2016 White House Correspondents' Brunch

July 28, 2016 4 Comments

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! 

Posted in DC, Politico, White House Correspondents Brunch

Wit Weddings

March 11, 2014 9 Comments

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 first dance... the cake cutting...    

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.

Posted in DC, event planner, Inslee By Design, News and Events, wedding, wedding planner, wit weddings

Spring Wedding Season at Urban Chic Boutique

March 20, 2013 1 Comment

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 inslee@inslee.net or email my urban chic go-to girl, Katie at katherine@urbanchiconline.com and we will schedule you!

Posted in bridal portrait, Bride, DC, georgetown, Inslee By Design, Inslee Haynes, News and Events, Urban Chic Boutique, urban chic georgetown, washington

Ella Rue turns 2

November 09, 2012 6 Comments


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!

Posted in Baked & Wired, consignment, DC, Ella Rue, georgetown, Inslee By Design, Inslee Haynes, Krista Johnson, The Sketch Book

four girls

August 09, 2011 9 Comments

Four sketches I did for a boutique in Old Town Alexndria called Zoe. If you haven't ever been to Old Town, you must go! Its DC's best kept and most charming little secret. Susan, the store's creator, asked me to come up with illustrations that reflected the colors and feel of the clothes in her shop. I pulled from some of my favorite looks right now - stripes, maxi dresses, trouser jeans, and a classic shot of Jane from Sea of Shoes for the final one. These four pieces are now framed throughout the store, I can't wait to visit and see them up on the walls next time I'm in Va!

Posted in DC, illustration, Inslee By Design, Old Town Alexandria, sea of shoes, The Sketch Book, Zoe Boutique


July 29, 2011 11 Comments

Good morning! So this weekend I am taking a trip BACK to DC. I know, I know, I just got here. Do you know what I'm most excited about (this is sort of lame).... going to visit my favorite patisserie. I mean it will be wonderful to see friends and family, but I have really missed my dear little coffee shop so very much. New York is by no means lacking in the patisserie department, but your first love never really leaves you. Any one who knows me knows how much I love this place and will try to drag you there with me all the time. I think I'll have to get both a plain croissant this weekend annnnd a chocolate one!

Posted in DC, Inslee By Design, New York, Patisserie, The Sketch Book

Bride & Groom (& me)

June 23, 2011 8 Comments

Hello! Today I am proud to share with you that my art was featured in Washingtonian Bride & Groom in their new Summer/Fall 2011 issue! Here is an illustration of mine on the Table of Contents page for the magazine and... Here, on the Editors Pick page, my custom illustrations are listed as a great bridal gift. And in case you do not have super human vision, here's a close up of my Kate Middleton illustration and where it says I can provide you with an "adorable sketch of your wedding gown"... Isn't that just delightful? I feel so honored to be listed among other great bridal products like those gorgeous Kate Spade sparkly heels and fellow stationer Hanna Nation's lovely note cards. I was so flattered when Sarah the style editor called me up to ask if she could feature me as one of her picks and even more beside myself with joy when Jill, the main editor called to say they'd like to put artwork on the T.O.C. too! She called me while I was in a cab, running late to an appointment to see an apartment, in a torrential down pour in New York while carrying giant framed illustrations on my way back from packing up the last of the Stationery Show and just feeling generally very flustered (Oh and did I mention, I had a train to DC to catch and about a week worth of emails waiting to be replied to?) So, right when I thought nothing was going right, she called to tell me the exciting news and suddenly everything was right in illustrator land again. Funny how things work out like that, isn't it! Ok, marvelous Thursday to you all. Off to sketch...

Posted in Bridal Illustration, Bride & Groom, custom illustration, DC, fashion illustration, Hanna Nation, Inslee By Design, Inslee Haynes, kate middleton, Kate Spade, New York, News and Events, Washingtonian