Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I've Moved

Check out my new blog at KellyAkinArt.tumblr.com, soon to be just KellyAkinArt.com

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Keeper of Dreams

This piece I made is called The Keeper of Dreams. I used acrylics for this one. Once I put a coat of blue acrylic down I added a layer of crackle medium. I added the first layer, and let it dry overnight. I then added a second layer of crackle medium and let it dry until it was tacky. I used a Golden orange color over that. The crackle worked really well I thought. This was the first time for me to use it. I have to say that the picture is not so great. My camera is acting really weird so I am getting a lot of odd shades. Also, I had another picture to show you of another encaustic piece I made using the Cherry Red Hot wax that I talked about yesterday. You will have to take my word for it that this red is seriously bright cherry. Love it! I am hoping to have this piece up next week. 

 Anyway, The Keeper of Dreams was inspired by a piece that my friend Maria showed me that she has at her house. I can't remember the artist, but it was fantastic. She uses real butterfly feathers. My piece has bird feathers and it totally different. I used flashing for the bottom to write "the keeper of dreams" which I inscribed with an awl. I tried really hard to use my metal alphabet stamps, but they wouldn't push through the flashing. I must have been doing something wrong. It was kind of fun to inscribe with the awl. Not sure if it looks great, but I personally like the look of it. I highlighted that with some pure pigment and then covered it in gel medium. The hardest part was screwing that piece down to the canvas. I screwed it into the wood frame and those are hard. Almost broke my drill bit! It was fun to have something to use tools on. I love tools. If I was handier I might come up with some more interesting work. 

Anyway, hope you like the piece. It was fun to make.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

New pics and a product I LOVE

First off there are some new paintings I have been working on. My camera is acting funny so on "Key" I didn't get the full painting. I did get the detail. As you can see I am loving these burlap butterflies I bought at Collage. More about Collage later. Anyway, I did one painting when I was full on encaustic mode. I think I did 8 layers of wax and scraped it away so you can see all the different colors. Not sure that it is one of my better ones, but it was fun to make. The last one is called "Blue" and I am stuck. The reason why is because I love the color so much. Here comes the product endorsement. I bought some encaustic wax at Collage called Kandi's Hot Wax Art Encaustic Wax.  I LOVE this stuff. I bought a denim blue one first just to try it out. It comes in a little tab. I put it in a muffin container on my griddle and added some beeswax to it. It melted perfectly and the color is AMAZING. This is why I am stuck on "Blue" I know it's off balance and the composition is off etc.. but it is hard for me to cover up that blue color. It is so gorgeous. I just used my hot iron to push the color around and fuse it to the medium. I really don't know what to do with it now. I might just keep it for myself the way it is, but I want to share it. So, I better think of a way to finish it off. Some more Kandi's Hot Wax will probably work. Now I just have to decide what color I want to use! O' and the other awesome thing about it is that each tab is only $4.00 anyone who does encaustic knows that is a brilliant deal. Fits my budget perfectly.

Monday, March 7, 2011


I made this today in anticipation of an art fair coming up at the end of next month. It's "garden" themed so I wanted to put something nature inspired in there. I LOVE these Burlap butterflies which I have picked up at Collage here in PDX. They go so well with encaustic. The background is two original pages from a ledger dating back from 1902 - 1906. I love the writing. It's very cool. 

I finally cleaned up my studio on Saturday. It had been a huge mess after all the paintings I had done. I bought a bigger griddle that I added to my smaller one. Plus I have the big roaster that I use to melt just the medium. All in all it takes up a lot of electricity. Well, I hooked them all up and then yesterday I turned them all on. Yes, I blew the fuse. I had to do a lot of crawling around and thanks to the direction of my husband was able to fix it. So, today I forgot. This morning I went out to turn the wax on and did it again. It's not ideally set up yet, but I am working on it. 
                                                                          Flutter Detail
I am hoping to be posting at least one painting a day. I thought I might have something coming through the pipeline that would interrupt my art a little, but that didn't work out. Now it's back to concentrating on Etsy and getting out to all the art shows. I am so happy to say that my Love Show piece sold. That was definitely a boost. I really needed that.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Love Show 2011

This is my piece for the 2011 Love Show. I am very excited about this show. Not only do I get to participate, but we are using it as a "date night" that doesn't happen too often. We are going on a double date with some friends which will make it twice as fun. This piece is 12x12 so it's a decent size. I had so much fun doing this piece. It was just a fun one to make. 

