There were about 100 creative women at the Michaels Makers Summit and I wanted to get to know everyone. It was a whirlwind and that didn't happen. But there were many I did connect with. They made an impression even if the visit was short.
I thought about how that works. How and why does one connect with someone else you just met? One reason stood out to me - people shared their story. Sometimes I didn't even remember someone's name but I could describe them by the adventure, drama or funny experience they shared. It didn't have to be a big story it just had to be their story, something that happened in their life circle.
Our stories help shape others stories. We remember them. Like these stories I heard this week...
@phyllisadventures - who's works for whole foods and teaches kids to create (and inspired a young boy excitedly venture into cooking) and is taking her first solo trip down (or up) the coast after Michaels Makers Summit
@gentrygygi - Her family watercolor business where they're all creative and she once traveled through my state and spontaneously stopped off at Missouri Star Quilt Company (near my town) and even though it was closed on Sunday just had to get out to walk around
@ucreateblog - hearing her tell of her fave movies/shows and how when each one came up her eyes would light up and she'd say *that* was her very fave, so fun
@melissmia - who loves her life and job of creating, traveling, having experiences all over and feels blessed that all of her loves (or at least heavy likes) came together
@amyrobisondesign telling of her getting a new Shilouette and becoming a design contributor but seeing her amazing gift to be able to strike up a conversation with anyone, ask all kinds of questions and jumping right in with the sharing
@kim_geiser_studios and her ready laugh, wanting to create poolside, her colorful bracelet and her awesome jewelry necklace stamped with "passion" that she seems to live by
@idknowhowshedoesit - being so lovely, talking about her family, her name (Gloribell) being a combination of her mother and grandmother's names and sharing how certain brands send certain products (and @kim_geiser_studios getting them shipped to her house) that you'd never want to blog about
@damasklove who shared her hiring story with HSN & American Crafts, how she works in the middle of the night, and seeing how she's a natural in front of the tv camera
@hissyfit_inc - giving out "makers gonna make" felt patches and @blendingbybetty giving out pins, mine says "dreams", both making their little gifts themselves
@crizza03 - how she encouraged Martha Forbes in class and helped set up her Instagram account (@theplaidlama)
@prettyprovidenceblog - shared a story of someone she knows (she might not want me to say who) accidentally left their gun (conceal carry permit holder) in their bag as they went through airport security and ended up in jail
@theartandsoulshop - being an admitted extrovert that was coming down with something and had to lay back (a hard thing for an extrovert) near the end
and @idknowhowshedoesit, @thedesignconfidential, and my artist/christian friend for listening that first night to my story (the one I didn't intend to share and ended up sharing a few times) about Leila dying and learning what creativity means to me.
So many more - @smiley_carolyn, @KsCraftShack etc etc etc but I must stop! All lovely women.
See. Stories stick. They touch people. We remember them. So, share vulnerable. Share bold. Share funny. Share hard. Just SHARE YOUR STORY.
I had some ideas about how I thought the 50th Birthday Celebration would go but didn't know exactly. At first I thought I wanted to do 50 paintings of individual people. But, after seeing that you sent in more than one person per photo I changed it to 50 portraits or 50 faces in 50 days. (I said I'd be flexible.) That way I could paint couples or multiple people and still reach 50. I liked that change even though it wasn't my intention to begin with. So, I've finished 50 faces in 33 paintings.
It's been a great challenge to do this. I've spent at least 125 hours painting these portraits. That's 12 and a half 10 hour days, over 2 work weeks, or painting day and night for a little over 5 days. I've done images I wouldn't have usually tried, I have images I can use for my portfolio, I've pushed myself to paint, and I got to celebrate with some fine people.
Here is my last portrait for the celebration. I haven't done a self portrait in about 7 years. I don't much like to but I think I will every birthday, it's a great record.
In the beginning I said that I wasn't giving the paintings to those who turned photos in. Actually, when I started I didn't know what I wanted to do with them. I just started and thought I'd figure out the details later. And, I've figured it out now.
