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18 results found.
I stumbled on these photos from Monterey, California and found myself feeling nostalgic for the California coast. Thought I would post them here and bring a little west coast sunshine to the day. Hope you enjoy these photos.
Our day trip to Monterey from Palo Alto started with walking along the pier and harbor on our way towards the aquarium…
And at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we enjoyed learning all about the history of Monterey and the aquarium’s conservation efforts while we explored their exhibits…
And waving at the divers!
The open ocean exhibit was our fave. And trying to spot the different aquatic life from the viewing platforms of the aquarium…
At the end of the day, we caught the sunset in nearby Carmel-by-the-Sea…
I love watching the sun set over the ocean.
Have a good week~
At about this time last year, I found myself at a Catalina Island weekend for the spring art show hosted by the Catalina Art Association. The island was beautiful, the weather was great, and the art fair was a success. Totally loved the weekend spent there, and happy to share some of my favorite photos from the time.
We drove from Palo Alto to Los Angeles and took the ferry out to the island on Friday. The views coming into the harbor of Avalon are calm and beautiful….
We were up bright and early the next morning to set up for the art show. The sunrise was amazing with the way the light hits the water….
And since the weather was good, a sunny spot on the pier was great for lunch…
One of the things I loved from the island are the architectural details. The tiles of Catalina are all so unique and beautiful…
On Saturday night, we walked over to the Casino to catch a movie. The path winds along the water…
…to where the Casino perches on the coast.
The Casino has been an entertainment hub since it opened in 1929, and is full of historic art deco design. The theatre is like a time capsule:
Such a cool space with great atmosphere, and a great way to have experienced a movie.
Sunday was more cloudy, giving the island a bit of a moody seaside vibe. That was beautiful, too, in another way. And I enjoyed taking in the windy seaside views.
It was very idyllic to experience a Catalina Island weekend, and it is easy to see why the place is so popular. I’d love to spend more time there.
It is August and around here in San Luis Obispo it looks like this:
How pretty is that view as the sun sets?
There are lots of baby goats hanging out right now….
…. working on those balance skills…
… and getting some naps in (growing up is hard work!)
The goats are pretty friendly and don’t mind us hanging out with them….
And then here’s their friendly protector:
I love hearing the baa-ing of the goats outside! Some of these kids are starting to jump around – they can have so much energy!
These goats are part of a local sustainable land management business. Goat herds can help with clearing land, managing noxious weeds, and even help lower risk of fire by creating firebreaks. Plus they are adorable.
You can read all posts about California here.
Cambria, California is a small, lovely seaside town about 20 minutes north of Morro Bay. It makes a great stop if you are driving between LA and San Francisco, and is close to some cool sites in the central coast area like Hearst Castle, the elephant seals at San Simeon, and the Paso Robles winery region.
We started our day with a visit to Moonstone Beach – a great place for a walk, a picnic, or to just enjoy the ocean. We’re visiting in April, so it was pretty windy + still a little chilly… but warm enough for a great walk. There’s a long boardwalk that makes the beach views accessible for everyone.
There are also lots of hidden coastal access points off of Highway 1. We stopped at one rocky beach outcrop to explore a bit of the seaside by ourselves…
In town, there are so many great restaurants, coffee shops, and boutique shops…
Plus plenty of art galleries to stop in, some antique shops, and a little playhouse connected to the Harmony cafe. We ate at the cafe, and if you are in town check the adjoining J. Buckley Theatre’s schedule for frequent events like live music, local plays, and retro movies…
Our favorite dish was the sea bass – really fresh!
We also ate at the Indigo Moon on the other side of Main Street.
We more or less ordered one of everything and it was all delicious!
I love hidden gem places like Cambria! Do you love little seaside towns, too?
I’m back with another update on my California Coastline art collection! In Part 1, I talked about some of the things that happen before any paint gets on the canvas. Here in Part 2, I’ll show some behind-the-scenes process for how I prepare canvases.
In general, I’ll prepare canvases with a couple of rounds of priming and sanding. I’ll do this even for canvases I buy “pre-primed” – because I like to get the texture of the cotton to a smoothness I like. It’s just personal preference.
For me, priming is an important step that helps prepare the canvas for oil paint. I use a white acrylic primer that you can find at most craft or art supplies labeled as gesso. Having the primer as the base for my painting creates a continuous seal over the canvas, preventing my oil paints from being absorbed into the canvas over time. The primer will also help prevent fine cracks in the paint surface as the painting ages.
I use a wide brush like the one of the left to spread my white acrylic primer over an entire canvas (including the edges!) as a first layer.
Once the primer is dry (it doesn’t usually take more than 15 minutes), I’ll sand it gently. For sanding, I use a fine grain sandpaper – either 220 or 420 (maybe both!).
Sanding the canvas between layers of primer helps me achieve the level of smoothness I want – the more layers of primer/sanding, the less texture when it is time to start the painting. I usually do two layers of primer with sanding after each layer because I like to strike that balance of a relatively smooth surface that also still has some tooth to it to grip my paint.
