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  • Summertime Art

    Summer is never long enough. In many places across the country, school is starting already! Let's grab on to summer with both hands and not let go. Our favorite way to keep summer all year long is by putting summer art on our walls. We're so happy to share our bright and fresh summertime art with you!

    Bright, Blue Skies

    Little Pink Vespa by Kris Langenberg Little Pink Vespa by Kris Langenberg

    What could be brighter and sunnier than a blue Paris sky? Little Pink Vespa by Kris Langenberg is the perfect way to bring some French flair to your walls. This kids wall art will inspire dreams of travel and sunny days.

    Colorful Flowers

    Cherry Blossom Birdies by Winborg Sisters Cherry Blossom Birdies by Winborg Sisters

    Who wouldn't smile every time they looked at Cherry Blossom Birdies? This personalized wall art by Winborg Sisters captures the beauty and promise of spring blossoms and sweet birds. It's so well-loved that we offer it not only as canvas art but also as night lights, growth charts, and even wall decal cut-outs.

    Sunshine

    You Are My Sunshine by Carter Carpin You Are My Sunshine by Carter Carpin

    Keep sunshine on your walls all year long with You are my Sunshine art. This sunshine art piece by Carter Carpin is so bright, especially when it's a personalized night light. Talk about a summertime glow.

    Enjoy our fast-fleeting summer, and have a look at our bright summer art to celebrate the bright season.

  • Meet Camille Engel

    Camille Engel is a life-long artist whose career took off mid-life.

    Camille Engel is widely known for her uncanny artistic ability to paint photorealistically--in a style so true-to-life that it resembles a photograph. In fact, the thirteenth painting she ever did won an award in a New York City exhibition for its realism. When you take into account that Camille is self-taught, and that painting was, in her words, “like telling me to speak Greek--I had no idea how to even dip the brush into the paint,” it’s clear that she’s got an abundance of talent that was waiting to be harnessed.

    “As a kid I drew and colored all the time,” Camille remembers. “My great aunt was extremely encouraging toward my art. She’d give me paper and pencil and I would draw things. I drew upside-down and when I showed them to people I’d turn them right side up. She’d say, ‘you were so little your brain hadn’t connected what you were seeing with what you were drawing.’”

    But Camille was, in her words, “a child of fifties,” and expected to be a secretary or teacher or accountant. “My mother had dreams of me being an accountant. She wanted me to take typing and math electives in high school but my dad said ‘leave her alone.’ So I did take an art elective, but I also took typing. I can still type.” And as for accounting, “if I’d become an accountant I’d probably be in jail right now, saying, ‘wait, what did I do wrong?’” Camille laughs. “Numbers are not my gift.”

    However, this prolific artist numbers every painting she does, and has from the very start, which is how she knows that lucky number thirteen was her first winner of many to come. It’s part of her goal of creating a traceable provenance for every piece she creates.

    Engel was identified in high school as a candidate for a prestigious vocational education program in Tulsa (where she grew up). She studied Commercial Art, which is what Graphic Design was called in those days.

    Even before she graduated Camille was employed by a local department store. “I pencil-illustrated everything for the newspaper--the shoes, lawn mowers, dresses--whatever they advertised in the newspaper,” close, detailed work that served her well years later when she transferred that skill for depicting realism to her fine art.

    Work at an ad agency and in logo design led to a move to Nashville and starting her own business at age 23. “My mom raised me to be very independent and confident,” Camille says. “She didn’t want me to be dependent on anybody else. I’m extremely grateful--she was looking out for me.”

    All the while, Camille says, she thought about painting. “I’d go to galleries and look at paintings and there was something in my gut that said ‘you can do this,’ but I had never done any painting.” And then came one fateful day in church. “My pastor said ‘if you have a dream that’s been burning inside of you and you’ve had it for awhile, it could be God guiding you. I want you to follow your dream.’ As soon as he said that I knew that for me, it was painting.”

    And from there, she never looked back. “I went out and bought brushes and paint and canvases. I called a local museum. I said ‘I’m old, I don’t have time to mess around, who is your best teacher?’” She was forty-five and embarking on a whole new career.

    That career has been extremely successful, with her very first bird painting winning an artist choice award for realism in a Sante Fe show for realism. (“That was a huge beginning,” she says. “That started the flow of bird paintings.”)

    We at GreenBox Art + Culture are thrilled to welcome Camille Engel into our community of artists. Her Trespasser series is a group of birds who appear to have popped right into the painting, just as they popped right into her studio one day. “I have a studio in my home,” she relays. “There are bird feeders surrounding the studio and water baths. I get to study them. In Nashville it’s usually too muggy and buggy to open studio doors to let a natural breeze in. But a few days are fabulous. This Trespasser series came about when one fabulous day I opened both my French doors to let the sun and breeze in. All these birds started coming in. A titmouse on my easel. Hummingbirds were attracted to a red background in the room. Cardinals on the couch. They were all coming in to my house like they lived there. So I thought what if they created their own little living spaces here? It’s been my most successful series.”

