Saturday, August 30, 2014

Think of Happy Things

Am I the only one who experiences blocks of time where it seems everything goes wrong? This week has been one of those times and I have had to introspect about how to get through it all.

One thing I know for sure is that dwelling on negative things that I can't change, is futile. Sometimes I can't just jump up and take action either.

This week I tried to stay in my happy place and just breathe through it. And, so, I painted.

" Just think of happy things and your heart will fly on wings" ~Peter Pan

By the time I finished this painting, many encouraging things had come about. These occurred because I took a deep breath and thought of the positives in my life.

I put those pesky negative thoughts into perspective.

To be honest, most of them will have conclusions in a few weeks (good or bad, who knows) and considering the time span of my entire life, I realize that a couple of weeks is really nothing.

Tommy Jo

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Studio is Open

Last week, I put a picture on facebook of my newly acquired studio/craft room. It was a bittersweet acquisition. My grandson moved into his own apartment, hence an empty room. And though it was because he was ready to be on his own, I miss him LOADS!
So, here is the studio pic...

The room was pretty much unusable for a couple of days as I only had an overhead light. Not really a light condusive for painting. So, that prompted a trip to my local craft store to find an appropriate light for my space. Well, you probably know how that turned out. I did not walk out of the store with just a lamp :)

Everything was 50% off... YAY!

I usually paint at night and the Ott light is phenominal! This room is like a get away for me. It is so nice to have a room to paint in instead of painting at my kitchen table. I've had a couple of projects in the works and these are what I have been working on.

I am currently involved in a 'twinchie' swap ( just mailed mine out, so until the swap is over, I can't share full size pics). Don't know what it is? I didn't either when I was first asked to join in. Basically, a twinchie is a 2" square piece of art that you paint, collage, or decorate however you want. You can trade them like ATC's, so in this instance, we had to sign the backs and put any info you want to include on the back also. From what I read, you usually stick to a theme in a swap. I had never painted anything that small, so it was a real challenge. 

I have been busy making a huge change in my art life. It began with securing a domain name ( and parking a temporary page there for when I can set up my full web page. I was able to change this blog name and my facebook business page to that same name. I am so excited. I hope to tie in my etsy shop also. I am hoping this will make it easier for you all to keep up with my goings on.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Bit of Halloween

The other day, a fellow artisan asked if I could illustrate a witches hat for a project she was working on.

I'm not sure why she asked as I always NEED projects to stir my creativity and she knows that :)  A new request is sort of like an art prompt to me. All of a sudden, I have to try to create from anothers' idea.

So, I sat down and sketched the hat in a few minutes. Oh my heck, it came out so cute that I new I wanted to do something similar for myself.

My friend's project is still a working piece, but being that I finished my own project just tonight, I thought I might share the process with you here.


It started with a girl, as that is what I love love love to draw. I outlined her and erased the pencil. She was sooooo cute that I couldn't wait to start coloring her.

I use Copics to color my girls. I love them , the end!!!

It's funny how coloring helps you think. At least for me, it does. This little witch was really growing on me and this is when the ideas for this painting evolved. Up until then, I had no idea beyond 'her' what I was going to paint.

Finally, her hair was just the color I wanted and I was VERY ready to paint her into a piece that I had been formulatting while I colored.

So, I added the moon and colored it with Copics. I sketched a tree and then colored a scrap of black and white hounds tooth patterned paper an orange color to match her turtleneck and turned it into her dress.

I painted the tree black and gray with acrylic paint and outlined Bella (yes, I had named her) with yellow and orange Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt Pens. 

This is the point where I couldn't decide what to do. I am not  good with drawing hands, so I knew I either had to put something in front of her or draw them. At first I thought a whimsical kind of Cheshire cat would work, but for some reason I couldn't get a raven out of my head.  I kept trying to think of something else because I can't draw cats or birds very well either. 

Spiders? Black Cats? Whimsical Cat? Ravens? I just didn't know.

Once upon a midnight dreary, 
As I pondered week and weary
Over a many quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore
 ... I memorized this Edgar Allen Poe poem when I was a kid.... EVERY verse (many of them since forgotten).

