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Featured Artist

  • Meet Alison Junda

    Meet Alison Junda

    Alison Junda always assumed that galleries were the best way for artists to sell their work. In fact, a local gallery is where Alison got her start. But the internet has opened new venues for artists, and it’s a change that has served Alison’s career well.
    “Growing up, I always just assumed that artists sold paintings through galleries and that was the only outlet, the only way to get your things out there,” she says. “But now it’s totally different, with online selling and websites. That’s been a huge game-changer.”
    Alison lives with her family in New Jersey. Four local galleries carry her work, she says, and three of those four found her via social media. She’s a full-time artist, which is not something she initially thought she’d be able to be. “I’ve always painted,” she says. “I took a lot of art in high school, like senior-study-type classes. I always kind of wanted to pursue art but wasn’t sure if that was the best career choice for me. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it as an artist.” And so she majored in interior design, which seemed to be a better career move, she explains. But with the advent of social media, “I’ve been able to connect with people locally and throughout the country.”
    Alison’s artwork is heavily influenced by her surroundings. She grew up in Maryland by the bay and spent summers in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, “so I really fell for the ocean by going down there every summer. I’ve always been inspired by--and loved--coastal landscapes.” These landscapes are right in her backyard, practically, so she brings images back to her studio. “I don’t usually do [outdoor] painting,” she clarifies. “It’s a lot to bring everything with me. I’m more comfortable painting at home. I go to the beach and take photos there. I sometimes work directly from a picture. But sometimes it’s an inspiration and I change things here and there, especially colors. There’s a neat blend of taking a photo and editing it, either via the computer or in my head, and pulling in different colors.”
    Alison, who works in acrylics, has recently added trucks and bikes to her subject matter. This is thanks to the first gallery in which her work was sold. “There’s a really cool nautical and vintage coastal inspiration for everything they sell,” Alison says. “They’ve been really good about inspiring me and suggesting things. The surf trucks and the bikes came out of inspiration from that store. I’ve always loved vintage trucks and jeeps. I thought maybe I’ll see how this goes, and they were really popular. I had a jeep wrangler for many years before I had kids and I loved it. I loved driving around in the summer. You see it a lot around here,” so the inspiration just keeps on coming.
    As for future inspiration, Alison does have some ideas, but she’s sticking to what she loves best. “I’ve thought about doing more landscapes in addition to seascapes,” she reports. “But other than that I really like what I’m doing now. I really like painting oceans, landscapes, boats, bikes, and cars, and if I stay in that area there’s plenty of variety.”

  • Meet Katie Daisy

    Katie Daisy loves flowers so much that she named herself after one. “It’s my pen name,” Katie says. “I was just sitting in class one day at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. I studied product design in college and I started sketching all these ideas for this artist brand I wanted to have. “Katie Daisy” came from my pen. It was amazing. It sounded nice and it’s worked well for me.”

    Flowers have been an important part of Katie’s life from the beginning. She grew up in rural Illinois, in the prairie, in a town of only about 500 people. Everything in her portfolio, she says, is tied to her upbringing and childhood. She spent the majority of her childhood outside, she says, experiencing nature and creeks and flowers and insects. “Flowers are my big thing,” she says, “but pretty much all of nature is important to me. It was so fun growing up there.”

    Just as she was fortunate to grow up in a place that inspired her, so was Katie fortunate to start her career at the ideal time. “I was in college around the time Etsy started booming. I feel like I hit it at a really good time. I was working at the service bar in college, like an in-house Kinkos. I was allowed to work on my own work, so I did a ‘you are my sunshine’ piece. Believe it or not, it was only one of two or three on Etsy at the time! [A recent Etsy search on the phrase returned over 18,000 hits.] It was picked up by tons of blogs and went crazy. That’s when I really started adding quotes and lettering to my artwork.”

    As her art has evolved, Katie has started using her own phrases instead of quotes. She’s into evoking feelings and emotions, she says, relying on memories of her childhood and time spent outdoors.

