A Pop of Color

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I love a pop of color. I have a turquoise table in my family room, a bright green handbag. I’m certainly not a pioneer in this. Walking around the mall recently, I noticed color everywhere! It is Spring after all.

The other day, my friend Lisa took me to Charming Charlie, a store I’d never been too. Lisa had a feeling I’d love it. The store is organized by color. I walked in and said, “Oh, it’s beautiful!” I wished I’d taken pictures to show you. This link will give you a small taste of what the store looks like.

On their website, you can shop by color. Not in the – click on a shirt, now sort by color – way. But in the – show me everything you have in turquoise (shirts, necklaces, bags, etc.) – way. This page on their site looks like a painters palette!

Who would have thought that shopping could be so creatively inspiring?! I couldn’t wait to get home and pull out the watercolors.

Time to Paint

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It feels really good to have time to paint and draw after vacation (and the time before it – shopping, prepping, and packing). I spent time Sunday starting several paintings. For me, it’s the starting that’s hard, once I have a painting “in the works” it’s easy to pull it out and work on it (unless I let too much time pass).
bike

The three paintings were very different. You’d never guess I started them all at the same time, but they did have something in common. Before I started painting I turned to my Camera Roll on my phone for inspiration. All three were inspired by recent photos I took, or in one case, a photo I spotted on Instagram (that I took a screen capture of).
rooster

The orange gerbera daisies (my favorite flowers) were outside of the supermarket. The rooster roams around outside of my son’s friend’s neighbor’s house. Who knew you could find a rooster this close to NYC? The vintage bicycle with the lilacs was posted on Instagram by Kathleen @fadedcharmliving.
gerbera roosterpic fadedcharm

I’m trying to paint more. I had gotten away from it a bit. Not that long ago, I painted in this square size so frequently I put all the painting together and took a photo. My goal is to create another grouping of square paintings. I have a ways to go!
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Creative Recharge…Vacation

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A walk, a visit to a museum, a trip to the beach, are all good ways to recharge your creative batteries. But nothing beats a vacation – a break from the daily grind. Last week, we took the kids to Universal in Orlando. I put my daily creative habits on hold and instead, soaked in the inspiration all around me. The creativity at these theme parks is mind blowing. The details put into every attraction is amazing. I was especially blown away by the Harry Potter worlds. You feel like you are in the story. They are well worth the trip! I was in awe of Platform 9 3/4 and the Hogwarts Express.

What really amazed me was the details within the details. The logos on the wand boxes. The packaging on the toys and candy. The crests on the suitcases.

I was even impressed by our hotel, which had a retro theme. The details were everywhere – the pattern on the tables, the rugs, iron wall art, the retro mural in the cafeteria hall, and the vintage commercials that played on loop in the cafeteria hall.
mural carpet

 

 

 

Today is a special day

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Today is my birthday! My husband said this morning, “I’ve never meet anyone who loves their birthday as much as you.” It’s true. Even though I don’t necessarily want to get older, I feel like my birthday is a special day. Maybe growing up the youngest of four, I loved when the focus was all on me! Other special April birthdays include my mom – who always makes me feel special on my birthday (and every other day of the year). She is the best. Love you Mom!

You may be wondering, “Why the grilled cheese?” Today is also National Grilled Cheese Day. My friend Charlie at doodlewash, in honor of his April birthday, has invited everyone to “doodlewash” a national or international day. Charlie is a prolific artist and blogger. Not only does Charlie share his art and an interesting story every day, he also shares other artists with us. I always love reading Charlie’s posts. They usually remind me of some detail from my own childhood. And I love learning about the other artists around the world that he features on his blog. I even had the pleasure of being featured on doodlewash!

Enjoy this special day!

