Passions of an Odd Chick

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Collaborative Art

This is a journal piece I did recently experimenting with background, color and design. I had some wonderful little ATCs that Kimmie from Art In Red Wagons had sent me in 2009 and I thought it made it more interesting to lay them on top and possibly develop the idea later with a design of some ATcs (of my own), on canvas. It felt for a minute like I was collaborating with her on an art piece which would be so awesome.

Do you ever think about that? I love collaborative art. I tried to do it with my 5 year grandson, Cash. He was to make a mark and then I could make a mark. He was not happy about me changing what was already pre-determined in his little head, but we'll keep trying.

It has been fun to share some of my paintings and ideas with my daughter as she designs her web-site. (get ready for the big announcement). I feel invested in her adventure- two heads on creative crack make for some wild, fun, crazy stuff.

Next month I was invited to my art guild to share my inspirations and motivations for art journaling. It's something I find easy to talk about and share but I'm still a little intimidated by a big group setting. But simply sharing my journals, my favorite art supplies, my inspiration sounds like fun- who knows- I might really ignite someones creative fires and they go on to make awesome beautiful art that in turn inspires me to my best art.

Don't you think this blogland feels like collaborative art sometimes. But wouldn't it be fun to really share the page, paper, canvas. I have a handmade journal that I could send around. And then we could donate it for a fund-raiser for some great cause that we agreed upon. If anyone is interested, please e-mail me at - on the subject line add: art journal.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

This will probably be my last post of 2010 as I'm taking a slight vacation from all things computer.
I thought I would take you on a tour of my home and show you how Sweet Farmer and I decorate for Christmas in New Mexico. Nothing elaborate, just simple and fun family stuff. 

Penguin family in a winter wonderfland on top of entertainment center.
 I just want to thank everyone who has stopped by my blog and commented throughout the year. I can't even express what your encouragement has meant to me as far as furthering my art exploration. You all continue to astound and amaze me with your own creativity. Your blogs fill such a great need in me - to renew my spirit with the beauty that I hunger for from art and creative hands.
This is a favorite wall quilt I made several years ago.

This beauty is a intricate cross-stitch that my mom did for Sweet Farmer and I.

This is a scherenschnitte which was a passion of mine several years back. I never got really good at it but I love the simplicity of this one anyway.

This folk art snowman sits on my piano along with my favorite old photograph of my two children when they were very little.

I truly wish for each of you a wonderful holiday season -safe and blessed
and a fresh spirit of JOY
to take you into the New Year.
Remember to LOVE beyond yourself, even beyond anyone or anything brought into your life that is breaking you. We may never be able to change our circumstances or the people who have wounded or crushed us but we always touch the heart of God when we show MERCY,
act justly and walk humbly. (Micah 6:8)
Until next year my friends....

Sunday, December 12, 2010


journal, acrylic

You want to know a secret?
I think I'm afraid of canvas. And Oils. And Permanence.
Paper is safer. Paper is thin, cheaper and can be tucked under your bed, slid behind your bookshelf, torn-up, unnoticed, unverified, closed up in your journal.
CanVAS. OILS!! oMG! So expensive, a "real" painting, lasting decades. Someone might grab it up and say, "Hang it here", or "I want this one"... or what is this back here, under here??
And then every little mistake - your crooked eye, your disproportionate hand, you strange color palettes, your missed mark, your held breath,  will be there for everyone to see, to point out, to make a mountain out of..... 
The perfectionist must meet the randomness of your creativity. Not a good couple. They fight all the time.
Someone might have a great expectation if you got an easel out and a canvas and spent weeks on a painting... and it still didn't measure up.
Michele Cassou says: "The Dragon of Control has many faces; don't let it fool you with cleverly disguised arguments."
                         I say:
Never trust your secret face. 
It's a secret for a reason. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

This is truly one of my favorite quotes in all of QuoteLand.  I found it beautifully calligraphied by a dear artist in Cloudcroft and it hangs in a place where I read it at least once a day.
Have you ever been loved like that?
The bigger question is (I ask myself everyday):

                          Have we loved like that?


Monday, December 6, 2010

I heart Herons

      Some Herons by Mary Oliver

A blue preacher
flew toward the swamp,
in slow motion.

On the leafy banks,
an old Chinese poet,
hunched in the white gown of his wings,
was waiting.
The water was the kind of dark silk
that has silver lines
shot through it
when it is touched by the wind
or is splashed upward,
in a small, quick flower,
by the life beneath it.

The preacher
made his difficult landing,
his skirts up around his knees.

