Coffee Shop Art

Here in Coweta County we have a wonderful Arts Association. It's been around for years, really, with a wide age range of members. I am one of the youngest I think. Every nine weeks we rotate an exhibit at Espresso Lane Coffee shop around the corner from my store. It's a great space, these brick walls are my favorite! And the coffee is oh so yummy! This past month I submitted "Dreaming of Antique Lace". It's one of the texture paintings I enjoy making. There's always a nice selection of art hung for these exhibits. The Association also hosts an Opening for each one, complete with refreshments and wine. It's fun to go and be with the men and women of the community that do art for hobby...and they still get just as excited as I do when they sell a painting! And just as humble when they win "Best in Show". Their art may be completely something I'd never want to paint, but it obviously brings them so much joy, and they are so proud of what they have created, that it just tickles me to death to be amongst them. They always have such kind words, and words wisdom as well!
Last month I submitted "Ocala Wheat at Night". It won the People's Choice Award which meant it got to stay another series, I didn't have to pay the $5 entry fee, and I received a $5 gift card to the coffee shop! Yipee!


Etsy and Handmade Kids

I've been trying to find a way to get noticed in the world of etsy. There are so many artists listing now, I feel my little pendants and tiles get lost. So I purchase showcases, stay up on what is new and this past month I think I've found where to "plug myself in". They now off a Handmade Kids Showcase. How perfect for my little images! I know that most of my work won't be hanging in a bank, or a decorator showhouse living area. It is more likely to appear in a children's hospital, playroom, or nursery. And I love that! So now I have a new focus. They are hosting a contest too. So I've got to get creative with my photos, that's one of the criteria. Hmmmm....Maybe on the new playhouse out back? This tile is from my house series called, "Party House". I've never made tiles of it. Boy it looks cute all framed up! This is Mrs. Tobey's House.
Here's Mattie 30 and Holding.
I used Mailey's room for a set shot. I have no idea what I am doing in this area, but it was fun. And they did not argue with me, and were always smiling! So check out my new listings in etsy today!


A Little Vacation!

The kids and I headed off to Gulf Shores, Alabama for a spell this week. I had asked the kids a couple of weeks ago what was one thing they wish we'd done this summer we had not gotten to yet. They both looked at each other turned back and said "THE BEACH!" Billy started a new job this summer which did not allow for a family vacation, bummer. So when my sister Molly called me to come hang with her, I packed the car and we went!
Oh, we love to play in the white sandy beaches here.
My little surfer girl!

Here's Mattie in the sand. She was so cute until about 5 seconds after this picture when the tide came and swept her away. We have always enjoyed making sand sculptures at the gulf. There is always an artist in me yes, but the sand is so fine and powdery, it's very hard to make a castle. So we made Mattie, a fish, and a panda. It was fun. It was too short a trip. I want to go back!

New Little Adorable Pet

Okay, I never thought in a million years that in less than 6 months I would raise a tadpole to froggyhood, and that I would be a Mommy to a turtle. This is Dash. And oh how I am adoring this little fella! He has so much personality. We bought him at Alvin's Island in Gulf Shores, Alabama. He was one of like 1000 turtles desperately trying to survive in the water tank. My children chose him, we drove the 5 hours home and now he has quite the set-up. Only the best for my little Dash. Of course I recommended that he hang out in the sunroom for optimal sunning. The sunroom is my creative space, remember? I imagine Mattie is about to meet a little turtle named Dash. Off to the drawing board I go......


Shoe Inspirations

If you've read my blog awhile, then you know I part-own a cool little shop in Historic Downtown Newnan called The Vintage-Flea. We have chic shops downtown, including Boulignini, a shoe and accessory shop three doors down from us. The owner Kim came in at least a month ago and asked me, "Would you draw this shoe for me so I can use it on my business cards, as a logo?" "Sure" I said. So this little kitten heel sat on my art desk for the past month, literally. My daughter walked around the house in it a bit, I even tried it on. See: Shoe on right is my regulation Jenni shoe, the fitflop. So far, the backside is not slimmer, but I keep holding out hope! As I've stared at this sexy shoe, and placed it on my foot a couple of times, I wonder, just wonder how Carrie Bradshaw did it in those heels...all over New York City! I will say this shoe has quite a cushion system. It is a $150 shoe, it better have cushion!
So here's my final piece. I think Kim will be pleased! This shoe sitting on my art desk this past month has inspired a series of shoe paintings! Since sitting here I've created Mailey and Mattie in their orange crocs and the Mattie wanting to be an Anthropologie girl. Let's see, next month maybe I'll put a yummy cupcake on my desk to inspire me. I'd have to replace it everyday though!

