Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"Path to Power" - A Landscape Painting of Yosemite

"Path to Power"     2.5" x 3.5"     Acrylic on Canvas Paper
SOLD/Not For Sale

Today's painting was made for Sea Dean, one of my three winners from last month's contest. She chose as her prize for me to create an ACEO painting made in the colors and style of my painting "El Capitan." I figured if she liked that particular painting so much then I ought to try creating a painting from a different part of Yosemite for her, to give her almost a painted tour of the park. That probably sounds silly, but she lives overseas as it is, and I don't know if she's ever had the chance to come visit the states. That's why I thought it'd be fun to give her another glimpse of one of the most beautiful parks in the world over. Sea's a painter too, and hosts a rather entertaining page on Facebook for both artists and art lovers alike called "Get Your Art Out There." I would have provided the link to it but it's a closed group so I don't think I can. But if you look it up and want to join, all you have to do is type the name into the search bar on Facebook and let Sea know you want it. It's that easy!  =)

I wanted to shout out a quick reminder that today is the last day to enter to win a painting for this month. All you have to do is comment on this or any other post from the month of July, 2013. I have to say it's my easiest contest yet! So go ahead, you never do know if you might be one of the lucky ones! And congratulations again Sea. This pretty little piece will be on it's way over the oceans and to your door as soon as possible. I so love giving my works a new home - and to send one over-seas is absolutely thrilling!

Well, take care of yourselves my friends! And stay tuned - there are still more new paintings to come this week. I'm finally back in my groove, trying to get all the works out that were promised before my rather unexpected surgery. But it's starting to come together, thank the LORD, and with each new work I finish the more excited I get over being able to eventually jump into one of my own art projects that's been brewing in my mind for some weeks now! I can't wait to begin! Lucky for me though, I've loved all the commissions too and sadly I think I'll miss them once I get over this wave of them. But still, it's a win-win for me, no matter how you look at it.

I hope you are having a great day out there and I hope that in some way you might be able to carve out some time for yourself to spend creating something yourself - that it would be a time of refreshing both your body and your soul, and that in the end whatever you create is absolutely beautiful, even if only to you. Hey, I have plenty of those! Haha. But yeah, it just feels so wonderful to pour your heart into something real and at the end be able to hold something you've made in your hands. There are few things better than that! Well, have a wonderful day and God bless!

Monday, July 29, 2013

"Winter Perch" - A Miniature Owl Painting from the "Snowy Owl in Miniature" Series

"Winter Perch"     2" x 2"     Acrylic on Canvas

Oh man, I've been going crazy trying to get everything back on track lately with all my commissions right now, and I'm finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Things are moving along rather nicely and I only have a few more piece left to finish. I have the feeling that this weeks postal shipment is going to be a big one. Oh what fun! I am truly sorry for any of you who may be waiting on a painting right now. Please know I am working diligently to finish each and every piece as soon as possible and to get them shipped and on their way to you in no time. That silly emergency surgery of mine sure caused me a lot of grief this time, and I am just beside myself with worry over upsetting any of my clients. I just didn't have the time for this surgery to happen, but the body gets what the body wants and I'm left with picking up the pieces and hoping I haven't upset or offended anybody with my tardiness. Hopefully there will be at the very least a touch of grace extended to me considering my unexpected medical adventure this month. Trust me, it wasn't any fun and I would have MUCH rather have been painting if you ask me. So if you are waiting on a work, please rest assured that I am up and running (or rather, painting) again and I will be getting your work to you as soon as it's finished. I'm going to be updating everyone throughout the week on exactly where I'm at, and I'll be in touch soon if I haven't been already.

Featured above is the third painting in my "Snowy Owl in Miniature" series that was commissioned by a very sweet and patient friend. She wanted it to be snowing in each and every scene, and for this last one she wanted to have an owl sitting upon a fence post resting his wings for a moment. This little collection has been quite a joy to create and as you can imagine I really liked creating this little series simply based on the fact that it's about owls. Here below is the final finished series (at least finished for now - I may make a few more just for the fun of it) all together at last. Enjoy!

