Monday, November 11, 2013

Balancing Act

Life is full of many opportunities and daily tasks that need to get done, but there are only so many hours in a day!  My mind spins and twirls with all the ideas of things that I want to try, that I want to revisit and the things that I have to get done like doing the laundry, making dinner paying the bills.....well you get the idea people.
Balance seems to be the hardest achievement anyone can accomplish in any profession, but lets get serious here, when you are creative and that is what you live and breathe, it can be a challenge to stay on track on any given day.  I am most definitely attracted to any project that will fulfill my need for color, working with my hands, using my imagination and following my own rules!  So you may ask yourself how do I keep on track to get all of the left brained business stuff done that needs to happen for my creative business to be successful.
 Well in an attempt to answer that question, I will give you my tips for making the most of each and everyday.  I know that for me, the sooner I get into my studio the better, so I usually plan to spend the first two hours of my morning on the computer updating my bookkeeping, my social media, my website and any other computer related work.  I also am a list maker. The minute I have a list my instincts are to get those tasks done so that I can have the pleasure of crossing them off my list. For me the scratched off list is such a wonderful thing to see, it makes me feel as though I have accomplished something. And yes there are many lists that I make that don't get completed in one no pressure. I know that if it is a long list then I can give myself a couple of days to get it done.

I actually use my creative process as my reward for completing my other tasks. Once I figured out that this was the best motivator for me, I became more organized and just want to get all of that boring left brained work out of the way. This is how I began to achieve more balance in my life. How ever it works for you.....implement a system that lights the way to your success.
Let me know what works for you!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Recap of the Season

Good morning everyone! It is a bit rainy today and as I am sitting here typing I realize just as the weather and seasons are changing, my focus and my goals are changing as well. After a very successful show season this summer, my focus will now be on the Gallery Co-op where I sell my work and creating workshops.
Before I go any further into this conversation though, I must thank all of my family and friends for their support this year! I couldn't have done it with out you guys! As many of you know creating is only a small part of doing Art Shows. The planning of.... and setting up and tearing down of a booth is both physically and mentally tiring at times. I am most grateful for the hard work my parents and husband put in every year to help me do these shows......and in the end it is always worth the effort.

So, since I haven't written a blog post in quite some time I thought I would just give you a little recap of what I did this summer and what I will be working on this fall.
I showed my artwork and jewelry at 3 local shows this summer. The line up started at the Syracuse Arts and Crafts Festival. Now this is a great show centered around Columbus Circle in downtown Syracuse, NY. It is family friendly and features about 260 fine artists from around the country. I am proud to be juried into this show since I am a native of Syracuse.

                                    Above are a few of the paintings I sold in Syracuse. Funny how I remember the shows by which paintings I sold.

The next show I did this summer was the Clinton Music and Art Festival located in Clinton , NY. This is a sweet little one day show that happens to be held in the same town where Artisans' Corner is located. Artisans' Corner is the gallery where I sell my work. As a one day show it is a bit rough with the setup and tear down, but again the response I get from customers is overwhelming there and well worth the hard work. Below are a few of the paintings I sold in Clinton.
My last show of the Season is Oneida Craft Days. It is located in my home town of Oneida, NY. It is a two day show and is run by the Madison County Historical Society, which I am a member of. The tents are setup on the lawn of the one of the earliest Mansions built in Oneida. It is the home of the Historical Society and is right in the heart of the South side of Oneida. Oneida really supported me this year....I sold 8 paintings at this last show bringing my total to 32 paintings sold since this all began in July. A glimpse of some of the paintings I sold in Oneida.
Dreams can come true if you work hard and share your joy with others!
Now as I said I will be focusing on creating new artwork and jewelry for Artisans' Corner this fall as well as developing new workshops. I will be teaching a workshop in May of 2014 here in upstate NY on the Seneca Wine Trail with Sherri Welser. I will have more details soon! Remember to share your joy with others!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Have Cake!

