Sunday, December 21, 2008

Rock Hen portrait

Rock Hen portrait
Originally uploaded by tagscats
Got this one finished, just in time for the Nibblefest contest this month on Ebay! In case you don't know, Nibblefest is a monthly challenge contest, starting on the 20th and ending on the 27th. Each artist comes up with a piece to fit the theme, this month's theme is chickens! All pieces start at $.99, no reserve. Search for NFAC on Ebay to find lots of great art by fabulous artists!

I decided to do a portrait of a rock hen, on a river rock of course! So, check it out and bid! You know you want to!

Rock Hen rockin portrait auction

Friday, December 19, 2008

1 Tomato 2 Tomato

1 Tomato
Originally uploaded by tagscats

New art, a couple of still life studies of tomatoes. Acrylics on 5x5 artist panel. Getting ready for an exhibit in a few weeks. More in this series of still lifes to come, so, stay tuned!

See both in this series here

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Foo dog, upper half shading 3

Friday afternoon I spent getting the body and tail of my foo dog shaded, I so love the swirls in his tail! Not a bad sit, except that poor Shayna had a cold and was wearing a mask. But she said the highlight of her day was getting to work more on my sleeve. It's coming along!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Foo Dog Tattoo Sleeve work in progress

Originally uploaded by tagscats
Session two of the work on my left arm foo dog sleeve. Did some shading of the foo dog, and some of the coloring on the peony over my wrist. These photos were taken the next morning. It's healing now, and I lost a bit of the blue over the wrist/hand, that is a tough spot to tattoo and keep ink, it will take some touchup. But, no worries, still lots to do. And touchup is a part of getting tattoos, especially large ones.

The shading on the foo dog looks really amazing, I can't wait to finish the rest of her. There will be white highlights eventually on this one as well.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Artists of Etsy Exposed treasury!

How great is this?? I'm in THE hottest treasury on Etsy, RIGHT NOW!

So get your buns over there and see it, before it's gone!

Woo hoo!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

new art on Etsy!

Just added a ton of stuff to my Etsy store, originals, prints, tile prints, framed prints, cards....among them this elephant painting. It's HUGE, 30x40, oils, oil bars, and graphite. It was oh so fun to paint!

elephant listing

Also, I'm running big sale on my tile prints, buy 2 get the 3rd 50% off! That's 3 tile prints for $20! Affordable and fun for gift-giving for the animal and art lover on your list!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tag has been tagged!

So there's this "tag you're it" thing going on here amongst the art bloggers. And right now I'm the "it" girl, according to Kari Tirrell, who tagged me. The rules?

1. Place a link to the person that tagged you

2. List seven unusual things about yourself

3. Tag (and link to) seven other artists at the end of your post, and post on their blogs to let them know they’ve been tagged.

So, here's some stuff about me that may or may not be unusual, that's always a matter of perspective, now, isn't it?? lol

Well, at the moment I'm drinking out of a mug with no handle. It was broken off a few weeks ago as one of the cats knocked it off the counter. Why am I still drinking out of it? Not because I have a mug shortage, there are mugs in my cabinet that probably haven't seen the light of day in years. But, it's my favorite mug and I can't seem to part with it. There is a picture of a dog taking a poo on it, underneath that it says "This Coffee Tastes Like Crap". I mean, how great is that?? Ok, so, I drink tea, but, why be picky? BTW, this mug comes from a site still around, and it amuses me to this day,, and yeah, I have and wear, out in public, their t-shirt. Did I mention I like toilet humor?

I have several cats. More than 10. I have dogs too (the definite count of them is 6.), though I seem to have a special connection with felines. And yes, the cats, all of them, do know their names and answer to them, my cat sitter was even amazed at that fact. But, why not? I talk to them all day long. I wasn't allowed pets as a kid, I'm sure there's probably some psychological meaning to that (um, yeah, I'm nuts), but, so what? I've always had a connection to animals, the reason I was a vet tech for so many years, and good at it. And, the reason I paint them today. Most days, I'd much rather spend time with them than hang with my human counterparts, they are always there for me. I consider that a good thing. Nothing better, in fact, than painting in my studio, and looking around at all my furry companions hanging out here and there. It's a very zen feeling for me, a peaceable kingdom, if you will.

