The possibility of rejection- Do you like me Yes? [ ] or No? [X]

Don't take my Sunshine Away
Don’t take my Sunshine Away

I did something at the start of this year that I felt pretty good and maybe a little too egotistical about. I applied for an Individual Artist’s Grant to work on a project that I have been thinking about for a really long time.

I felt like I had a wonderful idea, and I still feel that it is and that it is worthy of my time. I felt like I had a pretty solid timeline, budget, project idea and even public benefit but everything I thought I had they disagreed with.  The biggest issue I think was my choice of samples of art to show them… which are displayed on this blog post.

It also didn’t help that I was injured at work around the time I was working on my proposal. I feel that if my mind was working properly I might have made different writing decisions.

Yesterday I listened to the audio of the panel discussion review of my Grant Proposal.

The Project Idea- Over the course of a year to create 14 paintings on a large scale, each representing an aspect of mental illness. Each image would be abstract. I would use colors and movement of paint to suggest imagery. I feel this is a better idea than an actual storytelling image with people or objects as people can read more into abstract images. I also felt that by doing this, the images would be more beautiful thus people might be more interested in purchasing. I find that when you paint ‘scenes’ it might be more disturbing and while it can start conversation what would be the next step of the image? My plan was not to shuffle these images away in my studio. At the end of the project, I would have a show. I would create books with the images of all the art in the show for purchase and a percentage of the profit would go to NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Health) as they do a lot of work for people in Indiana.

5 The River Nile





My Plan-I would research these illnesses and I believe I would be able to portray them as I have family and friends with illness and I deal with some of my own issues. I would talk to people in the psychiatric  profession and even see if I could meet with some patients on a peer to peer level. NAMI (The National Alliance for Mental Illness) has meetings for peer to peer and family to family in my area. I would have loved to meet with them to see if we could have a meetup to do some relaxing art.  There are so many places I felt I could take this project and it was dear to my heart.

4 fruition

Execution- I was planning on taking some classes with Tom Tourlemke who is not only an AMAZING Indiana artist for whom I have so much respect, but was also a professor at my Alma Matter- The American Academy of Art. Since I have never compiled such a show I would take classes and mentoring sessions from him to flesh this to a solid display. He has such coherent and impacting shows that I felt that he would be able to help my direction.

Industrial Effluent
Industrial Effluent

Their thoughts—- Everyone views art differently and we were only able to provide 5 samples of our work. They wanted work within the last 3 years and honestly my last 3 years has been filled with watercolor and ink paintings so that is what I showed them. This was my mistake. I should have done some new work to reflect my project as with the work I supplied they couldn’t make the connection on how I could make this project work. They felt that I was a ‘One Trick Pony’ and that again is my fault as I should have diversified my samples but what did I know? This is my first time doing this. Quite honestly, part of my decision of sample was based on my obsessive compulsive disorder. I should have had help picking my samples. I felt they all needed to ‘match’ and not look too diverse. 

They wanted me to take classes from a University because they felt I was ‘self-taught’ (again this is my fault because I really should have showed different samples)  however said it in a tone of voice that felt demeaning. Honestly, I have seen some people that are ‘self-taught’ that are more amazing than someone that went to a University. I am not knocking anyone’s college (traditional) experience, I DID go to art school… which they might have seen if they would have actually read my resume. I know how to do the standard portrait piece, landscape, life drawing, bowls of fruit…. All of that aside, this work that I showed them DOES have value, honestly out of all the different types of work I have done these types of paintings have REALLY been selling a lot.

Their concern was my timeline and they were shocked that I thought I could do 2 watercolor paintings a month!!! Really? They think that I am overly ambitious. Perhaps my idea is but I used to work in graphic design and with constant creation and demanding deadlines my creative mind actually works pretty well under pressure. Of course, again they would have seen if they would have actually looked at my resume.

3 lollipop swirlLesson from my First Grant Panel–

1. They are not your friends, they only know you by what you wrote and maybe what you wrote wasn’t enough for them to understand or written well enough. So try not to get upset (you will) and not to take it personal (you will still take it personal)

2. They can only judge you based on the artwork YOU show them so they cannot tell really how much you have grown, how much people love your work or anything else about how awesome you are. They are people and that means what they think is great art you might think is junk and vise-verse.

