Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in review

I am not one to celebrate the New Year, after all, it is just another day. I do however use this time of year for reflection and refocusing, to look back, make some changes, and move forward.

2011 Year in review: Goals set, were they met?

1. Establish an Identity as an Artist
Accomplished.
I spent a large part of my time this year dedicated to creating my identity as an artist. nikkiMdesign now has a logo, an online store, a blog, and has reached and sold to customers outside of the community.

2. Be more aware of my mood and my environment
Accomplished.
In 2010 I was diagnosed with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and social anxiety disorder and began treatment immediately. Within six months my overall health improved; I became more mentally stable and the anxiety symptoms lessened. I assumed that sometime during 2011 I would be able to come off of my meds and be "healed". When the doctor explained to me how the treatments worked and that it would be premature for me to stop taking the medicine because I would most likely suffer a set back, I was a little disappointed but understood. Instead, 2011 became an opportunity for me to work with my doctor to learn about myself, what some of my anxiety triggers are, and how to feel the fear and do it anyway. I can't expect the medicine to do all the work, I have to help me. Some days I do well, some days I do not, but mostly, I'm learning and moving forward.

3. Take Commissions
Accomplished.
This goal ties into the one above. For years I didn't think I was a good enough artist to put myself out there and offer services to create art for somebody else. The idea of that scared the pants off of me. I worried that I might fail, or worse yet, succeed. What if they hated what I did? What if...what if...what...blah, blah, blah. This year, I just did it, and to my surprise not only did people pay me to do it but they liked what I did.

4. Design a professional Interior Design project
Accomplished.
After I graduated in May, I started working as an interior designer with Brooke at Nest Interiors and I have been designing kitchens, living rooms, commercial projects, etc.

5. Complete a Professional Rendering
Accomplished.
Completed renderings and have had repeat business.

6, Illustrate children's book
Not yet accomplished.
My wonderful husband took my idea for a children's book and wrote it. It is a lovely story and he did a fabulous job, however I have not yet had the extra time to illustrate the pages. I think that this is a project that may have to wait for another 6-12 months before I can even consider putting it onto my goals list.

7. Finish staining the staircase and restoring the tiled bathroom floor
Not yet accomplished.
These are two very big jobs that are not finished, however there has been a lot of progress on both over the last year, and I did finish the upstairs built-in cabinet and bench seat that were started at the same time. I don't know if I would categorize this as a not yet accomplished but rather almost accomplished. :-P

8. Lose 10 lbs.
Not yet accomplished.
Meh, I hate this goal for all sorts of reasons, but  the biggest reason is because it is one of those cliche resolutions. Anyway, I did not achieve this one, and to be honest, I gained about 5 lbs this year. I think part of the problem was that I was vague in defining this goal. Rather than saying that I should lose 10 pounds, I should have given myself a target weight to work toward. This goal will (unfortunately) make it onto my 2012 list.

All in all, I am pleased with my goal progress for 2011. I have thought about my list for 2012 and I it is almost complete. I will share what those goals are soon.

Happy new year to all!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I love you so much that sometimes it is hard to carry.

Is love a blessing or a burden?



It has the ability to elate and the ability to dishearten. It can encourage and inspire, discourage and stifle. Love can arouse and provoke. It can be misinterpreted, misguided, and misleading.
Love can define, expose, and destroy. It is felt in a hug, heard within laughter, and seen in a tear. It can strike in an instant or grow over time...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dog Days of Kenmore Paintings

Below are a few of the paintings that I completed for the vendor table at the Dog Days of Kenmore.

All paintings are custom made and hand painted. You choose the breed of dog, monogram/initials, and color preference. You can purchase a painting through my etsy shop, or contact me directly and save on your shipping costs! 



8x10 acrylic painting on canvas board
Price $15.00 each
Because each painting is made-to-order, your painting may differ in appearance from the one shown. 


Man walking dog


Woman walking Dog



11x14 acrylic painting on canvas
Price $45.00 each or both for $80.00
Because each painting is made-to-order, your painting may differ in appearance from the one shown. 



The picture below is a PRINT of the original painting.
This item is not made-to-order

WHITE DOG HAT CO. VINTAGE AD ART



8x10 print
Price $12.00


That is all I have for now. I am exhausted and will write about my vendor table experience at a later date. 

Thank you for looking! Have a great evening!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Adorable Inspiration


I am in LOVE with these little owls by Kklaus! They have inspired me to jump into owl land for the next set of my paintings! Tee hee, aren't they just adorable?