I'm uncomfortable being watched by people. But, for some strange reason, I have always been involved in activities that at times involve just that! I grew up playing the piano, but would not practice unless everyone left the room. Recitals were the pits, and because I played well, I often had to go last or nearly last, and it was torture to sit there waiting my turn. I loved the challenge of bodybuilding during my 20's and 30's, but it was very tough to stand on stage and be judged. If my husband hangs around watching me in my studio, I stop painting until he leaves, lol, and yet I have put my art out for the world to see. Maybe it's because I am stubborn to a fault. I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing, though my husband would probably (no, most definitely) disagree on that point. But, it's a trait that has helped me in many ways. In fact, stubborn is probably the wrong term. Determined, willful, I like those terms better. It helped me get through stage fright during my piano recitals, helped when I was a national level natural (no drugs) bodybuilder, helped me to become a good vet tech, helps me to be a better painter, helps me to get up and go running most mornings because it's good for me, and it helps me to deal with long tattoo sits. :-)

Oh, and on that subject, I have several tattoos. I have some smaller ones, but I really have a thing for sleeving my arms, my right arm is finished and just completed the outline on my left arm. Traditional japanese tattoo art, and all with meaning to me. The right arm is dedicated to my muse, the left, to my mom. And no, just because my arms will be filled, doesn't mean I'm going to get a face tattoo. So stop worrying about it. ;-) And not that there's anything wrong with face tattoos, I know people with them and they are nice folk.

I do tend to hoard art supplies. Canvas, brushes, paper. Hey, you never know when Jerry's Artarama or Dick Blick might suddenly be swallowed up by a black hole. And, I'll use all of this stuff one day. Really. Hey, fellow artists and hoarders, you know EXACTLY what I'm saying here, please explain it to my husband too while you are at it.

I'm sort of a vegetarian, but, not quite. My husband became a vegetarian 4 years ago and for the most part, for ease of shopping and cooking, I am too. However, I haven't been able to give up a few favorite things....chicken fajita quesadillas at my favorite Mexican restaurant, or turkey/coleslaw/provolone deli sandwiches. And sometimes I really crave a great big thick hamburger, or, a fat little mouse (oops, sorry, that was me channeling one of my cat's thoughts... ) Anyway, I spend a lot of time with my obligate-carnivore cats, so it's difficult to go without meat entirely.

My husband has never called me Tracey, only Tag. I had a shirt on with my initials the day we met, and he's never called me anything but Tag since that day. I know most of his side of the family, 25 years later, still thinks my name IS Tag.

So, that's a little about me, and now I'm about to tag 7 of my artist friends, and, hopefully, they will play along, and you will learn some fascinating things about them....Noelle Hunt, Manon Doyle, Carol Cooper, Valerie Jeanne, Lauren Cole Abrams, Griselda Tello, and Windi Rosson.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cat Clump

Cat Clump
Originally uploaded by tagscats
Not happy with the chilly day here, so, it's time to use Vinny on the bottom as a heating pad.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bee & Rose of Sharon

Bee & Rose of Sharon
Originally uploaded by tagscats
A new 10x10 oil painting on Etsy!

5x7 sleeping ink cat

5x7 sleeping ink cat
Originally uploaded by tagscats
A new ink cat painting just listed on Etsy! This one based on my sweet Alma cat.

foo dog tattoo sleeve

foo dog face
Originally uploaded by tagscats
This was a long tattoo sit. And, I had approved the design last week that Shayna had drawn up and we were going to start the outline. I was thinking it would be piece by piece, starting with the foo dog, but, Shayna was SO excited to do this piece, she had the entire arm pretty much mapped out. lol So, we started the stenciling. Amazingly, we got the foo dog stencil on in one try, which is so difficult to do wrapping something around one's arm. Then the peony under my arm, and the kanji tag, smoke, and the cherry blossoms.

