My Saving Grace

Once again life moves more quickly than I can possibly anticipate. This last month our lives have been filled with even more love in the most beautiful of ways. Miss Amelia Ruth was born on April 13th at 10:35am. She has stolen all of our heart and our bed…and our sleep! Lol! But, we wouldn’t have it any other way! She is a wonderfully calm baby. Her beautiful face and all her charm already has us wrapped around her little finger. A little southern belle in the making!

As a parent you always wonder how you could possibly love anymore than you already do. Having another child come into your life instantly grows your heart. You create a space nothing and no one else will ever be able to fill, dedicated specially to this tiny little human that you created.

Sidenote: she’s a month old and I’m still holding her up like Rafiki in Lion King saying “Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba Sithi uhm ingonyama”! Amazed I made something soooo beautiful three times over!!! #brushmyshouldersoff

Now on an art note: Art, ArT, and more ART!

I have completed more work since January than I have the two previous years combined! I have some exciting commissions lined up as well. I’ve had so many requests for prints of the bourbon series art that I’ve been printing and shipping them all over! I’m definitely spreading the whisky love! Never underestimate the power of alcohol to bring people together, especially during quarantine! 😉

Since we are on the subject of quarantine…..my two older children have adapted to this life change in very different ways. Asher has become very emotional in the later days of distance learning. Kindergarten is such an important year socially for children and the disruption has been hard on him. He is a such a smart kid. He learns very quickly and loves school….but he is not so keen on online class. He misses his classmates and teacher so much. Some days he just starts crying for no reason. I hold him and tell him he’s doing a great job. He still does his best to wake up every morning with a smile on his face, regardless of how redundant our days have become. He’s begun planning for the next day every night. Right before bedtime he lines out what we wants to accomplish. He started doing this on his own and it’s keeping him excited and positive when he wakes up each morning. He tells me most days “I can’t wait until this Corona Virus is over and I can hang out with my friends.” I feel you son….I feel you.

He just had his 6th birthday and my husband and I completely spoiled him. We got him everything on his list and met every want he had…plus some! We don’t normally do this…actually we’ve never done it. We try really hard to not over spoil them to ensure they don’t act entitled.

We are raising them to be respectful in all aspects of life…but, sometimes they just need to feel over the moon, especially during this time. We don’t know how this pandemic will ultimately impact our lives, changing the way we see the world and ourselves. Every little joy is emphasized and family is as important as ever.

As for Abby Rain, she is taking it a bit better. Her caring nature and instincts to make others comfortable has blossomed. Having a new sister has given Abby the opportunity to shine. I am so very proud of her dedication and hardwork. She is such a kind beautiful person. I am finding myself lean on her everyday for all the little things I need help with, which in the end adds up to the biggest thing- being a family and having each others back. Josh and I could not be more proud of the both of them and how they are adapting and handling this chaos.

Looking ahead and trying to anticipate what the future holds becomes more and more uncertain but, what I do know is being quarantined has brought our little family closer together. We have learned how to make moments special and fun in creative ways that we may not have ever thought of before. Taking our minds off all the negative at least for a small while.

Of course, there are days that I am extremely short and irritable, days I can’t handle being home every single second, and days I break down like Ash and cry just because. But, ultimately I am so grateful we are healthy. I’m grateful my small business, as well as my husband’s, has not halted to a stand still like so many others around the world. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity our children have in distance learning. We are seeing the truly wonderful way we can connect through the internet. If we didn’t have technology this quarantine would be a entire different experience. It has kept me somewhat sane the last couple months.

As we adapt to our new norm I find that my creativity has been my saving grace. It keeps me mind grounded and reminds me that I can always turn a negative to a positive. It’s all in how you look at things.

Jack, Blanton’s, & Old Fitzgerald

It has been a very productive week! I’m a bit late on my post this week because…well life. Lol! But, I have completed the Jack Daniel’s and Blanton’s drawings! As I was finishing them I thought adding some gold would be awesome! I tested it before completely going for it and loved the way it looked! So, I am adding it to all of the drawing of the series. The Blanton’s has already been sold and now a second one must be made for the series!


