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Space, Time and Art Supplies

3 reasons you may not be painting…and how you can change that by keeping it simple

I get it! I let all 3 of these reasons keep me from painting for YEARS!

Being a mom of 8 kids has kept me running a plate spinning circus act for a long time…

You know the saying…

not my circus…not my monkeys…well it is my circus AND my monkeys

..so having time for myself was something I dreamed of!

There was a season in my life when for Mother’s Day, I just wanted to have a little break…and I chose to paint…alone. It was so needed for my heart…and it brought so much healing…but that’s another story.

It’s wasn’t until I actually started my painting/art business back in 2011 that I carved out time to paint on a consistent basis. Since then, all but one of our kids are are grown and no longer living at home.

reason number one…I don’t have the space


With so many kids around at any given time…and living in a rather small house, space was a BIG issue for me! I love quiet when I paint…with my kinda music, anyway.

So I get it, it can be so hard…but you’ll be more likely to show up if you know where to show up at.

Find a corner, a room, a table…something to call your own.


I asked some of my members in my heART Club…who paint regularly, to share pictures of their space. You can see that none of their areas are particularly large…but definitely set up to encourage creativity and consistency.

So find some space…a desk, a table, a corner. Get a basket, a tote, a cart, or even a box to keep your supplies in.

REASON NUMBER TWO…I don’t have time

Grab your calendar…pick a date and time…and write your name in there….bring your favorite beverage…put on some music…even if you have to get headphones…and simply show up.

Make a date with yourself

Do you know how many dates I have not shown up for?? Workout dates…painting dates…walks…rests…reading…writing…gardening…cooking…__________…you can fill in the blank, I’m sure!

Clear the Table

Pull your hair back

pour a glass of wine

listen to the music

and start painting

And then that brings us to

reason number three….

I have no idea what to buy…how much to buy…will I need that, oh how about this brush…and probably that one…and OH…I love that color…but I probably need that one and that one and that one….STOP!

You do not need all that stuff! Stop buying things you may never use.

You do not need all this

I can show you how 5 colors, 2 brushes

and a canvas can open a whole world of heART creativity

This is all you need!

If you have ever been to my studio and painted before or taken a look at all the paintings on my facebook page…all of them were painted with these 5 colors and 2 brushes.

So now all you need to do is go paint!

NEXT UP: To Blend or Not to Blend…But How?

Come back next week for some simple painting tip tutorials. We will play around with sunsets and sunrises.



Wondering where to get my brushes, paints and painting surfaces?

You can go here to shop for all my favorites!

I am an affiliate for Blick Art Supplies…and if you purchase through the link above…I will get a little bit of money to shop for more art supplies….but it does not cost you anything extra. And we both know art supplies make us happy!


Featured

It’s In the Name

It’s a tad daunting to be actually making a commitment to consistently write. But I love writing and hopefully you will enjoy reading it. 

Here is a piece of my story. Let’s start with the name…a name is important to me…what it means…how it sounds…and it’s uniqueness. I have always attempted to name my 7 children with this in mind. Although a few of them at the time I thought were unique…it wasn’t long before it seemed EVERYONE used that name. Ariana, Jordan , Jesse, Joanna, Isaac, Asher and Kaeden. I am sure you are quite familiar with a few of those.

With much thought I chose Pieces of My Art. I had hoped no one had thought of it yet, but I was not the first. Oh well…I would make it known above all others! As a creative…my head…my heart is full of ideas…thoughts…plans…desires…PIECES…that’s what it was…many pieces, like a puzzle. They would all fit together. Not knowing how…or when…I just knew God had a plan, even if I didn’t understand it. And then…MY ART…of course it sounds like my heart…so appropriately this was the name.  Art fills my heart. 

In August of 2011, Pieces of My Art became mine, a gift from my Heavenly Father. I have held his hand as he filled my heart with confidence and ideas.

