Yup. I’ve been gone for awhile. It’s been ages since I’ve done a blog post. I think the last time I posted was back when people were still discussing whether the dress was gold or blue. (It’s gold BTW). I don’t even know what to say so lets just list all my excuses here and get it all out in the open:
- It was winter. For like 8 months.
- I’ve been painting.
- 3 kids. 1 husband.
- I’ve been doing shows. (OK Christmas 2014 was my last one)
- My mom was diagnosed with brain cancer.
- I’ve been depressed. Because winter.
- Went to Disneyland
- Dealing with anxiety and obsessing issues. Turns out winter isn’t my main problem.
- But winter.
So about 2 of those are legit reasons for my irresponsibility. Especially since it’s been Summer for almost 3 months now. BUT I’M BACK NOW!!!!
Aaaaand I have a BIG announcement! I can’t tell you what that is yet BUT if you go back HERE to my FB Post & comment letting me know what you think my announcement is, you may just get discounted or free access to something! (that’s a hint right there). If you are one of those that still aren’t on FB, just comment here.
Look for the actual announcement later this week. I’m so excited about it!
soooo Pinterest- am I right?
Ok, so I’ve been on Pinterest
since it first came out for a little bit now and I’ve heard people talk about how it’s SOOO addicting. I was like, “really? I don’t see it.” I would just spend a little bit of time here & there pinning recipes that I just KNEW would revolutionize my life forever. I never made anything & I’m still a terrible cook. I’m not kidding- just last night, I burned pancakes & bacon & had to call my husband to come and help me, like I’m some 12 year old. But that’s for a future post. Safe to say, my life was not revolutionized.
I knew that as an artist, Pinterest was the Social Media website that was MADE for me. It’s all about the visual, & as an artist…well you get the idea. So this week, my daughters have been attending church day camp. I woke them up at 8:15 AM every morning this week. Correction: I woke up at 8:15 & then at 8:25 I actually moved. It’s Summer people- the only thing this week did was solidify my belief that I was not going to enjoy the first week of school. I know that isn’t that early at all but we are lazy in Summer. It’s just the way it is. Every morning I convinced myself that it wouldn’t be so bad- just get them up, drive them over there & go back to bed! Problem solved. Except that I’m 39 and also- who does that?! Not 40 year olds. A more appropriate solution would be to wait until naptime at 3:00.
So what did I do when I got back home with no kids running around? Well- I did laundry, cleaned the bedrooms & tackled some long overdue house cleaning projects I’ve been avoiding. No. I did none of that. What I did was organize my Pinterest boards so they are FABULOUS and SUPER PRETTY. Now THIS will revolutionize my life y’all!! I’m pretty sure it will anyway…
So with doing all of that, I have learned a few things about Pinterest. After acting like a freak for about 2 days on Pinterest, I decided to behave in a more rational manner. Here is what I learned. Keep in mind, these tips are from my own experiences with Pinterest, like the terrarium thing-a-ma-jig, (please don’t get offended if you are a legit terrarium maker) & I don’t know if these are good tips or bad tips or just plain weird tips, but here they are in random order.
– Just because one has a board that is all about the color green, does not mean all the green things you see on the internet should go on your green Pinterest board. A green marble, is just a green marble. You’ve seen one before, you will see one again.
– Be selective & be smart. Don’t turn into some insane person, rapidly pinning everything that catches your eye. That’s when you discover the “Like” button. As in, “I think I kind of like this but do I like it because I THINK I should like it or because I really do actually like it?” I don’t know, but for right now, it’s not worthy of one of my fantastic boards so it will just get a Like & if it’s lucky, I will be back one day. Probably not. But that’s it’s own fault for not being totally awesome enough to immediately pin
– Boards. So many boards. I don’t even have that many & I really can’t keep track of them all. I don’t as yet have any solution for this though. My biggest problem right now is if I should call one of my boards “Lovelies” or “In My Dreams” OR should I have BOTH of these boards?? & then how do I decide what goes into “Lovelies” or what goes into “In My Dreams” ??? These are actual thoughts I have in my head.
