The new print shop is up and running and I could NOT be more excited finally to share it with you! Creating each piece brought me such joy even in the hours and hours (and days and weeks) of effort that went into them. The places are either somewhere I've been or somewhere I'm longing to go, and they're also commonly-visited spots in their areas. Adding the Curly Redhead into the paintings really lets you be there yourself, seeing things from her perspective.
But let’s talk about the places! There had to be a rugged, outdoorsy location to really clinch that sense of adventure, and the stunning colors of the high desert sold me on using Smith Rock. Smith Rock State Park is just outside of Bend, Oregon, and boasts a gorgeous - if muted - color palette and breathtaking views. I’d actually never heard of the high desert before going, but it reminded me of my family’s homeland of west Texas (though much colder) and therefore immediately claimed a spot in my heart.
Ah, Paris. A timeless travel destination for centuries. And a city (like several others, sadly) of which all I’ve seen is the inside of the airport. As a historian, Paris has such a magical past (seriously, don't get me started on the Belle Epoque) with characters almost too vibrant to be real. Remember The Three Musketeers? A mix of fact and fiction, right? Well, this supremely Instagrammable spot is the Jardin du Palais Royal, originally the residence of that nefarious Cardinal Richelieu. All the events, history, and adventures that must have taken place in this spot makes me all heart-eyed! (As an aside, the columns weren’t added until much later, but are still almost 200 years old!)
Paris Market is actually located in Savannah, Georgia, one of the prettiest and most charming places in the South. (Full disclosure: I'm biased. Lived there for 15 years!) This shop is such a treasure. The owner regularly travels to France to collect antique furniture, vintage photographs, and hand-drawn artwork. Along with items from local artisans, everything is displayed like the most perfect je ne sais quoi magazine spread you’ve ever seen. And, to top it off, tucked in the back is a small cafe with delicious coffee creations (white chocolate raspberry mocha, anyone?) and French pastries. Sitting at the sidewalk tables and people watching on a bright Georgia afternoon is basically the stuff of dreams.
Lastly, and perhaps most adorably, is the enchanting Tuck Box in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. This tea room looks like it came straight out of a fairytale, doesn’t it? Carmel began as a Spanish mission settlement, but in the early 1900s it became a haven for artists and authors. The European-looking cottages were meant to embody the spirit of a little woodland village on the coast (and to appeal to potential buyers *wink*). I definitely could have been convinced to join that colony!
Have you visited any of these places? Where have you traveled that would make a great painting? I'd love to hear all about your adventures!