An Old House, American Horror Story and My Newest Painting


Lately I have started watching the show American Horror Story with my daughter. I don’t know why I do this to myself because I am easily spooked but it’s a good show. I really do enjoy it. However, we live in an old house, a house with lots of creaks and shifting; a house that hisses and whines on a windy day.

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It was built in 1878 as a school house, attached to the back is an old shed which we are renovating to become a family room. The shed has exposed wood beams and a vaulted ceiling so it will be really cool.

In our tear down, when we started the demolition of the existing walls in this back shed we found an old creepy half size door, perfect size for kids to come in and out. On the opposite side of the room there are stairs that lead to an old cellar.

Sometimes we have to go down to the cellar, it’s where the water pump and sump pump are located. The cellar is filled with dark, stone cubby holes and storage areas. These areas are too dark to peer into so when you are down there it has a definite creepiness and you can’t shake the feeling you are being watched.

Because it’s such an old house and I am easily spooked my imagination likes to play tricks on me. One night I woke up to the sound of children talking,  I went into my daughter and step daughters room to give them proper hell for being awake in the middle of the night. Except they were fast asleep. Or perhaps pulling a fast one on me. I still haven’t been able to figure it out.

I also hear what sounds like walking upstairs when I am here alone and it is dead silent. We have a french door that separates the upstairs loft where I paint to the kids bedrooms and bathroom (our bedroom is on the first level). The french door keeps the cat and dogs out of the bedroom area so when I hear this walking I know it’s not animals. My husband says it’s just the house creaking, especially on a windy day and I know he’s right but still, it’s hard not to be spooked.

Here is my latest painting, inspired by my over active imagination and my watching of American Horror Story.

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Thunderstorms, Daily Life Battles and An Owl Painting


Today it is pouring rain, there is a severe thunderstorm watch in effect, the skies are dark and dreary; the air feels heavy, ominous.

Today is a day for battening down the hatches, curling up in a snug blanket while waiting for the storm to pass.

I feel like this is my life as of late, always waiting for the storm to pass. During these storms, these daily battles I use painting as my comforting blanket, my solace.

Here is an owl painting that was constructed while I worried endlessly about my life;Abstract owl painting by Laura Carter it brought me calm and chipped away at my feelings of helplessness. I painted this owl on a highly textured background; I fought the paint against the bumpy road of the surface, like I am fighting against the bumpy road of my current state of affairs.

Today it is pouring rain, it is dark and dreary, thankfully, tomorrow’s forecast calls for sun and warmth and I say bring it on, it’s about time!

This painting will be available here in the coming week.

Proud To Be A New Artist At UGallery, A Curated Online Gallery


In August, after much work and anticipation I was accepted to be one of approximately 500 artists represented by UGallery which is a curated online gallery. Currently I have eight pieces showcased on their site and any of my art that is for sale there will be exclusive to Ugallery and will not be offered for sale anywhere else. It is a big accomplishment for me as only 10% of artists that apply get accepted. So I am super excited to be a part of this diverse group of artists and to have been featured on their blog.

Here are a few of my pieces that are for sale at Ugallery

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Ambition 24×40 inches

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Red Rooftops 20×48 inches

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Blackbird 24×36 inches

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Zombie In A Pink Dress 12×26 inches

Featured Artist Interview – Matt LeBlanc – Abstract Artist and Supreme Marketer


Today’s featured artist is someone I am very excited to share with you! Not only is he an amazing artist but he is an artist that promotes himself like no other. He’s also a good friend of mine who has taught me so much throughout the years; I feel very proud to know him.

 Let me introduce Matt LeBlanc, an abstract artist from New Brunswick, Canada.

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1- How long have you been an artist?

Unofficially, I would say all my life but I only started officially a little over 6 years ago.  The first year was a bit slow but then it picked up really quickly and I never looked back.  I now have a fan base of over 25,000 people and sold over 2,500 pieces in all corners of the world.  I’m so grateful to be able to do this everyday and make a good living out of it.

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2- What made you choose this as a career?

