Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Latest Painting and Exhibition!

My latest painting consisted of many firsts. Despite my close proximity to the ocean, this was my first and only time painting it. This was also my first time trying to paint with a palette knife. Lastly, it was my first time entering and being accepted into a professional exhibition. I have participated in school/alumni based shows in the past, but somehow this one felt more 'official' since I didn't know any of the judges or participants.

The theme of this exhibition was simply "Landscapes 2012".  As the gallery was specifically looking for Florida based landscapes this sort of narrowed things down for me a bit. I realized that I would have to paint something specifically for this show as I don't really have any Florida based landscapes that I've already painted. (Yes I do recognize the irony in this since I've lived here most of my life.) I just tend to find inspiration more easily in other locations, specifically North Carolina, but also Oregon, England, France, etc. As I began to peruse local artist hangouts for inspiration I inevitably came to the ocean and began to take lots of photographs. I took some pictures of the beaches, and the people and the vegetation and it wasn't really until I took everything home that I realized that I had taken more pictures of the people than anything else. Clearly, Florida landscapes (by themselves) weren't as interesting to me as the Florida landscape used as a background to the people who enjoy them.  Once I came to this realization, creating the painting itself came much easier.

                           My Florida "backdrop" in it's early stages.

                         Making waves with a palette knife.

                       Adding in some of the 'main characters'

12" x 24" Acrylic on Canvas
My painting "Conversations" is on exhibit at the Lighthouse Art Gallery in Tequesta, FL from now through Jan. 4th, 2013.
I'm working on many new things right now and will be sharing them with you very soon! Have a wonderful week!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Laws of Attraction

Move over James Bond, you're blocking my view of Q! That's right. That intelligent, quick-witted, earl grey drinking, art loving, computer geek makes my heart race.
    Just to be clear, I'm talking about this Q (played by Ben Whishaw)

  Not this Q (played by Desmond Llewelyn, who was BRILLIANT. Just not hot...)

One of my dearest friends often uses expressions like "He can leave his boots under my bed anyday" and "I wouldn't kick him out of my bed for eating crackers". All of those pertain to Q, while Bond would be promptly turned out on his ear.

               Get out of my bed you cracker eating slob!

Many of you are probably staring at the computer screen with a marked look of bewilderment. Is she nuts?!! How could she NOT throw herself into James Bond's arms? Or Daniel Craig's, for that matter? Well, he just doesn't do anything for me. Perhaps in real life things would be different as I have heard that Daniel Craig is a very kind and charming man, but James Bond just doesn't make the cut. This creates a slight problem for me when  I am watching these movies as I can never understand what all of these women see in him!

In the midst of my drooling over Q, I began to wonder about attraction. What causes us to be attracted to others? We obviously aren't seeing movie stars or the characters that they portray in person so pheromones can't always be the cause.

They say that Helen of Troy had the face that launched 1,000 ships, but for all of those that found her attractive there were probably quite a few people who couldn't figure out what all of the fuss was about. Some people may have even found her to be downright unattractive.

           Helen of Troy by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

As a society, we have our stereotypes of beauty (thin, big lips, eyes a certain width apart, etc), but the reality is that beauty really and truly IS in the eye of the beholder. I think that this is a pretty important revelation. (especially for our teenagers) For every person that finds you unattractive or plain, there will be someone out there who thinks that you're perfect.

I have read quite a few studies on why we are attracted to certain types of people. While there are many different theories, it seems to me that basically no one really knows why we are attracted to certain types of people and not to others. For some it's based on looks while others it's based more on  personality. For some people attraction is instantaneous and for others it comes after knowing the person for awhile.

If any of you enjoy science like I do, you are welcome to check out some of the studies that I have read.

So what odd crushes have you had? Is there anyone that society has deemed to be the epitome of good looks that has you baffled?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

You Stink Sandy!

