We will figure it out

We will figure it out

It’s Saturday, it has been an illuminating week. It’s also been earth-shattering in the “now what?” category. The jobs I have been getting consistently the last couple of years are fading from existence which seems to be another sign that my renewed path to make art seems to be right. I don’t make as much per job in art yet, but I do make sales regularly. I am not depending on Etsy yet, but I do see the potential. And if I count it all up it is a decent wage, so even though losing a bigger job is scary on the outset, it also gives me the time and money I would have spent in preparation for it to use on other things. When transitions in my life happen, it always seems to take me a little time to think things through and to not panic. I have gotten all my chores done today and I plan to spend the rest of the day in the studio. And that is one sure way to make me happy.

It seems that many people are going through big life transitions these days. Finding our way through these times of economic, political, and planetary uncertainty really affects us all. We are all in this together and we will create a new world experience because we are adaptable and filled with creative energy.

I hope you have a happy day. I am planning on it.



Switching hats is not always easy

Switching hats is not always easy

I have been wearing my geek hat a lot lately, figuring out online marketing, illustrating for a specific audience- hand-painted valentines- which were very successful, I must say. But now it’s time to think about other card holidays and other projects that require more creativity and I am struggling to get back into my painter and creator hat.

I also have commercial clients that need me to think about marketing strategies and upcoming photography gigs that will require a different set of skills. Very often I think how much easier my life would be if I would just pick one career path! But here is the deal, when you live in a small town and you have lot’s of skills, if you want to make a living as a creative rather then pushing papers full-time and art part-time, you learn to adapt. You take the gigs and do the enjoyable work and then move on to the next. AND you find time to make art that satisfies your soul in between.  I find that each skill and medium I work in feed the others and makes me have to learn to switch hats quickly. But sometimes I just need to breathe, to get out and take in the landscape and surroundings and forget about all of it.

Today we have snow on our mountains here on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada, and I am heading out to enjoy a day with friends. Yes, I will bring a camera and no I will not think about marketing. Pure enjoyment.

Happy Saturday, hope you have an enjoyable day.

What’s the difference between art and illustration?

What’s the difference between art and illustration?

Good question! Both can tell a story, both can make a point, both can be beautiful or not. The more we depend on pictures and graphics to sell things and motivate us, the line between art and illustration gets blurred.

Vintage illustration- movie posters, magazine ads even pin-up girl art graces the walls of homes, as often as a landscape painting or a still life, another trend these days is decorative signs with positive sayings. Are these art or illustration?

Google says an illustration is a visual aid to make a point, and art is an expression of emotion or beauty. In the examples above, this is not so clear anymore.

As an artist for over 30 years, I am confused! When I look at many of the paintings and drawings I have done over the years, I can now see that they have value as illustrations in various applications. The stippled drawings I am doing these days can be art you hang on your wall or they can be used as illustrations in books and advertising. And with the help of digital media applications like Adobe Illustrator they can be manipulated and painted or colored to create illustrative aids for even more expression. Art is versatile, imagery helps us tell our story. It guides the viewer in a direction we want them to go. Opening their mind to see things in a new way. This is the point of both art and illustration. It all goes back to the story you want to tell.

The image I am sharing today is a gardenia done in pen & ink and then manipulated in Adobe Illustrator to create a rainbow. Its purpose is for Illustration Friday’s weekly challenge. What else could it be used for? I know of several applications, what can you think of? Would love to hear your ideas.

Wiggle Your Toes!

Wiggle Your Toes!

It’s the 2nd week of August already, and the calendar says today is “Wiggle Your Toes Day”.

So I had some time so I decided to do an image to represent this day. It is Summer and most of us are in sandals so it is not a difficult instruction to just thoughtfully or unthoughtfully just wiggle those toes!

My life’s work is about telling stories and I can do that with images and words and often times both. As I say on my website, “Your business is Unique, and You have a story to tell.” and if you take that a little farther, we are all unique and have a story to tell.

Every single one of us. And your story colors your perspective and your behavior in our world.

Have you ever thought about the story you tell? Everything about you is part of that story from the way you comb your hair to the way you drive on the freeway, to the work you do, and the way you play. Every move you make is an expression of your story and how you interact with people you love as well as people you don’t is defined by what has happened in your life in your past. We can choose how much we allow our past to color our future and that is really the good news. The negative experiences from our past are in the past and we can start fresh every day. There is not much I can do to change what’s going on in the world or even just with the people or things in my life. I only have control of me and what I know is that if I send out a positive vibe I feel better and those that choose to receive that vibe also feel better. Joy is a learned response it is something you can change. No it’s not always easy and I don’t always feel it, however, the more I try to cultivate it, the more it grows.

Wiggling your toes feels good, and if you can’t wiggle your toes, wiggle your fingers, or wiggle your arms, legs, or even your nose. It’s a silly little thing, but it made me smile today, maybe it will make you smile too.

Have a happy day!

If you want to know what other silly and interesting holidays happen every month you can subscribe to my newsletter or follow my facebook page. I create a calendar page for your computer or even just to print out and hang on the wall, every month with a beautiful image with a calendar of all the events. Here is a link to the August calendar. It is all free!

Re-invention, Transition, or Redirection

Re-invention, Transition, or Redirection


I was tired of just making pictures. I looked around my studio and there are dozens of them everywhere, hard drives full of them also. At art events or showings I was continually hearing “my house is full, my walls are full, I have no more room!”. People over 50 seem to all be downsizing and people under 50 don’t even want to start accumulating, they would rather spend their $$$ on experiences. I love that! Me too!

So all of this awareness led me to the realization that unless I am done being creative I need to find a use for my talents and skills elsewhere.

How can I make art that is useful and helpful and community building? Well, I guess I could go back to doing commercial design,  photography, and illustration, like I used to, was the answer I came up with. I can create logos and brochures and websites for businesses. I can take pictures for real estate agents and restaurants and other creative folks who need help sharing their work. All of this helps build stronger businesses which help build my community.

I am not new to graphic design, I have been doing it as a profession on and off for over 10 years. I have done projects for law firms, real estate developers, non-profits, restaurants, even wine sellers. I built printed products, website products, menus, illustrations, even vehicle wraps and wall and window peels. Each project, as was each company, unique and different. Solving creative problems that helped other people accomplish their dream and it gave me a sense of satisfaction and pride as well as an income. All good things!

However… much has changed in the advertising world since I was doing this full time 8 years ago. Technology has expanded our audience and the way we relate to them is very different in many ways then it was back then. Although I try to keep up with what’s happening now, there have been so many changes. My redirection has required some re-education as well. Finding resources to help me with that has been easy and I am learning new things, techniques, and ideas daily. Every day I learn something new that I can use to help my customers do a better job at what they do. How fun is that? I am having a wonderful time!

So this is my first blog on this new platform and I plan to use this space to share ideas, observations as well as techniques and things I think might be helpful. And once I get better at editing video I will be adding that as well.

If you are following me from my art and photography I still plan to continue that and there will be posts on that as well. My work is still available on my website. It’s funny every time I think I can’t do it all I am forced to, so hey, let’s just go with it and see what develops. One of the things I love most about creativity is that there are no boundaries other than what we impose on ourselves. So let’s just not go there.

Thank you for being here, please feel free to share your thoughts below. Remember to be kind both here and wherever you are!

My tagline used to be On to the Next Adventure! I have changed it to Let the Story Unfold.

So let’s begin!