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Sweater Weather

I love October!!! All of it. The blue skies, crispy cooler weather, the rainbow of foliage, the start of rain, slow cooking, pumpkin spice lattes and yes, sweater weather. I was so inspired this year, I created an autumnal fancy parlor to escape to with that warm mug of cozy-ness and good book. (It was a loooooooong hot smoky summer. I might have been the first in line at Trader Joe’s the day they put out their pumpkin patch display….)

It’s getting darker earlier and I’m totally ok with that. We all have our season where we do best and this is mine.

Wishing everyone the beginning of a creative cozy hibernation. Be it books to read, art to paint or classes to take, it’s the season of cool walks and the beginning of new projects.

Sweater Weather” 20×24″ on 1.5″ gallery quality canvas, painted edges

(Several new paintings up on the website and Greeting Cards and Postcards are freshly updated!)

Happy October! xo

Anyone Home?

It’s been a few minutes (or months) since I’ve touched base here and I’ve missed it! How is it October 1st? Time has become so very strange in the last year and a half.

So am I home? Yes! Am I working? You bet! Painting? Errrr….yes….but. Not nearly as much as I was and like to do. Reason? BUSY with greeting cards, lots of new products and LIFE. So much life.

What’s feeling fun and creative? Exotic animals and fancy parlors. And pumpkin spice lattes and coffee table books that I’m treating myself to now and again. I’m taking an online painting class, I’m learning a new version of Quckbooks (that is neither fun nor creative but it is real life) and most of all, I am packing orders with extra TLC.

I’m not reading much but listening to a few good books, tuning into the ever expanding podcast world and loving a good show (recent winners: Yellowstone, Mare of Eastown and White Lotus).

I’m sending lots of mail, using my Fancy Envelopes and Postcards. These have become a customer fave–fun for place settings, dinner parties, small notes or lists…

It’s not an action packed update but I’ve missed writing and wanted to say hi. HI!

Thank you for following along in these tiny snippets of life where zebras walk into parlors and snail mail is very much alive.

Mindy xo

“Anyone Home” 20×24″ acrylic on 1.5″ gallery canvas

Coffee & Croissant

Bonjour! The world is opening up. Are we ready? Je pense que oui. (I think so.) Scrolling through the news is not generally joyful these days but over the last few weeks seeing photos of Paris, Rome, New York, San Francisco and LA, it gave me goose bumps to see shop owners put out chairs for their patrons…something as simple as a morning coffee and pastry seem so hopeful.

That’s it. Just a wee check in. I’m feeling the shift…every single week feels a little better.

Happy summer, friends! Hope you treat yourself to a coffee and croissant. xo

“Coffee & Croissant” 8×10″ on cradled wood panel

Patience

In my little neck of the woods, the pandemic vibe is one foot in, one foot out. We’re ok to eat in restaurants. But apart. Ok to go to the gym. But with a mask. Hugging if you’re vaccinated…elbow bump hello if not? I’m as confused as the rest of us but one thing this time has taught me is PATIENCE. Oh my…patience. What a concept in this fast paced instant gratification world. Even Insta-Cart grocery shopping is called….INSTA!

I’m no expert in patience (all friends and family members rolling their eyes right now and vigorously nodding) but….painting and owning a small business that requires constant creative growth and output needs a big dose of patience. Recently I’ve been more focused on my greeting card development, expanding my paper goods and a variety of business changes that will ultimately be better for Carpe Diem Papers. I have not been focused on developing or changing my painting. Which is where patience comes in. When I miss it so much I’m looking over at my easel and art supplies like a homesick kid, I know it’s time to sit down again. But guess what? It’s like running 5 miles after not leaving the couch for 2 weeks. It doesn’t just bounce back. It takes coaxing and patience and a little kindness to the creative ego.

I sat down hoping thinking imaging this parlor would be some portrait of a room opus…and then I thought well that’s a little ambitious. You’re setting yourself up for disappointment. I swapped out the huge canvas and scaled down to 16×20″ Ok, that’s more manageable. I found several photos that inspired me that had large focal points instead of 100 interesting things I wanted to capture. I limited my paint palette. Easier again. I was patient with myself. Somewhere between squeezing out new paint and walking away several hours later, I felt an acceptance wash over me. I painted and that was the point. The result isn’t up to me. As Julia Cameron of “The Artist’s Way” says, “You take care of the quantity, God/Universe will take care of the quality.” Or in other words, show up. Be patient. Be kind to yourself. Try new things. Do it again. xo

“Chinoisserie Salon” 16×20″ oil on canvas

Cake

“A party without a cake is just a meeting.” Julia Child

Happy Saturday, friends! I’ve just sent a fresh batch of paintings to wonderful shop and long time friend Watson Kennedy in Seattle, WA. This recent collection is a combination of FUN (because who else is needing that right now…???), fanciful with a side of sweet treats. Once I’m traveling again, his shop (and Seattle) will be on the top of the list!!!

Hope everyone has a lovely Saturday! I had a busy week–lots of new goodies came in and I’m taking a day off (sort of) and watching the world go by from the back deck. xo

P.S. The pink cake inspiration is from my beloved bakery muse…they are simply the best!

Fun!

Yay, it’s May!!!! Life and work are busy these days and I’m extremely grateful for that! And….anyone else ready for some FUN??? I have the urge to jump on a trampoline, ride in a convertible, hop on a boat or watch an action flick in a theatre with popcorn!! With people!!!

This piece was definitely FUN to paint. Until it wasn’t and then it was again. I had a lovely Vincent van Gogh quote to paint in for the last block and after several botched and messy attempts (and not so fun moments), I realized it was telling me it just wanted one big bold FUN word. I thought, I can’t paint the word FUN on a big painting. Which meant I definitely had to.

Other fun stuff in this quirky stationery world? Lots of new calling cards, postcards and a few new greeting card designs. Lucky for me, fun includes making paper goodies, finding just the right postage and popping it in the mail.

Happy weekend, friends! xoxo

“Fun” 24×30″ available at Watson Kennedy in Seattle, WA 206.617.9678

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