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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Do You LOVE Suprises?

Well I Sure Do!

I give a painting away every month to people who sign up to receive my blog and newsletter in their inbox.

Last month I gave away this,

 a 7" x 5" palette knife painting of a dahlia.

I pulled out the name of Torrie Smiley.
She is a fellow artist who also subscribes to my blog.

It may surprise many of you who read my blog,
that artists subscribe to lots of other artists blogs.

I know I subscribe to 20-30 or more artists blogs
because I love to view art work, 
and artists are often very free with information
on how and why they painted their most recent work.
You can learn a lot by following artists blogs.

Any way, I sent Torrie an email, as I do with everyone who wins a painting and the winner has 24 hours to respond.
She responded within 10 minutes
and was so excited she said she was going to send me a painting in return.

Boy was I shocked and surprised.

This is me and my new lovely painting from Torrie Smiley.
It's beautiful and I love it!
And you should see how she packaged it.
It was a thrill to open the box it was in.
Click HERE  to view more of Torrie's beautiful work.

Here it is sitting on my sofa table in my living room.
I have a small collection of artwork from other artists.
It's like having my own mini art gallery.
 Thank you so much Torrie.  
I love it!
Collecting art from a single artist,
artists with similar subject matter,
a particular medium,
or all of the above,
is very rewarding.
The best thing about having original art
is every time you view it,
you can't help but think of the artist hands touching the piece,
why they painted what they painted,
the colors they chose,
the effect it has on you.
I have some prints,
but I don't really appreciate the art as much as I do 
when viewing original art. 
I am always looking at the brush strokes,
the composition,
what the artist saw and felt
as the piece was painted.
If you don't own any original art,
I suggest you start with a small piece
of a subject you love and colors you love.
There are places to go to view original art.
You can google original artists,
or there is a site for Daily Painters
who, as the name implies, paint every day.
They have challenges and auctions on this website and you can pick up some beautiful original art
at affordable prices.
Click HERE to view Daily Paintworks.
When you go to an art show or art fair,
most artists will have small work as well as their larger more expensive work. 
FASO is a company that has software for artists websites.  They promote their artists with a daily art show and they show off the work of many artists.
You can see thumbnails of lots of original art by many artists and you can go to their website to view their art and follow those ones you like.
Click HERE to see their Daily Show  
Hopefully you'll check out some new artists
and their original art and begin to invest in your own original art. 



Monday, June 13, 2016

Re-Kindling The Fire

Re-Kindling The Fire

Since I haven't posted for almost two weeks,
you might think my fire went out.

And since that almost never happens,
you might be right - 

Sort of!

I've been sick.
I have no voice.
I've had no energy.
I'm having computer problems.

But now I'm ready to re-kindle my fire.

When you lay a fire the first thing you put in is some paper or something else easy to burn.
Then you add some material that is a little sturdier, like cardboard.
Then you add some dry twigs.
Next you'll need something bigger, but not much bigger.

Then you light it and wait a few minutes.
You might have to fan the flames at this point.
You might need to add more small dry material.

Once it starts to go, then you'll add some bigger pieces of wood
and finally you'll add logs when it's really going.

In my re-kindle my fire activity
I went to my go to activity first.
1. My go to activity is something I paint with ease or something I really like to paint.  In this case, it was a re-do of a painting.  (I'll show you later).

2.  Start Small and Build Up.  Just like in building a fire, you don't put the logs on first, but you start with the small stuff that burns easily and build up from there.  I didn't start out with a brand new painting, but I pulled out something I had done a while ago that I wasn't happy with and worked on a section of it.  

3.  I fanned the flames by watching a few videos of what I wanted to work on, painting clouds, and then I decided what I wanted to change in the painting and finally I started painting.

4.  In building a fire you have to add more wood in varying degrees as the fire grows, so in my painting, once I had the clouds finished, I worked on the background trees, hay field and finally the hay bales.  

5.  Enjoy what you create.  As I created/repainted this painting, I enjoyed every section along the way that I re-did, and if I didn't repaint it, I totally enjoyed that portion.  After all, I had nothing to lose.  I already didn't like the painting so I only had one way to go - 

 So, I've been motivated and I hope you have too.

Have a great day
and let's paint together sometime.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Motivation Monday - Joy


What is JOY? 

We work, work, work,
but how and when do we allow ourselves
to feel the joy of it all?

 Sunday evening I sat out here on my front porch,
and watched as birds came and went to the feeder,
listened to their songs and chatter,
felt a soft breeze,
watched a squirrel run up and down a tree,
and surveyed all the hard work 
that goes into this farm. 

No phone,
no iPad,
no computer,
no TV,
no radio!

Just quiet 

We all need a chance to refuel our heart, soul and mind!

To enjoy and have joy in what we do.
To quiet and re-center our spirits.
To meditate, contemplate, and appreciate
our accomplishments,
our failures,
our lives.

It's all good!
And we should look for the joy in it!

Life brings disappointments,
to everyone.
But it also offers much joy,
and it is better for our spirits to focus on the joy,
learn from the disappointments,
and then let them go.

Where do you find joy?
How can and do you focus on it?
How do you re-center yourself?

Leave a comment so we can all enjoy your joy.   

Friday, May 20, 2016

It's Time for Art Camp

Art Camp At The Farm

Jim and I live on a beautiful Menonite Farm
in Ghent, KY
and this year I'll be having art camp here.

I'll be offering three very different art camps
in June.

