A Little More from Vegas

I'm back with a little more for you to ooooo and ahhhh over. Hehehehe. My next class was with Stephanie Lee. But first, I have to say that all my teachers were very, very good teachers. As an art teacher myself, I am very observant of this quality. And all three were very knowledgeable and willing to share their craft. It takes a special type of artist to want to share their skills, does that make sense? By sharing their techniques, they open a world up for those of us pursing art to new possibilities in our own work. And I am very thankful that these ladies did just that for me. Because my head is now spinning with ideas!! This class was called Plaster Architecture. We used floral foam, wire and plaster gauze to create various forms. I was originally going to create an airstream camper. But in her demo she used wire. And from their I took off running. I'll have to photo this once it's all done. Because of drying time, I was not able to put my piece together nor paint it. It will have a rather robust birdie hanging from the center. I enjoyed her technique and more than anything, can't wait to try it with my afterschool art classes. They are going to love playing with these materials! BTW, I think I really irritated the airline steward with this baby. You should have seen the painful look on my face when they said it had to go overhead and not stay in my lap! Thankfully it made it safe and sound.
Of course we had to try out the machines. I spent $2.00. And even though it was a .1 machine, I only got one roll. What's up with that?

The last day was a class with the adorable Julie Thompson. It was entitled, "Life is but a Dream". Now I'll admit, I took this class because of her picture on the website. It was just too, too cute! But once in the class, I quickly realized that technique wise it was my favorite of the week. You will be seeing many more creations from paper clay from me! This is Vivian. And she is a crank music box which plays What a Wonderful World.
Julie kept describing her style as "Steam punk". I have no idea what that means, but I know her work was beyond adorable. And her knowledge and skills were A+. She's coming to Atlanta this summer and I told her count me on the roll for sure!

Of course you can't leave Vegas without a little show. Here we were able to see the famous Bellagio water show. It was quite magical. And later that night we saw the Jubilee show at Bally's. I personally found it incredible (ok, not the boobies don't get any funny ideas) but the scenery changes and costumes....holy cow. Amazing. They advertise it as "35 pounds on their head and a costume that can fit in a tea cup." This was very, very true for much of the show. I can't balance a book on my head, so hats off to those women! Well, the trip was beyond worth the dollar amount I have added up. And it does add up. If you are ever considering an Art and Soul Retreat you can be guaranteed that the instructors are very well prepared and skilled. Mine and Valerie's classes both filled our minds and hearts with creative ideas beyond what we can probably carry through. I am thinking of instructing in Portland in October of 2011. So......start saving your pennies(realistically $1's) and join me!


Art and Soul Las Vegas!!

OK. So I just couldn't wait to start sharing. And my computer is actually cooperating today, so here are the first 2 days of Art and Soul. We flew out Saturday morning from Atlanta and landed in Vegas around 2PM. A quick stop in the hotel room and off we went to check in with Glenny and get my vendor night area all set up. It was fun getting everything out on the table and seeing all the other AMAZING vendors. I spent some serious money that night. I'll have to get a picture of my necklace. You guys are going to all be so jealous! There were several other artist vendors set up, but also ladies selling vintage findings and such. Those table were a huge hit. I personally had an amazing night with sales. I've done a fair number of art shows, but selling to people who are artists and aspiring crafters is a real treat. I received great feed back on all my work. Hot item of the night, the ID bracelets....sold all 15. Sold a ton of bag tags, pendants, the bike painting, a few birds and a few buckles. What tickled me the most were the people that said, "Oh, I saw you in Somerset...." We found this crate and brass rope holder in a closet off the room we were in. Always repurposing that Valerie is! BTW she was such a trooper that night. She hung out all night with me even though to our bodies it was way past our bedtime!
After a great (we sorta I really needed my pillow) night's sleep, we woke at our usual Mommy 7am hour and got up and at 'em. We were in the Bally's Paris complex. So, Bally's is like not my first pick, but Paris....oooolala..... It was like strolling through a Disney Resort in the food and Casino area. I could seriously eat crepes for breakfast, lunch and dinner if given an opportunity. And literally, there is an Eiffel Tower coming through the building. Here's the outside of it:
We walked down the strip and came to a personal favorite, Mr. Peanut M&M. And adorable store where I picked up earrings and Mailey's new favorite PJ's. There was a lot to see and take in this first morning. And we made lots of plans to visit here and there.