– These “How-to” pins. Now come on- are you really going to follow through on your plans to create a Terrarium? Do you even know what one is? No. You don’t & you’re not. Sure, it would be really cool to actually do it & brag to all of your friends but the fact is you just aren’t that girl sooo….move on. Besides, let’s get real- your friends don’t care about the stupid terrarium either.
– Finally, after typing the word Pinterest numerous times, you will start to find that it looks weird and you won’t even be sure if you are spelling it correctly. But whatever you do, please don’t pronouce it Pinetrest. That will ruin my day.
BTW- the images shown here are just a few of my many Pinterest boards.
Next post! (no it’s not) is tips for Instagram & how I obsess about taking pictures of clouds like I’m the only person on earth that has ever seen one so I better take a picture & put it out there so people can be all like “WOW- where does she live? She has CLOUDS??!!”
For those who are interested, you can follow me on Pinterest by clicking Here or you can click on the Pinterest Logo at the top right.
Keep up with Janelle Nichol
Sweet mother, it has been so long since I last posted! I’ve been pretty busy…. Busy doing nothing to be more precise. To make it easier, I will just do this blogpost in point form.
What I have been doing:
– On December 21st, we finished our basement that we were forced to do renovations on because we had a little mini flood back in June. YES- it took that long & it is a long road to nowheresville to explain why.
– On the 22nd of December, we took our daughter in to get stitches..she fell on the ice & put a huge hole in her knee. To be fair, she is our clumsiest child. She makes up for it by being an intellectual…oh the joys of having an 11 year old that is very literal & logical and corrects every sarcastic comment I make. I would tell her to stop but I think she’s a lot smarter than me & I wouldn’t know where to begin.
– On the 23rd, I got food poisoning. This was much fun.
– Also on the 23rd, our furnace quit. Now that might not seem like a big deal but let me tell you, when the temperatures are -30 degrees (-22 fahrenheit) THAT’S A HUGE DEAL!!!! Unfortunately, I was delirious with nausea at the time & could not muster up the energy to wake my husband up in the middle of the night to tell him the furnace quit. Between the freezing and the wretching, my body couldn’t figure out what to concentrate on. I would rather swim in hot lava than go through these 2 things simultaneously again.
– By Christmas day however, things were pretty much back to normal & I began my marathon of 3 seasons worth of Downton Abbey. I don’t really watch TV during the year & so I figured I should try to get in as much as I can over the holidays. Now I’ve got this continuous narrative of British Aristocrat in my head. I actually demanded that all of my servants call me “Your Ladyship” which was working quite well until I discovered I didn’t have any servants.
– In December, I also turned 40. This deserves a list all of it’s own. So here it is.
My thoughts about turning 40
– it helps that most people tell me I look about 33. Whether they are telling the truth or not remains to be seen.
– I feel as though I basically took a leave of absence from my life between the ages of 26-38. Now I’m picking up where I left off and getting myself back. So in my mind, I am back to being who Janelle was becoming at 26, but I missed 12 years somewhere along the way. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret it. I wanted children & I actually went through a lot to get children, including 2 miscarriages and a whole lot of awesome post-partum depression. But did I lose some of myself along the way? Maybe I will discover that I have actually gained more than I lost. Then I can pick up where I left off with even more than I would have had I just kept going without interruption. Oh dear, those are some wordy sentences…good luck trying to make sense of it.
– So yes, I am honestly having a little trouble with it & feel like I am maybe going through a mid-life crisis a little bit. I’m very happy to be a “more mature woman” but it seems like everybody is looking at me like my best years are behind me. Then again, maybe I should just get over myself & realize that no one is looking at me or thinking anything at all! Ok that’s probably more than enough honesty for one day.
My Plans for 2014
– More shows. I have already booked some (I will announce those later) and I hope to schedule in a few more.
– I also have some new sketches I will be using such as, little girls in tutus, figure skates, hockey skates. I also want to do some more wedding themed pieces.
– Trying/experimenting with some new ideas for my art. Working with more mediums and techniques. So be watching for some pieces that are quite different from what you’ve seen in the past, as well as many new pieces that are in the same abstract folk art style you are used to seeing from me.
– More art videos. I’m working on a new one now for January.
– Of course I’m excited to see some licensing deals this year as well.
