What I Found In Las Vegas

We went to Las Vegas for Thanksgiving.  The best part was seeing my husband’s family, as we don’t get to see them very often.

The second best thing was an accidental discovery – some black and white portraits of Picasso during 1944 when he was in hiding from the Germans in France.  The photographer was Richard Ham, who was a 24 year old  stationed in France with the United States Army Signal Corps.  He was fortunate enough to photograph Picasso during this time and the photographs are amazing.

The Jeff Mitchum Galleries in the Bellagio has the actual photographs and they are beautiful.  To read the story of all this came about, go to the Jeff Mitchum Galleries page.

Picasso 1944 shot by Richard Ham at the Jeff Mitchum Galleries in the Bellagio


The computer cannot do justice to the beautiful light in this photograph and how rich the tonalities were.  I was mesmerized by it.  Natural light with one fill flash.  It was gorgeous.

Jeff Mitchum Galleries:  jeffmitchumgalleries.com



Missing In Action.  That seems appropriate.  No really good excuses, except that the significant other graduated from law school, we got married and then I got sick.  All this happened within the space of a few days.

SO, Year of Making will have to start over.  In the meantime, I have been navigating my way through trying to figure out how to be an intentional artist and not just a frustrated one.

Trying to develop good working habits and trying not to censure myself so much on what I think may be good or bad.  I find I don’t do anything if I ponder any one thing too long.  I’ve made some not great things, but you know what?  The not great things have led to some wonderful discoveries.  Currently my desk is littered with things I would never show anyone, but I am finding them inspirational because it is leading me on to other things.

Even though I often rail against technology, it has brought me to discover some wonderful artists – I am currently in love with the work of Maryanna Hoggatt.  She has created a series of illustrations, paintings and sculptures called Animal Battle.  I love that she has brought them into three dimensions:

Sculpture by Maryanna Hoggatt


Painting by Maryanna Hoggatt


Maryanna Hoggatt:  maryannahoggatt.com

What a year of making has led to so far

I am, like most people, totally busy during the week.  I love my day job but it takes a certain amount of energy to do it, so by the time I get home my brain is next to mush.

There are other projects besides things that involve Photoshop that I want to get to, but during the week it is nearly an impossibility.  So Photoshop has been my go to.  And the interesting thing about that is that it has me thinking about Photoshop in a different way.  I’ve always loved it, but making something everyday has opened me up to experimenting more with it and not necessarily worried about the end result.  In a word, it has been FUN.

This first photo is one for day 12, the next one is day 13.

rose clouds texture2015web

clouds textures 2015webEssentially the same background but with different textures.  Really enjoying the freedom to try new things!

A Year of Making, days 2 – 7


A Year of Making days 2 - 7 2015 webInterestingly, my first week of A Year of Making has found me getting back into Photoshop again.  I am loving this, as you have to do something everyday, so you can’t spend a lot of time agonizing over everything.  Not everything has to be perfect.

The top left picture is a combination of my love of Photoshop and my love of people who craft these amazing sculptures/designer toys. The two little squirrels are by Cassandra Jerman and the pointy ear gentleman behind them is a Beastlie by Leslie Levings.  They both do beautiful work.

On to week two!

Leslie Levings:  beastlies.com

Cassandra Jerman:  cassandrajerman.com


A Year of Making

I went to a conference that was for makers and crafters – Craftcation.  I learned a lot and the one class that I got the most out of was the one that I had no expectations of at all.

To make a long story short, what brought me to Craftcation was first knowing that I needed to do something with my creative side that would help propel me forward in art and creating but also maybe teach me about the business side of it too.  As much as I love my day job, ever since I was small the thing that sustains me is creativity and imagination and what you could bring to the world with those two things.  I remember, one day long ago, looking out a window before I had to go to work and knowing I was going down a path that while seemed like a good fit on the outside, wasn’t where my heart and soul longed to go.

Now here I am, several years later, following the path that I want to go down.  It’s funny how things work out – in your twenties, you think you have all the time in the world, but as you get into your fifties (argh – I’m in my fifties? Really?) you realize that time relentlessly moves forward and you can’t stop it.  Not a new revelation, I know, but a series of events happened that brought me to the edge of the proverbial cliff and I realized if I didn’t do something about it now, I probably never would.

