My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1297: A Milestone for Me

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 04-21-2014 12:02 PM 1450 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1296: Early Inspirations Part 1297 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1298: A Contest »

A couple of months back, I began working on something that kind of got side tracked.

We all have projects like that. We start out like a ball of fire and then something gets in the way and deadlines come up and holidays come and before we know it, our project is tucked neatly (or sometimes not so neatly) into a corner.

While I know that there are some people who won’t start another project until one is finished, I am not like that. I usually have a couple of things on the go at once. My friend Cari’s dad used to say that we were both like fighter pilots. We could do six things at once. I suppose part of it is having small children and still being curious and creative and filling each day with as much as we could cram into it.

I am still like that.

Even though the kids are grown and on their own, it only means that I can allow myself to do more things. With huge amounts of opportunities available – even more so with the internet and online classes – I find that sleeping should be an option so that I can have more hours in the day to create.

In any case, back in November I began a painting project that was quite an undertaking. When I visited my kids in Chicago in October, I had also visited one of my favorite places – Brookfield Zoo. And at the zoo, I was able to see the new young snow leopard that was born over the summer (Everett) and his mom. I love Brookfield Zoo because the way it is set up you are able to see the animals very close. Especially the snow leopards which are my favorite of all the big cats. They love to sleep on a rock shelf right up against the glass wall so they are actually within a foot of you. It is amazing to be that close to them.

I was able to snap a nice photo of them, and when I got home, I decided to make a painting of it. I had recently received my set of DecoArt Traditions paint from Art Apprentice Online (a wonderful online learning community for painters) and I was waiting for the perfect project to try them out.

Tackling a painting such as this is quite intimidating. While I have several of my own original paintings that I have done over the years, it has been quite a long time (many years) since I have had the time or ambition to create another one. (You can see my other original artwork on my Gallery page of my site)

However, with me keeping as busy as I do, I find it very difficult to make time to do this type of painting. Many ask me if I offer patterns for these paintings, but they are far too complicated for me to ever sort through and make instructions for them. Truth be told, when painting them, I very much “wing it” and there are many times – as with this painting – that I wind up completely painting over portions and changing things. It is something that I do for myself to grow personally as an artist and a designer, and while I sometimes make note cards and prints to sell from these pieces, I keep the original paintings for myself, or give them to friends and family.

So with that said, below is a photo of the finished painting:

I am very happy with the outcome, although – me being me I still want to pick away at it. It is funny, but once I had it on the computer screen, I see different things that I want to refine and I feel as if I could keep painting on it forever. Is anything really “done”???

I am going to set up an album for the step-by-steps, as there are many photos which show the process that my painting followers may be interested in seeing.

It isn’t perfect, but it is nice and I am proud of it. I need to let go and move on to other things.

Sometimes I think being side tracked and stepping away from a project for a while can be a good thing. I think by me leaving it for these few months and then coming back to it, I was able to look at it more objectively and see it with new eyes. I am sure when I look at it months from now, I will be thinking of other refinements that I can do to it. But I will refrain from that. There comes a point when we need to call our work “finished.”

Easier said than done.

Thank you to all my friends for your encouragement on this and all of my work. Your kind words motivate me to always do my best and try to improve. I think this bleeds into all the creative areas of my life. I appreciate you all.

Have a wonderful Monday!

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

7 comments so far

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 4101 days

#1 posted 04-21-2014 06:32 PM

It looks great the way it is! I believe that everyone is their own best (worst) critic and you are no exception to that rule! Just be careful that you don’t put one too many strokes and ruin the picture! Take pride that you did a super fine job!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 4005 days

#2 posted 04-21-2014 11:17 PM

Hi Sheila,
Being said that you do two (not only 2 but countless skills… painting, scrolling, embroider, etc) projects at one time… the bottom line is the end product. All of your skills combined in any of your project will really say as to who you are. There is always a room for a new beginning much more of the changes before you finally ends.
In my case, I end sometimes on those unfinished projects just waiting to be functionally completed. This is because, I like to do what comes into my mind rather than what is needed to finish first. Probably because I am not forced (like commissioned to do or obliged to finished) by the consequences but it is only a hobby.
Thanks for your nice words in dealing with this situation.
Have a nice day!

-- Bert

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3647 posts in 4796 days

#3 posted 04-22-2014 01:54 AM


You are so multi-talented. With so many talents, it’s no wonder that you enjoy having more than one project going at any given time. The snow leopards look more like a photograph than a painting. That’s what we consider REAL talent. (We can’t get excited about paint slopped on canvas just because it sells for millions of dollars. That could be because we’re not on any mind-altering drugs!)

Thanks for sharing your painting with us.


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Celticscroller's profile


1286 posts in 3156 days

#4 posted 04-22-2014 03:22 AM

Oh I love this painting! I can almost reach out and feel that fur! Beautifully done.

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 4003 days

#5 posted 04-22-2014 10:43 AM

Thank you all for your kind comments! We were out most of the day yesterday and it was late when we returned so I didn’t get a chance to reply to your comments until now.

I really appreciate your kind comments on my painting. I know I have more work to do, but it is a good start and I am for the moment happy with it. I feel that by learning different forms of art, it improves my overall skills and helps me in every aspect of designing. While painting and needlework may not seem related to woodworking design, I believe that it is, as it helps me see different subjects in many different ways.

I am looking to offering this painting as a print, as I have had some inquiries on that. I will certainly keep you all updated here on the blog.

Thanks for taking the time to comment. :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3887 days

#6 posted 05-17-2014 10:43 AM

You should be proud of it. It’s awesome! You’re just a naturally talented gal for art. :)

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 4003 days

#7 posted 05-18-2014 12:54 PM

Thanks, Roger – I am going to make prints available for it. I am really proud of it. I was afraid I had forgotten how to paint. :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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