Tuesday, March 26, 2019

March Giveaway

🎉 It’s a giveaway time! 🎉 Enter to win a set of four coasters featuring my acrylic flower paintings 💐 🎨

To enter the drawing:
1️⃣ Like my page
2️⃣ Comment on this post
3️⃣Share this post with your friends
* Extra chance to enter by signing up for my email newsletter! http://eepurl.com/boPe61
* Must be 18+, US resident*
* Drawing open til Sunday 3/31/19 12pm.*
* Random winner announced on my FB page & IG story*
* You must do all the requirements to qualify, and I must be able to verify you shared the post.*

*This drawing is provided by Kimberly English Art, LLC and by entering you agree to a complete release of Facebook/Instagram and recognize that the drawing is in no way sponsored or endorsed, administered or associated with Facebook/Instagram. Good Luck! 🍀

You can shop all my drinking coaster sets at 💻: bit.ly/DrinkingCoasters


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Nebraska Farmers & Ranchers Flood Donation

After seeing the devastation happening in Nebraska due to the flooding, I knew I needed to do something to contribute to the farmers and ranchers relief. I have a limited quantity of my 2019 photography calendars left in stock and want to put them to good use! (I normally don’t have any left over but this year I listened to my husband and ordered more than usual. Which at the moment, I am grateful for!)

For individuals who would like to help with this cause and receive a calendar, donations start at $10 and increase in various increments up to $100. *100%* of the proceeds of the remaining calendars will be donated to the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation Disaster Relief Fund. I am offering FREE shipping to anyone outside of NJ (US only) Choose "FREE LOCAL PICK UP" during checkout. If you are local, they are pick up only. One calendar per donation. Quantities are limited.

If you wish to make a larger donation, please email me directly at: kimberlydenglish@gmail.com

Thank you for considering to help the farmers and ranchers of Nebraska!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Keynote Speech

I don't normally consider myself an inspirational person but I found out recently just how powerful it is to share my story. Last week I was the keynote speaker for the Scholastic Art Awards: South Jersey Regional Ceremony held at Appel Farm. Afterwards, students, parents, grandparents, and administrators came up to individually thank me for the speech that I had given and what they had taken away from it. I was so moved that I thought I would share the speech with everyone here on my blog:

Good evening, I am Kimberly English and I was asked to share with you my story of how I became a professional artist and art educator as well as provide guidance to encourage you to begin your own path into the arts industry. But first, I would like to congratulate you all on your outstanding artistic accomplishments being acknowledged tonight. Your talent and hard work deserves this special recognition and I commend your dedication to your craft. This is just the beginning to your promising futures.

It is a true honor to be speaking to you tonight in this capacity and I am experiencing a full circle moment. I grew up locally in Pittsgrove Township and my student art career began here at Appel Farm. When entering high school, I was chosen to be in the first class of the Salem County Vocational Technical School’s Art Academy held at Schalick High School. In my freshmen year, we had the opportunity to work with international artist Ava Blitz, here at Appel Farm where we helped plan, carve, mold, and construct the permanent installation: “Beauty and the Beast” ·A couple of years later, we returned to Appel Farm to work with artist Candy DePew to sculpt and create the clay installation now above Schalick’s auditorium doors. These were just a couple of the unique experiences I had while in the Art Academy that I will never forget.

How amazing is it that I am able to return to share my story and advice to encourage you to reach your full artistic potential? I am truly humbled. I believe that sharing my story and advice with you at this pivotal moment in your life will give you the clarity and inspiration to share your talents with the world.

After graduating 11thin my high school class, I received the NJ Stars Scholarship; two years of free tuition to my local community college. Since I was financially responsible for paying for my college education, I was extremely grateful for the scholarship. I began at Salem Community College where I studied Liberal Arts and focused on the sciences. I LOVED science almost as much as I loved art. I always knew I wanted to be a teacher but I never thought that I could obtain a job as an artteacher. I wanted to take the “safe” route that would provide me with a better chance at being hired.

