Monday, December 27, 2010


I'm soaking the rays of afternoon sun, after many snowy gray days. What a relief. I feel like a cat; I very much want to find a sunny patch on the floor to curl up and take a nap. Instead, I'll paint in the studio with the light streaming through my huge windows and let the brightness carry me through this frigid winter a little longer.

"I tell you, the more I think, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people." - Vincent van Gogh

Thursday, December 23, 2010

High Five, Tennessee

Yesterday I high- fived Nashville; today I 'd like to take it a step further and high- five the state of Tennessee. I've noticed a couple things this month that are totally awesome about the state I live in.

First, results of the 2010 census reported on in the Washington Examiner earlier this week show Tennessee as one of 7 states with above national average growth; showing "growth tends to be stronger where taxes are lower. Seven of the nine states that do not levy an income tax grew faster than the national average."

Read more at the Washington Examiner:

Second, the parks and outdoor recreation areas in this state are super. 

I was lucky to spend alot of time outdoors exploring in 2010 and can say from experience that there is so much to offer in the state, you are more likely to run out of time to explore it all than places to explore. The highlight of my summer was the Great TN Waterfall Tour of 2010, but hiking a bit of the Appalachian Trail in East TN this Fall was quite notable, as well.

Roan Mountain, like most East TN mountains, is gorgeous! But that's not all that I love about it; I love  that it is home to it's very own goat herd, The Baa-tany Goat Project. Read their brochure HERE.

What's not to love?!  Well, maybe the dreariness of winter, but it could be worse!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

High Five, Nashville!

It's so great to see Nashville getting national recognition for being an awesome place to live, and drawing attention to the vibrant creative community:
"These artists are also putting the neighborhoods where they work, such as Downtown, 12South, and East Nashville, on the cultural map. "

Country Going Strong: Nashville's Best Hot Spots

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Break

Christmas break has officially begun! For my first time! I' m not used to having time off work like this during the holidays; how strange to think I won't be back in the office until NEXT YEAR. It's only 2 weeks away, but still! It's pretty great. I put up some Christmas decorations this year, and hope to have some lazy days enjoying the cozy glow of twinkle lights.

Bella, Christmas Terminator
 Bella the kitty, my little Christmas Terminator, has a different plan for such things. She has pulled and shredded garland, knocked down ball ornaments, and "killed" bird ornaments since their arrival. I noticed yesterday that she actually knocked one of the lower branches loose from the tree. Kind of frustrating, but kind of don't care- Christmas isn't really a thing that I go crazy over and I guess I'm entertained by the scheming look in her eyes. I'm sure I'd be doing the very same thing if I were her!

Bella stalks a bird

I'm thankful to have had a quite decent amount of commissioned work lately; its allowed me to do a little extra Christmas shopping. I need to have one more piece done by tomorrow and then I will be working on some larger, non- commissioned things in the studio. Time in the studio is my main goal for this break. I'm a little nervous of time slipping by too quickly. Sometimes I just want to do so many things,  it's hard to pick a starting place for any one thing. I can let myself get pulled a little in 10 different directions and end up nowhere, or I can choose one direction, stick to that path, and make progress- that is where I'm at. Tying up lots of little loose ends, letting go of worrying about low priority things, and focusing my energy on my goals. Maybe I need to be channel Bella's determination.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Before and After

 Custom pet portrait orders are keeping me happily busy these days! The fundraising Christmas special for East C.A.N. ends tonight at midnight, although afterwards I will still take orders through December 20 to be done by Christmas eve. The proceeds for those will benefit the Shearer pups- I'm thinking, new dog bed?
Aka Shearer & her slightly used bed.

An order came in earlier this week that I really was excited to see was of these two cuties, Bailey and Shorty. I don't know Bailey's story, but I do know Shorty as an East C.A.N. rescue. I met Shorty this year in the Spring when he was but a youngster. East C.A.N. brought him to East Nasty as one of the adoptable dogs of the week. Aka was with me that night and Shorty wanted her attention so badly; he ran alongside her during parts of the run, always looking over at her to see if she noticed- she didn't. But I did! He had the biggest personality and when I saw him months later -again as an East C.A.N.adoptable at East Nasty- he had grown into a big, some might think intimidating, guy. Apparently he even prevented a lawn mower theft from his yard. When I sat down next to him he was still such a big baby, waiting to be loved- he climbed in my lap! Even though there is no more room in the Shearer Inn I looked him up on the rescue's website that night; there is just something special about him. Seeing him in a forever home, with a family that loves him so much they're getting his portrait made, is just perfection.

Bailey's before and after.

Shorty's before and after.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hillsboro Village Art Walk

On the first Thursday of every month, Hillsboro Village hosts an art walk. Shops are open late, local artists are featured, and a good time is had by all.