If you ever want to commission your own paintings in miniature of your pets or favorite kind of animal, or really of just about anything you'd like, please email me and let me know. I'd be more than happy to work on something with you and you'll be amazed at what an impact something so little can have in a room. They come complete with a miniature easel (with either a light pine finish or a black painted finish) and they come with a rather miniature price as well of $25 each. And the best part is that they fit just about anywhere you could want and they make the most amazing and thoughtful gifts. So like I said, if you'd like your very own miniature masterpiece, feel free to email me with what you would like and we'll work out all the details from there.

As a side-note, I have to admit that I'm having a blast getting to work on so many different projects right now! It's incredible! I hope that you are having as great a time as I'm having, or even more, and that you have a wonderfully productive day as well. God bless and happy creating my friend! =D

Sunday, July 28, 2013

"The Anatomy of Me: A Self Portrait" - Whimsical Painting

"The Anatomy of Me:  A Self Portrait"     8" x 10"     Acrylic on Gessobord

Detail of Owl from "The Anatomy of Me:  A Self Portrait"

Detail from Under the Sea from "The Anatomy of Me:  A Self Portrait"
 Not For Sale
But, if you'd like to see my available works or purchase a different painting, 
please go to the tab above labeled "Gallery of Available Works" and email me.

This is a self portrait that I've been working on for some time and that should have actually been done the week of my surgery. I know it's not a portrait in the traditional sense, but it's a peek into my life, my loves, and my passions and what is here on this canvas is truer to my heart than any painting of my physical appearance ever could have been. There are pieces of this that you won't quite understand, but that's part of the beauty of it in my opinion. And some of it is easy to explain. The lantern, for instance, represents my love of camping and spending time outdoors. The whale and ocean scene represent Monterey and the Aquarium, where many of our most special memories for our family have been formed, and will hopefully be revisited very soon. After all, we still need to make up for that botched summer vacation and we still have a few weeks left to try. =)  The owl is there because, well, I just absolutely LOVE owls, and same with the octopus. By the way, the octopus is stylized because when I was younger that's how I used to draw them for my friends, per their requests, and I wanted that aspect of my life to be shown here. There are so many more details with such deeper meanings than this, the tree, the pearl, the starry night sky, the clouds and the waves crashing upon the rocks - each and every element has its place in my heart and a reason for existing in this little world I created with paint and canvas. I wish I could share them all with you, but a girl has to keep a little mystery and intrigue about her, dontcha think?

All in all I really love the way this turned out in the end - I was scared there for a moment, not sure if I could get across exactly what I was going for, but I really do enjoy the way it turned out and it was quite the challenge for me to work on as well. My favorite part of it, well, other than the hidden meanings of course, was in putting so many pieces together into the one whole, with so many small and intricate details laced throughout it, and I honestly can't wait to do something similar to this on a much larger scale, even if I have no clue as to what I would actually do it of. Can you imagine how much I could fit into a scene as large as 48" x 60" if I actually did something like this? I mean, this painting here is only an 8"x10" - not my smallest work for sure, but still pretty small in comparison. Working on something so large would be utterly amazing - and perhaps a deal overwhelming - for me to undertake, but still, SOMEDAY...

Yes, someday I would absolutely love to do a really epic and involved piece, with details that just suck you in for minutes on end until you find yourself lost in it. I've always adored works like that by other artists - it's one of the most amazing aspects of art to me really - to lose one's self in it. But first I have to get over the fear of painting on and potentially ruining such as expensive as a large canvas. I just want to make sure that what I do is perfectly defined and drawn out long before I ever put paintbrush to palette near a canvas of that size. In a way it's silly, really, because I could always rework it until I really like it, but I still struggle with that fear as much as if it were a dog with his jaws clenched relentlessly around my ankle, unshakable and completely ferocious. Why I can't shake it, or when I will, I can't really say. But I sure do hope it's soon!

