a little zoot zoot at the giza plateau circa 1961.

Monday, April 29, 2013

While we are on the Egypt kick, I couldn't help but not share one of my favorite photos of one of my favorite men, Louis Armstrong, tooting his gold horn for his sweetheart at the Giza Plateau in Egypt of 1961. 

Does this photo make you grin with such happiness or what? I love all things Louis and when you throw Egypt in the mix of things, you've got one heck of a party! I was at Zurchers party store today, getting ready for my birthday next week, and they always have the best playlist jamming through the sound system. Today was all things Louis Armstrong and it put me in the best of moods. 

What a talent Louis Armstrong was. Im sure his wife was so proud. If I had it my way, and could choose a group of people who have passed on to meet, I'd choose Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, and Billie Holiday and have them all throw me some jazzy beats late one night in a jazz club. I can't explain to you the zone I'd be in... 

one ticket for a magic carpet ride to egypt please,

Friday, April 26, 2013

I would like one ticket for a magic carpet ride to egypt por favor! The Zoo and I have been wrapped up in watching all of The Mummy movies with Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. They are secretly some of my favorite movies to watch because it takes me back to the days when they had come out in theaters and I was beyond thrilled.

Egypt is another topic of discussion that I am very well pleased with and totally into. I remember seeing previews for this movie on t.v. and asking my dad all sorts of questions about Egypt. I was fascinated and still am. I even begged for a computer game that was based in Egypt and all about mummies in hieroglyphs, the only reason my parents agreed to buying it for me, was that it was a MATHEMATICS COMPUTER GAME, clearly, I was desperate to consume my spare time with anything Egypt.

What a dream it would be to visit the sand pyramids of Egypt, explore the tombs of mummies that are cursed with spells, visit the City of the Dead, giddy-up on camels, and discover hieroglyphs! Now that sounds magical to me!

The Leonardo Museum in Salt Lake City is currently exhibiting Mummies Around the World. The Zoo and I have been dying to go! I love to educate myself on ancient history, I can get pretty caught up into too. So this exhibit is surely a must see!

I'll keep you posted if I am able to go to the exhibit, until then, I'll be dreaming on my magic carpet ride.

oh, the places you'll go...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I have an itch. I've had an itch for years, I believe it's deep in my blood, and thankfully with my luck I've married a boy whose blood boils to travel the world as well. I thought I had a pretty impressive resume, if you will, when I began dating the Zoo telling him my whereabouts outside of America. I had some Caribbean Islands, Cabo, London and Ghana, Africa... and at the age of twenty-two, I think that's pretty awesome to have seen those places, don't you?

Then here comes the zoo, though he is four years older than me, and he's been all over the map! Let's just say, he's a sucker for Mexico. I love to hear stories about his travels and his adventurous side. It makes me want to pick up my bags and jet out, right now. I mean now. I have eyes that are yearning to see the world, ancient parts of the world, where I will stand all amazed. I have too large of a list of places to go, ruins to see, sea's to splash in.

I can't wait to take on these adventurous travels with the one I love, whether we do it while we are young or when we are wiser, it will be experiences that I'd cherish. I can only day dream now. But I will say, my one true love, and one of the most precious memories I hold in my life was my trip to Ghana. I'll never forget those days.

The world is a beautiful place.

i'd like to say it's the pink version of the great gatsby.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I introduce you to the pink version of the Great Gatsby, I give you, The Don Cesar Hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida! The first time I saw a photo of this beaut, I knew that I had to have a painting of it, and I knew the only way to have it, was to do it myself and the thought of that was quite a doozy. I knew it would be a challenged but I knew that if it was successful it would be a proud moment in my career.

I've explored new techniques and have fallen in love with creating a base layer of texture with gesso and applying thick layers of oil with a palette knife. It's like icing a cake. I'm really happy that I pushed myself to do this and decided last minute I would paint this subject matter for my final. I cornered myself into having no choice but to finish and accomplish the challenge. I can confidently say, a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into this, and I also wanted to punch a hole with my fist through the canvas at one point. But I resisted, and now this painting has become one of my most personal prized possessions. It will definitely be a heirloom in the family.

