Friday, April 29, 2016

Meet Lisa Loudin of Soul Spa

I met Lisa Loudin at one of my first alcohol ink classes.  There was something about her that instantly drew me in. I would say it was her self confidence but it was more than that. I started the class with my usual story (about how I always painted but never took it seriously until a few years ago)... and gave everyone else a chance to tell their stories. When Lisa spoke about going to Paris for a month just to learn the language, about how she feels about the power of positive thinking and that she had formed a company just to help empower people, I was hooked. I had to find out more about Soul Spa.

The more I learned the more excited I became.
Her journey sounded intriguing to me. I too, always try to stay confident about my artwork and my art business so I am drawn to the power of the positive. I sadly have to admit, I don't always make myself the priority. It always seems to catch up to me in the end. What does my husband say? " When mom's not happy no one is happy." Unfortunately there's some truth to it. When I'm not happy things and people around me suffer. This is true for most of us.

What is Soul Spa's mission?

Soul Spa's mission is to make YOU feel good, to raise your vibration, put you in your happy place by providing you opportunities to bask, play, relax, think, contemplate and maybe something new to nice to you.  Not just nice, but treat yourself like you're number 1 on your priority list.  

It is a practice to invest in oneself and to put yourself first. When that happens the world opens up in ways that you have only imagined. 

The more I spoke to Lisa, the more interested I became in combining Soul Spa and JR Finally Art for a program that would pamper those who attended and leave them feeling refreshed. 

So here it is: Taste.

Four hours of exploring your soul, your taste buds and your creative self. A place to unwind, reboot, connect and have some fun.

Join us:     Saturday, May 7th. 10am - 2pm
           McEachran Homestead Winery
           1917 Wyman School Road 
           Caledonia Township, Illinois 61011

Purchase your ticket here.                           See you there!


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Unforgettable Lives Up To It's Name

Last Saturday, 48 artists showed up and painted with the hopes that their painting would spark an interest in a collector's heart, all in the name of a good cause - Alzheimer's. 

The sad thing is that we all had our own stories, our own personal reason to be there. And if things keep going as is, those numbers are going to continue to rise.
  • It is estimated that as many as 5.1 million Americans may have Alzheimer's disease.
  • The incidence of the disease is rising in line with the aging population.
  • Although Alzheimer's disease is not a normal part of aging, the risk of developing the illness rises with advanced age. Current research from the National Institute on Aging indicates that the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease doubles every five years beyond age 65.
  • As our population ages, the disease impacts a greater percentage of Americans. The number of people age 65 and older will more than double between 2010 and 2050 to 88.5 million or 20 percent of the population; likewise, those 85 and older will rise three-fold, to 19 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • It is estimated that about a half million Americans younger than age 65 have some form of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. (This is referred to as young onset or early onset.)
  • It is estimated that one to four family members act as caregivers for each individual with Alzheimer's disease.
For more information, connect with the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s licensed social workers or call 866.232.8484. Real People. Real Care. 

 For us artists, it's a fun day. 
A day to see some old friends and meet new ones.


This group has always been so great to work with. 

As the afternoon wears on, there are concerns as to whether or not we will be able to finish on time.

 But we all support each other and it all turns out in the end.

Almost done....

The guests arrive at 6pm.

Cheering section arrives....
     complete with all the right things to say.

Friends enter...
Some we haven't seen in a long time.

It's time to sign it
 and get a drink.

Grab some food...


     And on to the auction. 

 And before you know it... your piece is gone.

You breath a sigh or relief... it's found a home.


And then it's all over...   

Until next year.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Unforgettable Art; 13th Annual Affair for Alzheimers

Ever since the farmer who sold sunflowers moved into the booth next to mine at the Rockton River Market last summer, I have been painting sunflowers. You might say I'm a bit obsessed with them. And for good reason! They're not only beautiful but they seem to make people happy. I have loved having people paint sunflowers in my classes because the variety of colors and shapes. Relatively speaking, they're a pretty easy flower to paint and my students always seem happy with their outcomes. We've been painting sunflowers on Yupo paper, canvas and plates.

So when it was time to decide what to paint for this Saturday's Unforgettable Art, an affair to benefit Alzheimer's, sunflowers were the obvious answer. At Unforgettable each artist is given 8 hours to complete a painting and have it dry and ready for action by 8PM. It can be kind of stressful so I try to come to the event well prepared by having planned and painted the painting a few times before the event.

So far, I have painted 3 paintings in preparation and plan to do one more run through tomorrow just to be sure. Why am I spending so much time on this? Well it helps to have the composition figured out ahead of time. And  there's some pretty impressive artists painting on that day, I just want to make sure I can keep up with them. Any practice pieces can be sold at shows or in a gallery so the time is well spent... and it's fun!

