Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas and MY VERY OWN REAL ART EASEL

I hope every one of you had a very Merry Christmas!! It went by too fast as always....  One of my Christmas gifts has to do with my art endeavors so I thought I would share it with you!  'Santa' brought me this.  (Obviously not the painting but the art easel.)

This easel is just like the ones we had in the art studio in college.  I CAN'T WAIT to use it.  (After I type this I am actually heading to use it.)

To give you an idea, I worked on an easel I bought at Home Goods for about 5 years now.  When I moved into my house I had 2 roomates and nowhere to store this big of an easel (nor was I sure I would get the use out of it).  Imagine painting the large painting you see here on the easel in the back left corner of the first picture!  It was difficult.  If I pressed too hard on the corners the canvas would flip off the easel. Now I am secure and I can move it up and down, tilt it backwards or forwards, etc! 

I WISH I had taken a picture of the assembly.  That would have been the best picture of all.  It didn't take us long to realize the easel would not fit in my car.  Mom and Dad would have to bring it to me at home point.  I had fully prepared myself to wait but they were sweet enough to drive back with me and bring it TODAY.  Little did they know they would also be helping out with assembly.  The instructions were some of the WORST I have seen.  3 minds and about an hour (I think) later, we had it up.  THANK YOU MOM AND DAD.  I LOVE IT!!!!!!

Ok, off to paint. :)

P.S.  There is a sewing machine under that white box.  I am about to learn how to use it.  Wish me luck.  Fabric has always been my enemy.  I am determined to start making aprons!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bluff Park 2010

I just found out the 2010 Bama schedule is released.  Guess what football game is ON the day of the Bluff Park art festival?

Florida AT Bama.

I am bummed.

That means half of Birmingham will be out of town.  The other half will be in front of the tv.  Did I mention how I am bummed....(Auburn is a home game too but not a big one.... vs. Louisana-Monroe...)

painting...still not what you probably expect

Before and afters are always fun so I thought I would share. Those of you that have been to my house KNOW how bright red the bathroom was.  And while the pics don't show the colors exactly, I think you can see the grey which i LOVE.  I now have to figure out what I want to do to accessorize.  Since it took me 5 years just to paint it, I think I will take my time to find the right towel, rug and etc. :)  (P.S. Those pictures are from my college photography class...back before we had digital!  AND I still love them. )

Public service accouncement: I always buy the expensive brushes and rollers.  It makes a difference on how easily the pait goes on...BIG DIFFERENCE.  This time I decided to be cheap with my paint trays and got the disposable ones (because I was lazy and didnt think I wanted to clean one).  It collapsed on me when it was full of paint when I first picked it up.  They are made for use INSIDE the pan.  OOPS!  My hardwoods survived but I think they cried too!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

it's the most wonderful time of the year...

I am writing to let you know I am fully aware that my Bluff Park art show submissions must be ready by April 1st. I am fully prepared to have them done in time. I have a million ideas in my head. BUT because pictures make everything better (in my opinion) let me explain myself....I have been busy and somewhat distracted.

Most of all I have fully gotten into the holiday spirit. It started with the annual cabin trip...

Yes, can you believe it? That is SNOW you see.  And this was our "cabin."  (It actually belongs to one of my best friend's parents.  They have worked hard on it for years and it shows!!! How blessed are we?!) We are actually in Arley, AL despite what it may seem.  We felt like we might as well have been in Montana and not on Smith Lake. 

I cannot take credit for the awesome photos above.  You can tell which ones are not from my camera.  Ann Wade came along with us (if you are in need of a wedding photographer....she is one for you!). She brought along her "backup" professional camera. I am telling you. We had a BLAST with it. The weekend made for some great pictures and I am now convinced I need an SLR camera. Thanks, AW! I NEED one for painting, right? MAYBE that should be my goal to save up my profits on painting (and encourage me to get my butt moving).  MAYBE?  I think that is motivation.  I am leaning towards a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi. I have always loved my Canons....all 5 of them.

