Thursday, July 29, 2010

Summer Cherries in Watercolor

"Summer Cherries in Watercolor" 5 by 7, on Hot Press

I know what you're thinking, "That painting looks familiar!" I first painted "Summer Cherries" in soft pastel. I had such a wonderful time doing that painting, that I thought I would give it a try with watercolor. Now you must know that I have never done anything like this in watercolor before (I've also never painted on hot press watercolor paper before). All my watercolor paintings have been loose, abstract and painted intuitively. I've never painted anything even close to realism in watercolor before, so I was sure that this wouldn't turn out. But I don't think it's too bad! I admit I got a little carried away with the background (which is supposed to be a wooden board, or deck), but I'm pretty pleased with how the cherries turned out! Even though the background is a little distracting, I don't think it ruins the piece. I don't know what it is, but I really enjoy painting cherries!

I hope you all have a great evening!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

More Custom Boxes

I received a custom order from this lovely lady in Tennessee for these boxes. One is a wedding gift for her son, and the others are gifts for her granddaughters. I had used up my inventory of cigar boxes on my order from the Flint Institute of Arts recently, so I had to order these boxes and wait for them to arrive before I could even paint them. Luckily this customer was willing to wait however long necessary, for these boxes. To show my appreciation for her patience, I included a couple mini paintings with easels for her granddaughters. I'm always happy to do something extra for a special customer. :)
These painted boxes have been a hit lately! Needless to say I'm placing orders for more boxes just in case!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Loosening Up

With all of these pastel paintings that I've been doing lately I've been longing for my watercolors! Needless to say I put the pastels away this morning and pulled out my watercolor palette. It was so great being able to loosen up with this painting. I love to paint intuitively with watercolor, and I haven't done it in quite a while.
But I have to say that doing this painting really got me thinking this morning. I've been feeling slightly pressured to pick one medium and one painting style. Other artists suggest that you cannot be taken seriously if your paintings are not done in the same style and with the same medium. I am kind of all over the place as far as mediums and styles go. I don't think that I could just choose one. I love what they all have to offer.
So I decided that I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing. Art is supposed to be fun, and it wouldn't be if I couldn't try new things all of the time. I suspect that after a while I will get comfortable with one medium or style, but until then I'm going to continue with my creative journey the way I have been. Hopefully you'll come along for the ride! :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bowing Down

"Bowing Down" 5 by 7, Pastel Painting
Available for purchase here.
I began this little painting yesterday and got to finish it this morning. The painting surface is Ampersand Pastelbord, and I completed the painting using soft pastels and pastel pencils. I've had this photograph for a while, and I've just been waiting to paint it.
I've been painting all day, outside in the hot sun. Unfortunately it wasn't this kind of painting. My Fiance and I were re-staining our deck. We have to do this about every 2 years. We ran out of stain with about 6 boards left. Oh darn, looks like we'll have to finish tomorrow! :)
I hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Attention on Drawing

I decided recently that I want to improve my drawing skills. I haven't sat down and really drawn anything in years. This little drawing is the last one that I did, and it was 3 years ago. This was during a period when I wasn't creating anything. All my best works (drawings, paintings, everything) had been purposely destroyed a couple years before, and I just didn't have the courage to create again, until about 2 years ago.
The paintings that I've been doing don't require much drawing, but I used to really enjoy just sitting down and doing a detailed drawing. Now I wasn't born with that talent, and so whatever talent I do have is learned. I remember taking a drawing class in high school, and not enjoying it. I found the basic lessons to be very boring and tedious. But the truth is that they work. I came out of that class feeling like I could draw anything, and my skills had significantly improved. But like anything else, you have to keep at it to improve and maintain your abilities.
Therefore, I have decided to start fresh with my drawing skills again. Wet Canvas offers all kinds of "classes" and lessons, so I'm going to be exploring different subjects and starting with the basics again. I will be attempting to draw daily, and I might share some of my creations.
Have a great weekend! :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Weekly Dose of Cooper and Bentley

Here is the weekly dose of the little guys! The first two pictures are from this week and the others are older ones I thought you might enjoy!

