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Pink blossoms, Spring fever and creativity overload...

Hello lovely readers! I've got Spring Fever! I'm planning and creating like a mad woman and I don't want to stop. Lol. Even a bad cold isn't stopping me! I have been in bed for three days but I'm sketching away.

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Dreaming of my upcoming retreat to Scotland - (that is Edinburgh Castle). Can't wait and yes...you can see my sweet kitty companion, Leo has been keeping me company while I rest.

And one more - a moody gal inspired by some vintage fashion photography.

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Lucky for me, I have a pretty great view from my cozy bed - the pink blooms of a cherry tree are just starting to pop! One of my favorite things about Spring. They inspired a bit of a Pin-fest and this board emerged...

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Oh and speaking of PINK and gorgeous images, my dear friend Georgianna Lane just published her stunning book! You must get it. If you love Paris and flowers then you will adore this...

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To go along with all this flurry of Spring energy, I'm having a BIG SALE on our online classes too! Why not!? It's the perfect time to encourage growth and creativity, right? I would love to have you in class.

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Hope you enjoying the first signs of Spring where you are!

Much love and gratitude,

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Art to Adore: Maria Pace-Wynters

Hi there! How is everyone!? Been uber busy around here with family visitors, summer camps and filming for my latest online Art classes!

However, amongst the chaos I try to make time to be quiet and still, so I can reflect on how this amazing life is unfolding. (I'm trying to learn how to meditate - not easy for me!)

One of the other things I absolutely love to do to unwind is to peruse Pinterest and Instagram for new art to love on. My latest ART crush is on the work of the amazingly talented, mixed media artist - Maria Pace-Wynters.

Gah!! Her work is just drop dead gorgeous. Vibrant colors, lyrical line work and angelic faces! Here have a look...

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She also has a lovely Etsy shop! I just HAD to acquire a few of her prints!

Okay lovelies...gotta get back to work! Hope you enjoyed looking at these! So very inspiring!

Much love to you all.

xo,

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{all images via Maria Pace-Wynters}

Art Love : Françoise de Felice

Hello friends, How are you? Spring is blooming all around us here in Oregon and it is truly so beautiful! My kiddos are finally all healthy (knock on wood) and we are looking forward to a trip to Disneyland for Grace's 8th birthday in April! The Claire Bear will stay behind this time with her grandparents, so the trip should be a tad more relaxing.

So, I'm still working through my Jeanne Oliver online art course where we focus on one master artist each week. It's been a very inspiring process! One week, our teacher was Kate Thompson and she introduced the artist, Françoise de Felice to us. Oh my! I'm in love. (Thank you Kate!) Her dreamy work is amazing...see for yourself...

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Stunning right? I adore the haunting, layered mystery of her work. I could stare at each piece for hours, visually deciphering the meaning behind the expressions and gestures of her subjects. Piecing together the story and admiring the interwoven patterns and textures, the subtly of color...sigh. I told you I was in love. Totally enamored.

What do you think of her work? If you LOVE it...I dedicated an entire Pinterest board to her. Check it out here to see more of her magical creations.

Hope you having a wonderful week.

xo,

Ivy

 

Art Journals to Adore

Hello there. I'm so excited I can hardly sit still. I just signed up to attend this retreat in May 2014! Eeek! I'm scared and incredibly happy at the same time - which I know is a good sign I'm doing something that I truly want to do. A long weekend, on Bainbridge Island creating art with 10 other women - it's gonna be total bliss! Plus, I'm going to actually meet one of my favorite online art teachers - Jeanne Oliver! Feeling very blessed. Anyways, I've been working more frequently in my art journal. Picking it up casually and sketching or jotting down a thought. It's becoming a little addictive. I was on Pinterest gathering jouranling inspiration and I thought I would show you some of my favorites. Just gorgeous...

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So inspiring right? I just got this book to help me get more creative with hand lettering too. Love it.

I'm off to go work in mine.

Have a beautiful Friday and a lovely weekend.

xo,

Ivy

Art to Adore: Angela Petsis

Hello friends and Happy Friday! Baby is sleeping and I'm busy pinning...as in Pinterest. Yes. It's a serious job and someone has to do it. My Pinterest feed is being flooded with images of gorgeous encaustic art! I'm dying to try it! I just ordered this book and I'm looking for a local class or e-course so let me know if you guys know of one. Anyway, through my hunt for beautiful Encaustic artwork I discovered an amazing artist : Angela Petsis. I am seriously swooning as I go through her stunning portfolio of work! I adore the layering, vintage elements and poetic softness of her work. Absolutely breathtaking.

