November Calendar

November already?! I just can't believe that the holiday season is already here, but I know it's going to be great! 

I wanted to let you all know my calendar of events for November so that you can know what's coming to the shop, etc. I'll release a December calendar soon, too. Both months are full of fun things for you all! 

As you can see, November is full of exciting things, starting with Autumn Fest for local friends! This event will be Thursday, November 2 from 3-6 pm at the Highland Lake Inn (details below).

You won't want to miss all the new items coming to my etsy shop either! I'm so excited to reveal all the colorful new paintings and gifts so stay tuned! It's the most wonderful time of the year! :) 

 

 

 

Bold Life Magazine Feature

Hi friends! Hope everyone is having a fabulous October so far...my favorite month! Our anniversary month and my birthday month (and Kiwi's birthday month too!) so it's busy and full of celebrations!

This October is extra fun because my art and work with the Boys and Girls Club is featured in the local magazine, Bold Life. Such an honor and exciting opportunity, so I wanted to share here too for those of you who aren't local! 

Here's the article below and a link to their website as well! 

True to her middle name, Bethany Joy uses a playful process to make art a happy experience for the kids at the Boys and Girls Club of Henderson County. Bethany, who also engages in community art shows and service projects outside work, describes her vision as “expressing joy through painting vibrant abstracts, flowers, and inspirational quotes.” Armed not only with a will-do attitude but also with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a teaching licensure from Brevard College, she’s celebrating her second anniversary this month as the Boys and Girls Club’s Art Director. Bethany notes that her painting process “involves several layers” — she doesn’t consider her canvas complete until the piece is “harmonious and bursting with joy.” She understands that the kids she encounters at the nonprofit’s after-school program come from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds and home experiences, and, as with all children, may be “outgoing or shy, athletic or artistic, happy or sad.” Through a fun, spontaneous approach, she hopes to make art relatable to all of her students. “Sometimes they may not be able to see a lot of joy in their personal environment … many of them experience challenging situations,” she explains. “They deserve to have a safe environment in which to express themselves.”

Grateful to share my work with the community! Also, mark your calendars for October 20, I've got something really fun planned and you won't want to miss out! 

As always, thank you all SO much for the continued support! 

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Custom Painting Openings!

Hi there friends! 

It's only September, however, that leaves us with only about three months til Christmas! (anyone else getting just a little excited?!) I sat down this morning at my paint covered desk to map out my calendar of events, product launches, painting releases, sales, and more for the rest of 2017. Definitely hard to believe! (don't worry...I'll share all upcoming events with you all so soon) 

But the most wonderful time of the year is upon us, indeed. And it's a perfect time to think about gifting custom art for your loved ones (or yourself too, of course). 

 

Here's all the info you need to know for ordering custom art this season: 

  • There are two listings in my etsy shop for custom art. One for 8x10 inch canvases and one is for 16x20 inch canvases (if you happen to need another size canvas, please don't hesitate to contact me and I'll see what we can work out. These listings will give you a size/pricing reference).  
  • Collectors choosing to have a custom painting made will correspond with me throughout the process as we work together to create your perfect painting!
  • **Please message me before purchasing the listings so that we can make sure it's a great partnership for creating your custom art. I do my best to listen to your hopes during the process, but the painting process will be done within my personal artistic style.**
  • Feel free to share any images, inspiration, pictures of your space, or paint and fabric swatches with me before I begin so that I can create something that best matches your vision. 
  • Custom paintings will take approximately 3-5 weeks to complete, unless otherwise discussed.
  • I will send pictures of your painting half way through the process and ask for your feedback. This is the time to communicate any changes you want to have made. I will also send pictures of your painting before the finished piece is shipped or delivered but minimal changes will be made at this point in the process. 
  • **Please note that I, Bethany Joy, retain all rights to the commissioned artwork. The commissioner has the rights to display their painting in their home or business but may NOT resell or reproduce the artwork without my permission.** 

If you have any further questions about ordering your custom art in time for the holidays, please feel free to contact me! I want to make sure you can have the art of your dreams for your homes!

 

Looking forward to working with you! 

 

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July Workshops / A Recap

Last month was an absolute joy as I taught my first three local painting workshops! Each workshop was a unique experience, so I wanted to give a quick recap:

The lovely owner of Wine Sage and Gourmet hosted my first workshop where we painted abstract backgrounds and added a daisy to our canvases as well. One of the attendees was named Daisy, so that made these paintings even more meaningful! It is always wonderful to have such connections to the process of making art and the completed painting as well. Missed out? Good news! Another painting workshop at Wine Sage and Gourmet is scheduled for September 28! Be sure to check out this link to sign up and join us, it's going to be a great time! 

