Thursday, December 6, 2012

An Update in Pictures

October 2012: I am ridiculously pregnant, and ready to meet this munchkin!

Soaking up the last days of it being just me and this little monkey before monkey #2 joins the party:)

October 26, 2012: Welcomed Gabriel Elias Samour into our family! His birth was quick and I was thankful to have him naturally, just as I'd hoped to. Rogelio was the best doula I could ask for; even the nurses were kidding about hiring him! Feeling so blessed by my husband, and to now be the mom of two sweet boys. 

We also found out, a few days before Gabriel's birth, that we are moving back to Fayetteville, AR at the end of December for Ro's new job. Excited, but completely and totally overwhelmed. 

November 2012: Lots of cuddles, not lots of sleep, and lots of sweet smiles:)

November 25, 2012: This guy turned 2!!! 

Rowan loving on his baby brother:) 

December 2012: Getting ready (if you count sitting around cuddling a baby) for our move; more to come!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Adelaide's Collage

Being a mom to a toddler is the most joyful and exhausting experience of my life (I'm sure being pregnant is adding to the exhaustion part...and the joyful part too:).  I still love painting a more realistic style, but when I have time to just let loose in the art room, collage seems to call me these days. Its a completely different process. When painting based on a photo, I have a very specific look that I want to achieve, and I find I have to have larger chunks of time to be super focused. I enjoy painting like this so much, but it is getting more and more challenging as I get more and more pregnant, and Rowan gets more and more active! 

Collage, on the other hand, goes something like this; how big a mess can I make? What shapes and colors are drawing me in? What does my brush want to do right now? I can create a layer quickly and then come back at anytime.

I don't have any idea if I'm collaging the 'right' way, but that's kind of part of the fun too. This is my process right now, but it continues to evolve!

The first layer (forgot to photograph it!) is just splashes of paint; I covered this one in yellows and purples and let them dry. Then I start patch-working papers, using a collage medium to stick them to the canvas. I really love mixing up the textures by ripping some, and cutting specific thing out on others (like the flowers).  I created this collage for my beautiful niece!  The maps are from my Grandpa's collection, and Seattle (where they moved right before they she was born) is something I know I want to have showing through the final layer.  

Then a couple glorious doodle and shading layers! I don't think at all about the final product at this point; I just work with the shapes that are already there that I'm loving, shading around them to make them stand out more, and using white for my doodles and stencils. 

Natalie knew she wanted balloons for Adelaide's room, so we played with sketching some compositions til we found one that would work well on the canvas (referred back to internet photos of the New Mexico Balloon fiesta, they are coming in handy:). I use chalk to sketch out the basic shapes (it wipes away clean!), and then used a thinned down acrylic paint to begin blocking them out. 

This part is SO fun! There is so much going on in the under layers, as the image takes shape, I get to decide what layers show through (like the details in the balloons) and what is going to disappear. 

Shading and detail added to each balloon, a little bit more white detailing, and a touch of glitter (love!) and this collage is done! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Playing with the Process

I got thinking the other day about just how cool all this techy stuff I don't understand is. The way that blogging, Facebook, twitter, instagram, (etc, etc) makes connecting with other artists and learning from them about a bajillion times easier and faster than it would have been before. 

Learning from other people inspires me so much! While wandering on instagram, I came across Flora Bowley's work, and couldn't pull myself away. Turned out, she also had a book that was being published, so you can guess what I did next. 

All that to say, she's awesome, it's an awesome book, and when I'm not working away on commissions, I've been inspired by her to 'step out of my comfort zone' and paint/collage in a freeing way, just layering and layering for the love of it (note: I was a little too into it, and didn't get pics of the first layers!).  Though when I have an image in my head, it seems to decide for itself what the painting's going to be about (ex. the penny farthing below! Saw one of these in front of a bike shop at the beach and fell immediately in love). My dear friend Kat just sent me pictures from a hot air balloon fiesta (what could be cooler?!?) that happens yearly in New Mexico, so they're back on the brain. Think they'll be working themselves to the surface in my next series of therapeutic paintings!

