Thursday, August 23, 2012

Look, I'm Famous... (kinda)

My art and I made the local paper!!! Very nice article, thanks Jing for giving me the opportunity to bring my art and opinions to the village of Allston/Brighton. You can read it here: I started laughing when I read that I was "tearing up" when talking about Luna. She was such a mess when I got her LOL.

First Layer

I haven't even titled this piece and was having a issue deciding whether to do it in watercolor or oil. I settled with watercolor, but did a 2nd "trace" of the image in case I go back to oils. So maybe this is just a study? We shall see how this turns out.
T & I went on an equestrian vacation at the Icelandic Horse Farm up in Mad River Valley Vermont. The horses were wonderful, the inn was beautiful and the people were awesome. Of course I took tons of pictures and plan to turn them into paintings. Maybe make a themed show out of it someday....

If you ride, you should really check them out

Friday, August 17, 2012


Art can do a lot of things.

Olivia Pedrick

Ms. Olivia Pedrick is a 9 year old girl who paints pet portraits and gives all the money to rescue organizations. I found out about Olivia from a friend of mine who posted this article on my Facebook page.

This young lady has created quite a stir with her folky art portraits and the compassion that she has for helping the animals. Reminds me of me when I was a young girl.There was a few people talking about how giving gift certificates towards paintings isn't a good idea because the lack of customer base and actual sales will come from it are pretty low. That may be the case, but can we be more like Olivia and just do it for the doggies? I can only imagine what great things are in store for this young lady and her art career. Beautiful and admirable, Olivia.

Pussy Riot

Yesterday, 3 members of Pussy Riot, a Russian all girl punk band, were sentenced to 2 years in prison for performing their song on the steps of a Russian Orthodox Cathedral. Whether you agree with their methods or what they had to say, there is no justification in putting these girls to prison. If you want to listen to the song go here:
If you don't speak Russian and want to know what they're saying, here are the lyrics:

Punk-Prayer "Virgin Mary, Put Putin Away"


Virgin Mary, Mother of God, put Putin away

Рut Putin away, put Putin away

(end chorus) ...

Black robe, golden epaulettes

All parishioners crawl to bow

The phantom of liberty is in heaven

Gay-pride sent to Siberia in chains

The head of the KGB, their chief saint,

Leads protesters to prison under escort

In order not to offend His Holiness

Women must give birth and love

Shit, shit, the Lord's shit!

Shit, shit, the Lord's shit!


Virgin Mary, Mother of God, become a feminist

Become a feminist, become a feminist

(end chorus)

The Church’s praise of rotten dictators

The cross-bearer procession of black limousines

A teacher-preacher will meet you at school

Go to class - bring him money!

Patriarch Gundyaev believes in Putin

Bitch, better believe in God instead

The belt of the Virgin can’t replace mass-meetings

Mary, Mother of God, is with us in protest!


Virgin Mary, Mother of God, put Putin away

Рut Putin away, put Putin away

These women, and Olivia too, are creating a legacy with their art. A read a post from LuAnn Udell (FineArtViews newsletter) who wrote about "What we leave behind" just the other day:

"What matters, in the end, is the kind of life you strive to lead. The ripple effect of your actions in the world—the kindnesses, love, energy, opportunities you were given, and in turn gave to others, create wavelets that move far past our own seeing. We have to simply trust they carry our best intentions, wherever they go.

What comes after, whatever is made of our efforts, when we are gone, whatever it is those others who come after will understand, will be what serves their need, not ours."

What's my legacy? I may never know..... but it makes me want to create more art.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Art Reception at the Faneuil Library

Me and my art
(Doggie Butt, Bull Terrier & Bongo on the Beach)

Last Tuesday was my reception for the first solo show that I've ever had. Quite a milestone for me! There were some familiar faces that came out (my parents and aunt were there) and some new fans as well. Over all we had a great turn out. Someone asked if I was going to do a "talk" but not really given any structure, I was more left to talk to people on a one on one atmosphere and I think that actually was better for me!

