My new artwork series is a meditation on my childhood growing up off-the-grid in rural Iowa. My goal is to write a children’s book using this series of 20 paintings as the illustrations for the book. Thank you to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation – BeWildReWild – Community Artist Grant for your generous support of my project.
I’ve always loved the Mexican traditional art form of Amate Bark Painting. Whenever my Mom and I would travel to her home country of Mexico, we would make a direct line for the fabulous markets where these gorgeous handmade paintings were sold. We’ve collected quite a few between the two of us. ❤
The scenes are usually of village life, showing weddings, farming, people out shopping, and the amazing natural scenery of Mexico like volcanoes, mountains, cactus plants, and rivers. And, of course, the centerpiece of life – the sun.
It was my Mom who suggested that I try combining the traditional Amate style with my own Lupita painting style. The Amate style is handmade on tree bark, usually with acrylic paints and ink. In this case, my painting is created by me drawing with an Apple Pencil on my iPad using the design program Procreate. I left the software frame on these close-ups so you could see a bit of how it works and all the many layers of color involved.
Two completely different approaches, but in the end, the same bright colors and feeling of celebration and joy. I learned so much making this first painting as far as technique, color, and how to use the vertical space on the page. I felt more connected to my Mexican family and to my Mom while I painted. I’m so glad I took her advice and tried something completely new.
Handmade Holiday Gifts – Order by December 15th for Christmas Delivery – This Week at Emily Lupita Studio
I love making handmade art, especially this time of year. The festive preparations for the holiday season give me so much inspiration. The Christmas tree is up and the beautiful handmade wreaths my mother made us are hanging on our doors. Every time I walk by them I smile and feel like my creative energy is being nurtured.
I wanted to share some photos from my creative process this holiday season, sort of a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into making my art. If you’d like a custom made gift, please feel free to contact me ~ I’m still taking custom orders until the end of this week.
If you see something you love in my online holiday shop, please keep in mind the last day to order handmade art gifts that will be sure to arrive in time for Christmas is coming up soon…December 15th.
This year has been full of artful blessings. I’m so thankful for all of you who encourage and support me in my creative adventures!
View from my Art Desk – New Prints & Cards for Small Business Saturday ~ Free Shipping
I’ve been working so hard over the past few weeks in the hopes of reaching my goal to have 100 artwork items up in my online holiday shop. I’m delighted to have met that goal today, just in time for Small Business Saturday tomorrow. Hurray!
To celebrate, I’m offering FREE Shipping (in the U.S.) on all items until midnight on December 1st. Just enter this coupon code shopsmall2014 at checkout.
Some of the latest items I have up in my shop are brand new artist prints of my “Guadalupe Prays for Peace” painting series.
I really enjoyed matching the paintings up with bright, festive backgrounds to create these new artist prints. [Click on any photo to see more details in my art shop.]
I also have a new variety pack of Guadalupe cards that are hot off the press. I’m happy to make custom card packs as well if you’d like a pack of just one of the designs.
Another new listing is for my latest batch of Turkish artwork jewelry. I have a few pendants and one pair of earrings still available from this collection.
Other great deals in my art shop right now (in addition to free shipping) include 10% off all custom paintings and a sale on Christmas cards…all happening until December 1st.
This Week at Emily Lupita Studio – Christmas Paintings ~ Early Bird Sale until Dec. 1st
This week I’m so happy to have finished a new collection of Guadalupe paintings.
These paintings are a series of four Irodori Japanese Watercolor and Sakura Ink originals with bright, festive colors.
[Click on the photos to see more views of each painting in my online shop.]
The paintings express my love of the Christmas season and my admiration for my namesake, the Patron Saint of Mexico, Our Lady of Guadalupe.
I loved experimenting with different patterns and colors, while maintaining the same form throughout the series. All four sisters look completely different, yet definitely belong together.
These four new paintings, along with my Guadalupe King & Queen paintings, are all on display together at the MSAA Gallery for the holiday season. A wonderful time to stop by is during the beautiful candlelight shopping event on the Marietta Square every Friday night until Christmas.
