Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas time is HERE!

I know, I can't believe it either. The holiday is in a full swing and I even watched the Grinch last night. I'm going to be at the Jamaica Plain Holiday Fair http://www.firstchurchjp.org/2011/11/craft-fair-dec-3rd-2011/ again this year and I hope its a good one. This is the fair that always puts me in a holiday mood because they invite a 3 piece jazz band to come play the fair, while shoppers come in out of the cold from meeting Santa. However, we have been having record warm temperatures these past few days.

"Painted Turtle"

8x10 inches

watercolor and colored pencil

And I'm very excited to meet up with the Creative Ladies this weekend. This is the second year that we will be making holiday greeting cards. I've been so excited about this, as my last years cards were such a hit. I've been cutting magazines up like a maniac! I can't wait to post them!! You can check out last year's cards here: http://thepedigreeartist.blogspot.com/2010/12/its-that-time-of-year-again.html

"D in Plaid"

5x7 inches

watercolor and colored pencil

Christmas Christmas Christmas.

Can I tell you how much I really dislike Christmas carols at CVS and on the radio 24/7 and that Walmart has ads rolling at every moment....
Just remember when at the end of the Grinch when he says:

"Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store.

Maybe Christmas means just a little bit more"

Make it a special one :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

So I don't understand how people start to freak out around the middle of October... "what am I going to be for Halloween?" I am not like that at all. I usually have about 4 or 5 costume ideas by August and get more freaked out as "What am I going to DO for Halloween so everyone can see me dressed up!"

As a child, my mom always got us those costumes that came in a box with a smock and a mask, and you went as a cartoon character... I think I was Casper the Ghost like 4 times. But the last time I went T&Ting (there's always that time, am I too old for this?) but I went as a box of Fruit Loops and that was a costume my mom had made. I think it was then I realized how much more fun Halloween was when some blood, sweat and tears were put into the costume. Not to mention the extra candy that I got because people were so impressed with my mom's creativity. I wore a box with loops of construction paper glued on... that's it.

This year, I went as Frida Khalo. J said that "No one's going to get it." And when I left the house on Saturday he said I looked like the Chiquita Banana Girl. (Close enough, I thought). So I braved the Nor'easter that we got and headed to Somerville to see Booty Vortex at Johnny Ds! As I walked through the station at Harvard Sq, I could hear people....

"hey Frida!" "Great costume, Frida!" "Nice!!" HA! Awesome.

Here's Frida that I based a lot of my costuming on. She's so famous for those eye brows!

And here's one of my more favorite portrait of her. I like the spider monkey and only til recently that I learned that she kept these monkeys as pets....

Here's me as Frida!! And notice my lil' spider monkey! We named him Spidey (of course!) A lot of people knew exactly who I was so I was very happy to rub it in J's face !! Har!

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 24, 2011

All the kids I know are evil

Well, that's not really true. But it seems that when ever I try to do a child's portrait (which is something I'm always struggling with) the eyes will make them look.... well, evil.

Take this fine lad for example. The picture of him he is kind of looking at you like,"Wha? You talkin' to me?" After working out the proportions on the head (they're always so huge) the first thing I painted on this boy was his eyes. Right away: Yep, he's evil. It actually reminds me of those painting of people where the eyes seem to follow you where ever you go.

Second layer, purple shirt, background... but the eyes are still there!!

And here he is completed. I posted these pictures on Facebook only to have one of my friends say, "He looks like he just set a house on fire!" HA! Awesome!

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

the Arts in Allston

So this art career is getting more and more pendulum swinging as time goes on. If you've read my last post, you know that my painted utility box was pulled out because of construction. But it seems as soon as something awful like that happens, then a good thing happens....

This was my art work hanging up at the Douglas Paul Real Estate office during the Allston Artwalk that happened this past Saturday. It was a last minute thing, but I was invited to exhibit 6 pieces. So I met Alana Olsen of the Allston Brighton Village organization on Friday to hang my work. I told her about my utility box, she said she's going to work on getting another one for me... more in Allston Center... So we'll see!

