New 16x20 painting

It's been a nice Christmas holiday with family, good food, and finished off the long weekend with a painting.  I've got several things going in the studio right now but yesterday I focused on this canvas.

I continue to recycle canvases that I just didn't like.  I can't just throw them away so I give them a second chance, or rather myself a second chance.  I put this photo collage together to show how I progressed and then a glimpse of the final canvas.

Merry Christmas

Its going to be a flurry of activity for the next week and so I wanted to take a moment for a quick studio update.
I finally sat down with my big canvas and got it finished.  Had a hard time getting a picture but here it is.
As it lays on my studio table.
Digitally placed in this frame.  So not actually mounted.

It's always a likelihood that I will come back to this piece and make changes or add to it still.  But for now I am happy with the result.  I am trying to determine what I will do on the next large canvas.
On my table right now is this piece.
 Yes another angel.  I can't seem to get away from doing them.  So that is a quick update and hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!!  Look forward to continuing to share art in 2015!

Jana McLaughlin©

I now pause for a break ...

A break from Christmas and all those activities to steal away a small chunk of time in the studio.
Truly happy time!  I'm still working on my large loose canvas piece and while I posted a snippet of it in progress a week or so ago on Instagram, I'm just not loving the result just yet.  I am feeling as it is not done but not sure where to take it so it's laying on the studio table awaiting it's final fate.  I promise to share when it is done.
This is what I had the chance to finish this afternoon.  I started a few nights ago when I took a bad piece of art that was in the, "I can't believe I ever did that pile," and re-purposed it .  Let me tell you, do I have a pile of that bad art.  But I highly recommend working over bad things to 1) save money and 2) let those pieces take on new life and inspire you in ways you wouldn't normally think.

Hope you are stealing some creative time this month! 

Remembering the reason

This is honestly a frantic time of the year, for everyone.  Seems long gone are the days of savoring the season and instead we have one more to do list, to get list, to prepare list, and busy busy busy. 
I personally need to see less sale bills, extended hours, coupons, and shipping offers.  Our family is going minimalistic this year.   Really minimalistic.  After all, a little less of "everything" and a bit more of remembering the reason for the season seems in order.
Holidays can be very hard times for people in so many ways. So besides remembering the reason, remember we aren't ever alone either! 

Post Thanksgiving activities

Hopefully you had a very nice Thanksgiving.  I know our family had a nice day and I've had a long weekend. Yeah!  My task was to paint on my loose canvas which I primed last weekend after cleaning the studio.  I guess I can't decide on my final plan for it so it remains in the center of the room awaiting my attention.
I've been doing some painting and sketching at night and she is one of the latest.  I'll take her into some more involved piece once I know where she wants to go.  (They talk to me you know!)
And then there was a piece I lost...yes, lost.  Don't ask me how, don't ask particulars, its just simply gone.  Sigh.  I will work to re-create and share in another post.
In the meantime it's on to the Christmas season.......

Studio Make Over

This past Saturday was studio cleaning day. I couldn't take it any longer, it was a rainy day and so it was go time.  As I moved things from one side of the room to the other and then from one corner to another, bagging things that simply needed tossed out and getting a handle on all the stuff I've accumulated, I made a discovery.
The black hole!!!  (With a dog tail that is!)  It was that center part of  the room that had previously been covered with a 6 foot table which had simply become the place that everything got "put".  You have to know what I mean because we all have those "putting" places.  In fact if I'm honest I have a "putting" drawer in my kitchen.  Well, yes, maybe one in my laundry room too.  Oh my, I could have a problem!

So I worked tirelessly all day and well I am NOT finished...aargh...I am very well on my way to some real order.
I have a small 4' table that is set up for now and will NOT become a permanent fixture.  It will be used only when working on big canvas or projects.  I'm trying to get started on a larger loose canvas now.  I re-purposed the television cabinet that is in front of the window by having my husband make some shelves.  It is a little bit of awesomeness when it comes to organizing and making a home for things.
My built in desk area is still a project to do and I had to accept that I just don't have room for some things and they are organized as best as possible in the unseen corner. (Hopefully not to be come the next black hole!)  I'll update my studio pics once I'm all done but at least progress is happening.

Sharing some favorites...

So I've been busy, really busy.  Last weekend I was at the TCA gift market.  Here is a couple peeks at my area.

Yes, I know what you are saying to yourself.  Does she NOT know its Christmas season?  Well of course I do,  I had great things to give as gifts!  But I'm not a big Christmas decorator so needless to say my area reflected that.  But I loved the colors represented and had a really nice weekend.
Between that weekend and this one I have several favorites to share with you that you should consider when shopping and supporting artisans. 
 In no particular order:

Buffy makes the most beautiful and whimsical pottery.  And not "normal" pottery.  Its' quirky and colorful and lets just say I'm looking forward to (2) special ordered tea pots. 

