Monday, June 29, 2015

Oh, Happy Day!

original art © OJD 2015


Its been awhile since my last blog post.  Let's just say there has been A LOT going on and my priorities have forced me to spend time elsewhere.  Waah :/  But I'm back and I'm super excited to be back in the studio creating!  This post will be brief, because I'm just itchin' to fire up some new paintings.  You understand ;)

Til next time!  Enjoy this photo I took over the weekend of what I believe is a trail lined with mustard plants (?) after a wedding we attended in Medora, North Dakota. 

Yellow is the happiest color :)

Also, this fantastic new single by Beck is kinda my everything right now.  Cheers!
"Dreams" by Beck via YouTube


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Be GREAT-ful

original art © OJD 2015
Happy Tuesday!  In addition to being grateful, I think it's equally important to be great-ful (ie...full of *greatness*!) 

I've been reading more about the "Five Centers of Wellness" (I blogged about it briefly here), and I'm learning how truly critical it is to make time in your life to enjoy the little things that make you feel connected to yourself (both mind and body), rather than rushing through the motions in our fast-paced crazy world of go-go-go.

Take a second, and think about what truly makes you feel great.  Is it something you do, make, see, smell, touch, hear?  Is it a particular location to visit or person to chat with?  Whatever it is -- enjoy, and be grateful for your unique sources of greatness :) 



Thursday, June 11, 2015

Ideas Come From Curiosity

original art © OJD 2015
Happy Thursday, all!  Yesterday was too busy for a "What's New Wednesday", but that's alright -- I'll fill you in on some new deets :)

I've been CURIOUS (hence today's mantra!) about how re-painting/re-working some of my old pieces would look if I took some time to reassess them.  Could that be part of my painting process?  The wait and come back to it approach to finishing a painting?  Perhaps.  At least for my more complex pieces where the elements are bolder and more dramatic.  

Honestly, I think I like this technique of transforming pieces that for whatever reason, just never felt quite "done", if that makes sense.  I think artistic intuition comes into play here, because I definitely get feelings about my paintings' status: work-in-progress vs complete.  Hard to explain.  Sometimes, I may love the way a piece looks, but I just know I need to transform it into something different.  Here are some examples of what I did this week:

Painting #1: Untitled, Spring 2015

Before (work-in-progress)

After (finished)


Painting #2: Untitled, Spring 2015
Before (work-in-progress)

After (finished)  
[note: it's obviously (I hope!) an abstract pastoral/floral landscape, but my husband sees a you?]

That's my tale for today! Thanks for reading :)


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Smile Awhile

original art © OJD 2015

Hi there!  Hope you have a lovely Tuesday, and take the time to smile awhile.  It's fun.  It's healthy.  It's mood-enhancing!  Here's an excellent Health Blog Video that the Wall Street Journal did back in 2011 that explores the question: "Is Smiling Good For Your Mood"?  The answer is YES.  Check it out.

Lastly, have you heard of this experimental app they've developed in the UK?  It's called "Pocket Smile"  and it's a research experiment to assess if seeing pictures of smiling people make people happier.  Yep.  

"We're All In This Together" by Sam Roberts Band via YouTube


Monday, June 8, 2015

Stay Positive

original art © OJD 2015
Happy Monday!  Today's message is pretty simple, but very important.  There are so many ways we can get derailed or discouraged when things aren't working out as originally planned, but we have to fight the negativity if we want to move forward.  

That's it, ya'll!  Keeping it short today :)  Here's a great song that drives the point home by one of my fave bands, The Hold Steady.  Enjoy:

"Stay Positive" by The Hold Steady via YouTube


Friday, June 5, 2015

It's Just "IT"

original art © OJD 2015
Happy Friday!  Today's post is dedicated to the 1960's "It" girl and all the styles of this very special decade.  I'm forever fascinated with "It" girls (Cher, Brigitte Bardot, Jean Shrimpton, Fran├žoise Hardy, etc.) and all the diverse fashions of the time.  I found this incredible footage of Late 1960's King's Road in London.  It's a must-see if you're looking for a retro fashion flashback:

 Late 1960s King's Road London, 60s Fashion, Street Style, 35mm Archive Footage via YouTube

I think that particular fashions/styles come back around because they're too awesomely classic to be retired.  I think the 1960's are an exemplary case.  

