Thursday, March 29, 2012

From Within SOLD

From Within
6" x 6" watercolor SOLD

This is my friend Taylor. I loved the lighting in this painting. I loved how it emphasized Taylor's personality, how she has so much light and kindness from within that radiates out to others when she smiles. She's awesome and I loved painting her. :)) Thanks for volunteering to model for me!

It's nearly time for spring break around here (next week), and kiddos are running around my house more frequently since it's early out day every day this week at school. Painting time is precious and harder to find, and that's completely okay. I love having my boys home more.

But it does force me to make the most out of the time I do have. Here's a photo of what I did yesterday while waiting in the car to pick my boys up from school.

A new little colored pencil piece on Ampersand Pastelbord. I'm pretty happy with how it's coming along. I'll get a better shot of it for my next post so you can see it a little more clearly.

This brings me to two things I want to say today:

1. Make time to do what you love. The time is there, it might not be the 'ideal' time, but you can make it work if it's something that you LOVE doing.

And 2. Paint what you love, or what excites you. Don't let yourself think that there's only one subject, one way that you can paint. That's part of what makes us artists,  our constant striving, and reaching, and trying new things to stretch creatively and create work that moves people and makes them feel something, that makes us feel something. There are no absolutes in the life of an artist.

And in a totally unrelated note, I went and watched The Hunger Games movie and was completely blown away. I loved the books and the movie was the best book to movie adaptation I've ever seen. I'm more of a book person than a movie person, but this is a must see. Seriously. It's inspiring a new portrait (not a character from the movie, but the result of the feelings I had while watching it) that I am dying to get to work on. Here's a link to the best review, by my favorite author Maggie Stiefvater, that puts my exact feelings for this movie into words that I couldn't.

Have a great week everyone. See you Tuesday. :)) Huzzah!

Monday, March 26, 2012

First Up - SOLD

First Up SOLD
6" x 6" watercolor

This year I made a promise to myself. It happened last week while I was outside clearing out the withered brown corpses from last year.

It's pretty hard not to promise to try a little harder when you're doing such a grizzly task. Poor little unsuspecting flowers.

I really don't try to kill them, it's more like death by neglect, or indifference. So, sometimes I forget to water them? I really don't mean to, I just. . . sort of. . . forget.

But this year? This is the year that I no longer wear their blood (sap?? I don't know what to call flower blood. Do they even have such a thing?) on my hands! Huzzah!

"I will not kill any flowers this year. I will not kill any flowers this year. I will not kill any flowers this year."


This is my painting in response to the Cook-Waller monthly painting challenge. The theme was: New, chosen by me.

The first, new crocus peeking its head through the snow in the spring always makes me feel so hopeful, like no matter how bleak or dark the winter gets, sunshine and warm days are coming closer day by day.

And just in case you were wondering, these are indeed flowers from my garden, and I did NOT kill them. Of course crocus are kind of hard to kill, they're pretty self sufficient little buggers. That's another reason why I like them so much. :))

Here's Carrie's paintings:

'Sam, newborn' by Carrie Waller 8" x 10" watercolor

'Steven, newborn' by Carrie Waller 8" x 10" watercolor

These are paintings of Carrie's two sons as newborns. Aren't they beautiful? She did a wonderful job, painting a newborn is no easy feat let me tell you. I love the soft gradations of colors in their full little cheeks. And I just love Sam's little hands. Such a classic newborn gesture. :))

Until Thursday my friends!

P.S. If any of you garden whizzes out there have some suggestions for me for hardy (as in, hard to kill) but beautiful flowers I can plant this spring let me know in the comments. I could use some help with my promise. :))

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Magnetic SOLD

Magnetic (number 3 in the Smitten series)
6" x 6" gouache SOLD
$65 plus $7 US shipping or $15 International

Do you remember how it felt when you first fell in love? How you couldn't be further than arms length apart from each other, almost like a magnet was pulling you together? 
I love that the girl is looking at the viewer, but the guy isn't. There's something a little possessive about her gaze, I can almost hear her saying, "mine." 

He seems to be blocking everything out except for her. To me, he seems to be just. . . so happy. 

And the way their faces are so close together I'm wondering, did they just break apart from a kiss, or are they just about to?

Ah, love. 

Nothing better right? ;)

Photo reference used with permission by Mariana Amorim

Until next week my friends. Monday is the reveal of the March Cook-Waller monthly painting challenge! Huzzah! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen
6" x 9" watercolor
$75 plus $6 US shipping or $15 International

So. I figured it was about time I painted a cow. Don't ask me why, because I don't know. :)

But, I really LOVE their eyes, they are so expressive. And this girl's were particularly intelligent I thought. It was a lot of fun to try and paint some color into her black fur and get those soft edges on her ears.

I think this is one of the loosest watercolors I've painted. And do you know that I really like it? The whole painting came together very quickly, and I'm always happy when that happens because less time spent on each painting = more completed paintings = major feeling of accomplishment.

