Welcome Bienvenidos!


Beginners Colored Pencil Class at Kirk Bear Canyon Library
March 6 5:30 - 7:30

Mixed Media Colored pencil class at Kirk Bear Canyon Library
March 20 5:30 - 7:30

Beginners Watercolor Class at Kirk Bear Canyon Library
March 27 5:30 - 7:30

Mixed Media Watercolor Class at Kirk Bear Canyon Library
April 3 5:30 - 7:30

* Individual and group tutoring is available too :) Contact me here or Facebook or my website SueBetanzos.com





Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Glass Pin of San Pascual



Here is a custom order for a San Pascual pin for an aspiring chef. It turned out so cute I have made a few more as magnets for those who love to cook. Here is the original painting too. It is a painting that is fun to look at - there are so many details to see. All of the pins are sparkly and vibrant with color. Currently working on a mermaid painting for a mosaic that will also be used for the pins because it is in my playful SOL style of bright colors and images.
All of the pins are packaged in a small clear envelope with matching image papers. The back of the papers inform that the pins are Not Waterproof. Just water resistant.

Friday, November 27, 2009

St. Francis and Risa mini Paintings Mosaics








Wow! The day after Thanksgiving. Feels like any other day and it's back to work. Had a lovely dinner and ate Waay too much. Had highly nutritious coffee and apple pie for breakfast - mmm! those leftovers are tasty!
Starting new reverse glass paintings and pieces - they are small and pretty cute.All of the mini mosaics have gems, stones, beads, glass and often mirror. Size range is 7 - 12 inches. 
Never tire of St. Francis, wildlife & Risa subjects. Risa Star Gazer will be used for some holiday cards and gifts.  As you can tell,  I like Starry Nights and Risa will be gazing up at the brightest star of Christmas.
Hope there are those out there that are reading - leave comments :~)  I know I should work Facebook page, but no time! Will get on there shortly and put something  up!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Power of LOVE Positivity



I wanted to share a part of Kathy the Crafty Chica's post about The Power of Positivity because it is So True! 

Kathy: Last month when I was at iLoveToCreate headquarters, I noticed happy signs hung up all over the building. This one is my favorite! "LOVE SHINE"   Every time I walked by it, I smiled. Even if I just spilled paint on my new $50 blouse, I'd glance at this message and was reminded me of the good things in life.

I know, I know, it is just a piece of cardboard with a corny saying, but it works for me. I'm not sure who chose to hang up these colorful affirmations, but it's genius. The more we surround ourselves with words and images of things that make us happy, the more the bad things won't seem, well, as bad.

It goes even deeper than the sign. It goes with every action we make, every inflection of our voice, the vibe we carry when we enter a room, even down to our status updates on Facebook or Twitter. Our actions can change people's moods in an instant. We carry a lot of power with how we present ourselves.

If you are in a frumpy mood because you stubbed your toe on the dog dish one morning, and then stomp past the desk guard on your way into work, you have just passed that bad juju on to him and he will pass it to someone else, etc. It's hard to shake the bad stuff, but I've learned if you don't shake it off and let it go, you'll only attract more of it!

Bottom line? Life goes on. Unless you are the President, NOTHING is worth losing sleep or peace over. When I lived at home with my parents and would come to them with what I thought was a life or death situation, they would always tell me, "Be thankful, it could always be worse."

In this day and age, everything is at a make-or-break moment for all of us. It takes all our will - and 100% enthusiasm and faith - to be that little bit of extra weight to tips the scales in our favor. After a recent stressful week, I found my happy place again. Instead of worrying, I'm back to embracing all the gifts each challenge brings, appreciating each lesson. It is what it is - make it work! The glitter jar is always half full. OK, sometimes 1/4 full, but as long as there is some kind of visible sparkle, everything will always work out.

The power of positivity is endless!

Me Again! While creating all of the pieces for the art show at the gardens I found myself listening to audio books in the paranormal romance genre and just romance. I don't know why -  but they entertained me with their humor, passion, adventure and of course, LOVE - AMOR. 
 I found myself laughing or going "wow" in the late evenings and it jazzed a 'painting passion' so that hours drifted by. During the last month or so TV was not even an option and it was not missed. The stories fueled my creative imagination and time took on a surreal  sort of Einstein quality. My earlier post on Art and Romance was alluding to this feel. It was such a  positive, energizing experience that I am working to keep the momentum going.
There are three pieces in particular that give me such good energy that I keep them right by the drafting and computer tables. The little fruit bat, the kit fox and the red tailed hawk.The  Energy of Positivity is powerful - discover and surround yourself with whatever it takes to work your special creative mojo and then - Just Do It!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My First Art Show