This dream actually begin back in 2006 when I was recently divorced and had no career path…nor college. I was a wife, mom and worked with my ex-husband at his printing company. Now scrambling to support my 6 children and be home when they were, I took a job as a para-professional in our home town. There was one student that I took to the art room for classes. Growing up as an art lover…it’s a smell I will never for get. A mixture of tempera paints and crayons…maybe a little glue! I realized then, that I wanted to teach art…have my own classroom.  

Here’s a newsletter from my 3rd grade class. I guess I knew then, what I was destined to be!  

I enrolled in college at age 41, I was thrilled! One class was all that I could do at the time. I took English, definitely better than math! It was a creative writing class. I found out I was pretty good at writing and actually enjoyed it. The problem was, with working…which was NOT paying the bills, let alone my house payment, and having such a large family…college was not going to work for me. I felt it would have taken me 10 years to get through school…and I had no desire to start a teaching career at 50. So that was it for my BIG days at college!

Over the next few years, I married Kevin…he had one son and we had one together…so we became a family of eight. WOW! For those of you who have met my husband…he is a true gift! I am so thankful for his love and commitment to me and our kids! 

During this time I did some child care. Love kids…but watching someone else’s everyday was not something I grew up dreaming about. Through a series of events…a book…and some paintings in a restaurant, God began stirring in my heart to teach art to kids in my basement. I was scared would be an understatement! I thought I was cheating because I was not a real teacher. I thought I was cheating because I was following someone else’s teaching style. I felt like a fake…and was terrified of being found out!

If it wasn’t for God in my life, and the way he had already been teaching me to trust him. I would have never stepped out and started. I had learned life is risky…but the BEST things in life take courage…love, hope, trust…need I go on? I knew without a doubt God loved me and put the desires in my heart…so I did it!

With no money to really start…I made flyers, dropped them off at the checkout line at the grocery store. I was soon teaching art classes to kids ages 4 years and up. I had a couple classes a week and I was bringing in a little extra money. I was able to pay for my supplies as people signed up and paid a monthly tuition. Each week I would come up with lessons…always trying to be completely unique to any thing my kids would do at school. Thank the Lord for Pinterest….already evidence of God’s good timing! 

I had a wonderful 3 years of teaching kids art in my basement. I even had a group of about 25 homeschooled kids I would go and teach…just like a real teacher. I would have two art shows a year to display the kids artwork. Along with some summer art camps, my little art business began to grow.  As different people came into my life…new paths were discovered and the fall of 2014, I had my very first wine and paint class!


Since then, I have taught in coffee shops, bars, restaurants, homes, garages, schools, churches, hair salons, green houses, farms, vineyards, assisted living and memory care facilities, stores….and now as of June 2019…I have this beautiful space at my home. My very own studio, that my husband, Kevin built for me!

I hope you get hope from following this journey. God does care about your heart…your desires…your ideas…He put them there. As each day unfolds, know it’s safe to hold His hand. He longs to take you on a grand adventure…because he loves YOU! 

With much love and paint,
Laurie

We Love Drama! Why Black and White?

Do you feel like your paintings just fall flat? Our mind tells us the trees are green, the sky is blue, the clouds are white. So that is how we paint. Often leaving out value, dimension, light and shadows.

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.

Henry David Thoreau


Think about how boring a book or movie would be if there wasn’t a development of characters, a description of settings, the drama of a villain and the hope of happily ever after.

Painting should be no different. Just like a good author…writing (painting for us) is what makes you better.

Value is the lightness or darkness of a painting. Black adds shades and white adds tints. A good painting…much like a good book or movie…needs value. Without it….it’s just “eh”

In this video, I demonstrate what adding black and white will do for your painting
Adding the value of black and white

I want you to start looking at the land around you, while your driving or walking…and notice the colors…endless colors.

How many shades of green can you see…I bet 50 at least.

How about the bark in the trees…do you see the purples…the greens?

What about clouds? Spring is a wonderful time to look at clouds.

Being a Kansas girl, I enjoy a good thunderstorm gathering across the plains.

How many colors do you see in the clouds…shades and tints…all because of black and white!

