Hello everyone! I hope that you are all off to a wonderful start to 2018! My new year has been quite busy thus far, as I have been preparing for a solo art exhibition of my work. My art studio for the past few weeks has been a mess of frames, mats, and wires while I have been diligently framing paintings for the show! With the exhibition now up and running (and with the chaos of preparing for the event behind me!), I wanted to take a moment to share the details of the show with you all. I am happy to share that a selection of my artwork will be on display and for sale at Picasso’s Coffee House in St. Charles, Missouri throughout the entire month of February (February 1st - 28th). I am very excited about how this show has come together, and I hope that you can stop by to see the exhibition if you are in the area!
An opening reception for this exhibition will also take place at Picasso’s Coffee House on Saturday, February 3rd. The reception will be held between 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., and it will be followed by live music from local musician Warren Wagner. Please feel free to stop by the reception and say hello to yours truly if you can!
Exhibition and reception location:
Picasso’s Coffee House
101 North Main Street
St. Charles, Missouri 63301
As always, thank you for your wonderful support of my artwork! I sincerely appreciate it!
Hello and Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!
Thank you so very, very much to everyone who supports my business and purchases my artwork! Your support means the world to me! Small Business Saturday is this week, so I also wanted to say thank you to everyone who supports small businesses throughout the year- you guys rock, and you make it possible for small business owners to keep doing what they love!
In honor of Small Business Saturday, I will be participating in a pop-up shop
with a handful of wonderful small businesses this Saturday (November 25th) from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. at The Focal Point in Maplewood, MO.
This pop-up shop is a part of historic downtown Maplewood's Small Business Saturday event, and it is sure to be a fun and festive day. I hope to see you there!
As the holiday season is quickly approaching, I also wanted to share that I will be participating in a craft fair on Saturday, December 16th at the Saint Charles Community College in Cottleville, MO. The 5th Annual Handmade Marketplace Craft Show
will take place from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., and it will feature over sixty handmade-only local crafters under one roof. With less than ten days after the show until Christmas Day, this event is a great last-chance shopping opportunity that will have something for everyone on your gift list!
I hope that you can stop by and say hello!
Thank you again for your incredible support of my small business. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful rest of your holiday season!
Above image courtesy of @everytuesday- thank you for sharing it!
Hi everyone! Some of you might know that, in addition to being a watercolor artist, I have also previously worked as an art therapist. A few years ago, I quit my job as an art therapist so that I could focus on expanding my growing watercolor business. I have loved getting to focus full-time on my watercolor business so that it could continue to grow and improve. As much as I love my business, I have also found myself missing my career as an art therapist. As a result, I recently decided to accept a job as an art therapist at a school for students who have autism. With this new role, I will continue to run my watercolor business, I will just be doing so on a slightly smaller scale. I wanted to share the news with you all and say thank you for your wonderful support as I continue to pursue both of my passions! If you have any questions about what this change means for my business, please feel free to contact me. Thanks so much!
Hello and Happy June!
After a lot of unpacking, I am happy to finally be settling into my new art studio (I recently moved from Austin, TX to St. Louis, MO)! So far, I really like my new work space and am finding it to be filled with plenty of creative inspiration. And now that things are finally a bit more organized and settled in my studio, I am excited to share that I am having a studio sale! Now through June 18th, please enjoy 20% off your entire purchase of $20 or more at my official website store and also at my Etsy shop by using the coupon code STUDIOSALE20 during checkout. This offer is valid until Sunday, June 18th at midnight CST. Thank you for supporting my art!
I am also happy to share that two of my paintings have been selected to be a part of the juried exhibit “Fluid: Exploring Watercolor II” at Framations Art Gallery in St. Charles, MO! If you are in the area, please feel free to stop by the opening exhibit reception from 6-8 P.M. on Friday, June 9th at Framations Art Gallery to see my work and the work of 17 other talented artists. Can’t make the reception? Stop by to see the exhibit while it is on display now through July 13th!