My first class was with an artist I've admired for several years now, Lisa Kaus. The class was entitled "Color My World". In it we were going to be free with subject matter....the teaching was about experimenting with her special technique. And this was my favorite product of the day:

Water soluble pencils. Her technique is all about layering and texture. The boards were pre-primed for us with three coats- gotta get the hand out to remember what, but then she uses a series of Golden fluid acrylics and those yummy pencils above, some collage and then tops it all off with delicious smelling beeswax to create an illuminated canvas like this:

Yes, of course I did a camper. Now, I know it looks a little like something I already do, and was asked by Valerie upon seeing this, "What's different about it than what you normally do?" Well, for starters, the only material in the painting I'd ever used was the paper. In fact, all the paint I brought I was not allowed to use. You see, I LOVE my heavy body acrylic paints. They are gooey and opaque and are in my comfort zone. But the workshops I signed up for were all about NEW techniques for my art bucket, getting outside of my comfort zone. And although the subject matter is quite familiar to me (I mean why change everything about who I am as an artist?), every material in the painting was new. And I really, really, really enjoyed it.

That night we found out that the lovely Bill's across the street offered $1.oo margaritas. Yep, that was about the cheapest thing of the week. And Bill's became our "happy Hour" so to speak every evening. We strolled through Caesar's and ate yummy sushi this night and then called it quits. We quickly found out that casino time was really not our cup of tea, and that a good night's rest was much more valuable.
So tomorrow I'll come back and tell you the rest.....with pictures of my sculptures! Oh guys, I am in love with sculpting! Wait til you see.....

I'm Back!

Hey guys! I'm back, very tired and a little overwhelmed. I didn't sleep well last night because of all the creative juices flowing. Where to start....what do I need to get to get started, etc......So my suitcases need unpacking and I really feel a nap coming on. I'll get some pictures up tomorrow, promise!! Hope you had a great week!


Circus Fun

Ok, so I just couldn't let an ENTIRE week go by without at least one little post. ;) Yesterday we attended the Ringling Brothers Circus. We as a family have attended the circus for the past 5 years straight. I remember the first time we went, Mailey was 3....and when the clowns came running out from behind stage she FREAKED out. Seriously, screamed bloody murder, climbed up and sat on my head, and yelled "I want to go home now!!" So it's five years later, and she couldn't wait to see the clowns. But first, I have to tell you the funny story of getting to the circus....... We were running late, it was one of those days yesterday. So we were not able to ride MARTA into town, we drove. It was 5PM. Now Atlanta is a city of commuters and cars. I seriously think that Atlanta folks have 2.5 cars per household. No one takes transit. But as a general rule, from the southside where we live we can usually get to the capitol in 30 minutes easy. The kids and I were toodling along when wham! Traffic came to a halt. I called Billy and said, "Something is going on, traffic is stopped." He replied, "Yeah, there are like 4 helicopters flying around the capitol and police cars." "Great, a bomb threat on Georgia's capitol. Seriously?" While talking to Billy though, my texting beeped and it was Valerie. And she asked, "Have you seen the Zebra? It escaped from the CIRCUS!" WHAT????? And sure enough, I turned on 740am and Lema, one of the circus Zebras, had escaped her compound outside of Phillips Arena. Evidently she wanted to take a walking tour of the city of Atlanta. On the 11PM news it was quite a site to see, her running down I-75 Southbound. She was caught, and they say only her hoofs suffered a little pavement damage. She is super lucky. As a human in Atlanta walking I fear becoming road kill.
So we got to the circus in time for the pre-reception where we filled our bellies with yummy mac-n-cheese, hot dogs, popcorn and of course, cotton candy. Then we headed out to the pre-show. If you ever attend the circus, I highly recommend getting there early enough for the this. The clowns are out mingling, they have real costumes to play in, and two rings set up where you can get really close to an act. I also knew that ASIA was going to be making an appearance. So I steered the kiddos to her ring.
And this is Asia. The artist. Oh my. The first time I saw her I was smitten. She literally has one finger on her trunk, did you know that? Which allows her to hold the brush and paint.

