Painting the California Coastline – Part 1

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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.

1 – Finding Inspiration

First things first, some inspiration! It’s where the fun starts. 🙂

An early afternoon by Morro Rock…

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A late afternoon hike near Los Osos, CA…

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Dusk on the first not-rainy day after a stormy week in Morro…

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2 – Sketching Forms and Making Plans

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.

3 – Study the colors

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:

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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:

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(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?)

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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:

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(I just love the clouds in that one.)

Let me know what questions you have in the comments!

 

Kate

 

Disney Vlog + 3 Tips for Visiting in 2018

As promised, here is the vlog from our Disneyland trip plus 3 tips for visiting Disneyland in 2018!

These are the 3 things that really helped keep our day fun and efficient:

  1. Disneyland App + MaxPass
  2. Start Fastpasses Early
  3. Rent a storage locker

I talk them through in more detail in the video starting at the 1:53 mark.

Let me know in the comments if these tips work for you or if you have any other Disney advice!

A dream is a wish your heart makes….

xo

Kate

Disneyland during Spring Break

Last week, we took my sister to Disneyland during her spring break! Wanted to share a few pictures.

Here she is in front of Aurora’s castle…

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We started off the day with my favorite ride: the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout (the old Tower of Terror!)…

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Got some awesome souvenirs, we all l-o-o-o-ved our Disney mouse ears – I got sparkly ones!

 

But maybe the coolest ones were these light-up Star Wars ears….

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Had a good time hanging out with the Frozen crew and getting our snowfies

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And here we are with Tinkerbell (clap if you believe!)

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I’ll be back on Thursday with the vlog + my top three tips for visiting Disneyland for a day.

May the force be with you,

Kate

A #TinyHouse Tour

Happy Thursday friends! We are currently enjoying rural California, and I wanted to do a little tour of our two-week #TinyHouse AirBnb.

Tiny Homes seem to be getting more and more popular over the past few years (there is even a “Tiny House” filter on AirBnb now!), so I’m excited to see one up close.

Here’s an outside view…

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…and inside….

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Tiny homes, for a lot of people, are a chance to cut clutter, live more simply, and reduce impact on the environment. For others, it is a chance to be more cost efficient, or manage a smaller place in retirement, or to work on an interesting design challenge.

Here is the living room…

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…kitchen area complete with a gas oven…

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… and our back to back work station!

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If you walk past the kitchen, you’ll past the laundry on your left (across from the bathroom and the stairs to the lofted space) on your way to the bedroom.

Tiny houses are all about creating storage space wherever possible – like the wall to wall closet and overhead shelf space in the bedroom.

And here the lofted space – perfectly kid sized!

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I am really loving being out in the beautiful California countryside – peace and quiet and it gets so very dark at night with sooo many stars.

And sometimes horses come right up outside our windows 🙂

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As the Tiny House movements grows and some people want to live in them full time or keep their Tiny Home on wheels, more and more communities are trying to hammer out details of zoning laws, building permits, and answers to other obstacles for people in those circumstances. For those types of Tiny Homes, it can still be a gray area in lots of places.

If you are interested in more about Tiny Homes, you can search for short term rentals on AirBnb or even look for a Tiny Home rental community.

What do you think? Let’s talk the #TinyHouse movement in the comments!

Kate

A Vagabond Experiment

Hi guys,

Taking a break from New Zealand photos (but I have so many more!) and wanted to share a bit about what life looks like right now.

For now, I am traveling around on the West Coast working on design projects, searching out art inspiration, and soaking up the atmosphere of a part of the country that I love so. much. In December, my husband and I packed all our things away in a storage locker in Minnesota so we could hit the road and live life wherever we found the opportunity.

Right now, we are in sunny California! Last week was spent in Los Angeles, enjoying places like Santa Monica pier…

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…and Venice…

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Where I especially loved the afternoon light and ducks floating around at home on the canals…

 

And we stopped by Chris Burden’s famous Urban Light art installation outside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art…

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I posted some of my favorite pieces of art from the LACMA over on instagram and saved them into a story highlight if you are interested!

For now, I’ll be spending a couple of weeks in Paso Robles, California surrounded by countryside and vineyards before we move on to Morro Bay to take in the sight and smell of the ocean (my favorite).

Hoping to share more photos and videos along our way!

xoxo,

Kate

New Zealand Highlight Reel

Hey guys,

Here’s the highlight video of our trip to New Zealand – hope you enjoy it!

 

One thing I loved about New Zealand that made it different from a lot of the other traveling I’ve done? Having a car! Experiencing the country by road trip was such a fun/relaxing way to take in the sights on our own timetable. If you are planning a trip there soon, definitely check out the rental cars/campers because they make a great option – just don’t forget to drive on the left! 😉

Let me know if you like these types of travel videos/would want to see more of them!

Hope you are having a great week so far,

Kate

 

 

Through the Fiordlands to Milford Sound

In November, my then fiancé and I headed off to New Zealand to get married. It was one of the best trips I’ve taken and I am so thankful we had the opportunity! New Zealand was stunning and I loved every bit of it, but I took so-o-o many photos and so-o-o much footage that it has been taking me awhile to sort through everything. I don’t mind though – going through it reminds me of all the fun memories. : )

So! I wanted to start off with some photos from Milford Sound which we saw on our first day in NZ. I hear it is beautiful in the frequent foggy weather, but it was also amazing on the sunny day we visited…

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To get to Milford Sound, you travel through the Fiordlands on the South Island. We stayed in Queenstown (where we were about to get married!) and made the four hour drive (on the left side of the road!) through beautiful landscapes…

DSC00535DSC00258DSC_7007Every stop and overlook along the drive held another beautiful scene, like this one with mountains in the background and the river calmly flowing….

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Once you reach Milford Sound, there are several great tour boat companies to take you around to explore the fjord. My favorite things to see were the waterfalls…

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After our afternoon exploring the Fiordlands, we headed back to Queenstown and enjoyed the sunset as we drove along.

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I love New Zealand! I’ll share more photos and video soon.