Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Chrissy

(Chrissy - blowing rose petals . . .)

January 28, 1992 was a day to remember . . .it was the day the Christina was born. Chrissy was her own person from the first moment she entered this world. I have incredibly fond memories of her. Things like . . .the way she would make up her own songs whenever we went for car drives; she would also make up games - unfortunately I always lost. Maybe that was because she was the only one who understood the rules. For years, we referred to "CST" which meant "Chrissy Standard Time". This was the way she lived her life - she did everything on her own schedule. She had a well-developed imagination. Most days, Chrissy was "replaced" with her alter ego - Skipper Tiger. She has always loved music. The first time I remember her making music on the piano was when she was about 3 years old. She would play a few notes - and then repeat them over and over. Her favorite "toy" was her daddy's mixing board. I have fond memories of her wearing head phones and creating all types of sounds. Chrissy was always comfortable with a pencil or crayons in her hands. She would write stories and create art and still does. She has her own sense of style. You cannot listen to her laugh and not join in with her. She loves animals - and animals love her. She has a beautiful singing voice.
Chrissy - the world as I know it, would be a very dull place without you in it. You have brought our family much joy and happiness. I love you. Happy Birthday!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Just another Monday night . . .

Pam is a coworker who had an old chair that she had rescued. The seat had originally been woven, but had pretty much disintegrated over time. She had every intention of refinishing the chair, but time found that it was not happening. Just before the holidays, she asked me to take the job over for her. Well . . .you know me - I love to give an old chair new life.
We started by cutting out a new seat from mdf and repairing a crack or two in the rungs. That was followed by a good coat of primer. Then it was time for the fun to begin. This chair had some great lines and features. They really don't build chairs like they used to. Here is a picture of the seat . . .
Once the chair was fully painted, I added the last bit of embellishments including some copper tape, and tassels made of wire and beads hanging from the rungs on both sides.
The other project I have been working on is a painting. An acrylic on canvas, it is full of color and life - but it was missing something. I rifled through my storage area in my studio and found an old, beaten up frame that someone had given me a couple years ago. One of those things that I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but couldn't bring myself to get rid of it. Hmmmm - it looked like it might fit the painting. So I experimented with it, and sure enough, it was a perfect fit.
I covered the entire frame with black paint and then began to embelish it. The final result was just what I had hoped. The photo just doesn't do it justice.

Here's to color.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It's a GOOD Week!

You know some weeks are just good. And this is a good week - To begin with, Martin Luther King, Jr day was on Monday. A day to acknowledge a wonderful man who made a difference in our country - Also a wonderful day off from the 8-5 job. I was able to spend some wonderful time in my studio. I am working on a bright painting full of colorful figures. I will share a photo in the next few days after I finish.

Tuesday brough the Inauguration of our new President. I am so happy and hopeful. It feels brighter and more positive. I am pleased. I feel hopeful that our country can move forward. I feel hopeful that we will be able to improve financially. I don't expect it to start right away - but I believe that it is coming.

In Portland, where I live, the sun has been shining. It has been cold, afterall it is still January. but the sun is shining. I need these times of sun to lift my spirits. The older I get, the more difficult it is to endure the long gray days of winter here in the Pacific Northwest.

Tomorrow, I will join with other artists to participate in a life drawing session. I love gathering with other artists - we talk, we laugh, we share ideas, and we create. Life drawing is not my strongest skill, but I lvoe to try. And it doens't matter that it's not perfect. I go for the experience.

And to complete the "good week" - tonight is the return of LOST. There are cvery few shows that i will come in from the studio for, but Lost is one them.

Here's to a good week . . .What's been good about your week? let me know!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I sat down last night with a blank canvas and a desire to paint. I didn't know what I was going to paint. So I started laying in some background colors and playing around. When I finally started laying in the design, I ended up with a field of wildflowers - full of color. I am ready for spring -and it is only January. It will be a long time before I get to enjoy flowers in my back yard, so I guess I will have to paint my garden for now.


