Friday, June 26, 2015

the blooming art journal

art journal |  art journaling | art journal ideas | art journal pages | inspiration →
Looking for art journal inspiration? I love making lists in my art journal This is a great art journal idea that you can use as a prompt for your art journaling.

art journal inspiration →

Favorite Flowers

For this art journal spread, I decided to take inspiration from the all the colorful flowers in the garden and I made a list of my favorite flowers.

Meditate on Flowers

This may sound like a mundane idea rather than a soul-searching idea but I have to tell you that meditating on flowers gave me tremendous happiness.

How did it make you feel?

Try it and tell me if it has the same affect on you.
Other blog posts you might like: 
art journal |  art journaling | art journal ideas | art journal pages | get inspiration →
artist Miriam Schulman playing in her art journal

Next week I am going to talk about how I am taking action to reach my goals. Are you following the blog posts? by Email / RSSBlogLovin / 
art journal |  art journaling | art journal ideas | art journal pages | get inspiration →
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Do you like to garden? What's blooming in your garden this year?

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

bring happiness into your decorating

bedroom decorating ideas
One of the pleasures of being an artist is imagining how you might enjoy the painting in your home. In order to get ideas, I love reading decorating magazines like House Beautiful. Looking at these fabulous homes all over the world, I never fail to get inspired by artfully displayed treasures. 

Tweet: Art is an Essential Source of Joy #arts via @schulmanArtArt is an Essential Source of Joy (tweet this!)

Now those who are clutter adverse, I want to point out that even in Marie Kondo's best selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, she points out that the purpose of getting rid of extra stuff is to enjoy art. In other words, art is not clutter. Art is not the enemy. Art is the source of joy that we need in our homes.
bedroom decorating ideas

Create Harmony in your Bedroom


For this room view, I took inspiration from Pottery Barn. I love the perfume tray on the dresser, the neat stack of books, the fresh flowers and the jewelry organizer. I chose this display to highlight the art of a butterfly that reads "harmony." I imagine you getting dressed each morning with a reminder of thoughts of harmony for your day.
bedroom decorating ideas
Again, using Pottery Barn as a source of  inspiration, the Harmony Butterfly is an integral part of this table scape. I imagine you have a collection of ceramics that you either collected from flea markets or inherited from your grandmother. I imagine this artwork being equally home in a girls' room or in a young woman's first apartment... where do you imagine this art?
Harmony Butterfly, 12x12" Mixed Media 
on Wood Canvas by Miriam Schulman

Other blog posts you might like:



Questions for Discussion:
Get your FREE bedroom decorating idea book!

Where would you display this painting in your home?

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Mixed Media Metamorphosis

Mixed Media art | butterfly art |
At last week's art retreat ( see blog post Let's go on an Art Retreat) I created a grungy multi-layered mixed media original artwork. Today, I want to share with you a behind the scene's view how the art emerged step-by-step.
Mixed Media art | butterfly art |

The roller coaster ride

The interesting, scary and thrilling part of taking an art class such as this is that you have no idea where you are going. It is kind of like riding a roller coaster for the first time.. you don't know where the falls and dips will come.

Don't over think it... 

What I mean is a step will be explained and you may second guess why you are doing it and make choices based on those assumptions, only to find out that your guesses were completely off base. As a result, you end up with some unexpected yet pleasing results.

 Surrender Dorothy

As you learn to relax with the process, the best way is to surrender and not think about what your art looks like at any stage as the next stage will completely upend your assumptions. Kind of like life. This is why I love art-- it is such good therapy. You can plan and plan but then life will take you on an unexpected turn.

Mixed Media art  |
This step is thoroughly my own. Since I knew we were at the end of the art adventure, I could add my own style to the art. This scallop effect is a technique I add often to my art journal pages and sometimes also to my original mixed media pieces. I love using Faber-Castel pens to fill in the negative spaces. The India ink in these pens are permanent yet transparent allowing the glorious layers to peek through from underneath..

Mixed Media art | butterfly art |
At this stage, I was not happy with the butterfly. I didn't like the way he wasn't integrated with the piece. So I began layering over the butterfly with gesso and paint just as I did on the background. I was doing this while the rest of the class was trying to self-organize for a group photo and they were yelling at me to hurry up. It wasn't that I wanted to have a "perfect" butterfly for the photo, I just wanted to get my ideas on canvas while the inspiration was still fresh so the canvas wouldn't join my pile of "half-finished changelings."

