om: art masterpiece

Tabac Royal, Henri Matisse

Wow, I can't believe I have lead 6 Art Masterpiece discussions for my son's Kindergarten class and have yet to share any of them with you! That just shows how fast this year has been. Things have been moving along at lightening speed. Let me take a moment to slow down and tell you a little bit about Art Masterpiece.

Art Masterpiece is an art appreciation program offered to elementary children by parent volunteer guides. Essentially, art history for kids. The goal is to help students look, think and talk about great masterpieces of art. I'm a trained Art Masterpiece Guide for the Mesa Public Schools (MPS) Art Masterpiece Program. I started back in 2010 when my oldest was in Kindergarten. As a guide, I lead 30 minute discussions about famous paintings (chosen by MPS) every other week from January - May. 

This has been a great way for me to be in my son's classroom, volunteering with something that means a lot to me and watching the kids minds and imagination at work. Much of the art I am learning about for the first time which is amazing. When I discuss an artist or artwork I have seen before, I love that I gain more intimate in the knowledge of the person and their work. The things I love most are the smiles on my kids faces when they see me arrive to talk with their class, watching the kids soak up the images and discuss the details of great works of art and noticing the different characteristics of each artwork and how a work of art may relate to them in some way. Such bliss!

Stay tuned as I round up my discussions and share them here on my blog. To see the posts from 2010 and 2011 discussions, click here.

One Moment [OM] is a weekly meet up that promotes living in the moment.  Whether funny, sad, ridiculous, or banal, looking for these moments can promote balance in our lives. Anyone can join – read about it here.


creative goddess e-course starts this sunday

Do you know who Goddess Leonie is? She is a bright spirit full of magic and generosity. I have been following her on social media for a little while and she never fails to make me smile and inspire me. Remember the World's Biggest Summit I wrote about a few months go? She is the one who pulled that glorious event off with many wonderful and inspiring teachers, all for free! I so enjoyed that! Today, I wanted to share with you some information on her very popular Creative Goddess e-Course.

The Creative Goddess e-Course is a powerful, spirited way for you to experience creativity in a whole new way. The e-course is six weeks to discover the Creative Goddess in you.
  • Every week you will be assigned Creative Goddess projects to do for the week in a range of creative mediums ~ you will be exploring new ways of creating and connecting with the gorgeous soul, wisdom & beauty inside you.
  • Six hand-drawn, illustrated and painted ebooks and three sets of worksheets guiding you on creating art as a sacred practice, how to find healing on your journey, walking through your stucknesses, how to create sacred space and discovering the Goddess in you.
  • Six videos each week from me and Charlie the Happy Healer Dog guiding you on the next part of your Creative Goddess journey.
  • Six guided 30 minute MP3 goddess meditations by me to work with for each part of the course. These are incredibly powerful resources, and are worth the price of the course alone.
The next Creative Goddess e-course begins this SUNDAY APRIL 1st. Enroll NOW to be a part of it! Click here for all the juicy details.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for Goddess Leonie. 


upcycled hand cut canvas earrings get a makeover!

Upcycled Hand Cut Canvas Earrings

All my canvas earrings had a photo makeover and look truer in color then before!

Wearable art! Fun, funky and super lightweight hand painted canvas earrings. These earrings are hand cut from my abstract acrylic paintings. Newest designs are layered with a hand cut geometric design done in a faux leather or faux suede material upcycled from an two old purses. Earrings are double sided with a solid color lightly painted on the back and sealed with acrylic varnish for added shine and protection. See all 10 available canvas earrings in my Etsy shop.


mixed media painting: sanctuary

The creative every day theme for March is mixed media, today I am sharing a mixed media painting I finished last month. This one is mostly acrylic paint with some charcoal to darken the words and oil pastel for some added pop and texture to the Queen Anne's Lace flowers. I had a Queen Anne's Lace (aka Wild Carrot) sketch in my sketchbook which was the jumping off point for this painting.

After starting the picture I knew I needed some words. I did a little digging online about the meaning of Queen Anne's Lace and the word "sanctuary" appeared. I worked on this right before my RAW showcase and the words poured out of me. It says "Be still and listen to your magic, the truth is you are enough, love yourself and awaken your secret sanctuary with your soul, trust in your magic".

