She Is Becoming....

[caption id="attachment_1046" align="aligncenter" width="1000"]She Is Becoming She Is Becoming
Prints Available Here[/caption] She Is Becoming.... Every woman lives through her own transformational journey. She grows, she changes, she becomes the best version of herself.  I have been on my own journey - changing and developing as I find my way within the world of art and creativity.  Sometimes this change is welcome and joyful, and sometimes it is challenging and painful.  But I do believe that all change leads towards the life we are desiring.  Often the path there is twisty and turny and different than what we imagined, but the journey itself is filled with moments of exquisite love, happiness and enchantment. When this painting developed into a butterfly, I knew it would become a painting about change.  The day I added the woman in the center of it, I knew it would be about transformation.  I had so much fun selecting the words on this - thinking of all of the things a woman thinks about as she grows into herself.  She thinks about beauty, grace, and fashion.  She feel sexy, alluring, and bold.  Chic and sassy are part of her makeup - and stepping into her vibrancy is so empowering.  I also had fun playing with the title.  She is Becoming.... something new.  And the word becoming also means beautiful.  A fun and inspiring little play on words. I hope she inspires you as you become the best version of yourself on your own journey!    

Le Paris Voyage....Day 1

[caption id="attachment_832" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Bon Voyage![/caption] And we finally have lift off!  The trip from the States to Paris was oddly comfortable...I was able to upgrade to business class and the seats laid all of the way down!  They also had a menu - a real live menu - that they presented us from which to choose our dinner.  I got a chuckle out of that though, because you had to choose a 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice.  The more frequent travelers got their first choice, and on down the pecking order.  I ended up with my 2nd choice, which was still delicious!!  Then it was lights out until we landed. [caption id="attachment_833" align="aligncenter" width="415"] Art Fair Le Marche De La Creation[/caption] When I got to Paris it was around 10am.  The hotel rooms were not available until 3, so I dropped my bags with the bellman and was off to start my adventures.  I decided to brave the Metros (subway) right off.  Buying a ticket was a little confusing but fortunately there was a nice American in the line behind me that showed me the ropes.  I made my way to this delightful little art market that is only open on Sunday's. [caption id="attachment_834" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Journaling at the cafe[/caption] After my feet got tired I sat down for a hot chocolate and to journal.  I have a journal challenge while I am here - I am only using the colors black, white and red.  That was inspired by the itinerary given to us for the trip.  I thought it would be kind of fun! [caption id="attachment_836" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Lunch!![/caption] I followed up the hot chocolate with an amazing tomato and mozzarella salad...light, delicious and just right on the cool crisp afternoon!  Then it was back into the metro and heading towards the Louvre.... [caption id="attachment_837" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The Louvre[/caption] When I got to the Louvre I found out it was free to get in today.  Therefore the line was WAY to long.  So I wandered around outside, taking pictures and just enjoying the magnificent architecture. [caption id="attachment_838" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The arch by the Louvre[/caption]   Beautiful statues are everywhere.  People are milling about.  I am surrounded by ground steeped in beauty and history.  It is a humbling place to be! [caption id="attachment_840" align="aligncenter" width="225"] Mary in the gardens outside the Louvre[/caption] I finally sat down in the beautiful green gardens, kicked off my shoes, and just sat for a bit.  I played a few songs on my i-pod....sketched a bit....and really just soaked up the surroundings.  I was among hundreds of people, yet completely alone.  It was a wonderful opportunity to just connect in with myself and be grateful for the opportunity to be right where I was at that very moment.   [caption id="attachment_842" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Bridge over the Sienne[/caption] I slowly meandered my way back to the hotel, and was delighted to make my first non-food Parisian purchase!  There were street vendors selling old books and magazines.  For those of you in the art world, you understand that finding material that can be used in our art that is out of the copyright date ranges is HUGE!!!  I picked up a number of things and plan to create with them in my paintings all week long.  I am so excited about that! [caption id="attachment_843" align="aligncenter" width="225"] Welcome Reception for Le Voyage Paris[/caption] After a short nap and a long shower I was ready to go meet my travel companions!!  Tonya Leigh greeted us with champagne and macaroons....what a delicious combination!!  There are 12 women on this trip.  I intend to come home with 12 new friends!!  Tonight was the first time I have met any of them in person.  These dynamic women all had to apply to be chosen for a spot on this trip.  We are all here for different reasons - some are making changes in their lives, some had a desire to travel more, some want to embrace fashion and femininity in a whole new way.  I am just beginning to know their stories, and can not wait to form what I hope are some lasting new friendships! [caption id="attachment_845" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Dinner at Fernards[/caption] After the welcome reception a small group of us went to dinner.  It was about a 10 minute walk from our hotel.  Did I mention that you walk everywhere here?  I think it partly explains why the French are so skinny!! [caption id="attachment_846" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Dinner....Delicious![/caption] Over great conversation and a bottle of white wine I savored every morsel of my mung fish and rice.  So good!! Back to the room to crash for the night....and when I arrived I found this beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers in my room!  What a thoughtful touch from our trip coordinators!! The first day in Paris was amazing....I can hardly wait to see what the rest of the week has in store for me!!! Bonne nuit!  Mary      
October 07, 2012 by 1

