Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's beautiful but.....

We have been snowed in here in Portland. I love the snow for a couple of days, I love it before Christmas, but this is ridiculous! Being here in Portland, you get used to having small amounts of snow every once in a while not this deluge of snow that we have now. My car is buried right now. I finally took a walk to the grocery store to stock up on food for tomorrow and Christmas day. That was an adventure. The snow came up to my knees. I am not that tall, but tall enough to realize that me trying to drive in this would be a  joke. 

Anyway, for Christmas I receive this very cool ATC carousel. I have started working on ATC's since I have been cooped up in the house. I also have been working on my inspiration book. That is fun. It's great to have eye candy ready when I need it. No painting right now. Not for lack of wanting to, it's just too cold in my studio. If this keeps up after Christmas I will be bringing my paints etc.. into the  house. Right now I just wan tot try to keep it clean until Christmas. 

Above are pictures from my inspiration book.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I'm back...

Ok, so I have been seriously absent. My friend Alea creator of Bone Candy, reminded me that my last post was titled Gloom. Not a good title.

I have been working. Not a lot in my studio since there is no heat. But I have been working on Christmas presents. I can't post pictures now as the recipients might be reading.

I will be back with more, pictures included.

If your in Portland, enjoy the snow!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Yikes, the weather today stunk. I am pretty sure all I did all day was eat, and watch movies with the kids. I had to turn my lights on at 3pm! This is a picture that I took on a much prettier day at the Pumpkin Patch.

So, no studio time today. I didn't even open the doors. I feel bad about it, but I don't always like working when it is cold and wet out. Thank goodness I live in Oregon. (ha, ha). I have been brainstorming ways that I can do some small work inside the house without causing a huge mess. I am a fairly messy worker and if I have a project in-progress I don't like to put everything away. I also have a habit of working until I am exhausted which makes putting my things away much more difficult. And last of the reasons why this may not be a good idea is that I love to have all my "things" with me. There would be at least 20 trips out to the studio to grab something that I think I might need. Despite all of this, I still would like to be one of those nice tidy people who can work at their kitchen table.

I have been itching to get some sewing done too. That is inside and I can do that whenever I feel like it. I just haven't. Mainly because I didn't put my things away from my last skirt sewing project. It's not totally bad, I am just that lazy. I am blaming it on the weather (see first paragraph).

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's over...

The Holiday Bazaar is over. It was a success with amazing people selling some really great things. I feel really inspired. One reason I love living in Portland is the amazing support that small craft based businesses receive from the community. This event was no exception. Even though times are tight people really came out to purchase from local artists AND support the kids school. I am happy I was able to help coordinate and be a seller for the event.
I was disappointed in my own work. I just don't feel like what I created was my best. It look contrived and like I just tried to hard. Really it was hard. Anyway....

Now that there was all this cool stuff around for me to look at I feel like I better get out and make something. Mag is having her 7th (o'my already) birthday party on Saturday and I am thinking of making the party favors. I have this idea of making dolls with some of my sheet music, glitter and ribbons. Not sure if it will turn out, but I will certainly try.

So far today was all about cleaning the house and not about creating. I did rearrange furniture which always makes me feel more creative. Tomorrow will be more cleaning since the kids are at home from school and studio time is almost impossible. Wednesday just might be the day. I am looking forward to cleaning and clearing my studio. No pressure. I do have plans on posting some paintings on Etsy. But we will see how that goes first. One woman looked at one of my paintings that had a small attachment on it and said she would have bought it without the attachment. Ouch.

Above is my favorite bird painting. I am happy it did not sell! It goes with a crow pillow I bought from my friend Tara at the sale.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Little Bird 1 - Kelly E. Akin

I have finished with my work for the Holiday bazaar. Which is a great thing since it is on Saturday and it is Thursday night. I about as happy as I can get about what I have made. I always feel really nervous when I am showing my pieces to anyone. This is a school event so it makes it a little more nerve-racking. The hard part was coming up with pieces that I liked, but didn't display too much. Most of my feelings go into my art and I am not keen on sharing those with people who know me and my kids thru school. If it was a different venue that would be different, but this is the kids school. I think I came up with a good mix. I also made some rings and hair clips which was really fun.

Time is flying by so fast and there are already Christmas commercials on. I think I want to get to Thanksgiving first. Then think about Christmas. Isn't that what used to happen? Did everybody do all their shopping etc... before Thanksgiving? I know I have been thinking about what the kids want for Christmas and what we might be able to get them. I think I end up going a bit overboard most years. They really don't need a bunch of stuff.

