Friday, January 29, 2010

Haiti Art Hearts - Get Them In!!!!


I am so thrilled to be able to tell you that we have over 75 hearts so far!!! The word has gone far and wide with several different countries being represented by gorgeous artwork.  They've been submitted by over 45 different artists. We have works by children and families, and we may have a piece of sculpture in the mix as well! Please get those hearts to me by the end of today, Friday, January 29th! Please send it to ArtHearts (at) gmail (dot) com. Replace the (at) with the @ symbol and the (dot) with a period!!

Plans are moving at a snail's pace, but they're moving. I will have the gallery up early next week, the derivative artworks will come later in the week, and I will then be announcing plans for an auction and some possible coverage of this outreach effort. 

I want to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to create and submit these hearts. I feel like I'm holding a piece of each of your hearts whenever I am working with the artworks. 


P.S. Would love, love, love to break the 100 mark with artworks - so if you've been thinking it's too late, it's not - please send that heart in!!! (If you can get it to me by the end of the weekend, I'll put it in the mix!!) 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What's In Your Sketch Kit?!

Since folks know I often sketch on location, it's not unusual to be asked "What does your kit look like?" And I thought it was about time to share this info here!

Small Watercolor Kit

This is my small kit. It's approximately 8" long by 3" wide x 1" deep. The box is constructed of plastic, but it has some give to it. It's amazing what you can get in one of this boxes!

• My palette that holds 18 colors
• A sponge
• Large white eraser for mistakes
• Kneaded eraser for lifting graphite without completely removing the line
• A white crayon for highlights and creating a resist
• Various brushes
• A ruler*
• Mechanical pencil (so I don't have to sharpen it)
• A small bottle of water to wet the paints
• A paper towel and tissue (inside the box)

*I use a hairband to wrap around the ruler and the brushes to keep the tips of the brushes from getting crunched if they get too close to the end of the box. By putting the ruler to the edge of one end of the box and the brush handles at the other end, the brushes don't move around. 

There has been one very important change I've made since this photo was taken - I now use a waterbrush for almost all of my location work:

Using a waterbrush on location simplifying matters greatly. No need for a water source, I don't have to haul water in case there isn't a source, and no buckets or cups to cart around to put the water in! I generally carry several waterbrushes as each has its own personality and is good for certain tasks.

These are the supplies I take on location. They are tried and true. I know they'll work for me again and again, no matter what my subject may be. I may throw in a black permanent pen if I'm going to be doing a lot of quick sketching. The only other thing that may change is the choice of pigments I take to a location (i.e. more earth tones and oranges for fall, more blues for snow or water).

I also have a very large elastic band that I sometimes use to hold my sketchbook and kit together. This makes it possible to sketch just about anywhere, any time!

Now, what's in your kit?!!

p.s. If you are interested in purchasing one of these boxes with the Imaginary Trips logo on it, let me know!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Beach Trash"

"Beach Trash"
Journal Page in my Nature Sketchbook
8" x 8"
Sometime back, Chris and I had a few days to play at the beach. I've been working on putting together a "beach page" in my nature sketchbook ever since. It's been slow going with holidays, studio remodels and such getting in the way. Both of the days that we went to the beach were immediately after storms had blown in from the Gulf of Mexico.

There's always fun "beach trash" to find when the wind kicks up the wave action - shells, coral, feathers, seed pods, shark's teeth, coquina shells, just to mention a few. This is a WIP as I still have quite a bit of "refuse" from our walks to add to the page. The other cool thing about a page like this is I can keep adding to it as I find things along the shoreline.

If you're hankering for some "beach time" why not join me on an "Imaginary Visit to the Beach?" It's a virtual trip to the beach to capture some of Mother Natures gems, jewels and tidal pools. The class starts on Friday, February 5th, so there's still time for you to grab your sketchbook and join in! If you would like more information please visit Imaginary Trips!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Art Hearts for Haiti Update

The hearts are pouring in! From all over the world and with so many fun, wonderful designs! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I am working on assembling a gallery to display all of the hearts. That will go live some time next week after the deadline has passed. Again, the deadline for sending a heart is Friday, January 29th! Please send it to ArtHearts (at) gmail (dot) com. Replace the (at) with the @ symbol.

I have reached out to a couple of different organizations with regard to raising money through auctions and the like. I am still waiting on info so please be patient just a little while longer. Given the large influx of hearts, I will be creating several different pieces of collaged work. I haven't nailed down details on this part yet either. Once it starts to fall together, I'll post the information here on the blog.

Again, thank you for the outstanding show of support!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


…you need color. And tonight, I needed color.

Original Watercolor
Approx. 3.5" x 5"

Available for purchase. Please click here.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Too Funny! Calling All Cat People!

Need anything more be said?!!

