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Saturday, December 05, 2009

Glad It Didn't Snow Last Night

Tonight is very cold and snowing. The cool thing about snow when it's very cold, is that it looks like big white flakes of glitter on the ground. I love that!

Last night was Gallery Stroll in Salt Lake City, but I headed north to Ogden for the opening of the Intermountain Society of Artist's Member of Merit Show. It was held at the Eccles Community Art Center which is a fabulous Victorian mansion. The show was judged by Al Rounds, a wonderful watercolor artist. I won an Award of Honor!
The painting that won the award is of my Mom, I titled it 'Sandra Darling at Thanksgiving Point'. It brings back happy memories to me. One summer day my mom and I went to the small gardens behind Thanksgiving Point. I took this picture of her and I thought it would make a great watercolor. I painted it and framed it, and gave it to my mom. Now that she's gone, I have this painting to remind me of that fun day I shared with her and her fancy-dancy hat.
I'm glad it didn't snow last night, driving the roads wouldn't have been fun. Instead I got to think about my Mom and that she would be really happy she won an award!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Where Women Create

I have a new blog listing to the right there... see it? It's called Where Women Create. It's the blog of a wonderful magazine by the same name. Anyhoo they are doing a 12 Days of Christmas give- away. Check it out!

Tis the season to party! This ornament is called Party Cat and is on ebay.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Inspiration from the Past

This morning I had all kinds of thoughts to write about in my blog, and now here I am and my mind is blank! Oh well. I have learned that when this happens you just start typing and then go back and edit the real dumb stuff.

I have been pursuing a new twist with my online work. I mentioned previously that I was making puffy paper ornaments. I have to admit that the concept is not my own. My mom and her dear friend Mary (hi Mary!) used to make puffy paper ornaments years ago and sell them at home boutiques. When my mom passed away a year and a half ago I inherited a lot of her creative things, like a box of puffy paper ornaments. Lets see... I am going to grab one and see if she dated them... yup, 1996! I have updated my puffy ornaments in the way I make them, they are a bit different from those original ones my mom and Mary made. And I plasticized them! (my super secret for long lasting paper ornaments).Back then they recycled paper grocery bags and let the natural color of the bag be a big part of the design. Oh and guess what they called themselves, BAG LADIES!

As I mentioned, I don't use paper bags, or glue them together with glue, but the original inspiration came from those cute Bag Ladies. Thanks mom! ( I know she would be thrilled to know I am making puffy paper ornaments). Thanks to Mary too. I posted a picture of my latest batch of ornmaments. A couple are on ebay and the rest will be tomorrow. This week I will get some on etsy too.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Where Does the Time Go?

This past week has been a busy one. Last night was gallery stroll in Salt Lake, and it seems that it takes the whole week to prepare for it. As president of Local Colors of Utah gallery, I had to prepare an agenda for our artists meeting on Tuesday, and then all day Wednesday I spent rehanging the gallery. But my time wasn't all absorbed by the gallery.

I started making painted ornaments for ebay. Surprisingly every one of them is selling! Tis the season, I suppose! I quite enjoy making them. Pictured here are two that are currently on auction, 'Peace Be With Ewe' and 'Don't You Tell a Single Soul...'

On Thursday night, I received a belated birthday present from my sister, who is the bestest sister in the whole wide world! She had bought Manheim Steamroller tickets for both of us! The concert was wonderful as usual. We have gone for several years now. One thing we missed though was Chip Davis, who had surgery on his neck and didn't perform :-(

However there was a special surprise treat. At the beginning of the concert, they showed a video of Chip explaining why he is no longer performing. All of a sudden the clip froze, like a malfunction of the projector, something quite unusual in a professional performance. Then, someone walks out on stage in a white parka - with the hood up over his head. Guess who? It was Chip! (We knew it was him because he had on his white nikes (or whatever brand he wears - we weren't quite close enought to see). He has a place up in Park City and was here so thought he'd drop in. He still didn't perform in the concert, but for the encore he came out and performed one number with the other musicians. Pretty cool. Amazing music and truly inspiring.
What's not to love about Christmas music. Thanks to my sister Debbie, I love you!

Oh one more thing about gallery stroll, at our gallery we hosted a fund raising benefit for Operation Smile. We had a silent auction in two parts; some of the auctions ended that night, and then the rest will still be on for three more weeks. If you live in Salt Lake City, stop by and support a wonderful organization.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Ian Ramsay Workshop -Beautiful!

