Updated webpage

Good morning! I just purged (I don’t like that word!) a bunch of old images from my webpage to start all fresh and clean. I also streamlined it so that I only have my contact page, sketchbook and homepage. I’m hoping it will be easier to manage. I also have a lot of images on Instagram so people could find more images there. It is my first official day of summer and I need to call the dentist. I’ve been putting it off for longer than I should. In the art world, I am thinking about purchasing a new laptop as mine is so slow. I am looking at iMac laptops. I’m very happy with my iPad and would like something that could work easily with the iPad. I want to be able to access the full photoshop program to edit my watercolor paintings. I think I need to make this purchase pretty soon so that I can work on stuff for my art show Alley Art Fest in Aurora on August 31. I’m going to print copies of digital and watercolor. I also want to try printing vinyl stickers. I’ve been in training for two days and just finished teaching last Friday so I am in a transition from crazy busy to relaxing. Thanks for reading my mind purge ;). Hope you have a great day!!

Snow days and art

Because of my job and the fact that I live in the Midwest, I have the occasional snow or cold day. This week, I’ve had three of them. I find that I have been able to get a bit of artwork in. When I have a long cold day and nothing else that has to get done, I’m relaxed and can focus. It’s nice to have this time and I will have to make them up in June so I may as well appreciate it! 😀

The art show

It's been a couple of weeks but I didn't get a chance to write about my first art show!! It was a success!  I even sold some notecards.  I had a beautiful table and I'm glad I put so much time planning my table before the school year started.  Here was the bad thing; bubbles! Big giant science bubbles that were being blown right into all my art! It would have been funny if I wasn't being so crabby!! The bubbles were moved down and it really was a great evening in the end.  Got some really nice comments on my art work. 

Alphabet book

I've written about motivation.  I find it very helpful to have a daily task to post on Instagram.  Lately, I started the 100 days project.  I began doing a sketchbook page each day.  Then, inspired by other artists in my MATS Bootcamp class, I began doing an alphabet page each day.  I am currently on M already!  Each page is done in Jane Davenport watercolor.  I am painting a type of fruit of veg for each day!  My favs so far are asparagus and guava!  It has been so much fun!  I've been sharing on my facebook page Christine Benda Illustration and my Instagram by the same name.  I should also say that I am loving Bootcamp!  I've never done it before.  There is an assignment a month.  Last month was roses on a gardening themed journal with a quote.  I can't wait for June's assignment!

Art motivation via Instagram

So my last blog was really about struggling to find motivation.  I have to say I have found a great free motivator on Instagram. There are many prompts out there for sketchbooks.  I have been using these prompts all winter.  When I look back at my sketchbook, I see that daily sketchbook work has helped me create some awesome pieces that I can use for other pieces.  My favorite was the month challenge for December. That is a busy month but having a daily challenge really helped motivate me!

Global Talent Search

I've just completed my first ever entry in Lila Roger's Global Talent Search.  It is a contest where the final prize is representation with her agency.  The assignment was great! You were to design a teacup, saucer and napkin for a bakery that was opening a tea room.  You could do anything. There wasn't a theme. You were to work in your own style. I designed at least 5 different sets before I chose one. The judges pick just 50. Honestly, there were so many great entry I doubt I'll make the 50 but I'm glad I tried. It was a fun project!

Motivation and art work

I have a totally different day job.  I teach first graders.  I've been teaching for a long time.  I know how kids act and I know what to do to teach them.  I know my strengths and my weaknesses.  Art is so different than teaching in some ways.  In doing artwork, I feel so vulnerable.  As if I have painted my heart and soul into something.  I have to push myself to share my work sometimes.  After I've painted or gone through a process with a piece, I am so happy with the piece but there is always something about the piece that I can't get quite right.  Each time I do a drawing or a painting, I figure out different things that I hadn't even thought of before.   Sometimes, I will complete a piece and not be satisfied with it.  I have to hang on to it until I can go back and figure out what I need to do to rework the piece.   It is truly a way to go and stretch yourself.


Watercolor wasn't my favorite.  I couldn't control it. It was too wet or too dry or not the right color.  It's taken awhile but I finally like watercolor. In the midst of a crazy week at school, I have found that I am craving getting that brush in my hand at the end of the day.  My brain doesn't get to rest from the day but a different side of my brain clicks in.  I can hear my inside voice trying to make sense of my work. I think my left brain is trying to verbalize what my right brain is already doing. Is the paint the right shade? Do I need more shadow? What if I try a little white? It's so fun!  And in a short time I have a little watercolor doodle.  Check them out on Instagram at cb4drawing