The Great Pineapple City

Who knew a pineapple could transform the image of a city, not just visually but culturally. My husband and I recently took a trip to Charleston and learned all about how the pineapple is the symbol of hospitality and the origin of how that symbol came to be. We learned so much history on so many levels, we certainly enjoyed our trip! Once I got home, I thought about the things that stick out to me the most. And if I had to describe Charleston in just six images, how would I do that? Well, this is how…


Personal Touch

What is more fun than a personal card! I love making cards for people because I think it adds a sweet touch of servanthood that speaks through the illustration, in addition to the words themselves. In my opinion, Art (especially through personal cards) has the power to sometimes carry more weight and emotion and love than words themselves. At least for me when it comes to my writing ability. I love drawing, so people who receive a personal illustrated card from me know that there is a lot of love behind the card.

I coach high school volleyball and at the end of the season I decided to make personal cards for each of the seniors. I wanted to capture their personality and stand out features with each depiction of them. I’ll write a personal note to the right of the drawing before handing them off. I hope they like them!!

Visual Itinerary

I recently got married and my husband and I decided we wanted to make most of our decor/signs/guest gifts by hand! We made a welcome bag for all the hotel guest and included an Our Favorite Things To Do card, so out of town guests could go exploring during their visit!

With each to-do item I drew and watercolored a little illustration to accompany! It was a fun activity and I think it make the card even more exciting to peruse!

Itā€™s a Girl!

My best friend is having a baby girl! This is baby number two for her. When her first little one was born, I made her a baby rocking chair out of recycled window jams (last image. Their last name starts with a T and the room theme was florals and pink). So for this new baby I wanted to make her something as well! (Gotta share the love šŸ˜‰ )

I asked her the theme of the nursery and my friend told me it was going to be baby animals and a neutral color palette! I was so excited because watercoloring immediately popped in my head! I had been on a kick of drawing and watercoloring elephants so I felt like this prepared me well! The tricky part was to make them cutesy and fun but still realistic. These animals were so fun to design and make! I gave them to my friend at her baby shower this weekend and she loved them! Yay! Now we are eagerly awaiting for the little one’s arrival!

The Gentle Grace of Giants

I love elephants. These animals are incredibly massive but they have such a gentle grace about them. Maybe that’s because we typically see them moving slowly, or standing still. But their creation is such an odd but beautiful balance of swift grace found in a large creature. It almost makes them appear like and huggable. I wanted this watercolor to enhance that feeling. I wanted this beautiful creature to reflect its small and gentle spirit.

Hosting with Character

I hosted a “Christmas in July” Party the other night, and went all-in with the food. There were traditional Christmas deserts but I took a spin on some things since we were in the heat of summer. I often see place cards at buffets and such, so I decided to take my own spin on place cards.

My goal: Fun and Witty Characters that portrayed each food item in style. Some characters are a play on words, and some are all about their expression!

These were super fun to make and experiment with Character design! So much can be conveyed by a raised eyebrow, arm position and ever posture of a character. And the place cards were a hit at the party!

Finding Home

It’s been oh so long since I’ve taken the time to post and reflect on art; it’s been a year of amazing adventures and transitions, my art has been quick and sketchy in-between adventures or along journeys when I’m able to take momentary pauses. Ive come to know art in new and incredible ways! Iļø wouldn’t change a thing!

When evaluating 2017 and entering 2018, there remains a big passion of mine: art. The expression…The display of mighty themes and emotions through line and color…The act of creating. It’s all a journey! And it’s one thing to make something and it’s another to make and reflect. That’s what Iļø choose to do here!

So…to start the blogging pattern again, Iļø thought I’d start with my most recent sketch/watercolor. It’s actually mimicking a beautiful piece of art Iļø found in an art store in Asheville NC. I’ve found so much inspiration in the art I’ve seen traveling! This piece is comprised with minimalism and eccentric patterns, contrasted by the cultural display of an every day term, “home.” The term means something different and looks different to everyone, but the desire for this concept and the ideal peace it brings runs deep among all people. It’s now hanging in my “home!” And…Iļø similarly feel that “home”-like peace when Iļø am viewing and making art! Iļø am thankful for he beautiful joy that art brings to my life.

McGuffy Art Center – Art Installation

I had the pleasure and great fortune to have been asked to collaborate on an art piece that was to be on display in the Charlottesville McGuffy Art Center. The purpose of this piece was to encourageĀ collaborationĀ among artists/community membersĀ and illustrate what beauty can come of such collaboration.
I was the fourth out of the five artists to receiveĀ the piece. Each artist was given one simple instruction; add a “layer” to the piece…thus the possibilities were endless. I was extremely excited to start!
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The essence of layering is known as “a single thickness of material covering a surface or forming an overlaying part.” When the piece fell into my hands, it had already undergone many iterations of layering ON the piece. It was a beautiful piece. I was wondering how I could contribute another “layer” that could capture the essence of the overall theme, collaboration, and also be unique to my hand. I inquired and discovered that the final layer was to be the overlaying of a poem, and the theme of that poem was water. Thus, I knew my layer was to connect the current pictorial state of the piece to the final theme of the poem in one fluid motion. Instead of adding another layer ON the piece, I wanted to manipulate the piece itself; do something TO the piece. Thus, redefining the definition of layerĀ and connecting the visual image of the painted water to the theme of Most’s poem, water. I molded the piece to reflect the fluidity of a wave rolling and settling upon the water.
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I used a copper metal sheet as my mold, it was easily manipulated but strong enough to hold its form. Then I made a glue-water mixture to, in essence, “paper-mache” the piece into a new form. I started by testing mini models to make sure my glue-water mixture was the proper consistency, and to verify that it would not stick to the copper after it dried. The process took roughly 15 minutes to apply the glue-mixture and mold to the copper, and I let it dry for 36 hours. The piece was thick paper/canvas, thus I needed to heavily apply the mixture in order for it to mold smoothly and not bend. After drying, the piece easily slipped off the mold, leaving another art form as the “waste.”
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Layering is a progressive action that builds off the former, making it so no layer can stand alone in isolation and hold the same thematic expression. Each layer is stronger together as a whole. Through the collaboration of the layers (performed through the hands of the artists), the piece becomes stronger and stronger and develops its own language. The theme of this piece has evolved in alignment with the piece’s visual and physical evolution. It began with the purpose of showing collaboration, then it evolved to a piece representing artistic layers, then upon completion, water reads as the theme.
What amazing possibilities can result from collaboration!
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Thank you to Clint Lees and Matt Gordon for all the work they have done in their architectural exhibit in the McGuffy Art Center. And special thanks to them for asking all the artists, Scott Smith, Mac Morecock, Laura Lee, John Most and myself, to participate in this incredible collaborative art piece.