My thoughts and prayers have been constantly aimed towards the northeast for over the past 24 hours. So many of my friends are being affected by Hurricane Sandy AKA Frankenstorm's wrath. It's a devastating storm and I cringe in fear at what horrors the next few days will unearth. The deaths and the destruction.
Many people think that I'm used to these storms because I live in Florida, but the truth is that you can never get used to them. It's true that Floridians are less likely to panic over a Cat 1 storm, but in the end, it creates the same sort of fear and trepidation in our hearts. Every storm brings with it the possibility of disaster. A storm that was supposed to be nothing more than a day of rain and wind with minimal flooding can all of a sudden stall and create days of severe flooding and power outages with a rising death toll. It's true that our homes are stocked with water, batteries, flashlights and canned foods at all times, but what good will this do you if the storm contains tornadoes that rip the roof off your home?

If God is good and you make it through the storm unharmed with minimal damage to your home, then you still have sometimes weeks of 'roughing it' with no power. In the north, this means covering yourselves with warm blankets. In Florida it usually means trying to battle the heat and mosquitoes. It's hard to keep your spirits up during these times. However, it's in times like these that the most amazing thing happens. Without the distractions of technology. Without the TV, internet, cell phones, etc we are forced to actually socialize face to face. Suddenly our neighbors, who were strangers up till then, are coming out to offer assistance. Suddenly entire neighborhoods are bringing their thawing food to the one neighbor with a working grill and having cookouts. Suddenly you remember what it's like to be a community and you remember how amazing and wonderful people can be.

So in the end, as with all tragedies, something beautiful somehow manages to emerge.

Many many prayers for those who have already lost loved ones in this storm and many many prayers for those who will be suffering in the aftermath.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Vacations and Root Canals

I'll bet you've been wondering where I've been all this time haven't you?
If you haven't been, then lets just pretend that you have been...

I was blessed this year to be able to take three weeks off of work to spend some time in North Carolina with my family. My little niece, Coralie, is two and a half years old and I was able to spend over a week of that time with her. I just love that kid so much!

                                                  Storytime with Aunt "Bocky"

The mountains have always seemed like a second home to me and it was wonderful having the time to reflect on my life and to recharge my inspiration battery.

Upon my return I promptly began the process of having some much needed dental work done. This has quickly become worse than my worst nightmare. So far, in about 5 weeks or less,  I have had three root canals. Inbetween these root canals I have had a variety of painful toothaches that were started after my dentist began crown work. The latest root canal was finished about 8 hrs ago. Despite this physical and emotional ordeal, (I hate and fear dentists with a passion) I have been busy working on several projects. Some pieces are inspired by my recent trip and some are from my imagination. I've also been hard at work creating jewelry components for some upcoming art shows that I'll be attending.

'Misty Mountain'  8x10

Sketch of Coralie in my sketchbook for an upcoming painting

Sketch of two ocean sirens for an upcoming painting

                                        Some fall inspired jewelry components

I only have one more crown that needs to be done. Therefore there is only one more possible root canal that I might have to have. Once all of this is over I should have a lot more time and energy for posting on here. I'm also looking forward to working on some new videos for my youtube channel.

Hope that you have all been well! Have any of you ever had a nightmare dental experience?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Latest Painting and Hooray for Summer!

Summer is here and that means that I can FINALLY start to focus much more on my art! Every year for about six months our "season" is in full swing. This means that I am working full-time at my day job and am usually so exhausted that I rarely have enough energy to work full-time on my art. My creative energy is usually spent working on commissioned pieces for Christmas, Valentine's Day, etc..  During the summer months things slow down, shifts are cut and I begin to work on my art full-time instead of my day job. This season was particularly hard as I spent a lot  of my time working with a physical therapist on my neck after my accident this past December.
The first order of business? To finally finish my painting of Autumn in my Four Seasons series!

This was the color study that I did for her early on...

And here she is finished....

acrylic on panel
6 x 6

        She's surrounded by mums, chinese lantern flowers and a colorful bounty of fall leaves.
              I love all of the colors and textures in this one!

I have the sketch done for Winter so I should be completing her pretty soon as well.