The poet's eyes
flared, just as a poet's eyes
are said to do
when the poet is awakened
from the forest of meditation.
It was summer.

It was only a few moments past the sun's rising,
which meant that the whole long sweet day
lay before them.
They greeted each other,
rumpling their gowns for an instant,
and then smoothing them.

They entered the water,
and instantly two more herons-
equally as beautiful-
joined them and stood just beneath them
in the black, polished water
where they fished, all day.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Wildest Dreams

There is not much time for long sketches and drawings or paintings but my art journal is always handy for lap painting and dreaming. Though this piece is small, it is greatly symbolic to me in my heart of hearts.
In my wildest dreams:
   * I wanted a great love and a best friend 
   * I wanted a beautiful, loving family - children & grandchildren
   * I wanted a strong body and a curious mind
   * I wanted a home on a hill, where I could watch trees grow and have flower beds that came up from my own planted seeds, that I could lovingly decorate with holiday decorations and invite friends and family to enjoy
   * I wanted a work that I enjoyed and looked forward to when I woke up in the morning
    * I wanted a real and living faith
    * I wanted many dear friends that laugh with you and cry with you
   * I wanted to create art and paintings that would add beauty to my home and to the hearts of others
   * I wanted to travel

All this has ALL come true for me. It makes me cry to realize it. Should I dream wilder dreams when all my dreams have come true? Should I hold on tight to this season of realized dreams and hopes? Should I feel guilt for those who haven't reached their dreams?
  I am content. Truly. In this place. In this time.
 And no matter what happens in my life in the years to come- I can always tell myself to be gracious and grateful  in what ever valley is ahead because there were years I lived my own wildest dreams.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Catching Up!

An art card I made this week for my friend.
My heart does swell with gratefulness reflecting on the last two weeks. You know the only reason I would leave my blog peeps is for my close family and friends. I spent one week getting ready for them, a week hosting them, and now I'll spend a few days recovering!

Gus & Cash on the big hay baler

This is what my dining room table looked like most of the holiday because Crazy Consuela (my daughter Joli) was here and she had an order for about 70 caps and we all pitched in to help her accomplish that feat. I got one of my Christmas presents early.

Crazy Consuela Cap for Mom
 Isn't it adorable?? You can have one too if you have a facebook account. Search for Crazy Consuela and become a fan and you can see her latest creations and order with her from PayPal. I'm so proud of her and her business is taking off like gang-busters! INCREDIBLE. I watched her walk into a cute boutique her in Roswell, NM and sell an order of 20 JUST LIKE THAT!

Crazy Consuela Caps ready to ship
Update on my art show at Tinnie's (Day of the Dead) I ended up selling 2 paintings after the show.
This one for $45.00. (she's 5 x 5)

and this one! She sold for $75.00! Which really blows me away (she's like 6x8)!- which makes my daughter mad every time I say it because she thinks I'm de-valuing my art by being so shocked. But really I'm just incredibly grateful that someone sees what I value in these pieces and are willing to pay for it! I learned that the show is only the beginning and not to give up just because you don't sell anything on the day of the show. And I also sold some of my pendants:
Also, good news about my friend, Teresa, who has breast cancer. She learned she has no lymph node involvement!! Yeah! If you want to write her and cheer her on I would be so grateful. Send mail to:
Oasis Of Healing
% Teresa Carey
210 No. Center, Suite 102
Mesa, AZ 85201

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Just Working On It.....

My creative soul is restless. It can't quite find its way. I'm trying to work on some sketches to finish up my 20 girl portraits. This one has possibilities- maybe a bird in the upper corner of the painting...
I thought you might enjoy seeing one of my girls that I made into a poster print and hung in my eclectic kitchen corner. She makes me smile even if she's mine.

This is a wall in my living room of a watercolor I did of my Sweet Farmer. His back side is as adorable as his front side. :)
This is another pic of some favorite Fall decorations and me trying to get a photograph out of my new fantastic camera and then messin with it at picnik.
I haven't quite got my photographer's shoes to fit but I won't quit until I do.
So today, I'm just enjoying my clean house and waiting for some real focus for my art.
I hope you're having a great Fall. We still have one more cutting of hay and some fields to plant - I am looking forward to some serious down time.
My friend had her first chemo treatment with no sickness, just fatigue - which we counted as a blessing. Thanks for all the well wishes.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Good News and Bad News

