Monday, April 27, 2015

Spring Studio Soiree

open studio of Miriam Schulman May 6, 2015 supporting Friends of Music and Art
I used to host an open studio once a year...and quite frankly I am not quite sure why I stopped. This year an alignment of events and coincidences or non-coincidences ( if you don't believe in coincidences) has spurred me back into action.

When one door closes... find a window. (tweet this)

Normally, each spring I bring seven of my finest orginal canvases to the Burr Homestead in Fairfield CT along with a portfolio rack of 30 carefully chosen matted prints. The Junior League of Fairfield County ran this successful art event for many years retaining 40% of the sales price and I found new collectors each year. Unfortunately this year, they decided not to host the art event again.

original modern abstract landscape art mixed media collate art by Miriam Schulman

Commissions for Charities not Galleries

Around the same time that I  realized the event was not happening the universe took care of me in the form of art business guru Alyson Stanfield. In her weekly newsletter, she suggested pairing with a charity and donating 50% of the sales. I am not sure if that was her exact suggestion, but that was my take away. Immediately, my wheels started spinning as I thought about organizations I could partner with that would benefit from the donations and whose members also support the arts. Although 50% sounds generous, and it is, this is the commission fees normally reserved for New York galleries

open studio of Miriam Schulman May 6, 2015 supporting Friends of Music and Art

Wednesday before Mother's Day

So right now I am busy gathering up my artworks and carting them up to my studio. The open studio will run the Wednesday before Mother's Day which is a great time for my local collectors and members of Friends of Music and Art to treat themselves or pick out a gift for someone else. IN addition to original fine art, I also use my creativity to make musical jewelry and other treasures. My cosmetic bags have been featured in New York Museum gift shops including the Hudson River Museum and The Katonah Museum of Art.
sunflower art | sunflower painting | art by Miriam Schulman
I have a lot of new art that I haven't had time to list on my website..and may never make it there if they find homes with new collectors during the open studio. If you live in the New York area, I would love to greet you in my home studio and show you around.

Door Prizes

There will be wine and cheese, of course. I am also sponsoring a free raffle of some fabulous door prizes. All you have to do is leave a card with your name and email to be entered.

open studio of Miriam Schulman May 6, 2015 supporting Friends of Music and Art
So what do you say? Come and celebrate spring with me on May 6th. My studio is at 26 Claremont Road in Scarsdale and is conveniently located at exit 18 off the Bronx River Parkway northbound. The public is invited from 7-10pm with a wine and cheese reception.

If you enjoyed this blog post, you also might like:

You can take a sneak peek at some of the art that will be offered at the open studio when you download your free guide →it's free!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

How a Frame transforms the art

how to frame art
I found over the years that in spite of what your framer or some other know it all has told you, the best way to sell art is unframed. Now this may be contrary to every book you have picked up that say the art finishes the piece and shows it off-- and although that is true, I can not predict the decorating tastes of my art collectors. See how framing the art in four different ways can lend itself to four completely different decorating styles...and the variations are endless!
Take this owl as a case study. I displayed the art in four different frames and then asked my facebook fans which framing style they liked best.  ( you can see the results on this post) The answers varied widely and some wisely noted that it all depends on the room. So I took up the challenge of showing how I would display this art framed in four different styles. Which style do you like the best?
Adding art to a boy's room? No problem. This owl reminds you of camping, nature, the outdoors and hopefully to do your homework too. The graphic white and black frame adds modernity to the piece keeping it in line with the other masculine touches. Furniture and decor by Pottery Barn.
(→collect the owl art here)

living room ideas with owl art → collect owl art
Glinting metallic accents bring a fresh, glamorous aesthetic to this traditional living room. Luxury touches such as the velvet upholstery add formality and comfort. Here the owl stares over the Chinoiserie vases and a grand piano. Do you see how framing the owl in gold lends itself to conservative decor? (→collect the owl art here)
Look how framing the owl in creamy white makes the frame part of the architecture. In this Pottery Barn-esque living room the owl adds a rustic touch and personality to the space. The golden eyes coordinate with the natural linen shades and other textures in the room. (→collect the owl art here)
The clean lines of this frame lends itself to a hip side bar that mixes both urban and rustic elements to showcase the owl art. By the way, if you prefer to collect your art framed in any of the styles shown, you can. All four of these styles are offered as framed prints in my imagekind shop.
→ collect your favorite

Get inspired by 7 different 
bedroom decorating ideas in the free downloadable guide
Looking for more decorating ideas?

Download your free bedroom decorating ideas guide!→it's free!

