Saturday, December 25, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
ACEO, Colored Pencil
This is a custom mini character portrait, but you can find all kinds of ready made, ready to stuff tiny art pieces with your favorite subject!
Here's to making Christmas fun, unique and hopefully handmade!
Monday, December 13, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
As for me, some of the best lessons learned in life came from stop motion animation! In my personal favorites, Santa Claus is coming to town, Mickey Rooney as Santa teaches the Winter Warlock the most important lesson of all: "Changing from bad to good is as simple as one step! Put one foot in front of the other!"
"Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you'll be walking cross the floor
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you'll be walking out the door
You never will get where you're going
If you never get up on your feet
Come on, there's a good tail wind blowing
A fast walking man is hard to beat
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you'll be walking cross the floor
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you'll be walking out the door
If you want to change your direction
If your time of life is at hand
Well don't be the rule be the exception
A good way to start is to stand
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you'll be walking cross the floor
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you'll be walking out the door
If I want to change the reflection
I see in the mirror each morn
You mean that it's just my election
To vote for a chance to be reborn
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you'll be walking cross the floor
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you'll be walking out the door"
Remember, from the greatest Mailman ever, Fred Astaire, "Behave yourselves, because Santa can still look into his magic snowball and see what you're up to!"
Christmas is only 23 days away!
Ho Ho HO
Monday, November 29, 2010
What an incredible month this has been. I knew I could do it, I knew I could write a novel, I knew I had one in me, and now, I'm off to a good start. My story is far from complete, with lots of editing and rewriting to come. I hope that one day soon, I will have something you can hold in your hand or your electronic reader and enjoy. Moreover, I hope it doesn't suck.
Thanks everyone for being supportive and cheering me on along the way, and thanks to my good buddy Alexia for starting the book club that made me focus on making lofty goals achievable and really nailing down my daily writing routine, and mostly getting to me to commit to this project in such a busy month.
I'm a leaf on the wind! Now more than ever before, I feel unstoppable!
Action was the word I chose for the year because I needed to get moving, and a lot of wonderful progress has been made with my art career. I'll tell you though, this little accomplishment really feels like icing on the cake! I am pleased to have progress in my journey to share with others and maybe inspire, too.
Remember: Never EVER give up!
Thanks to a few awesome people who lead by example and sticktuitiveness and probably have no idea I’m referencing them here: Christy Dekoning, Curt of Keemo, Christine Kane, Carl at Cakuart.com, Alexia Petrakos.
But Scarecrow, I thank you most of all. :)
Thursday, November 25, 2010
I am thankful for a loving family, great friends, sweet dogs, a great dog sitter, awesome clients, our troops and volunteers and social workers and adoptive and foster parents, and people who care for other people and animals....and this internet connection that is allowing me to say to you all:
Have a wonderful and safe holiday,
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Acrylic on wood
I was thinking about smallness and the adorable quality of small. Take this little Westie puppy, for example. Don't you just want to feel his tiny tongue kissing you or smell his sweet baby puppy breath? I do. I think if I had this dog, I would simply not be able to let him down, except to pee, of course.
November is a rather large month, and it makes me wonder why the National Novel Writing Month happens in such a big month. Writing 50,000 words is momentous, at least it is the first time you do it. And in a month that also brings the preparation for the largest retail shopping days of the year, where artists and crafters alike are unbelievably busy preparing stockpiles of goodies for art and craft fairs and online sales. Then there is the added goodliness that I am also a portrait painter and I have lots of orders to fill. So, thanks Nanowrimo, just pile it on, why don't you?!!
Could be for a reason, though. If they did it in a metaphorically small month, we might not be up to the challenge. Through all of this, I have found companionship in my procrastinative obstinacy, and learned that writers are like me, they put things off and get distracted by dishes and sunshine and small animals. What I really mean is that in a small month, we would likely find no time at all to write a novel, because there is just too much 'nothing' to be done. And when there is nothing expected, you tend to go with the flow.
In November, when so much is due and the TV still has new episodes to watch (geesus, this is really painful), and everyone goes out of town or has plans for 3-4 days at Thanksgiving, why there couldn't be a better time to squeeze in a novel. Busy is what makes procrastinators move. This is the grandest time for a procrastinator who thrives on a deadline; Me.
So, bring it on, I say. You cannot discourage me! Bring on the kind of night that if I smoked, would be littered with visits to the porch in the wee hours to stare at the moon and think of new plot twists while stretching my neck. Bring on the late night pasty mouth (blech) and the dry red eyes. They will go unnoticed. For I am a nom de plum on the wind and my cup can always be refilled.