I am finally over my anxiety about hanging the show yesterday. I have some more pieces to make for it, but I am having a very hard time coming up with some ideas. I know I am just a little burnt and need to recharge a little. Plus, creating on-demand is extremely hard. So, I am going to give myself mini-breaks and see how that goes. I keep going out to the studio, but then finding myself coming back in. Part of it is that it is FREEZING in there. I have heater, but it takes quite a while for it to heat up. That combined with the wax can make it alright. But my hands are what are bothering me. They are so cold and I don't paint with gloves on. I don't like the way it feels. I am not portable so it's the studio or nothing. Last week's mild days were really pleasant. I was sick for most of them, but when I did make it to the studio it was nice. 

I am going to do an art challenge this month. I am pretty excited about it. It will give me some focus. The topic is "home" and it can be any interpretation. I like that. I will post on my blog each piece that I do. Hopefully I will do more than just one piece a week, but just in case I know there is at least one that needs to get done. 

I am hoping to get my Etsy shop updated very soon. It has been very neglected this last month and it needs a boost. Actually, doing all this painting over the last month has had me neglected many things. Including my house. That is a doozy of a project. Luckily my husband has been on it. He's a handy one that way. I am still learning the art of balance. How to get painting done and not neglect everything else. It's a challenge for me. I don't know how other people do it. I always put painting first (besides my family) so the house has to wait. Anyone who has been to my house knows that the laundry area is off limits. There are some things that just have to wait!

I hope you will all make it to the Love Show. I know it was great fun last year. Plus, they are taking donations for the Oregon Food Bank so it's a great cause.

Monday, January 31, 2011

New show...New Anxiety

I hung my show up at Akasu Salon and Spa today. I had made 22 pieces. 19 were hung. The last 3 didn't fit which is fine. I brought everything I had made. I am feeling so anxious about this. I feel like I worked so hard for this show and then when I look at the pieces I am just not sure if they are good enough. I am the typically pretty insecure when it comes to showing my art to others. I love making it, LOVE IT. I just get so nervous when I have to stand by it. I feel like it's not just a judgment of my art, but of me too. Maybe it is. I guess it definitely shows whether you have any talent or not. I always hang a show and then completely second guess everything I have done. I want it to knock peoples socks off. Which I know is pretty ridiculous. Everyone has their own tastes and not everyone is going to like my work. Of course, what if everyone hates it. I hope not. 

I took some pictures. I took them after the pieces were hung so they are not the greatest as far as light. But you get the idea. When I look at them I wonder if I have any kind of "style". I don't feel like my art is easily identified as mine. I don't think it necessarily looks like someone else in style. I just don't know if it's all cohesive. I just get bored doing the same thing over and over again. So, I change it up. Maybe that isn't such a good thing. I just don't know. 

Anyway, below are the pictures. This is an incredibly nice place and it smells wonderful. Thank you to the wonderful Sarah Mathis for allowing me to do this show. I am assuming the anxiety will leave me at some point. I have to do some more pieces because the space needs more. Nothing like working under a little bit of pressure to get the creativity moving . I thought I would chill today, but I think I will work. It takes my mind off of all the anxiety that is brewing in me right now. 

Again, I apologize for the quality of the pictures, I had to work around the rooms so the lighting isn't very good and some of the pictures look crooked (but they are not).

Next up is the Love Show! I will be posting a picture of what I came up with for that one tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Painting Angst...

I am a painter. That is what I do. I am also many other things, but if you ask what I do I will say I paint. These last two day I have not been able to paint and I am going a little crazy. My kids came down with high fevers and I needed to take care of them. I did so without complaint. But tonight I started to feel VERY, VERY crabby. Like something was itching at me that I couldn't get to. I realized it's because for the last two weeks I have been painting. Every day. Every day I go to the studio and I turn up the music and paint. It is what I do. Going without painting for me causes major crankiness in my life. I strive to always be a good mother and a good wife and nice to people. But when I don't paint I find that harder to do. I miss painting with every bone in my body. I miss laying down the wax or the gesso and putting all of it down on the wood or canvas. My kids are fine now, but I had to help them with some school stuff this evening so I couldn't get out there. I sometimes just take five minutes to go in my studio and look around. It's not the same. It's actually probably a bad idea because it makes me think of what I am missing. 