Do you ever struggle with fears like this? Or even better, have you ever overcome a fear that is similar to this one in some way? I'd love to hear from you, whether it's about something you've already dealt with or are still dealing with. God tells us to not be afraid - that the only thing worthy of fear is He himself. It makes sense - as He holds us securely in His hands and I know He's given me these gifts to use them, refine them, and to harness them to help out others, including my own family. I hate not being able to let go of my fears, my worries and my anxiety. I haven't been more aware of how much of a worrier I am than at my Doctors appointment this week. No, nothing was wrong - no losing of an organ this time! Instead, I'm actually participating in a Bio-Feedback program at the Chronic Pain Center, and while I was there with my Ty, we worked on breathing exercises. Apparently most people breathe slowly, deeply and with consistent timing. Most people also only take between 8 to 12 breaths a minute. Tyler definitely fits into this category. Me however? Oh no! Not me. I breathe so shallowly, quickly and inconsistently that Ty felt like he was going to hyperventilate during one of the tests where I was working on slowing down my breaths. I can't imagine how quickly he'd pass out if he had to breathe at my speed. After all, I take somewhere around 19 breaths a minute right now, which for a person without chronic pain is rather crazy, and for a person with chronic pain it's actually pretty normal. It's crazy how much stress, chronic pain and anxiety change the way your body actually functions on a regular basis. I can't even get close to breathing as slowly as Tyler right now - it's going to take months before then!

Well, it's in moments of awareness like this that open my eyes to how much I am truly unable to let go of my fears or worries no matter what they're about. Even in my art - my go-to "stress reducer" that helps me unwind and close out the rest of the world. Well, at least knowing all this will help me to come to the place where I can actually produce change in my life, I just wish the change was already here. And I imagine this might sound silly to some of you, but I wonder if it would help me to glaze a large canvas right off the bat just so the stark whiteness of it can no longer stare me so harshly in the face? It's worth a shot. And I imagine that just sitting down and drawing something out - facing my fear head on and attacking it before it permanently cripples me - perhaps that would help. I'll let you know what works if I ever do tackle the really gigantic canvases. They just look so amazing, don't you think?

It's getting late and I should probably let you go. I hope you have a wonderful day and hey, if you can you should try to stay tuned this week - I have a few more finished works that I'll be posting up here shortly and I'd love to be able to share them with you. They're little tiny ones too! In the meantime, take care of yourself, okay? God bless!

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Truly Inspirational Speach about Making Good Art, No Matter What Kind of Art You Make

This is the most AMAZING and inspirational video I've seen in a long time. It was posted originally on my friend and fellow artist Crystal Cook's blog, and I just can't help but re-post it here because of its sheer genius. For any artists, authors or thinkers of the imaginative realms anywhere, I strongly suggest you take a minute, or 20, to listen to this video. You won't regret it one bit - in fact, I think you will find yourself greatly inspired to take your art to new heights. And by art I mean all realms - writing, painting, printmaking, architecture, dance, music, seriously, whatever type of art you make. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did (by the way, sorry the screen size is so small, but if you click full screen it's perfectly large enough there, so I recommend viewing it that way):


So good, right?! Thank you Crystal for the amazing link! I am so inspired to start truly letting my own voice be heard, no matter how naked and vulnerable it makes me feel. I feel like I've been trying to play it safe, afraid to let people see all that is inside me, and even though I know it will take some time for me to truly let my voice be seen even more in my art, I want to start working towards that all the more right now. It's hard to break down all the walls and let people see what lies inside. Sometimes it's really hard to just let your true self be seen. But this girl wants to break down those walls, to hang posters that tell me I can at least pretend to be Wise AND Successful - that I already AM a Master Artist, even though I know I'm nowhere near that, just so I can start acting like it. Perhaps by thinking this way it will change the way I view my art as well as how I view myself, and I'll start making decisions and making art that I never would have made in this timid, shy and unsure state I'm in. How about you? Does this video make you feel inspired or make you want to try something different? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. Plus, any comments on here count towards being entered in this months contest of a free painting, and free stuff is always good, dontcha think? Take care my friend, and have a wonderfully inspired day making GOOD ART!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"Sweet Bubbling Waters" - Abstract Photography

"Sweet Bubbling Waters"
Flathead Lake, Montana
Taken June 25th, 2013
Prints Available Upon Request Via Email