On Saturday, we had a fabulous time at Nest Boutique and DIY Studio painting abstract canvases with inspirational quotes. Full of fun textures and bright colors, the ladies who attended this workshop were fabulous and so were their works of art!  Stay tuned for another workshop here as well! 

The following week, I had the privilege of collaborating and teaching with Leelee from Leelee's Garden. She has been on tour this summer teaching floral workshops all across the country, so cool right? We met with 8 ladies at Blue Ghost Brewing and taught two fun sessions, abstract painting and mason jar floral design. Painting and Floral Design were a perfect match to create such a unique experience and class.

 

I couldn't be more thankful for the turnout and experience of teaching these first three workshops and can't wait to offer more in September! 

 

 

Blooms & Brews / Upcoming Summer Workshop!

Sweet friends! Guess what?? Remember how I told you that there would be two workshops in July? Well...just kidding! There will be three, yippee! 

Here's all the info you need in order to sign up for our collaborative Blooms and Brews workshop on July 26: 

Leelee's Garden is coming to Asheville and partnering with local artist Bethany Joy and craft brewer Blue Ghost Brewing Company to host a unique night of blooms and brews!

Join us to learn the basics of floral design, create an abstract floral painting AND taste local beer while you're at it! We can't wait!

What you can expect in this workshop:

  • Paint a foundation abstract painting with Bethany Joy and while your painting dries...
  • Get a floral design basics lesson from Leelee and create your own mason jar arrangement
  • Inspired by your blooms, add florals to finish your painting!


At the end of the night, you'll walk away with your own bright beautiful painting and floral design to decorate your home or give to a loved one. Perfect for a ladies night out! 

No experience necessary. All instruction, flowers and painting materials included. Beer and and food available for purchase.

 

Here's a link where you can purchase tickets.  

And feel free to check out our Facebook Event Page.

We'd love for you to join us for this fabulous night of creating, learning, and community!

Summer Workshops!

I sure hope all of you are having the best summer! So far, my summer has consisted of teaching art at the Boys and Girls Club, a trip to Michigan to visit family, going to the lake, gardening, and of course painting. The summer is about to get a little sweeter, though, because there's two workshops coming so soon!

Here's the details: 

The first painting workshop will be on July 18 from 6:30-8 pm at Wine Sage and Gourmet on Main Street, Hendersonville. This workshop will kick off Art Week for Wine Sage and Gourmet, with a week of art classes and a fun little fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club at the end of the week (my students will be so excited for y'all to see their art!)

During this class, you will learn the basics of how to create a colorful, abstract background using the colors of your choice along with a simple daisy to add a sweet touch of summer to your painting as well! Using acrylic paints, you will learn three of Bethany's favorite techniques for creating unique pops of color, and you'll leave with a completed 8x10 inch canvas to add to your home decor! One glass of wine is included with the cost. Additional wine can also be purchased during the evening. Click the link to sign up, it's going to be a great time! 

If you can't make it to that class, however, another exciting workshop is scheduled at the new Nest Boutique and DIY Studio in Biltmore Village on July 22 at 6 pm. Play with modern techniques and splash brilliant color onto your very own one-of-a-kind canvas. We will be trying out different abstract painting techniques and also sketching quotes (of your choice) into our colorful works of art. All materials will be provided for this workshop. Bring your favorite bubbly or wine to complement our non-alcoholic beverage bar. Seats are limited. 

I hope you all will be able to join, I can't wait to meet y'all and teach some fabulous painting skills! Comment below with any questions you may have and I look forward to seeing you soon!

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"Fullness of Joy" Abstract Painting Collection Launch

Hi sweet friends! I hope everyone is having a great start to the month of June. It's finally my favorite season (yay, summertime!) and I think that this brand new collection of paintings is a great reflection of all things summer and JOY! 

This series includes 14 original abstract paintings and one limited edition fine art print, and they're all based on the theme "Fullness of Joy." 

The “Fullness of Joy” Collection was created out of my love for encouraging others and sharing joy through painting. I wanted these abstract paintings to be cheerful, yet layered and complex due to the challenges in the paths that some take to find their joy. Beautiful moments peeking through the journey to find joy are represented by bright colors layered beneath the shades of white. I believe that joy is a continual journey throughout life and it can be found even within the quietest of moments.  

These paintings were created with love and acrylic paint, chalk pastels, oil pastels, pencil, texture tools, and even some watercolor. Using a variety of different materials to create these original works represents how joy can be found through varying circumstances. The paintings in this collection are all abstract because I believe that abstract paintings tell a different story to each viewer, and each person may be drawn to different elements within the pieces.

