Saturday, March 14, 2020

How Coronavirus is Affecting Artists

Yesterday I went to the grocery store. I had been dreading it all week. I knew the toilet paper would be long gone (thankfully, my Amazon shipment came a week ago, before the panic started). But I wasn't prepared to walk in and find that there were no eggs, no dairy products, no meat, no peanut butter (sorry, Everett... your P&J's will have to wait), no sweet potatoes, no bread, and barely any bottled water. The cold and flu aisle was stripped bare, as was the diaper aisle and most of the canned goods. I found most of what I needed, but as I stood in the checkout line, which wrapped all the way around to the back of the store, I felt like telling all the hard-working employees, "Thank you for your service." They had to do something they weren't necessarily traine… Read more »

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Monday, March 2, 2020

Child of Spring - FINALIST in the 22nd Annual Portrait Society International Competition!

I got the call last week. Having been a member of the Portrait Society for some time now (10 years, I think?), you eventually learn that you're either going to get a phone call or an email, and what you really want is the phone call! This is my third time being accepted as a finalist, but it feels monumental for me. This year, after battling a lot of depression and stress ( see my last post , oh... and did I mention that last year we bought a house? and moved? With a 5-year-old and an infant?!), I had major doubts as to whether or not I would be accepted. Two of the pieces I entered were paintings that I had labored over for months, and the third was one that I felt like I rushed to finish in time for the competition deadline. So, when I got the call that "Child of Spring" ha… Read more »

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Through the Valley of Death -- and Back

This is an art blog. It’s also a blog about personal experience, parenting, and life. Once in a while, my posts are more about life than they are about art, but I think the two are inseparable. So… warning: this is going to be long and very personal but hopefully, if you are going through something similar it will inspire you to take action.  In the past month, I’ve learned a lot about stress. I learned about a thing called “adrenal fatigue”, about the importance of completing a “stress cycle”, and that it’s not “just stress”, but a physiological condition that if left unchecked, can actually kill you. I learned that in order for a hug to release oxytocin and dopamine (which alleviate stress), the hug has to be heart to heart and ideally last 20 seconds. “What could you possibly be stressed… Read more »

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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2020 Vision

Okay, that pun has already been way overused, but I couldn't help it. Everyone is talking about it: the start of a new decade. So much has happened in the last ten years! I went from being a world traveler alongside my husband, and putting in countless hours at the easel--to being a mom of two, and moving from Texas to Colorado. I made many amazing new friends and connections. I started a fitness and health journey. I found a great church community. I painted a LOT.  In 2019 there were a few huge personal milestones: We bought our dream home! Our daughter turned 5 and started kindergarten, and our son turned 1.  From a professional standpoint, there were a few highlights in 2019, including my first feature article in a magazine (the December 2019/January 2020 issue of Southwest Art Mag… Read more »

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Thursday, November 21, 2019

On The Enneagram, Doing Things the Hard Way, and Eliminating Hurry

Hey Internet. Sorry it's been so long. There's a lot of exciting stuff going on here, but for today I'm going to share some of the things I've learned the hard way. I've probably mentioned this before, but I'm kind of obsessed with personality typing systems, particularly the Enneagram . If you're not familiar with this one, it's a system of nine types, all of which connect or overlap in some way. While the Myers Briggs system focuses on how people think and process information, the Enneagram is more interesting to me because it delves into what actually  motivates  us. So, it should come as no surprise that I am a Three on the Enneagram. "The Achiever." We are known for our ability to accomplish whatever we set our minds to. We are extremely perform… Read more »

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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Peony Painting Frenzy

Each summer for the entire month of June, I drop everything to create paintings of my favorite flower, the peony.  I'm not sure how it became such an obsession of mine. I suppose it started when I chose them for my wedding. But over the years they have become more than just a memory from that big day. To me, flowers--and peonies especially--represent life's transience. This is not a new idea. Artists have used flowers in vanitas  scenes for centuries. At some point each of us has to face our own impermanence, but perhaps for artists, painting flowers can lessen the blow, because they are such a joy to look at. In their prime, peonies take center stage with their dinner-plate sized blooms and intensity of color, but their season is so short, and they leave us wanting more. They remi… Read more »

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Monday, May 6, 2019

A Weekend Away - Portrait Society of America 2019

A week ago, I returned home from my tenth Portrait Society of America conference. Each one has been unique and wonderful in its own way. This year, unlike years past, I was there not as a beginning student, a state ambassador, or a faculty member. I was simply in attendance to take it in and enjoy being surrounded by my family in art. It was a pleasure to cheer on some dear friends of mine who were getting their first moments in the spotlight. I was also there for my twin sister Emily, who has only been painting professionally for about two years, but she now has the hunger and drive that defined me throughout all of my twenties, and her watercolor paintings get better and better by the day. She is currently selling them on her website here , so be sure to check her out and support her if … Read more »

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