A sparrow's journey through this crazy, beautiful life...

Friday, December 21, 2012

Life goes zooming by...

Seems life goes faster and faster... I want to get off the merry-go-round! I'm posting more regularly on my facebook page now, but have been neglecting my blog. This girl is one that I did just this week. I needed a break from creating with a purpose and needed time to create just to create.

Linking up to Paint Party Friday!

Pendants! I have been painting teeny tiny little works of art and putting them under glass to be necklaces, key chains, bookmarks, and purse hooks. The smallest are the filigree circles that are just a little under one inch in diameter. You can click on the pic for a closer look.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Before & After

I decided to change up the girl from my last post. You can see before and afters and progress shots below.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Gut Art Week 1 and 2

I am so LOVING Gut Art, the class I'm taking with Mystele. The ladies in the class are such an awesome group! We do two "field trips" each week. This gal is from week 2, field trip 1. I may add some final touches to her yet.

These next two birds are from week 1, field trip 2 and I am so in love with them both. I had so much fun with these and feel like I reached a new place in my art here.

This final piece is one that I really do not like much at all. I think I could like her if I revisit this field trip, but I think she needs more oomph. She is from week 1, field trip 2.

Linking up with Paint Party Friday!

Sunday, October 21, 2012


This is for my friend Dee. I  had been out of touch with her for a (long) while and found out last week that she has been battling breast cancer for the last several months. I was relieved to hear that she's going to be fine, but it really brought a lot of emotion for me. It's so easy to lose touch with people who are important to us and it really got me to thinking how short life is and how important it is to tell our loved ones how awesome we think they are and that we love them.

I started to give this one pink hair, but I just couldn't get it right... it felt so off. Then I realized she needed red hair for strength, power, tenacity, vitality, fierceness.... she's a SURVIVOR.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

More art...

Hi all... a few pieces to share this week.

First, I want to mention that I finally made a Facebook Page just for my art. So, if you are interested, come over and like it. :)

This one is one of my favorites. I had actually done her in my journal and recreated her on an 8 x 10 wood panel. She's much richer and deeper than the first time around. One of the things that I really like (that was unintentional) is that the stenciled flowers that I used in the lower layers are showing through. And it's not the color, but just the texture created from scraping with a palette knife.

This gal is pretty straightforward. She was painted with a palette knife with lots of layers underneath. 8 x 10 wood panel.

I love doing these girls. She is on an 8 x 8 wood panel and has lots of layers and fun bits and bobs.

Linking up with Paint Party Friday!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Lots of art and updates

Hi all! I have lots of news this week.

I did an interview over on the Stacie Jewelry blog! Please go check it out! She does beautiful jewelry and also mixed media paintings. She also combines the two to make some absolutely gorgeous jewelry. I've never done an interview before and am pretty honored that she asked me. :)

Mystele's Gut Art Registration has begun and classes start on October 15th. It is truly an awesome experience and unique each time she runs it. This will be my second run through. You an see a video where she explains it more over on her Community Thrive homepage.

I've sold a couple of pieces at the local art studio, Art Smart. I'm so thankful to Shannon Johnson for being such an encouragement and for working so hard to support the arts in our small town. You can follow her blog and her Facebook if you're interested.

First up for my paintings is my girl here. I painted her on 16x20 stretched canvas. I've never painted on anything that big before and wasn't really planning to do a close-up face like this, but you know... that's just how it goes for me. I don't plan ahead at all. I had a lot of fun with the layers underneath and then painted her with a palette knife. I really like painting that way as it seems to help me process more emotion. She's my favorite one to date, but I say that pretty often. :) It's amazing how when you are painting close up, you think the painting is going one direction. Then, you stand back and it's like "WOAH, that's not what I thought she looked like at all!"