    And we are pleased to feature it, as well as other paintings by the talented Camille Engel, here at GreenBox.

     

     

  • The Wry Eye of Heather Gauthier

    One aspect of Heather Gauthier’s work that’s so appealing is its dignified simplicity. The pensive deer in Wine Rack, for example, seems neither bothered nor especially surprised by the wine bottles and stemware balanced in his antlers. There’s a deep whimsy to the painting that balances its fine art realism as delicately as the buck himself balances his wares.

    “I love the classic portraits of people, but I love the idea of personifying animals,” Gauthier explains. “Giving them certain tastes. Having them pose, like ‘here is my cake, don’t touch it.’ They don’t have hands, so how do they collect things? How would they pose with their treasures? They end up balancing their cakes or their teacups. So they’re very serious about their tasks.”

    Gauthier describes the wry approach to her work this way: “I like realism, but I can’t paint reality.” The mashup of animals with home decor accessories came from her love of both subjects. “For years I did store merchandising and display,” she explains. “I worked at a lot of places that had both new furniture and antiques and I was a buyer too. I just loved it. I love china, flowers, the patterns of collected objects. When I started painting, I thought, ‘what do I want to look at? A pincushion in the shape of a pear with little calico patterns.’ So I’d paint what I wish I had. It wasn’t enough to paint just an animal. I needed more colors and a lot of texture.”

    The first animal with human she painted was an albino deer with “a bunch of sewing stuff in its antlers,” she remembers, “pincushions, buttons, all that kind of stuff. All I had to do was one and I realized this is what I want to do forever.”

    And Heather Gauthier’s fans are thrilled to hear it. Her first big gallery show in New Orleans nearly sold out last October, and she averages about one hundred original paintings a year. She’ll have about ten canvases going at once, all around her house, and start with a background, then add an animal, then add the animal’s prized possessions.

    “It’s like a big puzzle when I paint them,” she says of her process.

     

    And fortunately, those of us who appreciate Gauthier’s art don’t need to worry about her running out of ideas, even with so many canvases being created at once. Because there are so many animals and so many wares to combine. “The subject matter is unlimited,” she says. “It’s hard to imagine doing anything else.”

    Shop Heather's wildly inspiring collection here.

  • Friday the 13th

    Today is Friday the 13th, and last night was a full moon (the Wolf Moon). If you are a superstitious person, that's a double whammy! Here are some interesting facts about both events.

    paraskavedekatriaphobia

    Do you have paraskavedekatriaphobia? That means a fear of Friday the thirteenth. If you do, you're not alone. Here are some interesting facts about Friday the 13:

    -There were said to be 13 people at The Last Supper, and President Theodore Roosevelt reportedly refused to ever have 13 people at a meal, or to travel on Friday the 13th.

    -Plane tickets often cost less if you want to fly on Friday the 13th. That's because lots of people refuse to fly on this day!

    -Next time you get on the elevator of a tall building, take a look at the numbers. Is there a floor 13? Many buildings don't have one, because it's considered unlucky.

    selenophobia

    Do you have selenophobia? That means a fear of a full moon. Full moons are said to bring about bad luck and strange behavior, which is where the legend of the werewolf comes from. (If werewolves come out on full moons and last night's full moon was a Wolf Moon, we wonder what that means!)

    -In a 2005 study, almost 70% of nurses interviewed said they believed that a full moon resulted in more patients in the ER.

    -Some police officers think that a full moon makes people act with less regard to the law.

    -And of course, those who believe in werewolves believe that the full moon causes them to turn into these hairy beasts.

    Do you believe in bad luck? We don't. But it's fun to learn more about these events. Have a lucky day, okay?

     

  • Modern Family art from Oopsy Daisy!

    Oopsy Daisy loves the hit ABC show Modern Family. And Oopsy Daisy loves Modern Family art! Our Cherry Blossom Birdies by Winborg Sisters hung in Baby Lily's room. And now in a recent episode we caught sight of three of our favorite pieces, grouped together in a way we hadn't thought of but that works beautifully.

    Bunny Friends - Pale Pink by Eli Halpin

    Baby Bear Standing by Cathy Walters

    Baby Fox by Cathy Walters

    It's in a scene where Gloria takes Joe in for speech therapy. (She hilariously attempts to tamp down her gorgeous Colombian accent, thinking it was causing him to mispronounce English words.) On the wall above Gloria's head, three Oopsy Daisy art pieces decorate the speech therapist's cheery office.

    Thanks, Modern Family!

    Looks like you love Oopsy Daisy as much as we love you. We'll keep watching your show and we hope you'll keep watching our site for more Oopsy Daisy pieces to add to your Modern Family art collection.

  • Halloween Jokes

    Finally, Monday is Halloween! Our treat for you is a bunch of very funny Halloween jokes. Maybe when you trick or treat, you can tell these jokes to the neighbors when they hand out candy. Talk about a treat for them!

    What do you get when you cross Bambi with a ghost?

    Bamboo!

    What do witches put in their hair?

