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Whether they are of sunsets or cloudy storms, the rolling, calm paintings of artist Emily Jeffords are easy to get lost in (and inspired artwork for my laundry room makeover!).

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.

laundry room art inspired by emily jeffords

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The Backstory

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.

Girls Night Out painting class

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.

Girls Night Out painting class emily jeffords painting

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 ornamentsgallery wall sets, 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!

artist spotlight emily jeffords

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 primary bedroom makeover.

watercolor works by emily jeffords

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.

Girls Night Out painting

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?).

finished paintings from Girls Night Out

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).

art inspiration for laundry room makeover

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?

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  1. The paint and sip studio near(ish) to me totally encourages you to go rogue! My sister and I took our mom and sister-in-law as a mother’s day gift . . . only one of us did the actual painting but all ended up with pictures we loved! Love what you ended up painting, very serene and just enough to dress up the laundry :)

  2. I’ve become a bit of an artist stalker on instagram and Emily Jeffords is one I came across a few months ago. I feel like I randomly came across her paintings, so it’s been fun seeing her name popping up more and more! A few others I’m following (on instagram) are: Aimee Hoover @aimeehooverartist – AMAZING animal paintings, seriously though!
    Kelly Johnston @kellyjohnstonart – such realistic paintings of water, and her clouds?? I just want to stare at them forever. I used to love painting, but now my head gets in my way; I am such a perfectionist and I’m so afraid of something not turning out the way I want, that I just don’t start it. I’m getting more angry at myself daily about that, so I think I’ll try picking up a paintbrush this weekend and going for it! :)

  3. Great freestyling! Did one of those classes minus the wine … Starry Night … should have done the wine class!

  4. I’ve admired Emily’s work. You rocked it Sarah! I’ve never tried painting but perhaps a glass of liquid courage would assist in the process!

  5. Your painting was absoutly brillant. I have been a artist all of my life & can recognize when someone has ‘got it’….the media & art of painting loves you: so keep.doing it..
    If you ever feel shut down try reading ‘the artist way’.. its to help all avenues of Creativity.
    Lovely, lovely painting. Well done.