Saturday, March 28, 2015

Playing with my art supplies

Art Play 1

I have been playing around and experimenting with my art supplies. Watercolors – see that really cute one of the two little girls? Acrylic craft paints, paint pens, gelatos.

Oh my goodness! Gelatos! I very recently got these (half off, people! Wooot!!!), and I love them!!! They are creamy and blend beautifully. The colors are dreamy! They are so much fun to play with!

And then there are my watercolors…

My first time painting as an adult was with watercolor. I fell madly in love with them. But they are a difficult medium to learn and when I tried acrylics – a much easier medium to work with – I traded my watercolors in for the easier to use medium.

For the past six months or so, I have had a yearning to try watercolors again. I hesitated. I resisted. And then I gave in and bought a small set of Koi Watercolors. Mmmmm, such vibrant colors!

But I put them aside again. I had forgotten all I’d learned about watercolor – which, I might add, was about 20 years ago, and was very beginner.

I already feel insecure enough about my artistic abilities so I resisted adding even more insecurity with watercolor.

You see, I really want to be a great watercolor painter. I mean I really, really want it. I want so much to be able to paint the images I see in my head and I am so far from that reality right now.

I'm feeling intimidated and inadequate. Honestly, it feels quite impossible to me.

But, I also know that I will never get to where I want to be unless I practice, practice, practice! 

And so, the other day, I just played around with my watercolors. Since I love children’s book illustrations so much and the adorable simple characters capture my heart, I just let myself have fun and try my hand at a couple of my own simple watercolor characters and this is what I painted:

WC Characters 1

I love them! They are so cute, and they make me feel happy inside. Smile

Do I have a lot to learn still? Yep, I sure do! But I’ve decided to just have fun along the way. No more pressure! There's already enough pressure in life. I certainly don’t need to invite that into my play time.

I’m off to play some more. It’s Saturday! Go get your play on too! Smile

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Fears and Dreams; Fears and Being Real

And a month later... So much has changed. 

I have been seriously thinking about changing the name of my business, as I'm going in a bit of a new direction. 

I've struggled with this off and on, wondering if I create Christian art, would I be shooting myself in the financial foot. Really honest there! 

Afraid that it would turn a lot of people off, and away from my blog - you know, when I eventually actually got the courage to create more art and post it here... 

Would I ever be able to get published in all my favorite Stampington magazines? Would they publish a Christian artist? I'd never seen it before, so I was afraid they wouldn't. 

I have dreamed these beautiful artsy dreams for so long - for two decades!!! - and I feared there would be a 'limited audience' if I were to create Christian art solely. 

I was wrong... In so many ways, I was wrong. 

It is my beautiful Jesus that has given me these artsy dreams to begin with. 

He knows my every need. He knows everything it will take for me to make my art dreams come true. He knows how much money I need to make so I can financially support myself. 

He knows all of it. 

And He is still calling me; whispering ever so sweetly in my heart and in my spirit to paint for Him, to blog about my art journey and my walk with Him, to have the courage to show my art on my blog and list it in my very new and very empty Etsy shop. 

He knows all that I need. He is my light and my life. He is my everything. 

And so I have nothing to fear. 

God told me that directly late yesterday afternoon. Sabrina, my son-in-law's sister-in-law (but she is like a niece to me! :) ), texted me and sent me a link to a YouTube video featuring a song called No Longer Slaves by Jonathan David & Melissa Helser. She told me that the Lord brought me to her mind when she was listening to that song that day and she hoped it blessed me. 

Wow! It blessed me so much. It is still blessing me. :) 

There is no need to fear, for "I'm no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God." 

And one of my favorite verses in the song: 

"You split the sea so I could walk right through it. My fears are drowned in perfect love." 

And so, I am stepping out in faith and following what God has put in my heart. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

What are Happy Flutters?

What are Happy Flutters? 

Photo by Kim Smith taken at the Cape May County Park & Zoo in Cape May, NJ

They are those happy, excited, giddy feelings inside when you come upon something that lights you up inside. 

Think about how out-of-your-mind excited you felt on Christmas Eve when you were a child and trying to get to sleep so Santa would come, but it was so hard because of the happy fluttery excitement you felt. :)

Happy flutters can also be a more serene kind of feeling. Think about this. You come upon something that stops your heart a bit and then you are filled to overflowing with awe and wonder. 

