Monday, March 31, 2014


I forgot to post that I'm having a giveaway! Want a free 5x7 print of your choice?

Tomorrow is the last day to enter the raffle to win a free print! So, if you'd like a free 5x7 of your choice, just enter here: or click the "Giveaway" blue button at the top of the page. It's open to everyone, not just new likes to my page!

Sorry I didn't mention it earlier! Hopefully if you'd like a free print, you'll be in time to enter!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Remember how I told you all that I have no grace?


Well, this morning I went down to exercise with my husband. It turned out the routine was going to involve a bunch of up and down movements (like down into a sprawl and then up-up into the air!) These movements make me very ill, as I cannot even garden without getting motion sick. I wish I was exaggerating that last comment, but it's the honest truth. I get carsick in my own car when I am the driver.

Anyway, I shifted to the treadmill as soon as I realized this was a danger zone workout for me. Running, running is perfectly acceptable! Yes!

So, I geared up. Shoes on, Check. Music and headphones on/in, check. Treadmill on, check. I walked about two minutes, and then I thought "A tissue! I need a tissue! I forgot a tissue!" (Side note: I'm like an allergy commercial when I run. It's like my sinuses are competing with my feet for who has the fastest time.)

I stopped the treadmill. I unhooked myself from the safety shut-off. I turned. I stepped down...

And I have NO IDEA what happened. I don't know if I stepped on the side of my power stand (pull-up stand), or if there was something else on the floor, but my right ankle rolled while I was in mid-air as I came down with my full body weight and momentum. My ankle gave what seemed like a loud POP! I'm not sure if it was as audible as I felt it was, because my husband didn't say he heard it. I sure as heck felt it though.

I was lucky to not fall head first into the weight bench. I hit the floor and started howling. I actually couldn't even remember any curse words at that point, or I would have started an impressive exhibition of my extensive vocabulary guaranteed to get me thrown out of any bar. Have you ever been hurt so bad you couldn't actually remember how to cuss?

I cried. I hate that, but I'm a crier. Actually, the tears were warranted. I still hate that I cried, though.

With help, I made it out of the basement and began RICEing my foot (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, and Advil... buy stock in Advil, I'm sure it's going up today.) I can't even paint, because I can't stand or sit at the table. Yes, there is a remote possibility that I may have broken something given the pop I heard/felt and the fact that the pain is centered on the actual bone and not the soft tissue, but I'm watching it. If it's not better in a day or two, I'll go see someone. I think it's just a bad sprain though.

I set myself up on the couch, and all I can do is draw. Fortunately, I discovered my pastels last night before all of this. I stopped using them just after high school 20+ years ago, and I have no idea. I LOVE these things! I decided to test them out doing a drawing of where I think all my spoons have gone. Spoons have to be my favorite utensil, and they simply vanish around here. I have double the amount of knives and forks, but almost NO spoons! What the heck?!

"Spoon Thief" 6x8 inches, pastel on professional pastel paper

I LOVE pastels! Why did I stop? I'm working on more today, with prompts from my facebook art page. A space octopus is on deck. Seems like a challenge! I imagine I'll be stuck like this for a few days at least. *grumble*

I want you all to know that while I would love to drown my hurt and sorrows in chocolate and wine over this, I haven't at all. Oh sure, you could say it's only because I can't get up and get them... but I prefer to think of it as impressive choice management on my part. *wink*

Sunday, March 23, 2014


It's blustery and snowy outside right now. I'm amazed that in March, we're still experiencing winter!

I finished up some more ACEOs for the open auction tomorrow on the artist collective on Facebook:

While fine, I'm finding they're a diversion. I'm not deriving the kind of satisfaction from them that I need. As I said in my previous post, I need to get back to what makes me fulfilled in the studio, and those are the big pieces with stories in them. Things going on that make you want to stop and stay awhile to figure it out.

I know this more than ever now, because when I look at my paintings and what I'm proud of, I feel a lot more from some than others. I know that's natural, but it's deeper than that. So, back to the big paintings! And allowing myself peace that I simply work slow. It is what it is.

My queen of hearts is on my easel once again:

I wanted to share this. It's not a before and after. This is a picture in normal light on the left, and a spotlight on the right. This is what adding iridescent paint to my work does. I wanted a sort of undercurrent of fierce power coming from the queen, and these highlights accomplish that. Light isn't usually spotlighted onto a painting like this, so instead it's much more subtle throughout the day as lighting conditions change. It gives a sort of living quality to my pieces, and it certainly does what I want it to for the queen. I probably need to do small videos so people can really see what my paintings do, it's so hard to capture it in a simple photo.

