Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Sketches

In my sketchbook this week...

I created 48 turquoise "inchies" for the current blog art challenge at My ARTistic Life. I love how the inchies work together as a group...

Or as individual itty-bitty paintings.

I also learned how to do some very cool doodling at my new friend Sheila's blog. She is a very talented artist and has a wonderful doodle tutorial! But beware, doodling Sheila's way can be very addictive!

And of course, I also did a sketch for this week's color challenge.

For more "Sunday Sketches" visit Sophia's blog to see what other artists are up to!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Creative Color Challenge: Week 4

Wow - I can't believe we've already completed four of the five weeks in The Creative Color Challenge. Time really does fly when you're having fun!

This week, Louise paired up with Cathy Nichols and her Found Art Friday. In addition to using this week's color (sea green), we had the added challenge of creating within the theme "To the Sea".

As you probably already guessed, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to play with words and the phrase "Sea ya later" immediately popped into my head. It wasn't long after that I had visions of a fish saying goodbye to his bowl and heading "to the sea".

I've really been enjoying this challenge... Please make sure you check back to see what the final color inspires.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Color Challenge: Week 3 (Livestock Love Lives On!)

When I heard this week's color was turquoise blue, my mind immediately went to one of the most famous monochromatic times in art history: Picasso's "blue period". Although the paintings created during that time were not in his well known cubist style, I wanted to use shapes to create that feel. I thought, what better way to do that than to use a drawing that has been making appearances in my artwork for years... "Picowsso"!

(copper and brass pin that I made in college)

And, as any good cerulean cow knows, it's never just 'moo', you always say 'bloo'!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Day at the Fair

I believe the best way to recharge a creative battery is to put down the brushes, turn off the computer, get out of the studio, go outside and do some livin'!

So that's exactly what I did...

And one more...

(a clue to what I'm working on for this week's color challenge)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A New Painting and a Few Words About "Flying"

Because the OCD part of myself thrives on assignments and deadlines, I decided to give Illustration Friday a try. This week's theme is 'stargazing'.

Looking at this mixed media painting, it is apparent to me that a lot of the stuff that's been swirling around in my head this week found its way into my art. First, I've been thinking about blue (this week's color). I've also been thinking about cows (more about my bovine thoughts later this week). Last, but certainly not least, I've had "flying" on my mind...

Since taking Kelly Rae Roberts Flying Lessons e-course, something has changed... And the people around me are noticing. Bob said he can't remember ever seeing me like this, Zoe said I seem so driven, and the rest of my friends and family are also asking lots of questions about my new found vim and vigor.
I have always made art - it's part of who I am... But, what I've discovered is that I've been holding myself back. Whether it was an assignment for a class or a mural for a client, my art was always centered around what other people wanted or what I thought they wanted.

Since taking Kelly Rae's e-course, I've started creating more for myself and its made all the difference. Her course gave me the boost I needed to get out of the creative rut I had fallen into, along with the tools to make it happen. Because of Kelly Rae, I feel like anything is possible. I haven't felt this creatively exhuberant in years...
I do believe I can 'fly'!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Color Challenge: Week 2

"Hogs and Kisses" is the final result for this week's color challenge - "raspberry red".

Another play on words, this mixed media painting was created using only red, black, and white. Paired with last week's painting ("Ewe Are My Sunshine"), I'm starting to see a pattern develop... I guess this challenge is bringing out a love of livestock I never knew I had!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sketchbook Love

snippets from my sketchbook

Over the years, my sketchbook has become more than a place to hold drawings. My sketchbook (a.k.a. art journal) is where I record my dreams while keeping track of my schedule. It's filled with doodles, photos, calendars, inspiring quotes, movies I've seen, books I've read, and even recipe ideas. Housed in a single binding, it's a sketchbook, journal, photo album and organizer all in one.

My sketchbook is my 'go-to' destination for a late night brainstorming session or to write down memories I don't want to forget. It's a place I can safely go to explore new ideas and experiment with new techniques without the fear of judgement or harsh critique. I don't have to worry about style, a cohesive look, or the finished product - I can just play.

By keeping it all in one book, I always know where to find what I'm looking for. If I'm feeling stuck, finding inspiration is usually just a matter of flipping through it's pages and revisiting an old idea or trying something that I 'saved for later'.

My sketchbook is my constant companion - we've developed quite a relationship. Sure, we've had our fair share of struggles. Sometimes an idea is quickly dismissed, a sketch isn't working, or the color isn't quite right... But, in the end there is always the offer of fresh paper and a chance to work it out.

Be sure to check back to see how this sketch transforms into this weeks color challenge.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sharing Some Kindness

I believe in the power of kindness. I believe that even the smallest acts can work wonders. I believe that something as simple as letting a car merge during rush hour, or a held door, or even just a smile from a stranger can change the course of a day.

I try to live a kind life... Volunteering my special talents when I can, leaving the occasional "anonymous" goodie on a doorstep... But I feel like I should be taking a more active role, making a more conscious effort to spread some love.

Last week (as if the universe was listening), in addition to sharing all sorts of artsy fabulousness, Kim Klassen put out a kindness challenge on her inspiration staycation blog. Through her blog, I also discovered kindness girl Patience Salgado and all of her "guerrilla goodness"... So much kindness you just can't help but smile and cry happy tears at the sheer joy of it all. The best part? Being kind, purposefully kind, is really so simple. Anyone can do it!

