website update (and a painting section!)

penelope dullaghan : painting

I’ve just spent a few days updating my website. Now that I’m painting for fun a lot, I thought it’d be good to have a section where you can see the paintings as I finish them. You can view some past work here. I’m working on adding more as time allows. I also added a section that explains my illustration process. Some people have asked, so I thought I’d make it part of the redesign. See that here. And oh, an updated Shop section is coming soon… selling some new stuff!

If you notice anything I missed (a link that doesn’t work, etc) or if you’d like to see something that I hadn’t thought of, feel free to get in touch and let me know! I’d love to hear from you. Thanks!

By |January 22nd, 2015|everyday things|0 Comments

hygge! (how I made peace with winter)

penelope dullaghan - blog about hygge

The weekend before Christmas we drove up to my mom’s house to celebrate with my family, share a meal, hang out and exchange gifts. We all teased each other as usual, laughed and played with newly opened toys (the vintage record player was a BIG hit). We helped our not-so-electronically-inclined relatives make friends with their iPhones. And all enjoyed walking to the park to see the Christmas light display. We stayed an extra day to go thrifting with my mom at our favorite spots and go tobogganing at a state park up north known for their steep run (a little too steep for Veda).

I shared photos of our trip on Facebook and an art director I’ve worked with in the past commented with one word: Hygge! I didn’t know what that meant so I googled it and was blown away by the connotation.

Hygge (pronounced ‘hooga’ or ‘hyooga’) is a Danish word that is hard to translate, but I found attempts on NPR’s site here as well as the MinnPost here. It basically means a bunch of this: coziness, togetherness, well-being, warm tucked under blankets, candles lit, good conversation, snuggled up and happy … all that bundled into one contented feeling and tucked into a word, hygge.

From what I gather, it boils down to embracing winter as an enchanted time rather than hunkering down, bearing it, or battling it. It’s opening to the charm of winter and the quietness of the season.

It’s making bowls of warm soup for your family. Cuddling up under a blanket and reading a good book. Watching a movie with lit candles and buttered popcorn.

You get the idea.

And I love the idea. In fact, I haven’t been able to put my finger on it, but this is *exactly* what I think is behind my finally being over my lifelong suffering of S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder). I’ve written about it lots of times on my blog. But in the last few years I’ve noticed a change in myself. I haven’t gotten blue in the winter at all – especially last year when winter was especially long and biting. I think it’s because I’ve been unknowingly cultivating hygge!

I intentionally do a lot of self-care and cozy things to keep my spirits bright. Things like:

- go for a walk outside every day (bonus if it’s by the river behind our house) for “sky-time” (Vitamin D, baby!)

- bundle up in warm wool sweaters and fleecy leggings and flannel shirts.

- but also understand that when I go outside, I’m gonna feel cold – and that’s a good thing! Lets you know you’re alive!

- I cook nourishing, warm meals at home from scratch for my family nearly every day. (Good nutrition, I think, is a huge key for happy moods and well-being.)

- when the sky gets dark in the evening I go around the house closing curtains and lighting candles.

- building lots of fires in the fireplace.

- snuggles with Colin and Veda on the couch.

- use warm oil (not lotion!) after bathing (this is a whole other topic).

- I focus and work hard during designated “work time,” and then I’m present with other areas of my life when I leave my studio.

All these things and more. But it’s all worked together to cultivate a love of this season that I’ve surely never experienced before. Now I actually appreciate the break from the go-go-go of summer… from tending the garden… and squeezing every drop from long days outside. I love how early nighttime comes. I love the opportunity to settle down and rest. I love finding the subtle colors that only show against the gray winter skies.

It’s been a transformation made over time – and with clear intention. And finding this word “hygge” has felt like the capstone to my own little journey of making peace with winter.

By |January 9th, 2015|everyday things|4 Comments

hand-me-down rocks

penelope dullaghan : rock collection

I think it’s kind of awesome that I’m the one that comes to mind when my friends are looking for new homes for their rock collections. I love the different colors and patterns in each. Reminds me of this piece I did last August.

