I’m so excited to share my new painting collection with you!! So much is involved with launching an art collection but I’m so pleased with how this collection came together.
I named this collection “From Shore to Field” as it celebrates the simple joys found in nature from the salty coast to lovely mountain meadows. I worked in a limited color palette for these pieces with warm, more muted colors as we head into the colder months of the year.
This collection evokes feelings of calm and serenity. I used an intuitive style of painting and believe this is what I needed during this year of complexity and uncertainty. I hope they'll have a calming, uplifting impact on you as well.
Also, these paintings remind us of those moments when we realize that beauty is around us on even the most ordinary of days.
All artwork was painted with acrylic paint on canvas and kept unframed so you can choose a frame style that matches your home or office decor.
16 x 20 in.
16 x 20 in.
8 x 10 in.
16 x 20 in.
Shipping & Handling:
Domestic orders: $25
International orders: estimated based on destination country.
For local orders in the Portland metro area, delivery is complimentary.
I’d love to hear which one of these paintings speaks to you most and which one is your favorite. If you're interested in any one of these paintings, these are original artwork so only one of them is available. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
This is a season of a lot of emotions. A global pandemic, presidential election year for us in the U.S., racial tensions and injustice happening… Raising kids has never been easy but this year has added a whole level of complexity for us parents.
I hope and truly believe that we will come out better, not just by listening with our ears, but with an open and compassionate heart during this time.
What am I doing to continue focusing on keeping my heart open and compassionate? To not become overwhelmed with bitter and angry feelings? I’m definitely not perfect at this but decided to write down a list of ideas that will hopefully help me as we’re heading into increased tension this fall.
I’m sharing it with you in case you find it helpful too.
Okay.... My 10 Ideas:
1. Educate yourself with news sources that dedicate themselves to reporting as objectively as possible. Avoid news stations that tend to have a partisan slant. My go-to news source is NPR or OPB.
2. Stop using or drastically limit facebook. If you like connecting with certain groups on facebook (like me), visit those directly without scrolling the newsfeed. Because you know you’ll see that post from that one person, riddled with misinformation and inflammatory statements which will make it really difficult to sleep or keep your calm…
3. Take workshops, read books and listen to people directly to better understand their feelings and perspectives.
4. Pay close attention to how you’re feeling. When your feelings are strong and negative, ask yourself what it is that’s making you feel this way? While some of these feelings are necessary and/or unavoidable, you at times do have control over what causes these feelings. Can you limit the amount of news you’re watching? Need to minimize the flow of information coming at you? Take a break from social media? Maybe limit your interactions with certain people? Plan your schedule in such a way to leave space for extra self care or activities that give you joy?
5. Find ways to get involved by making a difference. Is there a way to turn your angry feelings about an injustice into something positive? What can you do to make a positive impact on those issues you care about? Which specific actions would leave the world a better place?
6. When you feel overwhelmed with the uncertainty of a particular situation, are there any aspects you do have control over?
7. Make a list of activities you can do when you need to take a break. For example: go outside, listen to a favorite song, call a friend, etc.
8. Make time for creativity. Don’t put expectations on yourself for the outcome but do it for yourself, for the process. I tell you, art heals. So does making music, kneading bread, sculpting with clay… work with your hands to heal your heart.
9. Breathe… yes, sometimes I forget so I figure it’s probably a good idea to write it down
10. Don’t look too far into the future but focus on the now. What can you do today that will make tomorrow better for you, your family and others?
Do you feel the increased tension too? Do you have any ideas to add to this list? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
Thanks for following my journey!
Does the coming of the fall season make you want to declutter and organize too? I realize most people refer to SPRING cleaning but I recently had this crazy burst of energy and motivation to turn my art studio upside down and make it a more workable space.
My art studio is in a part of our back porch. Even though the space is not well insulated and too cold to work in winter, it works well for most of the year in our mild Pacific Northwest climate. Since I used to do a lot of stained glass mosaic, I didn’t have to worry about little glass shards on the wooden floor.
Now that I’m painting more, it's nice not having to worry about paint getting into our carpet or on furnishings. I just love spending time in my creative space surrounded by art books and art supplies.
The best part about being in the back porch is that I can look out and see birds in the bird bath, and hummingbird flying by in the garden. These encounters inspire me when I paint.
