Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Boss

Hi strangers!

It's been awhile since I've posted. The last few months have been an absolute whirl wind, with tons of trips up to Cleveland, some modeling gigs, another trip to Disney, not to mention my successful art hanging at Grumpy's Cafe! My head has been spinning, but luckily, I have been able to squeeze out some more paintings, including this bad boy.

A running friend of mine is obsessed, OBSESSED, with Bruce Springsteen. He asked me to paint his favorite pic of the Boss for his birthday, and I have to admit I was a little intimidated. I made sure to warn him I've never painted an actual human before, and showed him examples of what his painting would probably end up looking like when I was thru with it. And still he wanted it, poor guy. So, here's The Boss!

Here's the original picture he sent me.....

And here is my take....

It took me 2 hours, 2 canvases and lots of back and forth iMessages with my mom to finally get his facial features right. I was sooooo relieved when I finished!

Finally starting to look human........

And finally..............

"The Boss"
16" x 20" original acrylic painting on gallery-wrapped canvas

Going to be busy with lots more paintings, Grumpy's wants me to hang again next year, which gives me plenty of time to make a whole new batch to hang there!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Pop Art Olaf

I adore Olaf from Disney's hit movie Frozen.The animators really created the best, most hilarious and adorable character ever when they made the loveable and cracked out snowman. So what better way to show my love than to paint him not one but four times!?

I decided to give old Olaf the pop art treatment that I gave Dory last year. So, I got out another cereal box, drew Olaf on it to get my pattern and away I went!

And finally.............................

"Pop Art Olaf"
22" x 28" original acrylic painting on canvas

Doesn't it just make you want to sing about whatever snow does in suuuuuuuuuuummer? :-)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Snow White in Sepia

After a bunch of super challenging paintings, I wanted to give myself a break with a piece that had a pretty simply color pallete. I was starting to go mad from color mixing!

Here's Snow...

I could have left it at this, it looks pretty cool as is!

And finally......

"Snow in Sepia"
14" x 20" original acrylic painting on gallery-wrapped canvas

And for fun, here's a little comparison of how far I've come since I started painting in 2006...

Don't mind my caption...my painting-fumed brain couldn't do math well...It was 2006

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Elsa of Frozen & New Art Show

Move over Tink....there's a new Queen in town!

Long before Frozen even hit theaters, I felt an instant kinship with Elsa after I saw movie promo pics of her on Disney fan sites.

I mean, we're practically twins! After seeing the movie, I was even more sure she and I are one in the same! And, walking around Disney World in January, I got several comments from passersby that I looked just like her. In fact, I even got a special fastpass from a castmember for just that reason! But have no fear Tink, I will always be a faerie at heart.

Anyway, here's my take on Elsa. She was surprisingly really easy to draw!

And finally.....

22" x 28" original acrylic on canvas

It's hard to tell in the picture, but I added mini glitter to the paint, so her dress and the snow sparkle in the light.

Elsa and over a dozen of my other paintings can all be seen (and purchased!) at Grumpy's Cafe in Tremont in Cleveland, OH now through April 6. Come on down and show my art some love!

Friday, January 24, 2014

2014 WDW Half Marathon Recap

I've finally stopped sneezing long enough to recap the Walt Disney World Half Marathon that was on 1/11/14.

I was super excited to head back to Disney and run, especially when the weather was looking like it would be warm for the race...something completely foreign to me as every other year I've run Disney, its been 40 or colder!

My training runs had been awesome leading up to the race, and the past few months I'd been putting in some extra ellipticalling time, so I was raring to go. The past 2 times I've run Disney, my finishing times hadn't been that great. In 2010, it was snowing and in the 20s, so I was glad to have just survived with all my fingers and toes. In 2012, it was also cold and I was coming back from a season riddled with injuries. So, 2014 was going to be my year!

Race Prep: Trying to dry out my shoes that got drenched in a downpour at Expo...Yummy

Race day dawned so muggy, you could have cut it with a knife. The Turtle decided his days of trudging through with the cattle in the back corrals were over, so he and his sister were my support team. Now that's love. Getting up at 2am so you can wait hours and hours for your wife to run? Amazing! (Oh...did I mention I'd signed up his cell up to get text alerts when I hit the 5, 10, 15k and finish..which would be about 4 texts between 5:30 - 7am...ya know, just in case he slept in...Oopsie!)

Around 4:30 a.m. the Turtle and his sister went to hop a monorail to Ticket & Transportation to cheer me on at Mile 4, and I started the mile walk to the corrals.

My pit crew!

Corral A was full of the usual scary, razor-faced runners in their tiny shorts and 0% body fat bodies, all of whom were doing elaborate stretches and mini sprints with serious glares on their faces to try and intimidate their fellow runners. Yeah, I fit in reallll well, like always. I headed over to the one fence nearest the stage where all the cameras were (you expected any less?). My strategy worked when I got to be front and center on the screen when the race coordinator interviewed Jeff Galloway! Jeff talked with me and a few other runners before the race and shook my hand, so cool! I also got to be about 10 feet away from Chris Powell and his wife, the trainers from Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition, who gave a speech and were going to run with a couple who were participating in the show (he's really short!)

Let the race begin!

The starting fireworks got me so pumped and I was off, keeping it under a 7 minute pace. The first couple miles went really smoothly, passing fun balloons and local marching bands.

