Friday, December 31, 2010

Bye bye Christmas, Hello New Year!

Today is the last day of the year 2010, and tomorrow we greet 2011. We had a great Christmas in the Clayden family, Hip Chick got a zoom lens and photoshop so she can get even more tutu pictures next year! I had no idea photoshop was SO complicated so I will have to take a deep breath, say "Ommmmm" and learn patience and persistence to understand it. My friend Molly came over to give me a lesson and her son was a programmer for photoshop and even he said it's a lot to learn. Note to self, it's ok to not try and get this in 5 mins. or less. haha. So as the Christmas season leaves I happily put away all the decorations, tree and signs of clutter at home while everyone in the family is gone. For those of you who know me my favorite saying is 'when it's time to change you gotta re-arrange'....sha na na na na na na na na, sha na na na na.......Partridge famiy, good Christmas is GONE at home and now it's GONE at the shop as of yesterday. BA-BYE...there was much to pack up and put away, as we all know. Much more fun to put it out then to take down for sure.
Now I have a clear palette for the new year and for my par-tay January 15th. For those of you who don't know, I turn one year old Jan 16th and I thought we better celebrate this occasion with a party. We are having John Richmond play his sweet sounds as he was our maestro last year and we throughly enjoyed it. We will have food, drinks, dancing in Daisy and tutu performances by my lovely daughter and friends. A fun day will be had, so I am stocking the store in the hopes of much support and activity.
Yesterday as my friend Annie and I were taking down Christmas we had some customers come in who made my day. Nick and Michelle with their daughter Olive drove all the way from Fremont to visit Hip Chick Designs! I was so honored! Nick had come by about a month previous and purchased a tin storage bin for his lovely wife, just because. What a guy! He told his wife about the shop and she wanted to come see what was going on, sadly she came on a Tuesday and I wasn't there. So sorry Michelle!! But she perservered and came back and boy am I glad they did! They purchased my metal locker so Michelle can display her collection of Pyrex bowls. Wonderful! I know how fun it is to collect things, being a Fiesta collector for years, and being able to display our collections is half the fun. Hopefully Michelle will share her treasure with a picture and I will post it, it's such fun to know what people do with the things they buy after they leave the shop. It's always bittersweet to part with things, I mean of course that's the point and yet you can't help but get a bit attached to some of the things you love. I do get pleasure knowing things are moving on and giving others pleasure, that's so much why I love having the shop. I love to meet people who are vintage treasure hunters and see their joy at acquiring a new purchase and hopefully see them again and again...that makes my 'job' satisfying. So thanks Michelle for making me feel so good yesterday, it's customers like you that make me feel purposeful.
This weekend is the Alameda antique fair, my playground and paradise. What to get? I'll know it when I see it. I bring wads of cash and never leave with a dollar in my pocket. They also have the best kettle corn on the planet. I can hardly stand it it's so good. So I say good bye to 2010, it was a good year. I started my dream business and had amazing adventures. I look forward to much more fun in 2011 and I hope you will join me January 15th to celebrate this fabulous ride. If not I want to thank you for taking time to read my blog, to cheer me on and to support the journey. Let's kick ass in 2011 together!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tutu's and birthdays

Today was Lisa's birthday, she's my new friend and I was happy to spend the day celebrating HER. Now obviously I packed the tutu's in the car, as I'm the tutu lady and I didn't have a picture of Lisa in one yet. I didn't know where we would take the pictures, I had some ideas but what's great about the tutu shots are they basically tell me where to go. The plan was lunch at Plum's in Oakland as I had recently read a write up giving it rave reviews. Sadly I was disappointed. We had a GOOD lunch not an excellent one so that's alright. I doubt I'll go back anytime soon. After lunch we headed to Lafayette and as I was getting lost( as usual) we made it a happy accident by busting out the tutus! We pulled over on top of the mountain so Lisa could let her birthday banner fly in the wind along with her purple tutu. Loved the birthday glow Lisa let loose....after the mountain top twirl we saw a funky farm and decided to check it out. I mean farms and tutu's go hand....and at the farm we found some adorable Jr. Hip Chick's Tamar and Mia. They were on the sidelines watching us take pictures so I said "would you like to put the tutu's on?" and they eagerly said "YES"! They were naturals and the pictures really show the fun we all had. The girls twirled around and around and I watched tutu magic happen once again. The girls were asking me what am I doing with these pictures, and I told them, this is my job girls. And funny enough it is!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Pet portraits for Christmas

