Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Most Popular Posts of All Time

Stats...Ever look at your most popular post of all time?  I do enjoy checking every once in a while.  The reason I bring up stats is because I find it funny that my best post of all time wasn't written by me and wasn't about art.

It was a poem adapted by my husband for my youngest daughter when she started college this year.  You can read it here.

I'm not sure, but I guess the poem's a pretty popular google search.

Let's learn from this, what is your most popular post of all time?  Leave a comment and a link to your most popular post and tell me why you think it is.  Love to make this a learning opportunity for all of us to share.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

An Easter Surprise

I just received this Easter present by email today from my old NJ neighbor, Jack, painted by my Dad.  Dad has been gone for quite some time, and this will be a nice memory for me of him.  He wasn't an artist by trade, and this shows me a time when he wasn't so busy running his own business or scout troup for the boys.   A time when he took time to paint a picture. I like that.

Hope you all have a Happy Easter.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sneak Peek Friday

Doing the happy dance over here to have sold my sweet canary painting.  I had enjoyed it hanging in my studio for a while.  Then, I was listening to an interview with Carol Marine,  who was asked "Have you ever sold a specific painting you wished you have kept?".  Her answer stuck with me.  She said, "No, because I can always do another one, it's a process".  So I grabbed this one to display at the coffee shop and now it will be off to a happy home. 

Oil on linen on sewed to watercolor paper

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend...Once again, I am linking up with Studio JRU and all of you lovely Sneak Peek Talents!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lemon Zest

Here's a little wedge of lemon oil painting on 5 x 5.  So fun to see a grouping on stands around the house.  This lemon was all sour until I started throwing some orange and red around.  Then I started to feel it come alive.  I'm in love with the background of purple and red orange.
Lemon Zest,  5 x 5 oil on board for sale on Etsy

I've been enjoying Donna Zagotta's blog on Heading in the Right Direction.  So many times I've heard if you paint often, you'll gradually get better.  Donna feels that if your not painting what you truly love and gravitate towards, you are basically painting in the wrong direction.  I definitely can understand that statement. 

I know what I love...color and contrast.  Now, to work on improving what I struggle with and that , my friends, is a long list for another post! :).  

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Randy Higbee Gallery 6 x 6 Gala Reception

Last night I attended the Gala Reception for Randy Higbee Gallery 6 x 6 Show.  It was my first time showing my art at this kind of event.  

I was so excited to hunt down my paintings and find them somewhere among all these talented artists.  The art was really impressive.  I also found the art from the hosts of my favorite radio show "Artists Helping Artists".  Both Leslie's and Dreama's  work looked so much better in person.  I found it such a treat to see.

It was so fun.  There was plenty of wine and food and a ton of people to navigate around.  I also found it interesting  to watch the little red dots marking "sold" going up here and there as we waded threw the crowds to see each grouping.

There was so much said in these little paintings.  I would say something for everyone.  Since the gallery is so close to where I live, I need to get back there and look at all of them again.

3 Art Lovers in front of Cutie Patootie
My art was hung in the back, and hopefully as I continue my artistic journey, my love of art will move me forward!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sneak Peek Friday

Here's a progress picture of the pair of red flower paintings I've been working on.  After painting  the second, I realized that if they were going to be hung together, I should have the first painting next the second so I could feel if the flow between the two.  Because the first painting only had two flowers, I felt it looked a little barren.  So, I used some red paper to position of few extra "flowers" back on the first painting.  When I've done this in the past, I've often used my camera to take pictures of the different scenarios.  It's just easier to decide when you have them side by side on the computer screen.

Also, today you can find one of my posts under Motivation on Empty Easel.  If you haven't had a chance to read about my unexpected mentoring story, you can find it here. You, too, can submit any kind of article you think might interest or help other artists.  I just seem to think of submitting to Empty Easel when I write motivational posts, my first article, but they have all kinds of categories.    

Also, I'm very excited to attend this Saturday's Gala Artist's Reception for Randy Higbee's  6" Square Show  in Costa Mesa, CA where two of my paintings will be exhibited.  They have hung over 500 paintings, and it should be very impressive to see all of them.  I am secretly hoping to run into Leslie Saeta, who co-hosts a radio program I love to listen to called, "Artists Helping Artists".  I know she attended the last one, and it would be so fun to meet her in person.

Once again, I am linking up with Studio JRU and all of you lovely Sneak Peek Talents!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Town

Inspired by the natural surroundings here in So. California, I've made these two collages of a very popular hiking and biking trail in my neighborhood.

Whiting Trail 7-1/4" x 11", collage
Holy Jim Trail  7-1/4" x 11", collage

My backyard overlooks this bike/hiker path, and on weekend mornings we can hear people talking as they walk along below us. 

The white splatter is from quickly spraying drywall compound to look like water.  I practice my touch on scrap paper first because it comes out so strong.   Then I sprayed my piece, but there's no going back once you spray.  That's it.

 If your interested in purchasing these, they will be available in my Etsy shop.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Quiet Storm Inspo

"Whatever your turning point, it will help you look at your life in a different light"  Oprah

I took the "quiet storm" painting and made a print, added some inspo words and glued it to a prefinished block  for a nice block display.  I also added some collage elements on top of the print to enhance it.  This is just some of the little stuff I see other artist do on Etsy to make an affordable art piece.

