Diptych Date

My husband is in JAPAN right now!  I miss him terribly but his absence gives me time to write a blog post.  This one’s for you, babe!

When we first moved to Cincinnati, we drew a date from our “date jar” and what do you know… it instructed us to paint something together. We foraged supplies from my studio and got to work in the backyard.

Thankfully, my hubs jumped right in and got us off to a good start.  I’m kind of a control freak when it comes to group projects, especially creative ones.  I had to actively restrain myself in the beginning so it would remain a shared activity.  We worked into a rhythm of “you paint a move, now I’ll paint a move…” kind of like chess on canvas.  Taking turns allowed us to end up with something really spontaneous, playful and different.  We love it!

Tried to take a selfie... fail.

Tried to take a selfie... fail.

The paintings now hang proudly in our guest room, flanking the bed.  They bring me so much JOY every time I see them because they remind me of our teamwork and the fun we had making them.

This guy.  <3

This guy.  <3

Art is so subjective… if something really speaks to you, own it!  Who cares what anybody else thinks?  Surround yourself with pieces that bring you joy.

And heck, get outside!  Go play!  It's fun to break out of a rut and try something new.  You never know what you might treasure from it.

Redux Recap // Seeking a new Studio

During a vacation in Charleston, I got to visit Redux Contemporary Arts Center, which had been on my radar for a long time.  It seems like every cute Southern artist I started to follow had a studio there.  I first learned about it years ago, when Sally King Benedict had a space there.  Since then, a handful of crazy talented women have joined, who you've probably seen all over Pinterest, blogs, etc - Teil Duncan, Lulie Wallace, Kate Long Stevenson, Blakely Little.  

Sally King Benedict at Redux

Sally King Benedict at Redux

Blakely Little

Blakely Little

Kate Long Stevenson

Kate Long Stevenson

Teil Duncan

Teil Duncan

Lulie Wallace

Lulie Wallace

click photos for links to sources

The artist that really blew me away, personally, was Raven Roxanne.  

My husband and I were wandering around the half-empty studios, peeking into most of them to see what was in progress.  Admittedly, we were a little nervous to poke around unescorted.  I really admire these artists... it was like wandering around a movie set trying to find your favorite celebrity at work.

So, of course, while shuffling through a particularly bright studio, an artist walks in on us and we became totally stutteringly awkward.  Luckily for us, it was Raven, who put us at ease right off the bat.  Y'all, she is so cool and nice.

Raven explained some technical decisions to us, like her glass palette table and how she uses the wall as an easel, and then we got into a deeper conversation about being a "solopreneur" and work-life balance and making the leap to pursue art full-time.  She was a wide open book and I can't even begin to tell you how uplifting and encouraging that was.  She even suggested that I stay in touch and ask questions down the road.

Raven's palette table

Raven's palette table

Teil at work, the day before a big online sale!

Teil at work, the day before a big online sale!

Every artist I met at Redux raved about the space and its collaborative atmosphere.  They lend each other new materials to experiment with.  They plan days to do their crating + shipping together.  They share business advice and artistic critiques.  

My brainy husband came away with a mind full of business ideas, but I was really touched by the openness and kindness of Raven and the other artists.  They were so normal.  And nice.  How do you find something like that?  


So, I'm on the lookout!  Now I have big dreams of finding my own Redux here in Cincinnati.  It could be an office/apartment that I share with one or two people, or it could be a big organization like Redux.  

The visit made me realize how much I miss collaborating with other creatives.  I'm not a huge fan of working from home.  There is so much to be gained in a community where you can bounce ideas off each other, find inspiration... or just have an excuse to put on real clothes without elastic waistbands.  I'd love to get in touch with other Cincinnati creatives.  If you have any ideas, or are looking for a studio mate yourself, please don't hesitate to contact me!

High Point Market Inspiration

I just got back from High Point Market.  High Point is an enormous furniture and interiors hub here in North Carolina.  Twice a year, they host Market: 180 buildings full of gorgeous pieces for the home.  Out of 180, I covered 5 1/2 buildings… that's all I could get to in two days! 

The escalators of one&nbsp; small &nbsp;building. &nbsp;Yeah. &nbsp;It's huge.

The escalators of one small building.  Yeah.  It's huge.

Y'all know how much I LOVE interiors, so going to market was a real treat for me.   I have a renewed respect for designers… I was blown away by how much they have to sift through and process and curate for their clients.  Many thanks to the ever-talented and thoughtful Lee Stough for giving me a pass to the event.

My real goal was to research the art.  I wanted to see the best ways that artwork can work in interior spaces.  

Many artists abhor the idea of an "OTC painting" (over-the-couch painting) - that is, artwork that is created solely for decoration purposes.  I get it; OTC paintings compromise an artist's vision and create a disjointed body of work…  but I LOVE IT.  I love painting for decor.

