“A Little Bit of Everything”. A Peek Inside the Book and Free Coloring Pages

I’m soooo excited to announce that my new (and first!) coloring book is now out and available for purchasing on Amazon (and at local art shows if you are on The Outer Banks), it’s called “A Little Bit of Everything” Coloring Book, it is priced at $11.99 on Amazon (click on the book title to be directed to the Amazon link), which makes it a great stocking stuffer or small gift for this Christmas. I called it “A Little Bit of Everything” because it is a fun compilation of different themed illustrations (florals, whimsical scenes, mandalas, patterns) with different levels of complexity, some have larger blank space, some have lots of details to color, there’s two different sizes of images, most are one large image per page but a few pages are two horizontal images per page. The book has already been a success at the Holiday shows here on the beach and they have been purchased for and by people of ages ranging 7 to 70 (ish?) (I didn’t ask the lady her exact age but I would guess she was in her 70s, she told me that she wanted to color to improve her memory, I thought that was a wonderful use for my book and it made me really happy!).

 Below is a sneak peek of the book:

Do you see what I mean when I say that the book has a little bit of everything? I have a confession to make, even though I am an artist, I didn’t find the idea of coloring a pre given design all that appealing, but I gave it a try with my own book for the sake of trying different pens and markers so that I could recommend the best ones to color this book with and to my surprise I really enjoyed the process and I’m looking forward to coloring more pages! Here’s a time-lapse video of me coloring one of my favorite pages:

To color this page I used tons of different markers and pens, both for the sake of experimentation and because lets face it, I’m addicted to art supplies and as an artist I just want to try as many as I can all the time. Here’s a list of what I used on this page:

Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners

Staedtler Triple Fineliner

Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Pens, Medium Point

Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens, Medium Point

Prismacolor Colored Pencils

Crayola Twistables Colored Pencils (you don’t need to spend a lot of money to color!)

Copic Ciao Markers  (these are my favorites but they are on the pricey side)

I’m sure I will be trying more markers and pens in the future and I will share here when I do.

Would you like to download and color a couple of the pages of this book for free? Just head to the downloads section of my website by following this link:  Carolina Coto Art/Downloads

I hope you enjoyed the sneak peek and I hope you treat yourself to some coloring this Christmas!

 

 

 

2013: What a Wonderful Year! (In Images)

I was trying to write this post…it had been 3 days, and I was not even close to finishing, so I decided, I’ll let the images do the talking, and I’ll show you, with images -and a tiny bit of text-, why 2013 was a wonderful year!

I know we are 1 month into the new year, but I guess it is never too late to recap and be thankful for everything 2013 was, so, here it goes (you can click on the images to see them bigger):

Traveling2

In 2013 we got to travel to Holland, Canary Islands and Morocco, getting to do all this traveling with my husband is a dream come true :). In Holland we got to stay with my dutch “sister”, Noemi and my nephew Móan, and they got to meet my husband Brian. I love her, I love the Netherlands and we loved staying with them (she’s got the most comfortable guest bed ever!! I love european comforters too…it’s like sleeping in a cloud, I swear! -that’s what it feels like to me anyway-)

shows

This year that past I participated in a total of 20 art festivals, including 2 in Costa Rica, I got to experiment which ones are a better fit for my art and I’m so happy that I got to test them and figure that out. There’s always going to be some “fine tuning” needed every year, but I definitely got to get a feel for different kinds of festivals.

Alonso2

I became and aunt in 2013!! :D I got to meet my nephew in May 2013, when he was only 2 months old, and got to see him again, and play and cuddle him so much in December. He’s so much fun now at 10 months old, so playful and smart. I’m in love.

SoldArt

These are some of the original pieces I sold in 2013, some were quite small, but there were a few of the big ones too ;). Selling original art is not necessarily easy, so I’m really grateful for last year’s outcome.

All Assignements

I went back to school! (online school that is) and signed up for some amazing classes, including “Make Art that Sells” taught by Lilla Rogers and the Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design, taught by surface designer Rachel Taylor (now Davis). Both classes included Facebook groups for the participants, and both the classes and the interaction with my virtual classmates have been life changing for me as an artist. These images are the designs I produced for Lilla Rogers class.

