Thursday, July 28, 2016

How Escaping to Nature Can Be a Reset Button.

I'm relaxing while sitting in the green kayak on Lake McDonald. Water in nature is fascinating.  

Water has a soothing effect, therapeutic and calming to my spirit.  Whether a trickling stream, a rushing river, a delicate waterfall, an expansive lake or a mighty ocean...water just soothes.  Life is busy for all of  us.    We make weekends our time to spend together as a family.  Short little trips are usually our favorite.  The local reservoirs are all low at this time of year.  We readied to spend a day on the water.  The kayaks were loaded in the bed of the pickup truck.  A picnic lunch of sandwich fixins' and chips and Oreo cookies was ready to go.  Our day of adventure required us to improvise as we went along.  We hit the road!  We listened to music and talked as we traveled that day.  When we arrived in Glacier National Park along the banks of Lake McDonald... what is it about God's creation, nature, and our being drawn to these places?  We just soaked it up!  The time spent on the water helped make it a fantastic day that helped us all reconnect with one another.

A nature inspired artist - that's me.  I watch to study, to understand, to remember how it captivates me.  I take it in so I can take it with me...whether the memory, the photo, the watercolor sketch.

Sometimes we all need to hit the reset button.

The kids (okay, teens) head directly to the water, both wading in and then kayaking for a while.  Then my husband takes a turn, heading out with paddle in hands, while our kids swim alongside the kayak.  I watched from shore, enjoying the moments as an onlooker.  I quietly take it all in, everything around me.  I love seeing how they interact with one another.

Slowly making their way further into the cold water of Lake McDonald.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Delight (from the Indian Paintbrush Series) Giclee Print in the Etsy Shop

Etsy Shop Announcement!

Delight, Indian Paintbrush Wildflower
Giclee Fine Art Print
8" x 10" with 1" white border, 
signed in pencil within white border.
Packaged in a clear cellophane sleeve.

$45.00 plus shipping and handling.

It's not hard to fall in love with the wildflowers of Montana!
In such a range of colors and petal arrangements, each has its own unique characteristics that set it apart from the others.

These Giclee prints are created with high quality attention to
both detail and color, using archival grade inks and media.

The premium Giclee paper is thick, heavy weight and its texture is quite similar to watercolor paper with a natural white, matte finish.

This description is from the Etsy listing:  

The Indian paintbrush is a wildflower that varies in hue from pale pinks and whites to reds and oranges.  The reds and oranges are more easily spotted on the mountainside and near the hiking trails.  They love the sunny locations and they bloom from spring to fall.  

This Indian Paintbrush wildflower is a different variety than I have painted in the past.  The leaves and the petals vary between varieties.  The process from sketch to applying paint was a true delight; the progress just flowed easily throughout until it was completed.  The most daring point was applying blue and purple shadows to give it depth and form.  I was apprehensive that it would be a step I'd regret but thankfully, it worked like I hoped.

The pale yellows transition to oranges and reds on the petals and even on the edges of the leaves.
This spectacular wildflower is such a great subject and one I'm sure to paint again.

To read more about the Indian Paintbrush series of watercolor paintings as they progressed in my art studio, here's the link to the Indian Paintbrush post.

I enclose this Giclee print in a clear cellophane wrapper along with a description of the artwork as above.

I also include my card and a free handmade gift card.  It's ready to frame or wrap as a special gift.

It will be packaged with foam board and cardboard to ensure it arrives in perfect condition!

Want a peek at the handmade gift cards?  One of the special perks included with every purchase - a handmade blank note card for you!  Such a fun little detour, making these one-of-a-kind creations with a bit of watercolor mop card as an accent.  Keep it or give it away... that's up to you!  It's my pleasure to show my appreciation, believing the extra attention makes all the difference!  Each one is unlike the others, the color combinations and design are a surprise as well.  What's not to love about a free gift with purchase?  

Questions?  Comments?  Suggestions?
Please feel welcome to share!  Pin it as well!
Have a beautiful day and thank you for stopping by...

because she must make art.

Links & Info


Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Artist is IN but not HERE...(Cherry Blossoms on Yupo)

Cherry blossoms paintings in process...backgrounds completed.
In the wee hours of the morning, I'd say 5 a.m., the thought occurred to me, "I did not write the weekly blog post."  This entered my mind as I was trying to go back to sleep.  It's been an active and chaotic summer so far.  With a serious commitment to keep on track with my art pursuits, it's a challenge to be sure!  I'm currently working in the beginning stages of quite a few paintings in various sizes...all having cherry blossoms as the subject matter.  I'm also working on a sketch of three lambs which will become both an ink drawing and eventually watercolor paintings in various sizes.  I am still here in the studio, but time is so valuable when I'm able to be in my art room.  

