Open The Door to Begin!

6x8 inch panel

The 30 in 30 Challenge by Leslie Saeta is here! I'm opening with this little door painting, and will follow with a few more European architecture pieces. I'll also be doing some florals and figures and finish with a few from Paris. 



New Peonies Painting!

Vintage Shells and Peonies

This painting is "me", full of my favorite things. I love the Shabby Chic, French Country, Romantic style. It has an old vintage feel to it because of the palette,  which I love. This is definitely a palette I would like to stick with for a while. I realized my paintings are always so bright (even this one is a little bit). I actually like more soft pastels most of the time, although I must say I can't resist the bright turquoise colors of tropical waters and a beautiful bold red dress! Anyway, I'm trying to be more aware of the palettes I use, and not get carried away with bright colors. Sometimes all that is needed, to make a painting work, is one bold color with the majority of the color taking a backseat. 



A New Woman in Red Painting

I took a break from my commissions (while waiting for my canvas to arrive) and painted this one. It's been a while since I've done a figure with the palette knife loose work. Felt good to free up and express my feelings with paint. I think I need some art therapy these days… 
I asked my friends on Facebook for help with a name and Amira came up with the one I used, "Forgotten Rose". There were so many great suggestions! Thank you all! I was pleasantly surprised that this one sold in two hours after posting it! I really need to do more of these…and larger. This one was an 11x14 which is my go to size but I know many of you want a larger statement piece. Look for some in the future or, if you can't wait, commission me! 



My Life As a….Thriving Artist!

When I first started this blog 5 years ago, I named it "My Life As a Starving Artist". Although I was never literally starving, I yearned for the day I could create and actually make a living doing so. I painted on furniture, painted address tiles, watercolors, and even made wreaths. Oh, and I can't forget the lovely little art dolls made of clay. I've fortunately always found a market for my art but it wasn't until I started painting in oils that things really started happening for me. And even then, after about five years of dedicating my life to this, it's just now really starting to take off. 

Lots of hard work, sweat, and tears (well maybe not too much sweat…except for when I painted outside a few times) have gone into my business. I still struggle to find my way, scouring the web for little hints and tips to make this work, and get overwhelmed at times. It's the business side that gets me. Before this I was a special ed aide at an elementary school…it was definitely the most rewarding job I've ever had, but not very business like at all. Sometimes, I wish I had a magic wand I could wave and be done with the business tasks for the day, so I can just paint. It mostly comes down to time. I get these great ideas I want to do but don't have the time to even get them started. Or, I do start them and look like a flake that never finishes anything! Organization has never been my thing. 

click to view on Etsy

Anyway, I got sidetracked a little here. My point of this post was to say that I've come to the realization that I have evolved into a THRIVING artist now! I don't know when or how it happened, but it has! I have a list of commissions I'm currently working on and more to come. I've actually had to turn some away because I wasn't able to get them done in the time they needed them. (believe me I did not like saying no) Sometimes you have to though. It wouldn't be fair to put them ahead of my other clients…even though they were somebody famous! (yeah…they were. I found that out after the fact and was kicking myself. Hopefully she'll come back later.) 
I'm busy! This is what I wanted. It's so great! I am not taking it for granted though, I appreciate every single painting I do, no matter what it is. I appreciate each and every one of you! Thank you for helping me make this happen! That being said, I know how fast it can go away. 

When I began this journey, I was "discovered" by some very big bloggers and enjoyed some great exposure from it! Orders were rolling in and I couldn't paint fast enough (I was doing art photos too) But it all suddenly stopped! I don't know why, never figured it out. It drove me crazy for a while trying to figure out what happened. Did I say something wrong? I'm finally over that (but boy would it be nice to know what happened) So…believe me, I know that success can be fleeting and so appreciate where I am now. I feel like I wasn't "ready" in the beginning and had to learn a few things. I'm ready now! So…if any of you old blogger friends read this…well, you know. 

Some wonderful places where my art has been mentioned:

if I forgot you please let me know so I can add your site here!

I appreciate all of you! I just wish I had known what a big deal it was back then. I didn't have a clue what I was doing. 

I even had a visit and comment from Joanna from A Cup of Jo and I really had know idea how cool that was. I loved her blog but didn't realize the opportunity. I've learned so much…but am still a little naive sometimes.

I'm going to be doing some small paintings starting in September as I am participating in Leslie Saeta's 30 in 30 challenge again! Here's last year's post of my challenge. 

This year, I'm planning it out a little better and have preordered some canvas panels so I don't have to paint on paper. I may do a giveaway of an original sometime during the month so keep you eyes out for that! 