I'm off to make a French press and find a bit of ice cream.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
The goal: Write 50,000 words in a month, about 175 pages, give or take a few. My Storyist demo software says I'm on page 92. (Omigod, 92 pages! I totally rock!) That's almost better than selling a painting! Ok, it IS better than selling a painting, because it's the first time I've ever done this!
Half way day is tomorrow. I'm at around 20,000 so far. I honestly wondered if I would even get this far. I know I have a novel in me, but I didn't think I could get so much out in so little time. Each time to go to write, it just flows, and flows. Plus, I still like my story after 14 days.
I honestly thought my first writing experience would be a screenplay, and if you're into that, the same people who bring this fun contest also bring "Scriptfrenzy" in the early Spring. I have had oodles of movie ideas in my head forever so I'll be working on this one next year.
I have found this experience to be very liberating. The Nanowrimo people even come right out say that some of what you will write will suck. You aren't going to create a masterpiece with this effort, and you aren't going to publish on your first round anyway, so let it out and get it down, that's all that matters here. Why? Because some of what you will write will be brilliant! You don't have to share it with anyone. I wont even let my MF (Man Friend) read it, because I don't want any tiny iota of potential negativity to dash all my hopes and have me leave my novel career before it begins, which could happen with an eyebrow twitch. (ok, but probably not, because I am stubborn and believe I can actually do this. he he. rookie.)
So, with regard to writing the remaining 30,000 words, I have confidence I'll get through this, although tomorrow will only be week 3 and there is still so much to write and still a lot of time to get sidetracked and procrastinate. However, the Nanowrimo folks have thought of that too, with their daily blogging of motivation and the amusing "Procrastination Station" where, if you are short on words, you may find scene suggestions to add a thousand or two extra words to your story and maybe spark your story back into a flame. Daily I say my mantra: "Oh Lord, let my words flow, and help me from having to use the 'Shovel of death' scene to get an extra thousand words! (courtesy of the procrastination station).
For more information on Nanowrimo, visit http://www.nanowrimo.org/
For the rest of the month, each post will mention my current word count. The daily quota to get there is 1667 words. I chose not to write this weekend so I could work on a few other important things that actually help me get paid. The rest of month will be some early morning and some late nights, but I am driven to succeed on writing my very first novel. I have always wanted to do it, so let's see where this gig takes me!
I will remember that great quote, "Write Rebecca, write like the wind!" (or something like that)
Monday, November 8, 2010
This is the sweet young male Beagle Terrier Mix that has been roaming between owners in the Acworth area in the past few months. He is currently at my neighbor's house.
He's seems like a pretty smart, sweet little guy and he took a bath well. He likes to be on the leash and doesn't pull. He eats like eating is a luxury, a possible symptom of his chronic running away. Maybe he is trying to get back to his original owners, although I have searched every lost and found pet database in Georgia, and there doesn't seem to be an owner looking for him.
He is not neutered. His teeth are clean and his ears are pink, but a little dirty. The vet says he is healthy and is around a year old.
If you can, please post this on your blog today and someone, somewhere in the country may decide to adopt little Buddy.
If you wish to give Buddy a better change of getting adopted, you can donate any denomination to help pay for his shots and to have him neutered. Dogs who come with no extra financial burden get adopted quicker! Thanks!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
His name is Albert Grace, and this is Princess, his daily salvation.
I fight back tears each time I think of this duo, with whom I spent quite a bit of time during my trip to Las Vegas in August. They live in the old downtown area, where the old casinos still bring a bit of luck to some. I spent a measly amount of money buying him some bottled water for Princess, gave him some cash and cigarettes, and together, we hung out on the sidewalk, enjoying chili dogs and cokes from Binion's food counter, (which were delicious, by the way.)
Albert and I talked about being homeless at great length, and he shared a few of his darkest moments with me, including his wife dying of cancer many years ago, leading to his homelessness, how he enjoys an occasional shower and bathroom visit at the apartment of a friend, since he can't go in the casinos, and life on the street. "I am person without a home, I am not a criminal. People don't have to be afraid of me. I don't ever ask for money, I just sit here with Princess and we get by. Being homeless is hard, but I have some friends. ..I do have to be careful at night, though, because the bums will sometimes threaten to harm Princess."
The police try to move the vagrants along to keep the area tourist friendly. Like shooing pigeons going to where the bits of food are.
I am not sure whether Princess came before or after his wife's death, but she has been with him ever since. He told me that someone had taken her to the vet recently, and she, too, has been diagnosed with cancer. You may not ever see a more loving relationship than the one between this sweet man and his tiny canine friend.
