December 4, 2012

As the shepherds kept their watch

For more info about this original watercolor click here.

It's that time of year where I'm looking for Christmas cards about Christ's birth and just don't find what I want, so I painted one.  I think I might have to do this one again.  This is a small 10x4 inch painting.  I'll try it larger and post it too.

October 9, 2012

A Block of Time

I get little snippets of time when Daisy naps.  Pieces here and there and quite honestly I'm so tired that I just spend those precious moments zoning out on Facebook or Pinterest.  I do miss the large blocks of time I spent painting, playing, and creating.  And now with my new life I feel like I'm starting over as I learn to manage time and prioritize my new duties of the day.  I can't just make a quick trip to the store for something I forgot.  Even after carefully planning a week of meals I realized today I forgot to pick up the tortillas at the grocery for my chicken tortilla soup!  Stuff like this makes me crazy now.  And it's amazing what little dumb things will send me over the edge and in a pile of tears... like no tortillas. I'm reminded by lots of mom friends that it won't always be this way, I will have time to create again. 
 But for now I do my little creative bits here and there.
It's not all painting, but I still have been making things like these little blocks for my Daisy.  She loves to squeeze them and put them in her mouth.
Quote of the day -

Sometimes I have to remind myself
that I don't have to do
what everyone else 
is doing....
 - unknown, but probably a mom somewhere out there.    

September 5, 2012

Three Months

Three Months Old - three VERY long Months I might add.  Phew!
Oh please don't think my blog is going to become a baby blog all about Daisy and a kazillion pictures of her.  I promise you this is still a blog about creating and painting while still having a real life.  I thought it was hard being an artist with a full time job.  Well, now I have a great little boss, our Daisy, and the job is ten times harder.

Art?  When will that happen?  
My friend Carrie Waller reminded me it happens in smaller time increments.  Much smaller I might add.  So this is what I've been working on in VERY small increments a couple of evenings a week.

I have great intentions at 9:00 in the morning but by 3:00, they are gone when Daisy is crying non-stop and not napping.

Dishes and laundry be damned!   

My photographer,designer, decorator friend Krissy at MCK Designs told my little love story - friend love, boy love and baby love on her blog Melange. I couldn't help but shed a tear and of course there are more pictures of Daisy here.

And one of my favorite blogs My Messy, Thrilling Life is back - I just love her thoughts and writing.

And last but not least, just before I had Daisy I found this FABULOUS blog called Smart Creative Women.  Monica Lee, a watercolor artist/illustrator herself, interviews other creative women who generously share their experiences and insight on how they do life and work in this crazy and sometimes economically challenged world we live in. I often listen to this while I paint.  And sometimes I re-listen because there is some GREAT thoughts.  I just love hearing an artist's story.

You CAN be Inspired and Tired!!!! 

September 4, 2012

Wedding Maps

I just finished a wedding map for my friend Cara, LOVE doing these. 

And here was mine!  I want to do more!!!! 

August 24, 2012

My house


This is a house that should have never been... certainly never been mine.  I was told by my grandpa I would never own a home without being married (this said to me just after I divorced), and that crushed me to hear.  But that's his generation speaking.  I've put a ton of time into this home, painting walls, trim and ceilings, planted flowers and bushes, getting rid of squirrels and mice that have apparently lived here since it was built in 1871.  I'm very proud of the work I've done and have more to do.  

When I bought it, I bought it with just me in mind, never thinking I would have to share it with a husband, his dog and now a little girl.  But I'm happy to share it. Baby Kitty on the other hand, doesn't feel like I do.  So, you see, it was about time I painted my abode. 

August 23, 2012

Daisy Esther

Here she is 
Daisy Esther
born June 5, 2012
She's changed and rocked our world.  How happy are we!  But boy does it take a great deal to care for a little baby. And as you can imagine, painting has been put on the side for a bit.  I do paint a little here and there.  But for now, just wanted to share the joy of our little girl. 
She looks like her dad.  And I'm so thankful that she seems to have his disposition as well--  mellow, happy and easy going.  If she's crying, it's for reason... just good luck figuring it out.

June 1, 2012


I painted these ABC's with some of my favorite flowers that every child should know!
Daisy was predicted to make her grand entrance May 28th, but as of today June 1, there still is no sign of her arrival.  I know she could surprise us all any second.  I'm not too stressed about it.  I'm actually ready and just waiting.  So I thought I would show some pics of her room.  I had so much fun making things and putting it together.
This room was once the guest room.

A Birdie Mobile I made from left over scraps of fabric and vintage Hankies.

I also made a quilt for the room and had it professionally quilted. That was a chunk of change but so glad I did it. 
Baby Kitty supervising the quilt top construction.

Now during this whole process we have referred to the room as Baby's room.  I never thought my cat spoke English, but I do think she thought this room was being made special for her.

She has no idea what's coming....

April 10, 2012

That I might have life...

Sometimes you give up on a few dreams and cross them off your list.  Or you don't pray anymore about something you think you want.  Worse, you pray for less thinking if you compromise He just might come through like prayer and dealing with God is some kind of grand negotiation.  Sometimes, you just transfer hope and work for other things believing that these things will replace what you would really like.

I asked for ALL things so that I might enjoy life.
I was given LIFE so that I might enjoy all things.... 

