I have been a student of so many things over my arty journey thus far. Let’s see…. watercolor, alcohol markers, colored pencils, oils, pastels, inks, charcoal, and lastly…acrylic *gasp*. I’m only gasping because I all but gave up on acrylic painting, claiming I preferred watercolor. I seriously put allllll of my acrylic painting materials away for months! I did this because I realized I sucked at it. I could make it work, but with way too much frustration.
I am self taught, everything I learn is trial and error. I have nobody standing over my work to say… hey, you could of skipped 15 of those steps and gotten the same outcome. Which.. I apologize to all the beautiful people who attended my paint nights, my struggle definitely became your struggle… and I couldn’t even explain why I was painting it this way… just do what I do 😂. I put you through a lot of painting, then covering with more paint, and then covering all that. Uggg! No wonder I burned out!
Over this long journey I became a student values, not like getting things on sale, but the value of a color from its lightest form to it’s darkest form. Something has finally clicked in my head because this is not new information, I have heard it, read about it, watched other people practice it FOR YEARS! Finally I understand it.. and I put it to use! Do you know what happens when you get your values right?? Your paintings become less flat, it’s the art of properly placing darks, mid tones, and highlights. I have a painting that I’m not quite finished with, but I want to share her. I want to document this milestone in my arty life.
Here she is, done in acrylics and on cotton canvas *gasp*, I also swore off canvas as well 😂😂😂
So, with this milestone marked, I have another fundamental building block that I would like to invite from my subconscious to my conscience… plan a damn piece already!! Freakin draw something, work out the kinks in the composition, do a color study, and THEN paint it. I know once this skill becomes my practice, I will grow leaps and bounds!!
Can’t wait to see the works to come!
Thank you for reading.. here’s some things for your eyes 💗
When I wake up in the morning the first thing I think about is what I’m going to create. It’s my driving force, it’s not even a question of IF the question is WHAT. What medium, what substrate, what subject matter. It is as second nature to me as breathing. So, what happens when the desire is there, but something is blocking the ability to create…anything at all? Art block, the same as writers block, but art 🌝. So let’s dive into the effects of art block (as experienced by me), and ways to overcome (experienced by me, or all around good advice… in my opinion).
Cause: ART ENVY- comparing my work to others that I admire, and feeling my work will never be as good.
Effects: A nagging feeling or voice inside that is saying “don’t bother”, this is not a good voice to contend with as I stare at a blank canvas. Instead of feeling that the sky is the limit… I feel that my ability is the limit. I don’t like limitations…and my creativity shuts down.
How I Deal: Take a break from viewing other people’s art! 100% transparency…my reactions to an artwork that I love is:
1. Taking it all in as a whole piece, the colors, the subject, the admiration for the artist, letting the artist know that their artwork is 💗🤩😍. This initial reaction is 100% fangirling to the max and 100% genuine.
2. Determining how the artwork was accomplished. What was the medium used, the substrate, how…how…how!
3. Comparing. IF I’m in a good mindset.. I can do this objectively. I can see the things about this artwork that I love, and figure out how to incorporate into my own work. Learning.
On the flip side, if I’m in the art block headspace, this process is very different. I’m not learning, I’m criticizing myself and pushing myself further away from creating anything.
I take a break, from viewing others work AND from posting my own…. no outside influence 🧐.
Cause: EXPECTATIONS-Creating something with the end result being the most important. Instances where I experience this are basically ANYTIME I am creating something someone has requested, or when I have a deadline.
Effects- Art is my escape from expectations, so when I’m faced with expectations I escape from art. I literally choose anything over art.. wash the dishes, clean the toilet, caulk the tub 🤣. Art BLOCKED.
How I Deal- Fortunately I have a career outside of art, so I have the luxury to take requests, while explaining that I will work on the piece when inspiration hits. If you don’t have this wiggle room, my advice is just do it. Sit down, start with a doodle, relax, and remind yourself that you are an artist, and someone loves your work so much they want a piece of it, of you…. how amazing is that??!! I find when I stop avoiding, arty magic happens! EVERY SINGLE TIME!
