Art Challenges

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This is the result of my 70 Days Art Challenge inspired by Vincent Van Gogh. Not only was it a way to create for 70 straight days but I gave myself the added challenge of working in watercolor with a few exceptions. It gave me time to play and practice with my new Daniel Smith watercolors on a daily basis which helped me work through a couple of things. First, I like working in watercolors over a gessoed surface because of the pooling of color that happens and the softness of layers. Second, it let me experiment with color combinations to see if I liked them together. By limiting my time to create, 10-15 minutes per piece, it also allowed me to just get it done instead of planning and thinking too much. I cannot believe that these 70 pieces are the result of a one word prompt per day. How I interpreted the prompt was not what everyone did and that was one of the beautiful things that happened when we shared our daily art. We got to see the same word thought out in 100+ variations, mediums and style – it was just so much fun! If you would like to try your hand, here is the link to the self paced version, along with the 21 technique videos included. Go ahead, take the challenge, you might even surprise yourself in doing it!

Thinking Outside the Box


Do you think outside the box? If so, how far do you go?
Years ago the Society of Decorative Painters asked a group of artists to design around a theme of “flowers” and each of us were sent this wood piece to work on. The first thing I knew for sure was that there would be flowers of every shape and size represented and beautifully painted. The second thing I knew was I would not be doing a flower. It was that instant. A challenge had presented itself, how can I do a “flower” piece without painting a bloom. So I thought about gardens, wallpaper, magazines – could I make these work? Then I wrote down things I could include seed packets, water, seed pods, bees, butterflies, dirt, a greenhouse etc. As I sat there writing these lists, a wonderful idea popped up, a “flower” before, during and after. I started gathering all the things I wanted to include and laid them out on the board, the one thing missing was a connector to bridge the two sides and that’s where I came up with the paint strip. Even potting sheds need to be painted from time to time so it was perfect.
As I sat painting this piece, I wondered how many others would think outside the box and go against the norm. Out of 20 artists, I was the only one without a flower on my piece yet “flower” was so well represented it fit in perfectly. So, challenge yourself to think outside the box, you just never know what creative vision you might come up with. It’s nice to stand out, have a different voice, a unique sense of design. It’s great to be YOU!

The Color Orange

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Orange is showing up a lot for me the last couple of months and I like to think that it is due to the excitement of what is coming in 2018. It represents creative energy and frankly I love the color! It decorates my studio with its enthusiastic character and just makes me smile. As I researched it online, this is what was said about orange –¬†Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation. A lot of encouraging words for sure and I truly believe orange is showing up to keep me fascinated with the new year and what it holds for me. This past year has been about taking time off of work and just moving deep inside to discover what I really want, need and to explore what offerings will move me in the direction I want my business to go. I want to paint! I want to help other creatives find what moves them! I want to be present, extremely present to what my artistic heart and soul are discovering every single day! This is what orange looks like to me, a place to find myself and the courage to head in the direction of what’s next. What color speaks to you? I would love to know…

My Curious Nature

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I started “Meet Me Monday” on Instagram to tell a little bit about myself each week. It is really fun figuring out what to share and reveal and how the photo can say it first as well. This little gazing ball hangs in my moms background. It is full of wonderful shadows, sparkles of light and her latticework shows up beautifully within its reflections. But let me ask you, would you have seen it? This little ball is only 2″ in diameter, hanging slightly above your head. Would it have stopped you and make you take a closer look? For me, this little gazing ball speaks volumes about my curious nature. I love to learn, challenge myself any way possible, and am an over achiever most days. I just don’t look at things. I see them, study and research them until I have a better understanding of what I am looking at. I like to take photos of stages (bud, bud opening, bloom, full bloom, seed pod). It gives me a full definition of what I am seeing and helps me create art around it better and with the details I am in love with. Curiosity is part of who I am, it is my favorite thing about me because it has kept me engaged in the ordinary, the everyday, the discovery of beauty everywhere.
How does your curiosity show up?

Cast of Characters

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When I was creating my colored pencil book/video course Vintage Wishes, I wanted to showcase the Cast of Characters I used throughout the book. This group was my inspiration, my gathered concept of what the book would become. Each one hand picked for some special quality. The pixie for my childhood, the matchbox truck for my brother, the globe because of the beauty, the deer for my love of nature, the angel for my trip to Savannah. Yes, there is a reason for every piece I included. So today I am sitting here thinking about the assembled Cast of Characters in my life. You know, the people who hold you up, raise you higher, support and encourage, tell it like it is. What does that group look like to you, in your life? Mine has changed over the past couple of years as my needs change, as I search for something missing or different. The one thing I know for sure is you can’t do it alone, no matter how strong willed, independent or smart you think you are. There is a reason for connection. There is a reason for coming together. There is a reason for community. It is up to you to search and discover your reasons and truly embrace your Cast of Characters. Thank you for being a part of mine today!

Peeling Away the Layers

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I have immersed myself in a Master Mind group this year where we focus on business, building, defining and moving forward. We ask tough questions every single week and the answers don’t always come easy. They make you dig deep, search within and for what you really want to achieve. Some aren’t always easy to reveal, others make you sit in awe that you feel that way but never expressed it. I find as people, we have so many layers, feelings, emotions stacked within us, isn’t it time to let some of them out and into the world? I have such a hard time with being vulnerable yet my art, my creativity and my teachings are all lining up with exploring that exact thing within yourself. Funny the way things work out when trusting the universe with your inner dreams. I am ready to move forward, let my inner artistic soul out, let her see the world and all its wonder. It’s time to let her show up and create the classes I am meant to share. Those where we talk about YOU, what matters to YOU and how YOU can show up in your art. I felt the powerful shift in the air, did you? My year long class The ART Studio is coming, will you be there as we uncover the beauty within YOU, together, just our vulnerable creative selves showing up? I know I can’t wait to get this incredible journey started!

Collecting Anyone?

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When I discovered mixed media it sent me on a bit of a fact finding mission for myself. What do I love? What speaks to my artistic side? What can I include in my art that screams Kelly? As I started hunting and gathering a little bit of mystery and intrigue began to form. I like weird things, really weird things. As they came together in my studio I noticed that is was about being curious, trusting my selective instincts and my love of composition. How can I put things together that were not meant to be displayed that way? Well, I make it work. I include a wide range of items in my photographs and find ways to incorporate them into my paintings all the while smiling because it feels just like me. I became a better artist when I included things that spoke to my heart. It made me connected to my art and after doing art for 20+ years, this was a huge thing for me to experience. I was seen, for the first time, in the bits and pieces I chose to do art around. It was life altering for me, to say the least. I hope YOU are allowing yourself to show up in your art, we would all love the chance to get to know you better!