Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sweaty Creatives

As an artist and someone who spends a lot of time alone I've discovered a few things about myself. One of these things is that I have an incredible imagination. You might be thinking, well that's awesome you're an artist. But what I mean is that my mind can take me on journeys that I didn't even want to go on and they have nothing to do with creating art and yet they have everything to do with being an artist.

Creatives are some of the most self deprecating people and as Brené Brown puts it, we're constantly putting ourselves in the arena. It's difficult to put your work that you spend so many hours, days and weeks on out in front of others. You want people to like/love what you do but sometimes they don't respond as well as you'd like. Sometimes there are critics. Sometimes you want certain people that you know and respect to respond to your work and all you hear are crickets. For me, this is when my imagination goes into overdrive and can lead me into the darkest of places. But realizing you have absolutely no control over whether or not they like what you have created is a great starting point to letting go of the need for their approval. Just do your work. Period. Whatever it is, do the best you can and don't worry about what anyone thinks, good or bad. The people who need what you do will find you. So work from your heart, put it out there and leave it. Now go back and do it again. This is all that you are required to do. So get your butt in the arena and create something!

99UCONF 01A BROWN v05-720p from 99U on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Clouded Leopard

Yesterday I finished this small 8" x 10" commission of a clouded leopard. This was a really fun piece to do and I can see another clouded leopard in my future. More than likely at a much larger size. These leopards like far too many animals, are on the verge of extinction and this painting will be auctioned to raise funds for these amazing cats.

Friday, November 29, 2013


Well yesterday we had a fabulous Thanksgiving with family and friends, wonderful food and a nice sunny day. It was just one of those perfect holidays, the only thing that could have made it better would have been to see family from out of state. Maybe next year! One thing that I'm extremely thankful for is the amount of support that I've been blessed with in pursuing my art career. I really couldn't ask for more in that area. One of my most recent paintings is titled "Kings of the Mountain" and it is 12" x 24" on canvas. I chose to create this one from a little bit different of a focus than my last few paintings. The changes in this piece were the inclusion of gold leaf and oil paints on top of my original acrylics. I think these two additions made a wonderful difference that added a lot of depth to the piece. Some people have asked what the crown above the bluebird means so I'll tell you what my meaning is, but you can definitely come up with your own.

The mountains in the background are the Tetons of Wyoming. The big horned sheep is definitely a natural "king" of the mountain so in turn he should have a golden crown. I applied gold leaf to his horns and then painted over areas in oils. I wanted there to be another focus for the viewer and so added the bluebird and perched him on the sheep. Partly because it is a nice design element, but also because birds are the only animals who can naturally go higher than the mountain sheep. So he should get a crown too! Also, I love fantasy and imaginary surrealism. Adding little bits of those elements no matter how small just adds to the fun and interest of a painting.

Monday, November 4, 2013

New Painting!

I took the past few days off to work on a new personal piece and the result is this cheetah painting. I had so much fun painting this piece and I love how the reds and yellows compliment each other so well. This piece is 24" x 24" acrylic on stretched canvas.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

White Stag

This painting was actually finished about a month ago but it was on the easel and out the door heading to Wisconsin so fast that I almost forgot about it! The initial idea was to paint a white stag, technically it didn't turn out white but I think it did turn out with a great feel. A lucky guy is getting this painting as a gift from his girl this Christmas. She's sure that he'll love it and I'm always tickled to hear that! The painting is 12" x 24" acrylics and collage on gallery edged canvas.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New Work

Well it's been a while since I've posted here, I wish that I was better about it. BUT, I do have a just finished piece to show so that's a plus. Most people who follow my work know that I'm an avid animal lover and primarily my paintings are of wildlife, dogs and cats. But I also love people and am working on how to best paint them in my style. I've only painted a couple of people this way and this past weekend I got inspired to paint my favorite character from the Game of Thrones series. This is Tyrion, 12" x 12" acrylics on illustration board. There are several people who I plan on painting like Georgia O'keefe (my first huge artistic influence), Jane Goodall, Diane Fossey, Native Americans (my ancestors), and I'm sure many others. Lots of wonderful and colorful ideas to come!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Art Party!

