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GreenBox Art + Culture

Modern Canvas Wall Art

  • Meet Camille Engle

    Camille Engel is a life-long artist whose career took off mid-life.

    Camille Engel is widely known for her uncanny artistic ability to paint photorealistically--in a style so true-to-life that it resembles a photograph. In fact, the thirteenth painting she ever did won an award in a New York City exhibition for its realism. When you take into account that Camille is self-taught, and that painting was, in her words, “like telling me to speak Greek--I had no idea how to even dip the brush into the paint,” it’s clear that she’s got an abundance of talent that was waiting to be harnessed.

    “As a kid I drew and colored all the time,” Camille remembers. “My great aunt was extremely encouraging toward my art. She’d give me paper and pencil and I would draw things. I drew upside-down and when I showed them to people I’d turn them right side up. She’d say, ‘you were so little your brain hadn’t connected what you were seeing with what you were drawing.’”

    But Camille was, in her words, “a child of fifties,” and expected to be a secretary or teacher or accountant. “My mother had dreams of me being an accountant. She wanted me to take typing and math electives in high school but my dad said ‘leave her alone.’ So I did take an art elective, but I also took typing. I can still type.” And as for accounting, “if I’d become an accountant I’d probably be in jail right now, saying, ‘wait, what did I do wrong?’” Camille laughs. “Numbers are not my gift.”

    However, this prolific artist numbers every painting she does, and has from the very start, which is how she knows that lucky number thirteen was her first winner of many to come. It’s part of her goal of creating a traceable provenance for every piece she creates.

    Engel was identified in high school as a candidate for a prestigious vocational education program in Tulsa (where she grew up). She studied Commercial Art, which is what Graphic Design was called in those days.

    Even before she graduated Camille was employed by a local department store. “I pencil-illustrated everything for the newspaper--the shoes, lawn mowers, dresses--whatever they advertised in the newspaper,” close, detailed work that served her well years later when she transferred that skill for depicting realism to her fine art.

    Work at an ad agency and in logo design led to a move to Nashville and starting her own business at age 23. “My mom raised me to be very independent and confident,” Camille says. “She didn’t want me to be dependent on anybody else. I’m extremely grateful--she was looking out for me.”

    All the while, Camille says, she thought about painting. “I’d go to galleries and look at paintings and there was something in my gut that said ‘you can do this,’ but I had never done any painting.” And then came one fateful day in church. “My pastor said ‘if you have a dream that’s been burning inside of you and you’ve had it for awhile, it could be God guiding you. I want you to follow your dream.’ As soon as he said that I knew that for me, it was painting.”

    And from there, she never looked back. “I went out and bought brushes and paint and canvases. I called a local museum. I said ‘I’m old, I don’t have time to mess around, who is your best teacher?’” She was forty-five and embarking on a whole new career.

    That career has been extremely successful, with her very first bird painting winning an artist choice award for realism in a Sante Fe show for realism. (“That was a huge beginning,” she says. “That started the flow of bird paintings.”)

    We at GreenBox Art + Culture are thrilled to welcome Camille Engel into our community of artists. Her Trespasser series is a group of birds who appear to have popped right into the painting, just as they popped right into her studio one day. “I have a studio in my home,” she relays. “There are bird feeders surrounding the studio and water baths. I get to study them. In Nashville it’s usually too muggy and buggy to open studio doors to let a natural breeze in. But a few days are fabulous. This Trespasser series came about when one fabulous day I opened both my French doors to let the sun and breeze in. All these birds started coming in. A titmouse on my easel. Hummingbirds were attracted to a red background in the room. Cardinals on the couch. They were all coming in to my house like they lived there. So I thought what if they created their own little living spaces here? It’s been my most successful series.”

    And we are pleased to feature it, as well as other paintings by the talented Camille Engel, here at GreenBox.

     

     

     

  • The Wry Eye of Heather Gauthier

     

    One aspect of Heather Gauthier’s work that’s so appealing is its dignified simplicity. The pensive deer in Wine Rack, for example, seems neither bothered nor especially surprised by the wine bottles and stemware balanced in his antlers. There’s a deep whimsy to the painting that balances its fine art realism as delicately as the buck himself balances his wares.

