Transforming my art studio

I was going to do a post about 2011 and my story about getting to where we are now in Prescott, AZ but then I decided nope, I’m going to start blogging about today, right now. Sorry the story is getting a skip in it since I haven’t been writing much lately. But just know that things are straightening themselves out and I’m getting back on track with my art.

First thing up, getting my art studio ready to work in.

The below photo shows where it started after I tore off the yucky wood walls. I have to tell you the previous owners had about 18 cats. And my studio was cat central so you can imagine the smell. The wood walls had to go! Luckily we got the cat smell to disappear! It had us worried for a while but luckily there are products one can buy that get rid of the odor for good. And it did.

Studio1

I have a lot of stuff to put in this studio and it’s just waiting to get organized.

My studio is in the basement but the skylights bring in nice light! I like the big windows.

Studio2

Today I finished plastering the walls. It came out pretty good. Next comes paint and some window sills and some shelving.

studio3Someday this room may get turned into a sunroom with lots of plants…but for now it’s my studio. This basement room is getting transformed into my art studio and I know I’m going to love it! I can’t wait to finish it so I can start working in it. I’ll show you more pics later.

Our Backyard Garden in Bend, Oregon

A couple weeks ago we went on Bend’s Backyard Farm Tour. It was really fun. I think there were about 18 backyard gardens to go to. There was a handout and map to follow. We hit about 7 or 8 of them before we had to be somewhere else.

Backyard farmers are a happy bunch. They love sharing their knowledge and the fruits of their labor. I got some great seeds from one farmer. We talked to a Master Gardner for quite awhile at one community garden here in town. And we came away with lots of ideas.

We got really inspired. Greg got especially inspired. So much so that he came home and started building a solar greenhouse over two of our raised beds so we can grow food as long as we can into Fall and Winter.

garden1

He build a cool door that lifts up.

garden2

The door has a natural wood handle.

gardenhandle

He dug down into the earth between the raised beds to make more head room for when we go in there.

garden3

He added twinkly lights to the ceiling and we can sit in there and pick veggies, even when it’s dark out. We added wood chips to the path too so we don’t get muddy.

twinklygarden

I’m thrilled. Maybe by next year, we’ll be in the Backyard Farm Tour as one of the stops. Maybe. People do.

lettuce

This is Greg surveying his work. The solar part of it hasn’t been built yet. It will have tubes with water in them that will get heated by the sun.

garden5

This is what we see from our back deck. I love the below shot. Those are aspen in the background that will turn a beautiful yellow as Fall progresses.

garden4

Happy full moon and sweet smell of fresh pine!

MoonPine


The Art of Gardening

I am just in love with our garden this year. It’s bringing us lots of veggies and satisfaction in knowing we’re growing our own food.

We’re planning on having an even bigger garden next year. We’re even talking about maybe building a greenhouse. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Here’s a few pics I took the other day.gardenbounty2

Ever the artist, I decided to have fun arranging the carrots on the counter before I cut them into the salad. And then I made a delicious carrot soup too.

carrots

Green and white look so fresh together.

lettuce

3 onions and 2 marching men on the cutting board.

onion

I thought it was some nice synchronicity when I got an email announcing that Bend is having their first Backyard Farm Tour this weekend as a fundraiser for Neighborhood Impact. What a great idea for a community to do. Love it!

garden-tour-poster-25

Celebrate the season! Yes!

Seeing in all directions

I was up early this morning and went outside to take some pics.

The light was so pretty.

One Tree. So many views. I took some shots of this tree in our yard. From all sides. A 360 around this tree.

Tree360-1
It was a reminder.

tree360-2
To remember
tree360-4
that one has many directions
tree360-5
to look at all sides
tree360-6
to remember there are many paths, ideas, views to explore

tree360-7
so go out and explore your views
tree360-8
remember to see in all directions

tree360-9

xxoo,
Lindy

Painting in the studio and other projects

Where does the time go? I meant to make more posts this week but have been busy with painting in the studio and working on our casita.

