August 5, 2013

NEW WEBSITE and BLOG!!!!

Come to my New Website 

It's all in one nice neat package and still under a bit of construction.  I wanted a site where I could change things up and grow, because this little flower plans on growing and painting LOTS more.
So, do visit me at my new home!
Thanks
Amy 

July 18, 2013

Columbine

Last year I planted columbine.  A year later she bloomed and very beautifully too I might add.  But, the first year was a disappointment.  I wondered if it was even worth the time and energy it took to dig the hole and plant.  So much of gardening is a waiting game.  Each year my perennials get bigger and better.  They've adjusted to their new home and thrive.  The garden teaches you patience.  I really need to apply that patience to myself and others around me.  Give it time, you will probably be MORE than pleasantly surprised.

July 13, 2013

Where are you looking today?

Sorrow looks back
Worry looks around
Faith looks up.

July 2, 2013

Feed Your Heart

I never feel as if I'm "caught up".  I'm not even sure what that means.  But I do know there are plenty of nights I lay in bed wishing I would have chosen to paint instead of folding yet another load of laundry.  I seem to always put the household chores and demands of inanimate objects like dishes, clothing, lawns and floors before my own needs.   And, if I do that for too many days in a row I become a very unpleasant person and I hear my dear southern husband say, "You need to sweeten your tone."

Why is it that I feel the need to get everything completed, tied up, or even perfect before I take care of me, be it exercise, art, or even healthy cooking.  I don't know where the "me last" mentality came from.  But I think it's very common if not a natural state for many people.  

I've come to realize that doing something for myself makes me a better human being.  Sure I would love for the house to be in perfect order before I took the time to work on a watercolor painting, but the reality is that if I wait for order I would never paint.  One of the best parts about being a human is our ability to create. I'm getting better at walking away from the chore at hand to make sure I take time to feed my heart/my soul/ my creative spirit.  And when I return to the chaos, I seem to handle life and it's demands much better.

I encourage you to feed yourheart today in spite of the clutter that may surround you --
Play that instrument. Dip that paint brush. Write that poem..  

June 24, 2013

Morning Roses

Morning Roses in Glass 

For awhile there, I was feeling a bit embarrassed about what I LOVE painting.... 
Flowers.  
Always and forever, flowers. 
But then I remembered Monet, his Giverny and how he planned and worked his garden for the sake of his painting.  He made no apologies..... thank God.
So, here I am, owning it, announcing it, nope, I'm going to shout it.  
I love flowers!!!!

I who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday, this is the birth
day of life and love and wings; and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth

now the ears of my ears are awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened.
--e.e.cummings

June 22, 2013

The World Wide Web or Just My World

I love the web, the blogs and lovely websites, Instagram, Pinterest and even Facebook.  I've been encouraged in my art, tried new recipes, had some great sewing projects and have even reunited with old friends, heck because of Facebook I was able to "meet" my husband.

And sometimes I hate these places.  On certain days I think it's best not to even turn on on my computer, because all these places can make me feel pretty down.  It seems like everyone has it together and I don't, I'm missing something, I'm behind, I'm not good enough...  and so on.  I want to be a place on the web where someone can come and be encouraged to create, slow down and not compare.  And here's the reason why.
  1. Life doesn't favor others and not you.  I believe life can get yikky and sticky for everyone. Period. (How do you like those G rated mommy words?) And it is during those not so great times we really learn who we are.  We learn to paint in the chaos of life - metaphorically and literally.
  2. You can train your eye to see beautiful things in your home and in your life.  Stop and look and SEE - you will find something pretty in your own life.  This helps with the comparison thing that makes me crazy.  I remember on one particular yukky day, a friend came over to drop something off and she just smiled and said, "Your home is so cheerful, I love coming here."  That floored me because all I could see was what messed up, dirty and not finished. 
  3. And I think the web in so many ways is a fantasy land.  Whether it's other people posting all the fabulous meals and pics of them and their families around the world on Facebook, or the perfect house and garden on your favorite blog, or an amazing painting just finished and sold... it's just one little small part of a story.  We don't see the tears, fights and problems surrounding that perfect Facebook family or the team of people it took to style that perfect room posted on Pinterest - including a professional photographer taking the pics.  And we rarely see the stacks of unsold, not so good paintings in the corner or in drawers of the artist's studio.  You can use photos to tell the story you want for yourself or for others to believe and sometimes it's what you need to believe as well. But it is in your power what you will use to tell your story.   
Just keep these things in mind.  There was a time I toyed with getting a better camera, trying to take better pictures so I can post on my blog... but why.  I'm a painter.  Learning to be a good photographer would just take time away from the art.  So excuse my bad pictures and know I'm creating my world, the fantasy if you want, in watercolors.

But the reality is that the painting above is just a Shatto milk jar that I put the last remaining of my zinnias in after rabbits devoured all my efforts. And I painted this in my sketch book one very tired morning when Daisy was first born and I was sad and struggling with this very new, unfamiliar thing called Motherhood. 

June 14, 2013

Let me see...

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. 
-- Thomas Merton

Today I was racing around in my constant, continual, never ending effort to get everything done, in place... right.  And it hit me, I'm going to miss out on so much if I just don't slow down and learn to let some things be.  I love to have everything in it's place!  I love it!  I seem to breath easier.  But then things get messed up again and usually the very next day.  I'm learning to paint in the mess.  To let it be, and just paint.  But more importantly, I'm learning to let things be and play with Daisy, talk to my husband and sit still.  Breath.  Look around.