Playing with papers, shading and handmade stencils...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Lessons Learned


I got reading through a few old blog posts tonight, and it was SO GOOD.  In the beginning of this painting journey, I was lit up with all I was learning in class.  This one's a gem; my first people painting, ha! Recently I've found myself getting intimidated by how other people perceive my paintings, and thinking about all the things I'm not doing right in my 'business' (or not doing at all). I also (childishly) look at mega-successful artist's work and hear a voice in my head saying, ' Oh, what's that? Yup, you should probably just put that brush down.'

Who knew? Turns out, comparing myself to others doesn't do a bit of good. Other than possibly keeping me from doing all I could do. If I wasn't so busy comparing.

The picture above is of a commission I did recently where I felt that same 'getting lost' in it I used to; I just. Love. Painting. It was so rewarding that they felt it truly captured the memory of the day, but I think I need to learn that if I paint hoping people will like it, I lose some of the magic that makes me love painting so much to begin with.

Self reminder: Love what you do more than you love people's praise; or you won't love what you do.


It was also so fun to look back on baby BABY pictures of Rowan; was that only 18 months ago?!? Gah. He's a little MAN now, almost all traces of baby gone. And so. much. FUN.

He's obsessed with elephants at the moment, and says "Elee! Elee!" whenever he sees one ( I have no idea where this came from). He's an avoid conversationalist (in Chinese, we think) and an incredible mimic; his repeat repertoire includes 'peace dude' with an attempt at a peace sign, which makes us laugh every time (thanks Tat!:). He turns anything and everything into a phone (his toy laptop was one recently; size is a non-issue), and gives the best, giggliest eskimo kisses on the planet.

Tonight he sat next to his big basket of books, taking each one out and carefully looking at every page;  30 minutes later, he looked up at me startled, and said, 'Oh!'. I'm pretty positive he was so lost in his reading, he forgot I was there! I just want to remember all these sweet things.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Deny Designs

I am so excited about this opportunity! My friend Erin recently passed my artwork on to some of her friends that own Deny Designs. I was delighted (and pretty darn surprised) when they contacted me saying they would like to use my artwork on their site. The website is a super fun idea; liven up your standard home goods (shower curtains, bedding, blankets, clocks, etc) by having them printed with original artwork. Here's to hoping someone out there is on the search for a hot air ballon shower curtain!:)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Arts in the Park 2012

My first real show! Back in October I applied for Arts in the Park, a yearly arts festival in Johansen Park in Atlantic Beach. I was so excited to be accepted, and can't believe how fast April got here. 

I don't usually think of myself as shy, but the morning of, getting ready to talk to people about my art, I was a ball of nerves! It's one thing to hole up in my art room and paint's a whole other thing to sit at a table with a bunch of people looking at it. Eeek. In spite of all the nerves, I can't believe how well it went, and how much FUN I had! I am a horrible sales person, but seeing how much joy people had when they really connected with a piece made me ridiculously happy too. 

MAJOR highlight of the day: My friend Erin had commissioned a painting of the first house she and her husband had lived in for their anniversary. She wrote a sweet note on the tag, and I 'planted' it in the midst of the other paintings for him to stumble on when they stopped by. He was so surprised! I can't help smiling every time I think about it:)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

New Works

My grandpa is my hero. Not because you've heard of him, or because there are going to be books written about him, but because, in his quiet, strong way, he is someone I wish I could be just like. 

For starters, he has the most fantastic, well-timed sense of humor you will ever find (I don't think I can ever learn that). He might not say that much, but when he does, you're going to laugh til you cry. Even though he is super amazing and handy and knows how to do just about a million things, he is also incredibly humble.  Also, he's cool as a cucumber. Always. And the sense of adventure he has! He and my grandma have traveled to more places than I can count, and I only hope someday Ro and I can mark as may places on a map as they have. 