    “I love the classic portraits of people, but I love the idea of personifying animals,” Gauthier explains. “Giving them certain tastes. Having them pose, like ‘here is my cake, don’t touch it.’ They don’t have hands, so how do they collect things? How would they pose with their treasures? They end up balancing their cakes or their teacups. So they’re very serious about their tasks.”

    Gauthier describes the wry approach to her work this way: “I like realism, but I can’t paint reality.” The mashup of animals with home decor accessories came from her love of both subjects. “For years I did store merchandising and display,” she explains. “I worked at a lot of places that had both new furniture and antiques and I was a buyer too. I just loved it. I love china, flowers, the patterns of collected objects. When I started painting, I thought, ‘what do I want to look at? A pincushion in the shape of a pear with little calico patterns.’ So I’d paint what I wish I had. It wasn’t enough to paint just an animal. I needed more colors and a lot of texture.”

     

     

    The first animal with human she painted was an albino deer with “a bunch of sewing stuff in its antlers,” she remembers, “pincushions, buttons, all that kind of stuff. All I had to do was one and I realized this is what I want to do forever.”

    And Heather Gauthier’s fans are thrilled to hear it. Her first big gallery show in New Orleans nearly sold out last October, and she averages about one hundred original paintings a year. She’ll have about ten canvases going at once, all around her house, and start with a background, then add an animal, then add the animal’s prized possessions.

    “It’s like a big puzzle when I paint them,” she says of her process.

    And fortunately, those of us who appreciate Gauthier’s art don’t need to worry about her running out of ideas, even with so many canvases being created at once. Because there are so many animals and so many wares to combine. “The subject matter is unlimited,” she says. “It’s hard to imagine doing anything else.”

    Shop Heather's wildly inspiring collection here.

  • Tea Towels - The Perfect Gift for the Holidays

     

     

    Tea Towels for Christmas Gifts

    Tea for Two and Tea Towels for You!

    The holidays are here, and that means a few of our favorite things happen all at once: gift-giving, entertaining, and time spent in the kitchen making our favorite treats. We are thrilled to introduce our new decorative tea towels, the artistic way to bring all of our favorite holiday elements together!

    Tea Towels for Gift-Giving

    Looking for an eclectic and unexpected gift for Mom? How about a gift for foodies: those friends or family members who love spending time trying new recipes and cuisines? Our art tea towels feature the artGolden Retriever Tea Towelwork of some of our top-selling artists, and they are 100% cotton and machine washable. So Moms and foodies can use them and display them: they're hard-working art for the kitchen. A gift-giving tip: wrap an art-print tea towel around a bottle of wine for an unusual and creative hostess gift!

    Tea Towels for Entertaining

    Some of our favorite ways to use tea towels in entertaining:

    Wrap up a teapot to keep it warm: the artistic print on the cozy towel adds an eclectic touch to teatime. It's an artistic tea cozy!

    Line a serving tray or serving basket: add a bright and cheerful touch to the tabletop or sideboard next time you set out a bowl of pretzels or chips. A tea towel elevates your party by adding a pop of color to simple snack bowls.

    Keep bread warm: rolls are ready but the turkey's not? No problem. Drape a bright, art-print tea towel over the bread to trap some of the heat until you're ready to serve. Or use the tea towel to line a bread basket and flip the corners over the rolls to keep them warmer longer on the table.

    Use as napkins: our tea towels are larger than average napkins, and brighter and more fun, too! Each guest will be delighted to see a high-quality art print waiting at his or her place at the table. Imagine how special and cheerful the table will look with an artistic tea towel at each place. (And, since they're absorbent and machine-washable, guests won't feel shy about putting them to use!)

    Tea Towels for the Kitchen

    These vivid and thirsty towels will make you smile every time you use them. It's a gift for the kitchen and a gift for yourself: even washing dishes is more fun when you're using a unique kitchen towel to do the drying. And when you're finished, drape these tea towels over the oven-door handle for instant kitchen art.

