New Artist Spotlight: Lisa Morales

Lisa Morales at Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

Mixed-media artist Lisa Morales was born and raised in Texas. Much like a painter would use oil or acrylic paint as their chosen media, she uses paper to achieve the same results. She hand paints and textures papers of all kinds and then tears them by hand and perfectly place them to create collages full of whimsy and surprise. Even though the paper is painted, the markings from the text, illustrations, or patterns on the paper shows through the paint creating a visual layered feast for the viewer’s eye. The longer you look, the more interesting the piece becomes. Aside from beautiful art pieces, Lisa will also have have great gift items like journals, coffee cups, and calendars featuring her work.

Let’s get to know more about Lisa and her work…

How long have you been creating, and how has your work changed?
I actually consider myself to be a “late bloomer” when it comes to visual art. At the age of 42, I took my first drawing class at a community college as an elective when I was studying to be a court reporter. I had grown up in the performing side of the art world as a dancer and never considered visual art something I could master. I thought visual art was something that was innate in people. I remember so vividly how that first drawing class completely changed my perspective about what being an “artist” meant. I took color theory, 2-D design, and collage classes next. And I fell in love—with the process, the techniques, the critiques, the like-minded people, and the PAPER!! I have always considered myself to be a creative person but when I found paper, I knew in my marrow that I needed this part of the creative process to be in my life. I love it. I love the way it feels, the way it smells, and how you can create art by tearing it into tiny pieces and putting it all back together again.

If you could work in any other medium, what would it be?
Because I build my collages on flat wood panels I would love to work in sculpture or fabric or any other media that is 3-D in nature.

What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
On the weekends I turn ordinary children in to princesses, super heroes and beautiful butterflies as a professional face painter. The “moving canvas” is a challenge to work on sometimes but the reward of seeing a child’s face light up when they see the finished face paint is well worth the effort. I truly feel blessed that I can bring that kind of joy to children.

Lisa Morales at Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

What makes you excited about doing Armadillo Christmas Bazaar?
I am thrilled that a show of this caliber exist in my home state and I am excited for a whole new audience to see my work. I am also looking forward to being inspired by and meeting the other artist in the show.

Tell us about the first dollar you made selling your art:
I sold my first art piece after a workshop. One of the other students in the class offered to buy what I made and I was blown away. I was one of those people who thought that you needed to work for a lifetime at your craft to be able to sell your work. That first sale was a game changer for me and a complete validation in my mind that what I had to offer was “good enough” to be considered art worth buying.

Is there a band you are looking forward to seeing (or hearing from your booth – ha!)?
All of them. My husband is a musician so I think he is looking forward to that part of the show as much as I am.

Is there an artist at Armadillo you are looking forward to shopping from?
Let’s put it this way. When I got the promo postcard with sample of work from only five or six artist I told my husband I was in trouble and that he better keep me chained up in my booth to keep me from spending more than I make. I can’t wait!!

Lisa Morales at Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

Find Lisa’s work in booth O-7

New Artist Spotlight: Pen Morrison

Pen Morrison at Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

Houston artist Pen Morrison uses cut steel, painted wood and found objects to make mixed media art, often with a nod to musicians, using lyrics from songs. Her work would be a great gift for music lovers and collectors that enjoy their art with a bit of humor.

Let’s learn more about Pen and her work…

How long have you been creating, and how has your work changed?
I have been making art since my hands could hold things. In fact, my dad has a piece of driftwood with 3 glued rocks that I made when I was 4. I am still using wood in my art, so not much has changed! I also have been painting words in different fonts since high school, so that hasn’t changed much either! But recently, I have taken a turn from my music-related art with my Peace Sign Series, made of found objects, buttons, and painted wood. I also used to make more found object art, but now mainly create it from scratch, using repurposed materials.

If you could work in any other medium, what would it be?
Welding steel, or more letter press printing. Or abstract collage with wood or paper.

