State Series 41-50!

Painting the Final 10!

I’ve been to Texas once for a short Easter vacation, we went to Galveston and I saw the ocean for the first time at 17!

I’ve been to Texas once for a short Easter vacation, we went to Galveston and I saw the ocean for the first time at 17!

41. Texas: Big Bend National Park

🙌🏼 For those of you who don’t know, Texas was my biggest fear in this project! It’s the biggest state on the standard US map (even though Alaska really is bigger) so knowing it was going to big the biggest, I was having a hard time setting my mind to it! I came across Big Bend National Park with the mountains and all the colors and knew it was perfect! Just took me a long time to actually try to paint it! 😂

42. Virginia: McAfee Knob


“Oh Virginia I want to show you, I’ll be fine as long as I’m with you heaven knows” @thehuntsmusic🎶

I was a little lost coming to this state because I saw a lot of beautiful pictures. So I asked help from a friend that lives there now. He gave me some ideas, and McAfee Knob was the winner!

I’d love to see this place, I can imagine a light breeze blowing in summer smells as you take it all in hanging your feet of the cliff.

I’d love to see this place, I can imagine a light breeze blowing in summer smells as you take it all in hanging your feet of the cliff.

I was really happy with the way this one came out and adding a different look to the whole map.

I was really happy with the way this one came out and adding a different look to the whole map.


43. Nevada: Valley of Fire State Park

I knew I wanted a little desert feel to my Nevada painting. So when I found Valley of Fire state park it was perfect! The red/orange rocks and little bit of dry desert growth! I’m not sure there are actually Joshua trees in the state park, but they do grown in Nevada and I couldn’t resist adding a few to the scene.

44. Arkansas: Little Hawksbill Crag in the Ozark National Forest.

Getting down in these last 10, I have States I’ve been saving, and states I just hadn’t thought too much about yet because they're a little more off my radar. Arkansas happened to be one of the later. But that said once I started doing my research I found all kinds of beauty it was hard to chose from. I ended up picking Little Hawksbill Crag in the Ozark National Forest. Not to be confused with the big brother. But I liked Little Hawksbill better because of its beautiful overview of the Buffalo National River! 💙

The Big Brother is Hawksbill Crag and is famous for being in movies like Tuck Everlasting.

The Big Brother is Hawksbill Crag and is famous for being in movies like Tuck Everlasting.

I know people have been here or are from Ohio at art shows when they recognize this place right away! :)

I know people have been here or are from Ohio at art shows when they recognize this place right away! :)

45. Ohio: Hocking Hill State Park

I Found Hocking hill state park looking for a different waterfall I heard about. But once I saw this beautiful old bridge it added to the scene so much I had to pick it!

I loved adding the sun flares coming into the woods in this one!

46. Missouri: Marble Creek in Mark Twain National Forest

The final 4! I was originally looking for something with the Missouri River, but it runs through states like Colorado so that’s where all the pictures were! 😂

So I painted Marble Creek in Mark Twain National Forest, the rocks in picture are big! I saw some with people for size and was surprised. I think this is more of a River then a creek!

This was a state I had been putting of originally but all I needed to do was open my mind to new idea!

This was a state I had been putting of originally but all I needed to do was open my mind to new idea!

I thought long and hard about a painting with glaciers on a lake but the National Park won me over.

I thought long and hard about a painting with glaciers on a lake but the National Park won me over.

47. Alaska: Mount McKinley in Denali National Park

💙 I’ve always wanted to see Alaska, but researching it for painting... Now I want to see it even more!!! So many incredible sights that it was so hard to choose from! In the end, I picked Mount McKinney in Denali National Park. Since it is the tallest Mountain in the US it seemed fitting.

48. Mississippi: St Catherine Creek and Wild Life Refuge

Of course it made sense to paint the mighty Mississippi for MS. But I was struggling to find pictures in the state. When I found St Catherine creek and wild life Refuge and found out it’s on the Mississippi so it was perfect! I believe these are River backwaters into the swamps here! And these tree looked to me like the cypress tress form my LA bayou scene!

This scene was meant to be pretty simple but it surprised me as I painted it just how much I loved it!

This scene was meant to be pretty simple but it surprised me as I painted it just how much I loved it!

Close Second was the Sawtooth Mountains. But here by this park there are thousands of falls that come down and out of the hills after a good rain and I just thought it was so amazing!

Close Second was the Sawtooth Mountains. But here by this park there are thousands of falls that come down and out of the hills after a good rain and I just thought it was so amazing!

