Monday, December 27, 2010

Keds by PiCassieO!

Just wanted to give you a peek at our super-colorful Keds shoes that are in our new store PiCassieO! These tiny pics don't do 'em justice, so click on over - there are lots more, including some outrageous hi tops! Treat your feet to some artsy fun!

Happy Holidays from Cassie and Beth!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Drifting © Beth Stafford 2010

Drifting is yet another composition from the work with the glass brick and Jacob's Weaving. I have had so much fun with the colors and shapes in this one! For LOST fans, the print I started with was called Lost: Jacob's Weaving, because one of Cassie's scribbles looked like an Egyptian hieroglyph similar to those on the tapestry Jacob was working on when MIB disposed of him. Of course it's unrecognizable after being distorted by the wavy glass brick, but it led to a totally different world of work (seems appropriate, after all!)

Another new world for PiCassieO : Custom-made shoes - art for the feet with PiCassieO all over! See them at PiCassieO! These Keds Slip Ons and Lace Ups will stand out in any crowd - outrageously colorful, true to our art. Each pair is custom-made and takes 3-4 weeks. FYI: good idea to try on the style at your favorite shoe store which carries the brand to make sure of your size!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

See Creature?

See Creature? © Beth Stafford 2010
Digital Art Print, 7" x 7"

Still PiCassieO, but once removed! I was printing Lost: Jacob's Weaving (another entry) and got a paper jam, which meant a redo. The square portion that printed had such wonderful colors - it was too good to waste, so I taped it to the back of my favorite toy (a glass brick that I found on a sale cart at Lowes) and photographed the distorted image. It turned out beautifully, after being worked over in the computer! There is definitely an underwater feel to it, and suggestions of fishy critters - couldn't resist a little fun with the title. I will be offering this one in my Etsy store soon, in both a limited edition version and an open edition.

Cassie is OK with me putting my name on this one, since she's not doing much artistically lately. She won't give up deer chasing, which means she's too stiff afterwards to do much "painting". She's like a lot of my former students - they get to a certain age, and choose sports over art!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Out the Window

How's this for a little fall preview? I almost forgot about Out the Window, September - it's way past time to clean up my files. "Cyber-hoarding" is a big problem here; afraid my auxillary hard drive won't really work and I might lose my art, so it's backed up, burned, and STILL on the computer, which slows everything down and makes life difficult. Anyway, back to the art!

Cassie's hips have been a big problem since her illness in July; arthritis seems to be the issue, maybe a leftover from the infection. Jumping up on her favorite perch (back of the couch) at the west window is not something she does much anymore. It makes me sad, since that's where "PiCassieO" started. She has managed to make it up there a few times, though, because there are new marks on the glass. I photographed everything in detail in September, which is where the photo for this print came from. Was reluctant to clean the window, thinking it might be the last time, but she's been up there twice in the last week! So, I'm going to be optimistic and wipe it off for a clean "canvas" and see what happens. The bright colors and flower-like forms of Out the Window are so cheerful - yeah, I'm optimistic!

I welcome your comments about the art! All standard prints are $50 + S & H - you may order them here or at my store or through my web site.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Nose Garden to the Rescue!

You know the old saying "what goes around, comes around"? Ten years ago some wonderful people took Cassie in when she had nowhere to call home, and that's how we found each other. That group is now known as NC Airedale Rescue; I am pleased to announce that Cassie & I are offering our print Cassie's Nose Garden on their Merchandise Page, with a percent of sales going to help other Airedales who are temporarily down on their luck. Please help us keep them safe and healthy until they find loving homes!

This whimsical "garden" is one of the first PiCassieOs - sure to bring a smile. It has an "Alice in Wonderland" feel, with suggestions of other-world plants and creatures, in earth tones with blue and green accents. It is joyful, exuberant art - a fitting tribute to these wonderful dogs who display the same characteristics.

