Follow by Email

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hello Florida, Here I Come...

This is probably the last post I do before I fly out to Orlando, Florida. My son is moving back home and I am flying out to drive back with him. We are going to Disney World on Saturday before we head back. I am sure I will have a blast since I have never really grown up.

My latest news is that the painting I posted in my last blog entry (Dogs Always Has Your Back) was accepted into the Utah Watercolor Society Fall show. The juror is Christopher Schink. Pretty exciting!

For those of you who live around Salt Lake City, the gallery I am in is moving. Local Colors of Utah is having a moving sale - 25% off everthing. Last day is Friday September 23rd. The address is 535 South 700 East. There is parking in the rear. We are currently negotiating a lease on a new location, so when I have more info I will let you know!

Here is a painting that is currently for sale at Local Colors, titled Wild Ride. It is 11 x 14 and framed.  Oh by the way, you don't have to live in Utah if you want to buy this painting, contact me if you want more information and get 25% off!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Update on Experimental Auctions "Project Clean Out Studio"

Well it's been two weeks since I began listing auctions starting them at 1 cent. As a result, I listed 13 pieces of art, various sizes. All auctions sold for a total of $169.09. Only one actually sold for 1 cent. The highest price was $36. I thought that was pretty good for just cleaning out the studio! You have to look at the overall picture and total of sales, not just the selling price per item. However if you wanted to average out the cost per piece it would be 13 paintings at $13 each. I know, that doesn't seem like much. But just imagine going to your studio and opening a drawer full of paintings that you did for workshops, experiments etc. and finding $13  for each painting instead. Would you leave the money in the drawer? Heck no. So I figure why leave paintings sitting in a drawer?

I will continue to clean out my studio and put more paintings on auction for 1 cent. I am also finding what kind of painting is getting more bids. I have been offering a variety of styles from realism to whimsical. It has been interesting to see what gets more views and bids. Once my studio is cleaned out I will start paintings specific to what sells best for me. I will keep you posted on how this all turns out.

I entered the Utah Watercolor Society Fall show. I have yet to hear if my painting was juried in. It is a whimsical one called "Dogs Always Have Your Back". It is my observation about dogs and cats.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Portrait of Edith Brown

Taking a break from the hectic schedule of my 1 cent ebay auctions, I finished a portrait I have been working on. It is acrylic on panel and is an 8" x 10". It is a portrait of the mother of my friend, Mr. Joe. His mother is 96 now, but as you may have noticed, this is painted from a photo when she was in her early 20's. That would be around  the years 1936 -38 is my guess. She is a very sweet lady.

Edith Brown

Studio Clean Out Time!

I am a collector. A collector of art before it's made. Meaning I have a LOT of stuff in my studio that I have not been able to part with because it has the potential of becoming a fabulous art piece. I have decided I am going to clean up, get rid of the things that I don't need or don't inspire me, and release the art that I have laying around that either needs to be sold or given away.

Southern Utah 5"x7" oil pastel on panel now on ebay!

I think I will be able to combine the two solutions just mentioned and find my art a good home.
I hope you don't mind, but I am going to tell you exactly how I am going to do it! A little history first... I have sold on ebay since September 11th 2001. I worked all that evening to get my first auction ready on a very slow computer and a free dial-up connection. By the time my auction actually posted it was just a few minutes past midnight, so I guess the 12th really is my start date. As you can imagine the news of the day was my constant companion that evening.

