Monday, January 31, 2011

one world, one heart at art dolls only...

the one world, one heart blog event has begun...

and yours truly is participating via the art dolls only group from etsy!
if you go to the art dolls only blog, you can have a look at the amazingly wonderful pieces that were donated (27 in all, i believe) by members of our group and you have a chance to win one of those items including my marie antoinette doll:

so, pop on over to their site and leave a comment.
we love comments.
our dollies love comments.
our dollies need to be loved....


ps... unfortunately, i am not able to participate here due to some personal issues taking up pretty much all of my time. you will have to go to the art dolls only blog for a chance to win marie. she wants to get out of my studio, so help her do so....

Friday, January 28, 2011

torn words and hearts...

there are days when i am not in a freakish or monster-y mood.

there are days when i want sweet. inspiration. encouragement.
so i started painting these little sweet hearts....

i painted them and let them sit for over a week before i decided they needed words

torn, tattered, aged words.

so beautiful.
simple words are the best.

i have always been drawn to using words and lettering in art.
but, i remember when i was taking art classes, my instructor drilled it into our heads that our art should stand alone - that it's message should be clear without the use of words.
i guess it went it, because here i am, 20 years later, just now daring to put words into my own art...
funny, how things go in that you don't even realize did...

i also worked for an artist once who was under the impression that he had invented the heart.
it was what he was known for.
again, years have gone by and i am just now finding that i actually like the shape and color of the heart...
it makes me feel happy. and sweet.

anyway....i paint because it makes me happy.

thinking of adding these to the shoppe.

have a great friday, everybody...


Thursday, January 27, 2011

the circus is moving out....

yesterday i posted some work in progress shots of cora, the transparent woman & connor, the strongman-the stars of my piece " the strongest muscle" which will be part of the group show "be still my anatomical heart" at mariposa gallery in albuquerque.
well, cora & connor are finished and the fantastical sideshow they are a part of will depart new orleans for new mexico this afternoon!

here are some images of the finished piece:

i was very pleased with how it turned out, and i have so many more ideas for boxes and other larger pieces now. my next big piece will be for the ART DOLLS ONLY first quarter challenge: STEAMPUNK.

funny, how i started out working small, because, well, that's what i'm comfortable with thanks to all those years beading.  but now i am making larger and larger pieces! i am enjoying working larger because i can get more detail into each piece. which means more time on each one. but it also means they are more fun to make!
i have also found a way to apply the same painting technique i use on canvas and wood to the dolls and i am much happier with it than i was even with the crackle and aged look i was giving them.
well, i guess i better get my lovebirds packed up and ready to roll...


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

the strongest muscle work in progress...

i wanted to share some work in progress shots of my piece for the valentine show at mariposa.
the show is called "be still my anatomical heart" and of course, i just HAD to make a sideshow inspired piece...

my piece is called "the strongest muscle" and features cora-the transparent woman 

and connor- the strongman....

connor is very smitten with cora. in fact, he is having her name tattooed on his right arm today.

when he looks at her, his heart beats stronger than it ever has in his life!

cora thinks that connor is a very lovely man, but she is shy and scared. she feels that he can see through her to her core...

and will know how much she loves him.
she has been hurt many times before.

but connor would never ever hurt cora.
she is his true love....

and has shown him that the heart is the body's strongest muscle....


i should have this piece finished this evening and ready to ship out tomorrow.

it is a functional box on which cora and connor sit, shyly, yet longingly looking at each other.
i will post pictures of the finished piece later...

have a great day everyone!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

arting it up around the old homestead...

so, i spent a good deal of yesterday cleaning my house and re organizing my little work area.

as you know, one of our two cats ( hello, patches!) is a climber and she has systematically broken more of my treasured possessions than i ever thought possible. this is because she is not just a climber, but an attention whore. if she doesn't get the amount of attention she thinks she deserves ( 24/7) she will climb on to a shelf and just start hurling things off. sometimes on my head.

more than once i have found her on the shelf where i put WIP dolls.
not good.

but, i do have a lot of little art goodies and knickknacks that i would like to look at. most of them have been locked securely away for fear of patches.

 yesterday i started taking them out and moving them into ( i hope) secure locations out of her reach, but where i can actually see them.

 they bring me joy.
i want to look at them.

i also have a bad habit of keeping all of my own work in the craft room
some of it has started making it's way out into the rest of the house .

i am very happy about this.

as an artist, i need to be surrounded by pretty, lovely, and odd things to stir my imagination.
i haven't had that in a while. i just jumble it all together.

so, my goal this week is to pretty up my house.
i don't (really) mind all the books that are threatening to take over the entire abode, but dammit, i will have art on the walls that aren't covered in books! ha ha!

 so, the purging of the locked away tchotchkies continues....

have a great, art filled day everyone!


ps... i saw this great post over at andrea t's blog yesterday that sort of inspired this reorganization...
check it out if you have a chance.
i am trying to support independent artists more this year as well.
and i also want to display the pieces i do have....

Monday, January 24, 2011

a simple thought...

every day i struggle with how to make a living doing what i want to do; deal with unpleasant people and/or circumstances; handle the day to day activities of keeping the house in order; and how to get what i want from life, my soul, my dreams.

there's really only one solution:

the way you want.

it's that simple.

how do you get through the tough times?
as artists, how do you juggle creative time and household/occupational responsibilites?
what relaxes you?

is there a way to start living the life i see in my head?

things to ponder on a warm, grey monday...

as alway,

Thursday, January 20, 2011

budding blooms blossoms...

i went for a walk a few days ago

and the first buds on the japanese magnolias were forming....

that means mardi gras is just around the corner!

have a great one, y'all..