    And what she’s doing is working; her combination of florals and inspiration has hit a chord. Katie’s recent book, How to Be Wildflower: A Field Guide, was a New York Times bestseller, and she’s a full-time artist.

    She now lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband and 3-year-old son. “Bend is a really lovely place too,” she says. “It’s a different sort of landscape than I grew up with but it’s got different things to explore.”

    What will Katie Daisy be exploring next? Whatever her imagination can conjure. “I don’t think about the commercial side a whole lot,” she says. “I’ve never hopped on the trend bandwagon. I’ve been really lucky that I can paint what I want and people respond to that. I truly believe that if you’re expressing yourself authentically, people can see that and will want a bit of it for themselves.”

  • Meet Brett Blumenthal

    Meet Brett Blumenthal

    Brett Blumenthal’s art continues to inspire us. Her baby animals have the sort of soulful air that only an artist and an animal lover can create. Brett is both those things. We talked with her recently about how her art career is evolving.

    Oopsy Daisy: What inspired you to focus on animal portraits?
    Brett Blumenthal: When I was pregnant with my son [Alexander, who is now 4], I wanted to create art for his nursery. I did a series of safari animals with our cat, DaVinci, intertwined into them. I did a series of a family of three, plus our cat. People who would look at Alexander's nursery art said "oh my goodness I had no idea you could do this. You should sell it." When I did start selling my art, the family thing wasn't resonating as much as I hoped, so I started exploring what I thought was interesting.

    OD: Have you always had a passion for animals?
    BB: Yes. One of the reasons I dedicate ten percent of my own profits to animal welfare and wildlife conservation is that they don't have a voice and we do.

    OD: Do you have formal art training?
    BB: My dad was an artist and most of my training came from him. I took lots of art classes through grade and high school and never thought of it as a career, but I did become an architect. Lots of design classes and art are part of that curriculum.

    OD: What is next for you?
    BB: I will always continue to focus on animals because that is a passion of mine. I did a set of dinosaurs for a customer, and dad cancelled the order because the family switched their nursery theme to trucks. I asked if I could do some trucks for him instead and he agreed. At the same time, my son is getting into trucks (he’s not so much into animals anymore). I have been exploring the path of opening a new genre for boys. I am branching out and finding it challenging and interesting.

    OD: What would you tell kids who are interested in a career in art?
    BB:I would tell a kid to never be scared of being out there. I'm a pretty literal artist, which is why I'm a realist instead of an abstract artist. You might have a bit of fear of going out of the ordinary and wondering if it's going to be accepted. Don't let fear squash your creativity, and do something every day. Find a way to have an artistic outlet every day.
    I find that if I look at what I did for Alexander's nursery compared to what I'm doing now, you really can't compare the two. If you don't keep working at it you won't get better.

    Brett Blumenthal lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband, cat, and son.

  • Meet Maren Devine

    Meet Maren Devine

     

    Maren Devine finds inspiration all over, and she tries to return the favor as much as she can. “Magazines, being outside, looking at other people’s work, that’s all very inspiring,” she says. “And Instagram has been a wonderful source of people and inspiration.” Devine posts her own work on Instagram, providing inspiration for others. “I try to post at least once a day,” she says, “and sometimes more than that. New works, a lot of paintings, prints, that kind of thing.”

    Once she has the spark of an idea, though, Devine lets her imagination take over. “I love doing flowers. Previously, I would work from ones around the house. Now I make them up. They’re more abstract. I do use subject matter [as a starting point] but I find if I don’t have a preconceived idea of what something should look like, I like the end result better.”

    This idea of trusting her instincts has served Devine well over her career. She earned an MFA and worked as a designer, but when her daughters were small she went back to school and became a high school art teacher. “I loved teaching high school,” she remembers. “The students were so fun to talk to. They were fearless. There is a lot of happiness being around high school kids.”

    But she also started painting every day, and quickly realized she’d missed working with her hands. She started showing her art. And soon she knew she was ready to make the leap and start working on her own art full time. She says her husband was a major supporter of that decision, which helped her take the important step.

