Have you heard about the idea of choosing a word of the year? I like it so much better that making a New Year’s Resolution that I will inevitably not resolve. A word of the year is something with so many facets depending on your circumstances that day, something you can post anywhere to remind yourself to be mindful of it. A word of the year can grow and change with you.
My word of the year for 2019 is GRATITUDE.
I spend a lot of time in the state of worry and the thing is, my friends, I have a lot more to be grateful for than to worry about. We won’t even talk about how much time is wasted in worry! Why is it that negative things can take up so much more time and space than the positive things, like our gratitudes? To help me be mindful of all that there is to be grateful for this year, come with me while I share with you in art and writing the things that I am grateful for. Check out my post in Instagram to see how I am kicking off 2019! What are you grateful for in the new year?
Will you choose a word of the year? I would love to know and cheer you on your journey!
One morning this week I was rushing to get out the door to walk the dog. Timing is everything on the morning walk because if we get out just a few minutes later than normal, we risk not being able to see several of his dog friends.
We had had heavy rain the day before – flash flood warning type of rain. So this morning I was busy trying to figure out which coat to wear, would it rain more this morning or not? I hurriedly threw on the rain coat, grabbed the dog treats, said good-byes and was pulled out the door. The sky had become clear for the moment and as I looked ahead I saw a giant rainbow across the sky. I stopped the dog dead in his tracks so that I could get out my phone and capture it. When I got the phone out and took a second look I saw that we had a double rainbow! I shouted over to my husband who was getting into his car to make sure he saw the rainbows. He did. I asked every person we met that morning if they saw the rainbows too. I wanted to make sure that everyone took a moment to stop and see the phenomenon that nature had made for us that morning.
We often rush through the morning to get where we need to be, sometimes a place we don’t want to be but have to be there anyway. Sometimes the most important parts of the day are the moments in between the places we are going.
In some cultures, the rainbow is a sign of transformation and in others a symbol of promise and new life. All I know is that when I see a rainbow, it always makes me feel good inside in that moment.
I don’t always know immediately why I am drawn to something. Nature is beautiful. Life is beautiful. I like to try to capture this to remind us of the inherent beauty in life and in ourselves as human beings, no matter how small that beauty may be.
When I start a new piece and take it down to miniature size, I have to think what is the essence of this beautiful object I want to convey; what do I want you to see so that you can know that beauty too.
As a viewer, you go through a similar process, focusing on the object that is being portrayed and discovering what is beautiful for yourself.
World Watercolor Month was started in 2015 by Charlie O’Shields – a man who picked up a watercolor brush one day and never looked back. He created the website, Doodlewash, to spread the word about watercolor – it is fun, relaxing and anybody can do it. World Watercolor Month is a 31 day challenge to paint a watercolor everyday.
Do you want to join in the fun?
How To Join The Celebration
1. Post artwork on social media featuring watercolors (or gouache) in July
2. Add the hashtag #WorldWatercolorMonth each time you post
3. Repeat all month long!
If you have no idea what to paint, the Doodlewash website makes that part easy by giving you a daily prompt to get your creative juices flowing.
Above is my first entry – I created this sign using Dr. Ph. Martin’s liquid watercolor. I first masked off the lettering with the Molotow Liquid Masking Pen.
After it dried, I applied a watercolor wash in various colors over the top of the masked letters. When the watercolor has completely dried, I removed the masking fluid with a rubber cement eraser.
I can’t wait to see what you create! I can’t wait to see what I create either!
I am so thrilled to bring you 3 new watercolor series this week – Skies and Clouds, Sunshiny Flowers and Extravagant Hues! Each piece is no more that 2″x3″. I have been moving in the direction of miniature work for sometime but did not really realize it until recently. When I view any kind of miniature art, it immediately puts me in a state of wonder – wondering how the artist made it, why did they make it, what materials did they use and on and on and on. If I can touch the tiny pieces, so much the better so I can look at it from all angles and think of all the possibilities that each piece possesses.
When I paint and create, I go to that same place – one of wonder, possibilities and potential. It is a powerful and peaceful place and I like being there. One of the true joys of being an artist and creator is when I hear from you that my work has been able to take you to that place as well.
I am happy to take you with me and I always look forward to hearing from you.
The shamrock is a tiny little plant that is known everywhere St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated. Find one with 4 leaves and the impact is even greater as it is the epitome of good luck. I felt very lucky to find a small pair of letterpress type, vintage shamrocks – an outline version and a filled in version. I felt the filled in version gave a better sense of the shamrock with that wonderful green.
If you have been wanting to get in touch with someone but didn’t feel you had a reason to, why not break the ice with this adorable shamrock? When people feel the paper and the impression in the paper, they know it is something special. Just like when we were kids and we would look and look and look through clover growing wild to see if we could be so lucky as to find the four leaf clover, this little shamrock impressed into the paper causes you to pause and look and be in the moment.
What kind of things make you stop and take a moment? For me, it is something that looks like it could have an interesting texture or something very small that I need to take a closer look at to see all the details.
I believe that texture is one of the things that draws me to letterpress. I love the feeling of the different weights and surfaces of the paper. It is really enjoyable for me to hand someone a card or print created with letterpress and to see the reaction once they really start to feel the paper in their hands.
Tiny objects have always been an obsession. They spark the imagination – they make you stop to analyze them and in the process your mind goes to the questions who would use such tiny things and who would make such tiny things and how did they make that tiny thing and how could I use it? When objects and images are so small, you can take them anywhere as your pocket inspiration or give inspiration to others!
Let them know how extra special they are with a tag they will want to keep. Each tag is die cut and pressed individually by hand using vintage letterpress ornament type. Paper is Crane Lettra #110, 100% cotton. Set of 5 tags come with 5 ft. of gold sparkle twine. Choose from Toy Soldier, Poinsettia or Santa. Available in the Shop for the holidays!