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Watercolor Family Portraits

Yesterday evening, after I got our little one to bed, I pulled out my watercolor paints and created something wonderful that I’ve never done before- a watercolor portrait of our little family! I have been scheming up the idea for a while now, and I must say, I’m so happy with how it turned out. Normally when painting with watercolors, I am caught up in the little details, and I love the simplicity of this painting. It was so fun to do, and I feel like I captured how everyone in our family looks–and our personalities–even our dog!

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I’m so excited–and very flattered–about getting so many comments on the picture I posted on Instagram last night. I’m glad many of you loved this idea too.  And wouldn’t it be neat if I could just paint you all a family portrait for free?! But I can’t. So for those interested, here are my prices:

$50 for an 8×10 family portrait (up to a family of 4)
for each additional family member, an additional $10 will be added.
(example: a family of 6 would be $70)
I am happy to include pets as well. After all, our family wouldn’t
be complete without our crazy dog!

I am also willing to do a big, extended family portraits
(in the size of your choosing–11×14, 12×18, or 16×20)
for only $200. 

~all of my earnings will go into our adoption fund.~

Here’s what you need to do!

-Fill out the contact form on my website (or email me at jamie@jamieanneblake.com) and let me know what you have in mind. Attach a photo of your family for me to use as reference.

-I will send you a Paypal invoice, and once I get notice that you have paid, I will get to work on your family portrait right away. It’s as easy as that!

One of these family portraits would add so much character and fun to your home. I already have mine framed and up in our office. And I love it!!

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First Official Book Signing

With our recent move out west, it has become much easier to be more involved in promoting my book. So on Labor Day weekend, my little family made the drive to Yellowstone where I had my first official book signing- at the historic and beautiful Old Faithful Inn! I had the best time chatting with people and selling my book. The day was beautiful (although chilly) when we got there, but before too long it began pouring rain and hailing. It drew a lot of people inside, which ended up being good for me. :)

I am hoping that this will become an annual tradition- and next time I will be a bit more prepared . . . I have already made business cards and a large poster. Many people came up to me asking where the hotel bar/bathroom/restaurant was. Although the most common question was, “when is the geyser going to go off next?” I guess I looked like customer service! 😉 But I politely answered the questions as best I could and tried to get them to buy a copy of my book before they left.

oldfaithful1my little family in front of the inn

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I had the best time and can’t wait for the next one!
(to be announced!)

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The Creative Mama

Hey all- I have great news! A wonderful opportunity just kind of presented itself, and I am now a contributor to a wonderful blog called The Creative Mama.  For those that aren’t familiar, it is such a wonderful website with a team of very talented writers. They share everything from art to motherhood and parenting to wonderful recipes, etc. It is always such a refreshing read.

My first post was yesterday . . . so head on over there and check it out!

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OBX

Just about a year ago to date, our little family went on a week long vacation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. For those that have never been, that place is downright dreamy. How lucky we were to drive 4 hours out of the hustle and bustle that is the DC metro area and be in such a paradise! There is something so wonderful about the Atlantic Ocean beaches. Tall grass, warm sand, weathered homes on stilts- it’s just beautiful. In fact, just thinking about the fact that we now live clear across the country and aren’t in driving distance makes me almost want to cry.

Perhaps it was the craziness of the year we’d had- of adopting our beautiful little girl and adjusting to parenthood, but that vacation of ours was my very favorite we’ve been on. We needed some relaxation. We shared a beach house with some of our best friends, brought along our dog along (who loved to hop in the ocean waves), and have ourselves the most wonderful, relaxing trip.

obxMy sweet little family at the Bodie Island Lighthouse

We stayed in Kitty Hawk, NC, and all we had to do was walk across the street and we were literally on the beach. In viewing distance from our house, was this beautiful beach home on the water- Pelican’s Perch. Wouldn’t it be a dream to stay there?

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Because of our fond memories of the OBX, I wanted to do a watercolor of our time there, so I painted Pelican’s Perch. (using a complimentary blue/orange theme) I thought it turned out great. Maybe not as soft and delicate as I wanted, but still lovely! Although it’s safe to say that I will likely paint many more watercolors of the beautiful Outer Banks, because I love it so. Plenty of more opportunities to create a perfect watercolor.

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“Pelican’s Perch” 16″x20″ watercolor and ink

What do you all think?

 

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t-shirt designs

One of my goals for this year was to do more frequent posts about my artwork- and it’s definitely easy to say that I’ve done kind of a lousy job. My bad!  I will justify it by saying that our family has been super busy- we made a big move from Virginia to Idaho and purchased our first home, and a big move like that has taken up most of my time. Moving is such an ordeal- from decluttering and packing, to unpacking and getting all settled in. But things have calmed down. So more frequent posts for me! :)

I will say that even though my life lately has been overwhelmed by our life changing move, I still have done many art projects- one of which has been t-shirt designs. My hubby introduced me to this awesome website called Teefury, where they have a daily t-shirt design. They are usually super cool (and oftentimes have a very nerdy/comic book theme). So I thought I’d give it a go! Artists can submit their t-shirt design, and if chosen, they get $1 for each shirt that sells.

I had some great ideas and submitted many designs. However, none of them got picked. :( I tried not to be too disappointed about it. I figured that I gave it a good try, and my artwork was something  that they just weren’t interested in . . . and that’s okay! Not everyone is going to love you! Perhaps I wasn’t nerdy enough? haha.

