Free-for-All Friday - Dream Makers

I want to encourage the dream makers that posted yesterday. Good for you. For Free-for-All Friday I'd like to send a little copy of the painting I did on Monday - Dreams - as a reminder of the dreams that you've shared, or are still working on getting. I've printed it on canvas from my computer. (It won't be especially light-fast so take care to not place it in direct sunlight.) If you get a chance send me a pic of you with the canvas, that would be nice but not necessary, so that I can post a couple of them here. Here is to you dream makers for believing that the possible might be had from the impossible.

email me your address


Think about it Thursday - Dreams & BYU

Of course, Think about it Thursday is about dreams. Not the ones that happen in your sleep but the goal kind. I think they are called dreams and not goals because of their nature. They are usually a little more 'out there', difficult, out of our foreseeable path, unknown to others, maybe a little crazy. I think we also call them dreams because we ourselves might not even see how they can be accomplished. I had one of those dreams. 

At 17 I went to BYU. I was ill-prepared for college and didn't do well. Add a boyfriend in there, Allen, and well, I ended up academically suspended. (You really should attend class and finals, you can keep the boyfriend) I have always regretted those choices and I dreamed of going back and doing it right. It was a dream because we lived and planned to stay in California, we had many children and life was just happening. I really saw no way of how that would or could ever happen. 

Well, many things led to others and almost 25 years later I graduated from that same school. (Also, my 19 year old daughter graduated from the same school that same day.) Another one of my dreams was to learn how to paint people and I learned that there. I am totally amazed that all of that even happened and subsequently those dreams have turned into great blessings in my life.

That's a long time to wait for a dream. After that much time, I think that if I didn't have the dream (of returning to school, that school, or of wanting to paint people) I might not have recognized the opportunities and more importantly, taken them. 

So, for Think about it Thursday take the opportunity to search a little for your dreams. Let them surface, at the very least to yourself, and recognize what they are. Even if they're crazy. And if you feel so inclined and bold share them with us.



Why I like It Wednesday - Sephora

Art is about the visual. And I would say Sephora is about the visual of the face. Okay, it's all about makeup, that kind of visual. I wanted to try some new makeup so one of my daughters suggested Sephora. We went to the new one in Kansas City at Zona Rosa. As visual as I am, I am not so much into the makeup thing, I like it, I just don't know that much about it. So, that is where Stephanie comes in. She's a make-up artist (see I told you this was visual) and consultant. Long story summarized Stephanie is excellent at what she does. So you might wonder what this has to do with dreams, well, as we talked Stephanie shared one of her dreams. I was excited to hear her goal and judging from her confidence, determination and great people skills I think she will succeed. I highly recommend her. And I got some great makeup. That's why I Like it.


Art Talk Tuesday - Surrealism

Salvador Dali                               Persistence of Memory
I'm not much into Surrealism because I can never figure out what they're trying to say. Obviously, the artist is trying to convey something because of the way things are juxtapositioned. It's almost like talking with someone in a foreign language or reading a foreign language and becoming frustrated because there is no real communication. There is something lost. And Dali may have left enough text behind to explain some of his work but it is not available to most of us unless we research it. So, we are left with the image and title of the painting. 

That is why I try and make my images something that can stand alone without text. I add meaning to enhance the painting but if that is lost I want a viewer to be able to still enjoy it on it's own merits.

This is a different direction than I am thinking this week for 'dreams' but this is the closest (subconscious mind) to dreams I could think of. Enjoy your day and the art talk.


Mini-Monday Painting Dreams

Dreams            8" x 8"      oil    

This weeks theme is DREAMS. For Mini-Monday it's a symbolic painting representing dreams. The swirling pattern on the heart is for the swirling of emotions that - as in wishes, aspirations, wild fancies, or hopes - often whirl through us as we dream (like-can I? I can, maybe not, why not?, this is dumb, no one does this, not me,...). A heart for the personal nature of our dreams. How close to us that they are. Things we don't want to tell others. Or that when we do tell others that we know our dream will be safe with them. It's hanging in the open because we expose our vulnerability when other's know our dreams and when we fail or we succeed. Dreams show what we think about ourselves or the world around us. It hangs by a ribbon because of the circumstances that dreams hang on. Sometimes by a thread but at other times it seems like a gift. I chose the ribbon for the gift side of it.

Inspired by my daughter, Leila, who is visiting, and her dreams many of which she has accomplished and the one's in the future.


