I’m still here…!

Wow! Been busy with family responsibilities, working on Larry’s childhood home, STILL trying to move all our belongings in and unpacking boxes… then I realize it’s been over TWO months since I’ve blogged. Bad Susie. I’m still around. Just preoccupied. … Continue reading

creative April…

my work space today - colorful & busy!

April is turning out to be a creative month for me, and I’m loving it! I joined a 30 day challenge for the month – the Creative Sprint. You can follow along on social media by looking up the hashtag … Continue reading

rough times…

Life has thrown us another curve, and I’ve had to put my Etsy shops in vacation mode for a while. My 85 year old mother-in-law fell last Friday (January 23) and she broke her hip. She had surgery on Sunday and, unfortunately, it led to several complications to her already bad health. I’m spending my days with my husband Lawrence at the hospital.

Any positive vibes you can send would be greatly appreciated.

‘Til next time…

View from my mother-in-law's window the morning of her surgery...

View from my mother-in-law’s window the morning of her surgery…

Keeping busy in the waiting room while she undergoes hip surgery...

Keeping busy in the waiting room while she undergoes hip surgery…

She made it through surgery...

She made it through surgery…

My Monday post in Instagram & my Facebook business page...

My Monday post in Instagram & my Facebook business page…

Caught the sunset through the ICU stairwell window...

Caught the sunset through the ICU stairwell window…

Lawrence and I stumbled upon a beautiful little serenity/meditation room on the ICU floor...

Lawrence and I stumbled upon a beautiful little serenity/meditation room on the ICU floor…

Yesterday I placed both my Etsy shops on 'vacation mode'...

Yesterday I placed both my Etsy shops on ‘vacation mode’…

Today: new room = new view...

Today: new room = new view…

my 30 paintings in 30 days…

if you’ve read my previous posts, you know I took part in a ’30 paintings in 30 days’ challenge in the artists’ group HeARTspace on Facebook (created by artist Jeanne Bessette). the challenge ended yesterday and I’m proud to say I completed the whole challenge!

I won’t lie – sometimes I didn’t post one photo each day. with both my mom feeling under the weather (again), then my mother in law being hospitalized (again), my mind was often occupied with other things and I couldn’t get myself to finish artwork in front of me. but I played catch up, staying up late when needed. one day I posted four (or five?) paintings all in the same day in order to catch up!

here are all 30 pieces. I still consider a couple of them to be unfinished, but the purpose of this challenge was (I think) to dig deep into our creative selves, paint consistently and purposefully, and see what we learn about ourselves in the process.

I’m still marinading over what I learned about myself, my work, and where I want to go with it. (another blog post for sure!)…in the meantime, here are group shots of all the pieces. Look for much better individual photos to come, as well as most of these new pieces being available for purchase! 😉

’til next time…

paintings 1-15 of 30 paintings in 30 days challenge...

paintings 1-15 of 30 paintings in 30 days challenge…

 

paintings 16-30 of 30 paintings in 30 days challenge

paintings 16-30 of 30 paintings in 30 days challenge

30 paintings in 30 days: Days 5 through 10…

I’m happy to say that I’m still going strong with HeARTspace’s 30 paintings in 30 days challenge! Here’s what I’ve been up to…

Day 5: "For Patty", mixed media on 7" X 9" hardboard.

Day 5: “For Patty”, mixed media on 7″ X 9″ hardboard.

Day 6: "Unknown", mixed media on 8" X 10" canvas board.

Day 6: “Unknown”, mixed media on 8″ X 10″ canvas board.

Day 7: "It Never Stops", acrylic paints on 5 1/2" X 7" canvas.

Day 7: “It Never Stops”, acrylic paints on 5 1/2″ X 7″ canvas.

Day 8: "Dream", mixed media on 11" X 14" canvas.

Day 8: “Dream”, mixed media on 11″ X 14″ canvas.

Day 9: "Still Together", mixed media on 5" X 7" wood plaque.

Day 9: “Still Together”, mixed media on 5″ X 7″ wood plaque.

Day 10: "Two", mixed media on 6" X 9" canvas.

Day 10: “Two”, mixed media on 6″ X 9″ canvas.

30 paintings in 30 days – day 1…

It’s been a month since I’ve blogged…I know, I’m ashamed to even call myself a blogger. but I swear I have the BEST intentions: I will blog regularly, I will create/paint/draw/etc. regularly…then stuff (life!) happens.

right now, Lawrence and I are in the process of fixing up his childhood home, (renovating, updating, cleaning) in preparation for the two of us to move in and care for his mom. once we hired contractors for a complete reno of the kitchen (last month), things started moving forward really fast!

so – besides painting rooms in his childhood home, I’ve been feeling sorely lacking in the field of ‘artist’, until I was faced with a painting challenge…

on Facebook, I’m a member of an artist group, HeARTspace, overseen by artist Jeanne Bessette. I must admit, up ’til now, I haven’t been very active in the group. I do check in daily and read others’ posts, but other than sharing my work twice in pop-up galleries, I’ve been pretty quiet. when Jeanne posted over the weekend that she wanted to challenge anyone interested in a 30 day, 30 paintings challenge, I thought “how cool!” then came up with lots of reasons why I couldn’t do it.

the success other artists spoke about already having was intimidating

i can’t create 1 painting a day – I’ve got tooooo much going on!

my work won’t be good enough

etc. etc. etc.

well, I did some soul searching Sunday night – about lots of stuff in my life right now. a conversation with a good friend last week got me thinking about where my life was headed. (you know one of those friends you’ve had FOREVER, you fall in and out of touch, but when you talk again you realize how much he really knows you? yeah, one of those friends…) he questioned if I was okay with all the changes happening in my life right now. he left me with “it’s never too late. never.”

never too late to make changes. to speak up. to move forward in the direction I want to end up.

