Friday, September 28, 2012

Paint Party Friday: Week 29, Year 2 Check In Featured Artist: Sadee Schilling


image courtesy of Sadee Schilling

Welcome to Week 29 of Paint Party Friday (Year 2) and to the next edition of our Featured Artist Series! (Would you like to be a PPF Featured Artist? Please click here for details!) This week's featured artist wows us with her watercolors, mystifies us with her mixed media, and pleases us with her picture book style each week.  Please welcome Sadee Schilling from A Picturebook Life!

Please tell us a bit about your personal history with painting. (When did you start painting? How has your painting evolved since you first started?) Drawing was always my favorite thing to do when I was growing up. I painted a little during my art studies in high school and college, but I didn't fall in love with it until the year after I finished graduate school. My first job was teaching English to high school students, which I both enjoyed and hated at the same time. The work-load of this specific position was more than I had bargained for, especially for a first-year teaching job. My husband and I had purchased a fixer-upper house the spring before I started teaching, so the thing we did to let off steam was to renovate the house. We had layers and layers of retro wallpaper to peel away, so we ended up needing to slather all the walls in the entire house in joint compound to cover all the scrapes and holes...it was like endlessly frosting a cake, or like impasto painting!

image courtesy of Sadee Schilling

I think it was slinging all that mud and paint around that began to awaken the artist within me. I was overwhelmed and exhausted by my job, but I was suddenly finding all of this creative energy fighting to get out! So I started making a few canvases for friends and to decorate our home. Then my husband and I did kind of a crazy thing and moved to Colorado--without jobs or a place to live (other than our friends' unfinished basement)! And together, we made the decision to live frugally so that I could be an artist and never work another full-time job because someday I would be painting for a living.

image courtesy of Sadee Schilling

When I first started, I painted exclusively with acrylic paints, usually on a pretty large scale. Really, I was just experimenting back then, trying to find my style. I liked flowers and landscapes; also did a few pet portraits. Eventually I started making these sculptural flowers and birds out of canvas that I would gesso, form and glue together, then paint and put on canvas. It was very tedious, delicate work and I thought this was my "special thing." But then we found out that our firstborn was on the way (yay!) and I realized that making art like this would not really jive with having little people around. So on a whim I went out a bought some watercolors and paper on a smaller scale, knowing that these would be easier to put away and keep safe when I needed to tend to my children. Really, finding the medium of my heart was almost a parenting choice. It was practical as this--the watercolors could be re-wetted later if I needed to stop in the middle of something, and I wouldn't ruin my brushes and waste paint! With my new goodies I began painting portraits and people--mamas and daughters, specifically, because I was inspired by the little baby girl I was carrying inside. :)

image courtesy of Sadee Schilling

What are your favorite techniques, media, and tools to use in creating your paintings? I love texture and mixing textures. So I started adding collage elements to my watercolor paintings, sort of as a commentary on how so often in life we balance the precious and delicate with the messy and rough. This second medium of my heart, like the first, was somewhat practical and inspired by parenting: I like to say that my daughters taught me the art of "loving a thing to pieces," that sometimes we need to just jump and splash in life's "puddles" because joy comes when we abandon ourselves to the mess.


images courtesy of Sadee Schilling

Sedimentary watercolors are my favorite, used with rough watercolor paper--so you get a nice, gritty feel when all the sediments settle into the paper's low-places. Lately I have also experimented with painting with coffee--this also creates that beautiful grunge, especially when you take something like a nail or craft knife and etch into the paper while the paint or coffee is still wet. And since I drew long before I painted, you still can't keep me away from adding to my paintings with Faber-Castell PITT pens, soft, smudgy sketching pencils and Prismacolor or Poloychromos colored pencils and watercolor pencils. I also like collecting decorative papers--scrapbook papers with sweet designs and also vintage papers with funky colors or deliciously stained and tattered edges.

images courtesy of Sadee Schilling

What is your favorite thing to paint? Why? Symbol and metaphor are important to me--I love storytelling. In the past two years since I have been living in rainy Hamburg, Germany, I've been at home with my two little girls, feeling homesick at times, learning how to express myself in a new language, trying to remember who I am, to rediscover my freedom, and to keep moving forward with gratitude in this new life. So new favorite imagery has emerged in my artwork to express all of these feelings: clouds and raindrops, little houses, hearts, typewriters, anything with wings.

