Thursday, July 24, 2014

Rainy Day Inspiration


Last Sunday was a gray and rainy day. We pulled out the umbrella, dressed Toby in his raincoat, and walked around town snapping photos and getting some Painting Inspiration.


the husband and Toby
(Toby is in yellow)


Power and phone lines are so very interesting to me. 

These are the power lines in front of the food pantry where I hang out and are just a few blocks from our home....and now, after really studying them,  I'm pretty sure I know why the lights flicker on and off in our living room.  


First Avenue



and, this is the painting that was inspired by those interesting lines. 


First Avenue Dream II
  mixed media on canvas
10 x 20


The painting looks pretty good against the red brick walls of Bridging the Gap. 

Hanging out with a friend on the dock
of the food pantry warehouse. 

"My inspiration comes from all over....pieces are often based in reality,
 actual places, things I've held in the palm of my hand, 
and yet they are infused and layered 
with places where I've only been in my dreams.
 Colin Poole, super fantastic painter and sculptor


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Miserable Hope

An interesting thing was said to me by someone who has purchased a couple of my paintings.  

He said my Art held a "miserable hope"

I told him it was the best compliment my work has ever received... 



Miserable Hope
24 x 48
mixed media on canvas


"The miserable have no other medicine but hope."
Friedrich Nietzsche

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

time-between-times

Stephen Lawhead, the author of some of my family’s favorite books, refers to that mysterious time of day when the light is crossing into darkness as the time-between-times. The time when night has not completely fallen and day hasn't quite made its departure.  It is a magical time.  During the time-between-times, thin places occur and there is no separation between this world and the Otherworld. With a little bit of effort (and a cairn*)  you can cross through the thin places from one world into the next.  

Last year, a woman whom I did not know, stood for quite a while and silently studied my art.  She slowly turned, stared at me and said, “keep doing what you are doing….you paint from the thin places where this world meets the next world….” and then she turned and walked away.  

I didn't get the feeling that she had read Stephen Lawhead.... 


Time-Between-Times
mixed media on canvas
24in x 24in


"Do not think it impossible just because 
it has never happened."  
Friar Tuck 
(Tuck by Stephen Lawhead)


*cairn:  a word from the Scottish Gaelic meaning a man-made pile of stones marking an important spot like a landmark, a tombstone, or a place where a battle occurred. If you walk counter-clockwise around one of these at the time-between-times you could possibly slip through one of the thin places into the Otherworld.  

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Don't Drink the Paint Water  Coffee

Now, I have proof that I am not the only artist who struggles with paint water confusion!

Earlier this year.
(yes, I did drink the rest of the coffee)
(and, yes, I removed the paint brush first)


Welcome to the Art Studio, fantastic new coffee cup! 
I will try to keep you bright and shiny for as long as I can.  

If you struggle with paint water confusion, too,
you can order your very own, very helpful coffee cup,
created by artist Hallie Bateman,
by clicking here: fantastic coffee cup



"Water is the most essential element in life, 
because without water, you can't make coffee. "
I don't know who said this, 
but I think we could be very good friends. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Epitaph


I utter the phrase "that doesn't make any sense..." so often, my husband says he's going to have it engraved on my tombstone. 

Kimberly Ramey
R. I. P.
this doesn’t 
make any sense


It's pretty appropriate.


I finished a new piece yesterday....


Balancing Act
kimberly ramey
24 x 24
mixed media on canvas

detail of crow-man in Balancing Act


"The world today doesn't make any sense, 
so why should I paint pictures that do?"
Pablo Picasso



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Studio Muses, part two

A few weeks ago, I posted about famous artists in history and their studio muses (Studio Muses, part one).  The post received some aMUSEing feedback, and to try to keep the fun-ball rolling, I asked several modern day artists in my circle (which is continuing to widen because of the Great and Powerful Magic of social media!) if they, too, had companions of the non-human sort.

Thank you to all the Artists who responded!  This has totally been my favorite post so far...and, of course, it is Toby's too.  

I not only wanted to have a little fun with these photos, but hoped to introduce you to some of my favorite Artists.  I know that you, Dear Readers, are all Art Supporters because this is an ART BLOG and hundreds of you tune in every month to read crazy posts about matte medium and my current favorite shade of orange.  So, please, click on the links below the photos and show these Artists some love: check out their websites, listen to their music, like their Facebook pages, follow their blogs and buy some ART.  

