Friday, January 30, 2009


Couldn't resist capping off the week with this photo. Lily Pulitzer-clad Barbie and Stacy dolls. Available here. What will they think of next? I hope you all have a wonderful weekend - see you Monday!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Thanks to Sarah Reilly at Walkin Around - Where the Sidewalk Begins...for keepin on keepin on when it comes to nominating stellar bloggers. Her's is a great blog in addition to the blogs below.
To share the LUV, follow these instructions!
1. Put the logo on your blog or post. (You can highlight the photo and text of this post and copy/paste wherever you need to)
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show GREAT ATTITUDE and/or GRATITUDE
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received the award.
top 10: La La Lovely Things, A Day that is Dessert, PVE Design, Monograms and Manicures, Alkemie, Lifescapes, Art by Karena, 3Peanuts, Steel Magnolia Interiors, Weasel's Journey and A Perfect Beginning.


(click on image to enlarge)
What is it about Washington D.C.? I have noticed a disproportionately LARGE reader/client contingency from the DC/Northern VA metro area for some reason. You guys are wonderful! I am grateful for all of my readers and customers everywhere, but I just wanted to send special greetings today to the folks in and near our nation's capitol and thank you for reading, subscribing and ordering from Annechovie.

I just completed this gift commission of another DC rowhouse that is chock-full of charm. I hope to meet many more of you terrific readers, wherever you are located, and please let me know if you are interested in a portrait of your home - I would love to capture it for you!

Monday, January 26, 2009


I couldn't resist this, "Aretha's Hat". How apropos after her unforgettable headgear at the Inauguration last week?

Jamie and her cat in "Cat Hugs"

Recently, a visitor with the blogger identity "HamstrJam" kept visiting me and leaving comments, so I was intrigued and followed the link to her blog. I couldn't help but notice these charmingly simple cats she sketches. However, they really aren't as simple as they seem - they are drawn with a true wit and brilliant sense of humor in a style that is somewhat reminiscient of illustrations in "The New Yorker". I found myself quite frequently laughing out loud here in my workspace (good thing no one was around - they would've thought I'd really lost my mind for good...) I left a few comments on Small Expectations (a terrific name for a blog) and then wrote the author/artist Jamie Shelman and asked if I could feature her work here on Annechovie. She has obliged me most graciously and also favored me with some answers to a few of my nosy questions.

Where were you born?
I grew up in Tucson, Arizona and currently live on Martha's Vineyard.

What is your artistic background /schooling ?
I received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2006 yet also attended Bucknell University, University of Arizona, Sydney College of the Arts and RISD's summer abroad program in Rome.

What are your earliest memories of being involved making art or wanting to be an artist?
My earliest memory of making art or wanting to be an artist is from second grade when my drawing of flowers won a competition to be put on display at the mall! Also, when I was at Bucknell, I had an inspiring art professor and was first exposed to paintings at the Met and I was completely blown away, I could relate so well to all the abstract expressionists.


Candy Cane

What inspired you most as your subject matter? Does living near/on the Coast influence your work a lot?

Travel, landscapes, patterns, quilts all inspire my abstract paintings and my cats are inspired by all the cats I have known and loved!. They have become a voice for my own thoughts, feelings, and personal reflections.


My family is from Arizona and my husband is from Baltimore Maryland- he's also a RISD grad and artist of beautiful fashion inspired portraits!

What are some of your favorite things or things that are essential to your success/well-being as a person and artist?

Good coffee (cafe au laits and croissants in the morning!), the New York Times, good reads, good food, long walks, bike riding, freedom!

Where would you live if you could live anywhere?

Switzerland is looking pretty nice, altough I do love Martha's Vineyard and NYC!

What are the most challenging things for you about being an artist?

Income that allows me the freedom to continue to create!

Thank you Jamie, for taking the time to share more about yourself and your art. I encourage you to visit Jamie's charming blog Small Expectations - it's sure to cheer you and bring a smile to your face! She also runs an Etsy Shop - Jamie's Cats.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


My grandfather when he was a little tyke, growing up in Atlanta, Georgia

Grandpa, me and his dog Bootsie back in the early 80's. Bootsie was a strong, willful mutt and when scrawny little me tried to walk her, it turned into skiing on cement.

A recent photo

A statue of Grandpa at Comerica Park in Detroit

This photo typifies Grandpa. He has an infectious laugh and a great attitude toward life.