49. Idaho: Fall Creek Falls State Park.

I’ve never been here and I honestly didn’t know a lot about the state. I was kinda avoiding it because of the shape. Once I started my research I fell in love! So many beautiful places that it became hard to choose a landscape! I did eventually decide on Fall Creek Falls. This stunning scene is now totally on my bucket list!

50. Hawaii: Tunnel Beach


The 50th United State felt fitting to paint 50th! Hawaii is somewhere I would love to see! I love the idea of my two favorites, mountains and the ocean all so close together! When I’ve looked into traveling Hawaii in the past, the island Kauai is the one that stood out to me. So when I came time to paint Hawaii, Kauai was the first place I looked and found Tunnel Beach 💙

Picking the scene I tired to find something that would be a bit of everything, the mountains, ocean, and palm trees

Picking the scene I tired to find something that would be a bit of everything, the mountains, ocean, and palm trees

 

Here it is! 3 and a half months and it’s finally done! When I started this project I had no idea how long it would take but I had no deadline until the idea of finishing for my first craft show this weekend April 27-28 crept into my mind... at one point I almost resolved to it not being done, but God willing I had the time and inspiration to get it done!
❤️
I think there is a part of me that still can’t believe it’s finished! I printed it on on 11x14 the night I finished! But once I finally got to hold the big map (24x36) in my hands I could really finally soak up the journey it took to get there. 😭 I couldn’t be happier and I’m glad to share it with other adventure loving souls.

My hope is that it reminds you to see the beauty in each state. To remember adventures you’ve had in different states, and for that to bring you joy!

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State Series 31-40

The Journey to 40

I remember this one being a challenge, but a fun challenge!

I remember this one being a challenge, but a fun challenge!

31. Wyoming: Yellow Stone National Park

I’ve had this state planned for quite sometime! Just took me awhile to build the courage to paint it!
I chose Yellowstone because I really want to go there. And I think out of the 3 states it runs through Wyoming is most know for it.
I learned about these geyser basins and would love to see them with my own eyes!

This was a fun one to add more of those pinks to the map.

This was a fun one to add more of those pinks to the map.

32: Delaware: Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse


I was looking for a beach scene when I came across Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse, and I was sold! It almost looks like a ship!
I love lighthouses (yes this is the 4th State to now picture one) there is such a cool history behind every one and the lives of the keepers. In my furniture repurposing I was blessed to come upon a table that lived most of its live in Split Rock Lighthouse! It’s in storage for now but it will be in my house someday ❤️

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33. North Carolina: Blue Ridge Mountains

Once I decided on the ocean scene for SC I knew NC would be mountains! I just had to decide on the right scene! I found Blue ridge parkway and was in love with the spring/summer photos because of the beautiful contrast of flowers in the foreground and deep greens! Such a cool overlook with the hint of a lake or river ☺️

The sail boat was a last minute addition to complement this scene!

The sail boat was a last minute addition to complement this scene!

34. Connecticut: Bluff Point State Park

This Park caught my eye when I was researching for this state! I loved the simplicity of the trail and this view on a nice sunny day. Totally somewhere I’d find myself hiking!

35. Maryland: Calvert Cliffs

I’d been avoiding this crazy shape while trying to find the perfect scene haha! Calvert Cliffs looked like such a beautiful beach! I knew I had to make it work! With the shape and such a small amount that goes into this scene, I knew I had to work extra hard to make it shine just a bright!

I often get asked why I didn’t paint DC too but this map was meant to focus on landscapes and the gems from each state. A DC painting may be in the future

I often get asked why I didn’t paint DC too but this map was meant to focus on landscapes and the gems from each state. A DC painting may be in the future

I had so much fun with the water refection on this one! A nice calm river lead to something very beautiful!

I had so much fun with the water refection on this one! A nice calm river lead to something very beautiful!

36. Indiana: Brown County State Park

I got some location suggestions from my moms friend that grew up here. And Brown County State Park was the winner once I saw pictures of it in the fall! It’s my favorite season and I always wish it lasted longer. Getting to paint it for states on the map makes me want to see them in the fall all the more.

 
This painting has been one of my most popular of the state series on Etsy!

This painting has been one of my most popular of the state series on Etsy!

37. New Jersey: The Jersey Shore

I really wanted to do a pier for one of the states and realized I was running out of coastal states to pick from! Finding the pier in scene really was the ticket for me! I’m not sure exactly where in NJ this is. Hopefully some locals can help me find out!

