Lately : 05

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It's been a while since I've written here and it's because I sometimes don't know what I'm going to write about. Back a year ago, my daily thoughts used to include ideas for business growth, marketing, what I'd blog about, and building my business as a designer. So writing a was kind of easy for me and essential to my business.

These days it doesn't come as easy. I no longer have the head space to plan out an entire blog post or compose a newsletter just off a single idea because my thoughts and my priorities have shifted dramatically. My main focus is painting, my baby and my mom.

ONE

Painting | Since launching my new artwork, I've sold several of my original pieces and have been commissioned to paint some lovely pieces. I feel like I'm exactly where I'm supposed and so grateful for all of the support and encouragement I've received.

I started a new series of paintings called In Utero. This series has a washy, ethereal vibe and a painting for each week of pregnancy, starting at week 13. See more here.

As I look forward to the next 4-1/2 months before our baby arrives, I'm brainstorming and making plans to grow my painting career as much as I can. Here are just a few of many things I have on my to-do list:

  • design and order postcards and send to galleries, previous clients and fans
  • consider wholesale sales
  • book art show
  • prep for art show at Holley Maher's Shop Launch Party
  • set up painting classes
  • curate a group art show, find a space, promote, etc
  • order prints of work
  • photograph artwork with real-life vignettes
TWO

Baby! | When I'm not daydreaming about what it will be like to be a mother, to raise a child far from my family, what the nursery will look like, and what our baby boy will be like, I find myself worrying about the baby. With my history of 2 miscarriages, I sometimes can't help that my mind goes there. I wonder if I didn't have the miscarriages if I'd worry like this. How about you - did you worry when you were pregnant?

So far, it's been an incredible pregnancy. The first trimester was a little rough, but mostly I've learned how to deal with the tiredness and queasiness with lots of naps.

Yesterday we had our 20 week checkup and ultrasound and found out we're having a boy! Honestly, we were very surprised because we were certain it was going to be a girl. But now the idea of boy is all I can think about. And regardless of the gender, we're just to grateful that the baby is healthy and growing big! Y'all should see my belly - it's growing like crazy!

THREE

My mom | About 2 months ago my mom was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). It's been almost a year since the symptoms began and the hunt for what was causing her weakness, inability to eat certain foods and declining health. A year ago, just before the symptoms began, she ran a 5K with me here in Nashville. It was such a fun thing to do together. I remember saying to her "we're almost there, I see the finish line" then we turned the corner and realized that we were only halfway!  I remember how proud I was of her too. We went out to breakfast and treated ourselves for such a feat!

Today, she can't walk unassisted. She needs help with several daily tasks and her ability to talk is rapidly declining. To say my thoughts are with her is an understatement. I think about her all the time and can't go a day without calling her.

They say that this disease can slow down and even plateau for a while. We are hoping and praying this will happen for her. ALS is something I know so little about, please feel free to share any advice or thoughts below in the comments.

So, what have you been up to lately?

New Paintings & Big News!

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The day I realized I longed – I needed – to paint again, was the day I challenged myself to paint at least 1 hour each week. With my schedule packed with loads of design projects, it wasn't easy to find the time. But I made the time and found Fridays to be the best for me, coining #FridayPaintday as the name of my personal challenge.The challenge began in August of 2014 and since then I've accumulated dozens of paintings and rediscovered my calling, my innate desire, my what-I-was-put-on-this-earth-to-do-realization that painting was what I needed to do.

After only a few short months, I didn't feel like I was on a challenge any more, I felt like I was back on track, back on my path. Realizing painting was what I was going to pursue came with a mound of fears "who's actually going to buy my paintings?", "can I make a living painting?", "what will my husband think about me shifting my career, again?", "will anyone like what I create?"....

I tossed and turned for weeks scared to admit it to myself, to my husband and to everyone else that I had to follow this calling. Because I knew it meant so much change and hard work. But I kept looking at the paintings on my wall, paintings I had created years ago when I was painting and I was less fearful and jaded, and the paintings I had created in the past months, and just I knew I couldn't wait any longer. I had to follow my heart and face my fears - not just because I owed it to myself, but also because we had just found out we were pregnant (!!).

I confessed everything to my husband – and hearing myself say it out loud – I felt immediate relief and a sense of calm wash over me. I was exactly where I needed to be.

So here I am today, excited to share with you what I've created. I'd love for you to go and take a look around. You'll see paintings that date as far back as the beginning of the challenge and some as new as last week. You'll also see a few of my new series dedicated to each week of my pregnancy. These paintings have more of a simple, calm, ethereal feel and are created with watered down acrylic paint on watercolor paper. They begin at 13 weeks and will continue till the end of my pregnancy.

