illustrated portrait

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I was recently commissioned to do a couple’s portrait as a wedding gift from the bride’s sister. It was such a sweet idea for a gift. I loved this project!

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simple thanks

Thank yous–I owe more than a few. A while ago I came across this post from Not Your Average Ordinary and the photo stuck in my head. I’m a big lover of pretty printed note cards (duh) and always have some on hand. But I liked the idea of hand writing “thank you” on the front of a blank card as a way to say thanks casually yet personally.

I’ve been making these with some supplies I had around. Just unfussy enough that I don’t feel too formal handing one over to that mom friend that’s helped me so much, or to tell someone thanks for the great conversation and wine the other night.

Mother’s Day treat

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Hope all the mamas out there had a sweet day and felt the appreciation they deserve! Does your family have a special way of celebrating Mother’s Day? If you’re a mom, did you spend the day doing something with your kids, something for your mom or something for yourself? All three?

While the best treats yesterday were the cards and kisses from my boys and the handfuls of flowers they picked from the yard, my gift to myself was to spend some time by myself.

For part of my day I browsed the antique store down the street from us–something I could never do with the monkeys in tow. I found these little hand painted trays and lots of lovely vintage cards.

Dorothea Tanning

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Caught the last day of this excellent show and so glad I did. One of my favorite things about the show is was being exposed to many female artists I wasn’t familiar with. The works were mixed throughout instead of grouped by artist and I noticed early on I was taken every time I came across something from Dorothea Tanning. Loved her lush, twisted, surrealist paintings, but for the purposes of Little Rabbit Print, I must share these amazing lithographs from her series called Les 7 Perils Spectraux.

Cinquieme Peril

Septieme Peril

Troisieme Peril

Deuxieme Peril

images from the Smithsonian American Art Museum website

Richard Diebenkorn at OCMA

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Had the pleasure of seeing an incredible show today at OCMA. I’d never been to to OCMA before and I loved the way the gallery space was both intimate and airy at the same time.

I was so impressed by the breadth of this particular body of work, The Ocean Park Series. Diebenkorn had such a long and varied career, switching back and forth between figurative and abstract, I didn’t know beforehand if this particular body was one that would resonate with me. I was engrossed with each work. Even though the thread of it was consistent to point of repetitiveness, it amazed me how uniquely and beautifully he mastered the “problem” he sought to solve again and again.

Diebenkorn’s mastery of color and composition is so much more impressive in person. Loved the energy of the broad brush strokes quietly contained by hard edges, the layers of thin color and richness that are one kind of texture up close and another stepping back. They are birds-eye landscapes and cartography yet not.

The first paintings you see are these huge oils, but then there are equally powerful small works. Particularly beautiful were the small paintings on cigar box lids.

These images pale in comparison to seeing the real thing. Plus, there were prints and drawings and paintings on paper that were so luscious.

If you are in the SoCal area, this is really worth checking out. Even if you don’t consider yourself into abstract expressionism but love design, you will appreciate the graphic beauty of these works and feel the coastal light and color that we are lucky to live in.

fantasy vs. reality

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On the left is what it looks like when I work in my dreams (note: absence of toys and child draped around neck). On the right is a photo John snapped of me working on my Easter rock project last week (note: working at kitchen table and general chaos). I’m pretty sure the lovely Yoko doesn’t really wear a rabbit mask while she works (although she might) but it seems like she’s one of those types that’s really got making life beautiful down (evidence here). She and her lovely handmade accessories inspire me. Someday, I will be more organized (maybe) but meantime, I will find beauty in chaos. And settle for a 3 year-old as a cute accessory : ).

Easter rocks!

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I’ve always loved the tradition of egg decorating, and sharing it with my kids now is special, but it’s more of a management job. A rock I found on the beach the other weekend inspired this project. It was nice to do some “egg” painting without worrying about someone knocking over a glass of food coloring.

I think these make really fun decorations, and they don’t get stinky if the Easter bunny hides them and no one finds them.

Tools & Tips:
  • I used acrylic paints, brushes, masking tape, a utility knife, and the eraser tip of a pencil
  • Larger solid shapes of color required a bit of layering to make it opaque. I had to sponge the paint on with the brush for the first layer to create a base. Let the paint dry completely between layers.
  • I was able to dip the ends of the rocks into the neon paint since it came in little tubs. I really liked the smooth/solid effect.