Saturday, January 31, 2009

Introduction to the Small Works Series

New collection of original art found on

Friday, January 30, 2009


Acrylic on 6" x 12" gallery wrapped canvas, 2009.
Available for purchase at

Very different from Flurry, I also finished up the final touches on this painting I began in December.


Flurry - Acrylic and oil pastel on 6" x 12" gallery wrapped canvas, 2009
Available for purchase at

Today has been a great day. I woke up around 8:30 (which is a rarity for this night owl) to sunlight streaming through my window and the sound of birds chirping outside. For a split second it felt like Spring and it just set the tone for the day.

This painting was a lot of fun. A little more experimental, which always brings refreshing surprises.

OH and BY THE WAY... Etsy Print Sale!

I'm having a buy two get one free sale on my prints in my Etsy shop through midnight tonight. I'm going to focus on originals for right now and prints can just be sold by request. I'm also setting up a redbubble gallery of matted art prints. I like the idea of selling prints through another company rather than taking the time to do this at home. I have a beautiful printer and it does an amazing job. I'll be printing out plenty for summer shows and local galleries, but that's something to focus on closer to Spring. For now, it's all about originals!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Her Journey

Her Journey - Acrylic, paper and acrylic medium on masonite, 2004.
Now available at

This painting has been in my own personal collection for some time now. I'm so connected to it, I don't think I've ever offered it for sale. Last night I had a dream that a woman was looking through a stack of paintings but couldn't find the one she wanted. I brought out a box of never before seen paintings and she fell in love with this one. That told me it's time to set her free - there's someone out there that needs this painting more than me now.

Hope Trumps Conflict

Acrylic on 8 x 10 canvas, available at

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Better Version of Me

Tonight my husband and I went to my cousin's house to play cribbage. It's become a bit of a Tuesday night tradition. We live less than a mile away and he's always been like a brother to me, let alone a best friend of my husband (and why we met in the first place). On the way there we listened to a mix CD with all female musicians Rob made some time ago. Yes, because it's such a short drive we barely got one song in from point A to point B. On the ride over we listened to a Liz Phair song I put on a mix TAPE for Rob back in our dating days (ah mix tapes, remember them?). I loved hearing it because it's been a while and I LOVE that song but... it brought me back to a mood that I used to feel listening to it that was kind of... sad. On the ride back I flipped through the songs trying to find the "right one" for our short journey home. I landed on a Joni Mitchell song that I connected to from the moment I heard it back in my college days and said out loud "NO - I do not want to hear 'I am a lonely painter and I live in a box of paints' right now!!" and there was something so liberating about that realization. I DON'T want to be a sad, brooding, lonely painter!! I always related to artists with this temperament and well, today, tonight, I am declaring NO! I am not a lonely painter and I do not live in a box of paints. I love you Joni - I always will. But - yeah, can't do it. There was a time when those emotions were so close to the surface I needed that music to feel connected, to feel like "this is normal". The song I skipped to was the one. The right one for right now. I've loved this song since the album first came out but I've never connected as much to it than right now.

So here it is.

Better Version of Me by Fiona Apple


Acrylic on 16 x 20 gallery wrapped canvas, 2009

Available at

As I've probably already mentioned, I'm a real hermit in the winter months. I think my totem animal is a bear and like bears, I hibernate. I can't sleep all winter long, but I do sleep much longer hours in the winter. I end up having the deepest and most dazzling dream world during this time that I really enjoy. The other night I was roaming around this place that reminded me of South Beach. Clubs/hotels right up against the ocean - I was walking on the beach, hanging out poolside, meeting new people - it was a blast! Last night I saw my grandmother playing cards. She passed away when I was ten and it was so amazing to feel like I really SAW her (my memories of her have been replaced with photographs of her so it felt so real to "see" her in 3 dimensions). When I wake up the dreams stay with me. I've been lucky to have such positive dreams lately, the worst is when a bad dream sticks with you throughout the day (stay away nightmares!). So this dreamy state of mind led me to name this new painting Awakening. The hazy colors and composition remind me of slowly coming back to the "real" world from another dream dimension. Sometimes I wonder if it's just my imagination or if I'm really experiencing these things somewhere...else. What are dreams? They feel like so much more than just neurons firing.

