Friday, April 22, 2016

A Little Piece of Mississippi

Last year my mom encouraged me to participate in The Sketchbook Project. While I had heard of it in the past, I had never considered submitting a sketchbook (if you've never heard of it check it out here). Basically you buy a small sketchbook through them, do whatever you want to it, then mail it back and it becomes part of the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Art Library. Anyone can come in and check out your book (and if you get it digitized people can even view it all online). So I thought it would be cool that New York would get a little piece of Mississippi.  And me.

It turned out to be more of a reflection on myself than I planned. There's paintings and drawings of myself and of every member of my little family (yes even our dog Moxie got a page). There's poems I've written, places where I live that I sketched, things that represent my past but a lot of things that show the direction of my art in the future. Its interesting to me that so much of myself fell out onto these pages. I think I was happy to share it so it made parting with the sketchbook a lot easier.

Front cover

A little about me.

There you have it! If you are ever in New York I hope you check it out. And I'd say maybe even attempt your own sketch book for next year. You may surprise yourself.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Checking in with Goals and Getting a Little Sktchy

So from my last post back in January I shared some goals and I'm happy to say I feel as though I've worked towards them in various ways! My time management has gotten better (still not there but progress!). I've really paired down the things I commit too these days and I make sure to finish the things I'm responsible for first before starting any new projects.
Still no new adventures planned but there's plenty of time for that this year. And the pottery part is still in the works but I'm itching to get my hands covered in clay again soon!

Lastly I've really stuck to a much more consistent practice with my artwork. For those who follow me on Instagram (@theartistcatie) I've been using a great app called Sktchy that has really motivated me to paint daily AND work on painting better portraits in watercolor. Basically people get on and post photos of themselves/other people and artists take that photo as inspiration and create a work of art based on it. It's a really fun low key, no pressure way to try out new techniques and get feedback on whatever you post. If you want to try it out I'm under Catie Daniel on the app (sorry its only for iPhone users as of now, but check it out here: Sktchy App)

This one is my favorite of the bunch!

 I've realized that sometimes I've got to create work simply because I enjoy it, not for any other reason (a show or commission for example). I've noticed how much that recharges me. As a mom doing something creative just for myself gives me my sanity (haha) because I do so much for my family. It's amazing to have that "me" time when Jude is sleeping and these small watercolor portraits are quick enough that I can finish them in one sitting.

 As a bonus when Jude wakes up I have all my paints out and we play. Some how he has turned watercolor into finger paint, which is fun and easy to clean. I love introducing him to creative play at such a young age!

Here's a little video of Jude painting all by himself! 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2016 Goals!

So if you're anything like me, a new year feels like a fresh start. A fresh start usually begins with resolutions. I have made plenty in the past (although I do refrain from setting fitness resolutions lol) but this year I'd like to think about it in terms of GOALS. Goals seem a bit more attainable to me. Especially realistic ones. I've gotten better about knowing how to set goals that I can actually reach instead of highly unlikely ones that make me feel defeated.
Here are some of my goals for the new year (as an artist, mom and wife):

1. Work on my time management

 I know this one doesn't sound too fun but I definitely need it! I want to be able to maximize my time to balance all the things I love, being a mom, spending time with Justin and painting/being creative. While I've gotten better over the years (having a toddler will help!), I'd really like to get better at planning out things for Jude, juggling commissions, finishing things on time, and all around scheduling my days/weeks so I can be more productive and less frazzled. Pro-active instead of reactionary!

2. Make more pottery!

I've been missing clay like crazy and now that I have everything all set up and the kiln has it's new parts, it's time to get back into it. Although that might be kinda tricky with a toddler, it's definitely a goal to strive for.

3. Have my first solo show

While I've been involved with tons of art shows and collaborated with a lot of talented artists over the years, I've never had a show of just my own work. I'd love to challenge myself and rise to the task of putting it all together.

4. Plan more adventures.

This doesn't necessarily mean a huge trip, or flying any where (although sign me up!) but I'd like to explore more of the area around me and beyond. I'd love to go camping and use our kayaks more. Try new things and constantly learn, while also overcoming the things I'm afraid to do or try.

5. A few random things...
This year I want to be more consistent in my art work and practice daily, finish each piece before moving on to the next and to stop comparing my work to others. I want to push the limits of my ability, which could result with making bad art. Something that I need to be ok with. Because learning = sucking. Not every piece will be successful and that is totally ok.

Well there you have it! I'm sure I'll add more to the list as I think about it, but these were the most important to me. Feel free to chime in with your own. I like hearing what people think when they look out over the new year into the future. I'm excited to see what this year brings.


