Our Newest Family Member

I know this is a blogger taboo to say, but I assure you I have a perfectly reasonable explanation for my year long absence and I can some it up in three words: Inness Berkeley Sours.

Everybody loves a baby!


Last year around this time I found out I was pregnant. I did not handle pregnancy well. I have never experienced such exhaustion and it was all I could do to muster up the energy to shower before crawling back to bed for the day.

Bicycle IIBlog

Needless to say I didn’t get much art done. It was hard and I took it as a personal failure. Looking back I’m reminding myself that this is a phase of life and to not be so hard on myself (easier said than done!). But now I am slowly getting back into the swing of things with a beautiful giggly four month little girl in tow (and those arduous nine months are far in the past).

Meg Inness Drawing

Inness, being the daughter of two artists, was befittingly named after an artist (surprise, surprise) an American landscape painter named George Inness.


George Inness was a tonalist painter in the 19th century who used a restricted color scheme to evoke mood and luminosity. He was very spiritual and believed there was a connection between nature and God. He said, “The true use of art is, first, to cultivate the artist’s own spiritual nature.” It is rumored that, just before he died, he was marveling at a sunset when he cried out to God how beautiful it was before collapsing and passing away.

2 George Inness (1825-1894) The Trout Brook 1891

Before Inness was born, a dear family asked if we were naming her after W.B. Yeats’ poem. I had never read it before and fell in love with Yeats’ lyrical descriptions of his childhood escape to an Irish cabin.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made: Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee; And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow, Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings; There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow, And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore; While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey, I hear it in the deep heart’s core.


As a gift, one of the daughters in the family painted a beautiful set of three paintings featuring the words to Yeats’ poem. She endearingly changed the spelling to “Innessfree.”

It’s been fun surrounding our little girl with original art. There’s something special about knowing a unique set of hands carefully and lovingly crafted the work, giving it life and telling a story.

Here’s a set of gold foil prints Bryan and I purchased for the nursery made by a local Utah artist.

Gold Prints Blog

And what better reason to have a kiddo than to have a perpetual model? And for FREE!

Inness Study Blog

Of course she only holds still like, never. And falls asleep on the job. But then only sleeps for fifteen to twenty minutes tops. And never stops eating. And bosses me around. All the time.

I guess you get what you pay for.


Plein Air Video Competition

A month or so ago James Gurney, best known as the author and illustrator of the Dinotopia series and his incredibly informative artist blog Gurney Journey, announced a plein air video competition.

The rules were simple: Compose a video one minute or less describing the challenges of painting outdoors. The top five entries would be chosen and I made the cut!

Here’s my entry:


The winner will be chosen by popular vote. To vote, visit the page here. All of the entries are fabulous and are both inspiring and comical. When painting en plein air an artist is leaving the safety of a light and temperature controlled studio to venture into the wild unknown. Light and shadows change rapidly and an artist must be quick and instinctive, relying on past study of how light works (it’s not always about what you see in front of you. Our eyes can trick us!). And then there’s the danger of the elements. I have painted in all sorts of weather from the bitter cold to torrential downpours to the unrelenting heat. I’ve been frostbit, stung and bitten, severely sunburned, and chastised for trespassing.

Sometimes the most difficult part is interacting with curious onlookers. For one, I’m already a very quiet, slightly awkward person. Being an artist makes me even more odd as I certainly don’t follow the expected norms for someone my age (settling down, having kids, getting a normal job…). For the most part people I have met along my outdoor painting adventures have been lovely…But then I’m asked to explain why I’m painting stuff. It’s hard to put into words…

Describing the adventures of painting en plein air though, that’s easy! If you want to get your vote in, be quick as voting concludes this Sunday at midnight.

A special thanks to my amazing and incredibly talented brother over at Rise Up Productions for filming and editing my entry!


This painting was intended to be a short and sweet study of my lovely friend Whitney, but Bill decided it would be a much more brilliant idea to turn this into a massive learning experience that would span over many grueling months.

But hurrah! I have finally decided to call it finished and be done with it. It’s not perfect, and the moody artist in me wants to despair over all of the flaws and tell myself I’m not good enough and…It was a learning experience (I remind myself yet again). With this piece Bill wisely instructed me to not paint things so obvious, but rather to paint the feel of the thing. This advice became my mantra.

To celebrate the completion of “Whitney’s Scarf,” I went down to Provo Art and Frame and bought myself a supa’ fancy frame.