Below are some of my available paintings….

click to view on Etsy

click to view on Etsy

click to view on Etsy

Thanks so much for your visit! I hope you all have a great week!:) 



Final Painting For Kincaid's Restaurant!

Here's the final (approved!) painting going in to Kincaid's restaurant on the pier in Redondo! I really can't wait to see them hanging! This has been an amazing opportunity and so much fun to work with Randy Ruby. Looks like Blogger, or Google, has messed with the saturation on this one and it was hard to get the right hue anyway. The water is a little more grayish teal than it looks here. Well, just know it looks better in person, I promise! 

Things have been busy here for me in the studio. I just finished this one today and am already starting my next commission. After that, I have 3 more confirmed and possibly 2 others! I think I may need to post that I won't be able to promise any for Christmas. I figure I'm about 3 months booked now. Never thought this would happen…but I'm not complaining! 

I had some very bad news about a week ago. I had been waiting for months now to find out if my mom had uterine cancer and the labs just came back positive. She has a great attitude about it all but it's just not something you want to have to go through. I'm very close to her and it's not easy, but am being strong for her. The good news is she's having the surgery at UC Davis, where her granddaughter lives! So we'll be able to see her then. My sister is also coming up from L.A. 

So that's what I'll be doing for a while and painting my commissions. I may be able to squeeze in one of my French inspired paintings, but am not sure. 



Redondo Beach, California Painting for Kincaid's!

soon to be seen in Kincaid's in Redondo

Painting number 2 is complete, and now it's on to the last one!This is Redondo/Torrance Beach California from a rare viewpoint. It was taken from the water not by me, no way! By photographer Randy Ruby! 
When they're thoroughly dry they can be shipped. I may hand deliver them, but will have to think about that. It's a 10 hour drive from here so…and…they won't fit in my car! I do want to be there when they're hung, though. We'll see. In case you can't tell from the photo this painting is enormous! It measures 60 inches across and 30 inches high! It took me about 2-3 weeks to paint and that was putting in long hours each day. Not the 11x14 painting that I'm accustomed to finishing in one day. This has been a great experience so far, and a lot of fun gaining new local fans on Facebook! I feel so blessed to have been chosen for this! Out of all the artists out there I still can't believe it! Anyway, I'm truly grateful to whoever was the one that spotted my work on here! Was it the restaurant designer? Was it the company? I wish I knew. All I can say is thank you! And thank you to Reggie for keeping me on (you could have picked anyone!) and especially to Randy Ruby for allowing me to paint your photographs! They really are something special and I hope I did them justice. 

So now, it's on to the last one (after this one sets up a little. It's impossible to move at this point without messing it up). 

Thanks so much for following my progress! Hang in there Floral and figure (vintage lady) fans! I promise I'll get back to my normal paintings soon…and will have lots of new Parisian photos to use very soon!



Monet's Muse...

of all the impressionist artists I think he's my favorite. It's hard to choose but every single painting
he has created takes me to another place. I would love to visit his home someday and paint a long side him, in spirit. I know he's still there…how could he leave? 

Everywhere you look…a painting lives, just waiting for the artist to let it out.
Monet saw the beauty through his own magnificent eyes.

Oh….the bridge that has inspired so many after him. To this day artists paint their interpretation of the bridge at Givenchy

Someday, I will go and paint it.
Can NOT wait! 

Too hard to choose a favorite...

His work has been an influence on mine over the years. When I was going to art school I worked with 
a pastel landscape artist and looking at these now I'm reminded very much of his work. He doesn't have his images available online so unfortunately I can't show you how beautiful they were.


Davis Arboretum

This painting was inspired by the Arboretum in Davis, California. When I saw the bridge my mind immediately was transported back in time to Monet's bridge. The real place is nice but there aren't any flowers.

I'm going to have some great inspiration coming my way very soon! Keep your eyes out for new Parisian paintings! Finally! 

Happy Friday! 



Peonies Birthday Giveaway!

It's my birthday and I'm celebrating with a giveaway! You could win this signed 11x14 giclee print just by popping over to my Facebook Page and giving me a "like"! While you're there, if you'd like to comment and like the giveaway post too, that will help me keep track of your entries. Share, share, share (anywhere you can think of)! Thank you! Good luck to everyone! 

You might want to check out my Summer Sale on Etsy, on some of originals too! 
(prices are already marked down) 

Have a great week! 


Thanks for participating! The winner is Jo Turner! Congrats! 


Studio News...

Here's the finished piece! Still wet on my easel. This pic was taken with my phone so it's not the greatest. I'll be taking some good ones tomorrow and then send them off for approval! 

