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Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Little Local Press!


I have been featured in the local Corvallis Newspaper! Check out their online feature here: GAZETTETIMES.COM

A special thanks to the Arts Center of Corvallis, too, for sending me information about the local artist spotlight series! (Thanks Heather!)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Skins for your Gadgets!


What fun! I just received my first sample of a ipod nano (4th gen.) skin using my "Growing in the Valley No 3" painting. I can now protect my new ipod in style!

Review: The fit is perfect, although I should've wrapped the skin around the side a little differently (so that the skin edge wasn't right on the side - it should have been rotated slightly to be on the back), but it's not a big problem, just an aesthetics observation. It does cover my ipod completely other than the surfaces required for use/viewing. Even though my manufacturer stated it's not meant to be removed and replaced, I can lift up a corner and replace it without a problem. I wouldn't life off the whole skin or repeatedly lift off a corner, however, as this will affect it's look and longevity. The quality seems good. The skin seems thick enough to do a good job protecting my gadget from any scratches or minor dents. The printed image is true to the original color and maintains it's vibrancy. The skin has a slight texture which is nice for handling (not too slick so that it won't fly out of your hands). The manufacturer stated that it should protect your gadget for 9 months or so, but is not meant for permanent protection. Just peel it off when you're done with it and you'll have your original gadget surface again!

For SALE: I am placing a re-order with my manufacturer next week which should arrive in about 3 weeks. PLACE YOUR ORDER on my blog (see right) to receive your own floral ipod mini skin! FREE SHIPPING will be included thru the end of February!

Interested in a skin for a different gadget? Just let me know! Skins are available for iphones, laptops, cell phones and more! To VOTE for your favorite gadget see the top right of my blog!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Playtime!

I try to keep this time of year (Jan-Feb) as "playtime" for my art. (I also use this as my commission work time.) I don't do shows, I don't market myself much, and I just try to keep it kinda slow so that I can have the opportunity to contemplate new directions, try new techniques, and play with new materials. Sometimes I start to panic that I'm not out there pounding the pavement, marking contacts, completing paintings, selling my art, but then I remember - that's what I do the other 10 months!

These past couple weeks I've focused on being creative with my images after I import them to the computer. I started with ways to "vintage" my paintings and then to produce symmetry in my work (see posts below) and now I'm trying a little bit of both. It's been fun for me, as it is reminiscent of my college fabric making days. I think I'd like a pillow out of something like this someday...


I'm still developing the idea, and I'm not quite happy with the overall larger picture patten or the shade of green, but I DO like the sketchy quality of the grey images and the feeling of silkscreening that I get from it. The pattern actually resulted from a series of little ACEO drawings - here's one:


Here again, I tried to break free from a more mundane image of leaves in purple and green and added some fun martini olive and coffee play on top of the drawing.

Off to play some more... I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Art of Symmetry


Taking a page from my son's art class project - I decided to use one of my latest drawing images to create a symmetric repeating pattern. It's funny how even as I tried to imagine how the image would repeat as I was drawing it, I was still very surprised with the results. Of course, my son had to create his the hard way (flipping his pen & ink image on a light table and re-drawing the repeating image.) I think he was a little dismayed to see how easily this is done on the computer! The fun thing about repeating artwork is how fun and easy it is to add to a variety of products - like this mug! I hope you enjoy!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Traveling Progression of a Painting


My original painting, shown here (on left) during a "featured artist" 2008 showing at the Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon, WA is titled "The Onion Field". I always felt a little bad about this painting, as I rushed it for the show and just tried to give it the flavor of my other pieces in that show from my "Growing in the Valley" series of paintings.

Over time I felt like the colors and composition in this painting were not portraying the garden like I wanted. I tried turning the painting different ways to see if a new view would change my heart, but I finally decided to give it a little re-work - and, as usual, it turned into a major re-work. As a part of my end of the year "painting a day" promo, I decided to see what I could do. Here's the results.



Even though I especially liked the interior workings of the floral shapes, I once again felt I rushed it, and decided to give it another go. I now love the layers that were created in this piece with the texture and some color from the previous attempts at this painting showing thru. With finally deciding on red as the main color of the piece, I thought it fitting to submit it in a Valentine themed show.

Here's the final piece with it's red valentine flair - off to hang at the H'arts Charity Auction for the Snohomish Arts Council February 28, 2009.



