This is the 20th painting in my series of 20 paintings about my childhood growing up in rural Iowa. This final painting is an homage to a painting by Torii Kiyomasu II (ca. 1750-1760).
I was living and working in rural Japan when I started painting in a serious, dedicated way. And my Lupita character also emerged there in rural Miyakonojo as I painted at my window watching the plum blossoms bloom outside.
About the Series:
My new artwork series is a meditation on my childhood growing up off-the-grid in rural Iowa. My goal is to write a children’s book using this series of 20 paintings as the illustrations for the book. Thank you to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation – BeWildReWild – Community Artist Grant for your generous support of my project.
There’s been a flurry of activity on my art desk these past few days. I promised myself I wouldn’t give up on my artwork and would finish new items in time for Christmas.
There are 100 items in my online ETSY Art Shop as of today…a long time goal of mine. Yay!
Here’s a look at some of the Christmas cards (instant download to print at home), art books, handmade Turkish design earrings, and Lupita ornaments. The Christmas tree ornaments are made from my miniature original watercolor paintings. I coat them onto mini canvases and add ribbons to create the ornaments.
It’s been joyous for me to have spent time immersed in art again. Sending wishes for a beautiful holiday season to you and your family.
I love stopping by my favorite shop on the Marietta Square. I got to sit for a moment with my paintings, pillow, and prints. 🌸💕🌸 And…saw my books! Yay! If you’re in the Atlanta area, be sure to check out The Local Exchange…such a magical place!
This week’s inspiration came in the form of these beautiful peach blossoms growing outside my studio window. Spring has at last arrived here in Georgia and we are thrilled. I realize now looking at these flowers that my artwork for the past month has been centered around Spring colors – soft greens, subtle pinks, lilac purple hues. It’s so nice to see these colors coming back to us again around the neighborhood.
These blossoms inspired me to get back into the glass studio and make some lilac colored beads. Here they are fresh out of the cooling blanket – still on the mandrel rods. I was going for an abstract look of the peach blossoms, but in glass form. It was a fun project…I’ll post a picture of the beads again once I have them all cleaned out and fancy.
Do you get inspired by nature? I’d love to know what inspires you in the great outdoors.
I’m embarking on the first part of a long-term goal to archive all of my paintings and present them in a new online gallery. I currently have a gallery with Fine Art America, but I’m thinking I would like to have one that I curate myself on my own website as well. I wanted to share my process for creating it – a sort of behind the scenes look as it comes together. It will be a long process but I think it’s time to get started on it.
The first step is to create a template for the images. I decided to use my watercolor portrait of my mother, Juana Maria, as my test image. This is how the template design started:
This process has taken some time and is challenging because I’m looking to create the best balance between the information I need to display and the artwork itself. There needs to be a title, my name, my studio name & website, plus a copyright mark in addition to the image.
I decided the first design was too colorful, so I took out all the color (except for the Lupita), but still too many distractions from the painting itself. I then went to full black and white for the info, playing around with the shades of gray in each area.
Still too many distractions for the eye…so I took out the flowers and immediately loved the change.
A few final touches – took out the ” ” around the title, resized everything to one inch distances, took out the butterfly…then put it back again.
Then I tried it out with several different pieces of art to make sure it will translate across projects.
And there I have my template. Whew…it took a lot longer than I expected, but I’m glad I experimented and found a design that works best for my artwork overall. Next up – scanning all my paintings (there’s still a drawer full not yet scanned), digitally archiving them, and placing each image into the template to upload into my gallery.
I saw something that really inspired me – it’s called the “Endless Book” project.
This fabulous project idea is to make a handmade folded book out of art paper and choose an artistic theme for your book. Then paint one page a week for an entire year within that theme. You can read more about it on the beautiful blog, Global Art Junkie.
My mind is already swirling with so many possibilities for a theme…a series of Lupita in Kimono watercolors / landscapes from different places I love / a portrait series of my family and friends / portraits of pets…yes – it could be endless.
Star Covered Kimonos by Emily Lupita
San Cristobal Landscape by Emily Lupita
Juanita in a Blue Dress Portrait by Emily Lupita
Golden Mavi with Wings by Emily Lupita
I’d love to begin making one and want to do all I can to encourage this idea to manifest. I put up a new artistic vision board in my studio & the first pin to my board is this idea. The seed is planted. Let’s see what grows!
What would your endless book theme be? How do you imagine it unfolding? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.
It has been an exciting week here in the studio with the launch of my new Art Under Glass jewelry line. The collection is off to a great start with 30 colorful pieces of art encased under glass and set in pendants of different shapes & sizes.
