Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Little Halloween Nostlagia and the Semi-Annual Rant ;)

Remember childhood Halloweens? Back in the days when it was safe to roam the streets, and before cities and townships changed the date of holidays for convenience sake? We'd come home from school (or outside play if it was the weekend) in the late afternoon, and begin preparing our costumes...

Small children often wore those dime store costumes (sweaty Mickey Mouse masks with elastic string stapled in just the wrong place over the ears)...But once we hit about 7 or 8 we'd make our costumes; ghosts from old white sheets, spacemen from painted cardboard boxes and kitchen gadgets, gypsies and princesses adorned with Mother's scarves and jewelry...

We'd dress just so. And we'd sit. And wait. Because we weren't allowed out until it was at least Twilight. I remember the wait seeming like an eternity.

Finally, darkness would descend, and we'd set out with treat buckets or pillowcases in hand, and begin knocking on doors, yelling "trick or treat!", dreading the grown ups who would ask us to do a trick, and always saying "thank you" as we left with our loot (which in those days was often the big candy bars - that's how old I am, hehe).

When we returned home, pilowcases would be emptied into individual piles on the floor and the trading - and subsequent gobbling - would begin.

Such good times, and such fond memories. I'm going to stop here (before moving on to promised rant, lol) to show you a piece I completed yesterday, inspired by these childhood Halloweens...

It's listed on eBay now, where you'll find more pics. :)

Where was I? Oh, yes. The rant...

When did the childhood fun, the "Boo!", "Scared you!" sort of Halloweens become eclipsed by Horror movies, gruesome animatronics, and trick or treating at the mall? I soooooo love the magic and whimsy of Halloween, the childlike excitement, the fanstasy aspect of the whole thing, and it truly saddens me to see it co-opted by violence and gore - and to see parents taking their kids to the mall because it's "safer"(which I know is a whole other debate, and may even be true to varying degrees depending on the neighborhood, but I find it sad nonetheless).

I've seen the trend in Halloween art too, mostly on eBay - the scary-fun giving way to the sick and gruesome. The baby doll heads made into corpses...soooooo sad.

But there are still plenty of us hanging on fiercely to the magic and wonder of childhood Halloweens, trying our best to keep that anticipation and excitement alive...If you have a few minutes, check out the right hand sidebar of my blog, and visit sites like Allen Cunningham, Johanna Parker Design, Laurie Hardin, Rucus Studio, Retro Rudolphs, Soft in the Head, and of course all the Ghoultide Gathering artists.

This is what Halloween at it's best, what Halloween should be.

Do you have a favorite childhood memory or costume? A favorite candy maybe? Do jump in and share a comment - it helps keep the magic alive. ;)

Until next time,

¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ ♥ Carolee

Monday, May 23, 2011

"Wicked Good Brew"

Flying in to share the latest Halloween piece, a large plate/platter I just finished this afternoon...

Sooooo much fun (and hard to believe the Halloween countdown has already begun!) It's up for grabs on eBay now.

Lots of new pieces in the works as well - for eBay, for Etsy, for the EHAG Emporium, for the PFATT Marketplace, and for the Ghoultide Gathering. And of course playing catch-up on commissions. ;)

That's about it for now, but I'll be back soon with another update. In the meantime, have a *magical* and creative rest of the week. :)

♥ Carolee
PS - if you click on the link for the EHAG Emporium (above) you'll find a fabulous giveaway to enter!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

"The Walrus and the Carpenter"

Just popping in to share the latest Alice piece, inspired of course, by the poem of the same name from "Through the Looking Glass"...

Poor little oysters...although they're doomed, they do look rather whimsical in their red Keds, don't they?

The original is already claimed, but I do hope to offer prints soon, so stay tuned. :)

In the meantime, look for a new Halloween piece on eBay very soon!

¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ ♥ Carolee

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tumbling Back Down the Rabbit Hole

Are you tiring of all the Wonderland posts yet?

I can't help it. It's such a magical place, and the childhood memories it invokes so fond (curling up on a rainy Saturday with fantastical tales) that falling down the creative rabbit hole has become rather a habit, hehe...

Here's the latest piece, "The Lobster Quadrille", acrylic on gallery canvas...

It was inspired of course, by the chapter in "Alice in Wonderland" where the Mock Turtle shows Alice and the Gryphon how to do the lobster quadrille ("change lobsters again!", teehee). SUCH fun to paint, and already spoken for. But while the original is sold, the good news is there are soon to be prints!

And prints of the next Alice painting as well ("The Walrus and the Carpenter" from "Through the Looking Glass"). Stay tuned for an update on this one, and possibly in-progress pics on facebook.

While Alice is an almost never-ending well of inspiration, there's also Middle Earth, into which I plan to delve very soon; The Shire, Rivendell, Lothlorien, Fangorn Forest - another entire realm of inspiration. I only hope I can do it justice. It's a little scary given that far more accomplished artists than myself have worked absolute magic with the subject...Wish me luck. :)

That's about it for now. I'll be back very soon with another update...Thanks as always for peeking in, and for your comments. I truly look forward to them! ♥

¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ ♥ Carolee

Friday, May 13, 2011

Good News and Inspiration Overload

I'll begin with the good news. Yesterday (yep, Friday the 13th) was John's last day of radiation treatment at Temple University Hospital!

It's been a very long 11 weeks, with more than a few bumps along the way, but he came through it, and the doctors are optimistic. He's still home for another week, resting and getting his strength back before returning to work. And we won't know for another six weeks if he's in remission. But we feel like we're on the downside of the mountain at this point, coasting instead of climbing, at least for another few weeks.

