Like Button

Monday, May 14, 2018

Things Can Change Really Quickly - Motivation Monday

12 Hours Is All It Took!

I took a walk last night around 8 p.m. and took some pics of these pink iris getting ready to bloom.



The day before, May 12, you couldn't tell they were pink,
but by 8 p.m. on Sunday evening, May 13,
this is what they looked like.


By 8 a.m. Monday morning May 14, this was what greeted
 me on my early morning walk.


This is a close up of this beautiful pink iris.

How was I motivated on this beautiful Monday morning
just by taking a walk and
 noticing the change in these beauties?

Those bulbs have been in the ground for a number of years.

They bloom each year and then after the blooms die off they continue to be green but bloomless in my garden for the rest of the summer.
Their green dies off after the first frost and then it looks like nothing is in that spot for the rest of the winter and early spring.

Then, the magic starts to happen.

As the soil and the air warm up,
green shoots start coming up out of the ground.
Then a stalks shoots up with tiny green buds on it.
Then you start to see a little color,
and then,
BOOM!
This beautiful bloom opens up for everyone to enjoy.




It's like that in life!
Often times we try to do something,
learn something,
create something,
be something,

and it looks like nothing is happening!

You don't feel like you're accomplishing anything.

You don't feel like you're getting any better.

You don't feel like you're moving that project along!

You might be ready to give up at this point.

But your success might be another 12 hours away,
just like that beautiful pink iris was.

If you're trying to learn a skill like painting,
and you don't feel like you've made progress,
I'm here to tell you, you have.
Your hand is becoming part of the brush,
You're understanding how to to use the brush better,
You're learning how to mix color better.

The results may not be in your painting yet,

But I promise if you keep going,
keep trying,
keep experimenting,
keep practicing,

One day you're going to amaze yourself!

Something incredible will just flow off your brush
and it will all have been worth it.

Don't EVER Give UP!


The Painter Nation Members Club is almost finished 
and I'm getting ready to test it to make sure everything works.

This project has been in the works for well over six months,
and there were many days and weeks when I wanted to just throw in the towel and surrender.

But I have continued to push through,
because I think it will really help anyone and everyone
who wants to learn how to paint.

I am going to immerse you in a topic for a month and you will learn how to draw and paint that topic in several different ways.

You'll have access to great art foundation lessons that will always be at your beck and call.

You'll have access to lots of reference photos for the monthly topic and there will be many real time videos teaching you up close and personal all the nuances of the monthly topic.

I don't want you to ever give up!

Ever!

If you want to learn to paint,
I want you to be successful.

It's out there for the taking!!!

Monday, May 7, 2018

First Saturday in May - Motivation Monday

Nothing Motivates Like 

The First Saturday in May

The Kentucky Derby is called
 the fastest two minutes in sports.

And that's probably very true!

But, many thousands of people plan for a year
for that very fast two minutes.

Click HERE for the Official Kentucky Derby Festival Site.

Things to plan for include:
Thunder Over Louisville - air show and fireworks
Balloon Glows, glimmers and races,
Bed Races,
Marathon and half Marathon,
Pegasus Parade
The Great Steamboat Race,
The chow wagon and the festiville,
Thurby - Thursday at Churchill Downs
The Oaks - Fridays fillies run for the lilies race,
The Kentucky Derby race 
Millionaires Row,
The Celebrity Parties,
and then,
THE Cleanup!

For two weeks, Louisville, Kentucky collectively
looses its mind.

In the very best possible way, of course.

It starts here at Thunder of Louisville 
with the air show

and what is called the worlds largest fireworks show
where you and a million of your closest friends watch 
the most incredible fireworks show put to music. 

Click HERE to see tons of Thunder pics.

Then everyday for 2 weeks, you can be entertained,
wined and dined 
with every kind of event possible.
All Leading up to that two minutes on Saturday evening.

The rest of the country may only see the hour before the two minutes and then the two minutes,
but Louisville, KY is ALL IN for two full weeks.

And probably 90% of all this activity is outside.

The weather forecasters in Louisville better deliver some beautiful weather on the First Saturday in May
or else you might be forecasting in Buffalo.

Derby forecasts begin showing up on the news
 about a month out.

No One wants to utter the "R" (rain) word.

We've had an unseasonably cold rainy spring,
even having snow about 2 weeks prior to the festival.
The trees are several weeks behind blooming this year.
But when Thunder arrived,
which marks the beginning of the festival,
the weather was beautiful!
In fact for nearly two weeks the weather was beautiful.

Thurby, which is Thursday before Derby speak,
and is considered Louisville day at the Downs,
was beautiful.
Fridays Oaks race was beautiful, even though the threat of rain was there all day, it held off.

The forecast for Derby Day was intermittent showers
in the morning with it clearing up between 3-3:30 for a race that was supposed to go off around 6:45 p.m.

There were showers off and on in the morning,
but nothing crazy.
Then it began to rain with some intensity around noon.
Around 2 p.m. it became a toad-strangler,
By 3 it was absolutely pouring,
by 5 p.m. there were flash flood warnings in Louisville,
and by the time the race went off, 
It was a crazy, sloppy, muddy track.