    Scare Spray.

    Where do ghosts waterski?

    On Lake Erie.

    What kind of dog does Dracula have?

    A bloodhound.

    Why does Dracula take cold medicine?

    To stop his coffin.

    How do monsters like their eggs?

    Terri-fried!!

    What is a ghost’s favorite dessert?

    I Scream.

    How do you make a witch itch?

    Take away the W.

    What is a witch’s best subject in school?

    Spell-ing.

    Now that you’re laughing, have fun checking out our Halloween art. And Happy Halloween!

    Do you know any good Halloween jokes? Maybe you can make some up!

  • Halloween Costumes for Kids

    Check out our Halloween-themed Pinterest page! We corralled a bunch of cute, easy Halloween Costumes for Kids. The big day is just over two weeks away, so now's the time to get started on the perfect costume! Here are a few suggestions:

    Charlie Brown:

    As if bald babies weren't cute enough already! Decorate a yellow shirt or onesie with black electrical tape to make Charlie's iconic zig-zag. Draw a wisp of hair and eyebrows on your little one's head with eyeliner and give him a Snoopy to cuddle. Adorable.

    Parisian Artist:

    A black-and-white striped shirt and a black beret are all you need to become an instant artiste! Add a little moustache with eyeliner for flair. Or if you'd rather be a mime, just finish this off with white face paint. Of course then you'll have to come up with a way to mime "trick or treat" at every house!

    TY Dog:

    Ok, this one isn't a Halloween Costume for Kids, but it's a super-cute one for dogs so we threw it in. Just fold a piece of poster board in half and cut out a large hear, leaving the left side together so it opens like a book. Decorate it like a TY label and inside, write a little information about your sweet pet. Tie it to Fido's collar and voila!

    And as you get ready for Halloween, don't forget to check out this Halloween placemat by Jill McDonald. Personalize with a child's name for Halloween day meals, or with a family name to place under the treat bowl!

     

  • Personalized Placemats!

    Of all the wonderful things on the Thanksgiving table, our favorite  personalized placemats. Imagine how special each child feels to find his or her own name at the table. Even better than place cards, these personalized Thanksgiving placemats can each feature a child's favorite sport, animal, or activity.

    And the best part is that kids take their placemats home and use them year 'round, for the start of a tradition.

    Here's why we love these placemats:

    • Giftable – Our placemats make for a perfect gift and fun suprise at the kids' table
    • Portable – Roll it up and bring it along to Grandma's house or a restaurant
    • Perfect Size – Each measures 17" x 12" and is made of soft vinyl that meets phthalate safety standards
    • Easy to clean– Just a little dish soap on a non–abrasive sponge
    • Tested and complies to CPSC safety standards

    And best of all, there are so many designs to choose from. So as you think about Thanksgiving, think about our personalized placemats for kids!

     

  • Baby Animals!

    Baby animals are perfect for Baby's room. Just about the only thing that can hold a candle to the cuteness of a little baby person is a little baby animal. We're big fans of art by Cathy Walters, who manages to put heart and soul into each little lifelike critter she paints. Meghann O'Hara is another favorite: her whimsical interpretations of little creatures add a pop of color and personality to a nursery's walls.

    The two pieces of art we've included here are of a pair of bunnies (Cathy Walters) and a puppy (Meghann O'Hara). You probably already knew that a baby rabbit is called a bunny and a baby dog is called a puppy. But here are some other baby animal names that might come as a surprise. They sure surprised us!

    A baby ant is called an antling.

    A baby clam is called a larva.

    A baby crocodile is called a hatchling (so is a baby dinosaur!).

    A baby fish is called a fry.

    A baby gerbil is called a pup.

    A baby ox is called a stot.

    A baby platypus is called a puggle.

    Those are just a few of our favorite baby animal names. You can find many, many more at zooborns.com, which even includes a picture of each one. You could make a matching game out of the names and challenge a friend to see how much he or she knows about baby animals!

     

     

  • Diving Into Ocean Art

    Ocean art, mermaid art, seashore art, pirate art. We love it all, especially during summer days when a trip to the seaside is on the schedule.

    We have a wide variety of art that celebrates the ocean, from the realistic to the fantastic.

    What's your favorite ocean art? Here are some fun ideas to get you started on seashore art of your own:

    Collect some shells and make a rubbing. Gather a few shells with interesting patterns on them, like scallop shells, and place them under a piece of paper. Peel the paper off a crayon (or use chalk) and turn it on its side. Then rub lightly over the paper. You'll end up with images of the shells in a very artistic way.

    Create a brand-new octopus. What else could an octopus have on its eight arms: vacuum cleaners? Pool noodles? Spaghetti? Come up with an octopus no one's ever seen before, then give it a name.

    Underwater scene. What does the deep ocean look like? Draw an underwater scene with fish, plants, and maybe even a shipwreck. Now, what do you imagine might live in the ocean that scientists have never seen? Create a creature or two.

    Use your imagination to create some ocean art of your own, then check out what our artists have come up with.

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