Cooper with his hair cut, breaking in the new couch.

Bentley with his hair cut, napping while Mommy paints.

Little Cooper last summer at the park.

Bentley having a little nap with Daddy.

This is the life.

Bentley 2 years ago with his little pony tail and bandanna!
As you can see from the first 2 pictures, I finally took them to the groomer. I think I probably let them go a little too long. But I feel better now that they're cooler without all that hair.
As I'm writing this the little guys are sleeping at my side. They're so precious! :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Shell on the Shore

"Shell on the Shore" 5 by 7, Pastel Painting
This is available for purchase here

I completed "Shell on the Shore" this afternoon. Once again it was done on Ampersand Pastelbord and was completed with soft pastels and pastel pencils. I'm thinking that I'm going to have to try a new pastel surface eventually because I have many different kinds, but I keep going for the same one. What can I say, I love pastelbord!!

I had such a great time working on this painting today. This is my first sea shell, but I love painting sea shores and the water. I think this is because I grew up in northern Michigan, just a few miles from the Great Lakes. I never appreciated the water, sunrises and sunsets like I should have. But I will keep on painting them!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bowl of Cherries

"Bowl of Cherries" 5 by 7, Pastel Painting
Available for purchase here

"Bowl of Cherries" is my latest pastel painting. It was done on Ampersand Pastelbord and is 5 by 7. I used a combination of soft pastel sticks and pastel pencils to complete this painting. I don't know what my fascination is with cherries lately, but I can't get enough of them! I even went to the market today and bought cherries just so I could paint them! I don't really like painting my own still lives, so I just took some pictures of them outside, and hopefully one of those will be good enough to paint! :)

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, July 16, 2010

30 Things You May Not Know About Me

I used to love making these lists, but I have yet to put one on my blog. So, here is my first one:
30 Things You May Not Know About Me
1. I have an identical twin sister
2. I served in the United States Air Force, 7 years ago, for a short time.
3. As well as being an artist, I’m a quilter.
4. I’m currently in my 3rd year of college and will graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in law.
5. I have three younger brothers.
6. When I’m not painting, or creating, I’m thinking about painting or creating.
7. Two days a month I have what I call “days of silence” where I do not watch TV, talk on the phone, or listen to music.
8. I paint with every medium.
9. I love flowers so much that I believe God put them here just for me.
10. I’m a bit of a neat freak. My studio has to be clean and organized before I can create.
11. I have to listen to music while I’m painting.
12. My favorite music to play while I’m creating is Christian, or music I would play while doing yoga or meditating.
13. I love doing makeup and styling hair and seriously considered being a beautician.
14. I meditate frequently.
15. I’m getting married next year.
16. I love photography.
17. Mackinac Island, Michigan is one of my favorite places.
18. Even though I paint, quilt and create constantly, I have very little of my own creations around my home (I’m working on changing that!)
19. When it comes to guns, I'm a naturally good shooter.
20. I love to read.
21. I have two tattoos.
22. I hope to have a large flower and vegetable garden someday.
23. I’m very into the Harry Potter books and movies as well as the Twilight books and movies.
24. One of my favorite things to do is go to local greenhouses and take hundreds of photos.
25. I have the two sweetest dogs ever.
26. I’m afraid of the water.
27. I suffer from motion sickness, even when I go for a short ride in the car.
28. At one time I could do more than 50 push-ups in a minute.
29. I consider myself to be a free spirit.
30. Some of my art was purchased for the movie, The Smurfs, that comes out next year.
Well I hope you have gotten to know me a little better, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fresh Fruit

"Fresh Fruit" 8 by 10, Pastel Painting

I started painting "Fresh Fruit" two days ago. I wanted to try a painting a little larger than what I've been doing lately. So I pulled out one of my 8 by 10 pastelbords and got to work on this still life. I soon learned that I really prefer to work small, at least with still lives. But this painting was a lot of fun to complete. I particularly enjoyed capturing the fresh, bold color of the fruit.