Happy Accidents

My table-mate commented that she liked the way I chose the placement of the patterns on the wings but I actually hadn't paid any attention to that at all. I had a line behind me of other students waiting to use the popular butterfly stencil and I was just rushed to get on with it. ( I also wasn't convinced I'd be happy with the butterfly)

 If you want to be a better teacher, become a student

When I am working at home, I like to use a piece of my own watercolor art for the main imagery on top of the mixed media background, but I can see how allowing students to use stencils simplifies the learning process. I definitely will start offering stencils to my students for use in their own artwork. See, being a student makes you a better teacher!

Mixed Media art | butterfly art |
If you want to learn more about my adventure 
at the art retreat, then check out this blog post!
Here is the finished painting, Harmony Butterfly, 12x12" on wood cradled canvas frame. 

Would you like to bring this design home with you?
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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Let's go on an art retreat!

mixed media art class with seth apter
Last week, I attended an all day "art retreat." Now, this is really a fancy name for an "art class" but somehow it elevates it if you call it a "retreat." Technically, I think you are supposed to spend the night to really call it a retreat- but I like to call these things retreats anyway because that is how they make me feel... like I am really away and I have escaped from my everyday reality. 

art miriam schulman chatting with classmate at an art retreat
Here I am chatting with my classmate, Irene, a lovely artful soul.
Now- you might be wondering why a full time artist needs to go on a retreat at all. Most people think that I just get to paint and play all day with my art supplies and watercolors. Unfortunately, if you want to make a living as an artist you have to spend at least 50% of your time marketing your art.

Moreover, because I have two school age non-driving kids living with me, that art/marketing time is also shortened by the other demands of my life leaving me with precious creation time.

artists miriam schulman and seth apter
Here I am with Seth Apter, our wonderful art adventure tour guide. 
Mixed media (and acrylics in general) are a pretty messy business. 
Since this paint (once dried) will absolutely not come off your clothes, 
it is imperative that you wear an apron. (btw, you can get an apron on etsy
AND you can get a coupon for the etsy shop here→ get coupon )

 Art is a luxury

So, I consider it an absolute luxury to hand my kids some cab money for their travels, power down my computer and ignore my cell phone unless I feel like it. From 10 till 3, we played and experimented with art techniques taught by the fabulous Seth Apter

About the Instructor, Seth Apter

Now if you have never taken an art class with Seth Apter, check his schedule and try to make a point of it. He teaches at many locations around the world due to his professional associations with Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine, the Ink Pad and elsewhere.

mixed media art retreat with seth apter
At the end of the class, we got to take a peek at each other's artwork. I am always amazed how 20 or so folks can be given the same instructions and follow the same process yet all come out with such different results. I was pretty pleased at the way my art still exuded my own personal style while incorporating new techniques. Looking forward to playing with these new processes some more and integrating them with my art making.

Aprons for Crafting (or cooking..)

Although I try to keep a low profile at these events, my apron usually garners a lot of attention and I often end up selling a few to the other artists after (or during!) the retreat. Here are some of the artsy aprons I have in stock.
aprons for women

Aprons for Women- silky machine washable with pockets for your smart phone!
  1. Dancing Peacock
  2.  Fig Tree Apron
  3. Radiant Peacock Apron
  4. Piano Peonies Apron (sold out!)

Questions for discussion...

Which is your favorite apron? 1, 2, 3 or 4?
Have you ever been on an art retreat?

Other Blog Posts you might like:


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Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer Bucket List: 6 Must See NYC Art Shows

6 not to miss new york art shows 2015 :
Each summer, I make a wish list of art exhibitions I want to see. I carefully document the closing dates, and try to circle them in my calendar. Often, I will try to find a museum buddy to go with but if the friend cancels at the last minute, I always keep the date with myself. I consider art viewing an essential element of art making and my creative process.  What follows are six shows I have my eye on and why I want to see them.   

detail from Central Park Fountain, watercolor by Miriam Schulman

6 not to miss new york art shows 2015 :
A Parrot Perched on a Mango Tree; 
a Ram Tethered Below, ca. 1630–70
Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper.

