Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Every year, my family and I go to Sunset Beach in North Carolina for a week at the beach.  We have been going as a family for about ten years now, and it has a special place in my heart because it is where I got engaged and also where I won my very first painting contest.

This week of vacation is also the source of my parents family Christmas card, which is always at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville restaurant down in Myrtle Beach.  We take the 45 minute drive down to watch the fireworks, walk around the shops, and snap the yearly shot.  My husband and I are on the left, parents in the middle, and brother and sister-in-law on the right.  This year, my sister-in-law's sister (middle right) joined us as well, which was a fun addition.

It's always inspiring to go down to the beach, since I can see God's handiwork in a new light.  Check out this rainbow!!!  I've never seen a full rainbow, and if you see in the upper right hand corner, you can see a faint double rainbow.  Amazing!

Finally, here's a (slightly blurry) shot of the Calabash Creamery, our favorite ice cream shop at the beach.  The ice cream is amazing and worth the line that typically loops all the way around the shop!

Okay so back to painting!  Check out my most recent piece, a shot of a ballerina in mid-leap.  I got the inspiration for this piece after I visited the Kennedy Center to see the ballet.  I find it amazing how beautiful and graceful these ballerinas are all while knowing the dedication, strength, and hard work they had to put in to look so lovely.  Enjoy!

Hopefully you just had a great vacation or are about to have one!  Either way, have a happy Monday (one day late!)!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Hairspray...An Artist's Windex

Anyone who's seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding knows what I'm talking about for the title of this post.  Gus, patriarch of the family, believes that everything from wounds to cars can be fixed with the power of Windex.  So when I ended up getting ultramarine blue paint on my beloved lemon yellow wing back chair, I just about cried (although I think my husband cheered...haha!).  What do I do?!  Well, after a quick google search, I discovered quite a few people mention using hairspray.  Okay, I'll try anything, I thought.  And guess what?  Hairspray is an artist's best friend.  Check out the steps below to get oil paint out!

The culprit, wet corner of painting

The victim, yellow wing back chair

Step 1: Take a dry, white rag and blot any excess paint off (if stain is still wet).  Do not smear around, simply blot, and when rag is saturated, move to a clean part and blot again, until rag no longer picks up paint when blotting.

See the blue spots?  That's from blotting, then moving to a clean spot until no more paint is picked up from the blotting process

Step 2: Spray hairspray onto clean part of rag, or directly onto paint spot

Step 3: Rub clean part of rag (with hairspray on it), over paint spot.  Similar to Step 1, but in this case, you can rub instead of blot.  This step can take awhile, be patient and rub in different directions to really pick up the paint.  If you see the paint begin to spread around, stop, and go back to Step 1.  When rag is saturated with paint, move to a clean section of rag and repeat.  Be liberal with the hairspray, but try to keep it in a concentrated area around the spot.  Each time you move to a clean section of the rag, apply more hairspray.

Step 4: Slowly but surely, the paint will disappear, and you will end up with nothing but a wet hairspray spot.  If you are dealing with clothes, stick them straight into the washing machine.  If you are dealing with something that can't be laundered, dampen spot with water (unless dealing with a material that water stains, such as silk).

Step 5:  Blow dry until hairspray spot is gone!  If you find that the area is tacky from the hairspray, wet again and repeat Step 5.

Voila!  No more stain!!!!!!!!!!  I can't believe it!

Okay, so what if the stain is dry?!  I tried this on a dry carpet spot that fell victim to orange paint, and I can say that the results are similar!  You may have to work at it a little more, and you may not be able to get every ounce of stain out, but never fear, you can make it better at the very least!

Happy painting...brush in one hand, hairspray in the other!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Derby Day!

Derby Day, 24"x48" oil on canvas

I went out of the box and tried something different...horses!  I've never painted a horse before, but after seeing several wonderfully talented artists do their rendition of horses, I figured I would give it a shot.  It was a fabulous way to break the mold from doing cityscapes.  Like most pieces in general, it required a lot of concentration and it had its challenges, but it was a ton of fun!  Since the horses were in motion, racing down the track, I had to blur the background and their legs, something I hadn't done before.  Thankfully, the technique is surprisingly similar to the way I paint water, so it came naturally!

While I wish I was also congratulating California Chrome in this blog post on the Triple Crown, I will say that I am so impressed by his two victories and overcoming the odds!  

Hope your Monday is going great and that you have a day of victory!