I really do believe that there are several types of dreams.

1. Regular old dreams - These are quite simply a mix and match of memories, things picked up from the day - a conversation, a scene from a movie or a book, a thought process, whatever. They jumble around to form a scene that can make sense or not, either way, it doesn't really matter or mean anything in particular.

2. Regular dreams with substance - These come about the same way as regular dreams, but things are arranged to actually tell/teach you something. It's like your subconscious gathers the stuff in your head like art materials to paint you a picture that your conscious mind needs to see. It could be about your job, your relationships, your health. Sometimes you wake up and think "well that was random" and then it dawns on you that there was a message in there.

3. Visitations - I honestly believe that our loved ones that have passed can and do visit us in our sleep. I'm not sure if my grandmother actually came to me last night, but I know without a doubt that my uncle has before. Those dreams knock my socks off and make me believe with all my heart that we go on.

4. Time travel - Yes, you heard me right. When I was a kid, I had dreams of walking around my parent's "neighborhood" which didn't exist then because at that time they were one of only three houses on a long dirt road. Now there is a whole new development that changed the landscape greatly. It looks exactly as I saw it back then in my dreams. And back then, there was a certain style of housing developments much different than today. How could I dream up the McMansion with huge yards look back then? Especially when our little house is just a simple ranch in the woods. Other futuristic dreams I've had include being on a monorail in a city with the monorail cutting through buildings multiple stories up. Lots of underground trains too and in one dream, personal flying machines filling the sky.

5. Other - Who knows what else is possible. Some dream worlds seem so elaborate down to every detail that I wonder if I'm in some other dimension. Like a parallel planet or something. I know, crazy. This could just be my overactive imagination, but who knows? There's so much about our existence that we don't understand so I'm open to possibilities...

Now that you really think I'm nuts may I remind you I'm an artist. It goes with the territory.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Allowed to Dream

Acrylic and oil pastel on canvas panel, 8 x 10 - Available at

This is the first completed piece in a batch of new paintings I'm working on.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Back in action

You may have noticed I started off this year with a bang in my previous posts and then sort of disappeared for a bit. The last two weeks have been rather challenging - battling the same demons of fear and doubt that creep in whenever I give them the slightest chance to enter my mind. As a not quite starving (but close) artist, it's so easy to get over my head with these fears. Looking at wildly successful artists does not help. I truly have nothing but respect, awe and admiration for powerhouse artists like well, you know ;) ... honestly their success just proves to me that it's possible. It's when you play the compare/contrast game that gets you in trouble.

Maybe these thoughts should not be said out loud. Maybe it isn't the most professional thing to do. But I know that most of my readers are fellow artists and can relate. And here is where the tables turn. If I did not have a wonderful community of fellow artists to turn to, talk about the biz and all of it's ups and downs, I would have stopped doing this long ago. People like Meghan Henley and Amanda Hone, to name just two, have kept me afloat for years with encouragement, cheers when I succeed and compassion during the tough times. This week two artists helped me turn my frown upside down and I'd like to thank them with all of my heart.

Please take a look at their amazing artwork in their Etsy shops.

Aja of

and Kendra of

So... what's the plan? JUST KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON BABY!! Depression not only feels miserable, it halts all progress. It is good for absolutely nothing. I'm sure depression is a common issue for many artists - we are a deeply feeling breed and the highs are sky high and the lows are pretty bleak. Staying centered, taking one step and day at a time is a constant goal. What I learned from this time is to just let myself feel blue if I feel it - get it out of your system, don't try and stuff it and save face, it will come out eventually anyway. Take a break - step away from the computer or the easel and do something else - play a game, take a walk, watch a good movie. Cry it out, talk it out, then tell yourself tomorrow is a new day and I'm going to make it a good one!

I'm on the upswing now, and in the spirit of moving forward and being open to new possibilities and opportunities, I've signed up for a new art site that's been courting me the last few months. It could be a winner, it could not, either way it's worth a shot. I really like the look of the site and the studio section of your page is neat. Artists there approach that section in all different ways - I decided to share a picture of where I work, a commission example and an example of my prints with a link to my Etsy shop. This is my profile on -

I'm so thankful for all of you and I want to be there for you if you need a friend to talk to. (I'm about to bust into "Lean on me!"). Seriously. I leaned hard on the shoulders of good friends this week, now how can I pay that back? If you need me... let me know.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Zazzle Shop!