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So pretty right? I told hubby that I want one of her pieces for Christmas! Please go and treat yourself to a peek at her website and Etsy shop.

Have a lovely weekend!

xo,

Ivy

I'm dreaming of...

Hi there. How's life treating you? We are back into the swing of school around here and I'm trying to get organized and make the most of each day. Not easy. I often find myself being pulled in so many directions that I get overwhelmed. So, I retreat into my own little daydreams. Highly productive. Not. We have been renting a beautiful home in a fabulous neighborhood but it's been three years and I'm getting itchy feet! Growing up, I lived in 10 different houses and two countries (the U.S. & Australia). When Chris and I got together, we moved 5 times in 4 years. Finally, we settled in Portland and have lived here for almost 11 years. No wonder I'm getting wanderlust!

Moving is in my blood and I'm totally dreaming of us buying a large piece of land and building a sweet farmhouse. I want a big porch, an old barn for my art studio, chickens (why not?) and a large, white kitchen, where I would bake bread and make delicious meals. Realistic? Probably not, I don't even bake - but wow, does it sound good to me right now. I'm being drawn to wide open spaces, quiet, solitude, a slower pace. A place to focus and create. Sometimes life just feels so noisy. Know what I mean?

So in my procrastination, I pulled my favorite farmhouse images from my Pinterest board to share my vision with you...

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Okay...I think I got that out of my system. Now back to the laundry...ugh.

Have a beautiful afternoon.

xo,

Ivy

* For sources and more dreamy Farmhouse images see my Pinterest board.*

Creating Art on the IPad : A Walkthru my process

Hello! How are you? Summer is winding down and I'm SO ready for Fall! It's my favorite season and I always seem to find much focus and peace as we all settle into our routines. Today, I wanted to share my process on how I created one of the pieces of digital art from my last post. I got lots of responses and wonderful feedback - thank you so much.

Okay here we go...

Using Procreate on my iPad, I create a painted background using various brush tools. My favorite are wet round brush and old brush. I also downloaded the water brush kit from the app store. It has beautiful washes and watercolor effects. Fun!

You build in layers so this would be my first layer or my bottom layer.

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Next, I select an image that inspires me. I usually find these on Pinterest. Now, this is the cool part! Look, I love to draw faces and people but for me drawing freehand on the iPad was awkward and clumsy. Maybe I just need a ton of practice but I couldn't achieve the detail I wanted! I was frustrated so I went on the hunt for an app that might be able to create digital sketch effects like those on Photoshop - enter USketch. You can run any photo image thru this app and it will create a sketch. Very cool right!? I have erased certain elements of the image to suit my needs. This is a separate layer that lies over the top of my painted backdrop.

***tip - you could also take photos of your own sketches and use those! Just use the iPad camera snap away and its ready to import into Procreate ***

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Then I start to lay in color behind the sketch on another separate layer. I used the wet round brush for most of the color but make sure you try the smudge tool too to soften your edges and blend colors. You can see here too that I imported a honeycomb pattern and placed that over the painted background. I erased it in places and reduced its transparency to soften the effect.

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I imported this vintage rose image from the Graphics Fairy and made it a multiply layer so it is transparent. Another awesome app I use is called Eraser. It will remove the white background from an image so you can overlay/collage it with ease into your composition. Very handy for creating digital art! Love it!

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Finally I added in these bees. Another find on the Graphics Fairy. Used the Eraser app to get rid of white background, duplicated the layers and moved them into place.

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Finally, I added some drips and splashes of paint as well as a few tape like shapes to create some linear elements. And she's done.

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This is such a pleasing way to create digital art! Very forgiving and easy to learn. Let me know if you have questions! I would be happy to help.

Have fun and enjoy your weekend!

xo,

Ivy

Travel Visions 2

I know you may have been expecting a Friday Escape...but while I'm doing my Unravelling class, I've decided that I need to focus on my writing and photo assignments....so I hope you will forgive me and still enjoy this little collection of travel inspired images. I promise we will jump back into our vicarious travel when I've completed the course...which, by the way, is AMAZING!

Have a beautiful and inspired weekend!

xo,

Images via here.

Sunlit

Hello dear friends! I'm so sorry for my absence. My uncle passed suddenly and so I traveled to Florida for his memorial. It was a bittersweet trip...sadness and loss coupled with the heart warming sense of a family coming together and reconnecting. I saw cousins and aunts that I hadn't seen in over a decade. We cried, we hugged and we laughed too. My uncle would have liked that. My hubby and dear Grace stayed behind and I missed them but of course leaving your home for a period makes you appreciate it that much more. I am glad to be home.

