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Paradise Found: A Mixed Media Journey

Friends, I am so very excited! Today I get to share with you something I’ve been working on for quite a while. I created a new mixed media painting workshop — Paradise Found!

Imagine for a moment the honeyed scent of hibiscus wafting through the air as you stroll down the path of a tropical island. The smell of petals and sunshine. Turtles scurrying to the sea. Birds singing sweetly. Wouldn’t it be lovely to experience that each day?

One way I’ve found to invite little bits of paradise into my own surroundings is to bring it into my art practice! The varied colors of the ocean, the bright feathers of birds, the shapes of tropical flowers. These truly are a few of my favorite things…to paint!

I invite you to join me on a journey as, together, we explore the paradise that is Polynesia. We’ll sketch and paint and laugh and play. We’ll try new techniques, make bold moves, and most of all, we’ll have fun!

Let me tell you a little more…

This class takes you on a journey through Polynesia. We’ll explore traditional Polynesian symbols, beautiful Hawaiian words and phrases, tropical flowers, and some of our sweet feathered friends of the islands (the birds!). We’ll talk about the use of symbolism and telling stories with our art. We’ll look at our use of color, create interesting layered details, and learn simple ways to make a big impact on the canvas.

I also include a sweet meditation with this class as an invitation to sit down, breathe, and calm your mind before each painting session.

This class is being offered through Ivy Newport’s artist network, and I hope so much you will join us! To learn more about the class, see the projects we will be completing, and sign up, please click here.

Are you ready? Let’s do this.

xo,

 

Everyday Life: 10/18/2017

Just a quick note today as I move into the day’s work.

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon as a presenter at the Adobe MAX conference. I was on a panel, talking about networking and making career connections with a group of amazingly talented young people getting ready to launch their careers. It was a really cool experience and something I never imagined myself participating in. I want to talk more about it and give you more details, but I’m still letting my thoughts on that simmer, so I’ll bring that to you later in the week.

Today, I’m finishing up some work for my latest painting class. It’s the nitty-gritty detail stuff I’ve been putting off. But, alas, it’s time to wrap this up and get it all done! So here we go.

Here’s to a productive day!

xo,

 

Everyday Life: 10/16/2017

I’ve become a little obsessed with house shopping. Not that I’m in the market for a house right this moment, but I mean, sort of. You see, I want to move out of Vegas in the next year. And I’m trying to figure out exactly where that move should take me. So as it stands, I’ve started researching the housing market in various cities and states. One thing keeps popping out at me. I LOVE historic homes.

I never thought I would want a historic home. Because, to me, that basically just meant old. And old houses need work. And just, no. But I am so drawn to them. The woodwork and the large rooms and the fireplaces and all the details. They seriously make me swoon.

I can see myself renovating a kitchen and painting a living room and decorating a dining room. And just writing that made me lose track of what I was doing and continue my search for a minute.

But back to writing.

Researching homes and daydreaming about buying said homes has filled my mind this past week. I don’t know if I will end up buying a grand historic home, but I do love the idea. So if it happens, I won’t be disappointed.

Other things filling my mind? School. I kind of want to go back to school. Perhaps start working toward my PhD, a task that will most likely be slow and somewhat painful, but let’s be honest people, I love being in school. And painting. I’ve been brainstorming about which painting class to film next and trying to decide what would be the most fun. I have a list of classes to film, and I simply need to decide…preferably in the next two days, as I need to order supplies! Ha. No pressure. 😉

And with that, I’m going to get to work. Have a lovely Monday, friends!

xo,

Everyday Life of a Working Artist: 10/9/2017

There were about a thousand things I could do this weekend. Mostly work related. But I forced myself to relax and take the time for myself. And although I’m starting Monday feeling a bit behind, I also feel really good about that choice.

It’s nice to have time to reflect and just breathe.

One thing I want to accomplish as I tackle this unknown year is taking the time to really evaluate where I am in life and what I want. The last few years, I have really questioned what I want. I went from feeling like I had it all figured out to feeling like I have little figured out. That’s the way it is with life, I suppose. It ebbs and flows. Sometimes it all feels brilliant, and other times it all feels like a cluster.

So I took the leap of leaving the security of my job to explore. Plenty of people thought I was absolutely nuts and voiced their opinion. Others thought I was nuts and kept it to themselves, with the exception of the confused looks on their faces and dread in their voices. Though I was scared, and half agreed with the skepticism, I did it anyway.

And here I am.

