Click here: My Patreon Page or copy paste www.patreon.com/heathermillenaar This is my current Blog and also where I post videos and tutorials on everything ART! Looking for lessons or the gift of art lessons to others? Then come check out what I have to offer.
Community Mural Painting Day
In celebration of Women's Equality Day, the Zappas family and Z Villages LLC property management and property development team awarded $15,000 to mural contest winners who best illustrated the early history of the Women’s Republic of Atascadero. The founders of Atascadero, E.G. Lewis and his wife Mabel Lewis, believed in city beautification and developing a planned community where women were permitted to buy and hold land and have their voices heard seven years before they were legally able to vote in America. Two murals will be going up near Traffic Way and El Camino Real in Atascadero in preparation for the Atascadero La Plaza mixed-use development. The winners, Ioan Tzenkov (JahOne) and local Atascadero resident artist Heather Millenaar, will be announced at the 44th-annual Colony Days on Oct. 21st.
In the spirit of the mural celebrating women and city pride, the artist invites the community to help bring the wall to life at 6100 El Camino Real on Sunday, October 15th from 10am-2pm. We welcome your participation in the community mural painting day.
Use #AtascaderoMural to group photos under this wonderful project. I'm so excited to see everyone out this Sunday!
What a Success!! With a great idea, and a lot of love, anything is possible!
On a super hot 98 degree day, this group of artists held the first Live ärt Auction in the Arts District on Traffic Way in Atascadero! With lots of promoting online and face to face, it was unknown how the turnout would be but everyone was optimistic and excited for the big day. The gallery was transformed with rows of chairs with the walls lined with stunning photographic prints, original oil and acrylic paintings, collages, framed work, and prints. There truly was something for every artistic taste and the air was buzzing with anticipation.
The opening bids were intentionally kept low to allow everyone a chance at a great piece of art. Everything started between $25 and $100 depending on size and if it was a print or original. As guests arrived, they were given a paddle number. The cool air inside the gallery was a nice reprieve from the humid heat outside. Guests were welcome to mingle, sip wine, and decide their bidding plan for what was hanging on display. After much excited tension, the auction started about thirty minutes after opening.
78 pieces of art were pulled one by one by the "Vanna" and handed over to the auctioneer. The flow was mostly counter-clock-wise with some pieces mixed to allow a good variety of artist diversity. The first piece called was one of Marie Ramey's and there was a great bidding war over that one! So much action! As the pieces were called, most sold quickly with just a handful being saved for another auction or show or even our second chance auction after every piece was called.
Prints of Jane Russell's majestic animals in nature paintings did really well as well as Cynthia Kevorkian's original paintings. Marie Ramey's prints and collages were in high demand too!
The bidding wars were awesome and some pieces really had a great demand. My acrylic "7 Sisters" painting had countless bidders, finally capping out at $320! What a steal! Some of my friends really wanted that one but it was the gem of the auction. Framed and large, it was a great piece to bid on.
So many wonderful prints by the underwater photographers went home with new happy owners including 3 that I won by Dennis Jackson. The other photographers were Michael Messina and Kabe Russell.
The most important that thing all of the artists and guests walked away with was joy. The auction was a ton of fun and even some of the artists were bidding on each other's work. There's such a great love for the arts in San Luis Obispo county and each artists' fans came out to support. Such a huge thanks to everyone involved and everyone who bid! So many people will have new art to adorn their walls.
I'm pleased to say a number of my friends and art fans bid and won some great art! A good friend of mine won the open commission portrait so I'll get to paint someone dear to them. One friend got to grab two amazing pieces that were saved in the second chance after auction bidding and since she only had herself to bid against, she won both! With her help and support of all of my fans, I sold ten of the eleven paintings I had up for auction! That's astounding! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone involved and all of the support we saw today. We hope to have more events and auctions in the future so please sign up for my newsletter to be in the know.
When I sit down and think about why we are artists and why we do what we do, events like this help answer that question. I feel like we can create until our eyes ache and our studios are full of completed work with the hope that one day something will sell, or we can open our studios to the public and see what magic happens. Days like this reaffirm why I make art. So thank you...to all of my fans!
