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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Making Time For Creating Art

Sometimes the world comes caving in and it can pull us away from what we love most. Whether it be exercise, reading, playing music, creating art or anything else. For me, it is my art. I absolutely love being in my studio and creating art. It's what I call my "Happy Place" where I completely lose myself in all space and time. It literally soothes my soul. When I get pulled away from that, I can get a little, or a lot, grumpy.

If you follow my Social Media pages (links on this blog) you have likely noticed that I just haven't been up to my usual lately. Why? For one I have had a huge remodel along with some much needed repairs happening at my home. Dust is everywhere, a lot of decisions needed to be made and it just drained me. I did get to use my creativity in picking some new colors and decorations. Good thing I have color knowledge.

Secondly, I have not publicly shared much about my personal life because I like to keep it about my art. However, my wonderful husband is the reason I'm able to do what I do, but that comes with a price. 

He works and works while I hold down the fort and raise my kids. I have one preteen  and another teen who is not old enough to drive. While they are superstar athletes, they are very involved in a couple of demanding sports as well as wonderful musicians. I'd like to think they got some of their creativity from Mom.  With that being said, we are nearing year end tournaments in addition to the remodel. Did I mention between the two of them they were sick for about 3 weeks? That left me feeling like this woman in the cartoon and needing some extra limbs like an octopus:

In the midst of it all, I did manage to start a painting and order a book I've been wanting to get for a while. It is fittingly titled: I'd Rather Be In The Studio, by  Alyson B. Stanfield. 
While I have not attended any of Alyson's sessions, I have followed her blog and she has some wonderful advice for artists. I'm just curious if she has any tips for the busy Mom/Artist, or if it will just be a few years until my teen drives until I can devote more time to my art. I'm not rushing because I love my children dearly and realize they will be grown before I know it. Rest assured, I will not quit. It may be slower at times when my role as a Mother calls, but I never want to quit my art again, ever. 
In the meantime, I have about a 4-5 hour swim meet to attend today. I plan to take a much needed chance to open this book between swim events and check it out. 

In case you've missed it, here is an Elephant work in progress on my 3rd piece to my wildlife series. I've had to work on it in small increments as opposed to the larger painting sessions I normally have. Why? Because that has been my only option, and that is the answer to this blog title. I chose to do most of it with a painting knife because of the texture I wanted to portray.  It follows the two lions I've done. I'm planning a couple of more animals in this series for now. At which point I may break back into some beach/seascape paintings. 

Image Credits: 
Busy Mom: 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Tips for Artists, How to Keep Fit in Your Art Studio

Starting the New Year out Right

It's the time of year we make resolutions and probably the top resolution is losing weight and getting fit. That happens to be on my list this year along with creating more art and improving in my work which is something I'm always striving at doing. What are your resolutions?

Since a few years ago when I finally reached a point in my life to pick up my childhood dream of being an artist and learning to paint, I have found that the sedentary characteristics of drawing and painting have caused me to pack on more than just a few pounds. If you are anything like me with your art, I can get completely lost in my happy place when I'm working which results in loosing complete track of time. I love that feeling, but not the pounds that come along with it.

 (Cartoon of myself, as you can see I'm much better at painting than cartooning)

What I'm doing

Being fit and into health and fitness, prior to having a family life and pursing the sedentary aspects of art, kept me in great shape. Combine that with getting older and a lot of sitting at the computer and easel, was packing on the pounds and it isn't settling well with me. So, I've decided to do something about it by standing as I do my paintings, and exercising during my kids activities when I can not be in the studio.

Taking it a step further, I recently bought the Garmin Vivosmart activity tracker to help with my goals.  After getting one for my son who is a swimmer, I found myself comparing it to the Fitbit. They both have pluses and minuses, but I went with the Garmin Vivosmart. Why? Because it has an alarm to remind me to get up off of my derriere and get moving. Little did I know, even after spending years in the gym that, long periods of inactive time slow your metabolism even if you fit in a good workout during the day. Note: it is perplexing at first since they only include a quick start guide. You have to go online to the Garmin connect site to get more details

 If you don't have a smart watch or fitness tracker, set a timer, any timer

Also, if you aren't aware, eating more frequent smaller meals will also speed up the metabolism. Make sure to drink 6-8 oz of water. You get hungry if you are dehydrated. Try snacking on something healthy, low in carbs and sugar, high in protein and good fats. This tracker, like many has an option for tracking your meals including calories consumed, and calories burned along with sleep. Best of all, it's water resistant, so I can clean my brushes with it. Just don't get solvent on your tracker. Oh wait, Did I mention I can control my music on my compatible device. Music is a must for me when I paint.

