“My paintings are visual reminders of the life I want to live.”
I am an artist – painting and photography are my passions and I love all the creative bits of life. I also homeschool my three young children.
Can I use your art work on my blog/poster/school project/pamphlet/etc.?
Yes! You are most welcome to use my art work for non-commercial purposes (you are not making money from it). Just credit my name, Erika Hastings, with a link to my blog, www.mudspice.com, and send me a quick email to let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are business and would like to use my art work for commercial purposes email me at email@example.com for pricing.
Do you sell your art work?
Yes! You can buy prints, posters, greeting cards, t-shirts or hoodies at my online store on Red Bubble. http://www.redbubble.com/people/erikahastings
I am not currently selling originals or doing commission work.
How do you make your paintings?
A picture will pop into my mind and then I will spend a lot of time sketching it and fleshing it out. I then trace the image onto high quality watercolor paper, outline it with waterproof ink and then paint it with watercolor paint.
Is all the photography yours? What kind of camera do you use?
Yes. I love photography! I particularly love bokeh – the Japanese word for “blur” but which often refers to the balls of light that come from slightly unfocusing your lens. I’m also in love with macro – close up – photos and try to go at least once a week for a photo walk in nature. I mostly use my Canon 5D with a 100mm macro lens. I also have a 50mm which I use at night and a 24-70mm lens which I use for wide angles.
Did you study art?
Yes. At the slightly snobby fine arts program at the University of Victoria. Everyone was pushing conceptual/postmodern art and I was not interested so I did part of my degree in Mexico instead. Wow, was that great.
I also grew up with the belief that I needed a job where someone would hire me so I became an art teacher and taught in Canada, Mexico, Honduras and Brazil. Now I teach my own kids and have finally accepted the idea that it’s OK for me to become a full-time artist. Wow, did that take a long time.
Along the way I did my masters because I have a crush on academia.
How do you do art with young children around?
Strategy 1: Downsize
I do less. I make it smaller. I use watercolors that I can drop on a dime instead of acrylics that require careful clean up.
Strategy 2: Quiet Time and a Morning Off
We schedule downtime during the day where all the kids play quietly on their own, reading books, building Lego, resting, doing art or other creative activities on their own.
My husband and I also trade mornings off on the weekend. I usually go for photo walks or do painting during that time.
Strategy 3: Patience and Perspective
I know that one day, when my children get older, we will all be able to sit down and do our creative works together. This time is so brief in the span of my life.
Why do you homeschool your children?
We tried the school route for a few years. It didn’t work out and so I looked into other options. I spent a year intensely researching homeschooling, became thoroughly convinced by it and tried it out. So far so good.
What is art as prayer?
I think of my paintings as visual affirmations, prayers, mantras and reminders – like a post-it hanging on the wall. For me, creating art is an embodied, active prayer. It is not a prayer because of a particular imagery or symbolism, but rather a spiritual awareness moves me into the flow of life where hours feel like minutes, where there is a blur between my art and myself – as if the paintbrush moves itself, and where my artist studio becomes its own temple. Read more here.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in the United States and moved to Canada when I was seven. I moved to Vancouver when I was married and have been here ever since.
What is your favorite food?
I went to Israel shortly after I was married and have been in love with shawarmas ever since.
What is something unusual about yourself?
For a year I lived in the jungle on the Mosquito Coast of Honduras. I once woke up to find enormous biting ants covering my walls and floor and creeping up my bed. I barely escaped out my window.