Sandi Hester // Sketchbooks as Process Tools

Episode 423 LIVE on Wed, Nov 9, 2022

or Listen here

Sandi Hester is an artist and has a fantastic channel on YouTube called “Bits of an Artist’s Life.” I found her this summer and she was just the medicine I needed.

She is always growing and trying new things in her art. Sandi’s process really struck me because she takes limited tools out and does many variations on one scene. She uses her sketchbook as a process tool. While she is on location, she takes visual notes of a place then once back in the studio on the bigger canvas she takes all her visual notes and constructs a larger painting.

I know we do sketches as designers but for some reason her process seemed different and more freeing to me. She was able to explore and seems to always know something else can fix it. She doesn’t seem to get caught up in the deadline or the fact that she already made a background. She embraces the fact that she can paint over it and start again.

This starting over or the ability to fix it was exactly what I needed to hear this summer. I am so excited to introduce you to my new friend, Sandi Hester. We are going to talk about how her faith plays a role in her artist’s journey. And how her sketchbooks are used in her process.

It’ll be a fun conversation. I hope you can come LIVE, Wednesday, Nov 9, 2022 at 2:30pm ET / 7:30pm GMT / 11:30am PT / 9:30am in Hawaii.

To get the link for the live taping sign up here:

A Workout for Your Imagination

These Creative Calisthenics worksheets will get you to exercise your imagination a few minutes each day for the next month.

Learn More about Sandi


Insta: @sandihesterart




[00:00:00] diane: Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode of Creatives Ignite. I am so excited about today. I have been, um, praying about this and excited since I think May, when I, uh, first met Sandi, I was like, oh my goodness, I need to have you on my podcast. And she said, yes, way back in there. And I’m so glad that it’s now November, no matter when you’re listening to it.

[00:00:26] That’s a good many months that I was waiting to have [00:00:30] Sandi on. But I saw Sandi and she just, I, I became a huge fan just in the way she was so normal and funny and bubbly. And,

[00:00:42] Sandi Hester: and Grady was here. If my husband was here, he’d be like, uh, normal is not a word that he would use to describe

[00:00:48] diane: me, . So I told my mom, I was like, mom, Sandi’s kind of like.

[00:00:53] She’s like another me in, in another, uh, like to, it’s normal to me like the [00:01:00] way she thinks. We both can go off on tangents and, but I loved how she integrates her art into her every day. And she has a YouTube channel called Bits of An Artist’s Life. And that’s, I saw, I heard her on a podcast, a Laura Horn podcast.

[00:01:16] And then I, um, I started watching and I was like, oh my goodness, this girl, there is something different about, and I’m not really, I was going through kind of a burnout and [00:01:30] Sandi just was the medicine that I needed this summer and her. Enthusiasm her, a sense of adventure for art, for art tools, for making things.

[00:01:41] She hated purple and now she’s embraced purple trees or whatever, right? Sometimes she has, there are purple parts that she’s, uh, uses, but I’m excited because she uses her sketchbook in such a way that has really inspired me. I, uh, teach college, uh, teach graphic design at the college [00:02:00] level, and I’ve showed some of Sandi’s videos to my students and they are inspired.

[00:02:05] And I just love how as, um, designers we can be, or creatives that are, you know, professional creatives, right? You’re professional, creative as an artist. You’re looking at this as this is what you do. This isn’t just a hobby, but you have. Way to pull it in. So, anyway, it’s enough about me. I have a ton of questions and I know we’re just gonna have a conversation, but one of the things I wanted to [00:02:30] talk to you about was your process and how you use your sketchbook.

[00:02:34] So can you give ’em, um, a snippet about what you do and who you are and maybe where you are for anybody who didn’t know you before today?

[00:02:45] Sandi Hester: Sure. Okay. Did we just, did we meet in May this year? Yeah. I feel like it’s been like a year or two that I’ve known you. That’s crazy.

[00:02:54] diane: I know. It is. It’s

[00:02:56] great.

[00:02:56] Sandi Hester: Connected.

[00:02:57] Yeah. We connected so much. [00:03:00] Yeah, so I am a professional artist. I do this as my living, uh, full time, which feels like the best gift in the world to create and to pour my life into art and make connections with other people and be able to let people be a little fly on the wall of my studio or wherever I am creating art or traveling, and do it in a way that is sometimes kind of a mess.

[00:03:27] In fact, I was thinking Diana came in here. [00:03:30] We just got back from a trip and I was like, man, my studio is a mess. And I thought, I really, you know, I thought I’m gonna straighten up for this. And then I walked around, I was like, I think I’ll just take the trash out and no trash cans are in sight. I just was like, that’ll make me feel a little better.

[00:03:45] So I took the trash out. But when I first started my YouTube channel, it was like that. I realized there were just so many things that. Most YouTubers are people that are gonna share their life on [00:04:00] film. Um, I mean, my hair usually looked like I just dump dumpster, dive, dived. Uh, the studio is always a mess, rarely creating good work at the time.

[00:04:11] I mean, it just felt like I’m gonna have to like, let the ceiling come down lower, you know, I’ve got health issues. Um, so my energy level is low a lot of times too. It was just kind of like, this is just, I’m gonna just have to like, this is how it is, you know? [00:04:30] And I think it is what has attracted people to the, um, channels because they, you know, relate with it just kind of normal life.

[00:04:38] And, um, it is nice. I mean, yes, there are times that it’s like, well, I wish I had just looked in the mirror for five seconds. That would’ve been. Because I could have like made myself not look like, I always think you look

[00:04:51] diane: great. Like I love when you have, you go to Goodwill. I mean really these are the best, funniest, these are things that I [00:05:00] just eat up.

[00:05:00] So I’m still making my way back into the archives. Right. But I really love being able to watch it. And you’ve recently gone from once a week, which they were some from 45 minutes to an hour. I mean, this is a lot of editing. This isn’t something that you went to school for. I mean, I didn’t go to school for it.

[00:05:18] You know, I’ve done a ton. But you do all these fun, like whoop, you know, or like, you’ll put words up on the screen in a fun way. And so like, the editing portion is a lot, but the [00:05:30] way you edit is amazing. And so I I’m glad that you took, uh, eager now every other week.

[00:05:37] Sandi Hester: Yeah, I need to for sure. Yeah, it’s hard.

[00:05:40] I do love the editing process. I mean, I would watch footage back and be like, are you having a seizure? Like, what is happening? And then I would just play that up, Grady. And I loved to laugh and so it was just a nice opportunity to make fun of myself and make others laugh. And I also found though I’m not computer, [00:06:00] Uh, savvy at all.

[00:06:01] The fact that I can turn my camera and computer on is a Christmas miracle. So I don’t know how in the world I’ve managed to be like this tech person now, but just kind of taught myself as I went. But I, I’m also a storyteller, so I love the story aspect of it. I love being able to make people laugh. Um, and surprisingly, I think that part of like the editing part uses a different part of my creative brain.

[00:06:28] So it kind of gave [00:06:30] me a break from maybe the physical part and the mental part that happens with creativity. Of painting, it allows that part to rest. And then I work on editing stuff. So it’s been, it was interesting when I started my YouTube channel, I became crazy, prolific, painted more than I ever did, and I barely had any time because I spent like the entire week filming and editing.

[00:06:55] So I don’t really know how that works, but it works. So yeah, [00:07:00] I feel like you asked me a question and I knew this was No, no, no. This is that. You would ask me a question,

[00:07:04] diane: you’d be off in somewhere else. For everybody who’s normally used to listening to me, I, I go off. It’s just we’re together in the going off.

[00:07:11] So I followed you. I never had any problems, so, okay, good. .

[00:07:15] Sandi Hester: So in,

[00:07:17] diane: um, your, in Nashville, you and I realized that, um, as when we met, you had, we had both gone to Auburn and Amy Lyons also went to Auburn, so we’re Eagle. Um, [00:07:30] and we actually were there at the same time. I think I know crazy. But what I love is that you, you studied psychology, right?

[00:07:39] So this was, painting was something I think you, was it something that you did even as a kid?

[00:07:45] Sandi Hester: It was, but not like what I think most artists, I mean, I’ve always had a creativity, I’ve always dabbled and stuff. I created jewelry, made jewelry for a while. I mean this and this and this. But never found like the thing.

[00:07:59] And even [00:08:00] when I started painting and watercolor, I, it was kind of like, okay, I didn’t love the medium, but, and I didn’t do it really crazy prolific until I found oil painting. Um, but I have always been creative and dabbled, but it’s not like I was one of those kids that was like always drawing, always had a pencil in our hand kind of thing.

[00:08:20] I wasn’t either.

[00:08:21] diane: I, I was crafty and creative, but I didn’t, uh, similar. So then what took you, um, why didn’t [00:08:30] you study art in at, at university?

[00:08:34] Sandi Hester: Hmm. Well, I mean at that point in life, I think it goes back to, I only took one art class in high school and there was this kid in there who probably ended up working for Disney straight out of, you know, high school, came out of the womb drawing perfect, always got all the awards, and the teacher was always Ewing and Awing and you know, all the work would be up the wall and it was [00:09:00] obvious who the artist was.

