Tag Archive: art


New Adventures

It has been many moons since I posted anything in my blog. Life has been uber busy. We moved 2 hours away to the foothills of Virginia. I finished my 1st year as an art teacher.

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Above my desk. 

I had my 3rd child, sweet little Scarlett, on April 22.

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My husband and I started a candle company; Dixie Candles: Southern Inspired Scents.

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Which can be purchased in our Etsy Shop or through our website.

You can also follow us on Facebook or Instagram!

And finally I started a new Etsy Shop: Piedmont Peddler to sell goodies that filter through my life. Where I have strange things like a Haggadah from 1965 and a rare ink bottle I dug up in our yard.

Looking forward to my new endeavors and starting my 2nd year of teaching!

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Instagram a Day: Day 5

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Back in November I went to an Art Ed conference and participated in a Zentangle workshop. I totally fell in love! One of the things we made was a bookmark. This gave me the idea to make them as Christmas gifts for people that I might not otherwise have gifts for. That is just what I did! Using watercolor paper, a hole puncher, yarn and the supplies from the workshop I made a bunch of them. I even talked my husband into making one too! This photo is a little glimpse into the finished products.

These two photos have light and shadows in common, and also that pink bathroom in the apartment we were living in. Taken on the same wall at different times, these photos focus on the way that light and shadow can create composition. 297 is pretty obvious, it’s all about those blinds and the pattern the sun light creates on my face. The fact that my head is in front of where the light would fall if I hadn’t been standing there creates that break in the pattern, making the rest of the light fall to the left of my head. 298 is about the shadow instead of the light. It focuses on the shadow my face creates on that interesting pink wall, turned slightly purple from the app I used to take it. I enjoy both of these shots. Quality isn’t the greatest, but they are interesting.

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“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” ~Albert Camus

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“Art is a shadow of what a person is thinking… a small glimpse of what they hold inside. Little secrets, regrets, joys… every line has its own meaning.” ~Sarah, Los Cerros Middle School

Oz the Great and Powerful

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I recently watched this movie with my family. I had been interested to see it in the theater and we almost did see it then, but it didn’t work out. If you are expecting to see a prequel that is equal in greatness to the masterpiece that is The Wizard of Oz you will be greatly disappointed. Once again Disney has let us all down. That doesn’t mean this isn’t a good movie, it just means that Disney’s standards have been in the toilet for such a long time there doesn’t seem to be any going back. If they held themselves to the high standards of the old days this movie would have been something great, instead it was just something ok.

It came out this year, 2013 and was directed by Sam Raimi. Yes, that Sam Raimi, the horror guy. I’m still trying to figure that one out. Just because he is a big name director, doesn’t necessarily mean he is the right guy for this film. I have a feeling that someone else could have done a better job. It has a “star” studded cast; James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams. Personally I think James Franco is one of the worse actors out there right now. The dude has no range, he barely can change facial expressions. I feel like every time I see him he is high as a kite and he hasn’t slept in about three days. On the other hand I love Mila Kunis and the other two ladies are fine actresses.

One of the biggest problems I had with this film, other than Franco, is that 95% of all the scenery was CGI. I realize that is “the thing” in this day and age. I also realize that the other “thing” right now is 3D and I know this film came out as a 3D film, BUT there is something that gets lost when every single thing in the film is a computer graphic. Some of the plants and what not were so cartoonish that it really was distracting. I feel like we lose something human about all the talent it takes to create a stage set made by hand that can still boggle the mind. Not saying that creating CGI and any other type of computer art isn’t talented. Many fantastic artists do it and do it well. I just miss the real thing sometimes. With that being said, it wasn’t all bad. There was some really awesome visuals in this film. I think the costumes were pretty awesome. The Wicked Witch’s black dress was badass.

I feel like it moved too fast, was missing some vital parts and had some not-so-well-thought-through ideas. It was entertaining and seeing how everyone came to be who they are was pretty interesting. Whenever we get a family movie from Netflix I usually keep it for a while so my kids can watch it again. When I went to put the disc back in the envelope I accidentally sealed it up. I wasn’t too upset about it, if that tells you anything. I’ll give it a 3 out of 5. It’s worth seeing, but it is not going to hold up over time and is nothing compared to The Wizard of Oz.

Both of these shots were taken at the Petersburg Regional Art Center where I had my art studio. I had gone up there alone one night after a stressful day. I wanted to work on some art. I had this great idea for a mixed media painting on a large canvas. I was inspired to use some of the rotting and rusty crap my parent’s hoard in their backyard. I had found this long rusty porch swing chain and sealed it. Then I got to painting the canvas. That is what I was doing this night. I went up to my studio on the third floor and realized I needed to use the bathroom. Of course the bathroom is on the second floor. So I tramped through the spooky more than a century old building at night to the second floor. I took the first shot in the beveled bathroom mirror. Even though it’s a bad cell phone pic I like it. I like the double reflection of the bevel. I also like the way that I look, that is usually rare. The second shot is my hand after I had a very successful painting session. It was emotional, I used all the stress of the day and months and put it into that painting. The finished product can be seen below.

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“Each of us is something of a schizophrenic personality, tragically divided against ourselves.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

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“When painting, an artist must take care not to trap his soul in the canvas.” ~Terri Guillemets

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“Re-creation”

Last year when I was still a part of the Killeen Civic Art Guild we had a live model sketch night. My friend Alex dressed up and modeled for us. This painting started as a sketch that night. It is done with acrylic. I just finished it yesterday. Her hand was giving me a fit. I ended up taking some fingers off and now I am much happier with it. 🙂

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This was a fun night. It was a Friday for the Arts in Petersburg, VA. I had been at my studio with my family, enjoyed some art and music. My then friend had come to hang out. My Mom took the kids home for me and I got to hang out with my friend. We went to a bar, ran into some old friends, saw a band play, walked around Old Towne, had a couple drinks. It was a great night, super fun. This friend and I had parted ways years ago and had reconnected. Unfortunately the friendship fell apart again. It makes me sad to look at this photo. Some friendship’s aren’t meant to be.

