No Room For Fear with Artist Gretchen Warsen

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INTRODUCING GRETCHEN WARSEN OF @TODDYPONDDESIGNS

An experimental abstract artist from Massachusetts, Gretchen Warsen takes risks by playing on the revolutionary Yupo paper. Something she has learned over the past two years from listening to artist interviews, and also through her own practice is that the best way to stay inspired and motivated to make art is to just keep making it! It's easier said than done, but even with the pieces that she can tell are headed for the “not-so-good pile,” there is still something she can take away for the next piece—some little hint of an idea or a new technique that can be carried over.

A sense of wonder and joy and play is extremely important for me—there is no room for fear at my table!
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TAKE A LOOK AT GRETCHEN WARSEN'S ART PROCESS

Maintaining that desire to make art for the love and joy of it takes paying attention to what parts of the process should be repeated and what should be left out. For Gretchen, getting rid of the “precious parts” of a painting, the parts that she's immediately in love with, can be the toughest part, but this seems to make room for the painting to get better as a whole.

Because her work is almost exclusively abstract, Gretchen has discovered that the title and personal description are essential parts of the piece, both for the viewers and for herself, sealing in its value and its place among all the other pieces. Gretchen has also found that her work is most genuine if she starts with a prayer, clears her cluttered mind by jotting down ideas in a notebook, and then sets up all her supplies at arm’s reach so she doesn’t have to interrupt the creative flow. Then it's time to play!

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A FEW FUN THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT GRETCHEN

  1. Gretchen Warsen grew up going to a tiny, alternative-education elementary school that her parents and some of their friends started. She doesn’t remember doing very much school work, but she does remember playing outside a lot. One of her teachers even lived in a tee-pee for a while.
  2. Though Gretchen is right-handed, she paints and draws almost exclusively with her left hand and sometimes with both hands at the same time.
  3. She is a wee bit obsessed with podcasts about artists and creativity, but she also loves listening to podcasts about astronomy, math, philosophy, short stories, sermons, and especially food!
  4. You know that person on the street who will get down on a dog’s level for all the sloppy kisses and belly rubs, completely oblivious to its poor owner and everyone else trying to get around this embarrassing display? That's Gretchen - she loves animals, especially dogs.
  5. There are so many wonderful creative people in her family! What a gift for Gretchen to be surrounded by inventors, painters, weavers, dancers, singers, book enthusiasts, composers, pianists, and foodies!    

Find out more about Gretchen Warsen on her website: toddyponddesigns.squarespace.com

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Your turn: PLAY WITHOUT FEAR

Ask yourself "What if?" That's what Gretchen did during her 100 Day Project. She allowed herself to wonder about the process and then discover the answers through making. Here is a sample of questions she asked herself:

  • What if I kept going even when I wasn't sure about it?
  • What if taking paint off were as important as putting paint on?
  • What if I reworked an older painting?
  • What if I folded the paper first?
  • What if I let the textures take over?
  • What if I wet the paper first?

Get a few of you favorite supplies without a preconceived plan - or try Yupo and some of the other supplies listed below and then ask yourself "What if?"

Yupo, Propylene Paper, 11"x14", 10 sheets

Aqua Markers by Spectrum Noir 12 Count Primary

Faber-Castel Wallet Pitt Pens, Black, assorted set of 8

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, Soft-core, 72 count

Artist Vine Charcoal Sticks, 12 piece, soft

 

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GRETCHEN WARSEN ART GALLERY:

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Don't forget to sign up for "Color for Your Inbox" and get the weekly Color Crush Creative color palette two days early! Plus lots of other great tips and tricks to help you with your creative journey!

Color Crush Creative Palette 19: One World

It's been a pretty rough week around the world and it doesn't seem to be letting up. The world is on fire and flooded, rocking, shaking, wind blown and sun burnt. Mother nature is still in charge and I don't think she's happy. If you're anything like me, you are overwhelmed and feeling anxious about it all. First, turn off the news, hearing constant updates won't make you feel better. Second breathe, it has been before and it will be again, but you are ok right now. Third, make more art.