Does anyone know how to fire proof a painting?

i deserve a gold trophy.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I deserve a trophy. No, I am not tooting my own horn on the looks of these babies, I'm tooting my own horn that I have successfully met all of the deadlines that I needed to meet for the semester and that I PUSHED myself to experiment, explore and improve my painting skills. And the outcome you ask? I couldn't be more pleased. I feel like this semester I put in a ton of hard work and dedication that has resulted in reflecting who I am and my own style. I feel as though I am beginning to find my specialty in painting. I know what hopefully (with fingers crossed) could sell and allow me to make some money, and I know what is secretly passion for me and my guilty pleasures of painting that people wouldn't normally purchase (ex. my portraits and things like that). But I will continue to paint the things that make me blush because it's who I am deep down, what I love and what keeps me giddy and wanting more.

I think I have finally passed the area of viewing painting as a chore and now I view it as something crave and have to do at least an hour a day or I'll go insane! I've always had a love for painting, but now that I have found my niche and I kind of have this attitude that I'm going to do it my way and have fun with what I do, and if it doesn't please others, so be it, and if it does, I'll shout for joy.

This summer is going to be a blast! I can't wait to bring out some old paintings that I treasure but have never gotten around to finishing, and I am so excited to dive into other new things. One being... a southern plantation (if i dare). I just really love the work that I do, and I love the time I spend on it, because I know it's time not wasted.

With five portraits, seven abstracts and one large "great gatsby-like hotel" down, I can confidently say, it's been a really great semester.

The Don Cesar Hotel I'll post in a separate post, for it's become my new prized possession.

kitty cat lions.

Monday, April 22, 2013

If you don't know by now, I'll fill you in on a secret. I absolutely adore cats. My one true love is my kitty cat Cali Q. Robbins who I grew up with and as of a couple of years ago, we had to give her away due to my parent's moving to England for a year or so. I was insanely depressed. Being out at school, I took it hard but was semi-grateful that I didn't have to be home to see the new lady pick her up and out of my arms. She really was like a sister to me.

And as strange as this may sound, I am also strangely grateful that I never will have to experience my Cali girl passing away. To me, knowing she's in great care with her new friend, she's kind of the cat that has more than nine lives and lives on forever. That's how I envision it.

I've also come to realize that majority of this world hates cats and it blows my freaking mind. If people are so amazed and blown away by lion's how can they not adore cats, which to me is just a sweet little kitty cat lion! I remember as a kid, I'd lay my face eye level to the floor and watch Cali Q. walk around, the way she moved was mysterious and lion-like. That was one of my favorite things about Cali.

I think it's a tender mercy that the Zoo and I moved into this charming little bungalow because low and behold, there are about six cats that just roam the streets. Majority have owners who let them explore the town, so I have no ounce of anxiety over whether or not they are stray and in need of a good home. So instead, I get to play with them, and feed them milk and tuna from time to time if they choose to sunbathe in my backyard, which they typically do every day. I do believe I am becoming the main gossip to the cats on the street. Being the new neighbor and all... and the fact that I do handout treats, they are always greeting me at my doorstep when I come home from work. My friends are starting to call me "The Cat Lady." But I'm not. I'm just a sucker for cats, I don't own a litter of them!

This week the kitty cat lions have been extra sweet to me. I think they are aware it's finals week and that I my loose my mind any second now. This photo above was taken this morning when I was greeted coming home from running errands. I think they adore me. Sorry I'm not sorry.

aperture this, and aperture that.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I have a great deal of respect for photographers. You see, as you know, I got a nice new camera for Christmas and I've probably pulled it out twice since. And I hate that, but, when a camera is larger than your chest wrapped around your neck and people look at you with a not so normal expression on their face and you have no idea what any button means, a little intimidation comes into play.

Thank the heavens above, I am not alone though. My cousin Ash just got one as well, and lucky for me, she dropped by today and showed me a thing or two and we had a fun play date playing around with our cameras. For being required to take a photography class in Fine Arts, you'd think I would have learned a thing or two. Unfortunately, the photography terms are equivalent to geometry for me. Say what? Too many things to know. So I am happy there will be one more of me on our family vacation in South Carolina this June. She'll make it a lot more fun to snap with.

So with that said, I am in pure practice mode and I want to make sure that all of you know, I am not trying to be some photographer here. I just wanted a great camera to capture special moments in my life. So this is just practice on my new prop, my first fresh spring flowers of the year. Sure does add a lot of pizazz to the bungalow.

it's time for the liebster award.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A lot of fun is going on around here with this Liebster Award that I was nominated for thanks to my friend Kerry June. And yes, I am so aware that I spelled Liebster wrong up above. Now, I don't want no spelling police to get all up on my back here, you hear? Probably the first time I have ever used the word "Leibster" and I'm not even quite sure what this award is about but it's spreading like wildfire and I thought I'd jump on board.

