Monday, December 19, 2011

"Laughing Eyes"

Dear Blog, 
       I'm sorry for neglecting you!  Between work and graduate school and trying to be a good wife, I just haven't had much time.  I'll try to make more time for you this coming year.


"Laughing Eyes", courtesy of Katie Holmes

Monday, September 19, 2011

Always a fun holiday adventure...

Just for fun, and for a little extra spending money, I make tutus around the holidays.  I LOVE the process, because I don't have to think so hard.  Most other types of art (at least in my case) always come along with thoughts like "I wish I was better at this", "I don't know what to paint/draw/write", etc.  I love making the little tutus, because they are easy (almost therapeutic) for me.  Also, who doesn't love  a little girlie frill around the house every once in a while!    Posted below are a few of the tutus I've finished!  Hope to start selling them in the next week or two, after I attach sweet satin bows to each of them!

Black/Green Pixie Tutu

Black/Orange Pixie Tutu

Lil' Pumpkin Tutu

Candy Cane Tutu

Harvest Tutu

Sugarplum Tutu

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Talent Schmalent

       I was reading an art history book the other day, and was absolutely fascinated to find that the word art came from the Latin word ars, which means "skill", and the Greek word for art, tekne, is where we get the word technique!  Wait...what??  Art greatness has been about skill all this time?  Haven't we been told our whole lives that some people just "have it" and some don't?
     Lucky for me, skills and techniques are not genetic...they are learned.  Art can be learned.  So what if I never got into art when I was younger, can't seem to shade anything properly, and am (secretly) afraid of watercolors?  Well, as my art teacher friend told me yesterday, "It's not too late."
     So here I go...with a little courage and a ton of effort, I will draw and paint and will not allow "can't" to determine my artistic expression. 
If you can tell it's a cat, I did what I set out to do. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Taken by surprise: Poetry

I went to the most lovely workshop the other day.  I'd wax poetic about it, but with school deadlines approaching, I'm in an essay-writing kind of place, so you'll have to bear with me.  Anyway, sometimes I worry about these workshops.  I'm required to get 60 hours of professional development every year, and it's not unusual to pick a real lemon of a workshop somewhere in those 60 hours.  I was a little intimidated by this one at first.  Thoughts ran through my mind:  Am I gonna have to stand up in front of people and read a poem that I wrote?  Will I embarrass myself?  (I know you're nervous for me just reading this, and I can assure you, that, YES, I did have to present in front of the "class" and YES, I most certainly embarrassed myself.  In case you are wondering, it involved a pair of sunglasses and a very poor attempt at blues-singing, that I volunteered for.  What was I thinking?  I'm classically trained.  And born in Oklahoma.  We don't do "blues".)

And then there was this one assignment that broad-sided me a a good way.

The assignment, given by poet/educator, Clayton Scott (reposted here in my own words):

Write a series of couplets (two-line poetry) describing the following scenario:  You meet a relative (whom you haven't spoken to in a while) in a café and begin to talk.  At some point in the conversation, a discovery is made (either something you discover, or something you tell them that they did not know).

Photo credit here.

The joy of seeing her again was punctuated
by the sweet smell of cinnamon rolls in the making.

As we sipped, her "hot water with lemon, please"
and my "should be drinking water, but I'll have a Dr. Pepper, thank you"

I realized that she was really here...present,
Not the empty shell of a thieving diagnosis.

And despite all of the questions I've stored up over the years, and all the wishing for just one more conversation,

All I could think to say was
"I became a teacher, like you said."

So my couplets were a mess (shhh...don't tell on me), and technically he didn't say that we were "allowed" to create an imaginary scenario with someone who is no longer living...but that's the beauty of art, right?  Sometimes a rare jewel just finds its way to the paper, and you're not really sure how it got there.  And before you know it, you're in tears as you read it to your colleagues (and some people you don't know), stuck somewhere between "Man!  I wrote that?" and "I really wish there were time-traveling cafés." 

Therefore, I have two things to say to you:
1.  If you ever get a chance to attend a Clayton Scott performance or workshop,  GO.  Totally worth any blues-singing escapades you might get yourself in to (I'm just kidding, he won't make you sing).  

2.  Just write.  Put the "shoulds" away and write.  You just might surprise yourself and say something you've been wanting to say for a long time.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Art, in the Style of Julie Nutting

Caution:  This post contains shameless promotion of my new favorite book.  Proceed at your own risk.

So, after waiting (impatiently) for my copy of Julie Nutting's book, Collage Couture, to come in the mail, it finally got here last Wednesday!  I have had an absolute ball looking through the book and designing paper fashions!

If you don't yet know about Collage Couture, well you are missing out!  Not only is the book beautiful to simply look at, it also contains excellent tutorials on painting backgrounds onto canvas and other substrates, and of course the best part of the book, drawing and designing lovely girls and their fashions!  Julie presents the material in an fun way, encouraging us girls to don our tiaras and connect with that little girl that may have been forgotten amidst the busyness of the everyday.  And if that wasn't enough, she even includes some of the most fun gift ideas I've ever seen!  I couldn't stop flipping to the gift section of the book and brainstorming all of the ways I could bless the ladies in my life with a gift, Julie Nutting-style.  I may be knee-deep in patterned papers for a very long time.

And now, for the reveal, (drum-roll, please) I give you my interpretation of Collage Couture girls...

Jenny:  She likes to make up stories using characters she meets on the street. 

Elle:  She hates playing the piano in front of others...but she's very good.

So there you have it, friends!  Run, don't walk to get your copy of Collage Couture!  (And no, Julie did not pay me to write this...I really do love this book that much!)

Oh, and if you're needing a little extra inspiration, I highly recommend watching old episodes of Project Runway on, and feel good about the fact that you don't have to hem anything!

Happy creating!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Art Trading: "Owl"

And another attempt at mastering tiny art is almost finished.  And yes, I'm running behind...AGAIN!  I must confess that this time it was mainly because I realized that owls really aren't my thing.  They're a bit artistically intimidating to me, and I'm STILL struggling with the second one.  I absolutely HAVE to get them in the mail tomorrow!!  So for now, I will post what I have, and just know I will be FRANTIC in trying to fix the second one before I mail.  Hope you enjoy!

Oh, and if you have NO idea what this tiny art is that I'm referring to, check out my (also tiny) explanation here.

Owl #1...not too scary, right??

Owl #2:  WHAT WAS I THINKING!!  (being reworked ASAP)

And there you have it, friends!  Art and fear...all right out there where you can see it!! :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Art Trading: "Umbrella"

So I entered my very first ATC (Artist Trading Card) swap.  For those of you that don't know what an ATC is, it is a small piece of art that you simply baseball cards for artists!  The only rules are that it must be 2.5" by 3.5" and that you must give them away (rather than sell them).  So I'm finding the hardest part is mailing them on time!!  Oh, and sending them away, not knowing what the recipient will think of them.  (Scary!)  However, the small format is great fun and much less intimidating than a full-size I shall keep on with these swaps.  Hopefully I'll get better with meeting the deadlines...I'm pretty sure deadlines are my "kryptonite" (as my husband would say).  Anyway, I'd love to know what you think!  They shall hit the mail tomorrow, and there's no turning back! 
 "June Idyls" ATC, courtesy of Katie Holmes

"Rain, rain, go away" ATC, courtesy of Katie Holmes

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Art and Devotions

I'm okay!!  Haven't fallen off the face of the planet...just too much going on!  I just wanted to take this opportunity to share something I read in a book that a friend loaned to me.  It was definitely a timely thought and I hope it encourages you as it did me.  Oh, and of course I sketched a little something to go with it. 

