Monday, November 12, 2012

Know Thyself! Questions Every Artist Should Ask!

Know Thyself!
This applies in many ways to being an artist but what reminds me of this every time I paint is the palette that I use.  For years I used a handheld wooden palette that had to be cleaned right after you used it while the paint was still wet and waxed a little to keep the oil from setting in.

I had a tendency to get paint all over me when I held a palette!

 Why did I use it?  Because my first painting teacher required it for class and thought that it was the best choice.  The only reason I remember that he gave was because it was a medium value (wasn't too light or too dark) and had a warm tone.  Of course since he had been painting longer than I had been alive I followed everything he said without question.

My wooden palette will forever look like this!  I didn't clean it off the last time I used it and so it stuck!

Why did I stop using it?  After I got pregnant I stopped painting for a while but not before I used my wooden palette one last time and didn't clean it off!  So I have a palette that will have paint on it forever and ever.  I have to be honest.  I had done this once before and I scrapped off all the old paint and refinished it.  Of course I will never go through all that again.

What did I replace it with?
While I was at Laguna College of Art I bought a Masterson Air Tight Palette.  I think that might have been required but I don't remember.  I used it for a long time to store my wooden palette.  When I got back to oil painting after having my daughter I took one of my glass cutting boards and put in the Masterson palette.  Now I don't have to worry about when I clean my palette because all I have to do is scrap the glass with a razor blade and I'm ready to paint!  Another difference is that it is not a handheld palette.  So I have to have something to set my palette on because it is to big to hold.  I use an old tv tray table, it is a little bit cumbersome when I paint plein air (on location) but I would rather deal with the bulky table than a wooden palette.

Know Thyself!

Think about your personality and the way you like to paint.  Here are some questions to get you started:

Would you rather clean up after you paint or before?
Do you paint with long breaks? ie. paint in the morning take the afternoon off and continuing painting at night
Do you like to hold your palette or could you make your setup so that you can place it on a table?
Do you mind getting paint on your clothes?  (its easier for me to stay clean if I don't have to hold it)

Don't just accept what someone else has said is the best and/or only way to do something!  There are as many techniques and supplies to painting as their are different styles of painting.  The possibilities are endless so don't be afraid to try something new!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


 Hello Ya'll!  This month is my birthday!  A couple of years back we started "birthday holiday", which means you get to celebrate your birthday for 3-4 days usually with date night, girls night, family night etc.  It all started with my lawful sister, Rachel, when she turned 30.  Well, my awesome husband decided that the month of November is going to be my holiday!  How did I get so lucky?  The picture above shows my birthday card that he gave me on November 1st (my birthday is the 21st)  Its so pretty I'm going to frame it!  Anyways back on topic, the rules for birthday holiday are:
  •  every Thursday I get to pick my favorite restaurant (he actually outlined of my favorites but told me I could change them if I wanted).  
  • This past Thursday I got a special treat instead of dinner.  We went to Maxie B's in Greensboro. 
  • 8th-Red Robin
  • 15th- Greek
  • 29th Jacks
  • Plus I get a birthday dinner on the 17th of a surprise restaurant!  
Now the PRESENTS!  I get to choose how to receive them by 1 of 4 ways.

  • largest to smallest
  • smallest to largest
  • pick each week (they are wrapped)
  • let me decide
I choose to let Brian decide!  How fun is this?  I can tell you its really fun and I REALLY needed some fun!  I will make sure I keep you all updated on my presents because I know ya'll are curious what they are going to be!  I know I am!

This is Maxie B's in Greensboro.  We had never been but had read about it in Southern Living magazine.

 They had a good 40+ cakes to choose a slice from plus cupcakes, cookies, and pie!  It was crazy!  I wanted them all!

 There is my cute little family!  Brian doesn't know that I'm taking his picture but I think Faith does!  They had a table in the front window that is almost like having a private room and we snagged it!

I picked a piece of apple cake with caramel icing. It was UNBELIEVABLE!  It was my favorite of all the ones we tried.  There are actual chunks of apple in the cake.  It was so moist and yummy I just can't even describe it!

Faith picked the Oreo cookie cake.  The icing tasted just like Oreo's!  And Faith almost ate the entire piece by herself!  Of course she ended up with tummy ache by the time we got home.

 Faith with her cake.

 My second choice (because Brian let me choose what we would both be eating since we were sharing and its my birthday holiday!)  is chocolate chip pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing!  I have to try pumpkin everything!  It was fantastic!  It was like a pumpkin punched you in the mouth in a good way!  Just kidding, it just sounded fun to say.  The cake doesn't really punch you in the face but boy does it taste good!

 This is the view from our table.  I loved the ambiance of this great little place.  They have really gone all out and paid attention to detail for the ulitmate experience.  Now if we could just replace all the Starbuck's with a Maxie B I would be in heaven!  Brian even decided he was going to buy my birthday cake from there too!  Its going to be a whole month of CAKE!!!!! 
You can find Maxie B's on Battleground Ave.
2403 Battleground Avenue
Greensboro, NC 27408
Phone: 336.288.9811

And they have the best hours!  A lot of bakeries close before dinner but this one stays open nice and late!
Mon-Thurs: 9 am-10:00pm
Fri-Sat: 9 am-11:00 pm
Sun: 11 am-10:00 pm