New Paintings

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I’ve been doing research on India, gardens, and emeralds for a commission I’m working on and, of course, online research is like falling down the rabbit-hole. One subject leads you to another and another and another until you’re reading about things not even remotely related to your original subject. And this is exactly what happened to me. I somehow came upon drawings of Native American symbolism and teepee painting. Pictograms with heavy meanings, interesting shapes, and vibrant colors made from natural pigments. In particular, I fell in love with some figurative animals. I was so drawn to the animals and their symbolic meaning, that I took a break from commission work to create something out of them.

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I decided to pencil draw them and then color them in with black watercolor. I then cut out each one—a deer (gentleness), a horse (nobility), an eagle (freedom), and a plumed bird (worthy) and I affixed them to four small canvases I had already prepped with background painting. I then worked around the animals, defining their space and making sure they blended in nicely. Lastly, I painted the edges all around to finish off each piece. After they dried, I hung them up in their temporary home.

IMG_1489But they will be up for sale on the Etsy shop by the end of the week. Check them out. They would work as great individual gifts for a friend or loved one to remind them of their wonderful qualities. Or they would work really well as a set of four for some beautiful wall art. I really enjoyed the research that led me to learning about something I never knew much about. Native American art and symbolism is fascinating. I will definitely continue to play with these images and others I found…I think next will have to be a teepee! Stay tuned.

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Recent Press- Interview with The Coast Star Newspaper

Painting in Studio

I was recently interviewed by the lovely Lianna Bass for The Coast Star newspaper. It was great having her visit my apartment and studio space. We talked about my art, my mission, and all the great things I have planned to take my creativity to the next level. Check out the recent article at CoastStarArticle. Hope you enjoy reading it! And send me an email if you’re interested in joining my mailing list for upcoming art workshops. I’d love to hear from you.

 

Photo Essay-Ellis Island & Lady Liberty

I took a day off from work this week to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island with some friends. Here are some of my favorite shots from our visit.

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Creating Layers & Backgrounds

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All of a sudden, I have a bunch of projects to work on at the same time–commissions, magazine writing and photography, illustration sketching/concepts, and pieces for the shop. So it becomes important for me to multi-task and to create a bunch of canvases that are ready to work on. This involves preparing layers of color and really textured and visually interesting backgrounds on which I can do my signature collage and painting. I thought I would share some photos of the backgrounds I’ve been working on over the last week. They are now ripe for more layering, color choices, and inspirational ideas.

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You can clearly see that I use a lot of different techniques to cover the canvas for a first, second, or third layer before begin the true painting itself. Some of the techniques that I use include:

–color patching with a thick brush or sponge brush, alternating warm and cool colors so as not to create “mud”

–modge-podging on pieces of decorative papers

–bleeding fluid acrylics by applying the paint and then hitting it with a spray bottle of water

–finger painting

–stenciling

–hammering in nails

–using paint pens for dots or lines

–mark-making

–blending

I hope these photos give you some ideas on how to create your own backgrounds on canvas or mixed media paper. These layers are just the beginning of what you can do to create awesome texture, depth, and color in your work. Try some of these techniques out or let me know some of your other favorite ways to create layers. Happy Thursday! Art your heart out!

4th of July Weekend

This holiday weekend was filled with great friends, delicious food, and beautiful sites. Friday night was capped off by an amazing dinner at a new French restaurant I’ve been meaning to try. On Saturday, we went to the beach in Asbury Park and then walked around the town, stopping for lunch at my favorite oceanfront restaurant. A cold and refreshing chocolate and vanilla twist cone finished up the day. The fireworks were postponed until Saturday but they were well worth the wait. Spectacular. And so many people out enjoying the boardwalk and beautiful weather. And finally Sunday was filled with shopping for art supplies and things I need for a commission I just started. And I found an amazingly large eraser in the back-to-school section. It’s for “BIG MISTAKES.” We can all use one of those, right?🙂 Here are a few of my favorite photos from the last few days. Hope your weekend was fabulous too!

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I’m Published!

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Last October, I did something totally out of character for me at the time. I submitted photos of my artwork, along with an essay I wrote on finding time to do art, to my favorite mixed media magazine, Cloth Paper Scissors. Weeks and then months went by and I didn’t hear from them. I actually totally forgot that I had even submitted anything. And then in March I got a phone call from the Assistant Editor, Barbara Delaney, saying that they loved my work and wanted to include it in the summer edition of the magazine. I think I stuttered. I might have been silent for a long time. I think I questioned whether or not it was my brother calling to play a trick on me. But it was real. And after a few months of preparation (sending my artwork to the Cloth Paper Scissors headquarters in Massachusetts for professional photographing, signing a contract, writing a short bio for the magazine, and discussing my process and sourcing of vintage materials with Barbara), the magazine has come out. It’s gorgeous! And the team at Cloth Paper Scissors gave me quite the surprise. They chose my artwork for the COVER!

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Today the July/August issue of Cloth Paper Scissors is on newsstands! I finally get to see my work in Barnes & Noble. It’s a dream come true and the start of some other very exciting projects. And it all began because I was willing to push fear aside and take a leap of faith. The very minute that I put my artwork out into the universe, without self judgment or criticism, is the very moment that things began for me. Since then, I’ve been published, I’ve sold a bunch of paintings, I’ve created a beautiful website, online shop, and blog, I’ve been interviewed by a local reporter for a feature in the newspaper, and I’ve been given opportunities to expand my work into other areas like illustration, book publishing, and licensing.

On this day, when I’m absolutely overwhelmed with happiness, I just want to encourage other people to put their work out there. Every step of the way, I’ve been fearful, but I pushed that aside and kept going anyway. And with each little step, comes more bravery and more confidence in my work and my mission.

The July/August issue of Cloth Paper Scissors is now available online, at Barnes & Noble, and craft stores like Michael’s and AC Moore. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Peek at the Sketchbook

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After working on a few mixed media pieces I’m trying to complete, I had a pile of leftover multi-colored circles, which I had punched out of decorative paper using Martha Stewart’s 1″ circle punch. So I decided to glue them down into my black papered sketchbook and then connect them with some simple line drawing. I like the effect. It accomplished a few things at once–allowed me to use leftover paper, enabled me to use my black sketchbook which needs just the right project, and it gave me a mindless, repetitive line assignment to do while I watched the World Cup. Just shows that you can sketch, draw, paint, etc. without much effort and with minimal time and materials. Here are some additional shots of the details.

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