Well we did it! The Art Auction and Pet Adoption event was a lot of fun and all of the paintings sold! In case you haven't been following the story, last year I decided that I was going to paint a portrait of 12 dogs and cats from our local animal shelter, HELP the Animals, Inc. Then we'd have an event to auction off the artwork and donate the proceeds to the shelter. I had planned to do one or two paintings a month starting last January so that I wouldn't be too rushed by the time the auction came around, that plan so didn't happen. I got busy with other projects and before I knew it, July was here and only 1 painting was done! So with the help of my partner Julie doing extra things around the house and running errands, also having understanding and very patient art collectors agreeing to wait for their own pieces to be painted (a special thank you goes to Don, Mariah, Anita, Tracy and my Aunt Anne), I had the time to paint the portraits. Blank canvases quickly began springing to life with bold and vibrant colors, then taking form were my amazing subjects. Duke, Pete, Willy, Ace, Cameo, Finnigan, Tobias, Rusty, Pumkin, Emma, Lucy Lu and Kelsea each now have a 16" x 20" portrait of their beautiful, furry faces on collectors walls. Making special appearances and up for adoption were a few of HELP the Animals dogs including Tobias and Rusty! Unfortunately no dogs were adopted but they did have a fun night out getting their pictures taken so that's a bonus! All in all we raised $1400.00 for the shelter. As this event gets bigger and more people know about it I'm sure the amount raised each year will only grow. At least I hope so otherwise we'll have to take the auction online where I know more money will be raised for this great cause.

 The people who work and volunteer at the shelter are truly amazing people. So many give of their time and the work is hard and seemingly never ending. I have a lot of respect for those who work with animals, because without these big-hearted people the animals who rely on them wouldn't have a chance.

I talked to a lot of people at the show who were there to either see what the show was all about, to bid on the paintings or to ask about personal commissions. A couple of people who did win the bids on two paintings were actually art teachers. I found that to be incredibly cool! One is a teacher here in Richmond and the other is a teacher in nearby Centerville. They each had specific reasons for buying a painting. The Richmond teacher (whose name I didn't get) wanted the painting of Willy because her class had actually sponsored his adoption fee. So knowing that all those kids chipped in enough money to help Willy, will now be able to see his painting every day in their classroom is heartwarming. The other teacher in Centerville, (her name is Joy), well she bought the painting of Rusty. She's currently teaching her kids color theory and she's going to use my painting to help show them how it works. How awesome is that?! So here's a picture of me with Rusty and the painting and also me with Tobias and his painting. Plus the people who helped to make it all happen. Oh, and that's the beautiful Adele with the pink ruffles!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Running on Empty

One week to go. At this time next Friday I'll either be stressing out trying to finish a painting or I'll be calmly going over my list of things to do for Saturday's event. Right now, I'm burnt out. I actually don't think it's just because I've been on overdrive for so long. I think it's because of so much drama that tends to be in life. Not even my drama necessarily but people who are close to me that seem to be in constant turmoil. Why we allow this in our lives is beyond me. I'm not immune to it, sometimes I'll get wrapped up in something too. But as I approach my 40th spin around the sun I find that I'm longing for something, for a feeling that I can see images of but don't quite know how to explain. I want to just let go and be, to discover who I am, like I haven't done before. To stop constantly trying to "get there" and to finally allow myself to arrive. So for the rest of this year I'm finishing projects so that next year can be started fresh. With new goals and a more relaxed view of this precious life. And just because I love them so, here's a pic of my friends Benny and Nala, (Nala is the bench :-).

