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To Live a Creative Life

to-live-a-creative-life

You don’t have to be an ‘artist’ to be creative–we’re all living a creative life in our own way.  Through our expression, communication + what we do for a living, there are so many wonderfully creative people out there: chefs, landscape designers, architects, teachers, the list goes on and on.

Being creative is when we tap into our unique, special skills and share that with the rest of the world.  No one’s creativity is exactly the same!  That’s why it’s so important to figure out where each of our own special gifts lie.

I love creating art and putting my inspirational messages out into the world, but there are plenty of times when I’m thinking, “Does this make sense?” or “Will this speak to someone other than me?”  Self-doubt is all a part of the creativity process.  It gets us to the next part.

And when I’m creating, I always try to remind myself that there are so many means of expression and one isn’t necessarily better than the other.  There’s no right or wrong in expression, it just is.

Gently letting go of that fear of being ‘wrong’ is the way I let myself off the hook.  I tap into my inner voice, knowing that no one else can create exactly the way I do.  That gives me the courage to keep moving forward.

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To Live a Creative Life2018-03-29T20:23:09-04:00

Lately Around Here: Celebrations

Lately Around here

It’s been a while since I’ve given a personal update so here are a few things that have been happening lately!  It’s Spring!  And there’s so much going on around here, I’m not sure where to begin, so I’ll just start with the most obvious celebration: I’m getting married this weekend! Three days from today, hopefully it will be sunny and crisp outside, Chris and I will be tying the knot.  Whoa.

And here are a few of the generous women that helped me celebrate at my wedding shower.  What a day–it was dreamy, with a harp playing and everything!  I KNOW!

The lovely ladies of my bridal party:

bridal party

My Maid of Honor (and sister) who knocked it out of the park, Olivia:

me + liv

My future Mother In Law, Susan:

me + susan

My dreamy cake (cannoli filling and chocolate mousse!):

cake

There were so many of my dear and close friends there, it felt so, so special to have them all gather for me.  It was an absolutely perfect day.

The next celebration we had was my dad’s 80th; we couldn’t let this monumental birthday go by without properly recognizing it, so my siblings and I threw him a surprise party.  We invited his sisters from hours away and his closest friends–he was shocked, to say the least!  I think he spent the first 10 minutes in the corner collecting himself, so we clearly did a good job of keeping it a secret. He he

It was a special moment to be able to celebrate this exciting day with him and his friends.  The older I get, the more I realize having my dad around as I create my own family is such an amazing gift.    It’s like life coming full circle.

Surprise!

Some of the nosh before the dinner:

Party Food

Cake, cake cake!  You can’t see very clearly, but the invitation had a picture of my dad as a kid on a pony.  It’s adorable!

Cake

Even though it’s been a fun time of celebrations, I still appreciate the gentle winks I get from the universe that everything is good.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the hoopla of everyday life that I can forget what I’m actually doing–I can forget to have fun and embrace the moment.  It’s important not to sweat the small stuff.  So when I get these little reminders, it kind of snaps me back into reality. 

Here are two I got this week–a heart at the bottom of my salad dressing (is that you saying hi, mom?) and a feather on my pants when I was working out (ignore the lint), maybe it was from a guardian angel?

salad heart
feather

On the art front, I finished another girl named Olivia (that’s my sister’s name), called “Love Who You Are”.  This sentiment is something we always talk about–loving who we are, warts and all.  It’s a journey for sure, because we all have that inner critic that is never satisfied; but we need to remember daily to love who we are.  Because we’re fabulous as is.  (Prints available here)

Love Who You Are

 

And here’s a peek of another girl in the works (almost done with her!)

In progress

So that’s a little of what’s going on in my world right now.  I’ve slowed down a bit on the art front, but I know that will pick up after the wedding.  There’s only so much a girl can do, and I’m ok with that.  From taking a breather, I have a few new ideas brewing and I’m also working on a big project that I’ll announce in a couple of weeks!

Stay tuned,

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Lately Around Here: Celebrations2018-03-29T20:23:10-04:00

It Takes Time To Become Yourself

Time to become yourself

I painted this background last night in class. As I was layering the paints and letting my thoughts wander, this thought came to my mind: It takes time to become yourself.

We’re all in such a rush to get to our next destination, accomplishment or milestone that we forget the journey is where the magic happens.  It takes time to evolve and figure out who we are, what we want, how we feel.  There’s no hard and fast rule on how to live life; let’s slow down and take our time.  And luckily, we can change things up as we go.

Enjoy the dance, the ebb and flow, the challenges that come up; afterall, what is the alternative?  We miss out on the best moments while wishing for something else.  Be patient friends, things are happening the way they should and we are becoming ourselves bit by bit.

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It Takes Time To Become Yourself2018-03-29T20:23:11-04:00

How to: Add An Isolation Coat To Your Mixed Media Painting

How To

I’ve realized in my journey with art that there’s a lot of need for basic information like this one on how to apply an isolation coat, so I’m adding a new series of posts that I’ll contribute to as I learn new things.  I’m calling it: How To: A Series of Helpful Hints.  We could all use a little a help, right?  It’s my hope in this series to pass along some good information in a way that is easy for everyone to understand.

For example: I didn’t even know what an isolation coat was until I spoke to someone at Golden products!  I wanted to find a way to seal my art work that included painting + collaging materials and it seemed like there were a lot of opinions out there.   I wanted certain steps I can take to ensure that my art won’t look crappy after a few years–I don’t want to sell something and have people come back to me disappointed in the quality.

How to add an isolation coat to your mixed media painting. Use this technique to protect your artwork!

