Favorite Things

Here, you’ll find a mix of my favorite resources as well as the inspiration that has touched my heart the deepest. Choose a category below and jump straight to whatever’s calling you.

General

Gotta have a variety of alphabet stamps. And don’t forget the black ink pad, too!

I use these Shiva Oil Paintstiks for painting faces. Blendable, easy to use (with brushes or fingers!), and they dry in 24 hrs. Can’t get better than that.

Golden fluid acrylics are the main paint I use – great for transparency, building up layers (for less transparency), painting over collage papers, mixing colors, and more.

I love love love liquitex soft bodied acrylic paint (I prefer the jar over the tubes). These are just the right consistency – not too heavy, not too watery.

I love my table top easel. I waited years before I got one, but it was one of my smartest moves ever to finally invest in it. Love!

Can’t live without my brayer. I roll it right through my paint and then onto my canvas to create interest + texture.

I’m a huge fan of these distress ink pads,especially the “walnut ink” for adding distressing/aged touches.

Can’t live without gel medium – I use the soft gel in gloss. I use it under and over collage papers to glue and seal them to my canvas.

Obsessed with this black pencil. I use it to outline, smudge, dip in water. When used over dried gloss gel medium, it wipes away easily, making it perfect for drawing/erasing.

I use the fine tip black Pitt pen for outlining facial features, the colored brush tip pens for eye + lip color, + the skin tone pens for creating full faces.

I’ve tried a million white pens, and this is the best fine point white pen out there – oil based, will write over anything. Awesome for adding white details on paintings.

Worth every penny, I have this exact lamp on my studio table – shows true colors and saves my eyes from squinting.

I use these artist boards more than anything else. I like that they have a hard, smooth surface (vs textured canvas) which is perfect forpainting faces.

My favorite canvas out there. Thick, gallery style sides and the sturdiness of the canvas can handle lot of mixed-media abuse (sanding, layers of paint, etc)

Simply follow the directions and be wow’d by what gold leaf can do for your paintings and craft projects. Love this stuff.

An absolute must have of mine – dries paint and gel medium so that I don’t have to wait.

Disposable palette paper – does it get any easier? Love this stuff.

Golden gesso is the best gesso out there. I use it to prep all of my surfaces before I apply any paint. Sand between applications to get a super smooth surface (for faces, for example).

Love using these graphite sticks for shading.

sennelier

I LOVE using Sennelier Oil Pastels for faces. They are creamy, smooth, and so easy to work with!

81q0ymGwDOL._SL1200_Love love love Cavallini papers for collaging!

5426774Tweety Jill offers a fantastic selection of collage papers, check ’em out!

Golden Archive Spray Varnish is my favorite spray for finishing paintings (I love it in Gloss)!

This Saral Transfer Paper is my new favorite thing to play with in my paintings!

General

I use Photoshop to format, size, color correct, etc when it comes to getting my images ready for prints.

This is the scanner I use to scan in all my original paintings. If my painting is larger than the scanner bed, I scan it in pieces, then piece it together in Photoshop program.

Worth every penny, this is the printer I use to print all my prints that I sell. I also use it to print all my large personal photos. It’s the bomb.

I’m a big fan of Epson’s Ultra Premium Luster Paper. I use this paper to print all of my prints that I sell as well as my personal photos. It’s STUNNING.

General

index6I use PicTapGo for editing virtually every photo I take on my phone. Can’t recommend it enough!

unnamed-1Totally addicted to creating stunning images with the Rhonna Designs app. It’s like painting meets digital collage elements. Love, love, love!

icon175x175 I love using this app to create custom text layouts over my images. This app makes it easy to create super professional looking graphics. Love!

icon175x175I love perusing the 55,000 Amazing Quotes app for just the right inspirational quote. I also love that the quotes they have are searchable by keyword!

screen696x696My naturopath recommended the HeadSpace app and I adore it. Perfect for meditation, focus, and mindfulness.

app-tayasuiI’m addicted to making paintings on the Tayasui Sketches app. They have tons of brushes and mark-making tools to create stunning, detailed, layered paintings right on  your phone. My kid also loves this app.

imgresBesides all the cool stuff that Dropbox does, I especially love having it on my iPhone so that all of my photos get automatically uploaded to my account. Love the security and ease of this.

unnamed-2I use the TurboScan app a surprising amount. It turn photos into pdf documents. I no longer send photos of documents, but rather legit looking pdf documents!

unnamedI LOVE the BitMoji app! Cause we all need a little silly in our lives!

