Hello, Fall.

Strange as it feels to state, September is in its final days and trailing close behind is the long awaited breath of fresh air known as Fall. 

As with the seasons, there are transitions and shifts taking place in my own life and work as well. For one, I'm preparing to move into a new studio space in the heart of downtown Brevard starting October 1. While I have loved my time in the Lumberyard Arts district of town, the new space offers a bit more space as well as an added level of security and optional privacy. Send me a message if you'd like to visit!

Additionally, I recently signed on with a gallery in Dallas, Texas - Bee Street Studio! I am so excited to have my work represented in such a wonderful city. This means I need to get to work on a series of paintings to send their way soon. Texas friends, stay tuned!!

And finally, what better way to kick off a period of transition than with a vacation? For the next week I'll be exploring Wyoming and Montana on trails and in rivers, and plan to bring back more inspiration than I know what to do with.

Happy Fall, my friends!

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The Homefront Series, Part II.

(Read The Homefront Series, Part I, here.)

"Make yourself at home" is a phrase we all love to hear. Sometimes we hear the words spoken out loud, other times the sentiment is implied by simple acts of hospitality. Either way, it's the idea that "there's a seat at the table and you are welcome." 

The Homefront series is special to me, and I hope it will bring beauty into the homes and lives of many people. Additionally, I hope it will contribute to the never-ending work of restoring a sense of home for the millions of families who suddenly lose that invaluable comfort each day. 

Which brings me to the most important part of these paintings: 20% of the proceeds from this series will go toward helping provide basic needs for refugee families resettling in the United States. 

Refugees often have to flee their homes at a moment's notice, leaving behind jobs, relationships, and most of their physical possessions. By teaming up with World Relief, an organization who facilitates resettlement into apartments and school systems, we are able to provide gifts like silverware, dishes, pots and pans, sheets and pillows, shower curtains, rugs, school uniforms, backpacks, and carseats, for example, that enable our neighbors to re-establish a sense of stability in their new homes.

As we approach the holiday season, proceeds will go toward Dining, Cooking, and Household Welcome Kits

A Dining Welcome Kit contains:
-Forks, Knives, & Spoons (4 each)
-Plates (4)
-Bowls (4)
-Cups (4)
-Plastic Mixing Bowls (3)

A Cooking Welcome Kit contains:
-Pots (2)
-Pans (2)
-Baking Sheets (2)
-Slotted Spoon
-Whisk
-Spatula
-Can opener
-Chef's Knife
-Cutting Board

A Household Welcome Kit contains:
-Light bulbs (8)
-Trash Bags
-Laundry Detergent
-All-Purpose Cleaner
-Sponges
-Dish Soap
-Plastic Hangers (2 Packs)
-Kitchen Towels
-Pens
-Notepad

When you buy any painting from The Homefront Series, you are helping welcome our new neighbors.
In buying art for your home or giving it as a gift to another, you extend the very real invitation to families starting new in this country. 
In this case, buying a Homefront painting is one more way to say "There's a seat at our table. Make yourselves at home."

The Homefront Series, Part I.

Shelter. It's right up there with food and water as one of our basic human needs. If we're lucky we grew up in a shelter that not only served as a barrier from rain and cold, but also provided a sense of home in a a way walls and roofs alone cannot do. Home is perhaps the most comforting notion we as people have. A place to retreat and a place to gather. 

Just think of everything 'home' implies: family, love, warmth, safety, protection, solace from work, respite from business, suspension from the constant motion of life. My sister once made a comment about how she particularly loved riding her bike home from school on the wintry evenings in St. Louis, seeing the houses all lit up with presumably happy families milling about inside. Ever since that comment I have made a habit of going for evening walks when the days get colder and the sun sets earlier. Muffled conversations drifting from kitchens, the occasional silhouette of a family around a dinner table, and the soft yellow glow of lamplit windows stir in me that distinctly beautiful soul ache - you know, the one nostalgia tends to bestow upon those who decide to go for walks through quaint neighborhoods at dusk.

Of course this is not the case for everyone. Most of us human beings have at least one story of a time in which going home felt like stepping into the wringer of fear, doubt, insecurity, anger, or grief. For many, the idea of home has yet to be realized in any tangible way. 

For others, what was once home - a country, a village, a house, a sense of belonging, a place to worship, work, raise children, and share dinner with neighbors - has been overtaken by violence, hostility, or persecution, forcing them to flee, leaving them refugees. Yet regardless of what our relationship to home currently is, we all long for a good one.

We long for a new home.

A cozy home. 

A safe home. 

A welcoming home.

A walled home.

A second home.

A home we used to have.

A home with someone we love.

A quiet home.

A peaceful home.

A clean home.

A beautiful home.

More time at home.   

I could go on.

I started painting tiny houses a few years ago when these ideas were sitting heavy in my mind. The urge to revisit this subject resurfaced a few months ago when I moved to North Carolina. Here in Brevard you can drive a quarter mile outside town and every hundred yards spot a tiny little home or barn tucked into the mountains, nestled into the bend of a stream, or situated at the base of a national forest. There is something funny about a small, unassuming home front resting calmly in front of a wild towering mountainside. It's like those shows about unlikely animal friends, where a bunny is curled up next to a tiger as though it were the safest, most comfortable place on Earth.

That perfect contrast reminds us how wonderfully small we are in the context of a great and wild world. It reminds us there is a strength and comfort in quietness, that we have permission to make our home in the midst of the grandeur, and we have the option to help others make the same, or at the very least invite them into ours.  

(The Homefront Series will be for sale starting November 22)

A Garden Party & A Shop Launch!

Hellooooo friends! I've got a new little series in the works. It's a lively one, influenced by the vibrance of mid-summer and the things growing just outside my studio, and I sure am having a fun time painting it. The name of the series? Garden Party. 

Along with a new series, I'm re-launching my little online shop on August 1st.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Preliminary watercolor sketches of *los flores* in focus. 

Preliminary watercolor sketches of *los flores* in focus.