Flathead Lake in Montana hosts sweet bubbling waters so clean and pure and sparkling that it seems as if it's been ripped right out of a fairytale. The colors of the pebbles were so beautifully colorful that I could hardly believe my eyes, and I just couldn't resist sorting through them to find the most beautiful ones of all. It was nearly impossible, since all of them looked like the ones above... When I make a book of my photographic journeys, which I truly hope to do some day, this one will certainly make the cut!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Some Photos from Our Trip to Montana a Few Weeks Ago

Today I just thought I'd post some pics from our trip to Montana a few weeks ago. I have to say, for me, that vacation took the prize for being worst vacation EVER - including the time we went without power during those horrible storms a few years back where we were stuck in a cabin for days with 13 people - talk about feeling cramped and dirty. Yup. It even beat that. But even though the flu took no pity on us, we did have a wonderful last day that I will treasure forever. I think the whole fiasco was worth it even just for that one day for me. It was just me and Ty and our boys out at the beach, and it was spectacular! See for yourself:

This boat was just so gorgeous against a background of blue. I can't wait to paint this!
BIG SKY Country indeed!
Levi giving Owen some loves here - how he loves his best friend!
My littlest love bug   =D

Me and my love - I can't wait to steal away with him and the boys to Monterey to make even more beautiful memories with just the four of us. It's hard to believe we've never been on a vacation with just us before, and I think it's far overdue! Now if I could just stop losing organs so we can actually attempt it... =0)
I was absolutely captivated by the way the water kept sweeping and swirling over the gorgeous and colorful rocks that lined the shores of Flathead Lake. I have so many shots similar to this one, where the rippling water made abstract designs that were just breathtaking, and I can't wait to show you more of them, but for now I need to take a little break from editing. And much like the lovely red boat, this one is also calling my name, begging to be painted. It almost looks painted already in my opinion, and I can't wait to see what it looks like as a print. I think what I like most of all is the little ghost rock in this one. It's so cute! =0)

For once I'm actually really enjoying editing my pictures from our trips, so hopefully I'll have some more edits to show you. Normally it's something I both look forward to and dread, but this time, perhaps since we were all so sick that we barely took any pictures, well this time it's been so much fun. Like I said, if I get the chance I'll be adding more up here, and you can be sure to see some of them turned into paintings as well. That red boat is just calling my name, don't you think? =D

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

"The Oddball" - A Still Life and Some Exciting News on the Business Front

"The Oddball"     8" x 10"     Acrylic on Gessobord

Soooo, I am just dying to finally tell you the good news! I am being mentored by an absolutely amazing artist, one who is very well known (famous if you ask me!) and has been such an inspiration to me that she's literally changed my life already though she doesn't even know it! Her name is Suzanne Berry, and if by chance you don't follow up on the "who's who" of daily painting, she is one of the best, and is by far one of my absolute favorites! And you know what else? She actually not only agreed to mentor me but she also agreed to join with me and some absolutely mind-blowing  artists to form a little close-knit peer mentoring and painting group. I honestly am still in shock that they all said yes. I mean seriously - how on earth is little ole me in a group with none other than Suzanne Berry, Crystal Cook, Kyra Wilson, and Alisa Steady!!! Seriously?! Pinch me because I swear I must be dreaming! I mean have you seen their work - oh my goodness, they are honestly some of my favorite painters of all time - no joke! If you haven't seen their beautifully crafted works, so rich in content, detail, talent and beauty that you can't help but stay for more, then go ahead and take a little moment to check them out. I'm not kidding - you'll be happy you did! If they're up to it I'd eventually love to interview each and every one of them and feature them on my blog, but until then, why don't you grab a warm and comforting tea or coffee (or considering the blistering 3 digit heat we've had around here perhaps it'd be better to grab a cool, refreshing lemonade!) and you can just follow the links above to their own blogs to check them out. They are masters of their craft and I am so honored that they would join along with me - more honored than words can express!

