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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Gas Prices are Going Up once again...


That's the bad news. The good news? I'm finally riding my bike again. Nothing like high gas prices to get your bum in gear and onto that bike. After being in the garage since last summer, though, my poor bike needed a little clean-up and pump-up. It's good to go now, though, and I took it for a spin to the post office yesterday to take packages to mail to one of my wonderful ETSY customers. I've always been one to try to combine trips to town and get all my errands for the week done at once (or during the kids Karate or Ballet lessons), so when I have a single trip to make to the post office, I never felt good about firing up the car to go (even though at least it is a Prius - LOVE my Prius!) I did run to the post office the other day, and though it was good for my health, it takes a little too much time out of my day for that. The bike is perfect! I can get there and back in less than 1/2 hour, feel good I got a little exercise, and feel great I didn't spend any money on gas! Now go get YOUR bike out! It's fun.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I thought I was losing my mind!


I'm getting paintings ready to hang at a show this Friday and I find I'm having to work REALLY hard to get the paintings to fit it the mat. I started to get mad at myself for cutting my paper too small and not making a true 16 x 20 size when I think... maybe it's not me! So I get out my ruler and discover that the mat is cut 15 3/4 x 20!! (instead of 15 3/4 x 19 3/4). So, once again I think what an idiot am I for ordering the wrong size! I go back and check my packing slip. What?? It wasn't me? I call up the company that filled my order, explaining the problem, and after sending them some photos of the error they said they would ship out replacements today! They probably won't arrive on time, but at least it's good to know there are good companies out there who can admit a mistake and then work to fix it. So... off to figure out what the heck I'm going to do to get my show ready!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

It's a JUNGLE

I snagged a TREASURY on ETSY.com and had a little Jungle FUN! I hope you enjoy these great items. To see the individual items go HERE.

The Birds are Migrating...


...onto my larger paintings now! Here's my latest in progress bird drawing/painting. It started out as the same robin image, but it looked so nice and wintry as a generic bluebird/greybird or something of the sort that I decided not to add the red for the robin. I also added some intricate little leafy images with the india ink as a hint of something meditational. Look for this piece, along with the rest of the "as yet to be made" series at the Skagit Valley Coop in Mount Vernon, WA during the month of March. I hope you enjoy!

Friday, February 22, 2008

More inspiration!

In the Orange Blossoms by hadley huttonIn the Orange Blossoms

Here's another lovely inspiration using a similar technique to the Letterpress described by Three Red Hens. This artist, Hadley Hutton, is also from my new big city home of Portland, OR. Seattle has always been my big city home, so I'm looking forward to this major (if not far) change in my life as we prepare to move South to Corvallis. As I get ready, I'm also having fun finding artists and inspiration near Portland. What a lovely city!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Fun with Eggs

I'm willing to paint on nearly anything. I enjoy painting furniture, boxes, plates, and now - wooden eggs! My first two eggs I used two different styles and found both to be very fun. The first (the little bluebird) is layered with mostly acrylic paint over a colored pencil and india ink drawing. The second (the robin) was a new method for me inspired by the great little design lesson by THREE RED HENS. She has a lovely blog too - check it out! In my variation, I penciled my bird design, then drew the black lines of the bird and branches with a black india ink pen, and finished it off with color using my Acrylics. I liked it so much that I'm planning on making some larger paintings on paper using this technique for my upcoming show at the Skagit Valley Coop in March! Both eggs can be found for sale HERE. I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Coffee Anyone?


I admit it. I'm a coffee addict. I've been adding decaf to the mix in my morning routine, but there is still nothing I enjoy more (well, ok, I do enjoy other things more, but...) than a quiet house in the morning with a cup of strong coffee with half & half and my morning Seattle Times. I love sipping on that java and reading the paper cover to cover (except sports, that is, although I'll still open it up if I see something interesting about the Mariners, Huskies, or young student-athletes, but it has to be pretty interesting!)

I also enjoy coffee in the afternoon, evening, and especially with friends! I love the coffee shop concept. I love the little comfy couches and tasty treats. I have also found many others who love this relationship of coffee and friendship who are drawn to my coffee paintings. One such wonderful person is my husband's cousin. I have loved her since I met her. Friendly, kind, and always a great person for sharing stories of kids, work, family, dreams, and anything else that may come up! She has also been a great support (and customer) as I've ventured into art as a full-time profession. So, here's to her... my inspiration!

Now drink up!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Another Cabinet Door Turned Art!


Just finished my latest cabinet door painting - for sale HERE! I especially enjoyed this one for the subject matter and simplicity. By using the peeled off paint from my palette I was able to bring in some vibrant colors and fun texture to the grass and birds. I still have a bowl full of more paint swatches to cut up and use on my next one too! Off to prime another cabinet door...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Dear President Lincoln and President Washington - Happy Birthday! We miss you dearly. Your honor, integrity, honesty, leadership, and belief in the United States of America. We welcome your guidance (all mediums, please do your best here) as we prepare to pick a new president in this country. Please do not give up on us, as you did not give up on your generations. Many of us still have hope, heart, and commitment to make this country great.