The horses in the Kentucky Derby have to win their way in.
Meaning these three year olds have to have won a particular amount of races to be eligible to run in the Derby.
Click HERE to read how it works.

They haven't run many races and some have never run on a wet track or in the rain.
By race time 2018, a wet track wasn't even in the equation.
This was the wettest track in Derby history!
It wasn't just wet, it was a
 completely new dimension in wet tracks.

One of the most interesting things about running in the slop
is with the jockeys.
They mount their horses in the paddock wearing about 6 pairs of goggles on top of each other.
Then as the race progresses and one pair of goggles gets covered in mud, they flip those down and expose a clean pair.
And then another and another.
The trick is to have as clean a pair as possible at the end,
because that's where things get really interesting.
There's the speed, 
the bouncing, 
the jerking, 
the whipping, 
and some shoving,
and then there's the mud.
If you can't see that little sliver of a hole to guide your horse into, all the planning that's gone into this moment
 may be for naught.

On Saturday 20 owners could have scratched their horse at any time as the conditions deteriorated.
In 144 years conditions had never been so bad for 
a Kentucky Derby and one thing for sure was,
this race was going to be run in that mess.
It would not be re-scheduled.

These 20 horses were bred and born
 with this moment in mind.
Their owners, trainers, jockeys, groomsmen, stable boys, hot walkers, farriers, vets and many others
 have lived and breathed this race
with this horse for 3 years.

Scratching wasn't an option!

So,
After all the planning of thousands of people,
all the hoopla leading up to the race,
the clothes,
the hats,
the parties,
and you'll notice I'm not even mentioning the mint juleps or the wagering,

The race is still on and they have to still run,
in the worst possible conditions.

Life is just like that.
We work,
We plan,
We try,
and then things go south
and we have to get through the worst possible conditions.

Why?

Because at the end of it all,
There is still a horse standing in the winners circle
with fist pumping jockeys, trainers and owners,
wearing that beautiful garland of roses.

And this year the favorite
and the winner
is
JUSTIFY!

Justify beat everything!
Including the worst weather ever!

I love that a horse named Justify
showed why it was the favorite and how to win
even when conditions were the worst possible.

I learned that sometimes you just have to put your head down, and push through the race,
regardless!
No matter what!

To win the roses,
YOU HAVE TO RUN THE RACE!

If you want to get in on the fun
for Derby 2019,
Click HERE.

If you want to go to the Derby, you're gonna need a hat.
My friend, hat artist Polly Singer, can hook you up.
Click HERE to check out her art.
(This is, after all, an art blog)


It's coming!
It's coming!
The Painter Nation Members Club is coming!

Click HERE to Learn all About the Members Club.
If you want to learn how to paint
on a budget,
the Painter Nation Members Club
 is screaming your name.




Friday, May 4, 2018

Unplugged - Family Fun Night

Family Fun Night
at the Carroll County Middle School

Unplugged!

That was the goal.
For families to have fun without being plugged in to a phone!

Practically unheard of in todays world.

But we did it.

They made edible art.

They painted rocks.

They made crafts.

They had a concert.

And we painted.

       I was asked to teach 3 classes for about an hour each,
with 12 per class, where everyone could complete a painting.
No short order.

I ended up teaching 5 classes with 48 people participating 
in 4 hours.

Whew!

That was some kinda crazy (but fun) night.

We painted something easy so we could get it done,
but also something that had lots of color and a challenge to it.


Here's a short video of the night.
Excuse one segment of the video, where the videographer (me) looks like she totally lost her mind.

Who NEEDS a phone for fun!

If you would like to help a girl out by taking a 
VERY SHORT Survey
Click HERE.

The info on the survey will help me know what you would like to learn and see.
  
I'm trying to create an amazing 
Painter Nation Members Club 
and your help is greatly appreciate.

What's a "Painter Nation Members Club?"
Click HERE to find out all about it.

Thanks a bunch and happy painting!!!

Fun In The Studio!

Let's Do Art

Sharon, you're crazy, you say.

Well this is, after all, an art blog,
so let's do some art.

This is from work I did over the weekend
painting flowers picked from my yard.



I love time lapse video, even if I'm the one doing the painting.


Yes, I totally wiped out that daffodil in the upper left hand corner.  But just like in every painting, I learned so much doing that, 
it's all good!

If you haven't taken my VERY SHORT survey,
but would like to help a girl out,
click HERE.
This VERY SHORT survey helps me understand what you would like to learn and see so I can help you better.
Thanks I really appreciate it.


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Introducing The Painter Nation Membership Club

It's Almost Ready!

I've been preparing and working for months on adding 
the Painter Nation Members Club
to my website...

...and it's almost complete.

I hope to launch it in mid May!

That's the plan.

What Is the Painter Nation Members Club?

Sooo glad you asked.


The Painter Nation Members Club
will be all about learning basic art concepts monthly.

You'll pay by the month and cancel anytime.
(But why would you?)

Each month you will have the opportunity to receive new beginning painting lessons and drawing lessons.
We will cover a different subject each month
and we'll learn how to draw and paint that subject.

