Thursday, June 25, 2009

the fish & the lotus flower mean abundance

i discovered this fantastic illustration on this fantastic blog de journey of an amateur artist/illustratorwhich was for a chinese new year celebration in singapore, and i'm totally in love with this artist!!

according to the blog, the fish and the lotus flower mean abundance year after year.

isn't it beautiful?

also, my sweet readers, i am leaving you again for another long weekend, this time to california to do some wedding planning. my wedding is coming up in just 5 weeks-- oh my!

so i'll be back here on tuesday with more posts. and maybe you'd like to use my second long weekend away to whip up some fabulous abundant images for this here blog?? what do you say? i'd love you forever! 

see you soon!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

shell tree: by Andrea McKeen

I'm completely in love with the story behind this photograph that Andrea McKeen sent over.

She says:

This is a tree, on a vast, beautiful beach on Cape Cod, adorned with painted seashell ornaments. My husband and I came upon it one afternoon and realized that each shell had words of thanks and gratitude written on them. "You are the best dad" "I love you Charlie" "We are thankful for this time together". Some of the words were faded and several shells were bleached to white by the sun. Others were fresh and bright with painted on color and clearly written words. All suggesting the passage of time but the willingness of all these people to stop at different points in their lives to contemplate and appreciate the abundance in their lives. Fills my heart every time I see this picture and remember that day :)

I'm really fascinated by the idea of rituals, especially ones that focus on appreciation/gratitude, so the idea of this shell tree and a family using it as a way to celebrate the love in their lives really touches my heart.

*Big thanks to Andrea for sharing it with us!*

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

i'm back! (photos from a workshop)

good morning, pecannooters!

i'm back from rhode island, and the weekend was so so lovely. i wanted to share some photos of a workshop i taught at top drawer art center while i was there-- top drawer is a really amazing place, which provides art programs for adults with developmental disabilities. they are hosting a series of workshops with a variety of artists from around the country, and i was priveleged to be able to teach a monoprinting workshop to a group of really incredible people this past saturday. they loved the process and took to it immediately-- you can see some of the results below, as well as some photos of the participants hard at work.

i felt very honored to be able to share the space with the top drawer artists for the afternoon-- their willingness to try something new, make a mess, and have fun doing it was very inspiring! plus, they had just finished having a sale, so there was amazing and colorful artwork lining the walls and every possible space in the room, and it was fascinating to see the level of imagination and beauty in the work.

you can learn more about top drawer on their website, as well as see some of the artwork created by their artists.

and i posted about my show opening at yes gallery & studio over on my other blog, which you can check out right here! it was a big success and so much fun.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

a teeny break + a show!

my dears. i have to take a break here on pecannoot! as you read this i'm on my way to providence, rhode island for the opening of my show "connect/intersect" at yes gallery and studio (which is in warren, RI), and i'll be gone until monday afternoon, so i'm taking a mini break from posting here. but you don't mind, right? i thought so. ;)

and if you are in the providence/boston area, i'd LOVE to meet you if you'd like to come out to the opening! it is this friday night, june 18th, from 6-8:30 pm.

so, i'll see you back here on tuesday with more posts, and hopefully i'll meet some of you on friday. that would be so awesome.

have a terrific weekend!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

springtime of my second life: by deborah ross

This is a colored pencil drawing. colored pencil! Can you imagine how long it took Deborah Ross to create this piece? Goodness. I haven't used colored pencil in a long time, but I remember an assignment in school long ago that involved self-portaits and colored pencils, and it took forever! So i can appreciate the patience it must have taken to create this piece.

Deborah says:

This self portrait has symbols that relate to my life, the new beginning I have been given, the freshness of spring symbolized by the robin, the wonder of metamorphosis. The meaning of those symbols are universal, and I think anyone could find a sense of abundance in my piece.

Check out more of her artwork on her blog, and she also has a self-portrait blog featuring many other artists' work.

*Thanks, Deborah!*

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

did you have too much sugar?: by nadia bt nizamudin

i'm totally crazy about this drawing by nadia bt nizamudin. and i love the title. i don't really eat sugar (besides natural sugar, because i do eat a lot of fruit!), but i do know that feeling of having too much of something, like, say, coffee. sometimes it's fun!! yesterday i switched up my routine and went to the gym in the morning instead of the late afternoon, so i still had a bunch of coffee coursing through me, and it was a totally different experience!

nadia says:

'did you have too much sugar' was inspired by my boyfriend. we’d just started going out at that time, and he tells me wonderful stories of his kids – he coaches football for 5-12 year olds – and he told me about this one particular boy who just had too much of sugar and sweets that he became hyperactive during the training session. the story stuck and I felt that the line was appropriate with the abundance of lines and shapes I drew.

you can also find this drawing as a t-shirt design over at french for incredible, a label that nadia and a friend of hers started out of their love for doodling and color. check out their site-- they have some really cool stuff! and they are based in malaysia, which is extra cool.

