Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Today I turned 33 and had a wonderful day. My husband watched the kids while I got to run around all day kid free. I got several important errands done and enjoyed the ability to be spontaneous and not worry about any ones nap schedule.
For my birthday I received crayons, A crayon ring maker and cinnamon toast crunch that the kids have pre-requested for breakfast. My husband and the kids also made me a lovely cake.

This evening I am working on a little project of my daughter picking wildflowers.

Monday, September 23, 2013

First Drawing

I was super excited today to watch my son do his first house drawing. He has done some faces in the past but it has always been a struggle for him. He usually ends up scribbling over the whole page. As an artist this has been driving me crazy. I just want to see all of those little kid drawings that most 4.5 year old make. 
This is his drawing Lin order of appearance) of the grass and the sky, A tree house with a table and a potty, it has two floors and he and I are dancing upstairs, he added a Rocket ship outside to take us to the stars and last he added a radio for music.
This absolutely delights me. Of course poor Monkey toes being the middle naturally artistic child has been doing drawings of Rapunzel and I have not yet taken a picture of it. But there is something about fretting about and anticipating something for so long and then to finally see his first real picture. Next time I will have to make sure to capture one of hers.

Today in the mailbox I was super excited to receive This necklace and hair clip set. They are part of a barter for a painting I recently finished. They are beautiful handmade copper trees, and will undoubtedly become a wardrobe staple.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Out of my comfort Zone

Today was the Paint Herndon competition. I had to have a blank canvas stamped yesterday and had 24hrs to complete my painting. I worked on it until 1 o'clock last night, and then today a friend came over and I was able to go paint "plein air" child free for an hour or two. This picture was taken last night in poor lighting before more revisions were made.
I did not win any thing this time. The winners were all very good, and I hopefully learned some things for next time.
The best thing about today was that when I came home after painting I was surprised to have my house cleaned. My friend had done dishes, mopped the floors, picked up, wiped down the bathrooms and made an amazing difference in my day. Thank you so much!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sunday, September 15, 2013


I was feeling tired all day but after getting to work on painting once the kids were finally in bed, I started to feel so much better. It seems that if I indulge in my tiredness and relax or waste time in the evening I end up feeling more tired. But if I get to work and get painting I feel so much better. It is such a rewarding thing to get paint on my brush and make the paint do what I want.
I am very happy with the way the grandfather in the painting has developed. I think he is complete. Now to get grandma to a happy place. I worked some on her hair and sweater, but have a lot to do an her face

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Importance of a good photo reference

It is incredibly difficult to paint well from a poor reference photo. There are several issues with the current reference I am working from. It was taken with a flash so the lighting is directly from the front and never looks quite natural. The large smile is adding extra wrinkling and shadows both around the nose and under the eyes. I am working to do the best I can but It will be decidedly more difficult than if I had a better reference to work from.

Today in the studio my cadmium yellow light escaped from my pallet. I can usually work with out getting any paint out of its designated areas, but today was not usual. I ended up with yellow on my everyday pair of jeans, my favorite nursing shirt and on my hands and forehead. I am hoping I have been able to remove all traces but I am worried I will find more tomorrow.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A little bit of work and some play

A few steps of the process

I have made some progress on this portrait but there is still a long way to go. The faces look very flat and will need lots of modeling before they start to look more three dimensional.

Some sprinkler fun, baby Goose loves water and so do the others.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Frustration and disapointment

I am feeling very frustrated with the business of being an artist today. I have been trying to get enough business to justify to myself, my husband and my family the idea that I can be a professional artist. I have done quite a few paintings that have been given away, have bartered for several things but have a hard time with any actual sales. Everyone seems to really appreciate my paintings but I have had a hard time figuring out what would make them interested in buying.

I entered the competition for Pope Francis artwork and was resoundingly beaten. I entered a Portrait Competition thru ArtSpace Herndon and my work was not even selected to be in the show.

It is rather defeating to feel like I am making strides because of the phenomenal reception my painting "Rocking Chair" received, only to get knocked back down by news of the competitions.

I have also been trying to create a website but do not know what I am doing. I have spent hours working on it and it looks like a mess. I have made changes only to fail to save them. I do not understand webdesign.

I am not sure if I will ever be able to make painting something that I make money from. I have fallen so in love with the process however I do not think I would ever stop painting. I just would like Painting to be something that can support my family, something I can do and still be available for my children.

I feel like this is a gift God has given me to share with others. But how can I do it if no one is interested in buying, or showing my work?

Sorry for the down tone of todays post but that is just the way I am feeling today.

Baby Goose marvels at the cake in the oven "WOOOOO"

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Rocking on

I believe Rocking Chair is now complete.

I will get final feedback from Mike's family and then figure out how to get it to The Hindman Settlement School for permanent display.

 I am waiting to hear if I have been juried into a local Portrait competition at ArtSpace Herndon. Results should come in on Thursday.

I am currently solidly loosing an Online competition for Artwork of Pope Francis. When I entered the competition it was going to be a judged contest but they changed it to a popularity contest where everyone can vote for their favorite, over and over. I was rather disappointed that they decided to go this route with the contest but it is fun to see all of the entries. Voting will be over on 9/8/13.

I was very excited to be written up in a local online newspaper. They must have seen the contest and emailed me, and then called for an interview.

Painting the Pope: Why One Reston Woman Was Inspired by Francis

Painter says Pope's humility inspired her to capture his likeness and enter a worldwide contest.
Oil Painting of the Pope by Reston artist Debby Bird
Oil Painting of the Pope by Reston artist Debby Bird

Read the full article at  


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A little greenery

After several days stuck at home fighting Kiddie Crud, we finally got outside to enjoy the nice weather. We enjoyed a trip to a local farm where we walked in the woods, collected leaves, looked at animals and found a cicada.
 "He could be my new pet"

Feeling better, I also made it back into the studio for a little painting work. Mostly working on the background so that I can better judge color and value relationships.