Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Painting as Therapy

I love painting so much.  I could start every "journal style" post like that.  Combine the opening sentence with pregnancy hormones, and you've been warned.  I've been feeling very disconnected lately.  Trying to remake plans for the next year, or the next twenty some-odd years, and give myself over to the idea of this pregnancy and another b-b-b-baby.  I am afraid of losing myself, my identity, my spark.  This is when painting becomes therapy.  The process reconnects me and brings me back to center.  Creativity, as well as productivity, gives me sanity.  I am working on a big painting of the ten virgins.  With ten figures, it is a lofty project.  It is just what I need.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday Drawings

This is what I feel like. I have to eat at least every two hours, always have something in my stomach or I start gagging, ultimately throwing up... nothing.  Juices.  Because my stomach is empty.  It's getting old.
This is what I want to feel.  Bravery and confidence.  Wearing a mantle of fiercness.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Drawing

I just finished up a wonderful week with my sister, Sari, and a few days with my mom and my dad.  We enjoyed craft time, El Tour de Tucson bike race, movies, restaurants, and lots of pie.  They were reluctant to leave the sunshine, but managed to pull themselves away.  Now, I'm looking forward to getting back to work.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


This Thanksgiving I am the most thankful for the surprise little blessing we get to add to our family.
I hope you have had a wonderful day.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010


 I took an entire day off of painting (... and just about everything else) to craft.  Sometimes you just have to do that - it's good for the soul.  Cass and I started these dolls when she was here last month.  I have a baby shower tonight for a mom having a boy and adopting a girl.  I am in love the the little boy's tight, polk-a-dot shorts.  You know, boys can have dolls too.  These dolls are the perfect size for a little fist to grasp and squish, and chew on.  I've been experimenting with fabric flowers, which I used to top off the girl's head.  Very Frida-like.
I think this guy needs a little pair of suspenders.  Back to work.  Wish I could make a hundred of these!! Sister come back!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Poor Rudolph

The other reindeer wouldn't let her play in their reindeer games.  Art Access Gallery in Salt Lake City is selling these stockings decorated by some fabulous artists on the next gallery stroll.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tweet-ity Tweet

I totally tweet.  Like, every day.  You can follow me @empaints.  I've been using twitpics to snap of shot of what I am working on every day.  I hope to have some interesting progressions to watch as my paintings develop.  Look to the left and you can follow me on Twitter.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Flourish and Fetter Show

I just returned from my annual pilgrimage east.  Cass and I had some hilarious, some odiferous, and some treacherous adventures in Brooklyn.  (Thanks Russ and Robin for letting us crash at your place.) 
 We sucked up creative energy at the Brooklyn Art Museum.  And, yes, made a film.  Party Hat Dance Troop takes Brooklyn. 

Then, on a train to Connecticut where we discussed business at the Greenwich Workshop headquarters.  Twenty-eleven is going to be a great year. 

I got my autumn fix.  Here is the dorky line I used at least twice, which is two times too many: "Cause, you know, the cactus don't change color..."  It was beautiful, and crunchy, and cold.  I love bundling up.
Were you wondering about the fabulous hats?  Why, it's the Connecticut chapter!  PHDT is going to take the planet one city at a time.

And, of course, Cass, dad, and I had a great show at the Greenwich Workshop Gallery.  Thank you Scott and Chris.  I saw old friends and made lots of new friends.  

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wild Hearts can't be Broken

My film-making debut!  I just found a new hobby (cause that's what I needed).  This weekend, Cass and I made a sequel to our movie, Tell me about Dancing, from last February in chilly Utah.  PHDT (said ffff-dot, standing for party-hat dance troupe), episode 2, the Arizona chapter.  I got to edit this one and learned how to use imovie.  Way too much fun.  Way too many ideas.

We had so much whirl-wind fun this weekend.  Hun taught me how she makes skirts, we made little dolls,  party-hat props for our movie, went to a punkin' patch and saw pigs race, got chills in the hobby lobby, hardly slept, and squeezed in some shopping.  I always get the coolest stuff when I shop with my sisters.  I really needed some concentrated, spontaneous creativity, of which Cass is the queen, and my girls needed cousin time.  And, now I need a nap.  I'm so glad they came, thanks for coming over, sister!

