Saturday, December 29, 2007

Good Tidings To You and Your Kin


me and mommy, originally uploaded by livefunky.

(This is a picture of me and my mom last year at our Jack and Jill party.)

I finally did it and upgraded to a pro account on flickr. This means I can upload as many pictures as I want and make as many sets and collections of images as I want, too. I'm adding a bunch of personal shots as well as art and art related photos and I feel like 'why not?'. It may seem unprofessional, but I always think it's cool to see other artist's "real life" pictures in their flickr account along with their wares.

May our smiles give you some holiday cheer. Happy New Year to all!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

Silent Night

The sun just set red over the valley below and now the world's turned blue. I took this picture looking out our kitchen window to the backyard, the snowflake was from a Christmas crafty day here with the fam. I've got some time before the whole lot comes home and it's very peaceful sitting here, listening to the wind chimes outside and relaxing for a moment.

I hope everyone is allowing themselves some moments of peace and quiet in the mad dash of this next week. Take a deep breath. Look at the pretty lights you worked so hard setting up. Enjoy this moment with family or friends, a pet or by yourself.

Peace.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Etsy In The Press

Check out the NY Times article about the Handmade Pledge and Etsy's role in the movement.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/16/magazine/16Crafts-t.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Preparing for the New Year

Howdy folks. I've been fighting a beast of a cold for the past week. Knock on wood the worst is over but I still need to take it easy. I can't stand being sick and I can't stand being slowed down! But I obviously needed this break. I just want to be better for Christmas.

Since painting hasn't been an option (no energy, dizzy standing) I'm working on reorganizing my Etsy shop. I've got a sale section now which you can see by clicking here http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=102895&section_id=5247974

Basically I am clearing out some older work to make way for new paintings and prints. My plan is to create a new shop on Etsy just for my "gallery collection" of original fine art. This will feature only the best of the best. I'll be working in series with the highest quality paints and materials. I'm going to hold off on telling you the link name until I have set up the shop, but it's something I am very excited about.

Since I've had such success with livefunky, I'm keeping that shop too - but of course! Livefunky will feature all affordable art, including prints, ACEOs, sketches, etc.

The reason why I'm doing all of this is to make some sense out of the mounds of artwork I have accumulated! Cleaning out the studio was the wake up call of just how much work I've got. I need to seriously go through everything and make a few piles/stacks.

Art that I don't want to sell because it's special - That should either be hanging in my own home or passed on to someone I love.

Art I don't want to sell because it's not good enough - I need to figure out what to do with the loads of art I have held onto that's just random. Sketches that never went anywhere, paintings that have a tear, you name it. I can't sell it but I can't part with it either. I guess the only answer is to find some sturdy tupperware bins and just store them away. Who knows, maybe my random sketches would be worth something to my kids someday?

Art that I do want to sell - These go to Etsy, and if they've been on there for a long time and haven't sold, they go on sale or get taken off to be part of a collection of "give away" art since I always include freebies for buyers.

That's my plan for all of my finished artwork. My plan for art that is yet to be is this...

MY PASSION - Time to raise the bar with my paintings. Invest in higher quality materials for new "gallery collection". Paint in series/groups. These will be my babies... :)

MY EVERYDAY - Even though I'll be raising the bar (and prices, by the way) of my fine art paintings, I'll still be doodling, sketching and doing little experimental watercolors and paintings on paper. These will be my livefunky puppies, ready for an affordable price tag and perfect for a little dorm room, apartment or workspace.

MY SIDE PROJECTS ONLINE - I'm going to continue developing my clothing lines through Zazzle www.zazzle.com/babukins* and www.zazzle.com/artjct*. These will have special illustrations and digital designs. Expect some more of these special product lines in 2008.

There's a lot to look forward to in 2008, but for now, I need to take a nap! I need to get better to get back to work!

Friday, December 07, 2007

All Sassed Up


I scored a Treasury List on Etsy tonight and dedicated it to dressing up for a night on the town.

Check it out here! http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=17925

It will be live through Monday.




Thursday, December 06, 2007

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Oh Happy Day

I had an amazing day today babysitting for a relative's daughter, I'll call her Lil' K. I had to post this just because I'm so moved by my experience with her. Lil' K is the sweetest baby in the world. Am I biased? Yes, but it's still true. From 8:30 to 5 only one cry - and it was for a trip and fall I might have cried over too. Just a little singing did the trick to get that smile back again. My favorite part of the day? Post nap, warm bundle of love snuggling up against me, staring into my eyes with her big brown beauties and long lashes, smiling - uh, total peace.
I love you so much Lil' K! Thank you for filling my heart with sunshine!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Two Clothing Shops on Zazzle

Modern Art Apparel - www.zazzle.com/artjct*
Tshirts for Men and Women


Babukins - www.zazzle.com/babukins*
Tshirts and onsies for babies and kids

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rediscovering Older Work

Two Has a Dream by Jessica Torrant

Prints available at http://www.livefunky.etsy.com/



Yesterday Rob and I went up to the studio in Indian Orchard to make our first of two trips clearing out all my stuff. After packing my Suburu to the brim, we brought it all to our new storage unit right in our own hometown. (Unloading was so much easier than loading! My sympathies with anyone that has to move any time soon!). As much as I may miss some parts of having a studio in the mills, this new "system" is going to be so much easier for me. Now I can paint at home and when I'm done photographing, I can take a canvas five minutes down the road to our storage unit. No more 45 minute drives just to pick up a painting! Yipee!



Part of going through all of my things at the studio meant finding my binder with all of my watercolor and ink illustrations from 2004/2005 (such as the piece above). I'm going through them looking for my favorites to list as prints on Etsy. There are also some drawings that I plan to scan and color in Illustrator (including one on an old envelope! My best drawings were always on scrap paper - there's got to be some psychological reason for that, which I won't look into now - hahaha).



At this point my Etsy shop has 237 items. Is that ridiculous? Too much? Should I put some of the older pieces that haven't sold in edit mode just to make my shop more user friendly? I am inclined to put it ALL out there, but there is A LOT and it just keeps coming! What are your thoughts on this, fellow artists? I could use your expert eyes and input!



(Oh by the way! I just got accepted by Trunkt - woo hoo!)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Winter Inspiration



Acrylic on 8" x 10" canvas, 2007

Available HERE in my Etsy shop.

