Sunday, December 6, 2015

A Casualty.


To most people, breaking a bulb at Christmas is part of the process.
However, this was no ordinary bulb. I have posted this particular Christmas bulb before...
It's Donald Duck.
Well, it WAS Donald Duck, 55 years ago. His pale yellow, sponge beak dissolved many, 
many years ago, leaving a strange orange line across his face. 
Every year, this bulb has been placed front and center on our Christmas tree. 
Donald had survived so many Christmas's, with young boy's rough hands, many different storage boxes, several very rambunctious dogs, one terrifyingly, mean kitty 
and a spray tree "flocking" that went terribly wrong.

I loved this bulb.

It was Christmas. 
Christmas Past, Christmas Present, Christmas Future.

A sad day.


The above photo was of a blog post from 2012.
He was still hanging proud ~ in all his "semi glory".

Think I can get this old "Humpty Dumpty" back together again??

xo
k


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Christmas has started.



or also known as 

Rum, and eggnog~ one of my Christmas traditions.

We've gone through some incredibly painful Christmas's. With time, things are getting better. 
They're still hard but I see where they ARE getting better. 
In fact, we just had a really, really sweet Thanksgiving.
   One difficulty I have is decorating the house for Christmas. So many memories...

  Then a few years ago I discovered Rum and Eggnog. I'm not a big drinker, 
however one day a year I break out the R&E and I celebrate the holiday. 
I'm alone for most of the decorating, and I'm totally ok with this. 
I actually like it. 
It's a lot of work, decorating a house, but I really want to keep the spirit of Christmas going.
I've begun looking forward to this day, of pulling out box after box of holiday cheer.
It takes several days to finish it all.
Healing of the heart takes a really long time. 
We love, work, cope, grow, celebrate, and continue living. 
Life is good.
Somedays require a little rum and eggnog.

Happy start of the Christmas holidays.
xo
karen




Sunday, November 22, 2015




Inspired by Ryan Fowler

This week, I bought my husband a Ryan Fowler birthday card.  He does animals, but in a very block color, almost a stencil way.  My husband loved it. He asked it I could paint it for him. Not wanting to copy, I came up with this bear. 
My husband liked him, 
but not as much as the Ryan Fowler...


Today was another really stormy day. It became so dark at one point that the light from the window wasn't anywhere light enough and I had to turn on my $25.00 (reworked, repainted) chandelier. 
That's my head on the bottom right, working by candle light...
Ok, so it wasn't candle light, but it was really dark!


Super nice weekend. 
Thanks for stopping by!
xo
k


Sunday, November 15, 2015

3 ANGELS


I've had the past ten days off from Starbucks, as our store under goes a renovation. 
 I spent the last two of the ten,  painting. 
Sometimes your time off doesn't go as planned, however,
 in hindsight, it has been a marvelous stay~ cation. 
I wouldn't have changed a thing.

Yesterday and today was perfect painting weather. The dark, windy and rainy day made the perfect backdrop for hunkering down in the studio. No desire to go anywhere. 
Besides it was way too stormy to venture out! 

So I've been finishing my Three angels.

 I named them "Dreams", "Wonder" and "Journey". 


I repainted the "Dreams" face, four times. In the light, you can see where her eyes 
were in different places and different sizes, all over her face!
 I'm happier now, however I feel she's not.
So she is named "Dreams" because she looks a little dreamy...
Or maybe a little drugged, I'm not sure. But like I said a few weeks ago, this series is kinda like "Angels Gone Wild". 



"Wonder" looks more "Pensive" than "Wonder". She's missing a frown line between her brows. 
She is my husbands favorite!



"Journey" was the first one finished a few weeks ago and today I added the words and the butterflies.


Next project is a rabbit. 
:)
xo
k

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Living a creative life.


Sometimes someone knows you. Knows you well.
My friend sent me a gift in the mail this week. I just finished the audio book and loved it.
I enjoy everything that Elizabeth Gilbert writes and she did a really good job on her latest book, 
"Big Magic".  
It's about living a creative life, a magical life, a life enchanted.
My friend knows that this would become one of my favorites. I've already began underling paragraphs and writing in the margins.
Thank you my dear friend!
You can find her and her wonderful creative self on Facebook under
Backstreet Arts.


Speaking of being creative, my buddies came over this week and we painted.
This is Gagy (a.k.a. Grandma) and the sweet painting she made for her grand daughter.


Such a sweet piece! I'm so proud of you Kim (Gagi) 
for making art and living a creative and magical life!!!


xo
me

Sunday, October 25, 2015


The Ability To Appreciate My Own Joy




Today I listened on my IPod, to Elizabeth Gilbert's new book called Big Magic.
I started the book at 7:45 and listened till 3:00, and the end of the book came about. 
It was wonderful and I highly recommend it. Elizabeth Gilbert is also the narrator. 
 It was perfect because I enjoyed her voice as well as the content. "The ability to appreciate my joy" is just one of the many comments that resonated within me. 