I love paintings pet portraits. Why you ask? I love painting anything but I especially love painting things that have meaning and our pets mean a lot to us. I love knowing whoever gets the pet portrait will be pleased as it's a thoughtful and special gift that you wouldn't ever expect. I have two recent portraits to share. One is for my friend Ann to give to her brother, the pugs. The other is a for a customer name Jack and his sister's dog is McFly, a Chihuahua . I did both of these this week and I am painting my husband's bosses dog soon as a thank you for our NY trip. I start with a charcoal sketch then I layer the paint, putting in lights and darks loosely in case I need to move things and I usually do. I LOVE acrylic as you can always just paint right over a spot and start fresh. I have always struggled with proportions and I usually have to adjust things so I am always grateful for the forgiving nature of acrylics. It's so wonderful to have commission paintings to do while I am at the shop. I love to make art and when people come in it's icing on the cake. When it's slow I am 'working' and doing what I love, a win win. I need to get the word out as pet portraits are affordable ($100) and fast, and a true keepsake gift. It only takes a picture so this can all be done via the internet folks. I shall be expanding this aspect of Hip Chick for my next year's goals. As always thanks for stopping by my blog and I really appreciate your support!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Open studios pictorial and Theatre of Dreams

Friday I went to Wendy Addison's studio in Port Costa for her open studios but sadly she was in NY at a promotional event.  I was hoping to get a shot of her in my red tutu for the portfolio...but it was still very stimulating to be in her studio among her incredible art pieces.  I wanted to buy everything!  I did buy a good bit and then saw the foster farm chickens in a red truck parked right in front of my car which made me smile...then it was off to get ready for the weekend....and what a weekend it was!
 I LOVE open studios!  The Arsenal is humming with good energy and enthusiastic art lovers and supporters.  It was so wonderful to have all my family and friends come to the shop and support my dream.  Thank you to all of you who made the journey.  It warms my heart to see my favorite people in my studio and then to share my joy of creativity, it is the icing on the cake.  The store feels so good when there are loads of people inside, all ohhing and ahhing and the music is's heaven.  I saw my peeps, my family, my friends and neighbors and met some new supporters as well.  I had good sales and good vibes and the weekend was a huge success.  The pictures really tell the story.  Saturday Ben (my hubbie) and Alex (our son) came to cheer me on and Sunday Abby (our daughter) and her friend Louise came to join in the fun and take tutu pictures....with their pointe shoes and let me tell you these girls can't take a bad picture.  GORGEOUS!  I feel incredibly blessed to be able to do what I love, create art and have my shop, in a place I love, the Arsenal, and then share it with people I love, YOU all.  It just doesn't get any better than that! 


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Open Studio weekend

Well it's Saturday at 8:11 and I am getting ready for the big weekend, it's our open studios at the Arsenal in Benicia. I have tried to spread this news ad nausem on facebook and with postcards etc. I never did post on my blog so better late than never right?! I have a new line of fragrances called ToykoMilk and they are yummy! plus loads of Christmas decor, art, cheery music, snacks and best of all ME! haha...
So I hope all you fans can come and celebrate this occasion, perhaps find some Christmas presents and have fun looking at all the art studios here in the Arsenal. I love open houses, I was always a snoop when I was young so when you can go in someone's private place it's a treat. There is every possible kind of art and flavor happening here, and the talent is enormous. I am honored to be a part of this community of creatively talented individuals. I feel like a kindergartner compared but at least I'm in the game ya know!! Pictures to follow of course so stay tuned and thanks for your support!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

ToykoMilk coming to Hip Chick

I am excited to announce the shop will be carrying ToykoMilk a luxurious line of yummy perfume, lotions, soaps and candles. These will hopefully be arriving in time for open studios this weekend so come on down and get some! I am psyched for the festivities and merriment...then we have Hip Chick's 1 year anniversary celebration coming up on January 15th. There will be dancing in Daisy, music by John Richmond, tasty treats and bubbly. There will also be a special tutu dance party presentation by my daughter and her friends so it's going to be FUN!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pay it forward- December 1, 2010

