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 ~
Topographical coastline with pebbles and shimmering tidal pools…or …Butterfly in flight? The ultimate Rorschach test;)
Collaboration #11… something a little different for the latest, in an ongoing collaborative series with Paul Henderson, titled ‘Wave After Wave’ where I add my touches of watercolor to Paul’s flowing ink on paper. Paul’s ink was more splatter than line on this particular piece and I was well aware that I kept shying away from it as I sifted through his pile of beautiful ink work in choosing which would become my next canvas. In the end, I believe it was the seemingly randomness of the ink that called out to me to try and leave my creative mark. I used an iridescent paint to highlight some of the ink marks…it shimmers quite beautifully in the light. Unique as it was from the start, the finished art feels inherently connected to this most special collaborative series. A new personal favorite, perhaps…
A little design news:)
For over two years, my design team and I have been working and waiting on the launch of my first collection with industry giant, Surya. A dream of mine, to design a line of rugs that feature my natural, organic art. The Natural Affinity rug collection will launch at High Point Market next month. The collection features an assortment of abstract organic wool rugs, all with my signature design aesthetic. A lovely collection of silk pillows will also be available to the trade.
Surya’s Press Release has been distributed to over 300 Media outlets this week. It was picked up by several of the Trade Magazines including Home & Textiles Today, HFN, RugNews, Home Accents Today and Furniture Today. I am overwhelmed (in the best possible way) and simply so grateful.
There is much to be said for being patient, holding onto your vision, trusting the process, believing in your own talents and having faith that it will all come together as it is meant to. A very proud moment for me and my design team. Enjoying the feeling…
“I held my breath as we do sometimes to stop time when something wonderful has touched us…” ~ Mary Oliver
Yesterday’s play at end of day as the light was quickly fading.
Original Ink and Watercolor ©Michelle Rummel/ ShellArtistree LLC 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
The ocean inspires me in many ways. Soft, tranquil, salty… Here, the light restores and I am reminded to slow down and breathe deeper. Some places just feel like home.
My soul colors can be delivered right to your doorstep… beautiful, easy… just like the foamy tide.
See the full collection, here…
It began with a massive reorganization of my files in an effort to make sense of the hundreds of visual images that I tuck away over time. Swatches of color… honey golds, watery blues, mossy greens. Images of flowing lines, petals, leaves, light, love. Some will be used as reference for new collections down the road. Others will get pinned to my studio bulletin board simply because I like to look at beautiful things:))
In the midst of all this eye candy, an ocean coastline photograph that a friend had posted online floated to the forefront of my vision. An instant pull, a voice inside… “paint me”…. So I did. I pushed scraps of paper aside, made room for my watercolor pad and began a very loose and quick rendering. As always, I painted what I felt far more than what I actually saw… usual for me, my mind brings me there and it’s different somehow. More so, the place I imagine it to be.
It’s been a while since paint flowed with ease and oh, it felt so good. And so I kept going, taking advantage of the calm and the quiet. Wrapped warm by the soft light over my shoulder, a fashion illustration inspired piece emerged from my ink pen.. I quickly painted a dress on her that I would wear… I piled her hair on top of her head and enjoyed the satisfying feeling of designing a look, a mood with simple line, minimal color and easy brushwork. Within minutes of starting, as breathing was a deep and steady sympatico…I felt her complete and I put the brush down.
And then I ate a proper lunch, because a girl’s gotta eat.
Not bad, for a Tuesday;))
I happen to have an extra Bloom Beautiful Premium Paper Pad in hand and I’d love to give it away to someone who will make beautiful papercraft magic with it:)) It features my Bloom Beautiful design collection on 40 double sided pages with all sorts of tasteful and delicate accents. But you have to join me over on Facebook to participate. Would love to see you there…
More Giveaway Details, here.