Julie's Tree

I was so excited to create this "family tree" for julie! She had sent me this picture awhile ago in hopes I could do something similar for her on her family room wall.

Well you know me ALWAYS up for a challenge! Now the thing was her wall was smaller and darker (in color that is). But the good news was I only needed a small stepping stool to do it! Whoot! Whoot!

So with the reference picture in hand I lightly drew out a skeleton outline of the tree with chalk

I started painting the tree using a dark brown. Then added highlights.

Once I got the majority of branches on I started with leaves. 

Just like I did with the tree trunk, I started with a darker shade of green. Then went in with a lighter shade to highlight. 

Here's the final piece! Now Jules is in the process of getting the family pictures printed and looking for some really unique picture frames to hang in her tree! It should look pretty awesome once she's done! Can't wait to see this bad boy all dressed up!


2016 Business Resolutions

I can't say I was too sad to see 2015 go. I had started out in January like most people, excited about the prospects of a clean slate.  I wrote resolutions. Promised myself things would finally change. Well, change they certainly did, but not in the way I had intended them to. God had a different plan. Personally, my world was turned upside down. My life was significantly altered and all those "resolutions" I had penned in a small notebook at the beginning of the year, seemed far away, and almost childish.

But I'm glad to say, with Gods relentless help, I came through the other side and am now excited for the prospects of a year planned by God. That's the difference-it's how I approach it.

I know that God is in control and I'm going wherever he leads, BUT i also know it's important for me to take an active approach to my life as well, getting up and getting moving.  So, that's the direction I am headed in, onward & upward.  Just moving forward one step at a time and allowing God to direct my path.

That said, one of my steps forward is every Sunday i join my husband, (or soon to be husband on February 22, we are getting remarried after being divorced 14 years, lol, go figure, those are those "God has another plan" things I was talking about) in an "intentional work session". We go to Starbucks, grab a coffee (i get Hot chocolate) and we set up shop.  We work strictly on our businesses.  Coordinating schedules for the week, writing up estimates, writing this blog even.  Talk about dreams, goals and visions for what the plans are for the upcoming week, month, year and how we are moving forward business wise.  It started as a fluke but has now grown into a really rich time.  A time of focus and forward thinking.

So it is with that intension that I want to share the items I have done during the week.  If I have some creative ideas I want to share them.  As I keep moving forward with this, so does my business.  It puts things into perspective but also lets me see how far I have progressed.

Here we go.....

These are a couple items I finished this week:

I also painted and submitted two paintings that have since been approved and moved to our PaintNite library for purchase.  Magnificent Magnolia & Midnight Memories are the newest addition to my growing work in acrylics on canvas.

Come paint with me some night if you are in the Syracuse area! Go to to find an event, use coupon code MARYM20 for $20 off and be prepared to relax and have fun!

I look forward to spending some time with you every week. Sharing some ideas I have percolating, projects I'd love feedback on and taking my business to the next level.  I am excited!

Please follow along on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or here!

happy creating!


Cathy's Corner

I have an absolutely wonderful client!  The kind of person, as an artist, you can only dream about.  We have been working together for just about a year now on tons of projects.  She LOVES my work and I am forever grateful for that. The best thing about Cathy is that she always, and I mean always, gives me the artistic license to do whatever I want.  I try to nail her down on a basic color scheme, but other than that she says,  "I completely trust you!  My husband says, 'when you find someone who knows what they're doing, just move out of their way and let them do their thing.' So, I'm getting out of your way."

 Totally LOVE her!

SO, I'm going to start by sharing some of the smaller pieces I did for her, then share the largest piece (or shall I say a set) I've ever done. First off was a pair of very old, very worn out school desks.

 Both desks were extremely worn out.  I had to sand them and prime them several times.  The marker/ink/sharpie on the top kept bleeding through.  But after 3 coats of primer, it seemed pretty much under control.  Although the chairs were greatly worn they did not require as much prep work.

She had another small desk set for me next.  This used to be her mothers (I believe) as a child and she wanted to redo it for her grandchildren.  It was going to be passed on to her son, and first grandson so I stuck to a more masculine feel. Although really the patterns and color choices could have worked in any nursery/playroom.

The next item was for her youngest daughter who was soon to be a teacher.  She had seen a picture on my Facebook page of another reading/teacher chair I had done for another client and wanted one for her daughter.  She had a rocker she found and brought it down to me.

Next was 3 small rocking horses that her father had made for her 3 children when they were little.  With such sentimental value she didn't want to get rid of them now that her children were grown but hated them sitting in the basement too. guessed it, she brought them to me for a much needed face lift!  I have only had the chance to finish one completely.  The other two were put on hold for the biggest project yet.

Her daughter-in-law loved giraffes and asked if I could incorporate one into the horse someplace, so I did just that, right on the seat.

Now, drum roll please, here is the largest project I have done to date.  A six piece (5 + a cutting block) kitchen/dinning room set.  Again it was her mothers set and she wanted to pass it down to her children, but knew in the state it was in no one would want it.  

First, it was the butcher block.

A choice to do a simple faux finish on the sides with plain robins egg blue, highlighting the checkered door and diamond patterned door was perfect.  I switched out the out dated handles and swapped them out for more rustic, heartier handles.  She didn't want the top painted, so I left it neutral.  This piece would set the stage for the next 5 pieces that followed.

Then came the pedestal.  She kept the top in Rochester with her and had a gentleman refinish the top in just a plain stain and varnish.  The base was a beast.  She didn't like the original pedestal and searched high and low for one that fit just perfectly with the other pieces.  I was thrilled because this one was much more exciting to paint in comparison.

Each piece as it was finished was transported back to Rochester. I had never seen them (only in my head) all together.  BUT yesterday-she sent me a picture of all the items together, set up and ready to welcome guests! I was so excited to see them!

So that's that for now! At least what I've finished. I've still got 2 rocking horses, 2 rockers, one rather large chair and a desk set, plus she's bringing more down this week.  Like I said in the beginning-LOVE THIS LADY!

Please, check out my other social media sites and follow along there if you'd prefer!  I'm on Facebook Instagram and Pinterest!  Loads of creative and colorful quotes, pictures and inspiration! So check it out!

Have an amazing week!