pay it forward Pictures, Images and Photos

Did you see the movie Pay it forward? It was excellent. Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, Haley Joel Osment were the cast if this movie from 2000. Here's what it's about.....
"Everything in social studies teacher Eugene Simonet's life is in order--every shirt, every pencil, every person in its proper place. To keep the surface placid means never having to go deeper. And no one and nothing in his life has ever asked him to. Arlene McKinney is a single mother hanging on by her fingertips, working two jobs, and struggling to raise her son, Trevor. She is trying to give him a new life, but in her absence she is losing him. Eugene gives Trevor's class an assignment: look at the world around you and fix what you don't like. But can you fix people? "
I've seen this movie a few times and every time I am moved and affected. I love the concept that Trevor created which was to do 3 random acts of kindness and if those 3 people pay it forward then eventually everyone would be doing good deeds. Tomorrow is official "Pay it forward" day according to David Del Mundo. He posted on facebook an invite that December 1st is official pay it forward day, and he asked people to join. I happily agreed. It's easy to pay it forward, the hard part is in being anonymous. I often do random acts of kindness but I usually get thanked for it. The real test is doing it and not having any praise and acknowledgment. So I thought of different things to do for it and settled on distributing 8 poinsettias with Merry Christmas from someone who cares to the people in hospice. I would like to give everyone one, and I will let the staff figure out who gets them but it's a start. The reason I'm sharing this is not for praise but to inspire you to do the same tomorrow in whatever way you find enjoyable. I like to support good causes and this is a good one to be sure. I thought about buying people Starbucks but I really wanted to reach someone who needs a lift. I think I will make December a pay it forward month and do as many acts of kindness as I can. I just wanted to be sure and do something for the launch. If you haven't seen the movie, get it. If you've never paid it forward, try it. You will get just as much out of it as the person who receives it, if not more. And remember "Tis the season".....

This is David's post for Pay it forward on facebook..
David's 2nd Annual
Pay It Forward Day
December 1st, 2010

‘Tis the Season! A random act of kindness goes a long way so…


What can you do?
ON DEC. 1st...
• Pay for someone’s cup of coffee…
• Buy someone some groceries…
• Get the next person’s gas…
• Help someone out…
• Donate something…
• Be creative!!!

When you do something for someone there’s a good chance they’ll do something for someone else. If not, at least you’ve done a good deed for someone.

So on December 1st share some kindness and spread some joy! It can be as little as a few dollars or as much as you want. No one needs to know!

Join me, won’t you?

(I'm trying to make this a national event so spread the word. Maybe one day it'll be a nationally recognized day!)

I won't be offended if you don't decide to participate, but please... spread the word!

pay it forward Pictures, Images and Photos

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


November is gratitude month in AA.  For those of you who know me you know I am in this program.  For those of you who don't know me now you know.  Haha.  I am proud of this and I do not hide my anonymity.  I have been sober for 9 years, and being sober is the best thing I ever did.  I'm not going to go on and on about sobriety, although this is what I'm most grateful for.  Without my sobriety I am lost.  I am floundering and I am a mental mess.  With sobriety I have clarity, direction and purpose.  Most of all I have gratitude.
I just want you to take a minute right now and mentally list the things you are grateful for..........when you are finished I will list mine......

I am going to freely brainstorm them now......
life, family, friends, AA, health, higher power, sunshine, clouds, air, oceans and warm water, gentle breezes, laughter, smiles, tears.  Colors and light, art, paper, paint, and books.  Cupcakes, ice cream, sunflower seeds and fizzy juice, Bass Lake, St. Croix and memories.  My husband who I have grown up with and continue to grow old with and my two astonishing children Alex and Abby.  I am humbled by their goodness and always impressed with their uniqueness.  My shop Hip Chick and how it has enabled me to grow as an artist and business woman.  It teaches me what I want and where I want to go on a daily basis.  I have gratitude for my creative journey and it's never ending expansion.  I am grateful for my family of origin and tomorrow being with them all for Thanksgiving, all except my brother who I am grateful is now joining me in sobriety.  I am grateful for all my friends who love and support me, encourage and inspire me.  I am grateful I live in America, I have food, water, shelter, good health and money to live comfortably.  I am grateful for so much more but now I must stop as I should be going to the shop.....I just wanted to get a quick post up before I left.

I would LOVE to hear what YOU"RE grateful for, I love feedback and you are just as important to me as I am to you.  I am grateful for YOU too.

