Best of Summer 2016

So much about summer to enjoy…so little time to take it all in. I’ve been a little absent from my various social media outlets the past few months & with good reason. My son started kindergarten this fall and I didn’t want to waste one second of my last summer as a ‘stay at home home mom’ with him. We truly had a blast and he is now loving school. As emotional as it was for me to send him off on this next big step in his little life, I have to admit it’s quite nice to have a little extra time to myself these days and as the cooler weather compels us all to spend more time indoors, I’m sure I will be reconnecting with my online community a lot more…instead of spending most of my time outside in my garden. Not that I regret it one little bit. It’s truly a labor of love and flowers like these make the hours of dirty, sweaty, scratchy work so worth it!

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. 🙂

Dreaming of Spring

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Counting down the days til spring as I work out the larger details of this farmers market drawing, using my smaller sketch as a guide…if I close my eyes, I can almost feel the warmth of the sun on my bare toes as I walk among the stalls, choosing fresh produce, baked items & flowers to bring home…

The Last Days of Summer

Red and Gold Sunflower Bloom by Shalom Schultz Designs

I’m enjoying a particularly gorgeous crop of sunflowers in my front yard right now – the kind that just keep producing bloom after bloom after bloom. Hard to believe that by the end of this month gardening season will be over and I’ll be choosing pumpkins to top my flower pots…

Fresh Art

Watercolor fruit and vegetable farmers market sign paintings by Shalom Schultz Designs. Vintage style typography design. Watermelon, peaches, tomatoes. Country cottage style art.

Look what I just found in storage! I painted these for my very first craft show back in 2005…10 years later I’m not so sure about my decision to mount them on wooden planks with twine for hanging (probably why they didn’t sell). But now I’m really glad I still have them because I still love the ‘laid back’ artistic style (which I’m trying to get back to) and now that I have better equipment I can scan them into my computer and sell them as prints. I might just have to re-frame the originals and put them up in my kitchen.

So Much Sunshine

Seashells in a mason jar next to a chalkboard sign that says Endless Summer with flowers and butterflies. Country cottage style beach decor. By Shalom Schultz Designs.

I have a feeling I’m going to be looking at this picture a lot this winter – trying to conjure up the exact feeling I have right now as I lounge back in a tank top, leggings & bare feet, sipping iced coffee under the gentle breeze of my ceiling fan and looking forward to hours upon hours of glorious sunshine until it finally grows dark and it’s time to enjoy a glass of wine outside by the fire pit with my husband.

I hadn’t really done any ‘summer’ decorating yet and had grown tired of all the pink I’d put out for spring. So last week I dug through my floral bin and found these long forgotten shells and sand, collected from a beach in Pensacola, FL where I went to college. A few minutes, a quick scribble and a good ol’ mason jar later, I had the perfect way to brighten up my entry way without being too ‘beachy’ (since, much as I’d wish it to be otherwise, I don’t live anywhere near the ocean).

Now every time I walk down the hall I’m reminded to slow down and be in the moment. Summer won’t last forever, but I can have fun pretending it will.

Pumpkins in July?

Hanging paper lanterns in summer graphic illustration by Shalom Schultz Designs. Life and Liberty. 4th of July. Independence Day. 2015 calendar artwork.

Are you making the most of YOUR summer? I can’t believe it’s already half over – there’s still so many things I want to do.Meanwhile over on Pinterest my newsfeed has suddenly become flooded with pumpkin recipes…ha ha, not so fast! I intend to keep basking in the season of flip flops, flower gardens, fireflies & fruity drinks for wee bit longer.
(Artwork from my 2015 calendar)