 
I was really happy with how the tree came out for this one!

I was really happy with how the tree came out for this one!

38. Alabama: Cheaha State Park

Sweet home Alabama 🎸
My original idea for Alabama was a lot different, and I’m glad I left this state alone long enough for it to change! Cheaha State Park popped up with this incredible overlook and my mind was set on this new idea!

29. Louisiana: The Bayou

“You would not believe your eyes
if ten million fireflies
lit up the world as I fell asleep” @owlcityofficial

Louisiana, in the Bayou! Early on I came up with the idea to do a few night scenes. I knew I wanted MI and it’s UP top to have stars. And the Utah idea followed! But then I needed a state lower to tie it in... My Sister Elizabeth came up with this idea and I fell in love! It just took me quite awhile to work up the courage to paint it!

The inspiration from Elizabeth stated with a scene from the princess and the frog. Then looking through lots from Louisiana Bayou photos to build this scene.

The inspiration from Elizabeth stated with a scene from the princess and the frog. Then looking through lots from Louisiana Bayou photos to build this scene.

WA marks the second state that I’ve seen after I painted it. I got to go in early August 2019 and see both the Olympic Peninsula and Olympic National Park. It’s safe to safe I wasn’t wrong about knowing I’d love this state  Seeing Cape Flattery was breath taking because it really was how I’d imagined it!

WA marks the second state that I’ve seen after I painted it. I got to go in early August 2019 and see both the Olympic Peninsula and Olympic National Park. It’s safe to safe I wasn’t wrong about knowing I’d love this state

Seeing Cape Flattery was breath taking because it really was how I’d imagined it!

40. Washington: Cape Flattery

💙 I’d been saving WA as it was the last west coast state. Like Oregon it’s one of the states I wanted to see most! The Emerald Isle of the States.💚I was pretty sure I wanted to paint something from Olympic National Park and was able to look through vacation pictures from a craft friend, where I found Cape Flattery that’s on the Olympic Peninsula. Those west coast rocky beaches have my heart, it’s no wonder I’d pick here!

State Series 21-30

Continuing on my State Series Stories to 30

21. Kentucky: Big Fork Scenic River

When I came across Big Fork river and railway I knew it was perfect for my Kentucky scene! 🚂 I’ve been through Kentucky on two different trips. One of the times my family stayed at a campsite in Kentucky with our RV on the way to Tennessee. I mostly remember there was this big bug in the bathroom... we later identified as a harmless Cicada. But I think my older sister and I were pretty freaked out! But it’s a beautiful country land and this scene captured it for me

The railroad tracks were especially fun for this one!

The railroad tracks were especially fun for this one!

The trees in this one were tricky for me, but I love that way the moss hangs off those live oaks.

The trees in this one were tricky for me, but I love that way the moss hangs off those live oaks.

22. Georgia: Cumberland National Seashore

I was originally looking into painting the Blue Mountains for Georgia, but I came across Cumberland National Seashore and then I couldn’t get Relient K’s “Savannah” out of my head 🎶 so my mind was completely changed!

Cumberland island itself had me in awe, with the salt marshes and hanging moss on the live oaks. It’s also know for it’s wild horses! ❤️ Definitely a place on my bucket list to visit!


23. West Virginia: New River Gorge


New River Gorge is so pretty it was just asking to be painted! I almost painted the Iconic arch bridge as well but this spot held its own without it!
In some pictures the view is so blue and misty! 💙 but I liked this sunset/rise

The West Virginia song was suck in my head the whole time I painted this one!

The West Virginia song was suck in my head the whole time I painted this one!

As my first commissioned State this one was slightly scary but I also just really enjoyed painting this scene.

As my first commissioned State this one was slightly scary but I also just really enjoyed painting this scene.

24. South Carolina: Morris Lighthouse

I’ve kinda been avoiding South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia as I try to decide between mountain and ocean scenes and what for each state. Thankfully I had someone reach out to me on etsy. She’s from PA and her husband is from IL (both states I have done) they now live in SC and they wanted to have all 3. I asked her what kind of scene she thought of for SC, and she gave me the idea on historical Charleston, the beach and palms or magnolias. And while I fell in love with the magnolia plantation there I decided on the ocean. I found the historical Morris lighthouse now completely surrounded by water and I thought it was perfect and so did my client! ☺️

25. Kansas: Sunflower Fields


Half way there! (insert happy dance) 💃🏻
Kansas is a special state to me now that my brother and his wife call it home. When we moved them in, we were told about an endless sunflower field. So that felt perfect for the Sunflower State!
🌻
I tired to paint Kansas within the first 10 paintings and had a flop... any watercolor artist may know how hard light colors like yellow are to make pop with dark greens! So I decided to put it off for a bit. Reaching the half way point felt like a good time to try again!