Happy Thanksgiving from Hip Chick Carrie

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Phil Hansen has got it
Stumbled upon this video of Phil Hansen and he just blew my brains.  The dude's got it.  I mean talent, complex ideas and the ability to produce something fresh.   This humbles me.  Could make me jealous but that's just silly, so instead I salute him.  BRAVO Phil!you deserve all the recognition you receive and I shall be an admirer of what you do.....
It's funny about art.  It's so personal and specific to the artist, like Phil's work is what is important to him.  I like to think I'm an artist and yet I still get blocked on how to convey what is important to me in my work.  I opt for what pleases me instead.  I opt for visually interesting instead of sending a message. Sometimes I capture a moment that was particularly poignant, and this feels good. Yet I aim to put complex messages into my art and to do it in a fresh way.  That's a tall order and the key is in not pressuring myself.  That's a real buzz kill, "PRESSURE", a creative fire extinguisher....It's a trap and I am tuned in to it which helps me to sidestep it if I'm lucky...By suiting up and showing up, my art will evolve and go where it's meant to.  It's always changing and growing and I just have to get my ego outta the way.  My ego tells me it sucks, it's been done, what's the point, I should be doing something more pertinent, yatta yatta...real friendly stuff like that.  It never says, "Gee Carrie you are learning and trying new things, good for you.  Who cares if it isn't perfect, pretty and 'sale able"....I have to train my brain against the ego's's like a bad guy with the dark suit and hat who creeps out from the dark alley and says I'm gonna get ya...the good news is I won't let him get me, I'm always just a few steps ahead of him,yet he's lurking and if I'm not careful he could grab me and then , "poof", I'm screwed....ok this sounds very mellow dramatic but it FEELS very real.  Those who create, understand the nerve wracking that goes along with the joy, the angst and the ecstasy...the creative blocks and the breakthroughs, it's all part of the creative process, and there's no better ride I'd rather be on........

Friday, November 12, 2010

Christmas has come to Hip Chick's

It's all sparkly at the shop people as I love decorating for Christmas. I didn't get to have Christmas at the shop last year, we were in transition, painting and getting ready for opening in January. So it's fun to put the trees up, and the decorations and throw fake snow about and sing deck the halls.....hahaha. Ok I'm not really singing Christmas carols yet, don't worry, that's kinda gross at this point, nor am I even putting Christmas music on until it's DECEMBER but I do have the festive spirit now that the shop is decked. I had a productive day making things today, I had a black hat I embellished with paper, ribbon, feather and flower bow. Wha-la...fabulous! and I made a collage with some Paris images and paper, glitter and glue, oh the fun of glue let me tell you. This is one fabulous element. I can't get enough of it...I want to collage everything...people, places, things....haha... I also LOVE my triple thick gloss which I put on top of a collage to really seal and age it. The large multi color piece has the goop and it just coagulates beautifully. I wanted to share my efforts with those of you who care, you know who you are...and I hope to see all of you for our open studios in December on the 11th and 12th from 10-4. Treats and festivities will abound, so don't miss out on the fun, as always thanks for your support....ho ho ho...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

San Damiano tutu shots

Monday I took the red tutu to San Damiano in Danville for a photo shoot. It was a gray day and not ideal for picture taking but I didn't care too much. You gotta go when the mood strikes regardless of lighting, and I had a chunk of time so I drove on up and wandered around. Here's San Damiano in a nutshell....."OUR MISSION is to provide a peaceful environment of natural beauty where spiritual renewal and growth may be sought by people of all faiths and backgrounds. In the spirit of St. Francis and guided by the Franciscan traditions of joy, hospitality, compassion, peace and simplicity, we offer contemporary and challenging retreats and programs in response to the changing needs of God's people." This retreat is in the heart of downtown Danville at the top of Highland Dr. and many people go there for retreats, gatherings, spiritual healing and quiet. Not many people are there taking pictures with tutus but then again I am kinda quirky....
I envisioned a tutu shrine shot and mine is ok, nothing exceptional but not every photo shoot produces the epic shot. But the point isn't always to get the perfect shot but to have fun and see what happens. I had a few curious looks for sure but no one seemed to mind the silly girl and her red is a place to embrace all people and all spirituality. My tutu is a form of spirituality, it brings me peace, happiness and joy. It also brings many people peace, happiness and joy so this encourages me to keep playing with it.
Today Ben my husband decided to tackle our hairy beast of a dog, Chester. He is a combo German Shepherd and Poodle and one big ball of fur. Kinda like a Rastafarian dog when we let his hair grow long. It gets all matted and clumpy and NASTY. Being we are kinda cheapskates and don't want to fork over $100 to tame this hairy beast, we have the home job kit. Scissors and a electric razor. Ben is the groomer and he does surprisingly well with it. When it's cattiwamus well that just gives Chester that unique hip look that you just can't get from a professional groomer..


