This is basically my entire life philosophy right here, summed up by Kurt Vonnegut.

I don't think there's ever a perfect time to do anything, really. You just need to dive in, from where you are, and figure it out as you go. That's what I've done all through my life -- going to college across the country without even visiting the school beforehand (thank goodness THAT one worked out!), starting a creative business at 22 years old and growing into it through many stages and shifts and permutations, now having a baby (just 8.5 weeks away!) and having to figure out how the life/work/life/work juggle is going to play out....

Do any of us really ever know what we're doing, truly? I feel like I'm constantly just winging it! Isn't that sort-of what life is -- just a grand adventure that we're figuring out as we swim through it? If we just keep jumping, and shifting course, and course-correcting, and learning, and growing, and playing, and wondering, and loving ...... that is enough. That is good. That will take us far.

xo




How is it Friday already? These weeks just seem to be zooming by lately at top speed. I'm trying to savor this time -- this last trimester of pregnancy, having Ryan home for the summer -- but it's hard when it all moves so fast!

I've been alternating lately between feeling inspired/energized and feeling exhausted. When a wind of energy passes through me, I've been trying to paint and create new artwork -- the painting above emerged yesterday. It was one of those quick ones that come to being sometimes without much effort. The splotchy background was already painted and the colors were speaking to me yesterday, so I sat down to begin, without a plan (as always), in between other activities, and this painting just sort-of.... happened. And I love how it turned out! It's always a great feeling when that happens. It makes the moments that are frustrating, when nothing is looking right or coming together in a pleasing way, worth it. You have to be willing to go through those frustrating moments in art-making in order to get to the good, satisfying ones. A lot like life in general, I think.

The painting is called "Up Up Up Up".


Last weekend I spent all day Saturday with a couple friends, arranging flowers for a wedding the following day. What fun! I am mesmerized by dahlias -- aren't they just the most stunning flowers?
The wedding was was first same-sex marriage at which I've had the honor of being present; wow, it was beautiful!  It was a bit of a surprise and a whirlwind, the wedding, the proposal and organizing beginning just 3 weeks ago! It was a real team effort -- we all had jobs to make it the most beautiful day possible. The whole thing took place in my friend Mary's backyard. My friends and I got to be in charge of the flowers, and I also got to take the family wedding shots. The dinner was potluck-style, so it was a wonderful mishmash of delicious, summery foods, finished off with wedding cake, of course. It was a truly beautiful day!

I was exhausted when I woke up on Monday after the busy wedding weekend, and my feet were unbelievably swollen, so I ended up having a relatively unproductive day. But I redeemed myself at the end of it, while soaking my poor pregnant-lady feet in an ice-water bath, by painting some little terrier pups:


Who knew they'd be so fun to paint?!

I turned them into a pattern the next day:


Hee hee! I think it's so cute. :) It goes with the cat pattern I made recently.

And if you're curious about my growing bump, here it is:


Hello, Baby Swift! He's in there, wiggling and squirming around. Hard to believe I have just over 9 weeks left and then he will be here, live and in the flesh. Crazy!

Juneau's not sure how she feels about the whole thing:


This is her favorite perch. Isn't she the cutest? She's been sitting this way a lot lately, and it makes me giggle every time. She can survey her surroundings pretty well from this position; we've had a brave neighbor cat named Beau coming into our house a lot lately, and this is a good vantage point for Juneau to keep a lookout for him!

Cats. They are so funny.




It’s about time I share another batch of recent patterns made by the Pattern Campers with you, wouldn’t you say? The inspiration, talent, and learning never stops in our private Facebook group! Hope you enjoy ogling these beauties today. :)

above: by Marisa Dolan




above: by Alicia Webb


above: by Barbara Rehbehn


above: by Jeanne Bosko


above: by Claire Sweet


above: by Joanne Meller


above: by Fiona Fletcher Tavernier


above: by Kris Elletson


above: by Melissa Jackson-Horton



above: by Michaela Muller


above: by Roberta Warshaw


above: by Sarah Dudgeon


above: by Sharon Bloom


above: by Darlene Seale


Good morning, friends!

