As my artist's statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance. -- Calvin and Hobbes

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Should we take a look back on 2008, or just kill it?

Many have said that it wasn't a very good year.
I don't know.


Let's see, the Government still took our money.
The Gov't decided to borrow more money to give to big business. 60 million of that bailout money or more has already been paid as bonuses to the people who screwed up.. Is that what we call a merit increase?
A whole bunch of people (not mathematically accurate) lost their homes.
A whole bunch of people (not mathematically accurate) lost their jobs.
A whole bunch of people (a lot) died fighting for something because of orders.
Some country ravaged by civil war (and lacking oil) didn't have anyone to fight for them.
Many places decimated by storms have people who are still suffering.
Many people still haven't recovered from storms of years past, but they aren't current news, so nobody cares.
People in your home town still need help.
Children in your home town need to be adopted, but they're too old to be wanted. Wishful parents keep getting them from Eastern Europe and Asia instead.
Yet another man I know got screwed by the system that only seems to protect women; especially women who lie.

Paul Newman died.

So, besides Paul Newman dying, what else is new?

Last year will be soo 'last year' tomorrow!

Bring on the new year for crying out loud!!

Tonite, I and many of my fellow Atlantans will officially kill 2008 till it's dead!
It will be fun!
It will be happy!
I'll wake up tomorrow to a brand
spankin' new day and the best year that anyone anywhere will ever have!

A wonderful day in fact, that always begins with lunch at one of our favorite taverns. This year,
Manuel's; sunglasses optional.

Know that one day at a time is always the best approach! Do what you can to help out and don't forget to kiss your children (or pets) everyday and tell your friends how awesome they are.

Live in the moment. Here's to now!
Happy New Year everyone!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The greatest gift is Christmas past!

This piece is a collage of old stamps from my childhood, dating back to 1975. Hope you like it and the story!

My Christmas gift this year is a story of a young girl who happened to have a brilliant Mother!

I started collecting stamps when I was eight. I started tearing them off envelopes as they arrived. Mom let me and my brother Tim order them from the Littleton Stamp company, an idea which probably was derived from a comic book ad! We would periodically receive little bundles of stamps from all over the world, regarding every subject...from space exploration to freedom and peace, new countries and old, automobiles and trains, animals and plants, kings and queens and beyond. I remember getting the newest set of stamps in the mail and lovingly inspecting each one, with the giddiness that a young child has. I can't imagine a kid nowadays being so thrilled by a tiny little perforated piece of paper! I hope I'm wrong!

I have added a little here and there to my collection over the years, and I'm still crazy addicted to stamps! I'm proud to be a philatelist! LOL I love saying that!

On other memories:
From the very beginning, whether she realized it or not, Mom encouraged us to see the world differently, to try to understand science and geography and history and evolution and art. She loved reading. She took us to the library regularly to get a new stack of books to read. She encouraged us to learn all we could. If we didn't know a word, she would tell us to go look it up in the dictionary. She loved writing, too. She and my grade school teachers encouraged me to have pen pals and thus also began my love of writing! She said there was no excuse to be bored; "Go read or play...boredom is an insult to your intelligence!"

On Christmas:
We didn't have a lot, but I didn't miss that! We didn't have a large family who sent lots of presents, but I didn't miss that! (The relentless torture by my three older brothers, I didn't miss that either!) My Mom made sure that every Christmas was extra special, so exciting, and so full of love that there isn't anything I miss at all! Decorating the tree, sometimes on Christmas Eve--that was awesome! Eating the cornflake and marshmallow cookie wreaths that my Grandmother sent, even though they may have gotten stale during shipping! Making cookies with Mom! Mom helping me wrap presents, and learning how important giving was; and of course,the excitement of not being able to sleep because Santa was coming!

What's funny is what I remember most of all: Sitting on Christmas morning emptying our stockings, which always contained an orange and a lifesaver storybook. (It wasn't until I was much older that I learned that the origins of fruit in the stocking came from the Great Depression, where receiving an orange was a really big deal!!) I'm sure there were toys in there, too...but oh, the lifesavers!! How I looked forward to trading my cherry flavored pack for my brother's butter rum. Today, passing out the stockings is still a favorite activity at my folks house! Even though Santa comes to our own houses now, we have kept the tradition going at their house, with what has become an entire wall of stockings, tied to the iron styles of the dining room above, each with a name card on it! We all bring fun little treasures to add to each others' stocking, sometimes old toys or long forgotten books and mementos of our youth that we had kept all these years, making us laugh, tell stories, and sometimes cry! Although still filled with childish anticipation, we now watch each other to see the reactions when someone opens that silly little thing that makes them remember...

