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Watercolor

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Vanilla Sky Invitations

This mother came to me looking for a beachy, feminine sunset for her daughter’s baptism invitations. Swoon! I couldn’t wait to sit down with my watercolors. I love how the project came together, it’s a show stopper! The gold ink was a perfect pop on the vanilla sky color palette.

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Check these out in my Etsy shop if you would like to learn more or customize some invitations of your own!

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Book Review: Water Paper Paint

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My daughter and I are always looking for fun and easy ways to get creative together.  She is a five year old with a vision, so teaching her new ways to experiment and blossom is extra rewarding.  We YouTube a lot, but there is no better inspiration than words and pictures right in front of us to sound-out and emulate.

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Today, we cracked open the beautifully designed, inspiration of a book, Water Paper Paint by Heather Smith Jones.  Her eyes lit up with possibility page after page until she finally landed on our exciting quick project, creating an abstract painting using straws to blow watercolor around the paper.  This was also an opportunity to teach some basic color theory, as the watercolor inevitably streamed into previous colors.  This is the equivalent of magic to a kid, "Blue and red made purple, Mama!"

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If you are looking to begin painting with watercolor, this book is a great place to start.  I have been painting quite awhile, and even found it to be enjoyable.  It reminds me how fun it can be to just sit down and play with a medium.  The author's written voice was knowledgeable and approachable.  The images are a trove of colors and variety, teaching confidence building techniques with simple instruction.  This book would be especially interesting for those who are into art journaling.  It is not a serious book with overwhelming words and in depth information.  It is a book of watercolor exercises, encouraging success through practice and repetition.  

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From my Watercolor Sketchbook

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From my Watercolor Sketchbook

Whatever you do, don't stop sketching.  Even if it is the only creative thing you have time for everyday, do it.  Try not to force yourself into it, let yourself get excited about it, put your heart into it!  That's where you experiment, and that's where you change and grow.  All my art teachers said this in college, and I wish I had listened sooner.

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These are new paints from my lovely husband.  I adore the saturation of the pigment!  If you like to paint with strong colors, check out  Kuretake Gansai Tambi solid water colors!

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Purpose

Purpose Quote

"I miss you, Sweetheart, be a good girl for GiGi!" she said before ending the call. This wasn't entirely a lie. She breathed a sigh of relief and sipped her coffee as she recalled the last time she was alone in her quiet home. It feels like a lifetime ago, but this was once her daily norm. Wake up, drink coffee, answer emails, be creative at her own pace until her newlywed husband came home from his grown-up job. Snuggle on the couch, play video games, go out for drinks, be social. Life was too easy, no wonder she wanted a baby.

Creativity felt more like a frenzy now. How much can be done in the few hours between 8pm to 12am? How many things have been promised to people this week? What time will be left to complete her own projects? When she started sharing her work online a few years ago, people from throughout her personal history began showing up with random projects. Web design, drawing tattoos, menus, brochures, movie editing, slideshows, image conversions, graphic design, logos, interior design, artwork, it is quite a long list. "It is a good thing to have so much interest, and for people to feel comfortable to ask for things. You are obviously doing something right." she thinks to herself. Silver linings were also a valuable part of her skill set.

It had become a burden sometimes, though, especially because it was difficult for her to charge these people. It is akin to being the 'guy' with a pick-up truck. There is an unspoken obligation to help people move things. Otherwise, you are the 'asshole' with a pick up truck. Is it not a pick-up trucks purpose to move things? It's actions that label people, not words. And, through these projects, undervalued opportunities can arise.

Finally finished for the day- everyone is fed, chores completed, emails answered, packages shipped- the rare but glorious moment of being fully current, and the chance to do something she wants to do. She sits in her chair with a glass of wine and counts her favorite ways to relax. Read? Netflix? Paint? Bubble bath? Sleep?" she said, posing her options out loud to her husband. "Oh my gosh, sleep...."

It is 8:30pm and she tucks herself in, puts her glasses on, and opens her iPad to Facebook. There is a message from an old creative acquaintance... requesting a favor... their first plan hadn't worked out... due tomorrow... for a memorial. It may as well have been God facebooking her. She got out of bed, put her clothes back on, and brewed some coffee. Then she painted the heavens to comfort a woman she didn't know, but felt for. A dear coworker of his had experienced a profound tragedy, a still birth.

When he came to pick up the small painting the following morning, she mentioned that it was an honor that he asked her for help. It was powerful and humbling to create something meaningful for someone who needs love and support from everyone. He thanked her again and said, "I owe you a favor." as he stepped out the door. She felt rewarded and renewed.

Footnote: This post reminds me of a quote that is often wrongly attributed to Pablo Picasso. I am too much of a feminist to be a fan of his character, but this quote is inspired. So, I fact checked it. I learned that it actually belongs to radio personality, psychiatrist, and author, David Viscott.

"The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The work of life is to develop it. The meaning of life is to give your gift away."
-David Viscott-

The history of the quote, and related information can be found here at Quote Investigator.

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Strawberry Moon

This June full moon in Sagittarius is what's known as a Strawberry Moon.  Partially for the pink shade, but also in reference to short season harvest time.  I love little tidbits of info like this, Farmers' Almanac is one of my favorite publications. I painted every day this week. It isn't always possible, but I have had a surge of creative energy. These strawberry cuties are inspiring a whole surface pattern collection.

Watercolor Strawberries
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