A cloud art that I created a few years ago after recovering from a very bad week. Ink wash and Pen and ink lines.

Today I was going to draw something else. Something that was more in my mood. Something NOT motivational. Then I remembered what day it was.

Darn you Motivation Monday. Damn you self imposed standards. Damn you integrity and follow through and all those other traits that are usually good. What if I wanted to be unmotivated for a while? What if I wanted to wallow in self pitty, self reproach, and other self destructive emotions?

Life has been rough for me lately.

Things are not going as smoothly as I would like. It is getting to the point where I am in the same emotional state I was when I left my full time job.

I keep shutting down. My brain just freezes in a cycle of what if’s and how’s. Even writing this down is stressful. It brings to the forefront all the things that have no solution or ending.

The stress is manifesting physically with hives and weight gain. I left a job to get away from these things.

Another layer is that I just cannot seem to sell my art. It feels like people are ignoring me. Actually that happens all the time anyway. People do not see me, listen to me, and often just do not acknowledge me. Usually responses from my art fill the need for acknowledgment. No one seems to want my art. That equates to no one wants me. Now I am in a cycle of what if, how, and why bother…

What if I can’t find a job and we lose our house, phone, or car? How will we get a place to live, new jobs? Why did I think I could sell my art? No one cares. They just walk past. I am invisible and no one cares, why should I care about anything?

20170724_115727This is where I am… Then we have today’s motivational quote. “If you fell down yesterday, stand up today” H. G. Wells. I do not think that I really need to introduce Mr. Wells. He is pretty famous already.

It took me a second to figure out what I wanted to do for this drawing, sketch really. I ended up doing this skateboarder who had fallen and gotten banged up. If I have noticed anything is that boarders will get back up, bruised and bloodied, and keep working on their tricks until they are good at it. They assess their damage and just keep going. Over and over until they can do it.

I will keep trying. I do not see that there is much of a choice.

Use positive and strong phrases to change the mindset an make myself stronger.

We will be okay.

I will get a job.

I will sell art. I am a good artist.

So get back up, and try again… no matter how badly you got damaged.


Commissions are OPEN!

With the lack of interest in people actually purchasing my art, in addition to some other matters, I have begun to look for a part time job. There are bills to pay!

I would rather live off my art. I have so much fun creating things, especially for other people. I can wear comfy cloths, listen to whatever music or shows I want. There is less temptation to eat to escape or shut down emotionally and mentally. I can start and end whenever I choose (I am better at working between 6pm and 2am.) I do not have to worry about getting to and from on the bus. Those are just the things I can thing of.

Times seem to be financially tough for a lot of people. The money people are spending is on things that instantly gratify them, or whoever they are shopping for. This means things with a product you can eat or touch are selling better than strictly visual things.


A wonderful commissioned piece. Sadly the scans and photos do not show all the detail. It is truly one of my best works.

Recently I was able to complete a commission. I loved working on it. It pushed my boundaries, made me try new things, and focus on detailed line work over color and shading. I hope I can get more commissions like this. I also want to improve on how I draw people. I have gotten permission from a few friends to use their likeness to practice. It would be great if other people would commission some “selfie” portraits from me.

I am in a bit of a pragmatic, more negative, mood today. I just discovered I sent out an OLD resume to several postings. I feel a bit like an idiot. Some of the messages I sent out were missing words, because I was not focusing. Just shotty work over all. I doubt I will hear back from them. I am not sure if I am happy about that or not.

I am working on something for an event in November. I will be doing some abstract superhero art. I will be at an event in August and working on something for September. I am hopeful things will work out. The negativity monster says to give up and crawl into bed.

Commissions are open. Send me a message and we can work out what you would like. I have a wide range of techniques and skills. I know I can create amazing art, no matter the subject.


Motivational Monday #5

Five weeks of me actually doing a drawing every Monday.  I am amazed at my follow through!

Today’s quote comes from Rabindranath Tagore, a writer from Bengal. “You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.”

