Interview with Artist Sam Pletcher

It’s my pleasure to introduce everyone to artist Sam Pletcher! You can check out Sam’s Etsy shop and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and check out her website!

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your journey with art?

Art is something that I’ve always done, even before I knew what I was doing was considered art. It sort of just pours of my ears, even when I’m not really paying attention, I’ll find myself sketching or creating some random rearrangement of the things around me. I tell people a lot of my practice comes from not being able to sit still, and that is one hundred percent a true fact. My embroidery work began out of a desire to make my mark onto clothing but to also give my hands something to do while relaxing, (which sounds a little backwards) like watching a movie or talking on speakerphone to my mom. And before embroidery, it was doodling, and before doodling it was friendship bracelets and before that, it was making lanyards at camp. (It is no shock that I have given many homemade gifts over the years.) So armed with all of this energy and love for making, I entered college where I studied art, and was taught the importance of segregating art and craft, which just generally confused me. A lot of what I create in my art is based in my knowledge of crafting, as I think is pretty common for most artists, particularly female artists. Craft is an accessible form of art, in my opinion, so it seems pointless to exclude it from the conversation.

What is life like in Portland, Oregon? Any favorite spots that get you inspired?

Portland is an awesome place to live for artists. The rainy times can make for some great introspective creative moments, especially in the winter because the rainy gray season does provide kind of a natural “hibernation” almost, where you can kind of hunker down and get really focused on your art. That may not sound super exciting but the best part about rain is that it literally makes Oregon so green. The trees, the grass, the flowers (the roses in particular) everything grows like crazy thanks to the rain. And once the winter is over, you can really see how beautiful this place is. Being born and raised in the Midwest, the most magical thing about living in Portland is that I can drive to the ocean in less than two hours. It’s magical, it’s healing and it’s very cold.

As far as in town, it’s so hard to pick a favorite place to get inspired because I find new exciting spots all of the time. The City of Portland has an amazing public art program, so there are murals and sculptures and interactive pieces of art all throughout the city, some of which are gigantic and hard to miss and others that are only three inches tall and only available to the most observant. Downtown Portland houses America’s seventh oldest art museum, the Portland Art Museum, which is filled with wonderful works and is always worth spending the afternoon in. I could keep going on about Portland, but I’ll stop myself there. It’s obviously an amazing place to live and I’m glad I’ve found it.


Can you tell me a little bit about your first solo show? What was the venue? How did it go?

My first solo show was super fun and definitely nontraditional as far as most art exhibitions. The venue was at an awesome vintage candy store here in Portland (Candy Babel on NE Alberta St), that features lots of different bright colors of candy in glass jars among cool unique vintage furniture pieces. And somewhat unsurprisingly my artwork fit in really well with the décor, since both are quirky and colorful. There was great feedback from friends and strangers on my art during the opening reception and throughout the entire month my show remained up. I can’t wait for more exhibitions, I definitely have plenty of ideas.

What are some of your go-to art products?

My favorite paint to use on fabric is Jacquard Fabric Paints, specifically:

Textile Color, a nice semi-opaque fabric paint

Lumiere, a pretty metallic sheened fabric paint that covers dark backgrounds

Neopaque, a fabric paint like the Textile Color, but goes on dark backgrounds

What is your like process for creating your hand-painted t-shirts?

Each shirt is totally unique, since I hand paint every one. Currently, I’m choosing to paint a one of a kind set of images on each shirt, which is time intensive but very rewarding. The way I approach creating the designs is very similar to doodling out a train of thought. I’ll pick out maybe four or five colors of paint and then I stand over the shirt and think. Starting the piece is always difficult, since you need to come up with that first image to paint. I don’t like to begin with a specific idea or theme or train of thought in my head, because it doesn’t feel as organic as when I let my brain roam freely in my associations of different objects, just thinking about and picking one at a time. It is such a small difference, I know, but I really enjoy stepping back once I finish a shirt and finding the common thread or small narrative I created through my painted doodles. I think someday I may paint shirts that are not all one of a kind, and maybe focus on one image on many shirts, but for now I am enjoying my slow process!

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Interview with Australian Painter Jaqueline Burgess

Interview with Australian Painter Jacqueline Burgess #australianart #australianartist #wildlifeportraits #artists #art #painting #smallbusiness #etsy

It is my pleasure to welcome to the blog Australian painter Jaqueline Burgess! Originally born in South Africa and now living in Australia, Jaqueline’s paintings are inspired by a strong sense of place. You can see and buy Jaqueline’s work in her Etsy shop or on her website. You can also follower her on Facebook and Instagram.

Interview with Australian Painter Jacqueline Burgess #australianart #australianartist #wildlifeportraits #artists #art #painting #smallbusiness #etsy

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your journey with art? 

I was born in South Africa, and at 19 decided to travel and see a bit of the world. For 9 years my love of drawing and painting led me to a variety of part-time work – I painted murals, decorated restaurant and bar menu boards, illustrated, painted commission pieces for private homes and ended up teaching art in a London school. I communicate through my art, It brings balance and grounding to my life and it encourages my children to always create.

Interview with Australian Painter Jacqueline Burgess #australianart #australianartist #wildlifeportraits #artists #art #painting #smallbusiness #etsy
Interview with Australian Painter Jacqueline Burgess #austrailanart #australianartist #wildlifeportraits #artists #art #painting #smallbusiness #etsy

What was life like living in South Africa? Can you talk about how living there has inspired your work? 

South Africa is so unique and diverse in its culture that naturally a sense of creativity and adventure became an inherent part of my personality. Surrounded by the Zulu and Indian cultures brought about a colourful and somewhat decorative approach to my art. Through most of my works, reference to pattern and subtle ornamentation is present in the compositions.

Interview with Australian Painter Jacqueline Burgess #australianart #australianartist #wildlifeportraits #artists #art #painting #smallbusiness #etsy

What is the process like creating one of your wildlife portraits? 

Painting something from nature is always a special process. I begin with sourcing photos online for inspiration, a couple of sketches later I sit down with paint and brush to bring the drawing to life – finishing with the animals eyes is the most exciting part.

