Tag Archives: creativity

#American Zed

Finished 16” x 20” acrylic on stretch canvas

So I spent about a half an hour writing a blog post about this latest painting. Unfortunately when I pressed publish it disappeared. I have no idea where it went and I was like darn it that was a great blog post if I do say so myself.

Here I go again. A couple of years ago when my daughter Lily graduated from high school and at her graduation party we created a photo booth that included a handheld Polaroid style type frame made out of white eraser board. Guests could group together and write on the bottom with dry eraser markers on the bottom of the Polaroid goofy, cheesy, wise sayings or hashtags or the what not and then hold the frame up and then take a picture.

Well one of the pictures that was taken is represented in this painting. When it was taken I thought it was cute but it wasn’t until I saw the picture a few days later that it really spoke to me on so many levels.

First, this picture immediately reminded me of American Gothic painting by Grant Wood. It is said that Grant Wood in the 1930s went back to Iowa where he was from and saw an old farmhouse. He was inspired and wanted to do a satirical painting about the architecture of an old Iowa farm house. He titled the painting of the old farm house & its farmer & wife “American Gothic” as in reference to the lack of Gothic style architecture and it being the Midwest’s version. It’s further written that he utilized his sister and his dentist as models for this painting.

So now this is my version of a satirical painting of what I envision of a young Generation Z couple would look like on the World Wide Web posting on different social media sites, sharing their selfie’s.

I give you #AmericanZEd

Seeing through a layer

This is a work in progress … #America Zed

This is a portrait of my daughter Lily (Oriana Designs) & a classmate at her graduation a couple of years ago. It reminded me of America Gothic by Grant Wood. However, in this modern rendition, the couple is holding a Polaroid style photo frame, in classic Generation Z (or Zed) style selfie posing. The bottom of the frame will have the Hash tag #American Zed.

My style of painting with acrylics is likened to water colors. However, the paint fluctuates in thickness. Through thin layers of color applied on top of each other, I get a hybrid color. Instead of a solid mixed tone or color and blob it on. It’s a bit more time consuming, but the effect is visually dynamic. This is stage 3 layers of thin colors… cadmium red, medium yellow hue, Payne’s grey, and white.

Hope to have time to paint in the studio this Sunday… my sanctuary time… I am very excited about this painting.

Stay on the Awiya Side of Life my loves.

Sun flower- the left hand series

2″x4″ acrylic on canvas …

Chasing the light

About 8 weeks ago, I flew out to California for a vacation with one of my best friends. Many moments of laughter, tears and great stories of extraordinary exaggeration. You see, my bestie is a story teller of magical proportions.

Grand adventures through LA, Long Beach, & Playa Del Rey.

Then, one evening while walking along a beach front community to a friend, a soul sister, one of my art patrons home… to deliver a painted portrait … the setting sun glistening across the ocean…I tripped UP a curb and fell forward onto both hands.

Right (painting) hand, radial head broken in 4 places. Left hand, 1 broken wrist bone.

The love and care from my besties, soul sister and patron got me home. I had no use of my hands.

Once in Nebraska, surgery. 22 stitches and a plate and 10 screws later…

It’s been 4 weeks of physical therapy for both hands. Left hand is now out of the brace. Right hand has a compression glove, compression sock & a custom fit ortho brace. The physical therapists just started to passively move my wrist. It’s swollen, hurts and I can’t move it myself.

I’ve missed being in front of my easel.

I tried painting this last weekend… with my left hand. That was a disaster. I held the paintbrush in my right hand and made a few paint strokes… OUCH.

Time and rest will tell how my wrist will heal. My bestie crafted stories of light weaving and love infused images on canvas in my future.

Until then, I’m a sun flower chasing the light.

Church in the Dales


Location: North Yorkshire Dales, England 

Photographer: Lou Ewers 

Exploring color and form

     Now that I’ve had a chance to go through the majority of my photos from my U.K. Trip I’m settling in to exploring the images in greater depth.  I’ve seen some artist grab a reference photo and as if in robot mode paint the image in expected color combination and with a boring palette. The end result may be “technically” in vogue and aesthetically pleasing but does it have passion? Life? Awiya? 

     As I explore this reference photo of the North Sea I am flooded with memories of how the cool and moist wind felt on my skin. The brilliance of color and how different the light bathed everything. The sea was a blue grey color I’ve never seen in real life. As I explored the North Sea from the beach, on a boat and walking along the peer at different times of day, the suns light changed the appearance of the sea from blue-grey to light pale blue, silver, and liquid gold floating on a silver surface. 

     Living in Nebraska, relatively in the middle of the country, I have grown accustomed to the orange, red and dark yellow sunsets. The coloring of Midwest light from the dust, pollution, and heat within the atmosphere of a heavy agricultural state. 

     I will enjoy every moment as I explore this reference photo, unedited, edited and diving deep into my memory and allow Awiya to flow through me as I prepare for a series of North Sea paintings. 

Stay on the Awiya Side of Life my Creatives. 

Pinch me

Where do I begin? Perhaps a pinch in the side would wake me up from this beautiful dream. As  you can probably tell, I have returned from my grand adventure to the U.K. and am going through the many photos. I started to post some of them but many more that probably won’t grace the pages here. 

This particular selfie I took at a moment of pure disbelief that I was standing in gallery halls of the National Gallery in London. 


I discovered the stunning work of Joseph Mallord William Turner. This painting is titled “Rain, Steam and Speed -The Great Western Railroad” 1844  

This painting is visually breathtaking & emotionally provacative. Standing in front of this painting and experiencing the surrounding atmosphere of the museum and the steady traffic of viewers that tranversed along from painting to painting added a sense of symbiotic flow which I found hypnotic. 

Stay tuned my creatives, there is more to come and as I process all the experiences from my journey I will be sure to share. 

As a side note, all my photos were taken on a iPhone 7 plus.