Sunday, August 20, 2017

Wedding: Part 1 - Invitations

So we did it! Aaron and I finally got married! Hooray! Honestly this has been a long time coming since we've been together for 17 years. We decided it was finally time to get hitched. But getting married is a ton of work! We knew it, which is one of the reasons why we put it off for so long. After we chose a date and booked our venue it was time to do all the fun stuff. For me, that meant dreaming of what artwork I wanted to make for our wedding day and all of the collateral that leads up to it, like invites.

So let's break it up, shall we? Today I'll share the invites and the other artsy stuff will be in separate blog posts. My invites were the heart of my heart and I am so, so, so excited to share them.

In October I started to work on my Christmas cards for 2016. In the back of my mind, I knew that I wanted to design our wedding invites, but the Christmas cards needed to get done first. I also decided, kind of last minute, that I would send out Save the Dates with the Christmas cards to any guests who were invited to the wedding. While I'm glad that I did this as people were super excited to see we had finally picked a date, I also wished that I had made that decision earlier so I had more time to work on the Save the Dates and have them really be part of the eventual wedding invite suite.

Once the Christmas cards were out, I immediately started working on our invitations. I can't tell you how much I wanted to design these invites myself. I spent hours pouring over inspiration, painting pieces, testing colours ... I became my own worst enemy. I had too many directions that I wanted to go in and the pressure to "match" the Save the Dates, which I didn't really love, became somewhat of a beast.

Eventually, Aaron and I had a studio day where we just worked on whatever and I did some paintings of feathers I had thrown on my desk. Right then, I knew I had found it.

After that, things came together pretty quick. I had my text written out already and I knew what cards I wanted to include. The Details card led to a website with all of our information on it, like hotels and directions. Each card was double-sided and they were sized in a way that they would stack and border one another.

My printer did an amazing job with the final product, as I was kind of specific about what I wanted. I was looking for a thick stock that was matte, felt like watercolour paper and would look as though I hand painted all of them. I was so in love with the way my paintings looked on the final invite that I based our wedding colours off of the print version and not my paintings. The print is a lovely violet colour whereas my originals are much more blue. The invite colours carried through to the florals (my gorgeous bouquet!) and went really well with the colours of my dress and Aaron's suit.

I hand lettered each of the envelopes to our guests. I also designed a wrap-around label with the same watercolour motif. A lot of the elements in the invites ended up being used for other peices for the day-of decorations as well.

My invites are so special to me. Designing our invitations was one of the things that I was most excited about when we talked about getting married. All of the other planning details relied on other people: the venue, the florals, the music. But the invites were all me and I could really pour my heart into them. Combining my love of watercolour with my fairly new obsession of handlettering into a finished product was so cool. And, you know, Aaron liked them too. Haha.

Next week, decorations! Thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Good Vibes Only

So, it's been a while, right? My last post was in February, because it's really the last time I painted something for someone else. I decided to give myself some time away from the blog, for a few reasons. One, I have been focused on planning our wedding, which is coming up soon! Only two weeks to go! And two, I didn't want to force myself to produce work for the blog just to have something to post and write a bunch of boring copy no one wants to read. I do have lots of work to share concerning the wedding, which I will do in August!

For now though I want to share a painting I did for my friend Krystal from Snowberry Botanicals. Krystal and I are family and she has a beautiful little shop in Erin where she designs floral works of art for weddings and events. When Aaron and I (finally) chose a wedding date last year, I immediately got in touch with Krystal to ask her to do our flowers for our wedding. I absolutely cannot wait to see what lovely floral wonders she dreams up for us.

Krystal asked if I would paint her something for her new home and she gave me free reign over this piece, asking only for handlettering "good vibes only" and "something floral". I've been kind of into peonies this summer and I thought a riot burst of flowers with gold lettering would look just lovely. I spent an exceptionally long time sketching peonies for this piece and I'm not sorry because peonies are really fun to draw.

The gold lettering was done in gold watercolour paint from Holbein and it's the best I've ever used. It can be transparent, you can layer it to make it more opaque and it SHINES which is awesome. It looks really nice on black paper too. I was just going to letter in black, but why use black when you can use gold, right? Brush lettering is my jam now. I have done some pointed pen stuff, but I just love using a tiny little brush and getting those dreamy fade in/fade out ink marks as you write. Love it. In case anyone is interested, I use a size 000, Heinz Jordan watercolor brush. The brand really doesn't matter though.

So what's up? I've got several more commissions that have been (patiently) waiting for my attention which I will be able to focus on in September. I'll be sharing all my wedding-related artwork in August (and hopefully wedding photos too!). I've also got some back-burner projects on the go, like my first knit sweater. I'm looking forward to getting back into sharing on the blog and maybe sprucing up this joint again. Till then!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Baby Ella, Delicate Cosmos

Hello, lovely! That's what comes to mind when I started to paint on this baby gift. My friend had her second child in November of last year and I had made a painting for her first a while ago. While I was working on this painting, I was daydreaming about spring. These delicate, gently swaying cosmos came to my mind. And pretty pink petals were just perfect for this little lady.

One of the challenges I wanted to capture with the cosmos was how transparent their petals are and how you can see them layer over one another. I also loved the dancing script of baby Ella's name, a little more playful than I how usually write. Though I am not a "pink" person, I am totally in love with these pretty flowers. I'm considering something a little bigger featuring some cosmos. Spring is coming so we shall see! (Wishful thinking.)

Clearly I have spring on my mind if I'm already dreaming about flower paintings. Time to get back to the drafting table! Thanks for reading!


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Baby Eli, Pinecones and Needles

This is one of my favorite baby name paintings so far! Mary is a friend and repeat client of mine (that's so fun to say!). She commissioned me to do a name painting for a friend of her's and I ended up doing her friend's whole family! Mary had her second child in early 2016 so a gentle winter theme with pinecones and needles was fitting. I think this is the best pinecone I've ever painted and it was my first time experimenting with a rigger brush (newfound brush love, for sure!).

Pinecones are one of those magical drawings that really just look like a lump until you add some negative painting. They really benefit from getting in there and showing off some darks. I find them challenging to draw, but they are also super popular with the winter-baby crowd. I've done quite a few now as they always seem to pop up when I ask moms (or friend's of moms) what kind of greenery or image they had in mind for the painting. Answer: always pinecones! That's ok, I'm up to the pinecone challenge!

I'm also really into working on my brush lettering. Especially for boys, it's a bit less fussy than the pointed pen calligraphy. In my opinion anyways.

Another baby painting coming soon! The next one is for a girl!

Thanks for reading!



Sunday, January 29, 2017

Turn on the Light

A shiny, gold Harry Potter quote for these dark days! It's been absolutely gloomy these past few weeks as winter drags on. I actually don't remember the last time the sun was out!

When I was working on my Harry Potter World photo book, I did a whole bunch of handlettered quotes that I wanted use between the photos. This is one of those classic Dumbledore sayings that everyone pulls out of the Harry Potter quote bin, but it's a great quote. I knew when I made it that it had to be gold.

My sister Shannon's birthday is in gloomy January so I actually made this as a gift for her. She also owns the set of original Harry Potter paintings that I did and Hagrid's quote so her home is well decked out with Harry Potter art from me!

Because of the lack of sunlight, these photos don't show off the gold as well as I'd like. Maybe I'll retake them in the summer when the foil can catch the light a lot better. But for now, I hope you can find some sunshine in the darkness!

Thanks for reading!