I have to use the phrase branching out, right? I can use so many phrases because of the tree theme, and I will do my best to use every one of them.
In this case, I am referring to growing my brand into something a lot more than an Etsy shop. I have employed the assistance of a professional. A graphic artist specializing in logos and branding. I found him on the site Fiverr.com I have used this site before and was happy with the results. Honestly, I did very little research because this particular person was one of the first listed under the subject of Logos. A few things caught my eye with his intro. He claimed to create a “story logo”, his example was a tree, and his profile picture was him sitting on a fallen tree near a beautiful forested area. This was a no-brainer, right? Well, the results are beautiful.
As an artist, one might think I would design my own logo. In the beginning, I did. If it wasn’t obvious, surprise! For me, there was more to it than just drawing a tree and putting my name under it. I needed something that represented the shop’s name. I decided that it didn’t need to be my tree because I don’t typically draw or paint leaves, but I am branching out in this case. I am delighted with the results and pleased with the figure off to the side in a meditative position. The colors are perfect, soft, subtle, and calming. I have blue, green, and a perfect shade of beige that looks distressed, adding a bit of age to the image.
Along with my new logo design, I have added 6 new bookmarks, 4 of which are a “Tree Hugger” series, and 2 of the small sizes. For 5 of these, I decided not to add any tassels. I had a customer order a bookmark to be personalized without a tassel and thought maybe I could do some without. I like the results.
As you all know this is where I cut out. So, until next time.
Taking on art and spirituality. At least learning how to. For a long time now I have been wanting to know why I have been drawn to trees. As I mentioned in my last post of how I got started, I have often wondered why they showed up in my life. Something I didn’t talk about and that is what I did before I started with trees. Doodle. That’s about what I did. I sketched little things, like Holly Hobby, gulp! remember her? Nothing of importance or significant. Just doodling.
So, here I am going on 30 years of drawing trees. I have tried being philosophical about it but that isn’t my strong point. I am rather a simple minded person, I don’t understand complications. Meaning why have we made everything so difficult? Why is this human life such a struggle? My answer; because we made it so. Each person is an individual of expression of one. One of my favorite quotes, “We are not humans living a spiritual life but a spirit living a human life” -possible credit given to Dr. Wayne Dyer per the Quote Investigator. This simple quote has changed my perspective of life. For me, it turns every situation around.
Strange enough when I was writing this I was listening to an audio from Dr. Sue Mortor. She is an author, speaker, teacher and a doctor of Chiropractics. In her audio she talked about life being difficult and explained it very well. It is more than I want to explain right now so we’ll save that for another time.
So, let’s talk about art! I have released a new set of note cards. Again they are a set of 6 different designs. I have added a kraft brown envelope to this collection. I think they turned out very nice. Here’s the pic.
I have also updated some images on my Etsy and website. I had a busy day they other day with my photo shoot. I created about 28 videos, one for each bookmark and one for these new note cards. Each video is less than 15 seconds. This one is a favorite, having a bird in a tree with the birds in the background was brilliant!
These are my updates for now. Thanks for reading and watching and talk to you soon.
It was the summer of 1989. I graduated cosmetology school (hair school as we called back then) in March and was working at SuperCuts honing my skills and soaking up all the free education they offered. I lived in Wichita, Ks. I just moved into my own apartment in June. It was a renovated 3 story Hotel and I lived in a studio on the third floor and paid $175 a month. I was happy.
I was working full-time, had my own apartment and took the bus to work. My apartment building was just a few blocks from the river that ran through the middle of Downtown Wichita. I felt like I was getting settled in and it was time to start drawing again. About 3 months into my 6 month lease there was a leak in my studio roof and it rained on my drawing table I had set up. I talked to the landlord-who by the way was a fabulous gay friendly girl with dark hair and was very funny- she gave me a one bedroom on the second floor as compensation.
I am settled in again, my cozy one bedroom with no furniture except my daybed and warped drawing board. It was an open concept layout. As you walk into the front door it was open to my living, dining and kitchen. Straight ahead was a wall with narrow windows on each side. To the left was about 2 foot of space and to the right was my walled kitchen and the door to the bedroom and bath. I placed my daybed against the wall in between the windows. There was nothing in my bedroom but a small dresser.