When I transferred to Rowan University, I was awarded the NJ Stars II Scholarship: two additional years of free tuition. I declared as Biology & Education major.I will never forget this moment: Two weeks into my first semester at Rowan I was sitting in my Chemistry class when I literally asked myself: "What am I doing!?" It was almost as if I had woken up from a dream and realized I was not doing what I really wanted in life: Art. Right after that class I found out what I needed to do to become an Art & Education major. I had a portfolio interview and was accepted into the program.

After that moment, everything fell into place. I met amazing faculty members and friends who shaped me into the artist and art educator I am today. During that transitional time was also when I met my husband, my biggest inspiration and supporter of my artwork. While working as a bank teller to support myself financially, I also poured all of my time into my studies. In 2010, I graduated from Rowan University with highest honors. One month after my graduation, I was hired as an elementary art teacher in one of the top school districts in the state of New Jersey; 50 miles from my home where I knew no one. Out of 175 qualified candidates, they chose me. After settling into my new role, I asked the principal who hired me, “What made me stand out from the other candidates?” I was expecting to hear it might have been my GPA, Praxis score, or resume. He simply replied: “Your artwork.” In that moment I was so glad that I had taken the chance to follow my heart to become an art educator and that all of my hard work was recognized.

Although the commute was long, it was a dream come true to be teaching art and I LOVED the school where I worked. The years flew by with lesson plans, meetings, and professional development. I went on to become tenured and I also worked at Gloucester County College’s summer art program. During that time I had also gotten married and later was expecting our first child. I took my year maternity leave and we welcomed our daughter, Courtney, into our lives. With my new role as a mom, I knew working and commuting was going to be extremely difficult. With the full support and encouragement of my husband, I resigned from public school teaching. It was the hardest decision of my life but I knew it was the best for my family and myself.

But my story doesn’t end there. In the fall of 2014, when my daughter 10 months old and when half of our home was ripped off during renovations, I naturally thought it was the perfect time to start an art business. So I did. I began by offering painting parties, workshops, and started to develop a body of artwork that I entered into galleries. Less than a year later I was voted Best Art Business in Salem County. As it often does, time marched on and after a couple of years, we welcomed our son, Kent, into our family and finished our home renovation.

During that time I had continued to consistently produce artwork and grow my art business. Through creating and writing about my work, I found the purpose behind the beautiful landscapes I create. I now use my artwork to promote the active agricultural community here in southern New Jersey. I am passionate about creating artwork that honors the hard work and sacrifices that farmers make everyday. I hope to connect the larger, non-farming population and the people that choose to dedicate their life to agriculture.

My path to where I am today was not without it’s difficulties. I lost people in my life who didn’t agree with what I was pursuing or the changes in my life that I made in order to achieve my dreams. I also had to overcome many challenges that come with starting a family, transitioning to a stay at home mom and being a business owner. Through all of these hurdles, I kept coming back to the thing I needed the most: my art. Creating was my way of working through these issues and finding my purpose.

Anything is possible if you believe in yourself and your abilities. Everyday I am so grateful that I made the decision to change my path and follow my dreams of becoming an artist and art teacher. Which leads me to my favorite quote from Jim Carrey: “So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. You can fail at what you don’t want so might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”I hope that by sharing my story you are able to find connections and inspiration for your own life. In the next portion of my speech I will be sharing some tips and advice that I feel are very important for young artists such as yourselves, just starting out.

5 Tips for a Successful and Productive Art Career

College

If you decide to pursue higher education after high school, no matter what you major in, do not discount the value and opportunities that Community College has to offer. Most adjunct university professors also teach at local community colleges which gives you the opportunity to learn from the same qualified instructors. Dedicate yourself to your studies and the class credits will transfer to the university of your choice. When you enter the real world after graduation, no one asks where the first two years of your college education took place.

