Painting No. 1 :: New Day Dawning
This is such an exciting day for me. It is the icing-on-the-cake and a mini-project that is incredibly close to my heart:
Art has such a way of connecting people. An original painting holds the physical marks and movements of a person, it tells such a tangible and powerful story! Art is communication and interpretation; it can silence a room, and yet, make your heart dance all at the same time.
The impact that artwork has on a space and in a life totally amazes me, and is much of the reason I believe that art should be accessible to everyone, whenever and wherever possible.
I find it amazing how many times people tell me, after living with their painting for many months, how much it means to them. They often say that the it meant a lot to them when they first purchased it, but that the connection has only grown stronger and more powerful as the painting has entertained their thoughts and imagination. There are moments spent lingering in front of the canvas; moments spent contemplating colors, ideas, textures, world view, tones, stories, and shapes. It’s simple and yet entirely complex.
This is one reason I paint.
And this is why I am offering these two paintings at this price. I can’t offer these prices all the time, but believe firmly in the beautiful effects of original art in a home. I am honored to be able to make these two paintings as affordable as possible!
Both paintings are currently in my studio shop for $150 (normally $300!)
Painting No. 2 :: Rejoice & Renew
Guys! Thank you all so much for celebrating with me yesterday! Your print orders have been seen, recorded, and cheered over. For real, you all amaze me and make me feel so humble and thankful.
And now, a sweet and special little treat: 3 baby paintings
! These are tiny oil originals, measuring 4x4x1.5 inches and are painted on a custom striped canvas. These guys are sooo much fun to create because they are limiting. I know that may not sound like a normal thing to say, but it’s true! It’s a challenge and it’s fun to win challenges.
These little landscapes are also wonderful because they fit perfectly in any decor and are a the best accent to an unexpected little nook or shelf.
At art shows, these little guys go like hot cakes, people buy them as gifts for that special (hard-to-buy-for) someone, or as a self-indulgent present, or as a reminder of a sweet time or place. Usually, these are $75, but I as a part of my Celebrate Spring Art Sale they are $55! For realz.
So, get your gifting on (or show your self a little love) and head over to my studio shop to claim yours! Only 3 available!
Let’s get this thing started, shall we? Heck yes!
In my Etsy shop, there are several (totally beautiful – but I’m biased) Fine Art Prints in a variety of sizes. You can pick any print your would like, use this code (CELEBRATESPRING) and get 30% off!
However, if you would rather party on Instagram, I will be hosting a mini-IG sale with the same discount (but a few fewer options) @Emily_Jeffords IG sale: begins at 2:00 pm est
But here’s the kicker: this is a limited quantity sale and will end tonight at midnight.
(aka, this is your chance, so no dawdling.)
And guys, let me just tell you, these prints are printed on canvas, with such high quality inks. They are such quality and so beautiful they feel like originals!
Oh you guys…. Spring is in the air and that totally puts me in a good, good mood. So good that I kind of feel like celebrating because warm weather + wonderfully amazing readers/customers/collectors are worth every ounce of warm sunshine.
(note: for those of you stuck in perpetual winter for the next month, 1: I love your snow pictures on Instagram a lot & 2: I’m sorry and you should move to Greenville, SC now).
But really, this is going to be a highly exciting week around here (and on social media – of course.)
Here’s what going down.
Every day is going to be artsy, exciting, & wonderful in it’s own way.
Tuesday: 5×7 & 8×10 Prints (limited number of prints will be available tomorrow only for a lovely price!) CHECK BACK TOMORROW!
Wednesday: little 4×4 original oil landscapes (25% off and too cute to not love)
Thursday: two larger original oil landscapes (50% off!!!!!!! — Seriously? I must be a crazy artist after all.)
Thursday-Friday: a giveaway! An 8×10 landscape painting!
This is going to be so much fun! So, check back tomorrow and let’s get STARTED! #CelebrateSpringArt
(A few of my recent IG posts)
I am beginning to feel as though there is more creativity in the world than ever before – and more collective rejoicing over this fact. Literally, at your fingertips, there are miles and miles of beautiful images and thoughtful words, just ready to spark a bit of precious inspiration. Connecting with your audience has never been easier, and the tools we have available are becoming more pro and more valuable every day. But how can social media enable you as an artist? I mean, really, really enable you… I’m going to be sharing a few tips on these tools over the next few weeks, starting with my favorite: INSTAGRAM!
Instagram has created a network of people who are so excited to share in each other’s creative & beautiful moments. It is such an incredibly valuable for artists to be using smartly!
Instagram is becoming the mini-blogging platform of choice; and that totally makes sense! You are able to share a few of your thoughts and perspectives on life, bits of beauty from your day, and exciting projects in the works. It is such a great way to directly engage with your current followers and to meet a whole new group of people!
Personally, I love to use IG to involve my audience in my creative process and to introduce them to new work. It is such a genuine way for me show work-in-progress as well as final pieces of art. Everything is very in-the-moment and I am able to couple images with fresh thoughts and ideas, giving my followers access to my studio, philosophy, and lifestyle, regardless of geography or time constraints.
