Saturday, October 30, 2010

Big 100- #2 of 15

Here is a man reading outside of the New York City Public Library.  :) I remember when I was in high school I saw that movie 12 Monkeys with Brad Pitt/Bruce Willis and I saw the NYC Public Library lion in the movie and I thought that the lion was so big and on guard.  The first time I went to NYC and I saw the lion, and he was so much smaller in person!  Still the lion is adorable- or should I say ferocious?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

5 Tips- Beginning Oil Painting

Last week I went over a simple supply list to get started with oil paints.  I thought this week I should go over a simple list to get started with those supplies.

1.  Fat versus Lean.  Mixing a paint with oil makes it fatter and mixing your paint with Turpenoid makes the paint leaner.  Leaner paint will dry quicker.  :)Number 1 rule in oil painting.
2.  If you make a mistake either scrap it with a palette knife or wipe it with a rag/towel with Turpenoid.
3.  Prep your surface before you paint.  Prep your surface with a coat of gesso or acrylic paint and then sand.  You will use less paint and it won't soak into the surface. 
4.  Try doing an underpainting- pick a neutral color (like a burnt umber) and do a light sketch of the values of the painting and let it dry completely.
5.  If you want to keep your brushes- clean your brushes.  Wipe the excess paint on news paper or some artists have a wipe canvas.  Use Turpenoid to get the excess paint out.  Wipe again and then clean with soap and water.

Big 100- #1 of 15

Well first of all- how am I going to do a painting a day? How?!
This is a man in China Town in New York City talking on his cell phone.  He was wearing one of those old fashioned 50's wedge cap like for a old fashion diner for a Chinese restaurant.  I also wanted to play with a more impressionistic take on the man with dabs of color with out blending.   I keep messing around with the glass behind him.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Big 100

On to working on my next project for the Christmas Season.  I am participating in the Big 100.  It's 100 artists doing 15 little paintings each and they will be framed and sold for a fixed price of $50.  I need to be doing a painting a day in order to complete my work in time. YIKES! Chris Haberman organizes this event every year and it will take place at the Goodfoot.

I am not a 100% of what I am going to do but I should get cracking! Like the pumpkin? Tim said it looked like a 2 year old carved it.  What's wrong with being a little festive?  :)  I love a scary pumpkin!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Facing Your Fears

It's finally done! I really struggled with this one.. From the guys bald spot to the different sources of light, and it's a lot darker then I typically paint  This piece is for the Launch Pad Gallery's show Facing your Fears.

I thought long and hard about what are my biggest fears.  I am a total wuss and afraid of a lot of things. I love to travel but I hate getting in planes.  I think the entire time about the plane crashing over the water because if you crash over water you are dead.  So maybe I am afraid of drowning? No I am afraid of crashing.. maybe I am afraid of burning.  Or am I just afraid of Death?

I am afraid all my teeth will fall out and I even just went to the dentist last week.  So am I afraid of my teeth falling out? Or afraid of the dentist? Or am I just afraid of bad news?

So I figured.. What do I do when I am facing my fears.  I pray :), I am not super religious, but have my own views with God and the Universe.  When visiting the old churches in Europe, I noticed how hard people pray, which is why this is a man praying in front of a saint in Saint Germain in Paris, France.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Motivation Monday- Lost at Sea

I spent the weekend at the beach.  There were thunderstorms all weekend which really freaked out my little dogs.  :)   I always feel like I am in a Ernest Hemingway novel out here.  I think it's the tall grass and the remoteness.

"From now on, I'll connect the dots my own way." Bill Watterson (The Calvin and Hobbes Guy)  After he stopped doing Calvin and Hobbes he would paint the same landscape everyday and burn it everyday.  

Lots of productivity thoughts to both of us this week! :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Already?

Do you ever have one of those weeks were everything your making doesn't turn out how you want it? Well I totally am having one of those weeks! I think I need a good nights sleep and I need to be drinking more water.