She Carried Herself With A Timeless Sense Of Class...

I've always been attracted to the look of a classy woman.  You know what I am talking about.  The kind that even looks like a million bucks when walking through a crowded airport.  I notice them while I am walking through the terminal in my lulu lemon yoga pants.  I think that Jackie O had the most fabulous sense of style.  When I wear a dress reminiscent of her style, I immediately feel classier.  Timeless class -  what does that mean to you?

She found a different way to fly...

We all want to fly.  Sometimes it is a dream that we hope takes flight.  Sometimes it is physically getting onto an airplane to fly to an exotic vacation.  Sometimes I see a bird riding on the crest of the wind and I wish I had that freedom of flight. I saw this video and watched with open mouth.  What an amazing display of flight.  You have to take a look at it.  Then you may be inspired to find your own different way to fly. Inspired by the teaching of Christy Tomlinson.
December 21, 2011 by 1

She felt peace in the midst of the storm...

I am taking an e-course called SheArt by Christy Tomlinson.  In it we learn how to make these cute little girls. It is so fun to start with a completely blank canvas and just start to get MESSY! Making the clothes and doing the shading is a stretch for takes a little more detail and a little more time than what I normally like to do.  But is it great experience! The snowstorm was a little burst of inspiration....mainly because I made the girl too short for the canvas!  So I had to think of something for her to stand on.  I decided to go with a pile of snow....then made some snowflakes coming down. The saying "She Felt Peace In The Midst Of The Storm" was one of the many prompts from the class.  I hadn't even read that one as I was making the painting.  It just jumped out at me when I saw it - and decided it was a perfect fit for my angel in a snowstorm! Funny how things tend to come together even when you don't plan it all the way out!

Inspired by....Fall Colors!

Oh the beautiful fall colors...deep oranges, soft yellows, slight snippets of green, and various hues of brown.  How I love the contrasts and the tones of fall! I did an image transfer of a photo that caught my eye in a magazine and then altered it.  I'm not quite sure where the inspiration for the zipper came in....but it felt right!  Maybe it's symbolic of having to sip up my jacket as the cold temperatures descend upon us. Happy fall!
November 14, 2011 by 1

The art of music...

Sometimes the basic colors of black and white fascinate me.  The symmetry of piano keys can beautiful.  I wanted to meld the perfect alignment of ebony and ivory with chaos and color! This was my first experiment with using photoshop to merge a canvas.  For all of you artsy followers, this was a ton of fun!  The canvas itself was too big to fit on a scanner, so I had to scan it in 4 parts.  Photoshop Elements allows you to bring all four scans into one piece and "stitches" them together perfectly for you!  The technology is simply amazing! I used my new scanner, the Epson Perfection V600 Photo Color Scanner "".  I was amazed at the color match - I didn't have to adjust color settings at all - and it was a perfect color match for the actual painting.  VERY impressed with that! I love how you can see the actual texture of the real painting also.  Fun for me.  Hopefully inspiring for you! Anyone interested in the PhotoMerge steps - read on! 1.  Set your scanner settings to at least 350 dpi so you have a good high resolution scan to save. 2.  Scan in as many parts as you need to and save each scan separately. 3. Open photoshop elements editor.  Select File, select new, select Photomerge panorama. 4.  Under the Layout options, choose auto. Then click the browse oval on the right to open the files that you just scanned. 5.  Select the scans you want to merge together.  Click Open. 6.  Check the boxes for Blend Images Together and Vignette Removal.  Click Ok.  Let it do its thing! 7.  Make sure you flatten your images (Found under the Layers Menu bar) and Crop it (Found under the Image Menu Bar). 8.  Save it at whatever size you want!  Voila - a large canvas is now a cohesive single high resolution print!

Kids and Art!