 Get Ready! 
Your senses are about to be assaulted with AWESOME!



Creator of fantastic and whimsical pieces of art and custom pet portraits,
 Remembrance Eston Jennings and Dolly
Her Art makes me happy.
www.estonjennings.com
Diggin' Dolly's



Chattanooga clay artist,
Denise Shropshire and Cookie
Denise makes super cool, one-of-a-kind art...
You can feel the love in each piece.
for real.
Flewtobob
shopblueskies.net



Every piece of her bold and colorful Art tells
a story and holds a little bit of magic,
Jeanne Bessette and Bodhi
(yes, this is the Artist Whisperer,
now you know what she looks like.  sorta.)
www.bessettestudios.com
www.facebook.com/bessettestudios




Creative Designer and Blogger,
 Jono Ramey and Eva
He makes tortillas from scratch, presses a mean cup of coffee
 and shaves with a single-edged blade.
You can follow his entertaining and thought provoking blog at:
 www.consideringthestone.blogspot.com



Linocut and Mixed Media Artist,
Laurel Martin and her beloved Basel
The colorful, joyful worlds that Laurel creates in her pieces
make you wish that you could step into them and stay for a while.
and she totally BUILT her OWN PRINTING PRESS !
www.cranberrycloud.com
www.facebook.com/CranberryCloudPage




Artist of too Many Things to list and owner of Hello Sunshine,
Tracey Sunshine Dumont and Scout
on a leisurely walk through the streets of the city.
Like her Facebook page for the smiles it will bring you.
www.facebook.com/traceydumont



Singer, Songwriter, and Artist,
Kat Lewis with Florence
Unique and beautiful music erupts out of this woman...
She is going to Rock the world...
www.facebook.com/KatLewismusic




Artist, Writer, and Chemist (seriously, how cool is that?!)
Robin Kalinich with Emma
Robin not only creates but also inspires and
 encourages other artists through networking and social media.
She has been a great encourager to me.
www.robinkalinich.com




I call him the coolest artist I know.
 Started as a contemporary street artist in NYC and
 is now keeping the dream alive from St. Augustine, FL,
David Hartzel with Fiona
www.davidhartzel.com
www.facebook.com/daveitdarko






the Happiest Artist in the World and owner of Farrago Studios,
 Corinne Galla with Smartypants
Corinne coaxed me into having my first solo show
and even provided the venue.
She wins the award for most difficult selfie with a pet.
https://www.facebook.com/corinne.galla



I would not be creating Art today if not for meeting this Artist
long, long ago in a town far, far away.
Artist, Teacher, and Imaginary T-shirt Designer,
Karen Fullerton with Grizzly
(and, yes, I have been a victim of that tongue)
http://weirdbirdstudio.blogspot.com

"How it is that animals understand things I do not know, 
but it is certain that they do understand.  
Perhaps there is a language which is not made of words 
and everything in the world understands it.  
Perhaps there is a soul hidden in everything and it can always speak, 
without even making a sound, 
to another soul."
Frances Hodgson Burnett, A little Princess

Friday, April 11, 2014

Acceptance

Today, I was reminded of something very important, but when I try to put the story into words, it doesn't sound as powerful as it really was.

You know how when you are washing out your paint brushes in the sink, and there is a shelf that has been hung a little too low and placed directly over the sink because the previous owners never really used that sink (and I know this because the sink was gleaming white when we moved in and now it is the color of rainbows.  dirty rainbows).  You are intently focusing on scrubbing because you totally forgot that you used matte medium on this brush and then stuck it back in the brush holder thinking it was clean, and it dried completely stiff. You are scrubbing so hard that you forget there is a shelf above you, and then you lift your head to see why Toby is barking and smack into the corner of the shelf right in the mushy part of your temple and it knocks you silly for a moment, and you worry that you have caused yourself permanent short-term memory loss,  and then you see sparkly fairies flying around because you are about to pass out just like the time your 3-year old son* busted you in the head with a rock that his great-grandma thought would be a really nice thing for him to keep in his room because it came from Michigan?  It was like that ... only without the fairies.