Last Friday and Saturday I took a workshop with the Utah Watercolor Society. The guest artist was Ian Ramsay, a truly fabulous watercolor artist. I learned so much from him! In the workshop we all painted the same subject matter which Ian provided and went step by step with him as he would do a demo and then we would go and paint on our painting. Interestingly enough no one's painting looked alike. I feel like no matter how long you have been painting there is always something new to learn. I think one of Ian's techniques that he has mastered is the control of color. His work is so delicate and I found for myself too much color can spoil that delicate effect. He mixes a lot of his color directly on the paper, and let me tell you, if you are not careful, you can end up with mud! But the real magic of Ian's paintings come at the very end when he adds such detail that it takes a very nice painting to something really special!
The painting I posted here is one that we bought for my darlin' Mr. Joe. He has long admired Ian's work, and it was because of Joe that I even took this workshop. He gave it to my for my birthday present this year. Mr. Joe is the best! So what can I say, I need to go paint now after being very inspired by a great workshop and instructor.
For more information on Ian, contact me.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Holidays are Upon Us

Do you decorate for the Holidays? Do you put your decorations up right as soon as it is politically correct? Or do you have holiday decorations year round? I am one that generally likes to get my decorations up early. Mainly because the holiday comes only once a year and I like to celebrate it to the fullest extent. Also it often takes a lot of time to put them up and I just can't see doing that for only a week before the holiday.

Currently I have some Halloween items on ebay and etsy. But what is cool is having my
'Witch is In' print featured on American Holiday Artist. Go visit that blog to see some other wonderful holiday artwork. Just click on the link on my blog here. It may just inspire you to get decorating if you haven't already!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I love mixed media and crackle!

Tonight I did a little watercolor of a diva. What got me started on this was an old cosmetology textbook from the 60's. At least that's what I assume, judging by the hair-do's. Do people still say hair do? Anyway, I thought it would be fun to collage one of the pages from the book to mat board. Then I put crackle on it and glazes of paint. Then I collaged the little watercolor paintng to it. It makes a fun background for the painting, don't you think? It's on ebay this week.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Nibblefest Contest time again!

It's time for another Nibblefest. This month the theme is Halloween and I did a little portrait of Edgar Allen Poe with a little bit of the Tell Tale Heart story written behind him. What would Halloween be without a scary story from Poe? This auction is on ebay and all Nibblefest auctions start at 99 cents. Search NFAC for other contest entries. Heres the link to my auction:

Friday, October 16, 2009

Another Alice painting

This is my painting that was accepted into the Utah Watercolor Fall Show. With the theme being 'inspired by a book', I just had to do an Alice painting from Through the Looking Glass. Tweedledum and Tweedledee seemed prime candidates so they got in it too.
It was fun to see the watercolor show, it was really interesting to see what books were depicted. There was a wonderful abstract, inspired by the book 'Home Improvement'. I am sure that looking at the painting was a lot more fun than reading the book.

I felt compelled to do my own frame for this painting, I wanted to collage some of the verse from the book on it. I looked all over to find a perfect frame, it didn't have to be new, as I was going to collage and paint it the way I wanted. After looking around for several days through frame shops and thrift stores, guess where I found the perfect frame? In my basement! It was a very old solid wood one that I inherited from my mom. I don't know were she got it from. It was just what I wanted, what I had envisioned it to look like. I know my mom would be very pleased that I used it for this purpose. She was one of my greatest fans (you know how moms are!).
I think I spent as much time re-finishing the frame as I did painting the painting. It was fun to do, I think I am a crackle addict! (not crack, mind you, crackle!)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Finished... I think!

Here's a commission I have been working on. I think it's finished, but I will know for sure in the morning. After looking at it all day you think you're finally done and then if you get away from it for a while, you see things that need fix'in. I really hope it's done though. It has been a big project, the size is 36"x 48". It just barely fits in my car.
It doesn't have a title yet... maybe tomorrow it will. Right now all I can think of is 'Koi'. Not very creative or original. :-)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Watercolor Workshop

This week I am taking a workshop sponsored by the Utah Watercolor Society. The guest artist is Joyce Washor from New York. She does lovely miniature still life watercolors. The size of her paintings are about 3" x 4" and are just wonderful. You might think that painting that small would be easy to do, but it suprisingly has it's challenges. Anyone who does watercolors knows that it is often easy to over work a painting. A successful painting has a fresh look with glowing colors. Well needless to say I found myself overworking my little painting and on that small piece of watercolor paper, any mistake is much more obvious and harder to correct. I posted one of the exercises, it's of onions and grapes. It's not my best work, but at least you can see what we are doing.

