Wednesday, December 22, 2010

split personality

First and foremost a great thanks to a fabulous artist I'm sure you all know, Silvina Day, for sending in photos of her present for the Present and Accounted For project!  Silvina's present is the first present to be mailed out, the #1! :)  And her three photos perfectly embody the spirit of this project!!!  Please check them out.  Thank you so much Silvina!

So, I'm guessing that most of you are doing what I am; scrambling around trying to get those last gifts purchased, gathering holiday recipes...

... shopping for those crazy -why-did-I-decide-to-make-a-dish-that-calls-for-lingonberry-preserves-and-what-the-heck-IS-a-lingonberry-anyway!-  ingredients :)

I was super hopeful that THIS would be the year that I would finally send out Christmas cards since moving four and half years ago, but that is not going to happen...

... since I'm still trying to find a way to get my pumpkins, which are completely and utterly frozen TO my front porch, off my front porch, so I can put more appropriate holiday decor out there!

Before the crazies of the holidays started, I began a larger painting (18x36) of this multi-bow combo with the idea being 'girl power.'

the set up

the sketch
digital sketch to check basic color patterns before painting.

(I'm not trying to plug a product...iphone iphone iphone... but I don't know how I managed without my phone apps that let me do quick sketches, learn Italian, check the weather, be TOLD where best to eat, all while listening to Christmas carols)

beginning of painting.

I started applying paint in what I see as the super juicy spots first.  The very glowing red areas which exist in the inside of the largest pink bow.  I will continue to modify and exaggerate these colors as I go, but this initial pass will give me a anchor to judge my other pinks. 

There is something about the over the top feminine pink, yet super strong tower of bows that really excites me about this painting!  And I'm hopeful that 2011 will bring me the time and energy to get back to this again, but I just haven't been able to jump into the mind frame I need for this painting lately, so I have two easels going and this 12x12 is now in progress.

here is the set up

Start of painting.

Even though I wrapped this present with the idea of an angel, looking at the presents on their respective easels I see something else - myself split....

... one minute feeling like a strong woman ready to take on the world - and the next ... a tiny, lost, almost invisible soul.  Or maybe I'm letting my imagination get the best of me.... or maybe it's those dang Lingonberries!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

more presents ...

Thank you so much to everyone for the wonderful comments and sweet emails about Scottie.  It has helped so much just knowing that you all are out there and care.  I can not tell you how much I appreciate your thoughtfulness.  

I could not ignore the timing of losing Scottie and starting the 'Present and Accounted For' project since one of the main concepts is about appreciating the many gifts of our lives then passing along those gifts we've received.  So it has been difficult for me to think about my next post.  But the flood of requests for presents and the many pictures that have been steadily coming in, are nudging me back.

Before Thanksgiving, I received more request for presents than I had, so I went straight to work making the small army of presents you see above!  

Then boxed for shipping.

Of course no ordinary shipping label or box would do .... 

You can imagine the scenario at the post office with the line of people behind me and my stunned reaction that the postal stickers have to go on top of my carefully handcrafted "bow" labels and "ribbon" tape! :)  

Karen enters post office with fifteen separate packages to ship.  Suddenly all at once, many people get in line behind her.

Postal worker:  How may I help you?
Karen: I have fifteen packages to ship, each going to a different address.

(groans and sighs from the line can clearly be heard as the postal worker prepares the shipping)

Postal worker: This package is going to Canada, you will need to fill out the customs form.  
Karen:  I have five going to Canada
Postal worker:  Then each one will need a separate customs form.

(more sighs and groans)

Karen: I'm not sure what to list under "contents" for the form.
Postal worker:  What is inside?
Karen: Well... it... it's sort of a present.
Postal worker:  If it is a gift, check the box that says "gift" and list what the gift is
Karen: No, it's not actually a gift.... it is... well... it's an art project
Postal worker:  A what?  
Karen:  Well it's a symbolic gift, it really isn't anything..

(people start leaving the line, those that stay put hands on hips and make other visual clues of dissatisfaction)

Postal worker: Well you have to claim how much the contents are worth
Karen: But it only has symbolic value... 
Postal worker: You will have to put a value of some sort...
Karen:  Well that really depends on how well this project does :)

Thanks again to everyone participating!  I have updated Present and Accounted For with new photos, and I have many many many more to post.  I will continue to make and ship presents to anyone interested.  Thank you to everyone, thank you for spreading the word about the project, thanks for the Facebook links!

I have new paintings to post about soon, but until then, my most sincere hope that you do not find yourself behind someone like me in the post office! :)

Friday, December 3, 2010


Over Thanksgiving, my husband and I lost a huge piece of our hearts.  We were out of town for the holiday and our cat sitter caring for our two cats, gave the wrong cat insulin injections.  We are thankful that D-con, who needed the shots, survived, but we are terribly heartbroken over losing Scottie.

He never asked for anything - never meowing for food or treats.  All he seemed to want was to be near us.  He was constantly by our sides and in our hearts, and we miss him.