I will see you all early next week~ the family and I are heading on the 12 hour (well, 12 hours without kids) drive to upstate NY for my cousins wedding. Wish us luck!!!


Things to be grateful for.

I am was having an evening of crumpled expectations of what tonight was going to be. The kids were tucked in bed by 7:00, and Alex and I were planning on eating a late dinner together and then getting out our art supplies and working on some of the more monotonous art projects while we watched a movie. I am realizing as I write this down, that it probably does not sound like an exciting Saturday night at all. Ahem, I just don't know what to say about that. It sounded good to me?


Eliseo's first tooth broke through the bottom gum this afternoon. He couldn't fall asleep in his crib and he needed to come downstairs to be rocked to sleep. In the meantime he woke up Lili. She sprung out of bed after 45 mins of sleep like it was morning time. Alex tried to convince her to go back to sleep by laying with her but I could hear her up there tapping her foot against the wall. It didn't work. So we made her some hot milk (with a couple drops of stevia instead of white sugar) because somewhere in the back of my head I remember it is supposed to make you tired to drink hot milk. When Alex passed over her sippy cup she practically started jumping for joy on the bed saying it was hot coco. "No, no, we are not giving you hot cocco when it is past your bedtime Lil, it is hot milk."
She took a sip.
"No!!! It IS hot coco!!!!!!!"
boing boing boing!
Alex and I just raised our eyebrows and shook our heads as we clearly saw the demise of our night together.
We put on a "dora" movie for her on the portable dvd player and left her upstairs.

Seo stirred from his sleeping throne on the couch every crunch of nachos we ate.
He has been waking every 1/2 hour to cry out in pain. I feed him some teething tablets, I nurse him again. Alex goes up to lie down with Lili after the movie is done. I am downstairs trying not to make a peep. Finally it all seems quiet and I tiptoe upstairs. She is finally asleep... but so is Alex. I pull on his toe and ask if he is done for the night. "Uh... yeah, sorry Kelc..."
It is 10:15.

I have a moment of self pity for this lost Saturday night. But then I realize~ oh well, it isn't exactly lost~
So I made myself a hot toddy and sat down to write this here blog post.  And so my gratitude list for tonight:
  • our home that we can call our own.
  • peacefully sleeping babies (both are at the moment)
  • the seven months I have spent with my toothless miracle Seo. 
  • the almost 3 years I have gotten to be with Lilikoi (but it feels like a lifetime).
  • my hard working, good looking, friend of a hubby.
  • my sister and brother-in-law/sister-in-law living so near to us. 
  • whiskey (although, not in excess)
  • devoted and loving families and friends on all sides.
  • the ability to see, and feel, and create art.
  • our health.


In Progress

A detail of the paintings I have been working on. I may have to start the whole painting over entirely though... My problem is that I have been experimenting with layering an archival tracing paper into my paintings. It is a very thin and delicate paper. I had found a way to apply it to my paintings without it buckling ("YES" paste and a LOT of burnishing with a bonefolder)but I have come to realize it is still buckling and wrinkling if it gets to humid or damp. I left my studio door open to air out some toxic fumes the other day and forgot about it~ and then came back the next morning to find this painting had some wrinkling happening.
You can't see my problem very clearly in this picture, but I promise you it is there. I am disappointed because I thought I had found my perfect, perfect way of layering and adding depth and a waxy appearance with this tracing vellum
We shall see. I am not giving up on it just yet...

Speaking of humidity and things getting wet... I never told you about our crazy mold-carpeted house that we came home to after our trip to NH. We went out and bought a dehumidifier immediately (lesson learned: be proactive with mold and humidity not reactive.) . That first night with all the windows closed we pulled 3 1/2 GALLONS of water out of our 2 room house in less than 12 hours. Crazy huh???



You might be able to tell from my last artsy post that I am cluttered with ideas and thoughts about my artistic endeavors. And although I am grateful not to be bored, sometimes the constant flurry of stuff swirling around in my head is overwhelming.
So, I spent my studio time this week making under-paintings. Alex makes me these wonderful wooden 1.5" deep boxes to paint on. I often will cover the edges and top with a collage of simple papers and paint. This is the foundation of my paintings. The simplicity and craft of collaging papers, and using glue, and painting washes of acrylic and ink~ maybe a small pencil stroke... it is like a meditation to me. It is a nice "job" to do when I am too wound up to make sense to myself.

Later, the paintings unfold in different ways. Sometimes I create an under-painting with a specific pattern or image that will work into it. Most of the time however, it is the under-painting itself that asks to be a certain image.

These are 12" square to give you an idea of the size:sometimes I finish a painting and think to myself, hmmm... I liked the under-painting equally as much...