    Come Check them Out

    Browse our collection of decorative tea towels here. We know you'll love them as much as we do!

  • Meet Heather Gauthier

    “If you dream it, you can do it.” That’s a saying that could apply to Heather Gauthier’s path to becoming a full-time artist. It helps to have tons of talent like she does, of course, but the way Heather tells it, her art career is a dream come true.

    “After I had kids a few years ago,” she remembers, “I was at home thinking ‘I’ve got to do something.’ I decided, ‘I’m going to be an artist.’ It’s exploded. I mean, I have an assistant, I paint about ten hours a day; it’s crazy.”

    Art is something that Heather’s always done, but she doesn’t have formal training. “I was homeschooled through junior high,” she says. “My parents were kinda hippies—we didn’t have a TV, not a lot of toys, that kind of stuff. So I just drew.” Her brother did too, and now he’s a professional artist as well.

    Heather’s interest in painting animals was sparked during her years living in South Africa, where her first child was born. She experienced an entirely different type of animal life there from what she’d known in the US. And now that her repertoire of animals is wide, her particular strengths are more what one might expect from a world traveler than a Texas resident, which is where she now lives. “A llama I can just whip out with my eyes closed,” she explains with a laugh. “I’ve figured out the fur, the basic shape. But some things, like dogs with short hair, those things take me forever.” Gauthier generally works with around five photos of a particular type of animal in order to capture it with acrylics on canvas.

    Heather Gauthier is known for her intriguing combination of realism and fantasy, with meticulously detailed animals and objects interacting in unusual ways, like a cat with a bonsai tree on its head or a hippo balancing a bowl of ice cream. Heather explains, “I love all things vintage. Old vintage photos are serious, with a beautiful backdrop and a serious person. I like the serious classic portrait but I’m not a serious person. So my still lifes are portraits, but they’re not people, they’re animals. I like the realism but I like to have something crazy.”

    She says of her life-like subjects, “The animals are taking themselves seriously at their task. I enjoy the tedious detail, but I still want it to be fun and modern.”

    Heather works in her home studio, generally taking a break to pick her kids up at school and then working after they go to bed at 8 pm. In addition to GreenBox, she sells through galleries. She generally has about ten paintings going at once, she says, and even though things are getting very busy for her professionally (she’s recently begun having to turn down commissions), it never gets old. “I remember every painting I’ve ever done,” she says. “I get people all over the country tagging me [on social media, showing her paintings in their homes]. it’s just so exciting. I could just shriek. I absolutely love it.”

  • Meet Alison Junda

    Meet Alison Junda

    Alison Junda always assumed that galleries were the best way for artists to sell their work. In fact, a local gallery is where Alison got her start. But the internet has opened new venues for artists, and it’s a change that has served Alison’s career well.
    “Growing up, I always just assumed that artists sold paintings through galleries and that was the only outlet, the only way to get your things out there,” she says. “But now it’s totally different, with online selling and websites. That’s been a huge game-changer.”
    Alison lives with her family in New Jersey. Four local galleries carry her work, she says, and three of those four found her via social media. She’s a full-time artist, which is not something she initially thought she’d be able to be. “I’ve always painted,” she says. “I took a lot of art in high school, like senior-study-type classes. I always kind of wanted to pursue art but wasn’t sure if that was the best career choice for me. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it as an artist.” And so she majored in interior design, which seemed to be a better career move, she explains. But with the advent of social media, “I’ve been able to connect with people locally and throughout the country.”
    Alison’s artwork is heavily influenced by her surroundings. She grew up in Maryland by the bay and spent summers in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, “so I really fell for the ocean by going down there every summer. I’ve always been inspired by--and loved--coastal landscapes.” These landscapes are right in her backyard, practically, so she brings images back to her studio. “I don’t usually do [outdoor] painting,” she clarifies. “It’s a lot to bring everything with me. I’m more comfortable painting at home. I go to the beach and take photos there. I sometimes work directly from a picture. But sometimes it’s an inspiration and I change things here and there, especially colors. There’s a neat blend of taking a photo and editing it, either via the computer or in my head, and pulling in different colors.”
    Alison, who works in acrylics, has recently added trucks and bikes to her subject matter. This is thanks to the first gallery in which her work was sold. “There’s a really cool nautical and vintage coastal inspiration for everything they sell,” Alison says. “They’ve been really good about inspiring me and suggesting things. The surf trucks and the bikes came out of inspiration from that store. I’ve always loved vintage trucks and jeeps. I thought maybe I’ll see how this goes, and they were really popular. I had a jeep wrangler for many years before I had kids and I loved it. I loved driving around in the summer. You see it a lot around here,” so the inspiration just keeps on coming.
    As for future inspiration, Alison does have some ideas, but she’s sticking to what she loves best. “I’ve thought about doing more landscapes in addition to seascapes,” she reports. “But other than that I really like what I’m doing now. I really like painting oceans, landscapes, boats, bikes, and cars, and if I stay in that area there’s plenty of variety.”

