Tuesday, December 16, 2014

"crow queen"

one of the best moments i had when john and i went to ireland this past october was when i got to take close up photos of a few crows. i was so amazed at how many crows there were ireland. remember when we used to have a lot of crows in milwaukee until the west nile virus killed almost all of them? they are slowly making their way back, but nothing like what i got to see in ireland. they were everywhere! they were how pigeons used to be in milwaukee back when i was little. by the way, where did all of milwaukee's pigeons go?

well i got to shoot around 300 photos of crows! at one point john was feeding them some of my cadbury shortcake cookies so i could get closeups of them. this would be the only reason i would give anyone my chocolate cookies! i felt like i was the crow queen with all of them around me. granted it was just for the food, but still, for that moment i was maleficant. at one point john was throwing the cookies up in the air and they would catch them right in their beak.

when it was time to leave we were a little worried about how we could get away from them without a possible attack so john threw some food in the air and we ran to our car. once in our safety zone, we could hear their little claws walking on the roof of our car hoping for more treats. it was a little alfred hitchkock-ish but well worth it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

"open canvas"

sorry..not the best photo. i'm not very good at remembering to take pics at parties and such.

this last saturday i participated in open canvas here in milwaukee. it was my first time. there were over 80 of us artists painting right on the spot while we waited for the crowds of people to bid on our paintings. it was really a scary but exciting experience. we were all so nervous. except for terry because he's kind of the rock star painter now and just whips it out with ease. it kind of helped me to know my friends were nervous too.

it was my first time doing anything like this. it was pretty tight quarters while we were painting and i'm a pretty messy painter so i was just praying i didn't get any paint splatters on the very neat representational paintings being born next to me. oh yes and i prayed please, please let this look good so at least one person bids on mine!!

there was so much going on around me. so many friends i haven't seen, people watching me while i painted, me wanting to watch them paint, it was hard to focus. in the end i pulled it together and i guess there was a little bit of a bidding war going on for my piece! yay! there was so much nervous energy in the building right before the final bell rings to close bidding. it's exciting and nerve wracking at the same time.

usually i don't have the attention span to paint that long, but it was good to see what i could come up with under pressure. i can't wait to do it again next year!

Friday, November 21, 2014

"just like old friends"

as i sit here in my studio on this cozy november night with kermie singing "have yourself a merry little christmas", it occurs to me how long it's been since i've last written in my blog and shared anything. lets just say i've been a little "camera" shy or "social media" shy. i go through these spurts of time when i tend to be a little more quiet and i enjoy listening more than i do talking. but tonight i think it's the warmth of christmas in the air that makes me want to reach out and connect with friends out there. so...

hi! how have you been? let's catch up...

i actually have a lot of artwork i've never posted and hopefully you should start seeing them pop up soon. i'll also share some photos of my recent trip back to ireland. there is so much to say and i feel bad that i've been gone from my blog space for so long, but like all good friendships, we can pick up right where we left off as if no time has even passed. right?

for now i will leave you with this photo of johnny and i in our favorite spot in ballyvaughan, ireland right in front of monk's restaurant where you can see the most beautiful sunset skies as you stand on the pier watching the tide come in.

p.s. by the way, i got braces. again. ugh.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

"crow call"


i often wonder about the body of artwork i create. i'm always checking in with it. by this i mean, is it honest? does it speak true to who i am and what i want to say? is there depth behind it? ten years from now when i think about it will i still know where it was coming from? these things are important to me.
my artwork is an extension of myself and so i need for that to show in what i do. it's the reason i create. it's the reason i am an artist. 

"crow call"  for sale here
30" x 30"
mixed media on infrastructure canvas

this can get a little blurry when you are also trying to make a living from your artwork. you need to sell. you need to make money and so in the back of your mind you can't help but think "will it sell?". as much as i don't want that to be what drives me, i have to admit, that seed is somewhere in the cracks of my mind. it's a tricky balance you have to try to keep as an artist. you want to speak your truth on canvas, but you also need to keep in mind that you need to pay the rent. 

i always have this dreamy way of thinking that if you just present the world with the best part of you, everything else will fall in place. maybe that is a naive way of thinking, but my spirit refuses to believe anything else. i guess it's a chance, as an artist, that i'm willing to take. i can accept not selling anything as long as i know i stayed true to who i am. what?! i can hear all of the left-brained people rolling their eyes and snorting. i know. i know. 

well maybe there can be a balance (theres that word again) of the two notions. authentic creation and selling big. i'll work on that.

Food for thought:

How would my work change at all if I never showed it to anyone? 
Is exhibiting, sharing, selling engraved in my subconscious as artist?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"collecting days"

so june and a some of july were a little dry for me when it came to painting. painters block was in full effect and it was killing me. i kept trying and trying to paint anything ANYTHING! that was slightly good, but it would either get gesso'd over or hid in the dumpster way way down so no one would ever find it. it was really a struggle. i kept remembering all of these quotes about how inspiration can't find you unless you work your way towards it. remembering this just made me try harder and harder only to have another full day of nothing. again. more paint wasted. more boards destroyed.

this went on for the beginning of my summer until i was complaining to a couple of friends about this and they reminded me of the importance of  just letting it all go sometimes. guilt free. sometimes you just need those days of complete bliss. letting go of thought and your "to do list" and just giving into the present moment.

"sometimes you need to go have a drink in the afternoon and let the subconscious do its own work.", thanks timo! or kiki says "sometimes you need a collecting day". so....i listened. i went out to the beach, spent time with my family, i stayed home and cleaned (which strangely always makes me feel better), i brought my yoga mat back out, and i even started meditating again. i did all things that made me feel good and centered again. but the key was to do these things guilt free. i never once let my dry spell come to mind. i forgot how i need these things in order to feel connected to myself.

so when i came back to my studio it was like i never left. the paint just flew through me effortlessly. i had four paintings going on at one time. i felt like i was back.

maybe i didn't need to work towards finding inspiration, i just had to free myself to be open enough to let it in.