This painting is listed in my Etsy shop and can be purchased here.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Custom Cigar Boxes

I thought today would be a great day to complete my custom cigar boxes for the Flint Institute of Arts. They requested six custom boxes, and selected an additional six from my Etsy shop. I had almost forgotten how much I enjoyed painting these boxes. I believe it's been almost a year since I last painted cigar boxes.
The 12 boxes for the exhibit at the Flint Institute of Arts are all painted with bright, bold flowers. I hope that I will be able to attend the exhibit myself, to see my boxes displayed.
I hope you all have a great week!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Summer Cherries

"Summer Cherries" 5 by 7, Pastel Painting

I completed "Summer Cherries" yesterday afternoon. I think this will be the first of many cherry paintings for me! I had such a wonderful time completing this painting. This painting was done on Ampersand Pastelbord, and was done with soft pastels, and pastel pencils. It can be purchased here.

Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

New Paintings and Prints

Original paintings and prints from my Creativity Boot Camp challenge are now available for sale in my Etsy shop. There were a few of the original paintings that I chose to keep for myself, but I have prints available. I also have prints available of my latest painting, Fruit Tea.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Garden Flowers

I thought I would share some photos with you today of flowers from around my home.

Is there anything more beautiful in the world than flowers?
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

100th Post

To celebrate my 100th post, how about some cute pictures of the puppies?

I went outside to photograph some flowers and Bentley wanted to be sure that I wasn't going too far! :)

Finally room for me to spread out!
I love taking them outside so they can run around, but unfortunately if they're not hooked up to their leashes, they will run away. They can still run, if you run with them! :)

I've had this comfy pillow and blanket out for them for the last couple years and finally Cooper has been using it! :)

Bentley has suddenly made this a routine. As soon as I come in to paint, he wants up on the desk! But apparently he thinks painting is boring! :)

I thought it might be cute to get a picture of them in my lap (and later crop myself out of it), but they really didn't feel like sitting still. Perhaps if we had taken the picture inside! :)

I've just been cracking up going through the pictures I've taken of them this past week. They are so much fun! And I never knew I could love two little doggies this much!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fruit Tea

"Fruit Tea" 5 by 7 Pastel Painting

"Fruit Tea" is the painting of the day. This is my first pastel painting since I completed Creativity Boot Camp. I think I just might be hooked on still lives after all of the ones I did for CBC. I've so enjoyed painting them lately.

This painting was done on pastelbord and completed with pastel pencils.

Prints of this painting can be purchased in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Flint Institute of Arts Exhibit

I was recently contacted by a manager of the Flint Institute of Arts who was interested in my work, more specifically, my hand painted cigar boxes. He is in charge of booking artists for upcoming exhibits, and thought my painted boxes would be great for an upcoming Cuban exhibit. The title of the exhibit is: Unbroken Ties: Dialogues in Cuban Art. I am so honored and humbled that he would be interested in my cigar boxes, and that I am able to have this incredible opportunity.
He has chosen six boxes from my Etsy shop, and I will do six more custom boxes for the exhibit. This will run from September 12th, 2010 until January 2, 2011 in the Hodge Gallery of the Flint Institute of Arts in Flint, Michigan. I will share more details as I get them.
This is actually the 2nd time that my hand painted cigar boxes have been purchased for a big event. Some of my cigar boxes were purchased by Columbia Pictures earlier this year to be used as part of the set of a major motion film. This movie will hit the theatres next year. I will also share more details about this as the movie release gets closer.
When I first started painting these boxes, I never could have dreamed that these wonderful opportunities would have been presented to me and I couldn't be more appreciative.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

What I Learned From Creativity Boot Camp

I completed my final painting for Creativity Boot Camp yesterday and I wanted to share with you what I learned from this two-week challenge.