I have good news and bad news.
The good news is Colorado was spectacular. We were in lower southern Colorado and the views would give you goosebumps. I am going to use florescent paints  in landscapes to make them more realistic.
The good news is our friends had a beautiful and sweet wedding and we shared in all the goodness!
IF YOU ever have a chance you should definitely consider staying at Arbor House Inn in South Fork, Colorado. I have never stayed in a place where every guest had a perfect room, perfect food and not one single complaint. Laurie and Keith are fantastic hosts with very high standards and an exquisite eye for details and it's not expensive compared to the quality you receive!
The other good news is Sweet Farmer gave me a Canon Rebel SLR T1i EOS 500d!!   LOVING IT!!
The bad news is:
It did not instantly make me a better photographer!
That I lost some pics because I didn't know how to transfer them! UGH!

The other bad news is that they held the Day of Dead day at Tinnie's (while I was gone) where my paintings were shown on one wall and I only sold 3 of the little pendants, and NO paintings. There were 10 artists, and only 2 sold two small pottery items - no paintings! Lots of people came to socialize and eat gourmet chili- but no one was buying. That's really discouraging to me. But I know it's part of the ups and downs as an art journeyman.

The worst of the bad news is that one of my best friends has breast cancer and she leaves tomorrow for Arizona to begin treatments at a wellness center that promotes natural healing and a raw diet, with low dosage chemotherapy. She'll be gone 6 weeks. But I know she will be in good hands.

I'm needing some inspiration from my friends so I'll be visiting your blogs often and soon.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Few Mysteries

For the life of me, I don't know where this portrait came from in my head. I'm working with oil pastels, just practicing and this face began to emerge so I just went with it. I look at so many art books that I'm sure I was influenced by someone, I just can't remember who. I like the different affect, and I tried not to over paint it. He looks like a painter to me.
I've got two more girl faces to do to finish my 20 (a commitment I made to myself) but nothing comes so I just wait.
I did get to see my two favorite little faces this weekend.
Oh MY, not those, although my daughter tells me that they can be little stinkers- I've never seen it.
Photograph by Stacy Berry
I loved seeing my family and my grandsons.
When I got home, Sweet Farmer had a big surprise for me. I can't tell you now because I'm getting ready to go on a trip to Colorado but I'll let you know when I get back.
Here's a hint.

Can anybody guess?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Different Kind of Survivor

Warrior I
This is a little different, huh?
But last night as I was drawing in my journal I was thinking of men I knew that looked so traditional on the outside, but I wondered what their souls' portrait looked like? They have survived emotional and physical abuse, alone, because it wasn't cool to cry or tell. They carry the wounds and the pain alone. They are fighting for their lives from drugs or alcohol that they use to self-medicate. These hardships haven't made them mean, but wise and kind. They may have a haunted look in their eyes, but it is hard-earned wisdom if you look deep enough. They are rebels, but they are good men, with ravaged hearts and minds, but a spirit that fights to survive.

Everyone knows one of these men. Just because their outside looks like they don't need anyone - look closely. Let them know that they are warriors, heroes, and that you are glad they have survived, and that you will listen if they ever want to tell their story.

Do you know this warrior?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Good Season

5X5 block canvas, acrylic
Sweet Farmer and I will head for the mountains in Cloudcroft for an anniversary on 10-10-10. At 10:10 a.m., we will be having a champagne brunch at the Lodge at Cloudcroft. If you are ever in the area, it is a beautiful place with a 5star chef, and one of our favorite romantic spots. The aspens should be turning just about now and I hope to get some good pics as the above is just a study of what I would like to try on a very large canvas.

Farming is slowing down, thank goodness. And I look forward to the fall and winter when I can visit family and friends, paint in front of the fire, and drink my lovely variations of hot tea.

I'm in such a great place in my life, a good season. I sometimes feel so happy that I know anytime the shoe will drop and this beautiful, peaceful time will come crashing down. But there are so many that I hear from, that I pray for, that I cry with that are not in a happy place. In fact, it's tortuous and nerve-racking. And the solutions to their problems are not around the corner. And we know it and we accept it- but it still makes the going so difficult.

6x6 canvas, mixed-media

This one is for you. May you feel this little chubby, calm bird sit on your shoulder and let you know that there are people thinking about you and this season will pass in time.
I believe we will all go back to a garden and green hills will be in our vision for as far as we can see.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Whadda heck?

