#12 – Memorial Day Weekend

It’s been a busy weekend. Here are my daily photos I took over the last three days. We had a cookout with the family, went kayaking at Kinderhook Lake and enjoyed the awesome weather! I hope everyone enjoyed the time with their loved ones and remembered to honor those we have lost.

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#5 – Follow Your Heart

Took this yesterday at Papscanee Island Nature Preserve. I didn’t have an opportunity to post it yesterday so today I will just post two photos and keep the count going. We found this on the trail during our hike! It’s so exciting to find nature inspired creations left behind by others.

401!

I just realized I’ve written over 400 posts here on my blog! This is 401, baby! That’s pretty insane. I have been keeping my blog for just over three years! It has been a great experience. The reason I started my blog was to keep myself more focused with my artwork. It was the only way I could hold myself to a schedule. It forced me to take time out of my day for my art when otherwise it would get overshadowed by other things happening in my life. Doodling once or twice a week just wasn’t cutting it. My blog has helped me with my time management and also my confidence in my work.

I have always been a quiet, modest person. It was always difficult for me to show off my work even though I knew I needed to be in the public eye to make it as a full time artist. Being on here, I have been able to build relationships with other bloggers and force myself to ignore self-doubt. I’ve met a lot of amazing people on here; a lot of them are just like me! It’s nice to have people to relate to! It helped build my confidence and made me more comfortable with just being myself. I don’t feel the need to “put on a face”. This is all Meg, baby, open for all the world to see! I’m not “afraid” to be me anymore. It’s a great feeling.

In all of this, my work has improved immensely! Not only because I’m obviously dedicating more time to it but also because I’m not afraid of how my work is going to turn out anymore. I use to waste so much time, stressing over my work, thinking it’s never “good enough”. It became difficult to stay motivated, not wanting to start a new piece until the current one was finished. Though, I never wanted to finished the current one because I was avoiding it, doubting my talent. These past couple years I’ve been able to get away from this way of thinking. Now, my ongoing goal is to just keep drawing, keep creating, just be. That’s it! Do what feels right and for god’s sake stop thinking your work is crap! It’s just work. It’s just art. It just is. Good? Bad? It’s a matter of opinion. All I can do is just make it. It is what it is. Once I accepted that, my art became carefree and easy going. The finished pieces come out so awesome and I’m more proud of my work than I have ever been. You can’t force perfection nor can you expect to work like a machine. It’s cliché, I know, but it’s the flaws that make things interesting. It’s the imperfections that attract attention.

So, long story short, I really enjoy blogging and it has done wonders for my work as an artist. What made you want to start a blog? Share your story in the comments below! Thanks for checking out my 401st post! I’ll have to do something super special for the big 500! Until then…

Just be, free spirits!

Free Spirit Meg’s Art Shop!

Free Spirit Meg’s Art Shop….I like the way that sounds! Anyways…I am so excited to officially announce that I have my own online store now! It’s been a long time coming. Now, I can finally offer prints and canvases of my work. I am slowly creating an online presence starting with Society6 and RedBubble. They have a lot of great products on both sites and it is really fun creating merchandise with my art! I’ve already made my first sale on Society6 and I am so excited and grateful! This is my next step to becoming a full time artist and I feel that much closer to achieving my goal! Thank you to everyone who has supported me this far. I hope I can continue to create beautiful artwork to please your eyeballs! Be sure to check out the new shop and pick up what you like. There are frequent sales going on so check back often!

Another way that you can support my work is by subscribing to Free Spirit Meg on Patreon. It is a site that helps creative entrepreneurs build their business and put together Reward Tiers. You get to choose how much money you want to contribute and receive subscription boxes for each month you are subscribed. I currently offer monthly photography postcards, totem animal prints and custom totem cards exclusively for patrons! The more I grow, the more goodies I can put in my subscription boxes! Check it out and let me know what you think!

Again, I just want to say thank you to everyone who has helped me get this far and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here! Let me know what you think of the new shop and what your favorite items are! Also, if you have a favorite totem animal that hasn’t made it to the shop yet, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll be sure to add it in with haste!

Take care, free spirits!

