tale than superstition, but I thought that it was close enough. :)

© Nancy Lefko

Monday, November 12, 2007

More Christmas Ladies

The festivities continue....

© Nancy Lefko

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Christmas Gals

The Christmas girls are completed and will be listed on ebay this evening. This is just a sampling, as there are six in far. I still have some great text awaiting a collage. The theme of each collage is 'Christmas in New York' and as I was working on them I was remembering the beauty and grandeur of New York City at Christmas. Ho, ho, ho....

© Nancy Lefko

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Girls In Progress

These ladies are for the Christmas-themed collages that I have begun. You'll notice a similar color palette. I was trying to be Christmas-y without being TOO Christmas-y. Not so sure how it worked...I'll have a better feel for the colors when the girls are assembled. (Try not to notice the messy art desk underneath the gals.)

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, November 9, 2007

Illustration Friday ~ Scale

On a SCALE of 1 to 10, these gals are an 11...according to them.

© Nancy Lefko

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Deep Within

I'm not sure where I found the time to make a collage this week, but somehow I did, and here she is. This piece expresses much of what lies deep within me...hopes, fears, dreams...probably what lies deep within most women. I continue to play around with paint and gel medium and stamps when working the backgrounds. It seems that backgrounds have been the focus of my attention lately. After making a number of 8x10 collages, I think this weekend I'll make some 4x4's. The boys have a four day weekend, so without my usual chauffeuring duties, I may get some decent time in my studio. Time will tell.

© Nancy Lefko

Sunday, November 4, 2007

New York Gal

My new collage, which will be on ebay later this evening, was lots of fun to create. I have been experimenting with the backgrounds of my more recent collages, using more paint and stamped images in addition to papers. For this collage I applied a coating of gel medium over the papers before applying paint, which gave me the option of removing paint from certain areas. This process gave me more flexibility and the option of changing my mind once paint had been applied. (Which for me is a good thing, as I've been known to change my mind with great frequency.) Once again, with this collage, I pay tribute to the greatest city in the world and the fact that no matter where I call home I will always be a 'New York Gal.'

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, November 2, 2007

Illustration Friday ~ Hats

What good is a club without matching HATS ? These little gals know the secret to a good club...and don't they look stunning ?

© Nancy Lefko

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

To all the 'bats and ghouls'...May your evening be absolutely spooky and filled with all the treats you can carry !! Ooooooo........

© Nancy Lefko

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Femme Fatale

Surprisingly, amidst all the time spent today making my son's Halloween costume, I was able to finish three collages. (One of which is pictured here...all three are listed on ebay.) Thanks so much to my dear friend Ginger Nielson for the wonderful collection of foreign stamps she gave me to use in my collages. (Please visit Ginger's blog on my favorite'll be glad you did.) I think stamps add that 'something extra' that is quite often needed. Don't you agree?

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, October 26, 2007

Illustration Friday ~ Trick or Treat

It was hard to choose just one image for today's IF topic. Halloween is such a fun time to create art. It inspired many a collage for me this season. This weekend, however, I will be practicing another art...that of creating my son's Halloween costume. My boys have never been the kind to choose a costume off the rack at WalMart...EVER! So out comes the sewing machine and Mom's imagination sets to work. (I've never been the kind to use a pattern for a Halloween costume...EVER!) Instead of paint and paper, this weekend will be filled with felt and thread and by Sunday evening we'll have the most charming bumblebee on the trick~or~treat circuit. Happy Haunting !!

© Nancy Lefko

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Two Sisters

After a number of days and many short trips into my studio, I finally finished this new collage. I think the extra time it took to create this was spent in "dressing" the sisters. I thought it might be fun to alter their apparel for this collage. I felt as if I were making paper doll clothing as I did back when I was a little girl. (My older sister and I would spend HOURS making paper dolls and their wardrobes. Being the younger one, my dolls were never quite as good as my sister's and I knew it. I remember wanting my dolls to look as pretty as hers.) It is always fun to try new things, take chances and step outside your comfort zone. Even if your paper dolls don't quite measure up, at least you've tried.

© Nancy Lefko

Sunday, October 21, 2007

This Weekend

This weekend between chores and errands and baking brownies for the Youth Group bake sale at church and hosting a kids' sleepover...I actually made it into my studio long enough to make two collages. Truth be told I guess I did the lion's share of the art on Friday, but that's kind of part of the weekend too :) Today was just SO lovely here in Southern New Hampshire, it was REQUIRED that we go apple picking! The leaf colors were vibrant, the sky a crystal clear blue, the apples sweet and abundant and my little boy was intrigued by the activity of the bees on the dropped apples. It was a perfect Fall day...topped off by a freshly baked apple pie for dessert. I hope your Sunday was equally sublime.

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, October 19, 2007

Illustration Friday ~ Grow

The image here was not the first that came to mind for the topic "grow." I naturally thought of a little garden fairy with her basket brimming with posies. But as I thought about growth, I thought of the most profound growth that happens around me and that is of my children. They grow with astounding is it possible that my youngest is not far from finishing elementary school and my oldest not far from starting college? I hope that their childhood was (and is) a beautiful and wonderful place. And I wish I could go back and watch them grow all over again. Excuse me while I dry my tears...