I have chosen a different joyful saying to compliment each painting. These sentiments are meaningful to me, not only because my middle name is Joy, but also because of my personal journey, my faith, and my mission to share joy through my art.

You can now shop this collection via my Etsy shop and choose the perfect piece of original art to dwell in your homes.

I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on this "Fullness of Joy" series, so be sure to comment below or contact me if you'd like to chat! View more images and join in on the fun over on Instagram as well. Ya'll are awesome, and I hope your day is filled with lots of joy! 

Giveaway! March 28-30!

Hi everyone, today is an exciting day because we're starting it off with a fun giveaway! Yay! Keep reading below to find out details on how to enter:

I began sending out a newsletter about 6 months ago and have really enjoyed sending out extra announcements and offerings through emails. I haven't used it as often as I should, however, and want to make 2017 a better year for making newsletters an extra special way of connecting with you all! 

So...beginning today (through March 30), signing up for my newsletter will enter you for a chance to win an art print of your choice from my shop

This will allow for me to give my newsletter subscribers extra coupon codes, special announcements, behind the scenes info, freebies, and more! Doesn't that sound fun? I hope so! 

Once you've signed up for my newsletter, comment on this post or send me a message saying that you are now a newsletter subscriber and that's it! You've entered the giveaway! 

AND if you'd like a bonus entry then click this link to learn more!

Winner will be announced on Friday, March 31, so stay tuned! I look forward to having you join my email list! Thanks so much y'all :)

Difference Makes Us Etsy Contest!

Hi sweet friends! I know it's been a while since I've posted to my blog, but I promise to start blogging more often. (We just moved into our first house so life has been super busy, but oh so fabulous- more about that soon!)

I wanted to post today about a contest that Etsy is hosting that I'm really excited to enter! I'd love it if you all could take a quick moment and VOTE for my etsy shop for the #differencemakesus contest through this link: https://etsy.wishpond.com/small-business-contest/…/149924577

This contest would be an amazing chance to grow my business in many new ways. It required me to really think about the focus of my business which was a much needed process for the beginning of 2017. Writing about what makes my business set apart from the others for this contest was a great way to reflect on why I create! This is an awesome opportunity to grow my art business and I will be forever grateful for your votes!

Here's the overview (below) of my reflections and responses to this contest but please be sure to click the link to VOTE! Voting only requires the click of a button, your email address, and a verification that you're not a robot. :) And you have until April 6 to VOTE and SHARE with your friends!!! It truly means the world to me.

"Briefly tell us about your business and what makes it different. Details could include how you got started, what makes your business stand out, or how difference has helped your business and others."

The focus of my business Bethany Joy Art is encouraging others. I began my business venture right after graduating from college with Bachelor of Arts and K-12 Teacher Licensure in 2015. I am the Art Director of our local Boys and Girls Club working with children in grades K-7. Art is quickly disappearing from the standards of classrooms, but working with children has shown me the huge need for art in every facet of a developing minds and hearts. Through art at the club, I have been able to encourage kids in tough situations giving them tools to succeed in making their dreams come true! My life goal and primary business goal is to share love and positivity through each paint stroke and to fill homes and lives with fun color, sweet encouragement, and unique florals with the backdrop of paper, canvas, wood, jewelry, etc.

"How would you use the Etsy Small Business Contest money to scale your business in a big way this year?"

Etsy Small Business Contest money would enlarge my platform of sharing positivity and making my dream come true of starting an encouraging online community for creatives. These funds would allow me to invest in the latest technology (photoshop, high-quality printer, etc.), to teach workshops (online and in-person), propelling my business forward to expand my product line (t-shirts, journals, etc.) and opening my art to more markets.

Thank you all so very much! 

Paint with Me!

I am so excited to announce that I'll be teaching my very first workshop this January! Of course, I spend my days teaching art to 1st-7th graders at the Boys and Girls Club, however, this is the first class (hopefully of many) that I'll be teaching that is open to you all! 

 

Here's some details for you to know: 

Date: January 21, 2017

Time: 5:00- 7:00 PM EST

Place: Vino and Van Gogh in Greenville, SC

Description: A two hour workshop observing and learning from my demonstration of a 16x20 inch abstract canvas. You will learn some of my favorite techniques and tips on painting using mixed media and create your own abstract piece to take home!

Cost: $45 (includes materials) 

Sign up here: Workshop with Bethany Joy Art 

And here's an image of the painting I'll be demonstrating and helping you paint as well!

