Cityscape Show IX

This June I’ll have four pieces displayed at George Billis Gallery in Culver City - opening June 29th. To say I’m excited is putting it lightly. GBG is in the Culver City Arts District - where I used to work (and in another life, blog for). Whenever the Cityscape show rolled around I stopped by to drool over the artwork, grab a post card and add it to my collection of artist postcards I found inspirational / aspirational. It blows my mind that my newest piece (see below!) will featured on this years printed cards. Like I said, beyond excited.

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Bouquet + Boutonniere Commission

One of the most interesting / challenging / fun things about taking commissions is when the client has an idea for a piece that literally never crossed my mind. This past month a couple from Georgia contacted me to do a custom bridal bouquet painting, but wanted it as a set with the boutonniere as well. I’ve never even considered painting a boutonniere, let alone doing a sort of ‘his & hers’ set from a wedding. It was such a charming idea, with the added bonus of it being for their anniversary AND that it was decorating their newly purchased home. You cant get any sweeter than that.

The biggest challenge was how to balance out the complexity of the bouquet with the simplicity of the boutonniere. The solution? Painting the boutonniere on a fabric (dark blue linen) that mimicked the color & texture of the groom’s suit from their big day. That, and I adding much more detail and subtlety to the boutonniere, drawing the eye in, even though it was a simple composition. In contrast, bouquet was kept loose and gestural, letting the broad paint strokes do the talking instead of a tightened up interpretation. The result? They loved it! Incorporating the base magenta into both paintings helped tie it together and now it gets to help make a house a home out in Georgia.

Here are some of the (gorgeous) reference photos from their wedding, along with the finished pieces!

Interested in your own bridal bouquet (or any bouquet) painting? I made this handy form you can fill out for a custom quote OR you can shoot me a note at



Color vision @ huntington beach art center

This Saturday, I'll be showing two of the LARGEST pieces I've created to date at the Huntington Beach Art Center as a part of a group show, all focused on color. I am beyond excited to show with the group of artists that are also taking part in this. Stop by and say hello!!

COLOR VISION at the Huntington Beach Art Center

Opening Reception 5/5/18, 6:30 - 9:00pm

538 Main St, Huntington Beach, CA 92648

2013 Recap - Painting David

Note: This will probably be the last of my recap posts. I’ve moved on from the whirlwind that was 2013 and am excited to start building this next year into something worth writing about.

Some of you know I used to do a lot of commissions. Like, for a good year I painted photos of people’s homes//spaces from all over the country. It was always an amazing experience to be trusted with documenting a time and place that was meaningful to the commissioner even though we’d never met and they had little to go on in trusting me. This past year I received a commission that took that trust to the next level. 

One of my coworkers’ cousin had been struggling with heroin and tragically lost the battle a month shy of his 29th birthday. My coworker wanted to gift something to the family - with whom he was incredibly close - and asked if I’d consider doing a portrait. Because my style tended to be colorful and celebratory, he thought it’d be a good fit - celebrating a life even though it was cut short. 

My knee jerk reaction was to say no. 

  1. I’ve not done portraits in years 
  2. I’d be horrified if I wasn’t able to represent his likeness in a way that felt honoring 
  3. I had no idea how to start a project like this

I’m still blown away that my he put his faith in me to give it a shot. I only agreed if I could do a drawing first and have him approve the concept before I’d accept the commission. 

Even today, looking back at the drawing and painting that resulted, I’m still at a loss for how it came together, (I mean, I prayed a lot through the process & I can only assume the universe was on my side for this one). According to my coworker it was incredibly well received and the family ended up displaying it for the service. 

I have a hard time coming up with a take-away from this experience. Like, what the lesson was or what I should remember for the next time I’m commissioned to do something scary and outside of my comfort level. Ultimately, I am left with an overwhelming sense of gratitude that I was trusted to capture a really beautiful life for the family and friends to remember. That'll be a good enough take-away for now.

2013 Recap - The Diebenkorn Roadtrip

As mentioned in an earlier post, I’m recapping some highlights of 2013 and trying my hardest to keep it art related and not over-share with the internet (it’s not my fault that art & relationships are often hand-in hand, is it?).

