All posts filed under: Inspiration

An Arts & Crafts Book Like You’ve Never Seen Before!

I am so excited to have been asked to contribute my art to this amazing project! “Around The World With 80 Artists” is a compilation of arts and crafts projects curated by Mahe Zehra Husain, founder of The Creative Art Academy. From budding crafters to advanced artists, there is a project here for everyone! My contributions will include not only some of the coloring pages from The Art Journal Coloring Book, but also a tutorial on how to make your own coloring pages, easy-peasy! Best of all, 20% of the proceeds from this project will go to The Malala Fund to help girls gain an education. Girls who might otherwise not get their chance at a basic human right so many of us take for granted. Click the image linked below to sign up for your own FREE e-copy before it goes on sale!

FOTI: A List of 100 Suggestions on How to Live and Work as an Artist

FOTI is a new tag on my blog. It stands for Found On The Internet: things I’ve found interesting and thought you might as well. Irwin Greenberg circulated this primer to his students at the High School of Art & Design and the Art Students League of New York. He died, age 87, in 2009. Like a lot of realist painters, I started teaching as a way to stabilize my income. I was amazed to discover that it would be one of the most meaningful experiences of my life. Somehow, everything I have learned in my life found a place in the studio classroom… 1. Paint every day. 12. Don’t allow yourself to be crushed by failure. Rembrandt had failures. Success grows from failure.   Read the full article here.

Frozen by the Blank Page? Why Everyone Needs An Altered Art Journal

There’s something about me you may not know: when I stumble onto something awesome it kind of takes over my brain. Maybe this is why if I find one great marker I have to have the whole set of colors? In every nib size? Hmmm. My latest obsession is handmade Altered Art Journals. Full disclosure: I’m making them and they’re for sale on Etsy. But that’s not why you should continue reading. Continue reading to find out why they’re so awesome! I’ve discovered that there’s something wonderful about journals with pages already full of text and illustrations. The lack of blank pages! But wait, you might be asking, aren’t journals supposed to have blank pages? Fair enough. I have dozens of journals: ones I’ve purchased, been gifted or made myself. They all have blank pages. The paper quality varies, though. So depending on what you want to do in your journal, you may need several with varying paper types. But even though you may have all those journals, you will still confront our common enemy: the dreaded blank page. …

Art Journaling 101: An Exciting New Development on Facebook!

One of the main lessons I’m learning on my creative journey is to respect, not fear, the subjectivity of art. I used to think that a painting was only ‘good’ if it looked like it did in real life. I think I assumed that the ability to technically reproduce an image by hand equalled talent. And maybe it does. But I also came to understand that while I can respect the talent that goes into photo realism, it’s not something my spirit enjoys. I have no connection on an emotional level when I look it. ie: boring! When I looked more closely at the artists I do enjoy I realized there were many things I could criticize, all of them technical. Juliette Crane’s owls, for example, don’t look the way you’d expect owls to look: http://www.juliettecrane.com/art/ Jane Davenport’s faces are not proportionate, nor the ‘right’ color:https://www.pinterest.com/LenaMi/art-teacher-jane-davenport/ Teesha Moore’s collage work is just odd: http://teeshamoore.com/ Yet I LOVE all of their art. It inspires me and makes me happy when I look at it. And I’ve …

On Creative Slumps and A New Etsy Shop

I’m cringing as I look at the date of my last post – more than six weeks have passed in which I’ve broken the cardinal rule of blogging – don’t ignore your blog! Well… I haven’t been ignoring my blog exactly, but my art is another matter. And since my blog focuses on my art… you get the idea. In hindsight, which everyone agrees is 20/20 ;), I think it’s fair to say this frigid winter literally froze my creative spirit. It was reeeeeally frustrating. The harder I tried to sit down and make art, the worse it got. I bought new supplies and played with colors: Took a drawing class (what do you think, does it look like me?): Even printed collage sheets… nothing worked to get me out of my slump. If I got anything out of this winter it’s the lesson that creativity doesn’t submit to force. Since the light in my workspace was dim at best I decided to flip my office and my studio. Big project! That resulted in lots of organizing, culling and weeding. …

Follow Your Heart When Making Art: Chagall’s Paris Opera Ceiling

My husband and I visited Paris for the first time during an October eons ago where it proceeded to pour rain for the entire week. Undaunted, we worked our way through a hefty ‘must see’ list which included Chagall’s painted ceiling at the famous Paris Opera House. We arrived, soaked and chilled, propelled by memories of Phantom of the Opera we’d seen years before. Unable to afford the premium tickets that would take us to the performance hall to see the famous work of art, we shadowed an English tour to learn what we could about the monument. As the tour entered a side door we followed, unnoticed, with no idea of where we were headed. This is the sight that greeted us: Imagine our surprise. We were speechless in the midst of one of the most breathtaking works of art I’d ever seen, Chagall’s famous Paris Opera ceiling. Its beauty brought tears to my eyes. “When Matisse dies,” Picasso said, “Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what color really is.” To see this painting one can’t …