Earlier This Week..

It has been ten years since I became a mom. When you say that out loud, it seems like such a long time. Well, I guess it is a long time. It has not been easy, but the last ten years have been the most rewarding... the best ten years of my life. When I come to a milestone, I tend to think about the other things that may have happened around that same time..

Ten years ago, I started to dabble in "crafting".. Ten years ago (or slightly earlier than that), I started blogging... Ten years ago, I decided to stay home from my "regular" job... to give it all up... and raise this girl. I struggle a lot with the decision that I made when I was pregnant, because I never thought I would be out of the work force for this long. (People that know me really know that gemology...well...as nerdy as it sounds...I loved being a gemologist with my whole heart.) But when I look back, I wouldn't have changed a single thing. 

Ten years ago, I would never have imagined that I would have an online business and that I would be "connected" to so many of you from right here in San Diego... So thank you.. thank you for being a part of "all this"... it really means a lot to us.

Godzilla El Nino Garden Surprises

Here in San Diego, Mother Nature pretty much let us know who was boss yesterday.. For the last few months the city has been making us aware of the preparations that we need to make at home.. He's here.

It rained so hard yesterday afternoon. Hard and fast.. We had some minor flooding in our back yard, which consequently floods the garage..but we are used to it. There is just so much water at one time, the drains cannot handle it. Others were not so lucky.. Accidents, car damage, water rescues and business/home flooding were pretty common all over the city yesterday.. and this is just the beginning. We live at the top of a slope, so it is unlikely that we will experience several feet of standing water. More rain is expected today...and this will last through March they say.. (Apparently this will be the biggest El Nino season on record....with rains like this not seen here since 1997!)

Walking around outside during a break in the storm, I spotted these two pretties.. One of my succulents shot out the little pink and orange flowers shown in the top photo..and some volunteer paper white bulbs bloomed too. I love surprises like that.

Rained in, cold or snowed in? Don't forget we have some pretty great Online Mixed Media workshops running now. You can see the list of available workshops by clicking here. Winter is a great time to sit down with us... I'll come in and check on you daily.. I hope to see you there!

New Years Eve #mixedmedia #art

"After Hours" 36x48", Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

"After Hours" 36x48", Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

Dear Friends, Happy New Year to you! 

We like to watch the celebration at home on TV... usually the east coast feeds because I can never make it until midnight.

I'm feeling the urge to paint soon I think... the temperature in San Diego is perfect for working here in my studio, not too hot, not too cold... El Nino promises a very wet winter for us, so my time on the tennis court may be limited... as they say, "the perfect storm" for creativity!

My friend Chris Cozen posted this on her Facebook page..and it hits home. After seeing the effects of time on some craft paint projects, I am always hesitant to purchase any art unless I know what I am getting. How about you?

Click here to follow me on Facebook.

Go Find Your Passion. Thanks, I'll Pass For Now.

Photography. Writing. Video Production. Problem Solving. Gemology. Painting. Teaching.... Creative slump. 

My friend sent me a great article on "finding your passion".. and not only is the author on my "favorites" list now.. but I have been doing a lot of thinking. If one of the main issues in my career of being an artist is what medium to most identify myself with, why do I need to choose? And if being unable to make that identification makes me feel like I have failed... or that I am not good enough at something, why do I continually dwell on it?

Being a creative is a lonely profession often packaged nicely with a bunch of "I don't belongs" with this and that.. and "I can never do thats".. It is refreshing to read an alternative point of view strung together with a few f-bombs for great measure.. what do you think?

(Blog posts are better with pictures. That's Chewie's first Christmas photo above. He's 11 months old now.)

About Publishing...

When we signed on to write the book, "Acrylic Solutions", visions of revolutionizing the publishing industry filled my head. I had ideas.... a lot of them. But as we worked through the deadlines, I soon came to realize that my ideas didn't matter to the "man". I felt like I had sold my soul.. Dramatic..right? I know. I'm passionate about creativity... I can't think about it any other way. I tell myself, "One day I am going to write and let the world know my true feelings about being an author.. one day I am going to speak up for what is right.... one day....." but not now.

Every book I have touched since my book was published has been met with a very critical eye. The paper, the cover, the illustrations, the art, the grammar... the white balance...the focus..the composition of every photo... the checklist goes on and on.. it's something that happens when I complete a photo shoot as well.. a painting.. Do I torture myself? Probably.. I'm not sure why..

But THIS book. Humans of New York. I'm on page 242.. EVERY photo in this book is processed and more importantly printed perfectly. The paper has a beautiful feel. I can't put it down. I read....re-read and savor every page.. I really am in love.

