Deb’s 2008 Goals...Daily love, Play, & Self Care

Spiritual/Personal Growth
- connect with God daily through sitting meditation b/f and a/f sleep (5 count bubble meditation)
- Listen and do the Tony Robbins Personal Power Tapes
- Listen and do the Tony Robbins Power of Influence
- Listen to the aura color Pamela Oslie videos
- Finishing listening to the E-Myth
- ?Course in Miracles, Marianne Williamson
- ?The Julia Cameron Course with the dragon on the cover in my studio
- Thought awareness – practice equanimity, even when it’s hard
- Work on being positive and happy by choice
- Inquire about doing Tthe Blessing in Fiji with Matt and Ruth
- Esalen personal retreat – hiking/art/ compassionate communication class – ask Mum to come and watch Ruth

Health and Vitality
- weekly hike, swim, yoga, jog (wth Shan), pilates
- join a martial arts club class to really push myself – create some habits! (I joined a club today, can't wait to start training again!)

Marriage and Romance
- Read David Deida Books on love and Sex
- Plan an overnight for just the two of us each month
- Learn to communicate in a more compassionate and loving way to have my needs met and nurture Matt
- Possibly do Raiki class together with Peggy
- Inquire about a sexual intimacy workshop to take together.

Career (I get to CREAte ARt for a job!!!)
- Paint daily.
- Paint a Body of work: Pure Abstraction 20-40 large pieces on canvas
- Daily play in studio – essential – have something setup for pure fun with no product in mind. – practice pieces.
- Complete marketing plan and submit by Jan 15th
- Complete Attracting Perfect Customers 4 parts and add to marketing plan,

- finalize Vision & Mission
- Artist Statement
- Artist Bio
- New CMS website – submit contract, work with team, get it up and running
- Blog articles weekly (use to submit to mags/newspaper/other ex. Toastmaster publication)
- Once art work, brochure, and application are ready, Apply to 5 galleries listed in journal

- Keep working with Kelly to support each other in business as artsits
- Teach a volunteer class monthly for a local non profit
- Guerilla Buz School
- Weekly Toastmasters meetings
- Learn about hosting teleseminars
- Learn about recording teleseminars into podcasts

Tech Goals
- Back up all current files, Get idrive working, Start using Act for email, Get for email working

- Call M&D regularly on skype
- Compassion with Ruth, and patience (realize this will pass if it’s difficult)
- Plan one fun craft activity with Ruthie each week that we do together (get a book or ask for Shan M’s help with this) (this can include baking and stuff in the kitchen)
- Plan one fun outdoor outing with Ruthie each week ( bike in Goleta, picnic, SB Uni hills, pic nic up Rat canyon, waterfall near Solvang, others)
- Listening and supporting Matt – house clean & tidy, massages, dry cleaning and laundry, dinners (plan each week)
- trip to Van in new year with Ruth
- look into Waldorf School for Ruthie

Friends/Girlfriend connections
- connect with Sara (Macs mum) – possible friendship
- deepen friendship with Meg H.
- visit and walk with Jen WH in Van, touch base each Q
- explore the Seachelt area with Shan M., hike with K & S in Van, as well as the fiber festival (when is it?)
- get in touch with Heather V.
- do new years cards to everyone on my list I’d like to re-connect with including relatives (see journal)
- hike with Lisa while she’s still here in SB
- See Tanya Gee again in Van

Wealth and Prosperity
- Continue to learn how can we become better investors
- Continue to manage QK, personal and Deb Art finances weekly (Monday is Money Management Day)

- Hike portion of Pacific Crest Trail in California (Ask Shan McL if she’d be interested in doing this with me)
- Hike near/around/Sierra Nevada Mountains
- Hike near/around/on Mt. Shasta area
- Do an overnight backpacking trip
- Look into Sierra Club of Santa Barbara
- Do regularly weekly day hikes
- Family trips: 1. Santa Fe, NM – with intention to check out art galleries. 2. Drive up to Oregon - van camping with beach fires, beach exploration, hiking, walks, family time.

Art Avoidance

We all do it. There is a project, a dream, an idea that we’ve been working on for a while and it’s lost that beginning glamour stage. What it needs is just another small step and then another. In my case 5-10 minutes in the studio, just another layer, or forget the body of work the series I’m working on, just go in and play.

And yet somehow the paperwork has taken over the day and now I’m picking up toys and there is a small voice in my head that is saying

“ I thought we were going to go and play in the studio…?” and

“what about those 8 x 10” canvas pads you were going to play around with, no product goal, just pure fun?”

and yet somehow I ignore it and think about the garbage that needs to be taken out and the fact that it’s more than my turn to wash the dishes…..Thank God all the netflix movies are in the mail box because those suck me right in and there goes the whole evenings where some art could have happened….

I’m sure you’ve been here. Resistance, avoidance, procrastination.

So, how do we get around these culprits that steal our creativity?

My solution tonight will be Kaizen, one small step. I will go into my studio and just look at my paintings and perhaps think about the next layer. I will go in my studio and set up those little canvas pads 8 x, 10 pieces I’ve been meaning to play around with and have them ready for when I am wiling to dive in a little. And there will be no other expectations – just a look and a small set up.

