Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Road Trips and Inspiration (part 1)

Last week I had the pleasure of skipping town and going with a friend (and her mom) on a road trip from Minneapolis, MN to Galveston, TX ... 21 hours of straight driving! Which meant I woke up early on Friday morning and I didn't go to sleep until late Saturday night. I was up for 40 hours with a 45 min dozing on and off on the drive.  By the time I slept, I didn't move all night ... woke up in the exact position I fell asleep in.

I would love to say the trip was full of sun and warmth but since I don't consider myself a liar, I will say it was REALLY nice on Fat Tuesday. Yes, FAT TUESDAY ... did you know then celebrate Mardi Gras in TX? Well in Galveston its Huge and while we missed the BIG parade we managed to celebrate big last Tuesday!  I came home with 48 strands of beads (no flashing necessary) and had a blast!

We did get some beach time in on Tuesday as well, but the Gulf of Mexico is COLD! lol  I didn't swim as 68 is not swimming weather, but it was fun to get yet a 3rd body of water under my belt  ... this trip also added 4 new states to my "traveled to/through list".

The 60 degree foggy weather didn't get us down, especially me ... I love museums and Galveston has LOTS of history. I toured the Moody Mansion and the Bishops Palace.

The Bishops Palace  was AMAZING!! It was completed in 1892 at a cost of $240,000 the equivalent of 6.5 million today! It is 20,000 Sq ft. and has 14 foot ceilings on the first floor and rare Sienna marble columns in the  entry way. There is an octagonal mahogany stairwell that is forty feet tall with stained glass on five sides. The stair is lit by a large octagonal skylight. There is also a massive fireplace in the front parlor that is made of Santo Domingo mahogany  This house has 23 inch thick walls that survived one of worlds most awful natural disasters on Sept. 8th, 1900 ... half the town was gone killing approximately 8000 people and leaving 28 million in property losses.

The house only had 7 feet of standing water in the raised basement and that was it!  The woman of the house Mrs. Gresham was left alone after her husband (a lawyer and politicial) passed away and the children were grown and out on their own. Not wanting to abandon the house of their dreams she sold it to the catholic church for 37,500 in 1923. She was not a catholic, but knew the house would be in good hands and thus the bishop moved in.

Very little was changed when the Bishop lived there. He passed away from a heart attack and since then the house has been a museum.

The best part of the house was all the amazing art work ... YES, ART WORK!! Mrs. Gresham was a painter and had her own studio on the 3rd floor. She had zero formal training, but you would never have known that. The portrait work she did of her family members is just beautiful ... not all of her works of art are in the house however. After she moved in 1923 there were some bare walls that were filled with biblical works of art from one of the nuns ... again no formal training, but BEAUTIFUL stuff!! I wish I had pictures to show, but no photographs allowed.

We also went to the zoo and Moody Gardens ... that is basically a cage-less zoo. Exotic birds and monkeys are free to roam, it was Awesome!!  We also went to the Natural Science Museum and before we left we stopped at the Fine Arts Museum of Houston ... Wonderful!! 

Just "MY" size palm trees!

First time in the Gulf of Mexico

A few Zoo-spirational pics

Laughing at the Kookaburra, but he didn't laugh back.
Kookaburra's are one of my favorite birds. I know
the Kookaburra song and everything. LOVE these!!

Flamingos!! I could watch these guys all day. 
They were more salmon then the bright pink I've seen
before, still love the color though.

This guy is interesting, the Shoe-Bill Stork,
he has a beauty all his own!

This is all for tonight, I will post more pics of 
Moody Gardens and the fabulous art tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WIP in my studio

This is what I am currently working on. There is a lot of vibrant color... Stay tuned to see how this miss self indulgent progresses (she looks like she knows something, am I right?)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
Sharing the love, 
so Happy Valentine's to YOU!

I managed to make a few Valentines tags, though I'd hoped to make more.
In addition to my Whitman Sampler (thanks to the hubby for the chocolate), I could have
used a dozen stems of TIME ... yes, time. I don't seem to have enough of it these day
and I'd love to have some extra. 

I wish time was like my cell phone roller over min, whenever I get a little extra 
I can cash it in when I need it ... eh, what can ya do right?

Oh Yeah TAGS

This is the one I made for my Hubby:
Not sure if you can read it, but it says; 
For the One I Love

I really like this one and if it wasn't so late when I had 
make these I would have added some stitching
like I did to the first tag I made a couple of weeks ago

I have no idea what to do with the other tags 
as they  clearly have romantic links to them
versus a fun silly Valentine's card you would give to your
good friend or something . 

Perhaps I'll save em' for next year when I have an Etsy store I can sell them, 
or maybe I'll have a little give away and these can be part of it??
Not sure, but they were fun and I have left overs to make more....
next year... if I get the gift of time. 

