abstract art, art, art career, art school, Artist, artists portfolio, before Photoshop, career, colored pencils, dealing with criticism, dealing with haters, dealing with nasty people, drawings, friends, hand drawn art, happiness, ink, joy, making art, markers, old school, overcoming, pen, pen & ink drawings, pen and ink, portfolio, positive thinking, positivity, realism, realistic art, sharing, sharon cummings, vulnerability
When I decided to open up my 25 year old portfolios to the World, there was a sense of vulnerability that came with it. I’ve been a professional artist for around 12 years now, so that leaves 13 years unaccounted for. During that time, I worked on a Phd. in Holistic Nutrition and I was a personal trainer/nutritional consultant. That is a long story, but here I am today making a living doing what I have always loved!
While I have greatly appreciated all of the positive feedback I have gotten from my fans, friends and collectors, it is a comment from a stranger that sticks out the most. This person said that my pen and ink work is fake and Photoshop artistry. This person meant to be mean and nasty, but what I realize now is that it is the BEST compliment I have ever received on my art in my entire life! 25 years ago there was no Photoshop. In fact there was no computer artistry at all available to me. Everything was done by hand. Knowing that my work was as good then as Photoshop is today makes me feel more confident about sharing this older work with all of you. 🙂
While I could have taken the comment to heart in the way it was intended and closed up my portfolios for good, I’ve decided that this person will be a catalyst for me to share even more of myself. So a big THANK YOU goes out to “Sylvia” for her negative comments. You could have not have paid me a bigger compliment!
It’s old and frayed and the zipper is broken.
The one on the left contains originals and the one on the right are copies meant to show perspective employers.
Airbrushing, pen and ink, drawing and marker work are all represented here.
Billboard and magazine mock ups.
Markers were one of my favorite mediums to work with. I loved the colors and detail I could get with them!
And just for fun a few from childhood. The dates say middle school.
***I’ve left these images FULL-SIZED. Straight from my camera without any computer manipulation. Quick shots early this morning before the sun was up. So click on them and have a look. And PLEASE when I list them…..Tell me they look as good as Photoshop! 😉
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It’s so simple. Just smile. Even if you have to look at cute videos on YouTub of babies laughing or puppies sleeping, it’s a great way to improve your health and it makes you feel good about yourself. Below are some of the rewards of lifting those cheeks:
1. It Lower Heart Rate – Smiling slows the heart and relaxes the body. People who smile and laugh often are less likely to develop heart disease. Smiling reduces blood pressure temporarily too.
2. It Reduce Stress – Stress relief may be as simple as smiling a little more throughout the day. Smiling releases endorphins that counteract and diminish the stress hormones.
3. It Increase Productivity – Smiling has been shown to increase productivity while performing tasks. There’s truth to the “whistle while we work” mentality. This also explains why silly internet memes and pictures of cute animals can actually get people motivated and working harder after a few moments of smiling or laughter.
4. It is a natural Pain Killer – Smiling and laughter both have been shown to lessen pain. They release endorphins that lift our moods, but many of these act as natural painkillers too.
5. It Increase Attention – Stress limits our perceptions and narrows our attention. Our body kicks into fight or flight mode where we can focus only on one of those things. Smiling counteracts this and widens our attention again, opening us back up to multitasking and insights that come from the fringes of our perception and our subconscious.
6. It is Contagious – Around 50% of people smile back. This spreads the health benefits throughout those around you and it comes back to you several times as well.
7. It makes you more Attractive! – Smiling makes people look more appealing. This seems to be especially true for women. Men are more likely to approach a woman who smiles than one who simply makes eye contact while women aren’t necessarily drawn in by a smile alone.
8. It makes You Look Younger – Smiles naturally lift the face and in studies have shown to make people look younger, around 3 years younger on average.
9. It increases Longevity – The effects of a good smile extend past just the exterior good looks. People who smile more often live longer too, around 7 years longer than most according to one study. It releases stress, helps the heart, and much more to keep you healthy longer.
10. It Boosts the Immune System – Smiles help the body relax and this lets the immune system react more quickly and effectively against invaders.
So C’mon…………………………………………………..S.M.I.L.E. 🙂
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What makes a person successful in this life? Is it dying with a big ol’ pile of money? Is it having the most friends? Is it the big house and fancy car? Is it being recognized by others for your achievements? Is it being pretty and well liked? Is it bagging a perfect spouse? Getting that kid into Harvard?
Over the years I have dramatically redefined my perspective on personal success. Everyone has their own criteria, but for me it has nothing to do with any of the above. I have come to realize that true success has little to do with worldly achievements and everything to do with the inner peace that comes from not needing them.
Am I a successful artist? Absolutely. I am not getting rich off of my creativity, but I am earning a living. If my spouse died, I could support myself entirely on my income. I only have to work a few days a week now thanks to years of time investment. I make money while I sleep and on the days I do not work too. In my own mind, that is success. I ignored those that said I couldn’t do it and I worked hard to achieve my goals.
