Trending Articles

Friends of SOAR

For great posts about the business of art, check out The Artsy Shark HERE! reviews competitions and appeals seeking creative content, listing those that respect your copyrights and highlighting those that don't. Art Matters! publishes calls to artists, and not all of them may be compliant with ABoR's standards. Visit their site to learn more.
We support the Embedded Metadata Manifesto.  Metadata is information such as copyright notice and contact info you can embed in your images to protect your intellectual property, save time when uploading to social sites and promote your art. Click to visit the site and learn more.


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


“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!


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.


“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!