"The moment in between what you once were, and who you are now becoming , is where the dance of life really takes place." - Barbara De Angelis

Thursday, August 29, 2013

10 Days, 3 Paintings

It's getting down to crunch time for the upcoming art auction. I'm feeling excited and nervous, that's the way great things go right?! Today I'm putting the last strokes on a rush birthday present for a client's husband. It's turning out really cute. Then on to painting number 10! Here are a few more paintings that will be available.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Art Auction and Pet Adoption Event

It's been a while since my last post but things have been hopping in the studio. For the last couple of months most of my time has been devoted to painting 12 - 16" x 20" portraits of dogs and cats who have been taken in by our local animal shelter, HELP the Animals. I've finished 9 of the paintings so far and have less than two weeks to do the last three. I'm starting to get a tad nervous! Partly because a customer needed a rush birthday present and I decided that I could fit it in too.... that's just how I roll. I'm sure it'll all get done, the parts that I'm most concerned about have to do with the actual auction. I'm donating 100% of the proceeds to the shelter and I truly hope that it'll be enough to make a difference. But I have concerns. Will enough people show up? Will they bid on the paintings? Will they bid reasonable amounts for the paintings? Is this whole thing even worth all the time that everyone is putting in? So many what if's, but I have to trust the Universe and just get back to the easel. We'll know on September 7th, until then we'll just keep working on it. So if you are or are going to be in the area we'd love for you to stop by and say hello! The auction is on September 7th from 4-7pm at the Warmglow Candle Co. on I-70 in Centerville, Indiana. There will also be a few dogs up for adoption at the event! You may meet a paintings namesake if they haven't already been adopted by then. Here are a few of the paintings that will be up for auction. (Upper Left: Emma, Upper Right: Willie, Lower Left: Cameo, Lower Right: Pete)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Ahhh, my studio is clean, well clean-ish! Sometimes the clutter just gets too bad and you are ready to part with little drawings and various papers, old brushes that you really will never use. Today was that day and it's a great feeling to have it done. My studio is pretty small though so there's always need for more room especially since the paintings are piling up! But for now I'm thrilled! Oh, and Zoe thinks it's pretty great too!

I hope you are all having a fabulous week!!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Journeys in Art

This week in art has kind of taken me by surprise. I've completed 2 mixed media paintings and started a third. When I say mixed media the only thing added aside from my normal painting is some cool scrapbooking papers. There's been a HUGELY positive response to the two paintings which makes me feel like I'm on the right track. But there is a downside to this too. Yesterday while working on the third piece I got to thinking about copyrights and scrapbooking. I'm not a scrapbooker and using the papers is brand new to me so this question was bound to come up, I'm very happy that it came up before I went any farther... So there's one particular type of paper that I'm drawn to, tons of antique style papers and such. I decided to write an e-mail to the head of the company and got a reply rather quickly. So here's the deal, if you plan to reproduce or license your art which includes scrapbooking papers, you can't. Well not using the paper I like anyway. There are companies that allow use through what is called an 'Angel Policy' but hunting them down and then finding the papers that you like just seems like too much trouble. So, the two finished paintings that I did will have to be altered in Photoshop so that I can license them. Irritating to say the least and I could go on about this but what are you going to do? So I'll just find my own gems of antique ephemera then use them how ever I like. But before I get started on that I'll show you the second painting title "Ocean Traveler". It will be traveling to it's new home in Arkansas tomorrow.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Yesterday's art project was soooooo much fun! It was nice to just do something without any definite expectations. That's why personal work is so important I think. My goal is to bring together different artistic elements including media and styles, shake them up and bring something new to the world. So the newer work will be including paint, collage and type. This new piece of an African Roller was created specifically with licensing in mind. I think it would be lovely on tapestries, bags, pillows, wall art and such. The copyright signature is not on the original painting and won't be on any prints, it's more of a watermark. This piece is 9 x 12 on canvas board. So now I'm off to work on a commissioned pet portrait of a beautiful boy named Charlie. So tell me what you've up to and what has inspired you today.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Today is going to be fun! I'll be working on a portrait of Duke for our local shelter. Help the Animals is a great organization and my good friend Jayne is the director. She's done amazing things with the place since she started a couple of years ago and the animals are lucky to have her and the other wonderful people who work and volunteer there. I had offered to do several paintings of dogs and cats who are waiting for their new families to find them. So Duke here is getting his painting done on a 16" x 20" canvas. When all of the paintings are finished we'll have calenders and possibly greeting cards made. Also there will be an auction in November with proceeds going to the shelter. So time to paint! Have a great day!!