 

FamilyandFriends

I’ve been in the Outer Banks for 2.5 years now and I feel lucky for the friends I’ve made here. I also feel lucky that I get to have nice times with my new friends here in the Outer Banks and that I get to go and spend the holidays with my family in Costa Rica and see my friends over there as well. This was the case in 2013. Is the best of two worlds.

I could go on, because there’s definitely more…but I think you get an idea. 2013 was a great, great year!

 

It can’t be all about work.

This last week I made a “summer resolution”.  We live in a touristic place, the Outer Banks of North Carolina, a beautiful peninsula and islands filled with beaches, dunes and lighthouses. I love it. You can imagine the amount of visitors we get every high season and the amount of work there is here during the summer. We work like crazy, most of us 7 days a week.

Most people still find time to play, go to the beach, surf when there’s a tiny bit of waves (pretty scarce during this time of the year, thankfully! otherwise work wouldn’t get done!) but my husband and I realized that we were not really finding that much time for just “hanging out”, specially just the two of us. I came to the realization that even though he works his “derriere” off, I was the one so immerse in my art, that I wouldn’t want to stop what I was doing until it was time for bed, often times, until it was past bed time. Here’s the thing, I LOVE what I do and this year specially, I have been learning some new things, taking a lot of online classes and building up my art skills “repertoire”; it’s really hard to try to measure out how much “work” I do in a day, I really just want to keep going and going.

As much as I love what I do, there’s definitely something I love more, yes, my husband. I don’t think I could be doing what I’m doing, with the intensity that I’m doing it, without his support.

So, this summer’s resolution is: making time to “hang out”.  There will be days before a show when I will probably be working right up until bed time, but I have decided that on “regular” days, I will stop what I’m doing at a certain time and in a “guilt free” mode, enjoy the late afternoon/evening just winding down and hanging out with my husband or friends. So far it’s been pretty good. If I tell myself at the beginning of the day that I’m finishing at a certain time, it’s like I’m programming my brain to find a “conclusion” to whatever task I’m doing at around that time (meaning: I might not be done with the painting, or the pattern, or the online class exercise, but I’m done for that day, I can always continue where I left it the following day) and I don’t feel like I’m stopping “in the middle of”.  I usually take several days to complete a painting, so, even if I am in a “don’t-stop-til-you’re-falling-a-sleep” mode, I will often go to bed without finishing a piece, so, it is not that tragic if I stop before I “can’t keep going”, I’ve actually found that it is rather relaxing.

Brian and I make some time for "hanging out" at Surfin' Spoon Frozen Yogurt Bar after a hard working day! :)

Brian and I make some time for “hanging out” at Surfin’ Spoon Frozen Yogurt Bar after a hard working day! :)

I forgot to mention: we work like crazy during the summer (spring and fall as well, pretty much), we travel in the winter. The tourists are gone, the town “dies”, half the place closes down and a large percentage of the people goes traveling to warmer places and/ or places with waves. But even if we are lucky to be able to take that time off, the intensity of work right now can be quite overwhelming.  It can’t be all about work; some “us” time is always “oh” so needed and “oh” so necessary.

...and even if we still find it hard to "hang out" during the summer, there's always a winter of traveling coming up :) .Some pictures from last winter's trips.

…and even if we still find it hard to “hang out” during the summer, there’s always a winter of traveling coming up :) .Some pictures from last winter’s trips.

For those of you that work at home: do you find it hard to “clock out”? I would love to hear!

Beach :)

It’s pretty late here in the Outer Banks of NC, but I had to write at least a few lines. Today was a pretty long day but perfectly balanced between work and relaxation time; I got to spend a few hours on the beach at the end of the day, sketch a little bit while I was there and watch my husband surf. It was so beautiful. I moved here 2 years ago and I still can’t believe that this is where I live and that this is my life.

I want to share a few of my paintings that have been inspired by what is now “home”.

 

Lighthouse. Acrylic, color pencil and marker on photograph

Lighthouse. Acrylic, color pencil and marker on photograph, 2012

Wave 1.2. Acrylic on canvas, 18 x 36 inches, 2013

Wave 1.2. Acrylic on canvas, 18 x 36 inches, 2013

Stormy Turns. Acrylic and marker on canvas.

Stormy Turns. Acrylic and marker on canvas, 2012

Pier 2. Acrylic and marker on canvas.

