Sunday, February 27, 2011

Women Who Create Beautiful Things - Tali Antonina, Tush Tush & Tosya

The young woman I interviewed  today for my "Women Who Create Beautiful Things", is an artist whose Etsy shop I've been admiring for some time.   It is my pleasure to post an interview with a very lovely and talented young woman, Tali of Tush Tush and Tosya.

Please tell me a little about yourself.
Hi my name is Tali!  I graduated from Bezalel Academy of Art & Design in Jerusalem 2 years ago!
I am a freelance illustrator living in Tel-Aviv with my boyfriend. I illustrate for magazines and children's books. I love working in many techniques, to take pictures and to dance. I have 2 shops on etsy, TushTush ( & Tosya (

You must be very busy with being an Illustrator and running 2 Etsy shops.  Tell me about how you got involved with Etsy and how your second shop came about.

I first heard of etsy at Bezalel when a friend Naomi (who also has a shop - The Time Is Now ( told me I should open a shop. When I opened, I saw how great the site was to emerging creators and I fell involve with the community. I eventually opened a second shop, because I have two different styles and I like each shop to live in its own world. I feel a cohesive look to a shop helps to better impart your outlook to potential clients and encourage sales, which is one advice I can share with you who want to improve sales.

I have a different process for my 2 styles, the style of my work in TushTush is realistic, while my Tosya illustrations are more stylistic and fun. My TushTush paintings are born from the moments captured in beautiful pictures - the look of a person, the way the light falls, the story frozen between two people…

My Tosya illustrations come from within, from my love of color and shape and humor. I like my illustrations to leave a sweet taste in my mouth, like candy.

There are so many paintings of yours that I many tell a story. Are some of these from your illustration projects or is this the natural illustrator in you?

My process of illustration stems from my my inner world. Certain images stir memories and feelings in me and I want to capture that in my illustrations and pass them forward. I get inspired my watching people a lot.

Artists and illustrators who influence my work are Egon Schiele, Corneliu Baba, Malcolm T. Liepke, and Euan Uglow.   My color work would not have been the same without them.  I find the boldness and originality of illustrators like Maria Kalman, Kveta Pacovska greatly inspiring. (I feel greatly honored to have a collection of Kveta's books - her work is really evoking and powerful).

I think your little tiny canvases are so cute.  Tell me about how you go about making them?  

I first came up with the idea of tiny canvas prints because I wanted to offer a finished product, something that is tactile and readymade to hang. At school the teachers put a lot of emphasis on finished products. I loved the look and feel of the small canvases grouped together - a lot of color, stories, and emotions coming together.

To make them I first select a picture that inspires me, whether it's the colors, the light, or the story. I paint the image in acrylic or oil pastels on paper or wood. I do those on a larger scale than the canvas they ultimately get printed on. I then scan them, do color correction, and have them professionally printed on cotton canvas and professionally stretched on a wood frame by a framer in my neighborhood.

Is there any advice or past experience that you can pass on that helped you with your sales?

As a shopkeeper, the most important advice I can impart is not to let the shop rest - you need to keep active all the time, to keep the shop active. It's like a magazine, people will come where there's action. I realist items in my shop several times a day and try listing as many new items as I can. I also recommend offering a variety of options for your clients - in my shop I have originals, prints, canvas, etc.- so there'll be something for everyone. I keep the prices as accessible to everyone as I can. I think offering custom orders is a great idea - etsy is a marketplace for people who want unique items, to stand out from the crowd. It also has the benefit of giving me a lot of material to work with:)

Thank you, Tali.  It has been truly a treat to get to know you better.  We can all appreciate your helpful Etsy advise and so enjoy your talent. 

I'm starting to feel like Oprah!  It has been such a rewarding experience for me getting to know all of you talented women.  Next week, join me with a lovely creative woman, Melissa of Lissa Bee Creations, who truly creates beautiful things!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sneak Peek Friday

Welcome everyone to Sneak Peek Friday!

I know, are you seeing deja vu?  I thought I'd paint a copy of this painting to enter in the 6 x 6 art sale/competition, because I'm really attached to the original.  Anyway, I must have been in the zone for the first one, because I just don't seem to get the beauty of brushstrokes with the copy. Pooh!

