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This is my blog AND my website now. Click on the " my paintings" tab to view my paintings. Scroll down to read my blog.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Hello!


Hello to you people who probably picked up my business card at the chalk art festival.  I am trying to be a more responsible artist by taking better advantage of all the free publicity at the festival.  That's why you got my business card.  
Above is a photo of my beautiful dog, Friday, posing in front of some of my more recent paintings that are for sale.  If you are interested in buying my art, click on the "my paintings" tab above.  The prices of the most recent works are posted.  You can always email me by finding my address under the "contact info" tab above as well.  And also look at the "other projects" tab- that tab is the funnest tab.  

Monday, March 04, 2013

Jenson's Not Happy

This is my moist recently finished painting. It's a picture of my nephew, Jenson.

As you can see, I'm trying to expand my style. I'm also experimenting with oils again- something I swore I would never touch again. I know that I have more potential for my skills to grow with oil paint ( as opposed to just acrylic)- it's just that it's so uncomfortable for me. I first painted this in acrylic and then did a layer of oil over it- and I do think the oil added a lot to the skin tone that wasn't possible with just the acrylic.

I took my reference picture a couple weeks ago when we were in the springs. It's just a phone picture, because I wasn't actually planning on doing a painting. As you can see below, the picture I painted off of is the second picture, and the first picture was taken only a couple seconds before. Sarah, Jenson's mommy, took a little too long between feeding him one bite of baby food to the next, and that made Jenson unhappy.

 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Baby Josalyn


About a year ago I heard through Facebook that a friend from high school had experience the worst nightmare. My friend Laura's year old baby suddenly died. Imagining the grief she was probably going through was painful for me, and I decided to paint a portrait for her of her little girl, Josalyn (seen above).
When Josalyn passed away, she was wearing an outfit that said on it "fly away little butterfly" but the hospital disposed of the outfit, and Laura really wanted to have it. I tried my googling skills to try to locate a duplicate online, but wasn't as skilled as others were. Through the work of her online friends and networking she was able to recover three of the outfits- I didn't quite realize the significance of this number until I read this article, which was printed in her local newspaper.
You should read the story, it's really wonderful. And the article features the photo below, of her family posing with the picture I painted, which I titled "fly away little butterfly". I'm continually amazed by her ability to maintain hope in the midst of such a horrible tragedy.
 

 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Buckhorn Exchange

 
Rocket and I have been dreaming of going to the "Buckhorn exchange" ever since we saw it featured on "Man vs Food" a couple months ago. We knew we were in for an adventure so we decided to make a Valentines date of it last night. The Buckhorn Exchange is the oldest restaurant in Denver and serves more kinds of animals than any other restaurant in the city. We already knew we were going to go for it, and try out their famous Rocky Mountain Oysters (which you knew is bull testicles, right?). Also, we ordered rattle snake queso- a cheesy dip topped with tasty rattle snake meat. Lastly, we got fried artichokes and turtle cheesecake (surprisingly, not made out of turtle meat, but that is probably somewhere else on the menu).
This is us at home before we left:

We weren't let down, and everything tasted delicious. On a recent episode of "This American Life", someone referred to the deep fat fryer as the "great culinary equalizer of all food"- meaning that the meat doesn't really matter. As long as you batter, deep fat fry, and then serve it with a creamy dipping sauce, you can't go wrong. I think they're right, because the bull balls tasted delicious.
There were far more animals in the restaurant than there were people- but they were all on the walls.

And here is a lovely picture of me and my real Valentine. Roxanne and Matt went on a different date together last night. And for today, Valentines day, we did nothing. Happy Valentines day all!

 