These are some of the iridescent paints I use (I have a whole slew of them). They are not opaque, for the most part. They seem, like they would be, but then they sort of spread out more like a glaze.

I have no updates to share about my potential move. This ups my stress level considerably, because I feel like I'm losing time. If it's really a yes, then the amount of work I have to do simply to get this house ready for the market is overwhelming. The less time I have to do it in, the more panic that is likely to ensue, and it's making me nervous! If they really would like him to start this new position in late June... well, it's late March now! Eeek!

I think the hardest part isn't even all of that though. No, the hardest part is that I'm a pessimist. You see, now that I actually want to move, I think the odds go higher that something will happen and we won't. If it had been something I was dead set against, it would happen without question. It's still a move where I am jumping off into the unknown, not having been to the place at all... but I'm so unhappy here, that I figure it's got to be an improvement!

So, we're still here without a 100% solid answer. My husband feels it's a done deal, but as more time passes my gut instincts think something is up. Now, to be fair... whatever life throws at you (minus tragedy) tends to be what should happen. What I mean by that is that nothing has ever been taken away or happened that wasn't for the better, as if it was sort of meant to be. Do I believe in fate? No, not really. It's just the way things have worked out. Perhaps, it's us making the best of whatever situation we are thrown, but sometimes it just feels like something more.

It happened when we purchased our first house. It was a booming market in 1998, and houses were being snapped up within hours of being on the market. The prices were rising daily. Every time we had enough saved up, the prices would jump and we wouldn't have enough of a down payment. Every house we tried to bid on went under contract before we could send our bid in (sometimes just by minutes!) We were so depressed.

I was pregnant, and ill most of the time so I was unable to work, and I finally decided I had to get out of the house. I took a pottery class, because I've always enjoyed throwing. There, at the class, the woman next to me mentioned she was going to be selling her house. We weren't very well off, so I said I'd like to hear about it - sure that it was out of my reach. Instead, the house was perfect, right in our reach, and located exactly where we wanted. Through that chance meeting, we put her house under contract before it went to market and thus purchased our very first house. It was a better house than the others we had been bidding on, in a better neighborhood, and closer to my mother. All things we couldn't find in one place that sort of fell into our lap. It was easy!

My mother is a big fan of saying "Whatever is meant to be, will be" and "If you find yourself fighting so much, that you know you're trying to swim upstream? You need to ask yourself if you're doing the right thing. Yes, the things you want, you have to fight for. However, some times you find you're fighting TOO HARD, and there is a reason; it's not the right thing for you."

Yes, my mother is Yoda.

Anyhow, she's usually right. Those thoughts bear out over and over. Whatever is meant to be will happen, and it'll be what's best for us as long as I am paying attention and making good choices. We may not get what we always want, but maybe we weren't supposed to have it anyway. Maybe it was the wrong thing for us, and letting it go was best.

So, this is me trying to be Zen. Not fighting, but hoping for the change we need.

I happen to suck at being Zen, though. I should probably go for another run.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Moving Forward

The time out worked, and I was finally able to finish this piece:

"By the Light" 18x12, watercolor & acrylic on 140lbs hot-pressed paper

It's a big piece, and I realize that I should have probably done it on a canvas. But, it had originally been intended as an all watercolor piece. I think I'm more of a canvas worker. Or really, a board one too - I'm keen to try those. I've ordered them, I just haven't done anything on them yet.

I do have a lot in the works though. My next project is to complete several ACEO's for an online auction on Monday, I have three paintings I need to do for an upcoming issue of Thrice Fiction Magazine that the art editor requested - one of which dovetails a bit with another one I was toying with, I'm going to see if I can't kill two birds with one stone on that, and I need to get back to my queen of hearts. Tons to do, and I realize I miss working on my larger pieces. I need to stop focusing on the little stuff so much, and really focus on the bigger pieces that make me feel more fulfilled.

It's hard to focus on much of anything when you feel complete pulled in 100 different directions though. My daily art just hasn't happened. I've been trying to just keep my head above water with everything happening. For example, last night we got one more green light on our potential move. We're now waiting for the last one, and if we get that? It's game on. Full speed, trying to sell our house and move states in under three months. Crazy. That's what that is!