Earth tones are a popular choice for toning canvases – I especially like Raw Sienna or Yellow Ochre. For the ocean scenes I’ve been painting lately, my go-tos have been either Yellow Ochre or Naples Yellow – they give a nice warm feeling to the canvas and compliment my heavy use of blue in the final composition.
Here is an example of a canvas I toned with Naples Yellow from my recent time-lapse video:
Preparing the canvases overall is a step I really enjoy – it helps me get in the zone before painting. It also helps me feel more confident – like I’m setting myself up for success by providing a strong foundation.
And a quick update on how the collection is coming along — remember the rough sketches from Part 1 where my ideas usually start? Here is one of those alongside how it ended up translating to the canvas:
I love a good before and after. 🙂
I’m working on an art collection inspired by the Central Coast area of California in and around San Luis Obispo county. While I’ve been living in Morro Bay for a couple of months, I’ve been especially inspired by the ocean and the colors that form where the sky meets the water on the horizon.
I want to share with you guys the behind-the-scenes process. Part 1 here focuses on some of the things that happen before any paint gets on a canvas.
First things first, some inspiration! It’s where the fun starts. 🙂
An early afternoon by Morro Rock…
A late afternoon hike near Los Osos, CA…
Dusk on the first not-rainy day after a stormy week in Morro…
When I’m organizing my thoughts about a place, I like to make some quick and rough sketches to play with relative scale, feel, and overall architecture of places I like. Like these:
Spending this time translating the world onto the page helps me decide which direction to take the eventual paintings.
Along with the sketches (and before I start any work on the canvas) I like to play with mixing up colors to discover which tones I like, which hue best captures the feeling I’m trying to convey, and how well colors play together. I end up with a lot of splotches like these:
And alongside the color experiments, I’ll do some just-for-fun/warm myself up paintings that focus on how I want the paints to come together and play off each other. For these I will use either some thick paper or inexpensive canvas boards from Michael’s (great for practicing on when you don’t want to waste a whole canvas!).
Here are a couple of examples of fast practice paintings I did to see how my colors might look in a composition:
(When I work on these color studies, the kinds of questions I ask myself are: does the light seem right? Am I conveying the mood I want? Are the colors balanced?)
So that’s an overview of starting the painting process! Finding inspiration, sketching out forms and plans, and studying the colors.
In Part 2, I’ll talk about how I am preparing my canvases and I’ll show more of the collection!
And this Thursday, I’ll post a time-lapse of the process for this painting:
(I just love the clouds in that one.)
Let me know what questions you have in the comments!
I’m so excited to finally share a Bristol England Apartment Tour! We moved to the UK from California back in September and got into this apartment in October. After a whirlwind few months of getting settled and finding our footing, I can finally say we are loving our place here.
We initially thought we’d be using a liaison to help us find a flat while we were still living in the States, but we decided at the last minute to wait until we’d moved and look for a place ourselves. That meant we needed to spend time researching flats online the week before we moved and calling up agents to make a short list of places we were interested in seeing on arrival. We landed in Bristol on a Friday morning, looked at this flat Friday afternoon, and by Friday evening we were signing the lease. When it’s the right thing and you know, you know.
Let’s do this. First up…
When we moved, everything we brought with us had to fit in about 6 suitcases. We left most of our things (furniture, lots of clothing, kitchen supplies, etc) behind in a storage locker. So we really started with a blank slate in England and needed to purchase everything we would need while we live here.
We made these display frames to organize jewelry out of cotton wrapped foam board and Ikea Hovsta frames….
I love the way it doubles as organization and wall art. Plus, now I can enjoy jewelry even when I’m not wearing it. Win-win.
We picked up this valet stand at Ikea also, to make a home for those in-between clothes that you’ll wear again but don’t want to put back in the closet. You know what I’m talking about.
Speaking of the closet…. Most of the flats we had on our list to visit had armoire-style storage, so the built in closet here is something we loved about this space….
Our second bedroom is a jack-of-all-trades. We use it as our guest room (the sofa is a pull-out bed), art studio, and occasional office.
We were looking to add a lot of storage in here, so we choose cabinets from Ikea to organize everything. For example, this cabinet holds the art supplies I have with me currently….
And we used the 3 sets of Eket cabinets together as a TV console:
Lots of storage + TV console. I love the height of these for the TV.
Last but not least, I painted a set of watercolors and picked up this second-hand end-table from the British Heart Foundation.
I’ll be back with photos of the living area + kitchen for Part 2 of this Bristol England apartment tour!
A 5’9″ right-handed/left-brained arts entrepreneur with a background in project management and marketing. My work brings together my love of travel, inspiration from the places around me, and a knack for to-do lists. From graphic design briefs for company logos to watercolor travel sketches, I always strive to authentically tell the stories of the people, places, or creators I work with.
Currently based in the UK.
ACTION / Black Lives Matter resources
BLOG / travel stories, photos, and art behind-the-scenes
SHOP / prints and designs for everyday life
WATERCOLOR PALETTE VIDEO / tutorial and set up walkthrough
ESSENTIAL MOVING ABROAD PACKING PLAN / get organized, stay sane
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