Monday, March 14, 2016

about that Etsy shop...

Almost every night lately, you can find me stationed at my kitchen counter, working on paintings for my new Etsy shop. Most people who hear this are like, "Wait, your what? You have a what, now?" Dude. Yes! An Etsy shop, where I sell my (get ready for randomness) watercolor paintings.

It seems totally random because it is. I started messing around with watercolors after a Pinterest binge one day in December, and I was instantly hooked. It was harder than I'd anticipated - learning how the colors work, how to get letters and sizing right, how to time everything so I don't get dry splotches and runny corners. I started posting my final results on Facebook and Instagram, and I got a few requests for custom paintings. And then a few more requests. And then I bit the bullet, asked my friend Tanya a slew of Etsy-logistics questions (her Etsy shop's been booming for years!), and created some listings in a shop that I named Primary Lights.

Most of the painting requests I get are for song lyrics or quotes for children's rooms, which I think is such a cute way to personalize a nursery or bedroom.

{lyrics: Woody Guthrie}

{lyrics: Paul McCartney/John Lennon}
{set of 3 for a nursery. lyrics: Paul McCartney/John Lennon}

There have also been requests for quotes that are totally personal - so much so that I can only hope the customer explains the backstory. Otherwise, I may never know.

{from this short film, which is so awesome}

And there are also quote requests like these, which are definitely not for the nursery. They're great for your cubicle, for your BFF, or, I don't know, your bathroom wall. Wherever!

{from the movie Mean Girls}

My absolute favorite paintings to do fall into two categories: random custom colors, and portraits. Often people will request a shade that isn't in my watercolor palette, and I love messing around until I can get it just right. These two are separate requests for the same Beatles quote, both for nurseries; one needed to be minty-blue; the other, peach.

As for the portraits, I've painted both kids and pets (from digital photos, using a photo light/shadow transfer technique and then filling in with watercolors)...and I can't stop looking for photos of Rowan that will work perfectly.

So far, I've made paintings for new babies, older children, husbands, sisters, grandmas, and friends. They're hanging in nurseries, offices, hallways, and master bedrooms. They've been gifted at baby showers, 25th-anniversary parties, birthday celebrations, and for Valentine's Day. 

And my own tiny apprentice looooves watching me - but not as much as she loves making her own paintings:

Rowan always asks who each painting is for, and after hearing me say so many times that a painting was for a baby's room - Baby June or Baby Rosemary or Baby Pippa - she decided that we all needed paintings for our rooms...and that she was going to paint the one for my room. Love it. (I'm lazy and haven't actually hung it yet, but I will!)

"Here's blue, 'cause it's your favorite color, Mama! And
here's brown, because it's pretty next to your blue."

She asked for paintings for her own room, which was a little tricky. I'd prefer to find the just-right quotes from the just-right songs or books and use the just-right colors, but Rowan was driving that train. She chose the colors (my favorite color, her favorite color, and - who knows why - pink), and we ended up doing three: two with the phrase I say to her a million times a day, and one with a quote she randomly says ("I like kind!" - meaning she likes it when people are kind to each other or characters do kind things in her books), which I think is so endearing.

Head on over to the Etsy shop if you're looking for a birthday gift, a baby shower idea, some new d├ęcor, an anniversary present, or a Mother's/Father's Day idea (portrait of the parent with the kids?). You can completely customize your own painting, or you can request one that's already posted - either way! And thanks so much to those of you who have already purchased paintings, because I'm seriously loving flexing a different facet of my creative side.

[P.S. For those of you who are wondering, how my no-candy experiment is going: It's 8:00 on my first day without candy, and I'm just not sure a life without candy is quite as bright as a life with candy. But I haven't caved yet. YET.]



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