Last September I heard about this giant Diebenkorn retrospective at the De Young Museum highlighting his Berkeley years (1953 - 1966...aka, the best years for this guy). As a N.California native & Diebenkorn fan-girl, I made a trip of it. I packed my field easel, grabbed a friend & hit the road. The plan was to stop at two Diebenkorn-eque locations along 1-5 and paint from the side of the road.

This worked out shockingly well and I was able to spend a few hours near Pyramid Lake making this gem (probably not finished, so don’t judge too much).

Nearing San Francisco I stopped off to try capturing the aqueduct...which didn’t work out so well as it was 1) nearing sunset and the light changed every few minutes and 2) it was windy as all-get-out and I had to go quick. The results were...less than impressive.

Fortunately for painting on location, it rarely matters (to me) what the results are in the moment. Being able to spend 40 minutes on the side of the road, watching and responding to changing light & color, like, that is huge. And (not to get too meta) I think that is what art is supposed to do anyway - if not for a viewer, at least for the artist. It’s a practice in being aware of the world around you, taking it in and responding to it in a potentially beautiful way. I think that is why I keep doing these side-of-the-road pieces, either from scenes I see on my commute or by literally stopping the car on the side of the road and getting out the paint and brushes.

To wrap up this post - I drove, I painted, I saw Diebenkorn’s work at the De Young and pretty much had the best weekend ever. 

They have really big show signs at the De Young.

They have really big show signs at the De Young.

2013 Recap - BHAS

October - Beverly Hill Art Show

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I heard about the BHAS a few years back as an interesting outdoor exhibit with a lot of good work and unlike Unique - a lot of paintings. I’d never attended, but after the high of being accepted to Unique, I figured I’d keep up the momentum and apply. 

For anyone (hint: other artists I went to school with) who think their work isn’t good enough to apply to something like this - it is competely  not the case. I uploaded a few images, wrote a quick artists statement, sketched out a simple booth design and viola! I got my second acceptance email. Learning from the mistake of my last show, I didn’t freak out about my work or my self-worth as much. I’d take the experience in with open arms, and whatever the show was going to be, I’d be proud of it. 

(I may or may not have been reading a lot of inspirational memoirs and getting over a break-up at the time, so this sort of Oprah-esque language was well infused into my life by this point. Good times) 

Favorite moment: when asked about my background by the man showing one booth over, I explain I live and paint in a studio in Manhattan Beach. That no, it isn’t my full time gig, that I work in advertising - but I’ve managed to keep painting on the side and yada yada yada, I can't really complain.

He pauses and asks rhetorically, ‘You live and paint by the beach. So, you are pretty much living the life?’ 

I pause and realize he’s probably right.

2013 Recap - Unique LA

2014 is well underway, so its about time I do a proper 2013 recap. Last year was out-of-control productive, but went through in such a blur that I’ve not really stopped to think about it all. Here is a recap of the shows I was in with a few pithy insights - 

July - Unique LA Summer Show, Santa Monica Barker Hanger

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I was a vendor at this crazy awesome show in Santa Monica. It was the first time I’d applied to be in anything like this and holy smokes getting an acceptance email was one of the most empowering moments. I was told I’d receive a notification of my acceptance on June 3rd and the day progressed like so:

  • 6am - 11pm check email every 3 minutes, try not to look like a nervous wreck in the office
  • 11pm - convince myself that I am still an OK artist and person even though I didn’t make it
  • 11:45pm - get this email. scream. scare the living daylights out of my boyfriend.
  • 11:45pm - 12am - cry. thank Jesus a lot. 
  • 12am June 4th - 8am July 13th - Freak out that I don’t have enough work. that my work isn’t good enough. that I am not good enough.

Insight about the process - I am shocked at how quickly the initial joy of being accepted into a show turned into absolute terror that I wasn’t going to make it. And the crappiest part? Terror isn't particularly motivating. It stagnates creativity and production. No bueno.

Insight about the show - I was the only painter there and my price points were a little high for the crowd, but it was still crazy awesome and I met a whole slew of people that I am so honored to work alongside, selling things that we cared deeply about & were excited to share with the world. Totally worth every moment of freaking out.

Lesson learned - remember that everyone else is just as nervous about stuff like this and holy smokes having a support system of friends to tell you you’re going to be OK makes a world of difference.

Stay tuned...

This page will be chocked full of fabulous thoughts and paintings. just you wait.