When I got home on Sunday I was inspired to craft.  I've been doing a lot of work/calculus and my creative mind needed some exercise.  My friend (thank you Jarred!!!!!!!) brought me some awesome pine cones.  They try to sell ones at pottery barn that are half this cool. I guilded them and put them in my garland and on my wreath and that is what I needed for the finishing touches of my Christmas decorations. Pottery out.

That is all I leave you with tonight.  Next time maybe I will have an oil paint related post to share. :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It only took 5 years...

I picked this painting to hang in my first office at White Plume when I started (it will be 5 years ago this January). Just this weekend I FINALLY framed it! It may be my favorite painting so I should have done this a long time ago. Besides that fact, I basically look at it for hours every day!

I have to say, Hobby Lobby remains my old faithful. I went for a frame and they special ordered one for me. The frames tend to get busted around in the store. I learned a valuable lesson after I started to paint. Always buy a canvas in a standard frame size if you ever intend on framing it. I was able to find a ready-made open-backed frame for $20 when a custom frame would have been $90.

Onto a different subject. I was at my fav place to go when bumming around on a Saturday night, Barnes & Noble (to buy a nonfat caramel latte and to wander when I found a Jack Vettriano book on the sale rack. It includes all his favorite paintings and is a mini biography. It was very interesting to say the least...(and more scandalous than I imagined).

I've always been drawn to his style paintings. His were the first I tried to imitate (like this one framed). Little did I know HE learned by imitating other impressionists as well. So there is hope. I am trying my hardest to find my own style and subject matter. Last night I got rather frustrated. Do not worry, Seth. I will fix it.... but I did something to the Alabama painting that I do not like. It is on the bottom two corners...I was trying to make it shadowed. The last time I had such a 'disaster' I ended up with the end result of the painting above. I almost gave up because the sky was frustrating to me and I thought I "messed up." This just goes to show sometimes the best mistakes can be for a reason. So yes, I am telling myself that once again!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The website - sneak peak

So, I have the website up and running. Check back often for updates.

#3 on my list - check

(I am struggling with some of the gallery photos I've taken of my artwork over the years. I don't have the artwork anymore and the pictures aren't all that great!)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

2010 Goals

MAYBE my longest to brace yourself...

I mentioned in my previous post I have goals for next year. This year, once again, I attended the Bluff Park Art Show (and once again with Carrie by my side). We talked, did some thinking, and I came to a realization. I really CAN do this. I WILL do this. I like to think once I put my mind to something, I complete it (this is what I tell myself regarding my MBA decision lately...but that is another story). So with the decision to exhibit at a show came some other necessary puzzle pieces. Without further ado here is the list, to my friends, and the blog world. No turning back!

2010 Goals

1. Exhibit at the 2010 Bluff Park Art Show
Is there anyone in Birmingham with an extra 10x10 booth available the first Saturday of October 2010? :) I believe I know how I will hang most the paintings and I believe I will frame a good many. I need to determine pricing and a few other details. I hope to complete at least 15 paintings. Please mark your calendars and come see me....first Saturday in October. If there are football games on the tv, I will have a radio for you to come listen. You can't beat October weather.

2. Determine my niche
I tend to be all over the place in what I paint. I need your help deciding what to paint for sale. I will be placing a poll on the blog. PLEASE give me your opinions. The hardest part of a painting to me is determining where to begin!

3. Create a (non-blog, grown-up) website
I actually have gotten underway with this project (my love of computers also helps this goal). What about my blog? Isn't that a website, Shelley? This will be more professional and a page intended to print on business cards and one you can send people to find current and past artwork. But don't worry. There is a link on the page to the blog.

4. Purchase business cards
This will naturally follow after the completion of the website. I have high standards on what I want to do with these. I am looking on Etsy and other places for ideas. Do you know of anywhere? Please advise.

and last but not least...
5. Attend Double Decker Weekend in Oxford
Mom and Dad talk about this each year and they are certain I must exhibit. For those of you wondering where this is in Oxford (MS) of course. I do not feel like I can exhibit until I have attended (you know, to scope out the scene).