I would like to thank everyone who came and John Quatrale for putting it all together. The exhibit will be up for the entire month of August. The Faneuil Library is located at 419 Faneuil Street, (Oak Square) Brighton MA 02135.

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Solo Show at the Faneuil Library in Brighton MA

Luna in Oil
oil on canvas

How do I explain how excited I was to read the email sent last month from John Quatrale asking me if I would like to have a solo show at the Brighton Faneuil Library?

Very excited. I will be showing 12 watercolors and 2 oils, including the one above of Luna. This is a very last minute thing and though the library isn't huge, a show is a show and this will be my first ever solo one. When we installed the paintings last Tuesday, John informed me that he listed it as more of an artist 'talk' and that I should be prepared to say a few things and answer some questions. Good Lord, I'm hoping that they'll let me serve some wine!

The Faneuil Library is located at 419 Faneuil Street, Brighton MA (Oak Square).
The show is up from July 18 through September 7, 2012.
Reception July 24 6:30-8

Hope to see you there :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Effects of Art

I truly believe that a successful piece of art is one that leaves you with emotion as you walk away from it. This could be disgust, joy, sadness, anger or anything really. I'm wondering if my art does that for anyone. Does it even do it for me?

"Horse Landscape Vermont"
Oil on Canvas

I will admit I'm more of a junkie when it comes to painting.... and it's not the art that I'm producing per say, but more of the medium: Can I handle oils? What can I do with salt and watercolor? How much can I stretch this composition out with out having it break apart in my hands? As you know I work primarily in watercolors. When I first started working with this medium, I would use colored pencils as well. Primarily  to correct some mistakes I had made, or punch out some values to make the piece more dramatic.  Slowly over time, I've stopped using those pencils because it was more like having a crutch - something to fall back on if things didn't turn out like I wanted them to. I have started using oils and looking at some videos regarding color mixing so that I can master this one as well.... But are my pieces evoking an emotion????

I've never been one wanted to "disturb" people viewing my art. Blame it on my 1990 experience of being in the middle of threat of the pulling out funding National Endowment of the Arts. I was in DC at the time of Maplethorpe's NOT being shown at the Corcoran Museum (my school). Too many people where figuring out how they too could make "shock art".

I was at Mass MoCA recently and saw this piece:

"You Are Loved"
Andrea Mortson
Oil on Canvas

I was thinking, "Oh my goodness. It's so beautiful the way she leans against him, how the tree encompasses both of them" and then I read the title and was just hit with a wave of emotion. That we should all feel loved.. Am I loved like the woman in the painting? I believe so. Is the artist loved? She must be, how else could she have captured this so perfectly? You might not feel the way that I do, but again, this is what I call a successful piece of art.

I hope to God that my art does this to people, and if not, will some day. Maybe I should start believing that it does and it will reflect in the art itself. But like everyone I need reassurance. And I guess I haven't got that in a while.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Allston is my home

Welcome to Allston.

If your not familiar with Allston it is the west side of Boston that is sandwiched in between Boston University and Boston College. The only place in the US that is actually named after an artst, Washington Allston, and is also home to Biogen and New Balance sneakers. It's also where I've been living for the last 15 years. Allston, unfortunately, has a reputation. Because of it's location, we have more student housing and renters than we do home owners. Our downtown is filled with restaurants of any ethnicity you can think of, bars and clubs as well as a couple of head shops. Because of this, there is a lot of underage drinking, basement parties and trash. I'm trying to change that. And I know I'm not the only one.