Tranquil

Original acrylic triptych by Jessica Torrant, 2007.
www.livefunky.etsy.com

Sunday, November 25, 2007

New Paintings


Wandering Dreams - original triptych by Jessica Torrant
Acrylic on three 5" x 7" canvas panels, 2007
The other night I got some new supplies and today was the first day in a while that I got to do what I love - PAINT!!!! Don't get me wrong, it's fun playing with Illustrator, but painting is my true love, it always will be and that's just the end of it. :)


I started by opening up my brand new pack of canvas panels. They are packaged in threes and it just felt natural to lay them out before me and begin to create a composition using all of them. The tradition of painting triptychs is ancient, and it's always interesting to me how this translates across time into and beyond modernism. It works. Because as we all know, three is the magic number! :)


I am eager to get back to work, but this was the first set I finished so I had to post it here and on Etsy ASAP. Back to painting I go! I'll post more as they are completed.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Annie The Cat With Stars

Digital illustration by Jessica Torrant, 2007
Prints are available at www.livefunky.etsy.com

An ode to my parents' wild and wonderful cat, Annie.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Reach For The Stars


Original ink drawing digitally colored in Illustrator, 2007
www.livefunky.etsy.com

Me and You

Me and You - art print available at www.livefunky.etsy.com


This drawing colored in Illustrator is a silly/sweet version of my husband and I. Sometimes I feel like we're mirror images of each other! Can you tell I love him?


Holiday Sale!!!
From now until the new year, I'm offering a buy two get one free sale on all of my art prints!
Just purchase the two same sized prints and include the title of the third print you'd like in your order (or just email/convo it to me afterwards).

Sizes and Prices:
5" x 7" - $10
8" x 10" - $18

All reproductions are printed on matte finish, archival Epson paper that is 8.5" x 11". The images are centered on the page leaving a white border. I ship worldwide and shipping is combined for multiple purchases. For more information, and a list of my prints, please visit the Art Prints category of my Etsy shop.
Art Prints on Etsy



Monday, November 12, 2007

It's an all around great day!

I just got high speed internet and I am in HEAVEN!!!! Finally I can zoom through uploading images, watching videos... yipee!!! This also means that I can actually visit all of you other bloggers much more frequently. What used to take five minutes to load comes up in five seconds - what a world!

I got a Treasury!

For those of you that don't know what I am talking about, a Treasury is a feature on the site www.etsy.com that allows you to curate your own little gathering of Etsy listings with a theme, or color connection or just your favorite things. There are limited slots and time limits to each list, so they aren't super easy to get. It's been on my mind to try and get one for the last few days and finally today the timing was right and I snagged one on Treasury West. Check it out while it lasts! :)

http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list_west.php?room_id=1787

Friday, October 26, 2007

Rise and Shine


Acrylic on 20" x 30" canvas, 2007
www.livefunky.etsy.com

Here's my new painting shot in daylight. It's kind of overcast today, but sometimes that diffused light can be better than direct sunshine. Still, I am thinking that I need a new digital camera. I know how crisp a picture CAN be and this camera just doesn't quite cut it. It's a good camera, and it's given me a good few years, but I'd love to be able to get high quality shots of my larger pieces to use for prints. At this point, I just make prints from pieces I can scan. I know a really good camera is expensive, so it's time to start saving my pennies! I'm not even close to being able to afford one, but does anyone have any good suggestions for a make and/or model?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Come back here, light!

I love the autumn leaves changing color. I love the crisp feeling in the air. What I don't love this time of year is to lose the light! I need to get an earlier start to my day because by the time I finish something, the sun has gone down and I can't get a good photograph. This is a new painting I finished today. I took the picture inside with a flash so it's not perfect, but at least it's a glimpse! Not sure of a name yet....

I also have to add that it's been a year that I've been on Etsy! I must give a shout out to the site that I love so very very much. Thank you Etsy, I look forward to a long, wonderful relationship!

:) www.etsy.com

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Layers and Levity


I took this shot last night after I finished Layers and Levity (seen below). After several days of adding layer after layer of fabric, paper, and paint, the last "blast" was done working on the floor with me standing over it painting with a wide, wet brush. It allowed me to work the surface all over in a different way then on an easel. I like the way the wet areas dried and created different textures.

Mixed media on canvas, 20" x 30", 2007





Monday, October 22, 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Contemplating Ana by Jessica Torrant

Available in My Etsy Shop

earth and fire tamed in one
surrounded by the light of truth

if you ever come to be as a she
your name will be ana

Identity Evolution


Identity Evolution, originally uploaded by livefunky.

SOLD

Homemade tools of the trade


Ok, so this picture is really blurry, but it shows me holding my transformed milk jug. I have found this to be one of my fav inventions in the studio in a while. I took one of the large, plastic milk containers with a handle and cut out a section at the top to fit my brush handles. Wash, fill with water, and voila! - you've got a portable water source! This comes in handy when I am dipping large brushes into paint on my palette, then into water for that "drippy" effect. Do you have any DIY tools you love to use when you are working?

It Feels Like Home

Oh wait! It IS home! Here is me standing in the studio with some works in progress behind me. Have I mentioned how happy I am to have a studio in my own backyard? Have I? Have I?!

Well if I haven't (and I'm pretending that I haven't) let me tell you - I am SOOOOO happy! I could cry I'm so happy. I could jump for joy, and I DO, I'm so happy!

It just feels so right.

I brought some canvases out from the house today that were hanging around as "supposedly" completed paintings, but each canvas was missing that spark, so I decided, instead of buying new canvases, I'd take these guys to the next level. One of them I am calling the "cursed canvas" because it's taken on so many lives and just never, ever seems to work, no matter what direction I try to take it. Maybe tomorrow I will do a chant to remove the curse "please allow this canvas to purge itself of any negative energy and take on it's true, beautiful form". hahhaha - no but seriously, i think i might do that.

Maybe the problem is that I always go to that painting first when I start my day's session of painting. The first movements/strokes are always the most stilted and disconnected. For the past few days though, I wake up wanting to transform that canvas into something special. Each day it changes - each day it stays "blah". I should ignore it for a while and THEN do a chant to remove the curse! Yeah, that's what I'll do. (If you didn't know already, now you are certain that I am crazy - I will not dispute you).

Fortunately, some real winners are emerging, and filling me with excitement for this groove I am only beginning to connect to. The groove of waking, going online and/or the post office, then walking out to paint for the better part of the day.

This space I have... I know how lucky I am. I keep thinking of Virginia Woolf's A Room Of One's Own... I've got it. Now what am I going to do with it? The good thing is, that question doesn't give me fear or doubt or anguish in any way - only a full body/soul/mind thrill that I can't, and don't want to, shake.

My gratitude goes out to all forces, here on Earth and beyond, that have helped me get to this place in my life and career (which absolutely merge into one). And if I could offer anything to an aspiring artist today, it is the belief that if this is what you really want, you can make it happen.

Love. Live. Make Art. Make Peace. :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My Funny Valentine

We Love Seals

Do not worry! This seal is not dead, he/she is basking in the sun. We know because we saw him/her flip sand onto his/her belly like the hundreds of other seals we saw basking in the sun on this stretch of the California coast.

