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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Snowman In The Moonlight

Gifted and Talented Kiddos
Paint a Snowman.

Saturday I was invited back to Cartmell Elementary
in Carrollton, KY
to teach two classes of gifted and talented kids 
to paint this fun snowman.

The goal of a painting like this is to learn about perspective,
highlights and shadows, form and mixing paint.

I had two classes with a total of 13 students
and I did a short video of each class.

I know, I'm holding the camera wrong in this one.
Forgive me!


Many of the students in this class have painted with me in the past.  We always have a great time painting together.


I am seldom in the photos with the classes I teach,
but I had a great mom volunteer to take this pic.
Thanks Crystal!
Didn't they do a great job?!?

(The videographer did a much better job on this one)

Some of these great students have painted with me in the past and some were brand new.
Students in the two classes ranged in age from 1st through 5th grades. 

This group was the youngest of the students
and I think they did a super job.
Don't you!

One thing to remember when teaching children to paint, is to teach the concepts and then let them paint.
We don't need to stand over them and guide their hands or make too many corrections.
As long as they understand what they're doing and why they're doing it, 
Mission Accomplished 
in my book.

If they need help on a skill, I will help, but just so they know how to do it, but not enough to make their painting look just like mine.

The one area in this painting where students needed the most help was in painting the moon.
But for the most part, I showed them how to achieve the round moon and they went right at it.
Most adults would be scared to death to put that yellow/white paint on that blue/purple sky.
That's one of the things I love about teaching children.
They will give it a shot without a lot of drama or fear
where adults struggle with confidence.

On their super Saturdays they do math and science projects and classes, as well as classes in the arts,
and a lot of fun stuff.

Thanks Pam for providing a fun and interesting program for these great ladies and gentlemen.

I had a ball.

If you would like to host a party for your posse,
your kids, your co-workers or your team,
click HERE to get the scoop on it. 

 Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.

Thank you for sharing this post with anyone
 you think might be interested. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

A Time For Every Season - Motivation Monday

Turn! Turn! Turn!

 
A Blast From The Past
actually the 60's and The Byrds!

 Click HERE to listen to one of my all time favorite songs.

I'm a Baby Boomer,
so I am also a child of the 60's
and this was one of my favorite songs.

I had a 45 of it and just about wore it out on  my turn table
I played it so much.

I didn't realize until later it comes word for word,
right from the Old Testament of the Bible,
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.


 Click HERE to get the scoop on this

It is also very true.
There is a season for everything
and there are seasons in our lives.

Childhood
Teenage years
Young Adulthood
Parenthood
Grand parenthood
Old age

 In each season are things that are generic to that particular time in our life.

Children want to be teenagers,
teenagers want to be adults,
    but each needs to be what they are when they are.

Once a teenager is a teenager,
it's too late to go back and be a child,
(even though sometimes they act like children)
As adults, we can't go back and be teenagers,
no matter how much 
"we can't adult today!"

 Click HERE for info on "Hog Wild"

In those seasons we should enjoy where we are
and realize that today might not be the right time to 
be able to do something, no matter how badly we want to.

Sometimes we make wrong or poor choices in a particular season
that changes choices we can make in later seasons.

Parents of young children, regardless of the age of the parents,
will find it might be the best they can do to work and take care of of those children.  Following a particular desire may or may not be possible at that time.  

But life has many seasons, and many choices in those seasons,
and we shouldn't feel depressed or discouraged if right now is not the best time to "go for it".

If there's something in the back of your mind you've always wanted to learn or to try, but now is not the optimum time,
start eating that elephant in a small way now,
and you will be surprised how much further down that road you will be when time, motivation or money is less of a problem.
Start reading about your subject,
listen to podcasts about it,
watch videos of it,
find experts in that field and watch them,
(without stalking)
learn what you can learn now
and if it's something you really have a passion for,
you will be surprised at the time you can find for it. 

I always new there was an artist inside of me,
but because my husband and I didn't really prepare well to provide for our family,
I always put those needs ahead of my wants.
But, I learned what I could in whatever moments I could find.
We had 4 teenagers at once,
so those years were full of craziness.
And just as the last child was getting ready to graduate from high school I was diagnosed with scleroderma and was on oxygen for 5 years.
Not part of my plan!
But, I still had that desire to learn to paint,
so even though I had lungs that looked like deflated balloons
and the stamina of an infant,
I began to learn to paint.

