Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Traditions

Only a few days remain before Christmas and I have been busy getting ready. My studio has turned into gift wrapping central and my Saginaw Watertown slide table has already proven very handy (click here to read more about it).

Growing up we would spend our Christmas Eve at my Aunt Ann's. She was always an amazing hostess with delicious dishes served on crystal platters and linen napkins. My Uncle Norman would serve us virgin cocktails in fancy glasses. We'd play shuffle board, darts and open our presents. They are such fond memories! 

When our daughter was born we started a new tradition. Every Christmas morning I make a large breakfast for my family. We feast on pancakes, scrapple, eggs, sausage, and pan fried potatoes. It's definitely a new favorite! After breakfast we exchange gifts and relax. Last year it was so warm we went for a walk in short sleeves!

What are some of your Christmas traditions? I'd love hear about them, please comment below!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

A Milkhouse Holiday Sale

Yesterday I participated in A Milkhouse Party's Holiday Sale. I had such a great time! I met a lot of great new people, saw some old friends and even made some new ones.

I was so excited to start using my new art show display (you can read more about it here) that I set it up in my dining room on Wednesday. I wanted to get acquainted with how all the parts worked and the best way to handle the large panels. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to assemble. Below is a picture of my trial run.

I began setting up at the Milkhouse on Friday afternoon. I set everything up but due to my location being right in front of the back door, I had to open the panels to allow other vendors easier access. I had a great location and was glad to help out the fellow sellers! To avoid any mishaps, I labeled where everything would go and packed them up until the following morning. 

I always wake up super early when I have a big event and without fail I got up at 3AM. I used that time to finish last minute preparations and finish packing. I really enjoyed the quiet time before the kids woke up to get organized.

After getting everyone ready for the day, I arrived early Saturday morning to run electrical cords, close the panels and finish hanging things. My mom was nice enough to come help and give her expert staging advice. I ended up switching a lot of my display around to highlight my new products: Canvas prints and framed prints. 10 A.M. rolled around fast and after I scarfed down a Wawa gobbler bowl, I was ready to greet customers!

I had an amazing time meeting new people that live in the area. It's so inspiring to see people recognize the places that I paint or connect with the artwork personally with a memory. It's awesome to know so many people identify with farm life through the farm animals and landscapes that I paint. I truly enjoyed listening to all of their stories and sharing my own.

The day went by fast and my friend, Courtney, showed up to help me tear down. While I was going out back to get my truck, I was lucky enough to see a beautiful sunset.

Thank you to everyone who came to visit me and to those who purchased my artwork!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

10 Minute Christmas Card Holder

Now that our house construction and kitchen are finished, I finally have the opportunity to decorate this winter. What better way than with the beautiful Christmas cards we receive from family and friends? Here's a crafty post for displaying Christmas cards this holiday season and will only take about 10 minutes and about $3.00!

What you'll need:
  1. Stapler
  2. Ribbon (without wire)
  3. Scissors

1. First, wrap a piece of the ribbon around the cabinet door vertically and cut it to size.

2. Use the piece you cut as a template for the other cabinet doors you want to decorate (I was covering four cabinet doors, so I cut three more ribbons).

3. Next, wrap the ribbon horizonally around the cabinet door and cut it to size.

4. Repeat step 2 for the remaining cabinets' horizontal ribbons. 

5. Make bows using this method:

6. Wrap each cabinet with the ribbons and secure them using the stapler. I wrapped the vertical ribbon first then the horizontal ribbon. 

(Inside the cabinet door)

Note: I placed my horizontal ribbon right above my hinge so they would be the same height.

(Inside of cabinet door) 

7. On the front of the cabinet, attach the bow where the ribbons overlap. I stapled it in an inconspicuous spot inside the bow. Make sure you get under both ribbons and over the bow before attaching them. 

Viola! You're ready to display your family and friend's seasonal greeting cards. You can use clothespins or pins to attach them. I have some leftover mini clothes pins from my sister-in-law's bridal shower that I will be using. (You can read about it by clicking here)

Note: I left two cabinets without bows for variety and to maximize card displaying.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

My Newest Find: Saginaw Watertown Slide

Meet my newest find for my studio, an antique Saginaw Watertown Slide cabinet. I had been searching for one for almost a year and this piece has quite a story of how it made it's way to me.

