Wednesday, April 30, 2014

5 ways to cheer up on a rainy day

April Showers bring April Flowers by Miriam Schulman. @schulmanArt

Don't let the rainy weather get you down. I love the sound of rain on the roof and it is a great excuse to do something inside. Here is how I cheer up on a rainy day-- I would love to know what you do too! Please leave a comment, I read every one and they mean so much to me.

1. Exercise

I just begun my weekly tennis again so I was a wee bit disappointed when I saw how hard it was raining outside. Just to make sure I actually exercised ( rather than just hoped I exercised) I put on my favorite spandex leggings and signed myself up for a Physique57 class, my current barre method obsession.

yellow tulips
It's raining cats and dogs outside- typical April weather.
So I brought some flowers inside!
( I love to paint watercolor tulips too,
you can see all my tulip art that is
for sale on etsy-click HERE)

2. Pick Flowers

I still had some time before class, and I saw there weresome tulips poking their yellow heads up in my backyard. So I grabbed a scissors and brought them in where I could enjoy them in my studio. Is it raining where you are? Go outside and pick some flower to bring inside. This will instantly cheer you up!

yellow tulips
I was in a goofy mood. So I took selfies to a new level.
I photoshopped myself into a cloudy sky.

3. Take selfies

I am trying to include more pictures of myself on social media-- not just pictures of my art. So, I snapped this goofy photo of myself in the mirror. I am holding the camera over my head in case you are wondering. This is a wonderful angle to photograph yourself because the angle is very slimming and will also make you look younger. I then photoshopped myself onto a cloudy background that I found on wikimedia commons. I have shared this photo on instagram....

4. Write

You don't need a blog to write... or even a journal. Just writing an email, or in a facebook group helps. For me, writing in the blog helps the most because the formal format forces me to organize my thoughts and make sense of the world.

Want to learn to paint watercolor flowers like these? I teach an
online art class on how to paint in watercolors and I give a full
demonstration on how to paint tulips. You can check out the
class HERE. If you like to collect tulip art then please check
out all the blossoming goodies in my etsy shop, all perfect
for Mother's Day! click HERE
Want to save on this art right now? let me email you the latest coupon

5. Make something

I find being productive lifts my mood. My mother likes to bake. My grandmother used to knit.... and I make art. What do you like to make? ( my kids make a mess...)










Other blog posts you might like:


What do you do to cheer up on a rainy day?

Read More »

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

11 Perfect Purple Paint Shades

Weekly Color Fix by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt

purple paint colors
Which one is your favorite shade of purple?

In a Purple Haze

purple paint colors
Valspar Regal Plum:
Purple is a very calming color to use in your home. This shade appeals to both men and women. Pantone Spring 2014 trend report even includes a sophisticated shade "purple haze" for men. It is a deeper more masculine version of the women's "violet tulip". Since "radiant orchid" is the color of the year, purple is going to be here to stay, check out some great house paint colors for your home decor. 

What makes purple a great interior color

Interior designers were asked what purples they like and their reasons range from praising purple's sexy sophistication to being a great color to hand artwork on. All the decorators agree that purple is a soothing color and easy to live with.. Would you paint a room in your house purple?

purple paint
Benjamin Moore Inspired:
This is on a single wall in my gallery kitchen. 
That way you don;t feel like you just fell into 
a berry smoothie. Violet draws out a higher 
consciousness, so they say, because it's nearest 
to black. And it's simultaneously warm and 
cool, vibrant and relaxed, vintage and fresh. 
It makes me a mellow kind of happy.
~Noelle Lake
purple paint
Martha Stewart Dusk by Glidden:
{for hanging art on walls} I just don't 
think white has the personality and 
warmth that makes you feel invited 
into a room, I want something a 
little stringer, and this dusty lavender 
has a soft powdery feeling. It's rich 
and mysterious. antique velvet. 
Anything you hang on it looks 
more special~Hal Williamson

purple paint
Valspar Purple Royalty:
I find it relaxing whenever any dark 
rich color is used throughout a room. 
Your eye is not jumping from dark walls 
to light trim, and you sink into the color 
just as you'd sink into a comfortable sofa. 
Its almost as if you're swimming in it. 
And it opens up the space, because 
you can't see where the boundaries are.
~Eddie Lee