For those who participated and want, I will give everyone their painting with a couple requests.
First, if you live far away and I have to mail the painting, go to my website here and pay for shipping. I'm doing a flat fee of $12.00. Your's might be less than that and other's will be more, this is so that I don't have to worry about a separate price for every single painting. This also saves me from spending a few hundred dollars on shipping; that wouldn't be much of a celebration for me to do that. If you don't want the portrait it won't hurt my feelings. I've been through some rough art critiques before so I'm pretty tough.
Second, if you live near by, I invite you to my 50th Birthday Celebration to pick up your painting. It's an Open House type of celebration from 7-10 pm on Friday the 31st. (8567 NE Crouch Road) This way all the paintings are out of my studio in a quick time frame.
Third, I'd like you to send a donation for a local Cameron charity, click here. I haven't decided between the women's shelter or the food pantry, or to split it. But, what we gather this week I will give. So, by Friday night you can make a donation ($25, $50, $75) here. I usually never sell a painting for less than $800 so this is actually a good deal. If you are totally strapped and can't make a donation the painting is still yours.
If you didn't get a portrait but just enjoyed the journey and want to be part of the Celebration Donation you can help too. Just go to this link as well.
So as the 50th Birthday Celebration comes to an end, I just have to say THANK YOU to all of you who were brave enough to send in photos and those of you who just liked seeing the new paintings. Either way, it's been a fun 50th birthday celebration for me. I hope it's been for you as well.
Before you go you might want to check out this post. To continue the fun, there will be some collaborative, artsy experiences every Friday.
These are sisters. The photo I worked from wasn't the best and I think that the one girl on the left really had some teeth missing but I couldn't tell for sure. So, she got some teeth. Hope it's okay that I took creative license.
Nearing the end to the 50th Birthday Celebration. Tomorrow, I'll tell you how I'm going to wrap it up.
Here's today's 50th Birthday portrait painting. Logan and Erica. I have a few things to fix on it but I'll do it when I get home. Having FHE at Leila and Sky's home right now. Hard to believe I finished this before 3 am. Nice.
Painting #27 for my 50th Birthday Celebration. The photo for this painting was sent in by Kathryn as a tribute to her friend who passed away this week after his battle with cancer. A thoughtful gesture and remembrance.
Here's today's 50th birthday celebration portrait. Dacia's darling baby. Loved doing it, some are so easy to paint.
Just to let everyone know, I haven't done the high res photos yet. It takes some work to do that and make it all the right color, etc. But, I will be doing that at some point then I'll send you the image. And I have some ideas about celebrating at the end but I'll tell you about that later.
Time to upload images on to Shannon's Studio FB page. Read this post about how-to.
This painting is from a photo I didn't even know was sent in. I didn't find it until I went looking for another one and stumbled upon it. I've been sent photos in a lot of different places and for whatever reason I didn't see this. I think this is such a cute one. It's pretty old, from a couple that was married 40 years ago, I think. We just celebrated our 30th anniversary last week. Being married that long you simple hardly remember a life without your spouse, at least for me. Anyway, it's the 22nd painting.
Oh, and apologizes for not posting a painting yesterday. It's not that I didn't paint. I did. I just didn't paint any portraits. I did the rest of the 17 temple box accents that I needed to finish. That story is here.
Started late again with the portrait today. But it's done, minus Trudy. Sorry Trudy, I really wanted to do a male face since I haven't done any, that's why he won out. Trudy posted her photo on my Shannon Christensen Fine Art Facebook page if you want to see it.
Some of you are being a bit shy about uploading an image on Shannon's Studio FB page. Don't be. The worse thing to happen is that I don't get to it. That's it. So, read this post about how-to.
My Sam sent this in. My portrait 8 of 50. The 50th birthday celebration goes on. Upload an image on Shannon's Studio FB page and read this post to be considered.