Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Back to the beginning.

It's been a horribly long time since my last post. No excuses - although I have many. It's probably just easiest to go back to the beginning of September and start the story there...

Once upon a time (well, September) I was looking at local real estate listings. We'd been looking for the past five months, and visited countless open houses, and between the stained beige shag and the tiled counter tops, most of the houses were beginning to blur together. We'd carefully given our realtor a list of hopes and desires for a new house, and in spite of it allegedly being a buyers market, were not finding anything that even gave us a twinkle of excitement.

Then this little funky cottage popped up. Way too small, too much garden. Even in a town we weren't looking in. And yet, the pictures spoke to me. It had something that nothing else so far had. I marched off to find husband, to show him the photo's, declaring,

"Now that is my idea of a house."

I was joking. Or kind of.

Sure, it was cute. But we were looking for at least 2,000 sq ft, and this was 884.
We were looking for a 3/2. This was a 2/1. Husband viewed the many pictures quietly for a moment, then said,

"Let's do it." 
Just like that.

He picked up the phone and called our realtor, and before we knew it, we were walking through the house.

"Let's do it." Husband repeated after the walk through. I was torn. It was even cuter in person. Oozing with a character that had been completely missing from the other houses, but it was small and needed work.

That night we sat at the kitchen table with the numbers. We had been looking at another house, which perfectly fitted the list of our 'wants': 3/2 large garage, small garden, ranch style, room to grow etc. Then there was the cottage.

18 months before all this we had sold our house and moved to a rental. Like so many others, we lost 12 years of accumulated equity, and came away with nothing. And we knew we were the lucky ones, compared to so many. The ranch house required a huge 30 year mortgage, and the cottage was less expensive enough that we could consider a 15 year mortgage. The numbers swung it. I just turned 40, and the thought of still having a mortgage at 70 terrified both of us. 

So we made this crazy leap into something that isn't what we thought we wanted, and yet feels so right. Funny how that happens.



Well that is probably the end of chapter one, but only just the beginning of a whole new adventure! Here are a couple pictures of the house and yard as it was in September, when we got the keys. I will continue the story and try to catch up to where we are today. A lot has happened!



Monday, October 29, 2012

A pug called Mowgli

The calm will soon return, as will my blogging, but in the meantime, I just wanted to pop by to post a picture of my newest dog painting - Mowgli the pug. Mowgli (the dog and the painting) live happily in Concord, CA. This is a 14" x 14" acrylic on canvas.

On the home front - we have now moved and I now have something resembling a working space, so from next week I will be back at it, so the posts should certainly go up in number! There have been many adventures in the past month, including bee swarms, apple trees, trailers and a new animal family member, so I will tell more next time.

But here is Mowgli the pug.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A dog called Nangi

Meet Nangi, who is the dog of a good friend of mine. I've been promising to paint her for some time now, but finally got around to it last week. Nangi is a norfolk terrier cross, and is around fourteen now I think.

Acrylic and modeling acrylic on canvas. 14" x 18".


Things are hotting up on the moving front - we close escrow next week, but I was still determined to squeeze in a couple more paintings before I pack up my studio for the move. So not much blogging going on - but at least there is some paint!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Changes afoot

Changes are afoot in these parts. It's been a whole three weeks since my last post, and sometimes it's surprising how many things can change in a short period of time.

The window on the bench from the last post is finished, but I am yet to take a picture of it, and it hasn't yet been installed.

Mr C, baby and I took a short trip to San Diego for a little vacation. It was a 'not too far' place to take a three year old, with plenty to do, and we all enjoyed the hotel pool and the San Diego zoo.

We made an offer on a house and will be moving next month!
That's the big news. We made a mental list of all the things we wanted in a house, and ended up with something completely different. But I think thats ok. We've been looking at houses for around five months, and were struggling with how apathetic we felt about everything we saw. In spite of it supposedly being a 'great time to buy', houses are still exceptionally expensive in this part of the world, and many of them are tired and flimsy, and in most cases, haven't been updated since the 80's.

Then, out of the blue, we spotted a little place in a town around six miles from where we currently live. A tiny cottage, built in the 1940's, a mere 884 square foot, two bed, one bath home. I checked out the pictures on Redfin, and showed Mr C, telling him jokingly, "Now there's my dream home!"
He looked at the photos silently for a few seconds and said "lets do it", picked up the phone and called our realtor on the spot.

