Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Crisis averted...


Ok, I'm just kidding. It wasn't really a crisis. It was just some anxiety I had to get over. I did too. I worked some more and came up with the above piece which I like. I just posted in my shop if you are interested. It felt good to put something new in there! I am loving this Alzarin Crimson encaustic paint. I made it myself. I just love the deep color of it. I used the red and then burnt umber. I think this might be one of my favorite combinations. They look so good together.

So, I just worked. That is all I did. I am out here again ready to work. I am starting a little later than normal, but that is alright. My kids stayed up too late last night and are both dragging today. Which means more work time for me. As long as they don't get too cranky this could be a really great day!

It looks like it's going to be another beautiful day today. I hope you all are able to get out and enjoy it.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Anxiety...



I have been having a little anxiety when I come out to the studio over the last couple of days. Not sure what is up with that. Unfortunately it shows in my work. It's mediocre at best. I know it can't always be easy, but I wish I knew what was stressing me out. As one solution I have been slowly cleaning my space up. It's helping a little. Part of my anxiety I think stems from the fact that I am just not feeling very inspired. I know that it helps me if I just keep working and something will come. I have been doing that. My work is just kind of flat. Nothing really great about it. You can see it in the picture (sorry for the crookedness). I am embarrassed to post it, but I figure might as well not hide it. I think we all have those times where our work just is sub-par and you just have to deal with it.

One cool thing that did happen this weekend is I know have internet in my studio. I am actually writing this post from there. I also am able now to post my pictures from right here. I like having it all in one spot. My printer and scanner are still in the house. I just don't have room for another thing out here. I might change my mind later.

On another note I have been listening to The Vaselines and loving it. I wish it would get my motor going when it comes to painting!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Copper





I worked with some copper yesterday and I really like it. I have some copper tape that I used for soldering and I put that on a piece. It had started to rust a little and it turned out really cool. I also had some copper sheets that I cut holes out of and used it for one of the pieces. I used it on the two above pieces.

I sent my check into today for my booth at Skating with Scissors (September 19). It feels pretty good. I am really happy to get that out and know that there will be a booth for me. I still have no idea how I am going to set it up. I don't have a display idea yet. I need to check some out and get some ideas.

I have sold a couple pieces to some friends this week. It feels nice to know that my friends want something I made in their houses. I love that. It's really neat to see my art in a different setting. Keely bought the "my little white dress" series. I am thinking of making another series. Not sure of what yet. I just had such a good time with those. It was fun to think of a theme and see it come out.

This week has felt extremely long and I am happy the weekend is here. I am looking forward to some long studio time. I also have some books that I am hoping to read very soon. Not to mention dishes, laundry and my very sad looking yard. So much to do!

Hope you have a very good weekend!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A thank you and some new work....




I first want to say thank you to my friend Keely. She wrote a really nice post about me on her blog. I am really flattered. This is the first time someone has written anything about me and it's really nice.

I made it out to the studio yesterday and today. I ended up completing some work. That feels good. I was feeling a little blocked yesterday, but I think my piece turned out ok. I like it. I plan on being out in the studio as much as possible today. It looks like it's going to be a nice day so the kids should be out there as well. I have a lot of things that should be done inside the house, but I really need to take advantage of this weather more. I love it.

I have been having a problem with bees lately. Since I work with beeswax I attract a lot of bees. Unfortunately I get dive-bombed a lot. I have never been stung and don't really want to be. I had one bee flight straight into the hot wax. It was a little shocking to watch this bee fly directly into the hot wax. I have some mesh curtains that I use in my doorway of the studio. Unfortunately they don't do a very good job of keeping the bees out. I guess if you work with beeswax you have to live with the bees.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Today I woke up early and worked in the studio which was nice. I just added the piece that I made today to my shop. I'm still loving the circles! I made my own encaustic wax and I have to say I love having the variety of colors. It's so nice. Plus with my new electric fry pan there is room to heat all of them up. That makes life so much easier.

