French culture isn’t a fluke. It’s ingrained as early as daycare when babies are serving 4-course meals (i.g. tomato and avocado salad, sautéed turkey, brie and fruit AKA my baby’s lunch menu). These customs are withheld for life. But all these micro details make France, France. And the French, French. And foreigners, well, foreign. Even if grab-and-go options and poké bowls have swept the capital by storm, these small table manners remain set in stone…
Thrilled to welcome you to my Studio Open House in tandem with the Portes Ouvertes des Ateliers d’Artistes. I’ll be presenting the original watercolors from “The New Victory Garden 2022” and copies of the calendar will be available for sale, too. Original watercolors from my archive will also be on sale for a fraction of the price.
A l’occasion des Portes Ouvertes des Ateliers de Montreuil, je serais ravie de vous accueillir pour vous présenter mon travail et mon parution “The New Victory Garden Calendar”. Je vendrai les aquarelles originales pour un prix “vide-atelier” aussi.
October 9-10, 13h-18h
Usine Chapal, 2 rue marcelin berthelot 93100 Montreui, Porte D / 2eme étage
And it’s the perfect special something for the gardener/foodie/mother-in-law/designated auntie/Secret Santa-ee. And it’s conveniently under $20.
Save-the-date! You can purchase a copy and peruse the originals at my studio open house October 9-10 at the Usine Chapal in Montreuil (2 rue Marcelin Berthelot 93100 Montreuil). I’ll also be clearing out original watercolors for very interesting prices. More to come…
In a great big room with a Stephanie Tanner bed, there was a JTT and a Kurt Cobain head…
He seeks independence while also the comfort of his mother’s arms! A single Tic Tac makes him screech with glass-shattering zeal! Lock your windows and doors! It’s toddler-i-zing! Unfortunately inspired by real events.
Here’s some other cool stuff I’ve been up to. Wanna indulge your creative bug? I’m now teaching watercolor and illustration on Skillshare. I wrote an illustrated a guide to Julia Child’s favorite Parisian haunts in the Julia issue of Cherry Bombe Magazine. Missing Europe? Cookbook illustrations in Katie Quinn’s new-ish travelogue/cookbook Cheese, Wine, and Bread. Watercolor lettering and bespoke invitation suites to make any event beyond special.
Whenever I get asked about must-go places in my hometown of Chicago, I have to preface my list stating that all my recommendations are at least a century old. No poké bowl recommendations here! I like directing friends to the haunts that my family has been flocking to for generations so they can enjoy (occasionally) musty old school charm that I think of when I think of “home”. When I was researching Julia Child’s favorite Parisian haunts for the most recent Julia Child issue of Cherry Bombe Magazine, I was reassured that there were still many similarly eternal institutions in my adopted city. These are equally as loved by true Parisians and tourists alike. Enjoy.
An ode to a French child who prefers San Pellegrino to tap and has already embraced the finer things in life.
A collection of watercolor gifs recapping the joyful and unfiltered first month of motherhood, inspired by real events…
Before you can tell a story with objects, you have to learn how to paint them first. In my latest Skillshare course Watercolor for Breakfast: A 7-Day Editorial Food Illustration Daily Practice, I challenge students to use their own breakfast to jump-start a week of editorial food illustrations.
But what if you’re not there yet? Drawing from primary references (AKA the real object itself) is the best way to train your eye to be in synch with your brushstrokes.
Here are a few tips on getting better at painting a still life:
–Take 1-2 minutes where you stare at the still life. This will seem loooooong at the beginning, but it’s the best way to gather information before you begin. Ask yourself a few questions. How do all the objects connect? What are the lightest and darkest spots? Do you think it’s important to include the background?
-Do a gestural sketch. If you’re new to drawing or still can’t seem to get started, give yourself a few drawing challenges à la art school. Draw the still life in 5 seconds. Then 10, then 15. Draw with your opposite hand. Draw it with a continuous line. Draw it with two complimentary colors. The more you loosen up, the easier it will be to synch your hand with your eye.
–Study the light source. Is your light coming from the right side? Then all the objects will reflect light on the right side and have shadows on the left. It’s as simple as that, but it’s the best way to capture and communicate volume and give sense to your overall composition.
-Style your still life. As a former food stylist, I recommend lots of micro tips in Watercolor for Breakfast about how to take a brute ingredient and turn it into something very special. Your final drawing is only as interesting as the still life that inspires it. Cut a fruit and vegetable in half or in slices. Add a cooking utensil or a step from the process of cooking a recipe. Add a branch from outside. Make sure everything isn’t all the same height. And always add something transparent (Alas, I’m now the art teacher I used to hate).
-Feeling courageous? Add a touch of whimsy. Once you get the hang of drawing a still life, flip it on it’s head. Quickly draw the firsts 3 ideas off the top of your head. Imagine throwing it all in the air and draw how you think it will land. Create a fashion illustration using all the elements. How would this look in movement?
-Inspiration. Study the Dutch still life masters. Follow and participate in @stillherestilllife on Instagram, a weekly drawing challenge. That’s what generated all the still life illustrations above.
Take care! Happy drawing. And don’t drink the watercolor water.