Well my first show is over and I have mixed feelings about it. I felt I needed to do it and am glad I did.
My booth looked wonderful, even though it was a questionable spot at first. A Very Big Thanks to a friend who set it up for me and made it work. His opinion was that I should not have to make a purchase work - "you should get what you pay for". I was too stressed to make an issue out of it at the time. Glad he was there!
All of the mosaics glittered and the pins and postcards looked great. I took my wildlife panels at the last minute and they ended up attracting a lot of attention. I love doing them and hope all of those people who took my card commission one! The javelina and bobcat were crowd pleasers. Painting wildlife and St. Francis pieces is so satisfying!
My parents drove out from San Diego to attend my first show, then drove all the way back two days later!! I am so lucky to have them in my life. I know it cost them much effort. Again I am so very blessed and humbled.
My little kitties, postcards and pendants went very well. I painted and created from the heart what I truly love and it shines in my work. Though I love all of the pieces, some of my favorites are the hawk, bat, kit fox, and Risa pieces. The teeny St. Francis are cute, the flowers on the little kitties glows in the dark and I wear my pins every day. They are little gems in glass. I also sold the lovely Sun piece, one of my magical bats and small kitty mosaics. Let's see those calls for commissions start rolling in!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Kit Fox


Here is a secretive little kit fox peaking out from a mesquite - finished! She is part of my Starry Night series for the upcoming shows. A small piece 9" x 12".  These little foxes have adapted well to urban life as it has encroached on their environment. Being mostly nocturnal they  can be seen scavenging around trash cans, yards etc. It's amazing the way  much of the wildlife has adapted in spite of the often thoughtless human society. Birds, bats, coyotes, squirrels, raptors, bobcats etc. can be seen everywhere. 

New Cards



Well they have arrived - my new postcards! Three designs to sell at the show and one for promotional.
They are 4" x 6" and look so nice! Glossy, heavy card stock. Can't wait to start sending them out!!
I have chosen San Pascual, Virgin De Guadalupe and Persian Angel Gabriel as my designs for sale since they are some of my favorites. 
Here is the Virgin. The other two can be seen in my galleries in the Glass Painting albums!
I scanned the front and back of the promotional one.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Best Girl Risa




Here is my best girl and Muse - my 24/7 Aussie companion Risa. 
Her cheerful, patient, very intelligent personality and     companionship is one of the reasons I am so grateful that my business keeps me in the studio at home. She is my cheerleader and keeps me on track!  My very  own Dog Star (Sirus).
In the winter when the weather is cooler she comes everywhere with me - she is a fabulous public relations making friends wherever she goes. Her beauty and sweet personality draws the public to her like a magnet. I am the sidekick!
Here she is asking "is it snack time yet??!" (anytime is a good snacktime) and hanging out in "the pit" - a plain dirt work and play area. She loves to lay and sun in the dirt - especially after grooming or cleaning!
Risa will have her own blog or little site very soon - "assoonas" I can make time, get time, get it together, etc..

Friday, October 23, 2009

New mini glass works







New works are smaller for the upcoming shows. Mirror mixed media mosaics and tiny jewel colored 1" glass pins and pendants as well as the framed glass paintings.
My other series I like to refer to as SOL (Smiling Out Loud) pieces are dreamlike images inspired by St. Francis, Madonnas, angels, folktales, proverbs, love, and dogs (love dogs!). Vibrant jewel tone color palett combines with wildlife and the SOL pieces. A direction my work has moved toward since 2005.
Featured in several of my pieces is my k9 Aussie companion Risa. 
The glass paintings glow with color and gold metallic highlights in both series. It's fun to toggle/play between them for endless design combinations!
 The light shines thru the sides in the glass pins highlighting the glitter in them. I have always wanted to make a few of these - they are so cute and colorful to wear! Just had to finally make some :~)
 Currently on the easel is a shy, mysterious, lovely Kit Fox.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Twilight

Did I mention I am a Stephanie Myer fan?  Actually I have listened to all of the books while I paint or work. So much of my work is connected with stories or music and that is how I remember the pieces for a while. Found the book Twilight Directors Notebook and of course read it right away. It is always fun to read other creative processes and I always find many similarities. Like belonging to a tribe that  sees the world thru different eyes and responds to problem solving differently and often very unconventional.
I have many visual journals similar to this Twilight notebook which is why it resonated with me. 
Have added a link to the official Stephanie Myer site where there is a pic of the little book.
The next movie New Moon comes out in Nov. - yeay!