Very rarely do I get my 12 year old son to set foot into the art studio.  But I found a way!  I got him a football player bobble head and he loved it!  Several times he has wandered in and sat in "his" chair to do a little painting.  The best part about it is the easy conversation that goes along between two people working on artistic projects.  You never know what topic of conversation will be broached.  Some days it is memorable.  Some days it is just the sweet comfort of passing time with a child who is growing up quickly. Now my boyfriend;s daughter is another story.  This little cutie has some major skill for a 6 year old.  She is chomping at the bit to get into the studio with me and paint, draw, color, and create.  And she is good - seriously good!  At her recent school conference her art teacher said she is drawing at the level of a 9 or 10 year old.  It makes me excited to nurture her gift, to spend time with her in the studio.  Little moments like that can lead to a lifetime of artistic love!!!!
November 07, 2011 by 1

The Symmetry of Life...

Today I got great news.  The man who has been my mentor for many years took a new position a number of years ago.  It changed the scope of how we could work together during that time.  I missed the way we talked and created new paths to follow. He called today to tell me he was returning to his old position.  I am filled with joy!  Sometimes the stars seem to align and you get a wish you didn't even realize you had. I made this dish at a ceramics class this summer.  I tried my best to create symmetry with the decor.  To me, the pattern makes sense.  Makes me feel solid - sure - in line.  I get the same feeling with knowing my mentor is returning.  Things are happening as they should.  The stars are aligning.  There is perfect symmetry!
November 04, 2011 by 1

Its a Blog-hop - what fun!

I took a class this summer and made some great artsy girl friends.  They put together a Blog Hop.  I had never heard of it!  Basically a Blog Hop is a list of people participating who are all writing a blog post on the same day, related to the same topic - and including a list of the other "hoppers"!  Fun! Our post inspiration is called Flying Lessons.  That was actually the name of the class - about learning how to fly high in the art business world.  But for me, it held a dual meaning.  You see, I am a pilot.  I have had my Visual Flight Rating (VFR) license for about 10 years.  I had dabbled with getting my Instrument Flight Rating (IFR) - meaning you can fly in the clouds and marginal weather.  I dabbled with this for all 10 of the years I have been flying.  But I wasn't truly motivated...just didnt have the drive to finish it. Then this summer the flood in the midwest hit.  I had to evacuate my house and my business.  It basically turned my entire world upside down.  Imagine that....packing everything you own and moving it the span of about 3 days.  Everything.  And having the threat of your property being totally destroyed hanging over your head. I craved the feeling of security.  Everything in my life was in turmoil.  And I deeply needed to feel that I still had the freedom and independence to make choices - not be trapped by what the flood dictated.  It was already dictating where I could live, and where I could work.  So what did I do?   As I took the Flying Lessons class for artists, I also took Flying Lessons of a different kind.  I finished my IFR. Now I can pick up at any time and fly pretty much anywhere I want to.  Now I don't have to deal with pesky security measures, or even planning way ahead to book a trip.  I can go anywhere, at pretty much any time.  And that, my friends, is my version of freedom and independence.  And in that, I found a measure of the security that I was craving. The flood has come and gone, and we are once again back home.  Daily we are putting our lives and homes back together.  And I look back at the summer and am proud - proud that in the midst of turmoil I still found the strength to fly! Check out these other great bloggers participating in the blog hop!  You will find beautiful art and lovely inspiration. Amaranthine Violet: Amy Hillenbrand: Beatriz Peñas B.: Beth Cougler Blom: Carmen Patti: Carol Bray: Christina Fajardo: Cindy Jones Lantier: Connie Rawlins : Dana Brock: Deborah Velásquez : Elissa Brown: Hillary Courson: Jacquie Williamson: Jane Paynting: Janet Forrest: Jennifer DeVille: Jill Lambert : Julie Hamilton: Kanchan Mahon: Karen Claverie: Kari DeSaulnier: Kathleen Conard : Kathleen McKinnon: Kathy May: Kelley Miller: Kelly Corso: Kelly Hoernig: Kim Hyer: Kris Lanae Binsfeld: Lenore Angela: Linda Barutha: Lisa Michele Products: Liza Zeni Baker: Lynn Richards: Lori Leissner: Lori Moon: Mary Cottingham: Mary Sterk: Megan Schmitt: Melanie Douthit: Michelle Dwyer: Michelle Reynolds: Rachél Payne (Rae): Rain Hannah: Rhiannon Connelly: Ruth-Mary Smith: Sherry Richert Belul: Shirley Ann: Stacey Chadwick Brown: Susan M. Walls-Beverly: Teresa Cash-Czech: Tina Carlborg: Tonya Love: Ursula Smith: Zulma Cadena: Mary Cottingham
November 01, 2011 by 1