Also there's a big event coming up and it's the 25th Annual Allston Open Studios! This is going to be a great event with lots and lots of artists. You can meet the artists and watch them create as well! I've been working on getting a lot of pr out for this and one of the things I'm doing is going to a focus point meeting with the Allston Brighton CDC tonight. I've never been to one of these before. I hope it's not boring because I may fall asleep! I was out a wee bit late last night checking out Give Up! at the Midway Cafe in JP.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Painting Utility Box is gone.....

So the other night, driving down Western Ave in Allston, the construction that's going on at Brighton Mills caught my eye. I know that there's been construction on going for a while but just recently I found out that Google has invested in some low income housing project and that they are rebuilding the Charlesview Apartment complex over in the Western Ave lot. Great for Allston, great for Google (tax write off I'm presuming) and great for people who need low income housing. However.......

they took out my utility box.

Back in 2009, I submitted a design to the Boston Redevelopment Authority to become one of the chosen artists to paint the electrical utility boxes around the city. You know the ones, they're grey and always humming.... Anyway, my "Stripe-ah" design was chosen and they were kind enough to give me a box that was close to where I lived.

The first step was to clean and prime it. That was disgusting. What possesses people to take their wads of chewed gum and stick it on this box is beyond me. What really got me what that the last person to repaint it gray, well, he just painted right over the gum too. Nice..... It took about 3 days from start to finish and I was very happy with the outcome of the painting especially considering that I hadn't painted with acrylics in forever and had never done the "mural thing" before.

What also was really nice is the amount of people who stopped to look and talk to me or the people who were in their cars yelling out things like, "Nice work!" and "I really like yours!" (there are 3 other U.boxes on Western Ave.) and the bus driver of the 68 route who saw the progress through the day... he waved to me each time he drove by.

Well, it's gone now. This construction project is right to the curb so I don't know if they plan to have some kind of store front or what. And some are saying that they may replace it (I'm assuming that the electrical components are in the ground) after construction? I don't know. But when I did drive by a second time to confirm that "Yes, it's GONE" I have to tell you I started tearing up... I mean, this was something that I created and tried to make my neighborhood a prettier place. Really I shouldn't take this personally, just the luck that I got the u.box that just happened to be on the property of the construction site.... but seriously, this made me so upset.

So here are the pictures of it that I took when I completed it. So enjoy it. And next time you see a mural you really like, think about the artist that took the time and the creativity to make your neighborhood a lovelier place.

Incidentally, my friend Tracy had also painted a ubox in Roslindale Square. Hers got tagged with in a month beyond recognition. This doesn't make me feel better at all.

Monday, September 12, 2011

New Shows Added to the Schedule

Last week I put out a long overdue newsletter to all the the people on my contact list*. As a result I received some invites to shows, 2 of which I have done before. This should keep me busy for a while!

Black and White Border Collie

5x7 inches - watercolor

The first show of the season is the Allston Street Fair. This fun event takes place on Harvard Avenue between Cambridge Street and Brighton Avenue. They block off the road and turn it into a festival with art, food and live music. I attended this fair as a patron last year and loved the fact there were 2 stages and that I was able to rock out to some pretty decent bands. This year, I decided not only to go but show everyone my art as well. Allston has a reputation of being a pretty dirty place that's filled with hipsters and college kids that are just happy tearing up the place. While we do have hipsters, they make up a very small percent of the Allston community. I think participating in this event will help show that Allston has its own culture about it. September 25th, 12-6pm. For more information visit http://allstonvillagestreetfair.com/

Horse Behind Bars

8x10 inches - watercolor and Prismacolor pencil

Sunday, October 2nd is the day of the Harrington Fall Festival of the Arts.

This event is sure to be a fun time for all involved! I'm told that along with all HAND MADE arts that there will also be live entertainment, craft activities for children and a fall produce sale (Pumpkins!) This event runs from 12 to 4pm. For more information go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Harrington-School-Fall-Festival-for-the-Arts/154389834645672?ref=ts&sk=wall

Saturday and Sunday November 12th -13th from 12 to 6 is the 25th Annual Allston Open Studios. This is the 25th annual anniversary of Open Studios in Allston and there will be a great reception for this event as well. This is a great opportunity to go inside the artist studio and see how we work! I will post more details as the event gets closer.

