ARTIST OF THE MONTH: LAURA MURDOCH

 

Woodcuts (designs chiseled into wood) and linocuts (designs chiseled into linoleum) are two of my favorite forms of visual art. The prints are created by inking the chiseled designs and then pressing paper into them. The rich texture and detail that is revealed is truly marvelous.

 

Laura Murdoch, an artist based out of Philadelphia, does brilliant work in this medium. She describes herself as inspired both by nature and the dynamic city in which she lives. Her work is exceptionally affordable and would provide the makings for striking stand alone framed art or a vibrant gallery wall. Below are some of my favorites.

 

 

Penguin

A woodcut print capturing a tender penguin scene

 

 

goat

 The detail in this linocut of an adorable goat is exceptional

 

 

gold tree

I see this handsome gold tree bringing warmth to any wall or ledge

 

 

owl greeting card

 Owl greeting cards that will bring wisdom to their recipients

 

 

smallthingspuffin

A framed puffin print from my own art collection (no longer available on Laura’s site)

 

 

As has been the case with many of my favorite artists, I found Laura through Etsy.  If you live in the Philly area, however, she does offer the opportunity to visit her in studio.

 

BEFORE & AFTER: HOME OFFICE

 

onthejob

 

This home office was transformed from a dark and utilitarian hot mess (yes, I said it) to a bright and airy office worthy of the smart and successful woman who sits behind the desk.

 

Here’s a look at where we started:

 

Office Before 3

A cramped work space

 

 

Office Before 2

A messy storage closet

 

 

Office Before 1

Unsightly and disorganized office supplies

 

 

 

And here is where we ended:

 

 

Office After 1A transformed workspace with a built-in bookshelf under the window

 

 

Office After 3

A custom shelf for easy access to files and a customized art gallery

 

 

Office After 2

A closet turned into key additional space for printer, shredder and storage

 

Makeovers like this epitomize what I love most about what I do.

 

 

WORLD ELEPHANT DAY

 

August 12 has been designated a special day to raise global awareness about the plight of elephants. They are one of the animals most targeted by poachers and illegal traders and many elephant populations throughout the world are endangered.

 

Did you know that elephants use tools and understand language? They show empathy and mourn their dead. Everything I read about them leads me to be more and more in awe of their intelligence. Add with their enormous size, huge ears, and wrinkly trunk and it is no wonder they captivate our imagination.

 

 

Lilli and Lolla Elephant Download

I love this adorable elephant photograph that is also an instant download.

 

 

Oliver Van Wijk Golden Elephant

A $12000 standing sculpture or the affordable option of a $95 print.
(a thanks to the artists who offer their work in prints)

 

Many cultures believe elephants bring good luck and I’ve happily placed elephants at the entrances of homes for clients who believe this. They move through their world with strength and stability, I hope we can offer them some of the same.

 

Below is my very own photo from my Canon EOS rebel, my dearly loved camera back in 1996. I went on Safari during my year in Kenya and seeing these majestic animals is a memory I hold dear. Don’t you love this African Elephant with his trunk raised in greeting?

 

IMG_3774

 

NATIONAL COLORING BOOK DAY

 

Tuesday, August 2 is National Coloring Book Day.  An activity once thought of as only for kids has now exploded into the mainstream with coloring books of all varieties dominating bestseller lists and coloring book parties popping up all over the place. Among its many benefits is that you are stimulating the creative part of your brain while simultaneously allowing the overstimulated part to power down.

 

I have found coloring to be an incredibly relaxing practice.  Add a few friends and some wine and it’s pure joy. Along with being a fun social activity, the tangible sense of satisfaction you are left with after finishing a piece of art is a great feeling.  As you can see below, framing your work takes it a step further and adds a personal dimension to your art collection. Thanks to my friend, Denise, for the beautiful photos of her framed coloring. If you haven’t tried it yet, why not use this special day as your excuse to give it a whirl. A word of warning:  it is addictive!

 

 

 

animal kingdom millie marrotta

 This is one of my favorite coloring books.

 

 

FullSizeRender

Here is a newly framed piece bursting with color

 

 

FullSizeRender-1

I love the simplicity and attention to detail in this one.

 

Whatever your reason for turning off your devices and tuning in with your creative side I wish you many happy hours of coloring!