Another source of art block that I experience is when I question what my end game is. We are all taught that we need goals and a plan to reach our goals. Obviously my dream is to be able to create artwork that is in demand, to have a collector base that gets excited for a new work to be released, and it gets sold!! 😍. I don’t even wish for lots of money, just a fair price for my time really.
That is a dream, real life isn’t that pretty. It is hard work to get to that dream, and the problem with my dream is that I have no real control on whether it comes into fruition. I might as well say my dream is to win the lottery, I can play, but that is the extent of what I can do. Makes it feel kind of hopeless really.
How I am dealing with “why bother syndrome”…. SIMPLE….I’m not making any big arty career goals. I am reminding myself that I am still a baby artist, I’m still learning the fundamentals. I’m an elementary school student trying to apply for high school graduation. I’m slowing it down and letting it unfold naturally 💗. I will bother because it’s in my soul, but I will do it for me… and I will continue to dream my little dream, maybe dream it into existence 💫☄️🌕. Law of Attraction, do your thing!!
Thank you for reading and as always here’s something for your eyes 💗
Original image from Google Images of Cape Charles, Virginia on the Chesapeake Bay. #creditforphoto Trying to figure out my new markers….
Ahhhh, the end of 2018 is upon us, time to sum up achievements, take note of missed opportunities, and reflect on how the early 2018 version of myself had no clue what the late 2018 model would develop into.
My blog has basically become a little diary for me, and I love that I can go back and read what I was all about during an earlier period.
So let’s refresh…. the early part of the year brought about plans for world domination… mmm, exaggerating a bit… domination of the local wine and canvas scene. I loved teaching classes and I learned so much about myself and the support systems I have in my life… with that being said I have a CONFESSION: I am an introvert, and I suffer from anxiety. My anxiety is never full on panic, it takes on a different sort of annoyance. Makes my stomach hurt, my heart flutter, I get irritable, and most of all I hope beyond hope that whatever is causing me to feel this… will end.
It does eventually end, usually after I cancel plans or just suck it up and do the damn thing. Side note** canceling plans is like giving me a gift, it’s disturbing kinda, but I can’t be the only one who feels this way**
….So… I would plan the paintings I wanted to teach, they were my creations, I would recruit some loved ones to teach, practice..practice..practice, and I did the damn thing! I did it for about 5 months, and it was great… comfortable. Then… “the break” happened, a little hiatus for the summer because: A) People generally have plans in the summer, as did I, which would more than likely put painting on the bottom of the to-do or even the want to-do list. B) I was falling behind on my bills, although I am a nurse.. I tried my hand at putting myself in a sink or swim scenario, to test my ability to make it as a full time working art professional *starving artist*. Thank the Universe I had nursing to fall back on 🤗.
During my break I went back to working more hours at the hospital, and gaining back my comfort level in that old familiar space, and realized the longer I went without teaching the painting classes the more anxiety I was feeling towards it. Then the Universe worked some magic and my “established venue”, became no longer available. I could either view this as an opportunity to “realize” my dream, work even harder to make it happen, or realize that as in all things.. the Universe knew this was not my dream and closed the door to push me toward my true path. I don’t know.. was this a missed opportunity or me learning a little more about me, clearing the way for what I really want. Which, by the way I really have no idea what that is.
I think the main thing 2018 has taught me, is that I don’t know what the end game is, I literally have no goals to get to the pinnacle of arty success, I don’t even know what arty success is. In the meantime I am just enjoying the process, just creating what I want without worrying about pleasing an audience… now if I could figure out how to make a living off of that… I might determine it as being “Arty Success”.
So 🥂 cheers to the New Year, as of now my 2019 arty resolutions are
1) learn and create daily
2) share my creations without needing anything in return.
3) be thankful that I am a being who can create 💗.
