Monday, April 29, 2013

Where'd My Groove Go?

My family and I took a lovely vacation to Niagara Falls, ON (Canada) for their spring break this past week. It was only for a few days, and we had some fun adventures:

A butterfly landed perfectly on my daughter's head at the Butterfly Conservatory. It doesn't look real, but it is!

This butterfly wanted to see what we were taking pictures of. (That's my sweet husband cracking up with his phone. Soccer obsessed, can you tell?)

This guy, I believe, is a Cane Toad. He was part of the venom exhibit, and is extremely poisonous. But what a fabulous face! I want to add him to my Alice series somewhere... or as a dragon. I don't know, but he just has such character!
This is from my hotel room. We had a "Falls View" room, with a window that opened up and let you look around.
One of my favorite shots of the falls that I got, while on one of the boats that goes right up to them.

Going into the Horseshoe Falls, I couldn't use my camera much closer than this, and we were entirely soaked (and freezing!) by the time we got back to the dock!
Oh, and my daughter has a new boyfriend. We approve. 
The kiddos. 

But now that I am home and I have shuffled everyone else out the door, I am finding my groove to be missing! The kids were dragging their feet. The animals were even fussing a bit. Returning to normal is hard work!

I even went for a walk. Groove is still nowhere to be found!

I'm going to try drawing out another dragon hatchling, and maybe that will get my head in the right place again. I think I'm overwhelmed with everything I have to do. I have my art stuff to get rolling for my studio, but I am also working on setting up another business and there are so many things to be done... I may have thought about that, and just short circuited. I don't have to do everything at once. I'm my own driver here. And yet... yup, totally overwhelmed.

Also, I miss carbs right now. I started a new plan with my husband (The Fast Metabolism Diet, which is a really stupid name for a non-diet type of plan where it's about healthy eating and rebooting your metabolism - weight loss simply being a side effect of that. And I DO need to lose 40 lbs.) Two days are carb heavy with lots of fruit and healthy grains, low fat. Then two days are protein heavy with almost no carbs and fat. Then you get three days of higher healthy fat and more balanced protein and carbs, and then you repeat each week. I'm on the second day of the protein part, and I swear that if a pizza went by I don't think I could be responsible for my actions. You give up a lot of things on this (wheat, dairy, corn, soy, sweeteners, sugar, etc) and I'm currently in the throes of feeling very intensely about why I like all those things.

VERY intensely.

If I painted a cupcake, I'd probably eat the canvas. And the brushes.

*sigh* Dragon... I was going to paint a dragon...

Friday, April 19, 2013


I finally finished him! Thank goodness! I don't know if there is an easier way to paint hair and fur, but I haven't found it. The excitement of a new painting tends to dull in the face of endless hair strokes. Still... it's done!

"Cheshire" 16x8x1" Acrylic on Stretched CanvasOriginal and Prints Available

I like his more refined aire, than the standard disturbingly grinning Cheshire Cat. Oh, he's mischievous all right, but just a bit more dignified about it.

This has freed me up to start sketching out Alice. I really wanted to do her in watercolor, but I've decided that the switching of mediums might be too jarring in the series. So, I have a nice 11x14" canvas all ready to go, now I just need to get sketching!

I admit, I have had the television on in the background all day. Boston being on lock down, all the stations running a constant commentary (including when they shouldn't be giving out tactical information - you would have thought they would have learned something from previous problems with broadcasting troop movements and such to the opposing sides, but no - of course not. The news wants to beat everyone else with any details they can glom onto.) I was bothered as anyone would be by the bombings, but also because I am a runner. Granted a really, really slow and bad one. But I HAVE run a marathon.

I'll never do it again, with half marathons being my limit now, but I've been there. I've crossed that 26.2 mile finish line. It's just probably just that connection, thin though it is, that makes it stick that much more.

So here I sit, one ear to the television hoping that they'll figure this out, and my focus on making my Alice show her face!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I admit, I've been having "art-problems" lately. My head just doesn't feel like it's in the game. Go figure!

I've been working diligently (well, maybe sporadically would be a better word) on my Cheshire Cat.
Add caption

This is where I last took a picture. Since then, I've finished his entire upper body and I've started in on the lower. The tail is finished, but I have to tell you there is only so long a person can paint a cat's butt before they need a break. A LONG break. 


I'm hoping to finish him today. I'm not sure why I'm so unenthused. I like him very much. I'm sorta not into being in my studio right now. I got all my large blocks of Fabriano and I really want to paint something on them, and I think that's part of the problem. I've been conflicted on whether my Alice series can include other mediums or not. I've painted everything thus far on canvas, so switching to watercolor would be quite the change. It might not look right for the series when I group images together for the calendar or card sets. 

