Farm Fresh Art

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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. 🙂

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Tropical Paradise in Winter

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There was snow on the ground last week when I took this pic of the appropriately-named ‘Pink Powder Puff’ flower hanging over the koi pond at the Quad City Botanical Center. My son played in their sand pit while I drank in all the prettiness and pretended it was summer.

What Deserves Your Energy?

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Another good one from @itscatharriss on Instagram. I have to say, the closer I get to 40 (still have a few years to go), the easier this gets. Partly because I don’t suffer from the same insecurities I once did, but more so because I am acutely aware with each passing day, just how few things in life really, truly matter. And those that DO deserve all the energy I can give them. What DESERVES (not just demands) your energy?

How To Turn Fear Into Success

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Wow, I just had to share this great thought from @jennscalia on Instagram. I’ve become somewhat of a ‘worry wort’ in recent years, allowing all of life’s problems, big and small, to overwhelm me to the point where I feel helpless and stuck (and in turn, accomplish very little). I know I can be better and that I shouldn’t let my insecurities keep me from reaching for my goals. Time to face the facts and work harder!

Take Me To The Farmers Market

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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.

Sunflowers in Winter

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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. 🙂

String Art Valentines for Kids (and Adults too!)

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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!