Craftcation is a place for people who make and craft can come together, meet each other and learn not only about creating things but also how the business side works as well.  A friend of mine wanted to go and somehow we figured out a plan to make it work.   I carefully perused the class list before it came out and signed up for a mix of classes – some creative ones and some that were more business oriented.

There was one session block where I wasn’t particularly excited about any of the classes by the description as I wasn’t sure they pertained to something I was interested in.  So I signed up for a class called Mighty Ugly.  In brief, it was a class that focused on the creative process and not the end product – the goal of the class was to make something ugly.  I was piqued by the idea of this and signed up for the class.

Go figure.  The class you think the least about when you sign up for it is the one that impresses it’s message on you the most.  I LOVED this class.

The instructor, Kim Piper Werker was fantastic and walked her talk.  I was inspired not only by her but by the other people in the class.  I’ll go more into detail on another blog post about what happened at Craftcation and also in the Mighty Ugly class, but suffice it to say I was inspired enough to do another project that Kim Werker advocates and has tools for  – A Year of Making.

She walks you through the process and shares her experience with it.  She has an ebook that helps guide you through the process.  I love her take on this as it isn’t about agonizing about what you’re going to make, it is about making something – bake some cookies, draw a doodle, sew on a button, it’s all good.  She also helps you discover what is important to you.

I also am reading and doing the exercises out of her book,  Make It Mighty Ugly.  I’ve wrote enough for this blog post, but I’ll let you know how it is going.  She asks questions that I found I really had to think about to answer.

I’m tired of being in that zone of “what if?”  I’m always second guessing myself and not doing what I want to do because…well, a lot of reasons, but a lot of them have to do with failure.

So I am boldly going forward, doing A Year of Making and trying to get to the heart of what I want to do creatively.

If you’re a creative person, someone who makes things, you should check Kim Werker out.  I think you will find it worth your while.

Kim Werker:  kimwerker.com

And Craftcation?  TOTALLY worth it.  If you have a chance to go, you should. Craftcation was started by two amazing women, Delilah Snell and Nicole Stevenson, who have a blog called Dear Handmade Life.  It’s a great blog and the information for Craftcation is there.

Dear Handmade Life:  dearhandmadelife.com

I am starting A Year of Making today, April 5, 2015.  I love, love, love Photoshop but often times don’t let myself just play around in it…so this is what I made for today:




One thousand adorable characters

Danil Krivoruchko, also known as Myshli, wanted to see how creative he could get using a certain set of parameters.  Below is his explanation:

One Thousand Ksoids by Myshli


If you go to the site, you can randomly select different ksoids – they’re all wonderful and seem to have a personality all their own.

One Thousand Ksoids by Myshli


One Thousand Ksoids by Myshli


Danil Krivoruchko:  ksoid.myshli.com

Details, details

Greg ‘Craola’ Simkins has an amazing way of making his imagination come to life in a way that when you see it, makes you believe that it might be something you could actually see in real life.  You could look at one of his paintings for a long time just taking in the details he puts into it.  It’s like falling into Alice’s rabbit hole and landing in some fantastic place.

His work is also the inspiration for a short film, “I’m Scared” that will hopefully be out soon – I’m guessing it will be great!

Good Knight by Greg “Craola” Simkins


Join Me by Greg “Craola” Simkins


Greg “Craola” Simkins:  imscared.com

Dolls that tell a story

Cindee Moyer is an artist who makes dolls.  Her dolls are soulful, detailed and if the story behind them isn’t readily apparent, you can imagine what it might be from the personalities that she imbues them with.

Princess and the Pea by Cindee Moyer


La Vie en Rose by Cindee Moyer


Cindee Moyer:  cmoyer.com



More great digital art

When I first looked at Sonya Fu’s work, I immediately thought that this was painted or drawn on paper.  I was surprised when I found out that this was digital.  Her use of color, light and shading is beautiful and mesmerizing.


Dream a Little Dream by Sonya Fu


Inner Child by Sonya Fu


Sonya Fu:  sonyafu.com

Love his use of color

I love color and when an artist knows how to use color, it really is a feast for the eye.  Daniel Merriam has a good eye for color combinations and his paintings are intricate and detailed in design and how he puts colors together.

A World Apart by Daniel Merriam


The Man in the Moon by Daniel Merriam


Daniel Merriam:  danielmerriam.com