Still working like crazy to prepare for two Nov. art shows on the same  days. One is an art fair and the other is a gallery show. Plus I have work at the Tucson Airport. Will have to pull some pieces on loan for these other shows. All are nice opportunities that I am so grateful for. They just are all happening at the same time! 
Better get back to painting! 

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Art & Romance

Working hard to finish as many pieces as I can for the holiday season and have been literally living in a bubble of painting, cutting glass, and listening to audio romance books. Yes, I have become addicted to them and the time goes by so fast - I feel so creatively productive! Not just any romance, but paranormal romance and I even joined an online book club thru Shelfari called Paranormal Romance is my Brand of Heroine. 
Though I have always liked fantasy and sci fi it never occurred to me to even look for this genre and I stumbled onto it thru another blog.
Anyway, I am so hooked and it must be good for me because I am producing some nice pieces. 
Yesterday I quite for the evening and when I turned the TV on there was one of my favorite movies - The Lake House. I think this is the 5th time I've watched it and still enjoy the very end where Sandra Bullock and Keanu Finally get together ... Sigh!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sharing Risa Love Mirror




New piece inspired by the quote:
"To the world you may be one person,
but to one person you may be the world".
Heather Cortez
This is not only for pet owners, but for parents, teachers etc.
Reverse glass painting, mirror, turquoise.

"Here Comes The Sun" Mosaic


Sun images. 
 This one is 18" .
The next two will be smaller and maybe one teeny one for a mirror. All will be slightly different!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bat Night Magic





Bats are fascinating and there are always many flitting in the night at the park where I walk Risa. It's great the way they catch the bugs in flight and they are very small, barely the size of a  child's hand.
They make twilight a magical time - the in between time of light and dark with Maxfield Parrish blue colored skies and twinkling stars.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Art Fair




Well today I am officially registered for my first art fair at a lovely place. Starting a new venture. Everyone I have spoken to is so positive about this show that I can't wait. Between now and Nov. 14- 15  I have to generate as much work as possible.
Two other venues have also invited me to their  shows so I am very busy. 
After meeting to pay the deposit on my booth and get the info on my spot I was so high, happy that when I stopped by Safeway I told the checker about  my happy circumstances and she congratulated me with a BIG MAPLE DOUGHNUT  "on the house"! - Yuumm! Will enjoy it with espresso Now!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Mermaid finished!



The streamlined, kelp mermaid La Sirena is finished and framed. The frame (not shown) complements the painting. Will get better picture and replace this one!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

La Sirena Progess 3


Home stretch - almost finished. This is a critical part of the painting, the final background. It is a one time deal - once applied that's pretty much it. The only way to correct in this technique is by removal thru razor or solvent and redoing. At this stage the whole painting will be covered with the background of the undersea water. So careful planning on colors, then several layers of painting to create luminosity. Layering the paint colors is how shading and depth is created - usually 2 - 4 layers per element. 
This is how the Sea Turtle was created and this painting is part of the Sea of Cortez series - part fantasy, part reality; what is often referred to as 'urban fantasy'.
She is adorned in kelp and the green surrounds her like the kelp beds with the orange Garibaldi and sea turtles (inhabitants of kelp) as her escorts. 

Thursday, August 27, 2009

La Sirena Progess


More mermaid painting. Have a few corrections to make, then a bit more coral life and finally the magical waters. This will be a companion piece for the sea turtle in the Sea of Cortez series. They will be in the glass painting exhibit at the Tucson International Airport Sept.7  - Nov. 30.
I will also be doing my very first art show Nov. 14 - 15 and I am working on my display design. I am excited and nervous, working hard to prepare for both shows!
Everyone has been so supportive and I feel lucky, grateful that I will not be doing my first show solo.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Voluteer

A few weeks ago I finally acted on an intention I have had for a year - I joined a literacy group that mentors one child for the school year that is below grade level reading. Books and reading have always been a passion for me - they engage my mind and let me use MY  imagination to visually create the characters. I am the movie director, sound, set, stage, graphics director etc. Pretty cool. 
So it will be great when the student I am mentoring looks forward to going to a library or book store and is excited about books and stories that they comprehend and get meaning from. Literacy is a gift that opens the doors of the mind to so much including success in learning, scholastic endeavors and life. 
Will see how it goes! Check out the link  below :~)   Speaking of books and reading, quote for today:  
"To the world you may be one person,  
but to one person you are the world".  -  Heather Cortez

Thursday, August 20, 2009

La Sirena Progess



The painting in progress. Glass painting is a mindset of thinking in reverse. Once in the 'zone' it's best to keep painting until finished. So I will paint until completed. That is my best work mode anyway - all at once. Saving the best til' last - the mermaid. I have several colors in mind - golden yellow and blue like Clarion Angelfish, red with blue dots like grouper, or shading from red at bottom to golden yellow. All inspired by actual reef life. Nature is amazing in it's colors and I will use that for color/pattern guidance. As shown, the back is Very Different from the front of the painting because of the reverse process. I love to watch it magically appear as I finish each section.

