We recycle a ton at our house. In fact sometimes we go to the dump and don’t have any trash to contribute, only recycling. So when an artist I adore, Carla Sonheim inspired me with her creature art, I started making these with recycled mail. I chose envelopes that have lovely handwriting from friends, or interesting stamps. Next a bit of gesso on top so most of the envelope is covered. I watercolor on top of the gesso and start adding the image.
My husband hoards used wood. We use it for so many projects. He spiffed up some used wood and I mount my arted-up envelope onto the recycled wood and hold the wire hanger on with glass beads. It is fun:)
My home is such a warm cozy special safe place to me. I want it to feel like heaven for my mate and son. That is what goes into this piece, my feeling of home. You can find it in my etsy shop…
Posted in Art Links, Art/Illustration, happysoupshoppe.com etsy store, paintings on reclaimed wood
Tagged cathy stevens pratt, hand painted, happysoupshoppe, home, house, landscape, red heart, valentine art, vermont, vermont artist, vermonter, warm home, watercolor
My palette was covered in dust and dog hair! I have been watching the colors become a bit drab as I glanced at it sideways. Like an old friend cast aside, it’s been giving me the stink eye occasionally. Saying, “hey, over here, what about me?!” I’ve been so busy with the business of selling my art, that I haven’t been making art. An absolute violation says my palette. I adore its colors, the mess of it, the perfection of it. I use it daily…usually.
Tonight the racket rattling complaining groaning pleas coming from my cast aside unused palette were answered by a newly cleaned brush (yep I even had brush guilt and cleaned some of my favorites), dipped in water, and made to turn pthalo blue again. Ah the color of life of love of my soul, I could hear all my art supplies breathe in relief.
Christmas is an extraordinary time in the life of this little family. We are busy and we’re not even really big celebrators. Well, I’m kind of a repressed celebrator. But craft shows take a ton of work preparation set up clean up organizing agonizing. It is fun. About 93% fun. It’s the 7% turbulence that challenges me. I can do 7% though. I’ll chew gum and swallow hard and buckle down.
Soon, it will be vacation time. I won’t know what to do with myself and I’ll probably show up here complaining about how slow things are. For now at least pthalo blue is shiny wet happy and all is right in my world.
Posted in ponderings
Tagged blue, cathy stevens pratt, dog hair, hand painted, handmade, happiness, happy, happysoupshoppe, joy, pthalo blue, vacation, vermont artist, watercolor
I’ve been busy sticking my neck out there. I feel so naked at an art sale. There I am, my most favorite creations, straight from my brain mind imagination, out there for people to see!! To judge, to have a feeling about…It is horrifying. And satifsying. And sometimes a bit sad.
This purple cat has lived with me for several months. Today off she went into the hands of a girl who bought the cat as a gift for her mom. Score! My cat sold! She’s making three people happy at one time, me, the daughter and her mom. I wrapped her up nicely and tried not to think about it much and handed her over. sniff.
Usually after the shows I take out my favorite pieces and hang them back up in my living space. This cat would come and go with me, happy to return to my house. This time…off she went. It as a bit challenging and thrilling and totally happysad.
The business of selling art, real art, not graphic art, is going to challenge me. My intention is to make my living making art. And making the art I love to create. I want this with my entire being. That’s my choice and for now that’s the plan. Let’s see what happens.
Posted in Art/Illustration, ponderings
Tagged cat, cat art, cathy stevens pratt, colorful, colors, hand painted, handmade, happiness, happysoupshoppe, joy, mixed media, night sky, purple cat, purple cat art, vermont artist, vermonter
This weekend I worked hard and enjoyed myself in a large way at a local craft show. I’m new at this type of thing and I found it really satisfying. I’m not heading out to by my own island yet, but I’m not sure I would want to do that anyway. I don’t want to leave my sweet little valley full of art lovers! I feel so thankful for:
•The folks who put on the show for their advertising and decorating and music and general good cheer that made the event completely enjoyable.
•The temperature in the school gymnasium was perfecto! This mama is on the brink of menopause and there is no location in which I am comfortable temperature-wise. I was this weekend!
•MY FRIENDS. I can’t count the number of people who came to my booth to check out my work, to support me by buying my art, by spreading the word that the sale was happening. And if you didn’t come by, I love you anyway:)
•The folks who didn’t buy anything but walked by and said hey, cool work!
•My very flexible and supportive husband who helped in every way mwah!
•My booth partner who was also flexible and fun and is so colorful and talented.
•My sweet sweet boy who was there with me showing his art and cards too. What a cool kid. I think I got the best one.
Posted in Art/Illustration, Graphics/Art, happysoupshoppe.com etsy store
Tagged acrylic cat, art, cat art, cathy stevens pratt, colorful, green cat art, hand painted cat, happiness, happysoupshoppe.com, joy, mixed media cat, vermont artist
On the site where I trade my art, we do a match game each month. Whoever wants to signs up and the host pairs each artist up with another. Between the two artists you work out what you will trade. My partner thought of doing art based on our current favorite artist.
I’m a Pinterest player. I have the most incredible collection of art on my ART board. So that’s where I went to find who I’d like to do my match game art like. I mean, how in the heck can you choose your favorite artist anyway? There are so many too many to choose from. Using my Pinterest collection to help me I chose to do a piece like Wendy Marchbanks. Instead of a horse or fish like she often uses, I went for the cat of course.
