100 Wednesdays – April 3, 2013


{color inspiration}

I have been traveling over the last several weeks, so my 100 Wednesdays posts have gotten a bit behind. I am still taking my photographs and will catch up over the course of the week. One thing I have found through working on this project is that finding constant inspiration can be hard. I have had to keep adjusting my focus when looking for inspiration shots because around my home and neighborhood, I was beginning to feel as though I had run out of things to take pictures. Luckily, about the same time, spring began and the colors surrounding me added a whole new level to what I could see through my lens. This weeks focus included some floral arrangements in a hotel I was staying in and then as you will see below: the colors in my yard. From these photos, I will develop a color inspiration boards so that I can use them in my painting and designing later down the road.


{color in my garden #white}

As I create the boards I will share that process with you here and then as I create artwork I will have color inspiration at my fingertips to use throughout my projects.


{colors in my garden #pink}

The photo above was really my favorite for the week, as I love how the iphone captured the sunlight streaming through the delicate pink flowers. What is also wonderful about photographing flowers is that I can now use them as a jumping off point for my artwork and for sketching. I am interested in incorporating the main flower in the piece into a mixed media project. Let’s see what happens….


100 Wednesdays is a year and a half project where I document the world through my eyes with my ipone camera and share the results of my favorite shots of the week on Wednesdays.




Whats in your toolbox – part two



This week in what’s in your toolbox, we will be spending some time talking about some different tools I use for painting.

From the beginning of my creative education I was always taught, as I think I have mentioned before, to purchase the best possible supplies that you can afford. For my painting supplies, I have already introduced you to the paints, so now we will spend a little time on mediums to work on, paint brushes and camera products I use to gather inspiration.

  • Mediums: use whatever you have available. There are many, many products out there so experiment. Sometimes I use watercolor paper for my acrylic work and marker work. I buy them in pads that are referred to blocks. They are expensive, so I always watch for sales and then buy in bulk to last me for awhile. I learned about this paper when I took a watercolor class many years ago. I also use Ampersand Gessoboard for my mixed media work. I like that it is primed and ready to go and that makes it all the more easy to sit down and begin. As far as size, traditionally I like to work small, so that I can feel a sense of accomplishment with my work. I have a tendency to not finish larger pieces, so this is a great way to begin. In addition to the Ampersand board, my friend Marisa introduced me to Art Boards. She does most of her illustration and mixed media work on these and chooses to create on the really small ones. I am beginning to use them in my work as well, so once I have a completed project, I will definitely share it with you.
  • Paint Brushes: again, I buy the best that I can afford and watch for sales. After having completed a class with Flora Bowley last spring, I now also add inexpensive foam brushes from Home Depot and inexpensive brushes from Ikea to the mix.
  • Cameras: I could spend a whole post discussing cameras and probably will as we move forward but for this purpose, I use a Canon Rebel T2i for all my digital camera work. I love this camera. It is an entry level professional camera that you can buy in a kit with a basic lens if you check around. I personally like to go to my local camera store as everyone is very knowledgeable and helpful. I am a touch and feel person and have a hard time buying directly online for some items. I have two basic lenses with the camera an EFS 18-135mm and a macro lens. In addition to my DSLR camera, I am an avid user of instagram and my iphone 5. If you follow my blog, then you know I am in the midst of a year and half long project, 100 Wednesdays,  where I am selecting my 3 favorite instagram photos each week and sharing them on my site. Whenever I travel, I have my phone at the ready to capture inspiration as it strikes. Sometimes it is difficult and cumbersome to carry my big camera around so the iphone is a great quick substitute.

With all the items we have discussed, you are now armed and ready to begin creating. Next time, I will give you some great courses and retreats (including my own Create Explore Discover Art Retreat) to help you grow your skills in any area of interest for you. I will also share some things I have been working on to help you along the way.

designing with photography – fun additions – march 2103

marchfunadditionsOn Monday, I shared the photo of the month for March and today I am sharing some fun accessories to go with the photography.

1. photography: by Sarah Stevenson in own collection

2. Sidney Snow Marble Brass Table Lamp by Arteriors via Project Decor

3. Ernest Iron/Glass Top Console by Arteriors via Project Decor

4. Trivet Stool – Rectangle by Europe to You via Project Decor

5. Love You Burlap Pillow by Sugarboo via Project Decor

6. Trivet Stool – Round by Europe to You via Project Decor

7. Pacific Heights Armchair Charcoal Gray by Zuo Modern via Project Decor

8. Retro Leaves by Ferm Living via Project Decor

Designing with Photography is a year long project that is part of What is Design?




Hip Hip Hooray Giveaway Party


Put on your party dress, it’s time to celebrate! I’m so excited to announce that I’m a part of Kelly Rae Roberts’ incredible line up of sponsors for her highly anticipated Hip Hip Hooray Giveaway Party. She hosts this party once a month on her blog, and TODAY is the day, friends. The party has started and YOU are invited! Hop on over to her blog today and enter to win a ton of amazing party favors from her generous sponsors.  I’m giving away a $75.00 gift certificate towards anything in my shop, and there are lots of other giveaways being offered as well. Woohoo! I love a good party and I’m thrilled to be a part of this one. See you there!

giveaway party-sidebar

Architectural Drawing and Sketching as Inspiration


{portion of a sketch by Cedric Price – MoMA; photo by Sarah G. Stevenson}

On my recent visit to New York, I stumbled upon an architectural exhibit at MoMA. I got really excited because as a designer, part of my job was to envision and sketch what a space might look like in three dimensions. The sketch above called Fun Palace by Cedric Price reminded me of that piece of my design past and made me wonder how I might be able to use those skills in some of my artwork moving forward.

The piece is drawn on what is termed “bum wad paper” or more simply architectural sketching paper. There are two types of the sketching paper, canary and white. I like using both for different types of projects but the yellow gives your work a classic feel that withstands the test of time. Long before computer aided design took over, most rough idea planning and sketching was created on this type of paper. To me it represents a beauty and skill that as I moved through my profession was beginning to get lost by the younger generation of designers moving up in the ranks.

I personally loved unwrapping a new roll of paper and getting out my markers and pencils to see what I could create. Obviously, the thought process and the level of artistry allows pieces like this to have a permanent place in a museum like MoMA.

This particular piece uses sketching paper, black felt tip pen, ink, graphite and white pencil. Five tools to represent your ideas. Simplicity but beauty at the same time.

Next time you are exploring an art museum, I encourage you to take a look at some of the more offbeat exhibits, you never know what sort of inspiration you will find for your own work.

Have a great weekend everyone.