I'm Officially a Wildflower Groupie

If you happened to be in Texas from the months of April to June, you might have witnessed the most incredible wildflower season of my twenty five year old memory. Not only was this wildflower season incredible in its volume of wildflowers, but the longevity of the blooms. Before we left for our trip to Italy, I was expecting to return to fields bereft of these colorful blooms. Much to my surprise, though, the wildflowers were still going strong when we got home.

During our trip, we were making an evening drive from Florence to our lodging in Buonconvento, about a two hour ride. We were sleepy with bellies full of the most delicious pasta (and maybe a little wine). As we neared our destination, I started to see flashes of red in the verdant fields we were passing. Soon, the flashes of red turned into patches of red, and the patches into fields. I perked right up. I asked from the back seat, “Are those...poppies out there?!” To this Texas girl accustomed to bluebonnets and Indian blankets, poppies were the flowers of an instagrammable floral arrangement, but now here they were in infinite abundance.


I confirmed with our driver that these were indeed poppies, and along with his confirmation, a promise to take us to a whole field filled with them the next day. Let me tell you, these poppies give Texas bluebonnets a run for their money. I couldn’t help but include several paintings of this very field in my Italian Landscape collection. The vibrant poppy red sings contrasts with the bright blue sky and the green of the lush fields that house them.

What an incredible world we live in! A world where no matter what side of the planet you are on, wildflowers of all kinds parade over open fields, announcing the arrival of Spring. The only appropriate responses are those of gratitude and wonder. Pure nature always leaves me awe-struck, and I find that it’s my responsibility to honor these beautiful places with my artwork.


Art For Your Walls

Something that I consider a perk of my job is that I often use my own walls at home to store my art. Rather than have it sit in a stack of paintings, I get to take my paintings for a test run, so to speak, on my walls until they find their permanent home.

With the new house & its renovation coming along, Austin and I have been dreaming about what we want the finished product to look like. We have covered everything from paint colors, chandeliers, tile, and everything in between. These decisions are certainly the “fun” part of the project (at least a lot more fun than tearing out sheetrock from our walls) and it’s this vision that propels us forward when our arms feel like jello and we want to just go take a nap.

One of the big things that we both want in the house is for one of my paintings to be a permanent fixture in our home. So, basically, I am commissioning myself with a painting. When I got to thinking about what that would look like, I started to feel a little panicky and I felt the weight of what I was committing to. Commissioning a piece for my home made me realize the serious business that is a commissioned painting. I’ve certainly done commissions for clients in the past, but I never understood the gravity of the task until I was hiring myself out for my own home.

I firmly believe that choosing art for your home is a deeply personal decision. I believe that art is the soul of a home, and an integral part of communicating your voice & personality through your home’s design. That’s why I never like giving art as a gift to someone unless I am 100% positive that they’ve previously said they wanted it or I know for a fact that it will jive with their home decor. I would never want to impose a piece of art on someone who doesn’t connect with it.

As I paint, I’ve been asking myself the question lately, “Would I hang this in my home?” as a barometer of what I am communicating with each particular painting. I want a painting to be a window of nature that brings peacefulness and color to a home. I want it to be something that receives more than a passing glance, it should draw you in and transport you to a more beautiful place, even just for a moment.

That is where the beauty of commissions shines! A commission is made to be exactly what you need. It can be a custom size, style, color scheme, and even be based off of one of your own landscape photos to make this piece of work as personal and as specific as possible. It is an opportunity to create a lasting impact in your home, and an honor for me to facilitate.

As I consider what I want for my own home, I’ve adjusted my commission process to be as personal and fulfilling as I want my own commissioned painting to be. Art is an investment, but a worthy one.

Have you ever considered an original painting for your home? I have several available to browse through, or would love to create the perfect custom commissioned piece for you!

All About Brushes

Today I’d like to introduce you to the real hero of my studio - my paintbrushes! I’d have to guess that most artists couldn’t do without them. Yes, we have all heard of artists dumping, squeezing, and scraping paint on the surface of the canvas, but I’d guess that most of the artists out there rely on their trusty paintbrushes to create their artwork.

I selected a few of my favorite paintbrushes to cover in my Instagram stories, but I thought it would be helpful to layout all the info here too. There is such a variety of paintbrushes, whether its in shape, in what type of bristles or their specific function. For example, the different shapes of brushes include, Flat, Bright, Filbert, Round, and Fan. Each of these could be maid of hog hair, synthetic fibers, sable (a type of weasel, lol), or ox hair. The different purposes include, but are not limited to detailed work, color washes, hard edges or blending. These lists are by no means exhaustive, and are just the beginning of the breadth of paintbrushes available for artists.

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Authenticity & Kacey Musgraves

Last weekend, I saw Kacey Muscgraves perform at the Houston Rodeo.

Let me tell you how much I love me some Kacey. She was my most-listened-to artist that I according to my end of the year summary on Spotify; I spent over 32 hours of last year listening to her music, particularly her newest album, “Golden Hour.” Last summer I launched a collection of paintings, that I named “The Color of My Sky” after a line of one of her songs, the namesake of her album:

“...You’re my golden hour,
The color of my sky
You set my world on fire,
And i know, i know everything's gonna be alright…”

Needless to say, I’m a fan.

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Life Lessons (We Bought a House!)

Slowly but surely, I’m learning what the true meaning of “adulthood” is. Looking back, there are so many times when someone older than me dropped some wisdom, or told me a truth that I brushed off, thinking, “No, it’ll be different with me/us. We will do it differently,” just to turn around and nod my head saying, “yup, you were right.” Whether it’s about marriage, sticky situations, or life changes, some things are just always true. One of the lessons I’m beginning to learn is two-fold.

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My Dream Studio

As the end of the year is approaching, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my goals for next year and dreaming up all of the ways I can grow and develop in the coming year. A long term goal that is always on my mind is building my own studio.

While its true that art-making can happen anywhere at any time, there’s something dreamy when I think about having the perfect studio. It would be bright white, with tall ceilings and lots of wall space. There would be a corner with a comfy chair that I could sit in as I take a step back from the canvas, and I’d love to have a chair right next to it so that I could welcome guests and clients.

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Art That's On My Christmas List

If the Christmas season wasn’t already festive enough, I get even more excited to shop for my loved ones. Gift-giving is one of my love languages, and there is nothing more satisfying than discovering a gift that the recipient will a) love, and b) actually use in their day to day life. When I select gifts, I want them to be a combination of thoughtful, creative, unique, and somewhat unexpected. I take gift giving as a personal challenge to consider the recipient, think about what I’ve head him/her say or do in the past year, and assign a gift that perfectly suits them. Maybe for you this year it might be an ornament or vellum landscape!

While I spend the bulk of time online searching for gifts for other people, I can’t help but slowly build a list for myself. I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t had my eye on a couple items over the year, and finally get the chance to pull them from my bookmark archives. Every year, I always end up with several items from my favorite artists on that list, and this year is no exception. My favorite creative minds have outdone themselves this year. I’ve picked my top favorites that are on my list that just might end up on yours too ;)

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