Which is your favorite room for the owl?
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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Celebrate the color of life ( or why I became an artist)

miriam schulman's artist statement: celebrate the color of life ( or why I became an artist)

There is only one fact you need to know about me in order to explain why I became an artist. My father passed away when I was five years old.

female figure art
Embrace by Miriam Schulman, fine art print

nurture vs. nature: my creative DNA

I tell you this not so you will feel sorry for me, for I have rarely felt sorry for myself. This fact has become so deeply ingrained in my nature that I can no longer separate the aftermath of growing up fatherless from other facts about me such as my birth order or my gender.

I say this without cynicism nor with the religious attitude that "everything happens for a reason" for I do not believe in that either.

Events can make their own reasons. Perhaps, I would have still become an artist even if I did not know death. However, one thing I do know-- is that I would have become a different kind of artist had I become an artist at all.


Celebrate the color of life

I am an artist that paints and celebrates the color of life. I do not seek to recreate death in my paintings-- I know that too well. At five, I stared into a black room filled with sad people I knew. Everyone in my life was there... except for my father. His absence was answered by an explanation I was not yet ready to understand.

I have been running from black ever since.
male figure art
"Hope in Sadness" by Miriam Schulman

Hope in sadness

My paintings are filled with the colors of joy and harmony. I create art to lift me up and share my lust for life with others in a way that heals the soul. Although color is my subject, I choose to paint landscapes, figures and animals and each serves its purpose. Whether I paint people or peacocks, its personality that moves my paintbrush. Sometimes, their sadness does make its way into my art but I aim to show you that there is something beautiful and hopeful in that sadness as well

Personality of a place

When I travel, I will sketch with my camera capturing ideas and then create a landscape that will show others what I want them to see. Rarely do I choose the typical tourist postcard scenes. Rather, I focus on the ordinary experience of being on the street with the people and colors. I bring life to the personality of a place. The painting creates a two dimensional escape window to a calmer time and space.

Do I know you?

raccoon by miriam schulman
All living things have souls. 
Raccoon Art by Miriam Schulman. "Do I know you", 7x10" original watercolor

Figures and animals- anything with "eyes" -has always been natural for me. I was always the kind of student who might be caught drawing my teachers instead of taking notes. I may have sketched my female teachers, but it is the drawings of my male teachers that I remember the most. I studied their faces so carefully, perhaps looking for the father I never knew. Perhaps his is the soul I seek when I paint animals.
watercolor landscape by Miriam Schulman
Dark Horse by Miriam Schulman

Non-toxic materials only

You can even link my choice of materials to my father's death. I paint with water based medium such as watercolors or acrylics because I have found them to be the least toxic of all the artist mediums. My mind at ease that I am working with non-toxic materials, I can focus on my art instead of my safety.

The artist statement

So when I was asked to write this artist statement to answer not the what but the why. I find it impossible to separate my reasons from my biography. When I paint, I feel alive as I watch the colors mix and flow on the paper or canvas to recreate a more beautiful world filled with color, love and tranquility.

Other blog posts you might like:   

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

My Morning Routine

morning routine | my morning routine | morning ritual | read more on

I have always been fascinated with routines and rituals of successful people so I thought it only fitting that I share with you my morning routine. A regular wake-up time, breakfast with my family and exercise has been a regular part of my mornings for years and fuels my creativity for the entire day.

Recently, I altered my routine just a bit to include a morning meditation. I always thought this was a bit "out there" but I have found that making this one simple addition to my morning has helped me gain control over my happiness. {like the art? →collect this or you can download a free art collectors catalog}

Begin Each Day with a Sense of Purpose

In the morning, I am tempted to mindlessly lie in bed with my phone randomly clicking away at nothing. Since January, I have been repeating the mantra "Begin Each Day with a Sense of Purpose" (see blog post: art journal ideas: create a personal mantra ) This is enough to force me out of bed as lying on the bed with my phone in the air serves no purpose.

morning routine | my morning routine | morning ritual | read more on
Rooster Art by Miriam Schulman → collect this
You can download a free catalog featuring 7 Bedroom Ideas

Ron the Rooster

I am up every morning by 7:00, and often much earlier. It might surprise you that I haven't used an alarm clock in over 20 years. My husband, Ron, is a rooster. He wakes up every weekday morning, also without an alarm clock, at the crack of dawn. Well, he did grow up the son of a chicken farmer, so I suppose this is in his DNA. He doesn't intentionally wake me up right away because he prefers to spend a few moments alone.  Lately, I have screwed up his morning mojo as I have been trying to join him on the floor to meditate and stretch.