When I was asked by Craft Your Life Collective why I paint, I answered:

"Painting and creating art comes from my desire to express myself and to somehow capture and render the emotions and beauty I experience. It also pushes me against insecurities and boundaries that limit my imagination. Each day I paint I feel more whole and exactly where I'm supposed to be."

Let me know what you think by sending me an email or by going to my instagram and saying hello. If you see something you like or are interesting in a custom piece of artwork, let me know. Read more about my new decision and new energy here.

Desktop Art / Painting No.13

Painting No.13 Desktop Art Yesterday I celebrated my birthday by going for a hike, then to the art museum, then out to dinner. It was such an amazing day! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and here's a new desktop art download for your computers or phones. Enjoy!

Painting No. 13 Download

Psst...Find this same painting here as iPhone cases, pillows and more!

Abstract art iPhone case and pillow by Meredith C Bullock

NEW ENERGY

Meredith C Bullock New Energy Painting A new year brings this new energy, an energy I love and look forward to every year. Unlike most years, this year I didn't write a list of resolutions. Instead, I wanted to give myself the time and space to really dig deep and find out what I really wanted. I didn't want to jump ahead and start jotting down goals, I really wanted to be patient and listen to what my heart was saying.

Several things have been helping me through this self-discovery process, like meditating, writing 3-pages of anything everyday and a book called The Artist's Guide. This book describes a process in which the author took herself through in order to live the life of her dreams as an artist.

When I read the introduction I was immediately hooked and could hear myself through her words. A woman who spent years building up a successful business while putting her painting career to the side. At a certain point she couldn't let the painting be her second priority anymore, and she paved a path to her success.

In this book she describes this path and guides the reader through each step. I'm not quite sure how many steps there are, but already at step 3/4 I know what I want.

Before I started to read this book I knew things were shifting, I knew that what I envisioned for my business and my everyday was different than it was before–even just a few months ago.

The shift, unknown to me at the time, began when I started painting again for my #FridayPaintday challenge. After a few months of getting back to painting, having a collection of new paintings grow and having inquiries about custom artwork come in, it hit me: I want to do this for a living.

I've had this feeling before, but never with so much confidence. Yes the fears flooded in after I admitted this to myself and to my husband, but I know this is right and I've learned I've got to push through those fears if I want to achieve my dreams. One of those fears was admitting this discovery to you.

So today I'm sharing with you that a change is coming and you will slowly see it start to unfold here. I still want to work with creatives to help them achieve their dreams, I still love designing websites and brands, I still want to teach, coach and lead retreats. But I also want to focus on building a career as a painter.

A few changes that have already occurred is that I started taking commissions and my instagram is almost all about my exploration of painting. I ordered sample prints for my artwork, so soon you'll see a bunch of prints available in my shop. I'm also working a new series of paintings for an exhibit this year.

A few things I want to have happen this year:

  • Exhibit my artwork in 1-3 galleries
  • Create 1-3 commission pieces per month
  • Sell my original artwork and prints
  • Have representation from a gallery
  • Be know as an artist and painter in Nashville and beyond

How about you, any changes or goals this new energy/new year has brought to you?

Finding Inspiration / Book Illustration Ideas

Book Illustration Ideas - Finding Inspiration One of my dearest friends and I are working together on a book. She wrote it, I'm illustrating and designing it. This book is full of inspiration, motivational words and so many beautiful things that the artwork has to reflect that same beauty.

I've pulled together some ideas for the artwork. I'm thinking of combining simple line illustrations with washy watercolor elements.

I cant wait to share with you more on this project as it unfolds. For now, check out these amazing artists that created the beautiful work above (starting from top-left, ending on bottom-right):

  1. John Marin
  2. Rosemarie Auberson
  3. Mathilde Aubier
  4. Clare Elsaesser
  5. Mathilde Aubier
  6. Satsuki Shibuya
  7. Alicia Galer
  8. Maria Elina
  9. Ningeokuluk Teevee
  10. Giada Ganassin
  11. Jay Dart

See more of my favorite illustrations and paintings here.

A CHALLENGE TO PAINT

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It's official: I'm now accepting commissions for abstract art! After 13 weeks of #fridaypaintday – a self-made challenge to paint 1 hour each Friday for myself – I've reconnected with my truest passion; painting.