Your financial future and stability is extremely important and should be considered when making the decision of where you begin your college career. Student debt is huge problem many people face well into their thirties. Save yourself, or your parents, some money by taking your liberal art prerequisites at a more affordable per credit rate offered through community colleges. Thankfully, through the decisions I made and scholarships I received, I was able to pay off my minimal student loan less than a year after graduating. I strongly advocate for community colleges and know from my own experience how valuable they are.

Volunteer for Art Organizations

Take the time to help others in your journey of establishing yourself as an artist. Volunteering will often open doors and opportunities that wouldn’t be offered to you otherwise. By becoming apart of an art organization you will network with people in higher roles that can give you experiences to learn from and positions that will help further your career. Offer your services and time freely because what you give by serving others will come back to you ten fold. Some examples of organizations to look into joining are your county art league, education associations (if you plan to become a teacher), local art tours, art centers, galleries, and chambers of commerce.

I regularly volunteer my time to help promote the Salem County Arts in Bloom Studio Tour. By sharing my knowledge and helping to plan of the event, my artwork has been used in commercials aired on Comcast, in county wide tourism campaigns, and I have been offered numerous video and newspaper interviews. All of these opportunities would not have been awarded to me without volunteering.

Establish consistent time to work and write about your artwork
Life will become complicated and busy in each season of your life. You need to make the time and commit to your art practice to improve your skills. A small amount of progress each day adds up to a lot over time. You need to be creating artwork and exploring new ideas by establishing regular studio times throughout each day.

One of the most valuable tips for establishing a consistent time to work in the studio is recognizing when you are most productive. For me, I work best early in the morning. I wake up early to get a couple of hours in the studio before my kids get up for the day. However, you might be a night owl so working in the night might fit better into your life. Find what works best for you and stick with it.As your life progresses and changes, try to adapt to your needs while still striving to accomplish what you want creatively. Understand that it will definitely be a work in progress that constantly needs balancing.

Writing about your work is just as important as making it. Through this thoughtful reflection you will be able to articulate the meaning and purpose of your art. Blogging about my own work was when I discovered my passion for advocating for farmers with my paintings.

Online/ Social Media

In the history of man, there has never been a better time to be a freelance artist than right now. Having the capability to showcase your artwork online and on social media makes it affordable and easy to get started. These platforms provide you with the opportunity to share your story and connect with a supportive audience. Be genuine with your approach and share your process. Not everyone is gifted with your talent of creating artwork and most people find it fascinating to watch.

Using specific hash tags on social media can also get your artwork in front of influential people such as galleries and art supply manufactures. This in turn can result in features of your artwork to a much larger audience. For example, the paint brand, Liquitex, and art surface manufacturer, Ampersand Art, has shared my work multiple times because of my use of their hash tags.
Exercise

In order to be a successful artist, you need to make your physical and mental health a priority. Take the time to care for yourself and move your body; it will make you feel better while providing you with more energy and motivation.Exercise also provides the time to reflect on what you have accomplished and the mental space to brainstorm new ideas. It may seem counterintuitive to add another thing during your day, but I have found that exercise is a necessity for my creativity. When I started to add in regular exercise to my day, it greatly impacted my ability to get more done and stay focused.

These tips may seem simple in concept but I assure you that simplicity is essential for success. I hope you are able to apply these to your own life as you begin your art career. Enjoy your journey; appreciate the people who help you along the way, and work hard for what youwant. If you would like to stay in touch or to ask me questions, please feel free to contact me through my email or website. Thank you for listening.




