Lisa's Siena

One of my best friends in the world got married this past weekend.

In 2007, she lived in Siena, Italy.  I visited her for a week and we had an amazing time.  She showed me the most wonderful things and taught me so much - but that happens no matter where we are!

I painted the sunset view of Siena from her balcony when I returned to the States.  She was supposed to have the painting from the very beginning… but I've held onto it for seven years!  yikes!


Congratulazioni and best wishes, Lisa and Rhett!  I love you!

Abstract for Bright Fabrics

Goodness gracious, I left you hanging there!

I was so excited to get started on the colorful abstract painting that I neglected the computer once I began.  You may recall, I had these fabrics to work with:


…from which I derived this color scheme, and shared it with my client and her decorator:

We ended up having to switch the Teal for a Turquoise, upon closer inspection of the fabrics.

Drumroll please…..




This thing is crazy, right?  I experimented with lots of mark-making and shapes and motion.  I could have done this for weeks.  Abstract paintings are a BLAST… the only problem is, when are they finished?  You can't step back and say, "ah, now it looks like ____, so it is complete."  You can just keep playing and pushing and smearing and dabbling.  Too fun.  I can't wait to make lots more.

Along the way, I fiddled with photoshop and sent some mock-ups to my client:

I can't wait to see how it actually looks in her beautiful home!




Confession: I totally wanted to keep it.  We (the painting and I) basically went on a date all around my apartment and made ourselves comfortable… 

How many places can an abstract painting look good in my apartment?

And I also made a little coordinating floral painting with the leftover paint.  I liked the colors.



Bringing Fashion Illustration Home - to your walls!

Have you read the September issue of Traditional Home?

On page 52, they have a beautiful article by Ted Loos:

Fine Lines: The delicate art of fashion illustration attracts collectors with an eye for vintage chic and glamour.

I wish I could link to the article for you, but for some reason it isn’t published online.  Basically, it states that fashion illustrations are finally being recognized as art after decades of being overlooked (kudos to the Met and MFA Boston for being ahead of the curve).  Auction prices are creeping upward as interest and niche markets develop for original illustrations.

I was excited to read: “Steen’s most cherished pieces are two original drawings by René Gruau (1909-2004), one of the 20th century’s most important career illustrators, who helped popularize Christian Dior’s 'New Look' in the 1940s and ‘50s, among other style milestones.”

René Gruau?  I know that guy!


The piece above is my interpretation of his 1956 illustration, Diorissimo.

When Allison Mannella photographed me in the studio, she suggested that I work on a painting for a few shots, so I had to whip up something quickly.  I’d recently encountered this illustration on Pinterest and couldn’t get it out of my mind.  So, I painted over an old canvas and gave it an elegant second life.  I changed the background colors to suit my apartment.

I went to High Point Market soon after the photo shoot, and I was so excited to see one of the vendors use this exact Gruau illustration in their display!  I even left a dorky Instagram comment like a stalker (I was new to Instagram, be easy on me):

High Point showcased the most stunning trends in interior design.  You might remember from my recap… it’s an overwhelming place.  Six months later, I’m beginning to see the light: fashion illustrations at High Point + fashion illustrations in Traditional Home = fashion illustrations for your walls!

There are countless illustrations to pull from, and original designs to be made, but here are a few ways the Gruau could be customized for other spaces:

Custom paintings like this would be beautiful near a vanity, in a bedroom, a feminine office, even a giant closet.

Here is where “my Gruau” currently hangs, needing a frame:

I love these crazy orange chairs.  Apparently my living room color scheme is orange-and-blue right now, and that works for me.  This custom Diorissimo complements it perfectly.  

Seems like she could be friends with Suzon from the Manet, don’t you think?

If you want a custom painting to complement your own color scheme, don't hesitate to get in touch!  I loved incorporating new colors into these feminine illustrations, and can do it for any kind of painting you like.

Summer Portrait: Towheaded Trio

One of the most challenging and rewarding projects I completed this summer was a portrait of three siblings.

oil on canvas, 24x30"

oil on canvas, 24x30"

The painting was based on a photograph that was taken around 1990.  Don't you just love their outfits and baby blond hair?  What a fantastic source photo… the lighting was amazing!

This was my first foray into the world of 3/4 figure multi-child portraiture.  It's a huge genre, full of incredibly talented artists, so I was a little daunted to throw my name into the ring… I tried to stay true to my own style and remember every lesson from every class while channeling my portraiture icons.  Still, I learned a lot along the way, and this painting went through many revisions.  (You may have seen my Instagram posts with all kinds of red circles around what needed to change!)

I'm happy with the way everyone turned out, especially their sweet little faces!

I went all over the house, photographing the painting in different light.  I took it outside for a little while and sort of like how it looks in this photo - the painting background blends in with the foliage in the backyard!

Here's an image of the texture of the paint strokes from the side… can't fake that with a print.  Love it.

This client is framing the portrait now and eventually hanging it in their living room.  If I get to see the painting in situ, I'll be sure to update you and gush about its new home!