Wood door with fifteen glass panes for my art studio!

I mentioned a few posts back my wish list including a door.  Fantastic news!  I have a door!  After much searching and praying, I'm thrilled to say it is the door I had pictured in my mind.  How crazy is that?!  I'll look forward to checking back in to share photos and tell you all about my progress.  If you are stopping by to check out my weekly share on Thursday, THANK YOU and please continue because I'll be here though not as regularly for the summer month.  I'll sneak in a post as I am able...enjoy your summer and watch for the beautiful everyday views around you!  I apologize for photos being darker than what I normally share.  I'm posting photos from my phone with no editing...time is so precious.

because she must make art.

P.S. A few photos of watercolor painting on Yupo surface (plastic) as a warm up earlier in the week.

Cherry blossoms in watercolor on Yupo, July 2016 Christy Sheeler

close up photo of watercolor pencils

Watercolor on Yupo synthetic surface

©2016 Christy Sheeler Artist & She Must Make Art.  All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

How We Made Pizza on the Grill

Our adventures in making pizzas on the grill.  A freshly grilled pizza, cooking on the pizza stone, on the grill.Pizza meets grill!

I know, this is a blog about art.  What is a pizza recipe doing here?!  I figure, art is everywhere.  Artists have got to eat, right?  I enjoy cooking and making the food look appealing is important.  Sometimes, we see beauty in the everyday like a golden brown cheese topped pizza.  There's nothing like a homemade pizza!

I get adventurous from time to time.  It's worth the risk.  Experiments like this make for great family time, too.  One of our favorite weekend meals is pizza with our favorite toppings.  Recently, I was thinking on what to make for our family.  It was a hot day and I didn't want to use the oven.  With what I had on hand and the spinach in the garden, I wanted to attempt pizza on the grill.  We had not tried this before.  Ever.  I knew there was a chance it may not turn out well.  We decided to try anyway.  It works and the pizza tastes like it came from a stone oven at a pizzeria.  I have a tried-and-true pizza dough recipe and I'm happy to share!  The dough takes no time to mix up and is kneaded well by the mixer.  While the dough rests, I open a few cans and marinara is soon warming on the stove.  I really don't have a recipe for the marinara.  I can share my method but it's not exact in any way.  Let's get started!

It all began on a hot summer day...

I searched for tips on google to learn what would work best.  After a bit of reading and video watching,  I decided I'd like to use a pizza stone and parchment paper.  

When I make pizza at home in my oven, I preheat the oven to 400 or 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  To prepare to bake pizza in the oven, I turn a baking sheet upside down, lay a piece of parchment paper on top, sprinkle a bit of cornmeal and then transfer the stretched pizza dough to the top.  That method works really great for us.  

A great video (linked here) for preheating the pizza stone on the grill helped me get started.  The video demonstrates preheating the grill and pizza stone.  The pizza stone is placed on the grill.  The heat is turned to low for 5 minutes, then medium for 5 minutes, and then finally high heat for 5 minutes.  I think this is important to protect the pizza stone from cracking with quick temperature changes.  I decided I'd like to use the parchment paper as a way of transferring the pizza to the pizza stone on the grill.  After making four pizzas in this way, we believe the parchment paper protects the pizza crust from cooking too fast, preventing burning.  I do not think the cornmeal is necessary for making the pizza on the grill.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Roadside Views of Yucca Blooming

Yucca full of blooms on the Montana hillside.  Blue sky at the top edge of the photo.

Montana life means

 time spent on the road.  

Road trips mean fast stops for photography!  I spend my time in the passenger seat with a camera in my lap.  While we travel down the road, I watch for interesting details along the way.  Recently we drove to Bozeman to see some of my family.  A few hours and Famous Dave's BBQ made a great Father's Day!  We didn't have much time to spend together but we made the most of it!  We spent the evening with them and then drove back home late that night.

While we made our way to Bozeman that day, I gazed out the window at the landscape.  A beautiful day was framed in with bright blue skies above and these lovely yucca blooming on the hillside.  We pulled off at the next exit, giving me opportunity to hop out of the car.  A quick 3 minutes with my camera resulted in a few great reference photos.  The blossoms are bundled in clusters on the stalk.  The shades of color vary with outer petals having more of a rusty pink tinge.  The wind was blowing (of course it was...this IS Montana)  so the petals are more open in some areas.  The roadside views of yucca blooming made for such a nice surprise that day!

Pale yellow yucca blossoms face downward.  A bit of rusty pink on the edges of the petals.