Post-Blue Print and Pre-Summer

What a crazy time of year! Spring always flys by because May is one of my busiest months: two of my kids’ birthdays, Mother’s Day, end of the school year hoopla (which gets bigger every year!), soccer, dance recitals, school concerts, a Memorial Day family road trip, and, oh yeah, the trade show season! Yikes! I’m not gonna lie, I’m really looking forward to my lakeside vacation coming up in . . . 12 days (but who’s counting?!).
Blue Print Show 1 in New York was pretty fabulous. It was wonderful to re-connect with my art collective, Pencil Parade, in person! We have so much fun together. We had a great show meeting new contacts and connecting with existing clients. And it’s always wonderful to see other artists and agents who have become like a little family. I sold some art at the show and immediately following the show, which is always nice! (I’ll share when and if I can.) And I hope that more opportunities arise in the months to come. Getting ready for a show is so much work that I do breath a sigh of relief when it’s over.

The Pencil Parade art collective! From L to R: me,  Betsy Siber ,  Brooke Glaser , and  Megan Dunagan

The Pencil Parade art collective! From L to R: me, Betsy Siber, Brooke Glaser, and Megan Dunagan

The weeks following Blue Print have been full of email follow-ups and artwork “delivery” along with some much needed downtime to catch my breath a bit. Now here we are at the end of the school year! Ack! That always means a big change to my schedule and this year will be even more so because we’re finally finishing our basement (where my studio is) so that means I have to pack everything up! I’ll be working from a tiny desk upstairs for the next few months but hopefully I’ll have brand new digs by the end of the summer. I can’t wait! I’ll be sure to post about the process here so stay tuned. In the meantime my Etsy shop will be closed as long as we’re “under construction.”

As much as summer can be frustrating at times, trying to sneak in work time, I've learned to adjust a bit and use the summer to explore new things, paint a lot, and remind myself to enjoy this time with my kids. My oldest will go off to college in a short 3 years! You can follow along with both my sketchbook explorations and my studio updates on Instagram (and probably here too). If you're heading into summer too, enjoy! 

MATS Bootcamp for May: Crustaceans!

I've been back in MATS Bootcamp this month and this time it was all about crustaceans! Our home decor assignment was to create a design suitable for plates with a "Marine Mashup" theme, using crustaceans paired with colorful patterns. Lila gave us some examples of this trend that she's seen in shops and I noticed these examples at Anthropologie and Sur la Table: Anthropologie: Clambake Canape


Anthropologie: Under the Sea Serveware

Sur la Table: Americana Coastal Collection

Of course nautical themes and seafood icons always seem to come back around leading into summer. They make me think of summer picnics, lobster boils on the beach, and butter dripping off my chin. I live right in the middle of the country so I naturally love lobster and crab legs . . . mmmm. . . It must be because I was born in Rhode Island. Crustaceans were surprisingly fun to draw, with all their fun shapes and little legs.


I didn't have a lot of time to dedicate to Bootcamp this month because I've been working a part-time gig for about three weeks this month to make some extra cash. I think it worked to my advantage this time because I had to work fast and that meant I couldn't really spare the time to overthink what I was doing and spend too much time changing things over and over and over again. I actually like to work fast because it jives with my short attention span. I love to sit down and finish (or nearly finish) things in one sitting.


After some pencil sketches and watercolor painting I brought everything into Illustrator and Photoshop to make my mash up. I started working in blues and turquoise but then added some coral/red on the computer because I like that really classic summer color combination, without it getting too "stars & stripes." I added some additional textures and patterns and then mocked them up onto a plate and platter.


I also made a simple napkin print and then worked my designs into a surface pattern print just for fun.


There you have it: my Marine Mashup! June is the last month of Bootcamp and the first month of summer, so bring on the butter!