Friday, August 27, 2010

Little Sparrow Girl

Here is my newest painting, "Little Sparrow." I have to admit that I am rather proud of this one. For once a painting came out how I envisioned it in my head! :) I just had a feeling that things were flowing smoothly with this one. Don't you love it when that happens? She is available in my shop.

She is not based on any particular story. I was just sketching some ideas and came up with her.

I also thought I would give you a little update on our new kitty Jasmine. She is doing really well, and is starting to gain weight and get a little belly :) I can actually pet her now without feeling all of her ribs! She is taking her thyroid medicine twice a day. I use Greenies Pill Pockets, which make life so much easier (they are little soft treats in which you can hide the pill-they don't work for a lot of cats but Jasmine loves them). She has to go get some more bloodwork done in a couple weeks to make sure she is on the exact right dose of medicine.

She is still getting used to our other two kitties, they don't quite get along yet. I think she was used to getting beat up by other kitties outside-she had quite a few scabs and a large bald spot when we took her in a couple weeks ago.

But as you can see, she is just enjoying being inside and taking it easy :) I hope you are having a great Friday and that your weekend is as relaxing as Jasmine's! :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Pumpkin Queen

Hello everyone! I hope you are enjoying your Wednesday. Here is a little painting I did yesterday, "The Pumpkin Queen." She is available in my shop. For this one I decided to try a bit more of a 3/4 face, insted of the straight-on portraits that I usually do. I guess it is pretty subtle, but I think it adds a little more depth :) I am really enjoying trying out different things with my faces lately, as you may have noticed. There are just so many inspiring artists here in blog land, it makes me want to keep trying so many things! I am also trying to "loosen up" my painting a little bit, but its so dificult! I get caught up in the details so easily.

It is pretty windy here today, and we had a really good storm last evening (finally!). I love how fresh and clean everything looks after a good rain :) I am hoping for a little more rain, but it looks pretty clear out there. Rainy painting days are the best!

I also wanted to thank everyone for their sweet comments about my Daphne painting, you have no idea how much I appreciate it!! Your comments really keep me motivated. I want to paint another Metamorphoses-themed painting soon. To be honest, I need to brush up on the stories, it has been a few years since I read it in college! :) I think it will be really fun though.

I hope you are having a wonderful day, and I'll see you soon! :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Daphne painting

Here is my completed "Daphne" painting, based on my Sunday Sketch (see last post). She is available here. It took a while to try to duplicate the sketch, especially because her face is a bit different from what I usually do, but overall I am pretty happy with it :) I'm sorry there are no closeups, but you can click on the image to make it a little bigger :) My camera is terrible at closeups, I really need a new one.

I'm off to do another painting, I might do another fall-inspired one today :) I hope everyone is having a great day, I'll see you soon!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Sketch-Daphne

Hello everyone! Here is my Sunday Sketch, "Daphne." Daphne comes from a story in Ovid's Metamorphoses. Daphne is the daughter of a river god. The god Apollo falls in love with her (after he makes fun of Cupid and Cupid shoots him with one of his arrows), but she wants nothing to do with him. He begins chasing her, and as she runs she begs her father to change her form. He turns her into a tree and "her soft white bosom was ringed in a layer of bark, her hair was turned into foliage, her arms into branches." You may notice that her face looks a little different than my usual ones, I am just experimenting a bit :) I kind of like the way it came out, what do you think? Make sure to take a look at all of the other wonderful sketches over at Sophia's blog, Blue Chair Diary.

I also wanted to show you a lovely little commission I got this week from our own Sunday Sketcher, Heather over at Rose Hill Designs. She asked me to paint two little boxes depicting her daughters. I was so honored to get a commission from an artist I admire so much! Thank you so much Heather, I had so much fun painting them! :) These two little ladies will be on their way tomorrow.

I am not feeling too well today, so I am just going to try to relax and take it easy. Always easier said than done though! :) I hope everyone is having a wonderful Sunday!

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Little Unicorn Girl

Here is my new painting, "The Little Unicorn Girl." She is the last of her gentle kind, but she is able to find great happiness through her friendship with the little flowers and butterflies which surround her :) She is available in my shop.

I plan on doing some more of these girl-animal hybrids. I love painting girls with animals, so why not combine the two! :) I have also been thinking a lot about Ovid's great poem "Metamorphoses", which recounts different Greek myths and links them together through the motif of transformation-through their own or someone else's actions the characters are transformed into animals, birds, trees, etc. I may do a couple of paintings based on those stories.

I was a Classical Civilizations major in college and Greek myths are right up there for me with fairy tales, I just enjoy them so much. Those classes were a treat! I couldn't think of a way I wanted to incorporate them into my artwork until I thought of "Metamorphoses." I'm really excited to explore this! I hope my painting skills are up to the task :)
I hope everyone is having a lovely Friday, and please do have a great weekend! :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cats and Dogs :)

Here is my newest painting, "So Much Alike." You can probably guess that this one was influenced by our new little tabby girl, Jasmine :) This one is available in my shop.

