That’s a question that I would never again answer flippantly. If I have learned nothing else from the past year and a half it would be that no one can predict what will happen next, and speaking thoughtfully and truthfully has value beyond measure. It has been incredibly hard, even debilitating and life changing for … More Are you OK? Yes, I believe I am.
It’s that time of year, after being inside for the Winter, we can start getting outdoors and taking vacations and exploring again. Covid restrictions are letting up as people are getting vaccinated and being out and about in parks and it feels pretty normal. As for my husband and I, the semester has come to … More Plein-aire as a part of my summer outings.
I can get wound up on Fridays because I know it’s the weekend and I can play in my yard and I can play at my easel and do various other fun things. I get excited. Yesterday, I also had a pretty unusual Friday at work with projects, visitors, conversations and work challenges that left … More The Captured Memory.
Mankind, by our very nature, has a tendency for various rituals and belief systems based on honoring those who have gone before. Over millennia, these have been based on our theology or cultural norms and personally, having been raised in a Christian based belief system that designates heaven as the hoped-for goal, I grew up … More Honoring those who we lose.
I have always had a tendency to follow the rules. I don’t say that with any embarrassment or boastfulness, it just happens to be my tendency. I believe that in order to be a fruitful member of society we all need to follow some rules. When I was little I knew that I was supposed … More What are the art rules, actually?
We often use the term, “long range planning” as a way to establish a series of actions – a plan so to speak – that allows us to organize a sequence of events over time to achieve a goal. Strategic plans and project planning and project management are all part of that action terminology. I’m … More Long range planning.
No one, especially not an artist, can ever say that they have become who they are without the influence of everything and everyone around them. It is a continual evolution, and I have to say there are times when it’s more and less evident in my life, but it is always rewarding! You have walked … More Influences
This is just one of those lovely, early Spring mornings when I woke up without the alarm, had a great breakfast with someone I love, and got to spend some time at the easel while thinking about the drive last weekend. This time of the year the snow is melting off and you can see … More Easing into Saturday morning.
The conversation that I mentioned having had in the last post, challenged my comfort zone. That is a good thing. When I am challenged I do not view it as an attack but rather as a welcomed catalyst for change. My friend, an accomplished plein-aire painter himself, suggested that I choose one subject (such as … More Growing Pains – the next step.
Regardless what it is, it is always interesting to me when I reach another of life’s directional markers. I am always surprised. Even though subliminally I knew another tectonic shift was coming because I was paying attention and I knew it was about time, I am surprised. I don’t necessarily like change. Change equates to … More Growing pains and fire hydrants.
It’s sad what our society has deemed beautiful. It it has become synonymous with youth, or body type, or any number of other societal designations. I looked at our wedding pictures and even put one up in my social media page because it’s fun to see us on our wedding day. As I looked at … More True Beauty is Ageless.
Sometimes that’s a really hard thing to do. It takes tremendous effort, actually, and it feels very selfish. It is also very important. We see a country in turmoil. We see a plague ravaging the world and reinventing itself to expand the threat. We see people turning against each other to assign blame in a … More Finding Happiness.
In following with the theme of play that I have been talking about for the last several posts, I wanted to say that for me, play in the studio does not always mean taking paint to canvas. Working with miniatures is something that I have always enjoyed but it has been years since I’ve truly … More Stretching my mind, another way to play.
From the time we begin to engage in our world as a small child, and then start school, we find those who will admonish us if we spend too much time daydreaming. We’re told to be practical, pay attention, focus, make a plan, and develop stick-to-it-tive-ness. These are all quite admirable of course and necessary … More Dreams and Play.
Following in the same venue of taking concerted steps towards slowing down, resetting, and choosing to move ahead on a more optimistic path, I’ve decided to simply play again. I guess if an artist decides to methodically paint with a common theme or statement, those works can be considered a series. I don’t know that … More Fun memories.
So as I think about what I need to do to sort things out I immediately remember something my dad used to tell me over and over when I would get overwhelmed. If I had a lot of tasks at hand looking like insurmountable challenges, he would quietly say, “… just stop. Take your time. … More Take Your Time.
Nothing is easy right now. Trying to look objectively at each of the instances affecting my life recently, from the small daily challenges to the national level events, everything feels harder to sort out and deal with than usual. Twenty twenty was admittedly a really hard year and the year at hand looks to be … More Troubling Times.
