book projects

How do you get better?

Some OG art…gosh I need to paint this. 

People always ask this question, expecting a magical answer. They expect a cookie cutter plan. The truth is simple. Show up. Show up in every sense of the word and PLAY.

Nothing more than writing three books has helped me understand this.  That’s it , nothing fancy or crazy. Just show up with an idea. Most people show up for a few days and then give up.

I have learned to recognize resistance, Lizard Brain. 

The way I see it is you can play. Immerse yourself in your idea and let that emotion pour out on the canvas.

Canvas can be a song, a book, or anything really. Yes, it’s how you say it. Yes, its how you feel. 

Or, and here’s the ugly truth,  you could  edit, overthink, analyze, doubt, fear, put-off, deny, forget, lie, erase…its all the same. 

My best work happens within the very first rounds. I create this idea in my mind, paint and there it is. Ok, maybe there’s a little what am I trying to convey here. 

Problem is for those firsts to be awesome, lots of showing up has to happen.   I get that now. 

-there are no impossibilities

wise trees book

List of Wise Tree Lessons

I worked for an entire year on this project. I feel like its time to reflect and make sure I don’t forget  what I’ve learned. Here goes and off the top of my head:

  1.  Listen to creativity. It will steer you in the right direction So will curiosity and imagination. These guys are your best friends. They got your back.
  2. Idea will show up when you least expect it. That’s why number 1 is number one
  3.  

4. Resistance will show up. It’s the voice that tells you to check your email. It’s the voice that thinks up every excuse on why and how you’ll fail. Listen to it.Resistance shows  just when an an amazing idea pops in your head. 

5.  Paint my trees. Paint my way PERIOD.

6. The right  project lets you play instead of work.And you have to play to reveal the jewels. 

7. You have to get uncomfortable

8. Set your goal and stick to it.

9. I don’t have to have all of the answers

10. OK have some idea otherwise you waste time.

11. Wait do I even have to have a goal? 

12. Just paint

13. LET THE KID PLAY. 

14. All it takes is lousy ideas to stumble on a great one. We’re good. All stocked up here.

15. First Ideas are always the best. Do not ever throw or dismiss these!

16. Problems happen when I  think to much. Did I say problems? I mean frustration. 

17. At the moment lizard brain shows up, well that’s when I know to keep going.

18. What the heck took me so long? I don’t know, can’t, what if…resistance

19. Perfection is resistance.

20. Come at a place of  Love.

21. I love to write and paint about love and curiosity. That’s me. I’m a sensitive soul. I love people. i mean when has that ever steered me wrong. 

22. Never wait around for someone to decide if my work is worthy. That’s my job. 

23. I published my e-book. It’s imperfectly perfect and I’m proud of it.

24. I can and I will. I have!

wise trees book

Whimsical Tree

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I am not happy with this tree. I knew better. How could I not mix up the perfect brown?

 

SO I repainted over it. I had to make it work and I may have…

hug tree.png

I’m not liking the dark areas, especially the left corner.  I do love the idea.  If there’s time I will repaint this exact tree.

Notes:

  • use green and orange to make the perfect brown
  • Why did I mix the wrong color? Maybe It’s time to clean my palette?
  • more contrast
  • add more blue
  • test out other brushes
  • an angle brush works good
  • do I want to have leaves go in all directions?
  • It’s great to paint with a brush any other way except for the “right way””
  • Wait I should try this exercise?

 

I realize that all of my trees are whimsical. I question why I painted all the trees without dirt or grass–except for a few.

 

 

I thought about changing this but why should I. Maybe it brings home the idea that each tree is valuable. That individual value has to come first before the worldly value comes. YEESSS. I knew curiosity had a reason. We are almost done.

There are no impossibilities

 

 

 

thoughts are things

practice

 

 

I’ve grown since I painted the first wise tree. For every wash and texture that went wrong, I learned–learned how to find my place, to practice and FLOW. Yeah I’ll write books for while.  I rewrote the Ana and George. Ana isn’t a bee anymore. Not sure what animal she’ll be.