It is a great workshop, and I am learning a lot. I especially like the palettes that Joyce is using of complimentary colors of red and green, blue and orange, and purple and yellow. On each palette there is 7 ranges of the primary color and its' complimentary color. We then made a color chart for each palettes and then on the chart blended the colors. It's hard to explain so I included a picture of the blue/orange palette. Anyway, this has been a great exercise for me. By using a limited palette like this you are able to create a painting where the colors harmonize with each other.

I have to thank Joyce, this has been a wonderful workshop! Plus it has been a wonderful time socializing with my talented artist friends.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I am buying things made in the US!

Recently a friend brought to my attention that they are buying products that are made only in the USA. Meaning that they read the packaging on toothpaste, food, etc to see where it is made at. I decided to do that too.

Another friend just sent me an email with info about McDonalds buying their beef out of the states. I am including it here. It's kind of lengthy, sorry! but good to know.

"This will keep us from ever stopping there again, even for a drink. The original message is from the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. American cattle producers are very passionate about this.McDonald's claims that there is not enough beef in the USA to support their restaurants.Well, we know that is not so. Our opinion is they are looking to save money at our expense. The sad thing of it is that the people of the USA are the ones who made McDonald's successful in the first place, but we are not good enough to provide beef.We personally are no longer eating at McDonald's, which I am sure does not make an impact, but if we pass this around maybe there will be an impact felt.All Americans that sell cows at a livestock auction barn had to sign a paper stating that we do NOT EVER feed our cows any part of another cow. South Americans are not required to do this as of yet.McDonald's has announced that they are going to start importing much of their beef from South America . The problem is that South Americans aren't under the same regulations as American beef producers, and the regulations they have are loosely controlled.They can spray numerous pesticides on their pastures that have been banned here at home because of residues found in the beef. They can also use various hormones and growth regulators that we can't. The American public needs to be aware of this problem and that they may be putting themselves at risk from now on by eating at good old McDonald's..American ranchers raise the highest quality beef in the world and this is what Americans deserve to eat. Not beef from countries where quality is loosely controlled. Therefore, I am proposing a boycott of McDonald's until they see the light.=0AI'm sorry but everything is not always about the bottom line, and when it comes to jeopardizing my family's health, that is where I draw the line.I am sending this note to about thirty people. If each of you send it to at least ten more (30 x 10 = 300) ... and those 300 send it to at least ten more (300 x 10 = 3,000) ... and so on, by the time the message reaches the sixth generation of people, we will have reached over THREE MILLION consumers!I'll bet you didn't think you and I had that much potential, did you? Acting together we can make a difference. If this makes sense to you, please pass this message on..David W. Forrest, Ph.D ., PAS, Dipl.ACAP Department of Animal ScienceTexas A&M UniversityPhone (979) 845-3560Fax (979) 862-33992471 TAMU College Station , TX 77843-2471

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Inspired by a Book - UWS Fall Show

I often turn to a well loved book or author for inspiration for a painting. I was one of those teenagers that would stay up reading into the wee hours of the morning with a flashlight and the sheet over my head. I love how the magic of words can transport you to places in your imagination that were previously unknown. The last thing I do at night is try to keep my eyes open long enough to read at least a page or two of a good book.

In October the Utah Watercolor Society will host it's annual fall show. This year unlike previous years, it had a specific theme, 'Inspired by a Book'. I chose for my book Lewis Carroll's 'Through the Looking Glass'. Are you surprised? If you know me probably not. I chose to illustrate Alice's meeting with the strange and chubby Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

The opening reception will be in October. I was quite surprised (and pleased) to have a cropped version of my painting featured on the exhibition's post card!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Annabelle Lee is featured on American Holiday Artist Blog!

It's always nice to be featured on someone else blog other than your own. My Annabelle Lee is currently featured, and a few days ago I posted her here on this blog. So rather than post the same picture, I am putting the verse that is part of the piece.
American Holiday Artist blog is a great place to go if you are looking for original artwork with the season's theme. Not long til Halloween! I love Halloween, maybe because my birthday is in October...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Making the Best of It

The internet is really quite a phenomenon to artists. In the past when the economy took a nose dive, artists and galleries really struggled to survive. But today, with the internet and the self representing artist, one can survive. It's still a bit tough, but not nearly as hard as if you had to depend on only galleries and art festivals to sell your art.

It's sad news when a good gallery closes. One that I was in (note 'was') just closed a couple of weeks ago. Although I still have two other galleries and one boutique representing me, I now have a bunch of paintings on hand. I have recently stocked my other venues with newer work. The poor darlings from the closed gallery need a home! (not my home, it's already crowded with art work).

