Last week I had the pleasure of creating a memory piece for a family whose father kept a journal. To bless his legacy and remind them of his kind heart, his daughter had me put together one of us journal entries with his handwriting and some imagery from the entry. I've never created a piece like this before.
I've always loved wild strawberries, dogwood trees and cardinals! All such glorious creations by the All Mighty! Since painting cardinals was new to me, I had to study them a bit to see what details I wanted to include.
What makes these birds so unique to me is their vibrant coloring and their black mask. I knew that I wanted to feature it's mask prominently.
I'm not a gadget girl. I try to stick to what I know works in terms of kitchen untensils, woodworking tools and yes paint brushes! That said, I've wondered how people make those mini paintings the size of a dime without their hands getting in the way of their view! I like to quip that I have man hands. They are not big in size, but are certainly not slender in form. It's tough to see around my chunky fingers to what I'm painting if it is in a small area. While working on this piece, I decided to purchase and try out the Princeton Velvet Touch Tight Spot angled brush. I have to say, although the brush looks a little funny, I loved using it! Here is one of those, "form follows function" moments. I could easily see what delicate areas I was working with without getting in my own way.
I'm including a little step-by-step watercolor cardinal tutorial to show how I tackled this little guy.
This piece got me thinking about journal entries that I have of my dad. I may consider making something like this from one of the cards or things he has written on. I have a hard time throwing anything away with his handwriting on it. Just so special to memorialize I think.
Let me know what you think if you try out the Princeton brush or if you ever want a special piece made just for your family.
As we look ahead toward the simplicity of summer, one of the things I start to think about is how to connect with my kids. I crave that calming down, take it slow, look-you-in-the-eyes space that summer brings. Especially after a year like this!
One of the ways that I've always enjoyed connecting with my kids is by making things. I love sitting at a drop cloth covered table, having a snack and working on making something fun together. The sweet conversation just seems to flow better when their hands are busy. As my kids are getting older, these making-things-moments have given way to talking while cooking food, being outside while they hit golf balls or just sitting together by the fire pit. Their activities will change, but us being willing to give them our undivided attention should not. The one thing I know is that they are growing up way too fast. Being available to just sit and listen has at times become challenging. Certainly this year our patience has been tested.
One word that I love (but is often over used) is, "intentional." Going into their rooms at night to tuck them in bed and pray, planning time to disconnect from screens and connect with one another, sitting and eating meals together... all of it takes intention. Sometimes it feels like such a fight to make these things happen. But it's a battle worth fighting isn't it?
As Miss Holli and I are planning art camp this year, we have been thinking about how we can teach the kids to slow down and really take time to feel their feelings, think their thoughts and really see the world around them.
While we take this weekend to finalize our Camp Create projects, it just occurred to us that all of our projects unintentionally have a united theme! The theme is, "seeing". From googly eyed monsters, to kaleidoscopes to creating a found object treasure box... subconsciously we clearly want the kids to create with an eye towards slowing down, being patient and making something beautiful!
We are reminded of Psalm 119:18 ...
"Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things…"
This summer as we plan our child's activities, let's all give a nod toward listening, resting, focusing on and truly SEEING them and one another.
Camp Create will be held the following two weeks this summer:
June 21 through 25 and
June 28 through July 2
Both weeks are Monday - Friday 9am to 12.
Ages 6 through 12
Cost is $165 per camper with all materials and supplies provided. As always, discounts are included for families with multiple campers.
Registration closes June 4th.
Read more about it, see pictures and Register Online Here
email@example.com or call 407-421-3198 with questions.
With Easter weekend coming up, my mind is on all of the blessings we live with daily. The freshness, the spring colors, the endless inspiration and, of course, beautiful new life and the reason for the holiday. It could not be more simple and perfect.
I admit that I'm kind of a self-improvement junky. The idea of changing and growing myself for the better speaks to me deeply. That said, I'm realizing that try as I might, I can't improve myself very much. Actually, left alone, I'm good at spinning my wheels and wearing myself out!
For that reason, I relish what Easter symbolizes. It is a sweet time to celebrate the birth of spring along with Christ's death, burial and resurrection. Having faith in that brings freedom. It's a freedom that comes with accepting the forgiveness of failures and starting again each day with the past behind you and new potential ahead. Freedom to get up and try again, this time leaning not on my own abilities or strength, but on God's.
Something about dying colorful eggs and celebrating this holiday sings to me of rebirth, life and fresh starts.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." - 1 Peter 1:3:
Have a wonderful Easter weekend everyone. I'm excited to have family in town and to be able to celebrate with loved ones!
If you are local to Oviedo and would like this Easter print to include in your spring decor this weekend (or to give the hostess of your Easter celebration) message me today. I'm selling these colorful gems in the smaller size of 5X7". They are matted and ready to pop into an 8X10" frame. You can e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or text me at 407-421-3198.
If you are a believer and want to by inspired by a special Easter prayer, check this one out on the DaySpring website.
If you're anything like me, you probably feel unmotivated to make time to shop this year. With everything upended in 2020, I'm thinking that the way to approach this holiday season is with ease and simplicity. I'm planning my purchases, events, and family schedule with that as my mantra.
With simplicity in mind, I've made it a priority to offer gift cards this holiday season. You can now purchase a gift card through me for whatever creative pursuit, project, or piece your loved one has been dreaming of.
The gift card can be used for classes, illustrations, workshops, prints, or custom orders. To make life even easier, I'm offering the gift card two different ways... e-gift cards, and printed mail-able versions. If you'd like to purchase an e-gift card, you can do so here. If you'd prefer to give a physical gift card printed on lovely watercolor paper, contact me directly. I'll make sure it gets safely in your hands or I'm happy to print it, include a note from you and mail it out to your recipient. Whatever your preference, I'm excited to offer this to all who wanted to give a special gift for Christmas, but didn't leave enough time ; ).
If you'd like to purchase a gift card, to give the gift of art classes, have a look at prices here. Let me know if you have any questions or simply if you'd like to order one for someone you love.
Just this year I purchased a huge colorful rug for my living room and none of my existing art or accessories seemed to match it well. I finally decided to create a large landscape piece to serve as my focal point. I'll post about that piece and the process of creating it another day, but for now, I want to share a bit about how a dear friend, Gina, found herself in that same situation and what she did about it.
Gina recently renovated her beautiful home. It looks amazing with her updated and relaxing cool color palette of blues and grays. The trouble was, now she had a large empty wall and her old art just didn't match the new vibe.
She enlisted my help and we together decided that a soft, abstract piece would blend best. She wanted to use an existing high quality frame that she had, so we decided on a large format watercolor rather then a canvas.
It was a thrill to create the delicate balance of textures, lights, and darks on such a large empty sheet of watercolor paper.
As I worked on this custom piece for her, we talked about how she wanted a little something meaningful added in. Something that she could look at and smile. With that in mind, I tucked in a little dove to remind her family of a special member that had recently passed on to heaven. Can you spot it on the top left corner?
Now she has a piece that suites her taste in the environment she loves to spend time in. If you are remodeling, buying a new home, or simply giving your room a refresh, a custom art piece can marry together the elements of your space. It can also serve to unite your color palette.
If you've been looking around, but have not found what you want for your wall art, consider having something custom-made. You can send me photos of your wall, your preferred decor style, and your color palette. I'll give you a price on creating a unique piece just for your home.
Contact me if it is time to get something special created to hang in your home.
Whether I am painting custom artwork, creating a water colored logo for a client, or teaching art students, I hope to refresh and inspire others with my work. Read more ...