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 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
She also has some beautiful ones of horses that you, who have struggled with painting them, may want to take a look at.


Latest Dog Portrait in progress

Still working on this one, but he's almost finished. The original background was an inside shot in a very dark room. I have one more order to do....a German Sheppard.
The website was up and live in just a couple of hours. I can't stress how easy this was to do and how happy I am with the results. You can also go back and make changes or add new pictures or pages and they show up immediately. Take a look and give it a try yourself... my new website


That was easy!

I just finished building the new site and it was so easy.....just drag and drop. It won't be visible right away...they say give it a day or two. The free website builder and hosting weebly.com

A few changes

I'm sure some of you will be interested in this......I discovered a new website for building free websites with free hosting. Not sure yet if there's a catch, but I am there now building up a site. I believe it did say no advertisements which is great and they also have google adsense (but you share the earnings with weebly). I've never been really happy having my portfolio in a blog format, so I'm going to see if this works for me.
Also note that if you have karenhetzer dot com bookmarked (or a favorite) on your computer, that will be going to the new site and www.muralclassestogo.com will be for the blog. This should happen by the end of today or sometime tomorrow.
The website building site is weebly.com


Why are cats so much harder to do?

I spent two days working on this portrait of a cat....I'll set it aside for now and work on the other one I have to do. Dogs seem so much easier to do.
Maybe its the size that makes a difference. This one is 5"x 7" while the dogs I did below were 8"x 10". Harder to get the detail in small paintings.
This is the painting obviously....the colors are actually a little darker than they show here.
Here's the original photograph I worked from.



I'm once again offering private mural instruction for just beginning artists. Instruction will be given in my home located in Lake Worth, FL. Instruction will be for five days, seven hours each day (one hour for lunch by the pool) and the cost?.......a recession friendly $750 (limited time only)....everything provided. Scheduling is flexible.....can be five days straight or broken up into weekends. Contact for more information.


I think I'm done with this one...8"x 10"portrait #2 of 5. I had a very difficult picture to work from, but it was the only photo they had. I will study it for a day or two.

Art Couture

An artist friend of mine Janet Nelson, just sent me a link to a company iconshoes.com that is printing art on leather goods.
Its like they took what Cafepress and Zazzle allows you to do and turned it into art couture.
Tote by PixDezines on Zazzle.....
Shoes by AferrellApparel on Zazzle.....


Killing Time On A Lazy Sunday Morning

I've been jumping from blog to blog to blog this morning. I landed on this one that held my attention for quite a while...its a fun craft oriented blog with tons of links to others...grab the coffee and set a while :-)


Need To Get My Groove Back

I'm going through one of those...'I can't seem to get inspired'... phases. I hate when that happens. I did catch myself feeling a glimmer of excitement though when I found this all wood screen for $15 today that was screaming 'paint me! paint me!'.
This smooth side will absolutely get a mural.
Ignore the Southwestern styled side, I'm going to see if I can't remove those little bits of wood in all the corners, and most likely each of the 12 sections will get a painting....haven't decided on a theme yet. I'm open to suggestions :-) And it will be for sale.
As I was riding through my neighborhood, on my way home, I had to stop and take a picture of this tree. The first time I saw one of these I thought someone was playing a joke. Those tubular things hanging from it can get much larger than the ones here. Its the craziest looking thing.
Its called a sausage tree. The fruits are not edible, the seeds are poisonous.
This is how they start out.
I got three new portrait clients today. This mood of mine better pass quickly.


Haven't had much to blog about lately.
Today I'm going back to a home to add some more random embellishments of palm fronds around some windows and doorways.
I finally started working on one of two dog portraits that were commissioned about a month ago....they are to be Christmas gifts for the clients friend. Still have layers to go, but here's the progress so far.
Original photo:
Painting progress:
Lots to do/correct.
Also been playing around painting miniature paintings (2"x3")