Sunday, December 21, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014


I have not made a new post or a new piece of art recently. But that doesn't mean I have not been busy. I am doing some volunteering and work at the McClelland Library at the Irish Cultural Center here in Phoenix. I helped coordinate an exhibition and have been working on the graphics there. I first started doing some volunteering in the genealogy department, which I am continuing. It is great fun helping people do family research, and even better when you find something/someone. I feel like I am on "Who do you think you are", except all my superstars are not famous people, just genuinely nice folks who are searching for a connection to their pasts. I love it.

As far as my work goes, I am always looking at artists and museums for inspiration and ideas and this weekend Jacob and I went to the Phoenix Art Museum to see a show by Paulo Bruscky. It was absolutely wonderful, political and, at times, humorous. I was completely in love with his portraits of people without faces and had to come home and make some of my own. Here they are (mine).

Saturday, July 12, 2014


"what is that big giant white blur?" acrylic on photo paper, 3 x 3 inches. 

First in series of three, taken from one photograph of a scene in a square with lots of pigeons.


One day a few weeks ago I was telling a friend that at this point in my life, "I am what I am". We both started to laugh and she called me Popeye. We agreed that this had inspired some kind of work of art, so she sent me this lovely post card. I, in turn, painted a can of spinach. It is going in the mail today. I hope she likes it.
"i am what i am" acrylic on photo paper, 6 x 4 inches.

"Fig. 41. The Aorta and its Branches" (front and back) collage with antique papers, string and staples on card stock, 6.5 x 4.5 inches, Mary C. Leto, 2014

Sunday, May 4, 2014


"speech impediment" acrylic on photo paper, painting and collage with vintage text book pages, 6 x 4 inches

I was able to complete this collage in time to show it in the 2014 National Collage Society's Annual Postcard Show. It opens June 2, online and will be up until December.

Saturday, May 3, 2014


"for $23.00 revisited" rubber stamp and yellow pastel on paper, 8 x 4.25 inches

After a lovely visit to the paper show at the Bentley Gallery/Projects downtown with Carole Hanks, I promised to recreate a wonderful work on paper we saw there using my antique rubber stamp set and send it to her. I wonder if Ed Kienholz had the same set?

For $87.00 by Edward KienholzOriginal Kienholz approx. value $5000 to $8000. 

According to Robert L. Pincus, Kienholz used these watercolors with rubber stamped values as a kind of currency, selling and trading them for the values listed, thus spoofing the value of the artist's name in the market place.

Monday, April 7, 2014


The Yuma Territorial Prison based art that I have been working on for the past year is being shown at the Yuma Fine Arts Association on Main Street in Yuma, AZ. If you are in the area, please stop in. The work will be up until the end of April.

An added bonus are two collaborative works that I did with artist Christine Cassano. They are assemblage works consisting of concrete, painting, ceramic and ho scale prisoner people. I had so much fun working with Christine.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Kyria (my granddaughter) had a school project, it involved showing something that was invented during the industrial revolution. She picked a mouse trap camera conceived in 1834 by Henry Fox Talbot. She told me about what she wanted to do, and together we set out to recreate Talbot's early photographs. What Talbot was especially known for was creating a negative paper plate, which he could then make multiple prints from, unlike his contemporary Louis Daguerre, who was making one off images on silver, called daguerreotypes.

We created a mouse trap camera and did put our treated paper inside of it to make a print in a similar fashion. Unfortunately, nothing printed onto the paper. We are not sure why this did not work, except that conditions (cloudy) might have made a difference, and/or our lenses were not penetrable enough to let the light in.

 We decided that along with the camera experiment we would make sun prints, which were used by Talbot with his negatives. According to our research, Talbot waxed his negative paper prints to create a positive image, again, on paper.

negative image of "speak-easy" peep hole

Kyria and I ordered a Van Dyck printing kit. Neither of us had ever done sun printing before. We turned my laundry room into a dark room and began to mix all of our chemicals. We let them sit overnight as instructed. Instead of using waxed negatives, we made negatives from original photographs that Kyria shot at my house. One is of my grandmother's singer sewing machine and the other is of my front door "speak-easy" peep hole. We took the images into photoshop and highly contrasted them and converted them to black and white. Afterwards we printed the negatives onto vellum paper (to simulate the wax effected negatives that Talbot would have made). We then treated a variety of papers with our chemicals and dried them with a blow dryer. We placed the papers onto a cardboard surface, placed the negatives on top and placed a piece of glass over that to prevent them from moving and to make a good seal between the paper and negative. We exposed them for 10 minutes in the sun and brought them in for water bath and fix. These are our results.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Monday I went back to Christine Cassano's studio. She had poured the concrete into our molds that we had prepared a few weeks back. (see inset below) The results are amazing. We cleaned up the clay that was used as a resist and did some transfers directly onto the concrete. I wanted to add a little more dirt (to the left in the piece above) and am waiting for the glue and dirt to bond and dry.

We built in recessed areas in both pieces, I think I want to add some figures that I am repurposing in the accompanying bottle collection. The process continues.

These pieces will be shown in April at the Yuma Fine Arts Association.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


"2102", ceramic plate with lithographic transfer, 6" diameter. 

One of the finished glazed pieces in the Yuma plate collection. To be displayed in Yuma during the historic 100th anniversary celebration.