We have a big project happening in our kitchen. We hired some help to create our new palido counter tops. It’s quite a project and takes a few days to complete. So things are a bit chaotic at our place.

counter1

They’re doing a great job. I love the color of them. A yellowish gold with tiny flexs of red in it.

counter2

We’ll add some tile touches to the front vertical area below the sink. It will be fun to go look for tile. Greg is going to build some cupboard doors which will be great instead of the curtains we’ve had hanging to hide the area below the sink.

They’re still working on the counters today. It will be 3 weeks before we can put the sealer on them though and get to really start using them. That means they’ll be ready right before we have to leave.

We have some other projects in the works too but I’ll show you those at a later date.

So last time I wrote, I was pianting in the studio.

painting in baja studio
painting in baja studio

I’ve been working on my six newest birch tree paintings. I added fish to the blue pond in one of my paintings.

painting4

I added some baby birds and a star to these two pieces.

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And the sixth painting I haven’t shown you yet.

It’s gone through some major revisions.

It’s the one painting of the six that is vertical and has only one tree.

I at first had a different larger figure under the birch but I painted over it. I added a black haired maiden instead. I’m beginning to like it now and I’m thinking it will make a nice greeting card. Which painting is your favorite of these six?

painting3

It’s hard from the photos to see the changes I’ve made but they are there. Still more touches are needed before they’re complete. Some of the next things to add are the background swirls and white dot details.

I always feel it is these last touches that really complete the piece. Sometimes I hesitate to show my work before it is done because people will assume it is done but I know it is not.

These pieces I’m showing you right now are about 3/4’s complete. So stay tuned.

painting2

I’ve mentioned before that baja sunsets are gorgeous and we enjoy them almost every night. One night I noticed how beautiful the archway of flowers to our casita looked in the setting sun and captured a pic of it. I love silhouettes with the sun setting in the background.

arch

Another night, although the sky was not very colorful, the sun looked HUGE as it was setting! I took a photo but had to use the telephoto to have it look like the sun really was big. Some times the sun sets and then the clouds turn a beautiful pink color in the after glow. That’s always pretty.

bajasunset2010

Got to get back to the studio now.

Enjoy your day!

Part 5: One Artist’s Journey 40-50 yrs old

This continues my 5 part series about my Artist Journey. Part 5 is between the years 2000-2010.

I took another inspiring Peggy Zehring Experimental Drawing and Painting Workshop in the San Juan Islands before moving to Portland in 1999. It was so awesome! 5 days of painting in the coolest place ever! I always get really jazzed after taking one of Peggy’s workshops!

My paintings from the class explored the light that you see/feel during each part of the day. There were 6 in this abstract “Light” series, 38″ x 40″, acrylic on canvas. “Sunset” and “Morning” are below. I would end up showing these paintings later in 2000 at the Talisman Gallery in Portland.

Sunset, Acrylic on Canvas
Sunset, Acrylic on Canvas
Morning, Acrylic on Canvas
Morning, Acrylic on Canvas

I moved to Portland just in time for Y2K. I had great expectations for the new year! I thought I would freelance doing graphic production work as I had in NYC and Seattle but it was a hard gig to break into! Everyone already had their freelancers lined up. I was a little bummed because it meant I would have to look for fulltime work! I did do some freelance for Wieden + Kennedy and a few others before I got a job at an ad agency in Beaverton. Working full time makes it hard to find time to paint! Although I did love my job.

But Art always prevails so I would paint in the evenings after work.

The first series I worked on in Portland were the “Purple Spirit Tree” paintings, I had started doing some small studies of the trees while I was in Seattle preparing to move. And then I worked on my whimsical “Chair” Series. These two series were about putting down roots. Planting myself on the ground and staying put. I was ready to settle down, buy a house, get married, stay in Portland for awhile and that is exactly what happened. It’s funny how once you get some of your lessons learned and you decide in your heart what you want, the Universe provides.

