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! 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!

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

Bentonville + ART + Waltons = Change

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“You don’t need to go to New York or Europe to see great art! I’ve tried to tell my friends for ages that Bentonville, Arkansas is where a serious art movement is happening! And your art is crazy inspiring!” As I heard this over last weekend I couldn’t help but have the biggest goofy smile plastered on my face! Being considered “inspiring” is the best thing an artist hears! It roots my love for art and is my fuel to continue.

I had the honor of participating in the 2018 Art Market in Downtown Bentonville on June 2nd. It was such an amazing experience! What a great event for our community to host. Letting local artists shine!

I must start by saying, there aren’t many people who love this beautiful little town as much as I do. I am born and raised in the perfect little bubble of NWA. I spent my childhood growing up in downtown Bentonville. Even now, as an adult, I work downtown and love seeing how much things have evolved and grown! What I especially love seeing is the growth of the art community! The increasing interest in our area brings more than 1000 people moving to Northwest Arkansas every month! I couldn’t imagine a better place to call home, along with loads of other people! They must see what I see. πŸ˜‰

Obviously, you can’t talk about how great Bentonville is without giving credit to the Walton Family! The opportunities the Walton’s have given our community has increased our quality of life 10 fold. For me personally, the greatest impact has been in the introduction to fine art. I remember being 11 years old going to the Bentonville Public Library and seeing a model of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. I was in complete awe! I just starting to draw and it was such an inspiration. I thought to myself if Bentonville gets an amazing art museum I must become good enough to have my art there! Always Dreaming Big!!!

It was the beginning of my love for art. It fueled my drive to pursue it and always be striving for more. I watched as the museum slowly inserted itself into the stunning landscape of the Ozark Mountains, wrapped in a winding spring feed creek, hidden within the forest of Bentonville. During its construction, I took note of the meticulous care and preservation of the natural surroundings. They showcase all the beauty the Natural State has to offer in the softest and most inviting way.

Now 20 years later, Crystal Bridges is one of my happiest places! I go often for new exhibits, to view the permanent collections, attend special events, and just walk the beautiful trails. I’ve photographed many people within the grounds of the Museum, I never get tired of seeing this beautiful place. I take my kids quite often (giving my daughter Abby, especially, a growing fondness for fine art). When we visit I tell her that one day she will see mommy’s art there! She tried giving a greeter my business card! πŸ˜‰ I don’t have any art hanging there…….yet! πŸ˜‰ …. but, it will most likely be at the efforts of Abby Rain, who has all the confidence in her momma.

Gorgeouslysouthern.com

So, my acceptance to take part in the Downtown Bentonville Art Market this year got me super excited! Bentonville + ART = all the love! Being part of both at such an exciting time for art and our community is an honor! I brought various examples of my work, set them up, and I was absolutely amazed at the reactions from people! Like, honestly blown away! The kind words and the look in people’s eyes as they viewed my art was truly heartwarming! Touching people’s hearts and making them feel something, that’s what art is all about. evoking emotion, whether good or bad or indifferent..it still says something about the person viewing it and less about the art. Art is all in the eye of the beholder. Each person has their own experience with it that is unique to them. I enjoyed watching people as they view it and conversing about their thoughts. It gives me insight to what it is that draws people in. What emotions does my art evoke? Is it what I intended? What does my art say about me?

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Recently, being inspired by the Walton family I am drawing a portrait of Sam Walton. I felt that I should honor such a great man who has influenced our community and lives in such a massive way. With this portrait, I wanted to evoke a warm friendliness that I knew he had. Let his kind heart and love for people shine through in my drawing. You can see it in his eyes and that is what I want this drawing to say. I never met Sam Walton. I was 5 when he passed but, I do know people who knew him, meet him, spent time with him and his family, worked for him, and I have never…not even once heard a bad word spoken about him.

I know that there is a divide when it comes to support for Wal-Mart. You either love it or you absolutely hate it!! I thought about this when I started the drawing and it made me want to do it more!! I knew that I would get a lot of support from locals! We have so much love for Sam!!!! We know of his philanthropy and kindness. His drive and charisma. We live it every day. We see and feel the efforts the Walton Family have given our community in such positive ways. I am grateful for having grown up here and to raise my children here. That being said though, not everyone across the world gets to see that side of the Walton family, or choose to see – I guess is more correct. The Walton Family is so much more than a WAL-MART SUPERCENTER.

If just in the small scheme of things, my love for art is forever growing because of the efforts of the Walton Family Foundation. Inspiring a young country girl to dream big! Any goal is reachable and Sam Walton proved just that. I LOVE being inspired by the local life and sharing it with people across the world is a blessing. I love Bentonville. I love creating art. I love Sam Walton. I love what he represents for our community and that it’s something that has changed the world forever. I felt compelled to draw his portrait and am proud to call NWA home.

Northwest Arkansas and the world for that matter would not be what it is without the Walton Family. Still today, even 26 years after Sam’s passing, people maintain their loyalty. Locals especially have a fondness for Sam Walton and what he stood for. What an impact to have!!! what a legacy to leave! What an honor it is being part of something bigger!!! I love being part of this culture that is continuously evolving. In the words of Sam Walton himself “You can’t just keep doing what works one time, everything around you is changing. To succeed, stay out in front of change.”