Never in a million years did I think I was going to grow up and be an artist.  I always envision myself being on top.  Being on top of a big corporation and being the boss.   I studied business at university and went on to work for a fairly big company.  I started at the bottom and made my way to the top.  After ten years, I finally got where I wanted to be and I had the ‘now what” feeling.  Luckily, I had started painting on the side and my passion for it was growing by leaps and bounds.  The day I realized that I was meant to be an artist is the day I realized my dream was so close to me.  Six months after, I left my day job and fulfilled my dream.

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3- Were you always a creative person?

Since a very young age, I’ve always tried to approach a project or a situation with a creative angle.  I feel that being creative is what will give you an edge on your competition.  This can be applied to any business and especially when you deal with the marketing side of your business.  You have to set yourself apart from the others.  Creativity will give you an edge.  I always tell other artists to be creative outside their canvases.

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4 – What motivates you as an artist?

The drive to succeed and the drive to be creative.  I constantly create new projects and that motivates me.  A few years ago, instead of doing a typical art show, I’ve decided to create an evening of art and entertainment called FUSION.  That show has been selling out at 500 tickets for the past three years and it’s becoming one of the most popular shows around.

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5 – What is your greatest accomplishment since you began your art career?

I consider every battle an accomplishment.  If I were to pick one it’s probably the fact that I was able to build my business from nothing to where it is today.   It’s not everyone who can quit a very good job and not have any financial stress.  I consider myself very lucky but I’ve also worked my tail off the past six years to be in this position.

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6- Do you have any regrets or anything you would change if you could?

I have no regret because I make my own decisions. I made a few bad decisions over the years but I like to call that experience.  I don’t regret anything. Surely I could say that I should have started painting earlier in my life even if I’m still quite young but I believe that things happen for a reason and it was probably not meant for me to start earlier. I was able to work ten years in marketing and that is helping my art business tremendously.

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7 – This year you started a Foundation called Mado’s Gift, can you tell us a little more about that?

Ever since I started creating art, I started supporting various charities.  I always had the attitude that I was given a gift of a talent so why not put it to good use.  After raising over $75,000 for various charities during my short art career, I’ve decided to focus on something that was dearer to my heart.   I’ve decided to raise funds in the memory of my sister that I lost to cancer.  I basically work with kids to do art related projects which we in turn sell and give all the money back in forms of gifts to kids with life threatening diseases.  So essentially it’s like kids helping kids.  It’s a beautiful concept.  In less then 8 months, we have raised over $10,000 already.  It’s so much fun and kids are so creative.

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8 – You have so much going on all the time, what do you do to relax and unwind?

I actually get all of my big ideas when I run or lift weights.  It’s a way for me to disconnect but also to re-focus on my business.  I don’t think entrepreneurs ever fully relax and unwind … do we? 😉

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Here are a few places you can find Matt’s work

http://www.mattleblancart.com/en/

https://www.facebook.com/MattLeBlancFineArt

https://twitter.com/mattleblancart

https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/MattLeblancArt

Featured Artist – Meghan Deinhard – An Interview About Her Love Of Life And It’s Joyous Adventure


Today’s featured artists name is Meghan Deinhard, she’s a quirky and fun loving photographer and artist who sees beauty everywhere and believes “life is a joyous adventure”. With that kind of mindset who can help but be inspired by Meghan and her amazing artwork.

Here is her interview.

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How long have you been an artist?

 

I’ve been a fine artist for about 20 years, I got my BFA degree in 1995, but I consider I did “art” before that.  I was an actress and costume designer in my teens, 20’s and 30’s.   

 

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Where do you find your inspiration?

 

I get my inspiration from the world around me.  Everyday moments.  I am a very visual person and when something strikes me as interesting or humorous or marvelously beautiful I take a photo (or zillions) of it.  That’s one part of the inspiration.  The other comes from inside me when I am creating on the computer or in a studio.  I play… with ideas, color, texture, light, shadow, positive and negative space… whatever seems visually exciting to me in that moment. 

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What are you working on right now?

 

I’ve been going in an abstract direction lately.  I take one of my photographs and goof around with it in Photoshop Elements.  I am no pro at PSE, but learn something new every time I do a project.  It’s a blast!  I find a photo that wasn’t very successful on its own and see if I can transform it into something filled with color and texture.  Often you can’t even see the original image when I’m finished.  It’s like an adventure of discovery.  The other thing I’m excited about is my new blog… it’s not just about art, but about finding happy moments.

