Friday, August 28, 2009

Christmas in Autumn?

With the fall right around the corner, it got me to thinking about my craft shows days... Back when I was painting for fall & winter craft fairs, or painting items for myself or as gifts, I'd spend late summer and all through the fall season painting furiously for Christmas...

... so, if you're a painter, I guess it's definitely not too soon to start thinking Christmas!

I just listed this "Woodland Santa" sled in my ETSY shop as an e-pattern.

It originally appeared in the Winter 2007 PaintWorks, so if you have this issue you already have the pattern...

Wishing you all much painting inspiration for the upcoming holiday seasons!!!


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

An art giveaway... my talented daughter's blog, Amanda Atkins in a Canary Forest...

The blue link above will take you to her giveaway post. Just leave a comment and you'll have a chance to win a signed print of her very popular tattooed lady ("And with unspoken ease, I was your pet"). This is the same art that appears on The Beautiful Untrue CD by Jerry Fish & The Mudbug Club. And if you mention her giveaway on your blog, be sure to let her know in your comment as you'll then be entered twice!

Good luck, everyone!!


Saturday, August 22, 2009


... such a powerful word!

So powerful that when I spotted this pearl CREATE sign a couple of years ago (at Katie's Rose Cottage - she has the coolest things!!), I wasted no time in ordering it. Until I could decide where I wanted to place it, I temporarily hung it over the top of my (Target) etched mirror... It still hangs there, to this day, and now I can't picture it anywhere else! It doesn't hurt that it is right in front of my painting desk, either (a little subliminal message perhaps?)...

I have lots of my favorite things on top of this junktique find bookcase... The two white iron lamps (lots of neat detailing in the bases) were from a favorite junktique store that is no longer in business (sad for me but probably good for my wallet, although these lamps were a steal!)... When Amanda was in high school, she took a pottery class... I just love this mug with the upside down handle. It's hard to see (unless you enlarge the photo), but it she embossed roses all over it... so pretty!
Amanda also made this cool "here's looking at you" piece of pottery (my title, not hers). I love the colors and think it's so unique!!

A vintage Mary bust sits on a hand-painted cigar box, which in turn sits on an old vanity mirror (I painted the gold a pretty pink)...
I love it when I'm on a creative roll and don't look up for hours; but for those times when I have "artist's block," I at least have some pretty neat stuff to look at while trying to get the juices flowing again!
Donna (wishing you all a creative weekend!!)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Inspiration is only a mouse-click away!

I was so disappointed...

...when Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion magazine ceased publishing.

Just look at the array of ME magazines that I spread out on my loveseat (which is covered by this baby crib comforter - one of my favorite junktique finds)... See how all the covers match the colors I decorate with? Is it any wonder that I always felt right at home in her magazine?

ME Home Companion and Country Living are the only magazines I subscribe to (now it's just Country Living, and I'm not that thrilled with changes they've made lately, but that's another story)...

Perhaps someday I'll receive an envelope in my mailbox from ME Home Companion telling me that the presses are up and running again, because there's nothing like hunkering down in a comfy chair with a favorite magazine. Turning actual pages beats scrolling with a mouse any day (at least in my book)...

But - since there is no ME Home Companion (for the time being), I've found the next best thing! I just learned that Mary Engelbreit has a blog!!! So now I can get a regular ME fix again, even if it does mean mouse-clicking instead of page flipping! You can click on the link in my sidebar, or just click HERE to be whisked away to a most lovely and creative blog!!!

Happy reading!!!


Monday, August 17, 2009

Converting to e-patterns... the birds have landed!

I had received ScanSoft PDF Converter software as a gift, and to say I am software/technically/computer challenged is an understatement...

It took me many HOURS to try to figure out how to convert this old pattern into an e-pattern.. God bless those of you who are a whiz at these things. I doubt it will ever come easy to me (same as sewing or getting the surround sound on the TV to work!)

But after struggling (with both my photography skills AND my computer skills), I have finally added these sweet little birdies to my ETSY shop as an e-pattern, and just in time for painting Christmas ornaments and/or gift tags (of course, if you're anything like me, you always wait till the last minute for everything!!)

They originally appeared in a painting magazine many years ago, and I'm finally starting to convert many of my older patterns into e-patterns, so I'll let you know as they become available.

If you click the bluejay at the top of this post, he'll take you right to my ETSY shop.

And as a special offer for my blog readers, for the rest of this month I'll be offering a "BUY 2 E-PATTERNS, GET A 3rd one FREE" So just purchase any two e-patterns from my ETSY shop, and then convo me to let me know which pattern you'd like me to send you for FREE :)

Wishing you all a COOL summer day - it is HOT AND HUMID here in the northeast! Why, oh why, did I complain about the cool, rainy start to the summer???


Monday, August 10, 2009

A sneak peek....

... at what I've been up to lately (totally out of my comfort zone, I might add!)

On occasion I've attempted flowers (most times, with dismal results)... But since I now decorate my own home in a shabby cottage style, I thought it would fun fun to be able to hang at least one or two of my own designs. So here are snippets of my two latest attempts, now at my publisher's.
When I grow up, I'd love to be able to paint flowers like my good friend, Jill! Or at least take lessons from her :)
Wishing you all a wonderful week... Can you believe we're almost halfway through August? I don't know about you, but here in the northeast I feel like we were cheated out of summer this year... It was SO rainy and cold for the first month and a half! I plan to enjoy what's left of it!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ocean view...

I just finished adapting one of my e-patterns ("Ocean View," originally painted on an old wood ironing board) to fit a standard print size for my publisher.

I was about three quarters through the project when these photos were taken, but it's since been finished and was shipped off to PLP a couple of weeks ago.

Now I need to decide which project to start next. I've finally got a lot of design ideas running through my head instead of drawing a big blank!
The humidity is due to lift so I think we're in for some beautiful summer days - warm and dry! Wishing you all beautiful summer weather... and wishing I was "Ocean View" right about now, but painting the ocean will have to suffice (which reminds me of this great quotation):
"One day I found myself saying to myself, "I can't live where I want to. I can't even say what I want to! I decided I was a very stupid fool not to at least paint as I wanted to!"
(Georgia O'Keeffe, 1887-1986)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Organized Chaos...

"Paint bottles lay empty. Brushes need cleaning.
Drawings scattered all around. Sawdust is everywhere.
And this I call home!" (Anastasia)

Oh, Anastasia, I feel your pain!!!! Organized chaos - now there's an oxymoron, huh? The truth is, I couldn't even take this photo before tidying up my work area a bit (yes, this is the tidied up version if you can believe that!).... The "before" would have scared you away for sure!

I once had a lovely painting magazine editor tell me (after seeing my brush tub) that it would be fun to have artists submit photos of their brush tubs to see whose was the grungiest... I think my photo speaks for itself. Surely I'd have walked away with first place!

Here are some of the colors used in my latest paintings... I love using these foam plates as pallettes. I just keep using the same ones over and over because, since I use acrylics, they dry very quick...

Now I need to tidy up my studio office so I can feel creative again... Nothing saps my creativity more than trying to come up with ideas while surrounded by the previous work's mess....

Hope you all have a very productive week!