Check out my new Zazzle shop at to find great products like these!

Love Garden

Love Garden, originally uploaded by livefunky.

Another digital design for

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Valentine's Day Illustrations

I made these new illustrations today. They are being offered as ACEOs in my second Etsy shop

I Got Tagged!

I was tagged by an amazing artist and fellow Etsian Kendra, aka I'll try and think of things off the top of my head.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
the rules:link to the person who tagged you > post the rules on your blog > write six random things about yourself > tag six people at the end of your post and link to them > let each person know they've been tagged
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1. I took dance classes for ten years when I was young. Jazz, tap and ballet. I loved it and I'd like to own a pair of tap shoes to just flap around the house in.

2. I had a crush on my high school art teacher. I thought he looked like a rustic, artsy Richard Gere.

3. My favorite movie is A Room With A View but you'd hate watching it with me because I say every line just like the actors. Mr. Emerson is my favorite. "At the side of the everlasting Why, there is a yes! And a yes! And a yes!". Love it.

4. One of my favorite things to do on a snowy weekend day is to watch PBS cooking shows, Victory Garden and This Old House. They converge to fuel my future fantasies - dream house, dream garden, cooking with the fruits of our labor.

5. One of the first pieces of art I ever sold (maybe the actual first?) was a sketch of a band playing in a pub in Dublin to a man sitting at the table in front of us. I was with my parents and it was just after I graduated college. A very handsome young man from Portugal sat at our table and chatted up my parents but I was too shy. He just happened to have a tin of sketching pencils (I only had a black pen) and passed them over to me to use with a shy smile and dark, beautiful eyes. hahaha A girl's got to hold tight to those memories! If I had a younger sister I'd tell her you're only young once, don't be shy, TALK to the cute shy boy that's making eyes at you! ah well... it's ok, I ended up finding another beautiful Portuguese man that I fell madly in love with and married right here in my home state, so all ends well after all. :)

6. Sometimes I walk outside of my house to go to the backyard studio and I happen upon a dozen wild turkeys pecking around in the back yard (they aren't really mean, but they aren't animals you want to go run up to and hug - trust me - a local moron tried that and got attacked! He's ok so you're allowed to laugh at that one, I sure do.). I talk to them. "Hey turkeys. How's it going guys. It's cool. I'm in no rush" and usually I talk to animals when I'm alone but the other day my husband heard me and started cracking up in the living room. "What? Me talking to the turkeys?" I asked after I came back in to wait them out. "No, you used the McConaughey voice!". My impression of Matthew McConaughey is one of several random voices I like to play around with. So if you see some weird lady talking to animals - birds, squirrels, doesn't matter - like a laid back surfer bro, you'll know it's me.

Now for some tagging!

Friday, January 09, 2009

What Remains

Acrylic on 8.5" x 11" watercolor paper
Available at

Things are really getting into a daily groove here. I've started keeping a private dairy online at It's not the greatest site, but it gets the job done. If anyone can recommend a better online (free) diary/journal/daily log site, let me know!

I'm pretty much just documenting what I do through the day - boring notes mostly - but it will help when I look back at figuring out how many hours I put in, what promotions I'm doing, etc. I also started (just last night) to write daily challenges for myself for the next day. Small goals - big enough to feel accomplishment without being overwhelmed. This is what I've needed for so long. Much better than random lists and journal entries that get lost in between sketches in sketch books, or emails to myself with lists of things to do only to get read the next day and forgotten about.

If you are self employed, or are a part time artist/crafter, how do you keep track of your time or do you?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Uncertain Outcome

Uncertain Outcome, originally uploaded by livefunky.

Acrylic and oil pastel on paper, created January 2009.

Thank you!

Many thanks to for including me in her beautiful treasury which made it to the front page of Etsy tonight!

Painting of the Day - Lifted

Lifted - Acrylic and oil pastel on watercolor paper, created January 2009
Available for purchase at

a tunnel
time travel
uplifting emotion
center of a tornado

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Fluid in the Now

I made this new banner based on the painting below that I really like. I need to do this on a large scale (add to large to do list)... Here's the original.

