Toddlers Make Terrible Business Partners

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So I realize I’ve been MIA on my blog for quite a while. I let getting ready for my biggest art festival to date, getting pregnant with baby #2 and getting sick because of baby #2 get in the way of all things art related. Now that I’m out of the pregnancy vomit stage I’m back at it and wanted to get some new product pictures for my Etsy shop.

That’s when I got the bright idea to use my toddler for some cute/funny pictures that I could post on my art social media pages. It was the perfect idea. Until I turned the camera on. I went from having a happy smiling toddler to a volatile monster in .5 seconds. I know my kid pretty well, I should’ve known better. That still doesn’t keep me from desperately trying to make many situations with her work out. All you parents know exactly what I’m talking about.

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I may be crazy enough to attempt this one more time in the next week. We’ll see! And you can expect to see some new art from me in the next few months 🙂

-Chelsea

aka The Wannabe Starving Artist

Meatless Month

Really great sis! i like it! looks delicious

Diary of a Dreamer

Hi loves! So I haven’t posted under my food section for a while, so I decided I’d catch you up to speed about my recent diet/health/food interests. 🙂

My view on eating is that you should eat to feel good. Eat foods that make you feel whole, happy, vibrant and full of energy!

I’ve gone through different “diets” or ways of eating, and honestly no “fad” diet or extreme way of eating is really going to get you long term results in regards to weight loss.

For me my goal is to try to find a healthy balance of nutritious foods that are good for  my body and that I enjoy eating 🙂

I’ve been feeling really sluggish lately and wanted to switch up my eating habits to include more fruits and veggies. I decided to exclude meat from my diet for a week just to see how I felt…

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Is There Such Thing as A “New York State of Mind”?

It’s been over a month since I’ve been home from New York and promised a review of my time in the city. I’d love to be able to blame the big delay on being a work from home mom of a one year old holding down the fort while my husband is either at school or working in the E.R., but there was more than one instance I found myself laying on the couch playing Batman video games while Piper was napping. The inner slacker in me definitely won the month of April, sorry guys.

Now that I got some honesty out of the way, on to the good stuff. Is New York City all that it’s cracked up to be? Yes. ABSOLUTELY.

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I’m what you would call “hard to impress”, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with that city. I’m not the most well traveled, but from most of my vacationing experiences I’ve learned that most cities are a little over hyped. Usually by the second day of a trip I just want to go back home to my familiar bed with my flat as a pancake, yet oh so comfortable pillow. If it weren’t for the fact that it’s ridiculously expensive and you have to rely on subways, taxis, or Uber drivers to get around I would be begging my husband to apply for medical school in New York.

After trying to figure out how to start a new paragraph about exactly what I did and what was most memorable to me, blah blah blah… I’ve decided I can explain it best through these eye catching/feel free to skim through bullet points!

NEW YORK PIZZA

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There was no way this wasn’t going to be my first topic. I always thought of myself as a veteran pizza eater, or I guess I should say veteran pepperoni pizza eater. Ham? Eh. Sausage? No. Olives? Get out of here. I was so naive. After tasting more New York pizza than I can count on my hands and taking an actual pizza class from real New Yorkers in the Pizza Biz, I now know the pizza secret. Less is more. All the pizza in Vegas is covered in extra cheese, extra sauce, cheese stuffed crust, extra, extra, extra. Turns out, extra is just a way of compensating for inferior ingredients. When you have fresh ingredients, you don’t need nearly as much as the processed junk.

THE PEOPLE

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On our first day in NYC one of our Uber drivers told my husband to “stop being dramatic, the cold will toughen you up”. Now I have to admit that telling my husband to stop being dramatic has been my go to line ever since. He’s a good sport though ;). The stereotypical New Yorker is found in abundance. That’s both a great thing and an annoying thing. Uber driver, awesome. Angry middle aged man who ran me over in the crosswalk, not so awesome.

My favorite person in New York was by far was the happiest man I’ve ever met. In Chinatown we met a street painter from Taiwan. My husband lived in Taiwan and was able to have a pretty lengthy conversation with him in Mandarin about life, how pretty his sisters are, and how he studied art while he painted our daughter’s name for us. Seeing Chris surprise Taiwan natives by speaking perfect Mandarin always fills me with Wife-pride. Yeah, that’s a real thing.

Chinatown from Chelsea Nelson on Vimeo.

TIME SQUARE

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It looks just as amazing in person as it does in pictures. While there are tons of pushy people who get fed up with tourists stopping to take pictures, it’s worth the crowds. Just be careful of the swarms of Disney characters who will force you into a picture with them and then demand money even though you didn’t want a picture to begin with. Those guys are street tough.

THE ART

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I have to say the art scene is pretty spectacular. And spectacular isn’t a word that frequents my vocabulary. We spent a good amount of time at the Museum of Modern Art seeing a wide variety of different styles and mediums. I will never forget the moment I saw Van Gogh’s original Starry Night. I could go on and on about why I love Van Gogh…

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There were of course the occasional head turner that just didn’t work for me, like walking into a dark room with a blank lit up white screen. Seriously? I was also surprised to walk into a room with a not so maze-y cardboard box maze. I definitely won’t be forgetting that one.

