Last week my husband & I enjoyed a day date in Toronto. We had a few hours before we went to see the band Middle Kids (who were amazing live!) in an intimate concert at the Horseshoe Tavern. I didn't check the hours at The Art Gallery of Ontario so unfortunately we went to buy tickets only to realize that they were about to close. Lucky for us that we decided to go across the street to a few independent galleries that were open & got to see some amazing original artwork.
The exhibit at Bau-Xi of Canadian artist Steven Nederveen was so good. His show "Something in the Air" was very intriguing. His mixed media pieces connected the movement of paint with the natural environment so well. His colour palettes in this collection are my favourite to create with, shades of blues & pinks. Now I'll show you a few of my favourites.
After we viewed that exhibit we walked into Mayberry Fine Art. A few paintings were hung by Canadian artist Meghan Hildebrand from her show "Fire Season." Her paintings captivated me with their abstract dream like qualities. I left feeling very happy, yet sad I couldn't afford to take one home with me.
The painting above is from her "Cloud Hand" series & has sold. I wish I had the opportunity to see it in person, I love it! These colours & markings come together to make a modern landscape that I relate to.
I treated myself to some new oil pastels that day & can't wait to experiment with them. There's something about seeing artwork in person that is very inspiring.
A new shop has just opened up & I thought I would give you a little tour. Watson & Lou is in my hometown of Peterborough ON, & is a unique spot downtown that supports over 30 local makers. You also have the opportunity to rent shared studio space as well as take part in monthly creative workshops.
"Our mission is to celebrate the beauty, ingenuity, and kindness of our local creative economy. We aim to provide a platform for local makers to share their work with a wider audience while growing and refining their practice through dialogue and skills-sharing."
If you are not local you can still check out the Online shop. Make sure to support local makers for the holidays!
Let me give you a little background about this website & blog incase you are new here. My youngest started Junior Kindergarten Sept 2015 and it was during the month of August that I decided to try and paint full time & work as an artist. Since that time I have found myself setting personal goals & deadlines which have forced me to make new bodies of work & explore the creative side that has always been a part of me. I have had the opportunity to have a solo show, several group shows & install some of my paintings in restaurants around the city. I'm so lucky that retailers in the area want to showcase my work for their clientele. Getting my name out there is sometimes challenging but definitely worth the effort.
Saturday night I'm going out for dinner with my husband, sister & a few friends to celebrate my Birthday at a new Pub that recently opened. I'm excited to hang out in the space as I installed some artwork before they opened & have yet to sit & enjoy it. One of the bars is painted turquoise, as soon as I saw that I thought, yes my art needs to be here (turquoise is my favourite colour). The above painting "The Blues" is an old favourite that is on display & looking for a new home.
My first blog post was Aug 30th, 2015 & I truly can't believe that I have stuck with it. I thought I would try & do a blog post once a month to let people who enjoyed my artwork know more about my inspiration, & love for Interior Design. Since that time I have posted once a week, which really is crazy as I have never considered myself a blogger. Moving forward I may try to post every two weeks, we'll see what happens I guess.
I still have accomplishments that I hope to achieve & ideas that will challenge me in my studio. I would love to collaborate with others artists or companies, so feel free to contact me if you think we would be a good fit. One of the highlights of this year has been creating a body of work I called "Plant Studies." I've learned a lot from other artists & I have admired Michelle Armas work for years. Her personality seems so down to earth & listening to podcasts where she has been interviewed I've always come away with great tips & advice. The day I put my Plant Study collection in my online shop she was the first to purchase a piece. I am not lying when I say that it brought tears to my eyes. It felt like validation that everything I had been doing was working & I was on the right track.
I'm not sure what the future holds for me & my family, but I do know that I'm the happiest I've ever been. Working a 9-5 retail job is what I left behind when I had my daughters, perhaps one day I will need to step back into that environment to help pay the bills. Right now I'm taking it one day at a time, a creative life is very fulfilling.
I recently discovered Lora's company on Instagram & fell in love with their designs. The products they make are sprinkled throughout her home & add a ton of personality. "If I had to describe my style I guess it would be vintage surf cowboy, because I love things that are earthy and natural but also really love quirky sparkly things. I come from a fashion background but have always been a maker and DIY-er. I started Sun + Stars in the winter of 2015 with my friend and business partner Kristen McGregor."
