5 Ways Show Your Love With Art

Japanese print, artist unknown

February is the month of love or the month of proving you love someone by spending a ton of money on one particular day on the calendar.  Fancy dinners, boxes of chocolate, beautiful flowers, all these are wonderful…for a little while. By the end of the day, week or month all of those are usually gone and possibly forgotten.

I encourage you to show some love through art. Yes, money may still be involved but it will last a little longer than dinner or flowers.

Here are 5 ways to share some artsy love

1. Buy the one you love some art.

This is a no-brainer. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive (although it’s ok if it is!) but just something that reminds of the one you love or something you think they would love. Even though I am an artist and can create about anything I’d like, I still enjoy buying other art. I bought my husband a print on a wood block of blue jellyfish for his birthday. He loves jellyfish displays at aquariums and it made me think of him. When he used to travel to Japan for work, he would bring me a small print as a souvenir.

2. Commission an art piece of the one you love OR of something they love.

Most of my commissions have been gifts for other people. I’ve had several wives and children commission pet portraits for their spouse or parent. I even had someone commission a flower painting for her grandmother!

3. Give an art print card.

This is almost the same as buying art but with dual purpose. You can express your love in the card and your loved one gets a print that they can frame Yes, us artists know you do it and it’s ok. Even a few dollars buys more paint!

4. Make some art yourself.

Ok, sound hokey but hear me out. Every year for Mother’s Day my husband used to have each of the kids do a handprint and then he’d write either a simple poem or draw a simple line drawing. Now my husband is in telecom and is SOOO not an artist (sorry, dear, I know you’ll read this) but he’s creative and sweet. Do a doodle or rope the kids into helping. Your love will appreciate it! If creating solo makes you nervous then see #5.

5. Experience some art

Couples painting together at a Paint ‘n Sip

Either go see an exhibit or festival with that your love wants to see AND be patient when they want to stop and see every little thing (husband…hint, hint). OR go sign up to take a creative class together. DIY classes have now grown from the Wine and Paints to creating pottery, jewelry and everything in between. You get the experience of creating together and a physical reminder at the end of the class.

Have an Artsy Happy Valentine’s Day!

Feeling Empty…and it’s Wonderful!

I’m writing this post sitting outside on a deck at Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. I have a cup of coffee beside me, everyone else is inside asleep and I am soooooo relaxed.

I had thought this post would be about inspiration (and there may be one of those later), because a great deal of my work is coastal and stems from this very area. I have found that this trip I am just relaxing. We’ve been busy…playing in the ocean, kayaking, shell hunting…but we’ve also taken naps, worked on a puzzle and I’ve done quite a bit of sitting and reading.

I’ve definitely had moments of inspiration but instead of filling up I feel like I’m emptying out. That sounds a little crazy and counterproductive but I think it’s just right. I’ve had a very, very busy year (haven’t we all?) and everything that I’ve been juggling rattles around in my head, on my calendar, on my to-do list. It’s been a constant Did I? Do I need to? In other words…life.

Now I’m starting to feel empty. Empty of worrying and scurrying. There is nothing on my calendar, I haven’t even opened my to-do list once. It is a very peaceful feeling.

I know just as soon as we start driving home my mind will start to fill back up again, but maybe I can keep it a little tidier. Kind of like cleaning out that one closet that somethings falls out of every time you open it. Now my closet is empty…and I’m going to put things back a little more carefully!

The Seesaw: Attempting to Balance Life

Ah…that elusive word…Balance. The Holy Grail of our modern existence. We have to do so much, we want to do so much, we need to do so much. How do we balance it all?

I headed back out into the workforce a few weeks ago. With the move, I lost all my students. I’ve explored teaching option here in Virginia and decide I’m too impatient to start that chapter over in the same form it was in Texas. One of the biggest deciding factors is I don’t have a 17 year reputation and relationship with my community any more!

Income Options

I’m working on several options to regain my teaching income. First is converting my classes to online format. My first class, Drawing a Doodle, is already on Skillshare. I’m in the middle of production on my second, Coloring a Doodle.

I also decided see what type of part-time job I could find in the area. I was extremely lucky to find one that lets me pursue another of my passions, sustainable living. I love my job so far, especially because I’m out of my studio and around other people and it is only roughly 20 hours per week.

This leaves me time to continue my art career…sort of. Now comes the hard part: Balance. I still have all my mom/wife/housekeeping duties and I’m determined to not let my art drop as severely as the last time I worked outside the home.


