Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Thank You EBSQ...

Thank you to everyone at EBSQ for featuring me this week on their art blog - http://blog.ebsqart.com . I've been with EBSQ for hmmm... at least 8 years I think. It's just an extraordinary group of self-representing artists. If you have a chance, stop by and take a look. If you click on the above link, you will get my interview but on that page you will also see the link to get to the artists and you'll be amazed. I'm always humbled by the talent that I find there.
Here are some of my favorite goodies for the day, things that I personnaly love and have found as I look around my favorite artsy web sites:

Quote of the Day: "Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending." ~ Maria Robinson

Sunday, December 26, 2010

After Christmas 2010...

And so here we are with Christmas 2010 making a quiet exit. Hope your holidays were wonderful.
I'm vowing to spend the entire day in my studio tomorrow, hopefully uninterrupted, music on, organizing, painting, ordering in for lunch and by the end of the day I will have entered the zone again. Of course, by "entering the zone", I mean something artful will be started. This past two weeks have been anything but relaxing or artful! Viva the Holidays!
This week I want to take minute or two and post some of my favorite things each day, just things I have come across that deserve sharing:

Quote of the day: “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” - Hellen Keller

Friday, December 17, 2010

Karma vs. Career

A fellow artist and I were having one of those wonderful artful conversations recently when he told me how hard it was to actually sell art to a friend. As a matter of fact, he found it so difficult that he had been gifting his art to friends if he found out a friend admired a certain piece. We create because we feel passionately about it and it's only natural to want pass on that good karma.  And so this is where we come to an impasse...is something lost when art is sold and not given away? And if selling it diminishes the true, heartfelt value, then how does the artist merge the good karma of creating something beautiful with the reality of business? I don't have the perfect answer, but it led me to think about how I have felt when I purchase art from another artist and hmmmm... you know, I feel very good as though I have purchased a treasure. So maybe that's it, gift your art when you feel like it and when you sell it, enjoy the sale as you're earning a living and you're giving the buyer that  feeling of having bought a treasure.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Looking Ahead...

 Today I still find myself working with these encaustic mixed media pieces. Rather than art cards, I've been making ornaments out of these small works of art and I've had such a positive response that next year I've vowed to start making them in July to create all that are knocking around in my head. This photo is a few that I've posted in my ETSY shop this weekend. We still have three weeks until the New Year but I've been tossing around my art resolutions and I feel a definite need to get back to my folk art, something I have abandoned for the last couple of months. Primitive or folk art for me is like "home", no matter how far I travel, how exotic the destinations, there are times when I want to return home and bask in the warmth and comfort of the familiar. There are times when re-treading the beaten path can be invigorating.

On a side note, I want to thank my friends at EBSQ for asking me to be the artist featured on Blogger of the Week at EBSQ on December 28th. More on that later but I have to say I love EBSQ and all that it does for self-representing artists. I've been a member for more years than I can remember and if you want to check out some terrific artists, head over to http://www.ebsqart.com/

Quote of the day: "First we'll make snow angels for two hours, then well to go skating, then well eat a roll of Tollhouse cookie dough as fast as we can, and then to finish, we'll snuggle!" ~ Buddy in Elf

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Ornaments

Where does time go this time of year...? Maybe it is because I love the holidays so much that I want time to slow down. Every day I try to absorb all that is good with the Christmas season from music to decorations to remembering why we celebrate this season at all.  I have, as usual, too many projects going on at one time but one of those projects is making Christmas ornaments. I should have started these weeks ago but hopefully I will get a few or more in my Etsy shop this week. Here are a couple that went on there today.

Quote of the day: ~ Us elves like to stick to the four main food groups. Candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.~ Buddy the Elf

Thursday, November 11, 2010

New Christmas ACEO Cards...