 Allston Roof Tops

Don't get me wrong, I was in college too. I went to these parties when I was 22... (still going to some now!) But because of the more renters, I'm finding people are going to be caring a lot less about their surroundings. Everybody who went to school in Boston lived in Allston for at least one semester. It's kind of like a right of passage. But for those of us who have stayed, I'm tired of people talking trash about my neighborhood. I have the advantage of  being so close to downtown Boston. Jason and I walked to Fenway on the 1st game of the World Series back in 04. I would never want to live in a town that has only 3 restaurants and one of them is the 99 (ugh!). Jason who is in a band and has his own label, we are very much involved in the live music scene. I have 3 places within walking distance where I can go see live original music. I can walk to Harvard Square where I can check out any of the museums there. The Charles River is minutes away if I need to get out and have green grass under my feet. And the art scene is alive! 119 Braintree is home to over 40 artist studios not to mention the Rugg Road Studios right down the street! Allston Open Studios happens every November for you to come and check out the art scene in my town.

Come visit us! You'll love it! Just pick up the trash when you're done, thanks!

black watercolor

Friday, May 4, 2012

One life to live

I was going to write today's post about how things are starting to pick up in a business sense. I've been painting right along and below are two of my latest paintings. An oil and a watercolor. Then I read on line today that Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys had died of cancer today at the age of 47.......47!

Beau in Oil
8x10 inches

Kitty Dreams
5x7 inch watercolor and colored pencil

This news has effected me in a way that I think MCA (Yauch's stage name) would be okay with. YOU ONLY HAVE ONE LIFE - WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH IT? Apparently Yauch had been battling with cancer for the last few years and it finally won and took this man's life. A man who, mind you, got to the public eye with songs like "Fight For Your Right" and "No Sleep Til Brooklyn" and other white boy rap songs about partying and girls.
But as the boy became a man, he directed his efforts not only towards his creativity, which grew so much into a funky hip band, but toward Buddhism and for the independence of Tibet. He also helped form Oscilloscope pictures, a successful independent film production house.

There's only so much time that each of us has on this planet. Please use it wisely. Do something creative. Help someone out today. Donate to a charity. If you really believe in something, make your voice heard. Don't watch junk TV. Don't eat at McDonalds. Tell the person you love that you love them. Paint a painting. Write a poem. Support the arts. Don't laugh at someone when he tells you he likes ballet. Adopt a cat. Volunteer.

And download Check Your Head. I think its one of their best albums.

I saw the Beastie Boys back in 1986. I was 15 years old and it was one of my very first concerts. I had so much fun and loved how obnoxious they were. The turn tables that the DJ was on was made to look like a giant Jolt cola. And I vaguely remember a huge penis on stage. Too much.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Pay to Play

I received an email recently from publishers of AKC Family Dog (according to them, "the most widely distributed canine magazine in the world!"). In the email, they tell me that my work has been recommended by the editors to be included in the July/August issue.....

Trout Dreaming

8x10 inches, watercolor

But of course, this isn't free. $395 to "offset production costs". Hmmmmmm. So basically they've chose me to pay for space to advertise. Then not moments later, the CAG crew emails came in. Apparently the majority got the same email which made me think that I wasn't very special anymore and this was a blanket email. I'm not going to do it, mind you. It's just too expensive... but they way they worded it, it did make me feel kinda special.

Then there are the vanity galleries. Vanity galleries (not to be confused with co-ops which are another thing) will approach an artist like myself with the space and location that all artists dream of. They want to take your work and hang it for a couple of months, like an exhibition, but you have to pay a fee up front to be there. No guarantee that your work will sell, hell, they don't have gallery people there to help you. YOU do all the marketing, selling, working.... wait, isn't this what galleries are supposed to do for me? Why should I pay someone to hang my work in there space? Sure they may claim that they have tremendous foot traffic... but how do I know that? Or they have testimonials from other artists that this was a great experience and "I learned a lot." I don't need to pay to learn a lot anymore. I finished paying student loans years ago and have no intention of doing it again (anytime soon anyway).

Bands have this to; it's called Pay to Play. There are organizations out there who will get a couple of bands together... and give each player x amount of tickets. Then the band players have to go out and sell all their tickets to their shows. Wouldn't be so bad if the bands didn't have to charge their friends $10 for a ticket. But because there are venues that will have bands play, maybe give them discounted beer if not a free one, and the profits made at the door is split by the band. It's never a lot of money, but I think it's better than putting your friends in a awkward position by having to buy a ticket for 10 bucks ahead of time.

