New Piece: Be Still

This piece was heartbreaking to create.

A few years ago, I had done basically this exact painting and it was by far my favorite painting I’d ever done. Every time I took it to festivals, I hoped it wouldn’t sell because I loved it so much. Whenever anyone would favorite it on Etsy, I apprehensively awaited that glorious cash register noise, telling me it had sold and would be leaving me forever.

Why I didn’t just keep the piece for myself, I don’t know.

Well, unfortunately the piece was damaged beyond repair in our move a few years ago. I’d kept it just because I couldn’t bear to part with it. I tried fixing it just to keep it for myself, but it didn’t work out. I finally convinced myself to let it go, but I had to recreate it first…and that’s how this piece came to be!

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New Piece Alert: Harry

Just as a warning, there might be a theme for some of these newer pieces. When I started relaunching my business, we happened to have our annual Apps family vacation fall smack dab right in the middle of it. And when we stayed on a beautiful river and as an artist I am obsessed with clouds, sunrises/sunsets, and all things landscape and of nature, we can just say that there were a lot of photos taken as inspiration for future pieces (including Serenity Bay!).

While we were on vacation, I was asking some of our family members what kinds of things they’d like to see me do. The #1 response? Another blue heron…

Title: Harry

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New Piece Alert: Serenity Bay

This summer we took our annual Apps family vacation to Virginia and stayed on a river. This was a big change for us as we typically go to the ocean or maybe a lake, but a river? Definitely new.

It was such an amazing vacation, though. We watched herons, we kayaked and swam, and even saw dolphins on our last full day there.

The weather was absolutely beautiful, but we did have one day of rain. The way the clouds rolled over the river were absolutely stunning, and inspired this piece:

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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?

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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!

Painting Up A Storm!

Hey hey heyyyyyy!!!!!!

Yes, I’m still around, even if I’m hardly posting on any social media lately.

Life has gotten interesting around here, and I just haven’t been making my business a complete priority. I did take a couple hours this week to work on product photography:

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I’m hoping to get the pics edited and uploaded to Etsy this week sometime; my new work computer didn’t have a memory card reader, so we had to order one. Now that it’s here, I can get new and improved (and rebranded approved!) product pictures in my store. Woo hoo!

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Sick Day Painting

My youngest was home for a couple days this past week with a fever. After what felt like his thousandth movie, he decided he was bored and was looking for a change of scenery. He loves to paint, and as I was behind in Boathouse illustrating, I suggested breaking out our watercolors. He jumped at the chance, and we got to work.

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Sick day snuggles

It was so much fun watching him be creative! He puts colors together that I wouldn’t think of, puts more detail and thought into each painting than I would imagine, and even watching him try to work through his struggles inspires me.

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Middlebury Sky

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve revealed a new piece on the blog, and even longer since I’ve revealed a painting! I thought we needed to resolve that problem, so I present to you Middlebury Sky!

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Medium: Oil on canvas

Size: 8″ x 10″

When: Spring/Summer 2016

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Painting with Grandpa

When I was younger, I would go spend a day with my paternal grandparents on occasion. I’d ride into the city with my dad, and my Grandpa would pick me up where my dad worked. Our visits were always full of various adventures: eating yummy foods, visiting playgrounds or the zoo, and my favorite, painting with my Grandpa’s special paints.

painting

My Grandpa loved to paint, and he loved teaching me new techniques or just watching as I painted away the afternoons at their dining room table. I always loved spending that time with him!

When I was in college and switched my major, my grandparents were the second ones I called. I remember how excited my grandpa was, yelling with excitement, inviting me over to go through his art supplies for anything I wanted. They helped put me through college, and have cheered me on every step of the way in opening my business and now being an illustrator as well.

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My mom found these pictures while going through my grandparent’s things; they have recently moved into assisted living and no longer have space for a lot of their belongings. It’s hard seeing them get older, having them not be able to do a lot of things any more. It’s hard thinking about it.

But that is what is wonderful about pictures and mementos. They help us remember the happy times.

And this happy time will be getting framed for my office:

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My New Monday Nights

I’m going to get a little personal on the blog today. I know a few of you have been wondering where I am, why I’m not posting, if I’m doing okay.

I’m here, thank you for checking….but I have been under a lot of stress lately.

My schedule has been dictated by outside forces for the past month or so, and I have barely gotten any work done:

Boathouse 2 is sitting on my table, far behind the timeline I had laid out for myself.

Products are waiting to be photographed and listed in my Etsy shop.

Canvases are begging to be painted, varnished, framed.

And I just can’t seem to get these projects started, let alone finished with all this chaos in my crazy beautiful life.

But I have to give myself grace during this time. Things aren’t always going to get done on my schedule or in the time I want them to be done in, and I just have to learn to roll with the punches…I’m not very good at that 😉

I’ve decided that I can’t always do what I HAVE to get done. There has to be some time for fun and what I want to do! It helps ward off my crankies, too!

Monday nights will now be my time to do whatever art project I want, whether it be working on new jewelry, painting in my studio…things that I’m not taking time for during the rest of the week. It works out well as my hubby is usually gone on Monday nights, so I’m at home with the kiddos. As soon as they’re in bed, it’s art time!

Here’s a preview of last night’s studio time:

I spent some time doing a major reworking on this painting, and it finally clicked why it hadn’t worked out so well before!

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Apparently it didn’t want to be the sky over a sand dune, but sky over the ocean instead! Once I listened, it worked out beautifully.

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It’s now hanging in my living room so I can live with it for awhile before deciding if it needs further tweaking or if it’s ready to be finished. Once it’s finished, off to art festivals and Etsy it will go!

Do you have trouble balancing the “want to do” with the “have to do,” or is it just me? Do you have any tips for me?