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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Painting from memories...and a blog award nomination!!!

It's Thursday!  
Hey everyone, hope you had a nice day yesterday - this was basically my Wednesday:
....and seeing my brother Matt play in the house band at the Apollo Theatre!!!
 Well at least, that's the important stuff :)

Blog Award Nomination!

First of all, I want to thank Katie Hardin one more time of the Creative House Blog for nominating my blog - I am honored to have Allspice & Acrylics nominated for the Liebster Award!!!  For this award, I need to answer 11 fun questions and nominate 11 other fun bloggers - so I do all that stuff at the end of this post - but first...


I'm trying to keep this post relatively short(ish) today because in an hour I will be giving at artist's talk at Blue Lemon for my work being displayed in the Pairings Art Exhibit - it should be a great time as I talk about my artistic process, answer any questions, share some fun stories, plus free food, which I am always down with.
Some pictures from the opening gala last month...

Studio Time!

And of course I'm running behind because I just spent uhhh...several hours in the art studio - hey if it makes me happy!  And this was what I created yesterday:

First, I started with gesso-ing a magazine page and having some fun coloring it in, scribbing all over it, painting it, spraying it, waving around like a crazy person until things were dripping, etc...

I love the act of improvisation in painting - really it's just an excuse for me to mess around with no rules, and then be absolutely delighted when something turns out unexpected - just as I call my life a "beautiful detour" - although another person might not label an exploding stomach, a coma, 3+ years unable to eat or drink, and 27 surgeries "beautiful" - in the end, it's turned out quite lovely and I am happy to be ME, here right now, and writing to y'all!

Anyway, art is very symbolic of that for me - I'll paint something very intently and then make a total mess of it - stomping on it, spraying it with stuff, smudging it - my jackets get ruined as a result, but my paintings don't.  They just turn out unexpectedly.  Somehow, I always find satisfaction in the outcome.  

And of course I couldn't leave this woman be without adding my "signature" tear...

I think if my artwork was always predictable and I could figure out exactly how a piece would end, I would get bored.  I really do love the process of discovery in art making.  Otherwise, I would just print out clip art or something.

Then, I used more of that spackle plaster to add texture around the magazine add, and also added a photo of a view out my window in the bottom corner, trying to obscure that a bit.  I like playing with my old photos - this way it's like she's looking longingly outside.

Once the plaster had dried, it created firm waves on my canvas - this plaster is seriously my greatest recent discovery - I could literally just smudge it around with my fingers and voila - easy texture, and very easy to paint over once it dries for a few hours.
I tried to add a bit more shading to the waves and darken up up the bottom, lighten up the top...
Went through my doo-dads, buttons, gems and such, and surrounded my woman in waves...
Then I decided that I wanted to create a scene in the bottom I added another girl - who knows, maybe the same women in the past -just staring out the window peacefully.

I also decided to give her a little bottle to catch the woman's tear - she is crying above this scene.

And there ya go...

Again, I am loving the theme lately of giving and receiving when it comes to healing.  The girl is there to catch this magazine woman's tear-drops.  I also added a window in the magazine woman's heart - on her necklace - with some of the photo in it, like the woman was longing to stare out that window.  I think this girl is maybe a younger self of the woman above her.  Sometimes, we need our childhood for comfort, and those memories comfort us.  That's when we go inside to that homey place of childhood memories.  I know I do all the time...

Anyway, that was what I did yesterday morning!

Liebster Award!!!

This is an award for bloggers who have under 200 followers, or those who are just starting out to develop their reader and fan base. Thank you so much for the nomination, Katie! Apparently I need to answer these 11 questions and nominate 11 other bloggers…
1.     How did you decide on the title of your blog, and what’s it about?
I started my blog at a time when I was healing from various surgeries and was not able to eat or drink – ironically I became obsessed with cooking so I could have an excuse to at least be AROUND food (don’t ask) – and apparently I was a great cook!  I cooked by my sense of smell which was way overdeveloped from not being able to use my taste buds – so I fell in love with spices – (Allspice part of my Blog Title) and then I discovered painting as a powerful means of personal expression, and a vital lifeline to cope, which later developed into a huge passion of mine – and there comes the Acrylics part!

