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.
Christmas is drawing near, and I am filled with anticipation and excitement! I’m not going to say I don’t enjoy receiving a nice gift or two every now and then (who doesn’t?), but there is something to be said for the thrill of giving… Picking out the perfect gift, wrapping it in brown paper topped with a giant fluffy bow, and tying on a tag with twine to tuck under the tree for someone you love? THAT will make your heart grow three sizes any day.
This year I approached the season slightly more intentionally, curating a range of gifts you could buy for a loved one, or add to the top of your own list:
1) Hand-painted ceramic ornaments in either Blue Christmas or Faire Isle patterns
2) Blue Botanical Prints on textured watercolor paper (Limited edition and signed)
3) Stocking-sized landscapes
4) Hand-painted gift tags on torn-edge watercolor paper
5) Original fine art paintings
Check back next week when ALL of these will be linked and available online, but until then, stir up some merriment and have a lovely weekend!
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!):
-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.
-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!
Do you ever get excited about the idea of painting but get stuck not even knowing what materials to buy? Well, here's a guide for that. Of course, feel free to adjust the list to best suit your needs and budget. Click here or on the image below to download the shopping list!
Earlier in October my whole immediate family (!) met up in Jackson Hole from our various bases around the world to spend a little over a week fly fishing, hiking, and exploring the areas in and around Yellowstone National Park.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And to cap it off, the loveliest photo of Picasso and Bettina in Pablo's most perfect Cannes studio...