In other words if you want to get across the sea, you need to find or make a boat so you can get across.

Some people seem to be really lucky. Boats just show up for them, like they were magically prebuilt for the person. They need a job, they get the first one they apply for. Even luckier are the ones that have new jobs drop into their laps before they even think about needing a new one. These people are rare, statistical outliers, and should not be used as a guide to building your boat.

The rest of us need to build our own boats. These metaphoric boats can be made from anything. Social Media, networking, vendor events, typing blogs, variety of arts, that 9-5 grind, school; whatever you do to make your dream a reality.

The best thing would be to build a boat with lots of different things.


You cant cross the sea by merely standing and staring at the water. Rabindranath Tagore, drawn by Carissa Carnahan

I have a good presence on social media; a blog (two actually,) Patreon, Etsy (new!) Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter. I have Friends and Family. I have art. I have determination and conviction. I have past experiences and the ability to learn. I have gotten a part time job and my share of problems. All of these are building my boat.

I am not standing still waiting for a boat to come by. Any boat that comes for me is probably going to be someone else’s dream. I have been on that boat before and it did not do me any good.

It would be great to be able to re-purpose a “found” boat to reach my dream. Do a few repairs and sail away. It would probably save time. The only problem with that is you might end up making detours to take care of the other persons baggage. It could be worth it, it might not.

I think we are always working on our boats.  We build them as we sail.  We fix problems, make new friends, get new problems, learn new skills.  All of these can be used to build better boats. If you get into a storm and your boat sinks, you can use your skills to build a new boat.

In the end, standing on the shore, watching the water, is tantamount to doing nothing. Nothing begets nothing. You will go no where, maybe get a sunburn and be food for the crabs.

Build a boat, do the thing.


Self Love

I find it hard to practice self love. Most of my personal worth is derived from how well an art piece came out or how well I did on my to do list. I am also female and have to deal with the varying hormone levels through out the cycle (seriously messes with my game.)

After my poor earnings at Art on the Ave, I felt pretty worthless. Little interest in my art and such few sales left me feeling frustrated and drained. I had expected more.

Expectations are what open the door to disappointment.

Monday arrived and I was still frustrated. It is Monday and I have a blog post to do… “Motivational Monday” no less (so not feeling it.) I crack open my list of quotes I wanted to draw and up next is one about self love.


Love yourself and believe you can do the thing.

I can draw this, maybe I will get out of my funk.

I finished on Wednesday evening. I was so happy with it, I posted it on every group I am a part of along with a notice that I want to do more and will take commissions (seriously I want to do more, send me a message.)

If I had not chosen to draw the quote I would still be frustrated and angry. I am sure would have picked a fight with my spouse over something stupid. Instead I am happy and have prospects to show my art at a few art walks (gotta write a short bio and everything.)

I have a commission up next and still need to finish the frog and octopus pallet knife creations. You will be getting more art from me!

I am open to commissions. Send me a message with a photo and a positive quote. Prices start at $30 for an 8×10.


This week is a nice quote from Norman Vincent Peale. He was a pastor and motivational speaker. I found a few of his quotes motivational, but I feel this one fits being an artist best.

“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities!

Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy”

Norman Vincent Peale

Norm-aly I just sketch out the quote, they are more so I can have something to post twice a week. Sometimes it is for practice.

Today is a bit different.

Today I am frustrated with people. Mostly people who buy art or say they buy art.

I spend hours researching and planning 90% of my art. Then I spend many more hours working on it. Agonizing over the lines, colors, textures, and composition. I rarely have a piece that took less than 8 hours. Most of my art ranges between 20 and 80 hours.


This took about 4 hours so far, and hour for the pencil lines and 3 for the ink. I will spend another 6 to 10 hours on it. I would hope to be able to sell the original for $40. I should ask $130 at a minimum, but I have no illusions that I will get that much for it.

