Sunday, January 21, 2018

Back to it

Hi, it's me. I've been away far too long - it's good to be behind the keyboard again! I wish I could tell you why I was away for months on end, but it mostly boils down to the busyness of homeschooling 2 high schoolers and 2 middle schoolers. We're in the home stretch, so my focus on that can't waver now!

Hi. Remember me?? I'm dreaming up some exciting things to share!

I haven't neglected my art. In fact, I feel like I've put more time into it than ever! I loved the 30 day painting/sketchbook challenge I did last June. It was like a mini art retreat each day, allowing myself at least 30 minutes to create. It taught me about myself, which art styles I feel most comfortable with, and what my weaknesses are. Two things really stood out to me: I love lettering and I love illustration.

But after June, school picked up (we start planning early for the next year, then jump back in early August!) and the paints got pushed to the back of my desk in favor of other supplies. Brush pen lettering was a quick art fix for me in those moments between grading papers and making meals. I love the simplicity of uncapping a pen and writing! I stash them in one of my pencil bags in my purse with a small sketchbook and can write anywhere! Not only do they give me that paint brush fix I need, but I found that illustrating with them makes for some gorgeous lines that fit with my fun and funky style.

Lettering/illustration from my Christmas cards 2017

My love for brush pens had to be shared. I started teaching classes as a lettering consultant at AR Workshop. I had been teaching art classes at the local fine arts center for a few months, but this really confirmed item #3 that I learned about myself last year: I love teaching art - to all ages! I have more classes than ever on my calendar teaching both traditional kids art classes and hand lettering.

When I look through my sketchbooks, I see have been writing letters for many years! My graphic design background and love of typography are a core part of who I am as an artist. So I'm continuing to push myself to grow in that area. Dip pens and calligraphy are the next mountain to climb. I love a good challenge! As a kid, I remember asking for calligraphy pens as birthday gifts. In art school I used dip pens in drawing and illustration classes. The tools were already familiar, and my eye has been trained in letterforms from years of graphic design work. So tackling calligraphy should be a breeze, right? Ha. As with any new craft, there's a learning curve! I'm excited to start the copperplate calligraphy class that Christen Alloco will teach. Learning a very structured hand will be a good balance to my more freeform style I typically do.

examples of recent lettering work

That's the past six months in a nutshell. My lettering has spread to signs, ornaments, coloring pages, wallets, and more - lots to check out in my etsy shop! Which brings me to the exciting changes I'm working on! I'm working on switching this blog over to my own website. That' will give me more flexibility to show portfolio samples to clients, share my thoughts about art, and even have my own online shop! I hope to reach out to the wedding and event markets more.

Of course a website it just one of the things I'm cooking up....a possible coloring page/devotional booklet, calendar art, drawing classes for local many ideas are running through my head! I'm a list maker, so my planner is full of notes and scrawled on pages jammed into the pages. Follow me over at my instagram account to stay with the day to day happenings!

(And I promise I won't take another 6 month break! Talk again soon!)

Monday, June 5, 2017

Then Sings my Soul

Hello! I've been absent here a bit - the past two weeks have seen a lot of house guests over here. Relatives, much fun but wow, am I tired out from it all! Just as the last guest was leaving, my teen daughter fell on the lawn and dislocated her kneecap. Ouch! She's recovering but needs lot of help from me. 

In the midst of this, I decided to challenge myself by painting a page in my sketchbook each day this month. That may not sound like a big deal, but some days it's really hard to pull myself away from life and sit down to paint. I'm not the first to do this kind of challenge, and reading how it has helped other artists grow was inspiring. I hope to work on developing my own style and refine my skills with some of the tools I use.

Here's yesterday, Day 4:

Monday, May 15, 2017

Sara's Sketchbook - Blue Blossoms

I hope everyone had a great Mother's Day weekend! My family made me feel so loved - they really are the best kiddos (and husband) out there. They went out of their way to take care of me, and even sat outside on the deck (with the bugs!) with me. :) I'm the only outdoors lovin' member of this family!

The day was relaxed, and I worked on a spread in my sketchbook. I never know how these will turn out, and I'm really happy with this one! Sometimes I look at my art when I'm finished and am surprised. All these moody blues aren't really me, but I like how they play with the reds and oranges.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Spring Dreams

Yesterday was a lovely spring day, full of sunshine and working in my garden. We are trying to spiffy up our backyard, so much work is needed. The kids trampled the grass to death leaving us a dirt yard, so we are replanting and coaxing those new blades of green to grow. The flower beds need to be edged, weeded, and annuals planted. I really enjoy getting my hands in the dirt and seeing my efforts take off!

After a good weeding session yesterday with my son, I came in and painted an imaginary garden full of all the colors I love. :)

What flowers do you grow? Favorite colors? I love yellow, purple and orange blooms!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

New Prints!!

There's a trio of new prints added to my shop! I'm so excited to share these with you - the colors are so vibrant and the lettering has just enough whimsy to make me smile.

I'd love to know what you think of these. I plan to add more prints to my shop when able to.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Mother's Day is coming quickly, and so I've been adding more items to the shop to stock up! There are lots of prints and cards and coloring pages, but did you know there are also home goods?

How about a pretty place to sit and relax? Dress up Mom's favorite reading chair with a hand painted pillow cover!

Hand Painted Pillow Cover - Watercolor Blue flowers

Or maybe your Mom is the more organized, practical type - always keeping the family on their toes and making sure everything is done in good order. She might be the type to enjoy a pretty new checkbook cover (did you know I liked to sew, too?) :)

Fabric checkbook cover - wallet, coupons, receipts, and more!

Does Mom always have that odd item that's needed at hand? Band aids? Hair ties? Tire pressure gauge? (hey, some moms are REALLY prepared!) Or does she love to keep her make up handy for on-the-go touch ups? A hand painted zip pouch will make her day!

Pink Flower Canvas Zip Pouch - Mothers Day, graduation, Birthday

Moms do a lot of hard work, physically and emotionally, much of which goes unnoticed and unappreciated. Honor her with a phone call, a hand written letter, or a gift which tells her THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU.

It's a hard day for those whose moms are absent in one form or another - take some time to think about her, pray for her, and remember her. Encourage and bless other moms - especially the new moms - by sharing how your mom was a blessing to you.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

His Mercies are New Every Morning

Good morning! Even though we've had rain for days (I miss you, sunshine!), I can still jump out of bed because I know that all of yesterday's junk is history! Today is a new day, and in Christ, it's full of promise! I love dwelling on such truths while noodling out a painting.

I plan on adding prints of this to my shop very soon! Stay posted!