The next day we visited and were both blown away to the emotional response we had to this little place. The garden is large, at nearly an acre, and contains lavender, raised beds and numerous fruit trees. It took me a while to get my head around the idea of moving to a home that is nearly half the size of our current home, and yet, as discussions continued, we realized that this is what we've been waiting for, but just didn't know it.

Mr C and I both turn forty in the next six months. Well, I turn forty in the next three weeks, actually, but neither of us were thrilled with the idea of starting a thirty year mortgage at forty. This house is smaller, and therefore less expensive, and we can have a fifteen year mortgage on it, which makes us both feel we have a real chance at possibly owning our house one day. Like so many, we lost everything on our last house, so starting again at forty, with a young family, was not something we had planned either.

But somehow - this all feels so - right. I have been a keen follower of the tiny house movement for several years now, and love the Tiny House Blog. I'm not quite sure why I hadn't applied the idea to us before. This has somehow all been rather a revelation.

So - no pictures today. Rare for me! But just news, and hopefully soon, I can add pictures and adventures from our new 'way of life' as well as the usual artistic endeavors. As I have to believe this decision we have made is just that. A new way of life.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

On the bench

Thought I'd post a quick photo of work currently on the bench. It's a 'sundial' window for a spectacular treehouse in Portland, Or. The window also contains a compass and the sun and moon, and I'll post a bit more about it when it's finished!




In this picture you can just about see half the window is leaded and the other half is still just the glass bits.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The tiger who came back to tea

'The Tiger who came to tea' is a great kids book about a little girl called Sophie who gets a visit from a tiger. It's by Judith Kerr and was first published in 1968. It's a favorite in our house, so I decided to create a painting based on the idea.


In the book - the tiger never comes back again, but in my painting 'The tiger came back to tea', Tiger surprises the little girl in the painting by popping round for tea again. The table is covered with all sorts of yummy things, and Tiger promises to share nicely, as last time, he ate everything!


This is a collage and acrylic on canvas board 16" x 20", and the original has made it's way to the UK as a present for my three year old niece Fritha (who also loves the story)


I am selling giclee prints of the painting though, over at my new Etsy store - The Magic Bag.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Etsy Treasury

Brief post today - still busy busy behind the scenes, but today my painting 'The owl and the pussy cat' was included in an Etsy treasury. Kind of a 'little' big deal for me as it's my first one!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

The door is open!

Dumpling spent weeks looking for just the right store front. I was busy running round, having paintings scanned and making banners etc. I thought for just a moment what to call it, but it was obvious: The Magic Bag, of course. Finally, we swept the front step and unlocked the door! My new Etsy shop is now open for business!


Currently listed are some original paintings and prints, hopefully soon will come some limited edition dolls and more artwork. Now the store is up and running I need to make time to create some more art to go in it!


Do stop by to ring the bell and say hello if you are ever in the neighborhood.



http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheMagicBag

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Feeding the birds fed her soul



New painting: 'Feeding the birds fed her soul'. Acrylic and collage on board, 16" x 12 ". Whimsical folk art.

Monday, June 4, 2012

From little, to bits and pieces

All sorts going on in the Magic Bag right now. Body parts keep popping out. All a bit 'Dexter'. Doll limbs and rabbit feet, even the complete torso of a rabbit.


I'll see if I can make sense of it all and assemble them in some fashion. They are all made of poly clay, and chances are it has something to do with that possible Etsy shop I mentioned before.






I'll let you know what happens!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

More glass painting.

Continuing the theme of 'little', I have recently completed another bit of stained glass painting for Bonny Doon Art Glass.


This one really was little! Two tiny people, only a few inches each, who are shown driving in this vintage car. The rest of the window was completed by John Forbes, of BD art glass, and contains custom golden bevels and copper foiled glass for this private piece. 




Painting this small is actually far harder than painting big. Glass paints are hard enough to work with, without having to jiggle them onto such small bits of glass.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Drama on a small scale

The Doll house is not the only scale stuff that's been going on around here. There has been a major drama unfolding on a very small scale in my back yard.


I have many birdhouses, but my favorite was a gift from my husband. It is shaped like a tiny Cape Cod style house, red with little windows in the roof, and even a front porch. When we moved last year, it came out of the packing boxes and was temporarily placed on the railing of the pagoda in the yard. It hasn't moved since.


A few weeks ago whilst eating lunch in the pagoda, I noticed some grass and twigs poking out of the circular hole in the door. It looked like someone was building a nest!