Follow me on Facebook @ArtsyCamera or on Instagram @myArtsyCamera for updates and events. My fans are why I am able to do what I do and I'm forever grateful!
My solo art show opening Feb 11th - Mar 13th 2017 at my Art Studio/Gallery ärt/ in Atascadero
“Impressions of the Moment”
By Heather Millenaar
Feb 11th – Mar 13th 2017, Artist Reception Feb 11th 6-8pm, Meet the Artist talk Feb 17th 6-7pm
What is it that makes someone tick? Where is that place, mental or physical, that helps you completely lose yourself? Textured brushstroke, vivid colors, and capturing the moment has become that place for Heather Millenaar. Born in LA and raised in San Luis Obispo since 1990, the hilly vineyards, beaches, and quaint downtown have often found their way into Heather’s work through plein air painting (or painted in open air). Starting with drawing and painting, and then being introduced to photography by her mother, Heather’s work crossed over many visual mediums. Heather began painting 31 years ago, and with 19 years under her paintbrush as a professional face and body painter with the family business A1 Talent Co and 11 years as a wedding photographer under Heather’s own business Artsy Camera, the joy of creative freedom and rapid paintings was born. Being surrounded by a crowd and rolling with a new environment and energy at every event, Heather’s showmanship flourished. For many years, Heather has sought out ways to bring art to the community and to expand her photography services by painting commissioned portraits for her brides and grooms. Loving the local artistic community and finding exciting ways to expand her business, she knew there was something special she had to offer her wedding clients. By taking plein air painting to the next level, Heather applied her love for wedding photography and rapid face painting skills to the fine artist realm by painting weddings Live! For Heather, being faced with the ever-changing task of capturing the scene with just a few colors and brushstrokes became the greatest challenge and reward.
“Impressions of the Moment” is a collection of works by Heather Millenaar over the last three years focusing on the fleeting moments we all experience, captured in a different way than photography. Heather prefers painting live and in the moment for a variety of reasons. The colors are more varied and bold, especially in the shadows; the movement is evident with the brush stroke when painted in real time; and the final painting immerses the viewer with a wide-angle view, as if the viewer is standing within the scene. Most of the paintings are completed in one session in oil so as to capture the moment and allow the colors to mix on the canvas as paint is applied wet-on-wet, known as alla prima. When painting in studio, Heather does work from photos with the emphasis on loose brushstroke. Her desired goal is to abstract the world we live in by letting the loose strokes engage the imagination.
A passion for the arts from a young age led to many art courses and a BA Studio Art concentration under the Art and Design major from Cal Poly in 2005. Heather has exhibited work in 2 Cal Poly shows, Senior show at 2 Dogs Cafe, Morro Bay Art Association's art show, 3 art shows at her gallery in SLO in 2011, and a silent auction art show in 2012. In 2011, 2015, 2016 she’s shown paintings in the Mid State Fair Art Show and photo entries during many years prior. She’s exhibited at Smith & Towne Art Company’s gallery in Shell Beach, Jan/Feb 2016 solo show for Art After Dark in SLO at Garden St Goldsmiths and June 2016 solo show at Paso Robles Kennedy Club and upcoming May/June 2017 at SLO Kennedy Club. In Oct of 2016 was Heather’s first “Art Bar” through her local chapter of the Rising Tide Society called Tuesdays Together for local entrepreneurs and creatives. She’s now teaching Art Bar at local venues and wineries and above all, she loves bringing art to the community!
Catch Heather teaching “Ärtist for a Night” paint classes every month at her studio, at STEAM Alley Downtown SLO Farmer’s Market, plein air painting around the community or out front of her studio & gallery space at ärt/ in Atascadero.
www.ArtsyCamera.com l Instagram @myArtsyCamera l Facebook @ArtsyCamera
Steam Alley video from Farmer's Market by Philip Loarie
My goal is to bring art to my community and I am able to fulfill that dream by painting LIVE during STEAM Alley at Farmer's Market in San Luis Obispo. Steam represents Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. Farmer's was PACKED! There were so many people watching me paint and the crowd was ever evolving. Having the Ninja Tumbling squad down Garden st really brought people into this special event.
