Contact: karenhetzer@gmail.com
Feeling nostalgic I'm posting some of my favorite furniture make overs from the past year.

















Sometimes I feel like I've been living under a rock. I just discovered yesterday that you can video chat on phones......I know.....where've I been!!
And now I see phones also have projectors in them......I can't keep up.

Projects for this coming week......painting two 5"x 7" portraits of these two cuties....
Recognize them? They were the subjects of a recent screen painting....
Then with those done and paid for I can pick up the three 40" square canvases I need for the next project, a beach painting across all three panels. This was the sketch I presented to the client for this job (I wish I had photoshop).
I received some photos in my email this morning that have triggered another walk down Memory Lane.
Photographer Roger Barone attended an interview/ book signing event at The Free Library of Philadelphia last night and snapped these photos. Check out his blog to see more.
The star of the show, Mr. Larry Magid.
Electric Factory Concert's Larry Magid along with his partner Alan Spivak are rock n roll legends. Together they dominated the concert scene, promoting and putting on some of the most memorable concerts in Philadelphia's history. And I was at a LOT of them. Back in the early/mid 70's I worked for these guys. My job was to coordinate the meals for the bands and their crew wherever the concerts were being held....The Spectrum, The Academy of Music, The Tower Theater, JFK Stadium......
And luckily for us, back then Roger was part of the change over crew at the Spectrum arena and was developing a love for photography. If you also want to take a trip down memory lane visit Roger's blog to see some fantastic behind the scenes photos of some of the biggest rock n roll legends in the world.
Larry's book is available in stores, but you can also get it on Amazon.com
(just copy My Soul's Been Psychedelicized into the search bar).
The big painting client is suppose to stop by today.
And I'm once again thinking about finding a 'real' job.....I know, I know, how many times have you heard me say this.
I completely fell apart yesterday, I don't think I can take much more of living with the stress of wondering how I'm going to pay the next months bills/rent.....its completely wearing me down.

I had two wishes this morning. One, I wish I still had Gladys. For you newbies here, this is/was Gladys.....
This was her inside when I first saw her........
And this is how I transformed her...........
This was her kitchen, the mirrored door was the bathroom..........
She was so tiny (a mere 21') but so livable. I had to give her up when I couldn't afford to park her somewhere.......my town does not allow RV parking on the street.........but that was then, this is now.......sigh.
Wish number two was I wish there were Trader Joes in Florida! Being one of their part time in-store artists would be a perfect job. Maybe its time to start thinking about moving again.
I'm going to get nothing accomplished today.
In case she's watching, The Wife of a Fisherman won my bird giveaway that was held over at the BetterAfter blog. I'm hoping to hear from her so I can set this bird free.
And make sure you revisit BetterAfter to take part in her latest giveaway, a very cool silhouette cutting machine you hook right up to your computer!
One of the most unusual volunteer opportunities I've come across for mural artists. Ever want to go to Ecuador? Be sure to read the volunteer information pack at the bottom of the page.

Well, I've finally heard from the large painting client, and she wants more. More palm, more large flowers, more jungle-ly.........sigh.

Ok. Pretty time consuming but I've started filling in more of the background to give a more dense feel and I'm putting in some more vines so I can add flowers and I'll add more plants at the bottom ......I think I'll even put in a low palmetto palm that reaches in from the right side in front of part of the zebra.
Taking a break from this today. There's still a bit more to add....the orange/red/yellow flowery bit to the plants in the bottom left corner and the client wants a bird sitting on the back of the zebra. I think I want to break up that ground greenery on the right too, put some patches of earth showing through, it just looks a little too dense. Then I'll go over the whole thing and detail and highlight where needed. Still wish I had some feedback from the client and the opportunity to get paid!.....rent's late again.....dang!

Don't Forget The Giveaway!

Don't forget to jump over to BetterAfter sometime this weekend and leave a comment for a chance to win one of my tiny 2"x3" paintings!
Painted Bunting

10:30am and almost there! My brushes however are beat...its off to the store to get some fresh ones.
OK back from the store and now officially broke again until the client this is for surfaces.
I spent about half a day working on a sketch and then got some more work done on the large painting. Tomorrow it will have all of my attention, I'd love to get this done asap. Still no word on the mural job up north.
Today's progress....
Still waiting to hear from the job up north. I was emailed a picture from the potential client of the exterior of a French bistro. The picture was way more involved and detailed than my original plan, so I had to up the cost to do the job. Now I'm waiting to hear if their budget can support my doing the work for them.
Day 4

The client wonders if the heads are too small. Mind you......I did send a sketch for approval prior to start.....sigh. Rather than change them now, I'm hoping with the foliage that goes in front of them it will put them into proper perspective for the client.

I had emailed a sketch to the potential client up north last Thursday and hadn't heard anything so I emailed yesterday to try and get some feedback.
Those are just fun stickers I added to the sketch at picnik.com. This would be on a wall as you step off the elevator directing you to the cafe. Its meant to be a sidewalk cafe outside of a brownstone building (common in the area) with a green awning. The 'specials' sign would be painted with chalkboard paint.
The potential client did respond. The sketch is in the hands of his marketing people and he's waiting to hear back from them. In addition although the client likes it, it wasn't conveying the relaxing feel he was looking for. I tried for clarification and was asked to try an indoor bistro scene. I've asked if some pictures that better conveyed the feeling he was after could be emailed to me. I'd really like a better idea of what he wants before I tackle an indoor bistro sketch. I'll give it a day or two......see what the marketing team says.