I have had a lot of modest success over the years with ebay. Recently a friend sent me an article about how to sell on ebay. I thought it was interesting and found a lot of the information shared there to be true. I decided since I had a bunch of work that I would like to have find a new home, I would try this guy's method. Here's the link in case you are interested in reading the article *but finish reading my blog entry first!*:
Anyhoo, I am going to start my auctions at 1 cent. Maybe they will get bid up and maybe they won't.  As you can see it will result in either my work selling or I will give it away and the buyer will pay to have me send it to them. :-)
Over the years I have created art just for the joy of it. I have a lot of different kinds of art - some more traditional and some very whimsical. So as I clean out my studio, I will be putting up a wide variety of things. Now part of the reason for starting so low is that it puts your work at the top of the auction pages where the potential buyers are searching the lowest prices first. That hopefully translates into a wider audience of people looking at my work - and buyers for it. That in turn can result in multiple bids. Anyway that's the idea.
So there you have it - a brief explanation of why I would start my auctions at the crazy price of 1 cent. I hope YOU will take a look at my auctions and if you feel inspired to bid, you might just end up with a nice piece for not much money. That is my way of ensuring my art goes to a good home regardless of the price. I end up happy because I will have a cleaner, less cluttered studio and maybe have a little money to show for it.
Girl of Many Flowers 8 x 8 watercolor on panel with acrylic finish
Now on ebay!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Back To Blogging!

As previously mentioned, I have been a fulltime grandma tending my grand-kidlets. Although I have managed to fit in making art between my tending duties, I haven't been very good about blogging. So I am here to repent!
Here's a picture of Lily Rain so you can see for yourself that all is well with my world.

So what kind of art have I been working on? I am in the midst of a project with my boys. We are making apps for smart phones. I am doing the illustrations and my boys are doing the technical stuff. It has been a lot of fun working with them. We are creating several apps right now, but one is a story I wrote and illustrated years ago called Jorky Finds A Snorp. We are focusing on making apps for children.

 To do the illustrations for the apps I am learning how to paint in Photoshop CS5, big learning curve, but I am learning slowly but surely. Here's the first rendition of Jorky (see below) which I painted in Photoshop. We have decided I need to make some changes because a smart phone screen is so small and also to animate him I need to make some adjustments. I originally drew Jorky way back in High School and worked from that. He hasn't aged at all! 

I have also been developing a new line of art that I will be selling soon at art festivals as well as online. I will be previewing it in the next week or so as I get some made and have photos to post.
I hope to be blogging again on a regular basis. :-)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I've Been Lost But Now I'm Found

Last time I wrote my blog was April 26th, oh my! To catch you up to date with my perils and joyous times, I will briefly describe what's been happening.

When last we left off I was heading to Albuquerque, NM for the Western Federation of Watercolor show. The show was great, and it was an honor to be in it. Santa Fe was awesome with all the galleries!

While I was there, I worried about my youngest daughter who was due to have a baby girl the night of the watercolor show reception, Friday, May 6th. She couldn't have that little jellybean while I was gone! However, I was able to stay until Sunday and there was still no sign of  baby Lily Rain. Whew!

That following week, labor began and we knew Lily was close to making her appearance. On Friday the 13th of May, Miss Lily Rain Hostetter was born shortly before midnight! She weighed 7 lbs. 10 oz like her mama did when she was born. Celebration!

The week after that I had to prepare for a show called Art in the Afternoon at the Cottonwood Country Club which was held on Sunday, May 22nd. Busy week! It was a fun show to do.

My rollercoaster in May took on the scary turn when the following week I found myself in the hospital. I was there for four days and then it took a couple of weeks to recover. I am missing a gall bladder. I wonder what they did with it? Seriously!
The next week my daughter went back to work, and I now take care of Miss Lily Rain five days a week. Tending a new baby really cuts into the painting time, but it is oh so worth it! I also tend my cute handicapped grandson Anthony in the afternoons.

It has taken me about a month to get my act together (well, not totally) and keep all the balls in the air. That's why I am posting a painting that is called Juggling Life, I painted it a few years ago and often use is as my avatar because it seems I am always juggling things. I have finally figured out how to tend kids and still paint sometime during the day. I had forgotten how much time it takes to care for a baby that eats every two hours. It certainly been a long time since I had an itty bitty kidlet around. But what a joy!

I will be posting on my blog again, painting and taking care of sweet Lily and Anthony. Sorry about so much personal stuff. More fresh art coming soon!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

In Pursuit of Happiness

Can you believe May is almost upon us? Time is flying by so quickly that I can't hardly conceive that it has been a year since we had a big watercolor show here in Salt Lake and now we are preparing to go to it in New Mexico at the first part of May. I think I must be in a time warp. (or I have been watching way too much Doctor Who.)

