We live in a beautiful part of Western New York where the views are amazing. I love driving down back roads, especially for sunrises and sunsets, and just take in the view. This painting was based on a late autumn morning, and I was taken aback at how the bright blue sky and purple and white fluffy clouds were so vibrant when paired with the bare, dark trees and chopped down cornfields. I of course had to take a picture and paint it!
Actually, anything sky related makes my heart sing: sunbeams poking through the clouds, the way the colors swirl and change for sunrises and sunsets, the clear, bright blue skies…it is my happy place!
One evening I was taking my oldest son to school for a practice, and as we got to the end of the road, this beautiful sunset was just beginning to fade and stars were just starting to appear. He looked at me and said “Mom, you need to paint this.” He took a picture of it quickly before we finished heading to school, and this piece was born not too long afterwards.
You know the ones: when the sun finally feels warm, there is a slight breeze, the sky bright blue and the leaves starting to bud on the trees. It feels amazing to the senses and the soul after a long winter!
One one of these mornings as I was keeping an eye on kiddos waiting to board the bus to school, there were fluffy pink clouds in the sky that reminded us of cotton candy, and so this piece was inspired!
One of my favorite places to be is always the ocean. I love watching and listening to the waves and watching the clouds roll by, but there is something magical about the sunset over the water. The way the sky changes colors, the clouds darken, and night starts to take over…it makes me feel at peace and so, so happy.
Which means, you guessed it, I was inspired to make a painting of it!
A couple weeks ago we were on our way home from church and along our journey I saw this beautiful sky. There were big, fluffy white and purple clouds along the horizon, the blue of the sky played so well with the colors of the bare trees and farm field, and there was one, lonely cloud up high in the sky. I knew I had to paint it, so I took a picture really quick and put it on the back burner for later.
Later came really quickly as I was able to get started on the piece a few days later, and it was turning out BEAUTIFULLY. The clouds were staying white where I wanted them to, the purple was making them look fluffy, it was just going exactly the way I wanted it to, if not better.
I finished the painting in record time, and I was ECSTATIC. I waited for it to dry, and then plopped it into a mat for framing….and then it all went downhill really, really quickly.
My husband and I just celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary in October. We have a tradition where we go away over Columbus Day weekend as it’s a long weekend (he’s a teacher and can’t always take time off), and as we weren’t sure what the world would be like, we decided to stay close to home and visit Ithaca, NY. While I was a little bummed we couldn’t do something bigger (we like to do bigger trips every 5 years), it ended up being an amazing weekend. We visited one of our favorite college students, ate so much delicious food, and visited a few waterfalls. The leaves were starting to change colors, so it was STUNNING.
One of the falls we visited had a huge, long, difficult trail that I especially was not prepped for. I almost quit multiple times going up, but with some encouragement from my husband and other hikers along the route, I did it! On the way back down, there was a spot along the path where the light on the newly colored leaves felt magical, and it inspired this piece…
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…
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:
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.
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.