[00:09:00] So I think I just thought, oh, that’s what an artist is, and never really honed. I wish I knew then what I know now, that there’s something really powerful about keeping the momentum as any creative. Whether you are a cook, like a chef, like you really love, or you’re a wood carver, whatever you do, there’s something about keeping those.

[00:09:23] Always use the term tools sharp, which does not just mean remembering how to use a pencil. There’s so [00:09:30] much up here. Um, but keeping that momentum of cre creating so you can come and just plop down and you don’t have to feel, uh, I know, I wanna keep in mind I’m very much a hands talker and I know you are too.

[00:09:43] Talk. Yeah. And I want to remember that people may be just listening to this, um, but there is something important about keeping the momentum and um, then so I can sit down or stand up, whatever I’m doing with my art and just get to it. There’s not this kind of [00:10:00] like, what do I like to sketch? Where are my stuff?

[00:10:02] What are my favorite colors? I just already know all that, so I don’t even have to think. I can just jump in and then focus on the actual subject. So let’s talk about

[00:10:11] diane: sketchbooks. So when did you start a regular sketchbook practice?

[00:10:17] Sandi Hester: Oh, that’s a good question. You know, I think that’s how when I got back into painting, I mean, it was sketchbooks.

[00:10:24] I picked up a sketchbook that always felt like a place to practice for me. A place that. [00:10:30] You know, wasn’t meant for anybody else. I was never gonna sell my sketchbook. Um, if you look back to my early, early sketch sketchbooks, I’m doing the same thing that I do now. Swatch paint colors, practice. I do use them in a quite a bit different way now, and I’m so prolific, um, now, but they are definitely vital to my practice.

[00:10:54] I couldn’t, I think I also feel, because they’re so vital to my practice, I feel a little [00:11:00] stunned when. Even really professional artists who have big careers don’t use sketchbooks. I’m kind of like, what? But especially beginners are intermediate. They’re just creating work to sell. Like if it’s, if it’s not something on paper or canvas that can be sold, it’s kind of meaningless and, um, useless work.

[00:11:23] And I’m just like, what? You have to have a place that’s safe that you can practice. My [00:11:30] sketchbooks mean the world to me. It’s the place where so many memories for trips are, um, I don’t know. People will ask to buy my sketchbooks all the time, and I’m always like, quickly, no. Now Grady’s around. He’ll say, how much , I think there is a price.

[00:11:49] We are actually working in the future to get some of my sketchbooks published. We’re gonna make books of them, but it’s just, I don’t know. I sometimes hate when there’s [00:12:00] a work that I’ve done on paper, loose paper that then’s probably gonna sell and it’s not in my sketchbook. And that’s part partly is because there’s memory attached to it, but also because I work from my old older sketches so much, or from my sketches, it’s invaluable.

[00:12:18] So then I, when it’s sold though, I could pick up a, pull up a picture. It’s never the same. Just like if you just take a picture of a landscape, it’s just not ever the same. There’s just something [00:12:30] different about looking in my sketchbook. I don’t know why that is, but it just is, it’s just different.

[00:12:38] diane: So, but that’s one of the things I wanted to talk to you about.

[00:12:41] So that is, you are going out, so you’ll go into your yard, you’ll go out to, uh, botanical gardens, you’ll go to Maine or to that lake that’s near y’all, or, or

[00:12:54] Sandi Hester: set up a still life

[00:12:55] diane: or, or set up a still life inside, right? That’s not always going out, but you are [00:13:00] using your sketchbook. Um, you’ll, you’ll do challenges with, uh, Ima Carlisle and Sarah Dyer.

[00:13:06] I know you do those challenges. You talk about those a lot. There are Patreon challenges, um, but you are doing sketches, multiple sketches. You’ll do. Like five minute, two minute, you all kinds. Can you kind of take somebody through, so say you were going out on location, you’ve, you’ve gone to the big panic gardens, uh, recently.

[00:13:29] Um, [00:13:30] could you take somebody through, like you, you go out, you’re not just using one sketchbook. I mean, I wish

[00:13:35] Sandi Hester: I could , but there’s

[00:13:38] diane: multiple sizes. Yeah, right. Could you kind of paint the picture or show something, uh, in so that they can kind

[00:13:44] Sandi Hester: of see? Yes. So I will, I did recently. Recently I’ve been just taking one sketchbook, but that’s because I’ve been working more in dry medium.

[00:13:53] Main reason I have to take multiple sketchbooks is because I have some form of wet medium. So paint [00:14:00] ink, even markers sometimes take a little while to draw, like paint markers. But I’ve been preparing myself for winter, which I can’t. Um, if I’m going out where it’s, you know, freezing, um, I can’t use wet material cause they’re gonna freeze on me.

[00:14:15] I had that problem last winter, went out and a snowstorm painted a huge canvas, uh, brought it in, went and you maybe just used the bathroom or got some tea, came back and the entire painting had melted onto the [00:14:30] floor, was sitting in a big bottle. It was kind of like, oh, new approach. I’ve gotta figure out a new way to paint in the , uh, storms.

[00:14:38] So I’ve been playing around with dry medium and, and then I can just take one sketchbook. But what I’ll do is take multiple sketchbooks. Yes, different sizes. The reason is because, oh, can I put this into words? There’s, I, I just never really know. How I’m going to, it’s not really the landscape or what I’m looking at.

[00:14:58] It doesn’t matter [00:15:00] the expanse of something I’m gonna paint. There’s just something about how I feel that like, I don’t even know before I leave, but when I’m there on location, it’s like, yep, I need the big one. I need to be able to, I mean, my sketchbooks not that big, but that’s how I feel when I’m doing it.

[00:15:18] I’m probably not doing all this, but um, or um, or if I’ve really taken like half the studio in my backpack like I usually do, then maybe I’m just gonna take three of the smaller ones. [00:15:30] But that way I can get some initial big shapes in with paint or whatever I’m using. Set that aside while it’s drying. And then I’ll usually take a different composition or what the multiple sketchbooks allow me to do.

[00:15:47] Two is I’m not out there and I have one scene. Mm-hmm. that this needs to be the end all Beit. When I end all be all, when I’m out there, the clock is ticking as soon as I leave. Mainly because I’m a [00:16:00] female. When I have to go to the bathroom, I drink a lot of water too. And so I know the clock is, you know, I can’t go out in the woods.

[00:16:05] I can’t use the bathroom out in public as easy as a man can. So the clock is ticking. And the way I think of it is I’m in a class and the lecturer is, man, he’s spit. Now, all the answers and all the info that’s gonna be on the final exam, that you’re gonna either pass the class or not. So I’m out there frantically taking all the notes.

[00:16:27] I want to capture all the shapes, [00:16:30] all the, um, line work, everything that makes me, my little eyeballs happy. When I’m out there, I see some movement of a tree or some weeds, and it’s like, oh, I need to get that in. I’m not worried at all about a good picture when I’m there. Good painting or good sketches.

[00:16:46] It’s all about just get the notes. And because of that, I’m working fast and furious and just grabbing stuff and not even really taking time to look at what color I just grabbed. I’m often using random, weird colors and making marks because I’m also rarely [00:17:00] looking at the sketchbook. I’m usually just looking at whatever I’m, whatever the subject is.

[00:17:06] And so I get very interesting Marks, way more interesting than if I was carefully looking and making marks. I, I learned to just trust that process just to get out there like a mad woman, take the notes. Um, I can all, I’m always disappointed with my sketches when I’ve tightened up some, maybe there are more people around the, what I expected, or for some reason I’m just having an off day of not feeling as [00:17:30] confident and comfortable.

[00:17:31] Um, And then I’m looking at my sketchbook a whole lot more, and I come back with the most boring sketches. I mean, I’m kind. Yeah. So, so that’s what I do. I do multiple sketches and that allows me to not feel so precious about one painting. That’s the end all, be all. I’m able to go, mm, I wonder if I zoom in here or zoom out, or maybe what if this, if there’s so many decisions that go on every mark that you put down, every subject of [00:18:00] whatever’s out there, and I feel freed up because I’ve got three or four sketchbooks.

[00:18:06] And so the what if question I wonder if, or what if I just do it and then I can do the other what ifs on the other sketchbooks and I, that’s how I use too, when I bring all those sketches back to the studio, they’re loose, they’re gestural, they’re painterly. And then I come in and I’ve used random colors, maybe a bright blue for a [00:18:30] tree or, I don’t know, just weird stuff.

[00:18:32] And then I come and then, so that’s working from life, you know, I’m on location painting, but then I come in and work from life looking at those paintings. I never take pictures like that. There’s just, I’ve tried to do that. There’s just, it’s not the same at all. Then I just work from those sketches and make more paintings.

[00:18:53] And usually I use different medium or different sizes. So everything kind of has to move a little bit. [00:19:00] I have to figure out, um, here’s one example right here. This is, I’ve got several examples. Diane had asked me to bring some examples. So here’s. One, this was done very quickly at a park. I didn’t realize how busy this local creek was gonna be.

[00:19:15] Everybody was bringing their dogs that were swimming. I mean, I was covered in dog juice and wetness and all my stuff got trampled on by the big wet dogs. And all the owners were, oh, sorry. Sorry. I’m okay. Okay. Um, but I just took dry [00:19:30] materials out with me. So markers, color pencils and neo colors, neo colors, uh, neo color tubes.

