Friday, August 26, 2011

My visit to California:)

Where do I begin?  My visit to California was amazing!  Filled with blue skies...palm trees and fresh ocean brine.  We crammed in a lot in one week.  We visited some of the most beautiful spots in the Los Angeles area. Some of my favourites were Paradise Cove and El Matador Beach in Malibu, which were simply stunning. We also spent a lot of time in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. We shopped till we dropped...especially all of us girls. I felt sorry for my son having to endure the Sephora and Victoria’s Secret visits! He was a great sport though, all complaints aside. We ate at some fabulous restaurants. It’s safe to say that our favourite (unanimously, across the board, no question) was Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills. Incredible pasta dishes! Talk about bon apetito!

I also had the pleasure and privilege painting with Christie Repasy! My assistant Leanna and I hopped into the car one early morning...with our eyes still glued shut...we had no coffee and no idea what was waiting for us up ahead. We headed for Fallbrook.  With our GPS in hand we headed south, thinking we were safe...little did we know that GPS would freeze up and send us flying all over the map! Leanna hardly ever leaves the Los Angeles area to go south, so she had no idea how to get us there by memory. We ended up in Anaheim, where we had a massive laugh attack. We literally almost peed our pants. By that point we were delirious and in serious need of coffee. I had been slapping my face to keep awake until that point. The coffee kicked in and we were back in business….only to end up on another wrong exit….towards Las VEGAS! To top it all off, Leanna’s phone was dead and Christie had been calling us to see if we were okay. We got back on track, and finally made it to Fallbrook…relieved that we didn’t miss the class.

Christie lives in a gorgeous home in Fallbrook. It was such a peaceful afternoon for all of us. She is a wonderful, talented, giving person!!! Oh...and did I mention she's a hoot?  Her studio and shop is to live for.  She taught us so much. I am very much looking forward to my next visit. The rest of the ladies were sweethearts too, and we ended up painting some beautiful roses if I might say so myself.

Have a peek at some of the other students...their beautiful work...and some photos of Christie's Shop!!

xo Mary

Monday, July 18, 2011

Something new...

Just a couple of new items I will be listing for sale on my website this week...:)

Thanks for looking.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

A new technique, a new vision....

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet..." (or would it?)

I find that, when it comes to painting, messy is better. Messy is good. This reminds me of when artist Ros Singleton (and her daughter Alison) spent some time with me during a summer for their seminar. I distinctly remember Ros's words, "messy is gooood" in her addictive Aussie accent. The time we shared taught me so much.I really have to agree with her now on the messy thing, because I find myself being a total slob when it comes to my palette.

I believe that we as artists, are never "complete" in our craft....always growing and changing. There is so much to be learned. When I first started painting, I was very timid with my work. (I look back at a photo of one of my first roses, and now all I can do is laugh. One day I might get the courage to post it, so we can all pee our pants together). I find that now, I am painting more experimentally, in the fashion of realism (Well, I'm trying. I'm not there yet!! Haha..) This gives each flower greater dimension and depth, in fact it breathes life into the flower. It becomes more real rather than just a painting.

I look at a rose in a different way than I did ten years ago. I used to simply see just a rose. But now, I see the rose, I see its petals, the many shades in one petal, its curvature, the beauty of how it sits there, how it falls into place, and how happy it makes me to look at it (and then of course to paint it). That's the feeling I  experience when I surround myself with paintings from my fellow artists. It makes me genuinely happy. I want to convey this in all of my pieces.

As I sit here looking at this rose photograph I have just posted (above), I can even feel the silky satin petals just by looking at it now. I am amazed at how perceptions change over time. Oh, who knows...maybe it's just  old age creeping up on me. ha ha ha!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

the beauty that inspires me...

Wow! This is my first blog. As many of you know, or will come to know through reading this blog and visiting my website, I am a romantic rose artist and designer. I want to welcome all of those who are new to my art, as well as those who know my work well. I want this blog to be a place of inspiration, reflection, and further insight into the thinking behind my artwork. 

I have been an artist for over ten years, but only in the last ten years have I developed a specific passion for painting in the shabby-elegant style. I paint not only on canvas, but also on antique collectibles, glassware, china, silverware, and refurbished vintage furniture. I often love to adorn my pieces with Swarovsky crystals to add to their classic appeal. I absolutely love the transformations that occur through the process of my work---nothing beats seeing a Baroque-style mirror transformed into a timeless, feminine statement piece.

My passion for floral art and the shabby style is inspired not only by the natural beauty around me every day, but also by what could be. When I walk into a room, or see an antique silver tea set, I cannot help but envision myself painting all over it! I love crisp, French country-inspired themes, as well as a minimalist approach to decor. I am inspired by Pioneer romantic rose artist, Catherine Klein. The 1800's were a period in art that marked the change from Neoclassicism (based on roman art) to the Romantic period, which emphasized emotion. That is the core element to my work-the emotion behind it. I am inspired also by my peers- such as Cindy Ellis, Christie Repasy, and of course, Rachel Ashwell (who herself coined the term "Shabby Chic"), among others.

As I have just launched my new website, the store is currently being stocked. I am busy stomping grapes in the next room, as we speak, a' la "I Love Lucy." Just kidding!

Please continue checking in to my website frequently, and this blog, as I will soon be revealing my latest collection with you. I am extremely thrilled to share this with you, as it has been a labour of love. Expect elegance, romance, and a whole lot of roses.You won't be able to resist finishing your home with these pieces.