Seo love


art process and business process (from a non-type-A personality)

Recently, Frivoli-tea inquired about my process in making my 4"x4" paintings. Right now I am starting part of the painting on a loose leaf paper, and then completing the painting after I glue that down. But the real answer is that my process is constantly changing. I am always trying to keep them fresh but at the same time find ways to streamline my production. Selling them at $22-$25 each (and $2 in materials) they are not the most cost effective thing to be making. However, I like doing them for several reasons:
  1. It keeps my painterly/drawing hand in practice.
  2. I come up with new ideas while working on them.
  3. It feels good to be able to offer affordable, original art to people. Some people say this is what prints are for, but holding a one of kind artwork in your hand has a unique and special feel.
So I am always trying to strike that balance between affordability for my customers, profitability for me, and a continued sincerity to my work. That said... I am finding myself at a crossroads with my art. I met with my Mother's friend Debbie a few days ago (She is a greeting card guru~ Check out her business!) to seek advice. I quit my day job two years ago, and my art business has grown exponentially since then. At first it didn't feel like a business. It was more like I would paint a painting and then be ecstatic when it sold. Now, I feel blessed to be able to say that it has morphed into being my passion but also a small business. I am still pouring a lot of the profit back into the business, but it is working. Of course I still feel excited when I make a sale, but I feel more confident and practical about it too.

Somehow it is working.

Sort of...

I feel like I am hanging on by an ity-bitty thread sometimes. Trying to look put together and respectable, but in reality it feels chaotic much of the time.
Things like trying to take photos for my Etsy site during a nap with my so-so quality camera, and the baby waking up after I get it all set up...... And going to check my email and I will find out it has been days since I last checked it, and there is a time sensitive question in my inbox........ Packing my orders at midnight, picking the cat hairs off the tissue paper because I am putting it together it on the living room floor........ Things like the 15 offers/inquires about consigning or wholesaling my work that I have yet to even respond to........ Or even the small things like taking the 30 mins it would take to figure out how to ship my orders from our mailbox instead of dragging my two kids to the post office twice a week....... These kinds of things keep piling up, and I just want to go hide out in my studio... you know???

So I met with Debbie to gain some perspective. How to make the most use of the scraps of time I have. How to make that leap into going wholesale if that is what I want. How to think about the bigger picture and reach for it. HERE is a wonderful post from Jill about this same subject. It is very comprehensive. It was perfect timing that she wrote this~ I read it right when I got back from talking with Debbie and I felt so pumped up and inspired.

I get so bogged down by my own doubts and wishy-washiness. I worry my work isn't cohesive enough. I worry that I am not working towards being in a gallery. I worry what I am creating now is cliche somehow. I have several friends who have MFAs and I always hear their voices critiquing my work and my business decisions in my head. To be fair, it is always MY voice I am hearing and not theirs. But there is some truth that many artists feel uncomfortable or resent the idea of making a money from art. The voices in my head say if it is a crowd-pleaser, or would make good "Coffee table art" it isn't authentic.


Why is that inner critic so mean sometimes???

THIS is a great interview from artist Dolan Geiman about the reality of creating a living from art. He totally dismisses the idea that you have to be a starving artist if you chose the artist route. It is a stance you don't hear spoken aloud in the art world very often.

So here is what I want:
  1. To be creating authentic art. Authentic to my heart.
  2. To be creating art that other people fall in love with and subsequently buy from me.
  3. To let go of the fear of being successful and step into a mind space where anything is possible.
  4. Let go of complete control. Allow Alex, wholesalers, reps, printers to do some of the work.
  5. Be gentle with myself. So what if I don't answer all my emails promptly. I know it would be better if I did... but I can only do so much. There will come a time when I don't have a 6 month old and a 2 year old~ Remember my priority is Lili and Seo. Always.
  6. Keep showing up.
Keep showing up.


on a walk down our dirt road.

There is a telephone attached to a tree that says E.T. phone home on our road. With nothing but a long stretch of forest all around...
Who put it there I am not sure.
But, Lili loves to stop and carry on long conversations on it. :)



The other night as I was tucking Lili into bed she asked if I was going to stay upstairs with her. I told her I was going to head downstairs to do the dinner dishes.

"And then you will come back and snuggle with me?"

I was about to say of course (a fib), knowing she would be asleep in a matter of minutes. When I looked at her all long-legged and sleepy-eyed snuggled on the bed~ I had one of those moments of clarity. I saw the fleetingness of this time. How long will I be able to cuddle with my two year old Lilikoi? And I crawled into her toddler bed and wrapped my arms around her.

As she was falling asleep she ran her hand back and forth softly over the bare skin on my shoulder like a mantra. Her fingers were warm and my skin was cool.

She fell asleep within five minutes.