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.

The Word on the Street..

Maria Sharapova for Halloween....

Yes...he sleeps like this sometimes... mama mia..

Always my first love...

Pink trees!

Happy mail...

I am working on my Craft Bazaar inventory... 17 small panels prepped and ready to go...but I can't sacrifice my usual painting style for a quick buck.. Can I pull off 17 paintings in 2 weeks? Plus Thanksgiving (and tennis of course)? I am really going to try..

It's also been the week of the insanely beautiful coffee table book over here...two treats purchased = great eye candy..I'll share more of those soon.. Happy weekend to you!

The Energy is Where?

SOLD ; Techniques featured in the Layer Love online mixed media workshop. Click here for more info.

SOLD ; Techniques featured in the Layer Love online mixed media workshop. Click here for more info.

About a year and a half ago, I started playing tennis once a week.. I played tennis when I was a child, mostly against my parent's garage door here in San Diego.. but now in my 40's, tennis has become something that I really get excited about. I love it so much that I am playing 5 days a week now.

Prior to being reunited with tennis, all I thought about was painting. I spent every moment dreaming of colors and shapes... when I closed my eyes, I would see tomorrow's new painting.. now I dream of the perfect backhand or serve..

Art suits certain moods.. journaling when I have a lot on my mind, painting when something sparks my imagination.. of course I am surrounded by art every day in the teaching network..but my personal energy to create.. a lot of it is being spent outside on the court. Throughout my creative career, I can look at artwork and remember what was happening during my life at that moment... and that is something that I appreciate about art very much. There has been lot of stuff going on in the last 9-10 years.. all a part of my specific roadmap.

So if I had to put one of the two onto the top rung in the ladder, I would choose tennis at the moment.. but the art is here.. it's a part of me..teaching art is a big part of me also... so it's not going anywhere.. but I wanted to ask you....I know it's easy to read blogs like mine and think that all I am doing is painting...but it's not true.. Is art at the top of your ladder? What do you do when you are not creating? Join the conversation on Facebook. I'd love to hear from you.

Know When to Hold 'Em

"Prehistoric Afternoon" 12x12", stretched canvas

"Prehistoric Afternoon" 12x12", stretched canvas

When I was just starting to experiment with the world of mixed media and art supplies, I allowed the internet to consume me. I spent hours looking at art, bookmarking things, and trying to replicate what I saw as a way to learn how to use my paint. There were many times when I grew frustrated with my painted results... and many times I quit art.. for a little while anyway.

After some time passed, It dawned on me one day.. that there were/are so many people making art like I wanted to make at the time... so many blogs, photos, etc... that there had to be an easier way to accomplish the things I wanted to try.. easier than say pulling my hair out late every night. I quickly steered away from following vague, magazine step-by-step tutorials so precisely.. to thinking that I can achieve the same "look" in my own way. Has this happened to you? How many times have you stopped mid "recipe" to grab a coupon, run out and purchase something listed on a magazine supply list... only to find out that you have something on hand already that may perform the same task? Sing it with me in your best "Frozen" song voice..... "Let it goooooo."  

The feeling is amazing. It's like giving yourself permission to be yourself... let me tell you something.. once you decide you want to take off the training wheels, your art will change.. you can feel your way around a painting more. You can discover TRUTH in your own art and find your own way of doing things..

So back to those tutorials... know when to hold them at bay... know when to try them once, and then to adapt them to your own needs. Know when to discount everything they say. Yes..I said it. Know when to make them your own.

Making the plans... #artist #mixedmedia

Those are gluten free, blueberry bacon pancakes...and they are amazing!

Those are gluten free, blueberry bacon pancakes...and they are amazing!

Neat vignettes around San Diego yesterday. Click on the images above to be taken to the shop websites. (Photos, iPhone 6 SOOTC)

Neat vignettes around San Diego yesterday. Click on the images above to be taken to the shop websites. (Photos, iPhone 6 SOOTC)

I had a great meeting with a very wise friend yesterday. We talked about how society determines your value as a creative by your income/production. (Let's face it.. society determines your worth based on your "production" in every field, actually.) Then there are  those questions that make me cringe a little, "Are you working?" and "What do you do?" Bleh...

Answering that question with, "I am an artist" is easy for me... I am an artist... so I feel comfortable saying that.. but I feel like I am so much more... all of which is difficult to label. (Labels.. you know.)

Dear, Readers, why am I telling you this? It's hard...it's really hard for me to accept the fact that I cannot sit here and paint all day. Honestly.. As much as I sit here and tell myself that I am painting for me...and I do paint what I want to... the feelings of doubt creep up every once in a while. I often wonder what I should be doing with my time. The best way that I have found to deal with the doubt is to talk about it with my friends, or write it here.

I wrestle with how much time to dedicate to running my business and how much time to use for making art. If time is limited, which task wins? Why does making art have to be a task in the first place? 

I don't think there is anyone that can answer these questions but myself. I know this. I'm taking some time now every night to plan the next day.. I'll block out hours for art and block out hours for the business.. most importantly, I'll block out "free" time so that I don't feel overwhelmed..

Just so you know.... I'm also going to focus really hard on that elusive "three-foot ring toss."....

...and that's that.

Don't ever stop painting..

I've had a couple of people who I respect in the art community look  me dead in the face and say with utmost urgency, "Don't ever stop painting." I've never asked any of them to elaborate.. but I have to tell you, this comment haunts me a lot.

Why not? What would happen? I imagine they are saying the comment to me with regards to a painting being great..and that it would be a shame that I surrender painting to do something else.. which puts a load of pressure on someone like me. What if this painting looks like I tried to stop painting? Is this painting good enough for someone (two of whom were jurors) to tell me never to stop painting again? Well... it's hot in San Diego..and I have stopped painting.

I don't want to stop painting..but I have to tell you..I can't concentrate and paint when I am hot..so when the weather gets cooler... I'll get some brushes out again.. but for now, I imagine fall weather...falling leaves... (ha right) and pick up other things to keep me busy.. If it doesn't feel "right" to sit and paint..I don't push it.

The best and most fitting pattern came through my feedly a couple of weeks ago. If ever a gemologist was supposed to carry this change purse... out came the fabric. I love these and am so happy that I stitched a few of them up. You can make some of your own. Here is the tutorial. Hey, Kate- excellent pattern! Thanks. xo

In other news.... I'm enjoying a new crop of summer roses.. Thankfully.. we did not have winter last year..the bushes never rested. I am feeding a lot resulting in smaller blooms..but at least I have some!

Kevin built us this rad (heavy!) table and benches for the patio.. hosting many dinners...and linners... so nice to sit together with everyone.

Clockwise from the top: BUY THESE PIES. Trader Joes... 8 mins, 150 calories.. delicious! Found an amazing parisian bakery in the Zion market! Got some picks! RODGERS! Love this pink..

Thanks for stopping by...see you again soon!


PS- the purses have metallic thread for the facet outlines.... yah..that's what I said. :)