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The Mountains Are Calling

mountains are calling 4

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery – air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.'”

– Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

It’s good to finally feel that spark of fresh artistic inspiration like I finally felt when I started painting mountains. The most frustrating times for me is when the desire is there to create, but nothing feels inspired.It’s those heart thumping, urgent, fully focused artistic moments that are what I live for. When I’m  completely absorbed in a project and it stops being about perfecting a final product (something that insures I am bound to be disappointed and zaps me of desire) and more about personal expression.

Process: Pencil drawing, watercolor pens, gauche paint.

 

 

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Daily Affirmation: Live Colorfully (Free Downloadable Design)

 

 

live colorfully originalshort and sweet today, just wanted to share a little design I did last night using some abstract art I’ve been having fun playing around with.

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Art Collaboration with The Mom Edit Style Blog

mom edit march art style fashion collaboration jessica ross

I am so so excited to be collaborating again with the AMAZING Shana, and her equally amazing blog: The Mom Edit on a series of monthly fashion themed art pieces.

Shana's latest spring OOTD on the mom edit.
Shana’s latest spring OOTD on the mom edit.

I love being able to collaborate with Shana. She has been an enthusiastic supporter and an advocate for me and my art, even when I usually can’t stand whatever it is I’ve made. supporter and cheerleader  She is passionate, enthusiastic and just all around bad ass. I love all of her style and she approaches each post with honesty and frankness about life that makes me laugh out loud.

I was really struggling creatively the last few months and this collaboration has  breathed new life into  my art and given me a new purpose and direction. This project has also been hands down the hardest artistic challenge I’ve undertaken simply because it’s so scary for me to have my artwork “out there” to be seen and judged. I usually have two modes: 1) being super impulsive about what I publish on social media and then afterwards feeling embarrassed or 2) overthinking and analyzing every thing I make until I just stop mid-way through and never finish it.

Here is the March art piece I did for The Mom Edit along with Shana’s picks to go along with it:

jess ross mom edit art collaboration march spring style

jessbobess march-collage-01-614x1024

And here is the link to her article:

http://themomedit.com/2015/03/hello-march-and-some-exciting-news/

This is the art piece I did for the February collaboration with The Mom Edit:

valentine-01 mom edit art collaboration

Here is her AMAZING outfit that inspired the art I did for her and the LINK to her article Winter Florals and Leather Jackets (The Anti-Valentines Day Outfit):

chiffon-maxi-leather-jacket-winter-floral-beanie-681x1024 chiffon-maxi-skirt-winter-floral-tank-leather-jacket-sole-society-winter-beanie

 

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20 Original Winter/Holiday Themed Art Journal Ideas

20 artist journal page ideas

I put together a little Holiday Themed Art Journal Idea List, some of the ideas are a bit simple but fun.

I always find myself journaling and sketching a lot over the Christmas and New Years breaks. I think it’s my way of reflecting on everything that happened over the past year as well as gearing up for the new year ahead (also because I usually like to start the new new calendar year off with a fresh journal so I try to fill up the remaining pages in the old one). Also, I am one of those people who religiously comes up with New Years Resolutions every year…The older I get, the more it’s becoming a bucket list and a reminder for me that life is moving fast. I am a big list person too…I just feel better about my lack of organizational skills when I can cross off even the most mundane tasks.

I also rounded up some of my favorite journal pages from this year….they are nothing like some of the pages I see of other artists on pinterest or tumblr…but they make me happy 🙂 Some of them can fit as examples for the Winter themed list so Ill note them if they do…

 

e e cummings mixed media art journal collage page

e e cummings mixed media art journal collage page

One of my favorite things to do is write down  inspiring quotes, passages, poems r song lyrics I come across and then create some sort of art around it.

ink and mixed media watercolor shape collage with inspiring quote
ink and mixed media watercolor shape collage with quote
watercolor flower bouquet and vase
watercolor flower bouquet and vase
succulent and cacti planters
succulent and cacti planters
floral watercolor artist sketchbook page
floral watercolor artist sketchbook page

mixed media artist sketchbook page

abstract watercolor journal page

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A Creative Style Meets Art Collaboration: A Season-Less Starter Wardrobe

a-season-less-starter-wardrobe-for-moms-2

 

This past year, I was lucky enough to spend time with and get to know an all around amazing lady, Shana Draugelis. Not only is she stunning and full of life and a kick-ass mom (to two of my favorite kids ever)but she happens to have one of the BEST style blogs out there: The Mom Edit (previously called Ain’t No Mom Jeans).  Needless to say, I was a bit in awe and intimidated. I mean, check her out:

baseball-hat-meet-summer-dress-6

white-dresses-birkenstocks-and-a-little-local-love-22

 

yeah….how can you not??