I’m also offering these designs as custom paintings. If you order a custom painting, you have the option to choose custom colors for hair color, eye color, and skin tone for any of the designs…as well as if you’d like her eyes open or closed. I’m having an Early Bird Sale in my online shop right now that includes 10% off all custom paintings until December 1st.
“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quiestest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.” -Pat Conroy
This quote really struck me the first time I read it. I imagine I’ve read it again a hundred times since then. I find it so true that the journey continues in the mind, that the voyage never ends. I know for myself, the travels I’ve taken influence me to such a high degree – on all different levels throughout my day. While cooking I can be reminded of the smell of a noodle house in Japan or out on a walk around my neighborhood I can pause to find myself remembering the view from the top of Mt. Snowdon in Wales.
This is one reason why I like to keep little treasures from my travels in my studio. I have bird whistles from Nicaragua next to my candles on the mantle, a painted wooden mirror frame from Ecuador on the wall behind my paintings desk, and Mexican flower pots in my garden. I keep my drawing pens in a pottery container from Merida and use paints from Japan. I put flowers in a Turkish vase on my dining room table in front of a collection of tiles I bargained for in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. The purple chair covers are handwoven textiles from Chiapas.
These small pieces I tucked away and carried home with me help fill my everyday life with the colors, textures and memories of the larger world.
What types of special things do you keep in your studio / creative place? What beautiful places do they remind you of?
This beautiful peony painting is by my mother, Juana Maria Plum. It is part of a series she is working on now where she creates flowers on watercolor cards and sends them off in the mail to brighten people’s day. This one arrived and brought so much light into my house!
I love the sturdy stem & leaves contrasted with the freedom of the pink flower, just flowing freely up & outward toward the sky.
This week as I reflect back on my travels, I am so grateful for a very special journey I took with my mother to her hometown of San Luis Potosi, Mexico. We went there to visit my mother’s sister, my Tia Mago, and her brother, my Tio Lito. It was such a pleasure to witness my mother laughing & talking for hours over good food with her brother & sister. She hadn’t seen them in so many years, but they seemed to just pick up right where they left off. I also got to spend time with my cousins & their families on this journey, meeting many of them for the first time, and really cherish the days we spent together.
I especially love this photo of the three siblings at a candy vendor just as they discover their favorite sweet treat from childhood. “Dad used to make this!” they all three said, pointing to the pile of candy at the same time. “Remember?” And they started to share memories of my grandfather making candy in big copper pots. My Tia Mago placed a piece in my hand and said, “And now you can share this memory, too.” What a beautiful moment.
Not too long after we visited, my Tio Lito passed away, may he rest in peace. My mother told me that when she heard the news of his passing, she was overwhelmed with gratitude that we were able to go and visit, that she had these precious days to remember and photos of us together to treasure. I felt the same way.
This journey to Mexico remains as one of the most heartfelt trips I’ve ever taken. From it I am reminded that travel can give us the greatest gift of all…time together with the people we love.
I’d like to introduce you to my Lupita Monsters series. This character’s name is Lupezilla and she represents the fun, exciting & emotional side of Lupita. The sentiment of this painting is, “Even though she is broken hearted, Lupezilla still insists on singing.”
I was inspired to start painting Lupezilla after spending some time in Xalapa and Oaxaca, Mexico. The amazing artisans of these regions make beautiful, colorful wooden (and sometimes paper maché) figures which are commonly known as alebrijes or figuras. An example is shown below.
I fell in love with the style of the alebrijes and began painting my own vision of them, which eventually manifested in Lupezilla and her two dogs, Mavizilla (miniature dachshund monster) & Yunazilla (Boston terrier monster).
Special thanks to my Aunt Martha for encouraging me to show some of my monsters!
Introducing a new series of paintings I’ve named “Lupita Portraits.” These are paintings I’ve been making on 8 x 10 Canson watercolor art board of women with wings, portrait style. This painting is “Juanita in a Blue Dress” and is an homage to my beautiful mother, Juana Maria.
Those of you who haven gotten to know my artwork over the years may be surprised that all the paintings in this Lupita watercolor series have faces and are painted in a slightly different style. I was surprised, too! As an artist I sometimes wonder where the paintings come from – and how it is I can be creating the image, but then also surprised by it. However it happens, a surprise…something new…is very exciting!