Thunderstorms, Daily Life Battles and An Owl Painting


Today it is pouring rain, there is a severe thunderstorm watch in effect, the skies are dark and dreary; the air feels heavy, ominous.

Today is a day for battening down the hatches, curling up in a snug blanket while waiting for the storm to pass.

I feel like this is my life as of late, always waiting for the storm to pass. During these storms, these daily battles I use painting as my comforting blanket, my solace.

Here is an owl painting that was constructed while I worried endlessly about my life;Abstract owl painting by Laura Carter it brought me calm and chipped away at my feelings of helplessness. I painted this owl on a highly textured background; I fought the paint against the bumpy road of the surface, like I am fighting against the bumpy road of my current state of affairs.

Today it is pouring rain, it is dark and dreary, thankfully, tomorrow’s forecast calls for sun and warmth and I say bring it on, it’s about time!

This painting will be available here in the coming week.

Bullying and the Power of One Man’s Words


Today I stumbled upon this video about bullying by Shane Koyczanhttp://www.upworthy.com/bullies-called-him-pork-chop-he-took-that-pain-with-him-and-then-cooked-it-into?g=3 it’s a beautifully written, spoken poem with animation, the animation is beautiful and touching in it’s own right.

This is an incredibly important video and as a person who was also bullied as a child I found myself crying over it. There is one part where he says “we grew up believing no on would ever fall in love with us, that we’d be lonely forever, that we’d never meet someone to make us feel like the sun was something they built for us in their tool shed. So broken heart strings bled the blues as we tried to empty ourselves so we would feel nothing.” That particular collection of words really hit home to me. I was bullied from grade 6 into high school simply because I had buckteeth. My parents were not able to get braces for me until I was 16. The happiest day of my life, and it is sad to say so, is the day I had my braces put on. I grew up in a military family and spent my childhood moving every 4 years. In grade 6 I started in a new school in a smaller town and that’s when the bullying started. I can remember laying in bed at night and thinking the same thing that Shane Koyczan says in his amazing poem; that no one would ever fall in love with me, I was going to grow up lonely, that this would never go away, this would never get better. It did get better as my teeth were straightened, as I grew up and found beauty in myself. However the pain you endure as a child, being barked at all the way home from the bus stop, being called bucky beaver, ugly, freak, the pain of those words carry into adulthood. They make you fear the day your children start school, fear that they will endure the same pain. Or worse that they will inflict pain on others.

Because of my teeth and the relentless teasing I learned to hide away, to not get too close to people for fear I would get too comfortable and maybe forget to cover my mouth with my hand when I smiled or laughed. I was always so careful to cover my mouth. I was one of the lucky ones though, I had friends, friends that considered themselves good people for allowing me to hang out with them, you know, considering…. Friends that would think it were okay to say, “you are the nicest person in our class but you are the ugliest.” I never want my children to have to plan out how they are going to walk from one class to the next to avoid certain people, to have to walk down a hallway while the name calling hits you like a slap in the face. I never want my children to have to laugh when someone makes a reference to how you remind them of bugs bunny, like laughing at yourself will make the humiliation less intense. I never wanted anyone to know their comments hurt me, somehow that made it worse in my eyes. So I laughed along with them and they in turn thought I was so nice, with no idea how much I actually hated them. Thank you Shane Koyczan, your words WILL make a difference.

Please note this blog post was hard to write, I still feel the sting of humiliation recalling that time in my young life. Share Shane’s video, like his facebook page, follow him on twitter; watch him as he makes a difference.

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Featured Artist – Sharon Cummings – An Artists Interview


Today’s featured artist, Sharon Cummings is an artist I have known through social media and some selling sites for quite a few years now. I’ve always admired her amazing work and her ability to market herself. It’s inspiring to see an artist do so well and still make the time to help others. I hope you enjoy her work as much as I do.

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Here is an interview with Sharon about her and her art.

 

Have you always been an artist?

 

I have always been an artist. But I have only been creating professionally for a little over 10 years.

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Who or what inspires your art the most?

 

I am not the type of artist that looks at other art to get inspired typically. I seem to just have a zillion ideas going on in my head all of the time. My paintings must be inspired by an accumulation of life scenery. My photography and photo painting is inspired by what I see.

 

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Do you have a studio space in your home, outside of your home or maybe a shared space with other artists? Tell us a little about your workspace.

 

I have a dedicated room in my home that acts as my studio. It isn’t very large, so when I paint the huge pieces over 6 feet long, I use my garage which is outfitted with a large table, lights and air conditioning.

 

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Is your family supportive or your art and your career choice as an artist?

 

I have had a lot of support from my family and friends with my art. Of course it doesn’t hurt that I am successful and not the “starving artist” type mooching money and food off of them all of the time.

 

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What obstacles have you faced in your career and how did you overcome them?

 

There are many obstacles to my career choice. But one of the hardest for me is the “isolation”. I work from home and am alone most of the time. I do not have coworkers to cut up with or go out to lunch with. It can get very lonely. I still struggle with this. But try to get out with friends as much as I can.

 

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How do you find balance between your work and your family?

 

In order to achieve a balance with my work and family life I have to mark off of time for both and stick to those fiercely!

 

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Do you have a favorite artist and if so who?

 

Everyone always asks me if I have a favorite artist….I am not good with favorites…I like so many, so I will choose my daughter. I believe her to have far more talent than I do!

 

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If you were to give an aspiring artist three pieces of advice what would they be?

 

My advice to artists who wish to succeed with their work is to expect to invest a lot of time creating (make something every day!) and also to expect to spend some money…invest in yourself by getting on pay sites, buying the right camera, etc. Dont skimp! And lastly it is to believe in yourself no matter how grim it looks…sales wax and wane…just keep on believing…

 

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You can find Sharon on Fine Art America, Etsy, her blog and her facebook page as well as many other places on the internet.

 

Abstract Painting With The Kitchen Sink And A Few Swear Words Thrown In For Good Measure


This abstract diptych painting was quite a challenge. At the beginning of the process, when I had laid down the background with ALOT of colour I accidently dropped both panels face down on the floor! Everything ended up smeared so I scrambled to the kitchen sink and ended up rinsing away all the work I had done. After some colourful, choice words I noticed remnants of that beginning background were left behind which gave me the inspiration and vision to paint what you see here. It’s one of those things you might call a happy accident!!