Chris brought this home for me yesterday. If you've ever been owned by a cat, knew a cat, knew someone who had a cat, you can probably relate as this is total catittude!! Happy Friday!!!

I'll be posting more on the Art Hearts for Haiti soon - I'm waiting on some info!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Q and A on Hearts for Haiti

First off, let me start with a huge, huge THANK YOU to everyone has pledged a heart or already sent a heart - this is what makes the blogging community such a great place! (Please click Hearts for Haiti for more information.)

PLEASE REPLACE THE HAITI BADGES ON YOUR BLOG!! I've added the word Art to this badge so that we are not confused with nor in conflict with another organization by the same name! (If you need a smaller size of the badge, please look at the bottom of the post.)

I've received some questions:

Can I send more than one heart? At this time, yes! If the response it so huge (I'm dreamin' big here!!) that I have to limit it to one, I'll let you know. At this time, send me what you've got!!

How do I know if it's hi-res? The size of the digital file should be larger than 500K to be used for printing and other applications. If it's larger than 500K, that's fine, send it! Remember to send it as a jpg.

Can you just snag a copy of the art from my blog? No, please email it to me. This is to cover both of us and to make sure I wind up with the right piece of art.

Where should I send my art? Please start sending your art to ArtHearts (at) Replace the (at) with the @ sign.

I am pulling together info on possible auction(s), I am looking to get a magazine to pick this up, and would love help and/or ideas on what else can be done to create awareness around this campaign so that we can raise more funds for Haiti's recovery.  If you know of a contact in the publishing industry that might help, please contact them or send me the contact info and I will contact them.

If you have ideas beyond t-shirt designs, prints, and auction(s), I'd love to hear them! There's a lot of power in this community and if we put our heads together, we can do something really worthwhile with a lot of impact! So throw me your ideas - big or small! Don't want to leave them in the comments? Email me at the ArtHearts address above!

Again, THANK YOU for the outpouring of support and for your "pieces of heArt!!!"

More Info can be found in theses posts. Just click on the link:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hearts for Haiti!! Yay!!

Thanks to Ms. Teri, over at Teri's Painted Daisies, (and the gals from the ABC ATC swap) and Kelly over at Red and the Peanut, we're back on!! I am posting the info again. If you know ANYONE who might be interested in this, please pass the information along!

Here is most of the original post (edited for clarity):

While Chris and I were having breakfast this morning, I was telling him about the suggestions everyone was making to help the heart piece along. He commented that it would be cool if everyone created a heart and then I Photoshopped them together…………

So what do you think?!! Everyone creates a heart in an ACEO size (2.5" x 3.5" or 3.5 x 2.5"), emails me a high-res jpg, and I put together some type of design with them which we'll vote on. Perhaps the final could be a print of the collage and/or a t-shirt design and/or something else (open to ideas) with proceeds going to a charity of everyone's choice to help those in Haiti. The original pieces of art could also be auctioned off! Open to ideas and thoughts on this! The art can be any medium. As long as it contains a heart in it somewhere it can be included.

Let me know your thoughts and if you're interested in joining in - leave your name in the comments. When you email me your art, just send it to ArtHearts (at)! Replace the (at) with the @ sign. I'm going to set a deadline of midnight, Friday, January 29th, to get the art to me! Please send this out to anyone you think would be interested in contributing.

Above is a badge for displaying on your blog. Link it back to this post and as the idea develops, I'll update the information.

More Info can be found in theses posts. Just click on the link:
1.29.10 Haiti Art Hearts - Get Them In!!
01.25.10 Art Hearts for Haiti Update
01.21.10 Q & A on Hearts for Haiti

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More Hearts

watercolor of hearts

Okay, call me nuts, but this is kinda boring. Something's missing. Any suggestions? It's not done yet so now is the time to throw out any suggestions.

(Click to enlarge.)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Energy and Time Drains = Creative Deficiency

rough draft of a potential time thief

This morning I started working on a list of energy and time drains in my life that need attention. As I wrote down items getting in the way of the creative flow, I started playing around with the thought of what a time thief would look like. Hmmm......

This is the second rough I did to get the ideas out of my head and onto paper. I envisioned a mouse (rat?) stealing some tidbit of ribbon with the words time and energy woven into it and disappearing into a  dark, dusty hole in the attic. There, the little thief would busy him/herself with tucking that sweet ribbon of energy and time into its nest for a touch of extra-cozy comfort!

When I am tempted to ignore or avoid one of those energy or time drains in my life (again), having this rough illustration reminds me that I'd rather add cozy comfort to my nest (life) rather than to a thief's!! Of course, if I really want to know what a time thief looks like, I simply need to go look in the mirror.....

Friday, January 15, 2010

Knockin' The Rust Off!

