Monday, October 6, 2014

Stepping Back to Move Forward

Lately, I've been feeling so very blessed and many of you have been asking how I'm doing since my move, so I thought I would share some of what is happening. It was such a huge leap of faith to make this move and I just believed that with hard work & a little bit of luck that it would turn out great. And it has. So here's an abbreviated version of my time in California so far.
"Heat of the day"
Landed here in December, started teaching a drawing class in January, then quickly added another 10 week session and as well as an oil painting class.  I have wonderful students that have become my cheerleaders.  In fact 2 of those cheerleaders recommended me for a teaching job at Pasadena City College (PCC) which I just started a few weeks ago.  Once again, an opportunity arose to add an additional class this session and I've have invited back for next year. I also,started a Sketchbook Monday" class with students meeting me at different locations around Pasadena to experience drawing from life. I love teaching, meeting new students and seeing the joy when someone has an "Ah Ha" moment. And I believe in the end, it makes me a better artist.

"At the Fair"
My time here has been an exploration in whether I could make a living here in a very expensive area of the country and to that end, I'm making good progress.  A couple of months ago I became an assistant for the fabulous oil painter, Lori Putnam.  The opportunity to work for such a kind and very talented artist is a true blessing.  I get to see the behind the scenes of a very much in demand artist and what it truly takes to make it in the art world. It's a lot of hard work and perseverance. This opportunity has given me a road map for where I want my career to go.

In addition to teaching and working for Lori, two weeks ago, I launched my Artist BFF Virtual Assistant service, designed to help artists on a project oriented basis with tasks that range from marketing ideas, social media to starting a newsletter, and everything in between. I've had such an amazing response. So much that I now have a waiting list of clients.  As the saying goes, "See a need, fill a need". I'm a lucky girl with some great clients that I learn from every day.  For my artist friends (shameless plug), check out my Artist BFF services to see how I can help you.

Between the teaching, working for Lori & the Artist BFF, I'm looking for extra hours in the day.  Where does my art fit into this picture? Well at the end of the day, I'm a painter.  It's what feeds my soul. So not having the stress of my next sale to pay the bills, has presented a wonderful chance for me. So I've made a decision to take the rest of this year & 2015 to focus on my growth as an artist.  I can paint and challenge myself in ways that aren't possible when you are painting for galleries & shows. I'm excited, terrified & fully realizing that sleep might be a luxury over the next 15 months. Sleep is highly overrated. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

"Fence Line Flowers"
While you might not hear from me as much on this blog, I do plan to post on a more regular basis on my Art Tips blog.  And I will try to share some of my artistic journey along the way.
I want to thank my friends, family & students both here & across the country for being my cheerleaders. And for being a shoulder to cry on when needed as well as pushing for me to challenge myself.  I feel very blessed by having each one of you in my life!

I would love to hear from you, so please feel free to call or email me.  I promise to respond and remember the time difference for my east coast friends.  So I think I can officially say that I'm a California girl! The water is warm, everyone is welcome to join me but just not all at once.

Blessings from a very happy "southern" transplant.


Monday, September 15, 2014

"Fairly" Hot Days

"At the Fair"
10x8  Oil on Panel

I went to the LA County Fair and this is all I got. Just kidding. It was a fun, HOT day and it's always enjoyable to watch kids having a blast.  I got several photos that might turn into paintings, this one just jumped out at me.  Can you feel the heat?

Friday, September 12, 2014

More Sunflowers

"Fence Line Flowers"
10x8 Oil on Panel
Thanks to a dear friend who shared a photo of his lovely sunflowers. Finished just in time for today's 30 in 30 Challenge.  Now off to the LA County Fair, hopefully, with some fun ideas for more paintings.  Always thinking like an artist.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Avoiding a Fight

"Picking Strawberries"
6x12  Oil on Linen

Nothing like going out to explore painting opportunities.  Leslie Saeta recently invited me to join her for the day.  So off we went and discovered a lovely field of workers picking strawberries.  I think I barely waiting for the car to stop before jumping out to capture this lovely scene.  That moment didn't last long.  A guy in a pickup quickly came to us and told us we couldn't take photos.  We explained that we were artists and wanted pictures to paint.  He told us again that we couldn't take them.  Not wanting to start a fight, we "agreed".  Go back in the car, drove 3 feet, jumped out again and starting taking more pictures.  What can I stopping artists on a mission.  Thanks, Leslie for a fun day. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Wilting in the Heat