3. No matter how many times you read and rewrite your grant proposal you will still realize what you should have done better after it is too late to make changes.

4. If it was that easy to get “free’ money, there would be thousands and thousands of applicants and not under 300.

5. Listening to the panel audio is a humbling and depressing experience but you can use it to strengthen your ideas.

6. When writing a grant, they usually will let you submit it prior to the final submission. They will give you some notes on things to check. I was too late in the game to turn this in. This is important. I learned my lesson  for next time!

6. MAKE SURE YOU REQUEST PANEL NOTES!!!! The notes, seriously will make you feel better.  After typing out this blog post I finally got the panel notes in my email and it doesn’t sound as horrible as it did in the audio.

7. Breathe and breathe some more

8. Look for a new grant even after 100,000 people say “No” someone has to say yes right? I thought it would take forever to find a great guy to marry and that finally happened.

Bulletproof, I wish I was…

Music can be so inspirational and I have always felt it can help you through those times where you just do not know if you will make it. Being at home with an injury for so long it really brings little things in your life front and center. There is no work to bury yourself in because it is all about getting better.

Bulletproof final image
Bulletproof final image

So that is where I have been these past few months. Getting better but I have been focused on my body that is hurting and still is not normal. I have avoided the internet as much as possible, as well as television to give my mind a rest. All I have are thoughts. I started giving myself time here and there to draw because if I didn’t I would have went insane.

What would normally take me a small amount of time took forever! This piece is 16×20 and took more than 4 days to work through. I decided to do a piece on one of my favorite songs from a band called Radiohead.

Untitled-3The lyrics played a lot in my mind.  This was my starting idea for this image based on the lyrics

Wax me
Mould me
Heat the pins and stab them in

I wanted to show stakes at different angles that would almost point violently at the subject. The images almost seeming to melt in areas.  I did put some bullet holes in the imagery as the being wishes they were bulletproof but they are not. I used some design idea here that makes it appear there are teeth all over the image. In the song the lyrics really stood out to me.

Limb by limb and tooth by tooth, tearing up inside of me

This is the basic outline of my design before I started adding texture and coloring in the image. I added text in the background in the completed image. I did it also to add a texture and some dimension.

Untitled-1When I start most of my artwork I like having some form of a plan down first.

This song really speaks to me. It makes me think of someone who has been battered or even bullied a bit wishing they could be a larger force and not so easy to destroy. They have let others tear them down and at the same time they are upset because they have allowed people to do that to them.

Current Show ~ The Candy Cafe, Dyer Indiana

2014 March 22-April 23
Clinton Mason and Leslie Lambert-Mason
Candy Cafe
1066 Joliet St, Dyer, IN 46311

Whimsical art will be displayed through the end of April.
Whimsical art will be displayed through the end of April.

Displaying art in local businesses can be a lot of fun. It can appeal to people that normally might not go to a gallery to see art. In my opinion there are people that avoid art galleries because they feel they are stuffy or that the art will be outrageously expensive. These same people look at art that are in businesses or displayed in smaller venues much differently. I think it is a less intimidating viewing space and of course that helps exposure.

Currently my work can be seen next to my husband’s art in this darling Dyer, Indiana business called The Candy Cafe. They show local art all the time so it is a really nice place to pick up some sweet treats and view some art.

I’m still Alive!

I haven’t really been on here for some time now. I was injured at work and was coming on the computer for a little bit at a time until I found out that the Doctor wanted me getting 100% total rest and advised against coming online. With a concussion rest is really important. It was strange being so out of touch with Facebook and watching television. I didn’t find out about the missing Malaysian Plane until just recently!!

Now my Doctor said I can have limited computer time and some TV time as well. So I have been working on art when I have been feeling somewhat okay. Sadly an image that would take me a day has been taking me four or five days to complete. It is frustrating not having your health!

I got a nerve block yesterday for my headaches and shoulder/neck pain and today I feel WONDERFUL!!!! So I hope this also means I can go back to work soon! I miss going to work everyday and seeing the people I like. I miss having lunch and laughing about the craziness we see there. Most of all I miss helping families, which is what I feel that my job’s sole purpose is.


It could be about, I don’t know… 20% cuter?

