In 2019 we bought a new home and I finally had a backyard I could make my own, any way I wanted, without permission. At the same time I was given the challenge of creating an art project for the newly established Vans Checkerboard Day for me and my family to accomplish. November, 21st 2019 was the inaugural day of celebrating creative self expression. To learn more visit the site here. The first thing we did was create the idea of a mural on one of the plain back cinder-block walls of our yard. I wanted something simple enough that others could help me but also something bright, cheerful and inviting. I can see the wall from the kitchen window and I knew I wanted something I would like to see first thing in the morning as I got my morning coffee. So we came up with the idea to create a multi-color sunrise.
I headed down to the hardware store and picked out some pastel but bright colors and had them make small cans of each color. I picked up some roller brushes and tape and I was set. I washed down the wall and laid out the tape in a pattern of a geometric style sunrise. Then I had a few helpers paint in each section. It was a one day process and very stratifying at the end. Now I have a great view of a sunrise every morning and a great background for photos. Sometimes the simplest ideas give the biggest impact. It is important to not let time, complicated ideas or self doubt stop you from being creative. Go out and create your art any way you want and can!
We have a new addition to our household, a baby boy. I have been neglecting my art business to spend all my time with my new bundle of joy. Slowly I am getting back into the swing of things and I now have two new art classes I am teaching at a local indoor play area for children. I am teaching toddler art and story time art. Just being able to get out and create and teach a few hours a week has been great, but truthfully, every moment away from my sweet baby is really hard. I can not wait to be creating art with him.
I had a hard time coming up with my V for my alphabet series. I just wasn't sure what I wanted to do and most things that started with V were things I would not eat like, Vienna sausages or veal. Then I thought about how much I loved vanilla and how I could and would eat plenty of foods that started with vanilla. I decided on vanilla pudding because it is just so good and I use it in a strawberry shortcake recipe. I really like pudding and I am really upset that they no longer have pudding pops for a hot summer day. To view items featuring my vanilla pudding please visit my Society6 shop.
I have created a coloring club at the Family Store (listing on my art education page) for people to get together and just relax and chat and color. Coloring takes us back to a time when we just took time to be creative and have fun. When people color they get to let go of the expectations of how they draw or how creative they are and they just have fun. My coloring club will take place once a month. People can bring their own food and drinks and favorite coloring book. I will provide the coloring supplies and coloring sheets featuring my illustrations. Take some time out to act like a kid again.
I will be hosting a night for adults to get creative and make some art together. My date night is for couples or just friends to let go about their fears of "I am not creative" or "I can not draw" and having fun in a friendly environment. Contour line drawing is so fun to teach because it teaches people to really see what they are drawing and just let their eyes guide their hands. The finished artwork is always a little funny looking so there are no expectations of how perfect the artwork has to be. Everyone will have artwork to take home. Bring your own snacks and beverages. Thursday, June 22nd from 6:30 to 8pm.
Go to Family Store to sign up!
Udon soup is the next illustration in my Alphabet Food series. Of the limited list of foods that start with U I picked Udon because it is such a comforting food to have in the winter. I especially like it during the holiday season at home while I am watching a Christmas movie with my family. I love noodles and these noodles are so yummy. When I was looking up photos to get inspiration from there were so many varieties and toppings but I just wanted to go with the classic. Have you ever tried Udon soup?
I am now offering a new after school workshop at the Family Store, Long Beach location, called Art Adventures. We will be doing a new art lesson each week that will explore the elements and principles of art while also giving students a chance to explore their creativity and artistic expression through a variety of materials and themes. This workshop is for ages 7 through 12 and will be every Thursday from 3-4:30 pm at the the Family Store. Go to the link to sign up.
Have you ever read a story book and thought to yourself "I want to create!" ? Well now is your chance. I will be leading a new workshop on 1st Saturdays at The Family Store in Long Beach, Ca. Story Time Art Saturdays are a great way for you and your child to be creative together. Have you noticed how children are not scared to try new things and be creative. By creating artwork with your child you may find that sense of freedom with your creativity you may have lost long ago. For my first workshop I will be reading the story book The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. We will create artwork based off the story together as a group. Parents and children will be working together to express their creativity and explore art techniques. See you this Saturday and every first Saturday of each month!
Visit: https://www.shopfamilystore.com/collections/workshops/products/story-time-art-saturdays to sign up.
My Etsy shop now offers digital downloads. That means you can download a file of my illustrations to print yourself at home or send to a local/online printer. This option lets you control the type of paper and size you want to print out. Add a nice print to your kitchen, office space or your child's room.
Just a note, colors on computer screens will not exactly match each and every printer so colors will show up a little differently.
Drawing myself can be challenging but when I draw myself in my illustration style I have fun because I think of all the little things that I could add to make it uniquely me. I had to have my cats up in my business, trying to walk over my artwork or get my attention in some way. I added my art materials haphazardly strewn about the table to capture my process when I paint. I added small pinned up versions of my completed works, some that you might recognize.. I made sure to add an artist stereotype of a black beret in my hair. And I made my expression a friendly and laughing one because I love to laugh.
When I draw portraits of people I like to know as much as I can about their personality and unique traits so I can capture the perfect mix of all those things that make that person stand out to others. I love when people look at an illustration and point out everything they notice that is "So that person!". My illustrations are not about making the portrait look just like someone, it is more about getting to the heart of what makes that person special and recognizable as uniquely them.
Heather Norris is an Art Educator, Illustrator, Graphic Designer and Fine Artist.