Thursday, January 31, 2013

Beauty, Strength, and Grace - SOLD

'Beauty, Strength, and Grace'  SOLD
5" x 7" oil on panel

 I love grey horses. Their dark muzzles and eyes just get to me. I think it's because when I was little I went to visit this miniature horse farm (oh the cuteness!!) and there was this gorgeous, tiny, white grey stallion with the most beautiful little face. When he walked over to me, friendly as could be, I cupped my hands together and his entire muzzle fit in my palm. It is such a vivid memory that I can still feel the heat of his breath on  my skin. I dreamed for years about owning a horse just like him one day. That day hasn't come yet but I'm not giving up on that dream! :) 

This is the last painting in the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I'm really kind of sad that it's over. :( Leslie Saeta, the mastermind of this challenge, and Carrie Waller had a great show today on Artists Helping Artists all about it, with lots of comments from participating artists. Click here to listen to it and be inspired!
'The horse, with beauty unsurpassed, strength immeasurable and grace unlike any other, still remains humble enough to carry a man upon his back.'  - Amber Senti
Reference photo, with thanks, by LRG photography. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tenacious - SOLD, and 10 things I've learned from 30 paintings in 30 days

'Tenacious'  SOLD
5" x 7" oil on panel

Reference photo, with thanks, by Steve Evans 

Note: You have been warned, this post is looooong. :) I won't be offended if you skip it if it doesn't interest you. Well. . . maybe a little, but I'll get over it I promise! ;)

Well it's nearly over. 30 paintings in 30 days. When I started out on this challenge I knew it would be, well, um. . . a 'challenge.' :) For two years in a row I did NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, where you write an entire 50,000 word novel in 30 days). So I knew that any kind of creative commitment that involves producing work every single day is tough.

In fact, since the last NaNo I did (2011), I haven't written consistently since. Why? Because I got severely burned out. It is wicked hard to maintain serious creative energy without a break for that length of time and maintain your passion for creating at the same time.

But I feel more passionate about painting than I ever have about writing. Painting is woven into every single piece of who I am, while writing is just for fun, a 'hobby', not a life sustaining endeavor (which is what painting is to me, sometimes I feel like I can't breathe if I go too long without painting). With my passion for painting so strong I hoped I wouldn't feel burned out by doing this 30x30 challenge.

But I was wrong. I did feel burn out at times. But I didn't let it stop me from painting, I didn't let it kill that passion that I have for creating art. Because I need to paint, and so I have always found a way to work around whatever road block is in my way so that I can.

So, here are ten things that 30 paintings in 30 days has taught me:

1. Don't ever run out of chocolate. Seriously. Keep a secret stash somewhere or something. Trust me, you'll need it in those moments when the last three paintings you've attempted have resulted in nothing but a big pile of suckage reminiscent of the world's largest dung heap.

2. Don't expect every single painting to be a masterpiece. This was a hard one for me, and something that a few of my good online painting buddies had to knock into my head a few times (you know who you are, ahem, Carrie, Sandra, Teresa, and Bren. Really all of you. All of you helped pull me out of my self pity mire). It is highly unrealistic, and stressful, to think that every single thing you produce needs to be a huge success. And to stand before a blank piece of paper or panel with that thought at the front of your mind is just setting yourself up for disaster.

3. Don't think you have to paint like anyone other than yourself.  In order to produce a finished painting every day I sometimes thought that I needed to paint like someone else, so I could paint faster, not like my detail oriented, accuracy driven self. And so some of the work I produced this month didn't satisfy me completely. It took me a while to realize that this is what was bothering me when I started to feel burned out, but when I finally did I embraced the fact that I should only ever paint like myself, detailitis and all. Because painting any other way, forcing myself to be 'loose' when it doesn't come naturally to me at all, is being dishonest. And I believe that in order to paint with feeling and emotion you have to be completely honest with yourself first.