Recently a large format version of Nose Garden was purchased by Cabarrus Animal Hospital in Concord, NC, for their new lobby. Reviews are in; PiCassieO is a hit:
“I just wanted to  let you know I loved  watching the  reactions of
clients & staff to your work! There was fascination, astonishment, &
joy. I can't remember the last time I saw such animated reactions
to art.” – Tom Oakley, Oakley Designs
I've put a "faux" frame and mat around the print here so you can see how terrific it looks on display! The 8.5 x 11" print (image slightly smaller) is on premium matte paper, in a limited edition of 50. Each print is signed and numbered on the bottom border (by "PiCassieO" of course!), and shipped in an archival sleeve for protection. Price is $50 plus S&H. Payments (and donations) are through PayPal at NC Airedale Rescue.

Framed prints should be matted and protected by UV-resistant glass and not displayed under fluorescent or strong sun light, to preserve the rich colors for many years of enjoyment.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Laughing Lion!

Okay, we're a little silly here today (and those titles are still hard to come by), so I give you Laughing Lion, and its relative Laughing Lion 2. These two were almost forgotten, since I have over 1000 photos on my computer (got an auxillary hard drive but am still reluctant to delete anything). After I cleaned the front door last time, Cassie did some serious marks about something out there. On the clean glass they really stood out against the porch background (including the famous milkcan). I love the bright colors in the first one! Couldn't resist calling it Laughing Lion; the marks remind me of something out of Chinese theater. Beats Milk Can August, anyway.

Of course I had to keep experimenting with it; it's amazing how a new color scheme can totally alter the feel of the work. This one is more subdued and dramatic, even though I can still see that happy "lion". I have a backlog of proofing to do, but sooner or later these prints will be available, either here or at our
store (or maybe both).

Comments (in English, please, and relevant to the ART) are welcomed! You can subscribe to this blog in the upper right to get the latest posts (once every week or so - I promise not to flood your inbox).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Orange Spot Rides Again!

Orange Spot, the painting
Acrylic on panel, 7" x 5", by Beth Stafford (aka PiCassieO)

Remember Orange Spot from a while back? Probably not - but it is one of three paintings that came from the print I call Singer & Door. That orange spot area is fascinating to me for some reason; I keep going back for more. I really liked the pendant that resulted from it, too. Then I stumbled on yet another technique for making those mini works of art - Orange Spot is spectacular as a foil-backed pendant with the new handmade glass I'm using!

Orange Spot, the OOAK pendant
(.875" x .875", digital art & handmade glass pendant, by PiCassieO)

FYI: OOAK = One Of A Kind. No two of these foil pendants turn out the same! This pendant will be listed soon on Etsy at our store for $30 plus S & H. There are more there right now if you'd like to browse! As for the painting, it's part of a project that I'm calling 50 / 50 - fifty 5" x 7" paintings for $50 each (plus S & H). Not for sale anywhere but here at the moment - contact me if interested!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Back in the Doldrums (Not a Bad Place to Be!)

I thought I was working over a new photo of Cassie's marks over the milk can (shows how short my memory is!). When I finished the draw-over and posterization (next photo), it still didn't hit me.

Then I started applying filters and gradients, and it finally did register - this is a continuation of "Midsummer Doldrums": slightly different stroke interpretations and wildly different colors! When I get them proofed and printed the numbers will be in progressive order. This was so much fun, tweaking and changing from one to another! Color is my favorite intoxicant; if they print true, these will have a "wow" factor for sure!

Got a favorite? Let me know - I'd really welcome feedback. Want to subscribe to new blog posts? There's a button in the upper right for that.

After weeks of relative inactivity, due to illness, injury, and the extreme heat, Cassie had a roaring good time at the window today - two deer were moseying across the road to the woods! In spite of the heat, she took off running when we left the porch, all the way down the property to the road. Probably neither of us will be walking well by tonight! It was great to see her enthused again, anyway. And now I have new art to photograph!

Remember to visit our store - a lot of these prints and some gorgeous pendants are for sale there! Our art looks equally great on the wall or on your neck!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

We're Featured!

