A Life Sustained Sponsor: Tammy Olson

Please welcome A Life Sustained sponsor Tammy Olson!


Tammy is a mixed media artist who also happens to be an RN. She sells her whimsical prints in her Etsy shop.

In her words, "I'm Tammy, a stay-at-home mom obsessed with making mixed media artwork.  I love to reuse materials.  In many of my paintings I reuse tea bags, coffee filters and found papers.  I have a 6 1/2-year-old boy and a 3 1/2-year-old girl, along with our 6 year-old border collie.  Our family lives in beautiful rural Wisconsin among rolling hills and organic farms. In between painting,  I tend to a large garden where I try to grow as much of our own food as possible."


Tell us about your journey to becoming an artist.

Growing up I always loved creating things.  Art classes were always my favorite, so it was only natural that I went to college for art; it was what I loved.  After a year and a half of art school, I became very unsure of myself and what I wanted to do.  I felt like I wasn't a good enough artist and didn't have the support from those around me.  People always asked me what I was going to do with an art degree.  I started to question myself and eventually changed my degree to nursing.  To this day I still wonder what I was thinking.  I've never had any urge in my life to ever become a nurse!  But a nurse (RN) is what I became.  To be honest, it was a pretty good career to choose.  I've always had consistent and well-paying jobs.  I actually ended up enjoying being a nurse and helping other people.

Eventually, though, there was that little creative itch that kept bugging me, and then after becoming pregnant with my second child, my creative urges just couldn't be held back any longer.  My husband and I decided to try and make a go at having a one-income family while I grow and preserve food for our family and also create my art on the side.  It's been almost 2 years since we made that decision and now I don't even want to think about going back to work as a nurse. I love, love, love what I am doing.  I feel the need to paint and draw.  Life feels so much fuller knowing that I'm doing what I love.  I don't regret becoming a nurse, I think it was part of my journey in realizing who I truly was and how much I enjoy being an artist.


What inspires you?

I'm inspired by nature and the changing seasons.  Spring rains, flowers in bloom, falling acorns, chirping crickets, birds, cold winter skies, it doesn't matter what season it is, there is always something to be inspired by in nature.  Some of my paintings I'm inspired by my kids.  Watching them play, explore, and just be kids will trigger ideas for paintings.  One of my favorite sources of inspiration is that little time period right before you fall asleep, when you first put your head on your pillow and close your eyes, and images will float on by.  Many of my ideas and solutions for paintings have come about this way.  Another endless source of inspiration is browsing blogs and Etsy.  There is so much talent to be found out there!



Are there ways that you inject creativity in your everyday life with your children?

My studio is our kitchen table, so the kids are always watching me make something, whether it is a painting, sewing or knitting something. It seems I always have a project in the works. Many times if I'm painting, they will want to paint too. They especially love to rip and paste paper, just like I do. They know I love to draw things from nature, so if we go for a walk or find something interesting in the yard, they will keep it so that I can draw it. I reuse many things in my paintings and find them doing the same when they are playing. My son is especially good at this and seems to have a use for everything, whether it is a box, scrap of fabric, piece of yarn, twig, shell, it doesn't matter, he'll use it!




How do you choose your subject matter?

I love to paint birds, flowers, little girls, butterflies, animals, whatever is interesting to me at the moment.  It usually is related to whatever season it is or what I am seeing around me at the moment.  Sometimes a painting will start because of a pattern I saw on a building or an image I saw in a magazine, maybe an outfit someone had on, even words that were spoken or a piece of paper that I found.  My mind is always thinking about new things to draw or paint.  I love to make art!





Tammy is generously giving away to one lucky A Life Sustained winner their choice of any print from her shop! To enter the random drawing to win, just leave a comment on this post.

Get two additional entries! First, you can Follow A Life Sustained through Google Friend Connect and second, you add Tammy Olson to your favorites on Etsy.

Be sure to leave a comment for each "extra" so that they can be counted. Comments will be closed and a winner will be chosen in the evening of September 10.


The lucky winner is Elsie!
"I see the swallows in the evening, diving through the sky, too fast for me to capture with my camera...
so this print would be a treasure:
Birds Swallows and willow tree collage,
'Of a Summer Evening'"

Thank you Tammy Olson

70 comments:

  1. Lovely art!! And what a wonderful journey she has been on!

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  2. I love her artwork!

    stormyranew at yahoo dot com

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  3. I added her to my favorite etsy shops (etsy name- prettymagnolia)

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  4. Beautiful artwork, would love to win some! :)

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  5. Thanks for the chance to win one of these absolutely lovely prints!

    marija.majerle at gmail dot com

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  6. GFC follower

    marija.majerle at gmail dot com

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  7. hearted Tammy's shop on etsy- username bokononist

    marija.majerle at gmail dot com

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  8. Love the whimsical feel of Tammy's art! Thank you for another wonderful sponsor/artist to share!

