Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Past

Christmas time is full of nostalgia. Seven years ago when we moved into our house I bought new Christmas decorations, pretty flowers, butterflies, color coordinated bulbs all sized to fit a 8 foot tree.  It's a beautiful tree when it's all decked out, I wanted it to look like a fancy one at the mall or Pottery Barn.

I decorated my Christmas tree with my old Hallmark ornaments this year. I found them in storage in the same cardboard boxes I packed them in 12 years ago.  My Mom and I use to collect them.  We bought the movable ones that plug into the lights, with kids sliding down the banister and trains going around in circles. There is a radio with a cat that announces Santa and a dancing toy soldier that drove my husband crazy till I turned it off.  Just the sound of the tree when I plugged it in at night made me remember Christmas past.

My Mom bought me many "For Daughter" ones, hearts and "Mother" ones. She knew my love of animals and bought me cats and mice, dogs and birds. The first one she bought me was a Crayon box with little mice sleeping in it. I bought her "Mother" ones back, old cars and lots of Santas. We bought them together at after Christmas sales. I guess we stopped buying and collecting them for each other in 2000 because they are all dated and the latest date is 1999.

I stopped putting up my tree in 2000 when I was dating my husband and I wasn't at home much.  Dan, my son, was on his own and we all went to my Mom's house on Christmas day. After my Mom passed away in 2005 my sister offered me some of my Mom's ornaments but I don't remember if I took any or not.

Each ornament has it's own box and packing. It took hours to unpack them. The time was worth it when my Dan said the tree was the one from his childhood. I've spent the last two days repackaging these treasured ornaments into their individual boxes and remembering my Mom at Christmas. Good and bad, happy and sad, wishing she was here to celebrate the new babies in the family and maybe we would buy each other a "I Love You Mother" Christmas ornament.


I should have taken a picture of the tree when it was up. Darn it. I only took pictures of baby Dustin and Sandy my granddaughter.

I did have a nice Christmas with family, I hope you did too.


Thanks for reading

I am helping to support a great animal rescue center with portions of my sales from my Etsy sales site.  I am giving 10% of all sales to this fantastic animal rescue center.

Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary

PURCHASE 8x10 painting prints, holiday & birthday cards!

Visit my personal portfolio website.
http://www.LCurtin.com

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tax Lady

I don't think I'm going to get my Eagle painting done before tax season gets started in January.  I have two paintings going and I'm pretty darn sure I'm not going to get either one of them done.  This year went by so fast. The whole summer and fall devoted to making, selling and promoting art. Time really got away from me. I've been working so hard being an artist I didn't notice that I was working.

I put in 70+ hour weeks in my tax business, Hess Income Tax, from January till April 15th and then I have 8 months to do mostly as I please. Each year as the Holiday season rolls around I say to myself, "I can't believe it's almost tax season again."  As if I didn't just have 8 months doing what I want.

So here we are again, I'll put away my paints and easel, get out my dresses and nylons and become Laura Curtin, Tax Lady.  This will be my 33rd year of preparing tax returns for my clients, friends and family. The office has been open for 53 years with 48 of those in the same Westminster California location.  My clients are mostly referrals from other clients and the grown children of those and so on. I'm an Enrolled Agent licensed to practice before the IRS on behalf of clients and I keep up my education to give the clients the best tax advice I can.

 I have a great job and I love the 8 months painting but I wonder what it would be like to be 100% Laura Curtin, Artist.

Grumpy Faced Eagle under Construction
I'll be back soon. Have a wonderful Holiday season.



Thanks for reading


I am helping to support a great animal rescue center with portions of my sales from my Etsy sales site.  I am giving 10% of all sales to this fantastic animal rescue center.

Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary

PURCHASE 8x10 painting prints, holiday & birthday cards!

Visit my personal portfolio website.
http://www.LCurtin.com

Thank you for stopping by, hope to see you back soon.

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

How to Oil paint

How to Oil Paint? Practice. I know that's not what you wanted to read but you know it's true.