2. Can you give 11 random facts about yourself?
-I have three much older brothers who actually don't pick on me and are pretty cool
-I am obsessed with anything that has melted cheese on it
-My two favorite theatrical roles were Anne Frank in The Diary Of…and Eponine in Les Miserables
- Even though I’ll be 28 next month, I am in my 2nd year of college at Hampshire because hey, just because a coma swallowed up a few years doesn’t mean I can’t get an edu-ma-cation
 - Tap-Dancing has been my first love since I was a little kid
- I used to love making my own clay-mation movies when I was younger – they were pretty good for a cheap camcorder!
-For my birthday parties growing up, I would just tape-record myself singing songs I’d make up and give them as goodie bags.  I think the kids were pretty disappointed…
-My family’s ritual after each of my 27 surgeries, is that as soon as I get out of the recovery room we all go to the mall shopping – it’s retail therapy.
-My favorite date night with my fiancé is walking through the grocery store and looking at all the newest snack foods that come out
- Our second favorite date night is wandering through Costco and taking all of the samples
-I’ve been to Disney World 22 times.  It’s my obsession.  Not Disneyland.  Can’t even compare.  Don’t. 

2.     What is something you’ve been loving lately?
My fiancé got me into Shark Tank lately – I find it especially interesting now that I’m starting my own business.

4. What is it you love most about blogging?
I love to share my latest art projects, plus writing about nature, healing, and how I’ve used creativity to get through.  I love that because of my blog I am able to get my ideas out there and reach others, sharing my story and message, in the hopes I might help others or just bring a smiel to someone’s face.

5. If you had 3 wishes, what would they be?
- to finally get an off-broadway run of my one-woman show Gutless & Grateful
-       to be happy and healthy my entire life and never have any medical issues again
-       to have an unlimited shopping spree to every grocery store in the world

6. Where does your blog inspiration come from?
Nature, art, life, and my own personal journey.

7. What is one country in the world you would like to visit? Why?
I’ve always wanted to visit Japan – definitely on my bucket list.

8. If you have kids or pets? Tell me about your babies.
I have two adorable dogs Pepper and Jelly – a toy Aussie and a Pomeranian – ironically their names don't actually come from food.  Pepper, the Aussie is very smart and alert, and Jelly the yappy Pomeranian seems to be entertained enough running around in circles all day.  They are extremely cute and each other’s best friend.

9. A long-lost relative leaves you a large sum of money. What do you do with it?
Go on a really long vacation, pay for the rest of college, make my home nice with my future fiancé, fund my foundation that I will eventually start, and give the rest to a children’s hospital.

10. What is something you do when you need to take time for yourself?
Foot massage – I love reflexology!

11. Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Married, happy and in love!  And also creating my own foundation, organization, program that advocates healing and creativity.

Anna @
Nicole  @Tales from the Tree-Lined Trenches
Alex @ Finding Montauk
Tansy @
Kimberly @ Helping The Homemaker
Leah @ The Colicat Blog
Andrea @ 
Anya @ Randomly Yaya 

Instructions for the Nominees
·       Answer the eleven questions given to you by the person that nominated you (see below). Please comment on this post with your link when you are done so I can see your answers!
·       In your post, link back to the person/blog who nominated you and give a little thank you shout out.
·       After completing the questions, nominate 11 bloggers with under 200 followers on the social media platform of your choice, and give them eleven questions of your choice.
·       Notify your nominees of their nomination, and provide a link to your post so that they know what to do.
Here are your questions:
1. How did you decide on the title of your blog, and what’s it about?
2. Can you give 11 random facts about yourself?
3. What is something you’ve been loving lately?
4. What is it you love most about blogging?
5. If you had 3 wishes, what would they be?
6. Where does your blog inspiration come from?
7. What is one country in the world you would like to visit? Why?
8. If you have kids or pets? Tell me about your babies.
9. A long-lost relative leaves you a large sum of money. What do you do with it?
10. What is something you do when you need to take time for yourself?
11. Where do you see yourself in five years time?

That's it!

I'd share with you what I painted this morning/afternoon - but that's for tomorrow - don't wanna miss my artist's talk!
"I am ME" - ironically, by ME!  (2011)

Have a great day!


  1. I love your signature tear! Foot massages are always great for when you treat yourself.
    Mikayla |

  2. I love how you've incorporated the pieces into the painting and all the different textures. What talent! My grandmother was an artist, sadly I didn't inherit much of her talent.

  3. Lovely art. Congrats on the award. Melted cheese is pretty fantastic.

  4. Thanks so much for my nomination! Please check out my post for my answers and nominees :)