    Devine loves being a full-time artist, and she says she always has music playing—any music. “If I have music on everything goes better,” she explains. “I love jazz and old music like ’70s or new stuff that my daughters are listening to. Anything that sounds good that day. It just puts me in the mood. I’ll just have it on in the background. I don’t sing along,” she adds. “That would not be good!”

    In addition to flowers, Devine finds herself drawn to painting marshes, probably because she remembers them fondly from her childhood. “We’d go for drives to the marshes [she grew up in Florida and New Orleans]. My paintings remind me of that. We did a lot of traveling growing up. We even have them in South Texas, where I live now, that look very similar. Some of the ones I paint are memories I’ve had or pictures I’ve taken from driving down the coast.”

    Devine says she loves color but doesn’t have a particular favorite. “Right now I like a lot of blue,” she explains. “I love pink too. Last year I was using a lot of lime green. It always changes.” She pauses. “But if you looked at my paints you’d think my favorite color is pink. I have one large box for each color but two for pink. I can’t not buy a tube of pink paint. I love them all: the light ones, fuchsias, magentas…”

    Maren Devine considers for a moment, perhaps letting inspiration find her again.

  • Meet Cathy Walters

    Meet Cathy Walters

    When Colorado artist Cathy Walters was a little girl, her stuffed animals were very special to her. “All my stuffed animals had names,” she remembers. “I traded out each and slept with each individually so none of them would be lonely.” This appreciation for each individual shows in her work, especially her animal portraits. Each animal seems to have a lot of feeling behind the eyes.

    “I think animals have this internal world that we know nothing about,” Walters says. “I think of that while I’m painting them: What has this little guy been through? What is his background? Is this one healing from a barnyard heartbreak?”

    Talk about soulful! Hang a few of these realistic canvases on the wall and you may find yourself wondering the same. That’s probably one reason why Walters’ baby animal portraits are so popular with parents: the works give little ones an instant companion.

    Walters was a painting major at San Jose State and UCLA and used to work primarily in oils and large abstract pieces, she says.

    But the art she creates for Green Box and Oopsy Daisy is made in a way that wasn’t even possible when she was in school. “Almost everything I do for the site is digitally, on my iPad,” she says. “It’s super fun. It really works just like traditional painting but much faster. I didn’t realize how fast a painter I was until I didn’t have to wait for the paint to dry. Most of my painting is done in thirty minutes to two hours.” Walters doesn’t have to find room to store her paintings, either, since they’re all stored on the iPad.

    Best of all, she can create her art anywhere, even with her whole family around her. “I want to do something creative every day but I want to hang out with my teenagers,” she explains (she and her husband have two). “So I sit cross-legged on our sectional and watch TV and paint.”

    Walters creates art every day, and posts art journaling pages on her website, cathywalters.com. She encourages other artists, especially kids, to keep making art. “Do it every day,” she urges. “When I started a daily practice of sketching and painting, I really got proficient with being able to see something and sketch it. Be brave enough to make bad art. If you go into it saying, ‘I’m going to make this amazing thing,’ that’s too much pressure. It’s okay not to be too great at first.”

    Cathy Walters does so much painting that it’s hard for her to choose a favorite, though she says she is partial to the turtle in her piece “Swimming Sea,” in part because she loves the ocean. When asked her favorite animal, her answer is a little quicker. “I really like goats,” she says. “They’re super curious and I feel like they’re way more intelligent than people give them credit for. I think I relate to that a bit. I’m a pretty cheery person; I love laughing and making people feel good. I think that sometimes makes people underestimate my intelligence. I’m smarter than I think people think I am.”

    Just like the thoughtful, soulful animals she paints, Cathy Walters has a lot going on inside.

