Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 In Review- 11 Question Interview

What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
One of my paintings was accepted into a juried show and shown in a gallery.  
I learned how to snowboard.
I went para-sailing and learned how to ride a tandem bike.

Did you keep your New Year’s Resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I dont think I made any resolutions last year.
This year I would like to-
Finish my BFA in May
Do more yoga

What trips did you take?
Lake Tahoe CA in January
Catalina CA in July
Townsend TN in October
Glasgow, Scotland in November

What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

What was your biggest achievement of the year? What was your biggest failure?
Letting my inner demons get the better of me

What do you wish you’d done more of?
Everything- more hikes, more time with friends, and family.
I wish I spent more time on art for me instead of school or other people.

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Procrastinating, TV watching, Worrying

What was the best book you read?
I read a lot of great books this year.  
My faves would have to be-

What was your greatest musical discovery of the year?

What kept you sane?
My family- Husband, cat, and 2 dogs, & my friends. 

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011?
It is ok to say "no".

Monday, December 19, 2011

Fall 2011 Review

First off, I must say, I am proud of myself.  This was not an easy semester.  4 classes, 3 of them studio classes.  I haven't done that wacky of a schedule in years.  Thankfully, I made it through though with only a few bumps.  This semester I created a business plan, 4 figure sculptures, and over 100 paintings.  That is a lot of work in 15 weeks.     

Another semester down, 3 more classes to go.  I am soo excited to be so close to finishing my BFA.  I have 1 required course and 2 of my choice to take next semester and I dont know what too choose.  I am kind of thinking Mixed Media 2, Monotype, Relief Printing, Painting Concepts, Abstract Painting, or Studio Landscape. Too many choices.  Right now I am leaning toward Mixed Media 2, and Relief Printing.  We will see what I end up choosing after I talk to my adviser and have my portfolio review.  

I am really into printmaking right now because that is what I am going to be doing for my Christmas presents this year.  Every year I like to make my gifts.  I have done candle holders, ornaments, candles, and you might remember my Winter Bird paintings from last year.   This year I am not going to go as crazy and give everyone an original painting. No, this year i will be creating prints.  I dont want to go into detail but I promise I will post them after Christmas.  I am quite excited about them and will probably sell a few in my shop.  
I hope everyone has a wonderful, happy, peaceful holiday season. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

 Purple Moth Orchid
9 x 12
acrylic on canvas
Final for Quick Studies. Inspired by severe cropping.  I thought since I did a lot of paintings this semester using a palette knife I would do my final with a knife.  From my beautiful Home Depot orchid. Also seen here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lady Torso

Lady Torso 
~ 2 feet
 water based clay
For Head and Figure Sculpture.  Happy with this.  I think I may even hollow it out and keep it :)  I like the marbling effect of the two clays. Previous Step.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ode to Spring, Longer Figure Studies

Ode to Spring
30 x 20
watercolor on illustration board
For Still Life 2.  Large format painting. Ranunculas.  I had lots of fun with this.  I let myself really explore different media.  This is watercolor, pen, and colored pencil. Costco had a big pack of fun colored pens so I was inspired to use those.  I really think I will try more pieces in this style.  
Before the splatter explosion-
Longer Figure Studies 
9 x 12
acrylic on board
For Quick Studies. 1st 2 are 30 minutes and the last 1 is 45 minutes.  More involved studies of figures in action.   

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

QOTD- Dan McCaw

"A bad painting is like taking a journey down a side road and finding it ends in a dead end. 
It may seem you've gone nowhere, but there are gifts you've picked up along the way. 
Just keep your eyes open. 
You'll learn something from each road you take. 
The main thing is to keep excited about what you're doing. 
Think of frustration as the vehicle that moves us forward and persistence as the gas that drives it. 
Enjoy the journey, it's the most important part of the trip." 

Torso WIP

Torso WIP
~ 2 feet
 water based clay
For Head and Figure Sculpture.  This is more of a lump of clay then a torso.  I ran out of clay and will need to buy more to bring this to more of a finish.  2 weeks left of school! I cant do it! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

December Rose, Negative Space Quick Studies

December Rose
10 x 10
watercolor onpaper
For Still Life 2. A square composition. I like what I have done with this but I feel there is much more I can do.  I hope to go back into it and refine it a bit more. 