My learning curve resemble 
"The Long and Winding Road"
but after a year of painting for short amounts of time daily,
I began to see results.

If painting is something you'd like to learn,
I can help make your learning curve shorter and 
for you to see results in months and not years.

Click HERE to check out my online beginning painting class or course.  

And finally,
I give away a painting every month and I'd love for you to get in on the fun.

 
I'll give this away on the 31st of January!
 
I'll be drawing a name out of the followers of this blog tomorrow.
So you still have time to get your name in the virtual hat.
If you didn't sign up on that annoying pop up box,
scroll back up to the top right hand side and enter your email in the box on the right that says 
"Subscribe to my blog".
Next, you'll receive an email confirming you did actually sign up.
You must click on the link in that email to actually subscribe.
When I draw out the winner I'll send you an email with
"No Joke!  YOU Won! in the subject line.
You'll have 24 hours to get back to me with your actual address so I can send you the painting.
I move on and draw another name after 24 hours.
So, make sure you use an email address you actually use. 
 
And with that,
I'm done for today.
 
Thanks for hanging out with me today. 

 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Give It A REST!

You've thought it!
You've said it!

Enough already.
Give It A REST!!!

 I'm not talking about the current
 political craziness,
although it wouldn't hurt to "Give It A Rest",
but I'm talking about your and my life.
 
I don't know what your schedule looks like,
But mine is usually work, work, work,
Monday - Friday
and often on Saturday as well.

My husband is a worker.
He has few hobbies,
he works.

Work has always been our life.

But, throughout our lives of raising 4 kids,
working our jobs,
working our farm,
our church responsibilities,
and giving time to our few outside interests,
like painting,

We have always taken a rest, once a week.

Sunday, to us, is a day of rest.
A much needed day of rest.
It's a day for church and family,
and a day to rest.
Very little TV, little if any internet,
not running around.

A chance to refresh,
rejuevanate,
recoup,
re-vitalize,
REST!

On Monday, I am always amazed at how much better I feel.
I am ready to hit it again.
To paint,
to blog,
to clean,
to work.

I think we all need a chance to walk away from the stresses of life and to rest.
Even the earth rests during the winter months
as things go dormant and rests.
Then in the spring,
beautiful things happen.

When you make bread, 
it rests after its been kneaded.
Then it grows like crazy into beautiful delicious bread.

It's not a dirty lazy slacker word.

It doesn't matter how or when you get your rest.
There are lots of ways to accomplish this important need.

If you're on the computer a lot,
go old school and read a real physical book or magazine.  
Block out some time to take a nap.
Cook your own food.
Go for a walk.

Whatever it looks like for you,
know you will feel better and ready to accomplish more
after your rest.  

Give it a try.

Currently I'm working on adding a new class to my online art school.  Click HERE to see my classes.
 There's even a free one on there.    

Hope you didn't pass up that pop up box to subscribe to my blog.  Why you ask?  Because that's how you enter to win a painting I give away every month.
If you received this in your email, you're all good.
You're already entered.

You can always scroll back to the top right hand side and put your email address in that box that says,
Subscribe to my blog.

Have a wonderful week!

 

  

Monday, January 16, 2017

Gratitude - My Word of the Year




Last year my word of the year was courage.
This year I'm concentrating on Gratitude.

 Gratitude in all things is my motto of 2017.

Having gratitude for paintings you're pleased with,
great sales,
a swift learning curve,
lots of followers
are all things that are easy to be grateful for. 

But, learning to be grateful when things aren't so great,
paintings you wiped off, more than once,
a subject you just can't seem to master,
few or no sales,
no one seems to follow you on social media,
health problems,
lack of funding,
lack of studio time or space,
lack of inspiration:

Those are all things you have to really intentionally be grateful for.  
How can you be grateful for health problems?
For feeling discouraged?
For not being able to move your art career forward?

Yet, we can be grateful for all these things.
We CAN drive out the "Whoa is Me" mindset
and usher in "Gratitude". 

Yes, it will take effort!
It will take introspection,
mind set adjustments,
preparation,
and a plan!

