Friday, July 23, 2010

Boston Terriers Galore!

Remember Jacki from The Collar Shop? She posted the necklace I made her (in exchange for these beautiful collars) on her Boston Terrier Forum, and I got a wave of Boston Terrier necklace orders.

I must say, I really love painting Boston Terriers.

Here are some of the necklaces I did this week:

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Featured Artist - Ali Cavanaugh


"in this moment, i wait #2"
6″ x 6″ fresco

It is always a huge honor for me to feature other artists on my blog.
This particular artist is especially exciting for me because I have admired her work for years, and even own a print. [Some day I hope to own an original!] I first discovered Ali Cavanaugh on Daily Painters and immediately fell in love with her talent. The way she captures light is impeccable, and anyone who can paint the human form as well as she does has some serious talent. It's not that her paintings look like photographs:
They look BETTER than photographs.
I hope you will be as inspired as I was after reading the following interview:


When did you recognize your talent as an artist?
I remember my talent being affirmed early in elementary school. My teachers would ask me to use my artistic abilities on their bulletin boards or if any illustration needed to be done. I specifically remember a yearbook cover competition for my elementary school yearbook. I wanted to win so bad….I was disappointed when I lost to a 6th grader …I was in 3rd grade at the time. I remember thinking “I’ve got to work harder!”

What is your favorite medium?
My favorite medium is watercolor for sure. I’ve tried everything under the sun…even medium that is not categorized as art material. It seems that watercolor is the best medium for translating my artistic voice. It does exactly what I want it to do. I was an oil painter for 15 years and I really love oil…. the vibrant luminosity that it holds, but it just doesn’t work for me.

Do you support yourself with your art? (Is it your vocation?)
Yes, I do support myself with my art sales. I don’t live an extravagant life or anything, but I am able to pay the bills. I view my vocation as family. I look at life through the lens of eternity and I know that I will be judged on my faithfulness as a wife and mother, not how many paintings I produced or how successful my art career was.

Tell me about your process when starting a new painting?
I have several phases or layers in producing my work. First and foremost I view my work as an entrance into the mystery of thought and contemplation, human existence, and the complexity of the human conscience. With this platform in mind I photograph my figures in times of isolation. The solidarity produces a feeling of transience. I like to emphasis these contemplative moments by placing the figure in direct light. I have catalogued thousands and thousands of photographs. Some series will never be painted and other series I seem to return to over and over as I try to master a certain light or texture of fabric.

Do you have a favorite painting you have done?
A collector asked me this question a few months ago. It is hard for me to pick one favorite painting. I have several that I feel are monumental in my growth as an artist. I call these ‘breakthrough paintings” either I discovered a new technique or expounded deeper into a concept.
My most recent favorite that I actually decided to keep for my own private collection is a simple profile study of my daughter. She is my muse and is the model for about 80% of my work. I recently painted an academic, not conceptual, piece that will be featured in a step by step demonstration in Artist’s Magazine early next year.

"Profile of Neve”
12” x 12”

”I see you in the best light”
30” x 30”
In this painting I pushed the lighting on the figure and discovered beauty in the reflective objects.

"there is a gentleness in your light”
24” x 24”

In this painting I started using a whole new palette of colors that I am still applying to my current paintings.

Do you have a studio? Tell me about your workspace.
My workspace is very simple, a room in my home. Since I have three children, one being a 6 month old I have to keep my space kid friendly and very accessible.

What is your main inspiration?
I have a multi-faceted source of inspiration: devotion to the Blessed Mother, re-experiencing my own childhood through the experience of mothering my daughter, and my own spiritual development in the way that is it always refining who I am.

What artist (past or present) most influences your work?
My favorite artists and the artists that I believe influenced me the most are Andy Warhol, Alex Kats, Ingres, and Andrew Wyeth.

What is your dream goal for the next 5 years--where will you be and what will you be doing?
This past year has been a big one for me. I had a baby at 36; just one month after my husband was diagnosed with cancer. I have come to realize that it is good to take one day at a time and enjoy the moment. I try to put my all into each week and not put too much weight on long term goals. Goals are good things, but the journey is more important.

What is the most encouraging advice you have received as an artist?
Know yourself.

What is YOUR best advice to offer someone who wants to be an Artist?
Prioritize your life
Be humble and accept criticism
Work extremely hard and
Know yourself


Find more about Ali and her amazing work on her website

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dandelion Necklace WINNER

I know that this is a little late, erm- sorry about that.



Thank you to everyone who participated in this giveaway!

Remember, you can always shop for necklaces in MY ETSY SHOP.

Thank you!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

July Giveaway - Free Hand Painted Necklace

I think it's about time for another

This month I am giving away this lovely dandelion necklace. It's such a sweet, simple painting with a pale blueish purple background. It will come strung on a thin black leather cord.

[Winner will be randomly selected on Tuesday, July 13th]
Ways to Enter:
(Choose as many as you like for a better chance of winning!):

1. Visit my etsy shop HERE and leave me a comment below with a link to your favorite necklace.
2. Follow me on twitter HERE and tweet about this giveaway.
3. Become a fan on facebook HERE.
4. Buy a necklace from me, and/or handmade clutch from my friend Vanessa's shop HERE.

Thank you and good luck!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Dog Collar Review

I love my dog.

I'm sure this is no surprise, I mean if my blog posts aren't about my artwork, they are about my Bull Terrier Margot. Too many times I have gone to Target and come home with more stuff for Margot than for me. She is definitely "The Target Dog". But that's besides the point.

I recently met an awesome gal Jacki on etsy who makes and sells dog collars. I immediately fell in love with her collars (I admit, partly because her model is 1/2 Bull Terrier). She happen to like my necklaces too, and we traded a Custom Hand Painted Necklace with her 2 dogs, for 2 collars of my choice. What a deal!

The Collar Shop offers a huge selection of fabric collars that are completely customizable! From the fabric on the collar, to the width, to the clasp, to the lining, you can decide exactly how you want it to look. If you are overwhelmed by all the options, you can also choose from one of her predesigned collars.

I received my, er-Margot's collars yesterday and we love them! They are well constructed, and they look great on her. Because Jacki is a Bullie-loving-lady, she knew just what sizes, clasps, and widths to suggest for Margot.

I highly recommend The Collar Shop to anyone with a dog or cat!

Check out The Collar Shop here:

Here are some photos of Margot rocking her new collars!