Thursday, December 17, 2015

What You See Is Not Always What You Get: Art Prints

so i might want to make prints...

I've been back and forth on whether to have art prints made for quite some time.  It's not an easy decision for me to make with my own artwork.  I read an article online, (it's a thread on Wet Canvas) How to Produce (and Sell) Prints of Your Artwork, by David B. Sullivan.  Click on the previous sentence and you can read through it yourself...if you are another artist trying to think through your options as well.  

After reading what David B. Sullivan has to say on the subject, I found myself more at peace with the options of ordering art prints of my work.  This led me to do more research on my options.  Most options are very hard to afford.  FinerWorks is the company I decided to try out in order to get a start in the process.  I spent quite a bit of time learning about photographing my artwork.  There are quite a lot of skills to be learned without a large sum of money backing these ventures!  Learning this process was very good for me by the end of it.

My photos looked great!  I uploaded to the FinerWorks website and made my order of prints.  When the order arrived, I wasn't completely surprised at my disappointment.  The prints were much darker and muted than the originals.  I felt this could happen after reading through the faqs on the website.  The finest details were there but the contrast is very much off.  

I went over them with a trusted advisor, my husband; he was so encouraging and supportive even though we'd just put money into this print order.  On the FinerWorks website, I had read about artists needing to calibrate the monitor for better results.  The company offers a couple of options for adjusting for better prints.  The most inexpensive option is $3.95 for a calibration print on a specific type of paper/surface.  The website offers complete instructions for how this works.  For $19.95, the other option is the Starter Kit, including samples of all their papers and a $20.00 gift card.  That's the option I chose; it's hard to choose paper types without a sample.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas Tea: Part 3

place card tags for a Christmas tea

Place cards are such a special touch and a few details can make them beautiful.  It takes a little bit of experimentation to come up with a design.  Brown kraft paper tags were my beginning of my idea.  I had the brown twine and the metallic washi tape.  I found the leaves rubber stamp set at a local craft shop, Creative Addictions.  The set is Fossil Leaves by Inkadinkadoo.  If you don't have a craft store near, Amazon sells them for less than $5.00.  The espresso ink pad used is by ColorBox.  I had been given a package of smaller white paper doilies and I wanted to incorporate them in some way.

My Pinterest board for many of the ideas and products I used can be found HERE.

In keeping with the simplistic design, I opted for clear plastic silverware from the dollar store.  At the Christmas Tea, platters of appetizers and desserts (in small portions) are served at each table; plastic silverware would make clean up so much easier.  I've got a silver/gray tablecloth and napkins from last year.  My napkin folded design would be a small rectangle shape with a pocket.  These place cards would be tied around the napkin.

In Publisher software, I created a table 4 columns by 2 rows.  By stretching this table to fit the paper, I adjusted to the size I wanted for my tags.  I edited the table format to have a dotted line outline for easier cutting on the paper cutter.  The names were typed in Landsdowne font, size 55 with placement at the lower portion of the rectangle shaped cell.

I printed a rough draft on plain white copy paper to check the size of the tags.  When I was pleased with the size and design, I printed it on brown card stock.  The tags were cut apart on the paper cutter.  I played with a blank tag to get the angles right; that tag served as a guide to trim the other tags.  With scissors, I clipped the top corners of the tags.  The square blue punch shown is a handy tool to have!  Slip the tag in, press down and the corners are now rounded.

I don't have step by step photos of the process.  I first stamped the tag with the leaves in espresso.  Next, I added the washi tape to the bottom edge.  White paper doilies were trimmed on the paper cutter to create a lacy edge.  I glued it on with a cheap craft brush and tacky glue.  A hole punch finished off the tag.  The brown twine was added and later tied around the napkin.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Christmas Tea: Part 2

Tall glass vase with vellum wrap

In part 1, I described the beginning of the table centerpiece.  Today, I'd like to show you how I created the tall glass vase with scripture on vellum.  The vellum wrap is inexpensive and easy to make.

The tall vase looks like frosted glass with painted lettering but it's a very simple project:  With Publisher software, a piece of vellum and a printer, a vase has inspiration to share.  I'll quickly lead you through the steps I took to complete it.

First, a template was needed to know where to print the lettering.  I used a piece of plain white copy paper and a pencil.  Once I had wrapped and taped it to the vase, I loosely sketched how much space I wanted the verse to fill.

