Happy Wednesday guys! wow, what a last couple of weeks. I wanted to let you know that I have updated the shop with some small fun paintings.
And to tell you i'm almost finished with the book......I have decided on Hinkle's Hunch for the title. After I let my mom read it to me out loud as I flipped through the illustrations for her, I realized that I needed one more illustration towards the beginning. I am so loving the process! I still have not decided on the publisher.....blurb or lulu.....my quandary is this.....i believe lulu is the one that you can use to sell your book on amazon. but i have heard so many good things about blurb. does anyone know if blurb will publish it for you to sell on amazon? I LOVE blurb's book layout software and have been tinkering with it for the last few days. its awesome!
I have also been working on a website and its pretty much finished. I still need to work it out a little. I am also considering using big cartel as my shop. I am certainly not ready to give up my etsy shop yet so I may put this on hold. I will "launch" my website in a week or two. I am so excited and have been so inspired on KRR's flying lessons.... this is just what I needed to get my butt in gear.
I just found out that 2 of my favorite artist's are holding e-courses of their own: mati rose and claudine hellmuth....OMG.....cannot wait!!!
So I have been totally immersed in Kelly Rae's flying lessons e-course.....gobbling up every juicy tidbit. The first thing she said was to get the journal out and begin stating fears, goals, etc. I did just that and when i opened it up, i saw a poem i wrote several months back. i think it was written around february right after i returned from An Artful Journey. at that moment i had looked out my window at our large post oak tree ....bare from the harsh winter and noticed a limb. something special, vulnerable, and unsuspecting.....
I immediately saw the support structure in my life and i dedicate this poem to my unearth and artful journey sisters.
I would like to preface this by saying that right after i wrote this poem and read it back, i wasn't very pleased. but after letting it sit and almost forgetting about it.....i read it with new eyes, without being as judgemental. i was fearful about posting this but feel its time to face that fear and persist.
I found Rachael by going to etsy's shop locator and typed in Little Rock. She makes these adorable hats, headbands, and legwarmers. We are already making plans for visiting exhibits and other fun arty things. I challenge you to reach out to an artist near you...
I'm hoping to build a local community of arty friends in hopes to capture some of the magic that happened at the amazing art retreats.
Kelly Raehas been inspiring me so much lately over on her flying lessons e-course. one of the things she suggested was to have fun things like giveaways, challenges, and lists on our blogs and thought i'd do a "5 things you may not know about me"....... and i thought i'd do it in pictures.
I am completely obsessed with dolls! esp strawberry shortcake.
(thankfully, i have since moved these into what i call my "doll closet")
My favorite pixar movie is "Monster's inc"
I got my MBA in 2002
(never used it but hey....got it nevertheless)
I worked at MAC
(me and a fellow artist at MAC basic training in Austin, TX)
I played college baskeball at Harding University
(this is actually a high school state tourney pic circa 1992)
i have been working on some things for my book this week. i can't really believe i'm saying that!! its going to be a children's book but readability for adults or young adults 10 and older. i found it very difficult to have simple words with a deep meaning. this book is based on a bunny we used to have.....we called him rare-bit....weird and a little funny, i know! that was what my step-dad called him. one day he went missing and we found out that he had went through a little door underneath our house. so its definitely, semi-based on a true story. my little story embellishes his adventures and what he learns about himself through them.
I have decided to publish the book myself through Lulu. i haven't the foggiest of how to contact publishers and even which ones to approach. i want to do this so badly that i can't handle rejection right now. maybe later on, i'll approach someone or publisher but for now, i want the experience and joy of this first book to be on my own time and terms.....
here is an excerpt: "it was much cooler inside the little door and very damp. as he scanned the dark floor he saw a tiny light off in the distance. he lifted up to his hind feet with the help of his full, fluffy tail for balance and he writhed his little front feet in eager anticipation. his nose twitched, and he set off towards the light."
i am at a loss for a title. i don't know if i want to call the bunny rarebit or hinkle..... i definitely have some kinks to work out but the writing is 99% done....now the editing....and even more fun part, painting.
