Puppies and Pirate Ships

Captain Jack Sparrow

My Pirate Ship Cake
This past Sunday was my son, Jacob’s 8th birthday. Captain Jack Sparrow is the name he picked for this precious new addition to our family. He’s a darling, 10 week old, Hound/Border Collie/ Lab cross, with paws the size of tea saucers, and a gentle, sweet demeanor. He was Jacob’s birthday present this year. 
Jacob decided on a pirate theme, and pirate party invitations. I was having a crazy, busy week, getting the Art House ready for the upcoming show, so he initially said, “Don’t worry mom, you don’t have to impress my friends with one of your fancy cakes, as long as it tastes good.” What a sweetheart, I breathed a sigh of relief, planning on doing a flat sheet cake in the shape of a pirate ship, with maybe some piped designs or something. I literally had NO time. But the next day after school he sat down in front of the computer and googled “Pirate Ship Cakes.” OH NO! When did my kids learn to use Google!? And sure enough, he says, “Mom, actually, I would really, really, really like something like this one…please,please, please…” pointing to a fantastic, three dimensional, carved, fondant covered beauty.
 Well, I baked the cakes at the Art House on Saturday, carved and crumb-coated it Saturday night after work, and spent from 8am-11:30 decorating on Sunday morning, the day of the party, which started at 12. But, I did it!! His friends were super amazed, and to be honest, so was I. 

Barkerville Blacksmith

Barkerville Blacksmith 20″ x 24″ oil on canvas  $1400.00
I’ve been working on this painting on and off for ages, and I finally put the finishing touches (i think) on it a few minutes ago. I was so anxious to share, I photographed it right away, and came down to the studio to upload it for y’all! If there’s anything that totally bugs you, or needs to be fixed…I appreciate and welcome constructive criticism, but for now, to me, I don’t see any doozies. That might change in a few hours, though, lol!

What I drew today

Sketches: Friday, June 17, 2011
So, this is what I did today. I had every intention of painting “en plein aire” today, and even packed up my easel, paint, a canvas, snacks and water…I was ready to go. My intended destination was Clayton Falls, a gorgeous waterfall just past Bella Coola. I headed to town, leaving in the bright, warm sunshine, and the closer I got to the falls, the worse the weather was. I was dressed for hot sunny day, and by the time I got there it was cold and windy. Too cold to paint in what I was wearing. So, headed back up the valley towards home, and lo and behold, by the time I got back up here it was warm and sunny. (We have a few different eco-systems here in this valley) So I stopped by my friends, Holly and Fraser’s hotel, The Bella Coola Mountain Lodge…formerly known as the Coast Mountain Lodge and also the Brockton Inn, and enjoyed sipping green tea, playing with their adorable cats, and sketching from their back deck in the glorious sunshine.

I Heart Rocks

Click on image for larger view.
I remember being five years old, sitting on the ground beside the school swings, and being in awe of the amazing variety of rocks to choose from…way more rocks here than at my house…WoW! Lol!
And things haven’t changed much! I still collect rocks, and I’ve passed on the “rock nut gene” to both of my kids, too. Our window ledges are veritable streambeds! 
We went on a bit of a nature walk yesterday, to check out the “new river”. It’s completely blown out and changed it’s course since the flood. It’s quite a mess down there, but still beautiful, I guess. The kids and dogs had a blast. I kept my eyes scanning the ground for cool rocks, while my hubby clicked away with the camera. Above are a few of my finds for the day…I love the heart shaped ones…:) It’s watercolor pencil with ballpoint pen, on my Robert Bateman bristol sketchbook. It’s not really meant for watercolor and buckled a bit. I couldn’t figure out how to photoshop the weird scan marks out without making it look over-photoshopped…Anyways…that’s it for now. 

Custom Cakes by Me

So, I know…you’re thinking. ?? This isn’t a painting…but I’ve discovered something else I really like to do as a side thingy. Don’t worry, I won’t stop painting, I just wanted to show this off. It’s so much fun. I started out making fun cakes for my kids’ birthdays. They’d want Dora, or a car cake, and we don’t have access to pre-made trays, or cakes here, so I would just do it myself. It caught on with some of the moms and they’d ask me to do cakes for their kids…so this is the result of the last few.
If anyone in the Bella Coola/Hagensborg area wants a fancy cake, give me a call.:)

Bubble Time

Bubble Time  2.5″ x 3.5 ” oil on canvas paper ACEO
Active on ebay right now… up on Sunday, June 12, about 6PM, PST
A new aceo for ebay…it’s my son, Jacob.  I just can’t help painting my kids! This one was too hard to resist. I actually want to paint it bigger, but I was impatient so I did it card size first. It does double duty as a color study, lol!
I’m probably going do be doing a lot less for ebay from now on. I really want to spend more time getting bigger paintings done, and maybe do aceos just to provide a break in between. It’s been fun, though.

One for the Sketchbook

My Boy Reading the Star Wars Encyclopedia
Hi everyone,
I don’t have a heck of a lot to share with you this week. I decided to take a week off of painting and do some much needed yard work and gardening, and the weather was nice, too, so I took advantage of that to get my quota of Vitamin D. But, I did do this little sketch of Jacob last night that I thought I’d share. It’s been a while since I posted any sketches since I’ve been painting pretty much full time. 
It’s been really nice to take a break, actually. I feel creatively re-charged, and I feel like painting now instead of sitting in front of the easel every morning with that feeling of dread, wondering when the creative juices that make painting fun, if not easy, are going to start flowing. It’s been a while since it hasn’t just felt like work. Anyways, back to the easel on Monday. I have a commission of a particularly complicated but beautiful tree I need to finish. I’ll post pictures when it’s done.