 She had seen a little bit of my artsy stuff and approached me with an idea for for her blog.  Her readers were wanting her to come up with an essential starter wardrobe and she wanted me to illustrate the pieces for her. She gave me the list of items she wanted included and over the next several (SEVERAL) months I spent drawing, and painting and throwing away and starting over and just being my typical self (lacking confidence that my pieces were good enough). But every time I sent her anything she was her usual positive self and quickly way-laid any of my fears. So the following is what she put up on her website which is her wardrobe pieces, illustrated by myself!
a-season-less-starter-wardrobe-for-moms-4
In typical fashion,  I couldn’t let myself look at the final product on her blog for a bit- I was worried of it not doing justice to her blog but when I saw her recently she told me that her readers loved it and I was blown away by the nice things that were said. I have never done anything like this project before, but it was so much fun and I would love to continue doing more pieces like this. Shana asked if I ever thought about fashion blogging (lord knows clothes are my favorite creative outlet hahaha!) and I would love to incorporate more of that into this blog….I don’t have that model-esque body like Shana at The Mom Edit, but this year of 30 is all about loving me for me.   Yeah girl! Here are a few more of the pics I stole from her website and how she created specific outfits for different events:
a-season-less-starter-wardrobe-for-moms-6

 

A Creative Style Meets Art Collaboration: A Season-Less Starter Wardrobe

 

 

 

all art was done by Jessica Ross Sheffield.
If you are interested in me creating something for you, I would love to! Email me at: forourcity@gmail.com
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Artist Spotlight: Natalie Jean Bauer

by Natalie Jean Bauer 
This “Artist Spotlight” post idea came to me one night when I was thinking of how so many of my friends are talented artists and besides that, they are all also pretty hilarious. This is my little way of exposing the world (or a few hundred people a month) to the amazing-ness that they bring to my world and how happy they make me. And hopefully share that with someone else! So, I came up with some questions (some I borrowed from other art blogs) and asked my friend Natalie if she would let me interview her and post some of her artwork on my blog. Natalie is one of the most humble artists (and also one of the funniest) that I know. I have (selfishly) asked her when she is planning on making prints of her artwork and selling them, so I can buy one…but not yet. I’m wearing you down Natalie! So, hopefully you get some enjoyment out of this post AND…
if YOU or anyone you know wants to be featured in an “Artist Spotlight” post, then email me at forourcity@gmail.com. Send me a couple pieces of your artwork (whether its music, paintings, photography, dancing, stand up comedy..it all works for me!) and answer the questions. I will feature you in the next post! 

 Who are you and what do you do?

I am Natalie Jean Bauer.  I try to paint, draw, and write as often as my big dumb brain will allow.
Describe yourself in five words:
Usually really terrible at this.
Do you have a favorite piece of yours?  If so, why is it your favorite?

No favorites, really.  They are all a labor of love and yet I am my own worst critic.  The entire process of creating anything has always been essential for me, but the second I finish a piece (be it a painting, story, comic, whatever) I still notice every rough edge, every single area that shows room for improvement.  This is good in that it always drives me to further develop whatever skills I may possess, but awful when it comes to confidence in my own abilities.  I’ll probably spend the rest of my life trying to shut this off.  I am ruthless and insatiable.
Any tips or inspiring words for other artists?

Find it in yourself.  Keep fumbling and learning and don’t lose heart.  Surround yourself with books and songs that make you want to scream and explode into a million stupid pieces because of how good they are.  Pile more love and effort on literally everything you’re doing.

 Can we find you anywhere on the world wide web?


Art-wise?  Besides Facebook, not really.  I don’t have a personal website, at least not yet.  I’ve always been intensely private and enjoyed my anonymity.  A bit selfish, probably, but so often I anticipate being critiqued in a way I won’t recover from.  I don’t handle rejection well despite all the practice I’ve had.
What is your favorite:
Color?  The particular shade of green usually limited to chalkboards; grey in the beard of a young man.
Animal?  My dog, Roxy Carmichael, is the obvious answer here.  She has the personality of Gilda Radner, the heart of Gandhi, and the eyes of everyone you’ve ever loved.
Movie?  “Santa Sangre” has been in heavy rotation for me lately.  Otherwise, Martin Short’s “Clifford” never fails to improve my mood.
Book?  I just re-read Virginia Woolf’s “The Waves” for maybe the fifth time and it is always such a task but so beautiful and worthwhile.
What work do you most enjoy doing?

Honestly, it depends on my mood and focus.  It all comes in waves; I’ll sometimes go weeks where I mainly focus on writing and finishing a story and not pick up a brush or pencil at all.  But then before I even know it, the opposite becomes true:  I’ll slave over new paintings or comics before I become conscious of the fact that I haven’t written anything in months.  It’s bizarre.  My Moleskines are erratic at best.

Name something you love, and why?