My online sales have been mostly devoted to small quick pieces that sell at small quick prices. But I have decided to offer some of my gallery pieces online. I will now feature some of them in my ebay store. The painting posted on this blog is one that I just recently listed there. (Please note I will accept reasonable offers). It's titled Doggy Day Dreams. It actually won Best of Show in the Intermountain Society of Artists summer show. Why don't I keep it? Well, yes, I love it but... if I kept every painting that I loved I would have no room whatsoever in my house. And besides an artist has to make a living don't-cha-know. So keep an eye out on my ebay. Check out etsy as well, right now it's a bit quiet there, but I am gearing up to go gangbusters for holiday sales.
Oh and one more thing... American Holiday Artist has one of my small ebay pieces featured on their blog - check it out:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Louisa May Alcott Poem

Tonight my little painting is based on a poem by Louisa May Alcott called 'Our Little Ghost'. I did this one in watercolor and then aged it with a crackle finish. I decided I don't do watercolor enough! Then I mixed it up with mixed media, collaging the verse on a distressed background and putting it in a black frame with sanded edges. It really is quite a little gem! It's number 2 of a series for Halloween called 'Haunted Ladies'. It is on auction at ebay.


Having just worked on two commissions, I realize that they are very nice to have in this particular economy. Last week I sent off a spinning wheel to Alaska. Not a painting of a spinning wheel but a real spinning wheel. I have a very nice customer that has bought quite a few sheep paintings from me. So she wanted some on her spinning wheel that she takes to workshops. It was a lovely machine, small and compact to handle traveling. Almost made me want to take up spinning! Since some of you have asked about my commissions, I am posting a picture of it, painted with my signature folk art sheep.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Something New

I have been bad and have not posted on my blog for a month - yikes! It's been a very busy time, I had an art festival that I was in and finished two commissions, as well as painted things for the gallery I am in. But now it's time to turn my nose toward the internet and focus on my sales there.

Last Friday night I went to an opening of one of my most favorite artists, James C. Christensen. He is a marvelous fantasy artist. Check out his art: I had intended to only stay a few minutes at the reception but it was so fun to listen to him talk about his art. I ended up buying his book, Men and Angels, and he signed it for me! A couple of months ago I had checked out Men and Angels from the library and renewed it twice. I guess I can return now that I have my own. What I love about this book is whenever I need a little inspiration to paint, I just look at this book and I can't wait to get painting.

Tonight I listed a new painting on ebay, it's titled Annabelle Lee, based on Poe's poem by the same name. Tis the Halloween season and I was thinking of ghosts and things like that and this is what I came up with. I took just a couple of lines from the poem and collaged it on the painting. This painting is listed and will be available til September 30th.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Cart Before the Horse Has a Cool Giveaway!

If you love darling handmade dolls, then you will want to enter Jo of Cart Before the Horse's giveway. She is celebrating her 200 post on her blog. Here is her blog address:

Saturday, August 22, 2009

One Down One to Go... and a great use for plastic bags!

I have been working on a commission for a lady that has mini donkeys. They are so cute! I think they have the sweetest faces.
The past couple of weeks I have been dog sitting, first for my dad and his australian shepherd, Abby, and then for my daughter and her two chihuahuas, Bonita and Bella. I took my art supplies so I could work. But it's not the same as working at home with all your artsy stuff at your fingertips.
I am working on a second commission of a very large painting of Koi (36 x 48). This one is not going to be so realistic as the donkeys. I am using a bit of collage in it. Anyhoo, not being home with my 'stuff', I found there were some things I needed but didn't have. Part of my collage technique is to have very accurate shapes to draw on the paper I want to collage. For instance,
One of the koi is going to be collaged on. Normally I take tracing paper and trace the koi shape off the painting, then I use graphite paper and retrace the shape onto the patterned paper I want to use. Well.... guess what I DIDN'T have with me? Tracing paper!
So being the artist that I am... I thought and thought about what I could use for a substitute. My first experiment was to take a piece of type paper and totally soak it, so it was somewhat transparent, stick it on the painting and trace my fish. Then I got the blow dryer out and dried it. It worked good enough, but was a long process with the wetting the paper and drying it for this impatient artist. So then I had this really good idea! I got a white plastic bag (this one happened to be from Wallymart) and cut it in half and used the blank side like tracing paper. It worked just perfect and was more transparent than the wet typing paper. Hooray! I didn't have to go home to get the tracing paper. (Yes I am sure you are thinking why didn't I just run to the store, but like most artists and supplies, I have a hoard of tracing paper and couldn't bring myself to buy more!)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Fairy is on my Sheep!