Here is Emily on the left and me on the right, showcasing the seal. We like seals. We support their beautiful experience living in the sea and enjoying the sun and the sand too.





New big paintings on Etsy!

The Question
24" x 36" acrylic on canvas, 2006
Available at www.livefunky.etsy.com

Today I listed a bunch of paintings on Etsy that I scooped up from my studio in Indian Orchard. These pieces have only been seen at our open studio shows, and I'm excited to share them with my online community finally! I didn't do any painting today (just listing on Etsy), but I did a lot of thinking about painting.... we'll see how that manifests itself tomorrow in the studio.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Ed, You are the man!

Good friends are hard to come by, and we are quite lucky to know and love our Ed (shown here in process of giving me Slayer hands). He and Marissa stopped by today with this awesome machine that lays piping deep under the ground. It's the first step to getting power out to the studio. Thank you Ed! You seriously are THE MAN!

I did some painting today and here is one that I finished called Looking Up.


It is available in my Etsy shop here. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=7453969

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Breakthrough II


Also, you can see the original Breakthrough at HERE on Artwanted.com

I Think It Is Done

As you can see, I got back into the commissioned painting today (see yesterday's post below for a "before" picture). I worked in more translucent layers of color mixed with a glazing medium applied with a dry brush. A lot got scrubbed off with my hands or scratched at with the ends of brushes and my fingers. I'm happy with the more layered effects of color and texture now.

This was an interesting experience, and GREAT first painting to do in the studio. It came with new challenges, and therefore new learned techniques and observations. I've done commissioned paintings based on previous works before but there were differences. For example, one was a large, painted canvas based on an ink drawing. The drawing was translated first onto the canvas, then after that, the painting took on it's own life. Another commission was for two large canvases in the style of one of my paintings called Ribbon Candy. Again, translating to such a huge scale based on an 8" x 10" concept took on it's own life, too. One more story (not to bore you here) was when I recreated Freedom for a commission. That was a drip painting, so there was only the decisions of what colors to mix and where to swipe my wide, wet brush that I had control over.

This time I had a print out of the original painting in front of me and I referred to it the whole way through. At one point I asked myself if this was even what the client wanted, but I knew that she was open to whatever the painting "became" so I went with my gut and kept looking.... and attempting to recreate. By last night I was pretty close to the original but that spark was missing. Today I came in and responded to the painting in front of me more than the printout. I let each space speak for itself - maybe it needed more green, or to merge with the "box" next to it - in each case I let those moments either be or change based on instinct, not what was in the original, which was what needed to happen to make this painting come alive. At least I think so,,, what do you think?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Commission in Progress


Here are some shots of a commissioned painting I've been working on. It's an 18" x 24" version of a smaller painting I made some time ago called Breakthrough. I was hoping to finish it today, but there's still that something that is missing. I want a few more layers of color, a little more texture, a bit more cohesiveness here and there (that yellow needs taming). I will have more pictures tomorrow of the finished piece. Hopefully a little brighter too (today was pretty overcast and rainy - which is a good thing, we've needed rain in this area desperately!).


Thanks for all of the supportive comments from my last post. You all are wonderful friends! :)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Drum Roll, Please....


....the new studio has arrived!! Here it is in our backyard. I'll of course be sharing more pictures soon, but I couldn't wait to share my excitement with everyone. The second day of having it, I slept out in the screened in porch area with Leo (our yellow lab). It's still so warm here in New England. Last year it was a really warm fall/winter, too. As much as we've been having beautiful days, there's still that feeling of "it shouldn't be this warm in October". But I digress...

It's everything I've wanted and more. I can sleep outdoors whenever I want, protected from the elements but surrounded by them at the same time. Leo wasn't happy about it, but he was such a good boy. He paced and couldn't really sleep, being my protector, but he didn't go crazy barking or scratching at the screen (thank goodness - puppy Leo would have destroyed that room in forty five minutes). We live in a small, country town, but there's always that risk. I'm not scared when I have my 110 pound, all muscle doggie best friend and body guard by my side.

That screened in area is just going to have a collapsible, big table and chairs, that can be moved aside for "camping" (the airbed) where we will eat family meals, share evenings with friends and during the day, I can sit and paint watercolors, or do crafts at the table by myself or with my mom, the kids, or anybody.

Now the main attraction (even though I'm so pumped about our "nature room"), is the main studio. The enclosed section will be where I work year round, and right now we're looking into how to best insulate the building before we get an electrician out to connect it to the house. Right now I don't need heat, but winter will be coming soon enough (let's hope) so I've got to make the most of these nice autumn days while they are here....

So, with that, I'm going to go out and play and maybe take some pictures too. :)

Happy painting everyone.

-----

Oh and by the way, I'll be moving out of my Indian Orchard studio at the end of November, which means I'll be there to catch one last show. This year's winter show is the weekend of November 11th. I will make a bigger announcement when I have more details very soon.

Friday, October 05, 2007

The sun sets over the Pacific


Ok my friends. Vacation September has come to a close and I'm back in business. After a trip to Florida at the beginning of the month, a few weeks of part time working while I visited with friends from out of town, and then the big bang - a wonderful ten day vacation on the west coast with my husband Rob and my best friend Emily. We just got back in town late Tuesday night. What can I say.... it was a blessed vacation, to say the least.

Here's the rundown.

Rob and I flew to LA 9/23 and waited for our connecting flight to San Luis Obispo. We expected a smaller plane, but not a prop plane (which is what we got, and it was my first experience on one). I did a lot of deep breathing and tried to clear my mind of all bad thoughts. I squeezed Rob's hand so hard on take off that I could've popped a pinkie off. But the take off ended up being pretty smooth. The ride up the coast was spectacular. The sun had already gone down, and we flew low over the coastline looking down on clusters of lights. It was beautiful. Then came the landing, which was a whole different story then take off, and I was very thankful for my tightly secured seat belt. Once we got on land I was still shaking but partly with excitement to see my soul sister waiting for us in the teeny tiny airport. The parking lot was smaller than my local Big Y - that says it all.

That first night we stayed in S.L.O. at a hotel. It was only 9 in CA but it felt like midnight to us, so we had a few glasses of wine, chatted it up, then slept off our weary day of traveling. The next morning we drove up the coast to Big Sur. Ten years ago, when I was going to school for a semester exchange at UCSC in Santa Cruz, I had gone as far north as San Fran and as far south as Big Sur. That morning drive covered new ground for me, and Rob was in total awe of the majesty of the California coast. (He jokes that he's never been farther west than New York state). We did a lot of ooing and awing as Emily drove along the wild, twisty turny route 1. That night we stayed in Pfieffer State Park and camped next to the Big Sur river. We spent some time at the beach and had a beautiful dinner at the restaurant at the campground (they also have a lodge - kind of a plush park, if you ask me! I dig it!).

