Monday, April 30, 2012

When Plans go Awry

So.... I was feeling a little down last week. I felt rather purposeless and stuck. You see, I had planned on having babies with my wonderful husband as soon as I graduated college and well.... that hasn't worked out. I've still got the wonderful husband, but no kiddos. I never planned on having a career in the arts because I was going to be a full-time 100% mom. Since graduating I've been kinda floundering around with dead end jobs.

Last week, I filled out a free questionnaire online to help me figure out a direction for myself, but it didn't really help. I'm all over the place! I have too many interests and hobbies and skills. I'm struggling to pick just one to focus on. So I called my husband's grandma (all mine are dead) because she is very wise and very spunky. I told her my dilema and she told me that she had experienced the same predicament just recently at the ripe age of 72. She had a chat with God, who told her to continue to cultivate her talents. She has many talents, but not all are practical right now. She felt inspired to take up the organ. When Grandma started she felt like she knew nothing after years of playing the piano. Her husband asked if she'd quit and she said resolutely, "I NEVER QUIT!" So now she is taking classes from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Organist and rocking it.

When I was at the Temple a few months ago, I suddenly had the thought that I should start oil painting. I thought it was weird, but I decided to go ahead and do it. I told Grandma this, but that I didn't know why I was painting. She said it didn't matter why, and that I should keep doing it. I would find out the "why" eventually.  I'm still oil painting, but as I paint I'm continuing to work on my comics, my quilts and my new recipes. I guess I'm taking that step in the dark until I get further direction from God.

How have you guys found your way with your art? How did you decide on what field, medium and style?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

77¢ a Pound

There is nothing like rotting vegetables to spurn me on. This was a quick painting. Rushed would actually be an accurate description of how I painted this thing. The pepper were really starting to go. They were getting wrinkly and black spots were starting to appear. There was a slightly weird smell starting to waft from my art cave. Luckily, I bought the Peppers on the cheap.

I painted this thing in maybe 3  or 4 hours total. The bulk of the time was last night and I added "finishing touches" this morning. Mostly, I'm excited to have another canvas covered because when I use all the ones I have here at home I can go buy more of the square gallery ones. Until I use up all my canvas I can't really justify the purchase. 

I started to do a bowl of onions
(red, white, shallot) and garlic heads,
 but  I had to use some of them for dinner that's what those red lines are. 

The set up.

Ugly underpainting. Just can't get around
that stage...

I noticed the composition was sucking with
 the yellow  pepper almost directly aligned with
the orange one, so I had to move it. to the right
 a little. 
I like to see other people's processes because it reminds me that the art didn't just burst forth like Athena from Zeus's head. I like seeing how other artist work through design problems and stuff like that, so I hope you do too.


A close up shot, so you can see my hurried and
 rushed brush strokes. 

Friday, April 20, 2012


So having never finished a real portrait before, I'm pretty excited!! Since I was feeling stuck on my black and white portrait of my sister, I thought I'd test stuff out with a small, rough, self portrait. I know it's not great, but I'm learning a ton about color and direction of brush strokes.
8 x 10 inches
The nice thing about self portraits is that I don't cost anything to model and if I wiggle, its my fault! I can see why Rembrandt and Van Gogh did a lot of self portraits. It was cheap and easy. All you need is a mirror and decent lighting.
Ugly Underpainting
I stumbled across this video in my online perusings and I've watched it about 3 times now and it helped a lot when I was doing this painting. Also, Prof. Bodily was in my head a lot with "drawing the envelope" and "angles, angles, angles." Hahaha! Crazy how professors get in your head!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Okay, I need some assistance. This is my first big portrait. Ever. It's at the ugly underpainting stage that is so hard for me to work through. I know there are things to fix, like the angle of the jaw, the lips and I think I'm going to put her shoulders up where they are in the photo so there is a better likeness. I'm just STUCK on how to proceed. Do I paint thin layers and go for more photo realistic? Do I try to go more painterly and let there be more ambiguity? Do I paint with big brushstrokes or small ones? Should I keep it black and white or should I go all out and try to do come color? AAARRGGG!!!!! Alan Tenbu!! What do I do????? 


Drawing and a little underpainting....

Officially crappy underpainting.....

Added a little more clothing for my sanity rather
than her modesty.

Friday, April 13, 2012 me.....

For the past two weeks, My husband and I have been dealing with bed bugs. It's a nightmare. In the beginning, I was googling like crazy hoping it was mosquitos gone wild, because mosquitos or fleas were something I could deal with. Nope it was bed bugs. I was horrified, then mortified, then infuriated. I'm still angry, but more resigned. I'm so freaking tired. As of this morning, I have 20 new bites, on my face, hands, arms and shoulders. Luckily, Aloe Vera Gel  helps a ton with my welts. It takes away the burning, itching and pain. 

Apparently bed bugs, while socially associated with uncleanliness, have NOTHING to do with being clean or dirty. Bed bugs don't care, because all they do is eat blood. We've already paid for a useless spraying of chemicals. The next step is a $1,500 heat treatment. So, if ya know... I don't post for a while... this is why. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I love ink, don't you?

I've been enjoying  this Zentangle thing! I originally planned to do one a day..... yeah, that lasted about 3 days. hahahahha! Despite my sporadic doodling, I've racked up quite the little pile of drawings.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


So, I've been on this "Finishing" kick of late. As a self proclaimed obsessive compulsive... okay not really, but a little... I am sick of all my loose ends. For the next couple of weeks I want to finish everything that's in process before I start something new. Some of these things will be house related, some art and some sewing... and even a little bookbinding thrown in.

This is photographic proof that I've finished something! I finally hung up some  of my finished art in my art cave. They thad been sitting on the table, crowding my sewing machine. I'm excited to crowd the walls instead with all the paintings I can pump out! I'm a strong believer in hanging your art. It makes me want to create more! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Bursting with Ideas!

The Tree one's my favorite....

Do you ever have those sudden bursts of ideas? When several different things come together to make something awesome? That totally happened to me. I was visiting my friend Grayson, who is a wiz at quilting, but totally lost when it come to 3-D sewing. So I was teaching her how to cover a foam cushion. She let me keep the extra foam and I let her keep all the drawings/instructions I made. Then we went to a fabric store called The Stitch Lab and I picked up some funny little monster fabric.

"Don't EAT ME!" and "Help"
When I got home, I sketched up a storm. I used some embroidery techniques that my boss, Valli, taught me for the faces n' stuff. I think the style of the little guys remind me of some doodles my twin sister once did a couple of years ago, that I loved. All these little things came together to make these hilarious little guys. Lots o' fun people, lots o' fun. 
Evil Vampire Bunny!
But it has a fuzz tummy and a fluffy tail.

Its supposed to be a carrot, but
 I think it looks like a pineapple.... :( 

Generic Monster. The first experiment.

About Me

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I am an illustrator, bookbinder, painter, doodler, list-maker, and wife. I love food. I am what can be categorized as a dabbler. I love trying new things, but I always come back around to art and illustration. I just can't help it.