Thursday, April 17, 2014

New work

Sometimes while I'm working in the studio, everything clicks easy....time seems to slip away....and I get lost in this sacred space of creating. Other times I feel a tad frustrated and irritable. I feel as though things aren't coming together as easily as it should. I wonder why that is? I guess it truly is just like life in general......some days you wake up and you can just feel it in your bones that it's going to be something very special about the day. Other days not so much!

Many times when I feel frustrated.....and continue to work....within minutes I can hit a breakthrough. I am reminded it doesn't have to always be easy....nor would I want it to. I must remind myself to embrace those moments. they are needed too. they are needed so that we can quiet them with charging onward. or by being still. art teaches me. art helps me to trust.

wherever you are.....welcome the struggle....a breakthrough is in order!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Last Friday, as I was meeting my husband for lunch….I heard this song. Blessings.
The chorus begins and I hear "what if your blessings come through rain drops"…. and I got chills. I had just finished this painting before getting in the car……

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

and here is the song

Friday, April 4, 2014

New paintings

I've been busy lately creating and painting and getting inspired. Lately the works of Lynne Hoppe have gotten my juices flowing wildly again. There is something about the simplicity of color and building up of texture that she does so well. Go to her blog…..there is so much to inspire. She even has a tutorial of how she paints faces. (thanks to Lynda Metcalf for turning me on to her)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Art and Soul - Kansas City

A couple of weeks ago Kaitlin and I went to Excelsior Springs, Mo (just outside of Kansas City). I taught two days and Kaitlin took a class by Jane Davies. We both had a chance to experience their amazing spa and enjoyed great food too. I normally fly to these teaching gigs but Kansas City is only about a 7 hour drive from my house in Roland, AR. 

On our way back we stopped by my cousin's place, The Antique Flea in darling Noel, Mo. Such a beautiful little town nestled in the hills and the Elk River. I'm hoping to go back this summer to do a little fishing and painting with both my cousins Doug and Zac. The shop is filled with loads of art, lots of antiques, and the best hamburgers I ever ate.

me and my 1st cousin, Doug Laman
all photos are by Kaitlin Monroe

Monday, March 17, 2014

Year of the FairyTale

I'm so excited to announce that I am guest artist over at Carla Sonheim's  amazing "Year of the Fairy Tale" class!!

She asked me to illustrate Blondine, Bonne Biche, and Beau-Minon...(a french fairy tale)
I read through the short 17 page story and couldn't help myself but to paint it right away. The story had me captivated and the images kept coming. Although this is not my normal method of painting..(i normally paint intuitively)....I so enjoyed this process. Thank you Carla for asking me to be a guest in your beautiful class. If you'd like to find out more about the class and to sign up go HERE
Ps. I do an interview and video of the below painting.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

what is clarity?

I had a dream this morning. I say this morning because it was as I was waking up. I dreamt of going to work for a company. It was like something out of Minority Report. I started working right away and the first thing I remember was that me and 2 colleagues were in a conference room having a meeting. Next door, we heard some commotion and then the door latch shimmed and the door came open. We saw folks next door playing loud music, dancing, and having fun. I got up from the table and started to join in from our room. My supervisor, who looked very much like Rhea Pearlman, walked in just as I was cuttin' a jig and instantly the life drained from her face. She asked me what I was doing and I told her, I was joining in. That the company next door had the right idea to have fun and get work done too. I then proceeded to further explain that if our company tried to do the same thing then they may get better productivity and employees that actually enjoyed their job, hence lower turnover. Oh the sour look my supervisor shot me! I was instantly reprimanded and she left with the door slamming behind her.

The next day, I went to my locker to find that I got demoted from my position. I was now in charge of making sure there were fans positioned and located where they needed to rooms, break rooms...etc. (yeah, crazy!) So off I went with my fan buggy (it looked like one of those giant shopping carts from Sam's) making sure everyone was being fanned who needed fanned. I was stopped by another colleague and she stated how lucky I was because she worked for a year and a half doing odd jobs like this for the company until she was promoted to the same position as my old job. So a few days go by and I get the feeling I'm being tested. So when I sign into work the next day,  (mind you the signing in process was a retina scan, fumigation, and bodily organ testing all done from inside a small locker) I am told that if I want my old job back that I'll have to do a written test.

I report to the specified space for the test. I watch from below as people are being brought up on small platforms to this high space. Very official looking. I instantly remember that I'm afraid of heights. I feel very vulnerable and nervous. So up I go.  There is another girl with me taking the test. We take our seats that are on something like a barstool. Over comes one of the test-giver helpers with something in both her hands. She opens her hands and asks me which pen or pencil would I like to take the test with. I answer that turquoise pencil there. She shoots me a horrified look and I realize she thinks I answered wrong. She then lays all the pens/pencils down again and she says, Now which one would you like to take the test with. Again I answer the turquoise pencil. She says "fine!" I shoot her a puzzled look and back to the test giver. As she was walking away she says "well that wasn't what you had in your locker". I am instantly aware that I am being tested in more ways than one. I started off the test by answering wrong. Or in their opinion wrong.

We start taking the test and when I sit down at my desk, I see this teeny tiny pencil that is graphite on one end and a light yellow colored pencil on the other....a dual ended teeny pencil. (great! no eraser like I thought I was going to get!) "Mind games" I think to myself. So the questions begin and all I can remember are very SAT types of questions and questions about the company that I probably answer wrong.
the tiny pencil.... :-)

But the last question was "what is clarity?" Instantly I know how they are wanting me to answer. I am suddenly sure that I will answer this very important question differently than they are wanting me too. This company tried to control me. There were "right" things and "wrong" things. And things "you really shouldn't do". Up yours, company X!! So I began to write with my tiny pencil what Clarity means to me.....

As I wrote, I began writing with such power and fervor....the paint on the test board started to come off (...testing boards...not!)

I wrote "Clarity is when you become aware on a level that everything comes to you in an instant. Time is suddenly non-existent. Because Clarity doesn't exist in realms of time or space. Clarity can only be achieved through stillness and is a gift from the Divine"

As I was finishing up and putting the period on my sentence I woke up. I am sure I failed that test with that company. But I passed on so many other levels. The most important One.

I am so laughing at how vivid and real the dream was. I hope you enjoyed this peek into my subconscious .... :-D

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Primitive Portraits

I'm so thrilled to announce a new class offering, called Primitive Portraits!

Primitive Portraits is all about getting back to the basics of painting faces. Deciding to leave your work a bit raw, simple, and undone is refreshing and exercises the muscle of restraint. I have found through art making that doing less really is the secret. But also, doing less is tougher than you would think. We want to keep working and tidy up the face/painting. It feels good sometimes to busy ourselves and overwork a painting. Come join me as we discover the raw, simple side of ourselves that says it's ok to let it speak for itself. 

and then click on the "join group" button

I truly feel life imitates this area in art. Deciding to come just as you are… enough….matter-of-fact…'s the most beautiful part of you. The real you.
Class begins March 31.
The class will be structured like this:
Each Monday I'll post a new exercise video for you to watch and have time to create.
There are 5 exercises and I'll be posting 5 mondays beginning March 31.
$49 early registration through March 24th
Regular registration begins March 25th - $59
You will receive 1 year access to the classroom