I am thinking about the sale coming up in September. I am really trying to figure out how to balance Etsy and the sale. I came up with another piece today that I think might be done. It's for the sale. I figure I will just have to pick and choose which ones are for which. The one below is for the sale.Other than that I am just going to try to be as productive as possible. I have been neglecting my poor house for the last few days so I need to catch up on that. Nothing very exciting about cleaning my house. My studio is a pretty big mess too. That also needs to be cleaned. That is way more fun to clean than my house. I love having a clean studio. It makes it so fun to go out and mess it all up again!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Working away...



Well, I have been waking up early and working. So far, so good. I like having the rest of the day to not worry about getting out to the studio. I find that ideas come a lot easier too. This I think will work well for me. It also helps if I let the kids stay up later as they sleep until later in the morning.

I had some really good news the other day. I found out I was accepted into the Skating with Scissors show which is September 19. I am really excited. This will be my first event with my encaustic paintings. I'm a little nervous as I have to make things for the show and my etsy shop, but I have lots of time so I should be fine. I also sold something yesterday which is way cool. My second piece sold. It feels really good to sell something again. I feel like I will get my momentum at some point so if I can sell something that is good for me.

I made a new piece this morning that is above. I like it. I am still learning how to take photos of my pieces. The color balance is a little more difficult for me. I am noticing that a lot of my pieces have a blueish tint to them. I am taking them outside in natural light so I don't know where the tint is coming from. Anybody out there have any advice for how to get rid of it? I have been trying to take the blue out with Photoshop, but I would like to have it removed when I actually take the picture.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A series..


This morning I woke up early and was able to work in the studio for a few hours. It felt really good. I accomplished a lot. I started a new series of paintings called "my little white dress" I don't know how many of these I will make. They are so fun.

I feel so much better now that I had some time in my studio without interruption. I didn't feel worried about time either. My kids are really tired during the morning and take a long time to wake up which is good for me. Now that I have had my studio time I need to figure out what to do with the rest of my day! I know I will be posting my new paintings in my shop today. That is one thing, now what to do with the rest of my day.... dishes, laundry, such great choices.

By the way, this is my 80th post! That seems a bit unbelievable.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Adjustments....


So, it's our first Monday and I am already feeling the upheaval of school being out. It's weird to have the kids home all day. I kept telling myself today that I would do this or that when I had a chance, but then I would realize that the kids are not going anywhere.

I blew my first day of getting up early. I didn't get up early. Then I had stuff to do away from the house. I am trying not to be discouraged after the one day. Tomorrow I WILL get up early. I just keep telling myself that.

I wish I had something new and cool to post about or show. I made it out to my studio today, but nothing came up. I think I was too stressed out about being in there an being productive since it was only a matter of time before the kids were going to come in. That is why I need my early morning so badly. I am curious if there are any other moms out there reading this who create from home? How do you make time with your kids being there now? I would really love to know. I figured I would do fine, but now I am realizing that if I put myself on some kind of time limit it might actually be much harder to create anything. Just curious if any of you out there are having the same experience...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

back from a little break...




I am back. I took a little break away from the computer down at my father in-laws boat house. No computers which is nice. My family and I hung out, watched movies and did a lot of fishing. It was really fun. The only downside is being away from the studio. I did bring a sketch book with me so I could write down ideas. I had a few.

I came up with these two pieces above. They are variations on sketches that I had made. I usually don't plan what I make (I think I have said this before), but this time I thought I would try it. The sketches don't match what actually was made, but they were a really good starting out point. These pieces are going in my shop today.

I am loving my new method for heating the wax. It has made it so much easier to be spontaneous when I am making my pieces. I just have to say it again because I feel really lucky!

I hope you all have had/are having a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

new!


So, today I bought some new equipment. I am so excited I can barely take it. I bought an electric frying pan. It's super old and really heavy and I love it. Why an electric frying pan? Well, originally I thought I would look for an electric griddle, but I checked around and couldn't find one. So, I went to my all-time favorite thrift store today Red, White and Blue and found the EFP. I needed it because my old system for melting wax was extremely slow and time consuming. I had to wait each time I added more wax to my tiny little metal cup. The EFP allows me to melt lots of wax in different colors all at one time. It is REALLY cool.

