Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat!

I was struck by the glassware at the Getty Museum that was made in the 1500-1600's that it looked so much like the glassware from my great aunt's home.  Here I made a little grouping of glassware ....can you tell me which is the priceless piece made in Austria from Getty Museum worth thousands and which is the $20 piece that you can easily bid on from Ebay?  

Answer below ...not too fast!







Interesting isn't it.  Let's remember not to beat ourselves up to try to create something totally original.  It's all been done.  It's your job to try to create the best you can with what talent you've been given.  

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Sneak Peek Friday

Looks like I'm giving blood or something
For this Sneak Peek Friday, we'll be taking a detour away from my studio to visit the Getty Museum in downtown LA.  Anyway, that's what I did today.  Can you believe I've been in California 23 years and have never been to the Getty Museum.  I'm ashamed to admit it.


I think when you have a family, trips like Disneyland and Universals tend to rule over a trip to the museum.  So I just put visiting the Getty on the back burner.

Anyway, when my friend, Michelle, said she loved the Getty,  I jump at the chance to have an art lover accompany me.  Part of my "put yourself out there" movement.

Besides all the beautiful paintings, sculptures and artifacts inside, the architecture, views and gardens outside are just as breathtaking. 

As you can see, it was such a beautiful day and experience.  Just amazing right here an hour drive from my home and only the price of a $15/parking fee.  Take that Universals and Disneyland!  

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kelly Berkey's Weekly Sketch Challenge

Kelly Week 7 - 16"x 20" oil on canvas panel
Welcome to the 7th week of Kelly's Berkey's Sketch Challenge...When I started Kelly's challenge, I really didn't think I would keep up with it, but it's really addicting to me.  I think part of it is the really nice bloggers I've met,  and also because I've been stretched far beyond what I've ever done and painting in oil no less.  Anyway, on to describe the painting this week:

I was inspired by two artists for this challenge.  I love how Elizabeth Peyton uses bright colors in her portraits and the loose sloppiness of the her paintings.  So I painted the background very runny using mineral spirits to thin the paint. 

Here's a close up of her portrait. 

The second artist of inspiration was Malcolm Liepke.  Kelly told me about him through Terri's blog, "Dimples & Dragonflies".  His portraits are sensational.  He stylizes the women with larger eyes and redder, pouty lips. I made Kelly's eyes more expressive by adding a upper lid and not painting her eye with all black, even if that's all  I see in the photo.  It opens up her expression.  I couldn't do the pouty lips with a smile, but they are a little redder to stand out against her skin.  I painted her trident smile teeth in full mass, because it just looks nicer than painting each individual tooth.

Also, I added red from the couch into Kelly's hair.  I love the idea of colors bouncing around a painting and use this technique a lot. 

As I look at the colors of Kelly's portrait on the screen, I see the colors are in keeping with the upcoming Halloween festivities.  If you would like to join us, every week Kelly posts a picture of herself in a pose for you to sketch or paint or whatever.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

WoooHooo! We Got a Winner

I enlisted my neighbor, Steven, to pick the winner.  He had no idea what I was talking about, but he was very sweet and allowed the crazy lady to take pictures, too. 

Without further ado....the winner is:      CURLIE GIRLIE ART!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Print Giveaway!

I am grateful.  I am grateful to have met so many kindred spirits in this blogging community.   I am grateful to have gotten to know some of you better through your own blogs.   I feel blessed to have made a connection with this group of creative women.

My real dedication started after taking an ecourse from Kelly Rae Roberts and becoming part of a group of fellow flyers, who continue to help one another by supporting each individual's creative dreams. 

To show my appreciation to all of you, I would love to give one of my  5 x 7 prints of your choice to anyone who would leave a comment on this post below.   If you haven't had a chance to see all my work, you can see it on Flicker.   The post will close on Tuesday, 5 p.m. PST. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sneak Peek Friday

Last night, I was invited to show my art at my friend's Cabi party.  So I had a lot of preparation in order to have prints ready to purchase.

My friends let me hang artwork and prints around their house.