The art of PiCassieO has the honor of being selected for Aysha's "Wonderful Gifts for Wonderful People Thanks, Aysha!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Midsummer Doldrums

Don't know how it is where you are, but here on the homestead it has been a really miserable summer. The wildlife is hiding from the heat, grass is growing like gangbusters, and the humidity is horrible. Cassie is not a hot-weather dog, so her favorite activity is sleeping, which means the art production is lagging. Nevertheless, she has short bursts of inspiration and I managed to capture some of her recent storm door activity.

This one was tentatively titled Milk Can With Black Strokes (really catchy); in keeping with my post title, I think I like Summer Doldrums #1 better.

Of course, if there was a #1, there is a #2: I applied a different gradient and filter to the original stylus-enhanced photo and this was the result:

And then there's #3: same gradient, different filter.

Looks more like I should title the series Color Riot in the Doldrums!. The next job is getting them to print true, and then they'll be for sale in our store. I had another really nice color variation of #1, but somehow managed to delete it - that never happened with "real" paint. No medium is perfect, I guess - but cyber-color just blows me away!

Got any comments or questions about the work? I'd be glad to hear from you! You can subscribe to our blog in the upper right if you want to be notified of new posts.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Jacob's Weaving (Still "Lost"!)

OK, I admit it - I'm still hung up on "Lost", and probably will be for some time to come. It's the little "dog god" figure on the right that reminded me of the weaving that Jacob was working on when Ben terminated him. Didn't even notice it when I was working on the print, but when I saw it last night it hit me! Funny how things like that get overlooked sometimes. The original title was "Green Post" - descriptive and boring. This may start a new series, with all the titles having a reference to "Lost". That would be totally fun and really easy, too, because of the incredible and super-abundant details in each episode. LOVE this idea!

My art partner Cassie has been injuring and reinjuring herself for the past three weeks, which is somewhat hampering her ability to "work." She thinks she's still four years old sometimes, and then acts more like fifteen when it catches up with her joints. Neither of us is prone to act our age! Play now, pay later...

Just a reminder: our prints are available in our store or by request. We also have some gorgeous pendants and ACEOs!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Really Getting Into My Art!

Singer and Door is one of my favorite PiCassieOs - I have pulled out many tiny abstracts from the original to use in our pendants (at our store). Sometimes when I start the abstraction process, it just keeps going because new compositions are constantly appearing - it's very exciting! One pendant square came from the upper right corner; the bright orange spot reminded me of a sun in a far-out alien landscape. I had intended to do one of those Painting-A-Day projects with some 5" x 7" panels and thought it would be fun to paint some of my "jewels" in a larger format. That project has become more like A-Painting-Once-In-A-While, but at least there are now two PiCassieO paintings! No. 1 is below.

When it was finished, I did some random photos up close (similar to what happens on the computer with cropping) and found PiCassieO Painting No. 2 (below).

During the painting process, I also started playing with design possibilities from the pendant square, and that resulted in Orange Spots and Green Xs (below) which I hope to eventually have printed on fabric at Spoonflower, where there are two other PiCassieO designs already!

Next time you hear "abstract art", just remember that it all starts somewhere! Have you found my source yet? Look again!

PS. A bit of irony - Spoonflower is located in Mebane, NC - which is where Cassie and I found each other!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Matisse Landscape a la PiCassieO

This "landscape" is an abstract from a larger print that reminded me so much of Matisse, with the bright colors and simple shapes of his collages. I am having a lot of fun with it - the large work didn't turn out to be one I'd print, but there are some beautiful colors and shapes to zero in on for abstracts. When I added the watercolor filter, the colors were amazing. There were also a bunch of pendant squares hiding here and there - hope to have them in our store before long!

Cassie has been having trouble with her hips lately, which is hindering her work at the window, but she's still keeping the door full of marks. A neighbor kid committed two acts which incite total insanity in my dog - he rang the doorbell, and had TWO dogs with him on the porch! I thought Cassie was going to go straight through the glass. There should be an interesting title to go with the results - need to work on that.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Boots: "Real" Abstraction

I always have a hard time dealing with the term "abstract art", since in my mind it's all abstract. The latest PiCassieO Boots is absolutely representational in that it came from a photo of Cassie's marks on the door and the ancient Singer on the porch beyond which is a rack for my dad's old boots. I knew when I shot the photo that I wanted to use the background in a prominent way because of the strong shadow patterns and lines made by the boots. What at first seems like random strokes and color patches takes recognizable shape if you keep looking. This is a good example of "representational abstraction" - totally based on reality, but distilled to the essence of that reality rather than factual description of it. Just wait until I finish Cassie Does Pollock - then we'll get into "nonrepresentational abstraction" (but there's still room for argument there).