Which is very important to me and my life where the laundry multiplies faster than rabbits, dishes are constantly waiting to be washed, and the floors. . . Well, let's just say that it's spring and I have two big dogs, three rambunctious little boys, and a backyard full of mud.

It's not pretty my friends. Not pretty at all.

Back to the painting: I think that maybe I'm in the midst of an artistic evolution. I feel like I'm growing more with each painting that I do lately.

One of my major goals with my art is to paint expressively while still maintaining the realism that I love. I am really striving for a good balance between realism and suggestion and trying to listen to my own impulses of how I want to paint. I'm finding the process to be very satisfying. :)

In other news, my workshop went well! Thanks to all of you for your kind words of encouragement and the confidence you have in me. :)

The only thing is that I forgot to take pictures. Oops! You will have to be satisfied with this painting I did as the demo, still in process.

10" x 14" watercolor in progress

And in case you missed this from my last post (I updated it after it had already gone out) Daily Paintworks interviewed me last week and if you're interested you can read it right here. :)

Until Thursday! May your paintbrushes be obedient to your artistic whims! Huzzah!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sweet and Mellow SOLD

Sweet and Mellow
5" x 7" watercolor

When in doubt paint a face. That's what I always say. :) This week, for some reason, painting has not been flowing smoothly. And it's not exactly good timing since I have a workshop on Saturday that I'm teaching.

 Recent painting failures + me in front of a large crowd = anxiety that no amount of chocolate or cupcakes can help.

So, last night I was determined to paint something that I felt good about. And of course I decided on a face, this time it just happens to be a sweet puppy face instead of a human one.

I have always loved yellow labs, well all labs really, but especially yellow labs. And this girl's eyes just went straight to my heart. I really loved painting her dark eyes and muzzle against  her creamy white fur. I keep waiting to feel her wet nose nudging my palm to give her some love. :))

Wish me luck for Saturday and I'll see you next week!


Friday update: In case you guys wanted to read a little extra about me (because, you know, I'm soooo quiet and reserved over here ;) head on over to the Daily Paintworks blog. I'm their artist interview for this week and I was really honored that they picked me, click here to read the interview.  :))

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


12" x 12" acrylic on masonite panel

"Every boy should have two things: a dog, and a mother willing to let him have one"
- Anonymous

Remember a few posts ago when I talked about green slime? When I get feeling green slimey I know that artist's block could be just around the corner. So I decided to fight back before it got me. Ha ha! Take that!

Something that always works for me when I'm trying to get rid of artist's block is switching mediums. I don't know why. I think it's just trying something different. Especially something that I'm not entirely proficient at, because then I'm extra thankful to return to the comfort of my watercolors.

So I broke out my acrylics and painted this piece of my son and one of our dogs, Chauncy. This scene took place right after my youngest son was born (who is now three). This is my middle child (MC Cook) and he had a lot of things that he wasn't too happy about happening in his life at the time. 

His older brother had just started first grade so he lost a friend and playmate from 8 am - 3 pm. And his mother was constantly holding this squirming, crying, and sometimes smelly baby and couldn't play with him whenever he wanted anymore. Life was hard.  

But there was always this dog to play with. Or lie down on. :) They became very good friends, and it was one more reason for me to be thankful that this giant sweetheart of a dog came into our life.  

You know how some paintings are more enjoyable to paint than others? And I'm not talking about fun, I mean something a little deeper than that. I don't know what to call it, satisfying maybe? In any case, that's how I felt about this painting. I LOVED painting it. Even though it was challenging (I still feel like I don't know what I'm doing with acrylics). I think it's because I was reliving a memory from a very sweet time in my life.

Art is good.

Life is good.

Huzzah!! :)

Have a good week friends!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Whispers and Trust SOLD

Whispers and Trust
6" x 6" watercolor
$65 plus $7 US shipping or $15 International

"She craved a presence beside her, solid. Fingertips light at the nape of her neck and a voice meeting hers in the dark. Someone who would wait with an umbrella to walk her home in the rain, and smile like sunshine when he saw her coming. Who would dance with her on her balcony, keep his promises and know her secrets, and make a tiny world wherever he was, with just her and his arms and his whisper and her trust.”   
Laini Taylor, from her novel 'Daughter of Smoke and Bone'

Be it known loud and clear that I have an irrepressible romantic heart. And when I saw this young couple I simply could not resist painting them. This is the second painting in my newly decided upon series of romantic artwork called 'Smitten' depicting young love in all its glory. 

See you next week everyone! Huzzah!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Twilight SOLD

6" x 6" watercolor SOLD



Pretty horse.


Glowing colorful whites!! (Huzzah!!)


Windswept mane.


Fluid, splashy watercolors.


Heaven. :)

(go on admit it, you were secretly hoping thinking I was going to be talking about Robert Pattinson weren't you? ;)

And I am slightly uncomfortable admitting this (tooting one's own horn is not something I normally like to do) but I am in LOVE with this painting.

That is all. :))

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