Showing posts from 2010

20% off Coupon Codes!

Hello Everyone!
It has been a while since my last post but I have exciting news!
I am now offering 20% off all items in my Etsy shop and giclee prints, as well as greeting cards on Fine Art America!
For the Etsy coupon, I am offering exclusively to my Facebook fans, so simply LIKE my page and let me know you're interested and I will send you the coupon code. Here's a gourd currently available in the Etsy shop...
"Earth Song" Available on Etsy

The Fine Art Americacoupon code is open to everyone and the code is...
During checkout there will be a place for you to enter the code. Here is a digital painting available for print or greeting card...

Deer Painting

"Deer 1" 3' x 2' oil on gessoed hardboard in the collection of Richard Chapman

So I finally completed the first half of a commission started several months ago. As life goes, many events limited the time I had to paint, so it is a slow going commission. However, a very exciting first half! I have been doing workshops, book reading and practicing new techniques in the past year and half and really worked to incorporate all that I have learned along the way into this painting. I did document it's progress and thought it would be fun to share it!

First thing I did was a 9" x 12" study of the basic concept of the painting...

When it came to the 3' x 2' panel, I decided to do the grid method to lay in my drawing. Starting from back to front, I did an underpainting of the trees...

My palette:)...

Starting to lay in the darkest darks...

Background complete! Now for the deer...oops I forgot to take pictures during the deer. Oh well, there's the basic evol…

'Tis the season for commissions!

Well, this year is just screaming by and now we are approaching the gift season! The commissions are coming in and it's time to focus! I thought this a good time to share the gourd birdhouse I did on request a few months ago which lead me to the current commissions - birdhouse was a hit!! Makes me happy because they are really fun to do. This was my first experience doing one and of course there is always a learning curve. A few things I would do differently on the next ones but overall it was a successful first try.

2010 Bisbee Plein Air Competition - Success!!

So much has happened since the last time I posted a blog. Life just got too busy for cyberspace:) Many adventures to tell! I will try to play catch-up here and start with what happened in September... I attended the annual Bisbee Plein Air Competition the second weekend of September. This was my second year with a whole lot of learning under my belt since my first attempt. I had only been doing plein air painting for about a month when I participated last year. Needless to say I felt awkward and my paintings didn't go so well.  This year, however, was a very different story. First off, I had some confidence in what I was doing - helps for sure. Second, I had a very good painting session - you never know! Sometimes it just doesn't click but this was a definite YES! At the final festivities there is a silent auction with a chance to sell your work and a reward ceremony (first place $500). I was in total shock when both the paintings I entered sold in auction! Really! This was such…

Butterfly Dreamtime

"Butterfly Dreams" 6" x 6" acrylic on hardboard $50.00 available in my Etsy Shop Click Here

Here is the latest completion.
I have always felt a deep connection with Australian Aboriginal art and having a love for painting eye crossing detail, it's no wonder!:)
On this piece, I was looking to meld the mandala art with a twist of Aboriginal. It didn't go at all as planned but I am pleased with the results. I think I want to try larger scale with this style.

Agave's Last Stand

Cactus are certainly a feature living in the desert and they never cease to amaze me. 
This year we had an Agave cactus (the kind Tequilla comes from) that was planted when we first moved here, coming up on 20 years ago, that put out it's flower. The thing about Agave cactus is, when they flower, that's it! That's the final doing of it's life. 
I put together a series of photos that I took as the flower grew. It's tough to capture the feeling of just how big these flowers are but I did my best. Two hours after the very last photo I took, a wind storm came along and blew it over. I was glad I was able to capture this Agave's last stand.

Camping at Mt. Graham

Over the weekend, Luke and I took a camping trip atop Mt. Graham. It's a little piece of heaven for us desert floor dwellers in the middle of the hottest month of the Arizona year.  Mt. Graham is located in Southeastern Arizona just a few miles outside of Safford, AZ. Ascending Mt. Graham takes you through 8 botanical zones before reaching the top. Needless to say, I brought my plein air painting gear with! The beauty was astounding...

The vegetation was so powerful, being used to the desert flora.

We were fortunate to find a camp spot right next to a creek. Another treat for us - water!!

There was much inspiration here, I was seeing the colors in nature so differently and I did my best to absorb all that I was seeing in hopes to bring it to future paintings.
I did manage to produce a plein air painting and some sketches in pencil and watercolor. I still feel I am very much in the learning phase with this style of painting but it is such a pleasure to do!

Hummingbird and Flowers - ACEO original painting

2.5" x 3.5" ACEO original painting acrylic on acid free crescent matboard $10.00 free shipping click here

Staying with the hummingbird theme, I created this little guy. It's hard not to love hummingbirds - they are such amazing creatures!

Set of Hummingbird and Hibiscus Flower Coasters

I finally was able to complete the commissioned set of 4 hummingbird coasters. Going into the project, I wasn't sure what I was doing. It always amazes me that it works out every time - even when feelings of ??? arise.  They were delivered yesterday and the lady was thrilled - one of the most rewarding aspects of doing art, especially commission work, is getting to see the reaction when they first set eyes on it. It makes it SO worth it in that moment... So these coasters are becoming a hit! I am considering starting a listing on Etsy for commissioned coasters. Selling in sets or individually. They are a lot of work but very enjoyable to do:)) Here are some more coasters available in my Etsy shop - click here