I know, that's hard to do at times like these and maybe feels a bit selfish, but creating art not only puts beauty into the world, but it brings you peace and when you are at peace you can be kind and more effective to those in need around you and around the world. It creates a beautiful chain of events when you make art. If you can go volunteer, send money or supplies or find ways to aid in disaster relief, that is wonderful and much needed right now. But, still, make more art. Bring kindness and beauty through small acts as well as large acts.

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WE ARE ONE.

So, since we are all still determined to create lasting beauty in this world, lets keep working on our weekly color palettes, shall we? This week we will keep the world in our hearts as we work on the color palette aptly named "One World". The art selected is by four artists I really admire and to me, the work represents both the people of this world and the land through map-like formations. I love how they the play off each other in the inspiration images below.

Play with the softer, peaceful colors and notice the white space. Create a gentle beauty in your work and play on the theme of global people and map-like artwork. And if you are inclined, keep a prayer for peace and safety for all of us in your heart. As always, tag @colorcrushcreative and use the hashtags #colorcrushcreative for all creative posts and #cccpalette19 for this week's palette.

#CCCPALETTE19: ONE WORLD

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Inspiration images by @liatnoten @clareyoungs @wyanne & @toddyponddesigns


ART SUPPLY LOVE

Are you fascinated by the light and transparent work of Gretchen Warsen (@toddyponddesigns)? She creates on Yupo paper using pencils, pens, watercolor, ink and a myriad of other mixed media supplies. New post about her work available HERE! In the meantime, try out a bit of mark making on Yupo paper yourself:

Yupo, Propylene Paper, 11"x14", 10 sheets

  • White Polyprolyene pad
  • Neutral pH sheets with smooth surface
  • Great for various watercolor techniques
  • Includes 10 strong sheets
  • size 11" x 14"
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Aqua Markers by Spectrum Noir 12 Count Primary

  • Offers effects of water color, but with the convenience and control of a marker
  • Dual tip marker has flexible brush combined with an ultra-fine tip for outlining and details
  • High quality water based dyes gives flawless, even coverage
  • Acid free and odor less
  • Ergonomic
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As we grow the Color Crush Creative community, those who stand out have a chance to be featured on Instagram or as the weekly featured artist. Those who subscribe to COLOR FOR YOUR INBOX will get the weekly color combination two days earlier than everyone else. Who doesn't want a two day jump start to play and post their colorful projects?

Color Crush Creative palette 18: Mostly Yellow

The Happiest Color of All!

Yellow - the color that sparks hope, cheerfulness and fun, which is exactly what we need in this world right now. What do you know about yellow? It is the most visible color on the spectrum and the human eye processes it first. More flowers are yellow because it's the easiest for bees and pollinators to spot. In almost every culture it represents sunshine and warmth. And yellow was one of Van Gogh's favorite colors :

The painter Vincent van Gogh was a particular admirer of the color yellow, the color of sunshine. Writing to his sister from the south of France in 1888, he wrote, "Now we are having beautiful warm, windless weather that is very beneficial to me. The sun, a light that for lack of a better word I can only call yellow, bright sulfur yellow, pale lemon gold. How beautiful yellow is!" In Arles, Van Gogh painted sunflowers inside a small house he rented at 2 Place Lamartine, a house painted with a color that Van Gogh described as "buttery yellow." Van Gogh was one of the first artists to use commercially manufactured paints, rather than paints he made himself. He used the traditional yellow ochre, but also chrome yellow, first made in 1809, and cadmium yellow, first made in 1820. (Color in Art by Steffano Zuffi)

Either you love to paint with yellow or you don't. I love it and I feel like we missed highlighting this color while we worked on our Summer of Color - 8 week Color Theory course this year. (Blog posts HERE) So,this week is your chance to explore yellow in all it's happiest forms. Use it alone or with any other color that sparks your interest, just make yellow your priority when you create this week. Don't forget to use the hashtags #colorcrushcreative and #cccpalette18 for this week's color palette.

