Thursday, November 18, 2010


Hey ya'll. It's been a while since I posted, and I'm been doing some fun stuff. We've got a lot to catch up on.

Firstly, though, I want to highlight this little guy;

He hasn't been well at all. He hurt his back, damaging two vertibrae. Gotta love that dog, and hope he gets better soon.

In other news, Andrew's portrait is ready for the tour. First stop, his Mom.

If you or anyone you know might be interested in a portrait, please let me know. I'm going to run discount rates for those who commit before the end of the year!

P.A. and I went on a great, relaxing and much-needed weekend away to the mountains in October. We stayed in Dillard, GA, but made short road trips out to Cashiers, NC and somewhere else that I now can't remember. We stopped at a gallery out in the countryside, and met William Whiteside; an 85 year-old WWII veteran and artist, who was selling his entire collection (originals and prints) at discount, so he could sell up and move to Atlanta to be near his wife. She is in a home in Alpharetta. Mr. Whiteside had some great stories to share about his time in the Phillipines and his life after the war. We bought two prints as mementos of our conversation with him -- and now P.A. is thinking about tracking him down again to record an oral history.

Tonight starts the beginning of a crazy weekend! We're going to the midnight premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1. Yeah, judge me: I've been excited all day.

However, today was also the day to submit work for the Pin-Up exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Georgia. I had intentions to paint something... anything... but for whatever reason left it too late and couldn't get my head around it. That just reminded me that I left all my stuff out on the dining room table, from earlier this week, and I should probably clean that up.

Nevertheless, I took P.A.'s advice, and printed a photograph I took two summer's ago.

It's my Grandpa. My Dad's Dad, Eugene Sr... in Westcliffe, Colorado. We had just been fishing, and stopped in the little town by the lake to get an ice cream.

I love this picture, but I wasn't convinced that others would... I mean, when it's your own Grandpa, you're not looking with an unbaised view, right? But some positive feedback from P.A. and some great friends convinced me it was the right thing to submit. As for me... I like the colour contrasts, the blue of his outfit in the center popping in the orange/yellow background. I think the composition is pretty solid, and draws your eye where it's supposed to go. There's a lot to look at, and each piece tells part of the story. His cane has fallen to the floor. His hat says 'I love Jesus'. The map above him I think is symbolic of the travels and journeys of his life.

I struggled with what to name the picture. I ended up with 'Y Todos Seguidos', which means 'And we all followed'.

I think it speaks to him as a leader, of our family. I think it speaks to us following his values and his nature... even down to him taking time to stop for ice cream. My Dad, me... we are all who came after him. There is a much larger story that is hinted here but left untold, like a snapshot of a moment in a long lifetime. We follow in his footsteps.

This picture is meaningful to me in a multitude of ways. I think it is a good representation of how I see and will remember my grandfather. He is in a home now, in Colorado, and I miss him. A lot has changed in his life in less than 2 years.

So here I am. Drinking free wine (the best kind) and listening to Pandora, and Cee-Lo is playing. Potter tonight, exhibit tomorrow, art sale action and Thanksgiving goodness around the corner! And I got a new niece this week! My cousin Robert had a baby girl, Eabha Georgina. Can't wait to meet her. Lots of things to be thankful for, right? What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Gallery hopping.

Thanks to making some new friends and throwing myself into this painting thing, I've been able to take part in a multitude of new arty experiences.

Terry and Chip invited us to FLUX, which is a night of 'art, arm wrestling, performance, outdoor films, escaped zebras... projections and experimentation'. I had never been to Castleberry Hill. It was fun; a night beginning with dinner at El Taco, all of us squeezing in a cab over there, glowsticks, dancing naked people and 'light paintings', pictures with a traveling menagerie, weird scary vultures roaming the streets and one very, very tall man with an umbrella. Oh, and a room full of smoke. (Photo courtesy of John Hersman)

We also had the opportunity to go see Jeff Koons speak at the High Museum on October 5th. I enjoyed the talk -- he mostly referenced his work to the Dali exhibit, exploring Dali's celebrity influence and themes. Apparently Koons has a workshop of around 150 people, all working on his art projects. Since then, I've also discovered the Koons Family Institute, which is an initiative of the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.

I'm not a huge 'fan' of Jeff Koons, or Salvador Dali. But this is the first exhibit I have seen at the High museum that has not been a big disappointment. The information, format and content of the exhibit were much better than I expected; and although not his most famous work, I was more interested in his influences and personality that came through some of these massive pieces. His interest in Vermeer's Lacemaker resulted in his 'copy' of the same painting, representing the lace with rhino horns. His wife, Gala, was prominent also, and just the sheer detail and smoothness of the paintings were astonishing to me. So although not a fan, I'm pleased to learn about Dali and may even go back and see the exhibit again. I'm certainly glad I didn't see any melting clocks.

Well, time leaves me finishing this post early... but I have more updates to come! The Unveiling was fantastic, with great friends and cocktails. I will write more soon. Thanks for checking on me. Happy Monday!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


The painting is finished!

The Unveiling is on Friday, so no update here until the official preview. I'm excited and nervous, and hope it gets a good reception.

I've been researching into places that will make a nice giclee print that won't cost me a fortune, and in the meantime I'm going to try and take some pictures myself -- to get some small prints at the Unveiling, for the man himself to sign and give away while grown men scream his name.

Can't wait! Thanks for your support with this project, and hopefully there will be more to come. Right now I'm gonna sit here with my feet up, drink some wine with my husband and toast to my first official portrait. Hooray!