Photo by Kim Smith taken at the Cape May County Park & Zoo in Cape May, NJ

Is it when you round the bend and catch that first glimpse of the glistening ocean spreading before you?

Is it when you are standing under a tall tree and you look up into the branches and see the varied shades of green and the sparkling sun shining through? 

Is it when you come upon a gathering of trees in the Fall that are so vibrantly red, orange, and yellow? 

Yes, we are adults now. But you can still feel those delicious happy flutters. 

What makes you happy? 

I know this can be a tough question for some of us. It was for me for such a long time. I have struggled with depression my entire adult life. Besides my kids being the lights of my life, I didn't have a whole lot else that brought me so much joy. 

And then I happened upon a watercolor painting in progress for a children's picture book project and my heart stopped and then this feeling of pure happiness and childlike giddiness began to swell within me. 

I immediately went to my journal and as I wrote about it I said that it gave me the "childhood happy flutters." 

So, think about the things that make you feel those delicious happy flutters. 

Make a list, paint them, write a poem about them. Whatever makes you feel all happy fluttery inside. :) 

I'll be back a little later with several ways that have helped me to combat depression and feel more happiness. 

I'm off to do some painting! :)

Monday, February 9, 2015

The big move to the beach

Last week me, my son and his wife moved to Gloucester, MA. We are a two minute walk to the beach. It is literally around the corner from us! We can't see it, but we can hear the seagulls and smell the salt air. 

This is an exciting, yet kind of scary move for me. It's a whole different part of MA than I'm used to living in. Granted, Gloucester is only 30-45 minutes from where I'm used to living in MA, but it's a whole new look, a whole new feel. It seems to be a whole new type of land. Not a lot of trees, houses pretty close together, etc. But there's a beach right around the corner!!! (The older I get the more difficult it is to handle change...)

I can't wait for the Spring and Summer to come so I can really enjoy it! It is so exciting to come around that corner when we are driving home and I can almost hear the Hallelujah Chorus sing as the beach suddenly appears before me, all glistening and whispering to me that God sent me here to heal. That the sea is where my heart will mend and deep healing will take place. 

Wanna see a picture of the mess that is my art studio/writing nook/bedroom? 

This is the Art Studio section of my room and is the biggest mess. Oy vey! 

And here is my Writing Nook. Definitely better than the messy Art Studio!

Here's to a whole new adventure!

xo ~ Kim

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Fun, free, and happy fluttery!

I was surfing the net a couple of weeks ago and came across a blog that had a picture of a children’s book illustrator’s art desk with a partially painted watercolor picture for her current children’s book illustration job. Just seeing that watercolor painting made me feel so happy and excited inside. I journaled about it and wrote:

It’s so pretty and fun and beautiful and gives me the childhood happy flutters.

And I thought, ‘Happy flutters.... Oooh, that is fun! I really love that!’

I want to have more fun in my life. I want to be more playful, to be more silly and to laugh more.

I want to feel free. Free to be me, to be the me that I really am, deep inside. The me I am when no one is looking. The me in my heart and in my soul, without all the facades, without trying to be what other people expect me to be, without trying to be what I think other people expect me to be.
I want to be happy. This year, 2015, is my year. It is my year to embrace fully who I am. It is my year to become the artist I know that I am capable of being. 

You know, when I’m not experiencing those icky moments (which came way too much of the time!) when I doubt everything about myself and think that I suck at everything... It is the year to become the writer I know that I am capable of being.
It is the year that I am going to pay more attention to those things that give me those Happy Flutters deep inside my heart and my belly. Those things that make me feel like a happy, giddy child. Those things are the key to finding my true passions and to finding happiness.

It is the year that I do more of those things that give me happy flutters.

I get the happy flutters:

Whenever I go into the children’s section at Barnes & Noble – the YA fiction section, in particular.

When I look at children’s picture books that have watercolor illustrations.

When I hear classical  flute music.

When I play my flute.

When I spend time with my children and beautiful grandchildren.

When I am looking up artsy stuff on Pinterest.

I get the happy flutters when I write a short story with the help of a word prompt and a 15-minute writing sprint.

When I get ideas for writing projects, whether they be fiction or nonfiction.

When I create paper paintings.

When I just let loose on the canvas and not care about the outcome and just splash around in color and shape and use feel the paint on my fingers as I playfully finger paint. 

When I sketch cute little characters with no preconceived image in mind.

This is my year of Happy Flutters! :)

What makes you feel the 'happy flutters'?