Contact: karenhetzer@gmail.com
Well.....finally after a really depressing week.....losing the studio, not receiving payment for a job done, bruised the side of my arm when a metal rail fell on me, rammed a philip's head screwdriver into my finger, and I still haven't been able to pay my apartment rent.........I've got two mural jobs to look at this week, and two paintings to do....I won't relax until the rents paid, but I'm so grateful work is coming.
Here's how the exterior mural is advancing.....
I spent all day yesterday and part of today helping another upstairs neighbor. Mr Principal is from Haiti and has a non-profit organization compose of churches (Haitian Churches Coalition Against Hunger and Illness Inc.) that help get food, clothing, linens, etc etc, together to send to Haiti. They have a hard time doing this, getting volunteers to help, or getting financial support, so I'm setting up a blog for him where he can promote the organization and receive donations.

I neglected to post the last dog portrait contest winner which would trigger the next portrait give away, so here it is....
Before photo
And the finished portrait. She wanted a plain background........
So, feel free to leave a comment on this post to enter for the next give away. I'll randomly pick a winner next Monday (March the 7th) morning.
I spent some time today working on the exterior mural for the building my studio is in.
The man in the center is Major General William Jenkins Worth whom our town was named after.
And in the upper corner will be the first train that helped bring supplies and people into the area.
Yesterday my studio landlord called to let me know they have probably found a new tenant, so March 31st is my closing date. I'm only staying until then so that I can finish up the mural I promised them as payment for allowing me to use the space this past year....and it will be nice to leave my mark on the side of the building. Yesterday the new tenants next door began painting out the artwork I had done on the side of their (then Jackie and Crickets) building. It will go from this
to this..........
a terra cotta color. Their intention.........to have it reflect what they do.......hmmmm.
Anyway, not sure what the future holds for me. I made a couple more sales on Etsy, which has inspired me to want to focus some more of my energy on that. And this morning I meet with a painting contractor couple who need a ceiling mural restored after some renovation work was done in a bathroom. When they gave me a Palm Beach address it reminded me that I no longer have insurance, we'll see how this goes, perhaps theirs will cover me.
Today I put a treadmill in my studio. Our friend Wanda (who lives upstairs) had one folded up and collecting dust (sorry Wanda :-) and I asked if I could bring it downstairs to use.....she was happy to get it out of her way.
I'm starting on a mission to loose 30 lbs in two months. I know that's a bit ambitious but I'm determined, and I know I can do it, there are things I want to do and a way I want to feel.

Tomorrow I'm going to be painting a door frame and a little cupboard door that's built in the wall right next to it. This is for the friend who wants a Moroccan feel in her bedroom. Right now the woodwork is a glossy white, tomorrow it will get a basecoat of a dark brown faux wood grain, then covered with a layer of a green color that's already in the room. I'll do a trim around the edges of a Moroccan design and then heavily distress everything..........trying to get that old world look. I'll try to remember to take before and after pictures.

I made a new mini website that specifically targets hospitals. I'm still working on it, I change it several times a day. I just loved working on the murals that I did for The Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania so much that I'd love to find other hospitals to work in. It was just so rewarding.I almost always ask a new artist that I meet if they have a website and way too many times the answer is no, not yet. Can I just say here, that there is really no excuse for not having one. Its just way to easy to put one together yourself....you don't need to pay hundreds of dollars to someone to do it for you. Just go to a site like godaddy.com (there are others) where you can register a domain name for like $12. Then go to a site like weebly.com (who I use) and build yourself a website for free, its so easy. After you build your site it'll have its own address, but weebly will be tacked onto it before the .com, so go back to godaddy (or whoever you used for your domain name) and forward it to your new website (so you won't have the weebly in your address).
Need help or advice, just email me. I hate seeing artists go without a website to show off their work.
Went into the studio today and measured the chest I was going to work on for my friend....its too loooong, dang!
This may mean a trip to my sort of favorite thrift shop.
Ok......so I start working on some other projects and then our friend from upstairs, Wanda, stopped by. I ended up going upstairs to try and help her sort out her computer issues, not easy for me being a mac girl. Two and a half hours later I decided to call it a day. I resolved some issues but have one remaining.
I was on my way home, it had just poured rain and I saw these big buzzards sitting up in a tree drying their wings....it really rained hard.
Guess it was more impressive live, the picture's not so special.
Did I tell you all I got my first Etsy sale the other day :-) A child's silver plated tea service....whew....who!
So here's how the cat portrait came out....
Its been harder and harder to go into the studio/shop and its feeling more and more ridiculous to hang onto the space. I pretty much now just think about it as a studio and go in when I need to or have something specific to work on. And hopefully having something to work on will be happening soon. Of course I've got the two dog portraits to get going on but I've also been contacted by two different potential clients to do a painting for them, nothings been finalized. I'm also going to be painting a chest of drawers for a friend I hadn't seen in a few years. Here's my challenge, to give this........
a Moroccan feel.......hmmm, a challenge indeed.
Just about to finish up the cat portrait.....have I been saying that for days?
This will be my next pet portrait project...
An unusual composition, but a meaningful photo for the owner and that's whats important. Leo's owner Michelle was the last giveaway winner and has been patiently waiting (I'm sure) to hear from me. Once Leo is complete I'll be starting on this adorable little thing....
commissioned by Summer as a gift to her husband....meet Bones.....too, too, cute.