Thank You and I wish you Happy Holidays!! ❄️😊❄️
Please feel free to leave your thoughts here as well 😊
October was full of fun prompts lists, I guess stemming from Jake Parker’s Inktober challenge. I didn’t participate in Inktober, but I did do some fun prompts following James Luke Burke’s Whimsyween and a cool project he started to illustrate a children’s/coffee table book featuring a story he had written as the prompts list. He plans to choose illustrations completed by different artists for each prompt. I submitted one illustration, it would be cool to be chosen 💗
So… as always I like to share what I have learned in the past month. I learned that a children’s book doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience! I have been putting it off for so long, just not sure where to start. James showed me that it starts with an idea, start with page one and write a prompt! So that’s what I did, I have approximately 30 prompts, a full on lyrical story in true Dr. Seuss fashion. Now I am taking a prompt a day and creating an illustration. Taking these tiny steps will eventually turn into a huge milestone that I was too intimidated to even start previously 😊
I’ve had to stop myself from thinking too far ahead.. like what I will do after the book is finished, because it sends me into a tailspin of questions and self doubt.
For now I am illustrating, hopefully my next Arty Update will feature a proud me with a fully illustrated children’s book complete with a life lesson about kindness 💗
Thanks for reading 😊💗 and now something for your eyes 👀
So heeyyyy! 😐 I seriously am so guilty of avoiding all things I don’t want to face. Sometimes I don’t know I’m doing it until things build up and then BAM, something happens and I have no choice but to dig in and face the music.
So my last post I made a little goal list… which in hindsight I realize I have been avoiding the follow up post because I hadn’t reached any of my goals 😔. I think the whole point was for me to track and be accountable to myself.. but I have this rebellion inside me that will take any type of structure and do the opposite. I thought maybe this rebel was reserved for other people telling me what to do, but no, turns out I can’t tell myself what to do either.
Oh well… so time to face the music. Here is my list and my excuses why I didn’t get it done 😬
Goals for August are:
finish another giant dessert painting…. I’m picturing colorful macaroons. 😫😫 I DECIDED TO USE THAT GIANT BOARD TO PAINT A GIRL..WHICH WAS A COMPLETE FAIL AND CONTINUES TO BE A CONSTANT STRUGGLE FOR ME… I SHOULD OF JUST DID THE MACAROONS
post weekly on YouTube 😩 ALTHOUGH I ENJOY DOING THE VIDEOS IT IS REALLY A DIFFERENT FEELING CREATING ON CAMERA THAN JUST CHILLIN AND MAKING SOMETHING. ITS A WHOLE SETUP PROCESS AND LIGHTING AND BEING MINDFUL THAT THE ART IS IN FRAME AND THE VIDEO IS STILL RECORDING, I NEED TO REVISIT THIS ISSUE AND MAYBE HAVE A MORE PERMANENT SETUP THATS READY TO GO AT ANY MOMENT
work on more sea creature drawings and develop a concept for a finished piece 😊 I SORT OF DID THIS… I MADE A MERMAID PIECE WITH SEAHORSES.
write down concepts for a children’s book 😵. NONE.. NADA.
oooh maybe a children’s book about sea creatures….2 birds…1 stone 🙂 😩 NOPE.
1 art and sip class… I’m thinking elephant. 😢 NOPE… I DID HOWEVER DEVELOP THE ELEPHANT PAINTING AND FINISHED IT MYSELF.
start and finish an animated illustration of a song, a tribute to my mom, as the 1 year mark of her passing is approaching. 😔 SO I MADE AN ATTEMPT AT THIS, I PICTURED SOMETHING VERY SPECIFIC…AND THOUGHT I COULD BRING THIS TO LIFE BUT FOR NOW I NEED A LITTLE MORE KNOWLEDGE ON HOW TO EXECUTE THIS IDEA.
It’s not like I was just sitting around doing nothing lol.. just not the things I told myself to do.
