Have Time – Will Paint

This is a strange time we are living in.

In the midst of the COVID – 19 epidemic, people all over the world are finding themselves at home.

We are not used to having this much time. Most of us pack in every moment with work, events, and other activities. We are rarely ever still. At least I know this is the case for myself and my family. Because of this, I know that it’s sometimes hard to find the time to do things like paint and create.

I asked in post several months ago what keeps you from painting and the number one response was lack of time. I wrote a blog post with some suggestions about how to carve out more time and paint.

We are living in a different world now It’s amazing how everything can change so quickly. Now, events are cancelled. Stores and schools are closed and many businesses have shut down for a season. This is a hard time for all of us. I know that some of you might be struggling with boredom and loneliness. There are only so many hours one can spend binge watching Netfix!

Then there are those of us who’s responsibilities have shifted. I, for example, am now a 4th grade and PreK home school teacher! It’s stressful and much harder than my job as an artist. Sometimes I just need to get away and paint.

As creatives we get to embrace this time and CREATE!

We don’t know how long this is going to last. Imagine if at the end of it, you could look back and see a whole new body of artwork that you created! What if you could pick up some new techniques and skills? I don’t know about you, but when I am painting, I can lose all track of time and just immerse myself in my work. Sometimes I’m so absorbed in my piece that I don’t even realize what I have done. Then I step back and realize something incredible has happened that I got to be a part of!

Art helps us to deal with our fears.

It gives us something new to focus on.

It gives us confidence.

Painting keeps our brains activated.

Now is the time to finally dig into that online class that you purchased months ago!

I know you are out there. You saw a new class that I was releasing. It was being offered on sale for just a few more days. It looked exciting and you decided to just jump in and buy it. You quickly scrolled through it and then you let it sit. It’s still there waiting for you. I know that you have few materials you still need to get. Stores may be closed but luckily Amazon has got you covered. Dick Blick Art Supplies is here for you too!

I would love for my classes to be a sanctuary for you in this crazy world. Let this newfound time be the reason you need to get started.

Check out this beautiful space that one of my students has created to spend her socially distant time! I want to be here!

Feeling lonely and need to connect?

I think digging into your classes will help with that too. I hope that if you are currently a student, you are already in the Zenso Creative Community Studio Facebook group. If not, please join in. This group is just for our online students to connect, share work, and ask questions from the instructors.

Another student’s creative space

I love checking in on the group and see students encouraging one another. I have students all over the world, which is crazy! This is a way for you to meet each other and connect. I’ve even seen students put each other up to art challenges! I think we all need that support and encouragement. Especially now!

I love seeing posts like this one below!

Check out all this amazing work that my students have posted just in the last few days!

For a limited time I’m offering FREE ONLINE CLASSES in my membership program!

Some of you are not students yet. Maybe it has not been the right time to make the investment. I wanted to offer you something good when all we seem to be getting is bad news.

If you sign up by April 15th, you can get one month of free access to the Zenso Creative Club monthly bundle. I have three classes in the bundle. Hope you love them and they help you to get through this crisis. I hope that they inspire you. I hope that you can learn something new and be proud of the work that you create!

Here are the pieces I have included in the free monthly bundle. I walk you through these step by step. I provide a downloadable template for you to trace to accurately transfer your outlines to your panel. I also give you color recipes for each stroke! Let’s do this together!

I can’t wait to see what you do in this season!

Take care friends. Stay safe and healthy! Keep creating!

My Grandma’s Breckel Torte

Thanksgiving preparations have already begun in full force around my house. My parents who live in Wisconsin will arrive late Wednesday evening and my kids only have school Monday and Tuesday this week so I decided I better get what I could done this weekend. With my parents, our next door neighbors and another family of long time friends, we will have 12 for dinner on Thursday. My 10 year old son was interested in helping in the kitchen today and I have to admit, I couldn’t stop thinking about how thankful I was that we could spend this bit of special time together.

Thanksgiving has become my holiday. Most of our family lives in Wisconsin and we always go there for Christmas so we have come accustomed to hosting the meal at our house each year. Sometimes we have family join us and other times our table is full of friends. This year it will be both.

Thanksgiving was also my grandma’s holiday. She hosted it every year until about 10 years ago when it started to become too much for her. She would start preparing at least a full week ahead of time, maybe more. Here table would be neatly covered with her best table cloth and she would start making lists. When we would arrive on Thanksgiving day, my cousins and I would each find our name on a list with a job. One of us might be in charge of setting the fine silverware which lived in the special box that came out once a year. Another might have the task of mashing the potatoes. She was always so organized and she managed to pull off a picture perfect meal every year for our group of 11-14 (depending on the number of boyfriends present).

One staple of our Thanksgiving meal was always Grandma’s Breckel Torte. This is an old German dessert. It’s basically a chewy, nutty version of strawberry short cake. My Grandma made it every year and it was always a favorite. I can’t help but think about the year when someone dropped glass and it broke into the Breckel Torte. My devout Lutheran Grandma yelled a quick 4 letter word and made it a holiday we would never forget. It just meant that much to her.

This morning when I started looking through my recipe book, I found the recipe for Breckel Torte that she mailed to me in 2011. It said, “Ali, your mom had told me you wanted my Breckel Torte recipe, and I meant to enclose it with your birthday card, but didn’t so here it is. I’ve been making it for 60+ years and my sister-in-law made it many years before that. So enjoy & think of us every time you make it !!!” I started to cry on the inside. My Grandma passed away two years ago and this is only our second Thanksgiving without her. She was such a special lady and I will treasure this hand written recipe and note from her. I will pass it down to my children and grandchildren. It just made me think that this is really what holidays are about.

So I wanted to share this special recipe from my Grandma Luella with you. I promise you it is delicious and it will have a special place at our Thanksgiving table this year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ali