Shop+Interview with Sarah Manning Paintings

The Jingle Bash is almost here, y'all. This show features the best handmade artists from near and far. Sarah Manning - of Sarah Manning Paintings - will be there with her rich and vibrant abstract paintings. 

She has been busy prepping for the Bash. "I really enjoyed painting the super small canvases," she said. "Especially the ones for holiday ornaments." We can't wait to see them in person! 

Sarah uses a masking technique with acrylic paint and mixed media to create her pieces. The result is layers of rich color which illustrate her state of mind during the creation of each work. Her passion has played an essential role in her development as an artist and a professional. "After years of not picking up a paintbrush, I slowly began to make it more of a daily routine," she said. "And now it is essential to my sanity and creative wholeness." 

She has been a graphic designer for more than 15 years but painting has remained her passion. Her mother, an art teacher, introduced Sarah to painting early on. "I had a paintbrush in my hand since I can remember," Sarah said. Over time, painting became her creative outlet and served as a conduit to self-discovery. She uses painting to find clarity. 

Stop by and say hello to Sarah at the 2017 Etsy Dallas Jingle Bash where you can shop the best handmade artists from near and far. We will be at Eddie Deen's Ranch 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, November 11, 2017. See y'all at the Bash! 

Shop+Artist interview with Innerglow Art

The shop: Innerglow Art
The artist: Sarah Hickey

The name Innerglow was inspired by one of Sarah’s favorite songs in middle school. She loves the word and what it represents. “To me it means letting your inner light shine. True beauty is on the inside and is then reflected outside by the actions and deeds,” Sarah said. “We all have an ‘innerglow.’ We all have a story to share with the world.”

Innerglow Art will be available at the 2017 Jingle Bash. This is Sarah’s first time as a Jingle Bash artist and we are thrilled to have her share her work with you. “I’m looking forward to meeting new people and just being a part of a show I’ve heard so many good things about from other vendors,” Sarah said. She is bringing some new items to the Bash. “I’m excited to put my art on objects other than canvases,” she said. Be sure to visit her booth to check out the coasters, kitchen items and more.

A typical day for Sarah begins with coffee (us too!), journaling and quiet time. Then she starts work on commissions. She spends her days painting, dropping off paintings, picking up frames and getting more supplies. You can keep up with her on Instagram @innerglowart for more behind-the-scenes looks. “I love the excitement of creating new things,” she said. “And getting my friends and followers excited about what to look forward to.”

Sarah says she loves color, exploring new techniques, and painting with purpose. She has always enjoyed art but didn’t really pursue it until after college. “One day, I started painting abstract paintings on large canvases and got so much positive feedback from friends and family I started painting more. Before I knew it, I was painting part-time while working my home health speech therapy job,” she said. Now Innerglow is her full-time job. She said it has been fun getting to create her own schedule.

She donates a portion of her earnings every quarter to a non-profit in the Philippines. “I think what people value most in their life will be reflected in their actions day to day. A good priorities check every now and then is good for the soul,” Sarah said. “At the end of the day, ask yourself, did I live my day to its fullest? What would I have wanted to spend more time doing if I could?”

Stop by and say hello to Sarah at the 2017 Etsy Dallas Jingle Bash where you can shop the best handmade artists from near and far. We will be at Eddie Deen's Ranch 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, November 11, 2017. See y'all at the Bash!

Shop Spotlight: Curious & Fanciful

Hello, everybody, and welcome to another installation of our Shop Spotlight series! This week we are featuring Curious & Fanciful, a truly unique shop with incredible hand-painted and letterpress designs.

What year did you open your shop? 2008
What is your shop's motto? Live Long and Prosper

One of Katrina's letterpress designs.

What is your favorite item that you sell? For my large shows, especially Jingle Bash, I make 4 or 5 glass shadow boxes to sell. They are very unique gifts. I reproduce my feather and butterfly paintings, cut them out, and shape them to look real. I then mount them in hand-crafted glass boxes to hang on the wall. People can't believe they are paper!

A butterfly in-process

The finished 3-D paper butterfly

Watercolor feathers

What is a fun fact about you? I can write with my toes!

Katrina spends much of her free time painting larger canvas pieces.

