Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Gift

Twas the night before Christmas, and I decided to make myself crazy by attempting to paint a pet portrait for the first time at the very last minute challenge myself by doing something I hadn't done before.  My mother-in-law's dog Chip got hit by a car a few days ago, and I thought she'd like a portrait of him to commemorate his life.  Here's how it turned out.
We had a nice Christmas, and Santa brought Harper new toys to keep her busy.  As we speak, she's using her new art station keyboard to make drawings on an old computer we set up for her.  When she's not using the computer, she's getting her exercise on the mini-trampoline from Grandma and Grandpa.
Hope you had a really nice Christmas and are continuing to enjoy the holidays!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Deck the Halls

Having a fun day making cookies and last minute gift projects.  Hope you're having a wonderful holiday!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Another not about art post

Harper said this morning that when we went to Home Depot that she wanted to get supplies to build a rocket ship so we could go to Mars.  Which explains this afternoon's post nap project...

Friday, December 16, 2011

A not about art post

Non-art news flash!  I got my hair colored and cut!  WOOHOO!!!
On the left, the just got outta bed and took my preschooler to school look.  (Ok, for school drop off, I had a pony tail, but that wasn't really a good photo for showing "before" hair disaster.)
And on the right, the not so great photo of my "after" hair.  In person, it's much better, and I'm much less green.  (Grinch, anyone?) We seriously need new lighting in Harper's bathroom.
 And the back!
P.S.  Taking a photo of the back of your head is not as easy as you'd think.  Go ahead and try.  I dare ya. :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Doodles of Christmas Past

Found these yesterday in an old sketchbook and thought I'd share.  I put these in my little black and white doodle journal last year too, so I guess I must like them or something. :)  The four calling birds are my favorite.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Merry (early) Christmas to me!

I first saw this piece of art that Kim Rae Nugent was selling on her Etsy site and just had to have it. Unfortunately at the time, it was reserved for someone else. It must have been really meant for me though because a few weeks after I drooled on my computer screen over it (and let Kim know that I wanted the piece if it didn't work out with the other person), she let me know that whomever had originally wanted it didn't reply to emails. And... she said that if I still wanted it, the piece was mine! YAHOOOOO!!!! I had the great pleasure of meeting Kim at the Inspire My Life art retreat this summer. Kim is a very talented artist, instructor, and is also the author of the inspiring book Interactive Art Workshop. And to top that all off, she's a lot of fun too!
Her beautiful creation is now hanging in a special spot on our fireplace.
P.S. A special THANKS goes to Kim Geiser. Without Kim G., I never would have met Kim Rae Nugent or all of the other special people that Kim G. pulled together for a magical art-filled weekend. That time was one of the highlights of my whole year!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Quote Collecting

I've been collecting quotes for a bit and decided to start keeping them all in one place so I can find them later for journaling.Ummm... I wish I could tell you why this photo is sideways. Because I didn't take it that way.
Other than doodling quotes, I've been super busy. Super busy recovering from a cold, that is. Ugh. I am not a good sick person. It's just a cold, and I'm mostly recovered. When not reclining on the couch or working, I've been trying to clear the chaos around here. Thinking about putting up Christmas decorations. Probably my way of avoiding the mountain of laundry that needs to be done.

Hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving! We're not having Thanksgiving until Saturday, so we'll be headed to the movie theater to see the Muppets!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Back to Basics

I've been flailing about on several projects and not really finding my way, so today I decided to get back to the basics. Here's a little painting/sketch I started in my big journal today.I'm going to keep with fundamental drawing and painting work to see where it takes me. P.S. That's my Daddy. You'll just have to imagine him not sketched out in purple and green. :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wishes are tricky things...

When I was in Petaluma at Art Is You, Sallianne and Ellen gave each of us three wish ribbons. You have a friend (or multiple friends) tie the ribbons on your left wrist, and you make a wish as each one gets tied on.

As my first ribbon went on (tied on by the lovely Cathy Dorris), I wasn't really prepared to make my wishes. The first thing that came to mind was "I wish I could stay."

