I feel like as I get older the years get shorter. 2017 completely flew by! It was a tough year that taught me a lot, challenged me and forced me to deal with my demons however it was also an amazing year filled with so much joy, travel, and love. I always find myself looking forward and on to the next thing which is great because it pushes me to want more and to go outside my comfort zone, but sometimes I forget to look back and the amazing things I've accomplished. So, I'm taking some time to reflect on the special moments of 2017.
Snowmobiling on New Years Day
Instead of laying around with a hangover, I wanted to spend the first day of the new year doing something I've never done before and that would be epic. My youngest sister and one of my oldest friends and I woke up early to drive up to South Lake Tahoe and explore the back country on snowmobiles. It was completely exhilarating and the views were breathtaking. It was so much fun and such a great way to kick off 2017!
Plein Air Painting with Kathleen Dumphy
Early in the year I was feeling a bit disconnected from watercolor painting and when my friend Kathleen Dumphy invited me back to her plein air workshop I jumped at the opportunity to dive into oils for a weekend. Kathleen is an extremely talented oil painter and her workshop is all about light, how to approach a painting and using a simplified palette. I've learned so much from Kathleen and I'm excited to get out more on my own in 2018 in Ireland with my oils!
Around the World Series
In 2015 I joined the #100dayproject and did #100daysofportraits. It was a lot of fun and challenging so I decided to do it again in 2017. This time I did #100daysaroundtheworld and created paintings of iconic landmarks and scenes. It was fun painting on location, painting some of my favorite places and some places I would love to visit!
LOVE Victoria's Secret
I created 52 custom paintings for the launch of Victoria's Secret new perfume LOVE. They gifted my paintings to beauty editors and influencers along with the perfume and other VS swag. The portraits were such a personal gift and they received amazing feedback. I loved seeing on InstaStories and Instagram posts how much these women loved my artwork. It was such a dream working with Victoria's Secret and I'm so excited to work with them again in the future!
This was by far my favorite moment in 2017! My boyfriend James proposed to me while we were on vacation in Greece. We were sailing through the Greek islands with Med Sailors for a week. We woke up one morning before sunrise and took the paddle board out to the middle of a bay to watch the sun come up. The sky and water were a brilliant orange. The water was perfectly still and I felt so at peace and happy. As the sun rose he held the ring up around the sun and then asked me to marry him and I said yes. It was so romantic and such an intimate moment that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Women and the Ocean
Combining two of my favorite things - drawing women and the ocean. As a diver I’m obsessed with sharks and I’ve been trying to come up with a way to mix this obsession into my artwork. Since sharks are usually portrayed as scary mindless monsters I wanted to make a different statement. One that’s a little playful and inquisitive as I’ve found sharks to be in my diving experience. Definitely have a lot more concepts and ideas so I'm excited to continue this series in 2018.
Even the little wins should be celebrated, so I was excited to be able to offer international shipping for prints this year. It's something I had been working on for a while and had a hard time finding another printer that would ship internationally. I'm glad I waited because the right partner came along.
Cross Country Trip with Mom and Buddy
I helped my mom load up a 12ft Penske truck and we drove from California to South Carolina over 7 days with her lab Buddy. It was a big move for her and I was glad to be able to help her with this transition. More than that, we made the trip really fun and stopped off in some amazing places like the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest and Santa Fe. We listened to audiobooks, laughed, sang and played with Buddy. It was definitely a memorable trip and I'm glad to have spent that quality time with my mom.
Moving to Ireland
Shortly after helping my mom move, my fiancé visa was approved! I thought my visa would take forever and was plesantly surprised that it got approved way before I expected. I packed up the rest of my belongings and purchased a one way ticket to Ireland. My mom and brother ended up coming to visist and spent Christmas with us and my sister and her husband are here now spending New Year's with us! I'm so excited to be settled and living with James.
This year has been full of amazing trips! I went to Chicago for St. Patty's day to visit my best friend, Scotland, Barcelona, New York, Conneticut, and had some amazing adventures around Ireland.
I'm so excited to make plans and goals for 2018 and to see what the new year has in store! What was your favorite thing about 2017?
Happy New Year!