Most of you might not know this about me; painting was something I pursued several years ago. I was constantly painting and preparing for the next exhibit. I loved painting, the process of getting lost in music, color, paint and texture was a dream. And to see what I created on the other end was always something I loved.

I could paint all day long but I didn't know to make a living doing it. Back then I didn't have the knowledge I have now. I didn't know how to share my work (rather than sell it) or how to leverage my connections and online presence to grow my business. I was so new at it all and didn't know what I was doing.

I kept creating and sharing and found that a lot of people were interested in calligraphy. So I put my paintings on hold and followed the demand–which meant I could quit my day job sooner. I opened a second Etsy shop dedicated to calligraphy and wedding related items and in less than a year I quit my day job and was a Featured Seller on Etsy. After about 6 months of wedding invitation design I realized I wasn’t doing what I loved and I shifted focus to work with creatives on their brand and business.

Fast forward to a few months ago, I noticed that most of my day-to-day work was in front of the computer and filled with calligraphy and design work. Both crafts I enjoyed, but I was missing painting BIG TIME and not doing exactly what I loved. I wanted to create with my hands more and to step away from the computer.

That's when I decided enough was enough. I had to carve out time for something I was missing. I couldn't be reactive, I had to be intentional about what I wanted. Through the process of #fridaypaintday–starting a challenge to create change– I learned I wanted to paint more often; for myself and for you.

Today I challenge you to start a project that creates change for you in your life. Perhaps you want to paint but never have the time. Start a challenge that gets you painting at least once a week and see what happens. I bet you will be painting more than you ever imagined. And who knows, maybe someone will notice.

If you're interested in having a custom painted piece of artwork with your choice of colors to coordinate with your home or space, check out how a commission works here>>> and feel free to email me with any questions or ideas.

Here's to a new year and a new you!

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#FRIDAYPAINTDAY

#fridaypaintday #fridaypaintday Process

#fridaypaintday Brushes

#fridaypaintday Painting No2 - 1

#fridaypaintday Palette No2

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#fridaypaintday Painting No1

Last week I began #FridayPaintday, a self-made project in which I carve at least 1 hour out of my Friday each week to create and paint for myself. Like I mentioned in last week's post, this was a practice I followed weekly. Getting back to painting and creating for me and me only was freeing, exhilarating and reminded of how much painting is part of my fabric that makes me, me.

I curated a music mix, made sure all of my work was done for the day, and let loose. This is what it looked like and today, I'm about to start again.

I plan to have a few Nashville photographers visit my studio to capture pictures of me painting and creating. Stay tuned for those. For now, follow along and watch my progress via instagram.

Happy Friday!

 

FINDING INSPIRATION | HATCHING ILLUSTRATION

Finding Inspiration - Hatching Illustration I recently started a project with my husband that involves illustration for his new brand, business and websites (more on this soon). As we gathered images and inspiration to guide our vision, the illustrations that captured what we were looking for the most was a sketch, hatch-like illustration. The look is polished with ink, but maintains a very loose, playful and childlike feeling to it.

Typically hatch, or cross-hatching, is where lines criss-cross each other to give one dimensional ink, two dimensions. But instead of crossing these lines, they're simply a block of lines next to another block of lines in a different direction or layered above and below each other.

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Hatching techniques

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You can see a little more closely on the ladies tights above that they're filled in black. But instead of filling them completely in with black ink, the hatching illustration style gives them depth, movement and texture. And on the image with the heads and bottles, you'll see the hatch style is stacked.

Both styles I really like and plan to use them to continue my illustration work.

From the top image, starting at the left then zig-zagging to bottom right, here are the artists that created this beautiful work:

  1. Irana Douer
  2. Bloeme van Bon
  3. Tokie Lin
  4. Jen Collins
  5. Tokie Lin
  6. Julia Pott
  7. Josephin Ritschel
  8. Daniela Dahf Henríquez
  9. Adriana Lozano
  10. Lauren Nassef
  11. Frida Stenmark

See more illustrations here and to see a peek into my drawing, painting and illustrative work, go here.

FINDING INSPIRATION // LARGE SCALE ART

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The act of getting your hands dirty and and stretching your body from limb to limb to create a life sized piece of artwork is so inspiring.

I've experienced this practice when I've painted 8.5x4.5inch paintings for an exhibit a few years back. I'd lay on the floor, against the paper, and slowly move from each corner to the next to saturate the paper with paint.

To have a large piece of artwork completed and covering the majority (if not all) of a wall in one room is breathtaking. See more artists creating here.

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