Thursday, June 28, 2007


"Study - Trinchera Sunrise"
Oil on Canvas

I was tagged by Tracy over a month ago, and with all the craziness of moving and traveling, I never got around to responding. So now that things are chilling out a little bit, I'm finally getting around to it - better late than never, right?

So here are seven things y'all don't know about me, in no particular order:

1. I'm not a party girl, and I never have been. I hate going to bars and staying out late, and I really don't care to drink too much. In college, my friends thought that I didn't go out a lot because I wanted to hang out with my boyfriend all the time. Truth is, (as much as I love Nate) it's just that I'd rather be relaxing at home, or chatting at a restaurant, or enjoying the outdoors, than hanging out at a loud bar. I'm just kind of a loser that way. Luckily I find that a lot more people share this preference as I get older!

2. Speaking of going out and partying brings me to another big thing - I'm naturally very shy. Working a corporate job and managing people for a few years taught me how to small talk with the best and appear to be fairly outgoing with people I don't know, but I'm still pretty reserved at heart. I don't like hanging out in large crowds or groups of people - I'm much happier connecting with friends in small groups or one on one (another reason I don't do the bar scene). And despite the fact that I've learned to be fairly outgoing and social, I'm still an introvert and I require lots of "me" time to recharge (thank God I'm a painter!).

3. I have bizarre eating habits. I'm picky, and I have weird issues with certain foods. For instance, I've never eaten a cheeseburger, ever - the whole thought of putting cheese on a burger just grosses me out. I don't like to mix too many foods together, and I don't like things to touch on my plate. I do weird things like order pepperoni pizza and remove the pepperoni, just because I like the taste of the pepperoni but not the texture. I do the same with my Chipotle chicken burrito - I remove the chicken.

4. I love John Denver. This probably makes me the only person in the world under age 30 who likes the music of John Denver, but I don't care. Nothing like a little "Rocky Mountain High" to get me in the mood for painting mountains! For the record, I'm a bit of a music junkie, and I don't normally listen to soft folk rock from the 70s - I'm just a sucker for a guy who loved Colorado as much as I do.

5. I suck at sports. I always have - just ask my mom about the one season I played soccer growing up, and she'll tell you how I ran the opposite direction everytime the ball came toward me. I swam in high school and did all right, but I never had much of a competitive side. I don't think I was ever able to run a mile until college. Despite this, I got into triathlons a few years ago as a means to get into shape. Since I'm not athletic, doing triathlons gives me a boost confidence - it's good to be able to do something that I think I'm not good at, and better yet, do better than average at it. I'm totally out of shape now that I've had Aspen, but I'm hoping to do a sprint tri this Fall - just dusted off the road bike two weeks ago!

6. Even though I've never been competitive with sports, I'm very competitive about my art. I push myself pretty hard when it comes to the quality of my work - I always feel like I need to improve. Nothing can ruin my day more quickly than a painting going wrong, or not going the way I intended.

7. If you asked me when I was eight years old what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have told you I wanted to be an artist. I took a big detour into engineering school and a career in environmental engineering, but now I'm twenty-eight and I'm finally spending my days doing what I've always wanted to do. On a typical day lately, I might only manage to paint for 2-3 hours while Aspen naps, but for now it's enough because I'm enjoying the time with her as well. And I know that I'm finally on the right path to doing what I'm supposed to be doing with myself, and it's nice to finally feel right about that.

So, that's probably more that you ever wanted to know. I'm supposed to tag seven more people, but I don't think that there are seven people who read my blog who haven't already been tagged, so I'm going opt out of tagging people. Hopefully that doesn't make me a bad blogger (just a lazy one).

Monday, June 11, 2007

Finally Moved!

Well, the month of May was completely insane. We went to Texas, moved, and also managed to spend about a week and a half up in Steamboat Springs finishing one of the houses that Nate was building so it would be ready for closing on May 31st.

Now that it's June and things are a bit slower, I've managed to get my studio in working order and actually PAINT!! That's not to say that my studio is completely organized and ready to go, but I have in place my easel and workbench, so it's enough for now.

The cool thing is that instead of being forced to hang out by myself in the basement, I now get to paint inside the house like a real human being. My studio is in a loft space on the second floor of the house, which is nice and out of the way, but also close to everything. Now I can paint when Aspen is napping, which is a big deal, and I don't have to worry about freezing in the winter and keeping bugs out of the studio in the summer.

Here are a couple of pictures of what I've got so far. It's a bit smaller than my old space, but I can still back up a good 14 feet from my paintings to look at them, which is my only real space requirement. It has a big window that lets in almost North facing light during the day, which is nice. I'm still working on lighting for evening - luckily it's summer and the days are long, so I'm not too worried about it yet.

Everytime I walk into the room I have an overpowering urge to push my easel into the corner where it can be diagonal and not look so enormous and out of place, but it's positioned where it is so that I don't get glare on my canvas, so there it will stay. I'm planning to eventually install some track lighting and a hanging system on the big blank wall above my workbench, so I can preview my paintings before I finish and frame them.

The painting on the easel is a 24x36" commission of the Mt. of the Holy Cross for a guy who has climbed the mountain numerous times. I'm trying to make it look rugged, so he can use it to brag about his climbing experiences - a "pretty" picture just wouldn't do it in this case.

Anyhow, all that's left to do is organize my enormous pile of unused frames (not shown),and get all of my blank canvases and panels organized into their slots underneath the workbench. I realized in the move that I have a huge pile of gold frames. They're all beautiful frames, but remain unused because my paintings tend to look terrible in gold. I usually use dark frames with a gold liner, and my paintings actually look best in a "silver" metal leaf finish (which isn't actually silver at all - it looks quite a lot like my gold wedding band - but doesn't have the bright yellow-y gold tone of a lot of metal leaf frames). I try to avoid the silver frames because the gallery doesn't love them, and I'm always trying new gold frames to try and find something that works. So far, I just have this pile of gold frames to show for it. Anyways, that can be a whole post for another day, so I'll stop rambling now.