Monday, March 30, 2015


Normally, I think I'm so-so in the production department of my studio. It might be sort of slow (I wish I could knock out big complicated pieces every week! Sometimes I get on a roll and knock out all sorts of work, while other times it's a bit more tough going), but generally it's a fairly steady stream of work. However, lately I just feel like my head isn't glued on straight! I'm going through so much doubt and struggle, and it's very frustrating.

I have a feeling that this year is all about change, refocusing, and clarity. In other words, a very uncomfortable year all the way around. Let's face it; life is a bit of a mess for me at the moment.

I'm still living here with my kids and trying to get the house sold in Vermont while my husband lives somewhere else far away (in lots of hotel rooms.) It's been a long 6+ months of living like a single parent. We signed contracts to get the house going (built, and it's not gone smoothly) in North Carolina, but that just makes everything a little scarier somehow.

I'm trying to lose about 40 lbs in the middle of this... I'm not certain I'm doing well, but I'm not failing either (boy, if I could just figure out a way to give up eating, I'd be all set! Why couldn't I be one of those non-eating during stress types?)

I can't seem to make everyone (or anyone) happy in the family department...

All of that translates to me sitting down at my canvas and instead of exercising my demons and finding peace and balance at my easel like I used to, I think the top of my head sort of explodes. Once, art was an escape. Now that it's a business with demands and deadlines to be met, it's... lost a lot of the peace. That is on me, my own fault. I need to find my way back to art. I'm trying.

My commissioned work is slow going. I'm fighting it for some reason, suffering from a lack of focus I guess. My current piece is the White Queen, still. I painted in Humpty Dumpty, and I'm working my way slowly through the painting, but I'm... fighting it.

Actually, I don't think I'm fighting the painting itself. I'm trying to figure out how to get my life in order. I feel like everything is out of my control, and that's scary. Even my art, right now. It's my life, and yet everything seems to be at everyone else's whim (and some things, like waiting for someone to buy our house, is just so far out of my control that there's literally nothing I can do. Nothing makes a control freak more insane than knowing the major things tormenting them are completely beyond them. Plus, controlling the little things doesn't help any because the big ones are still around to give you nightmares.) So that makes me feel scattered. But I'm still trying to get it together, have a plan, and move forward.

I made some decisions. I applied to join a different art collective on Facebook in the hopes that it would help support my surreal artwork. You see, I have a venue right now for my fairy tale work, but not my surreal. Not really. I already know that I need both styles in my life to feel balanced, but that both smooshed together on one place is confusing to clients. So, I split my pages on Facebook so all my Fairy Tale work is in one place, and my Surreal is in another.

That was a good first step. The next was finding a place to get my work out there. Well, the collective I applied to turned me down. Rejection always bites the big one, but honestly? I'm okay with what happened. Instead, I have partnered with someone else to create a new collective with the same goal in mind. It's a lot more work, but it's going to happen.

The process is making me realize how much work has been stuck in my mind and not making it to paper or canvas. In my head, I have a vast portfolio and so much more to do. In reality? It's been on the back burner. I would have said no to me too as the other collective did, looking in from the outside. How could they possibly know where I'm going to go with things? It's a hard thing, realizing that the only person really paying attention to you is... you. No one is going to take your word for it.

Anyway. I realize I need to quickly develop my surreal portfolio. Sure, I have my old one, but that's out of date and out of step for where I am now and where I am going. I haven't been able to complete much of anything right now, though, yet I feel intense pressure to knock out a ton of work.

I recently finished a piece, and I feel like it straddles between both the Fairy Tale and Surreal work (which makes sense, since I was trying to figure the whole venue thing out for myself at the time):

"Cat's Cradle" 9x12 watercolor (little acrylic in her hair) on 140lbs hot-pressed 100% cotton professional watercolor paper.

I like it. It reminds me of the Graeae.

And then I worked on two others, and they totally crashed and burned. The sketches were good, even if the execution was a total melt-down:


I'll figure it out. I think that's going to be the whole point of this year for me, in the studio and out. I need to change, develop, move, refocus, and gain clarity about myself on multiple levels. That's a tall order. I'm just trying to hang on and keep going!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Thawing Out

My goodness, I certainly slacked off on my blog! I didn't realize that the last time I had posted was New Year's. Today, I spent time getting my website back together, because I was told I needed to get my "public face back in place." I had been avoiding my website for quite some time, as it never seemed like the right time to work on it. I could always find something I'd rather do... like advance mathematics or scrubbing the bathroom.

Still, my site,, is finally done!

Life, well, life is about the same as it was around New Year's. We are still waiting on an offer for our house. While we didn't get slammed with snow like the folks in Boston did, we got plenty along with just awful temperatures. There were mornings it was -33F with -60F windchill. One such morning, I had to go out and use the snowblower on the driveway at 4AM. Within minutes, even through thick gloves, my fingers started burning and aching! That kind of cold is a whole other kettle of fish when it comes to winter. So, with the weather being so hostile, it's not really a shock that people haven't been looking at houses for sale. No one was. Heck, going to the grocery store was tough!

We finally had a showing last weekend, but they wanted a one-level house. *sigh* Oh well, Spring is around the corner and people WILL be out and about again! We've also signed a contract to build a house, which means I know where I'll be living in August! Yay! (plus it didn't require that we sell this one yet, so we have time.)

My husband had been gone since New Year's also, but he flew back to surprise me for my 40th birthday at the end of February. I took this picture on my birthday, because I took one last year too:

me, 40!

But you know, while I like the picture... I'm a lot goofier (and more wrinkled) in person. I think these "selfies" really don't represent how we really are (translation: I can be kind of pretty if I'm not breathing and the camera is juuuuust right - but that's not real life.) My daughter takes pictures of herself all the time, and I just don't get it (but she's goofier in real life too, so that makes me feel a little better!)

Well, at least I've been getting some work done in the studio.
"Barry" 3x3 inches

I gave this one to my son.

"Hush" based off the Grimm tale, the Six Swans (12x18 inches)

My valentine's day, digital painting

I'm also working on the White Queen from Through the Looking Glass, a commission piece for a client. I admit, I've been struggling with a touch of avoidance here too, but it's finally going.

All sketched out (16x20):

Where I was at as of last night:

I'm really looking forward to my new studio in our next house, rather than working wherever I can here because my studio is filled to the brim with supplies and NO room for me. I think it'll help my productivity to have it all sorted like that, rather than my easel next to my bed, or a painting on the kitchen table and always in the way. Life gets in the way, true, but the way things are now I seem to be getting in Life's way as well!

I hope everyone is well!