Just finished some ACEO art cards for the holiday season. Beeswax so changes the entire collage as soon as I start to work it onto the piece. After the collage/mixed media has set, the glue has dried,  I add the beeswax on top. The heat causes the elements on the collage to change, pieces move, some materials curl, some color lifts off completely.  As an acrylic artist I like the paint to stay where I put it, with these mixed media cards I have learned to love the unpredictability. Although the wax can be moved around, it's intriguing to see where it settles on its own.   

Quote of the day: "I like to smile, it's my favorite!"  ~Buddy the Elf

Thursday, October 21, 2010

New Art Cards...

I have been getting such great response on the art cards that I've been making, thank you to all of my new customers. I'm working on the Thanksgiving and Christmas cards now and will be listing them regularly in my ETSY shop. Here are a three of the newest:
I'm also working on illustrating an education themed childrens book for a friend of mine. That is a new avenue for me and I'll post more information about it when we get near completion.

Quote of the day: "Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." ~George Eliot

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Found Art

I just received a package today from one of my favorite blogs : http://found-art.blogspot.com/ .  There was a delightful collection of handmade postcards, note cards, book marks...  You need to check out her blog to see what I mean. I love to recycle items into new uses and this has inspired me.  The best part was the home-made envelopes. I'm not very handy with this type of thing but the way it is folded to make an envelope was very unique and so perfect. If I have a chance I will post photos of the package of goodies here soon. Thank you "Found-Art" !

Monday, October 11, 2010

Via Arte was a Success...

Another year has come and gone for Via Arte. I went with a reproduction of a Rufus Porter painting and it came out beautifully. I'm posting both a photo of my work as well as an overall view of the whole event. What a fantastic time and such terrific artists all assembled in one place. My 7 x 7 piece took about 9 hours and as usual my back and knees are suffering today. It takes a few days and a good massage to get everything back to normal.

Quote for the Day : Be Glad, Be Good. Be Brave.  ~ Eleanor Porter

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What to do....

I haven't been posting very much this week as I've been busy with various art projects. It is already Wednesday and I still am not sure what I will be doing for Via Arte this weekend. I have a 7' x 7' plot of pavement and I'm still trying to find my inspiration before I lay down a chalk grid on Friday evening. Traditional American Folk Art is my love and what I did last year but I'm still back and forth between that and something more contemporary. Last year I replicated a piece by Rufus Porter, it came out beautifully and I wouldn't mind doing that again.  The painting below is one of mine and one of my favorites and a more modern mixed media . I'm  thinking of trying this one as it has enough detail and interest to make chalk on the pavement fun and not so much that I will go crazy. 

Quote for the day: Perfection is self-abuse of the highest order.  - Anne Wilson Schaef

Monday, September 27, 2010

Via Arte

Once again this year I'm a participating artist in the VIA ARTE ITALIAN STREET PAINTING FESTIVAL, a local art festival whose main purpose is to raise money for local art educational programs. If you are not  familiar with street painting, it's where a large pavement area is blocked off, artists are given squares (mine is 7x7) and over the course of two days a fantastic piece of art is created using pastel chalk. There will be music and fun for all. I have two weeks to come up with my art project for this year. There is a certain feeling of liberation in knowing that no matter how great or how awful the chalk pastel art project comes out, in the end, rain or wind or traffic... will wipe it all away. The only drawback is that last year it took a deep tissue massage to work out the kinks in my back from working bent over on my knees for so long. I can't wait!

Quote of the Day:   
We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world. ~ Helen Keller

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Beeswax Art Cards

Okay, so I've been having fun with the beeswax projects lately. Ended up having a blast making mixed media art cards using beeswax, actually using many layers of different mediums but topping it off with beeswax. It's very addicting, not only the way it lays down, but also the smell. Hmmm, smells like honey when it's warm...just a very nice medium to work with. I also like the surreal look it gives the art. There is almost a dreamlike quality to the image after beeswax is applied. My only problem right now is keeping my cat from pulling the beeswax warming pot off of my studio table !! That is a disaster I would not want to explain to the veterinarian !  I know many artists add pigment to the beeswax but so far I just really like the natural coloring, maybe I'll add color later. I will be putting these art cards on my ETSY shop this evening but here are a couple samples of the finished work in a Halloween theme, of course:

Quote of the Day:   We did not change as we grew older;  we just became more clearly ourselves.     