4. Everyone needs a dragon day. In the middle of my burned out period this month I started sculpting little dragons out of clay, just for fun. I did this on Sundays, which is my permanent day off from painting (30 x 30 challenge or not I still wasn't planning to paint on Sunday). When I was talking to my sister about how I was feeling so uninspired about painting, but so excited about making cute little dragons she started calling Sundays my 'dragon day.' And I liked that idea so much that I now call Sundays my dragon day, whether I'm sculpting a little dragon, or putting together a photo album, or baking a new yummy treat. A dragon day is a day where you refill your creative well, it's a day to do anything creative that you want, just for fun, with no expectations that anything will come of it other than the joy you get from the act of creating. 

5. Don't try to paint a portrait (or any other difficult, complex subject) every single day for 30 days. Just don't. Trust me on this. Portraits are my favorite thing to paint, but they are also very draining for me. I feel like I put more of myself into one of my portraits than I do any other subject, so to paint them for 30 days straight would leave me nothing but a blibbering idiot by the end of the month.

6. Don't doubt yourself. Love thyself fellow artist! Repeat after me: You is kind. You is smart. You is important. And you is a good artist. Don't ever forget it.

7. Streamline your housework and meal planning. Or whatever other work you do. Now is not the time to volunteer to bake your son's class personalized cupcakes with each child's name iced in calligraphy. Now is not the time to deep clean your basement and closets. Now is the time to do the basics of housework and cook reliable, family favorite meals.

8. Keep yourself surrounded with things that inspire you. Visit other artist's blogs and websites that leave you breathless with their beautiful work! Read books or magazine articles, or listen to podcasts (like this one) that talk about the life of an artist, their thought process, and what they do to stay inspired. Pin an inspiring quote, favorite photos that you want to paint, or pictures of paintings you love above your workspace to motivate you. Keep a journal of the things you see in your daily life that make you pause and see how beautiful your life really is. In other words, enjoy the journey that is your life.

9. Forgive yourself. So you didn't do 30 paintings in 30 days, you only did 17. So what?? You tried, you painted your heart out, and you accomplished great things anyway. If you need further reassurance go back and read #6 of this list.

10.  Recognize that this challenge is more about the journey than the destination. Trite perhaps, but so true. It's not a race, there's no need to compare yourself to anyone else. This challenge is about you and your art and what it means to you and no one else. It's not about the end result, it's about the process of painting and the joy it brings you.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

No Concept of Personal Space

'No Concept of Personal Space'
6" x 6" oil on masonite panel
$65 plus $7 US shipping, or $20 International

Anyone else have a dog like this? Up in your face all the time, with their nose touching yours? Climb in your lap all the time (or try to)? Yeah. Me too. But when your dog is the size of a small pony (ahem, Giant Schnauzer anyone?), unlike this darling little Pomeranian, the concept of personal space becomes a bit more of an issue. :) 

I really wanted to paint this image of this little dog with his big eyes and huge nose, but I was worried that it might be too hard because of the foreshortening and camera distortion from the photo. But when has that ever stopped me before huh?

Nevah!! Never I say. What is the fun of being an artist if you don't push your limits every once in a while?

And I think this little pom turned out pretty dang cute. :) 


Tomorrow I'll be posting about what I've learned in the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. This is me warning you to prepare thyself as it might be a long post. :)

Reference photo by The Classy Kat, thank you!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Before Sunset

'Before Sunset' 
5" x 7" oil on masonite panel
$100 plus $7 US shipping or $20 International

“Now she’s lit by the warm orange spreading from the horizon as not-quite-day, becomes not-quite-night”
David Levithan, Every Day

It seemed like every quote I looked for about sunset was either about death or love lost. Not exactly what I was looking for. I've always loved sunset, but not as much as sunrise. Maybe it is because sunset seems to mean the end where sunrise marks the beginning. 

This is my favorite oil painting to date. :) I feel like I can say that since I mention my struggles with oils oh-so-frequently. :D 

Reference photo by Kelsey's Love Fusion, thank you! 