(I haven't forgotten about the Jeff Koons event, the Dali exhibit and the Botanical Garden. We also met a very cool artist/WWII veteran in North GA this weekend -- better blog post pending!!)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Building that resume!

Today, the lovely Andrew, muse of portraiture and all-round enabler, hung a painting of mine in his office at Southern Poly. I now have work in the University System of Georgia (which is about the only way I'm getting in). Hooray!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Nearly finished.

The deadline is drawing near... the 'unveiling' event is planned. However, there's one rather large setback in my plan to finish by October 1.

My birthday is September 30.

Ok, maybe there are two rather large setbacks to achieving my deadline.

My birthday, and that I'm a huge slacker. But, I spent a few hours working on the painting today, and for once I'm pretty happy with progress. I have a plan. I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I think it's going to work out.

I wondered for a while what to put in the background of the picture. Maybe the interior of a pub... maybe a fireplace... maybe a black abyss. I went with a bookshelf. After all, he is a Professor of professional writing.

I'm going to complete the bookshelf, finish the golden cup, give Andrew some accessories, touch up some loose ends... and then... ta daaa. Get it sealed and figure out how to frame it. All ready for the Great Unveiling, on October 15.

Here's the latest -- again, all feedback is welcome and appreciated. Thanks again to Andrew for giving me this fun and awesome opportunity -- hopefully this is the first of many. Thanks for being my guinea pig. Oh! Maybe I'll add a guinea pig on your lap.

... Happy Sunday everybody.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

An Update

So, I've been a bit of a slacker lately when it comes to painting. But tonight, I made an effort and got some work done on the Professor. My deadline is October 1, to have it finished. Plans are being made for the big unveiling! Here's an update. Please leave your response, I'd love to know what you think.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Full Frontal

Finally, an update on the now infamous portrait. I decided after serious consideration to change the composition of the painting. It is now a full, face-forward view of the Professor, holding his book and goblet of hard lemonade. I felt it would have more of an impact, and fit with our classical theme, if Andrew addressed the viewer head-on.

Thanks goodness I took a lot of pictures.

Scary Andrew-no-eyes.
The painting continues... lots more work to be done, but, it's coming together.
Please see my Facebook page for a survey choosing the name of Andrew's book.

This is fun. Keep checking for updates! Thanks!

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Professor's Portrait

This last Saturday, I began work for what will be my first 'official' portrait. I am painting my friend, Andrew Schmidt, who has recently become a professor of Technical Communications.

For those that know him, Andrew has always had a regal... some might say royal... air about him, so it is only fitting that he should have his portrait painted. Somewhere along the lines of how Henry VIII was asked to sit still for a period of time while servants brought him goblets of wine, Andrew was asked to sit in my living room while friends brought him glasses of spiked lemonade. Holding one of my ancient art books, we began.

I took some pictures, and tried a few different compositions. I felt the pressure after hanging out and eating hotdogs and hamburgers, so didn't apply too much paint... but sketched out the main forms and started blocking things in. I'll be working on it again this week, maybe switching things up a little bit. After all, he has a great sense of humour, and I want his painting to accurately reflect the man behind the robes.

I'll be posting updates on the Professor's Portrait, as things progress. Watch this space!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Today's big thing

Well, this got off to a flying start, didn't it. I've got to get someone to give me a tutorial on how to manage and update this thing.

Several things have inspired me this week. I guess I'll start with that.

Firstly, my folks bought a house. Hooray! Can't wait to take Murph up there to chew on their baseboards and find a place to escape from their garden.

I've been doing some research into possible side projects. Cooking, gardening... photography?

I've enjoyed looking at this website -- Leah and Mark are photographers. I found an article on ScoutMob, which begins 'Mark and Leah learned about each other thanks to photography and, because of it, they now have a blossoming business together, too.' How lovely. Can I do that?!

Through planning my buddy Susie's baby shower, I also got to spend some time at the Farmer's Market this week -- and was reminded how much I miss it. Must find something out on the West Side. I discovered the Love is Love Farm, out in Douglasville. I'm looking forward to being a bit more creative in the kitchen.

It's been a week of new ideas. Just have to pick one and run with it, I suppose. My friend Tina told me all about this place up in the Georgia Mountains, called Hambidge. It's an artist residency, and we briefly visited their gallery while on a site visit to Dillard. Their new Executive Director kissed us on the cheek when we arrived, and the showroom was full of beautiful ceramics for sale. They have an annual festival -- food, art and music. Not sure if P.A. and I are up for a residency, but I do like the idea of travelling; maybe a weekend in a cabin, dedicated to painting and writing.

To aid my incentive for painting and the like, I also completely cleaned out our 'office' -- AKA Murphy's Room. I'm shopping this week for portrait supplies, and looking forward to Andrew's first sitting. This is gonna be fun.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Welcome to Seafoam Elephant!

Hello friends,

This is the very first post for my new blog, Seafoam Elephant. It's an understatement to say that I have no idea how these things work, so please bear with me.

I will be learning how to showcase my art work here, for review and sale. I specialise in oil and acrylic painting, but you will also find photography and block prints here, and perhaps the occasional ceramic vessel.

At this time I'm painting a lot of still life, with fruit, veg, glass and plants. I'm soon to start work on a commissioned portrait.

Any encouragement, commissioned work or general criticism is welcome! Thank you for visiting Seafoam Elephant -- there's more to come! I hope to see you back here soon.