And with all the memorable art I saw, the great and the “a little too out there”, I felt the fire to get back to my own art. We got home Sunday night, and I had a painting due for a cat art show on Tuesday. Of course I didn’t have the time to start it until Monday night and somehow spectacularly (there’s that word again) finished it in time. You can check it out in my previous post. Once I got that out of the way I wanted to paint something New York inspired, so I decided I wanted to paint how I felt as a tourist in New York. Since “Katster” was still fresh in my mind I revamped him into “NYC Katster“.

If my ramblings aren’t enough I’ve put together a video of my trip and how it inspired me to create “NYC Katster”. Hope you like it!

NYC Inspires from Chelsea Nelson on Vimeo.

Happy Birthday Piper

I really did want to write this post yesterday, since it was my one and only daughter’s actual first birthday. But unfortunately she’s had a cold, I’ve had the flu, and still wanted to take her out to do something special. It must have quite a site to see my vibrant upbeat husband walking through the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef with two sickly girls by his side.

Ever since I found out I was pregnant I knew I would want to make a “First Year” video for my daughter’s First Birthday. So naturally, I followed her around with a camera for the year; sometimes she didn’t mind it, sometimes she definitely did mind. So here it is, a year in the making, Piper’s first year of life.

Piper: Year One from Chelsea Nelson on Vimeo.

Katster

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This is Katster. He liked the taste of fish before it was “cool” and is on a wood framed 16×20 in. canvas in acrylic paint. Right now he’s hanging up at Blick’s Art Material’s since I painted him purely for their Cat Art Show this month. This is my first art competition so I’m pretty excited with how this painting turned out, especially since I’ve never been a cat person.

The original painting and prints of this painting can be purchased at my shop in either the acrylic painting or prints section.

-Chelsea Nelson

 

New York Expectations of an Artist

I’ve always wanted to see the Big Apple, and in less than two weeks I can say I’ve been. Growing up as an addict of Seinfeld as well as seeing how the city is representing in the movies, I have some pretty high expectations. So high, can it live up to them?

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I hear a lot about the jaw dropping art scene in NYC. In Vegas, there are some cool opportunities like First Friday and various local  festivals, but other than that I wouldn’t say there’s much of an art scene here. The Arts District is really the only artist’s haven here, and the galleries throughout town are small and lackluster. (Sorry to all local Vegas artists, I’m not dissing on you or your work. I’m just saying the art scene here is on the small side.)

If the art world in New York is as everyone builds it up to be, I will most definitely be in art nirvana. But what will happen when I come home? I’m determined to make the answer to that question be I took some valuable New York inspiration and applied it to my own work, rather than I came home to the barren desert and clung to the memories of a better world.

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I’ve determined that there are one of two outcomes here. 1)  I fall in love with the city and never want to come back home to dirt, rocks, and ugly bushes (more likely). 3) I come home energized and full of the New York buzz and make some awesome new art (I’m shooting for this one!).

For all those who have been/lived in the big city, how was your experience? I’ll be arriving home on March 27th ready to blog about my long awaited experience. Don’t worry I’ll eat some New York pizza for you.

-Chelsea Nelson

https://www.etsy.com/shop/WannabeStarvingArt

Custom Wedding Portrait

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A family member recently commissioned me to paint a wedding portrait for a friend of hers. I don’t usually spend time painting flowers so this was a pretty new experience for me. I’m used to putting a surreal spin on my subjects, but it was nice to step outside of my comfort zone and paint something a little more classic.

Art Print Giveaway

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Tax season equals a brand spankin’ new wide format printer for making lots of fine art prints of my original paintings! I’m so in love with this awesome printer that I’m making prints like crazy AND giving them away for FREE. I promise I’m not trying to be an annoying spammer, but I’m dying to share my work so if you wouldn’t mind a free art print here’s what to do:

  1. Go to the print section in my shop.
  2. Choose your print and add to your cart.
  3. Use coupon code ARTPRINT for 89% off your order, which will bring the cost down to $1.68. (I would love to give a 100% off but unfortunately Etsy will only allow me to give up to 89% off. Bummer.)
  4. You will receive your art print AND your $1.68 in the mail!
  5. All I ask is for an honest review on my Etsy shop after receiving your print 🙂

Oh and did I mention that if you order a free print you’ll be entered to win this framed bad boy?

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Like I said I’m just so excited about being able to MASS produce my work and finally have the motivation to get started with my art business. Next month I’ll even be applying to my first art festival, exciting times are on my horizon! I hope I can share the beginning of my art endeavors with all you art lovers! 🙂

I’ll be posting my art print making process soon so keep a look out!

-Chelsea

TEN WAYS TOdecoratewith plants

Songs I HAVE to Listen to While Painting

I can’t quite explain how music makes me a better artist. Somehow listening to music while working not only gets me in “The Zone”, but it also helps me to keep going when I get frustrated and want to quit. Why does a runner need an overcoming playlist? Why does an insomniac listening to calming sounds to fall asleep? To answer these questions we’ll be here all day, so why don’t I just share with you my go to painting playlist!