Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Serene Atmosphere
Sarah Rishel

My husband and I attended the Plaza Art Fair in Kansas City this past weekend to celebrate our anniversary. It was so much fun to see so many talented artists in one place! We also ran into my freshman year roommate Megan in the midst of thousands of people which was fun! It was so good to see her again! This is my second time visiting the Plaza Art Fair and I have to say it is by far the best art fair I have ever seen. I know there are many great art fairs out there, but in this part of the country, they are a little sparse. It is probably 4-5 times the size of our Summer Art Festival in Omaha and filled with hundreds of talented artists. From what I've heard, it is tough competition to get into it... I may try for next year... we will see!

The above print was our big purchase for the weekend. Sorry for the bad photo, it was still wrapped in plastic. We bought an intaglio print by Sarah Rishel. Check out her website to see more of her work! Mike and I both really enjoy looking at and collecting etchings. I am fascinated by the amount of work that goes into them. I hope one day I will have access to a printmaking shop so that I can do etchings too!

We also spent an afternoon at the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum which is beautiful and worth a trip! We saw quite a few Thiebaud's and some really beautiful baroque paintings and so much more! If you ever make it to KC you must visit the Nelson-Atkins and the Kemper!
Mike in the Baroque GalleryOutside the Nelson-Atkins

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Iowa Sunset

Iowa Sunset
9 x 12
oil on canvas

Available for purchase at my etsy shop!

I'll be honest, this painting was a difficult one for me. I had a completely different version of it yesterday. The clouds were more abstract and choppy before and it was distracting so I decided to make them a little more smooth. I still don't know what I think about it, but I couldn't work on it anymore. So, this is how it will stay.

Mike thought I should title this painting Nebraska Sunset As Seen From Iowa. I thought that was pretty funny, but I stuck with Iowa Sunset :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Aspen Leaf

Aspen Leaf
12 x 20
oil on canvas

Available for purchase at my etsy shop!

Here is my latest painting... can you tell I'm inspired by the change of season? This was a fun one, it's a little washed out in the photograph though. I think the greys are more rich in person.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Charcoal Portraits

Flower Girl
14 x 17

Most of the time you'll find me painting, but I love drawing almost as much as painting! I admit, I sometimes neglect my drawing because painting is so time involved. Last year, I kind of went through a charcoal drawing frenzy... all I did for a while (as far as artwork) was sit on the floor and sketch up a storm! Yes, on the floor, I didn't have a drawing table set up at the time and I don't find an easel that conducive to sketching. Anyway, it was a lot of fun and tonight I found myself browsing through some of these drawings and realizing I miss it and I need to get back to it~  

If you happen to be looking for a unique gift, a charcoal portrait is a nice option. They look great in all different types of homes, especially when they are framed nicely! They are also quite affordable for a piece of custom artwork. My charcoal portrait prices start at $75 for a 14 x 17. I think that's a pretty good deal myself :) I also offer framing services, shipping and gift wrap if needed! Check out more of my charcoals on my website if you have a moment. Thanks for looking! 

Also, thanks to my friend Stacy for giving me a mention on her new blog ... the copy cat cottage! If you have an interest in decorating on a budget, her blog is inspiring. She has a beautiful home and is full of good ideas (even though she claims to be a copy cat). Take a minute to check it out!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Decor on a Budget

Now, if you need some inspiration for decorating on a budget this holiday season or I'm sure she will have excellent handmade gift ideas... do check out my friend Stacy's new blog The Copy Cat Cottage! She is full of creative and tasteful ideas on a budget and she takes beautiful photographs!

Must See Etsy Artists

photo from laughing squid's flickr page

Here are some of my favorite etsy artists!

Erin Spencer - beautiful landscape paintings
Irene Suchocki - really sweet photographs
Elizabeth Scott - delicate jewelry inspired by nature
Amy Hatch - pretty, vintage inspired jewelry

Each of these shops would make a special, one of a kind gift for someone you love!

Buy Handmade!!

Fisherman's Boat
5 x 7
oil on panel


As we all know, but don't really want to talk about it yet, the holidays are just around the corner! Christmas is a popular time for people to order paintings and I have a couple commissions lined up already. I usually request 4-6 weeks notice for a commissioned piece and for the holidays it nice to have around 8 weeks. We are only 13 weeks away... yikes!