This last visit to their house over Christmas, they graciously let me go through the stacks of maps at their house, and take whatever I wanted. The collection is absolutely amazing, and several I am nervous to use, I'm so obsessed with how beautiful they are just as is. 

When I started dreaming of balloons recently, I thought I just might have found the perfect way to integrate one of the world maps. All of the paintings pictured were created from a single map, collaged paper, and acrylic paint. I hope they capture a sense of adventure and delight! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Family Photos

I've been meaning to post these for a long time! These were taken several months ago by the lovely Amber Hoadley. I'm so glad to have some family pictures; I feel like Ro and I are both good about taking pictures, but we're rarely in them! It's crazy how much Rowan has grown and changed even since these were taken. 


Friday, February 3, 2012

Beach Babies

I was so excited to work on this commission; I feel a new creative wave, and it's making me a bit giddy.  Being able to combine my love of collage, little people and the outdoors? Shoot. Ro's having to pry me out of my studio in the evenings. 

Also new around here this week; you have to try these. In my obsessive perusing of Pinterest, this recipe for Larabars came up, and they have been a huge hit around here. There are so many ways to vary them too! 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Stick Fishing


I'm so inspired by Susanne and Edgar Cabrera's blog, An Open Sketchbook, that I wanted to start including  sketches of Rowan, as a way to remember the cute things he's up to. 

Sticks are an endless source of fun right now; why do we have any other toys??? His favorite game is getting the cat to chase the end of the stick; he drags it through the plants, driving her just about crazy. Some amazing baby giggles follow:)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Oh, the SNOW

I know that it's January. And that it might be unacceptable to post Christmas pictures this far after the fact. But I got looking through these yesterday, and I can't help myself! Our time in Canada was wonderful. I felt like I was marinating in all the love and hugs and sheer happiness of all that far-away-family togetherness . Wanted to bottle it up and bring some home with me. 

 I've been in a trance since we got back... that sounds like a lame excuse for being unproductive, but I think I'm finally shaking it! Ready to get going. Exciting things coming up.

In February a friend and I are running a half-marathon; with the goal of doing it in 2 hours. Eeek! Training has been so fun (can you say that about running at 6am in the morning?) and I'm getting really excited to challenge myself in the race. 

I found out that I've been accepted to Arts in the Park 2012 and am excited to start preparing for that. Lots of painting!  I'm getting a printer in the next couple weeks too, and am looking forward to the creative possibilities that will open up.  

New love: PINTEREST. I was a late comer, and admit that it took me at least a month to just figure out how to pin something. But now that I'm going I can't stop. Love all the kids crafts I'm finding! I put a button linking to my Pinterest, so if you'd like, check it out! 

Happy New Year (belated, I know!)! What are you excited about this year?

Monday, November 28, 2011

First Birthday

 Rowan, you make our hearts feel like they could explode with love. 
 Everyday you are doing something new; can you really have grown so much in a year???  

November 2010

November 2011 - With a super big, cheesy smile that he's perfecting:)

Happy birthday sweet boy! 

This has been my prayer for you all through your first year; and for the rest of your life!

May the Lord bless you and keep you;
May the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious towards you;
May the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace. 

Numbers 6:24-26

Friday, November 18, 2011

Another DIY! Repurposing Old Shutters

If you saw my table at the Beaches Artwalk last month, you might have noticed that it looked rather, well, flat. I didn't have anything to hang stuff on! I was short on time, and wasn't able to put together a display I was truly proud of.

So this month, I did my research! I wanted a space with a warm and friendly feel to hang my work on, and loved the idea of using something vintage. Several google searches ( see LOTS of shutter ideas here ) later, and a fun treasure hunting day at Avonlea Antiques with my boys, and I had just what I needed. 

 Headed into Lowe's to saw the shutters in two.

Also gave me a chance to reuse the lovely cream color 
I used to paint the bricks!

Feel lucky; I'm letting you see my mess. Trying to figure out how to hinge them! This is the part where Ro steps in and makes it all better, ha:)

The final product!