Wednesday, December 31, 2008

goodbye 2008!

Thank you to everyone who shared a hope, dream or resolution on my last last post...what an amazing way to end the year!  I truly appreciate everyone who has taken the time to comment on my blog over these past few months and look forward to sharing lots of new work in the coming year.  This special place where I can see and be seen has proven to be a haven of joy and inspiration.  
We are starting to prepare a special New Year's Eve dinner and it smells yummy here...
Tonight's menu:   Puff Pastry with carmelized onion and feta (thanks Trader Joe's)
                                Artisan Cheeses served with Honeycrisp apples 
                                 Roast Prime Rib with a green and pink peppercorn crust
                                 Potato-fennel gratin (to die for...really!)
                                 Thyme roasted carrots


Chuck is attempting  tiramisu for the first time...he's really excited and I hope it turns out (it's pretty ambitious).  Anyways after a great meal complete with wine, champagne (and sparkling cider) we will have a shadow puppet show by candle light and then play a few board games.  I hope this New Year's Eve finds you surrounded by warmth, joy and optimism.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Party Girl Give Away!


I have to admit...I love New Year's Eve.  The whole idea of having a point in time to reflect on the past year and to contemplate the coming one has always appealed to my glass half full sensibility.  I don't make lots of resolutions and stuff but I do take time to really think about what the past year has brought and what my hopes and dreams for the new year will be. 
 On that note I am officially announcing my first ever New Year's Day Party Girl Give Away!  
I am asking anyone who stops by my blog between now and midnight on New Year's Eve to post one hope, dream or resolution for the coming year.  On New Year's Day at 12 noon I will randomly draw a name and the winner will be able to choose one of the three special New Year's Party Girls that I will post that day ( yes that's them in the works up there....)

Photo #2 is a new "Cloud Study" piece which is almost done.  I used oil paints as a base layer to get a richer background this time instead of using a layer of  oil over a wax base.  As you can see I haven't dipped the clouds in beeswax yet....

Photo #3 shows two blocks that may be part of a new series I have been thinking about for some time.  I'm hoping to complete these two pieces in the next few days but am trying to figure out exactly how to execute my idea....hmmmm...

That's about it for now-

Sunday, December 28, 2008

is dinner ready?

I don't usually post photos of the kids but the mini chef costume, stick on mustache and shark slippers are just too funny. 
 It seems so odd to have been away from my studio and blog for so long but it has been a really great week.  It has included a white knuckle drive to Michigan, a wonderful few days spent with family and lots of cooking, knitting and game playing back here at home. 
 I finally snagged a few hours in the studio today and experimented with some oil paints as a base layer on a few maple blocks and i'll post some photos of those tomorrow.  After a week away it seemed like a good idea to stretch a bit creatively and open up some new options. 

psst...I also started work on a special New Year's "Party Girl" which I plan to give away on the first day of 2009! 

Sunday, December 21, 2008

no peeking....

If you are my mother or sister quickly close this post...

                                                  On The Ball (the rural life)

                                        On The Ball (garden of earthly delights)

Here are a few last minute gift just finished as we head off to Michigan (I'm literally waiting for paint to dry (LOL).  I hope this post finds everyone surrounded by family, good friends and good food!  Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Workin' on it...

Today was really good.  I spent lots of time in the studio painting and listening to music, packaged a few pieces for shipping and signed up for an amazing conference in June. 
 My New Year's resolution (yes, I know it's early) is to enter a few shows and I currently have 3 entry forms sitting on my desk.  My goal is to have these completed and submitted by the 1st of the year (nothing like achieving your goal on the 1st of the year!)... and then do some sort of magical good luck dance in hopes of getting into at least one! 

  Here's just a bit of what I was listening to today ( The Fratellis)....

MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes

Monday, December 15, 2008

visitors welcome...

For the next month I will be exhibiting my work at Papernstitch.  If you haven't visited this amazing shop yet you're in for a real treat.  I was waiting to see who else was showing work this month before putting together my post (thinking that I would mention a few favorites).  But honestly, there are so many talented artists in the shop right now I can't choose! 
 Please visit me at Papernstitch and you're sure to find a few new favorites as well....
Happy Monday!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I wanted to share the beautiful new painting I received from Deanna Wood this week.  As many of you know I'm a member of the Beeswaxteam which is a growing community of encaustic artists committed to sharing information, resources and support.  For the holiday season we decided to do an art exchange where each member that wanted to participate created an original 6x6 inch encaustic painting to share and received one in return. I absolutely adore my new painting which is from a series Deanna did based on dreams of tornadoes.  Thank you Deanna...I LOVE it!

