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Bird in Lemon Tree

Happy Monday! Painting lots of birds and branches, butterflies and blossoms and it feels quite lovely to look outside at 6:30pm and see…daylight-ish sky! It feels literally and figuratively like spring. These flora and fauna inspired pieces are making me happy. They’re part play, color exploration, memory from my years working with vintage natural history ephemera and lots of obsession with chinoisserie wallpaper.

Just a short update today. I’ll refer to the wise words of John Muir and get back to the easel.

“Spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm.” John Muir

Wishing everyone a great week! xo

“Bird in Lemon Tree” 12×12″ this and new series is available at elizabethW Carmel

Cherry Blossoms

Not sure where you’re reading this but here in Ashland, Oregon spring has sprung, leapt, sproinged off the balance beam and landed a perfect 10. And I’m loving it. I think the whole town is soaking it up. Sunny, warm, blue skies, flowers everywhere in sight and writing this at 6:30pm and it feels like the afternoon. Ahhhhhhhh.

I can’t help but be inspired by birds, branches, blossoms, green leaves and my first art love, natural history. (I’ve looked at, designed, sold, found, collaged and/or displayed more birds and butterflies in a lifetime that it never occurred to me that I’d return…I always loved them…but, new chapter.) I was wrong! I am loving researching old/new birds. Looking at details of butterfly prints, going through my old piles of ephemera. Remembering how to paint branches and leaves. It’s coming back and feels like a personal spring.

This one and a collection I’m doing for elizabethW in Carmel will be available at the beginning of April. So grateful to feel the world turn a corner…it’s in the air.

“Cherry Blossoms” 16×20″

PS. Also received shipment of new Greeting Cards and Calling Cards! xo

Blue Bird

Well, look at that. It’s Monday. Again! The pages of the imaginary calendar are whooshing off the wall like a black and white movie. My marker that life is moving along shows up daily living in southern Oregon, an area that has such distinct four seasons, I think a cherry blossom pops March 21st on cue. And of course there’s the buckets of rain, sleet, blue skies, warm days, green hills, rainbows and occasional hail storm. All in a day.

The other lovely part about spring and daylight savings is that it creates an invisible shift of inspiration in me. Flowers and pastel palettes call. Patterns and leafy branches are on my mind. I have long loved Chinoisserie patterns, have often incorporated snippets of it in paintings, but there was something about covering a big surface that felt right this weekend. I got out the biggest canvas I had and this emerged several hours later. It was one of those dreamy type of paintings, a Sunday afternoon with no schedule, no deadline, just playing and having fun. I needed a day like that. I finished and felt energized and can’t wait to do more! Moral of the art story? Hmmm. Play dates for big kids are critical? Yes, that’s it. And to always go back to imagery and subject matter that makes your heart sing. Flora and fauna and natural history images were a huge part of my early career in the gift and stationery industry and as new as this style of painting is for me, it felt like going home.

I’ll be over at my easel painting foliage and blossoms and maybe even a peacock and bird cage dangling off a branch.

See you there! xo

“Blue Bird” 24×30″ available at elizabethW Carmel. Please email Kelly: [email protected] for information

All the colors!

Anyone remember these? Anyone NOT remember these??? Oh, the 64 different, brilliant colors! The built-in sharpener! Technology was something else back then.

As they say, the more things change, the more they stay the same. The feeling of looking at this classic box still gives me the same smile and feeling of possibility as it did decades ago. The supplies have changed, I can buy my own now and not convince my parents I reallllllllly needed all 64 colors. But the joy remains. Stocking up on ALL the paint tubes is still a thrill. Organizing the stack of new canvas is a delight. Investing in good brushes is worth it. Turns out the right supplies do make a difference!

Paint on, friends. Or bake, sew, write, run, draw, doodle away. We are on what feels like a hint of the home stretch. I’m filling my cup with things that make me feel good. Like a 64 pack of Crayola crayons circa 1977. Yup. That’s what it takes today.

xoxo

“Crayola 64 Pack” 10×10″ on 1.5″ gallery canvas

Floral Friday

Hi friends! How’s everyone doing? Good, bad, medium rare, fair to middling? I write about art, creativity, the process, the practice and small business but during a global pandemic, everything has to been looked at through the lens of “how are you really doing”. And not necessarily as a downer lens.–I think there have been silver linings for a lot of us.

