Tuesday, October 14, 2014

ALMOST HOME

ALMOST HOME 24X30 acrylic on canvas
Another larger painting based on my Plane View series has experienced a great deal of transformation, evolution and is at last possibly complete. I tried taking a few photos with my cell phone this evening. Don't know why but each one I took is lacking in clarity and color so I took a couple close-ups to show better color, texture and detail. I must admit I am loving the close-ups which got my creative wheels spinning. 







For those that know me, as much as I love, love, love abstract art my brain revolts each and every time I make an attempt. Experimenting, permission to play and trying new things is a rewarding process. It reminds me of our kids repeating over and over as we barely left the driveway, "Are we there yet?" We tried to point out the beauty and new experiences along the way, but they only had the end in mind. Wisdom and experience says enjoy each step along the journey. 

I am on a journey of sorts with my Plane View studies. While others choose to read or snooze on flights I prefer to sketch little studies from my window seat. I recently made 4 of my Plane View pieces available as prints in my Etsy Shop

PLANE VIEW #4, 11, 12

Monday, October 13, 2014

OUR GREAT ESCAPE

We have been working so hard on our endless kitchen remodel that we barely ever come up for air. We do show up for scheduled meetings and commitments, but that's about it. However, Saturday we were invited to take a break, and while we were buried in kitchen chaos we are so very glad we said yes. Spent an amazingly perfect day and evening on The Great Escape, a beautiful carver boat owned by the generous Adams family. We spent the afternoon enjoying the Coronado sights, dinner at Peohe's and incredible waterscape reflections once the night set in. Just what the doctor ordered. I took plenty of photo's for my visual fix and future paintings. I posted several fun photos on my Facebook page. But here I'm posting a few inspirational ones that got my creative juices flowing.

FAVE!!! must experiment with blurred lights on water with paint.HELLO!!
Another potential; I envision a semi-abstract? This one is very grainy from zooming in to get the shot I wanted, but that shouldn't stop me, right? Right.

ABSTRACT INSPIRATION
Now, back to reality. We made tremendous strides on the kitchen this weekend, despite our much needed Escape. I think we are now far enough along now to not snooze you to death with info and images. Promises to share valuable tips for those who love DIY or learn enough to hire an expert. Hold on another day or two; as my Photoshop crashes every time I try to do a reveal. War on!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

COMING UP ROSES

COMING UP ROSES 2  6x6 acrylic on board

COMING UP ROSES 1




Between gutting the kitchen and working on some paintings I keep forgetting to post on my blog. Oops. I manage to do much better with Facebook, Instagram, Etsy and occasionally Twitter. Those venues take little effort but result in comments and human interaction which is so critical for someone who works alone. Now-a-days the only comments I get on my blog are spam. So I forget. Everyone wants quick results; including me. 

So my goal was to go mixed media abstract florals here. Okay, so once again my hand does not cooperate with my mind, or is it the other way around? But, I am still good. I learn and grow with every stroke.

I have been adding these smaller pieces as prints onto my Etsy shop. I am accumulating the originals for now, but if you are interested in an original just email me or leave a comment. xo


Friday, September 5, 2014

PRICKLY PAIR


Meet Dominic and Josephine. My great grandparents who came over on the boat from Italy and never learned English. They had 7 children and Josephine used unique disciplinary methods that included swatting the back of the head with a broom when you weren't looking. That was much better than kneeling on hard lima beans until they indented the knees. 

Dominic spent his entire waking hour in a squeaky rocking chair smoking a pipe and spitting in a coffee can called a spittoon. Sometimes he knocked it over with the rocking chair. Then I got to hear lots of interesting Italian phrases, that if I repeated I got my mouth washed out with lye soap. 

Oh, and the walls were decorated with genuine contact paper. When they ran out, they'd continue with a totally different pattern.

