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My art studio has been born!!!

I just started designing my new place… It’s called THE STORY EMPORIUM. Below is a description of what it is.

The Story Emporium is an art studio where children’s illustration can be purchased in the form of altered jewelry, prints, originals or books. I like to call it so much more than a children’s bookstore because not only can visitors come in and watch a children’s illustrator at work but 2 times a week we have visiting authors and illustrators who are interviewed for a local television station and a web show! Following each interview will be a book signing. Each visiting author will have their books for sale at The Story Emporium! In addition to our visiting authors we will have our resident storyteller for story times all week! Like I said…it is so much more than a children’s book store!

If you are a children’s author or illustrator and would like to be considered for an interview please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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

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Wytch painting

20110706-112434.jpg

Here is a painting in the works. She is one of the bad guys in my novel. I am plugging along nicely now and the book is coming together… Or should I say it’s all there, just cleaning it up.
I met with an old friend and a few others in the artist community and it made me very happy to know that I belong to such a great bunch of people.

Thanks for keeping me going with my art!

Erin

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Meet the Underground Witch

I have been doing so much character work as well as cleaning up my chapters and let me tell you this novel is shaping up better than I thought possible. I am so excited to be able to share the progress with you. I have taken this entire weekend to be by myself with my stories. I am popping back and forth from text to sketch then back again.

Underground Witch
Underground Witch
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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

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Writer’s Nest

Evil Ringmaster steals the show!
Evil Ringmaster controls the show

The deeper I travel into this novel the more I love it! I am sitting upstairs in what I call my ‘writing nest’ and tapping away at the keyboard. Although my back is hurting me badly I am managing to type lying down on my daughters bean bag. Pain pill helps as well. Cross your fingers for me and perhaps you will have this very book in hand by the spring!

Erin

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Sketching my novel

Sketching some of my characters – here is a sneak peek of the ringmaster. There are so many more but I don’t want to spoil the

surprise! Keep your eyes on the blog for more info …

The Ring Master
The Ring Master

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

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Has it really been that long???

What an enjoyable weekend I had just painting my clown in my art studio by the pond.  I have to admit though, I had no idea how long it had been since posting to my sketchblog. Last May and the last posting I believe, I drew this clown. Since then, he has been written into my middle grade novel, which by the way is almost complete, and painted into a wonderful mixed-media piece. There is so much more to this piece and I will actually unveil it sometime this week. I plan to finish the entire work by Wednesday of this week so be sure to check back here to see the finished piece. The novel I have been working so hard on over the past year has inspired me to explore an entirely new genre of art which will also be explained in more detail just as soon as I figure out the details. I have so many wonderful ideas floating – no, more like flying – around my brain right now I can hardly keep up! Its exciting and exhausting at the same time. But just like any proper artist, I cave to my creativity and explore all of my ideas as my ‘domestic’ life falls apart around me. It’s a good thing I have such supporting children who have learned to accept that the kitchen can sometimes become an art studio and that dinner can be fun eating picnic-style on the living room floor! My lovely boyfriend also has a world of patience with me as I get lost in my work and refuse to leave the house for an entire weekend. My family is not only understanding of my creative “condition” but they actually encourage me to paint and write  and are excited to see the next piece. I have to say I have been blessed.