These next two were also painted with a palette knife. I named the first one Delora which means suffering, pain, sorrows, sadness. I was processing a lot of grief through this painting. The second one is named Esperanza which I took from the story "The House on Mango Street" by Sandra Cisneros. As I was working on this, I was thinking about hope, but when I finished, she looked a lot like grief or sadness. Because of the conflicting message I see in her, I took her name from this excerpt in the story:
"In English my name means hope. In Spanish it means too many letters. It means sadness, it means waiting. It is like the number nine. A muddy color. It is the Mexican records my father plays on Sunday mornings when he is shaving, songs like sobbing.
It was my great-grandmother's name and now it is mine. She was a horse woman too, born like me in the Chinese year of the horse--which is supposed to be bad luck if you're born female-but I think this is a Chinese lie because the Chinese, like the Mexicans, don't like their women strong.
My great-grandmother. I would've liked to have known her, a wild, horse of a woman, so wild she wouldn't marry. Until my great-grandfather threw a sack over her head and carried her off. Just like that, as if she were a fancy chandelier. That's the way he did it.
And the story goes she never forgave him. She looked out the window her whole life, the way so many women sit their sadness on an elbow. I wonder if she made the best with what she got or was she sorry because she couldn't be all the things she wanted to be. Esperanza. I have inherited her name, but I don't want to inherit her place by the window.
At school they say my name funny as if the syllables were made out of tin and hurt the roof of your mouth. But in Spanish my name is made out of a softer something, like silver, not quite as thick as sister's name Magdalena--which is uglier than mine. Magdalena who at least- -can come home and become Nenny. But I am always Esperanza. would like to baptize myself under a new name, a name more like the real me, the one nobody sees. Esperanza as Lisandra or Maritza or Zeze the X. Yes. Something like Zeze the X will do."

This is a set of girls that are inspired by the ATC's I did recently. These are on 6x8 cradled wood panels, so they are much larger though. The first was a gift for my beautiful sister-in-law. The other two don't have homes yet. :) The second one, I used a lot of junk mail on. The collage underneath was entirely junk mail, the scalloped borders were made from the insides of the security envelopes you get to return your bill payments in, and her shirt is my favorite part. This was made from an envelope sent to me by a dear friend, Dana, and it held the most fabulous ATC's. She made the envelope herself and made the pattern on it with ink! It was as gorgeous as the artwork she sent me.The third girl was just fun. Lots of fun little doo dads on her. I made the flower from fabric. You can see the tutorial on my old blog.

Last, but not least, my birds. What can I say? I just love them!

Sharing with Paint Party Friday!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Exciting News!

I have exciting news to share today! A local art studio, Art Smart, has begun selling my work! The studio has classes, lessons, fun little group events and is working to encourage and bring together the local arts community. In the front of the studio, the work of several local artists are sold. I'm both honored and excited to actually have my pieces in a shop! Shannon Brinkmeyer Johnson, the owner, contacted me through Etsy and invited me to come talk with her. I almost ignored her because I didn't feel like my work was good enough. I thought it over for a couple of days and decided there was no harm in going to talk with her. When I got there, she made me feel so comfortable and just really encouraged me... so, I did it! I dropped of my first batch this week and I thought I would share those here. You've already seen them in previous posts, but I thought I'd round up everything I took in. This first set of paintings are on cradled wood panels (5 x 7 and 6 x 8).

This next set is my most recent. They are 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 and I added magnets to the back for an easy way to display them at home.

I did these in Mystele's ning community a while back and put them into a 5 x 7 frame with the glass removed. I popped them up on dimensionals and they turned out beautifully.

I will have more in a couple of weeks. Had to order supplies to prepare them for sale.

This journey into mixed media art has been a journey into my heart. Letting it out for all to see has been pretty terrifying, but worth it. I find that I've had a difficult time letting go of some of my pieces that hold special meaning or represent a turning point for me in some way. How do you all decide what to let go of and what you keep?

Linking up with Paint Party Friday and Sunday Sketches!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Be True and More ATC's

Mixed media (collage, ink, acrylics, graphite) on 6 x 8 inch cradled wood panel

This is a big theme in my life right now. Being true to who I am. Searching every little nook and cranny... all of me. Authentic. Transparent. True. Whole.

I have finished up my table full of ATC's from last week (except for the word ones... those are always ongoing). They were really a lot of fun. The girls are collaged with fabric as the first layer, which made them a bit different to paint. Click the image to see better pics on my flickr page.
Today I'm linking up with Paint Party Friday, Artists in Blogland, and Sunday Sketches. Check them out for some other great artists.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

More ATCs... in progress

Last week I posted some finished ATC's and it was the first time I had linked up with PPF and Sunday Sketches in a couple of months. I had actually been feeling quite discouraged with my artwork and growth so I backed off from linking up or even posting. I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to have the encouragement of other artists last week. Your comments are just so uplifting and greatly appreciated.

