Goals for 2010

2010 Goals. I have been setting goals now for over 10 years and often, although it is a little scary putting out 'there' posting as personal as this to the world, it motivates me to keep my commitments. So, that said, here it is, what is important for me to create, enjoy, do, and become in this new year - 2010. Deb.

Art Career

Have the www.debchaney.com website up and running -- Jan 25, 2010, it's up!

Have a studio and go there on a regular basis – create a working studio schedule --- YES!

Finish the commission painting I was asked to do and present 3 options to the client

Teach an art class – VSB or Vancouver Community Centers --- curriculum submitted...

Get my artwork out on exhibit in Vancouver -- am applying to the East end Culture Crawl for 2010. yesssss!!!

Illuminate the Artist Within™ (ITAW)

  • Product development- Complete and publish Creativity Cards, ideas, tricks and secrets to ignite and support creativity. ---- 3 rounds of editing done, now in design phase Jan 30, 2010. Mock up cards, round one, complete (Feb 2010)
  • Create vision board on foam core for the ultimate concept of ITAW– teaching, speaking, retreats, products

Give a public information talk about the benefits of creativity and being in creative process at a local library or other public venue.

Look over what I've completed and the requirements for my Kaizen Muse Creativity Coaching Certification and talk to Jill Badonsky about finishing this up.

Try something new in art making – silkscreening? guitar playing? --- went to a block printing demo.


Do a yoga class at least once a week and research a yoga instructor class.

Hike, beach walk, swim, regularly. -- been riding my bike to work

Stretch and do basic yoga and muscle toning daily in the morning! Yes!

Personal Growth/spirit

Do the FORUM landmark weekend seminar - copmleted Jan 2010. Just signed up for Advanced Course, with my Dad!

Look into Vancouver Toastmasters groups to begin to practice speaking in public with the vision of becoming comfortable public speaking.

Do the 7 laws of spiritual success for children with Ruthie (for kids) Deepak Chopra’s book, lay out a daily plan


Grow and meet more friends and have a circle here in Vancouver

Deep gratitude for friends I have now, both new and old

Love myself more and more, no matter what, every day.

Have the confidence to be myself completely with no concern as to what others may think or judge, act as if I’ve already died, life fully


Find peace in my relationship with my parents.

Be firm and loving with Ruthie.


Be active and meditative in nature on a regular basis both alone and with friends….





Art openings

Plays and movies

Make jewelry

Try something new – dodge ball?


Meet with Leyla’s husband, make a budget, and look at it vs my spending monthly - Met with Leyla and Joe Last Saturday and talked about setting up an auto savings account, now I gotto go and set it up ! (Feb 2010)

Save $ on every pay check, - set up auto transfer to savings

Save regularly for retirement

Continue learning about money and investing

If you made it this far and are inspired to do your own goals (yes!) Here is a wonderful tool many life coaches use with their clients to check you are hitting all areas of your life. Often called the wheel of life:

Homemade wrapping paper with potato stamps

Ruthie and I got adventurous this past week and decided to make our own wrapping paper. I can't take complete credit for the idea as it all started with a conversation with a co-worker in the staff room on a break. (thank for this great idea Amanda!) Needless to say the idea of cutting up potatoes to make stamps sounded fun and easy so here's Ruthie's wrapping paper creations.

Basic instructions for those of you who are inspired and want to do this at home. Hey, you don't need kids to do this! Get some raw potatoes. Cut them in half and carve in the shapes you want to see printed on your paper. We carved stars, a christmas tree, a bell, holly leaves and whatever else you see in the pictures. We used cheap white paper - the kind you get on a roll. For paints we used acrylics: napthol red ( made great candy cane image), phthalo green (holly leaves looked awesome), and irredescent gold (really nice for stars) (The paints were all Golden fluid acrylics). Totally fun!

8 week Energizing Abstract Painting Class - Vancouver Spring 2010

Today is the deadline for submitting spring class proposals fro the Vancouver School Board. My dear friend Shannon went through this with me and gave me some great edits and feedback - thank you Shan, you rock! Here's the application. What a process of getting clear! Fingers crossed it'll be accepted, but if not, rest assured I will find a way to share my knowledge and passion with others! xoxox Deb

Proposed class:

Energizing and Experimental Abstract

Painting in Acrylics

Course Description:

An energizing and experimental painting class in acrylics, mixed media, & collage for adults”

This is energizing and informative abstract painting class with an emphasis on experimentation & creative process. Students will learn the fundamentals of abstract painting. Building on this foundation, each class will progressively introduce new techniques such as glazing, layering, removal, staining, lifting & layering in of collage elements all to achieve line, depth, texture & interest in their paintings. We will be using liquid and heavy body acrylics, as well as acrylic mediums & gels, and collage elements.

Course Outline – 8 weeks

Week 1The Basics.

  • Materials list discussion and clarification, bring what you have.
  • Discussion of acrylic paints and mediums, substrates, and implements – brushes, palette knives, etc.
  • Health and safety about acrylics –basic need to know.
  • Nesting in and how to best set up your work space . The concept of bridging to support you and your art making.
  • Group discussion of personal class goals and what students most want to learn/get out of this class
  • Students may bring one painting to work on throughout the class or practice on several smaller paintings (strongly suggested – I will explain why)
  • All students are asked to bring a journal or note paper for note taking

Week 2The Art of Start.

  • Basics for abstract painting.
  • Design & composition discussion. 12 basic compositions.
  • Paint and play – start with black and white, students work on fundamental concepts of composition and design.

Week 3 – Staining and Glazing with liquid acrylics.

  • Colour Basics. Historical /mineral colours vs. modern colours. Analogous,
  • Adding layers by staining and/or glazing liquid fluid acrylics (matte medium) to add depth and interest into your work.
  • Color combinations. Triad colour combinations that produce stunning effects.
  • Play and practice these concepts of layering using the basic principles of making an abstract painting. Students are encouraged to begin adding colour to their black and white work and playing with glazing and staining.

