I Must Have Flowers, Always & Always

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Can’t think of a better way to spend this sunny morning than by planning out my flower garden while I sip a cup of hot tea. My yard is my canvas – blank right now, but in my mind I see colors popping up everywhere. An artist’s paradise. When I’m at a plant sale, piling pots onto my cart, I feel a little bit like Monet…all I can think about is that ‘I must have flowers, always and always.’

First Hummingbird Of The Season

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Even when nothing else is blooming in my garden just yet, I can always count on this little guy to be there, sipping from his favorite flower. Warmer weather has rekindled my interest in artistic photography. I’m looking forward to a long summer of opportunities to discover beauty.

Layers of Color

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And we have color!! Each of the 6 potted herbs in my painting will have a slightly different shade of green to add complexity & interest to the piece. On this sage plant, I’ve created a subtle textured look by loosely adding in extra layers of the same color (one at a time, as each layer dries) over the initial pastel wash. The fine details of the plant will be brought out with an extra fine black ink pen, once all of the painting is complete. Oh and those ‘brown spots’ on the pots will be rubbed off to reveal pure white paper, creating the look of a painted pattern on each terra cotta pot.

How To Have More Time For What You Love

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It may seem impossible at first, with so many other things vying for your urgent attention, but the truth is if you want more time for your passion you need to make it a priority –  because (as we all know) ‘tomorrow never comes’. I wasted over a decade doing what I thought was ‘right’ and what ‘had to be done’, feeling like I was constantly in survivor mode, jumping on the same treadmill day after day, year after year. I swallowed the rhetoric of ‘follow the money’ but it only left me feeling drained & unfulfilled. Of course, we all need a little cash to get by on (which is why, much as I’d like to be a full-time artist, I have a part-time job to supplement my husband’s income). But for me, money is no longer the primary, driving force behind what motivates me to get out of bed every morning. The excitement I feel when I’ve hatched a new idea and the sense of pure relaxation when I lose myself in the creative process are such priceless pleasures – I will never trade them in for the promise of a ‘good life’ again. But perhaps, if I work really hard at pursuing what I love most, one day the money will follow me (instead of the other way around).

Actually, It’s the Opposite Of What It Looks Like

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Prep work for my new painting-masking all the areas that I want to remain white so I can paint directly over them, achieving smoother color. I didn’t have any masking fluid on hand when I did my last painting & having to painstakingly work my brush around all the tiny white details was exhausting. It’s well worth the investment of cash (the fluid is a bit pricey but you don’t need a lot of it) and time, since this ‘extra step’ will actually speed up the process later on. When I’ve finished painting, the dried masking fluid will simply rub off with my finger, revealing the white patterns I drew on all the terra cotta pots (there are 6 in all). I’m so excited to see the final results. Let painting commence!

A Fresh Perspective On Color Theory

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If you aren’t following @flora.forager on Instagram yet, you need to. Her art, created with fresh flowers & other natural materials is absolutely stunning! I’m especially drawn to this version of the color wheel. My hands are itching to paint something just looking at it.

Find Success: Stick To What Already Works

I came across this thought-provoking article by James Clear today & it kind of rocked my world. What do I know in my heart (or from past experience) is a proven strategy for success, but I haven’t been doing lately? Have I been focusing too much on what’s ‘trendy’ and ‘exciting’ while ignoring the tried & true, but perhaps ‘boring’ or ‘time consuming’ methods? Am I wasting precious time seeking a quick & easy solution?

I’m afraid the answer to all of these in one aspect or another is, ‘Yes’. Ouch. Time to step back, reevaluate my goals & priorities & follow a lot of my own advice (instead of everyone else’s).

Starting ‘Seeds’

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First lines of a new drawing. Can you tell I’m itching to start gardening? This time I’m working directly on the watercolor paper – will add color & ink details later. No tracing or transfer paper this time. Getting rid of my ‘crutches’. Very thankful for my 4H pencil which doesn’t leave a line if I need to erase. 🙂