#CCCPALETTE18: MOSTLY YELLOW

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Bonus: Fun Facts About Yellow Paint

  • Yellow ochre, also known as Mars yellow, hydrated ferric oxide, is a naturally occurring pigment found in clays in many parts of the world. It is non-toxic and has been used in painting since prehistoric times.
  • Indian yellow is a transparent pigment used in oil paintings and watercolors. Originally magnesium euxanthate, it was claimed to have been produced from the urine of Indian cows fed only on mango leaves. It has now been replaced by synthetic Indian yellow hue.
  • Naples Yellow (lead antimonate yellow) is one of the oldest synthetic pigments, derived from the mineral bindheimite and used extensively up to the 20th century. It is toxic and nowadays is replaced in paint by a mixture of modern pigments.
  • Cadmium Yellow (cadmium sulfide, CdS) has been used in artists' paints since the mid-19th century. Because of its toxicity, it may nowadays be replaced by azo pigments.
  • Chrome Yellow (lead chromate) derived from the mineral crocoite, was used by artists in the earlier part of the 19th century, but has been largely replaced by other yellow pigments because of the toxicity of lead.
  • Zinc yellow or zinc chromate is a synthetic pigment made in the 19th century, and used by the painter Georges Seurat in his pointilist paintings. He did not know that it was highly unstable, and would quickly turn brown.
  • Titanium Yellow (nickel antimony titanium yellow rutile) is created by adding small amounts of the oxides of nickel and antimony to titanium dioxide and heating. It is used to produce yellow paints with good white coverage.
  • Gamboge is an orange-brown resin, derived from trees of the genus Garcinia, which becomes yellow when powdered. It was used as a watercolor pigment in the far east from the 8th century – the name "gamboge" is derived from "Cambodia" – and has been used in Europe since the 17th century.
  • Orpiment, also called King's Yellow or Chinese Yellow is arsenic trisulfide and was used as a paint pigment until the 19th century when, because of its high toxicity and reaction with lead-based pigments, it was generally replaced by Cadmium Yellow.
  • Azo dye-based pigment (a brightly colored transparent or semitransparent dye with a white pigment) is used as the colorant in most modern paints requiring either a highly saturated yellow or simplicity of color mixing. The most common is the monoazo arylide yellow family, first marketed as Hansa Yellow. - from Wikipedia

ART SUPPLY LOVE

Once again, my very favorite paints in acrylic and watercolor!

Golden Paints, heavy body acrylic, classic theory color mixing, set of 8

  • Great for artists exploring the traditional range of acrylic colors
  • higher pigment load
  • smooth, buttery consistency
  • pure pigments in a 100% acrylic emulsion
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QoR Watercolor by Golden, 5ml tubes, set of 24

  • Vibrant color set that stays brilliant even after they dry
  • More density of color than traditional watercolors
  • Exclusive Aquazol binder used in conservation
  • Greater resistance to cracking and flacking
  • Excellent re-solubility in water and glazing qualities
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My favorite art history book is actually the history of color in art. Such a beautiful book to read!

The Brilliant History of Color in Art by Victoria Finlay

And also a couple great informative books on color theory:

Color Theory: An essential guide to color-from basic principles to practical applications

Color: A Course in Mastering the Art of Mixing Colors by Betty Edwards


As we grow the Color Crush Creative community, those who stand out have a chance to be featured on Instagram or as the weekly featured artist. Those who subscribe to COLOR FOR YOUR INBOX will get the weekly color combination two days earlier than everyone else. Who doesn't want a two day jump start to play and post their colorful projects?

Color Crush Creative Palette 17: Endless Summer

I'll be honest, I'm not ready to let go of summer just yet so this week I've decided to hold on to some bright and fun colors for our weekly project. Introducing "Endless Summer", a palette featuring the warm colors of summer along with the contrast of refreshing blue and green to remind you of hanging out poolside for one more week. And for a little twist, we will punch up our palettes with a bit of black and white pattern or mark making. (optional of course)

As with any color palette, the choice is yours on how you will use the colors and inspiration images. Use all of the colors, some of the colors, or focus on just one. Remember to vary the amounts of color you use and choose a range of value (lights and darks) to give your artwork interest. Use the hashtag #cccpalette17 when sharing this week's color palette on Instagram or #colorcrushcreative for any creative post and give me a shout out! I can't wait to see what you do this week - go, now, make more artwork!

