Archive / May, 2011

Original painting: Amanda’s bridal bouquet

{wedding photo by Shelley Chamberlin}

I’m so excited to finally share this painting with you. I say finally because it was ordered by a husband back in February! Jordan wanted to surprise his wife with an original painting of her bridal bouquet for their five year wedding anniversary.

What a treat it was to paint this piece. Loved all the different flowers and the bright and bold colors. They were married on the beach, and their wedding color was as close to tiffany blue as you can get. To perfectly match it for the background color, it took four different paint colors! Depending on how the lights hits it, it will look a little darker or softer and lighter, which only makes it feel alive. I just love how it all came together. What a splash of color this painting is! A true caribbean candy.

{words from their wedding vows are written on the side of the painting}

When the painting was ordered, I had mentioned the idea of including a few words of their vows on the side of the painting. It turns out the wife herself had written them! I guess I couldn’t have planned it better! I fell in love with the words “the delight of a growing love” which comes from the sentence: “May they know the joy of a shared understanding, the delight of a growing love, and the warmth of an everlasting friendship.”

{Amanda’s bridal bouquet is an acrylic painting on a gallery wrapped canvas.
It measures 18 inches x 18 inches and is 1.5 inches deep (46cm x 46cm x 3.8cm)}

The husband was thrilled with the result and after a few days I received a long email from his wife. Here’s just a little portion of what she wrote:

“I cannot thank you enough, I love it more than words can say. This beautiful painting transports me back to my wedding day, when I held those fragrant flowers in my hand before walking down the aisle. More than a simple photo ever could, this painting will forever capture that precious moment for me. In your painting, I swear the bouquet is even more beautiful than I remember.”

YAY! I love the feeling of knowing the customer is so very happy with the painting. It makes me feel so grateful that I am able to share this gift with others this way. My studio is a little less colorful since I said goodbye to it and I find that I miss it. It was great company. šŸ™‚

I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!


ps. see more bridal bouquets in the commissions or the bridal bouquet sections.


Happy memorial day (weekend)

(Well, to be honest… Rasmus is begging you to play with him and Lola is too busy looking
at chipmunks to even care so I’m really the only one wishing you a fantastic weekend! HAPPY FRIDAY!)



What a difference…

…24 little hours can make! My floater frames arrived and I’m so excited to show you what Bundle of Ranunculus looks like in two different frames. Frames can sometimes make a painting. I happen to think this one looks great in white or black frame or no frame at all, but of course I’m bias. šŸ™‚

Floater frames were invented by artists in the 1970s to create an affect where the canvas is “floating” within the frame. It allowed for the entire work to be viewed, even the sides of the canvas are easily seen. It creates a very modern look and I personally think they go really well with my type of art.

Which one is your favorite?

{white floater frame}

{black floater frame}

{light gray painted sides}

So which one do you like the most? I can’t really decide… I think the white frame is more “me” and creates a country-ish and shabby chic feeling yet still keeping it very modern, while the black frame really makes the painting pop and has a sofisticated and professional look to it. What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts so leave me a comment and tell me which one you love the most – white, black or no frame. šŸ™‚


ps. check out the gallery for the prices with or without the frames.


Original painting: Bundle of ranunculus

{Bundle of Ranunculus, original acrylic painting}

Temperatures are soaring into the mid-90s (mid-30s C) here in DC today but I have a sweet bouquet of beautiful ranunculus for you to help stay cool. Summer must be here. šŸ™‚

After finishing the latest bridal bouquet (which will be up on the blog on Tuesday!), I wanted to continue painting a bouquet. They are just so much fun and challenging to paint. With flowers still getting ready to blossom, I didn’t want to highlight the delicate tissue-like petals too much and instead keep the feeling of a newly picked bouquet from the backyard.

Bundle of Ranunculus is an original acrylic painting on gallery wrapped canvas. It measures 16 x 20 inches and is 1.5 inches deep. It’s painted light gray on all four sides and is ready to hang on your wall. Check out more photos in the gallery. You can purchase this painting directly from the site, just click “add to cart” and your secure shopping is handled via Paypal in the gallery (more info in the shopping policies).

