Painted Sofa and Chair

Painted Sofa and Chair

This would be how I decorated my whole house!


What have I been doing?

What have I been doing?

February 12, 2012 by colorsmith | Edit

I have been busy.

Besides my cool day job,  I have a cool side job.  Social media editor for the new textile magazine  Fiber Art Now.  If you have any passion for surface design and textiles this is a great magazine to check out. You can down load a free sample of our 2nd issue at that site.

While you are at it – check out our Facebook community and “LIKE” us!

( Please join our Facebook community )

What else have I been up to you might ask?

I have been wanting to participate in The Prayer Flag Project. 

I love the concept of prayer flags.  I love to see them flying in the wind.  Yesterday was a blustery day. It was a perfect day to finish and hang my flags. The sun and the wind took my intentions and they are flying out to the universe.   ( See the photos below)

OK… so one more project I am working on is a map.  Inspired by Jill Berry and her book Personal Geographies.  She did a great webcast that might get you juiced up to try a map

I am just sketching it out now… so stay tuned for the blog post on it.  Until then you really should check out all the creative maps on They Draw & Travel   –  this is a site that shows great maps being created by artists all over the world.

So that’s about it for now… I won’t even bring up Pinterest…. it is a rabbit hole!

Happy Flower Series

This Christmas was wonderful because I got lots of books to support my obsession.

I am trying to teach myself to crochet.  So my family gave me a plethora of crochet books… I love them. ( my books and my family)
If you are obsessed with surface design these might be worth checking out.  They are not your average crochet books.

  1. Freeform Knitting and Crochet by Jenny Dowd
  2. Surface Works by Jenny Dowd
  3. 100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet by Lesley Stanfield
  4. Uncommon Crochet by Julie Armstrong Holetz
  5. the 2nd edition of Freeform – Serendipitous design techniques for knitting & crochet by Prudence Mapstone
  6. I Can’t Believe I am Crocheting ( Updated Edition ! ) 

and for my other obsession – art journaling

  1. Jill Berry’s Personal Geography  


So I have been crocheting like a fiend.  I wanted to crochet flowers first… so I did.

Out of this obsession grew my Happy Flower Series.  I attached the flowers to small canvases.   These were wrapped and given to friends for Christmas.   😉  Hey.. everyone needs a crochet flower hanging on their wall.

And for my birthday – two dear friends went to my favorite store…. Anthropology – and purchased the very  quiche plate that I coveted because  “I really needed it!”   Really!  How could I possibly live without this!

Brightly colored circles!

Can’t wait to see where my creative mind will wander with these new muses.

Happy New Year

Expectations vs Presence

Question: when making art are you motivated by expectations or do you create your work in the moment?

Years ago,  I did a series of mixed media pieces motivated by the word “expectations”.  I was interested in how the definition of that word seems to weave its influence in my decision making process. So often expectations we have for ourselves and the expectations others have for us seem to be how we navigate through life, influencing the choices we make and don’t make.  Not sure if this is good or bad or just is or something that should just be ignored.
I don’t know if anyone else thinks about this question but I was interested in the discussion of  my guest blogger, Marie and her thoughts wrapped around this topic.

This weeks guest blogger is a friend of mine from Seattle,  Marie Manuchehri.

Expectations vs. Presence 
Going from heady reasoning to presence can be a constant struggle for some, completely ignored by others, or a delicate dance for those who recognize its value.

Recently, I was submerged in over-analyzing an excruciating area of my life that has not met my expectations. While wrapping my mind into a web of future and past thoughts for months, nothing resolved, and my cerebral debate only created more disheartening views to consider.

This wasn’t the first time I had allowed my mind to be captured and terrorized by unfulfilled hopes. In one way or another most of us keep our thoughts in many forms of captive disappointment. We over examine our income, relationships, health, and our current deepest longing. Why don’t I have the house with a view, or the amount of love or health as so and so (whom we believe has what we most want).Then we investigate all the ways we messed up; did I become lazy or did I let my one opportunity pass me by?  Maybe its karma and I’m being punished for crimes I committed in a past life?

Meanwhile, your life, probably a good one, is cruising by without your awareness of its preciousness. If you stop considering the cascade of unfulfilled expectations and take inventory of what you do have, your life will improve.

I had this realization while sunbathing in Maui.  Before that moment I had countless opportunities to appreciate my life and stop the torment. I can’t say for sure why THAT moment made me relinquish the fight, but I did. Maybe the irony of being on vacation, attending a desired retreat, reading a fabulous book, yet still feeling unsatisfied, pushed me over the edge. Sometimes the obvious becomes clear, or the pain of not having what we want is intolerable and all we want is peace. So we abort the fight and let go of the dream.

But is letting go really letting go? Or is it allowing the cosmic energies fulfill your limited thoughts with a healthier plan.  Maybe one you have yet to think of?

You can follow Marie:

  On Facebook

On her website

On Twitter

Her weekly radio show

Marie first book will be released in March 2012. 

Yay!  I have another FUN guest blogger for you to discover today.  
MK Shaw is one of those artists that you want to be part of your art tribe. 

AND I am lucky to say she and I have been part of an art group going on four years.

Today….She has agreed to unfold her colorful work on the ColorSmith blog.

Take it away MK ! 

“Here’s a bit of color trivia for you:

why does the grass at Disney World look greener than yours?

