My name is Erika. I'm in love with making art, collecting old things & chasing after my two kiddos. This blog is a peek into my happy accidents & plots of total world domination.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Flesh Tones Take 2

Here is another practice.

Another new combo for the flesh tones to add to the list on the previous post.

cad red/yellow ocher/white- touch of ult blue or touch of naples yellow.
Last night I had a dream that I wasn't painting fast enough. At around 1:00 am- I woke up and every time I closed my eyes I could see myself painting and the brush strokes were making me motion sick. Who knew you could have bad dreams about painting?

Today only drawing :)
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Art Race

Art Race is a show that tracks two artists that cross America in 40 days and they only have their art to survive on. They have to sell, barter, trade their art for food, travel, and lodging. :) Sounds amazing but stress-full.
Ben Sargent a sculpture from Brooklyn, NY and Kenny Harris a classically trained artist from Los Angeles. Whomever makes the most money from the journey wins and loser has to give their money to the winner. I won't tell you who wins, but I was a little surprised.
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Monday, August 30, 2010


It feels like fall today. Maybe almost Halloween?
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What I Know about Success

Happy Monday!

Here is a little inspiration and motivation to start the week.
I am reading the book, What I Know About Success- Letters from Extraordinary Women to Their Younger Selves. This one is from Barbara Walters to herself. :)
Dear Barbara,

Here is the truth. Here is the secret to success. If you follow your bliss, if you do what you love, you will be successful, at least in your own terms. And your own terms are important.
Arrive early to work and stay late.
Don't whine.
Don't blame others.
Compliment whenever possible. Fight the big fights only.
Remember that the person you are putting down today may be your boss tomorrow.
Remember, too, that there is a difference between job and a career, and a career often means sacrifices.
Have a private life. Cherish your friends, especially the ones who you know will cherish you even if, or when, you are no longer a success.
Failure, if you learn from it, can lead to success.
Success is wonderful. But read the above again. It isn't everything.
It can not be sad enough, follow your bliss.

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Naughty Nun

More practicing.... practice practice practice................

I don't know why but I love painting nuns. I took a bunch of photos for reference when I was in Italy of nuns and priests. I just think that it's so unusual know a days of people just giving up everything and devoting themselves to faith.. especially conservative faith.. when you don't have it give it all up for faith..

My feet and hands need work. :)
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Andy Warhol's Factory People

I just finished re-watching the mini series documentary Andy Warhol's Factory People. Andy Warhol took over an abandoned building in the 60's and created a haven for artists to create or not create. The point was just to have a space and be free to make whatever you want.
The documentary also highlights all the different wild and free people with in the factory and it makes me feel a little normal. :)

"An artist is somebody who produces things that people don't need to have." - Andy Warhol
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Attack of the Birds! - PDX Correspondence-

Happy Friday!

Better late then never! I finally am wrapping up my pdx correspondence art mail. I decided to do cut out little birds and put them in the envelope. I have mail going to Japan, Portland, Washington, Salem. Do you think 2 stamps will make it to Japan? I have those forever stamps with no dollar amount on them.

I made the birds with oil paint and paper. I also made these awesome envelopes with these new oil pens from DecoColor. I thought they would be a little bit more like a painting pen but they are marker with a little bit more of a glossy finish.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Goggle Girl

So I think my people faces look a little mischievous? Here is my favorite from yesterday.

Did I mention I have no idea what I am doing? I've read a few books on portraits.. watched videos.. but I think I enjoy painting the most when I am not thinking about all of the rules.

Someone once told me you have to know the art rules before you can break them, but if I have to be more conscious about remembering the rules in order to use them- so where does that leave me?

Tips on Curating an Art Show

This is my first time curating a show- Portland Tarot Art Show and thankfully I have a team of girls helping me. We are in the phase that all the artists have been picked and they each have their card. There are over 110 artists participating in the event. Crazy!I am in charge of the artist wrangling and all of the organizational details. I never thought that all of my spreadsheet skills and business problem solving skills would honestly be so useful.Here is a list of things that I learned so far.

1. Get a Calender going- Deadlines. Agenda- I am not in charge of this one- but I have my list of dates and when things are do and when we need to get them done.

2. Get multiple Spreadsheets going- keeping tracking of your artists/vendors/venue.

3. Set up a separate email address for the show- and make everyone that has a question or needs something- email the box. This is key because then everything is in there and you don't have to worry about losing something. We set up a free account on gmail.