The gentleman on her right there is helping her gather paint. She smiled the entire time. And look at her back feet. How cute is that!! Her lovely abstract paintings are given away to a lucky person from a drawing. Man I'd love to be that winner!!
So today I woke to this adorable site, my own circus animals. Yes, they get along like this all the time. Hilarious really. I've a million errands to run and packing to do.....so I'll leave you for now. Check back next week for some super fun pics from Vegas!!


Vegas Bound! Art and Soul Retreat 2010

So I've been hinting in past posts about heading to Las Vegas this week. But, now it's THIS WEEK!!! And I am freaking out with excitement. I've never been there. And not only am I going with a great friend, but I am going to learn amazing new artsy techniques. And I am going to be a vendor on Saturday night at the Vendor Night expo. You can only imagine the nervous energy I have going on right now. So Monday I made a mock set-up on the kitchen table to see how everything fits. It has to all fit into my suitcase. And since I am used to a pick-up truck full of props and products, this was a bit of a challenge. I may be using my dresser drawers from the room for risers! So for sale I'll have belt buckles, bag tags, porcelain pendants, ID tag bracelets, original works of art, rings, felted bird friends and some vintage treats for participating artists to use in their own creations while on retreat.

Now I just have to figure out how to fit all my clothes and art supplies for the classes into one suitcase as well. I am an over packer, so this always poses a challenge for me.

Between packing, teaching art camp tomorrow, headed to Atlanta Thursday for the Circus and Friday to the High Museum, I am thinking I'll be offline until next week when I return. I may try to sneak a post from Vegas, but no promises! For now, this little cute tweet says howdy and looks forward to flying for real. See you soon!!!!


The Paintings I Hated To See Go

So these are a few of the paintings at the Trinity Show now. Man I hated to see them go. You know every once in awhile I have to keep one.....and although I loved all three of these, I know they will find great homes this week. If you are interested in any of paintings, please attend the Trinity Show this week! It's an amazing collection of artists on display. In fact, as I walked the halls to the whimsical section I felt very small as an artist. I don't get they way much, but seeing all the unbelievable talent in one venue really made my heart skippy. And a tweak bit honored to be a part of such an event. ;)

****Just read in my email (Wednesday am) that all three have sold already! The show started Monday night and runs until Saturday afternoon. I am thrilled that they all have new homes. **

So The Snow Did Come

On my way home from Atlanta, around 2PM, the snow came. And came......see..... What a beautiful site for us southerners. The blanket of snow was amazing. Perfect for snow angel making, card board sledding (they don't exactly sell sleds down here so we make do), snow ball fights, and snowman building. It was Mailey's 8th Birthday sleepover party as well. And guess what? They all showed up, spent the night and had a little fun in the snow!
Don't worry, this was just a minute outside for photo ops in short sleeves. They quickly ran in, suited up and stayed outside for over an hour! They all came in soaking wet and cold. So we made tons of hot chocolate which they drank through swirly straws. How fun is that!

Oh these 8 year old tootsies. Love them....and the heart that belongs to them. Today we are snuggled in and I hope to finish up some smaller paintings to take to Vegas. Have a wonderful day!!


A Conversation This Morning....

This morning Mailey came running into my room where I was slumbering so sweetly and said, "MOM, are we skipping school?" I squint my eyes and said, "No it's a snow day." "What? There's no snow." "I know." And she ran off to William's room and talking 100 miles an hour about the situation. Here's our snow day below: Yep. No snow. Just dead winter grass. Urghhhhh... The Coweta school system does not have my back today. My list is a mile long which now with kids in tow will surely take twice as long. And my kiddos Valentine's Day parties were today. I always loved this day when I was in elementary school. All those love letters and sweet candy.......maybe that's why I am such a sentiment sap now. Well, off to Atlanta to drop off my pieces at Trinity School. Mailey is supposed to have a sleep over Disco Birthday Party tonight. Depending on the weather, it may be a fake sleepover. Have a good day!!


Little Birdie Told Me.....

That I've been neglecting my blog this week! It's been a busy kind of week. Below is a sneaky peaky into my birdy life. These are not quite as whimsical as the collage birds. They have a different quality about them, more mysterious, calming, nurturing. My heart really loves these.