I think I needed the words of encouragement before my first art show to remind myself that I can do this, I am meant to do this, I just need to trust in my abilities and try not compare my work with others. I am call it my "cheerleader piece".

I love the addition of words on artwork but, they can be tricky to get right. I went over and over the words many times until I was finally happy with them. I didn't intend for the text baseline to be in the final work but, I wasn't able to remove them easily. So, I went with it and made the lines part of the design and I think they worked into the painting nicely, a happy accident.  

Have you created art with words, do you have any tips to help the words look/read well or do you just wing it?


om: best week ever

Last week my kids had off school for Spring Break, I had to work during the week but was able to change my schedule a bit so that we could plan afternoon outing with the boys. This gave them something to look forward to each day and after going to the movies (The Lorax was great!), the park, the pool, rollerskating (love!), going to a restaurant dinner (rare that we do this), art making and attending a st patty's day parade and farmer's market they declared it their BEST WEEK EVER! Not bad considering they were requesting trips to Disneyland and Legoland at the start of the week. These little joys in life make happiness go round.

One Moment [OM] is a weekly meet up that promotes living in the moment.  Whether funny, sad, ridiculous, or banal, looking for these moments can promote balance in our lives. Anyone can join – read about it here.


zen feather art prints now available

Zen Feather is the last of my feather inspired paintings to share with you. You can read about how I ended up naming this piece here if you'd like. With this painting I focused on creating an abstract piece. I like exploring abstract from time to time. I love the final color scheme, it reminds me of the colors of the desert. The colors changed more then I can count but, in the end I think that added to the richness of the colors. I used oil pastels on top of the acrylic paint for added pop and texture; the feather was painted with watercolor on paper and decoupages to the canvas. I intended to post the original for sale today also but, it just so happen that it was sold on Monday. Although the original has sold, art prints of Zen Feather unframed, framed or on canvas are available in my Society6 shop.


mixed media: wherever your smiles have been

 The creative every day theme for March is mixed media. It's funny I call myself a mixed media artist but, I don't create a lot of mixed media art. Say what? Well, I like to create in mixed medias (digital, jewelry, paint, pastel, charcoal, ceramics, and more) but, I don't usually use mix media in one piece of art. So with the CED theme this month I wanted to challenge myself with to create a mixed media piece of art. This wood block painting has a watercolor feather that I painted, cut and decoupaged along with scrapbook paper, a butterfly and some words cut from a 3 year old birthday card. I loved the words so much I held onto the from of the card all these years. "Some people radiate love and leave happiness wherever their smiles have been." Sweet, right? I have to say this isn't my favorite work. I'm not even sure if I like it. I was a little frustrated creating it. But, that's okay. The point was to stretch outside my comfort zone and just see what happens.

Have you stretched outside your comfort zone recently? Did you like what transpired as a result?


project letter writing

This is actually my post for February's letter. I just had not gotten around to sharing. I wrote two letters last month. Linda from a la mode stuff sent me a wonderful card to use this month and with that card I wrote a note to my husband to say thank you for his support and care while I prepared for my first art show ever and my first craft show of the year in the same weekend. He was pretty over it by Saturday and it was the perfect time to share with him my appreciation and gratitude. The second letter I sent was to a good friend to thank her for a surprise gift she sent me recently. It was really thoughtful of her and I was happy to thank her with the handmade card and envelope shown above by Len of Unhibited Spirit.

Would you like to join us in project letter writing? There are no hard and fast rules, just mail a card or letter to someone each month and with it a little happiness unfolds.


om: cooperative abstract painting

We picked up a "new" old couch for the boys playroom at a rummage sale two weeks ago so, we reorganized the room and added art to the walls. I had a large frame (about 2ft x 3 ft) with a cardboard backing that was sitting in the garage.I pulled out the paints and let the boys paint away. At first they each had there own idea of what should be on the painting and they were pretty far off from one another so, instead of battling who paints where and what I suggested they create an abstract painting. They both knew the term from my art masterpiece visits in school so, excitedly they both agreed "to create nothing".

They worked on this piece very cooperatively. It was a nice calm painting session where the only rule was to have fun and use all the colors.   


