nine cool things on a tuesday

1. Get in the car – we’re off for a December ride! ‘Tis the season for bundling up, picking out that perfect tree, shopping for gifts and making sure our animal friends are happy.

British artist Stephanie Lambourne’s colorful and quirky pictures are just the thing we need to get us into the holiday spirit. 

Based in Suffolk, England, she earned a BA in Fine Art and a post graduate degree in Art and Education from the Hornsey School of Art (now Middlesex University). After teaching at schools and colleges for a few years, she transitioned to painting full time in 2003.

Inspired by walks along the beach, she featured coastal landscapes, cottages, beach huts, boats, and seagulls in her earlier paintings. In recent years, her main focus has been people and humor (“unreal characters in sometimes strange pursuits”).  

She works in acrylic, rarely doing preliminary sketches, preferring to draw ideas straight onto the canvas to create a sense of freshness to her work. 

Though I’m sharing mostly holiday/winter themed pieces today, her pictures are set in all seasons. Her objective is to make people smile, to immerse the viewer in a lighthearted and slightly offbeat narrative from a bygone era. It’s fun to imagine just what the people in her pictures are really up to. 🙂

For more, visit Stephanie’s Instagram and FB Page. Her fine art greeting cards may be purchased via Green Pebble and The Blank Card Company. Original acrylics are available at Southwold Gallery and Bircham Gallery. DM her directly for any inquiries or commissions.

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lucia heffernan’s animal whimsy

“Puppy Chow” by Lucia Heffernan

This cute little pup seems a little unsure about that drumstick on his plate.  Do you think he’s trying to figure out how to use that knife and fork? What impeccable table manners!

I was happy to chance upon Lucia Heffernan’s whimsical animal paintings recently. It’s simply impossible not to smile when you see them. She takes anthropomorphized animals to a new level: they’re realistic rather than caricatures, created with panache, elegance, and humor. 

A pig in a top hat? Bunnies driving race cars and shopping for carrots? What about a police bear enjoying coffee and donuts, or a handsome dog shaving? Whatever you do, don’t tell on that kitty who literally spilled the beans. 😀

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nine cool things on a tuesday

1. Hello, October! How about some of Janet Hill’s Halloweeny oil paintings?

Janet is based in Ontario, Canada, and has been painting since her senior year of high school. Her work is elegant and nostalgic with charming touches of whimsy. 

Her many interests include tornadoes, haunted houses, quicksand, pirates, witches, lady villains (preferably ones that wear monocles), doll houses, dogs and cats, fashion and interior design (1920-1979), Laurel Canyon, historic hotels, ESP, sea monsters, vintage cars, Old Hollywood, the Manson family, Wes Anderson movies, and understanding why her husband owns over thirty books about Bob Dylan.

To purchase any of these prints, visit Janet’s Official Website. While you’re there, browse all her other wonderful offerings. In addition to prints, she sells cards, puzzles, games, stationery, and her latest book, Lucy Crisp and the Vanishing House (for ages 12+). More goodness at her Instagram and Etsy Shop.

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just call me strawberry girl

“Strawberry picking is my jam.” ~ Anonymous

Art by Madison Safer

Since May is National Strawberry Month, thought we’d have a little fun going berry picking shopping.

There’s just something about seeing those red heart-shaped beauties on everything from socks to tea towels that makes me happy. And of course there are some cool strawberry toys too. Yes, please.

So grab a shopping cart and happy picking! Just click on the images for more info. 🙂

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“Strawberries in Green Cocktail Glass” original oil painting by Diana Fritch.
Strawberry Onesie by SnuggleMonkeysCC (also comes in long sleeve).
Hand-knitted Top Handle Bag by Hailing Crafts.
Handmade Strawberry Shortcake Mug by The Native Element.
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nine cool things on a tuesday

Emperor Penguin Chick” by Ashley Wolff

1. Ho Ho Ho and Happy Almost December! So, are you feeling festive this week? If, by chance, you need a little holiday lift, please enjoy some of Ashley Wolff’s gorgeous art. 

Isn’t this penguin chick adorable? Ashley’s handpainted one-of-a-kind mini bird ornaments would make the perfect gift for a special someone — or maybe it’s just the thing to give your tree an added touch of beauty. 🙂

These 3” by 3” ornaments are painted with acrylic gouache and mounted on a painted 4.5” easel. These can either be hung or set on a table or shelf for display. Nice way to own an original piece of art!

Many of you know Ashley from her wonderful picture books — the beloved Miss Bindergarten series, Baby Bear, Compost Stew, etc., but did you know she’s also an accomplished landscape painter? I’m blown away by her versatility as an artist, and love her Vermont landscapes as much as I do her book illustrations.

Check out her Etsy Shop for limited edition prints, original paintings, and of course, lots of bird and keepsake ornaments. For even more, check out my recent interviews with Ashley for How to Help a Pumpkin Grow, and Only the Cat Saw.

And don’t forget Ashley’s latest picture book, WILDFIRE! (Beach Lane Books, 2021), just released last month. 🙂

**ETA: Ashley’s running a holiday special: 20% off a combined purchase of $75 or more, plus free shipping!

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