Watercolors are finally finding their way into my Etsy shop. Because I am good enough and there is no reason to keep waiting. I've been painting since March and still feel like I am learning how to handle the medium and my prices reflect that learning stage. On January 5th the movers are coming to pack us up and send our belongings across the ocean. My shop will close on January 4th and won't reopen until I am settled in the UK, probably sometime in February. Locals can find my work for sale at Hatched through Christmas and New Years.
I was tired and wanted to go to bed as soon as the kids went to bed. I wanted them to go to bed early so I could go to bed early. Then they ended staying up drawing together in their room so I wandered back to my studio to tinker with some paintings. I am glad I kept going. Once I get through my to do list I will start putting watercolors up on my Etsy shop. I am nervous about listing these new creation as I still very much consider myself a student when it comes to watercolor. But I was a student with printmaking too not all that long ago.
I took about a dozen watercolors to Open Studios and I sold about half of them. JP Open Studios was a market test for the watercolors to figure out if I should keep at them and how to price them and the answer was yes keep going! JP Open Studios was fabulous fun this weekend as I love connecting with my community. And I love sending original artwork out in the world. Thank you to all those that have supported my fresh start these past months by reading my blog, offering feedback and buying artwork. I will be putting watercolors up on my Etsy shop as soon as I can get new work made, scanned and listed.
Some artist's seem to attain perfection in every sketchbook page. Andrea Joseph is an example of this type of artist. She hosted the most recent week at Sketchbook Skool and I found putting on her skin and drawing with a ballpoint pen for two days to be too much for me. She's a wonderful and super talented artist but her sketchbooks are far too perfectly composed for how I work. For me sketchbooks are to work out problems, record events and try things out. And for that I need freedom to mess up. Good for her for sure but I need to find my own way. But I can still enjoy her beautifully rendered drawings of often humble objects.
Vacation travel was wonderful, but as usual I am finding it difficult to adjust to being back to regular life. Especially the not so regular routine that is summer vacation with my kids 3 and 6 home with me and asking for enrichment all. day. long. Camp is expensive and the 3 year old is still too young for most of them and I feel guilty leaving them to watch TV all day and feeding them frozen pizza. So art we do art projects with together and we go outside to the zoo, playgrounds. playgrounds inside of the zoo, sprinkler parks and more playgrounds. The days are hot, humid and very long. I love them but by 4pm I am so totally done and out of things to do and out of energy for myself.
Meditative watercolor paint circles to the rescue. They look cool. They help me relax. They are fun and simple and require more patience than technique and concentration and they help me get to know my paint better. In the end I always feel better and learn something during the process. In my book that is a total win. This one is available on Etsy.
It's been a great week here. I printed for three hours on Wednesday and listed one of the prints on Etsy on Thursday. Though I am tempted to keep this beauty because it looks fabulous in our living room. Working on a custom piece for a client that still needs more layers, but this one feels done to me. The schedule of drawing and painting every day and printing once a week is working out super well for me. I hope I can keep it up this summer somehow. If not I can always do it in the fall when the girls are both in school.
There was a time when my studio was bigger, but highly chaotic and I shared it with a baby that we called bLee. My studio may be smaller now as I gave the bigger room to my girls, but it is just mine and it is organized. I am also happy to not have any baby gear left in my home anymore. No more rocking chair, pack n play, bouncy seat or anything big, bulky and usually ugly. Just endless Legos.
Also known as ATC or ACEOs (art cards editions and originals) when sold. I have been making and collecting these little treasures for years now. I have most of my collection that I traded for back in my Etsy prime framed together and hanging in my studio. It is fun having all those different artists playing together in a single space. Always around to inspire me or just make me happy. Making them myself has also gotten me through many a creative block and helped me try out new ideas in a relatively quick and easy way. When I am printing from a large block I usually find spaces to put a couple of black cards down and voila instant art background. For years I never drew on them and thinking back I must have had some reason for keeping them pure prints but now I can't see a reason why I should stick with that idea of purity. Pen, paint and who know what is next when it comes to these little works of art. No rules. Pick one up on Etsy or maybe if you are in the Boston area and run into me I might just give you one. But not this one.
