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My 2020 “Acrylic April”

AA_2020_week1

I’ll give a brief synopsis for any not familiar with what “Acrylic April” is.  Cinnamon Cooney, whom I discovered through my kids, is a YouTube Acrylic Art Phenom!  (It was with her online tutorials I rediscovered my love and need to emote through painting.)  “The Art Sherpa,” as she is known, teaches acrylic painting techniques for beginners and more recently, advanced artists.  It was her 18+ Online Facebook Challenge that encouraged my art business.  (You can refer to previous blog posts for more details.)  Her mother, Ginger Cook, is an esteemed pioneer of acrylic techniques.  Ginger’s paintings would have you believe she uses oil, they are amazing. (think ‘old dead guys and gals’ good!)  Combining information from both of them has helped me develop my own style of painting and I LOVE IT!!!  Last year, Cinnamon offered a painting a day during April with instruction; introducing more people to the wonderful world of acrylic painting and how daily painting is beneficial for more than developing skill, but our mental health, as well.  She has since copyrighted the term “Acrylic April” and evolved the event by creating tools and collateral for those wishing to participate.  Her mission, teaching skills and spirit are beautiful.  As an acrylic painter, I will participate in this annually to inspire creativity within myself and improve my own skills.

Now that you’re up to speed, you can see I’m off to a great start one week in.  Who would’ve thought that a pandemic’s timing could actually be in line with what I am doing.  I’m thanking my lucky stars I can use this time to create.  The images I’ve chosen are aligned with what we are experiencing.  April has 30 days, 30 opportunities to grow, show and reflect my life into images.

A word prompt is available to all who participate.  Week one consisted of the following in order from left to right and top to bottom in the photo above: “Glow,” Unexpected Journey,” “Fire and Ash,” Innocent,” “Lighter than Air,” “The Art of Zen,” and “The Spirit of Hospitality.”  I take time to reflect and think about each phrase and how I can relay a relevant message.  (Skills I often use when doing commission work.  It’s important to know and understand your subject work in order to create pieces that are successful.)

Emotions have been running a muck as of late.  Up, down, up down, sad, mad, happy, unsure and on and on.  Of the emotions, optimism has been a difficult one to grasp.  I’ve turned off unnecessary news and media updates of the negative aspects of our world, yet they seem to make there way into our social media sources.  I prefer to see and share messages of love and support rather than doom and gloom.  Thank goodness most of the people I follow are of the same mindset.

My body is emotionally tired, I know that sounds strange, but emotion manifests itself in our bodies in physical ways and this week it is breaking me.  My response currently to our new “normal” would be to go outside and scream at the top of my lungs and release the anger, then I’d like to paint ferociously on a couple large canvases.  Then I can focus on how to keep bills paid and build this little art business into something more that can offer an outlet for others who are feeling the pressures as much as me!

Feel free to share your paintings, if you are also doing “Acrylic April” with me.  Share how you are approaching this new “normal”, and how you take time for yourself in spite all of this.  Stay safe and well.

Big Art Hugs to all you Be-you-tiful peeps! ~ Tammy

 

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Green Flash

It’s 6 O’Clock on what I think is Monday.  Both my girls are back to being freshman today.  (One in high school and one in college.)  Our new normal has brought insight to each of us as we navigate our days together; schedules aren’t necessarily parallel, but we’re making it work.

My brain is in overdrive and I’m struggling to manifest ideas into reality.   My in-house makeshift studio table has officially cluttered the space between our music/sitting and dining rooms with loads of “essentials” and mediums (from my studio) for small journal work, Acrylic April and mixed media playtime.  It has been my outlet space for now.  The word prompts for AA are producing introspective work, albeit they are only 8″x 8.”  Even with all of this, I cannot completely immerse myself in the process; the distractions are abundant which try my focus.  This week I WILL venture to my studio (In a building we own 30 minutes away) to get messy! I’m hoping it will help sort out the brain clutter a bit.

FORD_01_Flash at DuskDawn
“Green Flash at Dawn/Dusk”,  12″ x 24″,  Original $285

My artwork is very emotionally driven, so all of this Covid chaos surrounding us has really affected me more than normal.  Over the years I’ve learned to use meditation, stretching and deep breathing for focus.  I go for a walk or bike ride to sort out my thoughts, sometimes listen to classical music hoping to clear out my head, yet there is an underlying feeling that I cannot seem to extract no matter what I do.  It is troublesome not understanding what and why it’s out of reach.