I am now ready to draw something. I wanted something different from my usual tools, paper and pencils. So I bought 3 stretched canvases. Two of them measured 3 ft by 1 ft. the third, was a 10 by 12 inches. I laid them on the floor in front of me and asked myself out loud “WHAT DO I SEE?”
A tree trunk came to mind. Not the whole tree, just the trunk part. I thought “OK cool, I’ll draw a tree trunk” I positioned the canvas to start drawing length wise and grabbed my gel black ink pen and started drawing. If you don’t know anything about an artist canvas, then let me tell you, it’s very textured. So getting a smooth line on it is impossible. But that was OK because I was drawing a tree, they’re not smooth either.
I had no idea what it was going to look like or how big, I was just drawing a tree trunk. I went about my daily life and would draw in my spare time. I don’t recall having a TV. But I do remember listening to Hiroshima, Enya on my Walkman cassette player and laying flat on my back with the lights out and candles lit and just meditating and breathing. I really had no idea what I was doing, it just felt right at the time.
612 E. Douglas, Wichita, Ks. 67202
I found this image courtesy of Google Earth. Looks like they are still renting out as apartments. I looked at their site and prices have gone up. A studio starts at $599. And of course they are completely remodeled.
After I finished the tree trunk I thought “Now what?” I used the second canvas and turned it length wise parallel to the first piece and started on the branches of the tree. Fast forward a few more months and it’s time time top it off. A total of nine months later and after multiple ink pens I now had a finished drawing. I had completed my first tryptic art piece.
So that is how I started drawing trees. All three canvases were completed I later sold it for $275. I hope it’s doing well.
As I continued to draw my trees, I was determined to only draw with ink on canvas and paper. As an artist of any kind, you will get people that will offer suggestions all the time. I was reluctant to take any of them. I continued to draw in black and white for years. Until one day I looked at my work and thought, “wow this is really old school” I started experimenting with other techniques.
There you have it. My exciting story of how I started drawing trees. Now here it is September of 2020 and I am still drawing trees, only now they are a bit more colorful. I now paint with acrylics and use colored inks as well. I play with texture, like a home made paste with baking soda, glue and white liquid acrylic paint. Here are some examples.
Honestly, I am feeling like this took way too long to write and this is where I tend to just drop off with my stories. But, before I go, Let me tell you something. I sometimes look at my drawings and think “Holy shit! did I do that?” I think I could have gone to school and improved my skills a lot better then being stubborn and thinking I should be able to do it naturally without structure and instruction but I haven’t. So here I am, doing more intentional drawing and creating then I ever have. And I am happy.
A non-stylized shot from my desk. Even my computer is open as I am writing this post. For the first time in my life I believe I am truly doing what I love. It has taken me years to get to this point. Not that I wasn’t doing what I liked prior but I think it becomes about being fulfilled as well. I have always been a creative type of person. After being redirected as a high school student because of advice from a math teacher telling me to pursue something other than architecture due to the lack in math skills I had no idea what to do. I found myself going to a local community school for Fashion Merchandising, after completing that I now had a diploma in which I could work at a Dept. store dressing windows. Next…
I then enrolled into hair dressing school. This felt like a perfect fit and it was for a very long time. From 1989-2007. I thought it the best of all worlds. Interacting with people, being creative and the multiple avenues that it offered. Everything from working behind the chair, educating, instructing, platform artist, colorist, product sales to owning your own shop. (I never did) I spent my first four years in Kansas, where I obtained my license and then moved to Vegas in 1993. My license transferred to Nevada and it was easy to get a job.
My artwork was always in the foreground, it was never a large part of what I did. Not until after I was laid off from my “Salon Manger” position that I enrolled into a leadership class and pulled out my artwork and started showing it off. I got some great comments and feedback and then I would create gifts for people, such as cards, and small drawings. At this point I looked into showing my artwork around Vegas, Anything free or a minimal charge, like $25 for a submission. I was doing this to get exposure and feedback, not to win but to face my fears of rejection and maybe not being a good artist. I was and still consider myself a self taught artist with no formal training, just a few classes here and there. As I was becoming more comfortable showing off my art, I still pursued other avenues to generate and income.
