I want to share with you that 15+ of my paintings will be on display and for sale in my local Downtown Seattle Anthropologie starting April 1st - May 11th!
I got this amazing opportunity back in December, and have been painting away on the weekends ever since to prepare.
This is seriously a dream of mine. I LOVE Anthropologie and am really excited to show my work there!
The Downtown Seattle Anthropologie has this gorgeous stone staircase that curves up to a landing, then up further to a second level. Up the side of the staircase on the right is a large feature wall that they use for the gallery and they feature a new local artist every month. Pretty cool, huh?
You probably didn't know I painted, did you? Well, it's kind of a new thing for me...
If you follow me on Facebook, you've been seeing photos pop up here and there that elude to my life of painting. I also added a "Studio Tour" page to my website. You were probably wondering what on earth I was up to!
My paintings incorporate collage of my digital pattern work with acrylics, metallics, spray paint and hand-made stencils. I LOVE the texture this creates and the freedom I feel when painting.
How on earth did all this painting start? Well...
Last Summer I took Mati Rose Mcdonough's class "Daring Adventures in Paint" as well as both of Lilla Roger's classes "Make Art That Sells", parts A & B. I was feeling an urge to change things up a bit and to experiment. I needed variety, to get my hands dirty with paint and to challenge myself with new ways of thinking.
While taking Mati's class, I learned some great techniques for working with acrylic paints, as I'd always used water-based oils in the past. If you are familiar with Mati's work, she has a lovely, abstract and illustrative style. Although I love Mati's work, there's nothing in me that allows me to paint that way. I could literally feel my brain go blank and start to malfunction. I couldn't turn in the abstract painting assignments because it just wasn't happening and it wasn't me. Everything in me said 'no'. With zero desire to emulate someone and 100% desire to speak my own creative voice and figure this out, I powered through the block...later on.
After the class was over, my background paintings sat there for a few months as I continued to work away. I kept passing them in my studio and staring at them, trying to visualize what they would become. Nothing was coming. So, I decided to start to play and let things flow out of me. I started with what I know best, flowers, and painted a vase of them. At first I was a bit discouraged by the painting because it didn't look like it had a voice and my style looked so different than my digital style.
But then I started another painting...this owl. When my husband walked into the room he said "That is my most favorite thing you've ever done" which meant the WORLD to me! Yay! I could paint something that wasn't super-girly and that a man could appreciate. I could create something that spoke to someone who is not a fellow creative – and that meant the moon and sky. (Yeah, that owl painting can never be for sale I don't think. Not after that expression from my most favorite person on the planet!)
I hung the owl painting next to the vase of flowers and could immediately see my style emerge. I could see a connection between the two, and it really made my heart feel like this was so right to pursue. It fueled me to keep going and to birth more and more creations.
I've been painting a lot of animals which has been a lot of fun! It feels more personal. Before art school, I would spend my time drawing realistic portraits of people and horses. I painted quite a bit in college, and when I painted, I preferred oils. Fast forward to now – art school, years of corporate experience, time developing my artistic style – and when I picked up the paints again, things pretty much clicked immediately. It's so interesting to revisit an old medium years later and see what emerges...
I enjoy acrylics because I can work really fast and let things flow. I can use my intuition. I can make mistakes and problem solve on the spot to take the painting in a whole new direction. It fuels my creativity in a fresh way and is a HUGE answer to any type of creative block - to try something completely out of the box and different for a spark.
So, since the beginning of this year, I've been painting away on the weekends. Little by little. Building my little zoo. I can't wait to hang them all in Anthropologie on April 1st! If you are in the Seattle area, I invite you to swing by the downtown Anthropologie, do some shopping and view my work.
I hope my paintings inspire you and cause a stir inside of you, that they uplift you and bring a smile to your face.
(And yes, I'm getting them professionally scanned so they are available for licensing!)
I'll be sure to post photos once they are all up in Anthro, so stay tuned!