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  9. Also favorite added to Etsy (emmsteroni)

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  10. I favorited her etsy under sweetsweetmorgan, my email is mtaggart4852@gmail.com! Really cute shop. :)

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  11. I followed on Google Friend Connect as well. Email: mtaggart4852@gmail.com

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  12. Just my regular comment is that I love her artwork. It's so free and fun. Ah, I love it, my email is still mtaggart4852@gmail.com

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  13. I love the warm colors!

    hrfarley at gmail dot com

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  14. Tammy's gems are truly and magically delightful! : ) Thanks so very much for this truly wonderful giveaway! : )

    leahita[at]gmail[dot]com

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  15. I am following your wonderful blog via GFC as Leah! : )

    leahita[at]gmail[dot]com

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  16. I "hearted" Tammy's shop on Etsy as leahita! : )

    leahita[at]gmail[dot]com

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  17. The artwork is so wispy and breezy! I love it, what a nice giveaway :)

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  18. I'm a new blog follower! (I'm also hosting a blog if you want to stop by!) :)

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  19. I've added Tammy's shop to my favorites!

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  20. I added Tammy Olson to my favorites on Etsy.

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  21. thank you for the great giveaway! her prints are really beautiful!! =)

    uk7ss@yahoo.com

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  22. i am a public gfc follower of " a life sustained" as uk7ss@yahoo.com

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  23. i love how the art just pops!

    angela_jeon { a t] ya h oo [d o } c o m

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  24. Wow, Tammy's work is just beautiful and I would be honored and thrilled to win!
    Thank you for the giveaway :)
    hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

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  25. I follow A Life Sustained publicly with google friend connect as Amber
    Thank you for the giveaway :)
    hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

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  26. I heart Tammy Olson on Etsy - my Etsy name is Hurdler4eva
    Thank you for the giveaway :)
    hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

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  27. Great interview, cute pics to0.

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  28. such charming work.

    eveyinorbit at gmail dot com

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  29. I see the swallows in the evening, diving through the sky, too fast for me to capture with my camera...
    so this print would be a treasure:
    Birds Swallows and willow tree collage,
    "Of a Summer Evening"

    pumpkinlady430@yahoo.com

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  30. Lovely interview. It is great to get to know you better through reading it. Nice to be flying with such awesome people! I love your work.

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  31. Awesome art!

    kiddomsg at gmail dot com

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  32. I follow this blog via GFC.

    kiddomsg at gmail dot com

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  33. I added Tammy Olson to my Etsy faves (houseofplush).

    kiddomsg at gmail dot com

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  34. What beautiful and creative art you've made! I love it!

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  35. pickmeaflower dot hm at gmail dot com

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  36. That's the story of my life! I never went to art school, but I became a special Ed teacher instead. I never stoped painting and when I stayed home with my kids three years ago, I immersed myself creating art, growing vegetavles, and loving my family. Now, I have to go back to work, and I am suffering... It was therapeutical to realized that other women share the same story. Thank you!

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  37. I just got a new apartment and would LOVE to have your "Flowers in Bloom painting, 8 x 10 mixed media print" grace my walls!
    panicxduh[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  38. Lovely. :3

    bannercat | gmail | com

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  39. Beautiful stuff. Great giveaway
    yanuzo at hotmail dot com

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  40. Heck ya, enter me in! ambrerose at(aol) dot(com)

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  41. Beautiful! Thanks for the giveaway.

    mrs.marcus2 at yahoo dot com

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  42. Beautiful artwork!
    michelle.wanderingstill@gmail.com

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  43. Her work is wonderful. Thanks for the chance to win a piece.

    supaflychikenpi2 AT gmail DOT com

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  44. I follow with GFC as A. Tolar.

    supaflychikenpi2 AT gmail DOT com

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  45. Thanks for a chance to win!

    Jamieadkins@mail.com

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  46. I now follow on GFC.

    Jamieadkins@mail.com

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  47. I added Tammy Olsen to my Etsy favorites.

    Jamieadkins@mail.com

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  48. Oh, those prints are all adorable! They sort of remind me of Japanese zakka style, I've got to say...I'd love to have one (or a few) hanging on my wall~

    octophants@gmail.com

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  49. Would love to win this! Thanks so much for the giveaway!

    walindeman@gmail.com

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  50. I'm a GFC follower!

    walindeman@gmail.com

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  51. Favorited Tammy's shop!

    walindeman@gmail.com

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  52. fabulous artwork! i would love to win :)
    brianaduda at gmail dot com

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  53. i am a gfc follower!
    brianaduda at gmail dot com

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  54. i added Tammy Olson to my favorites on Etsy
    brianaduda at gmail dot com
    etsy: SimplyBriana

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  55. Beautiful artwork! love these!!!

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  56. I added tammy to my favs on etsy! (holdmyheart)

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  57. Wow, your art is simple and beautiful! The colors and the patterns catch the eye.

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