First, I learned that it's important to set goals for myself. Setting goals keeps me moving forward and pushing toward greater things.
Second, I learned that it's good to continually challenge myself creatively. If I just stick with subjects that are comfortable to me, I'll never really grow as an artist. I've always had a fear of failure and therefore I wouldn't try new things. If I found something that I was good at, I would just stick with it. Now I know that I have to "fail" to learn. I can't be good with every medium and every subject. Even if I produce something that I'm not pleased with, it was good practice and I learned something from it.
Third, I learned that I have to create for me, and no one else. This was a tough lesson for me to learn. When I used to paint before I always had that voice in my head saying, "Will so-and-so like this?" And the truth is that it doesn't really matter. My creativity is first and foremost, for me; it is my expression. If others like it, that's great - and if they don't, that's okay too.
Fourth, I discovered the importance of getting into the studio everyday. I have so enjoyed painting every single day the past several weeks. I always had an excuse as to why I couldn't paint before. I think I'd probably get into my studio once or twice a week.
And finally I think the most important lesson that I learned is that I need to be happy and content with where I am on this journey. It doesn't serve me to look at others work and compare myself to them. Everyone has different gifts, talents, and is at a different place with their creative works. I should only be worried about where I am at, and that I'm happy.
Thank you to Maegan, the creator of Creativity Boot Camp, for the incredible experience!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp Day 13 (final day)

"Sweet Tooth Smile" 5 by 7, Pastel Painting

Well this is it! "Sweet Tooth Smile" is my last painting for Creativity Boot Camp. The word prompt of the day was "smile." Rather than do a portrait of someone flashing their pearly whites, I decided to paint something that makes people smile. And I think candy makes everyone smile! These small licorice pieces are so cute, and were so much fun to paint.

This painting is 5 by 7, on pastelbord and was done with soft pastels and pastel pencils.

I had such a great time completing these paintings and I'm sad to see this boot camp end. But it will be nice to get to work on some other projects.

Next I will be doing a post on what I gained from Creativity Boot Camp.

Have a great 4th!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp Day 12

"Smooth Sailing" 5 by 7, Pastel Painting

The word prompt for day 12 of Creativity Boot Camp was "Smooth." Water first came to mind, and then I thought of this picture that I took from a ferry boat on my way to Mackinac Island last summer. It worked perfectly!

I'm slightly disappointed by the scan of this painting. It just didn't pick up the subtle colors very well. There is a lot of soft purple and pink the sky and water that you can't really see from this scan. Oh well, you get the idea.

I used mostly soft pastels for this painting, and just touches of pastel pencil for the sail boat. I absolutely love painting skies and water, especially together. It's been quite some time since I have, and my love for it was rekindled with this painting! :)
Just one more painting to go for Creativity Boot Camp!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp Day 11

"Hush" 5 by 7, Pastel Painting

Well I'm just on a roll today! Actually my last painting "Full Bodied" was just about done this morning. It just needed a few finishing touches. I managed to complete two paintings today, and I baked a batch of oatmeal cookies! Yum!

"Hush" is my painting for day 11 of Creativity Boot Camp. I thought of night right away, so the moon seemed like an appropriate subject for this painting. I have to thank Kate Young for allowing me to use one of her photographs as inspiration for this painting!

Have a great evening!

Creativity Boot Camp Day 10

"Full Bodied" 5 by 7, Pastel Painting

Here is the my next painting for Creativity Boot Camp. Of course, the word prompt was "full bodied." Wine was the first thing that came to my mind, so I had to paint it! I'm really enjoying painting still lives. I never painted them before this challenge, and now I've painted quite a few. I wasn't sure that was something I would enjoy, but I really love it! Maybe next I'll work on setting up my own still life!

"Full Bodied" is 5 by 7, on pastelbord, done with pastel pencils and soft pastels. I'm really growing attached to that pastelbord! It's wonderful to work with, and not too terribly expensive.

Well I'm off to begin my painting for day 11!