The street vendors told me they look out for the duo, because they are not "bums" and generous tourists help out with dog food and water. It's true, Albert never asks for a handout. He is only 57, but his years on the street have taken a toll on his body.
My spendthrift trip to experience the lavish decadence of the city that never sleeps brought me instead to the streets where I met the real Vegas. Princess and Albert mark the beginning of probably a year long series about Vegas, called Beautiful People, which will culminate in a show in the Fall of next year.
Look for Albert if you go to Las Vegas, and buy him a chili dog.
The portrait of Princess Grace has been entered into the one word show "Hope" on Ebsqart.com. I invite you to visit the show, see and read my show entry and vote for your favorite!
*This image will be available as a print and on greeting cards, and I am working to make sure the proceeds will directly benefit Albert and Princess Grace, as long as they are still around.
Monday, October 18, 2010
"Becky's barefoot trek took her to the old broken bridge, her secret fishing hole. She sat on the edge, concentrating with her tongue sticking out of her pursed lips, and readied her pole. A hawk surveying the stream below, her solitary goal was finding her next fish. At last, she imagined she had found an undiscovered lair of trout, and confidently cast her line in the deep pocket. Her pendulum feet swung like the stale marshmallows on her hook, keeping lazy time and giving her the pleasure of feeling the wind blow through her toes as she settled in for a long session with a bag of sunflower seeds."
I would rather be Michelangelo than DaVinci.
It seems that with any good intention, in order to see it through, you have to put in the effort, and this could take some time. Some time where it seems like not much gets done, where you don't see every day rewards, where you 'put in' but don't see financial gain. Even some time where you wonder if you are fishing in the right spot at all and if you will ever get to fry your fish, or if you will just keep replacing one soggy marshmallow with the next, thinking that a different color might change the fish's taste for it.
Many things, like parking spaces, just appear for me. I have good parking karma. It's a gift. I was listening to the Secret a few years ago and heard another person talking about his parking karma and it made me laugh. The suggestion has been made time after time, that if it is meant to be, it will happen without conflict or stress or difficulty. It will just happen. ..Maybe. Sometimes. (Hey you can dream, right?)
But, if we all just gave up on every good idea because it was going to take some work or time or money or effort, we'd live in an empty world.
We don't live in an age of King Patrons who marvel at our mere intellectual and creative genius, and long to merely be in our presence, so we don't have the luxury of being a DaVinci; more committed to the idea of perfection than tangible results. Never getting anything out where it might risk an imperfect existence, never to be finished, only abandoned. Maybe you want to be reserved in your limitless potential and spend years on just one masterpiece, who am I to argue? It's DaVinci after all! (In fairness to DaVinci, I think he understood his gift of attraction well and he evidently enjoyed being a mentor, scientist and intellectual more than a painter.) However, we DaVincis rarely get our feet wet, and that is my point.
Let's try a new approach. Let's instead think of ourselves as Michelangelos... great productivity machines of magic awesomeness! You see the block of marble and know it's a David waiting to come out!
I think you ought to hope for the big one. I think you should always hold on to that feeling! It's important to believe that greatness is possible. Why would I tell you to torture yourself with dreams that may never happen? Because the alternative is having an idea that never left the paper, or worse, what becomes someone else's Mona Lisa.
Don't know what to do? Well, you know that quote from Something About Mary: "I like meat on a stick! There should be more meats on sticks." I totally agree. Find what is missing and do that!
I knew a man who stated, "I'll never have much in life or be a rich man." This is true.
I believe that I will succeed at anything I put my mind to. Two results are possible. I will succeed or I will find the journey takes me in a different direction than I was expecting. At least I will have tried.
If you don't take the first small step toward something, then you will only live out your years wondering what things might have looked like. Here's something I read in the Artist's Way that made me want to put in the time and earn some band aids:
Q. "Do you know how old I will be by the time I learn to play guitar well?"
A. Yes, the same you'll be if you don't.
So, let's start!1
Have the Grace to be a beginner, and take the first scary small step.2
Anything worth doing is worth doing badly! (except for sky diving, maybe.)
You have to start somewhere. Just begin and see where it takes you.
1,2 Quotes from The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
I always feel like writing in the Fall. It's my favorite time of year. I think the slightest change in temperature makes me perky and excited, even nostalgic.
The Summer was unrelenting this year. High humidity and temps created a bad biscuit out of me. I fluffed up and got cooked, but then I just sat around all Summer and got stale. A bad biscuit is not worth eating, empty calories and a waste of time. Regardless of what food product I may have resembled, the result was a hardened floury puck which could never result (no matter how much honey I used) in any kind of creative production.
