Like Mother, Like Daughter

They say we look alike, Mailey and I. I don't mind so much because I think she's quite a pretty little thing. And lately she's getting more and more like me in more ways than just looks.....She's becoming quite the little artist! I've been working on a new collage series for the kiddo book. This afternoon Mailey asked if she could make something. And about 45 minutes later, with a floor full of cut paper scraps, she'd made this fabulous composition and had my Golden gel medium in hand ready to attach it to the wood. I quickly volunteered to help put it all together. She wants me to sell it in my next art show, but I don't think I can part with it! Maybe I'll make some framed tiles of it. I told her whatever money she made, 1/2 had to go into a savings account we've started for her and her little hobby- horseback riding and horse shows.
So here's one of the 4 I have started. It's been a very exciting process adding the paper with the paintings. This is #3 of course. So far I have 1 Mommy bird, 2 red cardinals, 3 silly blue birds, and 4 fancy feathered pink ladies. I've 6 left to go in the series....maybe I should hire Mailey to be my apprentice to help me finish!


Tweet Pillows Featured in CraftsnThings!

As a stay at home artist and Mommy for a mere 7 months, I found that setting some personal and business goals in January was imperative to my survival in this new role. I can always find something to clean or wash or do outside or volunteer at my children's school, etc. I've seriously had to start making weekly goals to accomplish with my work. Otherwise, I have found myself quite behind with the paintings, jewelry, prints, etsy shop, papernstitch shop, you get the picture I am sure. One major goal set in January was to get my work and projects published in several craft magazines. I am happy to say that so far it's been a good idea. I just popped over to the CraftsnThings website because the editor selected the fun tweety pillows above for the online newsletter. I wasn't exactly sure when they'd appear, and to my excitement they were already there when I checked this morning. So go here to find out how to make your own! You'll be seeing a lot more of my goodies in the June and August issues of CraftsnThings magazine and in Somerset Sew and Somerset Home this summer as well.

For now, my new goal is to work on my first little children's book. Oooooooo....I can't wait to start sharing the illustrations for it. It's a primary book on numbers. So far I have number 2, 3, and four done. I'm off to get 1 done now! Have a great weekend! If you are in downtown Newnan tonight be sure to stop by the Flea and say hello!


Why Yes Toto, We are in Kansas

As I've mentioned before, I like to do things in series. I am dubbing this series the "American Still Life" series. A few bikes, campers and a payphone so far have appeared. All are a little lonely, very simple in composition but very thought out on my part. The colors are definitely thought out. All of the titles, well I like to have fun with those. Some titles make you the viewer think a little, or take another gaze or two. The pink camper was "Barbie's Dream Camper". This one is "Why Yes Toto, We are in Kansas". Hmmmmm...you ask? It's because as I was using my handy gel medium to attach the random map I cut out I realized that I'd chosen of all places, Kansas. Thus, Toto came to mind. And that was my favorite movie as a child. Memories. Digging deeper though, I was having a conversation with Greg Blair of Dogwood Gallery earlier this week. And we were discussing the importance of naming your work. He said he's had artists come in with great paintings, and when asked a title they say, "Untitled No.1" or so and so on. He said that some buyers are hesitant when they see this as a title. I have found that naming my work makes it more personal. I take time to name them, sign them, and document each piece as I finish. It is a part of the process of making the painting. An important one in my book. So all of my paintings will have names, some catchier than others. I hope at least one catches you off guard and causes you to pause and smile.


Every Once in Awhile.....

Every once in awhile I get a wild hair and decide to do something realistic. Not too often, because my birdies quite me quite entertained and busy. Last year I painted a poppy field that I was quite proud of (pat on the back). This spring I was once again inspired by a flower photo from a magazine, this time it was flowering quince. Which according to the article can bloom pink, red, green or white. So I did one in pink...... And one in green. Both were done with my texture technique which really gives the simple composition a nice contrast. They are much more dramatic in person, maybe you'll see them soon!


Making of a Series

I tend to paint in series. I suppose it's because I like one composition so much I have to repeat it, over and over. Always with a different twist...maybe the colors are tweaked, the flowers placed a little different, but similar always. I am currently working on a series of smaller sized pieces (10"x10") framed in thin salvage wood. They look great all together, or on their own. I can't wait to turn this series into framed tiles. These compositions will be great for my 4" tile in the old barn wood frames.