#cccpalette17: Endless Summer


ART SUPPLY LOVE

How do you add black and white pattern to your artwork? The simplest answer is to get out your black pen and make your own pattern or marks. You could try charcoal, graphite, oil pastel or a Sharpie China Peel-Off Marker. Here are a few other solutions:

I love to use origami paper in my mixed media artwork. It's thin and bold and the black and white patterns will really stand out:

Aitoh Origami Paper, 3" x 3", black/white, 300 pack

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Never underestimate the value of a great set of PITT pens. Permanent ink for your own mark making:

Faber-Castel Wallet Pitt Pens, Black, assorted set of 8

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And if you're really creative you could inverse your pattern by using masking fluid and India ink or watercolor:

Windsor and Newton Art Masking Fluid, 75ml

Speedball Super Black India Ink, 16 oz. bottle

And also a couple great informative books on color theory:

Color Theory: An essential guide to color-from basic principles to practical applications

Color: A Course in Mastering the Art of Mixing Colors by Betty Edwards


As we grow the Color Crush Creative community, those who stand out have a chance to be featured on Instagram or as the weekly featured artist. Those who subscribe to COLOR FOR YOUR INBOX will get the weekly color combination two days earlier than everyone else. Who doesn't want a two day jump start to play and post their colorful projects?

How to Find Your Voice as an Artists

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Who am I as an artist?

Finding the answer to this is the secret every artists wants to figure out. After reading all kinds of books, spending a lot of time online and grilling all of my artist friends, I have come to only one conclusion. *You must do the work.* Only time spent creating will help you reveal the mystery. And this is one that will keep unfolding your whole art career. I am still asking myself who am I as an artist and I suspect in twenty years I will still be asking myself the same question.

But, I have to start somewhere!

Chances are that you didn’t just wake up one day and decide to be an artist. Being an artist is truly a calling and I suspect an interest has long since sparked in you and has been growing. You’ve probably already started down the path and have a general idea of what you want to do. What is is? Do you have a favorite subject, color palette, choice in materials? You may have a long list of ideas or directions you could possibly take off in, but start by picking just *one* thing. Now it’s time to FOCUS and challenge yourself.

OK, how do I challenge myself?

Paint 100 paintings and then 1000 more. Yep, this is where I would begin. Actually, this is where I DID begin. After taking a long break (like 12 years) from painting, I knew the only way to grow and learn again was regular practice and I wasn’t going to accomplish this without challenging myself. At first I started small and drew every night for 29 days. Then I did a countdown to spring painting flowers in watercolor. Eventually I worked up to a longer series called 100 Little Memories. And I didn't stop. I'm well over 1000 paintings by now, but I know I have just begun.

“Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started. If I’d waited to know who I was or what I was about before I started “being creative,” well, I’d be sitting around trying to figure myself out instead of making things. In my experience, it’s in the act of making things and doing our work that we figure out who we are. You’re ready. Start making stuff.”
— Austin Kleon
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Start Making Stuff

If you give yourself some parameters and specific goals for the challenge, you will really learn a lot about yourself as an artist and what you are capable of doing. Limiting your choices will actually help increase your creativity because you will have fewer decisions to make when you start your work each day.