[Farrow and Ball's Brassica is] 
hard to describe- not aubergine, not purple, 
not gray. Maybe a stone lavender? 
If you do the trim in the same tone, 
you get this warm cocoonish, sensual space. 
I see it in a master bedroom or study, 
paired with chocolate brown linen 
velvet upholstery and deeper pops of aubergine. 
~Robert Passal

purple paint
Benjamin Moore Passion Plum: 
There's something mysterious and magical 
about purple. A den or a library of a family 
room--where you might traditionally go to 
a sage green or a blood red--would feel 
more modern in this shade, which is like the
inside of a pansy. And darker colors are 
always sexy, because they warm things up 
and make everyone look better
~Kirsten Brant 
purple paint
Benjamin Moore Eggplant:
There's something about paintings, 
If you hang them on a light wall, 
they blend into the wall and you're 
not aware of them. Against a dark 
wall, they jump right out. This 
eggplant brings out their colors 
and seems to intensify them. The 
dark bacground purts a frame 
around the painting that makes 
it look stronger~ Mario Buatta























Farrow and Ball Brinjal:
(another color great for hanging art!)
I have some 18th-century Swedish 
engravings in gilded frames, and 
this dark, penetrating color makes 
them radiate off the walls. It's sexy 
and mysterious, somewhere between 
purple and brown, and the darkness 
brings out the precision of these lines. 
Add acid green, lemony yellow, 
or pink. ~Marcy Masterson
Benjamin Moore Sleepy Hollow:
Maybe you'd actually use your 
living room if you painted it this 
dusty purple, It's cheerful and 
bright in the light and at night 
it gets moody and just wraps 
itself around you. White moldings 
and hot magenta or chartreuse 
fabrics would make it come 
alive. Or try silvery grays and 
washed out blues. Throw in some 
sparkle with mercury glass.
~Eileen Kathryn Boyd

Other blog posts you might like:

Which one is your favorite shade of purple? 

If you are not ready to make such a drastic change then add some purple art or home accessories!

Do you love art and decorating?

Get your FREE Guide to Choosing House Paint Colors to transform your home in 2015

Read More »

Monday, April 28, 2014

Jasper Johns as Print Maker

Museum Mondays by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt
jasper johns prints
Jasper johns and John Lund: Masters in the Print Studio
at the Katonah Museum of Art

Art Show Review

You may be familiar with Jasper Johns the way I am-- yep, he's the guy who painted all those American flags. Did you know he has been collaborating for the last thirty years with master printer, John Lund? Although the American flag continues to appear as a symbol in Johns art, you may be surprised by the multi-layered effects the team created with these prints.

The first thing that struck me about the art is that these prints resembled the layered mixed media art popular today. The multicolor prints resemble collages. In addition to the flag as symbol, Johns utilized "words as art" in his imagery which is very much in vogue right now. Other symbols include vases as a profile,  references to Picasso, and hands.The texture achieved through the printing process is impressive and holds your visual interest.

The show presents technical and personal aspects of their collaboration, with never-before-exhibited proofs, plates, and photographs. There are also plenty of voyeuristic behind the scenes looks at the artists at work in their studio, interview with John Lund and schematics of the dream studio itself.

“Take an object. Do something to it. Do something else to it.”-Jasper Johns

flag themed gifts
Flag themed gift items by SchulmanArt are 
available at the museum gift shop and online!

Gift Shop Goodies

I'm thrilled to announce that my printed flag themed bags and hand crafted decorative boxes are being offered in the Katonah Museum gift shop! These are selling out fast but if you get there before they are all gone you can look for cosmetic bags printed with the American flag or a star spangled coin purse with inspirational words. In addition, there are decorative boxes to store your favorite treasures with a flag print on top.

How to get to the Museum

Katonah Museum of Art is an easy day trip from New York City, Take the metro north Harlem line to Katonah and there is taxi service from the station to the museum, just half a mile away. Go back to the village of Katonah for some quiet shopping and interesting restaurants. One of our favorites is Willy & Nick's.

