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Preview: La Maison Boheme

La Maison Boheme

Updated: 2018-02-20T14:22:55.048-08:00


La Maison Boheme Has Moved!


10 years ago, I began blogging at La Maison Boheme. Initially the blog served as an online dream journal where I could catalog my favorite design ideas and inspirations. La Maison Boheme quickly became a community where I met bloggers, designers, and people who would help me develop and more fully embody my personal aesthetic.

Now the blog has transformed into a more personal place where I share my art process, my thoughts on parenting a special needs child, and other topics of interest like gardening, radical homemaking, minimalism, social justice, literature, and travel.

The time has come for me to consolidate my online spaces, which is why I'm leaving the Blogspot platform. The content will be the same, but from now on, La Maison Boheme will continue via my website at And of course you can always find it (as you did before) at

Thank you, dear readers, for sticking with me through the past decade! And cheers to a new home for La Maison Boheme! The party continues...

Cottage Green


I don't have a cottage, but I sure do love these moss, sage and kelly greens cottage colors. [...]

Postcards from Eastern Oregon


I'm soaking up every beautiful day in far Eastern Oregon at my Mama's home. The Wallowa-Whitman mountain range, the Snake River, Eagle Creek, Pine Valley, Oxbow, Brownlee... this place is heaven on earth. Pine Valley and Halfway, ORThe irrigation ditch on my Mama's property.My Mama's barn.The Snake River.Brownlee Reservoir.Oxbow Dam.Imnaha River.[...]

Remember to Play


I happened upon this lovely video by Michelle Housel and McKenzie Elizabeth Ditter about dolls and dollhouse making. The video, which accompanies a recent article in Taproot Magazine, depicts a step-by-step process for making a hand-crafted dollhouse from boxes, found objects, clay and paint. It's a great reminder that play is not only reserved for kiddos, but important for all ages.

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" mozallowfullscreen="" src="" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="640"> Home Sweet Dollhouse from Taproot Magazine on Vimeo.

Foraged Morels


One of my favorite things about visiting my mother's farm in Eastern Oregon is that her neighbors are always dropping by with fresh veggies from their garden or eggs from their coop. Today's surprise was a grocery bag full of foraged Morel Mushrooms. For a city dweller like me, who will easily drop 8 bucks for 5 morels at the Whole Foods, this was a miracle. Tonight, I'll be cooking up a mushroom feast for my family. And I'll probably do something like THIS. Thank you Oregon. Thank you neighbors. Thank you nature!

Home in Oregon Again


Some places are magical because of the curvature of the land, the quality of light, and the verdant energy inherent in the soil. And some places are magical because it's inhabitants. My Mama's home is both. My family and I are staying at my Mama's farm in Eastern Oregon for a month. It's a heavenly place and I love what happens to my brain and my body out here. I slow down. I notice things. I breathe deeper. And I feel truly "home". Here are three snapshots from my first day. And yes, that is a double rainbow at the end of my mother's driveway. A sign? I think so.

Interested in more posts about my Mama's farm? Click HERE.

Boho Travel Bag


It's no secret that I love Cost Plus World Market. I was browsing their store this weekend and fell in love with all of their summer travel bags. Best part? They're so darn affordable. Here are my favorites.Black & White Bead ToteBlue Diamond ToteBlack & White Woven Fringe TotePink Jacquard Weekender BagChindi Denim ToteYellow Carpet Bag[...]

In the Studio | House Portraits


I delivered another house portrait to a client this week! Such fun. I consider my house portraits to be little painted love letters. These homes shelter the hopes and dreams of the inhabitants and my goal in rendering them is to honor those dreams. They're are painted in acrylic on high quality archival paper, and they're usually commissioned to commemorate a new home, or sometimes even the selling of a home.  Learn more about my house portrait commissions HERE.

Morning on the Dock | A Conversation


For the past four years I have been attending retreats at Squam Art Workshops. My time at these art retreats have infused my life and my work with joy and renewed focus. That's why I was delighted when Elizabeth Duvivier, the founder of Squam Art Workshops, asked me for an interview as part of her podcast, "Morning on the Dock".

This photo is from my time at Squam Lake in 2014.

So here it is! Our hour-long conversation about creativity, theatre, art-making, partnership, parenthood, loss, imperfection, healing, and the sacred transformational power of living out loud. Thank you, Elizabeth, for creating such a beautiful space for this kind of deep-dive dialogue. Read Elizabeth's full article on her website HERE.

