There is an Over Abundance

I started this piece back in July, while painting at my friend Cara’s. I was experimenting with a slightly different palette and trying to play without thinking too much. I really liked what was happening. But I knew that it was not finished. Like so many of my paintings, I just didn’t know what needed to happen next: I was afraid of ruining my own painting.

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Finally, I was able to make some progress. I got out my oil pastels from high school and started coloring in the circles and adding more of my winged circle shapes. Off and on for weeks, I just made small movements within this painting with the oil pastels.

It wasn’t until yesterday, after a massage with my favorite massage therapist, that I had the inspiration to complete this painting. My body felt energized and all of the heavy energy I had been carrying was gone. I felt light. I didn’t realize I had the inspiration when I began to tinker, I just knew that I needed to be in my studio creating.

After altering the pallet and bringing in pink to the circles, I needed to add more pink. Finally deciding on an orientation, I used magenta fluid acrylic to ground the bottom of the painting.

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I have a hard time leaving paintings without text. They feel unfinished to me. This painting felt too busy to add text so I made a very bold move and covered the entire thing with more paint! Initially, this was a hard decision to make. I liked the winged circles, but since I knew the painting wasn’t finished and I had taken a photograph, I needed to move forward.

The slight arc of the circles on the bottom, made me think of a globe with sun rays, so I went with it and painted yellow over the top and purple across the bottom. Next, I etched into the yellow paint. I really love this technique of etching into my painting and letting the previous layer show through a bit. It so reminds of the scratch boards I used to draw on as a kid. All the previous layers are present in this painting, they build depth. Sort of the way every moment of our lives leads us today. There are no wasted moments.

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My massage therapist and I talked a lot about energy during my appointment and what she had said stuck with me. “There is an over abundance of everything.” We often don’t ask for what we need because it feels selfish. We feel If we ask for ourselves, then we are taking from others. This is not the case.

OverAbudance4I don’t love (or trust) my own hand writing enough to use it, so I used my graphic design skills and laid out the text on the computer.  I printed it out and used tracing paper to trace my design onto the painting. I filled in the text with my new white acrylic pen and then painted in the word abundance by hand.

And I love how this turned out. I love the message. Both of them. The message that is written across this art, as well as the reminder that we must move forward, make bold moves to create the lives we want. That no moment is wasted, it all leads you to today.

Gone Camping

My latest large painting is a collaboration with Bell + Whistle for their first Wunderville shoot – a series of styled photo shoots here in Denver for kids and families.

As usual, Nicole had an amazing vision for this vintage camping themed set. Our initial conversation had us all tied between using a camper or a teepee as the main focal point.

IMG_3903IMG_3902After presenting the first two sketches, we were all in LOVE with the teepee! With some additional inspiration photos from Nicole,  I was able to create my final sketch.

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camping sketchWith my sketch in hand, I was able to start painting. This was the first time I was painting a canvas as large as this one, 12ft x 15ft! I had intentions of setting up inside to paint, but quickly realized I didn’t have any place in my house that was large enough or had enough light.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 5.12.28 PMThank goodness for beautiful Colorado! We’ve already had our first dusting of snow here in town, but this week it has almost been 90. Perfect weather to be painting outside.

IMG_3940This kind of painting is actually kind of physical, so I had to take several breaks to relax my back. Just another excuse to enjoy the awesome blue sky.

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IMG_3949 Of course these photos don’t do the painting justice. I just can’t get high enough up to get a proper picture. But stay tuned for an update after the Wunderville photo shoot!IMG_3950Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 5.21.54 PMFollow me on Instragram to see the latest projects on which I’m working.

 

The Evolution of Our Backyard

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 11.36.46 AMimage-6We have lived in our house for over 4 years and this is by far my favorite summer in our backyard. We’ve finally completed our dedicated eating space, complete with a new table and trellis for shade and privacy. Our plants are filling in and we have so many bees this year because of all our colorful flowers!

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flowersAfter our garden was damaged by hail in June, it’s been slow going to get our tomatoes to produce. Just this week we were able to pick our first of the big beef tomatoes. And our zucchini has been rather unproductive this year. Something I’m not terribly disappointed about, actually.

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We seem to have miles of butternut squash vines, all filled with squash. I’m hopeful to be stocked up for the fall. We’re still waiting for Bear’s giant pumpkins to do much. Right now we only have 2 the size of baseballs.

image-1I’ve noticed the nights are already starting to feel cooler, but fortunately here in Colorado, we can hold on to summer days a bit longer.

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Yoga Prayer Progression

Lexisworks_YogaPrayer7This piece began as far back as winter, and looks nothing like it’s original form. It started when I was inspired by the graphics of the 2014 Winter Olympics. I began cutting patterned paper in geometric shapes and arranging them.

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I really loved the diamond shapes and the pink and purple color palette. It was a fun departure from the blues and greens that I had been using. In addition to the diamonds, I glued on some vintage embroidery transfers and a doily. And then I started painting and using my bubble wrap stamping.

I liked where it was at, but I didn’t know where it was going so it sat for awhile. As usual. So I made a bold move, and painted over just about everything. And I HATED it.Lexisworks_YogaPrayer2 I had lost everything that I loved about the previous layer. The only thing left that I liked was the texture of the doily. So I continued painting. Now the diamonds had completely lost their existing pattern, but at least the paper itself was creating texture. I drew my flower vine that has been appearing on other work just for something familiar.Lexisworks_YogaPrayer3

 

I thought maybe collage was the answer, so I glued a vintage envelope from a hotel in Paris. This was some time in May. It sat for a long time again because now I had put this nice vintage element on top and I didn’t want to “ruin” it the way I had everything underneath.Lexisworks_YogaPrayer4 Finally the day came for me to make a move again. I covered a lot of the painting with paint again, but this time not as densely. It unified the entire piece, but still allowed the previous layers and texture to show through.

