Friday, December 31, 2010

Grateful Goodbye to 2010

Today I am back at home after a wonderful few weeks with my family. It was great to be together and what joy a baby brings to Christmas!! Our little grandbaby was just precious!!
It was great fun to china paint with my mother. This technique was a huge challenge!

What a treasure to be with Grandmother. Special times.
Looking back on 2010, I realize what huge changes have taken place...
  • new members to our family
  • new job
  • new town
  • new friends
  • new art career

.....just to name a few off the top of my head. What has surprised me most is the support you have given me with the start of my art business. I am forever grateful to my friends and family and my new blog friends for all of the encouragement you have showered upon me. Thank you for all the confidence building. I am very excited about the new year and where it will take me in art. Thank you, Thank you, from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. Goodbye 2010 and Hello to a New Fresh Successful Year in all areas of your life!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A few paintings...

I haven't spent much time in the studio lately but I do have all my Christmas shopping done!! Christmas at our house will begin this coming Tuesday and I can't wait to spend time with everyone! My art table looked so lonely the other day so I sat down and painted a couple of "Liz Hill" style ladies. This one is called 'Blue Dress'. I like to think she is going somewhere very special.
"The Red Scarf" stopped to 'strike a pose' before going off to her special place. This style is so much fun to paint because there is nothing precise about it. After the holidays, new work, original and prints will go in the online shop and soon to follow new originals in both galleries (Under One Roof, and The Frame Gallery).
There are still 7 originals in the online shop I would love for you to have under your tree this year! Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

In the Christmas Spirit

There's nothing like having a baby around to get you in the Christmas Spirit! I just came back from a few days visiting my daughter and her precious little family. It was such a joy to watch them decorate their first tree and hang their stockings. I joked with Bre that it was funny how she never was interested in decorating for Christmas before.....! Their excitement is contagious and it's fun to be a part of their first Christmas.

Back home, my tree is decorated and ready. We put Christmas music on and my husband, Rick, and son, Cory set up the tree and decorated the house outside. I loved every minute of it!
My tree is filled with the 'oldies'. This Santa cup was around every Christmas when I was growing up. Cory made the construction paper reindeer. His picture is inside. The old ornaments that tell a story, even if it is just to me, are so meaningful.

This postcard is 36 years old. It was given to me by my grandmother after visiting the North Pole. Santa always puts a stick of gum in the stocking.

These are two of my very favorite ornaments each made by the kids.

We are having Christmas at our house in 12 days! The gifts are wrapped and I can't wait for everyone to open their surprises. Celebrate the birth of Jesus this year with happiness, appreciation, and excitement! Love, love, love those around you....they are a blessing from Him.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Uh Oh....

Oh No!! I'm in BIG trouble!! Right next door to my new favorite hangout, The Village Cafe, is a wonderful, fabulously creative boutique. They have the most glorious jewelry, the greatest gifts, terrific candles, and the CUTEST clothes ever! The name is even unique.... Jim.n.i. ....! The owner, Earlene Butcher, said she and her husband, Jim, have wanted to open a shop like this for years. She talked about "Jim and I want to do this, and Jim and I want to do that" so much that her family said 'You have to name the shop Jim.n.i.'!!

The jewelry!

The purses!

The clothes!

It is such a pleasure to visit with Earlene and to be in her creative world. Make it a point to come to downtown Bryan to experience this fantastic boutique! I will probably be there....shhhhhh....

Monday, November 22, 2010


My sister and I went to E.A.S.T. in Austin this past weekend. E.A.S.T. (East Austin Studio Tour) is in its 9 th season. Around 175 artists' studios were open, such perfect weather, loads of inspiration.

The event started 9 years ago in one warehouse, Big Medium, that housed 20 artists and has grown to one of the most highly attended events in Austin.

It was a great opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at working artists' spaces and processes.
The absolute greatest highlight was getting to see a long time friend, Keva, who has a studio at The PumpProject in Austin and is a wonderfully gifted artist! And to make the day even better, Missy, another long time friend showed up at Keva's studio at the exact moment we arrived!!
It was awe-inspiring to see that many artists hard at work making it in this industry. There is always room!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Liz Hill Workshop

