The end of 2018 is here! And with the end of the year comes time to reflect on the wonderful and challenging projects, events, and life experiences.
I’d like to share a review of my art and life from this year. I hope you find it insightful and that it inspires you to look back on 2018 with celebration of all the good you’ve accomplished in whatever way that might be. I look forward to reviewing these over the years to compare and appreciate the small things that add up to the big things.
1. Private 2-day lessons with J. Kirk Richards— Back in January I finally went to Utah to cash in on a lesson I had purchased a few years ago—thanks to baby boy #1 it got postpone until this year, but it finally happened and it was awesome! I learned great techniques to refine my work and confidence that I’m on the right track. Thanks to those one-on-one days we had, it gave me the courage to try gold leaf in my paintings.
2. Blue Print Model— I started and completed an amazing 12 week business course this year. It’s the most I’ve invested into my business ever. It was scary to take that jump but I am so glad I did! It was worth every penny and every minute of working on the homework. I consider this one of my biggest victories this year!
3. Mini GOLD Fire paintings— In the spring I created 12 mini gold leaf paintings. These were a great testing ground to get feedback from my collectors and fans about this type of work in the future. It also brought greater depth and symbolism to my work that I love. Can’t wait to make larger gold fire paintings! Stay tuned!
4. Triptych piece— I created my first triptych painting this year. I’ve been wanting to do one for a while and finally had the push to do it for a juried art show. It did not get accepted but that’s okay! It still felt good to experiment with this idea and think about it for the future.
5. Morning Light—Pioneer Fire 2016— Completing this piece was one of my first victories for the year. This is the largest one I’ve created in a while and one that’s got me really excited to share. It’s rare for me to come across images of a wildfire in the morning light. This one just took my breath away and I had to paint it, with permission of the photographer/firefighter. I am excited to finally be releasing this in my next series of paintings, and will be a new addition to the print shop in the spring!
6. Birthed my baby boy #2— enough said! An easy going and successful VBAC birth. Mr. True is the happiest baby and brings our family JOY beyond measure! He pretty much has convinced me that babies are the best and that I just need to stop making art for a little while. So I’ll be resting up and enjoying more fully his wonderful smile and chunky thighs the next few months.
7. Gold Fire Mugs— 11 Unique Handcrafted and painted mugs. These mugs came to be through little miracles. I wanted to visit Mercedes back in the spring to work on some type of collaboration, but I was pregnant at the time so the collaboration was delayed. Well, fast forward to August, just a few weeks after our son was born and I found out I’d be able to accompany my husband on a work trip to Florida—right where Mercedes lives! Just a few weeks before leaving in September for the trip I had a dream I was painting on Mercedes mugs. I was painting wildfires! This was the first work I dived into after having baby boy #2. I didn’t intend to start back into creating art so soon, but the opportunity presented itself so, with an 8 weeks old baby and a 3 year old I was trying to glaze any small moments I could get. And the rest is history!
8. Inktober 2018— 31 ink painted sketches with gold leaf. These were fun to create. I haven’t worked on my wildfire paintings without color and there are definitely some challenges but also great learning that came from such a simple exercise. I would love to do this challenge again in the future. I also gifted all these away to my fans and collectors. I wanted to share more of my work with the world and it was an exercise in “letting go” of what I create and “giving value” to other people’s lives. It was a way for me to show my tribe my gratitude for having them following this creative journey.
9. Commission of the Bear Fire—Also unexpected, I received an awesome opportunity to create this custom painting just before leaving for our Florida trip. I started it after we got back from the Hurricane Florence evacuation. What a line of events the second half of the year has brought!
10. Growing a garden— This is not a simple task! But I had fun in my spring/summer garden this year. I can’t tell you how fulfilling it was to grow vegetables. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.
It amazes me how I got this all done. All during nap times, getting up early, or staying up a little late.
But really it comes down to loving what I do, and finding the time to do it. I’m a mom of two little boys. Time is the most valuable thing I have. Time with them. Time with my husband. Time visiting family and friends. And time creating, because this is how I express the feelings and thoughts of my heart and soul.
Know that whatever I do produce, comes from my heart, mind, and soul, and that I’m giving the most valuable thing I have—time—to create. I paint these wildfire scenes hoping to better other’s lives, by giving them a reminder of courage and hope in their challenges. And I know for a few people I did just that. That is my greatest art success this year.
THANK YOU for a wonderful year. However you supported me, I thank you. Every little bit from my wonderful little tribe helps better my work—sharing my work with friends, reading my posts or newsletter, purchasing, commenting, or critiquing, it all adds up. Thank you.
Here’s to a new year!