That very same night, as dreams of a kindness-filled world swirled through my head, my dear friend Zoe called to ask if I'd like to come over for dinner the following evening. Like to? I'd love to!
"Hello, Kristin. This is the universe calling. Here is a guerrilla kindness opportunity to get you started."

Zoe is not only my friend, she is a very talented artist who is also my former creative business partner of seven years. (The picture at the top of this post was taken in front of one of many murals we painted together.) Like so many of us creative types, Zoe suffers from artistic self-doubt. That is where the guerrilla kindness comes in...
with a pocket full of encouragement, a bottle of wine, and a batch of freshly baked cookies, I headed off to dinner at Zoe's house. Over the course of the evening, when her back was turned, or when she wasn't looking, or when I excused myself to use the bathroom, I hid the inspirational notes from my pocket throughout her house.
This is a photo I took of Zoe (I added the text). As you can see, she is already very gutsy - she just needs a reminder now and then.
It was exhilarating! As Patience says, "There is no selfless good deed but it doesn't really matter, the world needs it all..." And sure, it wasn't exactly true guerrilla kindness (when she finds the notes, she'll know where they came from). But, whatever it was it felt good, and hopefully the little pieces of reassurance boost Zoe's confidence and help send her soaring toward her dreams.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Color Challenge: Week 1

During the month of August, I have decided to participate in Louise Gale's Creative Color Challenge. Each week, Louise gives us a new color to create with. As a participant, your palette is limited to to the chosen color plus black and white. This week's color was sunflower yellow.

When I was reading the description for this week's color, the song "You Are My Sunshine" immediately popped into my head. Since I love to play with words in my art, it seemed natural for "You" to become "Ewe". The mixed media painting above is the final result.

Limiting your color palette when you are used to having a rainbow at your fingertips is definitely a challenge. Even though the yellow made me a little nervous, it was actually a fun thing to do... I'm looking forward to finding out what next week's color is!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Celebrating Bob

Today is my Husband's birthday, which seems like the perfect time to give thanks for all of the wonderful things he does.

Let me start by saying that without Bob, this blog (and my future website) would not be possible. Being married to him is like having my own personal, live-in, 24-7, IT department. He is amazingly patient with my seemingly endless computer-related questions. In addition to his technical support, he is my biggest cheerleader. No matter where my creative career choices lead, he is an unlimited source of encouragement.

As if that weren't enough, Bob is funny, smart, handsome, a Great Dad, and the King of Breakfast. (Even on his own birthday, he prepared cinnamon french toast stuffed with fresh strawberries and bananas before work!)

He is the yang to my yin, the chocolate to my peanut butter, the green eggs to my ham... and for that, I am eternally grateful and would like to offer him a huge and heartfelt, "Thank You". Oh, and one more thing...

Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Labels... Can't Live Without 'Em

In my last blog post, which was also my first (isn't the english language a funny thing?!?) I announced to the blogosphere that I was going to start facing my fears.

Well, I guess there is no time like the present.

In the past, I have gone to great lengths to avoid labels. I've always been hesitant to use a single word to describe myself. I was afraid of the limitations or judgements that might accompany a label.

What I am beginning to realize is that labels are tools to help define who we are. They are unavoidable. From the moment we are born, we are assigned labels and the list grows from there.

So, I can either fight the inevitable (an exhausting task) or embrace and take charge of all the labels that define who I am. I now know that although there are some labels I can't change, I can control how I "wear" them. I can decide what they mean to me.

In the spirit of limitless potential and infinite possibility I offer you this list:

I am a... Mommy, Dreamer, Painter, Wife, Daughter, Friend, Mess Maker, Worrier, Doughnut Scarfer, Sister, TV Watcher, Blogger, Shower Singer, Dancer, Optimist, Tequila Drinker, Comedian, List Maker, Whack-a-doo (thanks, Mom), Scaredy Cat, Foodie, Amateur Chef, Housekeeper, Aunt, Cousin, Reader, Photographer, Granddaughter, Niece, Swimmer, Believer, Cry-Baby, Listener, Sketcher, Writer, Card Player, Couch Potato, Goofball, Lover, Baker, Hugger, Silly Seeker...

Whether good or bad, self-imposed or given, underneath all of these labels remains one constant...

I am an artist.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

First Post Anxiety

Well, here I sit, staring at the computer equivalent of a blank first page...

The first page of a new sketchbook (or journal) always makes me a little bit nervous. I wish I could say I feel differently about my very first blog post... but I don't.

What should I write? Who is going to read this? Who is going to want to read this?

In my quest to create (or write) something meaningful... profound... perfect... I often find myself paralyzed by a fear of failure. Sometimes, I am embarrassed to admit, I give up. I take the easy way out and merely draw my logo on the first page. Or, sometimes, I turn it and skip the dreaded first page altogether.

Today, I am faced with an interesting challenge - I can't avoid my first blog post. I have to write something... and, truth be told, I want to write something.

Through this blog I hope to face my fears and replace my anxiety with the excitement of endless possibility. In other words, I need to change my perspective. It's time to get over the blank page blues. I may not always be eloquent, or profound, or even interesting... but that's okay. It's all part of the journey.

So, to my old scared self I say:

"Get over yourself Bloggy McBloggerson and just write something!"


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