I also got this fun commission from my friend Rachel this week, of her adorable pup Louie :)
Rachel is an awesome animal lover who has rescued countless cats and dogs over the years! She is also the one who helped us out with our little Jasmine :)

Here are a couple pictures of Louie in real life:

I hope I was able to capture some of his fun personality in the painting, he seems to have plenty to spare! :) Well I hope everyone is having a good Thursday, see you soon!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Star Collector (and a swap)

I have a new little mixed-media painting in my shop, "The Star Collector." She chooses only the brightest and most special stars for her collection! :) I used some of my "Once Upon A Time" scrapbook paper to make up her dress. I wanted it to look like the night sky.

I also did another swap with the wonderful Susy over at The Enchanted Pumpkin! Do check out her shop, she has lots of lovely things! And if you have a Blythe doll she makes the most adorable hats for them! I had to take a picture of my little bundle of treasures before I opened it, look how cute she wrapped it up:

Here are all my goodies! I got 3 adorable vintage potholders, a beautiful blue necklace, and a gorgeous vintage beaded purse. Then Susy threw in tons of wonderful extras, including a lovely table runner, a vintage postcard, a German doll, and one of her own hand-drawn ACEOs!

Isn't her ACEO so cute? She did it with colored pencil. She has a lot of talent! Thank you so much Susy for another great trade!! :)

Jasmine is doing well, she came out to explore a bit this morning before going back into her closet spot :) She is resting a lot but she is alert and is very good about eating, drinking and taking her medicine :) I hope everyone is having a good Monday!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Sketch (and a kitty update)

Here is my Sunday sketch for today. I didn't have time to do a new one, so this is a face I drew back in 2006! I used to go for a more realistic look in my artwork, but I never had that much fun with it and got easily frustrated. Then I discovered the whimsical world of folk art and my art-making exploded! :) I guess you just have to find the type of art that speaks to you! Check out all the other great Sunday Sketches at Sophia's blog Blue Chair Diary.

I also wanted to give everyone an update on our new kitty Jasmine, whom we found starving to death in our neighborhood (my prevoius post gives the details). She tested negative for fiv and felv and is now officially our new kitty!! :) She does have a hyperthyroid, so we are going to have to give her medication everyday, probably for the rest of her life. We are hoping that a kidney problem does not become evident after that is balanced out. She is also on some antibiotics for a week as a little infection showed up on her bloodwork. She has mosquito bite dermatitis on her little nose from bugs biting her outside, but that should clear up on its own. Luckily she is already spayed!

She is very sweet, she lets you pet her and pick her up and rub her belly! She has also been sleeping in bed with us every night. During the day she sleeps in a dark, cool spot in the closet. I think she is just exhausted and relieved to be here. Tucson has temperatures of 110-plus in the summer, so combined with no food or water, she was having a rough time out there!

This comes at a bit of a hard time for us financially (I am unemployed and my boyfriend is about to be laid off), but my friend Rachel, an awesome vet tech, has helped us out TREMENDOUSLY by providing us with a free exam and bloodwork for her. We also have very wonderful families and friends willing to help us out. I am thinking of maybe doing a few Jasmine ACEOs to sell and go towards her medical costs too.

She is a sweetheart and I am so glad we were able to take her in! Remember to remind your friends and family to spay and neuter, there are enough animals out there leading very hard lives because they don't have a home!! Anyway, sorry for the long story, I am just so happy to share this good news with all of you :) I hope you are having a wonderful and relaxing Sunday! I'll see you soon :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Marie and Clementine, plus a kitty story

I have a couple of new little handpainted papier mache boxes available in my shop, Clementine (above) and Marie! I love painting these little boxes!

I also have 6 new prints available, including "Growing."

I spent most of yesterday helping out a little kitty in our neighborhood. My sister and my friend Alisha and I would often see this cat on our walk to the local yoga studio. She is hard to miss because she has a funny croaky little meow and is super-friendly, and would always walk along the wall outside of the house she was fed at and want pets. She was of a pretty hefty build. I think she has been around there for at least a couple years.

Well I hadn't seen her in a week or two, and on Tuesday night I saw this tiny little kitty walking towards me on the sidewalk. When she got closer and meowed, I realized that it was the same kitty, only she had lost a good 5 pounds and looked awful. That evening my boyfriend and I brought her a can of wet food and she wolfed it down like she hadn't eaten for days! It seems like the people who had been feeding her were renting, then they moved and she had no source of food. I worried about her all evening and asked for advice from a couple of friends, Alisha and Rachel, whom I had worked with at a local no-kill cat shelter.