I will be at the auction in person to see how this final version is accepted. I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Inauguration Day!


(My daughter shows her patriotism)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I think she SLEPT in them!


They were out of the box for about 2 seconds before they were shoved onto my daughter's feet, and I don't think she has taken them off since! I wanted to check out the quality of the KEDS custom shoes that I designed on the online store ZAZZLE.com so I decided to buy a pair for my daughter (since she's big into flowers and pink - I don't think my son would have been quite as amused!) They take a bit long to produce (I ordered them on December 30 and they arrived January 16) than their other items, but still shipped in a pretty reasonable amount of time, considering the amount of custom work involved. The quality seemed standard KED - a decent but not extravagant canvas shoe. They fit perfect (I did order a half size larger than she wears though, which I would recommend for kids). The price was a little spendier than a regular KED (about $50 with shipping) - but then it's a very unique design! AND, best of all, my daughter LOVES them! (It may just be the pink, though.) With these results, I think I'll try designing a few more!

Check out all my KED shoe designs (so far) here: ZAZZLE SHOES

Friday, January 16, 2009

Staying Creative in Winter


My mother is this amazing seamstress (among many other things). She taught me how to knit, crochet, and sew when I was in grade school. In 3rd grade I was selling little crocheted ice skates for clipping to a jacket zipper to my classmates for a quarter a piece (I guess we DO choose our life path at 8!) However, I never seemed to develop my mother's patience for these artistic mediums (and hence, have had many, many unfinished projects over the years), but I DID develop her love of fiber. This time of year I especially find myself longing to hold some yarn or play with some notions. Instead of having yet another unfinished project in my closet I decided to turn my yearning for playing with my box of felted wools, yarn, threads and beads into an art project. (After, that is, I made myself a little ipod nano holder - about the right sized project for me!) And now I'm so glad I did! Here are my little valentine birds that resulted from my need for creative winter coziness. I hope you enjoy! Oh - and I'm eyeing that spinning class being offered up at the college (maybe next year). Now back to PAINTING!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Save the Date!


I LOVE weddings! I loved my own wedding (15 years ago), and making things for it - the handmade paper and linocut printed invitations, the artwork for the program, my veil, the centerpieces, the wedding gifts - and so much more! I have always wanted to somehow be involved with making things for weddings, and finally found the right venue for me thanks to a lovely local couple who requested save-the-date postcards from me after seeing me at an art show - thank you!

Save-the-Date wedding postcards are here! Look for more designs coming soon...

MY ETSY STORE!

And look for more products for your wedding needs to come soon too!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Milestones...


I am a little wiser and a lot happier. Today I turn 40! Lucky for me I chose to have my "mid-life crises" a few years early and now get to smoothly transition to 40. I can only hope each decade after brings more wisdom and just as much joy!

At 40 I'm very fortunate to be living my dream life - working as a full-time artist, which allows me to fit my work around the lives of my children, who are my greatest joys at 9 (going on 13) and 6. I must say, though, it was the most frustrating time in my life that forced me to take this leap and pursue what was in my heart and re-invent myself along the way.

At 35 I had been working on my 10th year as an "information systems manager", working 50+ hours for about 30- hours of pay while trying to raise my 2 small children. It was frustrating and thankless work. To top it off, I lived in a cubicle in the basement (and at 1 point the warehouse) unless I was traveling somewhere that I didn't care to be. I missed seeing the sun. Really missed it. Oddly enough, it was my employer that I ultimately get to thank for making life difficult enough that I finally had to quit. I never expected such an outcome. I figured I was a "lifer" stuck in this job until retirement. In the few months before I left, however, I re-kindled my love of art and painting. I then took a transitional job as a computer consultant (although I didn't realize that was what it was at the time) for a very nice company where I was allowed to work semi-part time (30 hours that were actually 30 hours) while still getting paid enough to let my husband quit his job and stay home with kids - yea! It also allowed me the time I needed to consider how to bring art into a greater focus in my life.

