Thursday, December 31, 2009

Damn she's good!

Since I somehow managed to leave Diane's picture out of the last post she gets her own little spot on the blog. When we hear "damn I'm good" we know Diane's having a good time at the drawing board. If you saw the cowboy she's drawing you'd know why she's having a good time. Happy New Year to you Diane and thanks for hanging around with us for all these years.

Thanks and here comes '10

Nancy and Kelli
The first thing I want to say is thank you. Thank you to Kelli - my co-author, teaching partner and most importantly my friend. This little chunk of time called 2009 would've been a lot harder without her. It was a tough year for a lot of people including me and my family. We've been through numerous serious illnesses, loss of a beloved pet and some difficult relationship changes that are still causing some challenges. Through all this we've found reason to be grateful and some of that gratitude goes toward our students. Not only are they fun people to be with, we're grateful they're still paying us for our pearls of wisdom. These really aren't art classes, they're actually therapy sessions and these wonderful people are the highlight of our work week. And, it's especially fun watching Nancy get paint absolutely everywhere.

We all love when Lea comes to town, we're fortunate to have her with us for the winter - it's Canada's loss. She can wield a colored pencil like a pro when she's painting these adorable animals.
Mama Johnnie keeps us all in line. She reminds me to make the coffee before the rest of the crew starts to snarl. I think I'll call her that from now on..... Mama Johnnie, I wonder if she'll mind.
A brave soul who tackles new media no matter how scary it can be. One week it's pastel, the next it's watercolor with colored pencil and then it might be acrylic.
So this is what happens to our students when they work up the energy to come to class between Christmas and New Year's. They get their pictures taken and plastered on the internet. I wonder how many will show up next year. I don't want the rest to feel left out - we love you too... Bob, Chuck, Jo, Mary Kay, Glenda and Betty. Kelli - did I forget anyone?
Well, here's to 2010. May it bring joy, good health and prosperity to all!
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Near and Far

Well, I went from extremely close up in the last post to extremely far away - in a way. Above is a close up of a piece I'm currently working on - an abstract based on a satellite image of earth.

Here you see the whole thing as it stands right now. There's still a lot of work to do and now that Christmas is over I can very soon get back in the studio. There's a nice long weekend coming up so guess where I'm gonna be.

Did either one of us mention yet that we'll be having an exhibition at Brick City Center for the Arts in Ocala? We're doing a show with earth as our theme. You've seen some work from this series already but I've been working on lots of new pieces. I'll be showing these new ones for the month of Sept in 2010. I'll share more particulars later and more sneak peeks at the work too. In the meantime I need to buy more canvas, play with the new camera and go see Avatar!

Hope you're having fun,

Sunday, December 27, 2009

How many pictures will fit in this tiny little card?

So, how was your Christmas? Did you enjoy your family, share lots of hugs, good food and good times? Get any cool presents? Talk to me.... it's all over now and it's too quiet in the house.

This is what happens when you get a new tiny little digital camera for Christmas..... nothing and no one is safe from the prying eye of the lens. When I aggravated everyone to death with the thing I turned my attention to stuff on the table - bows and ornaments became fascinating subjects - probably only fascinating to me though. I get a kick out of the reflections bouncing back and forth on each other.

Maybe someday these will end up the subject of a painting.... you never know. For right now I have this nifty little camera and I'll continue to pester everyone with it. Just wait til my students get to class tomorrow.

See you soon,

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Pretty Tree

Hi All,

Just had to share this with everyone. This is a photo of the poinsettia tree at St Paul's United Methodist Church in Ocala, FL. It is something I look forward to and is one of the highlights of every Christmas season for me.
I am trying very hard to not get stressed this year about what I need to get done and instead, I am focusing on the things I really enjoy about this time of year. The food, the music, the people, the fun times. I hope all of you have a very joyous and relaxing holiday.
Peace and love,

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I'm Home!