The finished artwork is about 2ft x 3ft and hangs in their playroom. I love putting my kids art on the walls and especially love when they create with that purpose in mind. I think seeing your artwork displayed at a young age makes it easier to imagine when you get older and I want my kids to feel like their art is always worthy of being displayed.

One Moment [OM] is a weekly meet up that promotes living in the moment.  Whether funny, sad, ridiculous, or banal, looking for these moments can promote balance in our lives. Anyone can join – read about it here.


black and white love: birch trees and chunky bracelets

Title: Birch Trees in Winter
Date: 2011
Medium: Watercolor
Surface: Strathmore 300g/140lbs windpower watercolor paper, cold press, acid free
Dimensions: 8" x 10"

Inspired by birch trees I saw during a road trip in northern Arizona this black and white watercolor of nature is classic and simple. Original for sale in my Etsy shop and art prints are available in my Society6 shop.


On a black and white kick, I created two chunky glass bracelets. 

Classic, versatile, dramatic. The smooth chunky glass beads lined with gold foil are dramatic and comfortable to wear. Combine that with a classic color palette of black, white, silver and gold and it creates this casual chic bracelet. Strung on Soft Flex beading wire and finished with lobster clasps. Bracelets are only $15 each in my Etsy shop.


what is in a name? pondering a title on abstract artwork.

I created the above abstract piece of art recently and have been thinking about a name for it. 

I thought about Untitled because every one I asked saw something different in the piece. But, I then thought about how confusing and uninspired it felt to me to have lots of works named Untitled. Kandinsky uses a generic name (Conception No. 11 etc) on many of his works. This fits in with his theories of art coming from the subconscious and without a specific definition in the real world. Which is a nice theory. If I was working on a series of studies I think naming it that way wold be great. But since this is a one off piece, I like the idea of a name, it helps me as a viewer to see the meaning behind the art and look at it in a new way. Naming a work I have created indicates that the work means something to me, the artist.

So, in my quest for a name, I remembered there was a cool online abstract art title generator I came across awhile back. I flipped through some titles and then one stopped me. It was Meditation and Energy. It struck me. The meditation being the the very still, focused feather and the energy being all that is going on around it. That also summed up the last few weeks. I have been putting myself to bed with nightly meditation to help calm me down from my action packed and inspiring days of energy. Using that as a jumping off point, I have played with words that are similar to "meditation" to see if something else says it better. Stillness and Serenity keep popping in mind for the feather but maybe Muse and Focus fit too. I settled on the title Energy and Stillness last week but, now that I have some space to think on it am contemplating the name again. Stillness explains the calm but, it doesn't necessarily say  "focus" as much and the focus feels important to me. The title Zen Feather appeared to me this weekend and the more I say Zen Feather the more it feels right. I'm going to sit with that title for a little bit longer.

I was wondering what you think about naming works.   

Does naming an abstract piece give away too much about the painting, and tell the viewer what to see. Should the viewer come to an artwork and view it fresh from their own perspective, without the artist telling them what it is. Does naming a work in a defined manner constrict the possibilities that being abstract offers? Do you think naming adds to the work, bringing a sense of poetry and deeper meaning to the piece?


RAW: natural born artist showcase

It's been a week since my RAW Artist Showcase and I think I am finally floating back down from cloud 9. This was my first art show and it was ah-maze-ing! I was floored and so grateful by how many friends came out to support me (in person and in ticket sales) and by how well received my artwork was.

It really was more then I had hoped for and the event made me realize two things:

1. I need to get "out there" to show my art. Wow, what a confidence boost. I enjoyed talking with people about my art and meeting other artists. I chatted with all the artists setup around me and hope to continue relationships with them.

2. I need to look at this event as a blueprint for the types of events I should participate in the future. Due to the nature of the event, my art was center stage and that felt great. It far exceeded my expectations and I realized that this type of event, one in which people are coming out to admire and shop for fine art is where I need to be. I have done craft shows in the past and my sales barely break the fee and that has been discouraging. Since they are a lot of time and work. The key is the find the events that work best for you and this seemed to work. 

Many thanks to my friend Jill who let me borrow two pro panels to showcase my artwork, they made a huge difference in time and presentation. Silly me took these pictures at the end of the night instead of the beginning so, some things are happily missing. 

