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Norwegian Dream

The morning I woke up in the middle of Geirangerfjord in Norway marked a shift in my art.

I’d been dreaming of being in that exact spot for so many years.

It felt like coming home in a way that no other place had in all my travels.

 

I felt a connection with my ancestors that I wasn’t expecting…it dawned on me why they had settled where they did.

Nothing had come close to the beauty of home until they arrived in Western Montana.

That trip to Norway brought clarity to my work, and made me realize what was most important to me to communicate.

It’s all about the epic nature, baby.

 

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How did I become an Artist, you ask?

I get this question a lot. Here’s the long version 😉

 

I spent a large part of my childhood with my grandparents, and they were both makers. I would hang with my Papa in the wood shop, my Gram in the craft/sewing room, and both of them in their epic flower and vegetable gardens.

My Gram’s crafts of choice were quilting, knitting, and crocheting. She would crochet extravagant bridal gowns for Barbies with the tiniest crochet needles on earth.  She taught me to embroider, cross-stitch, needle-hook, sew, puff paint, all sorts of things, but when I smeared my first creamy dollop of rich, vibrant paint, the love truly began.

I started with craft paint, switched to oils at 8 or so, then to acrylics, gouache and watercolor in high school. I still experiment with new mediums all the time, but acrylic is the basis of my work.

As a kid, I had every episode of Bob Ross (WOOT WOOT) recorded on VHS and that’s mostly how I learned. I would look at things in terms of how I would paint it and what brushes I would use to create it.

In junior high and high school, I had wonderful art teachers that took note of my interest and skills and gave me the tools and room to develop them. I always wanted to be an Artist ‘when I grew up’ and was accepted into several art schools in the US and abroad, but was never able to make it work financially.

I thought art wasn’t meant to be anything more than a lifelong hobby, and pursued other passions in college and grad school – human services and nonprofit leadership.

 

I spent nearly 10 years managing fundraising campaigns and events for various nonprofits, working in hospice, working with Seattle organisations to combat homelessness, and had a brief stint in the Peace Corps.

I never stayed in one place for long, as I always became quickly unsatisfied with either the work itself, or the inefficient/ineffective leadership.

When my husband’s military career took us overseas, there was very limited opportunity for work in my field, or in any other field. Shout out to my fellow spouses – the career sacrifices are real and appreciated.

It was a very hard pill to swallow to realize I was in a situation that was forcing me to depend on my husband financially. Dependence is not my style.

While I was having a panic-filled breakdown and career identity crisis, I also recognized that it could be my opportunity to see what could happen if I started my art business.

 

I took a low-paying job on the base that was loosely related to my experience, and began building my Etsy shop and website every spare minute I had.

I had recently taken a silk painting class with Christine Sutherland in Phoenix, Arizona before we left for the UK, and I loved it. So aside from the few originals and prints I had, my Etsy shop was mostly filled with handpainted silk pillows, scarves and neckties.

Within 6 months of launch, I was making half of what I was making at the day job, and within a year I put in my notice so I could give my business my full attention.

There has been much fear, struggle and self-doubt along the way, and it’s a constant learning process, but there is nothing that makes me feel more aligned with the universe than creating.

 

Plus running my own business suits me perfectly. It can be and become absolutely anything that I can imagine.

There are no limits, except ones I place upon myself.

 

I can’t imagine ever going back to work for someone else, it would crush my soul.

Had we not been stationed overseas and I been put in such a situation, I don’t know if I would’ve ever had the courage to take that leap. The isolation was incredible for my personal growth as well as the development of my work and business.

We travelled all over Europe and beyond, absorbing natural and man-made beauty, delicious food and collecting gorgeous art. I’m so grateful for those 4 years abroad, for so many reasons!

It was during this period that I really focused my work on nature as well.

I choose to paint nature because there is truly nothing more amazing and magical to me.

 

I was fortunate to grow up in an incredibly gorgeous area of the world, and my surroundings greatly influenced my work and still do. When I travel, I seek epic natural beauty, and I’ve been moved to tears so many times in so many places. I try to convey those feelings I have in those places with my work – the calm, the rush, the peace, the joy, the epicness. We all need more nature in our lives. <3

My abstract work comes from a love of color and texture and allowing materials to behave and interact organically. The experimentation with my abstract work has led to many of the techniques I use in my nature work.

What has developed over time is this ethereal world of nature as it might be without humans.

 

While the handpainted silks – the Lyric Scarves in particular – were the foundation of my business at first, I’ve slowly phased most of them out in order to spend more time on paintings. Today, my shop consists of Original paintings, lyric scarves, prints and the luxurious items they are printed on, such as leggings and pillows.

It’s been a crazy amazing journey since Gram handed me that first paintbrush. I wouldn’t change a moment of it. I’m so grateful and excited about what the universe has in store!

 

Like what you just read? Subscribe to get new blog posts and so much more right in your lovely inbox 🙂 You’ll get a FREE digital print just for signing up!

 

Love and gratitude,

Emily <3

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the 33rd year.

I’m 33 today. And it’s been 4 years since I went full time Artist. It seems like it’s been even longer. My brain feels like it’s been through 10 years of it already. But in a good way.

