Wallpaper in Production!

After working exclusively on custom projects and dreaming about my own line for the past two years, I've finally started developing color ways for Kate Blairstone Wallpaper! Using some of my favorite florals from my portfolio, each piece is cheeky and retro in an adventurous and joyful palette.  

The full line will be produced in repositionable (also removable!) tiles, perfect for special events, wedding backdrops, set designers and chameleons.  

I'm so excited to share them with you!  

31 Days of Women

I am in the midst of a portrait project this month, drawing women from different eras all over the world. Here are a few of my favorites so far.

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t's been a fascinating process to collect reference images - if you're curious, check out the following resources:

Israel in Camera
Vintage Everyday
H
istorical Photographs of China 
United States Holocaust Museum Photo Archives 
The Met Museum Collection 
Monovisions Black and White Photography Magazine

There are many more that I can't remember! I'll do my best to add to this list as I finish the project. To see the whole collection of portraits, please visit my Instagram page. 

Le Circus

 Can't stop, won't stop. Decorating the baby's room has me obsessed with tigers. And tigers need friends.  

Acrobats

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Tigers

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Zebras

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Elephants, & a Ring Leader, of course. 

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Mediterranean Mashup Thing I'm Doing Right Now.

For a long time I worked in Illustrator pretty much exclusively. All my work began as opaque india ink in my sketchbook, transformed into vector as much as Illustrator is capable of doing so. I come from a background in screen printing, and bold flats of layered, digital color did for me what I lacked the space to realize in my home studio. But! I really started to miss texture. 

I think I must have mentioned I got myself a fancy new (GIANT) iPad Pro - it's completely changed my game. However... I'm still no Photoshop expert. One funny consequence of this: Adobe CC automatically imported all these weird little 5-swatch palettes I've been making with their Adobe Capture CC app - so I named them April, and I'm sticking with 'em, dammit, for at least four more days. Because at first they just showed up, so I made them my latest creative box. 

So: discerning viewers may notice a bit of repetition in my color choices of late. It's been super fun working within this constraint (although I totally cheated and added one green). I'm enjoying the personalities of these color combinations - the same batch sometimes looks loud or calm or adventurous or classic or tropical. 

As always I'm in love with studying flowers and plant shapes, and right now I'm totally obsessed with geometrics and how they interact with organic florals. I'm seeing this collection as an homage to my Mediterranean Garden, complete with fabulous tiles. And if we're getting really specific, there's a little Eastern European influence in there. Because I love their wacky color combos, and man, those folk textiles! The relationship between weaving and embroidery might be exactly what I'm after. 

I'm working on designing a restaurant space at my day job, and one of the most fun things I get to do is to collaborate with other creatives. Our lighting designer, for example, totally gets me when I'm going off on some crazy tangent about Art Deco coming back for a minute in the 70s. Or how Chinoiserie overlaps with Tiki. Or how Encaustic Tile shows up in Vietnam. I'm so into that shit. 

Next up: Irises, Peonies and Poppies. Because those are my favorite of all favorites. Stay tuned! 
xo

 

Ever Dreaming of Summer, Somewhere Else!

I bought myself an iPad Pro, and Man, that thing is magical. The UNDO command is magical. I love fiddling with my palette until I get it just right. This group of work started with a strange group of colors, but I had fun with where it went!

I've been dreaming of summer, and playing lots in my garden (READ: back breaking labor of carrying dirt to and fro). But! I'm so excited for for-real patio season. Portland fake-spring has been amazing so far - this week there are record-breaking warm spells forecasted in the PNW, and we're driving to Seattle for Emerald City Comicon! I don't read comics (despite my husband's best efforts), but I love talking to other artists about the work they love to do. 

Last year about this time we were planning for our honeymoon in Croatia. We got our tax return and it's burning a hole in my pocket. This year, Garden is my Vacation. And drawing, always drawing. 

First Day of Spring!

It was a long, long winter. Even though, in the garden at least, things started happening weeks before the official *first day of spring*. 