The other day I tried something new. I sat down to paint with no plan or idea of what I wanted to paint. I just started painting, trying to drum up some inspiration. It turned out to be a happy painting called Pursuit of Happiness.

On her dress I wrote words like peace, love, joy, happiness and light. It is always nice to remind ourselves of these lovely words. This painting is currently on auction on ebay.

I also painted some Lily Rain paintings and have them on etsy. The link to this particular painting is titled 'Angels Watch Over Me'

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dear Deer John - opps I mean Moose John

Last night I attended the Wasatch Camera Club where my friend John Blumenkamp was the presenter. He is an amazing artist that specializes in wild life and nature photography. All I have seen of his work is the end result (check out which is simply amazing photography. You can also see his work on Facebook; Teton Trail Photography.  His presentation was excellent too. He is very knowledgeable about his art. I am hoping that we will be able to get him to teach some photography workshops at Local Colors art gallery (hint, hint, John!)

I took a picture of John when he was in front of the screen that his presentation was shown on. He made a pretty good screen himself with a moose face displayed on his face. Unfortunately I took the pic with my camera phone and it is a wee bit fuzzy. Ok, alot fuzzy. Which is kind of funny when you consider I was surrounded by photographers that use thousands of dollars in camera equipment. So sorry, John. I am not a photographer but a wolf in sheep's clothing among your phlock (short for photography flock).

Meanwhile back at the ranch... yesterday I painted another Lily Rain painting and put it up on etsy. It is called Peace Garden and Lily is in it with her little dog Commander PiddlePot.  It is 12" x 16" and is a watercolor on canvas with a acrylic finish. Check it out on etsy; Peace Garden

All in all a very lovely day it was, smooseing with John and enjoying peace with Lily Rain and Commander PiddlePot.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lily Rain is born... Well, Sort of

Last Saturday, I was talking to my daughter Aubrey who is expecting a baby in May. I was telling her about how for the first eighteen months of her life, she was bald headed. Back in those days people used to stick bows on bald headed babies with karo syrup or some other gummy substance. I didn't like doing that, so I started making baby headbands of stretchy lace with flowers and bows. You're probably thinking... so what?

Well back in those days there weren't any baby headbands, just karo syrup and bows. Aubrey was the only baby with headbands on her bald little head! I could have made a million bucks if I would have marketed them back then. But maybe the world wasn't ready for them.

I told Aubrey that when Lily Rain (that's her baby's name to be) was born, we should make her some really cute baby headbands. Then I got to thinking if we make REALLY cute ones we could sell them! Well, then I got to thinking I should make some art for the nursery and then that got me to thinking I could sell nursery art.

The next thing I knew I was researching baby stuff on etsy. The next morning I woke up thinking about it. I even came up with a name for this new enterprise... Lily Rain Collectibles.

I have been trying to come up with art for ebay and etsy that would be totally different than what I paint for the galleries. I decided that I could just do Lily Rain stuff for online sales.

I came up with a little character for the Lily Rain nursery art. I did an ACEO  (which means Art Card Editions and Originals). It is 3.5" x 2.5" in size. I thought if I developed my Lily Rain character on art cards I could then sell them on ebay and kill two birds with one stone. Then when I was satisfied with how the characters look, I thoughtI would paint some larger Lily Rain paintings. This painting is done in watercolor and is titled 'Teaching A Dragon to Beg'.

 I entered this painting in the Nibblefest contest on ebay. It's a contest among ebay artists and all the auctions start at .99. The artist with the highest bids wins! So if you want to take a look at this little ACEO, click on the ebay link at the top of this page. Any bids on this painting would be greatly appereciated.

So this is what I have been thinking about lately and now you know how this concept of Lily Rain art was born.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Puppers are Featured on the Front Page of EBSQ Art

EBSQ art is a wonderful website for artists and collectors. Today an art quilt that I made is featured as EBSQ's daily art on the front page today. The painting is called Chihuahua Tails and it is a portrait of my daughter Kim's little girls, Bonita and Bella. Thanks EBSQ!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Parable of the Muffin Tin

In my artistic journey, or in other words- my life, I am finding that the more I ponder and search for inspiration in my art the more depth I find in my faith in God. Now generally I am not one to openly expose my soul in this manner, but since this blog is about my art it would be without truth not to speak of my inspiration for it.

