Tuesday, January 31

How do you get creative on demand?

The reality is that I have way less time to paint than you would think. Basically anyone who runs a business knows, you have to spend a lot of time doing all of the little things. Things like setting up computers and printers, getting ink, paper, boxes...If you want, I can explain how all of these little things get done in my own studio, but today I want to talk about how to be creative on a schedule.

What I mean is that I try to stick to a schedule in the studio, otherwise I end up waisting the day on Pinterest, or answering emails all day, and scattering my energy. That means that on Monday, even if I am not feeling it, I paint. No work on commissions, or anything for anyone that requires thought. Just do whatever comes to naturally. I have a schedule for the rest of the week, and I want to share that with you too, but I  also want to know what ingenius tricks you use to stay on schedule.

This is what works for me:
1. Monday morning I wake up knowing that all of my essential emails and "businessy" things are taken care of for the the day (on account of I did it over the weekend, or on Friday.)

2. Workout! Cardio, weights and pilates. Gives me energy for the whole day.

I rave about Pilates to anyone who will listen!
3. My dear sweet Coco and Moxie get to go to daycare on Mondays. Mostly they are fine at the studio, but I like to be able to stay as late as I like, and sometimes they get anxious. I refuse to have anything distract me on my free paint days. The doggy daycare by us is great, inexpensive and they even have cameras so I can see them if I feel like it during the day. Plus they can groom them if I need it.

Of course I could get a sexy dog walker...
4. After I get to the studio, shower and settle in I order lunch (at like 10am). It feels so special to have someone else make my lunch, b/c I usually bring my own food. Today it was a spinach salmon salad and a cappuccino. Yum. Eat half, save half for later.

Not spinach, but pretty right?
5. Pump up the jams and start painting. I try to remember to take breaks, and drink a lot of water. Some days I like to jump around and dance, other days I just listen to "The Power of Now" and am super in the moment all day. This is one of the paintings I busted out today.

The best thing about Mondays is that I get to experiment all I want! This weekend I went to town at my local art shop (I use Utrecht on Peachtree) because they had a 30% off sale. Hollah! I bought drippy watercolors, neon spray paint, crazy tape, all kinds of graphite and charcoal pencils, gold leaf and also tons of different kinds of glossy messes in tubs for to make the paintings special. I used them all! By the end of the day I have a couple of finished paintings, and many half started ones. I can finish them up later this week, or save them for next free paint day!

So that is how I get my creative day in. How do you do it? Do you have to wait until after work, or the weekends? Do you just get creative whenever the mood strikes? I wan't to know! Lets talk about it.

Monday, January 30

My dirty secret

is...... I have a lovehate relationship with traveling. I lived abroad for a year in college, and traveled all over the place, and boy do I have some stories from those days. It seems though that every single time I pack a suitcase, I get sick, pull a muscle, get food poisoning, loose something valuable...you name it. I pretty much have been miserable the whole time I was "on vacation" and really only appreciated it after I came home. I tried to be more in the moment for this trip (good advice for anyone, anytime), but I was just too uncomfortable for the most part. Now that I am home though....I can't wait for the next adventure! I have so many lined up that O is getting impatient with me :)

What! Those floors, that pattern...girl stop.
Someone was like all, my bathroom door must be special!
I still feel refreshed from our trip, and slightly traumatized about traveling. (flying is sooo gross)I chose Spain, b/c I knew my batteries would be recharged by hearing Spanish all day long, eating my favorite foods, and just soaking up how much I love Spain. I really wanted O to love this place as much as I do (when we met, we had many long talks about living there). Then Spain sort of spit in my food when I wasn't looking. Blah blah blah, it isn't until now, about a whole month later that I am beginning to experience the inevitable romanticizing of the trip that is the seed for the eventual hearty wanderlust. Oh the daydreaming the sighing and wistful gazing to come!

On one of our last days in Sevilla, when we felt less bad, we took a long walk along the river and spent time checking out the art, all kinds. 

I will admit it, I was superglad to be home after our trip, I felt quite dazed and...icky. Only now I remember it as contemplative and jet-setty (thats totally grammatically correct, right?) It certainly was not the first trip where I got sick, or had various other misadventures. Even as I took most of these photos (I was so high on meds that I didn't realize I took them all in hipstagram, oops!) We were just wishing for our own bed and snuggly puppies.

The weather was pretty killer, we spent a really nice time laying and looking up through the trees.

So now I am appreciating the inspiration I got from our adventure, oh the ART! It is good for anyone to have a reset, and that is what this trip was for us. I was so refreshed when I came home, and have been painting, and planning and excited to work where before I left I was moody no, pissy. For me it was particularly fun to re-experience the city I love so much with older, wise eyes. I realize that I had not forgotten anything at all, it was a clear and sharp in my memory as it is in life. Sevilla is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen, and we weren't even there for Semana Santa..next time.

Ahhh, this was one of our best days! We just lazed around, but it was so pretty. Then we just magically happend to wander into the bull ring when a tour was starting. I personally wanted to learn more about the actual building, and what it was like to build and blahblah, but they talked all about actual bull fighting. I found myself rooting for the bulls.

The rest of the day treated us to Sangria on a hotel rooftop overlooking the Cathedral and all the ancient rooftops, and flamenco so good I was tapping in my sleep.

Where is your next trip going to be? Do you ever take spontaneous trips abroad?

Thursday, January 26

Do you like peeking inside the studio?

We have been plugging away at the studio this week, as you can see. I have great plans for 2012, wanna hear? I have never really been one for resolutions, but lately I get all excited about the idea. These are just some images from around the studio yesterday, it was busybusy. That down there is a painting in progress.