& now, just for kicks. I will show you the INSANE amount of snow we have received over the last month. Just a few statistics for you: within 2 weeks, we received all of the average snowfall we normally get over an entire winter. We now have more snow than the last 3 Decembers combined.
Keep up with Janelle Nichol
So I’ve been super busy lately…and not really in a good way. It’s been sucking the life right out of me. It’s been hard to find the time to paint lately and when I have had time, I’ve been very tired or just not in the right frame of mind. Many people assume that creatives have to wait until the inspirational comes to them before they can start to work. But let me tell you, that is SO NOT the case! I have to sit down, start working and hope the ideas come and yes, sometimes I have to force the ideas to come. I always have little
things ideas running around in my head, so I often go digging back there to see if anything good pops up. Many times, one idea turns into 3 ideas. & by ideas, I mean images/visions of a scene on a canvas. I don’t really work from photos, although I do get inspiration from them at times. Usually the people & scenes in my pieces are from scratch in my head and MA-AN do they come out awful at times. Like AW to the FUL. So then I rework them and rework them until I’m satisfied. Usually. Sometimes I just cry. That’s fun too.
That brings me to my impromptu weekend blog post! I figure I needed a little pick me up, so I bought these super cute aprons. There’s still more at the store and I probably should go back and buy….like… I don’t know… 5 more. But I figure, if I’m painting these cute outfits and these sweet ladies & children, I should have something sweet & cute myself! So, because I manage to still be lazy, even though I hardly have time to breathe, I thought this was the perfect solution. Wear my old shirts & jeans, & tie my super cute apron over it all!! If I’m feeling adventurous, I might even curl my eyelashes & put on some mascara. This way I instantly feel better & it really does help to put me in the mood to be inspired. One problem which has no solution as yet, is that I don’t want to get my apron dirty.
Here are a couple of photos of one of my new aprons. My 5 year old daughter Piper took most of them, so it was a little difficult to find ones that weren’t completely blurry or weird. And just before I finish this post, I want to tell you about a MAJOR FABULOUS Pin It To Win It Contest that will be starting on Monday. $100.00 worth of Janelle Nichol Artwork OF YOUR CHOICE to the winner! So please stay tuned for that, you won’t want to miss it 🙂
Keep up with Janelle Nichol
You know all those questionnaires that were always going around Facebook? The ones where they ask you 25 or 50 or however many random things & you come up with answers for them? Well, I decided I would do them again & post my answers here. Here we go.
1. Can you do push-ups? I call them push-ups. I don’t know what other people call them.
2. What is your favorite hobby? It used to be my art but that’s now my job, so it’s playing piano (which is also my job as I teach it), photography, reading & sitting outside tanning in the Summer…ruining my skin can be a hobby right?
3. What are some things you dislike about yourself? 2 things. I have a habit of repeating myself. Like- I will say the same thing over & over again & I will say the same thing in different ways each time (see what I did there?). I also have the tendency to type exactly what I’m thinking as I’m thinking it, exactly how I’m thinking it. I don’t really hate that about myself but I’m sure there are a few people who wish I could just shut-up & get to the point.
4. Best Birthday? I’m still waiting for it but everyone I’m married to doesn’t seem to think birthdays are a big deal so nothing ever gets planned. & by everyone I mean just the one husband.
5. Current pet peeve? People that don’t use any punctuation or capital letters when typing things online. I get such a headache trying to figure out where their sentences end & begin, but if I say anything, I get the old “here comes the grammar/punctuation police.” Now I’m not saying I should be that person but somebody needs to be monitoring this situation!!
6. How did you bring in the New Year last year? I really don’t remember & I can’t be bothered to put in the required amount of thought needed to recollect.
7. Where would you like to go? Back to Rome, Venice, Paris, England, Santorini. Also Disneyland.
8. Would you be a pirate? Seriously?? No. No- I would not be a pirate.
9. Favorite Books? There’s too many but I especially enjoy(?) reading both fiction & non-fiction books about WWll.
10. Favorite Girl Names? I suppose I must like Avery & Piper since that’s what I named my daughters.
11. Favorite Boy Names? Again with the names? What’s with that? Next.
12. Favorite Sports Team? Team Janelle.
13. Would you be friends with yourself? Not sure. I’m always thinking that every person in my life is one step away from realizing what a freak I am & that it’s only a matter of time before they ditch me. I have problems. Oh man, do I have problems.
14. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? I’ve always thought this was a dumb question & on those grounds I refuse to ever answer this question again.
15. Contacts or glasses? Both & I just found out that I have to get progressives at the age of 39!
16. Favorite Movies? Probably Gladiator & 300. They’ve got everything. Action, history, romance, oooh…no humor though. In general, I love watching action movies & I hate watching movies that make me cry. I save those stories for books. Why? Because I hate crying. I don’t have anything against crying, I just do everything I can not to participate in it.
17. Favorite Dessert? Just hit me with some sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese, marshmallow topping & whip cream & we’ll call it a day.
18. Does anyone have a crush on you? No…as if.
19. Any celebrity look-a-likes? They aren’t going to make sense but here they are. Julia Roberts, Lea Michele, Rachel Dratch, Harry Potter, Michael Jackson & Gollum from Lord of The Rings. (see #22 for Gollum.)
20. Do you have a special talent? Some would say I’m an artist. Also, I play piano.
21. Is the cup half full or half empty? Are you kidding me? It is FOR SURE half empty. This photo explains my exact thoughts on this matter. I think this is why I make my artwork so positive. Sometimes, I find it hard to express positivity & inspiration in my daily life & yet it comes so easily in my artwork, which is also why I find it so encouraging & relaxing when I work because I’m not thinking about all the things that can & most certainly will go wrong. (It must be exhausting living with me)
22. Do you do any impressions? Yes. Gollum. I’m not even kidding. It is a popular request at family gatherings… I climb over the table, grab my sister Michaela’s hand & try to steal her ring while spewing out the words, “Preeeecioussss, me wanst it” Gollum style. It completely freaks her out, yet she still quite enjoys it. I’m very good at it & for some odd reason that makes me proud. He’s also listed in look-alikes, because there have been times in my life where even I admit that I have closely resembled him.
23. Weird things you’ve done? I once
yelled spoke very loudly in the middle of an aisle in Walmart “I can’t take this anymore!”. It was the Christmas season, there were lots of weird pajama clad people, things were in the aisles…it was like a maze & I could not find my way out.
24. Any last confessions? I am 39 & still think there might be someone hiding under my bed, so yes, I pull my feet up really quickly when I get into bed. Because we all know they can’t get you if your feet are up & you have the blankets pulled up to your chin!! I’m also very scared of spiders but just as terrified to kill them as I worry that I won’t quite complete the job & they will go away, regroup, form a posse & come after me with a vengeance.
So there you go! After revealing all of those crazy things about myself, I want to just mention something more about my artwork & what being an artist does for me personally. When I am not working & creating, it is very hard to keep my mind quiet and not get stressed out & overwhelmed. This piece here is one of my favorites & I titled it “A Still Morning” because that is how it speaks to me personally. I love that she is just so peaceful & relaxed. I find myself wishing I could be like her more often.
Next Post: The video I filmed in Las Vegas while I attended the Licensing Expo with my agent.
Keep up with Janelle Nichol
You may or may not remember that just over a month ago I recently took a trip to Las Vegas to meet with my agent for the International Licensing Show. I was also able to film an interview there which I am finally going to show you in this post!
I had a TON of fun and it was really exciting as it is something I never really imagined would happen. So I thought I’d share a little bit about how this all came about…the art & the licensing. I’ve always been very creative & I have never been scared to start creative projects even if I had never done them before. I would say my creative side was first evident in music. That is what I did for a career & that is what I’ve studied in. Many people who knew me back in the day have now told me that, even though I did not consider myself any type of artist, they aren’t surprised to hear now that I have become a professional legitimate artist. The signs have always been there but it was not until later on that they actually came & showed themselves to me (HAHA). In a future post I will share about how I learned how to sketch. It’s kind of an interesting story.
