Monday, February 15, 2016

Advice for young artists

I have been interested in art since I was a young child. My mother was and is very artistic. She encouraged crafts and anything creative and imaginative. Although I didn't know I would take my love of art into a more serious path, there are a few things I wish I could have been told about art and the art world when growing up.

So here is some of my best advice for young artists.

1. Date all of your work.
One of the best things is looking back at old work to see what I use to like to make and to see how much I have evolved as an artist.. Making sure you put a year on your art and it will ensure you know how old you were when you made something. Just TRUST me on this one!

2. Not every work has to best your best.
When I was younger, I would start a drawing or painting and it sometimes didn't end up how I wanted it, which art can sometimes do. This is something that even experienced artists deal with but I wish someone could have taught me this early on. Just because a piece of artwork doesn't come out the way you were hoping,  doesn't mean that you are not talented. Sometimes what we want it turn to out to be isn't even close to how it actually ends up being. Let it happen naturally.

3. Do not compare your art negatively with other's.
This is something that I use to do a lot but mostly to myself in my head. I rarely verbalized my feelings about how I thought my art wasn't very good because another person's was so much better. Please do not discourage yourself from creating art because of envy of another person's work.  Let it be inspiration that fuels you instead and one day you will be the fuel for someone else. 
(click for more on this image)

4. You don't have to be a realistic artist to produce great art.
So many people tell me they wish they could draw "they can't even draw a stick figure." This makes me so mad that many people think that they can't create art if it's not realistic.  Think of all the world's amazing abstract painters for example.  If you love art and practice hard enough,  just like anything in life, you can be successful at it.

5. Enjoy what you do.
At the end of the day you want to make sure that you are enjoying your art and the process. Making art is a freeing and meditative experience if you view it as such. The minute you start to stress or loose interest, think about trying another medium or even take it back to a simpler art like coloring. It will calm you and might just be exactly what you need to get you back on track with a happy inspired path to brilliant artwork.

If you think this helped you or could help another artist you know,  be sure to share and let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for coming by and if you would like to get notifications for my art blog hit the blue subscribe button at the top right of the page.

Until Tomorrow - Dream Away
Samantha Menzo
Cloud Nine Studios

Etsy featured art of the day:

Little Boys Nursery dream wall art 

Song of the day:

Color of the day:
new age - 1444

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Happiness is a Choice.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
Happiness is a choice - I am going to choose to not allow the outside influences of the world affect my mood. I promise you will live a happier life.

The last two weeks I have been through an emotional roller-coaster of getting kicked down by life and getting back up, to only get kicked down again. I consider myself an extremely positive and upbeat personality. Sometimes life gives us bigger lessons than even those of us upbeat positive people can handle.  

Life happens people! Everyday is a blessing and even in the most frustrating situations, the problems you think you are facing, are there for a reason and a lesson is to be learned. Today I hit a breaking point emotionally and I ended up being a cliche chick and having myself a super solo cry session. I cried in my room, then in the shower and then while brushing my teeth. Dramatic much? I think so.

All I know is I got it all out. Crying helped me let all my frustration out in a healthier way then being angry towards loved ones or in unhealthy eating and etc. You know what I did after I cried myself a river....I GOT OVER IT! I sat down and wrote a list of everything I was overwhelmed with and wanted to work out.

Seeing everything written down in a list is so freeing and I feel like I have my problems in a tangible and manageable form. Also, when I looked down at the paper and was out of things to write I couldn't believe how little I actually had that was really problems. It is amazing how writing down everything that is jumbled in your brain down on paper can really center you and bring back the focus on what matters.

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day and I have the most wonderful man in my life I could ever ask for. As I am sitting here typing this mush of gush out, there is a vase full of pink flowers and a note to my left. He has noticed how much I have been struggling recently and he got me flowers and wrote me a note about how he is sorry that I had a bad day and that he loves me. 

With Valentine's Day tomorrow, this honestly meant so much more to me. It reminded me that I have someone who loves me enough to go out of his way to make sure that I know I am appreciated and have support just because I needed it and not because of a holiday. It really is the little things in life that we can take for granted and let all of life's crap cloud our vision. We can't forget what really matters and that's always love.

