Thursday, January 27, 2011

Adventures in Clay and Snow

Well, we got walloped with snow last night and lost power overnight. We had about 8 inches dumped on us which my oldest cat (Fluffer ,13) wasn't so sure he wanted to trek far into. And I left Buffalo? Doesn't feel like it these past two winters. Thank God for art. I had fun hand building to make these clay mother and child pieces. Sadly for me. the clay studio is closed today due to the snow and I won't be able to take them until Monday to get fired. I will post them again once they are glazed. Hope you like them :0)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Consistently Inconsistent

Ok, so I dropped the ball on my "being creative every day" challenge. I was sick. Oh, that's a fib. The dog ate all of my art supplies. Oh wait, I don't have a dog. Um, lets see, I fell asleep and when I woke up I realized that I had been sleeping for days and had amnesia...... grrr, not true either. Truth-I just got busy with life-errands, putting away Christmas stuff, my hurt foot, book club (which I feel no shame for since I love it immensely). Seems like every Jan., I try to commit to some new plan, like dieting, reading the bible every day, walking, being creative. I realize and accept that the only thing I am really consistent at is being inconsistent. Maybe a little ADD. While I feel a little bummed with myself about it, I don't think at my age I am going to change much without real heroic effort or a Jillian Michaels of the art world who is going to whip me into shape by standing over me every day and yelling at me to get my ass out in the studio. So I accept myself, because feeling guilty gets me nowhere and saps my energy to move on when I am inspired to do my thing. I will just keep getting back up on the saddle and riding my little pony to whatever artistic phase I am in on that particular day or moment. Isn't that what artists are supposed to do anyway? Follow their muse? Float with the wind? So I am going to keep working and posting as close to daily as possible and I am still holding on to my theme of mother and child though everything I do may not fit into that category. I also realized that I was getting myself out of the "cow" box and maybe putting myself into another one. Stay tuned- Here is what I did today- I had so much darn fun. I have just started throwing pots. While I am not a prodigy or anything, I started doing pretty well from the get go and am having too much fun with it. I love exploring this new medium and the camaraderie I am having with the other potters in the studio. Some of these I just threw today and others are green ware ready for the kiln. I am going to attempt some hand painting with them, so I will post what they come out looking like. Tomorrow I am going to do some hand building with my mother and child theme.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

January Giveaway

I hope everyone enjoys getting in the act to win this print. This is my most popular painting by far. The winner will get this print 11x14 matted in a plastic sleeve.

There is no cost to this giveaway whatsoever! You only need to do two things to enter:

“Like” me on my facebook fan page at

and leave a comment

“Follow” me here on blogspot and leave a comment

The contest will run until Jan 31.

I will put your name in a hat and let someone in my house pick it-If they pick you I will send you your awesome prize!

I will publish the winners name in my next newsletter (as long as it is okies with them)

If you are already a facebook fan or following my blog, just leave a comment like “I want PEZ” !


How I Paint-Challenge #7

I got in the studio at a decent hour today and produced this little painting. I don't think it is done, there are a couple of things I would like to improve upon but I had to get off of my foot. I have had it in an air cast for the last week after having the dreaded steroid shot in my heel for plantar faciitis. It was feeling pretty good but I
guess maybe I overdid it, so here I sit- blogging
with ice under it.....I thought I would show you how I sometimes paint. Often my work is straight out of my imagination
but I sometimes need a prompt or reference like I showed you in the "Can We Play More?" painting. Here I will take you through the whole process of this
This is the clip art reference I started from
I initially envisioned it as a beach scene and started laying in color for sand and sky

Then I start painting in the children

I decided that it was too flat, that there was not enough contrast, so it became a lawn game :0)
So I added a few small details, like grass and polka dots on the ball and there you have it. Like I said, I think it still needs a little work, but a good exercise nonetheless.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Free shipping on all items in my etsy shop Jan. 17-24! Follow one of the link to my shop posted here to find that awesome art piece that you have been looking for and save money :0)


It's kind of late and it took me all day to compete something, but I finally produced "Messy Artist" I am trying to remain dedicated to my challenge and in doing so I realize tonight the product might not always be what I would deem greatly successful. Sometimes you hit a home run, sometimes, not so much-

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Let It Flow! And how I use a reference ...