"Humans of New York: Stories"

"Humans of New York: Stories"

What is it with this book? I suspect the stories draw me in to each person's soul... I stare at their eyes.. the images are raw.. they are not studio perfect.. I think it is the honesty of this collection of street photography that is pulling me. Pulling for sure... Page 242 and I have already cried 3 times so far while reading this.

You can read the HONY blog... but there is something about holding the book in your hands that makes it so special. Did you pick up a copy? What do you think?

Mixed Media Style...

St. Patrick's Cathedral, 2011.

St. Patrick's Cathedral, 2011.

When people ask me, "What do you do?" I reply, "I am an artist." Almost always, the next question is, "What kind?"

I wonder about my path as an artist a lot of the time... these days, I am exploring things other than acrylic paint.. I am trying new things, and I have a ton of ideas that I want to try, none of which call for my old standby, the acrylic paints. 

Do you think that my love of mixing mediums, including my passion for photography and crafts in general, enhances my curiosity of art in general? If I only used acrylics, would I wander from style to style without permanent commitment to one love? 

I'm toting my camera.... I'm reading up on some new things.... and I am bursting at the seams for something new ..... I hope you'll stick around.. this is going to be a lot of fun.

And now for something completely different..... #sandiego #losangeles

I know that I get a lot of traffic on my site from San Diego...so this is worth a shot.. Our truck was stolen last Wednesday.... and it really sucks to have a car stolen in case you were wondering..

Problem is...they don't make these trucks anymore... and it is my husband's dream car... that's right... dream car.. we saved and spent 5 years searching for one to buy... and some punk stole it.

The insurance money doesn't make us warm and fuzzy... the truck does... so we are hoping that someone out there somewhere saw something...or even better... sees the truck! Calling all units... please keep your eyes peeled for us. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Fair Food.... marketing sucker! #SoCal

Kate's art teacher entered a painting that she had made during the year into the Del Mar Fair! It was pretty exciting to receive a free ticket... I had  not been to the fair in about 15 years or so.... I'm not the type of person who eats a lot of junk food, so it wasn't the food that called to me.. but I have to tell you..the COLORS of the fair were pretty amazing! I was mesmerized by the menu boards.

I kept thinking to myself... man...the people behind the marketing of this stuff really hooked into me! The colors, typography...combined with the smells of it all... I'll admit, my mouth was totally watering. I ate one spiral cut potato thing on a stick and got the hell out of there..

What do you guys think? The colors? The smell? What gets you at the fair?

Don't forget.... we're running a HUGE sale on all of our workshops. Click here for the sale info.

It's a struggle for sure...

My breakfast... Sunday - Friday. Saturday is reserved for waffles.. (vegetable bread, avocado, Nespresso)

Puppies are cute..but they are so much work. When you have several days of great days...you can get caught off guard by a random behavioral set-back.... sometimes that makes me forget about the progress we've made.. I know that I shouldn't. Add to that the fact that I am so sad to leave him here at home while I run errands, etc.. makes for a really tired mom. Really tired.

My daughter will be leaving third grade this year....we are looking forward to 4th grade in the fall. The child is in school... but I always think I am too.. the study sessions and guidance do warrant a vacation for the parent(s) too...right? We've come a long way.. Is it easier to continue working or stay at home?

I've been slowly (and I do mean slowly) working in an art journal.. I made about 3 pages last month.. I have to keep reminding myself that it's not really my time to create right now.. and whereas there is absolutely no room for more paintings here in the house, the art journal is a distant substitute.. because pages are meant for quick excursions.... not thorough fine art paintings... and that is what I struggle with. The camera is my new friend.. I can take pictures where I go...edit them and keep them on file here until I print them.. satisfies the little craving for art... it isn't much... but it's something.

Total Neglect...and Wheel Spinning

I think this is where we left off.. I wrote these words almost exactly one year ago. Which was about the last time I wrote in this book.. It's funny.. I am looking back through my notes and I was really surprised, because I guess it has been going on for so long that I didn't notice... but I am really surprised that I am still thinking about the SAME things I was thinking about last year. Questions that I have been thinking about... things I want to do...

One major change that I have been thinking about that long, even though I forgot I have been thinking about it that long, is going down in the next week or so. Happily, I got that ball rolling out of the blue this week.. details later.. But the creativity... it's been almost totally replaced by tennis... Except I hurt my knee a couple of weeks ago..so I have been spending more time thinking and thinking.. and then there is that cute dog that came to live with us.....

Everyone is back at school and at work this morning.. so here I am. I can't put things off any longer... I've got to get busy. I do not like sitting idle...

Ever been stuck THIS long?

Our New Puppy....

Hooray! We decided that this boy would come live with us a few weeks ago...but we had some vacation scheduled, so we did not bring him home until Easter. What a whirlwind it has been!