I've only heard bad things about vanity galleries and pay to plays. Maybe you have a good experience you like to share with me? I would love to hear about it.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Trying new things

Someone told me once, to keep everything fresh in your art, you MUST try new things. Whether it be a different medium, or even subject matter, it will help you grow as an artist.

When T gave me that box of water based oils last Christmas, she also gave me the tiniest canvas that was 2x2 inches. It even has special cute little staples in the back to hold the canvas in place. I recently painted some flowers on it. I brought it to my office job to remind me that I am an artist first.


oil on canvas

2x2 inches

Another thing I've been doing is experimenting with different backgrounds on the pet portraits. Salt is a great thing to play with in watercolor. Science will tell you that salt absorbs up water if place on it (that's why they spray salt on the roads when it snows.... to prevent freezing and ice). So if you sprinkle some salt on wet paint and leave it there for a couple of minutes, you'll get this really cool texture that almost looks like rock or something. I did it on the background of this collie.

Playing with Salt

Tri Color Collie

5x7 inches

I've also been ditching the pencil overlay on the watercolor pencils. I think I was using them more as a crutch (as in: oh, I'll just fix that highlight later with pencil). I finished up that ream of reams of Cotman paper where I would ALWAYS use the pencil and I think that had a lot to do with it as well.

Salty detail

Pretty cool effect, huh? Looks like the paper has a texture almost....

What are you going to do to break out of the box?

Friday, March 9, 2012


There is a growing fear out there. It's been there a while but with the newest addition on the social media stage, Pinterest, it has been raising it's ugly head again:


Babyface Caterpillar

2006 watercolor and colored pencil

5x7 inches

Oh wouldn't it be grand if we could all feel secure about sharing our photos and artwork with out having to worry that someone would actually "steal" our work, claiming it to be there own and using it for God only knows what. Back when I was in art school (early 90s) I remember that they briefly touched on copyrights. My professors said, as long as you make that "C" with the circle around it, date it and sign it... it's yours. And that may still be true, but it doesn't stop the thieves and I'm not sure how well it would hold up in court.

Some people have spoken about putting "watermarks" on their images (you know, the white overlay that says 'Joe Blows Photography Copyright 2012'). Others try not to do that saying that it takes away from the image. Which I believe is kind of true. What is also kind of true is that if someone wants to use your photo/art... they will find a way. Watermark or no.

Now with Pinterest and the ability to "pin" images to other pages (that somehow ties into Facebook), there are artists starting to freak about not knowing who is looking at your work, who's pinning your work. I don't know a whole lot about Pinterest, I've only recently been on the website, but from what I understand, you pin something and if someone else would click it, it would take you to the original website where it came from... well, not really. In fact, I was just on there.... it will list the website where the "pin" was created under the image on your "pin board". You can click it to navigate over to that website.

So why all the commotion? If you're a creative person, don't you want people to see your stuff? As long as it has my name on it (AND ALL MY PAINTINGS WILL HAVE MY NAME ON IT - FRONT AND BACK) I figure I'm doing what I wanted to do all along... have people look at my work.

I do want to note that I am taking a moment to collect all the images of my work and send them off to the government to have it "officially copyrighted" and protected from all the haters out there. Go here and see how easy it is: .

J's sister is a copyright attorney in Chicago (another warning to all you haters out there.) I asked her briefly once about copying images. She made an interesting point. If an artist makes a painting of a still life, let's say of a skull, apples and a porcelain bowl... sets it up in an interesting way.... and then someone copies it identical to the first artist, that's copyright infringement. However, if the second artist would use a skull, apples and a porcelain bowl, sets it up the same way but paints from that particular still life -THIS IS PERFECTLY LEGAL.

"Good artists copy. Great artists steal" - Pablo Picasso

Friday, March 2, 2012

If you've been following my posts, you'll remember my recent discovery of waterbased oils... LOVE THEM. I received a starter set from my friend T for Christmas last year. I went online and did a little reading about waterbased oils and got some mixed reviews. One was often repeated that they just "weren't the real thing." Well, that maybe true, but considering that I haven't painted with oils in about 20 years, it's like I don't know if I'm missing anything.