I saw the Turtle and his sister at Mile 4 and shouted at them that I saw Chris Powell as I headed toward the Magic Kingdom. I've said it before and I'll say it for the rest of my life, there is nothing more magical than running onto Main Street with huge crowds cheering you on as you run towards Cinderella's Castle. It's amazing.

And, as usual, I almost totally wiped out as I ran down the path out of the Castle...that's 3 times now, I'm not liking this tradition.

After we leave Magic Kingdom, we head into the darkness from Mile 6-9. This year it was lit a lot  better, so my fear of alligator attacks was down. I was on serious cruise control as I headed in to Mile 10.....

Mile 10: What the hell is that weird lump under the arch of my foot!?!?!? The Dr. Scholl's Heel Insert in my left shoe had somehow slid forward (despite the ridiculously tight way I tie my shoes). I kept running another 1/4 mile until I realized if I didn't fix it, it'd probably slow me down. I stopped my Garmin, slid the insert back, retied my shoe and took off.

I wish I could say this was the only time it happened. By the 3rd time around Mile 11, I just ripped the thing out and ran with one insert in, one out. As I reached the Mile 12 sign, the clock read 1:27: 50something. Sweet. I knew I would get in around 1:35, 1:36...just as I'd wanted.

I ran past Spaceship Earth, around the turn around, and headed toward the finish. Wahoo! As I got to the finish, I couldn't wipe the grin off my face, I was so happy!!!

Look at that happy face!


And then my world came crashing down. Ok, ok. It wasn't that dramatic, and now, having a lot of time between it and now, the blow isn't so bad. And in the grand scheme of things I know this is nothing, nothing!

Buuuuut....as I checked my official chiptime on the bus, my happiness came to a screeching hault. 1:39:00. HUH!?!??!


How is that even possible? If the clock wasn't even at 1:28:00 when I hit mile 12...that would mean I'd have to have run an 11 min mile for my last mile...which is impossible. If I'm anything, I'm consistent with my pace. And to go from doing 7:15-7:25 avg pace for all my miles to suddenly 11? No way!

My Garmin said I did a 1:37...which still doesn't seem quite right to me, but is definitely more on par than this! I stopped my Garmin all 3x I had to fix my shoe, and I realize that isn't reflected in my chip time, however..... the last time I stopped for my shoe was Mile 11. So that still doesn't add up.

Before I realized how off my time was

Needless to say, I cried the whole bus ride back to the hotel (and this was no pretty cry either...I seriously need to give myself a break).

Since then, I'm over it. As over it as a Type A / OCD person can be. It still frustrates me, but what can you do? I talked to another runner who said his time was off too. And I never got a recorded chip time for the 15k point.

Anyway, it didn't stop me from having a fantastic time at the Parks for the rest of the vacation! And now that I'm back, I'm practically twitching to run, I miss it so much. Mickey gave me his cold, so I've been taking it easy on the elliptical this week, but I cannot wait to get back on the track on Monday!

Post Race lunch...I could've eaten a horse!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Please Stand Clear of the Doors...

Hey, remember me? I know it's been ages since I've blogged. Those of you who like my facebook page have seen some of my posts bitching about the painting from hell. Yeah, yeah, I know you've heard that from me before. Anyway, I've been slaving away on this one painting for that long!

I'd had this picture of the monorail in Epcot sitting in my prospective painting folder since last year and just couldn't get up the courage to do it. Honestly, I figured I never would because it just seemed a little too complicated and I could foresee all the many different ways I could screw it up. But, after tackling so many difficult paintings this year, each one more challenging than the next, I found some nerve and tried my hand at it. (hehe, tried my hand)

I started out with a bang, by choosing the wrong size canvas and completely ruining it with a sketch...That one will be thrown to my sacrificial art pile!

Here's the sketch on the correct size canvas...

That's when I realized just how much harder this painting was. Besides being so tricky getting the monorail perspective right, painting it was the worst. With so many intricate colors, I could only do a little section at a time. Talk about painstaking, de-motivating and soul crushing!

Can you tell I was putting off painting the monorail?

And finally, drum roll please.........................

"Please Stand Clear of the Doors"
24" x 36" original acrylic painting on canvas

Dabbing that last paintstroke never felt so good! During the end, my mom was over working on her longstitch while I painted, and the 2 of us were crabbing away like Statlor & Waldorf about our art. It was very cathartic :-)

And now, I'm thinking black and white. I'm so sick of mixing colors!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Station Road

Cuyahoga Valley National Park - Pic taken from Station Road Bridge

My favorite place on earth is the Station Road Bridge area in Cuyahoga Valley National Park (favorite non-Disney or Hawaii place, that is ;-). It's my usual water stop on runs on the Towpath and is absolutely gorgoeous. It is also where some Occupy Wallstreeters attempted to bomb it as part of their protest in May 2012...(http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-05-01/bridge-bomb-plot/54661638/1
Had they succeeded, they would have had hell to pay from me with messing up my path!

 (Note, the bridge in the picture is actually not the Station Road Bridge...below is the Station Road Bridge...which is where I was standing to take the above picture)

I've run under those metal beams countless times

Anyway, I wanted to have some non-cartoon paintings for my Grumpy's exhibit, so I decided to try to tackle Station Road, using the above picture.

 And finally......

Station Road
22" x 28" original acrylic painting on canvas

This might be my Iron Man painting...I don't think I'm going to be able to part with it!