Week 4 – Focal points - Adding lines and definition

  • Removal Techniques: 5 various papers, rubber shaper, water, alchohol, SOS pad
  • Artist safe removal tape, rulers, Stenciling with heavy acrylics and spray paint.
  • Derwent Pencils, C’aran dash crayons, using gesso as lines.

Week 5 –Words and Images.

· Incorporating words and images into your work.

· Stamping – purchased and home made stamps.

· Transfer technique of photographic image with gloss medium.

· Paint and play - applying any techniques taught up to this point to your work.

Week 6 – Texture and Collage

  • Building interesting texture into your painting using Collage – photocopies, tissue paper, other decorative papers.
  • Heavy gel mediums, moulding paste, gloss medium, creating thick wax-like effects.

Week 7How to know if you’re done.

  • Tricks and tools to finishing a painting, how to know when you’re done or what to change/improve. Do your own critique – yes you can.
  • What makes a great abstract painting work.
  • Going back on your class work and applying finishing techniques taught here to take the piece to closer to a completed piece.

Week 8Making art part of your life.

  • Where can you go from here? Exhibiting, selling your work, selling rights
  • Resources for further exploration and growth in art and creativity
  • 5 top things that stop artists in their tracks and how to overcome them.
  • Feedback sheet

Supplies/room arrangement

Each student requires a full table space to work. Tables will be covered in plastic sheet or plastic table cloth/covering. A materials list will be provided and explained in detail on the first class. All students are encouraged to bring what supplies they have already to the first class.

About the Art Instructor - Deb Chaney, SCA

Deb Chaney is a contemporary abstract artist painting large layered mixed media abstract works on canvas and paper. She has been painting in acrylics and mixed media for 10 years and has sold paintings in Canada and the U.S. and is currently exhibited in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and Santa Barbara, California. She is an elected member of the Society of Canadian Artists. Her passion is painting and inspiring others to find their creative groove. The author of The Little Inspiration Book, Ideas to Empower Women and contributing author of Sand in my Bra, Funny Women Write from the Road, Her portfolio can be viewed at www.debchaney.com .

Deb Chaney - Relevant Education and Training

2008 Sabrina Ward Harrison, Spilling. Carol Parks Studio, Los Angeles, CA

2008 Dr. Robert Maurer and Jill Badonsky, Kaizen Muse Creativity Coaching Training.

2007 Lana Grow, Aquamedia & Collage: 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

2007 Jill Badonsky, Muse Facilitator Workshop, San Francisco, 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 Mulvey; Beginning Acrylic Painting, Nelson, BC, Canada.

Eating your ultimate dream for breakfast, anyone?

Hand painted breakfast bowl. Don’t know dimensions.

Not for sale. Used every morning for breakfast with oatmeal, etc.

Eating your ultimate dream for breakfast, anyone? And no, I’m not selling you a breakfast cereal, its all about the bowl…read on.

We all have dreams. Some of them big. Some small. They propel us. They motivate us. They may sometimes confuse and frustrate us. Right or wrong, good or bad, I’ve got a big dream and I sure hope you do too. What’s life without one?

Bottom line is you’re not just here to do your 9-5 and you know it. There is always some underlying magical purpose or reason we are here…Part of your reason for being here is to figure that out – your purpose – who you really are beyond the conditioned self and outward appearances. And the other part of your journey is sharing that unique talent and piece of yourself with the rest of the world, giving the gift you were meant to give.

[We’re here to give it all away ‘cause you can’t take anything with you once you leave this plane of existence. And so we learn as we give that the more we give the more we truly receive. That the saying that we only keep what we give away becomes true.]

So, you’re wondering, what is this big dream of Deb’s. We’ll, its simple. I have a concept called Illuminate the Artist Within ™ whereby I’d like to create a workshop retreats and products to ignite, inspire, and empower participants to realize the artist within themselves. I believe we are all artist in our own realms – we’re all here creating our own lives, our own personal masterpieces. The concept is not crystal yet, but I am trusting the evolution of the idea.

Ok, so you’re wondering what does this have to do with the darn bowl?

The other day I went out on a rainy Saturday afternoon with my six year old girl and took her to a place where you buy an unfinished piece of pottery and paint it. She chose a beautiful fairy maiden. I chose a bowl. While she worked away painting her fairy, I thought about creating a bowl that would summarize Illuminate the Artist Within ™ and what is meant to me, what I wanted it to encompass, and I stopped there. Its too big, there are too many possibilities at this point in time and it would be hard to pin it down and somehow illustrate it on a bowl.

So, I asked myself the question: Who would I have to become to create this vision, this company, these workshop retreats, teaching videos, creative products? What characteristics would I need to embody to be the founder of Illuminate the Artist Within™ ? And from that the words came and I painted them on the bowl:


What are my next steps? I’m going to apply to teach an energizing water media abstract painting class through the Vancouver School Board adult night school program. Application is December 15th. I’ve got a friend here in town who has promised to review my proposal. I’m also going to be leading a Vein of Gold (Julia Cameron’s sequel to the Artist Way) online class starting in January…this will get posted on the new website shortly. Two steps to get leadership and teaching experience and to begin to fortify my dream.

Here is my question for you dear reader. Who do you need to become to realize your dream? What qualities must you embody to make your dream a reality? Take a moment and write those down. Not sure of your dream, if you even have one...ahhh…you’ve come to the right place – join me in January as I facilitate the Vein of Gold – Journey into your creative heart. Your dream and more will surely emerge from this process. Check at www.debchaney.com for this online workshop details.

The journey continues! Stay posted!

Art and Money - taking care of business


Pure Abstraction Series

36 x 36 x 3/4 "

Mixed media, acrylics, sand, & oil on canvas

© Deb Chaney 2009

Original Available

Feng Shui Recommendation: Placed anywhere in your home/office this painting image supports children and creativity. To further enhance your possibility of having children or to support existing children – including your inner child – place this piece in the center right hand portion of your room or house. Please refer to the Feng Shui section at www.chaney.com (coming soon) for more details.

