Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Land and Sea


Sitting on a bench looking out at the ocean, a marina, a beach, a wharf; that is my slice of heaven and inspiration. Where the thoughts melt and the ideas have a chance to c a l m d o w n. This little piece of paradise is loosely based on Clover Point, a look out in Victoria, BC. Fresh and salty air, wind in the hair and the sound of seagulls. Home away from home. xo

“We need the tonic of wildness...At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” 
Henry David Thoreau

"Clover Point" 11x17" available at elizabethW Carmel (kelly@elizabetbw.com for questions)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

La Vie en Rose


It's been raining here in southern Oregon for about four months. I'm not kidding. I'm no weather stats expert but it has been the wettest soggiest blusteriest coldest are you effing kidding me how can the sky produce so much water kind of winter/spring season. I'm antsy. A little stir crazy. Yes, I can leave the house and water doesn't melt me but I admit, I'm affected by the non-stop grey skies, whipping winds and deluge of rain. It just doesn't inspire the cute outfit and a walk along Main Street. It inspires hibernation, yoga pants and a rotating selection of sweatshirts that moved from the Never Be Seen in Public Moving Day wardrobe to Don't Bug Me, At Least I'm Dressed pile.

The up side of all this weather related dreariness is that it's been a very productive prolific season of creating. The rain has literally grown my garden and I am painting, writing, shipping on a steady pace. That feels good. There are flowers on the easel, lots of flowers. In fact, so many that I have created a new category "Vintage Florals": a series of custom paintings, greeting cards and…who knows what else. They have literally and figuratively blossomed. Okay, one point rain.

In other art news , I released a fun new card launch to my customers (well received, yay!), reorganized by itty bitty office that holds my inventory (ah, space!), and dipped my toe back into painting seascapes (heaven). I also held a spring floral still life painting workshop at my home, purged a whole lot of clothes, books, art supplies and thought a lot about exercising while not doing it. This has been the season of hibernation, creation and resting. There has been a lot of travel in this season (and thank god other cities have sunshine) and a lot of coming back home to the "boring". The necessary. The list making. The Mailchimp setting up. The website. But upon reflection on this rainy day, it's been this wet season that has created a lot of beauty. I feel ready for something fun because I'm not tired. I am rested and restored. I've leaned into this season. It hasn't always been with a smile on my face but but I have somehow managed to grow a vintage floral garden in this la vie en rose life of mine. xo

"La Vie en Rose" 11x17"
Available at elizabethW Carmel

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Boats on the Bay


I did a brave scary exhilarating thing yesterday. I sent a detailed book proposal to a literary agent in New York.  It's taken me at least 4-5 missed self-imposed deadlines, a year to meet with an expert editing friend to get me to twelve sample chapters and one chaotically messy living room where there is art and paper and more art on every inch of the floor for easy viewing. What goes where, what stack belong to which and on it goes.  I had all of the individual pieces ready for months; the chapters, the art, the sample cards, postcards and catalogues from my company. The fabulous box I had to have to put the whole thing in! (Priorities!) It was the assembling of the pieces, the bigness of the project, that put me in Tomorrow Overwhelm.

I'll do it tomorrow. It's Sunday, I've got nothing planned. Tomorrow. It's Monday. The printer is open in case I need to run down there. Tomorrow, it's Thursday, I'm always productive on Thursdays. Really? I am? Tomorrow starts today. Please don't' mistake me for someone who can follow my own advice for overcoming procrastination. I'm a work in progress. I do know though, that I've made strides. There are tools. It's not willpower. It's action and accountability and telling your most productive organized friend your plan to start (and finish) and knowing you'll have to face said friend the next day and you're no longer in the mood to wiggle out of the why it's still sitting on your coffee table excuse. It was hailing! In April! The cat was moody. I had no groceries, had to run to Trader Joe's. I got a phone call. I had to ship an order. I've been traveling, I have to unpack.  (Your excuses are probably much more exciting and elaborate, mine are that boring and embarrassing that I have not been able to push through this block.)