 Kim makes the daintiest and neatest hand stamped jewelry.  (Yes, spent money here too!)

The jewelry made by these ladies is so tastefully and nicely done.  Not to mention quite affordable for as pretty and well made as their pieces are.  Again, left some money with them too!

Want to fantastic and comfortable leggings?  Or maybe a skirt?  Colleen has them!  I bought a pair of the leggings and wow!  They fit great, they don't develop drooping knees or legs after wearing and sitting and moving in them.  I'm definitely going to be purchasing again as these are great!

Currently in my studio it looks like a hurricane struck, literally.  I have grand visions for reorganizing and making over to better accommodate my flurry of activities and maybe when I get to that project I'll share some of the blood, sweat and tears that will ensue.
For now I have only the start of some new projects.  One is this that I've drawn.
 Not sure how this will finish out yet and I also want to do these on a piece of large loose canvas.
That is the update from my studio for now.  Be sure to check out my Instagram postings also and
trying to find a minute to update my online store over on my website.  Christmas IS coming!!
Have a wonderful week.

Measure of success

So this weekend I am at the TCA Gift Market. It takes time, energy & coffee to participate in these affairs. So naturally one wants reward for all that. Sure it would be nice to have to call the Brinks truck to come help carry off the money made. Who doesn't  want THAT problem?
Besides the monetary side, success has to take into account the contacts made, the feedback from shoppers and the support one finds when hanging out with other artists. So all this equals a great measure of success for me! Next post I'll share so artist contact with you that you should meet.
Hope over to my Instagram for booth pics too'

Happy Halloween!

Personally I've never been a big fan of this holiday.  I think there were a couple years in my very early teens that it held some appeal to me but, otherwise just not that in to it. So it won't surprise you that my post has absolutely nothing to do with the occasion.  No orange, no costume, no nothing.

I had hoped to share with you my progress on the big canvas I had intentions of starting on last weekend but alas, didn't happen.  I eyed it, rubbed my chin a bit while staring at it, got a snack, eyed it some more and then I let adult attention disorder take over and went on to something else.  Or maybe it was procrastination that hit.  I can hardly tell the difference.

So while I have been busy creating I have not been busy documenting or taking pictures.  One I did snap was of my two angels that I had professionally printed and then placed in a nice dual frame.  I'm really happy with how they look.  Had a bit of a glare obviously when I did snap the picture but you get the jest.  I've got two of these that will be for sale next weekend at the Trinity Christian gift market.

Enjoy the day and this gorgeous fall weekend!

Lock me in!

Today started with a cup of coffee, a few minutes of mindless channel flipping, puppy play and then to the studio.  In other words awesomeness!  Is that a word?  Well it should be if it isn't and today in the studio has been just that!
Somehow though I look up and its middle of the afternoon already!  Why doesn't that ever happen at work?  But, always when I'm in the studio.  Days fly by.
Today I've been putting the finishing touches on and creating these boxes.
They are a bit time consuming but totally worth it I think.  I've still got the little legs to put on the one but I'm very happy with how they have turned out.  Definitely will be doing more of these. 
So creative juices are flowing and have been for days now.  (Someone please lock me in my studio!!!)  I just can't get in enough studio time to get it all out and down on to whatever surface it needs to go on to.  My next project....if I wish to accept....tackle the 24 x 36 big canvas that has been staring at me for weeks.  Probably a good thing I've started with something I'm happy with the end result, because me and canvas.....well we haven't totally worked out our differences. 
 Happy Paint Party Friday and to a creative weekend!

A Happy Busy

So I'm getting excited for the upcoming Trinity Christian Academy Gift Market the first weekend of November.  So, so much to do to get ready.  Really wishing my vintage Shasta trailer was ready to use for my rolling "studio".  Maybe come spring.
So here is a peek at just some of the packing going on for the show.  Didn't dare take a pic of the spare bedroom.  It's covered with prints, and framed works.
But irregardless of this ongoing mayhem in the studio I have managed to find a bit of time to start on a new piece or two.  Here is just a glimpse of the beginning stages of new art.
Hopefully your October is finding you in a Happy and busy place as well.
Oh, and almost forgot.  I've dipped my toe into social media just a teeny tiny bit more.  Instagram.
You can find me there too....if you want of course! 