It feels so good to be back in the studio! This is my first regular Thursday and first painting finished in what seems like ages. It's so restorative for mind, body and soul. I wish you could really see the texture on this up close. I'm having fun with this technique. I'm starting the canvas with a palette knife application of a red acrylic, nice and thick and leaving ridges. When that's dry I start putting down the cool colors and sanding between layers. In some places I drybrush to enhance the texture and in some I leave the red ridges showing through.
Ok, off I go to start on the next one.....
have a great day,

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Music & Art

I've been meaning to get back to blogging for a while now. So, 2 months and 2 surgeries later, here I am. I'm fine now and as my energy level picks up I'm getting back into the swing. After being out of commission for a while all I really want to do is swing a paintbrush around in the studio. I'm working on some new stuff for our exhibit coming up in Sept '10 (I'll give you more details on that later) and until I have those photos ready to share I'll show you a little of my Nashville trip. Back in early October I flew up to Nashville to visit a friend of mine that I haven't seen in 32 years - I know - amazing! What's even more amazing is that we recognized each other at the airport. Once we got done giggling like a couple of high school kids Sue took me on a tour of the town. This was my first time there and I have to say - I love Nashville!

Ok..... this is what happens when you take photos with a little digital camera that has no viewfinder, you can't see anything on the screen in the daylight so you have no clue if you're actually getting your subject in the frame - just a little FYI.

There were a couple of others statues of Elvis around town but I didn't get shots of those, just about a million of this one - don't ask why.

Can't go to a new town and not souvenir shop, that shirt was for my daughter by the way.

some very cool boots!

A festival of scarecrows, what wonderful, wacky stuff!
The AT&T building AKA "Batman"
I think this is one of the things I loved about Nashville the most. You see some fun stuff riding around the side streets where the music studios are. We also did the art walk held on the first Sat. night of the month. I wish I had pics to show you of the crowds. I was amazed at the turn out for the art galleries. I'd never seen anything like it! Nashville's not only about music, the art world there is wonderful too. We saw many galleries, too many to mention but my favorites were the Tinney Contemporary and Gallery One. Check them out if you're in the area.
There was so much to see. Some day I'll go back for another visit - hopefully it won't be another 32 years before I see my friend again.
Back to painting,

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Beach Series #48
Hi All,
When I was a child, I thought my Mom was weird. When I asked her what she wanted for Christmas, she said, "All I want is a little peace and quiet." Well that was a really odd thing to want for Christmas from a kid's point of view. Of course as an adult, I understand what she was saying. As a very young widow with 6 small children, her life was working anywhere from 1 to 3 jobs to put food on the table and then trying to meet her children's other needs. She had little time for things like napping or reading the paper. When she went in the bathroom, one of us was usually standing at the door waiting for her to come out or pounding on it to get immediate attention. Of course she wanted peace and quiet, wouldn't you?
The first time my daughter was old enough to ask me what I wanted for Christmas, I immediately thought of my mothers reply and knew that was what I wanted too. But my desire for peace extends beyond my own life. Yes, sometimes I want to be alone, and I often want silence, and I feel like I never have enough of either one. But more than that, I want peace for the whole earth. I want to wake up one morning and hear that peace, instead of fighting has broken out all over the world, and for at least one day not have to worry about bombs, and refugees and children maimed and dying, and soldiers not coming home. Not have to think about graves and families torn apart. Not worry where the next terrorist attack will strike and change the world forever. Not have to wonder who will make the next nuclear bomb. What a wonderful world that would be and what a wonderful Christmas gift for us all.
In case you are wondering what this has to do with the artwork at the top of the page, I realized this morning that what I like about the beach is the peace. I like the quiet and the smell of the sand, the sound of the waves and the birds, the feel of the wind. The lack of obligations, phones ringing and stress. The beach is all natural and not man made. Before man there was peace. Total peace.
Love and peace to all,

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Just Checking In

Lonely Palm
Kelli Money Huff

Hi All,

Just a note to say hi and stay in touch. Can you believe it's November already. It's still warm here in Florida and I am so ready for cold weather.

This piece is one that I finished a few weeks ago. I was experimenting with realism over top of textures. You know I just cannot get away from those textures. I used almost every type of acrylic on this piece; heavy body regular, Interactive slow drying, and Galleria flow formula. I think it's great to be able to mix them. You know I can't get away from mixed media, even when it's all acrylic!!