If you've purchased paints before in a starter set, you know that you usually have the basic colors; red, blue & yellow. You'll get white, maybe black. And if it's a lil more extended, a green or another shade of yellow or blue or red. If you've ever taken any sort of color theory class, you know that all colors are created using your primaries of red, yellow and blue. Here's the thing, you can spend hours and tons of paint trying to mix that perfect brown. And that's what I was doing with the starter set. Here I am mixing and mixing and I'd get it and then to create more quantity (because I had a big space to fill) add more and boom! that perfect brown is gone. Again. Well, I wasn't ready to buy more paint, Lord knows I have enough art supplies to sink a boat, so I started working on Luna's portrait with the starter set.

Luna's Portrait in Oil

first layer

16x20 inch

So I think I got as far as I could before I realized, "God, I'm using up all my blue!" and thought that I really can't get the blacks I wanted but these primaries alone. I believe I could, but again, would take forever and a day and use up most of my paint. Not to mention, I forget sometimes how slowly oil dries. I've been working with watercolor for so long. So I would start painting and try to fill in a truly darker space only to have it mash with the paint that was already on the canvas (the left side of Luna's face in the first layer was a real sticking point to me). I had to get the Burnt Umber and Sienna that I use all the time in my watercolors. I trotted off down to my local art supply store and sadly I find out that they're not selling Windsor Newton brand, but another called Echo (?) ... hmmmmm. The guy at the counter was kind enough to give me a sample of the Echo colors and placed a special order for me for the WN brand.

I went home and tried this Echo brand... eh. They're certainly not as "thick" as the WN so it was more of a wash than more saturated color. Which to me is more of a pain in the butt. Because again, these paints take a very long time to dry, so if I wanted to make my paint more saturated on the canvas, it just ended up swirling around and not sticking. I decided to wait for the WN before I continued on the Luna portrait again.

And waited and waited... ugh! I called on the following Friday to see if they were in and they weren't. Then I got a call on Monday that the orders came in but "we don't know why but yours wasn't in there." UGH! By this time I'm chomping on the bit to get crackin at the painting ESPECIALLY since it hangs out in my kitchen so I'm looking at it every day! So they were kind enough to give me 20% off for the mix up and the paints should be in this Monday... we shall see. In the mean time, I went to another art store and picked up the WN sienna & umber. I would've liked to stick with my small art supplier, but if you're not carrying the things I need what choice do I have?

Luna's Portrait in Oil

So with umber and sienna and some new smaller canvases I'm ready to take on more paintings with waterbased oil paints. Now, the real question is: who will buy them? Because I can't keep doing this and stacking up canvases in my already too small condo.

Luna Loves You!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Making your own book....

So today's Dog Art Today post was about the Morran Book Project. Artist, Camilla Engman, put together a book of illustrations of her dog Morran from artists all over the world. The book was published by Blurb and proceeds go to the WSPA, the Swedish organization designed to protect animals. Camilla started the project by mentioning it on her blog and people liked the idea. She then put a call out to artists to have them do an illustration of her beloved dog.

The cover
Jeanette Bornmarker

Ulrika Kestere

What a wonderful idea! I've spent most of the morning looking at the hundreds of illustrations that she posted on her blog ( not all got in the book ) and the 2 above are certainly favorites of mine. I've never done self publishing of a book, even though it is such a popular thing right now. But this little project has got my mind thinking.... Books of my photos, books of my paintings... themes, ideas .... oh I could go on and on.

Have you ever published your own book? Do you have a preference of self publishers? I'm growing more curious about this by the minute.....

