Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What A Difference Some Paint Makes!

I love this time of year. The hustle and bustle of the holidays are over and a new year is just around the bend. But by Christmas, my studio often looks like a craft store exploded...not a pretty sight! So to usher in the new year, I always like to start with a clean slate...or I should say a clean studio.

But this year, I wanted to do a little more than just scrape the papier-maché off the walls and scrub the paint from the floor. I wanted to make my work space more of a "creative space." My studio is not large, approximately 8 feet x 12 feet. I do have a much larger work area outside of this space that I do the real messy stuff in, but my primary space to create is my studio. The white walls and no-nonsense approach to my space were previously very utilitarian - it got the job done. But that's exactly what it was feeling like...a place to work, not a place to create. In a recent issue of Studio's magazine, some wonderful work spaces by some wonderful artists were showcased; Johanna Parker, Scott Smith, Dani Nelson...all featured amazing spaces that were not just a place to work, but a place to "create."

I realized after reading the magazine that my work area doesn't have to be all work and no play. Just adding some color to the walls could transform the space into something much more creative! And add color I did...orange, yellow and black! Since I love creating Halloween-inspired art all year, I felt the colors would perpetually keep the mood going. For me, painting the walls these colors was a step outside my comfort zone, but I can honestly say that I'm loving it! The space now feels like a creative sanctuary and not a utilitarian work room.

 Now, if I can just get past the feeling that I need to keep it clean and pristine, maybe I can actually start getting some work done.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Chicken Lips on Spookytime Jingles

Wow! Has it really been a month since my last post?! I've been so busy with my Christmas shows and getting ready for the holidays myself that I find it tough to get everything done that needs to be done!

Thankfully, I managed to get two new characters finished just in time for the December update of Spookytime Jingles . Say hello to Jingles the Snow Angel and Petey the Party Pumpkin. Okay, so Petey is not really a new character, but a new version - standing atop a wooden block with vintage Halloween scenes decoupaged on the sides.

Both creations are looking for a good home. Stop on by Spookytime Jingles and take a look to see more photos of each.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Angels Have Arrived!

What a productive weekend I had! The stress of getting ready for the Harvest Festival is easing, ever so slightly. I've been so overwhelmed with the encouragement of my fans and friends. Thanks for all of the wonderful, positive comments on my blog and Facebook. Those comments really help to fuel the creative fire! You are all angels in my book!

And speaking of angels, I just finished up 6 for my upcoming show. New this year are angel tree toppers. I've also managed to get a couple "rolly-polly" angels completed as well. I really went out on a limb creativly and painted these in not-so-traditional Christmas colors. The mustard and green combination feels so good to me, I want to paint everything these colors... including my studio! The colors have an almost spring-time look to them. And what is so strange is that I generally don't gravitate towards pastel or tradional spring colors. I've learned that if the creative urge is there, don't fight it.

And REALLY venturing out of my comfort zone, I've been making some figures without eyes and my signature "big smile." They take on a much different look this way. Don't worry, I'm not giving up on those big teeth, it just feels good to let the creativity direct me down different paths sometimes.  

Friday, November 5, 2010

Gentlemen, Start Your Brushes!

Holy Cow! Do I have a lot of painting ahead of me! My next show (Harvest Festival) is now 4 weeks away...and I've still got lots of work ahead of me. The good news is that I finished the last of my sculpting yesterday. All the figures are sanded and gesso'd. Now it's time to put the brush to the acrylics and paint like crazy!

I love the painting process. I think it goes way back to when I first started to learn ceramic painting in the late 70's. My mom and I took a class at a local ceramics store and learned all about dry brushing, antiquing, etc. Some of the techniques I still use to this day! There was something so magical about walking through the store and looking at all those unfinished pieces and just imaging the possibilties of what I could do with them. My biggest achievement at that time was painting an entire nativity set (including shepards, cows AND sheep). There was a total of 10 pieces in that set. Took me 4 months to finish.

Now, I look at the 50+ pieces I have in front of me to paint in less than 4 weeks, wishing I had the stamina I did back in 1979.

Okay, enough nostalgia...back to work!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Great Day at the Village Venture

This past Saturday was my 8th year participating at the Village Venture - a wonderful arts and crafts show along the tree-lined streets of historic downtown Claremont, CA. The sky was gloomy and threatned rain all day, but the crafting gods were looking down on us and held back the mositure until 30 minutes after the show...what luck!

