Thoughts of summer….
and an osprey in flight
detail…how to make an osprey not look mean? soften the eyes, and turn the mouth up just a tad…..
Thoughts of summer….
and an osprey in flight
detail…how to make an osprey not look mean? soften the eyes, and turn the mouth up just a tad…..
Illustration Friday word of the week is shiny. How about some big red shiny rubies?
Hmmm? why yes, they are DIVINE DAHHHLING
I love this painting with all of its bright colors and bold brushstrokes. Pink, red and orange!
This was the inspiration for the piece-I googled “vintage diamond bracelets” & looked at oodles of gorgeous pieces. I picked the one I would actually love wearing. But who wouldn’t?
And look-it gets even more shiny after Dish and Spoon Productions takes it & blings it out
Isn’t that cool? I love the way they jazzed it up with Swarovski crystals!
Its one of a collection-all girly, all red & black & tan, all sophisticated, & so sweet.
Two days before my birthday I got a text from a dear friend that said “be ready tomorrow morning at 8:40AM and wear comfortable shoes.” ”But what are we doing?” I asked. “Nope not gonna tell-you’ll have to wait” she replied.
And sure enough at 8:40 the next morning my door bell rang, and on my front porch stood five of my very closest friends. YAY YAY! With my cowboy boots on and my rain coat at the ready we headed out. ”But where are we going guys?”, I pleaded. ”Its a *surprise* silly girl! One thing at a time-first we are goin’ to Philly –how about some biscuits and gravy?” Um yeah, only my very favorite breakfast. EVER. AND cheesy grits too. OH man!
We had a delicious (albiet calorie loaded) southern breakfast at the Reading Terminal Market. (it was totally spin worthy….)
Once fortified for our day….we headed out the door and onto the next leg of our adventure.
*SURPRISE! AGAIN* We are going on The Mural Arts Program Walking Tour!!
Yes-these lovely ladies got us all tickets for the Mural Mile Walking Tour. Something I’ve been wanting to do since we moved to PA 8 years ago!! And what a perfect day–not too cold, nor too hot–slightly overcast and a nice breeze. Are you familiar with Philly’s murals?
There are over 3,000 public murals! Since 1984 The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program has created these murals and has earned the city international recognition as the “City of Murals.” The murals engage communities and transform neighborhoods. The program also has award winning education serving the youth of the city. And (from their brochure) “Mural Arts also saves adult offenders in local prisons and rehabilitation centers, using the restorative power of art to break the cycle of crime and violence in our communities.” Basically, they rock.
many of the murals are painted on a parachute-like material and adhered to the surface of the building with an adhesive. See? You can’t even tell-looks like its painted right on the bricks. (some are)
A lot of the murals are painted by parking lots because it gives the viewer room to stand back and take in the whole thing.
Below-see the chef on the side wall? Also look up to the window –see? There’s a little girl peeking out. Her father was the parking lot attendant.
The above mural is on the side of this restaurant–and I’m told its one THE best in the city.
It was awesome–the murals blew us all away with their beauty and their sheer vastness. Our tour guide also had lots of interesting factoids to share-he was super nice. I mean we can ask A LOT of questions….
I just want to tell you one more thing… five years ago I literally prayed for friends. Don’t get me wrong, I mean I have great friends that I’ve had since middle school and college, but they don’t live here. I missed them-and I was pretty lonely. And over the course of the last 5 years I’ve met these and many other amazing and inspiring women. These are women who clothe the poor, and feed the homeless, who hold down jobs, take care of their families, and work out. They go on mission trips, and bake for the sick , visit the elderly, and mentor our youth. They grow veggies, and cook gourmet meals, read books, watch movies, shop, and they really like to have a good time! And they are always there for me. When I first met them I told my husband “why do they wanna be friends with me?” I just thought they were all so great and I was so impressed by them. He told me “hon, your a nice person, people like you.” Oh I am SO glad. I am so incredibly thankful and I feel truly blessed. It was a great birthday.
(thank you sweet friends for a lovely day-and for my dear friends who couldn’t be there I am so grateful for you & I missed ya!)
“I am wealthy in my friends” ~William Shakespeare
Illustration Friday word of the week-”kernel”
So glad you could *POP* over today! Who doesn’t love buttery salty popcorn? ( I make mine on the stove, but recently tripped upon this easy low cal version-its pretty good!)
The P for Popcorn is part of an alphabet I created last year for a playroom (for Muralisticks). I LOVE this alphabet-I think its one of my best projects! I thought it would be fun to share a little bit about the process of creating it. I worked very closely with my clients who had specific ideas about color and subject matter.
After doing the drawings for each letter and getting those all nailed down, I proposed color palettes–playing and mixing colors to get the right combo-
First I tried out a sherbet palette–it is important to make sure the colors flow since they will all be viewed together so I printed out the drawings of each letter and colored them in-so I could really get a sense of how they worked together. Each letter complimenting the next….sounds like a very polite alphabet….
how fun is this? Those little trays are perfect for mixing~
next I went with a warmer palette~
They loved this one!!