Saturday, March 15, 2014


I've been working steadily on my Secret Garden painting, and I'm down to just painting in the unicorn and some fireflies:

One would think this would be simple to finish off, but it's actually not. I'm having issues with the unicorn's mane, and I think it's probably my attitude, and not the painting itself. I had to put myself into time-out today. I had to make myself walk away instead of making myself finish the piece.

I've been having trouble focusing for a while now, because things are kind of getting wild here at home. In addition to not having a single week without a child home sick in over a month, I'm facing a potential move to North Carolina. But nothing is set. So, it's a maybe. A HUGE maybe, but a maybe nonetheless. I have no control over the outcome (a job position was offered, we said yes, but as it's a position within the current company there are a lot of hoops and other things that have to be settled, and so many things could happen to make this NOT happen.) Having no control over my own path makes me a bit grumpy.

I've played with the realtor-thing, looking at houses online, but deep down I know this is a colossal waste of my time if this doesn't pan out. Plus, if this does happen, I'll have a short period of time to figure out our situation here with our current house, a VERY large to-do list, of which I can do none of because I don't know if it's happening. I have this urgency to get things rolling one way or another, and I'm completely hog-tied instead.

It's very frustrating having no control or influence, and simply being at the whim of others. I thought throwing myself into my work would help, but it hasn't, and instead I'm finding myself increasingly distracted and frustrated (even angry) and that does not yield positive results. So, for my time, I really only have a few more ACEOs and the in progress piece above to show. A disappointing yield, to be sure.

There was another, but I completely ruined it. *head*desk*

I also haven't been hammering at my Queen of Hearts, for fear I'll ruin her in my current state. Unfortunately, this coming week looks to be just as stressful, so I'm not sure where things will end up.

I need a vacation. Or maybe just a direction. That would sure be lovely!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Little Progress

I'm ready for Spring, is anyone else?

I had a few hiccups in getting my Daily Art exercise up and running. It seemed like the moment I announced it, it became almost impossible to do. It was just life interfering, but it was annoying nonetheless!

Still, I have a few pieces completed for it:

"Moongazer" ACEO (2.5x3.5 inches) acrylic on illustration board. Started out with a cat meeting the dragon, but the cat and I had a disagreement, and he was turned into a moon.

"Little Light" ACEO (2.5 x 3.5 inches) watercolor and acrylic on cold pressed paper.

"Old Man Tree" ACEO acrylic on cardstock
One of the things I realize I need to do is to let go of the idea that every daily art piece has to be a perfect and complete piece. Some of them can be sketches! They don't have to be so heavy handed with every "i" dotted, so to speak! In other words, I seriously need to loosen up. That's why I'm not giving up on my daily art idea. I need it. I need it to get things moving with the work and to loosen up my grip on my art. I need to play! I've said it before, and it's still true!

I've also found now that ACEOs are funny when it comes to posting online, because people think they're a little sloppier than normal when the picture is blown up - not realizing that the actual painting is much smaller than the picture they're looking at. It's hard to paint that tiny!

Of course, this is also why you shouldn't make prints available that are bigger than the original work, but a lot of people don't realize that. On that tangent, it's one of those things that makes me consider working in the digital world as well. With those images, you can increase the size of the print, so long as you have done the work on a very detailed level. It allows for a lot more latitude in prints as well as merchandise. Something I've been thinking a lot about! For my birthday, I received a waccom pen for my iPad that is supposed to have around 240 different pressure measurements and so on, to make drawing on the digital art programs better. I've only played with it a little, but I have to say I miss actual paint... so I've wandered back to my easel instead (and now I have guilt for not using the gift, so I have to go back and try again every evening, just to put in my time on it. Maybe something will click and it'll all be worth it!)

In other news, a group I am participating with on facebook has the theme "Secret Garden" running, and it's made me dig out the painting from last year that I lost interest in:

I don't know why I lost interest in it to start with, because I actually like it and always have. So, I'm working on completing that right now, along with my morning daily art exercises, and I have my queen of hearts right next to it as well (I figure if I'm going to be painting a lot of "dress" on this fairy in the garden, I'll be in a good clothing groove to work on the queen's gown at the same time!)

And... as you might notice from the picture, I'm still at my kitchen table. I didn't get my studio organized. The more I considered options for the room, the more I realized I'd be causing myself even more grief. If I brought in shelves, I would lose drying space, etc.

I need a new house. That's all there is to it! *wink*