Conscious Creator

Conscious Creator

As I immerse myself in different art cultures I’m struck by different groups of artists. I’m amazed at how there are so many different artists with different techniques, subjects, and purposes for painting. As I forge my own artistic career, I’m trying to be mindful of the different groups.

I see some artists who paint purely as a hobby, for fun. Others paint because they have some kind of intense passion inside them that they must get out via expression. They see themselves as some kind of tortured soul, or some kind of special person with special angst. Everybody can have angst if they want to.

Of course, I don’t presume to know why each artist pursues his or her craft. I can only speak to what I have seen from their art, their bogs, and their commentary.

It’s great if you paint for a hobby, or for fun. I think painting can be incredibly healing for oneself, but just oneself. I personally find painting very therapeutic, but that is not the only reason I paint.

To this passionate artist complex, I just want to say that it is not right. Honestly, I don’t think we see this kind of personal expression/tortured artist dichotomy till Beethoven. Beethoven, the deaf pianist, persevered through his handicap and still managed to create wonderful music. But let’s be real, most artists aren’t blind, which would be their equivalent handicap.

Painting with broad strokes here, I contend that art (for the most part) prior to Beethoven was created with the viewer in mind. It was thoughtful, calculated, and purposeful, usually by commission. People would commission an artist to paint a portrait or a family. The art was created solely with the viewer (or listener as the case may be) in mind.

Honestly, I think that is the better perspective to have. What if all artists painters, sculptors, musicians, whatever the craft, created with their viewer in mind instead of their own personal expression being the paramount objective. I’m sure many artists do paint with their audience in mind, and I think that is great, but what is it you want your audience to know?

What good is art for the sake of egotistical artist expressing themselves, if all they have to express is dark, vile, sinful, disgusting, hurt feelings? I don’t want your personal vomit of gross expression, I don’t want to see it, and I don’t want to buy it.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I paint with a mood, with a feeling, but I always try to keep the viewer in mind. I want my viewers to feel uplifted and hopeful. I paint because I want to encourage those who interact with me and my art.

So this is my charge to all my fellow, fabulous creatives! Be a conscious creator, one who doesn’t just vomit your feelings, bad and ugly, out for your audience. Rather, I encourage you and I dare you to create and promote, what is lovely and of good repute.

Updates and Recaps

Updates and Recaps

First let me entice you with an update. My pre-holiday sale is happening now through November 14. Shop your Christmas presents. 15% off all originals, prints, and commissions. Contact me before the holiday rush, I will not take any Christmas commissions after December 1 so get them in while you can!

In other news last weekend was a pop up show at Whimpop in Alexandria, VA. I just want to thank all the friends and family who came out to support me, it really meant a lot to me. Also a shout out to the Instagram followers who showed up and surprised me. It is so much fun meeting people in person instead of just online. The event was filled with new faces, margarita popsicles, wine, and friendly conversation. Most of all I think I enjoyed getting to talk and spend some time with fellow creative Ann Marie Coolick, Jordan Wine, and Kristen Try. These talented ladies are so kind and fun-loving. I hope to do more events and collaborations with them in the future.

In other news don’t forget to checkout my new gift cards! Do you know someone who wants an original, print, commission, or party? Give them a Christmas gift card to my shop!

Also this little stunner has made her way to the site. Check it out! Prints and original still available!

That is about it for all recent news and updates! Stay tuned!

7 Tips for Styling a Mantel

7 Tips for Styling a Mantel

On today’s Wednesday Blog Day! I’ve enlisted the help of interior designer Joanna Carden’s professional interior design skill. Today she taught me 7 tips for styling a mantel! Read on for her expert styling tips below! – Christine

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A fireplace tends to be the focal point of a living room, but too often it’s left untouched or is simply underwhelming and blends into the background. Don’t let this tragic waste of space happen to you.

These tips are incredibly easy to execute on, and you can probably find many of the pieces I’ll suggest around your house already. Also, keep in mind that there are innumerable ways to style your mantel—I haven’t been granted any universal style rule-making authority yet. But, hopefully you can mix my tips with your own personal style to create something unique and completely you.

Fair warning: I often prefer an eclectically-styled mantel. This way, you get a variety of different tones, textures, and colors; something that is cohesive and not overwhelming. It’s also my favorite excuse to use my favorite accent pieces, whether they are new or a family heirloom, to make it a little more personal.

Without further adieu, here are my tips for styling your mantel!

1. Anchor piece – Use an anchor piece 2/3rds the size of the mantel. Actually, you can reliably use that rule for almost anything you decorate. Christine’s gorgeous art was perfect for the mantel in my house, so that will be my example! It’s tall, so we’ll layer it with another piece in a minute to help even it out. Remember to place the anchor piece in the middle, but a little off center. It helps the mantel feel balanced and not heavy towards one side when you’re layering.

 

2. Layering art – Layer art that’s proportional to the anchor piece. If it’s too large, it will be overwhelming to the anchor piece. If it’s too small, it will blend in. Layer it to the side just enough to create a horizontal balance. And then, of course, step back and take a look to see how it feels!

 

3. Horizontal lines – Pay attention to horizontal and vertical lines. Horizontal lines give your eyes a soft jump to the vertical pieces. Both horizontal and vertical lines help create depth for your eyes and ensure everything seems cohesive. By adding a few books on the sides, you can create those horizontal lines. Then, add taper candlesticks in your favorite candlestick holders to create height.

4. Contrast/Tones – Try to always bring contrasting colors together. I love muted, light, and white tones, but I also always attempt to bring in warm and darker tones to contrast. Since they’re so many lighter pieces, the wooden, sculptural accent and dark vase help bring a little contrast to the mantel.

5. Sculptural accents – Bring in sculptural pieces to add visual interest. The wooden piece adds tone, sculpture, and height. Place it wherever there is negative space. I like to layer it in front of the art or anchor piece. I also love adding a few little pieces like this white glass knot paperweight.

 

6.Odd numbers – Always use odd numbers. I usually go for 5-7 pieces. The ‘rule’ is an odd number of items are usually more appealing to the eye. The books count as one, both candlesticks count as one, etc.
7. Sizing – All of your pieces should be proportional. This is a corollary to Tip #4. If everything is tiny or everything is large, your eyes won’t know where to look and you’ll tend to ignore it all together. Mix them up to contrast! Tiny pieces are just as important as your large anchor piece in giving your mantel some personality. I love my small accent pieces.

I hope these tips will help you build beautiful spaces in your home. Please, please, please feel free to share how you’ve styled your mantel with one of Christine’s paintings, or whichever space where you choose to apply these tips. We’d both would love to see! Don’t forget to check out Christine’s paintings and prints to help start your styling process.