"Joy" - 20" x 20" mandala painting

"Joy" 20" x 20" acrylic on canvas
includes custom frame

This painting has a lot of meaning for me. A year and half ago, my brother was in a bad car accident - it was serious and he is lucky to be alive. He suffered TBI (traumatic brain injury) and was in ICU for 2 weeks and rehab for 2 more. We remained with him the entire time and we had an amazing outpouring of energy from friends and family that I believe really floated us through the experience.  Today he is miraculously fine - the changes in his personality were minor, considering all the horror stories the doctors told us, and his fractured neck healed with no problems. At the time this accident happened, I had just started this painting and it took me many months to find the energy to return to it but when I did, a lot of my feelings of joy and being so blessed that this life changing experience had a happy ending. The experience really opened my eyes and heart and this inevitably influenced the painting. I fel…

San Pedro in Bloom

"San Pedro in Bloom" 18" x 24" acrylic on canvas board custom made Redwood frame $395 + Shippingclick here

Portrait Sketch

I have for some time now, had the desire to do portrait work. Lately I have had so many projects going at once that it has been difficult to pursue this, however, I recently ran across this book published by LIFE magazine called "LEGENDS - The Century's Most Unforgettable Faces". It has the greatest black and white photos of famous people ( sadly, a lot of which I don't even know ) and makes for a great study reference for portrait sketching.  Here is a face that really captured and inspired me to draw it - anyone care to venture a guess on who this is?...

Desert Treasure

The desert often has a reputation for being sparse or barren and when I first moved here nearly 20 years ago, I found that I carried a lot of assumptions about how the desert is and was pleasantly surprised to find the desert was full of magic and beauty and not at all what I assumed it to be.
One of the biggest surprises was when spring came and the cactus suddenly bloomed with the most beautiful flowers I have ever witnessed. I call them the desert's secret treasure.
This spring, after all the much needed rains from this winter, the cactus have been producing quite the show of blossoms.  I am happy to be able to share a little of this desert treasure with you.  All the photos were taken at our property here in Southeast Arizona...

Chain Cholla Blossoms

Prickley Pear Blossoms

Bird of Paradise ( not a cactus )

 Hedge Hog Cactus

More Prickley Pear flowers

Blessings of beauty and wonder to you all!

New Mandala Paintings...

"Cosmic Flower" 15" x 15" acrylic on board
available here
Just finished two new mandala paintings to add to the show at the"Art with Heart"gallery in Tempe. Although these kind of paintings always manage to have a mind of their own and I find myself going along for the ride, I am happy with how they turned out.

"Interwoven" 5" x 7" acrylic on canvas
available here

Time out in Bisbee

Here is a watercolor sketch I did over morning coffee at theHigh Desert Marketin Bisbee, Arizona.  I got the opportunity to unplug for a few days, and I really loveBisbeefor that. I took a lot of reference photos while I was there for future paintings. It was quite the inspiring trip!
Here are a few shots I took during our stay...
TheJonquilMotel where we stayed...

Luke playing guitar in the park...

Main Street in Bisbee...
Good times!

Expecting Results Leads to Soulless Art.

I took a walk in the desert yesterday. I was overcome with the urge to be in nature and do some sketching, so off I went, through the jungle that used to be the desert...what? Well, with all the rains from this winter/spring, the desert has come alive and is exploding with vegetation - some plants coming up I have never seen in the 18 years I have lived here.

Anyway, after a short walk, I found the spot...I set up my shade and blanket and quickly began to draw. I was discouraged in a matter of minutes...this has been the pattern lately with my art, I have the enthusiasm but not the ability. I put the sketchbook down and began to ponder this. Over and over again, I have been running into this experience of forgetting to remember a few key elements of this artistic journey, such as, being in the moment, drawing or painting without the thought "will this sell?", not striving for results. At that moment it popped in my head "Expecting results leads to soulless art". I f…

Greeting Cards!

I am happy to say that my Etsy shop now has greeting cards!
This one would make a wonderful Mothers Day card...

"Tulip and Bubbles" digital painting 2009 5 x 7 blank greeting card w/envelope $5.00 + shipping  click here
This one would be great for a western fan...or a Ghost Riders fan!

"Ghost Riders in the Sky" oil on canvas 2008 5 x 7 blank greeting card w/envelope $5.00 + shipping click here

Fun with Printing!

Ok, so it's been a while since I posted. A lot has been happening, let's see, first of all I have  exciting news!  The "Art with Heart" gallery in Tempe, Arizona approached me to show the mandala paintings for three months!!
Next exciting thing is that I made the leap and bought a really nice printer so I can now make my own art prints from home. This is a huge learning and a lot of frustration at times working out the bugs but I am thrilled - the prints look amazing!
I have two currently available in my Etsy shop...

"Summer Cloud" 8" x 10" print of oil painting 2009 For Sale click here

"Castaneda Desert" 8" x 10" print of digital painting  2009 For Sale click here
I will continue to post and share prints as I make them. I also would love to get some advise if anyone wants to leave some. Mostly I would like to know about getting the colors on the monitor to match what comes out of the printer or vice versa. The digital paintings are n…

Pueblo pottery style gourd - from start to finish

Finally completed "Earth Song", a carved and painted gourd done in the style of Pueblo pottery. This piece turned out better than I anticipated and I'm so excited! I took photos of the process so I will share with you here how I did it.

After cleaning the gourd and cutting the top off to create the look of pottery, I drew in the design...

Once I was satisfied with the drawing, I had to determine which parts I wanted to carve out.  Once this was decided it took me two days to complete the carving (not all day - 2 hours each day).

I probably spent at this point 2 or 3 days trying to visualize a color scheme. I loved how it was coming along and I didn't want to mess it up with the wrong colors. I finally chose earth tones and painted on the first color...

This was exciting - it was really starting to manifest a personality now...I was going to leave it basically with the natural gourd colors and others that saw it at this stage agreed but then I had a dream that night that…