Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cards Still Available

I have been filling an order for cards over the last week. The birds are a favorite theme this year. This collage is named "Believe".
I have used another bit of imagination and called this card "Sparrow". I am sure you are wondering where I get these brilliant bits of inspiration in the naming of my artwork.
A little genius from Leonardo da Vinci and a sketch of another bird are "Take Flight".

I have found drawing all of these birds this Christmas has given me faith in my drawing again. After the gift giving is over I will post a portrait I have been commissioned to do.

Orders for cards are still being taken. If you are interested please email me immediately at beth@niftyartgirl.com. Cards are $5.00, each is an original piece of artwork and could be matted and framed. The birds are each hand drawn and colored.

Monday, November 28, 2011

To Begin Again

"Two birds in the hand" is the name of this little painting.
"Madonna" is the name of this little painting.

I have been producing more little paintings, fewer details, meeting more deadlines.

Along the way I have been introduced to the art of two men who hold a devoted hand to their paintbrushes and sculpting tools.

Alexi Torres a master painter of such passion and detail and Grainger McKoy a sculptor of birds in flight, in life, in a vulnerable recovery.

I have learned more from seeing the work of these men and being in their presence. It sounds a little creepy and new-agey using phrases like that, but feeling the commitment to their art. Their love for what they do. The attention they pay their art. It is a wake-up call to me.

I have been reminded of this recently in my own work. Slow down and reconnect with what makes my art my own. The detail, the color, the beth of the art is what is missing.

Regroup and begin again.

copyright 2011 Beth Crews Rommel

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Life Just Carried Her Away

A client who bought a painting several years ago asked if I had any angel paintings available this year. Of course the answer is always "yes".

So I got busy creating some new angels to keep my older angels company. This is one I finished yesterday. She is a long tall drink of heavenly acrylic on a 12" x 24" canvas.

I have been painting lots of small canvases for the Christmas season. A Decatur hair salon and boutique, The Beehive Hair Company, has asked for some pieces and some original artcards.

I have three pieces for the show at the Swan Coach House Gallery.
This is "Then Life Just Carried Her Away", a small 8" x 8" canvas.

All work is copyright of Beth Crews Rommel 2011.

Monday, October 31, 2011


Having spent so much time in Santa Fe surrounded by American Indian art I find myself using elements of it in my creations.

This is the "Storyteller".

The storyteller dolls in New Mexico are from the Pueblo people. The dolls are typically surrounded by figures who are listening to their tales. My woman is carrying her listeners along as she explores and finds new stories.

This is a bit autobiographical....and will be seen at the Swan Coach House Gallery show later this month. She measures 8" x 8" on a gallery wrapped canvas of 11/2" depth.

copyright Beth Crews Rommel 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Little Ideas Mean a Lot

Before I begin a painting there is a process of thinking, planning and staging my materials.

There is quite a bit of time that passes when I mull over ideas. That kind of goes like this:

Where will my paintings take place?
Will there be flying people?
What are they thinking about?
What is accompanying them?
Is this an academic piece to revisit traditional subject matter?
Do I have reference materials/photos of this subject?
Stop thinking and get busy!

The drawing above is done on movers packing paper with a sharpie. It is a study for "Our Lady of the Seeds and Weeds". the finished painting in acrylic on a 16"x 20" canvas is pictured below.

I have been sketching and painting small pieces for a show at The Swan Coach House Gallery. I am so pleased to be included in the Little Things Mean A Lot Show that begins mid-November. The gallery is located in the Buckhead area of Atlanta off West Paces Ferry at 3130 Slaton Drive. Plan lunch and a little shopping while visiting this lovely space.

all work copyrighted by Beth Crews Rommel 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Good-Bye "Good-Bye Lady"

The "Good-Bye Lady" now has a home in California. She will not be returning from her west coast debut. Somebody liked her enough to offer her a new home with a check attached. I am so fond of this painting, she is very autobiographical, waving good-bye to her farm and farmer. My friends in Florida tended me as good friends and farmers do.

They made sure I had lots of nurturing.

