Saturday, February 2, 2013

Imbolc, One Billion Rising: A Daily Artist Challenge Day 2

For the second day of the One Billion Rising Artist Challenge, I had another piece planned but as I took a moment to visit facebook, I discovered that many of my friends were celebrating Brigid and the festival of lights that is Imbolc.  And so today, I decided to let Ireland inspire me!

As I researched, I discovered there are several varieties of Irish Step Dancing.  The most famous is the southern form called Munster.  I also learned that Brigid is the goddess of poetry and felt myself imbued with inspiration! and so I made:

'Imbolc'. 9" x 12" Acrylic and Sepia Pen and Ink on Watercolor paper.
Available for purchase as prints and other merchandise at
And was also inspired to write a poem as well (:

Imbolc dancing,
Turning with the seasons.
A swirl of the skirt
Like leaves fluttering in the wind.
New life,
New hope,
New beginnings
And the promise that spring will soon be here.

I'm really enjoying celebrating world dance and the feminine as we lead up to V-Day!

I'll be joining my local event in down town Dothan on February 14th (:

Have you found your local event yet?

30 Paintings in 30 Days, A Review

I'd ended up taking a break for three of the last days of the challenge and was worried that it was going to mean that I did not, in fact, actually create 30 pieces for the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.  (Okay, worry is a bit strong, considering that there were no hard and fast rules that you -had- to have 30.)  But as I was uploading all of the pieces to pic monkey, to create the final collage to share on Leslie Saeta's blog, I counted them....counted them again....then counted them a third time.

It turns out that I created -31- pieces over the course of this challenge! (:  That makes me extremely happy!

I had so much fun doing it.  And I've decided to accept commissions in case people have a preferred animal that I didn't get to.  Just visit my page at Wise Ramblings: The Art of Janin Wise and leave me a message if you're interested!

And now I'm headed off to bed so I can take on Day 2 of the One Billion Rising: A Daily Artist Challenge (:

Thursday, January 31, 2013

One Billion Rising: A Daily Artist Challenge Day 1

The new day is less than 30 minutes away, and I want to make sure that you're going to be able to share your fantastic art here, so I'm going to have the page up before I have my art ready today!

UPDATE:  Here's today's piece!

'The Flamenco of Kali Sara'.  9" x 12" Acrylic and Sepia Pen and Ink on Watercolor Paper.
Available for purchase as prints and other merchandise at
Did you know that if you water it down, acrylic works just like watercolor?  Neither did I (:  But I thought it was certainly worth an experiment.  And I love the results!  For my personal challenge, I've decided to celebrate the world's cultures through dance and the feminine aspects of world religions.  And so, for the first day, I've chosen to celebrate Kali Sara of the Romany.

Kali Sara is located in France where many Romani make a pilgrimage to see her in late May.  She is the Protectoress, bringer of luck and fertility, and curer of sickness.  And as such, I thought she was absolutely perfect to begin the One Billion Rising challenge as we work towards curing the sickness that is violence against women.

That said, I am -so- excited to be starting the One Billion Rising Daily Artist challenge!

If you missed the first post, check it out because the premise is simple:

Every day, from now until V-Day, CREATE! (:  It doesn't matter what your medium is-- poetry, food, logos, legos, traditional medium-- what ever calls to -you-.  Create a piece that embraces the beauty of dance and femininity with respect, hope and love in your intentions.

Then share your art with the world to help bring awareness to One Billion Rising and our world wide goal of ending violence against women.  Share it in your blog.  Share it on facebook.  Twitter it.  Share it to the facebook event.  Share it here.  (Did I mention 'Share It'?)  (;

And enjoy the process!  There aren't any hard and fast rules.  You don't have to finish a piece every day.  It's the intentions that matter most.  Say that we're four days in and you're just now learning about this challenge-- No worries!  You are welcome to join as we continue to count down to V-Day and join the world to Strike, Dance and Rise!

Here's an absolutely beautiful flamenco performance.

SOLD 30 paintings in 30 days, the Final Day

It's the final day of the 30 in 30 painting challenge!

As the first painting challenge of 2013 comes to a close, looking back, I can sincerely say that I've enjoyed it.  I've got to play with new ideas, and actually work a pretty impressive series.  I've loved interpreting all these critters in my own way and seeing where each one was going to take me.  It's been a fantastic adventure!

And the last critter as part of the challenge is:

'Bye Bye Blackbird'. 9" x 12" Acrylic on Sheet Music.
Available for purchase as prints and other merchandise at

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

One Billion Rising: A Daily Artist Challenge

I've been asked a couple of times now, "So what are you going to do when the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge ends?"

And I found my answer in One Billion Rising.

Thoughts and love have the power to bring about change.  For 14 days, beginning February 1, 2013, I invite every artist who comes across this challenge to make one piece of art per day leading up to V day.  It can be drawing, painting, photography, sculpture-- or any medium you wish-- to create a daily piece of beauty that celebrates femininity, women and dancing, as a way to increase awareness, empower women and girls to break the cycle of violence, demonstrate our global solidarity, and positively shift the world energy.

