Now I’m sure that DEVO, the 70’s punk/new age rock band did not have custom party decorations, hand-painted furnishings and mural proposals in mind when they wrote that song. But now that it’s stuck in your head… let’s “Go forward. Move ahead. Try to detect it. It’s not too late…”

WIP actually stands for Work In Progress, referring to unfinished items or items, in varying stages within a larger production process.

I always have several projects going on at one time. In my line of work, I usually don’t have the luxury of being able to take on one project at a time, finish it, and then stand back and reflect on it (deep sigh…), before taking on the next project from the very beginning. But, there are blessings in having many projects going simultaneously.

For one thing, I can always be doing a task. Sometimes projects get delayed or put on hold for various reasons. Having several projects on deck is a good way to ensure that I am keeping my cash-flow flowing, as this is my source of income. Of course, the other side of the coin is balance. YEAH that. Balance is terribly difficult for me, but I do try. If I am not balanced, I run the risk of getting burned out or falling too far behind.

Secondly, sometimes my brain gets tired and unable to focus (like at 3 o’clock in the morning after too much coffee). If that happens, having a variety of tasks to choose from is helpful. I can either choose to do something requiring little or no refined small-motor skills (like priming or sanding) or, when my mind is sharp, and I’m feeling uber-creative, I can pull out all the stops (and my size 000 brush) and paint something as detailed as the reflection on a snail’s eyeballs. (And even if snails don’t have eyeballs, it’s called “Artistic License”.)

Extreme detail

Extreme detail; not for the faint of heart.

I thought I’d share just a FEW of the WIPs I have going on right now.

I have two large mural projects, one in production and one in proposal stage right now. I always make a full-color, to-scale painting prior to each mural job. It only makes sense. To me, the several extra hours it takes to create this painting in my studio, working out all the design problems, returns 10-fold in both setting the client at-ease with what the final mural will look like, and also with cutting down on valuable on-location work time. Murals, especially commercial murals, often end up being long-term projects. Rarely does anyone call and say, “I would like a mural. Can you be here at 9am tomorrow to start?” Throughout the design phase, many other projects are accomplished.

mural preliminary painting

Preliminary paintings for murals are my S.O.P. (standard operating procedure)!

I am also working on custom-illustrated party decorations (did you even know there was such a thing! Yes, there is!!). These will be for an artist event hosted at the Lower Mill restaurant in Honeoye Falls on February 12th called the Mad Hatter’s Tea! The event is sponsored by Talulah’s Fancy & Friends, a gorgeous local gift boutique which features some of my work.

Mad Hatter's Tea: 2-12-12!

Mad Hatter's Tea: 2-12-12!

I will be posting much more about this here on my blog and on my facebook page this week as the event approaches. The designs are going to be colorful, funky, and inspired (of course!) by Nancy Wiley’s Alice in Wonderland characters. She is one of two artists who are featured at the event. The other artist is Goff Creek Pottery. Rumor has it they will have a life-size chess set on display! Not to mention that these new party decoration products I’m creating will also be available and customizable for your OWN party at the Lower Mill through Talulah’s Fancy and friends. The truly exciting, AMAZING news does not stop there! But I will hold off on that for now… you will have to stay tuned! Meanwhile, please make your reservations by calling the Lower Mill at (585) 582-1830!

AND If you come in costume to the Mad Hatter's Tea on February 12, you will be awarded a prize!

New illustrations for the Illustrated Alphabet Letter Plaques are being cranked out like crazy right now as I am continuing to build the Young at Heart collection. There are already 34 illustrations in this collection, and about 10 more that I am in the process of painting now. This alphabet is so different from the previous ones I’ve designed. You really need to check them out if you haven’t. Totally adorable. It makes me want to change my name to “ZYXSEPBCFL.” They can be purchased through my Etsy store, by clicking here.

This illustrated alphabet letter plaque is in the Young At Heart collection. It features "n" for nurture.

This alphabet plaque is also in the Young at Heart collection. It is "K" for knowledge.

Inventory for retail is something that I am always working on. Each piece begins as a one-of-a-kind “lost treasure”, which I usually end up scavenging from the local thrift shops or barn sales. I never know what I will find, or what it will end up being. It’s an adventure right from the beginning.

The pieces in this photo are sanded & primed, and ready for illustrations. Through the magic of blogging, I can show you the progress in just seconds.

For more views of this item, please go to my Facebook page. There is a link to my Facebook page on the right of this page, under my photo!

There are at least a half-dozen other things on my plate right now, but I am only giving you a tiny glimpse of the ol’ workbench.

I have to go… “Crack that WIP.”

Yours truly,