Anyway, I am hoping to be back in my studio working after this Holiday Bazaar. The following weekend Maggie is having a bunch of little girls over for her birthday. I have no idea what we are going to do, but it is only two hours. So maybe I can really work after that day. At some point I have to stop making excuses and just get into the studio. There is a lot of fun things I want to do. I don't feel like I have played in a long time and I can't wait to go thru my stuff. I have so many fun things to try! I have been thinking about making some encaustic collages. Also, some transfers to canvas and so much more.

Above is a sneak peek of what will be at the Holiday Bazaar.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bad, bad blogger....

I am a very bad blogger. I have been reading every other blog out there and completely neglecting mine. So sorry my poor blog.

In good news I have been working on some new paintings, bad news is that I have zero pictures of them. But I do have paintings!

Our Holiday Bazaar for the kids school is coming up and that has me working away. I sometimes freeze when I have to think that other people might want to buy something of mine so it makes it harder to create. But I think I am over it. I was sitting there stuck for a long time. Now I know I just need to work. And not think about who might or might not like what I do. This piece that I did a bit ago was during one of those not so pleasant times.I actually have quite a few pieces that have the them of choking or not breathing. Strange.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Yes that is supposed to be in all caps. I feel like I have not been able to make anything in ages. It's only been a few days, but that can feel like forever. I have been in my house purging. I can't believe how much stuff adds up. My studio will be next. It needs to be cleaned out and organized. It seems every couple of months everything needs a good clearing. I know some people can get by with once a year, but I think I might like my things a bit too much. I have a hard time getting rid of them. I see this tendency in my daughter too. Oops. The last couple things I have made I don't have photos of. So, here is a random picture.This is my favorite shelf in my studio. I really like my typewriter (turquoise, score!) and my mini chair.

Monday, September 15, 2008

So much happening

So, I have so much going on and so many pieces that I am working on. The first thing that I have been trying to do is work doing a piece a day. I have a file sorter book that has pages 1-31. Each is a bit thicker than card stock and with gesso makes a great canvas. About 4 days are finished when there should really be 7. But other pieces have taken over my time. Everyday is a studio day which is very nice.
I should have lots more to say tomorrow. I have to say that I am really sad that my favorite blogger will no longer be out in the blogging world. I love her art and I love what she writes. She has inspired me for quite a while now.

So, here is day one of my page-a-day plan.
More tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A little behind...

So, I have been behind in my blogging. But I have not been behind in my painting. Since the kids have been back at school I have been out in my studio working. Which of course leaves the house neglected, but there is no one to make a mess so it all evens out... Anyway, I finally completed a piece that I am sending to the Art Without Borders show in Los Angeles and that is going in the mail tomorrow. Yahoo. Ta, Da....
*** Update, 9/15/08, I tried putting this post up on the 9th, but it wouldn't work. So here is that post. This has been mailed.

Monday, September 1, 2008

End of the weekend...

Tonight is the end of our long weekend away. I would like to say that I achieved many things, but really I just chilled out at the houseboat. It was very nice. I did manage to make it over to SCRAP which always inspires me. I found a few treasures. One in which I am hoping to start on tomorrow. I have a huge laundry list of things to get done over then next couple of weeks. Most of them art and sewing related. And of course, starting a new job. I am very excited. I did not take one single picture this weekend. I was so lazy. I had a very nice Saturday night when Cinda and Josh came over. That was really nice and mellow.
So, here is a page from "Wreck this Journal" by Keri Smith. This always gets me out of a slump.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Found New Blog..!

I was searching for vendors for my kids school Holiday Sale (http://www.lewisevents.org) and found this wonderful artist. Her stuff looks very nice and professional. Plus she is a local PDXer. Here is a link to her blog: http://lemondropstudio.blogspot.com/. I just entered to win some cards that she made. I am crossing my fingers.
More later, with pictures!

Monday, August 25, 2008


I have to confess.... I haven't been in my studio for about a week. I don't know how that happens. It makes me crazy not being out there. There has just been too many other things happening (nothing big or major) that have distracted me. BUT THAT IS ABOUT TO CHANGE!
On September 3rd My KIDS START SCHOOL! I am doing a small happy dance at this very moment. I love my kids and they are really inspiring, but there are days that I can't even think about being creative. I am so busy playing referee or am tired from spending a day entertaining them that I feel like nothing is left. Now, they are old enough to entertain themselves, but some days they get tired of each other, I get tired of them and we all want to throw up our hands and run to separate corners. So, back to studio, back to routine and back to feeding my creative mind!

