Thursday, June 30, 2011

And the Radio

I finished working on this vintage radio painting yesterday and I just love it! I found the vintage radio at an estate sale, where I dug around and found it in the attic. I think I got it for a couple of bucks and I am still mesmerized by the turquoise color of the 60's. So far this summer I can't seem to get enough of estate sales.  If I see a sign I have to immediate make an emergency 9-1-1 stop! and have a look around.  I think it might be the adrenaline rush of finding the perfect vintage treasure. 
I always paint a little bit of still life when I need to mix things up in my work.  I am also still not painting in my studio but painting in my kitchen...  Maybe it's a sign of change?  I am thinking my studio might need a complete makeover!   I have started making my list of diy projects for me to tackle or should I say transform my studio- more on that soon.  I'm adding it to my summer goal list.  How is your Thursday going? I still can't believe it's the last day of June!

PS- If you want to see some of the steps of the radio painting click here.  It's an oil painting on wood just in case you are curious.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gold. Girls Guns.Inspiration

I am just about to start working on a painting for the Portland Gun Show (an art show not a real gun show) at the Globe Gallery.  I am a little behind on my painting since I have so many events coming up and I am getting ready to relaunch my etsy shop since it has been empty for what seems like forever!  I am thinking about doing something a little bit different for this painting and I wanted to share my inspiration board for the painting before I start :).

This song by Metric was my main starting point for inspiration in thinking about this painting.  I just love the song! I am not a huge fan of guns- I don't think I have ever even held a gun but I love the idea of 1960's campy western meets 1970's gold glam.  I only have a couple days to make it and now I just need the painting comes through the canvas.!

"Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it. " Michaelangelo

PS I have a special surprise coming soon- I just have to finish editing the video. Nope no sneaky peaks on this project! :)  

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Life in Instagram!

I have been using Instagram for about 7-8 months and I still can't get enough! .. It's kinda addicting.  Instagram is photosharing via your phone and you can use one of their photo editing filters on the pic.  It's soo interesting just looking at the little glimpses into life.- I limited my collage to only 1 puggy picture. :).. since I have about a million.. It's been with me to so many places and catching the cutest little furry faces.  Also for the record I created the coffee creamer tower of power- not my husband.  He doesn't have the balancing skills like me.

Are you using Instagram? Let's link up!  Just search for my name Erika Lee Sears!

Monday, June 27, 2011


My weekend was sort of a magical one :).  My husband and I have decided to dedicate Sunday as our day because we are both slightly obsessive compulsive mixed with workaholic tendencies.  So Sunday gives us our chance to turn off the cell phones and computer for a day. We both are extremely dedicated to our work.. my art and his i-phone development projects that our days together get sucked away to work.  We both love to work but this is maybe the third summer in a row that we have looked at it each other and said- We are really going to enjoy this summer and do things!
It also had me thinking how often do we just pause from life? I know that when I worked in finance that there was a lot of talk about work/life balance and that my work/life balance was all over the place because I used to put in 50 hours at the bank and then work late on my artwork and artshows and before I knew it was back at Monday and I started the process all over again.  I thought when I quit my day job that I would have more time to work on my art and then my husband and I would have more of a work/life balance.  I know work/life balance is an interesting concept because its never really 50/50 and I don't need it to be 50/50.. I would be happy with 80/20 :) So Sunday is our day off together.!
We took a little day trip up to Saddle Mountain.  It's supposed to be that when you look at the creases of the mountain its supposed to resemble a saddle.  I think it looks a little like a grumpy frown face. What do you think?
I was pretty impressed with myself that I huffed and puffed myself all my way to the top.  It was a pretty steep climb! Once you get to the top on one side you can see the ocean and on the other side you can see views of Mt Hood and St Helens (St Helens is an active volcano. In 1980 it blew and 2005 it puffed some smoke again.  My parents told me in the 1980 eruption that they had ashes raining on their house in Portland.)  Then! We decided to take the 20 minute drive to the beach.
We rewarded ourselves with chowder, calamari and beer.  Also part of the reward was salt water taffy.. I took a quick picture before I gobbled them all up. I know pig pig.. but its SOO good!
 Then we took a walk on the beach and I dug my feet in the warm sand. Yes warm- which is sooo rare here!  :) Creative thoughts your way this week!

Friday, June 24, 2011

What are you up to this weekend?