With the very generous support of my spouse (and some scary financial decisions), I finally made the complete transition to full-time artist in 2006 which then allowed us to move to the destination of our choosing - Corvallis, Oregon. We LOVE it! Though we're not settled all the way and still have many boxes in storage, we are thoroughly enjoying this community - the downtown, the bike trails, the schools, the scenery, the weather, the people, and so much more. I wish today, though, that I had my box with my journals from years past, as I would most likely share something from that crazy mom-in-crises time like this:

"What a day! Today was my Friday off from work - yea! I thought I would treat the kids to a donut at our favorite little donut shop before heading out to day-care, but as we drove by the bus stop and saw all the kindergartners in my son's class I realized that it was NOT our Friday off day from school - yikes! So, I turned around and went back to the house and got my son all ready for school and rushed him there just before it started. I went back home, fed my daughter some breakfast and realized - oh no - I never fed breakfast to my son! I fixed up a pb&j and threw my daughter back in the car and ran up to school. After trying to explain to the office that I'm a terrible mother and I forgot to feed my son breakfast, and if I could just get him out of class for a second I would feed him, I walked down to his class (daughter following) and pulled him out of class and sat in the hallway with him while he ate a sandwich. Whew. I feel much better now.. not so sure he does. I then headed back to the house happy that my son wouldn't starve. What do I find? The dog has escaped - again. As I walk around the neighborhood calling for the dog work calls. Emergency. Please call back. I call. Talk on the phone forever. Get stressed. Not so sure it's an emergency. Wish they hadn't called. By now I see the dog running by the house - 'GET IN HERE'. Dog gets in the house. Well, lunch time. I get us fed, changed, ready for nap. Nope no nap today. Time to pick up my son from the bus stop. I don't see him. Where is he??? My neighbor taps on my shoulder as I begin full panic mode (he's right here). Head back to the house. Snack time. Time to clean. Time to get dinner ready. Husband gets home and we have a nice dinner. Yea."

The thing about being in a job you don't like and working when you would rather be with your children is that it affects every aspect of your life. My adrenaline was fired up all the time from the stress of work and the stress of too little time with the kids. I couldn't think straight, and every little problem became a huge problem. I couldn't just enjoy each moment or day as it's own entity. I can do that now, and it's a beautiful thing. I am very grateful to be able to live my life as an artist today.

I have been many things in my life, but I firmly believe I am finally on the path I was meant to follow. We are perceived in a variety of ways by others, and only we can know our true selves. I started when I was young as an artist, became known as a science/math student in school, then back to being an artist in college (and thankfully graduating with a BFA), then briefly art teacher, office worker, computer consultant, and then back to my roots - an artist.

As a new 40 year old person, if I have any wisdom to share at all, it's to follow your heart and get the "crises" over in your 30s - It makes 40 so much more rewarding!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Buying in Bulk?


"Five Lemons" - recently added to Fine Art America!"

Are you an interior designer? Have you received your latest copy of ART.COM? Look for their "business buyers" exclusive discounts in their SPRING 2009 issue - and add some of my artwork to your interior design plans!

You can also find my artwork at Fine Art America - another great resource for frequent art buyers!

Fine Art Posters and Prints

Monday, January 5, 2009

Now Offering 8 x 10 Giclee Prints on ETSY!

I am adding 8 x 10 Giclee prints to my ETSY STORE!

(to purchase the item shown, go HERE!)

What is a Giclee Print, and how does it differ from my usual print process?

Giclee is a French word meaning "fine spray". The term is used generically in art reproduction as a very high quality ink jet print. The ink is archival and highly pigmented. For more information on the history of the Giclee print, check out Wikepedia's explanation HERE.

My Giclee prints are produced in the U.S.A. I use a print shop in New York, as well as one in Seattle, WA. They both produce beautiful reproductions on a Somerset Velvet fine art paper.

I am now offering Giclee prints in an 8 x 10 size! Previously I only printed laser prints of this size and smaller. My laser prints are still a great economical way to purchase and collect my art, however. I print them on a graphics quality color laser printer (Xerox Phaser) and have complete color control as they are printed at my studio. They are long lasting, vibrant, and colorfast due to the heat set process of laser printers.

Do you offer Limited Edition prints?

As most of my collectors know, the majority of my reproductions are "Open Edition" (meaning, they are not numbered). They ARE all signed and dated. Due to my propensity to paint often, I always have new images to offer, and rarely offer my older images for more than a couple years. Hence, my "open editions" are still rather limited in numbers. I find I would rather spend my time creating anew than keeping track of numbers.

I hope you have a chance to stop by my ETSY STORE and watch for more 8 x 10 Giclee reproductions to be added over the next few weeks, or even better - look for my ORIGINAL art on Etsy too!

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