So as I end the day and start another tomorrow I will wake up with the attitude that today is the first day of the rest of my life. I am loved and have abundant happiness. Everything will work out the way it is meant to so long as I stick to my responsibility and trust that the universe has bigger and better things for me to experience everyday. 

Until Tomorrow - Dream Away
Samantha Menzo

Etsy Featured Item of the Day: 

I love you to the moon and back - quote - ORIGINAL OIL and acrylic PAINTING - 14 x 9 x 1 inches on wood

Song of the Day:

Céline Dion - Love Can Move Mountains

Color of the Day:
 Benjamin Moore's Dalila 319

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

How a simple candle changed my productivity....

Mmmmmm, do you smell that? It's fresh baked cookies rising. The whole room is warm and safe.
Today is all about smells! I have always been very aware and effected by my senses and surely smell is not left out! This Gemini sun with a Taurus moon is all about aroma!

I have always been aware how a favorite smell might put me in a good mood. I had just brought home two WONDERFUL smelling candles that I snagged from my local craft store. One of which was Peppermint and the other was Christmas Tree.

(Click for more on this image)

I lit the Christmas Tree candle as I sat down to work on some recent commissions yesterday. As the room started to fill with the amazing aroma I melted into my work. It created such a perfect atmosphere to work in. I worked practically non-stop for HOURS on end. 

           This candle made me less restless and enhanced my focus and concentration by relaxing me. I realized that not only did the candle enhance my mood it enhanced my creativity and resources to express it in the way that I wanted. I never thought something so simple as a candle could help me be so productive!

Here are some of my personal FAVORITE SMELLS!
1. Lavender - My mother always had lavender around when I was growing up. I love it.
2. Books - The smell of a new book or a dusty old one, I turn the pages and smile in the scents.
3. Rain - Fresh rain is my absolute favorite smell. 
4. Fresh Paint - As an artist whenever I smell any type of paint I am immediately happy.
5. My boyfriend natural smell - sounds a little creepy but it's true I am attracted to his scent.

If lovely smells can change me so greatly, how about bad odors? As easily as I am effected by my favorite aromas the same is true for ugly ones. I can easily become nauseous by just one smell of something foul. You can't always avoid bad smells though so how do you think it changes your day when you are forced to come in contact with one?

My nose is crinkling just thinking about my LEAST FAVORITE SMELLS!
1. Skunk - It doesn't make me gag but I quickly receive headaches after smelling a skunk.
2. Cigarettes - As an ex smoker I am shocked to see how harshly I am effected by this aroma. PEW!
3.Moldy Food - One sniffy of moldy food and you'll find me gagging.
4. Vomit - As I get older my sensitivity to this smell is getting better but it still isn't pleasant
5. Port-o-potties - I mean it's obvious why I wouldn't like this.

Most of these are everyone's least favorite smells but it's interesting how I can tell I am effected so easily. Simply glancing at the list of my favorite smells and then at the least favorite smells my body language shifts. Even in my seat in front of my laptop. 
(One of my favorite author's Gretchen Rubin explaining aromas in her life)

Well what do I do now that I am more aware of how aromas effect me and my moods? I have started with permanently having a wonderful candle in my art studio at all times. I have also placed a few more in other rooms of the house. I was careful to make sure that the ones I placed in other rooms were liked by my loved ones. I wouldn't want one of my favorite smells to be one of their worst! 

Lastly I have decided to carry a tiny bag of Lavender in my purse with me all the time. If I am ever in a situation where I am driving and pass a dead skunk, or walk down a street and get a face full of cigarette smoke, I will be able to wash it away with something I love!

(Here is a fun video from YouTube stars trying foods and smelling others at the same time!)

What are some of your favorite smells? Do you have any in common? Are you as effected by smells as myself? Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to subscribe with the blue button on the top right of the blogs! I hope the rest of your day is a perfect as the smell of roses!