It is sad to see your spot in book club, the one you co-founded with your good buddy ten years ago, taken by a new member. It is sad to know your spot in the car for the annual trip to the antique barns will be filled by someone else. It is sad to know you can't do a sneak birthday attack on a friend's special day.

However, the time together, when it comes, will be sweeter than ever. The hugs will have new meaning, the cups of coffee more conversation, and the glasses of wine will be raised to enduring friendship.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Go West.

My ladies have gone west to Davis, California for the Pour for Prevention event this Saturday evening. This is a time to thank the people who work with abused children. Their heartbreaking job is so important and sadly even necessary. My friend, artist and art therapist, Hannah Hunter describes this art and vintner collaboration, the meaning behind it and the terrible statistics that befall children in our country on her blog. As we read the newspaper we daily see the need for child abuse agencies. It is a sad commentary on our world that is even necessary, but it is.

If you will be in Sacramento this weekend please consider attending this event. You will have the opportunity to taste fine wines and view great art. For more information, click here for the details.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Carrying a Kindle Instead

As of this morning my computer is up and transmitting for the first time since we moved. What a relief to have my trusty keyboard and monitor and all that goes with it.

While unpacking boxes and hanging artwork in our new house I planned my next pieces. My friend, Hannah Hunter has invited me to participate in a show in Davis, California. The event will take place at the end of this month. I will send "Good-Bye" the lady in the yellow and pink dress, but wanted two new pieces for the California debut.

With this show in mind I have created "Lady of the Written Word". Maybe it is the many boxes of books I moved, or the 20 bags of books I donated to charity before we moved, or the love I now have for my Kindle that prompted this piece.

I was one of those folks who said I need to have the sensory experience of touching the cover and turning the pages. I was after all a librarian and have always wanted to illustrate children's books.

Last night after switching off my trusty Kindle I realized it is the words in the book that hold me spellbound. The turning of the pages is okay, but the fact that I am building my own library in a slim volume of my own is pretty fantastic. I marvel at all of the words I can hold in my hand and access in an almost weightless volume.

Maybe the next painting of the "Lady of the Written Word" should be a figure with a Kindle flying happily as she holds her complete library in one hand. She won't be groaning as she carries boxes of her treasured tomes up several flights of stairs.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

10 things I have Noticed

I have made mental notes of some things I have noticed in my first weeks in our new hometown of Atlanta.

1. The restaurants are fantastic. Fresh food, imagination in cuisine and surroundings, and there is a lot to choose from.

2. It is hot, but it is dry heat:)

3. The Botanical Gardens are beautiful. A demonstration kitchen in the heart of the vegetable garden, the herb wall, the orchid house, the conservatory with quail wandering about inside, the Hydrangeas, the canopy walk...a real treat even in the summer heat...shade works.

4. Traffic abounds.

5. I am going to love Decatur. Tons of sand are being brought to the square this weekend for a beach party. What fun if I had small children.

6. The farmer's markets are full of great food right now...corn, peaches, tomatoes.

7. I wish I had some friends here to explore with.

8. Almost every person I pass on my walks says, "hello." The southern way, how nice.

9. My French Market coffee is $7.99 a pound at the grocery! Ack! That is crazy expensive.

10. We need rain in the worst way. That would then change the dry heat equation...hmm.

The High Museum is on my to-do list for today. I will report back on that adventure.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Be Still

I have three of my favorite paintings with me. The "Cowboy", the "Sailor" and the pink and yellow clothed lady named "Good-bye". They are propped on the floor of this Buckhead living room. I am seeing them again, remembering their colors and patterns, and reminding myself why they are my favorites. They are part of my heart.

I began to visit galleries yesterday.

Here was the one I had seen on my past visits. This was the spot with the great location in my new hometown. Looks like a lovely space. Walk in...artwork stacked haphazardly on the floor. A painting hanging on the wall with a ladder leaning against it. How could it be? Art abuse.

My 2 dimensional children deserve a better home than that.

We are anxious to settle down, my artwork and me. This was not the place for us. We must keep searching...

In the last 24 hours two wise voices have kindly counseled me to slow down and take my time. Then on her last show Oprah mentioned "being still" and listening before making a decision. Looking before leaping, thinking it through, saying a prayer.

Sage words.