The next day we continued up the coast to Monterey and went to the aquarium. That was a must do on Rob's list and he was like a kid in the candy store. It was adorable, if I do say so myself. :) We all enjoyed it very much. Then we continued up to Santa Cruz where we got a room and went out on the town. So much has changed in ten years, of course. I honestly thought I'd be able to slip right back into the geographical situation of all of my favorite spots - from beaches, to restaurants, to even the campus. Unfortunately, I was lost. But we managed and I got to go to Natural Bridges, which was my favorite beach, and got to cruise through the campus which was more like looking at your fav celebrity after a major face lift - who are you?

The next day was the one day everyone has on a vacation - the "bust" day. We had planned on going to wine country, which was a longer drive away then we thought. Emily had an ear infection that had seemed to disappear, then reappeared with force. I took over the wheel and by the time we got to wine country, everything was closed and we needed to cross over mountains to get to the campground we were hoping we could get into, but being first come first serve and late in the afternoon, we knew our chances were slim. The major first bust in the day was taking a road over the mountains that turned out to be the most dangerous driving I've ever done in my life. It was a one lane (but two way, mind you) twister of a road, slim as a freaking sidewalk, that climbed a mile plus high in the sky. The locals would come out of nowhere in big trucks and I kept telling myself that if I confronted a car, just hit it head on and resist the instinct to turn, because avoiding an accident could easily cause our little rental car to plummet off the side of a cliff. As our elevation kept increasing, my friend was in greater and greater pain. My mom's words from years ago telling me to never fly with a sinus or ear infection because "your eardrum could explode" was on repeat in my head. There was no turning around, just keep going up and up, honking my horn around every blind turn like I was taught in drivers ed oh so many years ago. It seemed like it never ended. Maybe because it was 7 miles long and the most I could go at any point was 20 mph.

The point is, we survived. But once we were in the valley, the focus was on getting Emily to an emergency room because she was in serious pain by this point and very ill. We took her to the ER and I was a nervous nelly waiting for her to come out. When she did, she was like a new person. Without giving you the gory details, they made her feel all better, and we were off to find a hotel for the night. We sorted through the land of the richey rich to find a great affordable room for the night and dinner outside listening to live jazz. Our luck had turned back around.

We enjoyed the next day as real wine country day and yours truly didn't turn down a tasting. Yours truly was an emotional lady around the campfire that night. Yours truly poured herself out of the tent the next day wishing I could be tied to the roof in my sleeping bag. Needless to say, I loved every minute of it.

We drove for most of the day up to Eugene where we stayed overnight and spent the next day thoroughly enjoying the downtown farmer's market/art/craft fair. I met some wonderful artists and added to my collection a bit with a painting by http://www.pegismith.com/ - I love it. I could see myself living in Eugene and loving it.

We continued up and east to the edge of the Cascade Mountains to a place called Breitenbush Hot Springs www.breitenbush.com/ . We got there in time for dinner, a vegetarian meal shared by all guests in the lodge, served cafeteria style. It was Thai night - so good! Then we set up our tent and hung around inside it for a while waiting until late night to go out to the hot springs. They were amazing. Only two very kind women were there to share them and we all had nice conversations soaking in the hot, healing waters. The contrast was sleeping out in our tent on a cold, rainy Oregon night. Fortunately we all had airbeds to sleep on that kept us up and dry out of the two inch puddle underneath us, but there was no shaking the way a cold dampness can settle into your bones and chill you to the core. We loooooovvved the car heater the next morning, all soggy three of us!!

From there we traveled north to Pacific City where we stopped for a yummy warm lunch and a few brews at a brewery right on the majestic beach. We kept going to Cape Lookout where we had a yurt reserved. Now, I have known about these things, being a nature loving New Englander, but I've never seen one in person, let alone slept in one. This is the way to go, man. You get all of the beauty of camping, but at night, you get to sleep on a cot in a heated structure. No worries about bears or mountain lions busting into your tent because you forgot you left a cherry chapstick in your pocket. No worries about waking up in the middle of the night shaking and as deep and tucked into your sleeping bag as possible without asphyxiating yourself. Life is real good in a yurt. I kind of want to buy land now and build a series of yurts to live in - sleeping yurt, kitchen yurt, living area yurt, studio yurt....

As much as I was ready to set up shop in our yurt for another few months, we had an excited lady on our hands, eagerly awaiting her reunion with her boyfriend in Seattle. So we drove up enjoying the spectacular Oregon coast, had lunch in Astoria then continued on to Seattle. It's a beautiful city, from what little I saw. We found Emily's boyfriend Miguel and checked into our little B&B in the Pike Place Market. It was such a funky, laid back, but still very clean and beautiful inn - I loved it, and if anyone needs a recommendation for your next Seattle trip, I say check out Pensione Nichols Bed and Breakfast! After freshening up in our two cute rooms side by side, both couples emerged ready for a night on the town. We walked into the common area and three funky cats were sitting with a guitar case and one funky cat asked "where are you guys going tonight?" and I replied "we don't know?!". Then we were more told than asked (love you funky cats) that we need to go to the Lava Lounge because one of the funky cats (Lana) was going to be playing and they were having a benefit for a really great friend of theirs. Naturally, we said yes and took on our roles of insta-entourage. It could not have been more perfect. We were guided to the hippest spot in town, the music was great, it was for a great cause, and we had a blast. If you want to know more about the amazing music we heard, check out Deering Down - they just released a CD called Break This Record.

We flew out the next morning and so ends my long tale about our trip.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Back to School? Nah - back to the beach!

I am one lucky lady. This Thursday I'm hopping on a plane to go to Florida to go celebrate my high school girlfriend's 30th birthday. Our other two friends are also flying in from NYC and Virginia. We are going to have a blast... soaking in the sun on the beach, catching each other up on what's really going on in all of our lives, and getting silly on frozen rum drinks. Hopefully I'll have a photo to share of us that won't be totally ridiculous (or maybe I'll embarrass us all and put the most ridiculous one up here! hahaha - we'll see). Anyway, that means I'll be away until Monday so I hope everyone has a great weekend!

(PS - Jill, we are going to miss you!! But know that we'll be thinking of you and love you so much!) xoxoxo

Sunday, September 02, 2007

To see who in the world you might be

Joni Mitchell's Rainy Night House was playing in my dream last night. It was like a soft speaker was pumping this song into every nook and cranny of every building I was in, every street and alley and frightful forest. Everyone was there - everyone from my life, that is.

