Rachael Rossman's Studio Blog

I'm a mom. I'm an artist. I clean up a lot of messes.

Tease February 25, 2010

Filed under: Beautiful Things,In the studio,Not painting,On the web — rachaelrossman @ 11:54 am

I’m working on a super spectacular something withNikki at Design Coyote. It’s almost ready, but I really couldn’t help myself from sharing. Just a little.


Bluebird skies February 21, 2010

Filed under: Art,In the studio,Not painting,Painting on Yupo,Pet Portraits,Watercolor — rachaelrossman @ 6:56 pm

Oregon is, for the most part, decidedly gray. But we have been experiencing the most beautiful, clear, crisp weather for the past four or five days. Just gorgeous. But cold. Which is okay with me; we used to live in Montana and I swear I can handle 20 below as long as the sun is shining.

The pros of this unseasonably good weather:

  • I can send the kids outdoors All Day.
  • There’s better lighting in my studio for painting.
  • Everyone’s in a good mood.
  • Days seem longer.

The cons:

  • You can see every cobweb and window smudge that has gone unnoticed through the winter.
  • The discovery of these cobwebs and smudges tends to interfere with my making of art. (Can’t paint ’til house is clean. I’m crazy like that.)

My daughter and I had a coffee/hot chocolate date Friday morning at the park. We took photos of the river and some geese that will probably end up as a painting someday. My husband was downright shocked that I actually took initiative to go outside, but here’s the proof.

She always wants to have her photo taken on these steps.

We saw some geese. I think I'll paint them.

We also saw the Wienermobile, which is less artistic and more Americana.

I took advantage of the time the kids spent outdoors and finished a slew of paintings. One is so cute, but I can’t show you because it’s a gift and I can’t spoil the surprise. Here are a couple of others that I finished up.


Title: Katie

Completed: February 20, 2010

Soundtrack: Grease

Beverage: Banrock Station Shiraz-Cab

Title: Westin

Completed: February 21, 2010

Soundtrack: Grease

Beverage: Starbucks iced mocha


Next week I’m painting a Tibetan Spaniel puppy, oh my god, so cute. And a catamaran. After that, I’m all caught up and will just sit around and eat bon-bons and wait for the universe to send me more puppies to paint.


Anticipation February 8, 2010

Filed under: Art,Dogs,In the studio,On the web,Pet Portraits,Watercolor — rachaelrossman @ 8:32 pm

My website has been down for 8 days. Eight! Ordinarily, that is not panic-inducing but considering that my traffic went from maybe 150/day to FIVE THOUSAND after the Pioneer Woman post – there has been some subsequent, and I think appropriate, panic.

Thank goodness for Google, because I think that’s how most people are finding me here at the blog when they are turned away from my portfolio site by nasty error messages.

But, rather than dwelling on the horrible horror that is my (now former) web hosting company, I’m very excited to announce that I’m working on a brand new site with the talented Nikki at Design Coyote. The design is super cool and I can’t wait to show you.

The cool part is that we are doing it as a trade and I am painting her a huge portrait of her dog Brody. So huge in fact, that I might have to paint it on the floor because it doesn’t fit on my desk.

See? It's huge!

I guess I could clear off my desk, but I would have to rearrange and reorganize, and then I’d get side-tracked and I wouldn’t get any painting done at all.


Profiles in Furrage February 1, 2010

Filed under: Cats,In the studio,Not painting,Random — rachaelrossman @ 7:56 pm

We have three cats in our household – my self-imposed limit. Sometimes I feel that I spend 60% of my time managing kids and 40% managing cats.

They are equal parts muse and menace.

Steve is the matriarch. We found her on my husband’s college campus almost 15 years ago and she has been giving me the Stink Eye ever since.

Steve barely tolerates me.

Birch is our gentle giant, an 18-lb lug who needs a step stool to get onto our bed at night.

Birch loves everybody.

But, Ron.

Ron Weasley is my Studio Cat, a stray who found us last summer. He wasn’t the kind of stray you see lurking about for weeks that won’t come out of hiding while you’re outside. He just showed up one day, all kittenish confidence and moxie and Just. Moved. In.

Ron generally makes a nuisance of himself.

He likes to hang out in my studio, and he earns his keep by purring and batting scraps of paper around in an irresistable fashion. Mostly though, he is no help at all.

  • He sits where I want to sit.
  • He drinks out of my watercolor well.
  • He sheds on my palette.
  • He’s been known to leave footprints across my paintings.

Watercolor portraits by Rachael Rossman, now with 33% more cat fur.


Addendum January 5, 2010

Filed under: Art,Beautiful Things,In the studio,Not painting,Random,Resolutions — rachaelrossman @ 7:01 pm

I’ve got two additions to my New Year’s guideline list, and they’re actually ones I’m looking forward to.

  1. Spend 10 minutes every day looking at something beautiful.
  2. Spend 5 minutes every day making something beautiful.

The first one is easy. Seemingly. I have piles of books, magazines and a list a mile long of blogs that I want to dive into for a little inspiration. But do I ever do it? Rarely.

Starting today though, I’m going to carve out just a little window of time every day to look at something purdy. To keep myself honest, I’ll be sharing my finds here every now and then so you can look at something purdy too.

Here’s where I’m starting…

Because I love, love, love this work.

I think I like the birds best.

As for the second addition to the list – making something beautiful – I’m going to leave it open for interpretation. Maybe it means messing around with an Etch-A-Sketch for a few minutes. Creating an artfully arranged tableau on some unspecting horizontal surface. Or – let’s be realistic – cleaning a toilet.

Beauty is where you find it.


My last painting of Christmas vacay January 3, 2010

Filed under: Art,Horses,In the studio,Painting on Yupo,Watercolor — rachaelrossman @ 1:13 pm

Nope, the rider doesn't get a face.

Title: Fanciful

Completed: January 3, 2010

Sountrack: Alton reading The Hobbit to the kids

Beverage:  Cooper Mountain Vineyards, 20th Anniversary Reserve Pinot Noir (last night) / Diet Coke (this morning)


Recipe For a Happy New Year’s Day January 1, 2010

Filed under: Art,Cooking,In the studio,Mad Mom,Not painting,Random,Resolutions — rachaelrossman @ 12:19 pm

Despite the unfortunate events of the past 24 hours (hint: hundreds of dollars at auto mechanic and a break-in at my husband’s office) I am determined to cocoon myself in good thoughts (and chocolate if necessary) and make this a good day.  

As all good days start off, I began at Dutch Bros. with my usual mocha on the rocks. I don’t know what they put in those babies (chocolate milk!) but I am completely addicted. I picked up some ground coffee for husband on the way home – he’s not much for frou frou espresso drinks – so we could all be sufficiently caffeinated.  

I have lentil soup in the Crock Pot, which not only makes the house smell great, it makes me feel incredibly efficient to have dinner cooked by 10 a.m.  

I like saying the word mirepoix. It makes me sound fancy.


The kids are off to the park so they will come back in a better mood (fingers crossed) and their absence also allows me to crank up my stereo and make some art.  

It's going to be a horse. I hope that's obvious.


So to recap…  

  • Caffeine (the frou-frou espresso kind if you’re into it)
  • Dinner in the Crock Pot
  • Kids at the park with dad
  • Loud music
  • A studio cat, preferably one that doesn’t walk across your painting with muddy footprints (I’m lookin’ at you, Ron)
  • Optimism with just a dash of denial

Happy New Year!