With a ruler, I measured and marked the measurements from the left and top edges.  Taking this to the computer, the guides in Publisher help me match up where the text should fit.

Here's a screen view of how it appears as I work out the font type and size.  I chose Landsdowne, size 36, for the text.  I tried fonts with flourishes but found them harder to read at a glance.

Next, I printed off a sample on the another sheet of plain white copy paper.  This step saves me from wasting a sheet of vellum.  I take this and wrap it around the vase, making sure no further changes are necessary.  The rough draft on copy paper looks great; I'm ready to send the vellum through the printer.

In the photo below, I show the plain paper copy on bottom left and the vellum copy on bottom right.  At top right, the plain white vellum (frosted finish) with its item information on the left edge.  That edge needs to be trimmed off so that it will be 8 1/2" x 11" for the printer.  Don't skip this step!  The sheet of vellum needs to be the standard 8 1/2" x 11" when it's fed through the printer.

The paper cutter makes quick work of neatly removing that edge.  Now the vellum can be placed in the inkjet printer.

I remove all other paper from the tray to avoid more than one sheet feeding through at a time.  After printing on the vellum, I leave it to dry thoroughly because it could smudge easily.  I would suggest waiting 20-30 minutes before handling the vellum.  I haven't tried printing a photo on vellum but I think it's possible.

Rubber stamps could be used to add decorative detail.  I recommend using Stazon ink.  Information from the package label: a fast-drying solvent ink, made for use on plastic, metal, glass, ceramic, laminated paper, and leather.  You'll need a special cleaner to remove the Stazon ink from the rubber stamp.

I use two pieces of tape to secure it to the vase.  The vellum had a bit of overlap but I left it alone.  It could be trimmed.  Add a candle and it's done!

To my great amazement, I have more to share!  I hope you're enjoying these tips.  I had no idea this would turn into a three part series!  Next time, the brief how-to for these place cards with rubber stamps, decorative washi tape, paper doilies, and brown twine.  You don't have to wait until next Thursday...because it's all prepared and ready to go!  I'll have it here in the next day or two.

Thanks for following along and I'll chat with you again very soon!


because she must make art.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas Tea Party

A rustic box, flowers and a string of lights

The past three weeks have been a whirlwind of activity!  While the art studio has been put to great use, there haven't been any paintings in progress.  The watercolor palettes are tucked away in the refrigerator for a while longer.  My parents spent two and a half weeks with us; what an incredible joy to have them here for my birthday, Thanksgiving and a special Christmas Tea.  If you haven't read previous posts, my exercise ball and I had a misunderstanding.  After a fall to the floor, my pelvis and tailbone needed some recovery time.  My parents arrived just when I needed them most, making it possible for me to keep up with several commitments.  They kept this house busy with activity, cleaning, repairing, organizing and decorating.  I just can't thank them enough!

Last time, I shared the making of seed packets to share with my table guests at the annual Christmas Tea at our church.  I've been planning my table decor since September but had to make some adjustments to those plans.  Simplicity and ease were now more important than ever.  Thankfully, most of the hard work was behind me.  I just needed to set up what I had envisioned in my head; whether it would look like I imagined, I needed to see for sure.

"The grass withers and the flower fades 

but the word of our God will stand forever!"

Isaiah 40:8

That was my inspiration for this table decor.  As I mulled over what to share this week, I thought that it might be fun to share the process of putting all the separate elements together.  Hopefully, you'll find this fun and interesting.  I believe home decor IS art.  My sister claims she doesn't have the same talent I have but I disagree.  Her home is just lovely and her ideas are fantastic.  I draw so much from what she does with every room of her home.  She doesn't know how much I quietly observe and gather ideas from her.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Preparing for a Christmas Tea

Tea Time is Lovely

A quick update on my recent activities... It was hard to let Thanksgiving Day pass without an update but I reasoned that everyone else is busy, too.  We have enjoyed my parents being here although our Montana weather challenges them to keep warm enough.  My back continues to heal a bit each day.  I struggle to keep my expectations in check to prevent slowing the recovery.  Just a week ago, I hated using the stairs for the pain involved.  Now that's not a problem.  Just some soreness remains and I'm so relieved to be headed back toward my usual routine.

I've made it further toward ordering fine art prints of my work.  After calibrating my monitor with the method recommended by Finer Works, I see that my photos have been darker in contrast than desired.  I'll need to take some time to be sure the photos I upload are corrected first.  I'm looking forward to making an order of fine art giclee prints.  It's exciting to reach more goals although the process takes more time than one would expect.  

