Tuesday, April 30, 2013


I would never be able to watch a public spectacle such as a bullfight but I could look at the artwork of Jean Cocteau every day.  Look at the expression on the bullfighter's face, he looks as though he is sad over what has just taken place.  The bull in fact looks sad too, head down and ready to surrender.

During the month of May, I will be fighting my own sort of bull and working on a painting a day which I will post.  I was inspired by fellow River Towns Artist, Jennifer Orkin Lewis.  It's hard to fathom that we are about to close the door to April and welcome the month of May.

Monday, April 29, 2013

monday motivation - get started

During my open studio tour, one question that was repeatedly posed was,
"How do you get started with creating your art?"
Many visitors shared desires to create an artful life and wondered "How do I start?"

Job security has caused many to look at what sort of career they want rather than being subject to paranoia of today's economic environment and job insecurity.  Perhaps you need to work part time at getting started to build your artwork and take a job to provide income in order to pay your monthly bills.  It is doable, but one needs a vision and a plan of action in order to get started.

I will be adding this to my services if anyone needs coaching to get their artistry started.
I am happy to provide motivation by e-mail or phone.
Start by reading, researching and networking about your career as an artist.
Do you have a muse, a mentor or a plan of action to start your career as an artist?
 Starting Your Career as an Artist is a comprehensive manual full of sound advice for artists seeking to advance their professional careers. Veteran art career professionals Angie Wojak and Stacy Miller show aspiring artists how to evaluate their goals, create a plan of action, and use their talents to build a productive life in the art world. Chapters cover topics essential to the emerging artist, such as building community through networking, collaborating, and finding mentors; setting up a studio; health and safety for artists; artist’s resumes and CVs; developing marketing plans; finding alternative exhibition venues; and refining career aspirations. In addition, the book includes inspiring and insightful interviews with professional artists and well-known players in the art scene.
 What sort of tools or skills do you need to create your art career?  How can you find a niche or an audience that will want your art?  Is it a hobby?  Is it something you can see becoming a full time career?  If you need assistance to get started, contact me and I would be delighted to meet with you and objectively work with you to create a plan to get started.  Contact me on my website here.  We can meet, e-mail or chat by phone.  I've been right where you are and in order to get started, sometimes all it takes is a little hand holding and positive support.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

River Arts - day two

Welcome to my studio.  This is day two of the River Arts tour.
The home made cookies actually proved to be a big hit as were the fresh organic green apples.
 It felt great opening up my studio and welcoming so many lovely people who were so complimentary
of my space and work.  It was a huge boost of positive energy for me as well as the visitors.  I think I just may have inspired a few to pick up a brush and to make art a part of their life.
 My new chairs are from West Elm and they will be great for meetings with clients and students.
 I did need four hands to assemble them but I do love them, they are also stackable which is a bonus.
 There was a 45 minute wait at the local balloon shop so thank-you again Annette for picking these up and delivering them to my door.  Balloons always add a lift of joy to an entrance.  I popped my patio chairs and bright pillows for those who might need a seat after the climb up my hill.
 The tissue paper flowers and artwork adorned my window and added an air of playfulness.
 Visitors loved watching me work on this while they toured my space, I titled it "koi joy" - this pond was built by Julie of Monkey Grass Hill.  Did you know that koi ponds promote health and wellness?
Hope that those of you who did not make it yesterday, will come out today and pop in for a visit.  I'd love to have you.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

studio tour 2013

Today, I open my studio to participate in the River Arts tour.  I hope that you can make it if you happen to be in the area.  I would like to thank so many people that helped to make this day possible.  Thank-you Stephanie, Michael at Rivertown Digital for all your fine printing work, Alyson for helping to create new business cards and finally -Annette for helping me set-up the studio and package items and to my family for all the encouragement.
I love that my advertisement in this weekend's Rivertown's Enterprise is next to an article about education and cultivating creativity in our children, a renowned educator Yong Zhao spoke at several of the local public schools last week.
Timing is everything.

Friday, April 26, 2013

studio tour 2013

Preparing to open my studio for the River Arts Studio Tour this weekend.  The one regret I have is not being able to visit other studios since I will be manning my own studio.  It is always inspiring to visit and connect with other artists and see how they work.  I have maps to direct you to other studios or you can always find on line over here.  Hope to see you in my studio.

I would like to thank Ellen Crane and all those on the River Arts committee for her tireless efforts working to make the River Arts studio tour such a great success.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

River Arts tour

 I am busy setting up for the annual River Arts Studio tour.  I have some original artwork, some printed notes and other items all for visitors to see and available for purchase.  I just baked fresh chocolate chip cookies and am planning to clean the windows friday.
 I still have a few "piles" of items to sift through and things to put out.  Hope you can pop in and visit.
Thanks to each of you who have made it possible for me to have such a wonderful spot to work in and share with each of you.