Monday, August 17, 2009

More postcards




These are some of the samples I have made for my Big Idea on the fabric postcards. I love the idea of sending these to our soldiers in Iraq, those who have returned and are in the VA hospitals and those who simply really need a moral boost or praise. Will be working on a proposal to submit and this is where I will look to Crafty Chica for inspiration.  
It has been suggested that I put  together kits and I need to put a very simple one together for cost purposes. O.K., time to ask others for advice. My original idea seemed pretty simple - get people together and make some cool 4' x 6" postcards. I would supply materials for one card to make and send and my fee would cover materials and my time. So now I need to par it down and put together my proposal. So it's off to Michaels & JoAnn Fabrics! These are pretty fun to make since I get to play with glitter, sequines, paint etc. I have chosen to use images from my paintings that are printed on special fabric and ironed onto 4 x 6 inch fabric.  As long as it stays about 1/8" by U S Postal standards. They do require the .44 stamp because they are different that average postcard- even though they conform in size.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Madonna del Desierto - Finished!



At last! This piece took a couple of starts to get the right feel. I wanted a wild, white rose with the little Madonna in the center. Choosing the correct glass for the white was a nice exercise and instead of cutting the glass it was broken and the shards picked out for a more random look. Mirror and iridescent glass adds sparkle for a magical touch. 
It is my belief that everything is made up of energy and therefor has spirit. It's fun to think of elves, sprites,

 fairies, etc. which is why Tolkien, Harry Potter and other fantasy genre is so appealing. Charles de Lint is wonderful at weaving urban fantasy stories where the characters are so authentic and I actually met him at the Book Festival earlier this year. Mr. De Lint other favorite authors inspire my fantasy True Blue series filled with mermaids, Madonna's, winged kitchen kitties, magical birds etc. On to my mermaid painting...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Madonna del Desierto



Little Madonna with her friends set in a wild white rose. Iridescent glass, mirror, tumbled stones, and turquoise with reverse glass painted center.  It will be cut out in the shape of the rose and leaves. Almost done - just needs the grouting and cutting! 

Saturday, August 8, 2009

La Sirena


Another reverse glass painting in progress from the Sea of Cortez series. Urban fantasy is a favorite genre where reality and possibilities dwell. 
In reverse glass painting, everything is painted on the back side of the glass, from front to back - literally backwards.  A tricky technique and a challenge I enjoy, which is why I find myself returning to it often. More than my standard acrylic and illustration techniques. 
Every so often I have this dream where I am underwater, swimming effortlessly - slipstream, quicksilver graceful - seal, otter like. It feels so wonderful gliding, playing and observing life under water. Then I wake up - wondering what the hell I'm doing on dry land in bed - "oh yeah, it was just a dream..."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Summer Goals

This summer I am working extra hard to reach out, make new connections, and create new opportunities. Really get out of my comfort zone and try new things. I didn't realize how isolated I had become in my studio, even though I love my work. 
One activity I am going to do is an art fair. I have done one ages ago and it was o.k., but I did not pursue it again. Yesterday it took willpower and self discipline of a different kind to make the calls and ask for information about venues. My biggest challenge is generating enough work to fill a booth and the storage of the finished pieces. Yet I find myself excited  when I think of the work I want to  put out there. 
Also, when I commit to big deadlines and challenges I'm forced to rise to the evolution and create something I have not done before, learn something I don't understand. I find I enjoy the thrill of discovering the process as I go. Stressful - of course! That's part of the growing process and the incredible satisfaction gained when the summit has been attained - like I want to plant my flag that says "I did it!" at the top. (picture of me in mountain climbing gear standing by my flag blowing in wind on top of mountain and Rocky music playing in background - cheesy but true!)