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Flying first class

A miracle occurred, out of the blue, and rocked my world. For the first time EVER the pilots wives were invited on the Global by Ellen (bosses wife). She was going empty to Boston and NY for 3 nights, four days and I jumped at it. We had to get up at 4:30 AM Saturday, this was the only bummer of the whole trip, but who cares when you get there and it's all first class livin'....We took off in seconds, that jet gets up fast, and I kicked it in my plush leather seat, and was served a hot towel with lemon for my cleaning pleasure. This was the way of it, I got a meal served on white linen, crystal glasses and sterling silver cutlery, I had choices for what to eat, I chose split pea soup and a caprese salad. I had a television as big as what we have at home and I could get up and do whatever I wanted for the whole flight!! This was the best part, you see I'm not actually into flying, AT ALL. I am quite the opposite, if I never had to fly that would be just dandy but unfortunately it's the main mode of transpo to get places. Especially as my hubbie is a pilot! That being said, I loved the contact I had with the flight crew, I got to chat with the guys in the cabin and even sat in the co-pilot seat, learned about how the plane works, good to know info, and chat up Susan our lovely flight attendant. Before I knew it we were in Boston and we walk off the plane and into our rental car....SNAP...just like that. Ahhh the ease of it.
Boston was chilly and beautiful, we had a family trip there about 5 years ago so I was familiar with it's charm. We ate dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant, "Giacomo's" where you just line up outside for a table and they always have a line as they are that good. The next day we wanted to see some fall foliage and I wanted to bring along the tutu as it had been awhile since I had a fresh tutu shot. Got some by a lake we stumbled across and then we headed to the Colonial Inn for a "Lobsta Roll" , a Boston tradition, heaps of lobster with some mayo on a hot dog bun.....YUMMY! After lunch we found my dream store called nesting, full of Hip Chick style items, I bought a few and was happily satiated as we left Boston to fly to NY that night.
All corporate jets fly to Teterboro airport if they are going to NY due to such high volume of traffic and it was my first time at this FBO (flight based operations) the FBO was SWANKY like a fancy Elle Decor magazine interior and a grand piano in the corner, there was a huge pilot's lounge and all the celebs and the richey riches go through on a regular basis. I was in this is how the other half lives.....NICE! Our flight was only 45 mins, that's my kind of flying and then we drove about as much to get into the city, Times Square was our destintation. It was on. It's always on in NY and at Times Square. And this day just so happened to be Halloween. Thank God I thought to bring my tutu's and a mask in case I was feeling feisty....they were quite popular. Ben and I walked around Times Square and tourist stopped me and asked if I would take a picture with them, it was hilarious! And fun! Of course I was more then happy to oblige and then I took pictures with various costumed folk, it was hoppin! We heard there was a rockin parade in Grennich Village so we headed down and it was so packed we could barely see a thing. But everywhere we went there we people dressed up, having a good time and that made it worth the trip. Note to self, Halloween is HUGE in NY....
Next day was mellow, our only full day of non travel so we soaked up the concierge lounge and set off walking the streets. Had lunch at Eataly which is a huge Italian compound of little restaurants and markets. We bought some fresh pasta to take to Jeff's house for dinner (Ben's oldest friend) and it was a smash hit. We watched the Giants win the World Series and it was all good.....Tuesday was our last day and we ran in central park where they were setting up for the Marathon, it was a chilly, clear day and I love running in the park. Later we went to Chelsea and had a lovely french lunch and walked on the highline a new above ground walkway, very chic, artsy and scenic, in an industrial area of the city. I even squeezed in a thrift shop and felt like things could'nt have been better.. But there was one big finale after all that waiting at the teterboro airport. I saw Zach Galifianakis from The Hangover and Robert Downey Jr. a few minutes later. Robert was with his wife and I didn't want to bug him but Zach was alone so I asked if I could take a picture and he said sure. I want to camp out at the FBO and see how many celebs I can count in a that was my trip, a real whirlwind of first class travel, fun sights, quality time with Ben, and unexpected pleasures...sometimes life has a way of just surprising you and exceeding all of your expectations..


Friday, October 22, 2010

India Collage

India Collage
I made this India Collage for Kat, my friend and best customer.  I previously made a Paris collage and she saw it, and bought it and loved it.  After wards she decided she needed two side by side and she came up with the India idea as it's spiritual place she has always wanted to visit.  Both collages are meant to manifest her journeys to Paris and India and they will hang above her bed where she can dream of her trips....I absolutely love making collages, they are a breath of fresh air in that they are new and fast and I like the aged quality they convey.  Sky is the limit when it comes to the creativity in collaging and I am only just discovering the possibilities.  The only thing I am using is paper, Elmer's glue, photo's and glitter, the finale is my new favorite sealer, triple gloss.  I love the texture and depth it creates and it really sealed everything solid.  These collages can be custom made and are only $45.00 for a 11x14.  I hope you like them as much as I do......thanks for checking in on my happenings....

