I turned 43 this month. Birthdays in my 20s were spent saying what everyone else was saying, “I’m getting so old!” when in fact, we weren’t, really. It’s just something people said. “I’m a quarter century old, can you believe it?” and other nonsense. It meant nothing, but we didn’t know it at the time. We were taught to dread THIRTY, but frankly I don’t remember much about my 30s. That decade I was overworked, overtired, overstressed, overweight and frankly – over it. It’s a foggy mélange in my memory of mortgage-getting and baby-having. I woke up at 40. A series of unfortunate events may have been the ugly catalyst for my awakening, or maybe it would have happened anyway. I’ve heard people say that their 40s are the best – and the worst. You’re at the peak of responsibility – career, kids going to college maybe, perhaps taking care of parents, marriages get strained, hormones change – there’s a lot going on. But what if you take all those lemons and make lemonade? What if you start going to the gym, eating right, listening to your spouse, listening to your kids, plant a garden, get a job that suits you, say no when you need to, let toxic relationships go, get a bike, wear red lipstick and five inch heels and minis if you want, travel, watch baseball….What if you start living instead of waiting for your life to start? Instead of thinking things will get better some day, make them better today? Then maybe, just maybe, you could celebrate your birthdays with the same glee that you had as a kid when you told people your age in six-month increments. Maybe you would ride your bike in stillettos. Maybe you would tell anyone who would listen, “I’m 43 today!” because you were proud of it.
”I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear: I’m not screwing around. It’s tim…e. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go. Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever. Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.” -Brené Brown
P.S. If you are thinking about ordering art for Christmas, I highly recommend ordering now! It keeps me from going crazy in November.
My mom called me earlier this week, “I saw your paintings on Ree’s Thanksgiving special.” I had just walked in the door from work and my mom was watching the Food Network east coast feed which is 3 hours earlier than mine. Even knowing this, I turned on the TV, still wearing my heels and other trappings of my day job while I simultaneously put down groceries and opened the door for Ladybird to go out in the back yard. The dog stood on the threshold, looked dubiously at the drizzle and went back in.
“I won’t get that show until 8 o’clock,” I said, setting a mental alarm that had little chance of going off.
Yes, I know there are DVRs for that. No, I don’t have one.
What I can do is tell you that The Pioneer Woman Thanksgiving Special is going to re-run and if you’re into it, you can see my paintings of her children in the background, which is pretty cool.
Sun, November 22
Tue, November 24
They are also prominently featured in her Walmart commercials! This is almost as cool as the time a friend saw someone had ripped off my painting of The Bloggess and was selling them alongside Frida Kahlo prints.
Since I started my Real Job, my paint brushes have grown cold and lonely and my marketing has grown uninspired and desperate. It happens now and then…Sometimes when you’re selling art you forget why you do it in the first place – because you like making The Art. Because you need to make the art. Because you like the feel of a brush in your hands and paint under your fingernails. Because you like staying up late with a glass of whiskey and the soundtrack of Rent, ETC.
What I’m saying is, it feels good to have a full dance card.
So I’m offering a Super Good Super Rare Very Good Deal on art in case you have been on the fence or would like to order for Christmas or whatever.
Through September 30, all custom watercolor portraits are half price, 5×7″ and up.
I might be crazy, but I’d rather be a crazy busy painter than an crazy bored painter. Paintress? Whatever.
My angst is your gain. Email me at Rachael@rachaelrossman.com to order.
As a rule, I don’t like to skip over holidays, especially my favorite – Halloween – and I’m fighting my natural tendency to procrastinate by saying this, but…it’s time to start thinking about ordering your Christmas art.
I know, I know.
But here’s the deal – I have a 9-5 now like a regular Joe and I want to make sure Santa gets all his pet portraits in time to deliver. SO – to entice you, encourage you, maybe even inspire you, I’m offering a little pre-holiday sale this week.
This week, buy one painting, get the second half-off. Any size.
All you have to do is email me at email@example.com with the size(s) you want and I’ll send you an invoice. All that’s left for you to do is sit back, gloating in the knowledge that you’ve accomplished your holiday shopping before pretty much anyone, and then listen to the ooohs and aaaahs when your beloved unwraps their gift in a couple months. Can you keep the secret that long?!