I have these reoccuring dreams that really aren't the true definition of reoccuring. If they were, I'd be doing the exact same thing over and over but that isn't the case. It's more like a reoccuring stage and cast - camps/neighborhoods/hotels/schools that all come together to represent every living situation I've ever had - from my mother's womb to college to now. And everyone I've ever known, all hanging out in different rooms together - friends old and new, family, old schoolmates, ex lovers - even my old pets will make an appearance with Leo.

What happens in these dreams? Something different all the time, but in general, I guess I end up working out relationship issues with the people in my past and present. Sometimes this can be very painful.

You came to the party by yourself
Pushing an empty stroller
And you locked yourself in your room
Everyone was talking about you
They didn't like who you had become
I didn't mind, I just wanted to know you again
But I was shut out too.

When I finally broke into your room
I screamed so loud it woke me up
You just stood there

Friday, August 24, 2007

This little thing we got going


....a little backstory....
This past Tuesday night, Rob and I went to Northampton. We didn't roam the whole town, but managed to hit the important spots - the used book store and music store - and dinner that was uber-yummy, of course. Anyway, this bookstore has a fabulous Art section and I swear I could spend sooooooo much money there. I'd love to have a library filled with art books - and books on mysticism, history, anthropology, poetry - oh heck, i just want a library in my house. They had one book that was gorgeous - it came in a protective shell and it was about Miro. It was originally $150 and in perfect condition - $65. Couldn't splurge, but I savored every page my eyes could absorb. Instead, I found an $8 paperback on Helen Frankenthaler's prints from the 60-70's and a little collection of poetry by Sylvia Plath. Intensity Station all aboard! Choo choo!

Raw. Honest. Women that took risks in their Art.

I have been inspired.

So reading thru the H.F. book, she is quoted throughout about her work and process. Everything she talks about I can connect to - not to say I am always reaching that perfect zen place - but I know of it and strive to connect deeper to that place as I grow as a painter. She doesn't get very intellectual about her work and she sees no need to do so - it isn't what it's about. She is a painter of feelings and impressions, dreams and visions, rather than intellectual statements, solid and firm. She talks more about the intuitive process, taking risks, never getting too comfortable with familiar patterns or choices. Working until it works for YOU as the creator, and yes, that is enough to say a work is finished.

The more esoteric writing on Helen's work was quoted from a variety of sources - critics, curators, high profile friends and alliances, and a biographer. I felt so connected to her story until this part. The part where gallery shows, connections, oh why not come out and say it, FAME comes into the picture... in the art sense of the word. Obviously it was Jackson that made the cover of Life magazine, not Helen, but still, she is KNOWN all over the world.

I bring this all up because it got me wondering about all of us choosing to go our own way selling online instead of or alongside showing in galleries. I see the journey many of us are on as a new course and no one among us knows where it will lead us. There are artists that have been selling online for years, making a living from it, and never, or rarely show in galleries. Of course, most of us juggle a little of both, but I seem to see a trend of two seperate worlds going on. There is the art scene still happening from high society circles and art schools to galleries and there is the art scene happening in the "streets" - only the streets are now the lines of communication we have through these glowing boxes we spend so much time in front of (but thank goodness for them, seriously). I know there are a lot of real, good people who didn't buy their way into art fame - they earned it. But this path we chose is different.

I think it's saying...

I am declaring that this is what I want to do. I'm going to put myself and what I have to offer right now out there for anyone to take, and if you do, I will learn from it, and if you don't, I will learen from it. Either way, I'm still going to be an artist.

Rather than fighting to get noticed by a very limited and focused spotlight, we put ourselves out there for the masses to decide. Not a curator, or a panel of judges - our fellow folks out there that will or won't like your art but they won't know unless they SEE IT. Right?

Ok. I'll get off my paint splattered step ladder now.

I really wasn't preaching, just thinking out loud as I usually do. In circles. As I usually do.

--------------

Fame has been on my mind a lot lately. Because I am finally deconstructing it and seeing it for what it is and realizing that it isn't what I want or should be going for. I have humbly said "who me?" haha and blushed but man, I've thought about it, let's be honest. I've been aware of famous people in music, films, art, books, everything since the get go. I remember those names, I know more about celebrities than I care to admit. I'd like to say I memorized classic poetry when I was young - I didn't, I memorized every line to A Room With A View and the lyrics of popular music... .don't ask me why. I was into fame as a kid, then into an alternative version of it as a young adult (the ins and outs of dankster musicians from A to Z,,,,oy) and now at 30 when I see someone who is younger than me and very "successful" (ie has the spotlight) there is jealousy. I spot it and now I'm doing all I can to break it down and walk over it's remains. I don't want that shit. I don't want to envy every young person that gets noticed for their talent. That's something someone else did for my whole life, and I don't want to repeat it. That's why I need to examine this idea of creative success. Is it being in a magazine or a tv show or a high profile gallery? It could be, but is it for me? That's what I've been asking.... and asking.

What do I really want?

I know that things will happen whether I make a choice or not. But there is a lot one can do when one is focused, and this wish washy vague understanding of "I just want to make art" isn't enough anymore. What do I want to accomplish with my art? What do I want for myself and my family, and what goals do I need to set in motion to accomplish these things? What is my PURPOSE?????

Life will happen one way or another, the question is, do I have an answer?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Let's Go Etsy!

Enthusiasm In Motion - Original painting and archival prints available at www.livefunky.etsy.com


I had a productive day today. Every day I wake up I want the sort of energy I had today. The go get 'em, multi tasking, devouring of work from when I wake till I can't see straight attitude that either creates a great painting day, or a great marketing day.

Today was a marketing day. I listed so much on Etsy. I know it's best to space it out but when I'm actually inspired to attack my Etsy store I've got to ride that wave until it fades away. When I can get into and enjoy that part of my "job" I like to get as much accomplished as possible because tomorrow I could wake up and only want to paint. And that can stick for a week.

Considering I haven't gotten into a real painting spell (I am in a studio transition at the moment) I hope I have another day like today tomorrow. And maybe I can finally get to redesigning my website.... hmmm we shall see...

Until then, hope all is well!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I'm still going to call it Great Woods

Yesterday my best bud Emily and I went to Great Woods (which is now called the Tweeter Center, but I'm sticking with the old and in my book, REAL name of this outdoor venue in MA) to a music festival that included such bands as Wolf Parade, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Modest Mouse, Guster and others. It was a blast. It's been a while since I've been to a big show like that and we had a great time. Love you lady and thanks for making this happen!! xoxo

PS - Tweeter Center - you need to chill a little with your security. We got checked for our IDs at random just walking around (yes, after you're already checked when you buy a beer) and we're both 30. If you want to do something to protect people from drinking too much, pay a little more attention to the teenagers boozing it up in the parking lot not two responsible adults just walking around with a beer we paid eight bucks for. Other than that, thanks for a good time, Tweeter - I mean Great Woods.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Woo Hoo!

