Tuesday, July 27, 2010

MAGIC for Yapstar.com

oil on canvas

Meet Magic! Last year I was invited to enter my work in a contest Yapstar.com was having. I was lucky enough to be chosen to share first place with another artist. Magic's photo won as well as my chosen subject. This incredibly beautiful Irish Setter was such a joy to paint.

This is just about done. I sure hope his owner is happy with it. We'll see.

Monday, July 26, 2010

JANUARY and an update


I need to keep myself honest regarding my new beginning so I'm posting my progress. And here it is. So far....none. But!... I have been trying and will continue to do so. I began a new painting, determined to limit my palate, but no go. Changing is a process. I will be patient with myself on this little journey. It should be fun and I'm determined to have fun if it kills me. Kidding. Really, I'm not taking myself or painting all that seriously right now and to me that's real progress.

As far as cleaning and getting my studio and storeroom in order, I've actually made a dent! I'm giving myself until August 1st to complete the organization of the clutter. I'm stoked about taking my "after" shots. I really have been watching too much HGTV haven't I?

I have nothing finished, so I'm posting this poster, my second art club project. The word we were given was January. I don't like January. We expect ourselves to become different people on January 1st and are ultimately disappointed...sometimes on January 2nd. It's cold. Christmas has come and gone, taking with it that warm womb-like feeling of crackling fires and  a house full of jolly people. Not to mention the fragile promises and intangible dreams of becoming thinner, richer and wiser by the following January 1st. I created a movie poster parody to convey my contempt for the month of January and some of the baggage it brings with it. For moi anyway. I'm sure a lot of folks love January and to those of you who do, my humbug apologies.

Again thank you for your supportive comments, it really helps to know that so many can relate to the chaos, both emotional and physical.  Back to work!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A NEW BEGINNING...all over again!


No, I'm not appearing as a guest on the series "Hoarders," although it certainly looks that way. Obviously, I make no effort to hide the fact that I'm not the best house keeper in the world, although I am trying to improve. In fact, back in the day, my mother assured me the reasons trial husband left were directly related to—not only my near constant struggle with the scale—but also my lack of cleaning skills. If that's what keeps a marriage going then I'm totally hooked up this time.

Anyway I'm starting over, again! More on that below. Let's briefly cover these photos. The pink..."actually magenta...what was I thinking"...room is my studio. That I don't use. As you can see, it's not tidy. Artwork, boxes, and supplies lying about, I need to step over them all to get to the computer or the phone. The green room is the store room that used to be a guestroom. As you can see it's impossible to walk into. Discarded there, for the present anyway, are dreams of jewelry making, sculpting, and incredibly tasty guitar playing along with haphazardly strewn canvasses and supplies from wall to wall. I do keep my current work safe in another room however so there is some growth there. Over the last year, things just got out of hand, completely. I've taken everything on the floor out of the room, several times, with the intention of going through it all and making nice, but inevitably time would run short during the day and I would have to shove all the stuff back and close the door because company was coming.

I watch a lot of HGTV while I work. I glance up at the "before," work while listening as the crew faces the inevitable road block that threatens every project, and then look up again to see the tidy, shiny "after" at the end of the show. Anyway, I'm now envisioning  my very own before and after and I figured this time, if I make it public, I just might get it done. Yeah, I know that hasn't helped before but that's what a new beginning is all about isn't it?

On a deeper level of thought, about admonishing myself...yeah, I know, I almost never do that...for making yet another new beginning, an epiphany..."why not another new beginning?" Shall I continue patterns that don’t satisfy just to avoid the "shame" of yet another new beginning? It's like a female friend I had years ago with a lot of facial fuzz. She wanted to get rid of it but didn't want it to look as though she had shaved. I asked, quite innocently, if she preferred it looked as though she hadn't. If you stop to think about it, a life without frequent new beginnings and changes can look very hairy.

These new thoughts come courteousy of some changes I’ve made recently and a sincere wish to feel good. Not better. Better indicates an incremental struggle is pending. No! Good is what I want to feel. I cannot control what's going on around me, I need to grasp that. I actually believe that if I sit quietly and let go of all my thoughts for an hour I should be rewarded by the Universe by avoiding a painful, bloody toe stub as I leave the room immediately after. Whether or not the stub was my unconscious intention is a discussion for another time, but BAM! all that hard-earned peace, shot to hell by taking one step!

But that isn't it. It’s about accepting what is and moving on. There was a film out a few years back with Alec Baldwin playing an actor making a movie in a small village in New England. He was a bit of a hound and after a boozy, sex filled romp with a townie, he crashes the car they were riding in. Luckliy they’re both fine and as he emerges from the car and rights himself, he looks up, brushes off and says.... “Well, That happened!” And then he’s off to the next thing.

Clearly that’s an extreme example, but, what if I stubbed my toe, felt the pain and moved on instead of taking it as a sign from the Universe that I’m not meant to be at peace!