I have two big upcoming events that these paintings will be available for. The Vintage-Flea is hosting Canvases and Cocktails on Friday, March 27th from 6-9PM. If you are in the Newnan area come by and see me! Also, I'll be at the Wesleyan School Artist Market at the end of April. I know that seems far away, but they need inventory by April 1st. So for now, I've got to get to painting! Hope you have a creative weekend!


Little Suzi's

I started this painting who knows how long ago. I found it in my garage just waiting for stems and flowers. I love the green watercolorish background. So I added the yellow kissing flowers and some yellow bells to the foreground. I love that yellow bells bloom this time of year. This is my first year to have my art studio in the house in the sunroom where you get a full view of these amazing bushes all day. I planted four bushes about 12 years ago around the back patio and house area. They were literally a single stem that had been rooted by my pastor. Over the years I've been too chickin' to cut them back for fear they would never come back as grand. So now they are literally as tall as our single story house. I've had to trim, but that's it. They are a glorious site right now. And quite the inspiration. You'll be seeing more yellow bells in my garden paintings very soon.


Springing Up

Spring is coming early in Georgia this year it appears. With all the rain, rain, rain and the early warm weather, plants are springing up all over the place. I also noticed some new weeds, onions, and clover springing up as well! I love to work outside and plant new items in my yard. And I must have great soil, because bushes and flowers tend to grow like crazy for me. Just ask my mail lady about the lantana around our mailbox come spring. It gets taller than the mailbox every year. After the first frost I chop it all down, and after the first sign of spring, it comes right back up. Love that. Last year we did some grooming in the back yard after we got the adorable playhouse. It had to have it's own little yard. It was too cute to just not! Anyhoo....gotta run and start some new paintings before the kiddos get home. Have a lovely afternoon!



Check it out! I made shop of the day in PapernStitch. WHO HOO. Go to the blog and see! THANKS Brittni. Not only do I love this site for showing works, but she also writes a darn good blog. So go there now and enjoy.


"Make a Wish Mommy...."

So today is a big day around my house. It's my BIRTHDAY! Yeah! I kind of like this day. It means lots of phone calls, facebook messages and best of all CAKE! I love cake, especially the icing. I've been grinning from ear to ear all day. I know many people look at birthdays as a day of growing yet another year older. But I see it as another door to open. I believe this is #37. I kind of count by 5's now and the in-between years are just floaters. Ask me tomorrow and I'll say I'm 36, next week it'll be 38. Anyhoo......here's little Mailey telling me to make a wish with the dandelion. So sweet.
Here's me at day one of the 37th year. I thought it'd be fun to document it, and be able to look back at it next year to see how much I've grown. hehehe...Hopefully at this point I'll be doing less growing and more toning. That's a goal anyways. So what have I done on this special day? Let's see....started the day off with coffee and sweet cards from the family, taught an art lesson in Mailey's class, went to the Georgia Aquarium for a legislative spouse event (which included a yummy lunch and chocolate volcano dessert), hit Anthropologie(where I bought the above adorable yellow frock), and am now at home debating dinner. Billy will be at the Capitol until the wee hours tonight because it's crossover day. I think I'm going to take myself in this adorable new yellow frock out for pizza and beer with my dates Mailey and William. See you guys later!


"Please insert 25 cents"

Here's another in my series of the American Still Life. I actually have an original payphone here at my house. My father worked for Bell for years and somehow we ended up with a payphone when I was little. My sister Molly and I would spend hours playing with it, placing coins in the slot and pulling the lever to release the coins. At some point I decided to place paper money in the slots however, and now they are jammed. My children played hello on the phone as babies, but no coin fun. The lighting is a bit off in this photo, I'll get a better one outside tomorrow and re-post the pics. I was just dying to share tonight the final product! Of course I played up the colors in the phone. I don't recall ever seeing a turquoise blue payphone. It was fun adding the numbers and letters to the dial. My daughter Mailey helped and thought it was weird that the letters were out of order a bit. I don't understand why, but I am sure there was a logical reason there was no Q or X. I still love the sound of the dial phone. And I'm not that old either...just in case you were wondering. My 37th birthday will arrive in promptly 2 more days. Ahhhh...that means CAKE!