Enter: the isolation coat.  This kind of top coat is used to create a barrier between your work and the final top coat, which is often varnishing. (I’ll get to that in another post)

And there are different materials you can use for an isolation coat, mine focuses on what to use for acrylic paints and collage.  As a basic rule,  any work should always be kept out of direct sunlight.  It only speeds up the natural decomposition of things.

Just a word of caution:  If you scan or take pictures of your pieces for reproduction, it’s best to do that first before adding the isolation coat to avoid the shiny glare in pictures.

Great Graphics Workshop Registration

So here’s my process:

I took a completely dry and finished painting + cleaned it off with a damp cloth to make sure there’s no dust or other goop lurking on the surface, especially on the collage elements.

How to add and isolation coat

I got my supplies ready:

  • Golden soft gel gloss (any other finish will dull the colors)
  • Distilled water
  • Soft, large brush
  • Palette knife used to stir

How to add and isolation coat

In a glass cup, I combined 2 parts soft gel gloss to 1 part distilled water and then mixed with the knife.  Depending on how many pieces you are coating, you can gauge the amount you need.  The tech guy at Golden said to go by how it feels–not too runny, not too thick–it will all be a personal preference type of consistency.

Once I mixed that together, I started applying the mixture evenly and quickly with the soft brush to the entire piece.  An important thing to remember is finish a section and keep moving; do not go back over it, as tempted as you may be!  It will cause the finish to have an uneven “pulled-look”.

Here is a view of what it looks like while applying, it appears a little cloudy, but don’t panic–as long as you use the gloss finish, it will dry clear:

How to add and isolation coat

You can see the strokes, right?  To a certain extent, that will disappear.  If you have a really soft brush, you won’t see many strokes, if at all.  I learned through this process, and seeing some strokes on the finished piece, that I need a new softer brush!

When it dried, this is what it looked like.  The colors are so bright, right?

How to add and isolation coat

And here’s the side view in the sun to show you what I mean about visible brush strokes:

How to add and isolation coat

This was a great learning process for me!  Even though I feel like the brush I used was a little bit of a fail, it still gave me a beautiful finished product– it’s glossy and it really makes the colors pop off the canvas, not to mention it gives the piece a new layer of protection.  And any unused part of the coat mixture can be used again, if you keep it in a sealed container.

Are you looking to connect with other like-minded creatives?  Join my private Facebook Group Here!

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How to: Add An Isolation Coat To Your Mixed Media Painting2018-04-08T20:39:17-04:00

Lately Around Here: Winter + Art

Lately Around here

We’re in a deep freeze here lately in the northeast–It’s been cold, cold, cold here for weeks.  I’m a pretty up beat person, but this crazy weather can wear anyone down!    We did have a tease on Sunday though–40 degrees and it felt like a Spring day, but now we’re back to the frigid teens.  Boo hoo.

In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer. -Albert Camus

Well played, Albert.  This too, shall pass and the warmth of summer will be back.

Winter

With the cold winter comes some beautiful views too.  I mean, really?  Sometimes I feel like Snow White in my own enchanted forest when I look out the back window and see this:

Deer

This isn’t a great picture, but I feel like this duo-selfie captured the moment perfectly–me and my Valentine went out for a romantic dinner together on the 14th.  We had such a great time checking out the Biergarten for a pre-dinner drink and then heading to Moonstruck for an amazing feast.  Swoon.

My Valentine

On the art front, this is another girl coming to life.  I love watching the process progress through pictures, it gives me a different perspective on the whole thing.

Beginnings
Beginnings progress

And here’s a peek inside my tweaking process with the color of the prints.  Since I have my own fine art printer, I needed to figure out the process so I can create a print I’m proud of.  I also wanted to make sure I was consistent, too, because there are so many different ways to create a print.

Along my journey, I’ve realized I just have to figure out the combination that I like best.  Have the printer control the color?  Have Photoshop control color?  There are a lot of combinations that can change how the print looks and it took me awhile to figure out which to use.  And even though the whole color management process can make me ca-razy with all of the adjustments, I’ve learned a ton along the way and I’m happy for my pages + pages of mistakes.

Tweaking colors

Here’s the final result of my tweaking.  I gave this sweet girl away for my Valentine’s giveaway.  Congratulations Felicia!

Valentine's Giveaway

And, oh yeah–I’m also in the middle of planning my wedding.  Holy moley, it feels like it’s taking over my life right now!  And it is, but that’s ok.  I dodged a major invitation debacle this weekend (the time was printed wrong!)  so I feel like I got my one bad thing out of the way.  Smooth sailing from now on…

Invitation graveyard

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PS: Don’t ask for permission to take care of yourself

Lately Around Here: Winter + Art2018-03-29T20:23:12-04:00

New Art: You Are So Very Special

I may not know you, but I know you’re special.   And here’s why: no matter who you are , there is good in you that you share everyday.  You have been kind to people and shown them love.  Sharing this love + kindness is what connects us all and brings us together.  And how you do that is what makes you special; there are so many ways.

That’s where the inspiration for this painting came from–it’s so important for us all to remember how special we are because when we feel loved and appreciated for who we are, we can share that feeling with others, and help them do the same.  It’s a win-win, friends.

So very special

This sweet girl is a new print in my shop and I had so much fun making her! The sentiment has been in my mind for some time, I was just waiting for the right girl to use it on (my favorite is the butterfly at her collar, by the way.)  And she came to me at the perfect time to share with you.

So here is Lola, the newest addition to my girls series.  Here’s what the print looks like:

desk shot you are so special

I hope you enjoy her as much as I do!  You are so very special, friend. <3

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New Art: You Are So Very Special2019-01-09T21:28:05-05:00
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