[00:19:37] They’re basically like fancy amazing, highly pigmented crayons for artists. They’re amazing. Okay, so this is just a really quick one. Lots of, um, just trying to catch the under, like

[00:19:52] diane: how quick, how quick was that one

[00:19:55] Sandi Hester: Probably. 10 or 15 minutes, maybe less than [00:20:00] 10. I’m not real good if I don’t set the timer, which sometimes I do write the time, the time down if I’ve set the timer.

[00:20:06] Um, I’ve color coded all of these, so I remember, let’s see, that was orange. Got an orange page. Um, yeah, I do try to work pretty fast because, or even I’ll even set the timer for 10 minutes and then like seven minutes in I’m like, I think I’m done. Or I also get boards really quick. I’m kinda like, okay, I’ve gotta move on.

[00:20:25] I, I’m over that. And then when I came back, I had that sketch out [00:20:30] and painted. So that was all with dry material. And then I painted this. And when you use a different medium, it makes everything. Different, you know, I have to figure out how do I make those same marks or make different marks. And for some reason I did this one recently, so I don’t have as many.

[00:20:49] Usually I’d have five or six examples of, I do have other, do you want me to show some other

[00:20:54] diane: examples while we’re here? Yeah. So Jasmine has a question. Do you still use art graph water soluble [00:21:00] graphite sticks in your sketchbooks

[00:21:02] Sandi Hester: art graph? Yes. I just,

[00:21:04] diane: you have that. You have that little tin. That’s art graph.

[00:21:08] Yes.

[00:21:09] Sandi Hester: Also I do, I haven’t used it in a while. I get bored with materials. I kind of change up. I’m like, oh, this is my new favorite. Oh, how did I live without this? And then, you know, a month later I’m like, I did I use that? So, um, here’s another one with dry material. I love using material that’s gonna be [00:21:30] completely different from paint.

[00:21:31] When I’m in the studio, I almost always use paint. But this is one, this was really quick. This was with a kid friend of mine at a church retreat. We decided to bring, well, I brought all the materials. We sat on the ground and had probably what most people would think is a pretty boring scene in front of us.

[00:21:46] It was kind of a park scene, different kind of different trees, I don’t know, not real interesting. And it’s, those are the best themes because something that’s too pretty, you [00:22:00] feel like you’ve gotta rise to the occasion for that. But something a little aren, when you sit down, you go, well, I probably should have picked a different spot.

[00:22:08] And I always say, no, no, no, just trust. Just sit down. Because as soon as you sit down, your eyes start adjusting a little bit. There’s 50 million things and you go, Ooh, there’s a little dark space over there, and I can see these trees and they look white against. So that’s the other thing I’m trying to do is see color.

[00:22:24] I try to, it’s really easy for me. Now, early on it was hard because your brain says a [00:22:30] tree trunk is brown and the leaves are green, but because the way the light is hitting it, sometimes there’s a pinky tent. Well, I’ll up that and just pull out the pink, or things like that. So I try to, And I was out there with my, uh, friend Sam.

[00:22:45] I was like, oh, Sam, look how that tree looks. Kind of silvery green. And this one looks dark, evergreen, rich green. Oh. And he is like, oh. And I look at how that looks, kind of purplely. I’m like, so those are, let’s pull those colors out. So this was a [00:23:00] quick one. We had a ton of buzzards that came just like, it’s almost like a horror movie.

[00:23:05] Just cover the sky. I was like, Sam, get the buzzards. So we were like, just quickly, like, um, as fast as we could,

[00:23:15] diane: taking the notes, right? You’re taking the notes, like the lecture. Oh, I love it. So there’s

[00:23:19] Sandi Hester: the quick, um, and I, you can see I try to do big blocks of color also, just getting everything in. We were timing ourselves on.

[00:23:28] So that was a really quick [00:23:30] one. I’m not gonna do show you these in order of when I did them. Let me just, that’s okay.

[00:23:37] diane: And that’s something you do on you if you love her sketchbook, she does sketchbook tours often. I would say almost every Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Every, I mean, and people are just loving. Wow, that’s amazing.

[00:23:50] So beautiful, gorgeous. I mean, and keep going.

[00:23:54] Sandi Hester: So then I, I have that no picture in front of me. That’s my picture. Um, [00:24:00] that’s all I have to work from, but now I’m able to push and pull some of it I can see. What is it like to simplify the foreground? Um, what color is that one? Yellow. Let me show you some more of those.

[00:24:12] I can play with putting a sun in or amplifying. And I can just do these over and over. So we were on a camping trip this week, actually. Oh, I meant to keep the first one, um, marked. Cause I was gonna show you the first, I did this one recently. We’re on a camping trip, was at the camp [00:24:30] site. Pulled out one of those sketches and painted from it.

[00:24:34] So I have a landscape in front of me that, um, is not in front of me. So that’s the, this one of that that I’ve played with. So

[00:24:43] diane: these are our tools. So these are the ones, these are your photographs that you’re bringing in. You’re bringing your memory. You’re saying, Hey, I don’t like where the tree is. I’m gonna move the tree.

[00:24:51] Or I remember this tree being more pink. Or you’re like, what if I tried it pushing that color? Yes.

[00:24:58] Sandi Hester: And here’s a bigger one and a bigger [00:25:00] sketchbook. Uh, trying to see. Also what I’ll do sometimes is a painting that I like. I will see how it could I make it into a bigger. Is there enough info there and is it good enough to go larger?

[00:25:16] So then I’ll take a larger sketchbook and paint it bigger and find out what the problems are, and then I’m able to then go up to maybe a larger canvas or things like that.

[00:25:28] diane: Um, so you used to work [00:25:30] in oil, you worked in watercolor a long time ago, and it was much tighter. And then you went to oil. And then I think, and, and I know a lot of artists that have this, sometimes the, the fumes are a bit harsh.

[00:25:41] And so then you went to acrylic and Sam just asked, are the paintings in acrylic? Um, these that are in your sketchbooks currently that you’ve been showing. Those are, are those in wet, medium, or dry? So

[00:25:52] Sandi Hester: the ones that I’ve said these are dry or dry, obviously. Um, a lot of the painted ones are in wash because that’s a matte.

[00:25:59] And so [00:26:00] the main reason I use that is because it, the pages won’t stick together as bad. Now, sometimes, I will just use my regular paints, which are still somewhat matte use acrylics that are matter, but they will still stick. I’ll stick either a piece of paper or glassine in between. Um, but yeah, I did love oils.

[00:26:22] I loved oils, but I got, um, what did I have bronchitis years ago and my lungs just never recovered. And I started realizing [00:26:30] the oil paints were making me sick. So I hate, I tried acrylic forever ago and hated it and I thought, no, I gotta figure this baby out. And I took a long time to figure out a great process of how to use acrylics and make them look like oil.

[00:26:44] If you looked at, um, in my dining room, which is basically now a packing and shipping area for paintings and overflow. Other paintings. I mean, you would never know it was a dining room. But anyways, oil, old oil paintings are in [00:27:00] there along with acrylic paintings, and you’d be hard pressed to be able to figure out what’s what.

[00:27:04] I’ve got a whole class that I did on, um, what’s the name of it?

[00:27:08] diane: I have it pulled up and I just put a link in the chat, so thank you. You guys

[00:27:12] Sandi Hester: can check it out’s

[00:27:13] diane: Acrylics, Sandi Hester, Sandi’s with an Eye if you’re listening, hester And it’s everything you need, want or need to know about acrylics.

[00:27:22] Yes. And so this was a, this is a great class, but you also have one coming out about landscapes as well. So

[00:27:28] Sandi Hester: anyway, keep going. Yeah, so [00:27:30] in that, I, all my secrets from acrylic gush to acrylic inks, acrylic, anything. And I give a lot of color tips in that too. My color mixing tips, which span the gamut of mediums, watercolor, oil, it’s just kind of all the, all thanks.

[00:27:47] Um, love

[00:27:48] diane: Amina. Am loves the acrylic class. I did as well. Okay. So, so in these, the ones that you were, have been showing up, those are dry mediums. So just in case. So [00:28:00] these are neo color two, which look maybe like crayons. It could be um,

[00:28:04] Sandi Hester: markers, color pencils, um, ink tens blocks. I mean, I basically have anything that you could buy soft pastels.

[00:28:13] I mean, I am an experimenter, like I.

[00:28:17] diane: Okay, so, so this is important. Tate asked this question and it’s good to see you again. Tate said, said, I wish I could paint or illustrate. I try to make everything look perfect and I give up. So this is, so, Sandi [00:28:30] has this really loose style, but you will hear her sometimes if you go back enough, you’ll see some, and she’s like, oh, I’m too tight here.

[00:28:36] And so this is one of the things I also have learned from you, Sandi, is that you are able, and you have some techniques about loosening up. Because I think, and for anybody who’s a designer in here, or an illustrator, sometimes we tend to be too tight and we can’t, and this is why I love what you do so much.