Even though Dominic had the look of a dictator, Josephine clearly was the scarier one. You think those are flips on her head, do you? That's why I thought this old photo was so unusually charming. So much so, that I decided to immortalize this tender moment. Oh, and yes I have many other such interesting characters from my past. What? Don't we all?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

LIVE COLOR FULLY



I LOVE this fragrance from Kate Spade. Okay, I admit there's hardly anything I Don't like from KS, but this is a triple winner. People frequently ask what fragrance I'm wearing, this bottle is gorgeous and the name is my daily mantra. LIVE COLOR FULLY. Yes I Will. I painted my daughter a watercolor for her aqua and pink studio office, but not before I turned it into a print for my Etsy Shop. Available in two sizes.


And speaking of living color fully, we were just in Indianapolis for 5 days. BTW; we saw more rain in that time than we have experienced in the 3 years here in San Diego. Seriously. Oh, and the lightning dancing sideways across the sky and claps of thunder that made you flinch. We soaked it all in. Got to use an umbrella and run for shelter like in the olden days. I digress. We met our dear friends, the Telfords for dinner at Rick's Boatyard, our old stomping ground. I took about 2 dozen photos of the amazing sunset as it changed colors numerous times as it went down.  We sailed here so many times over the years and Jennifer's rehearsal dinner was atop Rick's with an equally beautiful sunset that night several years ago. Here is just one snapshot. Thank you God for this rich display that I'd like to think was meant just for me. 


And finally, we got to hug, kiss on and celebrate our grandson turning 12. I have no idea how this is possible. What an absolutely loveable nut!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I'M MORE THAN A PRETTY FACE

Our visit to Paso Robles was so visually inspiring and the booster shot I so needed. Tim and I drove the beautiful countrysides, stopping and taking photos, like hundreds of photos along the way. One of our stops was a hillside with cows grazing. Once they spotted us they all headed down the hill and right up to us, all lined up in a row, getting so close we had to back up. Curious cows has new meaning for this city raised gal. I just love how they hang out. One leans over and decides to clean another cow's ear. Or they just kinda stare and you wonder what they are thinking about…if anything. 


I'M MORE THAN A PRETTY FACE  6x6 acrylic on canvas


This is now available as a fine art print in my Etsy shop in two sizes. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

MEET "EWENICE" AND "LAMBERT"

Here are a couple of my recent additions to my farm animal menagerie. The original paintings are acrylic on birch cradle boards with a deep 1.5" profile. 

LAMBERT AND EWENICE

I have adjusted the colors on the above image 5 or 6 times. Color looks perfect in Photoshop but for some reason it turns out brighter once I post it here. I give up. Below are prints that I've added to my Etsy shop over the weekend. On my screen the prints are the correct colors. Anyway, probably the first pieces that work great in a baby nursery, don't you think?

EWENICE AND LAMBERT prints available in 2 sizes
In the meantime the kitchen remodel is in full swing. Our house resembles some indescribable disaster with old cabinets and all their contents in various rooms, even outside, with boxes of new cabinets intermixed. The kitchen openings are tented with plastic so to go find, say a ziplock bag, I walk all the way around the house and back when I can just about see the box through the plastic. I am trying to embrace the process but cannot wait to be on the other end of this and merely open a drawer to grab a ziplock. xo

Thursday, July 31, 2014

LITTLE MR BIG SHOT


Back in November I began a mixed media painting and thought it was about time I put the finishing touches on it. Let me take you back to the layers and process. First, I chose a photo of my father-in-law's childhood that makes me smile, especially knowing him as an adult. That rifle has to be twice as tall as Paul. I'm guessing he's about three years old here and living on a farm in Texas. With no siblings or anyone closely, his friends were the animals. He had two cows Pete and Repeat. I made copies of various ephemera, like the notes written on the back of photos, maps, rifle targets, pages from his childhood books and anything relating to his life on the farm in the 1920's. I applied the layers onto a 12"x30" x 2.25"d canvas as the foundation.