I mean, every moment in our lives has led us to this point.

 

And there is so much clarity in hindsight. I wouldn’t change a minute of it.

The last 4 years have been a deep-dive into the knowledge banks of so many before me – on entrepreneurship, on introspection, on manifestation, on healing, on soul growth, on finances, on our natural connection to every thing. While I’m grateful for my formal education, this experience has taught me far more.

I go to bed every night excited to wake up the next morning and do it all again.

 

33 is an important year for me. The end of a cycle, the beginning of a cycle, a time of synchronicity and of alignment. It’s time for the next phase, and oh man am I ready. I’ve been preparing for this my whole life.

As I’ve discussed in the past, my happiness continues to grow exponentially. There are always going to be bumps in the road; some more traumatic and difficult than others. But it’s how you handle them that determines where you go next. Choosing to learn, grow and squeeze every drop of wisdom from every experience is how you soar.

Action cures fear. And beyond fear lies your wildest fucking dreams.

 

Beyond fear lies the field of no fucks.

Frolic. Frolic through the field, my love.

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It’s up to you

It’s up to you to do whatever it takes to get to your dream.

 

You have to be the one that makes time, you have to be the one to prioritize, you have to be the one to take action.

No one else is going to do it for you.

 

You have to DO the thing if you want the Thing.

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How to be a Mover in the Movement

LADIES.

What an incredible weekend this was! Over a million marchers for women, all over the world.

The largest peaceful protest in HISTORY. That shit’s amazing.

The pendulum is swinging back. The time has come for women to take the reigns once again, for the sake of the earth and humanity.

Not to exclude men, but the patriarchy hasn’t exactly gotten us into a good state. The women of ages past are looking at this current earth wondering why we’ve allowed our power to be suppressed for so long.

No longer.

It is time for us to step forward. To step into ourselves. Into our higher Selves.

 

To be a part of MOVING the movement.

To share our voices, and our truths.

Because the greatest thing you can do for humanity is to find your truth and share it.

 

To live as the best version of yourself.

To maximize your potential.

I believe that to reach maximum potential you have to find your…Thing.

 

The Thing that makes you come alive.

Your Thing is something you’ve always known.

Something that’s been there since the beginning.

Something that you’ve never been able to ignore.

Something you’re bound to.

bound : \’bau’nd\ : adj. : inseparably connected with

 

Once we figure out that the Thing is the Thing…well, pursuing it means you’re tapping into who nature intended you to be.

And that is when we truly shine.

That is when we change the world.

Because the more effort we put in to being our highest Selves, the better the world is.

 

 

What is YOUR Thing? I want to know. Tell me about it in the comments below!

 

XO,

Emily

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find your focus.

*a follow-up to this post about time management!

I set aside the last week of December to hash out ALL my goals and my plans to reach them in 2017 and beyond.

 

With piles and stacks of notebooks, scratch paper, eNotes and the like, I started to categorize it all under the two main goals (income and reach).

Once I did this, it was super easy to take each little note, blurb and hastily scratched out idea and put it where it belonged in the greater scheme of the main goals, or if it belonged in the trash.

Setting the two main annual goals then allowed me to break everything down into what needed to be done per quarter, per month, and per week.

 

Everything was then written into the Passion Planner and/or Lisa Jacob’s Your Best Year business planner. So with room for adjustment and unexpecteds of course, the entire year is a map to the main goals.

Now that I’m a couple of weeks in on the plan, things are going really well. Productivity has definitely increased, and I feel so much more relaxed about ALL THE THINGS THERE ARE TO DO because all the things that need to happen to accomplish the goals are specific, broken down to task, and scheduled according to quarter, month and week.

Everything has it’s place in the rank of priorities, and everything that needs to be handled will be handled.

This is the most control of the overwhelm I’ve ever felt.

This is also the most focused I’ve ever felt. It’s taken me a long time to be able to really be present in any given moment, but a commitment to daily meditation has really made some huge impacts in my life – the ability to be fully present being one of them.

But the message here is that YOU have to take control of where you’re focusing your energy if you want to get to the Thing.

 

You literally and figuratively cannot rely on anyone else to create the life you want or to bring you happiness. Others can contribute in many ways, but you are responsible for your life. No one else.

 

No one is working to make your dreams come true.

You have to take the action.

YOU.

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This year, believe in YOURSELF.

Happy happy HAPPY 2017, lovely!

Man, am I ready to begin the next cycle.

This is the year to shine.

Yes, this means YOU.

Commit to getting to know your Self a little better.

 

To nurturing her and listening to her.

She is going to lead you on the most important journey.

The journey you were meant to take, since before you arrived here.

NOW is the time.

 

<3

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Ladies. Listen up.

I’m writing to you – you lovelies who find joy in my work, who find a bit of love and inspiration in these posts.

I want to talk to you about connection.

And working toward maximum potential.

Yes, you.

You magnificent,

gorgeous,

soulful,

talented,

powerful,

amazing,

creative creature.

You, who are capable of all the things.

It is time.

NOW is YOUR time.

Right. Meow.

 

No more waiting.

 

You owe it to your soul, and to the universe.