If you are driving, the museum is exit 6 from 684 North.
134 Jay Street (Route 22), Katonah, N.Y. For more information: (914) 232-9555 or

Activities for Kids

This museum is nice and small and has a room designated just for kids offering both "Tuesday Tots" and also "Art Adventures" for the grade school set where kids can experiment to make their own masterpieces. This is a great way for mom (or Grandma) to sneak in a little culture while entertaining the little ones.

More Museum Details 

See the museum website for more details.
Exhibit is through June 15, 2014
They have free guided tours Tuesday through Sunday at 2:30.

Other Blog posts you might like...

 What do you think of the prints by Jasper Johns?

go shopping in etsy for more red, white and blue!


Read More »

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

how to draw a horse..

drawing horses | how to draw a horse
Drawing Horses

Technique Tuesdays: Drawing Horses by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt

With the Kentucky Derby less than two weeks away, I thought it would be fun to teach my watercolor students how to draw horses. Moreover, it is the Year of the Horse, so all the more reasons to get inspired by this beautiful animal.

how to draw horses
The illustration for "How to Draw a Horse" 
comes from DeviantArt

Like most "How to Draw" series, the focus is on recognizing basic shapes and then connecting the shapes.



Steps to Draw a Horse in Profile

  1. Start by recognizing that the hindquarters, the chest and the belly are essentially three overlapping circles. 
  2. Next block in the head by drawing yet another circle where the cheek of the horse goes.
  3. Connect the circles to form the throat, and neck. 
  4. Add ears
  5. Recognize that the knees of horses are also round, so make circles for the knees.
  6. Draw triangles for the hooves.
  7. Connect the knees to the hooves.
  8. You can now add details like a tail and mane.
  9. For the eye ( in profile) recognize that the eye is about halfway down the circle you drew to depict that part of the head
  10. Have Fun!

horse art by @schulmanArt
Horse Art print for sale on etsy

More words of Advice:

  • Don't give up.
  • practice makes perfect





online art classes | how to paint
Looking for more instruction? 
Take an online class with me!


Other Blog posts you might like: 

Read More »

Monday, April 21, 2014

6 Reasons Why I Follow You on Instagram!

(hint: It's not just because you follow me!)

Marketing Mondays by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt

I am fairly new to instagram ( profile is @schulmanArt) and I wouldn't call myself an instagram expert, but I am certainly an instagram user and I know why I follow others on instagram. 

So here the six reasons why you are "follow worthy"

  1. You are an artist that I admire (and I want to stalk you so I can copy your marketing techniques) For you to be in this category you are enjoying a level of success in some area where I feel you are more successful than me. I actually do not necessarily admire your art, but I admire your success.
  2. You are an artist that I admire and you inspire me. Now to be in this category you may or may not be more successful than in some way, but your art does speak to me and I actually like it.
  3. You are famous (and I want to stalk you) This category is filled with non-artists. Examples of folks I stalk are Joshua Bell and Zoey Deschanel.
  4. You are a brand like an art institution, art supply store, art magazine, or home decorating magazine and you inspire me. There are a lot of museums I follow but also Anthropologie. (because their pictures are beautiful and they don't make me feel fat)
  5. You follow me and leave funny comments on my posts often enough that I feel guilty enough to check you out and lo and behold you are an artist too and I just so happen to like your art so either I want to stalk you for good ideas or you inspire me. Actually this reason must be wishful thinking.... I leave lots of funny comments on the other artists' and institutions' feed that I stalk with the hopes that they will check me out and discover that I am also "follow worthy."
  6.  I know you-- and you are probably an artist-- and you started following me and well whether or not I want to stalk you specifically and whether or not you inspire me I still want to be supportive of you and your art. (You could say this is very closely related to number 5 except for this one, I actually have met you outside of instagram.)

So there you go... from a layman's point of view. I follow folks either because they inspire me or I want to stalk them. A little creepy, but hey this is the internet and why are you posting that personal picture on instagram if you don't want everyone to see it?
click here to follow me...

Related blog posts:

Why do you start following someone on instagram? 

Read More »

Friday, April 18, 2014

Art Journal Ideas

List What Feels like Home... by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt


Art Journaling by @SchulmanArt
Art Journaling by @SchulmanArt
Looking for a new idea for your art journal? Writing lists are always a great prompt for art journal and self-expression.