[00:28:55] What would you tell Tate? What would you say? How could, instead of giving up, how do [00:29:00] you keep going? Because this is a lot of years, you were super

[00:29:02] Sandi Hester: tight, right? Yep. Oh yeah. I mean, I’ve always strived for looseness. I realized early on, really early days of picking up watercolor. I mean, I can paint something almost photo RealList.

[00:29:16] In fact, uh, my dad really likes a lot of my older, like, cause stuff. I think people feel like, oh, that’s better art. Until you start trying to loosen up and you realize how hard it is because there’s parts of your brain that you have to turn off. And even [00:29:30] with your body. And I’m often having to go back to tips that I’m about to tell y’all about.

[00:29:35] Um, because all the red flags are going, I’m leaned in, man, I got that. I’ve got my death grip on the whatever. Um, when I stood up to paint more. I don’t have to do this now, but especially when I was all painting. I would put a strip of tape on the floor. I really wished I had like a electric fence buzzer that would zap me on that because I [00:30:00] would often, like over, I was like, if that, if this thing could just zap me, that would be really nice.

[00:30:03] But I would make it where I couldn’t stand, get close up because towards the end of a painting that was going really good, nice and loose and gestural. And next thing I know, I’m like, I’m literally getting paint on my nose because I’m so close to this painting. I’m like, scoot back Sandi. This is like sure power way to ruin it.

[00:30:18] Um, I just did this with my young friend that I was telling you about, that we did those buzzard sketches. We did a whole bunch of fun things. So timed exercises are great. I often [00:30:30] start when I’m gonna sit down and sketch, or especially before I’m gonna do a big, uh, sellable painting. I’ll do some timed things.

[00:30:36] Use your non-dominant hand and just trust the process. I think one of the reasons people have a hard time with some of these things is they start off looking really bad. Um, or end up bad. I mean, when, here’s a sketch. I was gonna show you some, a progress of this is dry material timed. I don’t even think I look down at this goose and he’s [00:31:00] blue.

[00:31:01] Um, and there’s other weird colors going on, but I’ve made some paintings from this that I absolutely love. Um, where was I going with this? Oh, so I, I trust the process that I know that though this goose looks really weird. In fact, his legs are about as weird as they get. But the whole, if you don’t trust the process, you don’t get to the end and can’t see the whole thing at the end.

[00:31:27] You’re just up close and go, oh, that leg looks [00:31:30] like he’s got a cast on his leg. Or, I don’t know, just weird stuff, but, Um, like I try to tell people, Hey, if you’re gonna do a tree, just don’t look down at your canvas or your, just don’t, I pro if you would just trust that and just make the look at the tree and make the marks.

[00:31:45] Um, but then we don’t finish it and or keep that same looseness all the way through. So then there’s a weird mix and it does, I mean, it’s taken me years and years and years of practice and that’s another thing. People just [00:32:00] think something that looks childlike, like, so this looks probably pretty simple and childlike.

[00:32:06] Look at that goose. Look at his weird little legs. I like his legs, his body. I mean, it’s just a little weird, but I’ll show you some of the paintings I did with this. Um, S people. In fact, I just got a couple comments recently. I, I think they were on different videos, but I was like, it’s so funny. Uh, I don’t really get this, get your work at all.

[00:32:24] It’s very childlike. I’m like, yes, thank you. That’s exactly what I, I want, um, when I can [00:32:30] achieve this, just loose, playful, joyful mark. Yes. And it’s hard. It is hard. Its hard to do. I dunno why its

[00:32:40] diane: so in, in that. Um, how does

[00:32:42] Sandi Hester: your Oh, look at that, just while you’re asking. Yeah. So

[00:32:46] diane: how has, because this isn’t something that you’re like, you know what?

[00:32:49] I’m just gonna turn that off and this week I’m gonna paint real loose. Like it is something that again, takes years and it’s about practice, but how does that inner voice, so I have a [00:33:00] really loud inner critic and I know that, oh, we, that’s not, that’s not the way, that’s not the way God made us to see ourselves.

[00:33:08] Yeah. But how does either your inner critic or your faith play a part in you being able to. Come back to being, being able to be loose and not take those comments. Um, as you know, you’re not, you’re not, I don’t get you, you’re not real enough. Yeah. Or whatever. Well, I

[00:33:26] Sandi Hester: think what I’m gonna share has to go for painting loose or [00:33:30] not.

[00:33:30] I mean, I sometimes I hate that. That’s kind of what people take as my message is that’s the way you should paint. And I’m like, no. The message I wanna get across is, could we please just enjoy it? We get so open in our heads. Um, I’ve had a lot of just suffering in my life. A lot of health issues. Had some really dark season in my life that didn’t have to do with health issues, but taught me that I need to sift for my thoughts.

[00:33:57] It taught me I’m going either [00:34:00] drown here, um, in my thoughts. And there was a lot of, um, truth in what I was thinking. But it wasn’t the full truth. It wasn’t a truth that included God. It was, um, A lot of what I call like self pity. Self pity is like a bomb. Um, it feels good cuz there’s some truth, but it’s not the whole truth, but it’s like poisoned.

[00:34:23] So it can even look like self pity in art. Oh, I’m never gonna be good or Nobody ever likes my work. Well, there can [00:34:30] be some truth in that, but it’s not the full truth. And it’s also, it just, there’s something so gunky about it. So because of this season that was so difficult, my. I started realizing like I’ve got to sift these thoughts biblically.

[00:34:44] Like that is the truth that I’m gonna hold onto in this season. And then in my health season too, that was more uh, or it’s, that season’s still going on a lot of health issues that’s more of a dripping suffering. And so middle of the night medical alarms going off all [00:35:00] night, not just waking me but my husband and you know, nights where I just would be like, oh, you know, and just be so frustrated.

[00:35:06] And I would just say to myself, just do the thing. Just do your alarm. You know, all the stuff, right? Just do it. Don’t do all the com. It’s so much easier than so. So the building big muscles in suffering. Seasons of not giving into self pity, of making sure that my thoughts were the full truth and not just this.

[00:35:29] Self [00:35:30] pity or self focused. That’s another thing I think is creative. We get very self focused and there’s red flags I know to listen to for that. Now. There’s a lot of joy stealing. There’s no enjoyment of it. I don’t think of others, all of this. So when in my art I started realizing like all that stuff was going on too, and it’s like, oh, this isn’t fun.

[00:35:49] And um, it can look like, is this sellable? Um, is anybody, nobody’s likes my word. All the things, there’s tons of negativity. And I just [00:36:00] started realizing like, you have got to shut up. Like zip it. That is not helpful for me in here. This is just art. I’m not doing brain surgery. Um, you know, I would get texts from a friend.

[00:36:11] I’m about to do your face class like, or video online where I teach how to do faces. I’m so nervous. I’m scared to death and I’m like, um, I’m texting back. It’s just. Art, like it’s just some material on paper. It’s, you’re just practicing like those things. Those words do not need to be going with art. Like [00:36:30] maybe you’re about to do some brain surgery and you’ve never even done brain surgery.

[00:36:33] Be scared to death and nervous. Yes. But this is just, I’m like, could we lighten up So much identity is tied to ourselves. There’s a lot of self worship in it. And we can just kind of get over ourselves. Um, I found that zipping telling all that zip, zip, zip, zip it. You don’t get to say that in here. Nope.

[00:36:53] Just, just have fun. Who cares? This is one sketch. I can do another one. There’s another piece of [00:37:00] paper. And who cares that somebody doesn’t get me? That’s just one person. Um, so I just try to get over myself. I try to remember the big picture of things that God, uh, is a creator. He is the ultimate creator.

[00:37:13] He had great delight as he was creating and is still creating. He creates things like gorgeous sunrises that he displays for all to see, um, in that they’re meant to be delighted in. And he also makes [00:37:30] things. Gorgeous little delicate flowers that he’s put time and energy and thought into that I’m gonna just trample, give no thought to.

[00:37:40] There’s things at the bottom of the sea that he’s put creative thought into and design and purpose that nobody’s ever gonna see. So there’s, as creators, we’re meant to share, but we’re also not meant to share. You know, there’s things that we don’t have to share. And my identity, God is the only one whose identity should be wrapped [00:38:00] up in what he’s created cuz his identity is in that and it reflects his glory and it is day and night speaking of him and pointing to him.

[00:38:08] Um, and I want my art to be, there’s so many things about it that I want it to be. I want it to, I want to first just enjoy this gift that he’s given me. I think that’s one of the greatest ways I dishonor him, is by not enjoying this great gift that he’s given me that’s meant to be enjoyed. We [00:38:30] get that as a child, we just do it.

[00:38:31] We don’t even care that it’s going on the fridge. If it goes on the fridge, great, but we just, you know, we’re in there with the crayons. This feels so good. It’s so fun. It made his face purple and his eyes, you know, green. I don’t know, just, you know what I mean? Like, we’re just in there doing it and then somewhere our identity gets wrapped up in it and it becomes about us and this focus of us.

[00:38:53] And then, or maybe it, you know, even if it’s a job and this is where money’s gonna be made, there [00:39:00] is more thought that goes into it. But I still, my first, uh, job is to just enjoy creating and I wanna do it right. I wanna think about it, right? I want to honor him in it. And I’ve spent a lot of years getting a little blobbity blob in my head with it.