What Mayhem looks like

This is what my studio looks like right now.  Yep, its good old fashion mayhem going on here!  Every inch is covered with essential and well, if I was to be honest, not as essential things to get organized and creating for the upcoming November show I'm taking part in.  Today I'm creating and organizing myself.  Pretty big task.  So big it will probably take up the entire weekend.

Angels seem to be showing up frequently right now in my art. I've always have done them but they seem to be more prevalent of late.  So I'm going with it.  I know some people aren't wild about angel artwork but if they are going down into my art easily then I'm not arguing. 

Now besides the art show craziness I've got working I'm thinking of re-doing my blog.  Migrate it to a different format.  That may be too much to tackle right now but think it is on my To Do list.
And finally, in another small step to come into the 21st century of all things social media I'm now on Instagram!!  So feel free to check me out-----

Hope you have a weekend to remember & thanks for stopping by!!

A mixed bag...

My life has been just that the past couple of weeks. Not complaining though.  It all started a week ago Monday.  I spent three days in court serving in a jury.   Can't say it was an exciting case by any account,
but interesting none the less. Then once that was done the very next morning I was on a plane with a girlfriend heading to the Joyce Meyer Women's Conference in St. Louis.  :)

Whatever happened to lighters?  We use cell phones for everything!
We had a great time and even squeezed in a trolley tour of St. Louis.  Fun and more fun!
Then it was back to work, puppies, and a full schedule for myself in October to get ready for a November gift show I'm going to do.  Whew!  Not to mention a few fall shows I want to attend.
So whats on my studio table right now?

Fresh inspiration and lots of ideas floating around my head.  Now to find the time, energy, and resources to pull it all together.   It's good sometimes to be busy!  (Remind me I just said that in about a week...haha!)
Happy Paint Party Friday and have a great weekend!

A little list of Thankfuls...

Friends:  You know the kind that "have your back", and just "get you" and your quirky ways, loving you nonetheless?  Most times hard to come by but when you have friends like this it's a blessing.
Thankful for mine!

Fall:  Hoping it is going to bring some coolness and alleviate humidity soon.  I really need a good hair day!! :)  Thankful for the season changes.

Busy:  Yes, actually thankful to be busy.  Busy in all aspects of life right now.  Really need to get busy with show preparations. Looking forward to branching out into this area again, only this time with my art!  (Thankful for the new Shasta trailer that my husband, nudge, nudge, is going to get ready for me.)

Puppies:  Loving our puppies!  'Nough said!

Hope you have things to be thankful for too.  Here is a new piece of art that I recently shared with a Friend.
 "I will walk in faith"---------and be Thankful!   Have a great weekend!

Be of Good Cheer

Some weeks are just more trying than others it seems.  And for me this past one was one of those weeks!  So this morning when finishing up this piece I couldn't help but pull from what I had doodled one night this past week.  Be of Good Cheer.   I think this was my inner self reminding me of this.
And since this turned out pretty well I guess I have even more reason to be so!  Hope you had a good week and find some cheer of your own!  And Happy Paint Party Friday!

A touch of time

It's been a long weekend for me, much like all of you.  I actually tacked on a couple of extra days last week and made this one extra long. It's been nice and much needed.
So with all that time you would have thought I could have managed a post, but just not the case.
It has been 12 weeks since the pups were born.  I think they have taken up any extra minutes and zapped the life right out of my art time.
But who doesn't want to spend time with guys like this?  Down to 3 from 7 pups and soon probably down to only 2.  At this point I'm not sure I care if another one goes.  I've gotten so very attached to them that it has been hard each time one has left.  Even though the very best homes have been found.
Note to self:  Do not become a dog breeder!
This is a page I just did from my art journal.  And a canvas that I started yesterday.  Not sure how she is going to finish as she isn't done just yet.  Sometimes I have to wait to be told.  (Canvas does speak if you didn't know.)

And  yes, obviously my prior declaration awhile back to never buy or work on canvas was just a momentary fit I had.  We all knew that right?
Hope you've had a nice long Labor Day weekend and good week this week.  Shouldn't these be mandatory one per month? :)

My Big Project

Finally..... I'm excited to show you my big project.  To be a bit more accurate it is more of a project for my husban.  I'm just the "design" team.
'63 Shasta
Isn't she gorgeous?  She will be even more gorgeous when "we" get done fixing her up for my new studio on wheels.  Yes!   I have plans to utilize her at pop up fairs and any other sales events I can schedule and manage.  Soooo excited!!! 
Of course, I've had her for at least a month now and in my mind she should be done. Right?  But with summer heat and work loads she hasn't even been touched yet.  My idea to use her this fall is probably not going to happen.  Darn it!
There is that patience trial I seem tested by time and time again. Think I'd learn. :)
Have a great and safe weekend!