Anything bigger – a bigger to do list, plan, idea, will set up of my amygdala. The small pea sized thing in my brain responsible for fight or flight and the reason why so many of us stop short of taking the next step in our project, towards our dream. To by pass the fight or flight reaction the only way is to take such a teeny timy small step in the direction of your success that the amygdala will not even notice. The idea will go straight to your cortex, you’ll pass GO and collect $200. Yes, you will unfreeze and defeat the resistance, avoidance, and procrastination because the small idea is not so scary.

We must stop overwhelming ourselves and setting us up for failure.

I must stop overwhelming myself and setting myself to feel distraught and avoiding the studio – the one place where time disappears and I am one with God and where life makes sense.

So off I go now, just to take a look. Just to consider that next little step.

I send you Small steps…

good night


SMIGs is back due to incredible popularity with the acronym and concept. Thank you Vicky Nathan, KMCC Coach in training for your kind words and I'm so glad, dear reader, you find value in this. Shirley Anderson, thank you for refering Vicky this way. Love to you both and all the new KMCC Coaches!

SMIGs is s a ritual I do every evening, yes, even during this dreadful flu - the gratitude part made me feel a bit better (hence the previous blog). This is a ritual about paying attention, cultivating awareness in the moment, and honoring all the big and little pieces - successes- of our daily life.

Simply, SMIGs stands for: Success, Magic Moments, Intentions, & Gratitude. The little ‘s’ at the end reminds me to keep it small , simple and to take small steps ! This exercise brings you into the now and let’s us see what we’ve done as well as honoring the beauty in the little moments of our day that are worth remembering.

here's my SMIGs for today...

Success – Walked to the accupucturist and got herbs and a treatement for this flu - self care! Got in the studio this morning while Ruthie was sleeping and worked on several paintings - divine.

Magic moments – painting (as always), making a blanket and sofa cushion fort for Ruthie, meeting a new neighbour - Shane- and talking about making a short video about art, healing, feng shui and colour. Eating homemade soup and pesto pasta with Matt at the kitchen table.

Intentions for tommorow– Do financial paperwork for business and personal, process health insurance paperwork for my daughter. Make a point of playing in the studio - use the 8x10 canvas pads! Stay warm, light exersice.

Gratitude – Matt's homemade soup, Lui, childcare this evening, more nextflix movies, Jack's email :), 4 comments on a previous blog! Jill Badonsky's work to support creativity.

You could make this SMIGs ritual simpler and write just one thing for each section. I'm comfy with is so I tend to write a lot. But if I am presenting the idea to a creativity student I would suggest keeping things small, like a small success could be that I put out my paints, paper and brushes (a nice small step towards painting) and magic could be looking at a piece of art online that I admire and that motivates me to paint, and intentions could be that I'm going to get the brushes wet and put a small dot of paint on that paper, and gratitude could be that I'm thankful to have the resources, time, support and physical abilityi to even consider doing this creative task ahead of me.

Best, Deb

What I'm grateful for

Two weeks and counting down with the flu. My girl Ruthie, Angie (kitty) and I passed out at home on the bed. Here's what I'm grateful for....

  • Angie baby kitty

  • kitty purrs

  • Ruthie sleeping...quiet house

  • salmon dinner & salad with my favourite caeser dressing

  • all the art at Artamo gallery that Jack brought out for me to see this week - especially the Michael Moon' s work on paper...ohhh la la (THank God for art galleries when you're not up to much else, they are like an elixir for the soul!)

  • this flu ending (anytime pleassseee)

  • my studio 'heaven on earth'

  • Peter's phone call on xmas - gave me a big smile ear to ear

  • Netflix movies!

  • hot honey and lemon in a big ceramic mug (thanks mum!)

  • mum and dad- I miss you guys

  • Vancouver

  • Jenn WH and walks in the rain

  • unrestrained bawling after watching a sappy movie

  • re-arranging furniture

  • knowing that if I can never paint this good again I'll keep doing it and have fun in the process

  • water colour crayons

  • my journal

  • sencha green tea from Trader Jo's

  • sleep

  • "time out"

  • warm home

Why do art collectors buy art?

Why do we buy art? Until this week, I don’t think I would have fully been able to answer this question. I have been on the side of the fence of selling the art, and have not taken a moment and asked myself ; “Why are people buying my art?”. This is a good question to ask yourself as an artist, or if you are selling anything for that matter.

I now have my own answers to this question because on Wednesday December 12th I became an art collector! Do you remember the photo of Jack Mohr, owner of Artamo Gallery downtown Santa Barbara, and his wife standing in front of a Michelle William’s painting I posted a while back in a past blog? Well, this painting is now hanging beautifully in my home office/dining room! Yes, I bought the painting. Now I get to ask myself: Why did I buy this painting?

