Monday, December 31, 2012

Hello 2013!!

As we say goodbye to 2012, I wanted to take a moment to tell each and every one of you how much I appreciate your support and the constant love you all freely give.  I never cease to be amazed at the thoughtfulness of my wonderful friends, both cyber and real-life!

Over on FaceBook, I did a quick post about two small books that I put together featuring my 2012 paintings and a few dolls and pendants.  The purpose of the book (in the small square version) is to take to NY later this month to give to prospective clients but I offered to have extras printed if anyone was interested.  I must say, you guys overwhelmed me with your support!!!  I have the lists of everyone who wanted to preorder and I have decided before I place this big order, I really need to preview the book and make sure I got it all just right.  Today, I will order a copy of both books, preview them and then place the big order.  So, instead of one week as I originally said, it will probably be closer to two.  I hope that's ok with everyone but I'd rather give you a GREAT product than a fair product so I need that ordering/shipping time.  For anyone who didn't see the post and wants on the list, the small book is 7" x 7" and $26.  The larger version (which contains a few extra pictures) is 8" x 10" and $36.  I wish I could do better on the pricing but this time around, that's the best deal I could find.  All copies will be signed.

We spent Christmas up in New England with my husband's family.  It was a lovely, relaxed time with family and friends.  I found time to draw and do a little painting, as well!  Here are a few things I did while lazing around and eating too much!

I'm so excited to see what 2013 will bring.  Thank you all for your kindness and support this past year.  I love you all!  Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ho Ho Ho!!!

Wow, not only has Christmas gotten here with lightening speed, the entire year has truly flown by!  I have stayed super busy lately.  I started making my ceramic pendants at the beginning of 2012.  I would love to know how many I have made since then!  I'm sure I would be astounded at the number.  I recently sat down to sculpt and started making pendants based on drawings in my journal (you all know how I love my idea journal!!).  Here is how one turned out.
The dollies continue to evolve into their own little individual personalities.  I love making them and feel like I'm sending my babies out into the world every time I make that Post Office trip!

Here are a couple of recent paintings, as well.  This first one has 2 layers.  The front layer is raised off the second layer, making it about 1 1/2" thick.  The face and body are sculpted from epoxy clay.

The antique white areas on the painting below were made with MaryBeth Shaw's Wood Icing.  I LOVE this product!  I also used one of her stencils to make the design.  The Wood Icing adds amazing texture.  You can paint over it or leave it plain.  I did a little of both, leaving the middle plain and slightly tinting the outer edges.

I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas season.  I have many more things underway to show you so I'll be seeing you soon!!  Merry Christmas!

Monday, October 15, 2012

What???!!! I haven't posted since August?!

I have been neglecting my blog!  I didn't realize it had been that long since I last posted.  I work everyday and sometimes forget to stop long enough to take care of the "other" things!

I taught at Art Is...You in Benecia and Petaluma, CA last month.  What a great, well organized, fun event it was!  The student work was fantastic and it was so amazing to meet in person a lot of people whom I talk to online daily!  Here are a few pictures of the student work from the various classes I taught:

Here's a much better picture of some of the dolls made during the class.  This is from the lovely and talented Diana Frey's Blog.

After I returned, I was notified that I was accepted to teach at the spring 2013 event Art Is...You in Nashville.  YAY!!!  I will finally be teaching in my own part of the country!  One of the classes will be a collaborative class with the phenominal  MaryBeth Shaw!  She is an amazing abstract artist with a style that is completely different than my own so it should be really fun to see how those two different sides of art come together.  I will post a link when the website is updated with the information.  I do know that the dates are April 2-7, 2013.  I will also be teaching at Random Arts in Saluda, North Carolina in early October, 2013.  More on that event soon, as well!

Here are a few new paintings completed in the past couple of weeks:

Plus new pendants and dolls:

Thank you all for checking in and I'll try to update more often.  No more neglecting!  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

An Interview and New Paintings

I am so excited!  The lovely Violette Clark did an interview with me for her blog!  I hope you will go over and read it!