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Juried Art Show

More on the beeswax experiments later......
I'm posting the three paintings that I'm entering into the Art Expo juried art show in Pasadena. Juried shows are odd birds, a bit subjective, but I enter them on the outside chance that my work is the "it" work of the day. I never paint to the show (too much pressure) but instead I like to choose what I believe are three of my best pieces from recent months. The three I chose vary in style but each are my present favorites. Even though I favor the primitive, folk type of work, I've been revisiting  more traditional painting lately. The landscape  is a product of that traditional exploration.  The snow scene is sold but my wonderful customer has gracefully allowed me to keep it through the show.

Quote of the Day: I am doomed to an eternity of compulsive work. No set goal achieved satisfies. Success only breeds a new goal. The golden apple devoured has seeds. It is endless. - Bette Davis

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I can feel fall in the air and it feels good. Today is a classical music day in my studio, windows open wide, faint breeze...  I'm heading into a project with a hot cup of coffee in hand. I like mixed media and once in a while I like to stretch outside of my comfort zone and add another element to my mixed media bag. Today, it's beeswax. I'm such a novice on the use of beeswax, it's too funny! But I have a 2 lb block of the stuff and an old iron and when I finish today, well, not sure what I will end up with. When and if this still unknown project comes to life, I'll post a photo here.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Learning and Product Expo: Art!

Looking forward to the Learning and Product Expo: Art! again this year. It's held in Pasadena, California October 22 - 24. If you are in the area, it's a wonderful week to grab an art class or two but even if you don't have time to make the classes, the exhibits and juried art show is worth the trip.
Here is the link if you would like to check it out:    http://www.learningproductexpo.com/pas/splash.html

Friday, August 13, 2010

Grape Harvest

Living in the middle of California's farmland is especially beautiful this time of year. It's grape harvesting season and I commute daily through a back road that winds through the vineyards. It is very humbling...all the work that goes into producing that perfect fruit. We don't have the rolling hills of Napa Valley but it's lovely all the same. I'll be taking my easel out this weekend to set up for a little plein air painting at the edge of my favorite vineyard.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

At The End...

And so this painting has come to an end, well maybe... I like to live with a painting for a few days to see how it feels. But, yes, I think it is done. Next week it will photographed and placed on Etsy.  For a long time I've wanted to do one of my modern American Folk art paintings on a much grander, much larger scale. I think now is the time. I'll be working on a 30 x 40 inch canvas and I'm anticipating a lot of detail so I think this particular piece will be a work in progress for quite a while.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day Four of Beach Painting...

Finally had a chance to get back to my painting in process...  it's almost ready for the finishing touches. I'm at the step where I bring it to life with people.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Back From the Beach.

Nothing like a long weekend at the beach to rejuvenate and restore. Now that I'm back I have a sketch book of ideas that need to find a canvas :)   Today I put the finishing touches on those vintage linens that I had bought a week or so ago. I made pillowcases out of them and they turned out beautifully. I'm posting some photos here and I've listed them on one of my Etsy shops:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/KateCorbett?ref=top_trail

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Time to Sit and Think...

I need a long weekend to sit on the beach and soak up the sun.... My easel, my art bag, and a few other essentials and I'm on my way....

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day Three of Painting...

