2017 Here I Come

Is February too late for new year’s resolutions?

Life was still a little on the wild and crazy side back in January. Thankfully, I’m finally catching my breath. Now it’s time to start catching up with my hopes and dreams for 2017.

I rarely pick a word for the year, but it is glaringly obvious to me that my word is OBEY. You see, I tend to be an information gatherer. You know… reading all the books and blogs, listening to all the podcasts, watching the webinars, taking the classes all before taking that next step. Lots of information going in, but not a lot of action going out.

The thing is, I already know the assignment I’ve been given. My job is to make beautiful things using the gifts I’ve been given for the good of the world and the glory of God. In order for that to happen, I need to show up and do the work of creating, one painting at a time. I don’t need to go looking for more assurance. I don’t need to learn how every single other artist on the planet does it. I also, believe it or not, don’t need all the answers to all the questions. I am done searching for the perfect road map because when does God ever provide that in advance?!

I’m not a fan of the word resolution. I prefer to set intentions. So this is my intention for 2017:

I commit to obediently walk through every door that God opens for me in 2017, confident in His plan, trusting His purpose, supplied by His provision, equipped by His Spirit, and resting in His love.

 

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Resist the Resistance

do the work 2

“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.” ~Steven Pressfield. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

It’s been hard to call myself an artist these days because there’s not a whole lot of art making going on around here. I’ve got resistance coming from every direction. No time…no space…no quiet…more important things to do…things that need fixing…mini-emergencies…places to be…mom jobs…you name it. That kind of thinking tempts a girl to hang up her apron and retire the brushes because life just keeps getting in the way.

But then I remember.

I remember making 100 Faces.

I remember how just a few minutes a day and a few scraps of paper and the corner of a desk was all it took to make a little art. I remember how a little art = lots of happy.

I remember how day after day, a little art grew into a lot of art, and then that art landed itself on a gallery wall, and now that art is heading for Art Prize with over 1,500 other works of art, where it could potentially be seen by tens of thousands of people over the course of the next three weeks.

Wow. Just wow.

I don’t think I’m ready to retire quite yet. Nope, not even close. Hopefully not ever.

God wrote this story, and all the resistance in the world isn’t going to change who He made me to be…

an artist.

I have to go now. My brushes are calling.

What’s calling you?

 

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DREAMER

Watercolor by Kristi LYnn Studio

(prints available on Etsy!)

 

“The ninety and nine are with dreams, content,

but the hope of the world made new is the hundredth man

who is grimly bent on making those dreams come true.”

~Edgar Allan Poe

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SHINE

Watercolor by Kristi Lynn Studio

(Prints available on Etsy!)

I love Matthew 5:14-16 as it reads in The Message:

“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:14-16

Now, go bring out some God-colors in your world!

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Be Still and Know….

"Be Still"  Watercolor painting by Kristi Lynn

“Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God,  above politics, above everything.”  Psalm 46:10 (The Message)

Who, me? Be still? The last few weeks have been anything but still.

This painting was born as a reminder to myself– a reminder to step out of the traffic of my life and take a long loving look at God. He’s got it all under control.

Ahhhhhhh. I feel better already.

 

 

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Mornings in the Studio

Kristi Lynn Studio

In the morning, the house is quiet. The computer is not yet humming with it’s usual distractions and the day planner will wait. In the morning, the responsibilities of the day have not yet chipped away at my time, the inner critic has not yet chipped away at my heart, and the resistance has not yet chipped away at my conviction.

In the morning, I turn on the music and the muse and I create. This is when time stands still. The hours feel like minutes and my heart is full with possibilities. I say yes to God’s gifts and promise us both that I will never again let them go. It is a time of giving thanks and giving back to the Giver. It is a time of birthing the beauty He places on my heart.

In the morning, I delight in creating for and with my Creator, and He delights in me.Because He First Loved Me

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My Botticelli Study

My most recent painting comes from a study of Botticelli led by the talented and lovely Jenny Wentworth as a part of the online class “Studying Under the Masters.”

Come and follow along with my Botticelli journey from beginning to end…

Sketch with charcoal on gessoed birch board. Under-painted sky in Payne's Gray.

Sketch with charcoal on gessoed 11×14 birch board. Under-painted sky in Payne’s Gray.

 

Underpainting the landscape with yellows and greens.

Under-painting the landscape with yellows and greens.

 

Completed background.

Completed background.

Burnt Umber wash for hair and shadows

Burnt Umber wash for hair and shadows.

 

Under-painting a wash of gold for skintones and hair

Under-painting a wash of gold for skintones and hair.   Starting to look like Fiona from Shrek?

Begin layering skin tones with washes of mostly white

Begin layering skin tones with washes of mostly white.

Opps!  Lost too much shadow.  Add eye details.

Opps! Lost too much shadow. Add eye details.

 

Change hair. Warm up skin. Start reds for gown and lips.

Change hair. Warm up skin. Start reds for gown and lips.

 

Added charcoal shadow and really dislike that. Errrr....

