Wednesday, December 31, 2008

In one word.....Balance

Beautiful lake effect snow this morning..... :)

I've chosen my word for 2009...

I've always tended toward being a feast or famine sort of girl. And I admit it... I do sort of like the thrill and gluttony of the "feast."
  • the rush of adrenaline that comes with closing deadlines that I'm not ready for.
  • the wonderful excuse procrastination gives me. (to let the house not have healthy food in the fridge...etc.)
  • the pinpoint concentration on the eminent task that's due.
  • forsaking all other aspects of life. (I do find time to go to the bathroom, and occasionally brush my teeth)
Somehow, I convinced myself that this is the way that I work best. That I'm my most creative self when backed up against a wall.

But with age....occasionally comes wisdom.

Over the last couple of years, I've made progress with changing this self defeating method of operation. I'm finding that I'm still happily creative when I'm not so frazzled and rushed...
But, I'm far from mastery...

So, "Balance" with a capital "B"... will be my theme for 2009.

Have you decided to chose a one word theme for the New Year?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Too much TV....

"He Had That Glazed Look..." Acrylic ~ 7 x 5 inches
(detail below)

This is one of the many warm-up paintings I was doing in October and November... Makes me laugh. :)

Quote of the day:
"You can't just wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."
~Jack London

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pick just one word for 2009.....

"Starlight Starbright" 3.5 x 5.5 acrylic on paper

Christine Kane (i love her music and her spirit) suggests an alternative to making a bunch of New Year's resolutions. She suggests that we choose just one word as our theme for the new year. I love the simplicity of this idea. I'm pondering my list... the hard thing will be to choose just one. Here are some of my ideas:

Self-care (I call "hyphen makes it one word")

Let me know if you decide on a one word theme to 2009...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays....

"ho ho ho" watercolor ~ 8 x 8

This is an older painting...but I laugh every time I come across it....
Our house is full...will be a bit more full this evening as my mom and her hubby arrive this afternoon.
Have a wonderful and peaceful Christmas, filled with fun, laughter, and love....and if you have a full house like we do.... a bit of tolerance goes a long way too. :)

Quote of the day:
Life isn't a matter of milestones, but moments.
~Rose Kennedy

Friday, December 19, 2008

Doing It.

"Starry Sky" watercolor and casein ~ 8 x 8 (sold)

Today, I stumbled upon this wonderful paragraph, so I'm sharing.

"We can’t get good at something solely by reading about it. And we’ll never make giant leaps in any endeavor by treating it like a snack food that we munch on whenever we’re getting bored. You get good at something by doing it repeatedly. And by listening to specific criticism from people who are already good at what you do. And by a dedication to getting better, even when it’s inconvenient and may not involve a handy bulleted list." Merlin Mann

Any strides I've made recently have come from lots of studio time... For me, there's just no other way than lots of brush mileage.

We got so much snow today it's unreal.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Getting in the Christmas Spirit!

I am the guardian of my boy's collection of snow globes. My mom has gotten them one each Christmas since they were born...Now the boys are 24 and 21 years old... So I'm holding on to quite a few! :) I do displays of them above the fireplace, and they are my favorite decoration. The ones from the "early years" are plastic, and there isn't much water left in them! Soon they'll be rattles. LOL

Quote of the day:
"Teamwork is a lot of people doing what I say."
(I can dream can't I?)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Watercolor Class Samples

"Winter Trees" 8 x 10 ~ watercolor

This is the sample for one of the beginning watercolor classes I'm teaching at JoAnn's (in Auburn Hills) in January.
I'll be teaching negative painting in this particular class (the 3rd week of January)... Come and join me!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Painting Accepted into Arizona Edges Show!

"Break Through" 11 x 8 ~ Acrylic on Paper

I was thrilled to find out that "Break Through" was accepted into the Arizona Edges juried competition. I entered on a whim, after I read about it in Robert Burridge's Artsy Fartsy Newsletter. :) This is the first out of state show I've I am doing a great big happy dance!