Kansas is the only state I stopped painting midway through and had to trash. This was the reboot later on.

Kansas is the only state I stopped painting midway through and had to trash. This was the reboot later on.

The fall colors were the hardest part of this painting, with watercolor you can’t go back to your lightest colors after you’ve gone dark, so it was all about finding the balance.

The fall colors were the hardest part of this painting, with watercolor you can’t go back to your lightest colors after you’ve gone dark, so it was all about finding the balance.

26. New Hampshire: Kancamagus Scenic Byway

I always hear about the fall colors on the upper east coast, so for New Hampshire I was thinking about Autumn when I saw Kancamagus scenic byway I thought it was so incredible! Definitely a place I’d have to pull off and photograph! So I looked no further and set to painting this beautiful place!


27. South Dakota: Badlands


South Dakota a neighbor state that I’ve been to and through a few times. Seeing the bad lands here was is probably my favorite SD memory. Such a uniquely different landscape from MN rocks/cliffs!

It was hard to know how to capture all their colors!

I was super nervous for SD after I was happy with my first ND painting. But the sky just came alive and it was fun to work with such vivid colors!

I was super nervous for SD after I was happy with my first ND painting. But the sky just came alive and it was fun to work with such vivid colors!

This one was interesting getting the perspective right. The close up florals and the woods fading up the tall mountain.

This one was interesting getting the perspective right. The close up florals and the woods fading up the tall mountain.

28. Vermont: Mount Mansfield

I know Vermont is also a state known for fall colors, But putting together my map it’s between NY and NH, both I already picked fall scenes for. I wanted to do the best thing for the full map. So I took to researching and came across this old barn by Mount Mansfield. It felt perfect to make it a late spring scene!

29. New Mexico: ShipRock

I can’t remember exactly how I came across Ship Rock during my state research I don’t think I was even looking in New Mexico... But once I did, I knew I was going to paint it!

Once it was taking shape it was starting to remind me of Asgard (nerd moment for fellow Marvel fans) so I think I’ll have a hard time not referring to it as that now 😂

I really loved how this one came together, the road doing the work of tell how far and vast this scene is.

I really loved how this one came together, the road doing the work of tell how far and vast this scene is.

This was the first state I had the idea of making into a night scene. It just told more time then the others to work up the courage to paint!

This was the first state I had the idea of making into a night scene. It just told more time then the others to work up the courage to paint!

State 30! Michigan: Black River Harbor

I remember feeling pretty emotional before I painted this state. I got 29 on my map and just felt really accomplished! This had been such a project but it all made me love painting more then ever ❤️

So it’s fitting that Michigan has sentimental value and great memories. I’d only ever been to the U.P. But I love it! My brother and I made quite a few U.P. Friends one year at a youth camp in WI. Our band traveled out there for many shows making more friends each time. I shot my very first wedding alone there as well! This scene is from Black River Harbor, a place I visited with my family during that wedding weekend!
We raced the setting sun at the waterfall trail heads trying to get to as many as we could. When we finally arrived at Black River Harbor, where the river meets Superior it was dusk and the stars were just coming out 💙

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State Series 11-20

The Adventure to 20

11. Oklahoma: Farmlands

There were certain states that when I went to paint, they really took me back to past adventures! Oklahoma holds some pretty great memories for me! My band got the chance to record our EP with Rich from the band Pillar out there in his home state when I was 16. It was winter, so we didn’t see much scenery in Tulsa. But I felt like this farm scene captured Oklahoma for me the bright dazzling sun or sparkling new journeys. I remember it really feeling like an adventure and the first for big things to come for my band. My band did go on to record a full length album a couple years later but different things called us away from music and then I found art!


Getting the sunset right was so important for me on this one! I had a lot of fun with the light haze.

Getting the sunset right was so important for me on this one! I had a lot of fun with the light haze.

What I remember most about painting this scene was trying to get the clouds right and then the color of those rocks!

What I remember most about painting this scene was trying to get the clouds right and then the color of those rocks!

12. Nebraska: Chimney Rock

I’ve been through Nebraska but haven’t really stopped there. I’d love to go in the spring and see the Sand Hill Crane migration on the Platte! So that was something I was thinking about painting for this state but, when I saw pictures of Chimney rock I found it to be such a interesting landscape I had to pick it!