I'm sure we had great dreams of what we would love to receive from Santa, and I'm sure there must have been a time or two when we didn't get that one thing on the list, but I can't remember missing it..all I remember is that the presents seem to cast a heavenly glow sitting out waiting for us by the tree! I still see them today; I was 10, I think, and we all got cool foot lockers in our favorite colors. Mine was yellow, and I got a doll lamp to match; she wore a yellow dress, and the shade was like her parasol..she was so beautiful! I kept everything in that locker, I was so proud of it! After 30 years, Mom finally told me she had to toss it because it was so rusted!! I have an almost unnatural love of chests, boxes and containers; I wonder why...

I have a difficult time imagining what it's like to be a kid today, getting more toys than there is time to play with them; spending most of their time in front of the tv with video games; maybe not learning how to ride a bike or never building a fort! It makes me wonder who they'll grow up to be, will they appreciate those little things like lifesavers as we did?

Play time for us was spent in the neighborhood with all the kids, in the backyard and small wooded areas around the house and neighborhood, and in the basement with racetracks paper airplanes and hideouts! Building forts, making go-carts, pretending to be cowboys and indians, pirates and kings and princesses. A stick worked for a sword; the swing set was always home base; little army men, GI Joes and Barbies everywhere; a fire cracker was the most amazing thing; hide and seek was a ritual nearly every night in the summer; tents in the backyard, made from blankets hanging over a clothesline, (we could make a really long tent!) Winter was great! We would go through so many pairs of mittens and still want to go out again, that Mom had to put socks on us just so we would be dry! When we lived in New York, there was sledding at the park (which I think may have been a golf course!) My parents took us to Manhattan to see the big moving scenes in the Macy's window, and ice skating in Central Park. And although I'm too young to remember being on my Dad's shoulders, the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Much later, after we moved to Washington State, we would skate on the pond in the woods near our house, and for a few moments, I would become the Olympic hopeful!

My parents had incredible imaginations, and I think they knew how important it was for us to have our dreams, too!

We definitely had toys, and as far as I'm concerned, the late 60's and early 70's was the magic age of toys and playtime! Lawn darts, and bike ramps, burying things and rope swings, gyroscopes and litebrites, Holly Hobby ovens and shrinky dinks, Lincoln logs and erector sets! Riding your bike with the wind in your hair!!! Of course, a lot of them have been deemed too dangerous or socially incorrect now and everyone must wear a helmet now!

As you look back to your fondest memories, remember how much of a role your imagination played in your life and try to reach your children and grandchildren with something different this year. Yes, there will still be presents, and Santa and all that. But, what is that special thing you can share with your family that wont involve spending money!

Have you ever sat down with your child or grandchild and written a story? Now would be a great time!

My wish to you is that you receive from your children the kinds of things my Mom received from us...handwritten stories and illustrations; hand made Christmas ornaments; plaster plaques and yarn necklaces with acorns; decorated shoe boxes and sculptures made from masking tape and markers! To me, this would mean you have sparked their imaginations, you have stimulated their brains, and most of all, you have created a better person who gives from the heart!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Flattop Jones closeup...almost finished.
"The Rogue - Tribute to Chester Gould's Dick Tracy"

Chester Gould, author of possibly the greatest comic detective series of all time, is payed tribute here in my piece for the ASIFA comic book show "Tribute To The Golden Age Of Comics", on display at the Eyedrum Gallery in Atlanta until January 10th.

Dick Tracy was always in pursuit of a bad guy, but Flattop Jones was by far the most popular for fans and Gould himself. Flattop was hired to Kill Tracy, but after abducting him, became greedy and decided to extort his employers for more money, which gave Tracy the break needed to survive and eventually Jones was caught and went to prison. When he escaped, he became a member of Tracy's Rogues' Gallery, until he drowned while being pursued by the the famous detective. Flattop was mourned by the public as no enemy has ever been!

I hope my portrayal of the chase of Dick Tracy's ultimate Rogue, Flattop Jones, is worthy of Chester's approval. Gould apparently liked Flattop so much that he had a hard time killing off the character as he did his other criminals; so much so that numerous relatives of Flattop emerged just to keep the legacy going!

Title: The Rogue (Tribute to Chester Gould's Dick Tracy)
Media: Mixed media on wood; Wanted poster is acrylic on canvas.
Size: 2' x 4'

I hope you like it!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I'm in a frenzy trying to get projects done for a comic book show next week!

Here's one of my aceo's currently listed on ebay.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Practice..not for the weary

Here in Atlanta, there are a number of opportunities to practice figure drawing, including a fun session that involves tater tots and beer in a bar! -tater tots are free even!!! (for more info:

I started meeting a group every Thursday night at one of the colleges for some practice, because it has been 20 years since I actually had a live model to draw (in college). It's an intimate group and everyone knows each other and the models by now, and at $5.00 it's is a bargain to brush up on my skills. I am grateful to my friend, Kat, who is involved enough in the art scene downtown to inspire me to get off my butt and go to this group. It only took 2 years! (you have no idea!) Also, next month we'll be in a show for ASIFA "Tribute To The Golden Age Of Comics" that was pretty much her idea, too!