This painting is of a lovely friend of my daughter's.  This is a progress photo and I'm not quite happy with her face.  Anyway, we will see if I keep going or scratch the whole thing.  It's so hard when I have such a wonderful, talented artist to compare to....

I'm very excited for my next interview this Sunday.  Tali from Tush Tush and Tosya has graciously accepted an interview for my "Women Who Create Beautiful Things" series .  This beautiful young woman will share a little about herself and her Etsy success running 2 shops.

Many times I just go to her shop just to admire her talent.  She also talks about the little canvas miniatures she sells.  Although her portrait painting is one of my favorites, she just has a multitude of different avenues for her work.

Please join me on Sunday... it will be very interesting.  Also, I love our little Sneak Peek group, and if you would like to join in, come link up at Studio JRU and join in the fun!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Watch

6 x 6, oil on board, "The Watch"

Years ago, I took a photo of a painting of a lifeguard stand with these colors, and it was the first time I saw the orange underpainting peaking through.  It has always made an impression on me, and I couldn't find the picture anymore no matter how hard I looked until the other day.  So this is an impression from my own photo and the anonymous painting I admire.  It was pure fun not to have to think about color, subject and composition.  Keeping it simple.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Women Who Create Beautiful Things - Terri Smith, Dimples and Dragonflies

I've been fascinated with the "story" behind some of my favorite bloggers, and today it is my pleasure to post an interview of a very kind southern belle and artist, Terri Smith of Dimples and Dragonflies.  The interview continues on a second page.  Click on "Read The Rest of This Article".  Next week,  one of my etsy favorites, Tali of Tush, Tush

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

Today I Consider Myself Very Much A Southern Girl. But Early On, I Would Have Called Myself More A Transitional Girl Than Anything Else. I Was Born In Memphis, TN, and even though I was on Southern Soil At The Time..I Was Very Much In Transition, And Remained In That Orbital Spin Until Permanently Settling On Georgian Soil In 1992. To Clarify..Both My Daddy And Husband Were Career Naval Officers, And I Was Simply Part Of Their Respective Military Packages Until My Husband Reached Retirement in ‘92.

Why Georgia? After Years Of Relocating For My Husband’s Career, He Gifted Me With The Choice Of Our Permanent Retirement Location. My Daddy’s People Are All From Surrounding Counties Here, So When Asked Where I Would Like To Go, It Made Perfect Sense To Reconnect With Family. After Years Of Living An Unattached Gypsy Type Existence In The Military, Georgia Felt As Close As It Gets To A Real Home. Today I Feel As If My Life Actually Began And Will Possibly End For Me As Well ~ Here In This Glorious State.

Creating ~ Using Two Different Mediums:

I Initially Took Up Painting As A Form Of Therapy…Distraction You Might Say. Simply Burned Out From Countless Days Filled With Disease And Illness As An O.R. Nurse, I Sought Comfort And Relief In The Act Of Creation. Making Something Beautiful Seemed Immediately To Heal What Had Turned So Sad Within My Spirit. And Time In The Studio Sure Smelt A Lot Nicer Than Time Spent In The O.R., I Can Tell You That.  I Chose The Medium Of Oil At The Outset Because It Interested Me More Than Other Mediums At The Time. The Only Formal Training In The Use Of Oils Came Through A Few Undergraduate Courses At S.C.A.D. (Savannah College Of Art & Design) Where I Learned Traditional Application Methods And
Technical Drafting Skills. I Also Learned That A Particular Style Cannot Be Taught. It Has To Be Developed. First From The Heart And Later From Repetition In The Daily Use Of A Particular Medium.

It’s Only Been Recently That I Became Curious In Metal Work And Soldering After Seeing A Few Cross Bottle Displays In An Atlanta Boutique While Visiting A Cousin One Weekend. My Cousin And I Were Floored By The High Prices Of These Pieces And Once I Got Home I Began Researching Soldering. As Much In An Effort To Save Money By Making These Beautiful Pieces For Myself As Well As For The Shear Enjoyment Of The Process. Ironically, It Was My Cousin That Later Encouraged Me To Offer My Glass Pieces To The Public Much In The Same Way That I Had Originally Offered My Oils.