Spent a little time on some details for the hot air balloons as well as the buildings.  Marked in the areas to work on tomorrow :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day Two of the Painting

Day two on this painting....
On another note, I had the pleasure of discovering an antique shop today that I had not been to before. There are two types of antique stores. There are the ones in Santa Monica, Beverly Hills... when you enter you feel as though you have entered a  beautifully orchestrated arrangement of historical treasures. Everything is arranged perfectly, Art Deco to the left, Mission to the right, Victorian  - 2nd floor... and it all smells nice, like springtime. But the type of shop I really love, my discovery today, was my favorite kind. When you walk in, it smells like Grandma's attic, musty, very musty. And nothing was really arranged in any particular order. It was a treasure hunt and I found my own personal gold mine :)   Buried in the back, under some old paintings that had caught my eye, was a trunk of vintage linens.  It's a weakness, old linens, so I bundled the batch up in a raggedy, but still useful quilt, and bought it all as well as the old painting that had originally caught my attention.  I do something special with old linens, something "artsy" so within a couple weeks I'll share some photos with you.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Unfinished Painting

As usual I'm submerged in a number of projects right now but I wanted to take a few minutes to update my blog. When I teach art classes, I like to spend some time on the importance of patience, something I still work on every day. By patience, I mean that when you are in the trenches, working on a painting that is near and dear to your heart, it is very difficult to walk away from that painting in an unfinished stage. I will stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning to work on a painting simply because I can not walk away from it with so much  needing to be done. When I do give it a rest, it's the first thing on my mind when I wake up (after a strong cup of coffee !). It's like mowing half a lawn, washing half a car, or getting a manicure on only five nails!  Last night I gave it up at 3:30am :(   Tonight will be another long night but I'm posting a photo of the painting at this stage. It is still rough and will no doubt change before I finish. More later ...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Van Gogh

This week I finished a commissioned piece that I have been working on for the last few weeks. I feel both melancholy and happy to reach the end. Just as I do in every painting, I lose myself within the work, sometimes loving and sometimes fighting the process. But always at the end, I can see every step in each brush stroke and the feeling is one of bliss.  Not long ago, on a trip to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, I was as close as humanly possible to Van Gogh's Irises when just for a second I could visualize his process. When you can see the texture of a brush stroke on canvas, it is as close as you can get to a great artist.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cleaning the Studio

I was cleaning my studio out this evening when I came across a stack of papers bound with a ribbon. They were older and I could see that I had taken special care to save those papers although for the most part I have no idea why!?!? There were two recipes for crock pot stew, a Christmas card from a friend, directions to a natural hot springs (that one has potential), and well, more mundane scraps that I won't bore you with. But there was one piece of paper that I had been looking for months ago and, yippee, it was bound in that ribbon. It is something a friend wrote me years ago. I was having a full blown pity party when she sent this to me, telling me what she does when the world is delivering lemons:

                                 I just grin, put on my big girl pants, place my hands on my big 'ol hips
                                and walk away! (No verbal response, no emotional withdrawal, no blame).
                                They may continue to fling expectations (for days!) in a vain attempt to
                                fool me into believing such silliness -- but my emotional train just keeps
                                movin' down the track!

I just love that bit of advice!

On an artsy note, has anyone found a great crackling medium for acrylic. The one company that makes the very best crackling medium, Anita's Fragile Crackle, is no longer making it. I have about 1/2 oz. left and it is worth its weight in gold.

Gratitude for Thursday: Thank you to my friend Kelly for turning me onto Week's Roses, they are the BEST. My rose garden makes me look like I know what I'm doing :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Madam Petronella le Strange Necklace

Love this new jewelry piece I finished today. The very best part is the broken glass from an old watch! That stuff is what I love, makes me wonder what history that old watch had. Maybe it cracked as the brave hero risked life and limb scaling the walls of the fortress...  Okay, so I like a good love story :)    Either way, the romance of the new piece is wonderful. I once read that an artist needs to create for more than just herself/himself. In other words, don't just paint what you like or make jewelry you would wear or design clothes you would buy. But for me, I just can't do anything else.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Love Fabric