Set up started at 6:30 am. Who knew that the sun wasn't even up at that hour! I asked the show promoters for a new booth location this year as I had spent the last 7 years set up next to the Folk Music store's performance booth. The music is wonderful, but the sheer volume made it impossible to talk with customers. My new spot was centrally located right on a busy corner - perfect location!

The show officially opens at 9am - my first customer was there at 7am! She came early to watch me unpack and get first pick. That's dedication! Here she is making her decision...thanks Holly!

The gloomy weather really put people in the shopping mood. I had the single best sales day of any one-day show, ever! Thanks so much to Marty, Jeff and Wendy for helping me setup, teardown and wrap and bag all those sales. And a big thank you to all my friends, fans and collectors who came out to support me.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My BIGGEST Day of the Dead Creation EVER!

I just finished up my largest Day of the Dead figure so far to date. It may not look like it in this photo, but this fellow stands at over 13" high and is about 9" wide. I always like to make at least one LARGE piece for each show I attend; call it a "show stopper!" Something to really grab people's attention as they pass by my booth. The larger size also made it much easier to paint in all those intricate details on his face.

This bone-daddy makes his debut at the Claremont Village Venture, Sat. Oct 23rd. Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 4, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Halloween is still several weeks away, but I've put the orange and black paint away for now. It's about time I start working on holiday creations. I have to admit that a bit of melancholy comes over me when I know that the mad Halloween-rush is through. I still have one more Fall show to attend, but just about everything is completed for that show. Creatively, I find it tough to switch gears so abruptly, so I like to ease into it slowly. I may start by looking through some old Christmas catalogs, or books about Vintage collectibles. I remember as a kid, I found it easy to get into the holiday spirit when the Sears Wishbook would arrive in the Fall - does anyone else remember that? I know I'm really dating myself with that reference ;)

Somehow, this weekend I found the Christmas spirit and starting in-head first on some snowmen. Now I'm anxious to get working on those Santas, angels and gingerbreadmen.

And before you know it, I'll need to get out those pastel paints and start getting enthused about eggs and bunnies. Wow, where does the time go?!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Halloween and Vine - The Afterglow

As any artist who has ever worked a show will tell you, it can be an emotional roller coaster. The "fun" starts long before the show as you frantically try to get enough pieces made before the event. Then, as it approaches, you begin to question: do I have enough merchandise...do I have TOO much merchandise...are my prices too high...too low...will I even sell anything?

All those questions were answered, and I am happy to say that as an artist, my participation in Halloween and Vine was one of the best exhibiting experiences I have ever had.

More than 200 people were lined up before the doors opened at 9am. Some folks were there at 5:30 am!!!! Talk about determination! And believe me, these folks are determined! When the doors opened, the customers rushed past my table in search of their favorite artists; William Bezek, Nicol Sayer, Jack Roads.... It was like a feeding frenzy at many of these wonderful artist's tables. It was at least 10 minutes before anyone came to my table. And what a long 10 minutes that was. All those feelings of doubt kick in...I don't belong here...my work is just not good enough...maybe my stuff is just too "cute" for these collectors....

But then, it hit!!!! I had a customer, and then another, and then another. Before long, I had a line of people in front of my table holding 2 or 3 pieces each waiting to make their purchases! While I answered questions and made the sales, my partner Marty was frantically wrapping and bagging the purchases. For a solid hour and a half, everything was a blur of credit cards,  receipts and bubble wrap! When the dust settled and I was finally able to take a breath, I realized that all those initial fears and doubts were unfounded.

Halloween and Vine is truly the quintessential collector's art show on the West Coast, and what an honor it was to be a part of it. The chance to show my work and the chance to meet some of my favorite artists (and exhibit amongst them!) was a dream come true.

I would like to thank all my collectors and friends who came out to see me. And a big thank you everyone who supported my art with your purchases and your words of encouragement. Just wait until you see what I have in store for Halloween and Vine 2011!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Skitzo the Zombie Clown!

I don't know why I've been so obsessed lately with making zombie clowns. I guess maybe because they scare the heck out of me and this is some kind of cathartic creative cleansing. Whatever the reason, here's my latest...I call him Skitzo! He is a dual sided piece...first I've ever made like him. One side...good and sweet clown. Other side...mean and nasty clown!