A reflection of my past year. Patience.

copyright Beth Crews Rommel

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Savannah Billboard Art Project

Some old friends like this sailor and many new ones will be gracing the billboard at Hodgson Memorial Dr. across from Oglethorpe Mall in Savannah, GA this Saturday. The following is a press release for more information:

“The Billboard Art Project – Savannah, GA”

Saturday, May 14th, 2011,
12:00 a.m. – 11:59 p.m.

Lamar Advertising LED Digital Billboards in Savannah, GA
On Hodgson Memorial Drive, northbound exposure, across from Oglethorpe Mall

A Lamar Advertising digital billboard has been privately acquired for
a continuous period of twenty-four hours during which time art work
will be on display. Over fifty artists from all over the United
States, a few from foreign countries, and nine seriously ill children
from the Backus Children’s Hospital will have their submissions on
display within an eight hour show that will repeat two times. There
are over 2,000 different images total in this particular show. The
project is part of an ongoing national exhibit appearing in cities on
digital billboards all across the country throughout the year.

“The Billboard Art Project – Savannah, GA” is the third roadside
gallery presentation of artists brought together by The Billboard Art
Project, a program designed to explore and promote the usage of LED
billboards as an artistic medium all across the country. It is one of
many such shows that will appear in other cities as time and funding
permits. Each show features different artists and completely new
work. The project is open to anyone interested in participating.

Anna Bruinsma – Los Angeles, CA
Anne Blix – Richmond, VA
Bernard Klevickas – Long Island City, NY
Beth Crews Rommel – Oviedo, FL
Blake Weld – St. Louis Park, MN
Carrie Lee Schwartz – Folsom, LA
Casey Smallwood – Chicago, IL
Chau Dang – Seattle, WA
Claire Accardo – Richmond, VA
CJ Nye – New York, NY
Colin Kidder – Memphis, TN
∞ Compagnons de Route ∞ – Antwerp, Belgium & Regensburg, Germany
Damali Abrams – New York, NY
Dan VanLandingham – Martha’s Vineyard, MA
Danny Volk – Chicago, IL
Dawn Hunter – Columbia, SC
Desmal Purcell – Stillmore, GA
Donald Gialanella – Topanga, CA
Elisha Gold – Memphis, TN
Erin Desmond – Los Angeles, CA
Ginny Lloyd – Jupiter, FL
Janice Tieken – Ventura, CA
Jason Miller – Memphis, TN
Jennifer Rarick – Atlanta, GA
Jo Q. Nelson – Long Island City, NY
Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow – Queens, NY
Joseph Ayers – Beacon, NY
Joshua Barber – Richmond, VA
Kathleen Judge – Chicago, IL
Kerry Woo – Nashville, TN
Laura Zaylea – Atlanta, GA
Lori Lipsman – San Diego, CA
Marcellous Lovelace – Kumasi, Ghana
Mardi Linane – Redlands, CA
Michael Krasowitz – Huntington Station, NY
Michele Guieu – Sunnyvale, CA
Natalie von Loewenfeldt – Savannah, GA
Norma Greenwood – New York, NY
Phillip Hanson – Saginaw, MI
Rachael Gorchov – New York, NY
Rashad Doucet – Savannah, GA
Robert Goodman – Philadelpihia, PA
Rosemary Williams – St. Paul, MN
Ruby Hilliard – Savannah, GA
Sarah Farahat – Portland, OR
Scott Allen Motley – Savannah, GA
Stephen Paul Connor – Austin, TX
Subhashis Chakraborty – Kolkata, India
Terry Ward – VA & Brooklyn, NY

For more information please contact:
David Morrison, curator, founder of The Billboard Art Project
(804) 648-2422

Billboard Art Project Website

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


In the midst of the insanity that a move makes there comes a stirring of the heart. A little distraction from contracts and irrational sellers was a welcome thing. At this point I reintroduce the Dynamic Duo collaboration I have been working on with friend and fellow artist, M.K. Shaw. The discussions began in the midst of visits by realtors in both our homes. The importance of a home, a nest, is embedded in all of us. A "safe place to fall" as has been said. Especially now I want to curl up in my home and never leave, but times are what they are and it is time in my mobile society to move on.