I wanted to share with you some of the painted backgrounds for the book. they were fun and spontaneous and FAST....i enjoyed that part a bit....working quickly and haphazardly.....
have a great weekend everyone! i will share bits and pieces of this project along the way.
well after being totally inspired by Kelly Rae's flight lessons....i finally dusted off the journal. i wrote some fears. i wrote some goals. one is huge and i don't know if it will ever happen and i'm not quite ready to share the big one yet....BUT....
i did start writing my story.....you see my goal has been to start writing and illustrating a children's book. i think the hardest part is just saying "i'm starting this!!!" its about a bunny that aspires to more than his life in an abandoned, run-down chicken coop and the many adventures that come after his owner leaves the door open to his tiny, cramped cage.
i've also been spending time doing these videos and adding music by larkin poe. it just makes me smile when i put the 2 together....my paint, their music.
The most wonderful package came today!!! i traded with Harmony for this beautiful necklace and AMAZING original journal. go check out her stuff. she is a true delight and am so glad that our paths crossed.....
the packaging was so darn cute...
thank you so much sweet harmony.....
speaking of fears is really a fear in itself....no?
i am taking Kelly Rae's e-course for the next 5 weeks. and already she has given me courage to even talk about my fears and stating my goals out loud. i tend to keep my goals in the under dwellings of my soul. they are there but who am i to share them with the world? i fear if i do, i will most certainly not obtain them. why does my psyche operate this way? i'm sure others feel this too.....and its got a powerful hold over me.
kelly rae has so gently led us push the perimeter further and toe the line with our fears one at a time. she also stated that this may take some time and i can appreciate that. it doesn't happen overnight. she is so wise. i admire her openness and nurturing spirit.
something about that girl in me long ago, is struggling to be freed. i always felt, as a child, i was a big dreamer. maybe that is why i am revisiting that child as often as i can to gain access to being fearless once again. over the weekend, i had the opportunity to visit with family and they shared something i had never seen.......me on 8mm film. i was 8 or 9. we were in my granny's backyard next to the clothesline. she had bought a watermelon and everyone was anxiously awaiting a visit from our relatives during the summer. and all of a sudden....there was that girl. someone in the group said there you are!! and i was like wait...."what?!?" i entered the screen riding on my banana seat big-handle-bar bike, dismounted like a pro without stopping the bike and gave the camera a huge cheesy grin. i had on red and yellow sneakers to go with my red shorts, and black tube socks. i thought i was something!!...ha! i then proceeded to take a bite of watermelon and spit the seeds at my cousin, Shawn who was a couple years older than me.......
i then thought to myself, i sure was a go-getter and not afraid of anything!!! i then began to think, why can't i be as fearless as i once was? is it because real life gets in the way? is it because, "you can't get a job majoring in art, so you better major in something practical so that you can get a real job"...??
after graduating college my gears started to shift....i felt like there was something that i would be doing, a business that i would lead myself, but i didn't know what it was. were they not there all along? i think so. i remembering visiting the art gallery in college and thinking "i would so do this if i could make a living doing it" i was afraid of course. afraid of failure.
and here i am today, living my dream of being a full-time artist for the past 2 years. i am content, yet i'm afraid to share with you my goals and new fears as an artist. they are personal. kelly rae says that once you say them out loud, they aren't as hard to face. and i will do it but it will take a bit of time. and it isn't that i'm not happy, but striving for more has always been in blood. i think i'll take baby steps (as she suggested) and continue on from there.
I have not posted here in a while. I struggle when it comes to finding the right words when things are not rosy. My grandpa has been in the hospital the couple of weeks. He had a five bypass heart surgery and has been in rehab the last couple of days to gain his strength. He actually isn't my grandpa but he's been married to my grandma for the past 11 years. His name is Noal Cranford. And he's been really the only grandpa figure in my life besides my grandma's 2nd husband, Dwayne who passed away 13 years ago. Isn't it amazing who you consider family? Sometimes family is not by blood, indeed.