I have started the third drawing as well. Old Fitzgerald Whiskey is the bottle for this coming week. I am currently working on the second version of this drawing right now. The first one was too small for my liking so, I scraped it and drew it larger. It is coming along nicely! I should finish it up before the end of the week and begin a second Blanton’s to keep in the series this weekend.


I am planning to display the series after finishing them as a collection and making prints to sell for anyone interested. Staying busy busy to finish these drawings and begin the next! Going into February on track for completing the series as scheduled!

Fall With Me

Fall with me. Fall in love with today. This moment. Fall into the absolute truth that it is a blessing. Fall in love with your own damn heart. With the way you love yourself and the kindness you find when you discover just how much love you deserve. Fall away from the insecurities that haunt your past so they may not follow your future.

Fall for your lover like it’s the first time you saw them. The first hug, when his arms wrapped around you make you feel safe for the first time in your life. Sink into that space and appreciate just how it makes you feel. How incredibly vulnerable and open you are to love. How that love can make the fall less fearful.

Stay sensitive to the joys of youth you should always be in touch with. Fall for all the dreams you’ve dared to believe and the ideas that make you special. Never stop falling for the way your imagination creates. Letting go of any internal dialog that holds you back makes creating so beautiful and fulfilling. Fall with me and be ready for change. What are you waiting for? What holds you back? Falling brings uncertainty and the twinge of fear for the unknown but, ohhh how exciting it is to be free.

“Fly Me To The Moon”

Not everything went according to plan last week but, that’s usually how life goes! I was so busy with helping Josh on the food truck (they had a massive week of events and moving around), working on organizing an art opening, along with weekend plans, and being mom I had to squeeze in the first whiskey bottle drawing whenever I could. Which, seems to be at night when my mind can quiet down and I can focus.

First drawing up is Jack Daniels. This particular bottle is the Sinatra Select Edition and was made to honor Old Blue Eyes. Jack Daniels was a favorite whiskey of his and he was buried with a bottle next to him. This one is displayed in its box along with a few other Jack Daniels bottles surrounding it. It is sitting on a barrel bought from the distillery in Lynchburg Tennessee. In front of the bottle is an exclusive Tennessee Squire wooden display accompanied with a shot glass…basically a Jack Daniels shrine!! This drawing has been a bit daunting due to all the script and filigree in tiny white lines.

Because of my increasingly growing pregnant belly and pain in every muscle in my back, the want of doing a time lapse video of the drawing did not happen. I set in a big comfy chair in my living room or in bed while drawing, not exactly the best place to set up a camera! Lol! Although I did take a few photos and must say the drawing is coming along beautifully! I am happy with what I have on paper so far. I did decide to make all the drawings 11×14 keeping them a manageable size to complete within a weeks time and it has resulted in needing very VERY small detailed lettering.

Pencil being the medium I want to stick with I am able to get finer lines as opposed to the lines I could achieve with charcoal. I have also ordered a fine white sharpie pen that I am waiting to come in the mail. It will assist in helping me finish up those really small letters. Hopefully it is a good pen and will be a perfect contrast to the graphite. If not I will have to come up with a plan B. As I wait for the pen to come in I will start on number 2 in the series.

Blanton’s Whiskey will be the next drawing to embark on! I’m getting such a good response from everyone about this project and it really helps in keeping me exicted and motivated! So, thank you everyone for the encouraging words and wonderful feedback! Can’t wait to see how this next one turns out!

I hope y’all are still sticking to your new year’s resolutions and keeping creative juices flowing! On top of finishing the Jack Daniels drawing, hopefully I will have an update on the art opening in downtown Bentonville I’ve been working on by the end of this week as well!! Exciting things are happening and it is a much needed distraction to a few emotional set backs I’ve been dealing with lately. Pregnancy hormones don’t help my mood but, staying positive and busy does! Here’s to delightful distractions and staying on track with goals! Onwards and upwards!

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Title image credited: Frank saluting his audience with Jack. Photo from the The Telegraph.

2020 Art Goals

Happy 2020 y’all!!! I am beginning this year busier than ever! I love being busy. It keeps me super motivated to do more and accomplish all my goals! I’ve decided that this year I am going to create much MUCH more art!! I wrote up a list of projects and ideas I’ve been wanting to do forever. I have a tendency to procrastinate in literally every aspect of my life. Excuses like “I don’t have time….and I’m just too tired….” will deter me no longer! I am my own worst enemy sometimes but, this year I am deciding to be fearless. Stop self doubting and start using positivity to propel my creativity.