Sounds like a questionnaire to me for you pretty young thangs to learn a little bit more of my nit gritty secrets. So, here are ze rules:

one: post 11 things about yourself. 
two: answer the 11 questions created by the person who nominated you.
three: create 11 questions of your own to ask the bloggers to nominate.
four: choose 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers to nominate and link them on your blog post. 
five: bloggers must be notified of their award!
six: no tag backs. darn it. 

eleven things about myself: 

1. I have been dating Leonardo Dicaprio since age 8. The Zoo is aware of this, and he accepts the reality of this relationship Leo and I have together. 

2. I have a weird obsession with collecting swimsuits. 
Can you tell with majority of the photos above? 

3. My secret dream job is to be a sleuth and a Ghost Hunter &
follow in the footprints of Nancy Drew. 

4. I once sang "Love Shack" acapella during commercial break on the Jay Leno Show. 
He basically pushed me off stage before I could finish my song. I took the hint. 

5. I still talk on the phone to my teenage friend Godfred, who I met 
during my trip to Ghana, Africa four years ago. 

6. I was physically attacked by a homeless drunk man who jumped on my back 
in Chester, England. That was awesome. 

7. I have a playlist made specifically for when I shower. It's as diva and gospel-like as it can get. The echo in the shower does wonders to your vibrato and I literally pretend like I'm performing on stage. 

8. I have become a hypochondriac. I went to the doctor last month because 
I swore to the doc that I was about to have a heart attack 
within the next couple of days. I'm fine guys. 

9. My food of choice is jalapeno shrimp n' grits and a bowl full of gumbo. 

10. I use to pee my pants like no other in high school If I laughed too hard, or even if I jumped rope or bounced on the trampoline. I'm not proud of it. 

11. My cousin Ash and I used to go around the resort at Hilton Head Island telling people we were the Olsen Twins... and sadly, they believed us. 

eleven questions from kerry june: 

1. What is the scariest thing you have ever done in your life? 

Hands down when I flew alone to Ghana, Africa. It was the first time flying out of the country alone, not to mention I was landing in Africa of all places. Can you picture this short blonde American girl landing in Africa all by her lonesome self? I had such mixed emotions. I was on a high with how happy I was to finally make it to a place I've dreamt of for years, but at the same time, when I had African Soldiers with AK-47's greeting me at the gates with the thickest ghanaian accent ever, I wanted to wet myself. 

2. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go & why?

Ay caramba, where do I begin? Well I'm going to cheat here and give you more than my two cents. For starters, I'd love to go back to Ghana and have the Zoo meet all of the close friends that I have kept in contact with for the past four years. What a sweet and beautiful reunion it would be. I think about it all of the time. 

For guilty pleasures, I'd keel over and die to see the South of France and visit all of the hot spots such as Nice and Cannes and drive in a classic car with Jackie O' -like sunnies and a vintage scarf wrapped around my head with the Zoo in the front seat whom I'd refer to as "Contini" like in the movie "Nine."

And for even more guilty pleasures, Havana, Cuba. Why? Because of the delicious  pastel architecture and the state of mind that they live in - the past. Everything is how you imagined it to be back in the day. And that's what makes it
 so magical, so intriguing  and mysterious. 

3. What is your favorite book/series?

I am always a sucker for a good murder mystery novel. I will never get sick of my Nancy Drew books, which don't judge me, but I still do read from time to time. But currently, I am STILL reading "Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil," which captures the secrets and eeriness of one of my favorite cities, Savannah, Georgia. So anything mysterious, scary and by golly, southern. 

4. What is your go-to phrase that you say the most?

I honestly don't think that I have a go-to phrase. I'm sure I do, but I just don't pick up on it. I do know for a fact that I tend to literally make up words and use them confidently within my conversations and people just go with the flow. They eventually start using my made up words too, so you can call be webster. 

5. If you could only listen to one record/album/or song for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Easy as pie. Anything Ray Charles. The man covers everything from Soul, Jazz, R&B, gospel-powered vocals, blues and a little bit o' country. He's my man and his voice reminds me oh so much of my home sweet home in Georgia. His sweet voice always keep's Georgia on my mind. It's very comforting and puts me in my comfort zone. I'll always love him. 

