Saturday, January 30, 2010

Find Me On Facebook

I would like to invite you to visit the Life Needs Art page on Facebook:

You can use it to find the latest news about my art, see photos as I post them on Flickr, and get a quick link to my Etsy shop. Please leave comments and ask questions!

I'd be doubly delighted if you would consider becoming a fan. :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Sketchbook Library Exhibit Opens January 29

The Sketchbook Library exhibits open January 29 in Atlanta! After that, it travels to:

January 29 - 30, 2010
Art House Gallery in Atlanta

February 19 - 21, 2010
303Grand in Brooklyn

February 26, 2010
Brooklyn Art Library in Brooklyn

April 8 - 11, 2010
Art and Shelter Gallery at The Salvation Army Alegria in Los Angeles

April 16 - 18, 2010
Soulard Art Market in St. Louis

May 7 - 9, 2010
Home Gallery in Chicago

The complete list of dates and locations is here:

There are LOTS of entries. Check out these photos:

Might be just my imagination, but I think I see the corner of my sketchbook in the 5th photo down (underneath the heading "Bins!"). Look in the bin in the bottom row, second from the left. Can't you see just a bit of light blue with the word "Forgetting"? That's mine, I'm sure of it!!

Photos of my entry are on Flickr:

If you happen to catch one of the exhibits, I'd highly recommend it. The photos look fantastic!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Call for Artists: Rain Barrel Art

A friend of mine just passed this along to me. It sounds interesting:

From the web site:

In 2010, Cuyahoga SWCD (Soil and Water Conservation District) will be hosting a rain barrel art program. Barrels will be distributed to local artists in March 2010. Artists will have 2 months to paint the barrel in any way they choose. Barrels will be returned to Cuyahoga SWCD and they will be displayed around the county with signage about the importance of rain barrels and an artists statement about the design. In October 2010, the decorated barrels will be auctioned to the public. Proceeds will go to support the ongoing efforts of the Cuyahoga SWCD conservation education program.

Visit their web site for
more information and to see decorated barrels and their display location when they become available.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Panache Figs, Finished

I finished the fig painting today. (See the work in progess here: .) I'm happy with it; it ended up being pretty much how I'd envisioned it.

Oh, of course, there are things I'd change. For instance, I'd make the figs larger so they fill the canvas. So I started a second version today to see how that idea might work out.

This one is 8 x 10 inches, acrylic on canvas. Here are a couple details:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2010 Word of the Year: Venture

My word for 2009 was “Path”. It served me well and I’ve thought about keeping it as my word again this year. I haven’t reached the end of my path, certainly, and need to keep reminding myself to stay on my path and keep moving forward.

I wanted something to keep me on my path and help me build on the work I’ve done this year, but also push me to go farther. 2010 feels like a year for growth and change.

With that in mind, I tried on words like: path (again), progress, forward, depth, intensity, joy, engage, growth, venture. Something warm and inviting to encourage exploration. Something with a sense of expansiveness.

I’ve decided on the word “Venture”. Venture farther down the path. Venture a little farther afield. Venture out. Start a new venture, perhaps. In my mind, it has the connotation of getting out, going farther, trying something new. It also implies a some risk and going forward despite uncertainty.

I’ve been so focused on staying in my studio and working, that I’m feeling a need to get out – visit galleries, network with other artists, make new friends, spend time with my current friends. (They’ve been very patient with me as I build my art, but I can’t neglect them.) I’m also feeling a need to try new materials, work larger, and push myself.

Stick around and see where I’ll venture to this year!

Monday, January 11, 2010

2009 Wrap Up and Accomplishments

My word for 2009 was “Path”: the goal was to define my path and engage in activities that keep me on my path. Don’t wander too far from my path, and limit activities that take me off path. The question I at the front of my mind was always, “Is this keeping me on my path?”

I’m glad I chose that word for the year. It’s kept me focused and led to me participating in a lot more art-related activities that I would have otherwise.

Even odd things kept me on my path. Breaking my leg in May put me in a cast and rehab for several months. Although it limited my physical activities and kept me at home much of the spring and summer, I used that time to paint more often and read some books. That helped me improve my skills, build up my inventory, and gain confidence.