A note to my International buyers: As of January 27 USPS shipping rates have raised dramatically for International shipping and so I had to raise my  shipping prices as well. But, if once I ship your package, it ends up being much less than what I've stated as the fee, I'll refund you the difference. Thank you so much for understanding! If you have any questions about this feel free to email me.

Friday, January 25, 2013


5" x 7" oil on panel
$65 plus $7 US shipping, or $15 International shipping

I am not sure if my favorite kind of owl is the barn owl or the snowy owl. . . Probably the snowy owl because of Harry Potter. But I'm guessing you knew that right? ;) I mean I've only mentioned my deep and abiding love for all things Harry Potter about a million times. 

I really loved the way this owl was illuminated in the darkness. And all the colors in her feathers too. She was challenging for sure, but I'm very happy with how this painting turned out in the end. 

In other news, last night my son (the sculptor of the purple and black dragon a few posts back) received his Arrow of Light award in cub scouting. It's the highest award given to cub scouts. He's worked so hard. Now he's done with cub scouts and moving on to boy scouts. Growing up more and more all the time.   

Here he is pinning his Arrow of Light pin on my shirt last night:

I'm a very proud mamma. :)

Reference photo by Brad Hammonds, thank you! 

Hope you all have one fantastic weekend! See you guys on Monday.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Vulpes - SOLD

'Vulpes' red fox SOLD
5" x 5" inch watercolor on paper

A while ago I had this idea that I'd do a whole series of small portraits of little forest animals. I love the idea of small little 'formal' portraits of these animals. So far I've done an owl, bunny, and now this fox. I want to do a deer, maybe a squirrel. . . and I can't really think of anything else. Do you have any ideas of woodland animals that would be fun to paint? 

If it was legal, and humane, and if they wouldn't bite my fingers off I would totally have a fox for a pet. :) They are so cute! 

Reference photo by Mike Baird, thank you!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Face to Face - SOLD

Face to Face  SOLD
6 x 6 inch oil on panel
You guys should have seen my son's face when he read all the comments and emails you left for him. He was SO happy, his whole face just lit up. It made me all teary eyed that you guys would show such kindness to me and my family. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, that meant more to me, and him, than I can ever say. Thank you my friends. You have encouraged this young artist so much and that is irreplaceable. Thank you. :) 

I painted in watercolors today, this painting is from a while ago, one that I forgot I painted! I really loved the close up view looking head on to this beautiful horse. This is a view I am so familiar with since from the time I was about nine or ten years old I would look at my horses like this, nose to nose, face to face.

Reference photo by Colourize Stock on DeviantART, thank you!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Truffle - SOLD and a personal request

'Truffle' SOLD private commission
6" x 9" watercolor on paper

This beautiful girl is owned by the same woman (who has become a good friend I'm happy to say) who commissioned me to paint "Twilight." I wanted Truffle's painting to have the same kind of feel as Twilight's did, as far as color scheme and paint handling. I think it worked out pretty good. But it's hard to go wrong when working with such a beautiful horse you know? I love her. :) 

I have a sick boy home today and this is the last painting I have finished for the 30 day challenge. I don't know if I'll get one done today or not, but I'm not going to stress about it or rush to finish something just to finish it. Even though not following through with a commitment (I said I was going to do 30 paintings in 30 days you know?) is driving me a little crazy.

