Monday, November 21, 2011

Bug Love

I have a new addiction...bugs.  Three so far and more crawling around in my brain waiting to come out.  These are done on Fabriano watercolor paper, 10x14"....mostly with Holbein acrylics but also graphite and a bit of colored pencil here and there.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ornaments Listed

I have just listed several hand painted ornaments on Ebay...wanted you all to know. They are all unique and "upcycled" on restaurant coasters making them a cool, one-of-a-kind gift for anyone on your artsy fartsy list of artsy fartsy people. Thanks for sticking by me through this little drought. I have some new artwork to share and will post that soon...think BUGS.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

playing with paint

WE ARE MOVING! We've moved a lot being in the military but compared to some of my friends whose husbands are also military guys, we have had a fairly easy time. Still, it's hard on all of us. I pull away, the kids pull away and before we have moved physically, we've moved mentally. We are all stressed here, trying to show the house to potential renters and trying not to make messes. We don't want to cook but we need to clean out the fridge and freezer. It's summer and the kids want to swim but I need to stay presentable and don't want to be chlorine-y or sweaty! It's a catch in so many ways but I've done this before and we will survive. My art is another thing.

Art is so much a part of me. I absolutely love the smell of paint, the sound of swishing water, the process, the thoughts, the puzzle working, the color choosing, etc. I don't have time right now. Can't make a mess. So much else that needs to be done.

BUT I did indulge a little. I couldn't take it anymore. I just had to. So, here it is. I needed color, blending, playing. I needed shapes, and swirls and fun. I want to share it with you because that is one of the best parts for me. Sharing something colorful and fun...a little sunshine in your day. Something to make you forget your worries, even if only for a second or two.

Enjoy my silly take on a rainbow!

I used black gesso in a multi-media sketchbook. I drew simple lines with a white, water-soluble crayon to divide the page . Then I filled in with acrylic paint, only to the edges of the white lines. I blended a bit of white in each area, making it more interesting- more 3 dimensional. When all areas were dry, I wet the page and wiped away the white dividing lines.

And do you know what? It was fun. IT WAS FUN! It's not a masterpiece. It's not superior use of technique or style or anything outstanding. I don't care. I just needed to paint, so I did.
Don't deny your creative urges. Just do a little something. A doodle. Origami. Glue stuff together. Cut something out. Weave something. Crochet. Whatever. WEAR LIPSTICK if you haven't in a while. Just do it. I'm happy I did...and I wanted you to know! :)

Monday, July 04, 2011

summer break

I am going to be taking a break from my blog for the summer. We are moving to another state soon and I have very little time to devote to this blog or my art. When I have settled in after the move, and I am creating again, I will let you know and post some pics. Thanks! Smiles!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Saturday, May 07, 2011


Sometimes as artists, we need to get real with ourselves. Since I haven't been painting much lately, I seem to have to "remember" how to start. I think there is MUCH to be said for "automatism" -- by that I mean if you paint daily, you have a routine. Your water goes in a certain place, your palette may stay similar if you're wanting to work in series, your workstation has an order, etc. etc. These are all GOOD things in my opinion when you are pressed for time. This way, you can step into your studio (or dining room or wherever you create) and just get going. For me, lately, I come in and I'm just grabbing at supplies and feeling "rusty". Hasn't even been that long since I painted but because I don't do it daily, it is not habit and it takes longer to get in the zone.

On the other hand, when you are out of your routine, you may try things you've been thinking about (what else do you do when you're not painting but THINK about painting!  LOL!) such as a new technique, or starting off a different way, or adding elements you don't usually add.   It was like that for me today.  It's these lulls in my creative growth that give me time to reassess myself.  I felt like I was missing something each time I painted.  The real message I want my work to say is that it's ok to be you.  Being yourself is wonderful and we are all perfectly imperfect. I exaggerate features but try to paint them so they are appealling.  I often portray limbs and eyes different sizes and different colors to further emphasize imperfection.  Many times, I think people miss this part of my art (I mean, the message part, not the way the characters look).  I would love to have my pieces "say" that without "saying" it...but sometimes the viewer needs something more to drive home a message.  I have used newspaper clippings and cutouts from old books to form sentences in some of my work but not in any that I've done in the last year. So, while lettering isn't new to me, it's something I haven't been including in my work lately.

