Blog

My Travel Art Bag

As an artist, you never quite know when inspiration will strike. Back in early 2019, my husband and I were heading out west to Las Vegas and because I knew we wanted to go to the desert, I just had to bring some art supplies with me.

Enter the travel bag.

I keep this bag freshly stocked and within easy reach whenever I know we are going somewhere and I may either have time to draw or inspiration might make me take the time to draw!

What I include:

I love messenger bags, so that was a natural choice for me. This was an extra bag I had laying around, and it was the perfect size for my travel sized supplies. This is the shop we originally got it from, but at the time of this posting her shop is on vacation. Goodwill and other thrift stores always have a great selection, or if you happen to have an old bag on hand you can use that!

Pencils are a must! I love this little set, it contains all the pencils I need as well as it comes in it’s own handy carrying tin, perfect for creating on the go. I also have a ziploc bag for my blenders, a pencil sharpener and various erasers that I might want.

Sometimes I want to paint, though, like when we were in the Las Vegas desert. These travel watercolor paintbrushes are fantastic as they store the water in the handle (meaning I don’t have to hunt down water) and then these travel watercolor paints are just genius!

Of course, you can’t paint or draw without paper, so I keep a small pad of both drawing and watercolor paper in my bag. They’re about 5×7 in size so they fit well, are big enough to sketch on, and if I have time, big enough to create a finished piece as well.

And last but not least, I have a hair clip attached to the bag strap for my hair because #longhairproblems 😉

This makes a great gift for any artist of any age and is really easy to adapt to their specific tastes in mediums!

PS: I do not get any perks for any of the links you click on, I just wanted to share similar products for some of the more unique products I keep in my bag!

New Piece Alert: Petrichor

One of my most favorite scents in the entire world is the smell after a summer rain. You know what I’m talking about, right? That damp, earthy, fresh scent?

Well, fun fact: that scent has a name and it’s petrichor!

Another fun fact: I learned about the name of it in an episode of Doctor Who (#nerdalert)

Well, this piece just happened to be inspired by the clouds and sun after a summer rain, so guess what it’s title is?

Continue reading “New Piece Alert: Petrichor”

Relaunch || I’m back!

It has been a hard couple of years. When the world feels like it’s imploding with a global pandemic and life as we know it changing almost overnight, I shut down. My family became my Number One Priority.

My husband, a teacher, took over my drafting table to use as his desk for remotely teaching his students, and my youngest took over my work table for his studies. I was bouncing around, helping all three kids stay on top of their lessons and work, keeping the house running, trying to not panic and just be a support for my family.

And after awhile, it happend: I no longer saw oil paintings when I looked at the clouds. I didn’t see watercolors when a bird landed on one of my veggie plants. Our resident backyard bunny no longer made me want to draw. After an amazing start to 2020, I was devastated. My world was upside down, and to lose my passion for art? I couldn’t process that.

I mean, it got to be so bad that I almost got rid of all of my supplies and converted my studio over to an office and workspace for the family. I couldn’t even look at my work or a tube of paint.

Fast forward to the summer of 2021. I was outside doing something, and I looked at the sky and thought to myself, “I wonder how I would paint that cloud.” I stopped dead in my tracks. I couldn’t believe it, it HAD to be a fluke. I brushed it off and kept going about whatever I was doing.

A few days later, it happened again. And then again. And again. After two weeks of feeling inspired, I decided that I was going to slowly start working again: planning out supplies I needed, making a list of pieces I wanted to create, laying down some boundaries because if this was really happening, I wanted to do things different. I spent six weeks working tirelessly behind the scenes, planning, purchasing…up until my relaunch date.

October 1st, 2021 I relaunched my art business, and I am SO EXCITED!

This month I have *finally* finished book four of the Boathouse Mouse series…

…I’ve done an original watercolor painting…

…and an original oil painting…

…and finished a drawing I started before I walked away.

All of those will be launching or being revealed soon, so I hope you enjoyed the teasers 🙂

I cannot wait for what’s to come, after almost two years away, there is so much in my brain just wanting to come out on paper and canvas! Stay tuned for some hopefully awesome pieces!

Thank you so much for sticking around!

New Piece Alert: Raccoon

Hey there little guy! Welcome to the family!!!

Raccoon

This pencil drawing has been in the works since OCTOBER. I started him for the documentary that Stephen and I collaborated on, and then he got pushed to the back burner. Well, he’s been staring at me for long enough from the corner of my drafting table, so I made it a priority to get him finished this week.

Continue reading “New Piece Alert: Raccoon”

The Wisdom of Mrs. Lee

Have you ever gotten to a point in a project where you feel like you’ve made a bigger mess than you started out with or that it’s going to be a complete and utter failure? I can’t tell you how many times I’ll start an organizing/decluttering project and when I see everything everywhere, I start to panic and get mad because this is NOT what I wanted to do and I should have just left it alone to begin with.

But then you work through it, and it gets better. Piles form, they get put away, and the space is cleaner and even if it’s not quite perfect, it feels like a breath of fresh air whenever you look at it.

Working on any of my art pieces feels like that. There is ALWAYS a point in the piece where it looks HORRIBLE. I feel like there is no way in the world that this is going to look anything like I imagined and that I’m the worst artist ever. If you’re an artist, you can probably relate to this.

But then the wise words of Mrs. Lee enter my brain:

“It has to get worse before it can get better.”