  1. Choose your medium. Maybe you already know you want to be a watercolor artist or an oil painter. Maybe you've been an active artist for awhile but you want to try something new. Or maybe you just are not sure what will suit you, but to start, pick one medium (or set of mediums for mixed media) for this project.
  2. Pick a subject or style to tie the challenge together. You could paint all seascapes like I've done for one of my projects. You could choose a limited color palette and work on still life. You could get very specific and work solely in collage on paper creating large florals. But whatever you do, pick one of your interests that excites you enough to stick with it for a whole series of paintings.
  3. Choose a size. Let’s be realistic, you don’t have to eat the whole whale all at once. It might just be best to go smaller, something under 12 inches. But this is your project, follow your instincts about what you need to learn.
  4. Set a deadline. Maybe you have the ability to finish 100 paintings in 100 days, or maybe you need a year. Maybe working in a journal is better for you a little every night or maybe the best thing for you are smaller projects like 30 paintings in 30 days by Leslie Saeta. What ever you do make sure you are setting aside time every week to paint. You can't make progress unless you are working on making progress. This is about really growing your skills and your vision and it takes dedicated time.
  5. Ask for help from a mentor. This might be the hardest part, but there is no point in doing something 100 or 1000 times if you are not growing and improving as you go and you must get feed back if that is going to happen. Join a group, ask a friend, take a class, find a community online if you must, but you must show your work to someone and learn how to improve on what you are already doing.
  6. Repeat. Still not sure if you are developing your vision as an artist? Start at step one and begin again. Eventually a pattern will present itself and your true self will come through.
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How do I know when I have found my voice?

Only you will know if you are on the right path. Does it feel right? Are you excited about what you are doing? Does one idea lead you to the next? When you look at your work does it look like a fairly cohesive collection that says, “Yes I am the artist of this work!” And as soon as you as comfortable with what you are doing, challenge yourself again! If you want to find your voice as an artist *you must do the work*.

As with everything in art, once you've learned the rules, you can throw them all out. Do you have to do the same thing for the whole series? Do they have to all be of the same medium and size? Do you even have to do a whole 100 works of art? Only you can decide what works for you, but if you are going to run a marathon, you should start somewhere...and I think if you do the work you'll see the results. Go for wild ideas and enjoy the process!


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You Belong Here

An inspiring community of like-minded artists awaits you. Join the Color Crush Creative Club. Get help on this creative journey through the weekly color palette project. Enjoy the Instagram feed of featured artworks @colorcrushcreative. Be the first to know about upcoming events and get helpful info with the newsletter, Color for Your Inbox

Work in Progress

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Image inspiration by @nadeaustudio and @eibhilincrossanart

WE ARE ALL A WORK IN PROGRESS

I wanted to take some time to explore something meaningful with you. I want to talk about purpose, about our true calling, about our soul's work. We've worked on color confidence, and now I would love to fill a few of those gaps in personal confidence. The calling to be an artist can be a joy and overwhelming at the same time. How do we do it?

I want to tell you the BIG SECRET TO SUCCESS as an artist - there is none. Nope, there is not one way that will make the difference, there are a million, but it starts with YOU. Instead of a (non-existent) magic solution I'd like to remind you that we are all works in progress and you are good enough. To paraphrase Elle Luna...You have arrived at the crossroads of should and must. Honor that calling, choose MUST.

So, here it goes, on the @colorcrushcreative Instagram feed we will be focusing on behind the scenes of our creative journey. Share your paint palettes, your art supplies, your studios, your not quite completed artwork and especially YOU in the creative process with your work. Seek a place this week where you can be present in the process and accept that you are good enough, right here and now, in your creative journey. Enjoy being an Artist!!

The Crossroads of Should and Must:Find and Follow Your Passion by Elle Luna

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ART BOOK LOVE

If you are still seeking some creative help, I have to share a couple favorite inspirational books for creatives. I wasn't expecting to be blown away by BIG MAGIC, but I was. It really taps into what it means to be an artist, a creative being, with a purpose. Its a must read for all of you! (Plus a few of my other favorites listed below.)

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

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The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp for Art Book Love with Kellee Wynne Studios.jpg

As we grow the Color Crush Creative community, those who stand out have a chance to be featured on Instagram or as the weekly featured artist. Those who subscribe to COLOR FOR YOUR INBOX will get the weekly color combination two days earlier than everyone else. Who doesn't want a two day jump start to play and post their colorful projects?

