Beginning inventory prep for fall/holiday shows. I can’t wait to show you all the new concepts and designs I’ve been working on. Most of them have been ideas in my head for a while that I’ve finally started to put down on paper (and wood). Due to my workload and desire to maintain some semblance of sanity, I will not be taking custom ornament or journal orders this year. Turns out I only like painting what I want, when I want and how I want to paint it 😂
I didn’t get a chance to hike and paint yesterday like I had hoped but I did spend several hours driving somewhere in the middle of the Pioneers and Boulder Mountains with incredible views the entire time. So last night as I was seeking some solitude for a few hours I found a table in the middle of a plaza in downtown Ketchum and painted what I remembered from what I had seen while eavesdropping on some interesting conversations.
I wanted to portray the way the light plays on the hillsides and all of the colors that are exposed. So much more than greens and browns. .
I’m getting so much better at noticing when I need alone time and taking it to recharge. Where I’m constantly on the go right now I don’t get as much down time as I need so it’s important for me to take moments of solitude where I can get them. It used to seem weird to me to say “I need some time alone, I’ll see you guys later”, but now it just seems like what is necessary sometimes and there is nothing wrong in asking for what you need. .
It was incredibly inspiring watching my friends cross the finish line on their first Ultra yesterday. So glad to know so many kick ass people ❤️
The high for today is supposed to be 108 😳😩
I wish I were in San Diego playing in the ocean about now.
Also, interesting fact. About the same time that this picture was taken I could do hand stand push ups. It only took 6 months of training to do lol. Might have to make that a goal for this winter.
Heading back to the mountains again on Friday to cheer @summitjunkie on as he runs Standhope Mountain in the Pioneers. While he’s running I think I’ll take a hike and find a sweet little alpine lake to dip my toes in. Any locals have some good suggestions? After last weekend’s beast of a hike I think I’d like something moderate to hard but no more than 8-10 miles tops.
Sometimes I don’t hate Monday’s. Sometimes it feels nice to settle into my desk with some coffee and look over my planner and feel settled after a jammed packed weekend of fun and adventure. It’s a fleeting feeling in my life these days.
My best friend came to visit this weekend and observed that I am stretched incredibly thin. Sometimes it takes someone who you don’t see all the time to see what’s going on and say the thing you’ve known for a while but have been avoiding acknowledging.
The short and sweet of it is that I love painting, I love having a small business, but I hate what it is doing to my stress levels and how I frequently don’t have the time or energy to do what I want or need to do. This last year I suffered from severe depression in the winter, I gained weight because I was sitting more and making less time for the gym. Some of my relationships suffered from a lack of quality time and because of my stress levels.
I’m not interested in giving up my full time job; I value the independence and security it provides too much. I’m not willing to give up my friends or my active life style.
So I thought about it a lot this weekend. I love painting and selling art. I hate shipping, updating the website, assembling prints and cards for shows, managing inventory, etc. That leads me to two options 1. Give up selling my art and just go back to painting as a hobby, or 2. Hire an assistant.
The latter seems like a no brainer option but it’s going to have to be the right person or else I will have a hard time relinquishing control.
Either way, I’m at a bit of a cross roads right now and am going to shut down purchasing options on my website for a few weeks until I figure out what to do. If you’ve already purchased something, don’t worry, I will be sending all the pending orders this week. I will still be selling my art and stickers at Mixed Greens so you can buy it there. I will still be painting and posting and doing all the normal things, just not selling online for a little bit.
If you are in the Boise area and know of a responsible person looking for a part time job with flexible hours, please let me know!
The Sawtooths never fail to stir my soul. Yesterday’s hike was the stuff dreams are made of, complete work wildflowers, jagged peaks, and incredible views. Happy to share the experience with @leah_evon @reneecchristopher ❤️
As I finish up the first year of my thirties, I am spending some time reflecting on what I have learned, what I’ve lost, and what I’ve gained. 30 was a great but terribly hard year for me. My art and business saw awesome growth and success. I grew closer to some friendships and pulled away from others that were no longer healthy. I ended relationships that needed ending, notably a toxic relationship with my Dad. I took a long, much needed break from dating. I worked harder than I ever have and reaped the benefits (and the side effects) afterwards. I set new goals and gave up on impossible expectations. I found balance in my life and have continuously struggled to keep it, sometimes failing all together. I lost ground on my internal battle with my fear of heights in the winter and let it rule my experiences with snowboarding and climbing, to my dismay. I continued to gain weight. And then I found a formula that works for me and started losing it again. I lost muscle and strength and started gaining it again. I lost a lot of sleep. But now I’m catching up.
Perhaps the biggest change I’ve seen is in my perspective and how I’ve learned to deal with stress better, letting things roll off my back more. I learned the absolute importance of self care. I learned how to be completely alone. I learned that despite my need for alone time, it’s not healthy for me to be alone for long periods of time. I learned that perfection is an illusion and it would serve me well to give up on trying to achieve it. I learned to listen to my intuition more, because it’s usually right.
I feel like those are a lot of things in one year, and I’m pretty happy with it. Looking back on past experiences, even the really bad ones, they have all shaped me in some way and I don’t think I would change any of it because I’m pretty happy to be where I am ❤️
You may have noticed I haven’t posted that this piece is available for sale yet and here’s why: In my haste and excitement, I didn’t check with the author of that cool quote to see if 1. She would give me permission to use it or 2. She would be willing to license it to me. I don’t know what I was thinking, I work in a legal department for God’s sake. Anyway, when I asked her she said no. I offered a very generous licensing royalty but she wasn’t interested. Which really sucks. I feel like that saying just tied the whole piece together. So for the last few weeks I’ve been stewing about it and trying to figure out what to do. My options are 1. Find another cool quote that I can use or license or 2. Come up with my own quote. After talking with a particularly word talented friend this last weekend, I think we are going to work together to create something unique. I like the idea of something a friend has created being on my artwork better than a strangers anyway. It still sucks though because i have always loved that quote and it fit so perfectly, but sometimes we have to make adjustments. I think I will be offering the print a few ways: without color, with color, without quote (when I figure that out), and with quote. I was hoping to have stickers ASAP but I kind of wanted to put that saying with it. I could do stickers without a quote though. What do you guys think? What would you like better?
