Celebrating 10 years online: my online journey Part 1

Over the holidays I spent time mentally reviewing 2018, and I realized that in April 2018 I passed my 10 year online business anniversary without even realizing it!

Time moves so quickly but dates and celebrating anniversaries hold deep meaning for me so, as a way of honoring a decade online (11 years this coming April!) I thought I’d share a bit of my story, I hope it encourages other artists, especially mama artists, to continue pursuing your creative dreams!

In April 2008 I began my online presence starting a blog and an Etsy shop. At the time I was a full time mama to my then 3 year old son and 1 year old daughter. 

But I had always painted, earning my MFA in painting in 2002 from Parsons where I met my husband. I knew that I always wanted to be a mother AND an artist, so as I had babies I vowed to myself that I would continue painting through the years of having young children. It wasn’t easy and there were times when I had to accept that my art was taking a back seat to my babies, but I did it, I continued painting in stolen chunks of time mostly as they slept. I also hired an amazing babysitter, a girl from our church who was wonderful with the kids, who came one day a week. That day was my dedicated painting day and I treasured it! I became friends with a fellow mama who owned an art gallery in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. She started showing my work in 2004, and continued up until we left NYC in 2011, showing and selling there gave me great motivation to keep painting, and I’m forever grateful to her for this! Sadly she died in 2013 of breast cancer.

During those years as I was painting during the kid’s nap time in my home studio at our house in Brooklyn, I found myself one afternoon in 2008 on the blog of the artist Marisa of Creative Thursday, and on a whim I signed up for her class called In The Fish Bowl, all about developing an online presence....this was even before social media. In that online class I met so many amazing creative women who I’m still friends with almost 11 years later in this online community. I began blogging then and selling prints & cards of my art in my Etsy shop through the encouragement & community that I started to grow online. I read other creative blogs daily, it was such an exciting time realizing the power of the internet to expand my audience and connect with creatives around the world! 

When I started this blog I mainly alternated posts about my family along with posts about my art, and crafts that I would do with my kids. Blogging helped me to weave more creativity into the long days alone with young children, anything could become a chance to tell a story about our days and what we did together. I shared my paintings often, and bits of my process, and I started to be interviewed on other blogs. In 2008 I also completed my training to be a Labor Support Doula, and began attending births in New York City, which was amazing work that I loved, supporting other woman through such a transformative life experience was ground breaking for me, I learned that supporting other women was something that brought me great joy.

The archives of this blog have become a beautiful way to go back and look at the time, as a a dairy of my days when my oldest kids were small, and it is also a memory book of our life in Brooklyn. Around the time that I started this blog, and selling my work online, I also began to feel constricted by my life in New York City. I had lived there since 1995, and while it was exciting when I was younger, the day to day slog of pushing my two kids in a double stroller everywhere while carrying groceries and everything else we needed in all kinds of weather....well all of it just started to feel so hard. The pace of NYC also was a mental burden that began to wear on me, I longed to have more calm in my day-to-day, to connect more with natural beauty and for my kids to grow up with more access to nature.

So in 2010, just as my Etsy shop was really taking off with the sale of prints and cards of my art, we decided that it was time for us to seriously consider leaving New York!

Continued in Part 2, coming soon!

Studio Chat with Faith & Mati: Staying Authentic to Yourself

Hello and Happy New Year!!

Mati and I are back with another Studio Chat for you. We've got quite a bit to say on this topic of staying authentic to yourself and your personal voice in your work, even after this chat there's a lot left over to talk about!

 Encouraging our students to share authentically and consciously without copying, has become one of the things that we really feel the need to highlight in our classes. In this age of social media its something that visual people need to be deeply mindful of, and I think its going to be a topic that we come back to again and again.

Putting in the time that it takes to develop your own voice in your work is the most important thing that you can do for your work as an artist, and the only way to develop the authentic voice that only you have inside of you! We feel so strongly about this that its something that we've started kicking off all of our classes talking about. We even developed our Abstract Bliss E-Course to help people figure out how to find their authentic voice in their work!

If you're interested in finding out our tried and true ways of harnessing your personal inspiration and authentic voice in your paintings come join us for the Winter 2018 Session of our Abstract Bliss E-Course! Class starts February 5th for 8 weeks of diving deeply into abstract painting together. 
Click here for some special offers & to find out everything that we'll be covering in this juicy offering, including....

  • Our all time favorite supplies!
  • Color Mixing & ways to play with colors, creating unique combinations with materials that you already have.
  • Finding Inspiration, where to look and how to use what inspires you to create paintings that you love!
  • Composition & Scale: how these two elements help you create successful paintings.
  • Beginning a Painting: overcoming that "white canvas" paralysis
  • Finding Your Personal Subject Matter
  • Abstracting our World: abstract landscapes
  • Creating a Personal Vocabulary of Marks & Symbols that you can turn to again and again in your studio, making your work uniquely you.
  • Using Alternative Materials
  • Cultivating Quiet in your work
  • Exploring the Language of Shape to develop your own style.
  • Creating Luscious painted Layers
  • Bringing it all Together, we'll show you how to combine everything that we learn into a beautiful whole!
  • and so much more!!!

Blessings & Inspiration, xoFaith

Studio Chat with Faith & Mati: The Story of our Book!

Hi Beautiful Painters!

We're back with another Studio Chat for you as part of our video chat series, where we gather questions from our students, hot topics that we want to chat about, and then dive deeply into these questions and all things creative.