Here it is the first weekend of a New Year and because we still don’t have the opportunity to run out and play easily, we are home. The quiet time actually lends itself very well to thinking. I agree, thinking is something that we profess to do continually but I’m referring to that deep consideration … More Thankful.
Today is New Year’s Day and our thoughts turn to new beginnings, and making changes to our lives. No, I’m not going to start talking about diet and workout routines, and my own promises are things I will probably keep to myself. Quite honestly, I think that all of our personal lists going into 2021 … More The new year ahead.
In less than a week we will begin a new year. We are always hopeful that somehow this invisible line in the sand caused by the flip of a calendar will somehow cause a miraculous shift to the better. The excitement and hope that we all experience causes us to make a plan, make a … More What might the new year bring?
As this most unusual year comes to a close, let me take this moment to thank all of you who have followed and supported me as I share my art. May you all have a blessed Christmas and may the next year be one of peace and hope.
Gosh, I miss spontaneity. I miss road trips to wander off grid with little pre-prep. I miss unrestricted play. I suspect I will never take those things for granted again. Until this year many of us struggled to make time in our busy schedules to set up a weekend play date with friends, or pencil … More Looking forward to a return to more spontaneity.
There has always been a romance affiliated to the act of correspondence. We are intrigued by the images in paintings of a woman sitting at a writing desk, pen in hand, writing a family member or sweetheart. There is evident body language and a transparency of emotion in her face that yearns for reveal. This … More Correspondence.
On this day, the first of a long holiday weekend designated for giving thanks, I find myself spending time at my easel thinking, painting and praying. My thoughts are all over the place, and prompting emotions that range from a gentle low sigh to fleeting angry criticisms. I am exhausted, anxious, and drained and wish … More A Grateful Heart.
The fall had come up on us with all of the color and beauty and blustering nature that we have come to enjoy and respect here in the Midwest. In these northern parts there have been cold nights and even the first snows and we realize how fast this year has passed. What a year, … More Thinking ahead to Hogmanay.
It is already the 31st of October, Halloween, Samhain, and the threshold of the Winter season. My goodness how this year has flown. Now adding to the day, we find meteorologists telling us about changes in weather, clocks that need to be changed, and we look to observe the 2nd full moon of the month … More Mile markers and celebrations.
We are all feeling anxious for this year of 2020 to be well over our left shoulder, to be sure. While it is true that all of the strife, challenges, and restrictions may not disappear magically at the turn of a calendar page, I look forward to forcefully declaring to this bedeviled year to be … More Looking forward to my own first footing for an improved new year.
What an incredible time of the year fall is. Everybody I know right now is sharing pictures of fall colors, tracking where they’re the prettiest, and going for rides to see what they can see. Facebook is awash with shots of fall foliage in brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows from all over the country. This … More A glimpse of His palette.
Just to be clear, this post is not referring to the accidental or arson fire that can devastate people or property, but only on the personal or utility fire. There is definitely something mesmerizing about a fire. We watch the colorfully dancing flames, the glowing coals, and the golden shadow-light. We breath in the wafting … More What is it about a fire?
As a participating artist in the 72nd annual Greenwich Village Art Fair (virtual this year) I welcome you to my website. I consider myself an emerging artist in the Rockford area (or a re-emerging artist at the very least). Let me encourage you to explore the site, especially the menu above with information and gallery … More Kelly E. James – participating artist
Continuing in my theme of exploring the beauty that is around us in the Midwest, I decided to look at the photos I had taken on my recent drive and saw another one that struck me. There is just something beautiful about the wonderful farms nestled among the rolling hills in southern Wisconsin and northern … More So much more to see.
There is something really beautiful in all of the landscapes from every part of this country. It is easy to be awestruck by glorious mountain ranges, huge canyons, or amazing seascapes. We take pictures of saturated sunrise or sunsets over our favorite spots be it hillside, lake or ocean. We marvel at the color and … More Late summer in the Midwest
Painters must first just continue being painters. There is a great deal of discussion every day about varying perspectives and beliefs of the changes or modifications to our behavior necessary to carry on with our lives. I’m not here to debate any of those stands but only to share my thoughts on myself as an … More Carry on!