2020 Art Goals!

*10 Whiskies

*Dead Celebrities -The Face of Depression

*Work on completing all unfinished works

*The Gold Project

*Sculptural Color

I will divulge more details about each project as I go. It’s not a long list but, it’s ALOT of work and plenty to keep me going all year! I will probably work on several at a time to keep from getting burnt out on one particular subject matter.

First project on the agenda is a series of 10 charcoal whiskey bottle drawings. I’ve been wanting to do it for ages and now is the time! I’ve done a few as commission pieces in the past and get asked about them often. I thought it would be the perfect way to start my 2020 art journey. I’ll post and share the progress on how it is going so, y’all can follow along if ya like!

A dear friend of mine has a wonderful collection of whiskies that he is willing to let me photograph. Which, will be perfect for reference!! I also think I would benefit greatly by tasting them but, pregnancy is telling me otherwise…😒😁

So, now I am looking into which bottles I want to draw and learning a bit of history on each as well. The history is what fascinates me and I know it will keep me interested in the project.

Here’s to a year and pushing myself harder to be more creatively productive! What is a goal you have for 2020?! I hope it involves creating more happiness in your life. When you’re happy it can’t help but seep into others! Spread the happiness, spread the creativity and let’s make it a wonderful year together!!

So what do ya say, wanna change the world today?!

Perspective is nothing if not life changing, a fundamental shift in the train of thought that you base your values on. As I get older I am embracing new perspective more and more. I crave it. I want my mind changed. I want to grow. I want to understand more and see the world through eyes that are not mine.

I feel that there is a rising up of new thinking that creates more inclusivity within society. People are not afraid to stand up. The time is always ‘now’ for the forward thinkers. The people that say, “If I’m not the voice then there is no voice. If I don’t make change for the future thinkers of the world then we will never change.”

I want to be part of change. I want to say I made a difference to a better world. A world where more people are letting other perspectives influence their thoughts and actions. Having the openness to not being right all the time. Believing that there is always a way of doing something that has never been thought of.

Supporting those that are brave, especially if what they represent is a perspective that eyes have never seen, is all about opening your heart to others. Vulnerability is always seen as a bad thing. A thing that makes someone weak but, vulnerability is what changes the world. It’s that one person standing up to say “I think, feel, or want things to be different and here’s why. Let’s find ways together to make it so.”

These brave people and those who support them are my heroes. It simply starts with listening. Truly listen to what others have to say. So what do ya say, wanna change the world today?!

Confetti

Moments fall around me like confetti,
creating memories that make up my life.

A simple word,
with a single thought,
Falling as I grasp it.
my wild mind wakens.

Lonely blank papers
beg to be filled.
The idea a spark
Does it come from love?
Or because of lose…

Sensitivity is strength
In creating beauty and art.
a moment is captured that
carries my heart.

Memories challenged.
Daring to discover deeper meaning and desire.
It must be my destiny.
Do others feel this way? …I always wonder.

g.s

Beautiful Mess

Our house is always changing. I never keep something in one place for too awfully long. I would love to say I have it in order…like ever but, I do not. Art is always leaning against the walls. I collect weird things and live in a old house. I have an obsession with mirrors and for things that glow softly.

But…..right in the middle of my crazy mess is my husband. Loving me for my need for change, my haphazard way of acting like I have my shit together and the never ending crazy that is me. He is my constant, calls me his beautiful mess and finds my artistic brain endearing. We grow together and learn more about each other everyday.

Our journey is definitely not perfect but, I find these moments and am proud of this beautiful life we have created. 💛

A Love Like Johnny & June

Rings of fire burning with you, I wanna walk the line, talk the line, until the end of time. I wanna love, love you that much.

Inspiration hit hard this past weekend. If I wasn’t creating art, I was thinking about it!

I found inspiration in the form of love. A bond between two people so strong it overcomes all obstacles.

Johnny & June are the perfect love story. He absolutely loved and adored her. This drawing of a letter he sent her on her birthday represents that in the most beautiful way.

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.