bloom · daily · flowers · new growth · reflections · spring · Universe · walk

The simple things I’m thankful for…

My Backyard Sanctuary
My Backyard Sanctuary

So many things to complain about lately. The weather, not enough money, the ex-husband … you know this story as well as I do. We all do it. Every one of us gets wrapped up in the minor speed bumps in life however, if we are not careful, we could be consumed by it. I have found that not only me but some very close family and friends are being consumed at this very moment. It’s important for everyone in New England to realize that before we know it, new growth will be rearing it’s head from the cold dead ground. All we need is a tiny bit more patience … hold on for a little bit longer because one morning in the very near future we are going to wake up to singing birds and blooming flowers. We are so close to shaking off the winter blues and for just that alone… I am truly thankful. Hang in there everyone and I will wink and nod as I pass by you on the street when we get out to walk and wake from our sloppy slumber we call hibernation.

Blessed Be

Erin

A Trashy Novel · art · Back to school · charlie's head · Charlies Head Series · daily · erin · Evil Puppet Master · Evil Ring Master · illustration · middle · norberg · novel · pain · Painting · Puppet Master · steampunk · Story · Writing studio

The Puppetress is currently being created at the studio

Puppetress from 'A Trashy Novel'
Puppetress from 'A Trashy Novel'

Here is my current paint concoction (or however you spell that) being worked on at the new art studio. I haven’t been there much because of getting the kids ready to go back to school and all but I am inching along. Unfortunately, I have been told that I will be needing surgery ASAP for the numbness in my right arm. Yes, irony strikes once again…I am fortunate enough to have this wonderful art studio to work in and my drawing arm goes numb. Unbelievable huh? I can only draw and paint in tiny spurts right now because of the numbness and pain and the doctor says the nerve damage will be irreversible if I don’t get the surgery quickly. So alas, I must go under the knife if I am to continue drawing and painting. I have also been told that it is not 100% that the surgery will fix me so please cross your fingers, pray, or dance naked under the full moon for me…whatever it is you do to bring about results. I really need all the help I can get on this one. I will keep you in the loop on when the surgery is to happen and will soon put up my ‘studio hours’ so that you can come visit me and my characters in the works.

Until next time….night!

Erin

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Sitting Idle and Reflecting

Sitting idle frustrates me. I have been sitting idle for two years now because of my disabling spinal condition
and now it has traveled to my RIGHT arm … my drawing arm, uggghhh. VERY tough just to complete one painting or to even type for any decent length of time. I am actually looking into a voice recognition program to help me with the writing end. My intention here is not to complain because well, that’s just unattractive.

What I want to say is that I had a great revelation today. While watching my adorable kids and their friends selling lemonade, I found i was getting extremely frustrated having to once again sit idle when I could be working on my craft. However, it being 90 degrees, I certainly wasn’t taking my laptop outside to work so I just sat on the stairs and pouted to myself. Pathetic I know…. but it gave me time to reflect on the past week and how my artistic outlook has been boosted. I reflected back to having my oil changed in my car at Valvoline where  the attendants come right up to your car while you sit in it. They were awed by the artwork I had on my front seat and asked where did I buy it. Of course that is enough to make any artist proud but then they proceeded to look at my three childrens’ books that I keep in my car at al times. They told me my work was unbelievable. They lifted my spirits so high that day and that is not the only kudos I received last week. I met with RISCA (Rhode Island State Council of the Arts) and they too were amazed at the work I have accomplished. They even went as far as to say I don’t give myself enough credit. (and really what artist does?) Anyway, I got to reflect on this while sitting on the steps watching the kids at the lemonade stand. Reflection is so important and I just don’t do enough of it.

As I was pondering all of this I received a text from my x-mother in law. She had sent me a photo of my x-brother in laws newborn baby… just minutes old. It was then that I realized I have created more than books and art … but the wonderful children in front of me that were out there selling lemonade. It dawned on me that  I was not through creating them. I still have a few years before It is time to send them out into the world as I do with my finished books and paintings. I couldn’t help but smile when I realized I was working on what was now a 12 year old art project that is still not done!

