welcome ... enjoy yourself

Showing posts with label art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

my new year's resolution

March 2 seems like a great day to share my New Year's resolution for 2016.  Blame it on lack of sleep or all the time spent chasing a little baby guy around, but I'm honestly just happy I'm managing to share it with you at all!  

Ironically, this has been the longest I've stuck to a resolution in quite some time.  I'll give some credit to the tracking tool I purchased from Elise Joy.  For $4 I downloaded the tracking sheet and could print it as many times as I wanted.  Now, could I have just made one myself?  Absolutely.  But there was something about making a tiny investment in the tracker that made me want to stick to my commitment a little more.  Plus I saw that someone last year had colored their circles in with different markers and that made me want to do it too. 

I've committed to sketching, drawing, or doodling fifteen minutes a day for every day in 2016.  So far I've missed only one day had three other days where I sketched, just not for the full fifteen minutes.  Most days I draw for longer than fifteen minutes, but I never "require" myself to do it too long so that it always seems manageable with everything else I have going on.  

In January I copied Lisa Congdon's sketchbook pages and threw in random original drawings like the one above.  In February I copied Mirdinara's sketchbook which was much harder and not nearly as enjoyable.  But I stuck with it all month and practiced a style that was out of my comfort zone which is what I've been hoping to do as an artist for some time.  
The hardest part of art for me is usually practicing and this resolution has finally helped me work on that.  Plus it's a great way to relax in the evenings, and I feel like I'm "accomplishing" something completely unrelated to being a mom or wife.  I've come to realize that I need something that is mine alone so that I can be a better person for my family and friends. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

gwen frostic

I'm sharing the last of the Michigan vacation photos, appropriate since we've been back for a month now.  (A month closer to going back next year?)  

One of the most inspiring places I visit in Michigan is Gwen Frostic's home and shop.  Gwen Frostic was an artist, poet, and nature lover who lived in northwestern Michigan.  Her shop is described on her website: 

Tucked away on a wildlife sanctuary in northern Michigan is a shop built of native stones, glass, and wood. A building that brings the outdoors in and blends all nature in its structure. From the display room with its huge fireplace and natural fountain, one can watch as twelve Heidelberg presses print. 

I love the quaint feel of the shop, the sounds of the old printing presses, and how close I feel to nature.  On top of that, Gwen's art prints are gorgeous - simple, colorful, and a reflection of the natural details found in northwestern Michigan.  I buy way too many postcards and prints every year I visit.  Proof: all of the prints I found when cleaning out our guest room as part of my tidying up 2015 project. 

So many beautiful prints and cards! 

I love all the details of this place.  Up on one of the walls are cards Gwen received from all over the world.  Love thinking about all the letters that have been written and sent on her stationary over the years.  Thanks for the inspiration Gwen. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

reykjavik art museum

I apologize for the delay in the Iceland posts; I came down with a severe case of delayed jet lag.  I had this post all prepped to finish yesterday, and then tiredness hit me like a train.  I slept longer last night and had more caffeine this morning, so I'm functioning a bit more like my pre-Iceland self again.  And now, back to your almost-regularly scheduled post.
One of my favorite ways to experience another culture is through their art.  When making our Iceland itinerary, we added a visit to the Reykjavik Art Museum along with our visits to the Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, and various restaurants.  I visited the museum on our last day in Rekjavik and decided to visit the location that houses the modern art exhibits - not because I'm a huge modern art fan, but because I didn't feel like walking extra miles to the location that houses their landscape paintings.  This turned out to be a pretty great idea.  
The museum fit the Icelandic/Scandinavian style aesthetic perfectly.  Many of the buildings and houses we saw in Reykjavik were box-like and many were built from concrete.  The sides of the buildings were flat, the angles right, the windows small and square.  This museum was basically an elevated version of the rest of the architecture seen in the city - with a bit more metal and flair.  

An Erro exhibit was up in the main gallery, and while my initial reaction was a mix of the regular aversion/suspicion I have of modern art, the pieces quickly grew on me.  The pieces were mainly collages and large scale paintings. 

These ginormous paintings were my favorite.  I loved the painting above ("Gauguin") because it featured some of my favorite paintings in a cool new way and gave me a different perspective on them.  Same with "Matisse" below. 
An adorable family with small children was walking around this exhibit while we there, and while I couldn't understand what they were saying, it sounded a lot like the mom kept asking the kids what they thought of the pieces -- and the kids kept responding!  Icelanders value art, literature, and music very highly, and it was awesome seeing a real family teaching their kids about this appreciation in person!  The museum was also very kid friendly and made it easy for children to experience and learn about art.

Another part of the museum held an art library that included this Tin Tin comic book in Icelandic.  Isn't it an awesome looking language?  After three days in Iceland I can understand...none of it. 

