SKETCHING GOWNS

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My 2013 calendars are now on sale! Last chance to get one as they will no longer be available beginning February 1st.

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The Art of Handwriting

Having been to a lot of museums as of late, it got me thinking about handwriting…

Handwriting_1In most of the exhibits I visited, there were displays of handwritten notes to and from the artist to friends or other well known figures. The letters were more often than not written in a fine black ink… in a calligraphic or cursive style. They were gorgeous documentations of a fleeting art. What will our ancestors have to remember our correspondence with one another? Printed emails? 

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Ever since I received my Parker Pen, I’ve been sketching and writing away in my sketchbook (I love how water reacts to the inks). There’s something so glamorous about an organic handwriting… it creates a certain romance on paper no matter what the words may be.

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A beautiful pen can be inspiring in itself, don’t you think?

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What about you, do you still handwrite letters? Who doesn’t like getting a beautiful piece of mail!?

Happy National Handwriting Day!

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ENCHANTED FOREST

Over the weekend, I took a brief trip to the beautiful Catskill Mountains in upstate New York. It was without a doubt one of the most beautiful drives I’ve been on since I’ve lived in the North East.  The windy roads, fresh air, and unexpected roadside waterfalls were enough to awaken anyone’s mind…

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There’s something about spending time in nature that always reenergizes my creativity. 

On the drive back to Boston, I took a detour to Stockbridge in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts.  I had been wanting to visit the grounds of Norman Rockwell’s studio for some time now, which is in the heart of Stockbridge.  The museum was filled with hundreds of Norman Rockwell paintings that I had poured my eyes over again and again growing up. I’ve always been so attracted to Norman Rockwell’s story and process… as it’s quite unique. It also brings me back to a part of my ancestry that I’m fascinated with- My Great Grandfather, Ernst Troeger, who used to go on fishing trips with Norman.

After visiting the museum, I took a quick drive down to Main Street in Stockbridge, which was famously immortalized by Norman Rockwell. The street was as charming as his painting described… Even Yankee Candle was housed in a picturesque brick shop. I visited the Williams & Son’s Country Store, which was straight off of a postcard. Stepping inside this shop made me feel as if I had gone back in time. It was filled with an eclectic mix of whimsical and quirky items from the past.

Since I arrived home last night, I’ve been stuck in an enchanted state of mind. This painting is sort of a mix of my entire weekend… the beautiful mystery of nature and whimsy from a past era. It also may have to do with the fact that I’m reading The Night Circus, re-watched Finding Neverland, and finding this tin hot air balloon mobile

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Many of you ask how I stay inspired on a day to day basis… I forever feel that getting out and creating new experiences will inspire you no matter what. Turn off your TV, get outside and look.

I’d love to hear what you do to stay inspired! 

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INAUGURAL GOWN

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What did you think of Michelle Obama’s Jason Wu gown? I thought she looked stunning in red! 

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SHADES OF ROSE

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One of my favorite local shops to visit is the Brattle Square Florist in Harvard Square. Flowers are such magnificent creatures… how can you not be inspired by them?

I picked up some roses the other day, and have been working on a few beauty and floral pieces. Watercolor is a gorgeous medium to paint layers and layers of petals…

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When I finished this piece, it seemed much too plain and contrived so I went a bit nuts with glitter… It created the perfect combination of control and chaos.

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What’s your favorite flower? I can never seem decide… 

Original painting available here.

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PEN TO PAPER

As I mentioned last week, this year I’m making a point to spend time with my sketchbook. I picked up a new Moleskine the other day, and have been glued to it ever since! It’s amazing how some simple loose sketches can open up your imagination to a new world of ideas.

Here is a glimpse inside the beginning of my new artistic journal…

The way water brings out a rainbow of colors in my black Parker Pen ink is beautiful…

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sketchbooks

Truth be told, it’s been a while since I’ve sat down and really just sketched. I have piles of old sketchbooks filled to the brim, but somehow that habit was lost just after college. I think I focus so much on final pieces that I lose sight of the freeing powers of letting lose in a sketch book. This year, I’m making a point to fill at least one book…

Do you keep a sketchbook?

The pen in the photo is my new Parker Pen- which is a dream to sketch with!

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WINTER IN BEACON HILL

Another scene from a recent snow in Boston. This was a shot I took of a vintage Chrysler on a small residential street in Beacon Hill.

The owner somehow stumbled upon my painting- the internet is a cool place, huh? Anyway, apparently it was the car Jessica Tandy drove over the ledge in the very first part of Driving Miss Daisy. It’s amazing when you discover things like this after painting something… artwork is much more interesting with a nice story behind it.

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NEW YEAR

2012, it’s been a wonderful year. One full of the best sort of challenges, and many realizations.

It’s the first year I’ve been out on my own as a full time freelance illustrator… and while it is quite the challenge, I’m happy to say it’s been working out great! Throughout this year, I’ve focused on finding my voice, and figuring out what I really want Paperfashion to be. It’s incredible how different I see it being, even from just a few months back. In the past I used to illustrate editorial shots, or images from around the web… but over the last few months I’ve put a stop to that. I want to solely focus on my original work. It may mean I don’t post everyday, but I hope to bring better quality work… and put more imagination into it!

