I spent the earliest days of my career self producing a variety of product lines. All of my products began with my hand painted watercolor paintings. From there, artwork was digitized, color palettes were refined, designs tweaked, production techniques explored and packaging created to delight. It was so much work, ensuring that my artistic vision was fully realized every step of the way. And as I write these words, I recall just how much I loved it all…There’s something about the process of creation from beginning to end that is deeply satisfying.
In more recent years, I have been licensing my art and designs to manufacturing partners who then use my art to enhance their product lines. The collaborating happens between me, my team and the manufacturer and their art director. Licensing also has elements that are richly rewarding, especially when our vision comes to life with a quality product, and I am fortunate to have many.
But I’ve been missing a more hands on approach. So my design team and I have jumped back in and we are about to offer our first collection of self produced, upholstery weight textiles on the most beautiful cotton/linen blend fabric. And, just as I remember, it really is a process;) We are still tweaking to get color perfect, but it’s coming along beautifully. We are so excited to soon share the full collection, which features our softly sophisticated, organic designs along with a few other product line surprises. This collection will be offered to the trade via Interior Design Professionals and Showrooms and we simply can’t wait to see what new opportunities may arise. I’m feeling inspired anew… it’s really limitless, where we can take this! (upholstered furniture, anyone? :)
If you’re a Design Professional or an Interior Design Showroom who would like more information about the new collection, (or, if you just plain dig what we’re offering:) drop me a line over on my Design website and let me know how you envision us working together.
I am noticing that I do my best painting in the late afternoon. The quality of light is really nice at that time of day and it’s usually much quieter in my studio. But I think more than both of those things, by afternoon, my internal rhythm, which can run a bit fast… has finally slowed enough to let me really relax into the painting. Breath is deeper, my hand a little looser… my mind clears and I get lost in gentle thoughts… it’s a state of complete ease. And it’s in these moments that I stray a little farther creatively and try new things, like painting with more water than usual, then letting the water pull the pigment from the brush rather than having my hand control it as I usually do. Results can be…surprising… but the name of this blog is appropriately titled, Risk Delight… so there you go. I do hope my artwork delights you from time to time.
It’s natural for me to emphasize the smaller, delicate details…maybe the ones that are a little off the beaten path that you wouldn’t first notice…like the crevice between the rocks or the shadows of the shells that lay just below water’s surface. Or maybe I will choose to highlight the edge of a cloud rather than the cloud itself. Or that mysterious sliver of light where sky meets the sea… it always seems so elusive. My seascapes attempt to honor those details and those less travelled/less seen places that I am so drawn to. How to show you what I see and feel? I continue to try to find new ways of bringing my vision uniquely to life.
All Original artwork ©Michelle Rummel/ Shell Artistree LLC ~
…I slowly found my way. The day was mine and the light was beautiful.
Original ink and watercolor ©Michelle Rummel / Shell Artistree LLC www.shellrummel.com
It’s a sleepy, quiet, solitary day of painting back in my studio. I am paying close attention to those little sparks within…I find I often come back to drawing/painting figurative works. I am drawn to faces, necks, hair and lips. I don’t always get the lines or the proportion right, but there is something familiar and pleasing just in the trying. I do often use photographs for reference but more often than not, at some point in the process I veer far off reference point and just let my hand and imagination lead the way. Always an element of organic abstraction… intricate detailing…watery colors, controlled… and yet, I do try to let watercolors just be watercolors and do their thing, too. It’s the sweetest dance between ink and water and although she doesn’t look like me, she becomes a true portrait of me at my creative happiest…
In this moment, I am fulfilled.
Original Ink and watercolor painting… ©Michelle Rummel / Shellartistree LLC / Shellrummel.com
In keeping with the edges theme/obsession, this week I picked up some knives and began to cut paper. There is something remarkably soothing about the process… the blade is flexible, so it flows with the curves nicely…well, as nicely as the hand holding it;) You can feel it sink through fiber and the trick is to guide it smoothly. I want my paper cut lines to be delicate, fluid…just like my watercolors. Practice needed. Even more, I am intrigued by the secret layer of shadow that forms at the edges… I am experimenting with adding watercolor over, under….and in between. And there is something glorious to my eye about combining my watercolors with cut paper (and in this case, embroidery thread too…) It’s a textural dance that leads me along, a new direction that seems right. I feel my heart beating which tells me it’s real.
I am in awe of those who master this art so brilliantly. There is much learning involved and my impatience taught more than one lesson along the way in just two studio sessions. At the end of the day, my desk was covered in hundreds of shards of paper. I found that oddly satisfying:) Can’t wait to keep playing, experimenting, adding to, learning. I know the look I am trying to achieve and I see now how to get there. It feels like a gentle parting of branches when walking down a quiet path. So much to discover, just beyond… ~
Original Ink, watercolor, embroidery and paper cut ~ ©Michelle Rummel Shellrummel.com
Our year in Review…
It makes me dizzy (in the best possible way;) to look back on the last year and see all we have accomplished in my design studio. It was truly an extraordinary year for the Shell Rummel brand in the sense that much of the work we did during the year was in preparation for 2015. We’ve been steadily focused, and as is true of most good things in life, patience rewards! So many beautiful new products and collections are about to launch! It’s such a thrill…
We’ll be giving away some lovely products in the coming months in partnership with some of our licensees…Not to be missed so feel free to join our mailing list or follow my brand page on facebook. My website has all the updated information, so come take a few minutes and have a look through. As always, my gratitude for your kind support of my art and design work…it means so much ~ Shell
And it felt really good, as you knew it would. Sometimes we just need a gentle push.
Quick sketch, ink… loose…like play. Toes tapping to Joss Stone. Thoughts keeping me company. Heart full.
For months, my team and I have spent the majority of our time designing for Home Fashions Market Week which happens twice a year in New York City. Next week, I’ll be there, spending time with my agents, meeting with prospective new licensees and visiting my current partners in their showrooms as Fall Market Week kicks off. Launching this season, are 5 new bedding collections in partnership with Nostalgia Home as well as coordinated bath ensembles via Bacova Guild. Different for me this market, is that I have been invited to participate in the Retailer meetings for my bedding collections! A rare opportunity to meet the top retailers face to face and introduce them to my designs. The collections for each bed are dear to me… a true labor of love. Each, uniquely inspired with natural elements, organic geometrics and soft color paIettes. Although I have yet to see the finished products, I have faith in the team at Nostalgia Home and know that with their attention to detail, the collections will be lovely. I am so proud of the work we have done. The designs are serene and soft, quietly elegant…I am hopeful the ensembles will be well received at market and will eventually find placement in a store near you;) I look forward to sharing photos of the actual bedding collections with you, once I am back in the studio.
And…Always extra exciting when you come across a Press Release that features your brand. Have a look… Home & Textiles Today, September 10, 2014 Press Release, Shell Rummel Signs with Nostalgia
I spent some time today slowly sifting through my watercolors…Smiling to myself as I realized that I created far more than I thought I had over my busy summer months. Mostly saltwater inspired, waves and lines of tide make a strong appearance in the collection, as well as striations of green mixed among the layered painted Hosta leaves….I do love them so. There are figurative works too… a few nudes, some fashion illustrations and the always present seashell or feather in the mix. Soft, natural organic…qualities that are consistently present in my art…it’s what I am drawn to, after all. And of course, my design work reflects this too. But more on that, next time… ~
Original Watercolor ©Michelle Rummel
I haven’t quite had my fill of the ocean yet this summer… I am still craving saltwater. So, I paint the perfect swirl of a shell and stones that I know will feel good in my hand. I paint to get my fill ~
Original Watercolor ©MichelleRummel