My Big Idea

Monday I was still thinking of the fabric postcard I had sent Friday when My Big Idea came to me and I could not wait to share it. I thought of my friend Leyla, who is in the army and has been to the desert many times. Then as I was driving past a retirement home I had this idea: Wouldn't it be great if the guys that are still over in Iraq could receive one of these little works of art from those here to let them know that they are being thought of and they are not alone. The soldiers could have these keepsakes to touch and feel good vibes. Then I knew it would be great to have an activity with a very positive outcome for retirees in the homes. It would be an activity that would be a win - win situation for all involved. Creativity with/for a cause has always been a wonderful way to stay connected and give of ourselves to others.
I was so jazzed by the concept that I stopped at three retirement homes on pure impulse and found myself almost too excited to articulate my idea. The activities director at the first home was so very gracious and patient as I stood there and blurted "I have this great idea to tell you about!" I was in my gym clothes, no make up,  yet so enthusiastic I felt like I could light up a whole stadium with energy. The director told me to "slow down, start at the beginning - who are you etc." Though her budget had just been cut, she liked the idea and gave me a referral not far from their  home and I quickly drove over and left my name and number. 
The third place I stopped at was on my way home and I simply pulled in, asked for the activities director and went to her office. This time I introduced myself before I said "I have this great idea." She graciously listened to my idea about the fabric postcards and the connection with retirees as a creative activity. This  director also liked the idea and suggested I email details and we exchanged cards. 
So now I am figuring out the middle part - the details.  (I even asked for and got a brief tour of the artwork in the building from an equally kind person who as it turned out is the partner of a well known artist in this area and that I was acquainted with - small world!)
When I  spoke to Leyla, she said it's wonderful to get 'fan mail' when you are in the desert.  She said I will be surprised at how many responses I get. (Leyla has been stationed in the desert several times). I can't wait to start this program! I get this euphoric happy high just knowing it will make a difference.
And I am sending a very big thank you to those who are so kind and gracious to a total stranger who walks thru their doors dressed in scruffy gym cloths blasting all this enthusiasm stating "I have this great idea!"
Thank you for your patience and for listening!!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Fabric Postcard





I did this little fabric postcard for a show called Wish You Were Hear and have  discovered the 'World of Fabric Postcards'. I googled it to find out more on the subject and turns out there are all these quilting/fiber artist communities and shows on this media. Who could know?! A lot of galleries that have shows exclusively on hundreds of these minature works of art.  I loved these tiny 4" X 6" fabric  fine art!! 
Thought of doing mine by printing some of my images off my ink jet printer onto this pretreated fabric, then embellishing with embroidery, beads etc. Went to a quilt store that wanted 16.00 for a 7 sheet pak of 81/2 x11, said forget it and buzzed to Walmart where I got a few sheets for 5.00 to experiment.
It was really fun to get reacquainted with my sewing machine and I will definitely do a few more to send to friends. I got a link on a how to from a blog I really enjoyed  http://debrichardson.com/blog/?p=232
that was a how to and now I think I am hooked!  Other links:  http://www.art2mail.com/faq.php, 
This first one has bling on it because I like a bit of it in all my works and also to distract from the 5 th grade sewing due to technical struggles as I kept going "oh yeah, I forgot about that part" while figuring out the machine's quirks. I have a wonderful Vintage machine that I have used for a Very Long (no years here!) time, and it was my mom's before that. 
The next one will be embellished with paint and glitter and will take 1/2 the time. My Day of the Dead painting will do nicely!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Designing



Finished a design for a little Madonna of the Desert. She is accompanied by a Cardinal, Quail, 2 magical birds, roses and poppies. Silver metallic stars float overhead. She will be the center of a white cactus flower with glass gems and mirror.
I made a few of these medallion series of reverse glass paintings to use in mixed media mosaics and explore different materials.  After these I am ready to do more wildlife paintings and have already two designs in the sketch book. The wildlife series will use more stones. Can't wait to bring them to life!  All of the ideas/designs are coming fast and furious these last few weeks. Now all I need is buyers! 

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kitchen Kitty Mosaic- Finished








The little angel kitchen kitty on a Basil leaf is done! Materials used: stained glass, mirror, glass tile, polished stones & turquoise. Kitty center is done in Reverse glass painting technique. Before grouting,  little fishy and turquoise are taped. I used 2 colors of grout. Back  finished with 2 coats of dark paint and grout is sealed.

Here is a lovely quote I found on the side of a beer bottle (go figure!), Deschutes Brewery Twilight Ale -  I love beautiful words and this expressed exactly how I feel while walking my dog Risa.  

"EXTENDED SUMMER DAYS - CHASING TWILIGHT AFTER SUNSET.  There is something magical about the time of day that falls between light and dark.  The high desert summer day fading into a warm evening with brilliant skies. Take It All In."