A Happy Five Years of Sellling My Art

Five years ago today, I took a leap and opened my Etsy Shop!  Happy five-year Shop Anniversary to me!  It's been an awesome ride with lots of personal and professional growth so I'm taking this chance to celebrate!

  I started with about 10 original paintings in my shop and I never expected to do as well as I did.  I started out slow, very slow.  I didn't have lots of money to put into it, so I had to grow a little at a time and that's what I did.

This is the first watercolor I ever sold.  A happy green little pear!  I clearly remember the excitement I felt with that first sale.  It was awesome!  Someone liked my art enough to buy it! That gave me the confidence to do more.

Here's my first Custom Painting- it was a doozy.  20 x 30 inches of Rooster!

And here I am with my Pink Feathers painting that is now being sold at Hobby Lobby! So fun to look back at my milestones and see how far I've come!

The past five years have offered me many many challenges. Endometriosis was not something I expected to deal with, but I feel that much has been given to me to compensate for that pain and loss. Art is a gift that I am grateful to have!

Photos of the Week

Dahlias are some of my favorite flowers.  I do have lots of favorites, but these are at least in the top ten.

dahlia summer flower photography
dahlia summer flower photography
dahlia summer flower photography

I have a story that goes with this bouquet of giant dahlias.  We were at Lowes trying out a porch swing (just for fun- we're not buying one), when an older man approached us and told us about the wooden benches he makes and the hundreds of dahlias he planted in his yard.  He invited us to stop by his home sometime to see them and we told him we just might.

Two days later, we got brave and actually went! We don't usually do stuff like that.  We're a bit introverted and that was out-of-character for us, but I'm glad we went.  We sat on the benches and the man came out and offered to make me a bouquet.  I couldn't pass that up! He let me pick out my favorite flowers from his yard!  The results are still being enjoyed on my kitchen table.

Sometimes it's good to just go with the unexpected crazy things that happen to us out of the blue. You never know.  You might just end up with a bouquet of dahlias!

Free Floral Wreath Coloring and Watercolor Pages

Free Floral Wreath Coloring Pages by Elise Engh Studios

Hello friends!

Today I'm following two big trends: floral wreaths and coloring pages.  I've combined the two trends to create a fun freebie for you readers out there.  So click on the images below to download your free coloring page.  You can color this one in with colored pencils or markers.  

I colored mine with colored pencils and I found it quite relaxing.  I don't use colored pencils enough!

Free Floral Wreath Coloring Pages by Elise Engh Studios

I went the extra mile and made another version of this floral wreath just for use with watercolors! It's a lighter version so that you can paint over it without the lines showing up too much underneath.  That way you can trick everyone into thinking that you are a pro watercolor painter and they will never know the difference :)

Print this lighter coloring page on some watercolor paper and fill in with watercolor paints and brush. Have fun!

Free Floral Wreath Coloring Pages by Elise Engh Studios

Fluid Watercolor Poppies

Two poppy paintings in different colors and with slightly different compositions.  The more I paint, the easier it is to be loose and fluid with my watercolor paints.  It's my favorite way of using them!

Pink, blue, purple poppies paintings in watercolor: growcreativeblog
watercolor flowers by Elise Engh

watercolor poppies by Elise Engh

Photos of the Week

red roses photograph
red roses photograph
summer sunset

I sorta cheated this week- I took these photos years ago. I just never posted them! For what reason, I don't remember, but at least I can post them now.  I'm thinking I wanna paint those roses!

My energy is so sporadic these days and it can be frustrating. I'll have a couple of good energy days and I'll think I'm finally getting better and then I hit a wall and I'm wiped out for a few days or even a week after that.

I really really appreciate the times I do have energy though and I make the most of it.  I had energy to create a custom portrait, mail my Cactus and Tepee Paper Collage piece to a friend, clean my car (that hasn't happened in about a year), make strawberry jam, make a free coloring page for the blog (I'll post that this week), and take my son swimming.  That is good for me!

Succulent Garden

Here it is........ my little succulent garden watercolor painting:

Watercolor Succulent Garden Painting by Elise Engh: grow creative blog
Watercolor Succulent Garden Painting by Elise Engh: grow creative blog
Watercolor cactus Painting by Elise Engh: grow creative blog
Watercolor cactus Painting by Elise Engh: grow creative blog

I find myself wishing I had the real life version of these plants.  They are cool to paint and to grow!

Photos of the Week

yellow and black butterfly photo: growcreativeblog
flaming gorge rafting: growcreativeblog

I'm a little late with my photos this week.... still trying to catch up and recover from my trip to Flaming Gorge!

I experienced my first rafting trip ever!!! It was only three hours but still hard on the back.  I did get to see the look of excitement on my little boy's face the entire way- so that made it worth it.  I didn't get any great photos of me rafting, but I did, however, get a photo of me trying out a paddle board (also a first).  I promise I did actually stand and paddle on that thing for a couple of minutes.  It was hard so I'm pretty proud of myself :)

I feel blessed to have had some energy for this trip.  It was quick and intense and a lot of the time I was tired.  I'm still trying to work out the hormone balancing act and I'm not quite there yet.  All in good time.  I have a feeling that once I figure it out, I'll want to be rafting and paddle boarding again.

Pink Watercolor Cactus

Pink Cactus DIY Art

I stumbled upon a fun watercolor tutorial last week and tried it out- and I must say- I loved it!  
Try the Watercolor Cactus Painting Tutorial by Inkstruck Studio.  It's a good way to have fun and loosen up with watercolors.  I made two little 5x7 cactus paintings in pink tones.

Pink Cactus DIY Art

Then, since I was in a cactus-painting-mood, I painted a potted version and outlined it in ink.

Potted Cactus Illustration by Elise Engh

Flower Dreamer

Ever since I painted the Flower Head Girl, I've been wanting to create a whole series of figures with flowers.  This is my second addition to that collection.  I can't wait to paint more of these!

Girl with Floral Crown Watercolor Painting by Elise EnghGirl with Floral Crown Watercolor Painting by Elise Engh

Baby Fox Guest Book

 A little something I made for my sister's baby shower:

Baby Shower Guest Book- Woodland Creature Fox: growcreativeblog
Baby Fox Guest Book
Watercolor Fox, Nursery Decor

This was so fun to make!  The fox is painted in watercolors and outlined in ink.  The balloons are paper circles for the guests to sign.   I'm thinking I need to start selling something like this in my Etsy Shop.  What do you think?  Foxes and just so cute!