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Blog

Stories, sketches and thoughts from a creative mind. What is happening in the studio and what inspires Brush & Inc.

Foundry Harvest Weekend

Michelle Vinson

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Over the summer, Cooper Boone and Amy Flurry met and had the perfect idea to create a magical weekend of sharing between creatives and writers. The event would be held at Cooper’s Farmhouse and showcase the beautiful Upper Delaware River Valley region (which I call home), include locally sourced food and drinks, prepared by an incredibly talented chef and amazing mixologist and be captured by one of the best photographers that I have ever worked with.

This team of amazing professionals came together to make that vision come to life, last weekend, for the first Foundry Harvest Weekend at Cooper’s Farmhouse, in Shohola, PA. A weekend to remember.

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Months leading up to the event, Cooper and I met to discuss the invitations and inspiration behind the weekend. Everything that Cooper puts together is a dream so, I was excited to get started on the project right away. I went back to the studio and pulled together some color swatches, found objects, photos and textures, started painting and came up with this . . .

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We loved the invite so much that we decided to transfer the designs onto fabric and have cloth napkins made. Jana Platina Phipps (aka Trim Queen) added those gorgeous tassels.

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Cooper then worked his magic on the tablescape in this gorgeous space, foraging in his garden and creating this fall goodness. Every detail was just perfect.

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The food was prepared by the incredibly talented Brandon Grimila of 403 Broad. He created a meal that I will never forget. He is so talented and passionate about what he does . . . you can taste that with every bite.

All of the food was locally sourced: Castle Valley Mill (Grains), Bella Bella (Duck), Beaverkill Trout, Butchies Organic (Pork), Lackawaxen Food Hub (Veg), Samaki (Salmon), Willow Wisp Farm (Organic Vegetables), Jasper Hills (Cheese), Apples (Soons Orchards), Pasta (403 Broad), Finding Homes Farms (Maple Syrup), Orchard Hill Cider Mill (Hard Ciders), WineBow Group

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 Still dreaming of this dish.

Still dreaming of this dish.

All of the dinnerware (Foundry Black) was provided by Fiesta Dinnerware and pulled together for the event by my gorgeous sis, Danielle Elderkin of Cover Story Communications.

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Meet Donnan Sutherland from Orchard Hill Cider Mill. Donnan’s drinks were a-mazing. Every single one . . . and I drank them all. So good. So so good.

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The guests arrived to this beautiful place out in Shohola, PA on Saturday afternoon. The weekend was a gathering of writers, creatives, good conversation and new friends.

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At the table . . .

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After a night in this beautiful farmhouse, we enjoyed a brunch at Foundry 42 that was catered by Fogwood and Fig and walked up and down Front Street in Port Jervis, NY.

Amy Flurry (Recipe for Press), Alan Flurry, Catherine Dash, AJ Mapes, Marjorie Gage, Jana Platina Phipps, Lang Phipps, Brandon Grimila, Donna Sutherland, Michael Bloom, Danielle Elderkin, Mark Veeder and Cooper Boone (Cooper’s Farmhouse, Foundry42), it was a treasure to have spent the weekend with you all.

And, the man behind the camera (and not pictured), Michael Bloom . . . these photos are incredible.

Bug Life

Michelle Vinson

It's summer, we live in the woods, I have two boys. In the past 7-ish years, I have held, touched and moved more bugs than I have in my entire life. My boys always show me the beauty and excitement in things that I don't normally notice. And, so . . .I'm painting them. And . . . they are pretty beautiful. I plan on using these little creatures to create a fun fabric pattern, prints, birthday invites. I can't wait to see how they turn out. This is what I have so far . . .

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Flower Mandala Love

Michelle Vinson

I am currently working on a floral mandala. My goal is to create a series of paintings that represent different seasons using different objects in nature. The first mandala that I've started represents summer and will be light and feminine, in the color and flowers/leaves (pictured below). I always like to create things that will work as a stand alone piece, but also translate well onto fabric, wrapping paper, notecards, etc.

Don't tell anyone, but I'm just kind of of winging this first one . . . adding and finding elements and measuring things out as I go. So . . . the finished result will be kind of a surprise to everyone, including me :)!

The history behind the mandala is both spiritual and ritual and you can find these symbols in Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity. The geometric pattern represents the cosmos and the universe. In some traditions, the mandala can be used as a spiritual guidance tool to aid in meditation.

I think they are beautiful, I've seen them popping up in places and wanted to create my own pattern using a watercolor technique. This is what I've started so far . . .

