It has been a long time since I have finished a painting. Life gets busy and it gets hard to spend time in my studio. I let myself make excuses and I find myself believing them. Without a hard deadline, I just get stuck and can’t quite finish a painting.

So, I decided to find a call for entries (because it would have a deadline) and force myself to enter a new painting. I haven’t painted in so long, so in order to meet the criteria of the painting being made in the last three years, it was going to have to be something new. I set this goal several months ago…and then I procrastinated.

I couldn’t decide what to paint, but I had plenty of time and it would come to me. It didn’t. So, with one week until the deadline, I went into my folder of old reference photos and decided to re-do an old favorite.

When I was in school at RMCAD, I painted a close up of my lips coated in black lipstick. At that point in time, I didn’t spend very much time prepping my surface. That painting was actually the turning point for how much time and energy I put into the layers and layers of gesso and sanding. I loved how the painting turned out, but the canvas was kind of bumpy and could have looked so much better. This was my chance for redemption for that painting.

Today was the deadline for submitting artwork to the call for entries. I was up last night finishing my painting, and I filled out the entry this morning. It feels good to have finished an artwork. Now, I need to spend some time finding the next opportunity and set a new goal/deadline.


The Quiet One – Oil on Canvas – August 2019


Untitled (Black) – Oil on Canvas – August 2013


As usual, this post is waayyyy over due, but here are some photos of my design from the 2016 Art Directors Club of Denver’s Paper Fashion Show. This design is titled “Under Pressure,” and is inspired by the idea of coal turning into diamonds. It takes immense pressure to turn something as mundane as coal into a diamond. Similarly, as a team of artists and designers, we work under a great deal of pressure to transform paper into fashion.

Top Looks from ADCD’s 12th Annual Paper Fashion Show

Planning is and has always been a HUGE part of my art practice. For me, planning is about 50% of my process. This includes the initial brainstorming that sparks the idea, research, sketching, experimenting with materials, mock-ups, and a lot of writing. It may seem strange, but my ‘sketchbooks’ are more writing than sketches. It is just the way I think and process things. I want every piece that I create to have careful consideration behind each and every decision. I am not a fan of making things and then trying to figure out what they mean later…at least not as final pieces. I believe that the greatest artists spend time carefully planning and researching so they can manipulate their media into exactly what they intend to. That is what I strive for, and that is why I plan…excessively.

Entering the final stages of planning for my 2016 Paper Fashion Show design.
planning for my 2016 Paper Fashion Show design

I started the planning process for this year’s Paper Fashion show about a year and a half ago, and yesterday I picked out the swatch-book of paper that I will be using. So, now it is crunch time for planning. I need to come up with a final sketch of my design and select the colors of paper so I can get my order placed and can get started on my design.