13. Massachusetts: Cape Cod

By State number 13 I was trying to paint a little more east coast to even out the map’s progress. It’s pretty weird to think I haven’t been anywhere on the east coast yet! So it’s a little bit trickier to know what to paint.

When I settled on painting  Massachusetts, I keep seeing pictures from Cape Cod and knew it was a place I want to see!

I lovAred painting a really different sunset for this one!

I lovAred painting a really different sunset for this one!

I really liked the contrast between the ocean and the sand in this one!

I really liked the contrast between the ocean and the sand in this one!

14. Florida: Florida Keys

Florida had me a bit confused with its shape! I even decided to skip it for awhile, but then I couldn’t resist getting that southeast corner of the map filled in.

I wanted to paint an ocean scene but was exactly sure how. Then I found pictures of the white sands and the way these palms lined the beaches in the Keys and decided it was perfect!

15. Utah: Monument Valley

I had this idea for Utah pretty early on, I knew I wanted none other then the bizarrely beautiful Monument Valley for the map. And I have a night or dusk scene planned for a few states, so this one was asking for it! 

I was pretty nervous when I started this one. I always start with the sky and this was a lot different the skies I usually paint! I was pretty happy with the result but I almost scraped it because I was super worried I wasn’t going to get the landscape to match the scene! Thankfully my mom convinced me to just try and see what would happen!

I would love to see this place someday

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In the end of July 2019 this was the first State Scene I got to visit after I painted it! I was unreal walking into the canyon with my decal and this beautiful site right before my eyes, bigger than I even expected!

In the end of July 2019 this was the first State Scene I got to visit after I painted it! I was unreal walking into the canyon with my decal and this beautiful site right before my eyes, bigger than I even expected!

16. Illinois: French Canyon at Starved Rock State Park

Illinois is another state I’d been through but not to visit, so I was a little stumped at what to paint. Only driving through a state doesn’t always give you the most photographic scene driving on the major highways and freeways. So when I came across pictures of this falls at Starved Rock State Park I was blow away by how beautiful it was and knew it had to be the scene!


17. Pennsylvania: Ricketts Glen State Park

I was having one of those days not really having a clear next state in mind. So I just picked a few random states I’ve never been to and started researching. Finding Ricketts Glen State Park was liking finding gold! I was so captivated by this park and all its greenery! Now I want to go there!

I made sure I was proud of each state as I finished them but this was one that became a favorite!

I made sure I was proud of each state as I finished them but this was one that became a favorite!

I remember struggling a big on this one, knowing the state would be so tiny on the full map but wanting to capture something big for those who call it home.

I remember struggling a big on this one, knowing the state would be so tiny on the full map but wanting to capture something big for those who call it home.

18. Rhode Island: Mohegan Cliffs

The smallest state! This state was ready to make its mark pretty early on! I found the beautiful Mohegan cliffs towering along the ocean on Block Island so perfect for this state, because even though it’s small in the scheme of the US it still hold big things like these towering seaside cliffs.

19 and 51. North Dakota: Theodore Roosevelt National Park

The only state I had to do a total repaint on. I reached the end and had the complete map in front of me I just couldn’t bring myself to be proud of the first ND. The top is the first painting same place but a little different view.

I thought long about this state before I decided to paint Theodore Roosevelt National park. Once I decided on it, I skipped it for a bit because I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it happen. I struggled trying to convey how vast this scene is. (That’s why I had to eventually redo it)

I’ve never been to this park but I like that’s it’s named after Teddy Roosevelt because he was quite the explorer. However, I have seen the badlands, and it’s an incredible sight! My family stopped somewhere in ND on a trip back from Montana.

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I remember started to feel like everything was taking shape here at the 2/5 way through but also at the same time overwhelmed by how much was still left!

I remember started to feel like everything was taking shape here at the 2/5 way through but also at the same time overwhelmed by how much was still left!

State 20! Wisconsin: Door County

I had my mind set on this being a lake scene since two Great Lakes border Wisconsin. My mom told me to look up Door County and that led me to find some real gems! 💎

Close runner up would have been a St Croix river scene. My family canoes and kayaks that river and we’ve made a lot of great memories there on the border. Plus sometimes it’s a great excuse to head to to WI for Paradise pizza!

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You can shop Etsy to purchase any of my States

States Series: 1-10

First 10 State Stories! How this adventure begins.