While practice is important and the best way to get better at anything, specific instruction is also very helpful. I've been painting a long time and the lessons I've taken from other artists were very important. I learned what I like to do and what I don't want to do when I paint. So, I'll make some outlines and videos for you to watch. I'll share what I've learned along the way. I've already started the first one, I mentioned it here before, "How to Paint Cat Eyes ." My brother is editing that one now and I will post it soon. I will do the best "How to Paint Whatever" videos possible.

My job besides painting is to write stuff, video tape things and come up with many ideas of what my friends and readers would like to know how to paint. I sure wish I was younger, only for the energy, well, maybe the younger part would be ok. I would love to be able to stay awake painting through the night or writing descriptive content. If perhaps you have that kind of energy now I hope you feel it and put it to good use.

So practice and instruction are two important parts of painting. Talent and vision are two parts you already possess, put together all of the parts and we are making art. Let's do that.


Thanks for reading


I am helping to support a great animal rescue center with portions of my sales from my Etsy sales site.  I am giving 10% of all sales to this fantastic animal rescue center.

Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary

PURCHASE 8x10 painting prints, holiday & birthday cards!

Visit my personal portfolio website.
http://www.LCurtin.com

Thank you for stopping by, hope to see you back soon.

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Taxes and Holidays

Hello!  I've been busy with my "other job," income taxes.  Today was the last day to file if you had an extension of time to get your taxes completed.  I like tax season and the extension deadlines because I get to be busy with work and see people I haven't seen in a year. I think it's funny that every year about November I say to myself, "Oh man, it's almost tax season again!" I work really hard for about 3 1/2 months and then I have a whole lot of time to paint.  I have no complaints about my job.

Saturday November 17 2012 I'm going to participate in a Holiday Boutique at the Elks Club in Huntington Beach, California from12 noon till 4 pm. The show benefits the Second Chance Pet Adoption.  I'm going to have a lot of artwork, Christmas cards, birthday cards and flower photos for sale.  10% of all my sales go to the Forever Wild Exotic Animal  Sanctuary.

http://www.zvents.com/huntington_beach_ca/events/show/283719185-holiday-boutique-to-benefit-second-chance-pet-adoptions

December 7th and 8th 2012 I will participate in a two day show in Tustin California. This show should be really festive, there will be a tree lighting ceremony, Santa, a pancake breakfast and raffel giveaways.

http://www.businessallianceoc.net/?page_id=369

Both of these holiday shows should be fun.

Granddaughter - Oil on Canvas by Laura Curtin
Fairy Granddaughter
Come visit me at the shows!

Thanks for reading

PURCHASE 8x10 painting prints, holiday & birthday cards!

I am helping to support a great animal rescue center with portions of my sales from my Etsy sales site.  I am giving 10% of all sales to this fantastic animal rescue center.

Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary

Visit my personal portfolio website:

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Like a Circle in a Spiral Like a Wheel Within a Wheel

Last night I woke up at 1:10 and could not go back to sleep.  Kevin saw on the internet that if you can't sleep try stretching your toes out and then curling them back over and over until you fall asleep.  I've tried this before and it worked pretty well.  Last night not so much.  I never did go back to sleep.  I sleep walked through the my day today.

What makes the brain go round and round in circles at night. Worrying about things I have no possibility of fixing from bed. I should have just gotten up and exercised or painted or something. I could have gone outside and watched the sunrise.

I love seeing the sunrise. I'm up most mornings exercising by the time the sun comes out.  For many years I roller-skated outside on the streets in the early morning and I've seen a lot of beautiful sunrises.  I'm sure people thought I was crazy, I would skate down the street and sing "Oh what a beautiful morning."  I remember seeing sunrises because I stayed up all night on purpose. Some of those times were great, others not so much.

Monkey's - Oil on Canvas by Laura Curtin

Sunrises and sunsets are wonderful painting subjects.  It's always hard to convey to the audience that it is morning or evening. Like the painting above, are the Langur Monkeys waking to the day or getting ready to sleep. You could find the childrens book "Langur Monkey's Day" and read the page to find out what time of day it is.  I sure don't remember.
http://www.amazon.com/Langur-Monkeys-Day-Amazing-Adventures/dp/159249143X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1349150821&sr=1-1&keywords=langur+monkeys+day

Tonight I will sleep. Tomorrow another sunrise.

