I started painting my Nest Series about 5 years ago when I got engaged with Thomas. For our wedding invitations, I wanted to create an image that represented home and our love. Our love that wasn’t perfect but was perfectly imperfect. The invitations never came to fruition because we eloped to Italy, but painting nests stayed with me through the years.
Looking back on five years of nests, something amazing happened I never expected, but made perfect sense. Just as the nests were born out of a special meaning for me, the nests began to take on special meanings for my clients. Early collectors of my Nest Series loved how the nest represented their family. Some found each egg in their nest represented a loved one. Clients began sending me artwork from their children, inspired by the Nest Series. These messages meant so much to me. The idea of my paintings inspiring children to make art – is there a better gift?
Seeing these messages from parents made me think … could I tell the story of painting nests for children? Could I write and illustrate a children’s book? A book that would connect color to emotions and teach children that they can create a safe space using colors. I sat on this idea for a couple years until I was at a holiday party with a friend, Molly Fienning. She asked what I was excited about this coming year. I told her about my children’s book idea and her support put new life in this project. She connected with her editor friend, Jenny DiBenedetto. But the idea was too big for one book and we created Lil Bit Lit (lil bit lit-erary), an art-forward publishing house for children’s books. I’ve settled nicely into my role of Art Director and I’m so excited to share this project and platform with you all and the world.
Writing and Illustrating a book had its ups and downs. It might have been the hardest thing I have ever had to do. The struggle to marry words to my images and ideas felt impossible at times. The journey was personal. The book feels vulnerable. I have always struggled with words and working on this book really brought to surface these insecurities.
In the coming weeks the book officially launches. My hope is that this story makes people feel things and empowers them to connect with those feelings. You can order the book now. All orders should be on their way to their new homes - your nests - in early February.
Thank you so much to everyone who supported this dream. I couldn’t have done it without you.