I’m ready for a New Year to begin. I like to set intentions for my personal and business life. They give me something to strive towards and as a goal setter, I really need the direction at times. The past year, hand-in-hand with my word Trust. has given me great rewards and unexpected results. I took the year to search deep inside to what I really love to do and to where I see myself going. Two things stuck out instantly. I love to paint and I love to teach. Now these are both things I have been doing for the past 22 years so they really didn’t come as a surprise. But what did surprise me was that I actually missed just putting paint and brush to wood. Seems simple right. However, I have made my living for the past 12+ years doing colored pencils. Art, yes, just with a different medium and different results. Oh, I like colored pencil and the fact that it, as a very controlled medium, showed me the way to realism and exactness that my architectural rendering muse inside loves very much. But after a while I just wasn’t satisfied with its limitations and not-so-quick finish. So the return of a paintbrush in my hand is something I am almost giddy about. The ideas swirling in my head are amazing, challenging and will take me out of my comfort zone once again. I am ready to see the endless possibilities of what the New Year will offer me. Are you ready?
In dreaming about my business and where I want it to go, two things have constantly spoken to me – online teaching and collaborating with people I admire, love and who push me to be a better artist. This Design Seminar with Mary Jo Leisure is just one of many dreams coming to fruition next year and I couldn’t be more excited, thrilled and even a bit nervous about the partnership. I have studied with Mary Jo for many, many years and always admired her dedication to continued learning, the beautiful way she decorated and used her art in her home, the generosity in which she shared her knowledge and the gentleness in which she makes you feel like an old friend even though she just met you. I cannot wait to teach alongside her, it is a moment I can’t quite see yet, but the magic I feel stirring within waiting for the opportunity to explore design, creativity and inspiration with willing students is something I will be dreaming of until the Seminar starts in April. If you would like to learn more about this incredible Design Seminar, you can find all the information here. It would be an honor to have you join us!
As a child I loved playing games, all games, especially if you could win. Competitive, you bet, but it was always more than that. I looked at games as a way to think strategically, figure out the best ways to play and study my opponents when they weren’t looking. I am still the same way today, studying, challenging and striving for success. Can you remember how you played as a child? Do the things you remember still pertain to the person you are today? I believe games are a way to sort out how you think, plan and strategize – three of my favorite things still. In planning for the New Year I am already making lists of project I want to complete in the first quarter. I am giving myself some room and not booking myself too solid. You just never know when opportunities or new possibilities will present themselves. I am also doing a year long course, my first, to keep momentum moving forward and creating the kind of courses I would love to participate in. It has taken a lot of planning with a lot more to come but the results are already fulfilling as students are just registering for the course. A quarter of the students are worldwide, something I have only dreamed of in the past. Online allows me to reach a much broader audience, sharing my knowledge across the globe. I am truly grateful for the incredible technology of today! So, are you putting yourself in the game of dreaming big? I sure hope so, you never know what path you will discover on the journey!
As a tomboy I have a hard time doing anything really feminine. Chintz, flowered wallpapers, bed & breakfast rooms – all will make me run away faster than anything. So when challenged with “girl” as a prompt, I had to really think about that. How could I define that word in a way that said me? Yes a girl, but with a love of bugs and steampunk and the darker creepier side of things. I looked around my studio and pink stuck out in unusual ways – ribbons, zippers, thread. The magnolia reminds me of the South and the movie Steel Magnolias. The cheesecloth is there but transparent at the same time depending on the layers and reminded me of the saying “seen not heard”. I thought of music and ballroom dancing, something I never had the grace or willingness to do. The little frozen charlotte doll is of eras past but their charm captures me every time. When I was gathering and trying to make a pretty “girl” picture, I was surprise that it really did feel feminine yet not too much that it didn’t feel like me. I kept the dark shadows instead of really brightening the overall photo to keep it a little grungier and more tomboy.
How would you translate “girl” in your style?
As I am making business plans for 2018, I am thinking about growth. What changes will my art experience with my intention being to be very, very productive and creative? What offerings will challenge me and my creative audience and keep them wanting more? What story do I want to tell this upcoming year? Then there is movement. What kind of shift will my art take if any? What changes will I be going through emotionally, creatively and spiritually? So many questions to ponder with the new year approaching. It is an exciting time to be an artist in this ever changing world. I want to use the online platform to express, inspire and challenge myself and artists who want more from their art. Daily rituals, writing and carrying a sketchbook around is becoming a normal habit and I am seeing such a difference in my outlook as an artist. I want to include more travel in the new year to experience new places, immersed in the atmosphere, enveloped by the culture and inspired by the area. It is nervous excitement 2017 is ending with and I couldn’t be happier! So, what are you thinking about as 2017 fades into the new year? Inquiring minds want to know…
I have a thing about perfection, I just can’t do it, it is too much pressure. As I was getting ready for The ART Studio launch this week I tried to figure out how to do a wonderful, beautiful, fantastic video trailer about the course. Oh, I have read, watched, read some more and you know what? I drove myself crazy trying to figure it out. I want it to be perfect for some reason. You know that little idea you get in your head where you can see it, hear it and taste it. Yeah, that one. Well, I decided today that perfection was just not going to happen so I settled for done instead. I could have postponed the launch, no one knew but me it was going to happen. But you know what, I needed to launch, to put it out there, to share with my art community. I have been thinking and preparing for it now for just too long. Today was the day period. I will go back to that beautiful trailer and try to figure it out and if it works, it will be an easy switch. But today, I am just grateful to be done, finished, with The ART Studio on it’s way, inviting artists to join me for a year long course. Ahhh, I need to relax for the evening now, tomorrow is another day!
Does anyone remember the Heinz Ketchup song “Anticipation” and the slow, very slow pour from the bottle? I sure do. It is what I am experiencing today, the long anticipation of a dream of mine coming true. I have been wanting to do a course, a different course for artists, creatives and anyone making art. I have had the pleasure of doing art as my full time job for over 20 years now and I still love every minute of it from inspiration to creation. The idea started last February when asked about Big Dreams and how can you make them happen. I thought about this, dug deep and came up with the idea of offering a year long course The ART Studio about the Discovery of YOU! Now, this is no easy task, I have been planning for the past couple months – ideas, scribbled notes, monthly prompts, assignments, video lessons and so much more. And, do you know what? It comes to life on Wednesday – the launch, the anticipation, the vulnerability, the Big Dream! I am feeling the swarm of butterflies in my belly, those gentle flutters from inside full of energy knowing something wonderful is near. I know this path is what’s next for me and I can’t wait to guide, encourage and support those wanting more. Art is such a personal expression and I am looking forward to creating a community around it, around you and the possibilities of creation. I hope you will join me, it is going to be amazing!