Monday, September 29, 2008

My Mom's Birthday

I am notorious for not taking pictures.
I take my camera, which sits in my purse, hanging heavily over my shoulder, and then I forget to take it out, even on special occasions like yesterday.
Today is my mom's birthday, but we went out yesterday for a nice lunch at the Olive Garden. Even though I had planned to show you pictures, I cannot, because I forgot to take out my camera. But trust me, we had a nice time.
What I do have to show you is a picture of the painting I did for my mom.  I was in a rush to finish it in time to wrap it up, shortly before we left.  
I wish I could show you a better picture of it.  But because I have not learned to scan properly, all I have to show is a crooked, digital version that, as usual, doesn't do the color justice.
I am simply going to have to learn how to scan. 
Anyway, I have never made a painting for a gift, so I was really excited to do so.  I was especially happy with how it all seemed to fall in place, from the design as well as the colors.
I had wanted to make something that would be according to my mom's style, which is the country look.  I used to be into that style years ago, though not really anymore.  I was also going to make it with colors that match her home, which does include browns, but which is lately more into white and blue.  
However, after painting the background a light blue, I wasn't pleased with the look.  I even thought of scrapping the whole idea.  I worried because I wondered if it was just a matter of not liking the color, or if it was really because of not wanting to do this painting according to my mother's style because of some underlying mother/daughter issues (I'm a psych major, people). This really bothered me.
But then, instead of doing the design and colors according to something that was simply my mother's style, I decided to do the painting according to what would be a mixture of myself, as well as my mother, and this is what I came up with, and instead of disliking the painting, which is what I had started to do, I ended up loving it.
I got the idea from Project Runway (that's why I love that show!) and that is that you have to consider your client, but you still have to be true to yourself.  
But the lesson I really learned was a lesson on how to live life, and that is that yes, you do have to consider other people, but you still have to honor yourself.
I have lived my entire life trying to be a people pleaser, even if it meant not only denying myself, but completely dishonoring myself.  And I don't mean just minor things.  I am talking about real extremes.
But we won't get into that here.
In more minor things, I am talking about denying myself my own views, which can then lead to turning around and not wanting to accept someone else in their views as well.
But life is not about living in extremes, which is what I mostly do, which is what can make life so difficult.  It is about living a life of Balance, which sounds so simple, but is so hard to do, at least for me.
Extreme is that you totally give up yourself and let someone else's view take over.  Either that, or you say, the heck with you and, out of resentment, you deny the other person their point of view.
Balance is that you honor your point of view, even if you think the other person will not accept you for it, and, in turn, even if you do not entirely accept the other person's point of view, you still accept that person, clashing views and all.
If you do that, life is much more pleasant, as well as more beautiful.
Just as the process of doing this painting was much more pleasant, and the results more beautiful.
Yes, I was a psych major.
Which can make life crazier.
As well as more meaningful.
The point is, despite any clashing mother/daughter issues, honoring myself made it so much easier to fully honor my mother, and all she did for me growing up, which was a heck of a lot.  
It also made it so much easier to say, "I love you, Mom." 
And yes, I love you, Mom.
Thank you for everything.
Happy Birthday.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New Animation Talent!

Life is weird.  
Right when I feel I've finally reached a new level in the journey towards a more remarkable life,
BAM!  The rug gets pulled out from under me.
Which is why, after the wonderful revelations I wrote about last week, I felt knocked off the rollercoaster.
But such is life.  
I was wondering what my next post would be about.  Should I write everyday and talk about it all, even the pain?  
I struggle with that.  Should I be really honest and write about the whole journey?  Or would it sound like whining?  Actually, I love to read blogs in which authors are honest about their struggles.  It gives me insight into the fact that I am not the only one who is human.  Their lessons learned often give me insight that helps me along the way.
But raw exposure is so scary.  I love it in others, but to do it yourself?  But it is something I have always wanted to do, so I guess I should.  
But that is not what got me back here to this page.  Even though it is good to honor yourself, there is nothing like thinking about someone else to get your mind off your own problems.  And that is why I am here.
This past May, my daughter graduated from Cal State Long Beach (yay!)  Getting her to make that commitment is a story in itself! (sorry, baby! :)  Last year, when she was a Residential Advisor (that's "Dorm Mom") her RA partner was a young man named Erik Caines, who was set to graduate the same time as my daughter.  One day she told me he was an art major.
Ohhh!  An art major!  What I always wanted to be!
Anyway, one day I saw his work and it was amazing.  His speciality is animation illustration. Oh, to have such talent at such a young age! (sigh).Even though I barely knew him, I was so proud of him.  There are so many of us who would have loved to have majored in art, but we copped out because we thought, how would we really make it?  Too risky.
But he took the risk.  I admire him for that.  
Today my daughter told me that he started up his own blog, showing his work and talking about the process.  I checked it out and I am telling you, his work is outrageous.  
So I am here to spread the word to everyone to check out his blog and if there is anyone out there that is connected in any way to animation, I know you would be thrilled to check out his work at drawnbyerik.  If you work at an animation studio, snatch him up before someone else does!  
That's Erik Caines.
A wonderful young man and a great talent.
Go check him out right now!
Carol B.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I Am Sacred

