Friday, November 10, 2017

Where have I been?

Where have I been one may ask?
My husband and I just returned from a short get-away in Mexico.
This is one of our favorites places to go when we want to just relax and have a little fun.
You can take me out of my art studio but I will just create another one.
This time my art studio was the beach.  Sitting in the sun, my feet in the sand, and listening to the ocean waves comes to shore.  I'll take thins kind of studio any day!
Here's what I created at my oven front studio.
My goal was a piece of art each day.

As soon as I returned from vacation I took care of my GRANDchildren so my daughter and her son-in-law could get away for awhile.
AGAIN... I another art studio was born.  This time I made Tea Bag Art.


I have been enjoying life and creating art along the way.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

My customer loved it

I've heard many stories of artists who venture out toward their dreams and of the struggles they face.
A common thread evolves around money or the lack of, that is.
Thus... the terminology "starving artist" became a catch phrase.
I can attest to the validity of how unsettling it can be not to have a "steady" income 
and how it can make you feel like shit.  
Which in turn encourages all kinds of self-doubt questions to take residence inside your head.
Thoughts are equally powerful, the good and the bad thoughts.
I can choose my thoughts which conjure up belief in myself, my story, and my art.
"If I think I can, I can."
I am extremely grateful to have several customers who qualify to be called collectors of my art because they have multiple pieces.  
Words can never express how grateful I am for their continued support and encouragement.

I have a customer that often calls on me to do custom work for her.
I teasingly tell her that she keeps me in business.  Which is actually the truth.
Some of her requests have me doing things I have not artistically done before.
Sharing with you, her latest project, was the catalyst for this post yet when I started writing it seemed I had more to say.  I decided to go with it.
   I wanted to show you about her project.
She found this wooden tool case that's from the 1920's.  It was rich with history.  You can tell it was well used, back in the day.
My customer found out her nephew and his wife are having a baby.  And she wanted me to turn it into something special.
These were her her guidelines:
She wanted it to be transformed yet not altered to the point of loosing it's character.
She wanted it to be a place for little baby toys, books, etc.
She did not want it to look babyish.
She wanted it to be able to be used, alter, for others things.
She gave me info of the mother-to-be  style and asked me to make it something she would like.
She gave me a deadline of little over a week.

I consulted with Mary, a friend of mine who specializes in refinishing and repurposing furniture.
She gave me some pointers and ideas which lifted my confidence.
Off I went.
I scrubbed, scrubbed, and scrubbed followed by sanding, sanding, and more sanding .
It had multiple layers of dirt and grime that needed to be removed until I could finally start making it look pretty.
The best part... my customer LOVED it!
Here are finished photos.
After several coats of stain
I painted the bottom off white and gently sanded to bring out the texture from the wood. 
I used joint compound with stencils for the patterns on the sides.  Sanded.  Followed by doing a light glazing to push back the white color.
I softly painted the flowers with PanPastels.
Sealed it with four coats of varnish.

Until the next time!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

UpSiDe DoWn (I didn't even get dizzy1)

Tea Bag Art Tuesday #7
I drew her UpSiDe DoWn and you get to watch me!
Please take time to watch my video.
I am new to the world of video taping myself while I create.  I am usually "free flowing".

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel even share it with your friends and family.
Also... give me a Thumbs Up!
Your support, encouragement, and (kind) suggestions are welcomed.

Monday, October 16, 2017

This is where you can meet emerging artists

I am pleased to be presenting my art at another Artists Pop-Up Gallery.
I get excited when I can be in the presence of other emerging artists.
YET... the icing on the cake is meeting YOU.
I'll be there and look forward to chatting with YOU.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Intuitively creating

Previously  I spoke about one way that I practice creating art.  I prep some pages from waste paper that had been on my art table.  (CLICK HERE)

I am in the midst of working on 3 commissioned pieces and I felt like creating art with abandon, without concern of the outcome.  So... I grabbed one of those pages.
I did a raw umber glaze to the entire page.
Enhanced some of the markings.
Then with a  little charcoal, PanPastels, and acrylic paint this is what I intuitively created.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

how to get out of your own way

My mind was swirling last night when I tried to sleep.  
I decided not to just lay there.  I got out of bed and went into my studio.
I pulled out supplies - water color paper, loose charcoal, charcoal pencils, PanPastels.
I said a little prayer of surrender...
I began...
she intuitively appeared
As much as I don't like to admit it there are times when 
fear, doubt, and worry creep into my thoughts and heart. 
I feel like I should have already dealt with this fear stuff and it should never rear it's ugly presence again.  
Then BOOM... here I am.  Wrapped up in it again!
I've identified what some of the outside triggers are.  Most times I am ready to meet them head on.  
Then there are times when all of sudden I'm in their grip.
To be honest, it usually happens when I have been remiss on focusing on the good in my life.
When I am lacking in my daily positive reinforcements.
It comes down to this...
I have choices.
I could hang onto those outside triggers and blame them for my fear
I can accept reality that there is nothing or no one that can stop me from being who I am suppose to be or what I am suppose to doing with my life, EXCEPT me.
I get in my own frickin' way!  
The negative emotions and thoughts wrap themselves around me until I feel paralyzed as if I have no way out.  That's simply not true.
The truth is... I ALWAYS have a choice

