EBSQ Blogger of the Week: Carmen Keys Medlin

Artist Carmen Key Medlin

Who and where are you?

I’m an artist and illustrator living in the gorgeous, foresty Black Hills of South Dakota. I’ve got a wonderful husband and two squishy kitties who keep me company. My favorite medium to work in is watercolor, and I often use colored pencil in conjunction with it. I enjoy painting whimsical things that bring people back to a sense of their childhood and their inner selves. What touches my spirit the most and how I connect with God the easiest is through His creations… ie, critters and plants and such beautiful things of nature, so those are common themes in my work.

Bee and Mustard by Carmen Keys Medlin
How did you get started art blogging?

I started about six years ago (around the same time I joined EBSQ ), at first just to connect with other people and try to figure out how to start selling my paintings. I learned SO MUCH from the people I’ve met via blogging and made some lovely friendships. Reading others’ art blogs really inspired me that I could make a go of this art career. I would have to say that blogging was the number one factor in making most of the connections I have in this business.
I like having a way to immediately post paintings I’ve finished and be able to share them with other people, get feedback, and visit with them. I also like to blog about my life in general, because that is always what I enjoyed most about reading others’ blogs. I like seeing who the person is behind the art; in fact, this usually makes me like their work *more*, because I can connect with the artist better.

Wandering at Dusk by Carmen Keys Medlin
Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

I’ll admit I’m not always the best at this, but post often – even if it is about your day or some photographs you took on a walk you had, write about things you love and definitely lots of pictures – whether they are paintings, photographs, digital art, whatever you like doing. If you tend to take a long time to create your artwork, perhaps consider doing a work-in-progress kind of thing where you show stages along the way. I think that’s a great thing to do if you work quickly, too.

Also, if I am coming up empty for content sometimes I’ll do an entry for Illustration Friday, even if it is just a sketch. The art exhibitions at EBSQ are also great ideas for creating something, which you can then post on your blog.

Fire Contained by Carmen Keys Medlin
What’s your musical inspiration of choice when you’re working in your studio?

For me, music is most important in the sketching/drawing stage (as that is the most difficult in my opinion). It helps me get into the mood of whatever I’m drawing. My favorite types of music to listen to for art are ambient electronic works (such as Ray Lynch, Robert Rich, Mychael Danna, Steve Roach, Vangelis), movie orchestral scores (like from The Dark Crystal, The Secret of NIMH, Legend, The Village, and such), Iona, Mickey Hart’s world drum music, and lots of classical. Too many favorite composers to count, but I tend to go with things from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Impressionist eras. Love choral pieces. I also really enjoy drawing to the music of my very own brother, Travis Keys! It is along the lines of some of the electronic music I mentioned above; he goes by Free Energy Workshop on SectionZ.

When I get to the painting stage, it’s usually all about movies, tv, and radio dramas. Hulu and Live365 help a lot with this. I’m a big fan of sci-fi shows and things that are strange, like The Outer Limits, Fringe, X-Files, etc. Alfred Hitchcock and Murder, She Wrote are also shows I’ll paint with.

Owl's Hollow by Carmen Keys Medlin
What’s coming next from your easel?

Along with working on a lot of rubber stamp licensing designs right now (which can be found at SCACD), I’m focusing on bringing forth more nature-oriented paintings. I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching to focus my efforts in more or less one main direction so I quit confusing my audience with all this bouncing around I’ve done for the past couple of years (heh), and that direction I’m calling “nature whimsy”. I’ve got a lot of nature whimsy to do! There will be more of my favorite dressed-up little animals in woods and fields, and more botanicals.

Thank you Carmen for being an EBSQ Blogger of the Week!

If you are an EBSQ Artist and would like to be considered for Blogger of the Week just add us to your blogroll. I’m searching EBSQ profiles weekly for links to artist’s blogs. If you aren’t an EBSQ Artist, what are you waiting for?


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