So it all came about one day when after years, and yes, literally YEARS of faithfully following Suzanne's blog, waiting for each new post like a little school girl would wait for a new Justin Bieber tweet, that I decided to make one fateful step which would change my life forever. I commented on her blog. Ha, yup, that was it. Just a simple comment is all it took, but for some reason she actually emailed me back. Perhaps this happens more often than I thought or perhaps she writes everyone back who comments on her work, but for me, to see an email from a woman who I look up to like this, well, suffice it to say I was stunned. Overjoyed and simply stunned! I called my husband immediately to tell him the news, and as soon as I finished ranting excitedly to him I phoned my mother to tell her as well. It was just wonderful beyond words. From that email we began speaking back and forth and one day after this had gone on for a time I plucked up the courage and asked her something I still can't believe came out of my mouth:  Will you mentor me?

Wow. Like I said, I'm still in shock that she said yes! It's like something out of a fairytale for me. She is an overwhelmingly talented woman, and her art is so masterly crafted that at times I have a hard time telling what's a painting and what's a photograph. And the ones that are more painterly and expressive are so beautiful that they warm your heart when you see them. She's just such a fantastic painter, and I am so truly honored to have her as my art mentor. I don't know, haven't you ever had something that was just beyond belief for you? A role model that you've held in such high esteem that if you were to meet them in person you would totally go all gaga for them and just sit there all star-struck, not able to speak a single word? Well that's how I feel about her. Honestly, that's how I feel about all of the amazing women I am privileged to work alongside with right now and to become deeper friends with as well. It's just such a blessing for me to be a part of this! And you know, it all started with a simple comment on a blog for me. The group was Leslie Saeta's idea, though in all honesty I really had wanted to form something like this anyways, but her marketing challenge really gave me the kick in the bootie I needed. I didn't end up doing all of the challenges for that month, but I did what I could and so far it's been far beyond incredible. =)

The painting above was my response to me and Suzanne's first project together, where we each painted from one of her original photographs. To see her own amazingly gorgeous response, click here. I really loved being able to work on the same project together this last month, and I'm looking forward to doing it more and more! I just feel so incredibly blessed to be working alongside her in this capacity right now. If you are an aspiring artist, honestly, I would urge you to following your own dreams, no matter how grande. Do you have a mentor artist? An artist who can help guide you in your own journey, who's art is the type of art you dream of creating some day? If not, I would encourage you to ask someone to mentor you - granted you might need to have some type of relationship formed with them before you just go and ask a stranger to spend a good deal of time mentoring you.

In my own experience with mentoring relationships, it seems that the mentor learns just as much as the person they are mentoring does, if not more. A relationship like this is never one sided, and you need to understand the implications of this before you even pursue something like it in the first place. That said, these are the types of relationships that change your life and last a lifetime. There is just something so incredibly special about it - I fact, I honestly believe it's how God intended things to be. I mean, for generations beyond number, most businesses and craftsmen learned through apprenticeships. A young hopeful student would find someone who excelled in their craft, ask to learn from them and work for them, and then spend hours working together in a close-knit relationship where their work was critiqued and challenged vivaciously. And so far, at least in my own opinion, it's been so wonderfully customizable for Suzanne and me, which is especially useful considering what we are both going through at the moment, and this has helped keep us from feeling overwhelmed by it all. So yeah, if you don't have someone, perhaps today is the day you start searching and praying for someone who could come alongside you and either learn from you or teach you. You never know what could happen if you only just ask!

Good luck with this and I hope you are having a fantastic day! Oh, and don't forget:  For this month's contest, all you have to do is to comment on any of my posts for this month to be entered to win your choice of any available painting I create this month. Well then, happy commenting and God bless! =)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Oh Man, What a Week!

