5000 kms Travelled, Five Kids and Two Weeks of Summer Vacation


I took a bit of a summer hiatus from my art. Part of that hiatus included a two week vacation to Eastern Canada with my family. 5000 kms of driving and five different provinces we took in a lot of cool sights. This was a vacation on a budget which included camping in a pop up trailer with five noisy and often fighting kids. Marsh mellows, smores and scary stories told around the campfire my kids were scared and sticky messes each night before bed. Now our two youngest sleep with their door open for fear that they will be attacked in the night by three finger Willie (thank you Stephan for your imaginative story). A lot of memories were made in those 5000 kms; and after many mosquito bites, boring car rides, late nights and ocean views my kids are pretty impressed they travelled half of Canada in a two week span.  Maybe next summer we will head west.

Here a few of the sites we encountered, photo credits to Stephan Chagnon.

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Featured Artist – Meghan Deinhard – An Interview About Her Love Of Life And It’s Joyous Adventure


Today’s featured artists name is Meghan Deinhard, she’s a quirky and fun loving photographer and artist who sees beauty everywhere and believes “life is a joyous adventure”. With that kind of mindset who can help but be inspired by Meghan and her amazing artwork.

Here is her interview.

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How long have you been an artist?

 

I’ve been a fine artist for about 20 years, I got my BFA degree in 1995, but I consider I did “art” before that.  I was an actress and costume designer in my teens, 20’s and 30’s.   

 

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Where do you find your inspiration?

 

I get my inspiration from the world around me.  Everyday moments.  I am a very visual person and when something strikes me as interesting or humorous or marvelously beautiful I take a photo (or zillions) of it.  That’s one part of the inspiration.  The other comes from inside me when I am creating on the computer or in a studio.  I play… with ideas, color, texture, light, shadow, positive and negative space… whatever seems visually exciting to me in that moment. 

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What are you working on right now?

 

I’ve been going in an abstract direction lately.  I take one of my photographs and goof around with it in Photoshop Elements.  I am no pro at PSE, but learn something new every time I do a project.  It’s a blast!  I find a photo that wasn’t very successful on its own and see if I can transform it into something filled with color and texture.  Often you can’t even see the original image when I’m finished.  It’s like an adventure of discovery.  The other thing I’m excited about is my new blog… it’s not just about art, but about finding happy moments.

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

 

I didn’t believe in myself or my artistic abilities enough to try to make and sell my art, or earlier in my life become a professional actress.  I think artists are very vulnerable and I had a lot of knocks when I was young.  It has taken me years to trust that I am a pretty great person and it doesn’t really matter if others don’t like my art, because I do!  It makes me happy to make it and happy to look at it.  As for how I overcame this?  Lots of self help books and meds… just kidding, sort of.  I do take meds for bipolar disorder, and I’ve done a lot of inner work.  But I think what it boils down to is trusting that life is good, and we are born to thrive and express our own unique energies.

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What is your favorite subject matter?

 

My first thought is nature.  Mother Nature is the ultimate artist and an endless source of inspiration.  But, I think what really informs my art is the interaction of me with my daily environment.  In 2011 I carried a camera with me everywhere I went. Each day I took at least one photo and posted the best reflection of that day on Facebook with a unique and descriptive caption. I now have a fascinating visual autobiography of my year.  What I learned is that life itself, inner and outer, is art; and hidden within every moment is a miracle… you just have to pay attention and look for it.  Then as artists we make those moments visual… or as writers, verbal…  I guarantee you there were only a fraction of images I posted that year that are “saleable”, but the true artwork was the story the year of images and captions told.  People watched me go through the death of a cat, finding a new kitten, online dating, finding the love of my life and getting engaged to be married. 

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Besides your art what else are you passionate about?

 

Riding on the back of a motorcycle with my new husband!  And enjoying his ranch in McCall, ID where we go during the summer (we were married in a magical glen on the property last July). 

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Do you have any tips or insights you would pass on to an emerging artist?

 

Don’t compare your work to anyone else’s!   I never thought I could be an artist because I can’t draw well.  Pfft…  silly me.  Here I am now with a degree in ceramics and a burgeoning portfolio of photographs and abstract digital images.   Just keep doing art and try not to judge it.  It’s one thing to toss out something that doesn’t work, but constantly criticizing your work is a shame.  Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder… and if nothing else, if it makes YOU happy, you’ve added joy to the world.   

Oh and if you are a digital or photographic artist…. back up often on an external hard drive!  😉

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Blog:  http://firebonnet.com

Art Gallery:  http://firebonnet.artistwebsites.com/index.html

All of my other social media connections can be made from either of these places. 

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.

 

Summer Vacations – Family Time And The Sights And Sounds Of A Motocross Track


Our family spends a lot of weekends at motocross tracks. On a race weekend you drive to wherever the destination and camp over. The last race weekend I remember waking up and standing outside of the trailer just watching all of the activity; racers tuning their bikes and getting in their gear to head to the riders meeting. Kids running around playing, laughing, making their own dirt tracks in the sand. Dogs being walked by their owners, a steaming mug of coffee in hand and the comforting smell of eggs and bacon being cooked over an open flame. It struck me then how my kids might look back on these summer weekends with such fond memories, being closer as a family, getting to know the other racing families, the noise, and the excitement. On many a Saturday and Sunday morning during the spring and summer season this is what they will wake up to. And it’s pretty cool if you ask me.  Image