Hurricane Irma could have done a number on my studio, but everything was spared. Not to bore you with too many details, but when I had to pack up some valuables in plastic bins (just in case) I stood in my studio and looked around the walls at my paintings.
What is important as far as possessions go?
My art is an income stream for me, but as I stood there staring at the walls crammed with art I realized none of them mattered. There were ugly paintings and paintings I love, and I thought “so what?”
What if I lost everything?
With that kind of thought, the paintings did not seem that important. I can always paint more, right?
At one point I felt detachment about everything in the house except my cat. I packed him up in a carrier (to loud protests) and went to a shelter.
The night was nasty but we were snug inside the building. The morning after we came home to a mighty yard mess and a fallen tree, but that was it. Nothing was harmed. I can’t tell you how grateful I felt.
Then started the Big Clean-up. Still going on in places. We now have huge walls of debris lining the street on both sides. I developed toned arms… The hardest part was being without power for four days. In the 90s outside during the day and sticky heat at night.
I truly appreciate electricity! 🙂
What did I learn from this experience?
Letting go. don’t sweat the small stuff….
Breathing through the stress, before and after
Nothing is worth fighting over
Be nice to neighbors, they are the best!
All creatures in nature learn to be flexible and stay that way. We could learn from them and experience more freedom.
I wondered where the birds went. They were gone for a couple of days, and then they came back. I gauged that by the attendance at the bird feeder. All the squirrels survived.
I think staying flexible was my biggest take away from this experience.
I got completely out of my creative groove. It didn’t seem that important to create–until now.
We got lucky in the Tampa Bay area. I don’t know how the people in the Caribbean Islands stand going through hurricane season every year. Many heartfelt blessings to them!
I’m slowly finding my groove again. I have many creative ideas swirling through my mind.
I made some of my polymer clay boxes, which are available in my shop now: EARTH AND FAERY.
Follow your dream, come hell or high water! Life is short and it is a gift, so spend your time wisely.
Handmade gifts are awesome because they contain a bit of YOU. It could be as simple as a batch of cookies, or as complicated as a large bronze statue (though I don’t see anyone giving me a metal statue for my birthday…)
Gifts can be a quagmire though. Take the example of cookies: there are vegan cookies, sugar-free cookies, and cookies the person is allergic to, and regular sugar-laden cookies.
So, the safe thing is to make something pretty. I love hand-knitted and hand-painted things, like boxes and usable items like cardholders and coin purses.
The sky is the limit! Since my etsy shop is called Earth and Faery I like to make things that are magical but also down to earth.
Since school just started here, I thought of a gift a child might like and came up with a pencil box that I painted and embellished.
This is the end result, a mystical night view with a fairy and a dragonfly.
I bought a box of raw wood, which I sanded within an inch of its life. Then I painted some primer, using craft paints. The last layers of paint are done with artist acrylics for better results. Pictures are in the sequence of production.
In the above picture I used three shades of purple to get the night sky, using artist acrylics.
There you can see the details of the lid embellishment. Simple but fun and I think some child would treasure it, don’t you? As a child I would have been enchanted to receive this gift.
We don’t receive enough homemade gifts in my opinion. All the cold store-bought things just inspire you to buy more (in search of that thing that gives a sense of satisfaction within.)
I prefer to give gifts people can use, like candles, edibles, boxes for keepsakes, knitted wash cloths or hot pads, a painting (IF the person professed a liking prior (unless they were lying…)) That’s their problem then. 🙂
Etsy is full of cool handmade gifts. Maybe this Christmas is a good time for a shift in gift giving, what do you think?
If you liked this simple tutorial on how to paint a wooden box, you can check out this blog post about making a handmade art journal. GREAT gift!!
Greetings! My name is Rosemari Roast. I am owner of and caretaker to Walk in the Woods, LLC, a holistic wellness practice and creative studio at Whiting Mills in sunny Winsted, Connecticut. I am called herbalist, Medicine womyn, artist and backyard farmer (among other things). I’m passionate about many things. Some say, too many. I say, they’re all connected! For me, the realm of Herbs, Nature, Art and Spirit are one realm. My realm.
