Saturday, September 19, 2009

Upcoming Art Classes I'm Taking with 2 Global Artists!

Paintings by Lisa Bebi

Lisa Bebi at an Open House Summer 09, where she displayed her paintings all over this lovely home in La Mesa, CA

Two Technique Classes taught by Lisa Bebi:

Lisa Bebi is a frequent contributor artist and an Artist-On-Call for Somerset Studio International Mixed Media Magazine, where she's been published more than 50 times. Lisa has enjoyed a global fan base, continually receiving international workshops invites, as well as workshops here at home. I took her paint over class in June and enjoyed it so much, I want to go back for more. I really enjoy the paint-over technique!

Paintings by Lisa Bebi on display at an Open House in La Mesa, CA Summer 09

Lisa is teaching on Thursday, Sept. 24 for a FAMILY PAINTOVER WORKSHOP - all day - East County Art Association (Rancho San Diego Library). It's only $30! Here's a link to the library with directions and map.

Samples of Milk Resist Technique

Then there's The Milk and Milk Resist Techniques Workshop by Lisa Bebi, Wednesday, September 30, 2009 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM. In Somerset Studio magazine, October 2007, Lisa authored a 4 page article on the wonders of using milk as your ink for your stamps in order to create a resist. The results from stamping with milk are beautiful, subtle and dreamy-creamy. And No, there is no residual smell, stickiness or trouble with ants invading your cards afterward. You may simply stamp with milk and let it air dry and then color with a variety of pigment, or you can heat the stamped milk until it becomes caramelized to a toasty brown - then add pigment on top. Cost $35.00. Here's a link to The Stamp Addict

Cover Art/Story by Pam Carriker & Friends

Two classes taught by Pam Carriker:

Maybe you've seen Pam's artwork featured in various magazines including the recent Somerset Studio featuring the cover story of, "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Canvas," and also in the current issue of Art Journaling Magazine. She's also been published in Stamper's Sampler, Somerset Apprentice, Cloth, Paper, Scissors, among others. I adore her backgrounds, as well as her portraits. She teaches online classes too. For more info, check out her blog at:

ATC workshop----Friday, September 25, 2009 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Stamp Addict, San Diego, CA ($20). (I won't be taking this one, but wanted to mention it anyway.)

Portraits in Mixed Media Workshop with Pam Carriker 12noon - 3pm, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009. Register today. Space is limited Workshop fee: $65 for EAP members/$75 for non members. It will be at the Escondido Municipal Gallery. Click here for more information.

Next month, I'm already looking forward to more classes by Chris Cozen at Stamping Details in Poway, CA on Halloween weekend. She's teaching classes on color mixing, faux encaustic, painting on vinyl and works in progress. I'm signing up for the color mixing and faux encaustic classes. Hoping to see some of you at there. Please introduce yourself, because I'd love to meet you! Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Do You Have a Pile of Abandoned or Unfinished Paintings?

Get Happy
(8"x10" Canvas, Golden paints, foam stamps, magazine images, 3-D flowers)

Texture #1
(8"x10" canvas, Golden paints & mediums.)

Yesterday, I was determined to complete a number of paintings that have piled up, unfinished. I'm happy to say my day was very successful, since I wrapped up seven paintings, all shown here.

But that got me thinking about unfinished paintings.

Texture #3
(8"x10" canvas, Golden paints & mediums.)

My friend Diane and I spent all afternoon yesterday ainting at our friend Sally's house. It's always such a wonderful time to give total focus to something. I love getting feedback from my artist friends, because they give me constructive criticism. Plus, the camaraderie is glorious! Thanks, Sally, for inviting me to your lovely La Jolla home for these special afternoons.

Purple Birds On a Wire
(8"x10" wood box canvas, Golden paint, vintage music paper, stencil)

I've heard from a lot of artists about the sad habit of accumulating a pile of unfinished paintings. In fact, it has inspired me to not let my unfinished pile get too stacked up and left behind. And so far, so good!

But why do we do this? Are these painting unloved or unwanted? Or did the artist just not have time to finish them? I have a feeling many of the abandoned paintings were unfinished because the artist just didn't know what to do next or how to make it complete. I'd love to hear from you on this topic.

Blue Mirror
(10"x10" Solid pine wood with small center mirror. Golden paint, vintage music text.)

Do you have a large pile of paintings or other unfinished artwork? Does it call out to you to finish it? Do you plan on finishing it someday when you find the time or are you just stuck and have no idea what to do to complete it?