I have also finished 3 new paintings this week.  Here they are:

 Some new pendants, as well.  I'm still working on the chains.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Truth of the Worker Bee

I was just finishing up my day when a thought occurred to me.  I started work this morning at 7:30 and I stopped at 7:30 tonight.  Interesting.  Many, many people work a day like that.  Not that my day is hard...honestly, it's not.  I am blessed to be able to do what I love as a profession.  I'm not working in the hot sun, I'm not taking care of sick people, I'm not rescuing anyone....those are the amazing, hard working, heroic professionals.  I just work.  I realized today that I am a Worker Bee.  I am not a queen...I don't have underlings to bring me food and although I have certainly turned out my share of children, they don't serve me, either!  I just work.  I am so very thankful to my husband for supporting my art and for working in his own "Worker Bee" style to allow me to be able to do what I do.
If you don't have the current ability to be able to spend your time being creative, realize that it's not out of your reach.  I did work a "real" job for many years (and truthfully, I still have a job in our family business that takes a lot of my time, as well) but I always found time for my creativity.  It might be a half hour after the kids went to bed or a couple of weekend hours but I never felt guilty for taking time to do the things that pulled at my heart.  I have always felt that a happy mother/wife/friend/sister makes the people around her happier, too.  Eventually, I was able to spend a little more time and (hopefully) develop my skills and produce more art so that I could extend my art into a profession.  I am so thankful to all of you who read my posts, buy my art and support me emotionally.  Even though I have said in the past that I would still need to produce art even if no one was interested, the truth is that I make art for all of you even more than I make it for myself.  Thank you ALL for your kind words and support., I'll never be the Queen.....I'm okay with that.  Actually, I am PROUD of my status as a Worker Bee.  God has given me the ability to create and I hope to serve that role as long as I am allowed.  xoxo

Today's work:
Also, I finished 3 new Mermieees.  I am still working on their hand-quilted/beaded tails.  I will have them in the Etsy shop at 4 o'clock (Central) on Sunday, along with a couple of other pendants.  Here's a little preview of the others:

I will do a Facebook post with the new Mermieees before I put them in the shop for those of you who use FB.

I love, love you guys!!!  xoxo

Thursday, August 2, 2012


These Mermieee girls came to me in a dream early last week.  I immediately changed my day to accomodate them as they were insistant that they really wanted to exist!  Haha!  They are ceramic clay, glazed and fired 4 times.  Their tails are quilted and beaded by hand.  They are a little larger than my usual pendants, about 4" top to tail.  I am sending all 3 to Stampington to see if they are interested in my doing an article on them.  I do have 3 more in the kiln though that will be for sale when they are done.

These were so much fun to make but certainly not easy.  All those little beads and tangly thread!  I was very pleased with them though.  The little tails swing, which pleased me greatly!  Hahaha!
Happy day to you!!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

New Bags in the Shop

I know not all of you get on FaceBook so you may not realize that I have put some new bags into the Etsy shop.  Click over to the right to see them!

I'll do a post on new works in the next couple of days!  xoxo

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Amazing Value of Friends

I don't know why just this minute I am feeling all emotional and thinking about the value and support of friends but I am going to post about that very subject in relation to myself and my art right now.
I have many amazing, supportive friends, both here and on Facebook.  I can always count on you all to comment, support and respond and I am so very grateful.  Thank you all.

I have 2 people that I really want to shine a spotlight on right now.  The only order of value is a timeline.  About 6 years ago I went to Artfest for the first time.  Before the trip, I posted a random little blurb about having a rental car if anyone wanted to share.  2 people answered.  One of those people became my absolute right hand for anything on the west coast from that very day forward!  Cheryl McCloud has been my support, the person I depend on for everything from "when to shut up" to "how to answer any given question"!!!  She has helped me in classes and on every crazy-wild vendor night ever since then.  I have often called her "my boss" since whatever she tells me to do, I do it!!!   Cheryl, I love you so much.

The other person is Mindy Lacefield.  I met Mindy at Artfest 2011, quite by accident.  Someone at my table said something about "Tim's Sally" and I said "OH!  Is she here?!"   She was sitting right beside me!  In talking we realized that she was born literally 30 miles from me in Arkansas (albeit 10 years apart, she's the younger although I'll only say that ONCE!  LOL).  We had an immediate connection and I felt blessed to have her visit my family cabin that summer.  We painted, hung out on the porch and visited my crazy family.  I have come to find out since that time what an absolutely amazing person (as well as a phenomenal artist) she really is.  She has supported me in ways that really only a sister would.   I have met very few people in my life that are as giving as Mindy.   I often call her and ask what she thinks about certain issues or how to handle something (such as recording for this class I am trying to put together). are a blessing and I love you.

Again, I don't know why this "sappiness" at this moment but I wanted to do this post while my wonderful friends were on my mind (as they OFTEN are!).  If you are like me, you think of your friends and family and your appreciation of them quite often but we forget to tell them as often as we should.  I hope this will inspire you to tell the people you love how much they mean to you.

I have started the editing for the online class.  It will still be awhile.  I am trying to learn the editing and make sure it will be a good class!  Here is the painting that I did while recording.  In case you can't read the text, it says "'Shall we literally have nothing to eat?', asked Mr. Peterkin, helping himself to another sausage".

