THANK YOU for the Best Year Yet.

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THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for making this year my best and favorite year yet. I consider this job a magnificent, undeserved, sacred gift, and every day I am reminded just how grateful I am to be doing what I do. When you purchase any piece of my work, you are not only creating a more beautiful and welcoming home for your family, yourself, and your guests, but you are supporting my very livelihood, and that of my family and community which I am committed to supporting in return. For example, if you have purchased from me this year, there is a good chance part of that investment has gone on to support organizations like this one that is a massively impactful force for good in my little city, or this one where you may have helped a high school student afford to spend a week of their summer at a camp where they learn how deeply they are loved, or this one which provides local education, medical care, and mentorship for children (specifically one named Albert) in developing countries, or one of several other incredible organizations making the WORLD a more beautiful and welcoming place for themselves, their families, and their neighbors globally. So thank you. THANK YOU for being a part of this, and for choosing to bring more light, life, rest, goodness, and beauty into your life - it is one of the most important things we can do, and I am thrilled to play my small part.

Artist Resources: Getting Started

Every so often I get a message from a fellow creative person (either professional or hobby) asking about what kind of paints I use, where to find good brushes, how to hang artwork, who inspires me, and more than anything "what do I need to get started?" So I decided to write a blog post and make a guide to cover exactly that! The resources in the 5-step Getting Started Guide will help you take that desire to create, and put it into a real practice from which you can grow, learn, and start to establish your personal style. (download the guide here

Once you've downloaded the Getting Started Guide and have established a comprehensive approach to start your creative practice,  check out a few of my favorite tools I use on a daily basis (and download the Materials checklist here!):

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FAVORITE PAINTS:
-Golden Acrylics are the go-to, followed by Liquitex.
-Holbein Gouache (often mixed with Golden gloss gel medium) add rich, opaque pigment.
-House paint samples from Lowes are great for blocking in muted colors.
-Windsor & Newton watercolors are my favorite for sketching.

FAVORITE BRUSHES:
-Princeton brushes are the best for when I'm feeling fancy.
-These synthetic cheap-o brushes are the best for everyday use and I don't feel bad when I ruin them.
-And these are my favorite mid-range brushes (and I only feel kiiiinda bad when I ruin them).

FAVORITE ARTISTS TO FOLLOW:
-Lily Stockman is forever my number one fave (and one of the first contemporary female painters I fell in love with in college).
-Christina Baker is one of my favorite artists and human beings.
-Raven Roxanne's color and layering sensibilities are incredible.
-Inslee's illustrations transport me and her Instagram stories make me laugh out loud and want to be her friend.
-Heather Day is one of my favorite people to hear talk about the creative process and the thoughtfulness of making art.

FAVORITE CREATIVE BUSINESS VOICES TO FOLLOW:
-Maria Brophy has been an incredible helpful and inspiring resource.
-Shanna Skidmore is another great go-to.
-Jenna Kutcher's podcast has been a wealth of knowledge.
-Beth Kirby's Raw Milk podcast has also been super interesting and helpful.

Now, before diving into all those resources, download the GETTING-STARTED GUIDE to help map out your first and next few steps in developing your painting practice!

 

The Other Side of the Country.

Wednesday night we returned home from a trip to the PNW. A couple days were spent in Seattle before taking a collection of bus and boat rides north to the Princess Louisa Inlet in British Columbia. There, we spent a few too-short days at Malibu Club for a Young Life staff marriage retreat. Time at Malibu was life-giving across the board - creatively, imaginatively, relationally, and more. It feels like another world in the best sense, and the beauty in inescapable.

Studio Inspiration

There is something so inspiring about seeing images of artists who are now recognized as incredibly influential, working in their studios to create work that would someday mark history. These are a few of my favorites:

JOAN MITCHELL: I could look at her paintings all day.

Image via

Image via

HELEN FRANKENTHALER: HF is easily one of my favorite painters in history. One of my favorite things about her work is her color, but I love this black and white image - her expression, the scale of the surface, and her physicality with the painting. 

LOUISE BOURGEOIS: There are few things so motivating as seeing an artist in the studio well into her nineties.

Image  via

Image via

FRIDA KAHLO: Kahlo is one of those historical figures who is easy to distill, in retrospect, into a whimsical character, maybe from an exotic book or movie. This photo caught me off guard, silly as it sounds, because it reminded me she was real. Unibrow, lipstick, hairstyle - It was all attached to a brilliant human being.  

Frida Kahlo: The Gisèle Freund Photographs , published byAbrams

Frida Kahlo: The Gisèle Freund Photographs, published byAbrams

ALEX KATZ: Katz is still a living artist, but at age 91, he has earned a shoutout. For years I have loved visiting his paintings in the permanent collection at Atlanta's High Museum and wherever else I can find them. He is a master of color and perfectly rich simplicity.

Photo via AD

Photo via AD

And to cap it off, the loveliest photo of Picasso and Bettina in Pablo's most perfect Cannes studio... 

Pablo Picasso in Studio #5, Cannes, France 1955 by Mark Shaw

Pablo Picasso in Studio #5, Cannes, France 1955 by Mark Shaw