June of 2010 was a life-changing year for me. It was the year I simultaneously lost my job and found my life. I’d worked for nearly 11 years as a graphic designer at the county office of education here in San Diego. I mostly loved it. It felt like home to me and I felt valued when clients would ask for me to work on their projects. Plus it was fun too. Our little “family” in lay out shared a lot of laughs while we tackled big and small projects. The job was not without it’s occasional anxiety though. I remember a particular math teaching program that nearly sent me to the loony bin in its vast complexity but as they say, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. And it did. I think. It also made me hate math even more. As my dear friend and co-worker Katy and I used to say “Math is for people who don’t know how to do things without math” and “We don’t DO math. We do art.” Our eyes used to glaze over when clients from the math dept would try to explain a math concept to us. Good thing we only had to make their concepts lookRead More
Yes, it’s not an illusion. I am back from the hinterlands of not blogging. I guess I just need to admit that I am not so good at doing this on a regular basis. Truth be told I have been busy. And alternately lazy in the blogging department. Add not really having any news to that while we’re at it. I could go on but I won’t because you’re probably already nodding off.
The first week of February I did have a fantastic experience that can be filed under “enrichment and learning”. I attended a watercolor workshop with the brilliant and delightful Thomas Schaller. “The Architecture of Light” was held in Fallbrook which is about an hour’s drive from here. The drive was the only negative part to it but it really was worth it. Especially when one can listen to audiobooks on the way. I learned more in that workshop than I have in any other and I have been to quite a few over the years. Among the 15 participants and the people who organized it all, I made some lovely new friends from all over the country.
Each day we watched Tom do a painting demo and then we tackled the subject ourselves. One of the days was spent outdoors at venue called “The Grand Tradition” Estate and Gardens which caters to weddings and boasts beautifully landscaped grounds with tons of painting subjects.
Here (and in the featured image) are a couple of my painting attempts from the workshop. I am still processing a lot of what Tom taught us so stay tuned!Read More
At long last my self-published book is complete and available just in time for Christmas gift-giving of all those cat-lovers out there. I would like to thank all of the cats that participated in my book project. If you or someone you know wants a watercolor portrait of a beloved cat Head on over to my Etsy shop for the details. If you are interested in buying my book hop on over the Blurb where it is available.Read More
As some of you know who are Facebook friends with me (or “Like” Olliff Studio), my watercolor painting ‘Bridal Veil Creek’ was accepted in The ART of it ALL 2 International Juried Exhibition at the Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts Gallery in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. This is my first time being accepted in a juried art show so we decided to take a (not so) little road trip to be at the artists reception held on November 2nd. We hit the road at 6 am on Friday morning and drove all day, finally arriving in Pagosa Springs a little before 9 pm.Read More
After a year of painting all the state flowers, I’ve finally finished putting the book together and sent it off to be printed by the wonderful people at Blurb Books. Friday, the two copies I ordered arrived and they look great. It is always nerve-wracking to send a project in to be printed because of the gremlins that seem to appear no matter how many times it is proofed.Read More
Again I have been lax in keeping up with this blog. I will—as usual—blame it on being busy. And away. We just returned from a wonderful vacation in New England, visiting several states as well as Quebec, Canada. A first time for me to visit this part of the country (and this part of Canada) as well as a first for both Don and I to meet our until now online friends Diane and Rudy who live near Montreal.Read More
Yesterday I crossed a finish line. I can’t believe I actually completed my self-imposed project of painting all 50 (actually 51 counting District of Columbia) state flowers! It started as a way to have a series of collectible ACEOs and I quickly became engrossed in the challenge. It took almost exactly a year. I went through them in alpha order so that I wouldn’t skip any of shall we say less than desirable subjects. There were quite a few duplicates among the states which perplexes me given how many different flowers exist.Read More