This is how our piece came to be. The nest, the little colorful bird, her treasure hidden away in the niches, the sky in which to fly, and the quote you have read in my post before, "Home's not merely four square walls, home is where affection calls" define where I am.

photo: Beth (left) and M.K. Shaw with "Home". The day the piece is being shipped to Connecticut's Celebrations Gallery.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Nashville Billboards April 2, 2011

This is the weekend the Billboard Art Project will exhibit the work of 21 artists from around the world in Nashville. As the copy reads,
"21 artists, 4 billboards, 24 hours."
Paintings and photographs will be projected larger than life around the city on this Saturday, April 2.

Be sure to cheer when you see some familiar art by this artist, Beth Crews Rommel. Yes, niftyart will be projected to 21' by 10' size for all of Nashville to see.

David Morrison is the man behind this project. He held the first digital exhibit in Richmond, Virginia last year. As David writes on facebook, "The Billboard Art Project is a viable artistic medium that takes art out of its normal confines and clusters and allows for the marvelous inadvertent discovery that wakes people from the mundane. The Billboard Art Project is a conduit for the dissemination of variety – cultural, philosophical, spiritual, whimsical, striking, and the sublime."

So send yourself, your friends, your family to view the spiritual, the whimsical, the striking and the sublime in Nashville this weekend.

Follow this link to find locations, artists, and more information about the Billboard Art Project.

and thank you David Morrison.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What if there are no threads? The third year tapestry unfolds.

At a loss for blogging words and direction, I confided the void to my artist friend, Hannah Hunter. She responded with the query, "What if there is no thread?" I wrote down those words and began to realize the thread had been misplaced.

Posting a photo of my artwork has been the common thread through the two years of the niftyartgirl blog. There have been many unrelated threads in my life lately: a large graphic design job, travel to Texas, keeping the house in order for showings, but the fine silk of art had slipped away for a bit. I am knotting and reweaving those shimmering threads.

Among those threads is a large painting in the studio, a stack of small paintings ready to move to the co-op and a piece to "weave" with a friend. What better tying together of visions than that with a fellow artist.

I am honored to say M.K. Shaw invited me to work with her on a collaborative piece for an exhibit in Connecticut. It will be part of the Dynamic Duo show at the Celebrations Gallery in Pomfret Center.

We spent Monday afternoon in a wondrous free flow of ideas. It began with our writing every idea that occurred to us independently. There were two pages filled with a swirling colorful combination of words.

A trip to M.K.'s laboratory of all things hunted and treasured was next on the agenda. Several boxes later a fabulous framework to house our creation was unearthed.

Once again a flow of ideas on paper to develop a more concrete plan. We revisited favorite artists on the web. A search through M.K.'s grad school sketchbook brought us to another discovery. This photo represents the first step in that direction.

Last year M.K. and I created portraits of each other. What will the warp and woof of this year bring. Please return for the third year of the niftyartgirl blog.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Little Queenie

A New Orleans friend of mine posted something about the singer Lil Queenie so with that in mind I thought,"go ahead." Having had a great aunt, a pony, and a dog named Queenie I figure the name is there to be shared. Putting together the new Queenie was a way to relax while I am in the midst of a big graphic design project.

To make your own "Little Queenie":
1. Paint, gesso and texture small stretched canvas.
2. Create a character from random lines.
3. Cut out said character and decorate the clothing, draw a face, enjoy this. Let the shapes direct your brain instead of trying to impose what you think is right.
4. Using modge podge adhere figure and background details to canvas.
5. Find a pithy quote to describe your creation. Print or write and attach to piece.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Bright Lady

I was painting this lady as I listened to an audio book about women in China. The descriptions of their brightly colored clothes stuck with me as I came to this dress. As the story developed there were many good-byes and that stuck with me too. As this woman leaves the farm she waves as the wind carries her away.

copyright 2011 Beth Crews Rommel
acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas 16"x 20"

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love Love Love

A little Valentine's Day message for my friends and family.

