Sunday, June 28, 2009

Flower and Website Updates

February Flower: Violet
Colored Pencil
8 x 10 inches

I may not have been updating my work recently, but I have been busy! The colored pencil piece above is the February Flower: that means I'm still...about 5 months behind. By September, I'll be 7 behind at this rate...or I guess 5 ahead. It's just how my mind works, so no need to try to figure it out. I'm working on a lily of the valley flower, which is not even the flower for March. Oh least it's one in the series. (I've completed the ones for Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb).

I have also been updating my website and trying out sitekreator. I used to update my website pretty frequently when I used yahoo, but there was something that I wanted to use that yahoo would not allow...and now I can't even remember what that was. It might have been an EASY sleek slideshow application that I am still looking for. Whatever it was, I then moved over to Godaddy. It's OK - the people are friendly, but I find their website very awkward to navigate. Updating tends to be slow and even more awkward. I've been lazy and have not corrected the scrolling on my website. So, I think it's time for me to move on soon.

Since working with Sitekreator, for now, it looks like my new friend. I haven't decided if I want to plunk down the money since it is more than godaddy and much more than yahoo. However, it's extremely easy to update, there are more functions that are available on yahoo, and there is a built in slideshow. I still need to find the one that it's in my head...that I know is out there for those that are tech savvy. If you're curious as to what mine looks like now, go to and let me know what you think of my trial website...the top photos are stock from the site that I'll be replacing if I go forward with them. I'll also be organizing it a little more so not all my pieces are under the one gallery heading. We'll see!

Friday, June 26, 2009

July Artist Reception

Art & Soul Gallery Members Show and
2nd Annual Non-members Juried Exhibition

June 29th- August 1st

Opening Reception
Friday, July 3rd, 2009

122 W. Clay Street, Mebane, NC 27302 919.563.2300
Summer Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Back from California

I'm home for 2 nights, 1 day before heading out with my husband to St John for our vacation! I had to fly to California for my job earlier this week, so I was a bit stressed over getting work done, planning for the upcoming vacation right before another trip for work...

California was nice, temperatures in the mid 60s, sunny and dry. My rental car was a lot nicer than the last time as well! I arrived in San Diego around noon, got shuttled to the rental car place and after a few confusing moments, I was able to get in my Toyota Avalon Touring (with black leather seats) and be on my way. I plugged in my destination on my phone to figure out how to get to the office from the rental car place. Once plotted, I kept reviewing the directions the whole way to...the hotel. I past right by my work. No problem, really, my phone doesn't talk to me like the other GPS systems I pass the road that takes me to the office and went to the hotel, checked in, went to the room to drop off one of my bags and went into work.

View from my hotel room

Same view...but the sunset on the ocean!

I thought I'd be there for an hour or two, but stayed longer than that. It was only my second time in this office, but the people I work with are all here, so they were ready for me when I got there! It was actually refreshing to be able to work in an office after being home based for 2 years.

Yes, this was parked outside my office in California
The first night I was already exhausted by the time I got back to the hotel, but I needed to work on some things before I allowed myself to work on my art. So I worked, watched Lost (I had to watch it since the TV was a H.U.G.E. flat screen and Lost is the ONLY show I still watch!), and worked some more. I kept thinking I would wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed since waking up at 7am in California would be like waking up at 10am at home. This only works if one would go to bed at a decent hour! Finally, at 1am (uhhh, that would be California time...), I finish my work and give up on working on my art for the night.

Beautiful flowers and shrubs in bloom, with a perfect backdrop of the ocean
The second night? I go out to eat with co-workers and their friends. It was so much fun! The parking in San Diego is difficult to find if you're not local, so I parallel parked and we all walked to the restaurant (yes, I really did parallel park! And just to clarify, the parking spaces are not gigantic spaces, like they are in Mebane, able to fit 2 cars in one seems there is a law in California that the cars should be small to successfully fit in the parking spaces. Maybe it's the parking spaces that dictate people's girth size...hmmmm).

Uhhh...this is the ocean, dude.
Walking around San Diego at night after dinner...beautiful weather, not humid, brisk enough to keep you walking, but not cold to wish to be back inside. I soaked in the interesting people, cute houses with neat, (but not manicured nor matching) yards. One yard had classy yard art. Yep - giraffes, elephants, gorillas...all sculpted out of sheet metal (it was dark, so I can't comment on the type), but it was fantastic! And it seemed to fit right in with everything! Once back in the hotel room, I gave up doing my art again and resigned to sleep since I had to catch my plane in the morning.

Too bad I cropped out the ocean to the left, but this is a cool photo anyway.

The trip was great, but tiring. The only time I could to do my art was at the airport, so hopefully my upcoming trips will yield more productivity...but without sacrificing the experience of the trip!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I made some magnets of my art!

I was playing around on zazzle and realized I can create magnets using multiple pieces of art. I'll be adding more if it works!

buy unique gifts at Zazzle

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Carnation: Almost...Finished?

I never posted my photos from Portugal! It was a beautiful place and I took over 300 photos. I may have to do a few paintings from the pictures I took, including local flora, beautiful coastal areas, gorgeous architecture and even a man trying unsuccessfully to rescue his small, sinking boat.

I'm now in California for a short trip and will be on my way back home Thursday night for another trip to visit my in-laws for the weekend. It will be busy, but I tend to prefer being busy than not.

As you know, I like to freak people out on the plane by sharpening my colored pencils with a battery operated pencil sharpener. (I really don't like to freak them out...I'm so paranoid someone will say something to me to get me to stop, so I try not to sharpen them too often!) On a similar note regarding pencil sharpeners and airplanes, if you bring a battery operated OR an electric pencil sharpener on a carry-on, be sure to take them out of your bag, just like your laptop, and place them in the bin to go through the xray. After consistently being stopped to have my bag searched, I tested it out and placed both sharpeners in the bin to go through separately...and it was smooth sailing!