My first attempt at doing my own thing was a key chain a friend and I created and started a website and tried to sell to some friends I knew that had small retail shops. Here is a photo of the key chains.
Getdusted was the name of the company. Little vials of dust and glitter based on the name of the key chain.
This lasted about 6 months until I gave up. I keep them around as to remind not to give up again.
So for the next several years I attempted different careers such as; obtaining a mortgage license, Real Estate License, random retail and even the Las Vegas Strip positions. Even a couple of attempts to have my own studio/gallery and an online drop-ship store. (also tree themed but all imported) It seemed like no matter what I was doing I couldn’t stop thinking of how and what could I be doing on my own.
Let me fast forward to 2020 as not to bore you to death about my misadventures. It’s February and I watch a YouTube video of how this girl is closing her shop on Etsy. She talked about how it -Etsy- was changing and that it wasn’t fair and so on. At that moment I thought to myself, this is one view point, I bet there is another. And there was. Stephanie Cole-Lewis had just the opposite view point. She talked about not paying any attention to the negative comments as Etsy and any other platform is going to change. The second point was “It can still be done” meaning you can still make great money and follow your passion as a hobbyist or artist or any handmade business you choose. I subscribed to her channel and have never looked back.
So here I am in the beginning of September of 2020 with just over 50 sales from Etsy since opening my shop in early April. Side note; I actually started a shop in October of 2018 and never followed through with it. When you look at my shop and it states open since 2018 and see that there are only 52 sales, I thought this might hinder my starting out but not at all. I could have opened another shop and started from scratch but analytical me thought it would look good being open at least two years longer.
It really all started to come together when I followed my heart. I know for a fact that everything I have done up until now has been about avoiding my “Tree Art” When I created the name “The Healing Tree Studio” it was about the healing process in every aspect of the word. Not just mentally and physically but emotionally, spiritually and self acceptance and awareness. It’s about healing as a human species, a planet. Healing from the scars of regret, remorse, anger, resentment and not following your passion. Now that I have open this flood gate and exposed myself I think we can start talking about some real shit from now on.
Hi! I hope everyone is doing well and staying busy and safe. I am going on four months of being furloughed from my job. Quite frankly it has been a great welcoming to slow down and focus on what I love. I know not everyone is in the same situation but I think I have taken advantage of an opportunity. I live in Las Vegas, so I know it has been hit hard. I used to work on the strip and recently changed to a travel industry, specifically the cruise ship industry. I believe I am supposed to go back the end of September. It has already been postponed from the end of this month. I really don’t see us going back -us being the last two groups hired from last Sept./Oct. 2019 groups- I watch, rather I read some of the news and watch what is going on in the cruise world and have my doubts about going back in September. Personally I would not go on a cruise anytime soon. Like not until next year!
Anyway, here I am in my new studio space and loving it!. We are still working on the rest of the house but I have time to do some art. Speaking of art, I have made some Christmas/Holiday cards. I am just teasing you because I am not ready to show them off. But I do have some new bookmark art and redesigned note cards to show you.
These are my first note cards that I added to my shop. And they did not do so well. I had words of endearment without the borders. I had a few views but no sales. So I redesigned them. As of this posting I have sold 3 sets already. So I think that was a good idea.
I have also started on a smaller bookmarks, these are 7 by 2 inches. The original bookmarks are 11 inches. I think they will do well once I have some more options available. They are the same design concept, 100% cotton canvas, acrylic and or watercolors and custom wood or glass bead tassels.
Almost half the size but still adorable.
Then there’s these beautiful full size pieces. The photos came out stunning!
This has been my week of creating. I will have my Holiday and Christmas cards available soon. I will keep them as a set of 6 with white envelopes. I have found new packaging for them, it’s a Kraft brown box with a acrylic window. I like them better and easily recycled. Gotta save the plastic trees.
Yes, the rumors are true. My art studio is ready to occupy. This has been the longest flooring install ever!. It’s all in the prep work and having the right tools and patience. It really would not have taken this long but it is our first time and frankly it turns out we did not purchase the best quality of product. But it’s all good.