I am planning to be grateful in all things this year.
It may take all year to incorporate this new "Habit" into my personality.
I must admit, I am a "glass half full" kind of girl,
but I do get frustrated when I can't seem to get something.
Learning all the techy stuff that goes with promoting art online has had me near tears on many occasions.
and I am NOT a crier!
But, I have found that once I do get something,
I really understand how and why it works.
That's a really good thing!

I am placing some gratitude fliers around my studio
to serve as reminders to be grateful.
I know there will be days I will really have to search for something to be grateful for.
But I also believe that if I truly search for gratitude,
I CAN find it.
I'm PLANNING to find it.

Congratulations to June Mefford who won one of the two paintings I gave away recently for November and December.

 June lives locally so I could hand deliver the painting to her.

Fay Terry, a fellow artist in North Carolina, won the other painting I gave away.
Congrats Fay.
We met, I believe through the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge we each did several years ago.
Now if you want to win one of the paintings I give away every single month, you have to enter.  
You enter by filling out that annoying pop up box that showed up when you started reading this blog.  
If you clicked the X, I get it, but you can still enter by scrolling back up to the top on the right hand side and put your working email in the box.  Then when you receive a confirmation email, click the link in that email to confirm you did sign up.
I draw out a winner every month and send them an email letting them know they have 24 hours to respond to that email.
So, make sure you sign up with an email you use, or you might not know if I contact you with 
No Joke!  YOU Won! in the subject line.
Get back with me and I'll hand deliver or ship it out to you.

Funny Update.

My 8 year old grandson, Aidan visited this weekend 
and I took him to my studio to see my new painting
and asked him what he saw.
His face lit up and he got all excited
and said,
"It's a magic door"!
I said, "You're right!  It is a magic door."
Now that's something to be grateful for!!!
Let me know in the comments if you have a word or motto of the year and what it is.
Thanks so much for reading my blog.
I truly appreciate your comments and follows.


   
  

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Turquoise Door

Enlightenment

 Enlightenment
36" x 15"
Unframed $200
Framed $300

 

Framed or Unframed


This has been a lot of fun working on this painting
with the turquoise door.
It started last year when I found this frame at a flea market.
I loved the frame and even before I bought it,
I sort of knew what I wanted to paint to put in it.

Well, then I couldn't find a canvas that would fit it's odd size.
So I had to stretch my own canvas.
(totally new experience)

I did a sketch of the door one day while my husband was having surgery.
It has changed considerably since then.

It even changed after I drew the sketch on the canvas.

My first drawing did not have the door open.
But then I got this bright idea about having the door open slightly with lots of light pouring in around it. 
Lots of symbolism involving light.

It changed all along the way.

It started out with a dirt path and stones in it,
(stones not shown here)
But to me, it felt more like a creek bed,
so I changed that.
With that dark in the middle of the dirt path it deepens it,
and even after I put the rocks in it, it still had a creek bed look. 
So out cam that path and in went another one.
You can do that in acrylic paint really easily

My goal was to have the door slightly open
with lots of light coming in around it,
even though there is no light source behind it.

I wanted you to think about that.
Where does light come from 
and
how it affects all things around it.
 Including our spirits.

As I painted the trees, bushes and flowers and added the rocks, I tried to keep that light in mind and how it would affect things it fell on.

To me, this painting is somewhat magical.
It's inviting us to come into that light,
just because it's there and we are curious beings.
We would be curious as to what is the source of the light,
what is on the other side of the door,
Why is it coming out the door, but not around the rock wall holding the door?

So many questions,
in a rather odd shaped space.

Please leave me a comment about what you think will happen when you walk through that door.
Maybe we'll write a book!

About the frame,
I know you don't see it.
You don't see it, because I'm still working on it.
It's a heavy carved framed,
but I wanted to lighten it up also. 

Want to Learn How To Paint?

I have created the perfect course for beginning painters, regardless of your age.
It was created with home school families in mind to use as an art curriculum.
It is also perfect for that individual who wants to learn the basics of art, why things work, how to make them work, etc.

Click HERE to view the course.

Thank you so much for stopping by today
and for taking the time to comment.

I really appreciate them!!!  

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.