(PS the photo image displayed here is pretty crap as I took it on my iphone. Sit tight. I'll have a better photo at some point. & will put on the new up and coming website -yeeehaaaa!!! :))

A month or so ago I took a tour of Emily Carr University to get a sense of the place and art school itself, as I’ve never been to art school.. I thought it was interesting when we passed the Finance Offices that the tour guide, a student at the University, comments were; “Oh money, that’s boring, moving on.”

Well, perhaps Daddy’s paying her way through art school or she got a big grant but for those of us who are in a situation of having to be accountable for our finances - make art and money work- well it might be challenging, but its certainly not boring.

Something I’ve been doing for a year or more now that really works for me in this arena, is what I call “Monday is Money Management Day”. It’s a regular thing that every Monday I pay attention to my finances and improve in some way. This includes but is not limited to the following activities:

  • Reconciling my hand written register against the paper bank statement. (Yes, in order to do this I do keep track of every expense in paper register). The great thing about this is it gives me a sense of where my money is going to, coming in from and more often that I’d hope, I catch bank errors or false credit card charges.
  • Filing all paperwork concerning finances. I have a big binder for my personal and art business related finances. In each binder or dividers for paperwork ranging from bank statements, to income receipts, to anything at all related to finances for the year of the binder. I make a new binder each year.
  • Paying bills, credit cards – this one’s obvious. But I keep all of my outstanding bills in a folder and do them on my Money Management Day so I’m not doing this all the time, just Mondays.
  • Taking care of tax and money related things – forms, sales tax.

As well as the weekly management tasks something that I do as part of being a financially empowered person, artist, woman, and mother is to take small steps in further educating myself about money – money management, investing, and taxes. It doesn’t matter what I’m learning as long as its up to date, relevant and helping me to grow and become more empowered in my finances. Here are some resources I’ve explored or am currently in process listening/watching/reading...

Sometimes I don’t get to everything on my list done if that Monday is particular busy day. No worries. Friday is “Follow Up Friday”. So I slot it for Friday and finish up the loose ends.

The art inventory from California has finally arrived!

My 500 pound baby arrived! (talk about a long labor!)

Four months later I have just received my entire inventory of finished and in process works - all 500 pounds – from California. Hurrah!

For those of you that have been following this story, the original shippers La Pack Pros, did subsequently go bankrupt and out of business. However, before they closed their doors they had the decency to hire another shipper RT Consolidated, based in California, who promptly took the job and got it done. I made the original arrangement through Uship.com, who by the way, don’t do a darn thing if your shipment is held, lost, or stolen.

As my new website is being uploaded, edited, and the final touches are completed, I will be going through my inventory to ensure the paintings posted are correctly catalogued for the new website so you will know what is available.

Thank you for all that sent helpful information and positive supportive messages. And lastly, if you plan to ship art or any large items, I highly recommend doing some due diligence research and ask questions before hiring your shipper.

Behind the scenes - studio notes

30 x 40 x 3/4 "
as yet untitled, Pure Abstraction Series
(c) Deb Chaney 2009
wired and ready to hang.
Mixed Media, Acrylics, Sand and Oil on canvas

$1200 USD Original Available at date of this post 11/3/09
inquiries debchaney@live.com

Feng Shui Recommendation: Placed anywhere in your home/office this piece supports your inner health and vitality. To further amplify this area of your life, place this painting, with the intention to support your health & vitality, in the center region of your home/office.

I had a nearly two hour tour of Emily Carr University last Friday. As my close friends know and many of my artist contemporaries, I have never had any art school training and have always been curious about the "other side", that is, academic art school. ( I hold a B.Sc. in Earth and Ocean Sciences)

The art school tour was inspiring in that the one very cool thing about art school is that you get to learn a little bit about so many areas - wood work, metal work, sculpture, photography, digital design and so on with access to tools, equipment and technology that would otherwise cost you bundles if you were to pursue it on your own. The sheer enormity of their lending "library" of equipment was staggering - everything from video equipment, cameras, and things I have never heard to to make, record, edit, copy and do your art in whatever form it may be.

The tour ended by a little talk from one of the admissions staff who talked about how the main criteria for getting into this art school was based on your portfolio. I always thought a portfolio was simply a collection of your finished work - in my case- th epaintings I'm done and I'm proud of, not so.

Apparently, what the portfolio examiners are most interested in are your notes, sketches and process that are behind the finished the art that you make. I came home and got inspired to organize the notes I've been keeping for over a year now on this Pure Abstraction art series.

Below is one of seven pages of journal notes - my process behind the scenes - what goes on in my mind - in creating this series of paintings entitled Pure Abstraction.

Painting Inventory - how I keep track of my artwork

No. 8432
Pure Abstraction Series
40 x 30 x 3/4 "Mixed media, acrylics, sand, & oil on canvas
(c) Deb Chaney 2009
Original Available

Feng Shui Recommendation: Placed anywhere in your home/office this piece supports your inner health and vitality. To further amplify this area of your life, place this painting in the center region of your home/office.

There are quite a lot of programs and software options out there that can be used to inventory artist work. I used E-artist at one point when I had a PC but found it pretty clunky and not that fun to use. When I switched to Mac, at a friend's suggestion, I decided to keep things really simple and use Iphoto. Here's what works for me currently and how I keep track of all of my works - completed, sold and currenlty in inventory.

I start by creating a separate album for each body of work. For the sake of this blog and simplicity I'll work with my 'Pure Abstraction' series, since its my most current and what I am adding to and seeling from most right now. When I complete a painting and photograph it, I add it to this album. Then I click on the 'information section' that appears at the bottom left hand corner of iphoto of the particular painting image is selected, and in the notes section I add have the following information based on an "inventory" template I created. I do this for every painting I produce, sell, and exhibit so I can keep track.

Here's the blank inventory template:

Inventory Details

Painting Title:
Belong to group/series:
Size: (H x W x D)
Sold/Selling person/interested:
Feng Shui Recommendation:
cafepress Y
Blog Y
Other notes -

Here is a specific example of the information I keep on the painting shown at the top of this blog.

