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! πŸ˜‰

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.

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

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!

“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.

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! πŸ˜‰

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!

Studio Drawings / W.I.P

This week starts with the intent to have a good idea on what whiskey bottles I want to draw, as well as, work on some unfinished pieces that have been collecting dust in the studio.

I started with a portrait drawing of Josh. With it I wanted to explore a little bit more of an abstract portrait with high contrast. The black paper and white chalk was the perfect combination to do a portrait of him with smoke wafting around his profile. I loved the way it played into the curls of his beard as well. I’m happy with how it turned out.

Next, unfinished project is a portrait of Sam Walton. Feeling my strong sense of community and culture with this one. There is a deadline for a mural project Walmart has opened to the public on January 11th. Thanks to all my peeps who have been tagging me for this project! Crossing my fingers I’ll get choosen! I thought this would be the perfect time to finish and submit it for a chance to have my art, blown up mural sized, in a store! It is a charcoal/pencil drawing on paper. I have pulled it out a few times to work on it over the last year but, have yet to fully complete it. I’m working out the details and doing final touches.

This will be my main focus until the weekend when I’ve scheduled to do the photoshoot of the whiskey collection. I plan on taking loads of photos and choose the best 10 to draw from. The drawings will all be the same dimensions and I will be challenging myself to finish one drawing per week. If I stay on track it will take me two and a half months to complete the 10 Whiskies! I’m thinking I might be doing time lapse videos of each drawing as well! I’ve always wanted to do a video start to finish.

A Year of Growth for the Kitterman’s!!!

2019 has been massive for our family and turned our lives inside out! I couldn’t be more excited!

Starting with our surprise announcement of baby number 3 on the way! I was so sure I didn’t want more children. I was completely happy to have Abby and Asher. Yet, as I’ve gotten older I began to feel differently. The beauty that our babies bring into this world is beyond anything I could ever have imagined. I felt that adding to our family would only bring more love!! And why would we not want that?!

Growing our family felt right. So, my husband and I discussed it for quite awhile and decided now would be the best time. Once I became pregnant I immediately knew! Seasoned moms have this sixth sense about these things! Lol! For this reason I’ve had the “pleasure” of enjoying every single exaggerated symptom of being pregnant with our third child. It hasn’t been the easiest but, we’re making it through. Baby A is healthy and that makes me happy. My husband, Josh and our kiddos are so excited and have been angels in helping me with everything I need. I am into the second trimester and can’t wait to see if we will have a boy or girl! We may or may not already have names picked out! πŸ˜‰

The other milestone reached this year has been starting a business! Josh has relentlessly pursued his dream and it has shown to be worth all the blood, sweat, and tears put forth. I have stood beside him believing in his vision, pushing him and tugging him when needed but, always knowing he would do amazingly. A decade long dream has finally materialized into the Spud Doctors food truck! Josh, with his business partner Mark, are taking our little country community by storm!

My husband is a chef at his core. There is nothing that makes him happier than feeding people. It’s the way he loves and it shows 100% in his food. He effortlessly makes a dish and watches me eat it with the biggest smile in his face knowing there is nothing I love more. That kind of love isn’t taught or achieved through time. It is just in him. It’s who he is.

Seeing him grow as a person and as a business owner this last year has given me such a huge level of respect for him. I will support him in all he wants to do and help in every way I can to aid in his success!

There is no doubt 2020 will be crazy but, I’ve never been more excited for a new year and new challenges!

Psst….a second food truck could possibly be in the works! πŸ˜‰ …sssshhhhh though! No announcement of that just yet.

The Wall That Heals

Memorial Day, as Decoration Day gradually came to be known, originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. But during World War I the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict, and the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars.

Many Northern states held commemorative events and reprised the tradition in subsequent years; by 1890 each one had made Decoration Day an official state holiday. Southern states, on the other hand, continued to honor their dead on separate days until after World War I.

It became offically known as Memorial Day and observed on the last Monday in May in 1971 as a federal holiday.

This Memorial Day my family and I had the opportunity to visit The Wall That Heals. It is a two-thirds scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, honoring the lives of more than 3 million Americans who served in the Vietnam War.

The wall rises above you as you walk towards the apex in a chevron-shape. The names of 59,220 fallen soliders are listed in order of the date of casualty and alphabetically on each day.