I was quite shocked to see January 15th on the calendar already!!! Geez, Louise, could we slow down just a tiny bit, please?! As I sat pondering how we've already whizzed through 15 days of this scrumptious new year, it dawned on me that I have not painted, sketched or drawn since before Christmas, waaaaaaaay before Christmas! I know it's been 5 weeks and it may even be six! (No wonder I was getting cranky!!)

So it's time to "knock the rust off" and reteach myself which is the proper end of a paint brush, how much water to use, how to feather an edge and just in general, get moving in the art department. Again. I occasionally hear an artist talk about how much difficulty they've had getting back into art after a long period away. Almost without fail, if they're asked if they did any warming up BEFORE jumping back in, they'll shake their heads no.

Hello!! Would any professional athlete, chef, singer, or any other performer begin a game, new recipe, or performance without some practice and warm ups? Not likely! Why then, do we as artists expect to sit down to draw or paint without practice and warm ups?? That's crazymaking!! And yes, I'm guilty of doing this very thing so I'm qualified to speak. ;•)  I did this up until I started painting full time and was able to observe the effects of not warming up–can you say "ruined paintings?" I've finally learned.

This is what I call a throw-away piece. If it turns out, great! If not, that's okay, its purpose was to get me painting again and it has done its job well. This is a watercolor and it is about 10" x 4" so far. If I go all the way across the paper it will 22 inches long. This still has a lot of work to be done. We'll have to see what becomes of it once (if) I get it finished.

Hope you get to knock the rust off your paint brush this weekend, too!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It's Here!! It's Finally Here!!

The new Painted Thoughts Studio……

All because of a bad light! The work will be continuing in the background as there is still much to be done. Installing the crown molding, working on the fireplace, window treatments, painting the taboret (which is not in the photos) and recovering the chair, are just a few items still to be done. If you're interested in the old studio, you can click here as I haven't had time to update the photos.

Hope you enjoy and please share your thoughts and comments!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Merry Food Bandit…

…strikes again!

And you wonder why the waitstaff remembers us when we go to restaurants?


Monday, January 11, 2010

Passport? Check! Paints? Check! Sketchbook? Check!!

Watercolor Sketch of a Parisian café

Woohoo! It's almost time to leave for Paris again! I can hardly wait!! I'm packed, have my tickets and my passport. I double checked my art supplies. I went and had some money exchanged so I'll be able to get around while I'm there. I may even come back with a red beret! I'm feeling adventurous!

All those lovely cafés and those pastries and the gardens and architecture and pooches and sculptures and palaces and the cuisine and the…well, just about everything! Oh my, Paris is such a lovely city to explore and get lost in! I mean if you're gonna get lost, you might as well be in Paris, right?!!

We will be leaving on the 18th so there is still time to join us if you would like to come too! More information can be found at Imaginary Trips!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Progress…Sweet, Slow, Steady Progress

Still working on the studio and the progress is one step forward, two steps back, as I continue to purge and pack. Only to turn around and unpack. And then repack. My focus has been on getting like items with like. Once everything is grouped, I'll go through and systematically eliminate. Sounds easy, right?

We'll see.

I love boxes. Especially unusual boxes or if they're square. Or red. Now this is not a newsflash to me as I've known this for years. I have a thing about "square." And red, but that's another discussion. I have a lot of squares in my life. Knowing this, I've tried to be careful to "collect" only special, prime, unusual or pretty (square) boxes. It would also seem that Yoda was right - there is no try. You either do or you do not.

I did not. Be careful. Careful enough, anyway. What is a newsflash to me is that I've boxes coming out my ears! Some red, some with handles, some unusual, some pretty, some are even square, but for crying out loud - there's nothing in them! Except maybe another box or two. How many (empty) boxes does one soul need?? Egads, I do wonder about myself sometimes, but you knew that already.

Since you probably wonder about me too (I saw you nodding your head–stop that!), I'll go ahead and tell you the other hugely annoying behavior I've discovered. I have found dozens of these cryptic notes, usually on Post-It note paper all throughout the sh…stuff in the studio and most of the time I have NO idea what I was talking about!

It's my handwriting, which would suggest that I wrote them. Makes me wonder though. Occasionally, after much brain digging, I can figure it out. It helps if the note was attached to one of those unfinished pieces of art or project, but not much. I would suggest to anyone that is contemplating cleaning out, moving, rearranging or otherwise modifying their studio, to arm themselves with a dust rag, a heap of patience and a good dose of humor - you're gonna need it!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have more "reading and cyphering" to be doing…

P.S. Pictures will be forthcoming, I promise!!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A New Look at Old - Unfinished - Stuff

I came across these two images as I was cleaning out the studio and organizing my finished work…

Watercolor Valentine's Day card
5" x 5"

The one above was the first one and at the time, an absolute flop. It was suppose to be a bra laying on satin sheets with soft folds. Instead, this suggested female shape showed up. I also lost the lacy look on the left cup. The suggested female in the background was pure serendipity and I should have gone with it rather than stopping.