I keep a list of quotes on my phone. Things I may use in my art one day. Recently, my phone lost this list of quotes. I was laying in bed one morning and I remembered that I had had a prayer from my yoga class stored on this list. A quote I knew was prefect for this piece of art. So I laid in bed one Sunday morning, ignoring Bear’s request for me to get up for breakfast, searching for this quote:

May the long time sun
Shine upon you,
All love surround you,
And the pure light within you
Guide your way on.

Next, I brought my computer down to my studio and typed out the quote and started playing around with the layout and size of the text. Once I had it right, I printed it out and used tracing paper to copy the words onto my board.Lexisworks_YogaPrayer8I used colored pencils to color in the letters. Then added some extra detail to the mountains with some geometric lines. To ground the piece, I finished it up with my usual bar of patterned paper and fabric with a strip of rick rack over the top. Lexisworks_YogaPrayer5 Lexisworks_YogaPrayer6And now I LOVE it.

Camper Inspiration

 

Come Away with Me

Come Away with Me, $140, original on 14x11x1 on wood panel

Since we purchased our truck camper this last spring, I knew it was in inevitable that this new theme would creep into my art. IMG_3334But I didn’t set out to create this camper piece, as I rarely do. In fact, I started this piece after I returned from the Grand Canyon, inspired by the pictograms I saw in the Desert View Watch Tower.

IMG_3120I wanted to work with a different color palate than I’d be using (as much as I love the lime and teal, I needed something new.) I admit, I didn’t venture far away but it was enough of a departure from what I had been working with.Camper

I enjoyed carving into the wet paint, revealing the layers beneath, and creating subtle texture. I also revived my brayer and loved this new way of applying paint. I quite enjoyed where my painting was in this “move” stage, but I knew it wasn’t done so I kept moving forward. Looking back at the stages of my paintings, I sometimes miss these raw moments. I know it is apart of the final paining, but in my attempt to finish a painting, I feel too much of this gets lost.

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This is right around the time my painting sat for a very long time. I knew it was not done. I’d lost the energy from the previous layer and now everything looked to nice and the same. But there were parts I really liked, like all that texture and was fearful of doing something to ruin my own painting. I should know better by now, but this fear is always there.

So I made a bold move, got out my favorite cardboard piece and pushed paint over almost the entire painting. It felt so good! And now I had a something to work with. This was when the vision of the camper came to me. This nice green setting with the mountains rising above. Fitting, since we had just returned from the Grand Tetons.

Camper3I had also realized that I was missing collage. I’ve been doing more painting lately, which I really enjoy, even though it is more of a struggle for me-that idea of creating something from nothing. So after the camper was painted in, I pulled out my fabric, paper and rick rack and got to work decorating. (Something I have been banned from doing in our own camper.)Camper4

 

I knew I wanted to add a string of text but I just wasn’t sure what that was. It was a friend from Instagram who suggested the Norah Jones song “Come Away with Me” and I thought, that is perfect!

Camper5I really love when it all comes together like that. It only took about 2 months to finish the piece, but sometimes they just have to sit until inspiration strikes. And I have quite a few sitting and waiting….

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The Journey of the Red Fox

ForestFox_2014.wThis painting took a journey. I sat with it for a very long time in each of it’s phases. It was hard for me to let go of where it was in the beginning, even though I knew it wasn’t done. This is something I often struggle with in my paintings. But I’m slowly getting better. If I don’t love it, then continue painting and paint RIGHT OVER IT.

ForestFox_progressMost of the time I have made the intention to add an illustration, but for this painting, I could sort of “see” the fox in the painting. So I drew and painted him in and let that image become my focal point.

ForestFox_progress1

I do love how it finished, but I just wish I could work each painting 12 different ways! There were parts of the original that I really loved, like the small and large gold bubble wrap stamping that I did early on. But these areas became under layers to the final painting, as they aren’t very prominent in the final piece.

Song Bird

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I love it when I get emails like this:
Hi-
I bought a darling piece of art by you in downtown Breckenridge. It has three little birds and the flags behind it say “take flight.” I LOVE it! It’s for my daughter’s room. Her nickname is birdy so I loved the little birds in the artwork. I wanted to buy another piece to pair with it but didn’t see another piece that worked. I would like to inquire about your availability, interest, and pricing in creating a piece for her that has a similar color scheme to the take flight piece. She’s 12 and loves to sing. I would love to incorporate something about singing.

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Internally, (and maybe physically, too!) I jump with excitement about these opportunities! I am always available and interested in creating custom art. There is something about making art specifically for someone that focuses my attention like no other art making does.

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bird drawings

When I create for the sake of creating, I have too many choices. But when I work on a custom piece, I can narrow in on what needs to be done next and these pieces come effortlessly. I can feel so much struggle with other pieces, but custom pieces are a joy for me to create. And clearly that joy shines through.

songI started out by doing some drawings of song birds. I drew and re-drew until it was just right. Next, I gathered the scraps that I would need to make the collage. Because I save EVERYTHING, I still had a few fabric scraps left over from the “Take Flight” piece referenced in the email.

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When I create custom pieces, I try to make them as special and personal as possible. I picked out maps of Kansas, since that was where the family was from. And I also looked at the text on the musical note pages to find words that about singing. I even found the girl’s name in the dictionary to include in the collage. I included a few more accent bits and laid everything out. I typed the text out on my vintage typewriter and decided where I wanted it to go.

Finally, all that was left was to glue everything into place.song bird in progress