Art Journal Prompt

For this list, I thought about what feels like home.  I made this list on a road trip with my daughter to visit colleges, so it was easy to think about what comforts from home I was missing. For me, the list felt right to focus on sensual pleasures of home such as literal feelings and textures.

My Art Journal List

  • Comfortable Pajamas: Home is the place I can wear my comfortable pajamas. I tend to just pull on a pair of my son's flannel pajamas plus a tank top. Yes, I bring these items with me when I travel, but there I can only wear them to sleep in, not to lounge around the
  • My Cat: The first this I do when I enter my house is pet my tuxedo cat who is waiting for me at the top of the basement stairs. So I associate home, with the warm purring kitty who sleeps on my bed.
  • TV: Again, I can watch tv anywhere else, but I don't. TV is something I do at home.
  • Oatmeal: I love oatmeal. but I like it the best the way I make it...elsewhere I can't trust that the oatmeal won't just taste like grains and water. Is there a special food you like, but only at home?
  • Front Porch: My husband and I adore our front porch, although mostly a warm weather pleasure, this becomes an extra room in our house...where we can sit in our pajamas....and eat oatmeal...with our cat. 
  • Cuddling: At this point in my list making, my nosy teenage daughter looked over my shoulder and wanted to know why only the cat was on the list and not her or anyone else in the family. So I added cuddling... because I can enjoy my family anywhere, but cuddling feels like home.
  • Warm Bath: In the two hotels we stayed in neither had a bath... so when I returned home, after I petted my cat, I made myself a nice long bath.... then put on my pajamas. Tonight, cuddling. Tomorrow, oatmeal.
Art Journal Ideas by @SchulmanArt
Art Journal Ideas

Art Journal Techniques

For these two art journal pages, I started my painting black gesso on both pages. Then, using a white pigment ink I put chevron and alphabet stamps to add texture. In addition, I used a medallion stencil and light shades of acrylic paint. I added two butterflies from a National Geographic magazine, and change the colors using acrylic paint. Using white and black gel pens I added bubble letters and then "painted" around the negative space with Faber Castell white or black brush pens as well as colored paint pens.

To discover all of my favorite art journal supplies go here.

Related blog posts:

What feels like home to you?

Read More »

Friday, April 11, 2014

Pages from my art journal.

art journal | art journaling
Get in the habit of reflecting once a month...

Art Journal Prompt

For this art journal page I wrote all my reflections from the past month. This is a practice I started in January and I am enjoying it immensely. Another practice I have been doing is overlaying a mantra, a quote or a positive affirmation over the reflection. I found this helpful to keep my mind with a positive outlook and it also protects the privacy of my innermost thoughts.

Prayer for Spring

For this overlay I chose Robert Frost's Prayer for Spring. You may want to use it too so I have included the poem for you.

A Prayer in Spring by Robert Frost
 Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

art journal | art journaling by SchulmanArt
detail from my Art Journal
Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.

Techniques Used:

  • I bought some colorful packing tape from staples and used it to cover the inside covers of my "journal" ( which is also my Planner Pad)
  • The page is covered in gesso and I used acrylic matte medium to glue down art papers from Stampington
  • Additional acrylic pain was added at the edges of the papers to integrate the paper into the page.
  • On the top I wrote in bubble letters "March 2014 Reflections"
  • I used a white gel pen to write my reflections. I didn't worry about whether or not this was "readable" as I wanted to preserve my privacy from nosy teenage children who also live in my house.
  • I took parts of a Robert Frost poem with positive thoughts of Spring and over laid the prose in bubble letters over my text using a black uniball pen
  • I used a white Faber Castell Pitt white brush pen to fill in the "negative spaces" around the letters and then reinforced the black lines once more. 
  • Discover the art journal supplies that I used here.

PS Blog posts you might also like are
PSS Want to get inspiration delivered straight to your inbox? Never miss another post when you subscribe by email
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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Girl with (one) pearl earring

Unmatched Pairs by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt

girl with pearl earring | a personal story about being a messy artist
Girl with Pearl Earring, Vermeer
One of the reasons I enjoy the practice of writing a daily blog post is that it gives my life as an artist structure. Moreover, writing frees words hanging over me so I can start my artistic process with my mind unencumbered. So today, I want to share a personal story that happened yesterday not directly related to the topics I normally blog about such as art, color or other inspiration.