I came across the loveliest work twice. A giraffe who stands tall, his neck becoming part of the pattern of birds flying in the sky. The awesome quote treads,” I’m like a bird.” What a wonderful idea!

And the other is an I Heart Guts collection. It’s cute, funny, and unmistakable.

Both of these are unmistakable and creative.  Both are created by artists who simply did.

 

-There are no impossibilities

 

 

wise trees book

The final tree and no second guessing

I thought to replace this tree

watercolor painted tree swing

But why not keep it.  Let’s see–let me work on the writing for this.

Then theer’s this tree. Not enough WOW.

 

 

bountytree

 

I had been out and about when there it was, the biggest tree and beautiful too. I thought,”That’s it! That has to be the final tree I paint.

With help from my drawing class I painted the form.

painting of the form of a tree

hand painted big tree

But now that I think of it, I like this tree too. I don’t know why I second guess myself. I have to stop doing this, otherwise I will fall in the trap of it’s not good enough. I will stop that right now.

bountytree

 

 

I’ll go back and continue working on this tree. This is a big powerful tree but I need to make a few changes…

hand painted big tree

 

 

 

Notes:

  • I used a little too much orange when mixing the brown
  • keep working on form
  • use the clone tool to fix the left side of the tree
  • maybe I should have used a thinner brush?
  • yeah add some more leaves
  • I realize now that I focused on the image A LOT side by side as I was painting and that put pressure on me. I should have just created freely after studying the tree.
  • the color and the form of the 1st step tree is beautiful

Time to get painting.

Done

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I can’t believe the stuff I painted these past few days. God it feels so good. Thank you.

-Imagine all the impossibilities that are possible

 

wise trees book

Kraft paper brush Tree

 

 

papertreeTechnique inspired by an awesome painter. He painted with newspaper and I painted with a kraft paper roll.  This was a powerful lesson on exploring your creativity. Now I have one more tree for the Wise Trees book. Lots of trees and soon will come the time to scan them and create a story book layout…SO GLAD I FOUND Affinity Photo! That’s all thanks to an Instagram friend!

Imagine all the impossibilities that are possible.

wise trees book

Painting a tree with a sponge brush

I am so glad I MADE this awesome brush.  I saw this fantastic brush and I wanted to make one a whole lot smaller. I had this old sponge brush and a fabulous idea…LOVE WHEN THAT HAPPENS!

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I used a little yellow and green acrylic paint. Did I mix in tempera paint? I may have. All I know is I applied the paint in layers. First yellow and then green. I wanted to build up contrast and get these various tones of green. I applied paint and magic happened…this breeze and the yellow just gives it a warm carefree rhythm. I love it. Another tree for the wise trees book.

V tree

I simply had an idea and 15 minutes later it turned out BRILLIANT! More trees to paint and …WAIT A MINUTE… I should continue this mixed media exploration for the next book side project. YES I shall paint fabulous animal characters for my Ana Bee and George Bird book. Sounds like a fabulous idea. I love working on art and there’s NOTHING in the world I’d rather do and I love so much! Thank goodness for that!!

Imagine all the impossibilities that are possible. 

 

book projects, wise trees book

Clever Painting Brush

Sometimes I see trees and imagine that MAYBE the leaves of a tree are just it’s hair. Trees must need their leaves like we need our hair. I smile and the tree smiles back. The warm sun and the breeze come along for the ride. This sounds CRAZY I know,  but maybe I have a gift for IMAGINATION that I shouldn’t hide

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YES, this is going to look great in my book…one page of the many trees I will paint. And all it took was a walk, my imagination, some paint and a size 10 round brush.  I press here and there and everywhere. Wow this looks amazing! Adding a teal tempera paint made the whole tree pop. I love it!!!

Imagine all the impossibilities that are impossible because I’m doing it right now!