Color Crush Creative Palette 16: True Colors

Can you believe our summer of color is nearly over? Eight weeks of color learning, eight palettes to explore, eight emails of education...and hopefully a much better understanding of color theory. Is your color confidence growing? Are you ready for more? Don't worry, Color Crush Creative isn't going anywhere. We'll still have our weekly color palettes to look forward to and more color loving learning soon!

#cccpalette16: True Colors


Yes, experimenting with grays and black and white was a good experience and necessary! But we are coming back to color again this week. And you have an assignment again...use your favorite color combination! The colors on our sample palette are just for show - you do not need to choose from these six colors. You need to choose your FAVORITE COLORS, the ones that you turn to over and over again, the ones that have become your signature style, the colors that make your artwork sing. There's only one catch....name the colors (or more specifically what you used to mix your chosen colors) and which color scheme most closely represents what you are using! Ahhh, see I wanted to know if you really have learned something from Summer of Color! 

You have a cheat sheet to turn to, remember? The blog post I wrote for you about BASIC COLOR THEORY will help guide you through not only the terminology for understanding color theory, it will also give you some pointers on what helps make a good work of art. Use those tips and the info from the blog post, 5 Quick Tips for Instagram Photographs, to snap better pictures of your artwork so that you may be featured on the Instagram feed like so many of our Color Crush participants have throughout our first four months.


Art Supply Love

As a review I am recommending my two favorite paint sets for you to bust out the color! The paint from Golden Paints is always my favorite, so I can't recommend them enough. If you really want to up your game and find yourself much more satisfied with your own painting abilities, then start with good paint. A higher pigment load and better blending ability will mean you will find success faster than when you use student grade paints. So, here are my favorites for acrylic paint and watercolor paint...

Golden Paints Heavy Body Heavy Body Classic Theory Color Mixing Set of 8


As we grow the Color Crush Creative community, those who stand out have a chance to be featured on Instagram or as the weekly featured artist. Those who subscribe to COLOR FOR YOUR INBOX will get the weekly color combination two days earlier than everyone else. Who doesn't want a two day jump start to play and post their colorful projects?

Mark Making Love with Inge Flinte

Introducing Inge Flinte of @thinkingwithouttalking

Expressive marks and colorful details is what Inge Flinte is all about. An artist and photographer from New Zealand, Inge interprets the world around her in an art form she calls 'notetaking' - capturing moments of interaction in painted forms. We've loved connecting with Inge through the @colorcrushcreative account. If you're wondering how to find your own art tribe, Inge says Instagram is a game changer.

Connecting with other creatives is an amazing way to be part of a community and to get feedback on what you’re doing. Instagram has been such a game changer for me in finding an artistic community to interact with.

Take  look at Inge Flinte's Art Process:

Keep making - Keep practicing - Keep going. This is how Inge approaches her art practice. Its so easy to overthink and over analyse a potential piece before even sitting down to paint, so the best thing Inge does when she's feeling stuck is to just start painting and not be afraid to make mistakes. Not everything is going to look great and she's liberated by knowing that's okay. 

Inge also has no problem with experimenting with different tools, paints, colors, and mediums. She's willing to scribble. All this room for discovery can really help an artist break out of a creative rut. Inge says, "My favourite tool at the moment is the top from the Golden Fluid Acrylic bottles!"

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A Few Fun Things You Should Know About Inge:

1. Inge went to art school and work as both a photographer and painter. She had a few years after art school where she produced very little work as she began to overthinking her approach to making art. Its only in the last three years where Inge refocused herself on her studio practice and being an artist.

2. The world that surrounds Inge is the major influence in her artwork - from the explosion of green in her garden, to the scuff marks left behind on walls; showing the residue of lives lived. She is drawn to observing and recording these interactions.

 3. You could say that Inge is obsessed with light - she loves how its presence and absence can transform a space and its a major influence in both her photography and painting.

4. She loves to switch up painting styles every now and then. It allows her to both experiment with new techniques and keeps from getting bored.

5. Inge's painting practice is about finding a balance - in a visual sense between serendipitous and intentional marks; and between the chaos of everyday life and her art. 