Artists are messy creatures

Anyone who is creative or lives with someone who is knows that we are not neat and organized creatures. We much rather work on our next crafty idea and make a mess than clean them up. To help me get things done during the week, I leave the cleaning to Rosaura who has been coming to my house for over seventeen years. She comes for just a few hours a few times a week, but I trust her to do my laundry, wash the breakfast dishes and handle the heavy cleaning. There is no way I could get everything done for my creative business such as printing, packing and shipping etsy orders, writing this blog and maintaining all the marketing efforts as well as filming and editing my online classes without help. I do have a summer intern every year and hope to hire a full time studio assistant one day, but that is another story.

Behind the deadline

Normally, another way I structure my day is by working out first thing in the morning. This forces me to change my clothes, brush my hair and all the other minimal tasks required to face the world. Yesterday, behind on a deadline, I broke with my usual pattern and headed straight to the computer  still bra-less in my pajama pants and uncombed hair. When you are a middle aged woman, this is not a pretty site. {actually, that is exactly what I look like right now} I had lunch plans with a friend later in the day so I knew that I would eventually have to make myself presentable, but I was keen on finishing the graphics and presentation of my latest online ecourse. Had I gotten dressed, I might have noticed that I only had one earring in my ear.

Absentmindedly during blogging, I reached up and felt I was missing an earring. I panicked. My first thought was that I probably slept in them and one had simply fallen out during the I went to the bed and ripped apart the sheets... and then remade the bed. I checked the floor under the bed. I peeled back the edge of the rug to see if it had rolled under it or my cat had chased it there. Perhaps I only remembered to remove one earring as I went to bed and gotten distracted and had not removed the other. So I rifled through my disorganized jewelry box, filled with other single earrings mocking me, reminding me how disorganized I am. Of course, this is not the first time I have lost earrings. This particular pair of pearl earrings were a splurge I treated myself to as a consolation prize for having lost a pair of diamond studs. Those were lost when I removed them before I went swimming and forgot to put them back on... and perhaps they were stolen while I was swimming... I think... I still am not sure. I am hopeful they may turn up someday when I am not looking for them in the bottom of some paintbrush jar in my studio, or in the bottom of a forgotten pocketbook. (I have found other valuables in just the same way)

Rosaura to the Rescue

So, embarrassed, I desperately went to Rosaura clutching my one pearl earring and asked her if she had seen "el otro." She is a wonderful hard working woman, but when she finds things she often returns them to illogical places. She had not... so, once again she helped me unmake and make the bed. Then she suggested we look in the vacuum. She laid a plastic bag on the floor and we ripped apart the bag and spilled the out flotsam and dust. We both dug both with our hands, sifting through the dust bunnies and colorful scraps of floral paper she had sucked up from the floor of my studio. All the while I silently cursed myself for being disorganized thinking I don't deserve valuable jewelry and at the same time trying to rationalize the loss. Thinking that I have purchased dresses and shoes that I no longer wear of equal value and asking myself why I mourn the loss of the one earring.

Unmatched pairs

You see, when I lose something... even something trivial... it triggers feelings of other losses. When you have experienced a great loss in life-- for me it was losing a parent when I was a child, it makes other losses more traumatic. Especially, when you lose one of a pair. Like the pearl earring.

Dust of our Daily Lives

I called off the search through the dust and we washed our hands and I resumed futilely searching for the earring... all the while noticing dust under the night table and other such places. Then I thought maybe the earring was in the blankets...we shook them out. Perhaps it had fallen out when I changed into pajamas last night... not on the bathroom floor. Or, maybe it was in "la ropa" I said to Rosaura in the few words I could remember from high school Spanish class. So we we ran down to the basement. We opened the drier and pulled out the heavy wet towels, not there. I looked in the washing machine. Didn't see it. I gave up and went upstairs, thinking I need another consolation pair of earrings...but this time a cheap pair from etsy rather than another lovely set from Mikimoto.

It was then that I heard the accented cry coming from the basement. "Miriam! Miriam!" I didn't want to believe it... I ran down the stairs and she told me to look again. There at the bottom of the washing machine, where somehow I had missed it before, was the pearl earring. I pulled out the earring and in my joy of the reunion, I grabbed Rosaura's brown chubby face with both my hands and kissed her firmly on the cheek.