Jean, my friend's mom, purchased a print.  Fortunately, I had made this print as an afterthought before running out the door. 

The best part of the whole evening was meeting all these wonderful women, who wanted to support and help me however they could.

Not wanting to take over the clothing party, I tried not to tackle people and drag them over to my art as they walked in the door.  After all,  I did realized it was a Cabi party.  I had prepared an art survey and left it nonchalantly on the table by my prints.  The party started off slowly and most were interested in trying on clothes, of course.  Then, my new Cabi friend, Michelle, grabbed my survey and made people start filling it out.  It just sparked so much art conversation, and I was able to open up to people and they with me.  We talked about art in their homes and colors they like. Some signed up to receive my "someday" quarterly newsletter.   My landscape paintings triggered a commission from another friend. 

Another new friend, Lori from Dog Squad gave me a lot of invaluable advice.  She had left her day job 8 years ago, when she developed a line of little dog clothing.  See Charlie here modeling a couple of outfits at the party.  Everyone was trying on clothes!

Another very important thing I learned was that all people like different things.  I had one person who liked the serene landscapes and another who was drawn to the dark and brightest prints.  It was great to have them really look at my work as a whole and give me feedback.  It was the best evening ever!

Another growing pain as a developing artist is to put yourself out there!   Check.  I had so much fun, I'm thinking of doing a wine/cheese at my house before the holidays.  If you would like join us for Sneak Peek Friday, just visit Jennifer at  "In the Studio"  and give it a try.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Peace Paintings

I just finished this artwork in time for the holidays.  Some time ago, I was in a designer showroom and saw a piece of eight 5 x 5 paintings grouped together like this and the idea stuck in my head.  I had this idea to bring the message of Christmas in a "whisper".  I want the viewer to get it after they viewed the piece for a while.   

Now that my girls are grown and we are no longer hanging up child-friendly ornaments and decorations, my tastes have matured also.  I can even see it with the women in the ornament exchange party I go to every year.  More women are bringing interesting balls and pieces and no longer the cute, fuzzy animal ornaments.  I'm drawn to a more organic style and feeling, a more subtle approach to Christmas. 
5 x 5, mixed media "Peace" (2nd one on left says "peace")
I also bought those velcro picture hangers so no holes in the wall when I take them down. 

Anyway, that's the idea behind it, but I'm sure come Christmas, and it will be surrounded by a goofy wind-up Santa and all those nutcrackers!  As a side note, my nutcracker trio paintings were confiscated and are now enjoying a wonderful dorm life!  Guaranteed those guys will end up like that little traveling gnome ...all over the place.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Kelly Berkey's Weekly Sketch Challenge

Welcome to Week 6 of Kelly Berkey's Weekly Sketch Challenge.

For this week's challenge, I decided to paint Kelly's image more like a portrait.  Reason being, the larger the image, the easier to paint.   I tried one of Kelly's suggestions, which was to paint the values first with an underpainting of burnt sienna.  My favorite part of the painting is the little bit of sienna peeking through the blue on the bottom left.   I don't think I consciously planned that. 

I'm really excited because my friend asked me to bring some of my artwork to her Cabi (clothing) party this Thursday.  I want to get some feedback on my art and prints from some unsuspecting women.  Should be fun, if I don't chicken out.

If you would like to join us, every week Kelly posts a picture of herself in a pose for you to sketch or paint or whatever.  Over these past few weeks, I think everyone has improved.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

More Print Art

As a continuation of my print framing project, I've continued to hang prints throughout the house.  I am realizing that if I want to sell any prints online,  I need to try them in my own home and see what I like and what colors work. Even my own daughters, who want something for their dorms, want prints that match their comforters, etc.  So although color will not be my only objective, as a designer, I need to consider colors that will fit nicely in a home decor.

