Golden Gowns

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Purchase an original Golden Gown painting here.

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CHEERS, DEARS!

As we celebrate the holidays, many of my close friends and I end up parting ways for the Christmas holiday to travel home to our families in other parts of the world – being that we are not native New Yorkers. However, more often than not, we make it a point to return to New York to celebrate the New Year together and enjoy the last bit of this wonderful time of year.

It’s champagne season (which in fact is all year long) and I plan to spend my New Year’s Eve with close friends cheers’ing 2014 to the stars! Celebrating the wonderful moments in our lives and not yet allowing ourselves to dream into 2015. Cherishing the present.

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This year, I plan to not only spread cheer through the clinking of champagne, but also wearing a sparkling cheers on my wrist… a gift to myself from PANDORA. A reminder of not only the memories and cheers that were made in 2014, but those that have been made over a lifetime. Because in fact, those moments are what make life so wonderful.

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Cheers!

Illustrations created from PANDORA necklace chains and charms. #PANDORAstyle

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Cartier Winter Tale

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Inside the Cartier red box, skaters glide through a magical Winter Tale…

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THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING

It’s hard to imagine life without the art of cinema. Ever since I was a child, I have loved watching films and becoming completely immersed in the magic of the stories they tell. I imagine many people go to the movies to be told a story, but I feel so much more than a one sided story when I watch a new film. A movie can teach me so much about myself, how my life relates to each character, how my art can be inspired, and how I feel about certain perspectives in the world. Watching a movie is a conversation in my mind. Something that can create such magic and curiosity. I go to the movies to dream… and to inspire new dreams.

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Stephen Hawking once said, “Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.”

Curiosity is what leads my art. Never stopping, always wondering. I believe that curiosity is what will inspire my work for the rest of my life. Throughout the years, curiosity and experimentation are the constants that help me continuously improve my work.

I recently went to see a film that I’ve been been dying to see since I first heard it was in the works; The Theory of Everything. A film about the life of the incredible Stephen Hawking and his relationship with his first wife, Jane Wilde Hawking. A story that is incredibly touching in so many ways, told beautifully and magically… much like Hawking’s work.

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Stepping out of the theater and back onto the busy streets of New York City, I felt a quiet optimism. What I found most inspiring in the movie, was a specific scene involving a pen dropping to the floor (you must see to know what I’m referring to!). That scene evoked a million emotions all at once… but was inspiring to me in countless ways. In each and everyone of us there is some sort of weakness, but it’s what we choose to do with our strengths that will keep us dreaming and creating…

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This painting is inspired by an especially romantic scene between Eddie Redmayne, who plays Stephen, and Felicity Jones, who plays Jane. They are falling in love at a party under hundreds of glowing string lights… which appear in my mind as the stars of the universe encapsulating their young romance.

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If there’s one thing you do during the holidays, make sure you go see this film.

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B.Balenciaga

B.Balenciaga is the latest creation from Balenciaga’s creative director, Alexander Wang… and lately it’s my scent of choice. There’s something feminine and strong about the fragrance, and the women it represents. She’s ready to take on the world while feeling as beautiful and radiant as she possibly can!

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Having studied product design in college, I’m fascinated by how much something such as a perfume bottle can say on it’s own. The B.Balenciaga bottle is strong and concise on it’s exterior, but soft and alluring within… which shines through the transparent and icy exterior. It’s details like this that inspire my own creativity…

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PAINTED GIFT WRAP

At last, my favorite time of the year has arrived! Winter coats, hot cocoa, warm fires, decorated streets. It’s such a wonderful season in New York City. Of course with Christmas approaching, I’m searching for the perfect treasures to gift to my friends and family. I put together a bespoke PANDORA Essence and Christmas Collection bracelet for a friend… but I couldn’t find a wrapping paper that I loved. I wanted something special because the wrapping is just as important as the gift itself! So with an artist’s mindset, I went home to my drawing table to create my own gift wrap.

Follow along as I guide you through my process below…

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I like to use white craft paper (brown is nice too), which you can find at most craft stores. I pick a color theme (in this case, wintery mint!), and prep my supplies to get ready to paint. You can also do this with markers, pens, and really just about anything! Use your imagination!


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Stringing personalized charms onto a PANDORA double strand bracelet to complete the gift.


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Next, I like to mark the size of the box on the paper with light pencil marks. That way I know how much area I’ll need to paint (don’t forget to include the depth and sides of the box). Also, this helps me judge how large or small I should paint the pattern so that you’ll be able to see it once the box has been wrapped.


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For this paper, I’m going to paint rows of ladies in mint green holiday gowns. I begin by painting their faces, arms, and torsos – since it’s the only area of skin that will show.


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Next, I paint the gowns. I like to vary the mint color between dark and light to make it less flat.


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Once the gowns are painted, I go back and add little dotted details with a light mint or white paint. Before it has a chance to dry, I sprinkle some matching glitter over it to add some holiday sparkle.