Creativity breeds more creativity

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I’m already noticing a difference in my level of creativity, just a week after restarting my creative habits. It’s amazing how sketching every morning – often for just 5 minutes – leads to more sketching and painting later in the day. As Maya Angelou said, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

My creative habits were derailed a month or so ago, when I was busy with a work project. I forget how much I need my own creative projects. Working as a web and print designer, I have the pleasure of being creative with work. The downfall for me is relying on work as my creative outlet. Last month’s work project was very consuming and creatively fulfilling. I barely drew or painted during this time. Everything was great until the project wrapped up, and a new work project didn’t immediately replace it. I was out of the habit of working on my own stuff, so I was left feeling somewhat empty. As I wrote about in this post, I was having a really hard time motivating myself to work on my own projects.

Thankfully I was able to get back to it, although it’s not always easy to stick to it. I need to remember this lesson next time work gets very busy – to make time for my own creative projects, and to stick with my creative habits.

 

This is what a good morning looks like.

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I’m back on track with my creative resolution. I decided on the habits that will keep me creative and successful, and I’m keeping to them, until they truly become habits and I do them without even thinking. I’m working in my sketchbook every morning. Once a week I’m starting the day by painting. It’s such a good feeling to start the day this way. My mind is less cluttered when this is the first thing I work on. It changes my outlook for the entire day.

I had no idea what I was going to work on, as I set up, and taped down my paper. My son’s lacrosse magazine happen to be lying around, and I thought it would be interesting to work with a dry brush – to just capture the shapes and movement. That one little spark of an idea and I was off. I was in the groove. It’s been a while since I’ve felt this way. For the last month or so, when I did paint I was somewhat uninspired.

I really liked how it came out. It felt different for me.

lacrosse

“Create to share” vs. “Share what you create”

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After posting everyday from Feb. 1-14, in the Valentine’s Day theme, I was relieved when Valentine’s Day was over. Last year I found so much inspiration in the challenge to post everyday, to delve deeper into the theme. This year…not so much. Once it was over, I realized I wanted to work on whatever inspired me. I didn’t want to think about posting everyday. I didn’t want to create just to post something. I enjoy sharing what I’m working on, but it’s amazing how different it is to “Create to share” vs. “Share what you create.”

School’s on break this week. It’s snowing as I write this post. It feels like a nice break from our busy life. The break gives me a chance to step back and reflect, and look forward and plan. Or just relax.

I’m not saying I won’t be posting. I just posted a quick sketch on Instagram of the cardinals out in the snow. But now, I feel free to work on whatever strikes my fancy. And learning what those things are, is the interesting part.

Bananas for Monkeys

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When I was little I wanted a pet monkey so badly. I told my mom, “Don’t worry, I’ll keep it in the closet when we go out.” As if that was the least of her worries. I doubt monkeys were on the approved pet list in my NYC suburb.

The latest Spoonflower design challenge is “Year of the Monkey.” A couple of weeks back, I played around in my sketchbook, but nothing great emerged. But, I couldn’t get the contest out of my mind. So, with just a couple of days left until the deadline, I started sketching again. See my sketches here and what I’m learning about surface design.

It feels great to follow through and enter the contest. Before I started “My Creative Resolution” in 2014, I was notorious for having an idea and not following through, especially if my first draft wasn’t successful.

If you’d like to check out the other “Year of the Monkey” submissions, or vote for someone you know’s design (wink wink) click here. 🙂

New Year, New Banner

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I thought it would be appropriate to design a banner that better represented what I do. So, why not a sketch of my painting setup? I’ve kept my bear in there, on the can holding the brushes. If you are wondering what’s with the bear – read my about page.

The New Year, has given me a recharge. I’m more committed to being creative than I was at the start (of 2014). I’m excited to pursue all the different things I’m interested in (painting, illustration, surface design, animation). I’m trying to doodle in my sketchbook every day. I ask myself for only 5 minutes. Even on the busiest days, I can spare that right? It’s relaxing, and it allows me time to come up with ideas. I usually do it early in the morning, while I wait for the kids to get ready. It puts me in a creative mindset for the day. And because of that, I usually end up creating later in the day.

Hope your New Year is off to a creative start too!