Monday, October 11, 2010

Homecoming and stuff

Saturday night was the homecoming dance for SRVHS and Abby my daughter went with her friend Jeff McGill. All the kids went to Kendyls for pictures and there were about 50 couples all looking smashing in their fancy clothes. I drove Abby and her friends to the dance and after I dropped them off I reminisced about being a freshman. Many people think it's such an awkward time and yet it was a fantastic time. Everything was fresh, new and exciting. Just as Abby is blossoming so it happens, the high school years are actually quite a fun time, sadly I wasted mine on partying. My children are much smarter than me and they seek out friends who make smart choices and have fun naturally. My son made it through high school without any problems, now we will see if we're so lucky with our Abby. So far so good. She shines and radiates happiness, high school agrees with her. It's full of activities and friends and she loves these things. I love seeing her happy of course and it made my day to take her picture for the homecoming dance.

Last week was SLOW at the shop, I did some painting to keep busy and tried some different techniques which I share in the slide show. I layered paper and images for the Paris art and I like the vintage look it achieves. I also tried my hand at a self portrait of me when I was about 7 and I still need to work on it to get ME in it. I had a lady say "it looks like he's older than he is in the picture." I laughed because I used to get asked if I was a boy or girl as my hair was so short and it always annoyed me. I don't get asked that anymore thankfully!


Monday, October 4, 2010

Daily Meditation

Today I begin a new practice, one of daily meditation.  I have never consistently meditated and yet I have always aimed to.  By acknowledging this, I strive to implement this into my daily routine just as I do my morning cup of coffee.  I have admired the discipline of meditation as it takes great devotion to quiet an active mind.  It's one of those things I mean to get around to.  You know how it is, I'm too busy to meditate.  But am I?  No, I make time for things that are important, as we all do.  If I make meditation a priority then I will have time for it.  It's difficult to commit to because it seems frivolous.  And yet it's benefits are proven effective for better health overall.  I am trying this for 30 days as this is a reasonable time to acquire a new routine.  Whose with me?
Meditation Pictures, Images and Photos

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Bareback rider

Yesterday I worked on my bareback tutu painting, I reduced the mountains and added more sky.  I was inspired by an article I read in American Artists magazine lent to me from Bob my studio mate.  The article was on an artist named Victoria Adams whose work I admire and got to see recently when we were on a road trip to Idaho.  She has giant paintings in the Gail Severn Gallery, a very posh place and her work is captivating due her use of light.  She uses 70% of the painting as sky and her dramatic use of clouds is envious.  I love wide open spaces, and the feeling of them so I wanted to incorporate it more into this piece.  It's still in progress, I am struggling with the horse, I have never painted a horse before and I am being challenged by it.  I will preserver and post more pictures as I continue working on it.  I took some pictures of the shop to update my website and I am too rushed this morning to post them.  Garage sale day today, you understand.  I will post them soon, Miriam my helper and I edited out things and opened up the shop for better flow and gallery viewing.  Gotta go or everyone else will get the goodies..................

Monday, September 27, 2010

Arts Benicia Gala

Friday was the Arts Benicia annual Gala which is its biggest fundraiser all year. This was my first time going and I really enjoyed it. My friends Terin and Gary along with Patrick and Laura all came and we shared a table together. Everyone got dressed up and it was held at the Iron horse warehouse on Grant Ave in the Arsenal, a huge industrial building with lots of funky charm, mixed with local Benicians and Artisans. There was art for sale, art to be auctioned off and various other items such as fancy wine etc... I was just happy to be there among my fellow artists representing Arts Benicia. I feel so grateful to belong to this organization of talented people and I loved seeing how the town of Benicia supports it's artists. There were well over 200 people there, and all of the proceeds go directly into the Arts Benicia program. First St. Cafe catered the food and it was tasty, we had appetizers, pasta, salmon or chicken with potatoes and carrots, salad, dessert...There was wine for those who drink and for those of us who don't there was Diet Coke or sparkling water. We had a professional auctioneer help sell the donated art and my friend Gary walked away with a prized vagina lucky's actually a present for a friend and we all cracked up over it. I walked away feeling grateful there are communities like Benicia who honor and support what art brings to the community. In fact I was so inspired I thought we should probably move there when all is said and done....just an idea mind you, but I do love water and art, and they have both.