Free-for-All Friday Website Critique

Okay, for Free-for-All Friday I tried to get my adult daughter who came in to Missouri yesterday to do a little self-portrait for fun and then I was going to post it as part of ffa-friday. Well, she wasn't too keen on the idea and being an adult and lawyer she effectively evaded the situation. Kids. So.....

Here is the other project that's been consuming me. The re-do of my website, see the screen grab above of one of the pages. For Free-for-All I would like a critique of my new site. You can comment about anything - images, content, layout, flow, whatever. I promise not to get mad with what you suggest (I am quite familiar with rejection) if you promise not to get mad that I might not use your idea. Fair enough. As always, I value other's opinions so this is a sincere inquiry. Thanks ahead of time. 


Why I like It Wednesday - HubSpot & Art

Since I am really just in the beginning of my art biz getting all the info I can on how to get my art 'out there' is important to me. The website and blog for HubSpot really has nothing to do with art but I use it all the time. It gives me a pulse on what is happening now in the business world of marketing, specifically in-bound marketing. (Don't know what that is? They have all kinds of articles to tell you about it.) It's just a great way for a non-business person like me to understand and take ideas and help my art career along.

- living rural (ie, isolated and away from resources) the internet is such a great tool and they tell me how to really utilize it
- they blog with great articles, all archived and easy to find topics I'm interested in
- tv spots
- webinars, the one I listened to, David Meerman Scott, a couple of days ago was excellent
- geeky videos but I think they're funny
- a cool grey/orange color palette, just had to throw that in

Maybe I'm a business geek under all this paint. But that's why I like it.


Art Talk Tuesday - Conceptual Art

(kn-spch-l)  (ärt)

The beginning was in the 1960's. Not surprisingly a reaction and challenge to the traditional definitions of art and beauty. It is art that is concerned with the idea, or concept, first and foremost with its construction not limited by any boundaries in material. It deals with more of the senses in the mind than the senses of the eye. It sets out to create mental sensation by being provocative, shocking, controversial, or extreme. This gave birth to the ideas of Installation and Performance Art.

sketchbook concept

I connect with conceptual art as far as the idea or concept goes. After that I part ways. I am a traditionalist in skill, craft, medium, and aesthetics. But the concept, the beginning of the painting, that is the creative and exciting part to me. I have ideas all the time that I put into sketchbooks. Often I have more words, questions, and thoughts than I do images. After the conceptual part come working with visual aspects.


Mini-Monday Painting - Apple halves

oil  8" x  8"

Today's Mini-Monday painting is an apple cut in half. I will name it later. I think I am having a need for brighter colors lately. Maybe it's the winter weather. I don't know but I like them. I don't know that I'd like these colors larger than this format though. 

I liked the idea of seeds for beginnings because of the obvious. But, apples also have many prior iconic meanings that have tie ins to beginnings. Like Adam and Eve (and the apple) in the beginning, Apple of someone's eye - their favorite, Newton and the falling apple linked to gravity, seeds and Johnny Appleseed who supplied seeds to pioneers, and then there is my favorite Apple (MAC) in the beginning of the personal computer industry.

Well, maybe you have some other connections. Let me know and happy Monday.

Update: This painting is inspired by my Mom who has been there since the beginning for me. 

Weeks Theme - Beginnings

I don't know if you noticed last weeks posts. They all kinda revolved around one theme - LOVE

Monday's post was a symbolic painting about LOVE, Allen and my relationship. Though I didn't really elaborate on it. (Every Monday painting will be a symbolic painting of my connection to someone.)
Tuesday's was art talk about Sentimentality, similar to LOVE.
Wednesday was about how I LOVE the internet.
Thursday was about what kind of art you would LOVE to buy.
And Friday was the painting with the conversation hearts and how I LOVE my blog family.

The theme thing helps me focus my thoughts a little so I am  better able to share with you. Most of the time I will stay with a theme. This weeks theme is BEGINNINGS. So look for that connection in this weeks posts.


Painting - Happy Valentine's Day Blog Fam

8" x 8"

Happy Valentine's Day Blog Fam! 

And even you two...     Hillary and Anon  - what do you two think that I stay up all night:)

Thanks for being with me. (Late for a portrait painting class - GTG)

Update: Thanks to the other bloggers that didn't leave a name I want you to feel the love too.


Free-for-All Friday Candy Hearts Painting

Since tomorrow is Valentine's day, today's Free-for-All Friday is a candy hearts painting. It is one dedicated to my blog-family. On one of the hearts will say "2 My Blog Fam". What I'd like from you is for you to send me your name (in the comments) so that I can add a heart with your name on it. Even if it's your first time to post here you can leave your name. If you happen to have any ideas for more heart conversation sayings that have to do with "blogs" send those along too. So...