General

old-gringo-bonnie-womens-volcano-brass-cowboy-boots-l649-1_4376My all-time favorite boots are Old Gringo’s. They’re pricey but also artisan made and worth it. I’ve never bought an Old Gringo boot that I had to “wear in”. They arrive comfortable and beautiful. When I wear them I feel like I’m wearing a piece of art. Love!

product-p-6690W_01-1500.1I adore Keen shoes, especially the slip on Mary Jane versions because they’re both causal yet cute. I have these in bright teal and brown and wear them all. of. the. time.

I love love LOVE Gudrun Sjödén’s beautiful, colorful, unique, and totally swoon-worthy clothes! I feel like they were made just for me!!

danskosI’ve been wearing Dansko clogs for 15+ years. They’re good for your feet and super cute. I’ve had several pair of their sandal clogs that look like this and a pair of brown regular clogs for years. I love pairing them with rolled up cropped jeans.

NYDJI’m a fan of NYDJ jeans. I love that they support my muffin top. I love their colors. I love that they wash well. I love that they are very very comfortable. I particularly love the straight fit/style. Love!

high-waisted-cropped-skinnyMy favorite skinny jeans are Henry & Belle’s High Waisted Skinny Jean. Worth every penny, friends! The don’t roll down the waist. They keep their form. And they are high enough that my muffin top is contained. I wear these under tunics constantly.

General

sound-of-paper.jpgAs an artist, I have never related more to a book. Julia Cameron has gotten inside of my heart and mind and written a book about it all. A must read for any creative person.

The author is one of my besties and I can’t be prouder of her for creating such an AWESOME book. Full of how to’s, gorgeous ideas, beautiful inspiration, and more.

This book speaks into all the metaphors that the painting process mirrors in life. This isn’t a straight up how to book. It’s much more than that and offers great ideas on how to be brave while painting.

I deeply believe in the power of art. It saves us. It inspires us. It teaches us. This book shares some pretty amazing stories, inspiration, and prompts that speak to the power of art.

I love this book for it’s permission to explore and discover who we really are through photography, poetry, and many more creative exercises.

I’m a huge fan of Misty Mawn and her book does not disappoint. Lots of how-to’s for a variety of mediums – love it.

Sabrina Ward Harrison is the artist that initially inspired me to begin creating mixed-media paintings. One peek into Spilling Open, and you’ll be inspired too. Eye candy galore.

This was one of the first books I bought way back when that showed me some well loved mixed-media techniques. A must for the beginner.

Totally obsessed with this book. Love love love the art projects – everything from painting your spirit animal to mandalas to flowers to leaves. It’s done with such a loving, engaging tone and has inspired me endlessly.

General

51jbsn3q0vl-_sx355_bo1204203200_This book keeps me on my best parenting game, I read it often!

the big leapA major eye opener when it comes to living the life we’ve always imagined!

broken openA book that transformed the way I see the inevitable difficult times I’ve had in my life.

anatomy of spiritThis book was a big resounding YES! Every. Single. Page

Another of Brene Brown’s books – this one made the NYT Bestseller list and for good reason. For anyone who wants to be brave in their lives, this book is for you. I LOVED it.

This book has fully informed my views on life, partnership, vulnerability, and more. I have read and re-read it. It’s a book that speaks my language and has changed my life.

I first read this book in college. It changed everything about my perspective, how I see and feel my way through life. A game/life changer.

As an artist, I have never related more to a book. Julia Cameron has gotten inside of my heart and mind and written a book about it all. A must read for any creative person.

411nlajxojl-_sx320_bo1204203200_An oldie by goodie, and essential for nourishing the soul.

I consider Brene a dear friend. Every time I talk to her, I have an aha moment. This book is just like talking to her – you’ll have one aha after the next. A must read.

carry-on-warriorI’m a huge fan of Carry On, Warrior and all its truth-telling, humor, and wisdom. A must-read.

come-as-you-areI have given Come As You Are to all my girlfriends, which is saying  a lot.

51wy7pbp7l-_sx330_bo1204203200_Aaah, this book is pure poetry and perfect for reading over and over again.

51gufnqwwl-_sx324_bo1204203200_Changed my life by lifting the veil on how the universe works!

A tiny, fierce book that reminds me that I’m not crazy, that using our creative voice is hard, and that it requires discipline of the mind and the heart (hello, gremlins!). A must read for ANY person doing creative work in the world.

51rd1-hcdl-_sx327_bo1204203200_An essential book for anybody who has boys/men in their life.

I recently bought this book to help give me ideas. Something about the focus on beauty really spoke to me. I love the idea of creating visually pretty things to eat. Totally my jam.

I read this while in my MSW program 20 years ago and then again as a parent to a seven year old boy. I CANNOT recommend this book enough to any parent who wants to have real, engaging and loving conversations with their kids.

General

One of my spiritual gurus, Lacy Young is highly intuitive, in constant search of deeper truths, and inspires me and countless others to live with SOUL. A beacon of all things GOOD.