Enter the mind of an art collector…

Need I tell you I’m thrilled? I tried hanging it in three separate locations in the house until I found the exact perfect wall. It’s funny because after going through this process of picking the right place, I checked back with the Bagua (feng Shui) and it turns out the colours of this painting work perfectly for the location I ended up placing it. I feel like a kid re-arranging my room! So much fun! (Come to think of it, I remember a wonderful couple in Manhattan Beach - Keri and Zach Estrin - who commisioned me to paint a large 4' x 4' heart painting for their home and when I visited I would say they had a similar joyful excitement for this piece and finding the right place for it in their home)

So why did I buy this piece of art? Was it because it’s super fantastic and I love it? Yes, I love, love, love the piece. I stare at it when I eat – I come back to it and touch it during the day. I could meditate on it regularly. I love the textures, the colours, the composition, the design. I love the confidence I perceive that she paints with from her unique painting style. But it’s more than that. I feel a deep connection to the artist and I think that is what made me decide to buy a piece of her work.

Here is a photo my 4 year old took last night with me beside my 'untitled' Michelle Williams piece. Lucky me.

In Summary I bought this piece for the following reasons:

  • The purchase bolstered a sense of identity as an art collector and an art supporter
  • The purchase enabled me to support an artist living her dream
  • This painting adds beauty to my home and energize me to look at
  • I feel deeply connected to the gallery
  • I feel deeply connected to the artist
  • I am intrigued with the artist’s process and techniques and seeing her work up close and on a daily basis gives me new insights to apply and further develop my own work
  • I am excited to be able to contribute to the success of the artist and gallery
  • There is a tremendous rush and excitement in buying this piece– this was a first time event – the rush of making a big purchase
  • I love, love, love the painting!!!!

As well as getting a deeper understanding of why collectors buy my art, this experience has made me think long and hard about why I am in the business of creating and selling my work and why I sell my work. Stay tuned for my thoughts on why I do sell my work.

Meanwhile, I would LOVE to hear from art collectors. Misty…I know you’re reading this and are a collector of mine (Thank you! For reading and collecting my work – actually as I write this I’m thinking we could show our readers the photo of your son Zach connecting with this little heart painting with your permission?) I’d love to hear from you why you bought that art piece in the first place.

Let’s hear from art collectors…why do you buy art?

Scottsdale Arizona trip

I had a great little four day trip to Scottsdale, Arizona to check out Scottsdale galleries and have some down time at the Desert Ridge Marriot Resort Spa – a recommended experience for those in search of an extravagant dose of self care. My husband was in Scottsdale concurrently participating in a support role for the Tony Robbins Date with Destiny program.

Most of the contemporary galleries are located on Marshall street downtown Scottsdale. I spent a day and went through each gallery with the intent to enjoy the art and also see where my work would make a good fit. Are the staff friendly? Is the gallery somewhere I would be proud to have my art displayed and sold? These are some things I asked myself during this day.

My favorite gallery by far was the Marshall gallery due to its beautiful wood floors, its open and welcoming display space, and its friendly staff, in particular Tyson Snow who as well as being a fine artist rep is also an exquisite realistic figure drawing artist. His works are inspired from the people and images he sees in Africa on his trips there and look like photographs but are hand drawn in while pencil on black paper, truly powerful work. Tyson has four kids, one of them the same age as my Ruthie (4 ½ ). Hence we resonated on many levels and I hope to see him again!

I also got a chance to meet up with award winning artist John Michael whom I met via the online class Promote your Art with Alyson Stanfield. John and I met at a Starbucks near to downtown Scottsdale and chatted about art, cats, and finding balance between promoting your art, doing your art and living your life. John is a passionate artist and a kind and loving man with a big heart. I know we will be keeping in touch to support each other as we evolve in ourselves and our art. The photo is of John and myself.

Acrylic and Collage Aqua Media Experimental and Energizing Workshop

Acrylic and Collage Aqua Media Experimental and Energizing Workshop
5 day workshop taught by Lana Grow March 3-7 2008 Goleta, CA

You will learn;
· How to layer acrylic paint as transparent, translucent and opaque water mediums,
· How to achieve line, depth, and texturing in your work using resist, lifting, staining, printing and scraping techniques,
· How to use collage transfers, stamping, gold leaf and other experimental techniques in conjunction with acrylic layering
· Color mixing and design elements
· Preparing collage papers and incorporating them to your work

Each participant will receive a binder complete with class notes, references, tid bits, quotes and more from Lana.

This class is geared for intermediate and advanced painters, experience water media & acrylics painters, or the open-minded non-intimidated beginner painter.

March 3-7, 2008, Monday - Friday 9-4
Goleta Valley Community Center
Workshop is only $489. Visa/MasterCard/Checks accepted
Registration contact Deb Chaney phone (805) 403-9870.

Please note - We expect the event to fill up quickly. All of Lana’s workshops consistently overfill with a wait list – she teaches across the US. Space is extremely limited as each participant is required to have her own table.

For out of towners, group discount rates are currently being negotiated at a local hotel TBA.
Hot Coffee and Tea service as well as light snacks will be included.
Daily catered lunch by Silver Greens will be offered as a daily option for participants.

Lana L. Grow is a signature member of the American Watercolor Society (AWS), Red River Watercolor Society, Society of Layerists in Multi Media and the International Society of Experimental Artists. Her award winning work is included in Splash 8, Finding the Artist With In, The Art of Layering: Making Connections, and Creative Composition and Design. She is currently being interviewed for a feature on her painting techniques for Artist’s Magazine. She has won numerous awards in International and National juried shows.