Some time ago, when I was first starting out as a professional artist, I remember hearing from an artist that someone had gotten a tattoo of one of her paintings. I remember thinking at the time how impressive that was and wondering if perhaps one day I will have enough success to warrant anyone ever wanting to get a tattoo of one of my own paintings. So you may imagine just how surprised I was when a stranger reached out to me recently to share that he had gotten a tattoo of my robin
painting on his arm. Brian I. shared with me, “I recently got a tattoo…and the design was almost fully inspired by one of your pieces…titled ‘American Robin II.’ I loved the positioning and the watercolor, too, and just wanted to say thanks for the inspiration!” I am so appreciative to Brian for taking the time to share this with me. His message not only completely made my day, but it helped me feel more confident about my artwork and about my career path as an artist. I am incredibly humbled and grateful for all of the support that I receive from so many of you for my work. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I cannot say thank you enough! I still have a long way to go in my journey as an artist, and at times I still feel very much of a novice at what I do, but your wonderful support really makes me feel like I am on the right path and that there is purpose to what I do!
My sincerest gratitude,
I am excited to share that my husband, my sweet pup, and I are moving to St. Louis, Missouri at the end of the month! It is bittersweet to be moving, as we have really come to enjoy living in Austin, Texas. However, this move affords us a wonderful opportunity to be closer to family and friends, and for that we are incredibly grateful. With all of the “moving” parts going on between moving out, moving into a new home, and setting up a new art studio, these next few weeks are going to be quite busy! As a result, any orders placed on my website between March 27th - April 16th will be packaged and shipped on April 17th (or sooner if I can!). Thanks for your wonderful support, and please be sure to stay tuned for a sale once I have settled into my new studio!
P.S.- This might sound “corny,” but I am really looking forward to seeing the Midwestern scenery again, cornfields and all! I really must be a Midwestern gal at heart!
Hello there! I am happy to share that I recently started working on a new series of abstract paintings inspired by magical spaces and places! I am really excited about this project, as it is allowing me to play with beautiful, bright colors and with fun, whimsical brush strokes. My goal with this series is to abstractly depict magical spaces such as fairy tales and folklores in a vibrant and unique way.
Each painting from the series has its own theme that is filled with elements of that theme. Since these are abstract paintings, some of the elements are noticeable while others are a bit more hidden in each work. Below are a few paintings from the series that are now available for sale. You can learn more about each painting by clicking on the images below. I hope that you enjoy these new paintings just as much as I have enjoyed making them!
1. "Fairy Garden"
2. "Gnome Forest"
What kind of enchanted space would you like to see me paint next? Comment below and let me know! Have a magical day my friends!
Happy Holidays! I hope that everyone is having a wonderful holiday season thus far! Things sure have been busy here in my studio. I feel just like an elf running around my studio packaging and mailing out orders! All that I can say from these busy days is THANK YOU so much for buying and supporting my art. It really means the world to me to have your amazing support!
I also believe that it is about time that I spread a little holiday cheer, so I am having a sale! Please use the coupon code “FESTIVE” at checkout to take 30% off your entire purchase of $20 or more at my website store
and Etsy shop
. This offer is valid now through January 1st at midnight CST!
And to share even more good news, I have recently discontinued some of my art prints, and any remaining prints in those designs are now 50% off in my shop (no coupon code needed)! Now is a perfect time to stock up on Christmas gifts, as both of these current offers can be combined to give you some wonderful savings!!
Thank you again for your support of my small business and happy shopping!
P.S. - Below you can find a few of the festive art prints that are currently half off in my shop!
I am happy to share that I have teamed up with some amazing small business owners to bring you a special giveaway of our work! This giveaway is our way of saying thank you for supporting our businesses and for shopping small during this holiday season! One lucky winner will win an 8.5 x 11 inch print of my “Cozy Rabbit” painting plus something wonderful from each of the other 11 participating shops!
To enter this wonderful giveaway, please visit my Instagram account @jenniferahernart
and click on the giveaway photo post
. Then simply follow the instructions on the post!
The giveaway will run until 12/1/16 at 9 PM EST, and the winner will be announced on Instagram on 12/3/16 at 9 PM EST. This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents ages 18+ and is not sponsored, endorsed, or administered by Instagram.
Thanks and good luck!
Hello and Happy Monday! I have a lovely new watercolor painting to share with you all that I have fittingly titled, "Cozy Rabbit." This lovely little rabbit is bundled up and ready for any cool and breezy weather in the forecast! I really enjoyed putting this painting together and hope that you like it!
I am quite the animal lover (in case you did not know that already!), which is why I absolutely love creating paintings of animals. I find creative inspiration from animals and nature, so I really enjoy showcasing the simple beauty and uniqueness of animals in my work. While much of my focus lately has gone towards painting birds, I decided to change things up a bit for this particular painting.