Here's to my Little Monkeys!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Jobs searches and ATC's

So today I went to look for a job. Not the greatest of times to do it. I really love being able to work on my art whenever I feel like it. But money is calling. I want and would prefer to do something creative, but so would everyone else. So, how do you take a non-creative job and put your own creativity into it? I have no idea. There was a vintage on-line store I really liked (and would shop), but I am not sure I did so great. I froze up when it came time to do a description of some clothing. Usually I can't shut up, but this time it all caught in my hands and didn't transfer to the pen. One job for someone else I wasn't really keen on was offered to someone else. I can't say I am disappointed because I am not. The brightest spot in all of this Ms. Cinda. Working with her will be amazing. I still don't know what I will be doing, but I am excited for the chance.

On a totally different note: Here are three of the ATC's that I submitted to Muse. Alas, I did not win the grand prize (I really wanted that Nano too!) but I did see some really cool artwork. Some of mine had already been swapped and I ended up with some very cool cards. I was able to swap with some other cards and now I have a kick-butt collection of ATC's. They are great for doing "small" art. I have just started a swap with my friend Elesa. I submitted the first one so now it is her turn to give me one. I am excited to see what I get. I think my favorite is my Mama man. He is funny to me. Isn't it so true?

Monday, August 18, 2008


So, I missed this weekend for posting. I was helping a friend out with her garage sale. I forgot how much work goes into one of those. Anyway, not a lot of studio time happened. I did a lot of work on pages for my journal but only with gesso. I haven't had a lot of time to do much else.

What I did do last night was buy the new issue of Vogue magazine. I only buy the really fat ones because I feel like I get my moneys worth. I don't buy it for the articles. I buy it because when a magazine comes out with a fall fashion issue it is chock full designers ads that have the best colors, photography, design etc.. They are really inspiring to me. I love the fall ads the best. The eggplants, and blacks with the beige. I have never done a painting in those colors, but I am thinking I would really like to.

I have some deadlines that I have to meet over the next few days (along with getting the kids ready for school) and am hoping I will have a lot more to post photo wise.

Here is a piece I am working on for a woman's show. The white flecks are actually silver glitter.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Here are some of my art journal pages I have worked on. I am going out to the studio while it is not 100 degrees out yet....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Today was a better day...
Here is what I did. I worked on this for my friend.
Like I said in my last post, I am making some bad art. But it is what it is. That is the only way I know how to make this shrine. It is soothing to have something to put these items on. I see them all the time and they always remind me of her, so now they all can be in one place. It makes me happy to see it all together. Maybe I will keep it here for a while.

Yesterday I felt very lost in my studio. Today I walked in and started taking pictures. I took pictures of everything in there. It felt good. I think I was connected with all my Things. I love my things. Sometimes I wish my things could all fit in a box to use at night while the kids are asleep. I don't feel comfortable working in the studio and leaving them 15 feet away in the house. Plus, I am a bit of a chicken. It's dark out there.
I have been missing my art journal pages. I used to put all my supplies (there were a lot less then) on the table and work for hours. I miss that. I would end up with a huge mess. But I did feel good when I was doing it. I had everything right there when I needed it. Now I have too much stuff to do that. I have tried working with less supplies, but I KNOW what I have. So, that entails many trips to the studio with what I want and a few "just in case" items. I need to narrow myself down to a few things. If I ever get that figured out I will be happy.
There are still shows out there that need to be applied to and work that needs to be done. And so I am going to work to work and feel good for a bit. Work because I love it and go crazy without it.
Here is my space all messy and unorganized.

Somehow even a child showed up in there!

Monday, August 11, 2008


How do you deal with grief in your art? For me this is a tough question. There is the one year anniversary of a dear friends death coming up and I am not sure how to put it in my art. She was murdered and I had seen her just before she died. That changes the way I think I would feel if it was a long illness. But I have a lot of guilt that still has not been reconciled. Even coming up to a year I don't know that I have dealt with the guilt. I think about it, a lot. I did not do anything to cause her death or that of her family member, but I wish I could have changed things. Knowing who murdered your friend does not help either. So, I am building a shrine. A Day of the Dead shrine. I have never really made one. I started today and it has made a difference. I know what she liked, I have a few small trinkets (buttons etc..) that were hers. Some things she gave me the day she died. These are part of the shrine. I think I will send it to her mother to put in her garden where my friends ashes are buried.
As an artist I figured I could just do what I needed. Let the paintbrush, scissors, etc.. take over my grief and maybe it would not feel so acute. That is not true. At least not for me. It is piercing. It feels like someone has pushed a very long needle thru my body. I walk around with it. Then every once in a while I accidentally bump it and it hurts badly. It's not like I ever thought it was not there, I just choose to live with it. But now it is infected. I have to take it out and I am afraid that it was holding together a lot more than I realized. This long needle held my heart together.
I have friends. Very dear and honest and faithful friends who all listen to me. I cried and wept and drank more than I ever should on Saturday. I cried and felt terrible. Then of course I felt like the worlds largest fool on Sunday. What a way to wreck the party. Here I wanted my friends around to show me how happy I can be with them and I end up crying over them. I believe they don't judge. But they know me. They know I should not do what I do.
So how does an artist deal with grief. I don't know. I make art. Bad art. Maybe some good. Mostly it is bad. It makes no sense and has no rhyme or reason. I feel lost amongst my brushes and paints. They are foreigners in my little studio. My studio feels like I am in another country. What felt like the worlds safest place, feels the scariest. What could possibly come out of me that I don't know about? What about all that bad feeling? I would be very happy if it dissolved. But no go, it's been almost a year and it still sits there like a huge cement ball.