One of the trickiest things about making a t-shirt design is that you can only use so many colors- and according to Teefury’s rules- 6! So these two designs only have 6 colors.

the-hood“The Hood”

This one was based off of the television show, “Arrow.” We got really into that show- we would binge watch it after we put our daughter to bed- good times! I thought this masked vigilante- the hood- would make an awesome t-shirt!

veronica-mars-black“Veronica Mars”

Another television show we love is Veronica Mars. (Do we maybe watch too much tv? Don’t answer that question.) We were so excited about the movie coming out that I made a special t-shirt design for the event. And although the design didn’t get picked, we may have worn special t-shirts when we went to the movies.

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New Year, New Look

Hey all!

I figured it’s about time that I revive this website and get it up and running again!
Introducing my new website at jamieanneblake.com! One of my New Years Resolutions was to redesign my art website and to update regularly on my blog with all of my latest artistic endeavors. A big task (especially with a cute one-year old daughter who requires a lot of time and attention), but I think a manageable one!

My previous website design was beautiful and colorful. I really loved it. I spent a lot of time designing it, and my husband did all the programming to get it up and running several years back. But recently I started to think that it might be too busy. I want an art website that is clean and simple- something that showcases my artwork, and not the web design. What do you think of the new design?

So here’s to a new year, a new site, and lots of upcoming projects!

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How To Get Ideas

My publisher wants me to work on a second Buffalo Joe book (this time, about Yellowstone)!! This is something I have been so excited about! It’s a good sign that book #1 is doing well- and I really had the best time working on my first book. So I am thrilled to get going on another one. But I’ve been going through a little phase of writer’s block. Blame it on being a new mother, on having a lack of ideas flowing, whatever- I’ve had a really hard time with it. I will sit down and stare at my laptop during Veda’s nap time and just be blank- nothing! No creative juices flowing whatsoever! I’ve even had several people give me ideas, but I can’t seem to fit them all together to create a great story. It’s led me to be frustrated with the whole thing.

So last week as I was organizing my house, I came across this book that I read for my Intro to Illustration class- “How To Get Ideas,” by Jack Foster. I have read it a few times, and it is a fantastic book. I recommend it to everyone!
You don’t even need to be a writer/illustrator/artist, it is just a fun read full of lots of tips and really funny quotes.

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I busted it out and read the whole thing in a few days, and I came across several realizations. I loved this quote:

“If you want to be idea prone you must accept two things.
First, you must accept that what you think about yourself is the
single most important factor in your success.
Second, human beings can alter their lives
by altering their attitudes.”

Realization #1: I need to change my attitude

I realized that I have this weird fear of failing at this book (before I’ve even started on it) . . . I had such a great idea for my first one and it was such a great story, which gives me the feeling that there’s no way I can come up with something just as good.

But that’s not true! I’ve published a children’s book once! I’m just afraid of my new idea being rejected. But if I came up with a good idea once, I certainly can again, right? And I will!

Realization #2: Create a Deadline

I also realized that I need a deadline. And according to this book- the shorter, the better. Maybe if I’m under a time crunch, I will get serious here. So here’s what I’ve decided. I don’t have the time to dedicate to this like I used to, but
nap time = my time! No sitting down at the computer, trying to come up with something, and then just goofing around on facebook instead. This will give me at least 2 hrs. during the day to at least be thinking about book #2!

My deadline:

I am giving myself until the end of the year to turn in a manuscript. This gives me about 3 months.

September: Research all I can about the Yellowstone/Old Faithful area. The more I know about the area,
the easier it may be for an idea to pop up!

October & November: Write the story! Have the first draft written by Thanksgiving.

December: Revise, Revise, Revise! Turn in manuscript by the end of the year.

Item #1 this week is to get my hands on some books about Yellowstone and start doing some reading. Which will probably entail getting a library card (something that is long overdue to do!).

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Alaskan Moose

A good friend of mine from growing up lives in Alaska. Their cute family is in the Air Force, and they are stationed out there for several years. She wanted a painting for her living room that reminded her of Alaska, and wanted something with a Moose and mountains.

I was so excited about this project, and when I mentioned it to my mom she said, “Can you paint a moose?” And I was like, “Uhhhh, I think so . . . . .” Anyway, I did it- and I am proud to say that yes, I can paint a moose.

I am just loving how the watercolor turned out. I love how the colors all go together so beautifully. I decided to do this painting in a double compliment scheme- meaning having two complementary colors- purple and yellow, and blue and orange. What do you all think?

*Interested in your own custom painting? I love doing commissions! Contact me for details.

alaska-moose

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Moulton Barn Celebration

This year is the Moulton Barn’s 100 year anniversary. Our family is throwing a big centennial celebration in it’s honor this summer, mostly to raise funds for its preservation- so I painted a few watercolors to auction off. I think they turned out so lovely, and they’ll look even better framed! What do you all think?

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*For more information about the Moulton Barn, click here.

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Illustration Friday: children

I know I have been on-again off-again when it comes to Illustration Friday projects. Silly me. But I saw this weeks topic and loved it!! The topic is children. Which really is perfect, because it explains the reason for my absence!

 

My husband and I adopted a beautiful baby girl who is now just over 4 months old. Our lives have been turned upside down- we love her so much and feel so grateful to have her in our lives! Here is a little illustration of our sweet baby girl!

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