As I sit here today, I am renewed by her words. I have been feeling a bit of the blahs (or the blues as i like to call it). I couldn't pin-point it. I don't know what happened the last few days....i don't know if it was all the hospital visits that left me drained, recently getting sick myself, or if its a feeling of not being able to get out and run as much as I'm used to.......but something was there. the thought of getting in the studio felt like "work".....i wasn't looking forward to it. it was as if it was too tasking of a thought to create. Thankfully, the blahs only lasted about a week. Yesterday, i had a bit of resurgence and today even more magic was sent rushing through me with the uplifting words by Jennifer. Its not the first time that she has touched my soul and sent light just when darkness was starting to cloud me.
other bursts of light that seemed to brighten me up were seeing my grandpa walk and ride the bike today and doing an encaustic demo last night. funny how the universe has a way of balancing you. and yesterday.....well yesterday i "forced" myself to go into the studio. and i said i would just sit there if that was all that i did. well i didn't just sit there.....i painted, i felt renewed. and today i feel i've "snapped out of it". i feel normal again. back to my bubbly "wanttopaint" self.
here is my first painting video. i did this painting in roughly 15 minutes. a learning experience.....most definitely. i am still trying to find the perfect video editing software that can "speed up" the video......
the music is by larkin poe. they are brillant. and i have had the awesome opportunity to paint their spring, summer, and upcoming fall and winter cd covers.....holy moses, that makes me happy. if i could put music to my paintings, it would be them. I guess they felt the same way...vice/versa.....:-) but it totally works....yeah?!?
and i am so excited to show you the image of the spring cd cover art!!!
from larkinpoe.com "Larkin Poe: the name of our great-great-great-grandfather; a man who survives in the memories and hearts of succeeding generations; a legend, a tall tale, a truly everlasting story. Just the thing that we hope to become."
I just found out that a reunion is in order for november!!! i'm so darn happy and excited. i feel i have drawn even closer to everyone so much even after we said our tear-filled goodbyes. i think a wonderful seed was planted there on that oregon coast. and that's really all it took, didn't it? connections so strong i most certainly call them my family. There was so much love (thanks viv for the photo)
A couple of weeks ago, someone sent me a photo of the cutest baby snowbird and i immediately had the desire to paint him. he spoke to me of innocence and charm. after i finished the painting, i kept going back and re-visiting this little guy and adding simple touches and a little wax for texture. i knew that he was special and that i was so drawn to this bird not only because i was inspired by the photo but that it brought me something that i could not yet put my finger on. one day, as i strolled into my studio after a run, i immediately thought of Sara.
Sara was a flight attendant on flight 11 on 9-11. This was the first plane to crash into the north tower.
Sara and I ran track together in our hometown of Batesville, AR and we ran on the same relay team together (the 800 meter relay) I remember how brilliantly fast she was and totally admired her quiet confidence and poise. She was a cheerleader and I a basketball player........i had a friend describe Sara as one of those cheerleaders that didn't run out of the way when a loose basketball came hurdling in at her. Sara was an amazing runner and the most beautiful person inside and out. I will never forget the time when Sara and I were warming up for a race in the infield of the track and i expressed how nervous and unsure i was of myself and she looked me straight in the eye and simply said, "Mindy, there is no reason you should be nervous! you are gonna do awesome!" It was a simple statement, but when i saw that look in her eye of the confidence she saw in me, i started to believe it myself. I remember her smile and that day like it was yesterday.
50 percent of the proceeds of this print will go to the Independence county humane society (in batesville). you see Sara had a real love of all animals, as do i so i found it only fitting to give to those animals that are in need.
The Sara Low Pin came about in 2004 through the Family Assistance Foundation and is worn all over the world by military, flight attendants, and other people that want to remember.
