The Problem With Being A Snob

Every culture and sub-culture in the world is invaded by some form of snobbery or elitism. From fine arts to crafts & handmade goods, from sports to home decorating, from religion to politics, from shopping to farming, from YouTube to Hollywood…  The list could go on and on…

I confess there are many times in my life that I have been a snob – I have fallen prey to numerous different elitist mentalities. The problem with snobbery is that once you are mixed up in it you start to make unwise purchases, hurt people’s feelings and even set yourself up on all sorts of pedestals.  However, over time these pedestals can become hard to balance on, your knees begin to wobble and yet… It can be hard to get down…

I’d like to tell you that it was intelligence, growth and maturity that helped me to climb down from some of my pedestals but it wasn’t… it was actually my 16 year old daughter.

For years my daughter, my Mom and I have run a small business called, A+jewelry & Crafts. We make handmade jewelry, knitting and crocheted items to sell. We started off by just attending local craft sales and fairs but eventually we began an Etsy shop and have been selling our wares online for a couple of years. There is this fun promotional thing on Etsy called ‘Treasuries‘ – it’s a collection of 16 items that you hand pick out of different shops (not your own shop) all over Etsy to help promote and encourage sales. Typically the goal is to choose beautiful, well photographed items that match and look pretty together. If your treasury is really good it might even get picked by Etsy and displayed on the front page for part of a day.

My daughter has great fun making these promotional collections but the unique thing about her treasuries is that she scours Etsy looking for the LEAST favoured items and shops. She purposely fills her treasuries with creations that are overlooked or undervalued and she does an incredible job of featuring them in an appealing way.  She does similar things on other online sites as well including; deviantART where she seeks out and finds the folks who never get much attention, she encourages them and favourites their work.

Why does she do this?

Well, obviously because she is the sweetest thing on two legs (I can say that because I’m her Mother 😉 ) and because she understands that it’s not about excellence, standards or perfection – its about your heart… She knows that if you love what you do, if it’s fun and if you find joy in doing/creating it (and you’re not hurting anything or anyone), then that is the “excellence”, that is the “standard”!  And you should never let any snob tell you otherwise, including myself.

The things we learn from our children… 🙂

IMG_0747

My girl and I ❤ – We kinda look alike don’t ya think?

A Forgery

I recently received a commission from my Etsy shop – MISH MASH – to create a replica of a painting I had done before. While I knew I could create something very similar I also knew it wouldn’t be exactly the same. I thought it would be fun to show you these sister paintings and I’ve also included my process of painting the original piece as well.

This is my original piece – ‘Following the Snow Line’. Please click on image to see enlarged version.
This is the sister painting – my recent commission. ‘Following the Snow Line II’ – 1.5′ x 3′. Please click on image to see enlarged version.

I like to start most of my paintings off as a sketch. I don’t usually follow the drawing exactly but it helps to give me a good idea of how to begin – and it warms up my hands a little. 🙂

Often my paintings are inspired by photographs. I’ll keep the photo and the sketch close at hand while painting.

I always begin with a watery paint drawing on my canvas – this creates an outline for me to follow.

Typically I start painting in the background first – this isn’t a hard and fast rule for me just seems to be my default.

I like to put down my first layer of paint as a general outline of movement and colour – after this is down I then proceed to putting a layer of detail on top.

Following the same process as the sky I move forward a layer and put down my outline again. After I am content with the movement and colour of that section I layer over with more detail.

Moving forward again in my piece following the same pattern – layer upon layer – until it is complete.

I really like to use stylized outlining in different colours to pull things together in the end. For example below, the light orange lines on the tree branches or the red outline along the mountain edge. This is not something every artist does it’s just a style preference for me.

Above and below are the two sisters again (click images to enlarge).

~ Micheline