Probably about 3.5 hours of continuous tattooing....but, we got the entire outline finished. I was pretty tired, and, Shayna had a blister on her thumb, lol.

So, it's a traditional foo dog, a symbol of protection. Closed mouth, which represents a female. Together with peonies, also symbols of protection. The red tag contains the kanji for "mother", as this entire sleeve is a memorial to my mom. And the cherry blossoms which also symbolize the beauty and frailty of life. The smoke curls are lighter as they will be perhaps greyish, or, we may color them. The foo dog will be black and grey shaded, with bluish eyes. The peonies will be bright blue (blue represents wisdom), cherry blossoms shades of pink. The background will be wind, also a traditional background for the foo dog, and, it fits in with the wind bars and hummingbird already on my shoulder. When you see foo dogs in pairs guarding temples, the male is typically on the right, and the female on the left. Also, foo dogs are actually depictions of lions, they are not dogs. So, I have a tiger on my right arm, a lion on my left. It's not entirely known the origin of foo dogs, some think it came from stories heard about the Buddhist temple lion guardians, others think it comes from an early Japanese Shinto religion that had a lion protector, and the early artists used dogs as models for they had no idea what lions looked like.

This feels so right, I feel like I've been waiting for this tattoo for a long time. It's for you mom.

See all the photos here...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

friend me!

I'm on Facebook and Twitter now, so, feel free to friend me! You can see Twitter updates on this blog as well...

Black Cats Etsy treasury!

I managed to nab an Etsy treasury, and featured several fellow artists from EBSQ, Interior Design Team, Vast Team, and WWAO. Be sure to click on each piece of work and take a good look, you won't be disappointed! This one runs through Wednesday evening, so hurry up and check it out!

In honor of Halloween and my 5 black cats...

"Black Cats"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

another beautiful Etsy treasury to check out!

Fellow EBSQ artist Torrie Smiley put this treasury together, and was nice enough to include my pumpkin. Stop in and check all the wonderful artists in this one!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I'm in this Etsy treasury, woo hoo!

Well, I'm not in the treasury, but, my cat butt tile is! Check out all the fabulous EBSQ artists in this one!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

featured in this Etsy treasury!

My little pumpkin painting has been featured in this lovely fall treasury, lots of lovely artwork here, so, check it out!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

new little still...

This is the little pumpkin study I painted while at the art show a few weeks ago. Lots of texture in this one and layered colors, I had fun with my palette knife! It's 6x6 acrylic on hardboard. For sale on Etsy now!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

new painting on Etsy

Just listed this on's oils on 10x10 gallery wrap canvas...

new commissions

Finished up these two commissions last night. Portraits of two beautiful black standard poodles. Both are 8x10 oils on stretched canvas...

Friday, October 10, 2008

I'll be at this art market tomorrow!

Harvest Art Market Oct. 11th at Living Art Water Gardens
Living Art Water Gardens Inc.
2nd Annual Harvest Art Market
Great Fall Family Event!

Shop Our Beautiful Grounds While Local Artisans Offer A Wide Variety Of Art Media!

Great Door Prizes at Every Booth!

Belgium Mums $6.00 or 3 For $15.00

Pumpkin Painting

Pumpkins, Cornstalks & Gourds Right From The Farm For Sale!

Free Cider & Doughnuts!

Great In-store Gallery Sales!

Aquatic Plants, Buy One, Get One 50% Off

Decorative Pond Fish, Buy One, Get One 50% Off

SATURDAY OCTOBER 11th, 9am to 6pm

Living Art Water Gardens Inc.
At Artisans Cove
220 Old Highway 431, Hampton Cove, Al 35763
Across From Hampton Cove Elementary School
256-288-0003 or

Stop by and say hi!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

they like me, they really like me!