Am I a successful Mom? You bet. I turned away from my abusive upbringing and defied the odds. I did not perpetuate the abuse and I’ve helped my autistic daughter find her own voice. I have supported her every step of the way and encouraged her to love herself just the way she is. I did not teach hate or prejudice and as a result she has friends of all races, religions and sexual orientations. She is now enrolled in college and doing all of the things normal folks do. She didn’t go for an Ivy League school, but one that fit her goals. She didn’t win a bunch of awards or get a perfect SAT score. But she is happy. To me this is one of my greatest achievements and I feel pretty successful as a parent.
Lastly, am I successful overall? The are so many ways to achieve success: Relationships, Job, Health, Family, Hobbies, Fitness, etc. The simple answer for me is: Yes. The detailed answer would be far too long to expect the average blog reader to get through. I am at a point in my life that I no longer concern myself with how others view me. I am satisfied and happy with who I am and all I’ve done. In the end, that is all that matters. So, yes, I am truly successful.
Do you see yourself as a success?
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Spring is in full swing here in Florida and I have been one busy bee! I have been painting lots of commission work and my print sales are at an all time high. I just spent a few days with my daughter in Sarasota for her Spring break which was fun and relaxing. But today it is back to work for me. We’ve been cleaning and doing some upgrades in our home. I do not comprehend the concept of “light” cleaning. It’s always “deep” cleaning because once I see funk or dirt, I MUST clean it! I cannot turn a blind eye.
How does this tie into “zen”? The urban dictionary says:
I have been experiencing the “zen” of cleaning. My focus is intense and both my mind and body are fully together in my tasks. There are no illusions here. Dirt and dog hair have infiltrated every pore of my home. “The house was dirty, the house is cleanish.” 🙂
Happy Spring Cleaning!
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Spring has sprung in Florida! The weather is absolutely perfect. The azaleas are blooming in glorious hot pink beauty. The grass is greening up. Bees are buzzing. My orchids are budding. And then there is the pollen. Aaaaaachooo!! Yup, I get allergies bad this time of the year and that sticky yellow stuff gets in my nose, eyes and lungs and I spend my time indoors or masked. If I venture outside I wear a hat (so it doesn’t get in my hair), a mask and glasses. I shower before bed and keep my sheets as clean as possible. It only lasts about a month or so like this, but it is a wait. What to do? Create of course! I love the LOOK of Spring and decided to keep it positive with this fun and whimsical piece today.
This work is a mixed media piece combining some of my Labor of Love paintings with a stock background and graphic elements. A real joy to put together. 🙂 Enjoy!
FOR A LIMITED TIME….Get this new piece for PEANUTS!! SALE!! Click the link below:
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I have really been branching out lately into new techniques and media. I do not know if it is peri-menopause, the rotation of the sun or just a new mindset, but I am feeling so much happier about myself and my work. I am finding myself a lot less critical and more open to the process of creativity. “Making a sale” is taking a back seat to “making a moment”. Yes….I am spreading my wings and it feels so good!
I hope you are having a happy Christmas….For many years of my life, I did not enjoy the Holiday. When I was 10 years old my Dad committed suicide just 6 days before Christmas…for me the Holiday lost all meaning and became a horror to get through each year….until…..I had my own child. My daughter is the most exuberant and festive person I have ever known. Everything must be decorated! She isn’t a materialistic person so simple little inexpensive gifts give her plenty of joy! Stocking stuffers are a favorite. She loves to bake and clean the house for guests. She makes cards and sings all the classics starting December 1st. Really there is NO way to avoid feeling HAPPY about the Season with her in my world!! She changed my life…and now Christmas is again Merry for me.
The piece above really expresses my life right now…me…my husband and our daughter…..Merry Christmas ALL!!
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Do you ever wonder if you are on the “right path” in life. Is something missing? Look at the list below and see if you can answer “often” to ALL of them.
1. I do things I love.
2. I get excited every morning when I get out of bed.
3. I feel accomplished when I fall asleep.
4. I have fun.
5. Things just seem to work out well for me.
6. I feel on top of my game.
7. I get so involved in projects that I lose track of time.
8. I have great ideas.
9. I use my imagination.
10. I feel overwhelmed with gratitude.
I have “often” felt all of the above on a daily basis, but haven’t lately and I find it is time to reevaluate what I am doing with my career, family and health. What I like to do when I get off track is sit down and write out a list with two columns. In the first column I write out all of the things I am currently doing that are not fulfilling, frustrating or unhealthy. In the second column, I write out everything I am doing that is fun, rewarding and healthy. If the left column is considerably longer than the right, I just make a decision to do more on the right side. It becomes my PRIORITY! I scratch off things on the left that are not necessary and add a few to the good side (things I would like to do). This gets me back on my game every time…..
Are you on the right path?
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I will be busy this week with family and Thanksgiving festivities….went down south today to spend some time with relatives who flew in from Colorado….It was a little chilly for a beach day, but this little girl was determined to enjoy herself. She was so caught up in the simple joy of digging in the sand when her parents graciously let me take a few quick snaps….aaaahhhhh I remember….