It's almost Mother's Day...

Which means I am allowed to shamelessly share my son’s artistic talent right? He’s two. I get so excited when he brings home a little piece of art.

Scroll down for some Mommy (or Daddy & Me) art projects you can do at home as well as creative display ideas for those masterpieces.

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I’ve been MIA! Eek!

My blog hasn’t been getting a lot of love lately so I’m here to show it some today. :) Here’s a glimpse of what I’ve been working on. Jellyfish watercolors on canvas, a birthday party, florals, and of course keeping squirrelly middle schoolers engaged in the spring. Ha! I don’t blame them…it’s gorgeous outside!

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I also want to invite everyone to my upcoming reception on May 4th! If you’re local, stop by! Xo.

How to unpack your artistic style

I’ve been making art for a long time but recently, it’s been harder and harder for me to talk about my work in an elegant and confident way. Isn’t that strange? I think it’s because I have so many different ideas, my focus isn’t always clear, and I’m always trying to improve. Anticipating some events where I will be showing my work in the months ahead, I decided I needed to sit down and truly unpack my work so that I could regain the confidence to articulate my process, my subject matter, and how they compliment my unique style.

I started by browsing the website of one of my favorite artists to follow. Emily Jeffords. If you aren’t already following her, you should go do that now. She’s a mom of three, a successful painter, and truly inspiring in so many ways. Her landscapes are soothing, her watercolors are simplistically gorgeous, and she centers her love for art around the process. I can totally resonate with her hashtag and message #doitfortheprocess because it’s actually the first piece of my WHY.

So, let’s talk about that first. My WHY. I have simplified my WHY to three main categories (I know, three main categories doesn’t seem simplified, but it is to me). :)

CREATE. CONNECT, and INSPIRE.

The process of creating is what I love. Connecting with others through my work (a sale, an experience, a conversation, etc.) is what establishes a lasting relationship with collectors, students, or followers. Finally, I have built a career around inspiring others through art. I’m an art teacher and I’ve said it many times, I don’t think I could be an fine artist without also being an educator. To me, they go hand in hand.

Now that my WHY is established, let’s start to unpack my work. I don’t think anyone would take me seriously if I were at my own solo show and said, “I like to paint because it makes me happy.” LAME.

Crickets… right? I mean, “I like to paint jellyfish because I think they’re cool?” Oh man…I need to step up my game because I’ve actually said something along those lines before. IN PERSON YOU GUYS. TO ANOTHER HUMAN BEING ASKING ABOUT MY WORK. I need something better and I need it to fly out of my mouth with zero hesitation and every bit of confidence. I’m able to write about my work, but talking about it is very different because writing gives you more time to process, revise, and think it through. Every day, I teach my students to dig deep into what they are creating, to talk about it, write about it, ask questions, and all I can come up with is “I like to paint?” LOL. I’m giggling to myself right now because it seems so ridiculous.

I started exactly where I would ask my students to start...with the elements and principles of art. The elements of art are line, shape, color, texture, space, form, and value. The principles of design are repetition, pattern, contrast, variety, rhythm, unity, emphasis, movement, and balance. Some say there are ten principles, some say there are seven, these are the ones I’m thinking of off the top of my “art teacher” head but that’s not the important part of this discussion. I went through and thought about each of the elements and principles and how they most often show up in my work. Here are a few of findings…

LINE. Line is my favorite because my lines dance. I LOVE dancing...but I don’t dance. Let me rephrase that...I love to WATCH people dance. I think it’s one of the most beautiful art forms and I wish I had even a quarter of the talent I see in dancers. Music is always on in my house, or in my classroom but It’s rare you will find me dancing...unless I’ve had a couple glasses of wine (obviously not alongside the classroom music)...and even then, I have no rhythm and look like I love Lucy here. I’ve unfortunately bestowed that talent on my son too. Ha! Wait til’ I find a video for you guys. In all seriousness, I blast some music and dance with the lines and marks in my artwork. Each mark is truly intentional...even when I’m getting loose. No dancing pun intended...I mean loose with my brush strokes. When you see my work in person, be sure to look close.