6. If you could do anything for a job, what would you choose?

Whoops. I kind of sort of already answered that above, but, as weird as this sounds, I would really love to be a ghost hunter. I am a sucker for all things spooky. On a more unrealistic note, I'd love to be a performer on stage and sing my guts out. On a more dreamlike out of this world note, I'd love to be Jenna Lyons side kick and do whatever she orders me to do, be it naming the colors of fabrics or designing window displays and store instillations. I just would love to be a head honcho for J.Crew. Oh wait, no I take it back. I take everything back. I wanna be a model for J.Crew. Don't laugh at me, I actually hate being in front of the camera alone if I can't be goofy but I'd love to travel and be a part of the photo shoots for all of the catalog spreads and what not. 

7. What is your favorite quote?

Currently, it's a quote by the late Lilly Pulitzer who I look up to when it comes to passion and achieving your goals the way you'd like to do it. 
She says, "I didn't set out to be unusual or different. I just wanted to do things my way." I relate to her in so many ways with this quote. Referring to my artwork, I really am not setting out to be anything different or to gain some ounce of fame from what I do. I just do it to keep me sane, to gain happiness in finding beauty in art, and really I just want to do it my way without having anyone telling me I can't. And if they don't like it my way, so be it. 

A lifetime quote that I love is from "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."
"For what it's worth: it's never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There's no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things that you've never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again." 

8. Are you an extrovert or an introvert?

I'd say I am an extrovert. I'm pretty outgoing and can hold my own in a sea of people I'm not familiar with. I'm pretty loud and rambunctious, but in a non-annoying way. I do tend to go a little introvert though when I know I have to impress, or if I am around someone who tends to be more extrovert than I am, I'm not one to compete for the spotlight so I'll ease back a bit and take a breather from being so lively and let them do their thing. I will say though, I do not fear of working my dance moves in public areas. 

9. What is your favorite movie of all time and why?

I don't think I can answer this. It's much too hard, as I have so many favorite movies. But the one that gets me every single time is sadly, "Titanic." I know I know, how original and girly. But really, my whole childhood was based on obsessing over it and anything Titanic related, that it was a huge part of my younger years. So pathetic I know, but whenever I watch it, or hear Dion's, "My Heart Will Go On," I get a rush of being a kid again and it makes me really happy. 

10. If you could go to any concert, whether they are dead or alive, broken up or together, who would it be?

Hands down both Kings. The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, for obvious reasons and just the flat of King, Elvis Presley. I'd cry to see MJ's moonwalk and some of E's pelvic thrusts. Whoops. 

11. Where do you see yourself in five years from now?

Ehhh... at age 29? Kill me now. Hopefully in the deep south with the zoo and our small little family. Maybe two or three kids. I'll still be painting away and hopefully checked off some places off of my travel list by that point. Who knows where life will take me. Where ever it may be, I hope it's good to me. 

eleven random questions for you: 

1. If you could go to dinner with anyone alive today 
(that you don't know) who would it be?

2. If you could only shop at one clothing store for the 
rest of your life, where would it be?

3. What is your guilty pleasure?

4. What is your favorite childhood memory?

5. If you could live in any country right now, where would it be?

6. What is one thing that you love about yourself?

7. If a movie was made about your life, who would you cast to play the role of you?

8. What is your biggest fear?

9. Which song would you say is the theme song of your life?

10. If you were an animal, what would you be?

11. What is the scariest thing you have ever done/experience?

 bloggers of my choice: 

ashley / the better life
ashley kirkland / C & A
jenna / a simple life

because music can move you.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Holy Smokes. From time to time, I come to find that I'm a real sucker for a great documentary, especially if it pertains to something I am super passionate about. The latest documentary I just finished watching, literally fifteen minutes ago, is filmed by Emmett Malloy called, Big Easy Express featuring Mumford & Son, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes and Old Crow Medicine Show. If you love music, prepare to be moved. 

This is the most genius idea anyone has ever come up with. These three bands, british, hippies and Tennessee blue grassers and all, hop aboard  a vintage California Zephyr Train and make way from San Francisco to New Orleans, stopping through cities along the way and performing live concerts right at the stations. It's a rush. This is America's "Tour of Dreams." 

