Sunday, January 30, 2011

Brick by Brick

Here is what I have been working on lately:

Two Raindrop Kinetic Mobile Sculptures

This first one was an attempt to create custom color paintings which were not a good match to my customer's request. 

But, I like it so much, I went ahead and created this mobile anyway.  The colors on this one had too many burnt oranges and the green was too bright.  I like it lots!

And another close up of the same mobile .

Here is a link to the youtube video of this mobile:

Here is the 2nd one which more closely matches my customer's request.  More brick, hunter green and eggplant.  I hope they like it! The components are about 3 inches long and two inches wide.  The mobile is 33 inches wide by 22 inches tall from top of hook to bottom component. 

Close ups of the individual components.  Earthy tones, my husband loves it!  Here is a link to the video:

And another close up.  I really enjoy putting violets next to burnt orange.  There is something just magical about it.  When you can get them to merge without getting muddy or graying out is awesome. 
 Kinetic Mobile Sculpture - Jelly Bean Wave

The colors of this mobile reminded me of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans. 
 The four colors were individual watercolor washes.  I permanently adhere my watercolor paintings to aluminum and then seal it with a polyurethane.  This process creates a very durable mobile which should last for many many years.
 Here is a link to this mobile in motion:

I just love Art Saturday.  My watercolor instructor, Marina Cavette, is guiding me through this very fun brick process.  She says it is tedious.... but I say no!  I enjoy detail, the whole process of it! This painting is a work in progress and measures 9 inches tall.  If you look closely, you can see the pencil lines for the top of the chimney.

 Thanks again to the Mississippi Arts Commission who approved my Mini-Grant so I can learn to work with watercolors.  The look of my mobiles have improved greatly due to this grant.  This was the left over paint from the bricks above.  9" x 12"
 The next few items are my doodles.  This one will remain a painting.  The one above this will be the background to the next few paintings which will become moving picture mobiles very soon.
 These will be moving picture mobiles, something that I am very excited to complete.  But, I will have to wait until all customer orders are filled before I can move forward with the moving picture series.
I'm not so thrilled with this one.  I purchased some non-toxic watercolor paint from a school supply and I just don't like the results that much.  I think I will donate the paint to one of the local art teachers who will be able to put it to better use!
 The next four are also part of the moving picture kinetic mobile series.  I enjoy doing these doodles.  Free flowing beautiful color on paper. 

I use Winsor Newton artist grade watercolors on Arches 140 lb pads or Lanaquarelle 140 lb blocks.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Doing the Happy Dance!

About 1 month ago, I entered a mobile into the Jerry's Artarama Junkmail Contest.  I am thrilled and proud to say that I have been selected as one of the 50 winners!  Woo Hoo!  Yippie! YeeHaw! Doing the Happy Dance! Happy Dance! Happy Dance!  Laugh, the happy dance is done in my office chair.  I'm sure it is funny to watch but even more fun to do!

Now to decide what to do with all that moolah!  Quality brushes?  I'm thinkin this is the perfect opportunity to purchase that 1st decent set of watercolor brushes.  No, not Kolinsky Sable but how about some Winsor Newton Septre Gold II.  I have 3 and really like how they hold water and color.  Much better than the el-cheapo ones I have been working with for sure.  This kind of opportunity doesn't always come around and I don't win things often so I should do something with the winnings that is going to help me get to the next level.  From level Z to Y... thats the ticket!  Plus I will use them almost daily and if I treat them right, I can get a good year of use out of them!  Yup, that's what I'm gonna do!

Thanks again Jerry's Artarama for choosing my Kinetic Mobile Sculpture as a winning submission in your Junkmail Contest!  I can't believe I won and I'm still doing the Happy Dance fer sure!  Give me good news like this and I'll be your customer for life!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Virtual Paintout : Boston - January 2011

So, I found a really cool blog that invites artists to visit cities via google maps and do a plen aire painting without the plen aire :-)  The stage is set by the very talented artist, Bill Guffey.  Hundreds of artists go to the designated location and hunt up their perfect location via google street view, take a snapshot, and let the art begin!  They then submit a digital image of their paintings, up to 3 only.  There are very few rules except that your painting/drawing has to be verifiable by the location url in google maps.

Here is a link to this wonderful virtual paintout blog:
The title of this post is the link to the blog.  I'm guessing you can't have the same link two places in the same blog post.  Who knew :-)

And here is my first submission to the paintout

So, for the 1st time in my life, I have tried a painting from a picture.  I got the shape of the buildings right.  But colors were another story.  I just went wild.  It was a really enjoyable experience which I hope to entertain at least once monthly.  Here is the url of my chosen location:,+ma&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=52.815565,135.263672&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Boston,+Suffolk,+Massachusetts&ll=42.371444,-71.083132&spn=0.778169,2.113495&z=10&layer=c&cbll=42.371444,-71.083132&panoid=g12r4jZUUGzclg3-QViNAw&cbp=12,54.9,,0,-7.61

You artists out there... don't beat me up too badly!  I had fun... even if it does look like a 10 year old did it.  Thanks to Google Maps for allowing me to use their technology to create this painting! 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Plan for Success!

The thing I hear myself telling myself (yes, you understood that correctly, I'm talking to myself on occasion) is "Plan for Success".  So many small business', startups, etc, forget to plan to be successful and experience failure.  So, once you feel that you are going to be successful in your endeavors, your sales number show a hint that this plan could work, how do you know when to jump of the diving board and into the deep end of uncertainty?  What risk is too risky?  What business plan doesn't involve risk?  Okay, I can think of a few like owning a proven franchise, etc that is a minimal risk business plan.  But what about the artistic business plan?

I have read many stories and business models that state that they saved and planned for a year or two.  They saved enough money to be self sufficient as an artist entrepreneur for at least one year.  To me, that is just almost impossible!  I have bills up to the rafters!  There is no way to save when I'm so sunk in debt that at least 85% of my disposable income goes just to pay the bills.  But pay the bills I do, without a handout from our current political administration mind you.  Honorable.... some say yes, others say dummy... you decide.

The bottom line to me is, if I don't continually tell myself, "Plan for Success", I won't.  When I receive too many orders back to back, I remind myself that I am planning for success by working very hard to fill these orders.  If I don't fill the orders, I will have failed in my "Plan for Success" mantra.

Are you planning for success???  What are you doing to plan for success??? Share!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Chickadee and Boston

Just a quick note... I have been relaxing a bit after a busy Holiday season rush.  Working on a piece for the Virtual Paintout for January 2011 which features the Boston, MA area.  I have never tried to draw anything from a picture so this has been a challenge for me.  Here is my progress on the 5th and Cambridge Street, Boston, MA piece:

I also tried my 1st bird, a Chickadee, last night.  Quite enjoyable!  I know I need to leave more white space but I'm sure this won't be the 1st chickadee I paint.  Fun!

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I enjoyed making the 1st butterfly yesterday so much that I made a butterfly painting.  Then I promptly took a nap.  What did you do on New Years Day?
Mosaic Butterflies - 9 x 12 watercolor on lanaquarelle paper

 Then I found this wonderful website for artists, Fine Art America!  They allow you to post your artwork to their site, make it available for sale, but their biggest selling point is they make the prints, cards, glycee's, etc available for purchase.  The artist doesn't have to to any of that work.  The artist receives a commission on all print sales without the cost and time involved in that enterprise!

Mosaic Butterflies Watercolor for sale at Fine Art America