Title: No. 8432
Belong to group: PureAbstraction
Medium: mixed media, acrylics, sand, & oil
Substrate: canvas
Size: (H x W x D) 40 x 30 x 3/4 "
Year: 2009
Sold/Selling person/interested: Available
location: inventory Vancouver
Feng Shui notes: Feng Shui Recommendation: Placed anywhere in your home/office this piece supports your inner health and vitality. To further amplify this area of your life, place this painting, with the intention to support your health & vitality, in the center region of your home/office.
Photographed for prints? Y (home done, not great, re-do)
cafepress - need to convert RAW to TIF ( find out format required)
Blog - Nov. 17-09
website - TBA
Other notes - Emailed image of this painting to Gail at Pedro's cafe, Granville Island regarding exhibit there- need to follow up.

new Black & White mixed media piece in process

This piece is 30 x 40" on canvas and may still be in process. I just put a thin layer of heavy gel matte to act as an isolation coat and prevent the water soluble pencil ( Derwent) and other medias - gel pen, PITT pen, charcoal, C'aran Dash white water soluble crayon, and permapaque marker from smudging if I decide to paint more layers over it. I was talking to my friend Lyza over Skype the other day - we did art show and tell ( it was so fun and energizing) - and she said "ohhh I love this one, you should paint more" we'll see. Maybe there is another black and white hiding inside me somewhere but I am more excited about some other pieces I'm working on and don't plan a series of these. My friend Steve said I should check out John Virtue's work who paints mainly in black and white. His work is very dramatic and I must say its fun to limit the colour palette and just focus on form and contrast with just the two colours.

Missing Art Works - Possible Theft?

Please note that this blog will be updated as more information becomes available.

Near the end of July this year I made an agreement via UShip online to have my art shipped from Santa Barbara to Vancouver, Canada with a company called LA Pack Pros. The agreement read that the art would be delivered within 7-14 days of its pick up. Its now mid September and I have had one phone call with their office manager, Andre, acknowledging that they did indeed have my art works but have received no information after that regarding where my work is now and when it will be delivered. Regardless of emails and phone calls I have sent, I have had no communication since that call near the end of August.

On August 5th this year my entire art collection of completed works and works in process on canvas and paper plus an original piece by Michelle Williams was picked up in Santa Barbara at my friend Steve Richardson's home by a man who called himself Robin 'Rob' Letcher. According to my friend Steve, he was about 30ish and was a white man about 6 foot, sandy blond hair with dreds. The truck was a white ford ranger about a 1995 with a white camper shell. He left a cell phone number which I have called repeatedliy and left voice messages, none have which been returned.

The information about this shipping company that I contacted via UShip.com and made the original agreement will appear the bottom of this blog entry.

If you have any suggestions, information, as to the wherabouts of my art work, or how I can get a hold of this so-called shipper, or if you are willing to help in any way please do contact me debchaney@live.com. Thank you.

I have begun to file a theft report with the City of Santa Barbara (805)897-2300 (I will post a file # here when it becomes available) and will pursue the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Internet Crime Complaint Center. I have also called the franchisee corporation - Go Packaging - who issues business such as LA Pack Pros their business entity and they are helping me with this.

Any ideas to help solve this mystery: debchaney@live.com. Thank you!

Company: LA Pack Pros

Name: Rob Letcher

Phone: (310) 673-0615

Alternate Phone: (562) 686-2145

Fax: 310-673-0291

Email Addresses: uship@lapackpros.com;





Franchisor: Packaging Store

Updated October 7-09

Since Posting this blog several weeks ago I have had the good fortune to finally be in touch with Rob Letcher (who apologized profusely) and said that, yes, indeed he did have my art work here. That he had tried to ship it to Canada twice and that it had now been returned twice at the border. WHy on earth he did not contact me about these attempts, I do not know. He since then put my art crate back on uship. com and the bid was accepted by another company and now I am waiting for full details - name, website, etc. Honestly, I was shaking and cried after he called. The funny thing was about the call was I was sitting at my desk at my computer looking at the paper work from the Santa Barbara Police department and reviewing a letter I sent to a layer in LA while in process of writing Rob an Email saying that enough was enough and I was going to be taking some serious legal action. He called just before I clicked 'send'. Interesting universe we live in. The saga continues though...

Interesting enough, I have received two emails regarding this blog post, of people in the exact same situations! Here they are:

Received today:

J. M. Kenworthy (jmkenworthy@gmail.com)
Sent:Wed 10/07/09 2:11 PM
Attachments: 1 attachment
CIMG0114.jpg (1527.5 KB)

I came across your blog because I am in a similar situation. I contracted with LA Pack Pros to take some furniture (including family heirlooms) from San Francisco to Lebanon, OH. A guy named Andre picked up the furniture in a rented box truck on August 22nd. I have attached a photo I took. You can almost make out the license plate. I have not heard from them since. I fear my furniture has been Stolen. I call the 562-686-2145 number about everyday and leave a message, but no one calls back. I did, however, get an address from uship.comfor LA Pack Pros (listed below). Unfortunately, It looks like an apartment building when I use Google Street View.

Have you ever heard back from them since you made your blog post? Its nice to know I am not alone, but I am also frustrated because I don't know what to do next. What email address did you use to get a response from LA Pack Pros?

Here is all the contact information that uship.com gave me.
Rob and Frank Letcher
(310) 673-0615
(562) 686-2145
(310) 673-0291
2909 Arizona Ave #9
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Thanks for listening,

J. M. Kenworthy

Jason (above Email) even sent me this photo of his shipment being picked up:

and here's an EMail I received last week:

Sean Kaylor (kaylorsean@hotmail.com)
Sent:Tue 10/06/09 12:49 PM

My wife and I had a number of items shipped from Texas to SF, CA. We also can't get a hold of LAPackPros and believe they have stolen our items. Unfortunately, most of the items were sentimental and of no material value.

If you get any word please email respond and I will do so in kind.

Sorry about all the troubles,

Sean Kaylor

By the way, I sent both of these inquiries to Kelly Dafleur who works for the Franchisor 'parent' company to LA Pack Pros. her contact information is as follows and she has been extrodinariliy helpful in this process of tracking down my shipment. Here's a big cheer for Kelly!!!

Kelly Dafler

Franchise Services Coordinator

Annex Brands, Inc.

