Falling Behind

Falling Behind

Nah, I’m not actually falling behind. I’m in mega-production-painting-my-butt-off-mode again. I’m just honoring the end of Daylight Savings Time with the obligatory whine–which bring us to—

WARNING: Seasonal Whining Alert

Right now it’s pitch dark outside. Pitch dark. As in BLACK. Feels like midnight in every sense of the word, complete with my body being wrung out tired and deliciously ready for bed.

And it’s only 7:30.

I must be coming down with–holy crap, I AM coming down with… (drumroll please) the dreaded dark ‘n dreary days of autumn HIBERNATION SYNDROME!!!

Oh noooooooooooooo!

All I want to do is eat bread and potatoes and slather butter over everything. I want to STUFF my face with carbs. Dive head first into a plate of mac ‘n cheese. And have a steaming cup of tea by my side at all times.

But that’s enough–ENOUGH!!–I say of this whining. You came here to read about art, right? Well, then Imma gonna show you some ART.

First I’ll show what’s happening in the studio.


This is what’s happening. Using up all sorts of watercolor paper and rag board that’s been lying around the studio for ev-ah. Slapping a couple coats o’gesso on it and then, my dearies, I shall paint ’em up, stick ’em in some matts I happen to have an abundance of and SELL those suckers at my next show. Every one of them. For millions and millions of dollars.

I will make a fortune and retire to the south of France. I’ve never been but I hear it’s a very nice place.


I have no idea what I’m going to paint yet but here are more papers drying on the studio floor. I started the one with the figures ages ago but since I had a fresh bottle of gesso and a paintbrush in my hand I couldn’t help but white out the background.

And then there’s this, the start of my new series, CALIFORNIA GOLD.

California Gold # 1 Mixed Media on Canvas 24x24 inches 2014 Susan Lobb Porter

California Gold # 1
Mixed Media on Canvas 24×24 inches
2014 Susan Lobb Porter

I showed this on Facebook last week as a work in progress but I think it’s finished now. Maybe a few final tweaks but pretty much what you see.

That’s enough about art, I’m going to go to bed. And probably dream about carbs…umm…nom…nom….

As always–






Eating Clean

Eating Clean

Three weeks ago the universe slapped me upside the head with the ultimate AHA! moment.

Universe: “Stop eating sugar. And crap. No more junk food. Or processed food. Except for chocolate. Because every girl needs chocolate.”

Me: “Mmm’kay.”

And I began eating like this… Real food. Nom nom. Stuff that grows in the ground or on trees or in a pasture. Lots of good fats. Nothing that came out of a box from a factory. Imagine that!  And no grains. Seriously, no grains.

And no weighing. No measuring either. Just eat when I’m hungry, as much as I want. Which is usually quite a bit.

In the beginning, the first week or so, it sucked. I was cranky and out of sorts and all I wanted to do was sleep and take my arguments to the dark side with Mr. Spouse. But that phase passed before one of us could ask for a divorce and soon enough and an interesting thing happened . . . I realized I was . . . relaxed. She who was once the queen of late night found herself going to bed early, falling asleep right away. Without the adrenalin fuel of sugar and simple carbs, she whose heart and mind were always racing found herself settling into a slow easy rhythm. Things that had once been important weren’t that important anymore. Less time online, more time in the studio.


Settling down in the evening with lapdogs instead of laptop. 

These are the changes I’ve seen in three weeks. I’m sure there’ll be more:

  • My formerly reptilian skin–and I’m not exaggerating when I say reptilian— is now smooth and soft. I mean before this, moisturizers didn’t do a thing. WOOT!
  • The mirror shows weight loss–how much, I don’t know. I don’t weigh myself so I can’t say.
  • Cheekbones! I has CHEEKBONES!!!
  • Better sleep. Much better. OMG, yes!
  • Slower heart rate
  • Less anxious. In fact, not anxious at all.
  • No desire to waste time on email and facebook 
  • More quality time in the studio
  • A general feeling of well being

I know we’re all different and not everyone would find this way of eating right for them. But it works for me, better than anything I’ve ever tried before. Three weeks into a change of lifestyle I never thought I’d do. Now I see it as the most natural way for me to eat, for me to be.