The other day I went to the gym the morning after our big snow storm. This meant shoveling three feet of snow (I may be exaggerating a little. . . but just a little, especially since my husband shoveled the majority of the snow the day before, but I digress) out of the driveway (at least the path directly behind my car, heh heh) and numb fingers and noses and all that good stuff. By the time I got back from the gym I was s-s-s-so c-c-c-c-cold!!! 
I walked into the kitchen and found this waiting for me on the kitchen counter: 

My sweet oldest son had made me hot chocolate and left it out for me for when I got back along with two cookies and a little note. (And yes I did eat them, I earned them after all that snow shoveling right??) And I wasn't cold at all anymore. :) 

I mention this because this is where my personal request comes in. My sweet boy, who turned eleven in December, has been busy sculpting little dragons with me the last few days and he asked if I'd put his 'best one' (his words, I think they are all amazing) on my blog for all of you to see. Here it is: 

It would mean a lot to him, and me, if you guys could leave a short comment telling him what you think. :))) Thanks so much you guys, you are like a second family to us. My boys and husband know all about you (some of you specifically by name) from how often I talk about you. :) 
And just one more thing (I promise this time), the deadline to submit your photo to my Smitten contest is tomorrow January 23, click here to go to the entry form. I'd love it if one of you guys could win. 
Until tomorrow!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Beauty - Andalusian horse - SOLD

'Beauty - Andalusian horse'  SOLD
5 x 7 inch oil on panel

Admittedly, 'Beauty', isn't that much of an original title for a painting of a horse, but that's the thought that kept coming back to me as I was painting him. He  is a beauty. Absolutely beautiful. 

Sometimes when I'm painting I get in the zone and once I'm done I don't remember much of the actual process. I don't know if this is a result of painting a lot, much like driving a car,  how you forget about mundane things like turning on your blinker, and pushing the gas to go, or if it's something else, something deeper. That I'm lost in the creative act so much that I tune everything else out maybe? 

In any case, I do remember the painting process of this one very vividly. I remember it being so enjoyable, so fun. And I remember being absolutely amazed at seeing this beautiful horse's face emerge from a blank piece of masonite board.  Amazed that I actually did that!

This convinces me that I SHOULD keep oil painting in addition to my watercolors. There was so much joy in discovery while painting this and I want to experience that again. And I'm also really happy with the realism I achieved here, which has proved pretty elusive at times with oils for me. 

I feel like this 30 day challenge has made me realize some things about myself and my art. It's been really good for me. But I'll save what I've learned for another blog post. I've rambled on enough for today, just one more thing. . . 

Me and my little family went for a drive in the country the other day. I brought my camera, hoping to find something that caught my eye, and heart, to paint. I saw this guy, crouched in a field, tearing at his dinner still clutched in his talons (blegh). When I got out of the car he flew away but I managed to take this pic before he left. I don't know if I'll paint him or not, but it was a pretty awesome sight to see. :) 
This is painting 17/30 in the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.

Reference photo by Just Chaos, thank you!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Classic Beauty SOLD

'Classic Beauty'  SOLD
6 x 6 inch oil on panel

Another black and white oil study. I thought this woman had such a classic beauty and grace. I've sketched her before so I thought it was about time she made it into a painting. :)

Thank you so very much to all of you for your comments about yesterdays post. I'm a little embarrassed that I spilled everything that had been on my mind, that's what happens when it's three in the afternoon and there's no chocolate in the house. So thank you, for reaching out to me, and offering me your thoughts. It meant a lot to me.  Just knowing you guys are there, means so much. Thanks. :)

Still feeling a little unsure of what direction I should go in concerning my art work. Right now I just finished up a commission, so I'm keeping my eyes and heart open to whatever speaks to me to know what to paint next. It would be great if I got a huge big sign that said "PAINT ME!!" in big neon letters right? Life hardly ever works that way though doesn't it? I guess that's something we need to learn, to decide what to do even when the choices aren't clear.

How's that for a vague blog post huh? Looks like it's three in the afternoon and we're out of chocolate again. . .  Nope, fraid not. It's only 11:34 in the morning, but still somehow we're out of chocolate. Grrrrrrr. . .

I think this calls for a battle cry, and some positive thinking, along with a trip to Target for some chocolates! Onward and Huzzah!!!

This is painting. . . . I actually have no idea. :) Oops.  Somewhere around 16? in the 30 paintings for 30 days challenge.

