Monday, September 13, 2010

The Portrait Club--Miss Juliana revealed!

The "before" photo.
The "after" photo, spruced up in Photoshop.

Well, here she is! For those who have been following "The Portrait Club" that I have had the pleasure to be a part of [Swell Sisters], here is the finished product of Miss August, the lovely Juliana. Gosh, she is such a beautiful woman any way, but I have to admit, I am very happy with how this turned out! I wanted her to be reminiscent of the artistic quality of Mucha.  The rest of the Sisters also accomplished some amazing interpretations of her. Some of you have had requested for me to post some of their work as well, so I will try and round up some photos of the other ladies work, and try to post them!

Friday, August 20, 2010

My "Garden"

What is currently growing

Ridiculously large beetle!
So beautiful!
See the Praying Mantis?
     Early this spring, I decided to put flower seeds in one of my raised garden bed. I bought this handy, easy "roll" of wildflowers--you roll out this fibrous green matt embedded with seeds, you water it repeatedly and let it go. It was extremely slow to start and looked very unremarkable most of the time.  Slowly sprouts started and throughout the summer, I've had flowers!  They have been very beautiful.  As the summer progressed, the tall stems started to die and I figured it was nearing it's end.  The other morning I opened my curtains and peeked at the garden and was completely and thoroughly BLOWN AWAY at what I saw! What a gift!  Did you ever know that daisies come in such an amazing purple??? I rushed outside to admire, take pictures, and cut some flowers to bring in. 
     I could not help but praise the Lord for such an amazing and beautiful sight! I almost missed it by not taking the time to look--a lesson learned.  I walked around the flowers, oohing and ahhhing and taking pics with my iphone.  THEN more amazing things happened (hey, I'm easily amused)-- A Praying Mantis was plopped right smack in the middle of one of the purple flowers, as though he knew a photo opportunity awaited!  So I obliged him, happily.  Then as I circled around, I witnessed THE MOST GIGANTIC BEETLE I have ever seen in my life.  Okay, get this: he is not only huge, but emerald green, and metallic. And he's just chillin' out on a pink flower.  I'm beginning to feel like I've fallen down a rabbit hole or something. I snapped as many pictures as I could of him--he wriggled a lot and was such a fatty on the pink flower he kept weighing it down as he crawled. He flew away shortly after and he sounded like a lawn mower as he flew by.
     I'm kicking myself for not using my fancier camera to take pictures! It would have been nice to have some sharper detail as to possibly paint some of this revelry.
     I hope you enjoyed this moment in my life--it seemed worth sharing! Have a great weekend.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Miss August--The Portrait Club

Okay, here is the next lovely lady in The Portrait Club, Miss Julianna! To those who haven't stopped by in a while, The Portrait Club is a fun project some of the gals at the The Swell Sister Society are up to lately. Each participant adds some photos of herself for the month she is assigned, and the participating artists get to interpret her artistically any way they choose.

As I mentioned on the last post, I have decided to re-visit my dear friend, Photoshop. I had such a great time with the last challenge, I can't wait to start the next one! Stay tuned--I will not post the finished product till after the next meeting in September (it's fun to keep it a secret until the unveiling!).

But until then--I will be posting other adventures so please continue to stop by!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Okay, here is my updated Photoshop version of Laurelin! I'm very happy with the way it turned out. I find my self loving Photoshop like I love painting. Magical things can happen and it makes me very giddy! Tee hee ! Whoo hoo!
The beautiful Juliana will be next! I will post her "before" picture in the next couple days.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hello my friends! I have dropped off the face of the earth with my blog these days--don't know if you've noticed! It seems that life somehow got busy, combined with I think a touch of laziness (isn't it funny how the two sit so closely together? The busier you are, the harder it is to stay motivated to do the things you LOVE.) I have done some creative things, but have not taken the time to document them! I sorely miss those times. Blogging daily/weekly takes an enormous commitment, doesn't it? And I think I've discovered about myself I don't like to do the same thing, for an extended period. It's because I need the stimulation of something new, all the time. I thrive on it. Discovery is what makes my world go 'round--art seems to be the one thing that is always new and different, EVERY time. I also have a hard time with self-discipline (it seems that the more I read articles about other artists, the more I discover that this is a deep-rooted, common trait in creative type people).
All that to say, is that I would really like to get back to blogging, and to think of it as a personal discipline that is good for me--kinda like taking your vitamins, or making sure to exercise.
So the latest? My wonderful art group (led by the fabulous Laurelin see: ) has started The Portrait Club. Each gal who wants to be a part of the "club" has a month in which she publishes different photos of herself, and in turn, the other artists can interpret the model of the photo in any way artistically they would like, depending on their type of art they dabble in. It should be interesting! This will be a great way for me to re-visit my dear friend, Photoshop! The photo above is the photo that I will use. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Check out this blog....