I have been remiss about blogging and for those of you who check I thank you for your patience. It does take time to download pictures and write out the text and usually this is my pleasure. Then there are times like in the last week or two when it just seems like another 'task'. I only want to blog if it's fun so I put it off. So I am happy to say I enjoyed posting today. I hope you enjoyed reading it and as always I thank you for your continued support. Julia Cameron my hero, talked about the importance of artistic support in her book, "The Artist Way". It's vital for an artist to feel useful, needed and appreciated. If they have this they have all they need to produce good work. Its true of all people and professions of course but artists need it even more as art has an unusually bad rap as being frivolous. And yet where would we be without it? So with that I say go hug your nearest artist and you will be giving them all the riches they seek.......


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Liberty High school and Rotary event

Yesterday we had a fun annual event in the arsenal. The Rotary club of Benicia and local wineries join together for a fundraiser for Liberty High School. It's a mini open studios for all of us in the arsenal and a chance to meet new people and have some fun. I always welcome these events as great advertising and I am happy to participate in open studios and meet all my fellow artists. There were wineries spread all around, the high school students volunteered to pass trays of food and the art gallery was open for viewing. The studios were open and a fun time was had by all. Miriam my part time helper came and we donned tutus for flair and fun, then we had some jr. hip chick's wanting in on the action. I happily obliged but most of my tutus are in my son's car for his photo shoot of the football team which will be happening today! I can hardly wait for these pictures.

Tomorrow this hip chick and her entourage will be road tripping to her favorite place, the place where the tutu first came on the scene, Bass Lake. I am bringing some tutu's along with my friend Kat, my daughter Abby and her friend Louise. Our friends are first timers so it's going to be fun to show them around. I guarantee Fork's burgers, thrift shopping and lots and lots of fun....stay tuned for more craziness and as always thanks for being on my team!!!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Art's Benicia Gala art preview and yet another new painting

Man I am on a roll! I am in a creative buzz and I am loving it. Today I was at the shop and I contemplated working on my angel piece and even my twirling tutu piece but I held off as I have a plan. Suffice it to say it's good and I will reveal it at a later time.. Instead I started yet another painting and as you can see I am taking pictures of it's evolution. This is VERY young, I only worked on it for less than an hour but I am diggin it already...I love how my tutu series is suddenly coming together, in many ways. First by my doing almost 3 paintings of different tutu concepts and second by my acquiring 6 more colored playmates. My son is getting the San Ramon Valley football team geared up, psyched up for it's tutu photo shoot next week. That's right we actually have 6 football studs willing to play football in a tutu, I am so proud I could cry. So add that to my portfolio of various tutu poses and we are really getting a good show together.

Next up is the Art's Benicia Gala which is next Friday the 24th at the Ironhorse showroom in Benicia and it features valet parking, drinks,dinner and a live art auction. All the art on my blog was taken at the gallery in the Arsenal today and is available for purchase at this event. This is my first time going to this Gala and I'm so excited to meet more of my fellow artists and enjoy a lovely sit down dinner with my hubbie. As you can see there is incredible art made in Benicia and I posted a few pictures for a general overview, if you want to see these better come to the gallery or better yet to the event itself. It promises to be a great time and I am hoping my piece "Spring Sherbet" fetches a buyer...

Stay tuned for more art, tutu's and shenanigans which are always in supply when Hip Chick is nearby.....

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Ascent

Today I started another painting as I have shown in the slideshow. I am diggin my new technique SO much. I was inspired to do a angel-ballerina by a photo on the internet taken from an event at the White house, the dancer in the photo looked gorgeous in her tutu-like dress. I was drawn to her pose and the fact she looked like she was wearing a tutu and then as I thought about how to paint it, I imaged her flying in the air with wings. I sketched the fairy on the canvas and then layered my washes of color to see it come alive, the best part about painting. I added the ribbons as a way to show her movement and grace, and to make her look airborne. I only worked on this for a total of 2 hours so it's still young, and needs more attention. But of course I was excited to share and I will keep taking pictures of the piece until it is finished. I have to admit I like seeing the painting in it's phases and I am glad I am taking the time to stop and take pictures during it's development. I started doing it to see how it would look and now I see it is very useful for myself as well. The title of this painting is "The Ascent" and I love the essence of spirituality it evokes. I hope it's not cheesy, flying fairies and all, it could really be seen that way. But the tutu series HAS to have a angel image and this is it. I am excited to see where it will go, and I am happy with my recent breakthroughs. I love your feedback and as always thank you for your support!
Here is the image that inspired me....