Here is a website from the Mayo Clinic about staying asleep
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/insomnia/AN01611

Here is another one that has some really reasonable answers to staying asleep. http://www.greenhealthspot.com/2008/02/staying-asleep.html

PURCHASE 8x10 painting prints, holiday & birthday cards!

I am helping to support a great animal rescue center with portions of my sales from my Etsy sales site.  I am giving 10% of all sales to this fantastic animal rescue center.

Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary

Visit my personal portfolio website:

Thank you for stopping by, hope to see you back soon.
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Photos That Fit the Pictures in my Head

I feel really fortunate when I can use my own photos to paint.  I'm not a big traveler and when we do go on a trip it's usually to one coast or another.  I got lucky taking photos of horses in a field when my husband and I stayed in San Luis Obispo, CA .  Kevin was napping and I went out with my camera to see if I could find some flowers.  There was a large group of horses way across a field.  I called and called to get their attention but they just ate grass.  I did take some photos with my zoom but the horses were so far away the photos were only ok.

I went around back of the hotel looking for flowers and came across this field.  It was nearly 7 pm and the sun was just going behind the mountain and the field was reverse lit. The dark shady area was in the back and the front of the field was very bright.

Inspiration for 3 foals in a field

I took this picture then turned and noticed a mare with her two foals had come across the field to drink water from a stream near me.  When I moved around they got very skittish so I had to be still.

Inspiration for 3 foals in a field

I took these photos and about 30 more and was able to use my own photos for a painting for a change.

Inspiration for three foals in a field

I get a certain satisfaction having the painting come to me rather than how I usually have to chase the photos that fit the images in my head.

Inspiration for three foals in a field

I did turn one of the foals around and changed the background some.  I took out old trees and bad fences.

Horses - Oil on Canvas by Laura Curtin
Three Foals in a Field

The painting turned out similar to how I felt seeing the beautiful horses in that setting at the time.  

San Luis Obispo is a nice place to visit.  If you've never been there here is one of the city's websites. 

Thanks for reading.
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I am helping to support a great animal rescue center with portions of my sales from my Etsy sales site.  I am giving 10% of all sales to this fantastic animal rescue center.

Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary

http://foreverwildexotics.org/

Visit my personal portfolio website:

http://www.LCurtin.com

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Is Ambition Something You Can Catch?

I'm working so much right now it feels like tax season. The new routine is get up at 5:30 post an etsy listing on facebook, twitter, and pinterest. Exercise for an hour. Feed the cats. Get ready and go to the office. Work is split between taxes and clients, painting, promotional work, printing prints for sale and so on. I think I caught ambition.

I went to work for my mom when I was 22.  One of her staff had quit in February and Mom asked me to help and that's where I've been ever since.  My mom passed away in 2005 and I became the owner of Hess Income Tax. I love the office and my clients.  I didn't expect to stay there most of my adult life.  I'm a really good tax lady and I'm a really great artist.  I don't want to be a starving artist.  I want to be a successful artist. Am I too old to get ambition?  Is ambition for the young?

What if some of those closest to me don't have any interest in my ambition to succeed? What then? How do I overcome that? Anyone have any ideas?

Tiger - Oil on Canvas  by Laura Curtin

Maybe ambition is not caring so much if it's the right time or if anyone supports me.  I've always heard ambition is wanting something so bad your willing to work hard for what you want. Watch me.

This is my office website. 
http://www.hessincometax.com/

PURCHASE 8x10 painting prints, holiday & birthday cards!

I am helping to support a great animal rescue center with portions of my sales from my Etsy sales site.  I am giving 10% of all sales to this fantastic animal rescue center.


Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary

http://foreverwildexotics.org/

Visit my personal portfolio website:
http://www.LCurtin.com

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Going on

The most important painting tip I've learned over the years is "Keep Going."  I am telling myself to keep going a lot with this new painting I've started.  I wanted to paint something different, something I've never painted before.  I decided on a desert tortoise.  I found wonderful reference material.  I can see the finished painting in my head and I am must be growing as a artist because I have to keep telling myself to "Keep Going!"

