Dear My Beautiful Butterflies,
Hello there!! I'm Rachel Nieman and welcome to my first ever super casual monthly newsletter!!! I'm very new and very late to the newsletter/bulletin/blog game, but better late than never I guess. I decided last April of 2021 to create a monthly newsletter. I set up a subscribe button on my website and that is about as far as I got (thank you to those of you who signed up and for not inquiring where said newsletter was). But here we are in a new year and I'm finally (gasp!) taking the time to put a newsletter together. I'm quite busy in general, so I'm going to keep this to a monthly basis for the time being. Really just giving you a more long-winded peek behind the curtain of my life as an artist and I'll try to throw a freebie in there for you as well (hint hint: there's one at the bottom of this page).
So this is me (surrounded by some of the work i made last year)
For starters, I'll probably just give a little hi and hello about myself. I'm Rachel - artist and illustrator. I'm originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, but I currently live in Houston with my husband (Ricky) and pup assistant (Frankie). Just as a quick dig into me here are a few of my favorite things to do:
Travel - I've been traveling both domestically and internationally since college and it fuels my adventurous side and lends itself to inspire my artwork. Last year Ricky and I hit up so many national parks, my favorite trip being a trip to Lake Clark National Park in Alaska where we saw (safely of course), about 20 brown bears over the course of a few hours.
Hiking - kind of connected to travel, but I love to hike. This is a hobby that has come to me later in life after an impromptu trip to Olympic National Park in Washington. There was something about the quiet and simpleness of that hiking adventure that turned me into a fanatic: the views at the top of a tough trail, the lovely conversations, admiring nature and the list goes on. One of my favorite hikes was last year at Zion National Park in Utah. We went on a sunset hike with a view of the valley and not only was the sunset beautiful but there was also a lovely quiet moment amongst 20 or so strangers. We all were admiring the view and each chatting in our own separate bubbles when this woman started meditating right on the edge of the cliff, and slowly we all noticed, stopped talking, and all started having our own form of meditation. All 20 of us went completely quiet for about 10 minutes and still to this day it brings a smile to my face.
Reading - I love to read!! I always have a book I'm nose deep in, most recently "Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend" - a novel by Matthew Dicks that I highly recommend. If I had to pick a favorite book it would have to be the Harry Potter series (which is actually 7 books, not one), having read them about 5x in total.
Tv/Movies - I'm a lover of stories, so naturally, I'm a big tv show and movie fan. My favorite recent tv show was the Queen's Gambit, and I also just re-watched the Harry Potter series (told you I was a fan!) along with the 20th-anniversary reunion. If I had to pick a favorite movie...that's a tough one, but I think it would be The Sound of Music ......if you know me, you know I'm a big fan of musicals and theatrics.
I think my love for stories may fuel why I love to paint so much. I find if I have a story in my head I get into the painting more. Versus, painting something for the sake of painting it.
Here is a pic of me painting in my home studio. I made this painting based on the quote from Pablo Picasso "the purpose of life is to find your gift, the meaning of life is to give it away." This little lady is sharing her gift with the world one star at a time, which is kind of what I want to be doing in this newsletter. I want to share my process with you, along with my ups and downs. I would imagine sometimes these posts will be informative and other times they may be silly and fun. I'm excited and nervous about tackling this newsletter but I'm glad you're along the ride with me.
Here's a quick little video of that finished painting.
As you may or may not already know, I paint varying subject matter (space, animals, lettering), but it all has the same quirky adventure/exploration vibe to it. I'm newer to painting people - I think they always intimidated me, but last year I forced myself to paint them a bit more and I'm starting to feel more comfortable with them - the girl with her stars was one of the first people paintings (say that ten times fast) that I felt in my element. I'm definitely/maybe still trying to find my full style in that realm - but she was the first that I thought "okay, I think I can handle this". But that is creating and learning something new, right? You can't just try once and move on, you have to keep showing up and keep sharing (and also try not to put pressure on that learning - a goal of mine this year).
Well, I don't want to ramble on too much for this first newsletter, I just want it to be a quick super casual hello and about me kind of thing. I think the next newsletter I may dive into a painting I've been chipping away at - and how it has slowly come to be (we'll see - super casual right?!)
I hope you all continue to stay tuned to this monthly newsletter. I'm sure it will adapt and change as I get comfortable with it. I'll also be sending the occasional email on any updates, sales, freebies, etc. If there is anything you would like to see from me, feel free to drop me a message.
Until next time and
Cheers from my Studio,
P.S. I loved the coloring page I made for subscribing so much, I had to make another! As a "yippee" for my first newsletter, here's another coloring page freebie for ya! It's my little lady with stars that I shared above. Download, print, and color at home or download to your phone to color digitally. I'd love to see you using this. Snap a photo or screenshot and tag me on social media (@artbynieman). Thank you and see you in March!! (Woah that sounds weird).