I'm in full-on Christmas holiday decorating and preparation mode.  No shopping done yet though.  That's minor in my opinion.  Our church is preparing for the annual Christmas Tea, now just days away.  Below is a photo of my table last year.  It's such a wonderful way to begin the Christmas season with meaning and truth.  

The scripture I based it on, Matthew 6:26 says, "Look at the birds of the air.  They do not sow or reap or store away in barns and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?"

I've been simplifying my design for the table this year.  I've taken on more responsibility with the event this year.  I know to maintain reasonable expectations for what I can do well, I need to step back and rethink my goals.  I've been planning my table for months so much work was already done. 

Here are a few photos of the design as I laid it out.  There's more to be added when it's set up but this is the basic idea.  I'm basing this table decor on Isaiah 40:8, "The grass withers and the flower fades but the word of our God will stand forever!"  I've loved having my mom here to work through the kinks in the plans.  I'll take more photos during the decor set up for the event.  Next week I hope to be able to share how it all comes together.

I've got so much to get done before the day is done!  I needed to make more business cards and that process was interrupted with printer problems.  My favorite tech helper happens to be my husband and I appreciated him running home to get the printer and computer talking again.  There's a presentation case and Yupo synthetic paper being shipped...I'm looking forward to getting rolling again with the paints and brushes.  My paint palettes are stored in the refrigerator until I can set up for painting.  I've got red poppies on my mind.  And cute white lambs in front of a red barn.  And cherry blossoms.  And sparrows on bare branches in the snow.  So much to be excited about...fitting it in at this time of year, we'll see how that goes.  Have a great December!  I'll be back soon.

-because she must make art.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

November's Backyard Birds and Crafting Seed Packets

Just When We Make Our Plans...

Here in the latter part of November, Thanksgiving holiday plans are being made in many homes.  The days pass by before we can blink.  I've had a hitch in my giddy-up as some say...a hiccup in the routine.  

A week ago, I was working on a craft project to make hostess gifts for the annual Christmas Tea event at my church.  I've been cutting off sunflower heads to save the seeds.  They've been drying in my storage room for weeks.  Checking them often, I've been careful that mold does not form or they'll be useless.  A quick search on Pinterest and I found a tutorial shared on Damask Love.  Seed Packet Envelopes gave me the idea and I made my own template in Publisher.  A friend helped me fold and glue the packets.  

A view of the grand mess at the work table shows how crazy this project became while I was on a roll.  With rubber stamps, I pulled out gardening stamps to add a little color to the columbine packets.  I have a plastic bin where I keep all the seed packets, both those I've purchased and those I've saved from the garden.  

Roller glue dots and decorative washi tape help seal the outside envelope.  The front of the seed packet has a place to list the type of seed and the date they were collected.  Parchment paper envelopes hold the seeds.  I just cut and folded and taped to make the little inner packets.  Waxed paper might have been a better choice.  A small slip of paper describes planting instructions.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Montana's Big Sky Farmland: Watercolor Painting No. 2

Watercolor Landscape of Big Sky Farmlands No. 2

Dramatic clouds across a blue sky are the inspiration for the watercolor landscape I'm sharing today.  Last week, I shared the first painting Big Sky Farmlands No. 1 where I showed the progression of that painting.  The fantastic effects of sky play against the wide spreading fields.  This is the photo that I sketch from to begin this process.

 I sketch on tracing paper so that the watercolor paper is not marred up with multiple pencil lines and eraser marks.  The mistakes are corrected on tracing paper.  I use a piece of acetate with a white 4 x 4 grid; it's taped to the front of the tablet screen.  A grid of 4 x 4 squares is drawn onto a sheet of tracing paper.  The grid on tracing paper is laid as the second layer below my sketch.  The bottom layer is a piece of white card stock which makes it all bright white in appearance.

As I sketch, I use more shading than will appear on the watercolor paper.  This sketch is my guide, giving direction in values for the final work.  I'm able to work out my design for the main parts of the composition here.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Montana Big Sky Farmlands Watercolor Painting Part 1

Big Sky Farmlands  No. 1 Watercolor Landscape

This artwork began as a view from the car, on a road traveled often.  There's something about the dramatic clouds that had me in awe.  Living in the rural areas of Montana...well, it's pretty much all rural...there's a lot of driving to and from as a part of everyday life.  If you've never been here, it will be hard to comprehend.  We spend a lot of time in the car on a regular basis.  The views of land and sky go on forever.  Each day holds a new striking view of the surroundings.  My favorite sight is the many strips of green crops against gold stubble fields against bare dirt becoming a great mosaic.

