The Mintwood Art Shop: Sandra Wright


We haven't had the privilege of meeting Sandra Wright in person (yet!); however, after our first phone call a few weeks ago, it was obvious that she’s one of those special people who has a warmth that crosses all boundaries—you feel like you know her even if you’ve never actually met, or in our case, live a few 1,000 miles apart.

Her art – rich with colors and complex texture - is mesmerizing. That part we knew. What we didn’t know is that her story is just as moving. A few years ago, one of Sandra's three beautiful daughters passed away, and as she recalls,  “I remember praying for God to give me something to help me get through each day. And through my art, He really did. I feel like it just started pouring out.” Her story speaks to the truth and courage that can come out of times of loss and vulnerability.

Painting for Sandra is personal. “Sometimes I feel like my paintings are my little babies—I love knowing where they are going and that they are loved.” And when asked what is her dream job, she says without hesitation, “I feel like I’m living it!”

 

We could not be more excited to introduce you to the phenomenally talented Sandra Wright!

 

Q and A with Sandra:

Where are you from?

I'm from Wellington Texas, a small town in the panhandle, but our family has lived in San Antonio for about 20 years.

How do you describe your style of painting?

My style of painting is contemporary. I work with mainly acrylic paints, but use a lot of other materials including roof tar, wood stain, sand, and gold leaf. I will try anything to get the texture I want! 

What are your biggest inspirations for your art?

My family is my biggest inspiration.  Their encouragement, along with the love and support of close friends, are the reason that I started to take my work seriously.  

Fill in the blank/ Art is _______.

Art is an expression of my happy place.

Where does your passion for art come from?

My passion for painting comes from that blank canvas, and knowing it can be anything...it's always a fresh start. If something doesn't work, I just start painting over it and "we call that texture!”

Advice to other aspiring artists/creative students?

Just go for it! In art, there are no precise ways of doing something, so just be true to yourself and your passion. The paintings that I love the most are usually the ones that sell the fastest.

The Mintwood Art Shop: Madeleine Frances

Have you ever felt like you were about to watch someone take off? That moment when someone is standing at the edge of the high-dive board about to jump, and deep down you just know that they are about to amaze you with their talent and splash. That is how we feel about Madeleine Frances. Her raw talent, appreciation for beauty, and her new-found entrepreneurial spirit are inspiring. Oh, and not to mention, we're pretty obsessed with her prints!

 

 

Q and A with Madeleine:

Where are you from? 

I'm a native of Chevy Chase, Maryland and currently live in Washington, D.C.

In two words, how would you describe your style of painting? 

Whimsical and feminine.

What mediums do you use? 

I mainly use ink and watercolor on paper, but every now and then I throw some colored pencil into the mix. 

Your biggest inspirations? Your favorite artists? 

My biggest inspirations are my parents - in the large scheme of things and in my art. My mom and dad encouraged my siblings and I, from a very young age, to pursue our artistic talents. Handmade birthday and holiday cards were a staple in our household - in fact, I can't remember a time I ever gave my parents a store-bought card. So, over the past couple years when I found myself drawing and painting more, my parents were (as always) my proverbial cheerleaders. 

Our favorite mint door by Madeleine Frances was painted specially for us and is only available at Mintwood Home!

Where does your passion for art come from? 

I've always enjoyed and appreciated art, but it took some time before I realized my own passion. I graduated college in 2012 and jumped into a great job at a lobbying firm in D.C., where I still am working. After several months, I realized I needed a creative outlet so I began drawing. Then drawing turned into painting. I essentially taught myself how to paint with watercolors this past winter and realized I absolutely loved it. That's when the passion kicked in and I found myself rushing home from my day job to paint.

Advice to other aspiring artists/creative students? 

Embrace your own style and develop it.

What’s your favorite Mintwood Home product? 

It's hard to choose just one! I adore the Gold Flying Piggy Bank and the Whino Cocktail Napkins.

What do you like to listen to while your painting? 

I listen to everything from Celine Dion (not joking) to Jame Vincent McMorrow, John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, Fleetwood Mac, The Lumineers, Ghost Beach and Shania Twain. You could say, I have a very eclectic taste in music.

Fill in the blank.

Art is meaningful.

Favorite art museum? 

I love National Gallery of Art. Being from the DC area, I have walked through the doors of the National Gallery of Art many times and every time, I see something new.

What is your dream project? 

My dream project would be to design my own planner. Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a very organized person so getting to combine my love for art with my love for organizing would be amazing.

Name 3 artists you would like to be compared to. 

1. Caitlin McGauley

2. Inslee Haynes

3. Happy Menocal

Favorite or most inspirational place? 

This question is surprisingly difficult for me to answer. I find inspiration in so many places - whether it's at home, in D.C., or the strikingly-beautiful cities of Europe. Barcelona, hands down, is one of my very favorite places in the world.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? 

The best piece of advice I've been given is that whatever you give power to in your mind, is what will be. 

Professionally, what’s your goal? 

The exciting part of all of this, is that I don't know what path lays ahead. I would like to one day expand from selling original art and prints to other items, like note cards, calendars, planners and jewelry trays. I have many ideas, but have to remind myself to take one step at a time.

 

The Mintwood Art Shop: Elizabeth Hawke

We could not be more excited to introduce Alabama-based artist, Elizabeth Hawke and feature her beautiful art on The Mintwood Art Shop!  When we first dreamt up The Art Shop, our goal was to find artists creating "forever" pieces that would instantly add a unique pop to your space.  Elizabeth Hawke's love for color, experimentation with texture, and confident sense of style made our job easy!

