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New Eyes and Clarity, Thanks China!

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I recently retuned from a two week trip to China totally exhausted and sore for sitting too long in a never ending come back home. It was quite a journey for my husband, daughter and I. One that I will always be grateful for. It gave us a great appreciation for what we have. If you want to see about our trip to China, click HERE.
I did not paint during this trip, and it took me a week to recuperate from it. This said, I did not paint for 3 weeks. When I finally got to my easel, I thought I had forgotten all about painting. It scared me! Since I did not remember about my usual process, I decided to try a new approach. It was fun and I learned new techniques. See my new process below on a 20"X20" canvas.
All that to say that it was good to step away and clear my mind of painting for 3 weeks. Why don’t you try to take a break, take a vacation and forget about painting for a while. When you come back, try different materials, new medium, new tools. Paint something crazy just for y…

Imagine that!

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Every time I start an abstract painting, I never know how it's going to end. It's always a surprise. I experiment with shape, line, color, value, division of space, texture. I ask myself, “What ifI try this or that?”… See below the stages of this paintings.
Last week, a really close friend of mine passed away. I had the chance to talk to her and shared my faith before she left this world. Just like my painting, we never know how and when our lives are going to end.  Easter season is a good time to remember God’s greatest gift to us. Let’s remember why His son, Jesus, gave His life to save us. Death on the cross was not the end. Indeed…this is the greatest gift of all, He gave us ETERNAL LIFE!Imagine that! I take comfort in hope that I will see my dear friend again.
The Bible says: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance…

All you need is...

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February is usually cold and gray. I’m anxious to witness the renewal of spring. If I can’t see flowers in my garden, I surely can paint some to cheer me up. See below to view my step-by-step process. 
One thing that I enjoy in February is Valentine’s Day!  It’s a time to remember what is important. LOVE What does your love mean if it isn’t demonstrated? Show it, Express it, Give it…it’s Free!
The Bible says: “LOVE always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”  1 Corinthians 13:7-8
Happy Valentine’s Day my friends.
With love,
Monique

Click here to view more of Monique's work.


Finding My Creative Inspiration

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I'm excited for what the new year will bring. I've been planning it all out and setting my creative goals.
However, as I was planning my new year, I had this negative little voice in my head that kept nagging “What if…?” I found myself “stuck” creatively; I felt that the well had dried up. (It’s a very scary feeling when your work depends on creativity.)  I had to change my mind! I started meditating while listening to soundscapes music every morning for about 30 minutes. My therapy worked! This process invigorated me. 
How Do You Deal with Creative Blocks? What solutions have worked for you?
See below steps of my new creative inspiration, the Wish Pearl collection.
On this note, I wish that 2017 brings you growth in your journey, joy, and prosperity.
Love y’all,
Monique XXX

PS: Someone asked me about my meditation. Click HERE to get the complete answer.

Exploring the abstract

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I have come to the conclusion that when I paint outdoors, what I want to paint is not about what I’m seeing. What I see is far too complicated and I have no desire to duplicate it on my canvas. I am training my brain to see more in abstraction. Thinking that way gives me more freedom and a fresh breath of pure joy. All I want is to capture a feeling, the soul of the scene, or at least, my own interpretation of it.  Thanksgiving is always a special time to reflect back on the past year, to remember and embrace those who enrich our lives. I'm so blessed to have art in my life, to get me connected with the beauty of nature, and with great artist friends, to have wonderful students, and to all people who have interest in my art. I'm also thankful for my loving husband and his support.
I wish you all a Thanksgiving filled with gratitude and joy!
Love,
Monique XX





Take charge of your success

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My biggest obstacle in being successful in my art carrer is when I doubt myself. I know it’s a waste of time and I have to constantly fight that one. 
I have to let go of what I can’t control. I can’t control the weather, the economy, the violence in the world, etc. My faith in God helps me to let go of what I can’t control, it brings me peace, and free the creative process in me.
The Bible says “Let go of your concerns! Then you will know that I am God. I rule the nations. I rule the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)
I have to focus on what is in my control. I stay connected using the tools available to me: take workshops, go to an artists retreat, use social media, email, blogs. Show up at the easel. Meditate, exercise, pray. I do whatever I need to have my creative juice flowing and keep working at my art.
“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working’—Pablo Picasso 
Keep working at it my friends, just keep working!
With Love,
Monique XX

Happy 4th of July

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When I went plein air painting last week at Evergreen nursery, I had in mind something red, white and blue. I guess because the 4th of July was coming up and I wanted to paint something ‘happy’ for the event…and for this blog! My creative mind is at work long before starting the actual artwork. It’s been said that creativity breeds happiness. To me, art and happiness are inevitably intertwined. When I create a piece of art, it takes me outside of my personal struggles and it forces me to be in the present moment, refocus my attention to positive sensations of exploration, and challenges.  "Painting is like the cornerstone in a great arch. It takes the pressure of the day  and holds all things together." Deborah Strander
On this note, I’m Wishing you all a Happy 4th of July,
Monique XX

To view more of my work, visit my website, www.moniquecarr.com