The first photo is the original that I began with and the second shows an HDR filter added.  With the filter applied, I have a greater contrast for values.  I see the light and dark areas clearly.

My sketch is drawn with consideration of the details I want to keep for the final artwork.  The sketch (on tracing paper) is layered over graphite paper and watercolor paper.  A binder clip holds it all firmly in place on a masonite board.  A harder 2H pencil makes the transferring of the sketch more effective.

The pigments are mixed up and sampled on a scrap of  watercolor paper.  The first soft washes are placed into the sky.  Direction and motion are very important.  A barely damp brush lifts color back out to create the light beams breaking through clouds.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

First Snowfall Moments Captured

A taste of winter arrives...

The snowflakes began falling yesterday in the mid morning.  I had mixed feelings about them.  I'm sure my daughter was giddy with joy...she was at school.  She'd been wishing for snow for quite a while.  She loves winter most of all.  I do enjoy winter usually.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Photographing Artwork In The Studio

A Beginner's Set Up...

Another week has come and gone.  It seems to slip by so quickly and I'm not sure how I'm unaware as it happens.  I do know there was a lot squeezed into the five weekdays because on Friday I felt beyond tired.  Can you relate?  Well, working here at home alone, I seem to get so few tasks done.  It could be I am more than ambitious in my goal planning.  That is a strong possibility.

There were three new watercolor landscapes to photograph.  All of my best efforts to photograph them fell flat.  I was just fit to be tied (frustrated beyond comprehension) at this challenge.  With plans to frame the paintings this week, I was determined to get excellent photos for having prints made in the future.  I have plans to hang these framed paintings locally this week.  I am avoiding bringing them back home in the near future unless they've sold.  I have interest in hanging framed prints locally as well.  I believe I'll have better sales online with prints.  There is no time to waste with the holidays approaching quickly.  I've found a company which makes art prints and the only thing standing in my way is an accurate photograph to upload.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Lush Fields of Teton County in Watercolor

Painting a View of the Front Range

Montana has won my heart!  The breathtaking views offered daily are more than an artist could ever capture.  Whether it's a brightly colored sunrise, a gentle frost on the tree branches, or a purple mountain range that seems to go on forever, it's a land of inspiration.  One of my most recently completed artworks was inspired several years ago.  

After watching the annual Independence Day parade in Choteau, Montana, we were driving home.  We topped the hill and then I saw this fantastic sight.  The fields were such a verdant green and in the distance I could see bright yellow flowers, perhaps mustard.  The sky was clear, no haze at all, and just sooo blue!  The mountains in the distance were easily visible.  The well worn tracks along the fence line drew my eye to the mountains.  I was mesmerized and picturing how it could become a painting.  My camera was close at hand and we pulled off onto the side of the road.  

As I've said many times, my husband and children are more than understanding and patient.  They know how much photography means to me.  Over the years, they have become accustomed to a camera being in my hand.  It's very seldom that they hurry me along or distract my focus.  I am indeed blessed.

The photo by itself is not that awe inspiring, I must admit it's just okay.  It's bones are nice though.  The elements of design being used here make it work; it just needs a little tweaking and it will be exactly what I need.  The basic composition is made up of sky, mountains, fields.  The mountains are not cutting through in the center of the frame.  This creates more interest.  Add to that, the horizontal planes are divided unevenly.  The wheel tracks and the fence line both break up the lower plane at eye pleasing angles.  See, I've been working at this long enough, it's planned out pretty well when the photo is taken.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Rock City Canyon and Riverscape Watercolor Painting

Painting A View of Rock City in Watercolors

The next watercolor painting in a series of five landscapes focuses on a view that's familiar to many locals.  There's an area known as Rock City, a short drive north of Valier, Montana.  It's not easy to find without specific directions.  It's definitely a place you'd call off the beaten path.  We've taken weekend drives to get out of the house and this is a free, unusual outing.  While going through my photo references, I came across a view along the river's edge.  When I took the photos several years ago, it was already in my mind as a possibility for a future painting.