Friday, October 8, 2010

The flag I Bear

My dad is doing a large painting with young warrior women boldly bearing standards (huge flags with the colors of the values) looking mighty as worthy participants in the battle in heaven.  It's really powerful and beautiful.  I think a reaction to this representation is where my painting My flag is small I know, but it's not yours it is my own came from.  Maybe I was a standard bearer and carried a banner then, but now, I feel small.  Solid in my declaration, but not very loud.  A red flag, because it's the strongest color I know.  Small because I don't think very many people can hear me.  It may not be large, but it is mine, and it is pure and true.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Flag is small I know,

but it's not yours it is my own.

This is another painting for my show with my dad and sister in Connecticut in  a few weeks.  But who cares!  (I really do)  My sisters are coming to town!!  First Hun (aka Cass) comes with her girls next weekend, then Sari is coming down to ride El Tour de Tucson bike race with me, and my mom and dad are coming with her for Thanksgiving!  I'm working on a list of projects, here is what I have so far:
  • sew pillows
  • or dolls
  • make fleecy hats
  • work on Halloween costumes
  • a Halloween decoration or banner 
  • Halloween dolls! monsters or witches
  • paint the chicken coop (after we take a chisel to the poop, maybe not)
  • Hun has been itchin to make something out of our chicken eggs...
  • make a story book with pictures of our girls (or us, he he)
  • or a spooky movie
  • we can always make cards

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday Drawings

Enjoy God's Creations
 I love General Conference weekend.  We spent sweet time together as a family, I made spelt-kamut bread from whole grains, we got a 100-gallon water barrel (bring on the disaster, we're good for at least two, maybe three weeks), I had lots of time to draw, and was spiritually fed.  A wonderful weekend... that isn't going to end because my kids are out of school for fall break!  Woot woot, party time.  First, Halloween decorations.  Second, camping trip.  Third, get ready for sister and nieces to come.  
Oh, that I were an angel
My favorite talk was by President Uchtdorf.  He talked about finding our "optimum speed," which probably means slowing down.  There is so much I want to do, accomplish, and be good at.  I just can't fit it all in.  He quoted Da Vinci, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."  Sometimes we have to forgo good things in order to obtain better things.  Our self-worth ought not equal the length of our to-do list.  I needed to hear all of that, to better place everything in my life into proper perspective.  Love equals time spent with family, which is my highest priority and the key to harmony in the home.  President Monson shared a wonderful message about being grateful.  I have so much to be grateful for, I can hardly stand it.  So, I will try to "walk with gratitude."  

Friday, October 1, 2010

On Symbolism


A visual artist speaks her own language.  This language is read in symbols.  There are a few that are common, even universal, but an artist's alphabet is crafted out of experience and imagination and is identifiably unique.  Everyone uses symbols, think bumper stickers and jewelry.  The flip flop, for example.  Put it on a tote and I will read you as one who loves vacation, sea breezes, and wearing pastels.  

One of the main purposes of my blog is to teach you my language.  Not an easy task, putting visual symbols into words.  I'll be honest, I don't even know what my symbols mean sometimes.  I paint them and know they mean something.  Of course, writing about my paintings helps me define and decipher the meanings.  

Take these "totems" I have been using lately.  A totem is an animal, plant, or other object in nature that has a special relationship to a person, family, or clan that serves as a sign for that group.  I know that these paintings are about identity.  I think my women want to take on or emphasize the qualities and traits of their animal totems.  Ursus is a mother bear who fiercely defends her cubs, is soft and strong at the same time.  

Also in this piece, she displays a colorful and happy house.  It is inviting and somewhere you would want to be.  I'm not sure why it is one-dimensional, maybe a representation of an environment she is trying to create.  A symbol of a symbol.  The moon?  It makes me feel like she is the protector, when all is quiet and vulnerable, she holds her cubs safe.  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Camouflage is one of a few of my recent paintings that are about identity - perception of self and how one is perceived and such things.  I am just starting to put this theme to words.  I'll have to explain my use of totems and getting tangled in patterns when I get to where I can wrap my brain around it and wax poetic.