And, the best part: my followers can engage with me instantly, giving highly-valuable feedback, inspiration, new ideas, critiques, and encouragement.
A few tips for artists using IG:
- Have a Goal: What is your focus with Instagram? To share your work with buyers? Meet gallery and shop owners? Follow other artists and people in your creative field? Sell you artwork (and yes, that is totally a legit thing), give your followers a glimpse of the “real” you…? Figure this out and taylor your posts accordingly.
- Post often: 1-3 photos daily
- You IG feed is a tiny-view of your brand, get to know your aesthetic & niche and stick with it. My personal rule of thumb is 1 out of 6 photos can be “off brand” (meaning, they can be about something other than art or creativity).
- Make it a beauty! while other things may happen in your day that are interesting or funny, be sure to share the most beautiful and intriguing shot. Remember, this is your mini-brand. Always try to showcase your aesthetic.
- Tell your story consistently. Every post is a chance to share a few sentences about your day, philosophy, ideas, thoughts… make it count!
- Share behind-the-scenes: allow your followers (and customers/collectors) to see the real process, your workspace, and even failed attempts. They want to feel as though they are visiting your studio.
- Hashtag smartly: Use themes such as “#EmilyJeffordsArt” or “StudioScenes.” Tags like this allow your followers to get a glimpse of all your artwork at once. Using hashtags like #Art #Painting #Artist… can allow you to connect with other art lovers from around the world. However, limit the hashtags you use.
- Honest Photography: As an artist, show your artwork honestly. Avoid filters over your art. Let your pieces shine on their own! Use apps like Afterlight and VSCO to adjust the balance in your photos, making them as lovely and true-to-life as possible.
- Network & Grow: Use IG as a tool. Nearly every creative person you can think of is on Instagram so get to know them! Engage with them and be generous with kind words. You’ll be amazed at the doors it can open.
Collaborations, sales, and press opportunities have be opened up to me almost weekly, just because of Instagram. I really encourage you to tap into it and watch your creative business grow!
There is a wealth of inspiration to be found in the scrolling feed of Instagram. I can’t wait to hear more on this topic from Susan Peterson of Freshly Picked this weekend at the Makers Summit! Susan is a total IG pro so I’ll be sure to share any new tips I learn next week!
What tips of the trade to you have? Do you have any IG pet peeves? How do you chose to use this tool? I would love to learn from you and would really enjoy hearing your thoughts on this tool [aka, addiction of mine]. ; )
Follow my studio happenings at @Emily_Jeffords
There is a funny principle in this world: Perspective. The ability to see things from a particular angle. It’s intriguing, limiting, and yet, with it, we can show our unique outlook on the world.
But what do you suppose my little girl sees? ”Mommy, can I taka picture of you on your phone?” they point the phone at me and smile with so much love at the image they see. I smile, say “cheese”, she says… I look at the photo she snapped, but my mind is 100% on the little girl behind the phone, and my heart is melted into a puddle.
As an artist, I’ve studied all the guidelines on perspective and composition, and, lets just say, this photo doesn’t capture them (or me!) in the best light.
The angle at which this little lady sees me is by far my worst. I mean really, how many wedding photographers photograph the bride from 3 feet off the ground while she smiles down at the camera? None. Absolutely none.
…But my little girl doesn’t care. She sees me.
She sees me in ways I have never seen myself. In ways filled with love and without any filters.
She seems to find beauty in nearly everything. Tiny seashells, leaves, lights, messy finger paintings, faces covered with spaghetti sauce… the world is entirely fresh and beautiful to her little mind. Her perspective on life is felt, rather than seen. She feels joy, peace, and love and these are the things that are truly beautiful.
While I may not like the angle of the photograph, the love I can see in my own eyes is somehow foreign to me: reserved just for her.
Will I delete the photo? Probably. …But not without reminding myself that love covers all and that these sweet little hearts are worthy of cherishing and enabling. And not without reminding myself that creating “beauty” with my hands is of no worth if love is not felt in my heart. Perspective is valuable and fragile; it can tip one way or another and become quickly unbalanced. But finding sweetness and seeing the value in life – even the un-lovely and difficult, is precious.
Thank you for the lesson sweet girl.
Yesterday I introduced you to one of my newest mixed media landscapes (Golden Starts), and today I’m going to show you a few of the steps in my process!
Mixed media painting is SUCH a fun creative process. Really. It feels as if there are no limitations and so few rules. Whatever you imagine you can create – using whatever tool works best. Forget the limits of traditional mediums and mix things up a bit! Even if it is just an experiment, I promise, you’ll find it liberating.
In this example I used gold-leaf, charcoal, watercolor, graphite pencil, and oil on canvas. But, really, you can use almost anything you want or need. The only rule is that oil goes on top (unless the oil paint is totally dry or you don’t mind impressions in the paint – see? no limits…)
The thing that excites me the most (at the moment) is how mixed media painting allows me to show the layers within the creative process. You can see the canvas, the under-sketch, watercolor, charcoal, and, finally, the oil painting on top. It’s fascinating, you can almost watch the process unfold while looking at this painting. The trick is finding your balance. You can develop it as much as you would like, of course, but it is very important to know when to stop, when to put your brushes down.