I was working at Bridging the Gap today getting ready for our food distribution tomorrow.  Someone who is trying to get the Grandpa of the Year award (and he totally should) donated 50 boxes of Girl Scouts cookies that he purchased from his granddaughter, and I was helping carry them over to the warehouse.

Two homeless men were sitting on the warehouse dock outside the door.  They were there to get dinner for the night.  I know these men;  I see them often.  They live down the railroad tracks behind the warehouse and have a makeshift kitchen with a cooler as a refrigerator and a charcoal grill as their stove.

One of men also spoke Spanish and I tried out my Portuguese on him, which was a total fail because under pressure I can only remember the words for 'blue' and 'green'.  And Portuguese really isn't Spanish, but we did have a sorta conversation about the color of the sky and the grass...

I was kneeling in front of them,  so I could be eye-level while we spoke, and a thought popped into my head about the Art Program I am wanting to start and they would be exactly the people I was hoping would come.  When we finished talking about food, I said, "Hey, when the Art Program gets started..." and then the man who I wasn't practicing Portuguese on quickly interrupted and said, "Yes, we will move off the dock."

I was so confused.

And then it smacked me...like that shelf.

He was thinking that I had an Art class starting in a few minutes and I didn't want them around when 'decent' people showed up.

"No!! I was asking you if you'd like to come to the Art Class!  We already have had lots of art supplies donated and I'm hoping that soon we will be able to start.... " and my words started tumbling all over themselves.  And once he figured out I was saying,  his face lit up and he talked about how he used to draw and the man who spoke Spanish was smiling and nodding.  And I got them a few things for dinner and they went on their way.

and then I cried.




Nothing brings down walls like acceptance. 
Deepak Chopra (totally sounds like a rapper name, but it isn't)



*just so you know, my youngest son did not grow up to be a serial killer.  If you want proof, you can follow his very cool blog here:  Considering the Stone





Monday, April 7, 2014

This is your brain:







This is my brain on Art:
Exit Through the Keyhole
mixed media on canvas
36 x 36


If only we could pull out our brain 
and use only our eyes.  
Pablo Picasso

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Art and the Science of Happiness

If I had to do it all over again, I would become an Art Therapist. I know people always say it's never too late to go for your dream, but the part where you have to become a doctor first makes me fairly certain this one isn't gonna happen. If an Art Counselor Certificate is ever created, I'll go for that because I'm pretty sure it will take way less time and I won't have to do math.

Throughout the years, I have created Art alongside many different types of people from teenagers to grandmas  (well, older people - people older than me - dang,  I'M a grandma!), and, almost always, the hurts or happinesses of the heart spill out while the hands are busy painting.  

This is one of the main reasons I keep chattering about starting an ArtProject that brings Art to those who are not able to afford Art Supplies.  I want to give people, no matter what their financial circumstances, a chance to paint and experience the power of art and maybe share their stories while they are doing it. 



The ArtProject is still in the works, I'm just waiting for Life to give me the green light.  Until then, I give Life dirty looks,  follow Art Therapy's blog and collect a lot of their pins on my Community Art Pinterest Board. Today they posted this video and I want to share it with you.  It has the feeling of one of those Dove commercials that tries to make you feel better about your looks after you see how a sketch artist draws your description of yourself compared to someone else's, but it is still pretty good.  

The Science of Happiness:  Art Therapy



"Art - it is good for the soul. "
the truth 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

You Can't Go Back

This tiny mixed media piece emerged from the studio a couple of months ago.  I am really pleased with the composition and minimal aspects...

Make Art, Not War
6 x 6 (inches)


Knowing I need to paint bigger  (insert hand furiously shooing the Artist Whisperer away from ear here), I used Make Art as inspiration for this larger piece just listed in my Etsy shop.  The vintage paper reading "B back" was the starting thought for the title.  

You Can't Go Back
mixed media on canvas
24 x 24

You can't go back, oh, but sometimes how I wish I could. 

"How do you pick up the threads of an old life?
How do you go on, when in your heart, you begin to understand, 
there is no going back.  
There are some things that time cannot mend. 
Some hurts that go too deep...that have taken hold. "
J.R.R. Tolkien, Return of the King