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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Make Beautiful Things

 

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Make beautiful things.

It’s what I try to do everyday. Not a bad job description.

I especially like making beautiful things out of not-so-beautiful things.

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That’s how this “chalkboard” started out. I found this Dega-ish painting at a thrift store. (Love it when I can nab a framed canvas for less than five dollars!) I sure hope the original artist of this painting is not reading. Sorry Mr. or Mrs. Ford! I paint over my old paintings all the time! Don’t feel bad!

Here’s how the transformation took place.

I like to make these projects as effortless as possible. Why take the whole thing apart? I just left the frame on and painted the canvas with black gesso. Why black gesso? Because I was out of the black acrylic craft paint I had planned to use. Roll with it, baby. I actually think the gesso ended up the better choice because it is naturally flat and chalky.

Lettering is next! I recommend working from an image on Pinterest that has a phrase or style that you like. Use a white charcoal pencil or white chalk to try a few layouts, drawing out the words right onto the black canvas. The charcoal pencil or chalk wipes off with a damp cloth so no worries. Just keep trying until you like it.

I then freehand painted the letters. I know, I know, you think you can’t do that. I think you can. Try it. If you can write in cursive, you can do this. Study some good examples and look at where they make the lines thicker and thinner. That’s the secret!  It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful! I used white acrylic paint with a narrow round brush, but a white paint pen will do the trick too!

To finish it off and make it look more authenticly chalkboard-ish, I rubbed white chalk in the gaps between the words. It’s very convincing!

Now I have a daily reminder to do my work.

Make beautiful things…the laundry can wait.

 

 

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Resist the Resistance

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“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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The Grad

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Everyone tells you they grow up fast. Well, guess what? It’s true.

I remember when she was born like it was yesterday. Mommies don’t forget these things.

But just look at her now! I couldn’t be more proud of my girl.

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The graduation open house will go down as one of my favorite memories and a milestone we will never forget.

It was a beautiful night.  Not just the weather, but the whole shebang.

I tried to soak it all in…and my heart was full.

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 I’m still feeling the love, all these weeks later.

It’s just such a wonderful thing to gather all the people who have been a part of one growing up girl’s life.

 God has used those relationships to bless, to lead, to mold, to encourage, to teach, and to grow my girl into the beautiful person that she is.

Leaves me speechless. And teary. And grateful.

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It’s best I stop talking before I get all weepy and mushy on you. I tend to do that these days.

My ever so talented photographer niece was kind enough to record the special night with pictures.

 Enjoy…

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Wow! You made it to the end of the post! Good job!

And to my daughter…good job! You made it!

And to all of the people who have been part of Hanna’s life…good job!

Thank you from the bottom of my grateful mamma heart.

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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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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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This Is The Day

kristi lynn studio

 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

This is the day. For the past year, I have been “grimly bent’ on making this dream come true.  I open this place up to the world today with quiet confidence. There will be no fanfare, no big ta-dah’s.  Instead, there will be one giant sigh of relief and the deep down gratitude that comes from winning the hard fought fight for your dreams.

I now know more than I ever wanted to know about web design.  It has brought me to tears and frustration many times, but it has also brought me to Alysa Passage with Passage Hill Designs.  I absolutely could not have gotten here without her professional skills. As an added bonus, Alysa is a dream believer, a heart encourager, and inspiration giver.  Lucky for me, she has become a treasured friend.

I don’t really know what will come of this one little place on the great big world of the web, but I have an open and expectant heart for all the things God has planned.  Have a look around.  Make yourself at home.  Subscribe!  Leave a comment?  Do whatever you like.  Take your time.  No hurry.

I think I’m going to be here for awhile.

 

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