Contact: karenhetzer@gmail.com

Had to finish this

Had to finish this painting, its been hanging on the wall too long. My inability to focus on one project for too long had me finishing this off quickly. There's no way I wanted to paint all the detail that this fish has, so I faded it back and use sea grass to conceal most of the fish.......the cowardly way out I know....I would have muddled through if it had been a commissioned piece, but it was just a study.
The last time you saw it, it looked like this
And finished.....
There's promise of work coming in mid January...some porthole scenes for a kids room and a Tuscan mural in a model home. I CAN'T WAIT!! I also heard from another department head at the Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania who would love for me to come up and do something in her department......she's checking into it.....I'd love that, it was my favorite place to work. Fingers crossed.
Nothing new to report on the new studio, still waiting for the holidays to end so I can have everybody's attention and get a meeting set up. Meanwhile the schedule for my classes still stand and I'm really looking forward to teaching again. Remember to schedule early if you're interested in the beginner mural classes cause I'm only taking five students at a time.

The Divine Michelangelo (Part 1 of 12)

Today I just want to immerse myself in art. This is part one of twelve. Visit Youtube to see the others.

In Rememberance

This is a totally personal post today....absolutely nothing to do with art.
I was thinking about two of my sisters today, Susan and Leslie.......actually I think of them almost everyday. They each took their own lives back in the early nineties, and I miss them.
That's me on the left, Susan on the right, Leslie front and center :-) Leslie was a well loved teacher in the Poconos and helped bring computers into the classroom. Susan was the Martha Stewart of homemakers and so creative. We were the first three of six kids. I was making the traditional family Christmas cookies a couple of days ago and I guess that initiated the mental slide show of family memories. Anyway....I just wanted to give them a home on my blog.

One of my facebook friends (and old classmate) made a comment about a photo I posted of my two grandsons, suggesting he saw a resemblance (which eludes me). He was referencing it to an old high school photo of me. I don't have any of my old photos with me...giving what was left of them to my son, but I'm pretty sure he was just being sweet.
He also suggested that I probably look the same as I did as a young girl, which of course made me laugh out loud. I mean, come on, who really does.
And may I go on record as saying I hate getting older! To date I have found nothing endearing about it, maybe senior discounts at Goodwill, but that's it..lol (I do love thrift shops). Aches and pains and weight gains........ wrinkles, grey hairs (God bless Clairol!) and no more stares (from guys). If I hear Oprah declare one more time how this is the best time in a woman's life, I may have to write her a really strong letter. Maybe if I were a billionaire and had the adulation of millions of people feeding my ego on a daily basis my attitude might be different. But as it stands, I'm with Cher..........it sucks!

Ok....enough of that. Here's that picture of my two adorable grandsons. The older one Ian at 4 and a half is trying to figure out the relationship between family members and yesterday he asked me if I had any kids and I said yes and pointed to his dad. The look on his face was priceless as he looked back and forth between me and his dad. He earned the title that day of 'favorite grandson' for questioning my being old enough to be his dads mother.....too cute.
Oh.......and the explanation for the Christmas card below is that they are having a moment of silence, honoring the contribution/sacrifice of the trees life to their Christmas. It was the first year they cut their own tree.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE

For the past seven or eight years my son has been creating his own Christmas cards....and of course I think they are just wonderful. Here are a few examples below, you can see how his family has grown. I've got to ask him about the latest one, they look so sad....are they all sad because their Christmas tree died and is flying off to heaven???? Are they sad because they cut a tree??? I'll let you know.
I'm off to clean a home today, grateful for the work, and..... I awoke to a DVD order :-) And.....it took over a year but I finally hit the hundred dollar mark with google adsense and will be receiving my first payment of $103 and change :-)
I have a special thank you to an angel who stepped in and helped me with my rent this month...thank you J, I am so grateful....and another thank you to the folks who approved me for food assistance. Its been a long time since I could walk into a grocery store and afford to buy healthy food...it felt like a guilty pleasure, I kept expecting them to stop me at the door on the way out.
I'm sooooo looking forward to work picking up and getting the studio up and running.
A very special wish to all my fellow creatives who have struggled this past year that 2010 will bring us all lots of opportunity to be creative and prosper.