7580 Metropolitan Drive, Suite 200

San Diego, California 92108-4417

Ph: 800-456-1525

Ph: 619-563-4800

Fax: 619-563-9850



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Our "blackberry summer"on Whidbey Island, WA

We spent a lot of time this summer at our family cabin on Whidbey Island, WA, USA and I've had a lot of requests from my friends in Santa Barbara, CA to see pictures. And, by the way, we have officially named this summer "Blackberry Summer" because I think Ruthie pretty much lived on fresh vine ripe juicy blackberries when we were down there. Best blackberries in the world growing right on the beach, sweet, plump and right at your finger tips. Couldn't get much better than that for fresh eating. On the three hour drive home back to Vancouver Ruthie (age 6) would look out of the window and spot blackberry bushes and say "blackberry, blackberry...." So here we go, black berry summer, enjoy...

The cabin my parents build around 1978. Decor to match. :) My friend Lyza scoped it out live on skype and has decided it'll be the perfect retreat to do some art and hang out in PJs with a small group of women artist friends. We'll see...
Made lots of treats this summer..big batches of oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip cookies.

Mid-tide, my favourite walk. Up where you can see the trees meet the water is where I saw several deer a few weeks back. Beautiful.
Nothing like throwing rocks in the water.
My Dad, who took all the photos here except this one, with Ruthie. I'm inside this amazing fort that someone built up the beach from us. Really cool. It was so big, you could camp in it. Ruthie and I had pretend tea parties there.

Don't touch the ground, it's hot lava. Gotta stay on the rocks.

Morning journal writing on the picnic table...smell that sweet ocean air. Lots of light. Peace.

When we first arrived at Whidbey after driving up from Santa Barbara. Grandma Margaret was there with balloons and groceries and big hugs for Ruthie!
Mum and I doing a clay face masc. Benstonite clay mixed with a bit of apple cider vinegar, makes a nice paste. Put it on, let it dry, sucks out toxins and is fun to do!
digging for sea creatures!

Painting rocks.
( I was inside hand painting little gift cards)

Selling art in non-gallery venues

Pure Abstraction Series
20 x 30 x 1 1/2 " (approx)
Mixed Media, Sand, Acrylics on Canvas
Original Painting is available, pricing on request
Prints and other items with this image at cafepress
Feng Shui Recommendation: earth & water element , career and reputation, health & vitality

I sell and have shown my work predominantly in non-gallery venues. Its pretty common for artists starting out who don't have gallery representation. Really, if you're creating regularly and producing work - fairly good, good, or great - its nice to just get it out there and get some response, feedback and sales.

Currently as I am getting all my bits and pieces together for my new website I was looking over my artist resume and remember all the shows I've held in the last number of years... Each one was its own experience with various results. Every one part of my journey of being an artist creating and showing her work.

Generally, I've made an effort to improve aspects of each show as the years have gone by. Better marketing of advanced notice for friends and collectors who would stop by. Better signage. More treats! Motivation for people to come - creating a draw. Asking for more help. Teaming up with other artists. Holding a raffle. There are always aspects to tweak and improve when doing an exhibit...

I would say the latest and greatest improvements I've made in exhibiting my work in non gallery venues are to create contracts with the store/boutique/restaurant owner so that we are all on the same page. I've been lucky to date and have never had any difficulties or challenges with any venues. However, even the process of creating a contract with the most recent venues makes a good conversation point to the agreements of having my art in their space - what's OK, what's not.

Here's where I started with creating my own contracts: http://snagmetalsmith.org/Publications/Professional_Guidelines/
Specifically look at the EXHIBITION CONTRACT (for non-commercial exhibitions) section.

I'd love to hear what you're doing to get your work out there, how you're improving with each show and exhibit. And I'm trusting this is helpful on your journey. Best, Deb

For the curious, here's where I've displayed my work for the last several years...The most recent listing have written signed contracts based on the above links.

Exhibits and Solo Events

2009 Solo Exhibit, Patchwork Paper,Via Roma Boutique,

2009 Nature and Asbtraction, group Show, Deb Chaney & Steve Richardson, Santa Barbara, CA

2009 Solo Exhibit, Select Pieces, Java Station Café, Patchwork Paper, Santa Barbara, CA

2009 SWITCH Boutique Beverly Hills Solo Exhibit, select pieces Raw Expression

2008- Group Show, Drawn Out, VIVA Design Studio and Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA

2008 – Solo Exhibit, Carina Cellars, Trees & Abstraction, Los Olivos, CA

2007 Solo Exhibit; Raw Expression, Sojourner Cafe, Santa Barbara, CA
2007 – Group Exhibit, Art in Public Places with the Malibu Artist Association, Malibu, CA.

2006 – Group Exhibit, select pieces Raw Expression, Kanuga Water Color Retreat Center, NC

2006- Group Exhibit, Emerging, Fresca Café, Santa Barbara, CA

2005 – December 2006; Santa Barbara Weekly Arts and Crafts Show
2004 – Solo show
Mini Hearts
Coffee Attic, Redondo Beach, CA

2003 Solo Exhibit; Hearts Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, Redondo Beach, CA
2003 Exhibitor; Leche League International Conference
, Costa Mesa, CA
2003 Solo Exhibition; The Coffee Attic
, Redondo Beach, CA
2003 Exhibitor; Annual Ron Cawdry Springfest Carnival
, Redondo Beach, CA
2003 Solo Exhibit; Java Man Café
, Hermosa Beach, CA
2002 Exhibitor; Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair
, Manhattan Beach, CA

Upcoming Art and Healing workshop

Sands of Time
Pure Abstraction Series
Size: 10 x 10 x 11/2"
(c) Deb Chaney 2008
available $350 USD
Feng Shui notes: Supports Health and Vitality

Need a day away? Looking for some time to make art, meet new friends and receive some healing? This might be for you...

My friend and fellow artist Amy Roemer presents a one day healing art workshop...