Morning Meditation

For the past week, I have transitioned from the bed to the floor to start stretching. Ron says I am copying him but really he had nothing to do with it. I was inspired by a Melanie Duncan webinar where where she shared her "perfect morning ritual." Her morning routine includes moments of silence and meditation. 

morning routine | my morning routine | morning ritual | read more on
Watercolor Paintings by Miriam Schulman → collect this art
You can download a free art collectors catalog

My Monkey Mind

I find it really challenging to quiet my monkey mind so I have been attempting to do this by doing yoga stretches. I wouldn't consider any of these poses "exercise." I move mindlessly from child's pose to lotus to twists... These stretches resemble the types of poses done at assisted living homes or senior centers.

A Moment of Gratitude 

Another practice that I started recently is the "5 Minute Journal." This is an app I downloaded to my phone which has both morning and nightly prompts. The first prompt asks that you document three things you are grateful for. Although there is no requirement to vary your answers from day to day I have been just dictating the first three grateful thoughts that pop into my head no matter how deep or ridiculous they seem. On some days, I am grateful for my health and on others I am grateful that my cat kept me company in the night.

Happy on Purpose

Another prompt the app provides is "What would make today great?" This simple practice has been the most beneficial. I choose three things that I can do that day that will give me pleasure. I choose actions that I have control over. For example, I think it would be a mistake to say that "today would be great if I sold a piece of art."  I have no control over that. Actions I have taken over this past week have included tasks like getting a manicure, or treating myself to a large salad for lunch. Knowing that I have control over my own happiness has empowered me in ways I never imagined.

The last prompt the app asks is to declare an affirmation. The first day I struggled with this and left it blank. Since that first day my affirmation has been the same: I am in control of my own happiness.

morning routine | my morning routine | morning ritual | read more on
watercolor painting of eggs → collect this art
You can download a free art collectors catalog

Whew-- okay, all that really only takes a few minutes. Next, I splash my face with water, brush my teeth and throw on my robe. I am banned from drifting off to my  computer or my studio until my high school age kids have caught the bus. 

Usually, I make myself fried eggs, a huge mug of coffee and squeeze lemon into a glass of water. I enjoy this time with my kids. My son ignores, or pretends to ignore us while he scans the paper searching for injustices in the world. My daughter chats happily with me sharing gossip she has learned on facebook while I check the clock to make sure that they catch the bus. I basically spend between 7:15 and 7:25 nagging them to hurry up. 

Almost Alone at Last

When they are gone, I call my mother. My husband hates this, but I love it. She will listen to whatever I feel like talking about...and isn't that what mothers are for? {grateful} Sometimes my husband...or her husband...demands our attention instead but usually we indulge in celebrating our secret life.

morning routine | my morning routine | morning ritual | read more on
watercolor figures by Miriam Schulman → collect this art
You can download a free art collectors catalog

Computer Time

Ideally, I would love to start my exercise right away, I am really not productive until I have exercised but my preferred forms of exercise are group exercise classes and most of these don't start until 8:30. So I pass the time answering emails or starting a blog post. Often, I get so involved with my blogging that I arrive late to my exercise class.

Morning Exercise Routine

My morning exercise routine is absolutely critical to having a productive day. There are days when I am involved with my work and don't stop to exercise and on those days I burn out quickly and end up grumpy. I found that the only way to ensure I get in my morning exercise is to schedule it with a boutique shop that will charge me whether I show up or not. This motivates me to go.

Although I love barre classes, I do my best thinking at "Soul Cycle." This is a very trendy spinning class where they turn off the lights and light candles. I find that I get my best ideas while my heart is pumping in the darkened room.

Post Exercise Brain Dump

Since I am filled to the brim with ideas, I have to rush back to my computer and start implementing them. Often, my ideas have to do with writing this blog or a great idea for marketing. I have found that if I stop to shower, I completely lose my train of thought. Sometimes, I do what I call a "post exercise brain dump." This is when I will journal all my thoughts. I do this either by dictating to my iphone using the microphone app and Evernote, or I will simply write everything down into my planner.

morning routine | my morning routine | morning ritual | read more on
Artist Miriam Schulman enjoying a cup of coffee
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Sweaty till Noon

So I work on my computer implementing my new ideas until noon. I have an assistant come help me a few days a week so I start to plan the tasks I want her to do and when she shows up I finally get in the shower. Only then, can I begin to paint.

So-- what is your morning routine like? I would love to hear from you! 

PS 21 Secrets starts tomorrow! Be sure you are signed up for this inspiring art journal adventure!! 

