My online journal of the process of making goals, turning negative to positive, artistic visualization and practicing gratitude for the talents I've been given.
Be the creative person you are by practicing The Secret of Universal Law, visualization and gratitude.
Without art life is gray - Art brings color to the world!
Here's where I blog about my newest art pieces, how they came to be and how I am creating a better life as an artist through a new attitude.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Illustrated Lemons, Raspberries, Easter Bunnies and Nano Fiction

All images on this post are © 2009 by All Rights Reserved. No permission is given to post, copy, distribute, save, print or reproduce in any manner without prior written permission.

I'm into Spring colors this month thanks to the beautiful weather announcing the advent of budding flowers, fresh veggies and fruits from the garden and Easter coming up. These colors are working nicely with my new hand drawn style illustrations for my own product line of fine art giclees and products for my online store. (You can click either image above to buy that Martini Art on things like tees, aprons, coasters, cups and other fun products.)

This new sketchy, cartoon style illustration work also sparked another idea - illustrated fiction for my upcoming Martini book. I've been working on this idea for a while and somehow these new doodles brought it all together. I have several little micro stories I've written with a martini theme for the book and they were just waiting for these illustrations to happen. I did a quick black and white one for The Martini Diva but it's really more of a nano story - only 2 short sentences tell the tale. I'll keep the one page stories for the book but I like the idea of these nano stories for the martini website/blog. They'll also make great little spot illustrations for the book.
And, finally getting smart, I am now doing my martini recipe cards at the same time as I do the original art for my website and boutique. I wanted to come up with a new look for my recipe cards that worked in with the new sketchy style hand drawn art and thought why not use the same design? Duh, took me long enough to figure that out. So here's the new martini recipes for the last week. You can click each recipe card for that martini recipe and the full sized, free martini recipe card:

And with Easter coming up I had to do this kinda snarky humorous Easter design called Easter Schmeaster - it includes a recipe for rabbit stew! Yes, my humor does get a little dark at times, especially when I'm bombarded with so much fluffy cute like I am at Easter! If you're kinda snarky about Easter too - or just like a nice chardonnay with your rabbit - click the design to order some of my apparel, home decor or gifts.

I also finished and uploaded a website for a client and started work on another. I am not a web designer, I don't like it doing it - except when I'm doing my own sites and even that is more hard work than fun. But I do it if a client insists - I am good at optimizing for search engines and helping them get their content SEO friendly. I do like doing the graphics for websites - the logos, mastheads and images they need to use. That's more of a branding/image approach and that I enjoy. But the coding for web design and all the glitchy crap that happens trying to design for multiple platforms, screen sizes and resolutions and internet speeds drives me nuts. It's like math, ugh. It's too hard to really make any website aesthetically pleasing.

So, it's been a week of Spring and renewal for me - I'm redecorating my home too! This all has brought my mood up and away from all the fear that is floating around about the economy. I had to turn off the television and get that negative crap out of my head and this new line of spring-ish sketching and art has been a great way to do that. Plus it seems to have tied up several loose strings in my business plan goals! The martini book now has a very clear graphic direction, I'm designing one image that works for several design requirements and I'm hearing the birds starting to sing outside in the mornings. Spring has sprung for PopArtDiva, the Normal Challenged Artist!

VISUALIZE, VISUALIZE: Since I'm redecorating my main focus has been on seeing some cool, retro furniture and great textures and colors in my home. No surprise, I'm going with accents of turquoise and lavender with a bit of light magentas and a teeny dash of lime (spring colors - Break Out the Martinis will give you an idea of my color palette!).

IT'S ALL IN HOW YOU LOOK AT IT: I have been allowing the generalized fear about the economy to get me down. Last week I just got over it, I decided not to let that in and to focus my energies where I am happiest - on my art, writing and creative endeavors. Funny how the minute I did that my emotional level went up, huh? I am always at my best when I'm creating.

ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE: I am grateful I got out that anger, fear and frustration that had seeped in (I use my Brat in the Hat blog to vent - it's my personal therapist!) and got my "good" back. I'm grateful for my sense of humor which somehow always restores my sense of balance as it did about all that banking/economy stuff. I'm grateful it's warm enough that I can have Pixel groomed for Spring. I'm grateful for coffee because without it I wouldn't have enough sense to be writing this blog at 6 a.m. on a Sunday!

Unless otherwise noted, all images and art on this site are © 2002 - 2009. All Rights Reserved.
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Sunday, March 15, 2009


I spent this last week working to get ahead of the game. I'm going to be setting up a new internet connection on the first and just in case getting internet cable is like getting television cable, where you never know when they're going to show up, I wanted to have several posts queued up for automatic uploading.