Everything will be in real time videos.
I leave nothing out.
You see exactly how to do something and
because you're a member,
you'll be able to watch as many times as you want.

There will also be 6-8 standing mini classes such as:
All about drawing supplies
How to select and care for brushes
Creating a color wheel and why
How to create a color chart and what it teaches
Setting up a palette using a standard wet box
What are supports
How to frame a painting.

These classes will always be in the Members Club.

Each month a new bundle will open with a:
New painting class
New drawing class
Product reviews
Supply lists
Short videos explaining deeper more intricate topics.

Each bundle will remain in the Painter Nation Members Club
for a minimum of three months.  
As new bundles are released, older bundles will come off.
This will keep you from being overwhelmed
 about what to do next.

If this sounds like something you're interested in,
leave me a comment below and I'll make sure you know
when it's going live so you don't miss out.

Anyone wanting to learn how to paint is going to love
The Painter Nation Members Club.

Good, solid, usable beginning painting information
and instruction to assure that you will be successful as you go full steam ahead on your art journey.

I can't wait for you to join me in the 
Painter Nation Members Club.
We are going to have a super great fun art time. 

Stay tuned for more info this week.

You will NOT believe the price!!!





Monday, April 30, 2018

Motivation To Finish

Motivation To Finish

Finish is my word for 2018!!!

I started upgrading and redoing my website,
late last year and I had hoped to have it completed by now.

It's not finished yet,
but it's very close.

I write a Motivation Monday blog post almost every Monday,
and you might think it's for you,

But really - it's for me!

I struggle with tech stuff and I put off doing this project
because it is so difficult for me.
So my Motivation Mondays are my effort to keep me going on the project and 

FINISH!!!

I really wanted to add a membership site to my website.

So what's a membership site you ask?

It's sort of like a gym membership.
You pay by the month and every single month you receive new classes to teach you how to paint.

The Painter Nation Members Club will be available in May
 (I hope)

Things are going well!
I'm nearly done!

I am so excited, because 20 years ago when I was first learning how to paint, I would have hopped all over something like this that could have shortened my learning curve and got me up and painting much quicker.

If that's something you're interested in, 
stay tuned for more information tomorrow about what you can expect in the Painter Nation Members Club.
You're gonna love it!!!

This short little video is just a tiny sample of the types of things that you will find in the Painter Nation Members Club in addition to two new classes each month.


I sent out a very short survey last month to my email list.
If you didn't receive that email 
I'm attaching a link to the survey here.

Click HERE to take my short survey.
It will help me know what you would like to learn in the future.


And since this is an art blog,
I thought I'd better throw some art on here.

The Kentucky Derby is quickly approaching and this area of the country is going into overdrive about horses,
I thought I'd show this painting.
This is the front of the Kentucky Derby Museum
at Churchill Downs.
This original painting is on a 6" x 6" canvas panel and
 is set in a wooden shadow box frame.
It can sit as is or hang on a wall.

First Saturday in May
Special Price
$50 + $10 shipping.

Thanks for stopping by today
and have a great day
and FINISH something.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Let's Paint Skies and Clouds

I have to WARN You!

This is how I got started and I'm not right!

Nearly 20 years ago I started painting because I was very sick and it was on my bucket list, 
and I wanted to learn to paint the beautiful skies and clouds, sunrises and sunsets we have here in Kentucky.

This is a series of paintings I did a year or two ago as I was trying to really improve on painting skies and clouds.

I have these sitting around me as I teach you how to paint skies and clouds.  

Painting the same subject repeatedly is maybe the best way to improve your skills on that subject.

With no one to teach me, I checked out books and videos from our local library.

I practiced.

I watched TV artists.

I practiced!

I studied paintings.

I practiced!!

See a pattern emerging?

That's right!
The secret sauce is in the practice!

But I have 4 videos here that will give you some good basic instruction on how to achieve that look you might be trying to achieve.

In video #1, you will learn how to achieve depth in your sky as we start at the top with the darker color and keep getting lighter as we come towards the horizon.

Video #2 teaches you how to put the sunset or sunrise color on for depth.

Video # 3 teaches you how to begin adding big puffy clouds in your sky and why they are not just white.


Video #4 finishes up the clouds.

I am not going to finish this painting in this series because the purpose was to teach how to paint skies and clouds.  

I hope you're going to give this a try and
 practice this many times.

Do not be discouraged if you don't feel successful the first time.  I don't know long it took me to feel like I could do it,
but it certainly wasn't on my first try or maybe even first 10 tries.  The joy is in the learning and accomplishing and seeing your own growth.

If you would like to see the classes I offer on my website
click HERE

To receive this blog and get all the free info I give away in your inbox click HERE.  





Receive my blog in your inbox

About Me

My photo
Ghent, Kentucky, United States
I'm a nature artist and I love to paint old barns, rivers and lakes, trees and fence rows and flowers. I work almost daily. You can purchase paintings by contacting me at slgraves6@gmail.com and there is also a tab across the top of my blog for available paintings and one for small paintings with buy now buttons. You can also purchase through my Etsy shop using the name of Fine Nature Art. . Thank you so much for stopping by.