I'm seriously interested.

Texture #4
(10"x10" canvas, Golden paints and mediums)

I've been painting (this time) for less than a year now and would like to learn from all of you, so I don't wind up with a closet full of unfinished work.

Texture #2
(10"x10" canvas, Golden paints and mediums)

I'm seriously interested in your pile of stuff, so please leave me a comment or email me at

(FYI - Artist Chris Cozen will be teaching at Stamping Details in Poway on Halloween weekend. One of the classes will deal with finishing paintings where you got stuck!)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Few Paintings From Springtime 2009

Dragon Fly Dreams

Mixed Media - 9"x 12" x 3/4" wood box canvas, Golden paint, collage papers, stamps, stencils, NeoColors2 Caran d'Ache, stabilo pencil.

Vintage Fish

Mixed Media - 8"x10"x 1 1/2" wood box canvas, Golden paints, NeoColors 2 Caran d'Ache, Sharpie Poster Paint Pens, vintage journal text, various papers.

Time Circles

Mixed Media Painting - 9"x 12" x 3/4" on stretched canvas, Golden paint, stamps, mask, NeoColor2 Caran d'Ache, stabilo pencil.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Fantastic Outdoor Mural, Including "Never Forget" in Williamsport, PA

These are the last photo's from my vacation last month in Williamsport, PA. My nephew, artist Jesse Herrera told me about a large outdoor mural in a downtown parking lot, just off Market Street. It's threee stories tall and depicts 150 people living and dead, local and nationally known.

My sister Melanee Herrera and I took some photo's of the giant mural, but these don't do it justice. If you're ever in Williamsport, PA, stop by and have a look.

It was created by Michael Pilato. You can read about it on his web site He paints on large boards and then nails them to the walls. He's done a similar mural in State Collage, PA, home of Penn State.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Today marks the day where I have been clean and sober from drugs and alcohol for 22 years!
That's 8,036 days of One Day At A Time! Dang, that's a long time. I would never have guessed I could have done it for so long. Slowly but surely, it became my natural way of life. I no longer need the cushion of drugs and booze to defend me from life. Today, I have many other useful tools to help me deal with life on life's terms.
Yes, I still go to 12 Step meetings, because I'm still an alcoholic. I get so much love, caring and support from my sober friends, who understand me in a way others cannot. I value my sobriety and guard it with my life. It means everything to me. My life has changed in so many wondrous ways and all because I made the decision to stop drinking and using drugs.
If there's someone in your life suffering from the problems of addiction, who's life has become unmanageable, I would encourage you to help them seek help. Thanks to the Internet, there's so much help available online, as well as in real life. No one has to suffer from this dreaded affliction. There is another choice. Yes, it's difficult to get clean and sober and even more difficult to keep it for the long term. But I worked hard to change everything in my life in order to live a better way and I continue to do the work it takes to choose sobriety. My recovery isn't perfect, but I do not drink or use drugs no matter what. One day at a time.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

My Sister & I Painted These Together

My Monkey Princess

While I was on vacation, my sister Melanee Herrera I painted together. I owe her my eternal gratitude, because she was the one who suggested I start painting again after many years of ignoring my Muse. I stayed at her charming, country, farm house in the woods of South Williamsport, PA during my recent vacation. We painted together almost everyday.

Melanee Herrera in her studio, creating Mythical Creatures with me.
Boy Swan by Melanee Herrera

She loved my mythical creatures, so I showed her what I learned in a class taught by Karen O'Brien. Melanee's style is Folk Art Primitives, so this isn't exactly her cup of tea. But one great thing about learning techniques is being able to adapt them to fit your personal style and taste. Before I left, she started four more of these in more vintage looking colors. As of this post, she had not finished the images to adhere on each canvas board. I'm excited to see what she comes up with and will post them here if you'd like to see them as well.

Boy Lion by Melanee Herrera

We each completed two 9"x12" canvas boards, but one of mine didn't turn out, so I'm reworking it. Please check out Melanee's Mixed Media Folk Art Blog here. The vintage male face in Boy Lion is actually a distant relative of one of my radio listener's.

