Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Peacock Bags Now Available!

Peacock Bag
Last week, I decided to take a chance and use my Christmas bonus towards something I've been wanting for months now: get my peacock image screenprinted onto a tote. I've tried before to use local businesses but they just fell through for reasons unknown. This time I emailed Night Owls Print Shop in Texas and they responded right away. I can't remember where I found them, perhaps an ad somewhere, but I'm so glad I did.

Peacock Bag Detail
Looking back at my email it shows that my first message was sent on December 20th. I had 30 bags by December 24th. That's amazingly fast! And a fantastic Christmas present to myself.

Peacock Bag Detail

Peacock Bag
It's now available on my Etsy shop. Get one now before they're gone. There's only 30 of them available and I don't think I will be getting any more. (I will, however, think of more images to screenprint onto bags!)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Presents!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend! I know I did, and I'm definitely ready to get back to work and normal life today. Since all the presents have been handed out, I'm ready to update the blog with photos commissioned presents.

Tough Guys
A friend asked if I could paint portraits of Lil' Wayne and Eminem for her son's new room. I had complete freedom on size, color, pose, everything. Here's what I came up with. They're 22" x 28", oil on canvas. I'm quite proud of them.

Oh Yeah!
Another friend had a great idea for his girlfriend. He told me she really wanted a Kool Aid man pitcher, but everything online was crazy expensive or wouldn't arrive in the mail in time. I took on the challenge even though I've never etched anything into glass before but I figured How hard could it be? Well, not too hard at all! Just a little etching cream, some contact paper, and an x-acto knife. Ta-da! We called it Operation Oh Yeah.

The girlfriend must have really enjoyed her present, because she said yes to his marriage proposal. How exciting!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Look Inside the Studio

When we bought this house a few years ago, we fell in love with the basement and the potential it held. We could have a guest bedroom and a studio AND if we played our cards right, maybe a place for Daniel to have band practice (when a band was formed). Here we are four years later, and my art stuff is overflowing.

It's a Hot Mess.
I admit, I'm absolutely awful at keeping this area clean.

It's a Hot Mess.

It's a hot mess, isn't it? I am planning on cleaning it today, but I wanted to show off the area I'm working with. It's maybe 12 feet by 8 feet, so close to 100 square feet of space. There's a closet that stuffed with more supplies, and in another part of the basement there's an 8 foot tall project I'm working on. There's also little piles of paintings here and there. The entire basement is a mad house.

I'm a a point in my artistic journey where I can entertain the idea of maybe renting a space. I've thought about this for the past few months or so. Can I afford it? Can I justify another expense, especially since I don't bring in a LOT of money from my art? Is it going to tank? What if? What if? What if?

One of the positives of having a separate space is the lack of reasons to procrastinate. When I work from home, I have a tendency to look at other things to do, instead of painting. Look I have dishes to wash! Look I have laundry! Look I have to take the dog out! If I don't work from home, I don't worry about home-stuff.

I do have a space in mind, and it's right behind the Arts Council (where I work every Friday) space so it's almost perfect! I've talked to the landlord (who I've known for years) and she's supposed to get back to me soon. It needs a little work but I know several handy men who would work for a six-pack and pizza, and the rent is reasonable, so this is looking good! So, it's a bit of a waiting game now, which is expected since I asked about the space right before the holidays.

Fingers crossed! I'm looking forward to taking my art to the next level in 2012!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Oh, Christmas Tree! Oh, Christmas Tree!

Some photos of our white Christmas tree, full of many ornaments that Mazzy has made over the years. 
Oh, Christmas Tree!

Oh, Christmas Tree!

Oh, Christmas Tree!

Oh, Christmas Tree!
Last week, Mazzy mentioned how she would like an ornament of Santa and his reindeer. Daniel and I scoured a nearby Hallmark and all we could find was Rudolph. No problem, Mazzy adores him anyway. She even took him to her Girl Scout meeting to show him off. 