On Saturday....

"On Saturday, Mattie wanted to be one of the Anthropologie Ladies." So I think I've found that- A. I see a trend in my art with shoes, I'll explain that come about in my next post and B. I see a new series of paintings for Mattie....and possibly a book idea about just being who you are, not anyone else! So I guess I'll start back with Sunday, the first day of the week and see what she'll be on that day!
These fabulous Anthropologie catalogues come to my door ever so often. I usually drool over the layouts, textures, clothes, and furnishings. Oh how I wish I had a body to be one of their models! Just to be on the set....that would be cool. Anyways, this month I was smitten with the shots of the models like the one above, cute tights, fabulous shoes and funky little outfits. I've been mulling over this idea of collage lately...and voila! The idea came to me. I was also doing my Sally Jean trick of finding words in a book to inspire my paintings. In my recent book selection, Pride and Prejudice, I've found a ton of great word selections, like "one of the ladies". Oh how it all came together after that! I did apply beeswax at the end and was a little upset that it changed the appearance of her tights, but there are no mistakes in art and I used it as a lesson to not use beeswax on magazine anymore!


"I like your shoes Mailey. I like yours too Mattie!"

"I like your shoes Mailey. I like yours too Mattie". This is a new idea for my Mattie paintings, introducing my little people, and pets to Mattie through the canvas. Today I started a fun one of Mattie and our silly little dog, Lily. Oh the fun those two are having in my painting! This painting was inspire by my baby girl Mailey. She has been over my shoulder all summer while I paint. When I started this one she was so tickled! I even used her shoes as a model. Those crocs are a necessity around this house! The little words on the bottom you can't make out say, "I like your shoes". Every girl has a favorite pair of shoes...what are yours?

Krista Part 2

After a pecan stain, and orange flowers becoming yellow ochre, I think this painting is about to ship off to Krista in Tennessee! Enjoy!


For Krista!

This painting is for Krista! I took your want list and came up with this composition and color combination. My William really likes it. I hope you do to!

Mattie Has Flown to Chicago!

I'd read about this super cool craft fair called Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn, Chicago and now San Fransisco. I was thinking how cool to be in a craft fair full of artists a little like me.....and I dreamed of setting up a booth in one of these great cities. So I jumped over to their site one day and found out they have a brick and mortar store now called Renegade Handmade. They feature about 200 artists from all over. It's like a real etsy shop! I filled out the consignment application, sent over my photos and voila! I am now selling in this store! YEAH! My name is already on their website. Here it is:www.renegadehandmade.com
So we'll see how my little pendants do up there. The photo above is of their store front. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that today while reading Home Companion, they had like a 6 page article on Renegade Handmade the store and the craft fairs! Talk about great publicity!


New Mini Paintings

"Henry Turns 6"
3.5 " x 8"- mixed media on wood

"Steady Friends"

3.5" x 3.5"- mixed media on wood

I was doing my usual blog reading and found out that Sally Jean now has a blog. It reminded me of a workshop I had with her in Portland awhile back. One of her techniques to get you going on collages is to pick words from a jar and go from there. I did my own spin on this by reading a book and snipping little passages that were funny together or could inspire a new painting. She always uses vintage papers, charcoal pencil, and white paint to embellish. I of course had to use my little birds and flowers with a bit more color! These two little guys I made up last night. It was great fun, and a great mess! I think I'll add a layer of resin to give them the ultimate shine.


Art Camp-Two weeks of FUN!

I forgot to post last weeks camp fun! We went to the farm and painted roosters, watercolor horses, cow/bull collages and fingerprint ducks! It was a day that would have made Old MacDonald proud!
Today we hit the reptile unit. Oh, a classroom full of boys was a real treat! We made pet rock turtles, crocodile paintings, snakes, and geckos on cedar. It was a day to be squeamishly artistic!