I'm an Earth sign, and I probably need some more water in my life to make my obstinate behavior a little more fluid. The stubborn me said, "Hey, this road block was my idea, so I will just stay here and break out a six pack until the road clears. I prefer not getting a damn thing done for 3 months!" Except it was my road block too, so no one else was going to clear it.
Honestly, it's not that I intended to accomplish nothing, who does that?
My argument could be that I was nourishing an idea, "You mean you can't see the novel that is inside my head? I'm just working on the plot a little more before I write it down!" When you are blocked, anything that involves much more than passive regurgitation is a struggle.
1st step: Acknowledgement. Summer is bad for my productivity. That's when I should be playing outside and dreaming and lying under the stars and forming creative ideas. I am from the Northwest and cooler weather makes me productive. So, if I am to stay in the South, I need to travel during the Summer or get a job doing something mundane, or just do house chores and go to the beach every day. As long as I don't spend another Summer depressed, beating myself up for not painting!
Why am I telling you all this? Because you probably have a season, too. It may even be a day of the week. You have a time of year of when you are better at that creative thing you do. When you are at your worst productive period, may I suggest that there is something else you could be doing that will fulfill you. Some seemingly mindless activity, even, that will give you a sense of satisfaction. Go pull weeds, or caulk, or paint baseboards, or vacuum the ceiling fan.
You know, these blocks may come when we need to refill our creative wells. So, the light tasks can help us to get some dreaming done!
If Fall is not your season, try some chores and spruce up your place. Then, go for a walk and let yourself dream. Swing on swings. Go to the movies. Go to a coffee house at midnight, see a live band, make good food and enjoy it. Discover a wine bar.
Plan ahead to do something 'else'.
The biscuit picture comes from a nice little blog I discovered today on how to make a great buttermilk biscuit! Visit Pinch My Salt for the recipe! (Don't forget the honey)
Monday, September 20, 2010
Adult women living with disabilities. They have learned that their contribution to the community is very important, and that they can set and achieve attainable goals for themselves, including volunteering and creating their own income!
They also give back to their community by volunteering locally, spreading joy and good will every place they go. They have helped to make care packages for the troops in the Middle East, and have even knitted items and made food to benefit local folks in need.
I have the pleasure of teaching them art, and let me tell you, the lessons go both directions! I feel more love and more value as a person simply by working with them to help them achieve their creative goals!
Shown today are 2 of the women, Sandy Manfull and her sister Teresa.
Sandy, shown above, loves to make jewelry and is a talented abstract artist. Here, we are working on composition and technique, and she was delighted with the results and how much fun oil pastel can be (and messy)!
Teresa, her sister, shown below, is discovering that she has a remarkable talent with design and although this was first time using colored pencil on such a large scale, we were all amazed at how skillfully she completed her haunted house.
These two lovely ladies are going to be submitting their completed artwork in a show benefiting people living with disabilities, which will be held at Emory this Fall.
For more information about Teresa's or Sandy's jewelry or art or to donate your handmade items for the girls to sell to gain their own independence and help those in need, please email Natalie (Itsmylifefirstname.lastname@example.org).
Click on the images below to purchase one of these prints!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Come out and meet the artisans Saturday, June 26th from 10:00am – 4:00pm at the Brannon Heard House in Cumming. This show is a special summer show called Handmade Heatwave. It will feature arts and crafts by Etsy Team NorGA artist as well as other local Etsy.com artisans.
There is FREE admission to the show. Come meet your local Etsy.com artists, see their newest works of art and get some great unique items for yourself or for wonderful gifts.
This will be a great shopping event! Get a sneak peek of the participants & items by clicking the links below:
Artist Spirit ~ Glass fusion jewelry & plates
Caveman Pottery ~ Pottery
Chance Bramble ~ Jewelry
Classy Chic Boutique ~ Jewelry, Soy Candles, Coasters
Deep South Creations ~ Paper and Fabric Art
Duchess Designs ~ Jewelry
Glamit ~ Jewelry
Girl Sew Pretty ~ Art, Glass & Jewelry
Gnagey Gallery ~ Paintings & Cards
H20Colors ~ Art
Janiebee ~ Children’s Clothing
Jessica’s Jams ~ Jam, Jelly, Relish and Pickles
Jnelly Designs ~ Photography & Greeting Cards
Josies Beaded Jewelry ~ Jewelry
Lauren J Hill ~ Jewelry, art, hair flowers
Maria Luna ~ Jewelry
Prayerworks Studio ~ Prayer Beads
Priss Designs ~ Art
Fiber Felter ~ Fiber Art
Red Stilts ~ Paintings
Sharp Mountain Creations ~ Jewelry
Smelly Rhino ~ Paintings & Cards
So She Sews ~ Clothing & accessories
Spiderblue ~ Jewelry
Stress The Seams ~ Clothing & Metalwork
Sunshine Monster ~ Unique Crochet Creations
Trinity Soap ~ Bath & Body
Worthy Soy Candles ~ Soy Candles
Have a cup of lemonade and a snack while you browse all of the wonderful handmade goodies for sale… Enter your name to win a free handmade gift… Meet local crafters and talk to them about their creative processes… Stock up your gift giving stash and treat yourself to something special. We hope to see you there!