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Watercolor dreams do come true

watercolor techniques | watercolor painting techniques | how to paint with watercolors | discover your inner artist on
Would you be interested in a medium that you can carry with you anywhere to capture the beauty of life? If you love to learn and express yourself through art then discover you how can build your confidence in watercolor. Whether you are a beginner or advanced, there is always more to learn.

watercolor techniques | watercolor painting techniques | how to paint with watercolors | discover your inner artist on
In Watercolor Textures, you will discover the confidence 
to create your own landscape painting in your own style.

The best teachers teach from the heart  (tweet this)

One of the reasons that art students like my classes is that I am generous with my students. I don't hoard my best techniques, rather I share all my watercolor secrets. I believe in you and know that if shown the right way anyone can discover their inner artist. Watercolor is a beautiful medium and I will show you how you can conquer your painting fears. Sometimes all you need is a little help getting started.

Learning is Living- Love and live through creating (tweet this)

Although this class is going to introduce texture techniques that even a beginner can pick up. Experienced students will be delighted to add new dimension and texture to their watercolor landscapes. You don't have to settle for a flat looking painting.

Youth is not a requirement to be a good artist. (tweet this)

I have a lot of folks come to me and say they are in their fifties... or sixties ...and always wanted to learn but never took the time. You are not alone. I have seen many students just like you blossom in their art at this stage of their life. Youth is not a requirement to be a good artist. In fact, what I have noticed is that with age comes courage. Creativity takes courage.

Nurture Your artistic soul (tweet this)

After years of putting your inner artist on the back burner, it feels so good to something just for you....for your artistic soul. When you allow yourself time to paint you will find yourself happier and more at peace with the world. The secret to joy from painting is the process, not just the end product.

watercolor techniques | watercolor painting techniques | how to paint with watercolors | discover your inner artist on

In Watercolor Textures, you will also learn 

how to make a portable palette and watercolor art journal 
so you can carry art supplies with you anywhere 
to capture the beauty of life.

Fast Track Your Success

You might have learned a lot from youtube videos, and that is great. In fact, I encourage you to keep learning all you can from all the free stuff you can find. However, there are many advantages to investing in an online course.

First, the structure of an online class provides discipline.

Second, you have the support and camaraderie of an online community. You can ask me, the instructor, questions at any time.

Last, I've curated the best tips and
tricks in one place to save you time and aggravation. Sure, you can teach yourself to do anything on your own, but the fastest way to learn is with a good teacher in a supportive non-judgmental environment. I know what frustrates students and I am here to motivate you to overcome that through clear step-step demonstrations that will give you results.

Congrats to Winners of the Free Class

Make new friends and keep the old... I award a free class to one of my returning students and one to a brand new student. I look forward to having you both in class!

Congrats to these runners up

(These three runner-ups get $5 refunds after enrollment - surprise!!}

Thank you for lending me your beautiful smiles...I look forward to seeing your cheerful avatars in class!

I know your teaching style as I've taken your classes hence I'd love to win one of your awesome classes. ~Darlene

I am taking your Watercolor Secrets (and Watercolor Cats) classes and absolutely love them!! You are a fantastic teacher and I am learning so much!! I love your loose style of painting....and that's my goal, to have my painting look like a painting and not a photograph! I would love to "win" your How to Create Texture class so that I can continue to broaden my knowledge in watercolors. Thank you so much for this generous opportunity!! You have inspired me so much ~Nell

Thanks for the opportunity to "win" one of your classes. Having taken 2 classes from you already, I KNOW that this one will be a winner! Any tricks I can learn can only benefit me in the long run. I find that when you learn the right way how to do something that your product always comes out 100% better. Please pick me! Thanks for your consideration. BTW two of the Crazy Cats I painted for my hairdresser (her Maine coon cats) came out so well that she was thrilled to receive them as gifts. Yay! ~Carole


When does class start?

Class begins on April 13th- Passover and Easter will be behind you and the promise of spring to come!

When can I register?

Registration opens today! →register now

What is the tuition?

Early bird enrollment ends April 7th or after the first 100 early birdies have claimed their spots (whichever comes first.) For $47, you enjoy unlimited access to all videos and instructions which are also available for download. Yours to keep forever. {Full Tuition is $54, so sign up as quick as you can!} → sign up now to save money 

May I make installments? Do you accept checks? Can I pay by credit card?

yes, yes and yes. Just email me and I will set you up.

How do I sign up?!

Just join The Inspiration Place (it's free) After you have joined, you can sign up and get immediate access to the classroom to start introducing yourself.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Who else wants to win a free art class?

online art classes in watercolor techniques

The essence of the way I like to teach watercolor technique is a blend of spontaneity and control. Anyone who has ever taken one of my online art classes, or just watched a free watercolor tutorial online (check out my youtube channel), knows I am a big believer of not fighting watercolor and letting it do its own thing.

