Friday, August 1, 2014

Rainy day play

We had the most delightful play day in the rain this week.  We woke to a dark, cloudy sky.  One that might appear to be gloomy at first sight.  But after looking again I realized it was rain a comin'.  Rain to water the garden that desperately needed it, rain to fill the pond a bit for the cows.  Glorious, summer rain.  I was even more delighted to realize there'd be no lightning or thunder!  That meant no scared little girls, but enjoyment of the big drops from the sky instead. 

At first thought, we were going to stay inside.  Surely a day like this one needed cozy blankets and lots of cartoon watching.  Then I realized it was only sprinkling and once Anna Ruth figured this out she excitedly exclaimed that we could go play in the rain, because "I love the rain!" 

So that's just what we did.  We loaded up and drove down to the Log Barn place, one of our main cow pastures.  We have a certain little path we like to follow, the girls and I.  We drive along spotting every minute detail we can, listening hard for cows, owls, and birds (just to name a few). 

We don't like to simply observe our surroundings from the safety of the car, the pasture is our playground.  We always like to take a walk around the pond and this day most certainly didn't disappoint.  The rain drops hitting the pond were just magical looking.

You know how my heart adores a good web...

Another reason I like playing so freely outdoors is that I can catch my girls at their happiest.  This sweet, spunky little smile is most definitely Anna Ruth at her happiest!  She was probably talking about Thomas the Train, Rainbow Dash, or "Care Dear" (Care Bear).  She talks to and about these characters all day long.  They do everything together, including singing, taking care of each other, and dancing.  If you're wondering if she really cares the stuffed animal versions are-nope.  Just all in her head.  She takes this very seriously and has even tried to argue her way out of chores by saying "But Care Dear's doing it!!"  It's one of the most ridiculous, silliest, funniest things I've ever heard of.  

So if you're around my Anna Ruth and she's pretending-don't rain on her parade.  Perhaps we should all do a bit more pretending?!

This sight really stunned us!  We walked up on this bee, which got Betsy Grace very excited.  We obviously were able to get very close to capture such a shot.  The busy bee was so busy it didn't even stop to say "hello".  

Anna Ruth delights in picking me flowers.  Whether we're out on the farm or in the yard, she always brings me a pretty flower and especially likes it when I put it behind my ear.  This reminds me of being in Hawaii, pre-Brett and kids, and we'd always tuck the beautiful flowers from the yard behind our ears.

We also have a deep place in our heart for the dandelions,  the most despised little flower (or "weed") there ever was.  No one else seems to like them a bit, but we sure do.  

After traipsing through the hay pasture we loaded back up in the car to finish visiting with the cows.  I always get good pictures of the cows from the car and they were especially lazy this day!  Most of them were laying down and took forever to get out of the way of the path when I needed to drive through.  Of course, looking at the black cow above, you can see why!  These are the friendliest bunch of cows and I just love talking to them and making up little stories about them. 

There is a bull we've just moved over to this pasture that I am NOT so friendly with.  He's huge and mean-looking and frightens me! 

After our little rainy day jaunt we came back to the house to dry off, seeing as the rain was really starting to come down.  We decided to paint and I joined right in with the girls.  We drew pictures with crayons and then watercolored right over the drawings.
I didn't get a final picture of our masterpieces with my big camera, but you can see mine on Instagram!  I'm sunshinebysara 

What are you looking forward to this weekend? 

Blogger Tricks

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What inspires my art.

Can I confess something?  I still feel like a newbie and very much out of place saying I'm "an artist."  Isn't that silly? Truth is, if a friend of mine were living the way I was, leaving little footprints of art here and there-I'd immediately assure them they were most definitely an artist.  Yet when it comes to myself......a shyness there.  I suppose it's because naturally in my mind I just assume everyone surely must think like this.  Doesn't everyone combat stress and fatigue with images of paintings, sketches of silliness?  I sure do.  I wake up thinking about art, I escape there in my mind when things get a bit harried with the girls.  It's my haven that's always only a thought away.  
And then there are those times I get to put my thoughts in motion and create.  I don't do well over-thinking things.  It kills my creativity almost instantly.  I don't mean that I don't like to learn.  I am most certainly an advocate of being a student for life.  I just mean that what I do with my knowledge makes such a difference in my art.  So for example, let's say I've watched several mixed-media videos on youtube and want to try out some new skills, or use a new art medium.  If I stand in front of a canvas thinking exactly how the other artist completed their piece I get easily frustrated.  Instead, I like to mentally run through the possibilities for filling a canvas up and then go for it-not dwelling too much on how another artist might articulate the same concept.