12 x 9
acrylic on board
For Quick Studies. 25 minutes.  Exploring negative space.  


14 x 11
watercolor on board
For Still Life 2.  Finished. Previous step.  I love the bright vibrant colors.  I also love the play of cool and warm colors.  I think it is beautiful. 
I brought this piece to Scotland but I was too busy exploring the beautiful country to have time to finish this there.  It is done now :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011


16 x 8
watercolor on illustration board
For Still Life 2.  Unusual format. 
I have gotten into this awful habit of turning in my work late for this class.  Week after week.  This was due last Monday.  I only have 2 weeks left so I really need to get my butt into gear. 
My reference photo was taken for this at a pub in Glasgow Scotland called the Ubiquitous Chip.  Very cool place.  Nice ambiance.  Looks like a greenhouse inside. I loved the warmth of the candle and the design of the holder.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Scotland Landscape Quick Studies

 12 x 9
watercolor on paper
For Quick Studies.  30 minute studies.  In Scotland and crazy inspired.  The architecture is beautiful.

 12 x 9
acrylic on board
45 minute studies.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

i love you, Freesia WIP

 i love you
12 x 9
watercolor on illustration board
For Still Life 2.  Trompe d'oeil. Previous step. I like the way this turned out and I enjoyed the process.  I may do more paintings like this :)

  Freesia WIP
14 x 11
watercolor on board
For Still Life 2.  Paint to board. The hardest part.  You got to start somewhere. 
I leave for Scotland for a week on Friday so it looks like this painting will be coming with me :) I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lovley Lady Lumps

Lovley Lady Lumps
~ 3 feet
clay, aluminum wire, & wood
For Head and Figure Sculpture.  Finished. Previously called Standing Figure WIP.  If you recall when I began this piece I could not get My Humps by the Black Eyed Peas out of my head.  Well, as I finished I still had that song stuck in my head so I decided that that should be the title for this piece. 
As for the sculpture, I hate the face.  Love everything else.  After this is graded I will probably get rid of the face just to make myself feel better.  I like it more ambiguous and less in your face.   Personal style.  For this assignment though I felt I needed to include a face.  Tiny details are not my favorite part of sculpture so creating the face was pretty miserable for me.   

Monday, November 21, 2011

More Female Nude Quick Studies

 9 x 12
acrylic on board 
For Quick Studies.  Just like last week- Female Nudes working on exaggerated color. Top 3 are 25 minute and bottom 2 are approx 60 minute. More fun with a palette knife. This week I did not use pure white.  Week after week my instructor has commented on my use of too much white.  I decided to use a mixture of white and cadmium yellow light as my lightest light.  Overall I like the result.  I think it gives my pieces more life.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

i love you WIP

 i love you WIP
12 x 9
watercolor on illustration board
For Still Life 2.  Trompe d'oeil.  I had huge issues coming up with an idea for this assignment.  I was thinking too complicated.  I decided to go for more of a modern take instead of a traditional one.  After quite a bit of struggle I finally got over my artist block and came up with an idea.  I like the way this is coming along a lot.  I feel like there is nice potential with this.

QOTD- 5 Simple Rules to be Happy

5 Simple Rules to be Happy
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Standing Figure More WIP

Standing Figure WIP
~ 3 feet
clay, aluminum wire, & wood
For Head and Figure Sculpture.  Adding more clay to this. I worked on refining the forms and smoothing out areas. Loving the progress.  Dreading doing the face.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Quick Studies- Female Nude

 9 x 12
acrylic on board 
For Quick Studies.  Female Nudes working on exaggerated color. Top 3 are 25 minute and bottom 2 are approx 60 minute. More fun with a palette knife.  I had such a good time on my cloud studies that I though I would try my hand and using a palette knife on nudes.  Different process but nicely challenging. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Candle Light

