July 1, 2011

always time for aceo's

Just a quick note to post a sweet ACEO I did recently.

'Earth Laughs' - Original Mixed Media ACEO 2.5"x3.5"
Watercolor, Pen & Ink, White Gel Pen, Scrap Art Paper on 180 lb.Hot Press WC Paper
Click here...Original ACEO in my Etsy Shop

Even though I am deep in thought, decision-making and ideas about my art and where it is headed....I always have time to get an ACEO done, using every medium, style and method that I love (and even try out some new ones).

June 27, 2011

the traveling aceo

When your weeks are filled with appointments, of every kind, it can be quite difficult to create...and that's the way it has been these past few weeks. Whether it has been for me or the kids, I just have not been at my studio to create for a good portion of every day. No fear! These are the times that I especially work on ACEO's. Ahhhh, the wonderful, magnificent, tiny, travel worthy ACEO. How perfect.

'Believe In Yourself' - Original Mixed Media ACEO 2.5"x3.5"
Pen & Ink, White Gel Pen, Scrap Art Paper, Ephemera on 180 lb.Hot Press WC Paper
Click here...Original ACEO in my Etsy Shop
I have a great little carry case (as seen here in this post) that holds almost everything I need to get ACEO's started (and many times finished). So, while waiting in waiting rooms, at the park, or wherever, I can pull out my supplies discretely and work on an ACEO. The kids even know to make sure, before we leave the house, that I have my carry case with me. I don't leave home without it!

'Deep' - Original Mixed Media ACEO 2.5"x3.5"
Watercolor, Pen & Ink on 180 lb.Hot Press WC Paper
Click here...Original ACEO in my Etsy Shop

In my little carry case, along with pens of every kind, pencils, watercolor pencils, markers, a multitude of pre-cut ACEOs, prepped watercolor ACEOs, ephemera, cutting tools, the works!!

The pre-prepped watercolor cards are often great inspiration and they are perfect for backgrounds to the multi-layered pieces, too. Oh, how I love the this little thing called an ACEO!

June 8, 2011

the journey of growth

Direction. Diversity. Dilemma. Decisions. Growing! Growth is good. And for me lately, a bit challenging. For some time now, quite a while actually, I have been struggling to 'find' my artistic me. To hone in on what is my strength, my passion, my style. Who I really am as an artist.
It's time to GROW.

'Growing' - Original Mixed Media Collage ACEO 2.5"x3.5"
Pen & Ink, White Gel Pen, Art Paper on 180 lb.Hot Press WC Paper

Click here...Original ACEO in my Etsy Shop
I am torn. As an artist, while I work on one medium or style, I am dreaming about another. I can't wait to try a new technique or color combination. Creating for me is like dinner. Many foods. Many ways to prepare them. I just don't want the same meal every single night. But yet, I love it all. This is my dilemma. And this can be critical when you want your work to be recognized as your own. I have numerous pieces of work, in all styles and mediums, at Green-n-Groovy a local gallery downtown and Lisa, the owner, tells me all the time that patrons are shocked and amazed when they come across my tags, realizing that they were all created by the same artist. Yet, I sell pieces from every collection of work. Advantage or detriment? They like the work, they buy the work, but do they know my name?

I create because I have to. It is who I am. I am not an artist that will ever only work in one medium or one style. I experience just as much excitement with a palette full of color as I do with a palette limited to only black and white. Choosing one material or craft or technique would be like choosing only one of my children. It is impossible to choose. I love them all. I have spent the past year or so really reading and studying many other artists and their work. Examining the diversities, the successes, the many aspects of working as a professional artist. 'Don't rely on income from only one source'. 'Create a recognizable style that becomes your own'. 'Brand yourself'. 'Create what you love'. 'Don't limit yourself'.....and a partridge in a pear tree (hmmm, just thought of a design idea...oops, sorry...back to what I was saying). Growth sure does make my head hurt!

Ultimately, there are some things that will have to change. I have to make, perhaps, some difficult decisions in both creative and business areas of my life. It is imperative that, as an artist, I do NOT forsake anything that fills my creative cup. As a business woman, it's time to establish a specific artistic business plan and commit to it.
I'm ready!

I am still working through the many details and I know limiting myself could be dangerous, too. I don't want that. I also know that I need to hone in on my strengths, determine what sells, what could reach a wider range of customers/clients, what could expand into larger venues, etc., etc. Whew! and Egad! So be forewarned, you will start seeing some changes around here, some restructure, some redesign, less of some work, more of others (perhaps combining mediums and styles), probably even some test runs here and there. I want to go where everybody knows my name. I look forward to feedback, too. Inquiring minds want to know. Giveaways and interviews are also things I have wanted to implement for some time now. Check. It's on the list. I feel like this is the first day of the rest of my successful creative life! How exciting is that? It's very exciting! Now let's get this party started....