*thank you, nadia!!*

Monday, June 15, 2009

coming back to life: by jess gonacha

happy monday morning, everyone! did you have a nice weekend?

mine consisted of shopping for wedding clothes with my dear fiancé (i got the cutest dress ever! i'm so excited), going to the gym, a baseball game on friday night, a long walk in my neighborhood sunday afternoon, eating tacos, playing with my dear kitty, anika, redesigning my website (to be unveiled soon!), and other miscellaneous bits of work and making things. it was lovely all around.

this is a drawing i did this weekend, called "coming back to life." i'm not entirely sure what it has to do with my life at the moment, but it's something i can relate to in general. it's always an amazing (and relieving) feeling to come out of a funk and back into creativity, so perhaps that's what it means to me. i sort-of feel as if i've been in a funk since about february, creativity-wise. just stuck a little, maybe. so perhaps this is my psyche's way to help me "come back to life." who knows. but i do know that i always feel very grateful when that spark returns. i'm sure all you creatives can relate!

what about you? in what ways do you wish to come back to life? what stories do you have about it from your life? i'd love to hear!

*also, i need more submissions!! send them my way if you please!*

Friday, June 12, 2009

you are the reason for my joy: by lisa nelson

I think it's such a sweet sentiment, and this is such a sweet print by Lisa Nelson. I'm a sucker for artwork that says nice and inspiring things, so this is right up my alley. I would love to surprise somebody with this print as a little gift in the mail- wouldn't that be lovely?

Lisa says: Long live, lifting one another up with beautiful creations!

I say, indeed.

Perhaps we should do some sort of Pecannoot swap, between people who read this blog, to lift each other up! Everyone who chooses to participate would be paired with a secret partner, to whom you have to send a special, inspiring gift (can be made by you, bought from someone on etsy, bought in a local shop, etc.)

What do you think? Good idea? Would you want to participate?

Anyway, a big thank you to Lisa for sending this print over-- it's just wonderful. Please be sure to check out her etsy shop, which is called my little buffalo (isn't that the cutest name ever?), and is full of prints, cards, and more, that you will just adore.

*Thanks, Lisa!*

Thursday, June 11, 2009

you make me smile: by rachel ballard

Rachel Ballard has 2 gorgeous little girls. Perhaps you've seen their photos here on Pecannoot? (and here on Pecannoot, too!) They are *lovely*, and the photos that Rachel takes of them are lovely as well.

So here is Rachel's sweet story behind this adorable camera drawing:

I have a large collection of cameras. I have some of them displayed throughout my house. My youngest daughter asked if she could play with my cute little Savoy camera. She looked through it and asked me to smile. I had an urge to draw her a picture. So this is what I drew.
We printed it out and hung it in her room. : )

So sweet.

Please be sure to check out Rachel's work (she is an amazing photographer) on her website, blog, and in her etsy shop!

*Thanks, Rachel!*

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

strawberries: by emily harris

continuing in the "food i love" theme started yesterday, i give you emily harris' *adorable* strawberry pattern. isn't it completely sweet? i want a little apron made out of this pattern. i would cook in it every day! my words to emily: get thee to spoonflower!

emily really loves pattern design (which i can completely understand-- it's quite addictive!)
she says:

I have had such a bad attitude about so many things lately and making patterns is something that I can feel good about. I am always questioning myself. Whether I am good enough etc. and when I am working on a design like this, I can kind of tune out some of that negative background noise that always seems to be floating around in my head! Also, I wanted to submit this because I really like strawberries! I made this while thinking about the upcoming strawberry picking event that I go on with my mom every summer-- good times!

it's like emily plucked thoughts right out of my head! i don't know about the rest of you, but getting lost in making something is such a good feeling, and it really does help tune out the crazy, unhelpful thoughts that seem to be constantly swirling about. i concur, emily!

do make sure you check out emily's website and blog (design gossip)-- she's quite the talent!

*thank you so much, emily!!*

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

these are a few of my favorite things: by jess gonacha

i was just eating some cashews, and i thought "i always draw people these days. why not try to draw some food?" so here you go-- a few of my favorite things to eat/drink!

and now i challenge you to draw some of your favorite things and send them over to me to post here on the blog!!

sunday: by kathleen wheeler

kathleen wheeler sent this piece over for us to enjoy. she told me she's been out of commission for a while due to an illness, so the abundance in this piece is all the more relevant to her now.

she says:

abundance is relative. the sun shining, the wind blowing, seeing the ripples in the water, and the colors and textures of the sky fill me with gratefulness of a magnitude i've never known, now that I am well, and able to sense God's world around me, not only my small inner world of pain and distress. abundance was always as close as the air on my skin. now my eyes see clearly. every moment holds a joy to grasp and feel and taste and smell. life is good.

i'm so glad you're feeling better, kathleen! life is indeed good, you're right. :)
you can check out more of kathleen's images on her flickr page.