Friday, February 17, 2012

Wonderful, beautiful (waterbased) oil paints

Bongo's Beach Day

16x20 inch

oil on canvas

It's been 20 years since I painted with oils... seriously. I took some classes in school and that's it. I always loved them: the flow, the color, the SMELL! (I'm talking the paint, not the turps)... Oh how I missed them. I don't have a studio, hell, I don't even have a separate room in my condo where I create. I work in a corner in the kitchen. So for the longest time oils were just NOT an option. Then T bought me a "starter set" of waterbased oils for Christmas. And Tina Morgan (from CAG) was getting rid of canvas so I had her ship it to me. And Lo! I am a happy artist again!!! Well, always been happy but now I'm elated!!!

I love them. I've read some mixed reviews on line regarding them. Some say they're not for the serious painter, just the hobbyist... I call BS on that! Maybe it's because it's been so long since I did use oil paints that I don't notice a difference between normal oils and waterbased but....

Some also said that if you do use them, then Windsor Newton is the brand to get. My set is WN (I use their watercolors and watercolor cold press paper too) and maybe that's the difference? But because this is a starter set there was no umber or sienna, so I ended up mixing all my browns and using a lot of paint to get there (Color Theory 101 in the Allston Skybox this Sunday!). So I went to my retailer and he didn't have the WN brand, but a brand called Cobra (?) never heard of them. He gave me a sample to try, but ended up ordering the 2 browns in WN anyway. They should be in next week! I'm almost ready to chuck the watercolors out the window I love these so much!

But I won't :)

So have you used water based oils? What's your take on them? I would love to hear from you!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Here Kitty Kitty

People always ask me, "So are you a cat person or a dog person?" I never really believed I was one or the other. But then when D (my beloved kitty for 16 years) passed over the rainbow bridge I was faced with a decision: dog or cat? And then I realized I am a cat person (who really likes dogs!). But yes, a cat person. I love having them on my chest as I sleep. The consistant purring and their playfulness makes up for all the litter box messes I've ever had to clean up.


watercolor & colored pencil

5x7 inches

So some of you know that I belong to the Canine Art Guild. The purpose of the CAG is to bring dog artists together to share ideas, experiences and view each others art. We have shows open to members that are posted on line about once every three months. We have had a few shows open to other species as well as one that exhibited cats only. But for the most part, it's all about the dogs. Some of the members are also a part of the Equestrian Art Guild, celebrating horses in art. So then I was thinking.... is there a Feline Art Guild? and if so, How do I become a member?

3 Kittens, 4 Bowls

watercolor & colored pencil

5x10 inches

Well, there is and it's the Society of Feline Artists and I'm sure it's a great group of artists. But as I looked further into it I found that it's based out of Great Britain. No big deal! I thought since CAG has members from all over the globe. BUT! then I looked a little more into the site and see that they have very few shows. Nothing on line, but classic brick and mortar galleries. Nothing wrong with that either except you HAVE to drop your work of in person! What? Now, mind you, it would cost a small fortune to ship a painting overseas just to have it hanging in a gallery. And I don't know anyone in GB that I could even ship it to. THEN I find you have to be an "Associate Member" for at least a year. While the cost is less that a regular member, as an Associate Member you can enter the London art show, but no guarentee that it would be hung. hmmmmm. Well, let's say I did do it, and for a year. Now I'm a full member. And now (actual quote from the site) "Full Members are expected to support the Society by taking part of the Annual London Exhibition " ???

Sally's Silly Kitties

(from L to R) Barack O'Kitty, Misty & Popeye

Now, I'm not trying to make this a bashing post about SOFA. I'm sure there a great group of people that make wonderful art and love their cats as much as I love mine. But, Ladies, really? I think your guides are a little strict and if you have a reason to be that way I would like to know why. So I'm thinking, should I start my own Feline Art Guild? Would this bring more exposure to cats? to me? to my art? I don't know.