It's finally happening! You might remember me mentioning some big studio news about six months ago.  I had been contacted by a restaurant designer and asked if I had any Redondo Beach artwork. She was in search of new art for an upscale restaurant on the Redondo Beach Pier. If you've been following me from the beginning, you'll know what a big deal this is for me! I grew up there, and the pier is always been the first place I go with my daughter when I visit my home. So many good memories there! I blogged about the pier back in 2009 and have done several paintings of it. They were interested in buying this one I had already done, but the size wasn't right. There also needed to be three that went together. 

This was the one she was originally interested in…the one underneath was a smaller version I had painted before I painted a larger one. 

A Day at the Beach 

available as a print…

 The photographer, Randy Ruby, is kind of famous in the South Bay, and I was already familiar with his work. Actually, I was already friends with him on Facebook! It couldn't have been anymore perfect! It's strange how things work out!Fast forward months later to now, it's finally happening! I'm working on the first one now! There will be three altogether and one of them is the largest size I've ever painted (30x60)! I think I'm saving that one for last.

I'll be sharing the progress on here and…if you're in town, maybe you would like to see them in person! They won't be there for about 3 months from now, but I'll let you know when they are!

Oh! I guess I should mention what the restaurant is! It's one of the finest restaurants in the South Bay. It's the place my family goes for celebrations. (somehow, I was never present for those celebrations, and have never been!) Anyway, it's a nice steak and seafood restaurant with a gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean. It's called Kincaid's; you've probably heard of them as they have many other restaurants around the country! Now I'm wondering if this will lead to more! I sure hope so!

Here's what's on my easel now! I took the photo with my phone, so it's not the best quality. The sky is more blue than it looks right here.  Since this one was taken, I've done more work on the pylons and boardwalk, and I'm almost done; just getting ready to start the next one! I'll try to post the finished one tomorrow. 

Here's Randy on his kayak...

Here's the beautiful reference photograph from Randy Ruby…

Prints available here...

Good times around here right now! Thank you to all who have made this happen…! :)


Happy 4th of July Weekend to all my friends in the US! I have to also mention that this is my birthday month and I'm already starting to celebrate! 


Savoring Summer...

My mom's deck-my retreat

Why is it that Winter is so long and Summer just flies by? I guess that's one of the reasons why I dream about living in Hawaii. It's always summer there. It's a dream that I'm not sure will ever happen and I'm wondering if I might have to do it alone. We're in the early stages of searching for a new place to call home. Maybe in two years (hopefully sooner), but I'm a planner and love to research different places, finding the pros and cons. Weather is number one with me, so that definitely narrows our choices down a lot. Cost of living is a big one too. Lately, I've been thinking about Oregon as an option. It's got the art scene, paintable beauty (for inspiration), lots of GF and organic places, and a moderate real estate market. It does get a lot of rain, but is pretty mild and that keeps everything lush. I think my autoimmune problems have made it hard to tolerate extreme weather, so I'm looking for a place that's not too hot and not too cold, but juuuuust right. The hunt is on! 

I've been busy working on some commissions (very large ones), but took a very quick 2 day trip a few weeks ago to see my beautiful daughter graduate from college! It was the best day ever! I am so proud of my little girl! She's overcome a lot of obstacles and worked so hard to earn her B.S. degree in Psychology. She wants to help people. I'm just so proud! 

Hopefully I'll be able to spend some more time with her this summer before she starts her new life as a pre graduate student, yes she's going on! She's going to be so busy! In the meantime, I'll just be painting, while taking little breaks to savor my favorite time of year. My birthday month is coming up! Enjoy your summer!:)



Be Open to Receive

Dance of the Koi

Everything happens for a reason. Be open to receive and all things are possible.

Back when I started this blog, I wrote about my garage sale I was having to earn some money for a move I was making. (moved to L.A. but somehow made it back to this small town…but that's a whole other story) Anyway, at the garage sale I was visited by a local man who I had never met before. He came, looked around, admired a few of my paintings I was selling, then left. He came back a little later and purchased my paintings! He was going to give them to his daughter. We talked a while and I learned that he had owned a gallery in San Francisco. He gave me advice and insight to what galleries were looking for and what might generate more business for me. Looking at my work, he said he could see my passion in the way I painted and that not everyone had this. He saw something special in my work! I was thrilled to hear this and he may not know this but that gave me some confidence I had never known before.

