Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ever Donate Your Art?

Dragonfly Dreams

Gordon Gekko was wrong ... giving is good. Earlier this month, a Twitter pal of mine held a charity benefit to pay for a family member's medical treatments and I wanted to help. (You can read about it here.) When I heard it included a silent auction, a loving voice in my head whispered, "Why not donate one of my paintings?" Just as suddenly, the image of the above painting popped into my head.

This particular painting, "Dragonfly Dreams," was promised to three different buyers; but stuff happens and the sale fell through each time. That convinced me it wanted to be out in the world, or at least out of my apartment. So I figured, I'd give it away and hope it would go to a loving home.

Life really surprises me sometimes and this turned out to be one of those times. A woman who already owns more of my paintings than anyone else - bid on it and won! 

 Kim holding her new work of art

I met Ms. Kim Fritz late last year at a local cafe and showed her a few pieces she had expressed interest in. She ended up buying my "Purple Birds" painting. I had a set of four flower paintings on vinyl which I hadn't yet delivered to the buyer and she liked them so much -- she commissioned a set for herself! She also bought a few of my handmade cards. 

Purple Birds: 8x10" acrylic on wood

The above are the original set of four, reverse acrylic paintings on vinyl, stapled to a stretched canvas, as taught by the wonderful artist, Chris Cozen. These were 4x4", but Kim wanted 8x8", so I landed my first commission. I showed the process on an earlier blog post here.

I don't recall which card she purchased or I'd show you that as well. Kim liked it so much, she had it framed. With the addition of her new piece from the silent auction, she now owns a total of seven pieces. Looks like I have my first collector! 

I know a lot of artists are asked to donate their work, so I'm wondering what stories you might have to share about your experience with giving. It must be awkward to get bombarded with requests, but this felt really good and I hope I'll be in a position to do it again someday. 

Feel free to leave a comment or send an email to my new address:  Thanks for stopping by!

Vintage Fish: 8x10" on hard wood, canvas-type, box; acrylic paint, vintage collage papers, Shapie poster paint pens. For sale: $75.00
 (I wasn't able to get a scan that showed the luminosity of the interference paints at the bottom of the piece. It's quite vibrant.)


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Is Your Creativity Blocked? I Found Some Help!

I was doing some blog hopping today and came across an inspiring post from a fellow San Diego artist friend, Davielle Huffman. Her blog, was all about being blocked in her creative life. I hope it doesn't sound mean that I got inspired by her lack of inspiration, because I mean that in the best possible way. We're talking solutions here!

I subscribe to Christine Kane's newsletter and recently read a very helpful post which addressed that exact issue. I'd been meaning to post it here, but I've been busy procrastinating and avoiding more than a few things in my life that would definitely make it better. (I'll post about that another time.)

Okay, I felt guilty when I read this list, because I do a few of these things (#1) and umm .. I'm not ready to change these bad habits today. Perhaps you and Davielle will think differently.

7 Tried-and-True Ways to Block Your Creativity
by Christine Kane

"I'm totally blocked."

"I'm not creative."

"I can't even begin to work on all these ideas I get."

These statements have one thing in common.

They're totally false.

Like it or not. You
ARE creative. You have no choice but to be creative. It's your nature!

Yea yea yea. I know. It's WAY uncool of me to point that out.

After all, if you're really truly creative, then [gasp!] you might actually have to do something about it! (The horror!)

Some people spend
years perfecting the art of stuffing down their creative impulses, convincing themselves of their lack of talent and ideas.

How do they do it?

Well, let me show you the way! I've been there a time or two. And here's 7 of my Tried-and-True Ways to Block Your Creativity...


1 - Check your email first thing in the morning.

Every morning when you wake up, you have a choice. Do you want to be a Creator? Or do you want to hit the ground running as a Reactor?

If you chose the latter, then Bravo! Perfect for blocking your creative impulses!

Here's why.

When you wake up and run to the computer first thing, you shut off your deep creative voices as they come to the surface. You tell them, "No no no! We'll have none of that! This is more important."

And by THIS, you mean "Everyone Else's Agenda."

When you do that, you're simply saying to the Universe, "I'd rather just spend the day reacting, thank you."

And the Universe says, "You got it."

2 - Worry about results before you begin.

Now, THIS is a good one.

Spend lots of time obsessing about whether your final product - be it speech, book, song, or business idea - is any good. If you're careful, you can burn up as much as 8 hours each day with this thought - all the while getting NOTHING done!

When I got the idea for my song, "No Such Thing as Girls Like That," I lost a good two days listening to thoughts that said, "This is a lame idea."

I called my friend Kathy hoping that she would help me kill my creativity. I shared my idea and asked her if she agreed it was a bad idea.

Alas, she did not join in.

She said, "Tell you what, Christine. Why don't you write it, and
then we'll decide if it's good?"


(Friends like Kathy will only trick you into actually doing the work! Don't call them!)

3 - Try to be perfect right from the start.

"Books are not written, they are re-written," said Michael Crichton.

Aw, what did he know anyway?

If you want to keep that creativity at a stand still, then believe this instead:

Books, songs, paintings, entrepreneurial ventures...

Their creators all get it right on the first try!

Ask any Creative type. They'll all tell you: Their art always
comes out perfectly and fully formed the first time!

And if you can't figure out how to get it perfect on the first try...

Then there's no hope.

Go grab some Cheetos and watch Sponge Bob.

4 - Worry about what people will think.

I've gotten loads of mileage out of this one.

In fact, allow me to tell you about an old music review.

I got ripped apart. BAD.

The critic was out for blood, telling her readers that I had become the "Critic's Darling" - but she was here to set the story straight. (It was like my own private showing of "Mean Girls.")

That was years ago.

