medium /// illustration




“push through the messiness”

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Today I’m talking to Portland based artist, Lisa Congdon. Yep, Portland! She just moved from her long time home of San Francisco… oh, and for the ‘speed round’, please note the ‘California’ tattoo on her arm in the photo above. Alright, listen right up there, or subscribe on iTunes. As you’re listening, you can take a peek at the things that Lisa and I talked about, in the order that we talked about them. If you’re not listening, I’ll be honest… this post won’t make much sense!

Ok, let’s do this. This is the glamorous “recording studio” that I mentioned right off the bat:

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Very high tech. {Oh, and I mentioned the interview she and her wife Clay just did on the Being Boss podcast, which you can listen to right here.} I asked if she still had the first painting she ever did… this is the first still life painting from the first painting class she took {just for fun} in her early 30’s. She did this in 2001:

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Love it! {thanks for sharing this little gem, Lisa!} This next piece was part of the 2012 Dorothy Saxe Invitational Exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco:

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Gorgeous! And what an amazing full circle moment when her teacher stumbled upon this at that show, years after teaching her how to paint! So cool. I also wanted to include a bunch of her current abstract work, along with some of my favorites of her mixed media pieces from a few years back {that large abstract below makes me think of the “painting curve” that she talks about}

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Love. And then we had to talk about her books, because there are so many of them … this isn’t even all of them! These are just the ones we had time to talk about:

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Ah, they’re all so great! The new swimming book {“The Joy of Swimming: A Celebration of Our Love for Getting in the Water”} is going to be gorgeous, and will be out next Spring! Ok, next… I asked her what she loves drawing the most:

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Patterns and flowers, obviously! Those images above are directly from her sketchbook. Also directly from her sketchbook? A gorgeous new line of textiles that she made with Cloud 9 Fabrics:

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I wonder when she sleeps? And finally, this is the sketchbook course she was talking about:

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You can find info for these classes here:  “Sketchbook Explorations” and “Line Drawing” {and there is a new “Sketchbook Explorations” class starting this fall, so keep an eye out for that} Phewf! She is a busy lady, and that was an action packed post! Thanks so much to Lisa, to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode, and to you for looking ‘n listening. The next episode will be ready for your artsy ears next Saturday.

*The top-most photo of Lisa was taken by Sarah Deragon, and the two photos of Lisa painting the large abstract were taken by Victoria Smith.




ekaterina koroleva

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Simple, washy brush strokes that feel effortlessly feminine. Oh, and that rusty, autumnal color palette? Gorgeous. It’s actually making me miss sweater weather… in the blazing heat of summer! This is the gorgeous work of Berlin based artist/fashion illustrator Ekaterina Koroleva. Love.





“you’re in cider town”

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Amazing things will happen… yes they will! Today’s episode is an interview with Philadelphia based artist, illustrator, hand-lettering master, Mary Kate McDevittWe talk about the best letters to draw, quotes from Ned Flanders, and we even have a little hand-lettering assignment for all of us at the end! You can listen right up there, under all of the amazingness, or you can subscribe on iTunes. Here is what we talked about, in the order that we talked about it. First of all, her hilarious, sweet and super fantastic 100 day project:

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Love! And there are plenty more where these came from… she’s now on day 66 so there are a whole lot of people and pets in her instagram feed! Next, onto client work. Commissioned work is how Mary Kate spends most of her days. This is just a tiny little snippet {so much more on her site}:

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I need that shirt. She does book covers, magazine covers, ads, you name it… all by hand. No computers, no fonts. So good. She also does a lot of personal work. These are two of the pieces that we were talking about… being a huge fan of reruns, she gets a lot of her favorite quotes from old TV shows, like News Radio and The Simpsons:

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Ah, Ned. So wise. And finally the last thing we talked about was the letter l. Lovely little letter ‘L’, and so we decided to put out a creative challenge out for all of us… this is the hashtag you’ll need: #handletterlullaby

Thanks to Mary Kate for taking a break from unpacking her new studio, to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode, and to all of you for listening… the next episode will be up next Saturday!





land of nod : fall 2015 collection!

