SLIDER

Hello!

My name is Erika. I'm in love with making art, collecting old things & chasing after my two kiddos. This blog is a peek into my happy accidents & plots of total world domination.

NEWSLETTER

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Making Art Everyday in 2015 // Day 181



My neighbor's house being attacked by a hydrangea. :)

The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 181. To read more about this awesome project click here.
1 comment

Monday, June 29, 2015

Making Art Everyday in 2015 // Day 180



There's always coffee.


How's your Monday going? The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 180. To read more about this awesome project click here.
No comments

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Making Art Everyday in 2015 // Day 179



A sweet little chickadee.

I needed something sweet for my day. Nora is almost three and the other moms have warned me about the infamous "three-anger" phase. Her words are growing and growing, but so have her tantrums. She is learning to understand the world, but wow the tantrums are tough. Her biggest tantrums are about understanding that sometimes other children do not want to share and not taking things that aren't hers.  

I love the fact that she is persistent and I do not want to ever discourage that, but it's hard teaching her the line.  She has a really tough time letting things go or even trying to distract her. She has laser beam focus! :) I know it will get easier.

Parenting is hard. 

The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 179. To read more about this awesome project click here.
No comments

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Making Art Everyday in 2015 // Day 178



I have been pretty quiet on the blogging front. I have been making art everyday, but it has been really hard. We are getting ready to embark on a new journey of selling our house and finding a new one.  I worked in real estate finance for a really long time before I quit my job to pursue art. I saw just about everything, the worst of the worst.  I saw everything go wrong and very rarely I saw everything go completely smoothly.

I have been waiting for something to go wrong. When a small thing doesn't go right. I have this over whelming  feeling, that everything is going wrong.

I'm really excited to get a new home, but I am terrified. The process freaks me out because I know it inside and out.  I had to pack up my studio this week and all that is life is a table and a few boxes. I miss my own art space.

I will continue to make art everyday, but maybe something awesome will come through my work. I guess I will have to see what happens.

The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 178. To read more about this awesome project click here.
No comments

Friday, June 26, 2015

Making Art Everyday in 2015 // Day 177

It's Friday! Anyone else really excited for the weekend?

The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 174. To read more about this awesome project click here.
No comments

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Making Art Everyday in 2015 // Day 176



when you have a day that everything goes wrong. you paint yourself some flowers.

The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 176. To read more about this awesome project click here.
No comments

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Making Art Everyday in 2015 // Day 175


Portrait Practice.

The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 175. To read more about this awesome project click here.
No comments

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Making Art Everyday in 2015 // Day 174

Afternoon tea today. jam cake (crumb cake with jam in the center) and berries. Art has been really hard to manage over the last few weeks. I know when I actually am able to sit and dedicate time to my practice, it is worth it. 

Making anything today?

The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 174. To read more about this awesome project click here.
1 comment

Monday, June 22, 2015

Making Art Everyday in 2015 // Day 173

Royal Hotel from 1905- the only thing other than the building itself that remains of the hotel is the sign. Makes me wonder what it was like in Portland over 100 years ago. This hotel is in the industrial part of SE, Portland and it was at one time my favorite parts of Portland to paint. It's a place that's almost forgotten by the city.  It has old buildings and lots of electric wires tangled and draped. It's the one place, that I think shows the layers of the city.

How is your Monday going?

The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 173. To read more about this awesome project click here.
No comments

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Making Art Everyday in 2015 // Day 172

Old sink and radiator. 

Happy Father's Day! The kiddos have been working extremely hard on lots of artwork in preparation for this day.  Having a little family of my own, really makes me appreciate my own parents and how special this day really is.  Even though my dad doesn't really understand the need for me be an artist. He is the hardest working person I know. He still has some of my old paintings in his office and displays them proudly. 

Hope you are having a wonderful day. 

The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 169. To read more about this awesome project click here.
No comments

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Making Art Everyday in 2015 // Day 171



My Saturday is full of errands and chores, but at least I have art today.

What are you up to?

The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 171. To read more about this awesome project click here.
No comments

Friday, June 19, 2015

Making Art Everyday in 2015 // Day 170





Happy Friday!

Flying Kites today.

The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 167. To read more about this awesome project click here.
No comments

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Making Art Everyday in 2015 / Day 169



vintage gum ball machine.

Some days, like today I wish I had more time to devote to my work. Some days, I get that sudden rush of inspiration and all I want to do is lock myself up in my studio and paint.

I would love to revisit this piece and take another pass.  The kiddos have been waking up extra early since it's summer, which has been giving me less time to dedicate to my work.

The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 166. To read more about this awesome project click here.
No comments

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Making Art Everyday in 2015 // Day 168

Meowzers.

Poor neighbor's kitty got a terrible haircut to go with his terrible sweater.

The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 168. To read more about this awesome project click here.
No comments

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Making Art Everyday in 2015 // Day 167

That's my jam.

It's berry picking in season in Oregon and I live pretty close to a few berry farms. So, we go berry picking a lot.  Nora has been getting the hang of it and eating more than picking, but that's the most fun.

Nora loves to be in the kitchen with me and we have been making lots of jam so far this year. I can't believe she is almost 3 years old and pays very close attention to each step.  She wants to help as much as possible and do things all by herself. 

Have you gone berry picking yet this year?

The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 167. To read more about this awesome project click here.
No comments

An Uncommon Father's Day

Father's Day is just right around the corner (this weekend!) and I know my husband looks for any excuse to a receive a present. Tim is extremely hard and terrible to shop for. He loves unique and extra special things and it has to be something he wouldn't think of himself.

I am teaming up with UncommonGoods today and I think I picked out the perfect Father's Day gift. UncommonGoods is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York and established in 1999. They proudly feature unique designs and handcrafted gifts that are environment friendly and with out the harm to animals or people. The majority of their products are made in the USA. yay!

Since Father's Day is fast approaching the best place to find great Father's Day gifts here or something more personalized click here. Trust me, if you are out of ideas for your special guy this is the best place to shop.

The very last day for shipping for father's day this weekend is this Thursday. So if you haven't found the perfect thing, now is the time to find something extra special here.

This is a sponsored post for UncommonGoods but I do love their stuff!

PS I got him a growler!
No comments

Monday, June 15, 2015

Making Art Everyday in 2015 // Day 166


"There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, or not starting." - Buddha


The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 163. To read more about this awesome project click here.
No comments

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Making Art Everyday in 2015 // Day 165


 a couple of mugs.

Happy Sunday. I really appreciate all the little notes and emails I got yesterday for my really long vent on being a creative. Sometimes it's just so hard. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!


Have a wonderful Sunday, friends.

The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 165. To read more about this awesome project click here.
No comments

Saturday, June 13, 2015

To All of the Art Haters

I am sorry that I am a creative person and I enjoy making things. It's not for everyone. I think why I love it so much is that is makes me feel like a special unique person and it's something I have to do. It's something, that I can lose myself with and I will never ever get bored. I don't need to justify what I make to you because you don't understand it.

A lot of the time it is very hard for me to say that I am an artist because in my life I run into a lot of people that don't really understand what that means. They look at me with eyes of judgment and I can tell, they don't really understand. Outside of the art community, I don't really talk about my art. I know that with being any sort of creative, that I should wear my craft as a badge of honor, but it's hard. I think it's hard to wear the badge with pride and admiration because it is a difficult path.

 Sometimes I think making art is the easy part but everyone once in a while I meet a person who looks at me like what? You don't have a cookie cutter job or not a cookie cutter person. and I think, big surprise, I don't want to be a cookie cutter person. It took me a really long time to say that I am an individual and all of the good and bad things is what makes me Erika. People come in all shapes and sizes inside and out. When I meet someone who casts those eyes of judgment, I feel this overwhelming need to prove my worthiness. which is dumb. like really dumb.

My whole goal with making art everyday this year was completely for myself and I wanted to be more brave about sharing my work and learn more about myself as an artist. I have been truly touched that people who reach out to me daily because they say I inspire them. I don't really know the whole point of this blog post but I just want to say that we are all special unique snow flakes and making things that should be applauded and admired. People should not have fears or feel judged because people don't get it.

I grew up in a world were art wasn't really encouraged. Yes my parents are creatives in a way like they enjoy gardening, fixing things, and even building things, but they don't really enjoy art the same way that I do. and that's ok. I do share my little victories with them but overall they don't really understand my journey.

This week I had the luxury to run into a lot of people who do not understand what I do. like a lot of people. If I say that I am an artist and they look at me like I just turned into a complete monster or some sort of light turned off. I feel sorry for people who don't understand the beauty of what it's like to make art. I feel sorry that they are so full of negative energy and nothingness, that they can't open their minds to exploring new and amazing things. Granted I don't get and love everyone, but I deep down I believe everyone is artistic. Even if it's something unconventional like through cooking or styling or maybe gardening or maybe even fitness. It's something deep down that drives them to love their craft whatever it is because it just really annoys me that because someone doesn't understand my chosen craft, that it makes me a terrible person and something that they can't wrap their minds around.

So if you have ever felt this way, I just want to say. You are a creative and talented person and deserve to make things. Whatever medium you choose. To all the haters out there, that have the power to make you feel small and that you don't matter. They are DUMB. plain dumb because it's their problem, that they can't be open enough to learn something new and see that you're an amazing value and your contribution to this world is something extraordinary.

This was probably more of a pep talk for me but I hope it encourages you to get out there and make something.

The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 164. To read more about this awesome project click here.
3 comments

Friday, June 12, 2015

10 Easy Tips for Oil Painting for a Beginner



1.  Don't use pencil or charcoal when oil painting because it will muddy your color.  Use a neutral color to sketch like a burnt umber or a raw sienna.

2.  Right before you are ready to paint. Dip a little piece of paper towel in solvent and then dip it in a little Burnt Umber and spread it very very thinly across the surface. It should look like a cloudy neutral surface called a wash. It's a lot easier to determine value and doesn't have to be completely dry.

3.  Paint dark to light. White portions are painted  last. Always! It prevents muddying the colors.  Start with the shadows and move to the light. This one sounds easy but it's challenging because your eye is naturally attracted to the white. It also is easier to lighten a color than darken.

4.  Hold your paint brush at the mid to long part of the handle, and not like a pencil. It's easier to control your brush stroke. It does practice and once you get the hang of it, you will see the difference in your brush stroke.

5.  Clean your brushes! If you want to keep your paint brushes in good shape, its best to clean them once your are done using them for the day.  Take the time to really clean your brushes because they can really last, even the cheap ones. I blogged about how to clean your brush here.

6.  Do not use Ivory Black for your black. Use a Blue or Green mixed with Burnt Umber.  I think you can create a richer color and ivory black takes forever to dry.

7. Paint your surface either cadmium red or cadmium yellow. Then let it dry before you start painting. This is a really great technique because you get bits of red or yellow in the underpainting seeping through and creates depth.

8.  Dilute the color. Less is more and it's really difficult once you place a ton of paint on your brush and surface to go backwards.

9.  To learn a ton about color, blending and mixing. A really fun exercise to do a painting in complimentary colors. Red/Green, Blue/Orange, Yellow/Violet. You will learn different gray scales and how each color effects one another. I blogged about the color wheel here.

10. Try just painting with Burnt Umber and Titanium White. It's a great way to each value and learn how to control the flow of paint.


Yay! now get to painting.

The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 163. To read more about this awesome project click here.
1 comment

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Making Art Everyday in 2015 // Day 162

Teleport me to a beach, please.


The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 162. To read more about this awesome project click here.
1 comment

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Making Art Everyday in 2015 // Day 161


I had a dream last night a flamingo was chasing me around my house. Not sure exactly what it means, but who doesn't love a flamingo?

This week has been a really tough week to make art. Tim is out of town which means kiddo duty is all on my shoulders.  The kids have been waking up really early! and it seems like all I can think about is time versus making something.

Sometimes I just need to focus on the sheer act of being creative and be in the moment instead of worrying about everything else.

Are you making something today?

The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 161. To read more about this awesome project click here.
No comments

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Making Art Everyday in 2015 // Day 160


"All happiness begins with a leisurely breakfast." John Gunther.

I used to hate breakfast when I was a kid and now it's my favorite meal of the day. It's the best to enjoy something scrumptious, before the day really starts. ... especially if there is a little piece of cake involved.

The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 157. To read more about this awesome project click here.
No comments

Monday, June 8, 2015

Making Art Everyday in 2015 // Day 159



The cactus and the chair.

A start of a new week and it is really hot and humid here. I think my kids have it dialed in when I go into my studio because one or both wake up. I already am waking up around 5 am to make art and am thinking about going earlier, just for the summer.

What are you making today?

The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 159. To read more about this awesome project click here.
No comments

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Making Art Everyday in 2015 // Day 158



Ice Cream Truck. it is so hot today, nothing sounds better than a delicious ice-cream cone.

The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 155. To read more about this awesome project click here.
No comments

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Making Art Everyday in 2015 // Day 157



Ack it's the weekend. No time for art. Quick morning sketch. 

Before having kiddos, I don't even remember even what I did with all my time. Time has been on my mind a lot lately. In the mornings I get two (at the most) blissful of undisturbed time before everyone wakes up. I love it and it's the one time of day I am guaranteed to have to make art. 

The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 157. To read more about this awesome project click here.
No comments

Friday, June 5, 2015

Making Art Everyday in 2015 // Day 156


Vintage Mark XII Imperial Camera

Happy Friday! Summer has officially started here and it is going to be hot.  I'm looking forward to the weekend but Tim is leaving this weekend for a whole week. This is the first time I am going to be alone with 2 kids and 2 dogs. yikes!

The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 156. To read more about this awesome project click here.


No comments

Thursday, June 4, 2015

5 Tips on Quickening the Drying Time of Oil Painting



fish kiss-

One of the biggest challenges for oil painting is learning and understanding drying time. Since water color and acrylic paint literally take minutes to dry. Oil paints can take days. The fun part about oil painting is creating the depth and the richness in color.Oil painting is probably one of the most versatile mediums and it's the essentially painting in layers.

Here are a few inside tips to quicken drying time, especially if you are just learning the medium. I have tried countless of different ways in speeding up the drying time, including sticking a painting in a oven (not recommended) It was a long time ago but I don't think it really helped and I have read horror stories of paintings turning out brown.

 1. Paint Alla Prima. Are we getting fancy, with the terminology? It basically means painting, wet on top of wet. Famous artists, that use this technique are Monet, Van Gogh and Bob Ross. The trick with this technique is painting in thinner layers and using Terpenoid to thin out the paint. By thinning out your layers with solvent, it will greatly help your drying time. A great tip is starting with a wash (similar to water color) and then painting into that wash.

 2. Use less Linseed Oil or whatever stand oil you are using. The oil you are using is to help the flow of the paint should be used sparingly. It takes practice but try not using any at all and slowly incorporating it in your painting. When using the oil dab your brush lightly on a paper towel and then just drop the tip into the oil. A little goes a long way. You will torture yourself with a painting that never dries. Also remember that when you buy a tube of paint, the paint is usually premixed with linseed oil.

 3. Use a alkyd or liquin. Lots of manufacters make different types of mediums to help quicken drying time. This does greatly help quicken drying time, but it does thicken the paint. In a separate little container put a a cap full of alkyd and a cap full of turpenoid with a ratio of 50/50. Before putting your brush in the oil paint- dip your brush into the mixture. Favorite brand for alkyd is Gamblin's.

 4. Place the painting in a well circulated,dark and non humid room. Low moisture is key because you want your paint to oxidize.

 5. Skip the canvas. Paint on paper. Oil painters are going to hate me but there are mixed media paper that can hold oil paint with out wrinkling or muddying the paint. It's a great way to practice and if you love something you make- you can still put it into a frame. My favorite paper is Aquapaper by Bee Paper.

Want to read more tips on oil painting? click here.

The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 155. To read more about this awesome project click here.
1 comment

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Portland's Best Donut

It is no secret that I love a donut.   You can actually call me a donut connoisseur. When I was pregnant with Everett, I would wake up around 5 am. Then I would drive all around Portland and go to different donut shops. (not joking). So! I was able to sample a lot of different types and kinds of donuts.

Pips- My personal favorite. The only good thing about this donut shop, is that it's far from my house because I would be in trouble. They fry donuts fresh to order. You can't really get better than that. Can you? My favorite is the seasalt and nutella. They are little bite size sugar coated donuts of heaven. They also have a great variety of delicious chai tea lattes. Alton Brown checked this place out last time he was in town. Love this place so much.

Blue Star- the grown up donut. Delicious. My favorite is the basil bourbon.  There are 4 locations all over the city. so it's easy to grab one.  There donuts are the perfect coffee dunker (if your into that for a donut). Each donut is made with TLC and are so pretty to look at.

A Donut a Day- now this is a secret and pretty amazing donut shop.  It's a little out in suburbia but its a classic donut shop and it's pretty delicious. My favorite is pretty much any creme filled donut.  It's located in an old Movie theatre turned mini mall. If you could remember the first time you had a sugarey sweet donut when you were a kid, one of these donuts can teleport you to that moment. They are that good.


I am a Portland girl. I am born and raised in Portland and these are my personal recommendations. This is part of my Portland series because it's the best city ever.  Want to read more? click here.

The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday and this is day 154. To read more about this awesome project click here.


No comments

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Making Art Everyday in 2015 // Day 153


morning.

It's really hard to focus on making art today.  I know it's part of the art job to do all of the administration and business things.  I want to hurry up, so I can just make art.

'm making art everyday in 2015! yay! To read more about this project here.
No comments

Monday, June 1, 2015

Making Art Everyday in 2015 // Day 152



Goldfish in a snazzy sweater.

I have to admit I love the quiet sounds of Monday. I love the routine and the scheduled naps of the kiddos.  and the best part I get the most work done. yay!

I'm making art everyday in 2015! yay! To read more about this project here.
No comments
© Erika Lee Sears