Again, I want to thank you all for the constant love, support and comments.  Without all of you, I would only be making art for myself....I would never want that.  xoxo

Monday, July 2, 2012

Summertime, Summertime, Sum Sum, Summertime!!

I have had SOOOOOO much going on this summer!  I'm not complaining.  I have had some wonderful trips with my family and great fun with friends but I need to get back to work!!  Haha!  I've been trying to work "on the road" and I've tried to make the most of limited studio time but honestly, I get a little crazy when I don't get enough unbroken creative time.

Last weekend, I spent almost 3 days painting and recording for a possible online class.  I say possible simply because I have NO idea how to edit!!  I'm sure my amazing techie daughter will be HAPPY to help me!  (I'll put her latest video at the end of this post.  Not only is she an amazing singer/musician, her editing skills blow me away!  She makes these videos right here in her room!)

Here are two of the paintings I did in preparation for the class.  The third one is a little more "secret" for now since it will be the main painting used for the class.

Here's a little preview of the main painting.  Can you see the little doggie nose poking his way in at the bottom right corner?!

Next up, I worked on bags.  I managed to get 6 done.  They have all left for new adventures but I will be making more as soon as I can.
I spent a little time sculpting.  I have been firing various items for about 17 years and I STILL sometimes have to re-learn lessons!  Here's a BIG one:  don't try to hurry up the drying time!  I spent a full day sculpting these pendants only to have them totally blow up in the kiln!  There must have still been some moisture inside although they had been drying for 2 days.  Urg!!
I did a couple of small pieces to abandon.  If you haven't heard of this group, go over to FaceBook and search for Art Abandonment.  This is the group started by Michael DeMeng just a short time ago, maybe about a month.  It has already grown to over 4,000 members!!  The purpose of the group is to make a piece of original art and leave it in a public place for someone to find.  I left a note on mine explaining that it is "free art" and how to contact the group.  Here are the ones I left, the first one at The Wildflower Restaurant in Mentone, AL and the second one at Pirate's Cove (the bar/grill where Jimmy Buffet wrote "Cheeseburger in Paradise") near Gulf Shores, AL. of my closest friends has been wanting me to paint a mermaid for her beach house for over a year.  Since I get to GO to the beach house (with my family and with her!) every summer, it was time to do what she wanted!  Here is the mermaid, (as yet unnamed).  She is happily hanging in the spot reserved for her.  She's large (by my standards!), 36" x 42".
Thank you so much for checking in and taking a peek at my summer artwork!!  I hope you are enjoying your summer and doing a few creative things along the way!  Here is the link to Bailey's new video.  I hope you enjoy it.  More soon!!  Bailey's New Direction Video

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Finding inspiration

I was over on FaceBook just now and a FB friend, Barbara Lane, said this: 

"I wish I had your talent of painting whimsy..mine always comes out tight, with no imagination.  I can copy to a tee, but imagination, none.  Great job with your paintings."

I hope she won't mind me using her quote.  Here's the thing:  I feel this way almost every day!  It's interesting being an artist.  We first have to realize...there is nothing new in this world!!!  It's really ALL been done.  I don't say this to be discouraging.  I say it to let you know that there is no pressure to do the "one thing that has never been done"!  If you are Michelangelo...go for it.  If you are just you....find the path that makes you happy and pursue that.

It IS necessary to find your own style.  That is usually done by first studying and copying the artists that you most admire and then by changing that to become your own style.  I hope to truly address this in an online class that I am planning.

I keep harping on this (!).....keep an idea journal.  Every stupid thing that pops into my head goes into my idea journal.  "Hey...look how long that guy's legs are!" (goes in the journal).  "Look at that crazy dog!" (goes in the journal).  "That girl looks so happy walking with her brother!"  (goes in the journal). Those things are the stuff of imagination.   Sometimes I draw a quick little idea and sometimes I literally write down a person's name so that I remember who it was that inspired me that day (so I can look them up again later).  I have learned to translate thoughts and ideas into my own style but that didn't happen overnight.  I had to work hard to find my own path.  I refuse to "copy" anyone...but occasionally I do find that the inspirations seep Tim Burton!  I have had 2 people tell me that my doggies remind them of 'Frankenweinie".  That's okay.  I didn't copy him but he certainly does inspire me and as long as I didn't look at Tim's work to create my own, I am fine knowing my creatures come from my own imagination and I definately give credit to those who inspire me.

I hope this hasn't been just rambling....I only mean it to encourage you to keep pushing forward.  Everything you do builds on the last thing you did.

Here is a journal I just completed.  I will be teaching this technique at Art Is You in Petaluma, CA in September.

Thank you all for reading my humble little blog.  I truly appreciate you.