"My husband and I bought our house in the Junction area of Toronto with my sister in 2011. It's split into two apartments. Our family is on the top two floors, they are on the bottom two and we share the outside spaces. It's a nice way to live in the city (more) affordably, plus we have less house to clean and have a built in dog sitter when we go away! Our portion of the house is about 1400 square feet. Sometimes we dream about moving to the country and having a big studio and wide open spaces, but we've lived in the city so long that I think we might miss the convenience of walking everywhere. Plus we have a really great community around us, it would be hard to walk away from it."
Now let's dive into these photos and see her creative space!
This is a corner of the living room. It's filled with colour, art & music...some of my favourite things. Lora's sister got the girls the yellow record player in Nashville. "They love playing Mini Pops and Blondie records while they play lego."
"I'm really inspired by vintage kids books and art prints. I've always been drawn to vintage and have been thrifting and flea market shopping my whole life, some of my favourite pieces of furniture or clothing are things I've owned for years."
"I used to be a big collector, but now too many things in a room create a visual noise that makes it hard for me to relax, plus living in the city space is at a premium so if I don't love it or use it, it goes! Our living room is our all purpose room, this room is rarely empty. We got that big sectional couch from West Elm because each piece is the size of a twin bed so it can double as a guest room when needed. The teak coffee table lived in my house when I was a kid and it's the most useful piece of furniture."
"The kitchen is the room we've done the least changes to other than adding some cupboards and lots of white paint. We're planning on re-doing the backsplash this fall. We do everything in this room, eat, dance, make art."
"In the warm weather we always have the sliding doors wide open to the deck. We eat out there and hang out and there are stairs down to the main back yard."
"Our room is pretty minimal. My life and house are loud and messy, I need my bedroom to be a place that is calm. Most of my collections are capped at 3-5 pieces, except for my plant collection, I tend to fall in love on sight with plants and bring them home with me."
I love the natural light in here, don't we all wish we had a few sky lights? How amazing are the hand made eye pillows Lora made. "The embroidered curtains are panels from a dress that my husband's mom wore when they lived in Mexico (when he was a kid)."
Years ago Lora purchased this print online of grasslands from National Geographic. It was enlarged & now hangs in the bathroom.
"Looking out onto our little upstairs deck from bed is another of my favourite things. For a house in the city we are surrounded by trees, you can't look out a window without seeing trees. It almost feels like we live in a tree house."
Lora's studio is at the top of the staircase. A framed print of a Bald Eagle as well as lots of greenery add warmth to this corner of the home.
"I spend ALOT of time in here, working and listening to music. It really is my happy place. We work on new designs and patterns, cut fabric, silk screen and sew in this room. My husband is an animation compositor and he he often works at night too. I've always found mornings and nights to be great times to work on projects, if you manage to get that second wind!"
I love seeing where other makers find inspiration and their creative outlets. "Together we aim to design items that appeal to both kids and their parents; Pieces that add imagination to a child's bedroom or look playful in a living room. We believe in quality goods made from sustainable materials that will live in your home for years to come."
The pink door leads to the girls bedroom. "We have three rooms on the second floor of our house. Right now one is used as a studio so the kids share."
One of my favourite elements in this room is the eclectic vibe created by mixing vintage textiles & patterns. I feel like a boring mom as my daughters only have 2 sets of sheets & one duvet cover. Unless I do a complete makeover things always look the same.
"This is probably one of my favourite rooms in the house, it's so filled with light. My kids love jumping on beds and also often fall out of bed while sleeping so we keep them low to the ground. We made the window seat and the "cave" bed in separate DIY projects."
Vintage textiles add so much colour & personality to the kids room. Lora has painted the ceiling a pale blue which allows the girls artwork & Lora's designs to pop against the white walls.
I want to thank Lora for sharing her home with me, & since we are only a few hours away I think my daughters & I should stop by before the snow falls for some fun in the big city!
I've been keeping busy the last few weeks painting daily. I've learned a few things in the process.