I welcome comments about the art! If you'd like to subscribe to our posts, click under the Email Update heading (Post Button) in the top right of this page.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

"Lost: Going Home?"

Yep- I admit it, I'm a huge fan of the TV show "Lost" - going to be totally lost without it. It reminds me a lot of the book Masquerade, which was full of clues and hidden meanings to point readers toward a treasure that was actually buried in England. I doubt there's treasure at the end of "Lost" - probably just more questions - but I love the intrigue. When I finished this latest PiCassieO, the background was looking jungle-like, with all these mysterious yellow marks more or less pointing toward the "opening" at the top left. Lost: Going Home? is my self-generated title.

I did go to the"abstract title generator" and got some pretty far-out stuff (like Falling Impressions of Ephemeral Creation) but none of them seem to fit with my art. Guess my own thoughts about a work fit better, even if it's just Storm Door No. 5,647 With Green Stripe.

I welcome your comments about the art! If you would like to subscribe to the posts, please click the button for updates in the upper right of this page.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mexican Morning

Totally new palette here - reminds me of the Southwest, or Mexico, with the warm earth colors. It started as yet another view through the storm door, which Cassie regularly covers with her marks. The last time I cleaned it, to my surprise there were also marks on the outside. Not sure if it was a "guest artist" or and expression of Cassie's eagerness to get inside and have food!

I haven't made it to the "abstract title creator" yet (obviously) - never can remember about it until it's not convenient (like now). When I do, I'll republish a bunch of prints under their new names - that should be fun! It's on my "to do" list, as of now. I'll be listing this one in my Etsy store shortly.

Your comments about the art are welcomed! If you'd like to subscribe to my posts, click on the button on the upper right.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

One More Time!

"Storm Door April #1" is so bright and colorful - it's one of my favorites. Imagine my dismay when I printed it perfectly and then wrote the WRONG title at the bottom! One thing about that velvety matte paper I love - it is totally unforgiving, especially where pencil marks are concerned. Attempts at erasing only make it smudge worse. Rather than throw away a beautiful print, I decided to offer it as the first Dirt Cheap Deal in our Etsy store. Most of the titles are labels of where and when I did the original photos - as I previously said, I need to work on those titles- and aren't terribly important. I'm offering it for $15 plus $5 S & H - a great deal, especially since it's really one of a kind ( I sincerely hope I don't do that again!).

Comments are welcomed. If you like, you can easily subscribe to our posts by clicking the "Update" button in the upper right. I promise not to flood your inbox!

PS. This post title refers to the fact that the print was posted last year, which I tried to explain in the first paragraph as an afterthought, but was stymied by a pesky period that would not disappear! I could backspace right up to it but it wouldn't be deleted. That's the kind of week it's been - my Face Book page became invisible, and my email was stopped for three days , which in turn created havoc elsewhere. Another week like this and I'm blasting OUT of cyberspace!

Friday, March 5, 2010

March Madness

One of these days I really need to go to a site that generates titles for abstract art - obviously I'm running out of good ideas! This work continues the previous exploration of isolating lines and using pure colors in the background. I also signed it, which is something new. The main reason I added a signature was compositional - it needed the element (IMO) for balance. "Bold and simple" was what I was going for here. Comments welcomed as to whether I made it happen.

Couldn't resist playing a little more with this one - I decided to crop the first one, add more yellow, and see if it still needed that signature. Yep. Vote for your favorite!

I welcome comments (the good, the bad, but please not ugly!) and questions, as long as they relate to content (have been getting some really strange stuff occasionally). You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button at top right.

