Finished at Last: "Tending Our Garden"

"Tending Our Garden" 20x20 inch original encaustic painting on wood panel.

"Tending Our Garden" 20x20 inch original encaustic painting on wood panel.

It's always an exciting day when a big painting project is finished. This one was intricate and required sunny days outside to complete, but I'm thrilled that it's finished and ready for the Girls on the Run show at gallery Zapow here in Asheville! Until the show, you can still purchase it for another day or so from my shop (and see up-close photos of the many intricate carved details). At 20x20 inches, this is a larger than usual size for me, but I think the tiny details in the large space feel really tactile and chock-full of growing, pretty things like flowers, animals and love.

This painting is a story, of course. In many ways it's autobiographical. I am, indeed, an artist girl living with a guitar-playing guy. :) Sometimes I hear beautiful music wafting into the studio, and that always makes me smile. Yet this is also a story about all of us -- and the way we make our own paradise by creating beauty and sharing it with the world.

TBT - Venice Beginnings

"Autumn In Venice" oil on canvas (original is sold)

"Autumn In Venice" oil on canvas (original is sold)

This morning I was searching frantically through old CDs of my artwork for a high resolution image for a customer, and I stumbled upon this piece I painted of my friend Autumn and her two Chihuahuas when we lived in Venice, CA. It took me almost heart-wrenchingly back to the bright sun and friendships with "the girls" (Marisa, Melissa and Outi ) we were starting our careers in this paradisical land of art, sea and sun. It was a golden time. I love that there is a whole day -- Thursday - dedicated to reveling in nostalgia. So I thought I would share this piece and some of the photos from the "shoot" we did in Venice that afternoon.  It's funny to see this painting now because it was from back when I used to use reference photos rather than my imagination for my work -- but you can still see here where I gave her a "tattoo" of my signature red bird and transformed all the paintings in the background into cartoons of my own work. I love painting from my imagination now, but it was also really fun to paint from photos. I may have to try this again sometime!

The original photo.

The original photo.

My 'artsy' shot of Autumn and Maestro (a great model, too).

My 'artsy' shot of Autumn and Maestro (a great model, too).

Houses on one of the Venice walk streets off the boardwalk. I lived in that brown one for about 6 months - with my bed under that front window in the living room!

Houses on one of the Venice walk streets off the boardwalk. I lived in that brown one for about 6 months - with my bed under that front window in the living room!

Autumn turned the camera on me for this one - I love the Venice light. It feels like an endless summer.

Autumn turned the camera on me for this one - I love the Venice light. It feels like an endless summer.