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“A true friend is one who thinks you are a good egg even if you are half-cracked.” ~Author Unknown

Cape Charles

On May 31, 2013 I took my Mom on a day trip to the Eastern Shore of Virginia, to a small bayside town called Cape Charles. May 31 is my brother’s birthday. My brother passed away in 2008 from head injuries he obtained in a car accident. He would have been 26. It is always a hard day for my family, especially my Mom. I had discussed this with my co-workers and they urged me to take the day off and do something fun. I planned out the trip and kept it a secret from my Mom. All I told her was to take the day off, that we were going somewhere and we would be gone most of the day. The day before I told her to bring some flip flops and wear sunscreen.

That morning we set off on our adventure. She claimed that she had no idea where we were going, but I assume that she had figured out we were going to a beach of some kind. Our trip down was full of talk and laughter. As we approached the Chesapeake Bay-Bridge Tunnel, the eight wonder of the world, she got really excited, as did I. She had only been to the Eastern Shore once and I don’t believe I ever had been. The bridge-tunnel is amazing. It is a series of long bridges and long tunnels that pattern across the Chesapeake Bay. Almost 18 miles that connect the mainland of Virginia to the peninsula that juts out from Maryland and runs south parallel to most of Virginia’s coast line. It was a gorgeous day, which made it all the better to look out across the bay and see the waves, boats and birds. cbbt1

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Cape Charles is one of the first towns you come across going north along the peninsula. It was founded in 1884 as a hub for the railroad. It was a place for the trains to stop at night, and leave the sleeper cars close to the bay so travelers could hear the waves. Today it has a wonderful old downtown with many original buildings. It sits along the bay side and the beach has a great jetty that keeps the wading/swimming area free of sea weed and makes the waves little to none. It is more like a wading pool that being on a big body of water.

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The first thing we did was park on the street right next to the beach and headed for the pier. We walked all the way out taking photos the entire time. We talked to most everyone we came across. An older couple was watching some large birds and we all had a discussion about what they were. It was determined they were ospreys.

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We talked to a lady sitting at the end of the pier who was sitting in her bathing suit and big sun hat reading a book and looking after two young boys fishing. She said she was a teacher and that on the last week of school they spend everyday at the beach. That was when I noticed there were groups of kids out in the water huddled together looking at critters in the water. What a lovely way to spend the last week of school! Makes me want to look for a job there. 🙂 We then walked along the beach. We were amazed by the amount of little animals that called the beach their home. There were hundreds of little black snails, tiny hermit crabs, strange plant looking anemones and birds galore.

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Later on we came across the teacher again as we were all getting ready to head off the beach. We asked her for some recommendations on some good places for lunch. She told us about every restaurant in town, realizing herself that they were all good. They sounded wonderful and with our tummies rumbling we headed through the residential streets lined with older homes toward the shopping area. We were surprised to see how many of the homes were for sale. Which made us both day dream about buying one and living on the beach.

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We ended up eating at the Cape Charles Coffee House. It was fantastic! The food was amazing, I’m still dreaming about the sandwich I had and the great latte that I drank. Afterward we walked up and down the streets going in antique shops, thrift stores and art galleries. We wandered into a large gallery that was adjacent to an old theater. The art was wonderful and I looked at everything, wondering if I should or could buy a piece. We ended up talking to the lady that worked there and she showed us the theater and told us it’s history. Turns out we were in the historic Palace Theater. The history was fascinating although I can not recall it all now.

After leaving the gallery we stopped in at Brown Dog Ice Cream. They make small batch ice cream from natural ingredients. We both had dark chocolate and it was delicious. We wandered around town a bit more, wishing we could stay the weekend, wanting to buy one of those old homes for sale and join the thriving art community. I decided that I would look for a job there when I got my degree. I would rent a house for two weeks at a time and make it an annual summer vacation. My mind was full of dreams that only the smell of salt water and fresh air could produce.

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We drove home through horrible traffic with our husbands calling on the phone and complaining and still we laughed the whole way home. It was by far one of the best days ever. We will both hold those memories close to our hearts, especially on that day when we need something to smile about.

I was at the Killeen Civic Art Guild. I was working on a painting that ended up being an illustration for my poetry book, Articulate Cadaver. (Which can be purchased at the link provided.) I am not satisfied with this shot either. I think the flash is too harsh and the composition is lacking. I do enjoy the little details, like the paint on my fingers and the curved tip of the brush. Not all these 365 photos can be winners.

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“Sometimes, to pursue a new idea, the artist must forfeit his deposit on an old idea.” ~Robert Brault

I think that I was inspired by some photos on DeviantART when it came to this shot. I have and do spend time looking through photos and art on that site. There is a lot of crap, but there is also a ton of awesomeness. There are so many talented artists out there. It is a great site to find like minded artists and see some great work. This shot was with my Nikon, using an added flash and reflector. I used the bare bathroom wall as a backdrop. Simple, no real editing other than contrast. I like this image. I like the softness of the out of focus and the slight area that is in focus. I like the contrast of the light skin with the light wall and the black strap.

171 “How much has to be explored and discarded before reaching the naked flesh of feeling.” ~Claude Debussy