Directions from Ga. 400 South (Atlanta, Roswell, Alpharetta)
Georgia 400 to Bald Ridge Marina Road Exit. Exit to your left across the Ga. 400 Bridge and head down the hill and around a curve toward town. Turn right at the town clock/electronicmarquee onto Pilgrim Mill Road. The Brannon-Heard House will be first house on your right. You may park across the street or Go 1 block to School Street on your left and park at the Cumming Playhouse. It is located at the intersection of Pilgrim Mill and School Streets.
Directions from Highway 9 South (Atlanta, Roswell, Alpharetta)
Travel North on Highway 9 into the town. Travel past Dairy Queen. Get in far right lane and continue through the upcoming intersection. The road name at this point becomes Pilgrim Mill Road. The Brannon-Heard House will be first house on your right. You may park across the street or Go 1 block to School Street on your left and park at the Cumming Playhouse. It is located at the intersection of Pilgrim Mill and School Streets.
Directions from Ga. 400 North (Dawsonvile, Dahlonega)
Georgia 400 to Bald Ridge Marina Road Exit. Exit to your right onto Bald Ridge Marina Road and head down the hill and around a curve toward town. Turn right at the town clock/electronic marquee onto Pilgrim Mill Road. The Brannon-Heard House will be first house on your right. You may park across the street or Go 1 block to School Street on your left and park at the Cumming Playhouse. It is located at the intersection of Pilgrim Mill and School Streets.
Directions from Highway 9 North (Dahlonega Highway)
Take Highway 9 and head South toward Cumming. School Street is just before the town square on the left and right across from the entrance to City Hall. Turn onto School Street and go about one block. Turn right on Pilgrim Mill Rd. The Brannon-Heard House will be just before the light on the left. You may park across the street or park at the Cumming Playhouse. It is located at the intersection of Pilgrim Mill and School Streets.
Directions from Canton and points West of Cumming
Georgia 20 headed east toward Cumming. Continue on 20 to Highway 9. (Dairy Queen will be on your left as you turn left onto Highway 9). Get in far right lane and continue through the upcoming intersection. The road name at the intersection becomes Pilgrim Mill Road. You will see town clock and electronic marques on your left as you pass through the intersection.The Brannon-Heard House will be first house on your right. You may park across the street or Go 1 block to School Street on your left and park at the Cumming Playhouse. It is located at the intersection of Pilgrim Mill and School Streets.(This post was nearly completely borrowed from the Team Norga Blog, making my job easier today!)
Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Visit these Georgia Etsy Street artists offering fantastic sales between
Sunday, June 20st to Sunday, June 27th!
Addy B's Cakes
Gourmet, homemade pound cakes in a wide variety of flavors
All cakes 20% off, use coupon code PEACHY. Discount will be refunded via paypal.
Amelia’s Soap Co.
Handmade Soap Products
15% discount throughout shop; Refund through PayPal
Fuzzy Butts t-shirts and folk art paintings of dogs
Glass Fusion Jewelry & Plates
All items 20% off
black tulip shop
Peachy Deals sale section
Handmade Swarovski and wire jewelry
20% off any purchase over $10.00. Discount will be refunded thru Paypal.
Darcey Lane Designs
Custom made Birthday Outfits. Sassy ruffle panty (bloomers)
Custom Children clothes traditional with modern twist.
All purchases 20% off, use coupon code PEACHY. Discount will be refunded via paypal
Repurposed vintage jewelry and accessories with sweet, Southern flair.
10% off everything, use coupon code PEACHY. Discount will be refunded via paypal.
Free Shipping. Peachy Deals Sale Section.
Handmade Beanies, Cozies, Bottle Cap Art & Badge Reels
PEACHY DEALS Sale Section 15% Off
Peachy Deals section that is 15% off, price is already marked down.
Crayon Rolls, Ouchie Bags, Popsicle Wraps, Nerf Ammo Belts, Locker Magnets, Babydoll Diapers and Pee Pee Domes
20% off everything. Use coupon code PEACHY. Refund given via PayPal.