As mentioned in my previous blog entry, I have been making meditation a part of my day. I have always been a great one for believing that we all can receive inspiration on a daily basis. God knows each one of us and our needs - of that I have no doubt. I find joy in incidents that illustrate that belief of mine. So I would like to share with you my own personal little parable; that of the Muffin Tin.

A couple of weeks ago I baked some mini quiches (very delicious, I might add) and although I baked them in a non-stick muffin tin, with a swipe of oil for good measure, they stuck like a wad of gum to a tennis shoe on a hot day. Well actually it was worse than that. I tried all kinds of things to remove the film that had baked on the tin. Lots of soap, water and scrubbing with one of those green scrubby things didn't work, nor did using the steam cleaner. Nothing would get that muffin tin clean! I soaked it for a week, trying each day to remove the film. Finally I just said a simple (exasperated) prayer. Please help me get these muffin tins clean! Immediately inspiration hit; "fill the tin up with water and bake it for a half hour". So of course I did. When the baking time was up I found that with a bit of elbow grease I could scrape off that quiche-y film.

So I guess I would say that the moral of the story is that what may seem like an insignificant matter addressed in prayer resulted in a very profound message that God hears prayers and answers them. To me this is quite a miracle that he loves me enough to respond about this little matter in my life.

One more thing.... there is further depth in this little parable. The muffin tin incident illustrates to me that we have a partnership with God, he does his part but we have to do our part as well. If I had just pulled the muffin tin out of the oven and dumped out the water, it would not be long before it would be  the same as before. I still had to work hard to make it clean.

Recently I completed a painting inspired by a few lines of a blessing I received many years ago. It described the state of our world like this; " The world today is in serious trouble. It is struggling for survival in a sea of selfishness, hate, greed and sin. They travel and cry for peace but do not want peace in righteousness".

I have always felt that those words are pretty profound. One day a few weeks ago, I was thinking I would like to enter a painting in the Spring Salon at the Museum of Art in Springville Utah. Immediately a title and a picture came into my mind for a painting. It was based upon those lines I just quoted.

As the painting progressed from a pencil sketch to another sketch that was painted, and then onto a 4' x 2" canvas; I tried to keep myself open to inspiration. Color and design were affected by this process. When I  finished the painting, however, I was not completely satisfied with it. I had painted for a deadline and although  had a finished piece, it didn't feel like I had illustrated my inspiration properly.

I took a picture of the painting just as I was running out the door to get it down to the museum. Unfortunately the battery in my camera was dead so I used the camera on my phone. So, not the best picture.

The painting has a bit of symbolism in it and is titled 'Rising Above the World". It depicts a girl rising out of a sea of selfishness, hate, greed and sin (sound familiar?). Originally what I saw in my head was a girl above the water, not rising out of it. Now that it is done I see it as anyone who is aware of the state of the world and fighting to rise above it, still in it but rising. Another thing that changed  from what I first saw was she was reaching for a very bright light but instead of a blue sky and a bright sun, I felt inspired to paint what looks more like evening with a full moon. The meaning I found in this change was that we start where we are; imperfect beings reaching up towards the Light shining peaceful and serene in the darkness.

I see this painting as the first of a series of spiritual progress towards the light as the girl rises higher with the light becoming more brilliant as that of the sun at noon day.

Trying to live and paint by inspiration makes the journey before me unpredictable. I don't know what direction I am heading with my art, but I am fine with that. If God answers prayers about muffin tins I know for certain He will help with the more serious stuff.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bloggity Blog Blog and Other Sundry Thoughts

So I haven't been blogging much lately. Bad Cathy! Truth be known, I haven't been painting either. I am going through a transitional period, not only in my art but in my life. It's totally self inflicted, which means that there is no major crisis or unsettling changes going on. I am just searching for how to find focus on what I am doing here in this world.

