Thursday, December 4, 2008

November Remember

We've had a gloriously bright and cool November here in South Florida, the coolest November in about 40 years.  After months and months of heat and humidity, we welcome the blast of cool air that comes down from the north.  And so we've been spending lots of time outside lately.

November is traditionally a time for reflection, assessment, and gratitude; and I shifted my focus to scrapbooking.  You could live your whole life without cataloguing and categorising your memories into a library of scrapbooks that chronicle you and your family's life, but there is much to be gained from looking back, remembering where you were and where you are now. Times have been though lately and yet there is so much to be thankful for.  When I look back through my books and photos I am reminded of so many good moments that I would not otherwise easily remember without the visual clues of the photos I took. This month I finished a mini book about the Halloween costumes my kids have worn for the last 11 years, and I'm almost finished a book about my oldest son's first trip to Disney World (back in 1997)
I had a crappy camera, no photography skills, so the photos are pretty bad, but to me the memories are priceless.

Another cool project I started was Family Gratitude Spinner, a class over at Big Picture Scrapbooking. It's an interesting twist on the scrapbook format. The class calls for the 4x6 photo carousel from 7 gypsies, but since I had the smaller ATC spinner, I adapted the project to the smaller size. The neat thing about this project is that you can add or subtract photos anytime. Still a work in progress, lots of photos still to add..

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President Obama

Wow! Just Wow! I'm so Happy!
Beyond the historic importance of the election of the first African American president, I feel more hopeful today, more than I have in a long time, because of the message of unity coming from Obama.  He has a tough job ahead of him, he is not perfect, he will make mistakes, but I feel that he is capable, smart, determined, disiplined, open minded, and most importantly he has something our last two presidents didn't have. A sense of humility. When he spoke, he included everyone in his victory, and he reached out to people who still aren't convinced, he said, "I need your help, I hear your voices, I will be your President too."  A contrast from the "my way or the high way, go it alone" stance of the Bush Administration.
And I'm happy, because quite frankly I am tired of the divisive forces and negativity that has characterized the last few election cycles and the last administration.  I'm tired of the way the Republican party derides higher education, they way they talk about "elitists" and the "liberal media" as being unamerican. The way they talk about "small town values" as if they are not only acceptable, but preferable to higher education.  As if we can still be a super power while applauding mediocrity and ignorance. The Republican party has lost it's way in recent years. I just hope that they will realize that the American people are tired of this crap. I'd like to think that the results of this election show that we are capable of growing up and seeing beyond color and race, beyond cultural differences and realize that we all have much in common.  That we all want security, prosperity and peace.  And above all that we are a country that rewards merit. The culture wars that both parties have indulged in are petty and divisive and I'm pretty sure that's not what the founding fathers had in mind when they visualized the UNITED States of America.  
NBC declared this morning that "Change has come to America"
It's good, it's time, and it will be fascinating to see. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

4 season girls

6x12 wood panel
based on techniques learned in 
Les Petites Dolls with Suzi Blu

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I don't know why I but I'm always working on several projects/paintings at the same time.  I currently have at least 6 different paintings in various stages of completion and this week I worked on yet another piece. The Muse...

It's for my friend Barbara, it's her birthday next week and she's been having a bad week, not to mention feeling uncreative lately, muse-less one would say.  So here she is, a Muse to hopefully tempt her to come out and play, Happy Birthday Barbara! 

I recently had a little discussion with a fellow Workshop student about multiple projects going on at the same time and basically, it boils down to this: 

1. I like to have several pieces to work on because I don't always have large blocks of time to work (I still have lots of mommy duties) so I like to do things in batches, sketch out several boards, burn the outlines, color wash the first layers etc. Working in batches is great for stuff like wood burning or waxing  because once I pull out all the tools involved I might as well do more than one, before putting it all away again.
2. I sometimes get anxious about the later stages or the finishing, it's sometimes easier to start an new project than to work out all the challenges of finishing an old, half done project, so I just start a new one. 
3. I also like to start new projects  because I fear running out of ideas (I don't know what to paint) or I think my current ideas are not good enough (this panting is so lame!) so I keep trying with a new project.

But in the end, the fact that I actually do finish some of stuff I start, makes me feel like I'm not giving in to these fears but challenging myself to work through them. When I have an excessive number of unfinished projects, I challenge/force myself to finish at least one of them. It also helps to have a specific goal and deadline in mind, like the painting I made for my friend. Sometimes I make a list of the unfinished projects and get satisfaction in crossing them off the list when I'm done. There is much to be said for the feeling of accomplishment of getting something done that doesn't get undone (like laundry or washing dishes...)

