Bonjour mes amis! I invite you to feast your eyes upon the Frenchness that was the 2016 White House Correspondents' Weekend Brunch.
I painted the artwork which graced the save the date, formal invitation, and various elements of party decor - all of which were produced by talented stationer, Kelly of Winifred Paper. And then On May 1st, I had the supremely fun job of attending the event, as artist in residence, where I set up shop with my easel and paints to capture the scene as the party unfolded...
If you're not a DC native or Political Junkie, you may not know that the White House Correspondents' Dinner is much more than just a dinner, it's a whole weekend of excitement for The District. A whirlwind of festivity, known affectionately by insiders as the "Nerd Prom" which comes to a glorious close on Sunday morning at the White House Correspondents' Brunch - an occasion that is anything but nerdy.
In fact, it may just be the chicest, most expertly orchestrated brunch of all time.
Hostess Elena Allbritton came to me with a pinterest board bursting with images of deliciously beautiful scenes of the French countryside and instructed me that this was her inspiration for the event.
I jokingly suggested perhaps they should hire some chickens to peck about the yard to really amp up the ambiance and Elena's team seemed to genuinely pause to consider this as a viable possibility. I knew then that I was going to really enjoy these people and this project. Chickens are always a good idea.
We settled on the below illustration as the digital save the date for the event. Don't you wish you lived on this street and that was your bicycle?
We then set to work on the formal invitation using the below illustration and some of my botanical pieces. Don't you love the subtle nod to Politico poking out of the wicker bag of flowers?
As I said, I knew I would like these people. We share a deep abiding respect for a truth we hold to be self-evident: Details. Are. Everything.
I mean, couldn't you just die for the "Oui | Non" RSVP card?!
By the time May 1 finally rolled around, I was beyond excited to see what was in store. Imagine my delight when I arrived at the event to find that the blue bicycle I had painted for the Save The Date had come to life for the event. Elena is a goddess.
There was also a tree, a fully actualized tree, made by the wizards at Amaryllis, inside the Brunch tent, turning the space into a sprawling vignette of provincial France...
After gaping at all wonders of event design that were unfolding around me and remarking repeatedly that this was "nicer than any wedding I'd ever attended" I finally calmed down enough to begin painting.
Here is a montage of pictures of me painting away on my first live event painting. At one point, you'll notice, I lose one of my shoes because I am so enraptured by my creative process. *I also ended up with a very large Yellow Ochre paint stain directly over my belly button, which thanks to the clever photographers, was not captured on film. I tell you, painting live at an event is truly a sink-or-swim experience. I think I more or less managed to dog paddle my way through it...
And here she is - my finished piece. It's not as clean or as perfect as the work I normally produce. As a perfectionist, this is kind of killing me. But, I do realize it's cool that I was able to capture it amidst the hustle and bustle of the brunch and am proud that I didn't knock the easel over and destroy it half way through or anything like that!
Meet Erica and Laura, the wedding planners and TWINS behind Wit Weddings, a new event planning firm in the Washington DC area. How fun is that - twin wedding planners... beautiful twin wedding planners!
Erica and Laura met with me over coffee and croissants at my favorite place in DC, the Patisserie Poupon to discuss the concept for the illustrations for their site. How could I say no to a commission that began over a croissant? They had me at hello.
We planned for a muted palate of sketches for their site design to illustrate the beauty of some of the iconic moments that brides and grooms treasure at their weddings. It was so much fun for me to sketch each scene and try to capture the magic of these moments as I look forward to planning them for my own wedding. Here they are! The first kiss....
The champagne toast (which will be extra exciting at my wedding - think champagne saber) .... And of course, the getaway! DC brides - I strongly recommend these twin wedding planner babes if you're on the planner hunt this spring! Planners with this great of taste in illustration for sure have the talent to create an event you will love.
Happy First Day of Spring! I am celebrating by wearing a ski coat and earmuffs. Still feels like winter in New York.
But enough of reality, let's focus on blogland where it's time to wear a white lace dress and walk around with a champagne flute while planning your June wedding like this illustration here. I created her for Urban Chic Boutique's Third Annual "Urban Chic Says I Do" event. The event will take place March 29th and 30th at their Georgetown shop. The Boutique is turning itself into a mini wonderland of bridal delights for the weekend featuring their favorite local jewelry designers, hair and makeup experts, photographers, party planners and caterers annnnnnnddd their favorite bridal portrait illustrator - me!
So if you are lucky enough to be spending Easter weekend in Washington and are in the process of planning a wedding, come by and see me on Friday at the store! I'll be there taking appointments with brides to discuss and schedule commissions. You can browse examples of my work and we can pick a project that suits you and your wedding perfecty!
If you shop at the event I will offer you a 15% discount on your bridal portrait and/or bridesmaid sketches! I'll also be selling some new bridal note cards and painting monograms at the event so you can test out your new last name in watercolor. Cute, right? Right!
Here's the official invite. Consider yourself officially invited!
If you are super excited about getting one-on-one time with me or any of the other vendors email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email my urban chic go-to girl, Katie at email@example.com and we will schedule you!
Happy 2nd birthday to Ella Rue!
Ella Rue is darling little consignment boutique tucked away on one of my favorite tree-lined streets in Georgetown and today is the 2nd anniversary of the shop's opening!
An old friend of mine, Krista Johnson, started plans for the store right about the time I was starting my commission business. She named the store after her two puppies Ella and Rue. And yes, that's the three of them illustrated above. If you look at her current website - she has a new site coming soon featuring many new illustrations of mine - you'll see one of my very first commission sketches I created for her back in 2009.
I remember our first meeting at Baked & Wired (if you are in DC, amazing cupcakes) to talk about her design, we had no idea what would come of all of this. I'm pretty proud of what both of us have accomplished in the last few years!
Krista has curated a collection of high end designer items and I'm looking forward to popping in to see what she has in store when I head home for Thanksgiving.
So happy birthday to the ER team, I hope Ella and Rue are getting extra treats today!