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What obstacles have you faced in your career as an artist and how did you overcome them?

 

I didn’t believe in myself or my artistic abilities enough to try to make and sell my art, or earlier in my life become a professional actress.  I think artists are very vulnerable and I had a lot of knocks when I was young.  It has taken me years to trust that I am a pretty great person and it doesn’t really matter if others don’t like my art, because I do!  It makes me happy to make it and happy to look at it.  As for how I overcame this?  Lots of self help books and meds… just kidding, sort of.  I do take meds for bipolar disorder, and I’ve done a lot of inner work.  But I think what it boils down to is trusting that life is good, and we are born to thrive and express our own unique energies.

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What is your favorite subject matter?

 

My first thought is nature.  Mother Nature is the ultimate artist and an endless source of inspiration.  But, I think what really informs my art is the interaction of me with my daily environment.  In 2011 I carried a camera with me everywhere I went. Each day I took at least one photo and posted the best reflection of that day on Facebook with a unique and descriptive caption. I now have a fascinating visual autobiography of my year.  What I learned is that life itself, inner and outer, is art; and hidden within every moment is a miracle… you just have to pay attention and look for it.  Then as artists we make those moments visual… or as writers, verbal…  I guarantee you there were only a fraction of images I posted that year that are “saleable”, but the true artwork was the story the year of images and captions told.  People watched me go through the death of a cat, finding a new kitten, online dating, finding the love of my life and getting engaged to be married. 

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Besides your art what else are you passionate about?

 

Riding on the back of a motorcycle with my new husband!  And enjoying his ranch in McCall, ID where we go during the summer (we were married in a magical glen on the property last July). 

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Do you have any tips or insights you would pass on to an emerging artist?

 

Don’t compare your work to anyone else’s!   I never thought I could be an artist because I can’t draw well.  Pfft…  silly me.  Here I am now with a degree in ceramics and a burgeoning portfolio of photographs and abstract digital images.   Just keep doing art and try not to judge it.  It’s one thing to toss out something that doesn’t work, but constantly criticizing your work is a shame.  Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder… and if nothing else, if it makes YOU happy, you’ve added joy to the world.   

Oh and if you are a digital or photographic artist…. back up often on an external hard drive!  😉

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Blog:  http://firebonnet.com

Art Gallery:  http://firebonnet.artistwebsites.com/index.html

All of my other social media connections can be made from either of these places. 

Reasons Why I Will Never Set Foot Near A Dirt Bike Race Again


Dear Stephan,

I saved Nathan’s bike when he fell into the water at the finish line. Imagine if I had left it in the water. NOW, it’s your fault Stephan what happened next as you never once told me what to do once I pick up a running dirt bike. How was I to know that the gas was on the handle bar, how was I to know that the reason it took off like a wild horse was because I had to let go of said handlebar??!! You never once told me how to shut the damn thing off.

Now I have to go through life knowing I am the laughing stalk of the whole racing circuit, that a little itty bitty girl is afraid of me because I almost killed her. I have to go through life knowing some teenage girls in white tank tops and white shorts will forever hate me because I COVERED them in mud. I have to endure the life long memories of screaming at the top of my lungs “I don’t know how to shut it off” The memory of the faces of the crowd I cat walked the bike into, mud spraying in their faces. Until finally the bike flew from my hands and I was left with people laughing at me, people staring with gaping mouths and children crying while their mother’s picked mud off their faces and out of their mouths.

It’s all your fault Stephan that my six year old son looked at me when it was all over and said “mom, you embarrassed me” I blame you and you alone for leaving me at the finish line assuming that if something went wrong I would know what to do, I NEVER know what to do! Lesson learned for Stephan!

Now I will apologize to the little girl who was almost run down by the out of control dirt bike, to the teenage girls who had to spend the rest of their day (and it’s a long one in teen years) covered in mud, to the pregnant mommy who had to yank her screaming child out of my way and snap her brother back to his senses so he could stop the bike. I apologize to Nathan for embarrassing him, to Bailey who saw it all from the top of the track and therefore had to wait hours to be able to show her face again. To Sarah who heard all the screaming and her mother apologizing to a crowd (CROWD) of people. To the spectators who paid to watch a dirt bike race and instead witnessed a circus. To all those I scared and all those that peed their pants watching me, I apologize!