I can't wait to teach and hope to see you there! Feel free to contact me with any questions, etc! I look forward to helping you create your own masterpiece! 

Tis the season!

Hi sweet friends! 

It's still a little early, but it's about to be the most wonderful time of the year! Yay Christmas! I just wanted to update you all on a few upcoming products, sales, and events leading up to Christmas this year.

When you choose to shop small, it truly helps support a dream and means the world to me (and all the other artists and makers you may know!) 

Here's a calendar of events for the rest of November, with more fun to come in December as well: 

Another custom necklace sale, Christmas card sets, and a shop small Saturday surprise! Also, for those of you who'd like to shop in person, I'll be at a wonderful pop up shop at Vino and Van Gogh in Greenville, SC on November 19! Click the link for more info.

In addition, yesterday, three new art prints made their way into my etsy shop and I couldn't be more excited about these painting designs!

The first design, "Gratitude Changes Everything" is full of color and thankfulness, just in time for Thanksgiving but perfect for year round decor as well. 

Two new Christmas art prints are now available in my shop as well! These just make my heart happy, and oh so excited for Christmas! Who's with me? :) 

I sure hope you all enjoy this fun holiday art and I can't wait for the upcoming events!

Live in Color Blog Feature

Hey guys! I just wanted to share a little snippet from a recent interview I had over on the beautiful and passionate Live in Color Blog. This blog is all about celebrating beauty, possibilities, and faith in God so when I was asked to be featured of course I was so thrilled. Such an honor! 

This feature was in interview format, so it was a fun challenge to thoughtfully answer these questions about my creative journey and art. 

I'll share a bit here on my blog, but in order to finish reading and learning more, you'll have to follow the link to the full post over on liveincolor.org!

I hope you all enjoy the interview and the colorful moments that liveincolor.org is all about. Let me know your feedback in the comments below and thank you so much for reading! 

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"I absolutely love that your middle name is Joy! How fitting! Your sweet presence shines through social media. How do you cultivate and maintain peace & joy in your life?" 

I seriously love that my middle name is Joy. I have always been so thankful to have it as a constant reminder that there is always joy to be found in every circumstance. My mom’s middle name is also Joy, so it is an honor to carry on the name and all it stands for!
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When I set out to start my art business in January 2015, one of the first things I did after re-opening my etsy shop (I had tried etsy before in college with photography prints when I thought I was going to be a photographer) was creating an Instagram page.
I’m usually quite the introvert, so sharing and selling my art on social media scared me just a tad. I never wanted to sound too “sale-sy.” So I made it my goal (in addition to selling artwork) to share positivity and encouragement through my social media presence also-shining God’s light into the world in my own way. 
I think that the encouragement and joy that I seek to share really plays well with the bright colors that I love to use in my art…the perfect pair!

"If you could chose one quote or verse of scripture which summarizes your biz, what would it be? Why?" 

“God will yet fill your mouths with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” Job 8:21

This verse is probably my all time favorite verse and has been ever since I remember first discovering it in high school. This verse is not only a reminder that God gives us joy, but also a reminder to me that good things take time.
Becoming a successful artist doesn’t happen over night and takes lots of perseverance and patience. This verse helps remind me to keep working towards my goals and chasing my dreams and that joy is always around the corner even during the times when it doesn’t seem like it.

There's lots more of this sweet interview to enjoy over on the Live in Color Blog, so be sure to go check it out! Thanks bunches, friends! 

5 Tips for Busy Artists

Hey guys!  It's summertime, my favorite!  Summer means life is even busier for me than other seasons usually, however, so I thought this would be the perfect time to share my top 5 tips for busy artists. 

As many of you know, in addition to my art business, I work as the art director for our local Boys and Girls Club.  Teaching art and helping my students find inspiration daily is definitely a huge passion of mine!  My work schedule during summer, however, is quite a bit busier than it is during other seasons as I'm out on field trips, teaching classes, etc. more often.  Finding the time for my art becomes more of a challenge, but remains a priority. 

If you're a busy artist like me (or simply wanting to create space for art in your life), I challenge you to make time for your art daily (or close to it, if possible) by setting yourself up for success using these five tips! 

 

Tip #1:

Make space.

