Saturday, January 28, 2012

My Many Faces - Portraits of a Painter

A few of my many faces

Painting for me is mostly an improvisational process. Even when I have some preconceived notion of what I want to create, I am often led onto a path that strays from my initial vision. My pals Lucky Mistakes and Happy Accidents show up a lot on these journeys and I am always thrilled to see them.

"I Will Only Nurture My Finest Thoughts"

I create intuitively, so it's rare that I reference a model, picture or any sort of reality outside my inner world. Lucky for me, my inner world is heavily populated. I didn't know just how many friends I had there until I started painting.

"I Am Here"

These friends don't talk while I'm painting them but they do speak to me in their own way. They don't have names but they seem to have feelings, just like you and I.

Tears For Georgie

Occasionally, someone will say one of my portraits reminds them of someone they know. Sometimes one or two of them is mistaken for a celebrity. Ultimately they can be whoever or whatever you want them to be.

"Glamour Girl"

Once in a blue moon, I paint someone who lives outside as well as inside my own mind. In these cases, they are also someone that I know by heart.

Left to Right: "Me, Only Bolder",  "Hippie" and "Sixx"

So unless I know you by heart I probably won't be painting your portrait. However, you still might find a part of yourself in one or more of the portraits I do paint.

"To Wonder Is Wise"

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Battle of the Valentine's Day Cat Cards

Sarcastic Cat Valentine's Day Card card
Sarcastic Cat Valentine's Day Card by Victoria Lynn Hall at time2see
View more Cat Cards

It's that time of year again.  Time for another epic battle between Sarcastic Cat and Snuggle Cat in a Valentine's day card showdown...but really, who am I kidding?  We all know that Sarcastic Cat is going to win just like he does every year.  Not that Snuggle Cat doesn't put up a good fight but alas, he is no match for  the potent combination of cuteness and sarcasm that is Sarcastic Cat.

So I am making the executive decision to just go ahead and declare the Sarcastic Cat Valentine's Day Card the champion of all time and introduce some new competition for this year's race.  The winning card will be decided by sales but you can also support your favorite by clicking on it below to visit the product page.  There you can also click the "like" button or share it via the Facebook and Twitter buttons.  Of course, I will be rooting for Snuggle Cat.

I will announce the winner and runners up after Valentine's Day.


And the nominees are:

Come snuggle Valentine card
Browse Bart Cards

 On My Mind Cat Valentine's Day Card card
Shop for a card with

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I Don't Do Dishes (and other shocking confessions)

As a general rule, I don't do dishes.  There was a time not so long ago when I would have been ashamed to admit such a thing but its actually kind of freeing to say now.  So while I'm at it, I don't really do laundry either.  That's right, you heard me.

Here's another (not so) shocking confession:  I love anything and everything creative.  My heroes, mentors and muses are all artists, writers, musicians, actors or figments of my (or someone else's) imagination.  I love to paint, draw, write, craft, decorate, play music, dance and dream.  I suppose I have yet to create a true masterpiece but I feel that I am progressing as an artist and I would say that my ability to express myself creatively is one of my best traits.  Still, as much as I have always valued creativity, I haven't always lived as if I did. 

It's hard to believe now but for many years I behaved as if I believed that what defined my value as a human being was what I looked like and how well I kept my house.  Not that there is anything wrong with wanting to look your best or desiring a clean and organized environment but these issues consumed so much more of my time and energy than they deserved.  What's more is that this was inconsistent with what I truly believed and valued.  I certainly never judged other people by such superficial criteria.  Looking back, It was almost as if some wicked spell had been cast upon me.  Then one day, thanks to my muse, the spell was broken.

It had been awhile since I had painted and my muse had been nagging me about it.  I went as far as purchasing some new canvases, even set one up on my easel but somehow when it came time to actually paint, I kept finding "more important" things to do.  Finally when I began to tackle a stack of dirty dishes in the sink, my muse appeared, looking superior and annoyed (picture "Endora" from Bewitched).

"For Jupiter's sake,"  she said with a pointed stare, "Do you work for me?  Yes or no?"  And I knew that she was not asking that casually.  She was presenting me with a very important choice.  If I said no I would probably lose her forever and if I said yes, I was going to have to start taking her, and myself as an artist, a lot more seriously.  Ultimately, it was not a difficult decision.  I said yes, put down the dishes and followed her to my studio where we worked well into the night. 

It's not like I haven't done any housework since then.  I still aspire to some semblance of order and cleanliness.  It just isn't my main focus or motivation any longer.  In fact, I find that the more I focus my energy on what I love to do, the more the rest of my life seems to fall into place around that.  For instance, now that my Hippie husband handles most of the dish washing duties, I find him even more attractive.  It turns out that working for my muse isn't such a bad job after all.