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A Painterly Weekend

Here I am all set up for a weekend of painting. Gots my cold drink, my mechanical pencil (because I don't have the patience to continually sharpen a real one) and my trusty styrofoam plates to mix my watercolors on. This, folks, is my workspace. Not pictured: iPhone playing My Favorite Murder and one or both cats readying themselves to lay directly on my paper as soon as I draw something.

For a little change of pace, I thought we'd do a "behind the scenes" thing here, and I'd show you what I was working on over the weekend. I suspect I'm pretty much like most small creative business owners, who also work full-time jobs, in that I often have to cram my production time in where ever I can. And sometimes that means you're blessed with a completely free weekend to stay parked at the work table for two days straight, listening to podcasts (I'm a Murderino myself) and just churning it out. This past weekend was one such opportunity (although I did make myself leave the house twice to take walks, especially after I realized that when I talked to Bailey and Pepper...they were answering me). I've had a bunch of ideas swirling around in my head all week, and I wanted to get them started before I lost interest (which is chronic problem of mine, when I over think and idea - I get bored with it).

Push-Up Pop Inside-Out Envelope

You may have noticed reference to something I like to call "inside-out notecards" here on this web-site, and in my Etsy shop. Brief background: I love fancy-pants envelope liners, with their surprise pop of interest whenever you open a fine, hand-addressed card, but I've always been kind of annoyed that all that artwork gets hidden, and all you get is a quick glimpse of it. Soooo, I decided to turn my stationery envelopes inside out and put all the cute and colorful designs on the outside, just so you get more of it all! Right now there are two summer-themed varieties of inside-out notecards available - Fruit Salad and Goody Goody Ice Cream Treats (both of which are going away at the end of the summer, FYI!). I'm coming up with ideas for other themes, and this weekend was all about getting some of those down on paper. All of the artwork on the notecards and envelopes are my own watercolor paintings, which I do at a larger size, then digitally reduce to a tiny size (and as previously discussed, we know I like tiny things).

It ended up being a mixed bag of success. One idea came together really well:

Yes, you are correct - those are watercolor paintings of meats. I had never painted (or even sketched , actually) meats or any meat product, so this was a bit of a challenge, but I'm really happy with the way they came out. The plan is to use them on a series of notecards and recipe cards which I'm hoping to entice my local small business butcher shop to sell at their front counter. And honestly, I'm now so enamored with these little guys that I might just put them in the Etsy shop with or without the butcher shop's involvement. They're just quirky enough that I think they might be a hit!

And another idea didn't really go anywhere. See, at the beginning of the summer, I'd had a flash of creative inspiration and did some awesome watercolors of everyone's favorite American design icon (Homer Laughlin's Fiestaware!) and actually carried the idea all the way through to making a prototype inside-out card out of it :

The idea was that there would be a set of three cards - breakfast lunch and dinner.

Unfortunately, I can't actually sell these, as obviously Fiesta and it's iconic designs are copyrighted , so I've been trying to come up with some other tableware paintings to substitute in the "breakfast, lunch, dinner" notecard series. This has proved to be more difficult than I would've guessed. The paintings of various, bowls, plates and mugs that I did this weekend just didn't inspire me at all. So little, in fact, that apparently I forgot to take a photo of them, so you'll just have to take my word for it. It'll be back to the drawing board sometime soon on that one.

Stay tuned for the Butcher Shop series, though - I have high hopes! And until next time, remember to fit your creativity in where ever you can...

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