I may change it up to “It has to look worse before it can look better,” but the idea is still the same!

Who’s Mrs. Lee you may ask? Oh, just my high school math teacher! I’m almost positive that we were working through the quadratic formula or some calculus problem of doom whenever she’d mention this, usually prompted by the look of panic in our eyes. Little did she know that someday, one of her math students would become an artist, repeating this mantra as she created in her basement studio.

IMG_20190607_112552.jpg

I was working on a brand new painting this morning and I got to this point. I wanted to throw the canvas out the window, wipe the paint off of it, burn it, whatever I could do to get rid of it. But I said those words and pushed through…

It had to get worse before it got better.

And guys, it’s gorgeous. I can’t wait until it’s dry so I can share it with you!

 

Are there any phrases or words of wisdom that you repeat to yourself?

New Product Alert!

New prints are coming on FRIDAY!!!!

And not just one new design. Or two.

BUT FIVE.

I had only planned on releasing one new design this week as color prints tend to give me more challenges than the gray scale ones, but I was in the groove and the technology cooperated, so I took advantage of it.

Stay tuned for the release announcement, and enjoy this teaser of what’s being released!

IMG_20190521_112907

 

Space Exhibit at Dansville ArtWorks

As you may know I’m letting go of my funk and getting out of my comfort zone, and with that comes pursuing new opportunities…or even certain opportunities again.

A few years ago I had some pieces in a gallery exhibit at Dansville ArtWorks as well as some of my jewelry up for consignment there. It was a great experience, but I never took part in it again. I don’t know why, there was nothing that prevented me from doing it again, I just…didn’t.

I still followed them on Facebook, and I happened to see them post about an exhibit and they were looking for artists.  It was a space theme, and I just so happened to have a piece PERFECT for it. I sent in my application, dropped off my art, and I’m back in the gallery!

My youngest and I went to the opening reception together. My older two kids had opening night of their musical, so my husband attended that as he couldn’t go Saturday (which is when I went), so it was a great time for a date with my little guy!

IMG_20190503_163720 (1)

I swear, it’s so weird seeing my art on a gallery wall. Ryan never made it to see my work at the last exhibit, so he thought it was cool seeing one of his favorite pieces of mine on the wall, too!

IMG_20190503_172655

Because the reception was on May 3rd, May 4th is Star Wars Day (May the 4th (force) be with you!), and it was a space themed exhibit, they had Darth Vader and Chewbacca there!!!! Ry absolutely loved that, and Darth Vader said he’s his new apprentice.

IMG_20190503_175130IMG_20190503_175338

The exhibit runs through June 29th, and every time you visit you can enter to win a Boba Fett blaster signed by Jeremy Bulloch, the actor who played the original Boba Fett! You can find more information about the gallery and the amazing work they are doing here.

Do you have a favorite Star Wars character?

Oriole

A few months ago I desperately wanted to get into my studio. I had been in my funk for awhile, but on this particular day I just HAD to create something. Anything. Just give me a brush or pencil and I’d be good.

But one of my kids woke up sick and just needed mom. Creating went to the back burner as I snuggled and watched movies with my boy while he still is young enough to want his mom.

After a couple movies, he asked me what I had planned on doing if he hadn’t been home. I mentioned painting or drawing, and he looked up at me with those big gray eyes of his and said:

“Mom, I’m okay. Go paint. You need a break.”

Continue reading “Oriole”

Office/Studio Tour

The last time I updated you guys on my office/studio, we were working on the foundation. I’d love to tell you that once the foundation was fixed, it was smooth sailing and we were able to finish the space quickly and easily. Oh how I wish that was the case!

We did finish the foundation, and the basement stayed dry…until we got a lot of rain in a very short amount of time and my office FLOODED. Like 2 inches of rain. It’s not much in the grand scheme of flooded basements, but 2 inches is super annoying when you’re trying to remodel and finish a basement.

Thankfully it was a somewhat easy fix as it was just 10 feet of plugged drainage tile that my husband and boys dug up and replaced. Once it was fixed, the basement has stayed dry. Our electrician was able to come and rewire the office, we got drywall up, taped, mudded, primed and painted and I went back to work on the first day of school!

First piece of drywall up!!! The prettiest piece of drywall EVER!
We have real walls now!!!
Starting the mudding process…
Primed!
And painted!

Just to recap, here are some before pictures:

It was like a cave down here…

And noooowwww…

TA DAAAAA!!!!!
This little dude loves hanging out with me!
My co-worker sleeps on the job.
I love having my work table right here. I sit at the computer and print the prints
and then turn around and can cut and assemble them!
My drafting table/illustrating area!

It is working out SO WELL. I was super nervous about combining the office and studio space into one room (they had been separate spaces at the old house), but honestly, I feel like productivity is up because I can reach everything and don’t have to go back and forth between areas anymore.

I still have some things to in the space. I feel like I’m always organizing and getting rid of things! I am going to hang up some pegboard for paintings to dry on, and the hutch piece (it’s actually a twin sized headboard!) on my desk is going away. I’ll be replacing it with a wall shelf for my knick knacks to sit on and getting an additional monitor; all the monitors will mount to the wall or two will mount and one will sit on the desk. I also need a heater downstairs because it’s so cold during the winter, but once the rest of the basement is finished that will happen. We’ll probably do baseboard trim at that time, too.

What do you think of the office and studio space now?