 

1. Minnesota: North Shore

It seemed pretty practical to paint my home State Minnesota first. I’ve painted it twice in shape style before, city and landscape scenes in my amateur painting days... So it was really exciting to paint it again now that I’ve worked so hard on my landscapes.

I painted the North Shore for MN because it’s probably my favorite place in all of Minnesota. I’ve spent a lot of time there and in Duluth with my family and friends, watching ships coming in, walking the town and that cold beach! Seeing the lighthouses, Split Rock up the coast as well! 

Honestly, big Superior was the closest thing to the ocean I saw till I was 17. It will always be a place for new adventures in the State I call Home.

This particular scene is more off memories then off any real photos but it’s also similar to a place my best friend and I did a photo shoot.

This particular scene is more off memories then off any real photos but it’s also similar to a place my best friend and I did a photo shoot.

 
I absolutely loved trying to get that aqua harbor blue just right!

I absolutely loved trying to get that aqua harbor blue just right!

2. California: McWay Falls/Big Sur

Naturally California was the second state I painted. I have a dear friend that lives there and I’ve taken several trips there. Though I’ve haven’t been to the east coast yet, Cali has me believing I’ll always be a west coast girl at heart. And that’s funny to me, because this state caught me by surprise. The First trip I took I had my preconceived notions of all the tourist iconic Hollywood stuff I don’t really care about. But seeing the Mountains and that beautiful West Coast, it changed my mind completely!

I had a hard time deciding what to paint for California as I’ve seen so many beautiful sights! Yosemite being one of them that has taken a piece of my heart! But with the shape of CA, Mcway falls in Big Sur I place I’ve been to with my family, seemed like a great idea! 

 

3. Arizona: Horseshoe Bend

Though I haven’t seen this scene yet... This beautiful red rock state holds memories! ❤️

I went on a trip with my family when I was about 12. We saw the Grand Canyon, Window Rock, so many cactus (which was pretty cool for this Minnesotan child!) and spent time with my mom’s dear friend and her family. I’d like to see Arizona again now that I’m older, and this time the Horseshoe bend would be on the list! I didn’t really have a clear reasoning behind painting Arizona 3rd, other then that I was thinking about the Horseshoe bend at the time.

I remember struggling to get this perspective but I’m so happy with the finished product!

I remember struggling to get this perspective but I’m so happy with the finished product!

 
I loved that there was a train track running through this scene, I think that little train became my favorite part!

I loved that there was a train track running through this scene, I think that little train became my favorite part!

4. New York: Letchworth State Park

“Travel light see the world right, you’ll never know if you never go” -“New York City” Owl City

New York! I started planning a trip here last year, there are so many amazing parks to see. I ended going back to Cali instead just due to it being easier, but I’ll make it to see Letchworth State park someday! I chose to paint NY in the fall because that’s the time of year I’d love to visit! 

 

5. Montana: Glacier National Park

I knew I wanted some snow capped mountains for Montana, so I decided to paint this scene of Mount Grinnell because it’s apart it Glacier National Park. My family took a trip there many many years ago! We have some good old camcorder footage 😂 I’d love to go back now that I’m older! Painting Montana in the top 5 was important because of the memories made there.

I was super intimated by the clear reflection I wanted to capture, I sort of had to wing it and hope for the best!

I was super intimated by the clear reflection I wanted to capture, I sort of had to wing it and hope for the best!

 
This was the first drastic sky of the states series and I almost scrapped it and started over because I was scared of all that color!

This was the first drastic sky of the states series and I almost scrapped it and started over because I was scared of all that color!

6. Oregon: Cannon Beach/Haystack Rock

The state I want see the most! (Actually its close tie with Washington) After my trips to California the west coast has found a home in my heart. And thanks to Instagram, I follow some pretty amazing west coast photographers that capture so many beautiful sites (like Cannon Beach) in Oregon and places in Washington as well! 💙 I’d love to road trip from the Bottom or Cali to the Top of Washington someday.

Painting Cannon beach was so fun to me and it was cool to test my refection skills again. I did struggle with my sunrise here, I try to get my skies all done before the paint has a chance to dry ( Their the loosest and most freeform part of my painting process) but this sky required a couple rewets but I was kinda glad for how moody it turn out

 

7. Maine: Portland Point Lighthouse

I’ve never been anywhere on the east coast. But with my editing job, I edit for two photographers that live and shoot weddings in Maine. I’m always blow away by the beautiful scenery there! 

