Monday, March 31, 2014

Goodies for the Winner of the Name Game!

THANK YOU so much for all your participation on FB and Instagram for the naming contest!! Y'all are the absolute best!! I was blown away with all of the AMAZING submissions! Brooke chose "Delta Sunrise" and the winner, Ms. Alyce M. is receiving this goodie bag full of awesomeness! Make sure you're following me on social media to join in on these fun times! We'll play again soon!!

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Time to Play the Name Game!!

Friends, we're playing the name game today! Brooke just got her custom piece and we need a name for it! Post your name suggestions on my Facebook or Instagram feed where I have this posted and Brooke will pick her favorite name. I have a really fun goodie for the winner! So, post away! Winner announced tomorrow!

Naming contest posted here:  Facebook  Instagram

And if you don't follow me on either of these, join up! I post all kinds of behind the scenes photos and sneak peeks and have some exciting things planned for social media this spring!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The story of "Cayenne": From Humble Beginnings to Mantle Show Piece

This is the story of "Cayenne." It started off as a tiny mockup and now graces a mantle for all to see. You'll laugh. You'll cry. And then you'll want one of your very own!  And so we begin...

Projects are most fun when you get to work with friends, especially when they are working on something new- like a house! Holly and Jason contacted me as they were building their home and they wanted a piece over their new mantle as a pop of color to accent their very stylish den. Holly has a great eye for design and was able to envision this space and pull it all together as they were building. They chose to select-a- size from the available options on my site and in a few weeks, they had their painting, stress free, painted to order, and with a digital visual of exactly what they were getting before they committed to their purchase. Here's how it worked: 

1.) They picked "Cayenne" but wanted to see what it would look like on their wall before making the final decision.

[ All HB paintings start off as a small version. The intent of these smaller paintings is to cast a vision for larger commissioned pieces so that customers can customize an original piece to their desired size. In order to keep each piece unique, I sell one mini version (6" x 6" or 12" x 12") and one larger version to the standard size of your choice ( 16" x 20" and larger). Once a larger size is commissioned, only the mini version will be for sale. Another painting can then be commissioned in the same color scheme, just not the same design. Cayenne was a little fella when Holly and Jason picked it. Once they selected their painting size, I painted Cayenne as a 36" x 36" for them. Tiny "Cayenne" was purchased and so now neither size is available. I'll paint other paintings in similar color schemes, just not that same painting again. ]   

2.)  I came out while the house was being finished and to show them what their painting would look like to scale on their wall using my tablet. Here's the image of what Holly and Jason saw when I was on site. We were able to assess size and colors so that Cayenne could be ready to hang as soon as they moved in!

 3.) Holly and Jason added a frame ( a new add-on that I offer! ) to give it a little more accent and formal feel and they had their new piece in a few weeks ready for move in week! I have to give Holly mad props for having her house so in order after a week! This is how it was when I arrived and I was in awe!! 

Thank you Holly and Jason for letting me be a part of your new home- it was so fun working with you! Congrats on the new digs!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Playin' Hooky

Some days you just need to play hooky. On a Thursday. And a Friday. Penny and I took a hike at Shelby Farms, I read on the couch and drank wine, and I took some time in the kitchen to chop and think and feel at peace for a bit. It never ceases to amaze me at how much our bodies crave rest and renewal and the harder we push them, the less they work for us. Sometimes the more we have to do, the more we need to step back, gain perspective, and enjoy the day in front of us, and all of the sudden there's so much more time to do what needs to be done. Today, I'm back to it and full of so many more ideas and energized about this week!

Hooky. You are a lovely, lovely thing and I hope to see you more this spring as the weather gets prettier !! 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Being a Tourist in New York and the Kindness of Strangers

I hate feeling like a tourist. I want to blend in, be incognito, see a city through the eyes of a local; shop where they shop; eat where they dine. I don't want to feel like a visitor. I really want to feel at home as quickly as possible. That's a pretty tall order for visiting most places, especially a city like New York. I wasn't expecting the Big Apple to feel cozy. With a reputation of being cold, crowded, and busy times 48 thousand hundred million, NY gives the vibe of busy, busy, busy, and dressed in black, always in black. So it was to our surprise that the impression that we left with was what we have fondly titled, "the kindness of strangers."

So many amazing people that we have never met were instrumental in making this trip successful and wonderful. My sister-in-law's friend, Ginny, opened her apartment to us and let us crash for several nights. We had only met her once in Spain, at a bull fight. A dear friend, Mallory, spent countless hours helping me plan this trip and helping me find contacts and helping me score a big meeting. Her friend Kathryn pulled together a lovely group of designers to come to the show and we had the best time chatting it up at the show. Keri, Jordan, Meg and countless others helped me with connections and helped get the word out about the show. Strangers on the street stopped and asked if we needed directions (apparently we were not blending in as well as I hoped). We watched countless people on the subway offer their seats to the elderly and small children- it was a reflex for them, a code of kindness that the city just knows to abide by.   