Plus I've kept up my sketching, here's a beatnik cartoon below for my retro boomer blog's "Folk Music Retrospective HOOTENANNY."

I've also done some stream of consciousness doodling, like this one below "dam, another Broken Robot?". It started out as a doodle of a square box and ended up this way - and PLEASE don't ask me where this came from - I have no bloody idea, lol. I posted it on my Twit Wall - it seemed appropriate. I actually kind of like it - it's just silly enough to make me laugh.

I'm continuing my work on a series of new pieces for my Martini Art series. I also format these for products for my Martini Art Department at my online store, but I've also decided to use them for a new look for my free recipe cards at The Martini Diva. Below are two I've finished and uploaded to the store already:

THREE MARTINIS - Apparel, Home Decor & Gifts

LEMON AID - LEMON DROP MARTINI - Apparel, Home Decor & Gifts

I also did up a quick couple of photo montages for my Saturday Soapbox post on micro-blogging sites like Twitter - this one's Yoko but I also did one for Ringo - both of who are Twittering with the rest of us!

I'm really enjoying the new style of Martini Art I'm doing - it's utilizing my sketching as well as allowing me to doodle in one of my favorite graphics programs - Corel Painter. That is THE BEST painting program - you have use of all sorts of mediums from felt tip pens to crayons, pastels and oils and you can use them on the same canvas! In digital art you don't have the issue of chemical incompatibility that you do in real life art. Plus there's some great filters and layers that allow you to experiment with different approaches - layers are digital art's answer to tissue paper overlays, lol. I love doing abstracts and backgrounds in Corel Painter.

The new series for my Martini Art seems to have sparked a bunch of synchronicity - I decided to use them for my martini recipe cards as well as for my website and store, then I created a Garlic Martini so I could use the Three Martini art as a recipe card (the martini rocked but you have to love garlic and make your own garlic vodka.) Then I was asked to enter it into a contest (wish me luck!).

I noticed a lot of puzzle pieces falling into place this week - things I've been doing without really knowing why (doodling again) have suddenly become part of several different endeavors and projects. This is often the case for me, I'll be like this hive with all these little idea bees buzzing around and then - bzzzzt - all the little bees fly home to deliver the honey!

That's why I never toss out a sketch or an idea, sometimes the Universe knows what you're doing before you do, lol. This is a lesson I am finally learning after 5 decades - "Man plans, God laughs" - to me this means I really don't have any control and going with the flow is a healthier option than swimming upstream! Instead of trying to figure it all out and shove everything into a box, I'm finally getting the hang of "Let Go and Let God" and "it'll all come out in the wash". Think it took me long enough?

VISUALIZE VISUALIZE: I'm visualizing a whole bunch of puzzle pieces floating down to complete a beautiful picture of my life, my home and my work!

IT'S ALL IN HOW YOU LOOK AT IT: What used to drive me nuts before - the "not knowing" and the stubbornness of life to just ignore all your plans - is now something I see as adventure and happy surprises. It's funny how "in the moment" things that seem negative can turn out to be truly some of the best things that happen!

ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE: I'm glad I'm still able to learn new things. I'm glad this dog can be taught new tricks. I'm really grateful someone out there designed Corel Paint, graphite and sketch pads. And I'm grateful to be alive on a Sunday morning.
Unless otherwise noted, all images and art on this site are © 2002 - 2009. All Rights Reserved.
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Monday, March 9, 2009


For some reason there is the belief out there that being an artist is easy. Sitting at an art show people would often say things like, "oh, it must be nice to make money for sitting and enjoying a nice day" or "what a great job to get paid to just paint"

Gotta tell ya, these statements irritated the hell out of me. Not only had I gotten up in the wee hours of the morning to get to that art show, I had spent up to four hours doing heavy labor setting up my booth and I was stuck there in good or bad weather - they could get in their car and go home. And just where did they think my paintings (the ones I had just painted) had come from? The art fairies?

I worked a minimum 80 hour week earning my living at the art shows. It was hard work but I won't go into the details here, if you're interested in the life of a traveling artist you can read an article I wrote originally for a Scottsdale newspaper "An Open Letter to All Art Show Patrons". After you read it you'll understand why I retired last Spring.

I still work that many hours. Art is not easy - it's work. It's work that I love but it's hard work. It takes not only talent and passion, it takes education and dedication - and lots of time. And every artist is their own worst critic - we strive for perfection and, of course, we fail. Not only do we give our time to our vocation we give our heart so when things don't work out right or we are having a bad day it affects our emotions and our attitudes.

I bring this up because yesterday was not one of my better days at the business of creating art. It started out great - I finished up two really fun new Martini Art sketches which you can check out at The Martini Diva and I really loved them. Then I started on the background for a third and things went south from there. I ended up with a headache and a back attempting to spasm into the screaming mimis thanks to a monitor in a bad position.