When I teach students, one of the most important things I do is encourage them to sit still and JUST LOOK at the subject matter for several minutes before they dive in.  Look at where the light hits, the colors change and the shadow grows.  Enjoy the object before them and don't just look at the flower, apple, bowl or whatever they are painting as a task to complete.  Let the act of SEEING shape your creative endeavor and not that pressure to complete and perfect a "work of art".  Art begins with seeing.  And I know as as artist and a human being, I need to sit still and take notice because I do think life becomes richer when I am still and paying attention.   

June 12, 2013

Daisy Reviews her Momma's ABC Picture Book


video

Daisy's ABC Watercolors - A BOOK!!!!!

Ta - DAAAAAH
This is the cover of my ABC book.




And this is a quote I love and pretty much has inspired the 26 little paintings in this book.  I worked on it one little nap at a time and must say it was lots of fun.

Here are a few of my favorites.


D is for Dog.  
This dog is Max. He was my first dog. My "step" dog.  He came with John when we married. We had to put him down this past March because he had bone cancer.  It was very sad and Daisy probably won't remember him, but I will tell her all about Max, the sweetest dog ever when we talk about the letter D.


S is for seashells.  
I love saying, "Sally sold seashells by the sea shore."  Daisy looks at me like I'm magical when I say it.  



Z is for Zinnia.
I love many flowers but this flower is in my top ten and I have painted zinnias a bazillion times.  They are so easy to grow from seed and I love them in vases around the house.  Such cheerful flower too plus they come in so many bright colors and sizes.  I do believe life is better at the end of a hot summer because of zinnias.  

If you would like to have your own copy of this little 6"x6" book.  Click here to go to my Etsy shop.





June 1, 2013

Daisy's First Birthday


We celebrated Daisy's first birthday last weekend with friends and family and of course 
homemade chocolate and lemon cake! 


  All the flowers came from my garden.  Having your own garden really makes decorating a breeze.  The flowers seems to celebrate with us


 This little bit of joy had a great time and her Mama (me)  
really enjoyed decorating and planning this little shindig.


We had a puppet theater which I made from a large cardboard wardrobe box. (Thanks Bobbi for saving this for me and dragging it to my house.)


My nephew and niece... great puppeteers!

Bubble chasing

 Daddy helping Daisy catch some bubbles.

Ball eating contest, which Daisy won.



 
 And of course cake and kisses.

 

Daisy's "sister" cousin Shiloh who was born 6 months before Daisy is the 
sweetest little girl you might ever meet.

Daisy's friends and her oldest cousin.
 
Happy Birthday our sweet little girl and gift from God.  
 
 And a HUGE GIGANTIC  thanks to my lovely, talented friend Krissy who is a professional photographer. (Her website is here, MCK Designs.)  She snapped all these pictures while I was wiping up messes, pretending to be a rabbit at the puppet show and holding a crying Daisy.  She really captured the essence of this happy day. Thank you!

May 28, 2013

Rainy Days Make for Happy Flowers

This is the first painting I've completed in a series of botanical watercolors I plan on painting this summer. (Thanks to my mother for the fabulous suggestion).  My goal is 12.  But like anything, it's one step, one stroke, one leaf at a time. I hope to put prints of these on ETSY soon.  Perhaps tonight once the little one sleeps.
Today is a perfect day for painting -- a summer thunderstorm and showers.  My flowers love it!  Rainy days don't always seem pleasant, like rainy times in life. But, oh how important they are to the growth of a flower.

May 22, 2013

God's Funny Like That

"God always gives you what you would have asked for
 if you knew everything He knows." - Tim Keller

May 21, 2013

Thanksgiving

One act of thanksgiving made when things go wrong
is worth a thousand when things go well.
John of the Cross

Another disappointment has left me feeling more than a bit scared and uncertain.  I like security. I like knowing that everything will be okay - be it a big savings account, a good job, a good report, a promise... I don't think I'm any different than any human being on this planet.  So what do you do when things just aren't going your way, the safe, secure happy way?  Well, I can tell you one thing, I don't sit around being thankful.  It's hard to be thankful and easier to be fretful.  I worry and fret and worry and fret some more.  And quite frankly, I have found that that doesn't work AT ALL.  So I'm going to try to be thankful today.  I have SOOO much to be thankful for.  My guess is so do you.  Be thankful.  I'm trying it instead of being fearful.

May 20, 2013

Growing Slowly

This spring has been a real spring with lots of rainy and cool days.  I'm pretty impatient most of the time, but I'm enjoying that the summer is creeping in slower and not hitting us hard like it did last year.  It seemed like summer hit us in March with 100 degree days that lasted until October. I'm enjoying slower now. I see how fast a year has gone with Daisy. How fast she has grown in one, just one little year! Every morning we walk around the yard to see what is sprouting, what is growing taller and what is blooming.  Meanwhile, my little Daisy has been growing right under my nose, just like my garden. 

And, I wonder, am I still growing? 

Be not afraid of growing slowly,
be afraid of standing still.
                            - Chinese Proverb

May 11, 2013

I can't believe we will be celebrating Daisy's first birthday in less than a month.  And while it's a huge milestone for the our new little family, it is one for me personally as well.  I'm just starting to get a handle on all the changes I've had this first year and feeling, well... like it's going to be okay.  Some things in my life may never be back to the Amy I was before baby, but I'm finding my way toward a new normal.  For the past year I haven't painted much. I was surprised as to how much thought and energy it took.  When Daisy would go to sleep in the evening I discovered I just didn't have the energy to start a painting at 7 at night.  My best, most creative time is first thing in the morning and Daisy gets my best, most creative time now - especially since for many months there she was waking before me.  I'm so glad an artist friend told me that once you have a baby you won't really be able to paint much for about two years.  But then that baby will become your reason to paint. 

I'm still here.  I'm still an artist.  I'm like rose in winter.  I might look dead and shriveled up with no leaves, let alone any roses, but once the winter is past I will bloom again.   

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