The One Billion Rising Daily Artist Challenge:
  • Post a link to your blog below to officially say that you are in.
  • I love the flexibility of Leslie Saeta's challenge, so I will extend it to you as well:  "Understand there are no real rules for this challenge. If you miss a day, then paint two the next day. If you fall behind stay in the challenge! No one is counting how many paintings you have completed (except you), I promise! The only rule is that you must have fun and enjoy the process."
  • Tap into your spirit and use your imagination to make a creative work of love that embraces the beauty of dance and femininity.  It doesn't have to be complicated (and working small makes it easier to complete one each day).  It only has to be sincere and respectful.
  • Post what you make on your website.  Link to One Billion Rising.  Blog about it!  Share it on facebook.  Twitter.  Let the world know that you are Rising!
  • Then post your daily creation to my blog, ( including a link to your page featuring that day's creation.  That way even more people can see your art work!  I'll make sure to have the latest page up early and I'll leave signing up open for a couple of days.
  • Invite your friends and fellow artists to accept this challenge, share a link to this post and copy the challenge description.  
Together, we can use our creative energy and the power of art to celebrate the world's women and join Eve Ensler's One Billion Rising to Strike, Dance and Rise!

I'll be joining my local One Billion Rising event on the 14th in Dothan, Alabama.

Will you join me?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

An Experiment in Pickled Bologna

Living in the south, I haven't had pickled bologna in over a decade.  It's a rare treat I remember from my childhood and summers spent in Michigan.

Off and on, I have looked around here for ring bologna.  Without much success.... until the other day.  I finally went to the local Publix.  Seriously, it set my foody heart a flutter!  It's like going to the commissary and reminds me a bit of going grocery shopping in Germany.

So I brought my prize home and started scouring the internet for a recipe based on the memory of pickled bologna.

I found this good foundation one at

The original recipe:

1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pickling spices
1 medium onion, sliced
1 lb ring bologna, cut into 2-3 inch slices.

And the recipe after I changed it:

1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 lb ring bologna, cut into 2-3 inch chunks

(When I'm experimenting, I don't do actual measurements.  It's based on personal preferences, and really that's the way I recommend doing it.)

Minced garlic-- a lot. (I really like garlic)
Garlic powder-- also a lot. (^ see above.)
Onion powder-- a lot, but not as much as the garlic powder (since I removed the sliced onion from the original.)
Pepper--a good shake.
Ground Mustard-- a dash
Ground Mace-- a small dash (a little mace goes a LONG way!)
Ground Allspice--a small dash (it's a lot like mace.)
Ground Cumin--a dash
Cardamom-- a dash
Ground Cinnamon-- a small dash (I don't want it to taste like dessert, after all.)
and Paprika-- also a small dash

Then on to the directions.

Every recipe I found says to put the cut up bologna in a glass jar.... I don't happen to have a glass jar on hand.  (Admittedly, I can appreciate the irony of having -all- of those spices on hand...and no glass jars.)  And I wanted to start making this bologna tonight, so I cut up my bologna and put it in a glass bread pan.  I then doused it in minced garlic.  I mixed all of the other ingredients in a small pan on the stove and boiled them for 8 minutes, stirring often to mix in the spices and sugar.  Then poured it over the bologna and garlic.  I covered it with plastic wrap and set the timer for 30 minutes to cool before putting it in the fridge to chill.  Going to try it tomorrow.  Most of the recipes say that the longer you let it sit, the better the flavors mingle.  I have -very- high hopes for it because it smells fantastic and is making my mouth water already (:

Update:  It turned out great!  But I'm going to let it keep soaking (:

Sigh. Now accepting my nomination to "Nailed It"

So I found this easy looking recipe for mini bacon egg cups on Pinterest.  The instructions were SO simple:
"Simply wrap your muffin tins with bacon, fill with seasoned whipped eggs (and maybe some cheese?), and bake at 350* for 30-35 minutes."

Step 1:  Check.
Step 2:  Check. 
 I even figured I was pretty clever doing so in a measuring cup so they'd be easy to pour.  And by the way, I ended up using 15 eggs to fill 12 muffin cups.
 Step 3:  Yup.

Briefly, as I put it in the oven, I thought, "Hmmm...I wonder about the bacon grease" but I also thought, "It must not be an issue-- it wasn't mentioned."

....I really should listen to my gut instincts more often.

20 minutes later, my house begins to fill with the smell of oven cooking grease directly.  I open the door to see this:

my muffin pan with a 1/4 inch of grease floating on the top--and overflow just dripping off the side, spattering on the bottom, sizzling and releasing brief icky little curls of smoke.  I quickly put a cookie sheet underneath to prevent a grease fire.

15 minutes later, I tipped the muffin pan to drain some of the grease directly to the cookie sheet before taking it out.

Boy are they NOT pretty!  Sadly, I "Nailed It"!

The goal.
My results.   Sigh. 

At least they tasted good.

That bodes well for trying the recipe again in the future.

 So what I learned is:

1.  Overfilled the egg cups-- Next time, I'll follow the rule of cupcakes-- 2/3 is plenty "full".  And that means it's probably a 1 egg to 1 muffin cup ratio.

2. It didn't really cook the bacon enough.  Next time, I think I'll bake the bacon without the eggs for 10 to 15 minutes -before- adding the eggs....and probably drain a bit of of the resulting grease first.

...and I'll probably try it with the suggested cheese (;

Woohoo! Ink & Alchemy!

I'm a featured artist at Ink & Alchemy!!   (:  Head on over and check out all the great featured artists (and me)! (:


I created a new picture for my facebook page Wise Ramblings: The Art of Janin Wise contest.

If the page gets 250 likes by the end of Monday, one winner gets to choose the final critter for the 30 paintings in 30 days series AND they win the original that's created!

I'm so excited!!! (:  I can't wait to see what animal the winner chooses!