From the journal of Katie Holmes.
"Our daisy-petal (i.e. He loves me, He loves me not) approach to Christianity can be swallowed up by the undeniable proof of His love for us on the cross of Calvary.  That's the side of the cross that has all but been ignored in recent decades.  We did not see what really happened there between the Father and His Son that opened the door to His love so vast that it cannot be challenged even by your darkest of days."  -excerpt from He Loves Me, by Wayne Jacobsen

Monday, April 18, 2011


All I can think about this morning is "Am I making the right decision?  Should I rethink what I said I wanted?"  I mean, my job is a good job.  And my house?  It's a good (cheap) house.  But now is the season for hiring new teachers to replace the ones who've moved on or retired, and maybe I should apply.  Not necessarily because I'm absolutely 100% ready to move on, but because those jobs come with (MUCH) better pay.  And boy, could we use it.  Am I not applying because I'm afraid?  Or because there's something more for me here?  Questions desperately needing answers...

Trusting God for guidance today.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Celebrate inner beauty.

Loving this one.  Okay, sure, her eyes are a little uneven, the writing is a little wonky, and her mouth took me FOREVER to get right, but inner beauty is the point here anyway, right?  (That's what I'm telling myself so I can move on and not agonize over perfection).  Hope you like her. 

"Celebrate inner beauty", courtesy of Katie Holmes. 
Prints (and original) available in my Etsy shop!

Oh, and one more thing.  I'm right proud of that nose!  I'm getting better at NOSES!!  (Insert happy dance here.)  :)  Enjoy!  And celebrate your beautiful self today!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Come to the well, and drink deeply...

In our fast-paced, busy lives, sometimes it seems like there is no time to savor anything...relationships, art, beauty, God.  But what if we made the time?  What if we just decided, "Today, I'm going to make it a stand at the well and drink.  Not just a sip.  I choose to drink until I can't fit any more water anywhere."  My lesson for today.  And tomorrow.  And...well, always

"drink deeply", mixed media artwork by Katie Holmes

Sunday, March 27, 2011


So today I decided to put to practice what I learned in my lesson yesterday morning.  The colors are a bit weird and she started out looking quite a bit like a man (ha ha!) but for my first solo attempt at a face, I think she turned out pretty well.  And I had quite a few opportunities on this one to learn how to paint over something and start again.  :)  Enjoy!  And helpful critiques also welcomed! :)

Pretty girl, courtesy of Katie Holmes, 3/27/11.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Painting Faces!

A few months ago I wrote a about wishing I could paint faces, girls in particular.  I wrote about loving artists like Kelly Rae Roberts and Julie Nutting, who paint beautiful girls in their artwork.  Really I think the reason I love the girls in their artwork is because, in the midst of a busy day in which I'm trying to be everything to everyone, their girls help me connect to the girl inside me...feminine, precious,  I love that girl.  I want to paint that girl. 

This morning I took my first step in the direction of finding that girl in my paintbrush!  I went to an artist friend's house around 10:30 a.m and received my first ever one-on-one art lesson.  Painted my first real face (she turned out pretty cute, don't you think?) and it wasn't near as hard as I originally thought!  Okay, now I'm off to keep practicing!  :)

Making Faces, courtesy of Katie Holmes.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Okay, so I spend more time thinking than doing!  Which doesn't seem like such a bad thing, right?  I mean planning is good, but at some point I'm gonna have to just work on SOMETHING.  Feeling a bit artistically stuck today.  Oh, well.  Tomorrow I have a fun art date with an artist friend of mine, and she's gonna work with me on painting faces.  So excited about that!  So today, not so productive.  Maybe tomorrow.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

More photos from Devil's Den!

The campsite.  Not exactly roughing it...

"The stairway not taken..."
I want to live here. 

Love this waterfall.  So much.

Photos by Katie Holmes, 2011.

Makin' friends with my camera...

Back from a refreshing trip to Devil's Den State Park.  Had a great time with my hubby and my friends, and found a new appreciation for camera settings that I'd never really played with.  :)  Below are only a few of the resulting photos...

Little piece of the beach in the woods.

The dam at Devil's Den.

Rock Truck.

Crossing the bridge.

Laughing eyes.

The mountain man and his love.

The campfire.

Playing with fire.

More photos to come...

All photos courtesy of Katie Holmes, 2011.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Touching base.

So exhausted!  So many things, so little me.  Looking forward to Spring Break this coming week, and hope that it doesn't become one of those vacations that leaves you more tired than you were before the vacation. 

