Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Instamania!

Okay.  So, I will admit that I am a little late to the whole Instagram game here.  To be fair though, it's a great way to post some interesting photography under my Studio name and that is my main reason for joining.  

Orrrr, as I have told one of my best friends and my husband, alike - I just want to be the "anti-hipster" and like things after they have been around for a while and aren't so hot on the scene.  That is more the likely story here.  

Who cares?

I WILL provide a blanket apology to the peeps that are following me right out of the gate because I'm a little photo-happy right now.  I promise it will slow down.  Probably.  Maybe...

I'm sure it will.  

A few of the posts I've done the last couple of days are below:




Well, yes.  I do like close-up shots.  how can you tell??

For real though, I find close shots the most interesting.  

Why?  

Wonderful question my dear reader!

It's the smaller, more minute details that I feel like we pass by for the larger more grand photographs.  It's interesting to me that the bubbles in the froth in the shot of the coffee mug form it's own unique pattern.  Or the color variations in my cats' eye as she gazes into the camera.  I find these small things interesting and worth capturing.  Plus, I like that the subject matter begins to breakdown into abstraction the closer you get.  It's this breakdown that allows the viewer to use their imagination to put together the story of that particular piece of work.  

At it's core, that's what Art is to me.  It's that ability to induce a certain reaction based on your subject matter, whether it be an in-your-face propaganda piece, a serene landscape, or a jarring culmination of jagged lines and bright colors. 

I could go on forever talking about this stuff so I will shut up now.

Seriously, I'm shutting up.

Enjoy!

XO -

ANF 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Off the Beaten Path


Well, I've sort of taken a little mini vacation from my usual work because...well...this is going to sound really corny but...I had a dream.

Done chuckling now? Good.

Sometimes my inspiration or idea comes in the form of a dream and it really bugs the crap out of me until I follow through with the given idea.  I can't really explain it very well, but there you go.  I had a dream...about art...and I have to do it.  

If I make it they will come is zipping through my mind right about now.  

Anyway, the basis of this particular piece that I am working on is paper.  Seems simple enough, but just that one thin sheet of incredibly ordinary white (or whatever color you prefer) paper has been molded, sculpted, twisted, cut, and formed into the most amazing things by some pretty awesome people.  I'm sure you've seen glimpses here and there of what I am talking about, unless you frequent art blogs like I do - then you see them way more.  You probably have seen some variations on Pinterest under their DIY section also (so addicting!).  If you are interested in seeing some pretty amazing examples of this style of art, you can fall down that rabbit hole here (you can view paper art under the archive).  

Orrrr just Google paper art and thank me later.

It really fascinates me how these individuals manipulate a seemingly ordinary medium that is so incredibly fragile.  That part I am really familiar with after only working on my piece for a few days.  The other great thing about this medium is that you can find paper everywhere!  And when I say everywhere, I mean recycling.  You don't even have to pay for that shit if you have a scrap box at home!   

I know you are probably waiting for me to reveal my big project to you, but because I'm still in the early stages it will remain with me until I feel confident in the direction that I am heading.  It's one of the things that I love so much about art.  It's not just a job description for me; it's this living, breathing fluid thing that actually evolves each time I start something brand new.  It's experimentation where, even if I fail on an idea, I still come out on top because I can take away from that project something crucial for the next.  It was one of the hardest things that I had to accept about being an artist and I still struggle with this now because I'm a perfectionist:

There is no failure in art, there is only growth and evolution into something better and more beautiful than the last.

Hot damn.  Dude, I should patent that shit...

Anyhoo, seems like a total teaser post, I know, but honestly I truly love what I'm working on right now, and I have gotten so inspired by paper artists, that I couldn't not share the wonderment that is their craft with you.  

AND I promise to let you in on the secret as soon as I'm comfortable! ;]  Happy Friday!

XO

ANF 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Hello Friday!

Holy smokes people, it's Friday and we haven't chatted since last week!  I don't even know where to begin....

So I'm currently sitting in my studio enjoying some delicious homemade blueberry muffins and tea.   Just got back from a boarding place - the dogs had an "interview" and are hanging out with the cool cats (dogs?) for the day.  Does anyone else think it's strange to interview dogs?  That's literally what they told me - we will have to interview the dogs. 

In my head:

"Well, Ash you seem like the dog for the job.  It's all toy's, wrestling, and nap times from here.  Did I mention the outdoor play area? You can even lay by the pool and catch a few rays."