I'll admit, if you haven't ever had to draw a figure in 1 or 2 minute poses, it may be a bit intimidating at first (like all I could get was a leg, or quasi scribble or it was so out of proportion, I wanted to hide my page from the 'master' [I hate you] who was sitting next to me), but if you keep it up, you will find it liberating, and all of your skills will improve! Not only that, but getting out means another chance to talk to other artists..and that is the best kind of social networking!

I hope you like this pose I did tonight; this was a 10 minute pose, I think.

Also, thanks, Tim, for singlehandedly buying all of my art! He's currently the high bidder on Ebay! lqtm.




Sunday, November 9, 2008

More in the philosophy of fallen leaves

I have actually finished 3 paintings in 24 hours! Unbelievable!
Here's no. 3 for the Autumn theme-ish thingy
Not talking much lately...trying to get busy.

I'll write something in my head to post later. (As if you could tell)

Have a great evening.

A perfect pile of leaves...diversity in nature!

I was out on the deck, puppies sniffing around the yard, just checking out the beautiful fall day, and at my feet I spotted a perfect little pile of leaves. So naturally, I painted them!

I thought the wood would be much harder to paint, but since I've been working a bit with painting wood grains, the leaves turned out to be more of a challenge.

Medium: Watercolor on 140# stock
Size: 2.5" x 3.5"

There's so much diversity in nature. Hmmmm.
A great thing happened this week...

Change is good in leaves. Without it, we would miss so much of the beauty of our world with the constant reminders of the evolution of a season. The old leaves take their bow and proudly cascade down to make way for the new. Nature renews itself in a natural cycle, and the young buds appreciate the contribution that the old leaves made to the tree, but it is, after all, the most important task of the old leaves to retreat in order to fulfill the promises to their future generations of leaves. And, of course, we must remember that the cycle of the leaf is completely dependent upon the strength of the foundation that forges it's growth...good roots!

Ok, what I meant was, "YIPPEE!! OBAMA Won!!"

Friday, November 7, 2008

Yet another piece of art given away!

This one's called "Haunted Pumkin". I painted it for a swap. It's the October theme week "In the shadows" - Ebay ACEO Groups. This one's going to Italy. I hope I don't scare her..Do they carve pumpkins in Europe? Can anyone verify that there is more going on over besides the masquerades? (which are kinda creepy, right?)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Beautiful day to vote!

A picture perfect day in Georgia! A great day to vote!

It's a beautiful sunny 70 degree afternoon in our tiny north Atlanta suburb of Acworth. I took this photo around 2:15 pm today.

There was no wait at the Beachhouse (my local polling place), although waiting would have been a pleasure, since the view here is gorgeous!

I should have worn a bikini under my sweatshirt and transitioned to some sand afterwards!


Monday, November 3, 2008


Boy do these costumes fit the personality!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

So, they say cells have memory, so that's why when you lose weight you have a tendency to go back to that old weight, like your body wants to be there. So, why the frack don't they remember the skinny times?

Also, dogs like rabbit poo.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My City

Finally; a new painting!
Bill will be sad to see his ode pushed down the line..

I am working on two shows right now: The first is for ASIFA, "Tribute to the Golden Age of Comics" (visit for info). This piece is for the second show, which will be with my friend Kat Hagan, and some others, and it will likely be relating to the Earth and recycling, we're not quite sure yet. I'm really excited about this show not just for myself, but also because Eric is going to join in with some sculptures he's working on! What a great time in our lives for self-expression and exploration!! Our house feels like Kindergarten all the time!

"...using recycled paper and other media, I wanted to create a piece which shows the simultaneous love affair with the city versus the degradation and lack of appreciation for the Earth and the lessons that have come before us."

This will be a fun collection. The show may not be until February or March, so I have to wait to sell them. Bummer!

This next piece was created by my Mom and me while she was visiting last week. Doesn't she rock! I absolutely love it. I had prepared these canvases at the same time, so they look like they belong together! She did the collage work, though, I just aided with the background. Great Job, MOM! I wish this one was mine, too!


Monday, October 13, 2008

"Bill"; a nightmarish Halloween poem

It was going to be a dark and stormy night.

I was quickly running out of daylight.
I know I work better late
Even if eery things may seem to propagate

I was painting down in my studio
I picked a brush up from the floor
and noticed a very small jar by the door

I bent down to pick it up
to my surprise it was an ink cup

"Funny", I thought, as I scooted back to my desk
"I have never seen this before"

Strange as it was, I needed that cup,
I was working on a piece and ran out of black
"Such luck!"

Thoughtfully, I dipped my brush into the well
so velvety smooth it felt
it seemed to make the lines for me
my future was being dealt.

The piece was to be a house or graveyard of haunted souls
There would be some ghouls and goblins
for Halloween, I suppose.

But I hadn't put my ideas down; they were still faint
Yet the brush, it seemed to know what to paint
and the ink was the darkest dark I've seen
and in that darkest dark I saw
things I hadn't imagined before
Images of things coming to a door!