Hello! We finally have gotten some decent weather and we trying to figure out what adventure we want to do over the weekend. I always love to put it as an adventure- it makes even the little things exciting.  I am thinking maybe going to hike up by this lake about 45 minutes from town and it so happens to be right next to a wine vineyard or two.  I only know 2 things about wine.  1.  I like to drink it. 2. Even fancy wine can have a screw top... I was a little surprised at this but it's true.   What are up to this weekend? 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Painting in progress :)

 I often forget to take pictures as I am painting but I really want to be better at it. In case you didn't know I am completely in love with oil painting and I just can't get enough of it.  I love the smell. the texture. how simple it is and how complex it is.  Leonardo Divinci.. of course is a genius- he was probably more well known is his day for his inventions then his paintings. A while back I went to the traveling Divinci show- which had a lot of the mock ups of his inventions- like his scuba gear, his different designs for airplanes, his journals, and different analysis of his paintings. I think what I found the most interesting is that he never finished the Mona Lisa and he just kept changing it over and over and over trying to make it perfect. If you look at the hands- one of the hands is unfinished.  Well hands are hard to paint perfect. :) It was also said that he always kept the Mona Lisa with him and was there at his death bed.  I was actually really surprised how vibrant it was when I went and saw it Paris.  I love how me and Leonardo are maybe chasing something special in oil painting. :) Yes I just compared myself to a genius.
One of my big goals this year is to be braver and too show more works in progress- even if I think it's in the ugly stage.  (the ugly stage is a long stage) 
I haven't been painting in my studio but in the dining room because I needed to change it up, but I did have a guard dog and foot warmer.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Paint Your Art Out- Portland Call to Artists

I am organizing an art show in August with my good friend Anna.  The show is organized in conjunction with the group Siren Nation!  Only Portland area artists because it's a one night only show. :)  I am so lucky to be apart of this event because Siren Nation is a nonprofit devoted to inspiring women in the arts.  Siren Nation has been going strong for several years and they really let Anna and I plan and do lots of fun things for this event.
Paint Your Art Out is Siren Nation’s annual celebration of visual art, including live painting demos, art auction and a showcase of art by Northwest artists. Other activities may include performance art, audience participation art, live music, DJ’s, food, or whatever outrageous ideas strike our creative fancy. Immerse yourself in art, get inspired and celebrate the spirit of creativity.

 Call to Artists:  Paint your art out is a 1 night only juried art event and it's set for August 18th.  We are looking for 2D art work and all art work is priced at $100 dollars or less and can be any size.  The commission split is 70 percent to the artist and 30 percent goes to Siren Nation. The artist may choose to donate more since Siren Nation is a non profit.  We will accept up to 3 pieces of work per artist for the show.  If you are interested in participating please email me and include a link to your art work.  We don't need to see what you will be putting into the show but just an idea of your body of work.  Deadline for the call to artist is July 29th.  Acceptance email will be sent out August 5th.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Vintage Here and Vintage There.

My parents have decided to sell their home that they have lived in for over 25 years.  I remember when they built it and I even had my wedding there. :) For the first time ever my parents have decided to clear out the clutter and go through their treasures.  I don't know if you remember Beta VCR? My parents bought Beta instead of VHS because it was better quality and it would last longer. They still have it.  So my parents save everything! and I even remember when my mother told me that CDs were just a fad.  I wanted to share with you some of my latest inheritance.
I don't agree with new fur at all! I love my furry friends. I am ok with vintage fur hand me down pieces. (this one is rabbit).   This piece is my mother's from the 60's.  One of my favorite stories of my mother is that she was on the spanish tv version of American Bandstand.  She was one of the go-go dancers and would wear this piece out and about to all the dance clubs and performances.  She told me the fur went perfectly with her platinum blond beehive.  I think it's perfect for a little dinner date with my husband.
It's a 1960's picnic set in a aluminum suitcase that turns into a short table. :) It's missing the thermoses- I think my dad most have used the thermoses a bunch and must have lost them in a lake- he is an avid fisherman.  I vaguely remember the checkered thermoses and they were always filled with hot chocolate! Hot chocolate was my special treat to go fishing because we had to go fishing before the fish woke up, which meant waking up at 4 or 5 AM. 
The top is a broach and the bottom a hat pin.  The hat pin looks a little dangerous- don't you think? This jewelry I think is from my great-grandmother Della, whom loved her jewelry.  She passed away when I was a little girl but other than loving her jewelry.. she loved chocolate! We would always bring her a big box of chocolates and we would always sit and eat the box together.
PS  My dogs insisted on getting in the photos.  They like to give me little snuffs of love on my ankles.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Book of Awesome

Have you read this book? The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha.  It's 1000 things of all the little things in life that are typically free but are AWESOME! I know that life isn't always easy but isn't life  about the little victories? I just love a book that makes you feel good and that comes from an honest place.  Here are some of my favorite awesome tidbits from the book with my own twist on why I think they they are awesome.