Gather in a gorgeous setting for a day of healing and creativity as (place) artist and Reiki healer, Amy Roemer, and local teacher and Reiki healer, Amy Ryan, guide you through easy daily routines to heal your life including the healing benefits of beautiful natural spaces like Boerner Botanical Gardens! Get in touch with the artist at your core!

Healing Art Workshop
Saturday October 17, 2009
From 10am-3pm.
At the Boerner Botanical Gardens Hales Corners, WI
(Hales Corners is in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area)
Registration: contact Monica Jeske 414-525-5659
Cost $75

Your day will include: Yoga, painting, walk in the gardens, meditation, inspirational conversation concluding with mini Reiki session for each attendee!

I first met Amy Roemer when I was living in Hermosa Beach, CA and saw her art work at Ten Women Venice artists cooperative. Somehow we became connected --- I can't remember how our friendship all started --- but I do remember Amy being extremely wiling to share all her secrets of success on her path as an artist and after a lunch one afternoon nearly 8 years ago now we have been friends ever since.

Amy Roemer is on her own personal journey of healing. In 1987, Amy had her first episode of unexplained back pain. Over the years Amy had back pain so severe that she landed in emergency rooms, became a patient to countless doctors Western and Eastern alike, has sought out dozens of healers and books, taken prescription medications, herbs, and restrictive diets. Amy’s pain could be unbearable at times, she missed work, weddings, and vacations, underwent 4 surgeries and spent tens of thousands of dollars on health costs all in the search for pain relief. While some of the doctors and healers helped, her back pain persisted, unaffected by herbs and medicines. Through a series of practices that Amy learned over the years, She created her 5 Simple Steps to Healing Your Life and put them all together into practice with amazing results! Now, she wants to share them with you! She received her attunement in Reiki, a form of hands on healing, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she now resides with her husband and daughter, in 2009.

Amy’s art has been shown in galleries and art festivals in Massachusetts, Illinois, and California. Her pieces are full of emotion and vibrant color. Her art is in private collections across the country and in Japan. Her painting “Your Song” is owned by singer/songwriter Alanis Morisette. Amy has painted and made art her entire life, she attended Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, Santa Monica College in California, and studied under pastel artist Mark Miloff in Western Massachusetts Berkshire Mountains. Amy’s poetry has been published and awarded, her paintings were honored by an award from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, CA. Amy has been a member of the West Coast Pastel Society, Ten Women Venice artists cooperative, and The Malibu Art Association.

Creative Journalling and Bookmaking

Aglow & happy 
(c) Deb Chaney 2008
9 x 11 " Acrylics on unmounted canvas pad
Original Available
Journalling has been a fundamental part of my art making process for years, well over 10 if I was counting. Morning Pages, free writing, making lists, circle exercise, some of which I discuss in a chapter on journalling in the Little Inspiration Book. But as artist I think its natural to want to push boundaries, explore new mediums and technique and try new things. So after writing and collage and painting and sketching I've been itching to explore book making for a while.
Last year I had the opportunity to attend a workshop with Sabrina Ward Harrison where I met a retired lawyer and artist & book maker - Eris Wagner who was also attending the workshop. Her hand made journal was incredibly beautiful, textured and detailed with thick heavy weight paper she'd glued into an old accounting ledger book and discard photographs she'd glued in, gessoed over and then scraped over so that you saw sneak peaks of the photos and got a faded antique feel. Her journal captivated me so I wrote her and asked her about the process of making it and how I could learn more. 
Here's what she wrote;
"I learned most of my bookmaking skills from Sheeren LaPlantz who died from cancer about 5 yrs. ago. Her books, which are widely available (Amazon) are a good place to start to learn book making.  She goes over all the basics.  Like any art, there's no substitiute for just doing it---practicing over and over...

San Francisco Center for the Book has a nice range of classes and I took a number of them when I lived in northern California. I'm sure there is a Book Guild or other resource in your area that offers basic bookmaking classes.

There are TONS of books available on book arts...I actually learn better from books than anything else....

Another good resource is

Check out the links and then join the listserve and read the posts. If you have any questions you can post them---like "Where is a good basic bookmaking workshop in my area?" [Deb notes that in Vancouver, book making is offered at
Emily Carr University]

From that list, I learned that the
LA Book Arts Center is closing
. Too bad....but I know there's plenty of things happening in Southern California. You might ask Carol Parks..."
Thank you Eris!

Using Acrylics to create a waxy – encaustic – look in your artwork

Leaping into the unknown
30 x 40 x 11/2”
Mixed Media, & Acrylics on Canvas
© Deb Chaney 2007
Feng Shui Recommendation: Health and Vitality.
To further enhance your health and inner vitality place this painting in or near the center of your dwelling.
For View at: Java Station Coffee House 4447 Hollister Ave, Santa Barbara, CA 93110 Ph (805) 681-0202
(Please do ask to see this painting it because its in the back!!!)
Original painting is available for purchase $1200 USD

Last week I had an interview with Golden Paints technical department on a new product they are in process of creating. At this point in time, because of their competition, I was asked to keep the interview a secret and not reveal any of the ideas or concepts we discussed.

After speaking with the Golden chemical technician he emailed me some great little videos clips (youtube.com) on using and applying Golden Mediums and acrylic paints. I thought this would be fun to share with acrylic and mixed media painters who read this blog.

Particulalry, I’m thinking of Shay Cajolet from Massachusetts who contact me last year with questions about using acrylic mediums to create an encaustic (wax – like) effect. She’d seen the workshop I’d organized for Nancy Reyner in Santa Barbara which was on this topic specifically: using acrylics to create encaustic effects.

Last time I heard from Shay she said she’d had some success and a lot of goopy experiences with the mediums….perhaps a few of these videos will give some more guidance that goes beyond a phone conversation.

Here are some great instructional videos on the products and techniques that I use and some new concepts too…

Using moulding paste:


Creating a Brushable Isolation Coat:


Using Clear Tar Gel:

In my work to build layers I use Golden heavy gel matte medium, GOLDEN light moulding paste, Liquitex gloss medium and varnish, Golden fluid acrylics. ( Check out this link to a sampler set of many of these products and other cool ones)

As well, if you want to pour a thick layer over your work to emulate wax, from her workshop we learned that Nancy Reyner developed the following formulas she calls:

Sheen formula to match refined Beeswax

Mix together 2 oz. Soft Gel Gloss and ½ oz matte medium. Slowly add ¼ oz water. Add 3 drops of Interference Blue (fine) and 2 drops of Iridescent gold (fine).