First off it is really hard on my lower back to sit at my easel, or a table for hours at a time. My husband suggested I stand at our kitchen island & it's working out pretty good. Other than the fact that my art supplies are everywhere & there is not a ton of space for any food prep!
If I create a painting & think in my head that I am done with it, the next day I usually decide to go back in & add more layers & details. I'm also finding that I'm repeating small markings in black paint. Lastly, the wood panels are way more textural than canvases. I like how the pigment appears transparent is some areas & the grain is still evident.
I gathered a few of my favourites & took them in my backyard to photograph them in natural light. They are currently hanging out in my basement studio (it's dark down there!)
The process is really the most exciting part for me right now as an artist. If I'm unsure of myself I just take a step back & come to the studio with an open mind. There is no room for doubt or a lack of confidence. I will make this body of work & time will tell if it resonates with you.
I want you to know how much I appreciate every sale that occurs. When my artwork finds a new home I do a little happy dance & so does my family. You are supporting my dream of being a full time working artist. It honestly makes my day when a collector sends me a photo of the piece installed. If you ever purchase something that is hand made I think that one of the kindest gestures you can make to an artist is showing them the piece in your space.
In a few weeks Watson & Lou is opening up in downtown Peterborough. A few pieces from my latest "40 day project" will be available here. They will offer a wide variety of unique gifts & many are made by local artists/makers. Check it out in person or shop online. The grand opening happens to be on the same Friday as the monthly art crawl. Should be a blast, stop by & say hi!
National Geographic recently announced the winners of the travel photographer of the year contest. I really love this photo taken of a colorful apartment complex in Japan, which received an honorable mention.
My daughters went camping last weekend so my hubby & I treated ourselves to dinner & a movie. I didn't have high expectations as I'm not usually into action films, but this had a plot & was more than just violence. My favourite element was the music, the following day I painted to this soundtrack & it was fabulous! I'm a child of the 80's & this was a great mix of some classic songs. Also Charlize looks stunning in every outfit, even if she's covered in blood & bruises.
My daughters & I went to see the current exhibit at The Art Gallery of Peterborough. Canadian painter Charles Pachter's work was wonderful in person. His images of the Queen, moose, and maple leaf flag are pop icons of Canadian contemporary art. There was even a painting of butter tarts, it doesn't get more Canadian than that. If you haven't seen his modern gallery in Toronto check it out, I'm so jealous... I want to move in!
My seven year old did her first full week at camp & loved it. There are lots of art themed camps around, but this one was all pottery. They also had someone come in one day & teach the kids how to make paper, which I remember doing way back when. Kawartha Potters' Guild was recommended by a friend who attended last summer. The girls had a great time & these are just a few of my favourite pieces she brought home. There were eleven in total. She told me that I chose all the ones she made on the wheel! I've still yet to get my hands into clay, one day I'll do it.
I've been painting every day & I feel like I'm on track with my personal challenge to complete 40 paintings before my Birthday. If you want to be the first to know about the release of this collection sign up to my newsletter!
My mind often remembers things quite spontaneously. The other day out of nowhere I recalled that an artist, Emily Jeffords, did something really fun when she turned 30. She created a piece of art every day for 30 days & then celebrated the collection by releasing it on her birthday. If you are an artist you may have heard of, or participated in Ella Luna's 100 day project. Makers commit to creating something every day for 100 days & cheer each other on using certain hash tags through Instagram. Now every piece doesn't have to be amazing, it's all about the process & getting better at your skills.
I feel like at this point in my life 100 days is too big of a committment. I am turning 40 on September 1st & thought why don't I commemorate the year by trying to create 40 new paintings in 40 days. I'll also be celebrating with a few drinks & maybe a night out with my hubby. Summer is still in full swing which means some days painting won't happen until my daughters are in bed & the kitchen is tidy. The other night I didn't head to the easel until 9:30 & guys I stayed up until midnight! My hands were working overtime & I just couldn't stop. I'm usually in bed by 10:30, even before kids I never stayed up late. I actually produced 3 little paintings that aren't garbage & that I really love. FYI...this doesn't happen often.
