Wednesday, January 30, 2013


The talented artist, Mr. Harrison Howard


A couple of months ago, I was reading one of my favorite design blogs, Peak of Chic, and came across a post on the work of artist Harrison Howard. His style, use of color and obvious talent left an indelible impression on me. I left a comment on the post and was surprised to find that Harrison himself emailed to thank me for it! Sometimes, I find that some talented people can be a bit prone to be impressed with themselves or exude an attitude of entitlement or lack of consideration for others. I sensed none of this from Mr. Howard and was so pleased that he would take the time to acknowledge my comment. He seems to be a very warm and genuine man, seemingly unaware of the talent he possesses and completely unaffected and down to earth. This is certainly one of those instances where you admire or respect the work of someone more established and developed and think, gosh, I'd love to attain to that level of professionalism! Mr. Howard was kind enough to let me "interview" him and feature the man and his work as one of my "Artist's Portraits" here on Annechovie.

Harrison's lovely wife, Lou Ann and son, Alec,
at Harrison's show opening at Thiele and Sons Gallery, La Jolla, CA

"The Greeting" from his Shell and Flower People Series

"The Letter Writer"

Harrison's resume boasts commissions from some of America's most prestigious decorating firms, such as McMillen, Irvine & Fleming and was hired by Pamela Banker (later of Parish-Hadley). His work has appeared in Architectural Digest and also graces many prestigious residences, such as those of the Vanderbilts, Firestones, DuPonts, Goodyears and stars like Kirstie Alley, as well as the Royal Saudi Embassy in Virginia.

"Beautiful IV" from his Shell Series

"Yellow Tree" from the Shell Series

Shells By The Sea

Scripps Park, La Jolla, California

Harrison says that much of his professional career has been devoted to mural work in private houses, and has included screens, panels, easel paintings, and watercolors. Primarily, his work has focused on decorative themes including architectural subjects, chinoiseries, and scenics, often with bird, animal or floral motifs. He has worked extensively with alkyd paints, oil paints, and to a lesser extent, acrylics.

His father, Wing Howard, was also an artist, and is known to many in San Diego, where Harrison now lives, through the murals he painted in the Whaling Bar of the La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla. Harrison started his career at the age of 19 with a one-man exhibit at the upstairs gallery owned by Ross Thiele & Sons Interiors, then located on Prospect Street in La Jolla. All but one of the 24 available watercolors were sold. Since that time Harrison has worked primarily as a freelance artist. Today, Harrison has returned to a focus on smaller paintings, and is now producing limited edition giclee prints of many of these paintings as well.

Harrison resides in gorgeous San Diego, California with his lovely wife, Lou Ann, and teenage son, Alec.

"The Yellow Sail" from his Chinoiserie Series

"The Departure"

Where were you born?I was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania to the west of Philadelphia a few miles.

What is your artistic background schooling?
I spent three years at the School of Fine Arts at Boston University in the early seventies studying painting, and later I received a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design at Art Center College in Pasadena, CA. That program involved a lot of drawing and industrial model building.

What are your earliest memories of being involved making art or wanting to be an artist?My father was a professional artist, although largely self taught, and I never gave any serious consideration to doing anything else. Drawing and painting were a very big preoccupation from the age of five onward, but the results really were rarely anything to suggest that I would choose to be an artist. In hindsight I think I was very close minded about considering alternatives, because there are a lot of other interesting things to do. However, at my present stage of life, I have no more regret about my choice than a parent feels about having their children. I would say my father influenced me more than any formal art training, and the interests that both my parents had in art and traveling.

What inspired you most as your subject matter? Does living near/on the Coast influence your work a lot?
I’m interested in fashion illustration, stage set design, children’s book illustration, decorative and fine art in general, and all of those subjects are sources of inspiration, but in the final analysis I think there’s nothing more dependable than your own imagination, and the things around you in every day life. We have mostly antiques in our house, and they have repeatedly served as props in my paintings. Many of those things conjure ideas that would no doubt seem a big stretch to another person. I do live very close to the Pacific Ocean, and I enjoy that very much, but I don’t really think it has influenced my frame of mind a great deal.

What are some of your favorite things that are essential to your success/well-being as a person and artist?
I think the fact that you ask that question is particularly a reflection on your own personality Anne, which strikes me as exceptionally happy and upbeat, and that shows in your paintings. My wife and seventeen year old son are without question at the core of my well being, as well as my recollections of my parents, who are no longer alive, and my friends and other family members. The fact that I make my living as an artist gives me great satisfaction, because I enjoy immensely what I do. Contrary to the stereotype of artists as tormented souls, I am convinced that artists must enjoy what they do if they want to produce worthwhile results, even if in some cases they may not be particularly happy the rest of the time. The only things that really torments me are all my bills.

Where would you live if you could live anywhere?I would move back and forth between Europe and this country.

What are the most challenging things for you about being an artist?
I think I could speak for the overwhelming majority of full time artists in saying that making a living that meets my family’s needs is the biggest challenge. There’s also always that sense that the next painting is going to be better than the one before it.

Which artists have influenced your work the most?What I find odd is that some of the artists I like the most are not necessarily the ones, who have always influenced me the most. My father, Wing Howard, who taught me to use watercolor, was the most influential, although my paintings are quite different from his. I’ve been influenced by Jean Pillement, Lisbeth Zwerger, (the Austrian illustrator), Kay Nielsen, Charles Doyle, (father of Arthur Conan Doyle), Helen Dryden, (the art deco fashion illustrator), Jean Hugo, and J. J. Grandville. There are many others, not necessarily widely known.

I want to offer my most sincere thanks to Harrison for sharing more about himself and his work with us and encourage you to visit his beautiful site where his museum-worthy works and prints are available for purchase. He also accepts commissions!

