Letting the Good Outweigh the Bad

Hello again y’all! I felt it was time to get back into my blog posts. Sorry, for the absence of art goal updates and life things. I’ve just felt unable to write due to not even knowing how to organize my thoughts this last little bit. February not only concluded with the beginning of the COVID-19 virus spreading in the US and shut down of the world’s economy but, the passing of my Grandmother. Cancer and eventual liver failure finally gave way and took her. She was such an integral part of my childhood and someone that shaped who I am as a person. I am so grateful she was always there for me and miss her dearly.

March has passed and we are now in April. Despite everything right now it is an extremely joyous time of year for my family. Amelia is due any day now! My creativity and art production is truly at an all time high as well.

But, as it is for so many across the globe my mind has been completely consumed by the world wide virus pandemic COVID-19. With the shutting down of the kid’s school we’ve been discovering the world of online learning. We are adjusting to a new normal that has been forced upon us so suddenly. The kids are resilient and seem to be handing everything about this better than I am.

Not only has the spread of this virus changed our lives but, I am terrified of what the hospital visit with Amelia will be like and result in. I already know family and friends will not be able to join us for this wonderful time in our lives, but the mere thought of doing it alone, without my husband, is panic inducing. Although I am scared I have to remind myself to have faith in the medical team and respect that they will do the very best job they can to keep Ameila and myself safe.

So, now that I’ve acknowledged all the stress inducing issues surrounding life I’ll get to talkin’ about the goodness that is happening! And there has been so much!!!!

My and Amelia’s health is perfect! Which gives me peace of mind amid the scare of the virus. Although I am extremely ready to give birth I have had little to no unusual issues with this pregnancy! Josh and the kids are crazy excited to see her! I can’t wait to see how she changes our lives and what kind of little person she will become!

On another good note my art reception in Downtown Bentonville turned out awesome! Met some new people and got to talk shop with other fellow artists! Being part of the local community is so important to me and it made my heart happy!

Creatively I have been overwhelmed with the value and production of what I’ve been doing lately. The bourbon series has taken off so well that my time has been filled with creating art and sending it all over the country for others to enjoy! So much so that I haven’t had time to complete the 10 in the series for myself or continue on into another project! I know I haven’t stayed true to the original art goals I set but, I am not disappointed with my progress or what I’ve been accomplishing.

Below are some of the works I’ve completed! Not only including the bourbon art but, a few other pieces I’ve worked on. I’ve been trying really hard to get all of my commission work done before Amelia is born.

Now y’all are all caught up for the most part I’m going to do my very best to write updates more often and not cram so much into one post! I will end with a huge outpouring of love and support for everyone being affected by the virus, which at this point is the whole world. It is truly amazing to see communities support one another.

The generosity and love we all need to get through this is essential. My own family has seen it first hand. With our food truck being our livelihood, community is everything. So, thank you Northwest Arkansas for the love you’ve given us, as well as the donations we’ve received in our free meal program! We are able to provide food for anyone in need. My heart feels heavy but, very much hopeful! I love you world!

If anyone is interested in donating to help feed families contact @spuddoctors on Facebook and either make a donation through Venmo, over the phone, or by simply stopping by the food truck.

903 SW A st in Bentonville, Ar.479-257-0681

https://www.facebook.com/spuddoctors/

February Art Goals 2020

So much going on the the world of Art Goals 2020! I have finished the Old Fitzgerald bottle, a replacment Blanton’s, a Pappy Van Winkle drawing, as well as a Colonel E.H. Taylor piece!!! Due to the popularity of these drawings I have 3 commissions and sold 2 more of the drawings completed from the series! I’ll have to draw replacements for the series and continue with getting the 6th of 10 bottles started.

I have had so many inquires for prints that I’m working to get some made of each bottle drawing! They will be available for sale soon! I want to make sure the quality and size will be exactly what I want before making them available for purchase.

I have been overwhelmed with the interest and love that has been sent my way with this project! I’ve been chatting it up with people all over the world about whiskey and art! I’m prepping up artwork to be shipped out to man caves and bars across the country! I love that I can share my passion for others to enjoy!I’ve been staying on track with the art I’m creating and my goals for what I want to accomplish!

On another very exciting note I have an art reception for my larger scale work on display at Visit Bentonville located in downtown Bentonville for February 26th, 5:30-7:00 p.m. Please feel free to send me a pm, email, or call for details on that if you would like to attend! Hope to see you there!!!!

I couldn’t thank everyone enough for the love and support! Keeping this momentum going will prove to be the best year so far for me as an artist! #bossbabe #artgoals2020

Sam & Whiskey

Weeks end and I have finished Sam! He is submitted to the Walmart Project to be considered for the mural in a local store! Fingers crossed that my art gets to live there soon! It always seems to take me a bit when I go back to a unfinished drawing. Once I shook out the cobwebs I was able to immerse myself back into it.

I also had the chance to get the reference photos for my 10 Whiskies series this weekend. Below are the photos I have narrowed it down to. I will begin with the first one on Monday and hope to complete each one within a weeks time. I’ll be doing time lapse videos as well to show my process with this project! Some of these bottles are going to test my skills for sure but, I’m always up for a good challenge! 😉

The way I look at creating art is just like the precision in geometry. It’s all just perfect measurements and shades of color. Compartmentalize each shape and focus on precision then the rest is cake! A drawing can be daunting for me if I look at it any other way. If shapes and colors are arranged perfectly you can draw anything you want.