Purple Spirit Tree I
Purple Spirit Tree I
Tied to the Sky
Tied to the Sky

I continued painting my whimsical paintings. I also was going to school at Marylhurst University and taking Art Therapy courses. As I recall, I was getting spread pretty thin. Working full time, going to school part time and finding time to paint and have a relationship! Something had to go! I decided to give up the Art Therapy studies. It was okay though. I decided I could do volunteer work if I wanted to work with people doing art. What I really wanted was to paint! More time for painting makes me happy!

Whimsical Womb
Whimsical Womb

I answered a Call for Artists and started showing my work at the Talisman Gallery on Alberta Street. That was a great gallery for me, and I made some wonderful friendships there. It felt good to be showing my work again and settling into my new Portland life.

I loved Portland…except for one little bad thing that happened…someone stole one of my paintings! It was titled, “One Learned to Spin”. I was showing it in an exhibit near the gallery in a public area of a small shopping mall. And someone took it! So if you see it somewhere, it’s mine! My poor missing baby.

One Learned to Spin
One Learned to Spin

In 2002, I found out about painted floorcloths. The floorcloth below is one I made and donated to a Habitat For Humanity fundraiser. I made a bunch of them. My favorite was one I had under my dining room table for years till it wore out, otherwise I’d show it to you. I made all different sizes and designs on my floorcloths. You can learn more about floorcloths at Kathy Cooper’s Floorcloth website. Hers are really gorgeous and helped inspire me to create mine!

Acrylic on Canvas Floorcloth
“My Home” Acrylic on Canvas Floorcloth

In 2003, I married Peter Hanson and we moved to Bend where Peter had family. Life was good.

PeterHanson2004

Susan Luckey Higdon, an artist putting together an Artist Collective in Bend, discovered my work hanging at an exhibit at the Sage Cafe. She invited me to start showing my work at the Tumalo Art Co. gallery. And that is what I started doing and I’m still showing there today.

I’m sad to say that Peter died from colon cancer in 2005. He was 45.

And here I would like to stop, and mention, the importance I feel in everyone getting checked for colon cancer! I’m a real advocate for early detection! Please go have that colonoscopy! Just do it because it could save your life! Peter had stage 4 cancer which means it had metastasized. It spread to his liver and lungs. Early detection is crucial to survival from this horrible disease! But that is another story.

Then I started working on my Door painting. It was a solid mahogany door. Peter had helped me finish it and prepare it for painting. I knew I wanted to paint a tree with birds on it. Pete and I had discussed what it would look like. He even made a sketch of what he thought I should paint. That makes me smile. His idea was different from mine. I began the painting and it evolved into a beautiful enchanted world. It sold to someone who lived back East.

The Door Painting "Step into Enchantment" hanging in it's new home.
“Step into Enchantment” hanging in it’s new home.

I painted more enchanted worlds with my Tulip series of paintings.

She Said Speak to me of Peace
She Said Speak to Me of Peace
She Said Reclaim the Treasure
She Said Reclaim the Treasure

And more whimsical worlds.

Nourished by the Mystery
Nourished by the Mystery

I’ve continued expanding my love of art and the creative process. I’ve won some awards and in 2007 was chosen as the Deschutes Brewery Jubelale artist. Getting this national exposure has been a great experience and I’m grateful for the publicity. My artwork for the Jubelale painting was inspired by the mountains and snow surrounding this area.

2007 Jubelale Painting by L. Gruger
2007 Jubelale Painting by L. Gruger
Jubelale Six Pack
Jubelale Six Pack

I started doing my bird paintings when we moved to Bend. In our yard, we have lots of birdhouses in trees and on the side of the garage, and I love putting bird feeders out in the fall and winter. In the summer, I hang hummingbird feeders off the back deck. I love watching the antics of these little creatures as they flit and flutter about.

He Felt The Light Go To His Heart
He Felt the Light Go to His Heart
One Lives in an Enchanted Garden
One Lives in an Enchanted Garden

The next series I worked on was my Native American Symbolic paintings. In 2006, I purchased a tipi. I’ve been interested in the Native American culture for as long as I can remember. My friend was sewing tipi’s for Nomadics, tipi makers near Sisters, Oregon. I went with her one day to deliver her sewn tipis. We spend about 45 minutes sitting in the most beautiful tipis that Nomadics had on their property. They were gorgeous inside. I felt like I was in a womb…so comforting and warm. It felt healing to my spirit. I bought one and had a tipi raising party for my birthday. I painted the outside of it with dancing horses and a protective warrior spirit.

