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Monday, October 31, 2016

Motivation Monday - Van Gogh Is Pretty Motivational

WHY Do I Think Van Gogh 
is Motivational?

 He painted for less than 15 years.
He was in and out of mental hospitals
He only sold one painting
He had a hard time with relationships
He cut off his ear
He shot himself and died two days later at the age of 37.

Doesn't sound motivational to me.

 And yet my friend, Nancy and I drove to the 
Cincinnati Art Museum
to view the VanGogh exhibit.

We did learn all the above at the exhibit,
but we also saw his work,
and the work of many of his contemporaries.

In viewing the work,
you saw a man who had true vision.
At a time when it was not acceptable to paint outside the lines,
Van Gogh created new lines.
He painted in a completely different way.
He used color in a completely different way.

And yet, he was full of self doubts,
(just like us mere mortals)
He loved other artists work
(just like us)
He wanted to be accepted and have friends
(just like us)
He wanted people to see and like his work
(just like us)
He painted for the joy of painting
(hopefully, just like us)

A Van Gogh original is totally out of reach for most of us,
yet he was not "successful" during his lifetime.

Up those stairs to the Van Gogh exhibit.
(OK, so I took the elevator)

Just outside the exhibit.
They don't make buildings like this anymore.

This was me leaving the exhibit -
completely refreshed,
and yes, motivated.
Motivated to keep painting,
keep experimenting,
keep playing in the paint.
The exhibit runs through January 8,
and is a mere $10,
($5 if you're an AARP member).
There are many artists out there to study,
to appreciate their work, and I had a great time doing that.
I took a notepad with me, and jotted down artists names I wasn't familiar with, to look up and research.
The architecture of the building itself was inspiring.
If you can't get to this museum,
go to some museum somewhere,
and look and appreciate art,
even art you might not be crazy about.
There was some art I didn't understand or like,
but there were many more pieces I loved
and could have stayed in front of just looking,
for much longer.
I know I'll be going back.   

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

It's A Party!

Happy Birthday Kristen!

Kristen and her mom, Debbie and her sister Lauren have painted with me several times in the past.
This is Kristen in her lovely home, she and her husband have built.
That stone with hydrangeas in the background is one of the things she's painted with me and when her husband was installing the back splash, he wanted her stone in there. 
How fun is that.
Her sweet hero husband Jim,
planned out a surprise birthday party for her.
She knew nothing about the party until I showed up.
It was so much fun seeing her reaction.
Kristen and 11 friends and family members
all gathered around her huge dining room table
and painted fall pumpkins.
There were parents, a sister, work friends and church friends painting.
We even had 3 men, which doesn't happen very often.
They were a hoot.
I had up the demo painting and they had their paint and brushes,
so the three of them forged ahead.
Heck, they didn't need instructions.
And they didn't.
I also loved hearing them as they ragged on each other about their paintings.
It was a beautiful fall day,
and when we finished, we all went out on Kristen and Jim's porch
and were "Blinded by the Light".
Are you humming along to that tune.
I know you can't see everyone's face, but
isn't their art work great.
If you would like to host a painting party in your home 
please contact me at and put "painting party info" in the subject line.
I can do different sizes
20" x 16"
14" x 11"
8" x 10"
and different ages and abilities.
I have taught a lot of children and youth,
so you might want to consider a birthday party for your child
or family member, reunion group, etc.
I supply everything needed to complete the selected painting,
all you need to provide are tables and chairs.
 I need a minimum of 6 students for any party.

Do you have questions about which brush to use for what subject and how to actually use the brush.
Click the button below to receive my free cheat sheet about brushes.

Click Here to Claim Your Brush Cheat Sheet

Monday, October 17, 2016

Is Anyone or Anything Ever REALLY Done?

Motivation Monday
Found In A Project 

I haven't written a Motivation Monday post in over a month.
Why You Ask?
30 paintings in 30 days
 Learning to paint figures.

Nothing going on in my world.

Today, however, I am getting back in the groove.

I got up early
Weed Eated
Took apart our old metal rusted out fire pit and got it in the trash
Watered plants.

While I was weed eating I began thinking of Motivation Monday.
I was gone a lot this summer, so my flower beds got out of control.
It's been very dry, so pulling the weeds isn't going to work,
so I carefully got in there and started whacking them down.
  I used up two batteries in the process.

It came to me as I was weed eating, that sometimes beautiful things are pretty ugly for a while.
If you're an artist you know often when painting, in the beginning the painting doesn't look very good.
I don't know how many times I've gotten 1/3 to 1/2 the way into a painting and thought,
"What am I doing?  I don't even know how to hold the brush".
"It looks like I don't know a lick about painting".
"I can't believe I ever thought I could paint".

Ever have those thoughts?


My next project for today is a project that had been abandoned.

It's a wreck.