I think that is a long but achievable list. I am hard at work on it already. Nothing like getting a jumpstart on 2010.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Never have I been more intimidated in my LIFE about finishing a painting as I have been with this stadium. I've procrastinated painting players/spectators on the sidelines until last night. And then when I got down to it, wasn't sure what colors to paint the uniforms and had to seek advice from an avid fan. Here is a taste of the people that are appearing...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy 2 Years, Blog

I started thinking this past weekend about my blog and how many times I've mentioned the Bluff Park Art Show (which I will mention in its own post later). Then I looked. My first blog post was October 10, 2007. WOW. Has it been two years? Really? I am sure we all feel time has flown by but at the same time it feels like the two years have been a century long. I think of what I've done (and where I've been) over the past two years and I am amazed.

In honor of shelley's collection's 2 year blog anniversary I have done some research. Have fun with the results:

First post: October 10, 2007 - almost exactly 2 YEARS
Total posts: 88
Total comments: 44
Total paintings blogged: 13
Kids paintings: 3 (Caedmon, Eleanor, and Katelyn...which only touches on how many friend spawns I've gained over the past 2 years)
Trips mentioned: Seattle, DC, Skiing, Minneapolis
Projects tackled: map-making, calligraphy, poulty wire jewlry holders, chair recovering, rehearsal dinner ribbon bouquets, and HARDWOOD FLOORS

I have some goals for this next year. Pretty ambitious but it is about time I do something. More to follow!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

last stop...

I promise. The posts will get more exciting soon. :) This guy will be done this weekend!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Channeling Football

I got to view the real stadium today on TV...and it actually helped. :) I'm plowing through and I think I'm over halfway done. WHOOP WHOOP!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Other uses

Have any of you read Real Simple segment where they show alternative uses for everyday items? I am tempted to send this their way.

Yes, I am a neat person but not neat enough to squeeze my toothpaste from the bottom. I AM cheap, however. I saw this nifty contraction on the isle with the oil paints. I hate letting paint go to waste so this device is exactly what I am looking for now I have gotten to the end of come crucial colors. I think I may have to go back for another to actually use for paint. With my coupon this was only $2. Worth every penny if you ask me...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I'm painting!

Actually, I'm creating 100000 dots and its taking forEVER!
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Full Moon

I took this out the window of my Altanta hotel!

Tell me someone else saw this last night? This was taken from the parking lot of Academy Sports. (Note to self. Never go there the opening weekend of football season. EVER!)

These are the very reason I have a camera small enough to fit in my clutch.

Calligraphy Flashback

Carol recently received her professional wedding pictures. I scanned one of them. I'm a little partial to this one. I don't even want to think about how long it's been since I picked up my calligraphy quill!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Another small update

Sometimes it helps to turn the painting upside down. It forces you to look at the shape and it helps me with straight lines....

This picture I took (upside down) to give you an idea of what it looks like....

I have LOTS of dotting ahead of me. Good thing I can watch HGTV while I do it...anyone else annoyed with the new show "Real Estate Intervention." It's unfortunate that man is on during the 9:00 hour because that is my prime time for painting!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Fun at Work

I must say, I am pretty darn lucky to work where I do. We have some VERY creative people. In fact, this is a great example of my fun (we work too) work environment.

Carol (my boss) had her 10th anniversary with the company today. Chris and LK, over the past 4-5 years, have collected all the room keys from onsite implementations. They complied it into this masterpiece for her. The pictures below cannot capture quite the detail and thought that was put into this....(They can pretty much account for what trip they were on for every key. They almost have every state represented. The ones they have are in alphabetical order!)

...and last but not least, the title of the piece...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Stadium Update

I leave you with this picture tonight. I have a looooong way to go. I was toying with trying to finish before season starts but who am I kidding? That gives me how many days...I know you Bama fans out there can rattle that off...

All the 'mess-ups' and crooked lines happened when Jillian let out a squeal. Ok, kidding. It was me cringing when Wes' name was brought up.