Until Tomorrow - Dream Away
Samantha Menzo

Etsy Featured Item of the Day:

Vintage 80s Scratch and Sniff Smelly Stickers Sticker by - ModerneMe

Song of the Day:

The Gallows Trailer Song - Smells Like Teen Spirit Cover

Color of the Day:
Sailor's Delight

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Finished Oil Painted Wall Mural Commission!

Welcome to the weekend! It's wonderful to have a day or two off after working so many days in a row for the gallery and traveling. Plus I am getting SUPER EXCITED for all the holiday fun coming up! Ive already started shopping and thinking about decorations. I am trying my best to hold off as long as I can though I do admit that I am listening to some Christmas Music Playlists while I write today's blog....shhhh don't tell anybody.

This past Thursday I spent as usual at my gramcrackers house for dinner. As I have recently talked about in the blogs, she has had me painting a rather large mural on one of her living room walls. Last year for Christmas I gave her a wood burned piece of art from Cloud Nine Studios - Feather and birds

My grandmother loved it so much she wanted me to paint a more realistic copy of the piece on her wall. It's been months and months but I finally finished the piece! When I began I knew it would take quite some time. Mostly because I could only get over to my grandmother's house once a week for dinner for a few hours and by the time we caught up and ate I only had an hour or two for painting. 

She was incredibly patient and it was so nice to see it come alive a little but at a time each week. Many times she would be impressed with simply the under layer of the painting. It was exciting as the artist knowing how I could make it come over more alive when it was finished.

I have painted on walls a few times before this but mostly I have only worked on movable surfaces previous to this mural. It was interesting to figure out how to move my brush in ways I was uncomfortable with to hit spots I may have missed or wanted to fix when the paint was wet near my hand. Normally I am able to rotate my surface it I need to but with the painting being on the wall, I had to learn to adapt.

I am typically I pretty clean and organized painter. I don't use a ton of paint on my brushes and I tend to be able to wear whatever I like because I am very aware of were all my paint is. At times I thought I should have changed from my nice gallery clothes but chose to stay in whatever it was that I was wearing so I was extra careful not to get paint on parts of the walls I didn't want to or drop anything on the carpet! Oil paint is almost impossible to get out of things without ruining the original surfaces with chemicals/mineralspirits.

We added a Leo symbol above the feather to represent my Papa who passed. To my grandmother, the feather is symbolic of his spirit leaving the physical world and evolving into the the next. Each one of the three birds is an representation of the transformation. The first on the left is blurry and undefined, the seconded with a few details, and the final very defined and bold.

In the end, I am extremely happy and proud of how it has turned out. I tried to take some photos along the way and don't have the best finished product images. When I finished it was late and the lighting is difficult to photograph with. But here you have it! 

Thanks for stopping by today's blog! I hope you enjoyed the images of my process and journey through the feather mural! It was a great experience that taught me many new things and also gave me confidence in areas I might have been lacking. Hopefully I can show better pictures of the final piece soon! Let me hear you thoughts in the comments below! 

Until Tomorrow - Dream Away
Samantha Menzo

Etsy Featured Item of the Day:

Feather Bracelet by - LeChaim

Song of the Day:
Seal - Fly like an Eagle

Color of the Day:
Garden Oasis 699 Paint

How to turn your dream into a color scheme - Week 6

OH MY! It is time again for DREAM SCHEME FRIDAY! For those of you who are new, Friday's I take a dream that I have had either recently or from one of my past dream journals and turn it into a color scheme!

         This week we will be diving into my dream journal and using a dream from my past! It's always fun to look at the dream again and this one I remember pretty vividly even to this day. Although I remember this dream clearly, the way I wrote it in my dream journal was confusing and unnecessarily long. So for the blogs I will be rewording and shortening it as best as I can.  This dream is from:
January 5th, 2006

The dream revolved around this mental challenged younger brother that I had. I started by letting him drive this red car/truck that was the family's and he was either speeding or hit something because he ended up with a ticket. When back at my dad's house trying to explain to him what had happened, my brother Zachary was next to me and a sister that seemed to be around the same age as me, appeared next to me in "support" of my story.