When sitting and waiting or listening - start doodlin'. At least, that's my philosophy. Here is a picture of one of my latest drawings. Generally I don't know how these are going to turn out - or even what they are going to be. I begin with a "frame" around the perimeter of the paper and then build the picture inside. Once the main image is decided upon, the white space needs to be created. It's the little details that make it work. Eventually, if I really like the image, it will be converted to color on a canvas. Keep your eyes open for this one later . . .full of bright color.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Resolutions -

It's the new year, and if you are like me - you're already tired of hearing about Resolutions. Especially the Resolutions that have to do with exercise and weight. Why is it that we think we can only begin an exercise program or start that diet after the first of the year?

I love the concept of a new year and fresh starts, but I do get bogged down with the Resolutions. So often, it follows the same pattern. I make a list of all the wonderful new things I'm going to do. And then I get up in the morning, and all the "old" tasks are still there. Within about a week, I feel like a failure because there is no way I can fit another thing into my week - even if it is good for me. I mean really - who came up with this idea anyway?

This year, I am making a "new" resolution - I'm not going to add any more to my plate. Instead, I am looking at my life and obligations, and I am going to remove some things. Doesn't that sound easier? I resolve not to agree to anything unless I take a moment to think it through. I am the Queen of quick responses. I think it is time to pass that crown on to someone else.

I had a major "aha" moment in December. As many of you know, Oregon was given an early Christmas present in the form of the biggest snow and ice storm we have seen since I was a little girl. It pretty much shut the city down. We were not able to get out of our driveway for a week. In that time period, I was quite content to be housebound. I loved spending time with the family, cooking a few good meals, baking a little bit, playing some board games, playing the piano, painting in the studio, watching movies . . .simple things that I find a hard time working into the day. I felt content and happy.

Life is busy - and I do love it - but I also love being able to keep it balanced. And that is my Resolution for 2009. To remove those things which prevent me from keeping my balance!

Please share your resolutions with me . . .I love to hear what others are doing.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I'm Back.. .

I have been so slack in these posts - and I do apologize. The Holidays kind of took me over and I think I am still recovering. But it is a new year, new start, and new committment. So stick with me and we will see where this takes us!
So to catch up a bit - in my last post, I spoke of the Annual Miller Turkey Bowl. It was a day of good fun, good friends, and good food.

And really - what other sport lets you wear such fine looking shoes. Oh admit it - you wish you had a pair of your own!
After all of the festivities and food, it was time for family game night! The first game to be played was a rousing game of pictionary. Then we finished up with a game of Scrabble where we accomplished the impossible - we used EVERY tile in the box! I have been playing this game for years and only accomplished this once before in high school- and on that game we cheated.

December brought the Holiday Sales. This year my husband and I traveled to Seattle to participate in the Phinney Winterfest. Located in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood, this was a great show. We met some amazing people and saw some amazing art. I truly felt humbled to be a part. 100 artisans participated.

This was our neighbor 0 she creates beaded jewelry and purses - can you imagine the time it takes to create one of those purses? They were gorgeous.
This woman created amazing textile art with bright colors and contemporary designs. These are not your Grandmothers quilts. We loved her work so much, we brought home one of her pieces.
This artist (sorry for the blurry picture) creates unique, one of a kind jewelry out of recycled glass. She reclaims broken glass and creates awesome jewelry and gifts. Truly a one of a kind item! We have a few of her pieces as well. Check out her website -
This is one of our panels, all bedecked with plaques and mirrors - by the end of the show there were alot of holes on our panels. I basically have to start rebuilding my inventory now!
Phinney - you were very good to us - we will be back next year.
Now on to January. I am finishing up a few projects for some very patient clients! This is a new painting (18x24) that I just completed for Rhonda. She was a great friend who managed my booth at a mid-week holiday show at Mt. Hood Community College. Her price for working was a customized piece of art -all in black and white. The area where it will hang is all black and white - very classy and dramatic.
I finished it over the weekend, and it truly was just black and white - but unfortunately, it all blended together. We looked at it together and I suggested adding a bit of red. Life is always better with a bit of red! Wouldn't you agree? This was the final product. And I am much happier with it. It will look great on her wall.
We are just starting to process and send out applications for 2009 shows and festivals. Presently, we are working on a private sale for just in time for Valentines Day. There will be some exceptional artists with one of a kind gifts, food, drink, and chair massage. Bring your sweetie along - you get the massage, and he can buy you a gift? What could be better? Stay tuned for details . . .
And WELCOME 2009 -