I used to do dark artwork and sometimes I still do but my heart is not in a depressed state anymore. I think that after I met my husband and fell head over heels in love my whole perspective on life changed. That is the interesting thing about art, it grows, it changes and reflects your mood at times. Your skill changes through the years so your style does as well. It’s funny because I do not think that my darker art and my style now look the same at all but people that have seen all of my styles say that is has changed greatly!

Sold at my Pop Art Show 2013 watercolor and ink
Sold at my Pop Art Show 2013
watercolor and ink

I have been doing some swirly abstract art for some time now but I decided that I could keep the swirls but change them into people or landscape portraits. The piece above is called The Menagerie and people at my show really liked it. There were 3 people looking to purchase it. That made me happy and I know I am taking a step in the right direction.

I plan on doing much more cute artwork. As a matter of fact, something major has come to my attention recently. There is a little boy named Michael Morones that is only 11 and lives in North Carolina… he tried to commit suicide after being bullied for liking My Little Pony, Friendship Is Magic. He’s freaking 11 people! I think kids and even males in general should not be judged for liking what is considered to be a girl’s show.

When I was younger and even now I love watching ‘guys’ cartoons such as Thundercats, He-Man, X-Men, Transformers etc. No one picked on me for it but if a boy watches a girl cartoon holy heck breaks loose!

I want to do something. I thought about ordering a My Little Pony blank pony from Amazon and make a Steampunk Pony and auction it. All proceeds to the child’s family (he’s still alive but with a feeding tube) to help with medial bills. I could do a painting? Still trying to decide. I did find this project called Art for Michael and some of the artwork is so amazing! I do not know if I could do as well as some of the artists but that isn’t the point. Making something to make someone else happy is the point. I will post images of what I decide to do.



Guardian Angel Icon
Watercolor, Gouache and Gold Leaf

Guardian Angel

Angel of God my guardian dear,
To whom God’s love commits me here,
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard, Rule and guide. Amen.

Guardian Angel Icon Watercolor, Gouache and Gold Leaf 8x10 2014
Guardian Angel Icon
Watercolor, Gouache and Gold Leaf

I have been ill for some time now with a concussion but my cousin’s baby shower is coming up and I wanted to paint her something special. I love her very much and I am so happy for her that she gets the privilege to be a mom. I am excited to meet her little baby girl that will be my second cousin.

I have painted small icons before (St. Benedict and St. Francis) but I painted this one quite larger. The smaller ones were on handmade paper from quite some time ago. I know this isn’t  a traditionally painted icon but I think it is still pretty.

It took me quite some time to make this since I had to break for the onslaught of headaches (from the concussion) and nausea. If I sit around and do nothing all day long I would go quite mad. I paint when I can as it is relaxing.

I decided to paint an angel for her because I remember a picture I had for quite some time when I was growing up which you can see below. It makes me think of my little brother and I.

Guardian angel, German postcard, 1900
Guardian angel, German postcard, 1900

It also makes me think of the times when I was scared as a little one. I had terrible nightmares as a child that I couldn’t even preclude into adulthood. When I was young the only thing that made me feel safe was being “protected” by religion.  I had to have a rosary under my pillow and would say some prayers including the guardian angel prayer written above.  I would also sometimes say a derivative of the prayer…

Five little angels round my bed. One to the foot and one to the head. One to sing and one to pray, and one to take my sins away. Amen.

The only issue being that I could never quite remember it so I would just ask God to place 5 angels at my bedside. I would say “Please send me 5 angels, 2 at my feet, 2 at my head and one at my heart to hold instead”, which was the only thing I could think of to rhyme with ‘head’ other than ‘dead’.  This did not seem like a good option as you can imagine.

I am hoping that this image lovingly painted by a family member will help her feel as safe as I did when I knew there was an angel watching over me.

Upcoming Show at Studio 659 ~ Portraits

2014 March 7th – April 3rd
Studio 659
1413 119th St, Whiting, IN 46394final

Ozymandias ~ A Portrait of Walter White (Breaking Bad)

This is a mixed media piece/ shadow box that was created for this show. A portrait of one of my most favorite anti-heroes. You simply must see it in person to appreciate the depth properly. I have done multiple posts on the progress of this piece. Please check it out!

If you are interested in purchase please contact the gallery at (219) 659-8828


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.