I updated my shops with lots of new pieces this morning including six new "On the Ball" paintings.  It was fun working on all six at once because they are all the same but different. Each one has her own unique style and attitude.  I like them all but have to admit I kind of have a favorite...(shhh, don't tell the others!)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Neighborhood Used To Be More Colorful...

These faded beauties are mostly uninhabited now but their stories are alive in us. It is in the noisy, intoxicating chaos of the city that (generations ago)many families started their lives here in America.  There was a time when kids played in the streets and people sat on their stoops just to share the vibe of lives colliding, coexisting and melting to form a more perfect union. 

I'm really happy with the way this new frame/shadow box turned out....what do you think? 

Monday, December 8, 2008

1/2 dozen new beginnings....

I love new beginnings (which would explain why New Year's Eve is still one of my favorite nights of the year...).  All six of these blocks are destined to become part of my "On The Ball" series.  I already have their dresses and ball's cut out and I hope to assemble them tomorrow and put the finishing touches on by the end of the week.  As you may have noticed, repetition is present in many of my paintings.  Many times I will cut nine of the same shape out of newsprint and collage them onto a panel and see where it leads.  In this case I have six separate blocks which all started out with the same pale blue base layer of wax but have already taken on very different moods from the layer of oil paints I applied, burnished off and then heat set.   As I add the newsprint dresses and balls and add faces, hair and legs each painting will become even more unique.  It's amazing to watch each piece become what it was meant to be (of course there is always one who ends up letting me know she was not meant to be at all)....

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Thinking of Poets and Parties (alone and adrift in a dream)

Night-time can be complicated...
  It beckons us with romantic ideas of star filled skies but darkness can feel empty and in our dreams we fill up that space with many things which aren't easily explained when we wake.  I think much of what I try to do in my work is to bring some of these underlying ideas to the surface (not necessarily to explain them but to explore them...).
Yesterday I wrapped up a major project which had been taking much of my time each week since mid-September.  So now I am back in the studio and am excited to have quite a few new things in the works.  I was really excited about being invited to be a part of Paper-N-Stitch and will have a shop set up there starting on December 15th. One of the pieces I'm working on required a new sort of frame/shadow box  and after a few tries I'm really happy with the results and am working on getting it painted and put together( I hope to share this piece later in the week).  I'm also planning to submit a few paintings to two juried shows in early 2009 and need to get going on the applications (and cross my fingers and toes...)
It's just started to snow again and the fire is going so I'm off to enjoy a glass of wine and a bit of the Sunday New York Times....

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Music and The Muse....

I find that I cannot really get anything done in the studio without music.  In fact I know I've mentioned it here before but I find I need really loud music playing to get into the creative groove.  I think it's the fact that the music allows my mind to wander just far enough to stop thinking in the day to day type way and create images that live inside me just below the surface...
Above are two paintings in progress and below a sampling of what was playing in my studio today .....

MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes

There is also lots of Wilco (hard to pick just one), Ben Kweller and Andrew Bird on my ipod.
Oh, and a friend just passed on Bon Iver's CD and I'm loving that too.  What are you listening to in your studio?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Connections across oceans....

Hi seems like forever since I've posted (or painted).  Thanksgiving was celebrated here with lots of family and lots of food but now all is slowly falling back into place.  It's funny how long it takes to catch up on normal life stuff after a house full of guests.  Anyways, it's good to be back and I look forward to spending at least a bit of time in the studio each day.
Above is a painting I completed late this's titled " Transatlantic Echo" .
 Happy Monday!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Angel and The Iron Horse (the color of dreams)

The seemingly random nature of dreams can often lead to revelations about one's self or one's situation.  What do our dreams really tell us (and do we really want to know)?  
Of late my dreams have included (in no particular order) angels, locomotives, chairs, cheese, snow, tea, buckets, letters, numbers,  rockets, rainbows, elephants and about you?
Be sure to check out the Heart Handmade Holiday Zine!  Marichelle put together an amazing collection of words of wisdom, artist interviews, wish lists, recipes and diy projects from many of us who contributed to her Heart Handmade blog this year.  