Staying Focused

I'm trying to stay focused on thoughts of the teaching studio. The faux artist I was hoping to bring into the fold did not want to commit to be a member of the core group (but will teach occasionally), and now I'm wondering if a core group is even necessary. Another artist who does want to be involved is too busy to sit down and begin discussions on the development of the studio until after the holidays. I guess since this was my idea, its going to be more important to me. Next week I will spend my time downtown learning about licensing, permits and all that fun stuff nobody likes to deal with.
There's also a city grant available right now for new businesses who rent. The grant is for renovation work and the application process is going to be time consuming and complex, so I'll spend all this free time I have working on that too.
I'll also start working on a brochure and writing up class descriptions, prices etc.
I just posted a very generic ad on Craigslist announcing the opening of a new teaching studio............searching for potential students as well as other artists who may be interested in renting a place where they can teach a class of their own from time to time.....that's open to any creative art, not just painting. The space will also be available for art shows.
NOTE TO CAROLE: I have decided on a name for the studio and although it was not one of your suggestions, you were the only person to offer any.......so you my dear........ may have a 5 day mural class absolutely free anytime in 2010. When I have the schedule together I'll send it off to you....and thank you :-)

Balancing Act

With the rent being due looming over my head and causing depression, I just had to get out of here today. I went over to my artist friends shop .....the one next to the shop I'd like to get the teaching studio set up in.......she had the key:-) So I went in to daydream, and visualize it all painted with murals and faux. It really is the perfect space and my town of Lake Worth is becoming known as an artist town, making this perfect timing.
The owner of the property just called me and we had a long discussion about what I want to accomplish in there. He first has to deal with the tenant who left but currently holds a lease, so I'll know in a day or two who I have to deal with...him or her.
Anyway, he loved the idea of having us in there and becoming a part of the art scene in the community. As bummed as I am about the rent and my situation, I'm as excited about the future and the studio becoming a big success.
I took a few pictures of the space to show you (its larger than it shows here).
Looking towards the front of the building.........
The mural wall for canvases ......needs new plaster work(or sheet rock) to smooth things out
Looking towards the back of the shop. Through that first doorway is storage area and bathroom.
Can't you just picture marvelous faux on the walls and columns. Out the back door is a patio and the parking lot.
Part of the storage area.

Vicious Circle

I spend about an hour or two each day searching online for opportunities to post ads about my mural work. Yesterday I placed a 'free' ad on the Palm Beach Post's online classifieds. Today I got a call from them letting me know that I had placed the ad in the wrong section and because I am considered a business I could place a new ad in the business section for a mere $199........sigh.
How ironic.......you need to advertise to get new work, but you can't advertise because you haven't had work.........no money. Some good news though.....I won't starve during these trying times.....I was approved for foodstamps! Now all I need is to find a way to pay the rent...........lol.........if I do have to leave, at least my shopping cart won't be empty.....lol. If I don't laugh, I'll cry.
Got some good suggestions for the new studio name (see contest to the left).........keep em coming!

If I had any bills I'd try this

My sister sent me this today. The guys name is Won Park and he is a master of Origami (uses dollar bills). But what I really like, is how he lives!! I'm so jealous!!

Check this out! Very Cool!

Searching For Property

I just discovered a website called City-Data.com and found my little town of Lake Worth, FL has a fairly active page/forum in their listings. Just another place to list my name/business. I decided to ask about rental properties on the forum, in case the property that I'm hoping to turn into a teaching studio falls through.
Days sure are long when you have no work or money to spend!

OK......I'VE DECIDED......MURAL CLASSES IT IS!!

Sign up everybody :-) I've scheduled my first mural class in 2010 for January 18th-22nd. The information is on my website . Basically it will be a five day class for beginners, seven hours each day, an hour break for lunch. Only five students in a class. All materials will be provided. $100 non-refundable deposit to hold a spot and $650 due by the start of class. I can pick up and drop off at airport (15 mins away) and there are plenty of restaurants, hotels, B&B inns within walking distance. Annnnddd....less than a mile from the beach!! I really enjoy teaching everything I know ......so this should be fun!

I KNOW YOU'RE OUT THERE.....