What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
Go out and hear live music! Also biking, taking the dogs to the dog park, and finding materials to make into art. And anything my 16 year old son feels like doing with his mom!

Pen Morrison Art Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

What makes you excited about doing Armadillo Christmas Bazaar?
Much of the work I make is a tribute to musicians. I am looking forward to hearing all the great music at the Armadillo, and talking to buyers who also love music! I have heard about this show for years, and getting to be a part of it with so many talented artists and appreciative customers is a dream come true.

Tell us about the first dollar you made selling your art:
In 2011 Whole Foods Market in Houston commissioned me to make a guitar tribute piece. I made “If You Steal My Chickens, You Can’t Make ‘Em Lay” honoring Lightnin’ Hopkins, a Houston legend! It still hangs at the Waugh Drive Whole Foods location. It was not the first dollar for my art, but the first time selling from the series I still make today.

Is there a band you are looking forward to seeing (or hearing from your booth – ha!)?
Dale Watson! He played at my art opening “Don’t Run Dry” at Cactus Music in 2015! I have a tribute piece to Dale Watson that will be for sale at the Bazaar, “Honkiest, Tonkiest Beer Joint In Town”!

Is there an artist at Armadillo you are looking forward to shopping from?
New to the show artist, Brian Phillips.

Pen Morrison Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

Find Pen’s work in booth U-4

New Artist Spotlight: Salvaged Wood Artist, Brian Phillips

brian phillips at armadillo christmas bazaar

Local artist, Brian Phillips mainly uses salvaged wood and other salvaged items in his work. He brings the salvaged wood home, cleans it up, separates the pieces and uses them to build ‘Salvaged wood canvases’ that he paints on later. Brian’s work is mainly silhouettes of different subject matter ranging from Armadillos to cowboys, guitars to bottles but he also does abstract and abstract landscapes. His collection is whimsical, yet strong, and includes small art pieces that are accessible to most buyers, including beginning collectors.

Let’s learn more about Brian and his work…

How long have you been creating, and how has your work changed?
I’ve been creating art since I was a child. My mom (who raised 4 kids by herself — I am the youngest) always tells people that the only way she could keep me quiet was by handing me a drawing pad and crayons. I rediscovered art when I was 21 for therapeutic reasons and haven’t looked back. I’ve been a full time artist since 2011.

If you could work in any other medium, what would it be?
Steel. Probably welding salvaged items into unique but useful items/lawn art.

What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
My wife, Cynthia and I enjoy hanging out on our back porch, usually listening to some classic country and enjoying a cold beer (or wine in her case) and firing up the fire pit when the weather is right for it.

brian phillips armadillo christmas bazaar

What makes you excited about doing Armadillo Christmas Bazaar?
Meeting so many new people that are appreciative of the arts. I’m nervous about my first year, but in a good way for sure. I want to bring my A-game and see how the crowds respond.

Tell us about the first dollar you made selling your art:
Not exactly a “Dollar” but when I was in 7th grade, I was drawing some of my favorite wrestlers “The Road Warriors” and a lady who was staying at the same place as me and my mom asked if she could take it and show it to her friend. I said sure and she took it to her friend who was the daughter of the wrestling promoter Fred Ward in Columbus, GA. The next week I got a call asking if they could print my drawings in the wrestling event programs. My first and only question was “Can I get in for free?” and the deal was made. I got into matches for letting them use my drawings for the next few years and met and saw some of my favorite wrestlers Dusty Rhodes, Terry Funk, The Road Warriors, Buzz Sawyer, Mr. Wrestling #2, Wahoo McDaniel, etc. This was one of the first times I realized art had some value. Some of my best childhood memories.

