A year ago today I was laying on my couch in excruiating pain due to a herniated disc. See, I went to church with my mom and daughter's and parked in the overflow lot which has dirt. It was a very warm and rainy Christmas Eve and our car got stuck in the mud. My daughter's and I decided to push the car out of the mud ourselves. We had a lot of laughs and lots of muddy clothes and bodies, but we succeeded in getting the car out. Two days later, I couldn't stand up straight and thought I broke a hip or knee or something. Luckily it was just a disc. The doctor I went to suggested bedrest for many, many weeks. No therapy, no exercise, no nothing. ( Turns out that was not a good idea.). Anyway I decided to make the most of the bedrest and what happened was the silver lining.
Several years ago I worked with a friend doing murals and faux finishing and when the business closed up I stopped doing alot of art. For me, that is a bad idea. I truly am happiest when I am creating. I decided to try and get my artwork published and begin to live a creative life again. Much to my delight I found a group of photographers that met on social media. At the time they met up and did photography at different locations and posted the photos on instagram and facebook. I was very nervous about meeting them. I was certain they were professionals and I would look like a fool. In my mind I was certain I wouldn't be good enough, but felt I needed to get out of my comfort zone and try. One year later this group has grown and an offshoot group began which now has over 80 members. I have been lucky enough to go on several photos shoots with whoever can make it that day. These meetups are so inspiring and have opeined my mind and spirit again. I look forward to seeing the same places from different eyes. The support we give each other is unlike any group I have ever belonged to. We help teach each other, we applaud each others successes and generally just have fun. Every level is welcome and every camera is as well. Big ones, with many lenses, point and shoots and cell phones are all encouraged. Whatever it takes to get the shot is all that is need. That and love for photography. I feel so lucky that I found this group of people.
During my haitus from my day job,I had time to paint and research as well. I entered art competitions and was selected to be published in an acrylic painting book. ( more on that when it comes out!). I was also the featured artist two weeks ago on a website that I contacted in January when I was on recovering from my injury.
My instagram account has been flourishing as well. I have many more followers that I did and to my surprise was offered an opportunity to be the featured artist on the Jersey Shore Hurricane News special project they did where they featured a new artist every month for the year. I was interviewed and then featured and took over their account for a weekend to promote my work.
I truly believe that none of this would have happened had I not been home and out of work. God work in mysterious ways they say. Very often I have heard, there's a reason for everything, blah. blah, blah and I dont' always buy into it. This time, though, I believe it. I really feel I needed the time to think and research and start becoming who I want to be. Somewhere along the way I lost the fire, but I can assure you, It's back and it's roaring to be heard!!!
The beginning of September always makes me think of the years that school started. It seems more like a beginning to me then the typical New Year. Maybe because we are conditioned to so many years of that schedule. I had three children too, so that schedule continued for many years. There is something about a new planner that really appeals to me. I love adding birthdays, and holidays. I may be showing my age but talking about a planner, but I think it;s being visual. There is something about writing in dates and highlighting important moments that is so appealing to me.
I decided that this was the year that I really started to focus on my art. I have been involved in two art groups in the last six months and am happy I did so. This summer I participated in a group show in town, tent and all. Lucky for me had the help of my husband. It was sooooo hot, I wondered why I decided to do this. The energy of all the other artists who were showing their work and meeting the public who came to see if anyone had that special piece they were looking for made it worth it. I decided that I can no longer keep my house filled with my artwork. The closets and walls are bursting. Plus I need room to keep creating!
The photography group that I become a part of has been a real bright spot in my life. The group meets weekly and for many reasons, I don't make it that often, but have been so happy to be part of this group. They welcomed me with open arms and we all share our love for photography. Every level we are at and every type of camera we have is welcome. We encourage each other and share tips and praise each other when we get that great shot. No egos there at all.
Instagram has been a great outlet for me to share my work and has given me a platform to get my art out there. (thank you to my kids for their help!) My little daily challenges keep me fresh and help me challenge myself to paint subjects I never would have thought of before.
My husband is so supportive.. I sit in my "art room" for hours at a time and just paint, scan and edit. I eat, breathe and sleep art. I know he can't understand just how I get so excited at every sunrise and sunset, let alone a rainbow!!!!
So, I will continue to write in my little planner, ( well, at least glance at it every now and then, I'm better at starting it then looking at it daily!!!). I will keep painting and taking photos and just being present in the world around me. My style changes from watercolor to acrylics, to photos to abstract. While that may not be the best thing for an artist, it's who I am. My mood changes so my styles change. I am not a robot, so why can't my art be what I feel at that moment? Maybe I should focus on one style, but for now, I will do house portraits, flowers, drinks, beauty and whatever strikes my fancy.
One of my paintings will be in an acrylic painting book. (When that comes out I will let you all know.
I finally joined an art community in my town and am involved in a gallery in Tinton Falls, NJ. It took me so long to do this and I am so happy I did. It takes time and nerve to get up and out there facing people with my work, but I have to do it. It;s not easy to put yourself in an open space where people walk by and look at you and your work. There are moments where you wonder if they will like your work, think it's good enough and wonder if they will consider buying it. I worried if the other artists thought I measured up as well. Here's something I learned. I am proud of the work I am doing and was so happy to engage with other artists and potential collectors as they walked by. They energized me to do paint more.