I've been on an ATC kick since those first ones I made. I'm having so much fun that I can't stop making them! Here are several in progress. I don't have anything glued down at this point, just trying out my options. I'm linking up to Paint Party Friday and Sunday Sketches this week. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Saturday, August 11, 2012


I've been playing with ATC's (artist trading cards) for a swap over at Artists in Blogland. I have some extras to trade if anyone is interested. The ones above are acrylic, ink and collage and the ones below are water color (learned from Joanne Sharpe). You can see the individual images on my flicker.

I haven't linked up for a while. I've found that I've not liked much of what I've been creating. I've decided to keep moving, but haven't posted as much for a while. I'm feeling a bit better about these ATC's. Maybe the inspiration is returning.

Linking to Paint Party Friday, Artists in Blogland, and Sunday Sketches.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Practice in Underpainting

I've been dabbling with paint for almost a year now. I just learned of this thing called underpainting. I learned of it in a Life Book lesson by Jane DesRosier. I love her work so much. So, I had to try this out (even though I didn't do my Life Book lesson yet) I almost like the underpainting better than the end product. I'm still practicing a lot with getting the skin to blend and have depth. It's eluding me at the moment.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

On Taste

A few recent journal pages.
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.” ― Ira Glass
I've referenced this quote a while back, but I posted the video. It is in reference to producing, but pretty much applies to any creative journey. I'm really not liking what I'm creating, and getting somewhat discouraged. I hear the key is to just keep going, so I'm going to try that out.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Workaholic: The Wrong Badge of Honor

My daughter, Sam, Has written a post over at the Good Women Project. It has nothing to do with art, but everything to do with the he{art}, which is what art is all about anyway.

"Because in the end, God wants me. Not my accomplishments, my independence, my pride. He wants my heart. And taking care of the heart He’s given me is way more important than chasing after the things I think the world wants of me."

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Summer Bible Study

Hey all! My daughter, Sam, and I are going to be doing a summer bible study called Nehemiah, A Heart That Can Break. We would love to invite any of you to join us. Sam and I will be meeting by video conference through Google Hangout weekly and also connecting with the women over at the Eisy Morgan blog as a small group through a discussion forum. The larger study is being organized through Beth Moore's blog. You can join us in either or both portions - through Google Hangout or the discussion forum or both. You would just need to purchase the member book ($12.95 plus shipping from Amazon or Lifeway or a local bookstore) and meet up with us weekly. The kickoff is June 26th, but you don't need your book until the following week, so there's still time. Contact me by email or leave a comment below if you are interested. Here's an excerpt from the book...
"As God is forming me into a more whole and free woman, I've begun to realize that freedom and healing aren't just so I can have exquisite friends, dwell in a peaceful home, attend an amazing church, make a comfortable salary, and eat tick-fed chicken. These are sublime  blessings, but Christ has made us whole for far more than our own earthly comforts and pleasures. Essentially, wholeness is not the end but the beginning, because wholeness allows us to give much more of our hearts, possessions, time, wisdom, money, friendship, and love away -- a part of my Christianity that had been lacking.
... Today I invite you to follow God outside of yourself. To consider the needs that surround you, and to listen closely to what breaks your heart. Because a broken heart is often the very thing God uses to restore the broken." 
Also, don't forget that you can receive an email every time I post a new blog by clicking on the button on the right that says "Follow me by email". You will be sent an email after you register to confirm your email address. You have to follow through with this second step to finalize the process.

Friday, June 15, 2012

To Have Faith is to Have Wings

Finished this gal up a while ago and finally got a decent pic of her. She's on a 5 x 7 cradled wood panel. Lots of layers of paper and paint,  chipboard and a little metal daisy.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Just Be

I have been struggling lately to connect with my art after a month long hiatus. For this piece, I just played and focused on enjoying the process with no outcome in mind. Just be-ing.