You would thing with all the “OMG! that is so great” or “You are so talented” and “That would look great (insert room here)” comments that someone out there would be willing to pay a measly $150 for something that would cost $282.xx charging minimum wage and the cost of materials.

No… they are not. You tell them the original is $150 and the go “hmmm” or their eyebrows go up so high they are lost in their hair line.

Then real kicker is about an hour later they walk past your booth with a painting from the “preforming artist” who is wearing a blindfold and throwing paint at a wall, hoping to hit a row of canvases. This person ends up spending less than 10 minutes on each canvas, never sees them and people are spending $50 or more on them. There is no thought in is type of art. There is certainly no agonizing over the art. I do not see the soul, emotions, or drive in that kind of art.

The only real thing I will “give” this is that it is original (as much as art can be.)

The stuff that really drives me crazy is people paying for “fan art.” I think artists that only do fan art are lazy and thieves. They have the talent to do their own original art, and yet feel compelled to steal money and ideas from established characters and artists.

Doing fan art is fine to show your skills or even practice. I have a few that I have done. Just do not do get prints and sell them. The idea was not yours, it belongs to some other artist.

Get off your ass and create your own!

Spend hours agonizing on them, imbue them with your emotions. Breath life into them. Stop taking short cuts and stealing from people who worked hard on the creation.

Of course the real problem is people buy this stuff. The thoughtless, meaningless art and the ideas stolen by others. If people would get out of their little boxes and support original and thoughtful art the market place would not be flooded with so much garbage.

I know I am a good artist. It is one of the few things that I do that make me feel good about myself.

I would like to see more original artists succeed off their own art and not have to stoop to stealing art or creating thoughtless art.


Learning from Mistakes

I was hoping this would be a happy “this is what I am doing” post. Sadly I messed up on something and feel I should share it. Hopefully I will not make the same mistake again and prevent someone else from doing the same mistake.

I did two full color puzzle paintings. I painted them in Gouache (goo-ash) for a few reasons.

1. Gouache is opaque. Any guide lines I drew on the puzzle would not show up.

2. It is something I want to practice more with. I usually use acrylic paint; for the puzzles I wanted something that was more opaque and something that I could blend more without over working the cheap cardboard the puzzles are made out of.

The down side of Gouache is that it is still water based. Get it wet (even sweat) will lift the color. Kids with sticky fingers or adults holding onto the puzzle pieces could end up with color on their hands.

I needed to seal the paint onto the puzzles. I cannot use my normal varnish, as it is wet and I would have to brush it on. I needed some spray varnish.

I went to the art store and picked up some Golden Varnish in a spray can. This said is was good to use on multiple types of mediums, including water color. I had some other things that needed to be sprayed, so this would work.

When I got home and got the lid off the can, I took my puzzles outsize and gave them a quick spray. The first one I did was the red one. It was almost all white. The blue one fared much better.

Now I have two puzzles that I cannot really use.

I have some brush cleaner that says it can remove dried on paint. I can see if it will remove the varnish from the puzzles. I put some in a sauce cup and use some cotton swabs to try to remove the varnish. I tried three times, each time the varnish would dry again and go back to white.

On a whim, I use the cleaner all over the red one, then brush some of my normal varnish over it. I hope that the “good” varnish will isolate the white and work some magic. It did not. The red one is now un-salvageable.

The blue one is better. I might be able to salvage it by repainting the background and a few touch-ups on the limbs. I am not sure if I am going to do that. I might just redo both of them and save the blue one for more varnish testing.

If I had stopped and taken a moment to look at the messed up space I would have seen that it was only on the background. The subject was just fine. I could have just put a quick coat of the background colors and tried resealing them.

In the end this is a good lesson.

Prime the spray varnish.  Let a stream of spray out of the  can to ensure that the mix was good. Who knows how long it has been sitting.

Do a test patch with a different item that has similar properties to your actual item.

Stop and look at things if they do mess up. It might be easily salvageable.


A bad varnish job. That I tried to fix three times. Lessons were learned.