Monday, November 2, 2015

Busy Bee

It's been a little while but I'm happy to say I've been busy working/painting. Assignments due, a wedding, and commissions to work on have all come and gone (although schoolwork is a constant factor) and I'm happy to say that within all the craziness that life tends to throw at me, I have been able to squeeze in a few new paintings. I'm realizing the importance of a daily creative practice. Just for me. So here's a progression of a new piece that I finished for a show last weekend (in the nick of time too!).
"Another Era" Watercolor  18"x 24" (before matte and frame)

 The initial drawing, which did undergo a few changes before the painting began.

The first pass of a watercolor is the most exciting/nerve wrecking for me! I can't lose the light and it starts with the first drop of color. This pass sets the tone for the whole painting.

Now things were really starting to take shape and the colors become a bit more dramatic.

Here's the finished piece hanging in the annual Ocean Springs Art Association's Fall Art Exhibit. I'm hoping it finds a new home from there! If you're local check out the show which will be hanging until mid November.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Closing Chapters, Starting New Ones

Time has flown! I'm finding the true meaning of this more and more. I'm realizing that doing the things I say/want to do needs to happen NOW instead of this ambiguous "in the future".  I'm starting to close a chapter that I started almost five years ago with school and thinking about that made me truly come to terms that LIFE really does happen. It gets chaotic and busy. Changes occur and with all my best intentions, years fly by and now I am in a completely different place in life (uh hello wife and mother!). Those goals I held so tightly to, and claimed nothing could deter me, had sort of faded with their intensity. And while other goals may have replaced them, when I finally came up for air I realized I have some unfinished business. Things that need to be completed for me to move ever onward.

So I'm taking those steps. And it's really not to late. I just took the long way getting there.

While I feel somewhat like I've made a HUGE step backwards, sometimes I need to retrace my steps to finally go in the direction I want to go.
Almost seems counter-intuitve, but I feel so good about finishing these old goals. Finish a chapter while subsequently starting a new one. Seems like this will be a season of re-evaluating exactly where I want to go, both with my life and within my art. 

That whole "in the future" is actually right now.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

White Walls

So I've decided to give my home studio a make over. It's been a long time coming. Now that I'm back working in the upstairs spare bedroom, it's time to make it feel less like a beige box and more like the inspiring creative space that I need it to be.

I'm starting primarily with the walls.
White, blank walls.
Seems weird that this is the first time in my life that I've ever painted an entire room completely white (or even just a wall for that matter). My room in high school was four different shades of blue!
But I really want the contents of the room, that is, my work, to really shine. And for that I need a blank background. The color will come from my paintings as I fill the space and I can't have any reflected color from the walls interfering with my painting/mixing.

Even though it is a lot of work, I'm starting to get excited about revitalizing this place I'm in now. Something about being intentional with the room, carving out a new place for my work and really allowing myself to be surrounded with only things that will enhance creativity. Instead of it being a catch-all for the random stuff we don't know what to do with. I have a feeling I'll be doing some de-cluttering in the process. The prospect of making this room fit MY purpose feels really good. It's crazy that it's taken me over 10 months for this to occur to me. I can't wait to finish painting and work on rearranging everything to make it all more functional (and possibly adding some shelves??). It doesn't have to be a huge space I've just gotta make it work.

I have a lot of goals this year and it's time to get things rolling in the right direction.

If anyone has any small space saving tips I'm all ears!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Jude Gestures! (Art Mama Series Part 1)

Here lately life has turned into a steady routine. It's nice, actually, and it works well for us. Part of that routine is the park. Jude and I go pretty frequently. Mainly because I have no backyard and sometimes, we just need to get out of the house. A change of scenery and some sunshine work wonders for the both of us. We go to break up the routine and now it has become my favorite part of the routine (go figure).
Usually I just walk with him in the stroller,  but other times I bring a blanket and spread out on the grass and he plays with toys (and explores the grass) and I do some sketching.
You have never done speed drawing unless you're trying to draw a very active nine month old boy! I do enjoy the challenge though and I am surprised how much of an impression I got from gesture drawing for the few seconds he sat still before moving. Also this was all while stopping him from trying to eat leaves and acorns (everything still goes into his mouth).

I also want to start a series here on the blog on how I incorporate Jude into my art. Aptly called the Art Mama Series. Whether its sketching/drawing him, or dragging him to various art functions I want to really involve Jude into my process and into the arts in every way. I also want to begin allowing him to grow up in a highly creative environment which allows him to experiment, imagine and create. I know it will be messy and hectic but it is something I truly want in my life and his.

The "Jude Gestures"

So hopefully you guys will get to see how this all progresses and plays out. I can't wait to see where this takes me as an artist and as a parent.