Essential to my painting process is combining layers of color, line, texture and collage.” – Lana Grow

Art biz buddy

For the last three months I’ve been participating in an online blog class called Promote your Art, facilitated by Alyson Stanfield. The course was and excellent introduction to many ways and aspects artist can ‘make it happen’ for themselves out there in the world – whether in person or online. I also had a chance to virtually network with artists from all over the US and Canada. The biggest concept I got from this class was how everyone you know can be an ally to your success. That it’s imperative artist support each other. Nine times out of ten, we learned it’s who you know that gets you into that gallery, that show, or whatever you have your sights on.

[Talking about networking from this Promote your Art class, I’ll be in Scottsdale, Arizona next week to check out the art scene and also meet a fellow online class mate; John Michael Kearny! Looking forward to giving you the scoop on the contemporary abstract art in Scottsdale.]

To keep the momentum going after the 'Promote Your Art Class' I serindipisly hooked up a fellow artist whom I recently met via toastmasters and started meeting weekly to work together and support each other from an art business standpoint. We connectd immediatley at toastmasters because Kelly talked about how she'd recently attended the internationally acclaimed Sculptural Object and Functional Art Expo where she went to do some research on galleries who would be a good fit for her fine art jewelry and precious sculpture. I was intrigued and spoke to her after the meeting. The rest is history, we’ve been meeting weekly ever since.

A little bit about Kelly Johnson …After her leaving a technical job in 2006 which included engineering applications and manufacturing with precious metals used in the electronics industry, Kelly chose to apply her passion for metal and fire as a full time professional artist. (Photos of Kelly and her work). Painting in metal with fire is an exciting process, full of a directed kind of chaos with the beauty and science of the materials revealed, and reborn into personal adornment and object. Some of her material is derived from reclaimed unwanted mainstream jewelry and electronics waste, reducing the impact on the planet.

Kelly and I meet every week and discuss our art business and making art, support each other, and work on various aspects of our art businesses. .The last three weeks I’ve been working on a marketing plan and Kelly has been fine tuning a business plan she initially wrote working with women’s economic ventures. This week Kelly was doing a mail out to collectors, contacts and prospective future collectors with beautiful cards she recently had printed with her work on the front.

I can tell you that the benefits are unlimited in teaming up with someone that is in a similar place and supporting each other. Thank you to Kelly for being my art biz buddy.

What support do you have in place for your art and the business of your art? Do you know of any programs or people that help artists? Please do share in the comments section.

2 Opportunities for Artists

The Coffee Cat is looking for a new artist to hang their work on their walls at their Santa Barbara location at 1201 Anacapa St, Santa Barbara, CA on the corner of Anapamu. Rumor has it the last artist who showed their sold a few pieces, Congrats! Their number is (805) 962-7164.

The multifaith action society, whose mission is to promote intereiligious understanding and cooperation, is now accepting applications (art pieces) for their 2009 "Sacred Joy" themed annual callendar.

15 minutes of play a day!

I'm in a bit of a lull with my paintings. Ok, not just a bit, a total fricken, need a break, had-enough-for-now type of lull. My whole being is craving a break. I feel tired when I enter the studio....

We've all been through it. It's normal to have breaks in our creativity.

I think the biggest fear that comes up when I acknowledge and embrace the lull is: can I go back and paint at the level I was at when I stopped? Will I be able to do it again?

Welcome to the uncertainty of being an artist. There is no answer to this, only to go forth and stay committed to the path.

At the beginning of the long weekend, still not accepting the fact that I needed to take a break and I went back to the studio thinking I could force myself into some painting...I did a short meditation and asked this new series of work what it needed. I was still pushing.

The work told me loud and clear; "Give us space, trust the process, have some patience, we're coming in our own time, you have all the time you need to bring us to completion - we'll get there in our own good time!" Yes, this message appeared in large cursive writing in my studio journal, loud and clear.

Closing up my studio, I decided I would read a new book in the area of creativity. I packed up my daughter, the stroller, beach towel, chairs, buckets, snacks, water, and sunscreen off to the beach . Yes, this is the delights of living in Southern California in November - you can go to the beach!

Fifteen minutes of play a day, this is the gift I received from the first chapter of Creating a Life Worth Living - a practical course in career design for artists by Carol Lloyd. Carol asks the reader to commit to a ritual at the same time each day – to do something playful every day. By play she means something that there is no product or goal associated with. Something that is pretty much mindless, that you could do just as easily ten years from now. Something FUN!

Some examples of 15 minute play dates with your inner artist child could be banging on bongo drums, doodling in a journal, dancing, sitting on your rooftop watching the sun rise, drawing mandalas, walking a labyrinth, singing improvisational melodies (remember like when you were a kid?) meditation, walking, journal writing, yoga, and gardening.

Why play? Why take the time to be non-productive, have fun? First off, Carol says first that committing to a small ritual like this every morning teaches us to be commitment to our creativity. The empty space created by ‘being’ in the moment opens up our minds to new ideas, inspiration. It’s this act of committing a seemingly mindless action that creates empty space for our imagination to blossom and grow. By doing it daily, It also provides us with structure and self –discipline which will strengthen our imagination by instituting emptiness into each day.