This past week I've been on a roll & created some pieces I'm really proud of. The wave of emotions can go from really low to really high as I look for inspiration & try to make something that feels unique & original. I usually paint on canvas, but have discovered that birch panels are my preferred medium for this collection. Mixing oil & chalk pastels with the paint is new to me & I'm learning techniques & teaching myself something on a daily basis. I'm using my hands more than ever & blending the pigments with my fingers, I love the feeling of paint on my hands!
Make sure to subscribe to my newsletter if you want to be the first to know what is happening with the collection & find out details about the release date.
Follow along with my journey on Instagram & see studio scenes of what I'm up to. (By studio I mean the kitchen table I often sit at, or the blanket in my drive way I cover with art supplies!) Thanks to everyone who supports my artwork & all of the collectors who have pieces of mine hanging in their homes. You all keep me motivated to experiment with different mediums & all of my artist friends (you know who you are) if I ever doubt myself, thanks for your advice.
Last week I shared details of some of my favourite spots in Prince Edward County. This week I'm sharing a space I hope to one day visit. We have family in Ireland & England, it's been over 18 years since my husband & I last visited. Maybe it's time to save up & head back for an epic family holiday.
Here is a dreamy vacation property that is available to rent in Kingsbridge. A market town and tourist hub in the South Hams district of Devon, England. "The Malthouse has been completely transformed & rebuilt. Originally built as part of the Phoenix brewery two hundred years ago, the Malthouse is the oldest building in a terrace of cottages that have grown up around it. Dilapidated, neglected and unoccupied for many years, the building has been transformed into a light filled modern dwelling. Old on the outside, new on the inside, the house is a surprise! - not what you might expect when you stroll past on the street."
Now let's dive into the photos!
"Here at the Malthouse we love arts and crafts, so when we were given the opportunity to fill the house with original artworks by local artist James Stewart, we jumped at the chance. All the paintings in the house are for sale and therefore regularly changing."
I think the owners have done a wonderful job creating a space that both adults & children would enjoy spending time in. I'm going to start saving so I can one day travel here & experience these beautiful beaches in person.
A short 90 minute drive from where I live is a vacation spot that is becoming quite popular called Prince Edward County (PEC). My husband & I went for the first time two years ago. We visited a few wineries & had lots of fun checking out the local hot spots. Last weekend was our 14 year wedding anniversary. We celebrated by returning here & were surprised how much has changed.
We enjoy beer more than wine & last time we visited it was difficult to find a brewery. This time around we did not have time for them all, which is a good thing. Our favourite was Parsons Brewery, we went twice & it was a great time. When we arrived in Picton it was overcast & 17 degrees, kind of like the weather the day we got married. We each ordered a flight of beer & chatted with the bartender. The brewery is made up out of two reclaimed buildings, very cool. The next day we went for lunch, sat & listened to live music & got lots of sun.
A few weeks ago I mentioned in another post that we wanted to visit PEC but could find no accommodations. We lucked out in May & booked a room at a Motel that had just got a makeover called The June. When I reserved our rooms they only had a few photos online, I crossed my fingers the bathrooms were clean. Turns out that the place is just as lovely in person. When we arrived we got a complimentary drink & chilled outside around the fire pit. I slept as good as I do on our pillow top mattress at home. The air conditioner was loud enough to block out any noises from younger guests who partied into the morning hours. (I sound old I know) If you want to have your wine & cheese outdoors but prefer privacy, go behind the motel's parking lot at the back. Here you will find some picnic tables in the woods (romantic right).
It really is a great community, everyone is so friendly & helpful. We travelled between Bloomfield & Wellington to check out the local shops & eat of course. Dinner at The Agrarian did not disappoint & they serve my favourite Pluck Tea "Cream of Earl Grey". I love checking out the colourful interior at The Drake & the sculplture/art garden has been extended.
Saturday morning we sat at a bookstore & chatted while browsing magazines, it was so relaxing. On our way out of town we noticed the Mustang Drive In. We used to go to a drive in when we were dating but it's been a while. In Bloomfield there were a few good shops like County Collective, which is a summer POP-UP filled with lots of hand made goodness. Sand & Sumac had a variety of textiles for your home & beautiful jewellery. I also had "Campfire" ice cream from Slickers that tasted exactly like toasted marshmallows...it was crazy good.