No, this is not one of my Day of the Dead pieces, this is a disgruntled turkey at the county fair.
Sweet Farmer wanted a date with his wife and since I'm that lucky girl, we took yesterday morning off and headed to the county fair right up the road. Yes, it is just as idyllic as you can picture it.
There are booths of cheap toys, greasy food smells, rickety rides, animal moos and ducks honking. Unique characters with tattoos and earrings chanting their sales pitch for simple but challenging games with cheesy rewards.  Really. I am not kiddin you.
And we love it. Sweet Farmer totally gets into what he calls "carni-food". It is guilt free eating for a day of artery challenging, comfort food.
We hold hands and check out all the local 4-H booths, extension clubs,  and children's art (one of my favorites).
We see old friends and little kids we love to watch, and try to buy them sweet lemonade and funnel cakes.
Sweet Farmer takes an old engine down every year. And this I totally don't get. People, especially old men and little boys will stand around this thing for hours and watch it go round and round and pop and ding and ring likes it's the biggest deal in the world. It's crazy. Try as I might, I have never figured out the fascination of it.
Every year they call him to bring it down and every year we cart it up there for smiles.

Sweet Farmer found some friends of ours and he just had to take them to the craft barn where I had entered some paintings that won some blue ribbons. They weren't nearly impressed as he was and it was a little embarrassing but so sweet to see him try to talk them into some mutual enthusiasm. Not everyone likes their goats yellow for pete's sake, darlin.
Yellow Goat

Do you love the county fair?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Losing Your Mojo

Journal sketch
I lost my mojo. It was days with nothing and terrible paintings and no, none, zippo, nada inspiration. I felt a little lost. But I painted anyway. Those MEAN critical voices that tell you you can't paint, that you know nothing about composition, color, that you have no originality, that your stuck, that your boring, etc. got loud and louder. But I painted anyway.

One of my fav art books is "The Art Spirit", the collected words by Robert Henri. He said,

Your education must be self-education. Self-education is an effort to free one's course so that a full growth my be attained. One need not be afraid of what this full growth may become. Give your throat a chance to sing its song. All the knowledge in the world to which you have access is yours to use. Give yourself plenty of canvas room, plenty of paint room. Don't bother with originality, set yourself just as free as you can and your originality will take care of you.It will be as much a surprise to you as to anyone else. Originality cannot be preconceived, and any effort to coddle it is to pre-conceive it, and thereby destroy it. Learn all you can, get all the information that is within your reach about the ways and means to paint.
And I was set free again of the VOICES. I found my joy in the process again.
I painted knowing that I might paint over it, that I might hate it, and that the only good thing I did that day was LEARN something more about paint and texture and color and composition.

And Life. Goodness sake. Even when we're making a mess, getting it wrong, bullied by the critics, nothing's jivin, no mojo anywhere around - it's still just one more day toward getting it right.

We're okay.

No. 18 She Speaks For Herself

No regrets.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Crazy Consuela

No. 17 She Speaks For Herself
 I'm still working on the final portraits (gallery showing in February) and on the Day of the Dead gallery showing on October 22nd. My daughter needed an image for her business cards and this one seemed perfect for Crazy Consuela.
5X5 gallery canvas
I'm lovin this little darlin too. It's been so fun and creative to add some sass and beauty and make these harsh and macabre skulls fun.
In New Mexico, Day of the Dead is a great celebration and remembrance of dead loved ones. They remember the favorite foods, favorite jokes and favorite things of the loved one that's passed over. I think it's a good thing to visit graveyards and think about the dead.
I for one, am not afraid of being dead - it will be my ultimate travel destination.

You can't really tell, but this has tiny little seed beads added for drama.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Slightly Twisted, Ever So Fun Stuff

We don't call me Odd Chick for nothin'. And this new passion has hit me like a chun~kin pumpkin.
Glad I'm Crazy...sometimes.
I have a method to my madness. Nearly everyone of my portrait drawing books, and many art students I've talked to say you must start with the skeleton, with the skull to draw a good portrait. It has been excellent practice for me to stare at skulls and skeletons to understand bone structure underneath.

No. 16 She Speaks For Herself
This Day of the Dead stuff came right at the perfect time because I was losing momentum on my 20 faces. And I love this fantasy face work with a twist. Everyone knows I have a few kinks in me. I channel (slightly kidding) my favorite muse, the Crazy Consuela, my daughter's free and wild and lovely spirit. 
I am loving these 5X5 gallery wrapped canvases. I had heard other art bloggers bragging about them, but I just now got it! They are so fun.
Live Like You're Dyin'
check out this 3-D stuff I tried.

right side of canvas

Who said "Everyone should retain a little madness"? It's so freeing to let that twisted sister out to paint.