I had not lost the earring after all, but somehow I still had lingering feelings of loss. After all, those feelings were never about the pearl earring.

artist Miriam Schulman in her art studio
Girl in pearl earring...
PS You can read about my online ecourse on painting portraits HERE. The watercolor portrait class starts next week. Hope to see you there!
PSS You may also like another funny blog post on spring cleaning, here.

What about you? How do you feel when you lose something?

Read More »

Monday, April 7, 2014

Twenty Questions: How to Critique Art

How to critique art
Mind the four C's for critiquing art

Technique Time by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt

When teaching watercolor classes I notice that over and over again the same problems recur in my students paintings. I thought to help them I would compile a list of questions to ask yourself

The Four C's

Although there are twenty questions on the list, they basically boil down to the four C's: content, composition, colors and contrast.


For content, this is something that comes up even though I tend to bring my students reference photos. They need to ask themselves...what are you drawn to? What inspired you? If you are not inspired by the initial subject, chances are your painting will also be uninspired. Moreover, the artist must always keep in mind what is important about the subject and why they chose it. For example, if they chose a duck painting they shouldn't put endless time and detail into the grass around the ducks.

learn watercolor techniques by schulmanart on
Watercolor tubes....
  • Does it have meaning?
  • Is it interesting?
  • Why did you paint it?
  • Is it in your own style?
  • Is there an element of surprise?
  • Does this painting say something new about the topic?


Composition problems occur when artist fail to see how shapes in the painting connect. For example, instead of painting four separate flowers, a painting is better served painting overlapping flowers. Another common problem is not to use the whole paper and to paint their subject only in the center.

  • Do the shapes work well together?
  • Do the shapes connect?
  • What is the center of interest? (ie does the view know where to look?)
  • Are there competing centers of interest?
  • Are there areas of detail and interest?
  • Are all parts of the paper considered?
  • Is the subject correctly scaled to the size of the paper?

learn watercolor techniques by schulmanart on
watercolor palette...


Colors is an area where rules can most easily be broken. There needs to be a harmony of colors throughout without having large areas of uninterrupted color changes.
  • Is there harmony between foreground colors and background colors?
  • Is there enough color change in large areas?
  • Are there enough neutrals ( grays or mud) to show off colors?


Finally, but perhaps most importantly is consideration of contrast. This area is so important that I will encourage my students to create thumbnail studies to have a plan of lights and darks. Too many paintings get "ruined" when everything is painted with the same mid-toned values and you can't "see" the subject. Another problem is when there is a high contrast that is not the center of interest that draws the eyes away from the main story.
  • Are the values easy to read?
  • Can shapes be distinguished because values in adjacent shapes vary?
  • Are the light and dark patterns pleasing?
  • Is the greatest area of contrast the center of interest or does it take your eyes elsewhere?

How to Critique Your Own Painting.pdf
You can download and print out the checklist for critiquing you own painting. If you want more painting tips you can check out my tutorials on youtube and also my watercolor classes on the Inspiration Place! Other posts you might like are:
Read More »

Saturday, April 5, 2014

5 Artists to Follow on Instagram

Five Inspiring Instagrammers

Best People (who are artists) to follow on instagram by @schulmanArt Miriam Schulman

Looking for inspiration on your instagram feed? I've been on instagram less than six months now but I have plenty of artists to follow that keep me inspired when I am killing time in carpool lines (you too?) Now, if you are anything like me you don't want to see endless baby pictures, your friend's cute but tiresome cat pictures or pictures of what famous people happening to be eating for lunch that day. Here are some fun artistic eye candy to add to your news feed.

 Christy Tomlinson @christytomlinson

I discovered Christy Tomlinson about a year and a half ago-- long before I got my own instagram account -- when someone contacted me through my etsy shop asking if I teach online classes, "like Christy Tomlinson." At that time, I was not teaching online art classes, but now I do thanks to that one conversation. Teaching online has grown to be one of my most profitable, creative and fun parts of my art making business. So you could say I owe a lot to this fierce artist, but that is not why I follow her on instagram. She posts lots of selfies captioned with self-deprecating humour. Although she has six kids (that is not a typo) and runs an art business, you will not see endless pictures of her cute kiddies. Just enough to let you know they exist, and that being a mom is important to her. In addition to her funny personal posts, you will love the sneak peaks of her wrapping etsy sales, experimenting with art materials, and snapshots from her workshops and other art adventures.