Sheen formula to match unrefined beeswax

Use above mixture and pour half into an empty far. Add ½ drop or less of quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold.

You can make these formulas in an air tight container and then use them in the middle of your painting as a medium, directly onto dry or web acrylic paint or as a finishing sheen to your work.

Something that looks really cool and is fun to try – lay down a nice thick layer (1/4” or so) of one of the above sheen formulas using a palette knife. Soak a paint brush heavily with water. Tap the water soaked paint brush over top of your sheen layer ( don't touch the painting with the brush, let the water fall off onto the sheen layer) and let the water drops form an interesting surface texture on your waxy layer. Let it dry. Have fun!

New work and a great quote

Praying for Rain
(c) deb chaney 2009
mixed media, sand and acrylics on canvas
20 x 30 x 11/2 " (approx size as original is currently being shipped from Santa Barbara to Vancouver and my electronic inventory was lost in cyber cosmos!
Original available.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our
presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson. from A Return to Love

SMIGs has changed...

OK, I feel a little bad that I've kept you out of the loop. But honestly, there is no loop as I haven't told anyone before writing this blog. I changed SMIGs...a nightly ritual I made up to support artists and creative souls.

S - for success. For example, today I added 5 names to my database, worked on a project that for the sake of its creative gestation shall remain secret (for now), and had a great heart to heart talk with my mum.

Magic Moments - today I watched my daugther play in the ocean with another little boy, ohh it was so sweet. They were playing with a floating log and he was on the log and she was pushing him out to sea, it was so dear watching them work together.

Intuition - My intuition is guiding me to get more sleep and take care of myself right now. (this used to be Intention but this idea of holding some idea in tension seemed, well, a little tense so I decided to change it)

Gratitude - I'm so grateful for my Dad driving up the west coast with me and helping me move, i'm so grateful for a place to live, for all the wonderful phone calls and facebook posts on my facebook for my birthday, for being at whidbey island for the summer, for the ocean and the fresh air and peace and quite and I'm 'so grateful for my art and the joy it gives me to create it.

s - the little 's' reminds us to keep making small steps towards our dreams, goals and creative projects. Never, never, never give up. Shoot for the stars, you might hit the moon. The impossible just takes longer. Keep going.

Looking for a unique and personal gift?

Tote bags. Mugs. Aprons. Prints & Greeting Cards All with Deb's art.

The Little Inspiration Book, by DEB & Sand in my Bra

Deb's Original ART available to view and purchase

...in Beverly Hills paintings at SWITCH Boutique

...in Santa Barbara at Java Station Coffee House,

...in Los Angeles at Via Roma Boutique.

Join me on facebook: facebook.com/debchaneyartist

Follow me on Twitter: deborahchaney

The artist I admire the most

IBHF (inspired by helen frakenthaler)
(c) deb chaney 2008
mixed media, sand, acrylics on canvas
original available , inquire debchaney@live.com

Helen Frakenthaler known for creating the technique of staining raw canvas, a pioneer in the color field painting movment, former wife to Robert Motherwell and a key player in the abstract exrpessionist movement is bar none the artist I admire the most.

Helen Frankenthaler was born in New York City on December 28, 1928, daughter to justice of the New York Supreme Court. She attended the exclusive Brearley School in Manhattan and the Dalton School where her art teacher was Rufino Tamayo.

More than any other known established artist, Ms. Frakenthaler's art rocks my world. I love so many of her pieces. I love her style. I love her work beacause its bold and confident and bursting with color. I love that very seldom you see brush marks...this intrigues me and something I aim to emulate in much of my work.

In an interview pubished in the new york times, she says about her painting process : ''With any picture, on paper or on canvas, the main idea is: does it work? Is it beautiful?'' Which resonates with me and answers questions about my own work and process. Honestly, I hadn't come out and said it so clealry and sycinctly, but this is what is going on for me also when I paint: is the piece working? is it beautiful?

I also think its very cool that in a time when most of her contemporaries were men - Clement Greenberg Hans Hofmann, Jackson Pollock - She, a Woman, was making strides, making great art.

TOday, yup last time I checked Helen's very well alive and painting in NY, she paints very similarly to me in that she paints in acrylics, painting laying flat and on waist high table tops. Cool.

Here here are some links to some of her work that I adore... Enjoy!

Helen Frankenthaler, Grand Tour, 1983, acrylics on canvas 97 x 124 inches (Can't find it online but this image can be found on page 123 in abstract painting concepts and technique by vicky perry)

Helen Frankenthaler, Seeing the Moon on a hot summer day, 1987, private collection.

Helen Frankenthaler, Southern Exposure, 37 x 34 in, Lincoln Center Institute

Helen Frankenthaler, The Bay, 1963 Acrylic on Canvas
Helen Frankenthaler, Nadar Rising.
Helen Frankenthaler, After Mountains and Sea , New York : Guggenheim Museum 1956-1959.

Awe-some new book to support Creative Mortals

My friend, mentor, teacher and fellow creative Jill Badonsky just released her awe-some new book:  The AWE-MANAC: A Daily Dose of Wonder.

I had a few questions for her about what's inside the book and her own creative
 process in writing it you may enjoy this tidbit from our conversation...

Deb - How did you choose the events that ended up in the Awe-servances part of 
The Awe-manac:
Jill - Good question. The creative prompts in The Awe-manac are designed from the events or celebrations that happened on those days in history. So the events had to actually audition for their potential for creative thinking, inspiration or humor. Also, I researched favorite celebrities and historical figures (and a few personal friends) and added them as well. Lastly, if a quote really inspired me, I tried to find the birth-date of the person who wrote it so I could include it.