Next time you paint…give yourself permission to use ALL the colors…try them out…see what they do…if you don’t like it…cover it up and try it all over again!

I want you to learn to paint FEARLESSLY!

We are all artists, painting our lives upon the canvas of reality.

Mix the colors your own way and apply emotion liberally.

Don’t be afraid to let your brushstrokes show, and about all else, make sure your art has soul.

Cristen rodgers

NEXT UP: Let’s Paint Trees…Pines, Palms, and Plain Ol’ Trees

Come back again next week and I will show you how to paint a variety of trees. Simply.


Wondering where to get my brushes, paints and painting surfaces?

You can go here to shop for all my favorites!

I am an affiliate for Blick Art Supplies…and if you purchase through the link above…I will get a little bit of money to shop for more art supplies….but it does not cost you anything extra. And we both know art supplies make us happy!

To Blend or Not to Blend

Sunsets and Sunrises | Lesson in Acrylic Paint Mixing

Should you mix your colors flawlessly…gradually…perfectly?

Or is it to better to let them be more chunky…layered…placing pieces of color upon pieces of color?

Both are beautiful…both are right.

I want to encourage you that the way you decide to blend your colors or not blend your colors are both just as beautiful.

Let your style develop as you play with color…with brush strokes.

Just like your fingerprints are unique to you…so is the way you paint.

This world needs your uniqueness…not more copies.

Striving so often for perfection…we can lose the beauty of the process…of the experience

The more you “work” your painting…or the more you brush over your canvas with paint, the more it blends.

The color loses it’s place…it’s uniqueness and vibrancy.

Let’s say, I want this perfect color of orange for my sunset…I can see it in my mind…or I see it on my reference photo.

I start adding the red and the yellow.

It’s too dark…than I add white…mixing and mixing until I either have the perfect shade to only find out I didn’t make enough.

Or, I abandon the process all together because I now have a palette of yuck…either way can be frustrating and wasteful of your paint.

If you are lucky to come up with that one perfect shade of orange for your sunset…that is what you will get..the ONE perfect shade.

Yet you will miss out on all 49 other shades of orange that could show up in your painting if you started first, with just adding color from your brush directly onto your canvas.

There’s never a wrong color for a sunset…except green

…unless you want a tornado in your painting

So how do I get my colors to create more beautiful colors without looking like baby poop…am I right??? I hear you say that ALL THE TIME!

Think of a rainbow…and that order of color…red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, red…and bend it into a complete circle.

Beautiful isn’t it!?

When you choose the colors next to one another they mix together beautifully!

But watch out…if you go to far….there it is! That dreaded muddy color!

Let’s think of the colors that make us feel warm…and the ones that make us feel cool. When you cross those two…you get mud…or browns.

For sure we need those colors too, but we aren’t talking about them this time.


In this video I demonstrate this color blending for you.


By far the absolute best way to learn blend…or not blending…mixing colors and what they make is to just do it!

Stop being so afraid of mistakes…stop being so critical of your progress…play with paint…and play with it some more.

Fall in love with the learning process.

Fall in love with the way you paint.

Fall in love with who you are and how you were created.

Because YOU, my friend,

are deeply loved by the ONE who made you!



NEXT UP: We Love Drama! Why Black and White?

Come back again next week and I will so you all the drama black and white can create. And it’s beautiful!


Wondering where to get my brushes, paints and painting surfaces?

You can go here to shop for all my favorites!

I am an affiliate for Blick Art Supplies…and if you purchase through the link above…I will get a little bit of money to shop for more art supplies….but it does not cost you anything extra. And we both know art supplies make us happy!

painting for fall | stack of pumpkins

Stack of Pumpkins…with just 5 paint colors

Do you want to paint a stack of pumpkins?

I will teach you this step by step.

The color mixing for this is incredible fun!

I will show you how you can take black, white, blue, yellow and red to make every color you can imagine! So grab some paints…a 12×24 canvas…a quiet place…your favorite beverage and music and let’s have some fun!