I did my first mock up full scale painting from a reference photo of the seven sisters mountain range in SLO County. Huge thanks to my friend Jason Cook for flying out over the ocean to shoot this special photo from the backside of Morro Rock. Really magical! I loved how deep the blues were that day. Both the sky and the ocean were electric with color and it was so much fun to paint. Vivid colors are such a huge part of all of my paintings. I laid in the base shapes of the painting with ultramarine blue and then started in with unbleached Titanium white (which is a neutral beige which is perfect for the dry hills in our area this time of year). I had a lot of fun with my palette last night. I then added white to blend with the sky and ocean, light cadmium yellow which made a beautiful teal when mixed with ultramarine blue, added mars black to do some of the greys within the mountains and city, and finally made a warm brown using orange and dioxazine purple. I kept my strokes loose and free and let this painting serve as a quick sample of plein air painting from a photo.
These painting nights at Farmer's are so fun because I get to meet the best people. There are a lot of tourists but a lot of the people who stop to say hi and ask questions are locals. I feel like such a part of the community by being in the public and sharing my art. I'll be at the October STEAM Alley as well on October 27th! You can't miss it! It's the Farmer's Market where all of the kids dress up for the huge costume contest!
Where will I be next you ask?
Join me for live painting on October 8th at the Railroad Museum in SLO!
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What Live Painting feel like to me…
Ready, in the midst of anticipation of the big event, my mind goes to a quiet place where my eyes are on hypersensitive mode. I see colors, shades, tones, hues, movement, and sense the feeling of the event. Before a big event, there is always an anticipation that you can taste in the air. Everyone gathering for a common love creates a momentum that I strive to capture through paint.
I have all of my main colors prepped on my palette and begin to look for “pop” colors of the event. Is there a deep blue that plays its way through a few men’s suits, the shadows of the trees in the background, and the groom’s bowtie? Is candy apple red the color of this wedding? Seen in a few roses and high heels? These colors help create the movement of the event throughout my painting. It brings your eye into the canvas and then plays with the direction of where you look next. It’s a big sign of a good painting that holds your attention and it is one of my many goals I have for every live painting.
The hustle and bustle around me don’t phase me at all. If anything, it energizes the painting and infuses it with the energy in the air. My brush strokes are quick and thought out, quickly capturing the essence of the movement and the crowd. Key moments require me to snap a few photos to work from as reference later on throughout the event but everything else is captured in the moment. Everyone loves watching where I’ll put paint on next and which area I’ll add detail to. During the reception, people check in periodically and strike up conversations with me and those around them about the painting and the special day. People are really touched to see art performed live! So often, artists hide behind closed doors in their studios. Being able to see art unfold before their eyes is very memorable and they’ll be talking about it for years to come.
Book your event to be painted! Call (805) 235-6990 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free online brochure of packages. Servicing San Luis Obispo county and beyond, driving distance or flying. I love destination weddings!
#livepainter #weddingpainter #weddingartist #capturemywedding #sanluisobispoartist #sanluisobispowedding #sanluisobispoweddingphotographer #weddingphotographer #luxurywedding #fineartist #liveartist #performanceart #weddingplanner #weddingdj #uniquewedding #artisticwedding #artsycamera @myartsycamera
Join me October 8th for Live Event Painting at the Central Coast Railroad Festival. There will be food, various train inspired vendors, activities for young and old. Admission to the museum gets you to the new model train area, amazing memorabilia, photos of our area over the years, and so much more. I had the joy and honor of seeing it last week with my kids. There's a and even a kids' play area with Thomas and friends which will be outside at the big event.
Stop by anytime Saturday from 10-4.
Copyright Photo by Brady Cabe Photography
I had such great memories of a big centennial event held at the RR Museum when I was a kid. We each bought the envelopes with the special train postage stamp on them during the event. I love San Luis Obispo. There are so many great memories here for myself and so many people I care about. Good Times.