The world right in front of me inspires my art.  The vibrant colors of the garden, the many shapes and motions of the wildflowers, the lines and textures abundantly found on the farm...these all spark ideas in my mind.  Sometimes I'll sketch an idea in a notebook.  Other times I just let it sit in my mind until I feel ready to try it out on canvas or another painting surface.  
My two favorite ways to create right now are on canvas, when I have a whole evening to myself in the craft room and creating quickly on my art journal pages.  As far as having a whole evening to create, it only happens about once a week (if I'm lucky).  I like to go into the studio with no plans to emerge until I'm satisfied creatively.  I usually turn on some music, but sometimes I even love the silence.  This little gal was created during one of those long evenings in the studio.  

 I'm also really enjoying painting different types of pages for my art journal!  I hadn't previously been keeping a journal but noticed a lot of the artists I admire, do.  I asked my artist friend Mary on Instagram (you can find me as sunshinebysara) her opinion on keeping a journal.  She most definitely recommended it and so I started one, just like that.  
 I love these little pages because they're small enough it's ok if I create something I don't like.  Which I totally did on another page but I wasn't brave enough to show you-haha !  I painted a face that was just awful and scary looking.  But no biggie, I simply made a note to myself on that page about where I thought I got too rushed in the creative process and I'll try again another day!  That's the beauty of the art journal.

 This is a tiny peek at life in the studio, a.k.a. "The Craft Room".  
 I stamped some leftover paint from a piece of cardboard on this blank piece of paper and immediately saw wings.  I'm super excited to get back to this page and finish it up sometime this week! 
 I'm really loving this spray ink/paint I got at a local craft warehouse.  It's the most gorgeous peach color.  And those green jars in the background-what beauties! Definitely inspiring my art....
and my decorating for fall! 

 I like to make notes to myself about different techniques I've seen and might like to try.  That way when I feel stuck in the process I can quickly look to see what multiple choice options there are for continuing.  
One of my favorite ways to inspire my art is to wipe or rub leftover paint onto a new canvas and see what emerges.  This is my leftover canvas right now and I'm excited to add a bit more paint here and there on it to see what art just shows up on the piece. 

I'm also hoping to pick an online art course for my birthday (hint: Brett!) 
I have a whole list of them I'd like to take, including these: 
2.) Anything by Juliette Crane
3.) Imagine, Play, Emerge by Mindy Lacefield
4.) Anything by Alisa Burke

What about you?  What inspires your art and have you taken any of these courses? 

Someday soon I should do a video....cause then I could say "see you in the studio"!
What do you think? 

Two more days of this! 

You can even find new things in the shop,
like these: 
8 x 10 print here.

 Greeting card (here) 

Greeting card (here

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

rosy in the real life.

Truth: I'm not always cheerful.  This sometimes comes as a shocker to my real life people who think they know me through and through because they read my blog.  I feel like I've always tried to be consistently honest about the fact that my life isn't always rosy and I'm not always happy.  I'm human too.  But you know what, I can choose joy and rosy-glasses and happiness and that's all possible because Jesus Christ lives right in my heart.  He's the one that wakes me up in the morning, starts me on my way.  
And so a rosy life is very much possible because of my relationship with God.  Last week was a bit of an "off" week.  Nothing major, just lots of discipline for the girls, a few sore throats making me a bit tired.   If I didn't live with the confidence of Jesus living right inside my heart, only being a prayer away, being my confidence and everlasting strength-I don't know how I would be able to choose joy and hope.  
But, did you know that once we have a relationship with God, hope is literally only a prayer away.  When things seem dirty and sad in life, I pray to see the rosy in the real life.  God always, always reminds me of His faithfulness and opens my eyes right up.  A lot of times I think I confuse "blessings" with tangible things I can see, like good food, extra cash, or a gift.  

The real blessing in knowing Jesus to me, is the constant washing of my soul and eyes.  One of my favorite quotes is "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." (Pablo Picasso)  

Yes and amen.  I'm so thankful that I know the Creator who is the ultimate artist.  On the bleakest, darkest day I might could imagine, I still have full confidence of God's hope, life, and art in my life.  He still whispers "look again" and makes my eyes light up with His goodness. 
I hope you know Him......and my heart for Him.  If you ever have a question about my relationship with Jesus please ask.  I can't think of anything I'd rather wish for every single person on this planet, than to know they are loved by Jesus and to experience Him on a daily basis.  
And so, when when regular 'ol life hands me lemons, I make lemonade.  
Here's a look at my story of finding the rosy in real life:

Tomorrow, a look at what inspires my art!

Y'all come back now, ya hear? :)