When I was a little girl, my mom and aunt gifted me their grandfather’s painting easel. At the time, I had no idea how amazing it was to have such an incredible heirloom in my possession (I also had no clue what my future held, or what my great grandfather had created). So, like any other kid would, I added a little pizazz to the easel with some crayons and paints. Many years have gone by, and my mom has kept the easel for me all these years… until now. It’s not the best working easel, but the idea that our professional tools have remained so similar throughout the decades fascinates me! I love that both my mom and aunt have used it for their own creative endeavors as well. My aunt, as a painter, and my mom, as a musician. It is now one of the treasures of my studio.

I recently traveled to Italy with my good friend, Valentina Kova, and felt like it was finally time to purchase a travel easel (I’ve been researching them for months). I decided to wait until I arrived and purchase one at a local Florence art shop (I love finding art shops in new cities!). Lucky for me, there was an art shop right next to our first hotel.

I spent a morning there, sifting through all the art supplies I had seen a million times before, but as if they were all brand new since everything was in Italian. I hadn’t been to Florence since my study abroad days in college, and it felt so wonderful to be back. In fact, it was the place I truly discovered my love for fashion and fashion illustration.


I purchased an Italian Mabef sketch box easel and am so happy with it. It traveled through Tuscany with me, where Valentina captured our quiet moments together in dreamy fields of sunflowers, lace flowers, all with a storm brewing in the distance.


White Francis Trench by Valentina Kova.

 One of those moments you will remember for a lifetime, a moment when time stands still. The smell of the earth with fresh rain in the distance, cool summer breezes whispering through the trees, and the stroke of a paintbrush just before a Tuscan sunset.

More on Tuscany soon!


Last year, my aunt sent me a link to subscribe to the Painter’s Keys mailing list. Truthfully, I’m the first person to run when I hear the word subscription. I like the keep my inbox as clean as possible and avoid any and all sorts of ‘subscriptions’. However, I easily made an exception for these after I read the first letter.

Basically, The Painter’s Keys are short biweekly letters to artists that touch on incredible thoughts that any artist or creative can easily relate to. They always seem to touch on topics that have been on my mind for a while, which is always a pleasant surprise.

The letters were started by artist Robert Genn. After his passing, his daughter, Sara Genn, has continued the letters per his request. You can read more about how the letters came to be, and their continuation here. This is one of my favorite letters, and something I often think about.

Let me know if you look forward to them each week as much as I do…



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