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My art process. Military Life. My Cause.

Connection

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Connection.
 
Link, relationship, bond.
 
This is what I long for when my soldier is home or away. What I desire from those who see my work. For those that read my words. With my children and my friends. There are many different ways to connect and different depths of connection. 

Everyone is waiting for something. Whether it is summer break or the cool days of autumn. As I waited for the connection with an Artprize venue, and for “The Weight of Time” to dry and new fresh canvases to come, I found time. I got busy experimenting with watercolors. In one of my recent art orders I picked up an eight inch by eight inch watercolor block (it is a watercolor pad of paper that is glued together on the sides in order to keep the ripples out). I almost always use these blocks, it is way simpler for me than taping down watercolor paper to a board. Watercolors, for me, are a jumping off point. I see them as a rich beginning to pen work or a color pencil piece. I love sharing my photos on Instagram and I also feel like this is a place I can consistently view other artists in process, which is inspiring. I have a passion to invest in other people’s art as well. Recently I was messaging with another artist (@susannah_bee_art) to inquire about her small works and I discovered that they were $100 each. This felt doable. A spark of inspiration.

"Refreshing in Still Moments"  8"x8" Watercolor, Pen and Color Pencil Sold

"Refreshing in Still Moments"
 8"x8" Watercolor, Pen and Color Pencil

Sold

So while I waited, I started something new….

Work in progress...

Work in progress...

I put my price on these little paintings on Instagram and Facebook. I see people who do this ALL the time but I have been afraid to put myself out there in this way. For a lot of my work, mailing or delivery is a complicated thing, so I just haven’t wanted to over commit. This is a problem with thinking I have to have it all figured out before I act. The difference between cautious and overcautious is a fine line. I had never sold things to people that haven’t seen my work in person, but that seems to be changing. Many things I have been believing seemed to be proving wrong. I thought that I would have to frame the work to make it marketable. I thought my watercolors were too small to be desirable. Not so!  There was a connection and now three of those watercolors have their own home. I figured out a way to ship them and now it feels a bit less murky. This is doable.  I actually have a new spot on my website where you can purchase these small works!
 

A detail of "Sky Gazing" before it was complete.

A detail of "Sky Gazing" before it was complete.

Often these unknown barriers that I put up keep me from connecting. With a potential buyer, or another artist, or even a mom at swim practice. That first connection….the unsaid acceptance, or assumption, can be enough for a while - but eventually words are NECESSARY to go deeper. The “I miss you”, the “good job”, or the “you are important to me” may seem to be obvious to one, but not always the other. Sometimes we just need to start a conversation to begin a connection.  Personal connections repetitively make for close relationships over time. Groups of people sharing this repetitive connection create a sense of community. This is especially comforting when that connection happens in a tangible way. Like when the messes of life – when I feel like I am not succeeding, but struggling, or even failing - happen and then the outstretched arms of an embrace (figuratively or literally) catch me…. and then I can breathe a little easier.

This is true for me today. I am happy to announce that I can breathe a little easier! I have a new status as “connected” for Artprize! That means that I am ONE of the thousand artists competing for the cash prizes…..if you want to know all those details go to artprize.org

This connection is BIG for me! I first had the seed of hope planted in February 2013 and it grew into a dream in January 2016. As I uncovered the barriers and obstacles, we started planning some possible solutions, but the ultimate step of being CONNECTED this time, was out of our hands. We submitted more than required. We sent personal messages. I made my profile as appealing and thorough as possible, and then I waited. As you might have read in the last blog post “Resisting the Riptide of Rejection”, those emails that said “your request to be connected has been declined” wore on me. But how sweet it is when THE CONNECTION IS RIGHT.  “The Weight of Time” will be on display at the downtown location of Brush Studio. September 21- October 9. This is the biggest competition I have ever competed in!

Anyone up for a road trip?! To Michigan this fall? I am looking forward to it….it’s a NEW type of adventure for me. I love road trips. There is something about the open road. I actually have a lot of road trips planned for the coming months, and I just returned from one this week.
 

New sights. New experiences. New inspiration. My girls and I made a long but short trip to DC and it was fun! My friend and I ventured into the city with 5 kids under 5. I REALLY wanted to see Hirshorn’s exhibit….Linn Meyers “My View from Here.” If you find yourself in DC before May 14, 2017 (yes it is a year long exhibit), go! I was excited to help make this new connection for my girls, showing them their first art museum. I hope that over time they will grow to appreciate art of all types.

Exhibit link above.

Exhibit link above.

As I waited for the venue connection…. virtual connection inspired…and I left my comfort zone, both artistically and physically, to take a journey. My journey North was a re-connection with an old friend and a new connection with my girls. I am still in “over my head” so to speak, but in the words of a famous fish “Just Keep Swimming” is what I plan on doing.

"Just Keep Swimming"   8"x8" Watercolor, Pen and Color Pencil Sold

"Just Keep Swimming"  

8"x8" Watercolor, Pen and Color Pencil

Sold