Old, dangerous playground equipment.  I think just seeing old playground equipment it immediately transports you back to a time of fun.  My favorite was the monkey bars and flipping upside down and the climbing on top of the bars and dangling my legs.
The other side of the pillow. I thought I was the only who loved this.  Especially on warm mornings and you flip over the pillow and have the cool side. The only down side is once you flip it and enjoy the cool side- you can't keep flipping the pillow.
Bakery Air.  Divine. My favorite is a cake shop or a donut shop.
Having a whole row to yourself on the airplane.  Even if it's a short flight, but even more awesome on a long flight.. Having the whole row to yourself is as good as it gets.  I would also debate that it's equally as awesome when you get your own tv for your seat with a ton of movies.
Nailing a parallel parking attempt on the first try.  My driving skills have gotten better over the years but I am assuming that is with experience. :) Even more awesome when it's a tight squeeze.
The smell and sound of a campfire.  I am imagining those crinkle, crackles, and snaps of the fire.  I also love how the fire smell stays in your hair and you can still smell it.
High Fiving Babies Even though highfives are soo 1995. High Fives are so back and it never gets old when a baby does it.
The perfect Nacho off someone elses plate.  I think this one goes hand and hand with the perfect slice of pizza out of the pie.
Laughing so hard, you make no sound at all.  How rare is that you laugh so hard it hurts? But it always so random and out of the blue- which is why it is so awesome.
That one square in the waffle that's the most loaded with butter and syrup.  When I was a kid I used to make sure every square of waffle had butter and syrup! Now I savor the ones that have are perfectly stuffed with butter and syrup.

Here is Neil's Pasricha Ted Talk and if you have 17 minutes to spare it's worth it. What in life do you think is awesome? :) Have a super Monday!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Ferocious Friday

Happy Friday!?! I am so looking forward to this nice relaxing Father's Day weekend. Even though we don't have children we do have puppies who act like children- so I did get my husband a little father's day surprise. Did you know they say that a dog's brain is like a 2 year old?  See exactly- it's like I have 2 two year old's in my house.  They love to seek and destroy!
I am planning on doing a little bit of vintage hunting this weekend! Yes vintage- and I am not going to say where because I saw the preview.. and there is some amazing jewelry and I think my dream vintage fan might be there that I have been really wanting.. I mean needing!  I'm going to play dress up and snap some of the pictures of some of amazing finds for next week.  I can't believe the week is already over.  I think summer speeds up time. What are you up to this weekend?
Here is some fun summer link love:

A gorgeous summer on a beautiful lake in Italy.  I know Italy.. amazing!

I could really spend the whole summer having picnics in this botanical garden.

This is the perfect crepe- can someone make me some?

Elizabeth's portrait's always inspire me.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My Top 10 Goals for Summer

I wanted to share my summer goal list which does include a few things that I will be working on and some adventure related goals. :)
1.  I am curating an art show coming in August with one my best artsy gal pals and I are going to be posting a call for artists in the near future on this blog! So if you are a Portland artist or somewhere close- this is for you.  Stay tuned- my lips are sealed on the rest of the details.
2.  Paint everyday.! Also paint what I am loving and not just work on my body work.  I am working on more vintage still life oil paintings that I am mega in love with.  I also want to take more chances with my oil painting.
3.  Plant a couple of plants and protect them from my fur babies. Every time I plant anything they love running over to it and destroying it. I also am not the greatest at watering.. but so far all the plants I have planted look like they are surviving.
4.  Learn how to screen print.  I have been practicing!
5.  Organize a plein air (outdoor painting) outing to Sauvie's Island... which is by the nude beach.. Don't worry we won't be doing that kind of painting.  They have amazing farms with the yummiest marionberries around (no pun intended).
6.  Take more pictures with me in them.  I have been trying to put myself more in pics because I am really camera shy.  I have recently discovered the timer on my camera! My husband and dogs on the other hand love having their pictures taken- I am in a house of divas.
7.  Take lots of road trips! We are off to a good start so far this summer but I have been mapping out lots more.  We want to do lots of hiking and biking.. so then we don't have to feel to guilty from smore and pie eating contest related actives.
8.  Plan a party- My theme.. it's still up in the air but I am leaning towards a Beer and Cake Party. Who doesn't love both of those things?  In case you were worried no I will not be attempting to bake the cake.. we don't want any accidents or fire alarms happening.
9.  Vintage hunting- I am on the look out for a few vintage related things..  I can't wait to show you some of the things I have picked up over the last couple of weeks.  I also have be scouring Portland for a vintage fan... no luck but maybe if I put it on my list it will come to me magically.
10.  Read a book a week. I know this may seem aggressive but since I am trying to give up television.  I can totally do this right?
Of course they both had to get in the picture.  What fun summer goals are you planning?!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A girls guide to camping