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Seeing in all directions...

As I was working on a few more pieces in my "Cloud Study" series I gave into the desire to put myself in the clouds.  I became a student of the clouds in my rocket ship and could see in all directions.  What a beautiful view it is once you awaken to all that is around! 
 As I begin to think about all that I am thankful for (as Thanksgiving approaches)  I secretly  wish for the ability to broaden my perspective and raise my voice...what is your secret wish?

Friday, November 21, 2008

At my window (sad and lonely)

Just wanted to share this sweet little guy who appeared in my studio this week.  He looks out at the sea of possibility and gets by dreaming big dreams...
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Stargazers (gathering dreams from souls lost at sea)

Here is a peek at the almost completed painting I showed you the other day.  This evolved a little differently than originally intended but I'm really happy with it.  I like the pale blues and browns on the top and the star catching net is really just bursting with stars...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

talk, talk, talk...(oh, and talk some more....)

What an amazingly social, emotional and exhausting weekend I've had!  I am so happy to report that five of my paintings found new homes at the Friday night  group show I participated in.  It was a lovely and inspiring night filled with great conversations and connections.  On Saturday Chuck and I took the kids to a large and inspiring rally in Chicago protesting the passing of prop 8 in California.  Saturday evening we hosted a party for the parents in my little guy's class.  I can honestly say that talking about my work to so many people is still kind of makes me feel somewhat disconnected from the work.  It felt very good to be back in the studio this afternoon listening to music and getting to work on a few new pieces. 
 The top piece is entitled "Little Yellow Bird (contemplating song)" was inspired by the  experience of using my voice to try and impact change this weekend and over this past year.  This painting is now in my etsy shop with a few new "Glamour Girls" and "Party Girls".  The second piece is the beginning of an idea I've had in mind for a while that I hope to develop over the next few days...

Friday, November 14, 2008

timing is everything.....

My mini moo cards arrived yesterday just in time for my show...YAY!!!  My 1st order seems to have been lost in the mail and the moo print people very kindly reprinted them and sent out a new order which arrived just in the nick of time ( I am absolutely ga-ga over these little things!)  In fact I ordered 3 more mixed boxes right away because opportunity knocked yesterday (more details on that later).  I've got to run...there are grapes to wash, cheeses and amazingly yummy honeycrisp apples to slice and pricing still to be done.  Thanks to everyone who commented on my last post.  The connectivity and environment of support that exists in the blogging world still catches me off guard and always warms my spirit.  Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My little secret....

Every time I finish a painting I photograph it, name it and show you all but what you don't know is that it's never really done at that point.  I start off with the best of intentions but by the time I do all of the steps listed above I'm ready to move on... and I do.  So now in the final days before a show I have to make up for lost time and immerse myself in building and painting frames, attaching sawtooth hangers and wires (both of these involve power tools and are kinda fun), signing and dating each piece (which involves doodling and coloring which is kinda fun) but that leaves me very little time to complete the 4 new pieces I wanted to take to the show.  If I just skip the sleeping thing I can probably manage to get it all done!
The show I mentioned is an artist reception and sale Friday evening (like a trunk show).  One member of a collective I belong to opens up her home and I think this time there will be 5 of us showing work (but many others represented by cards, flyers, etc...).  There is food, wine and lots of networking.  I've done two other shows this way and really enjoyed them.  If anyone is in my neck of the woods and would like details just convo me....

Saturday, November 8, 2008

what's old is new...

Here are a few pieces I was able to finish up yesterday afternoon.  The top piece "Transcendence" is an old painting which came to life with the addition of a silvery winged woman (i think the name still fits).  The second piece "Work, work, work" you may recognize as the barn painting from a few posts back....happy saturday!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Child's play...

I've been invited to join a game of tag by the incredibly talented and inspiring Katherine....

Here are the rules:
1.  link to the person who tagged you
2.  mention the rules
3.  tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about yourself
4.  tag six other bloggers by linking to them
5.  go to each persons blog and leave a comment that lets them know they've been tagged

so here goes...
1.  i am obsessively neat (as in clutter free)
2. i hate to dust (so my house appears very neat and tidy but is secretly very dirty)
3. i am incredibly superstitious ( in too many weird ways to list here)
4. i LOVE cheese ( current favorites are coolea,  mt. tam and grafton 4 yr)
5.  i listen to the band  wilco way too much 
6.  i always paint standing up

Tag you're it:

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Glitter and voting....

