Friday, January 31, 2014

Overflowing with creativity

Winter has been crammed with ideas in the studio!

It's been snip snip snip
and inky fingers
and splashing paint all day long and into the wee small hours.

It's dream of art all night and then waken to make it come true.

Yes, filled with joy to overflowing.

Creativity in the studio and all over the little valley. 
I dashed over to Christianson's, my most favorite source for everything garden, and they did not fail to furnish inspiration galore for all things botanical and vintage garden as usual.

The palettes for much of my work is pulled straight from this gardener's heaven...
oh, how I love the hues and pigments you can spy in the terra cotta pots, the water features reflecting the sky, the luminescent greenhouse windows, and the myriads of leaves and mosses...

And now back to joyful work for me!

Are you local? Several have asked me to do an open studio weekend.
Would you be interested in a little mini-class or two during April, during Tulip Festival out here in the farmlands? If you are, email me or post a comment.

These fields will be teeming with color in a few short weeks, and I'm contemplating a journal sketching class live in the tulip garden (oh, joy! really!!!) as well as a weekend of open studio and garden, with calligraphy, sketching and painting classes from artist Anne Olwin and me.

If I had an open studio weekend with classes in the studio garden and in the tulip garden, would you and your friends come?

It's winter now, but springtime's coming!

And a little PS, just for you!

I've recently changed this blog to make commenting easier.
If you've had trouble sending a comment, will you try again please and let me know how it's working?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Remembering England's light

Now that Downton Abbey is treating us to another season of eye candy, I'm thinking again about the time I spent in Yorkshire and remembering England's golden light.

Is it just my imagination or is the British countryside tinged with an amber-hued hint of history and atmosphere?

Walking the moors with Jane, seeing the landscape through the eyes of a local made it all so much more special...

Oh, those hedgerows. 
And the signs so funny to the American eye.

Jane laughed kindly at my admiration of the daily little things like backyard gardens and brickwork buildings. I think I sketched in excess of a dozen shovels, fields full of sheep, and page after page with higgledy-piggledy maps of flower beds as I peered past picket fences.

The entire time I felt as if we were on a movie set. So who can blame me for snapping what seemed like an endless number of photos? The entire rural part of Britain is ridiculously compelling, with eye candy at every turn.

Oh, England, you have stolen my heart. 

Downton Abbey is not enough.

And if the land itself were not enough, England's people are irresistible.

I admit to occasionally pretending to photograph a friend so that I can snap a photo of a captivating stranger. Not polite, I admit, but sometimes one can't resist!

People are so fascinating.

England's landscapes, the golden light and lavish countryside full of stone walls, sheep in the fields,  and cups of steaming tea beckon. They are whispering my name.

While a visit in person is out of the question at the moment, a trip down memory lane and the blogs of other travelers will suffice. 

Armchair travel and planning the trip we'd like to take... "someday"... can be infinitely satisfying on a winter afternoon.

I believe it's time to sketch a tea tray again and think happy thoughts of Yorkshire.

Do tell! Are you an Anglophile, too?

Friday, January 17, 2014

To market, to market (with the most ingenious friends!)

It's always fun when you see your own products introduced to the marketplace.

And this week was no exception to the rule.
Here you see snaps of the Sizzix booth at the Craft & Hobby Association trade show.

What fun to be able to have high tech scissors now that can cut copies of my silhouettes!

And time at the shows means new friends, too.
Here I was with Brenda Walton, who is every bit as beautiful as her art is.

Check out her website... Brenda's amazing.

Brenda and her husband, Doug, introduced me to the incredibly creative Kaari Meng, the brains and imagination behind the Los Angeles store French General.
(Please insert a swoon here!)

A number of well known artists came to the soiree and we ended up pulling out the artsy materials and the creative play went on for hours.

Kaari is the author of several books, all of them deliciously French,
and her shop sells irresistible vintage French fabrics and papers and oh-my-goodness everything wonderful.

Dinner was delicious morsels munched while sketching and dipping into ink...
Kaari's chef brother made sure we ate with our eyes as well and her papa played mixologist! 

You must forgive me for coveting that beautiful golden "deluxe" bottle...
I don't know what was in it but oh, that bottle was something to admire.

Trade shows are loads of work but rubbing shoulders with one's fellow creatives...
absolutely priceless!

So now the show is over and I am home... but the joy of lingering conversations will stay with me forever.

Sketches are underway for a new Christmas collection.

What are you working on just now?

Are you inspired, too?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The wide winter sky

Under the winter sky
in my tiny studio cottage
it's a busy little world.

But I pop out for a breath of air and suddenly
the sky, the endless, wide sky in all its winter drama unfolds.