After thinking constantly about my art and what direction I should go with it, I found I was thinking way too hard. So much so that a good friend told me I am so busy thinking that I am not allowing inspiration to come through. He was absolutely correct. He counseled me to take an hour every day and just ponder and meditate. Let my mind be quiet so that inspiration has a chance to reach me.

So now for the last two weeks I have been getting up in the morning and pondering. But I found an hour was just a bit too long as the last 15 minutes of it I began to feel anxious which kind of defeats the purpose. So now I ponder for 45 minutes. It works for me!
The most amazing things are happening. I am getting direction, and having faith in the inspiration I receive, it takes away confusion that I have been known to bring upon myself. I am finding a lovely peace that makes me feel confident in my daily journey.
The second verse of one of my favorite hymns 'Be Still My Soul' expresses so perfectly my feelings:

Be still, my soul: Thy God doth undertake

To guide the future as he has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: The waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.

Text: Katharina von Schlegel, b. 1697;

trans. by Jane Borthwick, 1813-1897

The day I started pondering, I got a call that a painting of mine was selected to be in a Disney movie that will come out this year during the holiday season. It's based off the Disney channel series Good Luck Charlie. The painting is one that I posted here before, a Santa Claus and it's titled 'Twas the night Before Christmas'. Anyhoo, the film company rented it for a week for $200! Cool huh. So how does that tie in with my pondering? Well when something good like that happens, I consider it a blessing and a sign that I am on the right track.

Being creative is a very spiritual process I think!


Wednesday, March 09, 2011

My UWS Spring Show entry

It's finally spring! Well at least in the way of call for entries for the Utah Watercolor Society Spring show.
I felt people-ish so I did a painting from a photo I took about 18 years ago of my youngest daughter. Her name is Aubrey. You know like the 'Bread' song (that's a group in case you are too young to remember). And Aubrey was her name.... if you know the song I bet you can hear the tune in your head. Yup, we named her after that song. Funny thing is, in the baby book it is a boy's name. We didn't care though and actually neither does Aubrey. It means Elf Ruler, so Aubrey really loves her name. She is quite partial to elves- especially ones she can rule.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Western Federation of Watercolor Societies

Let me tell you abit about Western Fed and some exciting news (to me at least!)

The Western Federation of Watercolor Societies (WFWS) is comprised of 11 watercolor societies. Utah Watercolor Society (WS), Arizona Watercolor Association, Colorado WS, Idaho WS, Nevada WS, New Mexico WS, San Diego WS, Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild,  Southwestern Watercolor Society (Texas), West Texas WS, and Watercolor Society of Oregon.

WFWS holds an annual show,  last year it was held here in Utah and this year it will be in Albuquerque NM.
As members of the various watercolor societies we are encouraged to enter the Western Fed show. This year there was a total of 1066 entries. Only 125 paintings were selected to participate in the show.

So.... guess what? My painting 'What Next' was accepted! Yahoo! I have posted it on my blog before but in celebration I am posting it again.

The exhibition dates are May 6th to June 5th, 2011 and will be held at the Fine Arts Building at Expo New Mexico. I am excited to go see the show!

Local Colors of Utah Website is ALIVE!

Sounds repetitious I know, but another place I like to show my art is now available online. Our artists cooperative gallery located in Salt Lake City now has it's website up and running! 
Local Colors of Utah Art Gallery

That's the link above but if you want to just memorize it the actual website is

Now my online friends can take a look at what I have at the gallery. We still have a few things to finish on the website, like adding pricing and how to purchase art, but at least you can see whats available by the various artists.

So much fun!
I hope you will click on the link and take a look around.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Doll Town is Alive!

Madame Butterfly

Art dolls are a lot of  fun. I loved playing with dolls when I was a kid and now I love making them as an adult. Which means I can still play with them. Doll Town is now open and there are a lot of fun handmade dolls for sale there.  Take a look:

                                                       Cathy Darling at Doll Town

Currently I have Madame Butterfly listed for sale. I have a bunch of new dolls in various states of creation that soon will be there too.

Love to see you there!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Selling Dolls at Doll Town!

