Why I am a Watercolor Mastery Student

Summer Grass (sold)
My first piece of art that was in a Gallery in Des Moines.this summer 

Get your watercolors ready, this is going to be a great journey! Angela Fehr is enrolling students to her Watercolor Mastery Class! It's a 6-week class to help watercolor artists become their favorite artist! I can't wait to be a student in her class!

My Top 5 reasons why I am taking this class:

My Loose Rose study from AF. Lovely Loose Floral class

1. I really at a crossroads with watercolor, I know more than enough techniques, that I can critique my own paintings, But I am not Loving my paintings as much as I was hoping for. I want to love what I paint, (more often than not)

2. I need a Creative distraction. Seriously, I am making drama in my family's life, when that drama needs to be on the page- Just Keeping it real for you guys! Thanks, Julia Cameron for that!

3. I feel like it's time for me to grow as an artist, and Angela is so authentic with her teaching that I feel comfortable stretching and growing my skills as she helps mentor her students, it's really a great feeling knowing she is there to help you! I have learned so many insights from her critiques and comments!

Single Rose study
4. I need a reason to paint. I have a painting in my mind, ALL THE TIME. But the fear and the reality of  "doing the work" get's in the way. I really want to change my mindset, and be more proactive when I am painting. I want to always be painting with confidence, and I know without a doubt this 6-week class will help with that.

5. I need some time to myself. I need to grow as an artist and I need that structured time for my self to learn, so in 2019 I can hit the ground running with my art. I know I need this time because I just got done with the Lovely Loose Floral class Angela did on Facebook, which was amazing! I missed that painting daily challenge, Opps- there's my confession, my paints are drying out and it makes me sad! 

If you were able to take a watercolor class to help with your skills, what class would you take, and why?

Paint with me, and Angela and the rest of her students, This is a gift you can give yourself to become your favorite artist, and I can't wait to see what creativity you, and I can come up with when working with watercolor! Her enrollment starts today and ends when the class is full, or when it starts. I missed out last time because I was to slow! I can't miss out again!  Go here for all the info you would need to get started! 

See you in Class!

Positive Vibe Cards to your BFF

Warm-ups are part of an artist's way of producing art.
the background was simple line brush strokes to learn
what blues can do. Adding a simple sentiment with a
frame around it helps tie in the composition.
I used only one stamp: Penny Black's Hope Shines Through.
We all need those phone calls, cards, and prayers when a friend, or a family needs emotional support at times right?

I thought I would share with you some of the cards I like to send that really don't take to much time to do. If you like watercolor the fun part is, you have paintings, or exercises to help you make these cards fast, (the hard part is already done for you right?  Let me  Explain:

As a watercolor artist, I have a ton of good paintings that will not see the light of day, seriously my batting average for a good painting is like 1 out of 15, so twice a month I will have a good painting that I am willing to frame. ( that leaves me with a bunch of extra paintings to make cards out of! Hah!

So my process is simple, I buy a lot  of Background stamps, they serve two purposes,
1. They are perfect for watercolor warm-ups and I can use the stamped background for easy Clean and Simple Cards (CASS)
2. The background stamps are usually really open-ended so I can do a lot with them including mixed media pieces.

Pair background stamps with some nice size sentiments and you have a good card to send with your artistic style. It's that simple let me show you some ideas!

I like to save time in my creating time that I do have, so you will often see me stamp with black or brown archival ink on some card panels, that way when I am ready to paint I have some things already to add pigment too, it's up to me to decide what kind of media I want to use.
I enjoy Mandalas for uplifting and encouraging cards.
This background stamp is from Taylored Expressions
 I will also see the end from the beginning with cards and stamps, I will clear heat to emboss knowing what I want to do with it (watercolor) to get a resist effect. Then later I will add a sentiment that fits the occasion.

Star Background Stamp from Taylored Expressions
Faith Sentiment from Penny Black
 used Kureatake's Pearl Colors
A great way to make an uplifting card is keeping the color palette simple and easy, using your knowledge of color and keeping it as simple as possible will really help. This card I was strategic, I knew I wanted the stars to stand out just a bit, so I glazed over them with other colors to give it a pop of color. It works great, and I enjoyed making it.

I also love when a style of a card shows through unexpectedly, What I mean, is this stencil is from Penny Black, and I just love it, I used a gold texture embossing paste and it was so pretty as a background I had to use it for something elegant, I didn't want to take away from the beauty, so I added a vellum panel and heat embossed this sentiment to add to the simple beauty of this card. What a beautiful wedding card this will make! For this card, I used the Penny black Faith Sentiment set again and PB's Vine stencil.
I would love to know what you think makes a good uplifting positive vibe card? Does humor take a part in it? (something I lack in my card designs!?)

Happy Creating, When creating positive and uplifting vibe cards, it gives me a lot of peace and joy that comes from the process of creating the card. Then when I send the card to a friend, I get that joy back from a phone call, or a text saying thank you for the card, (my joy comes from making the card and sending the card to a dear friend!)