The rock formations in this area are very unusual compared to the surrounding landscape.  The best I can describe it, you're driving through what looks like farmland and prairie going on forever and then boom, you're there.  The rocks rise up in these crazy and fun shapes and the kids can't wait to jump out and run from one to another.  There's grasses, low-lying shrubs and wildflowers...and it's smart to watch for snakes.  I am sharing all these photos to give a better perspective of the area where my painting's view originated.  A few of these photos have been altered with filters.  That's one of the ways I prepare a photo as an art reference.  I bump it up a bit to achieve more color contrast along with distinct shadows.  My artistic style leans toward bold, vibrant colors with a hint of impressionistic textures.  

Friday, October 16, 2015

Art Studio Progress: Montana's Big Sky and Farmlands in Watercolors

A peek at what's going on today:

Yesterday, I just couldn't take it anymore!  I had to clean up this place.  It was driving me crazy.  Fall is here and the wind can really blow in Montana.  Leaves are everywhere.  That includes my art studio AKA the solarium.  I've got plenty to do but the state of this room was more than I could handle.  The clutter seems to clog up the creative energy.

So by last evening, I was too tired to sit down at with brushes and palette.  It was great to start fresh this morning.  With so much time spent between the computer and cleaning in the past two days, it took some time to find my groove today.  That makes me nervous...working on a painting before I'm really feeling "it" could mean mistakes.  I tentatively press on, believing any mistakes can be resolved.  I battle between being too tight and too free in my manner.  I could really use some loosening up with color and technique most days.

I brought out nature items collected to display on the art supply cabinet.  I used this space for photographing artwork, prepping for Etsy listings.  Photographing artwork to look it's best is harder than I expected.  With much frustration, I'm learning as I go along.  Sometimes, I just want to learn it too quickly.  I want the answers now but that's not how it works.  It takes sticking with it, being patient for a better idea to come another day.  The balance between hard working while still relaxed enough to create...that's my task.  It's a joy most of the time.  Other times, I stomp my foot and growl, and then I move on.  I can be silly like that because it's just me and a kitty that is busy chasing her tail.

I'm not sure how to explain it but I'm feeling that this piece is close to completion.  I'm putting it aside until I can have a critique session, most likely with my husband at the end of the day.  I've got two other watercolor landscapes waiting in the wings.  I'm off to get going again.

because she must make art.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Weathered Old Place and Lone Pine Watercolor Painting

Capturing a Favorite View with Watercolor Paint

A familiar view to those who know the area well, I think of this as the lone pine painting.  I know that doesn't give much attention to the old building that is it's companion.  Admittedly, I do not know the history of this place.  What's its story?  I just know that it grabs my eye every time I reach the top of that hill at the top of the bench.  This roadside view is one that I have always enjoyed seeing.  My photos are quite old now.  With only a few printed photographs, they weren't on my computer's hard drive.  I scanned them so I would be able to pull them up on my tablet through the Picasa Tool.  I'm not going to explain it any further because the tech part is confusing every time.  I've been spending a lot more time on the computer since committing to art on a daily basis.  At times, I can feel frustrated because so many computer related tasks need to be done instead of picking up a brush.

The original sketch was done on tracing paper.  The photo shows the support board holding from top layer to bottom, reference photo, tracing paper, white cardstock (makes sketch stand out better), and graphite paper.  The graphite paper was made with a sheet of tracing paper, soft graphite pencils, and rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball.

The sketch is transferred to 300 lb. Arches cold press watercolor paper.  This watercolor paper is thicker with a medium tooth surface.  It can take wetter washes with very little buckling or bending.  I'm able to use more techniques without the paper breaking up as can happen with thinner papers.  The tracing paper sketch is layered over graphite paper and watercolor paper.  My fingers have the foam board strip as a resting place; this prevents unwanted smudges and lines being transferred to the watercolor paper.  During this step, I frequently (and carefully) check to be sure the drawing is really transferring so lines are dark enough on the watercolor paper.  Any shifting of top or bottom layer is a BIG uh oh.  I use a pencil with a harder lead, like a 2H, to make the transfer work better.

Checking the drawing that's been transferred to watercolor paper, I check for lines that need more defining.  There are plenty of soft smudges from the transfer paper.  After erasing away the smudges and unwanted lines, I use a brush to sweep away the eraser bits.

It's almost time to paint!  Pulling out a reference book, The Watercolor Painter's Palette I'll plan out key color mixes that match my vision most closely.  This book is one I refer to often because it shows what the color mixes will look like.  There are several pigments I own and use that are not shown in this book.  It's just handy and helps guide me in the right direction.  I usually narrow down my colors to a main red, blue, and yellow...gearing toward those that are more transparent and less staining.