Added charcoal shadow and regret that. Errrr….

 

Add wreath and necklace.

Highlights to hair and add wreath and necklace.

 

Re-work skin tones: burnt umber, cadmium yellow, titanium white.  Complete gown and jewels.

Re-work skin tones: burnt umber, cadmium yellow, titanium white. Complete gown and jewels. Work on eyes.

 

Decided to add veil. Wishing I had done it BERFORE the wreath! Veil is done with titanium white and glazing medium.

Decided to add veil. Wishing I had done it BERFORE the wreath! Veil is done with titanium white and glazing medium.

 

Brush on some red and orange pastels for the blushing cheeks.  Call it finished!

Brush on some red and orange pastels for the blushing cheeks. Call it finished!

 

www.kristilynnstudio.com

The Botticelli influence is demonstrated in the landscaped background, which was painted first – as Botticelli would have done. Her tousled hair is adorned with a wreath and veil as is often seen in Botticelli’s work. She wears jewels, a gown, and rosy red lips inspired from a variety of Botticelli paintings.

As I look back at the progression of the painting and see the different stages in photos, I can’t help but appreciate this line from the book “Art and Fear” by David Bayles and Ted Orland:

“The truth is that the piece of art which seems so profoundly right in it’s finished state may earlier have been only inches or seconds away from total collapse.”

Yes, it’s true.  Art takes courage!

 

 

 

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Mr. Churchill Saves the Day

I saw a pin on Pinterest and I just had to paint it.

I created this  painting the very same day.  My daughter is a big  Katie Daisy fan, and this is very much inspired by her art.  Besides, this time of year I NEED FLOWERS!  I think I shall continue to paint flowers until every drop of snow has melted.

Floral Painting by Kristi Lynn Studio

I am crazy about this painting! The flowers, the colors, the texture, the style…YUM!

But those words are what really get to me. Oh, they are good. So good, and yet so very hard to live out.

Why? Because being brave with your life also means accepting failure along the way. I mean really, who likes to fail? I’d prefer guaranteed success, wouldn’t you?

The very first art class I offered for children was a complete fail. True story. I didn’t promote it well and I had a very limited target audience. Still, not a single drop of interest? OUCH! I took it pretty hard. Harder than I expected. Harder than I should have.

Floral Painting by Kristi Lynn Studio

A year later, I tried again. The one class I planned filled quickly and I was able to offer a second class to accommodate more. I think I cried happy tears for a whole week.

For the the next session, I offered three classes and filled 24 spots in 24 hours with five more trickling in later. Boo-yah!!! More happy tears!

But for the next three weeks? I have just 9 kids signed up for Monday and 2 kids for Wednesday! WHAAAAAT????? (in my best minion voice)

I contacted the Wednesday families and cancelled that class. Is that a failure? No, not really, but it still FEELS like failure. It’s so tempting to let my disappointment become a stumbling block.

Floral Painting by Kristi Lynn Studio

Providentially, a friend posted a quote on Facebook the same day I cancelled my class.

This quote very quickly changed my perspective as I scribbled it down in a journal:

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”  ~Churchill

Why, thank you for timely reminder, wise Mr. Churchill, you are so absolutely right.

Floral Painting by Kristi Lynn Studio

I’m totally looking forward to my smaller class. Less people means less crowd control and more connecting. Whether I have 29 kids or 9 kids, I absolutely love what I do, and what they do, and our time together. Kids are so smart and so creative. It’s just such an honor to be a part of a little artist’s life and to provide creative experiences for them to grow.

Floral Painting by Kristi Lynn Studio

So yes, cancelling class was a bummer. I could stress myself over the whys and analyze all the variables. I could take it personally and be blue. The truth is, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I’m okay with that. I 100% believe in this calling, even if I have to “fail” sometimes.

Besides, with one less class to plan, prepare, and teach, I have extra time for planning something else. Something I’m very excited about.

Something I’ll tell you about LATER!

 

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Painted Words

Mixed Media Painting by Kristi Lynn Studio

I recently had coffee with a friend and she shared with me two little words that God has been whispering (and shouting) in her ear.

It seems my friend and I both wrestle with all the things that we’re told we need to do to be “successful” in the online world of writing and art.  Just this morning I was watching tutorials, trying to educate myself on SEO (search engine optimization) and strategies to promote my Etsy shop.  Yada, yada, yada……yawn.  This stuff both bores me to death and drives me to anxiety induced chocolate binges.

Today I worried. Worried about my website’s SEO. Worried about selling my art on Etsy. Worried about filling my classes. Worried about the kids being home for yet another snow day. Worried I would get nothing done.

Mixed Media Collage by Kristi Lynn Studio

Worry is fear. Worry is resistance.

Worry is me staring at the computer, searching for every answer to every question.

For me, the best way to still the wandering worrying mind is to be creative.

So, today I painted. I painted words.

Mixed Media Collage by Kristi Lynn Studio

 Praying these words will sink right down into my winter weary heart … and yours.

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