And here are some other gorgeous samples that I've found for inspiration . . .

image c/o Design Fest

image c/o ABC Carpet and Home

Stay tuned for the finished piece!

Coffee & Champagne

Michelle Vinson

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Sometimes I meet people that are super smart, talented and nice and I like to make things for them! I painted and designed a set of 4 cocktail napkins for the amazing NYC food blogger, Michelle Williams of Coffee and Champagne.

I'm so flattered and honored to have them featured on her recent blog post. Make sure you follow her for some great restaurant guides, recipes and some gorgeous food photography. 
Instagram: coffeeandchampagne
Facebook: coffeeandchampagne

Napkins are available for a limited time only in the shop!

Tell me what to paint Tuesday!

Michelle Vinson

It's been a month since I started a new series called "Tell me What to Paint Tuesday," throughout social media. I ask people to tell me what to paint and challenge myself to get it done (in an evening) and post the finished painting the next day. Each week, I randomly pick the winner and then give him/her a free mini print. Picking at random can be a challenge since I don't just select the easiest, most comfortable suggestion. By posting the results and having the "players" anticipate the winner the next day, this also puts pressure on me to make something that I'm not mortified to show . . . eek!

I have a list of projects that I am currently working on (and am excited about), but it's been fun to dedicate a couple of studio hours a week to do something a little spontaneous.

I am excited to see what the next few months will bring. This is what i have painted so far . . .

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I like how you roll . . .

Michelle Vinson

I've been working on a new series called "I like how you roll." The series consists of a handful (8 total) of different vehicles and the things they carry along with them. All of the vehicles have a classic look to them. This old fashioned wagon with luggage, an old pickup truck with surfboards, a Volkswagon bus with a canoe. . .

This all started because I like to people watch and I started to notice that people/personalities match what they drive. So . . . I took it a step further and added some fun items to the top of the vehicles. I really feel like each person will connect to one of these prints in some way. Maybe it's the life you lived before you started a family . . .with an old Pinto and band equipment on the roof. Or, a life that you dream of having . . . a little Vespa with shopping bags behind you. Or, the life you live right now . . . a motorcycle taking your dog for a ride.

I am making each vehicle illustration into little mini 4x6 prints and then a big poster with all of them together. So fun and sweet and I am excited about it. I may even get some wallpaper made with all of them together for a little nook in our home. Making them made me smile so, I hope you like them too.

PS: I drive a Jeep Cherokee . . . soon to have a couple of kayaks on the roof. BK (before kids), I drove a Toyota Echo that I bought off of Ebay because I didn't want a car payment and drove that baby until it just wouldn't run anymore. That is how I roll . . .

Here is another sneak peek . . .

OMG . . . I'm such an . . .

Michelle Vinson

 Photo courtesy of  Buzzfeed

Photo courtesy of Buzzfeed

Have you ever seen, or heard of, a long-haired donkey? I never saw one until I was commissioned by a friend to paint one for her Aunt. Now, I'm in love with them and kind of want one (sorry Scott, we are getting a long-haired donkey for Christmas)!

Here's the thing . . . they are fun and I had a good time showing their little personalities in these paintings. Hope you like . . .

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This Rocks!

Michelle Vinson

I try to draw or paint a little every day. If I ever take a long break, I always feel a little rusty and then it frustrates me and I extend the break a little longer. So . . . instead of always feeling the pressure to paint innovative, clever and current trendy things . . . I now just paint. Anything.

Today, I painted rocks. Just rocks. I found that something so very simple is filled with so much texture, dimension and color variation. I draw from both photos and real life. I decided to play around with a feminine color palette and I love the way it is turning out . . .

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I heart Fiesta!

Michelle Vinson

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It's always fun when you get to work with a client and you LOVE their product. Cover Story Communications has been working with Fiesta Dinnerware for many years now. We all love them, we have all of their dishes (in almost every color). When you love to paint and you get asked to paint something for Fiesta...it's always a winning project! Some hot tea, popcorn, good music and a late night resulted in a fun watercolor that Fiesta used as a desktop wallpaper download for their customers/fans. Take a look at the finished product and blog post here

Relish Life!

Michelle Vinson

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My good friend Erin Ruppert, certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, is launching her nutritional therapy practice this month. She's super talented and has a true love and knowledge of all things food and health related. When she came to me to design her logo, website and marketing materials, I was thrilled. It's always so fun to create a brand for someone that loves what they do. 

And . . .since she is a friend, I felt like I could convince her to let me add some watercolors to her new look!

Take a look at her website here!