The camellias, hellebores & narcissus have been fantastic this year! And the tulips are just starting to finally bloom. 

We can't forget the icelandic poppies. #Swoon!

I'm enjoying playing with my collection of colored pencils & neocolor II crayons - the mess has been so freeing. Spring Fever, eh?

Make Art That Sells!

I'm 4 weeks into my second MATS class, Designing Collections for Home Decor. I decided to share my favorite week so far, Glass! Inspired by some Mid-Century, hand-painted, Hollywood Regency action I've been stalking on Ebay; who doesn't love a gold foil greek key?

TRIPTYCHS or BEYOND THE SQUARE

Instagram has driven much of my work over the past year, providing a space for consistent feedback and interaction (whereas this blog might have no eyes on it, ever). I thought I'd share one way I've found to break out of the square. 

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It helps to see Instagram as a gallery, not just a feed, and to consider what new followers might see when they click over to your account. Images broken up in this way, via multiple postings of one square each, provide continuity across the grid. Above, I integrated a photo into the design, as if the vines are expanding out from their boundaries. 

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This is an example where the larger, 3:1 format allows for greater detail and variation. I'd visited Schreiner's Iris Gardens in peak bloom, and wanted to capture the expansiveness of fields and fields of flowers. 

I'm excited to find new ways to exploit the format, and will be sharing them as I go! 

Ode to Zagreb, Croatia

Just returned from two weeks in Croatia with my lovely husband. Zagreb is a beautiful city; I was particularly struck by uncommon (to me) combinations of common plants, most notably their pink hydrangea and the ubiquitous orange day lily. As I was discussing with a gardener & landscape designer friend after we got back, it's amazing that our traditional garden pairings can seem so cultural. Something that was once boring can be so special in a foreign place.  

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This is my memory of Zagreb - a Chinoiserie for The Balkans. 

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Spring Palette Inspiration!

My husband reads. All the time. I love to read, but I'm much more of a binger when it comes to books. Instead, I spend most of my time sorting through images. I stalk eBay, Instagram, and I take tons of photos of anything that inspires me, especially in my neighborhood and garden.

It's always funny when themes emerge - it's one of my favorite things about collecting. Here's a week's worth of pink and green, and the pattern later inspired by it. 

A cloisonné dish from my collection on pink crêpe paper. 

Pink Dogwood and Tetrapanax.

Pink snow at Sitton Elementary School, Portland, OR. 

Euphorbia 'Fireglow' and a baby barrel cactus. 


Woodland Tropical - Inspiration for a Native Collection.

I've been really into tropicals lately, which can be hard when you live in the Northern part of the world. And yet, a trip this past weekend up into the mountains has me reconsidering my native landscape, bringing a fresh perspective to the Oregon Rainforest. Below are photos I took in Detroit, Or and Breitenbush Hot Springs while on a lovely weekend away with friends - inspiration for what I'm tentatively calling "Woodland Tropical."

Eucalyptus! A Mini Instagram Collaboration Just for Fun

I started out with this ink drawing of Eucalyptus, and couldn't figure out what to add to it.

So I asked Instagram!

The suggestions were: a koala! a cocktail! a sea urchin! a ribbon! a midriff (with a belly button)! I spent my Saturday evening jam-packing this one with *almost* everything. Here's what I came up with! Wet Hot Australian Summer. Don't sue me, please. Inspiration from @factorynicole, @taytaypjay, @jardindesign & @tenedortours

Drawing Seductive Hippos

This American Life - Hippos - Water Hyacinth. Pretty seductive hippos, I'd say. I think I'll make some kind of weird mask with this. See the animal in the middle? A rabbit, big cat, or naked lady? What say you?

Valentines for My Valentines

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You're one of a kind, Valentine (is sorta like We're all the same kind, Valentine). For a Valentine swap with some artsy friends.

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This one's for my husband - he likes what he likes! A little Alice Cooper, "Be My Valentine." Get it?

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