Tipi
Tipi in the trees.
Belle loves the tipi.
Belle loves the tipi.
Tipi at Sunset
Warrior Spirit on Tipi

And then came the paintings.

Wisdom Warrior
Wisdom Warrior
White Bird Knows
White Bird Knows
Proud Eagle
Proud Eagle

Greg-June09BWIn Oct. 2007 I met Greg. In Oct. of 2008 we traveled to Costa Rica for an inspiring adventure.

My sweet man and I decided we would go to Baja, Mexico in Nov. 2008 for 6 months for even more adventure! I quit my full-time job at an ad agency in Bend. We left in  Nov. 2008 and came home in May 2009. I know, this is the short version.

(You’ll have to look through my old blog for more about Baja life, art and photos.)

We had so much fun in Baja! And we hope to go back there in the near future.

Lindy in Baja Studio
Me in Baja Studio

In Baja, I was able to paint lots! I learned a lot too! I learned how to make art videos. I became very involved in the online world. I started this Blog, joined Twitter and Facebook and when I came home, I opened my Etsy Shop.

In Baja, I painted whimsical worlds and birds…and a few palm trees.

She Heard the Desert Calling
She Heard the Desert Calling
My Family Plays with Color
My Family Plays with Color

While in Baja, I started putting white dots into my paintings which to me represents connectivity and energy.

Singing a Fiesta Song
Singing a Fiesta Song

Today I’m working on more bird paintings and my Dream Garden series which I’m really loving. It feels very healing and spiritual to paint these images.

Meditation Garden
Meditation Garden
Living in the Light of Awakening Dreams
Living in the Light of Awakening Dreams
She Watched One Thread Blossom
She Watched One Thread Blossom

I did a recent small series of Metaphysical Landscapes which I enjoyed doing because they combine my whimsical worlds with the dot patterns and symbolic shapes which I love. I call them Mindscapes.

Mountain Song
Mountain Song

mindscapesAnd that pretty much takes me up to today. I hope this wasn’t too long to read. I had a lot to cover so it might sound a little dry. We all have a story to tell and I love reading other people’s stories and how they got to where they are. I hope you’ll share a bit of your story with me in the comments.

Part 4: One Artist’s Journey – 30-40 yrs old

This continues my 5 part series about my artist journey.

Part 4 is between the years 1989-1999. It will be a long post because a lot happened in that decade!

I’m glad I kept an art journal during this time because there were so many paintings and series that it would be difficult to keep track of the order if not for my writings. I had a hard time choosing which paintings I wanted to share. I took slides of all my work so I have quite a few to choose from.

cactus2

Around the time I was creating art furniture (you can read about that in Part 3), I begun painting large acrylic cactus paintings which lasted through about 1991. They were very graphic looking with straight lines and shapes which is no surprise coming from a graphic design background.

I painted quite a few of these large paintings and did a few commissions. I had a love of the southwest and wanted to someday live near Santa Fe, New Mexico. That never happened but that comes later in the story.

This is what I wrote in my journal about creating the cactus paintings.

“I liked doing them but they seemed time consuming and costly with all the paint I used. The cactus and it’s triangle spikes I really love. The desert is a special, beautiful place.”

My 30’s were about figuring out what life was about. Most of my friends were getting married and having children. I hadn’t met the “one” yet. I knew I would meet him someday but I had to be patient. One of my painting series was titled, “What’s it all about? They were acrylic and collage and I often would paint the frame as well. The triangles and spirals were oil pastel on paper cut into shapes. I used these same triangle shapes in my art furniture.

"It's About Choice"
“It’s About Choice”
"It's About Peace"
“It’s About Peace”
"It's About Youth"
“It’s About Youth”

I had every intention of painting twelve in this series. I completed eight when one night I discovered a new way of painting.