That day upon returning from that run, in that snowbird painting, i saw this pin. The soft blues and whites and knew that the Low family would own the original. I had been wanting to paint something for them for a while, but I didn't know how to express my feelings of sympathy to them through paint. keep your hearts open. you never know where inspiration will take you. i didn't realize or expect it....i just knew that i was drawn to him.
A lovely sweet customer of mine, Melanie sent me this photo. Thank you Melanie! (source of the photo is here)
Sara Elizabeth Low - American Airlines flight attendant
Every September, we run for and in memory at the Sara Low Memorial 5k. Click on the link if you are interested in participating in the 4th annual 5k. This year it will be held on Sat, September 11th at the Batesville High School. A memorial is held at 7:40 promptly followed by the starting gun of the race. The 5k course is much of what Sara and I trained on as a precursor to track season and is a challenging, hilly course full of character......one that exemplifies Sara's tenacity, charm, and wit. The course ends with an ascent of a most challenging hill and then to cross the finish line on the track while BHS cheerleaders and awesome Band cheer you to the finish. One aspect i love about this race is that as you climb that last hill, you can hear the band in the distance and it gives you new wings.........................................................and i suspect i know the reason why.
Well, it arrived in my mailbox last week and I have been ecstatic ever since. Thank you so much Chrissy for showing so much love on your blog! You have totally captured my heart. I'm sitting here envisioning how you found it at your local shop and I can imagine the smiles, cheers, and squeals. you captured that moment for me and i am so truly grateful that you shared that with me and everyone else.
I also want to thank Gloria and Lori.......as we sat at our little cottage in manzanita, oregon.....we decided to paint. (you see, we had free time on our hands and Lori suggested we grab some of the paint Kelly Rae so generously let us use during the retreat and have a mini paint party) We covered the kitchen table and began to paint. That time with them was some of the most memorable and magical moments......we laughed, we had tea, and we got a little messy. As we were painting, I remember Gloria talking about Somerset and how she adored the publication and she looked at me and it you could see that light bulb reflex.....she said "oh my gosh, mindy you have to send them your stuff".....she said when you send it in even paint the outside of the box with one of your girls or birds.
And Lori said, yes the world needs to see your stuff....(which totally made me blush because i never thought of my work in this way)
Of course, I was apprehensive and nervous about sending in my work, but i thought what the heck......and when i returned from oregon i got busy and decided to send them 4 paintings, a wristlet, and a rag doll. (news on the doll coming soon!)
After sending it in and waiting, I got the word and they had asked me to write this article.......and Lori was so graciously willing to proof my writing and give me some very helpful pointers. thank you so much!!! I never, ever would of even considered sending in my work but with the support and love of others, your dreams can seem more attainable. thank you gloria and lori! love you both :-)
and Chrissy!! i love you to pieces. She is speaking on contentment at a womens conference and i'm so flippin' excited for her. its coming soon in may go here to see more about Chrissy's journey through art, love, motherhood, friends, and contentment. i so wish i could be there to see the women's faces when Chrissy walks in that room and the light that she will shine on them.
if you have ever thought or are thinking about going to a retreat, whether it be art or photography or whatever your interests, do it! you will be glad. the direction my life is going now after going to two retreats and meeting the most wonderful community who i now call my closest friends, has deeply enriched my life. there are people out there like you. There are people from Canada who you wish were closer (that's you viv and danielle) who could make your heart pitter.patter over liquid candy paint colors.......(and you missy munday).......and there are people who live one state over in south texas (and you Amy!) that you know will be lifetime friends. and those that touch you deeply with a poem and you begin to open up and become inspired by your childhood all over again (my talented writer friend, Jennifer)
Yes, I have found you and i know there will be more relationships develop because of this artistic route i've chosen.....and its a true gift and blessing to have each one of you in my life.