#railroad #railroadmuseum #livepainter #livepainting #eventpainter #eventartist #liveartist #weddingpainter #weddingartist #weddingentertainer #weddingplanner #weddingdj #weddingentertainment #sanluisobispo #sanluisobispoartist #sanluisobispoweddingphotographer #artsycamera #painter #oilpainter #Amtrak #train #thomasthetrain #thomasandfriends #oilpainting #bridalportrait #fineartweddingphotography #fineartweddings #luxuryweddings
I've been so lucky to be included in STEAM Alley at the San Luis Obispo Farmer's Market. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. Any vendor representing one of these categories is allowed to exhibit at this iconic event. I've been going to Downtown SLO Farmer's Market since I was 8 years old with my parents when we moved here from LA. My dad used to juggle as one of the entertainers at the intersection of Higuera and Chorro, Morro, or Osos St (depending on the week). Sometimes, I would juggle for a bit while he soaked his torches for the grand finale! Funny thing is...I was horribly shy and would be wracked with nerves every time I got up there. Now, I'm such a ham! I love painting where people can watch. It's the best of en Plein Air and Performance Art and I feel right at home doing it. Painting at weddings is my dream come true! Getting to do these events and others like weddings and grand openings is beyond my wildest dreams coming true. I feel totally at ease and everyone loves watching the canvas progress throughout the night.
Catch me at my next STEAM Alley on September 29th and October 27th, 2016 for the Halloween special night where all of the little munchkins are invited to a huge costume contest. I love Halloween so it'll be a great night!
Call to book me to paint your next event. (805) 235-6990
#enpleinair #performance #performanceart #slofarmersmarket #farmersmarket #sanluisobispo #sanluisobispoartist #artafterdark #steamalley #steam #stem #oiloncanvas #pinup #sanluisobispophotographer #slophotographer #weddingphotographersanluisobispo #weddingphotographysanluisobispo #artsycamera #heathermillenaar #oilpainter #californiaartist
Super excited to be attending Paso ArtsFest Come as you Art party this Friday May 27th 2016. The event is hosted by Studios on the Park as a fundraiser for the huge Paso ArtsFest. My husband an I are attending as the couple in the front right of Georges Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Check out the painting here and for more info.
This painting was one of my favorites while studying art. It's huge (7x10') and is made up of dots of color now termed pointillism.
To make costumes for my husband and I, I stopped by the local Goodwill clothing store and found a second hand jacket, some shirts, a skirt and a bedsheet. I cut, sewed, and painted everything to loosely match the couple in the painting. So eager to show it off at the party!
Come celebrate the Arts with me at Paso Robles' annual ArtsFest! I am beyond excited to be featured as one of their Local Stars Quick-Draw artists.
I'll be painting a model LIVE in the gazebo from 10-11:30 am Saturaday May 28th, 2016. At 11:30 they blow the whistle and all artists quickly frame their works and put them on the wall for sale! My painting will be loose and free-flowing full of brush strokes and drips. My figure series is inspired by dance and fitness and my model was formerly a dancer. He's lean and so muscular! It'll be a real treat capturing his likeness while suggesting lots of movement within the canvas.
Then catch me from 3-4pm in the Gazebo for my artist demo of an oil on panel of my super adorable basset hound puppy. I'll go over my process, technique, palette, and brush stroke.
The event is located in the downtown park in Paso Robles, California.
There's this beautiful lookout at the peak of highway 46 west from Paso Robles to Cambria, California. I always want to stop and take it all in and this time I made it happen. I packed up my easel, paints, canvases, and brought my basset hound for a day of painting plein air. I was surprised that most of thr people who stopped primarily spoke Japanese. Everyone was so sweet and came over to see what I was up to.
This particular day was fairly clear and Morro Rock was visible in the distance along with some of the surrounding beaches.
Sleepy Buckles, the plein air basset hound
One of the most exciting days we experience is our wedding day. We plan, perfect, and cherish every moment. One of the best ways to document your day is with a live wedding painting! I capture the feel and essence of your wedding day in a unique oil painting.
Most of us purchase weddings albums from our photographer but often, those albums sit on a shelf or in a closet, rarely to be looked at. A wonderful addition to your home is a one of a kind telling of your big day through paint. Every painting is such a conversation starter both at your wedding and at home with your friends and family.
