EH Sherman Abstract Art!

Introducing EH Sherman Abstract Art

Hi friends!

As my punny little graphic above declares: I’ve got some exciting news regarding the future of my work.

In an effort to better organize my presence online, I’m splitting what I create into two brands. This will allow me to do everything I feel compelled to do, but with a more organized/cohesive portfolio. Here’s a basic breakdown of the changes going forward;

Fin and Feather Art :: All of my wildlife/nature work, commercial illustration and design will live here. Nothing will change with the shop info, or ordering ability.

E.H.Sherman Art :: This will be the new home for all of my abstract watercolors. I am head-over-heels in love with the process of creating these pieces and am so thrilled for them to finally have a place to be seen together. This comes complete with a new abstract-centric blog and tumblr account for insights into this portion of the studio. Head over to the new site and check it out!

Nimbus on
An example of what you’ll find :)

I crave organization, and I think this will be the best way to keep my work in portfolios that make sense.

But, that means the chaos of dealing with two distinct brands. Multiple shops for each brand, different email lists, different creative opportunities… I’m hoping to be able to manage it all myself, but I may be in the market for a few interns (or an IV of coffee) here shortly.

Thanks for sticking with me thus far, and here’s to the future!



We Are the Makers Swap – with Macrame from KnottyBloom

I participated in the We Are the Makers Swap brought to you by the lovely Craft your Life Collective and Makers Movement this past month. Each of us submitted images of what we’d like to send, and if chosen to participate we were matched with another maker.

My package was delivered today and HOLY COW. I was matched with Nalani over at Knotty Bloom (seriously, go check out her work!) and was lucky enough to receive one of her gorgeous plant hangers.

Plant Hanger from KnottyBloomI also happened to have a little budding succulent in a small pot that kept getting lost in my forest of plants. The pot fit perfectly in the hanger and I couldn’t have been more pleased.

The cording is soft, the weaving is exceptionally beautiful and it is just a joy to look at.

we are the makers swap with knottybloomSee that little plant in there? 6 months ago it was a clipping from an older succulent, and it’s starting to grow! I think given it’s new, beautiful home it will do nothing but thrive from here on out! (Right?)And here’s where it will live in the studio, right infront of a nice sunny window, guarding my lenses and camera gadgetry.

Knotty Bloom's macrame hangerA big, giant THANK YOU to KnottyBloom, for sharing this beautiful piece of handmade artistry with me. And of course, to Maker’s Movement and CYLcollective for organizing this fantastic swap!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend <3



Additional BEAUTIFUL piece of weaving pictured above as a bracelet, is not infact a bracelet. It’s a MINI-HANGER!!!! How cute is that???

KnottyBloom's Mini-Hanger

#MakerSpaces with MakersMovement

This week the lovely folks over at MakersMovement have been running a little series on creative spaces on their instagram account.

The tag #Makerspaces has been a fantastic little collection of inspiring studios, artsy interiors and drool-worthy lighting, inciting some serious need to clean up my space.

…which I never really got a chance to do, but decided to take a picture anyway.


This is where my magic happens. Where I play with my paints, cut paper, package orders and daydream up new projects. It’s not much, and it’s pretty cluttered — but it’s my favorite place to be.

I just love the peek into other creative’s lives that this tag offers up — it’s so inspiring to see the workstations of my favorite’s makers!


Happy Friday friends! <3 <3



Splotchy Florals

This week has been a bit of a blur. Long hours in the studio, followed by late nights working on personal projects make for slow, blurry early mornings.

Usually I begin my work day with color studies, emails or printing orders – but this morning all I could seem to muster was a bit of splotchy painting. An hour so later and nearly a full pot of coffee later I was able to wake up a bit.

These sorts of days are not the norm. I usually feel like I have pretty good handle on how to balance my work/sleep schedule, but with an influx of ideas and only two hands, I seemed to have ended up a bit out of whack.

I’m hoping I can use this weekend to catch up on a bit sleep. What do you all do to keep a natural balance of work and sleep?
watercolor floral



Small Business Week – My Studio Essentials

Happy Small Business Week friends!

In celebration of this joyous occasion, I’ll be featuring a few aspects of Fin and Feather Art as well as showing off a few shops that I absolutely adore. The maker community is huge and growing fast, and an incredibly inspirational place to be <3 <3

For today – the first day of Small Business Week, I wanted to give you guys a peek into the things that my studio wouldn’t run without. Well, it probably would still run, but not as smoothly.

…Or  be as nice-smelling.

So here a few things that I really appreciate having in my work space. What about you? What inspires you on your desk?


1: Voluspa Saijo Persimmon Candle. I first stumbled upon this scent after arriving home from a 2 month adventure in Europe. I was full of inspiration, full of ideas and hungry to make some serious work. Now, every time I light this candle (or subsequent candles — I’ve gone through many.) I am reminded of that feeling and try to channel it into my current projects.

2: Succulents. As many as I can physically keep alive.

3: Faux fur lap blanket. Sometimes I get cold, even in Miami. Wrapping myself up in a FAUX fur blanket while working (not with paint though, too messy) makes me feel warm and medieval-ly.

4: TEA (and/or coffee). For reasons.

5: My ancient Muk-Luks. Seriously, I’ve had them for near 10 years. Nothing keeps my toes warmer.