Good-Bye to Junior

Mailey and Junior our pet frog.
William and Junior. Look at those jumping legs!
Let me introduce you to Junior. A frog. Yep. A frog. We raised this little guy from tadpole hood until now. He had a little goldfish bowl he swam around in and grew out of his icky tail into a full-fledged frog. It was quite a treat. I can't help but giggle a little thinking about the morning Billy woke up and found our cat Jack playing with jumping Junior in the hallway. This was our last day with dear junior. He was jumping out of the bowl too much. So we took him across the street to the pond. The cool thing was, he didn't seem to mind my children loving on him like a real family pet. I say all this because tomorrow is reptile and amphibian day at art camp. Oh the fun we are going to have painting crocks, turtles, snakes, and frogs! I wish Junior was still around to model for us!


Orange Kisses

Oh, I was wanting to do a gray and orange color scheme, and here it is! My little kissing flowers dancing all over the canvas in orange make me so happy! This is an acrylic painting on gallery wrapped deep canvas. It's 20" x 24". The painting is hanging at The Vintage-Flea for sale.


New Oil Pastel Paintings

"In the Winter Bloom"
"La-La in the Kissing Flowers"
These are two new oil pastel paintings. I've mentioned in previous posts that I really like working in different mediums with the same subject matter. I was looking at my oil pastels and just had to dive in last night! These are the two I finished and plan to put in these great IKEA frames I bought last week. They'll probably be heading of to B'ham in August.


Happy 4th of July!

This is Mattie on the 4th of July! Mailey insisted she be holding a sparkler in her beak. Don't you love her new tights? I hope you and your family have a great day. We will be super busy today. It's an election year so we have many appearances to make, BBQ to eat and a HUGE parade.
Living in small town America has its advantages in that we have a beautiful downtown square that has a parade for everything! Today's parade by far has the largest number of entries and viewers. We'll throw about 15 bags of candy (super size that is) and wave for about 2 miles. It starts at the McKoon funeral home and ends at the high school. At the end we all pile up in the football stadium and baseball field to picnic and anxiously wait for the fireworks to start. Now, these are not redneck Joe in the backyard fireworks, these are the canon ones. It's a wonderful display. From our family to yours, we hope you have a wonderful 4th!


There Go the Bride and Groom!

Aren't these two adorable? Just ready for a big white fluffy cake to sit on! I just got word that these two kids sold in my etsy shop today to a lady named Victoria in the United Kingdom. Her address said the name of a florist, so maybe they will be a part of an upcoming UK wedding! Oh what fun these two are going to have!


Nests and Our Homes

We've had an unusually stormy night or two the past week here in Newnan. And while the rain is such a blessing, the aftermath of a serious storm always has its' consequences. My poor neighbor had a pine tree land right through her house, flooding it pretty good. Mother nature tends to fight with fury sometimes and while we as humans can clean up and move on, I am sure the little birds in our yard feel vulnerable and sad when their homes are destroyed. My William was out in the front yard Sunday when he came running into the house with the most beautiful nest, full of broken blue eggs. He was really upset that the babies had been crushed. On Monday he found another nest under the oak tree, no eggs this time. Then today he found yet another! I took his picture with the nests to document the findings. Honestly I was a little excited because I love my collection of nests he's found, birds he's made from clay and my vintage ones all together in a cabinet. Three in 3 days is a real coo. After I took the pictures I studied the findings a bit and noticed the uniqueness of each of them, and how truly beautiful they were. Little works of art. Some mother bird worked extremely hard to make their babies a home to wake up in. There is no telling how many hours she gathered, wove, and waited for her children to arrive. Don't we as human mothers do the same? We busy ourselves with tending to the day in and day out chores of making our house a home. I know some of my chores are quite tedious, like laundry and the potty room, and I do complain about those jobs. But at the end of the day when I take my two children to bed, I love knowing that this home we've built together is built with worldly things of course, but it is also built with lots of love, kindness, patience, and happiness.
Our home is full of layers, just like the nest above. It's what keeps us together as a family and will continue to hold strong, even in our weakest moments. And just like the nest, our home could one day be a little damaged, but the layers of memories, they will stand the test of time no matter where we live.
This is a painting I did of one of our family nests. It hangs in our living area...I've not yet been able to part with it. Maybe it's the mother bird in me, but this nest makes me feel calm when I see it. Makes me feel right at home.
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