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GUEST ARTIST: “Not All Gifts Are Tangible – Create Happiness” by Stacie Givens Nobles

My name is Stacie Givens Nobles and I’m from Charleston, South Carolina. My parents have given me many things and have instilled a multitude of virtues in me over my – ahem – fifty years. Two things that I am incredibly grateful for are a desire to create and a love of learning.

My mother is fantastically creative. She has tried her hand at so many creative, crafty endeavors over the years, from ceramics and macrame to quilting and oil painting, but where she really shines is her love of cross-stitch. We used to sit and cross-stitch for hours and hours, creating beautiful pictures that grace our homes and the homes of our friends and family.

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From an early age, she taught my sisters, brother, and me how to count stitches and make perfectly formed x’s to form a one-of-a-kind piece of art. Mama gave me that need to be creative.

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My father is the smartest man I know. He will read anything, but really loves history and learning new things. He has studied books on military history, folklore, Irish sagas, westerns, and more. His knowledge could put Jeopardy players to shame. Daddy gave me that love of learning and the need to know more.

So, thank you to Mama and Daddy, for giving me these great gifts, which I have strived to pass down to my girls.

I consider myself a “watercolor hobbyist”. I am fifty this year and started watercolor painting in 2019. I picked up a little Koi set of watercolor paints on a whim, grabbed some water, and just started doodling. I had no idea what I was doing but really had a lot of fun doing it.

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I followed that with reading blogs and books on techniques, and watching videos of professionals, and non-professionals, and attempted to follow their suggestions and tutorials. I have taken a few classes online. Every step of the way I have been encouraged by my wonderfully supportive husband, my girls, and my parents. I have learned and grown.

I love to watercolor; the flow of the colors in the water, the ease of the mixes, the vibrant and luscious colors. My favorite paints to use are Holbein and Daniel Smith. I am a huge fan of the Winsor & Newton watercolor paper and the Strathmore watercolor travel journals.

As for brushes, I find myself gravitating more towards my Silver Black Velvets, but also enjoy my Princeton Snaps. My all-time favorite color is Opera by Holbein. I created my character, MIAB (or Monster-in-a-box), because I love using Opera and wanted something I could put in a painting to specifically use that color on.

I enjoy creating flower and bird doodles which aren’t really based in too much reality. I also love patterns and colors. Lots and lots of color! I find it useful to go back and recreate a painting I’ve done a few months, or even a year, ago to help me visualize techniques I have improved on, as well as those that I need more practice with.

I see beauty in my work, but more important to me, I FEEL joy and happiness when I sit down to my work area and think “What will I create today? What will I learn today?”

To anyone who wants to learn, who wants to create, I say “Do it!”. It is never too late to learn something new. It is never frivolous to create happiness for yourself.

Stacie Givens Nobles

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23 thoughts on “GUEST ARTIST: “Not All Gifts Are Tangible – Create Happiness” by Stacie Givens Nobles

  1. Stacie Givens Nobles, how wonderful! The painting of the orange flowers, to the right of the multicoloured ones, is atmospheric. Perhaps you’d like to see some of Jean Haines’ masterpieces online and on FB and in her many books. Atmospheric Watercolours is the one I study from along with Atmospheric Flowers. Lovely heritage, your artwork! And beautifully done.

  2. Hi Stacie!
    I’ve followed you for a while on Instagram and really enjoy your art. You really spoke to the heart of what art is about for me…having fun! Creating is part of the fun, and how you grow as an artist. Thanks for a great article, and your sweet words about your parents. ❤️

  3. I really liked your parting message, “It is never frivolous to create happiness for yourself”. I had an early life experience where I had to put my happiness aside for others and this went on until a few years ago when things started to change. I tend to overthink a lot when it comes to doing things for myself, things that make ME happy. I was just thinking about it again earlier this morning and I asked myself, “Am I too selfish and self-centered to do so? To think of myself?”. I left it at that and went about my day. Then I open my email and the title of your post caught my attention and I was pleased (also crying buckets of tears) to find the answer to my question in the last sentence of your post. Thank you, Stacie for this ❤🌼

  4. Hello Stacie,

    Your paintings are bursting with the joy, laughter and simplicity that graced some of the loveliest children’s books long ago. Best wishes for a journey that gets happier every day.


  5. I am not sure if you are aware of this…but the Opera paint is very fugitive, meaning if it is exposed to light, it WILL fade. Most artists avoid fugitive colors because if you sell your work, or even give it to someone, there is the big fading problem. I am not sure if I would use it very much, perhaps in just a sketchbook that is going to be closed all the time where the light does not touch it. I am actually surprised this has not been mentioned before.

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