Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Free Ticket to Paradise

Once again, I am dreaming of fanciful travels and watching unhealthy amounts of House Hunters International in hopes of teleporting myself somewhere exotic.  Luckily, my next painting helps out these fantasies a bit.  Though this wedding took place in Toledo, Ohio, you'd never know that from the looks of the bouquet that immediately transport you to a tropical island paradise.

The colors are unbelievable, and I just can't say enough about the flower selection...birds of paradise, pin cushion protea, mokara orchids, hypericum berries and banana leaves.  This is going to be a fun one.

I've already started to fill things in, and you have the opportunity once again, to come out and see me in action tomorrow (Thursday) at the Great Taste IV event.  There is so much packed into this evening...cakes inspired by dresses, a bouquet bar, delicious treats and beverages, and a little Reenie Rose painting!  And guess what?!  It's free!!!!  RSVP today and come by tomorrow! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

An Artist's Life

I don't know if I've mentioned it on here before, but as an artist, I am an avid listener.....of books and music and talk radio and random phone conversations and anything else that can keep me entertained for hours on end as I paint.  I was listening to This American Life the other day while beginning my newest painting (more on that to come) when my mind started to drift about the woes of being an artist.  I won't pour a bunch of negativity on you, but it was along the lines of the input and output of my business and how long everything takes for me to produce.  I constantly struggle with the "one man show" my business is derived from.  As I was in my mental downward spiral, This American Life host Ira Glass, introduced the next story in the episode revolving around the topic "Obsession".  Out of the blue came a story about artist Liza Lou.  You can listen to her 10 minute act below, but let me give you a brief summary:

Kitchen 1991 - 1996
Room made of glass beads, wood, wire, plaster and artist's used appliances
168 square feet (5,120 square centimeters)

If you don't know what is going on in this colorful image (or the radio button above didn't give it away), it's a mock kitchen covered in glass beads.  This is a 3-dimensional, to scale piece COVERED IN BEADS!!!  She set each bead by hand which resulted in her only covering square inches per day and the whole project taking her 5 years to complete.  And, while doing this she was also creating other bead pieces to pay the bills.  Can you imagine?

Kitchen detail
I am totally in awe of her work and highly encourage you to go visit her site:

Her more current work is just as painstaking but a little less garish.  I find it even more beautiful than the multi-colored canvas she put together with this kitchen.  Remember, these are all made out of beads....

Untitled, #17
169.5 x 150 cm
Woven glass beads

Devotional, 2010-2011
Glass beads, cotton
5 3/16 x 9 3/8 x 14 1/2 inches
Each pg: 6 x 9 inches

Almost Wonderful, 2010-2011
Gold-plated beads, cotton
22 3/4 x 8 3/4 inches
After listening to Liza speak about the kitchen project and how it effected her as an artist and then taking a look at her work, I quickly snapped out of my pity-party.  Yes, my paintings have taken upward around 50-60 hours lately, but I definitely have a quicker completion/instant gratification rate than poor Liza.

For another episode about life as an artist and all of the trials and tribulations we go through, take a visit back to This American Life.  This show definitely helps me get through the day.

I will continue to be an artist and paint and share my work with others....which includes tomorrow's event:

La Primavera- Spring Fashion in Chicago

Ladies Night Chicago

Thursday, March 21, 2013 from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM (CDT)

Chicago, IL

 To purchase tickets to this event, click HERE!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Recap: Martha Stewart Wedding Party

I promised you a recap from Sunday's Martha Stewart Wedding Party event hosted at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, and I'm here to deliver.  What an amazing group of individuals at this show.  I don't know if the brides realized how lucky they were to be in the presence of so much talent....nevermind my booth area chock full of creativity.  Without further adieu, here's a lil photo album....

An overview of my setup.
All of my white chiavari chairs were provided by M & M Special Events.  The lovely runners were custom made by Mom!  She did a fabulous job on them.
Painting was on loan from Argentina Leyva (whom also had a booth at the show).  Flowers were created by Forget Me Knodt to match the painting perfectly!

I always love this painting and enjoy seeing how each florist interprets it.  Zen Botanicals did a terrific job!

I was blown away by this bouquet by Fragrant Design!
In action!

I pretended to copy this bouquet by Flowers by Stem, but really I just couldn't keep my eyes off of it!

Darcy Miller, editor in chief at Martha Stewart Weddings magazine, giving a bunch of eager brides advice.

Bonus for the day....Darcy and I re-connecting!  MSW mag editorial? Keep your fingers crossed!