     

  • Oopsy Daisy's Very Hungry Staff Celebrates Eric Carle's Very Hungry Caterpillar Day

    Around here, we love a reason to celebrate. So, with Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day right around the corner (March 20) we had a picnic in honor of that little guy with all of his delicious favorites on the menu to feed our Very Hungry Staff! It was a Vegetarian lunch with foods mentioned in Eric Carle's beloved book, like cherry pie, lollipops, cup cakes, strawberries, apples, oranges, and all those types of delightful goodies.  To keep the presentation playful, all the grapes, cucumber slices and cupcakes were arranged in the shapes of caterpillars. We simply felt it was necessary to take every opportunity to honor The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day in all it's treasured glory, and keep it FUN.

    While The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day is a perfect excuse to have an Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar themed party, it's also a perfect theme for any birthday party, summer party, back to school party, etc. ! The decor is bright and fun, it gives you incentive to serve your guests a healthier selection of party treats, and think of the fun games and activities you can put together!

    Our activities included "Pin the Antennae on the Caterpillar" and "Create the Best PLAY-DOH Caterpillar" for prizes. It's fun to see the creativity of each participant with their supply of PLAY-DOH making big caterpillars, small caterpillars, flat, tall, and rainbow caterpillars! To pin an antenna on a caterpillar, we used one of our giclée canvas prints of Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar, cut out antennae shaped colorful papers adding a little tape, added a blindfold to the contestants, and voila! This is a simple and safe game that definitely got some laughs from our crew!

    Lastly, our team challenge involved groups of employees gathering together to create tissue paper collage masterpieces inspired by Eric Carle's characteristic style. The results weren't quite as spectacular as The Master's, but we had a blast! The winners in this competition received a small army of caterpillars to care for while they mature (which is typically 7-10 days), at which time they get to release them as butterflies! The event was a hit, and we can't wait for the butterfly release.

    Whether it's home décor or party décor, we are all about it! So, we had a great time getting crafty with party decorations, and our kids' wall décor line of Eric Carle artwork fit in perfectly wi15th the festivities.

  • Kelly Angelovic's Newest Venture

    Hooray for Kelly Angelovic! We at Oopsy Daisy love our artists. It's incredibly inspiring to work with such creative people and we're always thrilled when they create something new.

    We love Kelly Angelovic's bright, bold colors and the fanciful characters who make us smile. Her piece, "The Magical Sea: Moonlit Snuggles" is a perennial favorite, with its two nuzzling whales and their bright and beautiful watery home.

    We're so excited to tell you that Kelly has released a line of paper goods, including greeting cards, notecards, thank you notes, and prints. Here's a link to her site so you can browse her gorgeous new social expression items. We can't stop admiring them!

    Kelly's design studio, Kelly Angelovic Illustration + Design, is located in Boulder, Colorado. All her products are printed on recycled paper, and like all of ours at Oopsy Daisy, manufactured in the USA. We are proud to know you, Kelly!

    And here's a link to a few of her Oopsy Daisy items, which we know you'll love as much as we do.

  • Introducing Made of Sundays

    Have you met Made of Sundays? Allow us to introduce you.

    This tiny Finnish company delights in creating happy little creatures that make us smile. Every. Single. Time.

    The company is tiny and their little creatures are too: Tiny Haru the Bear, Tiny Tofu the Tiger, and Tiny Marcus the Hamster. Some of the little buddies have a banner below for personalization: anything from Smile to Hello to a child's name.

    A whimsical way to display Made of Sundays' art is as repositionable fabric wall stickers. That's right: Made of Sundays wall decals! These can be applied to any smooth surface and moved when you'd like. That means Tiny Haru can peek over a child's dresser or around a corner. Or perch on the wall above the desk.

    But here's our new favorite way to display some of Made of Sunday's creatures: on a door. The art consists of removable fabric wall stickers in a fun-to-apply kit. Choose a door of any size and put the creature fright on it. What an amazing and imaginative idea for a kid's bedroom! Aaron the Charming Dragon will keep watch over the closet, or Anni the Sleepy Bunny will remind visitors to tip-toe past Baby's room (she can be personalized, too!).

    We at Oopsy Daisy are awfully proud of our family of artists. And we are thrilled to include Made of Sundays among our talented group.

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar is 47!