[00:39:20] I do, uh, women’s ministry also. There’s been seasons in my life where that’s been more of my time than others. And I used to feel like creating art was [00:39:30] a waste of my time and was gonna all burn up one day and not be eternal. And so I’ve went through a long journey of figuring out how to do this in a way that I didn’t feel guilty about it.

[00:39:41] And I started realizing like, this is, I’m an image bearer of God and he’s given me this gift. And it’s like, okay, well how do I do this well and not feel guilty and get all up in my head? And so I feel like the Lord’s really taking me on a long journey on that and realizing there was a lot of self worship in it, that this was about, um, [00:40:00] what others thought of me or what I thought of myself.

[00:40:02] And it’s like a lot of times I’m just like, get over yourself, Andy. Just . But I think

[00:40:06] diane: that’s really hard. It’s hard to get over ourselves, especially when it’s what, um, What you feel called to do. But I also feel like you are just as much an artist as you are a joy spreader. It’s like the jar of joy and you’re just spreading it out for us.

[00:40:22] And you have fun and you laugh at yourself, and you are, I think that that’s, uh, what is so refreshing [00:40:30] and, and, and just the, it is a struggle of when you’ve like, oh gosh, I made this goose and he has, um, a weird leg. I didn’t see really the weird leg, but there are times I know that there’s like a boat and then there’s a duck and there about the same size, and you’re like, oh my gosh, look at the size of this duck.

[00:40:49] Yeah, it is huge, but I love that. But there, but there’s so much in, in your landscapes that are just that it is so, uh, fresh [00:41:00] and free, and I love that you will go back to the same place and you will create something new, which again, I just. That just makes me, that renewing our minds in, in him, in God. Again, it’s that choice and that chance that we get to, um, just recreate a new day.

[00:41:21] It’s a new time. You can, you can make something, you can try again. It’s a new piece of paper. One of the things that was really impactful for me this summer was [00:41:30] when you showed these kids sticks, like quick sticks, I think is what they were like, they look like chapstick, right? But they’re, yeah. Tura paint and it’s comic sand on there.

[00:41:40] People. I don’t love comic sand. I have a affinity probably. I shouldn’t be saying anything about comic sand, but whatever. Anyway, and I was like, because I was being too precious with either my materials or too precious. I was like, I didn’t wanna be wasteful. I didn’t wanna waste my time. I didn’t wanna waste materials, I didn’t wanna waste.

[00:41:57] And then it was just like, you are just [00:42:00] ferociously doing page after page. And I was like, wow. She’s not getting in her head like I am. So.

[00:42:07] Sandi Hester: You see that, but I used to. We all do. We all do. And you have to waste stuff. If you’re gonna be a, you’re gonna grow. That’s just part of it. All the bad goes into the good.

[00:42:17] All artists, the best of the best from all eternity. We all have created a massive amount of bad work and a little bit of good work. And all the good is built on the bad you [00:42:30] have to waste. But, so I decided early on if this is, you know, if I’m gonna have to create a lot of bad work, I’m gonna enjoy it. I do wanna say this though.

[00:42:40] I wanna speak to those that maybe are just hobbyists. They just like, this isn’t their job. Back when I just, when it was not my job. Um, in fact I had, think I had just started watercolor. I was on a mission trip in, um, well, I probably shouldn’t mentioned the, the country, but I was on a mission trip and, uh, during our break time, I was [00:43:00] downstairs painting.

[00:43:01] This was, this was when I would still throw myself over my work and not let my husband even see it. Horrified. Did anybody seeing my stuff? I was down there painting and I came up and this lady, one of missionaries there said, oh, are you the one downstairs painting immediately? I mean, I’m sweating like a maniac, pouring sweat, heart.

[00:43:20] You think I was about to like go into heart palpitations? Oh, can I see your work? No, I ran up to my room. Um, well, I painted some small [00:43:30] cards for, we took a bunch of gifts over to these ladies. I, I thought, well, I can paint some stuff for women on the other side of the world. They’re never gonna see me.

[00:43:38] Well, what I didn’t realize, there was a crew of women that were taking all these gifts and displaying everything out. I don’t know why they did that, but they took every single individual card of mine. I walked in and I thought was mortified. Um, so not only did my friends see it, but all everybody did. So that lady that asked me about that later that night, she sat me down for 45 minutes finger in the face [00:44:00] and gave it to me.

[00:44:01] She said, God has given you a gift. This is pride. It may look like, you know, but it’s pride. God’s given you a gift, you need to get over yourself and use this for his glory. That was the short 45 minute version of it. But she, I just sat there like this. Yes ma’am. Yes ma’am. Yes ma’am. Um, but I didn’t really know how to do that.

[00:44:20] I came back, I started a, a blog and started sharing that felt a little distant, but I didn’t know how to do that because I felt so consumed. You know, I, I remember, um, trips, ski trips and stuff that we would go, [00:44:30] go. Graded about skiing and I would wanna go paint down in the little square. But there were so many people and I remember, I can remember exactly where I was at times, just so nervous painting.

[00:44:42] And I didn’t know then what to say to myself. But I do the same thing sometimes. I stopped to give myself quite a bit of pep talk, but I just say to myself, nobody cares. Nobody’s looking at you. Nobody cares. And even if they do, people one usually treat you like you’re a celebrity, they’ll see you [00:45:00] over there and they’re like, it feels like you’ve got this aura around you.

[00:45:03] And nobody knows can they enter? What is she doing? Cause it feel they know you’ve got a gift. Um, I’ve never had anybody say anything. Well, I have had someone, you know, but I just, we usually like have to hold in my laughter. Like I usually want to just like laugh so hard, but cuz I know they don’t get it and I’m okay.

[00:45:22] But I remember, um, that la after that lady had told me that I thought, okay, you know, I wanna go out and paint and I wanna [00:45:30] get over myself, but I don’t know how to do it. And I would just remember, like, so remember how I told you one of those red flags was the cell? Uh, you don’t think of others. So I couldn’t even really communicate well or thoughtful or loving to somebody that would come up to me because I’m so consumed with self, I’m so consumed with what they’re gonna think or say.

[00:45:51] And instead of just being able to be kind and engaging and use this as an opportunity. So I had to really work on that. And every now and then, I still have to do, do that. [00:46:00] Uh, just say, Sandi, nobody cares. And literally majority of people are just like, oh, I wish I could do that. And that’s pretty, and, but even if they’re like, oh, that’s weird.

[00:46:09] It’s like, okay, well let’s laugh about it. It’s just not a big deal. It’s one painting. This does not define me. Actually. All of these put together don’t define me, and I don’t know why we get so tied up in it, but we just do so well. That was way longer. Oh, that

[00:46:25] diane: was a good one though. That was a good one.

[00:46:27] Okay, so taking from, you do have [00:46:30] a landscape class and I’m gonna share the link to all your classes and I’m gonna, well, it’s not out yet, but it’s coming. But it, but we could maybe be on the watch. And the best way to probably watch out for this is to follow you on Instagram. Is that, do you think that would be, yeah, Instagram

[00:46:44] Sandi Hester: or YouTube.

[00:46:44] I’ll be shouting it from the rooftops from all that. My website. It’ll be posted there when I, any, I’m not in a lot of places. Those are the only places I am, but that’ll be all there. January is when we’re shooting for this landscape class.

[00:46:58] diane: But you’ve been working on it for a long [00:47:00] time.

[00:47:00] Sandi Hester: Oh yeah. At least a year now.

[00:47:02] I mean, it’s. I can’t get it done. There’s so much footage in it. I, I think I’ve filmed it about five classes in one. I’m gonna be giving a lot of really great information in many different locations and all the play, I mean, there’s one day I go and just take a very finished, nice painting and we go throw it in the pond and jump all over it.

[00:47:23] In fact, I’ve got a big painting that I, I’ve started, um, several from this last camping trip, and I’m at a place where it’s [00:47:30] like it’s going. That’s probably when it’s shown this Friday, I’ll have people that wanna, uh, buy it and I’m thinking about taking it and floating it across my pond tomorrow and then throwing some mud and propping it up on the tree.

[00:47:43] I feel like it just needs some, there’s just sometimes a place where it’s like, I need to mess this up. And it’s so fun to do that. Like to just, I don’t know, just throw the paint on it. And

[00:47:52] diane: that’s another thing that I’ve loved about seeing the process because you do take us through, you, um, are painting [00:48:00] and then sometimes you’ll talk over voiceover, and then sometimes you’ll, um, You’ll totally change.

[00:48:07] Uh, I remember a still life video where it was you were changing the background and then you changed this and you didn’t like where the picture was. And I was like, oh my goodness, this is so freeing to see. And just know that you can paint over it, you can create it, you can move it, it’s not ruined. It’s just paint and it’s just [00:48:30] layers.

[00:48:30] Right? Yeah. And, and I just think that that is a, it’s another thing. I think maybe us as designers, we get so much in our head, we need to get it quickly or finish this or do this. And, um, I just think it’s another layer to our, our. Who God’s calling us to be or who, what kind of work you’re doing. I think there has to be some work that we put to the side and we’re saying, okay, I, I’m not gonna work on this right now because I don’t, uh, I’m not, I don’t know where it needs to [00:49:00] go.

