Monday, February 26, 2007


So, once again, procrastination has snuck up on me and I have less than two weeks to finish everything up for the March gallery show in Gallup. I don't have a lot to get done, but I'm stressing just the same. I'm excited about this show, but at the same time a little aprehensive. This is the first gallery show I've had in years! Mainly because I have been in a transistion period in my art. I didn't want to show my new abstracts before I was ready. Now that I've been showing them online and getting positive feedback, I think I'm ready to officially introduce my new style in the gallery world!

One of my goals this year is to get back into a gallery in Santa Fe. I used to sell my prints in a gallery on the Plaza many years ago when I was still Paula Beck. Now that I have my new body of work, I'm ready to get back into Santa Fe. Things have changed since the 90s when I last sold there, rents have gone up, galleries have moved away from the plaza to open up on Canyon Road. I've grown as an artist too and I don't feel as intimidated by the Santa Fe galleries as I once was. So, that is another thing I have to finish this week, my catalog of works. Can't remember if I've written about this here before, but I'm creating a cd rom of my new works. Things sure have changed since I started out and everyone wanted slides!!

So, if I'm not around much in the next couple weeks, you now know why!! I will try to post some photos of the show too, once it is hung. The opening is on March 10th, so if anyone is in Gallup, NM, please come by and see it in person! :)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Best 10th Anniversary I could ask for!

I am so excited I can hardly contain myself! We just got tickets for The Police show in Denver this summer!! This is like a dream come true, I never thought they would go on tour again and I definitely never thought I'd be able to go! The best part is, this is my 10th anniversary present from my wonderful hubby!

So, in celebration of my excitement, I'm putting some of my paintings at special prices in my etsy shop! Check out the Clearance section for the specials.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Progress on the Guitar and aceos


Spring is Coming

Another busy morning in the studio! More small aceo paintings, plus I have done some work on the guitar I'm recyling. I'm not real happy with the guitar yet, but it is still at the beginning stages. All the aceos are available in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Another busy day

Royal Sun (click to buy)

Eclipse (click to buy)

Night Sky (click to buy)

Thank goodness I'm finally coming out of the funk, now if we could just come out of winter!

Anyway, today I painted one 8 inch square H2O oil on recycled canvas board and three ACEOs. They are all available in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Back in the groove!

Calm Down (click to buy)

Sunflower ACEO SOLD

Today's daily paintings, yes, I accomplished a few things today! Finally starting to feel like I'm getting back into the groove. The top two paintings are H2O oils on my handmade recycled canvas boards, 8 inches square. The bottom painting is an H2O oils ACEO (2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches) on acid free matboard. They are available in my Etsy shop.

I'm getting started on a totally new project today, recycling an old guitar as a painting surface. It will be nothing but decorative as the guitar is unplayable. My husband saved it from the trash for me. I sanded it down over the weekend and applied a coat of gesso today. I hope to start painting it tomorrow. I will post some progress photos once I get going. Not sure yet if it will be available for sale, depends on whether my hubby likes it or not! I do have another recycled guitar to paint after this one though.

It's starting to warm up here finally! Although we are supposed to be getting hit with another cold front this weekend. Spring needs to hurry up and get here already!!!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Featured Etsy Shop: Jewelry by Tara

Today's featured shop is Jewelry by Tara

What made you start crafting/designing jewelry, and what was the first thing you remember making?

I have always been crafty, even as a child. The first thing I remember ever really designing from scratch was during 4th grade. Friendship pins were a big thing back then (giving away my age) anyway, I pulled apart safety pins with pliers and put beads on them. My relatives still have a lot of them today! I've dabbled in all types of crafts, crochet, knitting, floral arrangement, you name it, I've tried it. I've been designing jewelry for 7 years now. I just closed my own personal website to come over to Etsy and I have to add that I really enjoy the environment and different types of artists there.

What other jobs have you had in the past?

As for other jobs, I'm still a petsitter and I used to work in my husband's brokerage firm as the administrative assistant to the C.E.O.

What inspires you?

I'm constantly inspired by the seasons changing and all the beautiful bright colors I see. All of my designs are one of a kind because I always have new ideas and want to create a totally unique image based on my moods.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I consider myself a very liberal, artsy kinda gal. I have 2 children, 6 pets, and a husband who probably wants to move to a quieter house! I'm obsessed with antiques and I have an appraisal certificate. I hate the summer, love the snow, pink is always in, Hello Kitty is my favorite icon of style, and I'm originally from New York City.

Is there a art/craft that you admire and hope to learn someday?

Lately I've really wanted to try sewing. I see all of these beautiful bags on etsy and I want them all! So I'm definitely thinking about getting a sewing machine soon.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Painting again

"Pure Emotion" Click HERE to Buy

"Spokes of the Sun" Click HERE to Buy

Today is the first day I've painted since our furnace died. So, I dove right in and painted two daily size paintings. These are both 8 x 8 inches, H2O Oils on recycled, handmade canvas board. I made the boards using scrap matboard, raw canvas and gesso. I also made custom backing paper for them! I started out with 12 boards for now. That gives me a couple weeks without having to make more, unless I paint two a day! I also have a 10 inch square canvas prepared and ready to paint! Time is getting short for my show in March, so I'm trying to finish as many as possible.