It’s not about drawing what your minds thinks a object looks like. It’s how the light plays with the shapes and what you are actually seeing with your eyes.

What you see may not be the perfect shape of a bottle but, the reflections and background all effect how 3 dimensional an object looks on a 2 dimensional surface. Draw what you see not what you think! Anyway, enough of my infinite wisdom..lol! I will keep y’all posted on my progress this next week and hopefully have a great video to share!

Celebrating Individuality

Both of my children have very big personalities! As they grow and establish their own uniqueness, I feel that it is very important to nurture that. They have ownership of their own body, soul, and mind. I find letting them choose how they want to express that builds character.

We must guide them but, not decide who they should be. I want my kids to feel confident and proud of who they are! I want them to love what makes them different from others but also bond over similarities. I celebrate them everyday by supporting and believing in them.

This photoshoot is about just that! Celebrating these beautiful little creatures that I love watching grow!

Abby Rain

She has grown so much in the past year! I can see her think about things more deeply than before. I notice little things here and there where her mind is opening to greater thoughts and creativity. I love her excitement to share what she loves with the world!

She is fierce when it comes to her baby brother. “Ain’t nobody gonna mess with bubba, momma. Nobody!” As she looks at me with fire in her beautiful blue eyes. She is my little super star and very much uniquely Abby.

Asher Dean

My little heartbreaker. This boy and his eyes make me just swoon! He has the kindest heart of any person I’ve ever known. With his infectious laugh and bright personality he naturally draws people into his happy little bubble.

As he gets ready for kindergarten, in a little more than a month, I find myself wondering where my baby went. He is so full of ideas and excitement about what school is going to be like! I am super excited to see him blossom but, also feel that twing of heartbreak that my kids are no longer babies.

My fears mostly come from a selfish place. Not wanting them to get older and start needing me less and less. But, I begin to realize isn’t that what we want? We want them to grow and be strong on their own! This thought immediately puts the more selfish one to rest and my excitement builds in knowing I get to be part of their beautiful lives and help guide them through it!

I believe as parents our role is to never force identites on to our children. It grows resentment and bottles up who they really are. One day all that built up pressure will explode. Some parents feel because they have similar DNA, that they own their children. Every move their child makes is decided on and they have no say in the matter. No human being should feel that way especially our own children. Let them think for themselves. Let them believe they are amazing the way they are. Let them decide!

When I say this I do not mean let your kids do whatever they want, obviously. -just don’t take away who they are. It’s important to teach them perseverance, strength in character, dedication, and compassion but, not force anything on them that isn’t in their nature.

No one is perfect. Not our children and definitely not us. We must celebrate our differences and teach our kids to be proud of who they truly are!

If You’re Gonna Post A “Selfie”

This isn’t my favorite painting. Not even my second ;)…..it’s a self portrait from 2012. Created in place of a night I couldn’t sleep. Not unusual but, that night was especially rough. I decided to focus my energy. I had a mirror that was eye level and thought it would be challenging to do a self portrait as a live oil painting. Adding a whole other level of difficulty I painted it on a piece of glass. I spent 6 hours painting as I looked in the mirror. This is much MUCH more difficult than I thought it would be!!

First off, oil painting is a skill that is only honed by practice….LOTS of practice. Second, looking at myself for six hours from night to morning is a whole other depth I wasn’t prepared for and I’m yet to do it since.

You force yourself to look inward. Do you like what you see? Can you focus and portray that to others? Are you beautiful? Do you love yourself?…Do you see your weaknesses?….as an artist and as a person????…..All questions I asked myself when painting this…along with a massive train of other thoughts.

I don’t “like” this painting but I do love it. I love what it means to me. I LOVE that I don’t have a photo to reference. I love that it was in the moment.

I really love that I can look at this painting and know I did my best at that point in time.

I’ve had other artist tell me they hate it. “The detail in the hair just isn’t there”…”your eyes make me uncomfortable.” “Why does your forehead look that way?”….blah..blah..bluhbadi, blah..

To be honest, I don’t care if anyone likes it. I have learned to judge my art on my own level. If I feel it has value I don’t care if others see it. Or even like it.

It means something to me. That’s all that matters.

Convos Between Siblings

They chat through their own bedroom windows about the cars passing by and what they are reminded of. Bruce and Teddy Love have a side convo about bear things and all I can think about is how beautiful this moments is. Standing in the hallway silently watching my two favorite people live out their childhood…..just smiling about how happy I am to be part of it. ❤

Seeing the bond between these two, I find myself incredibly happy to be their mother. Happy I can provide them with things I never had as a kid. Happy moments and beautiful memories. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

These Moments

This is a watercolor painting of my daughter in a moment we shared one week into parenthood. The illumination is a perfect representation of the new parent high I was running on. And, of course includes that baby smell. 😉 I swear it’s like catnip for women!

How could I not be inspired by her beauty? As I slowly layered the colors I could feel incredible warmth coming from it. I knew I had accomplished exactly what I intended.

In these moments of creative clarity adrenaline fuels me. When I look at this painting I can imagine that memory perfectly. I feel her in my arms and can remember how the golden sun made its way across us.

That moment is perfection. Creating artwork that draws me in and keeps me intrigued is what makes it important for me. I love these moments. They are priceless.