Saturday, April 30, 2016

Don't give up

Over the last year I have fell in love with painting.  The medium that once caused fear to course through my veins has become my go to form of artistic expression.  Don't get me wrong, I still have the fear and find my inner critic to be so brutal at times.  I truly understand why people give up, and believe me when I say, I wanted to give up a thousand times over.  It's not easy to move forward when our inner voice is screaming, "NO", "You aren't good enough", "You can't do this", or "Ha!  You think this is talent?"  Like I said, the inner critic is brutal, but again, let's be honest, sometimes those standing outside of us are just as brutal.  Another brutal truth, sometimes these are the people that say they love us.  So far, I have been pretty blessed in my life, and the people around me have been encouraging and supported my art, as well as my desire for a creative life.  I'm so grateful for this, because it was during the darkest hours and most brutal attacks by my inner critic, that their support, love, and encouragement kept me moving forward and stepping into the arena.

This past year, I have put my brave girl pants on and stepped into the arena, which at times has been really hard.  I've stood in front of the canvas even when the worst critic inside my head reminded me that I wasn't talented enough.  I stood there, staring at an intimidating white panel, anticipating what was going to come from within me and flow onto the canvas.  All the while, wondering if I had it in me to create or if I was contributing anything to the world.  It's crazy how brutal we are to ourselves.

If I'm being honest, there are many times that I wonder if I'm creating anything different, relevant, or if my talent will be recognized.  And in the those dark moments of self-doubt and comparison, I also remind myself, "Toni just show up.  Paint.  Create. Be brave."  The satisfaction that follows I can't place into words or begin to describe on this blog entry, but I can say every moment of agony expressed in self-doubt has turned into pure joy, because I showed up and did the work.  The hardest part is stepping into the arena and then doing it, but the result that follows is totally worth it.

Sometimes my thoughts drift and I question if I am doing enough to live a creative life and I wonder if my efforts are a futile attempt at being an artist.  It is in these moments an angel sent from the universe comes along, and gently reminds me that each day I show up, I'm doing the work.  By showing up for myself and creating despite the inner critic screaming at me, I'm moving forward and living a creative life.  Even in the most intense emotional moments, I'm glad I keep showing up.  Fear is left behind and from this bravery and courage, I have found myself as an artist and my love for painting.  All the thoughts that I wasn't good enough or didn't have the talent to paint are left behind and what comes out onto the canvas has been amazing....

thanks for reading and I hope today you are able to do something that feeds your soul despite the fear it causes.  Many blessings to you and yours....


My paintings and other forms of art can be found online in my etsy shop.  Here's the link:   

It is also my pleasure to complete custom orders.  I can be reached by email at or by phone at 336-608-8637

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Recycled Art

For whatever reason I decided to look up the definition of art today.  With the multitude of information on the web today a zillion things popped up in my search.  Here's the definition I'm going with...  

"the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power."

Like me, my art is constantly changing, however my source of inspiration always remains constant.  I have a few things that fuel my inner desire to create and spark my creativity...  Nature, color, culture, words, and music.  Of course my emotional state can fuel it too.

I love Sugar skulls!
This design is absolutely one of my favorites.

For the last few years I have been making these little beauties pictured above and below.  I believe in trying to protect the earth as much as possible by making a conscious effort to reduce, reuse and recycle.  I also believe in trying to make decisions that work towards sustainability.  And from these beliefs this creative idea was born.

Just in case you wondered what the process was, here it is.  If you don't care, skip this paragraph.  :)  Each bottle cap is definitely a labor of love because each one takes a considerable amount of time, energy, and work.  Each bottle cap is pinched to stretch the metal, then I pound each one with a hammer to make it flat.  After the bottle cap is flattened, the glue is scraped off.  Have I told you I LOVE tools?  Yep...  the more the merrier.  My dad purchased a little grinder for me and to say it's a little slice of heaven, is an understatement, not to mention it made my life a lot easier when making these.  I used to have to file each one with a hand file, which took FOREVER.  Now I go and get my little grinder and grind each one which takes about half the time.  The bottle cap is then sanded down to make it smooth.  Then a layer of white paint is sprayed on.  From there I design each one, drawing little designs on them or placing inspirational words, then painting them with acrylic paint.  I told you...  A LABOR OF LOVE.

Bottle cap earrings are actually one of my favorite creations and I enjoy making each one.  What I love even more is seeing them on the individual's that purchased them.  

I recently made the two on the left for a friend.  She had a couple pieces of jewelry that had broken so two of the creations seen in this picture are recycled- the metal spirals I cut from a broken watch and made into earrings for her.  The bottom pair of bottle cap earrings were made from a pair of earrings that had broke.  Instead of throwing them away she asked if I could make them into something else and VoilĂ !

These sweet little beauties I made for my lovely sister.

These I made as a custom order for a friend.

Creating art is a beautiful form of self expression, one that I enjoy and get a lot of fulfillment from.

If you would like your own custom designed pair please feel free to email me at


call:  336-608-8637

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Happy Fall feature

Fall is without a doubt one of my favorite seasons.  I am mesmerized by the beautiful colors, the smell of leaves in the air and the temperature...  not too hot, not too cold, just right.  Unfortunately, today isn't one of those fall days because the weather has brought very frigid temperatures and dreary rain.  I'm still grateful for the fall season though, despite the cloudy days we have been having as of late.

Nature in general is one of my largest sources of inspiration in my art.  With all the natural beauty surrounding me I am captivated by the intricate details and magical colors fall brings each year.  It's a feast for my senses.

I was featured in this lovely Fall Etsy treasury with several other talented artists.  So if you have a moment today, take a look.  For a look at my other work, click on this link:

Enjoy this beautiful season.  Be inspired and go create something beautiful....