"Woof."

"Yes, Ash.  I completely concur with that assessment! Welcome to daycare!"

Riiigght.

Despite the terminology, I'm personally just not 100% sure that I like the place because, well, isn't that important too?  It could just be that we had it good with the daycare we left behind in NOVA.  Actually,  I'm pretty sure that's all it is at this point. We were spoiled. 

Trying to keep an open mind though, right guys?

Also, my house is full of contractors which is why we chose today for the daycare.  As part of the...evaluation process, the pups have to spend the day there.   It's basically a free day of doggie daycare.  Score for us!

On the art front of things, I've got a couple of things in the works.  I'm working on a custom ordered piece for a friend that is coming along nicely.  There's a theme idea I am currently fleshing out as well.  Hopefully this series of pieces will turn out how I hope - fingers crossed!

More later though, kay?

"Time to make the doughnuts!"

XO

ANF

Friday, May 2, 2014

Green Thumb or Just Paint?

Well hello there!  Its been a beautiful Friday today and I wish that I was able to enjoy more of it.  A headache stood between me and a beer on the deck - it was close to blowing up into a migraine so I thought better of the beer and took an Advil instead.  After a nap, I'm pleased to be headache free and ready to start the weekend!

Now, it's no secret among our friends and family that I was itching to start a little garden once we found a home with a nice backyard.  What kind of garden you ask?

Vegetable Potato garden (I love love love love potatoes). 

Well, at the store my sister and I scoured the shelves for "potato seeds" but didn't see anything.  (please note that I am a beginner here, and learning this biz as I go)  

So instead, I purchased a plethora of other vegetables to grow. We will end up building a raised garden for a section of our backyard since the dirt here is more like clay (I think that's because its a new construction area) in a couple of weeks.  I've already sowed my seeds in little starter greenhouses and I'm super excited to say that most of them have germinated and sprouted their cute little heads!


Aren't they awesome?!  So, as I was saying - most of them have sprouted.  The ones that have not are the bell peppers and Jalapeno peppers.  I was thinking to myself [because I sowed these seeds at least a couple of weeks ago] that maybe I did something incorrectly, or perhaps its just bad peat pellets in this particular greenhouse that is preventing the little seeds to break the surface.  

How do I save you little guys?!  Are they suffocating in there???

My best friend lovingly reminded me the other day that just because I'm an artist doesn't mean I have a green thumb - it could just be green paint.  While she obviously was joking the shit out of me (Thanks for that, lol) doubt started to creep into my already worry filled brain.  

Awe shit.  Maybe this is a sign that my garden is DOOMED!?

Then I remembered today as I placed the greenhouses in the sun that I do happen to have technology that allows me to look this shit up and figure out why they haven't popped out to say "hello" yet.  Duh.  So, suffice it to say that bell peppers and jalapeno peppers are a bit more lazier to rise than the rest and to not freak out if they don't sprout up right away.  Phew!  

Best part?  I found one little Jalapeno that has started to rise!!  

THEY LIVEEEE!  

Now I'm more reassured and confident that the rest will follow soon.  I'm hoping that being in the sunlight will encourage them along their way as well since they like warmer temperatures when germinating.  

Now I know you are very sad for me that I wasn't able to start my potato farm - but don't worry!   I plan to try planting some potatoes from the grocery store and see if that works in my favor on our deck in a pot.  I found a how-to on Pinterest and thought I would give it a shot.  REALLY see if this thumb is green or just green paint ;]




Thursday, May 1, 2014

First Shop Order!

While I was on my couch last night, watching TV a notification sound dinged on my phone.  It sounded like a cash register. 

"Cha-CHING".  What the eff?

I look at it, and realized that I just received my first actual Etsy Shop Order!!! OMG!  There may have been a little happy dance in the middle of the living, at night, in front of windows that have no blinds.  

You're welcome neighbors.  


Isn't it exciting?!  This customer literally has no idea how happy and amazing this truly is!  Now, even if I may or may not know this customer in real life, it really is wonderful to know that someone out there really enjoys the work that I produce enough to purchase one for their home [or as a gift for someone else].  I also really appreciate all the friends and family that have supported me this far and have ordered things for themselves to show their support as well.  I've got an amazing crew behind me! 

I hope these orders don't stop here, and even if they do - I still find joy in just creating awesome pieces of work that I can really be proud of.