Here are some things I’ve been working on recently 💗. I have made a few coloring pages 💗. I’m currently involved in an October art challenge called #whimsyween, I am following the prompts list from my fave YouTube creator #jameslukeburkecreative James Luke Burke Creative. If you like to color feel free to print a coloring sheet and share with me if you are so inclined 💗
July, July, July…sounds weird when you say it three times! Where do I start? I have been busy with non-arty stuff, mostly prepping for DisneyWorld vacation, when I say prep I mean working my nurse gig, haha, can’t be a starving artist all the time!
I took a brief hiatus from the art and sip classes, however I did get to paint cupcakes (paintings, not real cupcakes) with some girls at an 11 year old’s birthday party. I will post a pic of all the pieces below! It always amazes me how different these group paintings turn out!
YouTube is still a go! I have 24 loyal subscribers now….I know that number isn’t very impressive to some folks, but I appreciate those 24! You can check out my channel from the menu link up above if you want to see what I have been up to over there 🙂
Looking back at the month it seems my goals were more in line with taking a step back, rewiring my brain to stop trying to make a masterpiece every time I sit down to doodle, (when I say masterpiece I mean something I give my blood, sweat, and tears to…and mostly gets discarded into the trash bin). I stopped trying to paint everything at a “this is going to be the one” level, and stuck mostly with sketches, small watercolors, and art journaling. I worked on developing my visual vocabulary, starting with sea creatures…and tested my skills with a no reference test! Video is up on YouTube if you are inclined to watch the process!
I did abandon my giant painting of Marie Antoinette (posted on last months Arty Update), I was unhappy with my skill level with acrylic paints and not getting the result I wanted….so practice, practice, practice! I always have fun painting desserts, so I opted to paint a giant ice cream cone on the opposite side of the wood panel, Now I have a fun 4 foot by 2 foot ice cream cone painting hanging in my living room…and it makes me smile 🙂
Goals for August are:
finish another giant dessert painting…. I’m picturing colorful macaroons
post weekly on YouTube
work on more sea creature drawings and develop a concept for a finished piece
write down concepts for a children’s book
oooh maybe a children’s book about sea creatures….2 birds…1 stone 🙂
1 art and sip class… I’m thinking elephant
start and finish an animated illustration of a song, a tribute to my mom, as the 1 year mark of her passing is approaching.
Sounds like I better get to it! Just a side note… I tried to start bullet journaling…in an actual journal, but I every time I sat down to do it, it seemed like a waste of art time haha. Typing out my monthly goals is much easier, I think when I am typing my mind is in a different space.
Thank You so much for taking the time to read my Arty Update! Have a beautiful day!
Woah! I haven’t posted in over a month, so let’s talk about June!
I participated in my very first Artwalk, which I focused on getting the attendees to create some art, to add a little variation in the Artwalk experience. This was an awesome time, and I really found myself in awe of all the people in my life who support my dreams, and my business. I am so appreciative of their continued support.
At times I need to mute that nagging voice in my head that tells me that my dream is annoying and my people feel obligated to attend my events, not that they truly desire to attend. This is something I will probably always struggle with, but I recognize it for what it is. Self doubt.
I did show my artwork for the first time in a public space during this event. To say the least I was met with feelings of disappointment. Art is so much better in person opposed to a picture. I was looking forward to sharing my pieces and hoping to have some arty conversations. This was not the reality of my first showing. I had one outside visitor who participated in the interactive painting experience, whom I desperately plead my case and requested to mosey on over to where my artwork was on display, not because I was hoping to sell something, but to have someone view the pieces, love or hate, didn’t care… just see them please!! I laugh about it now.. the awkwardness of it 😂, oh well.