My suspicions were confirmed a week later when we noticed two tiny birds coming in and out of the house with what looked like grubs. Two days after that we heard the first tiny squeaks of baby voices. By now, Mama and Papa bird were coming in and out of the nest every two minutes or so, to feed their hungry brood.




Within another two days, the baby chirps had reached such a pitch that we could hear them from anywhere in the house. I looked in my bird book and I think they are they are Bewick wrens.  The parents continue to work at least fourteen hours a day to keep up with their needs. Seeing and hearing the birds and their babies gives me such a simple sense of pleasure and joy. This is the first time one of my birdhouses has been occupied, and it's been a thrill to watch Mr and Mrs Bewick raise their family - both in my yard, and in a perfect little house for them.


The nest was becoming very crowded. There seems to be at least four of five youngsters. The babies would gape at the hole when the parents returned, and I became concerned they might fall out. Later that day I noticed one of the chicks had fallen out onto the deck area. I knew I shouldn't touch it, and at the time was busy feeding my own baby bird, so decided to go out again later, when my own baby was tucked safely in her little nest. When I did, the baby was no longer there. I checked the floor and surrounding area, but couldn't see anything, and secretly hoped the parents had managed to push the baby back into the box.


The next morning, as the dawn broke, the babies started to chirp as Mama and Papa flew from the nest to find breakfast. Their day was already well underway by the time I got up and pulled the curtains. Right then, we watched in horror as a Stellar Jay flew towards the box and grabbed one of the babies, right from the hole. The Jay flew to the fence, with the baby in it's beak and smashed it against the fence. The Bewick's cursed and swore at the Jay, but it was too late. We went outside to 'shoo' the Jays, but they continued to return as we prepared to leave the house. Before I left, I checked the nest, and could still see at least three young.


Later, when I returned home, the garden seemed quiet. When my daughter was asleep, I crept out and sat in the pagoda, waiting for the familiar chirping, and the regular visits from Mr and Mrs Bewick. 


Nothing. 


After twenty minutes of waiting in silence, I checked the nest and found it empty. I suspect once the Jays knew the nest was there, they systematically picked off the babies, one by one, until they were gone. 


I imagined the parents returning with a grub that final time to find an empty nest, and no reason to stay. I wondered if they grieve? I wondered if the sorrow hangs with them as they fly away, or whether their job is finished and they think no more about it.


The garden felt quiet and empty for days. So did I. I mourned the loss of the Bewick children at the hands of the Stellar Jays.


I left the house alone for several weeks, just incase. Then yesterday I decided it was time to sort through it. Layer upon layer of first twigs and then grass, followed by feathers and fluff. So precise, so deliberate. Whilst taking the contents to the green can, I hear the chirping of other fledgling birds, old enough to fly, but not old enough to feed themselves, and I watch as their parents flutter about to keep them happy and fed. The circle of life. And now it's time to feed my little one again.

















Monday, May 7, 2012

Happy birthday Boo!

Hot off the press, varnish still wet, here is another of my 'Bunny and Boo' series, called Happy Birthday Boo!


Bunny blows a party whistle, and Boo patiently waits for cake.
Acrylic and collage on canvas, 8" x 8 ".


The grand plan is to open up an Etsy storefront, so I am currently stockpiling some images, getting pictures professionally scanned etc, so I can at least have ten or so items to start from. I will then be able to offer prints of existing work etc.


I've been painting a lot recently, which is most enjoyable, and a lot cleaner and safer than glass work. Also plan some more poly clay adventures soon.


Dumpling has been visiting Etsy storefronts to see what kind of shop we might lease. Makes me almost consider creating another bear. He's been so helpful since he came out of the Magic Bag, especially with the dolls house and all.


More soon!



Monday, April 30, 2012

The remodel - complete!

I think the easiest way to show off the finished doll house is in this little slide show I put together.




video


It has a few 'before' pictures, but mostly 'after' shots. Dumpling can be seen working away in quite a few of them, and he also invited a couple of friends (Tipsy the rabbit and Rosemary Bear) round to show of his handy work (think he's angling to get more work from Rosemary, as she is Heiress to quite a large estate).





Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Complete remodel

I gave mention last time of the remodel that Dumpling and I have been undertaking. 


Out of the blue I was given a very large dolls house (it's 3ft wide). I think it was once a beloved plaything - looking like it was built probably in the 70's or earlier, but in recent years had become a little run down and sad. I believe it passed through a couple hands before arriving on my doorstep. I don't like to see things that were once grand fall into dis-repair, so felt the burden of responsibility to return it to it's former glory, or at least a new found glory.






