Hello lovely readers!
Yes. I’m alive!
Thank you all for your patience and graciousness as I worked and struggled through the past two weeks. As I have mentioned before I’m headed to NYC and Brooklyn for two completely AMAZING events: the Alt Design Summit (a conference for creative bloggers and small businesses) and the Renegade Craft Fair.
It has been a busy, busy, busy two weeks around here! I have been working very hard to get alllll the artwork done for the Brooklyn Renegade Craft Fair! 30+ collages, 80+ necklaces, and I don’t even know how many earrings…. My fingers and eyes are a little tired!
Guys, I can’t tell you how excited I am about this trip. The conference is going to rock my blogging world (Martha Stewart Head Quarters? Oh yes…), the people I will be spending time with are so inspiring (more on them when I get back!), the places I will be eating are going to make you drool (but don’t, that’s gross), and I get to share my artwork with a whole new group of people. That’s so exciting to me!
I wrote a post a few months ago about doing things that scare you, and while I’m still a little nervous, I am 10 times more excited and feel 100 times more prepared and confident then I imagined I would. Thank you Jesus!
If you are in NYC or the surrounding area COME SEE ME! I would absolutely love to meet you in person!
Renegade is taking place in Williamsburg Brooklyn in the East River State Park.
I’ll be at booth 169
Have a beautiful week! I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled posts in about a week and a half.
There are few things in life that bring me more satisfaction and joy than creating. And when those creations are “successful”, match up to the idea in my head, and appealing to me, then I’m VERY happy.
I’m diggin’ these new Fine Art Jewelry designs!
All of these new earrings and necklaces will be available at the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn, June 22-23 (Booth #169). Be there!
Also… Get ready for an exciting week in July! I will be hosting my first ever Blog-to-Shop Jewelry Trunk Show featuring all the new designs and Summer 2013 bling! This will be Monday, July 15th through Friday the 19th. It will happen here and in my shop. Each day will feature a new design and a super special deal for you, my fantastic blog readers.
This is going to be fun!
I am so pleased to introduce you to Lauren Adams. Lauren paints the most intriguing and beautiful landscape paintings. They’re so abstract and minimalistic, focused on color and form. I love the suggestion of the terrain. These paintings are based on Lauren’s home state of West Virginia, but these paintings move beyond a particular place into an emotion. They are full of warmth and exploration.
Enjoy looking over Lauren’s work and soak up every word of her interview! It’s full of helpful advice!
When and how did you first begin your career as an artist?
I began looking at art seriously as a freshman in college. At that time I had declared an art education major, but as I progressed in my studies, realized that I would not be satisfied until I went after what I really wanted – to be a professional painter. I ended up with a BA Interdisciplinary Degree in Studio Art with a second concentration in French. Next, I went on to earn a BFA in Visual Art, in preparation for graduate school. After taking a hard look at my financial situation (not good!), I decided to forgo an MFA and head straight into creating and exhibiting work.
Can you walk us through your artistic process?
My process is fluid. I don’t do any thumbnails for canvases. The closest thing I have to that are my works on paper, which I am constantly making. These are great for loosening up and exploring, but I never set out to recreate them on a larger-scale canvas. I like to set parameters for myself and work within those boundaries. I will start with a general idea and work from there, see where the process takes me. It has to be open-ended. I’m very attached to my materials (oil and acrylic paint). I paint on the floor, on stretched and primed canvases with thinned down acrylic paint, sometimes oils. The nature of these materials will remind me that I am creating a painting, first and foremost, and to let it be what it needs to be. It’s always about striking a balance between the control of my idea and the embracement of chance.
I love how minimalistic and poetic your work is. How do you decide what to focus on and what to leave out of the landscape scene?
Thank you, I appreciate that. My work originates from about 5-6 years of painting landscapes on location in various areas of West Virginia. It has since shifted into a studio-based practice that has emphasized abstraction of that landscape with a minimal aesthetic. The paring down of my work has been an exhilarating challenge; it’s tough. For good or bad, I will spend a lot of time debating the inclusion/exclusion of a single color or stain or mark, especially when it comes to my canvases. My poor husband (who thankfully is also a painter – derekoverfield.com – have a look, he’s amazing) has sat with me on many occasions, viewing a work in our studio, considering things like this. There truly does seem to be a delicate moment where stepping just an inch further in the painting can make the difference between creating a fresh-looking piece or an overworked canvas that I will scrap. And I do toss out a lot. It’s important for me to keep that in the back of my mind too, not to get too wrapped up in the “preciousness” of the work.
Do you have any tips for aspiring artists on creating a sustainable life as an artist?
