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.

Baby Boom

I'm heading to Richmond today, which seems to be the land of babies.  I didn't realize how many baby-themed projects I've been working on for Richmonders...

  • This week, I'll paint a mural in a baby girl's nursery.  It's inspired by abstract, painterly flowers… will post an update as soon as I can!
  • Delivering a stork quote for another baby girl (pictures below)
  • Delivering a large abstract painting for a boy's nursery, which coordinates with his bedding (pictures below)
  • Consulting on a baby shower project
  • And, just for fun, getting to meet two new babies belonging to dear friends… though I don't have any art for them.  Yet.

Let me show you the pieces I'm delivering!

This large abstract piece is going in a baby boy's nursery.  His parents already chose some multicolor bedding with oranges, blues, mint greens, olive, and brown.  The walls are light blue and the furniture is dark wood… they needed one big statement piece to tie in the greens and oranges.

Let me tell you, abstract painting was MUCH more difficult than I expected.  It didn't help that my client works at a renowned art museum and has quite discerning taste… the pressure was on!  I went through so many iterations of this one painting.  I wound up really liking the layers, though. 

Because abstract painting was such a new adventure for me, I made a companion painting at the same time, using the same palette.  It was fun to experiment with different styles of mark-making.  The photo below shows the baby's bedding, the final painting, and the companion painting:

I really like both!  The companion coordinates with my living room, actually… wish I could keep it!  Alas, it is for sale.  Let me know if you're interested!

I'm a sucker for detail shots...

I'm also delivering an 8x10" watercolor-and-ink stork painting!


This baby girl isn't due for a while, but I think her momma is having fun feathering the nest!  Her nursery is in pinks and neutrals… can't wait to see it in person.


All in all, I'd say this guy is keeping me busy!  Keep 'em coming, Mr. Stork!