One of my favorite scenes shown above brought me to goosebumps and tears. One of the stops was Austin, Texas and I am obsessed with the thought of Mumford & Sons making time to sit down with the Austin High School Band and rehearsing a well known Mumford & Sons song. And then BAM, these kids dreams just came true. Not to mention in their hometown, it doesn't get any cooler than that. The minute they appeared on stage in front of a flood of people, I couldn't help but keel over and die. Those high schoolers probably couldn't even think straight during the moment. Their lives had just been made. If that were me on stage, I would have straight up wet myself and I would have been bawling so uncontrollably that I wouldn't been able to hold up the weight of my trumpet.

If I were Mumford & Sons, this would be the highlight of my career. There is nothing more valuable and no greater feeling then seeing the emotion of pure joy light up on these kids faces. It would be an honor to work with such talented and spirited kids who have such high expectations and will reach them sooner than later. It's glimpses of life such as this that overwhelm me with love and happiness. This sort of thing makes me want to lift up my hands and toss all the lousy wasteful negative things going on in life and realize that there is so much good in this world. When I see the smiles on these kids faces, I can't help but think, "what's there not to be happy about?" Life is good. 

I just had to show and share this amazing moment for these kids, and a ridiculous performance of "The Cave." You have to go check out the film, Big Easy Express. It may not change your life, but it reminds you of how wonderful music is and the joy it can bring to a mass of souls. I'm just so in love with this film. Thank you Emmett Malloy for capturing the beauty of bringing people together through music. 

jaime and her king.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Where do I begin with Jaime King? From the retro Nurse Betty in Pearl Harbor to the southern belle Lemon Breeland in the Hart of Dixie, Jaime King is one of my favorites. She is chic, glamourous, unique, classic, and a modern version of today's Grace Kelly when it comes to fashion, style & beauty. She's Hollywood's best kept secret, and I love that she keeps a low profile. Her style is impeccable, and I absolutely adore this candid photo of her and her husband, film director, Kyle Newman. These California dreamboats will make you toot your own horn! I just had to brag for them of their coolness & natural sense of being nothing short of fabulous.

lilly pulitzer rousseau : lets hear it for the girl.

Monday, April 8, 2013

This is one of my favorite photographs of the iconic fashion designer Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau, who passed away at the age of 81 yesterday in the place she loved most, her home in Palm Beach, Florida. I love Lilly's clothing with the playful color pallets that come from her inspirations of her favorite things be tennis rackets to oranges and lemons! I love how Lilly got her start, through her classmate Jacqueline Kennedy, yes, Jackie O'. Lilly has constructed a summer dress that was made from curtains in a kitchen for Jackie and she was photographed wearing it and people went crazy, swooning over the dress wanting more. And so she gave more, and that's how she got her start in the business of dress. Don't you love that?

Her husband Peter owned citrus groves in Palm Beach, Florida where Lilly began to sell orange juice at her juice stand. She designed her own colorful shift dresses for her to work in and soon enough, people weren't just buying her orange juice, but they were paying extra for Lilly to design them colorful shift dresses for them as well!

I adore where Lilly gets her inspirations from for her designs. In many ways, her inspirations are very similar to mine. It also helps that Lilly is one of those iconic people who I adore in one of my favorite places ever, Palm Beach, Florida. She lived the sort of life that my favorite photographer, Slim Aarons would photograph (not to mention, I am pretty sure he took this photo of Lilly, shown above.) She loved the orange citrus trees in Palm Beach and all of the beautiful colors and botanicals that Florida has to offer and she transformed them into clothing. There is nothing more beautiful than that.

Because I always feel that other people can put it into words better than I can, I want to quote this small description of Lilly and all of her photographs that Slim Aarons loved to take of her and her fashion muses.

"no one lived the Lilly Pulitzer lifestyle more than the designer herself. born into wealth, prep-school-educated, and married to the grandson of publisher Joseph Pulitzer, Lilly simply dressed the people she knew - waspy, Palm Beach - dwelling socialites who used summer and lunch as verbs. her preppy social set and their affinity for flamingo pink attracted the eye of photographer Slim Aarons, who photographed Lilly and her family for decades. Enjoy his images as well as other vintage shots of Jacqueline Bisset, Wendy Vanderbilt, and Cheryl Tiegs in colorful Lilly prints through the years."

To end this post of the celebrated Lilly Pulitzer are a list of her most well known quotes. She is truly Iconic and will be missed, celebrated and remembered. One of my favorite ladies. ever.
"i was a gypsy, living a carefree life of ponies and tennis."