I feel like I have been MIA on my blog, facebook and online groups lately. I am working on two commissions right now. Yesterday I took some time to paint a little painting for ebay called 'When a Fairy Rides a Sheep'.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Truth Please!

I am planning and painting a bunch of new paintings and here is the study for a larger one that I will be doing. It's called 'Tell the Truth'. Mark Twain said "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything".

This little gem is up for auction on ebay. I will be putting prints of it on etsy tomorrow.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Don't Count Your Chickens

I am giving into my imagination, (more than normal) and will be painting people from my mind rather then reference photos of folks that I have taken. They are a bit more whimsical, often have some attitude of sorts, and generally have some dilemma they are facing.

Tonight I am posting a study for a painting I will be doing called "Ne pas compter vos poulets (Don't count your chickens)" I could make up a whole story about this girl who is contemplating 3 eggs... but I won't. It's your turn to use your imagination!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How Koi

I am staying at my dad's house for the next few days, dog tending. It took two hours to pack up all my stuff, cause if you're like me, you just know you will get there and have forgotten something! So since I had to make my studio portable, I probably packed more than necessary.
One thing about being here is that after I have walked the dog, fed her and got ready for the day myself, I can just paint all day long with no interuptions! Yesterday I painted a piece for the gallery, it's call Koi (how original!)

This week is gallery stroll, and I am trying to get a bunch of new work done for it. If you are in Salt Lake City, stop by Local Colors on 700 E. 535 S. or Palmers at 300 S. 400W. to see some of my work.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Evening Cowgirls

Happy Fourth of July everyone! Last night we attended an opening reception of a show up in Ogden. Sue Martin and I both had a painting accepted. My painting is titled Evening Cowgirls. I didn't get a good shot of it - using my phone and the sun was shining through the window. So there are streaks of sunshine on my evening painting!

Ogden is about 40 miles out of Salt Lake so we went up together with Joe. We also attended the gallery stroll on 25th street and saw our friend Sue Nuhn and her husband. It was a nice evening.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

'Pondering' Painting

In Utah, July 24th is a holiday where we celebrate when the first settlers came into the Salt Lake Valley. Recently I entered an art show with the theme of 'Celebrating our Heritage'.

About a month or so ago I helped my friend clean out his mother's garage and we found some newspapers from 1946. No one wanted them so I nabbed them thinking they might make a fun element in a piece of art.

So I collaged the front page and some of the pages from one of the editions of the Deseret News onto canvas. With the art show theme in mind, I chose July 20th as it was the nearest date to our pioneer holiday. Then I painted some people looking up as if they are reading the paper and thinking about what was in it and how it affects us today. Although the newspaper was quite yellowed, I antiqued the edges to tie it all together. I took this picture of the painting at the reception, so it's not the best but at least you can see what it's like.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mary Jane in Pink - An Art Card

Today one of the things I painted was an artist trading card or ACEO (art cards editions and originals). An art card is 3.5" x 2.5" . It was so small that I had a heck of a time taking pictures of it. The trouble was getting acurate color. I first tried to scan it but it picked up the texture of the canvas too much. Then I took a picture of it with my Canon 7.1 megapixal camera. I couldn't get a clear shot - it was blurry now matter what I tried. Even with the macro setting. And the color was off there too. So finally I took a picture of it with my LG cell phone and it got the color pretty good although a little lighter than it actually is, but by far the best picture. So I settled for that.
This little painting is called Mary Jane in Pink. I am going to do a series of Mary Jane ACEO's. It was fun to paint!

Chihuahua Tails

Last Saturday was the start of the monthly Nibblefest contest on ebay. Because of my frantic painting for shows, I didn't get something done for it. But the contest runs for several days so I could still enter. For my entry I painted my daughter's chihuahuas since the theme of the contest for this month is "Things with Tails".

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A sample of my new focus

Here are a couple of paintings I finished today.

After so many years of painting how I wanted and what I wanted, I decided I needed to focus on a particular style. After months and months of thinking I finally am happy with what I would like to be my 'style'. The funny thing is that it is not really something new, I have been doing it for several years. I think the major change is zeroing in on some techniques that I have been experimenting with and then making the decision to paint only in this particular way.

I determined some elements I wanted in my paintings that helped me arrive where I am now. I love impressionistic painting and decided that I wanted this painterly-looking technique that kind of painting affords. Then for about the last two or three years I have used patterns in my work, something I really like doing and wanted to continue. My experimentation of new techniques was using collage in my work and I decided that some of the elements in my paintings would be collaged. Then another thing is there are some artists that I admire that leave a bit of the sketch as a part of the element of the work. I like using charcoal pencil and am using it to define some of the details.