I already broke it in and I have only had it for about 2 hours! The piece above is what I made using a white encaustic wax and a red. So fun. I think this is what I needed to break me out of my rut a bit. While I am incognito this weekend I think I am going to work some more on my business plan. Maybe doing it away from home and away from my studio will allow me to come back home and focus on creating. We'll see.

Today is the last day of school. It seems appropriate that in Portland on the last day of school it rains. I guess we can say at least it isn't cold.

P.S. I will be posting this one in the shop sometime today!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Countdown....


Tomorrow is the last day of school for my kids. So today I went and had coffee with my lovely friend Cinda at Stumptown Coffee (the best coffee as far as I am concerned). It was really nice. I am going to miss having that time this summer. I think my coffee dates will be few and far between this summer. Bye, bye free/me time.

Those ideas that I have about my piece that I started yesterday are still brewing. I actually think we will be going somewhere this weekend away from my studio and the computer. I am ok with this. I think I need a little break from both. I will be bringing my sketch book though.

I am on the hunt for an electric griddle. I have looked at two Goodwill's so far and neither one had one. I have found them new, but I was hoping to get a used one. Maybe people just like to hold on to them? I can tell you I found a whole lot of sandwich presses and coffee makers. No griddles. If any of you out there know of one that is unloved and needs a new home let me know. I would make a great home for it here in my studio.

So, no new pieces to post about. I am trying to go easy on myself and accept that I am not always going to have a new piece. I think I repeat this to myself at least once a month. One of these days it will actually sink in.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Circles, Circles Everywhere....



I don't always know what I want to make when I make things. I just come up with something and that is it. Lately I have been very preoccupied with circles. I really like them. I assume most people like circles, but lately I have been a bit obsessed with them. I have no idea why or what that says about me. The piece above is called "Circle 2". It obliviously has circles.

I think I am almost out of my creative rut. I worked on several pieces today. There not all done. There is one that I think has a lot of potential. The base of it is pretty good (if I do say so myself) and I think I can really add to it and make it look good. I have this idea brewing in my head and I think if I just give it a little more time I might come out with it.

My kids have two more days of school left which leaves me a little worried. I value my studio time. And I especially like it when there are no distractions. So, I have to alter my schedule to get up before the kids do so I can work in the morning. Problem is, I am not sure that I can be really ready to go at 6am. I imagine it will be like anything else and I will just have to get used to it. The nice thing is that it's light at 6 am now. That helps!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Can't come up with a title.



I can't seem to think of a title for this post. That's how it's been in the studio too. I am struggling creatively. Or I was really struggling and now it's coming a little easier. I came up with a piece today that I like. That was a huge relief. The one above is what I came up with and it will go in my shop today.

I feel like I have neglected both my shop and my blog. Even though it has only been a couple days, I still get used to blogging and posting to the shop everyday. It was hard when I was not making anything for a couple days. Nothing to post about, nothing new to put in the shop. I think part of it was that I was so wrapped up in the "business plan" and all the writing and figures etc.. that I stopped using my creative brain for a bit. I don't know if that is really what happens, but that is what it feels like. Plus, I think the more feedback you have the easier it is to be creative. Sometimes not having anyone outside my work makes me feel a isolated. In my own creative bubble and that is not always a good place to be. So, here I am. Posting again and updating the shop.

I hope everyone has had an enjoyable weekend.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Nothing much...



So I spent two hours in the studio today and came out with not really anything. There is tomorrow so I am not too worried about it. I have ideas brewing they just did not want to come out today.

I did find some artist that are really inspiring to me. Some I found thru this blog, others I found thru links on other blogs.Check out their blogs. Their work is really great and they are all local.

Amy Stoner is an encaustic artist and her stuff is AMAZING. I love it.

Michele Maule is a fantastic mixed media artist. I love her prints.

Erika Lee Sears
is a really talented painter. And I don't just love her work because she did a painting of cupcakes.

