Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wednesday Night Creativity

So this Wednesday Night Creativity has really caught on with me and I love it! Last night, I went to T's house. While her Significant Other, T, was smokin' ribs on the porch, we did a still life that consisted of oranges, bowl of limes, a coconut, a bottle and lilacs in a vase. This is my first attempt at the still life:

This was done with charcoal that I've been holding onto since art school. (I swear, I don't throw anything away). I don't think I succeeded in trying to make that orange half look real juicy and shiny. Which is the challenge for me and what I'm aiming to achieve with these still life projects. I also haven't used charcoal in some time. But it's also nice to break away from what you are normally used to (in my case: watercolors). J said that he really liked how I worked the values.

Then I did it in color:

(this picture was taken at my desk at work this morning as my phone had no juice last night). This was created with Prismacolors. I didn't have a complete spectrum of colors in pencil form, I tried to kick those colors up a notch with a lot of layering.
What's funny is that years ago I started doing a lot of my work just with the prismacolors. Dry, no mess, no fumes.... but they weren't rich enough in color for me unless you had hours to spend coloring and constantly sharpening your pencil. Someone had suggested that I put a watercolor layer down first as that would give almost like a head start in getting that true color saturation. And I did, and then 2 layers and then 3 and then I just started doing more watercolors than anything else. So this piece is like almost a throwback into time. I could have spent more time on those lilacs, but there were so many.... and then dinner was ready :)
We had ribs, chicken, collard greens and cole slaw. OH SO GOOOD and then Chocolate Bread Pudding for dessert. YUM..... - More cardio at the gym this week.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Monday in April

Sushi, 8x10" painting layers

Sweet Sushi is almost done. I have completed the painted portion, now I have to go back in with some colored pencil to push out the highlights (I think the crown on her head is too dark) and add her whiskers and other small details. I hope the customer loves it!

So - this coming weekend is the annual Wine Tasting/Silent Auction to support the Gifford Cat Shelter. Location and time can be found here:

But I wanted to let you know that I have donated a gift certificate for a 5x7" painting done by yours truly! Come out and help the kitties!!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hey - I like what I like. Everything else is sh*t.

It's so true, isn't it? I will be the first to admit that when it comes to music, art, even wine, there is NO RIGHT OR WRONG ANSWER. I just have an opinion and I like to share it with you. And if you're smart, you'll agree with me completely. :)

Meet Sushi, the corgi. This photo was emailed to me (along with others) from a client wanting a pet portrait. She said, however, she wanted Sushi in more of a nature scene. Laying in some grass or something to that effect. And that ear on the right needed to be fixed. So here's the first layer:

Sushi, the Corgi 8x10" watercolor - 1st layer.
I've put up the photo and the painting so that you are able to see the nature and that fixed ear. I worked on this Tuesday night and plan to do more this weekend.

Last night was the Wednesday at the MFA and the model never showed up. And the MFA put our drawing session in the Chinese art gallery. One of the artists there volunteered to be the model all night. To her defense, she wasn't planning on being a model so I guess I can't complain about the outfit she wore, but.. She had the worst Mom Jeans that I had seen in a long time. It was difficult to see if she had a waist at all. She held the poses nicely but those pants. .. Couldn't get over it. AND the Chinese art gallery was SO dimly lit that it was really hard to get any good values. Owell, this is my sketch from last night. I did a lot, but this was the best of them

So when I leaned over and saw T drawing horses (there were statues of horses in the gallery) and on my other side H was just staring at the model I realized that the 3 of us weren't *feeling* it and decided to get out of there.

Interior at Stoddards in the Ladder District in Boston

We headed downtown on the suggestion of my friend H, who is also a food blogger for Stoddards was lovely. Expensive (apps are $10ish, entrees in the $20s) for my wallet, so T & I split the fondue plate and each had 2 beers. The food and drink were very good, our waiter was awesome and the interior of this place is BEAUTIFUL. This picture does not do it justice. From what I was told, they re gutted this building so that the original brickwork and interior design is showing. This building is around 1900's (maybe earlier) and has old T railings and Boston Lighting. You can read more reviews here
Then came home and after a quick wardrobe change ( I had to get out of my work clothes!) met up with J at O'Briens, a local live music venue in Allston. We were there to catch 3 bands, but mostly we were there to check out Jim Healy's acoustic set. He has residency there on Wednesday's in April so if you have nothing to do on the 28th, you should head on down. He's a great singer, who knows how to use that mic to enhance his own, very powerful voice. You can check out his site here:
We also checked out Birds Make Birds. If you like the Strokes, you'll like this band. They were very tight and good at what they did. The other band, Lovers, Muggers and Thieves SUCKED. Lead singer was drunk, or acted like it. Music was unoriginal and not inspiring and they were really all over the place. At one point she, the singer, apologized for sucking (!) because they "hadn't practiced in a month". J heckled them "NO EXCUSES!" (I love him!). But yea, don't waste your time or precious sleep by staying up late to watch these fools.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy Patriots Day

Happy Monday and to those in Massachusetts, Happy Patriots Day. Patriots day marks the start of the first battles of the Revolutionary War in Lexington and Concord. It's also the day of the grueling Boston Marathon. Since I'm not in a reenactment of the First Shots Fired nor am I running the Marathon, I'm sitting at my desk at work.