Here are pictures of my new painting.  It is called "I Am Sacred."  
I really love this painting.  I wish you could see how beautiful all the colors are.  Taking it with my digital doesn't give it justice, but trust me, it is really beautiful.  As soon as I can, I will be putting it up for sale in my Etsy Shop. 
I am showing three views here.  One is the total view, one is a little more close up so you can see the heart with the heart jewel, and one is a close up of her face.
As I am writing this the pictures are scooting around the page.  I don't know what this post is going to look like when I am done, but I hope it does not look too crazy.
Anyway, it is a beautiful painting and I am very proud of it. 
But what I am even happier about is what I have been learning in the process.
All my life I have felt "not good enough."  You name it, I felt it.  For a lot of years I have been in the process of learning to love and appreciate myself.  Believe me, it is one of the hardest journeys you could possibly be on.  Years go by and you feel like maybe you have even gone downhill, much less made any progress at all.
And then it happens.
You start to know that you are, indeed, Sacred.
You start to realize that you are not so defective because of the things you have gone through. It turns out that everyone, and I mean everyone else in this world has gone through the same thing or something similar.  It does not mean you are not good enough.  It just means you are alive.
I always thought that if I was beautiful enough, I would never be cheated on, like I was in past relationships.  Do you know that someone as gorgeous as Hallie Berry was cheated on by her husband?  Do you know that Pamela Anderson, Miss Sex-Queen-Every-Man's-Sex-Dream, even she was cheated on by her husband Tommy Lee?  I mean, how could you look and act like Pamela Anderson and be cheated on by your husband?
Anyway, it has taken me a long time to make peace with myself, and believe me, I still have a long way to go.  But, after all these years, I am really beginning to believe that I am not only good enough, but that I Am Sacred.  I am special.  I am good enough, and wonderful, just the way I am.  
And when you start to realize that, Magic happens.  The real you starts coming out, not the fake person you have been hiding behind.  And you know what?  That Real You really is something else!  That Real You is kind, passionate, exciting, intelligent, creative, and Absolutely Maaavelous, baby!
If you have been trying to work on yourself for a long time and think you haven't been getting very far, don't give up.  If I can do this, believe me, ANYBODY can.  
Let's do this together.  
Believe me, the world needs the Real You.
You are beautiful.
You are wonderful.
You Are Sacred.
Carol B.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My New Studio

This is not the greatest picture of my studio.  I don't know why the picture came out so dark. But this is it and I love it!  
I have these bookshelves with all my art supplies stored on them.  For the first time, everything is out where I can see it.  There is stuff that I have had stored for years which is not good because then I don't use it because I either forget I have it or I can't get to it because it's piled under so much other stuff.  Now everything is at my fingertips!  Oh, to be organized!
Before, when I was painting, I used to get these three wooden TV trays that I used to haul over from the kitchen and then set them up in this room.  I would then have to take everything out and arrange my easel, paints, water, palette, and other things carefully on the tables so I could paint.  It made my painting area too small and very inconvenient.  Now I decided I needed a nice, large table in this room.  I thought of getting a big folding table that I had seen at Costco, but I wasn't sure of how steady it would be. Then I got even more discouraged when my hubby, Mr. Handy Man (ahem) said, "Well, I don't know how you're going to get it in the car."  I said, "we could find a way," and he said, "Well, I don't know how."  
I thought of the large sturdy table I had in my kitchen.  I often went there to do some art stuff when I needed a large sturdy area.  
No one ever really ate at the kitchen table.  It only came in handy if someone was cooking and needed to lay out extra plates of stuff on the table.  But I hardly ever (make that never) cook. The only one that ever really cooks is my son who does that maybe once a week.  And if you clear off enough space on the counter, you don't really need the table. 
I thought, if I wait for someone to help me bring home a table from a store, I might never get one.
So, one day, I cleared off the mail and the coffee pot off the table and tried to squeeze this huge table out of the small doorway.
How had we gotten this in here in the first place?
After I had turned it every which way, which was not easy, as it was heavy, and I was about to give up, luckily, my son came home from work.  He thought over this dilemma. 
"Do the legs come off?" he said. 
"I don't think so," I said. 
He turned it over.
"Yes they do," he said, "if you can get me a wrench."
He was in a hurry because he still had to take a quick shower before he rushed off to school, so he quickly worked that wrench and before I knew it, he had taken off the legs.  He picked up the table and quickly moved it for me into the studio.  I told him to tell me how to put the legs back on so he could get ready to leave and before I knew it, I had those legs screwed back on and I had me one wonderful art table!  It is large and sturdy and holds everything I need.  And it is always there, just waiting for me to work!
I hadn't finished any canvas work because I had been having fun working in my Art Journal, where I had space to try out stuff like working with paper and many other materials. But I have been painting again and I almost have this new painting done, and as soon as it is done I will post it and show you.
It is funny how I take so long to put up another post, and then when I do it is practically a novel.  I have to learn to write smaller posts every day instead of waiting so long and then I have so much to tell you.
Well, I am off to have fun in my room!
Til later,
Carol B. 