I was fortunate enough to be able to take a workshop this week by Liz Hill. She is amazing! She taught us her method for unstructured creative figurative collages that you can see here. We worked on loosening up and getting out of that 'color book' mentality that something has to be a certain way. She exercised our brains and gave us instruction on interesting collage backgrounds. We drew with vine charcoal and watercolor. Each background was different. We drew from a live model and only had a few minutes to capture the 'spirit' of the pose. Time flew by because it was so much fun!! There were no rules...we used watercolor, tissue paper, phone books, oil pastels, charcoal....anything that was in reach. The drawing was especially challenging. I definitely have the bug to do more of this type of painting. It is a very liberating way to work.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Inspired by Poetry

"Accept Today and Shine" 10x10

I ran across an old bird stamp book that I had as a little girl. The pages are so brittle they just break instead of tear. I really wanted to re purpose them in a special way so they made their way into a few collages. As I was working with them, poetry kept coming to mind....not that I know any....but I felt it would be appropriate to apply a significant meaning to each painting. This particular poem said perfectly what I felt....."Acceptance" by Robert Frost. He talks about the sun setting as one bird is prepared safely in his nest closing his eyes and another bird is caught off guard but rushes back to his ....just as it becomes too dark to see. The bird says "Now let the night be too dark for me to see into the future. Let what will be, be." We can control only what will happen today. We cannot predict the will be what it will be. One step at a time. Don't waste your time looking back at things you cannot change or worrying about what may happen in the future. Do your very best with the day at hand. The full poem is at the end of this post.

Detail of the "Shine" reminding us to Shine for today.

The entire poem is written vertically across the collage. It is called "Accept Today and Shine"

"Flourish" 10x10

This next collage "Flourish" is inspired by poet Lisa Teres Fraser. She talks about us all having great potential to flourish and when we do, we discover the truth inside of us.

I've been looking around my house at what I have hanging on the walls. Every single picture/ painting/poster has a story. I love it when people ask me about certain ones so I can tell the story. These two collages all of a sudden took on deep and secret meanings when tied with poetry that touched me.

Part of the poem is written across the edge of the collage. Following are both complete poems:

Acceptance by Robert Frost

When the spent sun throws up its rays on cloud

And goes down burning into the gulf below,

No voice in nature is heard to cry aloud

At what has happened. Birds, at least must know

It is the change to darkness in the sky.

Murmuring something quiet in her breast,

One bird begins to close a faded eye;

Or overtaken too far from his nest,

Hurrying low above the grove, some waif

Swoops just in time to his remembered tree.

At most he thinks or twitters softly, 'Safe!

Now let the night be dark for all of me.

Let the night be too dark for me to see

Into the future. Let what will be, be.'

Flourish by Lisa Teres Fraser

We are so small in this world

But have the potential for greatness

We must take the gifts that are given

Nurture them so they may flourish

The truth is what we seek

But it is also what we hide

So many years of living behind a wall

So many times standing after we fall

We are not so small

For when we flourish

We are seen by all.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My new favorite hangout

I love downtowns....big city downtowns, little town downtowns......all of them. They are interesting, eclectic, and always have a story. It's sad when a downtown isn't maintained and used with all it has to offer. My new town is restoring it's downtown in a great and exciting way. In exploring the revitalization, I came across a wonderful ART CAFE!!!!! It's called, The Village Cafe.
Their mission is to support all things, music, and art. They house a revolving art gallery and live music. The Village Cafe wants to give all forms of art a stage to be enjoyed as a community. It has a big city contemporary feel in this small historic downtown. How exciting because I am a city girl!!! I found my new hangout!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

New Greeting Cards!

I'm so excited to be able to offer these greeting cards!! At 5 dollars, this is such an affordable way to have a quality print. There are many choices here at my shop.
I really love how they look in a frame. Several times, on trips, I have bought a greeting card to bring home as my souvenir to frame. Of course, they also make beautiful cards to give as gifts or to write a special note inside. They are really a great size at 5x7 including the size of the card.

Monday, October 25, 2010

She planted a seed

As a little girl, I grew up enjoying my grandmother's beautiful hand painted china that she created. She was a wonderful artist....china painter, oil painter, seamstress, and more. Today, I look at it with a different eye....studying
the detail, knowing the patience it must of taken to achieve the results. She took many classes and workshops to perfect her art.

It would have been amazing to watch her paint! She left an impression on me by just doing what she enjoyed and entrusting me with some of her art. She left a legacy in so many ways but has truly inspired me in an artistic way....unknowingly planting a seed.

My grandmother loved sparkly things. This chandelier hung at her vanity table. I remember sitting at her table admiring all the beautiful bottles of perfume and special containers of makeup. The chandelier made me feel like a princess as it twinkled its prisms across the mirror.