For me, there has been a noticeable difference on my energy levels and how and when I create and it took me probably six months to realize this is probably “normal”. Pandemic fatigue, mental and physical, is real. Now, rather than fight it, I observe it…like, oh, this is when I have a surge to write cards, make a pot roast and do laundry. Oh, now. I need to nap. Oh, now I must urgently get art supplies that I can’t live without. Oh, now I must paint that flamingo or I can’t sleep tonight. Oh, now I won’t leave the couch until I’ve binged “Your Honor” (so good). I’m probably late in the game to talk about these stay at home rhythms but somehow it helps me feel not so crazy. Why am I so tired? Why am I so energized? But at new weird (wrong?) times. Everything my body used to know about schedule has changed. The confines of our house has turned me into a human Las Vegas.

Today I’m not fighting it. I had a nap at 11:30am. Yup. It was brief, more of a recharge, but I was awake at 4:30am so late morning is practically night! Someone told me recently “they’re just not feeling it” as far as creativity goes and I suggested, also as a reminder to myself, we’ve changed. What used to work, might not now. Maybe we can only paint on Fridays? Or for 20 minutes? Or write a couple of times a week instead of daily? Or listen to the book instead of reading it. There are optimistic signs around us that we are edging towards a healthier time but it’s not over. We’re in the late mileage of a marathon. I’ve done a half marathon and if there are any similarities, I just had to keep going, slow and steady and just do that one step. The creative equivalent of just do today.

How am I? Today, this moment, I’m pretty good. It’s Friday, I’m doing a commission this weekend and I’m sending out my new wholesale catalogues. And that feels like a lot and enough. The to-do lists have gotten smaller but more precise.

Hang in there. If you’re feeling strong, pass the baton to your buddy. If you’re not, reach out. There’s a hand for you.

Happy Friday. xo

P.S. Writing a note makes me feel better. And including a P.S. note in the note is over the top!

Art Supplies

The love affair with art supplies began at a young age. My two most concrete memories of this was obsessing over the 64 pack of Crayola crayons (sharpener included) until they magically appeared for a birthday or special occasion and second, was a Christmas where my uncle gave me a pack of artist grade magic markers from England or Sweden or somewhere not Canada and they were the Rolls Royce of markers. All the colors, the packaging, the quality. I hauled that pack of markers around for years. Seriously, YEARS. They never ran out!!! I wish I could remember the brand.

Art supplies still give me that rush of excitement. The packaging, the possibility, the time spent walking the aisles just absorbing the products. This is my candy store. (Well, I like candy stores too but that’s another blog post.)

My most recent purchases are good brushes from Princeton, all the Gamblin mediums and spirits (shown) and some fun new Gamblin oil colors. (They are the childhood magic markers to me…amazing quality and make me feel good just looking at them on my art table.)

Wherever you are, whatever stage of this (endless?) lockdown you’re in, I know it helps me to stay creative. Painting, cooking, sending fun snail mail….happy creative weekend, friends. xo

“Art Supplies” 12×12″ oil on 1.5″ canvas

I’ve been in the “l’atelier”

I was thinking today, it’s been a bit since I’ve posted on my blog. Proof that the covid time vortex exists because “a bit” was LAST YEAR. Ok, it was December 31, 2020 but still…what I thought was maybe a few weeks was nearly two months.

Hello. Fast forward. It was January. Cold, wet, a 2020 hangover for sure. Then it was February. Still cold, a little snow, Valentine’s Day, lots of pink art and here I am today, February 17th and a good handful of my early new year projects are done! (Commissions, a new catalogue, a couple of new products…hint hint…coming soon.)

And that is a one of the silver linings of this pandemic. There is time and a schedule to complete these small business tasks that used to get wedged in or not done at all. I’m not used to that feeling and I like it. I love making new products! Or getting new card designs out! Updating my website or, a couple of weeks ago, buying a new easel! In this long home stretch of staying put and waiting this out, these are the fun accomplishments that I’m holding tight. I’m painting more, creating more, obviously not blogging more (ha!) and keeping deadline commitments to myself. Structure helps in this period of blurry time.

I painted “L’Atelier” last month which means “the studio”, usually for an artist or designer and that’s where I’ll pretend I’ve been for the last two months. In the “atelier”, darling. Under a chandelier on the chaise lounge.