I think David Lloyd puts it best in his interview in the first chapter of Creating a Life Worth Living when he says:
“Adults have a hard time making art, and kids don’t. You give a kid a bunch of coloring books, construction paper, and all crap kids love to screw around with, and they just start making things. Adults go in their studio and they have all this horseshit in their heads about what it’s like to be an artist, whether artists have a big skylight and a fancy studio or whether they live in a little crummy place: whether it’s okay t to have a cappuccino in the middle of the day or they should be smoking a cigarettes and drinking beer; whether they should have a show or shouldn’t have a show…it just pile on so thick it’s no wonder so many people get stuck.”

Why not give it a try? Lately I'm so cranky from producing, producing, and more producing (writing a marketing plan, worrying about what the heck I'm gonna blog about next week, re-writing my artist statement, updating my website, organizing a workshop for another artist... ) why not remember what it's like to create without expectations? Do something just for the fun of it?

I’ll keep you posted…

I would Love to hear about what you do to play - how about those Kaizen Muse Coaches - what are you recommending to burned out artists such as myself?

The “comment lines" are always open ! Can’t wait to hear how YOU play.

You do play, don't you? :-)

New Work - Pure Abstraction

Pure Abstration Series

© Deb Chaney 2007
Mixed Media, Acrylics on Canvas
16” x 16” ready to hang with 1” painted edges

Feng Shui Recommendation: Knowledge & Self Development. Place this piece in the left hand corner of your home/office or the room you are decorating to cultivate your knowledge and self development.

$380.00 USD MasterCard/Visa accepted
(805) 403-9870

Elected Member to the Society of Canadian Artists

Last Friday I received a surprise phone called from Linda Hobly, SCA Vice President of Membership for the Society of Canadian Artists. She called to tell me I was accepted through the jury process as an elected member of the Society of Canadian Artsits - SCA. I am honored and was a bit shocked from the phone call. Thank you Linda for the call and also to the jurers for the helpful feedback as well as encouraging comments on my work.

To celebrate I subscribed myself to three magazines that were on my wish list; Art News, American Artist, and Modern Painters. I’d been meaning to get these subscriptions for a while and this moment seemed like an opportune time. Yay!

The Jury process consisted of submitting five images of my recent work for which I submitted 5 of my favorite pieces from my Raw Expression body of work from this year. I was also asked numerous questions in an application form. Between you and me, I spent 3-4 weeks pondering those questions and really giving them deep consideration. Here’s what they asked and what I said…

What is your vision concerning your work?

My personal vision is to playfully and compassionately illuminate the artist within myself and others. I live this myself by painting daily, practicing, exploring, and always learning. I see myself contributing to the world as an artist, with many bodies of work. As well, I see myself teaching others - not only in abstract mixed media painting techniques - but in the realm of creativity and its process in general. I see my work in galleries throughout the world, in collections throughout the world. I see myself involved and contributing in some way to a growing movement of people understanding the link of healing and creativity. Lastly, as part of my vision, I would like to inspire and mentor younger and beginning artists just as I am being mentored currently by several established artists.

How much of your work is produced independently or with guidance?

I produce all my work independently in my studio at home.

What have you done to develop or improve your work?

2007 Promote Your Art, online class with Alyson Stanfield, MA
2007 Lana Grow, Aquamedia & Collage: Experimental and Energizing, Peninsula Art School, WI. 2007 Nancy Reyner, Encaustics Effects with Acrylic. Santa Barbara, CA
2007 Independent Study, Kanuga Water Color Retreat, Asheville, N. Carolina
2007 Ann Baldwin, Painting and Collage, Santa Barbara, CA
2006 Bob Burridge, Basics in Abstract Acrylic Painting, Burbank, CA
2002-2006 Adolfo Girala; Personal Instruction in Mixed Media and Acrylics
2005 Rick Stitch; Abstract Painting, Santa Barbara City College Adult Ed
2005 Karen Browdy; Collage and Mixed Media, Santa Barbara City College Adult Ed
2002 Introduction to Watercolors, El Camino College Community Education
1998 Ron Mulvuy; Beginning Acrylic Painting, Nelson, BC, Canada.

What contributions have you made to the artistic community?

· 2008 – Currently, I am organizing a workshop for Lana Grow: Experimental and Energizing; mixed media and collage, 5 days, March 5-9,2008. To be held at the Goleta Valley Community Center.
· 2006-7 Class Facilitator of "Live your Creative Dream" using the 9 Modern Day Muses and a body guard by Jill Badonsky (similar to the Artists Way, but more fun)
· 2007 - Working as a Creativity Coach in training with the Kaizen Muse Creativity Coaching Association.
· Organized the 2007 Nancy Reyner, Encaustics Effects with Acrylic workshop here in Santa Barbara.
· I write a regular - bi-weekly online column with a focus to share contemporary abstract painting techniques using collage, acrylics, and mixed media as well as explore and share my life as a working artist; studio habits, and creative inspiration.

What professional memberships and affiliations to you hold?