image courtesy of Sadee Schilling

What is your proudest painting moment and/or greatest painting achievement so far? When I look back six years to that decision my husband and I made--that I would call myself artist and begin to work toward actually having a career as an artist, I think it's amazing that I have been consistently selling work--a little here, a little there--ever since. It's not, by any means, an actual career yet; I really don't make much (if any, sometimes!) profit yet. But God was always sending people to encourage me and to confirm that painting was my calling. I am so proud of the teeny, tiny baby steps I've been taking for the past six years, even though I knew all along "my time" was still a long way off. And now I feel it coming--I'm teetering on the edge of something, I just know it! A few months back, one of the photos/paintings from my Etsy shop was pictured on the front page for a few hours and included in the Etsy newsletter. It was just a little thing, but I had so many views and hearts that day, and even a few sales because of it! Even just a little bit of validation feels good--more confirmation that I'm on the right track!
 
image courtesy of Sadee Schilling

**A note from Kristin:  Before we find out what's next for Sadee, I just had to pop in to say that I am very lucky to have one of Sadee's amazing prints hanging on my living room wall.  Her artwork is beautiful on the computer screen, but it is even more stunning in person!  I just can't say enough about the quality of her work - the paper it is printed on makes me swoon, and makes her already wonderful work even more magnificent!

What's next in your painting future? What's next? I ask myself that too--I have lots of ideas. First off: a lot more painting!!! My little girls (almost-3 and almost-4) just started Kindergarten, so for the first time since I bought that set of watercolors when I was pregnant with my oldest I will be a painter who actually works regular studio hours! I want to keep developing a rich and expressive body of work, to flesh out some of the ideas and themes I've already started. Once I have a working portfolio I'm proud of, I might experiment with making my watercolors and collages into repeating patterns and try licensing my work and accepting design and illustration jobs. And the thing I'd most like to accomplish: challenge myself to write and illustrate a children's book!

image courtesy of Sadee Schilling

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Thank you for your inspirational interview, Sadee - We look forward to seeing you follow your dreams and write and illustrate a children's book!

To learn even more about Sadee, please visit her at:
http://apicturebooklife.blogspot.de/
http://www.etsy.com/shop/PicturebookLife
NOW IT'S YOUR TURN...
WE WANT YOU TO SUBMIT YOUR STORY!

**Would you like to be a PPF Featured Artist? Click here for details!**
Another wonderful and creative party last week!
By the way, several of you have again mentioned how much they would like to reply directly to your comments on their blogs, but Blogger's default setting is "noreply-comment@blogger.com".  Jenn of "Just add Water, Silly" has a great explanation on getting replies so you are not a "no-reply blogger". (Dashboard - Edit Profile - check "show my email address" and enter it - SAVE profile.) We changed our settings when  we first realized the issue and it is great to hear back from someone who has appreciated your comment. If you are uncomfortable with sharing your personal email address then email us (link on sidebar) and we can send you an invitation to get a gmail account which you can forward to another address.
Now, here is our check-in for this week's party:
As always, please make sure to use your post URL address NOT your blog home page URL address as there are many late visitors who get confused as to which post is for PPF when they arrive (after Friday) at your website. If you are unfamiliar with Mr. Linky, an explanation of how this tool works can be found on Week 1 and Week 2 Check-Ins.

Have a fun painting filled week everyone!

37 comments:

  1. Excellent interview. Way to go Sadee and congrats on the interview. Happy Paint Friday to everyone and thanks Eva and Kristin.

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  2. Love the interview with Sadee! The raindrops are wonderful (ah, rainy Hamburg - yes, it sure is wet).

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    1. Yes. wet, wet, wet. But actually, I LOVE it (although you still will hear me grumbling about it now and then). ;) Thanks, Carola!

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  3. Wonderful interview love your work Sadee, you are definitely going to go a long way. happy PPF!

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  4. I enjoyed hearing about your brave decision to become the best artist you can be. Congrats on being featured on Etsy, too. Your work is so interesting!

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  5. I love Sadee!! I had the privilege of knowing her when they lived in the states. She's as sweet as her blog and paintings. I own one of her prints too and I agree, it's even more gorgeous in person!! Wonderful interview. :D
    Catherine Denton

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    1. I love you too, Catherine! Thanks for your sweet words. :)

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  6. what a wonderful interview from Sadee!