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Traveling tutu's

 First I will say I'm over stimulated from the weekends events.  WOW, it was off the hook awesome.  Ok, I can hardly catch my breath.  I went to the studio last week and tried painting a palm tree, big deal, well I hated it and decided to scratch it.  So moving on I tried the one I posted of me on the beach in Hawaii.  I was so psyched because right from the start it flowed.  I am not proficient at water, actually I haven't painted many water scenes and I find it VERY challenging.  So I asked obiwan-Bob-kanobi my studio mate for some pointers and boy did it help!  I decided to take pics of the process for myself and anyone else who is interested to see how a painting develops.  This painting is unusually light in paint, almost like a watercolor and this is new for me.  I am not finished but me being impatient and a spaz couldn't wait to share with my sweet bloggin fans.  I will post the painting when it's finished but people like Robin who doesn't do facebook and only check my blog can see what I'm up to.  Hi Robin!! wink wink....

Ok, so as you can see from the other pictures I SCORED today at the Alameda antique in the tutu department.  I bought 6 more tutu's to add to my party and boy what a party it is....I am not kidding when I tell you these things have magic in them.  I can't tell you how many people stopped and asked about these tutu's, "are these all yours?  what do you do with them?  Do you sell them? " No one could believe I didn't want to sell them and that I just collect them.  Kat my partner in tutu crime and I were stopped by tons of people who wanted in on the tutu got me thinking maybe I need to take pictures of people in them for some money....God knows I could use some bucks and this is a possibility for the tutu future, so on we went on our merry way collecting hats, parasols and what not to compliment the tutu scene.  We met fun people like Mariah who stopped us and said "Let me take your picture", which we coyly agreed...haha.  Then we met Joel and George who are fun guys and had a blast putting on a dress skirt and kickin their heels up...Thanks guys.  It was magic how these tutu's make friends and I said jokingly to Kat , "maybe tutu's can bring world peace" and I fantasized about President Obama wearing one to an International convention and spouting the joys and merriment of the colorful skirt.  Can't you see the President of China or Iran wearing one and how it would cause such a ripple of change?  I know it's out there but you never know, they are that powerful.....

So now I am going to kick back, take a deep breath and count my blessings for the weekend and all the fun it provided.  That Alameda antique is the best place for good times, fun treasure and meeting new friends.  I can't wait to bring my new tutu friends 'home' to Hip Chick and hang them from the ceiling, just like I was dreaming, and see what else they have in store for me.....I have no doubt they will keep leading me there. 


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Silhouette art class and Mosaics to come!

Saturday I learned a new art technique, silhouettes. It's amazingly easy, extremely relaxing and ultimately addicting. Jan my former "Roomie" from Room with a Past, was our fearless teacher, providing all materials and cinnamon rolls on a stick for a snack. So cute and so Jan. She's a class act. I always admired her talent back when we met at Room with a Past, she can make anything cute with her uncanny flair. She used to make silhouettes on big window panes with different words and images and they impressed me. I thought it looked really labor intensive and tricky. Wrong. Cats outta the bag now, they are really easy and fun. Only hard part is not making a mess, and taking your time. Now for some this is no problem, yet hip chick is impatient and rather messy so there were a couple of  lessons I learned here. 1. slow down 2. slow down 3. slow down. hahaha. But really I jumped right in and started, didn't even wait for instruction, otherwise mine might have been put on correctly instead of incorrectly. Then I decided to use oil paint for the tutu part of the image, and in my excitement and haste I put the paper back on before the paint dried and smudged the image slightly. Classic hip chick move, I want to hang a thing before it's even had a chance to dry, doesn't everyone do this???!!! I amuse even myself with my impatience and this was just another time I saw my spaziness get in the way of a masterpiece. The other students however did great, they listened, they put together their pieces and were delighted with the results. Jan provided all kinds of silhouette choices from birds, initials, dancers, Halloween images etc. and you place the image on the glass (backwards) ideally and then paint directly on the glass. Once you remove the outline you have a lovely silhouette and you can see your handiwork. Jan gave us fun paper choices to back the images or you could just go au natural and have it be a black and white look. I loved it, and I want to do more, bigger and with themes for the shop. Thanks Jan for teaching me something new, for bringing new faces to the store and for being my creative friend. I hope you teach many more classes at the studio and it encourages me to do the same. Any time I make something with my own hands I am energized and happy. The next art class is going to be a mosaic class taught by Jean in Oct 2nd and 3rd. Jean will provide all the materials and teach this two day class at Hip Chick studios. The mosaics are garden themed geckos and butterflies equipped with hanging devices, really colorful and fun decor pieces to keep or give for the up coming holidays. Sign up before it fills up, Jean's email is for any questions. It's very rewarding for this hip chick to help other creatives to do their thing and shine. I also benefit by sharing my place and learning new techniques. Don't cha just love win win scenarios? 

Butterfly mosaic for class