Hello dear friends! I know I don't post very consistently these days. Would like to work through that--but it is a process!

Today I did not feel the need to post what I was going to after I read one of my favorite blogs from a fellow-Sacramento blogger. I felt her current journey was too wonderful and important to not share with more people--it was such an encouragement to me! May it encourage you as well.

What else I was reminded about in her blog was how little efforts of loving someone can make a huge impact. Love is the greatest power of all. We just need to make sure we go out of our way to share it with people. Plan to do it--EVERY DAY. Small ways, big ways. But do it--even if you are not "feeling" it at the time. Or you feel depleted at the moment. It will come back to you. It's better than being busy with our "to do" lists at every moment.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Indie Project: The Latest...

Okay, so I finally got the last one off for another artist to add to, and I just recently received my next project. The funny thing is that my fellow artist friend on the phone says to me, "your going to be mad at me". Huh, I can not imagine what in the world she could possibly mean! Then I see the painting that she has added to (wish I could show you what it looked like in the beginning!). She had added the imposing "finger" in the painting. You'll have to piece together the rest in your imagination!

Soooooooo.... this puppy sat on my easel. And I walked by. And the sun rose and set. And the painting remained untouched. It mocked me, and taunted me. "You're stumped! Admit it! REAL creative people know what to do! You have failed at this challenge!"

I began to accept my fate, much like someone who is stuck in the middle of the ocean while shark fins circle 'round. But then I realized what I was doing wrong: I was trying so hard to make "sense" of it that really I was in my expectations forcing it to be something "reasonable". So the light in my head went on one day and I uttered quite loudly "A-HAH!!!!!" to nobody but myself. Do not deny--embrace.

So, this is what I did.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Latest Mural...

This is the latest mural I did for a friend's daughter's room. Wish you could see the bedding, but the flowers are borrowed from it! Also, the walls are a soft pink, but it's hard to tell in this picture.

This room is so appropriate for the lovely Spring that is now upon us! For this little girl, it will always be spring in her room. Maybe we need to paint flowers in the living areas of our homes to keep us feeling cheery?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Indie Project: The Latest...

Okay, so FINALLY I have finished the latest indie project for Swell Sisters. It stumped me, have to admit. It was so cool already, really just wasn't sure where to take it. I like how it turned out. Below, I will show you a little of how I did it if anybody is interested. It involves a gel transfer technique that is VERY cool to do, and has so many possibilities! I want to try and dabble in this more, so don't be surprised if you see it again! I encourage you to try it as well.

Step 1: You need a good gel medium. This is my personal favorite.
I think also Modge Podge or any other decoupage medium would work as well,

Step 2:
Get your image. I found this on a free vintage site, I took it into Photoshop, desaturated it, and upped the levels so that I had a crisp, black and white, blown-out image. Note: be careful about thinking through the positioning of the image. It will be the mirror equivalent. I forgot about this for this artwork, and originally was eyeballing it to go on the canvas just as you see it. But when I flipped it over, I said "duh" to myself several times. Luckily this mistake didn't cost me too much because it still worked for the over all piece.
And this is THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF ALL: Have your image copied at a copy store with a TONER based copier. You can also get a color copy done as well and it will work. Unfortunately, ink based printers (like the ones we all have at home) don't work!

Step 3:
For this particular artwork, I knew that the woman's image would be "invisible" on the white parts of her skin, so I painted in a white and turquoise backdrop for her face, and let that dry thoroughly.

Step 4: Apply a liberal amount of gel medium on the front part of her face, as well as on the canvas. Lay the paper down on the area of the canvas you want it to be. Gently smooth with finger from middle to outsides to try to release any air bubbles. Do NOT apply gel medium on back side! Let dry completely.

Step 4: When the image is finished drying completely, (sorry I don't have pictures of the process itself) wet the back of the image thoroughly and begin to rub all of the paper off with your finger. It is very tedious, and your finger will get sore--but it is worth it! What you will have when finished is just the ink from the toner imbedded in the clear gel medium!