Here are some 'before' pictures. As you can see, some of the windows are in the wrong place and it needs some work!






This is when it's useful having an employee like Dumpling. He's a much better size than me to get inside those rooms and start pulling things apart. I set him to work at once, and before I knew it, the floors were stripped and windows were out ready for re-painting.


Next time I'll show you the finished house!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

In the meantime...

I have been painting away quietly, and working on other projects too (which I will share later) but in the meantime, here is artwork for another of the 'Gratitude e-cards' I created for Gratitude Habitat. I don't believe it is available on their site yet, but as the artist, I think it's ok to give you a tiny peek here first!


Dumpling and I have been busy remodeling a house. A dolls house. But still a house. Even with years of experience, the magic bag can still surprise me with the things it produces!
I'll tell more about that next time.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Keeping cosy



We've all been sick here. It started with baby, and has been working it's way around, as these things do.

I noticed on a recent trip, that lampposts in Santa Rosa have a good way of keeping their long necks warm to prevent illness - they wear scarves! Makes perfect sense if you think about it.

Meanwhile, Telegraph poles in Portland don't need to wrap up, as the community takes care of it for them! Each one is carefully wrapped and bulging with hundreds of brightly colored sheets of paper. Very sensible to wear layers, as it is warmer than one thick item. The colored papers have pictures and words embellished upon them. I'm guessing they are positive words of energy and health for the poles, and perhaps the odd apology for all the nasty staples?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Jackie


And finally, here is Jackie, the youngest of the three sisters. She is pictured with Princess Cocoa, the family labra-doodle. Cocoa has an underbite, which is why I painted her front teeth showing!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Katie


Here is Katie, she is the second (but oldest) of the three sisters.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Amelia


Meet Amelia. She is one of three sisters, that I have been lucky enough to paint, these last couple weeks. Amelia has the most incredible red colored hair, and latte skin, with cinnamon sprinkles.
Amelia was painted in a 'folk art' style, and I'll post the pictures of her sisters over the coming posts. The backgrounds in the three paintings are painted as one picture, so the paintings can he hung horizontally together (with a two inch gap) and the horizon lines up. These are decoupage paper and acrylic on canvas, each one 12 x 12 inches (private commission). Amelia is the 'left' of the three images, which is why I'm posting her first, although she is the 'middle' child of the siblings.

Its been so fun working in paint, which I don't always get to do. And I am happily continuing to work in paint for other projects too, which I will post as I complete them!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Completed dome!



I don't always get to see the finished product - especially when it's not my job and I'm working for someone else. But today I got an email with pictures of the finished dome in place! Such a nice surprise! I love the delicate colors chosen for this one, it's all very subtle, and I think the coloring of the heads blends really well. I forgot to ask if the client was happy with it?! But I'll try and find that out soon.
Course, I can't take credit for much of this job - just those two little faces. The rest all goes to Bonny Doon Art Glass.

Speaking of faces, I just completed three commissioned folk art paintings of three young sisters.
They will be appearing next time :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Completed Cherubs!



The Cherubs have been colored with stain and enamel, and have been delivered back to Bonny Doon Art Glass where they will be added to the oval dome ready for soldering and installation.
I'm sure they are happy to finally get their wings, as being a floating head can have it's downsides.

Pictures are of the finished heads on the light box, and waxed in place on the side of the dome mold. I took that picture from an angle so you can see the curve of the glass piece. The paint is placed face down (so the owners will see it on the inside) but note the blue eyes from the back look weird as I enameled and stained the back side of the glass. This is done for many reasons.

Stain always is brushed on the back side of glass, as it has a tendency to 'metal' (go metallic looking) which obscures the glass and image. It does this because silver stain is indeed made with silver nitrate, so it can kind of turn to metal in the kilning process. The enamel can be painted onto the front or back of the glass, but is kind of a hit and miss firing process. By painting the back in this case, it gives the faces a glowing color from behind, and if the color turned out all wrong, I can just acid it off and start again. If I had layered the enamel on the front on top of the paint, and the color came out wrong - I would have pretty much ruined the whole piece, and many hours of careful painting, so that is why on this occasion I painted the back!

There! That was the technical bit. Check out the dome picture too, for the great custom yellow bevels used for the angels wings. You don't often see colored bevels, as colored plate glass is fairly unusual, and I think the colors work great with the finished heads. What do you think?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pooches in Portland


A few weekends back, Mr C, baby and me took a long weekend trip to Portland, OR. It was part time away, and part explore, but we had a super time.