Oh, Christmas Tree!
Experimenting with bokeh

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Alice Cooper in Atlanta

My husband Daniel is a long, long time Alice Cooper fan but has never seen him live. So when we heard he was coming to Atlanta, it was a no-brainer...we had to get tickets. We were very fortunate to get fifth row seats, on the aisle even, and our view was fantastic. The only drawback was the drunk guy in the middle of the row who had to buy another beer every other song. After the third time he squeezed by us, I told him that the next time he left he better bring me back a beer. I didn't see him after that.

Now, earlier yesterday afternoon, I was reading Ramsey's Tumblr and saw that she posted a video collection of various happenings in her life. I loved the video and the idea and decided I'd like to try it out. My fancy phone can record an insane amount of video, so I recorded bits and pieces of the Alice Cooper concert. I'd like to make another video from my day to day life, an maybe make it a habit. We'll see!

But for now: Alice Cooper!

I can't say I'm the biggest AC fan ever, and I didn't know a song or two, but I went mostly for the experience. I mean, it's Alice Cooper! He's a legend! How often can you tag along and see a rock and roll legend? Alice's set was top-notch, solid, and full of gags and goodies. I'm so glad Daniel and I got the chance to see him live.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Giving One Away

Please excuse my poor graphics making skills!
Anika is the winner of my Start Something that Matters Book Giveaway! Since I didn't get many entries on the giveaway, I'm giving the other two ladies a good ol' discount to my Etsy shop. (Check your email!) Congratulations to everyone!

Friday, December 09, 2011

It's Snowing! It's Snowing!




I'm so fortunate that I get hired for things like painting snowflakes at a local restaurant! Being an artist is awesome!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

On My Desk Wednesday

On My Desk Wednesday

After every trip, I usually spend an entire afternoon recharging, drinking lots of hot tea and water, and sitting around in my stretchy pants. Travelling takes a lot out of me, especially when I'm surrounded by people on the plane, at various attractions, and at the airport. People, people everywhere! 

I've spent most of my time lately planning out the rest of my week, and getting mentally prepared to knock out a few more projects before the holidays. If all goes well, I'll spend the last two weeks of the year doing nothing but reading on the couch. 

Here's hoping!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, and Back!

A few months ago, Ryan Adams announced that he would tour the east coast and I had the brilliant idea to roadtrip to his gig in Baltimore. My BEST FRIEND FOREVER Amber lives in Williamsburg, Virginia, three hours from Baltimore, and I could just meet her at her place, then take off for another state. Amber and I both love Ryan Adams and this is a wonderful reason to get together, especially since we haven't see each other in over a year. 

The Baltimore Museum of Art. I was so excited to see so many well known artworks in one place! Gauguin,  Klimt, Matisse, Picasso, Miro, O'keeffe and more and more! 

Rodin's The Thinker, just a'thinkin' away!

We visited Edgar Allen Poe's grave. We almost passed it because we didn't expect it to be right in the middle of the city.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ballerina Hippo

This commissioned painting is long, long overdue. Are all creative types really bad about due dates and keeping track of time? I know I am! This dancing hippo is getting shipped off to Michigan in the morning to be hung on the walls of my baby cousin's room.

Ballerina Hippo
It's 2 feet wide and 4 feet tall. Acrylics on canvas and sealed with Polycrylic (Satin Finish). 

Here are some detail shots and a photo with Dexter, my long haired weenie. 

Cross this one off my to-do list! Yay!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Start Something That Matters - A Giveaway!

My Pair of Toms

I've been a fan of TOMS shoes for a few years now. Their One for One movement: one pair of shoes for your, another for a child in need, is inspiring and makes me feel all warm inside. I bought my first pair back in April 2009, and as you can see from the photo above, they're looking a little well...loved. I use them as my painting shoes and you can spots little flecks of paint here and there. 

When TOMS offered books for bloggers, I jumped on the application. I didn't even think I'd actually be offered a book to review, but lo and behold I was! When I spotted the package on my doorstep, I couldn't wait to start reading. 

Giving One Away

From the About page on startsomethingthatmatters.com: In Start Something That Matters, Blake Mycoskie tells the story of TOMS, one of the fastest-growing shoe companies in the world, and combines it with lessons learned from such other innovative organizations as method, charity: water, FEED Projects, and TerraCycle.