Skitzo makes his debut at Halloween and Vine, Sept 25th!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

More Dia De Los Muertos!

I've been bitten by the Dia De Los Muertos bug! As I mentioned in an earlier post, I collect Day of the Dead art, and it wasn't until recently that I started making some myself. Now, I just don't want to stop making these colorful creations! They require a lot more detail painting than I normally do, but there is something quite zen about painting the decorations on the faces. In fact, I've found that I can get carried away with putting so much detail that none of the white skull shows through! Guess I need to learn restraint.

These 2 photos represent my lastest creations. Each is about 8" high, hand sculpted from papier-maché and paperclay.They will be making their debut at Halloween and Vine on Sept. 25th - www.halloweenandvine.com

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Return of the Candy Corns!

I had so many wonderful responses to my last posting of the Candy Corns in progress. I was thrilled to see that so many of you share my love of this iconic Halloween treat. So, I wanted to share the final finished corns with you. Here they are in all their sugar-filled goodness. I've made about 8 hanging corns and 3 standing ones. I will soon be packing them up for their road trip to Petaluma for the Halloween and Vine show (www.halloweenandvine.com).

One corn, however will be making his way over to the next Spookytime Jingles update on Sept. 13th (www.spookytimejingles.com). Which corn will it be? Stay tuned to find out!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Candy Corns

The ideas are coming fast and furious, but the clock is ticking away! My first fall show is only a month away and I can't keep up with all the things I want to make! This always seems to happen to me...when the pressure hits, the ideas come.

Today, I'm finishing up this batch of Candy Corns, and then it's onto sculpting one last batch of skulls (all my previous skulls that I had made for the shows have sold!). Right now, I'm looking at about 45 pieces that need to be painted in the next several weeks. So, please forgive me if my post start getting few and far between ;)

Okay, enough chit chat...back to work!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

STJ Sneek Peek!

Tonight at Midnight (9pm PST), Spookytime Jingles opens it's doors to yet another collection of amazing creations. I have several spooky new offerings that are sure to jump start your Halloween. Stop by and see!!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Halloween Night Lights

I just finished up these two new creations that I'm really excited about! Both stand about 16" high and have battery-operated tea lights in their pumpkin pails that give off a spooky, Halloween glow. Both are sculpted from papier-maché and paper clay.

I will be debuting these fellows at the Halloween and Vine show in just (GULP!) 7 weeks. 7 weeks?! Yipes! I better get back to work!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sneek Peek!

The EHAG Emporium once again opens its creaking doors on some frightfully wonderful Halloween creations this Saturday at 9pm (EST). My first witch of the season will be looking for a good home...take her home, if you DARE! Here's a little peek...

Be sure to stop by, Saturday, July 31, 9pm (EST). 

Visit the site

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dia De Los Chicken Lips

As a kid, I was petrified of skeletons, yet strangely drawn to them. As I grew, I started to find the humor in them. So when I discovered the tradition of Dia De Los Muertos art, I was hooked! I've been collecting pieces for quite a while now. And yet, I've never made a piece myself...until now.
Here is my first-ever Chicken Lips Dia de Los Muertos sculpt. I now really appreciate the detail that goes into painting a traditional skull! Lots of work! This fellow is hand sculpted from paper clay with a wire for hanging. I hope to make some more of these for some of my upcoming shows.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Spookytime Jingles Birthday Bash!

It's hard to believe it, but Spookytime Jingles turns 2 years old this month! STJ is an amazing marketplace of some of the finest creators of Halloween and Christmas art, and I've been lucky enough to be a part of the group since day one.

This month, as a special birthday celebration, STJ is offering more door prizes and an amazing special guest! I'd tell you who it is, but even I don't know...that's how secret it is ;)

In honor of the party, I made a special edition party punk rock pumpkin this month...a "Punk'n!" I've also got some more new Halloween and Christmas creations, but you'll have to stop by and see them.

Be there tonight when the party starts - Midnight (EST), 9pm (PST). If you can't stay up that late, don't worry, the party lasts all month...but, please note that all creations on STJ are original, one-of-a-kind pieces and all are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. See ya at the party!!!!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Skelly on the Move!