 1. Sultans of India 

until July 26th 2015 Metropolitan Museum of Art

So first of all, I am absolutely crazy about this little watercolor that is included in The Sultans of India. It is a small work measuring only about 9 inches. The watercolor is part of a larger exhibit and I can't wait to see it... (and also go looking for an unique piece of jewelry inspired by the exhibit in the gift shop....shhh...don't tell)

Ram inspired an art journal page

I love this watercolor because when the catalog came in the mail in January, I noticed the ram on the cover. Being that it is the year of the ram, I saved the page and incorporated the image into one of my art journal spreads. Notice not only the ram, but the color scheme of the artwork is also incorporated into the my journal page.

a page from my art journal with custom rub-ons and the Ram




Art Journal Techniques

I actually filmed this spread and included the tutorial as part of my class on the 21 Secrets online art journal workshop. You can read more about that in this blog posts: 21 reasons to Discover 21 Secrets

I also offer a free art journal ebook if you are interested in learning more about art journaling. → free art journal ebook



maurice predergast @metmuseum
Maurice Brazil Prendergast (American, 1858–1924).  
A Fountain in the Public Garden from  
Large Boston Public Garden Sketchbook, 1895–97. 

2. Maurice Prendergast

Boston Public Garden Watercolors

thru September 7, 2015 Metropolitan Museum of Art

So also at the Metropolitan Museum is another exhibit.. this one much smaller, on one of my favorite watercolors, Maurice Prendergast. If this detail shown at left is any indication of the show, I am sure I will not be disappointed.




Central Park Fountain, watercolor by Miriam Schulman

My Garden Watercolors

I love painting fountains and gardens myself.
Here is a watercolor I completed recently.

Central Park Fountain

A favorite spot of many New Yorkers, this is an idyllic and romantic spot in the heart of New York City. A fountain in the midst of a small pond where you can rent a boat and paddle the day away on the water.

3.Van Gogh: Irises and Roses

Through August 16, 2015
van gogh @metmuseum
Vincent van Gogh Auvers-sur-Oise) 1890
Another garden themed exhibit at the Met reunites for the first time four Van Gogh paintings of irises and roses that were painted and conceived as a series. The exhibition coincides with the real life blooming in the garden... which is why I really need to get to the garden this summer as well.

is inspired by van gogh ( but completely in my own watercolor style)


frida kahlo at new york botanical gardens
Frida Kahlo at the New York Botanical Gardens
thru November 1, 2015

4. Frida Kahlo at the New York Botanical Gardens

Alright-- yes, I know all three of those exhibits are at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (as is #6- spoiler alert)

reimagined Kahlo’s beloved Casa Azul 

So, to get out of the city this Frida Kahlo is on my must see list as well. The New York Botanical gardens have re-imagined Kahlo’s beloved Casa Azul in the Conservatory and simultaneously are displaying rare artworks in their Art Gallery

This way, I can transport myself to Mexico without leaving New York. I'll bring my camera and sketchbook to document the process and share this art adventure with you in an upcoming blog post.



5. Yoko Ono

yoko ono at moma
Yoko Ono
This is MoMA's first exhibition dedicated exclusively to the work of Yoko Ono and  includes approximately 125 pioneering works, ranging from texts, objects, and films to installations and performances. I have to admit, I was mostly intrigued by the event, Make Your Own Yoko Ono Piece, that is free with admission. I already have plans to see that and can't wait to share that with you as well.

Tune into my facebook page or instagram for updates if the guards let me snap some pics.

6. China Through the Looking Glass

china through the looking glass @metmuseum yoko ono at moma #AsianArt100
Don't groan...yep, it's back to the Met. I know there are other museums, but I just wanted to pick the top of the top and the best of the best., Maybe, I just want to get my money's worth out of my membership or I like the fact that I can park in the museum's basement. Either way, I know I will be kicking myself if I miss this thoroughly artful fashion exhibit at the museum.

other blog posts you might like:

 What's on your bucket 

list this summer? Going to New York?

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Friday, June 19, 2015

The world is but a canvas to our imagination

This class will take your art from ordinary to extraordinary as you explore Tonalist Techniques.