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Storyteller Series | Cécile McLorin Salvant


Cécile McLorin Salvant has been playing in my house all week. My husband read a marvelous article about her in the New Yorker and we've been listening ever since. I am obsessed with her music, her tone, her wisdom, and her storytelling. And I have to also add that for me as an actor and theatre artist, I so admire Salvant's ability to completely embody a lyric and create a whole world with a song. Watching her sing is like seeing a masterclass in musical theatre. Wynton Marsalis said about Ms. Salvant, "You get a singer like this every generation or two." I must agree. She is a genius and I cant. stop. listening.

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On the Road Again


In two weeks time, my family of four (plus a dog) will embark on a two month car-trip through Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, California, Arizona, and New Mexico. We'll be landing for long stretches in Eastern Oregon at my mother's homestead and also in my hometown of Paso Robles, California. 

I'm looking forward to spending time with my most favorite people on earth. But I'm also looking forward to getting out of Texas and out of my routine. The road always offers new perspectives, new views, and new ideas. Traveling always gets my creative juices flowing. I can't wait to turn down the noise of daily life and turn up the fun. 

Dayspring: A new series


My solo art exhibition opens tomorrow! Its not in a gallery or in a traditional art space. Instead, the exhibit is being featured in a Unitarian sanctuary - a first for me. And as many of you are not local to the DFW area, I'm sharing the work with you here.If you are in the Dallas area, please feel free to some see the work in person and attend an artist reception next Sunday, May 28th from 3-4pm. We'll be in the sanctuary at Horizon UU Church in Carrollton and its open to the public. The pieces are all for sale and can be purchased in my online shop. Here are my artist's notes for the new exhibition, DAYSPRING:In his poem simply entitled "Spring", Victorian poet Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote, "Nothing is so beautiful as spring—What is all this juice and all this joy?" Each year, spring's special magic renews the human spirit on a cellular level - no one, no matter their origin, habitual proclivities, religion, or state of being, can escape it.  Thank you to Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church for creating a contemplative space for my newest series, DAYSPRING. The pieces included in this exhibition celebrate the spiritual nourishment - all of the juice and joy -  that comes from living in right-relationship with nature.  DAYSPRING is a meditation of color and pattern inspired by the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins and landscapes from both my native Central California and Ghost Ranch at Abiquiu, New Mexico. Inhale the smell of verdant earth and listen deeply for what Hopkins calls "A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning." Heaven is not in the hereafter. Heaven is HERE and NOW. Walk softly.    "Let Him easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness of us,  be a crimson-crested east."      - Gerard Manley Hopkins WHERE: Horizon UU ChurchLOCATION: 1641 Hebron Pkwy, Carrollton, TXDATES: May 21 - July 2, 2017Time's Vast Womb  |  36 x 36 inch acrylic on canvasDappled Things  |  24 x 48 acrylic on canvasSun-steeped  |  36 x 36 acrylic on canvasKingdom of Daylight  |  24 x 48 inch acrylic on two canvasesDeep Decree  |  36 x 36 acrylic on canvasBent World, Bright Wings  |  24 x 24 inch acrylic on canvasHer Earliest Stars  |  24 x 48 acrylic on canvasMorning Mesa 1  |  36 x 36 acrylic on canvasMorning Mesa 2  |  36 x 36 inch acrylic on canvas[...]

Settling Into My New Studio


It's been crickets here on the blog. I've been single-mindedly moving into my new studio and prepping for my upcoming solo art show. As of this week, I'm all moved into the studio. I cannot quite express the feeling of having my very own space. It has been delicious. Yes... delicious is the word.Tomorrow, I'll be loading in my exhibition at the Horizon UU Church in Carrollton, TX. But tonight I thought I'd check in here at La Maison Boheme and share some snap shots of the studio and some of the paintings that are part of the show. If you're in the Dallas area, please come see the new work! The church is hosting an artist reception for me on Sunday, May 28th from 2-3pm. Its open to the public and you can read all about it HERE. [...]

Everything Transforms


This is from a poem by James Broughton that was read during Easter services this year at First Unitarian Church of Dallas. These words have since lodged themselves in my heart and I cannot shake them. They speak to all I've been through (and perhaps you've been through) in the past few years. So I made a little image of these words superimposed on a photograph I took of the sand at Nags Head in North Carolina last year. Ashes to ashes...



I'm trying something new this weekend. I'll be presenting a pop-up gallery at the Artisan Market at Oak Highlands Brewery in Dallas on Saturday from noon to 6pm. There will be live music, food from my favorite local taco joint, Resident Taqueria, and the taproom will be serving a full selection of beers and ales. The Artisan Market is happening inside the brewery and admission is free. Come visit my booth and say, "Hi". The address is 10484 Brockwood Road, Dallas, Texas 75238.In addition to my original artworks, I'll also be selling prints, cards, notebooks, throw pillows, tote bags and more - all featuring my work! Here's a taste:You can also find much of the merchandise pictured above in my Redbubble shop.[...]



