Thought I’d share the piece I finished this week, along with some “during photos” and a few detail shots! You can check out all of my current work here, and older pieces here. I currently have two more paintings in process, so look for those soon!
Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend – I know I am! This week was one of those non-stop-isn’t-it-over-yet-how-can-I-have-so-much-to-do sort of weeks, and I am feeling quite grateful for the weekend. I have promised my fiance that I will most definitely clean the house and catch up on the laundry tomorrow– I’ve been holed up in my studio all week long preparing to hang some new work in a fantastic new restaurant space in Media, PA (House on Jackson Street, if you’re in the area!). So before I commit myself to domestic duties, I wanted to make sure to add a new page to the site I’ve been planning on adding – a page dedicated solely to sketchbook images and drawings. These are the pieces I do in preparation for a painting, just to blow off creative frustration, or sometimes, just because I love drawing with ink. It contains images like this one:
Be sure to check it out here, and I hope you enjoy!
This is by far the largest painting I have undertaken in quite some time. I’m genuinely enjoying the space, and the progress on this particular painting, so I thought I’d share a few shots of the work in progress with you. Enjoy!
The past two months have gone something like this: grad school, vacation, grad school while on vacation, grad school upon returning from vacation, a vacation from the vacation, final exams. Notice the lack of breathing in between – and the lack of art making, and of course, blogging.
Through the haze that is my second-to-last semester of grad school (so close!), art found me – even when I had decided that I wouldn’t have time for any side projects until the week after finals. Months ago, I signed up for elance.com – if you’re a commercial creative (designer, web designer, illustrator, etc.) and you haven’t checked out elance yet, do. It’s lovely.
I initially looked at the site because it had been recommended to me in my search for a web programer. As a graphic designer, I get a lot of clients who want me to make them websites. Since I can design them but not actually make them working sites, I normally outsource the programming portion. While I was searching through the droves of potential web-guys from all corners of the globe, I decided to also sign up as a contractor myself – extra work never hurts! That meant, among other things, that once a week I would get an email with a summary of the jobs available for bidding that most fit my profile. I hadn’t yet taken the time to completely fill out my profile (grad school, again), so the suggestions I was getting were a little all-over-the-place. Somehow, in my mostly unhelpful email from elance two weeks ago, I stumbled across a woman from the west coast looking for “word art”. Even with a blank profile and no history on the site, I bid on her job and linked my bid to my etsy shop so she could see some of the typography paintings I had already done.
She hired me immediately.
She asked if I would do a piece featuring the word “move” and the colors purple and teal. It just happened that there was lovely story behind the to-be-gift, and she was kind enough to share it with me via email. Continue reading →
Just a quick post tonight – it’s Sunday evening and I was thrilled to spend most of the day locked away in my studio sketching in a brand new sketchbook. As a rule, I don’t usually change sketchbooks in the middle of the year unless the initial one is full (not the case with the moleskine I posted about a while back), but I couldn’t resist a couple of little 5.5″x8″ Strathmore mixed media sketchbooks I stumbled across in Michael’s clearance section the other day (only $3.00 each!) The paper is much heavier than my other sketch books and suitable for all kinds of wet and dry media. Below are a few of today’s finished products! Enjoy and let me know what you think!
“I find humming is very useful.” -Elvis Costello
“It’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” -Marilyn Monroe
There has been a lot going on here in my little home studio!
As you may have seen in my last post, my birthday was at the beginning of the month – I turned 28. Twenty eight marks 16 years since my grandfather taught me to paint with oils. Twelve years since I marched myself down to the guidance office at school and demanded that they replace all of my math and science classes with art and music classes. Ten years since I graduated high school and decided to attend The Art Institute of Philadelphia. Seven years since I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Graphic Design. Four years since I started painting again after having given up on the art after college. And, I decided while reflecting on my 28th birthday over a glass of wine and sushi with a friend, high time I started taking myself as seriously as I wanted others to.
