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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.