 So this was my change in routine...I chose magazines since I haven't done much with those and I love how thin the paper is. This is a piece that is 11x14 on Fabriano watercolor paper.  It had collaged paper on the background and was then painted over.  I'd set it aside because I just wasn't sure what to do with it.  Then, last week, I grabbed it just to use it to protect my table while I worked on other smaller pieces (layed it underneath and ended up scraping excess paint on it, used it as my pallette, stamped off excess ink on it -- it was really just a catch all scrap piece.  I loved the way the background ended up but I was still torn about what to do on top of it.  Because I hadn't been painting very much, I've been sketching in my sketchbook.  Here is a photo of my sketches:  

She's done except for some shading.  I like the modern, edginess of the cutout letters next to the funky girl wearing the sweet, girly dress.  She is who she is and she is apparently proud and doesn't care what other people think.  In fact, she's dancing...dressed up, not afraid to show the world.  I  hope I can take this message to heart (and hopefully you too!!!) You are beautiful the way you are....say yes to you!!!

Have a beautiful, wonderful Mother's Day whether you are a mother, grandmother, or great grandmother....stepmother, foster mother, adoptive mother....whether you still have your mother with you physically or just in spirit (as it is with my husband's mother -- it's a tough holiday for him), whether she lives with you, near you, or is far, far away...find a way to connect to her, even if it's just reflection on Mother's Days past.

Smiles to you all!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Work in Progress

New work...Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

My First Art "Fair"

I recently was able to participate in McKinney's annual "ArtWalk" where artists are assigned a storefront in our little downtown and allowed to set up examples and demo if they like.  There were over 150 artists and I had to apply for a spot.  I was accepted and assigned a health smoothie type place called Lifestyle Nutrition and Shakes (website is down).  I had an enormous corner and I set up my own tables and "tent".  We initially set up a pegboard which would have been PERFECT if it hadn't been for the wind.  It was so blustery, I had a hard time showing any work other than in a plastic bin.  At first I was worried but lots of people came right up and began looking through the bin.  I was so completely unprepared and I thought I'd share a little about what I learned.  Here are ten things to consider:  (some are totally obvious but for me, I hadn't thought of them or need to do differently)

1.  Bring money to give change...I decided I'm going to buy a little cash drawer so I can have something organized and lockable.  I was fully NOT expecting to sell anything and I actually sold quite a few pieces (prints and originals!).  I felt foolish when I was giving change from my wallet and then had to run down the stairs to the storefront to get change for a $20 bill.  Luckily, the customers didn't care one bit and continued to mention how much they loved the art.

2.  Look into the paypal app for iphone or droid.  Customers can actually make a payment to your phone if you log in to paypal, send a request, and then hand them your phone to input their info.  A customer told me about this and I researched it a little when I got home.  Sounds very cool and EASY!!

3.  Make lots and lots of business cards and give them out like candy!!!  Bring more than you think you'll need!!!

4.  DO NOT FORGET YOUR APRON if you are going to demo anything.  I spent all morning waiting for my husband to drop off my apron before I really started painting anything.

5.  Don't bring too much stuff.  You really need very little to show your stuff and demo a little something for people to watch.

6.  Don't wear white.  Duh.  How silly was I to do that??? 

7.  Have a notebook or business binder so you can have paper, pen, and a place to put people's info if they are trying to give you business cards, phone numbers, email addresses, whatever...I threw stuff in my purse and luckily I've found everything but it would have been nice to calmly open a notebook or something and tuck away important info.

8.  Eat.  Take a break and eat something.  Don't deprive yourself because people might see you or you feel "too busy". 

9.  Label all paintings with purchase price.  Leaving one or two tags off and then being asked the cost of something can make you feel on the spot....especially if you're not sure right away.

10.  Secure your tent, umbrella, whatever it is you bring so that people feel confident walking into your area.  We secured 2 posts of the 4 but it was so windy, the front popped up and nearly hit 2 passersby.  YIKES.  I felt sick with worry but luckily, no one got hurt and it was near the end of the day!  Not sure what we'll do next time but I do know we'll have it figured out before we start.

I know that some of you have done lots of shows so these may seem ridiculously obvious.  If you have other tidbits to share, please comment.  I'd love to hear what other people have experienced!!

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter (or Passover)...we dyed eggs last night and I always forget how much I LOVE to do that.  Here is a quick pic:

Monday, March 28, 2011

"Not a Butterfly Yet"