David had never been to NY and we were excited about experiencing it together, especially since the show fell during David's spring break, which also coincided with our anniversary. It was a beautiful trifecta of excuses to go. The last time I was there was 12 years ago on a high school trip and I was wearing matching tie died t-shirts with 300 other people and riding a coach bus, so I really don't count that as a "real" NY experience, the memories of which involve going to the Hard Rock Cafe, whizzing by important land marks, and watching fashionable women walk by on their way to fabulous jobs, or so I imagined. We've gotten to travel a lot, but for some reason NY seemed more alluring and exciting, perhaps because we were going for an art show! It's still so incredibly surreal thinking about it. It's hard to believe that a week ago we were leaving, and in the airport I was already planning another trip back.

We did not stop moving the whole time and I loved it!  Hanging out at Grand Central Station is a tourist attraction all in itself. It certainly lives up to it's title of "grand." It just felt opulent to be sitting there drinking coffee and people watching while waiting for David to arrive. I have to give a shout out to the Chelsea Arts district! Thursday nights is their "art crawl" where you can gallery hop and grab some wine and find new artists (ahem!) at opening nights. The MET has to be one of the best museums I've ever been to.  We spent six hours there and didn't even scratch the surface! We did take in a show, and were so glad we did!! A friend who works in theatre recommended "Matilda" and it was outstanding. Those kids can act, y'all! If you get the chance to see, it, it is a definite must see! You'll laugh! You'll cry! Women will swoon and men will be moved... but seriously, check it out! And now we need to talk about our fancy day. After delivering some art packages, David found a Vosges in the East side and we sipped gourmet hot cocoa and bought some truffles. That day we walked along Central Park while eating chocolates and pretending we lived in the East side. It may be a top trip memory. Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle was on the top of my must do in NY list for the sole reason of the wallpaper. No lie. The wallpaper. Ludwig Bemelmans was the creator of the Madeline books and was commissioned to illustrate the walls. They are gorgeous!!  It's an unparalleled experience and definitely worth it checking out. Our final day we discovered Sullivan Street Bakery (it's on Sullivan Street, anyone singing Counting Crows with me??? ) where we had the best chocolate croissants we've ever had. Ever. Get yourself over there and eat one as soon as you can!!!! You will never be the same! I must give a shout out to SOHO. We really enjoyed being in a more chill part of town and it reminded me of San Francisco with the detailed architecture and calmer vibe. If I moved to NYC, I would want to live there for sure.

NYC, you were so good to us and we can't wait to go back! Thank you, friends and kind strangers for making this an unforgettable adventure! 

Other photo creds: Meatball Shop    Jacob's Pickle   Vosges photo cred    

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Painting for a Bride

Wedding gifts are the best presents to gift and I absolutely love when I get to be a part of someone's special day via artwork.  Seth contacted me a month or so ago asking if we could work on a piece for his lovely bride as his wedding gift to her and my heart completely melted. A thoughtful groom AND a wedding painting. I knew this was going to be fun! Seth and his now wife found us at our Double Decker booth last year and she wanted a painting; I was so touched that he remembered my work and was putting this together for her. He picked "Lakehouse" and commissioned it in a 24" x 24" as her gift. This weekend they tied the knot and I am happy to present the final piece. A huge congrats to this sweet bride and groom and best wishes on your new life as husband and wife!! 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A week ago today....SHOW TIME!

It is so hard to believe that a week has already gone by since the show. It will go down as one of my favorite experiences of all times, hands down. Before the opening, we had a rally- all of the artists gathered together and introduced themselves and shared what inspired them to do their work. I was amazed at the varied international pool of artists and excited to be included in this exhibition. Hearing a piece of everyone's story and listening to what drives them was energizing and inspiring and a time to grow and learn from each other. 

New friends are always exciting to make and I had the pleasure of connecting with artist Ulrike Fried-Heufel- she is so kind- a person you want to sit and have coffee with for a long time. I love her cubist style and her bold colors. 

These ladies are the power house behind the gallery. They have been so kind and helpful and have been some of the most professional group of people I've ever worked with1! Give it up for Agora Gallery! 

The show video was released today! Click here to catch a 2 min inside peek of opening night!

We arrived at the gallery to find the most gorgeous orchid arrangement waiting for us from some amazing friends from Memphis. I was so overwhelmed at the thoughtfulness- it was one of my most favorite moments of the night to feel so much love from home. It's like they were there too! Note the high-fa-lutin' Ray's Pizza after party shot. There was serious hunger post-show and it was close and we made an entertaining memory out of it!

The best part about the night really was the friends who came by to support and be excited with us! I cannot thank you enough for stopping by, for spreading the word, and for sharing your love and excitement! It's been a whirlwind experience and we are still taking it in! More pictures and memories to come!! 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It's been Mani-c

I had some amazing blog posts planned for this week, but they didn't happen. Getting ready for the trip has proved to be somewhat manic, which called for a manic-cure to cure the manic, or at least make me feel like a lady. A whole week of pretty nails not covered in paint! Hurray!! More to come from NYC! Stay tuned!!