So, what ideas do you have? Any materials you are exciting to combine? I can’t wait to continue exploring this form of mixed media painting!
I had the honor of creating a painting for the new creative collaboration We Are the Contributors. The theme for the current collection is “Beginnings” and is a theme that has so much meaning for me. Seriously, check it out! There are 12 totally amazing pieces of creativity for you to enjoy.
Here is the description I wrote for the collection:
“Beginning:” it is an idea that is very near and dear to my heart. It evokes thoughts of grace, forgiveness, fresh starts, and new days – all things I rely on daily and am ever thankful for. As a landscape artist the most tangible symbol of beginnings is the sunrise: golden with opportunity and newness, bringing with it feelings of resolve, ambition, and empowerment. And yet somehow, coupled with these feelings of empowerment, there is profound rest and peace. As though our souls are stopping, just briefly, to enjoy the magnificence of the moment.
I have painted countless oil paintings, and I have gold-leafed a huge assortment of objects (I can’t help myself!!) but never have I combined the two. It was such a beautiful and unique challenge, and I can safely say that you are going to see this combination of mediums happening more often in my work! This painting, “Golden Starts” was created by first doing a lose, rough sketch, outlining the motion and flow of the sky and ground. Next I applied the gold leaf, allowed it to dry, and began adding layers and layers of paint. I chose high contrast to allow the gold to really pop and to create the mood and feeling I was going for. Such a delightful experiment!
Check back tomorrow if you are interested in learning about the process behind a mixed media painting (I know, I know, you’re going to be on the edge of your seat all day!)
Creativity doesn’t grow on trees. (I’m sorry if I’ve burst your bubble!) I’m sure you’ve heard about artists block: those times of frustration and self doubt that every creative person feels. Maybe you have experienced it yourself? It’s horribly frustrating, untimely, uncaring, and dreary. And creative dry-spells seem to come when time is of the essence and productivity is especially important.
I’m kind of feeling the effect of one of these frustrating times right now. But the good news is that even when inspired ideas don’t instantly come to mind without a bit of trial they can be trained. Artists block is totally treatable!! Rest, refreshment, time away, and new perspective are the very best medication. It takes a lot of grace to be an artist – far more than we like to give. You have to allow yourself to mess up and to fall short of your expectations often. That’s actually a GOOD thing! It means that you expect beautiful and meaningful things of yourself. You should expect yourself to create amazingness. But, allow yourself to grow into the artist you know you can be.
One of my favorite ways to refresh is by creating these visual mood boards. They help me gather all the bits of inspiration floating around my head and edit out the ideas that aren’t cohesive and add concepts that unite and elevate the whole aesthetic. It’s a fun and refreshing process and one I totally recommend!
To visit these images – and to see a collection of others – follow my Painting Inspiration pinterest board! I am brainstorming new ideas and intend to fill this board with beauty. Join me!
Over the past month I have been unashamedly telling every creative person I know to “come to The Makers Summit on March 1st!” This is a one day conference for creative entrepreneurs, (artists, crafters, photographers, bloggers, writers, designers, dreamers…) put of by the Indie Craft Parade and is full of practical boots-on-the-ground advice and real insight from industry leaders. It really is amazing and 100% inspiring.
Last year each session, and every discussion, left me with a notebook full of goodness and real resources for success. I was also so pleased to meet a new group of fellow creative business people, who came from all over the nation, and whom I am proud to call friends today.
The speakers for this Summit are total creative rock stars. Really, check them out (I’ve spent time with several of these people before and I still get super excited about seeing them – they inspire me that much).
A few of the takeaways from last year’s Maker Summit have have really stayed with me:
- Combine your passion, desire, & unique ability and you will be exactly where you need to be.
- Only put forth quality. Edit and cultivate a style, mood, aesthetic. That is how brands are remembered.
- Don’t just sell things – excite your market and inspire others
- Allow your brand to feel very human. People want to connect with and support other people.
- Celebrate the unique and beautiful life you have created!
Details: March 1st, Downtown Greenville, SC (101 W Broad St, Greenville, SC),
“A one-day business conference for the art, craft, and design world. Learn how to start or grow your business alongside fellow creatives. Hear practical advice from industry leaders and peers during keynotes, workshops, panel discussions and one-on-one time with experts.”
I am SO pleased to be giving away a ticket to the Makers Summit! This is the perfect place for you to grow, learn, and inspire your creative career – regardless how far along you are on this exciting adventure!
2: share the giveaway photo above along with the hashtag #GoMakeSum
Contest ends Wednesday Wednesday at midnight. You can enter once per day across any social media you chose. Giveaway includes full access to the summit (not to the after dinner & craft party). Must be 18 years and older, US residents only.
If you have already purchased your Makers Summit ticket you will be reimbursed if you win.
I can’t wait to see you there!