Monday, January 28, 2013


Garden Courtyard of Hotel de Russie

I've had the joy of visiting Rome several times, so it was fun to take on this commission from a wonderful client in the fashion world. She wanted me to capture the Stravinskij Bar at Hotel de Russie near Piazza del Popolo in Rome, Italy. I actually stayed just down the street in a flat on there on Via del Babuino about 10 years ago and had a very memorable time. The Hotel de Russie is a very chic and historic hotel that has long been known as THE spot to stay in Rome, from as far back as when the "European Grand Tour" was in vogue for the jet set.  

Please let me know if there's a special place that you'd like me to capture in a custom painting - you can contact me here for details & pricing.
Have a GREAT Monday - I am packing and moving this week!!   Some sore muscles here...

Friday, January 25, 2013


I wanted to find an attractive case for my ipad that wasn't too common and came in a pleasing hue.
I admired this Smythson sleeve from afar, but at $280 it was way out of my budget (how I do love their signature blue hue, though!)  Hmm, what's a girl to do? Well, you design your own!
Here's the end product and it's for sale here and can be personalized.




and don't forget my Hermes bag design is available here also!
Have a nice weekend, Everyone!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Use Code MOVE20 at checkout to receive discount.

Monday, January 21, 2013


As I mentioned, I am getting ready to move in the next couple of weeks and with a move comes re-organization and thoughts about what I'd like to do differently at my next abode. Moving is always a fresh start and always motivates me to pare down, edit and maybe add a piece or 2 as I am throwing out the old.
Fortunately, here in Florida, outdoor living is a year-round reality and I feel blessed that I don't have to wait until Spring to think about enjoying the beautiful weather. The problem sometimes is finding outdoor furniture that is both comfortable and practical for withstanding the weather and moisture, etc.
I like the idea of a "living room alfresco" type set-up where there aren't sharp edges, hard seats, or a mesh pattern that gets imprinted on your backside if you spend more than 10 minutes lounging in a chair!
What do you think of this all-weather rattan sofa option? I dig the thick cushion and the ample arms.
Check out many more options here!

Friday, January 18, 2013


Hibiscus blossom, a new shell & coral I received for Christmas

Hi All! Things have been nuts around here since Christmas. I am getting ready to move at the end of the month, but here's a little look into some bright spots during the last few weeks. Little things that brighten up my days.....

I found an excuse for when I am running behind

A very non-traditional Christmas dinner (lobster, mashed potatoes and blue cheese cole slaw)

This dude was trying to make a last-minute escape before he turned into Christmas dinner

Portugese soap for my bathroom - love it!

It's amazing how delicious Pad Thai can give you an energy infusion when you have to keep going with loads of work!

Cannot wait to get started on some of these recipes once I get moved and things get more sane!
I apologize to my faithful readers for being slow to respond with comments lately. Trying to keep my head above water and will be back in the loop soon. 

I hope that you have a terrific weekend and get to enjoy some of the little "uppers" in your life. 
See you next week!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


This chair is just one of several chair commissions I did recently for one of my favorite clients in Boston.
She is a dream client and this classic wingback is part of her chair collection that I have been working on one by one....
I am lining up commission work now that it's 2013 - please contact me here for more details and pricing.

Monday, January 14, 2013


I have not yet been to Bermuda, but I have always wanted to go. It looks so beautiful!

I love the colors and traditional aspects of the culture.

Not to mention the deep aqua water and pink sand beaches.

It seems like a perfectly civilized place, full of charm. I have some clients there and really want to visit at some point.

I was even inspired to create this painting/collage and named it 
"Bermuda Swirl" (for sale here)

Have you ever been to Bermuda? Where did you stay and what did you enjoy most about it?

Friday, January 11, 2013


Can you tell that I'm into color? 
I will let these images speak for themselves. Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


This is a recent commission completed just before Christmas for a great client in Portland, Oregon.
She asked me to paint the church she was married in and I loved the angle of the photo she sent me. I liked the "looking up" view as opposed to just straight on - adds a bit of interest. It was fun to capture some architectural details unique to the church as well as the gorgeous camellia bush in full bloom in front. 
Why not commission your own painting as a keepsake or a gift for a loved one?
Contact me here for details and very reasonable pricing.

Monday, January 7, 2013


If you are a needlepoint junkie, then look no further!
Find many of my most popular designs here.
Needlepoint is a great way to wile away some time during the Winter when you can cozy up by the fire and feel the calming effect of working with your hands. Try it - it's fun and relaxing.
Hope you enjoy the first full week of 2013 - Happy New Year!!

Friday, January 4, 2013


Elle Decor - 15 issues (all but 2 in photo)
September 2010- May 2012 (only May 2011 missing) $25 + s/h

House Beautiful - 12 issues
Dec./Jan 2012 - Oct. 2012 + May 2011, Sept. 2011 & Nov. 2011
$15 + s/h

Veranda - 10 issues
Jan. 2012 - Jan. 2013 (+ extra copy each of Jan/Feb 2012 & Sept/Oct 2012)
$12 + s/h
I am moving in just a few weeks and am in the process of "downsizing" my book/magazine library.
If you're interested in any of these 3 sets, just email me here and I will happily invoice you via PayPal and ship them off to you! They are all in good condition with no pages missing, just slight wear at edges and from a smoke-free, pet-free home.
If you're interested in any terrific design book bargains from my library, click this link to check out the selection.
Hope you have a terrific first weekend of 2013!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


I felt privileged to get the opportunity to paint this beautiful St. John's Cathedral in Brisbane, Australia when a client commissioned this portrait of her wedding party on her special day.  The bride was as stunning as the cathedral and the happy couple now have a special keepsake to remember their special day and the loved ones who were there to support them. 
To commission a similar keepsake, feel free to contact me here for details.