Thursday, December 31, 2009

Saying bye to 2009

Misty's month of daily Art Journaling provided a good push to create every day. I enjoyed the monochrome challenges the most, which is surprising since I use ALL colors most of the time.

Played with texture . And our friends' dogs. Posted a tutorial. Painted over an old painting. Few months later a painted over it again. And sold it.

Spent an amazing weekend with my husband on Tahoe, enjoyed the snow, painted the first rose of the year, planted a garden, painted orange paintings and walls, welcomed my sister's new baby boy.

I pretty much spent the month working and staring at my garden. Couldn't believe that I actually produced radishes!

Completely frustrated with the lack of time. Worked so much at work that it left me empty. Decided not to create art,  blog or do anything creative ever again because I didn't feel I have anything to share.

No blogging. I did continue creating, of course. We can't help it. It has to come out. Missing my blog, but was not ready to come back.

Sharon arrives to wake me up. Judy Wise and Katie Kendrick teach workshops in CA. I feel alive again.

Creating almost daily in my journal, on cardboard, canvas... Not enjoying my garden.

Hana started high school. I think I painted my favorite paintings of the year this month.

Mystele 's online workshop. Let the freedom of creativity explode.... I loved it!

Misty's online workshop. Me turning 45. Loving the bird and feather journal page a lot. Don't know why.

I love December! All the birthdays and holidays mean a lot of family time. A very good month.

Did anyone make it to down here?  It's interesting how each brush stroke captures a piece of time and  how looking at them brings the whole year back as in fast forward mode.
2010 sounds interesting! Welcome!
Happy New Year!

She reflected

In Silence
She reflected....
I had plenty of time for reflection in the last 48 hours.

-available on etsy -
When you are of a "certain age" and not very fit don't compete with cartoon characters because you can get hurt. Santa Claus brought a shiny new Wii Fit for my family and I jumped right into (over)using it. The silly games and characters were extra fun and made me feel like I'm working out with a smile on my face until.... I woke up and could hardly move. I guess my back didn't like the fact that I am a master at the 'hula hoop' game.. Oh well. I'm feeling better and wiser now.
Everything in moderation.
Should that be my mantra for 2010?

Happy last day of December! I'm looking through my blog, playing with some images, preparing another post. It's interesting to look back at all we did in the last 12 months. :-)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Christmas cards didn't get made....

Only one ornament was painted...

But presents are wrapped, the tree is twinkling, my family is here... all is good.
I'm wishing YOU a very Merry Christmas!
P.S. Go see Avatar even if you don't think you'll like it and let me know if you not liked it, but loved it.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day after winter solstice

Day after the winter solstice, when everyone is in final preparation for Christmas, when schools are closed for the winter break and friends scattered around the country, we celebrate our daughter's birthday. She is 15 today. I love putting photos here, because then I can go through the archive and see how much not only my art, but my kids changed over years . My Dad made a little photo collage of Hana from her baby years till today. You can see several hair color changes on the photos.

But I had to send him a photo update today.... her hair different once again... She received a new camera today and this is probably one of the first photos she took.

Is it bad that I wish that she'd let her hair be as curly as it was when she was my baby?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A girl with two birds

It's actually four girls with eight birds.

This is what I was playing with in my afternoons this week.

Colors..... many colors. I always love that.

I am in a loss for words for these paintings. It is usually very easy to find words that would go well, but not this time. I think I like them without words. And yet - I'm used to my birds saying something....  I think I am going to offer them like this and if anyone wants them I can put their favorite saying. Personalized paintings! That sounds interesting to me. I wonder, what advice would you like to hear from my birds? All four girls and eight birds are in my etsy shop.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Weekend, gone?

                                                                             "Once you choose hope, anything is possible."

Five things I did this weekend:
1. Cleaned my studio!!!!! Big accomplishment. I have tables once again!
2. Cuddled by the fire and watched a movie.
3. Made sauerkraut. Now I have to wait several weeks to see if it's any good...
4. Finally bought and put up curtains in the bedroom. It only took us more than I year to get there...
5. Painted while drinking chocolate laced coffee and watched "Pretender" on hulu on my laptop.

It's my baby's birthday today. He's 23!!!! He changed a bit :-)
(My parents are on the photos with him.)