When done, put a final coat of gel medium over everything to even things out.

(Ugh--sorry folks--have NO clue why in the world this last paragraph is underlined! NOTHING I do fixes it! UGHHHHHH!!!)

Monday, March 15, 2010


Okay I know that this is not technically "art" but I think it is! My daughter made these on a whim one evening and there is just something so dang cute about cupcakes! It really is my two favorite things combined into one: Art and Chocolate! Don't you agree? I actually would love to do a series of paintings on just the beauty and simplicity of sweets such as these (a-la Wayne Thiebaud--one of my favorite artists!)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Okay, Okay....

Okay, I hope my 12 followers are still following! I have been slacking lately--so sorry. Still waiting for the Indie Project has been a tough one, but I think some ideas are formulating. Will get on it over the next couple of days. It would also help if my stupid cat would stop crapping in my art room. Creativity and cat s*** don't mix! I don't know what I am going to do with her.

In the meantime, I have temporarily returned to my roots--murals! My sweet friend Julie has commissioned me to do some work in her daughters rooms. Here is the first one. Turned out great! Wish you could see the rest of the room--there are some leaves scattered randomly here and there as if blowing in the wind. Simple shapes and color schemes can be so beautiful, don't ya think?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Still waiting for paint inspiration--but in the meantime...

So I'm still waiting to be inspired for the latest Indie Project (and also for my cold to go away!) But in the meantime, my daughter and I were having fun making these very cute bracelets (that's her cute hand in the picture!) from a website I found called, All Things Heart and Home We have had the best time making these, and if you have very basic jewelry skills, you can make them too! I love projects that make me feel victorious!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Indie Project...Swapped!

How cool is THIS? I love it just as it is (again). Okay here's the low-down on where this one started: It started with the lovely Julianna who is kind of known for snagging old doors and such. She base coated it the lovely bronze color, and added the very cool patterned paper around the frame. She described the paper to me, but I had a hard time understanding it's origin. At any rate, it has this gauzy, almost cotton texture. It's lovely. Then she swapped the painting with our dear Laurelin--who added the graphic birds. Now I find my self intimidated once again, and think I will sit and live with this little beauty for a while so we can get to know each other. Serve it tea. Chat a bit. Watch t.v. together. Then maybe something will come to me! I have a feeling I will visit the internet again for inspiration of some sort. I do this often. I Just ramble around, looking at cool sites, artwork, etc. It always seems to jump start my creativity--maybe makes me look at composition, color, texture, style in a way I hadn't thought of before.

I can tell you, I love "The Birds" type element I feel here. It will be hard not to get all "Alfred Hitchcock" on this piece. But then, maybe I will.... hmmmmm. But I have to remind myself: this doesn't end with me! Other artists will be adding.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Indie Project...

Okay, remember where I started with the Indie Project as part of my art group, The Swell Sisters ( Well as you know, mine started with the little house painting I made, then I gave it to the lovely and talented Olivia. She in turn gave me the beautiful start of the white peacock (view previous posts for reminder pictures of progress). I got lucky and managed to get a picture of what she did with mine! Isn't it cool? Remember: it isn't finished yet! More artists will add to it. Tonight is the night we will all trade and then I will have another work-in-progress to share with you! Very excited.

I will let you all know when the "Christopher" painting will be given to the owner of Christopher's Place ( She will be having her grand opening soon, and I plan to wait to give it to her then.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


So here is the finished Painting! I took a second picture so you could see the scale of it. Ahh, it's amazing what you can get done when you are stuck at home with a sick kid! Does that make me a bad parent?

Thank you everyone for checking out my blog! Your support really does inspire me to keep doing art. Keeps me accountable.

So what's next? The "Indie" art project is still alive and well--need to swap with one of my Swell Sisters-- (see: on Monday. May take a break till then because I don't have anything planned in between. But keep checking back!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mystery Painting...started!

Okay, so it's been a while. Household busy, and held up by a terrible case of the flu. Finally back to what I love--ART! Okay, I teased you (whoever that may be...) with a "mystery painting " a while back. I've finally started it officially! Bet ya can't guess what it is??? Ha Ha. It's for a friend of mine, and my new boss--I started working at a dog grooming shop and boutique with 2 dear friends of mine! It's been fun! Her shop is named "Christopher's Place" and the painting, is of course, the late Christopher.