I was able to get quite a bit done on the carnation last night in the hotel room, so now I have to let it sit, facing me as if it will shout "I'm done!" or more likely "come on, you know I still need to be worked on...I look terrible!" The photo is from my phone, so not a great picture, but you get the idea. At least I see the light!

(Updated June 28th: Instead of putting up a new post just on this, I thought I'd add the finished piece below:)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Portugal is beautiful...

...or so I've been told. I've been in Lisbon for 36 hours and I haven't stepped foot outside of the hotel. I'm here for work (my day job), so I've been busy with meetings, email, and teleconferences. Oh...I did have dinner outside the hotel room, so I've been inside a taxi (I'm glad I don't have to drive here...I'm not sure if I'd be comfortable riding a bike much less a car on the narrow streets here with cars parallel parked on the side of the road) and I've been inside of a restaurant - Lisboa a Noite - very good food.

I hope to venture out sometime soon and actually be able to work on some art!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

To my Father

So, I was going to write a beautiful poem or something for today. Today marks 3 years since we lost our dad. I was pregnant with my daughter, who shares his birthday, April 11th. I think it's very appropriate to include him on here, because it really is because of him that I got back into my art. I remember doing something for high school or college for art, and bringing it downstairs for Mom and Dad to look at. He actually bought one of my first pieces before I even graduated college. He was always silent about it, not giving much encouragement, but any that he shared, I cherish. My first award was a portrait of him (1st prize).

In memory of my dad, I was looking for some unique symbol...something that was out of the ordinary and didn't just say "Dad" or "In memory", etc. As I was racking my brain, I thought of the perfect symbol...a katydid. Let me explain...most of my fondest memories when I was young, was when my dad and I would go walking through the woods, or just simply spending one on one time in the backyard. I remember he would talk about the trees, the leaves, the animals, insects, ets. He would walk with me over huge logs that would cross the creek and talk about how huge the tulip poplar trunks are...the difference between deciduous and evergreen trees, the beetles that crossed our paths, and my favorite of all, the sounds of summer. I remember a conversation with him about locusts, cicadas and katydids. Throughout my life, I've since got the katydid sound mixed up with other insects, but once you hear it, you'll know the sound I'm talking about. Summer is my absolute favorite season, even in North Carolina! And what better sound to herald in summer than the katydid. Dad was the one that really instilled in me my love of nature - even the snakes and spiders. The katydid was a kind of an 'aha' moment.

(#6 and 7 on the playlist are the ones I'm talking about if you go this site)

I searched for the word "katydid" to find pictures of katydids and of course I found lots of pictures and sounds of them. What's interesting was that I also found an art forum that I browsed. I knew immediately that this site would not provide me a katydid picture, but I was stuck. The artwork there was gorgeous! I was instantly hooked on the website, drinking in the images and trying to absorb the techniques.

As I sat by my computer, I didn't really join in the discussions (another thing I got from my dad - I'm a great listener, but not a great talker), but I became more and more fascinated with the medium and started to try it out, and slowly started drawing more. After 10 years of not doing anything with art, I found other artists that found the time, either full-time, part-time or not enough-time. There were others out there that could squeak out time to do something and I was inspired! I joined a local art group (Art&Soul Studios) and SLOWLY, I've been adding to my dusty and out-dated portfolio.

So, to my father, thank you for leading me back to my passion.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

January Flower: Carnation WIP Update

I'm still plugging away at this flower. You can see I kinda jump around with the petals, filling in more reds, greens, purples and blues. It looks like I need to darken the background as well.

It's really interesting to see how other colored pencil artists complete their works. Quite a few artists complete sections at a time - so you're slowly getting more and more of the painting, like watching water slowly gliding over a surface after your 2 year old spilled her glass. Very fascinating (the art, not the spilled water...) Other artists work in layers, similar to how I work. Since I started out in watercolors, using glazes of color to build up the painting, I see this as a natural way of building up colored pencil as well. Both are transparent in a way, so that you can see the individual layers as you work. By using blue and yellow to create green creates more depth and visual excitement than if one used green in the beginning.

In the next update (maybe the last??), I will have added more colors to the flower for interest and definitely darkened the background. We'll see!

A lot more work ahead of me, and I wanted to get it done by last weekend! Maybe I can at least have it done by February's reception.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Art&Soul Reception

You are cordially invited to

Art and Soul Studios

Featuring the work of all member artists in a new show:


Opening Reception
Friday, January 9 , 7:00-9:00pm
122 West Clay Street, Mebane, NC 27302
919 . 563 . 2300

Sign up for winter classes in color theory, painting, pottery, metal tooling, jewelry and children's art classes

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Carnation Flower: Update

Another update - I'm adding the red (crimson red) to the flower now. I'll have to go back and forth with the colors to keep the values where I want them. After looking at the grey value on this, I want to push the darks more. (That's something I tend to be timid about. I can put them in for my portraits, but not when I switch to colored pencils!)

I'm a little frustrated because my favorite pencil sharpener is at the gallery, so I'm working with a manual and a battery powered pencil sharpener. I guess I sound pretty silly - my husband thinks I have a pencil sharpener fetish. If he could read the art forum posts on supplies, his eyes would glaze over...

For now, I'm stopping here since it's 3:15 am. I'm going to sleep...maybe.

(Oh yeah - better images, right? I ended up scanning it. Forget the camera!)