It is funny how I have been wanting to paint foods that I can no longer eat due to food allergies. My most recent grouping includes coffee, cupcakes and a big birthday cake! I have fond memories of eating and drinking these foods and beverages and decided that if I couldn't eat them myself I could still paint them. And hey by the way they are calorie free, they never get stale and I don't have to feel guilty by just looking at them. This was a huge change in my life and I had to basically relearn how to cook and feed myself all over again because all of the rules for me had changed. I had to eliminate all grain, almost all dairy, caffeine, sugar, alcohol and vinegar or fermented foods. I laugh because most people say what's left? I eat a lot of meat, veggies, nuts and seeds and a small amount of fruit. Don't feel sorry for me, it is something I have learned to live with and I feel much better eliminating all those things from my diet, but most importantly it taught me that I could make drastic changes and survive well!
Now this scenario can be connected to most things that happen in our lives. We have all had to adapt and change as things move forward and develop. I have found strength in challenging situations and even though it may not be painless to go through, I will not let detours stop me from going forward. Don't let your road blocks shut down your dreams. I have used this philosophy in all that I do....and I have had many road blocks along the way. It just forces me to seek out other solutions and to create multiple plans of action to get to where I need to go. I have learned many new skills and adopted new behaviors from these detours and gained in so many ways personally, I can't even count them all.
Don't let the fear of change stop you! Fight back by learning some new tricks, you will be proud of yourself and you will continue to grow personally and professionally. As I say to people Have your Cake in whatever form that might be!

Saturday, June 15, 2013


  It does my heart, mind and body good to get out and surround myself with creative spirits who want to learn and make things with their hands. I Co- taught a felted bead making jewelry class this weekend with Tony Galbraith, who is a local wool felting artist and weaver. We spent the last two days outside in Tony's back yard talking, felting, beading and connecting with nature and each other. No cell phones, no computers just our materials, imaginations and creativity. It was just what I needed after a busy week!
So take a look at our fun projects we made!
Some of the felted beads.....

Earrrings made with seed beads and felted beads....

This was a two day process.....Tony taught us how to make the wool beads on Friday.  They had to dry overnight! Saturday we embellished the felted beads and I taught everyone how to combine the felted beads with seed beads, gemstones and wire to create the beautiful earrings and bracelets you see pictured! It was a match made in heaven and as you can see the jewelry turned out wonderful.
Collaborating in this way to teach workshops is fun and really gives the students exposure to more than one technique during the workshop. I would have to say that two heads are better than one and I really enjoyed working with Tony! We are currently planning some new workshops that involve seed beading techniques and felting. We will both be posting a schedule a soon as we have all the details! So, if this looks like fun you'll get another chance to sign up for a workshop!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Painting Class

I taught my first Mixed Media Painting Workshop this Saturday and I wanted to share some of the highlights with you.
Although the weather wasn't as nice as it could have been, we still enjoyed being outside and in my garage. I pulled out all of the stuff I love to create with which included paint, paper, water, stencils a plethora of marking tools (rubber stamps, cardboard, combs, egg cartons, paper towel tubes, you get the idea ) ......we even used spray paint! It was an exploration of sorts that was only limited by each person's imagination.

Paintings in progress........
Lots of color and markings were made!

We had fun discovering the images that emerged as we journeyed through our process of layering. It was apparent as we moved through the different stages of our work that more than just painting was was quite obvious that whatever we were currently facing in our own lives was being channeled onto our canvases. Some of us had a difficult time letting go and covering up parts of the canvas which impeded moving forward..... while others discovered they had created self portraits. This was a great creative therapy session and after teaching this first session I am planning a second one!

Sometimes you have to get messy to wade through what is stopping you from moving forward in your life. I am a big believer in doing. I am at heart a true "maker" and mixed media art is a great vehicle to use to get that flow going forward.
 I feel happy and rejuvenated from holding this class and I think I learned just as much from my students as they did from me yesterday. You can't beat face to face communication....there is no substitute, and I think as a society we are on the computer so much that we have become very disconnected.
It is time to reconnect with yourself and others and taking art classes is a great way to do that.

Now these paintings I have shown here are all still in the process of being created....they are still evolving and emerging just as we are all still growing, learning and re-connecting!
I want to thank Kelly Diemond and Lorene Boulter for attending my first workshop. You ladies are truly inspiring and I admire your courage to create a life worth living!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Surtex in Review

I am back from my information gathering trip to Surtex! I had a blast, meeting friends from Facebook....seeing all of the talented artists and their artwork at Surtex and talking with a few art agents. I must have gathered a hundred business cards and given out just as many. The artists and agents that are setup there are very friendly and so willing to share information. All you have to do is ask. I was bowled over by the sense of community and the creative energy that was pulsing throughout the place. I think it has stoked my ever growing ember deep within me, that keeps pushing me forward. I must say that Surtex is spectacular. I joked the whole time while I walked the show with fellow artists Jessica Sporn and Pam Varacek, that I must look like a deer in headlights. It is not everyday that you get to be in the presence of such talent all lodged under one roof.

Just to drop a few names we saw Lilla Rogers, Jessica Swift, Kim Gann, Monica Lee and Stephanie Ryan.

Pam, Kim Gann & Me

Me & Monica Lee from Smart Creative Women.