Oh--Indie project: No update--still need to trade with another artist. Will trade next week. Stay tuned!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Indie Project

Well, it was hard to know what to do, but here it is. I LOVE LOVE LOVE how different the peacock looks just with the change of the background color! All this beautiful shading seemed to show up in its body and feathers. It looks pinkish around the bird, but there is no pink painted there. It's just the way the photo turned out!
Again, hard to stop, but wanted to give the other artists a chance to add their own flair! What's next? It goes to the next person. Will see if I can get the other gals to take a pic of what they added, and I will keep you posted. The neatest part about putting this on a blog, is that you can see the progression. Art is ALIVE!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I'm Back...

Okay, so I traded the little house painting to my fellow artist Olivia so she can continue with the Indie project. She in turn gave me this little beauty! I have to admit, I'm a little stumped on how I am to add to this. It is so beautiful as it is.

Will try to get at it today and/or tomorrow. We'll see how my creativity does today--my dog went diarrhe on my bedroom floor last night at 2:00 in the morning. So I was up in the wee hours of the morn sopping, gagging, scrubbing and carpet shampoo-ing! I also think I used a whole can of Febreeze. I'm bleary this morning!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I'll be back...

To those it may concern: I will be gone for a couple days for my daughters cheerleading championship so won't be posting anything for a little while! I'll be back though--have lots to do!

Okay! Think I'm done now--I had a hard time stopping. Had to remind myself to leave room for the other artists to add to it!

I added black squiggle around house (with fine tip brush--tried pen at first but the rough texture of the wood was too hard on it), then added charcoal pencil around it (smudged with q-tip. I like this effect lately--will probably use in future, so be warned!), and embellished with a little touch of glitter on door and roof. Tonight will bring to Olivia for her turn with it, and she will in turn give me the one that she started! Stay posted! She gave me a glimpse on Facebook of what it looks like--I can't wait to show it too you! Beautiful in itself--It will be difficult to add to it.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Decoupaged the house. Tip I've learned about decoupage: I always had such severe wrinkles and bubbles when I had done it in the past. Googled for a solution, and the tip that has worked the best for me is to soak the pieces in water for about 5 minutes, then use your decoupage medium of choice. Only bad part is that sometimes certain papers (in particular ink jet prints) are not water safe, and the colors will run.
This particular project I notice a faint brownish hue around the house--looks like maybe the ink on the paper for the roof kinda came out a little bit. This project keeps fighting me! It's a good thing my art-friends will be coming to the rescue soon!


Here we go again--painting is back where it was supposed to be. Now as usual, will need to let it sit and dry. I'm on a time crunch! Gotta get it to the next person! (Olivia M. are you reading this? Your next!) Hang in there--progress still happening.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

New mystery painting started! You must keep checking to find out what it will be!

Fix it!

Okay, decided to go back to original idea. Painted over the yellow marks with red. I plan to then go over it again with the green--I will just do it dry-brush style--I really like the idea of seeing peeks of red coming out of the green. Gonna give up on idea of squiggles. Looks weird now, but hang in there!

Indie project in progress...

Bugger. Dang it. Okay, so today I was planning to paint in a loose interpretation of landscape and sky. Then intended to use end of paintbrush to sort of scratch squiggles in "grass" to reveal red underneath. Unfortunately, the paint scratched too much and the bright yellow undercoat was revealed. Now the question is: run with it and create something from that? Or paint over it when dry and try again? At the moment I'm irritated. Need to let it dry and will let myself think about it in the mean time. Maybe when I get back to it later I'll see something in it?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hi all--
Okay, so decided to take part in the "Indie Project" of my fabulous art club, The Swell Sister Society. "Indie" meaning, Independent. So someone starts a project--it can be on canvas, or recycled element, whatever they feel like. And they start some artwork on it and then pass it to another member to do, who in turn passes it on to someone else until it circles back to the original owner. This is the first time I have participated in this, and I have seen some wonderful things that have appeared at the meetings.
So, I decided to start mine on a part of a box...thing. I think it's an old draftsman box of some sort? Or an Artist's carry-all? Not really sure, but I had to snag it when I saw it at my neighbors garage sale. So I took it apart, (it was painted yellow already on the inside by the previous owner) and started the project.

One half, inside view of wooden box. Red one is base-coat of new work I am doing for "Indie Project"

These hinges came off of the box--beautiful in themselves! Will hang on to these guys and figure out something to do with them later. Kinda look like butterflies don't ya think?