Peace and love,

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Artist Within Part 8

We're almost done!!!! Julie and I are really pleased with how the painting is coming along. This week we added some more flowers, reflections and did some adjusting in the greens. I think next week will be the final session - we'll look at it again and do the last of the tweaking and touch ups. This calls for a bottle of wine to celebrate! Now we need to come up with a title for the piece, any ideas out there? This is a scene from a photo I took of Paynes Prairie but I don't want to just call it that. If you have any thoughts please leave a comment. Julie, you have final say on the title.
This piece along with the other Artist Within pieces will be on display at Brick City Center for the Arts in December. When I have more info such as reception date I'll post it.
Til then, keep creating and be happy.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Aren't We Special

Beach Series #43
Hi all,
Just to update those of you who follow us on Etsy, we have created a new section called We Are Special. It contains original artwork that have reduced prices. Get it, special,...special prices??!!! Well, anyway, they are 20% less than the original listing price. Yes, folks, it's a sale on small original paintings! There are 5X5 mini paintings on canvas board and 8X8 paintings on stretched canvas. Just in time for the holidays. And we have always had free shipping on our small pieces. Check it out and watch for additions to this section.
Peace and love,

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Artist Within Part 7

One of the panels in our project.

Both panels

A close up.

Well, we had a short but productive meeting today. Julie got over her fear of painting stems and I ate too many chocolate chip cookies. It's all her fault! She just insists on feeding me every time we get together. Of course I don't object too much so I guess I have to take some responsibility.
This project hasn't lasted that long, Julie and I haven't known each other very long, but art somehow has a way of bringing people together. When we stop and think about it we have been through some major life events just in the short time we've worked on this project. I'll give you a play by play as soon as we have this work finished. When this piece is done it will be on display at Brick City Center for the Arts in downtown Ocala. The show will be for the month of December - details to follow. After the first of the year it will be sold at auction! That will be exciting!
'til the next installment,

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mozart and Lenny Kravitz

Acrylic on canvas
Just some thoughts running through my head. As I'm listening to Mozart violin sonatas and working on a painting I think back to my childhood and wonder what my playing ability would be like now had I kept on practicing the violin. I was a child who didn't understand what I was giving up. At the same time..... had I kept playing, would my time and attention now be divided between the bow and the brush? My creative focus has been the visual arts for many years to the exclusion of other worthwhile pursuits. As a teen I played the guitar - to be honest that was mainly to get the attention of a certain guy, and no, it didn't work - but still I played and practiced. I sang in choirs and still love singing but mainly I sing when I'm at the easel.
It doesn't seem to matter what I tried, from violin to basket weaving I always ended up back at the easel. Maybe my wiser, essential self, even as a young child knew there was something else I was supposed to focus my attention on - drawing and painting. OR is that just my way of not feeling the regret of missed opportunities in experiencing the other arts? Either way it's ok, I'll keep on listening to someone else's beautiful playing and paint while I do it. I'm still richer for having played the violin and guitar and maybe someday I'll pick them up again, and the singing still makes me feel great even if I'm the only one in the room. Right now I think it's time for some Lenny Kravitz.
Peace ya'll

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Artist Within Part 6

Hi everyone.

I've had a crazy busy time the last week. I went to Nashville and when I came back I had surgery. No, one didn't have anything to do with the other. Nashville was fabulous (that's another blog post one of these days) and surgery was minor thank goodness. Between the traveling and the recovery I haven't had much of a chance to work in the studio, very frustrating for an artist! Well today was a breath of fresh air. I was finally able to get back to the painting project with my friend Julie. It was so much fun I had a hard time stopping, hopefully I didn't make her late for her next appointment. We got some more layers done, worked on the reflections, added some flowers and even got Julie to paint a few stems on the flowers - she's been avoiding those so - good job! Not only is she doing a lot of work on this project she also did some painting on her own while we had this long break, very cool to see her progress! Thanks Julie for making this such a fun job and for everyone else, stay tuned for part 7.

