Taking a breath…

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Golly gee, what a whirlwind!

I think I have an hour and a half to breathe here before I have to get back on the mommy train, so I’m carving out a little artistic catch up time.

So…hi! How ya been? Don’t know about you, but I’ve been pretty freakin busy.

In case you haven’t been keeping track, the RAW showcase was this last weekend–the culmination of my mad creative sprint of a painting frenzy. Frenzy over. Which makes me feel a little itchy, like I’m supposed to be painting in every spare second…hard to decompress!

Anyway, the local news article was released the day before the event–a day I spent driving around to every shopping center in the city (mostly) looking for copies, because I didn’t realize the Irvine World News no longer just magically shows up in my driveway. Huh. Never did find the mystical repository of newsprint, so I had to beg and borrow copies from friends–although there is the online version, which is pretty spiffy . Still, I wanted to hold it in my grubby little hands and gloat over it a little. There is something thrilling and visceral about opening up a newspaper and coming face to face with yourself. At least to me! I’ve really got to send that reporter a thank you box of chocolates or something, she made me sound kinda cool.

Thanks to those begged and borrowed copies, however, I did manage to frame a copy, to display at the showcase. So all’s well there.

The whole showcase thing…wow, what an experience. Loud, messy, crazy, fun, frantic…it had it all. Just a side note–nightclubs are kinda gross. And there’s a reason the lights are dim. Dimness does not mix well with displaying art, which meant lights were brought in and…well, ew. There was much handwashing going on. And I think some spraying of Febreze.

But still, cool venue, wide open space, pretty good traffic flow. I just wish I had paid better attention to the artwork already on the walls when I selected my space, and vetted it for suitability with children’s furniture. There was some very careful selective angling with the camera going on, to block out the two naked ladies on the wall, one of whom is apparently assisting the other with lactation, I surmise. This was located right behind the cute little Western rocking chair that I borrowed back from my very nice cousin for the evening. I promise I’ll disinfect it before I return it. Yeah, awesome.

You can just see their heads peeking over the top, because I scrunched down just enough. You’re welcome.

This one was taken before the weird Austin-Powers-round-red-couch-of-love in the bottom left corner was dismantled and taken away to another corner of the room. Where later on I spotted at least four twenty-somethings sprawled out on it, tweeting or texting or something. I wouldn’t have touched that thing if you paid me, let alone permitted full-body contact.

Photo Here’s me at the event! With specially-purchased-for-the-evening bright red lipstick! And with one of the guest stars of the evening, the Tommy chair. Thanks to Tommy for letting me borrow it!

But anyway…I’d like to publicly thank my friends and family for coming, saying nice things about my pieces, and making me look like the hip, happening artist of the evening by virtue of the crowd around me. Nothing like generating a little buzz! I’m kinda glad they all left before the make-up/jewelry fashion show, which also featured whips, handcuffs, nun-chucks, and garter belts…because I just don’t think I could have handled those two worlds colliding like that.

I wouldn’t say I got tons of traffic–I was so very, very different from the other artists there, and I think casual glancers-my-way could not immediately figure out what they were seeing, based on the puzzled expressions. But by and large, the people who actually stopped and talked to me seemed genuinely interested. I had some conversations about potential future projects, some attentive price-writing-down…good stuff all around. And I got to schmooze and trade business cards with other aspiring artists and photographers, which is always fun, and who knows! And technically I made a sale that night–even though it’s to a close family friend, it still counts, right? Of course right.

And I swear, I am really starting to believe in this whole good-vibes-karma thing, because right in the middle of the event I happened to check my phone, and had a message from someone wishing to buy one of my Lulu, Tuffets n Bows, girly chairs (I haven’t totally settled on a name, can you tell?), which she did the next morning. And it had nothing, nothing to do with either the article or the showcase. What are the odds?? Seriously, spooky stuff.

So I actually DO have some projects to keep me busy, so all that frantic energy I had generated which would otherwise have no place to go and would drive me insane until it dissipated, won’t. Drive me crazy, I mean.