As I was sketching ideas for a new painting, I felt compelled to paint a rabbit with a scarf around its neck and surrounded by a floral leaf motif. Unbeknownst to me at the time, as I was finishing this painting I realized that I must have been creating a bit of a self portrait with this piece. My family always jokes with me that I am a rabbit because, like a rabbit, I am a vegetarian and a grazer when it comes to food. I also was born in the year of the Rabbit in the Chinese zodiac, and my character traits match up quite well with the zodiac description. Since I get cold easily and love being in nature, my desire to add the scarf and the surrounding leaf motif in the painting must have also been autobiographical in nature. It was rather therapeutic working on this painting, and it now seems that this is because I was unknowingly engaging in a form of art as therapy the whole time!
Anyways, I hope that you enjoyed seeing this painting and learning more about the backstory of how it came about! Below are some progress photos of this painting and a photo of the archival print of it now available for sale!
Happy October my wonderful friends!
I am pleased to share that I am offering free domestic shipping all month long, with no minimum purchase required! This special offer can be used both at my website and Etsy shop by using the coupon code OCTFREESHIP during checkout. This offer expires on 10/31 at midnight.
Here are the direct links to my shops:
Thanks as always for your support and happy shopping!
I am happy to share a new addition to my shop: throw pillows featuring my abstract watercolor designs! These throw pillows are meant to bring fun, color, and joy to any space! It is really neat seeing my work translated onto a textile format, and I just love the look and feel to these pillows. They are quite comfortable, too, so they can actually be used for more than simply a decoration if desired!
Each pillow cover is is made from soft and durable spun polyester poplin fabric, and it measures 14 x 14 inches (some additional sizes are also available upon request). The pillow cover is printed on both sides with the same image and also includes a concealed zipper. You can purchase just the throw pillow cover itself or the cover with a removable pillow insert. Please feel free to learn more about these new throw pillows by visiting my shop
I hope that you like these happy throw pillows as much as I do! Please comment below and let me know what you think of this new collection, as I always love and appreciate hearing feedback. Thanks so much for stopping by!
I am happy to share that I have teamed up with artist Brooke O’Connell to bring you a special giveaway of our art! Brooke is a talented equestrian artist, and you can view some of her lovely work on her website
One lucky winner will win both of the art prints featured in the photo above: Brooke’s 7 x 10 inch "Horse and Daisies
" print and my 8.5 x 11 inch "Sleepy Fox
Here is all that you have to do to enter:
1. Follow both Brooke and me on our Instagram accounts here:
2. Tag three friends in this photo
You have until Wednesday, July 27th to enter this contest, and the winner will be announced on Friday, July 29th.
-Giveaway is limited to Canadian and U.S. residents only
-Giveaway runs from July 18-27, 2016
-Winner will be selected at random and will be contacted via Instagram
-Winner’s entry will be verified for eligibility
Best of luck my friends!
I had quite a few requests for it, so I recently painted an American Robin! The American Robin is a beautiful songbird that can be found throughout most of North America. It also is a great addition to my series of state bird paintings, as it is the state bird of Connecticut, Michigan, and Wisconsin!
Although I have yet to see one here in Texas, I used to see this bird all the time when I lived in the Midwest. I would often see the robin fluttering around on the grass looking for worms. As of lately, I have been missing the Midwestern grass that I am used to sinking my bare feet right into- it is incredibly soft and green! Thus, I decided to be a bit nostalgic with this painting by placing the robin in a very green patch of grass that reminded me of my midwestern roots!
I hope that you enjoyed seeing my latest bird painting! Have a wonderful day!
P.S. - Please be sure to check back here soon for information on an upcoming giveaway of my art!
I recently finished a new state bird painting of the California Gull.
This lovely bird can be found all across the Western United States, and it is actually the state bird of Utah! I had not painted a seagull before this, so I really enjoyed working on this popular sea bird. Hopefully there will be more seagull paintings to come in the future!
The original painting
and archival prints
of this bird are now for sale on my website! You can view purchasing details and see more photos of the painting and prints by clicking on the above links. And below I thought that I would share a photo of the archival print, along with a few work in progress pictures.
I hope that you enjoyed seeing my painting of the California Gull! Stay tuned for the next state bird painting to come in my series!