Why I Paint Young Girls And Mature Women:

I Was Blessed In 1974 With An Only Child, A Daughter. During That Time “Holly Hobbie” Was All The Rage, And I Remember It Seemed Everywhere I Shopped There Would Be Something Relative To This Delightful Female Character. Anyway..I Just Really Liked The Vintage Styling Behind The Happy Faced Holly Hobbie. I Liked The Different Hats She’d Wear. The Way She Was Positioned With Baby Buggies, Dolls, Kittens, And Every Day Settings That A Young Girl Might Find Herself In.

When I First Began Exploring Figurative Painting, I Always Felt Emotionally Drawn To Try And Replicate That Same Type Figure I Had Seen In Holly Hobbie. The Young Female In The Early Stages Of Development. The Young Female Enjoying A Happy And Carefree Existence. The Young Female Standing Proud In Her Colorful New Frock And Hat…Happily Dancing, Lunching Or Shopping With Her Girlfriends. The Ideas For Compositions Are Endless And Each Revolve Totally Around The Life Of A Female So I Know This Life Quite Well. You Should Paint What You Know..And I Know Female Intimately. (Big Southern Grin) Of Course I’ve Also Done My Share Of Landscapes, Farm Animals Like Roosters And Cows. Even Architectural Pieces Like Old Cottages Hold My Interest From Time To Time. But I’m Always Compelled Right Back To My Girls.

Do You Use Reference Photos Or Models?

Yes, I Use Photographs Religiously. I’m Forever Tearing Out Magazine Ads For Children’s Clothing And Similar Pages From Mature Women’s Fashion Magazines. I Have Two Of The Sweetest Nieces (And Cutest But Of Course I’m Bias) In The Whole State Of Georgia Who Sometimes Pose For Me. I Try And Catch Them In As Natural A Setting As Possible..Just To Get A Visual On How A Leg, Foot, Or Hand Would Be Properly Positioned Within Any Given Circumstance.

I Have To Confess..I Have Been Told I Paint A Really Good Face..Both Of Young And More Mature Women..But The Good Lord Knows I Have A “Real” Difficult Time With Hands. Those Darn HANDS Get Me Every Time. A Thorn In My Side I Can Tell You For Sure. But I Learned While Training, That Hands Are The Most Dreaded Feature For Any Artist. Knowing This Helps Sometimes..But Not Every Time.

How Wonderful To Have Your Paintings In A Gallery. How did That Happen For You?

I Pulled Out Of Nursing In 2002, And Shortly Afterwards Found Myself Enrolling In Art School. Somehow My Purpose In Learning To Paint Was Altogether Different Than Most Of The Students In My Classes. I’d Hear Their Excitement Talking About Building Their Portfolios And One Day Getting Gallery Recognition. I Felt So Detached From That Kind Of Talk. Friends..I Just Wanted To Paint. Plain And Simple. Wanted To Be Able To Put Something Beautiful Together To Lift My Spirit From The Unhappy Memories Of Surgical Procedure. And If One Day I Created Something Worthy Enough To Hand Down To My Grandchildren, Then That Would Be Enough.

Guess You Could Say I Settled Comfortably Into My Original Mindset For Ever Attending Classes To Begin With. You See..Nursing Had Hardened Me..Had Changed My Once Carefree Nature Into One Easily Able To Rationalize The World And Our Humble Human Condition In A Very Real Way. Guess What I’m Saying Is I Have A Very True Sense Of God And His Universe. How He Is Completely In Charge Of Everything That Happens Or Doesn’t Happen To Us Down Here. I Had Seen It Go In Either Direction Too Many Times In The O.R. To Think Otherwise.

