Easing Into the New Year
Updated: Jul 25
With the 2023 21 Days in My Art World Challenge
I wrote a couple years ago about why I undertook an art challenge , this challenge, hosted by Tara Leaver, is about easing back into content creation after taking a break from social media. This blog posts brings all 21 days of the challenge together.
1. A Favorite Painting & 2. Lesson Learned
A lesson learned from a painting that became a favorite.
A blast to a past Instagram post, a quote from Brene Brown:
"It takes Courage to say Yes to Rest & Play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol."
2022 I forgot these words and by the end of the year, and the painting Water Lily and Fish reminded me of how little I slowed down.
Explained why I was feeling exhausted, almost chronically fatigued, by year end.
Lesson relearned: don't be a status symbol, take your rest and don't forget to play. Plus don't forget lessons already learned.
3. Latest WIP
7. Color Palette
My Latest WIP involves exploring my color palette.
I had 2 charts done when I posted this to social media. I was thinking 12 total. I am now considering 13, plus a color chart showing the colors mixing with each other plus black. With 8 done, 6 to go.
Inspiration for this was seeing Nisha Sehjpal repost by Daniel Smith artist materials. Nisha swatching her watercolors to show how different techniques created textures.
I had saved from May 2021 and more recently watching the swatching exploration of watercolorist Jill Williams.
I combined elements from both into the chart I created to explore my colors to various techniques that allow watercolor to create unique textures.
4. Art book
5 Books on My Shelf or Kindle Reading:
1. Profit First by Mike Michalowicz A well duh moment for me after years of not having a profit. Mind reset from old school thinking. Take profit first, so you have profit at year end. Quotable:
"Relying on traditional accounting methods to grow profitability is the equivalent of telling you to jump off a cliff and flap..."
2. How to be a Craftivist by Sarah Corbett an Womens Caucus for Art Book Club - January read I started reading during the challenge, is now read. I am still thinking on this books message.
3. I was Working on Finishing: How to Be an Artist by Jerry Saltz an Alabama WCA Book Club read for November-early December. I finished this one recently. As you can see I enjoy reading many books at once and sometimes I don't get through 1 a month. Quotable:
"Success and happiness live on opposite sides of the tracks. You want the truth? The best definition of success is time--the time to do your work."
4. Was waiting for it to be delivered: Create Patterns With Different Layouts by Manon Jodoin @jodoinstudio while I am creating patterns, and thinking through possible layouts can be a fun puzzle, a little inspirational guidance would be nice, is the thought. side note: I was right.
5. Read: The Bullet That Missed by Richard Ossman 3rd in the A Thursday Murder Club Mystery something fun to read while sleuthing a case with four other amateurs and a few pros. Quotable:
" If murder were easy, none of us would survive Christmas."
5. Favorite tool
or Why I Can't Live Without Canva
For those who have been with me for the past year you might recall seeing this before. This was from one of my most liked, reacted to, commented on posts.
CanvaPro has a magic Background Remover that makes short order of getting the job done. Since January I discovered an app Remove BG by Pixlr, saves images as png and then one can upload to app of choice to create from.
Scratching your head on what size your post should be? Canva can help, and CanvaPro has a magic Resize feature.
I found out FB is fine with IG square post size.
Canva also stored this image for me. Use your own images, or select from stock images.
Can't think of what to post? Check out some templates - they're sure to inspire. While I use Pro, there is a free version too.
Starting in June 2023 I am using free, missing some endless possibilities, learning MetaBusiness for my Scheduler, as well as using Pinterest's scheduler.
Questions? Drop them in the comments.
6. Current Challenge
You would think after nearly a decade I would know not to saturate my painting with actual puddles. Does Yellow have more value than Light? I find yellow flowers to be a challenge because of wanting to match color, then the value shifts don't happen. I know I'm not the only one who struggles with green, but I'm getting better and perhaps more mindful to what works.
9. Where the Art Happens
well stocked creative space
all ready for the magic
creating colorful art
a little haiku by moi
10. Artist Selfie
I always find it awkward to hold the camera at arms length and try to click, push or tap some button for a selfie.
This one was captured using the timer on my camera phone while I tried ignoring it and painted.
A few attempts and I had something good enough.
11. Turning Point
2018 Indigo Daisy became a pillow with Society6 uploader. I knew I wanted a complimentary pattern instead of one large daisy on comforters, duvets and throw blankets.
Four years later, with newly developed skills in Photoshop to create patterns, it was realized.
I have ambitions to look at other watercolor paintings and see what patterns I can create for them as well. Keep an eye out for more surface pattern designs.
