Friday, April 30, 2010

The Friday Five

8 x 10

      This week I missed posting my Wednesday question! I know you're dissapointed right? Of course you are *wink*. So instead I'm doing five things on a Friday, and posting an older work because I have not gotten much painting done this week.  Sometimes life is overwhelming, and that's ok. Because without those experiences my work would be flat, lifeless. So here's to all the play-doh, Wii games, stories, and sippy cups for this week! Huzzah!! I love my little family :) And since I like to get you guys to join in on the fun I'm asking you to participate with me! You don't have to tell me five, you can do as many or as few as you want. Just tell me what's new with you. Here we go.

  1. I now have a website! I'm pretty excited, it's the first one I've ever had. So if you want to go check it out and tell me what you think it's at . It's a work in progress, but still, coolness!

  2. My son had kindergarten round up this week, and I'm trying not to feel sad that this fall he won't be my little shadow during the day. At least for three hours. It's hard once they start school, it's never quite the same as when they were home with you all day. *sigh*

  3. I watched Avatar with my husband for the first time, and I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. Actually I really liked it. I mean action, adventure, a love story between two 10 feet tall blue people who are still strangely beautiful. What's not to like?  :)

  4. I'm working on a new portrait of one of my boys (see below). And I am very excited about the light in this one. There are some lovely pink, violet and yellows I'm hoping to capture. This is the one I'm going to use as a demonstration for that local art organization in a few weeks.

  5. The song "This is War" by 30 Seconds to Mars has been replaced (I know, sad huh?) by my current two faves which are: "Make This Go On Forever" by Snow Patrol, and "Feeling Good" by Muse. If there's no 30 Seconds to Mars on my ipod there has to be Muse. It's just a given people!
     And now I must go friends, apparently I have been spending too much time on this blog post and not enough on fixing snacks. I feel a little hand tugging on my pant leg. Have a happy weekend!


Monday, April 26, 2010

Things I Had No Words For, part 2

"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way. . . things I had no words for."
Georgia O'Keefe

10 x 14 watercolor

      My friend challenged me again. What would it look like when I'm holding on? This is what I came up with. Why the horse? You may be wondering. Because all my life, to me, horses have meant peace. Growing up they were a huge part of my life, and still every time I feel like I need some peace I yearn to be on the back of a horse.  Their smell, their warm breath in my ear, the feel of their solid, reassuring presence right next to me. That IS peace.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Work in Progress, and Wednesday question

work in progress
10 x 14 watercolor

      My good friend Catie, who has a running blog which is fantastic and you can find it here, told me that she likes seeing my works in progress. So here is what I'm working on now. I took this picture a few years ago at a stallion auction, and this horse was gorgeous!! He was solid muscle and he moved with confidence, like he knew he was really something. The only thing I wish had been different was the light, it was an overcast day, and I was hoping for full sun. But, oh well. I love the line of his neck it seems so graceful to me. And his kind expression.

     All right here's the question people!! I know you're so excited right? (he, he) I think the power of blogging is in making connections with people you wouldn't ordinarily get to meet. So this week's question is simple, but fun. Tell me something about yourself, any fun fact you want. It can be as simple as your favorite food, or your favorite band (Muse? Yes!! 30 Seconds to Mars? Yes!! I knew we were going to be great friends!! *wink*). Or anything else you feel like sharing. Now don't be shy, you can even tell us something embarrasing if you want. Here, I'll go first.

      I am kind of a major dork in the fact that something I love to do is go to the library. I am always on the hunt for my new favorite book. And I always take my kids, there is this one library really close to us that has awesomely fun toys. So they really like to go. Usually. A few months ago I took my two boys, the oldest was in school, and we were looking around, when my baby who had just started saying words, did not want me to hold him. AT ALL. Now the word he really liked to say right now is 'ow' or 'owie'. So, when I did not put him down to wreck havoc on the poor library he started screaming 'OW!!!' very, very loud. I don't think my face could have gotten any redder. So many people were looking at me as I wrestled this screaming infant, and all I could think to do was just hold on to him and make a quick exit! I kept saying "It's just his favorite word, I'm not hurting him honest!" I thought I was going to get turned in for child abuse! Not surprisingly we quit going to the library as much after that. :):)

     Okay, your turn :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


10 x 14 watercolor

     Here's the finished painting of my niece and their family dog, Jackson. He died last year and they got him right before my beautiful niece was born. They grew up together and he was an awesome dog. I thought it was fitting to paint his portrait with her in it too. And I just loved her arms around his neck. I hope you like it Jenny Lee, love you :)

     And I just wanted to give a great big thank you to everyone who follows me here and takes the time to leave such kind, thoughtful comments. I appreciate each one of you so much and sometimes you say just the thing I needed to hear. Just wanted you to know. You guys are so awesome and amazingly talented. All of you. Have a great happy making day!

      What I'm listening to: Wonderful by Everclear and This is War by 30 Seconds to Mars

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bright Eyes And A Good Grip

"Bright Eyes And A Good Grip"

10 x 14 watercolor

"It is not a slight thing, when they, who are so fresh from God, love us."