Interview with Australian Painter Jacqueline Burgess #australianart #australianartist #wildlifeportraits #artists #art #painting #smallbusiness #etsy
Interview with Australian Painter Jacqueline Burgess #australianart #australianartist #wildlifeportraits #artists #art #painting #smallbusiness #etsy
Interview with Australian Painter Jacqueline Burgess #australianart #australianartist #wildlifeportraits #artists #art #painting #smallbusiness #etsy

What are some favorite materials you use in your work?  

I love painting with Derivan Matisse Ink and Liquitex Acrylic paints.

Interview with Australian Painter Jacqueline Burgess #australianart #australianartist #wildlifeportraits #artists #art #painting #smallbusiness #etsy

What have been some of your favorite exhibitions and projects over the years? Are there currently any upcoming or in-the works projects or exhibitions?

Each year I set myself the goal of painting a portrait for the Archibald Prize. In 2016 I submitted my entry of a portrait of my eldest daughter and her friend to the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize and was selected as a semi finalist. Last year I was asked by a gallery in Melbourne called Otomys to create a group of seascape paintings for their sister gallery in Sorentto.

Interview with Australian Painter Jacqueline Burgess #australianart #australianartist #wildlifeportraits #artists #art #painting #smallbusiness #etsy Last year was also a huge step in opening a joint family business which comprises a coffee shop and art gallery /gift store called Sketch Coffee & Art in Towradgi NSW (follow us on Instagram and Facebook!). The concept of the store is to serve local and fresh produce, with local roasted coffee. Customers enjoy the gallery space and peruse the gift store whilst enjoying breakfast and lunch.

Interview with Australian Painter Jacqueline Burgess #australianart #australianartist #wildlifeportraits #artists #art #painting #smallbusiness #etsy
Interview with Australian Painter Jacqueline Burgess #australianart #australianartist #wildlifeportraits #artists #art #painting #smallbusiness #etsy

Interview with Australian Painter Jacqueline Burgess #australianart #australianartist #wildlifeportraits #artists #art #painting #smallbusiness #etsy Sketch Coffee & Art houses only Australian and locally made artworks, textiles, ceramics, stationary, jewellery, photography,  and homewares, to name a few, alongside a rotation of my own large artworks on canvas. Its a very special corner of Wollongong that encourages the locals to get creative with monthly sketch competitions. Sip coffee whilst you sketch- people love it.  I have also just recently released a textile range of beach Sarongs and scarves called WEAR THE ART as well as soft furnishings for the home.

Interview with Australian Painter Jacqueline Burgess #australianart #australianartist #wearableart #artists #art #painting #smallbusiness #etsy #scarves #fashionscarves
Interview with Australian Painter Jacqueline Burgess #australianart #australianartist #wearableart #artists #art #painting #smallbusiness #etsy #scarves #fashionscarves
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Interview with Rachel Roe | St. Louis Based Artist & Graphic Designer

Interview with Rachel Roe | St. Louis Based Artist & Graphic Designer

It is my pleasure to feature artist and graphic designer Rachel Roe on the blog! Rachel is a St. Louis based artist and you can check out her Etsy shop, her website, and follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

Interview with Rachel Roe | St. Louis Based Artist & Graphic Designer

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your journey with art?

My name is Rachel Roe. I am an artist and graphic designer based in St. Louis, MO. I work from my backyard art studio — a space my husband built for me to encourage my career as a full-time artist.

I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in graphic design. So out of college, and for 4 years after, I was a full-time graphic designer (doing art on the side) working for a company that wasn’t fulfilling or pushing my creative limits.

Interview with Rachel Roe | St. Louis Based Artist & Graphic Designer

I’ve always had an interest in art but I never thought I could do it as a career — partly because of the sheer logistics of it but also partly because it was a scary transition from my comfortable job as a designer. But after a few encouraging voices and a leap of faith, I quit my 9-5, and started my career as a full-time artist.

Interview with Rachel Roe | St. Louis Based Artist & Graphic Designer

What is life like in Missouri? Any places in the area that inspire you or that you generally like to hang out?

I live in the outskirts of St. Louis so I get the hustle of the city but also the serenity of hiking trails, rivers and lakes all around me.

I’m lucky to live close to some pretty amazing/inspiring art museums. However, lately I’ve been trying to rely less on inspiration and more on discipline. Inspiration and motivation can be oh so fleeting. I’m learning I may not always be motivated but I can always be disciplined.

Interview with Rachel Roe | St. Louis Based Artist & Graphic Designer

Can you tell me a little bit about your vintage uniform series? What was the impetus behind the people being faceless?

The vintage inspired pieces were initially created around my admiration for vintage uniforms. By abstracting the faces and settings, the piece becomes more about the uniform and the type of persona it creates rather than focusing on a specific individual. The fluid/abstracted brushstrokes compliment the piece making it feel like a faded memory.

Interview with Rachel Roe | St. Louis Based Artist & Graphic Designer

Interview with Rachel Roe | St. Louis Based Artist & Graphic Designer

What are some of your favorite art products/materials?

I love painting on birch wood panels. Being able to see the grain beneath the paint adds a natural element to the overall composition.

What have been some of your favorite projects and/or commissions? Any exciting paintings, projects or upcoming events in the works?

I’m always honored when people ask me to paint a commissioned piece of their loved one. I’ve done faces, families, dogs and buildings. It’s always crazy for me to be painting, painting, painting and all of a sudden… I stand back and there’s a personality staring back at me. Faces aren’t always the easiest things to paint but they sure are rewarding.

Interview with Rachel Roe | St. Louis Based Artist & Graphic Designer

I’m currently preparing for my first big art show. I’m producing tons of new works so it’s been so exciting watching my studio fill up with art.

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Artist Interview with Painter Elizabeth Boudreau | Wildlife Artist & Enthusiast

Artist Interview with Painter Elizabeth Boudreau | Wildlife Artist & Enthusiast #wildlifeart #wildlifeartist #animalart #animalpainting #artblog #etsyartist

I’m so excited to introduce everyone to painter Elizabeth Boudreau! You can find Elizabeth’s work in her Etsy shop, Whimsical Weasels. You can also follow her on Instagram.

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your journey with art?