Industrial Work Spaces


A little inspiration on a rainy Wednesday...

Going Solo


One year ago this month, I joined forces with my friend, Jay Bailey and moved into a beautiful industrial studio space in Deep Ellum, Dallas. It was a dream come true. I was finally out of my house with space to grow. And guess what? I grew.

I'm so grateful for Jay's company, his guidance, and his generosity. He helped me to grow my business and get clear about the way in which I want to work.

After much consideration, I'm taking another leap of faith by going solo. Today, I signed a lease on my very own studio space. I'm still at the Continental Gin Building on the 3rd floor, but now I'm down the hall in my own 467 square foot studio. What a thrill!

Here are some photos of the empty studio. I'll do some cleaning in the week ahead and then start moving in! I can't wait to share photos and updates as I make this huge transition. Thanks to everyone here at the blog who has supported my work over the years. And also gratitude to my patrons on PATREON. I'm so grateful!

Studio Work Table


I'm looking to build a studio work table. I want something that's waist-height and provides plenty of storage bellow for canvases and materials. However, I'd also be open to something that resembles a big long farm table. And of course, it must be on casters for mobility around the studio. There seem to be a million ways to accomplish this task, but I thought I'd start with inspiration photos that look functional and generally attractive.[...]

Looks Like Heaven


I love everything about this space. EVERYTHING. The bungalow style architecture, the fireplace and wood stock, low profile furniture, sisal rug... GAH. Transport me now.


2017 Home Tour


I think the best way to enjoy your favorite things is to only possess favorite things. If I don't LOVE something, I consider it a moral imperative to let it go. It's the only compassionate and sustainable thing to do.Six months ago, I walked away from home ownership and downsized my life. My family of four and a dog moved out of a 2,500 square foot detached home with a full garden into a 1,000 square foot apartment. Now, I know that 1,000 square feet is still a lot of room. But for us, it was a huge shift. We also divested ourselves of 70% of our furniture and belongings.And guess what? I don't miss a thing.And to be clear, we're not minimalists. We're not part of the tiny house movement. We just want to preserve the resources we have and to enjoy more time together as a family. A smaller and more manageable household helps us to do that.So here is the new and improved 2017 house tour. You can see my previous home tour HERE. [...]

Painting Live During Easter Services


This weekend I tried something entirely new for me. I painted live during Easter services at First Unitarian Church of Dallas. For the past few weeks our ministers have been delivering sermons that focus on creativity. Our need to process life's experiences - the joy and the pain, the abundance and the lack - by transforming it into something expansive and filled with beauty and meaning, is what makes us human. So First UU decided to put an artist on the chancel for Easter to bring that message home. It was a thrilling experiment. My paintings were made in tandem with gorgeous hymns from our Sanctuary Choir and also some poetry readings, one of which I've included below. I painted a 48 x 48 inch piece for each of the two services during the hymns. While it's difficult to "finish" a huge piece of art in 30-40 minutes, I enjoyed the freedom of knowing that it was, by nature, an impulse-driven exercise, more concerned with process than product. Many of those in attendance filled my inbox and Facebook feed with kind messages about the service. I'm so grateful to First UU for asking me to the party. It was an Easter I won't soon forget.Easter Exultet By James Broughton Shake out your qualms. Shake up your dreams. Deepen your roots.  Extend your branches. Trust deep water and head for the open, even if your vision shipwrecks you. Quit your addiction to sneer and complain. Open a lookout. Dance on a brink. Run with your wildfire.  You are closer to glory leaping an abyss than upholstering a rut. Not dawdling. Not doubting. Intrepid all the way, Walk toward clarity. At every crossroad Be prepared to bump into wonder. Only love prevails. En route to disaster insist on canticles. Lift your ineffable out of the mundane. Nothing perishes; nothing survives; everything transforms! Honeymoon with Big Joy!Here are the pieces I created during the first and second services:Here All Along, 48 x 48 inch acrylic on canvasTrust Deep Water, 48 x 48 inch acrylic on canvasFeedback from CongregantsI can't begin to tell you how privileged we felt this morning watching Sarah paint during Easter service. I admire her courage, generosity, inspiration, and talent. What a beautiful complement to Daniel's sermon. ~ Janine FieldsWatching Sarah work today was the greatest gift. We don't make it every Sunday but when we do it's always very worth the trip and the crazy... On this Easter Sunday...I am being gifted the privilege of watching Sarah Greenman create and that renews and lifts my soul in a way I didn't expect today. ~ Barrett NashSunday morning was an artistic wonder - painting, music, and a sermon that was poetry. Life does not get much better than that - nor does an expression of spirit that reaches depth and wonder. ~ Charles VorkoperWe were treated to the beauty of live painting during the service from Sarah Greenman today and a wonderful sermon about becoming awakened and "woke" and how that can change lives and the world for good. ~ Shelby EidsonARTWORK as a part of Easter! I can't find the words to express how much I LOVE this, so I'll just explain what it is: Sarah Greenman is painting a new piece in each of the two services this morning - painting during the musical portions of the services - whatever inspires her, and improvising. All of this is an incredible example of the creativity, openness, and[...]