We got our permits ladies and gents. All systems are go!

I was just starting to create plan C when we got the letter in the mail. I am so happy. Thanks for all those crossed fingers!

Alexandra Svoboda

WARNING: The link below has a disturbing photograph, so if you are of the faint of heart or a child is nearby, do not click on this link.
http://jonathanmcintosh.smugmug.com/gallery/3293537/1/182920989/Medium

For an article about this without a graphic image, you can go here..http://www.projo.com/ri/northprovidence/content/workers_march_08-17-07_C06P9TH.31db510.html

all we are saying
is give peace a chance

This is ridiculous. A sweet young girl peacefully marching gets beaten and her leg nearly ripped off of her body. I pray for her recovery. I also pray that this story will not be lost or forgotten. I am sick of the abuse of power we see everywhere around us.

I'm writing about this here because I can.
Peace.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Riding The Wave

Riding The Wave - print and original painting available at www.livefunky.etsy.com

I've been adding a lot of prints to my shop the last few days. Some are reproductions of my paintings (like this piece) and others are illustrations created with Illustrator.

ALSO! Someone on Etsy posted in the message boards about this site. Click on the orange button that says HELP FEED THE HUNGRY and (from the website) "Your click helps feed the hungry with the value of 1.1 cups of staple food." http://www.thehungersite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=1

Friday, August 03, 2007

Fingers Crossed!

Good day, friends! This is the view looking out my kitchen window to the backyard. As you can see, we've got a good amount of woods in the back and that goes down a slope behind the shed. There is a street at the bottom of our property, then across the street there is a large chunk of wooded, undeveloped land... (I so hope it stays that way, but you never know). Anyway, all of this matters because if all goes well (and here is where the title of this post comes in) this will be the location of my new studio! Our neighbor is taking the shed that's there, and in that spot, we are hoping to put a 12 x 28 structure. Like everything in life, obviously you've got to take one step at a time, but yesterday Rob and I did a quick step jump through all the hoops we could to get moving on this.

Let me back track for a moment to say this is an idea that's been in the works for a long time. We have met with a builder and got the high quote we were expecting. We've researched other manufacturers of garden sheds, gazebos, etc. online. After going round and round, we took the drive down the hill LESS THAN A MILE AWAY FROM OUR HOUSE to Klotter Farms. It's hilarious - we must go round and round in circles to figure out we wanted to go with the first choice after all. Anyway, we met with someone that helped us pick out each feature of our structure. For a general idea of what this is going to be, click on this link and look at the top picture. http://www.kloterfarms.com/page.cfm?p=12147 On the left side, we picked out that same screened in porch. On the right side, the building part of it is going to be a little larger - 12 x 16, and it's all maxed out with extra goodies. There is a skylight, two windows on the side, three windows in the back and a sliding glass door to the porch area, and it comes pre-wired for electricity. Since we custom designed the structure, it takes 6 weeks to complete. But first we need to be sure we can get all of our permits for it. We bounced around from office to office yesterday, fill out a form, write a check, hop in the car, repeat. The last office we made in the last ten minutes they were open. The woman said "you've got ten minutes and counting. the office closes at 4:30". Pens were flying! And we made it just in time.

So now we wait....... I think it's 2-3 weeks till we find out. As soon as we get the good news (I'm keeping the positive thoughts going here) we'll get the building started so ideally this is going to take 9 weeks. Of course I'm like "gimme! gimme! NOW!" but good things come to those who wait, so I will be a good little patient girl and wait. tap tap tap tap tap -

I was sitting here daydreaming about painting in the porch area on a crisp autumn day. And all of a sudden I thought, "my Grandmother would love this - I wish she could be there with me on that day...". She passed away when I was ten, but we were very close in those precious years of my life and she taught me how to paint. She was an amazing watercolor and oil painter. And she loved nature. One of my clearest memories of being with her was sitting in lawn chairs on the farm painting with watercolors. It was pure bliss - pure peace. I was spoiled from that day forward to crave recreating that feeling - I want to paint surrounded by peaceful nature.

There are so many reasons why this is going to be great for me, and for our family. That dream of painting with my grandmother, well, she'll be there when my mom (her daughter) and I carry on the tradition, enjoying a beautiful autumn day, the crisp breeze, the speckled sunlight through the brilliant trees. I am crossing my fingers that this picture will serve as a Before shot and that in about 9 weeks I'll have an After that will blow your mind! hahahhaa

peace.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

In Memory of Theresa Duncan

Quote from Theresa Duncan's blog The Wit of the Staircase http://theresalduncan.typepad.com/,

That's what an artist is supposed to do. An artist is supposed to be a land-based astronaut. You're supposed to be walking out in front of people, avant garde, reporting back, if you make it.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Two steps forward, one step back, really means one step forward


Mind Machine, originally uploaded by livefunky.

Ok. I admit it. Life does not go in a straight line. Just like art, some pieces of the beginning intentions shine through, others are reworked over and over or wiped out completely.

I opened IllustrationStation.etsy.com a little bit ago for my digital creations. I wanted to keep them separate from my fine art creations at livefunky.etsy.com. Once I got going with it, the more the lines blurred between fine art and digital art - and well, art is art. So I've decided to close IllustrationStation and keep all of my creations in one place - my first shop (hehe and true love) livefunky.

Maybe I'm just a little worried people will think that my multiple interests/mediums means that I'm not focused as an artist. I am always going against that idea in my mind from both angles. One voice says to keep things clean and consistent, the other says "follow your instincts - some artists work that way - be yourself!". As usual, I've got dichotomy working for and against me at all times - hahahahaha

(which actually fits quite well with this image, me thinks...)

Anyway, I thought of "updating" my blog posts (which really means edit out the fact that I jumped into a new shop then backed out of it asap) but why do that? That erases the truth of my journey which has been categorically NOT in a straight line. We learn from our mistakes and we learn from other people's mistakes too. I know a lot of us blogging artists are eager to read other artist's blogs to learn from their lessons.

Yesterday I went through livefunky and edited every listing that mentioned my other shop, and I put all of my IllustrationStation listings in edit mode (besides two in treasury lists - that's what really made me sad I never went with one shop right from the get go :( - mLee - I've gotta say, you said 1 shop only and you were right!!!:)

It's all good. I'm happy to have made the choice and to be following thru with setting things up for a steady future. If I opened a gallery to show my own work, I'd include all of it under one roof. The same should apply to my online gallery.

Carry on.
:) jct

Thursday, July 19, 2007

SPT - Zoned Out

Hello friends.

This picture is my entry to the flickr group Self Portrait Thursday. I took this using the Fireworks setting on my camera without a flash. I've been experimenting with that setting and the lightwaves I can capture from artificial light. In this case, I turned on our tv and put it on a snowy channel - the computer monitor is captured a little on the right, too.