I guess it's been awhile since I felt like a novice.  After the last painting I felt so accomplished even smug.  There was so much work and detail in "Cougar Ledge" and I never felt like I had to figure out how to paint something. Rocks were rocks and cats were cats and that's what I painted.

I will learn how to paint something new. I will figure out how to paint tortoise hide. I will not get mad at myself when painting doesn't come easy.  I will "Keep Going" again.

Bison- Oil on Canvas  by Laura Curtin
American Bison 
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PURCHASE 8x10 painting prints, holiday & birthday cards!

I am helping to support a great animal rescue center with portions of my sales from my Etsy sales site.  I am giving 10% of all sales to this fantastic animal rescue center.


Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary

http://foreverwildexotics.org/

Visit my personal portfolio website:

http://www.LCurtin.com

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Obsessions

I love my yard. We moved into our house in January 2005. The previous owner John, was a true gardner, he loved his yard.  He planted plumeria and roses, perennials and annuals.  He cultivated orchids of all colors. Our neighbor, Oscar was a good friend of Johns and together they cross bred different plumeria for unusual colors and fragrance.

I started photographing the flowers in my yard the first spring we lived here and I can't stop. The trees are the same trees year after year and the roses the same colors but I am fascinated with them. I was just downloading some flower pictures to post here and tried to show them to my husband but he said he has seen so many he couldn't look at them.

Plumeria - Photo by Laura Curtin

I can't figure out my obsession with the flowers.  Is it the same obsession that keeps me painting beautiful places and colors?  Is it the perfection in nature, the pleasing fragrance, all the colors in the world?  Did you know that every color goes with green?

Roses - Photo  by Laura Curtin

I could post photo after photo of the flowers in my yard but luckily I already post a couple hundred I like best on my etsy page and my website. Which, Dan has all finished now.  Please take a minute to look and see if you are just as flower crazy as I am.

Roses - Photo  by Laura Curtin

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Please click the FOLLOW button above so I know you are out there. 

PURCHASE 8x10 painting prints, holiday & birthday cards!

I am helping to support a great animal rescue center with portions of my sales from my Etsy sales site.  I am giving 10% of all sales to this fantastic animal rescue center.


Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary

http://foreverwildexotics.org/


Visit my personal portfolio website:
http://www.LCurtin.com

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Let's Splurge

It's Thursday painting class again.  Yay!  Today was treat day.  Joan brought homemade chocolate chip cookies, she loves to bake. The next door neighbor to the art gallery is a caterer and she brought us angel food cake and oatmeal cranberry cookies that were still warm from the oven. I've been on a strict diet since February and for the most part treats aren't included.  Today I splurged, two cookies, a piece of cake and a cranberry cookie.

It's nice to have a splurge day every now and then. I stick to diets, stick to work, stick to exercise.  I'm pretty sure all that sticking to it makes me a stick in the mud. I think it's time I have a real splurge day.  I'll have to think about what to do. Next week the gallery will be closed while Barbel visits family in Canada. Maybe I can figure out something to splurge on next Thursday besides work.

Cupcake - Photo  by Laura Curtin
Yum
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Please check out Barbel's website and if you are nearby Huntington Beach, drop by Thursday morning or better yet sign up to take a class with Barbel. 

Check out Joan's Blog, she has the most beautiful watercolors here plus a schedule of watercolor workshops. 

PURCHASE 8x10 painting prints, holiday & birthday cards!>

I am helping to support a great animal rescue center with portions of my sales from my Etsy sales site.  I am giving 10% of all sales to this fantastic animal rescue center.


Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary

http://foreverwildexotics.org/

Visit my personal portfolio website:
http://www.LCurtin.com

Thank you for stopping by, hope to see you back soon.

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Losing Friends

My ADP rep Linda Pomier stopped by the office today with a trainee to give me a new stylus for my ipad, (very cool), and some information about new programs the company is promoting. The trainee, sorry I don't remember her name, asked me why I started painting wildlife.  I said, "I don't know?" Those were the first words out of my mouth. Now why wouldn't I have an answer to that?  What went through my mind when she asked was, "I like animals better than people".  I wasn't sure that was true so I gave the I don't know answer.