So, I did it. I'll save the details of the proposal, the agent, the why I did this the way I did it for a later post because today, after lovingly packaging up all the pieces for this person i have never met on the other side of the county, I know that it was the doing it that mattered. I have no control of the outcome. I can't be pre-disappointed that it's a long shot. Because it is. It's a long shot. But if this doesn't work, I'm not the right fit, I know I can do this again. I broke through some invisible self-imposed barrier that New York agents and publishing world are "out there" and I am "here" and the two can't quite meet their fingers a la Sistine Chapel. But they can. They do all the time. I see it, I read it.

And what do boats on the bay have to do with this brave scary exhilarating thing I did yesterday? Not much. But I like this painting, took risks with it that are new for me (sensing a theme here!) and it took me outside my comfort zone. So maybe it has everything to do with my scary thing. I've written about this a lot but bears repeating, mostly for myself, this painting would not have happened unless I had done hundreds before it. Writing, running, cooking, sending proposals to literary agents. It's no different. Practice. Show up. Rinse repeat. Hit send. Write the letter. Put a stamp on it. Buy a box. Go to Fedex. xo

"Boats on the Bay" 16x20" SOLD

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Upcoming Workshop!


I am teaching a workshop in Carmel, CA next week!!! Hurray! Hooray! Details above but the important stuff:
Thursday, March 9th
The Rotunda at Il Fornaio Restaurant on Ocean Ave, Carmel, CA
5pm-8:30pm
Snacks & refrehsments
SO MUCH FUN AND NO EXPERIENCE NEEDED!!!

Would love to see you there! xoxo

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Large Cappucinno


I often write these posts n the morning, coffee hot, still dark outside. I'm an early bird. Always have been. I like this quiet hour because all is fresh. No plans, no jolting out of bed, nothing frantic, no to-do lists yet. Just possibility of the day. To paint or not to paint. To write or not to write. Work is rarely an option, must do that, but those "extras", those creative paths that we trick ourselves into thinking our luxury paths, are really the essential fuel that keep me going. If I didn't paint, I couldn't work. If I didn't write, I couldn't express. So really, these stolen hours at the crack of dawn, aren't stolen at all. They are the log on the campfire that keep me warm.

There is a lot going on right now. More than usual. Just home from a string of trade shows, the order packing and follow up that comes after, an art show at a local winery, a reception, a commission for a series of paintings for a local shop tied into the Shakespeare Festival. All good. And. And the time to take extra special care of my creative hours. This is when it is so easy to slip into more of a "business" role, an administrator-sales-organizer-marketer girl and less of an artist. Because making art is luxury! Right? Wrong. At least for me, it's a little white lie I tell myself. I can paint tomorrow. I can write next week. I can sketch tonight. True, I can do all those things. But I need to do it today. The business of my business will only get done if I show up for the art. What a topsy turvy concept for someone like myself who has subtly been brainwashed into thinking art is frivolous, the thing you do on the weekend, or at a workshop or an afternoon. Even now, or maybe especially now, when other parts of my business are calling me, I have to remind myself that it's ok, no permission slip needed to go and create.

So here's to a fresh 24 hours to show up for our art, our "thing", whatever that looks like. Cooking, writing, painting, sailing, running, sculpting, drawing, weaving, rowing, gardening, baking…all of it. xo

Sunday, January 29, 2017

What is Done in Love


“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.”  Vincent Van Gogh

I love that. What is done in love is well done.  Ok. xo

"Vintage Florals in Silver Tureen"  8x10" $225 
Please email mcarpenter@carpediempapers.com




Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Les Fleurs


I'm back from a week long of travel for work, wonderful inspiring exhausting community building, week of travel in Atlanta where it was unseasonably warm, low 70's and the air, when I was outside a building, already smelled like spring. Pure delight.

The Rogue Valley, on the other hand, is knee deep in wet cold winter and deplaning last night was anything but fresh and dewy. But it is home and there's nothing like unpacking and doing those back from a trip life chores that settle you back in. For me, one of those things is fresh flowers. Trader Joe's had an electric colored assortment of roses a couple of weeks ago I couldn't pass up. Most have gone bye-bye in the second week but there was a small arrangement on my kitchen window sill I had put in an old glass milk jar, a color combo of watermelon, tangerine and butter yellow that were alive and well, greeting me as I walked in the door. A beautiful splash of color against the stark wintery landscape. Three stems. That's all. But that's all I needed.  xo

"Amber Floral" 8x10" Sold