The 2016 January Calendar Girl is born in the period of Capricorn, under the sign of The Goat. She is determined and steadfast in her endeavors – in this case, her life long dedication to becoming the perfect ballet dancer.
As a child of winter, the final life cycle in the zodiac year, she has a tendency for behavioral traits often associated with the sage wisdom of the elderly. She has a proclivity for reflection and calling on the past and a prevailing need for self discipline. She loves to wander through museums, paying respect to great artists who came before her, subjecting herself to the quiet, dutifully paying her respect to past genius.
Each January, she visits Degas’ La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans to stare into the little bronze face. She stands before her, mirroring the stoic posture, arms thrown back defiantly, chin upturned, legs presented unapologetically with perfect turnout. She is always moved by this meditation. There is something so humble about this child's stance, she is so much the underdog, as unknown as the young new year.
Yet there she stands without compromise. Defiant, proud. Willing some obstacle to present itself so she can prove her skill. There is so much potential energy in this statue. The pose is that of a dancer waiting at attention, arms ready to spring from her sides and embrace the first strains of the music, legs prepared to launch forth into a grand jete or a series of pirouettes.
To January’s girl, this statue says, “5, 6, 7, 8 and…
A new year. It is time to face the music, and dance!"
Meet Clementine, the June Calendar Girl.
Clementine maintains a perfect complexion, utterly unmarred by the harsh rays of the sun. She's rarely caught before sundown without one of her signature hats.
How does she keep a healthy glow in her cheeks without any sun exposure? Why vitamin C of course! Clementine has never met a juice she didn't love, especially pink grapefruit juice.
Clementine's thoughts for enjoying the month of June:
Welcome to May. And welcome, also, to one of my favorite weeks of the year. A week which combines opportunities to celebrate two completely distinct cultural phenomenons that are each spectacular in their own right: The Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo.
Do you think that was what the corporate branding specialists were thinking when they opened all those combined-retail-drive-through spaces for KFC and Taco Bell together??
Anyway, these two semi-made-up holidays off-set one another so nicely. I'm just so glad they fall in the same week, and sometimes even on the same day.
Think about it. one holiday celebrates the copious consumption of mint, the other, the copious consumption of cilantro. Win. Win.
Silver Julep cups? Always a win. Giant margarita chalices? (what do yo call those, really?) WIN.
We don fascinators, then we don sombreros. Again, Winning all around in the headwear department.
Cheers to May starting with a bang! And this May starts even more victoriously than usual, jumping straight in with Derby Eve on May 1.
Happy Derby Eve Everyone!
Can you believe I've spent nearly ten years sketching calendar girls and this is the first year I've devoted May to celebrating this wonderful occasion for hat wearing?! I mean, come on! It's a no brainer. May = mint juleps, big hats, horse races. Duh. How did it take me this long to sketch this and give the people what they want? I'll file that under me-making-life-difficult-for-myself.
And now, for some backstory behind this sketch and a bit of reality line blurring...
This is a snap of Martha and Isabelle at last year's Derby. Martha and Isabelle are friends of Daphne's. They live in Kentucky so Daphne sees them precisely one time a year: Derby Day.
And in fact, she wasn't even present last year for the races (which explains why Martha and Isabelle aren't holding mint juleps in this picture. If Daphne had been there, she would have demanded mint juleps all day long)
I loved this image because It's so classically Martha and Isabelle. If you knew them, you'd see why.
Martha is the risk taker when it comes to fashion. Has she ever worn 1.5 inch long blue false eyelashes paired with a white alpaca fur parka to a casual Tuesday night dinner with friends? Yes. Of course.
So, for Martha's standards, this micro-mini feathered dress with the floral appliqué embellishments around the neckline was really actually a safe choice. You should see what she's picked for this year's festivities. Word on the street is that it's a fully sheer two piece outfit composed of both a crop top and culottes.
Isabelle, on the other hand, lives in a world governed by tradition. This pale pink vintage Dior drop-waisted dress belonged to her mother before her. And the fascinator was a favorite of her grandmother's.
The girls are particularly looking forward to the Derby this year. They've invited their old friend Daphne to join them and she's promised that this year she WILL attend. There's no telling what that wild card will be wearing...
This is an illustration inspired by the one and only Olivia Palermo, by the way that snow falling makes Central Park feel intimate and hushed like a secret tucked in the middle of the crazed, bustling holiday-addled New York City shopping scene, and by the way that Christmas makes everyone fall in love all over again.
Shop for this sketch as a print.... because while I urge you to remember that Christmas is about celebrating love, I also realize that you probably need to do some shopping for presents too.
Hello! Exciting news!
As you can see from this invitation I designed for the event, I'm here to invite you to join me at the Dempsey & Carroll Lexington Avenue showroom on December 2nd to toast the new year ahead with a celebration of my 2015 calendar!
It will be a magical evening filled with lots of my original artwork, opportunities to instagram everything in sight, speak directly to me about all your feelings and thoughts, purchase calendars...
and MOST excitingly, an opportunity to win a custom illustration from me and a set of accompanying custom Dempsey & Carroll stationery using said illustration.
OMG! I know right?!
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to get the party started, I can't wait to see you all!
A new month, a fresh new start to the next season with a fresh new sketch in the city that's best in the fall.
I sketched this girl with the lithe beauty of Karlie Kloss in mind. I was imagining she was just hailing a cab somewhere cute, like on the corner of Mott and Prince.
And wouldn't you know it - now that I live in Nolita - I see Karlie on the corner of Mott and Prince all the time. We're practically BFF-regulars together at the Little Cupcake Bakeshop.
What can I say, life in Nolita is like living in an illustration. It couldn't be cuter. Especially as the tree lined streets become gold and red and orange leaf lined streets this time of year.
Happy August! Have you ridden your elephant today?
Just remember, not all those who wander are lost. They may just be fulfilling their lifelong dream of traveling to Thailand and riding an elephant.
When I painted this fearless traveler I was in the throes of helping a friend plan her honeymoon to do this very thing.
Don't you like how I say that as if I played a bigger role in this than her now-husband? (I didn't)
But at the time I felt as though I was taking this trip right along with her, I was so emotionally invested in the excitement of planning this elephant-driven quest for the far east.
It sounded so glamorous, like time travel. I was envisioning it all being very Love In The Time of Cholera, very English Patient. (Were either of these movies filmed in Thailand?)
Imagine my surprise when she returned several months later with her pictures. Turns out, one does not wear a crop-top with exaggerated bow and a hot pink maxi skirt when elephanting. One wears a pair of canvas scrubs in royal blue.
Very different vibe.
It looked incredible, none the less. She also got to lie down on top of a napping tiger. All about the animals, that one.
Anyway, cheers to a new month. A month for wanderlust and "going on holiday". The last month before life turns new again in September.