After unsuccessfully locating one in my area, I took to the Facebook search bar (this is how I found my complete art show system, read about it here) Typing in "expanding cabinet table" brought up a lot of older posts. After scrolling through I found a post from the previous day of a cabinet for sale in Pekin, Illinois at a small shop called Corner Curio. I contacted the shop owner, Dawn, who was extremely helpful, and explained how I was interested in purchasing the cabinet but needed to figure out the logistics of getting it to New Jersey.

As some of you know, my brother, Brandon, lives just outside of Indianapolis and works for John Force Racing. I called him while he was racing in Pomona and asked if he would be willing to bring the cabinet home with him during his upcoming visit for Thanksgiving. He was able to bring it home but I had to get the cabinet to his house, about 3.5 hours from Pekin, Ill.

I was determined to obtain this long sought after cabinet. Luckily, I stumbled upon the television show "Shipping Wars" just a couple of weeks prior and learned about After registering and uploading information about the cabinet, I received bids on transporting the cabinet to Indiana.

I purchased the cabinet over the phone and secured the transporter, Mario. We discussed the details of the transaction and settled on pick up and delivery dates. Since my brother was racing in California and wouldn't be back to his house for almost a week, I got in touch with his neighbor, Michelle. She was going to help by accepting the shipment and storing it in her garage.

Unfortunately, due to prior engagements and differing time zones, Mario was unable to deliver the cabinet at the time we discussed. However, this worked out for the best! A couple of days later, Brandon was home and the cabinet was delivered.

The following week, my brother drove the 10+ hours home to stay with us to celebrate Thanksgiving. The cabinet was finally home! 

I can't wait to use it with my private lesson art students, packaging prints, and creating works of art. Below are pictures of this amazingly versatile piece of furniture. The best part of the whole story, is that it only cost $150!

Friday, November 25, 2016


Now I know almost everyone's favorite holiday is Christmas for the presents, lights and the beautifully decorated trees. But mine is Thanksgiving! There's something about getting the whole family together to enjoy delicious food and each other's company that can't be beat. There's no stress over buying gifts or wrapping them. Just the people you love the most giving thanks for all the blessings the past year has brought.

We enjoyed our garden's harvest with vegetables and fruit we grew earlier in the year. We had sweet potatoes, corn, green bean casserole, coleslaw (from my father-in-laws cabbage) and mashed potatoes (from our friend's potato farm). We even had raspberry juice that we harvested and froze to enjoy throughout the winter.

Below are some pictures from our Thanksgiving feast.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Day Trip to Barre, MA

We just got back from an awesome day trip to Barre, MA to purchase and pick up equipment for my next business venture: art festivals. I started researching canopies and display systems and stumbled across a complete art show display for sale on Facebook. The power of social media!

After putting the kids to bed, Chester and I started our drive north. (My mom graciously stayed at our house to tend to our littles. Thanks, Mom! ) We drove to Sturbridge, MA and spent the night at the historic Publick House Inn. I would highly recommend staying there if you are traveling in that area. It was absolutely beautiful and the staff were so friendly!

The next morning we had THE best breakfast: french toast, ham, buttermilk pancakes and sausage. Seriously, they were out of this world. We then made the short drive to Barre to meet Darrell and Cynthia, the photographers I purchased the art show system from. After going over the trailer, we were back on the road headed home.

We did make a pit stop at Sturbridge Antique Shops on the way home. My other passion is antiquing and we had a great time going through the shop. I found a lot of great items to add to my collection. Chester even found an old scale "that spoke to him" and had to have!

Below are some pictures from our trip. Check back for announcements of my 2017 art festival schedule!

Driving in Massachusetts 

One of the dining rooms at the Publick House Inn

How awesome are these crocks?! 

Our treasures from Massachusetts 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Landscapes: How Two Artists See Nature

During the month of October my work will be on display at Mala Galleria in Kennett Square, PA. Here is a video clip of gallery

Thursday, September 29, 2016

New Painting: "Hope After Darkness"

In early March of this year, my husband caught a very aggressive stomach virus. In all the years we have been together, I have never seen him sick. Two days later my 2.5 year old daughter, Courtney, came down with croup (this was her first time being sick, she never even had a cold before). A couple days after that she came down with the stomach virus. After staying up all night with her, I also caught the bug. I was 36 weeks pregnant and ended up needing to go to the hospital for dehydration. Needless to say, it was a difficult time for our family.