After a long day of dazzling potential clients and friends, Mom and I deserved a cocktail.  Cheers to a successful day!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Secretly Painting

I'm gearing up for this weekend's Martha Stewart Wedding Party event.  Next week I'll post a recap with all of the generous individuals involved in making my booth beautiful (I have 4 different florists creating bouquets for me!).  In the meantime, go purchase your tickets before Sunday!

You may be wondering if I'm still actually painting since I haven't posted any updates lately and I've been galavanting around at events.  The thing is, I'm working on a surprise painting that I am unable to post about....a sweet 5 year anniversary gift.  So, the only way to catch this painting right now is to come to my painting events and see it in person.  Don't worry, once it's delivered in April, I will give a full rundown of it's process and the final outcome.  It is certainly springy!

I've also been withholding another painting I created that is completely outside my box for this exciting event....

In its second, consecutive year, FORM: ART + floral returns with a show unlike any other.  Friday, April 5th from 6-9pm, the Chicago Artists' Coalition will play host to FORM's newest show: CMYK.  Once again, pairing up artists and florists, you will see on view 10 pieces of black and white art matched to their corresponding floral arrangements in full color.  In addition, we have several food and beverage vendors that have joined us to make the evening one to remember.  The cherry on top is that this year we are making FORM a fundraiser with all proceeds going to benefit the CAC.  It will be an evening with good art, good food and drink for a good cause.

So, I created the above piece especially for the event.  As one of the organizers, I wanted to be involved as an artist, but let's be honest, my paintings don't come anywhere close to being simply black and white.  I wanted to make something a little different while still showing off my skill as a master of painting flowers.  I always love when I'm painting in something that just seems to pop out of the background and look almost 3-dimensional, so I decided to go with that idea for this piece.  The flowers and painting as a whole are suppose to look like they are slowly coming to life.

I'll be honest....I am very uncomfortable and self-conscious about this piece.  My bouquet paintings have a plan to them that I follow to a tee.  With this puppy, I took a different approach and painted what "felt right".  Ugh, I really don't like working that way and the unpredictability that comes with it...but I think it worked.  At least, I hope it worked.  What do you think about this piece?

If you love it, the good news is that you'll have a chance to win it!  We are hosting a raffle to win this piece in an effort to further raise funds for the CAC.  You'll have to come out to try your luck.  Personally, I'm most excited to see which florist I'm paired up with and what they create to compliment my's just asking to be next to some color!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine Color Issue

We've made it to another Friday!  What are you looking forward to the most this weekend?  Me, I just got my glossy new Martha Stewart Weddings magazine in the mail, and it is just begging me to dive in.  It's their annual color issue, and I couldn't help flip through it and drool as all this beautiful color jumped out at me.  If you didn't know this already, I like color.

I was blown away by the florals in this issue and naturally gravitated toward wanting to share every bit of inspiration with you.  It was tough, but I held back a bit.
 I mean, look at this!  Love the ribbon!  You can have the perfect set of flowers put together for a bouquet, but when your add a backdrop wrapping or ribbon that makes a statement, somehow the whole bouquet comes together in such a dynamic fashion.  Have you seen the trending bouquets with big bows and wide ribbon lately?  I'd love to see more of these end up in my lap.  Can you imagine this one above as a painting with the ribbon as a gorgeous sentiment to part of the theme of the wedding? You'll have to check out the mag to see all the other cute black and white striped elements.

Nature never ceases to amaze me with all of its complexities.  MSW did a whole section on the "marbled" look, and would you believe it that there are flowers that slightly take on this characteristic.  These rose boutonnieres are darling with their complimentary hand-marbled ribbons.

I've been in a Parisian mode lately, and when I saw this image, I was instantly transported.  You can almost smell the lemon verbena leaves wafting from this arrangement.  I want to be in this photo.

I love when I come across a familiar name in the pages of a's like coming across an old friend.  Reenie Rose has already admired Bows and Arrows on "Bouquet a Day" on Facebook, but now they shine in the pages of MSW!  Though I've never met them before, I have long since thoroughly enjoyed their work and am so happy for the success of Adam and Alicia.

Finally, I thought this was so beautiful and perfectly stated that I rotated it and made it my desktop image.  Click on the image above to size your own version of a desktop background.  If you can't start your weekend off with flowers in hand, you might as well have them at your finger tips.

Since we're on a Martha Stewart kick, buy your tickets and mark your calendar for the Martha Stewart Wedding Party in Chicago.  I am so excited to be painting at this show next weekend and hope to meet a bunch of brides using the magazine for their bouquet inspiration.  The paintings will be stunning this season!!

Enjoy this first weekend of March and remember that spring is just around the corner.  Find some flowers to smell!