Deb - Which "Anti-aging Potion" do you recommend for people to use to truly "stay young."
Well, all of them will give you a frame of mind of loving life more which is a sure antidote to aging, but the FOOOF potion is all about how thinking like a child can lighten you up. Stress is a leading cause of premature aging so lightening up can help that. Also, the Inner Awe-lixir reminds us that there's a whole world inside of us that can act as a refuge and a place of rejuvenation and inspiration.

Deb - Lots of things in this book make me laugh out-loud (which of course is a very good thing!).  Did you spend a lot of time laughing while you created this?
Jill - I had a blast writing this book. I laughed out loud quite a bit because it seemed like I was channeling someone very funny. To create laughter, to me is one of life's greatest gifts and making funny associations and inventing prompts is one of my very favorite pastimes. To get myself in the mood to be funny I would watch Ellen, John Stewart and Stephen Colbert beforehand, as well as read Paula Poundstone's book. So they were my Muses and helped keep me in a festively funny mood.

Deb - I love the fact that you can open this book on any given day of the year and begin!  Each day is a session in creativity unto itself.  How do you envision people using this book? 

I envision that they will open the book on any given day and have a session in creativity unto itself. I hope people don't think they need to do all the prompts everyday, but just sample and even just daydream what they would do with the prompt as well as during every opportunity possible find a few minutes to jot down some ideas and on occasion just pour their hearts out. My wish is that some of the thoughts and inspirations make each day more special and wake people up to the fact that the shift we need to make in this economic downturn can be positive when we take small moments and make them special, creative, or humorous.

Jill Badonsky is an artist, writer, playwright, yoga teacher, nationally recognized workshop leader, creativity consultant and founder of Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching.  Jill also writes a monthly column for Creativity Portal, and is chief editor of the monthly The Muse Flash.  Jill's services operate out of  The Muse is In, a company dedicated to helping individuals and organizations unblock their creative potential. She is author of The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard):10 Guides to Creative Inspiration for Artists, Poets, Lovers and Other Mortals Wanting to Live a Dazzling Existence   and  The Awe-manac: A Daily Dose of Wonder.


Looking for a unique and personal gift?  Tote bagsMugsApronsPrints & Greeting Cards.All with Deb's original artwork. The Little Inspiration Book, Sand in my Bra Written/co-written by Deb.

Original ART  available to view and purchase

...in Beverly Hills  paintings at SWITCH Boutique 

...in Santa Barbara at Java Station Coffee House

...in Los Angeles at Via Roma Boutique.

Deb Chaney Contemporary Abstract Artist PO Box 3931 Santa Barbara, CA 93130 805-570-1582 debchaney@live.com http://debchaney.blogspot.com

Creating with interruptions

If you are living in the modern world and attempting to create art of any kind – music, painting, pottery, writing, etc .- you are faced with interruptions. My opinion, one of the most interrupted people in the world are mothers.

 Its like there is this unwritten code that once you’ve given birth your body, life, breasts, time, solitude, and mind space now belong now to that which came from you and surrounding people who call themselves ‘family’ and take every ounce unless you set firm boundaries and decree otherwise. Yeah, Ok, some of my personal shite is coming up here but we’re all connected so I know I’m not alone here. Hello, I am an artist, I 

have ideas and passions and these require time so I can dwell on them, research them, expand them, create them, edit them, and bring them into the world just as I did you. You are born now, let me birth others.

 “mama, I need….”  ( seriously as I write this maybe 4 – 5 interuptions with request, demands, questions….)

Don't be fooled by how cute she is. Here is she is, my girl Ruthie, thinking about her next move to distract and interupt me. (:o)Look at that, she even has the gull to sit on my studio painting table and plan her next move!

 So, how do we stay on track, keep the momentum going, gestate and birth our creative creations, even despite and within the interruptions?

 I do a few things that work for me, but really I’m just dying to hear from you. So if you are super successful and have a private office/studio and a nanny taking care of your shopping, laundry, dinner, and kids you can refrain from commenting. Sit back, grin, remember the good old times when things were otherwise, but please don’t’ torture us folks here on the other side. I’m speaking to those of us who are on our way but not quite there yet and still mainly doing all of the above on our own plus making an effort to carve out some time for our own creative pursuits.

 “ Hey Deb, will you….” (ever notice how every one wants something exactly the minute you begin to get really into your project)

 For one, to stay focused and so I don’t forget, I post a sticky note right above where I am working. It’s got two words on it.

  1. Focus
  2. On writing this blog (what you are working on)

That way, every time  “ mama!mama!...” I can answer it, and remember what the heck I was doing. Really, I know mothers would understand this but really all parents in general.

This one I don’t recommend but quite frankly I become like a caged animal and that would be in simple speak pretty nasty to be around because as Jill Badonsky puts in her book 9 Modern Day Muses and a Body guard, we mortals get cranky when we don’t create. So I either piss everyone off or scare them away but honestly I hate getting to this point and I had a ‘friend’ recommend a hypnosis program for anger management which I’m gladly looking into.

 I’m also wishing the next man I date realizes that when I'm crabby its more than likely because I haven’t painted and that he puts a paint brush in my hand and takes my kid for a drive.  Thank you God in advance.

 Bring! Bring! ( this  is supposed to be a telephone)

 Ok that reminds me. We have some control here. We can turn off the phone, shut down the computer, turn off skype, click off facebook, shut the door, put up a sign, nicely tell everyone we will be busy for the next hour. Mommy time. Get out the body guard (read 9 Modern Day Muses and a Body guard) Let me know if that works for you, or for that matter what works for you.

So what about you? How are you making time for your creative pursuits in amoungst the noise and distractions of life?


Looking for a unique and personal gift?  Tote bagsMugsApronsPrints & Greeting Cards.All with Deb's original artwork. The Little Inspiration Book, Sand in my Bra Written/co-written by Deb.

Original ART  available to view and purchase

...in Beverly Hills  paintings at SWITCH Boutique 

...in Santa Barbara at Java Station Coffee House

...in Los Angeles at Via Roma Boutique.

Deb Chaney Contemporary Abstract Artist PO Box 3931 Santa Barbara, CA 93130 805-570-1582 debchaney@live.com http://debchaney.blogspot.com