Find out more about Inge Flint on her website: ingeflinte.com


Your Turn: Make Your Own Mark

Do you find yourself in a creative rut or over thinking your next move? Try some of Inge's techniques. Use scraps of paper that are not precious and don't worry about the outcome, just try a bit of everything.

Use random objects as tools, mix art supplies you wouldn't think to put together, look around where you live for a color or pattern or detail to instigate your next mark...just don't think too much about it before you make your next move. Be spontaneous!


INGE FLINTE Art gallery:

Don't forget to sign up for "Color for Your Inbox" and get the weekly Color Crush Creative color palette two days early! Plus lots of other great tips and tricks to help you with your creative journey!

Color Crush Creative Palette 14: Softer Side

Color Crush Creative Palette 14: Softer Side

Hello Color Lover! I'm so glad to have you here with me on this journey. Another colorful week has arrived and we have worked our way around the color wheel during our Summer of Color. Each week we have been exploring a new concept in color theory to help you gain better color confidence. I hope you have found the information valuable so far and are willing to give yourself another challenge again this week as we soften things from our saturated palettes of the previous weeks to something more subdued.

How to Have the Best Day Ever

Another week has come and gone and another chance at having the best week ever. And EVERY week is the best week ever because every week is another chance to love, laugh, live and breathe. But it takes work! Effort must be made every day to make it the best day in order to live your best life.

 I think everyone could use a little nudge, so today I am introducing “Best Day Ever”. These are six simple things to make your day a better day. If you have a happy day today, by the end of the week you’ll have a bunch of happy days and end up having the best week ever. Soon you will find you’ve had a few great weeks and before you know it you’ll have the happy life you’ve been looking for all along….simple mathematics.

These are my simple principles for letting go and leaning in to a better life....

1. Be in the moment. 

Every morning is an opportunity to wake with a fresh start. Let go of yesterday’s mistakes and tomorrow’s worries; you have a chance to get it right today. This is a new day full of possibilities – be present for it.

2. Approach others with objectivity. 

Scientists are responsible for putting aside their biases and beliefs to see the world as it really is. This is objectivity. Rather than being irritated, easily offended, stuck in your ways or judging others; choose open mindedness. Aren’t we all just trying to make our way through a chaotic world?

3. Accomplish something meaningful. 

You’ll feel better when you cross at least one thing off your to-do list and even better about the day if you make it meaningful. If you have goals and dreams, see yourself closer to them by doing something with purpose today.

4. Share the love. 

Take time to connect with the people in your life. The more love you give, the more love you have.

5. Go with gratitude. 

Say thank you, thank you, thank you for this day. When you focus all your thoughts on what’s right, even if it’s the smallest of goodness to be found, you cannot help changing your whole outlook. Gratitude will create a beautiful life.

6. Laugh often. 

Laugh out loud. Laugh until you can’t breathe. And don’t forget to smile while you’re at it….

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities,
in the expert’s mind there are few.
— Shunryu Suzuki

I've found a magical way to start off on the right foot every morning. I have fallen in love with poetry and inspirational reading. It makes my heart sing. Here are a few of my favorites from my reading list:

The Prophet by Khalil Gibran

Why I Wake Early: New Poems by Mary Oliver

Upstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Do you have any great words of wisdom to add? How do you have the best day ever? Please leave a comment below! or send me a message: hello@kelleewynnestudios.com

Color Crush Creative Palette 13: The Good Earth

Color Crush Creative Palette 13: The Good Earth

Yes, this week is all about green, what did you expect? And again I couldn't resist naming this week's palette after one of my other favorite books (maybe we'll get through all of them before the year is over!). This week is The Good Earth, named after Pearl S. Buck's famous novel.

We're rounding out the color wheel in our Summer of Color. First week was the entire rainbow, followed by the analogous colors of yellow-orange-red-magenta, then all the violet shades and last week was everyone's favorite and the easiest, blue. But this week we'll work on one of the more difficult colors to master. Don't be afraid of GREEN.