oh so close to greatness…

Chrysler Museum
Norfolk, Va

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s mind-boggling really… just how close you can get to greatness at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk. Cassatt, Renoir, Gauguin, Warhol, all on display. No ropes or barriers — nothing to keep you from standing right where THEY were standing when THEY were creating their great works.

I stood mesmerized… breathing the same air, seeing the same brushstrokes, feeling the same awe as the artist must have felt as the work emerged from a blank canvas. It is hard to catch your breath when you see Cassatt’s beautiful, chubby baby in “The Family” or back away slowly from Paul Signac’s, “The Lagoon of Saint Mark, Venice” and watch as millions of colorful marks turn from chaos to masterpiece before your eyes.

We went to the Chrysler for Father’s Day. First a picnic on the grounds under an amazing tree. Then a tour of the newly renovated museum. A fabulous day with my parents, my sister, my brother-in-law and the many artists whose works grace these halls.


blog tour monday

I’m so excited that Jeannine asked me to play this artful Monday Blog Tour! She is my blogging mentor and a fab friend! Thanks for tuning in!

duck selfieswhat am i working on?

At my job in Graphic Design, I usually build a lot of ads and put out a lot of fires, but lately I have been working on some really cool stuff…

I got to attend a Designer field trip to see the giant rubber ducky at the Grand Re-Opening of the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk. I had some folks tell me they just didn’t get what the big deal was about, but that was one seriously BIG ducky! You could feel the excitement everywhere. It was a buzz – a super happy yellow sunshiny buzz. Duck lip selfies were mandatory. And the Chrysler Museum looks awesome! I’m planning another trip there soon.

I got to be a part of the new Outer Banks Magazine! Along with building some ads for the product, I was invited to come down to Nags Head for the fashion/cover photo shoot. I got to see how the stylist works with the models, the photographer and the lighting. It was amazing to see the transformation to the finished product.

I was also fortunate to be able to put on a training class for the Design team. The theme of the training was something I am very passionate about – lifelong learning! I made them all “Thinking Caps” to remind them to keep their MINDS WIDE OPEN! It was really rewarding to see a bunch of super busy folks wearing silly hats, taking notes and getting excited about learning something new!

jeans stripe

In my home studio, I paint, do mixed media and make jewelry. I also teach classes. Right now I am working on samples for my Hippy Hippy Shake Altered Jeans class for Art & Soul Virginia.  The jeans are addictive to make, and the more you add to them the more fun they are to wear. Layers and layers of color, fabric, and embroidery… party pants!

how does my work differ from others of its genre?

I love bright colors and i try to throw a little humor into each piece – even my jewelry is not  too serious. I try to produce art that pleases me, and I don’t worry too much about what other people will think of it. If it sells, that’s great. If not, no worries.

why do I write/create what I do?

I do it because it’s fun and I enjoy it, and it keeps me out of trouble. I’m a little hyper and
I’m better off if I keep my hands busy.

how does your writing/creative process work? 

I’ve found that the important part is to show up. It is pretty easy to get sucked into the computer (who is not hooked on Pinterest?? so many pretty pictures!!) or TV or cleaning the house. I have to make time to make art! So I punt the rest, and head up to my studio. I start by picking up stray supplies and putting them away and before you know it, I am spreading paint on a canvas or making a dozen pairs of earrings. I leave the projects out so that If I have 15 extra minutes I can head up there and play with them. I work full time outside the studio, so it makes me feel better to be able to sit down and add a little dab of paint during the week. Then on the weekends I can really dig in.

That’s enough about me! Now I’d like to introduce you to 2 of my art buddies. They are uber talented and full of creative energy! I am sure you will enjoy your visit with them!

Jenni Horne  is an artist and teacher living in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. Her work can be described as whimsically folksy and charming in nature with an innocence that reminds people that life is supposed to be lovely, simple and inviting. Through her art she loves to tell stories about ordinary living with honesty and wit reminiscent of lazy southern summer days with sweet tea and neighborhood kick ball. Although Jenni received her BFA from Auburn University, she credits the majority of her learning from her creative art students spanning her 17 year career as an art teacher. She is married to her college sweetheart Billy who balances her creative whims, and they are raising two teenagers and a small petting zoo. Join her first e-course this summer at www.paintsomething.guru

Cathy Mendola is an east coast girl that has been transplanted in the midwest and has finally come to terms with the brutal winters. She is a dabbler of many mediums but has a current obsession with beading. Whether it’s making jewelry or creating bead embroidered projects she can’t get enough of it. She is also mildy obsessed with wool & silk fibers and the wonderful combination the two can create through wet felting or needle felting. Come to think of it, there’s not much she doesn’t become obsessed with once she plays with it the first time!