My sister-in-law and niece were amazing and helped me to get started on this big project when they came to visit several months ago. I’ve been working on finishing this first batch of the collection since then and each finished piece is so special to me. I feel like I’m just getting started with this new miniature art form.
How It’s Made:
The process for making these little wonders begins with creating a digital image of my original watercolor painting that fits the size of the pendant. Then I print the image, cut it to the proper shape, wax it and bind the glass to the top with a transparent fixing agent, making sure the glass doesn’t slide around by holding it in place until it sets. After this dries for a day, I wax the back of the image, coat it with fixing agent and set it in the metal pendant base coated with a thin layer of metal glue. After the finished pendant dries for 2 days…Voilà!…the art jewelry is ready to wear.
I was so happy to be asked to make a custom pair of earrings using this same Art Under Glass technique to match a friend’s favorite painting in myArtist’s Alphabet book. Such a wonderful idea! After several tries I found the best design to fit the space and just loved seeing the book pages transform into earrings. It was a fun project and I was inspired to keep on making a series of alphabet earrings…coming soon.
The Follow Your Dreams Project is going strong with several new designs coming to life. One of my favorites is this new art print featuring two winged elephants, first in ink then in color, framing the quote, “Where you go I will go. Where you stay I will stay.”
I made this design after finding a second elephant ink drawing in a random folder. For some reason these winged elephants I drew years ago really speak to me now. I wonder how many more are out there hiding in my studio, just waiting to be re-discovered?
I know this is how creativity works sometimes, in large loops, but it still surprises and delights me how (and when) inspiration shows up. The elephants gave me that spark I needed to start creating more freely in this new medium of ink and illustration.
I made a few trees, this being the one I ended up illustrating. The trees led to flowers, which became more & more detailed and eventually resulted in this tulip design, looking very Turkish.
I got excited about the new designs pouring out and ended up re-designing my blog & website with the new images. I’m not exactly sure where all of this creativity will lead, but that’s part of the adventure and right now I’m just enjoying being along for the ride.
This week I’m wondering about inspiration…how it works, why it works, where does it come from? I’m interested to know how inspiration appears/works in your life. Have you ever created or been inspired by something and then forgotten it, only to have it re-appear at the most opportune time, like my winged elephants? If so, I’d love for you to share in the comments section below.
Sending wishes for a beautiful (and inspirational) weekend,
New in Emily Lupita’s Etsy Shop
* “Where you go I will go. Where you stay I will stay.” winged elephant art print ~ here~
* Original ink drawing “Winged Elephant #1” ~ here ~
* The Artist’s Alphabet book now available ~ here~
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted here on my studio blog and I have several exciting things to share. Returning readers will notice the new look to the website featuring designs from my newest art project.
The path is still taking shape, but I wanted to share some of my first designs for what I’m calling my “Follow Your Dreams” project. I chose this name because this was the very first design I made. It was inspired by my wonderful niece and her love of archery.
My last big art project, The Artist’s Alphabet book, took me more than a decade to finish. I’m hoping this new project won’t take me soo soo long…but I know it will be an extended journey so I wanted to be sure it is filled with things I love.
That’s why I took some time to really focus on developing my ideas for what I want this new art adventure to look like. Of course, when I think of loveliness…my two mini dogs immediately come to mind and I made a design featuring them next.
The designs are made from my original ink drawings. This one below of the mountains came together all at once while listening to Deepak Chopra’s meditations. When I felt the peaceful flow of this design I somehow knew I was headed in the right direction.
Reflect. I framed this one and put it on my desk to remind me about my desire to reflect my inner artist as I develop this new project.
I’m excited to start this new journey and grateful to have you as my companion. Starting something new gives me butterflies…
An exciting time in the studio…The Artist’s Alphabet books are here!
It has been an amazing artistic journey to get to this point and I’m so happy with how the books turned out. Sending many thanks to everyone who has encouraged and supported me along the way!
The books have now been sent out to my wonderful group of Kickstarter backers and should be arriving in the mail by the end of the week. I hope you enjoy all the bright colors in your special book packages!
A huge thank you goes out to my mom, Juana Maria, for spending time here at the studio to help me wrap, package and mail all the books. It was definitely a two artist job…and we had fun talking & listening to music together while we got it all done. Sharing here a photo of the dining room table during our book wrapping party.
How to Order:
I have a limited number of signed books available for sale in my Etsy Shop. I’m happy to dedicate the book to someone special as well, just let me know in the “notes to seller” section at checkout.
This is the direct link to order a signed & dedicated copy of the book:
Once my supply here in the studio runs out, the book will remain available for sale on Amazon.com, but those books ship directly from the warehouse, so they don’t pass through my hands and won’t be signed or dedicated.
I’m excited for my books to make their journeys out into the world.