12. Current Motifs
For me it always ties back to nature and flower gardens. In 2022 I completed a birth flower series (pictured) I started some years ago.
January – Jubilee
February – Wood Violet
March – Daffodils in the Woods
April – Daisy and Sweet Peas Posy
May – Lily of the Valley
June – Yellow Rose Birthday Bouquet
July – Water Lily and Fish
August – Scarlet and White Gladiolus
September – Morning Glories and Asters with the Garden Post
October – Signet Marigold
November – Chrysanthemum, Golden Flower
December – Paperwhite, Hope too
Which one is your favorite? Which one is your birth month?
Mine are: Lily of the Valley & Golden Flower. Comment yours below.
Visit LZBTH Creatives Chalkboard Blog to see posts about the above flowers.
13. Process Insight - See Numbers 3, 5, 6, 11, 16 & 20
Thank You Kind Buyers!
You made 2022 one of my best sales years. Thank you for supporting my artistic journey with your purchases. These are the designs & products appreciated in 2022:
* Background Veri Periwinkle on Eggshell Blue - Notebooks
* Gladioulus - Travel & Coffee Mug
12 After the Rain - Notebooks
11 Winter Chickadee - mini art print (with stand & framed)
10 Gnomes for the Holidays - cards, hand towel, coffee mug
09 Poinsettia - cards, hand towel, and art print
08 Salmon Pink Geranium Falls - Wall Tapestry, Art Print, and throw pillows
07 Snow Y'All, Dark Blue Background - coffee mugs, wrapping paper
06 Whale of a Tale - outdoor rug, cards, shower curtains, and hand towel
05 Ultramarine Blue Mountains - Serving Tray, stickers and cards
04 Ring of Moon Phases - Art Prints, Stickers, Coffee Mug and Travel Mug
03 Green Mountain Sky Lake - Stickers, Notebooks and Cards
02 Blue and Gold Starry Night - art prints, cards, notebooks, travel mug, and a bath mat.
01 Top Seller Indigo Daisy - 12 Throw Pillows! plus cards and a poster too!
I am filled with GRATITUDE.
15 How I name my paintings
METADATA is still forefront.
But, if another name is more fitting I use that. Then on my website or print on demand shops, I add to it with Metadata in mind.
So Yesterdays will include: Pink Bleeding Heart Watercolor Flowers
When I consider the title and metadata I still reflect on these questions:
-are the words reflective of what others might use for search terms? -is the subject of my work reflected in the title?
-is the title too reflective of my connection to the painting?
---if yes, how can I keep the connection and clarify so the title is searchable.
To learn more about this art, and why I named it Yesterdays, visit the blog post: Are You a Bleeding Heart?
16. Smallest Painting and 17 Largest Painting
Smallest painting for 2022 were the creations on teabags. I then used them on cards for a craft fair.
July 2023 Update! Teabag art cards are now available at LZBTH Creative's booth located inside University Pickers - Huntsville 3405 Triana BLVD SW 35805
Largest painting for 2022 was Quoth the Raven Upon a Pumpkin at 14" x 11"inch and tested my new confidence in my skills with Photoshop.
This painting is larger than what my scanner can scan in one shot. So I had to trust I could merge two images into a whole.
Achieving this once, I think I'm ready to trust the process to work.
I celebrate nature and the gifts that it can give to us. Like Lily Ponds that offer a place of quiet reflection, and clouds or flowers to gaze at and simply enjoy.
19. From the Archives
When Life is Busy... Sharing or, sometimes making, art doesn't happen. In this case sharing. I first posted this pear still life in 2019, and didn't upload to my print on demand shop until 2022! I had the intention to find art not finished, or uploaded and start finishing or uploading. I think I started more than I realized. This intention is moving into 2023.
Did you know? January 20th is National Cheese Lovers Day, which was the day this was posted to social media. I have to ask Have you ever had a grilled cheese with pear, fig preserves, and cheddar on sourdough? This sandwich has become a go to comfort food.
20. Favorite Technique
Wet into Wet, nothing like watching watercolors move through washes of water.
A gentle lift and a few more cloud shapes start forming.
Add in some gray and they begin to look like they could be placed in the sky.
No, honestly to make it happen this easy took trial and error. But it was fun.
21 Big Dream
Explore, Dream, Discover
A throwback for the last day of
21 Days In My Art World
While two years ago I was focused on watercolor and have since started shifting towards wet and dry mixed media.
My hopes are the same.
To continue expressing My story of the world around me. While bringing the viewer a moment of Joy, especially the joy and restorative gifts nature offers.