For those of you waiting on certain artworks to become prints, thank you for your patience!  I've had some major issues with the images and the editing and printing of the images, so needless to say I had to set it aside for a few days, due to frustration.  I will continue to work on it and will hopefully have some new prints soon!

And for tonight's entertainment, I'm off to an elementary school talent show.  Good times.  :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

New etsy listing!

I've just posted the original mixed media artwork titled 
"Embrace your seasons" on Etsy!  
You can purchase it here.

"Embrace your seasons", original mixed media artwork courtesy of Katie Holmes.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sold. My. First. Print!!

So excited! 
Sold my first print, of my first mixed media artwork!!  
This is really happening!! 
So inspired right now!  :) 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lean, mean, printing machine! Print(s) now available!!

Created my very first print, of my very first mixed media artwork tonight!  Love my new printer...and the fun ( of learning how to make prints in the comfort of my own home.  Enjoying the new adventure!  :)  You can check out the available print(s) here!

"Be not afraid" prints now available!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Oh no she didn't!!!

"Very often audacity, not talent, makes one person an artist and another a shadow artist -- 
hiding in the shadows, afraid to step out and expose the dream to the light, 
fearful that it will disintegrate to the touch."
Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way

Because I'm pretty new at this artist thing, and because I've spent most of my life focused on a career in music, a lot of my friends have said to me, "Oh!  I didn't know you could paint!"

Well, neither did I.  But I did it anyway.  Go.  Paint anyway.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Love Song, completed.

Love Song, original mixed media artwork by Katie Holmes; quote by Rainer Maria Rilke

"Love Song: Part 1."

Funny how the road of creativity is so unpredictable...One day you are attempting to paint a violin, and somehow that path leads you to a profound truth about love.  What could the two possibly have in common?  One of my favorite poets said it best:

How shall I hold on to my soul, so that
it does not touch yours? How shall I lift
it gently up over you on to other things?
I would so very much like to tuck it away
among long lost objects in the dark
in some quiet unknown place, somewhere
which remains motionless when your depths resound.
And yet everything which touches us, you and me,
takes us together like a single bow,
drawing out from two strings but one voice.
On which instrument are we strung?
And which violinist holds us in the hand?

O sweetest of songs.
   -Rainer Maria Rilke 

Still trying to get the painting "just right".  I'll post it when I do!  Stay tuned...

Monday, February 14, 2011

I Heart Giveaways!

One of my favorite blogs to follow is hosting a Valentine's giveaway!  Check it out!!  And thanks, Danita, for such a generous giveaway!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"What now?"

Perhaps a distant cousin to a previously discussed question ("What if?"), I am now at the crossroads of "What now?"  After the last painting I completed, I'm feeling a bit lost!  I love that painting.  So much.  It encouraged me, and it gave me hope.  And perhaps even drained me a bit.  I was in a painting trees phase, but after that last one, I'm not sure I see any more trees that need painted.  "What now?"  Funny, this creative path sometimes looks a bit like the crazy "blizzard" we just experienced here in Arkansas...can barely see in front of your face, let alone to the next work.  Right now, just thinking about what to do next!  This I know, I must continue!  How?  Well...that part's a little blurry at the moment, but I'll let you know when I figure it out.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Embrace your seasons...

I wrote a poem around six years ago that dealt with some of the darker places in my life, and decided the other day that I'd like to put it into paint.  I hope it speaks to you, as it did me. 
Embrace Your Seasons, original mixed media artwork by Katie Holmes.

"For though it is the spring that makes you beautiful,
it was the winter that made you strong."


The next painting I'll be posting is called "Embrace your seasons".  I'll share more when I post the painting when I post, but I wanted to share a few thoughts about the dark of our lives.  As a recovering perfectionist, I'm not always a big fan of dark, painful, imperfect places.  However, I heard some lyrics the other day that challenged my perspective a bit: 

You're a butterfly held captive
Small and safe in your cocoon.
Go on you can take your time
Time is said to heal all wounds.
 -"All About Your Heart", Mindy Gledhill

What if we embraced our dark season as a time of growth and an opportunity to snuggle up to the One who loves us and allows us the freedom to grow and change?  I don't know about you, but I certainly need the grace to appreciate my little cocoons.  They can be somewhat confining at times...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

"She hangs the stars..." finished.