I detest being in a negative space.  
It's when I do the hard soul work, focus on finding resolves,  make the necessary changes, and get back into my positive  routines  that I come back stronger,  perhaps a little wiser.
I'll remember this...
The only thing in my way is me.

Thank You for your 
continued support and encouragement.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

There have been times when I wanted to throw in the towel.

There have been times when I wanted to throw in the towel.  When I've questioned if I was even on the right path.  When I felt like I had nothing to offer creatively.

Deep down I know and I am extremely grateful for this opportunity that I feel God has given to me.   I am a creative Late Bloomer.  I did not know that I could paint or draw until 6 years ago.  It was a cold day in February 2011 that I pondered the thought that there had to be more to life than what I was living.  My life was good, I just felt there had to be more.  I began with  one foot in front of the other.

It is one of the most awesome feelings when I wake up from a night's sleep and intuitively know what I am going to create.  It's the best EVER!  I trust the process and follow.   That's when I'm able to earnestly say, "I have what it takes!"

But...when those negative thoughts creep in, they can/they will/they have thrown me into a tail spin.  It's not fun either to feel so low.  One thing I have learned from experience is it's much easier to "not even go there" with the negative thoughts than it is to try and recover from them.  I have a several plans that seem to work for me.  I acknowledge that negative thoughts are part of the equation and how I handle them is my choice.  They have no power over me, they are just thoughts,  unless I allow them to.  I breathe and let the thought pass me by.

Yet since my fear is about not being creatively worthy I know I have to "get back on the horse" sorta speak.  Here's what I do.

My art table is covered with white craft paper where I scrape the excess paint from my brushes, etc.  This is what it looks like right now.
When I feel the paper is at it's messy capacity and needs to be changed out I roll it up and save it.
Here is one of the many ways I use the rolled up paper.
I take out my art journal. 
I glue sections of the paper onto pages of the journal.
I instantly have the start of an art journal page.  This helps spark creativity.   
A blank page can be daunting at times which can jump start the mind-chatter into motion.
Here are some of my current pages all ready for me.
They almost look like art themselves.  Don't they?

Below is a journal page that started out as scrap paper from my art table. All I did was add flowers by making acrylic skins.  I painted stems and leaves.  I added shadows with charcoal.
Rest assured I averted the negative mind chatter on this day.

Thanks for sharing my journey with me.

Friday, September 22, 2017


Eleven days ago I watched a video  Why People Commission Portraits by Gwenn Seemel
(take a moment  watch her video) 
One of the reasons it struck a cord with me is because I am a portraiture artist.  
In the video she speaks about many different reasons someone may commission a portrait.  
The one main reason someone would commission is portrait is "making special".  
You make something special when you make it into art.
A painted portrait has a hand made quality about it that a photograph lacks.

I looked up from my computer to see a photo of my sisters and I from 2007.
This was a special moment for us so I decided to make it 
even more special by making it a piece of art.
I finished it today!
Here it is!

The actual photo was captured in 2007.
When we were together we would go into laughing fits, sometimes for no reason. 
Just acting silly.  One would laugh then the others would follow suit.
During this time when we were having our photo taken Judy decided to pinch Linda's butt. 
Linda burst out laughing.
That is all it took to create a chain reaction of antics that continued for a while.

When I close my eye and  become still I can recall the laughter from that moment time.

"Making Special"
that is exactly what I did by painting this portrait.

Thank You, Gwenn!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Making Special

After I was finished with my morning rituals, I go into my studio and  the first thing I saw was Gwenn Seemel's video , "Why people commission portraits".  I loved it so much that I watched it several times.  My heart began to melt at the 11 second mark when she began to talk about the number one reason above all others why people commission art was making special.  I swear her face lit up!  You can tell she creates art from her soul.

Here's the video.  Please take a moment to watch it.  It's relevant to the rest of my story.

One of the things I normally do when I start my studio day is begin doing something, anything.  This morning it was varnishing several pieces I had done earlier and putting Polymer medium on canvas panels.  Then I go to my computer to check emails.  Above my computer monitor is a photo that was taken at Christmas time 2007 of me and my sisters.  It's been hanging in the same place for a very long time.