I've been thinking about friendship lately and I'm so thankful for being so blessed in that department. There were several years of my life where I really didn't have any friends and was quite isolated... well, that's an understatement. I was just flat out lonely until my second child was about 1 or 2... he's 17 now! About the time I really started searching spiritually... started opening my heart to God... started opening my heart, period... that's when it happened. Since then, I have had some incredible women in my life. They've been with me at my worst and they are still coming around. Loving me no matter what. Letting me be who I am. Growing with me. Crying with me. Laughing with me. Waiting on me when I throw my walls back up... when I isolate myself again. I've moved several times, and each place I landed, I found new sisters. Because that's what they truly are... sisters. They will be with me to the very end. My heart longs to be near them... each one at different times. I'm separated from most of them by many miles... but our hearts are never far apart. I love you girls - Missy, Celestina, Melodee, Jerri, Sharon, Bridget, Kathy, Dianna, Louise. And, you know... my daughter is now making the transition from being my little girl to being my friend. She's growing up and our relationship is changing. I'm looking forward to seeing what it becomes. So, I'm sticking her on this list too... Sam. :)

More Stamp Carving

More stamps! I've actually been using them a lot in the layers of the my paintings. Love the two flowers and the large stamp for background texture.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Well, I'm getting my hands dirty and playing in paint... feels good! This piece I did about a month and a half ago. I was thinking about my husband as I worked on this piece... exit now if you are allergic to mushiness...

I'm finding that music really has a strong effect on what I'm working on. I am beginning to find it very important to fit the music to my mood and thoughts. If it doesn't match up... well, I kind of end up with a very disjointed piece. This one was Halo... I just really appreciate my man and really relate to that song. I added the lyrics to the background although I don't think they are legible. :)

So, on I go... trying to get back to play... stop trying so hard... kick the perfectionist out.... just be present today... here and now... just be...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

In Progress

I've been away far too long... feels like I'm lost in the dark.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Stamp Carving

Sometimes, when I'm just to tired to paint, I really enjoy doing repetitive tasks like stamp carving. It allows me to create without using so much energy. I did these last night to use in the backgrounds and layers of my paintings. And maybe even to make patterns like this.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Building a Creatively Made Business

Hi all... Just a quick note to share that I won a spot in Jeanne Oliver's new E-Course, Building a Creatively Made Business! Just wanted to express my thanks to Jeanne and say hello and welcome to those of you popping over from her site. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Savor the Journey

4 1/2 x 6 inches, Acrylic and Watercolor Over Collage on Mixed Media Paper
These are a couple of postcard size pieces I did recently. This first one I am entering into the Artist in Blogland's monthly challenge. The theme is Journey this time around. I've recently started helping out over there with the monthly theme and the artist interviews. Be sure to drop by and check out the other entries. There are some fabulously talented artists over there.

I find that I am often worrying and fretting over the future and things that are out of my control. It's so hard to live in the moment and let the rest go. So, one of the things I try to focus on in living in the moment; savoring the journey. I just shared the verse below with a loved one who is having a tough time right now. I think it's just as much for me as it was for him as I'm anxious too!

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
1 Peter 5:7

4 1/2 x 6 inches, Acrylic and Watercolor Over Collage on Mixed Media Paper
I'm also linking up to Show and Tell Saturday, Sunday Sketches and Paint Party Friday. Hope you all have a blessed Easter weekend!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

More ATCs

More ATCs from my Community Hub over at Mystele's ning site. These were so much fun to do. You can still sign up for a free hub if you are interested. ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) are basically just miniature works of art with a standard size of 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches. They are also referred to art card editions and originals (ACEOs) when offered for sale. Of coures mine are not flat so I think that kicks them out of the "standard" category

I managed to limit myself to  big red hair on only one of them. It's pretty obvious from most of my other work that this big pink and/or red hair is a big deal to me. I have no idea what that's about. Curly hair has been an issue all my life. Thankfully I was in high school in the late 80's when the big hair was in. My hair was so curly that I still straightened it a little to be in style, lol. But all of my growing up years involved hating my hair. Then, I still straightened it trough most of my 20's. In my late 20's I finally just embraced it and now I love it. It's so much easier to take care of (once I finally learned how). But the pink/red.... no idea why I can't restrain myself, lol.

I'm linking these up to Sunday Sketches and Inspire me Monday. Hop over there to see some other great entries!

Lots of pics to follow...