Fluid in the Now - Acrylic and oil pastel on paper

Lay of the Land - Acrylic and oil pastel on paper

Both of these are new pieces created in the last two days. I've loved working with my fresh new batch of oil pastels that I got for Christmas (thanks Mom and Dad!). The weather here has been downright miserable but the colors I'm working with keep me feeling rejuvenated. I'd love to be working on larger pieces but without heat in the studio, that's not really an option right now. Well, I could (and have) set up inside the house, but for now it's nice to work in a smaller scale, more contemplative as I listen to ice chunks whip against the window!

I'm not going to officially sign up for the Painting a Day deal because if I do that I'll come to a grinding halt. It happened before when I tried two separate times to do 365 Sketch last year. It's an unfortunate personality trait to crave doing what I'm told not to and vice versa. Instead, I'm keeping it "in mind" to create a piece a day with no rules, no pressure. I need to do this to keep myself connected to that source - you know how it is fellow creators. Even a few days away from your craft and you get a little rusty, you need some time to mess around before it clicks again. I'll always feel a need to plan and it will always be counter balanced with a need to live in the moment. So... hi 2009. Nice to meet you, it will be interesting getting to know you better.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Welcome to 2009!

New Day - Acrylic and oil pastel on paper
First painting of 2009! Now available at

I hope everyone had a happy and healthy holiday season. As usual, it flew by, but many special memories were made and the time together with family and friends was wonderful and life affirming.

Turning back the clocks a bit, going into 2007 I had an amazing sense of excitement for what that year would bring. I had a feeling that it would be a year of big changes and growth in my business and indeed, it was. I worked on interesting and challenging commissions, my Etsy shop blossomed and overall things were moving in an upward, positive direction. But for some reason, maybe because 2007 was such a good year, I wasn't looking forward to 2008. I sensed that I needed to be frugal and that we'd be challenged, all of us. I don't need to tell you what happened, and for those of us running small businesses selling non essential goods, we were part of the many careers that took a hit this year. And although our economic and global issues weren't wiped clean when the ball dropped, I feel a great amount of hope and faith for the future. It reminds me of the feeling I had in 2007, only now, there is a "bigger than me" need to participate in the change I'd like to see in the world. So here are my resolutions (more like declarations, actually) for the new year.

First of all, I'm not going to stop making art because it is a "non essential good" - art is needed in the world, almost especially in times like these, and if I'm not living my passion regardless of the challenges that I face, what sort of example am I for a future artist or creative individual? So lesson one of 2009 - live your dream to the fullest.

Second, I am going to stop lugging around massive expectations. Be at peace with uncertainly, have faith in yourself and others to be able to handle change and make the right choices in the moment. Take pride in individual successes and don't sweat the small stuff. Man, that one has been on my to do list for decades. I think now is the time to really follow that advice.

Don't wait to have the experiences you want! After visiting with some old friends over the holidays, I got to see my friend Kim that I've known for over 15 years. She is the kind of person that has a dream and goes for it. She started a dance company years ago that is now a great success. She won a trip to Italy, fell in love with the culture and now a few years later she is taking expert Italian courses and has traveled there several times for solo vacations of wonderful adventures. How great is that? She is not fabulously wealthy or anything, she is just smart about it, working hard, saving her money, living simply (healthy market diet, exercise/all natural fun) and spending her money wisely. Alone with my thoughts after our get together, I couldn't help but wonder what would my list of "I'd love to..." look like? I'm determined to sit down in peace and quiet and really meditate about it and write that list. Not only do I need to figure that out, I need to dive into making each of those dreams happen. I'm hoping to be a mommy in the next few years and this is my time to do whatever I want on my own - it's now or in 18 years, that's how I figure it!

Lastly and most importantly, love and relationships are what matter. Live healthy, happy and connect with those you love. (In my case, trade in being a work-a-holic for a love-a-holic with a full time job - know what I mean?).

Do you have any resolutions or meditations for the new year? Please share them!

Glimpse of Truth

Glimpse of Truth, originally uploaded by livefunky.

Acrylic on 6" x 12" canvas, created in December 2008.

Pastel Delight

Pastel Delight, originally uploaded by livefunky.

Acrylic on 6" x 12" canvas, created in December 2008.