from crayon box to powering my soul… color defines me

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Winter Whimsy

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Okay, I am willing to admit it here first… I just am not a “cutesy” kind of person. Particularly when it comes to my art. I enjoy learning new techniques from other artists when they visit local stores and from online artist video workshops, but I just don’t love the things I create when they are intended to be “cute.” They are just that, cute. Or to quote artist Christy Tomlinson, sometimes they are “stinking cute!”

Still, cute  simply isn’t me. I am not “cute” – I am a big, often loud, sometimes klutzy woman. I sometimes get annoyed at people easily; the other night while dining out, a young waiter referred to my son as Sir and me as Miss and Sweetie. Shouldn’t I be Ma’am? I am the one paying the bill (and leaving his tip). On the other hand, I am trying to be a more compassionate person… it sometimes takes work. My New Years Resolution is to be less sarcastic (not quit altogether, because I am a realist, just to be more aware of it and aware of the damage it has on my team at work). I’ll write more about my philosophy “The New 3 R’s” in a future blog.

Back to “cute art”… I do get joy out of seeing these character canvases I’ve made, but am not sure I feel proud of my cute art. It certainly makes me smile, whether my creation or another’s, but it doesn’t express me; I don’t relate to this kind of art on a personal level. (I’m not even sure that what I’m writing here makes any sense!) I guess I prefer more chaotic art; more texture (lots and lots of layers, many hidden and known only to me) and more opportunity for the viewer to interpret as they will.

Nevertheless, here are my three little creatures I created Sunday (I do so love ‘all art’ days… painted in my pj’s!): Lucky, the North Pole Owl; Franny, the Fox; and A Mother’s Love… they are holiday gifts for my friend Lorein, her daughter Natalie and little Lincoln.

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It all started with a Starbucks handle bag

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I am a huge Starbucks fan. I received my Starbucks gold card in the mail in 2003. In 2007 I bought ornaments for all of the employees working with Thai at the Mira Mesa Blvd and Camino Ruiz store in San Diego – they were so surprised to be gifted but they served me most mornings for years, so it seemed only right. In 2008, I made holiday ornaments and gave them to the employees working in my new store on Mercy Road off I-15 north. Troy was in that store at the time and knew my personal cup drink by heart. I’ve built a fond relationship with that store over the past couple of years. You see, I have been painting for a bit over 1 1/2 years. I made my first Starbucks canvas some time before I hit the double-digit mark for number of completed canvases. I remember the handle bags Starbucks had at the time. They had recycling ideas on them, for example re-use it, re-purpose it, recycle it and my favorite: re-imagine it… so I did!  I removed the handles and glued them to the back of an 8×10″ canvas. I cut out the logo and the words “re-imagine it” and added them as canvas embellishments. I removed the lid from the Perfect Oatmeal container and added it and rhinestones to the canvas also. I created a girl and a saying and that’s how it all started.

I gave that first Starbucks canvas to my local store on Mercy Road off I-15 in San Diego. That store has been a great supporter of my art, displaying every one. They’ve received a total of 6 now. They all signed the back of one and gave it to an employee who was leaving their store. They all commissioned me to make a canvas for their Store Manager, Jolene, before she moved to San Francisco last month… she’s working the early morning shift at a Starbucks in the financial district – if you are in the neighborhood, stop by and tell her I said hi!  My latest canvases are Christmas trees and the Mercy Road, Scripps Poway Parkway (next to Von’s and Unleashed) and the drive-through on Poway Road stores were gifted with this year’s holiday canvases. The Christmas trees are decorated with Starbucks beverages and gifts.

This gallery contains 17 photos

Validating a Friend

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Mary with her birthday gift

Mary with her birthday gift

I’m on our second month of My Crazy Life Workshop, an online art and personal values exploration with Art McCracken.  This month’s theme is Validation and we were asked to create a canvas to validate someone in our lives. I chose my friend Mary Berney, Life Quest Coach and Trainer. Mary recently made the decision to leave a job that was making her miserable and focus on her passion, helping couples improve their relationships and communication skills.  We, including Mary, were so relieved she was done with that crazy company and its led her back to focusing on her coaching and what she does best: helping others.

Known for creating “The Dating Cafe” (San Diego’s popular gourmet dating experience) and her intuitive ability to help individuals create phenomenal relationships! She is author of Attracting the Right Person into Your Life and her current relationship is proof positive that her coaching works. Her current coaching includes: Let’s Meet on Pluto! Communication Skills for Men and Women, so I included that as the canvas heading. Mary supports 5 relationship fundamentals which I’ve included on her canvas. She has done great work, helps others and survived a wild roller-coaster-type year. I am spent Sunday with her, starting with a nice breakfast, and a day making cards. I so enjoyed gifting her with this canvas. I truly want her to know how proud I am of her and the work she does.

The background of Mary's canvas

The background of Mary’s canvas

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This gallery contains 4 photos