If you would like to see Summer from this series, click here.
If you would like to see Spring from this series, click here.

Art Prints of Autumn are available here.

Stay tuned to see Winter and have a wonderful week everyone!!


Monday, May 7, 2012

The Journey of a Photoshoot

I mentioned in a past blog post that I had been hired to do costumes for a photoshoot in L.A. Well that project is finally finished and I wanted to share that experience with you.

My director, Drew Bates of Unique Publications LLC, wanted something reminescent of the 1950s. (Not necessarily historically accurate but inspired by this time period) He mentioned Katy Perry as a possible celebrity to grab inspiration from. The words that were bandied about during our initial conversation were flirty, fun, slightly innocent but still sexy. Taking all of these things in mind I developed an idea of what I thought would work best in terms of style or silhouette, pattern, color, etc. Drew had chosen a kitchen location for the shoot that had quite a bit of color in it.

 He had also created some brightly colored 'products' that our model, Camille, would be holding.

Also Camille, our model, was going to be dying her hair a bright red for the shoot. Seeing how much color would be in the scene I chose to go with minimal color for my costume choices. I directed my focus more on getting the right silhouette and to find pieces in fun patterns .

I was so excited when I came across this apron!

 It was absolutely perfect for what I had in mind and I felt as if it had been created just for this shoot. Once the apron was purchased I let it inspire me for the dress that Camille would wear underneath. Seeing the fun stripes in the apron, I decided to contrast those with some polka dots. My finished choice was this.

To bring in some of the fun colors of the scene and especially the products that Camille would be modeling with, I found some fun vintage bracelets to use as accents and tied in the bright yellow from her bracelet with a bright yellow petticoat to add the full skirt that was so common in the 1950s.

The end result is this.

 Everyone did such an amazing job with this photo shoot and I am just so honored to have been a part of it!

Take a minute to check out Drew Bate's new and improved website.

As you know, I always try to support my fellow handmade artists whenever possible so several products for this shoot were bought from etsy shops.
To find your own fun retro apron, go here.
To find fun bold bracelets, go here.

Thanks for reading and I hope that everyone has a wonderful day!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Jewelry for Easter

For Lent this year I have vowed to watch less TV and spend more time praying, purging my house of material goods (it's a crowded mess!) and creating. It only seemed natural to spend time creating Easter inspired jewelry too. I have, of course, created some more secular pieces such as my Easter Bunny illustrations, but I have also created some new cross necklaces.

I have to say that my favorites from my Easter line are the eggs. They were inspired by Fabrege eggs and are super fun!

While I definitely find myself regressing to older bad habits, I do find myself creating a lot more since Lent began so that's a very good thing.

Are you celebrating Lent? If so, what did you give up this year?

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Easter Bunny is On It's Way!

In preparation for Easter I have created a couple of whimsical Easter Bunny illustrations. For these illustrations I spent a lot of time reminescing about how I used to feel about Easter when I was a child and what my the Easter Bunny used to look like in my head. In the end, I came up with these.

I feel pretty happy with the end result and think that they were pretty successful because I get a small jolt of recognition when I look at these illustrations. Certainly nothing as big as when I was a child though. Oh if only we could have that ability to believe unfalteringly and to get so excited about things! When we're a child we can't wait till we grow up, but once we're an adult we wish that we could be a child again. Ah the ironies of life!

My Easter Bunny illustrations are available on a variety of merchandise including postage stamps, notecards, stickers and grocery totes at zazzle.com

Check it out and put a smile on someone else's face this Easter season!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Crown for a Faerie Queen

It's always a disappointment when plans falls through.  I had made plans to attend this year's Renaissance Festival. Got a costume together, paid to have my dress taken in by a professional seamstress, created makeup, a headpiece, etc. In then end my plans were derailed.

Since I couldn't wear my costume to the fair, I decided to do a photo shoot with the costume on so that I could at least wear it a brief time.
Here are some photos from that shoot.

I also created a video showing how my headpiece was created.