Of course I had to grab my sketchbook and draw them at the lemonade stand and yes, I am happy to say that not only was that beautiful baby born today but a new picture book as well. I did rough sketches of my girls enjoying their summer and a story naturally followed in my head.

I will try to remember that sitting idle is a HUGE part of the process of creation, I just need to be patient enough sometimes to remember to do it.

Erin

artists · back pain · books · charlie's head · charlies · Charlies Head Series · daily · disability · erin · facet joint disease · illustration · illustrator · In the writing zone · kids and parents · norberg · novel · pain · Painting · parenting · spinal · Story · whalen

Update On Studio Space

The studio space is still in the future, just not April. Don’t worry, I will be sure to tell you when it all happens. I continue to add to my mailing list daily so if you are interested in getting a snail mail notice from me please give me an email and ask to be added to my mailing list. Be sure to include all your info so I can get the information to you as quick and easy as possible.

On another note, I have been keeping quite busy in all aspects of my life. Unfortunately I have not been creating as much as I would like to. It is quite difficult to create for long periods of time with my back the way it is and as most of you know, having pre-teens make it difficult as well. None-the-less I am working my way through it all or better yet, writing my way through it all.

Hopefully by the weekend I will have new art to post.

As usual, thanks for reading.

Erin

A Trashy Novel · art · books · charlie's head · charlies · Charlies Head Series · daily · design · erin · head · illustration · illustrator · In the writing zone · lily · marketing · middle · norberg · novel · Painting · publishing · Story · underground · whalen · Writers group · Writing studio

Opening Public Studio Space in April!!!

I am very excited to announce that I will be moving my art supplies, drawing board, painting table, and all of the stuff I use to create my books and illustrations to a public studio. My plan is to work there daily and I encourage everyone to come and visit me while I produce my next two books with illustrations. I will also be selling books from the studio along with prints of the illustrations. My paintings in progress can be viewed and prints will be for sale on those as well. I am so excited to be able to do this. I will post further details as the time nears and send out invitations to my entire mailing list. I am planning on having some activities and classes for children as well as planned school visits to the author’s studio. Please pass this information along to anyone you may know that would be interested in seeing what I have to offer. I will put out more information as the time nears.

As far as my novel goes, I am getting good reviews from my writer’s group. I haven’t any new drawings to post at this time because I have been getting ready for the studio. Please comment and leave any thoughts on me opening a public studio. I would love to hear your opinions.

Erin

A Trashy Novel · art · artists · books · carnival · charlie's head · charlies · Charlies Head Series · childrens · daily · design · erin · Evil Ring Master · head · illustrator · In the writing zone · middle · norberg · novel · Painting · publishing · Puppet Master · steampunk · Story · underground · whalen · Writers group · Writing studio

Worked all weekend…

Any artist will tell you there is no better place to be than the ZONE. This weekend I worked all sorts of hours and it felt like no time at all. I have been in the zone before but never this deep. Once out of it, I was confused and dazed. It was almost a scary feeling and if that is one of the side effects of deep zoning than I am willing to have more of it. Here are some of the pieces I created while in that zone. Tomorrow I will be adding the finishing touches on it and this piece called “The Ringmaster and his Prey” will be finished and in line behind the “Evil Clown” waiting to be hung in my new studio… I will announce more on that in the springtime. So many great things I have in store for my young readers this year!

 

Puppet of Charlie
A piece of the puppet of Charlie made by the Ringmaster
Evil Ringmaster Works Charlie through his puppet
Evil Ringmaster Works Charlie through his puppet

 

art · artists · daily · erin · illustration · illustrator · marketing · Painting · sketch · sketchbook

I LOVE the artist village!