Now the licensing part of it came much later. I had been interested in licensing my artwork for quite some time but didn’t know anything about it. I didn’t even know it was called “licensing”! I did some research online, & eventually sent out an email to another artist. I don’t even remember what I wrote in the email & frankly, I don’t want to…I’m pretty sure I would be embarassed because it was probably not that well written and remember? I had no idea what I was even doing! My agent has “threatened” to show it to me but I refuse. So long story still kinda long…my agent Todd, ended up receiving this email and he contacted me. In the beginning, I was quite hesitant because there are so many people out there offering services that don’t know much more about certain topics than I do! However, the one thing that kind of got my attention was that he was also the agent for a very successful artist that I had LONG been a fan of. After having a few conversations with him, I soon decided that it would be great to work with him. He has spent hours & hours really teaching me all about licensing, how to make my artwork more marketable and getting me set up with this website. Plus- he puts up with all of my emails that contain all of my endless questions. BONUS!! In case you didn’t know, my agency is International Creative Licensing.
Which brings us to me finding myself in Las Vegas at the Licensing Show. Right from the very beginning, like the very first conversation I had with him, it was suggested I plan to go. I was like, “Sign me up. I am there with bells on”. But I have to admit, there was a part of me that was thinking this might not go anywhere & the only place I would find myself in June would be my house here in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada, literally praying for Summer to come so my winter long depression could finally come to an end. Ok, I’m exagerating, winter doesn’t last here until June…it’s more like May.
So here’s the video that I filmed as well as some photos of my WONDERFUL time in Las Vegas. Basically, if I wasn’t at the show, I was at the pool. I was eating that sun up like nobody’s business! We were also given tickets to go see Blue Man group which was great BTW. In this video, I mainly answer questions about my art as it relates to licensing, but I will be doing another video soon where I answer all of the questions you have asked about me that have more to do with me as a person & my art & how I fit it all in.
Keep up with Janelle Nichol
Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians! So happy to be a Canadian…even if the weather is sometimes pretty awful.
Here are 50 great gifts Canada gave the world. Enjoy!
Hi everybody, hopefully, you are all enjoying warmer weather where you are. I know that Spring has finally arrived here in Grande Prairie. Well, it was more like instant Summer as we had +30 degrees Celsius within one week of full blown winter weather!
I have been quite busy getting ready for the show in Calgary. We just returned Monday evening. It was a pretty busy time. It was great to be in Calgary and have the opportunity to show my artwork there. I had a great time meeting many of you who have now subscribed to my newsletter and some of you went to my FB page immediately & “liked” me WHILE you were waiting for me to put your purchase through! I really enjoy meeting new collectors as well as talking with people who have been collecting my art for some time now. I look forward to doing more shows throughout Alberta this year and you can always check out my schedule Here. It looks like I will be quite booked in the Fall, so as of now, I unfortunately will not be able to make it back to Calgary this year but hopefully in 2014.
Here are a few pictures of the show as well as a quick video I put together. Let me know what you think in the comments below. In my next blog post, I will be featuring some new pieces and sketches!
WOW- I really need to learn some discipline. This is what a regular day looks like for me. (update: now that I’ve written this whole post & it’s all out there in black & white, I can’t decide if this is really sad or just some motivation to get myself together & learn how to focus.)
It starts with me going to bed at some insane time late at night…
Wake up in the morning & look at my phone to see if there are any new exciting messages for me. There isn’t. Get my daughter breakfast. Most likely put the TV on for Piper. If she has the desire, she may decide that she wants to cuddle in my bed. YAY- that means I hand her the ipad while I try to
wake myself up ( sleep some more).
I lazily get dressed & make the bed in a state of half-consciousness. Because seriously, that’s just ridiculous if you don’t even do that. Plus, just making your bed can make your room look so much cleaner!!…even if you still have suitcases in there from the cruise you went on at the beginning of January. (what? I don’t do that.)
I manage to feed myself at some point in the morning. Why I don’t do this when I feed my daughter is beyond me. Then I announce to Piper that we are moving ourselves to the basement so whatever she needs from upstairs she should get it now because there is NO WAY that I am going to go back upstairs & get it for her! We will have so much fun working side by side today. I will do my art & she will sit beside me & do her art & her activity book. Oh it’s going to be such a good productive day!!!
I turn my computer & my heater on. Yes my heater. I then go upstairs because Piper forgot something that she desperately needs & can’t live without it & she certainly can’t be in the basement without it. Also, her legs are tired & she has a hangnail on one of her fingers so she can’t go & get it herself.
