Tag Archives: Yupo paper

Trees Days 23 and 24 Of 30 Paintings In 30 Days

Snow In The Moonlight Day 23 of 30 Paintings In 30 Days
Snow In The Moonlight 11×14 Alcohol Ink Painting On Yupo. $185.00 (shipping included)

I’m tree obsessed for this challenge. I’m just a tree painting fool. I missed posting yesterday. I painted, but I didn’t write my blog post. I don’t know what happened. I think I just got tired by the time I had an opportunity to sit down and type so I did some art journaling instead. Turning on the computer, fighting with my sketchy internet connection, and putting words to virtual paper just seemed like too much work.

I don’t know about you, but by the time 8pm rolls around my brain starts to shut down. I am ready for the work day to end. I just want to relax and not have to think too much about anything important. Getting Tiny-Small to bed is always a busy and tiring process. Some nights I am just plain exhausted.

I’m not only painting every day in January, but writing too. I love to write, but sometimes I just don’t have anything important to say. I am in awe of people who blog daily and never seem to be at a loss for words. How do they always have a topic to write about? Writing each day and being relevant and smart, or witty and emotionally connected, has to be more difficult than painting daily. My days sometimes run together and I don’t have anything interesting happen or any good blog fodder. I envy people who seem to have an endless supply of experiences to write about. Actually, maybe I don’t. Sometimes a good, boring day is better than one filled with high drama. I have to be careful about what I wish for, right? Enjoy the ordinary days more when they happen. Trouble will find us soon enough!

Cottonwood at Dawn Day 24 of 30 Paintigs In 30 Days
Cottonwood At Dawn $75.00 (shipping included)

The only thing I have to say today is that I am starting to feel the time crunch. As I attempt to write and paint daily I am also trying to get some heart jewelry made and listed in my Etsy shop before Valentine’s Day, prepare for a small jewelry sales event I am doing in about a week, get our tax information together for the accountant, photograph work for two juried shows I am entering in 2015, and of course all of the regular home and childcare stuff that I usually do. In the middle of these new adventures Tiny-Small sprayed water on my Macbook and it’s no longer working (she was trying to help me clean up). It was terrible timing because I rely on my Macbook to get my work done. The good thing is I do have everything backed up on an external hard drive.I just have to save up for a new Mac! In the meantime I am scurrying to retake photos and relearn how to use Windows. Luckily we have a backup computer thanks to Jim planning ahead!

Anyway, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed for a few days now. When I get overwhelmed I do a lot of list making and also spend too much time staring into space like a deer caught in the headlights. My brain is trying to remember too many things at the same time. The lists help, but priorities can get a little squirrely. With deadlines looming it can be difficult to decide which to-do item is most important. I’m also trying to consciously make special time for Tiny-Small because with all the things I am trying to do I don’t want her to feel like she is getting lost in the shuffle. It’s all about finding some type of balance and that is never easy!

There are times when I think about giving up on blogging and painting because I want to have more control over my time and less things to worry about. I imagine I would do a better job keeping up on the housework, preparing meals, and teaching Tiny-Small important things. House management and parenting is certainly more than enough to keep me busy. These moments always pass. I really find housework boring and I definitely need something outside of taking care of other people to feel satisfied about my life. I’ve come to recognize these moments as growing pains. It takes some time to adjust to new or bigger demands. As my businesses progresses there are new opportunities and new stressors (even good stresses are still stress) that stretch us in new directions.  It’s easy to want to quit when it gets difficult and go back to what we know instead of forging ahead into unknown territory. So far I have chosen to keep moving forward despite the overwhelm and struggle. I know next week I’ll cross some major things off my list and get some relief from the pressure. It’s all part of the ebb and flow! Recognizing that is an important step in resiliency.

I hope you do something creative this Saturday or get outside among the trees!


An Evening At The Pond Day 9 Of 30 Paintings In 30 Days

An Evening At The Pond Day 9 of 30 Paintings In 30 Days
An Evening At The Pond 11×14 alcohol ink on yupo paper painting. $125.00

When I was a kid there was a pond down the road from where I lived and it had this very tall grass all around it. My friends and I would create a path through the grass to get to the water. We liked to scare each other about the snakes that would skim along the top of the pond. I’m pretty sure that was the main reason we made the trek to the water and then spent hours clearing a path to it. The snakes were small, but they still made us scream with nervous laughter. We could had fun doing almost nothing back in those days.

Small unkempt ponds are pretty fascinating places to watch wildlife. There are always bugs and birds and wild plants covering every available space. We spent hours staring into the water watching tadpoles grow legs, watching those funny bugs that float on top of the water, and hoping to see a fish. I am sure my friends and I were not supposed to be there, but these were the days when kids roamed the neighborhood and only showed up at home for mealtimes, or when the sun went down. Our parents were content to let us get into some mischief as long as we were outside and not inside driving them crazy.

I think back on some of my fondest memories and they often include being in a place where I technically wasn’t supposed to be. Or at least in a place nobody knew I was visiting. We explored the woods behind our neighbors houses, nearby ponds, old cemeteries, and even some abandoned campsites likely created by a few homeless people. These places always fascinated me. There would be half-rotted clothes hanging from trees and old cans. I always felt like an explorer even though I was probably within a mile of my house. We once found a deers antler. It was like we had discovered a treasure chest filled with gold.

Sometimes when I am painting with alcohol inks these memories come back to me. I find myself putting a little piece of my life story into a painting. I guess that it is a way to give my experiences meaning and to remind me of where I come from.


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.