This year I wanted to make an effort to make more art and get my art "out there". I think setting that intention helped this opportunity come my way and allowed me to say yes when I had no idea how I was going to pull it off. It started with a message on Etsy from the event planner. I submitted an application and we chatted about the event details. After jumping up and down, hugging my husband 'till he turned blue and calling a few people to share in the excitement, I got down to business creating and planning.

I was consumed with the show for the 2 weeks leading up to it. Every moment I had I spent reading about artist statements, certificates of authenticity, title cards, wiring a canvas, how to price my work and why I needed to inventory my art. But more then that I could not stop creating. I had multiple art pieces in progress (usually I work on one or two) and more ideas flowing into my head then I could act on. All I could think about was this blank canvas and that blank wood panel in my garage and how I could make more art! What a rush. I had to balance creating as much as I could with staying sane and making sure if someone where to buy my art I had everything in place for an easy, professional transaction. I did way more then I needed to really, but that's me. I like to be prepared, over-prepared even. Big thanks to my husband who picked up a lot of slack around the house, cooking, cleaning and taking care of the kids while I was all consumed.

The RAW Stimulus showcase was at Martini Ranch, a bar/music venue in downtown Scottsdale. The night of the show, I got to the venue at 4pm. I had a quick interview by the Raw team (should have this to see later this month!) and then setup for the show. During a venue walk thru a couple of weeks before I picked out my space. Since the event was held in a bar/music venue I choose a space with good lighting available since I do not have any lights of my own. I also chose a space with two tall poles on either side which was a nice place to string up my art prints and add a sign. I thought I had so much time to setup (and I did really) but, before I knew it people started to arrive. There were featured musicians and fashion shows that took place during the show which added to the excitement of the evening.

I brought my easel and a work in progress because I thought I would have time before the show to work and I thought it would be fun to work during the show. Yeah, no. It was a good idea but, I didn't have much down time. I was way to excited and eager to talk with friends and meet people. But, I found that people enjoyed seeing the work in progress, it opened up conversation and I would totally do that again. I ended up walking away selling all three of my cute little wood block feather paintings, a pair of earrings, an art jewelry necklace and earring set, my large fireflies painting and a got deposit for a custom painting. I also had an inquiry on my work in progress and hope that will find it's new home once complete. This blew me away! I am honored that my art was chosen to brighten and enliven their most cherished space, their homes.

It was touching to see so many smiling faces there to support me. It made the night more fun and made me more confident then if I was by myself. I sure did miss my family and friends from back east though. I hope to arrange a RAW event in New York when I visit sometime. I am also thinking about doing a RAW event in California and another one here in Phoenix. We'll see ...

They have Raw: Natural Born Artist Showcases in cities across the country every month. Check out their website here to see when you can attend an event or submit an application to be featured in a city near you!


new tri-color feather art prints and drop earrings


Here is the third work I created on a small wood block. Feathers have been a great muse and have appeared in four of my works so far this year (I have shared three with you so far). With this painting I focused on pattern and the tri-color effect on the feather. The grayish blue background with a hint of mustard yellow turned out beautifully weathered. The original wood block has sold but, art prints are available in my Society6 shop.


I created a colorful mini-collection of wire wrapped glass drop briolettes in bright copper and silver. Big and beautiful glass drops in warm honey, aqua blue, classic black and rich olive green are simple, bold and modern. Earrings are only $12 a pair in my Etsy shop.


march goals

An artist is a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world." George Santayana

Holy moly, February went flying by! I cannot even begin to express all the good, creative, exciting whirlwind that was February. It was a direct opposite of my slow and reflective Jan. It was fast moving, hyper focused and full of enthusiasm.

It started off with me thinking about my word for the year. I really couldn't pin it down. It was the first time I tried choosing a word and although some popped in my head they didn't stick. So, I stopped trying to force the idea and instead decided to make a dragon necklace to honor the Year of the Dragon. Dragons have always held special meaning to me, I used to draw and paint Chinese dragons obsessively in high school. I painted one on my bedroom door and I wore a dragon pendant all the time (which I still have in my bead stash). I decided to make an asymmetrical, ultra long chain and seed bead necklace with a red, white and gold dragon pendant that I think I picked up at a thrift store some time ago. I love wearing it and feel like it has brought me good luck this month.