 

 

Q and A with Elizabeth:

How would you describe your style of painting? 

My artwork and design is abstract in nature. When painting my own collections, I lean towards light, bright, and airy. Primary color choices are neutral and soft, juxtaposed to powerful design strokes. But, my style is ever-evolving.  

 

What mediums do you use? 

I utilize a wide breadth of materials to compose the style, texture and composition, fitting for the space it occupies. This includes pieces created on both canvas and wood bases. Most often I used acrylic and oil paints, and metallic leafing. Stained glass, paper, and dried flowers are used on occasion to accent more textured pieces. Resin coatings are often applied for furthered depth in a contemporary style.   

 

Your biggest inspirations? Your favorite artists?

My overall inspiration for OneBirdsNest comes from desire to encourage my daughter to pursue her dreams. Life is about taking chances and making your own happiness.The artwork is driven by color inspirations. I am stimulated by colors that speak to me personally, or the color schemes of my clients’ homes. Creatively, I am fueled by the endless ways to combine those colors in meaningful ways that intrigue the eye time and again.          

 

What is the purpose behind your art?

The purpose of my art is to help clients create a space that they love. It is all about home, and what it means to live in a space that you love. My home is my family, my retreat, my culinary school, my boardinghouse, my cinema, and even my night club (on a good Saturday night).  It’s mine: my project… and decorated as such. It’s my nest. It reflects me. I want my artwork to help others in the design of their comfort zones, as they define their own nest.


Advice to other aspiring artists/creative students?

Do not be afraid to put yourself out there and express your own artistic style. The rewards you reap from taking a chance are more fulfilling than can be expressed.

 

What’s your favorite Mintwood Home product?

I love everything about Mintwood. It's an avenue to create a fashionable home that is within reach. Great price points and stylish home accents allow you fulfill the space you have always hoped to live in.

 

What do you like to listen to while your painting?

Top 20 on the pop charts. I am sucker for music that makes me want to get on my feet and dance. 

 

Fill in the blank.

Art is...icing on the cake.  A beautifully manicured home is made complete by the art it wears. It is the icing on the cake; the cherry on top.

 

What is your dream project?

Cheesy as it may sound- I feel like I am living the dream. I have clients across the County that I have provided work for. Clients often times share pictures of their installations with me, once their decorating is complete. A happy client, makes for a happy artist.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? 

"Accept the help others offer you." When starting a new venture, take all of the help you can get. Getting off the ground can be tough. Friends, family and experienced colleagues are there to offer you the strength and advice you need to be successful.  

 

Professionally, what’s your goal?

Growth. I never imagined that my artwork would take off as it has. My goal is sustained growth furthered by the continued development of my artistic talents.

Introducing The Mintwood Art Shop!

We love art and are always looking for beautiful and original pieces.  The Mintwood Art Shop is our curated collection of art hand-selected with you in mind. Each week we will introduce you to a new artist and give you a glimpse into the stories and inspiration behind their art.
 

Today, we're thrilled to introduce you to the phenomenally talented, Christine Berg, and share a little Q&A with the artist herself. Enjoy!

Where are you from?

My family and I live in historic Abingdon, Virginia, where I work and teach from my studio, located in a renovated, turn-of-the-century general store.

How would you describe your style of painting?

I'm a colourist and love to experiment with abstract expressionism, impressionism, Fauvism, and color field painting.

Your biggest inspirations? Your favorite artists?

If I had to pick, Monet, Matisse, Rothko, Frankenthaler, and Kahn are my favorite artists. I'm always studying their work. The landscapes, colors, and cultures of Appalachia are my primary inspirations. The mountains have long traditions, and though they are peaceful, they are always in motion. Never still. 

Where does your passion for art come from?

I believe that it comes from God and from the joy and peace that He has placed inside me, which overflows into a passion for life and color and art. I work to interpret the world around me in terms of beauty, gladness, and praise, and it’s my hope that my paintings transmit those qualities as they move from my own hands into others.

Advice to other aspiring artists/creative students?

Study art in as many environments as possible, but don't impose too many rules on yourself. Painting should make your heart feel free. Be honest to that beauty pouring out from the inside and don't try to change it to fit the expectations or tastes of others.

What’s your favorite Mintwood Home product?

I love the gold giraffe!

What do you like to listen to while you're painting?

I'm fairly eclectic in my music tastes, so it usually just depends on my mood. In general, I paint to instrumental playlists on Pandora, Hillsong, and anything else that's cheerful. 

Fill in the blank. Art is...

Essential.

Favorite art museum?

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

What is your dream project?

A day of painting en plein air with Wolf Kahn.

Favorite or most inspirational place?

My family has a farm in Troutdale, Virginia, where I visit when I need inspiration or to feel refreshed. Half of the property is comprised of rolling fields, while the rest is a mountain flowing with creeks and springs. We call it Laurel Springs Farm, and it's my absolute favorite place to paint. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Just keep swimming.

Professionally, what’s your goal?

I'd like to earn the admiration of artists I respect. I'd like for my paintings to be a spot of joy in peoples' homes. I dream of having a painting in The Met's collection. If the MoMA and the National Gallery wanted to have a painting or two, that would also be ok with me. 
 Image by Ariana Clare for Mintwood Home