In the past week so many people have asked me what I thought of The June & I just got a text from my friend asking me what breweries were a must. I hope this post helps if you are planning a trip to PEC.
The photo below was taken in February of last year for our Apartment Therapy house tour. I grouped a collection of my favourite artwork together when we moved in 3 years ago & hung it in the living room on the main wall. All of the pieces were placed no higher than eye level & I was happy with how it looked. This is the first wall you see when you enter our home, after leaving the foyer.
Fast forward to this past Christmas when our daughters received an aquarium. It's large & we really had no space on the main level in our bungalow to put it. I've had the vintage teak coffee table for years, and it seemed like the only spot for it to sit. There are drawers on either end that are really deep, one side never opens as it would hit the wall. The other side houses lots of puzzles. The only thing that usually sits on top is the blue lacquered West Elm tray filled with kids books. Sometimes the girls would sit & colour here but we definitely could do without the surface area.
A week before school finished I decided to give the gallery wall a makeover. It was a rainy day, so I had the pot lights on. That 2 outlet power bar is no longer there, which makes me happy. The wicker basket sits behind our rope chair & also holds more kid's books.
When I hang a gallery wall, I eyeball the entire thing, no measuring for me. The only thing on the wall in this shot is the first aid box that belonged to my father-in-law. It's screwed in so it wasn't going anywhere, all of the other frames aren't too heavy & a nail is all I used. I think some of the walls in our home are plaster, you really have to hammer the nails in with all your might to get them into the wall.
I hung the largest piece first above the aquarium, a photo from my friend Meg at September Wren. I also have 3 other prints of hers on the wall. The wooden piece on the left eventually got switched as it was too tight against the wall. A few pieces are signed prints I've thrifted, while others are photographs I've taken or purchased while on holiday. My husband enlarged an old photo of my grand parents for me which I love.
I started on one side of the wall & worked my way across, trying to vary the frame colours & style of artwork. The red piece on the bottom is an illustration from "Stranger Things" my husband bought that one. I love the turquoise palette in the canvas (pool scene) by my friend Laura Browning. She graciously sent this to me after I featured her lovely home on the blog.
Two of my resin pieces are displayed. Pink clouds is from my Daydream series. Stay tuned I'm going to have a summer sale on what stock I have left. If you subscribe to my newsletter you'll be the first to know. The other mini block is resting on top of a frame since it's so lightweight. A polaroid of my daughters is sitting on a frame on the far left. I like an eclectic mix & this makes it less formal in my opinion.
We got a beach photo from our trip to California printed in a fun shade of blue by Parabo Press. I took the shot of the Zebras on the same holiday at Hearst Castle. My youngest daughter was so excited when she saw it up.
It's tricky to photograph this wall on an angle as the opposite wall is all windows. I think you get an idea of what it looks like all complete. My friend was over a few weeks ago & said she couldn't help but stare at it. It's a conversation starter for sure. It tells a story of the travels & memories that are special to me and my family.
Leading to our basement we have a large gallery wall on both sides of the staircase that is made up of family photos. If you have pieces you love, display them in your home! I always think it's strange when I go somewhere & there is no artwork on the walls. Maybe that's because I'm an artist, I like to surround myself with it daily.
In 7 weeks I am installing a collection of abstract paintings in a local shop. The owner has requested that the pieces be large. I've painted on a large scale before & enjoyed the process & final outcome. I think in the back of my mind I wonder if they don't sell where will I store them all? My studio space is in the basement of our home & not very big. This summer I have lots of painting to do to prepare the collection of work. Let's hope I can sneak in some me time while my daughters are out of school.
Last week, on the last day of school, I dropped off the girls & then headed to one of my favourite spots. The local skatepark always has tons of colour inspiration, & the graffiti changes up a lot. Those kids are busy with their spray cans! I snapped some photos & wanted to share a few that caught my eye.