June 7, 2011

changes are upon us

Change is good! Right? Well, around here, everything seems to be changing lately, and at warp speed!

My beautiful Hannah just had her 12th birthday and I swear it was just yesterday when I brought her home from the hospital. I know I'll still be saying that when she's 22, but for now I am in utter shock that she is already 12. I am watching her become a young lady...scary and beautiful all at once.

And then there's Nathaniel, my little man! 6 going on 26! He's graduating from Kindergarten this week, and as it looks, will be heading to 2nd grade. I am really going to have to get a new pair of roller skates to keep up with these guys. I really didn't know I could love anyone so much! They are my life.

For Hannah's sleepover birthday party, I had purchased some air drying modeling clay that I thought would be fun for the girls (6 of them) to create some little sculptures, pendants, etc with the clay, and then paint them the second day. Well, let's just say that when you get six 12-year-old girls together for a sleepover, getting them to sit still for a 'project' is a bit hit-and-miss. I missed! No biggie, more for me. It's been a while since I had played with the clay and it didn't take long before I was HOOKED...again! I sculpted several little figures and the owl is the only one finished so far. I am not exactly sure what I am going to do with him though. Thought I might turn him into a brooch or pendant, or some sort of mixed media piece, maybe. I have some 3.5"x3.5"canvas covered blocks I made a while back that might be fun to add the head and paint in the rest of the body on the canvas. Hmmmm. Many choices, but one thing for sure is...I LOVED making these. I LOVED working with the clay again. I so feel some changes happening.

'My Purple Purse' 8"x8" Acrylic and Gold Leaf on Canvas
Click here...Original ACEO in my Etsy Shop
This little painting I did last week. I have wanted to create a series of 'boudoir' pieces, of sorts, for a while now...like purses, shoes, lipstick, etc. I added the gold leaf which I think really makes it pop and interesting, too. I also have some fun ideas for the kitchen as well. So many ideas, 24 hours in a day....what's a girl to do?

And here is one more. A painting that I have been working on this past week that isn't finished yet. He is much bigger, 20"x20". The Bug-Eyed ACEO from my last post actually inspired this piece and I am considering some new ideas, so we'll just have to wait to see how it gets finished. I don't have the photos ready, but I have some pen and ink/watercolors to show you, too. It's been a busy, messy week and it really shows in my studio. My mind feels a little messy lately, too. Ultimately, I think I am headed for some CHANGE...but I will have to talk more about that next time. See you then......

May 31, 2011

aceo - 'bug eyed fish'

Just a quick post of a new ACEO. I did this one recently using my layered technique; one layer in watercolor, one layer in pen and ink, with the pen and ink cut out and adhered to the watercolor. I really think he is so cute!

'Bug-Eyed Fish' - Original Mixed Media ACEO 2.5"x3.5"
Pen & Ink and Watercolor on 140# Hot Press Fabriano Watercolor Paper
Click here...Original ACEO in my Etsy Shop

May 25, 2011

aceo's in amazing color

Here are a few more ACEO's that I did recently (mostly while I was under the weather). I really love these, especially the intense colors. I especially love creating them.

'Joyous Song' - Original Mixed Media 3.5"x2.5"
Pen & Ink and Watercolor on 140# Hot Press Fabriano Watercolor Paper

'Leaf and Berries' - Original Mixed Media 3.5"x2.5"
Pen & Ink and Watercolor on 140# Hot Press Fabriano Watercolor Paper
Click here...Original ACEO in my Etsy Shop
I also love the 3D effect....2 pieces of artwork that come together and become one. These images just do not do them justice. They are so cool to look at in person. The little bits of shadow the second layer creates really adds great interest.

'Flower on Green' - Original Mixed Media 3.5"x2.5"
Pen & Ink and Watercolor on 140# Hot Press Fabriano Watercolor Paper
Click here...Original ACEO in my Etsy Shop
I have several other ACEO's to post but looks like they are not prepped yet. Next time. Here is one to get started.
LinkAnd here is a new 5x7 Pen and Ink that I did of a peacock. I think she's cute!
'Pretty Peacock' 5"x7" Pen & Ink on 140# Hot Press Fabriano Watercolor Paper
Click here...Original ACEO in my Etsy Shop

Everything can be found in my Etsy shop.

May 16, 2011

new old blue shoes

Just a quick update to post a recent pair of shoes I did that I just love! They start out as a normal pair of shoes, old or new, any color....and LOTS of scraps and embellishments.

I love the look of raw edges and jean material can really provide that. Not to mention, a simple pair of jeans can have great edges, seams, snaps, even the belt loops can be used as amazing design elements.

The 'text' was painted on scraps of fabrics for some artistic contrast and further embellishments came from huge stash of fun. They really turned out amazing and they look great with a pair of white capris. Gotta get back to more fun!