I'm excited to share that I received a Member's Mention award in the Bi-annual Spam and Trout show on EBSQ! The prospectus? Anything goes, as long as both Spam and trout are represented!

It's my first time entering this quirky show, and I'm so glad I did! Check out all the great artists and friend Vicky Knowles won Member's Choice! Her entry is fabulous, congrats Vicky!!

Here is mine, a digital photograph.....I originally wanted to photograph a still life of spam and trout, with an old master's feel to it. The raw fish, sliced lemons, knife, as if someone is having a glass of wine at the end of the day and getting ready to prepare dinner. And just in case it doesn't turn out, one can always pop open a can of Spam, right? However, what often happens in my household, a cat has to get involved, and in this case, that cat is Nikki. Spam or trout for dinner? Well, I think it's quite clear what Nikki's choice is... Guess I'm having Spam tonight...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

new nibblefest piece on Ebay!

For the September Ebay nibblefest art contest, theme smiling black cats, here is my piece, a river rock's based on my rescued cat Charles, who has a lot to smile about these days. After all, not all black cats are as lucky. He spent a year in foster care, mostly because lots of people don't give black cats a second look. I'm so glad I heard about this beautiful sweet boy.

Here's the auction link...

It's only a 5 day auction, so, don't miss it! And be sure to do a search on Ebay using "NFAC" to see lots of other great pieces for this theme!

Monday, September 22, 2008

fun Etsy treasury I'm in!

An ACEO print from my Etsy store is featured in this fun Etsy treasury! Be sure to check out all the other great items in this one as well! This treasury is a great concept and took some coordination on the parts of those involved, I'm so flattered to be included!

"The Cats of Etsy"

Saturday, September 20, 2008

new art and an art show...

Later on today (ack! is it today already??) I'll be at the Monte Sano art show here in Huntsville

It's looking to be a really beautiful day, a great day in fact to stroll around the lovely park and look at some art! Bil and I went up this afternoon and set up my tent and display, so, all I need to do is hang my artwork in the morning. I did manage to finish a new painting today as well, and will be taking it to the show. Yeah, I know it's still wet, but, so what? lol I've done that before...nothing like being last minute. And besides, I still have some prints to package up and some cards as well...yes, I'm that last minute! Anyway....stop on by and say hi if you are in the area!

Here's a few views of the new painting...tough to photograph because it's wet, so there's some glare, but, you get the idea. It's big...24x36. I call him "The Lazy Sitter"

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

new pear study...

Another pear study....having fun with these, playing with my acrylic paints and palette knife. This is on 8x10 hardboard. Taking it to the Monte Sano show end of next week....

Monday, September 8, 2008

new art!

Finished these two pieces up last week just in time to take them to an art festival I did on Saturday in Athens, Alabama. The 3rd annual Athens Art on the Square, a very well-run festival and lots of fun. The weather seemed like it would be iffy at first, but, the rain held off and it turned out to be a pleasant day, not hot at all which is a nice change.The first piece is from a photo ref of a friend's cat, fellow EBSQ artist, Windi Rossen, (thanks Windi!) It's her cat Ziggy, he's so adorable!It's 9x12 oils on stretched canvas...I call it "The Yawn"

This next one is a portrait of a very cute bulldog who belongs to a fellow EBSQ artist, Deb Sprague, thanks for letting me use that fabulous reference photo, Deb! This is also 9x12, oils on stretched canvas....entitled "I love football"

I'll be taking these two paintings with me end of next week to another arts festival....they got a great reception at this last one in Athens, lots of smiles. That always makes me feel good. I'm happy people have a good reaction to my art.

Monday, September 1, 2008

my entries in the EBSQ Pet Portrait show...