Soon after Linda left, Tommy the Bar guy came into my shop and told me he had the worst day of his life yesterday.  He started to cry. Last time he was like this it was Christmas and his Mom had passed away.  I was afraid this time it was his Dad, but when I asked he said no. I remembered his dog is old and he was worried about her. Sure enough Noodles the Poodle had to be put to sleep.  She was his friend for 21 years. He loved her as a best friend.

Pug - Oil on Canvas  by Laura Curtin
Meet Apricot Pie, she was someones friend for many years too. 

I don't have a problem with people.  I do quite well meeting with my clients during tax season. I love hearing about their lives since the last time I spoke with them.  Most of the people I meet with talk to me as a friend and I like it.  So why would I think I like animals better? So many of us bond with our pets. Sometimes our relationship with our pets outlast our people relationships. Everyone knows they don't judge and love us back unconditionally. We grieve when they die. I've had quite a few pets over the years domestic and exotic, cute and cold blooded, all interesting.  Maybe that's what it is, interesting and magnificent, beautiful and amazing.  I love animals, that's all I know.

Please click the FOLLOW button above so I know you are out there.

PURCHASE 8x10 painting prints, holiday & birthday cards!

I am helping to support a great animal rescue center with portions of my sales from my Etsy sales site.  I am giving 10% of all sales to this fantastic animal rescue center.


Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary

http://foreverwildexotics.org/

Visit my personal portfolio website:
http://www.LCurtin.com

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Still excited

I'm still excited about Monday's radio blog show where I hope to keep my foot out of my mouth. But today I must do tax returns.  Monday is the tax deadline for many entities like Corporations and Partnership business.  So it's off to work I go.

Yesterday was Thursday painting class and I started a new painting.  I love blocking in the painting, deciding colors, using big brushes letting my creative side figure out what goes where.  Building up the painting after the block in requires much more concentration.

I did drop off the new painting at the photographers yesterday and I didn't hear anything about him being to busy at home to do the job.  Thank goodness.  And he thinks he can everything done for me on Tuesday.

So off to work.  I'll post an art blog soon.  Happy Friday.

Bears - Oil on Canvas  by Laura Curtin
Detail of "Spring in Bear Country"

Please click the FOLLOW button above so I know you are out there.  

PURCHASE 8x10 painting prints, holiday & birthday cards!

I am helping to support a great animal rescue center with portions of my sales from my Etsy sales site.  I am giving 10% of all sales to this fantastic animal rescue center.

Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary

Visit my personal portfolio website:

Thank you for stopping by, hope to see you back soon.

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Perfect Christmas Lunch

Today was our once a year painting class Christmas Lunch. What a day!  We went to the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach and spent 2 wonderful hours eating designer food and talking. A bit expensive for lunch but what a nice view and it's only once a year. Most of us in class have been together for 20 years. I should find one of the really old pictures of Christmas lunch and see how much we've changed. Maybe not. Bee is 99 now and still drives to class and lunch today. I followed her to the club today and I had to drive 60 down Pacific Coast Highway to keep up with her. I was afraid I might get a ticket. I was thinking she probably doesn't care if she gets a ticket. How many of us will live to see 99 Christmases.

Photo - by laura Curtin

The decorators at the club really go all out with the holiday decorations. Although they decorate the same every year. Now I'm in the mood to get my tree up at home and decorate. I think I'll break out all my old Hallmark decorations this year. I have a lot of moveable ornaments that plug into the lights on the tree. It's been 10 years at least since I've had them on the tree. There is one where kids slide down the banister, Santa in a workshop, reindeer flying through the sky and so many more. Maybe it will be nice to have a nostalgic Christmas this year.

Photo of Laura Curtin

Bee got cut off the side of this picture, but you get the idea.

Check out the Balboa Bay Club http://www.balboabayclub.com/ What a beautiful place.

It's located in Newport Beach California where they have a spectacular boat parade each year
http://www.visitnewportbeach.com/things-to-do/holidaylights/  This event will really get you in the Christmas mood if you aren't already.