Later that day, my daughter and I went back inside. I think I was painting, she was either reading or playing video games, when there was a knock at the door. It was the mysterious man again. He had a book in his hands; a book from our sale, and said he wanted to purchase it. My daughter loved books and had a hard time parting with them but we needed to lighten our load for the move. We talked some more, he told me to concentrate on one subject, where my true passion was (something I have to admit I still struggle with…focusing on one subject).

He had another profound message. He was a Buddhist and told me about his experience with it. I knew nothing about this religion except for the monks I had seen come into town a few times wearing their orange dress. There's a Buddhist temple in the next town over but he wasn't from there. He gave me a card, which I still have in my purse. It's a regular size business card with the words 
Nam(u) Myōhō Renge Kyō printed on it and a pamphlet with some information about Buddhism. It was his story though, that really got me and I knew then, there was a powerful force in these words. I was in a pretty bad place at the time and had nothing to lose so I started chanting. It gave me a peace I hadn't known. Although I never got seriously into it, I know it's always there and their philosophy is just a great way to live. I still chant when I can and when I remember to. He gave me such a gift that day and if I hadn't taken the time to talk to him I would never have received it. 
I realize you may be wondering what this has to do with art; it may be art for me, but it could be something else for you. You never know. Have you ever read The Celestine Prophecies? I admit I haven't read many books, I read art books and magazines in my free time, but I really enjoyed this book and while reading it, thought it was a true story! I believe! Even after I found out, with disappointment, that it was all made up, I still, to this day, try to live this way. 

So I leave with you these thoughts...Slow down and be open, you never know what is in store for you!

*after writing this post,  I was driving home from the gym and saw the man from my story! I've been back here for 3 years and have not seen him once, but on this day, right after writing about him, there he was! Anyway, I thought that was weird…coincidence? Maybe, but you never know!:)



Sharing my latest...

Peonies in Glass
oil on canvas

I just finished writing this long post about my daughter graduating from college next week and how proud I am but deleted it. I realized it's just too personal. Anyway, she is, and I couldn't be more proud. It hasn't been easy for her growing up without a dad and with an artsy dreamer mom, but she's managed to excel and has become an exceptional human being. I love her. 



Positive Vibes


In an earlier post (I've reverted to draft) I spoke about social anxieties and confidence. I need to follow up by saying that I wouldn't be where I am today if I didn't believe in myself and my work. We all have thoughts of self doubt sometimes, but you can't let those thoughts keep you from living your dream. Positive thinking (and a lot of hard work) is what got me this far, and I know it will continue to propel my dreams! It's a combination of everything…a positive attitude, confidence, studying, and working every day, taking the steps needed to obtain your goals! It doesn't happen overnight...

When I first started this blog I called it "My Life As a Starving Artist" because I was starving to express myself through paint (I wasn't literally starving but believe me, living the frugal life I lead does give some great incentive to succeed!) I think that may be what sets me apart from a lot of artists. Not all, but several, have had other successful careers and started painting after that, having a nice budget to fall back on. Money is not the most important thing for me, but when you need it to pay the bills it kind of gives you a little push to try harder. Back when I decided I couldn't spend another day not creating art for my life, I was raising my daughter, doing it all on my own, with a minimum wage job I took to start our new life in a small town. Sometimes difficult, our situation didn't leave much time or energy for me to do much of anything else besides raising my beautiful daughter. I managed to create things on the side selling in our local craft fair, but couldn't dedicate the time that it would take for a real business. I always felt like something was missing and had a great desire to express myself with my art. I just had to! After years of living like this, I managed to get one of the best jobs around here (in my opinion). Working with special needs children gave me so much joy and I felt like I was actual making a difference in their lives. I loved my job but still had to create. Working in the school system, I was able to spend more time painting having summers off! So that's when I started painting everyday and posting them on here. I had nothing to lose and so much to gain! Painting almost every day and using the internet to learn as much as I could (for free), I was able to improve my painting skills to better express my passion for the world! It was a big bonus when I found that people actually like what I paint enough to display it in their homes! 

It's taken almost 5 years to get to where I am today and may take another 5 to get to where I want to be...but I won't give up! I have big dreams of making enough money with my art, to, buy my daughter a car and move to Hawaii (or at least back to the coast. Yes…I'm a dreamer! haha!) but I also want to give back! I want to be able to support the causes that I care about, like special needs children, homeless people, and others who are struggling through life like I have at times. I believe we as artists and as humans can make a difference in this world. We have a voice and need to use it for positive causes. I truly believe that dreams CAN come true and with positive thinking, a lot of hard work, dedication and meditation, almost anything is possible. I also am a believer that everything happens for a reason. 

yes, I said meditation…to be continued in my next post! 