 Candle Light 
12 x 9
watercolor on illustration board
For Still Life 2.
There is a ton more I could do to this.  Some paintings flow and some fight- this one fought.
1st I couldnt find a good surface.  After I put a wash on the first surface on a bunch of unavoidable dark areas appeared.  Then I tried a watercolor canvas that worked too much like gesso so I scrapped that one.  I ended up having to cut and prepare another surface.  It is supposed to cure for 24 hours and it only had ~5. Hopefully it wont effect the final look.
I didnt get the colors as dark as I wanted.  I will probably work back into this at some point. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Standing Figure WIP

Standing Figure WIP
~ 3 feet
clay, aluminum wire, & wood
For Head and Figure Sculpture.  Adding more clay to this.  I love the curves.  It is nice to work from a curvy model for a change.  I have painted/drawn/sculpted enough skinny people. I also love how lose I am applying the clay.  It gives the piece more character. Its about the overall picture and not just the tiny details.
I deconstructed the Female Portrait Sculpture and the Reclining Female and repourposed the clay for this sculpture.  It is so big that I ran out of that clay and will have to buy more.  
I get more and more excited with the piece as I spend more time on it.  Lets hope that excitement continues to grow.   

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cloud Studies & Fall Back

 12 x 9
acrylic on board
30 minutes
 11 x 14
acrylic on board 
45-60 minutes
Cloud studies done with a palette knife.
We have had some rain this past week and with the rain comes very beautiful clouds. I was inspired. 
In my Still Life 2 class one of my classmates has been using a palette knife.  I thought I would give it a go and see how it worked for these quick studies.  I think it was pretty successful and I had fun.  

 Fall Back  
12 x 9
watercolor on illustration board
For Still Life 2.  Previously called Autumn.  You can see the grisaille/ underpainting here. In honor of the recent time change I am calling this Fall Back :)   
I think the colors turned out wonderfully.  I really enjoyed the process.  Grisaille really lends itself to watercolor.  If you get the values down correctly it just becomes a paint by number :) I find it very helpful to map out the values first as it makes me slow down and really think about them.  In watercolor the biggest difficulty for me is not going dark enough and the grisaille helps me to get my darks nice and dark.  This is a technique I will be using again.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

QOTD- Ira Glass

"Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. 
All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. 
But there is this gap. 
For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. 
It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. 
But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. 
And your taste is why your work disappoints you. 
A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. 
Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. 
We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. 
We all go through this. 
And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. 
Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. 
It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. 
And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. 
It’s gonna take awhile. 
It’s normal to take awhile. 
You’ve just gotta fight your way through." 
-- Ira Glass

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Autumn Grisaille

watercolor on illustration board
For Still Life 2. Grisaille or under-painting done in Burnt Umber. I went on a nice little nature walk to find these leaves.  I know California doesnt really have seasons but we do have a few kinds of trees that change.  I picked leaves that had the prettiest colors and so I am excited to add the color to this. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Standing Figure WIP- Block-In

Standing Figure WIP
~ 3 feet
clay, aluminum wire, & wood
For Head and Figure Sculpture. The very beginning stages of my block in.  Previous step.
Not at all as far along with this as I would like.  I thought I had enough clay for the block in.  Turns out I dont.  Lame I know but it is what it is.  I am trying to avoid buying a bunch of clay.  When I took the Foundations sculpture course I bought 50 lbs of clay and didnt know what do do with it when the class was done.  I ended up giving it to the local elementary school when we moved.

On a side note, I had this song stuck in my head as I was working on this piece-

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!, Datsun at Willow, Unusual Lighting Quick Studies

Datsun at Willow
  16 x 20
  acrylic on canvas
  For Quick Studies.  Creating a larger finished painting. Done from my sketch.
 I think it looks good.  I miss the loose quality of the sketch.  Getting the correct proportions on the car was difficult but I think I eventually got it.  I have not done a realistic painting in acrylic in over 3 years so this was a bit of a challenge.  

  Unusual Lighting 
  12 x 9
  acrylic on board
  For Quick Studies.  Figures with unusual lighting.  First three done in 25 minutes last two done in 40 minutes. The lighting was an interesting challenge.  My biggest struggle this week was proportions. 
Happy Halloween!!!
Taken with my iPhone. Processed with Instagram.


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