The two sisters in the middle were laughing so hard because one sister  (Judy) was pinching the other sister (Linda) in the butt.   I seemed like whenever we would all get together we would laugh, sometimes uncontrollably,  at the weirdest stuff.  This was one of those moments.   When I think of my sisters, I want this to be my memory...
laughing at the stupid stuff.
Needless to say, it's 10 years later and things are not the same.  Judy is no longer with us and Bonnie is confined to a wheelchair.

Thru my tears, I feel an incredible pull at my heart to create a piece of art of me and my sisters.  So I followed my heart.

"Making Special"
Here's the rough sketch.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Metamorphosis-the process of transformation

In my stillness,  I was reflecting back on my creative journey. Where I was vs. where I am and where I want to be.  It occurred to me that on this creative journey I am, repeatedly, going thru a metamorphosis (the process of transformation) similar to a butterfly.
Hence... the inspiration for this painting.
Butterfly Abounds
20" x 20" 3/4" deep canvas
charcoal-acrylic paint-PanPastels
  • It was merely 6 years ago that I began this creative journey, not knowing which direction to go yet I was determined to put one foot in front of the other and trust the path would appear.
  • After a while I began to shed negative thought patterns of "not being good enough" as I continued making art.  This negative pattern never really disappears, it just fades away.  I am tenacious enough not to let it keep me down.  Thinking of the ebbs and flows in life helps me in those not so bright times when self-doubt has me in it's grip.  You know the saying... "this too shall pass".
  • I will often take some time to center myself...I get brave enough to step out of my comfort zone(s) again and put myself and my art out there for possible rejections.  When I step  up/out with faith and belief in myself of why I am on this journey those rejections become stepping stones to help me learn and grow.  And you know what else happens?..... I  END OF GETTING LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF POSITIVE FEEDBACK.
  • At this stage... I am changing things up a bit.  I am taking more risks.  I am ready to FLY!
If you read this blog post and you like it please share it with your friends.
I'm becoming more active on Instagram, please click the link to check it out and to follow me.
When you follow me I increase my ratings with search engines, etc.  

Thank You for all of your support and encouragement.
I will continue to do this because of YOU!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Speak Your Truth - SOLD

My art, Speak Your Truth,  was being shown, along with other artists from Studios630
at The Corner House in Lombard, IL.
I was very pleased to learn that it has been sold.

I am a full-time artist.
Selling my art and leading workshops is the way I earn a living.

  I am completely aware that could not do this without your support. 
There are no words to express how important each and everyone of you are to me!
Your words of encouragement are immeasurable, they lift me up on those days of uncertainty and propel me forward.
When you share my posts or links with your friends and family you help me reach other people.
I feel blessed each time you purchase any of my art, large or small.
Even though the money earned from each sale is a valuable asset what I find more precious are the comments of how my art touches another's heart. 

I exchanged emails from the person who purchased "Speak Your Truth" and this is a portion of what was written...
"when I walked into the Corner House yesterday and saw "Speak Your Truth" it stopped me in my tracks.  It was as if the woman in your painting was speaking to me telling me that I needed to continue with my work, that it is my purpose to help people, that I need to "Speak My Truth" so to speak."

This is why I create "art from my heart".

Friday, August 25, 2017

"Goddess Within" custom work

I got a message from a customer who purchased a piece of art from me several years ago.   
Her  sister had been visiting, saw the art, and "absolutely LOVE IT".   
She was wondering if I would make one like it that she could give as a birthday gift.
After explaining that you can never make an exact piece of art like the original 
she said go ahead and get as close as possible.
By this time I am stoked and ready to go.

13"W x 15"L loose canvas 
Gessoed then added a layer of joint compound for texture
After it dried I sanded then applied matte medium to seal the surface
Glazed with Golden Raw Umber
Sketched with charcoal
Added color using PanPastels and acrylic paint
Added more colors to the background using PanPastels
More texture added to the background with joint compound
After it dried I sanded it then sealed it with matte medium 
I wanted more depth to the background so added coffee ground, let it dry overnight
PanPastels and acrylic paints
Randomly added drops of black india ink
Stenciled vertical lines
Added more color with PanPastels
Stenciled the headdress using a paper doily and flexible modeling paste
Sprayed final fixative
After the headdress dried I sanded it then added more modeling paste to make it larger
Applied matte varnish
After the varnish dried I stippled another layer of matte varnish 
Let it dry for several days.
Varnished an vintage wooden clothes hanger, created a wire hoop with stone embellishment as a way to hang it
Attached the canvas to the wooden hanger
Signed it.
I delivered this piece of art today and my customer LOVED it!
What a good feeling when the art I "create from my heart" is genuinely appreciated.

Thank You for all of your support and encouragement.
I will continue to do this because of YOU!
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