By |January 6th, 2015|art, everyday things|Comments Off

Papyrus Valentine’s Day card

penelope dullaghan: illustration for papyrus valentines day card

Excited to share: The Valentine’s Day card I did for Papyrus is out! Find it at Target and wherever Papyrus is sold.

By |January 5th, 2015|illustration|1 Comment

daily pattern design

I find myself interested in mark-making and pattern design as new territory in my work. So I’ve decided to challenge myself to create a daily pattern for 2015. I think it’ll be fun to explore this idea, and it’ll give me a huge library of patterns to use in my illustration work. I created a tumblr page to keep them all in one place. Follow along if you’d like. (And just for the record: as much as I love a good challenge and pushing myself, I like to be gentle with myself more. Preserving my sanity tops my list of priorities. So if I skip a day or if making a new pattern doesn’t fit with my schedule, I’m letting myself off the hook.)

Below is one I created yesterday. I also baked a loaf of no-knead bread (I used this recipe) and used this print as a background to show it off. Fun!

penelope dullaghan : patterns, blockprint

penelope dullaghan : patterns, blockprint

penelope dullaghan : patterns, blockprint

By |January 3rd, 2015|design, everyday things, pattern|1 Comment

Welcome 2015!

penelope dullaghan - welcome 2015

Welcome 2015! I’m so excited to see what you bring!

By |January 1st, 2015|everyday things|1 Comment

illustrated gift tags!

Something fun to share! — All the artists that are repped by Scott Hull (including me) created gift tags for you to download and print. I think they all turned out great! So fun to see everyone’s styles in one piece.

Get them for yourself here!

scott hull : penelope dullaghan : illustrated gift tags

penelope dullaghan : illustrated gift tags

scott hull : penelope dullaghan : illustrated gift tags

By |December 16th, 2014|art|Comments Off

good mail day exhibit – artstream gallery

penelope dullaghan: artstream gallery painting

penelope dullaghan: artstream gallery painting

penelope dullaghan: artstream gallery painting

penelope dullaghan: artstream gallery painting

I was really happy to be asked by Susan Schwake of Artstream to participate in their “Good Mail Day” art exhibit featuring small 4×6″-sized art. Postcard size is fun! So I painted up these four pieces. All inspired by walks by the river of course. :) I hope you like them! Check them out on their site here.

By |December 13th, 2014|art, shows|Comments Off

Indianapolis Museum of Art – Monster Drawing Rally

Thursday night I painted in front of a crowd for the first time ever. To say that I was nervous would be an understatement. When I walked up to the museum and saw the huge crowd, I thought I was going to be sick. I almost turned around and went straight home. Luckily, Colin was there to push me through the door. :)

The event was The Monster Drawing Rally at the Indianapolis Museum of Art – a fundraiser and community night that gives local artists the opportunity to support IMA programming. Sixty some artists participated by doing as many drawings/pieces as they could within an hour. And all the art was then for sale immediately at a flat fee of $35.

When I sat down at the table to start, my hand was shaking. People were hovering and watching as I made my first marks on the page. And it took about 5 minutes for me to stop noticing *them* so much and instead focus on what I was making.

I ended up creating two pieces that both sold before they even made it to the display wall. (Yay!) And the night was so much fun! I was proud of myself for going through with it even though I was scared. Yay again for pushing past our comfort zones!

Penelope Dullaghan IMA Monster Art Rally Penelope Dullaghan IMA Monster Art Rally Penelope Dullaghan IMA Monster Art Rally Penelope Dullaghan IMA Monster Art Rally

(Last three pictures by Sky Blue Window.)

By |December 13th, 2014|art, events|Comments Off

river walk reprieve

reflection in the riverwintertexture  subtlewinterbeauty

Last week was unusually tough. I was in my head too much. But walking by the river was beautiful.

By |December 7th, 2014|everyday things|Comments Off