Friday, December 12, 2008

I'll be offering classes starting in January

"The Sky is Falling!" watercolor ~ 30 x 22 (sold)

Can you guess why I was inspired to post this painting...I refuse to watch the local news (being here in the Detroit area and all)

I'll be teaching in 2009!
I'm excited to announce that I'll be teaching in 2 different venues next year...the Auburn Hills Joann's and through the Orion Art Center.
The Joann's classes will be project based (students all paint the same thing) and I'm starting with watercolor. (samples will up in the store within the week.) I'll be there doing a demo this Saturday from 1 to 3 pm. If you are in the plaza doing your shopping...stop in and say hi! :)

Orion Art Center is negotiating with the new owner of a vacated school...I guess there is some fabulous class room space available. We expect the classes to begin in February. (After their big annual fundraiser, the Snowflake Ball) I'll be teaching Acrylic! I'm so excited about it!
I'll also be teaching one day workshops with a variety of subjects and themes... It should be a heck of a lot of fun!

Thanks for stopping by....and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Winter Windows

"Winter Windows" 21 x 13 ~ mixed media

I started this one last winter... just pulled it out today and added a bit of dark... Trying to stop too early rather than too late! :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Thank You Notes.....

Example of a card front, using Send Out Cards.

In last Thursday's Painters Keys newsletter by Canadian artist Robert Genn, he talks about thank-you notes, and how he has never done them. The Painter's Keys newsletter is published every Tuesday and Thursday, and arrives by email. You can choose to write back with some thoughts on the topic, along with some examples of your paintings, and if you are lucky, you'll be included in the "click-backs." Happily, my response letter was published this morning.

In my letter I mention Send Out Cards. That's the company I use to send all my art related (and some personal) custom cards. I create the card front using their Photoshop template, then I can upload the high quality image to my Send Our Cards account. I have my own personalized font they created using my handwriting. I type my message, include more photos if needed, and with a couple of clicks, the card is in queue to be printed, folded, stuffed in the envelope, addressed, stamped (using an actual stamp) and mailed. The quality is excellent! I just happen to be a distributor... LOL... so if you're interested in trying it out, let me know, and I'll set you up with a free account to send a couple of cards.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Yikes! How many days until Christmas???

"My Favorite Things" waterolor~ 7.5 x 7.5

You know how when you're busy...sometimes the actual date on the calendar doesn't cut through the gray matter? Well, this morning it did! Horrors! Is there still time to do all my shopping online without breaking the bank on expedited shipping???

I am not an actual shopper...I am a virtual shopper...I start to twitch after an hour or so in a mall. (I think it's sensory overload) So, I gathered my huge stack of catalogs and started and finished my shopping this morning. I'm patting myself on the head.

Quote of the day:
“We are put here on this earth not to see through each other, but to see each other through.”

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thought Process...

"Thought Process" 11 x 10 inches ~Acrylic

Another in the Taking the High Road series...The hardest part of painting is knowing when to STOP! I'm trying to stop a bit earlier than in the past...Fresh eyes the next day are so helpful.
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

distractions and in progress

Distractions and Diversions 12 x 12 acrylic on in progress

I was excited to find out that both of my paintings (Rock the Boat Baby, and All Together Now) got in the Lawrence Street Gallery 12 x 12 (or smaller) show! The opening is this Friday (Dec. 5th) evening. Yippee Skippee!

I'm helping out this afternoon (from 2 to 6 at the Orion Art Center's Holiday Market...stop by and visit me! :) I'll also be helping out next Thursday, Dec. 11th from 2 to 6 as well.

Monday, December 1, 2008

More gorgeous snow....

The snow has been just beautiful....sticking to everything.

I just discovered this bittersweet vine in our side yard! Looks beautiful with it's snow coat.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Golden Bouquet

Golden Bouquet ~ Acrylic on collage paper ~ 2.5 x 5.5 inches ~ $25

This is one of the paintings I dropped off today at Orion Art Center's Holiday Market....
I delivered quite a few of these tiny sized original paintings... packaged with a card and envelope, so you could mail it for an easy peasy's not even extra postage! :) Perfect size and price ($25) for anyone to begin their "original art" collection.....

The Holiday Market opens Monday, December 1st and runs through December 22... I got a sneak peek when I dropped off my things...and there are some wonderful offerings for sale! Paintings, pottery and jewelry along with hand sewn and knit creations.... and even home-made peanut and cashew brittle, are just some of the goodies you'll find there. All the things for sale are made by local artisans. Just a lovely group to support. :) And of course with each purchase you are helping support the Art Center itself.....Hope you'll include the Orion Art Center in your Holiday shopping plans.