Member, Malibu Art Association
Associate Member, SLMM - The Society of Layerists in Multi-Media
Member, The International Society of Experimental Artists (ISEA).
Member, Collage Artists of America
Member, International Society of Acrylic Painters

Major exhibitions, galleries, awards.

July – August 2007 Solo Exhibit; ‘Raw Expression’, Sojourner Cafe, Santa Barbara, CA
December 2005 – December 2006; Santa Barbara Weekly Arts and Crafts Show
September - October 2003 Solo Exhibit; ‘Hearts’ Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, Redondo Beach, CA
June 2003 Exhibitor; Leche League International Conference, Costa Mesa, CA
May - October 2003 Solo Exhibition; The Coffee Attic, Redondo Beach, CA
April 2003 Exhibitor; Annual Ron Cawdry Springfest Carnival, Redondo Beach, CA
February 2003 Solo Exhibit; Java Man Café, Hermosa Beach, CA
October 2002 Exhibitor; Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair, Manhattan Beach, CA
1986, Sophie Clapham Memorial Award in Recognition of Excellence in Fine Arts

Why do you want to become a member of the SCA?

To involve myself with the Canadian art scene and expose myself as Canadian artist. To contribute to art in Canada in terms of my physical art itself but also in the spirit of inspiration, creativity, and mixed media painting. I see myself teaching internationally and would love to give workshops to SCA members in my area of painting expertise. To promote, support and encourage other artists within the organization.

Other pertinent information about your artistic career?

Professional full time artist since 2002. Author of The Little Inspiration Book, Ideas to Empower Women (Trafford Publishing, June 2002) and a contributing author to Sand in My Bra & Other Misadventures (Traveler’s Tales, April 2003). Regular online writings about art, creativity and mixed media abstract techniques at.

Please present a short biography for SCA use.

Deb Chaney paints large multi layered mixed media abstract paintings on canvas and paper using brushes, palette knives, and rags. Her most recent body of work entitled Raw Expression, takes her work to a new level in expressing her deep passion for painting. Deb is currently exploring several bodies of work on both canvas and paper each with its own theme and inspiration. She intends to submit her work to galleries in 2008. Raised in Vancouver, BC she currently lives in Santa Barbara, CA with her husband and daughter. She has sold over 50 paintings in Canada and the U.S.

Josh Serafin - Expressionist Oil painter

Last week I was walking through the local outdoor mall with my 4 year daughter. We were on our way to Claire’s to buy some princess accessories for her best friend’s birthday present. On the way to the boutique/kids jewelry store we walked by the weekly outdoor art show and some vivid art work caught my eye.

What I liked was the feeling of passion, and intense vivid colors that gave the art a uniqueness, in that most of the art walks around here are all about landscapes, and well, more landscapes. It was refreshing to see something with some pizzaz and attitude, even some abstraction!

I approached expressionist oil painter Josh Serafin and asked him if he would be wiling to answer some questions for the interview you can read below. What I admire about Josh is the way he acknowledged everyone that walked by his booth in a friendly but non-pushy way. Since getting to know him I must say I admire him all the more for being a full time working artist and supporting himself and his family doing what he loves.

Here’s what Josh had to say….

1. Why did you choose to pursue a career as a professional working artist?
When I was in college I enrolled in classes that steered me toward a business degree. The first week of classes I realized I would be going through college as someone else (so to speak). So I took the plunge into my passion and attempted to go for what was calling. An Art degree wasn’t the most career oriented / money making occupation, but it sounded amazing.

2. What is your ultimate vision of success for yourself as a professional working artist?
For me success as an artist is being able to produce what I know and love and get paid doing it. By doing so I’m striking the chord of emotion with the buyer/viewer. This only motivates me to paint more so I can keep filling people’s walls with positive energy.

3. What do you like most and least about this work of making and selling your art?
Going from a blank surface to a satisfied finished work is the most exhilarating part for me. Taking what’s stored in my mind to a visual element is what it’s all about. Having my own schedule is a plus. And watching someone walk a way with my work smiling is an unforgettable high. My least favorite part is what shows to book and the inconstancy of cash flow. I try hard not to let money get in the way, but when you have a wife, house, two daughters, and like to do things, it’s almost impossible for it not to once in a while. Another hard aspect is finding other ways to use your imagery (paintings) as other income opportunities. Lastly, at times just selling your art can be a tough gig.

4. What else do you do, along with art fairs, to sell and promote your work?
Until recently I had my Studio/Gallery for 5 years in a low traffic area here in Huntington Beach. I would hold 2 solo shows per year. Every show has a theme and I present 10-15 new paintings each show along with my growing collection of prints. I have a live guitar player, wine, sushi platter, cheese, fruit, etc. Usually I would get a feature in a paper or two which would help bring mostly locals. Also I mail out a few hundred cards from the mailing list I’ve compiled through my outdoor shows. Another way I promote is being on various sites throughout web, including my own. I have a company named Kava which has recently used a few of my images on their t-shirts. But most of all nothing beats word of mouth.

5. Do you also have gallery representation?
Pacific Surf Gallery in Cardiff by the Sea exhibits my work. Peter is the owner and his small quant Gallery is a must visit. It’s a very unique Gallery in the fact that it specializes in Beach/Surf Culture. The energy is far from stuffy.

