Portrait of Contentment

While there are often bumps along the road as we travel through life, there are also moments of perfect contentment, if we just pause a moment or two and let everything be still. When things get too busy and distracting, escaping to my studio is a one way I can tune things out and actually feel peace flood over me. Does this mean everything is perfect? Of course not, that is in fact rarely the case, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have perfect moments of contentment in the midst of ‘life’.
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‘Portrait of Contentment’

9″ x 12″ acrylic on museum quality wood panel

When I started painting this portrait things were kind of hectic, we were getting ready to leave for a week and still getting Christmas put away etc. I worked on it for a few brief time periods and left it unfinished until we came back from vacation. I went up to my studio to unwind and reflect and put on some Eagles tunes (a tribute to Glenn Frey who passed away during our trip) and was thinking to myself I’m so glad that we went to see the Eagles when we had the chance. How many times do we put things off until later and later never comes? It made me thankful and content, a real ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling’ moment. Sure there are things I wished I’d done but there are a lot of things that I did do and I’m content that I reached and stretched outside my comfort zone to get where I am today.

 

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Detailed view of ‘Portrait of Contentment

I love how working with portraits allows you to see what you are feeling in your work. I hope you find time to create art today and feel the contentment that it brings.

This portrait is now listed on my SHOP page.

It’s Sew Wild!

I’ve had fun reading an advance copy of Alisa Burke’s new book , Sew Wild. It’s beautiful and full of great techniques for fabric and more!

Now, I have to be honest, I don’t sew. I CAN sew, I CHOOSE not to. I learned how to sew the ‘right’ way and well, that pretty much took all the fun out of it for me. I learned quickly that I’d rather paint so I left sewing behind although my machine is still part of my studio. I did do a stint of sewing on paper that was fun, and when I took my machine in for a cleaning I got reprimanded for it-lol!

Where I’m  going with all of this is that I was very pleased to see how many of Alisa’s techniques can be used even for us non-sewers! It’s chock full of cool things that can be used without ever touching a machine! (shhhhh, don’t tell Alisa;-)

I chose to start with a wood carving project. I’ve never carved on wood and it’s a lot different than lino blocks, but fun and the carvings are very unique looking.

I did some simple designs to go along with the face I carved. The carving blocks and even tools can be found at Michael’s. I even used my lino cutters and they worked fine.

Now, to get around sewing something I found a cute little ready to decorate muslin apron at Michael’s as well. There is a whole isle of ready to alter clothing etc.

Here’s the begining of my apron, with some carved blocks, and thermofax screens.

I’m not sure if I’m done yet but loving it so far! Can’t wait to try some other techniques from the book. Be sure to check it out HERE.

Stashing my Stash

I am finally down to one box left to unpack in my studio, but that will have to wait until after I finish things for a couple of deadlines coming up fast!

So this week, as I put things away, I kept asking myself, ‘How do I stash my stash’?  This is something we all deal with and whenever you move or reorganize your space you have to figure out what works best for you.

I decided that a trip to Target and Lowe’s was in order and I purchased some shelf units and plastic storage drawers. I need functional storage for my closet, not worried about ‘pretty’ and I need to be able to expand it as my time and wallet allow.

I received my first boxes of products from Matisse and I’m thrilled to finally have a huge closet space to store this type of thing in. I will add more shelves as needed to accommodate product.

Drawers will hold stamp sheets all neat and tidy

and I love these over the door shoe organizers. I keep all of my flyers, postcards etc in them.

Mailing supplies all grouped together will be handy. I used to keep them in a different room at our old house so I’m glad that I will be able to have everything I need in one space.

My stash of cute workshop aprons hangs at one end of the long closet.

Believe it or not, but one of my first workspaces was in a closet about 1/2 the size of this. I was thrilled when I converted that closet into my own private workspace. Work with what you have, carve out your little niche and don’t let not having a ‘studio’ keep you from creating. You can create no matter what your space is, even if it’s a spot at the kitchen table. I can say this because I have done it.

See, my one last box left to unpack! I hope the missing drawer in my shelf unit is in there-lol!

I have my stuff stashed and still have room to grow vertically in this storage space. I picked shelf units that can be added onto as needed and that are inexpensive. For now I’m good. My things are unpacked and I can work in my studio. I will add to and adjust things as needed down the road, but for now I love having a space to work in again~

PS. Checkout Interweaves Stash Buster Sale this week! Lots of cool things at this annual Post Labor Day Sale and there is even a flicker group you can upload your photos to making you eligible to win cool prizes!! Be sure to check it out!!

Slowly but Surely

Things are falling into place (falling? Well, being placed there with careful attention-lol) I’m loving this little niche in the room for my desk work. It’s not my favorite part of the ‘Full Time Artist’ thing, so I try to make my surroundings as enjoyable and none distracting as I can. If I try to work in arms reach of paint and other art supplies I get sucked into the more fun aspects of creating! I love how the sheer drapes section this area off a bit without closing it in too much.

That pile of work sitting there followed me over from my old studio and needs attention fast, so I’m pushing to get my studio in order asap.

At day’s end the desk is a bit more tidy and what you can’t see is that behind the panel on the right is my kind of ugly but functional file cabinet with that pile of ‘needs to be done soon’ work from my desk, organized by priority. I like that I don’t have to look at it right when I walk into my studio, but it’s easy to see what needs to be done when I sit at my desk. Those of you who work as full-time artists know that at least half of your time is spent working on things other than actual art. It’s important to make that time as enjoyable as possible and to set yourself up for successful use of that time. Seeing a desk full of work does not make me want to go and sit there, but having one task on the desk and the rest out of sight but in easy reach from an uncluttered desk makes it a bit easier.

I have found that for me, neutral calming colors and uncluttered work areas work best. I’ve done the colorful walls, stuff everywhere kind of workspace and have come to prefer a cleaner, less cluttered, light filled space. Bottom line is to pay attention to what works for you. How do you feel in your space? Do you want to go into it, or do you want to shut the door on it and find your art supplies migrating to other areas? Listen to your inner voice and create a space that invites you in.