Embracing Change

Hi guys, 

As many of you may have noticed, Coffee and Pen Art has moved. I had been considering this change for a while, but with all the things going on in the past year (more on that later), just did not have a chance. I wanted a site that would give me a chance to change, evolve and expand as an artist and a person. Its difficult to let go of the past and embrace the change in the future. 

Growing can be an unconscious decision, or a conscious decision. Unconsciously, you are growing from your squiggly circles of a 3 year old (darling daughters current obsession) to an adult-ish 'something' year old with a little knowledge of colors, lines and materials. Conscious growth is using that knowledge and expanding on it, through challenges, classes and experiments, whether you are a 3 year old, or a 'something' year old.

As an artist, your art is always growing and expanding. My art from 3 years ago, is completely different than my art today. The experiences that have gained through taking classes and self experimentation will always be the most valuable source of growth. Through experimentation, I found my current obsession with acrylics and resin, along with using watercolors in new and different ways. Through challenges, such as the #100daychallenge (by Elle Luna), you see how your art evolves within those 100 days. Your moods, your surroundings, your materials, all impact your art and challenge you to show how you feel through your brush or pen onto a nondescript material. These challenges force you to stay true to who you are, to show up every day, even when you don't have the energy to and to experiment. 

Your confidence in your work also grows as you get more feedback and start submitting it to pieces. This past year has been a tremendous growth for my confidence in my art. Submitting my portfolio to the Annapolis Art and Wine on the urging of a close friend, I was shocked to see the acceptance in my email one morning. At a general conversation, I openly described myself as an artist, not only as a passion but also as a professional. This willingness (although often times fearfully) have led to commissions and collaborations that when I first started Coffee and Pen Art, I would not have imagined. 

Look for more information, product launches and items coming soon on this new website. In the meantime, I leave you with these parting words; 

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.” ~ C. JoyBell C. 

Being a Mom/Artist

Being a mom who is an artist and a mom artist are not always mutually exclusive. In my mind, a mom who is an artist separates the two significant parts of her life in blocks. These can be divided into the blocks of time, when at one time she is just a mom and at some times she is just an artist. 

The other type of mom, or the mom artist is the one who is always a mom and an artist. Even while being a mom, they are thinking of the painting on the easel or how to involve their kids creatively. I think all the mom artists I have met are mom artists. I know I am definitely one of them. We struggle to find alone time to paint and one of our favorite alone time activities would be to create. These alone moments can be when the kids are finally in bed or when they are in the care of someone else. The rest of the times, we try and paint around the kids. We make them their own little corners of the studios or get them their own supplies. In my case, I have placed my studio next to the play room so I can keep an eye on the girls as they play. There are moments when the older one wants to create with me, and often times I let her 'help' with the backgrounds that I know will have layers on it. At other times, she sits next to me and creates her own masterpieces for daddys' office. She loves joining in and her current favorite hobby is to draw and color, even in school.

Studies show that kids benefit greatly from being exposed to art and other creative projects. Painting, drawing, constructing and building all help children develop fine motor skills, increase cognitive development, assist in building math and language skills and increases critical thinking. An article published by the Michigan State University Extension suggests the following to help kids grow as creative individuals, 

  • Let them explore a wide variety of mediums
  • Focus on the process of developing (i.e. the process of drawing) rather than the final product
  • Ask the child to describe their own picture to you rather than asking them what they drew (i.e. tell me about your picture, what was your favorite part, what color did you like?)
  • Support their creative endeavors (within reason) but don't lead so they are free to explore the final product

So while we create our own paintings and artwork, lets let the kiddos grow and develop with their own pace.


What is Life

“What is life? 
Life is living in this moment, 
experiencing and experimenting
but experience isn’t life. 
Life is reflecting and meditating
but reflection isn’t life. 
Life is helping and guiding
but philanthropy isn’t life. 
Life is eating and drinking
but food isn’t life. 
Life is reading and dancing
but art isn’t life. 
Life is kissing and pleasuring
but sex isn’t life. 
Life is winning and losing
but competition isn’t life. 
Life is loving and caring
but love isn’t life. 
Life is birthing and nurturing
but children aren’t life. 
Life is letting go and surrendering
but death isn’t life. 
Life is all these things
but all these things aren’t life. 
Life is
always more.” ~ Kamand Kojouri

This poem resonated deeply with me and reminded me of why I love being an artist. As an artist, you are always on the search for the meaning of life and love.  Some of the things that influence me while I paint are my feelings, the mood of the area around me, and what is currently drawing me in. The inspirations can come from a hike in the woods, vacations, memories, or how the light hits a certain petal at the current time. The art created, isn't one piece, but the whole portfolio and how it shows a life of the artist. Each feeling, mood and inspiration can be seen in the artists portfolio. You can see when they were reflecting, or caring, or struggling through life. When you see a piece, think of it as an extension of the artist and their deepest thoughts, joys and passions and let it bring some of that into your home.