© Nancy Lefko

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Demanding Dame Revisited

Many of you will recognize the couple featured in this collage. I just love the stories they bring to mind and I can use their photo in countless pieces. The look on "Betty's" face makes me think of the Marlon Brando line, "She looked at me as if I were a bug." It just makes me laugh.

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, October 12, 2007

All You Need is Time...

It's amazing what one can accomplish on a rainy day...when all soccer practices and games are cancelled. :) These ladies lay in a state of 'partial completion' for days...until the skies opened up today and Mom actually got some time in the studio. Sometimes Mother Nature knows just what you need.

© Nancy Lefko

Illustration Friday ~ Extremes

"Penelope could make any man go to EXTREMES."

When I saw the topic for today's IF, I naturally thought of my 'gals' and how any one of them could bring a man to his knees. You get the feeling that this fellow will do anything to keep Penelope happy !! ( Don't you just love the look on her face? )

© Nancy Lefko

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Trick or Treat

It appears that I still have a little Halloween art left in me. I was able to grab some time this past weekend to create this collage and it may be the last seasonal piece I make this Fall. Then it's back to my usual color palette, for a while at least.

© Nancy Lefko

Sunday, October 7, 2007

This Weekend

After a very full week I promised myself that I would make time to play in my studio over the weekend. Remarkably, I kept that promise and GIRLFRIENDS is the result. I like to create collages that celebrate the importance of girlfriends in a woman's life. Friends see us through the tough times and laugh with us through the best times. I'd be lost without them. Here's to gal pals!

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, October 5, 2007

Illustration Friday ~ Open

This week's Illustration Friday topic made me think of an open door and an open invitation. I am ALWAYS open to an invitation for need to ask me twice. And in turn, I love to invite others to join me. Shall I make yours regular or decaf ?

© Nancy Lefko

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A Great Big Thanks!

Thanks to Kelly Jackson Brownlee for the very kind post on her blog. I visit Kelly's blog regularly and yesterday my jaw dropped when there, looking back at me, was one of MY collages! Kelly and I 'found' each other via Illustration Friday and now one of my New York Fairies resides in Seattle with Kelly. It was lovely of Kelly to showcase my work on her blog and reinforces what I know to be true...that the online art community is just FABULOUS !! Artists from all over the world are supportive and encouraging, through their comments and messages. In the relatively short time that I have been involved online, I have 'met' SO many wonderful artists. It has been a joy.

I cannot overlook sending thanks to my dear friend Ginger Nielson. It is through Ginger that I discovered IF and thanks to her help I have this blog up and running (she literally walked me through the whole start-up process over the phone !) Ginger is a constant source of encouragement and I am not sure she realizes how much she has done for this 'budding artist.' Because of people like Ginger and Kelly and all the wonderful artists at ZNE, there is no doubt in my mind that 'artists ARE superior beings!'

© Nancy Lefko

Monday, October 1, 2007

Witchy Woman

This gal is the result of the VERY short time I was in my studio last week. There is so much I am itching to create and it is so frustrating when day to day demands interfere. Every week I am hopeful that there will be more 'art time'...we'll see how this week pans out.

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, September 28, 2007

Illustration Friday ~ The Blues

What a perfect topic for this week's Illustration Friday, for I feel as if I've been singin' the blues all week ! Apparently, this little gal has the the tonic for her blues. I may just settle into a comfy chair tonight and follow her advice...make mine a Cosmopolitan, please.

© Nancy Lefko

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Batty Sisters

Life has been WAY too hectic around here !! I think I've had about 10 minutes in my studio all week. The days are consumed before I know it and all I've done is run from one place to another. I know things will calm down once soccer season is over...but the question is, will I last that long ? That is why I have reached into the vault to pull out a collage I made a few months back. The girls seem to fit the Halloween theme, although they were not made for the holiday. They also seem to fit my state of mind lately...BATS !!!

© Nancy Lefko

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Life of the Party

I worked on this collage this past week and it's a wonder it was ever finished. It seemed that every time I sat down to work on it, someone needed something or a fight broke out between the boys. Sometimes I think they have radar and know the precise moment I settle down in my studio. Well, for better or worse, here she is...listed on Ebay last night.

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, September 21, 2007

Illustration Friday ~ Juggle

My submission for this week's topic, Juggle, is a salute to the queens of juggling ~ MOTHERS !! Is there anyone around who knows how to juggle better than a mom? She can give the Barnum and Bailey acrobats a run for their money. I know that half of MY day revolves around juggling one thing to accommodate another. When I saw the topic, it was a no-brainer. Moms win, hands down !!

© Nancy Lefko

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Halloween in the Studio

Apparently I am in quite the Halloween groove...I am enjoying this autumn color scheme and hope my recent collages draw some interest. It felt like a while since I had worked on anything. I was away last weekend visiting a friend (a girls' weekend...kind of my version of a girls' night out :) Even after just two days away, I returned home feeling so disorganized and as if I'd fallen behind on everything simply because I had spent the weekend away. After three days I am finally feeling back to normal (or at least our version of normal.) We don't have any big plans for the weekend...maybe a little apple picking...but hopefully I'll get some more productive time in my studio...I'll let you know.

© Nancy Lefko