Beyond the Studio: In the Kitchen

Today I’m sharing the first of a series of posts called “Beyond the Studio.” The interests that I have outside of my art speak into what happens when I’m in front of a canvas. I want to dive deeper into the things that happen outside of my studio, that indirectly affect what happens when I pick up a paint brush. Whether creative or mundane, I’ve learned that every aspect of my life impacts my artwork - so today I’m sharing these other facets of my life with you!

Some of my earliest memories are in the kitchen. I specifically remember making cutout sugar cookies with my mom, and being so distraught over throwing away the scraps of dough, that I started sneaking little bites out of the trashcan (don’t worry, it was right on top!!). I’m not sure why that memory has stuck with me because its kind of weird and a bit gross, but maybe it’s that I had a passion for creating something out of nothing, and I hated to see it go to waste. I grew up eating wonderful homemade food, and it didn’t take long until my sister and I were joining my mom in the kitchen, helping her prepare whatever delicious recipe she was working on.

These days, I have grown to love cooking savory food primarily, with some baking thrown in there. I love cooking more than baking because of its forgiving nature. Baking is more of a precise art, and while I’ve had a lot of success there, I’ve had even more success cooking breakfast/lunch/dinner. It is less exact, and is open to interpretation. I get to use my creativity in the seasonings and spices, and love to riff off of a recipe that I trust. I usually cook dinner for Austin and I, and I’ve enjoyed planning ahead with a mix of new recipes and old favorites. There’s something calming about coming home after work and turning my brain off from accomplishing anything but my next meal. Cooking is a relatively quick creative exercise that produces immediately consumable results. When many other unfinished projects or unanswered questions linger, cooking allows me to one extra problem by the end of the day.

My family’s recipes are sealed tight, but I’ve slowly built a collection of recipes that are a mix of old family recipes, trusted favorites, and new resources. The cookbooks that I most often turn to are any of Ina Garten’s books or Chrissy Tiegen’s. I have yet to purchase Chrissy’s new book, so stay tuned on that… There are also several food blogs that I’ve come to trust because each and every recipe is outstanding. My top favorites are Half Baked Harvest and Broma Bakery. Not only do their recipes turn out great, these girls are fun to follow on social media, and inspire me to experiment with my paintings similar to how they push the boundaries of their recipes, their styling and their photography. I made these pork chops last week with some leftover pears from the farm and Austin was literally licking his plate. So good.

I think the reason that I love being in the kitchen so much is because of its immediate results. It allows me to serve others and myself, and creates a reason to gather, whether it is Austin and I on a weeknight, sitting on our kitchen barstools, or entertaining our closest friends and family to celebrate a special occasion. I can bring the same service-oriented spirit into my studio. I intend for my paintings to serve as a reminder of the natural beauty in the world, and to create a moment of calm in an otherwise overly stimulated world. While the results are less immediate than a home cooked meal, their lasting impact is equally as profound.

My Top 3 Health-Conscious Practices in the Studio

There are a lot of ways that I try to generally take care of myself and my surrounding environment. I exercise, I generally eat well, I recycle, and I try to maintain healthy boundaries for myself, all adding up to an intentionally healthy lifestyle. The one area that seems to be the exception to my self-imposed rule is my art practice. I’m completely aware that the fumes of the mineral spirits and the accidental paint blotches that get on my skin aren’t the best for my long-term health. In the past year or so, I’ve been actively researching and pursuing ways to clean up my studio so that my career minimally affects my long-term health. Also, looking into my near future, I want to maintain my art practice while pregnant and growing a family. This is deffffinitely not an immediate need, but something I feel I need to go ahead and educate myself on.

Read More

How To Hang a Piece of Artwork

Congratulations! You just purchased a piece of art. You are officially an art collector! Did you just purchase an original painting? Or a print? I know that my next art purchase will be a piece by one of my artist crushes, Meredith Mejerle. No matter the piece, and no matter how small or how large your art collection, how you display the artwork in your home makes all the difference. There are a few key points to ensure that you maximize the impact of each piece of artwork, so read along and learn my best tips!

Read More

My Newest Obsession

I am not the type of person who loves to go shopping. If I do, I have a list, and I get in and out as quickly and as efficiently as possible. I probably have my mom to thank for that - in our book, efficiency is key. Whether it’s for clothes, shoes, makeup, what have you, shopping in general is just not something that I particularly love. But take me to an art store…and hope that you can get me to leave. Most of my art shopping experiences happen online, and even then, I could spend hours deciding which new paints to try, which size canvas to try out, or if I really do need that new set of watercolors (Hint: I totally do.)

Read More

PRINTS & GOODS Now Available!

I am so excited to share something that I’ve always been wanting to do with my art - prints & paper goods!! One of my very first art purchases was a Teil Duncan Fine Art print. She is an artist I look up to in so many ways, and when I graduated from college, I wanted to treat myself to a piece of her art to mark the occasion. The only product of hers that was in my budget was a print. A fine art print is a high-quality reproduction of a piece of original art. I was so proud to feel confident in purchasing my own piece of art, and that print still hangs in my home to this day!

Read More

What's On My Mind Right Now

Remember when I talked about my favorite places to think? One of those places is in the car. When I turn the car on, and put it in drive, the car quickly transforms into a think tank. The trouble is, I try my best to stay off of my phone in the car, so I had to come up with a way to document these thoughts before they left my brain. Enter Voice Memos. I can quickly pull up the app on my phone, and hit record. I can capture my thoughts in a steam-of-consciousness fashion, and document what exactly it is that I’m thinking through in a raw, unedited way. When I go back and listen to them, I can shape these scattered thoughts into a real idea with a direction.

Read More

A Creative Exercise

Every now and then, I like to zoom out. What are the things I’ve been noticing around me? What have I been taking pictures of? A quick scroll through my camera roll or my bookmarked Instagram posts helps me see the big picture. Often, there’s a color or color palette that emerges from these saved images. The colors, textures, and themes that I glean from this collection of photos helps me think about which direction I might want to go next in my studio.

Read More

Meet My Painting: "Blue Daze"

Is there anything more invigorating, more life-giving, and anything more promising than a blue sky? There is a crispness, a life-force, and a promise with a nearly-cloudless day. There is nothing hindering the sun from shining, so why should anyone feel hindered from accomplishing something great? This feeling of assurance that comes from a bright blue sky is the reason and the purpose behind my next painting in the ‘Meet My Painting’ Series: Blue Daze.

Read More

The Difference Between Sunrise & Sunset

If you looked at one of my paintings, could you tell what time of day I painted?

Every painting that I work on is based on an actual photo. When I am out at the Farm, I snap photos like a madwoman, catching every cool cloud, every beautiful sunset, and if I can get myself out of bed early enough, an epic sunrise. Over time, I’ve noticed some clear differences in the mood, colors and feel of a sunrise versus a sunset. I try my best to capture the feeling of each time of the day with my color palette, so that I can communicate on the canvas that very same feeling that I felt when I took the photo out at The Farm.

Read More