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The Second Half

Real moments. Real life. That’s what I want this blog to be about… not just art, not just creativity, but life. And yet, as I sit here contemplating what my next blog post should be about, I am stumped.

You see, all my life I wanted for nothing more than to be that stereotypical 50’s housewife portrayed in television shows like “I love Lucy” or “Bewitched”. I wouldn’t even have minded being Caroline Ingalls, from “Little House on the Prairie”, if it meant I could still have modern luxuries like a running toilet, washing machines, and a functioning kitchen. And, thanks to a very understanding husband, my Prince Charming, I got to be that.

Even when the entrepreneurial bug beckoned me, and I started a homebased freelance business and online magazine, I was still able to put that business on the backburner any time it interfered with my ultimate dream of being a 50’s housewife and mommy.

Then my children grew up, graduated high school, and moved on with their lives. And there I was, i…
Recent posts

Defining Yourself As An Artist

How do you define yourself as an artist? That’s something I’ve struggled with for as long as I’ve been a creative person. For years, I’ve tried to define my style of art, but I always came up empty handed. Sure, I had talent, but I had no idea where I fit in.

I couldn’t paint realism if my life depended on it. I’ve never had an eye for home décor or trends, and don’t even get me started on creating art that requires symmetrical relationships or clean lines.

Then one day, I realized that I simply don’t fit into a box. In fact, I don’t like creating art that puts me in a box because it reminds me of a time in my life when I felt smothered, suppressed, and suffocated. And I don’t ever want to feel that way again. So I create art that isn’t necessarily structured.

It took a long time for me to define myself as an artist, but today I gladly call myself a mixed media abstract artist. I create art that often requires no rules, no boundaries, and no need for perfection. I simply create art t…

Find Your Motivational Tool with Vision Boards

Happy New Year!!

I haven’t created a vision board in 9 years, but this year, a friend encouraged me to get back into creating them. So I sat down with my husband and we talked about the past ten years, our move to South Dakota, the financial setbacks we’ve had that weren’t our fault and the ones that were, and how the isolation of the winter kicks our butts both emotionally and physically. Then we talked about how we’ve kind of just been “letting life happen”, how we lost focus of our dreams, and how it was TIME to get our lives back.

It was very therapeutic, but also really hard because my husband is a quiet man with few words and getting him to open up… well, that took patience.

Still, I am really glad my friend encouraged me to create a vision board this year because I’m not really good with New Years’ Resolutions. In fact, I’m horrible at them. I’ve never been able to keep one resolution I made for myself. I think it’s because resolutions feel like failures before they even beg…

Painting with Coffee – The Basics

I love the idea of painting with coffee, but to be honest, I mostly use coffee paint for background papers. That being said, you can easily paint images and landscapes using coffee by following the same principles of watercolor painting.

To create your own coffee stained paintings and backgrounds, you will need:
5 Scoops of ground coffee8 C waterInstant coffee grounds, as needed1 Tbsp of your favorite spice (i.e. cinnamon or allspice)1 Lemon1 Tbsp Iodized saltCoffee makerBlow dryerConventional ovenPlastic tubPaper (watercolor paper, scrapbook paper, copy paper)Cellulose spongePaintbrushKrylon Preserve It Aerosol SprayLiquitex Professional Soluvar Matte VarnishOptional: Various sized cups, stamps, and shapesOptional: Food coloring and/or watercolor paints for adding more colors to your paintingsHow to create coffee stained background papers:
Brew a strong batch of coffee in your traditional coffee maker.Allow coffee to cool to room temperature.Pour cooled coffee into a tub big enough to …

Painting with Rice - The Basics

Turns out, creating art with rice is very similar to creating art with beans... just more tedious.

To create your own rice art, you will need:
Various types of riceSturdy surface (wrapped canvas, canvas board, or wood blocks)White gessoAcrylic and/or watercolor paintsAleene's tacky glueTweezersPencilPaint brushesSpray-on acrylic sealer
How to create rice art:
Paint the surface with white gesso and allow to dry.Sketch a basic outline of your art.

Paint your sketch with the appropriate background colors.

Apply glue to a small area, thick enough to hold your rice in place but not so thick that when you place your rice into the glue it covers the rice.Using tweezers, glue the rice onto your prepped surface. Your finished work will look nicer if you pick a direction and lay your rice down accordingly. If you just throw your rice down onto the surface, and smash it into the glue, it will look messy. (Unless, of course, you are going for that look. i.e. fur)Continue to work in small batches…