I am Super-De-Duper excited about my latest Creative Adventure!

I am in the process of putting together a new Business Plan and I am super excited.

“Every artist is an ENTREPRENEUR and every entrepreneur is an ARTIST.” – Dr. ‘E’ (Dr. Elliot McGucken). It is true, both entrepreneur and artist create. With that being said, I cannot help but start a new business adventure. If you have been following my blog for any time now, you know that I value creativity and that helping people of all abilities create art is a passion of mine. How it all unfolds is in the works. If any of this sounds interesting to you then sign up and be the first to know when my new business launches.   P.S. there will be some free art goodies once I get whole thing rolling.

join the giftjoy.org mission.

Stay tuned,

Holly

“Your Dog Here”

“Your Dog Here” is about a new creative line of paintings I am doing. Commissioned Pet Portraits are so much fun. They capture your pet in a whole new light—fun and whimsical, real but imaginary. This first one is Chongo, my own dog. He is a poodle and shih tzu mix.

CHONGO: Watercolor on Yupo

Chongo was painted with liquid watercolors on “Yupo” paper which is a 100% plastic paper. At first I hated this recycled synthetic paper, but now I am learning to love it. First of all, the paper is not made from a single tree. Cool huh? On the other hand, the paper does not behave like any “tree” paper I have ever used. The paint sits on top of the paper. The pigment does not get absorbed or blend together, so the big problem I am having now is how to frame this art. The paint seems to remain tacky on the Yupo paper.

COCO: Watercolor on Yupo

I am learning to use Yupo paper. Below is my fifth pet portrait on Yupo.

LUCY: Watercolor on Yupo

I will keep experimenting with some fixatives to see if they help the paint set for framing. If you have used Yupo paper or have any ideas on how to set the paint for framing this medium/paper, please let me know. A couple of good photos of your favorite pet are great reference for a portrait. Eye level photos are best for reference and focal point. If you are interested in having a pet portrait created please contact me @ hollyherick@charter.net.

Next up:—Tabitha!

Feedback welcome.

Yellow Tulip

Working on watercolor study of my garden again. It seems to be what I like to paint the most.

First, I print out my inspiration photograph and draw a grid on it.

Then I transfer the grid and drawing to scale onto the paper.

The painting begins.

Final watercolor: yellow tulip from my yard.

Summer Goals

Summer is finally here and after a very busy Spring it is time to set some summer goals.

Although I am a graphic designer, I had to take many fine art classes to get to this point in my life. When I was younger I considered those classes as a “means to an end”—becoming a graphic designer. Now, I am beginning to realize how much I enjoyed those drawing and painting classes. I can’t just create a paying job whenever I want, but I can create a drawing, painting or mixed media project whenever I want. My goal is to keep my brain exercised. So this Summer I am challenging myself to paint two finished works of art each week. Some may be simple, some complex. Just get it done.

I am starting with a watercolor painting my favorite hotel, The Moana Surfrider in Waikiki Hawaii. This historical hotel is the birthplace of international surfing and has a charming plantation feel. plus it’s  right on the beach. Duke Kahahamoku, the father of  surfing and olympic swimming medalist grew up on this beach. The hotel is filled with memorabilia of the early days of Waikiki. The center court faces the ocean and is shaded by the biggest Banyan tree I have ever encountered.  Facing the street, the front porch has giant rocking chairs to lounge in and allows for  fantastic people watching and plenty of street artist performances. Within a few steps you can find shopping, fine dining, sculpture, an aquarium and a zoo. Oh yeah, and of course the beach. Did I mention the beach?

Below: the Westin Moana Surfrider

Here is a link to the google maps street view I am using to paint from. did you know you can drag that little person onto the map and look around as if you are there? If you haven’t ever tried it your should—virtual travel is the next best to being there. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=hawaii+usa&sll=42.052611,-124.283982&sspn=0.22561,0.503311&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Hawaii&layer=c&cbll=21.276899,-157.826464&panoid=R6ohlag071WckQiCjL4FTA&cbp=12,212.27,,0,-10.1&ll=21.27683,-157.826387&spn=0.002212,0.003932&z=19

My sketch of the hotel is light because it will show through the paint if it is too dark. The blue border is painter’s tape, it holds down the edges of the watercolor paper.

