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Category: Bloglovin

Black and White Photo Challenge

I was challenged by a friend on Instagram to take 7 photographs over the course of 7 days, all in black and white.  The only rules were the photos couldn’t have any people or pets and also no explanation for your photos.  Challenge accepted!  Each photo was taken on my handy dandy cell phone.  This challenge has inspired me to actually want to use my camera again…which I have a horrid habit of keeping tucked away in my closet.  Welp, we shall see!  Below are all the photos from the challenge. Enjoy!

Sometimes when I’m in a rut creatively, it helps me to have a set goal in mind or a challenge like this to get my creative on.  What helps you get out of a creative rut? 




Do It For The Process

Back in early July I was a participating artist at a gallery show at Studio Boise Photography Center.  They hosted “Idaho Places, Idaho Faces,” their 2nd annual photography contest AND! Studio Boise was celebrating their 1st year as a business.  So already this was set to be a pretty fun night. Family, friends, artists, live music, celebrating local artists and local business.  Win win win win win.  
The photos displayed during the gallery show’s opening night came from photo submissions that were hand selected by a panel of three judges.  I was lucky to be included in those top photographs.  Even just clicking the “submit” button when applying for these contests takes courage and by allowing yourself to be vulnerable and by putting yourself out there, great things can happen. What’s the worst that could happen? You submit your work and don’t get into the show? It’s a bummer of course but doesn’t make you any less of an artist.  Instead just think, okay, onto the next one. Carry on.  You are STILL AN ARTIST even if they don’t select you for that specific show.  It’s true. I promise.  I know because I finally believe that for myself.
I was so happy to see everyone who came out to the gallery show’s opening night and to support my photograph and enjoy a (free, wee!) glass of wine/beer or two.  Everyone who joined for the gallery opening was given one token to vote for one photograph. The winner would receive a $1k cash prize!  Runner up would receive free studio rental time.  As the night went on and the votes came in, we all chit chatted and drank and admired photographs with the theme,” Idaho Places, Idaho Faces.” At the end of the night the votes were counted.  I stood among my wife, family and friends and as the owners began to speak into the microphone, I thought, ah geez, that’d be super cool to win, but also just super cool to see all my people in one place rooting me on and to be part of an art community again…and then…runner up announced…and then…the winner was announced and I heard my name. WHAT?!  I kissed my wife and walked up to where the studio owners were standing, all while fashioning the giddiest of grins.  I shook the hands of the wonderful couple who opened Studio Boise’s doors one year ago and graciously accepted my prize.  Celebration ensued and hugging of my dear friends and omg moments continued throughout the night and several days after.
This event was the start of me believing in myself as an artist again.  By believing in myself, I’ve had the confidence to put myself out there as an artist more than I ever have.  Following that night, I have been involved in so many more art opportunities and have been invited to join an Art Collective here in Boise!  (More to come on that later!)  
Who would have thought that by going on a walk with my camera and photographing one lone goose, that it would be a key element in helping guide me back to art and helping me build my confidence again as an artist.  Self doubt is a tricky one, and when it creeps in, knowing how to climb out from under it is the hardest part. My advice, stop wishing and hoping and start doing.  DO without a guarantee of anything necessarily “coming from it.” Do it for the process, do it because IT MAKES YOU HAPPY.  Submit to that call to artist, because why not?

City of Geese

“I felt lucky meeting one of Boise’s many geese as I strolled through the Boise Depot.  As I slowly approached and lifted my camera, this curious goose walked a few steps closer then paused and looked right at me, as if posing for the shot.  I walked away that day with a new favorite photo.” -Emily Hanigan


Cheers to art.
Cheers to supportive loved ones.
Cheers to community love.
Cheers to getting your make on.

How To Make A DIY Wedding Sign

When two of your best friends ask you to make their wedding sign you say YES PLEASE!  They are the coolest, the nicest and most deserving couple.  Being able to make their wedding sign was an honor.   And let me tell you, it was such a gorgeous and amazing wedding.  Congrats to Katie and Phil!  

They wanted their wedding sign to include a gold frame, glass, a few pops of color and a simple yet pretty easel.  Since it was a welcome sign, they wanted the welcome message, their names and the date included on their sign.  (And some pretty flowers for festive flare).  They got married outdoors so everything needed to be sturdy enough to hold its own on a grassy surface.  This was the first wedding sign I’d made working with glass.  And I am officially a HUGE FAN of painting on glass. It glides on so smoothly and the finished product is just stunning.  Take a look at the items I used and what I learned during process of making this custom wedding sign.  

Click the images below to find out more about the sharpies and other supplies I used.


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    1. I used Sharpie’s brand of oil paint pens with a medium point. I like the boldness of the medium point, especially since I wanted people to be able to read the sign from pretty far away.  You’ll notice using these oil paint pens on glass makes for such a smooth and effortless application. 
    2. This is the gold I used and it also comes with a silver paint pen. When you’re drawing with the gold and it seems really dark, don’t worry!  It’s super gold and shiny in the light, especially outdoors!
    3. These colors are great for flowers and leaf accents.
    4. I used a lot of white so a I would recommend having at least 2 white pens to make sure you have enough for you sign.


The couple provided the glass, frame and easel. Although I believe they purchased their frame and glass from a local art shop here in Boise, I found similar and affordable, nice quality items on Amazon as well.



An acrylic glass sheet will work perfectly!  Be careful of the size of your frame/glass to make sure they match.  I recommend buying the frame first and then buying the glass.  Just to make sure everything fits!

7) Simple and elegant easel worked perfectly and was sturdy even on the grass during their outdoor wedding.

I sketched out the entire sign on butcher paper before I began. I measured the frame to make sure it would be centered on all sides of the glass and would sit just right inside the frame. I then taped the drawing to the back of the frame.  Having the frame and glass already assembled is key.  This way you know exactly how it will looked as a finished and framed piece.  If you keep the glass out of the frame while you make it, there’s a chance some of your drawing/text might go beyond what’s visible and land behind the edges of the frame. And we definitely don’t want that!  Note, I was fortunate enough to have the frame already assembled and ready to go which made it easy peasey.  Also, make sure the hooks on the back of the frame match with where you’re drawing the top of the sign!

What I learned in the process: you can wipe off mistakes and even scrape off parts after they’ve dried. The magic of oil paint!  You also use more white than you think to make the letters as opaque as possible. It’s still not 100% smooth (the large white parts in the names) when you look up close, but perfection is boring anyway. 😀  I also learned when you first start to put the paint pen on the glass, your paint pen touches the glass faster than you’d expect!  I’ll explain…since the glass is clear and you’re staring at your sketch/outline that’s behind the glass, all of a sudden your paint pen is on the glass when your brain thinks you still have a ways till it hits the paper still!  At least my brain did!  But it’s no biggy b/c you can fix anything along the way!


The final product!  Photograph by E+E Photography.



Happy Making!




Items used (or similar items used) to make this DIY Wedding Sign:
Clear Acrylic Plexiglass Sheet – 1/8″ Thick Cast – 24″ x 36″
Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Marker, Medium Point, White Ink, Pack of 3
Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers, Medium Point, Bright Colors, 5 Count – Great for Rock Painting
Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers, Extra Fine Point, Assorted Metallic, 2 Count – Great for Rock Painting
Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers, Medium Point, Assorted Colors, 5-Count
Craig Frames 314GD2436DAC 0.75-Inch Wide Picture/Poster Frame in Ornate Finish, 24 by 36-Inch, Ornate Gold
Loew-Cornell 65-Inch Natural Wood Floor Easel

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