Fruity

Believe it or not, despite my bakery loving aesthetic, I do eat fruit and the occasional green juice. I completed this fruit platter after a similar, more caloric, Valentine XOXO cookie platter, and it reminded me that there is quite a good selection of available (and colorful) still life props right there in your local grocery store! Go figure! Have you tried a pomelo? So good…a grapefuit, lemon and orange walk in to a bar….

I’m painting more these days, not quite at the pace or flow that I’m accustomed to…but better. And better counts. I’m switching things up a little…like painting fruit! I’m sure this phase will last one painting (hey, this painting is rare!! lol) but fun to arrange on my platter and take arty photos at 10pm when I should be thinking about winding down. This is the bliss and pitfall of working from home.

Whether this finds you in a fruit or fancy cake mode, I hope your week is sweet. xo

“Fruit Platter” 11×14″

Saturday Still Life

It’s a blue sky February Saturday, it’s still & peaceful and this is a slice of life I truly cherish. The quiet putter, errands mixed with book reading, shelf organizing, coffee with a friend, a productive and relaxed kind of Saturday.

This still life in oil was painted in a three day in person class I took in December. It was terrible timing for me. It was cold and rainy. I was over committed work wise and felt guilty for taking three days to paint. It was awkward because I hadn’t painted much and I wasn’t in the mood to be social (three days in a row!) and…it was absolutely perfect and exactly what I didn’t know I needed. I’m using that class and the unexpected gifts that came from it for two creative reminders: uncomfortable is the precursor to growth (dang, again???) and the less is more concept. It was a still life class and the invitation was skies the limit for what we wanted to bring to incorporate what was already provided (flowers, fabrics, a lovely assortment of vases…). I know myself well enough to know that if I’m not carting around something vintage or a fancy tea or sweet treat, I might seize at the easel AND…I didn’t overthink it. I popped 2-3 potential painting subjects in my canvas tote, gathered bare minimum oil paints, my brushes (which I’ve paired down to as few as possible), a palette, a few oranges to snack on (which became part of the subject) and a handful of canvases. It’s only taken fifteen years but I’m learning!

Bringing too much to the easel whether its’ supplies, ideas or props can cause creative analysis paralysis. Three days, one painting. Well, I didn’t completely follow the directions however, I took them to heart. I slowed down, I enjoyed the group, the chatter, the silence the unexpected lessons our instructor demo’d for us. It was a perfectly imperfect still life.

Happy Saturday! xo

“Citrus & Sweet Still Life” 11×14″

Pretty in Pink

It’s February, it’s cold, it’s winter…and it’s one of my favorite cheerful color palette months! I love pink, all shades, tiny highlights or all out nothing subtle about this kind of PINK (see painting…lol). I’m dedicating the first two weeks of February to painting and posting all things “pretty in pink”. Old and new, some from the archives (this one was a large 24×36″ commission for a lovely client several years ago). Others are on the easel now with wonderful pools of pinks on the palette ready to go.

Other than loving this shade, I’m also reminded that having a limited palette/supplies/subject is EASIER!!! When I took art classes 15 years ago I’d walk in with the equivalent of an art supply store inside a carry on luggage and wonder why I didn’t complete anything. I had too much! Too many options kill the vibe. When i had everything to choose from, my inspiration was stifled. Narrow it down to 2-3 canvases, bare bones brush selection, 5-6 tubes of paint, some paper towels, a good snack and I can almost guarantee that you’ll complete something you really like. Less is more.

Happy creating or lounging or both on this pretty in pink February day. xo

Eye of the Tiger

Let’s try this again, blog! It’s been too long. Happy New Year! Last year required extra eye of the tiger strength with family illness, big loss, grief and a myriad of travel & unexpected challenges but…as Anne Lamott says “Life is lifey”. And here we are–2024 strong. I learned a lot from last year and a lot that I’m still processing. But what stands out is both practical and obvious. Life (in all ages and stages) is beautiful, precious, messy, infuriating, fabulous, it is truly the best of times, it is the worst of times. But mostly it’s the best of times.

I didn’t paint as much last year but what I did paint felt meaningful and focused. I was drawn to exotic animals, chinoisserie patterns, florals, vintage classics and had a renewed love of plein air painting. (I’ll leave that for another post..it’s sort of like “enjoying” a marathon…maybe the feeling after is the high?)

On a work/creative update: I went deeper into collaborations with customers and their shops, elizabethW and Watson Kennedy. I took two painting classes, one I attended in person and got a lot out of, (recommend!!!!) one I attended online and missed every class. I worked in oils more, invested in my work space and reconfigured some furniture (because I paint in the living room!!! Yup, it’s true.) I packed a lot of orders and neglected digital work. I learned Canva and love it. I tried a selection of instagram apps and hated it. I spent more time looking at art in person, museums and galleries. I renewed my love of vintage books and natural history. I ate more cakes than I painted. I did a lot of short distance sprinting last year. Not actual sprinting…the creative burst “get through this week” variety. And that’s ok. Some years are like that.