I started a new piece yesterday & it is currently on the easel in my dining area. I think it helps me visualize what direction I want to take when I see a painting over & over throughout the day. I'm so lucky that I can leave all of my supplies & paint sitting in our living area & my daughters know not to touch it. Can't wait to use up all of the blank canvases sitting in my studio.
If you've been reading the blog for a while then you already know that I love architecture & design. If I could choose anywhere around the globe to travel to, Australia would be high on my list. I came across today's space when the homeowner discovered me on Instagram. I always check out my new followers & see if I think we have similar taste. Adrian's style is a combination of classic & modern. He agreed to share his home with us all & I'm so excited for you to check it out.
"I started building a portfolio of properties when I was in my early twenties and started to ramp up this activity as I began my career in advertising. For close to a decade I was the head of digital operations at a large Publisher and although I enjoyed what I did, I became more passionate about all things property. Spending most weekends renovating, styling, visiting furniture and reno supply showrooms along with inspecting and buying properties."
"I had decided to quit my job so I could focus on what truly resonates to who I am. I realized that I was never going to achieve my goals by staying in the same place doing the same thing. I took a risk by going out on my own and haven't looked back since. To date, I've undertaken six property projects with interior design being my favourite aspect."
"As soon as I saw an ad for the stark white weatherboard house, I knew it would be my forever home. With its high ceilings, original period features, reno potential and its white picket fence with carved rose indentations. It had so much character."
"I'm a fan of Kinfolk Home, so my renos and interior styling follows the philosophy of creating a habitat that is purposeful, calm, not overly trendy. Choosing pieces that are well crafted and timeless with some creative clutter dotted around the home."
"I love to entertain, so I didn't want a room that looked great but was filled with uncomfortable furniture. I must have sat on hundreds of sofas before deciding on a very comfortable 3.5 seater filled with duck feathers; handcrafted in Australia." Textured Poufs add additional seating around the oversized coffee table. The room is intimate, and feels like a log cabin especially when the fireplace is on."
"When it came to designing my latest project, I wanted to respect the era in which it was built being circa 1950." Adrian describes his style as vintage luxe.
"Before starting any design project, I would always ask myself "Will I need to update the look in five years?" This will then set the tone and budget. I rarely give into current trends to ensure the look doesn't become outdated or impersonal."
The dining area is the most formal part of the home. The addition of velvet dining chairs and a stone dining table with a marbled effect help define the open concept space. A vintage bar cart is often relied upon during house parties.
"Over the last few years, I've also been helping other writers publish their books - after releasing my cookbook 'What the heck is Filipino Food' a few years ago which won a Gourmand World Cookbook Award - through workshops at The Melbourne Writer's Festival, Writers Victoria as well as facilitating my own classes that has grown into a full time business." Adrian is one busy guy!
Copper strip lighting gives that luxe feel above the island. An oversized painting of an ocean storm adds a bit of colour and ties together the navy chairs from the dining area.
"Previously a bedroom/study, I wanted the space to be multifunctional but styled to have a seamless indoor to outdoor ascetic similar to an indoor courtyard considering it opens up into the deck. I put in a larger than life indoor plant, hanging plants and a ceiling fan in ash wood as well as a coastal themed rug to compliment the summer vibe."
"During the warmer months, I'm usually found lazing about on one of the sofas on the deck, soaking up the sun with the pets."
There is a large grass front yard for Cookie to run around in and a rear deck and garden for Creamy the cat to explore. The blue patio chairs add a retro feel to the space.
"The main bedroom has sliding mirrored BIR's made of brass with the ceiling still retaining the original 1900's ornamental plaster works."
One of Adrian's favourite pieces of art hangs in the hallway. A framed print that reminds him of his cat, by artist Lora Zombie.
"Every room serves a purpose. For instance, rather than having a guest bedroom that would only collect dust, I converted that into a Walk in Robe with a library nook. I can find sanctuary here with my comics, vinyl records and the growing number of unfinished books."
"I chose to pair the existing BIR with shelving and a console table in rosewood and oak clothing racks for my favourite shirts, suits and jackets. This reno was special because it was my place of residence, so I splurged (just a little!)."
Adrian if I ever do make it to Melbourne you know I'm coming over to sit on the patio & enjoy a cocktail.
