Monday, September 29, 2014

A Mess

So in my last post I mentioned that I use the A Beautiful Mess photo app. (I know this is not ground breaking, but it was new to me.) I love it because you can add fun text on top of images.

I also mentioned that I hate art with quotes. I still mean that. The exception is a gallery wall. Those should feel like a scrapbook of things you love. That can, and usually includes quotes.
I'm working on re-doing a couple dressers for our master bedroom (in all my free time) and I already have a gallery wall envisioned using several of my travel and flower pics in this app.

I scooted over to their website to snag a web address to link and saw they had just put up a great post about wall decor.

Maybe this makes my art superficial, but what I want to look at on my walls is exactly what I paint. Maybe that's another reason I haven't really tried selling anything till now. Attachment is tough to break.

But maybe it isn't superficial. I'm an interior designer by education and profession so I believe that what you surround yourself with, what you look at everyday has a profound impact on how you feel. Skeptical?
Ask yourself, how do you feel before and then after cleaning up a very messy kitchen or bathroom? Exactly.

It may go unnoticed by the guests, but before I have company over is when I really take stock of my decor. I feel like I don't see certain things until I look at it as if I'm a person entering the room for the first time.
Small piles that you over look for months, dust you never noticed, and most importantly what do you look at when you sit down at any given location. I know it's crazy, but sometimes I sit in a random place in the house just to see what the view is like. Do I have furniture correctly placed. Is there a nice picture grouping in view or 'gasp' is it a bare wall?
If the answer is bare wall it's time to paint...
So the take away, clean up that mess and hang up great art!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Pressing Forward

I have been making art on the side for several years now, but never really taken myself or this pursuit seriously. I guess I thought it was just so unrealistic to think I could ever do anything with it much less sell it.
To be honest I think only a fraction of what I make is any good and then if I look at it too long I may just paint right over it and start again. Until now I let self doubt stop me every single time. I could not see a way forward.

This past year has taught me what it means to get up every morning, push back fear and keep moving forward. I don't know how I feel about sharing more about that experience just yet. I think I'll leave it for a later time. But it changed me, as life will tend to do. I have a new attitude about what it means to persevere.
Basically, it's all work and it is either work for someone else or work for yourself. I chose now to do some hard work for myself.

I love to read and often I find the right words to motivate have already been written, but you have to be ready to accept the message when it comes to you.

Now to be clear. I have always hated art that had quotes on it. I mean, I want to look at something and decide what I take from it, not have it spoon fed to me like an idiot.
BUT I think that if certain words sing out so clearly the message you need to see everyday then you must find a way to celebrate that. I didn't even know who Bukowski was until I started searching for existential inspiration one day. This quote I just had to save.

This is an original watercolor that I quickly photographed with my phone and added the quote with the Beautiful Mess app. I've since done a larger canvas with this same pattern in acrylics. I'll get the quote applied to it eventually. I may never hang it unless one day I have a full dedicated studio.
Somehow just making this picture helps to cement those words.

To me it says, Keep Pressing Forward.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Problem with Technology

Part of this journey for myself is giving into the fact that I cannot accomplish my goals with out a very heavy dose of technology.
I'm a hands on person. I like to get dirty, make messes and have a good solid tangible result for my labors. Somehow blogging and yes even Pinning just doesn't cut it.
But it's part of it and I'm learning. I'm at the very early stages of putting together a collection of drawings that I will be selling on an Etsy shop that I haven't even started yet. I am taking my time and making sure that I think through the details.
I started with this blog. It's part of that prep work I mentioned.

I decided on blogger mainly because I was already familiar. I have heard some of the critiques of blogger verses wordpress. I decided that for me this was the best for now. It's simple, free and allows me to get comfortable with the big bad world of HTML.
I attempted blogging back in 2006 on, but at the time it was not so user friendly. After all my goal is to share my art, blogging is part of achieving that goal it's not the main goal itself.

Over the last few days I'll find myself feeling like I need a little guidance. Luckily blogging isn't new anymore so a quick search on Pinterest or Google and up pops plenty of advice.

I found this one helpful for making the most of my small amount of time to work on this. (I do have a full time job too.)

And the fact that I just created that image hyperlink is super exciting! I followed along on this wiki how article to make that happen.

Being an artist in todays technology driven world is both easier and harder. It's easier than ever to put your work out into the world, but no artist ever is good at self promotion.
I would just love to sit in Gertrude Stein's Paris drawing room and ask all her visitors what they would think about having to start up a blog to promote their work!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


So many things can pull you away from what you want. I don't have to keep reminding myself what I want. I do have to keep prioritizing my many projects. I'm a bit of a dreamer, but with out the time to do all the many things I dream up. (I suppose there are many of you out there like me on that one.)
It's because we bought a house last year, and I am that person that just knows I can do it all myself.

So because I've been thinking about what I really want to do and what matters most I had to make a list. Sort out the things that are distractions and whims and those things that enrich my life and my art.
No I don't need to repaint the side tables in the bedroom - Yes I need to go for a run
I'm writing this because I've spent most of a day binge watching Downton Abby which I feel horribly guilty about. I'm not a TV person really, but also spent time working on a new look for this blog while watching. So I guess that's not all too bad.

Now, time for my run, I'll bring my phone so I can take pictures of a few great plants around the neighborhood that I'd like to sketch. How's that for multi-tasking?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Prep Work

Okay so I did the initial here I am post. That is mostly for my benefit. I don't consider myself much of a writer so you have to warm up your typing fingers right? This blog will actually be more images than words because it's image and Color that I'm drawn to. I shamelessly 'read' many design blogs with our reading a single caption.
I'll just preface my posts so in case anyone does read this they can figure out what my images are...
I've been painting and making art forever really, so I want put down some of my history so the future will be more clear if only to myself.

I do have a creative family with a designer grandmother who owned her own business back before a female owned business was de rigueur and an artistic aunt, mother and father.
I also owe a lot to my two art professors in college, Kim and Leigh Ann. They made me do lots of prep work before beginning on a project. That sort of discipline is needed to make art, no to make really good art.
As a result my sketchbooks from college are almost as prized by myself as any finished painting.

So lets see if I can put all those creative genes and prep work to good use.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

to start.....

How to start? 
That’s what I have asked myself many times and in many situations. I take a deep breath, dive in and stay true to myself. The last one is hardest.
That’s what I’m starting this blog for, to help me learn what it means to be true to myself in my art.
I always loved to make art, but found it hard to find direction and honestly, confidence.

I see a lot of beauty and inspiration in the world. I want to use this space to collect and share that inspiration. I’ll also share and welcome feedback on my own sketches and paintings, and just be fearless about it. 
I am starting with the only expectation that you just have to start somewhere!

I'll leave you with this image from a past trip to Roan Mountain as your daily inspiration. As you will see, it's being outside and in nature that I find most of mine.