Orange Kitten III

watercolor & colored pencil

5x7 inches

So then a couple of weeks ago, I was reading one of Elin Pendleton's post on CAG (btw, she is one of the few CAGers that I would love to meet and have critique my work. Check out her site here: ) Anyway, she was saying about how most of her animal art sells because there's a connection between the owner and the dog. "And the dog owner isn't just going to simply buy a painting of a golden retriever because she likes golden's but because what golden's mean to her. Whether it be the duck hunter's helper, the child's keeper or the house guard, it's you as the artist need to find that connection and build the art around that. So paint the golden, but paint him hunting, or laying down by the cradle or on the front stoop." (I am paraphrasing but you get the idea). So that being said.... what about cats?

Below are some famous artist's pieces featuring the beloved kitty...







According to her website, Gig was a big influence on A.V Vibes Kitty in her Kitty & Robot webcomic She used to have this great illustration of a cat's butt with "Kitty doesn't like you" on it, but, alas, she doesn't have it anymore :(

Sleepy Toon

Luna Loves You!


Commissioned piece

Watercolor & Colored Pencil

16 x 20 inches

Bowl of Kittens

So do you appreciate your cat? Would you buy cat art if it WASN'T your cat? What do you think of cats in art anyway?

I would love to hear from you!


Monday, January 23, 2012


It was this past November at my friends birthday party that she told me that Madonna would be doing the halftime show at the Superbowl. I am probably one of the biggest Madge fans out there (I know, you thought I was all metal didn'tja?!) and am super excited to see the Queen of Pop, Material Girl, or whatever you want to call her.


Confessions of a Dance Floor promo

image taken from

So I told my friend Kim, who is also a huge fan that we'll have a MadonnaBowl party. Of course Jason rolls his eyes, but my girlfriends are looking forward to this AND THEN LAST NIGHT...

Tom Brady

Quarterback of the New England Patriots

image taken from

The Patriots beat the Baltimore Ravens (incredible game, really) and now the Pats are in the MadonnaBowl!!! This is very exciting!!! So now I'm probably going to be expecting more and more people over... I don't have the greatest TV either! Owell, I'm going to be making snacks and party favors for the next 2 weeks! It'll keep me busy as I babysit my nephews these next few days!

I'll try to paint something too! Busy busy!

Monday, January 16, 2012

What are you still holding on to?

"Beau With A Toy"

a birthday card for my mother

It's Mum's this month and I didn't have to dig very far for reference as this image was on the top of my photo stack. Beau passed in January 2007 but still remains one of my most beloved subject matters as he was such a handsome and still a very silly dog. I have taken so many photos of him over the years, and being such a handsome golden, most of the paintings that I have done with him have been my most popular. There are a few that I will not sell as they are too close to my heart. My mother has quite a collection herself.

I did this painting with watercolor on 250lb cold press Arches watercolor. I used to buy the ready made watercolor cards that you could just paint on, but after using them for some time, I feel that they aren't think enough or have enough "tooth" so a lot of the paint doesn't stay. But if they were thicker, they'd probably be more expensive.

Of course, I can't get rid of any supplies that I have purchased or were given to me over the years. There was one time I donated some things to an art class for an elementary school but I think that was mostly markers. I still hold on to everything and with the Creative Group still in full swing I usually take that time to use the different mediums. I still have charcoal from art school! But I still use it!!

What about you? Do you have a tough time letting things go? or is your life clutter and art supply free? I can only imagine.....

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2011 Wrap Up


Well, as much fun as I had over the past year, I'm kinda glad it's over. Full of ups and downs 2011 was. I turned 40 (!), Jason lost his job, art sales and commissions were practically non existent. But this blog isn't about bitching, it's about celebrating. So lets go through the better parts :)