I sat there with a heating pad on my back and pondered - yet again - why I became a professional artist and why I remain one after 40 years. And I was sitting there with a sketch pad and pencil in my lap! My feelings towards what I do has not changed since I wrote my Artist's Statement so many years ago. I love being an artist.

But anyone who says art is easy isn't doing it right.

Unless otherwise noted, all images and art on this site are © 2002 - 2009. All Rights Reserved.
Buy Great Art Inspired Products at The LIFE IS LIKE ART Shop!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Doing pencil sketches and doodles - Back to the Basics

Last month I started doodling again. A few months back I had started to do pencil sketch cartoons for a couple of books I'm writing and found a great personal fulfillment in doing hand drawn art again. Then I decided I needed some art just for me - just drawing for drawing's sake - doodles to feed my soul.

I've spent most of my time doing digital art in the last few years (though I was still creating original art for the shows until last May), and most of my work has been produced for some commercial project of mine or a client. These doodles are mine and mine alone. Little zen moments of time with graphite, paper and imagination.

This one entitled "Hand Drawn" happened when I was looking at my own hand resting on the drawing pad while trying to think of what I wanted to doodle!

What do these have to do with positive creativity? They bring me back to what I loved about art in the first place, they are pure, they come from the unconscious and they are an expression of creativity in the most positive way. Don't forget to sketch, doodle and devote some of your art time to just you and your first love - art for art's sake.

VISUALIZE - VISUALIZE: Let the pencil, pen, brush and paper visualize for you. Let your ideas flow from the Universe and not your world centered mind. Visualize the joy of the flow, the excitement of the movement and the surprise at the end result.

IT'S ALL IN HOW YOU LOOK AT IT: What is one man's doodle is another man's great great art. I had to overcome my judgemental, critical mind to really get started on my doodling and enjoy it. Once I let go of the idea it had to be "great art" or "professional" I freed myself up and let the fun in.

ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE: I'm grateful I found my way back to my "roots" so to speak. I'm grateful I am able to share some of my silliness and sketchy thoughts. I'm grateful I'm an artist.
Unless otherwise noted, all images and art on this site are © 2002 - 2009. All Rights Reserved.
Buy Great Art Inspired Products at The LIFE IS LIKE ART Shop!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Ultimate Art Question: WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR IDEAS?

I get asked all the time, "Where do you get your ideas?" Frankly, there's no easy answer to that question. I get ideas from everywhere, any time, all the time.

Ideas are like trees, they start as a seed, grow fruit and give more seeds! They also have lots of branches to explore! What may seem like a random thought or a case of your mind wandering is sometimes the creative process brewing. Sometimes that little seed might not seem like much but it could grow into a mighty forest. Hey, Microsoft was just a seed in the mind of Bill Gates decades ago!

It's a natural ability in the human thought process to explore and to expand. Before you toss out a random thought stop and examine it - it might be the kernel of a brilliant idea! Of course, it might be just a brain fart, but if you immediately blow it off you'll never know where it could have led you. Make a practice of examining your thoughts before you ignore them, let them ease on down the road map of your head and see where they end up. If it's a dead end all you've lost is a bit of daydream time but it could fork off down a new path of creativity and even commerce.

Ideas are always popping up in my head. Ideas for new art, new products, a book, a business and the occasional brain fart which leads nowhere, BUT, I always make a note in my phone of each idea, no matter how silly or trivial. I add all these thoughts to my “think tank” file for future reference. If I find myself uninspired I go through this file to see if something there sparks another idea. I am surprised at how many times some of these stray "brain farts" fit in nicely with a current project I'm working on.

Ideas and inspiration can come from anywhere at anytime which is why I always have a way to record them. I use my phone since it's always at hand and has both a voice recorder and a sticky notes feature, but you might want to keep a notepad, sticky notes or even a mini digital voice recorder at hand. Ideas are fleeting and ethereal, they can disappear like a whiff of smoke. Capture that smoke, bottle that lightening because it might be the start of an explosion of greatness!

Keep in mind that you don't have to jump on each idea as it occurs to you. You can set it on a back burner and let it simmer a bit, come back to it when the time is right. To everything there is a season. Timing is a big part of successful ideas. That idea might not be ready to germinate in the now but there is a reason it came to you. Be aware that time is fluid when it comes to ideas! Maybe your future brain is sending back that idea as a bit of fertilizer - don't mistake it for b.s. - it might just be nourishment for the soil of your thought garden!

Unless otherwise noted, all images and art on this site are © 2002 - 2009. All Rights Reserved.
Buy Great Art Inspired Products at The LIFE IS LIKE ART Shop!