So, between the all of the challenges and other projects going on I would say I am very happy with the results. New wall colors, new flooring. Painting all the trim, baseboards, closet doors, ceilings, new hardware; door knobs, towel, toilet paper, hand towel racks and shower curtain. Along with new bedding, pillows, area rugs. I believe I am all set. There is always something new to buy and some need to fulfill but all in time.
Since I don’t know what I need in my studio until I start working and realize “hey I need this or that” I am working with what I have. My work station in a folding table, which I like because I don’t want anything to big or heavy that I can’t break down and move. Did I just say move? EEK! Here is a little secret, I have asked Karol if I could occupy these rooms for 1 year, as I want to leave Las Vegas. I am in two months of my one year goal already.
Among all this new flooring I have been getting ready for the Holiday season with my Etsy shop. I will be adding some new sized bookmark art, new greeting and note cards and ideally I would like to add some gift sets. This is a lot of work to do in a short period of time so we’ll see how this turns out.
The entrance to my studio space.
My studio space. Approximately 10′ x 11′
And there you have it! My new space for The Healing Tree Studio. For the next 10 months of my life this is where I will be. Creating, drawing and painting and living the dream. I do have some details to finish but it is obviously ready to occupy.
I recall in an earlier post that I mentioned the wall color and misspelled it. It is Oyster Pearl, that is and will be the color for the entire house. I love it. I painted the ceilings and closets, and all trim and doors a very white called Cameo White. New brushed stainless for all hardware. The baseboards were reattached using a nail gun and chalking strips and gun. The actual flooring is a laminate click-in floating floor. I have a couple of transition pieces to fit into the areas going to the bathroom and the “bedroom” area. The floor is lower then the tiled floor of the bathroom so it requires a custom piece. Overall I give it a “A”. So what do you think?
The bedroom is done as well but I still have some tools and table in there and it won’t make for nice photos so next time I will sneak those into my post.
A new card collection has arrived. In fact two new sets have been added to my Etsy shop and my online shop. I started to do a full set of 6 note cards with a yellow-green back ground but stopped at 3 and will double up on each one to complete the set. I titled this set “Sharing The Pond”
My second collection of note cards I have titled these “Other Worlds”. As I was painting the canvas for them I was watching a science fiction show and thought I wonder if they have trees on other planets and what would they look like? So I named after my thought process.
As for the floors of my new spaces let’s just say, it is a longer undertaking then thought. We have back tracked a bit to even the sub flooring, it is not bad but uneven enough to make a difference in the planks not fitting properly. I keep mentioning peel n’ stick flooring but it keeps getting bunked. UM?
Where do I begin besides telling you I am not done. Waiting for the flooring to come in. July 23/24. Although the flooring isn’t here, I still need to do some minor touch ups. This reminds of being in Mexico. When I was in Puerto Vallarta, I had seen a lot of unfinished houses on the water and someone said to me that “they’re on Mexico time, it gets done when it’s done”. We took a shore excursion to a small unfinished building that was eventually going to be a bed and breakfast type of place. There was about 12 of us on this little boat and as we pulled up to the place it clearly was not habitable and still under construction, I asked the guide how long have they been working on it and he replied, “four years”.
Meanwhile back in my bedroom/studio, I am getting cramped. I am doing my best not to purchase items until I move. I am keeping up on supplies and the basics of running my shop but it’s sometimes difficult to pass up a sale on shelving and tables and all the cool stuff that I envision for my studio. Speaking of being cramped, prepare! I am sharing some photos of my current environment.
Yes, I do clean up before going to bed, but this is what it looks like when I am working. Gulp! So you can see I have limited space to add anything. You would think I would be in a hurry to move working under these conditions.
So here are the updates on the two rooms and other projects that keep me busy.
A few weeks ago a friend of mine asked me to do some custom bookmarks and a set of note cards. She wanted them for her parents birthday’s that are a month a part. They live in Colorado on a property surrounded by trees! This was a great project for me and perfect timing.
