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Art in Progress: Mountain Spring

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

The beginning of this was a bit of a ‘do-over’.  There was an original underneath that I just wasn’t that psyched about, so I decided to paint over it and create something else.  That’s the beauty of acrylics, you can always add a layer and paint over what you don’t like.  Sometimes that can be hard if you want to save parts of the original, but luckily, I wanted it allllll to go.  So here’s the first layer:


Then I added some collage and muddied that up a little with some color.  There’s not too much thinking at this point, I’m just putting down paper and moving the brush.  I try not to get too caught up in how it looks at this stage (that can be hard sometimes.)

mountain 3

I went with some more accent colors and drips.  I was starting to feel stuck here, like I boxed myself in with the paper, but it’s important to keep moving when I feel like this.  Kind of like life, yes?  Feelings are moment to moment, I try not to get too attached because I know they come and go.

Mountain 3

I added more layers of color to blend it together and some subtle stamping with a few strong objects.  It started to feel more cohesive…

Mountain 4

And then I finished with some line and color accents.

Mountain Final

Art is so much fun, isn’t it?  I really like the colors and the whimsical feel of this one.  It reminded me that I can always start over–the original was an eye sore (to me) and now I turned it into something I love.  Such a great lesson.

Want to see the tools I use to inspire creativity + expand my art?  

Want to see what inspires me to create art? These are some of the best tools I use!


Art in Progress: Mountain Spring2018-03-29T20:23:16-04:00

Link Love + Easter

Lately Around here

Happy Belated Easter!  I had a great time this weekend catching up with family and eating candy until I thought I was going to explode.  The holiday was full of happy memory-making: egg dying, chick-making, family reunions, chocolate binges and just plain loving the moment.  Here are some pictures of the fun:


My engineer dad had to make some home-made egg dippers because the adults got rowdy and wouldn’t share with the kids.  And look at those deviled eggs!  My sister knocked it out of the park with those little chicks.


 C got me and amazing orchid for Easter–I was swooning over this beauty.  I hope I don’t kill it, I know they are very temperamental.


Fun times together…


Link Love

Some of my favorite links around the web this week:

Discovering the purpose for your life in 4 easy steps.  I totally agree with #2.

How to turn creativity into a habit. A lot of times it’s just about showing up.

This was a sweet story on remembering to be yourself: I am pizza.

Are we happier when we stay in the moment?

In honor of Earth Day, here are 50 ways to help the planet.


Link Love + Easter2018-03-29T20:23:17-04:00

Link Love + Inks

Last night in class, I had an experiment with inks.  I’ve always wanted to try them on their own and someone happened to leave a bunch behind in the classroom, so I ‘borrowed’ them for the night.  Thank you art fairies!

The colors were intense on the palette, but their consistency was very fluid and watery compared to the tube acrylics.  Inks are applied with a dropper, so it’s best to mix them up on the palette first and then go from there.  I did go a little rogue and try to apply them straight to the canvas and…weeeee!  It produced a very satisfying, vibrant spot of color.

It was fun to play with them and see how they moved when they were watered down or when mixed with other colors…

pink montage

Here’s the first piece I worked on.  I loved the colors that came together, but I want to apply something a little more opaque for the next round and add a little collage.  It has a pretty wash look to it,  but up close it looks more like watercolors than acrylics.


And here’s another one I started last night.  It was easy to make a lot of progress with the two pieces because of how free the paints felt and moved off of the brush; I even added a stamp in the mix.  It was a great change from my usual heavy handed-application and it showed me how to create a lighter, gentler background to start with.


Link Love

Some of my favorite links around the web this week:

I loved this post by Austen Kleon–10 ways to share your creativity and get discovered.

Have you always wanted to write a book?  Here’s some inspiration for you on how to get published.

Check out what this little girl and mommy team do with just paper and tape.  The dresses are amazing!

Routines work in small percentages that compound over time.  How to be more successful by changing your common routines.

In the age of selfies, this is a great reflection on who we really are in the digital world.





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Link Love + Inks2018-03-29T20:23:18-04:00

Link Love + A Feast

I am constantly baffled by the colors that nature creates!  I think I captured some of the last vibrant, fall hues; when I was driving this morning, I was sad to see the leaves are turning brown and dropping from the trees.  If I painted a picture like the one below, the colors would look fake, and yet here they are…


This weekend I had dinner with C and friends at Porta.  We went to a feast called, “Hail to the Truffle” and it was delicious bites of food garnished in one way or another with….you guessed it–the truffle.  It was a relaxed vibe with fun people.

Porta feast

Link Love

Some of my favorite links around the web this week:

Art or Not?  Either way, I’m a huge fan of Shepard Fairey.

First world problems: Life in the Digital Now.

Is organic food too expensive for your budget?  Here are some tips to make the change.

I’m really pumped to see this movie.  Do you have an opinion on GMOs?

Unknown art works by masters have been discovered.  They were stolen by the Nazis and recovered in fairly good shape.  The question is: who owns them now?





Link Love + A Feast2018-03-29T20:23:21-04:00

Link Love and Zombies

What a week!  On Thursday I saw Motown on Broadway with my sister.  The story was a little thin, but the MUSIC!  It knocked our socks off.  Heading back to the train after, I was shocked at how lively NYC can be–even at 11pm. (Well, it was Times Square, but still.)


I have been wanting to try Seed to Sprout for some time and I was not disappointed!  C and I went for lunch on Friday and we both agreed that it was downright awesomeness.  I got the sweet potato/pumpkin soup, brown rice bowl with marinated greens/veggies/sauerkraut/tahini dressing and an iced mate latte.  The drink was to die for–I’m going to try to duplicate it at home–yerba mate tea, hemp milk, a little agave and a splash of cinnamon.  YUM!

seed to sprout

Um, the zombie walk?  Yeah, I was there.  I didn’t get dressed up, but man was it fun watching everyone walk around like the un-dead!  They were trying to beat the world record of zombies in one place and they did, with 9592 in attendance.  Some of my favorites are below:

zombie stacked

zombie solo

grid zombie

Link Love

Some of my favorites around the web for this week…

Banksy strikes again!   NYC will be his canvas for the next month.

Kindness is magic: Ricky Gervais trades his snarkiness for a new kind of show.

This may be the solution to end email overload forever!

You are the master of the energy you radiate.  Even when you’re surrounded by turkeys.

You don’t need to know how to do it, you just need to start.  





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Link Love and Zombies2018-03-29T20:23:22-04:00

Link Love and a Bike Ride

What a weekend of beautiful weather!  I don’t know where you are in the world, but around me it was sunny and cool and just plain perfect….

I took this panoramic photo at a nearby park, just as the sun was setting; it’s my favorite time of day when the sky is turning crazy, lovely colors.


Do you ever feel like you get signs from the universe?  Here are a few that came through for me this weekend. (Okay, the sparkly flip flops were just plain fun, but they made me happy so that’s a sign too.)


On Sunday I went for an exhilarating bike ride to Sea Bright.  There’s nothing better than strapping on my headphones and heading out to explore the outdoors on a sunny Fall day.

bike ride

Link Love

Link Love and a Bike Ride2018-03-29T20:23:23-04:00
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