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Caps



This is a project that I started with the kids when we first moved into the house, and I predict it will be an "unfinished project" for the entire time we live here. Unfinished projects are usually bad, but sometimes they can be good, if the project is one that is meant to grow and evolve, and if time itself is an element in the piece of art.
Jodi originally had me start collecting caps for her. I don't know what she was going to do with them, but when she decided to move to Scotland, she abandoned her cap collection and I inherited all she and I had collected. Thankfully, when she moved back from Scotland, she didn't ask for all her caps back. In fact, she is one of my most loyal collectors/donors.
I have a big tub in the pantry of our kitchen and every time we end up with a plastic cap, we throw it into the tub. (By the way, threaded plastic caps can't be recycled, like their plastic containers can be). Every time the tub gets full, we go out back and glue them to the fence using liquid nails glue. I lightly sketch a wave shape on the wood, and then the kids and I glue the caps around the chalk line. At first, just our family was the major contributor of the caps- every now and then people would give me some, but most of them were from whatever products we used. But ever since I posted photos of what we were doing, I've been getting more and more cap donations from other people. At this point, I probably have way more donated caps than my own caps.
I know a cap that you would normally throw away seems like a small thing and not much of a sacrifice, but it really does make me feel so good when someone gives me a bag full of caps. Because, it's one thing to buy or make a gift for someone when they are having a birthday, or at Christmas time. But it's a totally different thing to slowly and gradually accumulate something for someone during the course of your mundane life. One cap isn't much, but a bag FULL of caps really adds up! A bag full of caps is a whole lot of thoughts of love for me during very intimate and personal daily moments. It's means that there was a moment when someone was making a PB&J sandwich for their kid, and they were scraping the last bit of peanut butter out of the jar while their kid sat there waiting, and then they thought of ME. Or... It means, they were naked in the shower, squeezing the last bit of shampoo out of the bottle, and they thought of ME. Or it means as they took their last Xanax pill and remembered they had to refill their prescription, they thought of ME. It means the thought of me invades people's lives in a very small, but very frequent amount that adds up to a whole whole lot and I'm just amazed that people actually do it for me.
I mean.... not everyone does it. And I understand. I don't know how much someone would have to mean to me before I would alter my lifestyle for them.... and maybe the people that do it for me, aren't perceptive enough to realize that all those small sacrifices of stockpiling caps actually accumulate to equal quite a bit of a sacrifice, and I'm thankful for their ignorance.
Once a month, I get together with three other moms from the kids' school in Highlands Ranch for breakfast, and each of them always has a baggy of caps to give me, and it feels like Christmas for me. Sarah, one of the ladies, even brought caps back from her vacation in Hawaii for me, irritating her husband when it took up space in their luggage. I'm amazed at people's willingness to inconvenience themselves like that. And every Sunday at church, there is always at least one person who hands me a grocery sack full of caps. Warms my heart so much!
And it's not just for the finished product of having a colorful fence- it's for the experience for me and the kids- it's amazing how therapeutic the process is. We play music and the repetitive act of grabbing the cap and placing it on the fence becomes like a dance. It's colorful, and we're in the sunshine, and as an array of spots and circles grow down the fence, I try to honor each plastic cap as it goes up, knowing that at some point, there was someone behind it honoring me in a small way too. The pictures below don't show it, but we've got a pretty huge backyard and there is a whole lot more fence that isn't showing. Our fence goes on like, forever. So that means the wave of caps can keep growing and growing the longer we live here. It's such a fun ritual that makes us feel so blessed. So many people love us and we're so lucky for that!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Rocket Science

Since Rocket won his school science fair a couple months ago, he had the chance to participate in the district wide science fair where all the Denver Public Elementary Schools sent their school winners to compete. This was a big deal to him, but he didn't expect to win.

The picture above is him before the fair. The only bad parts is they didn't let the public in to view all of the exhibits. I got into the zoo free, but had to stay out of the exhibit room- especially when the judges were present. But Rocket must have done a good job presenting on his own. During the awards ceremony, I said a little prayer to God hoping that if he was able to have the encouragement of placing, it would make up for all the negative experiences he's been having lately (mostly with other kids at school). We were all surprised when he got the award for "best in show". I hope I didn't help him too much with his project.

This is him along with the other three winners. He was beaming at this moment.

This is him with his big ole ribbon in front of his board.

 

We also got some special "backstage" access at the zoo to see some animals close up. I liked this grinning alligator.

 

Roxanne insisted that Rocket do what she had come to the zoo for- the carousel. And he was still on top of the world. He looks like such a little boy in this picture, I think.

 

The lion "cubs" were posing quite well for pictures and I thought they looked especially cuddly.

I also liked the dik dik deer. I thought a dik dik would be a better pet than a cat. Especially if it would sit in a window sill. It was about the same size as Friday, so they could be great friends.

We went to Chili's afterwards to celebrate Rocket's great achievement.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Pictures of Jesus

A couple of weeks ago I saw this picture of Jesus at the Goodwill, and I don't know what it was that I liked about it, but it caught my eye and I bought it for 1.99. A week or so after I bought it, I opened up the frame so that I could color some orange rays behind Jesus, and I discovered that it was actually just a page that was ripped out of a magazine. There was also a photo behind it of a black man with an afro in a white robe- I threw that picture away, so I don't have it to show you, but he looked like he was in some sort of a cult- mostly because of the white robe/dress thing.
But I became curious about the picture of Jesus and decided to do some research on it to see who the artist was, and when it was drawn, and whatnot. I've been watching this show on MTV called Catfish, where they try to catch people who are pretending to be someone hot and then having an online affair with someone who doesn't know their being fooled. One of their techniques is to take the pictures that the person claims is themself, and put it into the google reverse image search, which will search the Internet for similar images. Usually the impersonator has just stolen the pictures from someone on MySpace who actually is hot, and the reverse image search reveals that. So I did a reverse image search on Jesus- I didn't find any impersonators.
Actually, there really wasn't much information about the picture. I found a few other people posting the picture also trying to find information about it- saying it was such a striking and intriguing picture of Jesus, just like my first impression was. The only thing I did find was a site with an article about the picture, along with 17 other similar pictures. The article claimed that all the image's are mysterious in that the artists are unknown. But even more mysterious is the fact that they all supposedly came from unrelated origins, but all resemble eachother so closely. One theory is that the pictures were created after the shroud of Turin was gaining popularity, and all of the artists were drawing the pictures based on the image on the shroud (seen in the last bottom right square). The picture below shows all the different drawings and I think the one I have must be the one in the far right row, middle column.
Here is another lovely picture of Jesus. Matt and I were in charge of Sunday school a couple weeks ago, so I facilitated the creation of this picture. All the kids contributed to it, and it's too bad that you can't see all the glitter.

And this is a picture of Jesus I made using my "percolator" app on my phone- it was made from a classic Byzantine image. I thought it looked so cool, I made it my phone's wallpaper.