Today I'm going to a meeting at my community center about a proposed mural on a wall that overlooks the neighborhood park and the city of Albuquerque. The neighborhood association asked me to be on the committee and help with the process. I'm excited but at the same time a little unsure as there will be a lot of city politics involved I'm sure. I would like to involve the high school art students and any other neighborhood kids that are interested. I think it will happen as this is supposed to be a community project because of the funding being used. We shall see!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Featured Etsy Shop: Lavajewelry

Recently, I have been featured on a couple of blogs by other Etsy sellers, so I decided to return the favor by featuring one of those sellers here in my blog. I would love to do this more, so if you are interested in doing a blog feature swap of sorts, let me know. My idea is that I will feature you on my blog if you feature me on your blog. I don't have tons of time so I plan on doing this maybe once a week.

My first featured shop is

You can see her feature about my shop on her blog at

Describe what you sell.

Handcrafted Sterling silver jewelry featuring genuine gemstones, freshwater pearls, and Swarovski crystals. (And handpoured candles.)

Where is your work available for sale?

Local craft shows, my web site, and my Etsy shop

What inspires you in your work?

My friends and family member provide the primary inspiration for my work. Most of my pieces are made with someone I care about in mind. Sometimes I'm just inspired by a color or by a color combination that really strikes me. Sometimes I see a gorgeous gemstone at a trade show, and I know within a split second of seeing it what it needs to be made into.

What other jobs have you worked?

I'm a geologist by training. Although I'm not currently employed as a geologist, I hope to get back into it when my health allows it. I plan to keep both geology and jewelry design in my life. In addition to working as a geologist, I've worked many different jobs, including research assistant, teaching assistant, telemarketer for the Republican National Committee, retail manager, nanny, seamstress, consultant, library technician, tutor, and I even unloaded trucks at Walmart on the nightshift for a time.

How did you name your shop?

I chose the name Lava Jewelry because of my background in geology. There's not much that I love more than molten rock. I went to college in Hawaii, where I'd spend every possible spare moment at the active lava fields on Kilauea, helping various people with their research or just exploring. I love the flow and curves of hot lava, and I think some of those same curves can be seen in my designs. I like the word "lava" itself too - it's two pretty syllables. And I do incorporate lava into my jewelry; I make designs using basalt, rhyolite, and obsidian.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Back to Normal (Sort of!)

Finally, things are getting back to normal around here. We still don't have a furnace, but we did install a wood burning stove over the weekend to supplement the fireplace in the main part of the house. Also, the weather is cooperating so it has been much warmer lately! It's supposed to be close to 60 degrees today.

So, I finally have a new progress photo to post! This is the 36 inch square canvas I am currently working on. I have set it aside for now to decide whether or not I will be adding more. Not sure yet. It's hard to see all the details in a photo this small, especially when the original is so large. What do you think? Is it done? This painting is going to be the center piece for my show in Gallup in March.

I have been busy painting little paper mache heart boxes for Valentines day. I will have them in my etsy shop by the end of the day. Also today, I will be posting many of my older originals at special prices. I need sales to make the money for the new furnace (the estimates start coming in today). So now is a great time to get some of my originals for great prices!

Also, the Beck prints are still buy one, get one free until February 15th. See the clearance section in my Etsy shop.

Friday, February 02, 2007

What a week!

This has been quite a week! It started out really good, had a few sales, judged the West Side High School Art Show(AND got paid!), and I was interviewed by the Albuquerque Journal for the show.

Then, on Wednesday, our gas went out because the city is doing construction on our street. I will try to post the photos I took later. We're talking major construction, they are replacing all the sewer, water, gas and drainage lines in our neighborhood. So, anyway, there was a huge 20 foot deep hole in front of our driveway on Wednesday. Felt like an earthquake with all the heavy machinery out there. So, on with the story, the utility company came out in the evening to turn our gas back on and light our pilot lights. The guy goes to light the furnace and comes out to tell my husband he can't light our pilot light because we have a cracked heat exchanger! If he were to light it, the furnace would dump carbon monoxide into our house and kill us in the middle of the night! So, here it is, middle of winter, and we are without heat! We have two electric space heaters for the two bedrooms and thank God for our fireplace in the living room! We are hoping that our homeowners insurance will cover it, but who knows because our insurance guy hasn't returned our call yet(after two days!).

So, I may have to have a blow out sale to earn some money for a new heater. We have decided that no matter what happens, we are going to replace the gas furnace with solar heat panels, but that will cost about twice as much. Cheaper in the long run though, and better for the environment.

Anyway, it never fails, when things are going well, something always comes along to bring you back down to earth! Luckily, the snow is past and it's supposed to be warming up into the 50s this coming week.