Here’s what I accomplished this year. I firmly believe that I wouldn’t have accomplished even half of this if I hadn’t chosen “Path” as my word for the year, and used it to keep my focus daily:


  • Applied to the Art-o-Mat project and was accepted.
  • Sent my first shipment of 50 pieces to Art-o-Mat; they’ve asked for a second shipment.
  • Revamped my Etsy and Cafepress shops.
  • Placed my artwork in Artefino Gallery.
  • Was featured in a “Hudson Life” magazine article about artists who use Etsy.
  • Introduced a new line of 25 different greeting cards.
  • Introduced a new line of original handpainted bookmarks.
  • Participated in Art House Co-Op’s Sketchbook Library Project.


  • Took Alyson Stanfield’s “Blast Off” class. Wow, I’d recommend that class to anyone! I came out of it with better studio habits, concrete goals, and a clarified direction.
  • Set regular studio hours. I’ve always fit my art into whatever free time I could scrape together. Now, I have defined studio hours, and schedule other activities around my art time.
  • Exhibited at 4 art fairs in the 2 weeks around Thanksgiving, in addition to my regular shows. Made me crazy busy, but it was good for making sales and contacts. It also taught me how to do fairs – how to pack, what inventory to take, how to handle sales, and the logistics of packing and setting up. The whole process has always intimidated me, but I now feel like I have a handle on it.
  • Cleaned and reorganized my studio. I’m more comfortable in it now, and use it more often now that I can find things.
  • Reached my blogging goals: on this blog, I posted more than 2x as often as in 2008 -- almost twice per week. On my ACEO blog, I posted 3x as often as in 2008!


  • Getting regular sleep. I struggle with insomnia, so getting enough sleep is a major deal for me.
  • Did a 30-day Thing-A-Day decluttering project. Every day for 30 days, I got rid of something, whether it went in the trash, to Goodwill, was recycled, or returned to its rightful owner. It was freeing to see all that stuff go.
  • Fun. I tend to work all the time and sacrifice having fun, even though recharging is crucial. This year, I took a wonderful vacation with friends to Napa, and also spent my sister’s 40th birthday with her.

Yes, granted, I had my moments when I wandered off my Path, stalled out, or dawdled too long at some scenic overlook. But my Path kept calling and I kept getting back to it.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Study of a Fig

The fig painting from last week is almost finished. I'm down to the last little fiddles and tweaks. In the meantime, I did this little study of a fig, just because I was having so much fun with the shape.

Figs are one of my favorite foods, and also one of my fondest childhood memories. When I was little, once a year we'd go visit a friend of my mom's and pick figs from the tree in her yard. Rips figs straight off the tree -- heaven! To this day, I can't pass up a fig in almost any form.

This one is 6 x 4 inches, painted with acrylics on paper.

If you're interested, this one is available in my Etsy shop:

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Life Needs Snow Days

Yes, life needs art, but it also needs snow days!

To celebrate the snow day yesterday, Valerie Tyler of Valerie Tyler Designs ran a poll to see what everyone likes to do on snow days. If you haven't voted yet, hop on over there and get your vote in quick!

She was kind enough to feature members of Cleveland Handmade as well, including one of my little snowflake ACEOs.


Sunday, January 03, 2010

Forgetting to Call You Back

I've finally completed my project for the Sketchbook Library Project sponsored by the Art House Co-op!

The Art House Co-Op offered artists the opportunity to sign up and receive both a blank sketchbook and a mystery theme. The artist's task is to fill up the sketchbook with words and images based on that theme.

Sounded like fun. So I signed up.

I received my book and my theme: "Forgetting to Call You Back". Huh? What on earth could I do with that theme?

I don't forget to call people back. (I forget lots of other things, but not that.) My friends are all good at calling me back...except...well...there is this one. She doesn't remember to return calls.


As you see as you browse through the pages of my sketchbook, I fiddled and dawdled and finally hit upon an idea. My book will go in the mail to Art House in the morning.

Art House will collect all the books and then send them on exhibit to 5 cities: Atlanta, Brooklyn, St. Louis, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The books will be accessible to visitors so that they can browse through them, just as with regular library books. After the exhibits, the books will remain in a permanent sketchbook library.

See more details about the Sketchbook Library Project on the Art House Co-Op web site.

And in case you happen to be in the Atlanta-Brooklyn-St. Louis-LA-Chicago area, stop in to see the books on exhibit: