Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spirit Animals

My dear friend, the one who makes me laugh out loud and blow coffee out of my nose if I happen to read one of her emails during breakfast, just informed me she purchased a new t-shirt for her upcoming trip to Europe where she will be touring sacred cathedrals and visiting spectacular art museums.  Her new tee has this message printed on the front:

I so want one of those.

Although, really, my t-shirt probably needs to read:

Because once again I have been curled up in hiding, hibernating until the winter is over and the vernal equinox arrives, which was two days ago according to my other dear friend who teaches me great things about the natural world and makes me aware of words like 'vernal'.

I hope you have been well through the winter, dear readers.  Good things are about to happen in my town and I look forward to blogging about them and sharing the news with you.  

Happy Vernal Everything! May it be a beautiful season for you all.  

"You have no idea what's coming!"
Joe Brody
Godzilla 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happy Howl-o-ween....

...from Pablo Pupcasso!

People who try to explain pictures 
are usually barking up the wrong tree.
Pablo Picasso

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Spray It, Don't Say It!

For quite a while, I've been incorporating spray paint into my paintings, mostly just as an accent:  a row of numbers here, some backward letters there.  

I use Liquitex and Montana Gold sprays.
This is a rainbow of deliciousness right here.  

A few months ago, during one of those 'ugh! I can't get over this horrible creative block!' moments, I challenged myself to paint a quick portrait of Toby using only acrylic spray paint in hopes of awakening the sleeping muse.  The rules: use anything I could put my hands on for stencils and masks (tape, manila folders, mylar, my fingers) to create the shapes but no paintbrushes, oil sticks or any medium except spray paint.

The painting only took me 8ish hours, which in Front Door Studios time equals, like, 20 minutes (!) and YES it was a great sledge hammer for that block. I am super happy with the way it turned out.  

Pop Art Toby
30 x 40
acrylic on canvas

The sister happened to mention that Toby's portrait was her new favorite, so, for her Birthday this month, I painted a portrait of her black cat, Marley.  I am now her favorite sibling*.

Pop Art Marley
30 x 30
acrylic on canvas

I am having a blast creating these Graffiti Portraits.  With every shake of the can, my hidden badboy emerges; I imagine myself sneaking out in the night, dressed in black, a well-worn bandana holding back my locks, to tag the night train that just pulled into the station......these imaginings have NOTHING to do with the paint fumes that are accumulating in the studi.... oh look, a pink rabbit!

my street name...
influenced by my grandma name, Mimzy.

"People say graffiti is ugly, irresponsible and childish...
but that's only if it's done properly."
Banksy, Wall and Piece

*I am her ONLY sibling. 

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


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.... 

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


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.
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.

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.)

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:

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 !

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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)

"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


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 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