Sure! My name is Elizabeth Boudreau. I’m a working artist in Athens, GA, creating illustrative wildlife paintings. I graduated in 2017 from the University of Georgia with my BFA in Drawing and Painting. Since my childhood growing up on a farm in the state of Washington, I have always held a special relationship with animals. In my adult life, that relationship has turned into one of creativity and compassion.

Artist Interview with Painter Elizabeth Boudreau | Wildlife Artist & Enthusiast #wildlifeart #wildlifeartist #animalart #animalpainting #artblog #etsyartist

One of my greatest pleasures in life is travel. I love to see the world, visit obscure corners of the globe and experience the wildlife and culture. Many of my travels have resulted in projects during and after the trip. An example that comes to mind is my Costa Rican field guide book, created almost entirely during my stay and displaying the creatures observed in person. This past summer I had the joy of visiting South Africa, where I was spoiled with wildlife! The result: 72 art cards to result in one large composite poster.

Artist Interview with Painter Elizabeth Boudreau | Wildlife Artist & Enthusiast #wildlifeart #wildlifeartist #animalart #animalpainting #artblog #etsyartist

Artist Interview with Painter Elizabeth Boudreau | Wildlife Artist & Enthusiast #wildlifeart #wildlifeartist #animalart #animalpainting #artblog #etsyartist

You see, I love drawing and I love animals. It’s heartwarming to have the chance to pursue my passion.

Artist Interview with Painter Elizabeth Boudreau | Wildlife Artist & Enthusiast #wildlifeart #wildlifeartist #animalart #animalpainting #artblog #etsyartist Artist Interview with Painter Elizabeth Boudreau | Wildlife Artist & Enthusiast #wildlifeart #wildlifeartist #animalart #animalpainting #artblog #etsyartist

What is life like in Athens, Georgia? Any favorite spots that inspire you?

Life after graduation here is a creative journey! I spend most of my days in my studio, creating personal and custom pieces. The area has many artist-friendly venues that showcase and bolster the careers of young artists. I recently developed a great relationship with Trio Athens, a gallery that shows and prints for local creatives. It’s also fun to see quirky art projects pop up around town, like knitted gnome trees that hide around unknown corners. It’s the spunk like this that keeps my love for Athens burning strong!

Artist Interview with Painter Elizabeth Boudreau | Wildlife Artist & Enthusiast #wildlifeart #wildlifeartist #animalart #animalpainting #artblog #etsyartist

Artist Interview with Painter Elizabeth Boudreau | Wildlife Artist & Enthusiast #wildlifeart #wildlifeartist #animalart #animalpainting #artblog #etsyartist

Artist Interview with Painter Elizabeth Boudreau | Wildlife Artist & Enthusiast #wildlifeart #wildlifeartist #animalart #animalpainting #artblog #etsyartist

What is the process like behind creating your animal paintings – do you sketch, then paint? How do you go about finding references?

Typically, I begin by lightly sketching out the basic shapes of my subject, creating a composition that feels right. After the main sketch is laid down, I boldly delineate the subject in preparation for my favorite part…COLOR! My primary medium is gouache, sometimes layered with watercolor or marker.

Artist Interview with Painter Elizabeth Boudreau | Wildlife Artist & Enthusiast #wildlifeart #wildlifeartist #animalart #animalpainting #artblog #etsyartist

The true delight in painting for me comes from troubleshooting. I adore the feeling of satisfaction when a troublesome area suddenly resolves with a resonating ‘ding’ from the light bulb in my mind. It is a constant process of layer, step back, observe, tweak, move on. It is so satisfying to see a piece come to fruition.

References for me are a staple, helping me create anatomy and structure in my figures. Most of my reference material comes from photos during travel.

Artist Interview with Painter Elizabeth Boudreau | Wildlife Artist & Enthusiast #wildlifeart #wildlifeartist #animalart #animalpainting #artblog #etsyartistArtist Interview with Painter Elizabeth Boudreau | Wildlife Artist & Enthusiast #wildlifeart #wildlifeartist #animalart #animalpainting #artblog #etsyartist

What are some of your favorite art products/materials?

Oh, there are many great materials floating around! I will list below some staples in my studio, materials I heavily trust:

Artist Interview with Painter Elizabeth Boudreau | Wildlife Artist & Enthusiast #wildlifeart #wildlifeartist #animalart #animalpainting #artblog #etsyartist

Any exciting paintings, projects or upcoming events in the works?

Yes! The studio is in full swing right now preparing for the DragonCon art show! This is my first year participating and I am very excited. A few commissioned pieces are in the works and always ready for more. I love to create and see the joy my art gives others.

Click here to shop Elizabeth’s Etsy shop!

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Artist Interview with Painter Anne Ward

It’s my pleasure to introduce painter Anne Ward! Please enjoy the interview and leave a comment at the end to let us know your thoughts. I encourage you to check out her website and subscribe to her email list.

Artist Interview with Painter Anne Ward #artistinterview #artblog #pleinair #painting #florals #artists

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your journey with art? 

I’d always dreamed of being a painter. I remember hours spent sitting and looking at Time Life books with paintings by Impressionists. When I was about 11 years old I had a paper route so that I could earn money to buy the items needed for sketching that I read about in books I checked out from the library. I filled the walls of the room I shared with my sister with my endeavors. I was so lucky to have family and friends who championed my work. My Aunt Peg gave me my first set of oil paints when I was 15. I was beside myself with glee. To this day she still has my earliest paintings up in her home. I have 5 brothers and sisters and when we were growing up we didn’t have a lot of spare income, but my father worked at an airline which allowed us all to fly for free. My parents really valued travel and exposure to museums so I was incredibly fortunate to have seen so much of the world at a young age. I studied art in high school and continued on to UCLA where I chose to get a degree in history…but I was always drawing and painting whenever I had spare time.