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  7. I love Sadee's work - simply beautiful

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  8. Beautiful work from Sadee! Valerie

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  9. Beautiful and can't wait to grab a cuppa, a quiet moment and really enjoy reading and looking more closely at this lovely art :-)

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  10. I loved the interview and work from Sadee. It's so uplifting.

    Karen

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  11. What a wonderful, thoughtful inspiring interview. Sadee - I not only love your work, but also want to be your friend after reading this! My most favorite part of the interview is this: "I like to say that my daughters taught me the art of "loving a thing to pieces," that sometimes we need to just jump and splash in life's "puddles" because joy comes when we abandon ourselves to the mess." Boy, does this resonate with me and you said it so very beautifully. Thank you!

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  12. Wow..fabulous art and wonderful interview!
    Lovely to hear and know more about such a talented artist and creative spirit!
    Victoria

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  13. Thanks so much for featuring me, Eva and Kristin! And I appreciate all of your encouraging comments. It's so nice to have a place like PPF to stop by every week and know you'll get a lot of cheers from creative friends.

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  14. Sadee, your work is awesome! I was a teacher, too, and gave myself a self-declared sabbatical for a whole year of just drawing and painting... to keep my sanity :)... You are so blest to have a husband who is so supportive of your wish to grow as an artist. thank you so sharing your journey. melinda alpha #35

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  15. Very unique art! I love that you have persisted and created through the business of having little ones around - and that you gained from them the gift of "abandonment to the mess":-)

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  16. i love, love, love, LOVE Sadee and her beautiful world of art and life... so excited to see her featured here!

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  17. Great interview and beautiful art!! Just linked up and will be back to visit the others later :)

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  18. A really enjoyable read. Good luck Sadee with your future artistic ventures.

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  19. Wonderful feature on Sadee!
    Loved learning more about her, her artwork, and her influences and inspiration!
    ♥♥♥
    Happy PPF!!
    Mary
    Mixed-Media Map Art

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  20. Very inspiring interview. I'm a big fan of Sadee's work and wish her all the best.

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  21. Sadie I enjoyed learning so much about your art journey. I shared it with my husband while we are driving on our trip. He just retired from ten years of teaching and we both understood you reaction to your teaching job., glad you get to focus on art instead. Lucky you.

    Your detailed art looks like "fine art" to me! Your people Are Scrumptious Delicious!

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  22. Sadie I loved reading your inspirational art journey! How wonderful that you trusted that artist within and let her out to play big time!

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  23. Great reading about Sadee. Love the raindrops! Good luck to you!

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  24. Lovely interview and again thanks for hosting ~ (A Creative Harbor)

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  25. I love your style and enjoyed reading about what brought you to art, how you've made being an artist your priority and what your next steps are. Thanks for sharing!

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  26. Fabulous Work Sadee...loved the typewriter, heart with feathers and mom-daughter:)

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  27. Wonderful paintings, Sadee! Happy PPF everyone!

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  28. Love, love love the featured artist spotlight!

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  29. Sadee's art is cheery, bright and happy, wonderful to see what you've been doing.
    Happy PPF to one and all.

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  30. I always try to get around to everyone, don't always make it and I apologize for that. I enjoy the variety of talent here and learn so much from those that tell how they have created their art. I probably won't be around this week much, I just lost my son-in-law (heart attack in his late 40s). He leaves a loving wife and 5 children. Thanks so much for all your comments, they are appreciated, heart felt, and oh so helpful. You have spurred me on and into a new direction (art instead of constantly sewing). I am loving getting back into art after being away so many years. Blessings, Janet (JKW) there is a picture of the family on my other blog: http://jkwgalleries.blogspot.com

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  31. well...i just posted my first paint party friday post...this whole paint mixed media thing is so new to me...i'm having fun playing with paint, stamps, paper, etc...i hope you like my creations...

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  32. I like your paintings. Very lovely colours. Thanks for posting. I did enjoy reading your blog. God bless!

    http://mondocherry.blogspot.com/2012/09/a-perfect-match.html?showComment=1349234471689#c3252029220212397381

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  33. always inspiring !! and always interesting ! thank you !

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