You will master Tonalist painting methods under Schmuckal's tutelage, building your confidence as she teaches you to paint Alla Prima (a style of painting in which a painting is completed in one session on a toned canvas while the paint is still wet, instead of during multiple sessions of building up paint with layers).

tonalism tonalist oil painting online ecourse art workshop with Jan Schmuckal :: learn more

The 7 traits you need to succeed in this class ... already have experience with oil paints
You want to gain the skills to paint more expressively
You crave a creative outlet from your everyday life
You desire to become a more confident artist and become proficient in the Tonalist painting style
Painting makes you feel complete
✔ You want to reconnect with your younger self
You need to advance your plein-air and studio work

tonalism tonalist oil painting online ecourse art workshop with Jan Schmuckal :: learn more

Learn the 8 skills every master painter should know... light and shadow
✔ Create moods that speak to the viewer
Handle wet-on-wet oil painting
Master under painting
✔  Mix colors that capture the elements of nature
Paint skies and trees in the style of the Tonalists
Balance loose, Impressionistic brush strokes with definition and detail
Evoke beauty and peace with your painting

tonalism tonalist oil painting online ecourse art workshop with Jan Schmuckal :: learn more

A Word from the Artist

"The changing light of day and the moods it evokes are the foundation of all my oil paintings. Each piece usually starts with a powerful, simple composition, which then evolves into a theme where strong light and shadow and deep color reside within the primary subject. Strength, mood and simplicity are my primary intentions, more so than depicting a particular place or time."~Jan Schmuckal

6 Reasons you will love this online class

tonalism tonalist oil painting online ecourse art workshop with Jan Schmuckal :: learn more tonalism tonalist oil painting online ecourse art workshop with Jan Schmuckal :: learn more
tonalism tonalist oil painting online ecourse art workshop with Jan Schmuckal :: learn more tonalism tonalist oil painting online ecourse art workshop with Jan Schmuckal :: learn more
tonalism tonalist oil painting online ecourse art workshop with Jan Schmuckal :: learn more
tonalism tonalist oil painting online ecourse art workshop with Jan Schmuckal :: learn more

More Details

  • Learn to paint sunsets, trees and skies.
  • Two complete projects with photo references and detailed instructions both video and written
  • another bonus project to further your skills and understanding
  • Seven Video Lessons for you to gain mastery
  • Two pdf handouts for you to keep forever as a handy reference

"The world is but a canvas to our imagination." ~Henry David Thoreau (tweet this!)

Other blog posts you might like:


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Friday, June 12, 2015

Go Figure ~ nude watercolor figure painting online class

online figure painting course in watercolor ::
Sign UP

Do you have the courage to try figure painting?

For over a year, I have been working on a new online class on painting the nude figure in watercolor. I looked far and wide and couldn't find anyone else who was teaching this course and I knew that I could show the world how to make beautiful watercolors. The way I paint the human form, you notice they are beautiful first and then you notice naked and I paint in a representational style that is loose and free. 

You too can learn how to pour your heart and soul into watercolors and master this painting process.

 online figure painting course in watercolor :: 

What most artists struggle with...

Before I began designing the class, I sent out a survey asking artists what they wanted to learn most about painting the figure. The same themes came up over and over again. You said that you felt your painting was too tight, that you were confused about how to mix colors were afraid to even get started... You also told me you wanted to master highlights and shading.

I can help you

Since I have been teaching my online classes for quite some time, I knew I could help. So I created this ultimate figure painting course so you can learn the skills and tools you need to become express yourself and enjoy painting. You can discover all my realistic figure painting tricks as you peer over my shoulder and I whisper to you all my secrets.
online figure painting course in watercolor ::

10 Traits you need to succeed with figure painting...

✔ You desire to master that painterly style
✔ You long to paint the figure, but are too timid or embarrassed to do attend a live class
✔ You want to conquer your fear of starting
✔ You strive to learn a loose, less rigid painting style.
✔ You yearn to gain the experience and confidence necessary to paint believable figures.
You want to make the simplest drawings come to life by mastering highlights and shadows.
✔ You don't have time to go to classes or you live in a rural area where high quality classes are not an option
✔ Watercolor relaxes you and you have a passion for art
You believe you can succeed as an artist if you had the right guidance
You love how art makes you feel!