  • Meet Katie Daisy

     

     

    Katie Daisy loves flowers so much that she named herself after one. “It’s my pen name,” Katie says. “I was just sitting in class one day at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. I studied product design in college and I started sketching all these ideas for this artist brand I wanted to have. “Katie Daisy” came from my pen. It was amazing. It sounded nice and it’s worked well for me.”

     

    Flowers have been an important part of Katie’s life from the beginning. She grew up in rural Illinois, in the prairie, in a town of only about 500 people. Everything in her portfolio, she says, is tied to her upbringing and childhood. She spent the majority of her childhood outside, she says, experiencing nature and creeks and flowers and insects. “Flowers are my big thing,” she says, “but pretty much all of nature is important to me. It was so fun growing up there.”

     

    Just as she was fortunate to grow up in a place that inspired her, so was Katie fortunate to start her career at the ideal time. “I was in college around the time Etsy started booming. I feel like I hit it at a really good time. I was working at the service bar in college, like an in-house Kinkos. I was allowed to work on my own work, so I did a ‘you are my sunshine’ piece. Believe it or not, it was only one of two or three on Etsy at the time! [A recent Etsy search on the phrase returned over 18,000 hits.] It was picked up by tons of blogs and went crazy. That’s when I really started adding quotes and lettering to my artwork.”

     

    As her art has evolved, Katie has started using her own phrases instead of quotes. She’s into evoking feelings and emotions, she says, relying on memories of her childhood and time spent outdoors.

     

    And what she’s doing is working; her combination of florals and inspiration has hit a chord. Katie’s recent book, How to Be Wildflower: A Field Guide, was a New York Times bestseller, and she’s a full-time artist.

     

    She now lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband and 3-year-old son. “Bend is a really lovely place too,” she says. “It’s a different sort of landscape than I grew up with but it’s got different things to explore.”

     

    What will Katie Daisy be exploring next? Whatever her imagination can conjure. “I don’t think about the commercial side a whole lot,” she says. “I’ve never hopped on the trend bandwagon. I’ve been really lucky that I can paint what I want and people respond to that. I truly believe that if you’re expressing yourself authentically, people can see that and will want a bit of it for themselves.”

  • Father's Day 2017 Gift Guide!

    Father’s Day Gift Guide

    A dad is every little boy’s best friend and a daughter’s first love. Fathers should receive endless recognition for shaping the world to seem like an adventurous place for kids, families, and basically everyone. Since life is a busy cluster of events and surprises, we don’t always get the opportunity to thank our dad for everything he’s done! Traditionally, Father’s Day is a time to pay tribute by providing a full day of pampering and appreciation. At GreenBox Art, we have unique Father’s Day gift ideas that will show your father how outstanding he truly is . . .