Artist Interview with Painter Anne Ward #artistinterview #artblog #pleinair #painting #florals #artists

After college I was so lucky to get a job working for a movie writer/director named Lawrence Kasdan. I was responsible for running his office, reading scripts, being on the set and being a gatekeeper to the busy demands on his creative time. I worked on a few movies in my time there and lived for nearly a year in Santa Fe working on a movie called Wyatt Earp and a year in Paris working on a movie called French Kiss. It was an incredible opportunity to deeply understand what goes into the creative process on a large scale. I taught my boss to learn to use a computer (this was indeed a LONG time ago!) so that he no longer wrote his scripts in longhand form on legal pads. I learned so much about focus and creative dedication and fun from him. All the while I worked there, I was saving money to support my dream of taking time off to finally learn to paint. I was still reading art instruction books and after 6 day work weeks on location,  I would spend my Sundays studying art and painting. I sold my very first painting to a film coworker in Santa Fe and I was so thrilled.

Artist Interview with Painter Anne Ward #artistinterview #artblog #pleinair #painting #florals #artists

After being in Paris for over a year I left my film production job to begin my dream of taking time off to paint. My parents had given me an outdoor easel and my boyfriend at the time urged me to bring it along on a weekend trip. We were in a small village in France. I must have worked easily 15 hours on that tiny attempt to capture light! By the end of the weekend it was pouring raining and a man with one arm held an umbrella for me to finish, people had brought me food and welcomed me into their homes, children had helped me with my clumsy attempts at speaking in French. I was hooked. The way an easel connects you to people and nature and the environment is such a special privilege! I realized that if I could do this I would live the happiest life ever. I quit my job in Paris, I returned to LA and within two weeks I had magically met a group of painters who had dedicated their lives to this ‘plein air’ thing. It was a somewhat unusual pursuit at the time to find people devoted specifically to plein air and I spent hundreds of hours outdoors learning from these generous artists.

Artist Interview with Painter Anne Ward #artistinterview #artblog #pleinair #painting #florals #artists

So while I’m mostly self taught, I was so lucky to have been exposed to incredible painters who taught me exacting ways of seeing light. I began showing paintings and was fortunate to gain a following of collectors who supported me. I went through a divorce and painting was my anchor. With two children I realized that I had to figure out how to squeeze in painting. One of my mentors and a painter I greatly admire is Dan McCaw. He suggested that I should ‘always paint in my head’ when there wasn’t time to actually paint.  Such good advice. I could be mentally prepping for the moment when I actually had time to paint. I read an article by another art hero of mine who eventually became a dear friend, Peggi Kroll Roberts. She described raising her kids and painting and setting up still lifes and painting small between loads of laundry. I began setting up my easel in the kitchen at night after the kids were asleep. While I didn’t have time to chase the light outdoors in true plein air fashion, I could grab whatever was in the fridge and set up ‘problems’…impossible color combinations or green on green, pink on pink etc. It forced me to see/question assumptions about colors and figure out where the actual chroma belonged. I was obsessed with taking the same objects and painting them indoors and then outdoors at various times of day to understand how light can transform even ordinary objects. Doing this allowed me to better understand color.

Artist Interview with Painter Anne Ward #artistinterview #artblog #pleinair #painting #florals #artists

Now I am happily remarried to painter and author Ian Roberts. We share a studio and I am always inspired by his approach and patient allowing of a painting to progress. He is an amazing painter. Before anything heads out the door we discuss what might be popping out or distracting from the whole of the picture plane.  I am dyslexic…so when I see a painting I see an abstract pattern of shape and color…Ian sees the ‘underneath’ of painting in the form of composition so I really am blessed to have that influence.

Artist Interview with Painter Anne Ward #artistinterview #artblog #pleinair #painting #florals #artists

My children are older but I still set up still life on the back porch so that I can paint from life while also preparing meals. I am SUPER inspired by our beautiful garden and the vegetables and flowers we grow. My second love is pattern. So I have been making patterns to accompany my paintings and experimenting with putting them on bags, totes and fabric to use in my still life paintings. I love the idea of art being useful in the world so that even if someone can’t afford an original painting they could have something beautiful like a coffee mug that makes their day happy. I also have a few images that are reproduced and available online at Pottery Barn.  Also, as a means of using my art to be of service in the world, I made an app that pairs my paintings which an intention for the day. It is free and has a simple meditation included to create more calm in a topsy turvy world. Its called i-intend on iTunes and has been downloaded by thousands of people around the world.

Artist Interview with Painter Anne Ward #artistinterview #artblog #pleinair #painting #florals #artists

Where do you draw your inspiration from? 

I’m SO inspired by pattern, light and color.  I’m obsessed with infusing my work with the the joy and wonder I feel in our garden. I think that beauty is such a stabilizing force and I am always in pursuit of it. I find there is truth, integrity and absolute joy to witness things growing. It is humbling and powerful to feel connected to the growing cycle of things in the yard. A tiny seed becomes a carrot in 120 days. Amazing! A grasshopper that perfectly matches the color of a leaf on a lemon tree.  That’s magical! Things that could easily be missed given the ‘important’ distractions of my phone. I’m inspired by bringing that experience of how I feel in nature to the walls of someone’s home. I’m using our daughters and the arrangement of light in our dining room as the backdrop for a painting I’m working on now. I think its important to use the truth of the things I love in my life as elements in paintings. I’m going to be incorporating more of my patterns into my paintings. I’m also inspired by painting on the Ipad and using it as a tool on days that I don’t have time to be in the studio.  A daily practice of creating is so critical to my work.

Artist Interview with Painter Anne Ward #artistinterview #artblog #pleinair #painting #florals #artists
An iPad painting – I often use an iPad to sketch up ideas for oil paintings

What have been some of your favorite exhibitions that you’ve been featured in and why? 

 I once had a solo show based on a line in a book by Eckhardt Tolle about ‘spacious stillness’. That really is how painting feels to me.  Its a wordless expansive feeling. The show was a series of outdoor still life paintings and some landscapes and moments where I had felt spacious stillness. An elderly neighbor who was no longer able to travel remarked  ‘Thank you for taking me on that journey’. I was so moved by that. I’m always honored to show work at Marcia Burtt Gallery in Santa Barbara. Marcia has been one of my art heroes and part of me still can’t believe that I get to show my work alongside hers there! It’s also an honor when I have shown work with the California Art Club at their juried show. So many amazing painters.

Artist Interview with Painter Anne Ward #artistinterview #artblog #pleinair #painting #florals #artists

What has been your experience with art associations? How can they be helpful for artists and their businesses?