Peace and love,

Monday, October 5, 2009

Just Checking In

Hi All,

If you were looking at what I am looking at, I am sure you would wish you were here. This is a shot of the Shenandoah Valley as seen from Skyline Drive at about 3,000 feet up in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is beautiful. I have more and better photos I will share later. As you can see the leaves are partially turned. We are leaving soon and will not be here for full color, but I am grateful for what we did see. It is also apple season and I am in heaven.

With gratitude, and wishing you peace and beauty,


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

And the Winner Is........

And the winner of the copy of our book, Creative Colored Pencil Workshop is........ (drum roll here) Kelly Jackson of I Have a Notion (cymbals here). We drew her name on Monday the book went out this afternoon (see how efficient I am?). Congratulations to Kelly (what a nice name) and please visit her at or

Being a sewer, I was very interested in her site and she has the most wonderful things for sewers and even some things for non-sewers.

And guess what???? We are winners, too!! We received an email from Lisa at Etania Gems & Jewelry that we have won her drawing for a pair of sodalite and fresh water pearl earrings. What a thrill, of course we both have two ears, so I am not sure how that will work. This may be the only thing that could ever end our friendship. However, we do not hold Lisa responsible, so please visit her site and look at her gorgeous jewelry, and I do mean gorgeous: or

As if all that were not enough to make this a very successful weekend with the Fall Business Women's Online Expo, we also had a lot of new people visit our etsy shop and our blog. So many wonderful comments, our heads are spinning. What a nice community of women. We are both so glad we did this and are looking forward to the next one.

I wish all peace, creativity, free art books and wonderful jewelry,

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fall Business Womens Online Expo Booth #21

Pumpkin #2
Carlynne Hershberger

Leaves #3
Kelli Money Huff

Welcome to all who are on our blog for the first time to help us celebrate the Fall Business Women's Online Expo! We are honored that you took the time to visit with us considering all the choices you have available to you. Thank you and we hope you will like what you see and will return. Please tell us what you think.

We are Carlynne Hershberger and Kelli Money Huff. We paint, we teach, we write (well, OK, we also eat, sleep and eat a little more, too). We are experimental artists who mix our media all the time. We are very busy and by working together we cut the chores in half for each of us, so we can spend more time painting.

The two pieces you see above are examples of our 5X5 mini's, each one an original painting on canvas board. These are from our new section titled, Autumn. We have greatly enjoyed this little jog from our more abstract work and are looking forward to painting new things for our other seasonal sections. Watch for Winter, Spring, and Summer sections to pop up at the appropriate times.

We are thrilled to be a part of the Fall Business Women's Online Expo and are looking forward to visiting as many sites as possible. As you work your way through, be sure to comment as often as you can, it helps all of us to give you what you want. When you comment on our blog, or make a purchase in our Etsy shop this weekend, you will be entered into a drawing for a signed copy of our book, Creative Colored Pencil Workshop. We are running other specials just for this weekend event. Our original mini paintings are selling very well and for this Saturday and Sunday, we are including a mini easel for free. And don't forget, no shipping on the painting or the easel.

These mini easels are unfinished wood and look great with the mini paintings just the way they are, but you can stain or paint them to match the artwork if you wish. Don't forget us for you Christmas and Hanukkah shopping; mark our blog and Etsy shop and come back for more specials in the future.

Something new in our Etsy shop is our book, Creative Colored Pencil Workshop (North Light Books, 2007). We are offering free shipping on all book purchases for this weekend. Save money and get a book signed by us. We can personalize if you email us with your name. And the best news is that every customer who makes a purchase from us on Etsy as well as every visitor that comments on our blog for Saturday and Sunday, will be entered into a drawing for a free book. Good luck to all.

In case you didn't know, we offer weekly classes on Monday and Wednesday at Red Swan Paint and Art Supply in Ocala Florida. See how hard our students work? There is a lot of laughing going on in our classes, but our students learn a lot, too.

OK, time for you to move along the Fall Business Womens Online Expo list, now. Thanks for dropping by and do come again.