I didn't start out as a painter or anything creative really. I knew there was something that I wanted to do. I tried many, many things. Cooking, making bath goods (I made so many bath salts etc.. I was giving them away to my friends all the time) I made soap, and took a floral design course. I tried many things until I came to painting. The one that lasted the longest was card making. I thought "aha, this is it I can make cards" then I figure out that they were very limiting and all the junk that was in my brain was not really appropriate to a small card. Then I moved on to a small journal, than a bigger journal. Eventually I pulled out a canvas and put down paint. I collaged the hell out of that thing. I save it because it reminds me of where I started. It's REALLY bad (trust me, I'm not being modest). I put every little do-da I had on there. Dominoes, tags, clip art you name it it's on there. I started with Turquoise and Peach! Ugh. But it was a start. That one collage made me feel like I could actually do something creative. It released something in me. Now I know I can never go back. I can whip out a card, or even some soap if I so choose. But nothing will ever take the place of painting for me. It is my release. I keep so many things in my head that if I paint one painting there is always one on the way. It just piles up and has to be released. The damn breaks and that's it. I feel like that damn has been backed up and I am going to burst at the seams. Tomorrow I paint. 

On a happier note, I am in the Love Show for 2011. I was in it last year and I had so much fun. I am excited to participate this year. I finished my piece on Saturday. I haven't taken any pictures of it yet, but will tomorrow. I am also in another show where over 20 of my pieces will be shown for two months. It's at the Akasu Salon and Spa on N. Williams in PDX. I am really excited for this show. I just don't want to show work that I have on Etsy. So I have been working really hard to make some new things. I am really happy with how it is all turning out. I have many pieces to go, but if I can get back to it I know I will finish them all. It's been a good challenge and aside from being side-railed these last two days I feel like I am on a good painting roll. The way I feel right now tells me that getting to it will be no problem. I don't usually paint from ideas, but just start to paint and see what comes. But I am swimming with ideas. They all need to have a home. 

I will post pics when I am done. I want to keep working and not worry so much about how it all is looking.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year, New Stuff...

Happy New Year! OK, I know it's already the 4th, but it takes me a while to catch up to all this stuff.I had a very nice holiday with my family, but now it's back to normal, mostly. My daughter came down with a cold last night (after 1 day at school!) and passed it on to me. So we have been huddled up today. I planned on getting out to the studio, but I felt like that would not be a good choice. Aside from the cold stuff I am dealing with, it's FREEZING cold in my studio. Very, very cold. The bonus is that I am out of the wind. I have a lovely mechanics suite that I wear, but I was just too tired to put it on today. I have lots to do. As you will see from the pictures above I have my work cut out for me.

My favorite thing from Christmas was getting gift cards for Art Supplies. My FAVORITE kind of shopping. I knew I was running low so it was time for some fun shopping. I went to two of my favorite art stores. I've Been Framed and Art Media. I was lucky in that I was able to go to Collage on Woodstock before Christmas. I stocked up on some things there too. I feel like I have a chance to start fresh and new this January. 

I have many ideas and not a clue where to start. I am currently finishing up a Christmas/New Years gift for some friends. It's not completely done (read above paragraph about the cold) but it's just about finished. It's encaustic. I love working with wax again. It had been a little while. When it gets this cold out though, it's a little harder to work with. I have had to layer it a little more than I usually do otherwise they get some tiny cracks that I keep having to heat up and fix. I think the piece is turning out kind of cool. They love Paris and have been there a few times so some Paris theme had to be involved. I am excited to post it on here when it's done and they have seen it. 

I believe (am crossing my fingers) that the New Year is going to be bringing some pretty big changes my way. I am not sure yet, but am hoping so. It's just a matter of time. When I find out for sure I will post it here. 

Also, I have a show! February I will be having a show for two months at a local spa. I am very excited about this. I have to get cracking. I want to put some fresh work up. So, cold be damned. This girl needs to get out and play!