Hello Friends,
I just wanted to let you know about a new place to buy my art dolls - Doll Town! This is brand new. Grand Opening is Feb 27th @ 7pm est

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Harmony and Progress on 'The Cache Cow'

I worked on my demo painting the other day and finally got around to posting the progress. I have been busy this week getting ready for gallery stroll at the gallery I am in, Local Colors. So I apologize to my Cache Valley friends and anyone else who is following this demo for being so dang slow!

I put another layer of color on the cow and worked on Miss Moo's face and down udder. The spots are as dark as I am going to go with them. I like the way the colors blended together and give the impression of black, but it is really quite colorful.

I have been contemplating a lot about what direction I should go with my art lately. I decided that I need to strive for harmony in all aspects of my life so that I will be more open to inspiration in my art. I was once told to visualize myself as a mountain stream running along. When something comes along in life that threatens to block progress, I should do like the stream does whenever it comes to a rock and just flow around it. I think if I strive have harmony in my life I could do that! I'll let you know if it works. :-)

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Watercolor Demo with the Cache Valley UWS

Last week I had the opportunity to visit the Cache Valley chapter of the Utah Watercolor Society. What a great experience! I was invited to do a demonstration. What I chose to do was watercolor on masonite, using Golden's absorbent ground. I first showed a slide show of my work and history as an artist. Then I showed some pieces that I had painted on masonite and other surfaces. I had brought with me a 16" x 20" piece of masonite that I had prepared with gesso and then a coat of absorbent ground. So as not to take too much time, I had already drawn my subject matter. Then I painted for the demo. With questions etc. I only got down one coat of color and didn't get to finish the painting. So some of the members suggested that I post my progress on my blog. The painting is of a cow. Oh I forgot to mention that I had applied a texture before I put the gesso and absorbent ground on the masonite. It broke up the watercolor in a very interesting way. Keep posted for the progress shots in the next few days.

Thanks so much to Andi and Deanna, I had a great time!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I can't believe that Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Today along with my other art  endeavors I made a little cupid ornament. Since Valentine's is all about love, it got me thinking... why do they have mistletoe at Christmas but not for Valentine Day? I was thinking cupid would be an obvious choice for a mistletoe substitute, and he does have toes...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wish I could do today over again

Today was one of those days I wish I could do over. I didn't paint a thing! For that reason I wish I could rewind and start fresh. However I was busy all day long, doing other art related tasks, lest you think I was laying around watching TV in my jammies and eating chocolate.

It's gallery stroll this Friday here in Salt Lake City, and the whole week seems to be filled with things I have to do to get ready for it. We had a gallery meeting tonight and it was also our un-Christmas party since we missed out in December. Tomorrow I will re-hang the gallery with my hanging partner Mr. Troy. He is a great hanger because he is well over 6 feet and we rarely need a ladder. Plus he is funny.

On Thursday I should be able to get some painting done. Friday is the stroll so I will be at the gallery that night. Our featured artists this month are Jeff Clay - photography, Frank Fuller - painter, and Steve Halsford - wood sculpture.

The Alice in Wonderland painting is one I did a while ago. It has a lot of collage in it. I liked the way it turned out. I posted it for no apparent reason.
Below that is the card for our gallery with our featured artists' work

If you are in Salt Lake, go to our Local Colors Gallery face book page for a coupon to get a free gift from our gift basket. There have been some pretty cool things in it. Ooops I just looked and they didn't put the coupon on yet. I thought I saw it the other day. Hmmm. Well, print up this blog and take it into the gallery and we will pretend it's a coupon! Trust me it will work. Just show them this entry. :-)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Follow Your Inspiration

A couple of years ago I painted a watercolor called 'Follow Your Inspiration'. I am a big believer that our best work comes when we listen to our inspiration.

Today I realized that I was getting too caught up in the 'making' of my art that I have been forgetting to stop, ponder and seek inspiration. Kind of sounds like stop, drop and roll, you know, like what you do if you're on fire. I think that's a good similitude for what I am trying to say. When you get inspiration you really get on fire! Except you don't want to put it out.