I've been known to completely take over dining room tables, coffee tables, floor space, etc. (you name it really) in order to create (more) space for my art.  I seriously take up so much room (without even thinking twice about it) in order to paint or craft, and I even have my own work desk and easel set up already!  My actual workspace/studio that I have permanently set up is about half a bedroom with a desk, paint table, and an easel set up along with lots of drop cloths to cover the carpet. (See my studio tour blog post here!)  I can't express how important space is to a busy artist.  No matter the size of the space, it is such a convenience to be able to leave your supplies out so that it is ready to use as soon as you have time to create.  Making space for your art also helps out because you don't have to clean up your mess after each painting session.  Just leave it out, then clean once a week or so rather than each night.  Definitely a time saver!

 

Tip #2:

Set aside time.

This tip may seem obvious, but what I mean by "setting time aside" is to actually plan this time out.  Start with 30 minutes a day (set an alarm on your phone if you must) and promise yourself that you'll create during this time.  Work your evening chores, workout, etc. (or whatever you may do after work) around this time so that you can fit everything in.  Once you get used to that schedule, you can gradually begin adding more time to your given amount.  Win, win. 

 

Tip #3:

Carry a sketchbook.

I have to admit, I'm not very good at keeping up with my sketchbooks. I start them out with the best intentions, then forget I have one and end up buying a new one whenever I decide to start sketching again. This summer, however, I have decided that a sketchbook is a very important aspect of being a busy artist, as it is more portable and easy to squeeze into your spare moments. Have a moment of inspiration that you don't want to forget? Jot it down in the margins of your sketchbook. Although drawing might not be your choice of mediums, it still allows you to fit creative moments into your busy days. Here's a link to the sketchbook I bought for myself this summer (portable so that it can fit into my purse!) and I'll be sure to post some pictures one day when it's more full of life.

 

Tip #4:

Don't feel guilty.

Taking time for yourself to create shouldn't make you feel guilty. You may think you have more important things you should be doing, however, creativity is always important.  Art brings more life to your days and brings your heart out for the world to see.  That's pretty imperative if you ask me!

Click the photo to view this print in my etsy shop!

Click the photo to view this print in my etsy shop!

 

Tip #5:

Stock up on supplies.

Nothing is worse than walking into your creative space with the greatest idea ever for a drawing, painting, etc. and not having the supplies that you intended on using.  Granted, that scenario could lead to some fun experimentation, however, I find it especially necessary to stock up on surfaces for your art. This could be paper, canvases, wood panels...whatever you love to create on, so that you don't have to waste time going to the store or building more canvases each time you want to sit down to paint. I usually keep at least two months worth of canvases and wood panels (or I simply buy/build whenever supplies is on sale) and I'd say I have a years worth of paper supply which allows for plenty of my ideas to come to life anytime I have a spare moment! 

A stash of shipping supplies and canvases/wood panels in my studio!

A stash of shipping supplies and canvases/wood panels in my studio!

 

What are your best tips for squeezing art into your busy schedules? Comment below and join me in filling your life with more time for art! 

I hope you all are enjoying this sweet summertime season, happy creating! 

 

 

Studio Tour!

Hi everyone! And welcome to my fun little studio tour! 

I wanted to take a moment to show you some behind the scenes images of where all of my paintings come to life! 

My husband and I share this "hobby" room, so this half of the room has become my little studio space, and half of it is home to his desk, TV and keyboard (I just love it when he plays music while I paint-melt my heart). 

While my space may be very cluttered, it is organized (in my eyes) and very functional! Josh and I built the paint table (pictured above) which allows me to see all of my paints and stay a bit more organized than I usually am. I love having such a unique piece of furniture for my studio that we designed and built together! 

My easel was a sweet birthday gift that I received from my mom and stepdad after I graduated from college! I love how it is portable and has storage as well.  The drawer space in my easel is home to all of my oil paints. Also pictured, you can see a stash of shipping supplies, canvases, and wood panels that are waiting for their turn to be painted and put to use! 

This next image features my beloved desk which was a surprise gift from my mom when I was in the 5th grade. I really didn't appreciate this gift until I was in high school/college, but it has been loved on ever since. And yes, I do attempt to play the banjo hence the "Have you hugged your banjo today?" sign...it just makes me smile! 

This half of my space is home to larger paintings in progress and lots of large-scale hand built canvases waiting for their turn!  One day (hopefully soon!), I hope to have a studio with more natural lighting as well, but this window does the trick for now.

Here's a close up of my paint table-full of lots of fun supplies (acrylic paint, craft paint, golden paints, texture tools, paint brushes, pastels, watercolor crayons, etc!) 

I love having so many of my paints hanging up for me to see, and yes...I also use these hooks to dry flowers and lavender. So many uses for this table! 

A close up of my desk top space!