 I Dreamt of You
12" x 24"
Alcohol Ink & Pen
$550 at 317 Studio & Gallery

By the second week of painting this it became pretty clear that I didn't have the time to reproduce this painting in 7 hours or so.  So, I simplified the painting.

August Afternoon
11" x 14"
Alcohol Ink & Pen
$245 at 317 Studio & Gallery

This one was more manageable given the time frame but I still wanted to play with it a bit and came up with a 3rd design. 

Work In Progress
11" x 14"
Alcohol Ink ( Not Penned Yet )

For my 4th painting I'm returning to a composition similar to the second painting - August Afternoon but there will be a few more flowers and the yellow sunflower won't be as big.

I'll let you know how it all turns out. Either way, I'm sure it will be a wonderful event, as it was last year. I will be surrounded by some great friends.... chocolate and wine. Mark and Matt ( my cheering team) will arrive at 6pm with the rest of the guests. It all seems to work out in the end and it sure is fun and all for a great cause!

Hope to see you there. 
You must buy tickets in advance. 
Call 815-484-1300
Crist Kneiss, a wonderful artist and a great support, will also be painting Saturday.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Taste - Delight Your Sences and Feed Your Soul.

Taste is here!

I am so excited to announce  a new 
collaboration with Lisa Loudin this May!

 Taste - Delight your senses and feed your soul.
Is it time to reboot this Spring?
Could you use a little "me" time after you take care of everyone else in your life?

Join us for a Taste of exploring your soul, your taste buds and your creative self. Unwind, reboot, connect and have some fun.
We will take care of everything for you.

You'll take away some mindset ideas and an exercise (perfectly safe to try at home), an original painting, and more! Oh yes, you will be well-fed, too.

This four hour retreat is brought to you by:
      Lisa Loudin of Soul Spa Journeys &
      Jill Rae Martin-Golden of Jill Rae Finally Art

Join us    Saturday, May 7th. 10am - 2pm
              McEachran Homestead Winery
            1917 Wyman School Road
            Caledonia Township, Illinois 61011

Limited Space. Your payment is your ticket to the event.

A day for artists and non-artists alike.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Lonely Life of an Artist?

When I first left my job three years ago, April 1st, my husband and I were both concerned about how I would deal with the loss of socialization that would occur due to the many hours that I would be locked away in my studio painting.  I think this is often the stereo type attributed to artists. I'm a social animal and I need my peeps. What I have found is that art can be an extremely social field.

It is true, that there are hours where I am alone in my studio with just the cat and dog to keep me company. I crave to have big chunks of time to paint alone now. When I am lonely I simply turn on a pod cast or call a friend to chat awhile while I paint. See, that's the big surprise in all of this... I love painting with other people.  I still love to put on the head phones and isolate from the world but the surprise is painting in public, hosting classes or meeting people at shows.

I love all the new people that have entered 
my life, all in the name of art.

I spent all day yesterday doing taxes and cleaning palettes. Okay bad example! No seriously, I'm getting ready for my plate painting class at 317 Studio & Gallery on Thursday. I'm finding that I can't keep up with the cleaning of palettes because of the many classes that I have been doing.

My last class was at Wesley Willows at the end of March. What a delightful group of women I met. They actually get together every Wednesday to paint and I'm looking forward to joining them soon for an afternoon of friendship.



This weekend is Spring Art Scene in Rockford!

With the temperatures expected to hit the seventies after several days of April snow storms this will be one incredible city wide party. Art scene always is a great place for the community to take to the streets and visit the 25+ places that are displaying art, food and wine. I will be a 317 Studio & Gallery this time. I've been told it hosts one of the best parties with live music, food, wine and of course, art. I can't wait! Art scene is a great way to connect with friends and there is always some kind of surprise or bonus meeting. One year I met a childhood friend that used to live 3 houses away. Can you believe it - she moved to Rockford.
 Here is the FB page.


Let me pour you a glass of wine on Friday night between 7 - 9pm and introduce you to many of the fine artists I have come to know. 

One of my new friends is Lisa Loudin of Soul Spa. We're joining forces on a few new projects coming your way next month and in July. I'll tell you more about that on Thursday. Or maybe I'll just hurry up and write my post today. I'm so excited about it I can't wait to tell you!

With all these art parties is there any 
time for family? Always.
I just spent a whole week in Columbus enjoying the company of my five beautiful sisters.  
Top: Lynn, Jill, Terri, Kim. Bottom: Diane, Karen

On Monday of that week, my daughter, Beth and her fiance returned from a weekend in San Diego. Matt and I got to spend a few days with them. We presented Beth with a "bride to be" kit to help her plan her wedding.

Beth and Matt

So I guess I'm socializing enough... awwww. What's enough? Give me a call... we'll paint together sometime.

Next week it's on to Unforgettable... another great art event that takes place in Rockford.