The textures in this make my mouth water. I’m so pleased with the way it turned out. You can let me know what you think please, I’d like that.
I wrote this piece for our local parenting group and it appeared on their blog. I figured I should post it here on my blog also;)
Here’s the link to the piece on mamasays. And, here goes…
I may be hard-headed, or very slow, but I think I just had a life enriching idea, finally here at 47. Here’s my story. I love summer. So much.
Transport me to the south where it is beastly hot humid sticky crazy hot and I’m even happier. Here in Vermont I often wish it would get just a bit warmer, maybe 20 degrees warmer. I have this wish on the same exact days that my friends are complaining about the heat. Heat you say? It is not hot at 75, it is a bit warmish, in my book. They get all sweaty red faced and have to sit down. To me, summer hasn’t even happened unless it is too hot for me to sleep for at least 2 days in a row.
All these exercises happen only in my brain. There is no official declaration that summer has indeed happened, or that it is indeed hot enough.
When my friends say, “oh, look at the leaves! I love sweater weather! Almost time for skiing!”, I get sad. I feel to my core that something big is over, and I wish for what is not.
Being a self-help book reader for my entire life I know darn well that wishing for summer while it is indeed winter is a waste of energy and impossible and torturing myself. I’ve mastered or at least made progress on the other things that I work on in the self-help realm like, being in the present moment, forgiveness, a modicum of self care etc. But loving winter is hard.
Then I had a baby. Mine was born at the beginning of October and is now 7.
We go outside every day no matter the weather. I found myself sledding, building snow creatures, painting the snow and even sleeping out in igloos, the whole entire night.
Little by little, I’m sort of liking winter.
As I think thru this process, at first my idea was that –I hate winter then have child and he enjoys winter and I enjoy him so therefore I enjoy winter! No, that doesn’t exactly get it for me. So this morning, the first day with a hard frost after what I would call a glorious summer, this idea came to me…I can enjoy winter now because I have played the game of life and death. I at 40 participated in seeing the next generation pass into this world right thru my very own body. Profound.
Then, 4 years after my son was born one of my most important people, EVER, died. Suddenly, devastatingly…forever. I was wrecked by this, for a while. But now I’m starting to get it. People come, and…people go. Even the important ones. I mean, it is not that no one I loved ever died until I was 44, that is not the case. I had a baby at 40 yay celebrate life this is amazing, and at 44 my dad died oh my god how utterly awful to be me.
But now I see, and the seasons make this glaringly obvious especially here in Vermont, that everything changes. I continue to soul search. I am understanding it as well as I can that time passes, people pass, animals pass, and so do the seasons.
This fall, I welcome the frost and eventually the snow. I am not in tears seeing my favorite queen hosta absolutely at her worst, wilted to the ground in my garden. I’m ok with that. She will be me one day. And this seems right somehow.
Posted in motherhood, ponderings
Tagged birth, fall, happiness, igloos, joy, love, mothering, seasons, summer, sunshine, winter
Have you ever been walking through a thick woods and wondered if the creatures were watching you? Have you ever considered the trees to be alive…creatures? I do, lots.
Once when I lived in Memphis I had a yoga teacher. She was off the deep-end yoga mellow lady. She also looked about half her age and I thought she was pretty cool. She used to talk about going camping and how much coordination that used to take for her. She was more comfortable in the city, walking on paved surfaces because she said that when she walked on rocks and grass, she could hear them protest. And once she put a campfire-hot pot down on a rock, and she heard it scream!
If rocks can yell, trees might have eyes. Enjoy!
Here is more owl art. I did this piece and the Horned Owl for a friend in a watercolor moleskine journal. We trade them back and forth with different artists. Soon mine will be filled with art from friends all over the planet. Let me know what you think of Snowy here:
She’s in my etsy shop as an art print and as a blank greeting card.
Posted in Art Links, Artist Trading Cards, happysoupshoppe.com etsy store, Moley exchange, non-atc size art given or traded, watercolor
Tagged cathy stevens pratt, crescent moon art, hand painted owl, night sky, owl, owl art, owl painting, snowy owl, vermont artist
I’m trying to wrap my mind around the whole idea of making my living by making my art. I went to college for art and graduated as an illustrator/graphic designer. I made my living as those two things since the late 80′s. Now you know I’m about 47!
As I get older I know I also get happier when I draw paint color dream what I want. So instead of my art being driven by my client’s requests, I hope to make money selling the art I create, from me my heart my soul my brain.
That’s why you see my etsy shop on facebook and pinterest and twitter and tumbler and and and! But what a funny odd thing selling MY art, my images. I feel all squiggly about it. I experienced this close to me last weekend doing Vermont’s Open Studio. I shared space with a generous neighbor thank the gods because my house is tiny. But being there, hoping people would come, hoping they would buy so I can make this thing work, was WEIRD!
My friends came, they bought art, I felt grateful lucky special and so supported. My community here in small town Vermont means everything to me. But these people can’t make my living, I wouldn’t ask them to. Here is my wish for the universe to hear I want to sell tons of art! To strangers who will become friends who know me by seeing my soul.