Here is what I love about going to art shows: talking art smack.  With artists and art appreciators (love those).  When I am showing my own work I enjoy hearing what people think about my art and what it says to them, I also enjoy "educating" people on the meanings and thinkings behind my paintings.  Even better, I love getting to talk to other artists about their art.  I was in good company in Park City last weekend as part of a group show at the Meyer Gallery.  I had wonderful conversations with Ray Bonilla, Justin and Sunny Taylor, Brian Kershisnik, and others.  If you happen to be in Park City, stop in Meyer Gallery for a look-see.  It is a brilliant show and a wonderful gallery.  Lots of good art.  I'm trying to underplay my excitement by avoiding exclamations. !!!

I also had loads of fun on my trip to Utah canning all week-end long with my sisters!!  Oh there I go with the exclamations.  We just have so much fun!  And we turned bushels of produce from their gardens into delectable jars of winter blessings.  An old friend crossed our path in the kitchen and said, "What good little Mormon girls you are."  Yes, we most certainly are.
From Rhubarb to Tomatillos

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Drawing

Oh ya, I have a blog...  I'm so easily distracted.
My first drawing in my super cool new sketchbook that Nina gave me on my Utah trip.  Thanks Nina.  She made this from an old reader's digest book.  Some people are so cool. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Of Two Minds

Then, window, let day in, and let life out.
A new day, what will you make of it?
I am of two minds.
Adventure beckons, but duty is impatient.
I long for Branwyn's salty breath on my skin,
and I hesitate to serve my ungrateful stewardship.
Alas, adventure beckons and duty is impatient.

I have had some interesting responses to this paintings.  By interesting I mostly mean not super positive (but, I have to say this is one of my all time favorites).  My publisher said, "It looks, it's kind of like.. um, it looks like she's... tweakin'".  Oh man, that's funny.  I had to tell him that it wasn't an accident.

The composition for this painting might look familiar.  There is a painting called Gabrielle d'Estrées et une de ses soeurs at the Louvre.  Gabrielle d'Estrees was King Henry IV of France's mistress and the tweakin' is symbolic of her fertility as she is with child.  In my painting the tweaking is actually a pea plucked from the plant growing behind her.  Her children are waiting (unenthusiastically) for their meal, and though she would love to sail away on a pirate adventure, she has to remind herself of her duties.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Meyer Gallery - Park City

This summer I took a couple paintings to my NEW gallery on Main Street in Park City, Meyer Gallery!!  On Saturday, 4 September I will be there for the opening of a group show called "The Modern Figure" with Fidalis Buehler, Fatima Ronquillo, Chris Miles, Brian Kershisnik, and Yours Truely.  I have five new and great paintings to show.  I am so excited!  You can come, if you want to.  I hope you do.
Come Sail Away with Me

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I saw a hundred ordinary faces, and felt the only cheechako.

Cheechako: a tenderfoot, greenhorn, newcomer 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Only wanting to hang on to naiveté
A boon to those who don't excogitate

This is a 4"x4" little painting for my show in Connecticut this October with my dad and sister.  I still trip out that I am a "grown up" and every once in a while I don't like it.  But, it can't be helped, so I should try not to think about it too much and keep doing what I've got to do.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Flash Barroom begock Plop

The First Egg

A couple days ago we had a full on monsoon.  It had been threatening for a while, 65% humidity with the temperature going over 100 every day (pretty sticky and miserable).  So, we welcomed the crazy wind, flashes of lightning, and wild downpour that made lakes of our overflows.  At one point in the afternoon there was a clap of thunder that literally shook the house... and out popped Crystal's first egg!  The thunder scared an egg right out of her.  Just like on Goonies when the balloon pops and the chicken lays an egg to tip the scale and make the bowling ball roll and crank the gate open.  It's little and blue and so precious that we haven't cracked it yet.  We need more barometric pressure so they'll do it again, we haven't had one since (though, we look five times a day)!  I've been giving them extra treats like flax seeds, they need nourishment and omega 3s!  Love our chickens.