Reference photo by la farfalla, thank you!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Daydreaming SOLD

'Daydreaming' SOLD
5 x 7 inch oil on panel

I paint with oils much faster than I do with watercolors so at this point I'm about three paintings ahead. Soooo today's and yesterday's paintings were wipers. No good. Which is rather frustrating, but a part of the process right? (please say yes!!)

Today's painting is an oil portrait that I am really pleased with that I did a few days ago. Sometimes I find a model that I connect with very much and this girl is one of those (she's also the model from my painting 'Her soul is in her eyes', and 'She Stood in the Storm'). Good models are hard to find, not every person is meant to be a model. And others just are.

I guess you could say that this girl is my muse. I LOVE painting her.

In other news, I'm starting to feel the edge of a burn out coming on. Painting an entire painting (for me, since I don't have more than a few hours a day to paint, AND because I'm a slow painter who really values accuracy and realism in my drawings which is bleeping time consuming) in a day is proving very challenging.

Don't get me wrong, I believe strongly in painting daily, I  just think that right now my inspiration well is just reaching a low point. Maybe I need to slow down? Suggestions? Comments? Thoughts? I want to know what you guys think about this if you don't mind sharing. :)

 Reference photo by Tracie76stock on DeviantART, thank you so much dear Tracie!! :D

Mood: reflective, and a bit melancholy
Listening to: Pinback
Reading: An Artist's Way of Seeing by Mary Whyte
Snacking on: Kozy Shack tapioca pudding (don't knock it till you try it, seriously yummy)
Watching: Pretty Little Liars (Yes, still. I'm addicted and I have 47 episodes on Netflix to burn through while I paint)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Observant - SOLD

'Observant'  SOLD
5 x 7 in oil on panel

This year I have a goal of painting 100 oil portraits. I feel like with each one I get closer and closer to where I want to be. This is one that I'm really happy with.

There was a very innocent perception in his gaze that I really loved. Every time I look at children's faces, whether in photos or life I'm always wondering what it is that they're thinking and seeing, and how it differs from what I see and think, with the jaded eyes of an adult. 

This is a little boy from Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia, reference photo by Gustavo Jeronimo.

This is painting 13/30 (I think, I may have lost track :) in the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Elegance SOLD

'Elegance' SOLD
5" x 7" oil on masonite panel

When I was planning what to paint for this 30 paintings in 30 days project I originally wanted to do an entire month of oil portrait paintings. But then when the month started I didn't feel like it anymore. I wanted to do watercolors. And now I don't feel like using my watercolors so it's back to oil painting for a few days.

Sometimes I almost feel apologetic when I post an oil painting because I know most of you are here because you are fellow watercolor enthusiasts. But. . . I have to go with how I feel when I'm painting. And if I don't feel like painting with watercolors it shows. And the same goes for oils and colored pencils.

Sometimes I just need to do something different. And I feel like I'm challenging myself more with oils because I'm not as comfortable using them yet. And that's something that I've come to realize is important when it comes to my satisfaction with my paintings. I love to tackle a challenging subject and feel like I did well at it you know? Anyone else feel like this?

In any case I felt like this woman from a vintage photo deserved to remain in classic black and white. I thought about changing it to color, but I wanted to keep that vintage look.

Reference photo by Ky Olsen, thank you!

This is painting 12/30 in the 30 paintings in 30 days.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Secret - SOLD

'The Secret'  SOLD
ACEO size (2.5 x 3.5 inches) 
watercolor on paper

I think this little Vietnamese girl looks like she's keeping a secret don't you? With her shining dark eyes and tucked in little mouth.

Not much to say today.  I just got back from taking my son to school and my fingers still have white knuckles from gripping the steering wheel so tight!! Ice packed roads are so scary to drive on, especially when you have idiotic drivers who go way too fast other people you have to look out for too. Scary, scary. I don't know what got my heart rate up more this morning, my workout or driving on icy roads.
Reference photo by Linh Ngan, thank you! 