Oh, and in all that crazy, I totally neglected to properly introduce my newest piece, my current favorite (and the possible inspiration for a total redesign of my son’s room, if he has anything to say about it…mixed feelings about that, myself), my new Shipwreck Stepstool. Variation on a theme, here, but I really like the direction it took, and I feel like it’s an improvement on my under-the-sea designs (and if there’s now a Disney song running through your head, I’m sorry or your welcome, depending).  Needs a catchier name, though…any suggestions?

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Busy, busy, busy

I’m a painting fiend these days!! Just painted two stools simultaneously, and am about halfway done on my new girly surf chair–which was in desperate need of a name (come on, if all my pieces have a story, you KNOW they need a name) until I talked to my mom last night. O Chair, I christen thee….The Gidget.

(…and if you people don’t get the reference, I feel incredibly, irredeemably old)Gidget chair

p.s., don’t forget to get your tickets to the showcase! This will be there, all finished and shiny, and it’s bringing friends! Just click on my profile here!

Brand new listings!

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Yay! I have two new pieces to share with you! I have high hopes for these two…I’d love to hear what you think about them!

The first was inspired by my Undersea Adventure chair.

Hand painted dining chair

This has been my most talked about, most eye-catching piece to date, and I wanted to see if it could be adapted into a footstool form that’s more budget-friendly, without losing the whimsy and uniqueness of the original.

Here’s the result!

Let me set the scene for you: an old boat lies partially buried on the sea floor, which is dotted with vibrant purple coral reefs teeming with vivid plant life, anemones, and tropical fish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the water deepens and darkens, we find two hammerheard sharks ominously circling… da-dun…da-dun…

As in the original chair, a first name can be hand-lettered onto the prow of the boat (suitably weathered looking, of course), for that extra personal touch!

Check out my Etsy listing for pricing and other little details!

 

 

 

 

My second piece was commissioned by a client who wanted a kitchen step stool for herself inspired by the warmth and aged elegance of Tuscany. I went to work, and created this:

While working on it I started calling it the Tuscan Two-Step, but…perhaps that’s a little too line-dance-y? I’m open to suggestions, people!

 

 

The inspiration here was the ornate carvings and detailed elements I see over and over in Tuscan design, with the whole piece hand-distressed and antiqued to emulate a sturdy kitchen fixture passed down for a few generations.

 

 

 

 

The dropped “dishcloth” on the top step in a vibrant red adds a warm pop of color, and features it’s own Tuscan-inspired design of embroidered vines and leaves.

You can check out the details for this one on Etsy, too!

 

 

 

As always, I want to make my pieces unique and meaningful for each client, so I love to hear about elements and colors that would be special to YOU! Most customizations can be done at no extra cost, provided they don’t exceed the scope of the original design. Let’s talk!

Featured pick–Tommy’s Sunset, handpainted accent chair

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This one is really one my favorites–extremely vivid, more serious and less whimsical than some of my other designs, but it was such a process of growth for me (I’d never really tried to paint water before, let alone light on water), and the result just does something for my soul. Plus I just loved the idea of writing a name in the sand.

The whole idea was to treat the side supports & first slats of the chair back as the worn, jutting pilings of an old dock, so to  support the illusion there are barnacles crusting the supports in the back. The sun is setting over the water as a gentle wave washes up onto the beach where the name has been scratched in the sand with a stick, while a lanky red sea star wraps itself around the front chair leg.

It was quite challenging to try to convey the reflected sunset in three broken up sections instead of one uninterrupted expanse. I painted it once, then I sanded the whole thing off and started over before I was satisfied. Like I said, learning process!

I was painting this for a specific child, so I had him in mind while creating it–he’s sensitive, artistic, and a little more quiet than his siblings. This seemed, at least to me, such a good fit for him.

So here’s Tommy…see what you think.

My Featured Pick of the Day!

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So here’s a gallery of one of my most talked about & viewed pieces…and one in which I tried things I’d never done before, had a lot of fun experimenting, and discovered I was actually fairly good with painting underwater life. Which is odd, since I find the aquatic world beautiful but full of terrible […]