With Alexis and Daniel from the Alliance for Your Artists & Writers


Tuesday, March 5, 2019

March Painting Workshop

On Saturday March 30th from 1-4PM, come celebrate spring's arrival by learning how to paint a spring wreath. The 3D pallet board is white washed and measures 12" x 12" x 1.75" with a jute string to hang up on your wall as soon as you get home. Participants can choose what color their flowers and buds will be.All supplies are included and light refreshments will be served. Class size is small to ensure everyone gets individual attention from the instructor and has an enjoyable experience.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Scholastic Art Awards South Jersey Keynote Speaker

I was asked to be the Keynote Speaker for the Scholastic Art South Jersey Jersey Awards evening to be held at Appel Farm. I am so honored to be chosen to share my story and experiences with talented young artists. I am also excited to return to Appel Farm where my art career began. It feels like everything has come full circle.

I was in the first class of the Salem County Vocational Technical School's Art Academy. During my freshman year we had the opportunity to work with International Artist, Ava Blitz, to create a permanent installation at Appel Farm. We took field trips to help carve, create molds, and pour cement to construct this work of art together. It was an amazing experience. You see the artwork below and can read more about the piece by clicking here. Later, our class also had the opportunity to work with Candy DePew on a permanent installation. We worked on sculpting the large piece at Appel Farm and it was then installed over our High School's auditorium doors.

During my speech, I plan to share my life experiences with the young art award recipients. I was also asked to provide advice for the students to encourage them into creating their own career path into the arts. I will be sure to share pictures and more about the experience with you!

Photo courtesy of Ava Blitz

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Painting Progression: Sickler's Mack

During the renovation of our house, we had to decide on either doing poured concrete or pavers for the walkways up to our home. Our contractor had us visit a mutual relative who had a selection of pavers in his yard for consideration. While we were visiting, my husband, Chester, and Frank Sickler, struck up a conversation and were catching up with each other. After looking at the pavers I spotted Frank's old Mack truck.

I was drawn to this particular truck because of it's red color, the headlight, and plant growing between the bumper. I thought the contrasting colors and various textures would make a striking painting. I love the character that old farm trucks have: the diverse colors, dents, and rust provide such a unique subject matter. Almost every farm has an old truck that no longer runs but still can be found parked out back. Can you imagine the stories they could tell if they could talk? It's definitely something I pondered while I rendered this painting.

Below is the painting along with the progression video of it's creation. 
Please leave me a comment, I'd love to hear what you think!





The original painting is available for purchase.
It is also available in archival prints, greeting cards, and more. Click here to shop


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

New Painting Reveal Party

I will be revealing my new painting on Saturday, February 16th from 10AM -11AM in the Tiny House Art Gallery. Come listen to a brief artist talk, see the painting, and watch the progression video. Refreshments will be served and a free keepsake will be given as a thank you.
Space is very limited, please RSVP at: bit.ly/PaintingReveal


February Painting Workshop

Join me to learn how to paint this sheep on a 7" free standing, rustic bucket in the Tiny House Art Studio. All supplies are included and light refreshments will be served for $25. Class size is small to ensure everyone has assistance and an enjoy experience. (Greenery not included).


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Music That Will Increase Your Concentration

Last week I wrote about how I stay motivated and focused as a full time mom and artist. Today, I want to share something along a similar line of thinking. Recently, I recognized a change I have made that has increased my concentration while working in the studio. Since I have short stints of time to work, having very focused sessions is extremely important.

Most, if not all, artists listen to music while they create. I enjoy listening to a wide variety of differing genres of music. If you looked at my pandora stations you would probably be very confused by the mix of country, acapella, heavy metal (thanks to sharing a room while growing up with my then gothic sister), alternative rock, Disney music, and more. I usually rotate between the diverse music stations I have curated over the years depending upon which stage of the creative process I am currently in.

However, I just started listening to a new music station that I have found to be very beneficial in my art making process: Instrumental music. While I was a studying for my Bachelor degrees (yes, I have two ;) ) I spent time at my mentor/professor's, Daniel Chard, home for small group critiques as well as summer intensive painting classes. While I was working within his studio space he would often listen to classical or instrumental music. And now I know why! It is extremely helpful in increasing concentration while painting.