8 Must Haves in the Studio


It was almost a year ago that my studio mate asked me to share a space with him at the Continental Gin Building in Dallas. Before that time, I created a studio space in my own home. Having my own dedicated studio, separate from my home, has been revolutionary for my art practice. When I sit down to work now, I'm more focused. I'm able to approach the work with greater clarity. And when I'm painting, I can completely disengage with the narrative of wife, mother, house-manager, schedule-keeper... it all just fades away because I am literally in a different space.Now that I've been in my studio for 11 months, I've become dependent on a few key elements. For some artists, they need a certain amount of light or square footage or a particular kind of brush. Today, I'm going to outline some things that have become my "must haves" in the studio.1. White WallsI only have a couple of windows in my studio and they are covered with vining foliage, so to better reflect the natural (and artificial) light in my studio, I think white walls are best. 2. StorageI like to keep things tidy in my studio. I work quickly and I like to have all of my tools within reach. I don't have a fancy set up like the one below, but I'd like to!3. Rolling work spaceThe table legs pictured below are from Ikea and they are the same ones I use in my space. All artists need a workspace, but it also needs to roll out of the way for studio visits, classes, and art openings. Putting your work table on wheels is the easiest way to accomplish this.4. Task lightingMy studio, while well lit, doesn't always fit the bill. I use clamp lights and swing arm lights to illuminate spaces on the fly. My studio mate also uses this kind of lighting to light models when he hosts figure drawing classes in our studio.5. Protective clothingI am a super messy painter. I spatter and drip and use my fingers and wipe my hands on things. So, I need protective gear. I use good old fashioned canvas aprons while working in the studio. 6. Golden Acrylic PaintsI work almost exclusively with Golden Acrylic paints I like both the fluid and heavy bodied paint textures. My favorite colors are always on hand.7. Dark accent wallI know, I know. Number 1 above was white walls. But I also like having one dark wall to provide contrast for my artwork. I like placing my work on a dark wall for perspective. I have one black wall in my studio and I love it!8.  Space to hang my workIts also really important to me that my studio be a place that clients and students can visit and view my work. I don't need a ton of wall space, but I need at least one clean white wall to display my work. Here's a shot of my display wall in my studio.[...]

Eclectic Kitchen


Many of you will remember that I sold my home last fall. My family has since transitioned to a much smaller apartment, which is proving to be the perfect place for us. We've got around 1000 square feet - which is plenty for a family of four, a wheelchair and a dog.I'm so grateful for the smaller space. My housework-load has diminished exponentially and the cost of upkeep for our 2,600 square foot ranch house has disappeared. The other benefit is that we have access to a pool, a private gym, and a lovely dog park, all of which I do not have to maintain. Heaven.But this morning, I'm missing my kitchen stove a bit. It was a beautiful 5-gas burning stove and I loved cooking on it. My current kitchen, while bigger and certainly upgraded, does not have the charm of my previous kitchen. So today, I'm sharing photos of dreamy eclectic kitchens. These homey spaces remind me that I need to add a few more personal touches to my cookie cutter apartment kitchen.[...]

A Video About Art Commissions & Process


I just completed a commission for a family who was interested in creating an image of the Milky Way over a mountain pass. They enjoy hiking and getting outside - so I began thinking about the kind of vistas only available to those who seek out isolated and wild spaces. I wanted the piece to match my client's vision, but also to evoke the mystery of a night sky and the luminosity of a deep starry night. Here is the completed piece:

Last month I launched my PATREON page as a way of staying better connected with my community and my supporters. One of the perks of being a patron of my work via PATREON is that I share patron-only posts and deep-dive videos about my art process. My patrons pledge a certain amount per month and also receive art care packages, invitations to art events and more! 

For the piece above, I decided to film my first day of painting to share with my patrons. If you like the video below and want to see more like it, please come join me via PATREON

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