This special, beautiful chandelier has been in a dusty ol' box in my attic for several years until yesterday. Several months ago, I read a blog post by Kerri Arista. I am so glad Kerri thought to share this on her blog!!! Kerri is a very talented musician/songwriter who has blogfriended me. Her blog is so uplifting and inspirational. Be sure to check it out here. A friend gave her a chandelier to make her closet feel special and it made me think of my grandmother's chandelier covered in dust, in a box, patiently waiting to shine it's beautiful prisms again. I immediately knew it had a new home....although very unconventional. After sending it home with my dad, who can fix anything, he brought it back to me with new wires and hung it IN MY CLOSET!!! It is so SPECIAL....a secret place that when I open my closet every morning so many memories rush through my thoughts. Who knew a light could illuminate more than darkness!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

out there and vulnerable

I just entered 3 originals in the Brazos Valley Art League Judged Show. I probably never would have done it had I ever attended a show like this because I would have been too intimidated. So I guess ignorance is a good thing sometimes. The pieces that were coming in were soooo amazing. Oh my gosh. My artwork can provide the comic relief.....! I confident. Who knew that paint on a piece of canvas would make a person feel so vulnerable. Then again, why place so much emphasis on what anybody else struggle....because I really like what I painted!
It's just a painting hanging on a wall for people to like or not. Art is subjective anyway. Do I like it? Yes! Okay, then!

The show will be up for the rest of October. This is a great chance for me to meet other artists in the area just like I was hoping would happen. In fact, I am having lunch with a new artist friend next week and going to explore shops with a different new artist friend! It's really fun meeting new people and discovering what inspires them.
I'm up against the walls of my comfortable boundaries pushing them wider and wider. It's easy to stay in the middle of the circle. It takes a conscious effort and determination to lean against the edge of the circle and push it out to make a bigger one.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I'm in the process of unbogging myself. I'm giving myself a pep talk. The last several days I have sat in the studio saying 'Come creative!' The work I produced a word.....gross!....totally unacceptable....embarrassing. When that happens it really messes with my confidence! So today, I stood back and approached it as play again. Have fun....just play with something I like. This cute little lady with her short skirt and leopard boa appeared and said without hesitation...fear more....keep it up....don't take yourself so seriously....have have great opportunities before you. It's a mind game! I wonder if other artists feel the same way. After all, hours are spent alone in the studio....just me and the brush. It's time for me to get out for an inspiration walk, lunch with new friends, give my mind a break instead of trying to force a product. Feeling better....I guess it helps to get it all out on'paper', look at what's going on, then MOVE ON! Actually, the perfect medicine for this inspiration block is coming up this weekend.......a visit to my daughter, son-in-law, and grandbaby!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A New Class

I started a new online class called Hands and Heart Mixed Media Faces by Monica Zuniga. It's really challenging and fun.....and HARD. I have a lot to learn and a long way to go but this canvas today called "Terrific Strength" seemed to have a story....a past. She has strength because the struggles in her life have made her strong.
Darlene Pringle of A Dancing Mango, one of my very encouraging blog friends, recommended the class. The faces she draws and paints are beautiful. It's so fun to connect with others that have the same interests and are so willing to help each other!
I'll keep you posted on my progress.....and hopefully my improvement!

Monday, October 4, 2010

From Me to Me

I almost forgot! During my "Flying Lessons" class, one of our assignments was to write a letter to ourselves to be opened several months later. I wrote my letter on the last day of May to be opened October 1, 2010. We were to write positive goals and benchmarks we wanted to achieve and give ourselves an overall great pep talk.
When I open my letter today I felt so good! What a great letter I wrote to me!! lol...No matter what we are doing in life....this is a great idea....try it!! Some of the goals I had set for myself I have definitely accomplished like beginning my Etsy shop, continuing making connections with my blog, and connecting with other artists who are on the same journey. In fact, I went to my very first ever Art League meeting today. I'm so excited about getting involved and learning what other artists in my town are doing!! There are a few things I still want to see attending an art retreat. I think I will continue this assignment and write another letter to myself to be opened in about 6 months setting more goals and of course giving myself great words of affirmation!

The sun is peeking through with a fresh start and new ideas.....soak it up!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Paintings on the wall

The paintings are dry from yesterday's post and on the wall in my living room! I took pictures from every angle......a little much but, oh well.

I think you can see the rug in front of the couch here from World Market. It's jute with flowers much like those in the paintings.

Taken from the back door.

Again, taken from the back door looking into the dining room. Thanks for humoring me and allowing me the pleasure of sharing my decorating fancies.