I recently discovered the work of Vancouver based artist Lindsey Hampton while flipping through domino magazine's current issue. A vase of hers caught my eye & I made a note to check out her website. I loved everything I saw & decided that I would share her work. She is a graphic designer as well as a ceramicist, and has been creating for years. “I got into ceramics to fulfill a need to create in multiple dimensions.”
Her speckled stoneware has the most beautiful colour combinations. High gloss glazes mixed with modern shapes have me dreaming of owning some of her pieces for myself. I've never attempted any kind of pottery, maybe this summer I should sign up for a class & challenge myself.
I read an interview Lindsey did a few years ago & wanted to share a quote of hers with all the makers reading this post. "The best thing I ever did was stop caring. I don’t mean that in an apathetic way but that I learned to not be too precious about anything. Things break and get messed up or just fail and all I can do is try to figure out why and troubleshoot. It’s easy to get stressed out when other people’s deadlines are involved but I just try to remind myself that I’m a one woman operation that does handmade ceramics and if anyone gets too mad they probably shouldn’t be buying into such a delicate, patient process. I also take great pleasure in purposely smashing things that didn’t turn out the way I wanted so it’s kind of a win-win."
Lindsey makes a lot of custom orders for clients as well as boutiques around the globe. I recognized her work immediately when I saw it at Coming Soon, a shop I wrote about a few months ago. The use of pastel hues in her work has me inspired to head to my easel & paint.
I recently decided that I wanted to change up the art in our home. We have a large collection that is spread out on a few gallery walls. I won a contest my friend Meg from September Wren was having through Instagram & our new prints just arrived this week. She is a talented photographer living in Santa Cruz, her work is amazing go check her out. She let me choose which pieces I wanted, how lucky am I! It was really difficult to narrow down, she has a great eye for mid century design and vintage signs (two of my favourite things). It's been 3 years since we moved in & I did the majority of our decorating. This week the gallery wall in our living room got a refresh. I thought it was time to change things up as my daughters' now have an Aquarium that sits in front of the wall of art. I'll share photos soon, pinky swear.
It feels like so long ago that I visited the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo. We recently went to Niagara Falls with our daughters & I pointed out all of the places that I used to live while attending University. We would go on field trips to the gallery with my art class for the day since the border was so close by. I checked out the website recently & Shantell Martin currently has an exhibit on that ends in a few weeks. She has an installation inside the gallery "Someday We Can" as well as a public mural shown below. "This is the first time an artist working with the Albright-Knox's Public Art Initiative has installed work simultaneously at the museum and in the community."
Pampa is a homewares brand based in Byron Bay, Australia. I recently came across them on Instagram & loved every image I saw. "Our team works directly with skilled artisans in remote and rural Argentina to bring you the finest-quality woven textiles."
It's hard for me to believe that is has already been one year since I had my first solo exhibit. Lots has happened since then & I'm so thankful that I had that gallery space to show my work within the community. It was definitely a learning experience in the studio, as I attempted to make a cohesive body of work. I have become quite fond of using my putty knife & continue to use it to paint my Plant Study paintings.
Last Friday night my husband & I attended our annual Beer Festival in town. We sampled delicious food & drinks while listening to some great live music. The highlight from the night didn't actually happen until Monday when my husband won a radio contest he entered at the Festival. I love me some Fleetwood Mac so I was really excited when he heard that he won tickets to see members from the band tour with their new album, Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie. We head to Toronto in a few weeks, hopefully they play a few oldies so I can sing along.
Have a good weekend folks & Happy Father's Day to all the daddy's out there.
I've had a few people ask me if I was going to continue painting Plant Study paintings since my latest collection was just released. The answer is "YES" I love creating them & I've been saving images of wallpapers to incorporate into the backgrounds for months. My last collection had a lot of Kelly Wearstler pattern's infused in them, I changed up some of the colour combo's but the lines were very much her designs.
I thought I would do a post about a few companies that have caught my eye, if you are in the market for wallpaper check them out. First up is Flat Vernacular. "Specializing in original fabrics and “wallpaper with a life of its own” (The New York Times), founders Payton Cosell Turner and Brian Kaspr create patterns from a variety of elements as playful and captivating as they are distinct. Designed and screen printed locally in the US."