Especially this last one. He is going to making an appearance in my new branding image. Wait till ya see what Tiffin I've been cooking up this week!
Well, got to finish up 2 more paintings for the Trinity Spotlight Show and then my attention has to turn to Vegas Vendor night. Yes. I said VEGAS. I can hardly stand it. The lists keep wheeling in my head...take this, pack that, make this......yep. I'm about to bust with creative energy and excitement. Hope to show off some of this excitement tomorrow. Promise to share some of the 20 some odd paintings too.


Then and Now

This afternoon I felt like taking a walk down memory lane for some reason, in my blog that is. And within a first couple of posts I show my original studio. When making art was just a hobby and it was made in the garage. The garage that holds the lawn mowers, extra fridge and right now so much junk you can barely step foot inside it. See here what my original little inspirational half of the garage looked like. Now I have this room. And I love it. Oh I really do. One day I'd like to have an entire basement for the kids and I, but for now this room inspires me everyday. This is actually an older picture of the studio. I've managed to pack the room with more functioning furniture and lost the brown chair, but you still get the sunny idea!


Slow Down Ernestine!

So either I am getting slap happy from all the paint fumes, or this painting seriously looks like little Sally is saying, "Ernestine slow down or you're gonna mess up my hair. And I just got back from the beauty shop!" Yep. It's the fumes. Lovin' this truck painting. I've been wanting to try one, and my buddy Laura said, "Hey I've got pictures of my Ernestine." She sent them my way, and here she is. I've always wanted a Mattie Blue truck. May not be able to sell this one.....
She's 24"x24", a little bigger than my regular paintings. And of course she'll have an old peely paint white barn wood frame. Hope you had a great weekend!!


Ooey Gooey Heaven

Last night Billy and I had a quiet evening to ourselves. Kiddos both had sleep overs. It is a very rare occasion that we have the house to ourselves. Now, we go out all the time just the two of us, especially during session, but the house, alone? It was creepy quiet. And we had no idea what to do with ourselves. It was pretty funny.

Around 8:30 this morning when I finally awoke from my beauty sleep, Billy was up and at 'em getting ready. And this was our little conversation with my eyes half opened: "Where are you going?" "To run a few errands. and then go get William." "Oooooo will you go to the grocery and get some cat food, turtle food and lunch stuff? Oh, and I'd really love a doughnut." (Doughnuts were a staple in my house growing up, but in this house they are like freakin' caviar. A delectable treat only to be consumed on very special occasions.) "Ok" he said and off he disappeared into the cold air. I figured I better crawl out of bed before he got back and decided the couch was as good a place as any to enjoy coffee and conversation with sweet Lily, plus I needed to catch up on few shows I'd taped during the week. After that chore was done I headed off to the art room where the piles of paintings were waiting for me to grace them with my presence. While painting the blue truck, Billy came home from errands, HUGE smile on his face, hands behind his back and said, "gotcha something" . I really love my man. One yummy dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts just for me. Some poor saps were selling them in the median on his way to the grocery. On a side note, I seriously think I would rather give my child $100 cold cash than stand in the median on HWY 154 selling doughnuts on a very cold, wet Saturday am. But, I am so grateful that these tasty items made it to my kitchen. 10 secs in the microwave and I was in gooey warm doughnut heaven. (I've now gone to heaven 5 times today btw. Crap. Gonna have to run 5 extra miles on Monday. And I hope to goodness Kathleen doesn't read this post!!)
But in all seriousness, despite the lazy TV watching, cuddling with Lily, watching Americas Next Top Model with Mailey (who I finally got at 3PM), I was able to get some paint on 3 of the larger textured pieces. So very tickled with the way they are progressing.

Next on the agenda, well there are 9 more textured boards waiting to be painted. Right now though, I am nursing a woozy doughnut tummy and am seriously thinking that a movie and fire are in order. Now that William and Mailey are home and asking for the craziest things, I feel like life is back to normal. For example, Mailey is asking to do laundry in the kitchen sink, like the old days. I have a funny feeling in my stomach that a flood is approaching my kitchen floor. (Or maybe it was the 5 trips to heaven?)