Here is what I did in drawing class.  We are working on little drawings, so we did a bunch today.  Here are mine :)

Have a super weekend and a fresh start tomorrow.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

5- tips on getting started with oil paints

I had quite a few people inquire about using oil paints when they came to visit my studio for Portland Open Studios, so I thought on Thursdays I would do some helpful tips on how to get started.  I have taken a couple of college classes in art but the majority of the information I have learned on my own.  Also these are just tips that work for me, there are a million ways to use oil paints. I know when I first started using oil paints I would go into the art store and see a lot of stuff and I was intimidated.  It took me awhile to figure out what to use and what works for a starting point. I will start with a supply list, oil paints are expensive so it's easier to buy gradually and then know what to upgrade later.

Top 5 supplies you need to get started.
1.  Turpenoid- used to thin out your oil paints and clean your brushes.  Also you can use Gamsol by Gambin.  You don't have to buy a huge container of it to start out with.  I still don't buy the huge containers, but the medium ones.
2.   Refined Linseed Oil or a Walnut Oil used to increase flow of your oil paints. There are a lot of different types of oil that you can use instead but linseed/walnut is just a good basic starting off point.
3.  Pack of Oil Paints- they have those starter packs at any art supply store.  I would suggest like a Winsor Newton starter pack because it's a little bit better quality of paints and they sell it at Michaels and you can use a 40% off coupon.  I think it's great to buy a really good quality of oil paints however when you are just starting out get a decent set not the most expensive set. Also oil paints last much much longer then acrylic paints.  A tube of oil can last me months.. like 6 months or longer.  I think I go through white paint maybe every 2-3 months and I buy the regular sized tubes of paint. :)Buy a starter set- it's the best bang for your buck.
4.  Brushes- I prefer a round synthetic 90 cent brush from my local art supply store, but the main thing is get brushes that the hair doesn't fall out of the brush.  I prefer a soft brush because I get a smooth finish but get whatever feels comfortable for you to play around with the paint with.  Also read the signs that say use with oil paint.  :)
5.  Little Plastic Cups- They are about a $1-2 dollars but plastic are fine to start out with but you can always upgrade to the metal cups later. This is to hold your linseed oil/turpenoid.  Some people use jars but I prefer the cups.

Good luck! Let me know if anyone has questions on supplies.  Don't be intimidated!. :)   

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Randall Tipton

So all my painting work that I did yesterday- I didn't like, so I erased it all about 9 pm last night.  I am so envious of people that can just make something amazing with out any effort.  I am a little worried because I am working on the piece for the Launch Pad Gallery's show Facing your Fears and it's due next week!  Hopefully I will be able to make some magic happen.

I got an awesome email from a fellow artist, Randall Tipton  whom I did a show with him several years ago and I am still a huge fan of his work.  Here are some of my favorite pieces.  

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fe Fi Fo Fum..

The weather has been so quirky here- summer we didn't get much sun which caused all of the gardens to not fully develop.  I personally kill plants but my parents have green thumbs :)  I love visiting their garden.  This is the only flower that somewhat blossomed in their garden and it's already mid October.

One of my new years resolutions for next year is try a little garden myself.  I am working on finding a support group.  :)  Hopefully I will have some art to show you tomorrow.  :)  If anyone has any pointers on how to be a good green thumb, I would love to hear some tips. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Motivation Monday: Inspiration

Did you have a good weekend? Mine was busy with Portland Open Studios and I still can't believe all the people who came out.  So thank you!  This week I am going to be concentrating on painting and projects for the holidays and I have decided to put some stuff up in my brand new etsy shop.  Check it out! :)  

I watched this documentary called Inspirations, and it's just how it sounds inspirational.  It's a documentary about 7 artists (David Bowie, Roy Lichtenstein, Dale Chihuly, Edouard Locke, Louise LeCavalier, and Nora Noranjo-Morse) and it chronicles their journey with creativity.   I love watching them describe their work and what motivates them.