This is painting 11/30 in the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A sketch of my son, and something entirely different

a graphite sketch of my middle child

My middle child loves to draw. He just turned eight years old, and this is something he has loved his entire life. When he was barely a year old he loved to sit and scribble with crayons for hours and hours.  

For Christmas we got him a set of Prismacolor pencils, and you should have seen the excitement on his face! He has been looking at mine with such longing for quite a while and he quickly outgrew the kids art supplies with all the drawing he does. He's 'serious' about drawing and wanted 'serious' art supplies. 

He loves to draw with me, and this time when we were both sitting down together I decided to do a drawing of him, so he could see it come to life on the paper. It was a good time together. :) I remember doing the same thing with my mom when I was little.

And now for something entirely different. . . 

 I sculpted a little dragon. :)

Last year I found THE most darling little dragon sculptures on Etsy. I fell in love with them, but they sold out faster than I could click the buy now button! Although I did finally manage to buy one in December and it is now my studio mascot.

Then I found the woman, Becca Gollins of Dragons and Beasties, who made these little critters on deviant art this last summer, which then lead me to her facebook page, and her youtube sculpting tutorials. And I thought why not? So I gave it a shot and made my boys three little dragons for Christmas.

They turned out pretty cute. Not professional by any means, but cute. And the boys really liked them so that's what counts right? Right. :) Anyways, I gave the sculpting thing another go this week and made this little one for my mom's birthday, which is today. Happy Birthday Mom!! :) 

So. . . yeah. . . that's all. Just a little dragon and a sketch. :) Thanks for taking a peek. See you guys on Monday! 

This is painting/drawing 10/30 (it counts right? the drawing, not the dragon ;) in the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Little Wise One SOLD

'Little Wise One'  SOLD
ACEO size 2.5 x 3.5 in. watercolor on paper

This little owl was very fun to paint. Owls are always fun to paint though. :) At least in my opinion. The colors are not as true in the photo below as the top one, it's just a way to show you the size of the painting. This is painting 9/30 in the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. 

In other news, today is a SNOW DAY!! In Utah of all places. I mean, it's not like we're not prepared for snow, so that must tell you that the storm we had last night was a doozy. I swear we got about twelve inches.  When the kids came up to get ready to go to school and I told them that it was cancelled because of the snow you should have heard them shout 'YESSSS!!!' There was general fist pumping and merry making. Twas awesome. 

Here's our Giant Schnauzer, Heart, enjoying the snow this morning. See how deep it is? And she's not exactly a teacup poodle. Crazy. 

 That dog loves snow. She eats it like she would eat bacon. Silly girl. :)

I'm off to enjoy a blissful day of no school with my boys! Which means I'm going to have to throw down in a Mario Kart match with them. Huzzah!!

Listening to: Radioactive by Imagine Dragons
Reading: The Secret of Ella and Micha
Snacking on: spearmint gum
Watching: Pretty Little Liars ( I KNOW, what can I say? I love teenage angst)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Yearning SOLD

'Yearning'  SOLD
ACEO size (2.5 x 3.5 inches) watercolor on paper

I have now (for the next few days) resorted to painting little ACEO's in watercolor for my daily paintings. I *thought* 5 x 7 was a manageable size, but when you include quite a bit of detail, it still ends up taking me more than a day. And up until now I've been a few paintings ahead, but now I'm not. So small ones it is!! ;)

But I really like this one. This was a tulip from my grandmother's garden last summer. I love tulips. I think they are my second favorite flower.* When we bought our first house and I could actually plant things my mom came over in the fall and helped me plant a bunch of tulips, daffodils, and crocus. And now every year when they bloom I think of her.

This is painting 8/30 in the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. Huzzah!!

