A New Year

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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?

Are You Dreaming Big Enough?

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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!

Movement & Growth

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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…

Perfection

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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!

Anticipation

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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!

Your Voice, Your Style

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I took a photography class years ago for several reasons – to learn lightroom, understand my camera better and to see if I really enjoyed photography. It was a huge success and along the way I also discovered I have a unique perspective on the world. Biweekly we were given prompts to challenge ourselves and give us a specific reason to pull out our cameras and shoot. This specific prompt was “chair”. Now I could have done what everyone else in the class seemed to do which was assemble a still life around a dining room chair. The photos were just lovely, some included flowers, others scarves, the lighting was gorgeous but this just wasn’t me. I took a couple days pondering the word chair and remembered that I had a little silver chair for holding place cards. So I gathered a small little box full of things and out to the garden I went. I knew the silver chair would look out of place in the flowers and I was totally right. Add the little porcelain doll, a monopoly hat and the stage set was perfect. Not only did this speak volumes to my inner muse but I was so thrilled with how different it was I couldn’t wait to share. It prompted many comments and inspired others to dig a little deeper into their work. Who knew I was a photographer in the making? Just another way to let my creative side shine.
What would you do for the prompt of “chair”?

Thinking Outside the Box

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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!