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

i do so love a vampire geek...

alone on a crisp, cloudy new orleans night, she wandered out her back door into the trees.
what would she find there? a handsome vampire watching her through the branches?
a misunderstood circus geek peering around the peeling paint of the shotgun house next door?
she trailed along her back fence, fingers gently caressing the worn wood, wondering what was out there, beyond her sight, in the dark of night....

ok, so i was really doing laundry in the shed out back of the apartment.
laundry definitely lends itself to daydreams since it is soooooo boring to have to take care of....
but i did manage to get these cool shots of the moon through the trees and clouds last night:

one thing about living in new orleans and always having to be careful where you step because of uneven pavement...i really do forget to look up and take in the beauty above me!

so far this week, i've been puttering away at my piece for the valentine's show at mariposa as well as working on a bunch of new dolls,

making some "geek love" hearts to add to the etsy shoppe (thanks for the encouragement, tobi),

and patches has found a new home on top of the armoir in the studio so that she can sit, undisturbed ( for both of us) while i work.

well, i guess i better get back to work!

here's to a great week ahead....


Thursday, January 13, 2011

toying around with some new ideas...

its C.O.L.D. out there!
what happened to my lovely 65 degree new orleans winters?

oh well...

my studio has been about 65 degrees most days this week, but i am trudging along.

i've been toying around with some valentine ideas just for fun...

on the doll front i actually have some news to dolls will very soon be available at MARIPOSA gallery in albuquerque! this wonderful gallery has been woman owned since 1974 and it's current owners, liz and jennifer are superb!
i am also going to have a piece at their valentine's show entitled " be still my anatomical heart" which opens february 4th.
i am very excited about this opportunity and my mind is all a flutter with ideas!

here is a sneak peak of some WIP's for mariposa...

i am also giving some thought to doing a piece for ADO's first quarter challenge which is STEAMPUNK. i have not embraced the steampunk movement, but after some research into it last night, i think that i could get behind this... hee hee! thinking back, many of my visually favorite films have been a bit on the steampunk-y side.
i have some ideas for this challenge and if  they come together, i will, of course, share...

well, i suppose i need to get up and running this morning.
i woke up with a stress headache and i've just been sitting here, not moving, trying to get it to pass.
it's on the way out, so that means time to motor!


Monday, January 3, 2011

just listed in my ETSY shoppe...

i just listed these three paintings in my ETSY shoppe...

bertie, the ostrich neck girl had ideas far above her station...

arianna, the pisces girl knew she would always be a fish out of water...

the vanishing woman couldn't stay put to save her life...

they are all originals.
acrylic on canvas.

i've just completed a conjoined twins piece, but i gave them red hair with black stripes, and i'm not so sure i like the deviation...
i will post pics tomorrow and you can let me know what you think!


updates, updates, updates...

i just wanted to pop in and let everyone know that my dad is fine and is going home this morning!
his lung capacity is at 95%, kidneys are fine, and his blood issues are being sorted out.
i talked to him last night and he sounded good.
thanks for your comments and thoughts...

today begins the dreaded job hunt of 2011.
i find it hilarious that everyone i've talked to (including my mister) has told me to just persevere until i find something i like.


i thought everyone ( especially my mister) knew me well enough to know that i'm not going to like any job that doesn't have my name over the door.

but, i smile and pretend it could happen.

i have no idea what to put on my resume. i haven't needed one for, like 5 years.
i need some help on this end.
it will probably have to wait unil mr. b gets home tonight.

until then...i am updating my ETSY shoppe with 3 new paintings this afternoon ( yay!) and i've already heard from a shoppe that reps my dolls that they want paintings too! (yay, again!)

i'm also working on a conjoined twins painting that should be finished later today as well.

i have a lot to do today!

i better get moving....



Sunday, January 2, 2011

a belated happy new year...

a belated happy new year to everyone!
i hope that your holidays were bright and festive.

my new year's eve was spent in the company of my mister and my best friend and her hubby.
we had a fantastic dinner at dante's kitchen and rang in the new year with waaay too much champagne at the jeffe...

as the mister put it, we got off to a great start with good kisses and good champagne!
i did spend all of yesterday on the couch, with harrison ford, recouping from said champagne...but...

the new year has been overshadowed, however by the news that my dad is in the hospital.
he seems to be ok, but they are still running tests and he is supposed to see his doctor tomorrow.
he had the flu over christmas and it turned into bronchitis, but they caught that in time and are treating that as well as a couple of other issues he had going on.
both my parents are insistent that i not drive over, but i feel lost and helpless and like i should be there.
but, here i sit, and i have a host of unpleasant tasks to start this week, which include looking for a, it's hard, today, keeping the sadness and depression at bay.

but, before all this went down, i was quite looking forward to the new year and what wonderful things 2011 might offer. i am still trying to hang on to that positive energy and all the hope and enthusiasm that was bubbling up from within toward the end of 2010.

i started a wish list of things i want to achieve and things i want (and need) to keep in mind, not just for the new year, but for always.

i don't make resolutions. but i do have hopes and dreams and goals.

it is still a work in progress. so many things need to go on this list...

and one of the most important is to remember that i am who i am, not whatever job pays me to be there all day.

i am amber leilani.




cat herder.

human being.

i HAVE to remember this.

so, i am trying my best to keep my head on straight, not succumb to the regrets and resentment that are swirling just outside my line of sight...
i can't get bogged down in the negativity.

if i want my life to be wonderful, it has to start with me...

i hope that everyone is having a fantastic start to 2011.
here's to making all our dreams come true....