The first thing I noticed when we arrived was that it was winter there. In California, it seems very much like spring already. We spent three days bundled in coats (to keep the damp and cold at bay).

Much exploring ultimately meant much hunger, and so naturally eating was a feature of our trip. On sunday morning we went for brunch in Laurelhurst, and saw two french bulldogs waiting patiently outside a restaurant for their person. They were both dressed casually in home made camel colored sweaters (chunky knit) and even had their own little towel to sit on, to protect their bottoms from the cold damp sidewalk. One seemed happy enough to watch passers by, but the other looked concerned as to the whereabouts of his aforementioned person.

I recorded the moment on a doily I found resting between my two food plates, so I could share it. One day I suspect there may be a device for capturing images from real life and sharing them, but in the meantime thank goodness for doilies and pens!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

From Angel to Jesus



Yesterday I was looking through some pictures on a hard drive from a previous computer, and found Christ!

I've had more than my fair share of hard drive failures, and one hard drive was lost altogether, but it was great seeing these pictures I haven't seen for years. Pictures of baby at just a few days old, pictures of beloved pets who have since passed away. As i downloaded them onto my current machine, I literally saw my life flash before my eyes (well, the last fifteen years or so at least) as the pictures momentarily popped onto the screen.

I saw myself, fresh faced, in the days BB (before baby) and was transported to a time when I only had myself, husband and pets to think about. Wow, what a trip.

Anyway, I found these pictures of Mr Christ, before and after his makeover.
It was a restoration job, and the 'before' picture shows how His painted features are starting to come off of the surface (on the light box). The 'after' picture shows his brand new painted head in the restored window. I also had to re-create His hands, as they were broken.

Fun to look back on some past work, and even more fun to realize I have some record of past work that I thought had been lost forever.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines cherubs!


Happy Valentines to you all!

Last time I posted the drawing of the angel/cherub I was going to paint on glass. Today, here is the painted glass version of the twins (needed to paint two of them)
They are not yet finished, as now I have painted them, the glass needs to be slumped (bent) to fit the shape of the dome they will be inhabiting. Then, I will silver stain and enamel them, giving them a little color in the eyes, hair, cheeks and lips. The events happen in this order to accommodate the technical needs of the glass: Slumping temperatures are higher than stain or enamel temps, and paint should withstand slumping etc.
The faces are shown on my light box, so the black blogs are plasticine (holds the glass to the light box) and you can see the excess paint on the light box around each face.

Still - seemed an appropriate picture for today's day of hearts and love!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Painting Angels


Suddenly there is a lot of work to do!

This is a sketch for two angel faces I am painting on glass for John Forbes at Bonny Doon Art Glass. I occasionally do painted glass work there, most recently on the Golden Butterfly.

These Angel faces are for a beveled glass oval dome, and are the only painted pieces - the rest being custom slumped beveled glass, thats why the face is the only shaded area on the sketch and the rest is the lines, or 'cartoon' to show where the glass will be cut. I need to do a detailed pencil drawing such as this before I start to paint on the actual glass, as I follow the drawing very closely.

Painting on glass is also a kind of reverse to tonal drawing, in that I cover the glass with pigment, and them slowly remove the darkness, as opposed to building it it, as you would with pencil on paper. Because of that, I need to know what my 'end result' is supposed to look like, before I start, otherwise it would be very hard. It's bad enough that the pigments used to paint on glass feel like you are painting with cocoa powder - they are very difficult to work with, and have no tolerance for mistakes. If you make a tiny wrong mark, or scratch, or even drop a tiny dot of water on it - it can ruin a day's work. All adds to the stress! But also to the satisfaction, when you get it right.

Each face will be fired at 1150 degrees several times, as I build up the layers of paint. I am up to three firings so far, and there will be several more, including stain and enamel firings at a lower temperature.

I will post pictures of the glass once they come out the kiln!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A new work companion



Meet Dumpling. He is the new bear around here. I thought I could use an extra paw or two in my studio, so threw some mohair cloth, boot buttons and thread into the Magic Bag and let it steep for a couple days.

I'd almost forgotten what I'd put in there, until I heard a low growl coming from it. I opened the zip, as someone seemed to be struggling with it, and out he popped!

He seems a friendly enough fellow, and was keen to start work immediately, which suits me just fine. The only thing we've come to blows about, is that every time I turn my back, he's all over my tea. I thought I was going crazy - not remembering that I drunk it, until I caught him at it.