It took a couple of weeks for everyone to begin feeling better. As life started to get back to normal, Courtney and Chester went for a walk and picked me this flower. It was the first sign of spring and better days ahead. A couple of weeks later our son, Kent, was born. This painting commemorates that moment in our family life.

"Hope After Darkness" - Acrylics on Gessobord - 5" x 5" by Kimberly English © 2016

Progression video of "Hope After Darkness"

Sunday, March 13, 2016


It's a normal occurrence to see bald eagles around our home because we are surrounded by south jersey farmlands with multiple lakes in the area. Usually around 7:30 A.M. I can spot an eagle on it's daily route from the nest (near the lake) toward the power lines. After making breakfast for my family yesterday, my husband spotted two eagles across the street from our home. I quickly grabbed my camera and went out the door to see how close I could get for some pictures. I started sneaking up the hedgerow next to our house; the eagles were not phased. I walked across the street to get a better view and noticed what the birds were interested in: a dead possum. I was about 25 yards from the eagles and they couldn't have cared less that I was there!

Later in the morning, one of the eagles remained in the tree keeping a close watch on the possum. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to photograph when it swooped down to pick it up the road kill. However, I did get some action shots of two hawks trying to take the possum from the eagle.

Have you spotted any bald eagles? I'd love to see pictures! Please leave them in the comments below!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Painting Progression: Daretown Lake

On a beautiful afternoon in the early fall, I took a short drive to Daretown Lake for reference pictures for an upcoming exhibition with my good friend, Janice Chassier. The joint show will be in Kennett Square, PA at Mala Galleria and I decided I needed to create more paintings that reflected the habitat of Janice's favorite subject: Canadian Geese. Below is the video progression of the painting.

Video progression of "Daretown Lake"

"Daretown Lake" - Acrylics on Gessobord - 5" x 7" by Kimberly English © 2016

Friday, February 26, 2016

Thinking of Spring

I can't wait for warmer weather and more sunshine after all of the rain we received earlier this week. On this cold, windy day I'm thinking of spring! What better way than to view some flower artwork?! Here are some recent works of art completed by my private art lesson students.

The first is a watercolor painting by my 9 year old student. It was her first attempt using this medium and I think she handled it very well!

The next is a colored pencil drawing completed by my 17 year old student. She was interested in the overlapping of the flowers and experimenting with the colors.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Custom Leather Jacket Painting

My most recent commission was a custom leather jacket painting. It was the first time I painted on a piece of apparel which, I must admit, made me a bit nervous. Especially being a special leather bomber jacket!

I researched the best type of paint to use and came across Angelus Direct. It is a specialized acrylic paint for leather that is guaranteed not to crack or peel.

Here is my delivery - so excited to get started!

I am lucky enough to have a neighbor who creates custom equestrian apparel and was able to pick her brain about what type of pencil would be best to draw the designs on the leather before painting. She advised me that she's had the best luck with quilter's pencils and even sent me home with one and some scrap leather to practice on.

Below are some progress pictures of the entire project.

Airplanes drawn on

Airplanes on the front right chest

Progress picture of the "patch" on the left arm

Finished "patch" on the left arm

Close up of the grim reaper's cloak

Close up of the American Flag

Almost finished!

Below is the finished piece of artwork being modeled on the client

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Painting Progression: "Too Far Gone"

My new painting, "Too Far Gone", was created from an iPhone photo I took while searching for reference pictures with my dad. He drove me to Shoemaker Dairy Farm in Hopewell, NJ for the beautiful architectural barns. After talking with the older gentleman who lived at the farm, we walked around the property for different vantage points and stumbled across this awesome Mack truck. I couldn't resist taking some photos of it!

I loved working with the colors in this painting; especially the rust of the truck. This was my first painting that features a vehicle as a main subject within a landscape and I was enamored with all of the shapes and values. I'd like to do a series of abandoned trucks found on the side of the road that have become consumed by their surroundings.

"Too Far Gone" - Acrylics on Gessobord - 8" x 10" by Kimberly English © 2015

Below is the painting progression video, enjoy!