Barbie's Dream Camper

Airtream Silver Cloud 1936 15'

I've stepped out of my comfort zone a bit with my paintings in recent weeks. Although I will always paint little birds in their environments, I am having a bit of fun with these retro-American still life series I have going right now. First it was the bike series, and now vintage Airstream campers (I've got a turquiose payphone on the table too!). I found a fabulous website that had the original article on this particular camper and great photos. It was not the usual silver Airstream I was thinking of when looking for an example. But rather, this is originally "Woodframed and Masonite Skined". Yep. And cost all of $695.00 from a local Airstream dealer. So I took some liberty with the colors, I'm really into pink and orange right now. This the name Barbie's Dream Camper. Does that mean anything in particular those of you deep meaning in art people?

Speaking of deep meaning in art, I have a comment on that note. It was during my senior project interview when it hit me like a ton of bricks that perhaps my art was not really supposed to have some underlying deep context. The panel of 10 art professors (9 of whom were MEN) had concerns over my choice of making a paper quilt as my project (this is of course after approving the project and giving me thumbs up for 12 weeks while I made the beautiful piece). Not wanting to bore you with my anger towards that particular institution to this day for that grueling time of self pity over a grade, I'll skip forward to the artist I am now. And honestly, it's the artist I have always been. I paint happy, sweet, innocent paintings. I place a lot of thought into my compositions and the colors I place on my palette. But as far as there being deep meaning, I am sorry to disappoint that there is none. In fact, I view my art in the opposite. I want the viewer to see what is there, smile and say, I really like that. It could be my choice of colors, or texture, or composition or just the image itself. But in all honesty, what I gain the most from my art is happiness.

Producing all this work lately has almost seemed robotic. This veering into the still life scenes is helping to re channel my energy and regain some confidence in painting. And I am very happy to say, I am a bit tickled at the outcome of some of the paintings and their lack of global meaning.


"It's Raining, It's Pouring"...

Here's a new happy painting in the Mattie and her friends series. Are you singing along now? It's stuck in my head too! This painting is available for purchase in a new gallery for me. It's called Dogwood Gallery. It's located in Tyrone behind the Legacy Theater. I'm also teaching adult painting there on Tuesdays from 9:30-11:30 if you'd like to join me!



The past few weeks have been full of natural wows here in Georgia. We've had rain, tornadoes, hail storms, flooding rain and topped it all off with an amazing blanket of sparkling white snow yesterday. We see snow about once a year here, but never this spectacular. Just look at my yellow bells in full bloom softly covered in snow. The flakes were huge. Just look from my art studio window here:
It snowed a good 5 hours straight. What an amazing site! My red boots liked it a lot.

This is my backyard, complete with zip line blanketed in snow. I spent most of the day prepping new panels with texture and lines. I can't wait to start painting today. We are out of school of course, so perhaps it will be tomorrow before I get the paint brushes working. Today we are playing games and staying by the fire. Have a good one too!

Okay, I just have to brag a little.....

Of course being an artist is a super job to have. But even better, is being a proud Mommy. This weekend was full of firsts and wows. If you are a regular reader of my blog, and not just a picture looker, then you understand that these days with my family continuously inspire my work. So here goes my weekend with little Mailey: This was Mailey's first horse show to participate. We arrived at the facility around 8am in the POURING down rain. This made for fun muddy shoes (and pants). She was such a trooper because it was not until 1ish that she finally rode "Lady Penelope", or as we call her "Penny". She is Morgan from Sernebe Stables amazing pony that she has graciously told Mailey she can ride. Yeah! She did amazing, earning ribbons in the three classes she participated. We were proud of those ribbons of course, but for Billy and I, the biggest win was that she did it! And wore the outfit for all those hours without complaining. Never asked to be held, never really complained that I can remember. And those of you that know Mailey, KNOW that deserved a huge blue ribbon. Seriously.
Gosh, I can hardly look at this without getting tears. She was so excited. As a parent, that joy you feel through your children is without words.

On Sunday we woke to another raining day. But we got dressed and drove out to the facility ready to ride, in the rain. Once again we waited, which I have since learned is a normal part of the horse show weekend. And then around 10ish it started to snow. Like Colorado flakes. So they canceled the outdoor arena, we kissed Penny goodbye and headed home to play in the SNOW!!
After the snow fun wore off, Mailey and I settled into do some artwork. She painted an amazing flower landscape, very similar to the ones I like to paint. I'll show it off once we get it framed. She spent the rest of the day playing alone since brother took off for the ultimate snow ball fight down the street. She has lots of fun toys, dolls, and barbies in her room. But her imagination is too big for those things I've decided. Because she plays with, well unusual stuff really. And talks and plays and it's so neat to watch. Inspiring really. So, there you have it. I'm done with the bragging now, thanks for reading and continuing to support me!
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