Handiworks by Janice
Exquisite one-of-a-kind handcrafted jewelry
Free shipping and a $5 gift certificate towards a future purchase included.
Enter Peachy Deals in message to seller upon checkout.
Handmade Cold Process Soap
PEACHY DEALS: Buy one Bar and get a free travel size bar!
Artwork inspired by Music. Fine Art prints, wall plaques
K. Berlin Metalsmith
Handcrafted Artisan Jewelry – Sterling Silver and gems
Free Shipping on All items
Handcrafted Artisan Jewelry and Photography
15% off purchase, refunded through paypal with keyword PeachyDeals
Handmade accessories for mom and baby.
$5 off every $25 you spend, not including custom items. Use promo code PeachDeals in notes to seller. Money refunded via Paypal.
Mommy So Sweet Boutique
Little girls' dresses (bandana dresses and pillowcase dresses) and shoes
FREE SHIPPING on select items
Recycled notebooks from your favorite TV shows and movies!
15% off your total!
Modern affordable nature art prints
Handmade polymer clay jewelry and unique gifts.
Smelly Rhino Studio
Paintings, pet portraits, prints, cards, and whimsy
15% off your total!
The Pink Locket
Modern Vintage Handmade Jewelry
20% off Summer Collection and FREE Shipping on all items
the StarShine Shoppe
Handmade beautiful bottle jewelry
Buy 1 get 1 half off all bottle necklaces
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Aceo, Faber-Castell colored pencil on Bristol Smooth
Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils are nice to work with. Dick Blick has some great pricing on them, too. I bought mine at Sam Flax and paid a bit more, unfortunately, although my set is not yet complete! I think I'll finish it off at Blick.
Order a Custom Pet Portrait at Smelly Rhino Studio!
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Monday, I decided to alter this freakish course of action because the perceived outcome wasn't lookin' good for my art career. I have no inventory!
So, I intervened on my own behalf, and legislated a self-imposed computer ban in my studio. I had to add (to myself) that I also have to BE in my studio (or it wont work). he he
Today was day two and I have made a lot of progress. I even wrote in my journal 3 mornings in a row! I know, unbelievable.
I told Eric I needed a little push toward that manifest destiny thing. I work on it constantly by saying aloud all the weaknesses I'm dealing with so that he can regurgitate them back to me at strategic moments. It's my own way of holding myself accountable.
I asked him for help and he gave it to me!
He said, "Ok, well, first of all, no computer during the day. You can get online at night while you're hanging on the couch with me! Pretend your boss is there and you can't surf!
The other thing: Stop making lists and plans. Just paint. You need to just paint without worrying about all that other stuff for a while.
You are doing what they do in the corporate world...lists and schedules and planning, it's like Dilbert, for crying out loud! Nothing gets done this way at the office either! That's why they wrote a cartoon about it. Just allow yourself to let loose and be creative. Let yourself see some progress that makes you feel good. This is your goal, after all. You are having anxiety about it, but once you start to see progress, this will pass."
I was listening this time.
Well, the reward the past 2 days has been real progress on a painting and a nice feeling of satisfaction after focusing for a change on what I really want to do.
He is really smart.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Graphite on Bristol smooth paper
Today was Drawing Day!
Here was my little drawing.
I hope they got to 1 million worldwide!
What a fun goal, and to see the drawings everywhere, on facebook, flickr, youtube, imagekind, deviantart, you name it, they were everywhere!
Join in the fun next year! Until then, check out the results of the day here!
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
"Thank you for my Mommy, and my Baby Monkeys, and my Daddy!"
ACEO: Faber-Castell Colored Pencil on Bristol Smooth
I AM NOT INTO RELIGION.
I constantly say I am not a religious person. I often mention my distaste for organized religion and the hypocrisy that makes company beside it.
That being said, if I break down my day, hour by hour, and record my thoughts and utterances, (aloud and under my breath), the truth is that I pray all the time!
Wow. I pray all the time. And I mean, all the time!
"Thank you, Lord!"
"Oh, please, God, help that person!"
"Please, Lord, help me get through this!"
"Lord, Thank you for this day!"
"Thank you, Lord, for showing my humility!"
"I am so grateful for such an understanding partner!"
"Lord, Thank you for bringing what I need exactly when I need it!"
"Oh, Thank GOD!"
I am quite proud of my good parking Karma..my ability to get parking spaces just about anywhere when I need it. I also have an incredible ability to win concert tickets. It's almost crazy! We only paid for one of the last 6 concerts we've attended. Positive thinking, praying, it's in the wording. The power may come from within myself, from the Universe, wherever...but it does come. I can't explain it, but I believe in good luck. I believe in goodness.
