My Idea of Girlie

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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?

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”?

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

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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!