    Gifts for the Hunter:

    The Chanse - Eli Halpin

    The Chase by Eli Halpin

    Flocks + Herds - Yes Deer by Green Lili

    Flocks & Herds - Yes Deer by Green Lili

    Gifts for the Fisherman:

    Wild Salmon by Eli Halpin

    Wild Salmon by Eli Halpin

    Fresh Bait by Emily Drummon

    Fresh Bait by Emily Dummond

    Gifts for the Artsy Dad:

    Light Variations by Leslie Lemberg Studio

    Light Variations by Leslie Lemberg Studio

    Chasing The Light - Set Of Three by Leslie Lemberg Studio

    Chasing The Light – Set Of Three by Leslie Lemberg Studio

     Gifts for the Beach Bum:

     
    Clear Blue Seascape by Shawnie Mirandon

    Clear Blue Seascape by Shawnie Mirandon 

    Ride The Wave by Green Lili

    Ride The Wave by Green Lili 

     Gifts for the Outdoors Man:

    Moose Birch Tree Forest by Eli Halpin

    Moose Birch Tree Forest by Eli Halpin

    Four Wolves Howling by Eli Halpin

    Four Wolves Howling by Eli Halpin 

    Gifts for the Wine Lover:

    Wine Rack by Heather Gauthier

    Wine Rack by Heather Gauthier 

    Meal With Friends by Colleen Phelon Hall

    Meal With Friends by Colleen Phelon Hall

     

     Gifts for Man's Best Friend: 

    Dog Collection - Dog Duo by Catherine Ledner

    Dog Collection – Dog Duo by Catherine Ledner

    Best Friend - Bull Dog On Maroon by Cathy Walters

    Best Friend – Bull Dog On Maroon by Cathy Walters

     

  • Meet Brett Blumenthal

    Meet Brett Blumenthal

    Brett Blumenthal’s art continues to inspire us. Her baby animals have the sort of soulful air that only an artist and an animal lover can create. Brett is both those things. We talked with her recently about how her art career is evolving.

    Oopsy Daisy: What inspired you to focus on animal portraits?

    Brett Blumenthal: When I was pregnant with my son [Alexander, who is now 4], I wanted to create art for his nursery. I did a series of safari animals with our cat, DaVinci, intertwined into them. I did a series of a family of three, plus our cat. People who would look at Alexander's nursery art said "oh my goodness I had no idea you could do this. You should sell it." When I did start selling my art, the family thing wasn't resonating as much as I hoped, so I started exploring what I thought was interesting.

    OD: Have you always had a passion for animals?

    BB: Yes. One of the reasons I dedicate ten percent of my own profits to animal welfare and wildlife conservation is that they don't have a voice and we do.

    OD: Do you have formal art training?

    BB: My dad was an artist and most of my training came from him. I took lots of art classes through grade and high school and never thought of it as a career, but I did become an architect. Lots of design classes and art are part of that curriculum.

    OD: What is next for you?

    BB: I will always continue to focus on animals because that is a passion of mine. I did a set of dinosaurs for a customer, and dad cancelled the order because the family switched their nursery theme to trucks. I asked if I could do some trucks for him instead and he agreed. At the same time, my son is getting into trucks (he’s not so much into animals anymore). I have been exploring the path of opening a new genre for boys. I am branching out and finding it challenging and interesting.

    OD: What would you tell kids who are interested in a career in art?

    BB:I would tell a kid to never be scared of being out there. I'm a pretty literal artist, which is why I'm a realist instead of an abstract artist. You might have a bit of fear of going out of the ordinary and wondering if it's going to be accepted. Don't let fear squash your creativity, and do something every day. Find a way to have an artistic outlet every day.

    I find that if I look at what I did for Alexander's nursery compared to what I'm doing now, you really can't compare the two. If you don't keep working at it you won't get better.

    Brett Blumenthal lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband, cat, and son.

  • Mother's Day 2017 Gift Guide!