I seem to be fixated on the idea of things with wheels right now. I don't know why, but I want to put wheels on everything I'm making! This little skelly I just finished up is no exception. Riding in his eco-friendly pumpkin mobile, he is ready to cruise the graveyards. Sculpted from papier-maché and paper clay.

I'm finishing up painting my last batch of creations. Once these are painted,  stained, waxed and sealed, then it's back to getting my hands in the clay and creating a whole new batch. I've got plans for witches, zombies, and maybe a Santa or snowman thrown in just to mix things up ;)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Say "Hello" to Uncle Sam

Wow, is it really 4th of July weekend already?! That means my first Fall show is under 3 months away...yipes! I've been so busy with Halloween creations that I almost forgot to create any patriotic art this year. But, just in time...here is Uncle Sam in his watermelon car.

Sam is hand sculpted from papier-maché and paper clay. His watermelon car rolls on wooden wheels. I was inspired to make this piece by a vintage postcard that I had found online. I've always loved the idea of traveling "by fruit!" And with it's low emissions, this method of transportation is definitely "green"...HA!

Uncle Sam is available for purchase in my ETSY shop

Have a wonderful 4th of July!!!!!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

EHAG Sneak Peek

Tonight the doors open to another Electic Halloween Artists Guild Emporium! The fun starts at 9pm (EST) - 6pm (PST) when the members of our group offer up unique and original Halloween art created especially for the Emporium. Tonight I'm offering the first ever battery-opertated Chicken Lips...LOL!

Stop by and see for yourself....but hurry, these one-of-a-kind creations sell FAST!  http://ehagemporium.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Back to Work!

After a much needed vacation to Hawaii, I've put my nose back to the grindstone! Seems the wonderful warm weather we had while I was gone helped to dry a lot of the pieces that I had been working on. Now it's time for paint and Gesso.

I've got lots of seasonal goodies in the works including a couple new pieces that I'm really excited about; an Uncle Sam in a watermelon car and a skeleton in a pumpkin car! Hope to start painting these soon. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Happy Halloween to Ewe!

Halloween is still a ways off. But for the last couple months I've been eating, sleeping and breathing Halloween! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE it! It just kind of throws me off from the "real world" calendar. Heck, we haven't even had the Fourth of July yet and I'm surrounded by all things dark and spooky.

Here's my latest (almost finished) creation...Ewenice the Halloween Ewe. She stands about 10" high, hand sculpted from papier-maché and paper clay on a wooden base with wheels. Ewenice will "roll out" for her big debut at the Halloween and Vine show in Petaluma Sept. 25th


Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Peek- A - BOO!

The EHAG Emporium has opened it's doors to another exclusive sale!

Here is a peak at what I'm offering this month. An exclusive candy dish, designed exclusively for the Emporium. Stop by and see my newest creation and the AMAZING art by my fellow artists. http://ehagemporium.blogspot.com/

Friday, May 21, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy!

I've been working my tail off trying to make enough hanging ornaments for my upcoming shows. These little ornies have been so popular that I can never seem to make enough of them! This year, I'm trying to get ahead of the game and make as many as I can early so I'm not panicked right before the show (Ha!, like that won't happen!).

I've got ornie witches, pumpkins, devils, skellys, cats and more! I know not everyone can make it out to my shows, so I will be posting a few on my ETSY shop in the coming weeks.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Spookytime Jingles ETSY SHOP

I recently had the pleasure of sending some of my creations off to the National Halloween Convention in Pennsylvania.  Spookytime Jingles had an amazing display representing many of the site’s wonderful artists. The show was a HUGE success! If you didn’t make it to the convention, now is your chance to purchase some of the amazing creations that were featured at the show.

Spookytime Jingles has opened an exclusive ETSY shop to help some of the remaining pieces find good homes. I have several spooky Halloween pieces that are being offered on the ETSY site; devils, pumpkins, skellys and more!

Stop by today and see all these exclusive creations...but hurry, they are going FAST!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Spookytime Jingles Tonight!

It's that time again! Spookytime Jingles' new issue releases tonight at midnight (EST) and I've got lots of new goodies to share! This month, it's all about pumpkins; big pumpkins, little pumpkins...even some "pumpkin pie!" I've really started to get into the Halloween spirit - it feels SO good to be making my spooky creations again.

Stop by tonight and see what's new! www.spookytimejingles.com