OK, so I could start beating myself up because I missed making something yesterday and posting :0( However, I am going to choose not to becauseI had a very good reason. Since our daughter was away for the weekend, my husband and I slept in late, he brought me breakfast in bed and we laid around watching tv until we felt like moving. Then we went to the National Constitution center in Philly to see the exhibit "Art of the American Soldier" It was a really nice exhibit and it did me good to experience all the different styles of painting and drawing. So at least I DID something creative This challenge is also proving to be really good for me. I am painting faster and looser than I ever have and exploring the subject of mother/daughter, children. family etc.. is really helping me work through a lot of feelings. I wanted to paint something today but didn't have any real ideas or feel inspired so I surfed the web for something to get me going. I searched "mother child images". What I found was the sculpture below by Carla Sirilli which I used for a reference. I would not ever copy someone's art but used this to see the gesture and feeling of what I might want to paint. The result is "Can We Play More? It is 5x7 acrylic on masonite. Please comment and let me know what you think:0)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Flying through Life Creative Challenge Day-4

This one is going back to a way of painting that I did years ago- painting my internal life and feelings rather than something outside of myself. Continuing on my theme of mother and daughter, this painting depicts Kayla and I flying through life, me holding her hand , us wearing the mommy daughter dresses I made for us when she was little, keeping her safe, showing and teaching her about so many things along the way.....animals, art, music, "eat your fruits and vegetables", tying her shoes, planets, being kind, Jesus, "if you give a mouse a cookie", books....everything. I can't help but worry now with her preparing to go to college "did I do it right? Did I teach her the right things? Will she take what I have taught her and make good with her life?" It's all gone so fast... we can't be done yet, I don't know if I am ready to let go of that hand.... tear....

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Not done, but almost

Well, I stayed true to my challenge today and worked for several hours on a painting. I couldn't finish this one in a day, so I am setting a little mystery before you by posting only snippets of what I have done. I just really can't bring myself to share unfinished work. Anyway it's more fun this way:0)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mother and Child Day 3

It's kind of late and I almost didn't follow through on my challenge today. But here it is.A nice little 5x7 acrylic painting of a Mom and her little girl in a field of baby sunflowers. From these last three paintings, in addition to having family and my daughter especially on my mind, I guess I have spring and summer on the brain as well. I am proud of myself for following through today. Sometimes my work seems to really pull me through anything else that might be going on.. enjoy..

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Creative Challenge Day 2

I managed to get in the studio today for day 2 of challenging myself to create something every day. I am so happy!!! I have expanded the parameters of my theme from mother and child, mother and daughter, to include children and family themes in general. I may or may not do portraits or paint from images of my daughter or my family (I get too attached and won't want to sell anything) but that's ok too if I paint just for myself. So here is what's shown up for today. A lovely little little painting of two little girls on the beach- enjoy, I dream of beachy days to come...

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Creative Challenge and the Art Mothering

As I said in my post "My New Journey", I am moving along towards something new and getting there is a process. I have read a number of other blogs andwhat I am taking from them is a couple of different challenges and ways to be inspired. Thefirst and biggest challenge that I interested me was to make something creative every day. For me this is huge, as even though I stay at home, there always seems to be appointments, or cleaning or shopping or child chauffeuring that needs to be done and getting into the studio can be a struggle. But in this challenge the idea is to do something CREATIVE, that doesn't necessarily have to be a painting a day. It can be a quick sketch, a little collage, anything. So I am going to commit to this challenge and look forward to what comes out of it. (And hope I can do it!) I hope to post what I make daily. Another idea that I came across to stay inspired and creative was to pick a theme. I was stuck on this, until I started projecting into next year and thinking about what it will be like if my one and only beautiful daughter goes away to college. She is young, graduating at 16 and has been accepted to a college 5 hours from home. She may decide to stay home for the first year and go to a community college, but I have to be ready for her to leave, something I am not really prepared for since it wasn't supposed to happen for another year. So my theme is kind of a no-brainer- it will be mother and child, mother and daughter, beginning with the little painting below. I don't know how this theme will manifest itself- I may paint, draw, write, make jewelry, try on some crafty things I have always wanted to do, like felting..I may or may not do some self portraits or paintings of K and I.... the idea is to move through this creative space and see where it takes me... At least for now I know what train I am on... :0)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Etsy Copper Artists