I have been involved with the California Art Club which was founded in 1909. There are wonderful opportunities to go on paint outs and gain exposure to new ways of thinking and approaching work. When I was very new to painting, the club offered so many opportunities for exposure and submitting to shows. I think clubs and art associations are so valuable because making art can be a solitary endeavor. Its so important to find the people who inspire you along the way. I used to keep a binder of paintings I’d seen in magazines as ‘reminders’ of what made me really excited about painting. It helped me to figure out what and how I wanted to paint.

Artist Interview with Painter Anne Ward #artistinterview #artblog #pleinair #painting #florals #artistsWhat have been a couple of your favorite projects and commissions over the years? 

One of my favorite experiences was getting to help chef and restauranteur Suzanne Goin choose some of my paintings for her house. I love having the opportunity to do that and find images that resonate for people in their homes! I really admire Suzanne and all that she has created so that was a special experience. I also did a commission for my friend Laurie David of some of my kitchen counter/garden paintings. A lemon, an avocado and a radish…it was so fun to paint things I love for her beautiful home. Recently a dear friend and collector bought a large number of paintings of mine and Ian’s for her home. That made me so happy to imagine all those little snapshots of my life together in one environment.

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Artist Interview with Painter Anne Ward #artistinterview #artblog #pleinair #painting #florals #artists #floralpaintings #oilpaintings #stilllife #stilllifes


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February Giveaway: Modern Boho Abstract Painting Giveaway Featuring Artist Melissa Mary Jenkins

February Giveaway: Modern Boho Abstract Painting Giveaway Featuring Artist Melissa Mary Jenkins #giveaway #bohodecor #moderndecor #modernart #abstractpainting #artgiveaway

Hello Everyone! It’s my joy to welcome back one of The Art Spectrum’s own, contemporary artist Melissa Mary Jenkins for a giveaway of one of her paintings! Melissa appeared on The Art Spectrum back in June of 2017, you can read the interview here. This month you have a chance to win the painting below! Followers of The Art Spectrum also have access to this exclusive coupon code to use in Melissa’s Etsy shopARTSPECTRUMCOUPON for 15% off.

February Giveaway: Modern Boho Abstract Painting Giveaway Featuring Artist Melissa Mary Jenkins #giveaway #bohodecor #moderndecor #modernart #abstractpainting #artgiveaway

Enter to Win Here!

Win a Painting by Melissa Mary Jenkins

About The Painting

“Beneath the rust and grime which dulls the shine of our weathered hearts, joy patiently waits to be rediscovered.”
John Mark Green

Joy has been resting patiently for years under the weight of chronic illness but I have rediscovered the shininess of joy underneath the rust of fatigue and pain. As I continue to heal, I have been able to snowshoe and cross-country ski around our our farm yards and forests, and I have been struck by the rusty-burgundy colour of the dogwood trees surrounding me.

This painting began with layers of rusty-burgundy-pink with bits of white and grey. Pastels, charcoal, India Ink and pigment liner form the final layers.

*Paper is cold pressed 140 lb watercolor paper

*Painting measures 5×7 inches

*Signed and dated on the back

*This is an original painting, NOT a print

*Frame not included

February Giveaway: Modern Boho Abstract Painting Giveaway Featuring Artist Melissa Mary Jenkins #giveaway #bohodecor #moderndecor #modernart #abstractpainting #artgiveaway

Here is an update from Melissa:

This past Autumn I began to heal from Chronic Lyme Disease and a co-infection called Bartonella. As I feel the “fog” lifting, I have had a reawakening of sorts. I am completely and utterly inspired by my natural surroundings and have rediscovered the vibrancy of color in the farm fields, forests and pine trees surrounding our old stone farmhouse. I have begun to sketch outside and take daily adventures with our puppy Mylo. I have learned to pinpoint the lines in nature and translate this movement into abstract landscape paintings. I feel as though I have finally “come into my own” as an artist. Instagram still plays a very important role in my art journey, but I feel that it plays a different role in my life. The connections that I have made have taken precedent over looking for inspiration in other people’s artwork. This has been a turning point in fighting off the ever-invasive “imposter syndrome”. I feel as though the perfect way to describe my work is as follows: Inspired by natural surroundings, my paintings reflect the fluidity of the seasons and the movement of my soul in nature.

February Giveaway: Modern Boho Abstract Painting Giveaway Featuring Artist Melissa Mary Jenkins #giveaway #bohodecor #moderndecor #modernart #abstractpainting #artgiveaway

February Giveaway: Modern Boho Abstract Painting Giveaway Featuring Artist Melissa Mary Jenkins #giveaway #bohodecor #moderndecor #modernart #abstractpainting #artgiveaway

Some reviews of Melissa’s work:

“The canvas is just stunning and the customer service was impeccable, beyond expectation! Melissa sent me previews and snapshots of her progress which made me appreciate the hard work and care she puts into each custom creation! It was wrapped so nicely and securely, and even included a personalized note and gift tag. Really special! Highly recommended! Thanks Melissa!”

“Melissa was a joy to work with. She began to paint immediately. She answered my questions quickly and cared that the finished product was what I wanted. My beautiful, original painting now hangs above my bed.”

 

February Giveaway: Modern Boho Abstract Painting Giveaway Featuring Artist Melissa Mary Jenkins #giveaway #bohodecor #moderndecor #modernart #abstractpainting #artgiveaway

“SO IN LOVE WITH THIS PAINTING! Melissa is a unique artist and is very gracious to returning customers. Thank you again!!”

“I am soooo pleased with the service I received from the boutique owner. This was sincerely above and beyond! The package was soooo nice. A lot of attention to details! And the piece of art is gorgeous! Thank you so much!”

Pin This Giveaway! 

February Giveaway: Modern Boho Abstract Painting Giveaway Featuring Artist Melissa Mary Jenkins #giveaway #bohodecor #moderndecor #modernart #abstractpainting #artgiveaway

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Interview with Artist Annie Tarasova from DreamyMoons

Interview with Artist Annie Tarasova from DreamyMoons #dreamymoons #universe #art #artbusiness #meditation #socialmediamarketing #smallbiz #smallbusiness #artwork #artblog #lunar #howtosellyourartonetsy #inspiration #annietarasova #crystals #homedecor #boho #celestialbodies #create #astrology #roomdecor

*This post contains affiliate links

I’m so excited to introduce Annie Tarasova from the DreamyMoons Etsy shop. Annie is 21, from Australia, and has a beautiful and successful shop. You can follower her on Instagram and watch her videos on Youtube.