And then, not unlike before
I heard noises on my basement steps
I heard them come across the floor
I heard them just beyond the door

My dog came in and startled me
I laughed and thought of "Nevermore"

So, back to my drawing I went
eager to finish so I could post in my blog
the funny story of my startling dog

But the noise, I heard it again and again
while remarkable visions poured from my pen
I wanted to look up but wanted the thrill
so I continued to paint with my last will
Finally, it wrote to me some words
and stranger still when I read it aloud

It was from Bill (!)
commenting on my post from the night before

But the noises I found kept coming around
and finally to the corner I crept
where my trusty computer is kept
I discovered with my heart still pounding
it was an email alert softly resounding
to keep me in an endless loop of checking email even while I slept!

I whimpered awake from my nightmarish sleep
wiped the sweat and
trying not to make a peep
on this darkest of dark nights
I tiptoed down the hall
and into the office

Then, by the monitor lights
I checked my email and went back to bed
to dream up new blog posts in my head.

Turn off the fu@*ing news!

Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

Hello Everyone!

I am so freakin' sick of negative press! This will be my one and only chime in on this fu@*ed up subject!

I don't have to let other's opinion of the dismal economy affect my outlook. I found that I was so much happier when I wasn't watching the news telling me how to feel and act; once I started paying attention, I got depressed.

Turning off the news for a couple of days will improve your outlook on life!

We are drones living in a world waiting for ratings tramps to tell us how to behave, and this is exactly why we're in a crisis. We ran out of gas in Atlanta because people panicked...a result of the news telling us to panic!

Stop listening to all that crap about how it's so horrible out there, and tell people around you to kindly stop talking about it! IT'S SO NEGATIVE AND HARMFUL!


For God's Sake and Everyone, find something beautiful to talk about!

(Above, one right thing the news has done this week!)

I hope you all are doing well and selling your art!

Regards, Rebecca


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The newest things are the oldest things

Oh my god Disco is back!
Swing dancing is in!
Finally, a masquerade I can enjoy. u..uhh

R: Let's talk business!
What 3 things do you need to do to insure a loyal following and success?

C: Ooh, I know!
We'll give perks! Every customer gets a note pad!
R: naaaaa
C: Wait, We'll mail everything in hot pink baggies that are reusable!
C: Thumbs done free if you buy the other 8 fingers!
C: We'll acknowledge each customer by ringing the bell & shouting Riva!!
R: yea, no!
C: 10% off coupons for life!
R: mmm..
C; Ok, then, A punch card!! Buy 9 items, the 10th is free!!
R: SAME as Above!!

C: OK, I GIVE !! What is it that is so new and so fantastic? What important innovation do you employ that would put me out of business if I didn't?????!!!!

R: I always deliver the very best product I can, following up to make sure my customer is happy, and making myself available to talk personally to them if they need me!

C: WOW! That's genius-something I really can sink my teeth into!
R: Have a nice day!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Jury rigging. It's not just for lawyers!

How to build a transitional dirt cheap paint booth in about 30 minutes!

Eric built me a bookcase to paint. I bought an HVLP paint sprayer. Problem is he's a woodworker, so his man room, the garage, is always very dusty, even with his vacuum system. So, I thought I couldn't do any painting in there. After a month of frustration, numerous unsuccessful attempts at painting in the driveway because of the typical breezy afternoon in Atlanta, or the freakin' rain never letting up, it was time to build a paint booth. Plus, I'm painting cabinets for clients and furniture for my itty bitty retail venture down the street, so I really needed this thing!

I found a terrific Wiki entry on a first class poor man's paint booth with PVC for around $100, it said. I am an artist, so therefore, I take 2 courses of action based on that foundational fact. First, I'm poorer than most poor men, so I had to rig something up even cheaper than that of the Wiki entry.

Second, I'm creative with a small budget.

It's very shoddy, but hey, it works! Here's what I came up with.

Supplies needed and approximate cost:

One bag of 4mil plastic sheeting (about 25' x 8') found in the paint section at home depot $14.00
One drop cloth. $5.00
Duct tape (never a waste of money) $4.00
One bag of clothes pins $1.79
One cheapish air filter 20"x20" $4.00
One box fan $10.00 or free if you've already got one!
One garage door left open (comes with house)
A short ladder or your garbage can (free)

Total cost: ~$38.79

Cut out lengths of sheeting a little longer than the length from the garage door track to the floor.
You should be able to get 3.

Start pinning the sheeting around the garage door frame with the clothes pins, beginning at the center of the outside of the garage door. The plastic will wrap around the side of the booth and half way around the back, leaving another seam for exiting. You will not exit the booth to the outside, only to the inside of the garage. Repeat for the other side of the booth.

Tape the seam, then position your ladder or garbage can at the opening to the garage and place your fan on top to determine the positioning of the air filter, which will provide your ventilation system to the inside of the booth. Cut out a hole for the air filter. Tape it in the hole.