So Once I Completed My Training I Decided To Paint For The Pure Satisfaction Of It. And I Did. I Painted Like Crazy And If God Wanted Anything To Come Of It..He Would Show Me. In The Meantime, I Was Simply Having More Fun Than I Could Ever Have Imagined Possible. The Smell Of Oil And Turpentine Was A Whole Lot Easier Waking Up To Than The Unwelcoming Smells Of A Surgical Suite I Can Tell You That.Anyway, As I Was Saying..I PAINTED LIKE CRAZY. Eventually Stacking All My Canvases In A

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sneak Peek Friday

Welcome to Sneak Peek Friday.

Lately, I'm trying to listen to my inner voice and act on the little opportunities presented to me.  I heard about a 6" art show right here in the O.C., from the radio program "Artists Helping Artists" last October.  So the show came and went, and I later heard on the program how successful it was.  So now coming up in April, the Randy Higbee Gallery will be having another 6" show.

This time,  I'm going to act on the opportunity to enter 3 of my 6" x 6" paintings in the show.    I could use a little help with my selection...can you leave me a comment and pick your 3 favorite paintings from below? 


Also,  I am so excited to announce my next "Women Who Create Beautiful Things" interview with our sweet Georgia peach, Terri Smith, of Dimples & Dragonflies.  Can you guess the job she retired from?  She also talks about her gallery experience....Come back and read on Sunday and see how Terri listened and acted on her inner voice, too.

If you enjoy Sneak Peek, come link up at Studio JRU and join in the fun!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

True Center

True Center - 12 x 14 Collage, SOLD
This is a commissioned piece I did for a friend to give as a birthday present for a lovely woman who has a strong relationship with the Lord.  The idea came about when she saw the wave collage I did for my daughter.   Anyway, since I won't be there at the gift giving, I thought I'd add a card to the back explaining the collage:

"The true center of Lori's spirit is shown as the tree stands strong with its deepest roots entwined with the Lord.  The external world is always in flux as shown by the musical notes symbolizing the rhythm of life.

As the tree sways in the breeze, Lori's relationship with the Lord is evident as the notes dance in the wind and touch upon all who know her." 

I hope she likes it .  I feel a little uneasy, because who knows if she would like something like this.  I know the meaning is there, but will it end up in the spare bedroom?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Women Who Create Beautiful Things - Soraya Nulliah

I'm very fortunate to have for my "Women Who Create Beautiful Things" interview series a very talented, kindred spirit and now fellow Californian, Soraya Nulliah.

Tell me a little about yourself?
I am a mixed media artist, wife, mamma, storyteller, creative soul. I gave birth the same month I turned 40 (!!) and feel that right now, raising Tara is my most important work. That being said, I still try to juggle painting, blogging, spending quality time with my hubby and everyday creativity into my life. It’s difficult (as all of us mammas know!) but possible. Of course I’m sleep deprived much of the time!

Can you share an experience when you realized painting was your passion and how has it evolved?
I started painting and drawing in my teens but without any encouragement or support (I actually experienced ridicule)…as I entered my twenties, I stopped. I then went through a whole decade of soul searching and mending my soul without once picking up a paintbrush. Of course I still visited museums, art galleries and read artist biographies but not once during this time did I ever consider myself an artist. When I turned 30 I went on a 4 month pilgrimage to India that changed the course of my life. During this journey, I came face to face with mySELF and could no longer ignore my deepest yearnings to paint. While in India, I took private lessons with a master sculptor and his mentoring was invaluable to me. When I came back from that journey, I filled up canvases, started taking classes and workshops and wholeheartedly embraced my creative spirit.
My work has evolved in many ways, My earlier painting were heavily influenced by Indian aesthetics but after the birth of my daughter, my work became more universal. Now I wanted to speak to the deepest parts of ourSELVES. Our broken-ness and our whole-ness.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sneak Peek Friday

Welcome to Sneak Peek Friday.  Could this get any sweeter?  Canaries on burlap.  Canaries on linen.  I just love how this color sits on the fabric. This little guy is sewed on to watercolor paper with yellow and pink thread. 

I'm so excited for my next "Women Who Create Beautiful Things"interview with Soraya Nulliah.  Her talent and spirit got me right in the heart. Check back Sunday.  She's a kindred soul and you'll love her interview.