I always love to keep sentimental gifts and pictures as inspiration in my studio. This little chalk board is from my b.f.f. roommate from college! She's just the sweetest. :) 

This corner is home to art from three of my favorite painters- Emily Jeffords, Mae Chevrette, and Susannah Bee!  They fill my studio with a little extra light and inspiration, be sure to check them out. I also painted those sweet hanging hearts (along with many others) to be decor behind the cake table at our wedding! 

Oh, and here's my big ole' stash of fine art prints! Ready to find new forever homes...find your favorite in my etsy shop!

And there you have it, friends! My studio space may be small, but it's where big dreams are beginning to come to life. I'll be sure to keep you all posted on any studio updates as well. Thanks so much for following along on this artistic journey of mine! It means the world to me. XO

Seasoned with Salt Blog Artist Feature

Hey everyone! Today is a special post, and only half the story! I was recently asked by the lovely Laura over at Seasoned with Salt Blog to write a guest post all about my creative journey to becoming an artist. What an honor! Also, a fun challenge to actually sit down and write an article about my path to painting. 

I thought it'd be fun to share the first half of my story here, but you'll have to click the link to visit the amazing, faith and creativity based blog, Seasoned with Salt, to read the rest of my story. This post really came from my heart, and I hope you all will enjoy! Feel free to comment below after you visit Seasoned with Salt and let me know what you thought of the whole thing! 

 

Hi, friends! I’m Bethany Joy, a painter of color and “joy.”  The feeling of paint on my fingers, wearing my favorite denim paint shirt, squeezing a new tube of paint, watching paint drip down a canvas, even waiting for paint to dry…those things make my heart smile.  But, I didn’t choose painting, at first that is…
As early as kindergarten, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher.  I enthusiastically pretended to be a teacher for my stuffed animals and dogs each day after school.  My mother says she could amusingly discover the details of my day by listening outside my bedroom door while I taught my stuffed animals and my two, very patient, and thanks to me, well-read dogs.  I even had my own white board and legit grade book, and old-school bulletin board décor!  Art was not a prominent part of those younger days, but my closet was fully stocked with every craft supply and tiny treasures in my “making things drawers” for the creative times that I would attempt to re-enact art class.
I do, however, have two distinct memories from my childhood involving paint.  The first painting encounter for me was when my mother placed me, then a young toddler, into my high chair fully surrounded by drop cloths, giving me freedom to explore my creativity with paint.  I eagerly painted, ever so happily with an extra sparkle in my eye.  Another memory that has become more treasured with time since the passing of my granddad, is when “Gaga” handed me one of his paint brushes to help him paint the shed he that had so proudly built, as he lovingly and proudly winked and whispered in my ear, “don’t tell your mother”!
Through the years art was fun to me, although more of just a simple hobby.  In high school, even though I passed on taking art classes, it was during my senior year that I wondered if art could be incorporated with my dream of becoming a teacher.
Through all the college applications and interviews, I was awarded the NC Teaching Fellows Scholarship and accepted into UNC Asheville.  I thought I now had everything set in place to officially pursue my lifelong dream.  Just for the heck of it though, my mom suggested we take a closer look at Brevard College, the smallest, most unique, outdoorsy and artsy school ever. Within moments of the short campus tour, I realized this was the perfect college for me.  I walked over to my mom with tears in my eyes (I knew there was no possible way we could afford tuition), and told her this is where I had to be.
My tuition was prayerfully covered by a miracle scholarship, and so my journey began…as a photographer/teacher!  Yep, I thought I’d choose photography as my art concentration.  Classes entailed learning all the ins and outs of the dark room and film photography, and somehow, I managed to ruin almost every roll of film.  Super frustrating!
Thankfully, program requirements meant that I was to try all fundamentals of art, and so I enrolled in my first official painting class.  And boy, was the classroom setting beautiful!  The studio was filled with white walls and floor-to-ceiling windows giving half of the studio a beautiful view overlooking our campus creek.  Talk about creative inspiration!.....

Okay guys! That's where I'm leaving off and leading you to read the rest on Seasoned with Salt Blog! Let me know if you read the rest, I promise you won't be disappointed. Much love and many thanks to Seasoned with Salt Blog and all of my sweet friends, family, and supporters! xo

5 Little Painting Tips to Make a Big Impact

Hi everyone! I'm excited to share a short post (I could talk about this topic for days) today about 5 small things you can do to improve your paintings in a big way.  I decided to start by sharing only 5 words of advice, because if you're new to painting, things can definitely be overwhelming and you'll want to start small. 

These little suggestions are all things that I personally incorporate into my own painting process and were tips that I learned along the way during my college studio days.  (Such a blessing to learn from such wise professors!)  Many things about my painting style change on a daily basis, however, these 5 things remain the same and I'm sure they always will as I develop more into the professional art world. 

