Tuesday, January 27, 2015

An Artist's Quandary. When is it finished?

 Hi there. How are you?

I've been back in the studio, making work for the fast approaching art fair season. I've been starting lots of work.....but not finishing it. Let me explain.

I'm always good at starting a piece. Ideas and compositions come to me quickly. I like to work intuitively and spontaneously. I like to work fast. The finishing is where I get stuck. How do you know when a piece is finished? I have a tendency to overwork things, so I get nervous at the end.

This abstract piece was based on a drawing from my sketchbook. I finished the drawing part of it, but it seemed to need something, but what? I was pondering another collaged paper element somewhere on the right side of the composition. Or maybe it needs nothing at all?

Same thing happened with my newest bird piece. I finished up the bird and branch, but this piece still needs something. I usually add a little cut paper embellishment at this point.  I experimented with that for a time, but nothing felt right.

Instead of rushing things at this point, I've learned it's best to just leave them for a spell. I'll come back in a day or a week and something will come to me. And sometimes the answer is just to do nothing....It was already done.

Fellow artists, makers, creators, do you ever struggle with this? When do you decide that a piece is complete? How do you know? Do share!

Thank you friends for tuning in. Ta-Ta for now!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Procrastinators Win! 2015 Calendar Sale

Half Off 2015 Bird Calendars - jenniferjohansson.etsy.com

Hi there. How are you? 

I got a few of my 2015 bird calendars back from one of my retail accounts. I want them all to have homes, so they are now HALF OFF! For just $12.50 you get 12 months of birdie goodness. Procrastinators win!
Quick! I've only got 2 more calendars left, so head on over to my etsy shop and snag one NOW!
Happy Weekend friends. Ta-ta!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Be My Valentine - A Valentine's Day Card Roundup

Hi there. How are you?

Valentine's Day is no big deal at our house. No cards, no presents. It really just another day for us. We even used to host an Anti-Valentine's Day party when we lived in Rockford.

I don't do Valentine's day, but I must admit that I love paper valentines and always have. I have fond memories of decorating the shoe box to bring to school and exchanging goofy E.T., Care Bear and Rainbow Brite themed cards with all the kids in my class. As an adult, I'd send out homemade Valentines to friends and family instead of sending Christmas cards.

I've designed a new valentine this year featuring my sweet little fairy wrens. I've always thought they looked like they were talking to each other, and this is what I imagine they'd say.

Do you send/give valentines? There are so many artful, irreverent, and quirky Valentines available these days. I've pulled together a selection of my personal faves I've found on Etsy.  Enjoy!

1. You Make Me Happy by Meg Gleason/Moglea
2.You're Doing it Wrong by JulieAnnArt
3. Foxy Valentine by Michele Maule
4. There is Nobody Else by Emily McDowell
5. Capture my Heart by Jenipher Lyn/Nightly Doodles
6. You're Cute by Me!

If you'd like to see more of my Valentine finds, check out this Pinterest board.

That's all for now friends. Ta-Ta!

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Every Other Day Sketch 2015 - Days 5-8

Hi there. How are you?  
I'm happy to share another week's worth of sketchbook drawings with you. 

This is a collaborative piece between four year old Mazzy and me. Mazzy drew the unicorn and I embellished around it. Definitely my fave of the week! It was fun to have someone else get the sketch started as that is usually the most tedious part for me. 

If you'd like to see all the drawings I've made this year all in one place, do visit my Flickr page. 

Ta-Ta for now! 

Oh wait...One more thing! I'm about to send out a Valentine's Day gift to all of my mailing list members. Click here if you want in on the action.  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

An Instagram Giveway - HOORAY!

Hi there. How are you?
My 2015 Calendars have gone over so well this year. Thank you for that! I just have a handful of them lest so I decided to give one away. Yippee!

I'm running this giveaway exclusively through Instagram. All you need to do is follow me on Instagram,  repost this photo on your own Instagram account, and tag it with #FREEBIRDS2015. I'll choose the winner at 9PM Central time on Tuesday, January 20th. Good Luck!

If you'd rather not leave it up to chance, you can purchase a calendar in my Etsy shoppe. Do hurry....Supplies are extremely limited! 

Ta-Ta for now!

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Every Other Day Sketch 2015 - Days 3 & 4

Hi there. How are you?

I'm proud to report that I have been keeping up with my Every Other Day Sketch practice.  (I'm actually a little ahead of the game and already have my next 2 sketches in the bag!) I think I can sustain this project throughout the year. Yes!

I actually drew this sketch in the vertical format. But now as I look at it, I'm liking it better as a horizontal.

I'm totally loving Day 4. It's elegant and has a nice flow and shape.  I was so jazzed about this one that I even tried to start a larger version of this drawing on a piece of cradled hardboard, but it's just not the same. I found myself freezing freezing up when I left my sketchbook. "This one has to be good so that someone buys it," says my brain. My work suffers when that happens. I'll have to get over that anxiety and fast as my first art fair of the year is in early May!

Until I can loosen up a little more, I will continue to sketch away in my sketchbook. Thank you for stopping by and seeing what I'm up to.

Until next time. Ta-Ta!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Almost Daily Sketch 2015

Hi there. How are you?

Happy 2015!! (How can it possibly be 2015 already?? I swear Y2K was just 5 years ago!)

I'm happy to be back here on the blog...I'm hoping to have much to share with you here in 2015. First up, my new sketchbook. 

For the better part of 10 years I have been keeping a sketchbook. It's always in my purse and when I've got a spare moment I can pull out and doodle away. I am terribly brand loyal and have not used anything but a Moleskine to sketch in for years now. This year I decided to switch it up a bit.

I came across "The Daily Sketch Journal" at the local TJ Maxx. (Love that place! Do you ever dig in the papergoods/craft supply section? It can be a gold mine!) I've been wanting to challenge myself to do a daily drawing project for some time now.  This book gave me the impetus to do it...Sort of. By end of New Year's day 2015, I knew I wasn't going to be able to stick with making a drawing every day. My doodles tend to get complicated, and I can easily spend a few hours on each one.  I reckoned that could commit to drawing one every other day. So that's the plan! One drawing, every 2 days.

Here are my first 2 entries. What do you think?

What I like about the "Daily Sketch Journal" is that there are no dates on the pages, just a Day number and a space to write the date. No pressure to draw every day that way. The book actually only has room for 356 drawings anyway, so it's looking like it will take me about 2 years to knock this one out.

On the downside, this sketchbook itself is a little larger than I'm used to, but I can still get it into my purse, so I'll make it work.  The other minus to this sketchbook is the weight of the paper. As it's a little thin, drawings can sometimes bleed through the pages. (Please excuse my dirty fingernails! I was cleaning most of the day. Ugh.)

I really neglected this blog in 2014. Going to try and rectify that in 2015. This sketchbook will give me some weekly material to share. Wish me luck.

Until next time. Ta-ta!

P.S. If you'd like to see more of my sketchbook, do follow me on Instagram. I post there much more frequently than I do here.