I set up 4 paintings, warmed myself by drinking wine, and chatted with folks in the neighborhood for the evening. Hillsboro Village is one of my favorite areas in Nashville. I like the "mix". Its young, middle, and old. It's artists, college students, musicians, and an array of lots more which keeps it from being overrun by any one group of people (hipsters, *ahem*). The baristas are so friendly and I do love Bongo Java coffee, so I think I'd say Fido is my #1 pick in the Village.

I have to say Rodney Mitchell and his salon full of lovely guys and gals will keep you looking gorgeous, so they are a must visit, too! Very recently I worked on changing out their window display. This time the new decorations are inside (both windows, as well as throughout the store) and outside (lights and ornaments). Hope you like it!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


If I could be anywhere in the world right now, this would be it:

Calgon, take me away.

If I Close My Eyes and Click My Heels 3 Times

Can I be transported somewhere tropical in another country? I swear I hate this time of year. I've been trying to contain my grinchyness by focusing on the many, many things I have to be thankful for. My life is good. Great even. I feel like generally I am pretty good at not being self- indulgent and whiny, but just this once I want to do it.
1) I despise the darkness and the bitter cold that this time of year brings.
2) I am having pain in my knees, and it is frustrating the #%*@ out of me.
3) I wish I could travel more. It is so inspiring.
4) I wish I hadn't been miserably sick the entire week of the only vacation we did go on this year.
5) I wish Thanksgiving and Christmas could be deleted, as they are annoying/least favorite holidays to me.
6) I wish I were somewhere bright and beautiful listening to ocean sounds, feeling the sun on my face.

SO there. I'll stop. I should never complain like this, after all, I am fortunate to be surrounded by so much goodness in life.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Elizabethton, TN

Jon and I recently went to northeast Tennessee to visit family. We wandered around through quiet downtown streets on Thanksgiving night, their lights brightly anticipating the next holiday to come...

If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It's a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it's time to reflect on what's come before.
Mitchell BurgessNorthern Exposure, Thanksgiving, 1992
Downtown Elizabethton
Downtown Barber Shop

the Covered Bridge

Jon walking across the bridge

Lights above the Doe River

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thank You

Thankful for:

*Jon- who is always there when I need him, is shockingly patient with my flaws, and I cannot/would not want to imagine life without.

*My good health- which I am often guilty of taking for granted.

*This year of gorgeous weather- so many beautiful days to spend/spent outside. This summer was one of the best in years-sailing, waterfall exploring, kayaking, swimming- days filled to the fullest! Even this fall, with its 5p.m. darkness, the mild temperatures and sunshine have been so pleasant that the depression that seasonally comes with the darkness has not been so bad. I'm optimistic for a mild winter, as well!

*Nashville community- I just love the people I am surrounded by. I appreciate that I am part of a vibrant creative ecosystem. As a proud Nashvillian, I'd like to point out that we rank 4th in the nation for cultural vitality being outranked only by NYC, Washington,DC, and Los Angeles. You can read about it HERE, but it's not something I needed a researcher to tell me because I see it in my friends everyday. They are opening their own art galleries; they are spending time volunteering and looking for ways to improve lives of others; they are dedicated to creating new music or illustrating books in addition to working their full time jobs; they are organizing free running groups promoting healthy lifestyles; they are vital.

Of course there is more, but these few are at the front of my thoughts tonight. I hope you are well, and overflowing with all kinds of goodness- Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Paintings for Me! Or You?

I finished two pieces yesterday that I want to hang at home (kitchen, maybe?) once I put them in a frame. I've got a couple basic black frames for them that I will paint a robin's egg, aqua type light blue. They are a combination of watercolor, ink, and collaged paper.

These guys are the sweetest little buddies EVER- how could I not paint portraits of their lovable faces?

 If you are trying to find the perfect gift for someone who adores their canine buddy as much as I do, consider a custom portrait like these of their best furry friend! These pieces fit a standard size 8" x 10" frame, making framing easy and inexpensive. Price is $50; contact me for more details!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


This morning I ran my third 1/2 marathon, but it was the first one I've ever raced. Like- set a time goal, wrote my mile splits on my arm with a sharpie, pushed myself past my comfort zone, raced. It was a gorgeous morning for the Nashville 1/2 Marathon, an I Run For the Party event, to take 1200 runners through downtown's riverfront, along the sunny greenway, out to metrocenter, and back.

The glorious weather calmed my nerves, as did seeing so many other East Nasties out on the course. East Nasties are the best, seriously. Supportive, encouraging, knowledgeable- everything a girl who's never really considered herself a "real runner" could ask for in a running group.

So, the best news is that I met and exceeded my goal- which was to finish in under 2 hours. My official time was 1.56.24- YEAHHHHHHH, THAT'S RIGHT!!!

Then, I went home and took an ice bath-yikes. YES it is entirely as bad as it sounds, but it does prevent aches and pains.