Sharing my love for art and the process of painting is such a passion of mine and I hope to make that evident through this blog.  Even if you're not ready to try painting yet and you just enjoy admiring art, I hope this post will be some fun insight into how my paintings come to life!

 

Tip #1:

Layer, layer, layer! 

This is probably the most important step in my personal painting process.  I begin each painting with very loose and light paint washes (watered down acrylic paint, maybe some pencil marks, possible watercolors or watercolor crayons for initial texture).  Each layer beyond that becomes more thick, textured, and colorful!  Be sure to let each layer dry before painting another.  Also, make sure to let some of the previous paint strokes beneath the surface shine through the new layers, too, in order to create more depth.

 

Tip #2

Stand Back

Every once in a while, be sure to stop for a minute and take a few steps back (maybe 10-20 feet) in order to observe your painting from a different perspective.  While you're at it, you could even try turning your painting upside down or sideways in order to see things from a different angle and make sure everything is well balanced.  It's easy to get caught up in the little, up close details of a painting, however, many paintings are viewed from afar, so it's important to think like the viewer for more success!

 

Tip #3

Mix your colors 

Often times, the paint colors that we buy are stunning straight out of the tube, however, mixing them even just the slightest bit with other colors makes things a little more sophisticated.  Plus, mixing your own colors opens up endless amounts of new colors and shades that you can't buy!  How neat is that?  Mixing green with a tiny bit of orange is one of my personal favorites (to create a rich olive green) as well as mixing pink and orange to create a stunning coral color.  What color combo are you looking forward to trying?  Comment below!

 

Tip #4

Texture tools

Painting doesn't restrict you to only using a paint brush!  There are so many fun tools you can use to create extra textures combined with the ever-loved brush strokes.  Adding texture is a great way to increase the interest and depth in your paintings.  A few of my favorite tools are palette knives, pencil marks, texture combs (similar to these or a plastic fork will do), bubble wrap/pattern stamps, and simply my fingers (brings you back to elementary school finger painting, and it's perfect!)  Have fun and experiment!  

 

 

Tip #5

paint over things

Yes, I said it.  Paint over parts of your painting.  Even the sections you love most (but not all the time).  It's scary, but this form of layering can definitely be an improvement to your creations.  Sometimes, certain areas of a painting, or the majority of it, just aren't cohesive and will continue not working until something drastic is done.  I've had plenty of moments where I decided to paint over huge chunks of my canvas or even the whole thing, and trust me...the finished art turned out much better than it would have.  Be brave and see what unfolds! 

 

Hopefully this round up of little painting tips has been encouraging and helpful, and will make a big impact in your painting endeavors.  Let me know in the comments if you've tried any of these tips and how they turned out!  I'd love to hear from you.  Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post as well!   

 

Top 10 Reasons to Choose Art as a Career

First of all, welcome to my new blog!

I'm excited to be sharing personal thoughts, inspirations, new projects, lots of paintings, and so much more here with you all. 

I thought it would be fun to celebrate this new blog by giving you all the main scoop on why I chose to pursue art as a career (part time for now-full time later?) and hopefully encourage some of you to find your inner artist as well! 

All throughout my childhood, if I was asked the ever-so popular question: "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I always answered that I was going to be a teacher. Well, that's definitely still true (although I'm not your traditional school teacher, Boys and Girls Club is where my heart currently lies), it seems as though each year, art squeezes its way in and takes up a larger part of my life. 

I started making art at a young age as you can see below, however I didn't take any official art classes until I attended college. I don't exactly remember the moment when I decided to be an art major and pursue art as a career (as well as getting my K-12 art teacher license as backup) however, the moment I stepped into the art building at Brevard College I remember feeling that I had found a new home. (Special thanks to all my wonderful professors who helped shape my art and guide me through it all!)

After graduating, I knew it would get more difficult to create art unless I really forced myself to do it, and that's exactly when I decided to open an etsy shop, build a website and social media following, and take my art more seriously. As a reflection of my first year in the art "business," here's my top 10 reasons to choose art as a career!

 

Reason #1

Constant Exploration

Trying new things is a huge part of making art. Your style of art should change and grow as you do, and exploring is essential! Exploring can include trying out new artistic processes, new materials, or new subject matter. Best of all, it can also mean literally exploring new places! Traveling, even small day trips, can be a huge inspiration to your art as you use those experiences to bring your art into a whole new world.