To find any of these new goodies, new greeting cards are here. Lots of new paintings (including “L’Atelier”) are at elizabethW in Carmel Postcards and stickers live here and voila new designs of Fancy Envelopes.

As always, free shipping on everything. (Within the United States.) As always, thank you for reading and being here and I promise (really) because I wrote it in ink like my others tasks I actually completed, dates that I would blog. So no more echo chamber helllllllloooooooooooo out there. See you soon. xo

P.S. Sorry no link for the new paintings at elizabethW. Kelly has info on everything: [email protected]

P.P.S You see…vortex again. I had something to add and now blank. Bye!

Illuminating

It’s the last night of 2020. How do I even begin writing about a year that lasted a decade? I’m counting my blessings. I’m here. I made it, my house is standing, I’m healthy, my parents are healthy, my small business is alive, there’s food in the fridge and gas in my car. I’ll be able to make my coffee in the morning. These are not small things.

This has been the year of putting things in perspective. Health, safety, shelter, a paycheck, the very things we might take for granted were put into question this year. At the same time!!! I don’t know about you but I’m guessing you feel the same, I’m tired. Soul tired. This peaceful week between Christmas and New Years is lovely but it’s made me realize that it’s like sitting down after a marathon…maybe better to keep running because once your’e down, you’re down.

I painted this woman about a week ago as a nod to the new Pantone colors, Illuminating Yellow and Ultimate Grey, a symbol of the year we’ve had and (hopefully) the year we are starting. It’s not my favorite color combo so wanted to bring it alive in a way that felt true to my me. Cozy in a cardigan, strong, resilient, patience with grace. Last year I painted a tiger going into the New Year. Premonition? I’m hoping that this last painting of 2020 is an anthem for being gentle on ourselves, wearing normal clothes again, keeping an eye on the horizon and staying calm under pressure.

Happy New Year, my friends. I am deeply grateful if you read this or have purchased cards or a painting or envelopes or have said hi on social or just follow along because art makes you feel good. This year, more than I’ve ever experienced, a kindred community has kept this boat afloat. Thank you and I wish us all brighter days ahead!

Mindy xo

“Illuminating” 16×20″

Butter makes it better

Butter really does make everything better. Especially this time of year! My obsession with the humble envelope continues and I made this funny one into a fancy lope. Whether it’s the year of enjoying the simple things or maybe Covid (stir) craziness…the art of the handwritten note has become one of my most relaxing joyful hobbies this year. I mean really, who doesn’t want a butterlope arriving in their mailbox? And all this staying at home….well, I don’t do puzzles and I’ve baked all the things and communication feels more important than ever and…Zoom and Facetime is great but….the note with the stamp in the box is such a smile inducer for sender and receiver.

New Fancy Envelope packs in stock. (Assorted designs including Rosebud Motel from Schitt’s Creek, Irish Butter, Penguin Classic, LV Trunk and lots more new.) Holiday Lopes in stock too that have lots of champagne designs if you want to send cards for the New Year.

Put a stamp on it. xo

Home for the Holidays

Home for the holidays means something a little different this year. Usually that would mean me flying to Victoria, BC to be with my family. This year, it’s staying in Ashland, OR, also home. Am I disappointed? Of course. But here we are, everyone in the same boat more or less and I’m going to bring all the cheer and joy and little magical moments to my home as I can. For someone who collects vintage things, I don’t have as much Christmas swag as you’d imagine but what I do have is very sentimental and makes me ridiculously happy putting up and placing just so. It’s not fancy. It’s definitely not making it to a photo shoot but it makes me feel good. And white string lights!!! They make everything better! They actually should and could become a year round installation.

Tea is on, there are sweet treats around that I probably shouldn’t get into but who am I kidding and I have a model sailboat across from me lit up like my own personal boat parade. And tree? Not yet. But I do have a life size white ceramic poodle that is adorned with lights and makes a perfect tree place holder until the real one arrives.

Next up are Christmas cards, maybe a little baking. I’m finding I don’t need a Christmas palooza this year to feel “in the spirit”. I’m curious in this year of all years, what are other people doing or feeling? Status quo? A little blue? Silly happy that we made it this far?

I’ll be pondering that as I dip into the Almond Roca. Because Christmas. xo

“Almond Roca” 8×8″