4. A list of guidelines/rules for the artists- I would say about 20% of the artists participating ask for an exception on something. And it's ok to say no. :)

5. If you have multiple people working on a project- have one person be the point of contact for an action item. For example 1 person is primary contact with the venue or 1 person is the primary point of contact for the artists. This is the best to eliminate confusion with any of the details.

The show isn't until November and I haven't even started on my piece.
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Top 45 Art Therapy Blog Awards

Who knew I was artistically therapeutic? I always considered myself a little over detailed and always searching to grow and be the best person I can be with living life to the fullest. Wow, I sound like a after school special. Do they still have after school specials? Now I feel old.
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Flesh Tones

OK I am obsessed. I have been exploring flesh tones in my studio. Tim came up to my studio and looked at me like a crazy person for having people's faces all over the place with photos/magazines/sketches. My studio is a disaster zone... again.
I've also been playing around with different color mixing recipes. It's funny how some use more paint and others use less.
burnt sienna/raw sienna/a light green/ with raw umber to darken - for the shadow
white/yellow ocher/ cadmium red - for the non shadow
cadmium red/burnt sienna - for the lips/cheeks/ warms
burnt sienna/cobalt blue- for the dark features
burnt sienna to outline the face
Cadmium Red/Raw Sienna/Yellow Ocher/Burnt Umber/Black - using different combos for all ranges of the face

Mix Cadmium Red and Cadmium Yellow. Touch of Ultramarine Blue. Then have white next to the pile of paint and slowly add the white until a good flesh tone has been achieved. Burnt umber to Darken

Burnt Umber for the underpainting. White/Yellow Ocher/Cadmium Red for the Fleshtone. White to lighten/ Burnt umber to Darken.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

All about the Face!

Consumed: 1 bagel/light cream cheese, tomato soup, spinach salad, chicken --somewhat healthy :) so proud.
Practicing painting faces this week. I have some figurative/portrait painting I am planning on working on soon. :)

I can't believe summer is almost over! My favorite time of year for landscape painting is fall. :)
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Monday, August 23, 2010

Art of the Steal

Consumed: 3 chocolate donuts - I was recovering from the weekend :). 1 starbucks, spinach salad.
The bachlorette party was soo much fun! We even found some guidos for the bride to dance with. My bump it did not work, however the bronzer was the key.
I watched this fantastic documentary during my recovery called the Art of the Steal which is about Dr. Barnes collection of modern and post impressionistic work. It was pretty interesting how Dr. Barnes try to preserve his collection beyond his death.
Happy Monday :) !

Friday, August 20, 2010

Let the fist pumping begin!

Consumed: 1 starbucks, 3 cups of coffee- home, tomato soup, grilled cheese, peanut curry chicken with brown rice. Only a slight over dose on caffeine.Woohoo! I finished this painting this week. I am getting a group of my paintings ready for Portland Open Studios. Portland Open Studios is a juried event were 100 artists open their studios for 2 weekends October. I am actually a little nervous about people coming to my studio.
Bachelorette Party this weekend and it's Jersey Shore Themed. :) Someone is making t-shirts with our Jersey name. I haven't seen the shirts yet! I have however thought of my Jersey name possibilities- would be E-dawg, E-monay, E-bomb, and maybe Easy-E. I have also come up with checklist to Guidette yourself.
1. Bump It. - I got mine for 5.99 at Wallgreens
2. Spray Tan
3. Fake Eyelashes
4. Short Shorts
5. Bear Claw like nails.

Have a good weekend! Yes I have been practicing my fist pump.
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Thursday, August 19, 2010


Consumed: 2 starbucks, tomato soup, toast, creamy herbed brie, salami, strawberries, spaghetti
My friend Anna Magruder :), she paints primarily portraits, but abstracts different parts of the features. After gesso, she typically does a base coat of a cad red. Aren't they fantastic? Don't you love the big Cheez its box by my head? Cheez it's are pure evil. :( I can down a whole box.
I am still working on that 3'X3' painting.. crossing my fingers it will be done tomorrow. I typically sit with a painting for a little while to make sure it has enough balance and it makes sense.. well at least to me.
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday Hump Day

Consumed: 1 starbucks, 1 diet coke, grilled cheese, taco salad, lime chips, guacamole :) MMM Mexican food is the best when it's hot outside.