Friday, December 11, 2009


I love painting birds!
That's one of my favorite things to do. So I paint them often...

For these I used the background pieces from Misty's class.
I cut them up, stitched and glued them... such wonderful paper to play with. I enjoyed the deep, saturated colors.

Then I added some encouraging words. It's always nice having little reminders around to nudge us in the right direction.
With the new year just around the corner and all the resolutions we'll be making I thought it was the appropriate time.

This time I thought about the size before I painted. These are 8"x10" and fit nicely in standard frames. And look good framed too...
Too bad that I forgot to take a picture of them framed... will do that when we get some light (it's very dark and rainy here)

I really enjoyed painting them. In case you like them too, they will be perched in my etsy shop (but will fly to someone for $25 each). Speaking of etsy - how about a little sale? 20% of each item until Christmas. When you pay the full price, I will refund the 20% promptly (including shipping).

Happy weekend! Rainy or not, I am going to love it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What hurts the soul?

I was painting in my journal yesterday.

These words just jumped on the page (Rumi).

You know how pages in a Moleskine journal are sturdy and can tolerate a lot of art abuse? I found what they don't like... concentrated watercolor and ink go right through them. See - this is the other side of my page. I don't mind it - it's an interesting start to who knows what, but think it's good to know what happens in case you want to avoid it.

Friday, December 4, 2009


I did the almost the same thing every day this week. Worked hard at work, spent some time with Hana, then painted "homework" portraits for the rest of the evening. There was some late night cooking, NCIS in the background, snuggling and stuff like that, but mostly work and painting.
This was an interesting exercise - two colors, dark and light and some shades in between.

The next one taught me a big lesson - there are many different watercolor papers. I mean, I knew that, but was never aware what a huge difference it makes in a painting. The following face was painted on a very inexpensive, rough paper. I had a horrible time trying to blend anything, paint was drying up in record speed, seemed like it lost half of the pigment etc.

Then I purchased Arches hot press paper and there was a world of difference. I used the same colors on both paintings and they look completely different! It was a challenge because I painted with an unfamiliar brush, color combinations that I don't use and on an easel (which I never do).

More faces that were done today and I think that I'm "faced out" and ready for something new.

It's Friday!!!!! I'm about to watch the last ever Monk episode.... I am going to miss him.....

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Giveaway winner

Thank you all for the birthday wishes and for participating in my giveaway. Kelly Kilmer was close when she guessed that what I'm holding in my hand is a Nook, but Julie guessed it first - it is Amazon's Kindle. It was a gift from my husband, who somehow always senses what I would like.
I LOVE IT and at the same time I have mixed feelings about it. I always loved the tactile presence of a book.... there is nothing like a well printed book. I work for a printing company, so I'm not doing our industry any favors by not buying books...  And - I'm sad for all the bookstores closing (big and small, I just found that a big bookstore that I love will be closed at the end of the year). But still - the fact that I can press a button and download almost any book in less than a minute and start reading it... it's just unbelievable! And it's so easy on the eyes, and to hold. I can't put it down.... Now tell me - what is your favorite book? What should I read?
Congratulations LISA - you are the winner of the giveaway. I don't have your email address, but you can find mine on my profile page.
Happy December!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Playing in Misty's class

My favorite holiday of the year is over. The food and company were amazing, and we all feel even closer after acknowledging aloud what we are thankful for. So many things... big and small, deep and silly.
I didn't spend much time on art (wouldn't it be nice if I now had 4 days off work just to do art? asking for too much, I know).  I thought I can share what I've been doing for the last several weeks in Misty Mawn's class. Just as I knew it would be, the class is amazing. Watching Misty use art supplies and create beautiful pieces in matter of minutes is a treat. I've been painting backgrounds;

adding transfers;
starting a painting with one piece of collage (two, actually);

building on it;

then starting with a finished background, adding collage to it (not finished - more paint to come later);

sketching some more...

There is so much to do, so many things to try and practice. I plan (expect, as Sharon would say) to paint every afternoon next week. Right now it's time to enjoy the extra hot weather and grill something nice... turkey days are over.
There is still time to join my giveaway. Click here to enter for a chance to win.