Monday, November 25, 2013

At the Ranch

We made a quick trip down to my hometown this week. I was supposed to help my dad start packing up his house as he's in the process of selling his place. We've been trying to get him to move closer to us for years, and though he's threatened to do so, it's never happened. He lives in a small town that had very few job opportunities, and we knew that selling his home would take time. So every time an offer for the house would come in, we'd tell him to take it, that he wouldn't ever get a better offer, and every time my dad would hesitate, and let the offer fade away with the hope that my brother or I would want to move back one day.    I can't blame him for not wanting to sell, though. He lives in a house that was designed by my mom, built from scratch on land that's been in his family for decades. He has barns, quite the menagerie of farm animals, and years of memories. It's the house I grew up in, and I have a half a life of memories there, but I know we can make many new memories and a lot more of them if he moves closer. Plus, there's a huge oil boom going on in that same small town, and we're all eating our words. Your hesitancy paid off, Dad, but for real this time, you're never going to get a better offer than right now!

The purpose of our little trip was to help him start packing up the house, but with the kids in tow, packing was put on the back burner in favor of trips out to the ranch to look for deer, playing with all of the dogs, chasing barn cats, catching frogs, and riding tractors.


 We didn't get much packing done, but we made a lot of memories.
Happy Monday!
nessa dee

Friday, November 22, 2013

From my sketchbook...

Happy Friday!
nessa dee

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New Paintings, and a 2 for $20 deal!

These original paintings are going in the shop later this week. They make great gifts...hint, hint! 

 Also, my 2 prints for $20 deal is starting today as well. If you're interested, you can get the deal by purchasing the 2 for $20 listing, and just message me with the two prints you'd like.

If you want to have your prints before Christmas, make sure you order by December 15th.
And remember, if you want high quality canvas prints, or framed prints visit Gallery Direct to order.

Happy shopping!
nessa dee

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I think what this blog needs...

is an extra dose of cuteness:

That is all.
nessa dee

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


I love going to art museums. I love dragging my family to art museums. Even if they're not as excited as I am at first, I know they'll have a change of heart once they see the art. So when I heard about the "Lifelike" exhibit at the Blanton Museum, I knew we had to go for one single reason, which I'll tell you about in a bit. When we decided to go, it happened to be the last day of the exhibit. It also just happened to be museum day, which meant we got in free [bonus!], and also meant that we had to fight the scores of people who knew it was museum day and were taking advantage of the free admission [bummer]. But we braved the crowds, and saw some amazing art from eerily lifelike busts, to miniature working elevators [a Finn favorite], to bronze sculptures of cardboard and trash which looked so real, I thought someone had forgotten to clean up after themselves. We also saw an excellent exhibit of Cubist art [another bonus!]

 But the piece de resistance, the reason I dragged three reluctant gallery goers and a baby downtown on their Sunday afternoon, fought crowds, and stood in lines was for this single piece:

This is Chuck Close's first self portrait. It's 9 feet tall by 7 feet wide. If you don't know about Chuck Close, you should read about him. He's an amazing artist with an amazing story, and his art is, well amazing. Seeing this portrait in person was inspiring, to say the least. 

Even when we sat in our car at the top of the parking garage for an hour with hungry kids and a tired baby, waiting to get out, I kept thinking, "My kids will thank me someday."
nessa dee

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

From my sketchbook

I've been working on several projects lately, some personal, and some to try to garner some work. I submitted some illustrations in response to a search for illustrators for a picture book project. I submitted them last month and have my fingers crossed, but I know how competitive this business can be, so if nothing else, I at least have three new portfolio pieces which I'll have to share with you later.

Personally,  I decided to participate in PiBoIdMo as well as SkADaMo to get my creative cogs turning. [No, August wasn't helping me type] PiBoIdMo is short for Picture Book Idea Month and SkADaMo stands for Sketch a Day Month. Participating in PiBoIdMo means that you commit to coming up with 30 picture book ideas in 30 days. My brain is full of picture book ideas, and I tend to write them down in random places at random times. PiBoIdMo is adding a bit of structure to my process, or lack thereof. Basically, I'm writing my ideas down in the same notebook, and I'm forcing myself to actively come up with new ideas, and expand old ones. I love the creative challenge this offers!

As for SkADaMo, I already sketch every night, so this wasn't a huge stretch for me. I just wanted to add the cute button to my blog! Seriously, though, being a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom, it's not always easy to get in the studio to paint some days. But I can draw anywhere at anytime. I always have a small sketchbook on hand to take advantage of of those magical moments of free time. And those free moments can lead to quick little sketches that lead to big ideas and new characters. My dummy book that I'm finishing up came from one of those moments.

Enough talk. Onto the pictures!
Here are the sketches I've produced so far:


And one of those sketches led to my latest portfolio piece:

"This little piggy went to market."

nessa dee

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Lion Tamer, the Cop, and the Strongman

Take a look at that motley crew. This was about the best picture I took of all three of them together thanks to the strongman. He might big and bulky, but for a weight lifter, he's pretty quick. And when he wasn't running out of the frame, he was using his barbell as a weapon. 

It was a hilarious scene to behold. August thought he was tough stuff. He even had a swagger to his walk.


To be honest, I can't say I was the happiest camper. It took me thirty minutes to get the mustache drawn on the baby, we couldn't find the whip for Audrie's costume, August broke his barbell as soon as he took hold of it, and I didn't have a chance to put on my own costume. I was supposed to be the bearded lady. I had high expectations for our themed costumes and perfectly posed pictures. I tend to forget that with having an active toddler, I should have no expectations. The fact that I had the kids in costumes and snapped some pictures of them should feel like an accomplishment. And when all is said and done, the kids had a blast, I have pictures that make me laugh, and that's pretty perfect.
nessa dee