Breathing

Sometimes you just have to get outside and breath the fresh air, take a walk in the woods, clear your head, ...especially after an extremely long winter like we've had this year.  It's still too cold to plant my garden, but things are starting to green up a little and it's encouraging to see the first wildflowers popping up.  Maybe take a sketchbook with you.  No, everything doesn't have to be a masterpiece or even a finished work, or ready for a competition, or even for anybody to see but you. I meet so many people that say they can't draw, who told them that?  Drawing is freeing, painting is calming, creating is good therapy, who couldn't use a little of those things? My sketchbooks very greatly between, simple watercolor landscapes, up close specimen details, value studies, random thoughts, doodles, scribbles.  The point is to get out there...get quiet...listen...see...no I mean really see!  Trust me, you'll be glad you did.

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Remember to bring something to draw on and a few little art supplies in your pack.  If things won't sit still for you, you can always take a picture and finish it later, no worries!

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Thanksgiving

Where do I even start, this is the day to count your blessings and think of all the things I'm thankful for, but I'm so blessed to have them all around me all the time, It's not just for this day. Family, friends, food, health, a comfortable home, running vehicles, getting to do what I love to do for work, I could go on and on. Yet it's so easy to get caught up in the business of life and the cares of the world that we so often forget to see, really see, all the little blessings. I guess that's why I have to do this, the beauty of nature, the details of creation, the colors and textures that fascinate me, they make me stop,...and see.  I hope that my work helps others to see too, and to stop to notice those little blessings.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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Presenting

I've been told somewhere along the way, that if you want to be taken seriously as an artist, your work should be presented in the best possible manner.  I really believe this to be so and try to do my best at that. It's neither cheap nor easy to do a nice job of matting and framing your artwork, but it's a necessary part of the process.  

The standard for most botanical art pieces is single matting with clean white mat board matching the paper used for the illustration that's visible as the white background.  This is what gives botanical art it's clean, traditional style. I know it seems like a lot of white and who knew there were several shades of white watercolor paper (i.e. bright white, natural white, traditional white, etc.) and even more shades of white mat board to match it to!  Then you have the problem of keeping all of that white clean and white while mounting and sealing the frame.  Be prepared to wear smooth clean gloves or be washing your hands constantly and not cut yourself with the hanging wires or glass, yep- I've done that. 

Frames tend to also be simple and classic, though this can depend on the piece and whether it's for a commissioned project, gallery exhibit, or where it might end up.  Some artists tend to frame all of their works the same to keep a uniform style while others like to mix it up a bit for contrast.  I'm one of the latter tribe I guess, even if it isn't the proper approach.  I like simple dark redwood frames for some of my pieces, or rustic white for a more casual vintage look, and sometimes even something with a bit of shiny gilding just makes it more sparkly and fabulous.

I try to do my own framing and matting for my small pieces to save some money where I can, and have a local frame shop tackle the larger works because they have the equipment to do a better job than I do.  If you're the one buying the artwork, please take notice of the framing as well, I hope the entire finished piece speaks to you and is a good fit for your home or space.  I hope that you love the love I put into creating it for you!

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