But even now, if I ever want to stay stuck for hours, I invite that reviewer to hang out. "C'mon!" I say. "Tell me what you think of this verse! In fact, tell me what you think of ME while you're at it!"

Let ANYONE have a say about your wild creative side -- critics, friends, parents, siblings, mentors, bosses, co-workers -- and you've got yourself a life-long, sorority-sister, BFF relationship with being blocked.

5 - Require a Guarantee.

Do this:

Sit down at your desk. (Or at your piano. Or in your studio.)

Roll up your sleeves.

Rub your hands together and say the following out loud:

"This had better be really good. In fact, this had better win a big huge award of some sort and make me really famous."

Then begin.

6 - Struggle.

(Like you need me to explain this one.)

7 - Wait til you're INSPIRED.

Everyone knows how it works if you're really truly creative:

You wait.

And you wait some more.

You stare at clouds.

You eat some bon-bons.

Out of nowhere, the "muse" comes to you. She takes your hand and leads you seductively to your desk. (She looks a lot like Liv Tyler in
Lord of the Rings.)

Dreamily, you ask the muse what, oh what, should you write.

And she tells you. It's like taking dictation. And you know for sure that you are, indeed, one of the chosen few. The ones who are... CREATIVE!

That will surely happen if you wait...

and wait...

and wait...

and wait...

Christine Kane is the Mentor to Women Who are Changing the World. She helps women uplevel their lives, their businesses and their success. Her weekly LiveCreative eZine goes out to over 12,000 subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can sign up for a F.R.E.E. subscription at


Thank you Christine and Davielle for the inspiration I needed and for helping me admit publicly that I am struggling. - Nina/Ruthie

An original Painting without a frame; "Pink & Blue Texture;" 8x10" Stretched Canvas, acrylic paint with tons of gels and paste by Golden. The color that looks "tan" is actually a mixture of gold and bronze iridescent paint and has a shine/glow to it. I finished it least 6 weeks ago and never bothered to show anyone.

Monday, June 21, 2010

My Lakers Are The NBA Champions 2010!

Today is the parade to celebrate the big win for the NBA Champion L.A. Lakers. I won't be attending (hate crowds), but I'm still celebrating and feeling the big win from Thursday night. 

A lot of people counted them out (haters, critics and band wagon fans), but I never doubted for a minute that my boys would win it all. I actually cried when they won and had a tough time getting to sleep that night. I haven't felt that happy in a very long time.

This was the 16th NBA championship win for the Laker franchise.
l to r; Sasha Vujacic, Derek Fisher, Kobe, Kareem Abdul Jabar

This was the second time Kobe Bryant won for MVP in the NBA finals and the fifth win for Kobe and Derek Fisher. Kobe calls Fish the "emotional leader" of the Lakers.
Kobe and Ray Allen
 Artest, Fish, Kobe
Mr. and Mrs. Derek Fisher

This was the first ring for Ron Artest.
Ron Artest gave one of the most exuberant and unusual post interviews on the court after the game; where he thanked his hood and his psychiatrist and promoted his new record!

Artest also had a pretty funny post game interview with his family. He entered the room yelling, "Wheaties!" and really had a blast. No one was keeping this guy from having the time of his life.

Of course none of this would have been possible without the great power forward, Pau Gasol. Everything turned around for the better when he joined the Lakers in 2007. Pau had an incredible series and played amazing basketball.
 Pau Gasol reacting to a field goal
Tony Allen wrestling Pau Gasol

Kobe and Pau hugging it out

Shannon Brown, Kobe, Artest

One of the highlights of the finals was Shannon Brown in Game 6 with the alley oop. Watch this!

The NBA coach with the most wins, Phil Jackson picked up his 11th title as coach. Artest called Phil the, "Zen Master" of the team. Hopefully his health will be good enough to endure a few more seasons with the Lakers.
Phil celebrating after Game 7 win

I have to give props to the Celtics. It's not like they didn't give it there all, but no amount of praying kept the title away from the Lakers. Lots of sad folks in green at Staples Center on Thursday night. But we can't all be winners. Obviously, someone has to lose.
 Maria Menounos and Dane Cook (this must've been taken in the first half of game 7 when they were winning.)

I never expected it to be a cake walk for the Lakers. The Celtics played hard, especially the big three; Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnet and Ray Allen. But it was Rajon Rondo who impressed me the most. That little dude was the most consistent of them all. Even in the beat down in Tuesday's game, Rondo came through. They wouldn't have made it to game 7 without him.
 l to r; Jason Farmar and Rondo
My "radio boyfriend" Luke Walton didn't play much in the finals, but I had to include a photo of him here.
Luke is in the center in the backwards black hat next to Bynum.
I would be remiss not to show some of the celebrities at Staples who showed up to watch our team win. I've only included celeb's who've I've seen attending games all season long.

Jack Nicolson
Hillary Swank
Diane Lane and Josh Brolin
Leonardo DeCaprio and Kevin Connely
David Spade, Chris Rock, Kevin James, Adam Sandler
Usher and Ryan Seacrest
Sean Combs and Snoop Dogg
Lenny Kravitz

If you missed it, the Lakers were on Jimmy Kimmel's show Friday night. Click here to watch the video's. It was wonderful to see them smiling and so relaxed - just having a good time with each other. They were in high spirits now that the stress of their hard work is behind them. Also, free-agent, Derek Fisher, announced he would indeed be signing on for another term with the Lakers.

I'm looking forward to Halloween when the pre-season begins and we do it all over again. Thank you Lakers, for a great season and a very entertaining playoff series! I hope you have a wonderful summer enjoying the fruits of your labor and all that damn money!

All of the photo's came from, The L.A. Times, AP, NBA, Reuters, and Fox5sandiego.