"Not a Butterfly Yet"
5x7 on watercolor paper

Can't chat much but wanted to post a little something I finished today.  I love changing a few aspects of my art to experiment with different looks.  Try it with your own art...if you normally paint eyes a certain way, tweek them a bit by changing the size or shape.  If you usually stick to the same color palette, pick one new color and incorporate it somehow.  Have fun!  I did!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

finished!!! We Share One Moon

I'm always searching for the reasons why I paint.  I'm drawn constantly to my studio to draw or paint and create something where there was previously nothing...this draw sometimes gets me a little nutty since I'm a busy mom of three.  I'm balancing the "have tos" with the "i want tos".  You know what I mean...the "have tos" include but are not limited to, laundry, dishes, meals, cleaning. referreeing (spelling?), chaperoning, etc.  I'm discovering that this need to create will only fester and make me frustrated if I don't listen.  It was maybe a whisper for a while but it's heard loudly and very clearly today.  It is part of me.  It's who I am.  I know that I will not create maserpieces on a daily basis but I will create.  I will draw and paint and make things that were previously nothing but bits and pieces or paper or canvas.  I am not in it for the money or the prestige (a little nod of encouragement is always appreciated but not necessary) and I will keep going even if other people question my subject matter or my methods or the amount of time I devote to what they might see as "silly" or "foolish" or even "a waste of time."  I am an artist and I am me.  I am a mother but I have layers like everyone else and I refuse to make apologies for what I am passionate about outside of my family.  I'm devoted to my family and in that is me...aren't we as moms part of that family we're so devoted to and passionate about?  Without taking care of yourself, there is no taking care of anyone else.  You must feed your doing so, you better yourself for everyone else.  You show your children that you are self confident, you love yourself, you are ok with you.  Maybe that leads to them being ok with themselves, too....we can hope, right? 

So, I paint.  I draw, I dream, I imagine, and I create.  I feel alive when I do and I feel reconnected with the world somehow.  This painting has revealed itself recently in light of Japan's horrible circumstances.  I hope everyone can relate to the "something bigger than us" concept.  Perhaps "she" is Mother Nature, pregnant with new life, preparing to plant new life, holding the moon in her hands.  I initially titled this "She Holds the Moon" but I felt like "We Share One Moon" was more appropriate once I added the star painted like the Japanese flag.  I hope that when you look at this painting, you feel connected to the people of Japan and that you remember we do share one moon.  They are suffering in ways most of us can only imagine.  As humans though, we can empathize with their mourning, worrying, crying, dying, weeping, etc.  We need to keep them close to our hearts and do what we can even in small ways such as praying.  This is what I have done...beyond praying, and I hope it can help somehow. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Painting in Progress

This is a gallery wrapped canvas, 16x20 inches.  Lots of texture and layered color.

No title yet but she makes me think of Mother Nature...that there is something so much bigger than ourselves. 

close up of houses

close up of pockets...soon to hold flowers or stars of some kind.

I'll post more when I'm done...happy early St. Patty's Day!!!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

work in progress

Working only sporadically but love to play with new ideas and materials or techniques.  Still loving the faces, textures, shapes and color.  This time, I tore paper and traced the unique shape for lips, nose, and eyebrows.  I then attached the papers with gel medium.  I'm still working on this and I fight myself to leave more of the background showing.  I love to blend colors though so it's tough.  I also love to use a great deal of scrumbling and my brushes are taking a beating!  My favorite thing to do though is to go into some areas with my watercolor pencils to add more dimension.  I will take a color that is a shade darker and accent edges, blending the color in with some gel medium to make the color permanent.  Sometimes I take a complementary color and add some touches of that to an area to make it pop.  The other thing I love to do is use colors other than white for highlights -- light aqua is great for this!!

I wish I could paint for hours...I'll settle for smaller increments of time just to be able to keep my feet wet so to speak. 


Thursday, February 03, 2011

art and some of my favorite media

Not feeling too, we're going on day 3 of all children being home because of weather.  I'm going CRAZY!!!  Enjoy!

Monday, January 10, 2011

my daughter

Before                                                                                       After

I painted over the whole canvas on the left and started over.  I finally got around to finding a better reference photo. I think I've come a long way since June.  I hope Ellie will like it, too.

I'm not finished yet. :)  I am taking artistic liberty here by changing what my daughter was wearing and not caring too much whether the painting looks EXACTLY like the photo or not. As long as someone who knows Ellie would come in and say, "Oh, that's Ellie!" I'll be happy. I'm so hard on myself and it really keeps me from soaring sometimes. I HAVE to let go and just paint what I think looks good. She's not finished but I'm liking the way she looks -- she looks like my Ellie :)

Monday, January 03, 2011

winding down

What should I do with the background?  Any thoughts?  I think I'm almost done :)


still working, building up layers of color with lots of drybrushing...still have button, flower and background to do...having fun and at least able to stretch my painting muscles a bit.

working in some realism

Latest work in doing faces and I love the 20s style of hair, hats, etc.  I'll post more as I get closer to finishing.  This is nothing like what I've been doing for the last year.  I'm sure I'm not finished with my bizarre style but it's good to do some realism once in a while.  (Not as fun I might add!!)
Happy New Year!!


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