Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Material Boy

At the moment my "studio" is spread across our entire house, from our bonus room into The Ben Suite and reaching all the way back across our home in our living area. As you can see our kitchen table has been consumed by art supplies the ever increasing new "canvases." Call it an epiphany which coincidentally happens to be on the Anglican calendar at the moment.

The growing frustration at trying to find a telecommuting type of job (they're out there, just very few of them) has made me think a bit more creatively about generating another source of income other than paintings. Behold! One possible avenue has literally been staring me right to my face. To be more specific, staring at me from behind some closet doors.

My very good friend, Christy Buchanan has been ever so gently nudging me for a couple of years now to branch out - think outside the box...or rather think outside the edge of a canvas. Her clever studio name says it all because she has literally painted on anything that is stationary long enough to receive a brushstroke. Because of of that, her sheer determination, and maybe a little bit of karma Christy will be featured in Southern Living magazine sometime later this year.

If Christy was the encouragement then I suppose the success of the painted tote bags over Christmas was the springboard that sent me diving into a new phase of my artistic endeavors. Despite being pretty down about our financial situation I've spent a great deal of time networking over the internet and with some local artists. One of them in particular has truly been a terrific inspiration to take my art to the next level. You will meet her tomorrow.

In the meantime, let me give you a peek at what we're furiously working on at the moment. And whan I say we, I'm including my new Soul Shine partner. The lady that I inherited much of my artsy fartsy talent from. For those still not making the connection Ben calls her "Me-Ma."

Beginning stages of a recycled denim jacket. Yes, that would be fabric swatches at the top of the picture. Did I mention that my mom is a talented quilter?

One pile of denim jackets of varying sizes. Some are even designer brands! It's awazing what you can find a thrift stores.

Another pile of denim shirts needing to be ironed before we start work on them.

More handbags and totes! Some of these will become an excellent Valentine gift idea ready to be filled with all kinds of goodies Cupid sees fit to put in them. And we will definitely take special orders and requests!


Gretchen said...

Oh man, am I going to get Maddy a jean jacket for you to paint!! AWESOME!

You are rockin' Bennie-- can't wait to see all the samples!

Christina said...

OK, I'm in! How awesome would it be for me to carry one of your totes as my grocery bag? In an area of the country that is increasingly going bag less? It's the *trend* and rather than the bland grocery store totes, I could use some of yours and you can send me some business cards or something like that and I could be a walking advertisement in San Diego.

A request - I love trees and flowers and birds (in case the blog name didn't get that across!)...oh, and cats :-)

Ben and Bennie said...

Christina, shoot me an e-mail at If you're going to buy a few and advertise then I will give you an awesome discount! Trees, flowers, and birds are great images to work with.

Kyla said...


we_be_toys said...

What a groovy concept!
As someone who used to paint all manner of things onto fabric, I highly recommend using some form of paint extender for fabrics mixed into your acrylics. It makes the paint more supple and it cracks off a lot less.
But maybe you already knew that.
Okay, I'm shutting up now -
But I still think this is a cool avenue to pursue!!!