Onto another subject: Goop. Those of you out there who do not have this in your house (especially those of you who craft) go buy a container. Seriously. It is less than $3. Your clothes/apholstry/towels will thank you. My professor had this staple in my Painting 101 class. If you ever were to get oil paint on your clothes, you glob on a layer of goop. It keeps the stain from setting and, when you wash the clothes, the paint magically disappears.

I have a beautiful, very white hand towel in my guest bathroom upstairs. This bathroom is 'lucky' enough to double as the bathroom to my 'art studio.' I'm normally pretty good about keeping my paint contained.

I wish I had a before and after picture of my white cotton towel. Imagine the blue of the above sky splattered on a stark white handtowel. Goop. A miracle in a small container. I will leave you with pictures so you know what to go and buy.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Well, well. Look what I noticed going into a shopping center on the way to my gym...

I now have 3 art stores on my way to the gym. THAT makes me very happy. I can only hope they have competitive prices and a variation of canvas sizes! More updates coming soon. Lots of painting to be done this weekend!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Food blog?

Art blog...I have been cheating on you...with this. Yes, I now have a baking blog. If I can do it, you can do it. In the meantime I temporarily abandoned Shelley's Collection. The food blog has inspired me to give this blog a new look. I am open to suggestions. (I am also wishing I knew XML.)

The good news is, I really have been painting. (Just not posting.) Summer has kept me busy and I love it. I do have the underpainting down on my latest project and a picture from last week to prove it:

Stay tuned...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I love you, Alabama Art Supply

My canvas is in JUST in time for the weekend. Yeaaaah! Of course I am now going to the lake (with the Downings) but I can certainly squeeze in a little A&R (art and relaxation)! Can I tell you how great the people are at AL Art Supply? I hadn't been since college and I will totally be going back. This is a longer canvas than I originally planned. When I started sketching on the canvas I had, I was disappointed. In order to get the perspective right (of how crazy big the stadium is) I needed it.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

disappearing act..

Despite what it may seem, I have not fallen off the face of the earth. In fact, I have traveled a large part of it in the past month. (It's been great!!!!)

I will be back in action shortly! Happy summer to everyone!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Stop and smell the flowers...

...or if you are me...stop (at the redlight) and take a picture (or two or three) of the clouds. I am constantly looking to get better at the art of painting clouds. Something happened to me during college in my painting classes. I started to look at the colors within colors. Who would have imagined that a green leaf can have orange,reds and greens in it?

Have you ever noticed the many different kinds of clouds? Well, have you noticed them since you were in 4th grade science class? Some are whispy, some are heavy/dark on the bottom, and then you have the picture perfect cotton clouds. These are the picture perfect cotton clouds (otherwise known as cumulus with a stratus or two up top...thank you google).

They will be PERFECT to study for a paiting. One thing is certain, when I go to paint clouds or a sunset...there is never one to go look at outside. So this is just the reason I got my camera. WHICH, I have a great new camera to take great new shots. But that is another post!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Jill Graduates from college next weekend...

....I know. Really? Am I getting this old? Her subtle request were these so I was challenged to do them within 24 hours before I jet off to Austin, TX on Sunday. Minus a few issues, I did it!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

it's me!

I'm having some fun! Can you tell? This is a picture from the reflection on G (which is my car and those scratches are sadly on my car...not a broken lens). After the traumatizing loss of the Sony camera I'm debating whether to move onto bigger and better things. Sarah lent me her DSLR. I've forgotten all I learned in college photography class. Granted, when I took my class I was using a film camera from the 70's and a dark room. There is something to be said about that. But those days are gone and i LOVE technology. (I'm a nerd.)

Oh and Seth, get ready. Your art project is next up. Others, stay tuned!

Friday, April 24, 2009

OR I could just start over...

and that is just what I did. Start over. For the first time (besides sips n strokes) I painted in acrylics. Hey, I was on a deadline and I didn't want Katelyn to be born into a room smelling like oils. (Plus, I am hoping to give this on Saturday at the baby shower.) Little did I know HOW fast acrylics dried. I notice there is a type of slow-drying acrylic medium. PROBABLY should've purchased this. Each time I failed to mix enough paint and there is no blending once that stuff dries. NONE. I will grab some pictures later but the tubes of acrylics look similar and are the same named colors and my oil paints. It made me feel more comfortable. After all, I am actually doing this FOR someone and I want it cute!