Because they paint their sidewalks red!

And that, my color enthusiasts is today’s blog topic: the beauty of contrasting colors in action.



The effect you get when you pair two colors that live across the color wheel from one another can be counted on for a lively, energetic, and eye-catching POP! It has always been my go-to trick when I have a piece of art that is lacking something. Oh, just slap a bit of yellow next to that purple…or dry brush a bit of turquoise over that field of orange. YUM!

At a recent mixed media workshop hosted at the gallery

where I work (Jeanine Taylor Folk Art)

instructor Sarah Whitmire had each participant fill out the obligatory “Hello My Name Is” tag with her first name and favorite color.

So I had to smile when Denny Blue ended up sitting next to Mindy Orange. I suspect that the divine and serendipitous color wheel was at work (or play?).

This year I had the pleasure of turning 50 and I celebrated the milestone by creating 50 mini collages, 5’x5’ in size. In looking at the whole collection, I find that the biggest stack is the pile that I label “multi color.”

Here are some of my favorites, all with a juicy pop of contrast. Enjoy!

Oh, if you’re wondering about my favorite color, I’ll let Thoreau tell you…

“Methinks my own soul must be a bright, invisible green.”

MK Shaw is a mixed media artist in Central Florida who enjoys collage, lettering arts, and collecting quotations and paper ephemera.

I am so lucky that she is part of the art tribe that I hang around with !

You can find more of her artwork on Facebook at A Muse of Her Own.





I have been really busy working on another blog for a new textile magazine that I am really excited about   Fiber Art Now.

Thus I am grateful to have all sorts of color obsessed artist friends all over the world that have been willing to share their colorful way of life on my ColorSmith pages.

What is that saying?  Surround yourself with people who love what you love… or something like that!  Let’s hear it it for a colorful people!


“I never met a color I didn’t like”  is a quote by Dale Chihuley  I find fitting when describing my next guest artist.  

  Paula Purcell  :

“I am an artist and photographer and I love color. I live for color (among other things, like music, art, nature and love). Heck, I even dream in color (always). Color and me, we got a thing going on. Almost every room in my house is a different color (and I’m talking bright blues, bright yellows, lush maroons, hot chocolate). I just painted a wall in our master bedroom (Greek roof blue)…I can’t wait to add my copper lamps and a photo on canvas I took of bright orange Japanese maple leaves.
I am inspired by everything around me. Nature, family, even rust (I know that sounds odd, but it’s true).
I’m less about words and more about images (though I am never at a lack for words- I always have something to say). I am a photographer, funky jewelry maker, and ‘shrine’ maker.

I’m an artist whose work celebrates life.
OK, enough with the words (mostly). Here are some of my snippets:
Some very colorful (and delish) jellies captured at a market in St. Remy France.

Totally in love with this color combo (who knew these colors even went together), at our rental in Provence.

I even try to make my jewelry colorful…

Oh, giant beads and ribbon are so much fun to work with.

And for my shrines- color is in order as well…

This is a commissioned shrine for a woman who’s daughter directed the Vagina Monologues a university project.
One of my fun, funky earlier works (this was actually my first ‘shrine’ built for a couple on the island (where I live) who host an annual flamingo party every year)…loving the pinks.

This is a corner of our dining room table, where I chose wording appropriate to our way of living and carved and wood burned into the table…every day I see this table I am happy!

Here’s wishing you good karma in all things.

Life casting in Venice

Have you ever seen life casting in action?

Susan Viljoen is my guest blogger today.  Most of the time Susan lives in Pretoria, South Africa and is a Certified Life Coach at Kaleidoscope Life Coaching.

But this month she is traveling and has sent me the perfect photos for this blog on Hallows eve weekend from Venice, Italy. I ventured on a little further and checked out the artist’s website.

I have attached Susan’s photos and the one minute video of how this artist does his life casting!  You can go to his website and see more of the process.   

I think it was fitting for a life coach to send me a blog post on life casting.

It is all very cool! And maybe something to try when you are creating your costume for this week!

Venice –

 A little of the mystery of Venice holds as we learn of it as children; see pictures of it, hear stories about it, dissipates as we see it for the first time. Yet, another spell is cast at the same time.
Today, on my first day in Venice, I was spell-bound by art, and reminded that expression of feeling is an acceptable Italian mode of existence.
We found a studio doing modern “life-casting”, saw a young artist drawing what he saw across the canal, and observed a statue, standing like a figure head of a ship at the edge of Dorsoduro island and the start of the Grand Canal, being watched over by an armed guard, very aware of the red forbidden square the statue is positioned in.

This contemporary Italian artist, Ale Dima work is interesting –  He has a website worth checking out.
Venice is all about reflections. The water mirrors everything here. Glass from magical Murano glitters with reflected light. The Basilica di San Marco can be seen in the pools of water lying on the piazza San Marco. Doves kiss their twins under their feet as they drink.
I walk the streets of Venice, taking photographs of all of these. I look up, and there is another reflection. One that reminds me of my life philosophy: Change your picture, change your life. In this reflection, all around me is present, but it looks so different. Like broken pieces that were glued  together in a different way.
Irene Porter said: ” Just because everything‘s different doesn’t mean anything’s changed.” There’s something to think about.

Thank you Susan –  It is a new way to look at ones life.
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