Cutie Patootie, 8" x 10" framed print
A designer friend of  mind  loves this aqua color and uses it a lot in the beach homes she decorates.  So for a beach home, this might be a good color choice.  It's going to look good in a lot of places.  You see the same landscape prints here from my earlier post.  Crazy as it seems, I am repeating them in my home right now.  As I create new ones, I plan on replacing these with new prints to live with.. a constant rotating gallery.  This way I can live with my work and view it as a collector would. 

One side note...I found the candle sconce shown above in a consignment shop a couple years ago, but they only had one.  It was electrically wired and because I hung it on a wall that entered our family room, everyone knocked into it every now and then.  As you see, it has a new home here among the prints.  I replaced the electrical candles with real ones (no one ever does that) and now finally it looks like it belongs.
 6 x 6  music, mixed media
As we start gearing up for the holiday season, this 6 x 6 painting is a peek from a group of 6 I am painting for the holidays. More to come...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sneak Peek Friday

Welcome to my studio for Sneak Peek Friday. 

Years ago I had this brilliant idea that I would buy used frames on Ebay and from garage sales to recycle for my art.  If the frame was ugly, I could paint it black and have an instant framed artwork.   Never quite got around to it, as you see my lovely collection here.  So one of my goals is to complete this project and fill with prints for either my house or elsewhere.

Here's an example of one of the pictures I have stockpiled.  This print was ruined by the cardboard used for backing, but the frame is still in good condition.   

Here's one of the finished frames print by Diana Mulder :), new mat and new backing.

Here's another landscape mixed media print. 

Here they are in the entry of my house.  I only used 2 frames from my collection, so I got a lot of work to do.  I made a large print of "Cutie Patootie",  and he looks darling on the wall.   More pics to come. 

If you would like join us, just visit Jennifer at  "In the Studio"  and give it a try.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kelly Berkey's Weekly Sketch Challenge

Kelly5,  9 x 12 oil on board
Welcome to Week 5 of Kelly Berkey's Weekly Sketch Challenge.

Since  the little dog oil painting went well, I wanted to try Kelly's challenge in oil, too.  I had some fun trying different techniques for the background starting with a gold underpainting of acrylic to let some show through.  Unfortunately, not used to the dry time of oil, my hand kept resting in the background while painting  Kelly's face.  So I had to paint over all the gold flecks showing through at the top to fix it.  Oh well, we learn.

My favorite techniques are paintings with layers,  marks and colors showing through from underneath.   To get a little of this,  I scrubbed the red slip so the gesso and strokes would show and used the back of my paint brush to scratch marks at the top.

The biggest problem was making a tiny eye with my oil brush.  I'm so use to the softness of watercolor brushes that it felt like I was trying to paint it with a Q-tip. The brushes always seem to have a lot of stray hairs.  Anyone know the best oil brush for tiny details?  As for the color choices, I just go with what makes me feel good.  It's art right.

If you would like to join us, every week Kelly posts a picture of herself in a pose for you to sketch or paint or whatever.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cutie Patootie

Cutie Patootie 5" x 5" oil on board, acrylic underpainting
Just a quick post to show this little sweet guy painted in oil.  He did make it back into the water again on his own.  Sometimes we don't know what we're frightened of so we do nothing instead of just taking those little steps and eventually getting our feet wet.  This is the first time in years that I painted in oil.  It was a good little painting to get my feet wet again.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sneak Peek Friday

Welcome everyone to Sneak Peek Friday.   I just got a very cool book from Amazon recommended by one of my friends.  I don't know too much about the artist, Elizabeth Peyton, except that she did a lot of portraits of some famous English people, ie Prince Harry.  Anyway as you see by the cover,  her use of color and the simplicity of her portraits is what's so appealing to me.  So that will be fun to explore .
A Place In The Sun,  5 x 7 image on 6 x 9 watercolor paper

 Another work in progress is establishing an Etsy site.  I been working on 2 possible ways to sell prints.  The first above is printed on 140 lb. watercolor paper, which I've seen some other artists do.  I've signed the bottom in pencil.  The weight feels nice in the hand.

Surfer Chicks,  8 x 10, frame
 The other idea would be to print on Epson Luster photo paper and I would sell it matted.  Love to hear any opinions on which way to go.  I was ready to order mats and then loved the print with the signature, too.