I mainly wanted to watch the movie because of Lichtenstein and I have always loved his work.  The movie was made in 1997 and Lichtenstein died that same year.  

Here are some of my favorites. :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Blog Universe

Happy Friday! It was beautiful weather today and I had my Friday drawing class.  Some cute cows came and visited outside of the class. :) 
Here is my drawing- very Georgia O'keefe? Don't you think?  I struggled with the bones and we got in a huge discussion on what kind of animal it is.   Maybe Rudolph?  :)

This is the last weekend for Portland Open Studios, so if you are in the area come visit me. 

Have a good weekend! Creative thoughts out to the blog universe!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Top 5 Tips in finding time to be Creative

Before I quit my job- people would ask me, "How do you find the time to paint? Between work and coming home making dinner and relaxing.  I just don't have the time."  Well first of all my previous employment was pretty demanding during the busier parts of the year I was working 50-60 hour work weeks, and that was required.  This is just how I was able to find the time to paint every day and some tips that I discovered that worked for me.    

1.  How do I relax? Me personally one of my many addictions is television.  I love television.  Don't judge me!  :)  So I have my studio television on while I work.  I watch movies.. documentaries.. I have instant watch from Netflix hooked up.  Documentaries are educational right?
2.  How do I find time to hang out with my husband and be creative?  Tim also has his own side work that he is passionate about.  He makes iphone apps on the side.  We do dinner, take care of the dogs- and by 6 we are back at work.  When 930 rolls around, that's our time were we have wine, watch something and cuddle up on the couch with the dogs.
3.  Consciously saying to yourself that you are making it a priority.  Doing my art is what I do for myself.  So I did something about it.
4.  Think of a project or a goal.  Isn't work easier with a deadline? Probably because there is a beginning, middle, and an end.  My very first project when I wanted to start showing my work- was that I needed to have enough work for last Thursday on Alberta.  Last Thursday in the summer time, artists set up on the street and there is no charge.   
5.  Find a creative group.  2 years ago I found a small group that was reading "The Artist Way."  and to this day almost every Saturday we still meet up for coffee.  We talk about our creative week and we always say it's our weekly therapy session.  A great recourse to finding a group in your area is meetups.          

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Portland Tarot Art Show

Here is my painting for the Portland Tarot Art Show.  I am actually surprised at how fast I painted this.

My card is the Queen of Cups and this is a person I saw at a Starbucks whom I knew was the queen of cups.  I think she was falling asleep while reading.  I wasn't sure if I should add the Starbucks logo to the cup but Tim said no because it's tacky and I shouldn't be promoting Starbucks.  Think I should add it?

Oil on wood 20x20.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Yah for getting stuff done!

So I was totally inspired today and I didn't do anything I was supposed to do.  It was the weirdest thing because I jumped out of bed early and went and stayed in my studio all day.  I should have the pic up tomorrow of the painting I finished which I am in love with.

It's beautiful Fall here :)  Here are some pics from Sauvie's Island- such a magical place.  Sauvie's has nude beaches to cornmazes. 


Monday, October 11, 2010

Motivation Monday- All about Randy

Did you have a good weekend?

:) I had a great time with Portland Open Studios and I was shocked that people actually came all the way out to my studio to see me. People had me sign their Portland Open Studio calender which made me feel slightly famous.

Randy Pausch was a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon and he gave a lecture called "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" or sometimes called the "Last Lecture." Basically this lecture is about how Randy achieved all his childhood dreams and the advise that he learned a long the way.

It's pretty rare when you get good solid advice, maybe even bits of pieces that really make you think and maybe even be a little different.  One of the more interesting things that Randy brings up is the "brick wall".  His view on the brick wall is that it is designed to stop the people who don't want it badly enough.  Being a professional full time artist is tough, and probably one of the hardest decisions of my life because it wasn't an easy choice leaving a 401k, paid 4 week vacation, and of course steady income.  I am still working on climbing over my brick wall.