*thank you for sharing your work/play with us!

Monday, June 8, 2009

abigail murray

good monday morning, dear hearts! i hope your weekend was abundant and gorgeous.
a few things i did: went to the local co-op and picked up all sorts of herbs and oils to make some new skin cream (yay!), stayed out until 2 am on friday night (VERY unlike me), went to the gym, shopped for wedding shoes (didn't get any, but i liked these), walked in the gorgeous weather, began a new animation, and the highlight was seeing bon iver live last night. it was a magical show, truly.

these lovely and delightful paintings are by abigail murray. i thought they were a fun and swirly way to start off our week here!

abigail says:

I have an *abundance* of passion for painting! I paint with acrylics.The paintings in this series to me symbolize the abundance of life that is in and all around us, the precious treasure of our energy. It's almost as if, through my art, I capture a glimpse something that goes often unnoticed in our everyday lives but in a way is more real and important than what we do see with our eyes. This life force holds the truth of the meaning of abundance. The creative intelligence that gave birth to the universe, simply for the joy of being, also gives life to each of us and blesses us with the ability to create and discover our true selves through our creation, just as It discovers its true self through us. The one life that is in us all, in everything, manifests here as a bounty of swirling color, movement, and emotion.

everything in life really does swirl together when you think about it, doesn't it?
check out more of abigail's work on her website and in her etsy shop!

*thanks, abigail!*

Friday, June 5, 2009

be the light: by alma de la melena cox

look at all those sparkles! i can't resist anything glittery. :) seriously. i'd cover my house in glitter if i knew ryan wouldn't prompty move out. ha ha! anyway, this is another piece by the ever-fabulous alma de la melena cox.

she says she wanted to send us this quote by marianne williamson and an image of a piece she made that is her personal reminder of her reason for being here.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

what a great quote. oh, that marianne williamson... she's one smart cookie!
i'd like to be mindful of letting my own light shine-- how would it be to exist that way for other people, so they could have permission to do the same? that sounds like a pretty good life to me.

be sure to check out alma's website and blog for more of her work.

*thank you, alma, for sharing the quote and your beautiful art with us!*

Thursday, June 4, 2009

interview: shelley kommers

Good morning, Pecannooters! I have a real treat for you this morning... an interview with fabulous artist Shelley Kommers! It's been a while since I've posted an interview, so hopefully you'll find it a welcomed change of pace. :) Read on to find out what abundance is to Shelley....

First of all, Jess, I want to thank you for inviting me, I'm honored to be here! Your questions really made me think. The topic of abundance is very present for me right now, so this was great timing.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself. (What's your favorite color? What can't you live without? What do you do all day? What's your favorite way to relax? Share whatever random bits you'd like!)

I'm an artist, wife and a mom... I live in a small cottage in the woods beneath oak trees and singing birds. I spend my days making art, running my etsy shops, singing silly songs with my three year old daughter, and doing a bit of freelance design.
My favorite colors are blue & yellow, and I love cilantro, cheese, champagne, roller coasters, dogs, and puttering in my garden. I adore silence. I could very easily be a hermit or a monk.

2. What is abundance to you?

For me, abundance has two parts.
The first part is being able to recognize the gifts and blessings that I have in my life; seeing the beauty all around me, and being joyful regardless of what's going on. The second part is expecting/accepting the things and qualities that I want-- knowing that they will come and that I deserve them.
I've got the first part of abundance nailed. I'm working on the second part.

3. What are 5 things you are grateful for right now, in this moment?

1. My beautiful husband and daughter
2. That my friends and family are safe, healthy and happy
3. I am full of inspiration and creative ideas and my artistic life has meaning
4. That I'm sitting in front of a roaring fire at the end of a very long day with a nice glass of wine
5. I have peonies on my kitchen table.

4. What is your favorite part of your day?

Just before and just after the sun goes down. No matter what time of year, this is always a good time for me, full of energy and optimism.

5. What is one huge, crazy-seeming goal that you dream about accomplishing?

I have about six or seven children's books that I've written and illustrated that are partly-finished. I'd love to find the time to complete them all, get them published, and have my own little cubby in the children's book section with my name on it!

6. Do you have any irrational fears/worries that you'd love to let go of?

Oh yes. "I'm-not-good-enough-I-don't-know-enough-I-don't-have-enough-experience-I-can't-do-it-I'm-not-worthy."
Gross, I know. I'm getting pretty good at plugging through the swamp, though; it's been around so long that it's a bit boring.

7. Do you have any tricks for turning a bad mood into a good mood?

Yes! A very long walk, by myself, in nature, looking around at the sky and the trees and the flowers. If that doesn't work, taking a nap or going to bed works.

