Monday, February 27, 2017

Pitman Gallery & Art Center

A very good friend of mine told me about The Pitman Gallery & Art Center right as they were beginning to launch. I quickly logged onto their website and learned more about them and was immediately excited for all of the opportunities this gallery would be bringing to the South Jersey area. They will be offering art openings, classes, studio space, as well as public and private events. I signed up to be a member artist and can't wait to work with them in the future!

The Pitman Gallery & Art Center is located at 59 S. Broadway Avenue Pitman, NJ and will be holding it's inaugural opening reception this Friday, March 3rd from 7-10PM. recently wrote an article about how the gallery came to fruition and can be read by clicking here.

Click the image below to learn more about the artists and the venue! I am planning on attending this Friday's opening, are you?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

How Becoming a Mother Made Me a Better Artist

Contrary to what most people would think, becoming a mother has given me the opportunity to be a more creative person. I am lucky enough to be able to stay home and raise my children as well as pursue a career as an artist. Since becoming a mother I have found ways to enhance my artistic interests by noticing more natural beauty, painting more often, and improving my time management skills to be super efficient.

Noticing More Natural Beauty
I have found that motherhood is made up of tiny moments strung together. Within those times spent with my children, I have had the opportunity to slow down and enjoy not only them, but the beautiful things that surround me everyday!

While outside playing with my kids, I often find small details that I probably would have never noticed before. Since my phone is usually handy, I like to capture photographs of those details that often last for nothing more than a moment. Most of the pictures that I take often end up being subjects of my paintings: flowers, sunsets, animals and landscapes. Below are some photographs that I have taken during our walks to the farm or around our home.

Painting More Often
Before I was a mother, I would often find myself yearning to create art, but as a tenured art teacher with a long commute each way, I didn't make the time to paint (besides classroom samples). 

As a mother, I have learned that you really do HAVE to make time for yourself. Since my husband works long hours, I found that creating art is a great "escape" from my everyday responsibilities without ever leaving the house. The best chance for me to work is during nap time or after they go to bed which provides the biggest chunk of uninterrupted time to paint.

Improved Time Management
To me, being an art teacher is about 75% logistics, time management and prepping. Directly after an observation, my principal (then new to our school) was so impressed with my ability to utilize time and organization to get so much accomplished with elementary students.  He stated I achieved more in 40 minutes with kindergarten students than anything he'd ever seen in a high school block scheduled setting. I never thought I could get better at these skills as I had them mastered in my classroom.

Fast forward to being a stay at home mom, I have fine tuned my ability to use time and priorities to be super efficient. (I could probably write a blog post just about this topic). I now categorize tasks by what I can get done with both children in tow, with one child in tow, and when both are sleeping or playing independently. This includes: household chores, errands, creating artwork, and business responsibilities. 

Some days I conquer the world, both personally and professionally. Other days I'm lucky to squeeze by. But I've learned that's motherhood, in all of it's strange glory. 

I'm so thankful for my beautiful children (you'll have to take my word for it as I don't post their pictures on the Internet 😉) and all that they have brought into my life. But most importantly, I am forever grateful for all they have taught me thus far and what they will continue to teach me in the years to come. Of all the works of art that I create, they will always be the most breathtaking masterpieces of my life.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

My Forever Valentine

A lot of what I do would not be possible without my forever Valentine, my husband, Chester! He's my biggest supporter in everything that I do, especially my art. He's the first to hear my ideas for new paintings or business ventures and is quick to ask "why not"?! He is always right there to help me accomplish anything, whether it's building something, accompanying me, being my figure model, or just listening and sharing ideas.

Even when we were dating, he was a tremendous supporter. He helped the art ed majors build the children's garden outside of the education hall at Rowan University. He would often take me on four wheeler rides around the farm to get photographs for college painting assignments.

Now that we are married with children, he helps by taking care of the kids so I can teach classes, take photographs or paint in my studio. I couldn't be anymore grateful for all that he does!

Taking a ride on the planter 2009 for pictures

Figure drawing of Chester's torso from 2009

Building the Children's Garden May 2009

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Painting Progression: Autumn in Daretown

On Election Day 2016, I took my then 7 month old son, Kent, with me to run some errands. After voting, I stopped at a client's house to take photographs for their commission. On our way home, I took note of the beautiful sky and passed a grouping of hay bales on the side of the road in Daretown. I was so captured by it that I had to turn around to get a photo. Below is the painting progression video

"Autumn in Daretown" - Acrylics on Gessobord - 5" x 7" by Kimberly English © 2017

Prints are available for purchase, click here