This is an 8"x 8"x 1/2" wooden picture frame with Golden paint and vintage text collage. The center is empty, but you can place any 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" photo in it. A wood peg comes with it, so it can be propped up on a desk or you can hang it up on the wall. The sides are painted, so it doesn't need a frame. My sister made two of these in different shades of blue. I'm planning to make a lot more of them in different colors. This one IS for sale. Just email me at if you're interested.
Since my sister, Melanee, loves things that look old, I knew she would love this style of painting. I learned it from Julie Prichard's online class, Layered Love. Find out all about her class on her blog. It's really a fun way to paint.

Me working in Melanee's studio creating the second layer of our Texture Paintings. See below what I made.

Melanee's Smile

This is a mixed media painting done with Golden paints and mediums on a 9"x12" canvas. (It's not for sale.) I named it Melanee's smile, because we were both smiling the whole time we painted together. It really means a lot to me and inspires me to keep learning and growing and most of all to keep painting. (I have one more to show you, but haven't scanned it yet.)

Textured Painting by Melanee Herrera

I learned this style of painting from the wonderful artist, Chris Cozen. Melanee doesn't usually paint with such bright colors, but loved the process of making it.

Textured Painting #2 by Melanee Herrera

Melanee does not want to sell these, because she said on her blog, that she cherishes them for the time we spent together creating them. Thanks for stopping by! Please leave a comment and let me know what you think. ~Nina/Ruthie~

Friday, September 4, 2009

My Sister's Antique Consignment Spaces

This is my youngest sister, Melanee Herrera, of Williamsport, PA. I stayed with her for one week on my recent vacation. It was mandatory to drive 30 miles south to Lewisburg, where she has three consignment spaces in two locations.

In addition to selling antiques, she's an artist. She made the teddy bear on the small red chair, as well as the needle punched, oval framed cat picture hanging on the hutch next to her. You can see it better in the photo below. She loves to create art pieces which look old and worn. She also makes dolls, mixed media art pieces and assemblages. Check out her blog when you get a chance.

She loves nothing better than going to flea markets, garage sales and any place people are getting rid of their old treasures. She loves anything vintage, which is also charming, unique, interesting and old.

She loves antique furniture, dishes, clocks, typewriters, phones, picture frames, kitchen stuff, pottery, dolls, books, clothes, dishes, toys, figurines and anything that might be collectible. She's well known for getting people to find something they love so much they want to start a collection. Melanee gave me an old Bakelite radio years ago and I've always wanted to start a collection and will one day when space allows.

If you're in the Lewisburg area, please stop in to the The Silver Moon Consignment Barn. It's at the site of the former drive in theater. Here's a link to her blog showcasing early PA folk primitives, quilts, furniture and more.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Celebration Continues for The Blue Bombers!

These photo's were taken from the website The sheer joy on the boys faces immediately after their win, makes me smile every time I look at them.
I've taken a bit of teasing from my friends that I vacationed in Williamsport, PA during the week of the Little League World Series, where my hometown was playing -- and I didn't even go to a game. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know hahaha. I watched it on TV like most of the rest of the world, despite being three minutes away. I was staying with my sister Melanee who lives in South Williamsport, just down the road from the Robert Lamade Little League World Series Stadium. I was excited to cheer on the kids from Park Lane Little League in Chula Vista, which is just south of San Diego.

Here's a photo of the some of the folks in San Diego County cheering for The World Champs. The team was front page news and the feel good story of the summer here in San Diego. Most of the TV newscasts led with the story of the boys come from behind win, as they beat Taiwan-China on 08/30/09. I was thrilled for them and so happy they received so much support to finance the trip. The Blue Bombers never gave up and created memories that will last a life time.
San Diego Padre Adrian Gonzales

The boys had to come down to earth when they returned home from Williamsport and went back to school; but they were treated like rock stars. The authorities let the boys skip school on Monday, so they could meet and hang out with the San Diego Chargers.
They also had dinner with their hero, San Diego Padre Adrian Gonzales, who also hails from Chula Vista.
The Blue Bombers were greeted by 9,000 screaming fans at a small stadium in the South Bay. Comedian/actor George Lopez was there to welcome the team home and gave each of the boys an I-touch. You can watch a fun video of George and the boys here.
Thursday night, the whole team appeared on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.
The San Diego Padres will welcome the team to batting practice on September 12. The Padres will also host the Park View Little League team at PETCO Park before their game against the Rockies. Players will arrive in limos, get a clubhouse tour, meet the Pads, watch batting practice and get a few swings in themselves.
Thank you boys, for the smiles, the joy and all the excitement you generated. Watching you live your dreams made a lot of people very happy. As a town, we're very proud of you kids!