I am not one to discuss religion at all, and really hate when people try to shove it down my throat, but I think you ought to know what I take from all this....
What comes around, goes around. So, catch yourself next time you are about to yell at someone, or say unkind words to them or do something wrong. Instead, find one good thing to focus on and try a smile. It may get you a lot farther. If not right this minute, in the future. Take a breath and say "Thank you!"
I am so lucky!
Friday, May 28, 2010
Faber-Castell Colored pencil on Bristol Smooth
Tonight, I read my friend Alexia's regular newsletter, full of daily wisdom, funny and familiar. She that she was writing her morning pages, and made note of the vital 2500 word a day challenge that is out there. She also mentioned having hurt her knee while attempting to train with the couch to 5k program.
She reminded me of a story. Well, 2 stories, really. My knee was defiled by a fucktard snowboarder in Tahoe 4 years ago. But more recently, my hip is suddenly WHACK! It's so tight even bending over can be a problem. (probably also the fault of the snowboarder). All this physiological self-discovery came to pass when I started my own couch to 10k program a few weeks ago so a bunch of us could do the Peachtree Road Race (the largest 10k in the country, I've been told). My hip is so tight the chiropractor said, "NO running!" Find a swimming pool instead. and YOGA; do some of those sunrise poses." So, now I have to nurse this aging hip, instead of just running on a whim, with no prior training or exercise, like I did when I was 25. I don't understand why Maker's Mark and TV can't prepare me for that kind of thing.
Back to the snowboarder, briefly. Whoever the hell invented snowboarding should have his own damned mountain to board on, and bring the rest of the boarders with him, because they don't belong with skiers. I don't say this to be mean, I say this to keep skiers safe and to keep the slopes uncluttered from the discourteous, etiquette thrashing, malevolent effing teenagers who just stop for no other apparent reason right in the middle of a downhill slope than to 'take a break' as skiers are actually attempting to use the slope for SKIING! But maybe worse still are the wobbly snowboarders who grab people and drag them down when exiting the ski lift because they can't control their own balance, and have to completely destroy the cartilage of totally innocent skiers because they are too fracking clumsy and self-absorbed to just fall on their own off to the side somewhere!
Soooo, the other story...yea, this is gonna chew off a few people, but here goes, (and this is the really demonstrative part): The fracking morning pages. That book, specifically. I stopped reading the stupid book on chapter 4 or 5 when it said, "don't read this book for a week!"...I never went back. Then, like 4 months later, I decided to start again. whatever! Stopped again after the second night falling asleep thinking, 'yea, see, now I'm bored.'
Hello? What book says, "Stop reading me for a week, now that I am sure I have your attention!"
I seriously think the writer or editor should change that part. New Editions are good, mkay?
Anyway, had a yard sale with a girlfriend a couple months later, and her book was in the yard. (I chuckled under my breath).
I liked a lot of ideas in that book, though. I have always journaled, and I liked the suggestion that you always do your morning pages, just get up and get it out right away. I rarely do first thing in the morning, but I do write, and I think that was more the point for me than getting out my expletives before my second cup of coffee. I thanked Alexia and said, "Now I am going to go put this in my blog. Thanks for making me write tonight. he he."
Have a great safe holiday weekend!
Ps. I really do still write the pages, just not every morning.
Alexia is a terrific person, has a great site and is a very intuitive and helpful observer, and coach. Read more about Alexia Petrakos.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Faber-Castell Colored Pencil on Bristol Smooth
I have often felt that I would never be taken seriously if I created only cartoon-ish-y art. In fact, that has been true, as I have been rejected at times as a serious artist. I have even canceled listings because when I looked back, I felt it just wasn't good enough. But, there is plenty of "serious" art that doesn't make me feel good, so what good is it after all?
Eh, who cares anymore?!!! I think the goal here is to do what makes you happy, and what you seem to be good at performing. I'm still not sure what I am best at performing, but I'm turning a new leaf and I am no longer going to pout that I haven't really painted a still life since college, (and I'm not upset about it.)
Also, I've been afraid to say I would begin my painting a day challenge just because I know I'd be bound to miss some days. Screw that charade as well!
So, to start small, I will create an aceo a day! Maybe I'll work up to the oswoa size for the Daily Painter's site! I will post some and throw in some more Rhinos and history lessons! yay!
My blog has moved to my website! I wont be posting here forever, so I hope you will find your way to it an follow for a little fun now and then!
For all of you who are illustrators and whimsical artists, power on!
Have an inspired day!