It’s confession time – I have always relied on others to value me and my talents more than I value them myself, because placing real value on the things that I chose to do made me uncomfortable. It made me uncomfortable because if I grabbed on to something – like art – and threw myself into it and failed, I would be devastated; but if other people insisted I should throw myself into it and I kind of did, I couldn’t be blamed if it went terribly awry. I have grappled for years with art not being a serious enough endeavor, but more so with not believing I was good enough to make it one. Continue reading →
The last two weeks have felt like pure insanity. Not a day has gone by without 100 or so things to do, places to go, or people to see, and I feel like I’ve barely had two seconds to breathe, let alone blog. I have managed to continue to slowly (but surely!) make my way through more of The Artist’s Way, and, although simple, make sure I did an Artist’s Date each week.
Artist’s Date #7 was very different from my previous Artist’s Dates. Two Thursdays ago, I drove to Cherry Hill, NJ, parked on the edge of a mid-sized development, and rang the doorbell to apartment #111. The door opened, I stepped inside a modest, but pretty apartment, and after brief introductions, was instructed to remove my shoes and lie down on a large, white table positioned in the middle of the room.
The woman who had let me in – Lisa – asked me what it was I would like to work on. She was going to fix my energy. I told her that I had, for quite a long time, been struggling with my professional endeavors. With little more information than that, she set to work.
I, on the other hand, did nothing but answer the occasional question and lie on the table with my eyes closed. She often touched my wrist and stood with her hands in prayer position, murmuring. Other times she cradled the back of my head in her hands, and for a while she held my feet. She told me that my second chakra was severely out of balance. Despite my vast amount of experience in energy work and several different modalities of energy therapy, I had never concentrated on the chakras and honestly didn’t know what the second chakra represented – so I just went with it and let her do her thing. Continue reading →
Thursday is the day that I normally set aside time for myself to go on an Artist’s Date. This is time strictly set aside to going somewhere that benefits, refuels, or inspires my creative side. I like to think of it as taking my inner artist out on a literal date – like I have to woo her so she’ll stick around and not go into hiding. This past Thursday, however, came and went with no Artist’s Date. My intention for last week was to spend the entire weekend away being inspired and making things. Like an Artist’s Date on steroids.
Chris an I had been invited by my very good friend Jill and her husband, Brad, to spend the weekend in a cabin (though it ended up being more like a multimillion dollar house made up to look like cabin) on Lake Placid in upstate New York. Being that Chris is an avid skier with little extra time to make trips up north like this, and my opportunities to see Jill are few and far between, we jumped at the chance to take the trip. Anticipating beautiful scenery both in Lake Placid and on the long drive up, and knowing I would have time to wander, sketch, and maybe even get some artwork done, I decided to count the trip as my fourth Artist’s Date. Continue reading →
As part of my New Year’s resolutions (although I’m not usually one to buy into the hype of making resolutions) is to work through the 12 week program “The Artist’s Way.” A book by Juilia Cameron, the program has been in use and continued to develop over decades, and so far has made for some interesting reading. I’m excited about the course and the process, and I’m looking forward to having a dash of motivation and freshness to my inspiration and creativity.
In the first week of the program, much of the talk is about the “inner artist child.” I know – this sounds incredibly silly, and it did to me too, but it makes so much sense. The idea is that, as creatives, we are born as artists, and the little artists are either encouraged or stifled by the things around us – adults, experiences, our environment. And the same is true into adulthood – the inner artist is like a child and needs to be nurtured, has feelings, and the like. One of the challenges in the first week was to think about the times when we learned that we loved to create, what we loved about it, and to let the inner artist “play” without pressure or demands or expectations. That is in part where these studies came from.
I remember drawing as a child from a very early age – and I drew a lot of the same things over and over. One of my favorite things to draw was horses. I was obsessed with horses. I wanted horses. I wanted to ride them. I read about them. I read books about girls who rode horses. And, most importantly, I drew them. I learned so many artistic fundamentals drawing horses – shading, sketching, how to break down an image into shapes – I even learned foreshortening by asking my grade school art teacher how to draw one of the legs of a horse that adorned the cover of a book I was reading at the time.
So, today, I took the time to draw some horses again. For no reason. No one hired me to draw them. No one is paying for them. I’m not practicing for a commission or for an illustration. I just drew some horses because I used to love drawing them. I let it be loose, and I finished the pieces in ink and water – because ink and water is fun. No other reason. Enjoy!