This morning I'm off to make many golden sparkle wands to add to this collection of silver ones (for our school's holiday fair).    The world my kids live in is filled with fairies, gnomes and archetypes of good and evil....but more and more they are waking up to the realities of the world and today we all have a chance to make a difference in that world.  I encourage everyone to wave your magic wand and cast your vote! YES WE CAN!!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Vertigo (and a block in progress)

I spent this morning at the hospital being treated for vertigo.  I don't usually write about personal stuff here but this has to be one of the strangest things I've ever experienced.  In the middle of the night I couldn't walk without grasping furniture and when I made it back to my bed the room was spinning at warp speed.  Any time I turned over the spinning became unbearable.  So this morning I headed to the ER to and I have a bit of fluid in my ear but no sign of infection (which is good).  My right eardrum has burst twice in the past few years and so next week I will be headed to an ENT to determine the cause of this episode.  Typing is pretty difficult as is walking and standing so I think I'll be off line for a day or two until this passes....
(above is a little block in progress)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Beware of the heat gun!

  All of these glamour and party girls will be on their best behavior so they don't share the fate of the nudes/windows/mountains/doors....
Seriously, the painting from the last post was just not working for me and so it has been "reworked".  As I fired up the heat gun and started scraping back the painting I really did feel like all these girls were watching in horror as the nude figures melted away.....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

mystery painting...

OK...I'm going to start off by admitting that there is nooo chance that I will finish all of the knitting projects from my last post!  I started a sweater for myself but it is already in a basket under a chair (with the other 5 unfinished garments).  My yarn is very jealous of my wax.  
Today I managed to start on a painting that came to me last night....can you tell what it is?  I am very excited about this piece and hope to work on it a bit more this evening (after I finish making my middle son's tree costume....).  Have a lovely evening!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Their Hearts Were Light....

The sky was blue and the air was crisp when these women began to drift upwards.  They had encouraged each other and fed their souls with all life has to offer. Laughter, tears, friendship and understanding as well as  life's mystery and beauty filled their hearts like air fills a balloon and then one day it just happened...and it was good.

Friday, October 24, 2008

unfinished business....

I'm off to Michigan for the weekend to celebrate my daughter's 12th birthday with how the time flies!  I didn't complete any pieces this week and I'm kind of sad to be leaving my studio for these few days...all these pieces are  so close to being done but it looks like they'll have to wait until Sunday evening.  
The second photo also contains many unfinished pieces which will be keeping my hands busy during my hours in the car.  Again most of these items are soooo close to being done (one only needs it's seams sewn up!) but I find myself spending every free moment in my studio these days. The oldest of these projects is a sweater for Chuck started 3 years ago as a 10th anniversary gift ('s a little late) and the newest (a sweater for moi) is being started today.  I am secretly hoping to finish all of these projects by Christmas (even Chuck's sweater shhh...).  Where would we be without wishful thinking?
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

winged warriors....

Strange winged women are taking over...beware!  Thanks for the procrastination tool Sam....
(anyone else who wants to play can check out photofunia)

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Twenty-three down and twenty-two to go....
I spent this evening sitting outside fine sanding these lovely maple blocks which are destined to become glamour and party girls.  Since my painting spree last week I haven't been back in the studio so I decided to get ready for a rainy monday by prepping these blocks.  Today was the quintessential autumn day and after a long walk on the beach I got down to work while the kids played in the yard.  Some of these girls will find their way to my etsy shop and some will be shipped off to a show in New York in early December. I really enjoy painting these girls and am looking forward to getting started on them tomorrow.  
Later this week I will add a print of my painting "Heart of Gold" to my etsy shop with $10.00 from every sale going to help Will Boyd.  It's been such an amazing experience to have my small gesture so appreciated and I look forward to being able to continue contributing to Will's fund.  I'm thinking about making prints of one or two other paintings as well...what do you think?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

(just a few more...)

Here are three more small pieces I finished yesterday....(yes, I worked on five paintings at the same time!)  All work and no play makes Beth a dull girl so now I'm off to the park with my little guy!