I'm wishing you a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving holiday ....Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Woke up to a beautiful soft snowfall.... This spot is along the path that I take my morning walk on.... Just beautiful.

I'm just finishing up some more smaller paintings for the Holiday Market....
Enjoy your day!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

All Together Now...

"All Together Now" 12 x 12 ~ Acrylic on panel

I dropped this one off, along with Rock the Boat Baby... at the Lawrence Street Gallery 12 x 12 show...Crossing my fingers that they are accepted! The Show will run through December.
Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Losing Focus

"Losing Focus" 11 x 7 ~ Acrylic on paper

We all have experienced this at one point or another....Some of us more often than others! :)
I think I'll paint one called "Losing Focus...and then Getting it Back" Sometimes unfocused wanderings lead us to the most creative places.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Winter Warm Up....

"Winter Warm-Up" 5 x 7 ~Acrylic on collage paper
Still warming up with some smaller paintings to put in the Orion Art Center's Holiday Market...
I've barely emerged from the studio over the last month or so....Lots of little time... :)
I really do love this discipline of the small warm up paintings before jumping into the larger paintings....A great time to experiment.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

In One Ear.....

"In One Ear" 7 x 5 ~ Acrylic and ink on collage paper~

I am the lone woman in a family of four. ..(even the dog is male) Enough said. :)

This paper (the support) is the result of using citrasolve (found in health food stores) and National Geographic magazines....You never know what you're gonna get. The solvent melts the ink in the magazine...and when you pull apart the pages....yippee skippee! Just another example of what I learned in the Bob Burridge workshop. :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Break Through

"Break Through"....11 x 7... Acrylic and pencil on watercolor paper....

A lot of layers here.... I'll do this one again larger. The colors were a lot of fun for me!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fight Through It

"Fight Through It" 48x42 (a big-un).... acrylic on canvas

Detail images below...

This series has possessed me....The Monday through Thursday, the week of my Open Studio, I started and completed this one. I was joking with my sister that the varnish was tacky and the painting was probably stuck to the wall! (Happy to wasn't)

Quote of the Day:
"If no one ever took risks, Michelangelo would have painted on the Sistine floor."
– Neil Simon

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Rock the Boat Baby!

"Rock the Boat Baby" ...acrylic and fabric collage... 12 x 12 panel

I can see now that this isn't the most clear of photos... I'll have to get a better one later.
It's actually snowing here in Oxford, Mi.... That's what I'll blame the poor photography on.... bad weather. :)
edit....The painting is actually closer in color to the blurry one....So I decided to include both images.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Quite a Sunrise...and back to work.

The sunrise this morning was fantastic! What's that saying....Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning? And it was a relatively calm day.

I thought I'd better snap a photo of the "Tidy Studio" before I wreck it. (I had tidied it for my Open Studio) Some of you know just how amazing this photo is! LOL

Started another large canvas from my "Taking the High Road" series. The intent of the painting will be "distractions and diversions."....unless I'm distracted or diverted. :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Thanks so much!!!

Watercolor...self portrait :) week 52 in my "Year of Painting" series....

My Open Studio event (last Friday and Saturday) surpassed my expectations by a mile....I am really appreciative of so many of you coming out and seeing what I've been up to. Thanks so much!!! I am most excited by the favorable reception of my new series "Taking the High Road."

Some of the new Paintings in the series are pictured above.

Taking the High Road
Artist’s statement

We have no control over so many things that affect us. I am always telling myself that I can’t do much about this or that….but I can certainly live my days doing things that I know are right. I can strive for better. I can be helpful and kind and I can choose to be happy. That’s what this series is about… it’s about climbing out of the murk and living your life in a way that’s positive. It’s about seeing that you really do have a choice and the power to control what you think and what you do, how you react to things and how you choose to communicate. It’s about striving to be a light in your circle of influence. We are not helpless. We are powerful. And when given a choice, let’s take the high road.

Lauren Everett Finn

Friday, October 31, 2008

Bouquet painted on Fabric

"Bouquet on Bugs" 7 x 5 acrylic (sold)

I am spending all my time getting ready for my open studio (Nov. 7 & 8)...but I'm still managing to sneak in some experimenting.... :) I applied this weird black background bug fabric to watercolor paper...and then painted the bouquet on top. :) fun fun fun! Definitely a Bob Burridge subject though....HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Push Is On....