Tips In Summary:

1. Get up and move, march in place or something for a few minutes, even just five.
2. Try standing up to paint
3. Monitor your eating
4 Eat smaller healthy meals
5. Snack on healthy snacks in between meals. Think yogurt, nuts. peanut butter with fruit, etc.
6. Keep a bottle of water near. Drink 6-8 glasses a day. 
7. Limit sweets, caffeine and alcohol

The 3' x 6'  lion oil painting is complete and will be posted to my website soon. Keep your eyes open for my upcoming elephant or giraffe painting. I think it will be an elephant.

I suppose this post is going to hold my feet to the fire for getting back in shape, so here is to a fit New Year with many more paintings to come.

If you have a special routine or plan to stay fit in your studio, please share them. I'd love to hear it.
Happy New Year everyone! I wish you peace, success, creativity and prosperity in the New Year.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

About My Art and What's Next

After recently painting The Majestic Lion, I've decided a group of similar paintings for a wildlife series. Followed by seascapes then likely florals.

Second Lion in my Wildlife series-work in progress

So just what is my artwork about? While I have painted a variety of subjects, if you look closely at my paintings, they revolve around the following: 

1. Nature
 (trees, animals, water, flowers)
2. Animals
3. Music: I love music and it will show up on occasion in my paintings, and may be connected with nature.
4. Spirituality-Occasionally I feel compelled to paint something spiritual such as Angels. I have mostly been moved to do so when a close friend has become ill or affected with cancer. 
5. Style: As you will see in most of my paintings, I lean towards realism with a contemporary effect. You will see a little impressionist work mixed in as well. 
6. Color-I love color, so look for vibrant colors, earth tones which reflect my love of nature, and even some paintings that are soft in color.

(Scroll to the bottom to see wildlife photos from a recent trip. This is an idea of some of the animals I intend to include in my Wildlife series.)

So what do I have planned and when? As an artistic person, I am a complete free spirit. Variety and spontaneity keep me fresh and creative. 

However, I will be working on a wildlife series for the next few months. If you connect with or admire animals, wildlife and nature like I do. Keep an eye out for my work. 

Somewhere in that mix, I do have a violin portrait, some commission work and possibly another
palette knife boat painting you will see. 

After these paintings take place, I will be focusing on some seascapes and Equine paintings. Flowers will come later. 

As always, thank you for reading and following my art. 

Written by
Tina A Stoffel

And a large 36 x 48 lion oil painting Work in Progress

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Announcing My New Website

I'm happy to announce the launch of my new website:

After several painstaking hours, I have moved to a new and hopefully hosting service.
It sure gave me quite an appreciation for web developers and I now understand why companies have web administrators. However, as you know, us artists are a different breed.

What's new?

New Paintings
Secure Shopping
More Artwork
Links to Prints and gifts
Newsletter Sign-Up

That's right. now has a SSL certificate for secure shopping. The checkout process is via Paypal, but you may use your credit card and do not need a Paypal account. As always, when making an internet purchase, you should make sure  your browser displays the https before the web address. That ensures your information is secure.

How about signing up for my newsletter? Although I always announce the release of my art on Social Media. Most of us know, that unless you are online at just the right time, posts often get buried in the news feed. Newsletters will go  out monthly. Depending on productivity, there may be an extra announcing new paintings. I promise I will not share or sell your information. It stays private with me.

You are invited to visit and share my new website. Clicks help me move up in the rankings. Feel free to share my art. I love shares because it helps spread the word. You can like my Facebook Page here:
To follow me on Google Plus, click here: Tinas Fine Arts on Google Plus.

Thanks to all of you who share and support my art. This means so much to me.

Tina Stoffel

Thursday, May 7, 2015


For this Mother's Day, I would like to take a moment to thank all the special Moms for all your sacrifices, love, support, caring and everything you do. I especially want to thank my Mom for being the one who helped me and encouraged me to develop my art skills.

Watercolor Courtesy of  Christina Arsenis Google Plus

My Mother's Day Story 
From the time my Mom found me into her paint by numbers while I was still in the crib, to buying me my first art kit by, Jon Gnagy (a wonderful book for starters), it was my Mom who first saw my potential and quickly moved to foster my talents.

Charcoal at age 11

It was my Mom who drove my friend and I to the IUPUI Herron School of Art for weekend art classes that we won through a scholarship at our Jr. High in 9th grade. It's my Mom who still supports me, manages to be the one to like or comment on nearly every single Facebook post I make.

This Mother's Day couldn't be a better time to take the opportunity to honor my Mom and than her for helping me reach my full potential. So if you are reading this Mom, Thank you for everything.

How has your mom helped you achieve your goals and reach your dreams?