It’s done!!! This, the first piece of entirely hand rendered art I have completed in over 7 years, represents the attitude with which I intend to face everything this new year tries to throw at me. Nearly a year ago, seeking an outlet to express my frustrations over so many different things, I started it. But, as they say, “life got in the way”. In less than 4 months, I’ll be turning 40…this past year has given me much to think about and at the end of it I finally came to a crossroads. After what I like to call a “slap in the face from the universe”, I realized that the time to reach for my dream of becoming a full time artist is now, that “someday” will never come and that I’ve allowed doubts and personal insecurities to hold me back long enough. I’ve set my 1st goal of completing 10 pieces and re-opening my Etsy shop before my birthday at the end of April and (unlike in the past), I’m logging my time to ensure that I reach it. A favorite quote says, “We are what we repeatedly do”. So, I’ll be making a lot of art this year and I couldn’t be more excited! Keep an eye out for progress updates, new pieces and help me stay accountable, won’t you? Bring it on, 2019!
Most of the leaves around here are now turning brown & crunchy (perfect for raking up big piles for my son to jump in!). So, I’m glad I caught the last bit of fading colors while I could. I’m particularly drawn to the organic patterns that form on the leaves as they start to decay…creative inspiration for sure!
I’m so excited to FINALLY have a vegetable garden in my backyard! For the past few years, my edible growing aspirations have been limited to a few herbs and the odd tomato plant – things I could easily grow in containers and barricade against the plethora of wildlife, ever venturing forth from their nearby forest habitat in search of tastier snacks. But when we decided to remodel our bathroom last year, we ended up with a large, unsightly (no antique, claw-foot beauty here) cast iron bathtub that sat forlornly in our backyard for several months, waiting to be disposed of. Then one day in early spring, while there was still snow on the ground and I was daydreaming about sprucing up my yard & sinking my hands into soft dirt, it dawned on me that the raised veggie garden I’d always wanted might be right under my nose…
I sat down, sketched out a rough design and asked my husband if he could build it for my birthday present in April. He must really love me because it took up the better part of his spare time for a good month, but now I have THIS beautiful, custom cedar piece in my backyard!!!
My tender plants are safe from greedy paws, which means not only will I actually get to enjoy the harvest I’ve labored towards, but I don’t have to mess with chemicals or other deterrents to keep unwanted animals away.
Watering and tending my garden is a breeze – with just a flip of the latch, the front doors swing wide open.
And it all started with a simple desire to make this monstrosity disappear…
Something “new” I’m working on, out of foam stencils, coated in several decades of cracked spray paint and reclaimed wood from my neighbor’s old deck. Still just playing around, but I have big dreams of a rather large, custom art piece with hand painted details to hang over my couch. There’s something very calming about not only the process of making art, but also imagining ways to breathe new life into old objects, formerly destined for the dumpster.
I’ve been doing so much freelance design this past month, I’ve barely had time to sleep. It’s wonderful to be busy with paying work, but I’ve missed painting. So, yesterday I was finally able to sit down for a couple hours and add in most of the greens to this piece. I like knowing that at the same time live plants are also coming up in my garden. 🙂
Winter & I are officially ‘on a break’. Every time I revisit this piece I’m transported directly to spring, sunshine and good vibes (even though I’m wearing 3 sweaters, trying not to rack up a huge heating bill-haha). This image is a scan that has had the brightness/contrast altered significantly to help me see all the details as I paint directly onto the original drawing, which was done in VERY light 4H pencil on white bristol board. I like the idea of leaving some visible sketch lines under the transparent layers of paint, yet having them be light enough that I can draw directly onto the art paper without having to worry about leaving unwanted marks behind if I need to erase some.
I looked out my window this morning at the snow flying wildly all around (now 6 inches+ deep) and decided I would stay home and paint flowers all day. I’m revisiting some mixed media techniques I haven’t used in many years (watercolor+colored pencil+graphite pencil on bristol board) and I want to make sure I’m happy with the finished effect before I start in on my new farmers market illustration. My overall goal with my artwork, since I took up painting again last year, has been to ‘loosen up’ and be more spontaneous – drawing and painting directly onto the art paper (without using tracing paper) and not worrying so much about ‘mistakes’ or relying on my computer for ‘touch ups’ later. Don’t get me wrong, as a freelance graphic designer, I do LOVE my computer, but with my hands-on artwork, I’m aiming for a more whimsical look (which I have not yet been able to achieve – the control freak in me, always cringing at what I deem to be ‘imperfections’ – but I feel like I’m getting a little closer with each new painting). I have to say…working with these yellow hues really warmed me up today. 🙂
Connor and I had such fun making these string art hearts which look so cute on our front door! I cut out the hearts and he punched the holes around the border. Then I let him use my huge (not sharp) quilting needle to pull the strings through. Great fine motor activity and precious time spent with my true love. 🙂 Looking forward to spoiling my family this weekend for Valentines Day!