Most times I try to stay away from giving advice, because every artist will have a unique path to success. But, since you asked – the first thing is to understand that only you get to define success for yourself. No one else can do this. You get to set how big or small a goal for your art/career. If your aspiration is to be a full time artist though, and you aren’t independently wealthy, I would say first to understand how difficult it is. I like to make sure that others know that I do currently maintain a part time job (I work 3 days a week at an office) outside of my studio practice. I have worked either full or part time at various points over the years to support myself. For me, having part time work has been a real benefit, because it takes away the stress of making work that is “marketable”. Nothing else dictates what my work should be, or where it should go. If sales are slow one month, no worries!
Also, I would mention the fact that as a professional artist, you are signing up to be a business owner. I certainly wish I had been more prepared starting out to deal with this side of things. Administrative work, dealing with taxes, marketing, shipping art, providing customer service, documenting your work, etc.- all very different from creating art! My husband and I rely on each other to get through it all; we’re a team. Having a support system in place is a huge asset. In the end, art has to be your passion and you have to be in it for the long haul. If this is you, then all of the hard work is completely worth it, when you are creating the life you want to live.
Thank you SO much Lauren! Your insight and honest advice is so valuable. Check out Lauren Adam’s website for more info, to see more stunning landscapes, and to buy her work. email: email@example.com
Have a beautiful week and weekend! I’ll see you back here next week. I have a crazy full weekend of making and creating in front of me!
Meet Lisa Daria. Lisa is kind of a super star in my eyes. She paints a painting each. and every. day.
Let me tell you first hand, this is hard. It’s hard to be constantly creative, to never have an “off day” (or to admit it when you do), and it’s hard to make time and space in each day for the messiness of paint. In 2010, while staying at home with my baby I started doing a painting each day. It was so exciting, rewarding, a time of tremendous growth, and so tiring! I think I made it to day 150-something (it didn’t help that I got pregnant with baby #2 then!)
So you see why Lisa is such a wonder to me.
I love her effortless brush strokes, the way your eye moves around each painting, how she drenches each painting with color, and the flowers… so elegant and bold.
If you are thinking about doing a painting (or other creative activity) each day – DO IT. But leave it open-ended. Just take it one day at a time. You never know, you may end up like Lisa! She’s on day 1,465 today!
These pieces make me miss oil/acrylic painting! I think I will have to do some relaxed oil painting after the Renegade Craft Fair next month.
Check out Lisa Daria’s blog to keep up with all the beautiful excitement! PS. You can buy these paintings on the spot too! Woot!
There are some who are brave, there are some who are passionate, there are some who will go to extremes… I’m thankful there are millions of these people in the US military.
Happy Memorial Day!
I would like to publicly say a huge Thank You to the families and friends of the men and women that have given their lives for my country. Their sacrifice is deeply appreciated and remembered.
I put together a collection of my favorite tribute items on Etsy. Click here to check out these items here (they’re all available!)
Have a beautiful day everyone and remember your freedom is to be enjoyed, treasured, and celebrated!
The #1 question I get asked about my artwork is “How do you do all of this with two kids?” Oh man. Why did you ask that? You want the honest truth? I don’t know. It’s messy and crazy at times (ok, no, 90% of the time.) That question overwhelms me and I have no solid answer for it. My two little girls (ages 2 and 3) come to the studio with me, they create tiny watercolor paintings, do preschool on the ipad (brilliance), watch too many Curious George episodes, we eat too many snacks, we break out in random dance parties, go on sunny walks, I drink too much coffee and have a 3am bedtime, and that my housekeeping skills are shameful (don’t go into my room – ever).
Over the past year, as my business has grown and this blog has become such a crazy amazing space, I have caught myself slipping into the mindset that my kids are standing in between me and my creative work.
The scary thing about this thought is that it seems true. Kids do get in the way and they do take a lot of time and energy. But maybe they’re supposed to. Children help inspire and soften our hearts. They help us pause and remember the breathtakingly beautiful moments, they change the course of our lives with their first breath. Kids inspire us to live life vividly – the way they do.
I had an “ah-ha moment” a few nights ago (late nights in the studio with much coffee and music tend to lead to that…). Being a mother hasn’t held me back from being the best artist I can be. My kids have dynamically shaped every aspect of my life and changed every bit of it for the better. …even my career as an artist.
As I was working away in my studio, it occurred to me that I create artwork for my own gratification, and to use the abilities God has given me (of course), but I also yearn to be a good example for my girls. I didn’t consciously realize it before, but having their little eyes watch and learn from me inspires me beyond words.
I want them to see that their mom is passionate, and happy, and fulfilled, and living life fully. I want them to see me using and developing my abilities as much as possible. I want to lead them by example.
I fail literally every day, and will continue failing forever, but my perspective on life and motherhood has shifted – just a bit. I owe my daughters a huge thank you. Right now they will have no clue what I’m talking about, but eventually, I hope they grow up to live their lives as richly as possible.