Here are the pics:

Day 1

(Look closely and you will see my laptop on a chair. This is what I had to do in order to watch tv. Thankfully I was able to catch up on some Sunday night shows after the fact due to lovely Alabama storms.)

Day 2 (late last night)

And another...(Next step is a circle in the middle with Katelyn's initials in hot pink.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

if i could turn back time...

if I could find a way....

I probably would have kept it the way it was.
Darn it.
At least that is the great thing about oils. You can always change things...

its that time of year!

Invitations are piling up. I have to say. This year there are some freakin cute invites hanging above my sink. You all know my love for invitations so I had to share!
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Katelyn Painting update:

I worked again last night. I am about to change my mind and rework a lot of this so stay tuned. (This is a blackberry pic. NOT the best...)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Baby Katelyn's Beginning

Before I left to go home for the Easter holiday I sat down and finished the underpainting. It didn't occur to me how approriate the cross was for this time of year until I sat down to make this post. Now, when I come home on Sunday night, I can work on the 'fun part' - what I enjoy the most ....the details and the layers. If you pay attention to the first picture, I sketched ideas of what I plan to do on the cross. Stay tuned. This painting still has a long way to go and a lot of changing to do!


P.S. I apologize a whole MONTH passed without a post. Things have been crazy in my life...but what is new. And, well, to be honest, I had a DirecTV change and I've been without a TV in my art room for 2 weeks now. That has a direct coorelation to my art productivity. Sad, but true. This should be fixed mid-week! :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Paintings with a Purpose

So, I have the shelves in my art room that are home to several paintings I painted on a whim, without a purpose:
This week I got an email from my church regading "Celebration of the Arts." This is an event held April 26th for the child care center. It is an art sale and a silent auction. They were asking for artists to donate work.

Immediately I thought of the art on my shelves. I can't think of a better purpose for these two:

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Don't lose faith...

I have a project coming up and will be posting and painting soon! It's been a MONTH since I have posted. Terrible, terrible....

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Baby Dabal

And I am done! I will let this sit upstairs for awhile. No baby (NOR Jamie) needs to smell these fumes! I have to say, I can't take credit for this painting. It is a 'copy' but it worked too well for Jamie's lamb themed nursery. She doesn't know exactly what I am doing but has an idea! I will surprise her in a week or so!

My friend (and coworker) Sarah and I were talking about brushes this week. I have to be honest. I am not picky at ALL on brushes. (Well, until I used one tonight that frustrated me when the bristles started to fall out.) I usually pick out what is on sale and stock up. I have a variety of synthetics and animal hair. I use SO many brushes when I paint that I always have a tough clean up job. I use some for detail, some for the large canvases I love to paint, and some for blending.My brushes don't get complete TLC. I read one woman's blog recently where she hung hers with closepins to dry on line so the ferrel of the brush (part where the bristels are glued in) doesn't ruin. Not me.

(I have recently become concerned for my plumbing...cause gosh knows I have gone through that mess lately.) I am currently using Master's Brush Cleaner and many shop towels to squeeze and capture the paint before it goes down the drain. If anyone has any better ideas/solutions/tips I would be HAPPY to hear them.

Monday, March 2, 2009

I've lost my right arm...

Ok, not really. But those of you who know me know that I LOVE taking pictures and I love my camera that gives me those pictures. Well, I lost that camera this Friday night along with some pictures on it I REALLY wanted.

Some of them were the before and after pictures of me "painting" my bathroom ceiling....the result of a hot water leak. NOT the type of painting I would have chosen to do. So you are spared from those photos.

But for now I will have to resort to my blackberry camera. I have an old elf digital camera I am going to punish myself and make myself use. Serves me right. It was a good old camera but it is just that...old. And it is STILL charging.

I started on Jamie's painting tonight. I think it is going to turn out perfect. Here is a sneak peak....