I wanted to paint something coastal for Maine, and when I came across Portland Point I knew it was perfect! 🌊

Also shout out to my sister Elizabeth for letting me borrow some of her collection for photos! (Yes the real Crab Claws)

I remember when sketching out this state I had to re-sketch the lighthouse a couple times to get those proportions right!

This painting became one of my favorites in the whole state series!

This painting became one of my favorites in the whole state series!

 
I looked at a lot of images of MT Elbert, But the ones with this stream/river were my absolute favorite.

I looked at a lot of images of MT Elbert, But the ones with this stream/river were my absolute favorite.

8. Colorado: Mount Elbert

I’ve been to Colorado a couple times when I was younger. One of the times was when I was 6, I have a vague memory but it’s more of the story I remember. We were driving up Mount Evans in a storm and my siblings and I kept asking to turn around as my mom wanted to see the top, and my dad the one driving said there was nowhere to turn around. Apparently I was fan on the Sound of Music even then and sang “Mom doesn’t care if it’s storming she just wants to climb every mountain!”

I knew I wanted to paint mountains for Colorado because of that story, so picked this scene of Mount Elbert (tallest mountain in Colorado) because even though I haven’t seen this sight, it felt like my memory of the state!

 

9. Tennessee: Smokey Mountains

I’ve been to Tennessee twice! Once when I was 16 and the other when I was 18, both times to attend a music camp that was a pretty incredible experience for me! Also its the place I met one of my best friends! So though I didn’t get to see much of the state, it holds great memories that I feel even helped shape me as a person. I found a confidence attending Camp Electric that was hidden from me before.

I did struggle a lot with deciding this painting. Trying to get enough scene to fit in this long skinny state. But the blue hint on the smokies in the morning and evening light really sold me!

I did struggle a lot with deciding this painting. Trying to get enough scene to fit in this long skinny state. But the blue hint on the smokies in the morning and evening light really sold me!

 
I love old looking barns so it’s a little surprising to me that Iowa and Vermont are the only states I painting them in.

I love old looking barns so it’s a little surprising to me that Iowa and Vermont are the only states I painting them in.


10. Iowa: Farmlands

I’ve been painting the states in pretty random order, just whatever state I can plan out the scene for! So when I thought about Iowa I knew I wanted it to be farmlands! ☺️ I have a friend that lives here that told me farmland goes so fast. I was questioning if the scene did justice because to most its not as beautiful as a national park may be, but to the farmers that live here is everything and that gave me confidence.

 

Stay Tuned for States 11-20

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50 States Series

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50 States Series

I’ve been telling the stories state by state over on my instagram but I thought it’d be nice to compile them into a 6 part blog this one answering some questions, and then 10 states at a time and go a little deeper into my process and their Stories! So here are some of the common questions I’ve been asked.


How I pick which state to paint next?

Though It might be smart to have some kind of order to follow to keep you on track, and I’m usually dedicated to systems and rules to follow, I just followed my heart on this and made sure I was excited about the state and scene before I painted it. Some ideas would come and I’d paint that State next, Other ideas I’d save, building up the motivation and sometimes just the courage to paint it! Sometimes I’d have an idea I liked but wait on it, and then an idea I loved would come along instead.


How did you come up with this idea? 

I wanted to find the gems and beauty in each state.

It’s not a new idea to paint a scene in a State but, I’ve seen very few full maps because it’s honestly quite a progress! You have to dedicate yourself to it and leave little parts of yourself all over the country. I now want to travel everywhere I’ve painted! I’ve been able to see beauty in each State, it’s a constant reminded to me that no accident could have created it.


Do you paint a State a day or how long does it take?

This one just depends on the state. I thought when I started 50 states = 50 days of painting, haha but it’s more then that. I spent a total of 3 and a half months on the whole project. I think my process had become faster as I went on. But, some states took more time then others. There is the planning, researching, and figuring out how the scene can fit in the state shape part before hand. And the Scanning, digital, and Photoshop ending process. Which brings me to the next question.


How do you get such Clean State Shape lines?

One word, Photoshop. Haha! I’d draw out a rough state shape and paint like that but then cut out in photoshop. I knew I wanted those super crisp cuts and photoshop is a great tool in our digital age!


What’s Next?