Art is transformative.  It can make a statement, draw the eyes upward in a space, provide balance, unify color schemes.  Since I love interiors so much, why wouldn't I do what I can to contribute to the beauty of a home?  I'm not a designer, but I can paint.  I like to think I can paint pretty much anything… furniture, walls, crafts, and canvases both traditional and funky.  I love the variety.  

Anywho… I found LOTS of inspiration at High Point.  

Let me show you what I found!

Paintings

Interesting juxtaposition of very modern art with antiques

Interesting juxtaposition of very modern art with antiques

Sweet 70s painting - these colors are so fresh these days. &nbsp;I saw them everywhere.

Sweet 70s painting - these colors are so fresh these days.  I saw them everywhere.

Check out that nailhead detail along the sides. &nbsp;I usually hide those, but isn't the texture cool? &nbsp;Especially on that sweet grasscloth wallpaper.

Check out that nailhead detail along the sides.  I usually hide those, but isn't the texture cool?  Especially on that sweet grasscloth wallpaper.

The big trend is definitely huge, colorful artwork.  I love it.  The next few images are from the Festoni display. 

Pink/peach/purple/orange seemed to be a popular color combo.

Pink/peach/purple/orange seemed to be a popular color combo.

The Benson-Cobb Studios displayed wonderfully serene, peaceful art… I wish I had more than just one photo!

I met the sweetest woman from Chattanooga named Lisa Seago.  She had been a designer for 25 years before turning her talents to canvas.  We chatted about giclee reproductions for a while.. it opened my eyes to another trend: original works being blown up much larger than their original size, so the reproduction has exaggerated texture.

Can you see how the canvas texture and original brushstrokes are now printed much larger?

Can you see how the canvas texture and original brushstrokes are now printed much larger?

More random wall art...

Gold leaf on top of texture… cool.

Gold leaf on top of texture… cool.

Giant thumbprints!

Giant thumbprints!

Good ol' botanicals.  I love 'em.  So classy, and a series of them fills space so elegantly.

These botanicals were painted on mirror! &nbsp;Woah!

These botanicals were painted on mirror!  Woah!

These giant colorful abstracts are from Design Legacy.  What a space!  I thought the Thibaut fabric showroom was my happy place, but then my eyes jumped for joy in Design Legacy.  Apparently one artist creates all their paintings: Kelly O'Neal.  Props.

There's that pink/orange/purple combo again...

There's that pink/orange/purple combo again...

The colorful frames make this series really pop.

The colorful frames make this series really pop.

This painting must sing to malachite lovers!

This painting must sing to malachite lovers!

On the second day, I stumbled upon Wendover Art Group, and wow.  What a feast for the eyes.

How cool is this? &nbsp;Multiple canvases in a crazy arrangement make up one overall image.

How cool is this?  Multiple canvases in a crazy arrangement make up one overall image.

Love these frames. &nbsp;They make the print a lot more interesting, in my opinion.

Love these frames.  They make the print a lot more interesting, in my opinion.

Now here is a really interesting framing option - what do you think of the asymmetrical matting? &nbsp;I like how unusual it is!

Now here is a really interesting framing option - what do you think of the asymmetrical matting?  I like how unusual it is!

Big painterly flower trend coming right up...

Some landscapes and cityscapes I liked… the illustrative quality is fun.

This is one of my all-time favorites. &nbsp;I've seen it reproduced multiple places. &nbsp;Anyone have an idea who the original artist was?

This is one of my all-time favorites.  I've seen it reproduced multiple places.  Anyone have an idea who the original artist was?

How cool would a series like this be - buildings from travel photos? &nbsp;Down a hallway or stairwell? &nbsp;Swell.

How cool would a series like this be - buildings from travel photos?  Down a hallway or stairwell?  Swell.

This one is from Natural Curiosities… I love how it's delicate and natural and feminine:

Walls

Giant gingham? (or is this tattersall? &nbsp;I don't know.) &nbsp;How cool would this be in a boy's room?

Giant gingham? (or is this tattersall?  I don't know.)  How cool would this be in a boy's room?

Hand-painted bedroom mural at Oly… dramatic yet soothing.

Painted Furniture

These pieces are all from Guild Master, except the last image...

That is some kind of green basket weave rattan on that piece… it's painted on!

That is some kind of green basket weave rattan on that piece… it's painted on!

High Point Market - 25.jpg
The popular chair!&nbsp;

The popular chair! 

These crazy colors are actually&nbsp; goat skin … kinda weird… but easily imitated with paint!

These crazy colors are actually goat skin… kinda weird… but easily imitated with paint!

Well, if you've made it all the way to the bottom of this post, congratulations!  I am giving you a virtual hug and a pat on the back.  Thanks for reading… and expect lots of new work in the future based on High Point inspiration!

And, as always, if you see something you like… contact me to discuss your project!  I'd love to do a custom piece for you.