Today was the perfect day. I woke up, had the best cup of coffee, designed and assembled two new pieces of jewelry for my ETSY shop, worked on a painting, and then the ultimate:  a trip to the fabric store!  This is the seriously crazy part that I shared with my husband for the first time today - I LOVE FABRIC and I LOVE A GOOD SEWING MACHINE. I think I may need a 12 step program when it comes to fabric...I have always been infatuated with great fabric, the way it feels, the potential on every bolt. Consequently, I collect fabric like many of my friends collect, well, whatever it is they collect :) From the time I was a child, I felt the same way. When I was 18 (many years ago), just out of high school, all of my friends were buying their first cars. I bought a brand new cherry red Husqvarna machine to the tune of $1000. I walked out of the store with my new Husky and $78 a month payments and I loved it more than any car. I know, it's crazy!  I don't sell anything I make, I don't really have time to sew as I have too many other things that pull at my time but today was the first time I finally admitted this to anyone. So my husband responded with a most sincere, "maybe you should be designing clothes".  Gotta love that response! As you go through life trying to find the perfect mate, make sure the response you would get would be something just like that.

Gratitude for Wednesday:  I'm thankful for a wonderful husband. And I'm thankful  for my roses and wisteria in full bloom, they turn my garden into the English garden I dream of every winter.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

16 Hours and Counting...

I haven't been faithful to my blog lately.  Well, it is now around 12:30am Sunday morning and I am taking a short coffee break to update my blog. I've been in my studio since 8am Saturday and I feel the cobwebs clearing from the corners of my art deprived brain. It is just the way I'm wired. Creativity is the cure. I will finish two paintings tonight and ahhh, it feels good. When I teach art classes, I teach the necessity and joy of doing at least one creative stroke a day. It can be as simple as a sweet daisy scrawled on a notepad and tacked up on your fridge to the perfect day of painting for at least 12 hours straight. I broke my own rule and paid for it. I think I will be back on track after this late night is over, either that or I will curse the moment I thought that 17 or so hours in my art studio was a good idea. More on that reasoning later when I'm more coherent...
Keep an art journal, read a book on the life of an artist, spend a few minutes cruising through an on-line art museum. Make a conscious decision to not abandon the right side of your brain.

Gratitude for Saturday: I really appreciate this good cup of coffee and choclate bar.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Thank you, Merci, Danke, Gracias…

This past week I’m happy to have sold one of my favorite original paintings to Julie in New York and a totally cute art card to Shauna in Nevada. The art card is one in my angel series and the painting is from my primitive collection. Thank you, Merci, Danke, Gracias…

Gratitude for Sunday: I’m grateful to have enjoyed the company of good food, good wine and good friends last night.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Art Class

As an artist I try as much as possible to give some volunteer time at a local elementary school. I go in and teach a one hour art class and I love it. I'll keep my soapbox packed away so I will just say that art is highly underrated in public schools and it saddens me. In order to be more “whole-brained”, schools need to give equal weight to the arts, creativity, and the skills of imagination and synthesis. 

Part of my New Year’s “tweaking” this year is to simplify and trim down my collection of art supplies. I can never pass up a new (greatly discounted) art gadget, paint color, brush… well it can go on and on. I’m not a minimalist when it comes to art stuff. Everything has a use and I love to try something new. An art store can hold my attention for hours, literally. Fortunately I have artistic friends who also love to get a great deal on slightly used loved art supplies.

Most importantly today - God Bless and help the people of Haiti.

Gratitude for Wednesday: The warm sunshine that came out today.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Foggy in California

It has been foggy here for over a week now. It seems that I do have a limit on how much wintery fog I can stand before I start to feel a little oppressed mental sluggish street rat crazy uninspired. My studio curtains are open wide but I paint for a short time before I start to feel blah !! And I love this weather but it seems I do have a saturation point. Lately I've been spending a lot more time reading blogs... of other artsists, the most wintery, foggy day activity I can imagine :)

Gratitude for Friday: It's "fast food Friday", goofy tradition that keeps me out of the kitchen on Friday nights!