Well I gotta run, I hope YOU have time to spend today
with the one you love. 

Thank you Blog followers I appreciate you!
Happy Valentine's DAY !

Monday, February 13, 2012

My first Abstract

Today I cleaned up my studio and having such a clean and CLEAR space I decided to try an abstract painting. I had something I was going for but it just wasn't working out, so I just followed my instinct and once the long piece was finished I decided to add the 3 squares to compliment it ... I'm love asymmetrical placements versus symmetrical, so having 3 larger paintings wouldn't have worked for me. 

I certainly to appreciate this style of art as it doesn't resonate with me like the whimsical style does. When I was younger I was a "realist" I guess you could say; I wouldn't mind trying that again, but I love the whimsical side of things. 

It is currently nameless ... yet maybe that should be the name ... "Nameless" :)

I cannot decide if I should hang it in the dining room, or living room. I suppose I better get the hubbies opinion too. 

Its nice to get out of the normal routine of a painting style
and stretch a little bit. 

I hope you find time to stretch and flex those creative muscles!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Time to Love

I've been wanting a subscription to TIME magazine lately ... I didn't realize how badly until this was finished!!

I wasn't even thinking about the magazine when I painted this, but my subconscious was telling me something!

Initially I wanted to paint this so the only thing in color
was the red heart. 
Well then the lips needed to be red too, 
then the grey eyes needed a bit of color,
and well you can see what happened. :)

I'm not in love with this piece, debating what to do with it...
I do like the clever name I gave to it though... hummm.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Good-Night Blondie (finished I think)

I finished (I think) this little painting tonight ... not sure what she is capturing for me and why I am loving so much random color on the face.

Remember the old classic Blondie and Dagwood? I remember watching re-runs of that show on Sunday mornings before church ... The show mainly depicted the absent minded husband and his wacky antics. Don't you suppose Blondie had dreams? I bet she did (before dagwood and baby dumpling) ... I wonder what those dreams were.

I won't say this is an homage to Blondie from the old sit-com, and it really doesn't have anything to do with sleep as much as it has to do with dreaming those wonderful dreams ... dreams of the life you want and can (yes you can!) lead.

So Good-Night world, and dream those wonderful dreams 
and when you awake... follow them!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Good-night Blondie WIP

I've been in my studio every day this week ... another Work In Progress, where she goes ... only she knows.

I learned an important lesson today, let each piece be their own.  I must have changed this girls features a million times to try to get her to look similar to another one I did, that was a mistake. I'm sure she is a blond, but the hair needs some work, I don't know the reason for all the random color on her face, but I just wanted it there. I'm into this lately and I love how color evokes emotion.

I feel like her mouth is too small, but when I make it bigger, it doesn't look right. 
Perhaps this is correct. 

She isn't speaking to me anymore tonight, apparently she is aware of my bed time. 

 I am calling her "Good-night Blondie"

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hawaiian Girl WIP

I am taking Juliette Crane's "How to Paint a Girl"  e-course and am definitely taking RISKS!! I love that I'm feeling so experimental ... its so freeing!  I feel like I have crossed over a hurdle and am roaming a vast field of wild flowers. Each of those flowers is an idea, or a color or a picture of inspiration just waiting to be explored.

Wow that was really sappy, but none the less its TRUE!!

When I created this background it had such a strong 
tropical feel and while I resisted it at first, I gave in.
Nearly 8 years ago my husband and I flew to Hawaii
on our Honeymoon and spent 2 wonderful weeks 
among the most vibrant of colors. 
Hawaii was created in HD, before HD was invented!!
Rather then blend the colors of her face
I left them "blocked" so it would
have a tribal feel to it. 
Remembering my "coppertone" sunscreen I added copper 
to her skin color for an unexpected look. 
She kind of goes along with the Child of Earth series I started
I left the ends of her hands open so as to blend with her
surroundings ... 
 Her dance is a distant memory of a 
private lagoon that has been taken over by man ...

Looking at what I was creating just a few months ago when I first started I am in awe of myself and feel very blessed to be where I am and and see where I am going!

I am especially appreciative of  Juliette Crane who teaches these amazing classes and has been a support for me :)

What's been running through your mind?
What artistic risks have you taken?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

New painting in progress

I am in a new E-course by Juliette Crane called "How to Paint a Girl". So far things are going well and I'm having fun. I already paint girls, but wanted to learn more tips and tricks. I branched out and really tried something new with inspirations by: Tims' Sally art and Danielle Daniel's use of color.

Its still a work in progress, but I like where it is headed:

This is painted on wood with acrylics, India ink and a bit of pitt pen :)
The dress is paper, and I love how the color works. 

I have a Mantra when I paint: "It doesn't have to make sense, it doesn't have to make sense" 

What is your mantra, who is inspiring you today?