I’m Going to Get This!

Hardest thing I ever attempted and wow my brain hurt and I could barely see or comprehend it, but after pluggling away and using tools like shadows and string, I’m finally almost getting it: 

After working all day fixing all parts: legs, keys (still not close yet), shadows galore and then redoing shadows, the book, the uke, the metronome, the body, and the lid. 


My huge square ruler is too small, so I'm using string. 

Music that got me through this: all my old cd’s that skip. 

Looking at the real thing

I decided to ditch the cool photo I was using for inspiration pretty much completly because everytime I had a “question” (like, what does that look like?), I couldn’t answer it with the photo and had to use the real piano, and then as a result, the painting would become incorrect with discrepancies of lighting.


The keys will be this week!  

The keys will be this week!  

Negative Space

Almost have most of the dimensions close. Here is how I finally started to get the ukulele closer. 

Now I’m getting mentally ready to add yellow and blue.  


I see in this pic that the bottom curve of the uke is too much.  

I’m struggling with the bottom of my piano. How many folds are there and how they change with the light. 

I need to face the rosary necklace soon, I haven’t touched it since the beginning. 

I think this will be a decent painting when it’s finished. Hopefully Ben Franklin will custom frame it for me with a gold frame. I might get it professionally scanned at NW Fine Art Printing first. 

How to know when to stop? I plan to stop when I feel like I cannot improve it anymore. I’m not trying to make it look real, I’m just matching lights and darks and relative shapes. I’m trying to match color. I’m trying to put in the feel of the details to describe what I see: like instead of a square book, I messed up the corners a bit. Instead of drawing music on the pages, I drew the shapes of where white was and wasn’t and then described the notation with where the lines are thickest.  

Shiny Things

My favorite color is shiny. Mostly because that’s my honest answer to a silly question. Any color all colors, it’s all relative and it’s mostly light that makes anything look good. I like combos. If I haaad to pick: pink and green, cerulean, mustard yellow, black n white, and light blue.  How many times have you been asked your favorite color? Too many times, right?  Isn’t it kinda limiting if someone always goes for the _____ just cuz their color is purple. Literally buying things cuz they’re purple? And then someone comes along and says, “oh iiiiii haaaate that color” just to one up themselves. I think it's a good sign if you don’t have a sense of identity with one color. It’s good to see the value in all and be able to comprehend a relationship between colors.



My goal for this painting is to be better. Better than what I know I can do. I know I can paint from a picture or work with a projection comparing and working upside down, squinting, stepping back and work at lights and darks with relative shapes until it’s good. However, there is an elephant in the room. 

I am going to look the elephant in the face and say, “I am moving my painting away from the window and putting it in front of the piano!” 

Go, Brave Hilma! 

The biggest mistake/deal breaker/“artist maker” = doing what you know to be right. If I hear my teacher’s voices say, “Work from real life” and I refuse to do it and sit comfy in my chair lying to myself and my viewer, I’m not going to improve. Improving is everything. Don’t underestime someone’s or your own aptitude to improve. The skill to learn will enable a person to literally do anything.

Key to success: make goals and learning public and celebrate learning and make the hard parts celebrations of good choices.  

Party time!   

This is how I do it:  

In five minutes after making this change, all the black parts in the pic I was looking at now made sense: what direction they were going, how they’re connected and wayyyyy more details that I can use to describe slabs of brown wood. 

Here I found a ukulele in my daughter’s room and redid it in my painting. I can see there’s not quite enough black space under it yet. Looks way better smaller and at an angle.

worked on keys marking each section with a toy and making a slight mark representing the toy on the painting cuz i was getting all mixed up and didn’t want it to look too messy.

worked on keys marking each section with a toy and making a slight mark representing the toy on the painting cuz i was getting all mixed up and didn’t want it to look too messy.


Painting from real life is where it’s at! If you have a “question”, you can “answer” it. For example, “Where does that line up?” Then, you move over and look. I placed markers and made representative marks on my painting to keep track of the 88 keys. I found that my legs were in the wrong spot.

When the painting gets closer and closer to reality, you’ll feel a click! It’s like, “yeah!” God, I live for that feeling. May I say that it kinda becomes real and time in the milliseconds is meddled with? It kinda feels that way. Like, there’s this small moment where I’m in control and the ages are listening. Sounds crazy, but I wanted to share because I hope to help others by explaining why I work all day and how I am able to create. 



I use smell a lot for painting. I get into my happy place by lighting Dragon’s Blood incense and candles. I don’t use music because it’s way too distracting for problem solving. I also clean my pallet n brushes and drink coffee to get in zee mood.

I highly recommend Dragon’s Blood, specifically the sticks by specifically SAC. I can only find them online. It is guilty pleasure and shopping at upper middle class educated hippie rock stores that I’m getting to visit at Port Townsend from living on a sail boat for a month in the summer.

The Bridgewater Candle Co Sweet Grace is layers of addictive and fulfilling like getting to walk around an interesting store with a slightly bored middle age wife with extra money. Like hanging out with someone that’s cooler and tolerant of your differences.

The Little Barn Candle Co, from Snohomish, Happy Pumpkin makes me feel like a loving mother that has a welcoming home and traditional family values. Kinda like peeking in a Thanksgiving dinner and memorizing how to be better.

Yankee Candle Sugared Pumpkin Swirl makes me feel like a put together takes lots of self time with painted nails on chubby fingers, jewelry, and gum in her purse. This reminds me of getting to wear someone’s nicer clothes, like given a shawl to get warm and being grateful of being included.