While gearing up for the weekend River Arts tour, I came across this nautical print that I had designed.  It's fun to look back at work and at prints and patterns I designed.  Like an old photo, it conjures up memories.  Was there a print that you remembered wearing as a child?  My little brother wore a sailor collared shirt, and I always seemed to be wearing a stripe.

Here is a map for the River Arts tour just in case you need if you are in the area.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

spring awakening

Every Spring, I am inspired by all the fresh produce to create beautiful salads.  I have embraced eating as much fresh, live, raw ingredients and benefits are endless.  My skin is clearer, smoother, softer.  My mental clarity feels more alive and in focus.  It all has to do with simple acts of radical self care.

Simply combine three or four ingredients to compose a salad and create your own light salad dressings using lemon, apple cider vinegar and olive oil.  Taste the fresh melange and admire the colors.  Peel Cucumbers, clean and shell fresh peas, wash and slice radishes, add fresh lettuce and herbs, and prepare a platter of Spring.

Are you inspired by all the freshness of Springtime?  Does Spring awaken your creative spirit?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Into the deep

"Into the deep"- Alyson Jones Studio
 I found Alyson on Etsy a few weeks ago and she created a new business card for me.  Then as she began to show me ideas, I just knew that this gal had a penchant and a flair for art.  Artists know when another individual has a gift.  I am so honored to share this interview and share Alyson with you.  She and her partner are in the process of building a new site for web and graphic design.

How did you get involved in design?

With a background in painting, I was determined to choose an artistic direction upon entering college. I was accepted to the University of Washington's School of Design, where I majored in Industrial Design with a minor in Art History. I continued painting on the side, while I strengthened my design and marketing skills. After dabbling in numerous internships and selling commissioned paintings for a year and a half, I accepted a production art (digital photo editing) position at Nordstrom.com. After a year or so, my husband and I relocated to Utah (temporarily) where I met my future business partner. We had similar hopes for starting our own graphic and web design team. We've been working together as Stone Table Design for almost 2 years and loving every moment!

What is your favorite thing to create?

As a fantasy fanatic and technological junkie, I find both surreal painting and web design at the top of my list. They're both quite different but satisfy completely separate parts of my inner artist!

 Where do you turn for inspiration and what currently inspires you?

I derive most of my artistic inspiration from fantastical movies/books, and most of my user-interface/web design inspiration from blogs and successful sites. I am fascinated with collecting images (which Pinterest plays an enormous part of), as everything from photography to decorative packaging can inspire a new design or painting concept. I like to keep my eyes and mind open at all times.

Here is her etsy shop.

 Alyson designed these PVE logo's for me which we are currently playing around with.  Here is the "upper case" and below is the "lower case" -  The pve bird logo will be incorporated along with the final design.
Let me know your favorite?  I know you will.  

I'll also let you know when Alyson has the new site live for graphic and web design.
In the meantime you can find Alyson over here at Stone Table Design.
I just really love etsy and how creatives can connect and inspire one another.

Monday, April 22, 2013

monday motivation -good energy

How is your energy today?  
Is it good or does it need a little motivation to make it better.  Is there an accessory that makes you happy?  Do you have an "amulet" or a sort of lucky charm that you wear and notice it brings good luck where ever you go?
Take the time to set up a little table top with items that will bring you good energy.
It could consist of found objects that are meaningful.
Light a candle.
Is there a sprig of some sort of living energy?  A green plant or a bowl of fruit?
Does it have heart and soul?
 It all starts with you and you can create the sort of shrine to good energy in your home.
I am adding this work of art to my "good energy" quotient.  I cannot wait until it arrives.  I am going to share more about this special artist in a post on tuesday.
I am also in love with this work of art found here -and the arrangement of books, files and lamps.
Notice that the shades are not the same size, nor are the lamps a pair.  I think it adds to the collective energy of the space.
Take a look around you and create good energy.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

healing stones

Inspired by the color and the healing power of crystals and stones, I have decided to gather my stones and learn more about them over here.  After last week, and the recent tragedy in Boston, I find myself and my faith needs some healing.