Another project that came to me was a commission piece for hanging art. I’ve done a couple for this friend a while back but she was ready for something for herself. I finished and delivered that this week. It’s been a minute since I have done anything on canvas, since my shop opening in April. I have been so focused on bookmarks and note cards, it was strange at first but of course it’s like riding a bike. The photos below show the progress of how it started to the last photo is the finished art.
Along with all of these projects I have managed to come up with some new note card designs. I think I may have two sets of cards. This first set is of three different designs and will be a card set of 6 with two of each card. The second set is still in progress but I am sharing what I have so far.
These are my projects keeping me busy these days. I will have the new cards listed on Etsy and my website, TheHealingTreeStudio.com by next week (July 27th). I just received notice the flooring is in. We are headed to the store here shortly. So, stand by for funny pics coming soon.
Super excited to share some updates on my new studio space. It has been a couple of weeks since my last post but here are some pics. Turns out we are doing the floors after all. Surprise!. We were going back and forth about keeping the carpet or not.
Off to the floor store. I don’t have a photo of the flooring but it is a laminate material and we are doing it our selves. Something I didn’t want to do but some how got tricked into being excited about it. The flooring has been ordered as it was not in stock. This has given us time to finish and painting details and of course remove the carpet and prep the floor properly.
That is where I am at with my new rooms. The flooring will take about 14 days to come in. The 23rd of July is when it is scheduled to arrive. Because of this change in flooring, it has caused a domino effect. These two upstairs bedrooms are attached to a small hall landing area which is attached to a master bedroom, which is attached to stairs, which is attached to another landing. In short, it doesn’t stop. When completed we will have new flooring in four bedrooms, two landings and a flight of stairs. Along with new paint in the whole house, new fixtures and lighting in the kitchen.
I’am thinking this might have started when I asked to move upstairs into those two rooms. What lesson have I learned here??
As far as my art and Etsy shop, things are going well. I posted on social media my new cards and they have been well received. I have also picked up a couple of commission pieces to do. One wall hanging and one order for customized bookmarks and a set of note cards for a couple that live in Colorado.
Below are the images of the new note card collection. I have updated the amount of cards. A set of 6 notes cards with white envelopes and packaged in a clear acrylic box then wrapped in tissue paper. I will post images of the commission work when it’s done and sent off. I don’t want to spoil the surprise.
I wanted to write something since I missed last week. so this is what I have been up to. I hope to have my commission pieces done and sent off so I can post those pics. I think I am looking to move into my spaces the first two weeks of August. Or third! How ever it works out I am beyond excited. Working from my bedroom is getting real tight. I am sleeping with my artwork.
NEW PAINT! new ideas and exciting new beginnings. With some paint experimentation I believe we have finally found a beautiful color. Oyster Perl is the winning paint color. After painting it a blinding white named Cameo White, and then playing around with 5 other colors we decided on a creamy soft white.
Both the bedrooms were an olive green with a flat finish so there was no gloss or reflective qualities about it. Looking back now it’s not the best finish for a a bedroom that may need wiping down. The new color is a semi-gloss finish so it has a beautiful sheen to it.
These are not the best photos but it gives you an idea of the difference. The original “stark white” that was originally for the walls, we used as a ceiling and closet paint. So that is the difference is colors in the Oyster Perl shot.
OK, so not the best photos but I think you get the idea. Something I have learned in this painting process is the paint color-the new one looks different all over the house. It is a two story facing south with windows facing the south and west side. The new paint, Oyster Perl, was chosen for upstairs and a different color for the downstairs. Depending on what color of surface it is going on it has a different undertone. What is going to be my bedroom was painted with the bright white and then the Oyster Perl over that. The photos above show Oyster Perl painted straight over the green. Although all the paint is a Dunn Edwards One Coat Paint Semi-Gloss Sheen, they will reflect slightly different tones.
After the walls are finished comes the trim and doors, although painting doors can be tricky, I think I can manage. I have closet doors and entrance doors. Ugh!
The bad news is, we are not doing the floors as of yet. Budget cuts. My roomy decided to focus on what is cost effect now and still make some improvements. All good with me as she thinks we could of tackled the floors. Double gulp on that one.
After the two bedrooms upstairs, I have one bathroom to do, which is split into a vanity area and the toilet, shower space. I just may be a contractor when I am done.