Wednesday, October 22, 2014

a peek inside my sketchbook

One of the most important things that I teach in just about all of my classes is how important it is to always keep you eyes open for inspiration- it is what I like to call "finding your muse". In my opinion, taking time to seek ideas and inspiration off the computer and in the world around you is the only way that your work will be authentic to you and your life. 

I am always on the lookout for ideas and inspiration and keep a camera on me at all times- just in case something wonderful crosses my path. Well, recently something wonderful did cross my path. While driving to my favorite state park a giant herd of elk crossed the road (this tends to happen a lot here on the Oregon Coast) but something about the experience felt different. Maybe it was the mossy trees or the winding road or the way the light was shining down on a gigantic bull with huge antlers but the experience felt magical. 

I pulled over, grabbed my camera and tried to capture the moment as quickly as possible and I was able to capture a few photos before the herd disappeared into the forest. 

This little moment stuck with me- I couldn't stop thinking about those elk- and it is those types of moments that bring me the most inspiration and typically end up in my sketchbook.

I have been working on a little series of elk drawings inspired by that day. They are still in the works and I have no idea what I will do with them at this point but it always feels wonderful to get those ideas and that inspiration out of my head and onto paper. 

A couple of years ago I created a free little online class called- Finding Your Muse. If you would like to read more about how I seek inspiration, put that inspiration into practice and how I try to stay authentic as an artist, head on over to the class HERE

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

dollhouse cabinet

Lucy has a growing collection of Calico Critters (teeny tiny little animal characters) and we desperately needed a storage solution that could accommodate all her little animals and the accessories that come with them. While I would love to create a traditional dollhouse, we just don't have any more floor space at this point. So Andy I came up with the idea to create a cabinet that hangs on the wall but has the look and feel of a dollhouse.
Andy used poplar hobby wood from Home Depot to create a simple cabinet in the shape of a house. He added a door with a knob and used a magnetic latch so the door would withstand toddler play.

Once the cabinet was done, it was my turn to paint!

I went back and forth about what to do- my first inclination was to completely cover it with all kinds of detail. But after giving it some thought, I actually decided to keep the outside simple and just add simple little details on the inside. I figured that we can add details, paint over it or change it up over time. 

Once it was done, we hung it (and secured it) to the wall and Lucy filled it with her critters.

The cabinet is a BIG hit and such a great alternative for storage!

Monday, October 20, 2014

woodland creatures pumpkins

Fall is here and for the last few years I have a tradition of coming up with a variety of unique pumpkin tutorials for my readers! I like to use pumpkins in my fall decorating and since I am not a big fan of traditional carved pumpkins, I challenge myself to get as creative as possible with paint and a pumpkin.

This year's pumpkins were totally inspired by Lucy who actually asked me to paint a bear on a pumpkin which then inspired me to create a little grouping of woodland creatures. Even though I have been painting my entire life, I am always so excited about the fact that a few colors of paint can transform anything!

You can read all about my pumpkin painting tips/tricks and view all the pumpkins I've painted over the years HERE.

Friday, October 17, 2014

exploring we will go- oysterville

A while back we made the promise to each other to always make time to seek adventure as a family (you can read about it here). Exploring new places and going outside is a big part of our daily lives and once in a while I like to share a little peek into our adventures.

Just 1 hour north of us and across the Columbia River is Washington's Long Beach Peninsula. With the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Columbia River and Willapa Bay to the east, the peninsula is 28 miles of absolute BEAUTY and what we call oyster country! We've explored the area but still have lots of places yet to see. Recently we took advantage of a sunny day and went on a little afternoon trip all the way to the northern tip of the peninsula to Oysterville. Oysterville is a tiny community frozen in time that looks just like it did more than a century ago. A church, schoolhouse and houses from the 1870's remain and the entire community is on the National Historic Register. I've seen a lot of beautiful places but this tiny community on the edge of Willapa Bay is one of the most magical places I've been. I grew up reading Anne of Green Gables and something about Osterville made me feel as if I was transported into my favorite childhood story.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

around these parts

I am pretty much smitten with Instagram and it is a place where I am able to document, show and share a more personal look into our life (without words).You can follow me HERE for a peek into our daily happenings.


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