“That night was incredibly exciting for me. I had a piece of wax paper with loads of paint on it. Mixed. It looked beautiful in itself. So I decided to use it. I scraped into it, I put the triangle shapes in it. Then pressed it onto a sheet of paper. I peeled it away to find a gorgeous painting but still with too much paint on it. So I pressed another sheet onto that sheet. Which absorbed more paint. I pulled it away to find an image very exciting and pleasing to me. I added swirls and cut outs to it. Then I did more.”

This was the start of a new series and the use of wax paper as a painting tool.

presspaintingThis technique started a new series where I would paint or draw into the paint on wax paper and then press it down and lift it back up to reveal a print that I would then manipulate with more paint or collage images.

printedmanI was making monoprints. As I look at them now, they look quite crude. But I remember my excitement and how I loved experimenting with my new printing method.

I did many paintings using this technique and I sold a few at the artist run gallery, Art/Not Terminal Gallery, where I started showing my work. It was my first venture into exhibiting. I loved the camaraderie of the gallery and meeting new people who liked to talk about art!

About this time I was introduced to Peggy Zehring when I took one of her art workshops at the community college. I would continue to take her workshops over the years and she was instrumental in teaching me experimental ways of drawing and painting. She was the first person to tell me that I had a “visual language” and that it was important for me to record my mark making.

swirlpainting

TribalThen I started creating some paintings using whimsical black dancing figures. This is where my printing technique of black pattern started showing up in the backgrounds of my paintings. I was learning to create depth in my work.

I loved these earthy tribal characters. I liked the way the figures danced and did yoga and had their own magical world.

I’ve always thought maybe I would paint more of these paintings but I haven’t. Maybe I will again someday.

.

Tribal2

1993, Lindy showing her painting, "Around the Ancient Tower", at Art Not Terminal Gallery
1993 – Lindy showing her painting, “Around the Ancient Tower” at the Art/Not Terminal Gallery

scratchpainting

It was around this time that I wanted to meet some more artists. So I started an Art Group in January of ’93. People came and went in the group but there were about six of us that met once a month for about 2 years. Part of our meeting time was spent experimenting with different media and then doing an art critique afterwards. I think this helped open me up to experimenting with my own art.

I begun painting abstracts. I made my first international sale, “Forward Motion” to a man in Germany. In 1994, I had my first solo show at Post Art in downtown Seattle.

"Forward Motion"
“Forward Motion”
Protected: Gathering the Spirits
Protected: Gathering the Spirits

I kept painting the abstracts but I tried adding collage to them. These I called my “White Series”.

white1

white2

In 1994 I started painting my Blue Mountain series. My painting style was beginning to form.

View For Two
View For Two
housemoon
My House is as Big as the Moon

That same year I decided I wanted to travel to Europe. I was feeling a need to expand my world.

It took me about a year to save so I could do it but in May of 1995 I went to Europe for 3 months by myself. Backpacking and staying in youth hostels. I met and traveled with many wonderful people. It was an amazing experience and I can say it changed my life. It made me realize what a great big world we live in! I wanted to experience more of that when I got home. Adventure and travel!

I decided again I would save my money to be able to move to another city. I threw the names of 3 cities in a hat and chose New York City. The other cities being Albuquerque, NM…they had an art therapy program there I was interested in because I was thinking of changing my career, and San Diego, a city of sun and fun.

I knew New York was the right choice because I felt so good about it. I couldn’t see moving to New Mexico first because I would never want to leave. But I could see myself moving to New York City, getting tired of it and moving to New Mexico.

So I moved to New York City in December of 1996. I had visited it before and had some friends there so it felt right. Everything fell into place. I got an apartment and started freelancing 3 days a week as a graphic production artist for the same company I had worked for in Seattle. On my other days, I was painting.

Prelife
Prelife

My first New York pieces were rather dark. My color palette had changed. I thought I had to paint small because there was little room in my apartment. I began painting on 8″ x 10″ paper and small postcard sized pieces. Soon though I felt the cards calling out to each other and I started to put them together like pieces of a puzzle. I called this my “Whimsical World” Series.