* in case you were wondering my first favorite flower is a calla lily. They were my wedding flower. :)  

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Companion SOLD

'Companion' SOLD
5 x 7 inches watercolor on paper

I saw this horse at our local county fair a few years ago. It was outside in a riding arena filled with soft dirt and the sun was bouncing off the dirt and onto this horse's already red coat and it was so beautiful. Glowing! I tried to capture that look here. I loved the glow of light so much, but the horse's bridle isn't fitted quite properly so I put off painting it, but then, following my gut who has never led me astray before, I decided to just go for it anyway. 

Because the look in the horse's eye, so gentle and intelligent, and his glowing red coat was too much to pass by! And maybe the not quite perfect fit of his bridle makes him a little more endearing. I think so anyway. :) I like to imagine that his owner is a little girl who tried her best to make her horse look beautiful, even if he's not quite perfect, to her he is. 

"All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl." - Anon

This is painting 7/30 for the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wild Kitten SOLD

'Wild Kitten' colored pencil on paper  SOLD
ACEO size 2.5" x 3.5" (about the size of a baseball card)

I may be doing more of this small size for this 30 in 30 challenge. I was amazed at how much more time a small 5" x 7" took than this size!

I love this little mountain lion kitten's big, sparkly eyes. I know, not a surprise. I'm pretty sure I say that in every post. But it's true! That's what draws me to a subject, and my favorite part of a painting or drawing. 

That's all for today. :)  I'm keeping a little quiet for once. Just one more thing. . . 

 I'm not blonde anymore!! ;)

This is painting/drawing 6/30 in the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. Onward!! 

Listening to: Blown to Bits - Middle Class Rut
Reading: The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden
Snacking on: mini pretzels
Watching: Duck Dynasty

Reference photo by Kurt Thomas Hunt, thank you! 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Untamed - sold

'Untamed' SOLD
5" x 7" watercolor on paper

So, I missed my painting yesterday. Ah well, I don't feel bad about it at all actually. I always kind of planned on missing weekends and just painting during the week throughout this 30 in 30 challenge, so I will be doing 26 in 30. And that odd number is bugging me. I'll have to try and do two on one day or something. ;)

I have been wanting to paint this photo FOREVER, because I love her eyes and the way her hair hides part of her face, but for some reason I keep putting off painting the photos that I really love because I'm afraid I won't do them justice. Which is just plain silly right? Right. 

That's something that is turning out to be really great about this challenge, I don't feel like every painting is precious (Speaking of preciouses we went and saw The Hobbit this weekend and it was SO GOOD!!!!!) and has to be a success. Because tomorrow is a new day, a new chance to paint something that will be awesome.

For some reason I feel like I may have learned this lesson before. . .  :) 

This is painting 5/30 in the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.
Reference photo by Kelsey's Love Fusion, thank you!

And I also wanted to mention that Taryn Day, fellow daily painter, featured me on her blog 'The Art Room' where Taryn talks about art and artists. I'm really honored. :) Click here to go check it out!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

No More Tears

'No More Tears' 
8" x 10" acrylic on gessoboard
not for sale

Last summer my three year old son (at the time, now he's a mighty four year old) was very sad. I don't remember why, probably because I was being really mean and wouldn't let him have jelly beans for breakfast or something like that. But he had these big round eyes with tears ready to fall over his little cheeks. My heart just broke when I looked at his little vulnerable face. 

So what did I do? I took a picture of course. I remember being so touched by his little sad expression, like his world had just come to an end, and I wanted to remember his face, always. And then I picked him up and snuggled him all better. 

No more tears after that. :) 

So, I ask you. Am I a big meanie for taking a photo of my sad little boy with tear stained cheeks, and then painting it for all the internet world to see? (Say no please! ;) 

This is painting number 4/30 for the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Good Dog - SOLD

"A Good Dog"  SOLD
5" x 7" watercolor on paper

“All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed.
For after all, he was only human. He wasn't a dog.”
― Charles M. Schulz

When my son and I went to a dog show last spring we saw this older Boxer boy. He was competing in agility and he was so. completely. AWESOME. Not at agility (although he was pretty good at that too) but just who he was. He stayed right by his owner's (who was an older gentleman himself) side without a leash, keeping his eyes trained on his face. It was devotion I tell you.