I am happy to share that I will be back at the Renegade Craft Fair in Austin this May! This weekend-long show is a thoughtfully curated collection of unique, handmade goods for shoppers of all ages. I participated in the Renegade Holiday Fair last November and really enjoyed the atmosphere of the fair. Everyone that I met there from shoppers to other vendors truly made it a fun and inspiring event. I am so excited to be a part of this awesome event and hope to see you there!
Here are the fair details:
Renegade Craft Fair
1100 East 5th Street
Austin, TX 78702
May 14th and 15th
11 AM - 6 PM
Attendance is free!
You can find me at booth #73!
For more information about the fair and to see a full list of participating vendors, please visit www.renegadecraft.com
Thanks for your support!
I am back to working on my series of bird paintings and decided to start off with painting the Nene! The Nene is also known as the Hawaiian Goose, and it is the state bird of Hawaii. This bird is only found on the Hawaiian Islands, and it is the world’s rarest goose. Although once threatened, recent conservation efforts happily have helped bring a steady rise back to their population.
It is such a gorgeous bird with an especially striking appearance to its neck. I only hope that I was able to capture this beautiful bird aptly! Both the original painting
and archival prints
of it are available for sale. And below are some work in progress photos of this painting for you to see!
What bird would you like to see me paint next? Leave a comment and let me know!
I recently created some new circle abstracts in happy and lively colors! I had a lot of fun putting these abstracts together, as they really allowed me to paint in the moment and just enjoy the creative process. As a result, I think that the positive energy that I had while making these really shows through in the final paintings themselves. Hopefully you are able to see that energy in these pieces, too!
In other exciting news, I am now back to working on my bird series, so stay tuned for updates on the latest on those paintings! You can follow me on Instagram at @jenniferahernart
for the most current updates on my work!
Have a wonderful day!
We recently welcomed a new dog into our family! He is a beautiful shepherd mix who came from the local animal shelter where I volunteer. After losing our dog, Bailey
, this past summer to cancer, I didn’t think that I would be ready to open my heart up to another dog for a very long time. I missed him tremendously, and I didn’t think another dog could ever come close to replacing him. I still miss Bailey and think about him every day, but I also eventually came to realize that bringing a new dog into our home by no means meant that we were replacing him. No one will ever replace Bailey; he was one-of-a-kind. It was simply time to begin moving forward by opening our hearts up to a new dog. And that’s where Mick came along.
"Think not so much of 'moving on' but of 'moving forward.' And as you move forward, you ALWAYS do so with your loved one by your side, in your heart, within your very breath. They are part of you now and always. You move forward with them and continue to engage in life because of their inspiration."
- Ashley Davis Bush
I think that part of the readiness to adapt again came from volunteering at an animal shelter. Helping other dogs in need has allowed me to continue honoring Bailey’s memory in an impactful way. There are so many deserving dogs out there who just want a chance to share their love and to be loved back. And volunteering with some of those dogs also helped me realize how much more love I still have to give, too.
Although I didn’t think that I was ready to adopt quite yet, I wanted to do more to help out the shelter and decided to foster. My husband and I took Mick home as a foster dog, but we found ourselves immediately falling for him as he brought new joy and excitement into our lives. It was a perfect match in many ways, and we just couldn’t bear the thought of letting him go. I took that as a sign that I was in fact ready for a new and permanent four-legged family member, so we adopted Mick. Our foster dog is now our adopted dog, and we are so very happy to have him as part of our little family!
Do you have an adoption story about your furry companion? If so, I would love to hear it- please feel free to share your story in the comments below!
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Texas! This has been quite a year for me with a lot of changes both in my personal life and with my art business. I especially appreciate all of the support that I have received over this past year as my business moved across the country to my new home in Austin, Texas. Thank you so much to all of you who support my work, you really mean the world to me!
I thought that I would take this time to share my final finished painting from 2015, a beautiful Mountain Bluebird (below this post are also a few photos of my painting process for this bluebird in case you like to see my work-in-progress photos). You can also view details on purchasing your own archival print of the Mountain Bluebird painting here.
Bluebirds have a special meaning for me personally, as they would often make their way into my art journaling and became a symbol for peace and calm in my sketches. So I think that it is fitting that my final formal painting of this year ended up being a bluebird. I had quite a hectic year, but within the chaos there were many special moments of peace, love, and happiness as well. And I think that the chaos helped teach me more about the meaning of unconditional love and how to better find peace in my life. So I am incredibly grateful to share this meaningful painting with you all, and I hope that you enjoy it!
Have a wonderful and peaceful Holiday, and I hope to see you in 2016!
