Another mini- painting.... Hollyhocks.  I seriously want to plant some in my front yard, but we don't have the ground all dug up and prepared yet.  It's lots of work, but these beautiful flowers will be worth it!  I have great memories of making hollyhock dolls with my grandmother.  That makes these flowers even more special :)

Chaenomeles Superba

Today I bring you another watercolor painting.... I've been painting A LOT lately :)  Yeah!  This one really makes me happy and since it's tiny (4 x 6 inches), it didn't take very long at all to paint.

This flowered plant is called "Chaenomeles Superba".   The common name for it is  "Japanese Quince", but I think the scientific name sounds much more poetic :)

Don't you think it looks nice framed?  I don't know if I'll be able to let this one go to sell in my etsy shop... I may have to keep it for myself!

Photo of the Week

This is a photo of the Solar Eclipse last night... too bad it was covered up by clouds :(  But, we didn't let that rain on our parade.  We walked around the lake enjoying warm weather and beautiful scenery. Ahhhhh... that was relaxing.

Blogiversary #2 and a Big Thank You!

Today marks two years since I started this little blog and I have to take a moment and tell you how much your comments and support have meant to me.  Each comment I get on my blog is like getting a little pat on the back and it feels great!  I get so many encouraging, uplifting, and helpful comments.  I don't think I would keep blogging without that support. And I know I wouldn't have had the confidence to branch out and sell my art without you all either.  So thank you, especially Kristin (my sister) who has supported me in this from day one :)

This blog has grown a lot more in its second year than in its first.  Largely in part, I think, due to the fact that I reached out to others more.  I guest posted, submitted tutorials, and participated in all those link parties out there (ok not all, but lots of them).  It took a lot of work and a lot of time, but it was worth it because I met some amazing and kind people! I  feel like these are my friends even though we have never met in person.    Finally getting paid from google ads was a plus too, but I'm not going that route anymore.  Advertising with BlogHer brings in a lot more, just FYI :)

Another thing this blog has brought me is a way to focus on the positive and happy things in life.  The past two years have been especially challenging for my physically.  I've gone through just about every procedure known to man to cure back pain and migraines and most of them just caused me more pain.  So having a blog and a creative outlet has meant the world to me.  It has literally kept me sane and kept me going.  There were times when I didn't feel well enough to be creating anything and those were the hardest of hard times.  As long as I can keep painting, creating, exploring and sharing it all with you, I am able to keep a positive attitude to see the good in life.  I am hopeful that my latest surgery will help me in the long run.  And I am hopeful that I  will be able to to keep creating and making friends in blogworld :)

So with all the heartfelt sentiments all said, I'll move on to my favorite projects from the past year:

Recycled Painting Cards

Alright, so I went a little crazy with the card making last week.  I went through all my watercolor paintings and took out the ones that I considered to be  "failures".  They just didn't look that great standing alone, but I must say, they do look pretty good as cards :)

My biggest fear in painting, other than it not turning out well, is the fact that I might waste materials.  I am what you may call a cheap-skate.  I hate wasting stuff, especially art materials because I have very limited resources right now.  So it relieves my waste-hating mind when I can recycle paintings that didn't turn out.

These last two come from my Straw Painting experiments.  They weren't "failures"... just experiments that I didn't know what else to do with.   I think I could make more of these!

Photo of the Week

Happy Monday and a late Happy Mother's Day to all mothers out there!

Today I bring you a photo of one of my favorite flowers... the iris.  They are in bloom everywhere right now and they make me so happy!  I can't wait to plant some iris bulbs in my yard this fall so I can enjoy them next spring :)

Abstract Watercolor and Ink Cards

my latest cards.....

I actually made these paintings months ago while playing around with watercolors and ink.  It's a therapeutic thing for me and they work well as cards too!

Photo of the Week

The closest thing we have to a real beach..... is this.  It's actually a beach at a man-made lake, but I'll take what I can get.  Man am I getting in the mood for a vacation!

More Artsy Exploration

First of all,  I have to say thank you to those who commented on my last post.  Your comments are all so encouraging and uplifting!  I'm going to keep exploring with watercolors and just have fun with it.  I think I've realized that I don't have to just have one "style" for the rest of my life... I can take my time and see what happens.

So here is my latest experiment.....

I experimenting with the background in this one.  I used some rock salt on wet paint to get some texture.  Then I got kinda crazy and used a rubber stamp dipped in watercolor paint on parts of it.  This was really fun!  Once I let go of the fear of ruining my painting I was able to just let myself explore and I really like how it turned out.

If you haven't noticed the new quote in my sidebar, I'll write it here..

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes, Art is knowing which ones to keep." -Scott Adams

This is my new motto... stop worrying about making mistakes, just have fun! Hopefully those mistakes will one day turn out to be something beautiful :)

Trying to find my own style

In case you haven't noticed, I have a bit of what one fellow blogger calls  "Crafters' ADD".  I switch from one genre of craftiness to the next.  I never stick to one thing for too long.

It's the same with art.  I'm always trying new mediums, methods, and styles... like these little drawings I made the other day.  I've seen other artists use this style and I wanted to try it out- it's fun!

There is so much to explore and learn!  I just want to do it all!  But.... I'm coming to realize that if I ever want to be an established artist, at some point I need to develop some sense of a "style".  I feel like I need to have a certain look that others would know me by, but I have no idea how to find that look.  Part of me feels like if I choose one look, that I'll have to stay with that forever and it might get a little boring, or I might lose the enjoyment I get out of making art in the first place.

So, any of you artists or crafters out there.. what are your thoughts?  Do you stick to a certain style or do you switch it up?  How did you find your style?