It is taking quite a bit of time getting my online store up and functional.  I will update it with prints soon and streamline how it shows.  What a learning process!  The good news is I will be able to use that knowledge for my hubby’s business, as well.

I wish you all a wonderful Monday evening, may it be spent doing what you love to do.  Stay safe, wash your hands and get creating (that goes for me, too)!!!

Art HUGS to all you be-you-tiful peeps!  ~Tammy

 

 

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2020

As I rest up today, recovering from the Holiday’s and all it had to offer including sickness, I’m perplexed and unsure of my next move once again. Last year was full of firsts allowing this year with a few less surprises of its own.

There is an urgency in stepping out blindly and pursuing success on your own. It is imperative to be curious, ask questions and seek answers from those qualified to give it yet I am uncertain if there is a “specific” way to accomplish that. Often I end up with more questions requiring more research. Truly my curiosity for the knowledge surrounding a topic often hinders my progress.

This is my second year applying for the Banbury Art Crawl right here in Eau Claire, WI. It runs the first weekend in February and they’ve confirmed that emails will go out this week with the approx 100 featured artisans. I’m excited, nervous and apprehensive at this prospective venture. I believe that if I am not accepted this year, it gives me opportunity to really move forward with my work and have even more experience with booths, etc. Yet again, it is a great way to network and meet others who are successful, promote myself right here in the Chippewa Valley and learn even more. So in the meantime, I wait…

Other opportunities for shows and exhibitions are out there that I haven’t pursued and will do so this year. I remain a rather unknown artist at this point and know that with determination and learning through failure, the right avenue for my work will reveal itself.

Friends and family took time to like, comment, ask about and share my art which makes me exceedingly grateful and I’ve vowed to promote other small businesses (many of which happen to be female led) in that same way. Offering “classes” still has me perplexed. With so many local “paint and sip” options available, my goal is not to compete but offer those who are wishing to improve skills or creativity the opportunity for growth and currently I’m developing lessons around specific skills. Additionally, I’d love to be available for those who may be searching for a creative emotional outlet. If you ever have questions or if you wish to spend time in the studio with me and paint, I will absolutely make time for you and if I can’t answer or help, I’ll certainly point you in a direction to find what you’re looking for!!

Any way I view it, 2020 looks to like another exciting and challenging year in this artists life! My desire to inspire and touch more souls this year is in full motion!!!!

Happy arting to all you Be-You-tiful peeps. Tammy and the ART studio

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Believing is also an action

When you arrive at a destination, did you believe you would arrive? Most often we simply go without anything more than a thought. That is the absolute process in which I started this art journey.

I was diligent in positive affirmation as a way to promote ‘believing’ in my dream, although I didn’t quite believe it would actually happen. I merely set out on a mission of action with a notion of what could be possible. I spent day after day putting in hours of work, research, education and following through with a set up. I felt kind of like a hamster on a wheel with no real destination. It was unclear.

This is my exact point. Sometimes we don’t know where we are going until we end up there! I would encourage you to keep to the course and go though struggles, because for me it was in those struggles that the realization of what needed to happen fell into place. I really learned to HEAR what direction I was to go and opportunity seemed to appear as if out of nowhere. I am certain that is where the believing actually materialized and now I continue to listen and follow through.

Making mistakes and learning which pitfalls to avoid is absolutely part of the process. It’s not all rainbows and sunshine, it’s a whole lot of grind, angst and fear that when persevered results in great victory! I am living my dream and believe it will foster others to live theirs. Just BELIEVE.

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Contemplating Success

This statement is bouncing around in my head today as I prepare for my first ever load in of an individual showing at a local business. I feel very blessed and thankful in regards to having this opportunity. I also recognize that the opportunity didn’t just present itself, I sought it.

Taking the proper steps in any business requires a certain air of discomfort and uncertainty. Stepping out on your own to pursue possibilities for “success” is a bit unnerving. How will I be received? Will they like my work? What will others think of where my work is placed? Will I sell anything? Questions and overthinking are normal for me. I often spend more time than necessary mulling over every possible question and an equally possible solution. Getting over myself is the largest obstacle when it comes to my personal and professional “success.”

So the short and sweet of it…get over yourself and worry less. Explore options and search for ways to be successful. When one or more opportunities fail, know that there are multiple ways to achieve “success” in your art journey and always have your eyes, ears and mind open!!