Below: laying in washes of color

MORE TO COME

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This is my final painting. It is much brighter than the actual hotel, I guess I just don’t know how else to paint. Sometimes I get caught up in the details and don’t like how I am painting. I want to encourage others to keep going. In the end, the little details do not seem to matter so much. I have to force myself to complete paintings sometimes. It is hard to allow mistakes, but do it anyway. It is so worth it! You will learn in the process.

Follow along with me, or if you are really interested you can paint with me. If you are not an artist, you can challenge your creative brain with cooking, gardening, or something else. What will your summer goal be?

Mimi paints Dogwood


Ever wonder how much a rainy day effects you mood? Mimi gets tired of the rain most days, but today she welcomed it because it kept her indoors to paint. The frogs are croaking, and last night the air smelled of blossoms. It is no wonder Mimi would paint flowers again. Somehow her painting—as well as her mood—has been influenced by the rain. The lack of sunshine in the sky has shown up in her painting. Still only three colors have been used on her palette, red, blue and yellow. It is helping somewhat with color harmony and she is getting better at mixing colors. Mimi is still working on focal point and foreground vs. background. If you have any helpful information, leave Holly a comment and she will pass it along to Mimi.


Spring is Here: Surprise.

Here in Southern Oregon we have had a very strange winter, and equally odd Spring. Winter, Mimi thinks, might have been warmer than spring. Finally this week the butterflies and bees will come out and do what they should. Mimi watches them pollinate and transform life in an amazing adventure. Mimi says—enjoy spring. Here at Creative Home, we believe in observing everything, alive, from nature. There is nothing more amazing than what God has created before our very own eyes.

Learn something new everyday

As you may have noticed I have been trying to learn to paint in watercolors. I believe the more I sketch and paint the better graphic designer I will be. Now, you may know that I studied graphic design in college. I had many illustration classes, but they never really taught us how to use the different mediums. It was more like, “Draw a vegetable with Prismacolor pencil” or “Illustrate an emotion with watercolor paints.” Now I try to dedicate three hours, three times a week toward sketching or painting. As I improve, I get more done in those three hours—and make less of a mess doing it. The idea of dedicated studio space is becoming more and more of a need instead of a want. Every time I paint, my kitchen shuts down—which is not good considering how much my family eats. I have joined a group on FB called Virtual Paintout which uses Google Street View for inspiration to illustrate from. Google Street View is copyright free as long as you are creating art from it. It truly is a wonderful way to virtually travel the world. Every Month a new location is chosen. Here is my first attempt: location, Stavanger, Norway.


I think the only thing I like about it is the trees, maybe the sky, but no worries, I am learning and it is much more important to like where you end up, than like where you start. I had some very good critiqing from one of my favorite children’s book artist. His name is Lee White check out this blog about him http://amy-baskin.blogspot.com/2010/03/crazy-day-with-lee-white.html I need to work on focal point, and color harmony—just about everything. I can’t wait to use the information He gave me on my next painting. Another excellent site—for learning watercolor technique— http://www.johnlovett.com/class.htm I have been reading all day on watercolor techniques and viewing all I can find. If you are interested in taking this journey with me check out creativetechs.com and sign up for Molly Murrah’s watercolor 101 starting soon. It is free if you watch it live—what a bargain.

As my age inevitably increases, I find myself surprised at how much I am turning back to the fine arts as opposed to computer arts—fine arts are constant and the computer arts are changing faster than my hair is turning gray—there is some security in that. I encourage all of my friends to challenge their brains with something new every day. It doesn’t have to be art. Try a new recipe, start a journal, try a new sport, rearrange your furniture, for goodness sakes, I don’t know—just turn off the TV and do it.

Update: A new challenge from a blog called the International Fake Journal Blog can be reached by clicking the “dog icon” on my side margin. I plan to take this challenge.
artist friends, please join me.

Foxglove Watercolor


Keeping my brain exercised while I’m waiting for work is always good. I get bored and want to try something new, this time it is a five week watercolor class. So I finally picked out one of my photos to paint. I used a grid to transfer in onto watercolor paper, and it sat for a whole week. Finally, tonight the background is started. Hopefully, it will inspire you to try something new. Take a peek.