My art studio also held tons of little kids art supplies from when our kids were little. They were cluttering the drawers and shelves big time. Somehow (and way too fast), our kids have grown into teenagers and they aren’t going to be playing with any of those supplies anytime soon anymore….
Going through them was really kind of bitter sweet as the items reminded me of time we spent creating together when they were itsy-bitsy. But I also realized that being an artist, I apparently LOVED buying them art supplies! Too much stuff!
I decided to donate all the art supplies we didn’t need anymore through our neighborhood “buy nothing” group so I felt good about a neighbor with little kids being able to use the items.
After I decluttered all the art supplies that weren’t being used, the space felt so much better! I organized the supplies in bins and drawers I already had but that now had enough space to hold them. I also cleaned all the dusty surfaces and swept the floor. Ahhhh…. it felt like new again!
I instantly felt motivated to go to work! I like being surrounded by all my little knick knacks and I’d say the space is still not very minimalist but now I can actually find things. Ha!
I’m currently working on a new painting collection and have a large easel on my desk. These pics of my art studio were taken right after I cleaned. I wanted to share that moment of joy with you!
Do you find joy in creating art? Would you consider yourself more of an artsy or crafty person? Did you enjoy seeing the "behind the scenes" of my art studio? Would love to hear from you in the comments!
Thank you for following my art journey!
A cup of coffee and a few minutes to catch up on happenings in the world.
After reading a few NPR news articles, I ended up scrolling my facebook feed. I have to say, I’m not a big fan of facebook. My favorite time spent on the app is in some of the groups I belong to where I learn and share about art and living a creative life. I enjoy meeting fellow artists this way, especially in this year of social distancing, and learning new tips and techniques.
However, this day found me mindlessly scrolling my feed. Most days, this is a complete waste of time and leaves me not feeling any better than when I started. But among the endless posts, there was a nugget of pure wisdom from a person who is not a super close friend, but who I admire a lot for her warmth, spiritual insights and perspective on life. Just had to share it with you.
Besides the general gist of the post being about how the world really needs more kindness right now (something I wholeheartedly agree with), I found these words:
Do the next loving thing.
I don’t know who first said or wrote these words to give them proper credit but what a simple, yet empowering concept.
When life gets tough, do the next loving thing.
When you’re confused, do the next loving thing.
When you feel overwhelmed, do the next loving thing.
When someone is hurting, do the next loving thing.
When you’re the one hurting, do the next loving thing (yes, taking care of your own body and heart is a loving thing to do too).
I realize it’s sometimes hard to know what the next loving thing to do is, especially when someone you love is hurting but in many situations, the simplicity of these words can bring clarity to help you move forward.
So, this is my resolution today: to keep these words close to heart as I move through my days. Do these words resonate with you too? If so, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Thanks for joining me on this journey!
It’s almost September and our teenagers are getting ready to start school this week. It will be a different start than normal for sure, all virtually for now, but I’m hoping I can still talk them into letting me take a first day of school pic!
How have you been feeling? I think most of us would agree it’s been a hard year. I’d really expected something good out of a year with such a fun number sequence…
20-20! But nope. This year has pulled out all the hard stuff and packed it into a teeth grinding, stomach upsetting, headache giving sandwich that has left many of us hurting, exhausted, depressed or at least anxious and unsettled.
I’m feeling it too. And I can tell you that I don’t have any good answers for how to cope with it. One thing I know for sure though, is that I feel happy when I can add some joy to someone else’s day. So often, when we give, we receive even more in return, don’t you agree?
So I’ve been thinking…
What adds joy to my day?
What pulls me out of a funk?
What makes my life happier?
How can I share joy with others?
I decided to put some of these thoughts down on paper and a mini e-book was born! The book I’m sharing with you is not so much about my personal reflections. That would be quite boring I think…. To make it more useful and interesting, I made it into a journal for writing, doodling and reflection on YOUR experiences.
During such a tough year, I wanted to do something positive and uplifting for my community. No, it won’t solve any real problems but I hope it will help you to celebrate the simple joys, not just during this year, but even during a year when the hardest stuff is an overwhelming to-do-list….