One of my friends, who is a photographer,  saw my photos and has asked me to be a model for a fairytale inspired photoshoot. I guess that I'll get to wear my costume for a bit afterall!

Do you like to dress up for Halloween, Renaissance fairs or costume parties? If so, what was your favorite costume that you've ever worn?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Spreading the Love to other Artists

I have always believed that if I want others to buy my art, then I need to buy others' art. I recently made a few purchases, AKA investments. The first was a commissioned piece by German artist, Luisa Kelle.I am a fan of her artwork as it is quite reminescent of Edmund Dulac and Arthur Rackham. (two of my favorite illustrators) I asked her if she could do an art deco inspired Titania from Midsummer Night's Dream. This has always been one of my all-time favorite Shakespearean plays and I myself have done many pieces inspired by it. She was very excited with this concept and this was her end result.
Isn't it lovely? The traditionalist in me is a bit saddened by the lack of wings on Titania but it's still lovely nonetheless. You can't really see it in this picture but there are even gold accents throughout it. Just love it! To see more of her whimsical artwork check out her deviantart site

I also recently purchased a piece entitled "Primroses" by the Spanish artist, June Uriagereka. I love the style of her women and fell in love with the innocent and magical feel of this small piece. It's had painted on a small piece of polished wood and is just breathtaking!

For more of her fanciful work, check out her etsy store.
As for my personal work I have been quite busy creating some images to use for Easter related cards as well as some Easter jewelry. I'll be sharing all of that with you soon!

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Christmas is over, Time for Valentine's Day

Well for the first time since I opened my etsy shop, I am finally starting to think like a retailer. Part of me feels proud and part of me feels disgusted. We've barely finished up Christmas and New Years and here I am already creating Valentine's Day jewelry! I've never been a huge fan of Valentine's Day. To read the first blog post I ever wrote (ironically about Valentine's Day) go here. http://rebeccahadley.blogspot.com/2010/02/happy-singles-awareness-day.html
It's a made up 'holiday' that allows companies to overcharge for anything "love" related. I know that others really love it though, so I have been creating some fun love related jewelry. Luckily they won't be overpriced. :)

This is just my first round of styles. I have a few more pieces that I'll be sharing a little bit later on once they're finished.

"Love's First Blush" Earrings

"Hearts of Gold" Earrings

"Be Still My Heart" Earrings

I should be able to get these listed in my etsy shop www.jewelsofenchantment.etsy.com tomorrow so stay tuned!

If you are an artist or artisan, have you begun to work on Valentine's Day related items as well?

Hope that you've enjoyed this preview and that you have a wonderful week!
Sending you lots of free love,

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Artybra from Start to Finish

I recently completed a piece for a local exhibition entitled "Artybra". Artists were asked to create a bra that will be auctioned off. The proceeds benefit the local breast cancer center here. I decided to create a Midsummer Night's Dream themed bra. My first task was to find a bra that wouldn't break the bank. (Thank you Walmart for you inexpensive $6 two packs!) Next I did some concept sketches and eventually decided upon this one.

Next I began to paint directly onto the bra with acrylics. This was a bit of a tricky task as the microfiber that the bra was made of tended to absorb a lot of the color that was being applied. Layering seemed to work best...
Next I cut out an assortment of leaves and flowers in various sizes out of felt. (I already had felt on hand and it's fairly inexpensive. This is why I chose to use this particular material.)

After that I began placing the leaves and flowers on the bra and sewing them in place.
One of my favorite little details was the little leaves and flowers in the back at the clasp. Even though this bra is meant to be a work of art and therefore not worn, I felt that the little details like this are what makes it special.  
After I added vines, leaves and flowers to the hanger, the piece was finished!

I really like the finished piece and can't wait to see how much the gallery earns in the fight to end breast cancer. I dedicated my bra to my best friend's mother who has been battling breast cancer for over a year. She is truly an inspiration to me and I hope that in my own small way this piece will help her and others like her. Wishing all of you a very blessing filled week! Remember to live each and every day to your fullest.