This trip for me was the laying of a foundation....the beginnings of a fantastic journey that I have dreamed of for many years.

From left to Right....Me, Jessica, and Pam.
Surtex is the place to be if you want to become a licensed artist. Now, as I only walked it this year the plan is to set up there next year. I have a whole year to design a fabulous booth and I am ready for the challenge.
I learned so much from Jessica Sporn who acted like my tour guide. She is a seasoned pro who is a licensed artist and has been showing at Surtex since 1996. To see more about Jessica go here. 
My gears are in motion and my plan is starting to take shape. Nothing is going to hold me back!
If you are thinking about Surtex and have any questions please ask I would be glad to give you more information.
I wanted to add Pam's Website info

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Challenge Yourself

Everyday I learn something new.....everyday I overcome a challenge. I think life is all about learning and growing.....being able to rise to the challenge and push forward.  If things didn't work that way, I think life would be pretty boring. Now don't get me wrong some challenges and stresses are not fun and when life throws  you a curve ball it can get rough. I have been fortunate to have lots of friends and family members who have been there for me when things have gotten tough, but they have also been there to share in my accomplishments!

This Friday I will be traveling to NYC to the Surtex show to walk it as an attendee. I am so excited, I haven't been able to sleep! My challenge with this trip is to overcome my fear of being overwhelmed by the talent that I will see at this let it motivate me to grow professionally as an artist and not to look at what they have accomplished and become judgemental of my own work. I think we all feel a bit intimidated at times and this will most certainly test me, but I am ready for the test. I am giving myself the pep talk everyday that we all create in our own way and that there is room for all of our work in the market place. I will also be meeting with some super talented artists while there and hope to glean a bit of their knowledge on setting up and selling at such an important show. I mean come on 7,000 manufacturers and artist agents will be attending this show to discover and license artwork for their home decor products.....this is just huge!

I am so glad I am sharing this with you. My level of anxiety and stress have already come down a notch or two....don't worry I am doing some meditation and deep breathing as well.

So if this wasn't enough excitement to throw out there....I have just applied to Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search. I am totally excited about this as well.
 On July 1st, I will get an email from Lilla Rogers with an assignment that I must complete and submit to her studio by July 22nd. If Lilla and her team like what they see, I will make it to the short list of artists that will be in the running to win a 2 year licensing contract with her studio. This is where I need your help! People will be able to vote for their favorite submissions. This is the people's choice on this short list and I will need all the votes I can get. To give you more of an idea of what will happen check this out.....
I know the competition will be steep, because there are so many wonderfully talented artist applying, but I know that if I didn't accept this challenge I would always be saying to myself " I should have or I could have.... if I only would have"....... I am not going to be that person!

I will give you notice as to when you will need to vote.....and I promise I will update you on the Surtex Show and my experiences. If you have any questions....please ask me by leaving me a comment. I love to hear from you:)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

I am writing this today, hoping your Mother's Day has been full of happiness and gratitude. I know I enjoyed spending part of this special day with my Mother and Grandmother. Time spent together is the most is time that you can never retrieve, so spend it wisely with the ones you love!

 It seems as though I haven't written a blog post in quite some time and I thought with the rest of my Mother's Day, that is exactly what I would do.  So here I am, sitting at the computer typing away with the house all to myself and the quiet stillness that rejuvenates my spirit. I enjoy writing these blog posts and sharing with you some of my thoughts and feelings. It is almost like a cleansing that I need periodically to wash away the debris that is my busy life.

As I cherish these quiet moments, I am reflecting on what has been accomplished these last couple of weeks. I am happy to say that I finished 4 paintings,taught a private jewelry making workshop,helped my daughter get ready for prom and am getting ready to make my trip to NYC for the Surtex surface and design show. It has been a busy couple of weeks and I am patting myself on the back for all of the things that I started and finished!

Here are a few of the things I created these past couple of weeks!


When my life gets this busy I can't get enough creative therapy.
Creative therapy is the best therapy in the world because I can loose myself in my art.....nothing else matters while I am creating! It is the time I need to connect with myself  and rebuild the parts of me that have been sucked dry by the everyday stresses of life.

I always encourage my students to try and create something at least once a week. Once you tap into that creative energy it begins to heal you from within. Even surrounding yourself with other people's art and creations can be healing. Make or purchase one thing this month that makes your heart smile and you will begin to feed your soul.

Humans were meant to create....even if you only create ideas, or generate inspiration for others to create....this is your way of creating and contributing. So go into your creative zone and produce some of your own creative therapy.
Again, I hope your Mother's Day was filled with joy....I am pleased to say mine was!