I just spent a lovely 4 days in southern California, celebrating Ryan's parents' 40th wedding anniversary (!!), and now I'm back. If you ordered something in last week's sale, it'll be on its way to you today/tomorrow! I'll be packing things up all day today and sending things off to their new homes. Yay!

Just wanted to share a pic of a cute new pattern I made last week -- I might be obsessed with mice now, and I just realized that I dreamt of a teeny mouse last night! -- and also a pic of my growing baby bump:


29 weeks this week! It's hard to believe we've got just 11 weeks to go.... it's time to start getting serious around here and to start buying some baby stuff, OMG. Ryan and I have somehow not purchased any baby things yet. Like, none! We have a crib that we inherited from a friend of a friend, and my sister-in-law gifted us some adorable baby clothes over the weekend while we were at their house in Escondido, but that's it. But I'm not worried -- we'll get everything done. We always do!

Anyway, that's what's happening around here this week: baby bumps, little mice, and packing and shipping paintings. Wheee!

Oh! And I'm finishing up my new website. Did I tell you I've been redoing it for the last few months? It will hopefully be up and running by the end of this week.... I'm pretty excited about it!


Today is the day! The big sale on paintings and things from my archive is here!

Ryan and I have been in full-on home-improvement mode lately as we get ready for Baby Swift's arrival in September, and I've unearthed a ton of paintings and things from years past that I'd love to pass on to YOU. I've cleaned out storage areas, closets, shelves, and more, and I've discovered paintings dating all the way back to 2007 that I'd love to send on their way to new homes. So I thought, what better way to do that than to have a killer sale?!

There are original paintings, gloss prints, and matted prints. Over 50 pieces are up for grabs at seriously amazing prices. I hope you'll find something that you'd love to add to your walls!

Last time I had a sale like this was before we moved from Atlanta to Georgia in 2012, and it was so fun to send little pieces of my creative history all over the world as people scooped them up. :)

So head over to the shop to see what all's available. There's a big range of sizes and prices!

Here are a few of the pieces that are on super sale today:






Hope you have fun perusing these pieces from my archive! If you have any questions about any of the pieces, just send me an email.

Happy shopping!











Hey y'all! Happy Monday to you.

Just wanted to give you a heads up that I'm having a big sale this Wednesday July 8th on paintings from my archive (dating as far back as 2007!).

Over 50 pieces -- original paintings, gloss prints, and matted prints -- will be up for grabs. Last time I had a sale like this was before we moved from Atlanta to Georgia in 2012, and it was so fun to send little pieces of my creative history all over the world as people scooped them up. :)

Everything will be available in a sale section of my shop. It will be easy to find, and I'll post a link here on my blog, too, of course!

Here are a few pics of what will be available, to whet your whistle:









The prices are going to be insanely amazing (like, for real), because I'd really love to send these pieces on to some new loving homes. Ryan and I are in full-on house-improvement mode as we prepare for Baby Swift's arrival in September -- we gotta make space for baby stuff, omg! ;)

So, check back here on Wednesday to see what all's available -- the available pieces are a wide variety of sizes and prices, so there'll be a lot to look at and choose from.

See you then!



I painted the cat above in my gouache endeavors this week, and then I couldn't stop! I had to paint more cats. And then people started asking me if the cats were going to become prints or fabric, and I realized I might be onto something. So, I give you 2 different cat prints in the shop today! (Pictured above and below.)


I'm getting more and more addicted to using gouache as the days go on -- it's been so hot in Portland that I've been sitting on the basement floor with a pad of paper, surrounded by paint, listening to music, whiling away the sweltering afternoons. It's getting a bit cumbersome, sitting on the floor with my ever-growing belly getting in the way, but I'm managing!

You can find the cat prints here and here in the shop if you're interested in scooping one up.

I also turned the cats into a repeating pattern yesterday:


I mean, come on, wouldn't this make THE cutest fabric ever?? I'll see if I can make that happen!

Speaking of my belly, here's a recent pic:



27 weeks, just 13 to go! There's really a (wiggly) baby in there!

And speaking of bellies in general:



Yeah, it's hot in Portland lately. We're doing what we have to do to stay cool around here! ;)



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. :)




© 2015 jessica swift, LLC / website coded by emily thompson