Tag Archives: trees

Painting During Small Moments: Day 6 Of 30 Paintings In 30 Days

Painting In The Small Moments Day 6 of 30 Paintings In 30 Days.
Pink Sky 9×12 alcohol ink painting on yupo paper.

Sometimes I get a big block of time to paint, but more often than not I find myself painting during small moments each day. Today was definitely a small moment day. As a mom, an artist, a blogger, and a household manager, I am constantly being pulling in multiple directions. There is always never-ending work to do and always a few surprises interrupting my routine.

Today I woke up to my first sale of the year on Etsy (yay!) and instead of sitting down to write like I usually do I got my jewelry piece ready to ship. I had an appointment to get an X-ray done on my foot (I dropped a sheet of plywood on it about a week ago and it’s pretty bruised) this morning so I knew I would be pressed for time to get my jewelry shipped to its new owner. Due to the snow we’ve had, and now the melting snow turning our road into a mud pit, we haven’t been able to drive up or down our road for the past several days. I knew I would need to get to the Post Office on the same trip. Hiking up and down our road with a banged up foot was not something I wanted to do twice today. I also had to get Tiny-Small ready to go to the babysitters to play with her friends. It was hectic, but most of our mornings are, aren’t they?

I had to squeeze in my painting and writing today between other activities like laundry, dishes, shopping for a car with 4 wheel drive, helping Jim do some computer work for his business, and making a few phone calls. As I was moving between one chore to another I started thinking about how motherhood has impacted my art-making. Even though I am busier than ever problem-solving (how can I prevent this kids from spilling her milk this time?) I am surprisingly producing more art pieces too. I think I’ve learned to take advantage of the quiet moments and to work in mediums that fit into my busy lifestyle. That has made a big difference in what I am able to accomplish on a daily basis.

I had started out painting in oils. I couldn’t even imagine painting in acrylics. They dried too quickly! After my daughter was born I couldn’t take the smell of the oils and the drying process was too laborious. I bought my first set of acrylics and never looked back. I had always liked watercolors, but never had any professional grade paint so I found them a little frustrating. Once I got my hands on good paint, and high quality brushes, watercolor painting became ideal. I could paint a line, a wash, anything really, and come back later to keep going when I had the time. It dried quickly, but the paint could dry out and get wet again so I could work a lot or a little depending on my schedule. There wasn’t any problem with mixed paint drying out and becoming unusable (like with acrylics). It was liberating because I was toting around a baby. I didn’t have the time to baby a painting too.

Mixed media was also easy to leave and come back to, as long as I didn’t mix more acrylic paint than I could use in a few minutes (another trick I’ve learned along the way). In fact, with watercolors and mixed media, having time to let things dry was really helpful. An hour, two hours at the most, and I could be back in the game. If I needed something to dry quickly I just pointed my hair dryer at it. Now I find that when I only have a few minutes to paint I am running to my alcohol inks. They dry so quickly that I can just keep going, but I can also leave the painting for a long time and come back to it too. It’s a medium I am particular grateful to have access to, especially on days like today where I am busy, but have also committed to painting a painting each day.

I hope if you are a busy mom wishing for a few minutes to be creative that you get your hands on some alcohol inks or watercolors and set up a little space of your own to work. Even if you just paint a stroke or two in between carrying your laundry from one room to the next, or while waiting for your kids to put their shoes on, you will eventually end up with a completed painting. You don’t need a fancy studio and a big block of time. You just need a small space and a few moments each day. Don’t think it is impossible to paint with small children. Just keep your expectations in check and let go of having to finish anything you start on the same day.

You Can’t See The Forest For The Trees: Day Five of 30 Paintings In 30 Days

Do you ever find yourself getting stuck on the details and forgetting to step back and look at the big picture? Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees. This happens to me at times with both parenting and my art business.

I find myself worrying about how Tiny-Small always skips the number five while counting. When she was a baby I worried she wouldn’t roll over, talk, or walk because she was taking her sweet time about it. I also worried she would never sleep through the night. Luckily I have friends who are moms with much older children who can laugh and say, “She’ll be fine!” My mom would say, “She’s a healthy kid. Do you think she is going to be 18 and still not walking?” In other words: Think about the big picture. Often what seems difficult to overcome, the details, are just tiny-steps toward a bigger goal. Sometimes there are different ways to get to our destination. The path might be straight one day and curvy the next. The truth is, at some point these worries over the little things will be long forgotten or, at the very least, we will look back and wonder what all of the fuss was about.

In my art business I do the same thing. I worry excessively about item descriptions or finding a way to display my artwork at a craft show. These small details can get you tangled up and misdirected. If you get too caught up in them you might get discouraged and give up. Sometimes you have to have faith that if you keep moving forward the details will work themselves out, and that even if they don’t, another opportunity will come along. Hopefully, an even better one!

You Can't See the Forest For The Trees: Day 5 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days. Mixed Media Art by Lillian Connelly.
You Can’t See The Forest For The Trees 8×10 mixed media on canvas panel. $85.00 (shipping included for U.S. residents. For people outside the U.S. please contact me for shipping charges).

 

Do you ever get stuck on the details? What helps you look at the big picture?

The Wall of Trees Day Three of 30 Paintings In 30 Days

Wall of Tree Day Three of 30 Paintings in 30 Days
Wall of Trees 8×8 mixed media painting on canvas $75.00 plus shipping. Contact me if you would like to purchase it. Pay Pal button coming soon.

The thing I miss the most about the East Coast, besides the ocean, is the trees. We have trees here, of course, but they are not tall enough for me. Their bark is rough and their limbs are puny. I miss big, tall, shade trees and trees made for climbing. I miss the wall of trees that make you feel like you are in a magical place or at least give the illusion that you have complete privacy. I miss the forest that you can’t see out of because the foliage is so dense and so green.

I know if I went back East I’d miss the  big sky of the Southwest. I’d miss being able to see for miles. I’d miss mountains and I would probably miss the heat.

When I painted this I was imagining what it would be like to combine both of my worlds. I have my big sky, my wall of trees, but it is still a bit of a desolate landscape. Maybe it is best to live in one world and hold onto the other one in my memory.

I am posting this from my phone today due to Internet connectivity issues. The  weather is interfering with my satellite signal. I hope it is readable!