Irish Cows

5x7 inch, watercolor and colored pencils

And finally, just want to take a moment and thank Joan H., of Allen TX who bought "Irish Cows" last week via Etsy.com. Thank you so much, Joan, for supporting the arts! If you're interested in a piece of my original artwork, don't hesitate to contact me.

*If you would like to sign up for my contact list, please place a comment below with your email.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Kitten Art & Shows

If you don't love kittens, well, then you're no friend of mine. Just kidding, but really kittens are adorable :). Here are 2 of my latest out of the kitten art collection.

White kittens

watercolor & prismacolor pencil


3 Kittens 4 Bowls

watercolor and prismacolor pencil


I have been taking a break with outdoor shows. Back in 09-10, I did about 1 to 2 shows a month and I have to admit, I got burnt out.

Highlights of art fairs is that you meet people who are interested in your work. You get to talk about your work and in my case, your pets. You get to collaborate and meet other artists. You get tips on where all the other "good" shows are. And of course: Commissions and Sales

Downsides of art fairs is the weather is always unpredictable. I don't mind the rain as much as I mind the wind. The lugging of all your display and art from one town to the next. If your fortunate you'll have a great person next to you to watch your things while you go pee or whatever. But then sometimes you just have a person sitting there complaining. Most complainers talk about how there's no traffic at "this show". If I had a dollar for everyone who complained to me about a poorly attended show I'd be a rich woman. No doubt, I've had some pretty crappy shows but I try not to let it effect me anymore.

I used to do the South End Open Markets that happen every Sunday here in Boston. They were good, and from what I understand they're getting better. But for the life of me I can't get into these shows anymore and I think I know why. It was a rainy/windy day and my paintings kept falling off the display only to ding up or even smash my frames. Well, one point, I lost it. And I dropped a couple of F-bombs. Little did I know the organizer of the show was in the booth directly across from me. Now, I could be imagining things, but if I was the show organizer and I saw this woman across from me say F*CK! every time a painting fell I probably would feel the same way... We don't need this riff raff. So lesson learned.

This year I have entered my stuff in the Allston Street Fair that is happening on September 25th. It's a block party with live entertainment as well as food and art. I entered for 2 reasons. 1.) It's 5 minutes walking from my house

2.) Allston has this reputation for being a place where the hipsters hang out. College kids come in and live for a year or two and trash their apartments. I want to change that image. I've been living in Allston on and off for about 20 years. And yes, I was a college kid at the time I first came here. Allston has so much to offer! We are a mesh of all sorts of cultures from all over the world. We have a great music scene, a lot of restaurants in any ethnicity you can imagine and there is an art scene! So don't be a hater and come visit me at the Allston Street Fair. http://allstonvillagestreetfair.com/

Friday, July 15, 2011

Art and Music. It's what seperates us from all other animals.

I have some excited arty things planned that I want to tell you about but first I have to let you know about one of the best things about living in Boston. The Music Scene. Ha, you scoff! Seriously, these past 2 weeks J & I have gone to 3 shows and a 4th coming up on Saturday. And there have been some highlights and some *ahem* lowlights. I have found my 2 new favorite local acts and saw them both.

Don't you love it when you go check out a band that you and your friends like and the other bands freakin rock? That's what happened when we went to Planetoid at the Middle East back in May. The ever so rockin' Sherman Burns opened up for them and dare I say it, I liked them better than Planetoid! They're a heavy, hard rock with twists and turns that take you everywhere. Oh and the lead singer kinda looks like J back when J was in his early 20's.

Sherman Burns

So we made the effort to go out and see them again at Great Scotts in Allston last week. Unfortunately Great Scott's doesn't have any air conditioning (or they just didn't that night?) so the place was a sweat box. Had it not been for these boys rockin' out, I would have left in a heart beat. Check out their page at http://shermanburns.net/ and you can download their music here: http://shermanburns.bandcamp.com/

So my friend B's brother, Mike, is in a band called Taiwan Typhoon. I went and saw these guys back in January at Church not knowing what to expect. In fact, I think I was expecting to be disappointed as I wasn't really a fan of M's last band. But hey, I'll support. Boy was I pleasantly surprised!