I’ve been on a bit of a Frida Kahlo kick lately (Still? Again?) and have had the luxury of being able to paint some stuff just for myself. I’ve only got a few commissions on the books, which I plan to work on this weekend. And I’m feeling really prolific, so I’m offering a Buy One, Get One Free Sale for 5x7s. That’s two original paintings for the price of one and I rarely do that deep a discount but like I said, I’m feeling artsy.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to order. I will probably only honor the sale for a couple of days so be sure to get on my list!
Now, back to Frida. There are quite a few, and prints are available! Some of the originals are still for sale too (prices below)
10×10″ $45 (Frida and Diego)
10×20″ $55 (Full length Frida)
10×13″ $50 (Frida with Shawl)
Frida in Gold, 10×20 watercolor on Yupo, $550. Prints available
Frida, 11×14 watercolor on Yupo, $500. Prints available
Frida and Diego, 10×10 watercolor on Yupo, Original SOLD. Prints available
Frida Looking Upward, 11×14 watercolor on Yupo, $500. Prints available
Frida in Drag, 11×14 watercolor on Yupo, $500. Prints available
Frida Winks, 11×14 watercolor on Yupo, $500. Prints available
Frida with Shawl, 10×13-ish watercolor on Yupo, SOLD. Prints available
Frida with Cigarette, 11×14 watercolor on Yupo, Original SOLD. Prints available
Young Frida, Day of the Dead.11×14 watercolor on Yupo, $500. Prints available
Frida with Cigarette, Day of the Dead. 11×14 watercolor on Yupo, $500. Prints available
I'm a mom. I'm an artist. I clean up a lot of messes. Send Coffee.
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People Say The Nicest Things
I have three pieces of art by Rachael and I love them all. They are all beautiful replicas of my "fuzzy kids," and are especially meaningful now that two of them are no longer with us. She has captured their look, their colors and their expressions perfectly. Rika Bering, West Linn, Oregon
Rachael's portrait of Queenie, the Specially-Abled Siamese, is probably the most adorable thing I've ever seen. Rachael's artistic ability is paralleled only by her professionalism and speed. I cannot wait to see my mom's face on Christmas when she opens this present, and I'm already trying to figure out who else may need a portrait of their pet in their life. (Answer: Everybody) Kelly Williams Brown, Portland
Rachael is one of the most talented and unique artists I've ever had the honor of working with. Jenny Lawson, Texas www.thebloggess.com
I first saw Rachael Rossmans work on the pioneer woman's website. After seeing her unique and beautiful work, I knew I had to have one of my most loved, service dog & Golden Retriever named Dru. Amy Thomas, Orange County CA
When I first secretly purchased my paintings from Rachael I was worried what my "thrify" husband would say about me spending money on paintings of our pets. I ended up having to restrain his excitement! He insisted we display them prominently in the house and buy museum quality glass to frame them. It's safe to say, they were an instant hit. Rachel R., Rochester, NY
I commissioned Rachael to paint my favorite dog after he'd been gone for a couple years. The likeness of Mosely is stunning. The miniature portrait is beautiful and was completed very quickly. Everyone who knew my dog immediately recognizes him in the mini painting, over all the various pictures I have of other Boston Terriers. Rachael has a unique talent to capture animals' true character and I'm proud to own her artwork. Kelly Brown-Matteucci, Seattle, WA
Rachael asked if there were any special characteristics or special features that I wanted her to capture in the piece. Once I received the final painting, I was completely amazed and in love with her work & dedication to capturing not only his look, but also his personality! It takes a special artist to create the specific personality, loving emotion & spot on perfect appearances! Amy Thomas, Orange County, CA
Since [my first portrait], I have had one more done of [my golden retriever] Dru as well as one of each of my two cats (Leila & Meeko), and one of my beautiful miniature horse Gidget. I have also bought several to give as gifts and try to support Rachael any way that I can. Amy Thomas, Orange County, CA
Rachael offers such great customer service & is truly a genuine kind & dedicated artist. I highly recommend her if you have a someone in your life that you would like a beautiful watercolor painting of...furry pet friends or human loved ones alike. She does them all! Amy Thomas, Orange County, CA
