Monday, June 25, 2012

inspiration comes from the darnedest places

Darnedest....what a funny word.  Especially when you see it in print. 

Anyway, about that inspiration. We just spent 5 days in Colorado so you might think that there is inspiration everywhere.  Which I am sure there was...maybe I will find it in my pictures and maybe I will paint nothing of the beauty of Colorado.  However, the strangest thing happened in the solitude of our hotel room while I was laying around trying to find an ever elusive nap.

First, let me say that, for the first half of the trip, I did nothing for tiny by design.  I knew that I would be a workaholic upon returning home, so I decided to try to leave it at home.  I did bring a tiny sketch pad, my pencils and a notebook...just in case.  Three days into the trip I hadn't touched it.  Three days into a trip with a rough start, I decided to do what every mother should do...sleep when the kids are sleeping.  So I did.  For about 5 minutes.  Then I woke up, realized that napping is tough and just laid there wondering what I should do.  Then, with a fateful glance up at a framed art print everything changed.  The print was cool, the artwork very good...but the style was completley different than mine.  I stared at the painting for a while and read the caligraphy that accompanied each illustration.  The print shared some facts about on of the local species of owl and my childlike mind took what I read and saw, and chewed on it for a bit.  Then an idea hit me.  I jumped up to get my tiny sketch pad and within minutes had 4 small sketches and 1 big idea.

The framed art print that got my wheels turning:

I was drawn to the softness of this egg...and the fact that owls come from eggs.

Now, before I get into the idea...let me say that Owls are very popular subject matter for kids art.  You can find them everywhere and they have been the trend for quite some time.  This is precisely why I have avoided them.  I am always hesitant to follow every trend for fear that my artwork will take on a "been there, seen that" type of a feel.  But, inspired by a fleeting thought, I am diving into the world of owls...from a different perspective.  At least, I have never seen anything like this idea before.

Now, here I am, for the rest of the trip...antsy to get home to my studio.  I know not to wish life away but I have never missed my paint brushes more.  These paintings are so simple, so soft...the perfect decor for a nursery or subtle accent for a child's room.  Now, I hope they translate onto a canvas the way they have come alive in my mind...I will keep you posted.  I will share as soon as I get them right.

Being in an inspired place, I became very clear on exactly what I want to complete painting-wise for the South Haven Blueberry Festival, August 11 and 12.  Smiles.  I was struggling with this thought prior to leaving.  It's funny what can happen when you remove yourself from a challenge for a period of time.  So here is my lineup:  my paisley series (should I add one more?), the castle, another alphabet painting, my story board, a group of whimsical trees and my owl series (with a few more sports and lizards along the way)...and, of course, a few dozen print choices...and that one giant wood panel.  I hope inspiration hits again, and I will know what to do for a great show centerpiece!

The painting frenzy has begun.  The night we returned I went down to my favorite place and started prepping the wood boards and canvases that will be the bread and butter of my very first art show.  I take note that I am at the start of something and breathe in, ready to enjoy the journey.

a brush in the hand is worth two in the bush,

Sunday, June 10, 2012

so long Snow Wipe...

Things are changing.  In good ways.  In ways that make me want to quick pay tribute to a leading lady around this house...

Ms. Snow Wipe.
She is often seen galavanting with her close friend Sleeping Dooty.  Together, they join Oakley (playing the role of Cinderella) in singing the song about Santa know, the one one where "he sees you when you're sweeping."


My little lady had tubes put in her ears.  Almost overnight, she stopped asking me to talk louder and turn it up.  We also had to say good bye to Snow Wipe and Sleeping Dooty.  They were replaced with the better known Snow White and Sleeping Beauty.

I'm not gonna lie, I already miss Snow Wipe and Sleeping Dooty.  (I mean come on, Dooty? how is that not funny.  Every single time.)  My girl is growing up.

So is my plan for tiny by design.  New avenues are being explored and I feel like it's time to get out of my basement studio and into the world.  As things unfold, I look forward to writing more about the journey.  In the meantime, I have a few larger scale projects in the works (my storyboard, another alphabet and a few more)...along with a few small ones (more paisley!).  There are potential art shows and home shows of a few varieties.  I am blessed with the opportunity to welcome my new nephew to the world with a mural (starting Monday).  A soft stream will run in the background of a beautiful birch tree.  I put out my first google ad and am enjoying stalking the stats to see new visitors coming to  I also am enjoying the fact that my kiddos want to be outside from sun-up to sun-down....and other nonsense.

So, I have had little time to write.  But I can tell that a good story is unfolding... 

Thanks for coming along.

off to make chocolate chip cookies and visit with one of my favorite people in the whole cousin, Abby and her little cutie baby Murphy.
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