Last but not least was finding that I really prefer to have my subject matter be painted in a more realistic manner. For ebay I have long painted subjects that have been from my imagination. I always identified it as my ebay work, and never felt it was art that I wanted to have in the gallery -not that I didn't try it, I just didn't like it. Also I just love whimsical and there is something in me that just has to put the odd twist into my work. I call my style 'whimsical realism'. So tonight the paintings I am posting here, 'Polka Dot Cowgirl' and 'Laughing Alice' are an example of the direction I am heading.

Hooray! it's taken me about two years to arrive at this point!

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Break Through - I think!

Yesterday I submitted two painting to two different competitions. I had worked on the paintings this past week. If you have been following my blog, you will know that I have been trying to figure out my style. Then I decided to just paint and quite thinking about it. I got myself so confused!
So, on these two paintings I painted using elements that I wanted to see in my work, a painterly application of paint, a bit of the sketch coming through, and something that I been doing for a couple of years - having patterns in my artwork. Although I am sure neither painting is a great masterpiece, I was very satisfied with the techniques I used and the finished paintings. I felt like I was finally at a point in my art that I could worrying about 'style' and focus on exploring how I was painting now. Hooray!
Typical for me, I was down to the wire on getting these paintings done and delivered to the galleries. I arrived at the first place right at 3:00 pm, which was the time the gallery closed. Would you believe the front door was already locked, and I had just traveled 40+ miles to get it there! Fortunately they had not left and let me in to fill out the papers and submit my piece. Whew!
The second location I had to be to by 4:00 and it was 20 miles away, so that wasn't as bad to get there.

I normally would post pics of the paintings here, but I didn't have time to take any. So I will take pictures of them when we go to the receptions, one is on July 1st and the other one is July 3rd.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hanging Woolies Out to Dry

It's really been raining alot here, and it's very unusual to have so much rain in Utah at this time of year. I feel like I am living in a different state, having to take my umbrella with me all the time!
Utah is high desert and pretty dry most of the time. So we are getting soggy around here and I for one would like to see a little sunshine.

I was in the mood to paint sheep today, so what else would I paint but wet sheep. This painting is on Ebay. It is 16"x20".

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I Didn't Paint Today

This is really about last night., that extended itself into the wee hours of the morning. Last night /early this morning one of my sons flew in from Florida whom I picked up at 1:30 am. He had a very long day with an 8 hour wait at JFK and boy, was he pooped! As you can imagine, we headed home ready to go to bed. When we arrived, my youngest daughter calls out that she needed our help! One of her front teeth that is really a crown had come loose earlier (an important fact that you should know). Just before we got there, she was feeling sick and headed towards the bathroom and with her face closer to the toilet than the end that traditionally is, she... well you get the picture. Then after rinsing out her mouth in the sink, she realized her tooth was missing!

Enter my son Brock and I, just in time to disasemble the pipes under the sink. No tooth. So it must be in toilet right? Without flushing it and NOT going into detail of what we did to look for the tooth, after 3 hours and lot of inspiration and both kids asleep, I finally got the tooth out of the toilet without taking it apart! If you need the information in the event that your child loses something very small in the toilet please email me. I'm an artist and very creative, don't you know?

I triumphantly woke my daughter up -"See I told you we'd find it!" After major sanitizing of the tooth and a threat to my daughter to get to the dentist (she's 21 next month and should be responsible to do that herself, right?) she returned to a peaceful night's sleep.
The picture above is my Aubrey - One more thing about the trials of that tooth. She lost it in the grass while camping out the previous night and had to wait til morning to find it! *sigh*

So you see why I didn't paint today. Having gone to bed at 4:30 am and sleeping in and then going to see Angels and Demons (terrific movie) with Brock and my other daughter Kim, nothing more could be expected of me.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Always Wear Expensive Shoes...

Well, I have to say after writing my blog yesterday and coming to a decision, I felt incredibly free. I had been so tied up with trying to figure out 'how' I wanted to paint that I ended up not painting at all or at least not happy with what I was doing. So I think by setting a small goal to work towards, my mind's stress eased up. So guess what I painted? I did a painting featuring a girl with a type of face that I have been painting for years. In fact since 1974! I remembered when I first drew this type of face I was kind of going through what I have been recently doing, trying to come up with a style I could use in my art. My first piece of art with this face was a painted tie for my Dad for Easter. It wasn't even a real tie, it was a painting of a tie with this little person in an easter bunny suit. And I laminated it. Last I checked my dad still had it. He doesn't wear it of course...