Going from the Florida sun to the Oregon rain was a tough downshift though, so I thought today I would share with you dreamy images filled with warm sunlight. A little eye candy to start your week off right...

Can't you almost feel the warmth? Here in Portland, we live for the scattered sunbreaks that Spring delivers. We had one on Friday and I found myself driving down the road, sun roof open, windows down, radio up with a ridiculously huge grin on my face!

Although brief, it was magic.

Hope sunlight is flooding your day!

xo,

Images via 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Travel Visions

Hi there. Well...unfortunately, I don't have a Friday Escape for you today. My little Grace is home sick with an ear infection so my attention needs to be on her. But...I didn't want to leave you with nothing, so I'm sharing some of the beautiful travel images I've collected for my Pinterest Travel board.

A majestic landscape in Val di Funes, Italy.

The gorgeous city of Prague.

Colorful hot air balloon over Paris.

Simply charming tea houses in Stratford-upon-Avon, England.

Last but certainly not least, my beautiful home town, Sydney, Australia.

Hope you enjoy these. I want to hear from you - where would you like us to explore on our Friday Escapes? Any ideas? I'm making a list.

Hope you have a beautiful weekend!

xo,

 

My pretty Valentine

It's sunny here and so pretty out! The whole city comes to life when Mr. Sun decides to hold court in our Northwestern skies. I love it. To celebrate, I decided a good dose of pretty Valentine pictures were in order. I've been collecting them from all over the internet for my Pinterest board. Enjoy...

Hope the sun is shining in your world too.

xo,

Images 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Pep Talk

Blah. Do you ever just feel kinda blah? I'm probably just low on Vitamin D but I can't seem to get out of my yoga pants today. After much moping and procrastination, I decided I needed a little pep talk. Isn't it fabulous when just reading a few words brightens your day? Even if it's just a teeny tiny bit. I read these quotes (via my Pinterest board) and that happened. Like a small crack of light, seeping into my gray mood, I perked up and wanted more. You may or may not need some words of encouragement today but I thought I would share them with you, just in case. If you don't need them...pass them on to someone who does.

Hope this helped. I feel better but I still think I should go buy myself flowers. Yes. Definitely.

xo,

Wall Wonders

I've got these big blank walls in my house. Still. It's sad, really. I know I should be brave but I'm scared of hanging the wrong thing. Big...I need big, expensive, beautiful artwork - at least that's what I keep telling myself.

"I'm so boring!"  the walls seem to scream at me.

Okay, walls. You win. I will fix your blankness. But first, I need inspiration!

Wow, I feel so much better! I love all these ideas and I really LOVE that I don't need to run out and buy huge pieces of artwork. This curated, collaged look is much more interesting! How cute are those little plates floating up from that vintage stove?

Oh and it's not out yet, but I've added this book to my Amazon wish-list!

Are your walls blank too? I hope this gave you some ideas! If you love it, hang it up! A card, a poster, a gorgeous tag, a beautiful image from your favorite magazine...whatever. Your walls can be your very own composition! Your very own gallery! Have fun with it!

I'm going to be working on my blank walls and I will share my "installations" once they are up!

Have a inspired Friday!

xo,

Images 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

To view my entire gallery of wall inspiration images check out my Pinterest gallery of Wall Wonders.

Winter Bliss

I've got snow on my blog page, snow on my internet home page...but NO snow on the ground. boo. I know that Portland comes to a complete standstill when the white stuff comes down but it sure does make everything look magical. My parents arrive this weekend from their own winter wonderland - Montana - so maybe they will bring a few flurries with them...in the mean time I guess looking at these lovely images will have to do... I've been collecting these from around the web and posting them to my Pinterest Page. A little curated piece of winter bliss. Enjoy.

Doesn't that snowy porch look like the perfect place to sit and sip hot cocoa!?

xo,

Images including links via: Winter Bliss gallery

Let the sunshine in...

I was perusing my Pinterest boards and I wanted to share a beautiful collection of dreamy sun filled images.

We are off to the quaint seaside town of Manzanita, to stay at a friend's vintage beach cottage!

Can't wait to get down there, unwind, sit around the fire pit with my feet in the sand and take a ton of photos!

Have a gorgeous summer weekend!

xo,

Images via: Rowena R, violetbellaphoto, yyellowbird, Gabriela Gattaneo