Hello! Things have been pretty busy here in my studio as the holiday season is drawing near. I’ve been working on some fun commissions and thought that I would share a few process pics of a custom dog portrait that I recently finished. Oh how I loved painting her stunning coat and stoic facial expression :)
Also, I still have a few openings left for commissions to be completed by mid-December. You can learn more about the commission process and can contact me here
if interested. I would love to hear about your vision for a unique, one-of-a-kind painting!
Happy Saturday! It’s a pretty rainy day here in Austin, but my brand new phone cases sure have helped brighten things up! I am so excited about them that I might start selling phone cases with some my art designs! Please comment and let me know if you’d like to see that happen, thanks!
I am so happy to share that I have been accepted to participate in Renegade Craft Fair’s Austin Holiday Market on November 28th and 29th! Mark your calendars if you’ll be in the Austin area so that you can come by and say hello!
Here are the fair details:
Renegade Craft Fair
1100 East 5th Street
Austin, TX 78702
November 28th and 29th
11 AM - 6 PM
This fair is just AMAZING, and it is made up of such talented makers! I am so grateful to get to be a part of it! For more details about the fair (or if you can't make the Austin location but would like to attend an event near you), visit renegadecraft.com
. And remember to shop small this holiday season whenever you can to help support small businesses in your community :)
Thanks for your wonderful support!
I recently was commissioned to create a painting of a male cardinal on a dogwood branch. Cardinals are one of my favorite birds, so this commission really was a treat for me! And clearly I am not alone in loving this stunning bird- it’s actually the official state bird for seven different states! Those states are Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia (just in case you were wondering!).
I liked how the original turned out so much that I decided to create archival prints of the painting to sell in my shop! You can click here
to view more details on the prints. And check out the photos that I snapped while painting this very lovely bird below :)
Tim and I just returned from our honeymoon to find that our wedding photos were mailed to us! It was such an incredibly meaningful and emotional day for many reasons, much more meaningful than I ever thought it could be. And going through our photos seemed to bring everything back about that day. So I wanted to take the time to share some of my favorite photos along with some backstory about what made our wedding so very special.
The week leading up to the wedding was in fact the hardest week of my life. My dog, Bailey, passed away just days before we were to say our “I dos.” And what was supposed to be the happiest time in my life quickly became the saddest. I hate to share such a sad experience within such a happy one, but the two are so entwined with each other that it is almost impossible to separate them.
Bailey had been sick with cancer for some time, so the wedding planning almost had become a chore for me at times. When I was supposed to be enjoying dress fittings and decoration planning, my mind wasn’t completely there because my main focus was caring for Bailey. And on top of that, Tim and I were in the middle of planning a cross-country move. So leading up to the wedding, I was worried about a lot of things. And the worst of those worries came true when Bailey passed away. I knew that he was getting weaker in the weeks leading up the wedding, but I also held out hope that he would make it past the wedding. He was my best friend, and I truly couldn’t even picture my wedding day without him there (we even had picked the venue with him in mind). I honestly think that Bailey knew how badly I wanted him there with me, so he tried to hold on as long as he possibly could to be there for me. But he was suffering towards the end, and I knew that I had to let him say goodbye.
Despite trying to prepare myself for Bailey’s death, it still came as a shock of sadness. Needless to say, I was a basket case of emotions the week of our wedding, and I didn’t know if I would even be able to enjoy our wedding day. Tim was incredibly supportive through the whole thing, letting me cry and breakdown as I needed to. We even thought about postponing the wedding, but we decided it would be best to move forward with it.
In the end, I am glad that we had the wedding when we did. We felt such an outpouring of love from our family and friends, and I think that was exactly what I needed when I was aching so much from the loss of Bailey. It was almost surreal how Tim and I could actually feel the positive energy of love flowing from our guests throughout the day. We also had the perfect weather for our outdoor wedding, something that I like to think Bailey had a hand (or paw) in. I still had a few moments of sad tears for missing Bailey (I teared up before walking down the aisle because I had always envisioned Bailey with me there at that moment), but luckily the day was overwhelmingly a joyous one. And reminding myself that Bailey was still with me in spirit also helped me feel better.
Most importantly, it felt unbelievably wonderful to officially marry Tim. It was such a special moment to stand together and say our vows to each other. We wrote our own vows, and when Tim read his vows to me, I actually forgot about everything else for a moment. They were touching and from the heart, and he made me feel so lucky to get to be his forever person.