But the best part about this dog? When my son asked his owner if he could pet him, this dog (who in my mind is named 'Brutas') reached up and licked my son's chin, then gently, SO gently, placed his paws on my son's shoulders so they were face to face. 

I'm pretty sure my son wanted to kidnap him and bring him home with us. Who am I kidding? I did too!! :) 

And now I shall leave you with one of my favorite dog pictures I found on pinterest. Just for funsies. 

Pinned Image
Dawww. :) 

This is painting 3/30 in the 30 paintings for 30 days challenge. Huzzah!

Thursday, January 3, 2013


5" x 7" watercolor on paper
$100 plus $7 US shipping or $15 International

This painting is from a photo I took at that book launch I talked about in a previous post ("Wind Chill"), the one where I got pelted with marshmallows remember? I sure do. ;)
The light was so gorgeous that evening that I tried to take as many photos as possible, but everyone was moving around so much (to avoid death by marshmallow I presume) that I didn't get a whole lot. But I did get this one. And I love the light in this one, that rim around her hair? *le sigh* Makes me so happy!
The background, made up of those magical wet into wet washes (along with a little dry brushing) really caught the look of frost in the air I think. And I feel like I can't take credit for that because it was mostly the watercolor doing all the work for me. :) I was just a conductor, coaxing it ever so gently into the right place.
This is painting 2/30 for the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. Onward to number 3! Huzzah!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Her Soul is in Her Eyes SOLD

'Her Soul is in Her Eyes'
6" x 6" watercolor on paper SOLD

"Your eyes-- your soul is there, but the rest of you is still so undefined. That's the beauty of childhood. The eyes show everything you've seen so far, but the rest of you is still so open to possibility, to whatever you might become.”
― Bree Despain, The Dark Divine
There was something in this girl's eyes that instantly drew me to her. Something I can't quite put into words. But the quote I found, says a lot of it I think. :) This painting had a very long "ugly" stage. I really thought I'd have to trash it, but then at the end I was able to turn it around. Now this painting is one of my personal favorites. A good way to start the year right?
Photo reference by Tracie76Stock, thank you!
Last Sunday was my middle child's 8th birthday. :) I had my husband take this picture of us, and my heart melted when I saw this look on his face. The same one he had when he was a toddler tugging on my pants and asking me 'I wanna hold you' (how he used to ask me to pick him up and hold him).

My boys are out of school until Monday and we have been pretty much staying in our jammies, playing games, and eating treats all week long. It's been awesome. I'll be sad to see it end. :(

This painting is 1/30 for the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. Onward to the next! Huzzah!!

And in case you missed my last post click here for details on how you could win a custom portrait painted by me.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Smitten Photo Contest - you could win a custom painting!

'Magnetic'  part of my Smitten series
6 x 6 in gouache on paper - SOLD
Happy New Year everyone! I hope all your resolutions and wishes for this year come true. :)
Now, down to business, I'm hosting a challenge over on my facebook page that gives you the chance to win an 8" x 10" watercolor painting based on your photo. I'm looking for photos that represent love, along the lines of my 'Smitten' series of paintings. It can be love in all its forms, young or old, people or animals, your interpretation. But please no nudity, I'm keeping this family friendly. 
So what you do is click here (you can also just click on the banner at the top of my blog) to go to the contest and submit your photo before January 23. Voting begins on January 24, which is your chance to get all your friends to come vote for your photo, and the photo with the most votes wins the painting. Pretty simple. :)
I'd love to see all your photos about love! I think this will be a lot of fun.    
You'll probably be very sick of hearing from me this month because I'm joining in with Leslie Saeta and about a million other people to do the thirty paintings in thirty days (because I'm crazy like that). Gulp. Ambitious I know, and probably not doable for me, but what the heck right? Right.
Until tomorrow then. Thanks friends. :)
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