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!

Reflecting on a Decade

Lots of changes over the past 10 years, both in my art and my life!

Ten years ago everything was different! Well, almost everything. I was already working as an artist and I was married to my wonderful husband, but other than that, life looked pretty different! I lived in Wisconsin in the same town I grew up in. I worked in a studio that happened to also double as my parent’s basement! We didn’t have children yet and I was still trying to recover my career as we creeped our way out of the recession.

As we dive into a new decade, I thought it would be fun to look back on the major changes in my personal and professional life which seem to strangely overlap when you are an artist. My passion is also my work.

1. We moved from Wisconsin to Texas, then Tennessee, then a few more blocks. We’ve lived in four different houses this decade, and I think it’s about time to settle down!

2. We discovered Haiti. When the earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, something hit me too. I’m not sure why other than it was a God’s plan. I had heard about plenty of other natural disasters, but this time I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I started painting portraits that I found on a friend’s Facebook page and before I knew it, we were there in the country.

3. Kids change everything!

In 2014 we welcomed our first son Breckin. He is now 5 and the funniest, most determined little boy you will ever meet!

We started the adoption process in 2010. It would take us 6 years to complete. Sometimes it seems like God’s timing is crazy. After this long battle with paperwork, we finally brought our son Wilson home in 2016.

4. Live Painting!

I started doing live painting this decade which ranged from creating art during worship services, to painting weddings, to fundraisers, to 20 minute speed paintings while Rick Rushing played live.

5. Murals and More!

I found myself in a lot of interesting spaces, from 30 foot high ceilings, to the sides of buildings. During the three years I spent in Houston, I painted a lot! I found there was an incredible demand there for custom murals and finishes in all of the beautiful homes there. This really gave my career the fuel it needed after some lean years during the recession when art was the last thing anyone was carving out of their budgets.

6. Time to Teach!

I found myself as a teacher. Actually I kind of feel like teaching found me! It was never something I set out to do. I actually didn’t think I would be good at it, but as it turns out, I was wrong. I was invited to teach a small private class at a studio in Houston to members of the decorative arts organization IDAL.

My first workshop at NCF studio.

This turned into teaching at their annual convention in Indianapolis.

2013 IDAL convention

This turned into members who couldn’t make it to the convention contacting me and asking to come to my studio in Chattanooga for a class.

My very first workshop in Chattanooga

After such an incredible response to the classes I offered at my studio, I decided it was time to go all in and make teaching a substantial part of my art business. In 2018 I moved into a new studio space at my building where I could permanently set up for regular classes.

I now host students from all over the country and even a few from outside the U.S. on a regular basis.

7. Online Classes are here!

I had been thinking about trying to produce an online workshop for about a year when I was contacted by Terry Eldridge from ZENSO Creative. She was starting a new company working with a select group of instructors and she wanted me on the team! All the pieces of the puzzle fit together and I produced 4 online classes in 2019! The response to these classes is beyond what I could have ever imagined!

8. We bought and/ or renovated 5 rental properties over the past 5 years! In our spare time we thought it would be a good idea work on a house or two! It’s been fun to see the 100 year old houses in our neighborhood turn into something new and fresh. The growing popularity of our funky little city has made them super desirable as rentals!

Even the kids helped out!

9. Rusty Blooms

I discovered Modern Masters Metal Effects paints after attending the 2011 IDAL convention and I couldn’t stop experimenting with it! I developed a technique to incorporate it into my fine art and it has spread like wildfire. I teach these techniques in my classes. It’s awesome to see my students get hooked as well!

10. Portraits continue to be on high demand from my clients. I love painting faces. It’s so much fun to experiment with thick juicy brushstrokes and vivid unexpected colors. December is usually filled with portrait commission requests from clients looking for a unique and memorable gift. I love being a part of that!

It’s truly been quite an eventful decade! I am blessed with health, family, and amazing opportunities as an artist. I am so excited for 2020! I have big plans. You can surely expect to see more online classes, more live classes, and more daily painting from me! Big thanks to everyone who has supported me along the way! I couldn’t do this without you!

God is good, all the time! Cheers!