It was brought to Crystal Bridges in honor of Memorial Day 2019 and is displayed on thier front lawn near the Bucky Ball Sculpture. Seeing the wall at night was so touching. I am humbled by the experience and beauty. It is a stunning tribute.

I am grateful for all who have served and for the sacrifice that every family has made. You deserve the highest of honor. From the bottom of my heart thank you for service and dedication.

Bentonville O.G. ;)

Bentonville is a tiny little spot of heaven in the middle of nowhere. Undiscovered in its charm and small town uniqueness, a place I have always been honored to call home. In the last decade or so Bentonville has drastically changed! Northwest Arkansas’s metropolitan area is one of the fasted growing economies in the U.S. and it doesn’t show any signs of stopping!!!

It comes as no surprise to me that other people have noticed and love our beautiful little town. Located in such a lovely part of our country it’s so appealing in rich history and southern charm, what’s there not to love?! We’re so blessed with the benefits provided to our community by the many corporate headquarters located here. They help keep our country’s commerce running and fuel innovation throughout different industries for the future of the world! In turn making our community even more diverse and expansive as we move forward.

I recently had a friend, I’ve known most of my life, tell me she is coming to visit and wants to know what to do when they come! I was so happy to tell her about everything there’s to do here now! With all the growth and excitement I feel like sometimes I can’t even keep up with what all is happening! I got to the end of the conversation and realized I sounded like a travel agent for Northwest Arkansas! I get excited about sharing!!!

Most people leave their hometown wanting to seek bigger and better things. I feel like the bigger and better things have coming to me! I went to art school and then the art came here! How much luckier can I get?!

From the beautiful recently developed walking and biking trails that wind from Bella Vista all the way to Fayetteville to local breweries there is so much to experience in Northwest Arkansas! Pinnacle Hills, in Rogers, Ar has a beautiful sprawling outdoor mall that can keep you shopping until your hearts content…or your pockets empty! πŸ˜‰ Bentonville’s 8th St. Market and the Art District is constantly evolving with innovative new businesses enriching our community with fine art, amazing food, and custom shops. Bentonville isn’t the only amazing little town here either! All of Northwest Arkansas is expanding at an astounding rate! Fayetteville Ar. is one of the top 5 best places in America to live, according to U.S. News & World Report in its annual β€œBest Places to Live” report. Every industry here is seeing a massive boom, adding to our ever growing Arkansas based businesses and communities!

What does that mean to the O.G.’s?! When I say O.G., being that I’m only 31 I can only go back so far, I know there are much more legit O.G’s! If any want to chime in please feel free to add a comment! I’d love to hear your stories! Locals have loved Bentonville before it started to evolve and become “cool”. We’ve watched how beautifully our sleepy little town has become a hub of new culture and interest from people around the world.

Growing up on Main St. and having relatives living all around downtown my entire life I have countless memories that make the Bentonville Square my favorite place! As a kid I remember spending time around the fountian downtown where only a few lawn chairs and a couple good ol’ boys playing folk music on Saturday nights filled the square. The farmers market was only about 10 booths and they only sold vegetables! When the coolest thing to do was walk around the Wal-Mart on Walton Blvd. and see ALL your friends doing the same!

Spending afternoons with my siblings at Bentonville Public Library, which at the time was located in the old Massey Hotel that is now Phat Tires Bike Shop, was my favorite space to pass time. The same place that sparked my love for art. Seeing a 3D model of Crystal Bridges with stars in my eyes. When I was just 11 years old, Crystal Bridges was just a concept living in the lobby of the library. I would see it every week and daydream about what it would be like. How it would open up my eyes to the world of art! I never imagined that I would get to experience it with my children! Literally puts the biggest a smile on my face! My love for Bentonville and the pride I have living here is grandiose! I absolutely love it and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

But, with this excitement and huge growth I also wonder how it will change our identity. There are locals opposed to the growth. They don’t like all the “newness” and change. I do not see change as a bad thing, uncomfortable at times-yes but, always an opportunity to become better in a new direction! That being said I wonder if we will lose our small town charm along the way? What will we become when there are 100’s of thousands of people living here….or even millions?! Will we get that big?! What will Bentonville look like? Will we lose our charm we are so dearly loved for?

All questions I am anxious to see play out. One thing’s for sure change is here and I am one to embrace it! ❀

*all photos are taken and copyrighted by Courtney Kitterman