I hope you enjoy their work. Tomorrow I should be back with some of my own.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

There it is, the rough (very rough) draft of my business plan. I worked on it all day and night yesterday. That is probably not the way you are supposed to do it, but I felt the need to get all this down. Writing it made me realize just how much I have to do. There are still so many things that I need to do to make this a successful business. It's a long, long list. I know I can do it. It's just making sure I have the time to do it all. I just wrote to a friend about how much time I was really spending working on all of this (blog, etsy, business plan etc...) It's a full-time job already. My time just is spread out between the morning, afternoon, pick up kids, spend time with kids, kids bedtime and then work some more. This summer should be interesting. I am not sure how our schedule is going to work. I know that I will have to adapt to being an early riser. That is probably the only time I will have to work alone in my studio. I just have to get up a couple hours before the kids do. I think I can manage that.
Now that I have done the rough draft of the business plan I feel like I really do have concrete goals. It made me put down on paper exactly where I want to be and how I will judge whether or not I have actually met those goals. After being told that it is adaptable and changeable it made me feel better. I really don't know what the future will bring, but at least I have a clearer idea of where I want it to go right now.
I made this piece today. I don't know if you can see the little tree on there... Anyway, I like this piece. I was feeling kind of sick today and a little stuck with my artwork. Usually when I feel sick it's much harder to create anything. But I was able to make something after all. I think it will go in my shop tomorrow. Still feeling kind of yucky so I might actually take some time to rest. Then I probably will put this in my shop tonight because I don't like waiting!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Productivity



Today has been a very productive day. I didn't make it out to the studio, but I did make it over to Alea's for some good information and good company. We talked about business plans. Not the most exciting topic, but necessary. I feel like I really have my head around what I need to do now. Which is a huge relief. It's hard to know all this stuff just like that. I realize it's going to take a bit of time, but it will be worth it. I LOVE the idea of having business goals that are there to give me direction. I am hoping that with a proper business and marketing plan, I can direct my decisions so that they match with the plan.

In other news, I was artistically productive yesterday. Above is the second piece I made. It's called "I wish I was the moon" ( I put it in the shop yesterday). I was listening to Neko Case and she says that line. I just love it. It makes me feel inspired. Music will always do that to me though. I am loving Mason Jennings right now. I was listening to him last Saturday when I made the collage. His music is not too serious and good for keeping your spirits high. I find that I can't do anything without my music. I like a huge variety of artists. I have over 2,300 songs on my computer in the studio. That is all I use it for is music. I don't have an ipod or any such thing so the computer works great. Someday I might have wireless internet and be able to make these posts directly from my studio. That would be awesome. Someday.....

I just found the website of an artist that I really like Amy Stoner. She is an encaustic artist and her work is fantastic. She's a fellow PDXer and teaches at DIY lounge. I would love to take a class from her someday. I think it is so inspiring to see what other artists are making. Especially when it comes to encaustic. I am new at this stuff, but I love it so much I can't imagine not using wax in my work. Which makes me wonder how I am going to use up all these awesome acrylic paints I have.... I do have a lot of projects (journal covers etc..) that I want to get to. Those acrylics will come in handy for those things. Maybe I will have some of those projects to post sometime in the near future....

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Business Plan



Or I should say, the lack of a business plan. I am working on a business plan and am stumped. It is not easy for me to put my ideas in writing. I know what I want to achieve, I just don't know how to say it so it makes sense. The books that I have checked out are great if you are not an artist and are starting your own company. I haven't found anything that is specific to visual artist. There are sample plans for graphic designers and even one for a band (which I thought was pretty cool.) Lucky for me I know someone who is an artist and has come up with a plan. Alea is going to tell me all she knows (right Alea? :) I have one page done and that is the cover page. That's not much of a start.

I think it's really important to put your goals in writing. I had a friend do this recently and she did all that she set out to do. Now she is making new goals. I would love to do that. I guess I don't really know what my concrete goals are. Do I want to make it to galleries, be a big seller on Etsy, do craft fairs... I don't really know. These are things I need to think about. I have to say that if I have to think about my art or make it, I will take making it anyday. That's what I have been doing today and it feels good. The above piece was made today. It's a message to myself. To stop and listen. I sometimes forget to do that. Of course it is going in the shop today. Someone else probably needs this message too.

I hope you are having a lovely day. It's another gorgeous one here. We are lucky.