Lyrical World
Lyrical World

I was able to get some art studio space on 14th Street and became involved with a group of artists called the 14th Street Painters. We all shared studio space run by Craig Killy. Craig put together annual exhibitions and open studio events which were very popular.

Lyrical World II
Lyrical World II

I continued working on my Whimsical Worlds series and also a Vessel series. It was during this time, that my painting style really developed. My colors became more vivid.

Life Vessel
Life Vessel
Touching the Spiral
Touching the Spiral

I had many fantastic experiences while living in New York City. But soon I knew it was time for me to leave.

"My Chair" - Purchase Award, School of Visual Arts in Manhattan
“My Chair” – Purchase Award, School of Visual Arts in Manhattan

While I was in NYC, I enrolled in an Art Therapy certificate program at The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. I loved the program and was doing volunteer work with pregnant teenage girls making art. I thought I wanted to be an art therapist. I had been talking about becoming an art therapist for about 10 years so I was thrilled to actually be doing something about it.

But I missed the Northwest lifestyle. Hiking and camping and wearing hiking boots and fleece!

I knew of a Masters program in art therapy at Marylhurst University in Portland, Oregon so I decided to apply. It took a lot of work, taking psych prerequisites and doing volunteer work, but I was able to get into the program. So I moved to Portland, Oregon.

I was in New York City for 2-1/2 years. I made some life long friends who I cherish. I developed a style of painting that I use to this day. I was able to make a living as an artist in the Big Apple, show and sell my work there. I will be forever grateful for those experiences.

But while living there I missed being around “my people”. I missed my friends and family in Seattle. And where were the nature loving, mountain climbing, granola chewing, down to earth folk in New York City? I did meet a few, but they were not in large supply. So in the fall of 1999, I was happy to be moving to Portland, Oregon.

I’ll write more about Oregon living in Part 5 of my One Artist’s Journey series on Feb. 18th.

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Part 3: One Artist’s Journey – 20-30 yrs old

This continues my 5 part series about my path as an artist. Part 3 is between the years 1979-1989.

In 1981, I graduated from college with a Bachelors in Fine Art from Washington State University. There was a professor in college who sat me down and made me decide if I wanted to take the academic Fine Art route or go the way of Commercial Art.

Me at 21.
Me at 21.

Thinking I needed a way to make a living, I chose the Graphic Design curriculum. So I had a lot of different basic art classes in college such as drawing, painting, printmaking, art history, photography and I had an emphasis in graphic design, so I mainly studied design and layout and advertising. I decided I could do my Fine Art on the side.

My 20’s were about moving out on my own, starting my career in the graphic arts and having fun. I was a bit of a hippie child, we called it being a granola head. I liked earthy stuff…art, music, being outdoors, hiking, camping, road tripping.

I was doing more graphics work in my personal time then fine art projects. I designed my dad’s wine label for his wine making and did the graphics for my mom’s political campaigns. I was working as a graphic production artist to support myself. My first full-time job out of college was as a paste-up artist (production artist) for a weekly newspaper in Seattle. After a couple of years doing that, I freelanced on my own and then wanting to build up my portfolio, I got a job for McCann-Erickson advertising agency as a production artist and soon after moved into the position of Production Art Manager. All along the way, I was doing my fine art and making paintings!

I enjoyed being a production artist because I got to use my hands to make stuff. Cutting and pasting and using an exacto blade to paste up ads, brochures, posters, mock-up packaging, you name it! I learned typesetting and the printing industry. I liked that I could leave my job at the office and spend my free time making art if I wanted to.