Oh man, this week has been quite the ride for us over here. On Tuesday night I started feeling a new pain in my lower abdomen which I knew couldn't be good considering how much we're already having to medicate for my fibromyalgia (or as one of the nurses called FibroMalaysia - the service was beyond sub-par, but that's another matter entirely!), at 1:30am we drove down to the ER which was strangely empty, and by 4am on Wednesday morning I was being wheeled into the operating room to be prepped for surgery. I woke up about 40 minutes after they wheeled me out of surgery, which was far too soon by their standards, but I was in pain and I freaked out because my family had gone home. I kept asking for my husband, but because we weren't expecting all this to happen, the poor guy had gone home at the behest of the surgeon who promised I'd be out for at least 3 or 4 more hours. Thus started my almost 2 day hospital stay that was definable my worst experience thus far with the medical industry, with nurses who never came to help me to the restroom, such severe under-medicating and lack of treatment that we had to get the heads-of-dept. involved just to sort things out. It was a nightmare, a true living nightmare, complete with agonizing screams, sobs and complete and utter disbelief that the hospital was run as poorly as it was. Honestly, I can't even begin to tell you how good it felt to FINALLY get home after it all.

Before this rather sudden emergency, I was in the middle of some really wonderful projects that I am just dying to tell you about, but as you can imagine I'm a bit laid up for the moment. I'm still working on getting back to eating normally again, though climbing the stairs is getting easier and I can almost bend down without too much pain. I can't wait to be able to lift up my boys and snuggle them (still a whole 'nother week and a half! It's so heartbreaking to tell Levi not to hug me because he's right where my stitches are or to see little Owie trying to climb up my legs so I can hold him!). I so want to give them loves and play until I can't possibly play anymore, but for now I'm working on trying to get stronger and stronger for them so I can do all those things. If you are expecting any works soon, I am so sorry - I hope you don't mind me taking a tad longer on them, but I'm just not up to staying up late painting yet. But I will try my hardest to get them to you as soon as possible! In the meantime, I'm still trying to get back to sitting up comfortably, though I'm healing up more and more each and every day and I hope to get back to my easel as soon as I possibly can. Until then, I wish you all a good morrow. God bless and happy painting to you! =)

Monday, July 1, 2013

"Sweet Sunday Morning" - A Landscape Painting

"Sweet Sunday Morning"     5" x 7"     Acrylic on Museum Quality Gessoboard
Please contact me if you are interested in buying this work
Or you can BUY NOW from my Daily Paintworks Gallery

Oh man, I'm not kidding, this is like the third time this year I've missed the deadline for posting on the Virtual Paintout by only a few hours. Not a big deal - as I'm only doing this for myself, otherwise it would have been done earlier - but still frustrating none-the-less. So I guess I'm an unofficial wanderer for last month, where we traveled to The Azores. It seems that last months location was quite popular, for this is the first time I've ever seen so many paintings before for one location. But I'm still pretty new to this, so perhaps that's why. I imagine it can't hurt that summer is officially in full bloom. If you want to see some of the other works for this month, visit The Virtual Paintout - there are many beautiful submissions that will just blow you away. And even though mines not up there, I sure hope you like it too!  =)

ALSO, before I forget, do you remember this little guy?
"Henry and His Nectarine"    4" x 4"    Acrylic on Museum Quality Claybord

Well, he now belongs to our new winner, BEKAH, from Bekah's Photography!!! Congratulations Bekah, on your new painting! Go ahead and contact me to let me know what your address is so I can work on shipping this sweet little piece out to you. And thank you for answering all my questions and doing my contests - I truly do appreciate it. =)

And now on to this months CONTEST! All you have to do is simply comment on my Facebook Fan Page on any of my paintings or posts that I will be posting from today up to the very last day of the July. You can write whatever you want, give gentle critique or just say hello, but to enter to win you HAVE TO WRITE A COMMENT on any of my FACEBOOK FAN PAGE Posts or Paintings from the month of JULY ONLY! The more paintings or posts that you comment on for the month of July, the more chances you have to win. And just so you know, you can only get credit ONCE for each of my posts or paintings, so there's no need to blow up my wall with multiple comments on the same one. So head on over and start commenting away! Oh, and as always, you get extra credit for "Liking" my Facebook Page, so if you haven't done so already, go ahead and do so now. The winner for this month will get to choose ONE painting from a marvelous selection of my works that I will be putting together at the end of this month. So get to it and write away, my friends!  Click here to visit my Facebook Fan Page and get started on earning your entries RIGHT NOW!!!    =D
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