Later that day I missed my flight home.

I guess I should be careful what I wish for. The outcome in this case wasn't bad - I managed to get another flight, ended up staying in Petaluma an extra day, met up with wonderful friends, and generally made the best of my mistake.

I'm telling you this slightly embarassing story (I mean, really, who misses their flight?!?) because about a year and a half ago, I made another wish that didn't quite turn out as I'd expected. I wished to teach one class at Artfest. (You can read the wish post HERE.)

My wish to teach at just one art retreat turned into teaching at six events this year and quite a wild ride. It was amazing, but really not what I expected. I had the pleasure of meeting some of the most wonderful, creative, amazing people, and I wouldn't trade this year's experiences for anything.

But, remember that "be careful what you wish for" idea?

Well, if you read my last post and my growing pains post, you'll know that while I've been so thankful for everything that has happened this year, I've also been overwhelmed.

SO, after thinking and thinking (and even more thinking) over the last month, I made a decision yesterday (my 39th birthday!). I decided that I'll only be travelling to teach at one event next year (Art & Soul Vegas) which I've already contractually commited to. Long story short, I need a break to figure out where I'm headed before continuing on this ride. I need time to spend with my family and to make my art. I need to play and experiment and enjoy making some art for myself.

I am sure there are unexpected adventures coming up in 2012, but instead of planning my life out a year or more ahead of time, I'll be taking life as it comes.

Besides, my new friends tied on two more wish ribbons. Who knows what will happen?! ;)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Transitions are HARD.

I can definitely say I haven't mastered my new schedule. All summer it was busy, busy, busy with teaching and vacations and First Fridays down at the studio. After all of that, it seems like I can't focus long enough to pick up a paintbrush. (Yes, I recently made eight million (or so) coffee mug paintings, but that's not REALLY what I'm supposed to be working on. Oh yes, class proposals, I hear you over there taunting me.)

So if I let some of the thoughts in my head fly out, they go like this:

[ A BIG DISCLAIMER BEFORE YOU READ THIS - I'm really not looking for you to answer these questions... Truly these are things I have to answer for myself. These are just the kind of annoying, buzzing thoughts that go around in my head while I'm trying to figure out what direction I'm headed in. Which I am sure is NORMAL. I'm publishing them here because it usually helps me to write down/purge all the junk out of my head so I can KEEP MOVING FORWARD. ]

- When I originally proposed to teach for Artfest, I really, really hoped I'd get in. I was beyond thrilled when I did. What I didn't expect was for the "yes" answers to keep coming from other retreats. All of those "yes" answers have pushed my life out of its comfort zone which has both delighted me and stretched me this year. I have met my people, my tribe of fellow creatives.

- I didn't make it into Artfest for 2012. I can't help but wonder if I am really good enough for this teaching thing or were those projects just not my best work? (Mostly I sit on the side of those projects not being my best work... but the lack of confidence demons love to rear their ugly heads when I'm not moving forward.)

- I decided not to propose for Art Unraveled 2012. Did I do the right thing? What if they don't have me back? [Note to self: make freaking awesome proposals so they do.]

- Running around the country from April to September put a decent amount of strain on my family life. Is it worth it? Will removing a few events make things better?

- I've said yes too much. Some of that is because I didn't really know what I was saying yes to. Some is because I have a fear that if I say no for now, that's no forever. Some of my yesses have been for family time/vacations which is good, but it also has "stolen" my art time and kept me from feeling like I am on some sort of regular schedule.