Your name for my conversation candy hearts painting.


Why I like It Wednesday - LOVE the internet

Well... I LOVE the INTERNET! This might seem very strange for some of you but for us that remember life pre-internet (PI) this is an amazing tool. Things I can do...

- talk and see, for hours (without if costing a fortune) real-time, my husband when he is thousands of miles away. Everyday.

- have a 5 way (missouri, arizona, nevada, utah and nigeria) instant messaging laugh fest with family members. It's crazy how easy it is to keep connected now.

- desktop design anything and send it anywhere. When I got an electric typewriter (with changeable font dials) I thought I was really a design diva.

- research and answer any question, any time. Whatever random wonder comes up I don't have to stay ignorant about it.

- virtually meeting people I would NEVER have met before. Our social circles are as big as we let them become.

- be a stay at home mom and start a successful (not quite yet, but I'll get there) art career in the middle of nowhere.

- being in magazines, being on tv, ending up with opportunities that I never glimpsed before.

Is the internet great or what? These are just some of the things I couldn't do PI-Life that now I can. That's Why I Like It. 


Art Talk Tuesday - Sentimentality

[sen-tuh-men-tal-i-tee] noun

falsely emotional in a maudlin way [syn: mawkishness] 
extravagant or affected feeling or emotion
induce an emotional response disproportionate to the situation

In the art world sentimental art was not a good way for one's art to be described. Here is a quote that sums up, quite accurately, how the art community views sentimental art.

"....blameworthy because it simplifies the object of our attention. Sentimentality depends upon quick, predictable, and familiar reactions. Such reactions are....shallow, trite, or clichéd, and moreover they become habitual, routinized. Sentimentality makes no demand on us, requires no struggle, involves only a narrow range of feelings, arouses no thought or feeling about the real world, and both contributes to and is supported by a general failure of the imagination. Sentimentality prefers the obvious and avoids the ambiguous. A sentimental response is somehow unsophisticated, unlearned, undisciplined....sentimentality leads us away from active, cognitive engagement with the ambiguities and complexities of the real....toward the over-simplified, the distorted, the falsified, the fantasized, the fictional. Sentimentality encourages complacency....[and] it transforms the aesthetic into the anesthetic." Nick Capasso quotes Deborah Knight http://www.tfaoi.com/aa/5aa/5aa192a.htm

Here are some other words that you might hear someone use when describing sentimental art: sweet, quaint, precious, polite, idealized, nostalgic, cliche, softer emotions, victorian, anti-intellectual, emotional lies, or synthetic emotion.

One such artist in this camp is Norman Rockwell. I happen to like Rockwell.


Painting - Bracelet Project

All the women involved in the bracelet project - I have not finished photographing them. Sorry for the delay. Please give me a couple more weeks. Then I'll mail them back. 


Free-for-All Friday Time to Trade

Again Free-for-all Friday was a new, experimental, out of the ordinary experience. And I never know what to expect from the blog family. As for the offers... 

Allen's offer: the funny husband, you know I don't want the chickens we have let alone my own personal ones. No trade.

Dacia's offer: well it really wasn't an offer. If you would have offered an apron (one to match my studio) like The Perry Family suggested I might have jumped at it! No trade.

The Perry Family's offer: I often do the same thing - offer someone else to do something. Keeps me out of trouble. And you 'got nothing' to trade? Hardly. But, does that mean I can expect something from you when I pick you up at the airport? No trade.

Cranky Old Dood's offer: This was really intriguing to me. I REALLY wanted to do something with this. Maybe do a podcast interview for my website/blog? But, I didn't know if I could, how it would work, if it would work. Too many un-offered variables otherwise this would have been my first choice. I was disappointed. No trade.

GlassJaw's offer: Very fine offer. Who knew you were so talented. But, alas, too fragile for my house of less than careful children. Thanks for the pics to help me know your great work would have been destroyed here. No trade.

Jessie's offer: You already have to do those things for me for free. Whaaa haa haa! No trade.

Jonika's offer: I was tempted by the slug bugs. You knew I would be from my earlier blog. But I didn't know what kind. No trade.

Leila's offer: You silly lawyer, you should have used the leverage before you agreed to go. No trade.

Anonymous: I really want one of those cans. I am thinking of another way to work a deal. No trade. Today.

Kiran's offer: So Kiran, that leaves you and me. So uncross your fingers and let's trade! You didn't send a picture but I did see the others on the website and I liked them all so I figured I was safe. I love both green and silver (as attested to by my studio decor) so either one. If I were a real wheeler dealer I'd work both of them out of you. Send me your address in an email (shannon@shannonsportfolio.com) and I'll send off the painting this coming week. I hope you will like it.