That was it. The Raven it would be. I know, my mind works in mysterious ways!

I painted the background with my favorite watercolors (Grumbacher) and I added a hand. Not too bad, eh?

I added a couple ravens and I knew I was close to finished.  Bella, however, wanted some jewelry.....

So, I gave her a 'spider ring' (witch... I mean... which.... she loves by the way) and painted eyes on the ravens and voila! 

Who would ever have thought that memorizing 'The Raven" as a kid would have been an inspiration for this painting over 45 years later?

I hope you love her as much as I do and I hope I haven't bored you with the process of creating her. 

I haven't decided yet, but Bella may just be available for sale in my Etsy shop on September 13th. 


Monday, August 11, 2014

Exciting Announcement As I Celebrate A Year Of Creativity

A little over a year ago, I decided I wanted to try BEING creative instead of just THINKING about being creative.

Over this past year, I have actually taken time for myself to do something I have dreamt of my whole life: Painting, Illustrating, and trying different mediums to see if I truly enjoyed them.

I didn't really care if I was a great artist. It wasn't , and still isn't, about that. It was about finding something that I really enjoyed; something that I wouldn't be judged for; something just for me.

I gave up physical scrapbooking early on because the cost was just, too exorbitant. To do it well, you had to spend ALOT!

As I dabbled in mixed media art, I found the cost to be equally exorbitant (possibly, more so), but I haven't once thought of giving it up. Instead, I opened an Etsy Shop to sell prints and notecards of my artwork in order to fuel my addiction for buying more canvasses, paint, Copics, gelatos, watercolors, paper, brushes.... you get the picture??

However, I have never sold even one of my original pieces of art. I haven't been able to part with any of them.

On September 13, 2013, I opened my Etsy Shop. I have come a long way since then, and after much deliberation, I have decided to celebrate my one year anniversary by parting with some of my original pieces.

I am a little scared, as each one of them shows a progression in my art journey. Even my first series, The Whimsical Girls (where my inexperience shows), holds a special place in my heart.

So, on September 13th (thankful it is not a Friday... haha) at 1:13pm (1300 hours and 13 minutes), I will have active listings for some of my original art pieces.
There will be canvasses as well as mixed media paper paintings.

Celebrate with me by visiting my Etsy Shop beginning on September 13th and perhaps you will see one of your favorite originals for sale.

Love and Hugs,

Friday, August 1, 2014

Gelatos: My First, Ever

Tuesday was the big day. I ordered gelatos from Amazon and they arrived on Tuesday. WooHoo!

I have seen so many fellow artists use them and it looked like so much fun. I have watched You Tube videos of artists using them on paintings and journal pages and after much arguing between the right and left side of my brain, the left side won! The right side got 'kicked to the curb' in this argument

You can order gelatos in sets of 4 coordinating colors or even larger gift sets, like 10, but I HAD TO HAVE LOTS. So, I bought this set and figured I would try them right away. I was excited and couldn't wait for dinner to be over so I could get creative.

I hunkered down with the set of gelatos to my right, my untouched moleskin journal to my left, and my tablet right in front of me. I watched a couple of 'how to' videos. I was ready to try them.

So... This is the page I created and I love it. Gelatos blended for the background, scrap paper stems, sunflowers cut out of a garden mag, stamped and handwritten lettering, everything outlined with Faber-Castell Pitt Pens. Love love love and I was so proud of the first page in my journal.

The dark cloud soon desended ... I painted this page upside down. 
My OCD kicked in and I was stressed to the max. How could I ruin this journal with the very first page??????

Then, I realized that I only have 3 journals and I did each of the first pages upside down! 

So.... what does anyone do when they don't know what to think of this repetitive blunder? Announce your big stupid mistake to the world on facebook!!!!!

Yep... yesssirree, I did!

It didn't take long for me to be giggling about my upside down page. Actually, it was merely seconds before my 'savior' commented. I can always count on this woman to make me laugh and she did. Tamiko McCurry, I am not fully ok with this page being upside down, but thank you for laughing with me over this and putting it in perspective. 

Hugs ALL,