A few years ago, as I was cleaning out my closet, I found a box of old art supplies. At the time, I was reading Marie Kondo’s popular The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, so as I stood there looking at the brushes and half-empty bottles of paint, I asked myself does this bring me joy?

The answer, of course, was yes. In that moment, I realized I had been neglecting an artistic side of myself that has been with me since I was nine years old when spent all my birthday money on markers, pencils, sketch books, and even Lisa Frank stickers. I had plenty of excuses for why I wasn’t allowing myself to enjoy things just for me, but ultimately, I made the decision to rediscover my love for art, and I haven’t looked back.

Making time hasn’t been easy. I’m a mother to four wonderful kids—three boys and a two-year-old girl—and while I love painting, I’m completely happy spending every moment I can with them. Sometimes, my amazing husband, Tim, takes all four onto his shoulders to give me time to work, but most nights, you can find me in my home studio at 3:00 a.m., long after the kids have gone to sleep, listening to music or a podcast in my headphones while I paint.

My first step toward rejoining the art world was to take a class on alcohol ink at the local library. I was surprised to find the class full; so many people were following their passions! I knew I had to be a part of that.

Through exploration, I stumbled quite accidentally onto the world of fluid art, which up until that moment, I had no idea existed at all. I researched techniques, practiced what I could, and spent a lot of money experimenting in my garage.

After my work started garnering attention from friends and neighbors, I knew I had found something special.

In short, I was completely hooked.

ALV Art Studio started as a small travel caddy that spent most of its time on the kitchen counter. That grew into a rolling cart, then a folding table, then sawhorses in the garage. The Texas heat drove me back inside to a newly converted dining room that would become the home studio I work in today. I’m thankful to have a space just for myself to do the things that bring me joy. With my work in front of me and my family just on the other side of the door, I have the best of both worlds.

In addition to alvartstudio.com, my work is featured in local business, handcrafted boutiques, and in the homes of many satisfied customers. Knowing my art is out in the world, that it is enjoyed, valued, and treasured by others, is the fulfilment of a lifelong dream. I’m fortunate to have been able to build a business around my work, but honestly, even if I never sold another piece, you would still be able to find me in my studio at all hours of the night, working on something new and exciting that has never existed before.

That is what’s so wonderful about fluid painting. It’s abstract, unpredictable, and imperfect. Each piece of art is original. You can’t replicate it, and that, to me, is what makes it so special.

Thank you for visiting my site and for viewing my work. It is my sincere hope it brings you as much joy as it brings me.

Amy Lee Ann Vachris

Pflugerville, Texas