March 16, 2011

Big Fat Slacker! Where Writing Blogs is Concerned

If you follow both this page as well as my personal blog you're going to see the exact same post in both places today. I'd apologize for that but really I'm far too busy to let it bother me haha.

Work has been great lately, I've been painting and meeting with some folks in an effort to kick start a little business again. I love it, love my company and love my job. I only wish it didn't take so darn long to work it because by the time people are ready to hire me, Matt and I will be moving!

(hint, hint -- get me now before we're gone haha)

That's another thing though, the move. We are intending to take almost nothing with us because after years of living like we're still in college (in our mid 30's) we're both ready to upgrade the furniture on the other side. Of course that means we're selling it all and with me being the at home gal, the picture taking, description writing and listing location decision making falls on me. No biggie its just that its a lot of work to research all that stuff and list it!

It will be nice to have a few extra bucks in our pocket to make the journey with though!

Which brings me to school. My college is awesome and they've let me take a 2 week break in order to move. The really cool thing is that a class ends the very day we plan to leave so the schedule barely even has to shift.

So anyway, with school, work, pimpin business and general life living my blogs have really fallen by the wayside. I don't intend to give them up though (never!) so I hope you'll stick around for the times when I do post! And I promise to comment soon, I try to still read all of yours even if I simply lurk around the blogosphere in the background.

Have a great rest of the week and with any luck I'll get a feature faux up on Friday...after I read these 4 chapters and list some more stuff on eBay...

March 9, 2011

Tuesday Tip of the Day -- Do What You Can!

And I sincerely mean that from the bottom of my heart because I don't really have an excuse for not writing yesterday (actually on Tuesday) other than I simply didn't! 

Little things in life like blogs going out on the day that people expect them can't bog down my mind or else I'm never going to get anywhere now am I?  Instead my brain is taking a little vacation from pressure and stress.  In my head, I'm the person who just vacated the beach chair in this scene, the one who is going to give surfing a try, if only those waves got a little bigger!

Thank You Friends and Fans

So with that in mind and the 'Do What You Can' mentality pumping through my teeny blue veins, I'd love to share some of the positive feedback I got over at Facebook about my Southwest Mountain mural!  My family and friends are awesome to give so much support and I really want to thank them bunches for all the positive vibes!  I really love my job and it is super gratifying to see that so many people enjoy the work that I do, especially on a piece that is among my favorites in recent history.  And one that I thoroughly enjoyed painting from inspiration!

" first glance I thought this was a real photo. It's beautiful!!!"

"Where have you been hiding this talent? I never knew you were so artistic - brilliant, yes; but this type of artistic I didn't have a clue!"


"Do you do this for money? I would love to have you come paint something in [little girl]'s room."

"...I keep having crazy mural / paint ideas for the boys bedroom/playroom."

"Very nice! Love the shading on this, Jenn. This reminds me of Arizona. I love how the Saguaros look like they're marching up the hills... in this pic and in real life."

"Great work Jenn! :)"

I don't want to share who said what, if you said it you know who you are and I could not thank you more for thinking of me and my talent!  Not only the two friends who actually mentioned they would hire me (yippie!) but to everyone for just taking a second out of your day to tell me that you appreciate my work.  Even if it was only one second of your time spent clicking that little Facebook Like button.  To the additional 20+ of you who did just that, I just wanted to say you rock too!

To all of you I am so very grateful for your encouragement.  And to any of you who do choose to hire me to complete something awesome in your spaces, I truly appreciate the support and can not wait to get started on your project!

March 5, 2011

Feature Faux - Southwest Mountain Mural

A day late but finished up the board last night and I am in love with this so I figured why not just put it up on Saturday instead.  Hey, its early enough right?  It almost still qualifies as Friday :-)

To start I called on my favorite Photographer Judi FitzPatrick Studio who I knew would have a wonderful photo that I could use as my inspiration. She scanned in her picture and emailed it to me. Next I flipped it horizontal in Photoshop and printed it out on a plain piece of scrap paper so I could reference the lines and areas of light or dark.

Isn't this photo fantastic?  She captures an old time feel with this one, super talented artist.  Her work is well worth having hanging in your home!  Check her link above to find out how and where to purchase everything from gorgeous greeting cards to large fine art photos.

Back to the board...

I started out on this board the same as my Under the Sea mural but reversed the blended glaze to mimic sky with the darker glaze at the top and lightened as I went down.

Then I put in the clouds, the big puffy ones at the top of the board, the thin ones I finished after getting the mountains in place.  Using colored pencils I lightly drew some reference lines for where I wanted my mountains to be placed and then I pulled out a whole bunch of my brand new acrylic paints and got mixing, brushing and shading.

With the mountain's placement complete, the shading from sun angle to show highs and lows came next.  Then using those areas as a guide I added in the desert brush / bushes and saguaro cactus randomly until it felt right.  A little highlight and depth, plus shadow spots on those areas, and all that was left to do was sign my artwork!

My mom has suggested I start listing my pieces for sale in my Etsy Shop as they shouldn't go to waste just sitting in my portfolio case.  I think she may be right but I keep thinking I'd love to get something like this on canvas instead of the plastic mighty boards, then maybe even make prints as well to keep the cost a little lower.  Any thoughts?

I'd love to discuss painting a larger scale mural in this or other styles in your home or business.  Check out my About tab for contact information and get in touch today so we can work together to create the perfect picture, faux finish or artwork for you!

March 1, 2011

Tuesday Tip of the Day - Dot the Top

Wow folks I can't believe an entire week has gone by since my last post over here!  I also apologize for not getting the feature faux up last Friday, between work, school, family and simply living my week just whizzed by in the blink of an eye!

Which of course means we've got another fun tip of the day to explore today.

I thought it might be fun, after reading this morning about Mary's organizational tirade (nice work girl!) to talk a little bit about how I organize my own items.  Specifically in my case all those paints and tints that come in smaller tubes and bottles.

A couple weekends ago my husband and I happeded to be at Michaels while they were having a 50% off sale on a specific brand of acrylic craft paint.  Okay, in all fairness I was at Michaels for the sale, he was only there as he offered to help carry heavy stuff (thanks babe!).  And its a good thing he was, with that 50% off sale plus the fact that I was literally at the bottom of almost every single bottle of acrylic paint in my small storage box, I knew it was time to restock.

When doing sample boards, murals, and other things I need to dry quickly I tend to use it for a couple reasons:
  • It is far less expensive than buying even those small pots of latex paint
  • It is still a water based product
  • I sets up great on my Mighty Boards
  • The variety of colors can't be beat
And that was where I found the problem when I got home, how in the heck was I going to be able to tell which was which once inside the adorable box I picked up to store them all?

Of course first and foremost, since I'm totally OCD with my organization I had to line them all up in rainbow order...

Then as I started using them I had the fantastic idea to take a little dot of the paint color and touch the top of the cover with it...

Now when I access the box and need, say, a tan, I know just where to look to find it!  Plus as months go on I'll know which paints get the most use and which (if any) don't ever get opened.  That way I'll know what my own trends are in design and paint!