Trucking on a Journey

I've been wanting to add to my "wanderlust" series. And here it is: A truck AND a bike. An orange bike to be exact. Since it is my super fav color, I just had too. The words have been added in photoshop for a new card series I'm making. This is definitely a mixed media piece....a little map, a little paper, a little paint. It's on the small size too, 8x10" on gallery wrapped deep canvas. So, this weekend, take life a little slower and enjoy the journey.

So, wanderlust on your mind now? Did you know that is a real word? Vero over at Naked Art had wanted to use it in my solo show title and I was like "heck no!". I am a good little southern gal who does not talk about lust in public. Much less have it blaring in the title for my solo show. (I'm also a little sheltered I suppose since that word made me totally blush.) And then I looked it up, and there it was in Webster. It says, "strong or unconquerable longing for or impulse toward wandering." Yep. And since this little art journey of mine could be on the verge of wandering without an end in site, I am thinking that maybe wanderlust is the perfect word to sum it all up.


My Turn to Share

So yesterday I mentioned sharing, since it was the title of my newest painting. Someone commented on the post that they loved the way it looked as though it was peeling. Thus a symbol of peeling away the layers as we share our most authentic self. Which brings this to mind. Here on the blog we share....paintings, our creative process, growth of our children, happy times, sometimes not so happy times, etc. We peel away layers and expose ourselves right here for the world to read and see. I try to be very true to myself here for you. It's not all unicorns and rainbows, as I have certainly revealed this week. Today I opened my email to find that a friend had blogged about me and Valerie here. This sweet artsy friend is CINDY. Her blog is Lottie Bird.....love that name. And if you read along her blog enough you'll find that she has a very authentic voice. I love to read her posts. Here is some of what her creative hand makes: She's half of the Tallulah Girls. Amazing jewelry that you have to have. I have 2 necklaces and a pair of earrings from these ladies. And they are a favorite. In fact, I wore it all in the BIG family portrait session this summer.....that's how much I love it.

So her sharing a piece of me on her blog was a little blushing moment for me. I've never had anyone do that, that I know of. It was flattering to see from an outside point of view my layers. So head on over and check CINDY out. She has a new kitten named Jenny btw. I like that name, don't you?? hehehehe



Sharing. Sometimes it' really easy, sometimes it's not. But it always feels better after you do. I stamped the sentiment on my blog banner into this waxy painting. It reads, "It's the things we share that remind us we are not alone." So share something today with someone you cherish. Even a silly tid bit. And see just how good it feels.
I love the texture created with this medium...really. It's just yummy. I was about to clean up the skillet and hated to waste all the wax left. So I painted this last one. At first I didn't like it. Once I added the oil stick though, all this amazing texture crept into the foreground. And now it's my favorite.

My sponge and acrylic paper are taking their soaking bath, and the new wood is on the table. I found a bunch of amazing orange, yellow and red paints on sale at Michael's this week. So I have a feeling that my paintings are about to get really warm. I hope to have some new collages to show off tomorrow so check back!


Listen to Your Heart

Have you ever noticed that when you listen to your heart to make a decision it makes your tummy do somersaults? Mine sure does. Lately I've been doing a lot of listening and decision making about life, family, finances, my business and relationships with friends. And boy you'd think there was a circus going on inside me! But seriously, when you make decisions based purely on what your head says is right, sometimes it's a little too black and white. When you listen to your heart to make a decision, it's a bit more painful. And almost always is a longer lasting decision. One that can potentially affect your path from that moment on. Because when you throw in a dash of passion with any decision making, someone always gets hurt....always. So, I guess I've been laying a new path this past week with my hearty decisions. And although I never meant to hurt anyone along the way, sometimes it just happens. And I guess this emotion is coming out in my work. As I sat back last night and studied the new paintings laying out in the studio, and my jewelry, I noticed a common thread. Words are everywhere. And I never put words in my artwork like this. Maybe a cute quote or a little word cut from an old book, but not like this. Large words are masked into the paintings......listen.....nurture....play.....embrace..... inspire... Maybe, just maybe my creative heart has a new voice that really wants to be heard.

Or maybe it's my way of saying something to myself that I wasn't really hearing until right now.
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