Here is my exact list of supplies and where to get it…

12×24 Canvas (Hobby Lobby or Michaels)

I USE BLICKRYLIC BRAND PAINT IN

  • MARS BLACK
  • TITANIUM WHITE
  • CHROME YELLOW
  • PHTHALO BLUE
  • BRIGHT RED

You can use other brands of paint as well in similar colors…

  • Artist Loft(Michaels),
  • Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint(Walmart, Michaels),
  • DecoArt Americana multi-surface Satin (Hobby Lobby, Michaels)

And the other stuff…

  • 1/2 in Flat Paint Brush

(I use Liquitex BASICS Bright Size 8)

  • Small Round Paint Brush

(I use Blick Scholastic Wonder White Size 4 Round)

  • paper towels
  • paper plate
  • cup of water
  • pencil
  • ballpoint pen
  • chalk pen

(I use Bistro Chalk Marker from Micheals, Hobby Lobby)

You can order the paints and brushes *here if you want to use what I am teaching with.

*I am an affiliate with Blick Art Supplies….which means I get commissions for purchases made through this link…at no extra cost to you!

Painting with kids

I completely get it…I was the mom that was all about art, creating with all the fun mediums and techniques…painting with your kids can be simple.

but oh the mess…and the place to do it…and the time it takes to set it up…have them spend all of 10 minutes or maybe days on end…and then the clean up…so you can have dinner.

Sadly, I think I missed way too many fun painting experiences because of the struggle to fit it in…thinking it always had to be a big ordeal. I so wish some days could be repeated again. Just not to be so uptight…and hug my kids a few more times when they were little bitty.

I want to encourage you to let your kids create…with things they can touch  and feel. I bet we would all agree that our schools do not offer near as many creative outlets as back in our day. And our kids may spend way too much time with a device in their hands. In fact, right now my son is probably in his room on his, but hopefully he is building with his legos…like I asked him to do.


Here are some ways to make it happen with less expense for you and more fun for your kids.


If you have one…set up a small table…remember the card tables grandma had? Make up an art basket that’s totable with a decent quality plastic table cloth. That way you can use your dining room table and cover it easily. You can cut your table cloth in smaller pieces if you only have one person doing art.

Have good lighting…natural light is the best! 

And pick some fun music...

I like to use Pandora and have a couple favorite play lists: 

For kids…Disney Radio or The Piano Guys

For the older crowd…Jack Johnson Radio, Guardians Of the Galaxy Station and my most favorite when I am alone…Bethel Music Radio.

Next up, supplies… 


Paints…

Any type of fluid acrylics…craft paint or bottles of acrylic in the art section of a craft store. You do not need all the colors…black , white, red, yellow and blue make about any color you can imagine. But craft paints are cheap enough to grab all the favorite colors.
Tube paints are not necessary and can get quite expensive as they are heavier and you will go through them much faster. When you reach a point of intentional painting they are great though.

Also do not forget watercolors are so much fun as well. I have lots of simple watercolor tutorials on my facebook page

Brushes…

2 decent quality ones are all you really need at first. It is still all I use after 10 plus years of painting. I like a good flat brush about 1/2” wide and a small round brush. BUT if you do not take care of and clean your brushes after every time you use them you will ruin them. Trust me, I still think I can leave my brush in the water and come back later…which is usually much later than I plan..and it has left my brush in a not so great state.

Other things you can paint with:

fingers, old credit card, sponge pieces, old tooth brush, newspaper, paper towels…you get it!


Teach your kids early to take care of brushes like this…


Do not leave brushes in water when finished painting.
Use a mixture of dish soap and Murphy’s oil soap ( you find it in the cleaning section of most stores) 1:1 ratio is fine…you can have some pre-mixed in a squirt bottle for convenience. I rinse my brushes first, squirt a little soap right across the bristles in my hand, scrub with a soft swirly motion to loosen all the paint, and rinse until no color washes out. Repeat if necessary.
Re-shape bristles and lay flat to dry on a paper towel. 

Do not leave brushes in water when finished painting…I said that already didn’t I?

