Encouragement vs. Inspiration

20180914_114702 “I got you a leaf Mama. I like when you paint leaves.”

And so…I painted leaves. I didn’t know how much I needed to. How did she know? She’s 8. How could she sense what I needed better than I could?

Artists are often asked what inspires them-fellow artists, periods of time, methods and materials.. I’d like to talk about what encourages me. Thanks to the Virago Gallery I’m still busy at work creating a new line of pop icon paintings regarding women’s issues.

20180910_171914.jpgI’ll admit it takes a lot out of me to research, layout and execute one of these. The painting brings me joy. The act of creating is fulfilling. The fact that I get to share my thoughts on things that are important to me is humbling. What keeps me slogging through articles about human trafficking, rape, glass ceilings and mom shaming without needing to spend a week with the covers over my head is my girls. There uncanny ability to pull me back into focus, wrap me up in perspective and fill in gaps of despair with painting leaves and ‘snuggle puddles’.

I will be posting more of my journey through these paintings.  It’s important for me to share not only because I believe in the messages and some of them are very timely, but I believe in the PROCESS of how they are becoming. How I do, not just why I do. And I will share the breaks in between. The leaves.

Something to keep in mind this week. Sometimes what we create in the small is just as important as what want to create for the big picture.

I’m baaaack!

Real talk time. Summer’s over. My daughters head back to school today and I’m sitting in a quiet house, sipping extra strong coffee, wondering what is the best way to get the blog up and running again. My goal is to post every Friday.
I’m not one for excuses. I got lazy. I forgot. I worked through other social media outlets.
I painted a lot. I am continuing to work on the Patron Saints of Women series. It makes me happy. It’s meaningful work. But there is only so much reading about misogyny and human trafficking you can read about before you need to change your mental filter.
At night I’ve been bingeing all the episodes of The Venture Brothers. (thank you Hulu) and dipping my toe into puddle of pattern design. Because nothing sets my OCD at ease like creating overlapping circles.
Buckle up. I’m dragging you on this creative jaunt too!


Ok, I struggled with this for WAY longer than I should have.

I was looking for the right way to explain that things are all coming together for me. The #herartforgood  project is expanding and I am now able to tie that all together with my work training women in safety and self defense practices. I found the connection.

Whether it’s my art or my safety training I can do my best to help women overcome whatever makes them feel vulnerable while overcoming my own issues. A training buddy, a friend, a sister.

It feels good to finally define purpose. I’m tactile-I have to touch to understand and express and THIS I can do. This I can be helpful with. And more importantly, WE can work together. How silly of me to not rely on all of you and ask for YOUR help as I labored through this planning. Helping EACH OTHER up the hill is the plan. Showing you my own weaknesses as I help others with theirs is part of the method and I am grateful.



My issue to go into. It started out as something fun and light hearted I could do while I was recovering from surgery. I was sending them out to friends until I was challenged to deeper, to really look at what we’re putting out there-the messages we are sending to each other, the hurtful images and unrealistic goals we still put on ourselves and other women.

I’ll be sending these postcards out and will track them on social media with the hashtag #herartforgood. If you would like one or know of a place where one would make an impact, please let me know!

Stop Flipping Pages

Hey all-pcards

I took a break for quite some time. It’s funny how you can put things in your planner in bold pen until the Universe says otherwise…

Some good changes, some bad. Some new opportunities for growth with my body, my art and my passion for protection and self defense. I’ll work harder to share more with you here.

I’m still sculpting and will share more WIP on the new set of rings I’m doing, but in the mean time mixed media has taken my intention and intensity. Because unless you live in a cave (and some days I’d like to) you are aware of all the crazy unrest in the world. I’m not going to judge, rant or shout from my soap box. I’m going to pick one issue, a REAL issue, and go deep.

I’ve worked in the fashion and beauty industries for a long time. I’ve met some amazing people. And I’ve seen some horrible things, especially in the treatment of women and the fabrications that we sell to ourselves and the women around us. I’m a mom. I have 2 girls. I’ll write more with each piece. I’m making post cards with clippings from fashion magazines and anonymously mailing them with the hashtag: herartforgood

It’s my way of drawing attention to what we, as women, are doing TO EACH OTHER.

Stay tuned! And follow me on Instagram and Facebook to see the cards as they are released into the wild!


Art is what our feelings look like

I seem to be in a mood. I’ve been working on this piece and I’m torn about the best way to make the mold for it. And I did 3 materials tests before I got what I wanted.

TrungArt is hard.

It’s work. It’s time consuming. It’s exhausting. It’s not ‘what I do’ as much ‘who I am’ but if you know me, you know I do not mean that in the glitter covered, non-personal responsibility way it could be interpreted.

Truthfully, if I didn’t have my art I wouldn’t be a very good person. And it would SUCK to know me.

When I see artisans or small businesses post the treacle of ‘when you buy small you’re paying a a little girl to get dance lessons’, I shudder. Guess what-when you buy big you’re paying for that too, maybe you just don’t get to look the specific kid in the eye. SOMEBODY is benefitting from commerce no matter what.

When  you tell me or another artist that our work is ‘too much’ or ‘ I can find that on Pinterest and do it’, I used to get so mad I’ve cracked teeth. But I don’t anymore. You can’t fix stupid. And that is exactly what that mentality is. Stupid.

When you buy a hand crafted work of ANY sort, wanna know what you are really paying for? Years of education. Internships. Shitty jobs so to buy art supplies. Years of living on Jolt Cola and Snickers bars to make deadlines. Learning how to paint with both hands. Burns from a torch. Cuts from machinery. Years taken off a life from lack of sleep because the project JUST WON’T FUCKING TURN OUT THE WAY I WANT IT. Lonliness. No one awake at 2 am when something goes wrong. No one awake at 2 am to celebrate when something goes right. Trial and error. Learning curves. Arthritis. Missed school recitals. Marketing plans we have no business writing on our own. Learning Quick Books and Excel. Legal Fees. Exposing yourself openly on social media. Therapy. A spouse’s forgiveness. Unwalked dogs. Being able to let go of something you created and hope that someone will treat it as lovingly as you did.

In other words. A life. An artist is allowing you-asking you to share a moment with them-to share a feeling. ALL the feelings and work and ups and downs it took  to complete that piece. And they want to share it with YOU. Hope that you get as much from it as they did.

So if that all seems a little weighty to consider every time you look to buy some hand made earrings, or clothing or a painting or resin collectable-it is. And both you and the artist deserve the consideration.

It’s a beautiful day to start.

Well, I admit to being a bit rusty-( which can be unfortunate when I work with metal), but I’m happy to have a staging ground for my recent works and rambles.

It’s a blessing to be creative again without the burden of running the business end. I’m grateful for all that have expressed interest in purchasing works and I’ll update as soon as pieces are available for individual purchase and the link to purchase prints will remain on my WORKS page.

In the mean time, stay classy, and thanks for dropping by.