7. If you listen to music while you paint, what’s you current favorite?
The Doors have and always will be a favorite. However I listen to a bundle of tunes. Anywhere from my buddy Jeremy Snyder to Miles Davis. What pumps me up are good lyrics and crisp music.

8. What’s your art studio feel like, look like? Do you ever have studio visitors?
When collectors and or visitors enter my studio much of the same reaction comes with a action painter and thrive through emotion and literal energy swings. Therefore causing paint to land where ever it pleases. I also use the big tubes of oil and various jars of medium that congregate like a work of art of their own. In fact I recently put together a five year pallet with finished used paint tubes, brushes that have turned to nubs, broken pallet knifes and whatever other tools I use to get the job done. I dammar varnished the lay out and the piece represents a five year duration from my studio. It I’ll be up for grabs during my winter 2008 show.

The photos in this blog are from Josh's studio!
To see Josh’s art visit his website at
You can contact Josh Serafin at

New Work - One Small World

One Small Word
© Deb Chaney 2007
Mixed Media, Acrylics on Canvas
16” x 16” ready to hang with 1” painted edges

Feng Shui Recommendation: Health & Vitality. Place this piece in the centre of your home or office walls to support inner health and vitality in your life.

$380.00 USD MasterCard/Visa accepted
(805) 403-9870

Last weekend Saturday morning I submitted a new piece entitled “One Small World” (shown above) to the Small Images show at the Atkinson Gallery at Santa Barbara City College. The ingathering was packed with a line up of artists submitting their small pieces also. I took a peek into the gallery and saw easily over a hundred small art pieces lined up against the walls. Waiting for jury.

Late Saturday afternoon I came back to pick up my piece and be told I was not accepted, me, and a lot of other artists left with their work. The gallery had a few clusters left of small art leaning along the walls. I’ll be curious to go see what art was chosen and perhaps glean some answers as to why those pieces were chosen over mine. The only criteria I was aware of was that the art piece had to be 18” x 18” or smaller and recently hand made by the artist.

We all get rejected if we take risks. Is it failure? Was it failure that Edison made hundreds and hundreds of attempts before he created the light bulb? Surely we would all agree it was just ‘what it took’ to get him to the end product – the light bulb. No, I think the failure is if we stop because we don’t get it on the first try, or the second try….

It’s also why enjoying the process, relishing the moments we’re in the studio creating are so important – because maybe we won’t be achieving the gallery show we were hoping for but maybe the real gift is who we are becoming in the process of creating that art. Not that we’re giving up on that gallery show!

I also received a great gift in learning from the Atkinson gallery curator who told me it was best to sign the back of my canvas painting in charcoal and spray it with a fixative instead of signing it with a jiffy market as I’d been doing. He explained that jiffy markers have been known to leak right through to the front of the canvas and their acidity also begin to deteriorate the work. Good tip.

The Small Images show started today - November 9th – and runs until Dec 17th. I’m going to go check it out and see what else I learn. Maybe I’ll get a better feel for what the jurer, Alison Saar , was looking for.

Great painting instructors in mixed media, collage and acrylics - part II

© Deb Chaney 2006
Mixed Media, Acrylics, Collage on Canvas
24” x 24” ready to hang with 1” painted edges
Feng Shui Recommendation: Fame and Reputation. Place this piece directly across from the front entrance of a room of your home.

$850.00 USD MasterCard/Visa accepted
(805) 403-9870
Prints available soon at

Here is another one of my favorite mixed media, collage and acrylic painting teachers, what I liked most about her teaching, how she’s influenced me, and what about her work that has intrigued and inspired me.

Ann Baldwin

What I liked most about Ann’s teaching is her humor – she’s British! She is so willing to share her techniques and materials and herself in the class room. Her workshop was relaxed and a lot of fun.

Ann got me really excited about finding intriguing pieces of paper and incorporating them into paintings. After taking her workshop earlier this year I decided to get organized with all the neat papers I’d been gathering and made alphabetically labeled folders so I can grab what I needed when I am in the middle of or starting a painting.

Ann also introduced me to the wonderful rubber shaper tool for writing into thin layer of acrylic paint mixed with polymer medium. As well, Anne’s teachings also influenced me by learning to incorporate C’aran Dash water soluble oil pastels into collage paintings. Thank you Ann!

What intrigues and inspires me most about Anne’s work is her use of the modern golden liquid acrylic colors in layering and glazing techniques to create a mystical blended look that layers paint with collage elements. I Love her style! I always remember being so intrigued the first time I saw one of her painting at Artamo gallery and looked at the writing and drawing into the paint. Her choice of colors; deep red and turquoise blue greens and how she integrate and combines them is wonderful. I like how often her painting has a subtle theme, intention, or message that unifies it.

If you can’t make a class but still would like to learn from Ann, she has a excellent instructional DVD with Creative Catalyst available.

Great painting instructors in mixed media, collage and acrylics

All We Need Is Love
© Deb Chaney 2006
Mixed Media, Acrylics, Collage on Canvas
36” x 36” ready to hang with 1” painted edges
Feng Shui Recommendation: (creativity/children) Hang this painting in the Children and Creativity section of your home if you intend to invite more creativity or children into your life. From the entrance of your room or home, walk to the middle of the room and then turn right, that wall space will be the Children and Creativiy region.