I guess overall, I'm pretty far out of my comfort zone. All of the patterns I've set for myself over the last few years have been knocked askew. I know that after some time, I'll get the hang of this. I'm just having a little trouble being patient in the meantime.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Home Studio

And I thought you might want to see how the home studio is coming along too. :)
I'm definitely still in the moving in phase with nothing on the walls yet, but it's starting to get functional and homey. Really pleased with the natural light, but now I need to work out the artificial lighting situation. Probably will put up a flexible track lighting situation. AND I'm very pleased with my $10 bookcase from Salvation Army. I had planned to paint it, but once I got it in the room, I decided it was just fine with a little polishing and removal of the bottom doors. Lots of space for my books and journals now (good thing too, because there are lots more in my basement).
Happy creating!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Hi there... I hope you're having a good week so far! I thought you might want to see photos from the studio from last week's First Friday and to see where all of those coffee and tea mug paintings ended up.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Random Ramblings

Well, I've been up since 4 AM which means that you're about to be treated to some early morning random ramblings.
  • I've been thinking about a retrospective post for the year. Who needs to wait all the way until the new year for a look back? Not me! Kind of ridiculous how much has happened this year and how much I've learned.

  • My upstairs studio has awesome sunlight (see above), and I'm loving it.

  • Also loving having my art stuff back at home. The downtown studio is great, but it's not practical for my work style/schedule.

  • Thanks to my husband, I have a great appreciation for dimmers. I've always liked task lighting better than overhead lights, but tiptoeing around in the just barely on lights that I turned on in the wee hours this morning makes me appreciate all the dimmers hubby has installed all the more. Thanks, Doug!

  • I've been having some great chats with my daughter lately and sharing some art time with her. I'm not the best at sharing my art space with a little person who "steals" supplies right from under my nose, but I'm working on it.

  • I'm glad to be home after all my traveling this year. I figured out that I've been away from home for 55 days this year.

  • I had some awesome chats with Amy Powers while at Art Is You Petaluma. I'm saving an especially enlightening one (well it was for me at least) for a later post.

  • I'm putting in an extra day a week at the "real" job. :-/ is what I have to say about that. I'm still part time, so I should just be glad for that. (And I'm happy to help because they need it, but just sad to lose art time.)

  • Finally starting to feel like we're getting settled in at home (we moved in three years ago September... how time flies). Now we just have a million loose ends to finish up before we tackle the next remodeling project.

  • Hungry now.
And finally... my best creation below. Three is a pretty cool age, and we're pretty darn lucky to have such a cool kid.

Monday, October 3, 2011

No real explanation...

...for why I felt the need to start 17 paintings of mugs. I guess I just had to, and that's that. I'm taking on more work hours (at the "real" job) because they need help, so hopefully I'll have enough time to finish some/all of these for First Friday down at the studio. Hope you all have a great and artful week!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Art Is...You Petaluma!

Art Is You Petaluma was amazing! If you think these people look happy, it's because they were! We had such a great time creating, laughing and sharing. Or maybe they're just so darn happy because we had such a beautiful place to create. That first photo above is from our classroom full of windows!

P.S. Somehow I don't have a photo of the amazing and inspiring Marlene Haveron. Link to her blog where hopefully she'll post her finished project. Not only was Marlene an amazing helper to Sallianne and Ellen, she was also wonderful to have in class. Hugs to you, Aunty M!

P.P.S. I had a lot more text for you in this post, but this is my third round trying to write this blog post and keep all of the photos in it (blogger and I are not friends today evidently...), so I'm calling the happy faces above good enough for now.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Weekend Doodling

We took a trip in the RV this weekend, and I got a little bit of doodling time while Harper and Doug were exploring.

This last work-in-progress feels a little bit Michelle Allen-y to me for some reason.  Probably because I'm in love with her whimsical work.  Which reminds me... as much as I love looking around at everyone's artwork, I'm a little more of a mimic than I'd like to be.  I see something and it influences me.  Which is good, but sometimes makes me crazy too.
Ok, I'm off to get some work done.  Two days at the "day" job and then it's off to Petaluma for Art Is You!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Countdown to Art Is Petaluma...

The kits are shipped. The supplies are starting to go into piles.  I'm almost ready.
There are just two more spots in my each of my classes, so if you want to join in making some whimsical wonderful work, sign up!

License to Create

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I bet Martha Stewart doesn't have these problems...

Old table at Salvation Army that appears ideal for art space
Small doorway
Dremel tool
2 holes in the wall
5,682 swear words