And it’s a good thing.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this in the comments below. And remember:






Life in Progress

Life in Progress

Do you remember a couple months ago when I was bitten by the Tidy Fairy right on my tidy bum? Bit so hard I actually blogged about it throughout the month, showed photos of the resulting spartan simplicity of my-life-as-tidy. Dining Room Do you remember that?

I kept up my little tidy spree until one day…LIFE happened. The Tidy Fairy was kicked in the corner with some errant dust bunnies when the it’s-not-the-flu-but-it’ll-knock-you-on-your-ass-for-a-month bug came a callin’. And as I slowly recovered from not-the-flu I found my tidy motivation was belly up under a pile of crumpled tissues.

I. Did. Not. Care. The rooms I dealt while drunk on the elixir of cleanliness have maintained–to a certain degree–their new found sense of order. But the long abandoned kids’ rooms upstairs along with my studio out back, those places the tidy fairy never made it to, remained magnets for clutter. 

In fact the studio became positively frightful. Things mysteriously appeared where there was no space for them to appear. Except for things I needed, those disappeared who knows where. And then the walls closed in. Overnight. Poof! Just like that. My once spacious studio took on the proportions and feel of a gnome hole in the side of a hill. I was ready to shut the door and walk away. Seriously. Take up knitting or something. But when I heard Alyson Stanfield was running her Organize Your Art Biz class again, I took it as a sign from the Universe.

Universe: Don’t quit painting. Clean your studio. Organize your art biz.

Me: Umm…okaaaaay!desk clean

After just a few days I can honestly say this class is where I need to be right now. Not only is my desk–including drawers–organized–they even close now!!!I had a major AHA! about the studio and how it functions…and how it can function MUCH BETTER!

Universe (via Alyson): Studio and office should be separate.

Me (thinking of the empty kids’ rooms upstairs): Riiiiiiight!

So in the next few days I’ll be moving all the non-painting, non-art making stuff out of the studio. Shipping supplies, matts, prints, books. Canvasses–yes, all those blank canvasses I buy by the case, especially those huge suckers that take up so much room. And the finished ones that aren’t sold or hanging anywhere else–all that will go to Firstborn’s room, my soon-to-be new office. Which means I have to organize that room first.

But envisioning the studio as a fully functioning work space is all the incentive I need. Room to move around. Throw paint. Teach classes. Shoot video. Ohhhhh, I am positively swooning! Come back next week to see how this goes. There will be photos. Maybe even a swoon selfie…. As always my sweetums, I’d love to hear your thoughts about this in the comments below. And by the way, has anyone told you this yet today— blog_sign2   Well, you are! xosusanWEB

My Not So Secret Garden

My Not So Secret Garden

Oh my sweetums, today I wandered in the garden. It was beautiful! Gorgeous! Came pretty close to being spectacular! The plants are poppin’. The temperature was perfect. And there were bunnies EVERYWHERE. Easter Jackrabbits en masse, reminding me again why it’s not a good idea to plant a vegetable garden.

Ever the multi-tasker, I had the phone with me and chatted with the kids while I was outside. Remember the days when phones were tethered to the wall, when you ALWAYS knew where it was? And when it wasn’t a camera?

Well, since I had my phone-which-is-a-camera with me, I not only noticed how the sun did magic things in the garden, I was able to snap a few shots.

And since I’m a painter I decided to throw them into a painting app and art them up a bit. Here they are:


Nothing says SPRING to me like a Dogwood in bloom. Nothing.


Except maybe Lilacs. I loves me my Lilacs.


This is my exhale spot, one of my favorite places in the garden.

Technical Info: All photos were taken on an iPhone 5C and digitally altered with Aquarella.

What’s your favorite photo app? I’m always open to playing with something new. Tell us about it in the comments below.


Spring Forth

You may have noticed Arty Life has a NEW look. It’s still a work in progress and you may be wondering why, why would I ditch the old header and move some things around?

I could blame it all on my inner geek, the one that loves to fool with webstuff. The one that said don’t write a post this week, take the website apart instead.

Yeah, THAT one.

I could blame it on the same crazy creative mindset that paints over perfectly good canvasses. You’ve seen me do that often enough around here, haven’t you?

Or I could blame it on the time change. Yeah, lets do that.

But it’s not the geek or the crazy painter lady or Daylight Savings Time coming earlier and earlier every year that got me off schedule. No, no no… it’s SPRING!!!

Yep, spring caused me to blow off writing a post last week. And the one before.