So, I guess I will wait and see what I can post here, and what I am not afraid to share in this journal.

Thank you to my friends. I really wrote this so you might understand me. I ask a lot of you and I know I can give back when you need me to. I have to get thru this month. That's all.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Multimedia message


Not a genius

So, I am not the smartest kid in the class.
I was so psyched about taking all the ATC cards to Muse today that I forgot to take any pictures of them. NOT ONE. The one I tried to post yesterday ended up on Flickr which is good. The rest are now up on a wall (I think). I have that dread in my stomach knowing other people are looking at what I have made. It's not my finest time. I have a t-shirt design due for the kids school. I have several designs and think they will hate them all. I don't focus on insecurity in my life of normal activity. There usual just isn't enough time. But when it comes to something I have made (that is not clothing related etc..) like a piece of art work, I am my worst critic. I think most artists are that way. I guess if I made clothes for a living I might feel that way about my clothes and feel ok with my paintings. I don't know. I love making clothes and rarely feel self-conscious about them. There is a pattern, I follow it, done. Pretty easy. But painting and collage has no pattern. There are no rules it's just do as you feel. So everyone sees exactly what you feel. I do a lot of writing on my collages. I usually use French or Italian. I speak neither. I just love how the words look. Sometimes I forget what they even mean. They just fit with the image so well. I truely love words and images together. I guess I am not a purist.
Here is an example of another piece I made. I like her even if she is a phony.

Monday, August 4, 2008


So, I have made 10 ATC's all together. A local store called Muse Art and Design is having an ATC contest for different age groups. Maggie is participating as well. I have made a total of 10 ATC's with one of them going to a friend. I am nervous about showing them, and more nervous about the swap after. Hopefully people will want to swap with me. I guess I will see.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Small, Medium or Large

This is a piece I worked on a couple weeks ago. I really like it. I think it's because it is confusing, you are not sure what you are looking at yet.

I am not a large canvas person. I am learning this as I try to work on a very large 4'X5' canvas. I have had it for over a year and still am struggling. I like to work in the medium range. Large for me is a 24" X 24". That I can do. Larger than that and I just don't know how to fill it up. I love the idea of working on a large canvas. I created a collage on a 3'X3' for a show at the Portland Art Center. That was a challenge, but I enjoyed. I liked the work and was happy I was able to do it. That is as big I have ever worked. So now along with my other collages and paintings I am working on ATC's aka Artist Trading Cards. These cards are very small, the same size as playing cards. Although I like to work small, these are very small. Another challenge for me. I have done several and am starting to feel much more comfortable. They still feel really small. It looks like I am going to donate a piece to a Doctors Without Borders auction. I am really excited about this. I don't mind donating pieces, especially for such a good cause.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New Blog, new title, new

Here is my new blog. I needed to make a change. I felt very self-conscious for a long time putting my name next to the term Artist. I even had to have my friends say it for me when people asked what I did. I am a mom and an artist. Sometimes it seems much easier just to say that I stay at home with my kids. But that is not really the truth. I have a studio that I work in every day. Sometimes the projects are big, sometimes small. I can do several small paintings in a couple hours or one small one in a week. It depends on what inspires me and how much I am interrupted. I try to incorporate are into my kids 6 & 8's lives as well. Sometimes it works and sometimes it is a lot of WORK for me. It's a hard balance trying to be creative and not snapping at your kids when you are in the middle of something that takes your full mind some place else.
So, here I am. I am an artist. I have been in 4 shows (including one solo). My work was recently published in a book 1000 Artist Journal Pages. Page 74 in case you are checking! The information to contact me is incorrect. It should read Hesse@qwest.net

Tomorrow, more work in the studio. More postings here.