"Heat of the Day"
12x6  Oil on Linen
On my walk home from church on Sunday, I passed a small community garden with these sunflowers.  It was already 90 degrees at 11 o'clock and like the sunflowers, I was wilting.  They were lovely nonetheless.  So grabbed a quick photo and here's the result.  BTW, I think the humidity followed me from the east coast.  Bad, bad, bad!!!!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Around Town

"Mills Place"
6x12  Oil on Linen
One of my favorite things about Old Town Pasadena is the alleys.  I have spent a lot of time wandering in and around Old Town.  This is the view from Colorado Blvd toward Green Street.  This is my 2nd painting in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days...ok, so I'm a little behind but the rest of September should be smooth sailing. More views to come.  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

New "Sketchbook" Class Announced

Come join me for a 5 week session of Sketchbook Tuesdays.  We will explore and sketch life in Old Town Pasadena as the morning begins.  This class is designed to ease the beginning and more experienced student into becoming comfortable with drawing from life.  This class is not about creating perfect sketches but helping students learn to see as artists and improve their skills.

We will meet at a different location in Old Town each Tuesday from 9 to 11.  All you will need is a sketchbook & pencils or pens.  What better way than to spend your morning sipping coffee and sketching your surroundings.  Class limited to 5.

5 week Class - $95
Begins Tuesday, September 23rd - Oct. 28th

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Challenge

"Communal Table"
8x10 Oil on Panel

Taking a 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge to get me back in the swing of painting on a daily basis.  Painting what inspires me.  I hope that you will follow my progress & we'll see where I land at the end of September. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Summer Table

"Where's the Lobster"
7x5  Oil on Linen Panel

Love the colors of summer and tried to capture them in this tablescape.  Hope everyone had a Happy 4th.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


"Blue Bowl"
5x7  Oil on Panel

Had so much fun with this color palette.  Kind of fitting since 
the 4th of July is just around the corner.  

Monday, June 16, 2014

Who Needs Sunshine

"Morning Mist"
12x6  Oil on Paper

I seem to be drawn to water, no matter which coast, rain or shine.  Give me a view of the water & I'm good to go.  Hoping to get lots of painting done this week & hope to share some news by weeks' end. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Pedal On

"Pedal On"
6x8 Oil on Paper
"Mornings on Green" series continues.  I love my corner coffee shop.  It's so much fun to watch as people start their mornings.  Some are in a hurry, on their cells, grabbing a cup of coffee with wrangling their kids while others seem to take their mornings a bit more leisurely.  I just have the privilege of being an observant bystander.  

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

On Break

"Taking a Break"
3x8  Oil on Paper
Another of my oil sketches from my "Mornings on Green Street" series.  There is an Italian restaurant across from the cafe and these chefs stepped out for a bit of fresh air.  The light hit their crisp white uniforms & I couldn't resist painting them.  Went back today but they didn't come out.  Instead I sat there and inhaled the wonderful smell of garlic bread.  Such is the hard life of an artist.  No worries, I'll be back waiting to capture their next break.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Mornings on Green Street

"Morning Deliveries"
5x5  Oil on Paper
I'm taking my drawing & oil painting classes to my neighborhood to observe the mornings on Green Street.  We can sit quietly and people watch. Observe the changing light, the colors that come to life as the light hits them and watch them quickly fade as the sun passes. Capture people going about their day lives, hear the sounds as the morning begins & soak it all in. Doing painting series is usually hard for me because I lose interest quickly but I already have 5 paintings to share just from Tuesday's class. More of "Mornings on Green Street" to follow. Click here to see my latest Art Tips post about Observation.

Monday, May 26, 2014

No Snake Charmer

"Fire Road, Cherry Canyon"
5x7 Oil on Linen Panel

This morning's hike was in Cherry Canyon.  I start up the fire road and then take a turn down to a lovely oak grove.  It's a pretty hike but today as I started my descent, I saw a snake. I am a WIMP when it comes to snakes, so I headed the opposite direction.  I was able to only scream in my head so I didn't startle other hikers.  Despite the wild life, I love this view.  Hope to get more paintings from here.  Have a great week.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Hanging Out

"Hanging Out"
6x7  Oil on Paper

 I've finally settled on my new color palette and having fun.  You can read about my palette with the latest post on my Art Tips blog.  

