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.