A friend commented this afternoon about how important being mentally committed is to this kind of thing, how powerfully your mind can tell your body what to do. Or not do. All my life I've told myself "I'm a slow runner", and I was until I told myself I wanted something different.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Girl Crush

I don't get really, really into movies that often. No Twilight addiction or Lord of the Rings obsession;however, I am all about the Millennium Trilogy (Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Girl Who Played With Fire, Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest).

It's mainly because of the lead character, Lisbeth Salander. She is a bad ass. Period. Most awesome/interesting female character I 've seen in a long time. Unfamiliar? Here's a great write-up for you.

Anywhoo, I'm uber excited to see the 3rd and final movie, the Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, when it opens at the Belcourt theater next week!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Snippet #1:
I've been painting- working alot in the studio lately. It's been great. I feel very protective of it- it being the new work and the thought process involved in it's creation. So, I won't be posting about it. No pictures- I don't want any feedback about them yet. No shows-I don't want a deadline interfering with the flow of the work. Like Justin Timberlake said recently in regards to his making a new record, " All I’m saying is, in very simple terms, I’ll know when I know. And until I know, I don’t know."

Snippet #2:
I love that one of my friends chose my Halloween costume suggestion for her. I love, love that I got to cut/paint/ bedazzle it to perfection. I love, love, love that her husband agreed to wear it with her! How great is he?! Just looking at the picture makes me smile- and it was even better in person!

Double Rainbow, All the Way!

Snippet #3:
I 'm so lucky to have the life I do. I am married to an amazing man. We have a cozy home and sweet friends. My days are fulfilling. When I do have a bad day, I can always count on my four loving little buddies (Seamus,Aka, Carrey, & Bella) to cheer me up. And they do!

90 lb Lap Dog

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Anna Dello Russo Does Halloween

How does a style icon do Halloween? I can't think of any better inspiration than the spectacular Anna Della Russo. Find out more in her blog link below! Nowness: Last Minute Halloween Costumes?: "Anna Dello Russo Looks to Gaga, Givenchy and Gold for Inspiration.We could think of no better expert on how to put together the most attent..."

Friday, October 29, 2010


“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”- van gogh

 I've been really painty lately, and it's been great.
I 've been leaning towards color combination's similar this group of vintage buttons...
        contrasted by something vibrant and bold.
     I always do favor the blue greens of oceans and minerals.

 At the moment though, I am obsessed with this striking shade of yellow green. I adore it, and sadly have extracted every last bit of it from the paint tube I have. Time for an art supply trip- which I wish could be in the form of a shopping spree.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bourbon Chase Relay

Last weekend I participated in a crazy awesome event called the Bourbon Chase Relay. As I did when invited to join my team of friends in the race, you may ask:
The Bourbon Chase is a unique, overnight relay adventure in which teams of runners cover 200 miles of scenic byways along the famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Participants will experience the best of Kentucky. Starting near Bardstown, the Bourbon Capital of the World, and wrapping up with a festive finish in downtown Lexington, the Horse Capital of the World, The Bourbon Chase will treat runners to gorgeous horse farms and the rolling Bluegrass countryside.
And, as the event name implies, the featured attraction of the race will be the Kentucky Bourbon Trail which links the state's legendary distilleries.

And also:
Teams are made up of 6 or 12 person teams. Each member of the team will run three legs over distances varying from 3 – 7 miles. Each team will provide two support vans to drop off and pick up runners at designated exchange points along the 200-mile route. So, you don't have to be a world-class runner. From casual joggers to serious racers, this event is great fun for everyone.

I'll attempt even further explanation:
Our team, "East Nasty for Life!", consisted of 12 valiant men and women. Upon checking in at the starting line, we split into 2 groups -of 6 runners each- which would for the rest of the weekend be known as "Van 1" and "Van 2". 
Van 1 kicks off the race with their runners one by one completing the first 6 legs of the 200 mile adventure. Their first runner starts, then they drive to the end of leg 1, let the second runner warm up, and look for runner one to arrive. This process repeats all the way to runner 6. Van 2 drives on to the spot where the last runner (#6) of Van 1 arrives and hands off the relay wristband. Then Van 2's runners one by one complete the next six legs, at which point the relay wristband is handed off to Van 1's first runner and cycle repeats itself two more times. Each runner completes three legs (each leg averaging around 5-6 miles) of the journey, as the team cycles through all the runners non -stop until the finish line is crossed.
Add in extreme exhaustion, and you get the idea!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Post Game

After the soccer game we got Mexican for dinner- yum. The Titans, who Blake is a big fan of, were playing that night too, so we got some great commentary!

He's so funny and cute!

Practicing "the Rocketship"....

... and "the Jellyfish".

I have some great memories of playing soccer in the fall as a child, and it is such a treat to see him enjoying some of the same things. What an amazing little guy.