This Series has grown me so much as an artist, I never thought I’d be painting everyday when I started watercolors back in 2016! I also would never have thought I’d be painting landscapes or that they’d become my favorite thing to paint! When I finally started developing my own style. I call my Cartoon Realism I had no idea how to get that to work for landscapes, I honestly avoided them for a long time and really thought I just couldn’t paint them. But the states idea came to me and kept tugging at my heart, so I set out to find a teacher! The internet is full of great resources and the Artist Matthew Palmer was the perfect teacher for me to work on the style I already called my own but for landscapes. I spent about a month or two painting his scenes of places like Ireland and really learned how to capture different types of landscapes. I feel like that is still more to learn. And as people we’re always growing. I’m excited to see what will happen even in the next 5 years. The States adventure has come to a close but my Watercolor journey is still just beginning.


Let me know if you have questions, and check back in for the State Stories coming soon!

Head to etsy to Purchase the Map or individual states!

I created my own mockups

 
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For those of you who aren’t familiar with mockups, they’re pretty little scenes for you to put your art in or on. They are very common on selling site. There are different types, but mine of course are for my watercolors.


So why did I do this? Let’s be honest when you scroll through social media there are pictures, people that are trying to grow businesses or sell a product need to keep things next level. As a small business owner trying to show the world my art, I need it to be photographed well to help it stand out against the current and look professional.


I’ve been using mockups already on my Etsy, but when it came to instagram most of the framed mockup I own felt too stiff for a place I’m trying to share my recent work. Yes I’d love for new customers to find me via Instagram. But I’ve also still felt the need to be a relatable artist because instagram is such a community and means more to me then just a place to sell. So for awhile I’ve been just trying to take nice iPhone photos. But without any lighting tools they always seem to be inconsistent and I feel that it doesn’t reflect well upon my brand. I follow many artist that are great at photographing their art, I don’t know their process but it works! For me personally my iphone wasn’t working.

So I decided to create my own pre-staged pictures, this way I still get to be genuine, using all my own art equipment (My brushes and paint that I use every time I paint) and treasures from both my sister and I’s collection. I spent a couple hours with my Nikon shooting variations and then editing them in Lightroom so that the white balance would be consistent. Now when I finish a new painting it’s easy for me to scan it in and add it to my mockups! It no longer matter that it’s night time because the lighting doesn’t matter. I can post my art feeling proud of the pictures!

iPhone: Even though I’m proud of the actual painting, the photograph doesn’t do it the justice it should.

iPhone: Even though I’m proud of the actual painting, the photograph doesn’t do it the justice it should.

Nikon: My extra staging props aren’t necessary. What I’m looking for here is the paper white quality, It just looks so much better!

Nikon: My extra staging props aren’t necessary. What I’m looking for here is the paper white quality, It just looks so much better!

I still have room to grow, and I’m not saying all my instagram post are going to be perfect mockups now. I’m still a real person and I’m going to have real post. But heres to taking the next step toward professionalism!


If you’re an artist and what to know how to create you own mockups stay tuned and I’ll show you how easy they are to create!



-Emilie Taylor

My Watercolor Story


Some people know from a young age that they were born to be an artist, everything they touch turns beautiful and looks right. I was not one of those kids… 

My childhood art looked like most kids art, ugly stick people and suns in the corner of the sky with huge sun-rays (don’t tell me you don’t know what I mean! haha) I was still an artsy kid despite my bad art, but as I got older I left the art to my sisters, who had much more of a knack for drawing!

I found other creative outlets like music and later photography. Then for a season when my Niece was born I was a fill in Nanny for my sister while she was on maternity leave. The 3 year old I was nannying loved watercolor and we would paint together often. During that time painting with kids watercolor equipment I found that it was something I really loved to do. 

The next fall I went out on a whim and bought some real watercolor supplies. I decided it would be a great winter hobby when my photography season was slow. Even if it was something I wasn’t great at, it was something I wanted to do. So I just started, I soaked up youtube tutorials like crazy and actually started to see my art grow. I’ve learned overtime in  my life though I am creative, I need to understand, wrap my brain around things. So finally being taught art,  and learning techniques really helped me!

When I started working on original art, I got the idea to try selling it on Etsy. I had no idea if it was just my family telling me I was good because you know they’re family and they can do that. But when I made my first sale I was overjoyed, Someone liked my art enough to buy it!

So I kept painting and adding stuff to my shop. I had no idea my hobby was becoming a career and business of it’s own! 

Fast forward to today, February 2019, my Etsy shop has been open for two years this month and I’ve made over 200+ sales! I feel so blessed to have people love my art as much as I love painting it.

There are so many tools that teach everything under the sun like Youtube and Skillshare. If you have the time, quit telling yourself you can’t. Learn something new even if it’s just for fun!


-Emilie Taylor