Pier 2. Acrylic and marker on canvas, 2012

Disclaimer: I’m new to blogging and I just HAD! to add a little poll here ;), I’m just so fascinated with all the cool things you can do in a blog.

Good night everybody! And thanks for reading :)

 

Some things you can’t control

In Art Festivals’ world, there’s 2 things you can’t control: sales and weather. Yesterday I participated in a new local art show, the Windmill Point Art Fair, here in the Outer Banks. I’m glad that I was there, I got to practice my set up (which takes me 2.5 hours) and just be there, showing my art, hanging out with other artists.  The weather was brutal towards the end, the wind started knocking down people’s stuff from their tables and many people was forced to start packing up early. I have to say that I’m really glad that I invested in a good tent at the beginning of this year, my mesh walls were flapping a little bit though the show but my art work was “hanging in there”, no problem, the whole time. Take down was a different story, I thought the wind was just going to take all my art work as I was taking it down…same thing with my panels, tent top, etc. All my framed stuff was covered in dirt that the wind was carrying, same as me, I was not sure what was sun tan and what was dirt, seriously. Besides that (and the fact that I did not sell 1 thing, nothing, cero), I’m just excited to keep painting and getting ready for future shows, and even if we can’t control the weather, or sales, I’m going to declare, I will do good next show ;).

Here’s a picture of my set up yesterday, what y’all think?

photo (9)

and I really want to share this other pic, with my friend’s Dawn Gray‘s permission, this is Dawn and her little baby Marbella, who was a real trooper yesterday at the show, Dawn set up this little “pool” for Marbella to stay cool and have some fun during the show, I thought it was brilliant…Marbella napped and played through the day at the show…just a normal day for an artist’s baby :)

IMG_0756

And now I’m off to paint (and re frame some of my art work that got all dirty from the wind yesterday :/ )

Over and out :)

So, here we go…

First post in my new blog…yikes. What now? I’m feeling a little bit wordless. I’m just going to start writing. I’m just going to tell you, like I would tell a new friend why did I start painting and all of that good stuff. So, I started painting when I was about 9 I guess, inspired by my dad who is a pretty good self taught painter, I was not very disciplined of course, but I pretty much figured out back then that I wanted to be a painter.

Fast forward hmmm, lets say, 10 years. There I was, a student in Universidad de Costa Rica, second year in art school, first year in painting class, “Painting 1” .   Teacher says, for our first serious project: “Pick a subject that you are very interested in”. Well, Carolina Coto’s pick? (I’ll like to make a little parenthesis here and ask you to go look at my portfolio on this blog and guess what subject I picked -if you’re familiar with my art, then jump right to the subject guessing :) – rainbows? flowers? color, color, color?) The Holocaust. That was my pick. Yes. From age 16th to about 21 I was very, very interested, shocked, obsessed in an existential “how-in-this-world-could’ve-something-like-this-happened” way. And so I immersed my self into it, read, read and read more (more than I had already read in the past 4 years about it) and dreamed, yes, I possibly dreamed every other night about it. The art work resulting was very intense, very heart felt and it was very very dark. And it got me a 10 in that class that semester.  The rest of my student years were filled with very introspective and exhaustingly emotional work. Fast forward to 2008. My current line of work started. What happened in between? A lot of experimentation I guess, life experiences, growing up. I came to terms with a lot of things that I needed to paint about in early years, and “digging” in my “soul” just became unnecessary and almost annoying to me. A lot of my younger years’ art where about self discovery, and then at some point I did not feel like I needed to do that anymore. The result is my current work. “Happy art” people call it, and that’s perfectly fine with me. I’ve felt self conscious about my current line of work, sometimes. I wonder if it has the necessary “depth” to it, -conceptual depth I mean-, but all I know is that I am painting what I really want to paint. My art work now is the most honest, comfortable, “happy” (I guess I use that word to describe it, too) that I’ve ever painted, and I guess that’s all that matters for me right now. One’s art is always evolving, so I’m sure there will be changes in it. But I feel I’m painting and I am creating right now what I want and what I need.

Phewww. There. My first blog post. Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see y’all next time :)

Disclaimer: English is not my first language. I apologize for all the funny grammar errors I might have made ;)