It's easy to quit. It's easy for me to think "I'm not good..smart..brave..creative..whatever enough". Every day is a battle to be productive, but I'm learning that it's the small steps that lead to great personal and hopefully professional growth. It's when I choose to pick up my paint brush that I continue to progress in developing my personal style and expanding the creative side of my brain. It's when I choose to test materials or try new techniques that I will push my bravery and honesty in my work. Art has been my greatest avenue for self-discovery and the best therapy in overcoming whatever obstacles that I've been thrown.
Andy Warhol has always easily been one of my very favorite artists. While the style of his artwork is night and day from my own aesthetic and many of his pieces I don't necessarily love, I appreciate the voice and intent behind them immensely. He paved the way for artists like myself to create, explore, and express ourselves in a limitless realm of possibility. He worked hard to tell the story of himself and his generation through his artwork and became one of the most well known and recognized artists of his time.
These are some of my favorite places in the world--where I have found the most peace, joy, and a sure sense of myself. My goal is to eventually make it to all the U.S. National Parks and see the overwhelming beauty that this country has to offer. Out of the 59 declared national parks, I have been to 10, so many more adventures are to be had.
My husband made this image to use at our church's service this past Sunday. At the service, story after story was shared of God's faithfulness, blessing, and sovereignty, and I left so encouraged and motivated to focus on having a thankful heart day in and day out. This is something I struggle the most with when the going gets tough, so I'm trying to actively write out what I am thankful for and what God has blessed me with. I often take for granted the things that I consider "small" -- a home, food on the table, a bed at night, a loving husband and family, passions and dreams that I have the ability to follow -- but I am truly blessed and feel so fortunate.
Last week, Ryan and I had the opportunity to be a part of our friend's -- Jeffery and Megan's -- engagement! Unfortunately since they live in Utah, we don't get to see them too often, but Jeffery had it all planned out for us to meet in Las Vegas and totally surprise Megan! Needless to say, she had no idea. The look on her face was priceless, and Jeffery pulled off the entire proposal seamlessly.
Knowing about the trip to Vegas for several months, I was so excited to visit the Seven Magic Mountains on the way into the city. Since it was first opened in May earlier this year, I have been following along and have been growing jealous seeing all the posts of people visiting! It looked so surreal and dreamy out in the middle of the desert. It looked "magical" as the name itself points out. The Swiss artist, Ugo Rondinone, created a haven in the heart of an expansive and seemingly endless desertscape. The best part was that it's even better in person than it appears in the photos!
Part Two: Nature
Of Bronze—and Blaze—
So adequate—it forms—
So preconcerted with itself—
So distant—to alarms—
And Unconcern so sovereign
To Universe, or me—
Infects my simple spirit
With Taints of Majesty—
Till I take vaster attitudes—
And strut upon my stem—
Disdaining Men, and Oxygen,
For Arrogance of them—
My Splendors, are Menagerie—
But their Competeless Show
Will entertain the Centuries
When I, am long ago,
An Island in dishonored Grass—
Whom none but Daisies, know.
Two weekends ago, Ryan and I spent our Saturday exploring Pasadena, as we have so many times before, but this time we did something new and bought tickets for the Norton Simon Museum. We love art museums -- really any type of museum -- so I'm not sure why we have never been here! It's so close to the main downtown shopping area, off Colorado Blvd., and there is a free parking lot that is super easy to access. The grounds are beautiful, and they have a great collection of art!
I knew that they had several pieces by Monet on display, and I was so excited to see them up close as I have admired his brushwork for years. The painting above is of Monet's personal garden in Giverny, France.
The piece above is from a series of murals by Sam Francis that were completed in the late 1950's. Francis sustained a major injury during his army training in WWII, and so due to his immobility from his injury and being bedridden for several years, he took to painting. He was inspired by abstraction, light, color, the California landscape, Monet's waterlilies, and Pierre Bonnard.
These two pieces are part of the Degas' collection at Norton Simon. I was so excited to see these pieces in person as well, and I was in luck, as there are over 100 pieces of his on display at the museum! Degas' work is delicate, feminine, so beautiful. His focus on the human spirit and the psychological elements are so apparent. You definitely won't be disappointed!
The hardest part of this whole process so far has been brainstorming and deciding on a name to brand my art and vintage shop. I wanted something simple, yet evocative of strong feelings and emotions. I didn't want to merely use my own name, as I like the idea of creating an atmosphere and using the blog/shop name as the pervading tone. Love of Pine was one of my husband's suggestions, and it just seemed like the perfect fit since our kitty's name is Pine, as well as the forest being one of my favorite places to escape to.
Ryan and I adopted Pine ("Precious", before we changed it) a month after we were married and just two months after Pine was born. She is the first pet that I have ever owned personally and has captured my heart entirely. Pine is playful yet nervous, fiercely independent until she wants her head rubbed and her cheeks scratched, loves her window perch, does not like being picked up and cradled (although I can't help it sometimes), gets so excited for treat time and will do tricks to earn them, and enjoys her daily routine immensely. I love her so much and truly think of her as my little furry baby (like the true cat lady that lives inside me). Pine represents firsts with my husband, firsts in my own life, and the incredible journey that we have been on since taking those first steps to adopt her. I hope this business will also represent a positive first step in my personal and professional growth.
Other than my kitty, Pine, the more literal sense of the word - pine - also applies. Ryan and I honeymooned in Washington and Oregon amidst the pine trees. We celebrated our one year anniversary by taking the train from our home in Southern California to Seattle and then took a bus into Vancouver, British Colombia. We explored the Olympic National Forest with it's jaw-dropping views and larger-than-life trees. In Canada, we traveled far outside the city center to Chilliwack Lake and camped for a few days to fully take in what nature had to offer us. This trip remains one of my most favorite memories in my entire life --as we were able to hike and swim and talk and pray with no distractions, no technology. It was just us and the trees.
These are the feelings, emotions, memories that I want to evoke through Love of Pine. Not just for myself, but I hope anyone who visits my blog/shop can think back to simpler times, joyful moments in their own lives.
I am so excited to be collecting these pieces in preparation for the Love of Pine shop that will be launching early next year. I only purchase vintage pieces in excellent pre-loved condition that I would wear myself.
1960s - 1980s
suede, wool, cotton, chiffon
plaid, floral, paisley, fun details on each piece