So I want to let you all know that my piece "Black n' White Farm" (shown here) not only sold during the New England Arts for Animals show, but also made the calendar for 2011. Yay!
NEAFA is an organization founded by artist Jill Flynne who wanted to help the people who need assistance animals in order to feel more independent. A lot of these organizations that train dogs, and therapy horses and the like are purely privately funded and need your help! If you would like to become a member of NEAFA go here: If you want to see how wonderful therapy dogs really are, watch this video: (So Sweet!)
Lastly, I received a commissioned order last week! Yee Haw! What was really nice is that this woman had held on to my postcard and price list from a show that I did back in 2007! I had expressed my appreciation and she said, "Well, you were so nice to talk to!" :) aw, shucks!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Is there such a thing as Twitter Etiquette ???

(Winter Wren from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website)
I put this guy's picture up because this bird is more known for being heard rather than seen and really isn't that what Twitter is all about? I believe, like most public places, that Twitter has a certain etiquette and rules you should follow.
I am, yes, a Twitterholic. I love it. But there are times that I get frustrated at the silly things that people post.
Rule 1. Don't post about the weather. Because I can get my local forecast on the radio and really that's all I need.
Rule 2. Don't post every 20 minutes where you are. Why would you consistently post about how you go to Starbucks every morning? I follow the word WINSHIP because it is my last name and I want to know, is anyone talking about me? (hope so!). So there's this dude in S. Korea who's handle is @winship and he posts CONSTANTLY about where he is ... I mean like every 5 minutes and he's always at some fast food joint. Makes me wonder about his health! But again, it's filling up my screen with 10 post in a row. "I'm at ___________" I'm at __________" Seriously dude, who cares?????? And I tried to block him but because it's under a search I don't think I can. At least I haven't figured it out yet (maybe you can help?)
Rule 3. No posts about television shows. I'm note a fan of TV, tend to maybe watch 2-3 hours weekly. I see a lot of posts about Lost, Idol, and Dancing with the Stars. Yeah, don't give a sh*t, really.
But then there's me and what I like to tweet about:
Aside from my usual tweets about my shows, events and art accomplishments....

Josh Homme
Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal, Them Crooked Vultures
I love this guy. I follow him, his bands, and any mention of him on twitter. Very much a guilty pleasure of mine. He's a fantastic musician, bad-ass personality and yes, HoT! That being said I've noticed that when someone posts something about him and it's wrong (*gasp*) I feel that I have to correct them. Makes me feel like the Cliff Claven of Stoner Metal music and somewhere, I'm thinking, there's this person on their computer saying, "Who the hell is this b*itch??" However, in my defense I have been told by marketing experts that it is good to comment and tweet on other people's stuff out side of your "circle" in order to get more people in your "circle." That's all I'm doing right? :)

Remember Cliff from Cheers? The guy who always hung out at the bar and spewed off facts that no body really cared about? Yea, I feel like that sometimes. Is anyone listening? Does anyone care?

So let me ask you: Do you Twitter? Is there a way to block someone even if they keep posting one of your search words? Is there something on Twitter that annoys the hell out of you? Or you one of those "Oh - I'm just getting Facebook, don't get me started on Twitter"?

"Brussels Griffon" 8x10 Mixed Media
I like to read other people's tweets that have interesting links. I follow a lot of foodies, musicians, bands, artists, and art marketing experts. I have made a few friendships through twitter (shout out to @feeaxilla who consistently is sharing his music with me) and again, hoping that this will bring more people to my "circle".
So if you're not on Twitter - you should be. It's got so much potential that hasn't been tapped yet. Just don't post about what your wearing because it's raining.....

Monday, April 12, 2010


"Birthday Echo" 8x10 watercolor & colored pencil
After all that rain, and then the heat New England is in a spring bliss. Blossoms and bees and birds are milling about causing all sorts of .... Allergies! *AcHooo!*
I spent this weekend painting my living room, so I really have nothing too creative to report. This week I will try to get a news letter out. I have one show booked for July ( although, I'm not 100% committed as I have not yet received my acceptance letter). I passed on the Topsfield Strawberry Fest and I'm out of town this year on the weekend of Scituate Heritage Daze. I find that a lot of these shows are becoming more and more "crafty" and less "arty" so I think I'm going to have to find some new ways to show my work. Let me know if you have an event that you think isn't worth passing up. I'm always looking for "new eyes" to my work.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter weekend.

Now, I'm not a huge religious person so Easter was never a big deal in my family. I spent most of this weekend cleaning, getting the living room prepped for painting the walls. I'm thinking of a lovely light coffee color.... and trying to squeeze in some creativity here and there.

Here's a painting of D napping. This is a watercolor on cotman, 5x7" in diameter. This is the first layer of paint on the paper. STREEAAKYYY. But - the cotman + watercolor + colored pencil = masterpiece.

Not the greatest photo ( camera phone ) but you can definitely see what I mean about that colored pencil allowing me to get in there and layer, layer, layer.....

This was Sunday's project. We didn't have to be at J's family until later in the afternoon, so I took a minute to paint the view off my porch. It was about 70 degrees yesterday and I just couldn't hang out indoors anymore. I love living on the top floor :). And the red buds of the maple trees are coming in strong.
HOLY SH*T, this is the street next to mine!! I saw the cops and yellow tape still there this morning. YIKERS.