Here's some happy campers from last year.
Beginning Art Camp - May 31- June 3, 10 a.m. - noon $80

 We'll be learning lots of art foundation concepts
as well as putting them to use.
This fun camp is for students age 7 and up who have never attended one of my art camps before. We will dive into learning about color by making a color wheel, color chart, and how to use these tools. Students will learn all about brushes and how to use the different type of brushes. We will learn how to create form by using color and they will play in the paint as they complete two paintings.
They will have one day learning to draw as they explore the tools in drawing, learn to create form and work on still life subjects.
We will spend time talking about art and what it is, learning how to see, and take walks on the farm looking for interesting things to draw and paint.  We will learn to see lights and shadows also.
We will also explore other mediums, such as water color, pastel chalk, and painting markers.
Students will complete two paintings but will have many opportunities to create and bring their studies and exercises home.

Intermediate Art Camp
June 6-10 10 a.m. - noon, $100
For students ages 8 and up who have attended one of my art camps.

This will be a more intense learning environment as we explore several different mediums to paint as well as spend quite a bit of time learning to draw and improving that skill.
We will use many painting tools, such as palette knives, brushes, pastel chalk and painting markers.
We will work on drawing and painting eyes for animals and people.  Among other projects we will draw and paint an animal and a self portrait.
Your child will need a photo of their pets face.
I will take photos of them close up for them to use in their self portrait.
We will also spend 15 minutes per day learning about some of the great painters and try painting in their style.

Art Exploration Camp, June 13-15, 10 a.m. - noon $75

This camp will explore several art forms and complete 3 projects: Painting, Drawing and Jewelry Making
Camp will run June 13-15, 10 a.m. until noon, includes all materials and is $75.
Campers will complete a painting of an animal, in drawing they will learn how to draw shapes and create form, draw a simple still life using grapes, vase, toy and/or fruit and in jewelry making they will complete a bracelet and a necklace.

So you can see,
there's something for everyone this summer
and I think the kiddos will really enjoy being here at the farm as we explore art like never before.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Only Right Way?

Is There Only ONE Right Way?

To Paint?
Are you kidding me?

There are some rules to understand,
but once you get them down,
Knock yourself out!
Go for it!
Give it your best shot! 
Get in there and paint!

Use a brush,
Use a knife,
Use them both,
Paint on canvas,
Paint on paper,
Paint on a wall,
But do it.
Play at it,
Practice it,
Do it again.
And again,
And again.
And keep doing it.
Your style will emerge.
Emerge means a little at a time.
Not all at once.
You will find what you love! 

 Click HERE to see my new online Iris Painting Class.
 You can be painting this today!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

I Do, I Give Them Away

I Do,
I actually give them away,

Once a month I give away a small painting,
usually a 7" x 5" or a 6" x 6"
and I give them away to people who sign up to receive my newsletter.  I usually send out a newsletter once or twice a month unless I'm releasing a new product, then you will probably receive several emails on that new class.

I'm not trying to bombard you with emails,
but when I release a new product it's always at a pretty great price and I figure you may as well get the huge price break since you were so nice to sign up.  You always have the opportunity to unsubscribe at any time.

This is the 7" x 5" painting I'm giving away at the end of May.
It was painted with a palette knife so there is lots of texture and thick paint.  
I used a dahlia we used to grow as my model.
So, if you've already signed up once, Great!
You don't have to ever do it again, unless you unsubscribe.
But if you haven't signed up yet,
(what are you waiting for) 
Click on the painting below and for heavens sake,
get your name in the hat.

Every month I draw out a name and I send an email to that person letting them know they won and they have 24 hours to respond and tell me where to send their painting. 
So if you ever get an email from me with No Joke, You Won a Painting in the subject line, open that bad boy up and respond.
If I don't hear from you in 24 hours, I draw out another name.
I know, it's crazy, but it happens.
It might not be a bad idea to take an email from me and drag it out of your social or promotional file and put it in the primary tab, so you don't miss out.   

Here's a short video about my iris painting class.
It is a single subject class about painting iris and you can watch the video about it or you can click HERE to go to my site and check it out and purchase there.  The price for this class is $9.99 until noon on Friday, May 20, 2016.  After that it will go up to its normal price of $19.99 (which is still pretty incredible).

Iris painting class intro. from Sharon Graves on Vimeo.

Monday, May 16, 2016

I Love New Socks

Love Love Love
New Socks!

Wait, it's Motivation Monday,

What's up with the socks?

I just love new socks, so the other day I bought a package of fun colored ankle socks.
They are so soft, the whites are so white and the colors in their argyle patterns are vibrant.
They don't slide off in my shoe.
As if that wasn't enough,
the other day when I was putting on my new lovelies,
I noticed something on the inside around the elastic band.
I flipped my sock inside out and guess what I found,
and inspiring quote,
inside my sock!

p.s. Conquer The Impossible

I love it!

p.s. Be Positive
p.s. Seize the Day

It takes little of nothing to impress and excite me 
and I thought this was just so cool.
One last little reminder to make my day great before I go out to
Conquer The Impossible.

What impossible thing are you trying to conquer today?

Leave me a comment and tell us all what your battle is today.

I'll start:
My battle is with my internet.
Once again I am in the public library because I'm trying to run an online art business with not internet.  I pay for it every month, but I seldom have it.
Oh the problems of living in the middle of nowhere.


1.  Friday my single subject online iris art class will go to full price.  Right now you can purchase it for $9.99.  Click HERE to view the class and get signed up for it.

2.  Don't forget I give away a free small painting every month and you can't win if you don't sign up.  Click on the pic below to enter.  

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. I work almost daily trying to improve my art and all that entails. I try to learn all I can from others and from the earth itself by being aware of all God has created and its beauty. You can purchase paintings by contacting me at You can also purchase through my gallery website at . Thank you so much for stopping by.