Anyway, I’m going to post the two print options without the quote to my website this week. Look for the announcement!
It’s smokey, hot and gross here today. I’ve been too busy to paint much except on backpacking trips and I’m somewhat out of words right now. So here’s a close up of a sketch book painting I already posted. I love the way the sky and the shadows on the mountains turned out. Who else needs a weekend to recover from their weekends?
I watched as my friend waded into the clear lake up to her knees, her bare body reflecting in the glassy water. “That is a killer photo” I said as I captured the moment on my phone. “Really? Even with my skinny shoulders?” Her skinny shoulders? The way her shoulder blades pop out is what she meant. All I saw was a long, lean, strong body with long arms and strong shoulders that can easily reach the holds on a climbing wall and whose long legs can stride twice the length of my short ones.
It’s funny the things we are all individually insecure about. Things others would never think to notice.
While I watched my four friends frolick with me in the lake, totally naked, I took note of our different breast shapes. I had recently heard my good friend say she felt self conscious about hers because she felt they sagged too much. But all of ours sagged a little. Some were small, some were flatter, some were round, some were large. And they were all beautiful. You could tell without a doubt that we were all women, beautiful in our individuality. Our bodies capable of so much. And it made me think about how the societal standard we are all trying to conform to is an image of large, round, perky breasts on a long, lean bodies. And some women have those. But most of us don’t! And OMG what we are wasting by trying to be something we are not instead of excepting all the wonderful things we are! I will never be long and lean like my friend. She has a solid 6 inches on me and has a hard time gaining weight. My boobs could suffocate someone if I needed them to. Hers never will without surgery. But does that make either of us less of a woman? Does it make either of us less interesting or successful or loveable? Fuck no!
Can we please all agree that we are different, not one of us the same? So why are we all trying to look one way when our differences are what make us who we are?
Are we doing it to attract men? To feel like we belong? I can’t even answer my own question fully but I know it has to stop. We let the idea of what could/should be keep us from appreciating what is, from enjoying moments like this one of pure, non-judgmental joy!
It was kind of a crazy weekend scrambling to get places but in the middle was our time at this alpine lake, at the base of these magnificent Sawtooth mountains. We more or less had the place to ourselves so we indulged in evening and morning skinny dips, playing cards, yoga and painting in between bouts of lounging and eating.
I was lucky enough to meet new friends, see old friends and spend quality time with my girlfriends in the mountains, all in one weekend. .
Side note: just as I had finished sketching this, I whipped out my pen and it leaked ink everywhere, including the three big, black ink splotches in the middle of my painting. I liked the sketch and didn’t want to start over so I just kept on going over the top of it. It’s about the process, not perfection.
I forgot to post this painting I made on the plane ride to Portland a couple weeks ago. Because Boise is small we have very few direct flights to Portland so I had a connecting flight into Seattle. We flew in an arc around Mt. Rainier as I was drawing the mountains and it was one of the most spectacular views I have ever seen. It was the golden hour before the sun set and the glaciers on top of the volcano were glowing. Those 10 minutes were worth the extra flight and 4 hour layover. I almost finished this in 30 minutes! I’m getting faster and more confident with my pen and brush strokes. Ready for some mountain painting this weekend!
Did you know that with every order I include a small, hand painted piece of original art? It’s like getting a bonus gift with your order. Each piece is uniquely imagined mountain scape painted on watercolor paper.
Hey Guys! Since there have been so many new followers lately it seems like a good time to introduce myself and offer an opportunity for some Q&A. I’m Kara, the artist behind Idaho Adventures Art. I grew up in the mountains of the Clearwater National Forest in north central Idaho, rolling around in dirt, riding horses and splashing around in creeks. I began painting about two years ago as a way to capture my mountain adventures and it has since taken on a life of its own as a business. Trained as a scientist and regulatory compliance specialist, being an artist never crossed my mind. However, I’ve found that it was the missing piece in my life, the passion, the hobby, the outlet I had been needing. I love the outdoors and I hope to inspire others to get outside, explore and protect our wild places. I also feel strongly about empowering women to take life by the horns and make it their bitch lol. I want women to realize their inner power and abilities and to not shrink away from adventures or hard things. I think there is power is tackling hard challenges, like climbing mountains and rock walls, paddling rivers and biking trails. .
I am a lover of mountains, golden retrievers, books, deep conversations, sunsets, coral reefs and curry. And of sleeping in :). I want to use my one precious life to see as much of this earth and experience as many sunset views as I possibly can. And snuggle a golden retriever every day. I swear like a sailor and am a bit of a hot mess in general. I would rather wear Chacos than heals and I still get excited when I pull my backpacking pack out of the closet to pack it. .
Feel free to ask any questions about me, painting or adventuring that you wish :)
I haven’t had much time for painting this week or even this last weekend. Sometimes you just have to make time for other things in your life, like the gym, spending time with friends who are moving away and personal projects around the house. So here’s a process video of a painting I did back in June when it was still cool enough to paint on the patio in the evening. Now it’s unrelentingly hot.