Position the fan in front of the air filter and turn on to a low setting blowing into the booth. This will not blow your paint around while you're spraying, it provides fresh air to the space.

Lay your drop cloth down in the booth and you're done.

Tip: Don't forget to pull everything down before you close the garage door!

Here's the original Wiki entry if you wanna build a nicer one!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Go commercial or keep it to yourself?

At some point in an artist's life, she has to decide if she is creating for her own private collection, or if she actually wants to earn a living at it. It is at this point where you have to make up your mind whether or not you will alter your own creative urges in order to satisfy a larger demographic.

I'm not saying you should sell out or abandon what it is that you do best (in your own opinion, anyway), I'm merely suggesting that with a little research, you may find unobjectionable alterations which will allow you to thrive as a quasi-ubiquitous artist. Then, with a little luck, perhaps that will finance your underground operations!

The other night, at a meeting at the Atlanta Artist's Center, Elsie, a 44-year veteran member discussed the arduous process of getting a book published. It was fascinating to see her driven spirit at 82! She told stories about pieces that didn't make it into the book and provided insight on how she chose what was relevant to the subject matter, even though it meant eliminating some of her favorites!

One of these was a beautiful landscape, set at water's edge in a wooded area of North Georgia. She encountered a future patron who said this was the exact place that her late husband used to hunt, and it carried sentimental value for her. She said she would purchase the painting when it was done if only there were a dog in the composition. Elsie painted a dog and sold the painting! Smart lady.

I'm not saying..., I'm just saying...!

By all means, do what you do best, but it's not 'selling out' to be willing to modify on occasion to suit your target audience.

Perhaps you may find a little niche that is not well represented and make something unforgettable that will fill a current demand trend (to finance your other work, naturally). Make a point to frequent home decor boutiques, design and furniture stores, restaurants and bars, even, to perform your research. You never know, this new observational practice could become the very process by which you find your greatest inspirations!

Marketing is important, and many of us fall short in this area. We know how to create, but we aren't always sure how to go about selling our work. If you're interested in learning about how to hone in on the right target audience and market your work, I recommend a couple of approaches.

First, get your name out there by networking on the web. A quick and easy way to get started is to create a blog and post your portfolio there, until you get your own site. Next, join online artist communities. It's a great way to showcase your work and be seen by others. This serves to familiarize yourself with what's going on in the art world, and it's a great networking tool for meeting other artists and getting critiqued. Finally, use your social networking sites, like Facebook, MySpace, etc, to your benefit. Find art galleries on one of these sites, for example, and add them to your friends list. Look at their friends, too. When they become your friend, they are more likely to see your work and want to show it! You'll be invited to their openings, too, so go and meet them in person!! Plus, others viewing their profiles may in turn see yours. You can post your latest show, or simply your latest painting on a bulletin board and begin the succession of followers.

Some helpful reading/workbook material may include the 2008 Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market, by Erica O'Connell. It's a great resource for the entree into the art world. It highlights successful practices from actual working artists, and it teaches you what magazines, galleries, ad agencies, etc are looking for and how to approach them. In addition, this book lists thousands of contacts nationwide for submitting your work! Also important is finding a way to stand out among many very fine candidates, and there are many ideas that you will employ to find favor in your prospective audience.

Now, more than ever, learning to disseminate information is key. The greater your audience, the more likely you will be to find success in selling your work!

Good luck in your pursuits this fall! Let's check in again, soon.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Road To Success..

An man was walking down the road when he met a guru.
Since these men are so wise, he thought he would ask the guru which way he should walk to find success.
The guru said, "The road to success is that way!"
So, on his way he went, in the direction the old sage led him. He traveled down the road a little way and "Splat!" He got the #*@$ kicked out of him. Hobbling back to the guru, he begged, "Why did you lead me down that road? I just got my a*# kicked. That surely can't be the way!! Which way is the road to success?"
The guru pointed in the same direction and said, "It is that way, for sure!"
So, the man went again down the road, and "SPLAT!" Again, He got the #*@$ kicked out of him.
This time, crawling back to the guru, crying, "Why did you send me down that road, I just got my a*# kicked again!" Pleading, he asked, "Please, tell me which way is the road to success?"
The guru pointed again in the same direction, "Success IS that way...just beyond the splat!"

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hmmmm, when you feel like garbage, trash it good!

I was feeling like garbage, a little under the weather....
Snap out of it! Throw those yucks away!
I painted a waste basket and got rid of them!!!
My little fleur de lis design on a crumbling fresco....

I feel much better now.

(What do I charge for this little baby?)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Turn bleek to chic

This fireplace was ordinary. Her designer told her so.

She said she had all this beautiful decor and color. Then, there was the fireplace. The dreaded sore thumb of white enamel, protruding into the space, adding nothing, taking it with it the ability to soothe the nerve and relax the spirit, especially on a cool winter day. Nothing cohesive about it.