You’ll receive this Simple Joys E-Book & Journal immediately after you join my email community (access the sign-up form by clicking on the image below). Besides this e-book, you’ll receive exclusive content and insider news from my art studio.
Hope to see you on the “inside”!
Thank you for following my journey!
P.S. If you like the Simple Joys E-Book & Journal, I'd love to hear from you in the comments! What are your simple joys? I look forward to hearing from you!
See that big smile? That's me holding my most recently finished hummingbird painting called "Hummerville" which I painted in an intuitive style with a layered acrylic painting technique. This painting was so fun to create!
I thought you might enjoy seeing all the steps and phases of my acrylic painting process, from the first brushstrokes to the completed painting hanging up on our wall. Creating this finished piece of artwork took many layers in order to create that interesting, yet soft texture.
I didn't set out to create a particular subject but decided to add elements as I went along. I find my paintings are more playful and spontaneous when I paint in this intuitive style and end up being better than if I decide "this is the subject I want to paint."
Ready to see the process?
These were literally the first brushstrokes I painted on the canvas. It can sometimes be intimidating to see a big, blank canvas in front of you. It’s helpful to just pick a color and put it onto the canvas. Starting is half the battle! Once you have some paint on the canvas, it’s easier to apply the next brushstrokes!
Done with the underpainting! I covered the entire canvas with paint creating subtle textures and gradations. I really liked how this underpainting looked. In fact, I liked it so much that I kept it in my art studio at this stage for days just to enjoy it for awhile!
After looking at the painting for an extended period of time (sometimes I work on another painting if I need to and let it simmer for a bit), the next step will come to me. I can’t explain this part but I’ll suddenly “see” a bird or flower or another subject appear and feel moved to help it come to life. Once that happens, the painting part comes pretty easy.
Finally...... finished! While I purposely wanted the hummingbird and main flowers to be a bit hidden in the abstract background that reminds us of a field of wildflowers, the extra details I added since the last phase make these subjects a focal point and provide the exciting “pop” in this painting.
I hope you enjoyed seeing all the steps involved in my layered acrylic painting process. If you did, I’d really love to hear from you in the comments! Also, if you share via the social media icons, it really helps my little blog post to get found among the gazillions of pages on the internet. Many thanks!
While the original art is not for sale, high quality art prints of this hummingbird painting are available in my online art gallery in a variety of sizes, along with framing options. Since the original is hanging in our living room, I can tell you from personal experience, this painting adds joy to our home environment every day!
For a sprinkle of joy in your email inbox (and the occasional discounts!), please join my email community via the form below.
Thank you for following my art journey!
Pffff….. It’s been a whirlwind couple of months. While the world is undergoing some massive changes, so has my small creative business seen an impact.
With so much uncertainty going on, I needed something to keep my mind occupied besides endlessly reading news reports which only increased my anxious feelings… Since I always like to continue learning (and my naturalist field course had been cancelled due to covid-19), I decided to immerse myself in a creative business course that helped me to reflect on what I enjoy most about my art journey and where I’d like to focus moving forward.
Focus has been a bit of a challenge for me as I like to get involved in so many creative activities (apparently there's a term for that: multi-passionate!) but since the beginning of the year, I’ve been loving the therapeutic feel of paint on canvas and I realized this is a direction I’d like to continue to explore.
This realization led to a bunch of research on the best place to offer my joyful paintings. I decided on opening an online art gallery through Fine Art America (also called Pixels). The reason I chose to open a gallery with this company is because they’re known to provide customers with an infinite variety of art print sizes, substrates, framing options, and even other fun goods. They have an excellent customer service guarantee which is really important to me. I’ve added a tab to my website called “paintings” which will directly take you to my online art gallery.
Another big change has been designing a new logo. I’ve used the name Presents of Love for many years but have decided to use my personal name going forward. I hope to explain this decision in more depth in another blog post.
One thing kind of led to another…. with a new logo and the exciting start of an online art gallery, my website needed some serious updating! I hope you noticed I gave it a serious face lift! I’m super happy with how much better it reflects me as an artist. I’m sure I’ll keep tinkering with it because these things are always a work in progress but I like the joyful feel and organized structure of my website much better now.