"anything is possible with sunshine and a little pink."

"style isn't just about what you wear, it's about how you live."

"it's always summer somewhere."

"if you haven't any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble."

"being happy never goes out of style."

"i designed collections around whatever struck my fancy... fruits, vegetables, politics, or peacocks!"

"i didn't set out to be unusual or different. i just wanted to do things my way."

"that's what life is all about: let's have a party. let's have it tonight." 

"jackie [kennedy] wore one of my dresses - it was made from kitchen curtain material - and people went crazy." 

Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau 1931- 2013

for the love of art.

Monday, April 8, 2013

It's funny how as you age, you begin to find and understand what really intrigues you, what you become insanely passionate about. You kind of sort your interests based on priorities and then you begin to find what defines you. At least, this applies to me, I'm not too certain if it applies to anyone else.

Growing up I had a keen love for fashion, and don't you dare get me wrong, I still do, but I believe my love for it has grown into a different sort of love. It's no longer my priority and I no longer envision it being a huge part of my life. When I was younger, I read only Nancy Drew Mysteries (which I still read from time to time, do not judge but it's the child in me), and sadly Harper's Bazaar and Vogue Magazines. I'd read it cover to cover from the editors notes to what's in and what's out. I began to become aware of world wide designers and all the top names in the fashion industry. I was educating myself and I found it so intriguing. I still find this all appealing today. But back then, I believed it was what would become of me. I believed and hoped that I would find an occupation in the fashion industry, and make my name known as a well known fashion designer. My mom is an unreal seamstress, as I have mentioned this time and time again. She knew of my obsessions and I am so thankful that she took note and helped me to enhance my talents within it.  I could draw, and I loved doing so, my mom also is very artistic, she studied fine arts in college and I think she became thrilled that she could sense a bit of her in me. So I'd draw and sketch and design clothing that I dreamt of and wished that it were mine. My mom supported me by sewing my clothing sketches and allowing my visions to come to life. I was beyond thrilled.

I remember my bedroom was painted a bright pink which was such a bad idea looking back on it. The hallway leading up to my room was always glowing, oh my gosh it was so bad, but at the time, I knew I loved it and so I'd never change or wish for it to have been different, despite my taste now. But what I truly remember was the selfless hours my mom spent painting a mural of mannequins on my wall wearing my fashion designs that I had sketched in my sketch book. What a dream it was for me! And how awesome of my mom for doing that? She did a superb job and to this day, I am so happy she did that for me.

So through High School, that's all her and I did, I'd design gowns and she'd sew and construct them and I'd wear them to my high school dances and pageants (I only did this as an excuse to design a dress, I was so anti pageants, believe you me.) My favorite outings with my mom was going to our favorite hole in the wall fabric store in Buckhead, Georgia where it was a freaking gold mine of very high end textiles. We still go and visit to this day whenever I go home, even if we aren't designing anything, it's just our place to go. So with all of this said, this was my life. And I loved it, and I look back and still love it. Those days are some of my favorite memories. At the time of applying to colleges, I considered heavily on the idea of going to Savannah College of Art and Design, a very elite school for the arts where I would study fashion design. Keep in mind, that throughout all my years of high school, I was taking oil painting classes and enjoyed them so much that I cared more about those painting assignments than my math homework (go figure.)

Due to much contemplation and knowing that I had to be realistic about my decisions, I knew that with my lifestyle and beliefs that ultimately, I wanted to get married and raise a family somewhere down the road in my future. With that being said, I knew that it wouldn't be ideal to go about this while trying to become a fashion designer. I don't want to be a powerhouse, I'm not one of those girls with a desire to be a working mom, I just want to have passion, talent, and goals, and if being recognized through my talents is all that I am given, I will be very much appreciative and feel nothing but blessed. I'm not looking for fame, and I know that at times I can be sensitive to critics and I am well aware of how cut-throat the fashion industry is. I wouldn't last, and I wouldn't be happy.

So, I bucked up and made the decision to move out to Utah where I would meet people from all over rather than just the South and its always a bonus that I had a ton of family out there going to school as well. So Utah it was.

Well, like I said, isn't it interesting how as you age, you begin to understand and find what really intrigues you and what you becomes insanely passionate about? It happened. With five years of focusing on nothing but fine arts, painting and art history, I have found my golden treasure, the one thing that makes me spark with delight. And I am so in love and addicted with what I do.