I love The Voyager Golden Record.  It’s this gold-plated record that was sent into space on The Voyager so that if any aliens ever found it, they could listen to this record and know what Earth was like.  The record had an introduction, greetings in fifty-five languages, and the sounds of our planet — a whale song, crickets, the sound of an earthquake, a volcano, thunder, laughter, footsteps, wind, water, a kiss, a wild dog, heartbeats I think.  It had twenty-seven songs on it from all over the world, including Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Chuck Berry, and Louis Armstrong.  At the end of the record there were brainwaves.  The wife of one of the men in charge of the record got hooked up to a machine and her brainwaves were turned into sound.  She thought all about the earth and the life on it, poverty, suffering, and some history she could remember.  At the end, she decided to make a personal statement.  The very last thing she wanted her brainwaves to send out there, the very last thing on this golden record that we sent into space for aliens to find and learn and judge about us, was what it felt like to fall in love.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

More often than not, I feel I have no truly creative ideas.  And everything I write, think, paint, or say has already been written, thought, painted, or said by many others.  And though I value the wonderful varied perspectives of people everywhere, it makes me feel like poo.  During a public internet meltdown of sorts, I had two people whose brains and artistic endeavors I admire impart two pieces of wisdom to me in such a way that it helped to hear at that precise moment.  The first was:  the truth is that all creativity amounts to in the first place is putting the basic stuff of existence into different patterns.  These patterns have personal meaning to us.  We ourselves constitute a changing pattern in relation to the rest of the universe.  Creativity is either infinite or ‘virtually infinite.’

The second was:  you just worry about making art because you’ll die if you don’t.

I try to remember both of these things in my worst moments of self-sabotage and doubt.


Name something you don’t love, and why?

I hate labels so much.  Here I am not referring to ethnic, racial, or other discriminatory and/or offensive tags (although OF COURSE I hate those, too).  Specifically I mean things such as price tags and the stickers on plastic bins that helpfully note “Sterilite Storage Bin.  For storage.  Store your shit up in this piece, mofo!”  I compulsively pick labels off of everything that is around for even a short time in my life.  This urge is slightly in opposition to my love of text — I like monograms, painting words on walls, having lots of chalkboards and papers and quotes and journals sitting around, just to put thoughts down on.  I guess it’s just that I want to control how many and what kinds of words and text are thrown at me in my home.  Everything outside is so coated in manipulative slogans and advertising (I mean seriously, you can’t even pee at a bar without forty flyers adding to the visual chaos) that I need to be able to look around my apartment without It’sallinside-Nobodydoesn’tlove-Refrescante-Eatfresh-Ownstheroad-Stayclosealittlelonger-Doubleyourpleasure-Choiceofthenew-Camitasmejors-Gentleman’sclub-Whatissexy-It’syourlife-Thenewalbum-Unböring-Unbroken-Undecided-Uncoordinated-Unlisted-Underground-Unrefined blazing across my retinas like Satan’s own stock ticker.

What couldn’t you do without?

It’s so clichéd of an answer, but there’s no way in hell I would have lasted this long without the people I am so blessed enough to call my friends.  I couldn’t have asked-begged-prayed-starved for better people to keep.

.

 You’ve been selected to go on an all-expenses paid drinking binge with one famous artist, one famous writer, and one free choice.  Who would you choose?


Dead or alive?  I think this answer changes daily for me.  So today I would probably go with Odilon Redon because stylistically I have never wanted to emulate someone SO MUCH.  His paintings are pure magic.  Oscar Wilde, because deep-down I identify with the burned-out view and the scathing insight.  And the free choice…  I guess it’d be that neighbor dog with short legs who runs the way shrimp swim. I like when there’s a dog at a party so my social anxiety doesn’t run down my phone’s battery
Would you rather eat a handful of hair or lick three public telephones?

Whose hair?  My own hair?  I think I’d sooner set myself on fire than lick a public ANYTHING, to be honest.  I probably ingest more than a handful of dog hair on a daily basis anyway, thanks to Roxy Carmichael’s proclivity for shedding.  I’m going with the hair.  I think I could better survive that from an emotional standpoint.


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Artist Spotlight: Jonathan Draugelis

Jonathan Draugelis is an artist out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, who has a talent for creating stunning pencil portraits. Using only pencil and white wax pastels, Jonathan creates portraits so true to his subject, they could be photographs. I love his work and am trying to convince him to share his work with the world. 🙂

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Love my job!

This is a student’s drawing I came across and had to bite my lip to stifle a laugh. I had to ask him to draw something appropriate for school but secretly thought it was funny. These are the little things that make me smile and make my day better.

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art lately: geometric art

some art from my journal…I am loving triangles and simple gemoetric shapes right now.

I will be the first to admit, that I rarely, if ever, have a original art idea. I always see pieces that I love and admire, and usually want to buy for my house so I can stare at them forever but cant afford them so I create my own version, and more versions and they are not exact replicas by any means. I don’t think I am an artist, I think I am just really good at copying other people. 
I did this one on an a sheet of music from an old family chorus book I got at the thrift store.

This one was with watercolors and sharpie in my journal.
I call this one “Triangle Lady.”
And here are some of my favorite geometrical prints I have found on various sites: 
I LURRV THIS ONE: “Sami Woman Print” by lisacongdon
“Her Colorful Coat” Original drawing by heartpumpsart 
“The dimensions of a Volcano” by Judy Kaufmann
“If I could I Would Give You the Entire Universe” print by artist: Meredith Schwab via her etsy shop dittydrops