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your journey with your art and business?

I have been drawing, reading and creating ever since I was very little. All throughout high school I knew I wanted to go to university to study either art or design, however at the very last minute I changed my mind at the fear of too much competition in the art and design businesses. Instead, I went on to study health science. It was wildly interesting, however after two years I realized something was missing. I didn’t have any time to express and explore my creative side – the side I treasured the most since childhood. I felt like it was leaving me.

Interview with Artist Annie Tarasova from DreamyMoons #dreamymoons #universe #art #artbusiness #meditation #socialmediamarketing #smallbiz #smallbusiness #artwork #artblog #lunar #howtosellyourartonetsy #inspiration #annietarasova #crystals #homedecor #boho #celestialbodies #create #astrology #roomdecor

Click here to buy the Your Own Universe print

I took a break, started traveling, and opened my Etsy shop DreamyMoons which very successfully took off and filled my life with more purpose than ever. I made a difficult decision to leave Uni to follow my heart and intuition. I knew that I needed to pour all my energy into creating.

Interview with Artist Annie Tarasova from DreamyMoons #dreamymoons #universe #art #artbusiness #meditation #socialmediamarketing #smallbiz #smallbusiness #artwork #artblog #lunar #howtosellyourartonetsy #inspiration #annietarasova #crystals #homedecor #boho #celestialbodies #create #astrology #roomdecor

How has social media impacted your business?

Social media made a huge impact on DreamyMoons. Before opening my Etsy shop I already had a following as I absolutely loved expressing myself through photography and videos. I am so thankful for the audience I already had on Instagram that followed every bit of my journey and supported my business from the beginning. I feel like nowadays there is no better way to promote your business other than on social media – it is what we check if not every day, then most days.

Interview with Artist Annie Tarasova from DreamyMoons #dreamymoons #universe #art #artbusiness #meditation #socialmediamarketing #smallbiz #smallbusiness #artwork #artblog #lunar #howtosellyourartonetsy #inspiration #annietarasova #crystals #homedecor #boho #celestialbodies #create #astrology #roomdecor

Click here to buy the Sun and Moon postcard

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I draw my inspiration for my art from our beautiful Universe. Through my art I am exploring the divine connection between us and the world around us. I am very interested in astrology and celestial bodies – I find it unbelievable that we live on a blue ball rotating around a star in nothingness. My artworks often contain stars, planets and moons.

Interview with Artist Annie Tarasova from DreamyMoons #dreamymoons #universe #art #artbusiness #meditation #socialmediamarketing #smallbiz #smallbusiness #artwork #artblog #lunar #howtosellyourartonetsy #inspiration #annietarasova #crystals #homedecor #boho #celestialbodies #create #astrology #roomdecor

Can you tell us more about your Year of Growth Calendar?

I wanted to create something more than just a calendar. Year of Growth is a 2018 lunar calendar which shows what phase the moon is in every day of the year. Most importantly, the reason why I chose to call it “Year of Growth” is because every month has it is own goal and/or intention, whether it is meditation, spending more time in nature or writing. Each monthly goal is designed to help your journey to opening your mind and heart.

Interview with Artist Annie Tarasova from DreamyMoons #dreamymoons #universe #art #artbusiness #meditation #socialmediamarketing #smallbiz #smallbusiness #artwork #artblog #lunar #howtosellyourartonetsy #inspiration #annietarasova #crystals #homedecor #boho #celestialbodies #create #astrology #roomdecor

Interview with Artist Annie Tarasova from DreamyMoons #dreamymoons #universe #art #artbusiness #meditation #socialmediamarketing #smallbiz #smallbusiness #artwork #artblog #lunar #howtosellyourartonetsy #inspiration #annietarasova #crystals #homedecor #boho #celestialbodies #create #astrology #roomdecor

Interview with Artist Annie Tarasova from DreamyMoons #dreamymoons #universe #art #artbusiness #meditation #socialmediamarketing #smallbiz #smallbusiness #artwork #artblog #lunar #howtosellyourartonetsy #inspiration #annietarasova #crystals #homedecor #boho #celestialbodies #create #astrology #roomdecor

Click here to buy the Year of Growth Calendar for 2018

What do you do to stay creative?

I travel. That is just as important to me as painting. I can not stay creative and productive if I am home for a long time. I have this crazy urge to travel. It is the best feeling coming back home from a trip, feeling fresh and inspired and motivated to make things happen. It really helps that my partner is a photographer – if he is away for a job overseas, he is able to take me. Travel is a break from expressing myself on paper, however not a break from creativity. I still love to take photos and film videos and share them on my social medias.

Annie’s Trip to New Zealand

Click Here to Shop DreamyMoons

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Take Melanie Greenwood’s Skillshare Course on How to Sell Your Art Online with Etsy. All of my readers get the first three months for $0.99 a month by following ✿my link!

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10 Skillshare Classes for Watercolor Artists

10 Skillshare Classes for Watercolor Artists #watercolorclasses #watercolortutorials #watercolourtutorials #watercolorpainting #painting #learntopaint #paintingtutorials

This post contains commissionable affiliate links

I’m excited to share these 10 awesome Skillshare classes with you! I have partnered with Skillshare to offer all of my readers a free trial of their Premium account, for an entire month! Imagine how much you can learn in that time! After that, a Premium account is only $10 – that’s cheaper than a Netflix account at this point.

A Guide to Watercolor Paints and Brands 

This class is taught by Ana Victoria Calderon, an American/Mexican artist based in Mexico City. For each brand she goes over the following:

  • Quality

  • Availability

  • Sampling

  • Rarities (Unusual Colors)

  • Moistness

  • Price

  • Pigmentation (actual pigments vs synthetic dyes)

  • Value

  • Vibrance

  • Mixing Space

  • Translucency/Transparency

Class Project Samples:

Click this link to take this class.