I haven't forgotten my one true love, fashion but it's no longer my priority, I feel that fashion with all of the fashion blogs and what not now, has taken a different turn and its very far from the direction I was going towards. You could say, my direction of fashion was more guided towards the artistic side of things. That's where my mind goes, that's where my thoughts take me. Im not interested in fashion to be the best of the best, to make a priority to look good on the street in order to be recognize, to list where I purchased things for others to swoon and acknowledge. And for those who take their fashion in that sort of direction, that's awesome! I have nothing against it, but it's just not me and that's how I feel the world is right now, and that's okay. But for me, I love to learn how the fashion began, what inspired the designers and why they do the things they do. I love the behind the scenes of fashion, the works, the magic. That's what makes me giddy. And that's how I use my love for fashion, as an inspiration to the arts, to my paintings and in so many ways, it's still me, it's still a part of who I was when I was younger and who I am today. And that's what makes me happy.

One more realization, I am a sucker for art history. I never thought I would be in high school, but I am. I cannot stop registering for art history classes every semester. I am completely fascinated with the old masters and the historical art periods. I am so intrigued and it's become a very passionate thing in my life. And I am excited to love this. It's a great outlet for wanting to continually learn and educate myself. Find which of the old masters I can relate to and learn from their traditional painting methods and techniques. With that said, if the Zoo is reading this, I'm seriously so in love with these #2 pencils with the art movements engraved in gold. This sounds like a guilty pleasure to me, and I'd love to keep them safe on my work desk where I paint. OOoowwweeee.

I'm just so thankful that I went with my gut and decided to focus on what I knew best, what I was told that that was all I did during recess or free time in preschool was art. It's a huge part of my life and I wouldn't have it any other way.

And that's a wrap.

butterfly poster print

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Fancy people, I have some fabulous news! My Butterfly painting, which was featured on Nicole Davis' famous lifestyle blog, "Me Oh My", is now available in a poster print on luster paper, which I am so pleased and excited about! This Butterfly Painting has been a hit and now it will be even more affordable and easier to frame! I am so excited with this new item that I can hardly stand myself! So do be a dear, and brighten up your home with this spring time classic, by heading over to my etsy shop!

To order the Butterfly Poster Print visit my etsy shop
$50.00 plus $10.00 for shipping & handling.

april showers bring may flowers.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

By golly has Utah been beautiful lately or what? I guess the impact of actually having all four seasons has been an eye opener lately. I have been feeling very grateful for how beautiful the world we live in is, and to see it bloom with time and come alive again has been exciting. As they say, "April showers bring May flowers," and it couldn't be more true. We have been getting April showers left and right over here and I couldn't love it more. They have been warm showers, and happen mostly within the night. The Zoo and I love to leave our window open and falling fast asleep to the showers takes me home to Georgia and falling asleep to the southern thunderstorms.

I've been finding myself waking up really giddy, as if it's Christmas morning to see if the grass is any greener, or if a new tree in our yard has its spring time buds. Even if it's been raining in the mornings or during the late afternoons, the sun always ends up shining and beaming it's rays on the fresh smelling pavement and we can go about our evening with a warm sunset. Our blinds have been wide open allowing an abundance of light shine through our home and with our white walls and white couch, its glowing all around. I've notice my attitude has been more peppy. Not that I'm a grouch in the winter time, but I do find that I am definitely more mellow and lazy, hate to admit it but it's true.

I find myself more active, full of more energy and more will power to go about my day getting more things done, going outside and taking in the beautiful place we live in. School work, though it's a heavy load right now, has been a joy. With all the light in our home, I do nothing but paint on my easel with Ray Charles jiving away to fill in the background noise. What can I say? Life is good, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

grace's iconic beach style.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I know, I know. I obsess over Grace Kelly a little too much, but how can I not? I am been itching for some summer beach days like you wouldn't even imagine sine January and I am driving myself berserk. With that said, I have been given large amounts of time to find the perfect suit and get ready for some tropical adventure. I always turn towards Grace for her style and one thing I love about her is that she is simple and clean. Maybe it's easy to pull it off with such a beautiful face, but it's effortless nonetheless. I have always been wanting a starch white suit, but I haven't had the best of luck in finding it... Until this year and I am so giddy about it. And it's just waiting patiently in my closet waiting for me to try it on for size and take a little dip in the sea. It's my Grace get-up and it excites me!