"Drop It MODERN is an interiors company committed to creating modern prints and textures for the home. Drop it Modern serves to bridge the gap between traditional home décor and modern printmaking with artfully curated design in the form of drapes, wallpapers, wedding blankets and more. Based in Tillamook, Oregon, all designs are created in house and manufactured in their local Oregon community."
"Juju is a wallpaper studio located in beautiful Portland, Oregon. Every roll is printed by hand, is untrimmed, and in most cases has been made to order. We print with water based inks on creamy, durable, sustainably harvested paper. Primarily inspired by folk art of all kinds, our designs suggest the simplicity of an elegant old-fashioned signature, or the impossibly perfect collection of driftwood and sea glass on the shore."
"Astek Inc. is a leader in both the wallcovering and custom digital printing industries. Astek works with clients worldwide to meet their design, digital printing, wallcovering and signage needs. Our clientele spans a variety of industries including hospitality, architecture, interior design, fashion retail, motion picture and television."
I saw this bedroom on Design Sponge & immediately knew I had to find out who made this stunning wallcovering. I don't think I would attempt to paint something similar for my Plant Studies, but I love it so much I had to include it. That texture is what I dream about!
A few weeks ago I took my daughters to the library. They often choose authors they know, usually ones that have funny stories & lots of pictures. I browsed the shelves & was taken by the beautiful cover I had in my hand. The title of the book is Tokyo Digs a Garden I didn't have time to read the back & see what the story was about, I just thought it had the most gorgeous illustrations.
"Tokyo lives in a small house between giant buildings with his family and his cat, Kevin. For years, highways and skyscrapers have been built up around the family’s house where once there were hills and trees. Will they ever experience the natural world again? One day, an old woman offers Tokyo seeds, telling him they will grow into whatever he wishes. Tokyo and his grandfather are astonished when the seeds grow into a forest so lush that it takes over the entire city overnight. Soon the whole city has gone wild, with animals roaming where cars once drove. But is this a problem to be surmounted, or a new way of living to be embraced?"
Not only did they like it, they requested this book almost every night before bed. I did a bit of research on the Canadian author as I was curious if he had other books I could get. Turns out that the illustrator is his brother-in-law & this is the authors first book. Jon-Erik Lappano: "The idea for the book actually came to me over a decade ago. I was working as a landscaper in Toronto, and there was a designer at the company who was very influenced by Japanese gardening. So as someone gardening in the tiny backyards of Toronto, transforming concrete squares into complete ecosystems, I started daydreaming about a child who plants seeds that overtake a city."
He wrote the story & used his kids to test out what parts seemed to intrigue or bore them. My girls are 5 & 7, I personally think this book would be good for children who are younger as well. I often try to choose a book instead of a toy, when my daughter's attend a Birthday party. If you love to give the gift of reading I suggest you look this one up.
I recently discovered Melbourne based artist Jessie Breakwell. "Her work is offbeat, quirky and full of wonder. Jessie’s vibrant paintings evoke a sense of enchantment and fun providing light relief and a satisfying diversion from inescapable reality." She began this journey 6 years ago & now runs her own gallery.
She offers original paintings as well as prints & does a lot of commissions of dog portraits. I think I love her Jungle Series the most. I can't get enough of these Zebras!
A few more weeks until school is out & summer holidays are in full effect. I'm going to try my best to stay organized & paint while my daughters are home with me. There will be many trips to our local library & lots of new books to get excited about. Last summer I got a lot accomplished in my little home studio, cross your fingers this year is the same.
I'm currently working on a new body of work that is inspired by natural elements, many found near water or on the beach. With a focus on shapes and forms, textural paintings are happening and I'm really excited about the direction I'm headed. My colour palette is filled with all of my favourites; turquoise, pink and aqua.
My husband I and travelled to California for our 10 year wedding anniversary. We stopped at Moonstone Beach and were taken by the beauty of the surroundings.
Make sure you sign up for my newsletter if you would like to see the collection & have the chance to reserve a piece before it's released June 8th.