Also, she's British, and she loves her tea. She loves her chair by the fireplace. Something was definitely missing..

She asked me to fix it, so I suggested a fauxstone look, only with a fine furniture twist. The look on this double high mantle is achieved using Fauxstone pull-off, then finished with a fine wax, and polished.

Alas, she can have her tea and feel the old world as she cozies up to her new fireplace!

Monday, July 28, 2008

More in the world of trompe l'oeil

Just finished another installment of the trompe l'oeil masters class...well, really, the final installment of the three classes is the master class. It takes place in France next summer. This was only part deux!!

I'm very fortunate to continue to meet with such excellent people in the world of decorative arts. I really feel my mural skills are growing daily and yet I'm so humbled to be in such amazing company as I have been these past few months.

We painted 2 murals in this class, plus the "peeling paint on wood grain". So, here are the samples resulting from the class.

This first is a French Renaissance inspired piece. Perhaps a client would have their initials or a family crest painted in the center.

Next, we fooled around with painting a wood grain with the effect of chipping paint on top. This wasn't actually part of the course, as woodgraining as a topic covers nine weeks!! Here we were just playing around.

And finally, a beautiful piece of Italian Renaissance inspired components; acanthus leaves on a carved palate surrounded by breaking stone or stucco...who knows.

This was another 8 hour per day, two week course with Michel Nadai of Atelier Nadai in France. We students were lucky to have Michel once again join the Finishing Source in Atlanta, who hosted the class.

Thank you Michel and Kyoko Nadai, who continue to strive for excellence in passing on this ancient art to the generations so it wont be lost!! And thanks to Bob and Caroline of The Finishing Source for hosting them!

Have a great week.
Never give up!

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Here's a sample mural, a fun miniature I did of a larger scale piece which I found in a book by Jacqueline Leleve.

Her book is a good resource for ornamental scroll work templates and this type of decorative piece incorporating plants, birds and insects.

This is a great scene for painted furniture, but I can imagine it on a wall, too.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Another wonderful client and homeowner, another kewl project completed....Another sigh of satisfaction!


Here is an example of a glazed finish called 'Old Leather'.
Very pretty..very romantic...and, as the husband pointed out, "Just what you want in a room with a toilet!" ROFL! ..Ok, well, women like it anyway.

Also, shown below, I had the pleasure of doing their master bathroom in Venetian plaster. Probably one of the prettiest color finishes I've done. The warm yellow sienna flavor really makes you feel good.

The ceiling is painted in Sherwin Williams 'Croissant'. I hand mixed the color for the walls, but if you want to try, I mixed the Venetian plaster topcoat sealer with Modern Masters tints; Ivory, Tuscan Sun, and Pebble Beach until I got the right shade, then I troweled the sealer on.
Don't mix more than 4 oz per gallon with any tinting per the guidelines. It's a really good idea to follow them, because any alterations may affect the manipulation of the finish and the curing!

Please don't attempt this if you haven't had the training...It's easy to ruin!! Let a professional help you. :) We like it when we get phone calls!

The result: Gorgeous!

Thanks C & D for letting me into your home and your life for a wee bit!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"How fairy tales begin in the future"

It would be nice if we could just unbox our dreams and get started with the perfect model, wouldn't it? You know, you have plans for the perfect thing, whatever it is, so you just draw it up and boom, you're up and running..happily ever after.

"You can't always get what you want", Mick Jagger said, "but, if you try sometimes, you get what you need!" The message I take from this is that I can have what I want, a version of it anyway, just as long as I try.

I'm trying, I'm really trying. I know that following your dreams is one thing, but when you're an artist in need of patron, you're really shooting for the moon! Nevertheless, I keep creating, every day.

What the heck, I've got 40 years to work on it, or more. Grandma moses didn't start painting until she was in her 70's or something crazy like that. The perfect example of a late bloomer...the perfect example of why YOU should never, ever give up!!!

I believe in myself. Do you?

Have a nice day! Go do something that makes you happy.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Oh look at the time...

Well, there's nothing like a Sunday for a day of reflection...
layin' low, watchin' a Eureka marathon on the Sci-Fi channel, eating pizza for lunch and breakfast for dinner...

A great day to draw, I say. Sunday's should be reserved for eating, fun, creativity, and a nap!

What have you done this week?

Me? Well, I got cooking on some jewelry I've been wanting to make. I worked a bit on the bag line, my brother's painting (which is in rev. 2), and this little Art Trading Card, a pencil drawing from my own photograph, "Time Watcher". It gets mailed off tomorrow to my swap partner.

Try giving away your art to a stranger; it's both liberating, and difficult. You can never be sure if it'll be enjoyed. But, I do enjoy creating them, and I enjoy the process of these swaps. You get the theme and you have to come up with something original. It forces me to draw and paint on a regular basis, which I need!! Also, I have an opportunity to create something that is completely me and unique that will be exposed to many people, and this inspires me!