As a herbalist and Medicine womyn, I am dedicated to *returning home* the Medicine of the People. I do this by offering you opportunities to reconnect with your own power through exploring the wellness choices that you have – and have always had. I strive to help you to see, acknowledge, honor and act on the choices and behaviors that nourish and sustain you, and that may best serve you in your life. Everything I do, I teach. I feel that my name, originally spelled Rosemary, like the herb, is a key to my life purpose, for it is often described as the herb of remembrance. That my maternal grandmother clung to and adapted the ways of the “old country” to a “new” country is a holistic taproot for me, for it both saddens and motivates me to remember and revive the empowering practices that she employed. Practices that were discounted and forgotten in a single generation. She wild harvested, made Medicines and engaged some mystical healing practices as well. I feel a a duty to keep these practices alive, for they are surely overflowing with Medicine of meaning and value!When I was a little girl just starting school, the teachers and administrators were worried about me because I wouldn’t talk to the teachers. I was responsive with my peers, but not the authorities. I can say that, in many ways, this behavior is still with me. But I digress… I was sent to the school psychologist. I wouldn’t talk to him either. So he gave me paper and crayons. I drew. And from those drawings he made the judgement that I was fine, and the recommendation to return me to my class, and allow me to evolve in my own way. In this experience is another taproot to an important Medicine in my life: Creative expression, also known as art.These taproots are, from my perspective, rooted in Mystery. So it is that herbs, art and spirit guide my Life with the Medicine that they all offer.
I do my best to share my Medicine-experiences through workshops, lectures, private consultations and classes.Private consultations take on many flavors, from conventional holistic approaches to instructional sessions, which may include customized herbals, eclectic healing sessions, plant spirit healing, meditation, creative expression or some other intuitively guided wellness option that is fitting for you. If herbalism is of interest to you, My School of Herbal Wellness offers one way for you to explore your botanical choices and your holistic power. It’s a pay-as-you-go course of facilitated self-study currently offered to folks in my region, so you learn and grow at your own pace. You can learn more about these offerings here.
Other self-care workshops offered regionally include Reiki training, guided and free-form meditation, herbal, holistic and creative workshops, lectures, weedwalks and more! An herbal apothecary is also available to you for all those supplies for the home and village herbalist. Spiritual counseling and rites of passage are offered as well.
I’m a champion for personal healing and growth through the arts and creative expression – journaling, drumming, chant, movement, art, craft, tarot and Crone Stone readings. Creative expression is a vital tool that supports holistic healing, growth and awareness on all levels as we explore our personal relationships with symbols, metaphors, archetypes and stories. I can support you in this journey, and – more importantly – offer you ways to support yourself.
With every service that I offer, I strive to help you re-discover the natural healer within, so that you may nurture peace with yourSelf, love yourSelf, and offer these qualities to those you love … and to help bring the Medicine of the People back home – to all of us.
I invite you to join me in working together to return wisdom, wellness, healing back to the hands of their rightful and most grateful owners – To us. To all of us. Together let’s reclaim our power and return the Medicine of the people back to the people.
Let’s bring it home together!
Are you a multi passionate woman? That is a GOOD thing! 🙂
Check out Rose’s website and all the things she offers.
You want to sell art? Well, why not. We need more art in the world and yours makes a difference. Everyone’s art perspective counts.
People usually advise against becoming an artist since they always equate such a creature with a “starving artist.” Side note: I feed a feral cat and many people do, so why would we not feed starving artists??
There are many ways around the starvation syndrome, one is to become a creative thinker and produce many streams of income. (You can always get a sugar daddy or mama… joking.)
I painted the rose above in ’06 and I sold 7 versions of the same painting. I still own this one but I might put it in my etsy shop.
I paint, make mixed media art, art journaling, and several crafts. I enjoy them all. I started selling paintings on eBay back in 2003 (how time flies!) What did I learn from that?
Always add hanging mechanisms on the back of the art. All I did was varnish the paintings and send them off. 🙂 Small paintings work well with sawtooth hangers. Large paintings require picture wire and eye hooks. Apply the eye hook to the INSIDE edge of the stretcher bars so that the picture will hang flat against the walls once you attach the wire.