Reviews:

“Thank you Ana for creating such an informative and helpful class. I’ve watched this class several times ….as every time I watch it, I learn a bit more about the brands and types of watercolors (I’m still a newbie to this medium in many ways). You inspired me to purchase Jess Greenleaf’s Explorer Watercolor panset which you designed with her (Greenleaf and Blueberry). I can’t wait to start using them ! Always looking forward to your next classes Ana. A pleasure to watch and learn from you !!!” – Sharon Rego

“I learned so much from this class, mostly intuitive, and hard to find information. Ana is an excellent teacher; watching her and listening to her talk about the different paints was so informative.” – Meg Cupman

Watercolor: Basic Techniques

Sandra Bowers is a Freelance Illustrator and Surface Pattern Designer based in BC, Canada. In this class she covers basic techniques to help get you started with watercolor painting. You have the materials down, now to the techniques!

Click here to take this class.

Reviews:

“For someone with little to no experience with art, this was very helpful! It helps with some foundations in watercolors since I am an interested novice.” -Nia S.

“I loved it! It is great for a beginner for me! She explained and demonstrated the techniques really well!” -Taylor R.

Watercolor Textures

Watercolor Textures is also taught by Ana Victoria Calder. Over 5,000 people have taken this course and it comes highly recommended! Some of the student work is really great!

Click this link to take this class.

Reviews:

“Ana Victoria is a super talented artist but she´s also a huge teacher. I´ve watched so many online art classes and she is the only one who made it looks like the easiest thing to do in the world and I really got it. I´m so happy I found her. <3” -Carmen M.

“Fantastic class and teacher, clear and unhurried explanations and a lot of real time examples. You do not feel she is rushing to get the class over with like some teachers. I have learnt so much from this class.” -Caron S.

Painting Skin Tones with Watercolor

This class is taught by Melissa Lee Shaw, an illustrator and watercolor painter from Northern California. It’s the perfect class for beginners who’d like to start painting portraits and need to learn how to mix colors for skin tones. Here is one of her sample projects where she asks students to paint a portrait using the techniques they’ve learned in the class:

Click this link to take this class.

Reviews:

“I think this class does a great job of breaking down how to mix skin-tones with watercolor and how to color skin-tones in general. Before this class, I had no idea how to color skin, despite looking up several sources before this, but now it is starting to make sense to me 🙂 It is not overly complicated at all and I think this class gives you a great tool-set to experiment and play with coloring your own skin-tones in your drawings :)” -Mikayla K.

“Very helpful, I have been trying to master skin tones in watercolor for awhile now. The instructor shares the best colors to use and demonstrates step by step how to get the desired finish. I highly recommend this class.” -Karen E.

 

Sketch Your Life: Create Expressive Sketches in Pen and Watercolor

This class is taught by Elisa Choi Ang, a drawing and painting teacher from Singapore. She enjoys sketching and painting her life, as well as teaching others how to do the same. Her class teaches students to narrate their life through watercolor and ink sketches.

Click this link to take this class. 

Student work:

Reviews:

“Just what you need to start sketching right away! Not too much information for a beginner to get scared to draw, not too much instruments needed to make it harder to get and take everywhere. I’ve dreamt of such a course for ages! Thank you!” -Elena D.

“This is a really great class for anyone who is nervous about starting a habit of sketching from life. I took this class because I want to do this more, and I am going on a vacation this summer that I am really hoping to capture in a trip sketchbook. With the tools that I have learned in this class and the confidence from Elisa’s kind words, I’m sure I’ll have a nice sketchbook from my trip (as well as before and after 🙂 ).” -Sarah D.

Digitising Watercolor Drawings – Step By Step Guide 

This class is taught by Olga Shevyakova, a graphic designer, part-time illustrator, part-time styled photographer. She takes her students step by step through the process of how to scan their watercolor paintings, edit them in Photoshop, and vectorize them in Illustrator. Very helpful for artists who would like to make prints of their work, or sell on  platforms like Redbubble or Zazzle.

Click this link to take this class. 

Reviews:

“This was a very simple and very helpful technique on how to give your own artwork new life in digital format using Photoshop and Illustrator. Great Job. Well worth watching and taking notes.” -Mary T.

“Easy to follow and gives step by step instructions. The transcript is much appreciated. I’ll need to look at it when I actually open Photoshop and give it a try. I learned new techniques although I’ve been digitizing my watercolors for sale on Etsy for months now! Thanks, Olga! I look forward to taking more classes from you.” -Anna K

Confident Watercolors: Brushes

 

This class is taught by commercial illustrator Amarilys Henderson. In the class she goes over the basics of brushes to use in watercolor painting so that her students will be confident in approaching their work.  Amarilys’s cheat sheet for brushes:

Click here to take this class.

Reviews:

“Thank you for the short and very informative class. As someone who is starting with watercolor painting, I found the descriptions and practical demonstrations very helpful. Looking forward to watching your other watercolor classes. Cheers!!” -Atul K.

“Super useful class to get acquainted with your material. One size doesn’t fit all! knowing the performance of the brushes make for better choices when painting. Thanks Amarilys!” -Diana S.

Watercolor Lettering 

This class covers watercolor lettering and calligraphy. The class is taught by Peggy Dean, a self-published author of two best-selling books,  The Ultimate Brush Lettering Guide and Botanical Line Drawing, and she is prominently known for her hand lettering and unique line illustrations.  Some of her class’s projects:

Click here to take this class. 

Reviews:

“Peggy Dean is a phenomenon! Her skills are awesome, her positive energy is contagious, and her teaching style is fun and practical. I’ve taken every one of her courses, and can’t wait for the next one! I highly recommend following her on Instagram as well, as she post so many inspiring works of art.” -Greer D.

“This was a great class! I’ve taken several of your other classes but this is the first lettering class using an actual brush that I’ve taken. It was very instructive and I like to see your examples in real time. It gives time to actually see the letter formation. Thank you for an eye opening experience!” -Sharon M.

Urban Sketching for Beginners: Watercolour Sketch in 3 Steps

This class is taught by Julia Henze, a freelance illustrator, letterer and urban sketcher living and working in Bergschenhoek, The Netherlands. Her class is for artists who aren’t sure where to start with urban sketching in ink and watercolor, or want to continue to practice. Some of Julia’s work:

Some of her students’ work:

Click here to take this class. 