Watch the lecture! it might change your life a little and hopefully inspire you a little.

PS be prepared with tissues.  Tear jerk-er at the end.  I am not spoiling it for you.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hello Weekend!

My studio is clean and snacks are bought for Portland Open Studios.  I am excited and nervous since it's the first time I have invited people over to come and see my studio.

Here is my drawing from my drawing class today.  Oh how I love shoes- shoes are one my more favorite things to draw/paint for still life.  What girl doesn't love a good shoe?

Have a creative weekend! :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010


So I am super excited to announce- we have decided to plan a trip for Burningman 2011.  I have heard about Burningman for years but I was always under the impression it was a bit too earthy for me and you have to essentially plan months in an advance for 1 week in the desert. 

The idea is that the community builds a city, leave no trace, and it's a barter system for majority of the goods.  This year I had a few friends that went and I was blown away by the pictures of the art and the over all adventure. 

 To check out some of the amazing art click here

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

10X10 Show

Just finished this painting today- it's 10x10 inches with oil paint for the 10X10 show for Art Media.  Homeless person sleeping on a bench in New York City's Bryant Park.  He was shaven and his stuff was really organized.

I wonder what kind of life he has.  It's not titled yet- if anyone has ideas let me know!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

10,000 hour rule

Practice makes perfect!  Anytime I hear this phrase I think about my mother making me practice the piano as a kid and she would set a little timer to make sure I got my full hour of practicing time in.  Little did she know I would sneak into the kitchen were the timer was and I would take off about 30 minutes. :)  

I 'm reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and in order to become an expert in a field you need roughly 10,000 hours of practice which equates to bout 10 years.  I think I played the piano about 7-8 years and I was never very good at it, because I never really wanted to be and I never put in the time to practice. 

Painting and drawing on the other hand, I was all about.  My mother would give me money for an after school snack and I would just use the money to buy art supplies.  I remember that I asked my mother if I could take an art class and my mother told me "No, you are just going to quit like you quit ballet."  I think I lasted 1 month in ballet when the teacher put me in the back of the class. 

I wonder how close or far I am to my 10,000 hours. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Motivation Monday- Your Shoe is My Shoe

Did Monday just zip by? I have been spackeling/painting and getting everything ready for Portland Open Studios this next weekend.  So wish me a little luck.

I wanted to share something with you that when I get a little down I read this letter and it's hanging up in my studio.

The Museum of Modern Art
New York 19
11 West 53rd Street
The Museum Collections
October 18, 1956
Dear Mr. Warhol:

Last week our Committee on the Museum Collections held its first meeting of the fall season and had a chance to study your  drawing entitled Shoe which you so generously offered as a gift to the Museum.

I regret that I must report to you that the Committee decided, after careful consideration, that they ought not to accept it for our Collection.
Let me explain that because of our severely limited gallery and storage space we must turn down many gifts offered, since we feel it is not fair to accept as a gift a work which may be shown only infrequently.

Nevertheless, the Committee has asked me to pass on to you their thanks for your generous expression of interest in our Collection.

                                                                                     Alfred H Barr, JR.
                                                                                     Director of the Museum Collections

Mr. Andy Warhol
242 Lexington Avenue
New York, New York

P.S.The drawing may be picked up from the Museum at your convenience.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


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Friday, October 1, 2010

Happy Friday

I have decided to sign up for a drawing class, because I just feel like I needed to really push myself.  I have tried taking art classes before but I felt like by the 2nd class I wasn't really motivated and I wasn't really learning anything.  Maybe it's because I have a problem with authority.  :)

So far I have made it past the 2nd class and I really enjoy the teacher, Una Kim, because she is educated but is really funny and I feel like I have learned something.  Here is what I made today in class and drawing has high hopes for being put on the fridge.

Have a super duper weekend! Anyone doing anything exciting? I am hitting the art show circuit tonight with some of my lady friends for First Friday.