My color palettes often represent that of coastal subject matter, water, or nature but I have a serious love for lime green. Although not always present, I add it in whenever I can. I’ve never had a lot of patience so I don’t always plan or mix my colors ahead of time, I usually apply them to the paper and see what happens to each layer and then adjust accordingly. While my watercolor paintings are often vibrant, my acrylics tend to be slightly darker with pops of bright white. I study trending color palettes to explore in my work while I strive to keep my work current. I want to connect with my ideal audience; the everyday art collector. I’ll dig deeper into my ideal client in a future post.

Space. Nope, not talking about Jupiter here…artists need to consider how they are using the space in their composition. I’ve found that I’m not afraid of negative space. In fact, I try to make sure I’m just as aware of what’s happening throughout the negative space as I am in the positive. Artists should always consider what is happening in the negative space and how it effectively balances the composition. With that said, I’m working on a series exploring subtle pattern within the negative space and interested to see where it takes me.

Moving on, the principle of design I come back to again and again is movement. If my lines dance, and my marks are intentional, movement is clearly emphasized. I intend to move the viewer’s eye around my painting by adding the perfect balance of complimentary colors, emphasizing shapes in just the right location, and always drawing the eye in close with interesting and detailed line work.

Now that I’ve identified how some of the elements and principles are represented in my work on a surface level, I also need to be able to articulate the story behind each piece. I need to ask myself; what am I most passionate about and how do I express it visually? This was surprisingly easy when I really sat down to think about it. It’s not world-changing, jaw-dropping, or utterly brilliant, but it’s me. Here it goes...

In a world that can be over-complicated, I want my work to represent the joy in simplifying things. Whether it’s the subject matter, the process, or the color palette. Simply doing it for the process as Emily Jeffords would say, is exactly why I make art. I want my collectors and viewers to find joy in my work; a similar joy to what I feel when I’m painting. Whether it’s the colors they are attracted to, the way it relates to an experience they’ve had, or maybe it simply compliments that perfect piece of furniture. It doesn’t have to be complicated. If there is no underlying meaning, that’s okay. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I may not always have an awe-inspiring story while other artists do. I always thought my work was lacking in that respect, but it’s not. I redefine a simple subject through my own interpretation of line and color. It’s my art full of beauty in its simplest form.

On a more personal level, the movement of my brush is therapeutic, I get lost in mixing and layering colors, dancing with my lines, and losing myself in the process. I’m a busy mama of one, hopefully two one day with a supportive and encouraging husband and full-time job. I have a creative outlet that I love and am so thankful I was blessed with talent and ability to pursue this dream. I encourage all of you to sit down and unpack your work once in awhile...even if you’re just starting out. What elements do you find are showing up most often in your work? How does it make you feel? What do you want the viewer to see? What excites you? … Most of all, be excited about whatever it is you find.

Xo.

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10 Benefits of Coloring: For Adults & Children

MOMS, DADS, TEACHERS, STUDENTS, KIDDOS, EVERYONE!!! Do you like to color?

This is probably nothing new BUT…I thought I would point a few things out that I’ve researched and more importantly learned over the years being an art teacher.

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Benefits for Kids:

  1. They will ditch the device for a while. Screen addiction is a real thing. Lets be honest, who is addicted to their screen as an adult? Just think what kids are going to experience in a world where EVERYTHING is online and accessible.

  2. Promotes focus and concentration. In a world where stimulation is everywhere. It’s nice to promote a more relaxed state of mind.

  3. Can improve handwriting. They are tasked with staying in the lines. This focused manipulation of the medium (the crayon or colored pencil) is a skill.

  4. Gives them confidence. Especially when you showcase their work, ask them questions, and praise them. Having a little art gallery at home is a great way to showcase artwork. Check out my Pinterest board for some display ideas.

  5. More accepting of criticism and guidance. When they make mistakes, help them learn how to improve. Show them.

Benefits for Adults:

  1. Ditching the device! < As I mentioned in the kid’s column, we all need to unplug for a while.

  2. It can reduce stress because you’re putting your mind in a meditative state focusing on the present act of coloring. Making marks on your paper, choosing colors, and experimenting with techniques.

  3. It travels well. Take your project to the beach, to a coffee shop, wherever you want really.

  4. You can color WITH your kids!!

  5. You can fill some empty wall space with your masterpieces or repurpose them in creative ways. Look HERE.


Did I convince you that coloring is beneficial? If so, embark on a coloring journey WITH ME! Here is some information about my latest ebook. It’s A COLORING BOOK!