Me at a Scout camp out in 2007

So how do I do it all? Make lists, prioritize, and understand it won’t all be perfectly done at the perfect time. I’ve divided my art business into several sections (this post coming soon) and instead of working a little on each one every week, I’m having to concentrate on one or two at a time. I check any deadlines coming up and then see what pressing projects I need to work on for the week. (This week is writing and creation.)

At home it is working the same way. The rain never seems to end here in Northern Virginia so when the sun shows up for a few minutes, I run outside to mow/garden/etc. We had visitors this weekend so it was time to get some neglected cleaning done. My house and yard aren’t perfect but I’m keeping my head above water.

Balance…for a second

The biggest thing I’ve discovered is that it is less about ‘balance’ and more like a seesaw. I find each week something takes a higher priority and by the end of the week… *BAM* ,,,, I’ve hit my butt on the ground. The next week is another priority so I kick off from the ground, slide to the other end and …*BAM* …I do it again.

This is ok though, because for a very brief second, as one end rises and the other lowers, they meet in the middle and, voila! Balance! Just don’t blink or you’ll miss the moment!

A dog plays on a seesaw with children in Scotland,

By Photographes du National Geographic (http://natgeofound.tumblr.com/) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

New Studio Tour

In my new home in Virginia, I had to let go of the classroom studio I had in my Texas home for so many years. The room my husband and I chose is a narrow room with a bay window on the first floor. It was meant to be a home office. While my husband works from home frequently, we prefer him to be up on the second floor away from the noises of everyday living (and out of my way!). The room is much smaller than the joined living room/dining room space I took over in Texas (see here for photos of that space). I had tried a smaller room like this once before in Texas so I thought I’d learn from past mistakes…don’t try to cram too much in there! Well, I didn’t learn as well as I thought I did.

Initially, I planned this room would be for creating art and working on my scrapbooks (a major hobby of mine). Any other crafts, like sewing, would be set up in the basement. Yes, basement! Woo-hoo…those things are really cool! I quickly discovered this room wasn’t quite big enough for both art and scrapbooking. I haven’t moved the scrapbooking supplies downstairs yet but you can see in the photos that it’s pretty tight.

With my daughter and grandson staying with us temporarily (her husband is proudly serving our country overseas), I also had to move ALL the cat stuff into the studio.
So a few issues I’m still working through but the positives are north light, great view from the bay window, built-in bookshelves and it’s still a room just for my artmaking!

Enjoy the messy photos, I’ll consider this my ‘before’ shots and post again when I get it cleaned up and organized.





Whoa…Big News

…I’m moving…a long (ish) ways away! My family and I will be relocating to Virginia at the end of this month.

This is an exciting move as my family is spread out along the East coast from New York to Florida.

This is a daunting move as we’ve had a life here in Texas for 20 years and in our current home for almost 17 years.

The biggest immediate change for me is I’ll no longer be teaching (at least in Texas). Although I did have one of my adult students suggest we Skype a few classes!

I also have a lot of artwork to move. I’m a little nervous about that from a bad experience with movers 20 years ago coming from North Carolina to here (picture a guy twirling…yes twirling… one of my portfolios in the air with artwork flying out the sides!).

So I’m having a BIG sale to see if I can re-home some of this work locally instead of moving it across country. Almost* ALL of my artwork will be half-price until June 29th.

To purchase anything you see on my website here  just email or call me.

To purchase small works on my Etsy shop, CBDArtStudio, here use coupon code MOVE50.

To purchase mixed media or collages on my other Etsy shop, CobaltBlueDreams, here use coupon code MOVE50.

*Please note that ACEOs and Commissions are not a part of this sale.

I don’t quite know what my art career will look like in Virginia…but I’ll always be an artist! Commissions are still accepted (with a slight delay at the moment.)

Hello, again!

When I decided to update the look of my website, I debated long and hard about bringing over my old blog. Reading through several years of posts…there were some good ones (and not so good ones!)

In the end, I wanted this site to be fresh and new and so I decide the blog should be fresh and new as well. I’ll do the ‘usual’ art posts of how-tos, new paintings, upcoming events, etc. but I’d also like this to be a site that celebrates ALL creativity not just traditional ‘art.’

I may share a few old posts now and then, sort of a ‘best of’ style, but for now…out with the old and in with the new!

Fall Harvest – Pomegranate, pastel, 4″x6″ ©Charlotte B. DeMolay