I call this shot "Zoned Out" because I'm finally back in the zone after a break of a few very OFF weeks. To use a word I've become fond of in the past year, I was feeling quite wonky. Not myself.

After much reaching out and reaching in, I'm out - this baby's back on track! Sometimes you just need to take a big gulp and move on.

"I know it's true. Into each life. Oh, some rain, rain must fall"
Ray Charles - Drown In My Own Tears

I like to paint the world in bright yellow colors that shine with optomism and hope. When all I can see is blue, I panic.

Eventually I stop squeezing my eyes shut and open them again.
And see.
I'm okay

In fact,
I'm stronger

That IS the beauty of life, of age, of the experience of growing as a person. We keep meeting bigger challenges. The universe seems to raise the bar as we go along, and we could give up at any point, but we don't because there is so much to gain from pushing forward. The times that test us will come - that is for sure - but you just have to keep on keepin' on. It's so simple and lame in a way, but it's true.

Now that I'm feeling inspired again, I created a few new prints for both of my Etsy shops.

www.livefunky.etsy.com
www.IllustrationStation.etsy.com

Friday, July 13, 2007

Prints

I just started listing a few prints in my Etsy shop www.livefunky.etsy.com - more coming soon!

Hope everyone has a great weekend :)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

New Etsy Shop


Sea Of Faces, originally uploaded by livefunky.

NEW SHOP ON ETSY!!!

www.IllustrationStation.etsy.com

I am excited to announce my new Etsy store called Illustration Station. It focuses on my digital illustrations created with the helping hand of Illustrator. Just to clue others in on what my process is with these images, I begin with a hand drawn sketch, which is scanned and then I add color and tweak the design in Illustrator.

The prints are created from my home with my new fantastic, wide format Epson printer. Epson is the only way to go with art prints, as their archival inks and papers are of superior quality. I am thinking I might create a new blog too, just to document my images as I make them, but we shall see. Painting is something that I am ALWAYS going to do. this project is just sharing a different side of me. I hope you like what you see!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

La la la la la! Happy day!!


Sunface Man, originally uploaded by livefunky.

I am super duper double pumped because I just got Illustrator and I'm in looooovvvvveeee!!! There is so much it can do it's almost dizzying but each new trick I discover is awesome! This is my first real image made from a sharpie sketch scanned and digitally painted. Ahhhh the wonders of technology.... so different than painting - the bonus of changing things that you don't get with watercolors (which I usually use with ink). This is just too much fun....

PS - I also got a new printer and I'm going to be offering prints in my Etsy shop SOON!!! Please let me know if there is a certain image of mine that you'd like to see me offer as a print. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

ACEO Magazine Interview


ACEO Magazine Interview, originally uploaded by livefunky.

www.aceomagazine.com

Spring 2007 ACEO Magazine Cover Artist

Here is the front and back of the magazine. (Left is back, right is front). I'm going to post the interview page inside the magazine next...

www.aceomagazine.com

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Your Light Goes On And On And On And On

On and On and On
lyrics by the band Wilco
www.wilcoworld.net


On and on and on we’ll stay together yeah
On and on and on we’ll be together yeah
You and I will try to stay together yeah
On and on and on we’ll be together yeah

Please don’t cry we’re designed to die
Don’t deny what’s inside
On and on and on we’ll stay together yeah
On and on and on
On and on and on

One day we’ll disappear together in a dream
However short or long our lives are going to be
I will live in you or you will live in me
Until we disappear together in a dream

Please don’t cry we’re designed to die
You can’t deny even the gentlest tide
On and on and on we’ll be together yeah
On and on and on
On and on and on
We’re going to try

Please don’t cry
This world of words and meanings makes you feel
outside
Something that you feel already
deep inside
You’ve denied
Go ahead and cry

On and on and on we’ll stay together yeah
On and on and on
On and on and on

You and I will stay together yeah
You and I will try to make it better yeah

------------------------------------------------------------

This song may have been written for a lover, but for me, it applies to all forms of loving someone, all relationships and bonds of love, including family and friends. Lyrics are one thing. The music is another. You need to listen to this song to hear all of the other non verbal layers of meaning. I found a live recording on youtube at http://youtube.com/watch?v=vDdiYccIGLE

Together this song and this image can say what I cannot put into words right now exactly, but I'm going to try.

--------------------------------------------------


a message to jack......

blue eyed beauty
you woke with the dawn
ready for a new day
that is your way....

early riser, eager engager of life
you lived to the fullest
and gave even more
that is your way

so shy of praise
humble and proud
sure to be the first to arrive
that is your way

there for your kin as a rock
through winds of change
giving before thinking
that is your way

never asking for much
but wanting the best
for all whom you cared for
that is your way

working through strife
but keeping it together
because you never imagined another way
that is your way

in all ways we'll miss you
in all ways we'll remember you
in all ways we'll love you and thank you for being you


IN LOVING MEMORY OF JOHN (otherwise known as Jack) TORRANT
my wonderful grandpa - i love you so much

Friday, June 08, 2007

Enlightened Journey

I finally have a new original to share! Today I went back into this painting, which stayed in it's raw underpainting stage for a few weeks. I just loved what happened in that first layer of expressive washes of paint. Today I came in with a little white to emphasize certain elements, then called it Done before I went too far. I know this piece could have evolved in a number of directions, but when it clicks it clicks - it doesn't matter if takes two hours in or two weeks.

I have just listed this 16" x 20" painting in my Etsy store.
www.livefunky.etsy.com

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

positive INFLUENCE


i need to speak about this, about this very positive influence i've had watching The U.S. Vs John Lennon. as much as it makes me sick that a human being full of so much love and compassion could be stalked like a dangerous criminal by our very own GVT, it gives me great hope to know such a human being existed....