Wu Tang at the Wilber Theater, Boston

What better way to start off a show season with Wu Tang (if you want a great drinking game, go to a Wu show and drink every time they mention Ol Dirty Bastard... you'll be silly in no time!) Other shows included Mastodon, Deftones, Helmet, the reunion of Honkeyball, Queens of the Stone Age, A Perfect Circle, Clutch, Wrought Iron Hex (which is J's band and probably one of the best things to come out of 2011) Gut, All Dinosaurs, Ella Riot, Sherman Burns (another 2011 discovery!) the Lepers, the Kills, Corrosion of Comformity, Taiwan Typhoon (so freakin' awesome) Motorhead, Twilight Singers, Planetoid, X, Gozu, Explosions in the Sky, Give Up, White Denim, Rival Schools, Doomriders, Opeth, Helmet, Black Thai, Karma to Burn, Beneath the Stone and Black Helicopter. Of course there were more, I just don't remember your names LOL... Yes, as you know love watching live music. For 2012 I'm already have tickets to Mission of Burma, Tool and the Kills.. Love this town. :)

Chester's front yard February 2011

If you were in the northeast this past winter of 2011, I don't have to tell you the obscene amount of snow we received. Jason and I spent a lot of weekends going to Chester and working on maintaining feed for the deer that were there. Cutting small trees so that they can eat the browse is mostly what we did. There were times I was stuck in snow drifts up to my hips. And living in the city with no driveway wasn't all that fun either. I hoping that this year won't be so nasty, but we've only just begun!

Shed Antler found in Boxford MA

If you don't know, white tail deer drop their antlers every winter after the mating season is over. Jason and I will go out looking for them in the woods every year from March to May. They don't last as rodents will eat them for the calcium and they are difficult to find. J's been on a roll lately and will usually find them all where I find none... until this year! I wandered down to the swamp on my parents property and finally found my first shed! I also had about 7 tics on me too. Gross.

Me and Heidi at Black Thai, April 2011

2011 and Heidi. Unfortunately, one of my closest friends has gone and moved to LA. She got a job offer she couldn't refuse. We made some serious waves in 2011 together. Best of luck, H. Love you.

Dead Leaf & Stick

16x20 Acrylic

I really started to explore more acrylic this past year and this piece I think was the best that came out of the experimentation. This will also be on exhibit at the Turners Falls Discovery Center in December 2012 and January 2013. Santa Tracy also bought me some water based oil paints for Christmas and I'm so excited to use them!!

Me, June 2011

So in Feb 2011, I was accepted into the Cambridge Y Weight Challenge. Like Biggest Loser, except instead of measuring pounds lost, this was measured for fat percentage lost. I came in second with 14lbs of fat lost, 8 lbs of muscle gained and went down from a size 12 to an 8. I had always been going to the gym, turns out I just was eating the wrong things at the wrong time of day. I felt like I broke a secret code and couldn't be happier. I mean, look at those biceps!! I'm so much stronger and feel so much better now. The only thing I've really stopped eating is potato chips and heavy beers (ie. Sierra Nevada). Bud lights and/or Crown Royal from now on! LOL

Glacier National Park Montana
June 2011

Me and J

GNP June 2011

So, this past June I turned 40 and Jason and I celebrated by making a trip to the Northern part of Montana. It was a great trip and it was made better by being with the love of my life! The whole trip was a "constant upgrade" from our rental car, lodging and we managed to see some grizzly bears. I can't tell you how badly I want to go back!!

My Boots!
Nothing significant, just love a good leopard print :)

My Art at the Douglas Paul Real Estate Office

Allston MA

Unfortunately, the selling of art and commissions wasn't that great in 2011. So, I focused energies elsewhere and was able to hang my work in the Douglas Paul real estate office for the Allston Art walk that happened in September. I also met some people like Alana Olsen, the head of the Allston Villages program, who are working hard to clean up and culture our little neighborhood. I also became heavily involved in the Allston Open Studios and hope these efforts will make Allston less like a drunken college town and more like a funky hip place where people can see art and hear music. This is an ongoing effort for sure!

My space at the Allston Open Studios

November 2011

Lucy and her portrait

Lucy's owner Chris C was the winner of my gift certificate for a 5x7" pet portrait that I donated to PBRC (Pit Bull Rescue Center) She sent me this picture after the holidays and I love it! Lucy's such a good dog!

So I'm excited for 2012. I've always felt that the "even" years tend to be a bit tamer than the odd ones so,

Here's to 2012

May it be the best year yet!