This week we share the story of how our book Painting the Sacred Within came to be, and we talk about the title and some of the personal meaning behind it!

In today's video we mention the year long class that our book is based on. This class, also called Painting the Sacred Within has been enjoyed by hundreds of our students and its now available in an easy monthly format! We have a membership option, where you can sign up to have a new episode delivered to your in-box on the 1st of every month.

Every month, we share a series of fresh videos, inspirational content, start to finish painting demos and peeks into our studios. These monthly episodes are all centered around a monthly theme that will closely follow the chapter themes in our new book Painting The Sacred Within! This class will work well as a supplement to our book, fleshing out the themes & techniques that we offer there, in our videos we want you to feel like you're painting right along with us!

To find out all of the monthly themes that we cover, and more about how you can learn from us in these video lessons head over HERE.
We've made the price point on these monthly episodes super affordable, only $18 for a monthly subscription, or $25 to purchase instant and forever access to the monthly episodes individually.

Looking forward to sharing all of this with you,

My Favorite Watercolor Paints

Of all the many questions that I get from students and other artists, through emails and DM's, by far the most common question is a surprising one:

More than anything else people want to know what my favorite watercolor paints are! 

Since I get this question so much I felt that it needed its own post. Really, its pretty simple, like with any art supplies I am always drawn to colors, before anything else. So, that means that I try any products, both high and low end, if I like the colors. With that as my compass, I have found some beautiful serendipitous surprises like this set:

Its the cheapest set that I own and yet it was the set that was in many of the photographs in my book, and over and over again this is the set that people ask about, and its only $10.99!!!! Head over here to buy it.

Then there is the set pictured bellow, I like to pair it with the set above. Its a German brand called Angora, available here.

 Here are these two sets together in a shot with my demo painting from the first chapter of my book:

Having all those colors at my finger tips is dreamy!!

I also love to take my watercolors along with me when I travel, so over the past couple of years I have worked on streamlining my travel painting kit. Here are my two favorite travel watercolor painting sets, they are by AQUAnaut and Bianyo, both are available on Amazon, here and here.

 Another of my favorite travel watercolor sets is pictured here in the top left corner of the image.....

 And again pictured here, next to this lesson on embracing the messy!! This is the Jane Davenport travel set, it comes in both a Bright and a Neutral color way, and I never travel without both of those sets these days!!

Recently I have also been experimenting with this sweet higher end set by Daniel Smith. I love that these paints have actual ground up minerals and gems like Amethyst, Jade and Hematite, in the paint, eeeeep!!! So much good energy!

My favorite watercolor paper is hands down Arche brand, this size pad in particular is the pad that I always come back to.
If you'd like to get instant access learning, all about my Watercolor Painting Practice, how I gather inspiration through watercolor at home and when I travel, what else I pack in my travel painting kit, developing a daily practice of seeing, and so much more.
Check out my Online Class, Episode 1: Inspiration is Everywhere :: Developing a Daily Practice of Seeing, available for instant & forever access for only $39!

 In this instant access class I share my favorite ways to work with watercolor.

The class includes 6 start to finish watercolor painting demo videos, a video unit on all of my favorite "must have" supplies in my studio, videos on getting to know more about me and my co-teacher Mati McDonough, as well as a fun unit on color treasure hunting!

While I'm at it another question that I get asked all the time is about these glass jars of brightly colored paints that also appear all over my book and often in my Instagram feed. These are Flashe brand Vinyl paints and they are available HERE! They are some of my favorites to layer with acrylic paint, I love them!

Enjoy and Happy Painting!!!

Studio Chat with Faith & Mati: Making Your Art Uniquely YOU

Hi Beautiful Painters!

We're back with another Studio Chat for you as part of our video chat series, where we gather questions from our students, hot topics that we want to chat about, and then dive deeply into these questions and all things creative.

This week we dive into ways to develop your unique voice in your work, bringing your own narrative or life experience into your work to grow your point of view.

This topic is so close to our hearts that we've made it a central topic in our new E-Course Abstract Bliss~Diving Deeper, which starts on September 18th and offers 7 weeks of exploration into the world of developing your unique voice through Abstract Painting!

There is so much to explore!! Enjoy the chat and click HERE to find out all about how to continue exploring with us in Abstract Bliss!

Plus grab a discount code for $100 off class registration if you register before September 4th!!


P. S. In this video chat we mention our popular annual spring retreats in Costa Rica. Registration is now open for our April 2018 Costa Rica Retreat which will be our last time running it at our dreamy Jungle Beach House location, head over here to find out all the juicy details.

Studio Chat with Faith & Mati: Finishing, Pricing and Selling your Work

Hi Beautiful Painters,

Today we are kicking off a new video series that we are really excited to share with you! Our Studio Chats video series, where we gather questions from our students, hot topics that we want to chat about, and then dive deeply into these questions and all things creative.

Throughout our co-teaching, both in our Painting the Sacred Within and our Abstract Bliss classes, we have often filmed these Studio Chats as a way of giving our students a behind the scenes peek into our thoughts, lives and what keeps us inspired. Chatting with a friend always gives us more clarity and we love sharing some of the knowledge that we've gained along our painting journeys.

In this first Studio Chat we explore the topics of Finishing, Pricing and Selling your Work. Enjoy, and come follow along with us on our new Instagram account @paintingthesacredwithin where we share our collaborations and inspiration to inspire your creative journey!


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