"Chewbacca" aka, "Chewie" is so playful....has the most deliciously scented puppy breath and is.. let's face it... a wild animal essentially. He sure looks cute, but it's hard to forget that he doesn't really know what's going to go down with this person-dog relationship yet. He's 14 weeks old.

It seems that he is learning really fast though.. he's pretty much accustomed to the leash already and enjoys long walks around our block. He loves to be outside... a lot.

Spring Break is wrapping up on our end, so soon it will be Chewie and I at home.. I'm really happy he's here.

PS- he's a Shih Tzu, like Ichiro.. he'll grow up to be about 15 lbs we think.

Spring Fever...

Quick mono prints.

Quick mono prints.

You don't have to think... and you easily get lost in the process.. I am setting up to make a whole-lotta craft printing plate monoprint papers to beef up my collection. Collage is in the plans..

We're starting to see some really great art in our Collage Fusion online workshop.... seeing what the students make is my favorite part.

Hope you're having some fun too!


What about the planning stages?

Mixed Media Art created for Pam Carriker's book here.

Mixed Media Art created for Pam Carriker's book here.

I feel like my schedule is all over the place these days... I have to remind myself to breathe and relax sometimes...

A good friend reminded me of something important.. planning... planning things that you are going to do before you actually do them is really hard work. The workshop for example.. I'm working on raising production values..and doing the best that I can without an actual film studio.. and researching, and planning, and thinking... and even though I am empty handed during the process, I am still working. It kind of feels like the most difficult work of all actually...because there really is not a result until many days later when you see everything come together online... I have to remember that.

Hope you're having a good weekend... #GoHawks

Code Breaker

This is a super small painting.. I think it was about 3x3".. I soldered this painting inside a frame to present it as a christmas gift to my friend in 2012. I'm looking through my files and am happy to know that the style of painting that I liked back then, still holds true today.. it signals to me that I have defined my true style as an artist.

These days I have been working at my daughter's school, and slowly absorbing some books and magazines.. taking things easy as we finalize material for new mixed media online workshops. A few years ago, I would have been in a panic if I were not feverishly painting every day..but now I have accepted the ebb and flow of my creativity.

Cloudy skies and cool temperatures find me more contemplative than usual. I'm doing my best to stay on track.

What a great time! #craft #sandiego #mixedmedia

I participated in my first craft/art sale yesterday and had a lot of fun! It was really rewarding to see all of my inventory on the table...and to be able to tell the customers that I made everything. I enjoyed talking to everyone about my workshops and the art on the table..as well as the sales! Truth be told I have not even shopped at many of these sales at all either...so this was really neat.

I whipped up my table banner... "Fine Art Gifts" too... just wanted to show you. :)

I'm going to list the leftover panels here soon... probably in groups of 4. They were so well received...seems like everyone wants to add a collage of art/photos to their home, and these turned out to be the perfect size.

Other than that, I'm almost done converting all of the workshops to "digital"..which means the ordering process will be totally automated. If you buy a workshop in the middle of the night, you can start in the middle of the night...I'll leave the studio lights on for you.

See you soon!

Black Fry Day..

Hope you had a great day yesterday! Ichiro landed himself in the vet's office on Wednesday night.. hurt his paw. The vet put him in a bandage and rather than be one of those hero dogs that they show on TV...you know..the dogs that overcome adversity no matter what and do amazing things? Ichiro has elected to go on strike.. won't move. Won't walk.. he's in total protest that the bandage is on him..whining and barking until we pick him up and move him to where he needs to be. Please pray they take the bandage off tomorrow and all goes well..this is a mess. (Ichiro's meds make him thirsty...so we're up all night taking him to his water dish.) Needless to say...I'm fried.

Leopard print. Loves it.

Attention All Units...

wood panel mixed media art.jpg

All cylinders are firing over here... I've got some progress on my craft bazaar inventory.. 17 panels now prepped, sanded, textured and collaged.. ready for paint!

Mark your calendars... Craft Bazaar is in Lakeside, CA on December 7th.. I'd be happy to see you there! It's an open house with TWENTY-FIVE vendors! One stop shopping..I can't wait! I'll have copies of our book for sale...I can even sign your copy too if you stop by.

Don't forget- we're open for business in the teaching network too! Lots of the mixed media courses make GREAT gifts.. are you making your gifts this year?

Classes with great Gift Ideas:

Mixed Media Variety Hour: Frame-able custom photograph wall art... Idea Books (These are always a HUGE hit when I give them as presents!)

Mixed Media Melange: Custom Vinyl sewn gifts? These look super impressive!

And of course...who wouldn't want an awesome painting made by YOU?? Check out the entire online workshop lineup here. We're open 24/7 with daily instructor support and NO time limits.