I sat down to paint on Friday afternoon, and this is what came out. It was a happy day in the USA, with the Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage for the entire country (finally). The internet has never been alight with so many rainbows!! There was so much joy in the air, and when I started painting this hummingbird I realized that it tied in perfectly with the day's joyful air, because hummingbirds represent joy and drinking the sweet nectar of life.

Love always wins!

A number of people asked me on Instagram and on Facebook if I'd be offering this image for sale as a print, and the answer is yes! You can find it right here. It's my new favorite!

Sometimes paintings flow effortlessly out of me, and this was one of them. The background layer was ready to go and was just waiting for what wanted to be painted on top of it.... a couple hours after I sat down, it was finished. Paintings don't always happen that way! Sometimes they are a struggle. Sometimes they are filled with joy and ease. This was one of those. So not only is this painting about joy and love, it flowed from my hand and hard in a loving and joy-filled way, too. Perfect!

The print comes in 3 sizes -- 8/5x11", 11x14", and 13x19" -- if you'd like one. They are all right here in the shop.

Hope you like it!
xo



Well, the Pattern Campers have been BUSY lately! I think I can safely say they’re good and addicted to pattern making now. I’ve seen inspiration coming from all sorts of places — afternoon snacks, memories of childhood in the 80s, running, pets, you name it! It’s very inspiring. Here’s a batch of recent patterns that have popped up in the private Pattern Camp Facebook group. Enjoy!

pattern at top: by Nikki Farrand Rayburn


above: by Emma Bryan


above: by Darlene Seale


above: by Teresa Barry




above: by Tara Axford


above: by Aurora Pedraza


above: by Pamela Steiner


above: by Lisa Lee




above: by Susanne Randers


above: by Blair Stocker


above: by Julie Wilson


above: by Michelle Allen


above: by Sarah Dudgeon


Recently I bought some gouache paint. I've been playing around with it, wondering how I'm going to make it my own -- I'm an acrylic paint + Adobe Illustrator digital pattern kind of gal -- and it's been so fun experimenting with this new-to-me medium! I love how gouache can become transparently thin or vibrantly opaque, depending on the amount of water you use. I love the messy brushstrokes and splotchy effects I can achieve. In short: I'm in love!

I painted a sheet of flowery icons last week and decided I'd turn them into a pattern and see how I like that process.

You guys, I LOVED it! I am so in love with how it turned out! It's done in a combo of Photoshop and Illustrator -- icons dealt with in Photoshop, then all put together in Illustrator. Not a quick process (this took forever to create!), but it worked, and I'm so pleased with the results. Isn't it pretty?

Next I'm going to make some coordinating pieces to go with it, so hopefully a dream client will find them irresistible for some amazing products.

Here's a simpler gouache pattern that I created recently:


Pineapples! I think this would be so cute on a pair of shorts. Wouldn't it??

Hope you have a lovely, creative, sun-filled day. :)



Wow, this day totally got away from me, and I meant to post this much earlier, but guess what I've been doing all afternoon? You guessed it -- painting flowers! How timely. ;)

Anyway, I wanted to share the winner of Tuesday's Painted Blossoms giveaway before the weekend rolls in....

So, here we go!
A big congratulations to:


Catherine, please email me your mailing address when you get a chance, and Carrie + her publisher will get your gorgeous book shipped out to you asap. Congrats on the win! I know you're going to adore the book.

Have a great weekend, all, and thanks for your comments here and on Instagram! It was fun to scroll through all the different types of flowers that are your faves.


Hello everyone, and happy Tuesday!

I'm excited to share this beautiful new book with you today, written by my talented friend Carrie Schmitt, called Painted Blossoms, AND to give away a copy to one lucky winner!

Carrie asked 13 artists (including me!) to share with her techniques, truths, and subtle practices that help them express visually what wants to come through them, and she incorporated those techniques and tips into her own paintings to see what happened, through various demos and projects. Cool premise for a book, eh? Not to mention that it's GORGEOUS! Carrie's work is just plain beautiful, no ifs, and, or buts about it.

And this book -- both her writing and the beautiful paintings, tips, and projects held within on its pages -- is filled with soul, kindness, inspiration, love, and a clear + true passion not only for creating beautiful art, but also for sharing it with and teaching others how to create it for themselves. 

In short: you will love Painted Blossoms!

Details on how to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post. Keep reading!

Here are some shots from the inside:


Here's one of my spreads! (So many thanks to Carrie for including me in this gem.)





TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:

Either:

1. Answer the following question in the comments (click on the 'comment' flag at the top of the post, near the blog post title, to get to the comment section)

2. Or, answer it here on Instagram.

Here's the question:

What is your favorite flower (your sacred soul flower) and why?

I'm excited to hear what your favorite flowers are!

I am particularly in love with ranunculus and dahlia. What about you?

I'll choose a random winner this Friday, June 19th and announce it here. 

And if you'd like to purchase Carrie's book, I put it in my Amazon store as a recommended book, which you can find right here. You'll honestly be so glad you added this book to your creative bookshelf if you decide to scoop it up! 

Huge congrats to you, Carrie, on this wonderful accomplishment -- I hope you're so proud, sweet flower sister! :)




I've been taking a pottery class the last month and a half or so, and YOU GUYS, I am obsessed. I've been busy with other stuff, too -- Pattern Camp, house projects, redoing my website, creating new art, being pregnant, etc -- so I haven't had as much time to get for open studio time as I would have liked, but I've made a small handful of things so far, and I just want to make MORE!

When I got to class this morning, some of my glazed pieces had come out of the kiln -- the SPOONS! Oh man, I think I want to make spoons forever. I see so many possibilities with these. I seriously think I might have to get a kiln this summer. Then I can just make pottery at home whenever I want!
 

Nothing that I've made so far is al that exciting of beautiful, but I am so pumped about it -- something about working with glazes is like magic... it's like Christmas when you see the finished pieces pulled from the kiln.

I made those wonky, drippy vases above, which I sort-of like, and I have a big vase that I just glazed today that I'm super pumped about getting back next week. If it turns out well, I'll show you!

This pitcher is one of my favorite things that came out of the kiln:


I'm digging that red iron oxide underneath white glaze. I want to glaze more things that way. I'm waiting for animal heads, beads, some little dishes, more spoons, and a vase to come out of the kiln still... I'll share more next week when I bring my haul home! I'm so excited about this.

Any clay people out there: tell me about kilns. Do you have a recommendation for a small kiln that's easy to manage at home? Do you have to have special electricity to run it? I want to know more!



The June session of my online pattern course, Pattern Camp, happened this past weekend, and oh my, what a thrill!

Each time Pattern Camp rolls around I'm amazed at how much people can learn in just 2 days -- it's truly incredible.

Some of the folks in Pattern Camp have no prior experience with either Illustrator or Photoshop, and with some hard work and perseverance (and lots of questions asked along the way!), they're making their own repeat patterns in no time!

This is a smattering of the gorgeous patterns that people were posting in the private Facebook group throughout the weekend. There were SO many more -- I'll definitely be sharing more of them here! In the meantime, have a gander.

And if you're interested in learning how to do this yourself and joining a future session of Pattern Camp, you can hop on the email list here -- I send out emails about upcoming courses, special deals, etc, so you'll want to be on that list to be in the know.

Hope you enjoy this bit of eye candy and inspiration for today!

pattern at top: by Terrea Hamilton Phillips




above: by Valerie Theoret




above: by Barbara Rehbehn


above: by Kathleen Wilson


above: by Alison McDole


above: by Aurora Pedraza


above: by Darlene Seale


above: by Blair Stocker




above: by Alicia Webb


above: by Julie Fillo


above: by Patti Sokol


above: by Kristen Powers


above: by Livia Saba


above: by Pattie Byron


above: by Sharon Bloom


above: by Heather Sato



Yesterday a box from Blick Art Supply that I'd be anxiously awaiting finally arrived. There is something about getting new art supplies that feels like Christmas, even if I've purchased them myself and they're no surprise! I sat down on the floor and ripped into the box immediately. Inside: a bunch of brand new gouache paints and 3 pads of bristol board. Yippee!

I have very very limited experience with gouache; I've been wanting to paint on paper lately, with something that's a bit lighter and more watery than acrylic paint. I thought gouache would be just the thing, and I'm excited to give it a whirl! I painted the above page in my sketchbook really quickly yesterday while waiting for Ryan, so we could go on a walk (the weather in Portland is perfection these days!).

We've been walking around our neighborhood checking out people's yards, raised bed planters, detached garages.... now that we're officially staying in Portland and not moving to Los Angeles, we're both feeling excited about working on our house and making it look nicer. One of these days in the coming months we're planning to tear down our detached garage and rebuild it (bigger) with a studio on top for me! I cannot wait. That way I can move my studio out of the house and make more room for the baby. Ryan is going to have to give up his office for the time being so this little one can have a cozy room for himself, but once we move my studio out of the house there'll be space for Ryan's office once again. That will be nice!