I also refer to my stash of color mixing grids.  The mixing grid from the crocus paintings has some very nice greens.  The blog post, Painting the Crocus from July shows this grid with my reference set up.  It's still a great resource tool and worth the time it took to create it.  I'm much better at planning out my color mixing than other prep practices.  I know I ought to make value studies part of my planning process.  All these disciplines make the art better.

This is the color mixing grid I made before beginning the five landscapes, this painting included.  It's much simpler and and focused on key colors I wanted to achieve.

The drawing is ready on watercolor paper for the first strokes of color.  I've got the tracing paper sketches (I made an additional sketch for the tree) and reference photos close at hand.  If you look closely, you'll notice a white grid on the screen of the tablet.  The white lines are drawn onto a piece of acetate.  The acetate is taped to the tablet screen.  I'm going to to tell about this tool in a future post.  I am studying all my photos to pick those that best illustrate what I do with it and what it's's most useful while drawing the initial sketch.

 I wasn't enthralled with my first efforts with this sky.  My frustration with the results increased and I nearly gave it up to begin again fresh.  My husband backed me up, agreeing that if I was that unhappy with it, start again.  I'm not sure why but I fought the urge to scrap the whole thing.  Feeling like I had nothing to lose, I did something a little gutsy.  I did a little reading online and then grabbed a magic eraser.  In the past, I'd been cautious enough that I wouldn't risk it on other paintings.  Why mess up what's already going well?  In my previous post, "Watercolor Landscape & Sky: Scotch Tape and Magic Eraser" I explain how I used the magic eraser to correct the clouds in this painting.  I am sorry there is no photo of the before, only the after.  It's the mistakes we usually don't want to remember, so no thought to grab the camera.  Next time perhaps.  I keep learning every day!

Once the first washes of green were laid in to the prairie portions, I was excitedly watching as it all came together.  With careful thought, I studied the textures of the weathered wood on the building.  I planned the layering of the color from beginning to last, base to top.  This photo is not as clear but still shows the progress in elements being developed.  The tree has masking fluid protecting its detail for later.

Now the masking fluid has been removed to show the white of the paper in the tree's form and taller grasses.  My evening critique (with husband's input) brought focus to the shadows being exceptionally dark.  I'm learning to wet then scrape back with a palette knife for more definition.  Wetting and scrubbing also brings back the light details in specifically chosen areas.

A view from above shows the layout of an organized work space.  Lately, this has been more disheveled and chaotic as I work on three at a time.  I'm fighting the nagging feeling that cleaning needs to be done.  The priority needs to be finished paintings and a few quick clean up sessions can come later.  Breathe.  Just breathe and focus.  Continue to press on.

This art piece has taken me on a journey of persistence.  It's been an incredible experience to begin and finish eleven paintings since June.  I'm celebrating sixteen weeks of dedicated focus on my artistic goals!  At the beginning of my self-given challenge, I had felt lost without purpose for this creative energy.  I didn't schedule my days with art being a priority.  I didn't know how it could be possible.  With great curiosity, I searched to find artists that could be creative daily and raise a family.  I wanted to have it all spelled out, like "The Dummies Guide to Being An Artist, Wife and Mom."  Nope.  It's not in print.  Without finding a definite "here's how it's done" plan, I am discovering it as I go along.  We are communicating within our family to find out what we all need.  I am letting the house be less than perfectly put together.  The laundry, ironing, and cooking are not always done like I would prefer them.  If I don't relax my expectations, I'll have to give up the creative pursuit again.  If you stop by and see a cluttered home, it's because I've been painting today.

This painting is now available on Etsy at ChristySheelerArtist.
If you have not been to my Etsy shop, I invite you to go see the selection available there.

Copyright 2015 Christy Sheeler.  All Rights Reserved.

It will also be matted and framed to hang in a local restaurant.  I'll share more when that step has taken place.

On Facebook, Google+, and Instagram, I share more frequent snapshot views of progress through out the week.  You can find those listed on my Contact Page.

So that's my bit to share for the week.  I'm excited to be able to describe the work going on with my palette and brushes.  Next week, I'll give a beginning to end progression of another painting.  If you're familiar with the Rock City natural formations, you'll want to stop back.  I've chosen a view from the river's edge viewing the rock cliffs and hills above.

Until next time,


because she must make art.