Friday, January 28, 2011

Sneak Peek Friday

Welcome to Sneak Peek Friday everyone!  I'm hooking up with others from Studio JRU, to show what's on your desk from this week. 

At first I thought, "I got nothin".  Aaaaahhh, but seriously?  So, I thought I take you through my struggles to get to this egg painting, which is my latest finished product.

Most of the prototypes--starting with pastel paper and finishing with oil on linen sewed onto watercolor paper

My art lover friend said she thought I just whipped these things up and realized when she painted with me that you have to plan and work at it.  Do you notice the last 2 are just gesso'd egg shapes.  I realized I was wasting so much time perfecting the egg and then made mistakes at the end.  So now I do everything first and then paint last.

The origin of this idea started with the old antique egg prints, which have that aged background.  Because of their age perhaps they're not on white.  How do I get that without painting it?  First I started with the linen paper, which failed because the oil would bleed around the egg.  Then I thought, the masters painted on linen, why not? 

I learned that if I drew a line with a fabric pencil, I could keep my sewing straight.
I bought some linen at Joann's that you use for needlepoint.  I also used a product called "Fray Check" to stop the fraying ends. 

Finished product - Recycled gold frame, painted  beige/cream color.
Do you have a friend or someone you bounce ideas off of?  I am always bringing my ideas to my closest designer friend, and then I go back redo and show her again.  So before I showed her my finished painting, I said, "I'm done with this egg painting stuff... it's way too hard".  Long story short, she loved it, knows someone who would love it and so on.  Guess I'm not done, yet!

If I just showed the finished product, you might think like my friend did that I just whipped it up.  I know, but  I think successful artists persevere and don't give up.  It's a hard practice to follow though, isn't it?  So if you have a really good idea, keep trying or you'll end up walking through Anthropology and see it there, right?   :)

Check over at Studio JRU if you would like to join in! 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cat Oil Painting, Wasabi

Oil Painting on Board, "4 x 6" Wasabi

They will not go quietly,
the cats who've shared our lives.
In suptle ways they let us know
their spirit still survives.
Old habits still make us think
we hear a meow at the door.
Or step back when we drop
a tasty morsel on the floor.
Our feet still go around the place
the food dish used to be,
And, sometimes, coming home at night,
we miss them terribly.
And although time may bring new friends
and a new food dish to fill,
That one place in our hearts
belongs to them. . . and always will.
by Linda Barnes

I was approached to do this cat portrait for a group birthday present to a girlfriend who lost her beloved cat, Wasabi. Although I don't have a cat,  I can identify with the attachment one feels towards a pet and the sorrow of their loss.

Oil Painting on Board, Wasabi, 3-1/4" x 6-1/2"
I have been getting a lot of these remembrance portraits.  These 2 paintings are very small painted on prefinished need for framing.  It's a small intimate portrait you can tucked anywhere.  I painted this the way I would like to remember my dog, Tucker.  Just a small memory of him placed somewhere.  Gosh, there I go, I'm getting all choked up and he sleeping right next to me!  

Sunday, January 23, 2011

LA Art Show

Watercolor of Vintage Matches
What can I say.  So much art so little time to absorb it all.

Interesting...I would hate to be the one to move this back to the gallery.

Collage Dog Art

Some doggone good art.

Pretty design....get closer

All old vintage metal tape measures.

And who did I run into but a fellow flyer, Valerie Weller from Twig2Nest Studio!  Check out who we're standing in front of....but non-other than a Liepke.  (Kelly and Terri will be jealous).

Portrait by Malcolm Liepke

There was truly some wonderful art here...some of the best I've ever seen.  And also, if you get the chance to meet another blogger/flyer, do so.  Could you not find anyone more like you?  I had remembered reading on Valerie's blog that she went to this last time and contacted her.  We both live outside LA and not close to each other, but what a great way to meet. 

Friday, January 21, 2011


8 x 10 Oil on Canvas

During our paint night, we had a few reference photos to show how clouds sit over the ocean in the sky.  After that, it was a free for all.  Do you remember feeling lucky to catch that awesome sunset or spotting rain clouds in the distance on the ocean?

Quiet Storm, close up
I experimented with an acrylic underpainting of orange and purple, which you can see peaking through the oil.   This painting is from my memory of that time.  "Quiet Storm" will be quietly posted to my etsy shop.