This month's swap theme was "reflections". You know, It took me a month to consider fully the subject and come up with this piece, but that's why I do this: To force myself to be a part of a new process, a subject matter I didn't choose, but one that I take to my own place, and definitely make my own.

Your turn!!
Oh and Happy Mother's Day!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A decorator's dream!!

Goat-Cheese!!! (Translation: Gorgeous)

I have a wonderful client-couple up the road a piece. I just finished 2 rooms in their new home, under construction, but almost move-in ready!

This is one of several homes they've built, so they really have a good sense of what they want in a home! They want to come home each day to a place which gives them the feeling of being in some of the old homes and buildings of Europe. There's something so comfortable about the Italian countryside, for example, with it's beautiful sunset colors of yellow, orange, and deep woody browns...and also, you know, well used by generations!!!

Well, We're both very happy with the results.

The example above is of Venetian Plaster in a guest Bathroom. The client was asking for a more raw, stone like appearance than the typical smooth as silk of Venetian Plaster. It looks raw and stone like, but it's still smooth as a baby's b*#@!

Also, a master bedroom in a terrific base of yellow aged to a more subtle ochre. Gorgeous!!

This home is a reflection of our desire to reach back to the past and to take comfort in the feeling of living in history, instead of looking shiny and brand new!

They are not alone, and Tuscany certainly isn't the only influence in current home styles. There is also a resurgence in a variety of building styles that co-existed in the United States from the 1800's to the 1930's and beyond. Victorian, Federal, Queen Anne and finally, Arts and Crafts style, which was a pivotal architectural period in U.S. history, highlighting such icons as Frank Lloyd Wright in the early 20th century, are what builders are focusing as "current" trends. They realize that we want color and character in our living spaces, and finally, they're making some waves in construction.

I must say, what a beautiful project to be a part of, and a lovely couple to work for!!! Thanks, S and K!!

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mural painting: Trick the eye!!

Well, I've spent 2 challenging weeks honing my skills with a small group of decorative painters under the guidance of the Premier Craftsman of France, Michel Nadai...and what a time was had by all!!

This is a 4 part course, including the master course in France. The next 2 modules will be in July, here in Atlanta.

Michel accompanied by his wife, Kyoko, (who translates all of his lectures),
is truly a master craftsman and an amazing mentor, who can take a group of individuals, completely diverse in talents, and bring them all together, raising them up to new heights and certainly lifting their spirits. It is not enough to say that I was delighted by the experience, plus, we laughed our butts off every day!

That's me second from the right, next to Michel. We were 7 fabulous femmes fatales plus Michel's wife, Kyoko, (second from the left)...could be a harem in other environs. Let me also say that the other 6 were magnificent babes in their own right, and I am fortunate to know all of these consumate professionals. You go girls...Go put put on your big girl panties and take on the scaffolds of the world!

These are some examples of Trompe L'Oeil murals that I painted in the last 10 days. Remember, these are all paintings..If you're not sure what Trompe L'Oeil is, it means a painting whose purpose is to "trick the eye" and these are examples of things I might paint on a client's wall, perhaps in a dining room or on a column to add character and decoration, without actually adding molding. It's art for art's sake.

Molding and Ornamentation study. Monochromatic in blue. Medium: paint on a prepared surface, so, er, FLAT, right...yet, when I took a picture of the above, there appears to be a cast shadow off the flower pattern that is in the center panel. This is kind of creepy, because I didn't paint that shadow, and of course, being a flat canvas, could not be possible.

Whimsical broken column "after a party". Study of the golden mean as it applied to a column, a brilliant example of ancient greek architecture, light and shadow on a cylinder, and cast shadow of the ribbon.

Another monochromatic painting; molding and ornamentation in green, this time with a rosette of lotus leaves.

This was only the first module with this amazing teacher, and we are all so excited to meet him again in July.

It was an exhausting yet exhilarating couple of weeks, and I am even more excited than usual to go do something cool!!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Back in commission

I must confess, it's been a while since my last post.

So, my frequent rants have become a little infrequent...

I've been busy.


Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more...

maybe a little more..

Got some great clients, so I've been painting my arms off, and with barely a moment to breathe. Add to that the most wonderful past two weeks, studying under Michel Nadai, a member of the prestigious Salon, who carries the title of Premier Craftsman of France..yep, the whole country!

I am fortunate to be studying trompe l'oeil and ornamentation amidst the talents and creative energy of a very small group of people, so we are really feeling the treatment!

Life is good.

After I recover from the rush of March and April (over a few good cosmopolitans) this weekend, I will begin to look forward to some great fun in the coming months as new found friends in the mural business are lifting my spirits even further and truly taking me to new levels.

All I can say is, "Thank you!"

And, I'm officially removing starving from "starving artist". It's a bad rap. Let's be positive here. A note to all non-artists: The other day, our little study group of 'artists' were sitting around talking about our clients, and the most commonly and innocently asked question from them seems to be, "So, is this all you do?"