The photo above was taken this morning. You can see my ear buds ~ as I was inspired by her writings.
I have now read 3 of her books, Eat, Pray Love, The Signature of All Things, and Big Magic.
I give her double thumbs up. Big Magic is a self help, and 
I need help, 
especially in encouragement with continuing with my painting.


The angel above is part of 3 paintings. I will paint over it soon. I hate the idea of wasting a canvas and I got what I needed out of the painting. 
She looks like an alien. (grin) Serious here! It's alright to think it!
I was painting from a doll photo on Pinterest. Her eyes in the photo, 
were also exaggerated and I wanted to give it a try.

If I won't hang it on the walls of my own home, then I will most likely paint over it. 
Currently I have one (yes ONE) painting on the walls of my home. 

OK, OK, I know, 
I need to reread much of Big Magic.

It's ok!!! As the book says, we create because we need to.

"That's what I decided to do. I decided to just go make stuff."

Thank you Elizabeth, my new best friend.

Happy Sunday evening.
xo
k

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Flying With Paper Wings



Flying With Paper Wings.



 Alright, she is almost done. However, those that know me know, I will overwork this to death. 
The same way I will over think something. It will go on and on and on. 
Then on and on some more...


I DO like the background. 
SCORE!!!!


The above photo shows her with a VERY LONG nose. Actually,   it resembles mine.  :)
Seriously.  (I'm serious here.)
My nose is my grandmother's and my sister Rudi also has a similar nose. Her face also seemed long.
So I shortened the entire face, the nose is shorter, the lips are higher, and the chin was raised almost an inch.


I think, her look now,  is much more feminine. 
I'm thinking here ~ how SWEET it would be to be able to "alter" ourselves in such an easy manner.
I'd certainly shorten my nose, take out the bump on the bridge and erase all my wrinkles!  



This is  the canvas for my next angel. 
My angels are all a little dark. They seem a bit grungy or maybe drug addicted...
It's just I feel that life, is often dark or grungy. So my angels are not pristine.
The real world is not perfect, nor is my art.
Maybe I'll call this series "Angels Gone Wild".
or maybe not...

Looking forward to painting tomorrow.
Please friends, go have some fun. Paint, write, sew, compose, whatever... just create.
Spend some time doing something you've wanted to do for a long time.
Lock yourself up in a quiet space and DO IT!
Something for you.

You will be happy you did.
xo
k





Sunday, October 4, 2015

Rainy Sundays


Rainy Sundays


A beautiful rainy afternoon view from the upstairs studio.

However...
I hate Sunday evenings. Sunday evening means tomorrow I have to go back to work and I'm NOT ready. I did, paint on Saturday and today. Yeay!!!! I put aside almost all the housework, with the exception of the absolute necessary stuff. Then I got down to the fun part of my weekend, journaling, sketching, watching movies, painting...


I'm working on the background of an new angel painting.


It's a rainy afternoon and I have a cup of coffee. 
My TV is turned to the 'Turner Classics' channel 
and I'm watching Betti Davis in 
"Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte".


I've started a new angel painting. I'm pretty happy with the background.  
I'm going to try and work on it during week, not just over the weekend. 
Best laid plans...
More later.
xoxo
k

Saturday, September 26, 2015

I think I may move to North Carolina.


This is what I woke up to last Friday morning.
Our friend Charlene turned 60 years old and the Yaya's went to her (and her sweet husbands) cabin in Boone North Carolina. I've always like N.C., but now I am in LOVE. It helps that her home in the mountains is so welcoming, beautiful and perfectly situated, high in the mountains. But more than that, it was located close to some of the most wonderful restaurants, shopping and sightseeing. 


The local art in the stores were right up my alley. 
I'm a country girl at heart and I love all the funky and folk art, style.


Love the  crystal decorations in this little cool boutique in Blowing Rock, N.C.


Sorry, but you can't put pumpkins on your porch in Fort Lauderdale in September OR October. They rot within 3 days. Here they stay out for the entire month! ANOTHER reason that N.C. ROCKS!!!


Did I mention we went to a winery??? Oh yeah. A little closer to Banner Elk was a winery called "Grandfather Winery". It's small, but lovely! 
On Sundays they have a great Blues Band, that plays all afternoon.

 

My girls. Love them all ~ with all my heart.


The back yard. 
Before they bought this property, people used to hang glide off this cliff that's in their back yard.
That is a straight drop off beyond those bushes.


Fall is in the air. Evenings were mid 50's and during the day it was in the low 70's'


A view from "Bruno's Path". (Bruno was a favorite and very special dog.) This view is what you saw just feet from their back porch. Oh yeah,  I could get use to this.  :)


Here we all are, just moments before leaving for the airport, minus the mustaches!
Such a wonderful and sweet group, that could never be replaced.

I love you all, so much.