On a dismal note....since the girls in the shop next door have gone, my business has come to a complete standstill......honest....if I had crickets in the studio, you could hear them chirping, its very disheartening. A group of women did come in one day.....ha!....but they were looking for the shop that was in there before me. I think what I'm going to do is try to solicit work through designers/decorators........murals/paintings on canvas and painted furniture, work done from my studio. Not a new concept I know, and I've tried in the past to get the attention of design shops to no avail......I'm grasping aren't I ........sigh.
Well.....dang!.....go figure. Stopped at a thrift shop this morning and found these lights (there were two of em).
So I replaced the lamp I made with one. The only thing I don't like about it is that its metal and metal gets hot, so I'm going to have to stick a warning label on this. I did take out the 40 watt mini flood that was in it and replaced it with a 15 watt bulb, now the child won't go blind at least :-) See how bright that was below.....now its much softer and not quite as hot.
Worked on my cat portrait today, hope to finish it up tomorrow.
This morning I got the figurehead delivered then back to the studio and knocked out this piece that I bought a few weeks ago.

Then I started working on creating this lamp for the 'reading nook'. First I took my 3/4" spade bit and drilled out the center hole in the mold. See the previous post to see where I got the pieces to create this lamp.
Then I drilled a hole in the bottom edge of the mold to thread the wiring through. I didn't want to go through the 'wall' with the wiring.
I sacrificed an old frazzled electrical cord to get a piece of its orange sleeve....I didn't want the lamp wire to rub against the metal so I put a piece of the orange sleeve in to line the opening. I just sprayed it gold to match.

I connected the wires in the back and capped them. The lamp wire I stole from the lighthouse lamp that I've had for sale forever and no one seemed to want.
And let there be light!
Next I cut some wood for the back and drilled a hanging hole. I hot glued the back on but was leery that it wouldn't hold so I found some small nails, drilled with just the tip of my spade bit some tiny holes in the mold and nailed the pieces together.
Hanging it was a bit rough. Because of the padding I couldn't get a tight fit so I ended up shooting a couple of brads around the edges.....a bit rough, not much of an edge to work with, but it seems to be hanging pretty solid. I tacked the cord in place under the seat cushion and it runs out the back through a hole that was already in the unit (for this purpose).
Now I just need to get a chandelier bulb and shade and its finished :-)

Did I mention how I thought a little light inside the seating unit I made would look really sweet? Problem was I couldn't find a little wall sconce small enough.
Yesterday while thrift shopping I spotted this dated wall sconce for $2.50.
And how cool that the little light sockets could easily be removed!
Now though I need to find a new base to attach this to....something that will keep it a little further away from the wall of the cabinet and create enough space for a little lamp shade. So I go searching through my craft odds and ends drawer and found this molds that I bought way back...this could be perfect....spray paint the pieces to match!
I just need to figure out how to remove that center part without damaging the rest of the mold. This will be on tomorrows agenda.....that, and finishing that cat portrait I started!! Gotta get that done, I still have my last contest winners dog portrait to do as well.
Here she is, all refreshed :-)
The restoration project for today....

This morning I decided to set some permanent hours for the shop, and I'm actually back to what I wanted to do in the beginning and that's have the shop open just three days a week.....Thurs. thru Sat. from 9 to 5. This will allow me to schedule mural work and work on .......as you can see to the right ;-).......some online selling. Sitting in the shop everyday for one or two people to walk in was just killing me, yes I could work on projects but it was just too depressing with no activity and no sales, I couldn't stay inspired. Now my work week will be filled with a variety of activities to keep me inspired....working on the furniture, thrift shopping for online sales, and mural work as it comes up.
Tomorrow I'll be working on a restoration project.......can't wait to show you the pictures, I'll post them tomorrow afternoon.