Jenny Doh of STUDIO CRESCENDOh @jennydoh

Jenny Doh is another artist to follow. She knits.  She works out. She plays cello. She owns an art studio. She is a tiger mother... actually, I don't know that for sure.. I just assume that someone as amazing is she must be a fantastic mom too. You will be inspired by all the little creative tidbits she shares.

Danita Art @danitaart

Danita is a top seller in the art category on etsy.  She makes dolls, original paintings and jewelry. She has this wonderfully equipped studio and works like an elf into the wee hours of the night. You will love seeing her strong work ethic and work in progress pictures which makes owning a piece of this creativity irresistible. ( I know, because I bought one of her little creations) Here is one of her darling Easter bunnies sitting on a paint jar. Want one? Hurry, cause although she made a dozen they are nearly sold out.

Katie Daisy of the Wheatfield @katieisadaisy

You may not have heard of this rising superstar artist, but you have certainly seen her art. Her art is licensed by Pottery Barn. You will see her art on the covers of journals at Barnes and Noble and she is one of the top sellers on etsy. Her instagram feed includes new pictures of her art both alone and on products and charming peeks into her everyday life. She embraces her image as the country girl turned artist and in this post she declares she will be using the Oregon river for added magic in her paintings. How charming!

Flora Bowly @florabowley

Flora Bowly is a one of a kind original. She is an "artist's artist" and leads inspiring retreats to exotic locations from Mexico to Bali. Her instagram feed is just as inspiring as she shares beautiful photography from retreat locations and snippets of wonderful artists who follow her. (In this Bali retreat you might recognize Tamara Laporte or Lynzee Lynx). Currently, I am devouring Bowly's book, Brave Intuitive Painting.
click here to follow me...
Like these posts on instagram? Sequels on the way are "6 Reasons Why I Follow You on Instagram!" and "Why I stopped following you on instagram"

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(PS you can follow me on instagram too! @schulmanArt)
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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring Cleaning

What I need to do to clean out this spring! @schulmanArt, Miriam Schulman

why don't you pin this?
I am not a neat-nik and my creative artsy self would always prefer to make a craft mess than to wash the dishes. Just the same,  I have  made a spring cleaning list.


My word for 2014 is Harmony {see blog post: One Little Word) and the one area this has really helped me the most is in keeping my home clean. Whenever I see my husband's or my kids' messes around the house instead of getting resentful that I have "to clean up" I say to myself that I am "creating harmony"

Spring Cleaning in the Home

Piles hidden behind the piano: Whenever I am feeling a little out of sorts about my life this year (nothing really wrong is going on, I am just a sensitive artist type) I think about my wish list for updating my domestic spaces. I want to repaint my den but more importantly I think it is finally time to attack the piles behind my piano in the living room.

Hoarder's Paradise: Also, the basement playroom that has turned into a hoarder's paradise since my kids have outgrown it. (example of some items in the "playroom:" my over sized lighting tent that I can't figure out how to collapse, my son's camp sports trophies that I am not allowed to throw out, a closet full of boxes and bags from Uline when I over purchased thinking I would be selling much more than I actually do, and a pop up fire truck tent although my youngest is almost fourteen.

artist miriam Schulman does spring cleaning in the studio
Me, armed for spring cleaning

Spring Cleaning in the Studio

One of the reasons I tell myself that I teach my semi-private watercolor class each week ( although it may be the least profitable part of my art business) is that it forces me to clean the studio. So my studio never gets that bad-- but of course this is from my point of view--I probably could use another shelf to get more things off the floor and although I am loathe to admit it, the closet is really bad.... yes...that bad. (see description of playroom and secret piles behind piano)

Spring Cleaning my wardrobe

Yesterday, I started the process of throwing out clothes... I wore my backside cleavage jeans for the last time and threw them in the waste basket. I don't buy these because this is a part of my anatomy I want to show off, but when I am trying on jeans in the fitting room I want to end the anxiety as soon as possible. So I lie to myself that I won't be mooning the world in the cool looking yet ill-fitting low rise jeans. I will be updating my closet with some "mom jeans" Any ideas where to buy these?