6: Headphones/Ipod

7: (See 6). My current playlist on repeat; The Skyrim Soundtrack (45 mins of atmospheric sounds? YES PLEASE.) and both Lord Huron albums. Pure poetry.

8: My black swatch watch. I regularly work into the wee hours of the morning and if I’m not hovering by my computer I tend to lose track of time crazy fast. I try not to have my phone out when I’m painting either, I like to commit to distraction-free-paint sessions as often as I can. Rather frequently I’ll realize I worked straight through dinner, or it’s 2 hours before sunrise — so wearing a watch has helped be a subtle reminder to eat, and you know, actually sleep.

Tomorrow I’ll be back with some info on some of my favorite small shops (both local and international), so feel free to drop any suggestions below!





Working from the Road Part II: When to Work

ellen sherman artWelcome to Part II of my little traveling artist blog series. You can read Part I (all about how I pack my carry-on here)

This is a post mostly about my own struggle with time management while out of the studio.

As I write this, I am set up at my wonderful in-laws kitchen table, planner and sketchbook spread across the knotty pine tabletop, and feeling like over the last week I might have sat here in this exact layout a bit too frequently.

The balance between doing work and enjoying the people/places and things you’ve traveled to see is a delicate one, one that has eluded me rather recently.

Overworking means missing out on experiences, might as well be home.

Underworking means getting to be a part of every aspect of the journey, but you might find yourself a little low in the monthly budget, or with clients that feel neglected. Not good.

I will take this moment though to advocate for a TRUE VACATION. A set block of time that has been agreed upon ahead of time with clients, stores turned off and email returned with pleasant out-of-the-office replies. A full break from work can be a terrifying experience for the first 12 hours, but incredibly rewarding once one learns to let go. I try to take 1 – 2 of these respites a year to give myself a chance to decompress and renew. Occasionally these mini-retreats don’t even require leaving home, I turn just turn work off and turn inward for a bit. More on that to come.

Full work breaks aren’t always feasible though. And in those times, being able to decide when to say; “sorry hiking path to the waterfall, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow – I have to chat with clients today.”  and “sorry clients, there is a waterfall with my name on it, I’ll get back to you tomorrow.” can be a very vexing task.

ellen sherman art travel
Delayed flights means blogging.


For me, it boils down to discipline in both situations. Being able to commit to time away from work can be just as hard as committing to work in the face of a shining lake or distant relative.

As with most situations, if I came up with a system things would generally fall into place. I spent a while making lists, categorizing needs/wants and finally came up with what *I think* will be my measuring stick as I go forward.

First part is; clients are top priority. If I can’t be in the studio, I’ll make a schedule of their project with daily/weekly goals to make sure I do not fall behind. I am upfront about my travel time, and never leave when there is a deadline – so this works out fairly well.

Once I have dealt with any client concerns/work for the day, I’m able to transition to travel-mode. Hiking, exploring, eating, painting — embracing whatever comes that day.

The second prong of my traveling artist plan, is to make a list of the top 3 projects that are important to me/my brand. For instance the last trip I was on I chose 1) Pinterest 2.) Instagram 3.) my blog.

Once I have those decided, I’ll plan to get up an hour or two early on ‘work’ days, get some coffee in me and crank out as much as I can. A lot of times if I am unsure of the importance of one task over another these cram sessions will help sort what is most important.

It’s not a flawless system but it helps me stay organized and on top of my work while still enjoying the places and face I have traveled to see.

Outdoor watercolors. In a sweater.

It’s a little bit chilly today in Miami, probably a result of all of the wind/rain last night. I tried to go for my usual Friday night run and actually had to turn around, was pretty sure I’d be blown physically off my feet in mid-sprint.

So for today, I decided to actually wear a sweater (what a strange, foreign thing) and work outside.


Ellen Sherman abstract watercolor

ellen sherman abstract


Hope everyone has a lovely, warm weekend!


Thank You


I ran out of my hand-drawn thank you tags earlier this week, so I set aside some time to replenish my supply.

I took a few moments to consider my own thankfulness as I pressed the pen to form the words. I am grateful for the big things (family, friends, health, etc) but rarely (ashamedly) take the time to call the little things to mind.

I’m grateful for this warm coffee, keeping my fingers nice and toasty as I work. 

I’m grateful for the sounds of my husband typing across the studio. The clackety-clackety reminds me my best friend is just a nerf dart away.

The sounds of ferrets dreaming. The smell of toast. Pandora. The tape that holds my printer cord off my feet…

Though it can be grueling and occasionally horribly-terribly-frustrating to carve out a career as an artist, making sure to remind ourselves of even just the *smallest* things we are thankful for can be an uplifting shift of perspective.

What little thing are you grateful for?



Morning Sketches

I love the morning. Those moments when everything outside still silent, (save for a few birds in the palm trees) and the light that filters in is warm and peachy. I’ll crawl out of bed, make a pot of coffee, wrap myself up in my favorite blanket and sit at my easel. Sometimes I’ll work, sometimes I’ll just stare out the window watching as Miami slowly comes to life beneath me.

No breakfast to be made, no calls to return, no email to check — just a bit of quiet time for myself that helps me solidify my intent for the day.

Today I woke up with a few images/color schemes in my mind, so I decided to sketch a bit in the silence.

Watercolor Abstract


It never lasts too long though. The bird will figure out it’s daytime and start squawking, which wakes up the husband which wakes up the ferrets. And then it’s onto breakfast and real life :)