Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Day of Play

It snowed a few inches here! A rare occasion in the Raleigh area of North Carolina. The schools were closed and the kids played and played and played some more! It's good to take a day off and see some smiling faces. I remember loving snow when I was a kid. It's fun reliving it through my children.

Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, January 24, 2014

Feeling a Little Lost

I've been thinking a lot about the art I create lately. I've been feeling lost. It's not that I dislike the art I am making. I am just not sure if it's "me". I think The Make Art That Sells e-course changed how I look at my art. I want to make art that I love but it also has to be marketable. So, I am questioning everything I am creating. I just want to enjoy making art but I also want to sell it so, where is the balance? How do you balance being commercial and being true to yourself? I decided I've been overthinking things and my problem may be that I haven't found my style. I've found some of it, but not all of it. My art is also not quite focused for a specific market. So, I've gone into analysis mode and started thinking about where my love of art comes from. Why do I love art?

When I was growing up I loved (and still love) Disney Films. I watched the Disney Channel when if first came onto cable and they actually showed all the classic cartoons. I have quite a collection of (now out of print) books on Disney Animation. I used to trace the characters and color them in. I still love to look through the books and I now get to watch the movies through my children's eyes.

In high school I fell in love with Impressionism. I actually enjoy most fine art but Impressionism is my favorite, especially Degas. I love the color and texture in Impressionist paintings. I also like how they captured daily life and landscapes.

In my 20's and 30's I worked in several different bookstores and my favorite department was the children's section, especially picture books. I loved the stories and the art. The best part of picture books is that the art can be so different. Below are pictures of just some of the books in my collection. I have a lot! I think my favorite thing about picture books are the characters created. The trick to creating an excellent picture book is that the words and the pictures work well on their own but are perfect compliments to each other. I was recently reading a Frog and Toad (by Arnold Lobel) story to my son and he was cracking up at the story and the pictures.

So what does all this mean for my art and what I create? I'm not sure yet. I think I have some of the whimsy from Disney, some texture from the Impressionists and characters from children's books already floating around in my art. I just need to keep drawing and working and drawing some more. I have been experimenting with other media too. My beginnings in art was in the craft world. I was a certified Donna Dewberry Muralist. As much as I enjoyed being a crafty painter I'd like my work not to look "crafty". This is my personal preference. Most important though I need to remember what kind of art makes my heart sing.



Friday, January 17, 2014

In The Studio

It's been forever, but today I got to work over 3 hours in a row in the studio. Weeeeeee!

Hopefully I will be able to get more time this weekend so I can finish this elephant painting.

Thanks for stopping by!



Monday, January 13, 2014

I Can't Art Without.... Charcoal Pencils

If you are a regular reader of this blog you know I have a plethora of art supplies. It's why I consider myself a mixed media artist. Art supplies are my potato chips, I can't have just one. I am trying to make art every day, even if it's just 5 minutes and I decided to focus on one art supply for at least a week. This way I really get a feel for them.

Currently I am loving charcoal pencils. They create dark lines and quick shading even for cute characters. I like how they glide slowly on the page. It forces me to be conscious of the shape of my line. When I start drawing I do a basic head shape, then I let that shape tell me what it wants to be. I know, it sounds weird but the shape either feels like a "person" shape or a "critter" shape.

The sketches below only took about 5 minutes to draw. The shading helps make the image look more finished than it actually is.

This elongated head felt like a more grown up girl.

This head shape could've been a young child but, once I did the eyes, a bunny emerged.

This circle had a tilt to it so, it became a sleepy girl.

This image of the sleepy girl is my favorite. So, I tried to figure out how to use this sketch in other artwork. Perhaps with collage or paint.

I traced my original sketch onto a coffee filter, sprayed it with fixative and glued it onto an art journal page. She still has the smudgy line quality I want but I'm not sure about the coloring I did.

The above piece I did on an ATC watercolor card. I sealed it then tinted it with my Inktense pencils. I like her better. It feels like a tinted black and white photo. I will master this and find a style that works. I like the simplicity of it.

There is an advantage to having multiple art supplies on hand. When I'm stuck I pull out a different supply and my head immediately switches to play mode. It almost always pulls me out of a creative rut. See, hoarding art supplies is psychologically beneficial to creative people. That may explain my husband's vast supply of musical instruments. I guess I won't give him a hard time about owning 5 guitars anymore.


Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, January 9, 2014

My Word for 2014

Happy New Year! Phew! The holidays are over. It was crazy this year with the late Thanksgiving and trying to get everything done. My son's birthday is January 3rd so the craziness doesn't seem to end. He turned six and there was a big party to plan with 20 plus kids to entertain in our home. My New Year starts about a week after the 1st. So, here I am, ready to go for 2014.

Many of my artist friends have taken to choosing a word to be their guidance for the New Year instead of a resolution. I like this idea because it's more flexible. Things happen and my resolutions are broken before noon on January 2nd. But having a word as my guide, I don't feel like a failure if I mess up because it's there for me to go back to. I can always start fresh tomorrow.

For 2014 my word is "Focus". I admit I completely lack it. I am a "go with the flow" kind of gal because many things seem to pop up that take away my art time. Well, no more. This August my daughter is going to Kindergarten and that means both my kids will be in school from 8:30am until 4:15 Monday thru Friday. Wow! It totally floors me to write down that I will have almost 40 hours a week to myself to get work done! (I am also floored by the fact my kids are growing up so fast!).

So, I had this huge list of goals that I narrowed down to 5 things I want to work on in small increments before Caitlyn goes off to school and then ramp up after she is off to school.

The first goal on the list is key. I have to make art every day or none of the other things on the list will matter. Over the holiday I felt my irritation level rising. I was never in my studio making art. Presents, shopping, wrapping, decorating, school activities, cooking, relatives and a cold going through every family member really take up all your time and energy. I need to make art daily for the sake of the family. I'm quite irritating when irritated.

This week I plan on creating bite sized goals within the 5. I have a monthly calendar I can scribble into and a workbook to help me. I am actually going to write down EVERYTHING going on in our lives in the planner. For now, it's the only way I can see when I can do the things I need to do.

On a personal note I am also working on my health. I've been drinking Green Smoothies every day. I've started at one a day and hope to increase to two. They are 40% greens and 60% fruit. They taste awesome and they are healthy. A person can take only so many salads on a daily basis. These smoothies are simple and yummy. The perfect snack. This website has a lot of good recipes to try,

I hope you will join me this year and follow along. My intention is to post more often and document my journey of growing my art business.

Thanks for stopping by!