How did you get started? I grew up in a small town and never had the opportunity to be involved in art classes because my electives were filled up with band and journalism. When I moved to Denton to study interior design at UNT, I learned that I had quite a bit of catching up to do. I had always loved doodling, but never considered it my calling. Suddenly, I was immersed in fine arts classes studying drawing, design, and computers in art, model making, color theory, and print making. I even did some study abroad in the Czech Republic to learn about Mucha, Art Nouveau, and architecture. I also learned a lot about beer, and got engaged!

When I returned home, I decided to change my major to Art History, and began planning my wedding. I fell head over heels for letterpress wedding invitations and HAD to have them. Better yet, I had to make my own. Better yet, this is what I could do after college! One thing lead to another, and before I knew it, I had convinced my future husband and father to take a road trip to Kansas City to purchase a Chandler & Price letterpress made in 1897.

I graduated with a degree in Interdisciplinary Arts & Design Studies because I truly studied a little bit of everything to try and find my niche. What I found was that I am passionately curious about learning new art mediums. I am curious and fanciful, and my shop is all about different types of art and what you can do with a little bit of practice and courage.

Thanks so much, Katrina! What a wonderful insight into your life as an artist. We're so glad to have you along as a team member!

You can find out more about Curious & Fanciful on her social media sites: Twitter // Instagram // Web // Blog

Studio Snapshots: Liz Wiley

It’s time for another behind-the-scenes look at an Etsy Dallas studio. This time we have a special Q&A with Liz Wiley as well as a look at her workspace. 

What mediums do you work with?
I make paintings on canvas using oil and acrylic. I used to work only with oils, then I started experimenting with acrylic paints for my “1 painting a day series” paintings, because I needed them to dry fast. Now that’s about all I use unless a customer requests I use oil paints.  
How is your workspace set up now?
My studio is located in a large commercial space. The front wall is ceiling to floor windows. I love all the light. Sometimes I don’t even turn on the lights. 

I have a 4' x 10' steel table in the middle of my room that I had made to work on. There is a shelf for baskets with tools and a rod to hang rolled canvas. In the corner I have a shelving system to hold all my paints. I keep brushes and tools on the top. 

I have a small office space in the back. There is a desk for my computer, book case and three idea boards. Plants everywhere. I don’t usually have the best luck with plants, but they are doing OK so far.

How is it different from when you started?
I started working in the garage at our house. It was hot, cramped and not very inspiring. The biggest difference is the amount of work that I am able to accomplish in my studio v. the garage (where there were too many distractions). I am also able to create larger paintings. It’s so inspiring to have a dedicated space to work.  

What is your favorite thing about your workspace?
I just love having my own space to work. I love that I can leave my works in progress out and not worry about it being in the way or getting touched by my little kids.

Painter shares 5 tools of her trade

Liz Wiley creates beautiful paintings using oils and acrylics. She is sharing five of her favorite tools with us. If you're expecting something obvious like paintbrushes and fixative, you're in for a surprise. And if you're a budding painter, you may want to add these to your art supplies.

Thrifty Trowel  
This is my most used tool. I think it’s traditionally used for tile work. It’s a square piece of plastic that has different designs on each edge. One is smooth and the other three have different spacing notches. I use it to apply, smooth and scrape paint. It's wonderful at applying the paint without leaving brush marks. Tube Wringer
This little tool is great for getting every last drop of paint out of a tube. You pay a lot for that paint. Don’t throw it out because you can’t get it out. They make a plastic one, but I use the heavy duty metal one. It will be the only one you need to buy, because it will last forever. 

These little bottles are great for creating thin continuous lines. The tips are closed so you have to cut them to get the paint out. There are also bottles with metal tips. You can get an extremely thin line using these. The secret to using these is that you need to thin the paint so it will come out. I use Liquitex Fluid Medium. Try to limit mixing your acrylic paints with water. Using water will weaken the paint and it may flake right off the canvas. 

Catalyst Tools
I love these tools. They are like a brush only they don’t have a brush head. It’s a flexible silicone.  They are just so different. Almost like a soft palette knife. Think baking spatula. These are amazing at applying paint in a smooth finish. They are also useful for mixing paint. 

Camera (in my case, a cell phone camera)
I know this is a little unusual for a tool, but I find that I use it for every painting. Taking in-progress pictures helps show the evolution of a piece. Looking at the picture on a computer provides a different perspective. I can easily catch things that need to be changed. Reviewing the photos makes any design problems more obvious. I think of it as the modern day mirror. And after you've finished the painting, you have an image ready to post on Etsy so you can start making sales.