All of that to say, thanks for subscribing and following along (even with the pauses) and I hope you’re still painting, baking, sewing, knitting, running and cooking too. Insert soundtrack for Rocky and find your eye of the tiger.

“Eye of the Tiger” 16×20″

2024 Chairish Art Gallery at Bergdorf Goodman NYC

I’m thrilled to be participating in the 2024 Chairish Art Gallery at Bergdorf Goodman group art show! Show runs from January 11-April 8, 2024. There are approximately 30 artists, all work can be purchased at the show on the 7th Floor at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City.

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July! Today has included a Blues Angel flyover (thrilling), a small town parade (charming), sloth-like heat (sloth-like), a little that’s turned into a lot home improvement painting job (chore type front porch painting painting, not the easel variety painting painting), people watching (red white blue outfits are a thing!) and a little spontaneous cake oil painting in between it all. 

I enjoy a no pressure spontaneous seasonal painting. They make me happy. This one is on a flat masonite art board, needs to be framed or propped up against books but fun for this time of year. 

Enjoy your bbq or hot dogs or both and hope you are having a leisurely lovely long (long) weekend. Tomorrow is Wednesday! 

“Flag Cake” 8×10″ oil on masonite board

Pickle Ball, Diana Ross and Painting en plein air

What could these three possibly have to do with each other? In a sentence, they’re all happening within 48 hours of each other.

In a paragraph, they’re all on my summer “to do” list that has carried over from last summer. The months zip by and since covid I’ve lost my talent for planning and have found seasons have evaporated when I don’t book, plan, write it down, commit, buy tickets, book reservations, reserve my spot. So that’s what I’m doing! And boy, do the weeks fill up! This has been a particularly full month.

This past weekend was a plein air event sponsored by the Schneider Museum of Art and organized by artist Sarah Burns. It was a fabulous get together of local artists who were scattered through Lithia Park and set up for plein air painting. I’ll write a whole post on the agony and joy of painting outside…but the big takeaway is pure joy. I think I understand why people golf. It’s a relaxing yet challenging daytime activity outside somewhere beautiful. (Golfers, I apologize if it’s nothing at all like that.)

I set up outside the pickle ball courts slightly worried I’d be a little too “exposed” (creativity in public is not for the faint of heart) but turns out our Saturday pickle ball players are in it to win it and have one thing on their mind: pickle ball!! The only players who approached wanted to invite me to play…so added benefit to a Saturday paint out..I have a new pickle ball teacher and start on Wednesday.

And Diana Ross? She’s playing tonight at the Britt Festival in Jacksonville and I’m headed out the door…ain’t no mountain high enough!!!!!

“Pickle Ball Courts” 8×10″

Spring Lilacs

I love this time of year. The lilac tree behind the house is going crazy, our dogwood tree is like a pink puffy of cotton candy and the rhododendrons are jurassic sized this year. A long wet Oregonian winter was just what we needed. These lilacs were a surprise delivery from my friend Ann Britt. There’s nothing quite like doing a spontaneous still life as fragrant as freshly picked lilacs. These are the small town moments I love. Neighbors, friends, ease of dropping off flowers, soup, the proverbial cup of sugar.

I hope these sweet days are treating you well.

“Lilacs in Pitcher” 8×10″

Lemon Love

It’s May Day! Yup, May 1st. Otherwise known as five minutes after winter and wasn’t it just Valentine’s Day? Let’s see, what’s new..?? I’ve been up in Victoria with my family, now home cleaning my office and studio (spring cleaning really is a thing), packing/shipping orders, walking Bella, painting, seeing friends, watching Succession and listening to a variety of podcasts. Lots of new paper goodies have been coming in, greeting cards and postcards and even some fun licensing projects in the works!

Happy May, everyone!

Spring Flores

There might be snow on the mountains, hail in the morning, sun in the afternoon and three wardrobe changes in an April southern Oregon day but one things remains…it’s a floral delight! I’ve got tulips in my living room doing their tulipy stem dance, a $12 indulgence that brings immense joy and satisfaction. Gardens are about to pop all along my street and the nurseries are full of color again. I bought several potted ranunculus for the front porch. A few Easter decorations are out and the season is unfolding (albeit slowly).

I was talking to a fellow creative the other day and she admitted, I sort of like that it’s a never ending winter this year, is that bad? NO! It’s called guilt free easel days! And..yes, I’m craving a bit of sunshine and walks with Bella that don’t require gloves and a puffer but that’ll come…in the meantime, I’m leaning into the creative cave and painting lots. Florals, fruits and more. Next up? Maybe a new fancy parlor or an animal series. And always natural history.

Happy spring everyone! Wishing you a Happy Passover and Easter!

Flores” 20×20″