Monday, January 17, 2011


My poor girls....any picture from our computer is subject to becoming a painting.   I picked this picture because I love Kristen's expression.  The question now is how to finish it.  I already tried collage paper and music notes and then I came across a piece damask wallpaper.  So, I found some online for the purpose of this portrait study.

My photoshop skills are basic, but I  managed to get it to a point where I could see if I want to do this to the portrait or not.  This way I can experiment all I want and decide later.

I darkened her hair and shirt really quick with the Picnik program to see if I could get her to pop against the background.  I really like it, but I think I would rather start over and do her more flat paint, poster style. What do you think?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Special Talent and Friend - Kelly Berkey

Kelly Berkey Designs "artist"necklace
I am so very fortunate and grateful to receive a treasured gift from my friend, Kelly Berkey.  She created this especially for me and I love it.

I admire how she comes up with such wonderful ideas for her jewelry including adding her special paintings to the designs. 

Kelly Berkey Designs "artist" necklace

I don't wear a lot of jewelry, but I love necklaces and especially something different than what everyone else has.  I think Kelly has such an eye and love her blog and esty shop.  This piece will be a much loved piece and it makes me feel so special for her to validate the "artist" in me.   Check out Kelly Berkey Designs other jewelry and see all her special creations.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Workshop For Two

The artist table in my studio

I now understand artists who love doing workshops.  Sometime ago I started painting in my studio with my art lover friend, Michelle.  Last night we added one more art lover to the table.   There is a wonderful, creative banter that naturally occurs while painting.  Two more creative souls contributing to the mix.

Our new artist friend, Janine, painted with such freedom without any preconceived notions that it was freeing for her and for me to watch.  Although we set out to paint clouds, when she got to a point and didn't really like what was on the canvas, I gave her a tissue so she could soften the clouds.  Anyway in the end,  it looked like a woman's breast.   We all laugh and I made her keep it, because you couldn't set out to paint one better. (Sorry, didn't get a picture).

Our second painting of birds was more in control.  Still there's a lovely looseness that you can't see in the photo that makes them so successful.  I have to quote Janine who said something like, "You have to give yourself grace, because this work is your own and will not look like anyone else's." 

Two creative Goddesses
When I read about how important it was for creative women getting together to create, I thought that would be the last thing that would happen to me.  I didn't know any other women artists.  How things change.  So you don't have to know artists, just women who enjoy art.  When you are showing your work to a girlfriend and hear her heart's love of creating, ask her to join you.  You won't regret it.  Where else are you going to find captive fans of your work?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Print with a Twist?

So, I had thought it might be interesting  to pair one of my prints with a chair from my old doll house for an Etsy listing.

All my doll house paraphernalia has been stored in a box in the garage for years, since the girls stop playing with dolls.   So I pulled the box down from the garage storage and as I opened the box and was moving packages around, my hand skimmed the tail of a dead rat.  Auuugghh!  He was tucked under bubble wrap and laying on a  full size wooden bed.  How funny.

I was so grossed out, he's still laying there until hubby can dispose of him, but I did  managed to find this little chair, and totally separate from decaying parts.  Yeah!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Egg-cellent Collections

Collection of antique egg prints

Don't you just love collections?

Collection of antique egg prints

I especially love grouping paintings of collections on a  wall.    I keep files of inspo with collection ideas of my own.   Although you probably could buy an antique egg print off ebay pretty cheaply, I wanted to try to recreate this look on my own.

 I started with some pastel colored paper I bought at Joann's in the $2 bin.  I knew that if I tried to use watercolor, the paper would wrinkle so I painted the eggs in oil.

Unfortunately, for this one when I started to splatter the egg, a little paint seeped under my protection sheet.  I  played around with different ways to splatter without it getting on the surrounding area and the conclusion was be more careful.  Once you get a smudge or drip on the paper, there's no way to remove it.   

Although, it's too cute not to try again.  

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

More Etsy Treasuries?

Is there a glitch?  Could lighting strike again?    I'm celebrating over here for being picked for a few more treasuries....

and again....

and again....

I know there are logical reasons for being picked, like just listing and being a newbie, but one has just got to enjoy being asked to the dance.    I also wanted to thank all of you for sending me such wonderful encouragement.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Etsy Treasury

How long has it been since our Kelly Rae ecourse? Yesterday, I finally said to myself, "Enough stalling, I am going to open my Etsy shop before the New Year ends even if I list only 1 item". Well, I did it and I just got picked up in a treasury! A Happy New Year it is!