May 12, 2011

back in the saddle...

Time to do some catch up! Since our last meeting I have simply been trying to recover from my arm injury with physical therapy and recovering from two bouts of the flu. The most recent really kicked my....well, you know...and kept me in bed for over a week. I guess I just needed some overdue rest and, boy, did I get some! Feeling like a new woman again and ready to get busy!
'Wise Owl' 4.5"x6.5" Pen & Ink on 140# Hot Press Fabriano Watercolor Paper
Click here...Original ACEO in my Etsy Shop

During my time of forced rest, relaxation and antibiotics....I was able to finish a few small pieces. Even when sick, I just can't not create!! Impossible. Mostly pen and ink since I could easily work on them while in bed whenever I felt up to it. 'Wise Owl' was so meditative to create, as well as just plain fun. 'Three Fish' that I did a couple months ago was the same way...fun and meditative to do, fun and meditative to look at....I know there will be many more that follow this style. There are quite a few ACEO's that I did as well, but I still have to prep them. So, 'till next time.....

March 29, 2011

new work, new shows, new injury

It's time to do some catch up and there is quite a bit, so lets get started. Before anything else, I would like to take a moment and honor my good friend Christina Marie Coyle

who passed away February 18, 2011 at the young age of 44, from a long and courageous battle with Lymphoma Cancer. She was such a beautiful person and left behind her wonderful husband, Mike and beautiful 8 year old son, Danny. I can honestly say I was truly blessed to know her! I first met her when we were in our 20's, became immediate friends, had TONS of fun together and I was blessed to extend that relationship to her sister, Julie, whom lives in New York. Julie and I, through this horrible tragedy have been able to reconnect again and I am so thankful. Julie and I were very close for many years and I look forward to having her in my life again! We have come to realize the old saying IS true...Life IS too short and you just never know when someone you care about is gone. I do not want to ever regret not having the chance to let someone know how important they are to me. May God bless Mike and Danny and be with them during this most difficult time in their lives! My heart is broken but I know that she is with the Lord and at peace and no longer in pain.

After the emotional funeral, I was a mess and numb. I felt like I needed to stay busy so later that night, I decided to put some boxes in the attic. While I was on the ladder, the ladder gave way, shifted to the right and down I went. Trying to lessen my fall, I grabbed onto the door ledge with my right arm and came crashing down. Bruised from head to toe, I realized I had hurt my right arm pretty bad. No rotator cuff tear, but fluid, bursitis, tendonitis and in horrible pain for a month. I actually couldn't use my right arm at all until about 1 1/2 week ago! I had recieved some amazing prayer 2 Sundays ago at church and Monday morning, I was actually able to put on my clothes by myself for the first time since the accident. God is good! I continue to improve every day, and although not completely healed and still have some pain, God has provided me amazing strength and healing and I am grateful.

Somehow during all of this (and just prior) I have created many new works and many of these have sold. I am just loving every bit of it. It never gets old hearing that someone loves my work and better yet... purchases it...to be loved forever. It is an absolute honor.
I was also recently blessed with numerous stories written about me by Tom Hall from the Examiner.com. You can read them here. The press has been wonderful and again, I am more than honored!! I just finished a small art show at the Verona in Naples, Florida this past weekend and it was so exciting. The positive feedback was almost overwhelming for me. My sales were excellent (even though I felt like I wasn't completely prepared due to the recent shoulder injury and my printers' print heads deciding to die out this past week) and looks like there will be an outrageous amount of commission work I can look forward to. My work (I brought a wide representation) appealed to those of ALL ages and many returned to my tables repeatedly. It was a wonderful feeling and I can't wait for the next show!

This coming Friday, I have been honored once again as the Featured Artist for Green-n-Groovy during the amazing Art Walk held in our Fort Myers River District downtown. Although I will be presenting works of all mediums and styles, I will be demonstrating the ACEO using Micron pen and the Zentangle techniques. There was so much interest during the art show from this past weekend for the ACEO card. Viewers were intrigued and curious. They enjoyed picking them up, being able to purchase affordable works of art, and just wanted to know more. I love that!

Along with my paintings and illustrations, I have also been working in textiles, too. Upcycling the shoes are a blast and they are definitely a statement piece! Have had several custom orders for them and am excited about creating an entire line of painted and fabric upcycled shoes.

The handbags are actually from upcycled upholstery fabric swatch books. I absolutely love the fabrics. They are full of texture, color, patterns...and matched with embellishments, leathers, suedes, etc...the purses become an artistic statement piece as well. They spark a lot of conversation and I love that I get to create all of this.

There is much to do still and I have numerous other photos to prepare for posting, as well. I am not certain whether I will complete this before Friday, but I will do my best!! I love where all of this is taking me and look forward to seeing what's around the bend.
I love being an artist.
I am blessed!

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