Have promised to provide him with his own mug from now on. Suspect that will also lead to cake provisions and who know what else. Now I wish there was a bakery in the Magic Bag, but that's just silly.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

It's raining! It's pouring!


Well - it was a few days ago.

For the most part, my hair behaves very well in the temperate climate of California, but in recent days it has grown in volume as the moisture in the air creeps into it. This is my barometer for the weather: small hair - sunny skies, big hair - rain in the forecast.

Time for Cookie to pull on her wellingtons, and for me to find a brolly!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sketch 2, the view from here.


So, onwards with the idea to spontaneously sketch more, as it's a great way to roll into work time. Sitting at my computer, I can see my tea mug, a printer, a bear (more about him another time!) some piles of paper and Cookie.

Ah yes! Cookie. I have a feeling that Ms Cookie Baxter may start to appear in rather a lot of these sketches, but she is a good muse, and tends to be wherever I am - so at least I always have something to draw.

This sketch is the view from my chair down onto her (in her little cat bed at my feet) and the interesting thing about it (well, for me anyway) is that it is entirely digital. That is to say, I started with a piece of blank digital paper and just drew, as opposed to sketching on real paper and scanning it into the computer as a starting point. I love the freedom the digital art gives you. It's so fun to mess around with effects, and not loose what you did previously, as you would with a real picture. I tend to be very 'just so' about my work, so the combination of spontaneous sketching and digital work is a good way to loosen my work up.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Moxa time!


Do you use moxibustion? If you do, then the following will make perfect sense, and if you don't - I shall explain a little.

Moxibustion is basically like a fat cigar sized incense stick, used in acupuncture treatment. it is held over the skin to heat up the area being treated. I've been having acupuncture for my back since August last year, and moxa is just part of the treatment I receive.

After my recent ACL reconstruction, my acupuncturist suggested I use moxa on the scars - to help in healing the scar tissue. She said I can even do it at home, so I thought this was a great idea.It feels really rather wonderful, heating the area until really quite hot and pink, and the heat stays in the area for some hours after treatment, which is particularly nice on ones back, if you are used to a lot of pain and stiffness. It also smells rather pleasant too - sort of herb-ally, but I recommend the smokeless kind, as otherwise you end up smelling like a bonfire.

This drawing is a spontaneous sketch inspired by my recent moxa adventures. I've decided I need to sketch more. It's so easy to get caught up with 'proper' work and the likes, and I decided that a very quick spontaneous sketch is probably a very good way to start the day - a warm up, so to speak.

Cookie really isn't as fat as she looks in it though. In fact she really terribly skinny (my husband affectionately calls her a wretch) and try as I might, she will not gain weight.
And, conversely, I am probably not that skinny. But then I don't actually have dots for eyes and sausage fingers either, so lets leave it at that!

Oh - one thing that does probably require explanation: my 'post surgical' bangs.
Feeling quite the wretch myself after surgery, with all the joys of pain, drugs, immobility and constipation etc, I felt some 'perking up' was in order.

Answer: jaunty bangs :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A gratitude ecard


This design is one of four I have recently created for Gratitude Habitat.
It is a free ecard that can be printed out for you to send as you wish!

The idea is to encourage you to show your gratitude, by thanking those around you you really make a difference in your life. You can even just print it off as a reminder for yourself!

Each card has a gratitude relevant quote on it, and an image to support the quote.
I think just one image is available online right now, but I will post all four images here over the next few posts, and they will all be available on the Gratitude Habitat website soon!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Lola




Now that Christmas has passed and the new year is upon us, I can finally show the painting I did of Lola the dog! She was a commissioned Christmas gift, which is why the finished result had to stay secret until now.

The painting is acrylic on handmade-paper covered canvas, and the paper has real leaves made into it, so it has a real texture to it. I also started the painting with modeling paste, so parts of the dog are even more textural again. There is a bee in the painting, to symbolize hard work, and as a reminder of pain, and the dogs collar is made of a daisy chain - symbolizing innocence and purity.
The dandelion speaks of happiness, and is the oracle of love. The dandelion clock references time and it's relation to love. The butterfly represent metamorphosis and change in life, and two mean love again.

I love to weave in symbolic reference or secret things when possible, in my work. I love the challenge of sliding imagery in - sometimes unnoticed, that has relevance and meaning to those it is created for! Mostly it's something I've done in my glass work, but since I am currently painting more - put it here instead!

Lola: 30" x 18" Acrylic on canvas

Happy new year!