I'm linking up with  Jennifer's blog, Studio JRU for this Sneak Peek.  Come join us.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

More Painting on Linen

As you may have noticed from my art, experimenting is part of the joy/frustration of my art life. For years I dedicated myself to watercolor, but once I freed myself from the thought that I had to be the best I could be at one medium, it allowed me to play and grow as an artist.

I found these little blocks with letters printed on them in the 50% after Xmas bin.  I purchased this group that said "Believe" for $7.   The backs and sides are all finished with a cream paint.  So you have seen Wasabi painted on one, and now I've mounted a linen painting to another.    I think these little gems are sweeeet. 

"Lone Tree", oil on linen, 4-1/4" x 6-3/4",
For Sale $45 + shipping

I want to thank everyone for the wonderful comments about my daughter and her talent, and those who have volunteered to participate in "Women Who Make Beautiful Things" interview series.  I think it's going to be so fun getting to know some of you talented, amazing women.  Also, if you think that your in the clear just because you haven't "sign up", ywhite dress, mixed media painting for sale
ou're mistaken.  I have a couple of you in mind, and I will hunt you down to get your story.  :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Women Who Create Beautiful Things

Inspired by the wonderful interviews I've been reading of my fellow bloggers, I would like to feature a special Sunday interview series called,  "Woman Who Make Beautiful Things".   To kick off the series, I  interviewed my daughter, budding photographer, Kristen Mulder.

When was the first time you realized that you enjoyed taking photos and were good at it.

I really took an interest in photography when I picked up the camera in eighth grade and used it for more purposes other than myspace. I played around with different angles and types of shots, mostly photographing the daisies in our backyard or small insects. I felt joy in capturing the beauty of nature and the feeling that you get when you're surrounded by it. I didn't know if I had any special talent for it, but I knew that I wanted to know more than the common sense of "snapping a shot."  I decided to take a photography class in high school, and I absolutely fell into the trance that it now brings me.

What is your favorite photo and why?

Photos are hard to pinpoint as your favorite, because each photograph gives the viewer a different feeling. To be able to choose the favorite, is only choosing the feeling that you're currently in. If I was picking my favorite photo that I have done, I would probably choose the one of my friend. I worked on this particular photo for days and days. It was a layering project of three different photographs. One shot is of the clouds, one shot of her portrait, and one shot of her silhouette in an elegant red dress. The image looks like something from a dark dream, so maybe I am feeling deep tonight, a thinker.  The phrase that comes to mind is a peaceful intensity of the inner mind.

Peppers by Edward Weston

One photographer that I like is Edward Weston.  He searches for mutilated peppers and plays with the lighting to make the peppers look like humans hugging or strange faces. It's really interesting. His shooting is very raw, he photographs a lot of naked woman, but he loves to express the geometric shapes that we create with our bodies. I attempted a photoshoot like his before, I took my two friends, Alyssa and Paige, and I pretzeled them together in various ways and dropped a brown sheet behind them. The shoot was so much fun, and the girls were laughing all the way through. It was a really neat experience.

What do you want to be and will photography be a part of your life?

Although I have a great love for photography, there is nothing that compares to the love and feeling that I get with kids. I would love nothing more than to work with kids. At the moment, I am on my way to becoming a teacher. 

 I really hope that I can incorporate photography in my life, especially with the time that I would get off during the summers!

Can you give someone starting out advice?

Award-winning Winter photo, Shot after the So.Cal. Fires

Before you get technical with your camera, Photoshop, and rules; explore! Explore everything, get to know your camera's abilities as well as your own. Get a shot that takes physical strength or take a million shots of something completely ugly until you turn it into something magnificent. When you surround yourself with everything technical about the camera, you fail to realize the passion and the energy, that comes from the photograph.

Don't ever forget that it's the one behind the lens who makes the photograph, not the lens itself.


Three words to describe me.
(My friend, Nicole, gave them to me.)

Kristen is presently enrolled as a first year college student at UC Santa Barbara.  Although she does not have a blog or website, Kristen is sought after especially during the holiday season for friend's portraits and family photos.  

Please feel free to contact me to be my  next Sunday interview.  If an 18 yr. college student can do this, so can you!  I would love to here from one of you talented women out there!