Secret Bag of Tricks

In this new online watercolor class, Watercolor Textures, I have brought together my favorite bag of tricks that I incorporate into my landscape paintings over and over again.

One goal I made for this class, is that you will come away with an arsenal of tricks to use in your own paintings. Rather than learn how to copy a painting from start to finish, I want to share all my little secrets that I use in my watercolor paintings for creating textures. This way you will gain the confidence to do your own watercolor landscapes in your own style.

online art classes in watercolor techniques

The Secret for finding time to paint

One of my secrets for making time for my art is making it easy to take it with me on the go. So, not only will I teach all my simple tricks for making your watercolor paintings interesting but I will teach how to make this portable sketchbook and watercolor palette. This way, you can take your art with you when you travel or just fit in a little creative "me" time into your busy life. Isn't it about time you focus on you?

online art classes in watercolor techniques focus on this class will be on individuality and self-expression. Of course you will learn lots and lots of watercolor techniques but rather than learning how to copy one painting you will learn techniques for skies, grass, leaves, trees, water, sand, waterfalls and more-- basically many textural elements that you encounter while landscape painting. This course will give you the confidence to create your own landscape painting (or ANY painting) in your own style.
  • Learn how to make your watercolor landscapes interesting by choosing a focal point
  • Master easy tricks for painting leaves
  • Discover easy techniques for adding more textured looks to a watercolor painting
  • Identify the individual artist inside of you by learning techniques you can incorporate into your own paintings in your own way.
  • Build your landscape skills through lots of inspiring photo references and ideas on how to make the painting individual
  • As an additional bonus training, you will learn how to make a no-sew watercolor sketchbook and cheap portable watercolor palette that fits in your bag so you can paint on the go and practice your landscape painting anytime and anywhere

How to Win a Free Art Class

I am so grateful to all of you students and followers (you are awesome) that I am giving away two FREE spots for this watercolor class to two lucky email newsletter subscribers. To make sure I know you want to win, click below and enter your name and email. This will "tag" you as interested in winning a free art class and you will also be getting my inspiring bi-weekly email newsletter full of artsy inspiration, perfect for artists.

Then, come back here and leave a comment to tell me why you want to take this class. 

Finally (this third step is completely optional) I would love if you told your friends about this class. Since you are so awesome, I am sure you have awesome friends too and I would love to have you both win.

Winner will be announced on the blog Monday March 29th. {you can learn more about the Watercolor Textures class at The Inspiration Place → click here to discover more}

So tell me, why do you want to take Watercolor Textures?

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Art Journal Ideas: Defining Purpose

art journal ideas | art journal pages | get art journal inspiration →

A big part of my art journaling experience is focusing on my word for the year. (see blog post: 2015: A Year of Purpose) For 2015, I have chosen a year of "purpose" In order to get clear on what this means to me and keep the word and my intentions for the year in front of me, I spend a lot of time in my journal defining my word.

Art Journal Technique and Process

I spend a lot of time make a crazy yet cohesive background and then add my lettering in large block letters using a black gel pen. I love filling the negative space in around the letters with paint pens like Sharpies and also Faber-Castel pens.

art journal ideas | art journal pages | get art journal inspiration →

Art Journal Page

For this art journal page, I also added an elephant as this will be my animal totem for the year. Elephants are symbols of determination and perfectly encompass my aim to have a purposeful year. For the collage in the background I used circus like elements I found in magazines.

Tweet This: 
When one feels pulled to do a particular thing, when one has passion for a certain life path, karma is always involved. In such an instance, when the goal is worthy and makes one happy, one should continue on that same life path. Just because the elephant cannot carry you anymore doesn't mean you should give up your goal. Continue down the path that makes you feel fulfilled. Those who continue on an unrewarding path for the sake of only monetary gain are displaying a lack of trust in life. ~Kwan Yin

art journal ideas | art journal pages | get art journal inspiration →

Art Journal Technique

For this page I used a green gel pen to add texture and visual interest.

art journal ideas | art journal pages | get art journal inspiration →

Companion Words

Another good idea is to look for words that have similar meaning and derive inspiration from those companion words. For these two pages, I used a thesaurus to get synonyms for my word. 

art journal ideas | art journal pages | get art journal inspiration →

Other blog posts you might like: 

Next week I am going to talk about the "blooming journal" in celebration of Spring. Are you following the blog posts? by Email / RSSBlogLovin / 
art journal ideas | art journal pages | get art journal inspiration →
claim your FREE art journal ebook! →download now

Do you art journal? Do you have a word for 2015? I would love for you to share your words in the comments!

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