Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Poets & Painters (& Pie!)

Family! Friends! Friends that are like family! Anna Elkins and I are offering a fun, no experience needed writing and painting workshop at the charming Pennington Farms in the Applegate. The environment is inspiring, the pie is delicious and the writing and painting will be loose and free, designed to complete a poem/prose and painting in one afternoon. All supplies provided, just bring you and your country drive adventure spirit.

Hope to see you there!
Saturday, November 11th
Pennington Farms
Registration through email: ae@annaelkins.com

Saturday, October 7, 2017


These are things in my kitchen cupboard. Seriously. I know there should be things like alphabetized spices and cereal boxes and folded linens and all kinds of sundry kitchen things like pasta in tube shaped tupperware but somehow several of my cupboards turned into a prop staging center and shows no signs of changing. Vintage bundles of airmail envelopes, letterpress numbers, old acorns, maps, ink, sugar tongs, tea cups, doilies, a miniature silver trophy, a Steiff donkey, tins in every sugar-tea-coffee-biscuit variety, china plates, some matched some mis-matched, cake stands, Italian marbles and pen nibs have real estate.

There is more. It is constantly evolving. It's the I Know I Have a Rusted Old Key and Bone Handled Fish Knives somewhere compartment of my brain. I know that if all these disparate charming useless once loved, now beloved, items all live together, the sum of their parts becomes so much more. They are props for my workshops, props for me, inspiration jumping off places, the leading ladies in many paintings, the prized treasure at the funky antique store that has that too chatty lonely owner. They are my creative fuel that keeps the house warm. I could be more organized. Or more focused. Or more precise. Or more streamlined. But why?

More the merrier, More is more. xo

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Pumpkins on a Stick

Are these found in nature? Engineered by Trader Joe gardeners in a some creepy Halloween lab? Growing wild in Pumpkinland, USA? How exactly did "pumpkin branches" become a thing and when you google them how did they exist as so matter of factly as "Pumpkins on a Stick". Actual name. Never mind the how or why, they are freaking fantastic and so orange and adorable and autumnal that I just want to say autumnal over and over.

Pumpkins on a Stick in a mason jar are on my art table exactly like this. Jar, water, branches. Perfection. I will stop scoffing at all things pumpkin spice latte because I'm clearly feeling it this season and see no signs of stopping. Wait, pull over, I see a pumpkin patch!!!!!!!! xo

"Pumpkin Branches" 8x10" SOLD

Friday, September 22, 2017

Pink Sails

Exciting news here! I took the leap into putting my artwork onto a variety of print on demand products and I am having so much fun playing with these new formats. Pouches, tote bags, art prints in all forms, mugs, eye phone cases & chargers...duvet covers & shower curtains! Ok, maybe the last two a stretch...but still. SO FUN.

Check out this link for more. And thank you for supporting this art adventure.


Monday, September 11, 2017

Court 4

It's no secret I'm not that much of an athlete. I really love being active but I missed the hand-eye co-ordination team sport gene and since I can remember, I was that kid picked near the end for sports. (The agony!) I've always assumed "I'm not good at sports" and I've faithfully lived up to my belief but there are some, that despite my skill level, I adore. Namely, tennis.

I played growing up, high school, had regular lessons, dabbled in university, my 20's, always a little, never consistently. But it was always there. As my sport. The one I didn't play frequently, but mine nonetheless. I owned a racket after all!

This has been the surprising summer of rediscovering and playing tennis. I have a fabulous partner to hit the ball with, take lessons and attend a weekly clinic. I'm all in. The suffocating smoke that has descended on our town has temporarily derailed outside playing but I've found indoor courts. If I'm not playing this week, I'm watching. The US Open has never been more exciting and action packed! Is this an obsession? Maybe. And that's ok. I like obsessions when they lead me down the path of joy and distraction. When I started painting regularly I was absolutely obsessed. Still am. To me, these are the human green lights on our highway. Keep going. Rev the engine. Hit that ball!

It's also been a summer of challenges. Unexpected expenses, major household repairs, brutal fires all around us, hazardous smoke and close friends moving away. And that's before I turn on the TV and watch the devastation happening in Texas, Florida, the world, the orange person in charge. I'm a piece of sand compared to what's going on globally.

During these times, I'm trying to rise to the challenge & continue to follow the obsessive joy markers when I can. I notice myself needing to fill up the well more frequently. My nerves are frayed. The gentle quirky little life I have here packing orders, painting commissions, going to trade shows, selling my wares, all feels a bit tender.

So might as well smash some tennis balls, hang out at Court 4 and pretend, for just a moment, that I'm Maria Sharapova. xo

Thursday, August 24, 2017

I'd Rather be Sailing

Literally. I'd rather be sailing. I'd rather be doing any number of those bumper stickers you see in parking lots and the freeway. But I'm not. I'm working. I'm digging in. I"m doing the behind the scenes not so cute part of creating and running a small business. There are so many not cute parts! Who knew!?

A couple of people reached out yesterday and asked if "I was ok". Maybe I shared too much. Maybe I shared just enough to remind us that life isn't always glossy. Sorry, matte finish. Yes, everything is ok. There's just more than my share of stressors at the moment and part of my job is working through the stress which is a noticeable challenge when your job is to make....see previous blog...HAPPY ART!

It's very smoky in the Rogue Valley right now. Air quality is poor and the town feels vaguely apocalyptic. Tourists are wandering the streets with ice cream cones and looking into the sky to see a red ball through the smoke, like a confusing eclipse sequel. Vendors at the farmers market are wearing masks like it's downtown Bangkok. Local news is updating the fires on an hourly basis. The bucolic town is under a blanket.  I drove to the lake yesterday to clear my head and it worked, a little. I parked and took some photos.  I've taken those same photos in many seasons, clear skies, torrential downpours, wind storms, smoky summers, soft spring evenings and autumnal crispy mornings. Life keeps moving forward in all kinds of water. xo

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Smooth Sailing

This is what calm waters, smooth sailing and charming summer days look like. My day, my week, does not resemble this. In fact,  if it was a painting, it would resemble an ocean liner hitting a big iceberg and I'm not sure Leonardo is throwing me a life raft.

As my dear imaginary friend Anne Lamott would say Life is Lifey this moment. Plumbing issues in the house that are complicated and costly. Loved ones are going through some challenging times and I can't make it better. Some big positive changes that I was hoping for myself and my business just got yanked for reasons beyond my control. You know, Tuesday.

I'm not sure what the next move is other than turn the page to Wednesday. Pack an order. Paint something. Reach out to family and friends. What we all do. Keep on keeping on. I notice that it's these moments, these gullies in life, where I don't want to paint or write or reach out or do anything nurturing. I like to eat pizza. But I'm experimenting. Because I had to leave the house anyway BECAUSE MY BATHROOM DOES NOT WORK (see paragraph 2), I'm sitting at a cafe, working, emailing, blogging and thinking, what would a wise old friend say?

Honey, it could be worse. Ok, maybe not a warm fuzzy response, but the one I needed. It could be worse. And it will get better. And this creative life isn't all Insta-charming 24/7 and pipes break and pets get sick and humans are fallible and maybe disappoints are just a re-direct. So go paint some damn boats and cheer yourself up! (Said me to me.) xo

"Emigrant Lake" 8x10"