100 day project 2017

A little over a week ago I decided to start a 100 day project. The goal being to paint from start to finish one small painting every day for 100 days, with the intent on refining my watercolor techniques and skills. The art will be nature themed and be a collection of small, 5×7 or smaller, studies. Pieces may include anything from flowers, birds, sealife, or bugs. If it is part of nature and the environment then it is fair game. Day one began on August 12, 2017. I am optimistic that I will be able to see the project through. However I am apprehensive on staying on track during upcoming travel and show commitments.

I usually am able to devote time to my art daily, however I am often inconsistent as to what that means. I may draw, or work on a larger painting, or I may be making working on other things that I need to get done in preparation for shows. Sometimes my art related work is spent traveling to or being at an art show. What I haven't been able to do is establish a routine of daily practice. This is why the 100 day project is important to me. It is an opportunity for me to start creating good habits, and to set aside some time to practice and study in my craft.

Here is my first week of daily painting and what I learned from each.
Continue reading

Bacon Carmelitas 

 Warning. These are totally addictive.  

I made these for a Bacon Day Party. They were a hit. 

Bacon Carmelitas 

64 caramel squares, unwrapped

12 oz center cut bacon cooked until crisp then coarsely chopped  

1 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 cup butter, melted

1 1/2cup brown sugar, packed

2 cup flour

2 cup rolled oats

2 teaspoon baking soda

12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Coarse sea salt.   

Combine caramels and cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until completely smooth; set aside. In a separate bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, flour, oats, and baking soda. Pat half of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of two 8×8″ pans or one 9×13″ Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips and bacon over crust. Pour caramel mixture over chocolate chips. Crumble remaining oatmeal mixture over caramel. Return to oven and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven, sprinkle sea salt over the top and cool completely before cutting.

Serve at room temperature.

If you are pressed for time you can also pop then in the fridge for a bit.  To cool them off.  

Bacon Maple Cake Balls 

Bacon Cake Balls

Today is International Bacon Day. So we are on our way to a Bacon Day Party. One of the tasty treats I concocted are these little goodies.  

Here is how I did it. The shopping list is at the end. 

These are just like your standard cake ball or cake pop recipe where you crumble up your cake and stir in icing and goodies before hand forming balls. Typically you use one container of icing per cake mix however due to the addition of the maple syrup you may need only 1/2 to 2/3 of the container. Just enough to make your cake balls form.  

Once my cake was baked and cooled i crumbled it up stirred together the cake crumbs, maple syrup, packaged bacon, and frosting. I hand formed my cake balls and put them in the fridge over night to firm up.  

The next morning I melted my candy melts in a double boiler and dipped my cake balls. Finishing them with bacon sprinkles.  
Here is the shopping list. 

Super moist Yellow Cake Mix baked as directed 

Vanilla frosting,

2 packages of Real Bacon Bits 

1/2 cup of maple syrup 

4 packages of candy melts 

1 pound of bacon cooked until crisp and chopped into bacon sprinkles 

Mini cupcake cups for cake balls or lollipop sticks for cake pops.  

Mini pretzel rods to use up the extra chocolate. 

There is always extra chocolate in the double boiler that is to shallow to properly dip your cake balls. I also had some pretzels on hand to use up the extra chocolate. Who doesn’t like bacon chocolate covered pretzels. 

A giant leap of faith. 

A little over a month ago, after a lot of soul searching, I decided it was time to leave my day job and follow my art full time.  This was not a decision made lightly and was done with the full support of my family. I loved the work I was doing and still to thIs day believe in the importance of it. But it was time to move forward and embrace life with joy. 
I have spent the last 17 years always having some form of regular employment. To be honest I never imagined my life as a full time artist. I was always 50/50 artist/environmental professional. I am still coming to grips with the concept that I am self employed not unemployed. 

For now I am happy, at peace and full of inspiration. And very ready for where his adventure takes me.

Megacon 2015 another successful artist alley. 

Happy Customer at Megacon

This year was a great event.  I love seeing all of my artists friend in one place sharing what they love with so many people, and I love all the people that come out to support us in our passion. This year I sold four of my small originals, many prints and almost all of my found in nature bone jewelry. Some of these paintings I painted at the event and these are the only photos I have of them. But I love that they already have a new home, and how happy the people are to have a piece of my art. Faces like these make it so worth it!!!

Painted Bone Pendants 

Scapula Necklaces

Some thing I recently expiremented with was painting on bone. Since most of my bone art consists of jewelry and I am relatively inexpirenced with acrylic paint I decided to start small and paint on some raccoon scapula and turn them into pendants.    But here is the first two of these painted scapula pendants.  I can’t wait to do more and see how this series evolves.  

All kinds of new things including a dedicated studio workshop!

Art Studio

2015 has started off with a bang. Charlie and I are engaged and we just purchased our first house. We set out with the goal in mind to make sure that both of us have adequate space to create our art without the space constraints that have been holding us back. The last year my primary create spaces have been on the sofa using the coffee table, on the floor in the leather room or the dining room table. All of which make setting up for a long term project not at all feasable. Therefor almost all of my work the past year or more has been rather small 8×10 or most often 5×7 in size.

Move weekend happened just before we went up to Indiana Comic Con. Which was an adventure to say the least. Such a great experience for us both that it deserves its own post.

Now that we have been home a few weeks and have managed to get the studio up and running I have for the first time in three years brought out my full sized watercolor pallet. Lack of work space has limited me to using only my travel pallet for so long I forgot how nice using a mixing pallet was.

Now that we are settled and have started to get back into the groove of creating I have plans to get my Etsy Shop back up and running, as well as start making some more regular posts. But for now here is part of my side of the studio.