Here it is in the playroom (again…I am lamenting my lack of quality photos….)
see the ceiling? I painted that the year before~
Here’s what it looks like when you get the sheets–see? You just pull the letters off and stick them to the wall-isn’t it cool? (that H is for “Hank” their dog, I also did H for Hippo)
A shot of the whole collection-I love how the colors do really flow–it took a lot of planning but was well worth the results. Wanna get your own alphabet?
I think this collection would work really well as a rug-how fun would that be? Or wouldn’t they be cool in a classroom?
My love of textiles and needlework + my love of murals= this amazingly beautiful creation (and no I didn’t paint it but I wish I had!)
cross stitch mural by Eline Pellinkhof.
Have you seen this GORGEOUS mural before? Is cross stitch back? Are murals back or did they ever go out? I’ve seen this on a couple of design blogs and then of course on Pinterest. I just had to know more about the artist and I wanted to share it with you. Eline is a talented illustrator and artist from the Netherlands. You can see her beautiful abode here. Also her home was featured in Mollie Makes.
I love how she took something so simple and somewhat traditional–and she modernized it by making it BIG. The results are stunning, don’t you think? Sometimes modern design can be kinda cold, in my opinion, but this is just modern enough. Traditional with a twist.
Plus Eline has created a template so you too can create this wonderful art in your home.
Wanna give it a try in your own home? Purchase the template here. And let me know how it goes!
There are some really cute & fun cross stitch patterns and complete pieces on etsy as well. Maybe cross stitch is making its big come back. I like these~
modernfolk-pdf “Spring Pincushions” $7.50. Shop owner Jacob de Graaf has 18 to choose from- all lovely.
or this cute piece ($35.00) by RugglesMade in Chicago.
Ready to paint a mural or get your needle and thread?
Would you like a peek into the process of painting a nursery? Oh yes, I thought you would like that! Well come on!
Last week I had the pleasure of creating a happy, magical space for a highly anticipated new little one set to arrive next week! Baby number 4 for this charming family-and I am happy to say this is the 6th room I’ve painted for them!
First things first–I always do lots of sketches for my clients. I take notes on all their ideas and thoughts and then I get to work playing with those ideas. Then we either meet in person or I send them the images via email. (I actually only do that with repeat clients-new clients are in person–I like to meet people and see the rooms in real life) Then once we have images that are approved we pick a date. The client usually gives me a deposit of half up front and I mark off the time on the calendar.
When the big day arrives I bring lots of stuff with me. Drop cloths, plastic, my rubbermaid tub full of paint, paper towels, tape measure, brushes, step ladder, chalk, my lunch. Here is the basic set up~
(I did those clouds 2 years ago~)
After I spread the drop cloths out I like to hang up my reference images and my sketches. I also take some measurements. I measured the length and height of the wall where the crib will be, and I also measured the area above the changing table.
Next I start sketching! I use either water color pencils or chalk to draw out the designs. That way if its not right it can easily be removed with the swipe of a wet paper towel. WORD of ADVISE–always check the chalk before you start sketching full on–some paints (like flat for example) want to hang on to that chalk. I always recommend eggshell or satin paint to my clients. I usually check the chalk in a corner–very low and inconspicuous. If it comes off easy peasy then you are ready to go.
Before I do anything else I holler at my client to come have a quick look and make sure they are happy with the way things look. If not its easy enough to make changes at this point–but much more difficult later. I like to plan the sketching for when the client is home so we can be sure everything is perfect. Happy client? Then proceed to the next step!
I fill up my water and get my paints out–I use a pallet for detail painting but for covering large areas I use plastic containers with lids. That way I can mix up as much as I need for more than one day. Also if you have to make changes you’ll have the color already mixed and not have to FREAK out. I like cottage cheese, sour cream, or cool whip containers the best. I also like to put a little dab on the top to identify it.
This is where the fun really begins-I start base coating the characters –fleshing out their little characteristics.
At this point I will sometimes check in with the client, or if I’m quite sure they will love it then I just keep happily painting away. This is a good time to get your iPod out and listen to a good audio book or music too. I liked this one and also this one too.
Often times when painting for children you will have little helpers that want to see what you are doing~
Word of ADVISE about little ones: they get very inspired by seeing someone paint in their room or their sibling’s rooms. They might want to paint too! And that’s totally awesome–as long as its on PAPER. Once a little one was so excited about all the art going on that he took his crayons, after I had gone for the day, and proceeded to “color” the ottoman of the very nice chair in the family room. Oh goodness. Another time a little artist took some black paint and got crazy with it all over the wall! I learned–now I ALWAYS put my paints in the rubbermaid container and close it up. I also check with my clients to see where they would like me to store the paints while I am gone, and I also always mention that the paints are for ME to use on the walls, not on anything else. You’d be surprised how inspired they get! I’ve had some lovely pictures to bring home that kiddos have drawn and painted for me.