Key elements from your planning will be documented in your work of art as well as important members of your friends and family. I offer a variety of sizes, same day or in studio completion, and shipping options.
This is what the painting looked like after the wedding. I then took it home to complete in studio.
After studio painting. Fine tuned details, added a few elements, and varnished painting.
This week I got to paint the stunning Avila Beach Golf Resort for my Plein Air Weddings series. Although it had been raining the day before, this particular day was full of sun and spring-like beauty. This venue hosts a number of events including some killer Central Coast concerts, weddings, golfing, private events and much more. They were even the site for my San Luis Obispo High School Prom where just a few days after the event, my husband and I first started dating! No need to say I have fond memories here. I even won a silent auction through the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival for private golf lessons through Avila Beach Golf Resort for my hubby.
It was so wonderful painting this iconic area. Many people walking or driving by slowed or stopped to say hi. They said it was a joy to see someone capturing this wonderful area through art and that they hoped to see more artists out painting. Some were surprised I was so young which struck me as pretty funny. I feel like I've been an artist for three decades...oh wait! Actually, exactly three decades! Wow.
A big thanks to Avila Beach Golf Resort for lending their excellent views and wonderful hospitality. I arrived at 9:30 am and started painting at 10 until 12:30. I then drove down to our local Rising Tide Society meeting called Tuesdays Together hosted by Avila Beach Golf Resort in the very building I was painting. It was really fun seeing it up close after analyzing it from a distance. I always see things differently after painting them. I notice the colors and shadows, the angels, and see the details that get lost from such a great distance. It was really gratifying. Tuesdays Together represents cooperation over competition and finding fellow entrepreneurs in the wedding industry and other creatives who want to work together. This group has been uplifting in more ways than I could have anticipated. Thank you Austyn Ford for investing so much time to make this great meeting work.
If you are a San Luis Obispo Central Coast creative entrepreneur and want to find community, education, inspiration, and local collaboration, message me about how to join. It's free and it is so worth your time. Anthony Salas Jr. shared some great insight this week into the tax world for us self employed wedding pros. Loved the input by Austyn Ford, Cameron Ingalls, Blake Andrews, and Zest It Up. There were many other wonderful comments and friendly faces. I look forward to the next meeting.
Plein Air Weddings painting series will be up for their art show at Kennedy Club Fitness for the month of June in Paso Robles.
Thanks again to Lacee Nordstrom with Avila Beach Golf Resort,
Austyn Ford with Austyn Elizabeth Photography and Rising Tide Society leader for putting on such great meetings and taking beautiful photos of us brainstorming and collaborating on creative issues,
Anthony Salas Jr. with Epic Entertainment for his sound advice on the business end of being an entrepreneur.
Thank you to all of the members who shared and lent advice.
#kennedyclubs #kennedyclubfitness #avilabeachresort #avilabeachgolfresort #artsycamera #risingtidesociety #tuesdaystogether #epicentertainment #avilabeach #pleinair #weddingpainter #bridalportrait #sanluisobispophotographer #sanluisobispoweddingphotographer #oilpaint #weddingvenue
March has had some beautiful weather in California! I've been fortunate enough to be able to continue painting Plein Air outdoors through much of winter. My medium of choice is oil and it's been great painting in the open to get away from the fumes.
My current series features some of the amazing scenic hot spots on the Central Coast including wedding venues, wineries, vineyards, hotels, beaches, and the great outdoors. This week I had the joy of painting Paso Robles' castle Tooth & Nail Winery! I have so many fond memories of this location from taking my brand new camera there to take photos eons ago to more recently where I took my daughter there to take princess pictures.
I set up at 1:30 and painted outdoors for an hour before the wind was a bit much. I was able to put another hour in at my studio before some errands and then the big Central Coast Wedding Professionals (CCWP) mixer at Tooth & Nail. I brought my painting to show the wonderful coordinators of the winery, Kim Walker and her crew. The hosts were so gracious and accommodating. Such a great team to handle any wedding! The wine served at the event was over the moon amazing! I need to take a day trip there with my husband to enjoy more of their fabulous wine. The labels are downright gorgeous! All of the food was superb and the cheeses were a delicious treat.