I want to wish my Grandpa, Ernie Harwell, a very Happy 91st Birthday today. He is an amazing human being, legendary sportscaster and a wonderful grandfather. I am hoping I take after him - although even at my age it's tough to keep up with a guy like Grandpa. He works out at the gym daily in addition to jumping rope 300+ times, is sharp as a tack and seems to have boundless energy and enthusiasm for life.
I can still remember him good-humoredly driving us to school in his beret, robe and slippers or the times we'd come over and listen to his latest song on his reel-to-reel recorder. I also remember his Motown albums, rousing organ solos, piles of newspapers and all of the Detroit Tigers tube socks and t shirts in the basement. Going to visit he and my grandma was a total media immersion experience, long before the Internet ever came into play. He somehow managed to read a newspaper, watch TV, and listen to the radio, all while carrying on a conversation with everyone in the room. Grandpa had endless patience with his grandchildren and never seemed to get uptight or resent it when we poked around his office, made a lot of noise or tested how many revolutions we could do on his rotating chair before it came to a complete stop.
By far, though, the things I admire most about him are his devotion to God, warmth, sense of humor, loyalty and commitment to his family. Grandpa, I love you very much and am so grateful for the example you have set and the privilege I have been given to have you for my grandfather. I certainly hope you are with us for many years to come! Viva la Ernie!

Friday, January 23, 2009


I absolutely love this painting by Liza Hirst - it's called "Sunny Outside"

Liza recently published a book of her gorgeous work that is available for sale here

Some of you may remember my lovely and talented friend in the South of France, Liza Hirst. She was featured in one of my artist's portraits a year or so ago. She is very prolific and to say she was gifted would be a gross understatement. Well, Art Lovers, now is the time to profit from her "prolific-ness"! She is clearing out her studio and for a limited time will be offering half off many of her works on Saturdays. Please keep in mind that we are talking French time here - so don't miss out! You can also purchase her newly released book as well. So hurry to her site before Saturday has passed!! (she is about 6 hours ahead of us US East-Coasters, so to get the incredible disount, shop starting after 6 PM tonight) Click here to see her blog/shop.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Today, I ran across this adorable narrative by a French toddler on the blog You Make Me Wonder. Even though my French is very limited, thanks to subtitles, I was totally charmed. Her animated expressions made her story that much better. Too cute for words....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Me and Amanda Jaron

When I first started blogging, I did it as little more than to create a place or home on the web where I could show some of my work and have a place to connect with my clients and fellow artists. I really had no idea what I was in for! This seems to be the same story I have heard from so many of my blogging friends. Who knew we were to discover an entire community, support group and social club not bound by miles, age, race or creed? Just a group of people from many different walks of life who share similar interests. Blogging and meeting so many of you over the net has been an unbelievable creative outlet and source of inspiration in my life.

This week I had the distinct pleasure of meeting jewelry designer and fellow Floridian and blogger, Amanda Jaron. She is actually the first blogger friend I have met in person and it took another blogger all the way in Scotland to connect us! Ronda Carman of All The Best had featured Amanda and her beautiful jewelry designs on her blog over a year ago and when Amanda saw a post Ronda did on me shortly after that, she contacted me and we realized we were both in Florida and not too far apart.

Amanda left her glamorous and fast-paced New York life a few years ago to live her dream and raise her family here on Florida's Gulf Coast. Her company, A. Jaron, has been expanding ever since. Her upscale and sophisticated designs are featured in many Saks Fifth Avenue stores across the country, as well as on her website and the Home Shopping Network. We just had the first opportunity to meet this week.

Amanda is a lovely, warm and talented person and it was such a joy to meet her. There was so much to talk about and it was very interesting to get to know her a little. If you are not familiar with her work, please take a moment to check out her website and blog. It's great to meet a fellow artist and blogger with whom I share many of the same challenges and passions in life. I hope there will be many more meetings with so many more of you bloggers out there!! I look forward to it!

Monday, January 19, 2009


I absolutely LOVE to eat. When I do watch TV, it's often something on The Food Network. I even enjoy painting food (see image above). My friend Sabina, over at Barefoot in the Orchard posted this amazing list she found on the blog Very Good Taste. It includes 100 items that every omnivore should try in his or her life. You are supposed to copy the list from Very Good Taste's "The Omnivore's 100" and post it to your blog, bolding the items you've tried and putting an asterisk by any you would NEVER try. (Although, I have to say, the tale of Green Eggs and Ham does come to mind...)
It's a fun little exercise if you've got some time to kill - I've tried 38 out of 100. Not very impressive, but there are some on the list I just COULD NOT stomach.
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile (I HAVE tried alligator)
6. Black pudding*
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho*
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns*
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper*
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar*
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O*
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects*
43. Phaal*
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more*
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini*
58. Beer above 8% ABV*
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads*
63. Kaolin*
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis*
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings or andouillette*
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe*
74. Gjetost or brunost
75. Roadkill*
76. Baijiu*
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini*
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse*
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake*