Really should include Hallmark, they are the Christmas people.

http://www.hallmark.com/christmas/ideas/

Please come to the Tustin Holiday Boutique this weekend December 7th and 8th 2012.

http://www.visitnewportbeach.com/things-to-do/holidaylights/

Thanks for reading

PURCHASE 8x10 painting prints, holiday & birthday cards!

I am helping to support a great animal rescue center with portions of my sales from my Etsy sales site.  I am giving 10% of all sales to this fantastic animal rescue center.

Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary

Visit my personal portfolio website.

Thank you for stopping by, hope to see you back soon.
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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Keeping my chin up

I made a decision a couple of weeks ago to not give away my power to anyone anymore. Which to me means staying up at night worrying about the things people do.  I'm talking about people I know, close to me, not people I read about and wonder how the heck they could be so horrible.  I'd wake up in the night and think about people that were probably at the time, sleeping peacefully with no idea I was letting them keep me up.

So I made this decision.  If I wake up at night I have the power to not think about people and things and go back to sleep. After making this decision, it worked. I'm sleeping when I should.  I applied the same principle to my waking life.  Quit worrying about what others are doing in the day and tap into that new ambition of mine and work on making art.

Boy am I tired.  Do you know how hard it is to be up and in charge of life?  It's exhausting.  I have to find a medium spot to be, at least part of the time.

This small mental shift has led to hope. Now I'm thinking, I can do this.  I have talent and a hard working staff and we are having a great time making the what if a reality.

I don't know if I can take how happy I sound.  Really.

Orangutans - Oil on Canvas by Laura Curtin

Remember, anyone local to Tustin California please come to the Holiday Boutique December 7 and 8. 2012
Here is the flyer.

http://www.businessallianceoc.net/?page_id=369

My very kind brother David Hess is the owner of "The Bookman" in Orange California. He can get you any book you want.  Check out "The Bookman" website.
http://orange.ebookman.com/index.shtml

Thanks for reading

PURCHASE 8x10 painting prints, holiday & birthday cards in the shop.

I am helping to support a great animal rescue center with portions of my sales from my Etsy sales site.  I am giving 10% of all sales to this fantastic animal rescue center.

Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary
My personal Site

Thank you for stopping by, hope to see you back soon.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"How to Paint Cats Eyes"

I finally started filming a painting video. "How to Paint Cats Eyes."  It was much easier than I imagined it might be.  I suppose that statement makes sense in many aspects of life. I feel relaxed painting. I don't think I've ever minded people watching me paint. Writing this I remember about 20 years ago participating in a Mall art show, setting up my easel and painting all day. I had so much fun. I remember the kids being so interested in painting, asking questions.  I think I was painting a cougar. Wow I forgot all about that. Anyway. It will take awhile for the video to be finished.  I have to let the paint dry between layers then add audio.

I'm going to make as many How to Paint video's that I can think of, how to paint fur, how to paint ears, noses and paws.  Then I can start making videos of painting dogs and on and on.  It'll be fun for me. Maybe not so much for my kind brother David who's filming all the videos.  If you like the finished product maybe you might have something you want filmed by my kind brother Dave.  I'm hoping he'll read this so he can see how much I appreciate him.

Cat's Eyes - Oil on Canvas by Laura Curtin

Here is the first layer of Chloe's eyes. Next Monday we'll film more. I'm so excited.

Remember, anyone local to Tustin California please come to the Holiday Boutique December 7 and 8. 2012
Here is the flyer.
http://www.businessallianceoc.net/?page_id=369

My very kind brother David Hess is the owner of "The Bookman" in Orange California. He can get you any book you want.  Check out "The Bookman" website.
http://orange.ebookman.com/index.shtml

Thanks for reading

PURCHASE 8x10 painting prints, holiday & birthday cards!

I am helping to support a great animal rescue center with portions of my sales from my Etsy sales site.  I am giving 10% of all sales to this fantastic animal rescue center.

Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary

Visit my personal portfolio website Dan has products listed for sale here now and you don't have to sign up to buy.