If I don't make a point to seek some inspiration on a daily basis, pretty soon I get sidetracked. Everyone has their own ways of seeking inspiration. For me, morning is the best time to contemplate my day. I don't limit it to a specific amount of time, I just let thoughts flow as I do my morning routine, exercise, get ready for the day, eat breakfast, study scriptures and pray for guidance.

Today I painted another foamance girl. I put a quote on it by R. Schuller;

"Anyone can count seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed."

Hmmm,  I just noticed that there is something I need to correct on this painting. Taking a picture of a piece sometimes lets you spot something that you missed. In this case, the quote is pretty much along the same line of the grass. I think if it were above or below that line it would look much better. To correct it, I am going to raise the grass line up closer to the trees. But I will do that tomorrow. Hopefully that will make it look better.

Tomorrow I am going to seek and follow my inspiration. I know I will have a better day!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Subtle Change in Direction

Writing a blog on a regular basis is pretty therapeutic! I have often struggled about which direction to take my art, and have found that just writing a few things down has helped me to see a path appearing. I see myself lying on the psychiatrist couch of Dr. Blogblogblog. (Do they really use couches?)

After doing my first three foamances ( I need to call them something!) I decided I didn't want to pursue that style of art. I call it my eBay art. My high school art teacher would have called it kitsch art. I think he must have drilled that into my head, because I have felt through all the years of selling art online, the kind of art I sold there was inferior to what I should be doing. I felt I ought to be doing 'fine art', but that takes more planning and a lot longer to paint. In my situation I needed to have daily online sales. So I painted things that were cutesy and fast.

Now I am not saying that kitsch art is bad art. People love decorative fun art like this and that's a good thing. However it's sidetracking me from where I think I want to go with this. So I decided this weekend as I was drawing in my sketch book that I would do sketches on my foam figures and this time try to make it look more fine art-ish. It would also be a mini practice for the direction I am heading. I think it's a little bit different from the others.

I was thinking about Valentines - I love holidays! So I decided to make my sketch into an angel with a heart and put words on it. I know, it's still looks kitschy. I can't help it! This is a journey, one step at a time. This foamance is titled Love is Kind and will be on etsy tomorrow.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

When is your best not your best?

Sketching in a sketchbook has never been easy for me. I have this thing about making it look really good. However a lot of the time it doesn't and so I don't want anyone to see it.  I  need to get over the feeling that everything has to be a masterpiece. I am not saying I create masterpieces, it's just that I hate to show art that I  feel is not my best work. Which really isn't true, I have shown a lot of my art that I wouldn't even claim nowadays...just kidding.. well maybe not. :-)
What is my best? What do I compare it to? I remember a drawing I did in the 6th grade of the Mona Lisa. I was so proud of it and everyone thought it was awesome ( I was the class artist, don't you know?) I really had done my best. But was it my all time best piece of art? I don't think so. I should dig it up, and post it. It is really bad.
It was probably my best at the time though.

Writing in my blog today is an exercise for me to stop thinking everything I do needs to be my best. Learning and practicing does not mean perfection. So I am being brave and posting a sketch that isn't great. I have to tell myself it's ok to expose my art in such a ruthless fashion. It doesn't have to be great, it's JUST A SKETCH Cathy, get over it!

I also have a hang up about sketching people when I am out and about. I don't want them to wonder why I keep looking and staring at them. So when I did the sketch of this kid, I figured out something really cool. I was in my studio and decided to take a break from my day job (wink, wink) and do a sketch. When I am painting I like to listen to music or TV, and recently NETFLIX! It's the most awesome invention! I can watch it off my computer. So I was watching/listening to a show on netflix when I decided I ought to sketch something. Then the phone rang so I paused the show. After the phone call, I looked back at my computer and on the show there was this kid playing chess with his dad. Here is the cool part... because the show was paused I thought to myself, hey, I could sketch that guy! He wasn't moving and he doesn't know I am staring at him.