Rachel Awes is an artist, author, and deep listener of truth. She is deeply in touch with both the curious + wise child as well as the sage guide within. A breath of fresh air.

Pixie Lighthorse is a Priestess, a mother through and through, who helps us all connect deeper to the wisdom that lives both within and in the natural world that surrounds us.

I call her “Shiny Shanny”, because Shannon Sims like a living angel on Earth, radiating her inner beauty into the art of living well and helping others to do the same.

She turned her life-threatening experience (an allergy to heat) into her dream of becoming an artist. There aren’t many people I’d call a goddess, but Carrie Schmitt is one of them.

Impossibly witty and smart, my dear friend Leigh Standley has makes the greeting cards we all adore. Everything she touches is style gold, but nothing is more golden than her heart.

One of my longtime besties, Andrea Scher is a fierce + wise + funny truth teller. She always knows just what to say and how to say it. It’s one of her many many superpowers.

I’ve known Alena Hennessy since before I was an artist. She encouraged me to become an artist and I’ve followed her lead every since. She is highly intuitive, a seeker of  SOUL.

Dani Palacio came into my life just as my spiritual inner life needed a mentor. She is both grounded in the Earth realm and soulfully wise in all things Divine. And she’s silly!

I call Betsy Cordes my Business Midwife + Doula because she’s more than a coach. She’s the behind-the-scenes magic, helping us creatives do the hard work of birthing our dreams.

One of my besties, Lynzee Lynx is a creative force with an undeniable loving presence. She is gold, weaving her specific brand of golden magic through her creative passions.

Alisa Burke is a mom, artist, author, and e-course maven. Her art is colorful, her vibe down to earth, yet her spirit soars high above. She inspires me to live a good life.

This woman is a force. Fierce yet vulnerable. Quirky yet wise. A truth-teller with a friendly urgency. Annika Martins is a writer, and an inspiring body love coach. Yes, yes, yes.

Pam Garrison is a bright light, always encouraging those around her to reach higher. I’m a huge fan of her heart, but also of her art, which is drool worthy. Huge inspiration.

One of my first art friends on this journey, Mati Rose is one of my dearest soul friends. She is also a crazy talented artist, author, and teacher. Get ready to swoon.

Beth Kempton is a true force when it comes to inspiring people to do what they love. We collaborate on our passion project (Hello Soul Hello Business) and have mentored one another for years as women entrepreneurs. Her book, Freedom Seeker is a must read. Find more of Beth here.

I fell deeply in love with Jennifer Mercede’s art when I walked into a Portland boutique and saw it hanging on the wall. That was 2008. I sent her an email and insisted we be friends and she obliged.  All of these years later, I’m still obsessed with her art and the way she sees and lives in the world.

Brene Brown and I are longtime friends, belonging to a tribe we call The Lovebombers started in the summer of 2008. Her books are life changing and her friendship invaluable. If you don’t know her work, get ready for your heart to expand and awaken.

Tracey Clark is a gorgeous photographer and teacher, but also a dear friend who has taught me so much about seeing the light in our lives (both literally and metaphorically) and capturing it in everyday, magical photographs

Melody Ross is the co-founder of Brave Living and a dear friend who inspires me to keep it real and true in biz and in life. If you don’t know about Brave Living, you are in for a major treat. 

Katie Daisy’s popular art is sweet and delightful and her spirit is fierce with love and beauty. She is a creator of magical worlds, her life made beautiful with color, flowers, and wide open spaces. Forever inspiring….

I’m a huge fan of Michelle Allen’s business (have you seen her clocks?) and her heart. She is humble, adventurous, and so incredibly true to her inspiration. I adore her and her art completely.

I sent Ali Edwards an email back in 2006 when I had a zillion questions about how to start and art biz. She took the time to answer, and we’ve been friends ever since. We’re art friends, biz women friends, and wellness accountability partners. Love her.

Jen Gray’s way of seeing and nurturing her life with humor and quiet is inspiring. From filming herself singing along to old tunes while driving the country roads to the ways she rescues the monarchs, get ready to be inspired.

Lisa J hired me for my first Social Work job in Portland when I moved here in 1999. All these many years later, we’ve both gone on to do creative work with Lisa creating elegant, simple gorgeous jewelry. She is a bright light in the world, infusing her work her amazing light energy.

Flora  Bowley is a fellow painter who inspires countless creatives to let go, be bold, and unfold. We met many years ago just as her career took off and it’s been so fun to watch her world grow and grow and grow…

Please note: Some product links are affiliate links (I am a compensated affiliate of Blick Art Materials & Amazon).

 

When I finally put paint onto paper, my heart + life exploded with renewed passion and joy.

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