Taiwan Typhoon

From what I understand, these boys have been working, mastering and perfecting themselves for the last 2 years and have started playing out in 2011. I have seen them perform 4 times now and love them every time. Mix of some post-punk, heavy rock and surfer boy and that's what they are. Duel guitars give you a complete wall of sound while the singer, Larry, is as funny and animated as he is adorable. We saw them last night at TT the Bears and it was if I could not get enough. Can't wait to see them again. And sometimes they have free home made cookies with their merch! Check out there site at http://www.taiwantyphoonmusic.com/

And then there are my friends:

Beneath the Stone

If you like old Stone Temple Pilots, then BTS is right up your alley. They have some great solid riffs heavy, stoney and oh yeah.....

Al from Beneath The Stone

There's Al in all his sexiness. I have a thing for bald dudes with big noses (HA!). So when I go to the BTS show this Saturday at the Middle East, I'll be crossing my fingers that he takes his shirt off again..... yummy! I can't get myself too carried away since J will be there. (BTW J has a big nose and shaves his head as well.... I'm noticing a trend here). Check out Beneath the Stone here: http://www.beneaththestone.com/ (caution, they have the music playing as soon as you open the site).

All these bands can be found on Facebook and that is where I pulled all the photos from as well. Just so you know.

That 4th show I talked about was A Perfect Circle. What a f*ckin' disappointment. Top dollar tickets (my seats were excellent) but they played 5! covers. I can understand 1... I'll let 2 slide if it's done really well, but I was there to see them!! Not sing Elvis Costello!! Ugh! A day after the show, J had done some research and apparently they've recently come out with a whole album of covers with a whole War & Peace theme (hence the cover of Peace, Love & Understanding) but seriously.... They could have done a whole lot more of their own stuff and the show was only 1 hour long. Weak, in my book.

Okay on to the art!

I've been recently invited to show my work at the Discovery Center in Turners Falls MA! http://http//www.greatfallsma.org/ They saw my paintings on FineArtAmerica.com. The Discovery Center invites artists from the New England area to display there work here and I have the months of December 2012 and January 2013. Yea, it's a long way off, but still excited. And this way, I can create more current pieces like this one:

Dead Leaf with Stick



I will keep you posted on that event as we draw closer......

The Canine Art Guild is soon to post it's latest people's choice show and this is one of my entries:

2 Mastiffs

5x7 inch watercolor and colored pencil

The theme is Ying and Yang which always meant perfect balance to me. I remember these dogs from a cook out that I went to years ago and they were the best of friends with each other. They balanced each other. Keep your eye out on the CAG website... the show will be posted by the end of this month. http://www.canineartguild.com/

And lastly, I will be exhibiting my work at the Allston/Brighton Street fair on Sunday September 25th in Allston right on Harvard Street. It's a huge block party with art, food and live music. I'm doing this show because I want people to know that Allston is just not a nasty college ghetto for Boston University and we have much more to offer the world besides bad hipster sightings. So I think for this show I'll be exhibiting a mix of work, but all current stuff done with in the last year. I don't know if I'll even put some magnets out.... maybe. But it won't be all pet portrait focused. In fact, I would love to display paintings like this one:

Gut Girl

10x8 black watercolor

we shall see.....

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Montana Vacation

For many many years, Jason and I had been talking about going to Montana. Since I was turning 40 in June, I figured that this would be a great reason to go, so I went and got those tickets! I am in love with this state! If you've kept up with this blog, you know that I went last year with my mom to a working cattle ranch. This time, Jason and I went outside of Missoula and visited Glacier National Park while we were there. So beautiful. It's a shame I don't ski. If I did, there would be no reason NOT to move here.

Taken outside of Missoula at about 9:30 at night.

The first night we were there, we took a little critter cruise outside of Missoula. The summer solstice is quickly approaching making it light out til about 10pm. Love it. We drove around and saw 3 little skinny deer. We were on an Indian Reservation and I didn't know, but they have their own laws and such. In fact, we saw a cop car that said "Tribal Police" on it. Hmmmmm.