This weekend I will be doing a giveaway via Lindsey's BetterAfter blog. The prize will be my tiny little Painted Bunting painting with easel.
I love Lindsey's blog, I check it out almost everyday to see the before and after photos sent in my her readers. I love her sense of humor too....a really fun read.
Day 3
Progress from yesterday. The client asked that the giraffes, and I believe the zebra too (I'll have to double check before I get to him), be done in the style of Luis Sottil. I find it slows me down when I'm asked to do someone else's style, I have to fight my hand/brush from going off on its own.
I got started on the large painting today. The sketch I did for this is down below in a previous post.
Not much else to say today. I was contacted about a possible mural job up in Philly so I did a sketch for them yesterday and I'm waiting to hear back. I was also asked about pricing for a painting from a regular blog visitor from Denmark. So I need to get a sketch together for that.
Maybe those koi fish really work.....lol.
I can't believe I'm getting beat up by a silly hippo painting! .........lol This is definitely NOT my thing.
Oh Dear! I was sending the client the lip samples and found a note she emailed yesterday about "maybe" tilting her head so she'd look a "little flirty". I'm spending way too much time on this project, but if that's what she wants.........it means I'll have to do the entire head all over again....sigh. I've asked if she's sure.
I know the area around the mouth would have to be altered but what do you think of a puckered mouth? Of course if I have to redo the head ........the lips will change again too.....dang!
I might have to find an artist for her who does this sort of cartoon-y, animated work way better than me......its just not my forte. Its a perfect example for the argument that just because you are an artist, it doesn't mean you're good at everything.
OK...made some more changes to the hippo painting and got this much approved, now I just have to add the lips back. I decided to do some sample lips on canvas, cut them out and see how each one looks on the painting.
I don't want to have to keep redoing them.
I'm hearing old time big top circus music in my head this morning cause its time for another juggling act.
Yesterday I got the check ($150) in the mail for the flamingo paintings I made for my friend, which means I now have $152.60 in the bank.
And I finally got final approval on the sketch for the large tropical/animal painting......its big 87.75"x 63.75".....
...just big enough to bump me from using a 63" canvas to the next size up and a higher price, damn. My local Jerrys Artarama doesn't sell canvas by the yard that size, they'd have it in a 6yd roll. So I just called them and they have a 72" x 6yds primed for $74.39, so about $80 with tax. OK...I was pleasantly surprised, what I saw online from them was a 75"x 6yd for $122. with tax/shipping......possibly a different brand. I also went to an ebay store where I often buy canvas and they had a 73"x 25yds !! primed cotton for $120 which included the shipping. I needed to email them though because their 'rolls' don't always come in one continuous piece. I'm so tempted. So these are the things I need to consider.....this is just me thinking out loud........
  • I have no more money coming to me until I finish the large painting. I've been commissioned for two large jobs, this one and the three panel ocean one by another client. They were each commissioned over a month ago and I had gotten deposits on both of them, but with constant delays in decision making by the clients and lack of any other substantial work, I've lived through that money already. Oh, I just remembered, I should be getting a check for $65 from the last finished pet portrait...ok...that's good.
  • I think I've already decided what to do......if I order the 25yds online it could take a week or longer to get here....I love the deal, but my rent and electric are due on the 18th and 16th respectively, which means I can't wait that long. I need to start the painting immediately.
Well, that was easy. But this is what its like every month, juggling this to take care of that......I'm not whining......I'm just sayin :-)
I can't wait to start on this painting!
Here's the ebay store I go to, to buy canvas. I've seldom been disappointed with my orders, but do keep in mind that their rolls are not always a continuous run and one time I even found little square (like 1") holes cut out in spots....very strange. I believe they get overstock and rejects from the Fredrix canvas mill down the road from them.
Here's a quote from a comment left in my last post......
"I think things don't go as they should for you because you are a bit too pesimistic.... and focusing on hardships instead of opportunities.I am no fortune teller, but I think a change in attitude would manifest itself also in the financial side. By the way, have you ever given feng shui symbols a thought for promoting wealth and prosperity? Try paint some Koi Fish. They say they are a powerful symbol in promoting the above mentioned. Good luck."
This is not the first time my attitude has been brought up by folks online, and comments like that really do make you think. My first instinct was to defend my pessimism.....how crazy does that sound.
pessimism |ˈpesəˌmizəm|
noun
a tendency to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen; a lack of hope or confidence in the future : the dispute cast an air of deep pessimism over the future of the peace talks.
• Philosophy a belief that this world is as bad as it could be or that evil will ultimately prevail over good.
That's pretty strong stuff and I have to say that just doesn't ring true to who I am. I'm a great believer in hope and how it can carry you through. But I'm also a realist and when things aren't going well I feel it, I live it, and I share it......its part of life. And right now I'm not a very happy person (although I'm optimistic that will change ;-) and I'm not a cover it up with daisies and smiley faces kind of girl.
I'll tell you what I will do.......I don't really feel like painting koi fish, but I'll put a picture in the side bar of some Koi fish that I painted a couple of years ago and see if that helps to bring more wealth and prosperity. I promise to post the news here first if it does.

Screw ebay

Over the years I've listed and tried selling things (currently my bird paintings) on ebay......to no avail. I admit I don't understand it at all. It seems to me you have to spend almost as much to hype and promote your item so people will even find/see the listing, as your item could be worth! I give up....I can't afford to keep listing things that are only 'viewed' by less than a handful of people.....auuuuuugh!

Let it go.........deep breath.

So here's the progress on the hippo painting. She's not quite finished but I thought I'd better check in with the client. I shared this with the client and got feedback that the gold background needs to be brighter and that the hippo looks angry (do you think my feelings are coming out in my work?) and not sexy enough, more attitude.
Sorry, I just have to laugh at myself trying to make a caricature of hippo look sexy....I'm sorry all you animals out there.
So its back at it today.

So...........does she look more sexy? To me she just looks indifferent/blank.
Sometimes its hard to believe I taught myself to paint by copying works by Monet, Degas........