Saturday, December 28, 2013

Art on Me

Snowflake Nail Art
No one is ever going to come to me for fashion advice or tips for buying and using cosmetics or really anything that has to do with personal style. I'm hopelessly conservative in the way I dress and accessorize. I choose almost entirely solid-colored separates for my wardrobe, not because I don't like patterns, but because I just don't want to fuss with my clothes.

So, why did I paint my nails blue and draw snowflakes on them? Well, it's more than the onset of mid-life panic. At least I hope it's more than that. 

I bought the blue nail polish months ago to use in my studio. It's one of two colors in my brand, and I thought it would be useful. I bought green, too, which is the other key color in Blu Jar's palette. Will my nails be green this spring? Who knows. The truth is I never intended to use the polish on, you know, me. 

I did recently decide, though, that I want to take on some challenges in the new year. I refuse to call them resolutions because that will doom them to failure, for sure. I just want to push myself in some new, and probably uncomfortable, directions. Let's just say it's for the sake of my business, which will always need a fresh, creative shot in the arm, if it's going to work for me. I have learned that I sort of have "artistic ADHD." I've always preferred starting things over finishing them. Call that a character flaw (I do), but for my business, I want to try to use that tendency to serve the work. 

For me, this means: 1) I don't want to take on BIG projects unless I'm absolutely crazy about them, because it's really hard to maintain the enthusiasm the art deserves when new ideas are popping (and they always are); and 2) I want to start BEING an artist in my "real life"--you know, the one I live outside my studio. That's where the blue nails come in. 

I want to make more artistic statements and use fewer words to do it. I want to give myself things to look at when there is no obvious design around, because design wakes up my spirit. Design births more design, and it all nurtures the designer in me. I've ignored this phenomenon for too long.

So, 2014 will be the year of Me, the Artist, being more okay with and intentional about living out the role of "Artist" and more grateful for and dedicated to the God-given passion to create.

More Art on Me
More evidence that I'm breaking out of the fashion "box" I've lived in is my wrist full of beads. I have always loved and collected beads. I've been restringing, rearranging, and adding some new beads to make lots of stretchy bracelets, I've been mixing and matching them, regardless of whether they entirely match my outfits. Hey, everything goes with denim!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

There Be Penguins Here

This is my first penguin painting, but it won't be my last. I had great fun taking this piece from concept to the final application of textural details. The white details on the parent penguin were achieved with a tiny brush and opaque acrylic ink, which is a relatively new product for me. I especially enjoyed designing the baby penguin's snow suit and the pattern that shows up on both scarves.

I'm still trying to decide how I will use this piece. Will it end up on a series of frameable cards or will I sell the original as is? Hmmm. Not sure yet. I'm kind of kicking around the idea of doing a penguin calendar. This would be January.
8x10 watercolor on 140 lb. paper

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Ninjas of the Cold

I'm finally back in my studio after two weeks away from my brushes and paint, and I'm painting penguins, of all things. Penguins know how to survive the cold. I wish I did!

After all the warmth of Christmas is past, as it soon will be, it seems that there's nothing ahead except weeks of cold. I'll be calling this piece, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" as a reminder to grin and bear it...and bundle up!
8x10 watercolor on Canson Aquarelle

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Blue Cotton Towels

A miniature painting of these towels was a big hit when I posted it on Facebook, so I decided to paint a larger version and put it in the shop. It is available with or without the blue mat. See the full listing in my Etsy shop.
Blue Kitchen Towels; 8x10 watercolor with optional mat