Spring Cleaning Online

Pinterest: I have been going through my pinterest boards and deleting "stale" pins. These are pins that either have gotten no attention or perhaps it is an item from my etsy shop that I already sold. In addition, I have been adding pretty pinterest cover pages. What do you think of them?

art journal
a page from my art journal
My Blog: On my spring cleaning list is cleaning up this blog. For older posts, I want to see if I can add pretty title graphics, links to related posts and perhaps even edit and improve the copy.

My Website and etsy: Have to go through my listings, titles and tags on etsy and make sure all my items are seasonal and relevant. Is it time to discontinue an image? This morning I found two artworks that I described as "perfect for your Thanksgiving decor" Good lord, no wonder they hadn't sold!

Other blog posts you might like:

If you like lists check out: Where do you want to go?
If you like art journals check out: Confessions of a Music Mom

What about you? What are you doing for spring cleaning?

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My Favorite Art Blogs

favorite art blogs

Art blogs I've been crushing on lately

by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt

In addition to writing this art blog, I also read art blogs myself. If you're anything like me, you sign up for lots of newsletters and blogs-- but which ones are your favorite? I mean, how many of these blogs do you actually read?

Here are a few art blogs that I actually read. Since I really enjoy them, I wanted to share these wonderful artist blogs with you.

favorite art blogs
A page from Julie's art journal posted on her blog

Julie Fei-Fan Balzer: Blazer Designs

Julie Fei-Fan Balzer writes a blog as well as a column in Cloth, Paper, Scissors. She teaches online classes and also designs stencils.  I subscribe to her blog via email and look forward to receiving her daily posts in my inbox. Sometimes I jump over to the web version as I can't resist leaving a comment on her wonderful and inspiring art adventures. I love Julie because she is authentic as well as inspiring. She gives you little sneak peeks into her daily life as well as her projects, classes and art journaling. I like to imagine that Julie's life is what my life would look like if I took the road less traveled. In other words, if I lived my life as an unmarried artist working and playing in New York City rather than a suburban artist-mom in sleepy Scarsdale. Julie's blog succeeds for me because she mixes up new content with regular features such as her Friday art journal posts where she invites readers to add their art journal images. As equally inspiring as her art and artist career, Julie has lost over 100 pounds this year and watching her transformation has been awesome.

favorite art blogs
Alisa Burke shows off her 
tribal leggings--and I went out
 and bought a similar pair
and shamelessly copied her.

Alisa Burke: Redefine Creavity

Alisa Burke writes her art blog five days a week. Her art career consists of blogging, teaching online classes, a licensed line with Demaco and also an art book. I don't get an email from Alisa, because I couldn't find that option on her blog. However, since her blog is hosted on google, I will regularly check out her posts. Also, she posts pics from her blog on instagram so if something really catches my eye I will head over there to check it out. Alisa's blog is fun for me because she never runs out of ideas. I can't even begin to count all the pumpkin decorating projects she posted in October. Moreover, I love her "Fashion Fridays". Since she is about my age and a working artist I find her style advice easy to adapt to my own lifestyle. She usually uses herself as the model and I can relate to her fashion sense. I've borrowed ideas such as tribal print leggings and more from her fun artsy blog.

Moorea Seal
favorite art blogs
Moorea Seal in her "What I wore" feature

I found Moorea's blog by accident. She has evolved her business over the last two years from an independent jewelry designer on etsy to her own online store and has just opened a bricks and mortar shop in Seattle. What I love about her blog is her impeccable taste, gorgeous product photography and a regular feature she calls "52lists" In this feature she shares a list based from the book, List Yourself, and invites her readers to share their list making on her blog as well as on instagram. I have been making lists all year in my art journal and find this practice soul filling. I follow her blog via email and she blogs a few times per week at most. Although the list posts are my favorites, I find myself reading about her other adventures and am in rapture of her bravery. 

How about you? What artist blogs do you like to read?And if you love mine, what  are your favorite features?

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