Friday Post...better late than never

Happy PPF to all.  Yes, I'm waaaay late but I have a good excuse.  Since vacation time seems to be eluding me this summer it was time for a mini vacation.  Overnight somewhere....anywhere!  Away from tv, dogs and puppies, responsibilities in general.  So off to the casino it was.  Had a really good time and what a wonderful change of pace.  But home now and all those things I escaped from.  Well, not a one is gone upon my return.  All those delightful and not so delightful things that make up daily life are waiting with open arms.  Sigh.

So, I'm really not a liar.  I had promised to show my big project.  But, I don't have a picture to show you.  Correction.  Have one but I can't get off my phone anyway.  And quite frankly, too tired to get another device and get one taken now.  Yawn.....  Hopefully next post.  I know, I know, thats what I keep saying but really I will get it done!

In meantime, here is what is on my studio table at the moment.  Just finished her this afternoon, well evening now.

Thanks for stopping by and happy creating this weekend!

Friday Sharing

So if you read my last post I have sworn off of canvas.  Really, but not really.  Canvas and I are having disagreements and well it's just best we part ways for awhile.  So I found it funny that when I went to pull something to share today I grabbed up this-
And what is she done on? Yep, canvas.  So go figure.  The weekend is upon us  (yeah!) and I hope to delve into some kind of arty goodness.  I did get my own shop set up over on my home page last weekend.  Not entirely happy with picture quality so I guess its a work in progress like everything else.
Have a great weekend!

p.s. hopefully next post will share picture of my big project surprise! 

Never buying another canvas!

Never buying another canvas I say in a fit of unhappiness.  I love canvas, at least I thought I did.  Well I do.  But really,  it isn't my best friend when it comes to producing work that I generally like.  Rarely does a canvas come out looking or feeling like I wanted it to, tried to make it, or felt it should.  So I say I'm never buying another canvas!  (yes, we both know this is not going to be the case.)

So my fit started after painting a small canvas today and not really loving it. (Not showing it here.)
You know the feeling right?  Please tell me you do.  So after destroying a canvas unwillingly I went to my already existing discard pile of "bad art" canvases and took one to task. I was down but not out!
I snapped this picture after already in the process of  "rearranging" it shall we say.  The original colorful houses on yellow done somewhere in my past wasn't good.  So magic marker in hand I doodled over the top and started painting outside the lines. 

I like the way it turned out and is just proof that the pile of bad art can be spared from the trash and fits can be tamed.  I'm still going to stay clear of the canvas aisle for awhile because who needs that kind of trouble?! Haha!

Hit a stride

I'd hit a rather creative stride lately, but it's now turned into a short trot.  I have a nice collection of new art, some of which I have posted on my website homepage if you go there, and the rest to be released  in a bit. 
It is always nice when things come together and a sigh of happiness and completion washes over.
Bringing life to some of my older art has been fun as well.  The more I re-do or completely erase away old art it shows to me progress.  And that's a good thing!
I have a HUGE project (and not at all what you will think), to share with you my progression in doing very soon.  So check back and get creative!!


June almost over?

Wow!  It's summer and this month is well on it's way of being over.  I have been a bad blogger this month also.  Since my last post a couple weeks ago a recap of life highlights:

1)  Had a Birthday!  yeah....or maybe not so much yeah.  One can only turn 39 so many times before people start questioning that.  Haha!

2)  Got a speeding ticket.  Boo!  Can't deny I was being a great menace to society out in the middle of no where country road.  (You're welcome, to the 3 cars that passed by speeding as well, while I occupied this patrol officer.)

3)  Puppies, puppies, puppies.... yeah with a question mark!!  SEVEN puppies....yes seven.

Might I note that these are NOT my puppies.  Yes, they are residing at my house.  Yes, this could have been prevented.  Yes, I am preparing my son's eviction notice as I type (tee hee!).  Yes, he knows his mother has a soft spot for all things animal....especially puppies!!  And somewhere out in the countryside around us is a very unknowing owner of a male Great Pyrenees.  So we have Akita + Great Pyrenees puppies.  Might I say, not the type of dog you'll be carting around in your purse like Paris Hilton use to do!!