I know the economy has hit everyone and extras like art are often the first things to be cut from the budget. I also know that art can be expensive, sometimes ridiculously expensive. I just wanted to encourage you this holiday season to fight the urge to shop at big box stores (I do it too... I'm not pointing fingers) and consider making more gifts, buying from local stores or buying handmade items from etsy shops or ebay! There is so much affordable art out there! Sometimes you might even find a beautiful original painting or drawing that is cheaper than a print from a big box store! There are amazing deals to be had out there right now and many artists trying to sell their work.

As an artist, it can be fun to talk about art and do the art, but when it comes to pricing and talking about money it's no longer as much fun! If only we could all just paint for free and do it just for the love of it! In this economy, artists are trying to find ways to make their art more affordable, like doing smaller paintings or offering free shipping. For example, the little boat painting above recently sold for $25! This fall I will be adding many more in this price range to my etsy shop so be sure to check it out!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sunday Fishing

Sunday Fishing
5 x 7
oil on canvas

Available for purchase at my etsy shop!

I always feel a little weird doing these little baby paintings, but I am going to be doing more of them to try and stock up my etsy shop. I'm just used to working on a slightly bigger scale, but I do enjoy working quickly and being able to try anything in a small size instead of the commitment of a large painting. Don't worry though, I will still be painting larger paintings :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rio Grande

Rio Grande
16 x 20
oil on canvas

Here is the completed painting! This was a spot outside of Taos, NM where you can actually visit the Gorge and then take a drive down into the canyon and you end up alongside the river. What a great spot to do some fishing or have a picnic! Beware if you are afraid of heights though!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rio Grande Sneak Preview

This is a portion of the painting I am currently working on. I was hoping to have it completed and posted by now, but sometimes I just can't rush a painting. It is a painting of the Rio Grande River outside of Taos, NM. I will be finishing up the sky and water tomorrow and will post the finished product as soon as I can. 

The art fair was fun even though it was a little slow. The way they set up the booths completely blocks our shop from view so we had a few visitors but not as many as we would have liked. We are looking forward to the Craft Fair on October 3rd though. The booths will not be in front of our shop, so people might actually find us! Thanks to all the family that came to visit and keep us company during the art fair! You have all been so supportive of our ventures.

Remember to check out the Olive Branch blog when you get a chance! Today's post was about beautiful scabiosa blooms. (One of my top-five flowers). I should do a painting of some scabiosa sometime. 

Also, if you haven't already, become a fan of Leia Brown Studio on facebook! Thanks to those of you that are already fans :) 

Friday, September 11, 2009

Rockbrook Art Fair

The Rockbrook Art Fair is this weekend! Come visit us at Olive Branch! We have my art on display, a nice selection of garden art by local artists and beautiful containers to plant your fall mums in!

Saturday 10 - 6
Sunday 10 - 5

Rockbrook Village - 108th & Center
Olive Branch (across from Great Harvest Bread)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Top 5 Loves

Pelvis with the Distance
Georgia O'Keefe

My Top 5 Loves (at this moment):

1. Georgia O'Keefe's New Mexico paintings.

2. Gummi Vitamins for adults. mmm.

3. The movie Julie & Julia. I saw it with my mom on Labor Day and loved it!

4. The anticipation of fall.

5. Reading Garance Dore's blog in French and then checking to see if I translated correctly by reading it in English. I know... kinda weird.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Jones Beach

Jones Beach
16 x 20
oil on canvas

I finished this painting today of Jones Beach, NY. It felt a little different for me, maybe because there was no water to paint! I've been painting a lot of water lately which I love and I have also been painting mostly figures in a landscape. Doing all this landscape painting makes me feel a little like Bob Ross! I used to stick solely to portraits, but I am now branching out and, I have to say, I am really enjoying it.

What I love about water-filled landscape paintings is that they are calming and remind me of some of my favorite places and favorite things to do. They also generally include many shades of blue which is my favorite hue :) So, with this painting I wanted it to still have the same calming effect minus the water. I hope it worked. It does remind me of a fun trip!

One of the (many) goals of my painting is to create a "scrapbook" of this life. To thank God for the beautiful places I've seen and the amazing people I've met. I absolutely love painting, but sometimes it feels like I give up so many other things so that I have time to paint. When I look back at the paintings I've done though, I am so thankful for the life I've been blessed to have. That is when I am reminded of all that God has done and I don't ever want to stop thanking Him.

"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him." 2 Corinthians 2:14