Ok, I went, I saw, and I LOVED!!! The Hope Artist Village is where I want to spend my days painting and weekends selling. The energy there is amazing. I am going to continue to create enough paintings to fill the walls in the studio so when I do move in, it will be beaming with all of my work. Please everyone send me good energy to obtain the perfect studio so that I can actually eat dinner on my kitchen table with my family instead of painting on it and have everyone eat in the living room … 🙂

Erin

artists · charlie's head · daily · erin · illustrator · In the writing zone · middle · Nest · norberg · novel · publishing · Story · whalen · Writer's Block

Nor-Easter

Okay, its ccc-old out there! Wild winds are pushing around snow that is supposed to get above a foot! Yippee! That’s what most of my friends are saying. Why? Well because we are New Englanders and that is what we look forward to. I am sitting here in my fluffy jammies with fingerless gloves typing on my laptop in my bed under the covers. The wind is howling so loud outside it is making my windows whistle. All this ambiance and I am having trouble getting words down on the page for my novel. Ugggghhh. Of course that doesn’t mean I am going to give up. After I read a few children’s author blogs I’ll get going – it always seems to get me going.

Happy Snow!!!
Erin

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Frustrated with disability

Good morning –

Today I begin with my frustration. Let me begin by saying I am and always have been an optimist but since 2009 of May this wonderful characteristic of mine has declined greatly and unfortunately it still declines daily. I never mentioned this on my blog because I didn’t think it needed to be talked about or was relevant but since this is my blog about my writing and artistic struggles I think it does need to be mentioned.

I need you to know that I am writing from my bed.

I am doing this because I have a major spinal disorder that prevents me from sitting up for long. Not only does it prevent me from sitting up but it also prevents me from running, walking, swimming, driving, and basically anything under the sun with ease. It hurts to put it mildly. I have been writing and drawing from my bed since 2009 of May because that is when my inherited disorder showed itself.

I think its important to tell you this because it is the number one reason I have been struggling to finish my novel. Although the ideas are coming fast and furious and I can’t seem to get them down as good as I used to. When I write, I tend to pace and walk then sit to write then get up and do the same thing all over again. It’s a very physical process for me. I have even gone so far as to lay on my living room for and have my friend help me set up all of my artwork and inspiration materials around me. I have attached a photo below.

My Disabled Office
My Disabled Office

I want you to know I am by no means complaining. I am just giving you a glimpse into my daily life because that is what blogging is all about. Please know that I will never stop writing until my hands don’t work anymore and even then, I will probably talk – type. I love writing and all that is involved but also please know that I am struggling to do it.

Thank you so much to all of my readers who have purchased my work in the past. I hope my new work lives up to your expectations.

Erin T. Whalen

books · daily · erin · In the writing zone · norberg · novel · publishing · Story · whalen

Sunday dinner with loved ones

Today was absolutely perfect. Sure I was exhausted from staying up all night with my little girl and her earache. Sure I was exhausted from having to run her to the doctor’s office on Sunday all while cooking a chicken. However, I find exhaustion is best tolerated when shared with loved ones. As a matter of fact, I believe that through tired eyes and a slowed brain that has lacked a bit of sleep, everything around you tends to go in slow motion. It is not until then that you realize how special your family and loved ones are. Did you ever notice when you are extremely tired it almost feels like you are watching a movie instead of watching actual people around you? I did that today. I sat around a table and listened to my family joke back and forth and chatter endlessly but because it looked as though I was watching a movie i could really pick up on how much everyone really cared about each other. I guess you could say I was living in the moment. Why am I telling you this? Well, I am telling you this because I learned something today – something that applies to writing.

Slow down and be in the moment. When you do this you will catch all of people’s true mannerisms, dialogue, quirks, and quite frankly, the truth that is sitting right behind their shiny eyes.

With this Sunday dinner in the back of mind, I look forward to watching my characters in my mind tomorrow while putting some more words down on my computer. I don’t want to just rush to get to the end of my novel and publish it, I want to sit with my characters and enjoy them like I did with my family today. As a matter of fact, I am going to be quite sad when all the words have been written and bound into pages. It will be then that I have to say goodbye and seek out my new cast of characters to sit and eat with but until then, I will enjoy the characters I am with and savor every moment of it!

Erin