There were too many happy moments throughout the day to count, so hopefully these pictures help sum everything up. But I really need to thank our family and friends for helping make the day such an extra special occasion. In addition to Tim’s amazing support, I especially have my parents, my brother, and my sister to thank for helping me with a lot of the planning and decor leading up to the day. Also, I need to mention that our wedding officiant and his wife, Michael and Evelyn Cobb, were a great support team for Tim and me in the months leading up to the wedding. The rest of our wedding party rocked, and we are so thankful for all of you. And, of course, all of our guests were wonderful. I also want to give a quick shout out to my hair stylist, Jen Skladanek, our photographer, Jessica Quist, and our venue coordinator, Whitney Sleiter. All these ladies helped make the day essentially stress-free.
Tim and I had such a special wedding day thanks to everyone’s incredible support and love. What could have been a really sad and difficult day became such a heartwarmingly joyous one.
Photos by Jessica Quist Photography
I recently painted some fun abstract compositions to loosen up and to play around with color combinations a bit. I just love getting a chance to explore with colors, shapes, and brush strokes when I'm not working on a more formal or structured painting. It really allows me to relax, have fun, and get the creativity flowing! I decided to put some of these new lovelies up for sale at super low (priced-to-sell) prices! If you would like to learn more about one of these paintings, just click on the photo of the painting below. It'll take you straight to the listing so that you can see more pictures and details of it :)
I hope that you enjoyed seeing these fun compositions as much as I enjoyed making them!
I am hoping to make some more of these color studies soon and would love to know what other colors you would like to see. Feel free to comment with your suggestions below!
I just finished my latest painting, "Happy Hedgehog." I wanted to paint something cute and lighthearted, and this little hedgehog came about as the result. I thought I would share a few photos of my process for creating this cutie below :)
Hope you enjoy!
PS- This original hedgehog painting is for sale! Click on the photo or link above for details on how to purchase it!
Happy Wednesday! I am so excited to share that I have teamed up with an amazing artist and blogger, Kendra Castillo, to bring you a special giveaway of our art! Kendra is a talented artist whose work I have been following for some time now, and you can check out her work for yourself here
One lucky winner will win a prize from each of us- a small coffee table book from Kendra that is filled with her beautiful artwork and an 8.5” x 11” art print of the winner's choice from me (you can view all of my available art prints to choose from here
). This giveaway is our way of saying thank you to all of our wonderful supporters and followers!
You can enter below, and be sure to check out Kendra’s blog, Open Spaces
, to learn more about her work! The giveaway is open now through Saturday, August 15th
. Best of luck!
-Giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only
-Giveaway runs from August 5-15, 2015
-Winner will be selected at random and will be contacted via email (Kendra and I will also announce the winner via social media)
-Winner’s entries will be verified for eligibility
Comments are always welcomed, and I would love to hear what print from my shop you are hoping to win!
PS- Below are a few of my favorite paintings from Kendra’s art portfolio :)
It has been a crazy time for me to say the least (see previous posts)! My husband and I have been busy unpacking and getting settled in to our new home in Austin, TX. So far, Austin seems like a great place to live, and I’m really looking forward to exploring the city and surrounding areas much more in time. As a Midwestern gal, though, I must admit that adjusting to the heat down here is certainly going to take some time!
With everything going on in my personal life lately, it’s been nice to finally start getting back into a grove with my art business. I’ve started painting again, and I just finished a new abstract painting entitled “Heavenly View.”
I like each viewer to see what he or she wants or needs to see in my abstract work, so I don’t like giving too much away about my thought process for creating a piece. However, I thought I’d share just a little bit into the creative process behind this painting.
Without trying to sound morbid, the concept of death intrigues me. I previously worked as an art therapist with older adults with dementia, so I became quite used to dealing with end of life issues on a daily basis with my job. And with the recent death of my beloved dog, I have been thinking about this topic more and more. Consequently, I’ve been reading a few books as of lately on near death experiences and the idea of life after death. This piece represents my thoughts and reactions to what I have been reading, and what the transition of life on Earth to life after death could possibly be like. I really enjoyed painting this abstract, as it pressed me to dig deep. It’s a very soft work of art, and whether or not the viewer sees what I see in the painting, it is meant to encourage peaceful contemplation.
I hope that you enjoy this painting and that you perhaps even come up with your own interpretation of what it represents. That’s why I love creating abstract work- each person sees something different in each piece!