This past Saturday, I attended the northwest arkansas boutique show. We had a lovely time with the best part of it was seeing my family. My cousins, Dallas (red shirt) and Jesse and his wife Sarah.....and their boys Caleb and Evan. I'm holding Evan. I used to spend a couple of weeks each summer in springdale when i was a kid. I'm so thankful for those times and the memories that was shared with dal and jess. We laughed about old times......
i remember distinctly getting stuck in the dryer when we played hide and seek. unfortunately, i had to give away my spot when i realized i needed help getting out!!!....lol.....we played endless atari and nintendo games and slept till noon every day. i remember one night jesse and i stayed up ALL night watching the fletch series. on one of our trips we went to a wilderness drive through safari. the kids had to ride in the back of dad's truck which had a camper hutch. we through open the back door and watched the animals as we drove by. as we drove by slowly there out in amidst all the wild animals was a donkey and it started nay-ing really loud at the camper and jesse flipped out. we tried telling him it wasn't a wild animal and that it surely wouldn't hurt him but that didn't seem to soothe his mind. we couldn't help but get tickled at his new found fear of donkey's (and of course he still has to hear about it today)
I really appreciate joan and david, my aunt and uncle for welcoming me into their home every summer. we went camping together, swimming, vacationing in destin, fl. I will always cherish those moments. Springdale has a special place in my heart and really brings back a certain nostalgia. I love you Dallas, Jesse, Joan, David, Sarah and the 6 boys they have: riley, cooper, sutton, jake (Dal's boys), caleb and evan (jess's boys seen in the photo)!!!!!!
i had the opportunity to "meet" Karen from Hawaii through etsy. She bought some original paintings and other goodies after seeing me on the featured seller. she is one of the sweetest people ever!!! i had asked her if she would send me a photo of her. for some reason, i just love to connect and actually "see" my customers. it gives me so much joy ;-) i feel the connection and see who is holding my art. I'm so thankful for Karen and people like her. you make this job of mine so rewarding!!!
she sent me this huge box of Hawaiian loot!! complete with chocolate covered macadamia nuts, carmels, luggage tag, a keychain, fridge magnet, t-shirt......so many goodies to even count......!!!!.....and a lovely photo of her and dr. rey! i loved seeing this...... :-)
thank you karen for sending me some hawaiian love!!! you are truly appreciated.
i remember the days of old...... when waking up on monday meant sheer misery. schlepping to the office......driving 30 minutes mind you to the "industrial" side of town. only to sit in a cubicle and face some of the most un-interesting people you've ever met. they got excited about steel. STEEL!!! the only form of enjoyment i got out of the day was taking "smoke" breaks with the smokers. (i didn't smoke, i just took the breaks.....!!)i stared at spreadsheets all day and was frequently called by the salesmen that I "was shutting down their clients business".....uh excuse me.....i don't have the power to do that. i was simply giving flat rolled steel prices.....bleh. to even say that makes my stomach turn. well, i told them to take this job and shove it back in 2002. its been 8 years and i'm thankful everyday that i don't have to darken the door any longer. i will have to say that i admire the fellows that loved steel. they loved their job. i was envious and to be honest i told them when i left that i needed to make this move so that I can wake up and get excited about going to work. i left the company to go work in makeup for 6 years.
now, i look forward to my monday's. i get up, stretch and look outside and say what shall i paint today!
this weekend was a working weekend. I painted and planned till 8 pm friday. painted more on saturday.......yesterday i spent time getting ready for the NWA boutique show. friday when i woke up, i had received an email showing me inspirations for booth setups.....i froze! i was looking at some of the most elaborate setups and booths i've ever seen. i immediately thought "what the hell have i gotten myself into"....."can i do this?"...."i'm way out of my league".........after some much needed research and planning, i feel i'm starting to get there. the show is this saturday in northwest arkansas.....about 3 hours from where i live. it shall be an experience i'm sure. photos will most certainly follow next monday ;-) (of which i'll probably take the day off!!) in other fun, arty news.............Larkin Poe emailed me right after seeing me on etsy's featured seller interview and asked me to paint 4 cd covers for them. one for each season. the photo with at the top is for their "spring" cd! i simply adore their music and immediately bought their cd upon visiting their site. i new at that very moment that I wanted to work with them. our styles mesh very well i think.....
pssssttttttttt......i have other exciting news happening on may 1st......and it has to do with Somerset studio.................