[00:49:00] And sometimes you just have to live with things for

[00:49:02] Sandi Hester: a little bit. Right. Now do you do that? Usually though, if I live with it for too long, it gets painted over? That painting back there has like probably four finished works that I probably could’ve sold if I had just taken a picture of it. But the other day I was like, oh, I desperately need to make big marks.

[00:49:15] I was like, where’s the painting? And I just painted right over a and it just creates more texture and I, it’s just paint. That’s what I just feel like sometimes we just need to tell ourselves. It’s just bait. I mean, in two months I’m not gonna be painting like I am now and I’m not gonna care about [00:49:30] about these, so, Just,

[00:49:32] diane: yeah.

[00:49:32] And so another thing that you do in this last little bit okay. Is you do challenges, which I also was like, wow, you know, this is really you highlighting another artist with, uh, Emma Carla or Sarah Dyer. You do these Patreon challenges that, um, why do you as an artist still learn from someone else? So why is, why are those or to do it with, cuz it’s a group thing.

[00:49:58] Sandi Hester: Yeah, sometimes it is. Sometimes I just [00:50:00] watch the playback. I find that I desperately, one of the important parts of creating for me and staying in that momentum is being fed with creativity. And I found, I wish I had probably 10 different Patreons that I loved. I’m very picky about what I take in. It needs to be, um, the kind of work that I want to create to loose.

[00:50:24] Um, if you’re looking at too much stuff and you get a little all over the place, so I know I want to be [00:50:30] loose and I know the kind of mark making and I want color and things like that, but even though, um, one of those doesn’t paint like I do at all, in fact she doesn’t paint. She uses dry material. But I found a couple of these Patreons do completely different.

[00:50:44] Like some of these challenges are just stuff that I would never draw ever. And I find that it’s challenging me. It’s making me learn how to do marks. It’s just keeping my hand busy. It’s keeping my eyes busy. I know at the end I’m gonna be sharing it. [00:51:00] It helps me get over myself. Um, there’s community there for me.

[00:51:05] My art also is just a tool to be able to make connections and enter people’s lives. That’s how I’m gonna be able to share the gospel and be salt and light in the world. This is just a. Avenue for that. And if I’m not using it for that, if I’m only using it for self, whatever, it’s, I just, yeah. So I just, I want there to be, it’s a place for community, but I do, it is very self-serving and the fact that [00:51:30] it’s, it just gets me out of my comfort zone.

[00:51:33] It makes me do time stuff my own. I don’t always do that. Um, I learn about new materials. It’s supporting other artists. There’s just a whole lot, but mainly, Because it stretches me and they’re sharing a whole bunch of other stuff though too, like sketchbook things. And I just did a video on my YouTube on basically how to create an art when you’re sick.

[00:51:56] And one of the things I talk about is when you’re taking in, you know, whether it’s you’re looking at an [00:52:00] art magazine or something that likes feeding your creativity, as soon as you feel a little ooh little tickle of like, Ooh, that looks fun, that kinda makes me wanna go draw, go do it. Push, pause, put the book down and like go do that.

[00:52:13] Keep that. Cuz we can, in our day and age, I think we can just kind of keep absorbing, you know, if you’re an Instagram person and you’re looking for creativity and you get inspired, go do that. I will say this, Dan, I was thinking about the fact that a lot of your Audi audience are designers. [00:52:30] And I’ve said this to, um, other groups that do kind of maybe different work than me.

[00:52:36] I was invited to this group. That was very stuffy and very intimidating. I got there and I thought everybody I could tell took things way too serious. As soon as I entered like the, it was a Zoom thing, and I thought, oh boy, , this is not my kind of people. I was so nervous. Everybody was just like, I don’t know.

[00:52:54] I don’t know why you’re so joyful about stuff. Anyway, it just, I left there like sweating like a maniac. I don’t usually get [00:53:00] tossed off my game or like out of my, I get too, like, anyways, I left their like, calling please. But basically they did really abstract work and I was telling them I, you know, I think whatever your work is in that kind of creative, so maybe you design, you’re used to using, uh, technical computer, you know, things like that, right?

[00:53:25] Maybe not used to using your hand so much, or drawing pins. [00:53:30] I would encourage you, even if it’s done really poorly, set up a still light. Like draw from life from observation. Go take the time when you’re in the car line waiting to pick up your kid or in the doctor’s office to just sketch. Nobody has to see it.

[00:53:46] Nobody’s even gonna notice. Everybody’s got their head buried in the phone at the doctor’s office, and I promise the doctor will come out speedily. As soon as you pull your sketchbook out, you won’t get to draw much at all. But take those opportunities. There’s something I think about, um, so [00:54:00] I’m thinking if I’m a designer and I’m looking at creation, just my window in the car has already boxed things in for me, right?

[00:54:06] And practicing just looking, there’s shapes and colors and movement and I, I just think that if this, your lane is this, move it just a little bit using a different material and using different subject, even if it all of it is terrible. Never with the goal of I’m gonna be a landscape artist, but. Looking in a different [00:54:30] way, using your hand in a different way, observing in a different way I think can teach you a lot of things that school probably does teach you about composition and, but I didn’t do any art classes.

[00:54:43] I took that one in high school. I didn’t do any in college. I’ve taught self taught. There’s a lot about just observing and and practicing. There’s just so much practice that goes in and people feel really weary with that. And I’m like, enjoy the journey. You’re never going to get [00:55:00] where you want to be.

[00:55:02] That line always moves as a creative, that always does, and you’ll always stay frustrated unless you enjoy and really practice and lean into contentment. There’s something about, I think of it like a hunter. Man, the hunter doesn’t know if they’re gonna catch the deer or not, or the fish, but they love packing for it, getting dressed for it.

[00:55:26] Um, smearing the stuff and the spray stuff, whatever they do, right? [00:55:30] Like, ah, and then going out on that, there’s just the whole journey of it that’s exciting and fun. And that’s how I look at my journey. I’m, and I, if I get too much into like, oh, I’m not, I really just don’t even do that anymore. But I used to like, oh, if I was here, I’ve learned from enough pro artists too, that have been doing it their entire life, that they’re never at the, like, I wish I was here.

[00:55:53] Right? Uh, or, you know, feel like, yep, this is, um, and I don’t want to be there. I get bored too easy. I’m [00:56:00] like, oh, please. I hope I’m, I hope I never feel like, yep, I’ve figured all this out. I, cause I’ll be like, I’m so bored. I’ve gotta go like, learn how to, I don’t.

[00:56:10] diane: So Joanne asked, uh, what led you, cuz I think what you’re talking about is that you getting bored or trying something new or new materials, and it does, um, lend itself.

[00:56:20] And Joanne asked, what led you to develop this iterative process and how did it start? So when you were doing your first, you were [00:56:30] doing these quick sketches out and then you came back, was that always, um, how, how did that begin? How did that begin? Did you know you were gonna come back and paint

[00:56:41] Sandi Hester: from it or No?

[00:56:42] Was that No, because I just recently started, not recent, but I mean, I’ve all, I’ve been doing landscapes since I first started painting, but I’ve never been like in this obsessive mode. I did. Still life. So that’s where I was really accomplished. I don’t know if I’ll ever, in fact, I’ve got two still life paintings I’m gonna post [00:57:00] soon.

[00:57:00] And I’m like, this could be like, maybe if you’re interested, you need to buy these up, whoever. Because I’m like, this may be the last still life’s ever done. I don’t know. I’m sure I’ll get back to them, but that was my comfort zone and I was doing this process then I’ve only got two. Most all my still life have sold.

[00:57:18] I’ve got two. Let me show you this

[00:57:19] diane: and I’ll get, um, Michelle asked about a

[00:57:22] Sandi Hester: sketch. So this is one on, wait, this was one on a canvas that I did. Mm-hmm. and I will use like still life has [00:57:30] been long gone. Right? And then I’ll, I probably did a sketch like this and then I’m often like, well, what background? What if I made those checks a little bit different?

[00:57:40] And then I’ll do a different size still all those same elements, but here I’ve already painted loose and so I get the subject out of my view. So then I can just keep getting looser and looser and not have all those details and the things. But, so I was doing that back with still life [00:58:00] sketchbook work.

[00:58:01] You know, painting from painting from painting, because you just get away from those details, um, more and more. And then I think with the landscapes, I don’t know why I started doing that. I, I mean, I think probably first because I had wet material, you know, I wasn’t gonna, I needed to have multiples. And then that allowed me just that freedom to be like, well, this one I don’t, you know, if I’m like, well, do I do a zoomed up or this, [00:58:30] or.

[00:58:30] Add this, do does the horizon line here? Well, I just do that in a different, you know, I just have this and this and this, and then I’m out there frantically doing that and so it, I’ve, I think a long time ago I had that process of thinking it’s just paint, it’s just paper. There’s another piece of paper, and so then I just get another piece of paper, you know, it’s like, okay, well that turned out terrible or, alright, well let’s do it again and do it again.