The leader at CCWP, Sean Dasmann from Epic Entertainment, introduced me to the group and spoke so many kind words about my live wedding painting. I am full of joy! Everyone has been so great to work with in San Luis Obispo county. The wedding industry has become a cooperative team dedicated to finding brides and grooms the best services. Central Coast weddings have the benefit of working with incredible talent and we all work as a team. No where else can you find that! What a gem.
This series of paintings will be up for the month of June at Kennedy Club Fitness in Paso Robles, California. It will go to a few locations so I'll keep you posted!
A big thanks to Kim Walker with Tooth & Nail Winery,
Sean Dasmann, Anthony Salas Jr. with Epic Entertainment and Central Coast Wedding Professionals,
Dana Hodgkinson with Blessed Beyond Belief Photography,
and all of the wonderful wedding professionals I met at the event.
#toothandnail #ccwp #epicentertainment #artsycamera #pleinairweddings #pleinair #liveweddingpainter #liveweddingpainting #weddingpainter #sanluisobispoweddingphotographer #weddingphotographer #paintmywedding #bridalportrait
A big thanks to Jason Towne of Smith & Towne Art Company for letting me paint outside of his gallery yesterday. The weather was great and the company was even greater. The hills are alive right now with lush greenery and it was an absolute pleasure getting out into the living world. Painting live at events and on the street are so rewarding. I get to breathe the fresh air, talk with the passerby, and come home with sweet little paintings that show that day and time amid their forever changing state.
Tish was kind enough to take some great photos of me working and he graciously let me post. He will be one of the many wonderful artists showing at the big 2nd art show of 2016 at Smith & Towne. Come out from 12-6, Saturday February 27th in Shell Beach to celebrate with us and meet the artists showing. I'll have a different landscape up from a wedding I shot of the scenic Kelseyville Moore Family Winery. I'm doing a landscape series that includes the painting seen below, the Kelseyville winery painting, and a seascape I did just after the painting in this post (photos coming soon).
I'd love to meet you at the opening tomorrow and be sure to bring a friend. There will be wine and lots of great conversation!
Artist and photographer Heather Millenaar with Artsy Camera. Current Landscape series will be up on display for the month of June at Kennedy Club Fitness in Paso Robles California.
The above painting is oil on canvas.
With the lush vineyards surrounding San Luis Obispo County and beyond, shooting a wedding among the vines has always been one of my favorite locations. The colors are so vivid, the geometric lines balance nicely with the organic beauty of a newly married couple, and the sunsets are stunning. The California drought has proved to be long lasting and the vineyards are some of the last places in this area with much green.
Photo locations Kelseyville, California and Paso Robles, California
February's Art After Dark is at Garden St. Goldsmith's. The artist reception was so much fun on Friday February 5th. So many people came through, enjoyed some snacks and wine and I met so many friendly faces. I even got to meet the wonderful Jason Towne and Owen Smith, with Smith & Towne Art Company. They have a wonderful little Shell Beach art gallery.
Stop by Garden St. Goldsmith's now until Saturday February 27th to see some beautiful wedding photos, wedding and portrait paintings, as well as painted landscapes.
Come out and see my live event painting on display Feb 27th at Smith & Towne Art Company in Shell Beach. The painting shows the wonderful California sun in Kelseyville wine country. This painting was continuous start to finish in my studio from a photo I took at a Moore Family Winery wedding.
Checkout the Facebook event for more information. The reception will be noon-6 at 1801 Shell Beach Rd.
Other featured artists are:
Thank you to everyone who came out for Art After Dark in January! My show was at Garden St. Goldsmith's in downtown San Luis Obispo. We had wine and snacks for our guests.
My show will be up through February with an artist reception on the first Friday of the month on February 5th from 6-9pm.
I have paintings and photographs from weddings and from life. My bridal portrait paintings are up along with my live event painting from Farmer's Market.
