Whether they are of sunsets or cloudy storms, the rolling, calm paintings of artist Emily Jeffords are easy to get lost in. Perhaps that’s why — half a bottle of wine into a painting class — I created a similar one of my own. You may have seen it, because it’s now a part of my recent laundry room makeover.
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However long ago, my friend asked me to join her at one of those wine and paint class things we saw on Groupon (around this area, Sips n Strokes is a popular studio). In case you’re not familiar with the concept, it’s basically an instructor-led paint by numbers class… only they let you bring in wine, because being tipsy is a brilliant excuse for why your “trees” wound up looking more like cake pops.
I thought it would be fun, but I also thought it would be kind of silly — because even there are plenty of options to choose from in terms of what you paint (you register for the class that’s going to teach the painting you want to do), most of the options are really brightly colored and don’t really match with my home’s decor. Plus, the canvas you’re provided is on the large side, so if you’re not 100% in love with your work by the end of the class, it tends to feel like a waste. I guess you can at least paint over it after, but you get what I mean.
Only, there was one little twist to this story: my friend who asked me to meet with her to do the class got the time wrong. By, like, half an hour. That may not seem like much, but each class is only about two hours long, so missing a full quarter of it can put you pretty far behind.
By the time I got into my smock (and let’s be honest, I had to get the bottle of wine open to truly feel immersed in the class), I had a choice: try to catch up with what all of the other people in the class were doing, start sipping and just watch everyone else paint (an equally good option, #nojudgment), or just start freestyling whatever came to mind.
I picked up the biggest brush I was given and just started painting — streaks of blue, white, green, and brown in a sort of ombre fashion. The more I layered and swirled the colors around though, the more it started to look like clouds, and I realized it was taking shape in a similar style to the uber-talented Emily Jeffords.
Artist Spotlight: Emily Jeffords
At this point, I can’t remember how I discovered her paintings. It could have been through Instagram, another blogger’s Instagram with her work in the picture, or stumbling onto her shop on Etsy. But no matter how, I’m glad I found her work. Her landscapes, abstract, and watercolors are all equally beautiful to me (she also does other things like ornaments, mixed media, and more… I’m obsessed, really). I don’t often have the budget for buying originals over print, but someday I’d love to own an original of hers!
I have a stack of prints I’ve purchased from shops on Etsy and elsewhere, and I one or two of hers in the mix that, shamefully, I’ve yet to hang. But can anyone every really have too much art? I think a series of her moody watercolor botanicals would look perfect in my master bedroom makeover.
Adding Color to the Laundry Room
I played around with the layers of the painting for a good half hour, but it was tough to find a natural stopping point. And since I wasn’t waiting on the instructor to keep going, I was done surprisingly early — leaving more time for sipping.
Of course, the ones from EJ herself have a little more depth and movement than mine, but I still liked it better than the assignment!
When we were all done, we took a group picture… which became instantly hilarious (humming the Sesame Street song, anyone?).
I didn’t really have a plan for what to do with the canvas when I was done (bathroom? office?), so like most people who come home from one of these painting classes… I stuck it in a closet.
But as the clock was ticking down on my deadline to complete my laundry room makeover during the holidays, I knew that the room could really use a touch of color on the wall to match with all of the greenery I’d placed along the back shelf. And it hit me: that painting! I nabbed it out of my office storage and placed it on the knob thingie I bought from IKEA (it’s a towel rack, I believe, but I got it on clearance so I think it’s discontinued now). The bar above the knobs is just wide enough to place a frame, but I thought the frameless look + leaning it against the wall instead of hanging gave it a more casual feel (coughcough, yeah, that’s totally why I was too lazy to frame it, cough).
P.S. I’m thinking about highlighting a few more artists I really admire this year… maybe you’ll find a new one you love! What do you guys think?