Personally, I like the original better, but my girls really like these.  Sometimes they have a better handle of what appeals to the younger age groups (not that I'm old or anything!)

Also, there's a very nice giveaway over at my friend's blog, Rona Gregory Art .  Stop by for a chance to win her first blog giveaway!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sneak Peek Friday

Spring has Sprung - 7" x 17" oil on board

Spring has sprung here and you can't help notice all the blooming flowers.  So, I painted this one evening for fun.  One good tip I've learned over the years is to use a larger brush.  It keeps your painting from getting all muddy and bogged down with unnecessary details.  These are imaginary flowers and the stamens are painted with a quick stroke of my palette knife.   I plan to make it a duo for sale in my Etsy shop soon.

One of my biggest problems is overworking the subject, especially faces.   I've painted all night and at the very last minute decide to take a paper towel and wiped it all off and start over in the morning. The best solution for this is to have two paintings going at the same time.  If I can force myself to switch, it usually will save the painting. I remember thinking, "Well this wasn't half bad at 11 p.m., what did I do?"  :)

Also, this week I treated myself  to a new camera lens for my SLR camera.  I know I won't feel like buying anything after we figure out our taxes.  I would feel too guilty.  The games we play with ourselves.  So I did it.  Wow, is it fun.  Look at these beautiful pictures.  I can't wait to get it out in public!

All from my backyard.

Once again, I am linking up with Studio JRU and all of you lovely Sneak Peek Talents!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Etsy Fun

I joined a team on Etsy and I've never before seen so much activity.  It's really quite fun.  The team is quite large, and I try my best to participate, and I've been receiving so much activity payback in return.  Last night I made my first Etsy treasury

Here Naomi from Without a thing to Wear has featured my shell print on her blog.  Also, my prints have been featured in many treasuries  here, here, and here all by tagging our team name on each item. 

If your feeling stagnation with your Etsy items, join a team.  I feel like I'm hanging on to this crazy roller coaster ride.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Mentoring Story... Don't Miss Your Opportunity

"Quiet Storm" - sold

Quiet storm off shore...
Raindrops fall on the fishes
Without umbrellas.

When I was a kid living in NJ with my 3 brothers, it was a boy-dominated neighborhood.  We had 2 older boys living on one side and 2 boys on the other.  Thankfully, there was one other girl for me to play with.  Pretty much, it was a rough and tumble, sports-oriented backyard.  Anyway, this sets the stage for one skinny little artistic girl, me, amongst the male-oriented gender.

So the 2 neighbor boys who were much older than me had a very well built and desirable "clubhouse".  I'm not sure what this single room cottage was originally built for, but it was a very cool little house.  One of these neighbor boys, Jack,  had artistic talent and would use the clubhouse to collect and draw comic books.  Of course, even back then I was fascinated with his drawings.  Most of the time, the boys would keep me out, but occasionally I would be allowed to enter the super hero kingdom.

One of these days, Jack had sectioned off a piece of paper and told me what to draw in each square.  He told me to draw Wonder Woman lassoing a bad guy in one box and then the guy knocked out in the next.  ...stuff like that.  He coached me along, asking me what did Wonder Woman's costume look like, what color were her boots, what did a gun look like, and so on.   

Then, the next day when I came back to the clubhouse, there was a comic book made from my drawings which were all artistically enhanced by Jack with a title page and words added to make a story and folded up into a little book.  The first time, I had no idea he was going to do this.  To see my little 8 year old drawings look like a finished book was the best thing I ever seen.  How this made an impression on me.  I was an illustrator at age 8! 

So, the point to all this is that you never know, you never know how a small gesture will help nurture a creative talent.  I'm sure Jack had no idea of what an impression he was going to make on me.  So, here I am, some years later still pursuing art. In this busy, blogging, facebooking world, let's not forget to spend a little time to mentor our little ones. 

You want to know the best part of the story?  Jack just bought my "Quiet Storm" painting.  Yes, my first mentor is still supporting me!  How sweet is that!  Thank you, Jack.

I'm taking a little break from "Women Who Create Beautiful Things".  Thank you all for participating and if anyone of you creative gals has an interesting story/history/life to share, please shoot me an email.   I find them so valuable to me as an artist...I've learned so much from all of you sharing your lives.  I welcome you to read any past interviews in the tab above if you missed any.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sneak Peek Friday

Wait a minute...are you on the right blog?

Yes you are, because the angle of these photos has been inspired by Jennifer of Studio JRU.  Besides her obvious artistic talent, I've admired her photographic talent as well.  Look at the way she photographs her art and details at interesting angles.  Very fun.  She adds so much interest with a little turn of the camera.  Yes, I noticed and love it. 

So, about these 2 new paintings ....the coffee shop has inspired these little coffee drinks paintings on masonite board.  I'm still using my favorite orange/red acrylic underpainting with a bold turquoise oil background. 

Iced mocha 5x5 oil on masonite

I painted the sides with black gesso so they can easily be displayed with an easel in a bookshelf or on a kitchen counter. 
A Good Cup of Joe, 6x6, oil on masonite

 These will be available in my Etsy shop soon, too. 
Once again, I am linking up with Studio JRU and all of you lovely Sneak Peek Talents!