Sign UP

online figure painting course in watercolor ::

9 Essential Skills Every Figure Painter Must Learn

Tackle painting the human figure, developing your painting skills in the process
Master techniques for mixing skin tones, creating highlights, and adding shadows to bring your painting to life
Turn line into form to create realistic natural looking features.
Design color harmonies to balance the art
Explore the best materials and tools to achieve professional results.
✔ Capture details with color and lighting in order to set a "mood"
✔ Choose which colors and how much water to use
Build and layer the paint with proper shading and glazing techniques
Develop confidence in your painting, eliminating your confusion through my step-by-step guidance

Sign UP

“Learning with you has opened up a new world for me. I like YOUR Classes the BEST . . . period. I stopped investing in any others because there is no comparison . . ” Georgy Rock

"The fact that your online courses are forever courses is one of the many reason I would love to take [your courses]. I love your painting style, and the ease with which you teach. You describe what you are painting, the color mixes you are using and how you made them (and by showing your palette, I can see how you are mixing it). You explain how much or how little water you are using, making it much easier to follow you." Nellie Krams Delaware

6 Reasons You will Love this Online Class...

Seven Succinct Lessons

Tightly edited videos will talk you through levels of mastery with easy to follow instructions. Each lesson is designed to show you step-by-step exactly what to do and when to do it using two different models for demonstrations. There is even an eighth bonus lesson on color mixing for multiple skin tones! (see the bonuses below!)


You have lifetime access so that you don't feel rushed to get it done by a certain time. You can access the class at your leisure, whenever you are stuck or when need a refresher, without having to pay another fee! You have access to the class for the lifetime of the site.

Photo References 

You will gain access to my private photo references of two beautiful models for you to work from at your leisure to practice drawing and painting without the embarrassment of going to a live class or the expense of hiring your own models.

PDF's and Cheat Sheets

Each video is complemented by thorough instructions and good explanations. You can print out handy guides for additional reference and inspiration and add them to your own notes as you review lessons or work away from your computer.

Stop, Pause and repeat

You can watch the whole lesson and then go back and watch again as you paint. Since the lessons are divided into manageable chunks, it is easy to find just the right segment you need to review.

Supportive Community

What will you do when things go wrong? When learning within a supportive community of other like minded creative souls sharing the same artistic journey, you have the opportunity to share your art and experiences with your peers and ask questions in a non-judgmental environment.

PLUS You get THREE Bonuses

    Sign UP
  1. Video Lesson on Mixing a Rainbow of Skin Tones
  2. Male nude photo reference 
  3. Plus a weekly email with bonus tips to keep you motivated and inspired!

    online figure painting course in watercolor ::

    Bonus lesson on mixing flesh tones to achieve a spectrum of diversity in your figures

    online figure painting course in watercolor ::

    Bonus Photo-reference on the Male Nude to practice your classical drawing skills

    Sign UP

    Sign UP


    For artists who either feel they don't need online instruction, or just require extra practice, I created a digital source book of 10 of my favorite figure poses of men and women using four different models. You can not purchase this book separately! It is ONLY available inside a package with the figure painting course. Each photo has a transparent grid overlay to facilitate proper proportions.


    How will you advance your art this summer?

    Sign UP

    I know that June is a busy month- it has been for me too, with my daughter's prom, high school graduation, birthdays, camp packing and reunions. However, the slow month of July is looming and I want to make sure that you have some way to enjoy new art classes and get feedback on your art. It is really hard to find quality classes in the summer. I don't want you to be bored in July and regret not having signed up for Go Figure
    4 monthly payments of $47 each, OR save $21 and pay in full! REGISTER NOW

    Do you have the courage to try figure painting? 

    First of all, I will hold your hand the entire way and I also offer a 100% money back happiness promise. I only want happy art students in my classes
    Sign UP

    About the Artist (Miriam Schulman)

    Miriam Schulman, founder of the Inspiration Place
    In case you're curious about me, let me tell you a little bit more about myself. I live my creative life with gratitude in New York's backyard. After witnessing the devastation of 911, I abandoned my hedge fund job  to work on my art full time. Rejecting the starving artist myth, my watercolor and mixed media paintings have been seen on NBC, published in art magazines & home decor books and collected worldwide. In addition, the Hudson River Museum and Katonah Museum of Art have carried my artistic accessories in their gift shops. My art has been published in art magazines such as Art of Man, Art Journaling Magazine by Stampington and Professional Artist magazine.

    Come see what kind of art I create at or join the fun at
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