Hello and Happy Spring!
I was fortunate to have the pleasure of attending the Raindrop Chapter's Spring Fling Retreat. The venue and event organization were flawless. Classes were amazing many thanks to Lisa Ludwig, Jamie Mills-Price, and Chris Thorton-Deason! What a treat to paint and learn with them! Many laughs, meals, and ideas shared...just a great time!
This got me thinking about the industry as a whole. I am blessed to become acquainted with many lovely people through painting. Friends that will last a lifetime with more to be found! We all share a common love for the art we create and then get to enjoy the beautiful by-product of friends like no other. So as I think of the industry changes like the loss of shops, the decline in books published, beloved teachers retiring, and access to supplies more limited than ever before, I am sad. Perhaps not for the reasons you might think though.
The fellowship among painters is like no other and I want that to continue and flourish! Everyone could use an outlet to explore their creativity and a new friend or two! The Society of Decorative Painters, chapters, and the people who volunteer all want the same thing. We all need to do our part. Attend events (conventions, retreats, paint ins....), join a chapter or two, share your work with others, and invite others to join the fun! Challenge yourself to invite someone you know to paint with you, or to go to a chapter meeting. The fun to be had is too good not to share! The time is now and it is up to us. Just one more person to fall in love with painting...that is all it takes keep this art alive! Who are you going to invite or encourage to paint?
Tis the season for color, flowers, long days, car trips, garage sales, camping, grilling, fruit stands, and nice weather! Well in the beautiful Pacific Northwest the sunshine shows up after July 4th...so it feels as if we just have gotten started!
As I was contemplating the summertime it occurred to me that color was a huge part of the season. Gardens are filled with color, some mixed others monochromatic, yet they are beautiful. Each combination evoking a different feel. Like all art the color palette is what creates the tone and in this industry there are many styles....primitive, country chic, realistic, strokework, floral. Those styles communticate through color. So it is critical that the colors we choose convey the message we seek to deliver.
Taking chances with color can be risky, but it can also reap huge rewards! Who first dared to introduce purple into Halloween color schemes? But it works well and sparks up a tired tradition. Challenge yourself to take chances with new combinations, and you may find something you like better than the original!
In a few days I will make my first trip to the HOOT Convention, it is a trip I have looked forward to making for years! The six of us from Washington State that are travelling together painted aprons with my design. We named ourselves "The Puget Sound Paint Flingers"! Each of the aprons are different...all wonderful! That is what happens when artists share ideas and spend time together...magical things happen. Conventions create an incubator for creativity and the classes teach the communication skills to transfer ideas into art. With the loss of private shops and studios we have found that the community of painters has become faceless on the internet. Conventions serve as our perfect environment to grow and flourish in this industry...like a greenhouse of sorts!
So take risks with color, seek a community of artists that feeds your creativity, and enjoy what you do. A perfect palette is held by an artist that is willing to grow, stretch, and learn.
Happy Painting My Friends!
As I prepare to celebrate my 47th Mother's Day and the first one without my Mom, I am reflecting on all of the women I have celebrated on this day; past, present, and future. They represent my team of support. The people in my life who love me most, and my world becomes tighter and more comforting just enjoying the thoughts of them!
My Mom and I usually celebrated this day sharing a meal, either breakfast or dinner, and shopped for bedding plants at favorite nurseries. She was a tomboy in some ways and loved a good hardware store and could easily spend hours there. So finding plants, birdhouses, and gizmos for outside was fitting. She loved the time together shopping.
Women in my family have always been a huge support as well. They taught me to appreciate the arts of the home, and to build skills to pass along. Knitting, crochet, embroidery, cooking, gardening, antiquing, camping, painting, and appreciation for where I come from; heritage and history. These gifted, strong women gave me gifts I am grateful that I embraced...not knowing how important they were at the time.
My friends...the family I chose to surround myself with is also among who I celebrate on Mother's Day. The dear friend, and gifted mom to her kids, who invites me to celebrate with her this first holiday without my Mom. My friends who adopted me when I struggled with the realization that I am without my own parents now. These women are there for me through it all and I KNOW they will remain at the ready! My teaching comrads...loving, caring, and thoughtful women who give all they have each day and have some left for friends at the end of the day.
All of these women I celebrate. Mother's Day is more than a celebration for the one Mother in your life, it is a time to appreciate all of the women who have shaped and guided you into the person you have become. So celebrate them and the woman you have become because of them.