What I didn’t realize was although, technically, I left the security of my job to build my art business, this change would lead to so much more. It would give me time to evaluate and really think about what matters. It would force me to make big decisions about where I want to live and how. It would make me face my relationships and how much time I give them and what they mean to me.

And all this comes down to time. In ordinary life, there is little time for evaluating. Sure, you may decide you’re happy or unhappy or somewhere in between, and you may feel like you’re thinking about it all the time, but the reality is, a large portion of your day is dedicated to someone else. You have responsibilities to something bigger than you, namely your job, and although you would love to really meditate on your place in the world, you really can’t.

But now I find myself with just that. Time. Which is odd because I spend many hours working on my business, and I’ve set myself up with a workweek that usually rivals the work hours I put in as a science teacher. Yet, I still have more time for thought. More time for looking in. More time for myself.

Sometimes all that thought is uncomfortable, having to admit to myself that, in fact, I am a little lost. Other times it feels absolutely perfect. Thoughts and ideas and knowings come to me all at once, and I realize I am on exactly the right path. It’s equally inspiring and daunting and somehow just right.

I’ve adopted the phrase, “This moment is my destiny,” as my mantra. Oh, I need to tell you about that! I’ll save it for later this week, as it will take a whole other blog post.

I’ve picked up hobbies once thought lost. I’ve daydreamed about my next home and where it will be. I’ve started to come to terms with my fears about money (oh boy, do I have some hangups!). I’ve thought a lot about the lifestyle that’s important to me and the work that matters to me. And how I would like to set up this business in order to be content. I’ve thought about what else I need to feel I’ve contributed to the world in a meaningful way. About whether or not I will continue my art business full time next year. About who I want to help and what would make me feel good.

And I’ve realized that life is really complicated. And there are about twenty different scenarios that would make me equally happy, maybe more. And it’s all good. Because as long as I’m consciously thinking about these things and working toward things that give me joy, life will be good.

xo,

Everyday Life of a Working Artist: 10/5/2017

Yesterday, instead of writing my usual post, I finished writing a letter to my legislative officials regarding the shooting in Las Vegas. I felt like I needed to do something useful. When something like that happens, you feel a little helpless. So even a small act like writing and sharing a letter feels helpful in some way.

And although yesterday started slowly, I did finally get back into my work and feel like I was able to be productive and mostly focused.

I finished filming my second project for my online class! I still have to edit the videos. I started editing for that project, but there’s still a good amount to complete. Today, I’ll start filming for the final project and finish editing. I had hoped this week would bring me to complete all the editing and projects for the class, but it looks like, at the least, there will be some editing required next week. And that’s okay. It’s been an emotional week. I’m just happy to be moving forward.

In other news, I’ve been looking for another creative outlet. Something entirely different from painting. I have my photography, and that’s amazing. But it often requires me to stare at a computer for hours, which hurts my eyes or requires me to have something to photograph, which I don’t always have. It’s great sometimes but isn’t great always. I need something in the evenings that helps me escape the every day of my new artist life (because even my little designed-by-me business just feels like work sometimes). And guess what? I may have stumbled on the perfect hobby.

Nearly ten years ago, I decided to write a book. I spent a year (maybe more, it’s hard to remember) writing the rough draft of a novel. By the time that year was up, I was exhausted, my life had fallen to pieces, and I found myself rather busy in an attempt to glue it back together (a story for another day). In a nutshell, I just didn’t have time for the book anymore, and I lost interest.

Fast forward to today.

While walking my dog and listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, I was reminded of that book. And I got curious. How much had I actually written? What the heck was it even about? I mean, I remember the gist. But all the details have escaped me at this point. And then I got kind of excited. What if I pulled the file up and printed it all out? What if I started revising? What if it might be just a little bit good?

I now have 288 pages sitting to my left. My novel. My book. I WROTE 288 PAGES, PEOPLE.

I have no idea how to go about revising a book you don’t remember the plot line to (the last time I touched that file was in July of 2010). But I’m going to try. I guess I’ll start by reading it. And then figure it out from there.

Crazy. Fun. Kind of exciting. And it doesn’t even matter how it turns out or if it gets published or what happens. I don’t want to make a career out of writing books. I just want to enjoy the process and be open to the possibilities.

Pretty cool, friends. Pretty cool.

xo,

I’m Heather, a mixed-media artist with a love of turquoise and whimsy. My passion is helping women begin their creative journeys through teaching painting, yoga, and meditation.