This was on my favorite birthday card this year, my 44th year.  It means so many things to me.  And I painted it in my journal to remember this special life changing year.  When I got married last year, that was a huge prayer answered and dream come true.  Not to over romanticize marriage and love and all - we get enough of that from movies and music.  But I was on my knees - tearfully, grateful to have met John and just really enjoy a man after so many years of dating.  To be married to him was enough.  And I was thankful -immensely, deeply, thankful.  So when not a month after we were off and married I found myself "with child" I was angry.  I mean, I had cried and mourned the end of this dream, this prayer many years ago.  And happily said to myself that my purpose when it comes to kids was to be the best Aunt I could be to my brothers' children.  And that was good, that was resolved... it took a little time.  But God saw other wise and is in the process of giving me life.  Most days I'm still in shock!  I look forward to the changes ahead of me.  What will this "life" bring? ... to see and enjoy all things?

April 9, 2012

Carol Carter's Watercolor Workshop

About two months ago I signed up to take a weekend workshop with what I consider one of the best watercolor artists around.  The first time I saw the watercolors of Carol Carter in person, my mouth just fell open and I was floored.  This woman knows watercolors.  Her work just really hit me and spoke to me. It was more than a well rendered landscape or still life, there was an emotional impact that just seemed to smack me upside the head.  Fast forward three years later - here I am finally attending one of her workshops.

My main goal for taking her workshop was to bring an emotional quality to my work that I don't usually experience.  Sure I like pretty things that please the eye or make you smile.  But I'm currently striving for something more, something that touches the spirit like a great piece of music.  My goals may be high, but I want my art to touch someone's heart not just match their couch.  Carol does that, and still, I'm not quite sure just how she does it. 

Here's a list of techniques that I had to change in order to open up, widen my watercolor horizons and push myself out of my watercolor comfort zone.

1. Paint bigger - as in a full sheet 22x30 or larger.  I've been so timid about that, but after experiencing her work which is for the most part on a large scale, I see why it's important to push myself here.  I love painting little sketches in my journal or small little flower vignettes, but it's time to make myself uncomfortable.

2. Take your time, be deliberate, think.  - I've been in some kind of hurry, trying to catch up.  My mind set has been having more completed work, because more is better right?   And I think taking the time to work slowly and thoughtfully on a painting is very valuable - especially since I hurry and rush all day.

3. Try new colors and paint straight from the tube - Carol does very little mixing of colors.  And I mix EVERY color. This was really hard for me.  AND, I don't paint so bright.  I paint in a very traditional realistic manner.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, but for me I needed to do this and push myself out of some of my color mixing ruts. 

4. Paint more wet on wet -  Carol does very little layering or dry painting.  She lets the water do it's magic and knows how to coax the water on the paper to move where she likes it.  I love the look of a juicy wet watercolor, but find I needed to be reminded of this lesson because I was getting tighter and tighter in my own work.  One of the BIG strengths of watercolor is the running and moving of the water with pigment.

5. Paint what touches me, what speaks to MY heart - this is a tough one for me, perhaps the toughest because for years I've wanted to earn a living completely by my art.  With the desire to be a full time artist, I think to much about my work and spend too much time on artist sites and blogs comparing myself and painting what I think will sell.  That's not really painting from my heart now is it.  So this one requires a little more thought, a little more paying attention and certain awareness of myself and maybe even my motives.  There are times I think, "Really, another flower?!" but flowers speak to me - especially the ones I've planted from seed, nurtured and watch grow.  I have apologized for my flowers in the past, but no more.  But also, I really need to push myself and paint other subject matter.  Again, Carol does this with a confidence I envy.

The peony painting at the top of the page took me a week to complete.  Working a little every day as time allowed.  Probably three times the amount of time I normally spend on a painting.

This one I worked on in the workshop and I have to say at the time I HATED it.  I was so uncomfortable painting in a method I don't normally do --background first, all wet in wet and piece by piece.  But now, having set it aside and looking at it without all the emotional and uncomfortableness, I kind of like it.

Still working, still trying, still painting.... much like life.

March 23, 2012

The good news is....

She didn't lay on the paintings....  Baby Kitty usually likes to sleep right on my paintings. No respect...  but that's why I love my cat.  Happy Friday.  Hoping for a restful one here in St. Louis myself.

March 21, 2012

Spring is Here.... already?

With the warm weather, I start thinking of flowers, gardening and all the cheerful brightness of spring.  Here's a little peek of a shelf of inspiration I put together until the flowers come out of the ground.  

I painted this old envelope I found in my house.  The house is 120 years old and had lots of old things in it that weren't nearly as cool as this postmarked stamped envelope from 1932.   More details about it are here.  The flowers are ranunculus.  I'm bummed because normally I see bundles of these flowers for sale at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods - but so far none this year.  It still may be too early.  Gosh it's hard to believe it's only March with these near 80 degree days here in St. Louis.  

February 15, 2012

Mid- February in Need of Color

For many years, February hasn't always been my favorite month.  It's a grey-brown month here in St. Louis and I pull out my garden books and do a little dreaming, a little planning.  I think it's because I'm so thirsty for color and green.  This is a floral I painted for my 2012 calender.  I think home grown flowers look best in Blue Ball jars.   

 Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, 
wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; 
there is really no such thing as bad weather,
 only different kinds of good weather. -- John Ruskin

I've copied this quote as much for me as anyone.  Weather does effect me I'm sad to say.  If I see the sunshine in the morning, for some reason my breakfast tastes better and I'm in lighter spirits.  Oh how I wish my moods weren't effected by the seasons, the rain, the dull cold days.  It's a challenge some days to persevere.  But I think that we all have the challenge to not let circumstance -- be it  weather, traffic or even a mosquito bite ruin our day.  This quote reminds me to see my life like weather.  There are just going to be changes -- and really some of the best things in life have come from what I thought were awful.  So the challenge is to get through February not with my head held down counting the days, but up and looking to see and find the good in the day and even in the brown and grey. 


Related Posts with Thumbnails