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My New Studio + Finding Inspiration

My new studio is finally finished!

We moved into our new home last year with 10 acres of pine woods and a detached garage that had an unfinished loft space above – perfect for a studio.

Over the spring and summer my husband Brian and I worked on the construction of the interior and I cannot even say how exciting it has been to move into my new creative space. It is the first time I truly have one designated studio space. 

In the past, as the seasons change, I have always moved my creative space into whatever room had the most sunlight. Sometimes that meant I created in the backyard, in an extra bedroom or at the kitchen table.

Now, to paint in a space without distraction, where I leave my artwork and live separately, has allowed my paintings to blossom in so many new directions. 

Finishing off the studio ourselves was a real creative project…

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Painting Owls + Finding Your Artistic Voice

I’m so excited to paint with everyone in Faces – Mixed Media Portraits, which starts September 25th. Thank you to everyone that has already registered!

If you’d like to join us, you can find details here.

Lately I’ve been going back to painting owls.

For awhile I had been creating these very renaissance-style portraits with soft, realistic faces and incredible hair. I enjoyed that I could make them look very human, but still full of magic and color. 
 
While I still adore creating these flower girls, I found that these paintings were missing something. 
 
After countless attempts in the studio, many new owl paintings and lots of covered up canvases, I finally recognized that these new pieces were missing the mixed media art supplies I initially fell in love with when I first started painting my whimsical characters.

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Faces Class Early Bird is Open + Making Beautiful Mistakes

I always get stuck with my paintings.

When I first started painting my owls. I painted three beauties in a row. I was on a roll and getting so much positive feedback.

Then I got stuck.

I was trying to recreate my other perfect owls rather than paint something new.

So I started to photograph my painting process from start to finish. This helped to show me that my paintings never look good at first. I always go through an ugly stage – where I am figuring things out and building up my layers.

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Life As An Artist :: Painting From The Heart

I used to be afraid to stand out.

When I was in first grade the teacher tried to teach our class about proportions by dividing us into groups, based on certain characteristics.

For me, it was easy when she lined up everyone who was wearing blue on one side, red on the other, and neither blue nor red in the middle. No problem.

But what stood out to me, even at that age, was when she started to divide us based on our physical attributes – she asked everyone with blond, brown or black hair to go into different corners of the room. I had red hair, so I didn’t know where to go.

Then she separated everyone with blue, green, hazel or brown eyes. I have one blue eye and one green, so, again, I didn’t know where to go. 

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Letting Go + Developing Your Unique Style

Everyone always asks how I developed my artistic style.

I have to say, style was nothing I intentionally developed. It was just the thing that happened when I painted every day.

Most often I can look at a finished painting and see that it perfectly reflects who I am in that moment… all of the quirkiness and emotion I sometimes wish I could hide.

But I couldn’t TRY to make my art that way.

For me, finding my voice took a ton of painting, experimenting and following whatever brought me the most joy. 

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What Inspires You?

Prints, Books and Originals Available in my shop.

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I’m most inspired by nature and the feelings, emotions and stories I see around me, every day.

That’s why it’s so important for me to make sure I take time, each day, to find that inspiration.

In the summertime it seems easier to be inspired. My inspirations can come from something as small as a walk through my flower garden or wandering with my camera to take photos of colorful skies and grasses near my house.

I can find inspiration in something like the way a bird flies or the shape of a leaf – or be inspired by someone’s smile and an overheard conversation at the coffee shop.

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