Is there a band you are looking forward to seeing (or hearing from your booth — ha!)?
Dale Watson is always a winner.

brian phillips at armadillo christmas bazaar

Find Brian’s work in booth T-1

Music Monday: Jai Malano

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar December 16 3pm

Jai Malano, debuted as leading lady to horn driven 40s-50s R&B band, The Royal Rhythmaires, on July 4, 2010. As vocalist for The Royal Rhythmaires, she and the band were listed as one of the Top 15 Bands to watch in 2014 by the Dallas Observer. Jai has mesmerized audiences with her raw, yet sultry, renditions of timeless Blues classics ever since. Combine her blend of storytelling with the same vocality as Etta James, Little Richard, Lavern Baker, and many more of the originators of Rhythm & Blues and Rock & Roll, and you’re guaranteed to be blown away from start to finish. Her strong vocals and showmanship have landed her the cover of UK Rock ‘N’ Roll Magazine, and she has received further recognition in Vintage Rock Magazine, and the Austin Music Journal. She is a show stopping powerhouse that you won’t want to miss.

Jai Malano will play the Armadillo stage Friday, December 16th at 3pm


New Artist Spotlight: Jamie Rice Art

Jamie Rice Art

Jamie Rice’s work is brightly colored, with bold graphic elements, ultra shiny and sometimes glittering with gold leaf, or sculptural additions. Upon closer perusal, however, there are meaningful details to be discovered. Her art prints and home decor items make great gifts for art lovers that embrace strong use of color. Her new “Remix” series, with it’s pastel grunge aesthetic, is young and fresh, perfect for interior designers and fashion forward patrons.

Let’s learn more about Jamie and her work…

How long have you been creating, and how has your work changed?

According to my family, I was drawing before I learned to speak. When I was a kid I made toys and jewelry out of Sculpey clay. I began building furniture, sculpture, and doing some pretty bizarre home renovations in middle school. In high school, I took up ceramics, and started a business where I created unique handmade backsplashes. My dark ages were in college where I studied accounting with the intention of going to law school. Between studying, renovating homes, and fretting about my future career, I had few creative outlets.

I began painting in 2008 after a very powerful meditation that seemed to command that I “paint” instead of following the path I was on. My first painting set the tone for all of the work that would follow, where I explore spiritualism, history, and philosophy. I’m always striving for more refinement, but my work had remained true to form, stylistically and topically, until recently. I’m currently making a shift from intellectual, articular thought, to venturing into the world of emotive, abstract storytelling.

If you could work in any other medium, what would it be?
I love sculpture, ceramics, and building furniture. I used to have a wood shop with every tool under the sun including a kiln and ceramics tools.

Jamie Rice Art

What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
When I’m not selling at weekend festivals, or painting, I tend to catch up with friends and family. It’s anybody’s guess whether I may be found imbibing fine whiskey or kale smoothies, frequenting clubs or practicing yoga.

Tell us about the first dollar you made selling your art:
I had made sales to friends and family along the way, and given charitable donations and gifts but was never sure who was just being nice, supportive, or charitable. The first real dollar I made was on the first night of my first art festival in 2012. A guy and his girlfriend, close to my age, came in making quite a fuss. He explained the meaning of the painting, Rock Paper Scissors, which was spot on. They said they’d “be back” which I later learned is often the kiss of death for a festival sale. But they did come back. I was excited as they walked up. It was listed for $1800 and he offered $1500. I was so nervous. I acted reluctant, but my insides were screaming “Yesssssss!” I accepted, nonchalantly. I was elated that someone would pay that much for my work. I was thrilled that he loved and understood it’s meaning so well. He’s since become a collector, having commissioned six or seven pieces so far and we are still in touch. All of the other artists around me, knowing it was my first show, came up and congratulated and high-fived me. I fell in love with the artists, the customers and the spirit of the festivals, but for the minor detail that I barely covered costs with that magical sale.

Is there an artist at Armadillo you are looking forward to shopping from?
Eric Mort and Terrell Powell. I look forward to meeting new artists as well.

Jamie Rice Art

Find Jamie’s work in booth N-4!




