loving bella foster’s happy watercolors

Yes, come in! Please do.

Bella Foster’s watercolor interiors are cheery, welcoming, colorful, quirky and exuberant. Who can resist stepping into a world of bright and pretty florals, cozy fireplaces, and inviting bookcases?

Currently living and working in Los Angeles, Bella studied painting at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She counts among her inspirations Bonnard, Matisse, Josef Frank, and Mary Cassatt.

Her love of pattern and textiles is evident in her still life tableaux. Very few people inhabit her pictures; she instead likes to think of “people’s stuff” as characters in composition.

Continue reading

fanciful beauty: caitlin mcgauley’s watercolor paintings

If you’re a fan of fashion and/or interior design you may have seen some of Caitlin McGauley’s work in the pages of Vogue, Better Homes and Gardens, or Elle Decor.

The bright, bold colors and whimsical details in her watercolors are hard to miss.  Whether she’s painting a pretty interior, a spray of flowers, a lovely table setting, or a pastry shop, there’s a distinctive charm and élan that I find irresistible.

It’s fun to see the interesting characters, city scenes, and everyday objects that bear her cheery, chic and uplifting style. I am reminded of Emma Block and Maira Kalman with a touch of Raoul Dufy.  A breath of fresh air!

Caitlin studied at the Syracuse University College of Visual and Performing Arts, first majoring in illustration before switching to advertising. She experimented with a variety of mediums before discovering her love of watercolor via a “paint every day” project on her blog.

After college, she started working for Ralph Lauren Home as a textile designer, then went on to pursue freelance projects.

As the story goes, years ago Caitlin happened to comment on the Lonny magazine blog, which prompted the editor to visit Caitlin’s illustration blog. The editor liked Caitlin’s watercolors, so she asked her to do a weekly series for Lonny called Watercolor Wednesday. This led to a commission with Kate Spade, New York, and Caitlin hasn’t looked back since.

Continue reading

Indie Artist Spotlight: Deidre Wicks of Water in My Paint

Ever have this thing where you don’t know what you’re looking for, but you absolutely know it when you see it?

That’s exactly what happened when I spotted Deidre Wicks’s charming animal paintings on Pinterest recently.

Cerebral dogs and cats wearing glasses! Birdies balancing on the edges of pretty china teacups! Other animals decked out in derby hats, bowties, berets, and tutus, some blowing bubbles, others stealing cupcakes! And a good number of them with mustaches :).

Since Deidre’s watercolors got me right where I live, I had to find out more about her work. A fashion design major from Toronto, Canada, Deidre was unhappily working as a pattern drafter when she decided to follow her passion for illustration.

She’s an ardent animal lover living with two dogs and two cats who happily keep her company and provide endless inspiration for her drawings. I love the blend of realistic animals + whimsy + humor. Each of her paintings tells a story and you just can’t help but smile when you see them.

Deidre sells originals, archival prints, t-shirts and other goodies at her Etsy Shop — and yes, she takes custom orders. I thank her for visiting Alphabet Soup today along with Schaffer, Bronie, Orange Peel and Tina.

* * *

Continue reading