Are you in the Game?

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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!

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!

Vintage Wishes

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For years I have been wanting to self publish. I researched for places to go and wanted everyone to have a chance to get the book so I chose an online publisher I was impressed with. Their quality, easy to use format and great sales page made it a no brainer for the go ahead. To create my own book/video course all in one was a feat I was willing to tackle head on. This would mean hunting, gathering and finding props that inspire me. Arranging and photographing the props so I can create from them. Videotaping me creating and talking through each surface and colored pencil piece. Writing instructions and doing the drawings of every project. Then taking glamour shots of the finished projects so you can see them beautifully displayed. It was no small undertaking and the thought of actually filling at least 60 pages seemed quite daunting. But it was such a dream of mine, to combine a book with a video course all in one that I just pushed through it. I made a schedule, checked it off and when finished with one task moved on to the next. Before I knew it the book pieces were created and filling my studio space with the nostalgia of my childhood, Vintage Wishes was born. I still get excited seeing the book in print and even the preview will send me into giddy smiles of satisfaction see it here. It was truly a labor of love and a push into what I consider my future. I loved creating the combination and have several planned for 2018. So, what have you been dreaming of? Create the steps and make it happen, you can do this!

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!

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!