I really enjoyed our quick visit to the Reykjavik Art Museum and hope to visit the other locations if (when?) we make it back to Iceland.  Until then, I'll satisfy myself to enjoy my own local art -- and the Icelandic art postcards I brought back with me. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

end of summer wishlist

Hello fabulous readers!  Today I'm very excited to share an illustrated version of my end of summer wish list.  (I apologize for the quality of the image - I'm still figuring out the best way to share artwork on here.)  I've been wanting to challenge myself to do more artwork and to vary the types of posts on Finding Joy, hence an illustrated wish list!

As I mentioned before, I'm having a hard time accepting that the end of summer is upon us.  To help me cope with the encroachment of colder weather, I put together a list of the things I'd like to do in the next few weeks.  I'm hoping getting all my "one more times" out of my system will help me be more excited about fall.  Here's my list:

~ enjoy the weather ~ wear the hot pink skirt ~ farmers market ~ dog park ~ visit the lake ~ one more batch of sun tea ~ star gazing ~ make nasturtium jelly ~ porch sitting ~ go for a hike ~ do some garden work ~ make some ice cream ~ close Wolski's ~ nice long walks with the pups ~ beer garden ~ change up the flowers ~ another picnic ~ And...ICELAND!!

I'm happy to say I've been enjoying the weather, taking the pups for long walks, doing garden work, have changed up our flowers, and have plans to go to the beer garden this evening!     

What's on your end of summer wish list?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

artistic inspiration: oana befort

Today I'm featuring another artist I find incredibly inspiring.  This is part of an ongoing feature where I share the work of artists who inspire me.  There is much joy to be found in beautiful artwork. 

Oana Befort is a Romanian illustrator whose work I have fallen in love with recently.  Her illustrations are whimsical and colorful and often feature animals, fruit, and flowers in bright bold designs.  She is a freelance artist who makes her living painting and doing graphic design.  Dreamy huh?  Adding to her alure is how she uses phrases like "I am using any kind of watercolor paper" and that she met her husband Christmas caroling.

Oana's prints and watercolor originals are available through her Etsy shop, and she also features various products with her designs in her Society6 shop.  I haven't purchased anything yet, but I think some Oana Befort artwork would go really well in our apartment (hint, hint Paul). 

I follow Oana on her blog (which is so calming to read) and on her Instagram account (oanabefort) where she often features work in progress.  She also shares glimpses into her life which includes a 52 week project, where she takes a photo a week of her son for one year.  She recently announced she's expecting her second child, so the 52 week project also includes adorable photos of her growing baby bump.  One of my favorite things about the blogging world and social media is getting "to know" my favorite artists and get a look into their creative process.  It feels like a great privilege and is incredibly inspiring for my own work. 

One of my favorite things Oana shared was a video of her completing a water color.  It helped a lot of things click in my mind and gave me ideas for taking my own watercolors to the next level. 

Finally, Oana offers a free download of a monthly calendar on her blog.  I download it each month for my work desktop.  I love how it brightens my work on a daily basis. 

Thanks for the inspiration Oana!  I love finding artists that give me the desire to keep pushing myself to develop as an artist.  I highly recommend checking out her work - and when you do, let me know if you have a favorite work by her!  I'd love to hear it. 

Who's inspiring you lately?

Friday, November 22, 2013

artistic inspiration: jane heinrichs

I've caught the painting bug again recently and wanted to share more of my inspiration with you.  I'll be sharing the work of artists who inspire me semi regularly with you.  There is so much joy to be found in beautiful artwork!

I chose Jane Heinrichs as the first artist to share here.  I found her work after she commented on one of my posts (hello blogging highlight!).  Her illustrations have such a lovely touch of whimsy and all would look perfect included in my favorite childhood stories.  Jane also writes an inspired blog where she reflects on life, dreams and goals, her career as an artist, and travelling.  I find it fascinating that she's lived all over - Swaziland, Canada, South Africa, and England to be exact.  Makes moving around the states seem a little calmer :)

My favorite work of Jane's is her illustrated children's book Magic at the Museum.  Seeing it for the first time felt like seeing a dream come to life.  Her book tells the story of a little girl who visits the Courtauld Gallery at night and sees paintings like Cezanne's come to life!  Amazing!  Can I be that girl?  Please?  (This was even cooler since Paul and I visited the museum during our trip to London over the summer.) 

You can see more of Jane's work here and order prints of her work from her Etsy shop here.  Order before November 29th to have your print arrive by Christmas!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

art in bloom

This weekend, my friend Mary and I visited the Milwaukee Art Museum for their Art in Bloom event.  The curators of the Art in Bloom exhibit pick forty-eight pieces from around the museum for local florists to use as inspiration for  floral sculptures.  The results were breath taking - not least of all because they combined art and flowers, two of my favorite things! 

Here are some pictures of my favorite designs.  I apologize for the quality of the photos; the lighting in the galleries was not ideal for my camera.  I think you can still get the feel for how impressive these floral interpreations were.  Most of these pieces received people's choice awards and some were official winners as well.   What do you think of the floral interpretations?  Think they nailed it or missed the mark?