Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year, new paint, and thanks to those that helped me along the way.

6x6 oil on panel, click here to buy

Well, it's hard to believe it's been one full year since I began my quest to paint I look back at the past year and how far I have grown as a person and artist, I'd like to acknowledge those that have either inspired me, encouraged me, or helped me along the way. I will try to link their blog or website if applicable.

A bit of history on how I got my start last year: I had just finished another hectic year of trying to make a living making and selling my fused glass creations....I was exhausted by the constant routine of art shows, making and selling art glass that I wasn't inpired at all to make (for example sports teams, and snowmen!) I decided I needed a break, and as my family and I wrote out our annual "bucket list"-everything we would like to accomplish in the coming year- on New Year's eve 2010, I looked back at the past 4 years of lists we had done together, and I noticed one constant: finish a painting.

I hadn't picked up a brush in years, yet it was what I remember loving most about art. I spent hours that night scouring the internet, looking for painting tutorials to get started. I was hooked, but I had no materials to speak of, it was New Years! Nothing was open and I only had $10 anyway. I went to Walmart, bought a pack of 3 canvases and a set of acrylics....I didn't have enough money for brushes. I took them into the studio and proceeded to paint my first daily painting, with my fingers. (side note: I tried to sell it in the first few months of painting, but after a time, I took it off the market.....It now hangs in my studio as an example of my humble beginnings and how far I have come in just one short year.)

One of the daily painters I found and was inspired by was Roisin O'Farrell, an artist from Ireland, who graciously added me as her friend and continues to inspire me with her growth as an artist. Because of her, I have made lots of new Irish friends and, in a way, feel as if I am part of their little circle even though we've never met.

Ever curious, I continued my online hunt for inspiration and it wasn't long before I found Carol Marine and the Daily Paintworks site and soon as I found these challenges I found a kind of structure for myself.....If ever I was stuck, I would go to DPW and do a challenge, sometimes more than once...once, I got so involved I did 5 of the same challenge! I used to sit at my computer on Saturday mornings waiting for the new challenge to be posted and run out to the studio to get it done....Now, I'm a bit behind on the challenges, but at least I have somewhere to go if I ever get "stuck" . Now DPW has become a site for auctions for artists, and I even had the pleasure of attending Carol's workshop.

After a few months of painting and blogging, I actually began being noticed locally. I was asked to show my work in several venues in surrounding towns and thanks to Tamera Rooney of Red Tornado Gallery, I met many local artists and sold several paintings to local collectors. As much as I tend to be a hermit and recluse, it's nice to have friends and fans nearby! Thanks to Tamera's friendship, I met an artist named Margie Shoop, who purchased a painting of a little bunny she fell in love with...she traded the painting for a few horseback riding lessons for my 13 year old daughter. This was life changing for Alexa, as she now has her own horse and has learned the value of hard working working at the barn with her horse and 7 others. Margie is an Equestiian photographer, and shows a side of horsemanship that takes a horselover to understand; it's as if you see the heart and spirit of the horse through her work.

I have been incredibally blessed to have the support of my fiance Jim who trusts that someday he can retire and I will support him with my art ;) Whether this happens or not is not important but the fact that he believes it to be so means the world to me. My dear friend Scott Lightfoot has also been my biggest cheerleader, and as he continues his fight againt cancer, I pray that this year he finds success in his own quest for artistic success.

I'm posting my first 2 paintings of the year, and since I've been out of practice after taking the last two weeks off, these are a bit rough, but alas, we all begin somewhere.....good luck to all this year, and if you ever need help or encouragement along the way, please don't hesitate to ask.


  1. Wonderful post Kristen and Happy New Year to you!

  2. awww thanks Gina! I forgot to post that your posts bring me to tears often and make me wish to be a better person, especially to my own honor yours so well!

  3. What a nice blog post Kristen. I enjoyed visiting the links you inserted and enjoyed seeing your two new paintings. Best to you for the new year.

  4. I also enjoyed your story and the links. It introduced me to new artists...and I enjoyed seeing your latest bright and colorful.

  5. Beautiful paintings to start the new year, Kristen! Congratulations on your blogging/painting anniversary, too. Keep up the great work, girl! :)

  6. OK first paintings- The duck just plain funny, totally your since of humor,the colors are awesome and a composition you can be excited about! Those oranges are so yummy juicy looking. You nailed it, great shadows.
    Now personally you are inspiring yourself. Ruth Ann's doing it, I'm going to participate(I set up the blog)- but these are just because of you and your infectious spirit! So thank you!

  7. Hi Kristen,
    What an inspiring story! It is amazing how much your life changed over the course of a year once you began to follow your dream. I'm an artist too, and find that the more I honor my gift, the happier it makes me.

    I'm going to follow you blog and hope to see many, many paintings.
    Wishing you a fantastic 2012

  8. I enjoy your work and how you sincerely tell about your life as an artist.
    I have painted for a very long time but I left off in mid December, for Christmas, and haven't resumed, yet. I'm uninspired and at a loss as to what to paint. Looking for inspiration on the www I have only just found you this morning. I've never entered a DPW challenge ... perhaps that's what I ought to do?!
    Kudos to you for taking the 30 in 30 challenge.
    Thanks and cheers!

  9. Thank you everyone for reading my posts and taking the time to comment. It seems like just yesterday I was doing the same on other artists posts, looking for inspiration and help!