Charlene, thank you for an amazing 5 days in your wonderful home.
Happy Birthday, dear friend!

xo
karen 

Crows in Conversation



I found a  new set of angel wings in North Carolina. They were $12.99 and are around 12 inches. The paint brushes are my mom's.  Now, I have this little piece of my mom in my art studio and it reminds me of her daily.  Her knees are really bad ~ now a days, but she still painfully drags herself up the stairs, to sit with me while I paint.



I love her, and I love this little piece of her that I can keep close, 
even when she is not in town.


This is my latest painting I've been working on this weekend. 


Crows in Conversation. 
It felt like any group talking, gossiping, conversing. Some crows are in the middle of it, some just close enough to hear what's going on,  some trying to become a part, 
one on the outside trying to hear...

I'm not wanting to return to work. I want to paint all day :)
xo
ksren






Sunday, September 13, 2015

Two crows and a rabbit.


A rabbit.


I'm trying to learn to paint "looser". All of my work is what is called "tight".
I've always made my lines crisp and clean and precise.  
However, my desire is to paint in a relaxed style.
  
I'm learning that there is nothing relaxing about it.

I'm very, very tense while painting in this loose style.
The rabbit above is the closest I've come.


Two crows.
I suppose these guys are a combo of tight and loose. A least the background feels a little relaxed, however the crows have my usual sharper lines.
I'm feeling rather frustrated this week.
Maybe I'm not meant to paint in this new style.
Back to the drawing board or the painting room or painting board ~ or what ever.
I'm stressing just thinking about it.
Not a good way to start the loose, relaxed style.
xo
k

Monday, September 7, 2015

Wynwood art

In Miami there is a wonderful place called Wynwood.  It is some of the best Graffitti art you will ever see. I mean seriously beautiful art. It's all painted with spray cans! My friends and I visited last Friday night. The area is kinda sketchy, a poorer area of Miami, however because of the concept of bringing wonderful paintings into the streets, the area is becoming popular. There are restaurants now, and nice bars and boutiques. Just a short time ago, this area was seriously depressed. Now we felt very safe and (not at any point) concerned for our safety.



The art is very diversified as shown above (Me with my BFF Kim) in contrast to 
the wall shown below.


You can look it up at www.wynwoodmiami.com


Too many photos to post, here is just a few of my favorites.
Check it out when in Miami.



xoxo
karen

Sunday, August 23, 2015

What do you mean tomorrow is Monday?


"What do you mean tomorrow is Monday?"




I was talking to a friend of mine today and she told me to call her tomorrow, after work. I replied "I don't work Sundays." She then informed me that tomorrow is Monday. 

Crap.

More and more, I don't want to go into my favorite job of working at Starbucks. It really is a wonderful job, my hours are great and the benefits are fantastic. 
However,
I WANT to learn to paint. 
Just as I'm making progress with a new technique or feel like I'm getting a SLIGHT handle on this frustrating (hobby, past time, stress reliever, passion, therapy, bliss, dream...) obsession (?)  I have to go back to work. That is where I lose my momentum. Getting up in the mornings at 3:45 AM, working until 11:00 (ish),  going to the gym, food planning or shopping, then getting home exhausted only to try and ... what? paint?  Not happening folks! 

On Thursday afternoons I start to get excited. "I have the next THREE days off!!!" I exclaim! 
"I can paint and paint and paint!"

Then life happens again. The house needs to be cleaned, laundry needs washing, the yard worked, catch up on sleep, etc. All of this gets in the way. Playing "catch up" from the past 4 days at work, now seeps in. I really don't start painting until late on Saturdays and half day Sunday.

I always said if I won the lottery I'd keep working.
I've decided when I finally win, I'm not going to after all.
Goodbye work week, hello fun.

Happy Monday everyone!
xo
karen


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Seven months, really?


Hard to believe it's almost 7 months since I last posted. I feel like it has been about that long since I (seriously) painted anything!  By "seriously" I mean 'used a canvas'. I've actually been steady with the creative side, still working in two journals, but the commitment to painting on canvas has really been a struggle.

 I'm back baby. 
:)

I like the above crow, however the bottom half bothers me. It's too dark ~ AGAIN. 
It's too dark because I had to keep painting (and repainting) it. 
LOL! I was going for translucent! 
The paper's underlying the paint were beautiful...

I was gifted a vacation from my mom. Those of you that know Kay, know she is the most wonderful mom ever. She took me, my sisters and herself to Europe. We were joined by her new husband Bob and his daughter (my NEW sister) Pam.  Pam and I went first to Paris.

WHAT???
Oh yeah! Oh yeah! 
(me dancing and fist bumping)

I figured I would never get back to Europe (considering $$$ and my husbands dislike of travel) so I took advantage of the time and spent and additional five days in Paris. It was the best EVER. One of my favorite parts was a side trip to a Paris flea market. I bought 14 very old french books. The average price was $4.00. My paintings now include a little bit of Paris.

So did the one above, except now you can't see it because of the painting and repainting. Then painting again. 

Good to be back.
xo
karen