A Creative Exercise

Every now and then, I like to zoom out. What are the things I’ve been noticing around me? What have I been taking pictures of? A quick scroll through my camera roll or my bookmarked Instagram posts helps me see the big picture. Often, there’s a color or color palette that emerges from these saved images. The colors, textures, and themes that I glean from this collection of photos helps me think about which direction I might want to go next in my studio.

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Meet My Painting: "Blue Daze"

Is there anything more invigorating, more life-giving, and anything more promising than a blue sky? There is a crispness, a life-force, and a promise with a nearly-cloudless day. There is nothing hindering the sun from shining, so why should anyone feel hindered from accomplishing something great? This feeling of assurance that comes from a bright blue sky is the reason and the purpose behind my next painting in the ‘Meet My Painting’ Series: Blue Daze.

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The Difference Between Sunrise & Sunset

If you looked at one of my paintings, could you tell what time of day I painted?

Every painting that I work on is based on an actual photo. When I am out at the Farm, I snap photos like a madwoman, catching every cool cloud, every beautiful sunset, and if I can get myself out of bed early enough, an epic sunrise. Over time, I’ve noticed some clear differences in the mood, colors and feel of a sunrise versus a sunset. I try my best to capture the feeling of each time of the day with my color palette, so that I can communicate on the canvas that very same feeling that I felt when I took the photo out at The Farm.

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Studio Essentials: Technology in the Studio

Oil painting, along with most art-making techniques, is an ancient practice. It’s story goes way way back, yet there are always new lessons to learn. My role in the history of oil painting is small, but I am privileged to tell its story. As an artist in the 21st century, I have access to certain programs and devices that help me write the story of oil painting in a modern age. Below are some of my favorite tech items that make my life easier, more efficient, and so much more enjoyable!

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Mixing My Paint Palette

When I was a little girl, my best friend and I would play in the backyards of each other's houses and make what we called "mixtures." These concoctions were made up of pretty much anything and everything you could dump into a bowl and mix until combined. We would raid pantries, dig up dirt and leaves, and always built a story around what this specific mixture was meant for. Sometimes it had healing powers, other times it was "dinner" (Note: we never, ever actually consumed any of these mixtures). We were attracted to creating something from nothing, and mixing up different combinations of the materials were given was an activity that we returned to often.

These days, I'm still mixing things up, but I've graduated from mud and kitchen spices to mixing up oil paints, mediums and solvents. My mixtures are both bright and pastel colored, and are lovingly painted on to my canvases. One of my favorite parts of the painting process is building and developing my color palette. It always starts out so clean, and then as the painting builds up, so does my palette, and the colors begin to tell a story. 

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See My Work (In Person!)

Even though I sell my own artwork online, I find it so incredible a very flat, digital image can be imagined as something that can one day hang on your walls in all three dimensions. The goal that I am always working towards is enabling someone who is looking at my work on a screen to envision it in a setup as close to real life as possible. Sometimes that is easy, other times it is more difficult. Envisioning the scale of the brush strokes and the size of canvas can be daunting to prove. The added challenge of accurately representing color is a whole other beast. I have been so fortunate to work with shop owners, gallerists, and kind individuals that have welcomed me and my art into their spaces and homes to present my work in person. As beautiful as a painting can be styled up, there is truly nothing quite like seeing art in person. You can see the history of the painting in the brush strokes and the layering, and you have the opportunity to feel the spirit of the painting even more. Have you ever seen my work in person? If you haven't, there are a couple of ways you can! 

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Paintings From 'Drawn Together' Now Available!

If you have been following along before I even started this blog, you might remember that this past May, my work was shown in a gallery in Brenham, TX along with the work of my best art friend, Olivia Nucci! The show ran through the month of May, and then was moved to the bed & breakfast connected to the gallery for the months since. While I was down at The Farm over Labor Day weekend, I stopped in Brenham to pick up the remaining pieces from the show, which are now available for purchase on my site. 

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My Top Reading Resources

In this digital world, we take in a lot of material on an everyday basis. From tweets, to posts, to that funny video of a dog that your cousin posted on Facebook, there is a lot of information coming at us. It can be hard to decide which sources to trust, and which to dismiss. Over the years, certain sources of information of all kinds have risen to the surface, and I'm sharing with you which sources, both online and in print, that have proven to me their reliability and dependability. 

The Wall Street Journal :: My parents began subscribing to the WSJ, in addition to the local newspaper, while I was in high school. I began reading the papers along with them, and it's a practice that has solidified itself in my morning routine. One year in college, I'd expressed to my parents how much I missed having the newspaper to read every morning in the dorm, so once I moved out of the dorm, my big Christmas gift that year was a subscription to the WSJ. And to this day, despite lighthearted teasing of my roommates and now my husband, I still read the paper every. single. morning. 

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Artists I'm Loving: No. 03

        Today I'm featuring some of the art & artists that inspire me. These guys are too good not to share!

Teil Duncan :: Teil was my first artist crush. She was cute, young, and an incredibly talented artist. I wanted to be her. I still want to be her! I have been following along as she has grown bigger and bigger, and I'm continually inspired by the ways she continues to push herself with new techniques, and new subject matter. I already know I need her to paint portraits of my kids...once I have them, of course. Her beach series will always have a special spot in my heart - she is able to capture a landscape perfectly, but without fussing about the details. 

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