Life has been, well, crazy. In the span of just two weeks my beloved dog passed away, I got married, and my new husband and I moved from Milwaukee, WI to Austin, TX. I think those are all the big life moments that I can handle for a while…
It has been an emotional time for me to say the least, and I have been filling these past few weeks with both happy and sad tears. I’m trying to let myself go ahead and feel the mix of emotions that I need to feel during this time. I still miss my dog, Bailey, immensely. I am actually writing this at 2:00 AM because I am having trouble sleeping without Bailey by my side. I am also happy to be married to the wonderful man that I now get to call my husband (and I’m still getting used to even calling him my husband). I am excited for our new adventure here in Texas, but our new house also feels quite lonely without Bailey and my family nearby. And I’m exhausted from all the packing and unpacking! Talk about a lot of emotions to feel at once!
Someone wise reminded me recently that I am going through three of life’s big stressors all at once, so it is okay to deal with and process everything at my own pace. It’ll take some time to feel a sense of normality again, but for me that starts with painting again.
Making art is my way of keeping a diary- it allows me to express how I am feeling in the moment. And it is through this process that I both find and lose myself at the same time. It has been about a month since I have painting or even sketched anything, and for me that is way too long. As an art therapist, I know the healing powers that art can bring, so I know that making art is in my best interest for my sanity if for nothing else. I started setting up my art studio earlier today so that I can finally sit down to paint again very soon. The studio will be a work in progress for a while, but as long as I can start creating art again I think that it’ll do nicely.
I am heartbroken to share that my Bailey passed away on Monday night. I got to hug and kiss him as he sat on my lap in those final moments, and I have missed him every second since then. I only hope that we will meet again some day, and until then I have to believe that he is with me in spirit. This is one of the last pictures I have of us together, taken just a few weeks ago. It is a blurry picture, but I wanted to share it because I think that it shows the unconditional love that we had for each other.
Thank you all for your love and support during this rough time as I grieve for my best friend and family member.
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” -Anatole France
I’m kind of a basket case of emotions lately. Partly because I’m prepping for my wedding and a big move in just a few short weeks, but mainly because my dog, Bailey, is sick. He’s dying from cancer, and recently he’s been getting weaker and weaker. So when I saw the video, “Denali,” a few nights ago while cuddling with Bailey, I basically lost it. It is definitely worth watching, especially if you are a dog person. I must warn you, though, that if you are anything like me you will cry.
The video is narrated by Denali, who is Ben Moon’s beloved dog. Denali is dying, and this video showcases Denali and Ben’s love for each other. It is a beautiful little film, and it’s crazy how much I can relate to it right now. Much like Ben does with Denali, I take Bailey with me everywhere and I don’t like leaving his side for even a few minutes. Early on in the video, Denali recalls Ben asking him to let him know when he’s ready to go. I’ve had the exact same conversation with Bailey, telling him to let me know when he is ready to go. I don’t think I will ever be ready to say goodbye, but I’m hoping that Bailey will let me know when he’s ready.
Bailey when he was just weeks old.
Bailey is my best friend. He’s been there for me during some of my best days and also some of my worst. And since he’s always been there for me, I am trying to be there for him now. I’ve been spending my days taking him to the park, cuddling with him on the couch, and making him scrambled eggs with cheese (his favorite). And I consider myself very lucky to be able to put my business on hold so that I can do all these things with him.
Bailey and me as youngsters.
I love and appreciate all the time that I’ve had with Bailey- sixteen years we’ve been together. I’m grateful for all the walks we’ve taken together, all the times we’ve played in the snow together, and all those little moments where he has just made me so happy. And until it’s time to say goodbye, I’m glad that we still get to have a few more of those moments together. I know that he’ll always be with me, even after he’s gone. But, wow, it‘s tough having to imagine life without seeing his happy, wagging tail or petting his soft, silky fur anymore…
Most of you know that I am getting married to my amazing fiancé later this month! With that comes a lot of change, but one thing that I will not be changing is my name. Because I have already had a lot of questions and even some pushback surrounding this decision, I wanted to take a moment to briefly explain why I am keeping my maiden name when I get married.