Visit her store at the link below:
http://www.etsy.com/listing/78901284/owls-in-fall-and-winter-colors-set-of-5?ref=af_circ_favitem

Monday, August 8, 2011

Love Birds

I must apologize, I have not been posting as often as I would like to, but I promise after this weekend, I will be more active here. I have been working on painting some pictures to sell at my first vendor table at this years "Dog Days of Summer" event. I did not realize how much effort goes into getting ready for an event was, I mean, it is starting to become work! :-P

I am so into birds right now! I am loving this style. It is such a beautifully experimental, expressive, and free way to paint. Below is the latest piece, The Love Birds.


This photo really doesn't do the colors of this picture justice. I will try to upload a scanned image later tonight. 


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dog Days of Summer Paintings

Here they are! My two newest paintings. I only have...6-8 more paintings to do before August 13, eek!

For Pricing and more information:

Summer in Buffalo.


The next two paintings are neutral and can be used alone, as a pair, or as accent pieces.




When the painting madness is over, I will post a fun article on creativity! 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sneak Peek

A little peek at what I have been working on...


Sunday, July 10, 2011

All good things come to an end.

It was my fault, often I was just exhausted from the day, preoccupied with other obligations, or just too busy "chasing the American dream". The difficult task of finding the time to put forward an honest effort was overwhelming. As more time passed, thoughts of never being quite good enough and my self-defeating attitude became stronger. What had once been a beautiful relationship had grown old and resentful.

However, I pressed on. Determination overcame insecurity. Exposing my faults and vulnerability led to small victories, and frustration turned into celebration.

All good things come to an end; and in the end, it was all worth the effort.




2H, HB, 2B mechanical pencils and a Gazziolion hours 

Full picture:



Critique welcome.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Thrifty Goodness!

Over the holiday weekend, I got an idea for an outdoor project which I will blog about later. This project involved a trip to the local thrift store, and while I was there I found this awesome t-shirt!


I LOVE it! And then, the hubs found these...


That's right, I get to see the world through rose colored glasses! :)


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Post Card/Contact Information

Here is my "business card". If you would like me to send you some, let me know. I would be more than happy to send them to you. ;-)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Under the Spaghetti Tree



I raise my hand, and when called upon, confidently ask my sixth grade science teacher, "does spaghetti grow on trees? because my dad keeps telling me that it does." My classmates roar in laughter at such a silly question and the science teacher smirks and replies, "No, I think your dad might be playing a joke on you."

The infamous spaghetti tree story has become a legend in our family. It has been told to boyfriends, my husband, my children, and even to family acquaintances. What can I say, I was twelve, and he is my dad, and he is really, really convincing.

The story of the spaghetti tree has stayed with me through the years. It's not that it doesn't exist, it lives through the telling of the story. For me, it represents what CAN exist. Somewhere, whether it be in your mind, your heart, your soul, or a physical space, the impossible can happen.

I have been trying to add more dimension to my drawings. This is the first time that I did not use a blending tool to smooth the graphite transitions. I used a 2H and an HB mechanical pencil.

Prints available. $10.00-$15.00 plus shipping.


Facebook friends and family - subscribe to this blog and collinsrestoration.blogspot.com and receive half off of each print.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Exhausted

I am exhausted. I am sick and cranky. I hope to be feeling better tomorrow as I have so much that I want to get done this week! However, amidst the coughing fits and the runny nose, I did manage to start another painting and I did work on my picture, The Spaghetti Tree, which I hope to post and critique by the end of this week.

Until then, be well. :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bird on a Wire


I have a pet theory that to know when spring has arrived in Buffalo, you only have to look to the street lamps in the early hours of the morning. Buffalo gets cold, really cold for a long time. During these bitter months you won't see any birds meeting and greeting with each other perched atop a cold piece of steel. That would be foolish, their itty bitty footsies would freeze off. Is that where you would meet your neighbor for a morning cup of coffee in the Winter? No, I don't think so. Buffalo birds stay snuggled in their nests until things begin to thaw, so it's only when you start to see flocks of birds perched up on street lamps in the early mornings that you can be sure Spring has arrived.   

This idea and the new bohemian style that is taking the design world by storm, inspired me to create this acrylic painting, "Bird on a Wire". 


If you would like to purchase this painting, please visit my Etsy Shop: