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

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

In the Sun

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

llama

Just the neighborhood llama. Quick one minute sketch.

What do you call a very fast llama?...a Llamagini
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Monday, January 29, 2018

Mint

Imperial Camera in Mint for my upcoming show at Powells.

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Sunday, January 28, 2018

Don't go chasing waterfalls...


Don't go chasing waterfalls.



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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Floral Study

Quick floral study.


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Friday, January 26, 2018

Fan FAN FAN

Fan-tastic.

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Coffee

1 minute sketch in my car. When you don't have time, you make time ..

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Yellow

yellow yellow yellow. painting for my upcoming show at Powells.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Country Road

country road that goes on forever and ever.

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Monday, January 22, 2018

Coffee.


His and hers coffee

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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sunday Sketching

quick sketch. trying to take small breaks from painting on panels since I have so much work to do for my upcoming show at Powells.

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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Oranges

More oranges... to go along with a painting from the other day.

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Floral Friday

Quick sketch and Happy Friday!

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Sun so bright

“It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” 
― Paulo CoelhoThe Alchemist  Late night reading with my sick kids. I always try reading one of my books and a book with out pictures. I try to get them to close their eyes and see the story.. and hopefully fall asleep.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Fresh Squeezed

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Tree

Quick sketch. About all I had time for, since Nora has a case of strep throat. Maybe Ill get a few moments tomorrow to get into my studio.

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Monday, January 15, 2018

Light as a feather.

Dealing with Nora being sick and just laying on the couch all day. It's one of the few moments she isn't going at full blast and isn't invincible for a moment. She is light as a feather. Headed to the pediatrician tomorrow morning. 1 minute sketch.

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Rolleiflex

Always had me at Rollei... the best dual lens camera around.

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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Dream Journaling


“I have dreamt in my life, dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind. And this is one: I'm going to tell it - but take care not to smile at any part of it.” 
― Emily BrontëWuthering Heights



Before having my first baby, the one piece of advice that was always given to me was that I better get some sleep because once the baby arrives I wouldn't be getting any sleep at all! I didn't anticipate how challenging a newborn baby's sleep really was and how little rest that I actually got. Nora was up every 2 to 3 hours to eat and I don't even think I got 5 hours of sleep in a row until maybe she was around 3 months old.

Having little sleep, I realized I was able to catch my dreams easier or at least I was able to remember my dreams.  This is when I started keeping a dream journal because I was having some really odd dreams like dreams when Nora was around 1 month old. She would sit up and talk to me in complete sentences. Sort of like one of those E-trade babies, if you have seen the commercial.

A dream journal is a little notebook and pen that you keep beside your bed and when you wake up during the night or in the morning you immediately write it down.  It's not always about tracking your dreams but sometimes it's an emotion, a feeling, an image or even something completely abstract like a shade of color.  It's important to not let your brain think yet but just write and be present in the moment like stream of consciousness. It also doesn't have to be long or lengthy, just semi legible and it can even be a quick drawing. It's more about whatever is supposed to come out.  It's the time when you can capture your unconscious mind.

The last year or so, before I go to sleep I have been either looking at art, listening to music or reading different things that I want to be inspired by. It's been an experiment to see if it will inspire my dreams and put my brain where it needs to be. 

This is a great source of inspiration and finding new ideas to incorporate in my work because I am always curious about my subconscious layer and what I should be instinctively creating especially in making art.





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Friday, January 12, 2018

portrait practice and giggles


Friendship giggles are the best especially when you can't hold it in any longer and have to let it out. thinking about being loser with the flow of paint through my brush to the paper. portraits really make me let it all go.

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

I am your biggest fan!!

Painting for my upcoming show at Powells. This Portland weather has been so gray and its been that true Portland gray. A deep gray that covers the city with no peak of sunshine. Experiments in color.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Floral Practice

First floral practice of the year! I feel like a lot of my sketchbook lately has been filled with a lot more practice then exploring which is something I need to think about. Floral sketch if mainly washes. A wash is when you thin out the oil paint. It's an easy to paint with oil quickly especially on paper because the paper soaks up the paint. The great thing about washes is that you can paint a lot thicker over the top to develop layers.

Feeling rusty with my sketchbook.

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Everything is everything.


Everything is everything. Working on several painting up for an upcoming show at Powells Books.  IF you have ever been to Portland, its one of the oldest places around. Totally exciting about this one.!


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Monday, January 8, 2018

Grapefruit

Mondays? Do you have a case of the Mondays? I love the routine that Mondays bring, everyone is back on their schedules. So I am able to retreat into my studio and clear my head as to what the week is to bring. Life hasn't slowed down since I have started this making art every day project but has only gotten busier. As you get older, that seems like that what happens, life just gets busier. Somehow Monday is tiny reset and I can clear my head and think about whats to come.

How's your Monday going?

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Sunday, January 7, 2018

Portrait practice

Making art everyday gives you the luxury of picking something new every single day. yay! So one of the subjects have been practicing for a long time is portraits. People are one of the  most complicated things to draw or paint because the amount of detail and structure and softness. So with your year long challenge, make things that you are terrible at and that you want to be better at. Isn't that the whole point?

Feeling out of practice with portraits because I have so many looming projects. Quick sketch one of the teenagers in the neighborhood that flashed me a peace sign.

A quick sketch of a bird because I saw some of my lady birds today.
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Saturday, January 6, 2018

Bird






Ok friends, time to get over my stage fright. I have had a long battle with painting in front of people, sharing photos of myself, and just showing my face. Not sure what it is, if it's my own insecurities or just plain afraid of getting out there.

A quick sketch of a bird because I saw some of my lady birds today.
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Friday, January 5, 2018

Tub



Its really the little things. Once a week, I pile all the plants in the tub and give them a good spray and the love it. It's these little moments that I can capture in my daily art, that I don't think I could capture anywhere else.

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Thursday, January 4, 2018

A Dedicated Space

Where do you make your art? In a special place or perhaps a desk or even on your kitchen table? In starting a year long project, you especially deserve your own creative space.  A place you can scribble, think, browse Facebook (totally serious) and just be in your own world. A place you can make everything you imagine real.

I remember when I first moved in with my boyfriend now husband and I didn't have a dedicated art space or even think about needing one. I had a bin filled with art supplies, that I wanted to use but just didn't want to go through the hassle of dragging out my supplies and then putting them away. Sounds silly but the thought of just taking it out and picking it up, made me not want to make anything at all.   I started painting out on my kitchen table and totally wrecked it and drove Tim crazy with the amount of mess, and then one day I got my own whole desk. (and I still have it) Having that little bit of space was just what I needed and didn't realize that I needed.

Since becoming a mother, I know my personal space has shrunk and is continuing to shrink. Especially as my  kids become more active, my personal bubble is pretty non existent. Everett and Nora love to be in my space especially when I want to cook dinner, take a shower, or .  They are both a lot of energy and love to be involved in everything but my creative but this one small area is my space and no toys allowed. I do sometimes still paint out at my kitchen table when I need to, but my paints and brushes will always have a home

So I hope you are taking your creative space this year and call it your own. Its one of the best gifts you give to yourself.



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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Ballon Car Crash





I wanted to share with you on days that I don't want to make anything at all! Today is that day.
This has been my first day in a while that has been a real struggle for me showing up into the studio I blame it on watching the new season of Black Mirror. Have you seen it yet? So GOOD! Watching Black Mirror makes me not want to sleep, then I start waking up in the night! So even though today was a day that I was sluggish and the furthest thing from my mind was to be present in my studio. I thought I would rather be honest in my own work, and do a quick sketch of a balloon car crash.

I rebounded later in the afternoon, when I rewarded myself with a nap and now all is right in the world.

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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Tips on Holding on to an Idea.



Coming up with a new idea or a new twist on an idea every single day can be quite challenging at times because eventually in the year you will run into some sort of creative block or simply run out of ideas. It has happened to us all, because creativity runs in waves with lots of peaks and valleys. I have learned how to navigate my creative flow over the years with a few tricks and tips. In the coming weeks, I hope to share more of how I unblock myself.  But, today I want to share how to really hold on to those ideas and save those ideas for a rainy day, especially when you need one.

Find a place to keep your ideas, even the silly, crazy and stupid ones. Even the wildest or most boring ideas can turn into something out of this world. The best feeling is when I have an idea that won't go away or it just needs to live. I have heard this advice time and time again, to keep a notebook on you or in your purse and when an idea hits then just write it down. Sounds so simple right? This technique never really worked for me since I have a mom purse filled with stuff that isn't even mine. The notebook would be always caked with leftover cheerios, an apple sauce package that burst, or I would end up giving it to my kid because she saw I had a notebook in my purse and would need to color in it and tear it up immediately. 

I needed to figure out somehow to keep my ideas safe or at least out of my child's fingers. The place to keep an idea or, at least for me, is either on my computer or on my phone. When I see something that sparks my interest, I can just snap a picture. It's easy. I just set up a file on my computer and I can just download it whenever. Another spot is making a Pinterest board. Since there are secret boards, you can pile in the inspiration. With Pinterest, you can upload your own photos or just starting pinning tipping points of inspiration. Google Drive also offers a place to save ideas and photos.If you are more into the written form, it's a great place to keep it.

When you do have an idea, save it immediately. Don't even pretend like you will remember it because it's that good of an idea. Take a picture of it with your phone. Then, when I have time, I can save it to my computer. Usually, if I am out and about or being lazy, I can just save it directly to Pinterest or my Google Drive. I never know when ideas will happen and usually they come in bursts and I want to hold on to them as tightly as possible. Then, when I am going through a dry spell, there is a place I can always look.  

This is something that I do in bursts, but I am always watching and looking for little sparks. 

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Monday, January 1, 2018

Morning Rituals


Happy New Year!

I am a night owl. At least I am a reformed night owl. I love staying up late and I especially love being creative at 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning, or at least that's what I thought. I used to put my kids to bed around 7 pm and then hang out with my husband, then get to work in my studio. Having this routine, was hard because it was difficult for me to switch gears from being a mom, then a wife and then an artist.

A tough day would just hang over my head and would be the hardest to shake, especially when I needed to be intense in the studio. By the time I was able to get rid of the feelings of my day, it would be already late. I would end up working away until like 3 or 4 in the morning and trying to get it done. Then, the kids would be up at around 7 and I would sleep during their nap. I was so tired and in such a brain fog most of the day.

I also felt like I was being a lousy mom because all I could think about was getting sleep and wasn't able to function that way at least for me and being the mom I wanted to be. I am a far from perfect mom, but I want to try my best to be mentally present for my kids. And to be honest, the sleep I was getting was not cutting it.

I was in my studio, and I could feel the push and pull of being so freaking tired and being a mom and trying to make art. When I am this mentally grouchy, I usually listen to podcasts. I was listening to The Lively Show and I listened to the episode with Hal Elrod. He talks about his book, The Morning Miracle, and goes in depth about his highs and lows of his journey and how he battled back from being thousands of dollars in debt and being very depressed. 

The Morning Miracle is exactly how it sounds. He created a morning routine to jump start his day and it helped him bounce back in all the best ways. There are a lot of different layers to the book, but what struck me was the chapter on sleep and creating a morning routine. He also gets into the science of sleep and how much sleep a person actually needs in order to function. When you wake up, your brain makes better decisions in the morning then at night.

The book made me realize that I needed a better routine around my work that wouldn't interfere with my mom schedule. So like that, I made the choice to work mornings instead of nights. I set my alarm clock for 5 am. Did it suck? Yes. Was it terrible? Yes. Do I jump out of bed and run directly into my studio and work? No. The best part about waking up this early is that I get time before the day starts that I can focus on myself. No kids, no husband, and no dog. Well, I do usually let Yoda out and he has a tendency to be an amazing foot warmer, but it's usually just him and I. This was my time without any pushing or pulling and I could just focus on what I should be doing and getting my brain into a place that I could make art.

Create a dedicated time that you are making your best work and you're setup for success. Don't get stuck on the fact that you are a night owl, and think about what is the best way to nourish yourself in this process.

Do I still wake up early? I do, but I am not super strict about it on the weekends. If it's the regular work week, then I do have my schedule in order to make my best work. With this month-long challenge of me sharing all of the behind the scenes, it makes me nervous because it's a pretty big challenge for me to peel back a layer and share it. So here it goes! I'm not sure what's going to happen, but I promise I'll be posting a blog post every day this month.



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© Erika Lee Sears