Ryan has a few days off next week, so he's going to build us some raised bed planters in the front yard, total Portland-style (practically every other house has them in their yards! We have to join the party) -- I'll share pics of that once they're completed. Fun fun!

Anyway, back to the gouache: my plan is to paint lots of little motifs -- flowers, animals, plants, etc -- and turn them into patterns. I don't use Photoshop to make my patterns very often, but whenever I do I think to myself "why don't I do this more often? It's so fun!" So, here's my chance. :)

Also, speaking of patterns: 



Pattern Camp starts tomorrow! Today's your last chance to sign up for this session if you'd like to jump in -- the next session won't be until early 2016. Full course details + registration are over on the Pattern Camp website. Come learn to make your own beautiful repeat patterns in Illustrator and Photoshop with me and a whole slew of creative folks! Beginners and more experienced artists/pattern designers are welcome.

Happiest Friday to you. :)
xo



Hey pattern lovers - 

My online course, Pattern Camp, is starting in just 2 days, on Saturday June 6th! Registration closes tomorrow at noon PST. Today and tomorrow are your last chance to sign up if you're thinking about joining in on this round.

////////

Here are the course details again, in case you need them:

WHAT: Pattern Camp is a 2-day, intensive, weekend-long virtual, online pattern design workshop created + taught by Jessica Swift. It’s pattern design boot camp! (Except fun, and no one will yell at you, promise.)

WHEN: Saturday + Sunday JUNE 6-7, 2015 from 8am - 4pm PST.

(You can choose to work through the course at your own pace, too, if that makes more sense with your life and schedule, or join in for part of the weekend and then work at your own pace after that. Lots of options!)

WHERE: Online in a private classroom area of the Pattern Camp website. (You will receive an email with your unique login info shortly after you register.)

PRICE: $239 USD

Full course details can be found on the Pattern Camp website.

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Here are some of the patterns that the Pattern Campers made in the last sessions back in October and February:






above: by Lexis Kreig



above: by Susan Reagan



above: by Kathy McGraw



above: by Teresa Barry



above: by Lulu Moonwood

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Amazing, right? Some of the Pattern Cmapers have absolutely no Illustrator or Photoshop experience before they take the course. I keep hearing over and over during each course how amazed people are at how much they're able to learn in such a short amount of time and how quickly they can actually start making their first patterns. Pattern Camp is full of creative lightbulbs going off in people's worlds, and it's so exciting to be a part of.

I hope you'll join us if pattern design is calling to you! The crew is already getting to know one another in the private Facebook group -- I'd love to see you in class and invite you into our spectacular group of creative souls. :)



ps - full course details can be found right here, if you need more info!


Last September I taught a painting workshop at the Art Makers Denver urban art retreat. It was such a fun experience! I agreed to go back and teach again this year, and I shared that along with details about my workshop on my blog back in January.That was before I found out I was pregnant -- and, sadly, it turns out that the retreat and my due date are just 4 days apart! So, I'm unfortunately not going to be able to teach at the retreat this second year after all. Boo.

BUT! The good news is that 2 of my very talented friends are taking my place!


Carrie Schmitt, the painter responsible for these stunningly gorgeous floral paintings, will be teaching 3 days of floral painting (2 separate workshops). She is one of the kindest people I know, and I know her workshops are going to be a real treat for those who take part! If you want to learn to paint flowers, there's no one better to learn from than Carrie. Her work is beyond beautiful, don't you think?



In addition to teaching a painting workshop this year, I was also going to teach a pattern design workshop. My friend Sarah Watts will now be teaching instead, and ohhhh man, I wish I could be there to take her class myself! Her patterns are so unique and beautiful, I know everyone who walks away from her workshops are going to be inspired + obsessed. Plus, Sarah is a hoot, so it's sure to be a good time!


Sarah will be teaching 2 days of surface pattern design using Adobe Illustrator, so you'll need to have a laptop with you.


More details about both Carrie's and Sarah's workshops can be found here.



If you're interested in going to the retreat (do it!!), you can find all the details on the Art Makers Denver website. Last year was so much fun, and it was just the first year -- so this year will be even better! Denver is the coolest city (I say that as objectively as possible, being a native Coloradan... ;) ) and the retreat is right in the heart of downtown, so it's a fun and exciting place in which to immerse yourself for a few days. I truly wish I could be there. Hopefully in 2016!

Anyway, if you're interested in traveling for a few days of inspiration, creative learning, and hanging out with other creative folks, definitely check out Art Makers Denver -- I can't recommend it highly enough.



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