OK people.....I know you're out there. Scroll down the page..........see that box in the left side bar?....the one that says Live Traffic Feed?.......I can see you :-)
Seriously, I'd love some feedback. My back is up against the wall....the rent is due on the 18th, let's see, whats that?.... six days from now, and I don't have it and I have no jobs scheduled between now and then that would bring the money I need. Looks like I may be packing my bags yet again......glad I didn't invest in decorating this place, I hate moving furniture.
When did I move in here?.....July? August?.....what ever. The second month I was here and didn't think I would make the rent, I contacted the landlord and he basically said no problem.......live out your last months rent (part of the security deposit) and be out by the end of the month......he was very understanding.
I've maxed out borrowing from friends so that's not an option.
So anyway.......I'm thinking of opening a teaching studio. Yes...........I know..........how are you going to do that with no money??!
I wouldn't be doing it alone. Yesterday I stopped by a fellow artist's shop.....Jackie is her name. She recreates/paints used furniture and has been in business for 18 years? I used to live over her shop and it was through her that I got started in painting 14 years ago. I noticed that the shop right next to her was vacant.....a nice large space.
As we were talking about our work, and the state of the economy, and how was business going, I started thinking about the shop next door and teaching classes again. Me teaching beginner mural classes, her teaching furniture painting, and finding a faux artist to teach what else?........faux painting, and on occasion bringing in guest teachers. What better vacation than to take a week learning painting techniques in beautiful, warm, sunny Florida.....annnnnnd.....less than a mile from the beach :-)
So thoughts anyone? Class suggestions? Thoughts on pricing? I want this to be a fun learning experience.....whats missing in other classes being offered?

Repositional Art

OK......I confess.....I've never heard of a hand waxer. I got a phone call from an artist the other day and she was talking about something she had painted that was hung up every holiday season and mentioned wax. Before I could say huh??? say what??? we were off on a different topic. So I decided to snoop around via google and finally discovered what she was talking about. Simple really....paint something on cambric cloth and use a hand waxer to apply wax to the back....find directions here
This is a mural painted by Sheri Hoeger, The Mad Stencilist. All of the farm animals were painted on cambric and affixed with an art waxer. I've got to try this, sure sounds better than using wallpaper paste or spray adhesive.
To change the subject.......I'm once again struggling with whether or not to put a pricing page on my website.......some say yes, some say no don't do it.
I was contacted via email from someone interested in having a mural painted......a jungle theme, and they referenced the jungle mural from my website. The only direction I got was that they
wanted something uncrowded/not too busy. Because this potential job was going to be two hours away I wanted to get as much information as I could and possibly photos of the room emailed to me to avoid unnecessary trips and costs. So, when asked how large?........I don't know. When asked how many animals?........I don't know. When asked one wall or all walls?..........I don't know. When asked what is your budget?..........."flexible". Uh??.....whats flexible mean?? I was getting a bad feeling about this. With what little information I got from this person I gave them an estimate on doing 3 or 4 animals and just light foliage, and whether it was scattered around the room or concentrated in one area the cost would be no less than $800. The one above was priced at $2200. I thought ....a great deal for them, right? A couple of days work, 2 hour drive back and forth each day....I can spend a whole day working on one animal (they didn't want cartoon-y animals).
Well, I'm guessing they soon figured out what their budget was cause I never heard back from them. I hate playing cat and mouse games!
Maybe we all need to start painting like this guy!

My Next Victim

This is the model for the next portrait. I'll start this tomorrow.
God....I'm dying to get my hands on a big mural job!!! I'm speaking to a painting contractor tomorrow who may have some mural work for me.....fingers crossed!
Finally finished that last dog portrait (background requested by client:-), only to get another to do.
I can't complain....nothing else seems to be working out. Looked at a job yesterday and unfortunately it was not a job that I felt could be done with a good outcome. It was an exterior wall that is 'the view' outside two rooms that are side by side and only about 4' away from the sliding doors that open to the area, the narrowest patio I've ever seen. The wall about 8' tall, bright white very rough stucco finish. The client wanted some foliage painted on the wall and although this can be done on a slightly textured surface with good results, this wall was just too rough, there wouldn't have been a smooth line anywhere, leaving a very sloppy look. Had the wall been further away from the house ....maybe....but I doubt it would have helped. I could only suggest that they have the wall smoothed out if they wanted me to work on it. Otherwise hanging some outside artwork/sculptures might be the answer to adding interest....they are art lovers. Very disappointing when I need the money so badly.
The repeat client who a few days ago said they were ready for me?....... it now sounds as though this work is getting pushed into next year.
Sigh..........back to square one.