Jellyfish: A Coloring Ebook
12.00

This ebook includes:

  • 25 Unique hand-drawn coloring pages

  • Color palette inspiration

  • Coloring techniques

  • An online community #ColorwaterStudio to share your work, see the work of others, and learn more about the benefits of coloring.

  • Active links to further explore supplies, color palettes, techniques, and DIY projects.

You have 24 hours to download your copy of this ebook.

***For personal use only. If intended as a gift, please only gift this ebook once. After that, please share it via this product link so your friends and loved ones can support my small business just as you did.

Add To Cart



"Jellyfish" A Coloring Ebook is NOW AVAILABLE for purchase!

I am so stinkin’ proud of this ebook I can’t even stand it. :)

Each page was hand-drawn and scanned in with zero digital modifications. It’s raw, un-edited, and I can’t wait for you to work through the pages with me. Yep…I said WITH me. I will be posting my own coloring pages in progress with tips, tricks, and techniques you might want to try. Oh, and of course some DIY repurposing projects, color palette inspiration, and more.

Ultimately, this coloring book is a collaboration between two artists. YOU…and ME. So let’s do this!

Jellyfish: A Coloring Ebook
12.00

This ebook includes:

  • 25 Unique hand-drawn coloring pages

  • Color palette inspiration

  • Coloring techniques

  • An online community #ColorwaterStudio to share your work, see the work of others, and learn more about the benefits of coloring.

  • Active links to further explore supplies, color palettes, techniques, and DIY projects.

You have 24 hours to download your copy of this ebook.

***For personal use only. If intended as a gift, please only gift this ebook once. After that, please share it via this product link so your friends and loved ones can support my small business just as you did.

Add To Cart

XO.

Oh, and P.S. Check out my next blog post (this evening) where I discuss the benefits of coloring. If you aren’t already convinced coloring books are awesome, you will be later. :)

My students got a sneak peek and a chance to color a few of the pages. Check out their work in progress!

Studio Inspiration

Pinterest and I are in a serious relationship. We are going on 12 years together I believe. Recently, I’ve been looking at studio inspiration. I love my little space but I need to open it up a bit. Here’s what I’m thinking…

STUDIO INSPIRATION

Current studio (below). I call it organized chaos. It needs a facelift.

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Does anyone have favorite organization products to recommend? I would love to hear from you.

#ColorwaterStudio WHAT???

So how does this work again?? What the heck is Colorwater Studio? Why does she keep talking about this? LOL. I can’t keep up.

Let me break it down…Colorwater Studio is my virtual studio. I talked about it a bit in a previous post. I will be posting tutorials, visuals, inspiration, links to other artists, and much more RIGHT HERE IN MY BLOG. If you purchased one of my ebooks (Watercolor Projects or the Jellyfish Coloring Book (AVAILABLE MARCH 1) you will learn from these posts and apply what you’ve learned to the ebook projects. Make sense? If it doesn’t, click here so we can chat. It’s basically a place for me provide information in real time without having to create a 367 page ebook. :) Because I can talk about this stuff all day!

Although the information provided by Colorwater Studio will be closely related to the projects in my ebooks, you can certainly learn from and enjoy it without having purchased either.

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HAPPY MAKING! … and don’t forge to use #ColorwaterStudio and tag me in your work @LindsayElizabethArt.

Only 8 more days until my coloring book releases!

Get on my email list recieve a special discount code!!

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Oh…and SURPRISE! Here’s a sneak peek! I plan to add 20+ more coloring pages before it’s released. :)

This week it's a "Saturday Freebie"

Saturday Freebie just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Haha. Oh well!

In anticipation of my full Jellyfish coloring book release, I want to give you a page for free. Color it, frame it, post it on the refrigerator, whatever…just have some fun and show me the end result. Either post it in your Instagram stories and tag me in it @LindsayElizabethArt or show the whole world in a REAL post using hashtag #ColorwaterStudio.

Will it be a mom and kiddo collaboration? Does dad want to unwind with some coloring at the end of the night? (I just chuckled as I wrote that but you never know). :)

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