Sooooooo, a HUGE thank you for the prayers, positive energy and healing vibes, and for all the encouraging comments here, and on facebook. I can't begin tell you how much they've meant. Whatever the outcome, we feel truly blessed. ♥

Studio news this week takes the form of a creative explosion of sorts, hehe...

It began with a rather stressed out dream, wherein I was painting the White Rabbit on a clock - with the White Rabbit himself serving as a model - and a highly annoyed model at that. Seems I wasn't painting fast enough. (Yeah, I know - no trouble interpreting that one, right?!) ;) At any rate, I always listen to creative dreams, so I wrote it all down and set to work the next morning while it was fresh in my mind. Here's the result, which is on it's way to live with a wonderful collector and dear friend...

Wonderland is still calling though, and very soon I hope to share a pair of canvas paintings; The Mock Turtle and Gryphon, and the Walrus and the Carpenter (remember them?!) I can't wait to get started, and although already spoken for, I hope to offer prints, and will share pics as soon as they're finished.

Further inspiration came in the form of an artistic challenge in the EHAG Art group - our latest creative springboard, titled "Familiar Friends", was suggested by the very talented Sweet B. Soooooo many possibilities there, but in the end I decided to paint a mystical cat, using my friend Lunaea's gorgeous boy Morpheus as a model. Here's the result...

Click here to visit the auction.

Of course, in the midst of all this, Halloween is still VERY much on the brain, as work begins for the fifth annual Ghoultide Gathering. At the risk of sounding like broken record, if you're within striking or traveling distance, and you love Halloween (the mystical, magical, "boo!" Halloween we remember from childhood!) this show is a must see. I guarantee you'll walk around absolutely drop-jawed. This is my fifth year exhibiting, and walking the show before opening, I still feel as though I were transported to some magical Halloween realm. Oh, and this year, it's a TWO day event!

It's also a super reasonable getaway, with discounted rooms for attendees at the Hampton Inn, which sort of becomes *Halloween Central* for a couple of days, and where you're likely to meet up with other collectors, some of the artists, etc...

I'll post more details soon, but if you think you can make it, book early - "Ghoulies" as my friend Joycee likes to call us, pretty much filled the hotel last year, hehe!

That's about it for now, except to add that a few Middle Earth pieces are also on the not too distant horizon; the Shire, Lothlorien and Rivendell providing most of the inspiration.

Until next time, thanks for visiting, thanks for your comments, and do check back soon (a giveaway is in the works!)

¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ ♥ Carolee

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Wonderful Weekend, and New Work!

I'll begin by saying we don't go out very often. Almost never, in fact. Between the budget and my crazy work schedule, it's a luxury in which we seldom indulge.

But today was Mother's Day, and a special occasion. Our beautiful daughter Courtney and her BFF SarahGrace (one of two honorary daughters with whom we've been blessed) traveled out here from the city (Philly) to meet us for brunch at what could easily become my new favorite place. Soooooo good, and my only regret is that as we were leaving, a group of Celtic musicians were setting up. (Note to self - make a much later reservation next time!)

After ordering, I was presented with a gift bag containing my favorite summer scent, a cookbook I've been wanting for AGES, and a box of truffles (I know, like I need them, lol).

It was altogether a perfect day, which I finished up with a little painting...

This magical little pair will be up for grabs on the PFATT Marketplace on a first-come basis, Tuesday the 10th, at 10AM Pacific time. I just LOVE these chunky canvases, because there's no need for a frame, and the little ones can fit almost anywhere (these are 5" x 5"). :)

At the risk of jumping all over the place with this post (yeah, I know, scattered artist syndrome) I'll close with a quick update on John. This will be his LAST week of radiation (yay!), followed by another week's recovery from the whole ordeal, and we should know soon after if he's in remission. If you're inclined to prayers and positive thoughts, they are, as always, most appreciated!

That's about it for now. I'll be back very soon with new work, and in the meantime have a wonderful, creative and productive week!

♥ Carolee

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day Memories and Musings

OK, I'm going to sound VERY old here....

Do you find, as I do, that as the years pass, "time flying" becomes almost exponential?

It doesn't seem that long ago I was looking forward to my first Mother's Day as a new Mom...

And now my baby is all grown.

Lucky girl has her Father's curly locks. :)

I think too about my own Mother, a young bride here, showing her wedding ring, just about a year prior to my birth...

And leaving for her honeymoon...

So happy they were. I just love these photos. They seem almost iconic.

Dad passed just over 30 years ago, and Mom has long since remarried. I don't have any recent pics, but she's just as beautiful and just as happy today. :)

I'm not sure if being a grandmother is in the cards for me or not, but I hope so. And I hope when the time comes, I'm a good one. No matter how quickly time flies, I hope I remain young at heart, and young in spirit, always open minded, always creative, and always a little bit quirky.

Wishing that for all of us, in fact, and wishing all the Moms out there a very Happy Mother's Day!

♥ Carolee

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Congratulations to Sharon (blogger "Fuzz"), the winner of the little pinkeep giveaway.
It will be on it's way to the UK very soon. Thanks to everyone for entering, and please stay tuned for the next giveaway! :)

♥ Carolee

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The First of May!

Wishing everyone a very Happy May Day and a Blessed Beltane to all those who celebrate it!

I'll be spending the day immersed in books and sketches of Middle Earth, and doing a bit of work on a couple of commissions. Later on, the plan is dinner on the grill and a new salad recipe, accompanied by my new favorite drink (sweet tea vodka and lemonade - yummmm). :)

Wish you could all join us for a great big potluck! Wouldn't that be FUN?!

I'll be back very soon with new work, but until then (or at least until this evening) there's still the mending box up for grabs on eBay...

I'll leave you with this wonderful video...

Enjoy the day!

♥ Carolee