Organically beautiful landscapes typically inspire my paintings, as does the art from the 1960's.  Have you seen my retro pattern designs?  Love it all.  The color combos, the patterns, the whimsy of the peace and love....all glorious.
Original textile pattern, "Marilyn" by OJD (seen in minky fleece)

In terms of my paintings, I've been trying to determine what my style is, and I've come to realize that my landscapes have a bit of retro flair to them, because I always funkify the watercolor skies.  I suppose that's my style :)

"Pollen" (2014) by OJD
"Our Hillside (2014) by OJD

I'm newly obsessed with vintage patterns, and I have found the most amazing vintage patterns for '60's bridal caps (didn't even know those were a thing!) and head scarf creations:


How cute is this little lady sewing away on her mini sewing machine?

 When I need inspiration, I tend to explore vintage art from the 60's and I'm always amazed at the funky relics I find.  Here are some examples:

A page from a 1960's children's book (source)
1960's Vintage Peter Max Pop Art Scarf (source)

In addition to the art and fashion, the home interiors of the 1960's are also inspiring to me.  I stumbled upon this incredibly quaint little gem of a house that hasn't been redecorated in 73 years, and I think the colors and styles (most of them) are spot-on with what's newly trending today in terms of the retro glam/gold/pastel look.


Cheers to making "It" work for you, and finding a unique decade (past or present!) that best resonates with your special style :)

Happy Weekend!


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Remember Your Dream is Your Only Scheme

original art © OJD 2015
Happy Thursday! 

Today I was inspired by Curtis Mayfield's song "Move On Up", because it's the ULTIMATE feel good/go get 'em/rock on jam.  I hope the song provides a little pep to your day, as it does to mine!  Also, Mr. Mayfield's birthday was yesterday!  It would have been his 73rd :)

"Move On Up" by Curtis Mayfield via YouTube

Feeling EXTRA funky?  Take a listen to this gnarly re-mix 
(no, it's NOT Kanye's "Touch the Sky"...):

"Move On Up" remix by Echo Inada via YouTube


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What's New Wednesday [#7]

Happy Wednesday and welcome to the 7th edition of "What's New Wednesday"....

Its been a busy week around Olivia J Designs, but a lot of fun.  I completed my first official commission for my friends' custom watercolor painting in their signature Wedding colors.  The design will be used to create a large canvas print that they'll have behind their wedding table at the reception this month!  The couple gave me the cutest little thank-you card; had to share:

To celebrate, I took a mini shopping trip to the antique store down the street from my studio, and totally scored some great items.  I'd been looking for an antique mirror for our family room, and an old-fashioned wash board as decor for our laundry room, et voila -- found them both!  Obviously I found some other fun knick-knacks, like a rosegold crochet hook, a mini rose quartz beaded necklace, some retro Vogue sewing patterns (teaching myself how to sew this Spring! Wahoo!), fabric scraps, and a book on windowbox gardening. 

Additionally, I finished a Costa Rican Wedding logo for another couple I know who are getting married in January.  
Ta-da!  Fun fact: I used one of my original marbled designs to fill the map in a green hue :) 

More photos to come of both designs in-use :)

Next, I updated the website a bit and added a FAQ section.  I saw this on one of my new favorite artist's (Kim West -- her murals are incredible) website, and I thought it made her website, art, and purchasing policies easier to understand for potential buyers.   

Here's one of my favorite pieces by Kim West, entitled "Ode to Bohemia".  It's so vibrant and beautiful:

"Ode to Bohemia" by Kim West

This week I also decided to make my tapestries available again thru Society6.  I had been debating whether or not to put them back up (ie: I had them for sale on the site for a few weeks, and no sales), but I figured I'd try again. 

Me and the "Prairie, I" tapestry

Lastly, I started playing around with another T A L L canvas.  I'm hooked!  I'm so happy I was encouraged to start painting larger.  It's too much fun.  Here's a glimpse of my newest work-in-progress:

The newest experiment :)

That's the update!  Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday :)


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Venture Nothing, Gain Nothing

original art © OJD 2015
Happy Tuesday!  
The message today that's speaking to me is "Venture Nothing, Gain Nothing" because after 3 months I'm officially starting to fully appreciate the wonders of all the new things I've come across by moving to Rapid City.  Its been an interesting transition moving here, and I still miss Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and sushi from Wakame terribly....but I'm adapting.  I've learned new things about the historic area of the surrounding Blacks Hills north to Spearfish/Deadwood and south to Custer, met some awesome people, have been blown away by the art scene, and most importantly: I've learned new things about myself and my strengths/weaknesses.  I can definitely confirm that my life has been enriched by making the move here, and I'm grateful for this experience.  

"Free Life" by Dan Wilson via YouTube

Cheers to venturing!