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Ok, I know it’s July, but in the world of Land of Nod, Fall has arrived! This is my second collection for Land of Nod, and I could not be more excited about all of the gorgeous work, and talented artists who made brand new pieces for this project. Watercolor, tapestries, papier mache mobiles, paper cats… I love it all so much! Oh, and this is a cool little tidbit … those two sweet little wiener dogs, by Canadian artist Louisa Jensen, are named after my dogs, Stella & Murphy! ♥  You can find all of these, and pieces from my Spring 2015 collection, right here.





“girls are my vocabulary”

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Today’s episode is an interview with American ceramicist Amanda SmithFrom blowing things up in the kiln to balancing art and motherhood, Amanda seems to handle all of it with a Zen-like ease. You can listen right up there, or you can subscribe on iTunes. Here is what we covered, in the order that we covered it. First up, I was so thrilled to have Amanda’s work in the show that I curated last winter at the Bedford Gallery in California. That group of women is getting an up-close look at three of Amanda’s pieces:

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Ooh, and this piece, titled “Piñata”, was on the title wall. Note the red ‘sold’ dot! {The lovely images of the gallery were taken by Micaela Hoo}. Moving along to a few of the pieces that I specifically asked Amanda about… “Hummer Procession” and “Hot Punch”:

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… and just a few more of my favorites because I can’t not share them…

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Unicorn! Love. We also gave a little plug to her wonderful, supportive, and also super talented husband, Casey Jex Smith:

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And according to the ‘speed round’, if she could have a coffee date with anyone it would be Ira Glass. Um, I want an invite to that! Here’s Ira with Tavi Gevinson of Rookie {in the Wall Street Journal}… hopefully they won’t mind if Amanda and I join them:

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And that’s a wrap! Thank you to Amanda for taking time away from her baby, her four year old, and the studio to talk to me for half an hour… and thank you so much to all of you for listening! The next episode will be up next Saturday.





monika forsberg

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Oh, Monday morning. I want to jump back into my bed for one more quick little bit of sleep… just long enough to have a colorful, beautiful, and totally wacky dream that resembles these mixed media pieces by Swedish born, London based artist/illustrator Monika Forsberg (aka Walkyland) … I want to make friends with little birds wearing shoes!

{via Lisa Congdon … you can find a really wonderful interview with Monika on Lisa’s site.}





lieke van der vorst

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Oh boy, now I want a warthog to drink tea with. This is either a really weird, colorful, beautiful dream I had, or the work of Dutch artist/illustrator Lieke van der Vorst. It might be both.





hey, mama … a little mom’s day round-up

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Mother’s Day always makes me feel really nostalgic. I have so many sunny childhood memories of my mom, and now that I’m a mama there are so many moments with my son that I wish I could bottle forever … hence my latest collage! Days at the beach, road trips in the family car, playing in the garden, and homemade popsicles in the backyard. Sigh. Good times. Here’s an artsy little round-up of pieces that tug at my mama heart strings:

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{Mother’s Day is on May 10th, so there’s still time to order. To buy these prints, and super sweet ceramic wall hangings, just click on the images above, or use these links: 1. Me  2. Lisa Golightly  3. Nathalie Cusson  4. Alicia Zwicewicz  5. Kelly Ventura  6. Liora Saad  7. Kelly Ventura, again!}





babeth lafon

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Oooh la la! Babeth Lafon is a French artist/illustrator based in Berlin, and her work is beyond lovely. I can almost smell the peonies from here! Pretty perfumes in fancy bottles, polkadot socks, and delicate flowers. Gorgeous.

{via meighan o’toole on pinterest}





kimberly hall

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You could seriously play the artsiest game of ‘Go Fish’ EVER with these beauties! I love this project by Philadelphia based artist Kimberly Hall {aka Nottene}… the final drawings are fantastic, but I love the story behind them just as much:

“I started designing this deck as a way to draw new things regularly. In 2013 one of my goals was to draw more every day, but it was hard to stay motivated. I was always looking for new things to draw, so when a friend mentioned she was going to learn a new card game each week for all 52 weeks of the year I realized it was the perfect number of weeks to produce a deck of cards in a way that wasn’t completely overwhelming! I have always wanted to design a deck of cards, but it felt like too big of a project. Suddenly it seemed manageable.”

Brilliant and so inspiring! She has illustrated the entire deck, and now her plan is to turn these 52 drawings into the real deal {get it? deal?}. Sorry, bad card joke. Anywho, Kimberly’s got a kickstarter project underway, so if you want to help her, ie., ensure that these get made so you can pick up a set for yourself, pop over to her project page … 25 days to go!