I had 5 (yes 5!) partners for the 2008 EBSQ Pet Portrait Show. I did manage to finish up 3 of those entries in time to make the deadline, 2 of those entries I have yet to finish will be entered in the EBSQ Better Late Than Never show in December (thank goodness for that one!)The Pet Portrait show is a swap show, we partner up and exchange photos of our pets and when the portraits of our pets are complete, and the pieces entered into the show, we send our portraits to each other. It is, of course, one of my favorite shows for obvious reasons.My first portrait was for my partner Heather Mathieson, and here is her lovely EBSQ portfolio link We exchanged pictures of ragdoll cats, and she did a fabulous pastel of my dearly departed Elizabeth. I had the privilege of painting her beautiful blue-eyed Isis and decided to do a rock portrait.

Next, I did a portrait of Deb Sprague's lovely new rescued kitty, Ruby. Deb is a wonderful animal artist as well, and does so much for animal rescue I enjoyed painting this beauty, in oils on 5x7 canvas...

Then, it was on to Vicky Knowles' Boston Terrier Mr. Wiggles, who is featured in many of Vicky's own amazing paintings, He was a true joy to paint, I loved the reference she sent me of him holding a favorite toy, as if to say "yeah, I know you want it, but, you can't have it, ha!" This is oils on canvas as well, 5x7.

Be sure to check out the show,, and, vote for your favorite piece of art! It's easy to do! If you aren't a patron of EBSQ, become one, it's free! you are already a member, then what are you waiting for?? Vote! All the art in this show is great!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

another new one....

Well, this one isn't exactly brand new. In fact, I started it in a palette knife workshop back in March, and as such things usually go with me, I didn't finish it during the workshop, so, it languished in my garage until my husband started to make me feel guilty about it. And, he wants the painting for his office, so, there you go. Anyway, finished it up a few weeks ago and it's been drying since then, I just wired it and painted the sides last night so Bil can take it to work tomorrow. I had fun painting this, it's oils, and I used a new medium to mix with my oil paints, Sennelier Flow and Dry. It's different than Liquin, as far as how it dries...not as fast, but it does leave a nice gloss to the paint, almost like enamel. I'll be using it some more in future paintings....

"2 Apples" oils on 11x14 stretched canvas

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

new landscapes...

Worked on these two paintings over the last day or so, a couple of small landscapes. I submitted them today for inclusion in the Unique Views of Huntsville exhibit at the Huntsville Museum of Art in mid-September. I'll find out next week if they get juried in. Unique Views showcases the work of local artists painting scenes around the Huntsville area. The sunflower field in my painting is on Redstone Arsenal, an army base here in town that also houses the NASA facility Marshall Space Flight Center, where my husband works. I love sunflowers and really enjoyed painting these scenes...hopefully more in this series to follow. Both are 8x10 and done in acrylics on gallery wrap canvas.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

new art just listed on Etsy...

A pear study, done in acrylics with palette knife, on 6x6 museum panel. I love working loose like this, so fun!! Just listed in my Etsy shop...

new art on Ebay, right now!

Just listed my piece for the Nibblefest Contest on Ebay, this month's theme is "A Dog's Life". This original 8x10 oil painting, textured and loose and oh so fun to do, is a portrait of my dogs Mardi Gras and Gumbo, going on one of our walks that they so love. This auction is only a 5 day auction, so, don't miss it! And don't miss the other Nibblefest listings, lots of great works for this theme, all starting at a no reserve price of $.99! Search NFAC on Ebay to find these artworks!

Sidewalk Art Stroll tonight, downtown Huntsville!

I'll be there! Stop by and say hi! I'm usually setup on the courthouse side, across from the Voodoo Lounge. This is the last one this summer, so don't miss it!!

Sidewalk Arts Stroll is Back!!!!
Thursday August 21, 2008
4:30 to 8:30 pm It's FREE !
Downtown on the Courthouse Square-Huntsville

Featured Artist: Johanna Littleton
Register to win her "Sidewalk" original artwork.
Proceeds to benefit the
The Aids Action Coalition

A great event for all ages. See you on the sidewalks!

The River 100.3 fm ♦ Harrison Brothers Hardware
ColonialGraphics ♦ Public FA, Inc. ♦ Sugarbaker's
Big Spring Partners

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

new art on Etsy

Just posted some new art in my Etsy store....this bonsai tree is an asian-inspired piece painted in watercolors and chinese ink on 6x6 matboard. Thanks for looking!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My treasury is HOT!!