Even though it was close to completion, I set it aside to move onto the holidays and then other paintings. Lately I am in the mood to finish up. So here you go!
The full piece is on left and a couple closeup shots on the right. Hope he's smiling.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

BOULEVARD TO THE BEACH

BOULEVARD TO THE BEACH    OIL ON CANVAS BOARD  SOLD 
This is one of several paintings I had in a stack of unfinished pieces. Someone noticed it in one of my Facebook photos of my studio and claimed it. How cool is that? However, this will be available as a print in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

MARRIAGE IS LIKE A ROLLER COASTER

We halted gutting and remodeling our kitchen to focus our creativity on our church's annual Marriage Retreat. Marriage is Like a Roller Coaster had my mind rolling on how to maximize this theme. Tim and I went all out on the photo booth. I mean ALL OUT. 

My husband made the process so entertaining. One morning I walked past the guest room and this is what I saw under the bed out of the corner of my eye. 


If that wasn't enough to startle me, when he finally completed the get-up he sat them in my family room. I admit I jumped every time I turned the corner.


While Tim was creating the coaster cars I was painting this 8'x8' background on my dining room floor…..


and packing up gift boxes at the dining table.



All for this thrilling moment!



All our hard work paid off, and everyone got into character for their photos. The night before the photo booth was revealed we watched some hilarious videos of couples reactions on roller coaster rides. One guy passed out, another lady screamed OH MY about a hundred times and another lady swore she would never forgive her husband. The next day the couples got into character; some guys faked passing out, a gal mimicked the wife who held onto her husband's hair.  


You should have seen the back seat of our car as we transported these legs up to Newport Beach and back for the retreat. If we had been pulled over we would've had a lot of Splainin To Do!  Can't say we don't know how to celebrate and laugh at the ups and downs of marriage. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

WINDING THROUGH WINE COUNTRY

Can't tell you how many times since living in San Diego; which by the way has been 3 years now, that we have had people say, "What? You haven' been to Paso Robles yet"? You can only hear that comment so many times before you finally say, "Fine then. Twist our arms." So we ended up staying at the coolest cottage on an olive orchard and roaming the countryside taking hundreds of photos, visiting wineries, art galleries, eateries and just enjoying every twist and turn. 

Early evening view from our Lanai

Proulx Winery

Moonstone Beach in Cambria



I took hundreds of photos and hoping you will see some of those along the way in the form of paintings. Tim and I haven't been able to pinpoint why, but for some reason this short trip was at the top of our favorites. 

Now back home we have taken on our biggest remodel so far. Plastic tents, upholstery all covered, rugs rolled back...we are doing it! Finally gutting the kitchen. I will be sharing our step-by-step remodel once we get far enough along, but in the midst of the disarray I make myself little vignettes; hopeful inspiration of things to come.





Tuesday, June 24, 2014

ROOSTERS WITH ATTITUDE

ROOSTER ON THE EDGE 8x8 Acrylic on canvas
  I've been ramping up my painting time. Lately it's been roosters. Not sure why, but enjoying their attitude. Sometimes I wonder if they really do have an attitude, or are they merely misunderstood? For the sake of creativity, lets just go with attitude.


DEEP THOUGHTS 8x8 Acrylic on canvas

Prints are available in my Etsy Shop (on the right sidebar).

A friend has a huge chicken farm and has invited me to come take photos. I hope to gather lots of attitude, as long as it's not directed at me.

Monday, June 23, 2014

SOUL MATE

As usual, much has happened since my last post. We were visited by wildfires, heat, wind, smoke and ashes, sirens and helicopters hovering. And all while we had friends visiting from the Midwest and Northwest. A bit preoccupied as to whether we would need to evacuate and what to pack in the car, we didn't spend as much time with our friends as we had planned. I recorded all the drama in images on my Facebook and Instagram pages. 