- $1,850.00 USD MasterCard/Visa accepted
(805) 403-9870
Prints available at

Recently I am in jury process for membership to the Society of Canadian Artists (SCA) with the intent to spread my wings and become more involved with the Canadian art scene. As part of the application process I was asked about my art education and teachers I’d had along the way.

I’ve had some fantastic teachers and many of them I call and email regularly as they continue to act as mentors to me. I am so grateful for these teachers and cheerleaders that have all been a part of helping me to where I am today with my art. Thank you!

In this week I will share with you some of my favorite mixed media, collage and acrylic painting teachers, what I liked most about their teaching, how they’ve influenced me, and if pertinent, what about their work has intrigued and inspired me.

Lana Grow

Lana is extremely organized as a teacher. She comes to class with a clear curriculum and gives each student a full binder with all the notes, materials, techniques, resources, quotes and more that she will teach in class and some things she may not get to but are helpful.
Her workshops are 5 days long which really give you time to get involved in your paintings and learn the various techniques she’s teaching.

Lana is easy going, supportive, compassionate, loving, and encouraging. She will, as needed, veer from her plan to meet her students needs. She knows a truck load of methods and techniques in mixed media, collage, and acrylic painting and never holds back in class. You ask and she will give you 100%. I call her every now and then with questions to which she always delightfully answers! Thank you Lana!

I would say Lana’s influenced me most via the finishing techniques she showed me at her Energizing and Experimental Media workshop I took with her in Door County, WI at the Peninsula Art School. She taught me various ways to look at a painting and see whether it’s finished and then if it’s not feeling complete, she showed me tons and tons of tricks to get it to that finished place.

What I love about her work are all the layers of intrigue and mystery. I took her workshops because I kept looking at her art thinking: “how did she do that?” I love the sense of wonder her work imparts and I wanted to learn this too.
Just home from Vancouver and settling back in, unpacking, cleaning house and ventured a peak into to the studio. First morning back and I wasn’t intending to do any work. Just take a look, see what I had in process. So one thing led to another and off I was painting again…just like that.

Well, there were a few things – tricks - in place that made it happen, I want to share those with you.

The first big trick is called “bridging”. The concept is that you leave your materials and project out in a way that allows you to come back in and start working again easily. For me I have a central place in my studio where all the basics are located and easily accessible.

Take a look at the photo at the bottom of this blog. I use a lot of stuff, so there is, well, a lot of stuff always out on the counter next to the sink in my studio. But the basics would apply to most painters – paper towels, water, garbage can, brushes, tools, current painting palette, gels and mediums ( if applicable), paper and notepad. They are on the counter and easily accessible purposefully, ready to go.

When all the tools are available the minute I get an idea for the next step of the painting, not much gets in the way between me reaching for paint, brush and water…so it’s easy to get started and back in the swing of things. I would say bridging is synonymous with ‘being organized’.

Another not so tricky trick is having good studio habits. I usually paint in the mornings, or at least go see what I’m doing to get ideas flowing. So, it’s no surprise really that even a day after getting back from vacation I’m back working because it’s my usual habit to go to the studio in the morning.

Lastly, I have a little framed reminder list in my studio about getting back into a project when we may be feeling a little resistant, slugging, unenthused, blocked, or out of touch with the work ..

Deb’s getting started shortlist

  1. Look what I’ve done already!

  2. Put materials that night before.

  3. Schedule 15 minutes the same time teach day for the project

  4. Set small goals or intention and write this on a sticky note next to the project materials. (ex. Glaze with green gold)

  5. Journal about what I’m working on and where I’m stuck and where I could use some help to move forward.

  6. Set low expectations for myself – today I’ll do a shitty rough draft, an imperfect under layer with lost of mistakes.

Supplies ready to go - buckets, soap, brushes, paints (current colour palette), mediums, pens, pencils, palette knives, garbage, folded paper towels, water spray, alcohol spray, sponse, sand, notebook.

Painting Inspiration from Quilting Books

Ice Blue
© Deb Chaney 2006
Mixed Media, Acrylics on Canvas
24” x 36” ready to hang with 1” painted edges

Feng Shui Recommendation: Place this piece in the back left hand corner as you enter a room or home to activate further self cultivation and knowledge.

$1,275.00 USD MasterCard/Visa accepted
Ph (805) 403-9870
Prints soon available at

I met another artist at the First Thursday Art night downtown Santa Barbara several weeks ago who asked me how I got my painting inspiration. Well, I get inspiration from a zillion places but I thought I’d share some books with you that I’ve found particularly inspiring and supportive to abstract mixed media and collage painting lately.

Check out these quilting books, they have phenomenal images! It seems that quilting and painting have more in common that I would have guessed….

Creative Quilts by Sandra Meech

Creative Quilting: The journal quilt Project By Karey Patterson Bresenhan, ED

Ok, well this book is not a quilting book but it’s got such wonderful images and collage ideas I had to share it with you: 1000 Artist Trading Cards Patricia Bolton

What books have you come across that inspires your art? I'd love to hear from you in the comments section in this blog. Thank you.