What can you…and should you paint on? 

For me? I paint on everything…walls…buildings…wood…paper…canvas…porches…

But for you, let’s start small…er! 

Of course there is a canvas to paint on, but that can get expensive and take up space if you use the deep profile ones. Value packs at an art supply/hobby store are great places to get them. Also canvas boards which are flat. The good thing about these are once they dry you can paint them again.

I paint them white…or black and re-use them often.

Other options are mixed-media paper, watercolor paper(these can be bought in pads), cardboard, boxes…do you get tons of boxes from amazon now?? Cut them up and paint a base coat of white and then use them. No shortage of those at our house! Also, the cardboard inside of picture frames, back covers of notebooks, book covers, cereal boxes…I think you realize now you may have plenty of free things to use. 

Other things to have on hand…

  • Wax coated paper plates
  • Paper towels 
  • A can of water or two
  • Old shirt or apron to wear
  • Pictures…lots of ideas! 

Now, what to paint?

Sometimes this is the hardest part…what to paint!???

Let your kids copy…copy…copy. Give yourself permission to do this too! It’s ok. I have all my life and still do often. It will be their best teacher. What a safe way to learn from our mistakes, right?! It really is safe! Trust me! 

Let them paint…

  • animals
  • famous painters artwork
  • landscapes
  • a still life
  • what they see
  • what they don’t see
  • what they hear…feel
  • abstract

Want some more ideas???

Print off this great resource for ideas…30 Days of Painting

Let them learn the colors.

What they do when you mix them, layer them…don’t wait for them to dry…wait for them to dry…dark colors, bright colors…new colors and even more colors…add layers and more layers and repeat again.

There is no right or wrong in this process…just playing with color and movement. They may hate it or love it. Let them paint over the ones they hate and keep the ones they love (you may not not feel the same as they do…that’s ok let them be)

Super, super important to not get too “bossy” with how your kids paint…wait it out so they don’t want to give up because they think it’s not right…so so important!

SO I hope this helps open the door to more creative freedom in your kids and you as well.

Happy painting!

I am going to make it even easier for you! I am giving you the link to purchase my favorite art supplies right here…Laurie’s Favorite Painting Supplies

I am an affiliate with this company which only means they just give me a few cents for sharing their awesome stuff with you…at NO extra cost to you!

Let’s Paint Tacos! | Simple Drawing + Watercolor for Kids

In this video I teach kids of all ages how to draw and watercolor a taco with all the fixings! This painting tutorial features easy-to-follow step-by-step instruction as we draw with a sharpie. We then add a colorful table and wallpaper. Finally we watercolor our drawing and I will show you some fun ways to use watercolor to get different textures.

Paint with me live online!

Follow me on Facebook so you can be notified next time I do a live painting tutorial!
A fun and easy step-by-step draw-and-watercolor painting project

My Favorite Art Supply Store

Since we have been spending so much time together playing with watercolor…I thought I would give you my connection for my favorite art store…plenty of watercolors to pick from!

Get your supplies HERE

For the Facebook Live daily tutorials I have been doing I use Crayola Educational Watercolor Pan Sets.

***Yes! I am an affiliate for them…which basically means they pay me a smidge to tell you about their goodness! And I can buy more art supplies!

A Hope That Will Not Disappoint

Last night, I sat in the living room looking at all the decorations, christmas lights, the beautiful Renaissance style manger figurines.

My heart filled with a mixture of sadness and joy, longing and disappointment.

For many this is a difficult season as another year draws to an end. Hopes dashed, again, if any glimmer of hope is present at all. It seems Christmas is really just a bitter reminder of all that hasn’t happened. Or of something lost, an innocence maybe.

The oldest of Christmas Carols seems full of waining hope of what once was. Will it ever be right again?

If we do have money to spend, even if it’s borrowed to feel like it’s afforded, we keep busy. Purchasing, planning, decorating, attentive to every detail…checking our list’s twice.

It seems easiest to keep busy, than to rest or reflect…allowing the deeper desires to surface…because even in our abundance, there is a longing for something more…something bigger, something that still cannot be purchased, or created, or arranged for. What is it?

