Friday, December 23, 2011


I lugged my very last bin of holiday orders to the post office on Thursday... then went on a lonnng run around Southie and the Seaport district, finished wrapping presents (with Geninne's beautiful DIY bird gift tags) and packed up the cats to go home to Mike's family for the weekend.

holidays studio holidays holidays holidays holidays holidaysholidays holidays holidays

Chubby Boots was excited to see his sister, who was adopted by Mike's brother Matt. I was excited to wake up to snow (!!!) and my first attempt at making peppermint bark holiday treat bags. We were able to do most of our holiday shopping handmade or locally... it will be fun to watch people open their presents on Christmas :)

I hope you have a very merry, soulful and bright holiday season.

Monday, December 19, 2011

ever since the beginning to keep the world spinning

The last few weeks have been a blur... saying I work harder and longer since becoming self-employed is more of an understatement than ever before. My days start when the sun (and occasionally jackhammers on our street.. ugh) wakes me up and ends around 2 or 3am when all emails are replied to, all artwork orders are packed and ready to be walked up to the post office, all paint is cleaned up and everything else is checked and reordered and planned and done. It's exhausting but in a really good way... I can't imagine a more perfect use of my energy right now.

Outside of commissioned work, I haven't been painting as much as usual but I've been stoking the creative fires in my head often. I plan on taking a short break from painting after Christmas to create with some other materials and thoughts I've been collecting and dreaming about recently.

Things that have been inspiring me right now...

56/365 - Self Portrait 
Self Portrait by Regina Pagles.. no explanation needed.
Still feeling that wanderlust I couldn't satisfy last summer.

Star trails over Boston
Star Trails Over Boston by Nimay Shah
I started running in October and still do 2-3 miles once or twice a week after dropping art off at the post office if it isn't too cold... my favorite route to run is from my apartment to the Seaport and along the waterfront because it takes me right where this photo was taken. It really is this gorgeous at night.

"Vancouver" for EF International Language Centers' "Live The Language" campaign
(Sydney and Beijing are pretty cool too! and make me very disappointed that I didn't travel abroad in college.)

Spring Swatch dying over at Scout & Catalogue
also these tips on creating natural dyes on the Free People blog

"1st Round Compilation" by The Beauty of a Second
Doing a compilation like this would be a really cool way to record special events or a year of life/work.

Charmaine Olivia's workspace

"One Day Like This" by Elbow... you'll like this but you might have to click the link to watch it on YouTube.

your satisfaction 
My own Appalachian road trip journal in progress... also Miranda Lambert's new album, Four. I don't know how to embed it but you can listen to the first track "All Kinds of Kinds" here.

Have you found anything good lately?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

MIT glass lab

Tonight I drove to Cambridge to meet up with Mike after work, and we went to the MIT Glass Lab holiday sale... you wouldn't think MIT would have classes on glass blowing, but they do and the work produced by their students is pretty incredible. Some of the pieces were so elegant and detailed it was hard to believe they were made by hand, by students.

Excuse the mediocre photos... they were taken under school hallway-esque fluorescent lighting after drinking a very large coffee.

blown glass at the MIT glasslab blown glass at the MIT glasslab
blown glass at the MIT glasslab
blown glass at the MIT glasslabblown glass at the MIT glasslab
blown glass at the MIT glasslabblown glass at the MIT glasslab
blown glass at the MIT glasslab
blown glass at the MIT glasslab

Crazy talented, right? And everything was surprisingly inexpensive for handmade art. If you live around Boston, this sale is going on until 5pm Tuesday evening and worth checking out. Lobby 10 is in "The Infinite Hallway" and only a five minute walk from the Kendall/MIT station on the Red Line. Or a 25 minute drive from East Boston if you happen to have an outdated GPS and get lost in rush-hour traffic like someone did. (Me.)

(I did buy a tiny pink votive candleholder for my studio... maybe I'll post a photo when I finally get back in there again.. someday.)

Monday, December 5, 2011

december sounds

Pandora was killin it in my studio last night... every song I already love and every song I had been waiting to find came on in the perfect order and helped make last night one of the most productive painting nights in a long time. I didn't create a lot, but what I did create was magic - something that has been lingering on the tip of a paintbrush for weeks and finally put itself down on canvas tonight.

Here's what tonight looked and sounded like in my tiny brick corner of South Boston...

Chubby Boots in the studio.Random bits of my studio inspiration board

Though it was 65 degrees and sunny yesterday, it seems like Boston finally got the hint that it's December. It's so grey and rainy outside... makes me want to just shut all the blinds and hibernate. I have a lot of "business" stuff to do today (the sad truth about the holiday rush) but hopefully I'll get some painting in there too and have something long overdue to share in a few days.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

inspired by: sketchbooks

I've been living in a sea of prints and packing materials since the holiday rush began and also in a sort of inspiration lull for a couple days... if the feeling isn't there I don't like to force it, so I haven't been painting or creating as much as usual this week (although, I really enjoyed playing with my watercolors for When We Love.) Instead I'm working on my sketchbook, printing out old photos and playing with new materials and figuring out what I want from my next few paintings. Sketchbooks and art journals are such a good way to experiment and sometimes they end up being just as gorgeous as "real" paintings. Also a good way to collect little bits of life to save for later... occasionally I've ripped a page from a sketchbook and sewed or glued it right into a work in progress. 

Here are some of my favorite sketchbooks by other artists and links to check out more of their work if you like.

Sketchbooks by illustrator Oliver Jeffers

03/30: UK Journals 11 and 12
UK Journal #11 via Just A Plane Ride Away

Sketchbook Pages via Yelena Bryksenkova
(I was a little excited when I ran across both of these.
My bedroom growing up in Seattle had a view of the Space Needle and Mount Rainier.
The beach in Ocean City was where I had my first "night swimming" experience.)

Moleskine via David Fullarton

Personal Mini Album DIY via Amanda Johnson

Moleskine via Anna Ruskova

Travel journals via Mary Ann Moss of Dispatch From L.A.

Art Journal by Debra Cooper

This is my own sketchbook... one of my favorite pages.

Okay... now I'm going to stop writing about art and actually go make some art. Ready, go.

Friday, December 2, 2011

when we love

when we love
A small watercolor painting I did inspired by my four year anniversary with my boyfriend and best friend, Mike.

I have always appreciated this quote from The Alchemist because it sums up what I believe is the best part of being in love with someone (or an idea or even a place)... love encourages us to work hard for it and to grow and become our best selves, which imparts positivity and intention on not only our relationships but everything else we do in the world.

mike & me

I'm very far from a perfect person and may always be, but over the years I know Mike's best traits (patience, kindness, optimism) have rubbed off on me and made me better in those ways. He was the person who most strongly encouraged me to begin selling my artwork, and supported my decision to leave my steady job to pursue creating art full-time. I like to hope that my creativity, energy and curiosity have made him more appreciative of the art and beauty that surrounds us. Our mutual love of traveling, learning and seeking out new experiences has made us great adventure buddies.