Friday, January 16, 2009


A little relaxing by the pool

Attack on the racks - a huge Lilly Pulitzer sale

A great local stationery shop with a myriad of choices for a paper junkie

More Lilly - definitely perfect for South Florida

A beautiful finish to the day

Here's a few photos from last weekend. I must admit that Winter in South Florida simply cannot be topped. Even when there's work to catch up on, it's great to spend a little time outside. Nothing like soaking up a little sun to energize me! I wish you all a warm, relaxing weekend. See you on Monday!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I just wanted to say a special thank you to a terrific client and fellow blogger, Helen, at Dallas-based blog Monograms and Manicures. She wrote a super nice post on my work this week! I greatly appreciate it, Helen!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


The soothing pale pink of the walls with the stronger colors is a perfect combo.

That sofa fabric! LOVE it.

A bright and comfy sunporch.

The strong graphic quality of the striped walls and zebra runner makes for a peppy and youthful entrance. (photos by Mikkel Vang courtesy of House Beautiful)
I must admit that I don't know a lot about design legend Carleton Varney. I was vaguely familiar with him just by virtue of the fact that I have been reading decor mags since I was about 10, but lately I have learned a bit more via other blogs and the latest issue of House Beautiful.
This man loves color and has quite a way with it. Having grown up partially in the Great Lakes area, I am well acquainted with the lake cottage subculture there and when I saw this charming home in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, I was captivated. I love cottage style and the warm informality that it exudes. So, having said that, I just HAD to post a few of the photos here. The colors, the painted wood floors and all the light soaking into the place are so inviting. An interview with Mr. Varney and a complete photo tour can be seen here.

Monday, January 12, 2009


The first time I can recall seeing this uncommonly likeable actress with the standout name, Zooey Deschanel, was in the slapstick Christmas flick "Elf". There she had her famous shower rendition of "Baby It's Cold Outside". Well, now she is sporting brunette locks and going strong on multiple fronts. Her home is featured in the most current issue of Domino, which appears on newsstands tomorrow. You can see some out-takes of the photo shoot online here.


"Grandeur" by artist Karen Albert
I would like to offer a "Congratulations" to my friend and fellow artist/blogger, Karen Albert, of Kansas City. She was recently profiled in Kansas City's arts publication and has several upcoming shows set for the new year. She is a talented woman and lovely person. You can check out her blog here and find out more.

Friday, January 9, 2009


I can hardly believe we have just ushered in 2009! I am lining up work now for this new year and already working on new commissions from clients. This piece was recently commission from me by a client in Dallas as a gift for her mother. She loves blue and white china and porcelain. This particular piece I painted was an antique "Blue Willow" patterned plate. Is there something you collect that I could capture for you on paper or canvas? Please don't hesitate to contact me here for more information.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


This framed print of my painting"Green Mirror with Candlesticks"is available now in my store. (click image for larger view)

Here's a new print available now, framed in a beautifully detailed 8x10 gold frame.

Monday, January 5, 2009


These old fashioned David Austin roses are my favorite flowers. The multitude of petals and heady fragrance outshines any hybrid.

This particular rose is called "Abraham Darby" and is one of the prettiest, I think. This rose is a very old one and goes back to the 1800's.

A pot with geraniums and scaveola - not bad for a little Winter foliage, eh?

The petal count on these old roses is phenomenal!

They thrive in Winter here in Florida with all the sun and cooler nightime temps.

These hibiscus blooms are the size of a salad plate!

Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I am quite a fan of South Florida and love the climate, not to mention living a couple of miles off the Gulf of Mexico and the gorgeous Winter and Spring seasons here. One of the biggest perks has to be the beautiful trees, plants and flowers that bloom year-round. Having grown up with the harsh Winter climate of Michigan, I savor every luxury that living in the tropics affords. I just thought I'd share a few photos of some of my mom's roses and blooming plants around her pool that I took this week. It's always a treat when she cuts some roses for me and I can enjoy having them in a vase in my work space.

Friday, January 2, 2009


Looking for a good flick this weekend? I am not a big movie person, as it seems the majority of stuff out there is not worth the time, money or effort. However, if you want to see a great film with a little substance to it, I wholeheartedly recommend Bella. My brother put me onto it and I thoroughly enjoyed it. A great story with terrific acting and very artistic production. In short - very refreshing. The lead character is also the producer and Eduardo Verastegui is impressive. A ton of heart was infused into all aspects of this film and I don't think you'll be disappointed on any level. All the accolades it has received are very well-deserved. Enjoy your first weekend of the year and I will see you back here on Monday!