I sent my work into somerset with the advice of Gloria and Lori and the Be Present Retreat last october. i never ever would have thought or had the courage to do this with out a gentle nudge from these lovely, awesome ladies. I love you guys! and miss you dearly. This magazine launched April 1st and when i got it in the mail (a couple weeks ago).....i literally squealed when i saw my little wristlet in the table of contents :-D
When i started going to retreats, i know what kelly rae says (in her book) that it can be life changing. These kindred sisters can be so supportive and so inspiring. Thanks to each and every one of you! and i'm so thankful I met you.
Thank you Etsy for making me featured seller! see the interview here.........
I remember when I found etsy. it was 3 years ago and i stumbled across it while reading an artist's blog and from then on, my life has changed. I've met the most wonderful, inspiring artists and people i call my friends.......people like Christina Romeo, Amy Huddleston, Missy Munday (aka boopsie daisy), Anke Weckman, Kelly Rae Roberts, and Mati Rose. You guys have been the reason I'm excited to get up every morning and create. Love you all!!
I'm ready quite smitten with these little paintings right now :-) I was totally head over heels in love with Strawberry shortcake dolls when i was a young-en. i remember getting $2.50 a week from my dad for allowance and i'd save up 3 weeks to buy a doll. looking back on it, i really appreciate my dolls more and i had to wait till i had enough money to get them. simple times! that brought me so much joy. i have actually painted strawberry and plum puddin before but not in this style....my style.
i also loved the dolls little pets. i guess deep down this is one of the reasons i'm inspired to paint my "girlies" with bunnies or birdies or kitties.
These will be for sale in my shop this weekend or sometime next week....although i'm having a hard time parting with these.
ha!! seeing these all together are really making me smile. it brings back memories. :-)
as i said in yesterday's post, these are NOT my original childhood drawings but i tried to re-create them from memory. the last image is a new "grouping" i did specially for this post. i drew and re-drew these all the time, and my best friend jayme recalls and said yes!,......all the time. we got a laugh out of it..... :-)
now as far as the inspirations, i'm doing a series of paintings based on these little drawings. i've got one finished and i'll update again once i've got a couple more finished. i'm also working on a series of strawberry shortcake paintings (again inspired by my childhood doll collecting). i've got four ready to post. i'll do that tomorrow after they dry....so cute!!!
well our plans changed on friday. we ended up not going to the track because of my poodle, cosmo was quite pekid and gettin around real slow. we did go to the track on sunday, but it was cold and rainy. we still had a great time. and cosmo is feeling back to his normal self.....
I've got a couple bits of awesome news coming at the end of the month. I'll let you in on the fun on monday! i'm so, so, so excited.
Also, i've been thinking about the little drawings I did as a child.....of course i didn't keep everything, but i was obsessed with drawing little groupings of fruit, desserts, and junk food. pretty funny! i'll share those drawings tomorrow (i recreated them on scratch paper) and my plans for paintings based on those. it's kinda cracking me up right now.
Tim is taking a half day off today and we are going to hot springs to the horse track. its supposed to be 72 degrees and bright sun-shiney!!! they have the best corned-beef and reuben sandwiches around.
on an arty note, i've got some new 5x7 prints in the shop. I've been wanting to offer the 5x7 size for a while now but haven't been able to find that perfect paper until this week. i found it at This wonderful site. its inkpress fine art matte paper. and its so great. i also got the 4x6 size too.
enjoy the weekend!!
its supposed to be rainy and cold here this weekend so that's why we're taking advantage of today's pretty weather.