[00:58:54] Um, I also learned a lot of time, you know, if I don’t do something well the first time we’ll just do it [00:59:00] again, maybe use a different material, use my non-dominant hand. Um, just you,

[00:59:06] diane: you also don’t hold your brushes. You don’t, you don’t have to use the most amazing brushes. So Tate asked what, um, what would you use for materials?

[00:59:17] So, um, watercolor, pins, et cetera. And I’m, and he said for a beginner. So one thing I’ll tell you Tate, is if you watch some of her videos, she has links and these links help her cuz they’re affiliate links. [00:59:30] Um, but sh especially like for an unboxing, I don’t know how many times I have bought something off of, uh, Sandi’s links.

[00:59:36] I’m like, man, I am supporting Sandi by buying this from Dick BL or whatever, because it’s a new tool that I didn’t know. And I thought, okay, well this will be fun to try. And I think, so what, what would you say? Um, For a beginner. Yeah. So what sketchbook would you say? Michelle wanted to know that?

[00:59:55] Sandi Hester: Oh, I love these.

[00:59:56] Um, and I do have links, um, this week. In fact, [01:00:00] they’ll be a link, um, for this sketchbook. I’ve really liked the, um, talons art creation sketchbook. They’re very thin. I mean they’re very cheap. They do have thin paper, but it’s sized. You can’t just, um, I think a beginner sometimes thinks, oh, it needs to probably be really thick.

[01:00:16] No, there’s some paper that can be really thin that will take a lot. I’ve thrown this in the pond before and I mean, it can take a beating. Um, and I like that they’re very inexpensive. Um, this week’s video I know will have a [01:00:30] link in that because that shows some sketchbook work if you wanted just like exactly which one.

[01:00:35] But I think first off, if you’ve already got materials, use what you have. There’s always this lure of like all the new stuff. One of the things that I do, reason I show inboxing and test things, I will test stuff and then I’ll use it for a long time and then come back at the end and tell about it. Um, and I think that helps people, I know, helps me when I watch videos, know colors and what to get, but, or I’m like, this stinks to high [01:01:00] heaven.

[01:01:00] Please do not buy this. You’re gonna get brain cancer for sure. Um, but I do hate that sometimes it tempts people. Cause I do like to use a lot of stuff. I say use what you have and you can use cheap stuff. I have a video, um, that’s on cheap paper. Yep. I love that one. And it’s great paper. It’s great paper.

[01:01:22] Um, so you don’t have to have the best of best. I love terrible brushes. I’m always going to the kids section [01:01:30] if the bristles are just like this and falling off. I think bad material also, it frees you up to use it. I mean, people often have people say, you make me so uncomfortable with the way you use brushes because like, here’s the bristles man.

[01:01:43] I’m like this with it. Like I just. You know, I’m like, you gotta get in there, you gotta, um, I, I think if you’re feeling tight and not very free notch down my acrylic video, I do acry acrylic [01:02:00] class. I do share like, here’s more expensive paints, here’s cheaper paints, and here’s what to do with those cheaper paints to make them just as good as expensive stuff.

[01:02:10] Sometimes they’re like too thick and anyways, just tips on that. But I, I think use what you have. Sometimes you do need nice stuff. I wouldn’t say like use cheap wash or cheap, um, muddied watercolor, I think get what you can afford. But if you’re feeling [01:02:30] precious, like if you’re like, oh, I need to just put a little bit of paint out.

[01:02:35] You need, you need. You

[01:02:38] diane: need some freedom. And Tate said, for a stuffy designer, like, what would you, and I think there are lots of, um, cause he doesn’t, I think most of us as designers, we are so tight, but we, I don’t want to be, we want to have this, but we, we. Feel like it’s coming at us from both sides, right?

[01:02:58] They’re like, yes, to [01:03:00] be perfect. And then we’re like, and it’s like we’re in this box, but we really wanna break out. Yeah. Um, and so we have this urge to do something. And, and I think just, I think that your suggestion of using something that’s not precious is really, um, and what you have, like even you can use highlighters.

[01:03:19] You’ve used so many things in yours that I’m like, whoa, I didn’t even think about. I could use that.

[01:03:25] Sandi Hester: I mean, at our campsite this weekend, uh, the next morning I [01:03:30] was looking at the fire pit and I was like, there’s so much charcoal in there. I, I reached in and I was like, you know, just smear some stuff on your page before you even get started.

[01:03:39] Prep some pages, get some ink or I don’t know, go out and get some mud wrap, you know, smear it around so you already feel less precious. My young friend that we were painting out recently, At some point we swapped our sketchbook with, well, I said, gimme your sketchbook and you’re taking mine, and then keep drawing.

[01:03:56] And at some point I reached over and took [01:04:00] his sketch and mine and wadd it up, handed it to him and said, go throw these in the pond, . And his look at his face was like, I said, go do it. He ran over there, his little boy. I said, just don’t fall in the pond please, cuz your mom will be upset. And then we, we fished him from the pond and I said, let’s stomp it in the mud.

[01:04:17] Let’s, what else can we throw at? There’s some goose poop. Let’s smear it around. And then we worked some more on top of it. So sometimes I think you just have to un preciousness. But, but I, I wanna picture that I get the point across like, painting, [01:04:30] painting or drawing tight is not against the law. This is what I think.

[01:04:36] If you get up from your painting or drawing session and you’re like, Ooh, I need a massage. I need some Tylenol. I need a, like, and you, and you feel like you need. You know, to go wind down. That’s not how you, because you can paint tight and not feel this, like, everything in my life depends on this. Just have fun work.

[01:04:59] [01:05:00] I think there’s more work up here than even in this sometimes. Yeah. So I think even as a designer, I don’t, then, I was thinking about this today, I was wondering, I feel like sometimes there’s not as much identity issues when they’re, when you’re in a creative job that there’s some collab. So I don’t know if, if that, I think you could probably maybe feel less of that when you’re doing design work.

[01:05:22] But then when you, you’re gonna start trying to sketch or do something, then you can feel the, for some reason people think that you just, cuz it came so [01:05:30] easy as a child, what came easy as a child is the not getting caught up in yourself. You weren’t worshiping yourself as much as a child and so worried about what everybody was gonna think.

[01:05:39] You just enjoyed it. And so I think that, Because you have to create a lot of work to get good. So if you can work on this, telling this to zip it and who cares? And I’ve got a creative lot of wor bad work, so let’s just have fun doing it. Um, because you do need to be able to practice. Most people don’t improve because they can’t get over [01:06:00] themselves and play and try new things.

[01:06:02] And that’s one of the reasons too. I love Emma Carlisle. She’s like that too, man. She tries everything and plays and experiments and um, so we are kind spirits in that.

[01:06:13] diane: Well, I just thank you so much for so much of your time and I hope everybody has had, uh, I wanted to read what Jen wrote. Um, Jen said, this is kind of long one, she said, um, yes, we should, why should we expect others to get what we’re working on?

[01:06:28] And yes, I’ve always had people [01:06:30] intrigued and happy to see an artist working on something. The more we practice in public, the more normal it feels. Agreed for sure. Yeah, I’ve, and then she says, I’ve learned, so I’ve learned a lot watching Sandi’s YouTube. I’ve also had a hard time using my materials, but not anymore or used to have a hard time using my materials.

[01:06:47] I thought every time I sat down, I had to create a masterpiece as if to prove something to myself. Now, thanks to Sandi, I’m learning to trust the process and I’m much more consistent now, and I think that is part [01:07:00] of that. Um, For us as designers or people who are doing this, yes, other people have a say in what we’re doing and we are trying to please somebody else, but there should be a time where we can be free and you don’t have to share it.

[01:07:15] Um, but I do think sharing it helps you to get more comfortable. It doesn’t mean that you have to share it on, you know, the internet or uh, social media. You could just have three friends that you share it in a text message with that is, creates [01:07:30] some courage. And it’s also like, wow. It, it allows us to share a joy instead of just having to think that everything has to be perfect.

[01:07:41] And I think, and

[01:07:41] Sandi Hester: sharing also doesn’t mean just, I think in this day and age, we think sharing means social media sharing in a way. It’s like, look what I’ve done sharing can be make your, make Christmas cards, make a gift for somebody else. Now that I, I don’t do that a lot. I’d much rather somebodys come pick something out, makes me nervous.

[01:07:57] But there’s ways to. [01:08:00] Sometimes bargain with people and make and save, you know, make money in that way. There’s, but there’s just blessings. I mean, there’s a lot of kids at my church. We draw, um, and paint for one another. You know, my three year old little friend when I’ve brought her something, you know, she just likes it.

[01:08:16] In fact, her mom said, or older sibling said, you need to tell Miss Sandi that we like big, that you really like big landscape paintings, . Um, and we’ll do little collabs, you know, with my friends at my young friends [01:08:30] at church. They’ll paint something and then I’ll take that and paint from it and then have them paint.

[01:08:35] So there’s ways to use it as a gift to bless others. But when we’re so self-absorbed and a whole identity in it, you can’t look out and use it or share it even for like a birthday card or Christmas card or just as a, a little, you’re gonna go have dinner at somebody’s house. Well, why not paint a little, some little tag that, a little gift that you’re gonna give them and say thank you.