Monday, December 13, 2010


Hey everyone, I forgot to post this. Everything in my shop is 25% off for December. I may extend it through January actually. Anyway, just look on the front page for the coupon code.

I hope you all are enjoying the countdown until Christmas. I have a special boy who is turning 11 (o my, how time flies) on Christmas Eve. Special boy indeed.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


This time of year I think is hard for everyone. It's a great time of year, but also very stressful. I know I feel it. I want to have a "perfect" Christmas and my kids to get everything they want, but that is just not going to happen. They are at an age where they are not sure they believe in Santa or not. They are questioning me about it everyday. I am trying to be truthful, but not destroy something that I believe is so magical. What does this have to do with Art and Believing? I guess it comes down to the same thing. I want to believe in my art and myself, but it's hard sometimes. I want some answers. I want someone to tell me I am on the right path. That this is the way I am supposed to be going. It's not easy to sit and try. Sometimes you just want the Universe to tell you "YES you are supposed to be an artist" and it doesn't. I have made some sales on Etsy and that makes me feel good. But ultimately it comes down to how I feel about it. And as much as I love to make art, it gets complicated. I want to make it for myself, but I also want to make it to help support my family and I am not sure if those two things always go together. I would love to think that they do, but when I think about what I want to make and what I think will sell they don't always seem the same. I will say right now that I think this line of thinking is a great disservice to the people who buy my art. I know that. So, how do I not separate the two ways of thinking? I don't know. I do know that I am trying very hard to believe in myself right now. With all the activity coming with the pending holiday getting into the studio is hard. I feel like there is not enough time to work. I have started getting ready to keep an art journal. Something that is portable that I can do whenever I get a chance. I think that will be a good start. I am hoping painting ideas will come to me that way and I can convert them to the canvas or wood or whatever I find. I am wondering if any of you artists out there are having the same dilemma? Maybe it's just that the New Year is pending and I am not sure that I have a whole lot to show for this past year. I wanted to do more and be great at it. I'm not so confident that I met those goals. Maybe next year?

P.S. Santa, please bring me Art Supplies :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Excused Absence...

I know I haven't been posting and I feel bad about it. I do have a good excuse though. I have been sick. Really sick. The flu struck me and has persisted. It's going on week 4. I still don't feel right. I have been painting off and on, but mainly off. This makes me very cranky. I miss it like crazy, but don't have much energy. I did get a painting off for the Wild Arts Festival which is happening at Montgomery Park on the 20th & 21st. I hope I feel well enough to go. I know it's a week and a half away, but with this illness I am not counting on anything. I was in such a hurry to turn the piece in that I didn't take a picture of it. I turned it in on the day it was due which is not really like me. I like to be done with time to spare. It was one of those pieces that never looked right. It went through so many changes. I used up a lot of gesso. I finally hit it on the last try. If you get a chance to check out the show, you should. I have never been, but I can imagine the amazing art work that will be there. I am a little scared to go honestly. What if my work sucks? I know how many talented artists are in Portland. It makes me nervous to see my work next to people who have such amazing talents. This is why I didn't go last year. I was totally intimidated. This year I will try to change that. I will try to go and just enjoy the creativity. It's not my place to compare myself with other artists. It's a hard thing not to do though. I hope everyone who reads this is well and staying that way.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hey, it's my 200th post!

Good morning! I have been up since 4am this morning and started painting around 5am. It was great. I am working on a painting for the Audubon Society. I started it and was a little stuck so I decided to redo it. I think it is going to turn out much better. I will post pictures when it is done. I am excited about it. I also almost finished another painting. It's very small (4" by 4") but it needs to dry. The oil paint I used with the encaustic is a little thin and I don't want to smear it. 

I have been sick for the last two days so getting out in the studio felt great. Getting up at 4 wasn't really part of the plan, but considering how much I slept over the last two days I think I was just not tired anymore. It feels good to have been up for about 5.5 hours now. I have so much left to do in my day. I think I will be painting a little more today.   I don't plan on waking up at 4 everyday or at least I hope not. I have to last at least until my kids go to bed tonight so that might be a little difficult. So far so good though. I don't feel one bit tired.

This is my 200th post. I know it has been a erratic, but I am working on it. I will get into a routine eventually! I hope everyone has a great day!