Suzanne Vadnais Monson's Blog (21)

16 Of The Most Colorful Steps Around The World

I just love things like this! There is something about art spilled over a staircase that inspires me. It's everyday art you encounter as you go about living your daily life. I am longing to do something like this on a staircase I have!…

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Added by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on May 7, 2014 at 1:23pm — 3 Comments

Developing a work of art into something I love

Here is one of the paintings I've been working on developing for a few weeks now. I wanted to keep the light playful feeling that I was trying to capture when I first spilled the watercolor out across the page in an art class where I was demonstrating watercolor painting techniques. 

I absolutely love what happened when I added the black sharpie. It's the first time I applied this free-form painting style to such a large piece. It was a little overwhelming at first, and now I am so…

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Added by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on May 4, 2014 at 11:38pm — 4 Comments

In the act of being creative we come up with all kinds of ways...

In the act of being creative we come up with all kinds of ways to give life to the ideas rattling around inside of us. Sometimes we have the time to fully develop and explore an idea when it springs out and wiggles around on the page in front of us. And sometimes we do not have the gift of time to develop these ideas. 



I used to get frustrated by this, which would often lead to trying to finish something and rushing and ruining the…

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Added by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on April 29, 2014 at 7:30pm — 4 Comments

Keeping the art I'm developing in front of me

If your life is anything like mine, you have multiple demands on your time. In my case there's a new job, an aging mom I'm caring for, and art classes to teach and prepare for. It can feel impossible to find time to create art and this is the challenge: Find ways to put art in your life in simple daily ways!

So this is one way I do this: I place the art work I am in the process of developing in different spots in my home where I will "bump" into them as I go about living my crazy busy…

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Added by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on April 19, 2014 at 6:37pm — 3 Comments

How to Get Back on Track When the Going Gets Tough

When I’m feeling stuck in a rut I reach into my art supply drawer to see what I can find to get back on track. One of of my favorite tools is writing a personal manifesto. It’s been my experience that everyone benefits from writing a personal manifesto no matter who you are or what you do. The simple process of writing one is empowering. It's bigger and more profound than a values or purpose statement or a mission / vision statement - it is a way of focusing your energy and attention. A…

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Added by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on November 2, 2012 at 1:13pm — 1 Comment

What Goes in to Judging an Art Show?

I was asked to judge the art exhibits for an art show in my community last weekend. It was a gorgeous autumn day in the St. Croix Valley and we had 150 booths set up on the River Walk overlooking the St. Croix River.

We had everything from photographers to digital art, pottery, dichroic glass art, and abstract painting. There were gorgeous fabric collage handbags and hand carved stone tools. I wish I had taken pictures, but unfortunately there was no time. We just barely got through…

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Added by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on October 14, 2012 at 3:23pm — No Comments

What Goes in to Judging an Art Show?

I was asked to judge the art exhibits for an art show in my community last weekend. It was a gorgeous autumn day in the St. Croix Valley and we had 150 booths set up on the River Walk overlooking the St. Croix River.

We had everything from photographers to digital art, pottery, dichroic glass art, and abstract painting. There were gorgeous fabric collage handbags and hand carved stone tools. I wish I had taken pictures, but unfortunately there was no time. We just barely got through…

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Added by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on October 14, 2012 at 3:17pm — 21 Comments

How to make art out of anything!

I had the afternoon to myself in Interstate Park. My little backpack held lunch, a journal, colored pencils, a digital camera, and a small towel – everything I needed for the day. Following the irresistible pull of the St. Croix River, I began walking along the cedar and pine scented path that is the Skyline Trail. The bustle of my busy morning fell away, and I felt a wonderful solitude as the only person on this long, winding trail.

All of a sudden I was skipping – something I hadn’t…

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Added by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on July 23, 2012 at 3:40pm — 2 Comments

How to Make Collaged Artist Trading Cards

I have been obsessed with Artist Trading Cards (ATC) since I began experimenting with making them a few weeks ago. Here’s what I’ve discovered:

  • ATCs are small works of art, measuring 2 ½ X 3 ½ inches. They are about the size of a baseball or playing card.
  • Anybody can produce ATCs.
  • The goal is to trade them at ATC…
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Added by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on March 7, 2012 at 9:52pm — 5 Comments

A Week of Cabin Fever Insights

Ok, so I took my own advice and spent 15 minutes each day last week collecting one thing each day that made me smile.