Watercolor Valentine's Card - Unfinished
5" x 5"
Going along the same theme, I started over. I liked this one much better and I have no idea why I didn't finish it! I mostly likely got distracted by the next latest, greatest project. It seems I get distracted a lot judging by all the little pieces of unfinished art I've discovered during the clean-out. Another behavior discovered. Right up there with hoarding old, used-up curling irons…… 

Monday, January 4, 2010

Random Thoughts On a Monday

It's cold, y'all! Is it snowing with whiteout conditions and 18º below here in Florida? No! It's in the 30's up from the 20's and that's cold by Florida standards!! We never made it past the 40's (for our high) yesterday. As I sit typing this I have on two sweatshirts, LOL, I'm just not used to this!!

I was tempted to title this post "Can I have another week, please?!" as I'm not really ready for the new year to start rolling! Whereas the studio is coming along nicely, it's not quite functioning - yet! I'm in the throes of purging, organizing, purging some more. This is the hardest part for me as I am packrat. My mantra for today is "I must let go to move forward" and this is making it much easier to let go of things I've held onto for years. The studio will be up and functioning by the end of the day. There will still be more work to do. The work that's left will be done in little bits and pieces as I go along.

Donna, The Happy Painter, posted "Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go! Bring it on, 2010!" on Facebook this morning - what an outstanding attitude to start the new year with!

I had a sign in my studio that said "There is time enough." I created it back when I was in school, working in Corporate America, trying to be an artist, wife, daughter, employee, sister, and friend (and not necessarily in that order). I recently put it up in a new location in my studio - on my cork board. A couple of hours later, I found it on the floor. I set it aside, wondering why it didn't stay up. Later, I put a framed snowflake in it's place, a much heavier piece. It stayed without any issue.

This made me start thinking about that sign, and I came to the realization that it doesn't serve me well. It says there is time enough as if there is just enough time to get everything done. I am choosing to cultivate abundance in my life and so I will be throwing the sign away and creating one that says "There is more than enough time."

Hope you're having a fabulous, first Monday in this new year!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Year, A New Day, And New Beginnings

“And now let us welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Wow, what a ride 2009 has been! It was a super fantastic year for me with so very much accomplished! I've thoroughly enjoyed going over my list of goals I set back in December/January last year and seeing all those items checked off and exceeded beyond some of my wildest dreams!

Of course, I had no idea that Imaginary Trips would come into existence, that I'd be getting a new MacDaddy computer, that I'd win Best of Show or that I would be blessed with so many wonderful new friendships when I wrote that list! It was certainly a year of transformation in many ways and despite the moments of sheer terror, I had a blast!

In reviewing 2009, I realize that the words BOLD and INTENT served me extraordinarily well. I knew that I had a lot to accomplish in the year (far beyond what was on my list in January) and boldness was going to be key to stepping out and seizing new opportunities, pursuing possibilities, trying new things, overcoming old mindsets and reaching for my dreams.

Setting my Intent made me think about how I was using my time, why I was doing what I was doing. It made me question just about everything and especially the usual "because I've always done this" mindset. It almost always turned out that the mindset wasn't serving me well. It had become a rut rather than a well thought out reason for doing something.

I've been pondering my new word-of-the-year for 2010 for a few weeks now, and I even thought I had selected my new word - wealth - back before Christmas, but it didn't quite fit. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with wealth! In fact, I quite like it and it will most certainly be part of the new year, but it wasn't quite right, and yesterday, as I ran around doing my errands, I spent the time thinking about why it didn't work for me.

I thought about all the things I wanted to cultivate in 2010 - health, wealth, fun, friendships, knowledge, skills, ideas, kindness, happiness, opportunities, joy, possibilities, maybe even a garden and wait a minute………cultivate? Cultivate. CULTIVATE! And that's when I knew I had my word! You see, I have so much I want to do, and be, and see, and accomplish in this new year and I realized I needed a bigger word! A word that would encompass all of this and more (as I have no idea what else might be in store for 2010!) WIth this new word in hand I also realized that wealth was a little too myopic. It focused on just one area of my life.

When I looked up the definition, I saw "break up, preparation, raise, grow, acquire, develop, win and improve" - all words that resonate with me for 2010. I also like that it's a verb, an action word, and I do believe this year will very much be about action. Taking action. Making it happen as opposed to waiting for it to happen. And so I begin 2010 with cultivate as my cornerstone, I'm looking forward to a new year full of things that have never been………

And what's your word-of-the-year???????? Please share in the comments or with a link to your post about your cornerstone!