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When The Winds Come – A Story of Plein Air Painting

Earlier this week, a dear friend of mine, Eliza, her little sister, Sarah, and I went out to Lake Michigan to do a little bit of watercolor painting. The lake is such an amazing part of living in Chicago, and it was a very warm day! It was so warm that none of us did our hair and escaped our houses as fast as we could that morning. Lucky for us, it was picture-perfect at the lake with a breeze! But tragedy struck!!! At the start we (or maybe just me) felt a little frazzled to find a good place to paint and quick! I had groceries being delivered in 1 hour, and that didn’t give us a lot of time to paint and get home in time. It should be noted that I tried to change delivery time, but I had forgotten my password and didn’t have it on my phone (whoops!) We decided to paint out on the jetty, or maybe it’s the lookout?, and it was a beautiful view of the Chicago cityscape. After we laid all our supplies and things out to start painting, I realized that I didn’t bring any water to ... View Post

Summer Peonies

It’s the first week of The Farmers’ Market Collection. I began with Peonies because I couldn’t let this season slip by without getting a fair share of peonies in my studio. They’re so gorgeous always!! It’s no wonder they are so abundant at Farmers’ Markets! At the latest market I went to, there were at least 4 floral booths FULL of peonies!! Did you know that there’s such a thing as YELLOW PEONIES!? I was in awe. I definitely have those on my list of “to paint” for this collection! Stay tuned! I picked up these beautiful, light-pink peonies over the weekend, however, and it’s been so wonderful to paint their delicate petals. I wish I had documented more of this painting because it went through some serious changes! It went from a very airy and light painting, to a dark, moody piece, and it balanced out in the end and became exactly what I imagined it should be from the start. Something soft, yet summery and full of the feeling you get in that crisp, bright, midday sunshine. As a ... View Post

The Farmer’s Market Series

The opening of summer brings the fulfillment of spring with its promise of warm, leisurely days, backyard living, and my personal favorite, the farmers' markets. I love those fragrant booths, and the chime of happy market goers soaking in the rays of the sun. It seems that time slows just a little there, and it’s wrapped with the perfect dose of nostalgia. Each stand holds its harvest with commitment of juicy crops full of the earth’s finest color pallet. I find myself staring at the beauty of things as small as a perfectly round pea to the marbled texturing of a watermelon. The colors blend in perfect synergy, painting nostalgic memories into visions of summers past. I love these markets. I love their hustle and bustle and equally calm and refreshing demeanor. As Spring rolled around this year, I began planning for my Summer projects, and I knew just want I wanted to do. I had been planning it in my head since the close of the last summer. The Farmers’ Market Collection. This ... View Post

Painting in Michigan

Michigan is absolutely gorgeous. I could just leave it at that! ;) For Memorial Day weekend my Alex and I drove around the Lake from Chicago up to the top of the mitten in Michigan. We stayed with a dear student of mine who has a home on Lake Leelanau. It’s a beautiful lake with the cutest, quaintest, fishing town called Leland nestled between it and the majestic Lake Michigan. On our second day there, I participated in a Plein Air competition and exhibit. This event was hosted by The Old Art Building in Leland. I’ve done a number of these over the years, but this one was my favorite—by far! There was no area constraint (I could drive an hour away to paint if I wanted to,) and we had from 8am-4pm to paint! Originally I planned to only spend 3 hours painting, but I ended up painting for twice as long. My student, Karen, painted alongside me (but did not participate in the show—next year, Karen!) and Alex was our driver and wet-paint police; he made sure any paint that ended up on ... View Post

A Paint Set For The Traveler

I’ve always admired the artists out on the streets, in the middle of fields in the early morning, and just simply out in the world painting. There’s something magical about it. Both the sight of the artist working and the artwork itself, no matter how good the art is “technically”. It is always delightful to see. Always. It’s only the last year or so that I myself have really made a practice of creating art on the go. And while I have a full set of oil paint to paint en plein air with that I use often, it’s not always convenient or easy to fly with or keep in my purse. So last year I created a travel set of watercolors and gouache to paint with during all my travels. It has been so wonderful to have! Whenever I am away from my studio traveling, I try to bring this set along with me. It’s allowed me to paint in other countries and places I otherwise would've never been able to paint in. I love painting on the go now! Painting while traveling has taught me a lot more about ... View Post

Three Paintings from my Childhood

One of my favorite things to do when I have some downtime on vacation while visiting my parents in California is to look through my old art shelves. There are dozens (maybe hundreds!) of my old paintings there, and that’s not even all of it! A lot of my work from high school and college was sold during those years. But there's still plenty to look through. Most of the time when I pull out an old painting I am both highly underwhelmed and highly amused. In my memory, a lot of those pieces were really great! But in reality, they make me cringe the same way you cringe when you read your old diaries from when you were in middle school. Completely relevant and appropriate for its day, but obviously dated in the present day. I remember painting each of those masterpieces! But seeing them after all these years makes me laugh as I am reminded of the long learning curves I went through. I do have favorites; some have always been my favorite, and others have only recently become my ... View Post