Here’s my list from the week:

2/15 : fabulous support from friends at The Art Colony

2/16: saw a snowy owl

2/17: rescued an injured bird

2/18: helped a friend in need

2/19: made an “island” for the kitchen from recycled materials

2/20: made a delicious meal with my sweetie

2/21: went for a run in the sun

2/22: had…

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Added by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on February 22, 2012 at 8:09pm — 9 Comments

Reinventing Cabin Fever Step #1

I choose to live in rural Wisconsin, a part of the United States that dips below freezing for a good stretch of time, usually from November through March. Here in Wisconsin we actually keep track of the number of days the temperatures falls below freezing and the minutes of daylight we lose each…

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Added by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on February 15, 2012 at 12:22am — 4 Comments

A four-step emergency rescue plan for your 2012 goals!

Here we are midway through January, managing our time wisely and making headway toward achieving those goals we jotted down on a cocktail napkin on New Year's Eve. We know what it takes to manage a project and how to break it down into pieces to create do-able smaller steps. And we are really clear about the benefits of formulating a strategic plan to help keep us on track. Of course we took the time to actually plug this plan into our calendar, to remind and motivate us to keep our eyes on…

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Added by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on January 18, 2012 at 6:18pm — No Comments

How to have more holiday spirit AND more time to indulge in making art!

I leave a work of art I am currently developing on a portable drawing board leaned up against the wall in my kitchen. Next to this is a bin of colored pencils, oil pastels, sketching paper, blending stumps, pieces of old cotton shirts and a sheet of watercolor paper with small dabs of various color samples with notes of the color name or number for quick reference. In short, everything I need to dive in and work on this particular work of art at a moments notice.…

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Added by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on December 4, 2011 at 3:41pm — 4 Comments

Drawing Inspiration from Nature

I took a trip to one of my favorite places last weekend hoping to get the chance to capture some of the fields before harvest. I lucked out! The weather was perfect for snapping nice clear shots and I even had the opportunity to do some sketching on…

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Added by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on September 18, 2011 at 4:39pm — 3 Comments

The Magic of Making Art

 



It’s been a while since I gave myself permission to take the time to make some art. I’ve been busy. Really busy. The amount of time I spend at my “day” job, the one I work to pay the bills, often eclipses the 60-hour mark. And then there are the creative jobs…

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Added by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on September 3, 2011 at 3:03pm — 2 Comments

Feeling Stuck? Play Your Way to a Better Place!

 

When I’m feeling stuck, I look for ways to give myself permission to play. Think of this blog post as a  kind of “get out of jail free card"! Scroll through until you find something that feels like a lot of fun and do it. Don't wait. Just…

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Added by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on July 17, 2011 at 3:18pm — 6 Comments

Some of my favorite art supplies are rocks!

Rocks have been my favorite art supplies ever since I can remember for some really simple reasons:

1) Rocks are free

2) Rocks are everywhere/easy to find

3) Rocks are very solid/hard to break

4) Rocks have a nice weight which makes them perfect for pockets or paper weights

5) Rocks will last for a very long time

6) It is easy to draw and paint on rocks

7) Anyone can make art with rocks

8) It's fun to imagine where a rock has…

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Added by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on July 3, 2011 at 11:30pm — 10 Comments

How Do You Begin a Work of Art?

IMG_0537 I captured this gorgeous “Chicken of the Woods” mushroom walking through one of my favorite state parks last weekend. It would have been really tough to sketch this in the moment. For one thing, it was raining! For another, the mosquitoes were really bad!…

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Added by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on June 19, 2011 at 1:47am — 13 Comments

Running Down a Dream: How Did you Get Started?

Following a dream is something many of us ponder. We start out with great excitement and a maybe a little worry or fear. But mostly we are gung-ho to be setting out on our path toward being or doing something that fills us with inspiration. What is your big dream story? One of my favorites is about becoming an artist.

I have been exploring art making for most of my life.…

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Added by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on June 5, 2011 at 5:22pm — 12 Comments

Here Comes Summer!

Here in Wisconsin, as we approach Memorial Day, one thing is clear: warmer days are just around the bend. We're like a bunch of school kids unable to focus as our teacher tries to get one last lesson in before the…

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Added by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on May 23, 2011 at 11:30pm — 4 Comments

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