"Sunrise" 5 x 7 acrylic (sold)
Still working on these small paintings for my open studio (next Friday and Saturday)....Having a lot of fun, working fast and loose.

Monday, October 27, 2008


"I'll Cry If I Want To" 7 x 5 gouache ink resist... (sold)

Some days are just better than others.... today was a day of frustration... my printer decided not to communicate with my least they aren't speaking the same language. So, I spent way too much time trying to fix the problem....and then ended up with 2 visits to Staples, they will be doing my note card printing....maybe a blessing in disguise(?)... I had a terrific young man helping me....and that was the highlight of the day! Picking them up today....and crossing my fingers that the color is what I expect....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What a Circus....

"Circus" 24 x 24 Acrylic (sold)

This is one of 2 paintings that I delivered last week....They are hanging in a beautiful new office... that's what dictated the colors. It's a challenge to paint in colors that you don't necessarily gravitate toward. And it was fun! It's good to jump out of your routines before they become ruts....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More Warm-up Paintings....Mini size

For my Open Studio (November 7 and 8) I'm going to have quite a few of these small mail-able original paintings...Envelope and gift tag will be included in the package. :)

Today, I used this size as my warm-up paintings...though I was having so much fun...I never quit warming up! They are all sorts of subjects... I got a lot of them finished....and I have a lot of them in various stages of completion.

Stargazers 5.5 x 3.5 acrylic on paper... (sold)

Blossoms at Night 3.5 x 5.5 acrylic on paper

Monday, October 20, 2008

Painting Painting Painting some more....

I keep playing with the warm-up paintings...I used a china marker here...Just so you know...the varnish seemed to go over the china marker just fine!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Small paintings in progress....

I've adopted Bob Burridge's habit of doing small warm-up paintings each morning...
limiting color and or subject matter..... experimenting... playing... slapping paint around. They are all 5 x 7 size.... and by doing 6 each day (at least starting) I should have a slew of them before my open studio in November....
Can you guess which one will be called "bite me" when it's done? hehehehe

Thursday, October 16, 2008

New Series...New Painting

"Higher Ground" 24 x 20 ~ Acrylic (sold)
Detail images below.......

Finished this one yesterday....I'm trying to come up with a great title for the series....One thing I know is that they are going to be hopeful paintings....enough gloom and doom already, don't you agree?!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Working Working Working.....

"Float or Climb" 11 x 10 ~Acrylic and pencil (sold)
This is another one from the workshop....
I've been painting all day....Trying to finish 2 canvases for a delivery tomorrow morning...One is finished...the other one is almost there. The weather here was dull most of the day, so I didn't get any good progress photos of them....But I did get this beautiful fall color shot on my morning walk!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Still glowing in post workshop euphoria.....

"Oh Pear 1" 7 x 5 mixed media

One of the things Bob Burridge suggests in his workshop is to begin each day with small warm-up paintings...So that's what I've been doing. (at least since yesterday) :)
I limited my palette to greens and yellows (and white and black gesso) and did 6 quickly executed paintings....all pears.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Robert Burridge!

"Light as a Feather" by Robert Burridge

If you ever have the opportunity to take a workshop from Bob Burridge, DO IT!!! I have never learned so much in 5 days. His "Abstract Acrylic Painting and Collage" workshop, at Dillman's Resort was chock full of techniques, encouragement, inspiration and his wacky humor.

For me, the juice of this workshop was learning to develop a series of work that comes from your soul...A series that's broad enough to last you a while....but narrow enough in it's intent to unite all of the pieces. A big "ah-ha" realization.

Another "big" idea for me, was the small warm-up paintings he suggests you do before you tackle your larger, more complicated works in progress....Actually, now that I'm reflecting on it...there were a ton more "big" ideas that I got from Bob's class! At the very least....pop over to his website and subscribe to his "ArtsyFartsy" newsletter...You'll be glad you did.

Below are 2 paintings that I completed during the workshop....Yup....this is the beginnings of my new series....stay tuned to see and hear more about it!

"The Grass is Greener" 10 x 11 Acrylic (above) (sold)

"Star Climber" 10 x 11 Acrylic (below) (sold)

Quote of the Day:
"To play it safe is not to play." – Robert Altman


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