Mothers, now I understand…. and all I can say is thank you Jesus for that extra dose of momma-grace! Oh my.
Well my mind has been sufficiently blown for you day. These photographs are stunning. Stunning. Chris Friel is a British painter who picked up a camera in 2006 and never turned back to painting. The camera is his brush. And if that’s not amazing enough, Chris is color blind.
I love the way Chris Friel uses layers and the textures of the landscape to create his images. They are so complex and intriguing. For a man who can’t see color, his work is rich and well balanced. There are brilliant moments of intense color beside neutral, quieter scenes.
So, take a moment to refresh your eyes, take in all this beauty, and prepare to see your the scenes around you a little differently. We live in a beautiful world!
If a poem could have an image, I think many would look like this. Beautiful, mysterious, and dynamic. Chris Friel showcases the stunning majesty of creation perfectly.
Well, I suddenly feel like taking my camera outside getting a little creative! Care to join me?
Pattern…. I really love pattern.
Patterns are so important to our day-to-day lives. We like to feel that everything has a “place”. Symmetry and order help everything in life fit into place, giving us some sort of security and belonging. Rhythmic consistency (aka, patterns) allows us to enjoy the many things in life that are asymmetrical; things that have no mold, and certainly don’t fit into our preconceptions of “balance”.
The same is true for design. However, not all patters are organized and pixel-perfectly o
rdered. Some are lose and almost erratic as they can be!
Right now, my eyes are very much enjoying the drama and unexpected order in tribal patterns. They are organized just so, and I’m always surprised by the arrangement and design.
I’m planning a new collage and would love to add a white-on-wood tribal design in the background. It in my head and it just has to come out!
Do you know the feeling?
What is you favorite type of pattern?
1. Going Hunting, Hand Printed Pillow by Bark Decor | 2. Jacinto Pillow, Anthropologie | 3. Going Hunting – hand printed circle cowl scarf by Bark Decor | 4. Kaia Bangle from Gorjana Griffin | 5. DIY Geometric wallpaper boarder by deko
Well this is a rare occurrence! A blog post on Saturday? Crazy.
You may remember that on Monday we talked about multitasking and how horrid it can be for your creativity (based on the research of Clifford Nass) and I decided to put that theory to the test. Each day I worked in my studio I separated myself from my phone, iPad, and laptop. I still had my two little girls with me, and of course, I still played music. So it was certainly NOT a distraction free zone, by any means. But that’s my life right now, and I love it!
As I mentioned on Monday, I am prepping for the renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn, NY (come see me, June 22-23!), which really means my fingers are working non-stop. I have about four weeks, and so, so much to get done. I figured this would be a great time to step it up into hyper-creative-mode, and if that meant divorcing my phone, so be it.
The biggest pro I experienced in my week of “mostly-single-tasking” was freedom. I let go of the idea that I must be present everywhere at all times. It was exciting and wonderful. I was free to forget about everything but my work (and children, of course!)
The biggest con was that I often got completely lost in my work and forgot everything besides what I was working on. Letting go of the online world was easier than I expected, but the online community is one of the most valuable assets I have in running this blog and my creative business. I felt that I neglected that amazing support structure too often. I get so lost in my creative head-space I lose track of time far to easily.
Total honesty: I am going to start multitasking again. There. I said it. Dr. Nass is going to have a fit.
My business is developing too much for me to risk delaying, much less altogether, forgetting something of great value because I am too absorbed in my creative work. I found it very difficult to make time for simple tasks like posting a photo, replying to comments, and sending emails. There were days that I actually forgot about social media entirely. While this is a good thing at times (and I’m super glad to know that I actually can disassociate myself from my iPhone without a panic attack) it’s not good to neglect my readers, customer, friends, and colleagues because on my one-track-mind. So from now on, my goal will be to multitask in moderation. This “single-task” week has opened my eyes to the bondage that distractions had been on my life (on and offline).
All in all, I had a fantastic week. It really was super productive. The images you’re seeing are a little snapshot of the things I created this week.
Busy fingers, busy brain, happy life.
- The spilled coffee… all over my work table. The tiny (two year old girl) fingers dipped in India Ink, finger painting on my almost completed landscapes
- The trial and error gild leaf experiments
- The hours of inventory (trust me, you don’t want to see me think through that)
- The fun times order more supplies
- The cutest studio mates in the whole world
- Their fresh stack of library books
- The spontaneous dance sessions
…and my sister!!! (She visited me this week and I might not ever let her leave. Plus, she’s very good at polishing tiny jewelry parts.)
What are your thoughts on this whole multitasking/single-tasking concept? Have you ever committed to not multitask? What was your takeaway? Any tips for the rest of us?
Have a happy weekend!
I’m going to stop talking now, and let Susan take it away!