Himself and I had great “speaks” this A.M. over vittles. I’ll skip the gooey, self-serving “he's my best friend” rhetoric and just say that I’m really, really, really hooked up here. Anyway, we were discussing art. What a surprise! Since I’m painting upstairs, still...can’t seem to leave the AC and the flat screen..the day’s work is staring us in the face as we relax before sleeping. The paintings, happily and sometimes unhappily, are the subject of much discussion. Most of it is himself telling me what I should or shouldn't be doing to the work we’re looking at, but this morning, for reasons I can't define, my defense reflex was apparently asleep at the wheel because instead of shooting back some snotty response, I listened to what he was saying. He wound up an insightful and interesting observation about my work with this phrase...You need to define your palate and define your point of view.

U-freakin-reaka! There is was! Startlingly simple! Direct and glaringly, embarrassingly obvious! I've never really heard what he was saying before. It's amazing what we can hear when we actually listen and are ready for a shift in perception. 

So I'm going to define my palate....not forever and not for every painting and I can change it whenever I want...and define my point of view...which I can also change whenever I choose. As of now I'm planning a series of eight canvasses, not sure if the sizes will be uniform or varied, of groups of people painted loosely from a palate consisting of raw umber, alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow and white. Simple and direct. Again, we'll see but this feels very exciting to to me.

Enjoy the rest of the day.

Friday, July 16, 2010


graphite on paper

This was done for a new friend.

Thursday, July 15, 2010



This months' theme, chosen by Vicki Ross, is blue and yellow. I love it but I must admit, I was hard pressed to find the proper subject matter, so I waited until the last minute and finally I found something that I fancied. I'm not sure whether it's better to get done a week ahead of time, in which case I'm impatient to post or waiting until hours before the deadline, which, in some cases, makes me throw caution to the wind and just paint.

I had two deadlines yesterday and I felt overwhelmed and a bit lazy if I'm honest. But again, it was fear dressed up in dread yet again. I guess that nauseousness one experiences when one first sits down to work isn't ever going to go away. At least not for moi anyway.

I also realized that, like any exercise one does, there is a warming up period required. I want to bolt for the first twenty minutes or so but after a bit, the paint gliding on the canvas begins to feel good and if the right music is playing or my favorite marathon is on it usually turns into a fulfilling session. Or, let's face it, what I'm doing begins to look like something. I just gotta get out past the breakers. I know I've said this over and over but the process and eventual outcome is still a mystery to me. I sometimes feel like I'm just along for the ride.  And there are times when the road is clear and unobstructed and times when it's riddled with potholes and it's hard to see because of the tears...I mean rain...but at this point I know I need to start the journey...daily.


“Yellow Columbine” 
Oil on hardboard 6”x4” 
unframed $99
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

“Yellow Lily on Spode Blue Italian Plate”
6x6 inches
 oil on panel ©2010 Jeanne Illenye

"Summer Bouquet"
6x6 oil on panel
© 2010 Robin Cheers

“Blue and Yellow”
9x12” oil on panel
©2010 Vicki Ross

Friday, July 9, 2010


5" x 7" (12.7cm x 17.8cm)
oil on canvas
$125 plus $15.95 shipping and handling in the US
E-mail me for International shipping rates or other inquiries.

What a difference a day makes! Thank you so much for your support, I'm a whiner, I know. But yin and yang, up and down, back and forth...a creative spurt is guaranteed to be followed by a depressing drought, it's law. One must rest the muse or she'll bolt. Thankfully, this was a short rest.

Speaking of drought, it's about time for some rain here, it's like a sauna out there. I actually had to put the camera in a plastic bag and let it sit outside the air conditioned bedroom for a bit before I could shoot this painting. Then I had to reverse the process before I could download the shots! It probably wasn't all that bad, but better to be safe than sorry, condensation can kill a camera.

I actually did another daily today thanks to RookiePainter.com! I loved the reference photo. I think I've been working on too many larger canvases, which isn't a bad thing, it just takes a lot longer so I give myself the impression that I'm not producing enough.

Then there's the clutter. I was strolling through the living room on the way upstairs yesterday and realized there were boxes, stacks of magazines and books, canvases, paints and just general stuff, all spilling out of my store room and studio. So basically my job has taken over the house. I heard myself complain about himself not picking up after himself and I instantly shrunk! It took me a good half hour to make it up the stairs I was so small.

I have a lot of tidying to do. Enjoy the weekend and thanks so much for stopping by.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


5" x 7" (12.7cm x 17.8cm)
oil on canvas

This was my very first daily painting posted on May 1, 2008. It sure feels as though I've been doing this more than two years! I find myself in one of those nebulous mood swings where everything I do looks like poop, so instead of diving into depression, I'm quietly stepping back and waiting till it passes...again.

I just felt like posting, thought it might ignite the creative embers. Maybe its the heat. Hope everyone had a great Fourth.