Did you know, in Victorian times, a recipient of ranunculus flowers was thought to be “rich in attractions,” or pleasing in appearance? Today, if you get these flowers (or the painting), the sender is trying to convey he or she is dazzled by your charms. Not too shabby! šŸ™‚



Flowers and herbs delight the day

I’m always amazed by how much thought my husband puts into my gifts. He’s always been able to remember things I’ve wanted, matched the wrapping paper with the bag or picked wonderful gift with a meaning or theme to them. Last year, for my 30th, he handed me an envelop telling me to pack my overnight bag. He wisked me away for the night and the envelopes kept coming! This year wasn’t any different, and he put a very thoughtful spin on my birthday flowers, even with his hip surgery just a few days before.

I had already gotten my actual gift – a cow hide zebra print rug for the diningroom! (Just to clarify, it was a South American cow, not a zebra. The cats love it. The rug looks like this but the stripes are sand colored and not black). Then on Saturday, I got the above amazing flowers delivered. Since he couldn’t drive after the surgery (or walk) he had arranged this earlier in the week. They weren’t blooming when they arrived but they started blossoming the next day (no delivery on Sundays) and I realized the blue iris and the yellow lilies created the Swedish colors! He had left that as a surprise. I loved how he had brought me a little bit of Sweden on my birthday. Adorable.


{Sage, Thyme and Rosemary}

There are many bouquets of flowers around the house right now, both birthday bouquets and ‘Get well’ bouquets. But only three little pots has anything growing in them.

Last year for Christmas, I got this beautiful herb set from one of my sisters. It’s a ready-set so it came with the dirt, the seeds, sticks and an adorable herb cutter. I should have planted these months ago but it wasn’t until the initiative from my mom a few days ago that I finally did (we did it together). For loving a gift so much I have no idea why I waited so long!

Now these three pots are standing on the window sill in my studio and I can watch when the sage, thyme and the rosemary are growing. I look forward to using them when we cook. I love having fresh herbs at hand.



What’s going on in the studio?

{acrylic in progress}

I’m still trying to finish this pink explosion of ranunculus. The goal was to have it done by this past weekend but my birthday ‘got in the way’ so it just had to wait. It’s getting there and I may have it done later this afternoon. It’s feels like it’s taking too long even though I haven’t spent too many hours on it. I guess it’s just one of those projects that feels like they’ll never get done.

I’m enjoying painting ranunculus though. I find them to be very romantic, even with it’s very structured and petal-packed center. They are more modern looking than peonies, which has a soft spot in my heart. Look at these amazing bouquets made with ranunculus flowers. Beautiful.

ranunculus bridal bouquets

{image source: Weddingbee and Flowergirlsoftulsa}

When I’m not trying to finish my acrylic original, I’m trying to knock out as many new renderings for as I can. Jill is in the process of launching a few more rooms and one being “Earthy Modern.”

I do a few at a time and then Jill and I meet to discuss them and I get more rooms to finish. This room should be up later this week. I have a few more rooms to do for it but hope to get them done later today.

Jill and I collaborate really well but the only problem with these renderings is that I want to buy half the furniture I’m painting! It’s just not fair getting so intimately involved with these pieces! The photo above has this amazing orange rug that is to die for. It would fit perfectly into our livingroom.

Check out the LiveLikeYou blog, I just saw that Jill has posted some photos from this past Saturday’s LiveLikeYou launch party! We had a fantastic time!

Alright, better pick up that paint brush! I got lots to do today šŸ™‚



A year older

{Me at age 6 or 7}

I turned 31 yesterday and had a wonderful celebration with family and close friends out on the patio. The weather was perfect and the food was a hit. It’s always nice to gather people you care about, which we weren’t sure we were going to be able to do as late as last Thursday. My husband underwent a planned hip surgery last Wednesday and we had heard some bad stories about recovery but he was up hoppin’ around this weekend and even managed to walk around on crutches at the Farmer’s Market Saturday morning and picked up some local tomatoes for the burgers we had yesterday.

With the surgery over, a last minute invitation went out Friday and I’m so happy people came to celebrate me and Casey’s recovery.

I usually enjoy celebrating my birthday and actually is probably one of the few who enjoys getting older. This year was a little different because of my concern for Casey. My day didn’t matter as much which is a big change from when I was much younger and I wanted elaborate princess parties!

I’m around 7 years in the photo and I think it probably describes me the best, even today. I was definitely a girly-girl growing up. I loved big skirts, dresses, necklaces and pink nail-polish. I’d walk in my mom’s high heels and try on her jewelry at any chance I could. I just loved it. At the same time, I loved getting dirty helping my dad in the backyard and play with the boys or sit in my room painting.