When I see true love, it shines so bright and affects everyone in the room. Kayla and Jim have that special connection and all of their guests could feel it too at their intimate San Luis Obispo Country Club Wedding.
The weather was as unique as their wedding day. It was warm, humid with an amazing sky, all of which rarely happen in San Luis Obispo county. Well, all except the stunning sky, we get a lot of those. Both the bride and groom were so accepting of everything. To be tying the knot with all of those that love them must have been the greatest feeling ever.
Jim and I got to attend school together and he's always been a sweet soul. He's going to be so kind and loving to Kayla. Thank you for sharing your magical day with me!
Event Planner: Bill Mortemer
Two more unique keepsake boxes going out this week! I love them just as much as my clients do. After lots of research and brainstorming, I came up with these as a perfect way to say Thank You for such a great photo session or wedding together. Who doesn't love thank you gifts?! And the wood USB drive is just so neat! Book your photo session today and you'll receive one of these beauties with all of your photos and mini personalized canvas. Book today.
Sometimes, like right now, I am overwhelmed with joy and happiness. Little things can set me rolling on such a great path and I ride it through for days. Recently, it was the long awaited purchase of a new full sized easel. I loved my other easel so much and it was a heartfelt present from my husband back when we were dating. I know I'll still use it for small scale work because it's so easy to adjust and get close to my workstation.
Once I assembled my new beast, the work in progress piece of a bride and groom portrait looked so great sitting on it. After some editing tonight and tomorrow for a photo session, I may get to paint a bit. One amazing feature is that it'll hold panels and canvases so large, I can't fully extend it in my art studio.
I love my family so much and am so happy that we're in such a great place to allow me to invest in something that makes me so at peace. We had a huge oak tree fall on our garage and apartment that we rent out and it took six months to fix it all. I really had to put a lot of things on hold until a few months ago. My life is so full of good vibes now.
I'm so lucky. I got to photograph this little cutie today. She's just over two weeks old and was already so aware of her surroundings. She even took a dream filled nap for her portraits complete with dream smiles and funny faces.
Newborn photography is fun, challenging and rewarding. Having two kids of my own makes it so much easier holding and posing new babies. I often go to the family's home where baby and parents are most comfortable. It also works great to fit in feedings and changing wardrobes (or diapers).
It's always such an honor to be invited into a home to capture this precious time in a family's lives. Babies change and grow so fast that getting good photos of them young is a must! Thank you to the wonderful family! Really made my day.
Late night in the studio and I finished another painting for my figure painting series in oil. I'm going to finish the edges and varnish it when it's ready. Now I'm ready to go big. I'm going to put together some panels and really get in depth with the tone and texture of skin for the next one. Pushing oil paint around on canvas and panel is so cathartic for me. How the paint blends and transforms into the image I have in my head is magical and always has been to me. There are few things in this world that put me at peace as much as painting does. Often, I get so wrapped up and in my head about the whole process, time flies and all of the petty worries of the world drop away. It's just me and my work.
My first experience with figure photography was at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CA where I did a self portrait figure series. My first exposure to figure painting was at Cuesta College, CA where I met some amazing art instructors. Trying to wrap my mind around how to make the paint look like what was before me was one of the most challenging things I faced in school. Often, the class was only 6 hours and it was rare that I could finish and be totally satisfied with my painting in that time. Now, I'm much faster and more bold in my paint application and am excited to try some figure painting classes again in a semester or two. Live painting has always had a different look in my work. I like to work from photographs because I like to be very precise but having a live model makes work more dynamic.
Painting landscapes has always posed a different challenge to me than painting portraits. The focus to me has always been on color and paint application when it comes to landscapes. With portraits, I try to capture the essence of the subject as well as the skin tones and subtle features of their face.
This last Spring, I got to visit Paso Robles' plein air landscape festival where artists from all over exhibited their art. There was also a wet canvas auction where all landscapes had been recently painted en plein air from various location along the Central Coast of California.
One of my favorite exhibits was the woodblock print maker who rolled his paper onto his carving using a steam roller! Each print was about 3'x3'.
I got to meet some great artists and see so much amazing work. I'll be sure to go back next year!