Music Monday: Quiet Company

photo by
Through the release of three LPs and endless touring, the Austin, Texas band Quiet Company has been making a name for themselves nationally with their energetic live shows and their anthemic, dynamic, indie rock which critics have called a mix of The Beatles, Death Cab for Cutie, Arcade Fire and Weezer. Quiet Company won Rock Band of the Year during SXSW 2014, adding to their previous 10 Austin Music Awards including Band of the Year, Album of the Year, Rock Band of the Year, Indie Band of the Year and Song of the Year, all won on the strength of their 2011 release We Are All Where We Belong.

After the success of their 2013 album re-release, A Dead Man on My Back: Shine Honesty Revisited, Quiet Company was featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and chosen to be a Red Bull Sound Select Artist, all of which rekindled interest in We Are All Where We Belong and shot the album to #7 on the iTunes Rock charts nearly 2 years after its release. Come see their Armadillo stage debut.

Quiet Company will play the Armadillo stage Thursday, December 22nd at 7pm

Music Monday: Carson McHone

Carson McHone is an alt-country/americana songwriter from Austin, Texas. She released her debut self titled EP in 2013 and toured nationally and internationally in its support. Her vocals are featured on Shinyribs’ album (Okra Candy, 2015), on Ray Wylie Hubberd’s song “Chick Singer Badass Rockin”, as well as a duet on Mike and The Moonpies 2015 release, Mockingbird. In 2014 McHone was selected as one of six songwriters to represent the city of Austin in “Project #ATX6”. The group played showcases in Toronto, Canada at NXNE (North By Northeast Festival) and toured Northern Germany, culminating in a sold out out showcase at the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg. Have a listen to get you excited to see Carson McHone live on the Armadillo stage…

Carson McHone will play the Armadillo stage Thursday, December 15th at 3pm

Music Monday: Charlie Belle

Charlie Belle Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
Charlie Belle is an Austin based sister-brother pop band comprised of songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist, Jendayi Bonds and drummer, vocalist, Gyasi Bonds. They made a splash in early 2015 with the breezy debut EP, Get To Know, which recalled the British “alterna-pop” sounds of the 90’s. A succinct and memorable handful of songs that reflected Jendayi’s mature-beyond-her-years songwriting, Get To Know had major press outlets proclaiming that Charlie Belle was “armed with the most infectious kind of power-pop” (Wired), dubbing the group “the coolest and youngest band you need to know,” (Nylon), and reminding that Charlie Belle would be one of the “musicians you’ll tell your friends about in 2015” (NPR Music). We are pleased to have them be the opening act on the Armadillo stage for their first time this year.

Charlie Belle will play the Armadillo stage Wednesday, December 14th at 11am


Featured Art Throwback Thursday

After announcing our featured art piece for 2016, we thought it would be fun to share with you the featured art of year’s past. Last year we had an armadillo illustrated by nemo.
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar 2015 featured art

In 2014 our featured art was done by Jay Long:
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar featured art 2014

In 2012, our first featured artist was Terrell Powell, he’s been with the show since the 90s.
Guitar Tree

We love seeing how the show inspires the artist’s piece, and look forward to growing this list. Do you have a favorite featured art piece? Let us know which one it is!

Announcing our Featured Art for 2016!

Did you know we choose an Armadillo artist to create our featured art piece for the year for us to use in our advertising? Here’s a little bit behind how that came to be…

We really wanted something besides our logo that we could change every year. We wanted to showcase the creativity of the Armadillo and have a piece of art that represented our culture in a different medium. Chosen artists are not given any parameters, they are free to use any color and just be inspired by the show.

Our first featured art piece was by Terrell Powell, followed by Jay Long, nemo and now Aly.

This year we’re trying something new with our featured art piece titled “Home” from Aly by doing an auction.

Aly’s beautiful piece is 26″ x 47″, and it really captures the show (and Austin!) in mosaic form.

2016 Featured Art by Aly Winningham


Let’s meet Aly, the artist behind our 2016 featured art!

Armadillo artist Aly Winningham
Tell us about yourself, your artistic background/career, where you are from and where you are now.
I was born and raised in Houston. I come from a family of creative types and always knew I was an artist. It took me a while to find the medium I am in now. But I have been making mosaics for almost 20 years now.