A New Day

I started working on the big fish painting today annnnndddd......I got two contacts for work!! So I have an appointment on Wednesday to look at one job and the other is a repeat client and I'm just waiting to hear back about dates to begin. It feels good to breath again.

Decals

Decals sure have come a long way over the years. Discovered this site that has a pretty good variety. I'm attracted to their ability to make a strong statement with such simplicity.



This would be so cute in a little girls room.......... it has a chalk board surface and comes in different sizes.
Yesterday I was inspired by the photos I had posted of the super sized paintings I had done years ago and happily I found a piece of canvas in my closet. I decided being here in sunny tropical Florida that my subjects for more of these large paintings would be tropical fishes, fruits and flowers.
I got started on a fish right away. It measures 36"x 47".
This is the fish I will be painting......

Where To Go Next

I was going through some old cd's that I had fortunately stored photos on before my hard drive crashed a few months ago and found some pictures from my old studio......must have been around 2002? 03? not sure. I miss that studio. I miss having the space to create large works.
I hope to buy some supplies soon and spend some time doing paintings like these again. Perhaps I could sell at art shows? Something to think about for the future....rent comes first.
I could not find the finished picture of this first painting........it was actually a copy of a painting that someone asked me to do. You'll have to take my word, it did come out really well. This was painted on wood in acrylic....my favorite surface to paint on.
God....I look so different from this now!

A Very Sad Day

Watching the news before I went out to clean a house this morning I heard a very upsetting story. Back six years ago when work was going very well, I was able to hook up with a local news anchor, Kelley Dunn from WPTV Channel 5 in West Palm Beach, FL. She was kind enough to have me on the noon news a few times which really helped get me started. She also introduced me to other members of the Channel 5 team. One of those people was Jim Sitton, a camera man/photographer for Channel 5. He and his wife were expecting their first baby.....a girl. They hired me to paint a mural on the nursery closet doors. They were both so excited and totally involved in designing the mural for their daughter. They wanted it a little bit northern and a little bit southern, with a little girl representing their daughter, lots and lots of flowers, the white picket fence........just total girly.Last night during their families Thanksgiving dinner one of the relatives that was invited to the dinner suddenly began shooting, killing 4 family members.....one of which was their daughter Makayla Sitton just six years old asleep in her bed. This is such a sad time. It seems everyday here we have a murder on the news. I just don't get it.......I really don't.

Creative business help and support

I found via designsponge.com a nice website with helpful tips, advice, support for folks who have or are contemplating starting a creative business. You can check it out here.

You've Got To Be Kidding .....

My son just sent me this.....at first I thought it was a joke. I feel like I keep getting slapped in the face lately....or kicked when I'm down....know what I mean. This is ridiculous.
You can have one too for $475. Check out more of this .....ummmm....art??? here.

Done with this one

I've decided this one is finished to the best of my ability. I'm now trying to finish up a cat and then tomorrow will finally begin the last one....the German Sheppard.
Now that I post this, I see I need to do a bit of work on the grass. Funny how your mistakes show up for you in photographs. Actually I use that to check on my work all the time.

Yesterday I applied for food stamps. Yep, things are that bad. Ironically I got an email today from someone inviting me to join the list of 2010's Best Decorative Artists of The Year. It will be part of a marketing campaign directed at decorators, architects, contractors and high end clientele. Its part of a new website starting up, The Architect Mall.... a very nice website indeed (although not complete yet), and one that may well have been able to elevate my career. You can check it out here and if you have $225 for an 18 month listing fee perhaps they will consider you too. I'd say its pretty obvious that its an opportunity I had to pass on..........sigh.

Checking Myself

You know how from time to time I suggest artists try to objectively see their skill level when considering a project? Well, its time for me to take the test. While struggling to finish up the remainder of the commissioned pet portraits I have on the table, I realized it might be best to leave this genre up to the more talented. And to give credit where credit is due......here are some wonderful examples. You'll see what I mean :-) Somebody find me a mural gig please!....lol
BY ARTIST SARAH THEOPHILUS
She also has some beautiful ones of horses that you, who have struggled with painting them, may want to take a look at.
BY ARTIST DALE LEWIS
BY ARTIST RENEE GRANT
BY ARTIST COLETTE THERIAULT