4) And finally....ART!  Doing lots of new art.  All of which is not posted on my website yet, or on Etsy, or anywhere.  Shame on me.  So best get with it all.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Patience and finding one's voice

I'm not a patient person by nature.  Isn't knowing and accepting that half the battle?  I guess it is if I work on it, which I have.  So not being patient...normally...means that Art like anything else in my life has to have a bit of applied patience to it.  I've come along way from feeling like I would only ever draw stick figures, (therefore I would not be drawing), to actually opening myself up to art.  Its lessons of making mistakes is okay, to showing one's true feelings and heart spill on paper and canvas, to the lessons of patience and practice that it teaches.  Which brings me to finding ones "art voice". 

I've not been entirely happy with the finished piece with many things I've done with my art.  Often times I feel like I've stopped short of bringing it all together.  Making a cohesive piece of art if you will.  There are always bits and pieces  but not always the whole enchilada when I'm done with a piece.  That is until now!  I've come to the conclusion that its okay and I simply have to bring all these bits and pieces together.  Duh!   If I set down before a canvas and tell myself I'm working with acrylics, "go make something spectacular", it ain't happening.  And I often times end up not happy.  Art is suppose to be happy, right?!  So I'm finding my voice.  Sounds stupid, but I'm allowing myself to take all the independent pieces of art that I've done and like and bringing them together to make new art.  And I'm finding is my true art voice and happy place.  Woohoo!!
Moral of the patient in all things!   Happy Friday!!

Re-Newed, refreshed artwork continues....

So hello!  Today is Friday...yeah!  Well kinda yeah for me.  Today is THE garage sale.  Not mine but my mothers.  Sounds innocent enough but really it is not.  Do you know how much work goes into one of these? Ridiculous.  And what if it doesn't all sell?  I shudder to think.  So I have time committed to that today and tomorrow but not without a few minutes to share some art and go get a hair cut!  Two very important things.

Like my last post I'm busy breathing new life into some old "bad" art.  This was a canvas board gone horribly wrong.  I repainted the canvas board, new colors, texture, etc.  Then I took a sheet of canvas paper for the middle inset art.  Finished it off with a quote and waalaa!  A new and improved canvas board which someday I will look at and think....really??  I've got to do something different with this! Haha!
Linking to Paint Party Friday.

Canvas Re-Do

I'm always struck how inspiration does just that...strike.  The sometimes urgent inspiration you can't wait to get to the swing in the opposite direction of where have you gone.... inspiration?  Rarely do I have a chance during the week to sneak into the Studio for any quality time.  Not that I don't do art all week long but, it usually isn't done in the quiet of the art studio.  Today however was different.  It started last night with a sketch and then today it transformed and ended up ( a slightly different version than my sketch) but, created on an old canvas piece.
This canvas is a re-do.  One from the pile of "my gosh what was I doing when I did this piece," kind of pile.  Isn't it wonderful what gesso, paints, papers, markers, pastels, and a piece of time out of an otherwise so-so day can yield?  Think I'll call this piece: Thankful!

My to do!

Today is a beautiful day outdoors.  Flowers are gorgeous, I've got red birds flying all over, and the sun is shining!  Little one could ask for  to make the day better.  Well, other than do something about this:
To have this poor studio organized and cleaned!  That would make for quite a delight if I could walk in and it be in tip top shape.  Would I be able to find everything though? Sadly, in this state I know where things are "piled".  And it's Mothers day weekend.  Shouldn't have to tackle something like this, right?
So I find myself today working here, at the dining room table.  Doesn't look like art but it is.  The art of the art business.  See, I'm a writer.  Not like a writer of books, however I have started and not completed several over the years, but a writer of action plans, ideas, dreams, and start ups.
And for my studio to get organized, my soul to be happy, and for the stars to align I  must do the dining room table work.  The results of such will not be known exactly for a bit still but it is all part of my process. :)
And the beautiful flowers on the table are from my son for Mother's Day!  Doesn't get better than that!
So I'll leave you with a piece I did as a result of my participation in the CreativeGirl: Land of Light and Shadows class.  This is the second class I've ever taken and it was short and sweet and really appealed to my whimsical style.  Thanks Danielle for sharing!
                                                      Happy Mother's Day to everyone!

I've been up to....

Spring flowers and planting and dirt.  Glorious times!

Sadly I don't have a better picture than this. Given the technology you'd think I could at least show a good picture. Ha!
Anyway, again not that this picture shows or does justice but after a $200 trip to Lowe's yesterday the back patio has flowers, the front porch has flowers, and I've still got a table full that I don't have containers for.

I've also finished my first art journal book of 2014. Yeah!!
I think I did 3 last year.  Not sure, but this year I've now got number one in the bag.
So journal number 2 is ready to go!

 And lastly......found a great old book with thin and wonderful paper that made for a great surface for
this watercolor and marker picture.
I can't wait to do more with the pages from this book.
Have a great week!