After that little adventure, I have been painting with more regularity and since my animal menagerie seems to be a hit on Etsy my painting repertoire now includes roosters with attitude and a close up of a horse I titled SOUL MATE. This painting was inspired by my sweet grand daughter starting therapeutic horse therapy and absolutely falling IN LOVE with "her" therapy horse, Prince. After a phone call with her gleefully describing how they became instant friends, I was thinking about how amazing animals are, how accepting and loyal. I asked my husband if he thought horses could see into a person's soul and he immediately responded with a resounding YES. Eyes have been the focus (haa haa) of my recent paintings, so I concentrated on a close up. This is what I put on the canvas to start off. Somehow, I liked these first strokes the best. But kept going, and going until this Saturday. I finished it in time to submit it into a local art gallery show, otherwise I would have done more; much more. 


SOUL MATE 20x20 acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas
Promise to share the roosters tomorrow.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

VINEYARD SKY

VINEYARD SKY 6x6 acrylic on board

This is one of the only paintings I've completed since I last posted. But I must admit I'm liking this one enough to turn it into a larger work. The 5"x5" and 8"x8" prints are in my Etsy Shop here.

I've been busy turning another year older, traveling to Indiana to visit family and friends, be surprised by a, um, surprise birthday dinner filled with several of those precious people I did life with for many years in the Midwest. We drove to South Bend to have a little memorial for Tim's mom and afterwards visited the University of Notre Dame so my grandson could dream about his future possibilities. 

I had a plein air paint and play date while in Indiana with my friend Kelly. She's fairly new to painting, especially plein air but pulled off a very impressive piece and I think she was pleasantly surprised at her abilities. Sorry I forget to take an after picture.

Upon returning to San Diego I arranged another painting day here with my friend Suzanne to celebrate our birthdays together. She, is very new to painting and I chose her favorite vineyard as the subject. What a joy it was to pop her painting into a frame and watch her expression. I did get a picture of her posing in front of her finished masterpiece. See, she is still glowing.




Friends are coming to visit this next week so I won't be painting, just socializing and enjoying every moment of this gorgeous weather. xo


Monday, April 14, 2014

STILL WATERS

STILL WATERS 6x6 oil on board

I reworked and renamed this one.  Not a huge difference, but wanted to add more texture with a palette knife.  Adding two size prints of STILL WATERS to my Etsy Shop in a 5x5 and 8x8.  

Since moving to the desert we have managed to kill numerous plants and flowers. I somehow anticipate the garden nurseries will plaster our faces on a warning poster stating THEY KILL FLOWERS.  I'm learning the hard way that containers work better than planting in the ground.  I just love having vases of flowers from my garden, but that is tough as it doesn't rain and the heat scorches my favorites.  So last year I tried a pot of succulents and when they didn't die I added another and then another.  So far so good. So a couple months ago we added more containers and filled them with more succulents. Still don't really know what I'm doing, but hoping I won't end up with a bunch of empty pots. Advise anyone?


Every chance I get I pick up a few beach stones to add to my courtyard. Adds a bit of interest I think..looks better than dirt, yes?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

SPRINGTIME IN PARADISE

Sorry for the obnoxious title, but seriously; take away the earthquakes, wildfires, cost of living and some crazy people/things and there you have it…PARADISE. I didn't want to rub it in that we never had a winter, well, nor did we have rain. Oh well…..sunshine and roses EVERY DAY. Spring is my absolute favorite season. We recently attended a beautiful outdoor wedding and I made a trip with a friend to the Japanese Friendship Gardens. Looking for some inspiration to paint.






Many more beautiful shots, but I will refrain, as it's probably still snowing somewhere.

The Etsy shop has been doing surprisingly well. I just added my Love Boats. This painting of two sailboats nestled together in the Santa Barbara Harbor is available as fine art prints and available in two sizes; 5x7 and 8x10. Click the link or go to the Etsy Mini in the sidebar to check out all the art and fabrics I've added to the shop.  




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