This is a treasury I made using an inspiration piece from the nonteamchallenge on etsy. There are some really wonderful art pieces using reused and recycled copper. Enjoy!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My New Journey

I have painted over 100 cow paintings over the last ten years. I stopped counting when I registered my work as a collection with the copyright office about 4 years ago, but I know I am now well past that number. Since they have all come rolling straight from my imagination, that is a lot of silliness and whimsy that has been rolling around in my head and coming out of my brush. Prior to the cow obsession, I did lots of different kinds of work-memory paintings, my "People on the Couch" series, my "Black and White" series, Impasto paintings....but having done the same thing for so many years with the occasional recent foray into other animals, I am feeling the need to finally go in a different direction. At this point, I don't know what that direction is. I had walked into my studio several times over the last week with the intention of creating something completely new...and when I started....blank. nothing. I couldn't conjure up the faintest thing that I might want to paint. I had declared myself officially stuck. Like writers block, I had no impetus for my creativity to begin anew. Until I discovered Inspiration Avenue's Weekly Challenge. What a life saver! It got me to PAINT something without judgement,expectation, committment- just painting! This was just the jumping off point I needed and is perhaps the vehicle I need to help me move along on my journey to who knows where. While I will not abandon the body of work I have already developed....I see each new painting as a stop a long the way to the next phase of my art. I intend to use these weekly challenges to move me along, help me discover new things about myself and possibilities for my work. My husband and daughter and I used to jump in the car on a Saturday morning (before gas got so expensive) and just drive until we saw somewhere interesting to stop. We would go on that way, discovering places we hadn't been with no set plan, we would just let the road lead us and stopped when we recognized something cool. That's what I am doing with my art. My first cool stop is a painting in blue. The challenge from Inspiration Avenue was to pick a color that does it for you and paint something with it. So here it is, my neighbors pigeon coop from the window of my studio.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Holiday Hiatus

Another Philadelphia Christmas tradition, the lights at what was Wannamakers- now Macy'sLunch at Ho Sai Gi on 10th Street- Yummy!

New Years day isn't a party without the crazy Mummers!Chinatown on New Years Day
Dinner is almost served!
My girl with her new pal Vincenzo made by etsy artist outlawheartcreations
My beautiful daughter with her ukelele......
Our 12 ft. Christmas tree...

So here I am emerging from all the Holiday hub bub~ wrapping, running around, cooking, baking- all the things that go along with this most wonderful yet crazy time of year. I had a great season, beginning with my annual Christmas party which is always fun and I so much enjoy welcoming friends, new and old into our home. Christmas itself is usually quiet, our tradition being that my daughter and I attend the early service at our church and when my husband comes home from playing in the praise team, we all eat pizza and watch "It's a Wonderful Life" next to a blazing fire. On Christmas day we breakfast with dear friends, come home and rest and then settle in for a big roast beast dinner. As an independent artist, I was also very busy with my work, hosting an open studio at the beginning of the month and running various specials and sales in my web presence, especially on etsy. I have to say honestly though, and this isn't probably the smartest thing as someone who needs to sell her product, but there came a time when I was becoming tired and depressed at the cacophany of e-mails in my inbox daily enticing me to buy this item and that. Around the 16th, I decided that I didn't want to be a part of it anymore, that I needed to sit back and enjoy and reflect on what the season was really about- the birth of Christ. This is not an indictment of anyone else, it IS the biggest selling season of the year and, next year, you may be getting e-mails from me right up until Dec. 25. But this year, I just felt the need for something else. Needless to say, I didn't sell a lot, but that's ok, because what I got was a chance to reflect on and appreciate the most important things in my life~ family, friends, health, my gifts and talents, our home...the fact that I indeed have "a Wonderful Life" and that was what made my holiday season so special...