What was your creative process for your piece, “Home”?
Well, I thought about what the Armadillo means to me, and I came up with the design. When I think about the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar I think about family, I think about connection to Austin and I think about music, art and self expression. Once I had the design I framed a piece of wood, sealed it with white primer and sketched the image onto the wood. Then, very meticulously, I began to place the glass, stone etc with adhesive often having to manipulate the item before placing it. Then I grouted the entire piece.

What was your favorite part to put together?
The stamping of a penny was a new thing. That was fun. I was surprised how easy it was to find super tiny high tinsel steel number stamps. I can’t even read the numbers on the rods with my readers.

What was the most challenging part of creating “Home”?
It actually flowed pretty well because I felt passion for it. Sometimes I struggle with commissions because I’m really having to dig deep but this was easy and graceful because I feel connected to it.

Is there a 709 hidden in the piece?
Why, yes. Yes there is. The last question may have given a little hint. Actually that was Bruce’s idea and it was a brilliant one.
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar 709

Tell us about your history with the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar.
2010 was my first year. But I spent several years before that trying to get in! I would go to the show and talk to the other artists. I had many friends who were in the show. I was buying all my Christmas presents at the show. I felt connected long before I was invited in.

Tell us about the first dollar you made selling your art.
Well, when I was 18 yrs old I took off to California in my VW camper van. I spent about 7 months living on the beach (somehow?) driving up and down PCH without a care in the world. When money was lean I was able to sell my hand painted clothing on the beach. I would use acrylics to paint on jeans or the back of used jean jackets. People paid for it. I was shocked at how much people would pay. My first sale was to this guy on a motorcycle. He gave me 100 dollars for this jacket I had painted a dragon on the back of. I was wearing it and he pulled over and said, “I will give you 100 for your jacket” and I was blown away.

What are your favorite art supplies or tools?
Glass, glass glass! It so beautiful and comes in so many colors and textures. And second to that would be stones. Semi precious stones.
Aly Winningham glass

If you could work in any other medium, what would it be?
I would like to make tiles out of clay. I already fuse tiles out of glass. But glass is very expensive and limited in other ways as well. I feel like clay tiles is my next venture.

Tell us about your public art and large installations.
My first one was a private commission for Whole Foods Market in 2005. They hired me to install a “Candy Island” mosaic in and around the chocolate counter of what at the time was their new flagship corporate offices and store. The mosaic is still there and has survived many in store remodels. It’s primarily made of large chunks of ruby red tumbled glass chunks and scrolls of solid copper rods. I learned a lot on that job. You can see pictures of it on my website. From there my large installations have ranged from private residences to public settings both indoors and out. Some of my other clients include, Simon Properties, City of Austin and a handful of private architect firms.

What are your five favorite songs, albums or musicians?
Wow, well, lets see, I guess I’m a stuck in the 70s era kinda girl. Not that I don’t hear new music especially on KUTX all the time that I quite enjoy. But the stuff that’s closest to my heart is all the great 70s stuff, Supertramp, Fleedwood Mac, David Bowie, Joni Mitchell, etc etc it’s really endless I’m afraid. Top songs, Toni Price – ‘Thank you for the Love’, Elton John – ‘Philadelphia Freedom’, The Beatles – ‘Dear Prudence’, 4 Non Blondes – ‘What’s Up?’, and oh I don’t know about 100 more.

Is there any wisdom you would like to pass on to emerging artists?
I would say that if I could go back and talk to my 20 something year old self I would tell her to take a deep breath and believe in herself. And just know that if you follow your true desires, in this case to live a life full of creative expression, that the world will provide for you. I love the quote “Fortune favors she who dares” because my years have proved to me this is very true. And sometimes having the courage to be ourselves in the truest sense takes more courage than anything.


Head on over to our auction page to learn how to bid on “Home” by Aly!