So here is the painting that I did yesterday and will be putting on ebay tonight. "Always wear expensive shoes, chickens notice!

Have a very whimsical day!


Monday, June 08, 2009

A Focus at Last

I can't believe it! I just wrote a lengthy post and then accidently deleted it! So... here it is rewritten as best I can, but I bet it will be shorter than the original. (Don't look so relieved!)

I have been thinking a lot about what direction my artwork is taking lately. Last night I perused the internet looking at my favorite artists' work. I chanced upon an artist that a couple of years ago I was enrolled in his academy of art, Jeff Heins.

I recalled that at the beginning of 2007 I set a goal to improve my basic skills. At that time I saw Jeff's artwork and set a goal to take a workshop or something from him that year. I signed up for his newsletter. A couple of months later two things happened simultaneously; I had terrific sales in a gallery I was in, and Jeff made an announcement in his newsletter concerning his Art Academy and that there were a couple of spots open.

I jumped at the chance to get into the academy. His principle teaching is based on the historical french schools of art. You begin in the academy with perfecting your drawing skills (yes, I said perfecting!) by drawing plaster cast busts. It was tedious work! You could spend weeks on one bust until Jeff approved you to go on to the next. Also there was a life drawing class once a week as well. The purpose of these exercises were to train your eye and hand to get the correct dimensions of what you were drawing. Then once you got that down, you could progress to another basic element in fine art.
To get the most out of my tuition I dedicated 3 days a week to working at the academy on my drawing skills. A couple of months passed and some career opportunities came along for me. I was accepted into the Park City Arts Festival, which was held the first weekend in August, and I also signed up to be a partner in a management run coopeative, as well as accepted the postion of vice president of the Utah Watercolor Society. All this and make my daily living off my art. Crazy me! (word of advice, don't volunteer for two major time commitments at once).
Needless to say, I couldn't do everthing I signed up for so something had to go. I decided there was no way I could do my studies at the art academy justice, so after three months I had to drop out with a promise to come back someday.
Well, after two years, with my term as the president of the Utah Watercolor Society just ended, and my commitment to the management of the gallery ending at the end of this month, I am taking up where I left off. Except I can't rejoin the academy (thanks economy!) just yet. I can, however, work on what I was taught there and study the books that Jeff recommended. I will just have to do a home self study course as best I can for now.
The image above is the first bust I drew at the academy. Unfortunately I don't have any plaster busts around the house, so I will have to draw something else. Maybe my fuzzy cat will do. I am also going to take a life drawing session once a week. It doesn't have an instructor, you just go and draw for $7 a session.
Well that's it, I have been thinking my goals out loud here... at least I have a focus. I wonder where it will take me?

Saturday, June 06, 2009


Today I had a busy day, didn't get much done regarding art. I've got several paintings that are not finished and kind of abandoned. At least for a day or two.
I am being experimental with my art and some things I am doing I like and some things I don't. I am trying to determine what direction to take my art. Has anyone gone through this? It is driving me crazy. So perhaps it is with a little sarcasm that I quote Dr. Suess: 'Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one'.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Midnight Magic

Another witch is on auction, Midnight Magic. It is a quilted wall hanging 18" x 7" and has collaged elements and is painted in acrylic. Check my ebay auctions, this one is a short one, just three days.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Poppy Dance

On Tuesday I ventured out on an errand and I took my camera. I am trying to build up my collection of reference photos to paint from. I ran across the most gorgeous poppies! They were scarlet instead of the usual red-orange. I parked my car and took a lot a pictures.

Last night I painted from one of the reference photos. I used a 20" x 16" but wanted to impart the tissue paper characteristic of the poppy. So I collaged a white tissue paper with gold patterns onto the canvas. Then I printed up a quote by Lenore Mulets on vellum and collaged that.
"The poppies were dancing in their garden home. The morning breezes were their partners".

Once my textured surface was dried, I drew the poppies on in black charcoal pencil. I painted them in acrylic and then detailed the poppies with the charcoal pencil.

This painting is now on etsy.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Here are a couple of paintings that I recently painted in a workshop with Sterling Edwards. Unfortunately they don't resemble the technique he was teaching us at all! I tend to paint quite tightly with my watercolors and Sterling was all about getting the color down in very loose and free way. I just couldn't escape my old ways! I told Sterling I would practice. I think I will put these up on Etsy today.

The images are from photos I took while in San Diego. The first one is of a finger of the bay that went behind our hotel. The second one is Bird of Paradise that grew along the walkway in the same place.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Nibblefest Contest!