Since summer has rolled in- I have the urge to go camping.  I have been eyeing one of these bad boys for quite some time and I know maybe Santa will put one under the Christmas tree one year. :).  Well I want to admit that I am a little bit of a wimp when it comes to camping but I do like doing it with a little style.
1.  Forever21 2.Tempus Fugit (vintage)  3. Delias 4. Ruche 5. Modcloth  6.  Ecote Macrame

Are you planning any fun trips for the summer?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer Music Play List

Since I have my tv turned off this week... I wonder if there is a tv addict self help group, I totally sound like an addict!  I wanted to put together some of the music I am loving this summer.  I am wondering what the summer song will be but I guess we won't find that out until the end of the summer!

Best Coast- very beachy :)

Foster of the People - perfect for any road trip.

Fleet Foxes. I drank the kool aid on this one and my husband has been singing this album at the top of his lungs for weeks.

What are you listening to this summer?

Stay Tuned.

This week is a special occasion- I am going to try and go a week with out television.  I am not sure if I can do it but I think it will be well worth it. I always say that I am a child of television.  When I was a kid my mother would plunk me in front of the television for morning cartoons and then we would rent movies and I was around the television pretty much all the time.  I know that I watch a lot of television and justify it to myself that it keeps me plugged in, and I do love it, but I do need a break. 
I will miss you Judge Judy, Real Housewives, STYCD, and all of the glorious reality television I love to watch. I am feeling  brave at the moment and hopefully I won't crack this week.  Have you thought about giving up TV?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Motivation Monday- the hustle.

Hello! How was your weekend? Mine was a pretty quiet one, we ended up drinking yummy margaritas and having a board game marathon.  Aren't margaritas the best in the summer time? We tried this recipe.
(the Bali hustle)
My husband and I had a conversation over the weekend about the hustle for work.  No we aren't referring to that 70's dance craze!   Sometimes I know I am victim to feeling not good enough.. maybe not smart enough... not pretty enough.. not special enough..not lots of things enough, but you know what I have? I have the passion and a big enough heart which is essentially the hustle.  Are you hustling?
I previously talked about Gary Vee, who is a wine aficionado, author, and speaker.  I recently read his first book Crush It and the book is a pep talk about your hustle and getting out there and of course crushing it!.  He also gives a lot of tips and advice about how to really sink your teeth into getting out there but I think I was more moved when I heard him speak.   Gary knows that his strength lies with in speaking and bringing that high energy, which I think why his vlogs and speaking gigs are so successful. 

I think finding your hustle is mainly identifying your strengths and playing to them and not apologizing. Gary gives a really great example in his book about the intro to his vlog Wine Library.  The intro is him screaming at the top of his lungs and being a little obnoxious. He does understand that he is going to be pushing away certain consumers because he isn't serious enough for wine but he also understands that he needs to be himself and let his passion shine through.

Let your hustle shine through this week :).

Friday, June 10, 2011


I am so happy that it is summer time :) and one thing I do love is road trips! We took a day trip up to the mountain and visited Lost Lake.  I were so excited to hop out of town and I even packed a little picnic.  This summer we want to do lots of mini road trips! 
It was about 75 degrees or so in Portland and we totally thought it would be sunshine up the mountain.  I was surprised with the amount of snow that was still on the ground.
This lake is a non motor lake and you can rent dreamy paddle boats and can camp.  Most of the hiking trails were closed due to snow but we did go around the lake and I am pretty positive I saw a bear foot print. Tim thought it was more likely a large dog, but they have bears in these woods! 
What are you up to this weekend? I might drag Tim out of town to another lake and maybe try a warmer one.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wow! Thank you!

I wanted to say thank you so much! I can't believe I have over 200 followers and I never thought I would have met so many amazing people with my blog.  I am so lucky to have meet you.  I have learned so much from doing a blog and have even become a little braver.

:) Thank you! Tim told me that my green dress looks like a Starbucks apron. I told him that you don't wear a bow belt with a Starbucks inspired dress!