I love this little girl in the photo. I love how I felt fantastically fabulous even with scraped up knees and in my self-made dandelion tiara. I love her because I’m proud to say I feel like I’ve never changed. I’ve always known who I am and what I want to be and do. I realize now that’s somewhat uncommon.

Thank you for joining me on my next 365 fantastically fabulous days. Cheers!



Original painting: Royal bridal bouquet


{Original acrylic of Crown Princess of Sweden, Victoria’s actual bridal bouquet}

It’s finished! I knew almost a year before the Crown Princess of Sweden, Victoria’s wedding that I wanted to paint her bridal bouquet and then give it to the couple as their wedding gift. Why not!? The goal is to hand-deliver it at the Castle during our trip at the end of this year.

{Done on gallery wrapped canvas measuring 24x18x1.5 inches (61x46x3.8)}

The 12 hour long coverage of the royal wedding was very moving and all of Sweden were celebrating their love. It was a week long love fest which culminated on June 19 when we first saw Victoria walk down the isle alongside her father, the King of Sweden. Luckily for us Swedes living outside of Sweden, the Swedish TV streamed HD quality live TV 12 hours straight from the day. Yes, I watched every single minute with my mom. It was amazing and much more of a personal royal wedding experience than any other royal wedding I’ve watched.

{a 4 minute recap of the 12 hour long royal wedding coverage}

Very generously, the Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel shared their special day with the Swedish people. We watch the marriage ceremony, the cortege through central Stockholm, the journey via boat across Stockholm Bay, the speeches during the reception, the cake cutting and even their first dance around midnight. WOW. It was wonderful, and for a true romantic like me – a tear jerker!

The song played during the above clip was written for the occasion at the request of Daniel as a tribute to Crown Princess Victoria. Adorable.

{A sketched out version to capture all the details and the finished painting}

I started this painting back in January and posted a couple of updates about it (see here and here) so you could follow along in the process. Then things got busy and since I didn’t have a deadline for it, I put it aside for awhile. Now, almost in time for their first anniversary, I’m so happy to share the finished version of this painting. I love its tender and romantic feel.

{Vårt bröllop}

I worked off of several photos to capture the accuracy of this bouquet – from the arrangement to the details to the lighting. Mostly, I used a closeup of the bouquet included in the book Vårt bröllop to get the actual arrangement right.

{detail work}

According to the Royal Family’s website, the Crown Princess´s bridal bouquet consisted of a mixture of traditional Swedish summer flowers and more exotic flowers: Lily of the valley, rose, phalaenopsis orchid, peony, clematis, cosmos, wax flower, sweet pea, dicentra formosa, Mårbacka pelargonium, Amazon lily, gardenia, azalea, bleeding heart and the traditional myrtle from Sofiero. All the flowers are white, and the bouquet is tied into a free teardrop shape.

{Princess Madeleine and Queen Silvia walking on the powder blue carpet to the Cathedral}

I choose the soft blue background color for several reasons. To me, it symbolizes the Swedish summer and its many lakes, the Swedish flag (yellow and blue), the pale blue carpet which led from the Royal Palace all the way down the aisle at the Stockholm Cathedral and the royal order of the seraphim which Daniel received right before leaving the church as a prince (see top left photo).

If you want to read more about the wedding, the bride’s dress, her beautiful tiara (a gift from Napoleon a long time ago), check out the wedding section of the Swedish Royal Court or check out this blog post for some royal wedding guests.

If you’re interested in seeing more bridal bouquet paintings,  check out the bridal bouquet and commissions sections.



Original painting: Red Rose

{Red Rose, original acrylic}

It’s amazing what you can find when you’re cleaning! This delicate Red Rose is an acrylic measuring 16 inches x 12 inches, and I remember painting it in the apartment my sister and I shared for several years back in 2002. It must have just disappeared between my canvas paper pad when my husband and I moved into our house. Imagine my surprise when I found it in the studio the other day!

I’m happy to see it again and it’s now showing off its red petals in the gallery.

Tomorrow, I’m finally sharing the final version of the Crown princess Victoria’s bridal bouquet!



Farmer’s Market

Ahh, the Farmer’s Markets are finally in full swing and we took a walk to our local one on Saturday morning to pick up some stuff for lunch. I wish I could eat local food every meal.

There’s always a nice man who sells his peonies and they remind me of the pink ranunculus I’m currently painting. Aren’t they lovely?

Hope you’re enjoying your Monday.