Palos Verdes View and Poppies!

P.V. View 24x36 oil

This is a very famiiar view of my hometown in Torrance, CA. I had originally painted this scene pretty much how it looks in real life but wasn't completely happy with it. It looked a little bland like it needed some pizazz! So….I added a few palm trees, some bougainvillea, and status (the purple flowers) and a few other minor changes. I like it better now and am inspired to do another in a vertical format. I have several more reference photos to use from my recent trip to Southern California. 
I'm going to be doing more of this area soon for a big commission job. I mentioned it earlier and it's happening!!!!….I just don't know when. haha! Well, right now I have another large commission job for a cityscape! It's going to be a biggy- 30x60 so I've ordered more paint! Don't want to run out (like I did here). 

Now on to the poppies! I took a quick trip down the street to The Highland Art Center this morning for some inspiration. It's a cute little local gallery that I show my work in sometimes. They have the most beautiful garden and picnic there, and at this time of year the Chinese Poppies are blooming like crazy! This town has some history with Chinese people, because of the Gold Rush. We honor them with a Chinese New Year Parade every year, where a few local children dress in a dragon costume and parade down Main Street. There is also The Joss House, an absolutely beautiful Chinese Temple, which is the oldest in California! 

Dance of the Tulips
oil on canvas

All photos by Jennifer Beaudet Copyright © 2014



Building Self-Confidence…not always easy

Dance of the Tulips oil on canvas

If you've been following me for any amount of time you may have noticed that I lack confidence and suffer from social anxiety. I've struggled with this all my life and it's definitely a handicap when trying to achieve my goals. 

I can remember the first set back I encountered at the early age of seven. I was given the opportunity to test for AT, academically talented, now called GATE. I was so excited to be among this elite group of peers, but when it came time to take the test, alone in a room with the proctor, I froze. The questions coming from her mouth were jumbled and my head was spinning. I couldn't focus let alone get the words out. Being put on the spot has always been a challenge, to say the least. I remember standing in front of my 6th grade class in a spelling B, just me and another classmate left. Do you think I wanted to be there? No! I was terrified and remember thinking, 'time to misspell a word and get myself out of this!'. How many times I've failed in order to get out of the spotlight. I can't be alone. Am I? 

This month is Mental Illness Awareness Month. It's something that not only I've been affected by personally, but I have many close friends and family members who suffer from various mental afflictions. There's nothing wrong with talking about it and you shouldn't be ashamed. I believe much of it is caused by nutritional deficiencies and should be treated accordingly. I found out about 2 years ago that I have Celiac, an inability to process gluten. Because I had been undiagnosed for so long, possibly my whole life, I was deficient in essential vitamins which contribute to well being and healthy brain function. I'm sure I have a genetic disposition for anxiety and such, but fully believe that lack of proper nutrition for so long, has played a big role. 

I've researched the effects of these deficiencies,extensively and found that many brain related problems can be attributed to them(such as- anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and some other really scary things). Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 complex, zinc, selenium, and more are needed for healthy brain function. I was having major anxiety and panic attacks but have almost completely gotten rid of them from following my Dr. orders along with adding some other supplements I found through further research. I'm not a doctor, and I'm not saying that it will work for everyone, but it is working for me. I have never taken any medication for anything other than antibiotics, I've done it all with my diet and supplements. I eat a clean Paleo diet, which is not processed foods, and all organic and non-GMO's. Grass fed beef is important although I don't eat a lot of red meat, only because it's hard for me to digest. I was having a lot of other issues caused my my auto-immune issues (Celiac and Hashimotos) and borderline arenal fatigue), like rashes, dizziness, extreme fatigue, allergies to almost all foods, and many other things. Right now, I can say I feel better than I have for years and am almost without symptoms (besides my undiagnosed sjorgren's) I may have other things going on, but I feel good! One other great benefit that I just realized yesterday is, that I no longer have seasonal pollen allergies! Every year since I was 21, come springtime, I've had major allergies for a few weeks; sneezing, headache, dripping nose, drowsy feeling…no more! 

I know I still have pretty bad social anxiety sometimes, but at least I know my brain is getting what it needs now. There's a lot more to it than I've written here because it's so complex, but this is just the very basics of what I've learned. 

Ann Tran wrote a great article about building self-confidence that has some great tips on living a healthy life and developing good habits for building your self esteem. It's based on Allan Loy McGinnis' 12 points about building your self-confidence; a must read. 

So if you're still reading this…(I know, I've gone on a little too long, and said a little too much) maybe there's another person out there who feels the same way as me. Maybe they won't feel so alone knowing they are not alone.