(i am currently listening to joss stone singing "i had a dream last night - what a lovely dream it was - i dreamed we all were alright - happy in a land of oz - what a lovely dream it was")

the hope continues...

i am in this place that tells me to no longer make apologies. to speak clearly and unafraid. the truth is something that we know but are scared to talk about amongst ourselves. SPEAK IT says the voice and I'll do so through prose rather than preaching. because it is not my intention, to speak out as if i have all answers, or even some..... but my truth.... i won't hide that in pretense. i won't manipulate myself for marketing sake or even to please. i will love forever but in a pursuit of truth, and there is a point when you accept that truth hurts sometimes or not and

i'll be there on the other side

ready to hold you and me and all of our dreams...

ready to begin again.

now i am listening to nina simone and that is why i go so deep - because others have before me. they have gone into the very depths of their souls and turned themselves inside out for all to see - exposed before the world without fear - full of faith that what they are, how they are designed, flaws and raw beauty and all, is intended. and they blow their horn loudly for all to hear. because they know they must.

i am in that place that says "it is time to shed your skin again" and this new phase is me coming from a placid stance overlooking a river to actually stepping forward and dipping my toes in.
in fact, dunking my entire body under the intimidating but ultimately healing waters.

the things i feel in my heart and soul are radical in a way. but not at all. they correspond with what i surround myself with, but to publicly declare "i am such a freaking liberal, you'd might as well add me to "The List"" is a little scary. i am ultimately just a nature loving, good hearted woman, but i can't keep my mouth shut for fear of big brother coming down on me somehow. watching that documentary about lennon refreshed me with the inspiration AND the intimidation of/for speaking your truth. i'm going to pick up the torch and SPEAK even though it's risky.

all we need is love

and

all we are saying is give peace a chance


that is really all i am saying
is that so bad????

A piece of heaven called Hermit Island


I am an island, originally uploaded by livefunky.

Last weekend I spent a fabulous few days with two of my best friends camping on Hermit Island in Maine. Apparently this park is so popular, you need to reserve a spot a year in advance during the "on" season. Luckily, we were several weeks before that time begins, so we had our pick of the litter.

The three of us have our deep connections to the Maine seacoast, so just driving up and seeing the "Welcome to Maine: The Way Life Should Be" sign on 95 had us so excited. We ended up picking an incredible site overlooking a cove. We made a fire, and watched the full moon rise and sparkle on the water. It was magic. The little shop there had lobsters and clams that they boil up for you for a dollar and a half! So we had a feast at our campsite, toasting plastic travel wine glasses and savoring every "fresh out of the ocean" bite. Did I go in the water? Yes I did. I had to honor the Torrant tradition of braving the biting cold Maine waters. It was shocking - but very worth it.

We did some drawings in the sand, and took our time wandering around, soaking in the majestic views. You can see more pictures of our trip at http://www.flickr.com/photos/livefunky/

So... I'm an artist, oh yeah. You'd get the feeling I do nothing but travel and live it up. Well, these days, that's what I've been doing. It's been a non stop run since about this time last year when my husband and I got to get away from it all on our honeymoon. Since then it's been work work work in overdrive. It's been thrilling, but I am welcoming this break right now. And regrouping.

I've got some new ideas about directions I want to take my art, my business, etc, etc. Now is the time to stop and think and work out my plan. I'm taking a break to think but also to rediscover myself and my work. Things are in motion, and it will only be a matter of weeks before I can really get moving in these new directions. It's exciting.

Hope everyone is enjoying this time of year. :)

Friday, May 25, 2007

"I know you're going away this weekend..."

Here is a picture of my boy this morning. He knows I'm going away. He always knows, even if I don't "tell" him. How do I know? Because any other day he'd be bouncing at my feet, barking to go out and play, go for a ride, a walk, anything! But when I am about to leave for a trip, even if it's just for a couple days, he gets a little solemn and looks up at me with that one, blazing eye. Hits me right in the gut. It's hard to EVER leave! And the next few weekends I/we will be traveling, so I'm going to have to really make it up to him during the week.

Yesterday Leo and I went to visit my cousin who lives on a great country property less than a mile away from where we live. He's got a pretty big pond and Leo LOVES swimming. He did not stop for HOURS. Steve and I sat on the hill and tossed a frisbee which Leo chases then leaps in the air to catch. Whenever he missed, he'd pick up the fris and come back to us to throw it again. If he caught it, he'd reward himself with a dip in the pond. It's insane when you can read the more random thoughts of your pet. They have such personality, as you all know.

I'm going to visit my best friend in Long Island. I never enjoy driving through the city, but I'll brace myself for the white knuckle drive. She's worth it and thensome! It will be nice to get away. It's been a while that I went off and did something on my own. Next weekend is a group trip to Hermit Island in Maine where we will camp and kayak and hike along the awe inspiring coast.... uhhhh yes. Then Rob and I have a wedding out close to the Cape Cod (where we got married last year in June) so we'll probably spend a night on the Cape (off season cheap motels are plentiful!) and soak in some of our favorite spots. It will still be enough off season to not be a mob fest. It's been a year (the wedding/honeymoon) since I had a vacation and I feel like this time right now is vaca time! I have things I need to get done so I can't blow off a whole week, but I'm really making the most of the weekends. How many self employed artists/crafters out there do not stop working over the weekend? Raise your hands. I'd bet every hand in the house is raised right now.

So I hope my ramblings makes you stop and think "yeah, I can take this Sunday off" or "why not take a road trip this weekend?" or even "I'm giving myself three straight, uninterupted hours this weekend to just sit back and enjoy life". Do something fun, or relaxing or anything you need right now. We all need money and can make that an excuse for not doing something fun, but there are plenty of ways to have a lot of fun with very little cash. Just enjoying your own backyard. So many of us work so hard to make our yards look beautiful, but don't stop to really enjoy them. Love and joy and good times wished to you all.....
jt

Monday, May 21, 2007

Good Times!

Here is a picture looking into my studio on the opening night of the Open Studios show. The weekend (May 11 & 12) was fabulous. Sharing art and laughs with friends, making new friends at the show, then celebrating with my peeps Saturday night for my birthday. The next few days my husband and I got to spend together (a scheduling rarity) so we enjoyed driving around the countryside, ducking out of a rainstorm in Northampton MA for a yummy dinner and pint at the Brewery, and just hanging at home - together. Ahhhh..... so that left me feeling great all week, then this weekend I went down to my college girlfriend's house to celebrate her 30th. Her husband threw a surprise party and it was fabulous. A crew of college friends were in the same room for the first time in years and I couldn't help but think about all of us ten years ago and the contrast of where we all thought we'd be at 30 and where we actually are. it's all good. Our life choices, the new roles and relationships in our lives, it all makes sense. It all fits and yet I could never have dreamed it back then...

I feel so amazing right now. Life is beautiful. I am beyond happy with my life and where it's going. I know that this is my time. I think being born in May made me attached to this time, it brings out the best in me. New Year's Eve is rarely my point of rebirth/transition. This time is my rebirth. New, fresh buds of insight and inspiration, love and compassion, joy in others. Zing!!!!

If only I could bottle this feeling for my winter downer days....

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Indian Orchard Mills Open Studios Show - this weekend!

Magic Unfolding

Magic Unfolding
Acrylic on 20" x 20" box canvas, 2007

Looking for something to do this weekend? Come to the Open Studios Spring Exhibition at the Indian Orchard Mills!

Friday May 11, from 6-10 pm
Saturday, May 12 from 12-4 pm

For more information about the show, including directions, please visit www.indianorchardmills.com