I sometimes feel like parts of my life are out of my control, especially now. and I’m not sure what to do about it. but I realized that the one thing I can control is my art.

if I create. when I create. how I create. what I create.

so – I can continue blaming what’s happening in other parts of my life for what’s happening in my art life, or I get off my creative ass, step up, and just CREATE.

i can move towards my art.

monday when I saw the post asking for the first painting of the 30 day challenge, I ignored my inner critic and stepped up. and I painted. and drew. and I shared my first painting in the challenge, thus signing up for the 30 days.

and felt happy and in control. yes…

30 paintings in 30 days challenge

30 paintings in 30 days - WIP

30 paintings in 30 days (uni-ball Signo)

 

"Sunflower in the Rain" by Susie Carranza

“Sunflower in the Rain” by Susie Carranza

my first painting: “Sunflowers in the Rain”. I used an 8′ by 10′ canvas, with a gelli printed background. I also challenged myself NOT to use my beloved Sharpies or PITT artist pens, instead using my new white uni- ball Signo pens. (which, by the way, I LOVED! all my blacks pens and markers have some serious competition now!)

this challenge will also help my blogging, since I plan to share my 30 paintings here.

stay tuned…

 

 

check out ABC Family’s “The Fosters” next Monday!

papel picado

papel picado

i’m so excited that i can FINALLY share my news! remember this post from May: “opportunity knocked – we answered!“?! well, i can now tell you that this coming Monday – August 11, 2014 – you can see our artwork (‘our’ being my husband Lawrence and me) on an all new episode of “The Fosters”, on ABC Family!

i’m very grateful we had the opportunity to do this. as i wrote in the previously mentioned blog post, Lawrence was very surprised that i applied for this. to be honest, i had initially thought about NOT mentioning it to him, and not doing anything about it. i’m so glad i didn’t go with my gut reaction this time!

set life was like nothing i’ve ever experienced: it’s hurryhurryhurry, set up your space (we were to set up a 10′ X 10′ booth as we would for an art show), then wait until we were needed. one day they didn’t film near our booth at all, so we got to roam the set location (out of the way of the cameras, of course!) and watch all the action strictly as spectators. luckily, we were allowed to leave our setup for the whole week, as opposed to taking down and setting up again each day. it was really interesting to watch filming, see how the cast and crew worked together (they all seemed to get along great), chat with all the extras and hear about their experiences on different jobs – AND we got to enjoy some of the most delicious food too! the catering company for this job was awesome – we couldn’t wait to see what we were being offered each day!

i got to personally meet artists whose work i’d admired for quite some time, hang out with them a bit – even discussed the world of art and blogging.

i heard that the episode would air August 11th, but August kind of snuck up on me. it wasn’t until earlier this week when our niece texted Lawrence a picture of the preview for next Monday’s episode of “The Fosters” that we realized ‘our’ episode was here! 🙂 we were so excited!!! i mean, we would have never thought that we’d have the chance to have our work exposed on television to so many people!

i’m sharing this photo from “The Fosters” facebook page.  it’s actually a photo of the preview video for next week’s episode, showing our booth and some of our work in the background…

The Fosters preview, with our art in background

To learn more about “The Fosters”, check out their official page at ABC Family. and maybe you’ll check out the episode next Monday. if you do, let me know what you think!

’til next time…

opportunity knocked – we answered!

two weeks ago i saw an instagram post about a television show that was looking for artists to participate in an episode for their upcoming season. (we had to sign a privacy clause, so i can’t say much right now…)

much to my husband Lawrence’s surprise, i mentioned the post to him, as well as the fact that our nephew, David, had tagged me in a Facebook post about this opportunity. i figured – this post came to me twice, who was i to ignore it? we decided to pursue it; what did we have to lose?

i sent in the necessary photos of art pieces for both of us. that was followed by an email asking for some more information and photos of our booth set-up for art shows.

i was cooking dinner when the phone call came: they wanted us for the show! more information was shared, and the necessary paperwork was completed and faxed back to the appropriate people.

last week was a whirlwind of being on set: early mornings, loooong days, watching the behind the scenes action of filming a TV show, interacting with a very cool and helpful crew, meeting awesomely talented artists, making new friends…and getting lots of exposure for our artwork!

did i mention that Lawrence was surprised? i’m not the type to jump into new things – far from it. it felt really good when, driving home after our last day of being on set, he took my hand and said, “did i tell you i’m really proud of you for doing this?”

it was a good week… ❤

til next time…

papel picado

papel picado

 

around here…

here in California we’re FINALLY enjoying some rain!!!  it’s funny how dramatic newscasters here are – other parts of the world are dealing with terrible weather, especially snow storms. here, as soon as ANY rain is in the forecast it’s “STORM WATCH!”

i’m embarrassed for us sometimes (lots of times)…

anyway, just wanted to share some of what’s been going on around here…

morning coffee 2.25.14

i’m a big fan of coffee (favorite: Nescafe!). i have lots of “good morning” pics on my instagram and facebook pages showing my first cup of coffee for the day…

spraypainted tote bag, WIP

one of my latest projects is a new collection of tote bags. i’m enjoying making my own fabric spray paints (love this blue!); can’t wait to see how they turn out! (stay tuned…)

sketchbook page 2.24.14

latest sketchbook page. julie balzer is one of my favorite artists, and she came out recently with a line of face stencils. this was my first time using my stencil. i loved it (although i did feel like i was cheating somehow by not drawing the face myself)!

Etsy supply shop/new itemsand finally – i’ve been adding LOTS of new items to my Etsy supply shop – so many new cool supplies for all my fellow creatives out there!

’til next time…