So I saw, I sketched and I am proud to say it is not my best.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I'm featured on EBSQ's Art Blog

Today my blog is one of five artist's that is featured on EBSQ's art blog! Thank you Amanda! Check it out;

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Art Day Job

In my effort to continue pursuing the artist's life, I decided that with my decision to improve as an artist (see previous blog entry) that I want to make what I sell online in venues such as etsy to be quite different from my work that I will do while studying and practising to be a better artist.
So after thinking and thinking I came up with a plan. I really enjoy mixed media and collage and since my focus of study will be drawing and painting, I thought my online sales would be mixed media. I also wanted to use something different than canvas and watercolor paper for my foundation so I chose foam to be the first element of my mixed media art.
As I began to work with the foam, I started to have all kinds of ideas of things I could do with it. I told my daughter some of my ideas and that I was going to make this art specifically for etsy. Her response was that I needed to do it for longer than a couple of weeks! I tend to try something new and then if it doesn't sell like hotcakes the first couple of weeks I have been known to abandon the idea. It kind of becomes little orphan annie art.

SO.... I had this really brilliant idea- I am going to spend this entire year making mixed media with a foam foundation for my online sales. No more abandoned little orphan annie art! I am going to stick with it for a whole year. I think it will be a creative challenge to see all the things I can do with it. Of course I will post my creations here, need you ask?
I started with a basic idea for my first few pieces. I thought it would be fun to create some whimisical people and rather than do them on a rectangle or square piece of foam I got out my scroll saw and cut out shapes. I posted the first three pieces I made.

Allow me to introduce to you my first mixed media ladies; The lady holding the cat is titled 'Dancing with Cats', the second one is 'Motherhood is Sweet', and the last one is 'Love Messenger'. They are all currently on etsy.

Why don't I just paint one style for my art studies, galleries and online sales? Because my art study is to be uninhibited by any pressure to create art to sell. I want to paint without the pressure of thinking this needs to be good enough to enter a juried show. That's why I want it to be different from my online sales art. Does that make sense to anyone besides me?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I'm a Home School Artist!

The new year always motivates me to review my life and try to improve. I suppose that happens to most people. The new year brings new energy to me and my work.

I have evaluated my art and in so doing some amazing realizations came my way in terms of experiences during the last few weeks of the old year. Without going into detail, I decided to go back to the drawing board, so to speak, and hone my skills as an artist.

I am home schooling myself!

I am making my sketchbook a daily habit and will take it everywhere with me. Currently I am studying a book called Design Basics by David A. Lauer and Stephen Pentak. I'm giving myself homework assignments. Sounds fun, right?

I am traditionally a 'paint for deadlines' kind of artist. Which means about a week or even a day before a deadline I whip something out. No more!!! I am taking a journey to discover what I am capable of producing if I take time to think out and really plan a painting. I will not set a time limit to get it done and avoid painting for deadlines. I want to paint for the sake of painting and work towards becoming a better artist. I will create work that isn't necessarily for sale, but for experience. Sounds kind of like a mantra, huh!

As a full time artist, the past few years have been filled with 'producing product'. My goal was to have something to sell. Not that that's a bad thing, as my livelihood depends on selling my art, but that mode has hindered me from exploring what I am capable of creating.

So I thought to myself; how do I make a living, and make art that is not solely for the purpose of a sale or a deadline? At first I thought that maybe I ought to get a day job and study and do my home school art at night. That lasted about 8 hours (while I was sleeping). I awoke and thought that's crazy! Why would I want to stop making art so I can make art?

I realized that I needed to make a plan and organize myself. As you can tell from reading my past blog entries I do a variety of art, sometimes more along the fine art lines and often not so fine art. As I pondered on the direction I should go, I decided that I should divide my day into two parts. The first part to devote to the study and improvement of my fine art talents. The second part would go to producing art to make a living. Kind of killing two birds with one stone. (No birds were used though).

I don't know where this will take me, but I will keep posting my art and hopefully I will be learning something along the way.

The painting featured today is a commission that I finished 4 days before Christmas (yup one of those dastardly deadlines!) It was for my next door neighbor and it is titled 'The Morning Breaks, the Shadows Flee' and is a painting of the Bountiful Utah LDS Temple at dawn. While painting it I kept humming a hymn, so it seemed logical to take some of the words from it for the title.