She Hangs the Stars, original mixed media artwork by Katie Holmes.
It'll be in the mail soon, Amy K.!!  Never forget what a work of art you are.  I love you dearly.  :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Silence the voices.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint', then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced."  
-Vincent Van Gogh

I will paint.  Even if my work schedule only allows me to paint on the weekends, I will paint.  Even though I may get frustrated that I "can't" paint what I see in my head, still I will paint.  If only to silence the voices.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"She hangs the stars.."

"Hers wouldn't stick to the sky, so she hung them from the tree instead."

Almost finished with a painting that I'm gonna stick in the mail to a dear friend of mine.  Got a little sad yesterday because I realized that even thought I adore artists like Kelly Rae Roberts and Julie Nutting and they have the most precious "girlies" in their artwork, I can't draw a human figure to save my life.  So the style that I LOVE is well out of my reach.  This saddened me.  Then two things happened. 
1.  My husband told me to work with what I am good at.  He mentioned the "be not afraid" tree.  Which got me to thinking.  I do love trees.  They aren't intimidating....just fun.
2.  I read the following exerpt from Inner Excavation by Liz Lamoreux:  "Then, I decided I needed to figure out how to "make a girl" with paint.  But I had no experience drawing or painting faces, and the negative inner dialogue that came up when I attempted when I attempted it pushed me away from wanting to paint at all.  I spent months almost frozen creatively because of this need to "paint a girl".  Somehow I had arrived at the conclusion that to be an artist I must be able to paint a girl."  Ha ha!!  Someone else has been there too!  All of these lovely painted girls floating around in the world, simply out of my reach, and come to find out, I'm not alone!  :)  Thanks for that, Liz!

Anyway, I painted a tree instead.  Threw some stars and glitter in for good measure.  Take that fear and frustration!  I painted anyway.

And Amy K., if you are reading this, I hope you like your tree, darling girl!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

"At present your business is to see."

"How soon do you think I could begin painting?" it asked.
The Spirit broke into laughter.  "Don't you see you'll never paint at all if that's what you're thinking about?" he said.
"What do you mean?" asked the Ghost.
"Why, if you are interested in the country only for the sake of painting it, you'll never learn to see the country."
"But that's just how a real artist is interested in the country."
"No.  You're forgetting." said the Spirit.
"That was not how you began.  Light itself was your first love:  you loved paint only as a means of telling about light."
-from C.S. Lewis', The Great Divorce

Oh, how desperately I want to learn to see.  Not for the sake of making art, but for the sake of appreciating the beauty I hurry past every day.   


She seeks a reservoir of healing
a moment of rest
a reflection of stillness
in which she can see clearly
the vibrant girl she is meant to be.

Side note:  The above poem is the product of an exercise from a  book by Liz Lamoreux:  Inner Excavation.  It contains some freeing exercises in poetry, photography, and mixed-media and so far I'm loving it!  The art pieces displayed in the book alone are worth the money spent.  

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Working on a few projects.  Not sure I really have time for much to do at school now that Christmas Break is over.  Still, I feel a little more balanced taking the time to glue paper to a box, or ponder future fabric artistry.  Allowing myself the "permission" to have a little fun might have been the best resolution I could make for this year.  Stay tuned for sneak peeks of the current projects.  :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

be not afraid.

Had a great time this afternoon with my art-lovin' friend, Amanda, working on this piece.  I admire her for how much she manages to get accomplished with a little two-year-old running around.  We certainly had an interesting time trying to "do art" while trying to keep the Mod-Podge off of the coffee table and the paint-water from becoming a thirst-quencher.  :)

Many times during the making of this piece, I had to remind myself of my desire to let go of my tendency toward perfection and just try.  At the end of the evening, I'm pretty proud of my work.  And I had great fun doing it!

Be not afraid, original mixed media artwork by Katie Holmes.