We can’t put a finger on. Like waking from a dream that we can’t really remember the details of or watching a beautiful party through a dirty and frosted over window. As we stretch up on our toes we can hear bits of beautiful music and laughter…

but we…can’t…quite…see…through…the glass…

Knowing there’s something bigger going on, we want a clearer glimpse of it.

We have all had our share of disappointments. So now as adults, we take control of our desires by managing them a bit better. We walk away from the window, thinking we had better get along the best we can…being more content with the duty and obligations of working harder to make for a smaller Christmas.

We start with tossing away the many secular holiday practices, the childish fantasies. After all, Christmas is really only about Jesus being born in a stable…and no crying he makes…and shepherds, and kings with 3 gifts…oh, and yes his mother was a virgin…sinless, pretty much. (We really must try harder at being good!) No wonder we feel so hopeless inside!

Merry Christmas. That’s it.

Now make your New Year’s resolution…

How can this perspective sum up the season and just five lines? There is really SO much more to this story…in fact, a whole book has been written about it!

Here is a quote from it…. “I am telling you once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in.” (Matthew 18:2, The Message)

What if I could recover the heart of a child? I look at Kaeden, he just turned eight the other day. Yes, we say he’s spoiled, but he knows how to ask his dad for things.

His hopes are endless and innocent. He still dreams of things without consideration of practicality or cost. He believes anything is possible. His perspective of the future is full of joyful anticipation! Yet, his life is being played out in the presentness of his surroundings.

Kaeden is untainted by cynicism or resignation that things will never get any better… “this is how life is, I will just get by and make the best of it” His young tender heart has not yet experienced much of life’s cruel disappointments. As his mother, I wish I could keep him from ever knowing disappointment…but not in this world.

As I celebrate this Christmas season, I want the heart of a child, the heart of my youngest son.

I will fill my house the decorations, lights, and evergreens. I will purchase and bestow as many gifts as my purse will allow. I will sing Jingle Bells, Rudolph and O’Come, O’ Come Emanuel. (My favorite!)

I will bake cookies and food. I will make gifts. I will shop and smile and tell everyone, “Merry Christmas!” I will watch movies, play games, and laugh…and maybe even cry.

I want to ask of my Father for the desires of my heart, fearlessly…”Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matt. 7:7 And he answers me in return “I have come that you might have life, and have it to the full” John 10:10

So above all else, I will believe in the hope and promise, that Jesus will come again!

With joyful anticipation, I will be reminded by baby Jesus lying in the manger, the angels singing, and Santa bringing gifts, that one day the best Christmas ever is yet to come… when all broken hearts will be fixed, all that holds us captive will be released and all our deepest dreams and desires will come true!

May joy and hopeful expectancy fill your heart with childlike anticipation for better things to come!

Merry, Merry Christmas!

~Laurie 👩🏼‍🎨 (From my archives 12.17.15)

Best Christmas Gifts for your Artsy People

Nothing better than getting your favorite art supplies…or maybe that one thing you always thought would be fun to play around with. Here’s my favorite go to site for all my creative ideas!

BLICK Holiday Gift Ideas

Hope you have the most creative Christmas ever! Be sure and share what you are creating in the comments!

Laurie 👩🏼‍🎨🎨

Yes, I am an affiliate which just means I get a little back from your purchases…so I can get fun things to create with…but it’s no extra for you🤗

Where Do I Get My Supplies?

My favorites for teaching!

After YEARS of being asked this…after MUCH procrastination…after THINKING, “it’s just TOO hard!!”…

🎨🖌I FINALLY put together a QUICK list of my favorite painting supplies that I use in my classes! 🤗

***discloser…I do receive a small compensation on sales through Dick Blick Art Supplies…BUT there is NO extra cost to you!

🛍So let’s go shopping! 👉🏼 General Painting Tutorial Supply List

I FINALLY put together a QUICK list of my favorite painting supplies that I use in my classes!