On top of taking on my own business, I’ve fallen in love with where I live. It was never in my plans to move here… my dream was to go to New York City after college. I semi-reluctantly moved here back in the summer of 2008, excited for something new, but knowing I’d find a way to make the short move to NYC within a few months. Three years later, I was still here… but again not convinced I would stay much longer. Then there was 2011, when I took a job in Barcelona. It sounded like the adventure I’d always hoped for, and a chance to get away. As you know, after almost a year of traveling between Spain and Boston, I decided the job wasn’t for me. As soon as I got back, I moved into a new apartment, my current home, in Harvard Square. I’m not sure if it was the relief of finally being settled after a year of nonstop travel, but something clicked. I fell in love with Boston! Over the past year, I’ve been looking at where I live in a new light, and it’s been eye opening. I’m also thrilled that I finally took the time to learn to sail this summer- and I can’t wait to work on sailboat illustrations next year. Boston is such a beautifully historic city… full of inspiration everywhere I look, which as an artist, is priceless!

So with the closing of this year, let us all keep this in mind as we take on 2013…

“‘Someday’ is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.”

I want to thank each of you for following along, commenting, liking, tweeting, emailing, everything! You inspire me, and like I’ve said before, It’s a pleasure to share my imagination with you. Wishing you a very Happy New Year!

P.S. This illustration is my ode to sending more snail mail this year!

Illustration of the U.S. Post Office in December on Charles Street in Boston, MA.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!

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FRESH PAINT

As you may know, I work out of my home in Harvard Square, so I spend quite a lot of time here. That’s why being organized and having a space I’m happy in is super important.

Recently, I worked with Valspar to pick out some fresh new wall colors. Valspar has an incredible program called the Love Your Color Guarantee, which is a steal for anyone who’s even the least bit hesitant about committing to a new wall color. Paint swatches only give you the slightest hint of how the color is actually going to look on your walls. So if that mustard yellow doesn’t look quite like you had imagined, Valspar will give you a new color of your choice to replace it. Cool, right?

When I first moved into my apartment last year, the walls were painted with some pretty intense colors… colors I probably would not have chosen myself. There was a bright yellow, a brown, and a bright baby blue room. As an illustrator, I find it pretty distracting to be in a space with such intense colors. I need something fresh and clean to think straight.

Choosing colors was quite the process. I usually know exactly what I want, but then when it gets down to the tiniest differences in shades, I get indecisive. I ended up going with Moonbeam, and Du Jour… and they turned beautifully! I love a bright neutral base wall color and adding the color with decor.

I also wanted to add the illustration element to my home, so I did a wall in my bedroom with Valspar chalkboard paint. I was a little worried about having such a dark wall color in my bedroom, but I’m ecstatic with how it turned out! I’m working on a concept for my ‘mural’, which I’ll share with you later on. Here’s a little preview of what I’m thinking… (By the way, ditch the chalk and get ChalkInk. It’s SO much more fun.)

The rooms are still far from being finished… but follow me here to see more photos of the process.

You can also see photos of my workspace here.

Post sponsored by Valspar Paint.

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THE GIFT OF CREATIVITY

Each year around the holidays, I can’t help but think back to the day I ripped through brightly colored paper to reveal my first set of watercolors. I’d been given watercolors before, but only the sort you find in a kindergarten classroom. These however, were the real deal.

Little did I know that that day would lead me to an entire career based on this tiny box of colors.

This year, I want to give that gift to someone else. It inspires me {beyond words} when I get emails from you about how my work has inspired you to pick up your paintbrush again, or even start for the first time. That is one of the best things about what I do… because along the road, there are a handful of people who have inspired me too. Those people make all the difference in the world.

This Christmas I’m giving away the same watercolor set I received years and years ago, as well as my favorite watercolor block paper, a tube of vividly bright pink Mijello Mission Gold Watercolor, and one of my 2013 calendars.

To Win:

Leave a comment here telling me what art means to you. I want to know what inspires you. Bonus points if you tweet me a drawing or painting you’ve done (but not necessary to win).

Contest closes December 31st at noon EST. Winner will be announced January 1, 2013.

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PIN IT TO WIN IT/ NOW CLOSED

I’m still pinning my dream holiday with Calypso St. Barth… and there’s still time for you to join me. Follow Calypso and myself, and Pin inspirations for your own holiday getaways tagged with #CalypsoHoliday. Two pinners will be picked (be creative!) to receive a $200 Calypso gift card, as well as one of these original illustrations. Hurry, this contest ends Friday!  Thanks for participating everyone- great pins! The winners have been contacted. Happy Holidays!

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HI

Things have been hectic this month, as every December tends to be! Earlier this month I visited Atlanta with Buick and then made a quick trip to NYC for an event with Stuart Weitzman. Now, I’m just soaking in every last bit of the New England holiday scene before I head back to Atlanta for a quiet holiday break. I am crossing my fingers for one last snow before I head South though…

I’ve been neglecting my blog a bit, but I promise it’s for good reason! There are a lot of changes coming this way soon, and I can’t wait to show you. I also have a lot of changes going on in my apartment at the moment. I’ll share that later this week.

Side Note: If you live in Boston and haven’t stopped by the Brattle Square Florist, you must! It’s one of my favorite shops. Just picked up these roses today.

Have you made any ornaments? I’d love to see.

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