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My First Sale!

I sold my first painting!
Remember my delicious "Cupcake Love"?  Well, I sold it to "E".  He said that his girlfriend loves cupcakes and that he was sure she would love this painting.  His girlfriend, "J" later contacted me and said that she hung the painting up in her room and that, because of the beautiful, striking colors, she cannot help but stare at it and that she just loves it!  
Wow.  What a wonderful feeling to know that a painting you did is actually giving joy to someone.  What an honor.
I do have to say that it is true about the colors.  I love painting in brilliant colors.  There is nothing like seeing these paintings in person.  The digital photos I post do not give them full justice.  
So if you want to stop over by my Etsy Shop, please do!  Even though I sold the original of this painting, there are some lovely prints, as well as other paintings and prints.
Thank you for stopping by, Thanks again to E and J, and I hope you all have a great weekend!
Carol B.  

Follow My Blog!

Hey, everyone!  Just a note to say that I found this cool thing called "Follow My Blog" in which anyone who reads my blog can add themselves as a follower.  It is over on the right hand side.  You click on the words that say Follow This Blog and you can add your name.  It will show your picture and site.  Not only will I be able to see all the wonderful people who follow my blog, but everyone else will see you and be able to click on your picture to go check out your site, too.  I've joined a few other sites that I have seen.  It's a lot of fun.
Thanks to Lulu at My Pink Turtle for being my first follower!
Til Later,
Carol B.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Can you believe it?  After all this time, I am finally announcing the opening of my Etsy Shop!
It has taken me forever, mostly because I am so clueless when it comes to tech stuff.  I do want to learn how to be more proficient at technical things so I can do them myself, but it sure would be nice to have a Techie Friend so I could be gently guided through things, instead of having to bang my head against a brick wall every time I have to learn something new.
I do have to thank some people, because if it wasn't for them, I would never have made it this far.  A thank you to all the fellow online artists to whom I asked countless questions and that were so generous with their time and information, trying to get me to learn this stuff.  Your kindness and support is greatly appreciated.  Thank you to all those who gave me the encouragement to keep trying when all I wanted to do was give up.
And then there is my daughter.
She is the closest thing I have to a Techie friend.  When I went back to college it was she that saved many an essay that I thought I had lost when I pushed the wrong button.  And it was she that helped me to learn how to resize the photos of my paintings, which was preventing me from being able to get them up on my Etsy Shop.  I know she gets really frustrated with explaining things to me because she is already finished explaining how to do something when I am barely writing in my notes "Turn on computer..."  So a Big Thank You to my Baby ;) You are greatly loved.
Well, now that I thanked everyone, I hope you will all visit my Etsy Shop!  I think you will like what you see.  And this is just the beginning!  Now that I have my Studio and Etsy Shop in order, I am going to get going and get busy and paint, paint, paint all kinds of beautiful things I am sure you will love.  So please, go visit, and Enjoy!  
A thank you again to everyone for your support, and I hope you have a great weekend!
With Joy and Love,
Carol B.  

My Organized Studio!

Well, I finally did it!  I organized my studio! 
And no, as far as I know, hell did not freeze over.
As much as I love being organized, I do not like getting organized, which leaves me with quite a dilemma.  But I spent the past not quite a week super organizing my studio.  For the first time there is a place for everything and everything is in it's place.  Amazing! 
When I was getting my teacher's credentials, we had a class entitled, "Spending Time to Save Time."  The point was that if you spent some time planning and getting organized, then, in the long run, you would save time because you were organized.  
At first I thought that was the dumbest thing I ever heard of.  How could you save time if you were spending time planning things out, instead of just getting in there and doing things? Of course, in the process of actually teaching a class, I found that if you are not organized, you are going to end up wasting so much time running around trying to gather things that you should already have had prepared.  After many a disaster, I found out that it was true, if you spent some time before hand, planning for things and getting organized, you could be much more productive.  
Not that I suddenly got reformed and became Ms. Super Organized.  For me, being organized is like trying to stay on a diet while working in a chocolate factory.  Although it was a struggle, I did become more planned and organized as a teacher.  But that was because one of my fellow teachers that I planned with was super organized and kept me on track.  
Being planned and organized in my own life is still a super struggle, although I am slowly getting better at it.  I am just anxious to actually work in my newly organized studio and see if I really turn into Ms. Productive.  I am hoping I will.  Now, when I am thinking of some new project to do, I will actually have all the materials I need right at my fingertips, instead of trying to remember what pile it is under. 
But first, after writing this, I will be working on my Etsy Shop.  Yes, I finally sort of opened it last week, before I started working on my studio, but I didn't finish, because I had this chance to work on my studio.  Now I am going back to the Etsy Shop, which at this point only had a few things in it, which is why I did not formally announce it opening yet.  But when I totally put everything up, I will come back here and announce it.
Cross your fingers for me, 'cuz here I come!
Carol Be Organized.