I first want to start off by saying that this is an individual choice I am making. I am not trying to convince anyone that this is what all women should do when they get married. I am not trying to say that a woman who takes her husband’s last name is not for gender equality. Both my mother and grandmothers took their husbands names when they got married, and I do not see them as weaker women because of that decision. After a lot of thought and consideration, keeping my birth name makes the most sense to me. And here are a few of the reasons why:
- My name is my identity. I like my name. I have built a “name” and a career for myself, and my name is even directly attached to my business. Given all of that, it seems silly to me to alter that identity now that I am getting married.
- Knowing what I know about the history of the women’s rights movement, I personally feel proud to even have the right to maintain my birth name. Many women have fought throughout history for the right to maintain their last name, just as women have fought for the right to vote, the right to own land, etc. We are still a long ways away from true gender equality, but, personally, I feel that keeping my birth name after getting married is a step in the right direction, made possible only by women who championed for that right.
- I am not planning ahead in case of divorce. I love my fiancé dearly, and I hope that we will be spending our entire lives together. Me not changing my name is not an indication that I have any reservations about our union. I am not demanding that my soon to be husband change his name, and I appreciate and highly respect the fact that he is not demanding that of me either.
So that is basically why I feel it is important for me to keep my birth name even after getting married. I know that not everyone will agree with this reasoning, but I do hope that you can respect this decision that I have made. Thanks for reading, and I appreciate you for hearing me out!
PS- For a sneak peak of some of my wedding decor for the big day, follow along on my Instagram account here :)
Hi Everyone! With both a wedding and a move on the horizon, now is the perfect time for a BIG SALE! I need to get rid of major inventory before the move, so from now until Sunday, June 14th
everything on my website
and Etsy shop
will be 25% off! Just use the code MOVE25 when you checkout on either site. Snatch up something now, as I won’t be having another sale like this for a while!
I am happy to share that I my soon to be husband and I are moving (right after our marriage in June) to Austin, Texas! It will be quite a move, especially since most of our family and friends are located in the Midwest. And I’m also worried about how our dog, Bailey, will handle the move in his condition (see above post). But, overall, we are really excited for this new adventure! I have heard amazing things about Austin, and I am looking forward to exploring all that the area has to offer. And I think it’ll be a wonderful, new place for growing my art business. Plus, I have always been more of a warm weather girl, so I am actually looking forward to the hot summers and mild winters.
Are you living in the Austin area or have you been there before? I’d love to hear your words of advice on living in Austin or on exploring that region!
In honor of the move, I’m also creating this Longhorns-inspired abstract. I hope that it does the burnt-orange nation justice : )
Life is chaotic. And there has been quite a mix of good and bad chaos in my life lately. I can definitely say that this point of my life is full of transition, and I am in the middle of processing it all. I’d like to share with you all just what kind of chaos has been occurring in my life, and I think the best way to share that with you is through art. I’ve been keeping a drawing journal to jot my emotions down, which has been helping me process things in my own way. So I thought that I would share a few of my drawing journal entries as of lately while also sharing a bit about my life right now.
Some of you may know that I am getting married in June to the most amazing person. As I am sure many of you can relate, planning a wedding is certainly a mix of both good and bad stress. And on top of that, we will be moving cross-country right after our wedding (more on that to come)! And even though I am beyond excited to marry my amazing boyfriend of almost 10 years, I have been struggling with some sadness during this time as well. You see, time is a funny thing, how it works both for us and against us. So while I have been looking forward to getting married for some time now, there is something going on in my life that also makes me wish time could move slower or even just stop for a bit…
My dog, Bailey, is sick. He has cancer. Cancer that is not going away. We found out in January, so it’s been a tough time for me ever since we got the news. He’s been in my life since he was a newborn puppy 16 years ago, and it is pretty much impossible for me to think about life without him. I know that I have been lucky to have him in my life for this long, but that doesn’t make it any easier. He is family to me, my best friend. He has been by painting buddy for years. He is a fighter, and I am so proud of him for that. But I know things are getting harder for him. And seeing him decline as the days and weeks pass is excruciating. All I can do is be there for him and try to lessen his pain. I’m not ready to say goodbye, but I know that day is coming soon. So right now, my art business has taken a bit of a back seat while I care for him and try to spend time with my Bailey while he is still around.
I don’t think I’m ready to share all of my emotions surrounding this period of transition for me, especially because I am still processing everything. But I wanted to at least share with you some of what I am going through right now, especially because it has been influencing me as an artist. I read during my training as a counselor that chaos plays a critical role in creativity, growth, and change. And now that I am truly in the middle of the chaos, I can better understand what that all means.
“In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.” – Carl Jung