Paint on gallery wrapped canvas or some other professional surface. If you paint on cheap stretched canvas and the staples show on the sides, you give the impression of “starving artist.” (Gallery wrapped canvas is the kind that is stapled to the back of the stretcher frame.)
If you can afford it, always buy stretched canvases with the deep 1″ edge. They look so much better, and definitely don’t need a frame, which is a selling point. If you’re handy, stretch your own canvas. You can get rolled canvas for great deals on eBay. Other surfaces that are usable are Masonite and luon-covered plywood. Places like the Home Depot can cut them to size right there. You need to gesso the surfaces and they need to be framed (by the buyer.)
Write eye-catching descriptions if you sell online. That is a make or break point besides awesome art. Use TAGS, as many as you can think of, so that peeps can find your art during a search.
Sisterhood was a painting I ended up making eight versions of and they all sold. This was back in 2008. People have wanted to use the art for their business cards. I think women loved these paintings because of the sisterhood idea.
When something works, make several versions that show the same theme, different shapes and colors. I get tired of repeating myself, but I make as many as I can stand.
If you use mixed media, make sure the papers and ephemera are glued down securely. Nothing is more annoying than flimsy edges and corners that stick up.
Use a quality acrylic varnish to finish off the artwork.
Try lots of different styles until something clicks and you come home to yourself.
Master some kind of fun craft and sell the things you make.
Crafts are like a meditation for me.
If you can only focus on one kind of artistic expression, do what you love the most and hold a part time job to pay the bills until your art takes off.
In this day and age, you can find our art spread all over the internet. I sell art and crafts all over the world through my two etsy shops. I find that my crafts sell better, but painting is my first love.
Arts and crafts shows were never something I wanted to do, but I know artists who do well with those. Whatever floats your boat.
Today I focus online and I have been creating art e-courses for the last couple years. Talk about a giant learning curve… lots of fun!
The bottom line: MAKE ART EVERY DAY, and you will sell some, guaranteed!
P.S. I have lots of lovely and affordable gifts in my etsy shop EARTH AND FAERY. Support a successful living artist today! 🙂
Empty well today? Maybe it’s a chronic condition and you say I’m suffering from artist’s block. Writers get away with that quite easily, but artists? We see life in color so the well is easily filled again. Here are some things I do to fill my artistic well:
I’m grateful that I enjoy making stuff with my hands. As a kid I learned to sew, knit, and crochet, but these days I mostly create polymer clay embellished boxes and inspirational frames.
I love the meditative quality of crafts. I don’t have to think too much, just make the tiles and paint them. They usually come together easily once I design the box lid or frame.
I also make handmade art journals, which are SO MUCH FUN! I can get real sloppy with inks and paints.
I sell the crafts on etsy in my EARTH AND FAERY shop and they are quite popular. That is a side bonus that also inspires me to make more.
To get back to art making as in painting and art journaling, I come back with a fresh eye after a few days of craft making. My other major inspiration is:
If you live in the boonies you are surrounded by nature, but if you live in an urban area like I do, it’s hard to get outside and be surrounded by trees. I live by a park, and that was a choice I made. Pretty much every day I go to the park, and the energy fills me up.
There is something so healing about nature, and it also balances you. Just as you make a commitment to join a gym, you can make a commitment to spend time in nature every week. Look at it as self-care.
There are so many tutorials on YouTube you could spend a lifetime getting inspired by other people’s art. Half an hour here and there works wonders. I also love to look at art by the old masters. A trip to an art museum or gallery can be inspiring.
Many dread that word, but exercise is essential for well-being on all levels. I find it to be the fastest way to clear out the cobwebs and get the ball rolling. Once it’s rolling, it keeps going. Exercising and park visits go hand in hand…
Every month I get together with a couple of artsy friends and we have an art party. We take turns to host it. We make art, talk, and eat a great lunch. It’s truly refreshing and inspiring. I usually end up working in my art journal. Doodling is one way of expressing art while deep into a discussion.
TAKE A NAP
When all fails, take a short nap! You wake up with fresh eyes. 🙂
If none of these things appeal to you, well, come up with your own regimen for creative self-care. Then the well will always be filled.
Creating art is not always easy, but don’t blame it on “artist’s block.”
Have a creative weekend. (Those are the best kind.)