Thank you for stopping by, hope to see you back soon.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday Boutique

Well hello out there.  Thanksgiving is past and the Winter holidays are nearly here.  I participated in a Holiday Boutique a couple of weeks ago that wasn't well attended.  The show benefited the Second Chance Pet Adoption and I think they did do pretty well for the pets. My friend Jennifer and I worked hard for weeks preparing prints in mats and frames for sale.  We designed a display and practiced setting up and taking it down. I got one of those credit card swipers for my phone and I did use it for sales.  We didn't sell a lot but we learned a bit about the boutique business.

We've signed up for another Holiday boutique December 7 and 8 in Tustin California. This one includes a tree lighting ceremony and Santa!  I think we'll change a few things in the display and hope for the best.  You wouldn't believe all the time, energy and cash I've invested in this project.  I think I've mentioned before I recently caught ambition and I'm still burning with the fever.

Please come visit the show if you are local to area, If you come to the show and tell me you read this blog I will be so happy that I will GIVE you a free print.  Limit 10 giveaways!!

Photo - by Laura Curtin

This is the display set up in my office.  Pretty Holiday Boutique wouldn't you say. Well I'm glad to be back here and I will post more soon.

This is the link for the show.
http://www.businessallianceoc.net/?page_id=369

Thanks for reading

PURCHASE 8x10 painting prints, holiday & birthday cards!>

I am helping to support a great animal rescue center with portions of my sales from my Etsy sales site.  I am giving 10% of all sales to this fantastic animal rescue center.

Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary

Visit my personal portfolio website:

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hello again

So I haven't posted anything lately. When I mentioned that statement to my husband about a week ago he said, "And we all thank you very much."  So I figured if my husband doesn't even want to read my posts they probably aren't missed.

But here I am.  I've got my happy face on and thought I'd say hi.

I'm painting the desert tortoise.  I have overcome the obstacles of the geometric designs and really feel better about the whole painting.  So happy to be learning. I told my 12 year old granddaughter that the painting was going so slow and she said "Well Grandma, it's a turtle."

Dan is moving most of the Etsy store to my website. We will offer more sales options on the same page and quit having repetitions when trying to view the paintings, photos and cards.

I hope to be back writing here regularly and if you should drop by I hope you leave a note.

Colobus Monkey - Oil on Canvas by Laura Curtin

The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy champions the sustainability of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve for the benefit of this and future generations.
http://mcdowellsonoran.org/home

Thanks for reading

PURCHASE 8x10 painting prints, holiday & birthday cards!>

I am helping to support a great animal rescue center with portions of my sales from my Etsy sales site.  I am giving 10% of all sales to this fantastic animal rescue center.

Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary

Visit my personal portfolio website:

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Back in the Market Place

I'm putting together prints for a holiday boutique set for November. I haven't been in a art show in 10 years.  I'm excited about the show but I have no idea how to anticipate what people will want to buy.  I'll bring greeting cards, prints of original artwork, nature photos and Christmas Cards and see what happens. Barbel from the gallery is going to participate in the show with hand painted Christmas ornaments and vases. Barbel's artwork is amazing.  I'll get pictures of some of her items before the show and post them here.

I'm looking online for other holiday shows in the Orange County California area. Some of the shows require a substantial investment in the booth accessories and decorations. Other shows are smaller indoor boutiques that might work for someone like me getting started again. Next thing I'll research is how to have a successful show on a limited budget.

Bluejay- Oil on Canvas by Laura Curtin
Bluejays in Crestline.
I have been trying many different types of promotion for sales on my different online sites and sales are slow.  The most common advice I hear from successful sellers is that it takes time to build up the customers and to keep on going.  Funny, that's the same advice I'm always giving myself about painting.  I also hear people saying that after the election in November sales might go better.

Dan is designing original nature print Christmas Cards for the holidays. We are really close to the final styles and will be posting them on Etsy soon.  The holiday cards are cute and festive and I can't wait to get them online.