Kelli and Carlynne

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More Falling Leaves

Leaves #2
Acrylic 5X5
Kelli Money Huff

More falling leaves. Winter will be here soon. And I CANNOT wait. I have enjoyed this summer, but am really anxious for cooler weather. I really feel like walking outside. This is a new piece on Estyand we are really excited about our new section titled Autumn. Whever you are, I hope you are enjoying the fall, no matter what your climate is.

I wish you Peace, Love, and lots of Color!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Artist Within, part 5

Artist Within Project
The Artist Within project continues and Julie has more command of the brush! I'm stepping back more and she's painting more - I'm so proud! We had such a good time working on building color layers in the background, making some areas recede and some come forward. As we push on through some ugly stages (and we know most paintings go through them) we get more excited about how it's coming along. I must say Julie is a fabulous student, she not only takes direction well but she also keeps me supplied with chocolate! This week it was a chocolate muffin from our local baker, the Primary Oven.
One more thing to mention before I go..... my little pumpkin painting was included in a treasury on Etsy, I'm very excited. How cool to have my work chosen! Go take a look at all the other pumpkin colored gems that are included,
hope you're having a super start to your week,

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Spring Has Sprung, Fall Will Fall

Leaves 1
Kelli Money Huff

Hey All,

I am feeling good with the slight hint of crispness in the air here in Florida. Believe me, it is very slight. Today was predicted to be 94 degrees and I feel every degree. But I digress, this is all about art. I am missing the autumn leaves this time of year that I loved in Michigan where I grew up. I only miss snow on two days a year, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. However, I really miss the colors of fall throughout this entire season. I devour magazine photos of wilderness roads with their golds, oranges and wine colors. Recently an online photo of the Upper Peninsula nearly brought me to tears. And that is why I created some small pieces with brightly colored autumn leaves. Check out our new section on Etsy called Autumn.

I wish you Peace, Love and Color

Saturday, September 19, 2009

2 more

Pumpkin 4

Pumpkin 3

Okay, I couldn't help myself. I was just having too much fun painting these little guys. I'm up to 4 of them now, don't know how many I'll do. I'll look for some other image ideas for fall to continue the theme. If you have any ideas, throw them out there, comment and let me know if there's something you'd like to see. All 4 of these are on Etsy now in the Autumn section. Eventually there'll be a Winter section, etc.......
keep on keepin' on,

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pumpkin time

Pumpkins 1 and 2
each 5x5 on canvas panel
I took my supplies with me to work today in hopes that I would have time to do a little painting. The creativity gods were on my side and gave me a couple of uninterrupted hours to play with my paints and brushes. These little pumpkins are done on canvas panels and have gold leaf backgrounds, the rest is acrylic. For the other painters out there I used the Golden Open acrylic - love the stuff! It's a joy to work with. I did these in hopes that the weather gods would be paying attention, realize that autumn is upon us and take the temperature down just a smidge. Look for some new seasonal stuff to come in our Etsy shop.
Hope you're enjoying your week,
Peace and love,

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hi folks. This is the Artist Within project. I'm working with Julie Shealy on a painting project that's part of a program started by the Marion Cultural Alliance in Ocala. This is a great program that puts artists and business people together to produce a work of art that's to be auctioned off for charity. Thankfully Julie remembered her camera so she could record our progress. I asked her to email the photos to me so I could post them here. Julie has been so much fun to work with and so brave too. It's not often that we get to work with someone new to painting who wants to work large and bold! Kudos to you Julie! The first thing we did was tone the canvases with red paint, then added a lot of gold leaf - 3 packages worth!

At the end of the second session we had blocked in the greens. Hopefully you can tell by now that this is going to end up a landscape. The reference photo that Julie is working from is a pic I took at Paynes Prairie when the water lilies were blooming. Can you see the little bits of red peeking through? I love complimentary colors.

Today we worked on the background trees. We did some layering with cooler greens to set that area back in the picture plane. We also sealed the gold leaf so we don't get any tarnishing. Next weekend we'll get into more detail work on the background and maybe start putting some flowers in.
Hope ya'll have a good week,