Each month I participate in a contest for ebay artists called Nibblefest. All auctions start at 99 cents. This month's theme is 'the Secret Life of Toys'. I thought about what to paint all day long. I came up with the idea of Barbie dating the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Last summer when my mom passed away, I inherited her collection of Pillsbury Dough Boys. She loved him! Especially in the commercial where someone sticks their finger in his tummy and he giggles. So I grabbed an old Barbie that I had and the 1971 version of the Pillsbury Dough Boy and took a picture of them together. I collaged a million dollar bill (not a real one) on the painting too and painted Barbie and Pills in acrylic. It was a lot of fun. Check my ebay auctions (link at the left) to see this auction.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Quilted Sky

After much frolicking with the Utah Watercolor Society, I am finally back to my regular schedule! I have moved my studio downstairs and have so much stuff that I have committed myself to using the things that I have.

I am still working on little quilted wall hangings. I feel I am not finished exploring the posibilities of what I can do with them. I am enjoying doing mixed media on them, collage, and using charcoal, watercolor and acrylic painting on them along with machine sewing around the images.

Here is a sheepy one called A Quilted Sky. It is 6" x 6 1/2". and comes ready to hang. I will be listing it on ebay tonight for a one day auction.

Monday, May 04, 2009

I had to chuckle...

Tonight I started to make an entry on my blog titled 'Too Busy'. Then all of a sudden it published itself! I was typing and it just did it. Really! Anyway I had to chuckle because I looked at my blog and there was just that title and nothing else... that is really too busy if I don't have time to type an entry!

Yesterday I got home from a watercolor show in San Diego, just in time to go to dinner with an artist that has come to do a workshop for the Utah Watercolor Society. Then this morning the workshop began. The artist, Sterling Edwards is a wonderful instructor. I am very excited to be a student in this workshop.

Because of being in San Diego and now doing this workshop, I don't know if I will be getting much done for etsy or ebay.

Too busy

Friday, May 01, 2009

In San Diego

I am in San Diego today for the opening of the Western Federation of Watercolor Society show.

The reception is tonight. We will be coming home on Sunday. I am not at my computer much right now, we are busy playing tourist as well as doing watercolor business. Couldn't ask for a better combination! Last night the hosting society took us on a dinner cruise. It was great fun!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Nibblefest Contest

On ebay, I like to participate in the Nibblefest Contest. It is a competition amongst ebay artists. All auctions start at 99 cents and run for a week. It started last night and will end on Monday April 27th in the evening between 6:00 PM and Midnight PST.

Each month there is a new theme for the contest. This month's theme is favorite childhood stories. Alice in Wonderland has always been a favorite of mine. Here's a pic of my entry. It's titled: 'Don't Grunt, That's Not a Proper Way of Expressing Yourself'
On the painting is a quote; 'If your going to turn into a pig, my dear,' said Alice seriously, 'I'll have nothing more to do with you. Mind now!'
Check out this auction, and you could even bid on it! ;-)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I'm Moving!

I am moving.... I have outgrown my little studio, a bedroom in my house that is 10 ft. x 12 ft.

I am so packed in that I can't seem to hardly function anymore. So I am moving downstairs to the basement, mostly unfinished except for one bedroom and a bathroom.

But it will be big! Around 20 ft x 20 ft. I will have everything in one area, my painting area which also will have my computer and printers near by, my sewing area, my mat cutting area, my shipping area and my photo taking area. There is a utility sink and my ironing board is setup all the time! Now maybe that doesn't sound too exciting to you, but I am so excited I could spit! (Well, not really ~ spit that is). And did I mention storage and bookshelves and places to put all my stuff? The only setback is that there are only two windows and they are quite small, so not a lot of natural light. I will string a bunch of lights up though, cause I really hate painting in poor light.

It's going to take a lot of work to get everything moved and organized, but once done, I think I will be in heaven.

I even plotted out the layout. The picture above is showing only part of the area but it is the main working area. What is showing is about 12 - 15 ft wide (at the widest part) and 20 ft long. I took some graph paper and measured the basement and then drew in the lines for the room. Then I took another piece of graph paper and drew all the furniture proportionally and colored and labeled all the pieces of furniture. Then I scanned both graph sheets in to my computer. Next I cropped each piece of furniture individually and saved it in it's own file. What worked out really well was that I could layer them on the scanned graph sheet of the room and could move each piece of furniture around til I found an arrangement I liked. Beats moving the real furniture all around!
Now I wish I could just wiggle my nose and it was all done.