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Into the Wild

 

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About a month ago we were driving to work. Which happens to be through the mountains, here in Tennessee. We turned a corner and there was a small black bear scurrying across the road. We stopped briefly to take a picture and watched as he scampered into the woods without any care that we had been there at all.

Since we moved into our new house in the woods, I have been taking such notice at all of the wildlife we see each day. There is a small groundhog that has made a home and several holes in our yard that we named “Diggy” and a raccoon that visits us in the middle of the night we call “Randy” We saw a corn snake that we hope moved on. I have seen more spiders than I really care to and we are teaching the girls to leave them be and not be afraid of them. There’s birds and bugs and wildflowers. I grew up in the woods and all of this was so common to me, however, I have lived “within city limits” for so long that I have seemed to have forgotten what a wonder it is to coexist with nature and all of her creatures. Being a native to the Smoky Mountains leaves some room to take seeing a black bear for granted. People come from all over the country to see the same things that I see each day. Sometimes I think it is important to take a step back and consider the magic of it all. Getting lost in the woods and smelling the forest, hearing the sounds and seeing nature untouched by “civilization” is something that has always been home to me. I feel alive in the woods and all of the weight of the world lightens as I am brought to the awareness that I am in fact quite small. The forest does not need me or my “problems” to continue to evolve. My dad and I took a hike about a month ago and as we came around the trail there was a huge rock. It was probably 500 ft tall. I walked up to it and touched it. I wondered how many people walk past it not even taking notice in their hurry to finish the hike and get on to the next moment that the day required… Lunch, work, school. And I wondered how many people stopped just like I did and felt of it captivated like it had a heartbeat and was alive.

I read a quote that said “Art is not what you see but what you make others see”. I can’t help but think about what others may see when they look at my art. I wonder if they just see a painting. An object. Or if they see a creation or a story. Something that inspires them to be alive? My true passion is creating and making. If no one cares, much like the forest, I will continue to make things. If they love my work and appreciate it, I will continue to make things.

I learn so much from nature. My hope for you is to find some time to appreciate nature yourself. To take some time to smell the wild air. Hear the river’s songs. Appreciate it and grow a little from being a part of it.

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Evolution

I am currently sipping coffee, waiting for the madness of the day to take over. I have a schedule that tells me what I will be doing hour by hour for the rest of the day. At home, our belongings are packed, waiting in boxes to move to our next home. Another stop on our journey. We’ve been fortunate to find a new home nestled in the woods with a lovely new workspace. As I’m daydreaming the possibilities and my creative spirit takes over, I am also reflective… When I look at who I was one year ago. Two years ago. Ten years ago. And who I am today, I am simply not the same. Each new day I am a changed person. My artwork, my craft, has also evolved into new things. What was once a hobby and a pastime has taken a paramount place in my life. Making art for money was once a bucket list entry I was never entirely sure I would be checking off. Funny how things line up perfectly. Change, something typically feared by many people including me, has become something I am fond of. Something I have grown to invite and welcome. My creative process has evolved from planning a project and creating it perfectly as planned to- I don’t have a plan other than to create. My skills are more precise. I am noticing that it is a little more effortless to turn my ideas into creations. I am trying new mediums and allowing myself to be bad at them. There’s a new nomadic spirit in me that is taking my once small ideas of who I am and what is possible and making them infinite. 

As nature evolves and fall approaches, we are making some changes to  Some kind of nature thing. I am trusting the process of change. Allowing my creative palate to grow into whatever it is meant to become. It’s an exciting time. 

I hope if you are reading this and facing your own evolutions you will embrace them. It’s okay to start where you are.  

   

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Trusting the Process

As an Artist, THE most important thing that one must learn is to Trust the process. Matter-of-factly, in most everything that we do as humans, trusting the process opens us up to unlimited possibilities. It is important to be gentle, patient with ourselves. To speak kindly to ourselves and love ourselves fully. The exact same is true for making artwork. My inner critic starts to chime in some times. There are times when I am frustrated because my hands cannot do what my mind is visualizing. Or the paint is too fluid or too thick and it “messes up” my entire piece. If I can be mindful, and push past this to be able to take a deep breath, center and trust the process… I find the therapeutic benefits of art. I find that the brush takes on it’s own spirit and I am simply there to observe and see the wonders of what is happening on the paper. I made a quick time lapse video of me painting some florals, mostly just to play around with the technological capabilities… I have watched it over and over in wonder. See the creation magically come to life on the paper. I watched my own hands going through the artistic watercolor process. And where once lay a white blank page, was now a small creation. There was no specific way to do the florals. No wrong way- this way or that way. It was simply picking the brush up and allowing myself to create.

I believe that life is a process in itself. And if we are paying the right amount of attention at the right time, it brings us opportunities. Some kind of nature thing itself is an opportunity that came to life. I have been given the opportunity to join a group of upcoming creatives called “The Wander Trees”. We are all young artists finding our places in the world. We are passionate about art and nature and love and sharing all of these things with the world. We will be traveling to festivals and giving back to the community. All of the great things that an artist can truly hope to be involved in. I feel so blessed and so grateful to be a part of something so magical. Trusting the process that we can all bring our talents and make a difference. Life does not expect us to go out and move mountains by ourselves always…We just have to be ready to go all in when the opportunity comes to us.

trail days s s east west Artist_SigLine (1)

I am enjoying this beautiful journey. I am challenging myself as an artist and trying new things. We are working on some game art for our second mobile app coming soon; It feels a little bit like walking in really high heels. Using markers and colored pencil instead of watercolor. I am reminded of how comfortable we can often get in our lives. And how exciting trying new things can be. I have also been making some jewelry and playing with beading and wrapping stones. Creativity is unfolding and I am just allowing it… Seeing where it can take me. It’s when I remove myself and my own expectations that I am most successful in my artwork and making: It’s not about me.  My recent obsession is perfecting my hand lettering and making greeting cards. I am absolutely the biggest fan of a greeting card. What could possibly be more thoughtful than taking your thoughts and writing them down for someone you care about? I have been creating several new greeting cards and plan to add them to the shop very soon.

We are on our way to the sea in two days! Spending 12 days there. WE need to spend some time with the sun and let the saltwater wash our spirits for a while. I am excited to see what the new scenery will do for my creative spirit. Look for some nautical creations soon! I hope that each of you spend some time creating and let go and trust the process in your own lives.

Peace & Love,

Sarah

Time Lapse Painting:

Paint