I am adding another stone, white selenite.
Do you have a collection that has a special meaning?
Is there a rock that you cling to when you might need a little comfort or healing?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

neon extreme

 Now is the time to show your true neon and support "Neon Extreme."
Blogger and photographer Cheryl Spark's daughter founded Neon Extreme in honor of her Father.
 In 2011, 12 friends were inspired by Alexandra Sparks' father Kenny and his battle with Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD). They were looking to raise funding for research and awareness for this horrible disease so They joined together and formed a running team and they call themselves Neon Extreme.  They set a goal to run in the Cape Relay, a 190-mile relay race that started in Quincy, MA and finished in Provincetown, Cape Cod while raising $15,000 for FTD research.  That year, the team far surpassed thier goal, raising over $25,000.
In 2012, Neon Extreme tripled in size, growing to 36 runners.  Fundraising aspirations grew as well and the team raised $50,000 for cutting edge FTD research while running a combined 570 miles in 24 hours.
 Neon extreme circles.
Alexandra Sparks in the middle and friends,
Sharing the journey of life and showing support for neon extreme.

In the third year they've grown once more.  This year the group of 72 runners will run a total of 1,140 miles (the equivalent of running from Boston, MA to Jacksonville, FL) over 24 hours on May 3rd and 4th while they attempt to raise $100,000 for FTD research.

I have been reading Cheryl's blog for a few years now and always appreciate the comments left on my blog.  Although we have not met in person, I do look forward to the day we meet.  Having read Cheryl's blog, I have felt a close connection to her journey of love, loss and honoring a life taken too soon by Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD)

I sent off a package for a raffle, the above illustration, some notes, a tote and a fun wooden tray with a neon border that I found at one of my nearby shops, maisonette shoppe.

Read more about project Neon Extreme in New York City this evening.

photos from Cheryl Sparks

Friday, April 19, 2013

Love Nina Jane - bracelet giveaway

Triple Wrap bracelet from Love Nina Jane
 Last Summer, I had the joy of stepping foot on the island of Nantucket and in this shop -I fell in love with a necklace that looked very much like this which of course was etched in my "want" part of my brain.  I am a believer of the "law of attraction" and what we are attracted to or desire actually plays a huge role in providing our wants and needs.
A few weeks later, as luck would have it, I won a "love Nina Jane" triple strand bracelet that I actually wear as a necklace.  I simple won it by leaving a comment on another blog "C'est si bon."
 The vintage medals mixed with the pearls makes this a go to piece, it has a "rustic casual" look and perfect for every day wear.  I can dress it up or down.
 Never be afraid of too many accessories.
Great for horsing around...
The medals remind me to keep the faith and the pearls stand for beauty and grace.

Jane of "Love Nina Jane" was kind enough to answer a few questions and I knew you'd love to learn more about Love Nina Jane.

  • How did you start your designs?
  •  We grew up in the south , our mother's became great friends and their names were both Nina Jane. Their NJ was from NYC, mine from Dallas.
  • We inherited their desire to be creative and are influenced by their style. Each of the Nina Janes were different in personality and style but the opposing complimented each other. Our jewelry is the same way, we combine classic, edginess, country and city. The vintage miraculous medals are beautiful and meaningful to us. We only use vintage charms because they have a special beauty we love.
    Both Nina Janes have passed away so we love that we have an extra connection to them. My Nina Jane died when I was 8 and she was 38, and I missed out on so much time not having her, it lifts me up just to be able to say the Nina Jane name on a regular basis! Ann and Jane are sisters (there are 2 Janes!).

    Do you create them?

    We have distilled the collections after many years. We all three contributed to the designs. We all three make our own pieces using the same "recipe".

     What inspired you to start "Love Nina Jane" and what inspires you each day?

    We all three have a need to create. We wax and wane and that is the beauty of having each other. When one waxes, the other wanes and the waxer will pick up the waner until the positions even out. Then we seem to repeat the process off and on through the years! But we are all three enthusiastic about our company. The company has become like another family for us. I love that it has given me two "sisters" as I only had 4 brothers!
    It is so wonderful to see someone around town with a Love, NIna Jane on or to have someone like you want to write about us. We are very excited about the sketch. We all three love your work, we love the energy you have.
    Thank-you Jane for this lovely give-away and for taking the time to share more about "Love Nina Jane."

    Pop over to Love Nina Jane and like Love Nina Jane on facebook.  Leave a comment here and on Monday, the winner shall be announced.  

Thursday, April 18, 2013

gingham gang

I have a gingham shirt that I could wear every day. 

Always thought one of these beds would be fun to have.

Have you heard of Swedish luxury bed maker Hastens? Each bed is made to order according to the customer’s specifications and takes between 140 and 160 hours to make which is why their mattresses are super luxurious and out-of-this-world expensive and according to them, “an investment in a better quality of life.” And to boot, they’re adorable in gingham.  Nighty night

 Love this little fella tucked into his gingham sleeping bag and ready for bed found here.

So, I ask you - Is gingham all of the sudden hip or classic?
Would you wear it or sleep with gingham?