So here's to finding your Muse and being brave enough to let her into your studio.  

Thursday, October 2, 2008

me and the boys and kitty too!

I just wanted to post a few pictures of the board I've been working on this week.
It was inspired by a painting Suzi showed in the class review video. It was a commision she did for a woman and her daughter.  It made me think of of doing a portrait of me and the boys. Of course this is a challenge because we were mainly making pretty pretty girls, and making handsome young boys is hard without making them look too girly.  So I made a few sketches and decided that the boys, look less girly if you shade only the upper lip, keep the lower lip more neutral and for older boys, making the jaw line more square seems to work well.
It is 12x24 birch plywood. A picture of me, my two boys, and of course Beauty, our kitty.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

dreams of home

here's another one i'm working on. it needs lots more layers but i'm loving the idea of putting words in the hair, it adds another texture and point of interest in the overall picture. can't wait to put beeswax on these paintings to finish them up, perhaps next week, in between my chauffeur duties ha ha ha...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

layer love

more layers on some wood pieces I have been working on but due to mommy duties I have been working on my paintings in bits and pieces, adding layers here and there when ever I have a minute. that's what I love about this layering technique, I can add a layer, walk away come back add another layer etc. love love love the layers! here's the result... so far.  I still have to add the beeswax layer.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Finally ...some painting!

Ok enough of politics! It's all just making me crazy!!!
I finally go around to doing a little painting!
here it is the result of layers of paint, stamping, and stencil.
I'll probably add more layers later but for now here's what I got

I still have a few more boards with drawing, wood burning, etc, in various stages of completion.  I always like to work on several projects at once that way if I get bored with one I can move on to the another.  Also works well when you need to leave one alone to dry.

Oh and  still feel horrified at the prospect of Sarah Palin as VP and appaently I am not the only one! Just check out this response

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wood burning Love

I found these great little birchwood plaques at walmart today. they are small yes but only 98 cents so they are perfect for practicing the wood burning technique.  I have never done it befor and wasn't sure if I would like.  I borrowed a wood burning tool from Barbara and tried it out on these little plaques. I have to say that it was actually fun to burn with the tool.  I love the effect! I had so much fun I did both plaques.  I don't think I woud ever have thought to do this on my own so thanks SuziBlu!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pretty pretty girls everywhere!

I recently signed up for an online workshop with SuziBlu and so far it's been so fun. The video lessons are great! It's always fun to see how other artists work and Suzi is such a generous teacher.  I still haven't tried the wood burning part yet but it won't be long now.

I've been doing a lot of sketching and shading and a little painting.
my pretty girls look kinda like suzi's but it's the shading and the technique that I am focusing on. I really think you have to do lots and lots of drawing and repeating until what you do develops and evolves into your own expression. so untill i get there i'm just trying to do some art every day, enjoying the process for now.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

tissue collage

here's my latest work in progress
a little experimentation with tissue paper collage
lot os layers of panted tissue paper and printed tissue
10x10 stretched canvas


Monday, August 11, 2008

Beauty Love

last month we adopted a little kitty from the humane society.  we named her Beauty and she got really sick with an upper respiratory infection. she needed antibiotics and iv fluids. i even had to hand feed her with a syringe for a couple of days. we were so relieved when she finally got better.

this little altered board book is the story of bringing our little Beauty home.


Thursday, July 31, 2008

a little fun

a little fun in the form of an art journal (because little girls love to color! right SuziBlu?)
I even made my first video ever (with the help of my little helper) showing the process for the journal pages but i'm still trying to figure out how to upload it...stay tuned

Ok here it is I think....

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fresh Strawberries... my cereal this morning, breakfast at 11 am because i was too busy painting all morning
when I start i just can't stop.  soon there will be lots of interruptions in my day, but not today, today i can paint... my progress so far
 This is the one i did last two weeks ago

Monday, July 28, 2008


it's an early day 
it's a sunny day 
it's a rainy day 
it's a clear day 
it's a cloudy day
it's a stormy
it's a new day ripe with possibility
the possibility of learning 
the possibility of growing 
the possibility of hurting and crying
the possibility of reflection and determination
the possibility of happiness and joy
of living and breathing and being in that perfect moment in which you wouldn't want to be anyone or anywhere else.