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Once the glitter is on, let your paper dry completely. When it’s dry, funnel the excess glitter into a bowl to clean it off. Tap the back of the paper to ensure you get all of the loose glitter off (there will be less of a mess when you’re wrapping!)

When the paper is dry and the excess glitter has been dusted off, you’re ready to wrap your gift!


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Voilà! Wrap it with a box, and it’s ready to be gifted!


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Post in collaboration with PANDORA.
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The Wreath Exchange

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Hand Painted Ornaments

Check out my guide to creating your own hand painted holiday ornaments!

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Post in collaboration with Ebay.

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GUIDE TO GOLD

Check out my Guide to Gold Paint here.

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See more of my guides:

Guide for the Traveling Artist / Creating an Art Box / Favorite Sketchbooks / Holiday Gift Wrap

Post in collaboration with Ebay.
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TIME CHALLENGE

Sometimes seeing one beautiful color can spark an idea for a dreamy gown. Lately, I’m into shades of mint greens. Soft, airy, light and fresh! Especially when I think about this gownPayPal_1

I was stocking up on my favorite colors at Blick last week and ordered some Ash Green, Mint Green, and Cobalt Green Pale. I love shopping on Blick because I can checkout hassle free with PayPal (which literally took less than a minute!).

I love sketching under timed challenges. Setting a limit of 5 seconds, 30 seconds, 5 minutes, etc. It’s an amazing way to loosen up your pencil… and spark new ideas. 1 minute to #paypalit for supplies, and a few 5 minute sketches.

As soon as the paints arrived, I squeezed them onto my palette and got straight to painting!

5 minute Ladies in shades of winter mint…

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Post sponsored by PayPal.
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CALDREA SECRET GARDEN

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Last week, on a bitterly cold and rainy night, Caldrea invited me to warm up at a Secret Garden Party on the terrace at the Gramercy Park Hotel… and oh, what a wonderfully scented secret it was!

Entering the Garden Party was how I imagined Mary Lennox felt when she discovered her Secret Garden. I was greeted by a glowing red and pink room filled from floor to ceiling with roses, serene models in whimsical gowns with oversized florals blooming from their hair. All of this to the angelic sounds of a harp playing in the corner. But the most wonderful thing? The scents! The room was filled with the unmistakable scent of blossoming rose bushes… Caldrea candles filling the air with scents that made you forget the wind and rain just beyond the windows.

As I walked through the room of roses to the next garden, the scenery suddenly transformed to a fairy-like land full of greenery, glowing lights, fruits blossoming from the trees, and the scents of pear blossoms and agave. And I can’t forget the ceiling made of lavender bundles

It was difficult finding a reason to leave these secret gardens, but lucky for me, I’ve brought the scents to my own home. To relive the scents of summer throughout the winter that has barely begun…

Post in Collaboration with Caldrea.
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TULLE LADIES

I first began experimenting with tulle on my paintings in 2012, and have since had a small stash of tulle circles waiting to be transformed into Scarlet O’Hara-esque gowns…

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A Charming Dancer

The holidays are just around the corner, and I’m always looking for new ways to share my artwork with my closest friends. Over the next few weeks I’ll be creating unique artwork with the charming jewels from PANDORA Universe.

Being an artist, gifting someone something that didn’t involve much creativity can feel a little bit guilty. I pride myself on gifting things personal and unique every holiday season. I thought it would be wonderful to create art with the actual gift, and include a print of the artwork along with the items… adding a wonderful story to the gift.

This piece, featuring many of the charms from the PANDORA Essence Collection and PANDORA Christmas Collection, has been delicately crafted into a fashionable dancer. She’s composed of an eclectic array of charms, rings, and dainty silver chains.

Once she was created, I photographed her to create fine art prints to include with a few boxed charm bracelets as a gift.

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The charms that once composed an elegant dancer will now go off to new homes and add never ending sparkle to the holiday season!

Post in collaboration with PANDORA.
 
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SWAROVSKI SNOWFLAKES

Growing up, my family always decorated our tree with unique heirloom ornaments. Ornaments that have been in our family for generations, or ornaments that were gifts from friends – even some ornaments painted by my Grandmother. Each year, we pull out bins filled with tissue wrapped ornaments, stories and memories of our childhood flooding in with the unwrapping of each piece. The idea of having ornaments filled with a past is something that is near and dear to me.

This year, Swarovski gave me the great honor of designing the card for their annual holiday ornament collection. As I build my own collection of ornaments, this Swarovski crystal snowflake will forever have a special place on my tree.

Take a look at the process behind designing the card below- inspired by winter magic and sparkling snowflakes….

The final card design, featuring a gown made of snowflakes.

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Purchase your own ornament at a Swarovski Boutique near you. All Swarovski Holiday 2014 ornaments include my snowy card design

Link for boutique finder:   http://www.readysetgetcaught.com/locations
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TOMS FOR TARGET

 Painting TOMS for Target totes! The perfect reusable holiday gift wrap that gives back to those in need, beginning November 16th.

Purchase your own and customize it for a truly unique gift!

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