The next day I had a private paint party and I met a lovely art lover who I was able to really have an arty convo with 💗. Everything I imagined the artwalk would be.. she made a reality. I got to hear her thoughts about my artwork, about my brush strokes, lines, colors, feelings invoked, reminiscent of.. all that arty talk 💕. We discussed the work of Degas during the teaching of the painting, and before I knew it.. I was totally influenced/ inspired to create a ballerina instead of the ballgown I was planned to paint. Disclaimer: this was after the participants were all caught up and working on their own versions of the dress they wanted to paint 😁, this was a super informal class!! Anyway…I was unsure about ballet slippers, and instead of looking up reference photos… she was able to describe what the slippers would like from the perspective and pose I was trying render. At that point I felt the piece was hers… I had already made up my mind that I would give it to her after it was finished. She beat me to it, she asked to buy the painting when I was ready to part with it. 💕⭐️
I struggle so much with the monetary value of my artwork. To me they are all priceless, my art babies, and sometimes it’s easier to think of them as these emotionally charged gifts, opposed to a material thing of monetary value. I wrestled with so many thoughts… in the end I charged the price it would of costs had she painted it herself in the class. She topped the asking price by $20 and totally put my guilty feelings to bed! When it was time to pack everything up to leave I was in tears, so grateful for having met this woman and the impact she had on my outlook, especially after feeling disappointment from the lack of interest in my work at the artwalk.
What else happened in June……I was able to complete a portrait commission that I actually “quit” almost to the exact date one year ago! A true testament to how much an artist can grow and the amount of confidence that can be built with daily practice. #proudmoment
Let’s see…. I’ve been very active on my YouTube channel, posting a few videos a week. I am feeling more confident as far as recording the voiceovers on the videos, which is nice 👍. I’m not positive what my overall reason is for having a YouTube channel, probably the same as having a blog lol… because I want to, and I enjoy having many creative outlets!! There is a freedom in this platform… where I get to express myself and not really worry too much about what happens after. Definitely different than creating physical pieces of art, which every fiber of my being is called to do… but at the end of the magical practice of creating a piece.. sits the business of it all. I can’t just set it and forget it, I have to become a promoter, saleswoman, and accountant. I can think of worse things to be responsible for 😂💕.
Thank you for reading! Maybe I will just continue to recap the month in future posts! My little arty update diary.
Heres a little something for your eyes 👀 most are finished, one is not 😆.
I added a new skill to my arsenal today! This is something that I have been wanting to learn, it sucks when you have an inspirational quote or word that you want to use on a project, and you realize it looks look crap in your own writing. I encourage you to try your hand at hand lettering, make that welcome sign, personalize a wood plank, charge people to personalize their stuff for them… I see business opportunities all over this skill! And OH my gosh it is so relaxing 😌 . They provided us with a Tombow marker and some super swanky Strathmore marker paper. AND they were ours to keep!! So thank you to my beautiful daughter for the gift of learning hand-lettering 💗.
So, as everyone knows I am “self taught” with this art stuff. I am actually YouTube, Skillshare, and good old fashion trial and error. There are things I never “knew” but just knew they didn’t work. I’ve been watching The Art Sherpa on YouTube and she always says if you are having a problem with a painting.. it is probably the tools or products you are using, not the fault of the artist! So today, as I was “working” (I definitely consider all of the research I do and videos I watch to be one of the work portions of this art journey), that 1) your acrylic paint won’t bind if there is too much water involved… now I knew this… and in my classes that I teach I say… “woah! You have way too much water”!! 😂, and I know that if there is a spot on a painting that it seems the paint won’t stick… too much water has been used at some point in the painting. But NOW I know why… and I get to verbalize why at my next class 😊. 2) Acrylic brushes should be stiff so the paint can be pushed into to canvas. I have a few brushes that I always place at the tables for my painters… but I always suggest this one really stiff rounded flat brush.. “it’s my favorite”. That must be why.. trial and error must of taught me that the stiff brush gives good results! So, I am going to omit the other brushes. In fact.. after I post this I am going to go through all my Art & Sip brushes and discard the brushes that aren’t ideal. 💗
Ooh ooh ooh I can’t wait until Friday’s class 🤗 when I get to teach what I learned 🤗