I also attach my keys to my purse (except in that pic from set up above!):
Once when I was meeting with a client I set my keys on the table and proceeded to forget all about them-meanwhile the 2 year old found them endlessly fascinating and my client and I ended up searching for them for at least half an hour! Little one had toddled off with them. Be alert, be aware, and be so kind to those little budding artists.
This project took 2 days to complete. I can’t wait to go back in a few weeks and get some pics of the final room with the furniture and everything all finished. Glad you could come along!
Hello friends! I have so much to share with you this week!
I am so excited -I’m going to be in NYC August 15-16 at the International Gift Fair with Muralistick. COOL! We’ll be in Booth #5049 so come by and say hi! I’ve had the absolute pleasure of creating happy art for Muralisticks for a couple of years now. Heather Clayton, president & chief mural officer, is a delight to work with and I’m honored to accompany her to the show. She is a powerhouse of persisitence and dedication. I’m constantly inspired by her. The show runs Saturday August 13-Thursday August 18– I’ll be helping out on Monday & Tues and I can’t wait!
|Happy Mr Owl will be joining us at NYIGF-our little mascot|
Oh I do have to tell you also that Muralistick was featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer too! Front page of the home section-great article! For more photos and the whole article click on the pic~
Now, while I was writing this post and putting all my thoughts down I kept thinking
Sometimes I just have to PINCH myself-I really get to work with all these amazing people? AND I still get to be around with the kiddos plenty too?! Yea, I do and I love every single minute of it!!
I totally forgot to share the inspiration for this project. The client gave me this magazine clipping– which inspired the color scheme and the pattern. She wanted to make sure it wasn’t too busy because they have gorgeous art to display.
|we decided to keep it simple and forego the birds & butterflies often seen in this type of wallcovering. We also kept a very simple 3-4 color palette in neutral shades of burnt umber + ivory + black accents|
“Little ideas that tickle and nag should never be ignored, because in them lies the seeds of destiny.” I love this quote from Babe. Yes, Babe the pig movie. I’ve had this quote pinned to the board in my studio for several years because it is just SO true. Proof, you say? I’ve got it -how I got started in murals.
“Stop talking about it and do it already” was what my husband said. This, after a couple of years of me saying “I’d like to paint murals.” The idea of painting murals was a notion “tickling and nagging” at me. I’d been working in costumes-I worked for a large costume company, and then had a stint as part of the costume crew on a Disney movie filmed in Austin. But neither of these felt right. They were fun, but there was just this little voice inside my head….
The first time I remember recognizing this voice and saying it OUT LOUD was when we bought a truck. Sitting on the bumper in the parking lot of the dealership after hours, we talked about whether this was the right thing for us to do-buy a truck. And I said “Maybe I can have a mural business and I can use this truck to haul all my stuff around.” Did my hubby scoff? No, he did not. He just agreed, “Of course, why not?” And I could totally SEE it-the ladders and paint piled in the bed of the truck. I could see it clear as day. Saying it out loud was a big step, but that is as far as I got for a couple of years.
I saw limitations everywhere. I had never even painted a room with a roller, much less done a faux finish. I’d never painted a mural for anyone. I did not have degree in art. The only formal art training I’d had was before high school. We lived in a one bedroom apartment-I couldn’t even practice on my own walls. I had no ladder, tools, supplies. I had no connections. Excuses, excuses. What I did (and DO) have were very good friends and familial support. A blessing beyond compare. A very dear childhood friend suggested I come to her house (she had her own house!)and paint a flowery vine in her bedroom. , I went to her place for the weekend and we set to work getting this vine painted. SO FUN! This gave me a little dose of encouragement and was just what I needed–sticking my big toe in the pool to test the water. I was still at a loss though-what to do next? I had two part time jobs as well. I just had more excuses. In came another friend-swooping in and pushing me a little further. My college friend suggested we make signs-”we” being the operative word there. I didn’t know how to make those signs with the little tags at the bottom for people to pull off. But WE figured it out. Brightly colored signs in hand and a list of restaurants and other hot spots around town, we set out around Austin and hung my little signs everywhere we could find. Now I realize this does age me….
Something you should know also is that Austin is a vibrant, artistic town with an amazing energy about it. People did that -hung signs-and as crazy as it may sound-people read them and HIRED people from them. So back to work at my little part time jobs I went and I waited…and within a week or so I got a call “I saw your sign and I’d like to have my dining room painted.” I was over the MOON! YAY! I set up the appointment to go see the dining room and had nothing-no portfolio or anything to show for myself. Plus it was a man. I thought “This guy could be jack-the-ripper.” I was sick to my stomach to meet him and came very close to cancelling. But I did not-I was determined. Look fear in the face, Heather!
Next time I’ll share what happened as I stood on the edge of the pool, ready to jump in head first.
Here are a few shots of the humble beginnings..
A literal cut and paste job to create the posters-