The group I met at the gallery is so welcoming. They meet up every week at a different location to do photography. I was very nervous to go and found a fellow photographer to join me. Well, we were welcomed with open arms. It was sooooo much fun. Now I have some work that will be potential paintings and have opened a circle of creative minds that inspire me everyday.
This summer I will do a few art shows and keep meeting up with the photo group. This feeds my creative soul and will help me to grow as an artist and as a person.
I am grateful to have met both groups and am glad I stepped out of my comfort zone.
I recently found out that I am going to be a featured artist for a week at Artsy Shark. This is so exciting and I am so grateful to be part of this group of talent. Thank you to Carolyn Edlund for this opportunity. I will provide the link once it's active and running.
Last month I joined the artist community in my hometown of Toms River and will be participating in an art stroll along Main Street in Toms River on Thursday, May 5th. I have made prints of many various paintings to fit a 5 x 7 format to give everyone a chance to buy a piece of art. It's taken me some time to get my act together and I am really looking forward to it.
February was so much fun as well. Jersey Shore Hurricane News let me be the featured artist on their instagram account with a new project called 1jerseyshore which features a different shore town each month. I met so many new people through this social media event.
I've also met a group of photographers through the Toxic Tin Gallery in Asbury Park. They met through social media and now have a gallery. They meet weekly in a different location to share their ideas and do photography. I plan on becoming more involved with them as well. They were very warm and welcoming.
Soooooo, new things are happening and I'm so looking forward to it!!!!!
I am sitting in my living room, resting from an injury. I have been unable to do too much but have decided to work on my website a bit. Still, I don't have full command of technology and have quite a way to go, but I am trying. I added a few new paintings to my page and also on the sketches page. Little by little I plan on getting more done and start a line of cards. Doing the daily challenge based on the national day calendar has given me the chance to try a little something different and now I go for more diverse subject matter too. Aside from the old florals, I am trying food, beverages, hair design and clothing. Totally out of my comfort zone, but it's helping me to get fresh new ideas! I am excited again to paint and that's a good thing.
Follow along the journey and when I figure out paypal I will surely let you all know. Until then, I'll keep task avoiding and just paint........
So, I am always looking for ways to make art. I have worked in all kinds of mediums and my latest and really most fun had been little watercolors. Some of them get pen and ink added, some stay just as little pen and ink drawings. They are all about 3' x 3', some smaller, some larger. I am staying loose and free, which does not normally come easy to me. These little pieces of art are so much fun and help to to stick with a drawing or two a day.
I am now referencing the National Fun Days on the calendar and am trying to do a painting a day to represent at least one from the list. It's good for the creative juices and the mind. I encourage you to look at these each day and find a way to incorporate them into your lives too, maybe through a quote, a song lyric, a piece of clothing, a new food. Whatever strikes your fancy.
Live for today, don't be so serious. Have a little fun. Look outside of the usual and you just may find something extraordinary in what seems so ordinary.
This is the last day of May and the weekend after Memorial Day. The kick-off to summer. Longer days, warmer weather....AHHH...life seems a little simpler this time of year. Flip flops are a welcomed change from boots, shorts and dresses allowing the warm air to just surround us. People tend to be outside more, restaurants now have open seating and everyone seems a little bit happier. There are parties, barbeques, late night fire pits. For those of us near the beach, we sit on days off and enjoy the evenings walking the boardwalk. The sights, the smells, it's so refreshing. It soothes the soul. Lifts the spirits.
With the summer I have started using watercolors again. They seem to be the perfect art form for me n the summer. I began with little tiny paintings. 2" x 2". Quick little studies that make me think of summer and carefree days. I welcome the change. Many artists stay with one medium, but I get bored and need to change it up from time to time.
Here's to summer breezes, hanging with your favorite people and enjoying life a little more. Be grateful, be open to the gifts you have been blessed with and stop and smell the flowers.
I am one of those odd folks in the northeast that actually enjoyed the winter. I love the cold when you can bundle up and feel the refreshing air against your skin. The snow makes me so happy. It's peaceful, quiet and everything looks so beautiful. The amount of photos I took of the trees is really ridiculous, but I simply can not resist.
This week I am off from my regular job and decided to really try to update my website and try to blog. I have never been a writer, ( I leave that to my family who all have that gift.) It takes me a lot of effort to break from wanting to draw, sketch, paint and do photography to sit and update everything. Let's not even talk about adding social media to the mix. Geez Louise you need a staff just to tweet this, post that, pin this and that. I don't have the time or energy.
Well, now that spring is here I am trying to refocus and take the time to regroup and make my art life my priority again. Of course if you knew me, you would know to focus o one thing and actually sit still long enough is not an easy task. I start and stop pretty easily. Personally I call it the creative mind that's always working, but I'm sure others may just say scattered. Whatever, I am who I am and decided to embrace this side of me and not fight it. Go with the flow and if it takes me to a bunch of different places, then so be it. At least I can truly say I am never bored.
Now, back to work. ( if only I can remember what I was last working on.....)