Start Something That Matters was devoured in about two afternoons. I'm a big fan of other people sharing their stories and this book was full of them. Blake starts out with his own story, then he shares the tales from other people he's met along the way. Everyone starts out with a simple idea, works towards their goals, and succeeds. There's definitely a can-do spirit throughout the book and I was definitely inspired to work harder and smarter with my own personal goals. I can see myself reading this book again. 

Want to get your hands on a copy of Start Something That Matters? Just become a follower of this blog and leave a comment! That's all! I'll pick a comment using random.org on December 12th at 10 a.m. Eastern time. 

Oh! I just found this trailer for the book on YouTube: 

If you have your own pair of TOMS, post a link to a photo! Let's all show off our shoes!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

'Tis the Season to be Painting!

These past few years I've been fortunate enough to be able to go crazy on the windows of my work. I just come up with a general idea, run it by my bosslady, and get to painting! Here's what I came up with this year:

A "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" theme! We're advertising the Annual Christmas Talent Showcase, Sounds of the Season. (You can click the Flickr link to see it bigger!)

This is how I prepared for this big project: find How the Grinch Stole Christmas on Youtube, print screenshots of my favorite characters, freehand everything with a dry erase marker on the windows, and paint! There you go! 

All of the painting took about 5 hours total. It seemed so much longer since it was cold and windy. My eyes we red by the end of the afternoon. 

I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see this whenever I drive by. I've already heard many compliments!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Foto Friday

It's been awhile since I've done this, so it's time for another installment of...
Foto Friday: Where I upload all the recent pictures from my phone and share them with you!
Rainy Day
It was a rainy, rainy Tuesday. The cat loved it.

New Coffee Mug
My new favorite coffee mug. It reminds me of my high school punk rock phase. 

Happy Cat
I curated a Feline Foto Show for a local bookstore. We always set up a way for the public to vote for their favorite photo, and I couldn't help myself and used Mr. Happy Cat. So Cute!

Birthday Present
I bought my sister some soccer shoes. She adores them.

Brush Cleaning
And in a fit of procrastination, I decided it would be a good idea to wash all the paintbrushes that have been gathering around the sink. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Get Your Paint On - Beyond Basics

I enjoy taking art classes (online or in real life) and I like the challenge of creating new work that I otherwise wouldn't do. The Get Your Paint On -Beyond Basics online class actually requires you to slow down and focus on the very act of painting, which is always a difficulty for me. I like to slap the paint on, then go back and fix the mistakes. This time, I'm still slapping the paint on, but I'm doing it in layers and taking my time. Here are progress shots:

Week 2



I went from three paintings to focusing on just one. I'll probably come around to the other two surfaces later.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Attack of the 10 Foot Snowman

Georgia Snowman

Georgia Snowman

This is a week to get things done, so you'll be seeing a few projects in their final stages. I'm very excited to make this off my to-do list and get it delivered to it's owner. I haven't measured its height, but I'm pretty sure he's about 9 feet tall. He'll be standing in a yard soon, cheering on the Bulldogs and spreading Christmas cheer at the same time!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday Sketchbook

Sketchbook Sunday

Sketchbook Sunday

I've been studying How the Grinch Stole Christmas this week & grabbing screenshots of my favorite characters. I plan on painting an entire scene on the art gallery's windows for the holidays. Here's to sketching and big painting dreams! I should get started on Thursday, if it's not too cold. 

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Camilla's Morran

Camilla's Morran
Morran belongs to Camilla Engman, an artist I've been following for years. Camilla has recently sent out a call for pictures of Morran. There will be a book printed with all the illustrations she has received and the proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit a charity of her choice.

I used watercolors and an india ink pen on 300 lb. cold-pressed watercolor paper. 

Monday, November 07, 2011

Atlanta Day of the Dead 2011

Mazzy and I attended the Atlanta Day of the Dead celebration yesterday. It was an exceptionally beautiful day and we had a great time. I went crazy over authentic Mexican food (I only get to eat it when I'm around my grandmother) and Mazzy had her first churro. 


I went nuts over these feathers! Look at them! 

Mazzy gets painted.



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