8. What daily practices do you follow, if any, to stay focused on positivity and abundance in your life? (Journaling, meditating, drawing, visualization, reading, etc.)

I've been working with affirmations lately. My latest one is "more than enough".

9. Do you have a favorite quote or author that help you remember to live and think abundantly?

There are two:
"Take your pleasure seriously" - Charles Eames

"The journey between what you once were and who you are now becoming is where the dance of life really takes place." - Barbara DeAngelis

10. Can you share some books or blogs with us that you think Pecannoot readers might love?

Inspiring Books:

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles)-- This is a wonderful, tough love, kick-in-the-butt book about being an artist and letting go of all the drama and fear we sometimes surround ourselves with as artists. This book changed my life.
Your Heart's Desire, Instructions for Creating the Life You Want, by Sonia Choquette, PH.D-- Another great read: soft, inspiring, and uplifting.

Online Magazine Inspiration:

Parasol Magazine-- a fantastic *free* downloadable magazine chock full of art and design
Blanket Magazine-- another great art and design magazine, only $2 for 146 pages, and you get a free typeface with every issue

Inspiring Blogs:

Print and Pattern-- serious eye candy for artists.
Notpaper-- a wonderful blog about collage.

Make sure you visit Shelley's website, blog, etsy shop, and second etsy shop to see more of her beautiful work!

*Thank you, Shelley!*

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

live*lovely dress shop (Emily McCall)

The dress above just makes me want to garden. What a perfect dress to do practically everything in-- garden, cook dinner, run errands, check email, lounge on the couch.....!
Emily McCall makes dresses (and sells them in her etsy shop called
live*lovely) which are meant to be worn everyday.

she says:

I wanted to share with you my own way of expressing abundance. I make dresses. I'm not sure if pictures of them fit in with your other material, since I know you usually post visual art. But I truly do make them as an expression of one of the ideas that brings the most abundance to my life--that I am a daughter of God and that he has called me and all women to reveal beauty to his world! My dresses are meant to worn in everyday life, not just special occasions, so that even the normal days feel very lovely.

My dresses are meant to be feminine and pretty but tough enough to stand up to a day's work or play. So many dresses out there are either too dressy or too revealing to wear unless you aren't going to do much other than pose. These dresses are for a living a lovely life in.

I make my dresses in the sunny front room of my house with my pup Lucie for company. I can only sew on my days off from my other job (nursing), but I love watching sheets of pretty (and plain) fabric become transformed into the dresses I imagine. I hope when women wear them they will feel motivated to do something similar--put their hearts and hands into work that makes the world a more beautiful place.

i think they are just adorable, and they look so comfy!
check out emily's etsy shop, where you can pick up an abundant dress of your very own, and also her blog (where there is a sweet picture of a teeny frog at the top right now!)

*thank you, emily, for sharing your beauty with us!*

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

this tree is free: by chrissy foreman

i'm completely enamored of this painting by chrissy foreman. much of it, i think, is the color combination-- i love seeing how other artists combine colors, because it's often so different from how i combine colors, and it really inspires me. for example, i rarely use that ultramarine blue color in my work, because i have a really hard time figuring out how to combine it with other colors in a way that pleases me. and now looking at chrissy's gorgeous painting, she makes the use of the color seem so effortless! i love that little bit of orange on the top right.i think that makes the entire painting for me.

anyway, chrissy really makes beautiful work, which you can find on her blog.
(she's working on a wonderful mural right now, too, which you can see right here.)

*thank you so much, chrissy!*

Monday, June 1, 2009

trust: by vineeta nair

Hi, friends! It's Monday again, isn't it? I spent the weekend in downtown Atlanta at the Indie Craft Experience and had so much fun-- I even met a few of you who read this blog! I love meeting people from blogland in person, so thanks for stopping by to say hello! What a fun treat. :)

This morning we are all very lucky to have another piece by the ultra-talented Vineeta Nair (of the artnlight blog). I love VIneeta's aesthetic and also the messages in her work. Here's what she says about this piece:

It's about Trust. And how important trust is to make the going smooth.

I often find that I'm really doing my bit towards my goals & trying hard & being committed; but somewhere I'm not really sure if things will be fine. And I realize how much stress this doubting adds to the whole process. If only I can do what I need to do and just be peaceful and TRUST.
It will make me so much more relaxed and free to do the fun experimentative stuff I really want to do. When I trust, I will be happier and things will be a lot easier for me.

It's as if she pulled these thought right out of my head! One day I'm going to meet Vineeta in person and we're going to be the best of friends. :) ( I hope she agrees!)

Check out her gorgeous blog right here-- but be prepared to get fully sucked in. It is so, so beautiful!

*Thank you again, Vineeta!*