Here is a pretty comprehensive list of holiday celebrations in Orange County California
http://www.orangecounty.net/html/weekend_winter.html

Here is one that looks promising for me.
http://www.businessallianceoc.net/?page_id=369

Here is Barbel's Gallery website again
http://barbelsartcenter.com/

Thanks for reading

PURCHASE 8x10 painting prints, holiday & birthday cards!

I am helping to support a great animal rescue center with portions of my sales from my Etsy sales site.  I am giving 10% of all sales to this fantastic animal rescue center.

Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary

Visit my personal portfolio website:

Thank you for stopping by, hope to see you back soon.

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Different Kind of Day

Last Thursday I had hoped to use today as a splurge day. I was going to take the day off, do something fun, go to the spa. Turns out, my sister in law Carole was unexpectedly scheduled for surgery this morning.  Carole lives and works in Santa Monica, we live by Disneyland.  In order to get to Santa Monica by 7:30 am we had to leave by 6.  Leaving the house by 6 required getting up at 4:30. So, no splurging today.

We got to the hospital at 8:10 after a 2 hour drive never reaching traffic speeds you think you should be able to go on a freeway with 6 lanes.  Carole's daughter Jennifer let us know when we arrived that there was a mix up and instead of surgery at 9:30 it's been scheduled for 12:30.  Oh well.

Photo - by Laura Curtin
You can see this print and more flowers on my etsy site.

Carole is doing well. She seemed happy that her family was there and she would soon be done with the surgery.  The hospital staff rescheduled the procedure to 11 am so the wait wasn't too bad.  She didn't want visitors after the surgery so we left her to the doctors and made the drive home in about 35 minutes.  California traffic gotta hate it.

So no splurging today, no painting and no work. I went home and napped for a couple of hours. Back to painting tomorrow, I'm ready to put wrinkles on a turtle.

Santa Monica is a really cool place when you are not trying to get there first thing in the morning.  Check it out.  http://www.santamonica.com/

Thanks for reading

PURCHASE 8x10 painting prints, holiday & birthday cards!

I am helping to support a great animal rescue center with portions of my sales from my Etsy sales site.  I am giving 10% of all sales to this fantastic animal rescue center.


Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary

Visit my personal portfolio website:

Thank you for stopping by, hope to see you back soon.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Brush Fetish

I love a one brush day.  I'm talking painting now.  If I get done painting for the day and I go to wash up my brushes and realize there is only one dirty brush I know it was a spectacular painting day.  I do have to find the right brush to begin with but after that it's really cool not thinking, only painting. I hate going through my paint box looking for another brush because the one I'm using isn't working.  On difficult painting days I'll find I have 6 or 7 brushes to clean.

Brushes are beautiful things, I have at least 100. This isn't all of them just the ones I grabbed out of my paint box.

Yes it's a fetish for Laura Curtin

I can't control myself when I get around brushes. I either have to be strong and walk on by or break down and buy another brush.  Art Supply Warehouse here in Westminster, CA is my favorite place to feed my brush addiction.  They have a Escoda Grafilo #16 Bright for a discounted price of 96.46 I really can't live without.  Last year Art Warehouse had a Black Friday sale after Thanksgiving and these beautiful brushes were half off. I have all the other sizes of brights that the store carries.

The Art Supply Warehouse is one of the last places around here where the artist can go and find anything they need for any project.  They have a whole aisle of brushes and the Escoda's are in a special case.  I think the case makes me want the brushes more. The store is always full of people wandering around looking at stuff and thinking about art. I feel so at home there with my brush addiction. So cool.

If you can't visit The Art Supply Warehouse in person they have an online store.
http://www.artsupplywarehouse.com/index.php

Here is where they are and all the neat stuff they offer.  If you like their store on facebook you will get interesting links and pictures.

6672 Westminster Blvd.
Westminster, CA 92683
Phone: 714-891-3626
Fax: 714-895-6701

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PURCHASE 8x10 painting prints, holiday & birthday cards!

I am helping to support a great animal rescue center with portions of my sales from my Etsy sales site.  I am giving 10% of all sales to this fantastic animal rescue center.


Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary

http://foreverwildexotics.org/

Visit my personal portfolio website:

http://www.LCurtin.com

Thank you for stopping by, hope to see you back soon.



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