:) (yes)

I do live on commission. People ask me to make their home pretty, and, surprisingly, it's all I do. I've spent my whole life getting to this moment. And, yes, it's all I do! So, buy art, please. Support artists. Appreciate it's place in history, current events, pop culture.

It's time for a new renaissance....please. Try to understand that we are professionals; we work as hard as any other profession, and sometimes, we've even invested as much money in our education and continuing education as teachers, lawyers, pilots, doctors, engineers, etc.

Whoa Nelly. Wow, she's tall.

Now for some creative visualization. [Looking forward to the master class in France..Ah, du vin, du pain, et de petit boursin!]

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Poultry in the city

Today I went downtown with my friend, Elsie, to shop for fabric for the Spring purse line that Carolyn and I are designing.

As I pulled into a parking spot, I spied right in front of us the most incredible rooster I have ever seen in my life! I was not raised on a farm, so this would not take an incredible feat, I suppose, BUT you had to be there!! Maybe he was so striking because he was standing on blacktop, or because I didn't expect to see him in downtown ATLANTA, I don't know.

I stopped the car in it's tracks (probably blocking at least one car behind me temporarily) while, in utter amazement, I fiddled around for my camera to capture this unlikely specimen of beauty for posterity!

He looked as though he had just exited the nearest salon...He was magnificently coiffed! His coat was an artist's palette of colors resembling a fiery sunset over a wheat field with a storm front coming off in the distance! (Wow, the imagery!) I desperately wanted to touch his plumes, imagining them to be as soft as silk.

Well, after we babbled, chattered, giggled and snapped the camera in hysterics, I Eventually parked to the dismay of the guy who most recently showed up thinking I was leaving, and Elsie and I finally got out of the car.

As we headed toward the fabric store entrance, we found were not lonely observers. Indeed, another man was also gawking, completely compelled by the handsome parking lot monitor!

There we three stood, watching momentarily before moving along. In the final moment, as we looked back up at each other, a terrific smile appeared on our opposing faces; one of complete satiety.

All this in poultry!

Funny, this is not the first time I've experienced birds out of their element. The street where my parents live, where I lived during high school and a few misc. returns thereafter, also lived a peacock who strutted up and down the street on no particular schedule. Each time I saw him I just had to stare for a while, even though I was accustomed to him, because it's just not normal to have a peacock living on your street!! I never tired of looking at that amazing bird! I'm so glad I recalled that cool memory tonite!

You never know where you will find beauty, and the memories especially, serve as beautiful gifts, too, when they unexpectedly come to mind!

Remember, although this rooster may be a resident, some things just will never happen again, so appreciate every small wonder you encounter, and feed it, even, if you get a chance!


Sunday, March 9, 2008

New Fascinations Of The Easily Amused!

I have to warn you, there are a lot of tla's and fla's in this blog (three and four letter acronyms). lqtm.

So, I have this crazy new "little" obsession. Very little. It's ACEOs (art cards, editions and originals.) Originally known as ATCs, (art trading cards) these were very small works of art traded between artists only. A fond regard, if you will.

Just how small are they? 2.5" x 3.5" ! Just a tad bigger than a business card. In fact, it is likely that the painting you are viewing in this column is close to actual size, depending on your monitor!

Somewhere along the way, they became a public phenom, and there are literally thousands upon thousands of folks who collect them!

Well, obviously, I'm hooked on creating them. I usually do a small drawing or a simple paint rendering of all my work anyway, so I started doing this size specifically, so I can offer them as I would a large canvas! I also started doing them to get the ideas flowing!

Now, if you're an artist, beware, as it's an easy addiction. Carrying blanks around in your purse, or your man purse, European carryall or (whatever metro sexual term you want to use), waiting for the free moment to doodle could be a description of you in the near future!

If you're not an artist, you're just the person I'm looking for!! Rofl! (ok, now i'm just being silly)
You can find aceos on Etsy , Ebay, or the ACEO Website,

Also worth noting in a slightly larger way is the daily painters movement, a world-wide art movement of a very serious nature! A lot of the painters who are active in this movement are doing pieces measuring 4" x 6", also known as OSWOA (original small works of art). This is how they are able to produce a painting every day, and they're all priced under $300!

For me, these art movements are great news for the artist. We struggle. This is our true profession, but we most often have to have other jobs to survive. What other career requires you to have another career?

The important thing is that anyone can own art! Because of these smaller art forms, you can buy an original work of art or print edition for as low as $5.00! Art collecting will never be reserved for the wealthy again!

The best part is that when you buy a smaller piece, it's a little taste. You get to know an artist in a non-committal way, if you will. These smaller purchases create fans who buy the larger pieces that will, indeed, support us!!

So, do your part; create or buy art!

Things to Ponder

Don't pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches. -Andy Warhol

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
-Walt Disney
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