Reviews:

“Love her breakdown of how to get the proportions right. I always forget to do that or it never really crosses my mind when I’m actually making the attempt to sketch something. It’s easy to follow and very encouraging.” -Grace T.

“I loved that we got to watch you draw/outline/paint along with us. Drawing buildings has always been such an intimidating task for me, but the way this class broke it down made me feel much more comfortable and confident about giving it a shot!” -Katie M.

Watercolor Magic: The Basics of Color Mixing and Color Harmony

This class dives right into color mixing and colors that work well together. Yasmina goes over the following in her class:

  • How to Mix on a Pallet

  • How to Mix Any Color

  • Tone Down Colors

  • Mixing Brown, Gray, and Black 

  • Make a Color Wheel Chart

  • Mixing on the Page 

  • The Basics of Color Theory

  • Collecting Color Inspiration

  • Make Harmonious Color Combinations

  • Make Your Own Inspiring Palettes 

Some of her students’ work:

Click here to take this class. 

Reviews:

“I think this was the most amazing class. It was hugely inspirational and changed the way I thought about mixing colour. It made me far more experimental.” -Lesley G.

“This class was so much fun! It’s really practical and the projects are so colorful and encouraging for beginners and for anyone who might be a little intimidated by watercolors. The Intuitive Mixing Exercise is very practical, fun and yields incredible results. I’m gonna make a habit of doing it whenever I feel stuck or un-creative, it’s sure to get you out of the dumps! Thank you Yasmina! You are a wonderful teacher and I’m looking forward to taking all your other classes.” -Lucia S.

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10 Skillshare Classes for Watercolor Artists #watercolorclasses #watercolortutorials #watercolourtutorials #watercolorpainting #painting #learntopaint #paintingtutorials

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Artist Interview with Virginia Diakaki from The Greener Pastures

Interview with Artist Virginia Diakaki - Lowbrow Art

It’s my pleasure to introduce artist Virginia Diakaki from The Greener Pastures Etsy shop. You can follow Virginia on Facebook and definitely check out her website!

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

I am an introvert with fits of extraversion.

I think with images and I try to put my thoughts on paper.

Interview with Artist Virginia Diakaki - Lowbrow Art

Where do your draw inspiration from? What is the goal of your work?

I draw inspirations from various things seemingly diverse. It could be a person or Victorian advertisement. Most of my inspiration though comes from my personal experiences and feelings.

I love it when people connect with my images. The fact that no mater the distance or the difference in culture, age etc we all share the same thoughts and feelings, makes me feel part of a whole.

Interview with Artist Virginia Diakaki - Lowbrow Art

Interview with Artist Virginia Diakaki - Lowbrow Art #lowbrowart #forbiddenlove #art #etsyseller

What materials do you use for your illustrations? What is the process like?

Currently I am using gouache on paper. I used to paint on wooden boards using acrylics but felt the need to experiment with something different.

Interview with Artist Virginia Diakaki - Lowbrow Art #lowbrowart #art #etsyseller #etsyart

I start off with a pencil sketch on translucent vellum paper and I work on that until I have a very clear idea of what I want. Then I trace it on a white gouache paper and work on the color.

Interview with Artist Virginia Diakaki - Lowbrow Art #lowbrowart #etsyseller #etsyart #artprints #wallart #gothic


Interview with Artist Virginia Diakaki - Lowbrow Art #lowbrowart #etsyseller #etsyart #artprint #wallart #quoteart

Do you listen to music while you create? What have you been listening to lately?

I absolutely do! These days I’m listening to ‘Music from Before the Storm’ the latest album from the band Daughter.

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Yupo Paper for Artists | Yupo Paper Review!

Yupo Paper for Artists

Contains commissionable affiliate links

A few weeks ago a friend was telling me about this crazy new paper called Yupo paper – I know, sounds like a dog-sitting service or something – but really, it’s so fascinating! Yupo paper is actually a 100% synthetic paper that’s waterproof and recyclable!

So, I decided to walk into the local art store this week and grab myself a 5×7 pad of this stuff to try out. The first thing I noticed was how strangely smooth it was – it didn’t quite feel like plastic, but it also didn’t feel like paper either. If you have as much fun touching different materials as I do, you will love this stuff!

I also learned just from my own research that Yupo paper doesn’t tear, which is awesome! It means for the clumsy person like myself, you don’t have to worry as much about your expensive piece of watercolor paper tearing after you do that clumsy thing you’re so good at doing. It’s also supposedly very durable, built to last lifetimes, and you can wipe it clean if you need to during your artistic process.

You can also:

  • Die cut with it.

  • Emboss it.

  • AND it comes in different gradients of translucency, or super hard white.

  • Use virtually any medium on it.

Some things I learned from trying it out myself:

  • Ink sticks REALLY well to it.

  • Watercolor takes awhile to dry (I mean, it takes awhile to dry on regular watercolor paper too, so that’s nothing new), but when it does dry, the colors are insanely vibrant.

  • Watercolor looks a little different then it does on regular watercolor paper – it’s got inky, cloudy quality that I’m finding hard to explain.

  • It doesn’t buckle at all, like watercolor paper does.

So, without further terrible explanation of what the stuff is and how much I loved it, here were my results!

I was also able to find a few other really great examples on Instagram of artists using Yupo paper for their paintings:

Yupo paper can be purchased in most art stores, and I would definitely recommend buying some if only just to test it out for yourself! Because I love Amazon Prime, and I know there are a lot of people out there that love it as well, that’s probably the top pick I would go with if you’re just wanting to test the waters. You can buy a pad of Yupo 5×7 paper for only $6.79 on Amazon! Here are some other options you can find on Amazon – these are all Legion brand (that’s the one I tested) but there are other brands out there:

If you’re a fan of Blick you can also find Yupo paper through them online and in the store – they currently carry the Legion brand as well as one for watercolor that you can buy per sheet.

If you’ve ever used Yupo paper please leave a comment about it! What mediums do you use on it? Do you ever use the translucent one, and why? Is it better to get a pad or one of the large rolls? If you have pictures or a shop, please leave your link with your comment!

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