i might cut my ear off like van gogh.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Richard Diebenkorn, Berkeley #3, 1953

Did you know that Van Gogh cut his ear off? Mainly because the man was a little physiologically insane, but I think I am almost able to relate to the poor guy because I too, am about to cut my ear off due to insanity. No, I am not insane but procrastination has taken me there. Procrastination: that is the most devilish word and it has taken control of my soul. Finals are in three weeks, and I have yet to complete eight paintings. Four being abstracts, one being the size of my house which I will attempt to paint the Don Ceasar Hotel in Flordia, and the other three, well pretty much three pieces of crap because it's for a class that sadly I could give a rip about. Not to mention I have a research paper to write about Contemporary Pop Art and then explode my brain with all the amounts of information I will cram into it for my Art History Test next well. Crud. And I just realized, I have a portfolio to put together ASAP for my Senior Seminar class. If my mom is reading this right now, she may have a heart attack and want to shake me wondering what the heck I have been doing all of this time!

I don't know what I have been doing. I mean, I finished my portrait series, which I thought was a job well done and man was I on a roll. But once I finished that, I forgot that I had another load to get done. The work never ends and I am full blown about to reunite with my Carpal Tunnel. How will I pull this off? My dining room is overflowing with paintings. I might as well clear them out and move them into the studio at school and bring a sleeping bag along with me and move on it. Goodbye to the Zoo and goodbye world, you will not be seeing me until the end of April. 

Bless my soul and wish me the best of luck. I'm going to make this work, one way or another. On a happy note, here is one of my favorite abstract painters above , Diebenkorn with his Berkeley Series. #3 in particular is one of my favorite of the series. If I ever was able to gather such beautiful wet on wet paint like he did, my life would be complete. 

a hoppy hoppy easter!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter came quick this year, but boy was it sure good to us. The weather was beautiful and it was evident that spring was quickly blooming. It was a beautiful reminder of rebirth and the resurrection of our Savior, and that He has risen, and that He lives. Through him, we are able to live again, after this life with our families and having this knowledge brings such peace and joy. Easter is a special time of year, it's the celebration of life, birth, death and sacrifice. I am so grateful for the blessings I have been given, for the health and strength I have to carry own through my days, for the family I have been blessed with and for the family I have gained within the past year. I am grateful for my education and for my talents that fill my soul with happiness. I am thankful for the Gospel that enriches my life.

Maybe it's because I am getting older and becoming more aware of life and what we have to live for, but I want to purge away the distractions that take away moments in life that we can never get back. I am trying real hard to simplify my life and break away from my phone especially. When the Zoo is home, I want to put my phone away and give all of my attention to him and have great conversations, good senseless fun and laughter and take in those moments. I want to keep that dang phone in my purse when I am out to lunch or dinner with family and friends. And when I have free time and need a break from painting, I want to get outside and bask in the beautiful weather and read a good book, educate myself. I just don't want to waste anymore time. I want to slow time down and really bask in the company of my family and friends because each and every one of them are blessings to me.

I've just been filled with such happiness this time of year and I feel so blessed. This Easter has been good to me and I hope yours was just as nice! Hoppy Easter to you all and I hope April Fool's day wasn't to harsh on you! Yikes!

an embarrassing artists interview.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Okay, okay, before you state your opinions, I would like to honestly admit that I have trouble watching this interview of myself. This interview was from my art show in Salt Lake City this past February. So many thoughts rush through my head as I watch this. For one, I pat myself on the back for being able to speak my thoughts and express my views on my own artwork. I have found that when I speak publicly of my work, I can't find the words to describe it. So a job well done on that. As for the other thoughts in my head, I am so aware of the nastiness of my hair. I live in Utah my friends, and during this time it was freezing cold and I haven't had my hair done since November, and it is so trashed. I am so embarrassed of my appearance. Also, for those of you who don't know me or have never met me, I don't think I sound like that in person, nor speak with those mannerisms, I believe this is all a huge mess of stage fright and being a first timer in front of the camera and I can't help but sit back and think, what in the world is going on? Can I get a re-do? 

It's fine though, we are all hard on ourselves, are we not? My personal favorite part is when I have to look right into the camera and express how I am a Raw artist. Smiling could have helped this poor poor attempt of being a professional but hey, I do what I can, and I am so happy that this event in my life is a wrap! Enjoy the interview! 

this might tickle your fancy

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