Thanks blog-family for all the offers. I will definitely do this again sometime. And who knows maybe there is someone else here that you'd like to trade with. (Ask the husband for some of his chickens. Pleeeeze.)


Free-for-All Friday Exchange, Let's Trade!

This is a study I did a little while ago. Lunch  11" x 18"  My kids are always coming home and telling me what they got and traded at lunch time. They seem to enjoy this little bartering system. They are always pleased and satisfied with the exchange. For Free-for-All Friday I want to do what kids do all the time at lunch.
Exchange. I want to trade this painting for something you might want to trade with me. 

Put in the comments what you are willing to trade. It doesn't have to be 'equal' value. Be creative. I'll consider all trades until tomorrow night around 6 PM (CST) then post who I'm exchanging with. Let's trade!


Think about it Thursday - Blog Comments

Think about it Thursday. Hummm. I had a conversation with one of my sisters and we started talking about my blog. She said her daughter often goes to my blog but never leaves a comment, not even when I ask for one. Now that got me thinking. 

I understand not wanting to leave comments. Sometimes it's uncomfortable to put myself out there or to 'introduce' myself online. Other times it feels like I am interrupting a conversation already in progress.  Sometimes the conversation's just not worth it or I don't want to invest in long term talking. Some moments, I don't really have anything to say. (I know some of you find that hard to believe.)  I kept thinking about this.

Then I thought about the blogging from the other end. From the 'receiver of comments' side of things. I totally enjoy and am enlightened by my blog-family (even new 'family' members.) When I throw something out there I am excited to hear what other's have to say, what other's think. And since I have a blog and especially since I ask for thoughts I am expecting people (even strangers) to talk back at me. But, the funny thing is, is that they don't stay strangers for long. 

Now, back to my never-leaves-a-comment niece. Since I actually know her I was so disappointed that she didn't, doesn't, leave comments. She is bright, articulate, funny, sweet, thoughtful. She is someone I would especially love to hear what she thinks. So, Niece of mine that never-leaves-a-comment on my blog or anyone else's. For whatever reason you don't leave comments it's okay that you don't but I would love it if sometimes you did. 

Blogging - posts and comments - is a new way of life. For me, I am enriched from my little blog-family circles and I end up getting more than I give. Is it the same for you? Think about it.


Why I like It Wednesday - VW Bug Collection

 So today's Why I like it Wednesday is about collections. My VW Bug Collection. I don't really have too many collections but this is a fun one I do with one of my sisters and mom. It started with the Slug Bug game that my kids play. I don't know why or how the three of us got started but we would play it too. (Minus the hitting.) Still do when we are driving together. I think I may have been the first one to buy a toy VW and tell the other two that I had more than they did. (Hummm, a little subconscious competition need going on?) Then I felt guilty about having said competition issues so I bought them one. Then the next thing you know they are buying them, I am buying them, they are, I am, on and on. It's been a couple of years now that we've done this. I know very juvenile, BUT, guess who's winning? That's why I like it.


Art Talk Tuesday - Collaboration

COLLABORATION [kuh-lab-uh-rey-shuhn] 
the act or process of collaborating
working together on a common project
to work together, especially in a joint intellectual effort

One of the reasons I really like this blog is that I get to collaborate with others.  And it isn't just 'art' people but regular people connecting in an artsy way. It gives a totally different perspective when others can join in on naming, adding symbolic meaning, or picking content to a painting. I hope others have enjoyed it as much as I have.

Mini-Monday Painting - New Beginnings

The Mini-Monday painting is New Beginnings  6" x 6"  oil. I actually was really done on Monday... that is until I dropped it. My husband and I were webcaming together apart (he's in Africa) and I lifted the painting to show him. Bam! On the floor. Oh and it had to hit the drawers on the way down. Of course. So I had to fix it.

This obviously is a lousy photo so I will post another one later. (2/3/09 I replaced the photo for one in natural light) And I'll try not to touch it again until dry. Since I started so late, 10:30, I needed something a little simple. I had this little broken egg that one of my daughters brought in. Robin's egg blue is a beautiful color.

2/3/09 Posted this Mini-Monday late last night. Originally titled it "robin's egg blue" which I liked. But looking at it this morning I had different feelings. (As opposed to the feeling last night of just getting it finished.) I thought about the different direction, really a more focused direction, I am going in now with my artwork.  It seems more symbolic of me. It's a new vision about my art and this is apropos - New Beginnings.