Hey, if you haven't been out to visit my new treasury on Etsy, then get your butt out there and see all the wonderful works by the artists of VAST and Interior Design Team (some EBSQ and WWAO folk there as well!) Really nice stuff! This list is climbing the hot Etsy treasury chart in a hurry, I'm so pleased these artists are getting some nice recognition, and hopefully some sales as well! So, stop by the treasury...there is no more room for comments, but, be sure to click on each item and take a good look. The comments and clicks help the list move up, and besides, you know you want to see all this wonderful work! Thanks for visiting!

Here's the link to the list of "Beautiful Things..."

Oh, and if you haven't visited Etsy, why not?? It's a great place to find original art and handmade items. A fabulous community!

cats and ladders....

A friend mentioned in a reply to a previous post about putting a blankie on a ladder for Cassady and it's a new cat kidding, lol! Whenever a ladder goes up in this house for anything, before I even get a chance to climb it, there's usually a cat who's beat me to the top. As promised for a cat photo a day (or perhaps two or three, lol), here's a picture of my neurotic siamese cat Basho. This was taken several years ago in our screened porch, I was probably hanging plants at the time. The cats liked the stepladder so much I think I left it in there for a while. This photograph of Basho won a top award in an online cat show put on by a feline group I'm part of. He's such a beautiful cat, but those brain cells of his never quite made the connection that people are ok. I got him along with another oriental cat, Susu, when both were 6 months old (different breeds though, different litters, he's siamese, she's a black oriental shorthair). The breeder gave Susu to me because she was very small for her age and had an eye problem. But, she is typical oriental and very social. Basho just never got it and has always been fearful. It's like having a feral cat in the house. He's gotten a bit better over the years (he's 11 now), but, he'd just rather be with the other cats. He's a sweet boy, just never made the people connection for whatever reason. In fact, he usually bonds with another cat, at first he bonded with Tennessee our Maine Coon. When Tennessee passed, he bonded with TS, my grey and white boy. Sadly, TS was elderly and he passed as well. Now I will find Basho hanging sometimes with Chaim, also a grey cat, I guess Basho feels an affinity now for big grey boys.

Here's a pic of Susu....this was taken before her small right eye was removed....she does fine though, with one eye, and is sitting on my lap purring as I type this...

Here's a picture of Basho's first buddy, Tennessee, a lovely Maine Coon boy who died too young from the ravages of a horrible mouth ailment. He was such a sweet boy.

Friday, July 25, 2008

we're here to help....

I had taken some paintings to some shows recently, and was hanging them back up in my living room today. We have a high ceiling in there, and it takes our 9 foot ladder to hang those paintings above the mantel. Cassady apparently thought I needed some help. I think he really enjoyed the view from up there, the little poop.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

stop by and say hi tonight!

I'll be here at the stroll, so say hi if you are there! It's going to be a beautiful evening and lots of wonderful art to look at, don't miss out!

Sidewalk Arts Stroll is Back!!!!
Thursday July 17, 2008
4:30 to 8:30 pm It's FREE !
Downtown on the Courthouse Square-Huntsville

Featured Artist: Gina Percifull
Register to win her "Sidewalk" original artwork.
Proceeds to benefit the
Madison County Veterans Memorial Foundation

A great event for all ages. See you on the sidewalks!

The River 100.3 fm ♦ Harrison Brothers Hardware
Colonial Graphics ♦ Public FA, Inc. ♦ Sugarbaker's
Big Spring Partners ♦ GW Jones & Sons ♦ Meridian Arts

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

just created this....

Just made this blog, if you are on LiveJournal, you may have seen me there Figured I'd set one up here as well since I am part of the Blogger community through art groups such as VAST and Interior Design Team Etsy. Anyway, will be posting more of my artwork here soon! Peace!