If you are an artist or like to create, you know there is a certain mental state that you need to be in the make your best work. Personally, I have found that listening to instrumental music provides me with the opportunity to "get lost" in the process of art making. Instead of focusing on the words of a song or pressing skip to song I don't care for, the melodies and rhythms of the instruments enhance the experience.

I am so glad Pandora suggested that I listen to the Instrumental Chill Radio station. It's has definitely helped to improve the quality and amount of work I can accomplish in the studio. If you are on Pandora, give it a listen and let me know what you think!


Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Staying Motivated and Focused

I have been asked frequently by fellow artists and creative entrepreneurs how I stay motivated and find the time to make art while raising our young children. While I am flattered many people think I am accomplishing a lot, I sometimes feel like I am not doing enough. There is always more that could be done but I constantly remind myself that I am only one person with many responsibilities, just like everyone else. It is not easy by any stretch of the imagination! But I make my art practice and business a priority while still putting the needs of my family first. Below are some the strategies and systems I have found helpful in my art business practice that keep me motivated and focused.

Lists
There is no better way to keep me motivated and on track than a list of what I need or want to get done. I often joke that my lists have lists, which in all reality, they do.  I like to start my week by creating a "brain dump" list of all things I need or want to accomplish in the week. These things include household chores, errands, creative benchmarks, business items, and more.

Then, I organize my week by assigning my to do's to each day of the week. I try to group similar tasks on the same day or on days that I know I will have the time to successful accomplish those tasks. For example, if I know it's going to rain one day coming up, I'll schedule cleaning or paperwork for that day. If it's going to be a beautiful day, I'll run errands. You get the idea. I try to set myself up to be the most productive so I can check tasks off when completed.

This year I decided to combine my yearly business notebook (where I brainstorm ideas) with my planner. I purchased the Big Happy Planner in vertical format and it has been a game changer! Each week has space for my "brain dump" session and each day of the week has a section so I can designate which day I do certain tasks. I love that I can take the pages out and pop them back in place when I am done. You can view the planner I am using this year by clicking here.

Exercise
I know it seems counterintuitive to add another thing onto a never ending to do list, but exercise is a necessity for me. When I started to add in regular exercise to my day, it greatly impacted my ability to get more done and stay focused. By taking time for myself and moving my body, it makes me feel better about myself while providing more energy and motivation to get more done.

I also equate my exercise time to my once long commute when I was a tenured art teacher. I would drive 50+ miles one way to work and it provided me an opportunity to reflect and think. My drive was the best time to prepare for my teaching day by mentally going through all that I needed to accomplish when I arrived. I also had time to think of ways to improve my teaching and dream up projects. Now that I am a full time mom and business owner, my exercise time provides me with that same mental space to think and reflect about what I need to do or want to create.

Working Time
Another way that I stay motivated is by setting regular studio working time. Being a full time mom, it's hard to find the time, so I make it! I carve out nonnegotiable time to paint around my family's needs. For example, I wake up early to get an hour or two in the studio before my kids get up for the day. I also work after they go the bed. Even if I am exhausted after a long day, I make myself work to take advantage of the studio time. It's definitely not easy but it's easier to stick to a designated work schedule to keep myself focused.

Finding the Best Time
Another productivity tip I have discovered is to find the best time that I can successfully do a particular task. For example, I tried to exercise first thing in the morning. However, I quickly found out that it wasn't the best time for me do so. I performed better in the afternoon and could exercise while my kids played. That in turn freed up my early morning to paint in the studio before everyone else woke up.

I also categorize tasks by what I can do with my kids and what is best done with my full attention (i.e. painting). I usually run errands or clean the house with the kids. I save emails or other business related tasks for when they are sleeping or playing independently.

As my family grows and changes, I try to adapt to their needs while still striving to accomplish what I need creatively. It's definitely a work in progress that constantly needs balancing. I find it fun trying to figure out how to fit everything in. If you are an artist or business owner, how do you stay motivated and focused?