Charles Dickens

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Work in Progress

work in progress

10 x 14

     Here's the new painting I'm working on. It's taken me a while to get back in the swing of things, it's funny how much things change when you miss a few days of painting. I keep going through phases of really liking where this painting is going, and not so sure about it. I have all the basic washes in the face done, I just need to strengthen things here and there. But I'm going to wait to do that until after I put in the hair, because I'm not sure how much I want to push it :) This is different from my usual portraits because there is no strong light. I took this photo on an overcast day and had my mom hold my baby facing the window. I hoped there would be soft and subtle light on his face. Now I'm trying to emphasize that in my painting. We'll see how it turns out :)

      Okay it's Wednesday! That means it's question time for all you bloggers reading this. Don't be afraid to comment, I love to hear all your thoughts :) Here it is:

      "How do you make time for your creative pursuits?"  I get asked this question a LOT. Especially from other moms. And my answer is always the same, if something is important to you, you MAKE time for it. We are all busy, that's not going to change. Somethings will get pushed aside and as long as it's not your family or bills then I think that's ok. I would rather fulfill my heart's desire by painting than spend hours making sure my house is spotless. Don't get me wrong I love a clean house, and I don't live in squallor or anything, but it's not what's most important to me. Painting fills my soul. I would not be happy if I didn't make time for it every day. And it's important that I'm happy, for everybody in my family :) :)

     So here's what works for me. I get up early. When it's still dark, before everyone wakes up. I run or write or paint. Then once the kids are asleep I paint again. Sometimes I stay up really late, but I'm ok with that because I'm filling up my happy tank. I can get by with my sleep tank being a little less full :) During the day I focus on my family, but I'll read or sketch sometimes when they're occupied. And I'm always thinking of the next step on my painting so that when I have time I know just what to do and I'm not wasting my precious time! And if you're wondering where handsome hubby is during all this night time painting don't fear, he's right there with me. I paint in our dining room which opens up to our family room and the kitchen. So we are always in the same room together. Sometimes we talk, sometimes he reads to me, sometimes we're just there together. But he knows this is important to me and he's my biggest inspiration to keep going, he supports me and encourages me and looks for ways to help me.

     That's my answer, now it's your turn :) And all you men out there, don't think you're off the hook on this question. We know how busy you are too.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Head Study

8 x 10 watercolor

"All Set"

      I really like to paint head studies of anything. It's just fun. My kids are sick and I'm recovering so I'm taking a tip from Kim and posting an older work. I painted this last year, just for fun, I really liked trying to capture the bright red color of the horse. He was beautiful!

Thursday, April 8, 2010



10 x 14 watercolor

      I think I could have done a lot of thigns better with this painting. But here it is. Some things I really like. Like the background, and her eyes and the skin tones I think are okay. But other things well, could be better. But I'm posting it anyway. I think I'll try this one again, I don't think I really captured her. Try again, that's the name of the game right? And no discouragement! "My next one will be great. . . " says John Seerey Lester. That's what I think every time I finsh a painting!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

2 New Works In Progress

10 x 14 watercolor

10 x 14 watercolor

      I'm working on these two paintings of my nieces. Beautiful subjects and it has been so fun to paint girls for a change! I do a lot of blonde headed little boys :) Which is so fun too, of course.

      There is still a lot of finishing up to do, the bottom one especially. But I just started that one last night, so I don't feel too bad about that. I'm trying to keep them both fresh and sparkly, so I hope I can pull that off. My inspiration for these is lighting (beautiful!) and expression. And of course the interaction with the dog, love that! Now I need to find more girl models. . . Any takers? Catie *wink*?

      And I thought it would be fun to post a question once a week, in an effort to get to know what motivates other bloggers. So here it is, what inspires you to create (paint, photograph, write, etc.) the most? Is it a person, nature, emotion. What is it?

    What I'm listening to: "A White Demon Love Song" by the Killers, and "Possibility" by Lykke Li (you know which album these songs are on don't you? Don't look at me like that, you know you love it too :))

Monday, April 5, 2010

Things I Had No Words For

"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way. . . Things I had no words for."  Georgia O'Keefe

"Bring Me To Life"

15 x 20 watercolor

      I was talking with a friend a few weeks ago, trying to tell him what I was feeling. I said I didn't think I could put it into words. He challenged me to paint it instead. So I did. This is unlike anything I've ever painted. I'm not quite sure what I think about it yet. It was cathartic, that's for sure.

What I'm listening to: "Hysteria" by Muse

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A sketch and some thoughts

colored pencil study

      I typically don't do preliminary sketches before I do a finished painting. I find that if I spend too much time on preparations (not planning, that I do lots of) I lose that spark that drew me to the subject in the first place. And you know how much I strive for freshness and emotion in my paintings. I'm also a firm believer that if you don't feel it then nobody else will :)

      This sketch is part of a larger painting I'm working on. My sketchbook has lots of these studies (although I did this on larger drawing paper) of hands, eyes, mouths all those things that help make a convincing portrait. I consider them to be my training. I love realism. But I love impressionistic, loose works too. I think all art has value and I can appreciate it for it's own particular beauty even though it's different from how I paint. I'm not trying to make a painting that looks like a photograph, there are lots of talented photographers out there for that. I'm painting my feelings, my reaction to something.

      And also the reception for "Timeless Remedy" was last night, and I received two awards. :) Made me smile. Here's the painting in case you missed it, and I'm lame at linking on here so I'm just posting it again.

"Timeless Remedy" 

"Art comes from a deep inner sense of direction.  It starts with a re-evaluation of your own life, from a search for the source of the impulses and the mystery of it all.  I think of myself as an emotional realist.  Emotion is what I want to portray.  Realism is just my way of doing it."
Steve Hanks

     All art is beautiful, all art requires talent and work, realism is just my way of doing it.
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