Anyway, I'm spending a lot of time fighting myself. Then yesterday I got fed up and grabbed two little blocks and decided to play Art-Hooky:

I finished the girl late last night and got her all matted up and up for sale:

"Becca" 5x7 watercolor, matted to 8x10.
I like her, and the paint flows so much better on these new blocks! 

My goal is to finish up the baby dragon you can see up there, and also try to finish the Cheshire today. He NEEDS to be done. I NEED him to be done. I have a vacation coming up, and I hope it will help clear the cobwebs (or whatever else is rattling around up there) so I can get back on track and start knocking stuff out again!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Catching Up

I've been a bit quiet as of late, because my life hit some sort of stress threshold where I was just breaking down. It's complicated, and pretty much hit everything from family to work. Ever hit a stress point where you just sort of wander around and get nothing done? I had this mental image of me in a bathrobe for the next ten years with Twinkies in my pockets! And I don't even like Twinkies!

I tried to get things done. I got some things done. But for the most part I would say last week was a bit of a failure for me. Which is irritating, because how does that help my stress level any? *sigh* At least this week seems to be going somewhat better. I'm working on my Cheshire Cat:

I've had him on my easel and everything since last week, and like I said; I accomplished very little. But this week seems to be going better and he's starting to come into focus for me:

But I have to tell you that it's simply taking forever. I think it's the fur, it's just requiring so many layers, and yes, I'm the type who takes a tiny brush and does hairs. I've never really mastered the quick stroke that hints at hair and fur, instead I tend to layer it in. My white rabbit is the same way; shadows underneath and layering in of actual hairs. Explains why it took so long!

As you can see, my Cheshire is developing a moustache. He's always seemed so debonair to me, it's sort of fitting. Unplanned, but fitting. I plan on looking at raising the sides a bit to give him his "grin", but I'm sticking with a more refined Cheshire. It just seems right, in this case.

I also finally got my shipment of Fabriano paper, and I'm excited to use it! My old big block will work for those dragons with the rougher surface, but I have a fairy and dragon painting in my head and I know I need the smoother paper for my fairy. I also ordered a huge block, 14x20. I've never been intimidated by a large canvas, but I am a bit by this paper. How strange! Intimidated, but excited. I never run out of ideas, I just worry about blowing the painting.

But I can't do any of that until I finish my Cheshire! So, it's movies and painting today, as it has been all week.

I hope everyone is well! Oh, and I've fallen behind in the art award where I am trying to compete for a licensing contract. If you haven't voted, can you pop in and help me? You don't have to register or anything. At the bottom is a list of artists, and I'm there: Kyra Wilson.  Thank you!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Buckling Down

I got a lot of projects finished out in March, and now it's suddenly April! I can't believe it.

First up, I wanted to ask for everyone's help. I entered into a contest for a licensing contract, and the first round is open for voting. If you could follow this link (, and pick my name from the list with the check boxes and vote for me, it would really help me out!

I was banging around the house yesterday feeling a bit lost. I have a lot of things going on, and yet? It feels like I'm not doing enough. Or something. Maybe it's spring fever, and it's put me in a mood?

I've decided it's time to really push hard on Alice. I mean to finish out the series this year and start a new fairytale next year for my main focus (going with my plan to do one fairytale story per year as my focus, along with lots of little fun stuff along the way as the mood takes me.) Painting all these fairies and dragons have served more than just letting me finally show them and discovering there is an interest so I can keep painting them. No, it's also helped me nail down how I want the Queens to look, and the Jabberwocky.

For some reason, I cannot shake the image of the Jabberwocky emerging from the bark of some gnarly old spooky trees. I have this image of Alice in the dark forest and all those "sweet" type of elements I have added sporting a much darker visage. In my head, the Jabberwocky was more than a character, he was an influence on everything around him too, tainting everything he was near.

Also, my focus on Alice has finally settled. Normally, I would have painted her out first. Yet, I held back. I know now it was because I wanted to use my daughter as the model, but it wasn't the right fit. So, I'm letting it go (and I let her know, just in case it resulted in any hurt feelings. It didn't, which is good. I plan on painting her into all sorts of other things anyway! She'd make a fabulous elf or fairy!) Now that I'm free of that, my mind is finally settling on how I want her to look, so she's next up. I expect to have her sketched out by early next week (earlier if I can get the Cheshire finished!)

Lastly, the newest edition of Thrice Fiction Magazine is out (it's free for download) and I have some pieces in there as well, and of course the stories are always a quick fun read (I didn't write any of them, don't worry!)