Because in my corner of the world EVERYTHING is GROWING! All those plants we planted last year, planted with big empty spaces all around, well those plants, right now as I’m writing this, are having plant babies and SPREADING out, beginning to take over the empty spaces just like the plant lady said they would.


Plant babies! YAY!!!

And it makes me happy. Sooooooo happy I was out there for awhile today pulling weeds and humming and sipping on some cold coffee while the dogs and cat hung out with me eating enough grass to guarantee they’ll be puking later on.

Note to dogs and cat: Not on the bed, please NOT ON THE BED!!! Or anything upholstered.

Spring caused me to want to spread out and renew myself. My blog. And my other blog.

Other blog???

Well, YES! Remember Big Bold Beautiful Yes! The blog where I wrote down to my soul, the blog I stopped writing a little more than a year ago. After an ugly presidential election that came between friends. After the terrible school shooting at Sandy Hook where guns came between friends. It was hard to write YES! when all I wanted to do was scream NOOOOOO and knock some sense into anyone who didn’t agree with me. So I pulled back. Missed a week. Then two. Then a month and a year and basically forgot it ever existed.

Until spring began to stir things up and YES! began bubbling up in my soul again. YES! YES! YES!!! I went back to it, took a look at what I’d written way back when and fell in love again.

And so I’ve decided to revive it. Expand it. Make it better. And change the look so it tied in better with Arty Life. And since I was doing that, I needed to change the look of my art site, the one that’s still waiting for me to finish, I needed to tie ALL THREE of them together. You can get to any of them through the nav bar up there. Or the sidebar if I get around to it. They’re different sites with different looks. Different message. Different voice. But if I did my job right they’ll work together.

Check ’em out. And do let me know what you think. Here’s the link to YES.


Paintin’ Pants

“I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy painter.

I see by your outfit that you’re a cowboy painter too.

We see by our outfits that we are both cowboys painters.

If you get an outfit you can be a cowboy painter too!”

Smothers Brothers with a little ad libbing by moi.

Today I wore my paintin’ pants. And shirt. And sweatshirt. And because I was dressed for the occasion I painted. Or maybe I dressed for the occasion so I could paint. It’s one of those universal mysteries like the chicken and egg thing.

paintin' pants

This is a most flattering selfie, don’t you think? It’s the real deal, complete with pockets stuffed with tissues. A boatload of tissues. No, no, more than that–a shitload of tissues, which is A LOT. Because I have a cold and I draw the line (cliche AND arty pun in one sentence, 2 points!) I draw the line at wiping my nose on my sleeve. Unless I have to.


God bless me, I’m sneezing as I type this.

By the way, that’s Bean up there. He wants you to admire his Mom haircut. I relieved him of a good three inches of curly poodle fluff last night, proof I should not be left alone with scissors. DearDaughter says he now looks like one of those shivering waifs-in-a-cage in a 90 second Humane Society guilt-a-thon. I do believe she’s right.

I took Bean to the studio with me, along with his sister Sophie. They lasted about five minutes before I realized that was NOT a good idea. I could either paint or I could keep dogs out of trouble but I couldn’t do both. So I took them back home where they still got in trouble but I didn’t have to witness it…just clean it after the fact.

I decided to work on the piece I started last week. I wrote about it at the time and you can see the earlier work-in-progress photos here.

CONFESSION: I did NOT want to paint. I wanted to draw on the iPad. I LOVES me my iPad!

REVELATION: But once I actually began painting I remembered WHY I do this. Simple, really . . . because I can’t NOT do this. This. Is. Who. I. Am.

work in progress

And this is the painting where I left it last time. FYI: It’s acrylic on canvas, 24 by 24 inches.

work in progress

This is where I left it today. It’s still far from done but the open medium slows the drying time and I needed things to set up before I could do more layers. The light was changing, the painting was in the awkward middle stage and I had a cold.

It was definitely time to wash the brushes and close up shop for the day.

So I did.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings. Or maybe next week. This puppy needs to sit for a little while, till I stop whining and sneezing and get my paint mojo back.

Da Muse is telling me this might be a landscape. Who am I to argue….

What do you think? I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments below. And if you say something somewhat profound, like hello, I might even come over and chop your dog’s hair off groom your dog. (Rubs hands together with a maniacal cackle)

Or I might just sit here and type a reply and eat chocolate in your honor.