Happy Creating!

how to Craft a Christmas Card Collection

Crafting a Country Christmas Card Collection makes me happy! Here are some of my insights on how I created this collection. Links to the products I used are at the bottom of this post. Thank you Blue Knight Stamps for providing these stamps to share!

A Winter Cabin in the Woods

A good Card collection has a certain style to it that makes you feel like it's a complete collection.

Snowy Village

Winter Barn

While designing this collection, I wanted each card to feel like a part of a Christmas event I celebrate.

Car in a Scene
 I wanted to add my thoughts at Christmas through activities I cherish, For example, Sunday Before Christmas, Our big multi-generation family Christmas at a lodge, The scene of Christmas day, Going to Grandma's for Christmas brunch or dinner. sharing Christmas with Farming Friends that keep it real! 

Snowy Village

Some design elements and tips that helped with having a united look was having stamps that had the same feeling I was trying to convey. The stamps needed to be open-ended for watercolor and yet detailed enough so I didn't have to color them too much. These stamps from Blue Knight Stamps were the perfect fit for that! 

Have a simple color pallet, I love keeping Christmas Cards simple with some pop.      When designing a card collection I always ask why? Why am I creating it, Why would my viewer want to have this collection of Cards? Why would I want to display these as a whole as Christmas decorations? Those questions all have great value in creating a cohesive look.  Creating Country Christmas Cards I had to add some flannel or plaid, I also wanted some simple watercoloring, So there you have a simple watercolor style with some really impressive stamps. I hope you have a wonderful time creating some Christmas Cards for your loved ones this year. I always enjoy mailing them out and getting text messages back saying they loved my card I sent. Isn't it a great feeling when you send a card you made for a friend or family. I always hope that they want to frame the cards, these cards are frame worthy I think. 

Stamps I used: All from Blue Knight stamps. They offer free shipping on orders more than $50

Some of my favorite Materials I use for my watercolor cards:
Mixed Media Paper (for the stamped panel.)

A class you may want to take if you want to learn more about watercolor cards that I love and recommend is Creative Watercolor with Angela Fehr. Worth every Penny! 

Paint a garden in October: Free Refrence photo's

Oh NO! The flower gardens are drying up, and the bright colors of summer are turning muted and greyish brown. I have to preserve those beautiful summer colors that I wish could stay around all year long, Who is with me on that?
Learn watercolor through painting florals

I am so excited that Angela Fehr is opening her loose and lovely floral class starting October 1st. Not only that, she is going to have a special facebook group and videos to help all students that are enrolled in her lovely loose floral class to excel with watercolor! I love the live video content from her, she has repeatedly answered my questions on her live feed, and I am able to get an insight into how she conducts her paintings. I am really enjoying the process of watercolor, Angela has really helped me learn that the process of painting should be a joy of painting.

I hope you follow along with me, and Angela with her interactive class! 

To get you motivated I wanted to share with you some of the floral pictures I have been sitting on to paint. If you see one you like to use it for a reference, inspiration, Creativity is meant to be shared and I love to take pictures of flowers. Just give me credit, and share with me your painting!

Loving these colors, (this was taken at the Flower and Garden Expo at Epcot.) 

I just love the Characteristics of these flowers, I hope to create these flowers in my own artistic interpretation. 

I had to make this BW, the Value is wonderful, looks like a fun loose painting at it's finest!

I love this color combo!

a simple warm-up that was inspired by the class. 
experimenting with brushwork, I love the bright and cheerful mood this painting gives.
Painting a rose warmup.

This is one of my favorite florals I have painted, thanks to the lovely loos floral class. 

I truly hope that if you are wishing to expand your watercolor skills that you take the time to take this class while Angela has it open for enrolment. Can't wait to see what you can create! I can't wait to see what I can create!  Creativity knows no bounds! Let's learn together!

If you are wondering when and why to include some art in your day, I recommend reading Art Before Breakfast. It changed how I view creativity and painting every day. 

Disclaimer, I am an affiliate for Angela Fehr, When you click on a class through my blog and purchase a class, you are supporting my blog.

5 minute floral cards With Watercolor: my insights

I stamped the rose in both corners, bleeding the stamped image, watercolored it in a gestural way (which really means fast and I wasn't paying to much attention to the lines.) then stamped the rose a third time and cut that third rose out and placed it where it needed to go. (usually behind a mistake.) 

I am a very impatient person, and because of that, watercolor is my main choice of medium. I also know that my style is minimalistic, I don't want or need all the extra doodads  I love the simple lines, and textures that I am able to create. 

I am always looking for that just right floral stamp with a simple sentiment to make for a close friend or family member. I thought I would share some of my insights and techniques. With links to help you learn that technique. 

The big bloom rose stamp from Taylored Expressions is one of my go-to floral stamps. Here (above and lower picture,) has so many uses, I am showing two composition ideas. The stamp is the main focus, so I tried to keep it simple, letting the line work be the main art. 

Taylored Expressions Big Bloom Rose. used watercolor paper with watercolor brush markers to add the tone and value, to get the color to blend I used a water brush. Added a sentiment from Taylored Expressions to polish up the card. 