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

January Workshop Sold Out

The January Snowman Plate Painting Workshop on Saturday, January 19th from 10AM  - 1PM is sold out! Thank you to everyone who registered to join me! See you all then!


Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Donation to the Salem Tech FFA Chapter

Last year I debuted the first version of the Salem County Farmlands calendar and donated a portion of the sales to the Woodstown FFA Chapter. It was very well received and I decided to improve upon it and offer the calendar again. Some of the improvements were adding 3 more pictures per month, including the locations for each photograph, and information about myself and a selection of my paintings.

For 2018, I chose to donate $5 of each calendar sold to the Salem Tech Future Farmer's of America Program because I want to continue to help local students who are learning to become active members of our agricultural community. Yesterday, I presented the Salem Tech FFA Chapter with a check donation from the calendar sales. In total, 113 calendars were sold and a donation of $565 was made! It feels so good to give back to one of my high school alma maters. For those that don't know, I graduated from Arthur P. Schalick H.S. AND Salem Vocational Technical H.S. I hope this donation helps them achieve their goals and further their education in agriculture.

I am so thankful for everyone who purchased a calendar to give as a gift or to have for themselves. Every purchase is truly appreciated! I hope that both my paintings and photographs can ignite a sense of pride in where we live and an appreciation for the spectacular landscapes that we live upon. I also want to highlight the hard working farmers that dedicate their lives to agriculture and inspire me so much in the artwork that I create.


Presenting the donation to the Salem Tech FFA Chapter

2018 Salem County Farmlands Calendar

If you are a farmer in Salem County that would like to be a part of next year's calendar, please click here to fill out the form

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Looking Back on 2018 and Ahead to 2019

Happy New Year! I wanted to reflect on 2018 and ahead to 2019. This past year was not as productive as I had hoped to be with the loss of my Grandmom. I spent most of the year coming to terms with her passing and helping my family. I am so grateful for all of the support that I have received this past year from customers, the community, and people who follow me on social media. Below is a list of my accomplishments from this year and the paintings that I made.

Looking Back on 2018

Awards
  • Creative Capital Artist Professional Development Series - May 2018
Collaborations
  • Worked with Alyson Stansfield at the Lancaster Mastermind Workshop
  • Raised $565 for the Salem Tech FFA Program with the Salem County Farmlands Calendar
Exhibitions
  • Pitman Gallery & Art Center Member Show - December 2018
  • Second Annual Holiday Open House - December 2018
  • Pitman Art Stroll, Pitman Gallery and Art Center - September 2018
  • Salem County Arts in Bloom Studio Tour, Exhibiting Artist - May 2018
Festivals
  • Hen's & Honey Fall Extravaganza - September 2018
  • South Jersey Rollin Rods Car Show at Bellevue Winery - September 2018
  • Woodstown's Fourth Friday - June 2018
  • Bast Brother's Spring Festival - April 2018
Publication
  • South Jersey Biz, Issue #4 - April 2018
"Growing Undercover" - Acrylics on Gessoboard - 8" x 10" by Kimberly English © 2018

"The Nameless" - Acrylics on Gessoboard - 12" x 12" by Kimberly English © 2018

Adding onto an existing mural

Looking Ahead to 2019

My big goal for 2019 is to create more art! I want to continue to expand my acrylic portfolio with more agricultural landscapes, vintage trucks, and farm animals. This year I would like to revisit my original medium of choice: drawing. I thought a great way to do that is through a 30 day drawing challenge where I will create a drawing everyday for one month. I even thought I could share the process of the drawing challenge via social media live feeds. I am hoping it will provide me the opportunity to be more creative, fulfill my need to teach, and reach a different audience that I have previously with my paintings.

Thank you for your continued support of my artwork. I look forward to sharing my creations with you throughout the year!