Can anything that needs tools like this,
be beautiful.
I know,
it's pretty crazy looking, isn't it.
I bought this several years ago on the 127 Yard Sale,
the world's longest yard sale.
It goes near where I live and it is so much fun.
I bought this portable bath tub.
Yep, it's a bath tub.
And it was painted this awful avocado green and had teddy bear decals on it, right out of the 50's.
I worked on it several years ago and then it was abandoned out in our shed.
It's been on my mind for a week or so and the weather is so beautiful right now, I can work outside and it's not hot or cold,
so, today was the day
to get back on it.
I allotted one hour to this project today.
One hour made a huge difference!
The inside of the tub is mostly done,
the arm rests are in much better shape,
the front bottom still needs work.
But I am so much closer than I was an hour before.
I'll work on it for an hour tomorrow and I'm pretty sure I will be very close to done.
Not sure if I'm going to paint it 
or leave it au natural.
Leave your suggestion in the comments.
But Sharon,
what are you going to do with it?
I'm not installing it in my bathroom,
that's for sure.
But I love crazy yard art.
I have an old sink in a garden in my front yard.
This might end up out there with the sink.
Then you know I'll have to add more art to complete my bathroom out there.
Maybe a bed also.
My husband is now rolling his eyes. 
Finishing a project feels wonderful.
Driving past the "this is going to take forever"
to the "I love this and I'm so glad I stuck with it",
is often hard,
but also so worth it.
Look around,
find that painting, craft or project
and get it out and gittr done.
Leave me a comment what you're working on.
We all have them.
Let's share them.


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Making Internet Friends

Making Internet "Friends"
Out of People I've NEVER Met 

I have made many wonderful friends online, artists and non-artists, but one I want to re-introduce is my now good friend, but still have never met face to face, Meredith Adler.
Not only is Meredith a fabulous fun artist,
but she has now launched a podcast for artists in the Asheville and mountain counties of North Carolina,
Local HeARTed.
Click HERE to go to her webpage.
I am sending you to the podcast of Meredith as she interviews Dawn Chitwood, who is a marketing wizard and media specialist.
This first segment of the interview has Dawn explaining how she can help any business, not just artists to increase their presence on social media and drive traffic to their website.

I know lots of you who follow me are artists, 
but many are not. Many of you have other businesses you'd like to promote. 
Dawn gives many insights on how she helps her clients and how they can help themselves,
as well as what you should ask and expect from someone you hire to help you in this type of endeavor.

Click HERE to go to Dawn's business page.

I know we all get lots of email daily from marketers on how to improve this or that, but I found this podcast of Dawn's to be very helpful in not only how to look at things myself, but if I wanted to hire someone in my own area, the types of questions I should ask and the types of services that I could hire for.

Her explanation of branding, and what it is and what it isn't,
is excellent and will have thoughts about your own business bouncing off your brain walls.

Click HERE to go to Meredith's blog, Paint Like Nobody's Watching, where she announces her new podcast, but you can also see her art and follow her art journey. 

Subscribe to the podcast you'll meet some great artists in the Asheville, North Carolina area, but there will also be nuggets of info like with Dawn Chitwood to help any business grow. 

Sign up for the podcast, Meredith's blog, my blog, and then confirm that you did in deed sign up, to actually reap the benefits of signing up.  If you don't confirm you signed up, you usually don't receive the blog in your inbox and you don't get tons of free info we as bloggers are trying to give you.  


Blogaversary Updates:
 "No Joke!  You WON!" 

I still have gifts I'm trying to give away as a way to celebrate 7 years of writing this blog and I sure would love for you to be a recipient.  I draw out names of people who have signed up to receive my blog in their inbox and I send you an email with  "No Joke!  You WON!" in the subject line.  Then you have 24 hours to get back to me with your name and address so I can send you the painting you won, or to respond so I can send you your login credentials if you won one of my online painting classes or my full blown art course.  If you don't respond in the 24 hours, I draw out another name.  Don't leave your free item on the table because you didn't open that email.

Have a great day and scroll back up to the top right hand side and put your name in the "Subscribe to My Blog" box and then confirm when you receive an email asking if you signed up or not.


Monday, October 3, 2016

30 In 30 Wrap Up

30 Paintings in 30 Days Wrap Up

 Well, I made it through 21 days of the 30 in 30 challenge, before the flu and pneumonia struck.

The painting in the center is the one I did using a photograph I took at Findlay Market in Cincinnati.

What I learned during the challenge:
1.  You can have a very workable plan
2. You can have everything ready.
3.  You can work your plan.
4.  All bets are off if you get the flu and pneumonia.

I did have all of the above and was totally sidelined for the last 9 days of the challenge.  

I started painting figures.
Some are much better than others.
But I set out to do it and I did it.
And I showed you along the way,
even when I didn't want to.

That is a total break through!

I also was not able to complete my blogaversary giveaway
so I will be doing that now.
I'll be extending it for as long as it takes me to give away all the goodies I had planned for the month.

If you don't receive this in your inbox,
scroll back up to the top right
and put your name in the box that says,
"Subscribe to My Blog".
That's the only way you can get your name in my virtual hat for the paintings, classes and the online course I'm giving away.  

So, gittr done!


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About Me

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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.