I do miss people. Oh I know, I’m seeing people at work and in the stores but one of the things that is missing the most in this time in my life is how much I miss the variety of good conversation. I had no idea how much sitting with someone and talking about things … More Need for Good Conversation.
Interesting day today. As I’ve continued to think about some of what I talked about yesterday with regards to allowing myself some grace, I was made very aware of another important component to help correct my unfruitful patterns – the kind word from someone else. I mentioned yesterday that the facilitator, in essence, gave me … More The Power of a Kind Word.
I was in my summer school online class this morning and the teacher said, “I want you all to put in the chat box what you’re feeling, or if you have a particular focus at the moment.” Many of my fellow classmates said things about a work project, or plans for the weekend. A few … More Take time for what’s important.
I had to go to a doctor recently. The why of it doesn’t matter so much as some of the questions that I was asked while I was there. I don’t recall ever having a health care professional ask me questions about my emotional well being as much as they did that day. I was … More Pain has a thousand faces.
Sometimes we make the most noise when we are crying for quiet. In fact, we make so much noise seeking quiet that we can’t hear it… or should I say, recognize it. These are such usual times that we’re living in right now. I know how I feel and it is hard. I am confused, … More Listening actually needs quiet.
Saturday mornings are a great time to just take a minute, relax, and think about places I’ve gone. I pour a cup of coffee and kick back in the recliner on the back porch. The light is soft and crystaline and bounces off the dew on the ferns, making a galaxy of stars on the … More Traveling from home
I love to take photos. Photography is an art form, and a source of inspiration, and a tool to document and keep. Anyone who knows me knows that I can almost be annoying with the way I try to capture moments of my daily life with my camera phone. I’m not just talking about those … More Capturing fleeting moments with paint.
I paint for enjoyment…. for personal pleasure and love of color and light. I also paint to find my peace. I paint to remain calm. I paint to find my way through my racing thoughts and to articulate the emotions that flow through me like an undisciplined mountain stream. And I paint to pray. I … More Hope must prevail.
We sometimes like to speculate that we understand the complexities of life. We may even brag that we have a handle on what all is going on around us. We try to make everything binary, black or white, an either or scenario. There’s a confidence in that thinking that tries to make things as simple … More Simple, or not.
Ordinarily, this time of the year reenactors get together in great celebretory encampments all over the United States to talk history, smell good wood smoke, buy fine wares from historical craftsmen, and catch up on what everyone has been up to. History lovers have such a wide variety of special interests to bring to the … More Missing our historical friends.
There is no great philosophical meaning or story behind this painting. I needed to paint, and I didn’t know what to paint, and my palette needed cleaning, and what was left was limited… so I decided to paint a luna moth. Then I realized I was bored with it and started to run off the … More More fairie folk, or painting daydreams.
“Make peace with imperfection”. This is one of the phrases I took away from an online teaching group discussion I attended today. While certainly a true phrase for trying to deliver content in an online teaching environment, especially if the transition has been rapid and without warning like this Spring has been, it hit me … More Workflows and other new regimes.
Yes, it is Spring. Ordinarily I would be camping periodically and enjoying the sound of the Spring peepers, bird song, and other wonderful springtime sounds. I miss them. I understand that these are such unusual times that we are living through and camping is not on the agenda. I know that this quarantine too shall … More Peepers, and other Spring sounds.
So like many others here in the United States, we are staying at home. I am in a fortunate position to be working from home, but there is also a portion of the time that I have here in the house that is clocked out. At that point, I am Kelly the artist instead. When … More Remembering vacation travels
Each day we are confronted with waves of contradicting information and its hard to know what to believe, or do. Science tells us to stay cautious and vigilant to preserve our health and the health of our co-workers and loved ones. Our national and regional administrators tell us both that “all will be well and … More Thought, prayer and choice.
It’s not easy to be creative when you are under a lot of stress, especially the uniquely complex stress connected with this virus. I sure know that. Our natural tendency is to worry about our health or the health of our loved ones. We worry about our jobs. We worry about the immediacies of food … More Finding peace by turning to my passion.
We could have never imagined the scenario that we are currently living through. The world is under siege from an unseen virus and from a rigor of our own self realizations that we are actually flawed and fragile creatures that survive only because we are part of a larger whole and overseen by a higher … More Difficult times.
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