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Casting Pond

"Casting Pond"
5x8  Oil on Paper

The casting pond in the Arroyo Seco Park is the perfect place to capture fly fishermen practicing their casting.  I don't have to worry about disrupting the fishing and I can get some great shots while I walk.  Little do they know that a good or bad cast (I wouldn't know the difference) might make it into one of my paintings. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Losing Details - SOLD

"Lunch at Lucky's" - SOLD
5 1/2 x 7 Oil on Paper

Lately I've been evaluating everything in my art.  Playing around with a different palette, drawing more and seeing how much detail I can eliminate.  A street scene is the perfect place to try.  With all the signage, cars, people and buildings it can be overwhelming.  But when I start with my 2 value notan, it makes it easier.  Still not reaching my goal yet but I'm further down the road.  Hope you enjoy it.

Monday, May 5, 2014

How I Spent my Sunday

"View from the Pier"
5 x7  Oil on Paper

"Day at the Beach"
8 1/2 x 5 1/2 Oil on Paper
A perfect way to spend my afternoon.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Colorado Street Bridge, Pasadena, California

"Colorado Street Bridge"
8x8 Oil on Linen Panel

I painted this shortly after arriving in California, just forgot to post it.  This bridge is located in Pasadena and it has such lovely architecture I couldn't resist painting it.  

Sunday, March 9, 2014

East vs. West or rather Southern vs. California

"Afternoon at Crystal Cove"

The difference between the southern coastline and California coastline are the beautiful cliffs and rocks.  What fun it is to paint the "splash" of the waves as they break against the rocks.  Still having fun and enjoying my new life.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Setting Sun

"Setting Sun"
8x12 Oil on Paper

I've been wanting to try out the Arches Oil Paper for a while and have to say I love it.  It's always fun trying out new products, techniques, etc.  Good to stretch my brain and be surprised.  Also spent the afternoon with my bestie, Julie Hill (a watercolorist) as she is trying her hand at oils.  Always fun to spend an afternoon with another artist.  All in all, a good day.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Hazy Afternoon

"Hazy Afternoon"
6x4 Oil on Linen Panel
Another beautiful view.  Coming from NC where I didn't enjoy painting our mountains, I've found an appreciation for the San Gabriel Mountains.  I see them out my front window and watch the sun as it sets across them.  Their colors range from gold to purple.  Can't be bored with that.  My last painting (see here) also had a view of the mountains, so don't be surprised to see them "slip" into a few more paintings.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Paint Starting to Fly - SOLD!!

"Streaming Light, La Canada"  SOLD
7x5  Oil on Linen Panel
$75 + shipping

Exactly 2 months ago today I arrived in California.  It has taken me a little while to settle down at the easel.  I've spent this time acclimating to my new home and all the different colors & scenes that are before me.  I've always taught my students to spend time looking at their subject before blindly diving into their painting. I'm glad I took my own advise.  So excited to see what direction my art will take over the next few years.

Other News 

One Day Oil Painting Workshop
"Learning to Simplify Your Subject"

March 5th, Creative Arts Group, Sierra Madre
click here for details

Monday, January 13, 2014

From the West Coast

Colorado Street Bridge (detail)

I'm getting settled here on the west coast.  I stepped off the train with a horrible flu/cold, got laryngitis but my voice came back just in time for the holidays.  Aside from the 3 weeks recuperating, I'm loving California.  Beautiful weather and scenery.  

I start teaching a drawing class next week, so I'm busy getting ready for it.  I've spent so much of my last several years painting that I'm looking forward to drawing again.  Nothing like having charcoal all over my hands and occasional face smudge.  

I will share more about my new life at a later time.  In the meantime, I'm just living in the present, soaking it all up and trying to get into some sort of routine.  Until I get back on schedule for painting, I'm sharing a bit of a piece I'm currently working on.  

Hope everyone has a fabulous 2014.  I'm counting on mine to be awesome.