[01:08:57] There’s just ways to use it. That’s [01:09:00] sharing, but not in a way that’s. Instagram sharing

[01:09:04] diane: or standing on stage with all having a show or some, there’s these little ways that can get you used to it. I wanna just make sure everybody, if they’re listening, or again, all these links are right at the top if you’re watching on YouTube, and if you’re here live, you can get ’em.

[01:09:18] But if you go to YouTube and you type in Sandi, s a n d i h e s t e r, um, it’s also called Bits of An Artist’s Life. So you can do, you can search for either [01:09:30] one, but that’s her YouTube. Um, her Instagram is at Sandi Hester. Art. So Sandi with an I and then her classes, which I hope you guys take the acrylic.

[01:09:41] I. Thought it was great and I am not, um, I didn’t use, that’s all I used watercolor and acrylic, so I thought it was great. Uh, it’s Sandi hester, and then you can always check out. She puts her new paintings up and if you’re quick, you might be able to get one. So Sandi [01:10:00] and just, uh, if you are, I’ve been doing this thing with a bunch of people for the last week or so, but I’m doing it for a month.

[01:10:08] If you are just want to try to work on your imagination. Um, and this is like so low, like it takes maybe five minutes. I don’t even think it takes five minutes, but did you ever, Sandi, like, I know I’ve seen you out. They’re like, oh, look at those clouds. Or like, when you’re out and you’re like, you.

[01:10:27] Something in a cloud or you see something, I [01:10:30] would see it, we had this weird tile in the bathroom when I was growing up and I’d be like, whoa. I mean, I could sit on the toilet for forever cuz there was always something to see in the tiles on the bathroom. , it was like, I never needed to do drugs because the tiles in my parent or the bathroom.

[01:10:44] Right, right. Yeah. But this is kind of what this is and if you guys want to go there, it’s at, uh, recharging number. I made up that name. Um, if you go there and I’ll put it over here in the chat, but it’s, uh, underneath [01:11:00] Sandi’s links if you’re listening or on YouTube, um, it’s just blob sheet.

[01:11:05] So you do a sheet a day, uh, I mean a week. And then you just can have some fun. And I, of course don’t have one right next to me, but they’re really fun. And if you look at, imagine the hashtag again, it’s this small, tiny little way for you to. Just ex start something and I just say, use a pin and not a pencil.

[01:11:27] So that you’re not worried about erasing. That’s also [01:11:30] something I think I’ve learned from you too, is just, just go for it. Like it will look weird. I love, she’ll do these, um, she does have a great face. How to draw a face video. I love that one. And then it’s a bunch of, um, just looking at, if you’re on Zoom a lot, then you can just draw the person without looking down.

[01:11:49] There’s all kinds of things. You never have to show the other person. I have drawn so many people that I’m sure, like my friend Van is like, that is not me. And I’m like, yep, that’s you. That’s you. That is you. But she would never [01:12:00] say

[01:12:00] Sandi Hester: it looked like her, right? They’re my poor husband. Oh man, we have some and we love them.

[01:12:06] Also say, don’t throw stuff away. Or cross stuff out. Yes. Don’t tear stuff out. You need to have aurn. Everybody’s journey should be the good and the bad and the ugly. And if nothing else, pulling out your old sketch books with the most horrendous, I mean, Grady and I, our most treasured possessions are like the worst paintings where like we would call one [01:12:30] the Be Sting where it looks like his hand.

[01:12:32] Like he, he’s like, what happened in my hand? Cause I used to sketch him all the time when he’d be asleep and he is like this, you know, but he was a still stub, you know, he was sitting still so I could paint him. But those, you know, that everybody’s, any artist’s sketchbook should be filled with the bad too, cuz that’s part of what that is.

[01:12:49] So don’t at an early teacher say, don’t throw anything away. And I lived by that. And most of my top selling stuff were things that I would’ve thrown in the trash because I don’t have a good eyesight of [01:13:00] what’s none of us do. We just don’t see our. Well, um, so just keep it. And then you also get to see a journey of, I talked about in this one of my videos where I show some really old sketchbooks and some new ones.

[01:13:12] Um, but I get to see the progress. You don’t get to see that if you don’t show that. And it’s really encouraging to flip through a sketchbook. A lot of my sketchbooks have like several years in them cause I’ll get bored working on, and you flip through that thing and it’s like, oh, there’s just growth in that.

[01:13:27] And it feels, and a lot of laughter usually [01:13:30] too, but a lot of my old stuff too, I’ll be like, well that was really good and I’m gonna paint from that right now. . Well, and that’s it. That

[01:13:38] diane: I’ve had that conversation with Debbie Clapper. She’s in Cleveland. She’s here today and she’s enjoyed it. And she was, she’s, she says, um, I go back through my old sketchbooks and it’s like, it’s not just a record keeping thing, it’s actually something you can pull from.

[01:13:51] And if you didn’t cross things out, you can be like, Hey, this one’s sad, you know? But we have a different eye because you’ve learned right. New things [01:14:00] from it.

[01:14:01] Sandi Hester: Had a painting up here on my wall way back there. Um, when we painted the studio a while back, we were, I was going through stuff and I remember where I was with that painting.

[01:14:10] Un stopped cuz I was like, this isn’t going well at all. And I didn’t throw it away cuz that was my rule. And when I was cleaning out the studio, I did that painting years ago and I pulled that out and I was like, that thing’s really good. I’m putting that in a frame right now. I’m putting that on the wall, which is paint tries and it’s been up there to just remind me like mm-hmm.

[01:14:28] you just don’t see well at the time. So [01:14:30] yeah. That’s a great, always remind myself, trust the process.

[01:14:33] diane: Yeah. So you guys go and, um, Subscribe to Sandi’s channel. Put that little bell on. I swear you will never, you don’t do it right before you go to bed. Don’t watch your videos right before you go to bed, cuz you won’t go to sleep.

[01:14:47] You’ll just keep watching them because they’re so funny and there’s way too many to watch in one night. So, um, but this, if you need a good, pick me up in the morning or the middle of the day, or your low part of the day. Oh my goodness, this is she. [01:15:00] And make sure you put that bell on because Yes, I never wanna miss one of Sandi’s and they are just, it is joy just in a video and I just, I love it.

[01:15:11] So I’m just thankful. I told when I first watched or listened and watched the, uh, first one and then I started watching and then I reached out and she does actually answer comments on YouTube. I mean, somebody who’s going actually respond. Sandi’s awesome at that. And then [01:15:30] I just, um, I’m very thankful that I can call you my friend, and I’m just, you’re.

[01:15:35] You’re super encouraging and just, I’m thankful that you just live out your life and that God is using you for all kinds of amazing, um, life changes. And for me, for in my art and as well as in my design, it allows me to think less about being so tight and more about what I’m supposed to be, what I’m supposed to be doing and using those skills.

[01:15:58] So, can’t thank

[01:15:59] Sandi Hester: you [01:16:00] enough. Thank you. It’s been fun and I’m thankful to have you as a friend. You’ve just been a real blessing and a help to me and just, uh, yeah. I feel like we get one another. . We do. We,

[01:16:11] diane: we are,

[01:16:11] Sandi Hester: my goal was, finish a sentence. Can I have at least one sentence? I, cuz I never finished sentences and I end up either, we’re both like all chasing rabbit trails.

[01:16:20] Never finish a sentence. I’ll get, I’ll listen to a podcast back and I’m like, did I say anything that anybody can understand? , sometimes

[01:16:28] diane: I like that too. I’m like, I don’t [01:16:30] know if that was good. And I don’t know if anybody understood what I was saying. But then I just think, oh, maybe Jesus had somebody else.

[01:16:36] They, somebody else. Jesus can use those words. So anyway, I um, am thankful that all of y’all came. Thank you so much for being here and supporting Sandi in this. And I just, I’m glad you guys could come live and

[01:16:51] Sandi Hester: thank you guys for coming. It’s real blessing. I know a lot of my, um, followers from Instagram and YouTube came over and thank you guys so much.

[01:16:58] And then we’re gonna, this is gonna be recorded. [01:17:00] Yep. It’ll be

[01:17:01] diane: recorded and Chris will edit it and then we’ll put it out. And Sandi, I’ll give you a link and you can share it and do whatever. And I just appreciate it. I just glad you’re my friend and I’m glad you’ve taught me so much and I’m glad you’re ballsy about being loose and sharing the real life of, and the goods and bads of being an.

[01:17:22] Sandi Hester: Just enjoying it. Let’s just enjoy it. Yeah, I think being creators, man, we just have a great gift, great job or [01:17:30] hobby and when we muck it up with all of our self worship and negative thoughts and just blah, blah, I don’t know what your sounds like, mine’s like, you know, blah, blah, blah. I mean, none of it’s useful.

[01:17:42] It’s just blobbity blob and I just thank golly, we’re gonna, I just feel like we’re wasting it.

[01:17:48] diane: So yeah. Well, awesome. I, and bye. I’m glad you’re in New Zealand, so thank you so much. She said it was a great way to start our morning. She’s gonna go create now. Um, and just thank [01:18:00] you guys so

[01:18:00] Sandi Hester: much.

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