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar, the beloved book by Eric Carle, was published in 1969. That means it turns 47 years old in 2016! It was published on June 3, but The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day is celebrated every year on the first day of spring, March 20. This year's celebration is extra-special!

    Here are some very interesting facts about The Very Hungry Caterpillar:

    1. The story was originally going to be about a worm; a bookworm, to be exact!
    2. On the book's 40th anniversary, Google created a Google Doodle in its honor.
    3. The book has been translated into 62 languages, including some you might never have heard of, like Frysian, Catalan, and Urdu.
    4. One copy of the book is sold somewhere in the world every minute.
    5. More than 30 million copies have been sold.

    And here at Oopsy Daisy, our favorite fact about The Very Hungry Caterpillar is that you can have your very own caterpillar art to hang on your wall. We have The Very Hungry Caterpillar growth charts, placemats, night lights, and personalized canvas prints.

    You can even start your own collection of Eric Carle art. Come see what we have, from a mermaid to a dinosaur to a whole entire zoo.

     

     

  • Eli Halpin: A Nature-Lover Creates Wildly Collectible Art

    If you could step into one of Eli Halpin’s nature paintings, you’d be stepping into an important part of her life. Eli (short for Elizabeth) grew up in Alaska, and a little bit of the 20 years she spent there ends up in nearly everything she paints.

    Eli is a rare artist whose work appeals to an especially wide market, including parents looking for art for a baby’s wall, teens wanting canvas wall art for a dorm room, and dedicated art collectors looking for a dramatic statement piece of oversized wall art. How does one artist appeal to so many people? Her secret has to do with her view of nature, a view that embraces both the wild and the tame.

    For instance, here's what she says about her own dog, Cashius: When asked to complete the sentence “I really shouldn’t, but…” she responds: “I really shouldn’t squeeze my dog’s cheeks one more time but I’m going to do it anyway.” Cute and cuddly, right? Yes, but consider that Cashius is a 110-pound Rottweiler who eats raw meat. Now you get an idea of the extreme views of nature Halpin incorporates into her work.

    “I grew up fly-fishing in the woods with bears that could eat you and eagles that could take little babies away—lots of danger, just being in the woods and around the river, with moose walking in the front yard—everything could kill you there,” she says. That view of nature is evident in works like Four Wolves Howling and The Chase.

    On the other hand, Eli says, she does have “a lot of more innocent paintings,” pieces like Deer Love and Bunnies in the Woods, which contain the insight of an artist who learned to coexist with wild animals, reflected in their gentle eyes.

    While these extremes seem like two different worlds, to the artist they are part of a whole, just like Cashius. “It’s all the same idea,” she says. “I like to paint about animals eating together, living together, working together—cheeks, paws, whiskers, and claws. I don’t see them as being separate, but they definitely have different places as far as the art market.”

    At Green Box, Oopsy Daisy, and Wheatpaste, Eli Halpin’s work is available in a number of creative ways: on stretched canvas, as a poster or wall decal, as a growth chart, pillow, lamp or night light. (Her originals are painted on hollow-core wood doors, each of which is certified as coming from a responsibly managed forest.) This wide selection of venues for displaying her art, as well as the wide selection of art pieces available (we have over 110 to choose from), means that art lovers of every age and personal style can own a piece of Eli Halpin art.

    And there's always more art to come from Eli Halpin:

    "I get inspiration from everywhere," she says, "and I feel like there’s an infinite amount of inspiration—there’s so many ideas of things to paint that I could never paint them all."

    So keep checking back with Green Box, Oopsy Daisy, and Wheatpaste to see what Eli Halpin and her boundless imagination will create next.

    Best Selling Art by Eli Halpin

    The Chase The Chase
    Deer Love Deer Love
    Whale in Seafoam Whale in Seafoam
    Three Giraffes On Cream Three Giraffes On Cream
    Manes of Color Manes of Color
    Designer Deer Designer Deer
    Six Lively Llamas Six Lively Llamas
    Trendy Trunk Trendy Trunk
    Donkey, Llama, Goat, Sheep Donkey, Llama, Goat, Sheep

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