    Mother’s Day Gift Guide

    Happy Mother’s Day! Well – almost. Mother’s Day is the one day of the year that we stop and thank the women in our lives who taught us how to make our bed, pick out our own clothes, and, more importantly, take on the world. To be a mother is among one of the most selfless and unpredictable projects that a woman can take on. This year, show some appreciation for that special motherly figure who faced the challenge head on and impressively managed to raise well-rounded children while showering them with grace, patience, and unconditional love. Instead of the usual perfume and flowers, how about adding an extra personal touch with a new canvas artwork! Wall art is a staple for spring home décor, and she can admire this thoughtful gift all year long. Here are some one-of-a-kind gift suggestions that will make your one-of-a-kind mother smile!

    Gifts for the Nurturer:

    You And Me Giraffe - Pink

    You and Me Giraffe in Pink by Cathy Walters

    Alpaca Love

    Alpaca Love by Eli Halpin

     

     

     

    Gifts for the Fashionista:

    Figurative - Taking A Stroll

    Figurative - Taking a Stroll by Donna J. West

    White Skirt

    White Skirt by Christine Schwimmer

     

     

     

     

    Gifts for the Gardener:

    Bold & Bright Florals II

    Bold and Bright Florals II by Laura Dro

    Big Roses

    Big Roses by Maren Devine

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Gifts for the Nature Lover:

    Barn Owl On Coral

    Barn Owl on Coral by Eli Halpin

    Nests & Berries

    Nests and Berries by Eli Halpin

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Gifts for the Beach Goer:

    Large Shoreline

    Large Shoreline by Alison Junda

    Floating Jellyfish Aqua

    Floating Jellyfish Aqua by Eli Halpin

    Gifts for the Dog Mom:

    Best Friend - Sweet Old Dog

    Best Friend – Sweet Old Dog by Cathy Walters

    Dog Collection - Bulldog

    Dog Collection – Bulldog by Catherine Ledner

  • Meet Maren Devine

    Meet Maren Devine

     

    Maren Devine finds inspiration all over, and she tries to return the favor as much as she can. “Magazines, being outside, looking at other people’s work, that’s all very inspiring,” she says. “And Instagram has been a wonderful source of people and inspiration.” Devine posts her own work on Instagram, providing inspiration for others. “I try to post at least once a day,” she says, “and sometimes more than that. New works, a lot of paintings, prints, that kind of thing.”

    Once she has the spark of an idea, though, Devine lets her imagination take over. “I love doing flowers. Previously, I would work from ones around the house. Now I make them up. They’re more abstract. I do use subject matter [as a starting point] but I find if I don’t have a preconceived idea of what something should look like, I like the end result better.”

    This idea of trusting her instincts has served Devine well over her career. She earned an MFA and worked as a designer, but when her daughters were small she went back to school and became a high school art teacher. “I loved teaching high school,” she remembers. “The students were so fun to talk to. They were fearless. There is a lot of happiness being around high school kids.”

    But she also started painting every day, and quickly realized she’d missed working with her hands. She started showing her art. And soon she knew she was ready to make the leap and start working on her own art full time. She says her husband was a major supporter of that decision, which helped her take the important step.

    Devine loves being a full-time artist, and she says she always has music playing—any music. “If I have music on everything goes better,” she explains. “I love jazz and old music like ’70s or new stuff that my daughters are listening to. Anything that sounds good that day. It just puts me in the mood. I’ll just have it on in the background. I don’t sing along,” she adds. “That would not be good!”

    In addition to flowers, Devine finds herself drawn to painting marshes, probably because she remembers them fondly from her childhood. “We’d go for drives to the marshes [she grew up in Florida and New Orleans]. My paintings remind me of that. We did a lot of traveling growing up. We even have them in South Texas, where I live now, that look very similar. Some of the ones I paint are memories I’ve had or pictures I’ve taken from driving down the coast.”

    Devine says she loves color but doesn’t have a particular favorite. “Right now I like a lot of blue,” she explains. “I love pink too. Last year I was using a lot of lime green. It always changes.” She pauses. “But if you looked at my paints you’d think my favorite color is pink. I have one large box for each color but two for pink. I can’t not buy a tube of pink paint. I love them all: the light ones, fuchsias, magentas…”

    Maren Devine considers for a moment, perhaps letting inspiration find her again.

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