I experimented with different mediums. In 1987-88, I was experimenting with pastels. I remember doing some colorful interior scenes with furniture, sofas and chairs. But I didn’t like them much.

interior

My journal says, “I didn’t like them at all… I cut them up in strips. I wove them. I made patterns from them. It was all experimental for me…as most of my art is…one idea feeding off another…then I dabbled in art furniture.”

pastel1pastel2

My art furniture was painted with acrylic and I collaged pieces of paper with oil pastel colored on it. Then I would coat the entire piece with a varnish which would protect and seal it.

funiturestoolI liked the furniture and sold a number of pieces. I made multiple stools and I have one today in my art studio. I painted lots of different items, from mirrors, coat racks, chairs, lamps, to rocking horses but then I was onto something else.

It was during this time that I had a fondness for anything with a Southwest flavor. I started painting big acrylic cactus paintings which I did till about 1991.

I’ll show you the cactus paintings and my acrylic “What’s it all about” collage painting series in Part 4 of the One Artist’s Journey posts next Thursday.

If you’re interested in functional art furniture, I found a few links of some artists doing exactly that.

Hand painted furniture and other artistic creations by Reincarnations>

LaLoba Designs has some decorative handpainted furniture with a rustic southwest look>

Suzanne Fitch makes beautiful hand painted furniture>

Here’s some fun, funky art furniture I found>

An Etsy artist, Artwork by Jo has some unique things>

The Funky Art Guy has an Etsy Shop that has really fun colorful, whimsical pieces of art furniture>

Or this blog on two partners taking furniture and making it into functional pieces of art >

Enjoy!

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Part 1: One Artist’s Journey – 0-10 yrs old

ed and audrey Gruger

These are my parents, Audrey and Ed Gruger. Before I can talk about my artist journey. I have to give thanks to them for bringing me into this world! I was born in Seattle in 1959, the youngest of three children. My parents have always encouraged my creativity and inspired me with their passion for the arts!

mom-dad

They were art collectors and had many pieces of art, especially abstract pieces, decorating our home. They were art lovers and often took us to art museums and galleries during family vacations.

I have to say my dad’s side of the family has more artists then my mom’s side.  Frederic Rodrigo Gruger (he signed his work F.R. Gruger) was the most recognized artist/illustrator and many of his illustrations were created for the Saturday Evening Post and other publications from 1898 to 1943.

I consider my Mom very creative. I remember her drawing pictures and painting when we lived in California for 3 years while my Dad was finishing his degree. My Dad was creative too but in different ways, like wine making and photography. They would read to us at night before we drifted off to sleep. Although not every night, since they would take turns with each child.

My early memories of creating art are from gradeschool. I remember drawing a giraffe in Kindergarten. But my parents gave us art supplies and I remember making things at home as well.

giraffe

I would close myself in my bedroom, make something, then come out and with a sweep of the arm say, “see what I made”. There was always something to be made, a big white castle with leftover styrofoam, a cardboard house for frogs we found in the yard, a raggedy ann doll made from scrap material, a winter snowman.snowman

I drew people and animals and hung them on my bedroom door.  I was always encouraged to create and now looking back, I am so grateful for that!

Part 2 in this story will be next Thursday.

Do you have memories of making things as a child? Do you think your creativity was nurtured?

10 Things You Can Do To Nurture Your Child’s Creativity

1. Encourage your child to be expressive and to come up with their own ideas. Withhold judgement and let them talk. Let them dance, paint, make a fort out of the kitchen chairs and blankets, dress up their stuffed toys with doll clothes, make music with the pots and pans, put on a play with hats and old clothes as costumes

2. Encourage originality, if they want to use their toys to do something else with them, let them, don’t be critical!

3. Let your child tell you a story. Encourage them to make up imaginary characters and plots, have a puppet show or draw a cartoon strip

4. Encourage your child to enjoy the process. Put on music, spread out the paper and let them have free rein. Ask them to paint the music they hear or how they feel, emphasize the process and not the final product.

5. Let them use their hands, give them play dough to make things, legos to build things, crayons to draw with

6. Let them play dress up. As children we liked to dress up and pretend we were old women, wearing high heels and stuffing the front of our old lady dresses with pillows. Let them have a tea party and invite their favorite dolls and stuffed animals as guests.