He didn't seem angry so we decided to leave again in the red car. I hear my challenged brother in the back apologizing and begging me to forgive him and let him drive again. He seemed so normal and I always tried to see him no different then anyone else so I allowed it. He jumped into another parked red car and my sister and I were left to watch him start up and immediately bashes into both cars on either side of him.

We could see him panic and then my brain seemed to be intertwined with his and I could feel his thoughts. I turned to my sister and told her he thinks that since he doesn't see any cops he is going to get on the freeway and flee the scene. She told me to follow him but we ended up stuck in traffic and lost him. Then we noticed cop lights going off! I was frustrated because I knew he wouldn't be in trouble but that I would for letting him drive. 

Feeling helpless we went back home to tell our dad. He punches a hole in the wall and screamed at us to go find him and bring him back. Once again my sister and I got back into the red car and started to merge onto the freeway. There were cars everywhere and most had been wrecked. We got out of the car and started walking. Car after car were flipped over and crushed. 

Then we saw the front part of a semi flipped over. We were speechless because there was no one around. Nobody inside or out of the cars. Then we noticed the red car underneath the semi. There was a policeman standing at the back opening of the semi. He explained that he didn't want to open the semi back door afraid what he might find inside. My sister and I climbed inside the semi and found our challenged brother sitting, watching TV and laughing at his favorite show with chocolate all over his hands and face. 

He explained to us that he was in a bad accident and decided to run from home and he was going to live here now. Behind my brother there was a tub of ice cream with some still left in it. I reached my hand in and grabbed a chunk of chocolate and walked out to tell the policeman that he wouldn't come out and that he would have to go in and make him. 

The policeman shook his head. So I entered the semi again and told my brother to stop acting like a child and that I demanded that we were going home right away. Then I awoke. I remember this dream sometimes randomly in my day since I had it. Not too much happens but it was one of the longest and most realistic dreams I have ever had.

              This dream had many different visuals but when remembering it to record for the blog I got the sense of a few colors!  Each color represents a certain part of the dream or feeling the dream gave me. The color scheme works backwards through the dream.

Color 1 - The first color red is pretty obvious that it represents the bright red cars!
Color 2 - The second darker brown color is for the chocolate that was all over my brother's face and hands.
Color 3 - The lighter tan color was a color I felt represented the first conversation I had with my father.
Color 4 - The navy blue is for the policeman uniform and cop cars.
Color 5 - The blue grey is to represents the weather and mood of the crashes.
Color 6 - The final darker grey color  is for the abrupt and unfinished ending of the dream.

***SIDE NOTE: I had this dream back in 2006. In this dream I have a sister that seemed around my age. A few years later I find out that I did in fact have another sister. We are about 5 years apart and even though I remember this dream so much I had totally forgotten about her being apart of it until reading it again in the journal. Do you think it's a coincidence or did I know her before I knew about her?

***ANOTHER SIDE NOTE: I often have dreams which include a young mentally challenged boy. I remember meditating once and asking to know the name of a spirit that watches over me or that guides me and one of the little boys from my dreams came into my mind. Then I connected them all together. Until then I had not realized that it was a pattern. Also I heard the name Ben. Something I think about quite often and thought I would share!

This is something anyone can do! Write down your dream and create a color scheme from it. Use it to make a meaningful painting for your bedroom or to pick out your outfit for the day. I believe we have dreams to guide us and show us things that are hiding in our subconscious. This is just one way to use the wonderful information your mind has given to you while asleep. 

That's all for today!   Has anyone had any dreams that they have written down lately? Have you tried this yourself? Let me know in the comments below and maybe I can make a color scheme of one of your dreams! Don't forget to subscribe and everyone have a wonderfully inspiring day!

Until Tomorrow - Dream Away
Samantha Menzo

Etsy Featured Item of the Day:

Geometric Wooden Pot — Gold + White by - GwynethHulseDesign

Song of the Day:
Adele - Hello

Color of the Day:
Benjamin Moore HC-69 Whitall Brown