Photo Journal: Beach Treasures at Magee Marsh

I made my way to Lake Erie again a couple weeks ago. My family and I walked the beach at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area. It is known for it’s bird watching boasting over 300 different species recorded! Driving up to the beach we passed an eagle’s nest in the trees next to the road. Unfortunatley, no one was home. 

Some interesting beach art.

The beach was peaceful with a consistant, cool breeze. The sand was soft at first. As the tide came in it brought millions of tiny shells and other treasures. It was quite pokey to walk on. We found some “lucky stones”. They look like small, white pebbles with markings resembling either “L” or “J”. They are actually the ear bone of a freshwater drum fish or more commonly known as a sheephead. Fisherman will keep one in their pocket for good luck and others have adopted it into their own collections. I love beach treasures!

“Lucky Stone”

What are some beach treasure you have found? Any lucky gems? Share your story in the comments below! Thanks for stopping by this week! 

Until next time,

“Not all treasure is silver and gold, mate.”

The inside of a shell, looks like a planet.

The gulls take flight.

The waves were splashing.

Driftwood….or art supplies?

So many treasures to find!

See what I mean!

Driftwood statues.

DeSoto: A Heart of Gold

RIP DeSoto

It’s hard to say goodbye when someone has been at your side for ten years. On March 10th, I had to say goodbye to my greatest friend, DeSoto. He had been with me nearly his entire life. I received him from a friend of a friend when he was no more than a few months old. He was so tiny at the time with big dopey ears that stood straight up. He came everywhere with me; he was my shadow.

DeSoto has been all across the country with me. He was with me when I had my first place in Ohio. Then we moved to Tennessee, back to Ohio, then to New York where we have been for the past seven years. He would sleep by my side every night and even after I got married, my husband had to compete for his place next to me. DeSoto was always there. His love was truly unconditional and he expressed it often. He would squeal with joy every single time I got home like he hadn’t seen me in years; even if I had just ran down the street and back. Usually the knuckle head would be so excited, he would headbutt me in the face. It hurt like hell but I couldn’t be mad. He could not contain his excitement!

He was a mutt. We guessed something between a rottweiler and a black lab. Don’t ask me where those pointy ears came from though. That will always remain a mystery. Regardless of his pedigree, he was a very handsome dog. He had a shiny black coat and was always toned. He loved to run, although, his beloved Sasha could always outrun him. He was an incredible jumper as well. He could easily clear any backyard fence he came to. No matter though. He would never run away. He would just come to the front door and paw at it, as if he was knocking to come in.

He was very obedient. He wanted to please anyone and everyone he met. He was your typical happy hound and he loved being a dog! He was good at it. He would be so hard on himself if he did something wrong, I could barely scold him. Half the time, I didnt even know he did something wrong until he would rat himself out with his guilty manuerisms.
He was a good boy. He had an affect on everyone that met him. His genuine happiness rubbed off on all. I miss him dearly. I believe we were meant to be together. He wanted nothing more than to just be with me. I am a huge animal lover and have always had a strong connection with every creature I meet but DeSoto was so much more. It’s hard to explain. I literally feel like I’ve lost a peice of myself. Everytime I open the door, I’m sad he’s no longer there to greet me. I often feel the need to let him outside so we can chill in the sun together but then I remember he’s gone. He would always be there when I was sad to comfort me and let me hug him as long as I needed. Now when I cry, it’s for him and I want nothing more than to squeeze him tight.

I guess it just takes time. Time heals all wounds, right? I just need to keep thinking of the great life we had together. I am the luckiest girl in the world to have had such an incredible friend at my side. DeSoto taught me to enjoy every second we have. There is no need to dwell on the past. Everyday is a new day and our attitude is what makes everything brighter. DeSoto was a friend to all and had no prejudice. We could all learn a thing or two from such a loyal and loving heart.
This is for you buddy. I miss you tremendously but I will always stay positive and embrace everyday, just like you did.

Until next time,

“Our bodies are prisons for our souls. Our skin and blood, the iron bars of confinement. But fear not. All flesh decays. Death turns all to ash. And thus, death frees every soul.”