"Hesitant Pooch", 5" x 5", watercolor on aquaboard
I also worked on this little cutie patootie. yesterday.  He looked a bit frightened and was being led (dragged) back into the ocean.  I think he was done.  He's so cute.  I got so frustrated with painting on aquaboard that I'm going try the same picture with oil, which I haven't done in years. Wish me luck.

Anyway, if your wanting to participate to Sneak Peek Friday, just visit Jennifer at  "In the Studio"  and give it a try.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Kelly Berkey's Weekly Sketch Challenge

Kelly Week 4  - watercolor & paper, 8 x 10 on 4-ply illus. paper
Welcome to Week 4 of Kelly Berkey's Weekly Sketch Challenge.  Kelly's photo has morf into this little painting  you see here. Her pose reminded me of  toilette paintings from the Renaissance.  She gazes out the window at the lovely beach scene below. 

Technically speaking, it amazes me at how complicated everything becomes when you add other objects.  Everything relates to one another,  values and colors.   This would make a good painting study to get color, value, etc. The wallpaper stripe is from pieces of decorative papers I have.  You will notice one stripe on upside down.  I did that on purpose, aheemmm, to see if you would notice. :)

If you would like to join us, every week Kelly posts a picture of herself in a pose for you to sketch or paint or whatever.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

How to Tap into Your Creative Genius

What put you on the path of creating?  Once upon a time you created something of significance.  It might have been a drawing, painting, a photo or jewelry.   And it was good.  And then you did another and another. You liked what you created and so did your loved ones.  And you went on creating.  Then one day you created something awesome.  It was really a step above all the rest.  You thought "this is great, all my hard work, I've arrived!".  But then, you get overconfident and the very next thing you's a dud, right.    You assume they'll all be as good from now on.   And you try something totally different, and it bombs. Auuugh!
Bear with me....

Have you ever listened to Elizabeth Gilbert's TED speech?  She's the author of "Eat, Pray, Love" and she talks about the origin of the word Genius.  It stems from Roman myth which once meant "a guiding spirit who attends a person from birth to death", and this spirit or Genius would either show up while you created or  not.  So if you did create something a step above all else, it was because your Genius decided to show up and help you out.  

Now, my husband watched this with me and said, "she's a loon, that one".  Ok, but this is what I got out of her speech.

Copy your Genius. 

Take that special creation...the one that stands out above the others ...the one the Genius decided to show up for and keep it as direct reference, while you create another.  Use it again with a twist.  I have one painting sitting next me while I paint another.  I pick that painting because of something particular that might be useful for what I'm working on at the time.  It's never the same.  For my charcoal study on Kelly, I had a framed charcoal study sitting next to me that I did sometime ago as I drew her.  I copy linework and shading.  I try to copy everything except the subject.  This way it brings it up to the level it needs to be.  

I painted the beach girls while I had the old man on the easel

Loved the stripes so much, used them again
A little cleaner, but the same colors
Perhaps there will be the day when my "Genius" will show up again, but until that time happens, I'm going to keep one eye on the one he smiled on,  while I create the next.  Look for your Genius.  Guaranteed he's amongst your work waiting to be noticed. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sneak Peek Friday

This week in the studio, I wanted to try a watercolor painting on watercolor board.  I used one of the reference photos I took at the beach this summer.

Surfer Chicks 8 x 10 watercolor on watercolor board
When these girls walked by me, I thought "Wow, these girls must be beach volleyball players.  They're so tall and  muscular."   I liked the way it turned out and the board stayed rigid unlike some of the other illustration paper, which has a tendency to bow. 

Nutcracker trio 4" x 12", acrylic on canvas

Also, finished is my little group of nutcrackers.  Although cute, they're not the image I set out to do in my mind's eye, so I'm going to "shelf" :) the idea for now. 

Anyway, if your wanting to participate to Sneak Peek Friday, just visit Jennifer at  "In the Studio"  and give it a try.