To The Sea…

To The Sea...

Two days at the ocean to fill my soul well back up. A spontaneous trip that was needed, despite the hellish drive (15+hours total). And even if the weather was less than glorious, it simply didn’t matter…Awake at dawn to absorb the filtered light and it was so lovely, making all the colors softer, gentler somehow. I wished I had my paints with me at that moment to capture the subtle grays and greens. Really enjoyed the pier… from above, the water shone emerald. Standing underneath, it was haunting the way the tide slowly rolled in then crashed around pillar only to smooth out once again leaving a trace of foamy lace. Mid day, the largest sand dunes on the East coast called my name … a climb to the top, sandwiched between views of sea and sound. Loved the wind up there… And it carried all the way back to the shoreline, whipping waves wild and frothy, inspiring paintings yet to come…

See all the pics, here, on my website. And while you’re there, why not sign up to receive my Mailing List. Would love to include you ~

The Feel of It…

The Feel of It...

Design work has pulled at me daily for months. I love it…every consuming part of it. It’s been a very big project; 6 distinct bedding collections for a very prominent manufacturer that will launch at Fall Market in NYC…a huge undertaking that has been just as much a personal challenge as a professional one. Two of those collections have now been sent off to production…two more technical packages for beds 3 and 4 were printed today in my studio… The final 2 beds will come together in the next two weeks. I am so pleased I can barely contain it…surely those who know me well will just take one look at me and see, beyond my tired eyes, the pride I feel. It spills from me.

And so this week, with one major deadline almost behind me, in the gentle lull of a peaceful moment, I finally took a very deep breath. And somewhere in that quiet space between, I realized just how much my fingers ached for the brush. So I painted.

This one began as most do… a very quick sketch to get the form down. I wasn’t sure of it at first. I drew her free hand and I felt my fingers tighter than I like…I struggled a bit with proportion but eventually, the shape came. Watercolor next…a light touch, my usual palette…comfort in watery blues. I felt her neither here nor there until I detailed in some ink which added something indescribably wonderful to my eye.

And that’s when I realized how much I miss the feel of it…and when I say that, I mean more than just the way the brush feels in my hand…but also the way I feel when I am lost in a moment of creation. It’s a spark of sorts that fuels me on, effortlessly. Like a whisper that says, breathe….

In those moments, I listen…I smile slowly with closed eyes…I come alive.

Original ink and watercolor ©MichelleRummel

Thoughts on a Quiet Friday

Thoughts on a Quiet Friday

I am often quiet when it comes to sharing the monumental moments of a week…they feel like mine alone to hold, savor and enjoy. It’s my journey and a personal one at that, and in this day of over sharing every thought, feeling and event, I think holding some things quietly close and within just feels better.

That said…sometimes a moment is extraordinary and there is joy in the sharing. Particularly with those who I trust and love…who care for me and my heart and about my successes and happiness.

As I slide into a very quiet Friday, I can share that patience often rewards. Such was the case this week as a very big licensing deal came together for me that I have been working towards for some time. In my experience, it is a beautiful, but rare thing indeed, when a design meeting gives you goosebumps;) As a result, I am anticipating that a very special product line/collection will emerge this Fall. I promise to share more as it unfolds.

I spent yesterday late afternoon playing with ink and watercolor and on trend, another fashion illustration piece emerged. I don’t know where they are coming from but I like them and am enjoying letting my hand lead the way. I am missing painting nudes and I will try to direct the creative process back to that, perhaps even as soon as today.

A lovely, inspired Friday to you all ~

Joyful Saturday

Joyful Saturday

Gorgeous light and hours to play today…paint flowed with a casual ease. It’s joyful and unexpected, time like this on a weekend. So I held it tight, absorbed the feeling and made the most of this beautiful afternoon.

There’s a comfort and warmth in this one…maybe it’s in her pose. I don’t often reach for pink, and you can see I began to slide into my favorite blue…my mind just takes me there. I like the line work around the hem of her dress and I could easily get lost in the folds, the details of pin tucks and shading. I’d like to think she’s finished, I signed her after all, but I keep adding ink…a little bit here and there.

You’ll just have to imagine the smile:)

Original Ink and Watercolor ©Michelle Rummel

She Always Wanted Red Shoes

She Always Wanted Red Shoes

I spent all day working on my website redesign. It’s been an ongoing behind the scenes project for several weeks. The bones are there…it’s coming along nicely but it’s at the point where I need to pretty it up with images and add in all the text. I spent hours today figuring out how it all works. Suffice it to say I am learning slowly. I want so much to finally be independent when it comes to my web world…in control of how the site looks and feels. Almost there!

So, good for my heart, to pick up my pen and paintbrush at the end of this long day and draw/paint a fanciful dress and a pair of red shoes. My eyes are blurry from so much computer work today, but that hasn’t stopped me. There is so much joy in this, for me.

And I realize that’s three fashion illustration posts in a row, but I assure you I am in deep with serious design work these days. Spring Market just wrapped up and collections for Fall Market are underway, including a lovely new Bath collection that I hope Bed Bath and Beyond will like enough to bring on board. And, in my pocket are two new licensees that I have been waiting patiently to announce… and I will, just as soon as I get the website done:)

Silk Scarf, Blue Dress…

Silk Scarf,  Blue Dress...

Feeling a strong pull to get back to something I always enjoyed…fashion illustration. I love the juxtaposition of softly flowing watercolor with more defined and detailed ink lines. For me, the trick is finding the balance between the two…I have a tendency to want to scribble endlessly. Perhaps one day I will post an example of my heavier hand;)

Gently encouraged to keep at it… and at the moment, these keep coming with ease in quieter moments. So, going with it.

Original Ink and watercolor ©Michelle Rummel

Places Imagined

Places Imagined

A friend once told me that what he liked most about my art was that each painting conjured up an imagined land/seascape. He said he knew the locations weren’t “real” but that he felt them, vividly…that some were familiar in a distant lifetime kind of way and others were simply places he would love to travel to, to explore.

I liked so much, that he felt my art that way…

There are places we travel, only in our minds… places imagined, yet so real that your every sense comes alive from thought alone. Painting is often a way for me to explore those places within… to discover new layers of myself along the way. I love what is emerging as the journey continues…. ~

Original Ink & Watercolor ©Michelle Rummel



Sometimes we don’t even know what we need until we are in the midst of a moment…

That happened to me today.  A slow waking from an uneasy night of sleep… my head has been full lately and those who know me well know the depth of thought I am wading through. Grey clouds above, the sun slow to lighten sky.

Encouraged, like a whisper past my ear, for the first time in weeks I pick up my paintbrush and begin to paint. It feels natural, comforting, familiar. Splashes of color dance across the paper, wet brush dipping in palette pan, dabbing off excess paint, laying down layers. Yes, I know this road. Then, I reach for ink. I add depth and line and detail. Water pooling, tide receding, toes  sinking. Meditative, this moment. I am lost in it.

A special photograph inspires me along…I instinctively know the journey the pen needs to make. It is a beautiful thing to feel and symbolic in more ways than one.

After some time, I notice my heart beat…slowing,  my breathing…regular and relaxed. I recognize a soft smile at lips edge and notice the return of the sun.  In this moment, I feel calm, happy and deeply grateful and I embrace the mystery of the road that lies ahead ~
Original Ink and Watercolor ©Michelle Rummel