Saturday, May 8, 2010
My cousin, in an obviously grieving state, sent out a broadcast to the family that her Dad had passed during the night. It was early in the morning, but I think even if she had been able to muster the will, 10 phone calls would have been beyond the abilities of a daughter who just lost her Daddy. Cy Kusel was her Daddy and my Uncle. He is pictured furthest to the right, nudged between his daughter and his wife.
Next week, I will drive to Indianapolis, pick up my Mother from the airport and spend the time needed to add a little love to the situation, and share some fond memories of my dear Uncle.
Cy loved to tell stories about how much his favorite niece (me) liked to talk. He said my Mother would constantly complain to her sister and brother-in-law (my uncle Cy) that she was getting impatient waiting for me talk. She wont say anything, Mom would say. I made plenty of noise, I'm willing to bet. But behaviorists will tell you that often the youngest child will be the last to talk as a result of the older children speaking on her behalf. I had 3 older brothers, who, I'm guessing, were able to look at me and tell Mom exactly what I wanted and needed, thereby making my work at communication quite literally, unimportant. This may explain many things, now that I think a little more about it... like, for example, my desire to be completely taken care of, not ever lifting a finger. (or is that a consequence of being female?)
Anyway, back to the story. So Uncle Cy would say to my Mother, "Don't worry, Carolyn, one day you will miss the silence. That one day came when I was 4, and all at once, I was speaking in eloquent and demanding full sentences. Uncle Cy was happy to recount the end of the story ..."Then, we couldn't shut her up!"
I'm afraid not much has changed.
On the way home from my unfortunate family visit, I'll stop by another cousin's, who is is near Louisville, and maybe play a slot or two at the Riverboat Casino there. Hey, you have to find the best in any bad situation.
Now, time for a little silence.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
My friend Christy wanted her cat, Joe to be fat cat! So, in the spirit of Al Capone, with the gangster car, the city background, and the patent leather shoes, I painted Joe, immortalized as the lazy thug that he is.
Christy Dekoning is a watercolor artist living in Ontario, whose portraits will become an heirloom in anyone's family. Visit Christy's blog: Travels in Watercolors
Visit Smelly Rhino Studio or order a Custom portrait!
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
#16 in the series, yet another ripoff of one of the iconic images of the 20th century; The New Yorker's highly hatted Mascot!
The New Yorker first hit news stands in 1925, and part of the legacy of this brilliantly written and presented magazine are its cartoons, which have been an integral part since the very beginning. So much so that most identify the magazine with the cartoon logo! They recently compiled a book of all All 68,647 cartoons ever published in The New Yorker! That's a lot of cartoons!
Cartoons, in fact, have become such an important part of our culture, that their influence on us is barely fathomable. Consider that many of our greatest cartoonists perhaps were inspired by The New Yorker growing up, and that alone makes it formidable. Great cartoonists, illustrators and satirists abound here!
Regrettably, and it pains me to say this, but Wikipedia is down today, so I can't give you a fun wee history on The New Yorker and its indelible mark on art history. Perhaps I can add some more tomorrow. For now, below are some of the greats.
Roz Chast is one of many to influence us, and it's great to have a female cartoonist in the mix, because it seems that not many women take the path of cartoonist. Roz first contributed to The New Yorker in 1978 and became a staff cartoonist in 1979, and has contributed over 1000 cartoons to the magazine. [from CBSnews.com: " Editor David Remnick wrote that her cartoons convey a comic sense of "domestic anxiety." ]
Robert Mankoff, is currently the cartoon editor of The New Yorker. He captures that cross section of American business and politics with his humor, as well as every day life in the US. Robert is also the creator of The Cartoon Bank, which is the largest cartoon licensing business in the world. So, if you are a cartoonist, maybe you should start there!
Charles Addams, adored by many as the creator of the Addams Family, spent most of his career drawing for The New Yorker! It all started as the Gothic, dark, bizarre, macabre but humorous cartoon in the New Yorker, which resulted in the beloved TV series and 2 movies! Aren't tidbits fun?
James Thurber, humorist, cartoonist, writer. A distinguished figure of American Literature, He wrote "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty", and others, which put him in the history books as more than just a cartoonist!
Saul Steinberg, among the most prolific artists of the 20th century, appeared in The New Yorker for nearly 60 years! Now that's a career! Visit his site and be awed by the archives!
Their cartoons were political, controversial and funny. Satire at its best! Maybe not that well known to the average person, but if you grew up with this magazine, you were influenced by them! And, well, maybe you do really know a few!
The New Yorker has had a profound effect of US Popular Culture since its inception, and I think it is fitting to mention in my 31 days of rhinos series.