What is it about line stamps that I love, It's so open-ended... This is a simple card that really could be done in multiple times really fast and easy and you can make multiple panels and come back and add a sentiment for when you need a card for the right occasion. I used embossing powder and heat set it to resist the ink/or watercolor. It really was super easy. I made like 5 panels with this simple stamp from Stampendous. Then I used the smoosh technique to add some color, keeping a careful eye where the ink is at. Then added a sentiment, This card works because of the rules of thirds and compositionally it's pleasing to the eye. 

This Flower is a Penny Black Brush stroke stamp, It's such a fun stamp to use! Here is my tutorial on this. 

I enjoy a good watercolor wash on cards. Meaning not a whole lot of watercolor painting goes into the card, you use the stamp as the art, and enhance the stamped image with some watercolor. This works because all the art is in the stamp, and it's elegant the way it is. A simple card like this is great for so many occasions. (not ever card I think has to have a sentiment on the front.)

Brushos are great for 5 min. watercolor. Seriously, if you know your color theory, (working light to dark, primary colors first to secondary colors then this can become an easy card to make. I used a Penny Black stamp for this floral card, but any good line drawing of a stamp would work. 

My last 5-minute card was a simple wet into wet technique. Or WOW! you wet one pedal at a time and then dab in some paint and watch the paint wosh across the wet area. It's a fun process to watch. A bit delicate to do but the wow factor is there! The nice thing about this cad is I didn't use that many colors and you can get a lot of different hues.  This is a Stampedous stamp that works for so many spring occasions! 

If you are looking for a good watercolor card class I recommend Her Creative watercolor class from Angel, she is down to earth and has a ton of nuggets of knowledge to share about watercolor cards! Or you can join her online free classes (which is awesome if you are learning watercolor.)
One of my favorite watercolor card class!
One of the best free watercolor classes online- I loved it!

Transitions in life

A watercolor piece I had to paint recently to paint myself calm in the mist of our moving Chaos.

You know those life events that happen when you least expect it, That is where we are, We are in the process of moving and selling our house, and while I was hoping to get a ton of blog posts out this summer, I chose to live life with my kids and focus on my family a bit more than blogging. (I still have a young family of a 9-year-old, 6-year-old and a 4-year-old. Between going to speech visits and Occupational therapy ever other days this summer knocked me off of my blogging game.

Transitions in life or My transitions into learning more about what my kids need from a mother and moving has taught me to trust my heart and soul to do the right thing.

If living an artful life has taught me anything it's that as a creative I always can find a space and time to create and that is what really makes me happy!

Thank you for reading my insights, I really and truly hope that by October I will be back to posting at least 1 a week, and providing good content that will help you want to be creative!

Happy Creating!

Crafting an elegant birthday card

When I sit down to design a Birthday card I always ask my self a couple of questions first, like: Is the person I am making this card for in love with a certain color, theme, and go from there. Is there anything that has inspired me to help make the card special for the person that I am making the card for? What season is the birthday in, do I want it to be seasonal?
These cards above showed the simple use of color and what it can do for a card, I wanted Purple to stand out, so I used spun sugar and shaded lilacs for a monochrome card. 

Pictured to the left, I stamped the Birthday wishes sentiment. Then I used one small butterfly stamp to add visual interest from an old but classic butterfly stamp. I used second and third generation stamping to add dimension along with using shaded lilac and wilted violet distress inks. Then when I thought I was done, I went around the edges of this stamped panel and inked the edges with shaded lilac. 

  I love designing in seasons if I can add a feeling to a season I try to do it. This card looks elegant because of the colors and the stencil I used. The stencil and the Birthday sentiment stand out because I used the rules of thirds to make the card look elegant.

So my first design tip: stamp the sentiment it the right place first and you will be on the right track for a beautiful card. 

I start with the Birthday Sentiments, then a stencil, this one makes me think of lace, so I positioned the stencil with the rule of thirds in mind at the top of the card panel, then rubbed it with some fossilized Amber Distress Inks with the ink blender tool, then did the same on the bottom of the card.  Then inked the edges, it took me like five minutes to make this card, and yet the feeling of wow is what was needed.
 This Fall Card was done in the same way, I positioned the stencil on the edge of all four corners, but used a Fossilized Amber, Worn Lip Stick, and Walnut Stain Distress Ink, then inked the edges with Walnut Stain with a blending tool.
This is with a resist and Distress ink, The main Idea is that to stamp a Birthday Sentiment you can "spotlight" it while keeping the panel to one layer. Just keep some simple rules while stamping your sentiment:

1. use Design sense and composition rules when stamping.
2 Use colors that feel right to you, keep with a color theme to make more than just one card, that way you have extras for others.
3. Keep it simple and use other small stamps or stencils to jazz up a card!

Do you have a favorite way to use sentiments? I would love to hear about them!

Happy Stamping!

I don't want to brag too much but the Birthday sentiments on the cards, Best Wishes and Birthday Wishes are my designs (I created them) and you can get those stamps at Blue Knight Stamps, I am super proud to share these with you!

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