Today's thowback will be the oldest piece on my Etsy shop. If you can guess the year it was made and live in the US or Canada it's yours. Stay tuned for a more contests on my blog. And thank you for making my blog so much fun to write for while keeping the new artwork coming.
These collagraph plates are the start of a failure. I worked hard cutting out these shapes last week but what I didn't take into account was the lines from the corrugated cardboard printing in a very distracting pattern. Nothing to be done but reuse the prints for some other purpose, trash the plates and chalk the whole thing up as a learning experience. It is upsetting and very frustrating. I get discouraged and a little depressed about it. Being a beginner and learning is hard but so important. The well tread safe route rarely (never) leads to breakthroughs. In honor of my artistic growth and change I am currently offering all my older prints at a discount on Etsy. Get them while they are still around. Keep doing the work through the problem and come out on the other side better off for the struggle. Can't say that about every painful experience in life.
Even though I didn't follow my 10-12 core hours perfectly every day without distraction I still managed to have a rather productive starting week. May there be many more to come. I mounted and waxed a bunch of artwork. Hung some pieces. Reached out to a local place to show this summer and did some drawing. I did not carve or prepare any of the paper that I got last week. That's okay because I have time for all of that. It's not even spring yet.
There is a lot of art in my home, yet very little of it is hung up on our walls. Most of what I took the time to frame and hang is art from other artists that I have collected over the years. And mostly I hang work in my studio because it makes the room seem bigger and it inspires me. In the living areas of my home we tend to not have a lot of wall space or sense of permanence to hang art but that is starting to change. Today I hung some of my art in the hallway and in my bedroom. I almost never hang my own artwork but it seemed silly to have ready to hang pieces that I love just sitting in a bin unseen in my studio. Another thing to make our apartment feel more like a cozy home where we can stay and to inspire myself and my children with art every day. As soon as the little one came home this afternoon she asked about the artwork in our hallway and told me that she loves it. Thanks sweetie!
What keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do? Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid the roadblocks of any creative endeavor—be it starting up a dream business venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece?
Today is my last day to get ready for Open Studios. And today is also my last kid free morning of the week. Feeling very thankful of our wonderfully supportive network of friends that we have that allowed this preschool childcare swap happen in the first place. It has been so good for my daughter, my family and for me.
Today is my typical Friday Feature day and I want to do something special to celebrate a week of blogging daily and of featuring work daily. But that will have to wait for another time and another something to celebrate. Stay tuned for something fun here on my blog.
Looking forward to tomorrow and Sunday and hopefully some beautiful weather but I will be indoors regardless so rain or shine it should be a great event.
Scanning or photographing each piece I made and saving it on my computer and eventually a back up hard drive used to be something that I did without fail with every piece I made. That way when it sold I would always have a graphic of it. But lately I have been selling more work in person where a graphic is not needed for the sale and I often don't digitize the work at all or very well. Most of these digital copies are buried somewhere on an external hard drive or on the cloud but I would be hard pressed to pull them up quickly. Seems like all that work making things digital was pretty pointless without a solid storage plan.
Now I am making art again on a regular basis and not always getting great digital versions of the pieces and honestly I am okay with this change. I have changed and how I best use the limited time I have has also changed. This piece is available online so I have a great digital image of it. But this is not the case for every piece I make, especially if the piece is difficult to photograph or scan for some reason. My three dimensional mounted pieces are great examples of pieces that I love that I have let pass through my hands without keeping a perfect photograph because they just don't scan very well. Scanning used to be my default for lovely digital versions. So here I am figuring out new ways of photographing my work.
Turns out when you have a busy life that involves young children blogging every day can be really easy to push to the back burner. Even when you only promised yourself to blog daily for one week. But I know very well the importance of habit and routine and the power of the just flossing one tooth style approach to make a big life change one small step at a time. So thanks for the inspiration James Altucher for the push I needed to get this one tooth flossed before I go and break up a fight between my two darling daughters.