Let’s call this 41-46/100, shall we?

I haven’t been painting much lately. As I’ve alluded to, my life is in a bit of a transitional phase – I’ve left my day job in order to focus more on my art (ironic, yes) and to start my own marketing agency. So instead of getting up, getting the kids to school, doing yoga and then leisurely making art all day, my time has been consumed with business meetings, contracts, house projects and all the other things I always wanted to do when I someday worked from home.

Time has a way of filling, you know?

All this upheaval has not paved the way for inspiration the way I’d hoped. Not yet, anyway. I’ve got a lot of ground work (contracts, banks, taxes) to do before I can truly settle into a routine. As it is, I have three computers and a phone going all the time, a disheveled studio space and a backlog of house projects (and laundry) that alternately capture my attention like a cat with a laser pointer.

I know that I will find my groove again, but it’s taking awhile. It’s all good stuff, though. It’s nice to be busy, and in demand. And there is no better feeling than knowing I don’t have to go into an office in the morning, and I can make my own schedule, and my own way.

Speaking of demand, I promised my kids I’d “re-do” their rooms this summer. My daughter’s room is still decked out like the nursery I designed 10 years ago, with a top coat of Monster High dolls and Disney princesses. Knowing my track record, I probably won’t get around to doing this for another ten years, so when she said she wanted “Parisian Cats” (is that a thing? I asked) I knew I could go straight to Steinlen, and put together a room that she can grow up with. And I could do it on the cheap. (With apologies to Steinlen.)

Of course, I started with Pinterest. Incidentally, did you know that there are more than a hundred pin boards called “Harper’s Room”? Thank you, Victoria Beckham, for bringing that name back to popularity. I thought I was being clever in 2003, but “Harper” is destined to be the “Jennifer” of her generation.

I digress.

We started with a framed Steinlen art print that was a hand-me-down from my friend. Yay! We based the entire palette on that.

We’re going to paint the whole room ivory.

We’re going to find a cheap-o black chandelier for her light fixture.

We are not replacing any furniture.

I am repurposing a Steinlen print shower curtain I found on cafepress.com to coordinate with her existing damask drapes.

She is getting a new comforter.

We’re packing up all the little girl toys and decor and putting them in the attic. (Sniff. And also – yay.)

But this last part will be the crowning glory….we wanted to paint an interpretation of the popular “Clinique Cheron” poster on her closet doors. So that’s just what we did.

Last weekend was unseasonably warm here in Oregon and we took full advantage. We painted over her closet doors with paint left over from the trim in the rest of the house. We let it dry. Then we mocked up what the layout of the painting would be by printing it full size on paper tiles and taping it together. She loves cats and she asked that I remove two of the dogs from the original painting. We also toyed with the idea of painting in an area of chalk paint so that’s what the big black box is in the photo below.

I’m not going to lie. I traced most of the design right onto the doors with Saral paper. Then we went to the craft store and found acrylic paint on sale for 99 cents a bottle. Score!

Harper was in charge of the red dress and the black cats, mostly. I was in charge of anything that required more than one color.

It turned out amazing, but I sadly discovered that I’d painted the entire (most complex) first door UPSIDE DOWN. It was such a rookie mistake, but we figured we could switch the hardware around and she will lose the use of the finger pulls on that door. But I’ll be damned if I am repainting it.

It was a great mother-daughter project but mostly it was good just to get out of my house/studio/office and into the backyard and do something artsy without any pressure or deadline.

It felt good.


Rachael Rossman

 

32/400


Rachael Rossman

 

31/400

 


Rachael Rossman

 

Ch-ch-ch-changes

It’s always been my goal to be my own boss. Like a lot of other busy people I know, I’ve struggled with not having enough hours in the day to paint, to parent, to make my damn bed. I wanted to work from home. I wanted to paint more. I wanted to be here when my kids get home from school. I wanted to make it happen before my son went to middle school. I wanted to do it before I was 40.

I’m 39.

Today was my last day at my day job.

Things are about to go Boom.


Rachael Rossman

 

35/400

I’m posting this portrait out of order because 1) I’m behind in posting; and 2) this little guy’s story has some urgency.

I was contacted last week by an advocate for “Raymond” who explained:

This little boy is an orphan living in Ukraine named “Raymond.”  He has a joint condition and an eye condition so his chances of finding a family become slim. We’ve only been allowed this one picture of him, and even though we advocate for him every day, and have even raised a little money towards his adoption costs, families continue to pass him over because of this lousy picture. Unfortunately children with special needs age out of their baby houses and are transferred to institutions where care, nutrician and living conditions are all substandard. Because Raymond is facing transfer (we’ve heard as soon as three months from now) it is important that he finds a family quickly. His living conditions (rarely let out of bed) are nothing to smile about and the listing agency only had a few minutes to take the pictures of many children so Raymond’s staring face became the only lure for prospective adopting families. We believe that if we had a portrait of him smiling (what he would certainly do in a loving home) then more families would consider Raymond as their son. We would present his portrait alongside his photo when advocating for his adoption (rescue) from his current living conditions and then send your portrait to whoever commits to adopt him as an adoption present. 
 
 
So I painted him with my best guess at what he might look like with a little smile – from a tiny, grainy picture from a Ukranian orphanage.
 
I’m posting his story here because you never know. His future parents might be reading this right now. Is it you?  Maybe you know someone.
 
You can read more about Raymond here:
 
 
and if you speak Ukranian, here:
 
 
You can also find out more about his condition and how other families have welcomed orphans with the same challenges into their homes, here: arthrogryposisadoption.blogspot.com/.
 
 I know I’ll be following his story and keeping my fingers crossed.
 
 

Rachael Rossman