Yes, I attended my caucus, and yes, I am inspired. We can do better. We must do better. Get out there and VOTE.

Now, back to art. Oh yea, I didn't work on anything this weekend. I hope you all took it off too, and remembered the great Presidents of our past.

Happy President's Day!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Heart Day!


Enjoy the day - love and be loved.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

UPcycled!



As a gestural painter, I usually paint fast and finish my paintings fairly quickly (a day or two). So, when I started painting on old wood cabinet doors that I found at our local "re-store" (a recycled building products store) I couldn't understand why the paintings didn't feel complete. Until I realized... I need to keep painting! These pieces seem to be ALL about the TEXTURE. I'm not sure what it is about that wood cabinet border that sets this type of painting off so differently for me, but I just don't feel done until I've layered enough paint or other material to make the frame become a part of the painting. I just "completed" my second piece (with several others in the works) and love it. The process for these paintings takes days and weeks as I paint, layer with texture, paint, maybe more texture, paint again. It can be aggravating for a fast painter like me, but I'm excited about continuing down this path and having a chance to UPcycle (taking throw-away items and making them into something more permanent, at least I HOPE that's what my art is!)

Here's my first piece using another kind of recycled material too - dried paint peeled from my palette! After I peel off the sheets of paint, I then cut them up into shapes (in this case, squares). I adhered them to the cabinet with paint and gel.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Pledge

StopGlobalWarming.org
I'm joining Stop Global Warming in their virtual march from now until Earth Day, April 22. Join me in voicing our concern about plastic products by NOT buying any plastic bottled drinks. As noted on their website: "Every year, Americans throw away over 22 billion plastic bottles, the majority ending up in landfills. Across the country, only 10 percent of plastic water bottles are recycled, says a report from the New York state Department of Conservation. Bottle production requires millions of barrels of oil, and the bottles create toxic air pollution as they are incinerated with regular trash. As the Brooklyn Green Team puts it, it's time for us all to kick the disposable lifestyle." I hope you choose to join the march!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Inventory Time



Yes, it's that time. Soon I'll be back to my traveling roadshow of a tent filled of artwork every other weekend, and I also have four gallery shows lined up along the way. So... it's time to take a little inventory and decide what I'll need when and place my orders for frames, mats, backing boards, and more! Ahhhh, to think the carefree painting days of winter are almost over. Soon I'll be matting and framing, printing out bios, packaging in sleeves, and filling my house with more inventory. Hope to see you out there on the road!

For a list of all my upcoming events, please see my website HERE!

Friday, February 8, 2008

The time to act in NOW


Global Warming is a serious issue affecting not individual countries, but our whole planet. I've used one of my latest paintings "Where do we go from here?" in this Youtube video to add another voice to the call for action. WE CAN all find ways to be a part of the solution. My latest find of easy things even kids can do is from National Geographic Kids March 2008 issue which provides a list of 6 actions we can take to make a difference - "Anything you do to preserve the planet helps all living things, including... the sloths that live in the rain forests of Central and South America."


1 - Know the Source before you buy wood products: Avoid buying products made from tropical rain forest trees such as mahogany and teak unless they are labeled as certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

2 - Replace one regular lightbulb: If everyone put an energy efficient compact fluorescent bulb in at least one lamp, it would be like taking 800,000 cars off the road for a year.

3 - Don't kill that spider: There are an estimated 40,000 species of spiders, and they all eat insects. They're an important part of the food web and provide natural pest control as they eat pesky bugs.

4 - Recycle paper: If all the newspapers in the United States were recycled, it could help save as many as 200,000 trees every WEEK.

5 - Ride your bike or walk.

6 - Try the family challenge: save energy. Think about what you need before opening the fridge. Also make sure the dial inside is set at the proper temperature.



For more things you can do check out these:
Stop Global Warming
The Nature Conservancy
50 Tips

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

It may be snowing but...


I'm thinking of SPRING! I finished this sweet little painting of tree blossoms as I am preparing for Spring to come to Northwest Washington. I can see my tulips are starting to poke up through the ground, and look forward to those little flowering cherry blossoms on my trees to come next. This painting went with me on my roadtrip to Oregon and will hopefully get juried into a gallery in McMinnville next week. If you are planning a trip to that area, check out the Currents Gallery and see if you find my little Spring painting hanging there!

Friday, February 1, 2008

From Ruin to Riches...



Well, once again I am trying to ruin a perfectly good painting. Problem is, I will often think the "good" painting is great... until it sits around my studio for a while and it starts bugging me and then... well it's just plain ole good. So I'm on the path of ruin to try to make a great painting. It's still in progress, but I'm positive it will turn around. How can I be so sure? Because this is what I do. I paint, and paint, and paint, until I see what I want. Until I believe it is great. Inspiring. Lovely. Or just gives me that little warm fuzzy inside. I had to remove this painting from my Etsy gallery while I re-work it a bit, and if I can finish it before Sunday, I may take it down to McMinnville, OR to be "hopefullly" juried into the Currents gallery. Here's hopin'!

BEFORE image

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