I was first introduced to Rachael's work on Jenny "The Bloggess" Lawson's blog. I was so mesmerized at how beautiful Rachael's Dia de Los Muertos painting was, I commissioned Rachael to paint one of my bridal wedding pictures Dia de Los Muertos style. Rachael went far beyond what I imagined the portrait being and I could hardly contain my excitement when I saw it for the first time. Her attention to detail and her ability to turn an emailed idea into a beautiful, one-of-a-kind bridal portrait are just a few of the things that make her the amazing, talented artist that she is. I would absolutely recommend Rachael to anyone looking for beautiful, custom art work. Trisha Reid, Monroe, Georgia
I wanted a special gift for my best friend’s birthday. Rachael provided just that. I gave her an idea and she created exactly what I was looking for. She was finished quickly and in plenty of time to deliver my gift. In the end, my friend LOVED IT and so did I! Thank you! Stacey, Western North Carolina www.js2.nerium.com
I discovered Rachael's portraits on the Pioneer Woman's website a few years ago. Never thought I would be able to commission one, but a few months ago, my sister-in-law had to put her beloved cat Moesley to sleep because of his medical conditions. She felt immensely sad, so did I. A couple of months prior to that, I had lost my cat when we moved and she had been the one to comfort me when I was so sad. Luckily, we found my cat. When I heard that she had to put her's down, I wanted to do something special for her and for Moe. So our family, (parents, two brothers, and us) pulled together to commission the portrait. It turned out so beautiful and my sister-in-law loves it. It is a very special gift. Thank you Rachael... for sharing your talent for everyone to enjoy. Christy Stephensen, American Fork, UT www.beastoryteller.com
I couldn't be happier with the painting Rachel did of my 10 year old son, Quinten. It was a surprise for him and he was thrilled and in awe of seeing his image transformed! Thank you, Rachel! Dawn R. Miller, Bellevue, WA
Rachael is working her way through all the furkids and the real one as well!. Our first painting, of the "favorite child", Sir Knuckles the Cardigan Corgi, blows me away every time I see it. She captured him perfectly, big Corgi ears and tongue. Our most recent addition to the collection, Bernie is just as great. Some of the kitties will be here soon in all their orange, fluffy glory. We also love the picture of our daughter Sarah--her grandparents loved it as a gift last Christmas! Jennifer B., Fort Worth, TX
After seeing Rachael's work on The Pioneer Woman's blog, I knew I had to have her capture the sparkle in my dogs' eyes. She perfectly reflected the awesome mutt characteristics (floppy ears, crazy fur and all!) of my dogs, Quigley and Kia.This year, I surprised my sister and brother-in-law with a portrait that captured the unbelievable cuteness of their dog, Lewis. Everytime I've opened the package with my new portraits, my eyes fill with tears and I smile ear to ear. Now my portraits hang prominently in our living room where everyone always comments on how beautiful they are. Thanks, Rachael, for creating wonderful artwork of my cute fuzzy ones! Amy Bowman, Oklahoma City
I have a favorite photo of my five children and our dog from a few years ago. I just love the moment the photo captured and when I saw a portrait Rachael had done for a friend, I thought she could take that moment and make it into a work of art. She did! I love it!
When I sit writing in my snug living room, I face that picture and it never fails to bring a smile to my face! Dawn, Morris onewillbetaken.com
i found rachael through kevinandamanda.com. rach painted howie and miley for amanda and i knew instantly i wanted my boston terriers (maggie and mia) painted. our older BT maggie had just been dx with cancer (age 12) and we didn't know how long maggie would be with us. maggie was my husbands's first dog ever so i gave him the paintings for christmas 2011. we just lost maggie 2 days ago (2/4), she lived for 14 yrs and 1 week exactly. i am so happy i decided to have rachael paint the girls. i had them painted individually and now they hang on our wall in our living room. when we are missing maggie, we can just look up and see her sweet little face. thank you rachael for giving us a priceless treasure. our hearts are broken but her memory will live on through your painting. thank you so very much. amy, fort collins, colorado