And if you're in a shopping mood, check out our store - currently we have 10 prints and some really gorgeous pendants that are tiny abstracts from the art. Don't miss our first "Dirt Cheap Deal" - I goofed when I signed one of the prints and put the wrong title on it. Can't erase on that paper - it's a beautiful print, too good to waste!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Spring, Where Art Thou?

This is definitely the coldest, longest February in my lifetime. Guess that's why this quirky little drawing with a warm weather feel appeals to me so much. I used the stylus to outline Cassie's marks and the background on the original photo, then lifted them out with the "Magic Wand" and copied only the marks to a new file. A gradient was then applied to get some color into it. I added a little more here and there, but left it sketchy(very difficult for someone like me, who likes to fill every space and finish every edge). You can see evidence of my neurosis at my other blog.

Cassie is still working on the windows, but things are getting really smudgy - the sun's angle is just now hitting the marks which I haven't yet photographed. Hate to lose all that art!

Next week I'll be displaying our PiCassieO art at the ArtWalk in downtown Concord, NC, on Friday evening from 6 - 9 PM. Anybody local - come on down and walk around (and remember to buy some art!). Maybe the weather will improve by then, but if not, it'll be a fun evening anyway!

There's plenty of PiCassieO at our store, too! We have prints, pendants, and ACEOs, with more art in the works.

We welcome your comments. If you would like to subscribe to this blog, just click the button at the top right. I promise not to stuff your inbox!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Art With Love!

One of Cassie's first "drawings" here, made into a pendant just in time for Valentine's Day. For some reason the colors just won't photograph true for the web - the heart is a true red and the background is hand painted with a purple wash to make the heart stand out. We have it in our store so if you want one, order now to get it in time for the holiday! It comes with a gold bail, but silver is also an option (contact me first).

Cassie is my wooly sweetheart, for sure. I laughed when I saw this heart on the window, because there was also a rose-like flower and a long "I" - it looked like she'd written "I love flower" in her own special way! She's curled in the corner of the couch with her feet in the air at the moment, looking totally adorable. Stole my heart the minute I saw her - almost knocked me off my feet, too. True Love!

Almost forgot - in honor of Valentine's Day, "Art With Love" is having a drawing for a free print (winner's choice)! Enter from now to Feb. 13 - details at our store under "Shop Announcement".

You can subscribe to our blog and receive our updates by email (see box in upper right). Comments are always welcome - I'm happy to discuss any aspect of the art!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Looking Backwards, Moving Forward

Most of my art lately has been focused on the PiCassieO Pendants; there is nothing quite as much fun as digging into older work and coming up with these little jewel-like abstracts! The source for the three above is in the archives somewhere; for a real challenge, see if you can find it! Hint: one of the three is taken directly from the original and the other two have been altered. The resulting pendants are turning out beautifully and will be listed shortly at our store.

The sun's vacation from our piece of the world is hampering my development of new art, so I'm glad I have such a wealth of material to fall back on! Cassie is semi-hibernating; when it's so gray and cold out, I feel like following her example and just sleeping until the sun comes back. Can't do that - I have to keep working to buy dog food!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

In Reply to Anonymous

We don't usually get a lot of comments here, so when we do, we pay attention! The latest one by "Anonymous" ("what is that even a pic of???") needs an answer, so here goes. December Door (last entry) started as a photograph of my dog's markings on the storm door, in response to whatever was going on outside. I let the marks accumulate until the patterns get interesting, and then I photograph close-ups of her "art". That's when my own art begins: in this particular one, I went over the actual marks with a stylus and tablet in PhotoShop, composed the work by cropping, and then experimented with different filters and colors until I was satisfied with the results. It is an "abstract" of something very real (marks on the door) which became something else entirely in the processing of making art. December Door is a handy title, since I photographed and created it in December, but the art is "about" lines and colors and the energy of its origins. Hope that clarifies the matter for "Anonymous"!

Now, about the comment before last - if anyone can translate the one on Winter Solstice, I'd be happy to respond to it! Sorry, but I only read English and a little French. By the way, Happy New Year to all, however you say it!