I had the privilege of taking a mixed media class in college and that really encouraged me to experiment with my art, even taking long walks to see what I could find to add into my paintings (rusty paper clips, nails, stamps, pressed flowers, lace, natural pigments). If you love to explore and experiment, don't be afraid to let that become a major part of your artistic process. 

 

Reason #2

Mistakes into Beauty

Artists must learn the mystery of turning mistakes into something beautiful. This process teaches forgiveness, acceptance, patience, and joy when you see something you didn't like before turn into a true masterpiece. The perfect process to experience often and let spill out into other aspects of life! 

 

Reason #3

The Process is Never Boring

It's true, I'm not the most organized person in the world. I'm a messy painter and have accidental paint on the majority of my clothes and shoes (and carpet-sorry mom). The process I use to make art is fun, never boring (which causes the mess that I secretly love). As an artist, we get to choose our own process of making art. Each person does things a little differently, creating our own fun. 

 

Reason #4 

Reflection

I'm quite the introvert, and usually require lots of time to reflect on experiences. Sometimes I take a walk, write in my journal, or read. For me, however, painting is the perfect way to ponder what I have going on and to think through things. Although some of us choose art as a way of life and making money, it can still remain a passion and personal time to reflect. Just try not to let the stress of actually selling art get in the way of making art. 

 

Reason #5 

Connection with Others

As an introvert, it can be quite daunting to put yourself and your art out into the world. Knowing that someone might make a personal connection with you and your art serves as huge inspiration. However, it can inspire new friendships as well as new work. Since starting my small art biz about a year and a half ago, I have been surprised, making many meaningful connections with new friends and customers (hello social media and local art fairs!) that I would have never known if it weren't for my art. It truly is amazing when your art resonates with others in a unique way that you hadn't even thought of when creating the piece. 

Reason #6 

Traveling Art

Can I just say that it is SO cool that my art is in many different states and even a couple other countries! Seriously, how neat is that? When you begin selling your art (or even giving it away) your art gets to travel to places that you may have never expected (or heard of) and that is a very cool feeling. 

 

Reason #7 

A New Home

Making art is a very personal process and connection to each artists' own heart. I believe that a little piece of your heart lies within each masterpiece. That being said, it can be very difficult to let go of some pieces (trust me when I say that I can't let go of many paintings..they have each found a spot in our living room, fortunately, my husband is perfectly accepting of my love for flowers!) When you're selling art, however, it is fun to think of what its new home will be like and how it must bring another person or family a special joy, too. What an honor to have your art chosen to hang in someone else's home! 

 

Reason #8 

Community

There's a whole community of artists and small creative business owners in this world, and they are truly amazing! When you begin your journey as an artist you may think that you're just one small fish in the sea of so many other talented people. However, you're the only person who can create exactly what you do and the way that you do and the world needs your art! Social media is a great way to connect with the art community as well as your own hometowns. Some days, you'll wonder why you chose the life of a "starving artist" but there's so many people out there ready to support you and help you along the way. Keep striving for the creative life you dream of pursuing. 

 

Reason #9

Lifelong Learning and Teaching

Although I didn't choose the traditional path of an elementary school teacher like I always thought I would, I still teach every day and love that I am able to inspire others through my art. Throughout my college career, I took the path of becoming an art major with a K-12 art teacher licensure add-on. My professors were constantly reminding us that as teachers (and artists) we are lifelong learners, having the unique privilege of learning from our students while we teach.

Artists have something special to share, and that is not only to teach the history, color theories, and ways of making art, but also to light a spark in other people (of all ages) to find their own artistic voice. When you listen carefully with your ears and your heart, you'll be able to learn from your students, too. 

Reason #10

Sharing your Faith

My faith is a huge aspect of my life, and I thank God every day for the blessings He has given to me. I enjoy talking about it and sharing with others through conversation; however, I've never been too outspoken and enjoy sharing my faith through bold colors, encouragement, and florals (think about how incredible it is that God made all the gorgeous blooms for us to enjoy). God is the ultimate creator, and I know that it is my calling to share the creativity He has given me with the world as well. If you're a person of faith, sharing faith through your art will be a huge blessing to others. 

 
Your talent is God’s gift to you, what you do with it is your gift back to God.
 

It truly means the world to me that you have taken the time to read my blog post! I hope it has inspired you in your creative endeavors and I can't wait to see how each of you will bloom into the art world. I am a young artist, and pretty new to the art world as well, however, I hope my thoughts and insights have been helpful and encouraging. 

I'd love to learn from you all and know what inspires you to be an artist, too, so feel free to comment below (click on the blog post header to find a comment block at the bottom of this post).