The next day (yesterday) we decided to try to get her and bring her onto our porch so she could at least have some food, water and shelter. We went out there throughout the day and couldn't find her, until we finally glimpsed her at about 5:30 in the evening. She is very sweet and even lets you pick her up, so we put her in a carrier and brought her home. She had to stay on the porch overnight as we have two indoor cats and we can't risk them getting any diseases. But we have a very large and well-covered porch, so she was happy out there and ate a whole plateful of dry food plus a can of wet food (my friend Alisha very kindly brought over a whole bag of wet food for her).

My wonderful friend Rachel is a very talented vet tech whom I worked with at the cat shelter and she generously let me drop off the kitty this morning at her vet clinic to be tested for fiv and felv, checked for a microchip, etc. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the tests are negative!! If they are, either Rachel will foster her through the cat shelter or we may take her in ourselves.

I am hoping against hope that she does not test positive on anything, but if she does we will figure something out. We are not going to throw her back out there to starve to death.

Anyway, sorry for the incredibly long story! Here are some pictures of this very sweet and disheveled kitty. Sorry they are not very good pics, they are the only ones I took that weren't just a blur! :)

She was quite literally double this size a couple weeks ago. Hopefully we can get her fattened back up soon! :)

Anyway, I will keep you updated on the test results and what happens. Please send out some positive thoughts for her! :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Bee Charmer

Here is my new painting, "The Bee Charmer." She speaks the language of the bees...perhaps she was once a bee herself? She is 8"x10" on stretched canvas and is available here in my shop. She gave me a bit of a hard time at first, I had to spend a couple days on this one. But I like how she came out :) I decided to try bubble wrap texture on the background for the first time, I thought it would give a great honeycomb effect! I really like it, I will definitely try that agian. My biggest struggle with my paintings is trying to make my backgrounds more interesting, so I'm looking for new techniques. Any advice or suggestions are welcome! :)

I also have a new print in my shop, "The Little Yellow Castle." I like how the soft colors printed up on this one. I include a white mat with all of my prints too. It is available here.

Well I have to decide what to work on today! I hope you are having a nice Monday :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday Sketch...and Potatoes!

Here is my little Sunday Sketch for today. She is Queen of the pumpkins! :) Go visit Sophia's blog Blue Chair Diary to look at all of the lovely sketches, or to participate yourself! I kept it pretty simple today, I have to admit that I am feeling pretty lazy today (must be all of the fried potatoes I ate this morning :)

Speaking of which, I have a recipe for delicious fried potatoes I would like to share with you! If there is one thing you should know about me, it is that I am obsessed with potatoes!! I could eat them anytime, anywhere and cooked any way :) I found this great, simple recipe in a book called "Basic Cooking" by Sabine Salzer and Sebastian Dickhaut.

Here is the recipe, along with my little modifications:
You will need:
-2 pounds potatoes (I use 3 pounds pretty often to use up the bag of potatoes I buy-the recipe works fine with that amount, and you have leftovers! :) Russet potatoes work great, but lately I have been using Gold potatoes which I get at Trader Joe's. I find that they hold up a little better to frying and have a great subtle nutty flavor. Plus I don't have to peel them because the skins are thinner.

-6 tablespoons olive oil

-2 tablespoons butter

-salt, freshly ground pepper

1. Wash, peel and dice the potatoes. Heat the oil in a skillet pan with a lid. Add the potatoes, fry for a couple minutes over high heat, and turn.

2. Cover and fry over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, until golden-brown (turn occasionally). Remove the lid, add the butter and fry for another 5-10 minutes, turning occasionally. (Sometimes I do this for a little longer, we like them nice and brown and crispy). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves about 4 as a side dish.

I should mention that I have a gas stove, so of course cooking times will vary depending on what kind you have. These are pretty foolproof though, just keep an eye on them! :)

They are delicious with eggs and bacon! (Soy bacon in my case, I'm a vegetarian :) This morning we added feta and fresh basil to the eggs, yum!
I hope that you are having a nice relaxing Sunday! :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Few Fall Offerings

Well my fall mood persists, and I think its here to stay until Halloween is over! :) I have had owls and pumpkins and witch hats on the brain! This painting is "A Bewitching Evening," of a girl and her little raven friend Mortimer. She has found a good home already and is on her way!

This one is a wooden plaque painting, "Two of A Kind." Gwen and Hoots love to dress alike! And don't worry, no owls were harmed in the making of Gwen's fabulous feather cape :)

I also couldn't resist doing a little wooden plaque of Hoots at the Pumpkin Patch! I think these little plaques make such fun Fall/Halloween decorations.

And this Little Red Riding Hood has been in my shop for a little while, but I forgot to ever give her a blog mention, the poor thing! So here she is :) All three wooden plaques are available in my shop.

I hope you are all enjoying your Friday! More painting for me today :) Have a great weekend and I'll see you soon!