There are so many things I want to talk about, and I finally decided we should just talk about them. Like how to organize your business finances (someone please tell me!) or do you want to know what a regular day is like in the studio? Or what the deadline calendar looks like? Maybe we can talk about overcoming creative block, what happens when you get too deep into the flow (I know all of you creative types are nodding your messy buns right now). Do you have any suggestions?

In any case, starting next week I will be posting regularly about running a business, painting, creativity, girly stuff, relationship stuff, more painting, boobs, money, positive thinking (yes, it is gonna get all new age up in here.) Also on the agenda getting organized, that crazy mess you think about and how to make it stop, horse shit and so much more.

Tuesday, January 24

España part dos

The gardens of the Alcazar were stunning! Here are a few images I took while we strolled around, in a drug haze (from the Spanish over the counter meds, which are steeerong). The inside was pretty hot as well, but I want to group all of the artistic inspiration images together for the next post.)

Makes me feel like I am in a Spanish Robin hood movie, and some archers are up there.

Outside walls of the Alcazar. Isn't that a cool word?

I love the round elements in the garden, must copy for my own garden!

Great inspiration for texture.

This could be a painting!

The gardens are just so beautifully composed. The sun was very dramatic that day.

World's classiest coy pond!

Thursday, January 19

España part uno

What am I gonna say? That is wasn't amazing, and fun and we didn't stay out late drinking lip-smacking red wine and meeting cool people? We did those things, and then I proceeded to get sick, as in every single system in my body gave me the finger, all at the same time. We had grand plans of driving around southern Spain, and seeing the Sierra Nevadas, and the list goes on, and on. Sadly we spent a lot of time recovering, as O got sick just as I was slightly recovered. I only feel truly better now, like this week. 

Olive bar in the Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid

Our first "tapita de jamon y queso", with "vino tinto!"

Typical, pretty street.

Archivio de las Indias, or where all of the paperwork for pillaging the new word were kept. 

The Quadalquivir river (means big river in Arabic) from Calle Betis, a very well known and historic street across the river from the Cathedral. This part of the city lays claim to Flamenco, and tile making.
 In any case, we flew into Madrid, poked around a bit and then scrumped it down to Sevilla for a week. You may or may not know that I lived there for a year in College, and I know the city well. It has, of course changed a lot since then. It was so much fun to introduce O to all the captivating aspects of Spain, and the truly singular Sevilla. I won't give you a history lesson, but this city has major Christopher Columbus chops, as well as the Plague, the inquisition, been invaded by the Visigoths, Romans, and Moores and a few others, invented Flamenco, Bull Fighting, and has the most amazing Holy Week in the entire world, truly. Not to mention cobbled stoned streets lined with fragrant orange trees, a flowering courtyard peeking behind every door, and roman ruins around every corner.

Calle Betis
The most special thing about Sevilla though is it's people. I tried to always translate for O b/c I wanted him to hear what was happening around him, as it is an endles source of humor and interest. They value time with family and don't work so hard that they can't take inexplicable amounts of time off to be generally merry. (I can tell you this sucks pork balls when you are sick, and no pharmacies are open!! and everyone you ask shrugs and says "its a holiday, what do you want form me? Now go away, you'r blocking the ham.")

The street we stayed on, in an apartment. The couple who owned the place were very nice, and their son is a professor of graphic design. She googled me, wich is kinda creepy, but I guess I might to the same?

This is my dream Sevilla home though. Can you even deal?

View of the plaza that houses the Cathedra, Giralda, and plenty of government buildings, like every other one.
There are countless plazas where people mingle, have a snack any time of day and watch their kids play with each other on the steps of a 500 year old church. Shopping is a major past time, and dressing well for "la calle" or the street is pretty major. I didn't see a lot of originality in terms of fashion, but I suspect the hippies were out of town or something.

Giralda view form the narrow, ramblings streets of the old quarter
Compare a doorway in the Giralda to the entry of the Cathedral!

Freaking amazing right?

The weather was so fine we could hop from restaurant to bar to hole in the wall to eat all my very favorite dishes, and O has as fine an appreciation for them now as I do. My favorites dishes are: Boquerones Fritos, or mounds of tiny fried fish, you eat head and tail and all, Montadito de jamon y mantequilla, or a small toasted sandwich of cured jamon serano, and butter...drool. There were tortillas, paella, olives with pedigrees older than the royal family, char grilled squid called Chipirones, croquetas of ham, shinny red peppers called piquillo peppers stuffed with crab, and there was haaaammmmmm. Ham legs everywhere, and ham in my belly at every possibility. I must have had five cafes con leche a day, so delish.

I still haven't told you about New Year's Eve. We had a lovely dinner, made new friends and danced like dorks until 5am. Proooobably why I got sick if you wanna know the truth.

A is for Armas. B is for Blogger can suck it! This is taking forever!!

Other things about Sevilla, the accent is difficult for a beginner to pick up on, but O's theory is that Spanish is mostly about emotion and lisping, so he made himself understood. The weather is brilliant in the winter, highs in the 60's and 70's. It is a small city, and you can walk anywhere, there is so much to see in every different neighborhood. We stayed in the old jewish quarter, the oldest part of the city that has streets too narrow for cars (although if you know Spanish people, then you know that does not stop them one bit.)

Damn, them are some teeth.

Ok, next time I will show you some more, but I just had to share this one. Can you see the server's outfits? Why are they dressed up in period garb? It was soo silly, I couldn't resist having our photo taken with them. Also, O has recently had a hair cut, and looks less country music star.

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