Combine that with salt water and sunshine (happy childhood), black opium (naughty middle school years plus my grandparents home and clothes smell on the Yantis side),  CK 1 (wish I was cool in middle school), wood smoke (my grandparents on the Preedy side) and possibly my ambitious Grandpa Preedy’s BO which reminds me of persistence, and my friend Minta’s smoked good smell which reminds me of unconditional connectedness, and I’m in heaven. 

Ready to paint! 


Piano Day 2


I have a lot to fix: left music stand tray thing is too narrow, piano keys more clear on 2’s vs. 3’s black keys, the right brown wood lip above the lid needs to go up, and the lid more accurately described. 

I’m thinking of keeping my palette limited to my three colors: brown, blue, yellow oh four colors! Paynes Grey.

I’m going to use the actual piano as a model instead of a printed out black n white pic now I think. 

I might bring two ukes from school to make sure I get the angles right and add a good shadow.  


Catholic School Commission

I am being commissioned to paint a large painting for a Catholic school music classroom. This is for my husband‘s very amazing cousin’s music classroom in Minnesota. Mrs. Tiffany Gordon is a super teacher and she has made a big impact in the school and church with her piano skills. She has a famous ukulele program. 

We are collaborating with my photographer friend, Chrissie Chang and her very cool mother that owns a ukulele. Here are the photo ideas so far incorporating a ukulele, a piano, a rosary and a hymnal. Chrissie’s pictures give me the feels.


Maybe a cropped closer-in version of this Tiffany said. Her ukuleles are school colors snd she’ll send me a pic Wednesday. 


This picture makes a sound. Totally does! I can hear the ukulele hit the rosary and the keys clink and the mecklace slides. 


Ryan likes this one. Tiffany said we cannot tell it’s a ukulele, though. 


The one I created. I like the colors. 


So, I am thinking I need a new picture of like a grand piano with light streaming in and colorful surprising splash of ukuleles in an interesting and orderly pattern perhaps on the body or floor with commanding keys with shadows like a grandfather looking down at you and a red hymnal off to the side and a brown rosary on the bench. A cool angle and bent artsy perspective. 


Paintings at Gallery!

My dad delivered them to the Shelton Rotating Art Gallery this week. I hope to visit the gallery this weekend if they’re open. 


Framed Paintings!

For the Shelton Rotating Art Gallery, I got my paintings framed it only cost seven dollars to frame a painting.  I highly recommend it. Yay for Monroe Ben Franklin.


Pretty green frames. 



Purple Go Huskies stripe. 


Coolio mat that goes well with charcoal. 

Shelton Rotating Art Gallery: Here I Come!

I was accepted into an art gallery for the first time! Shelton Rotating Art Gallery is a dream come true. I have been hoping to submit my art there for years.

My dad would send me brochures and forward emails encouraging me to submit art. He started doing that when I was a new music teacher, about 11 years ago. I just didn’t have art that was appropriate, didn’t have time to create something specific for it, and I didn’t really feel qualified enough to write a short bio about myself as an artist.

The Shelton Art Gallery/Civic Center and I go back to when I was in high school.

I grew up playing piano in my Dad’s community swing band, Swing Fever, at the Shelton Civic Center. We played there every year for weddings and fundraisers. Before the gig, after we set up, I’d walk around the brand new nice building with my sister and look at the art. 

Across the street, at a retirement home, that’s where I had my first piano recital. Haha my teacher forgot to call me up and I didn’t have to play!  

4/5 of my submissions were accepted. They didn’t like the mermaid. Since my dad is on the art board, he did not participate in the voting. He warned me they don’t like boobs. She did have a seaweed strapless top, but I guess that was too much. 

Here are the pieces that were accepted: 


I am a bit of a perfectionist sometimes so I have some anxiety that these are not in perfect amazing impressive fantastical frames and I’m tempted to spend hundreds of dollars at Ben Franklin getting them professionally framed for this. Highly, highly tempted. I do want this to be amazing. I will probably go there today. Imagine the golden baroque frames that take up a wall... that’s what I picture haha. 

I hope to invite people that would want to come and I hope to dress up and then take everyone out to lunch or dinner to celebrate.  

Thank you for encouraging me! 

My next goal is to participate in the plein air  festival (which to me would be like a competition competition I want to win) at Cannon Beach. I know this is egocentrical, but I want to have fun and dress up like a French plein air artist. I already have two different berets and two different striped dresses. When I get a vision, step back!

I hope to practice in Monroe on the sidewalk before just to live my dreams when I drive around that’s what I want to be doing so I just want to do it.  I know it’s not normal and it could get me attention I don’t necessarily want but I have this skill and it’s just the weirdest calling. I just really like to be in public and painting because the time flies by. Watch out, I’m crazy and brave enough to follow through. It miiiiight take me 11 years to follow through with a goal. But, by jingo, when I get there, I might blog about it ha:)!

On my way to “Ben Frank-skiis”.  They are already hangable I just want them to look boss.

On my way to “Ben Frank-skiis”.  They are already hangable I just want them to look boss.

Back! It was $240.00 to get all four done. A deal since one a couple of years ago was $100.00. Well, they’ll look great and I’ll feel proud. I got a cool green 90’s cords color frame for the 11x14 oil paintings and large black matching frames with fancy mats for the charcoal drawings. The piano one has a sliver of purple,  I thought appropriate since it is of a piano in Hansee Hall at the university of Washington.  The Moai 🗿 charcoal drawing has a textured gray mat that was detail-o-riffic.

I’ll post when they’ll be up as soon as I hear.