I rounded up some of the books that I have read over the last year or so before deciding to make the career change. Anytime I want to learn something, I just get a book... Fine, I am geek like that :). They are all good books but my favorites would be Starving to Successful, Breaking into the Artworld, and the ever classic Taking the Leap. All 3 books are quick, easy reads, with the authors offering honest advise.
I am almost done with a large 3'X3' painting. Woohoo! I have been working on it... which feels like forever... well maybe weeks. Hopefully I will have a pic up tomorrow.
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Consumed: 1 starbucks, half a cheddar cheese sandwich, strawberries, 1 five guy bacon cheese burger, 1 order of Cajun french fries, 1 diet coke- :( the burger was not my fault- Tim made me .. I am going to be healthy the rest of the week I promise!
It is sooo HOT here! I am practically melting in my studio since our AC is broken. I think i figured out who broke it... my 2 little angels. I think Yoda (black pug) looks guiltier then Winston (fawn pug). Here they are fighting over a pair of socks.

Recently I found out an artist that I admire Kelly Neidig is battling with lyme disease. She started a blog Art and Lyme to document her journey. Here is the painting I bought from her a few years ago, which I love. Get well soon! Also! I was interviewed for a woman's life and style magazine,

Monday, August 16, 2010

Eat Pray Love

Consumed: 1 movie theater large diet coke, sushi!- Las Vegas roll and California Roll , miso soup, Caresse salad, popcorn, crunchy tacos.Tim and I had a lunch date yesterday and saw Eat Pray Love with Julia Roberts. The movie was good but the book was even better. Tim said he almost fell asleep 2 times, but he was such a good sport. I already know he is going to drag me to that new Facebook movie. Would I watch it again? Rentable :) but I still love Julia.
The movie did get us talking about where we are going to get away next. Tim is having his big 3-0 this December and he wants to get away but I don't think we want to cross an ocean. We were thinking maybe New Orleans for 3-4 days then hop over to Vegas for 3-4 days. Never been to New Orleans- it has me thinking about gumbo.. jambalaya, corn bread.. scary tours... Don't they have crocodile parks? Where they do tricks?
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Friday, August 13, 2010

Portland Tarot Art Show

So guess what? I am curating a show with 3 other lovely ladies, this is my first time curating anything. There are over 100 artists participating- so I know they say start small but it just grew into something large. Over the coming weeks I am going to document the process and I know I am going to learn a lot and hopefully I can share what I learn. My biggest strength is that I am slightly "detail orientated" :) if you know me I am totally neurotic with details.

The show is called the Portland Tarot Art Show and its going to be hung at Splendorporium. Every artist picks a card and they do their interpretation of the card. We do have a blog up, and will be highlighting the artists as it gets closer to the show. Wish me luck! Also I would love to hear any pointers or tips for curating a show.
Guess what else I got! I got a bump it today. :) My friend is having a bachelorette party coming up and we are all wearing them. Awesome.. I know.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

You better work!

Consumed: 1 starbuck, 1 diet coke, 1 beer, Granola, Cesar salad, fondue, German sausage and sauerkraut (we went to happy hour woohoo)
Work of Art season finale was on last night and I totally called it from episode 1- the winner Abdi Farah. Bravo is starting to cast for the next season. Tim thinks I should apply, but I would totally be the one that cries on tv and has some big emotional break down. I'm sensitive. :)

Project Runway just started, which I love love love. I don't have any predictions yet, but I always have to cheer for the Portland people- which was episode 1 challenge winner, Gretchen. I have to admit the show made me want to buy Michael Kor designs, which I added one of his handbags to my permanent collection.
I used to sew a lot of my cloths in high-school even though I couldn't sew a straight line but I can sew a zipper. I did recently buy a sewing machine from an estate auction. Maybe some sewing is my future?
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Alice Neel

Consumed: 1 starbucks, 2 cups of coffee home, turkey sandwich with dill Havarti, spinach/fontina chicken sausage, sauteed spinach, side salad with this awesome thai peanut salad dressing.
I just watched this fabulous documentary on Alice Neel whom was an American portrait artist and many renowned artists attribute her portraits for inspiration. After watching the documentary, I thought she was sassy and wore her personality and honesty on her sleeve. The movie is on instant watch on Netflix:) So good! I'm slaving away in the studio this week and it's almost fall! Can you believe summer is almost over.

© Erika Lee Sears