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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 blog.  

My blog includes posts on Motivation Monday, Technique Tuesday where I often teach basic painting methods, and Workin Wednesday, where I show you what I'm currently working on.

  You're always the first to know about any new classes,
special pricing, shows, or new work on my easel.    

I'm don't try to bombard you with emails,
but when I release a new class, 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 gave 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  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.   
Also when you sign up, it's a good idea to use an email address you actually check and when you receive a confirmation email from me asking if you really did sign up, you need to click the link.  You're not actually signed up until you click that link. 

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. 
You'll also find a FREE daisy class at that same link.
If you want to try it before you buy it, that's your chance.

Iris painting class intro. from Sharon Graves on Vimeo.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog.

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.  

Friday, May 13, 2016


It's Up and Running
and Ready For YOU!

I've been working on a single subject class
Iris Painting
for you, and now it's ready.

Click HERE to watch a very short video about the class.
I have a full online beginning painting course,
 and now I have a single subject class for this 
beautiful iris painting.  

Click HERE to see the class. 

In this class I will take you step by step, from a blank piece of paper all the way through creating the impressionistic background, adding stems and leaves, and then finally adding the blossoms and I show you how to give the petals life by showing you exactly how to flip the petals.
You will receive the list of paints and brushes I use
as well as 9 videos to teach you exactly how to paint these fun irises.

In this class, as in my course, I'm teaching you a method
so you can take the info I share and you can use it in your own art journey.

This class has an introductory price of $9.99
(yes, you read that correctly)
until noon, Friday, May 20, 2016.
After that it will be $19.99
(still a pretty incredible price).

I don't hold anything back in the videos.
  It is truly step by step. 
I don't fast forward, I don't leave out anything,
I show you exactly how to do it.

Don't wait, because the price will change Friday, May 21.
Click HERE to see and purchase the class. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Everything Old is New Again

Organizing My Studio

Here's a fun way to organize my paint.

I had an idea on how to organize my paint and have it accessible and close by.

But, I didn't feel like making what I had in my head.
One day while I was wandering around an antique shop,
I came across this metal basket that was being used as a rack for old photos and postcards.  They were hanging on this basket with clothes pins.
My mind started racing.

I could use that in place of what I was thinking about making.

That's a metal basket turned with the basket part facing the wall.  I used medium sized clips to attach my paint to the basket.  My normal paints I use every day on my palette are on the top row and the extra paints I've purchased because I liked that color are all on the bottom two rows.
I can look at this basket and see in an instant if I need a particular color.
If I have more than one tube of a color, I put it right under the tube I'm using, so it sticks out a little bit.  Then I know I have more than enough right now.

I love this because I like taking something and using it for something else.
I just think that's fun.
It hangs on the wall by two cup hooks right at the end of my work station so they are within arms reach.

Hope you enjoyed this fun way I keep my paints organized.

Click on the link below to receive a resource guide on different types of acrylic paint.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Winners and Giveaways

Would YOU Like to Win A Painting?

Lori signed up to receive my blog and she won one of the two paintings I gave away this month.
I don't have a pic of my other winner, 
this is what she won.

This is what I'm giving away at the end of May.

 Dahlia Drama

 This is a 7" x 5" water mixable oil
done with a palette knife
on a panel.
 (valued at $50)

This is one of the most dramatic paintings I've ever done.
The reason is, it's done with a palette knife,
so the paint is very thick and it has lots of textures on it.

If you want to get signed up to win this painting,
scroll up to the top and sign up to receive my blog
in your inbox.
That's it.

You only have to do it once.
If you've already done it,
you're golden.

Have a great day!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Pushing Forward - The Measure of My Creation

The Measure of My Creation

Now there's an interesting title!
Am I speaking about my own personal creation
or the creations I create?

Now I'm confusing me!

 This is a photo of my peonies pushing up from the ground
a month or so ago.

Perennial plants are so interesting 
we can learn a lot from them. 

You plant a perennial one time and 
they will come up year after year.
Until they don't.

No matter how big and beautiful they got last year,
They are popping up all over the yard this year.
They push forward
year after year!

They fulfill the measure of their creation!

They were meant to come up and produce beautiful flowers.
Each plant has hidden inside of itself what it should be.
What is should look like.
What color it will be.
What time of year it should poke through the ground
and start it's ascent into becoming beautiful.

A hollyhock is a hollyhock, not a peony.
And so on.

what can we learn from that?

We all have something we are meant to do.
I don't know what that is for you,
but for me, I was meant to paint and teach.

That's what I do.
That's what I am.

So even though I painted yesterday,
I have to paint today.
I have to create!

I may not be successful today,
or tomorrow 
or the next day,

But, I must continue!    

Thanks for stopping by,
and if you haven't signed up to receive my blog in your inbox,
scroll up to the top and fill in that box.
You'll be signed up for the free painting I give away every month and you'll know when all the great stuff is coming out.


Friday, May 6, 2016

Visit The Farm

Farm Animal Friday

Last Friday I introduced you to JumbleBerry Farm,
where my husband and I live.
I showed you lots of the plants, orchards and berries
we raise here and sell at our local farmers market.

Today, I'm going to show you 
cuteness personified.

 We have 6 chicks,
with 6 you get. . .


We have three new Jersey calves.

 Told you there was cute overload here?

 These calves are currently being bottle fed.

Some of the sheep we have.

 Baby lambs are so dang cute and fun to paint.
 This is Bella.
We had dairy goats and
 my husband has made lots of cheese. 

She is no longer with us,
but I did paint her and it sits on my husbands desk.

She was a very sweet goat.

 We also raise rabbits.
Lots of rabbits.

They're about 4 weeks old here.

Love painting rabbits.

 Jim and his miniature horses.

 They are a pair.
 They pull this cart.

We had a crazy fun dog, Bailey who loved to eat our corn.
When the corn got ready, he would pull up a whole stalk and bring it up to the house and eat it on the front porch.

 This is Callie sitting outside my kitchen window.

 Callie is one of several cats we have here on the farm.

 This is the real boss of the farm.
Her name is Misha.
You can't go anywhere on the farm without Misha escorting you around.  She goes everywhere with us.

I'm so glad you took this tour of our farm
and I hope you have found inspiration here
 and in your own home as well. 

Just so you're aware,
I'm releasing a new single subject painting class next week.
I'll be teaching how to paint iris.
The class is more like a project class, but you will learn how to mix color, what paints and brushes I use and then I'll walk you through every step so you can create your own beautiful iris painting.  I'll be teaching you a method, so you can paint them in any color or change the setting up to suit you.

The class will retail for $19.99 but for the very first week it will be on sale at an INSANELY LOW PRICE OF $9.99.
Told you it was insane.
I don't want you to miss out on this opportunity so
click the button below and make sure you're the first to know when it's going online.

Click Here To Receive Info on This Class

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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 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.