Sunset June 4th 2011

The next day we got up and drove to Hungry Horse. On the way we saw Flathead lake, the largest lake in the Western half of the US. It was awesome with those snow covered mountains. Montana is also full of casinos, with a slot machine in every gas station as well as tons of taco places. My favorite was called the MexExpress: 5 tacos for 5 bucks! whoo hoo!

Animal Bridge

To avoid high impact collisions between vehicles and critters, they have built this "Animal Bridge" which allows the animals to cross without the threat of having being hit. This was also on the Indian Reservation so the the sign says "Animal Bridge" in both English and Salish.

Mountains near the bottom of Flathead Lake

Seriously, can you imagine waking up in the morning and this is the first thing you see out your bedroom window? I'd be forever happy.

One of the many gateways into Glacier National Park

We made the trek all the way up to GNP on a tip that given to us about the critters. Apparently they've had so much snow in the mountain tops that the animals are all condensed and coming down to feed on the new grass. And that the odds of us seeing something were great indeed. It was another 2 hours away from Hungry Horse but so worth it. The scenery is amazing!!! The Blackfeet are the primary tribe in this area. And we crossed the continental divide, which is pretty awe inspiring in itself.

Bighorn sheep (females and young)

Mama Grizzly with 2 cubs

(the black dots in the center)

Jason at the base of Sherburn Lake inside GNP

While we were at GNP, we saw whitetail deer, bighorn sheep, grizzly bears, elk, Indian (wild) horses and on the way home, 2 black bears. It felt more like the beginning of April instead of June temperature wise. And lots of snow.

The view from the deck at the Glacier Park Inn owned by Mary and Mark Robertson.

Wow. This place was recommended from a friend of mine and I cannot tell you how wonderful it is. M & M are some of the nicest people you'll come across and her granola kicks ass! (she made us breakfast on Sunday morning). They very into photographing bears, especially the Spirit Bear of British Columbia. http://www.glacierparkinn.com

Swan Mountains view from Condon Montana

The rest of the vacation was spent in Condon Montana where we did some fishing and some horseback riding. I would have love to gone hiking, but the bears are thick this time of year and what can I say, I'm an east coast girl who is very afraid of Grizzlies! I did have bear spray, but honestly, it did not give me piece of mind.

Mission Mountains from Condon MontanaJason caught a Cut Throat Trout!

Bald Eagle flies over Clearwater Lake

Whitetail in the bush

The critter cruises were full of deer sightings and some were nice enough to stop, look back and let me get a nice photo op!

Overall, it was a great way to ring in my 40th year. And we're already talking plans about going next year!! I *heart* Montana

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Please Vote for Me!

You can now go to the Dog Art Today blog http://dreamdogsart.typepad.com/ and look at all the entries for the Mutt Lynch Winery label contest. I would so appreciate it if you were to vote for my piece:

Sugar's Busy Day

8x10 black watercolor

It's number 72 on the list, so you don't have to go through scores of names :)

On another note, I got the rejection email that I will not be participating in the Rose Kennedy Greenway art fairs and I have a feeling Somerville Art Beat doesn't look good either as they haven't cashed my check yet. Hmmm. Was it something I said? Some of these shows can be a crap shoot, and always a lot of hard work, but I feel I need to get out there and do something. Keep making art, yea, that's what I'll do :)

This past weekend, J and I took a ride out to upstate NY. We went to the Catskills and headed out to see his niece who is studying at Cornell. When he was fishing, I was birding. Late May and early June is by far the BEST time to bird. There are a lot of transitions going on including migrates flying through, and lots of year-rounders and mating and displaying. Not to mention, the bugs are out and that always means the birds are out.

Male Scarlet Tanager

This guy is by far one of my favorites. I've read that they can be very difficult to see as they prefer the high canopies of trees. I have seen them lower however, and this past weekend I was honored to spot a male in the trees right above my head. These little red birds seem even more vibrant when set against a background of new green leaves that the woods are full of right now. Love them. If I'm out in the woods and hear one, I will go great lengths to seek him out. I can watch them forever. Their song is like a robin's, but a little more "buzzy" and the call is more of a "chip-banggg chip-banggg". You can find out more and listen to them here: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/scarlet_tanager/id