"May you always feel loved."

copyright 2011 Beth Crews Rommel

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Home is Where Affection Calls

From the age of 7 I wore glasses. My whole family wore glasses. My sister and I thought of ourselves as owls resembling the cartoons we saw and drew. When our dad would travel we would write a letter for him to take on the plane and read while he was away. He traveled a lot, there were a lot of letters. Our closing signature was "us" with a drawing of a daddy owl and two little girl owls, all with glasses.

I have been thinking a lot about what home means. Every weekend, as a child, my family would drive north away from New Orleans to Folsom, LA. We spent countless weekends there at the family farm. There was a little plaque on the wall in the kitchen. It read,
"Home is Not Merely Four Square Walls
Home is Where Affection Calls."

I believe in the words on that plaque like no others. Regardless of where or what, it is who that makes a family. This little collage I made today illustrates that thought with my own little family of owls. My two children, husband and myself with our myopic eyes.

To make this:
1. Recycle an old painting by covering it with fibrous, handmade papers in orange, green, and putty. Adhere the papers with Modpodge.
2. Cut out owls from an old bird guide and adhere them with Modpodge.
3. Paint branches.
4. Type favorite expression in chosen font. Print it. Cut it out. Modpodge to surface.
5. Cover sides of painting with more handmade paper in coordinating color.

I think I have to keep this one.

copyright 2011 Beth Crews Rommel

Monday, February 7, 2011


I have been browsing though a wonderful book entitled Altered Books Workshop by Bev Brazelton. After absorbing and reflecting on some of the information I went to my Borders Bookstore and happened upon what I think is the perfect starting place for my own altered book.

There are several things to consider when choosing the "bones" of your altered book. One of them is a binding which will allow you to add to the page's depth and still close. This spiral binding is my answer. Without that space the artist must remove pages to accommodate the bulk from added materials.

I decided to revisit the word commit.

I have always loved typefaces.Driving to the airport this morning at 4:30 a.m. I heard a BBC radio program about a show hanging at MOMA based on typefaces. The seed was planted.

It was time to begin:
1. I started with gesso, paint, sandpaper and Modpodge to refinish the front of my book.
2. I went through my computer to get some ideas for an assortment of fonts, then with paintbrush and a variety of acrylic colors I translated them to the word "commit".
3. Next my name was applied with a family of alphabet stamps and some metallic acrylic paint.
4. The fun with ink and arrows and dotted lines began.
5. My dear friend Laural took a picture of me at the beach several weeks ago. Today I had it jump through some Photoshop hoops and wound up with these images. I sized them according to the design in my head.
6. With my trusty ragged edge scissors I trimmed around the three different sized photos.
7. With Modpodge I adhered the photos to my textured cover.
8. With a little more ink, more arrows and lines I was done.

Clearly this is my book. My face and name are on the cover.

Now to recommit to my art journal. The newest copy of Somerset Studio's Art Journaling is at my side. When my own wains there will be inspiration at hand.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I Put My Mind to This.

This is "Playing a Little Love. The Violin Lady." She is now being shown at Artistree Co-op. Painting something joyous is a good counter to the graphic design projects I do on the side. Or is it I paint on the side? The graphics have been my mainstay since I graduated from college in the "cut and paste" days. My job producing yearbooks took me out of the dark ages into the forefront of technology where I learned to use photoshop and indesign. I am eternally grateful for that job. I left my comfort zone and learned so many things. The most important thing I learned is that I could do whatever I put my mind to.
I am going back through the curriculum from Alyson Stanfield's Blast Off class. I took the class a year ago and have decided to revisit my goals, tolerations, etc. I rewrote my affirmations.
1. I choose to build others up.
2. I choose to have faith and believe wholly in God.
3. I choose to be healthy: to eat fruit and vegetables and exercise daily.
4. I choose to dispose of the unnecessary, unkind and untrue.
5. I choose self discipline and strength.
6. I choose to grow in vision...see more of what the world and others have to offer.

There are more, but they are not relevant in this post. I will put my mind to these, as I can do whatever I put my mind to. Even number 3...ugh.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The First Journal Entry

Here is the first art journal entry for the Milliande.com 2011 project. The prompt pertained to a zebra pattern. Follow along...it is fun to see what women around the world are thinking.