playing photographer…

it’s been hot around here.  HOT.  today it looks like we got a break – it’s only 93 degrees!  no really, it feels much cooler than it has been, so i ventured outside to do something i love to do:  take photos in our back yard.

you’ll notice it’s mainly photos of decor items and container plants.  we rent this house, and haven’t really wanted to plant lots of flowers and plants because we don’t plan to be here forever.  we plan on buying our own home, then we can invest in plants, trees, landscaping…(fingers crossed; hoping it’s a reality soon!)

a gift from my mom…

a gift from my father-in-law…

the back yard is my favorite thing about this house.  it’s big; we’ve hosted lots of parties with friends and families, with one of the highlights being my dad ALWAYS climbing up the stone wall to pick oranges, limes, apples, or nectarines (whatever is in season at the time).  even when i tell him to wait until lawrence or i are nearby to ‘help’ (really, it’s to make sure he doesn’t fall).  he never waits.  never…

my husband calls these yellow flowers ‘weeds’. i like them!

when the weather’s nice out, the yard becomes my photo studio – i drag out a folding table, dropcloths/backdrops (if needed), and boxes of artwork or whatever needs to be photographed for the website or Etsy shops.  i’m still trying to perfect my photos for online posts, so i’m usually out there most of the day…

we have tried to add color throughout – this bench was the standard brown wood color, until i decided to dig into my acrylic paints and give it some life.  it was actually my husband’s idea to paint it ‘Calypso Blue’ (from Americana), a color we both love and use a lot in our work.  i LOVE how the bench turned out!  we found the medallion that’s hanging over the bench at a discount store, and i spray painted it black, making it look like it cost more than it did.  the frame on that table also got painted, but i don’t remember the original color…?

when i have a supply of spray paints – watch out!

i can’t wait to have our own home – i’m dying to paint a mural on a fence – something large scale, colorful, and vibrant!

Arte de Nuestro Corazon – art from our hearts.

july 2011 was an exciting month for my husband and me.  that month, our website Arte de Nuestro Corazon went live.  LIVE!

Arte de Nuestro Corazon is spanish for art from our hearts.  “our” being my husband, lawrence, and myself along with artist friends jose, annette, and theresa armas.  we started the site as a way to share our work with people all over the world (hopefully!).

from our “About Us” page:

“We are a group of five artists who share the common interest of expressing our cultural and emotional thoughts through various types of art. The common goal is to share our Mexican/American heritage with other people that appreciate unique and inspiring art pieces. Each piece of art is designed and/or created by our hands.

Susie Carranza was born in Los Angeles, California and raised in El Sereno. Susie began her art by doodling on paper with her Sharpie marker. She now combines her Sharpie images with her paintings and mixed media pieces on canvas, wood, tin, plaster and clay. Susie’s art work has been in stores and museums in Southern California.

Annette Armas has been drawing since Jr. high school. Her art form has been a reflection of her personal life. Enjoying and creating traditional tole painting and selling her wares at boutiques around Los Angeles and Orange County for 24 years. With the passing of Carlos (her son) she has fully embraced her art through Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Her preferred medias are painting on wood, clay, tin and now canvas. She is now Co-Owner of CJ’s Angels with her husband.

Theresa Maria Armas jumped into the art scene in 2003. She started creating her art on canvas using her whimsical skeletons as the subjects. Theresa now has included sewing and mixed media in her work. Over the years Theresa has had her art exhibited in galleries and art shows in Southern California.

Lawrence Aguilar is new to art. He was introduced to the art world by his wife Susie Carranza. Lawrence prefers painting on wood and clay. He also enjoys working in mixed media.

Jose Armas has recognized his talent in painting Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) art. Jose’s vision of the art he creates is unique to his imagination. Much of his inspiration has come from his wife Annette Armas and his daughter Theresa Armas.”

getting the word out has been slow-going.  sometimes (for me) painfully slow.  have i mentioned that patience is not really a virtue i possess?!  but i truly believe one day we will successfully create a large client base for our site with happy and satisfied return customers.

if you like colorful, culturally-inspired, original work, please check us out at and let me know what you think!  i have much more to write about our website and how it came about, so look for a much more detailed future post.

here’s some of the work i have available at Arte de Nuestro Corazon…

i’ll be adding new work soon to both the Arte de Nuestro Corazon site and my Etsy shop.  i’ve been happily painting away and creating new work!

btw, you can also keep up with me on my facebook page at Susie Carranza Studio


playing with paint…

i’ve been painting.  painting LOTS.  finally!  i’m trying to make more time to paint.  it’s so easy to let myself be caught up in other things – dishes have to be washed, laundry needs to be done, phone calls need to be made, need to post something on my facebook page, gotta work on etsy shop……………yadayadayada..

not this week.  this week i painted.  happily and without guilt.  i finished work left neglected, i found canvases, partially prepped and painted, and created new work.  i painted with no thought to results.  i just enjoyed playing with paint:  brushing, dripping, splattering, mixing.  messy and fun!

i also wrote out a ‘to do’ list for myself that was all creative stuff:  create new canvas work, finish mixed media pieces, hand stitch new fabric ornaments, bead some new bracelets, take new photographs…

how do you find time to do what you love?  is it easy, or do you have to plan for it?  let me know!