7. Encourage simplicity. Let them make toys out of what you have on hand. Pans become drums, spoons can become an instrument, boxes become play houses, chairs and blankets become a fort

8. Go outside and take a nature walk. See how many flat, round rocks you can find, take them inside and let the kids paint rocks. Have a picnic and then lay back and watch the clouds. Ask them what animals they see in the cloud shapes.

9. Cook something simple together. Try different foods and/or combining different foods together. Marshmallow and peanut butter on toast for example.

10. Set an example. Let your children see you being silly, they will see that you are an imaginative, creative person and know that it is okay and valued.

To read Part 2 of my Artist’s Journey, go here>

 

TSave

2009 Life and Art in Review

I thought it would be fun to pair some of my art with some photos from 2009. I made 12 images, one for each month and then 3 more to send you some Happy New Year wishes.

The year started off before 2009 even began, in December 2008 we traveled by car to Todos Santos in Baja, Mexico. It was an exciting trip with lots of adventure. We lived in Baja for 6 months!

1-2009

I painted lots and we worked a lot on our casita. We worked a lot in the garden too. Soon the roses were blooming! My art was blooming as well! I took the SmARTist Telesummit in February and learned tons about my art career! I spent time with online marketing, joined the social networking craze and learned how to make youtube videos!

2-2009

We loved living an outdoor lifestyle! One day I awoke at 5 a.m. and captured this full moon (below) setting over the horizon. It was beautiful! My art was soon filled with twilight dreams as we became more in touch with the star and moon cycles. I started creating Moonheadmama paintings and begun writing the Moonheadmama story!

3-2009

I loved my outdoor art studio on top of the garage under a palapa roof. We had lots of fun times with the doggies at the beach too!

4-2009

In April I flew back to Seattle to help my Mom after her double knee surgery. When I got back to T.S. it was time to celebrate my 50th birthday! Our friends from Bend, rented a house in T.S. for 2 months and we had lots of fun hanging out with them. Greg learned to surf! I got inspired by the colors in our world. And although painting palm trees was fun, my colorful, whimsical paintings started to take over.

5-2009

We made many a trip down to the ocean to watch the sunset, although the view from the patio wasn’t so bad either….a well practiced margarita recipe, fresh homemade salsa and chips became our fav! As the months passed, our spanish improved, we acquired some new friends and fell in love with our Mexican environment.

6-2009

Six months passed all too quickly and soon it was the end of May! We packed to head home with great memories from the past 6 months. We had family and friends we missed in the states, and a garden and house in Bend to tend to. Summer found me getting ready for a show at the Tumalo Art Co. gallery and painting a Peace Pole for a Peace Bridge dedication. My Art e-Newsletter became a regular mailing on the 15th of each month. And I opened my Etsy Shop with success! I started using 12 seconds TV to talk about my art.

8-2009
We learned we really did enjoy living a simple lifestyle like we had in Baja. So we started a regular thrift store pile to unload and simplify. We had fun during the summer with camping and hiking, and going to a family reunion in Seattle. I started painting mini paintings. Summer faded into Fall.

9-2009

We had a final garage sale but it was so cold, I think we didn’t make more than a few dollars. In October we celebrated G’s 50th Birthday with friends at a Pizza and Pool party at Grover’s Pub.

10-2009

In November we went up to Seattle for Thanksgiving. We enjoyed family and friends and were grateful for another year! I made Christmas ornaments for the Tumalo Art Co. gallery. I designed a Christmas card with my “Angel Guide The Way” art and made bookmarks to sell, made from images of my mini paintings. In December we had family stay with us and we hosted Christmas day at our house.

11-2009

We rang in the New Year with a little gathering of some friends, with great music, food and dancing!

12-2009

And now it is 2010, another year of great hopes and dreams to be fulfilled. I wish you happiness and strength in all that you do. I wish for peace on earth!

2010Wish-1|
I hope that 2010 is the year you take that leap of faith and work on accomplishing all your goals! I hope you achieve all that you hope for and create the life you are meant to live!

2010Wish2

Dream you can!  For without vision, there is no hope.

2010Wish3
Imagine.

Happy New Year!
Warmly, Lindy