My art has always helped me through challenging times. Art has been my way to both find and share joy. I’m so very grateful with all of you for watching me grow, learn and standing by my side with a word of encouragement and support. Thank you!
Has art been meaningful in your life? In what way? Also, would love to hear what you think of the new website! Share in the comments!
I finished my sketchbook project!! You may remember me telling you in my January blog post that my friend gave me a special sketchbook destined for the Brooklyn Art Library. Well, it’s taken me a few months but I finished it! I feel really good about filling this sketchbook with illustrations all about simple joys!
Before I send it off, I wanted to share it with you through a short, little video. I took this video myself in my art studio in Portland, Oregon so it’s nothing fancy (anyone else have mommy maker hands with crazy dry skin from frequent washing during this pandemic?!) but I’m a big believer in celebrating even the smallest accomplishments. ;0)
I’m keeping this month’s blog post short but I hope you’ve all been okay during these difficult times. My hope is that you not only stay healthy but also find some joy in your daily lives while sheltering in place and that my “simple joys” illustrations bring a smile to your face.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments which one of the illustrations is your favorite. Which one speaks the most to you? Thank you for taking a peek and visiting me in this space!
Do you remember last week? I know. What seemed still okay last week seems unthinkable this week. The Coronavirus certainly has impacted our lives quickly! As of today, our Oregon schools are closed until April 1st and honestly, it seems there’s a good chance that period might be extended.
While we’re all adjusting to this new normal and learning what we can do to slow down this virus from spreading, I know many of you are starting to work from home. That’s not always easy to do, especially if we have little ones home from school! Our kids are teenagers now but I remember the wiggly days so well! I’ve been thinking of what I can do to help support families with kids through this uncertain time.
After thinking for a bit, I had an idea! I created the "anti-boredom calendar" for kids a few years ago but decided to give it a thorough make-over in light of social distancing! I believe all the kids activities suggested in this printable follow the current health recommendations but please tell me if I need to correct something.
I’m hoping this small contribution may help your family create some happy memories during this uncertain time. I hope these activities may inspire your family to find some joy playing together and being creative. If you click on the image below, you’ll be able to download this printable for free.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments on how the coronavirus has impacted your family and daily life. How are you and your loved ones doing? What activities has your family been enjoying?
Thank you for reading my blog and following my art journey!
Time is a funny thing. It can move so slowly when you’re waiting in line or stuck in traffic. On the other hand, it can go crazy fast when you’re doing an activity you enjoy. It can also very easily “slip away” as we keep ourselves busy with stuff we don’t even really have an interest in.
Or am I the only one who gets easily distracted “researching” something on the internet that doesn’t matter in the long run?
I’m personally not much of a tv watcher but I know if the tv were in our living room (it’s not for good reason!) and turned on, it’s very easy to get sucked into a program. At the end of the night I'd wonder why I sat there so long watching it….
Last month, we talked about making small shifts for more joy. To continue looking for ways to add more joy in our lives, let’s do this super quick and easy exercise:
- Can I do the planning to make it more likely to happen?
- What’s holding me back from doing the activity I enjoy?
For example, you want to do more painting but really need some more paint. Maybe you use an hour of time to run to the art supply store and pick up some supplies that make it possible for you to actually start painting soon.
Or, you’d love to bike to work or to run your errands instead of always using the car. Can you get your bike tires pumped up, check the weather forecast and get the appropriate gear out now so taking that bike ride will actually happen?
You can do a lot in 60 minutes!
Now if you really enjoy scrolling through your social media feed or watching a good movie with the family, please take that time to decompress and relax! But next time you’re not fully enjoying it and you're just killing time, try taking out your list.
Even if you don’t have an hour, what can you do in the 10 minutes while you’re waiting at the dentist’s office? Can you reach out to that friend you haven’t seen in a long time and plan to grab a coffee next week? Of course, you don’t have to feel you need to jam-pack your schedule all the time and be productive at all cost. Sometimes, there’s a lot of joy in just sitting and looking at a bird in the tree just outside your window.
But I guess that’s the point. IF that gives you joy, be mindful of that wonderful moment, notice it and find more of those moments in between all the obligations and busy tasks on your schedule.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. What are some activities that you enjoy? What is holding you back from doing this activity? Thank you for reading my blog!