I come back down & look at my email to see if I got something amazing in there. I didn’t. At this point I’m thinking that I need to get started on my new piece that is whirling around in my mind. But first- I need to check my email again. You never know, I might have gotten something seriously important in that last 30 seconds.
Then I decide I need to put some more items in my Etsy shop. But first, I should find out if that sketch I did will work with the canvas I was planning on using. Which leads me to start looking for the sketch & freaking out because it’s not in my sketch book. Like really, if my sketch isn’t in my sketch book, then where in the world would I have put it??!! Before I have time to really consider where that sketch could be I have to go upstairs & get a blue crayon for Piper because the 3 blue crayons that she has down here won’t work for some reason. I convince her that she doesn’t need a blue crayon because she can color the lion…I don’t know…yellow? brown? Whatever. I’ll just go get it.
I get back downstairs &…yup…I check my email. Nothing. Oh wait! There is an email from Sephora- they have some amazing deal on some beauty products. I’ll have to get back to that…I’m being super disciplined today sooooo ya. I then start putting more items into my Etsy shop but something is nagging at my brain & I can’t quite figure out what it is, but until I remember I will be in complete turmoil with no peace in sight.
OK- I added 5 items to my Etsy shop! YAY! Must be time to check my email again. Alright- still nothing exciting. While I’m on the computer, I might as well resize my new images for my website & send over the new image to my agent. About 1 hour later, what should I do now? Oh ya- I was going to start that piece. That sketch! Where is it??? “Oh man- this day was going so well, I was actually being productive until I lost my sketch! Oh. Here it is. Who put it there?” OK- now I start on my canvas. Piper informs me it’s lunchtime. I go upstairs with her & have lunch…at least she does. I don’t know what I eat actually.
Email time! Ooooh I got something interesting. I then spend about an hour online going from site to site to site. Then I decide I need to make a schedule to keep on track, but first I should start on my piece. So I finally get out all the stuff to start my background & I Actually-Get-Started. After about 20 minutes, I need to go back upstairs & get Piper her princess dress because she has decided that she is the princess & I am the queen. Also- I must talk to her in a British accent. Now that I’m the queen & all. Must be time to check email again!
I get distracted with my supplies & start making a list of things I need to re-stock. After about 45 minutes of that, it’s time to get back to my piece. Ethan walks in the door. WHAT? It’s 3:30 already? Well that means I have to go pick up Avery from the bus stop right away. But I still have about 10 minutes so since I’m super disciplined, I’m not going to waste it- no sir. I should check my email again. Shoot! I’m going to be late picking up Avery!
Now I might as well get started on supper. At some point around 8:30 PM, I manage to get back downstairs into the studio/office & I start working on my piece again. With no distractions but myself. Must be time to check email! After about 10 minutes of doing email stuff. I start working & now I get into the zone because I have my earphones on & Cam is home & the kids are in bed. The canvas is coming along & I’m so happy with how it looks! Pause for roughly 5 minutes to listen to an awesome song that just came up on my ipod. Go back to work for awhile. I decide to look at the clock. 2AM!!!!! Are you kidding me?? I thought it was like 11. Guess I won’t work out today.
Keep up with Janelle Nichol
How is everybody today? We have been having some great weather for the last little while. Well….great for us. It’s been warm & very “Springy”. Usually we do not have much of this type of weather this early so it’s been really nice. Today actually felt warm! Of course that all depends on where you live. If you live in Canada & especially Alberta than you would agree with me. If you live in a pretty warm climate than you would think it’s still quite cold. But 6 degrees Celsius is pretty warm for the end of February!! We had so much snow before Christmas & it is so nice to see it melting away.
So I’m definitely more of a Spring person. I love seeing all the coldness & darkness of winter leave. I know Fall can be very beautiful in lots of places but many years, we don’t get to enjoy the leaves changing colors here. They turn yellow & then they are gone from the wind. It also gets quite cold here about the beginning of October. I think if I lived in a different area I would probably enjoy Autumn a lot more.
So here is my question- are you more of a Fall person or a Spring person? Also, just for fun, tell me in the Comments, have a look at my mixed media Folk art images shown here & tell me which piece you prefer? To purchase the Spring/Summer themed piece “In The Springtime” Click Here, to purchase the Fall themed “Our Best Memories” Click Here.