The month started with a fabulous new haircut thanks to my sweet husband. I feel great, it is short and cute and easy to manage and looks great most days. Much more then I can say for it before. Then I was invited to the RAW event, I'll share more about this in coming blog posts. I have so much to share about the experience! I spent a wonderful relaxing weekend in Sedona with Bert mid month, hiked A mountain with the kids and finished off the month with a creative and administrative explosion for my fine art in preparation for RAW.Above all that I did pretty darn well on my goals.

February Goals 

Business - work on artist statement, about me, my work, my methods and my philosophy. Done. This took me a few hours of research and about 6 drafts to complete but, I am happy with where it is at. Yeah!

Art - complete willow painting and scan 4 artworks for prints. Done. Not only did I complete the willow painting, I finished "Sanctuary", "Energy and Stillness" and "Tri-Color Feather" paintings and started "Ladybug Flowers" and a mermaid painting. I have scanned almost all my art and had 10 of them made into 8x10 art prints. That right there was an explosion!

Design - continue work with logo and wedding invite clients. Sent off new drafts to design and wedding invite clients. These are all still in process.

Shop - add new jewelry and artwork to shop (10 items!). I did not get this done, I have a bunch of new items to get into the shop.

Read - from passion to profit. Done, it was a nice read. I thought I was going to get some guidance about pricing my work from this but, I didn't. I'm glad I finally got around to reading it though.

Family - a valentine craft with boys, trip to Sedona with my husband. I did not get a chance to make a valentine craft with the kids, we did have a small painting session this month but, really I was so consumed with preparing for my first art show that I was MIA quite a bit. The boys really started to miss me and I think my husband and kids are happy the event is over. The next time I hope to have more time to plan so it's not so much all at once. I did get to Sedona with my husband and that was fantastic!

Health - notice and limit my carb and gluten intake - I noticed but, didn't do anything about it, haha.

Soul - meditate 15 min each night, do something alone and away from home just for me. I meditated most nights this month. I really think it helped. I met my friend Jill for coffee and had quite a bit of time for myself this month creating.

Creative Every Day *night* - constellation artwork, walk in the evening, create at night. I did a lot of nighttime creating but, I was not able to work on the constellation artwork. Another time maybe.

March Goals

Business - Profile cleanup. With so many shops and social media outlets I want to spend some time on consistency this month. I need to add my new bio and artist statement to my online profiles and update my profile picture and make sure all available items are posted for sale. Connect online with all the wonderful artists I met at the RAW art show and preschool craft fair.

Art - finish ladybug painting and begin custom butterfly painting

Design - complete wedding invitation design, continue work with logo design clients

Shop - add new jewelry, canvas earrings, note cards, prints to Etsy and also make sure Society6, FAA and Facebook page are all up to date.

Read - The Dragonfly Effect

Family - Spring Break! See friends, hike, roller skate and indoor rock climb and St Patty's Day parade.

Health - work on not eating after 7:30 pm

Soul - continue meditating in the evening, find a video on you tube to help guide me, journal every day.

Creative Every Day *mixed media* - Suggestions: Create art in a mixed-media style, Film yourself at work and share it, Put on music and draw the way the music makes you feel, Create a collage of found items (junk mail, screws, keys, bits of yarn.), Express yourself in an art journal.

 If you would like to join in The Meetup biz goals fun, head on over to Athena Dreams.


RAW stimulus art exhibit is TONIGHT!

Well, I have prepared as much as I possibly can for tonight's event and am really looking forward to setting up, meeting local artists, talking about my work and seeing lots of friends come by for support and a good time enjoying all the art, music, fashion and ambiance! 

RAW Stimulus Art Exhibit Details:
Thursday, March 1, 2012 @ 8:00PM
Martini Ranch | 7295 E. Stetson Drive | Scottsdale, AZ 85251

21+ event. Fashionable attire. Tickets are $10 presale - $15 at the door.

You may buy tickets here:
RAW events are multi-faceted artistic showcases. Each event features a film screening, musical performance, fashion show, art gallery, performance art and a featured hairstylist and makeup artist. These artists are all local, hand-picked talent who have been chosen to feature at RAW. RAW events feature a bar for cocktails while you enjoy the night. Dress code is fashionable attire, so dress the occasion and get ready for an artistic circus of creativity!