Where the Cool Grass Grows

The client who commissioned this piece says that no matter what is happening in their home, there is always music playing. His children play instruments (violin and cello) and music is a huge part of who they are and how they inhabit their home. This piece is called "Where the Cool Grass Grows" and measures 36 x 36 inches. 


Here are some detail shots: 


The title "Where the Cool Grass Grows", pays homage to Ferdinand the Bull, who wanted to sit in the cool grass, just quietly, and smell the flowers. Munro Leaf's book Ferdinand the Bull is special to my clients, so I laced some text from the book into the upper right and left hand corners of the painting. Isn't it fun to hide something special in the background? 


Interested in your own commission?

Click HERE for details. 

Fall 2017 Open Studio Event

You are cordially invited to the Fall 2017 Open Studios at the Continental Gin Building in Deep Ellum, Dallas. Our building has 50+ artists across 61,000 square feet of studio space. We're opening our doors Friday, October 20th from 6-10pm and Saturday, October 21st from 2-8pm for a relaxed open studio event that will include music, wine, refreshments, and more. Please visit me on the third floor in Studio 3W3. Can't wait to see you! 

Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 1.25.46 PM.png

Hotel Emma

This past weekend, I delivered a piece of art to San Antonio. My clients treated me and my husband to a beautiful evening that included a visit to The Hotel Emma. I was so moved by the architecture and interior design that I thought I'd share here! 

The hotel was originally Pearl's Brewhouse, built in 1894. It's been a San Antonio Landmark ever since. After many decades the building fell into disrepair. Then in 2002, a developer undertook the massive project of revitalizing the Pearl, which included the creation of Hotel Emma. Architects Roman & Williams have done a phenomenal job with the renovation. Here's a look at this completely unique space. 










Leap of Faith

After over a decade in Dallas, my family and I are returning home to the west. There are lots of reasons that this is the right move at the right time. But mostly we need to be with family. It's that simple. This summer while visiting my Mama's home in Eastern Oregon, my husband and I finally began entertaining the idea of moving. As it happened a beautiful 1925 Craftsman house in Halfway, OR came on the market. We moved quickly and have now made it ours. 


What does this mean? It means that I will continue my work as an artist and writer in the wilds of Eastern Oregon. It means my boys will better know their grandmother/s and visit extended family with more frequency. It means our children will be raised in a small tight-knit community. It means that we will be living a much simpler life. It means that seasonal rhythms will dictate our activities more than ever before. It means that we'll have to make do with less. Its means we have to get creative. It means that we're putting the "free" back in freelance. 

We won't be moving until December. We'll need that time to transition. Texas has been good to us and we've made some wonderful friends. But I'm very excited about this new chapter. 


Above is a photo I took this June in Pine Valley, very near our new home in Halfway, OR. And below is a photo of Main Street, taken in the fall.


And what about my art? What about my studio? Don't worry, dear readers. The work continues. Our new home has an unfinished basement that will work beautifully as an art studio. Its has natural light from six large windows and lots of open square footage. I have a feeling that this move will be a shot of inspiration for my art!

Again, we don't move until December, but in the meantime here are some photos of our new home. Of course, we'll be making some small changes over the next year to make it ours, but its already in beautiful condition. 


Heron Patterned Wallpaper

The heron is a kind of totem for my husband and I - a spirit animal for our relationship. They are a symbol of grace, security, purpose, and independence. It started before we married. We were sitting quietly in the Japanese Garden at the Seattle Arboretum, when heron flew down to the pond and hung out with us for a very long time before it seized a fish and gulped it down. Carpe Piscis! Seize the Fish! Since then, herons have followed us everywhere.

Today, I'm crushing on these beautiful crane and heron patterned wall papers. Its hard to pick a favorite! 


Navajo Lands

My most recent commission is a triptych inspired by the land inside the Navajo Nation along US Highway 89 in Arizona. I passed through this extraordinary landscape on my way home from Utah to Texas this summer and I cannot get it out of my head. I usually paint pieces that come somewhat from my own experience, but this series definitely comes from a place of awe and wonder rather than personal experience. 


I frequently work from photos that I've taken. Its hard to remember all of the details of a face or a space through pure recollection. My paintings are always re-worked from photos and journal entries as source materials. This piece was commissioned before my summer trip began. My client encouraged me to be on the lookout during my journey for desert scapes I found inspiring.  

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 8.50.31 AM.png
Screen Shot 2017-09-04 at 2.34.25 PM.png

My clients had originally been interested in another piece of mine called "Kingdom of Daylight" (pictured below), but it was too small for their space. They asked that I keep the original painting in mind when creating the new piece. All of this contributed to the final composition.  

Kingdom of Daylight 1.jpg
Kingdom of Daylight 2.jpg

Here are each of the three panels so you can get a closer look at the work. Each piece is 30 x 30 inches for a total of 30 x 90 inches. You can learn more about the Navajo Nation and their governance of this landscape on their official website: http://www.navajo-nsn.gov/


A Cabin in the Woods

Some people go to the sea for respite. Some to the desert. Some people like to disappear into the city. And some like to commune in the mountains. Today, I'm feeling the need for a cloak of trees somewhere deep in the forest. 


Color Crush

What is it? Is it rose-gold? Salmon-ish brown? Chalky blush? Rusty pink? I don't know what to call it, but I am loving the range of pinks pictured below. They remind me of Santa Fe, Paris, and Tuscany all at the same time. These elusive pinks are starting to show up in some of my newest paintings as well. 


Wallpaper Envy

While visiting my cousins in Montclair, NJ this weekend, I was delighted to find that they had wallpapered a powder room off the kitchen in this whimsical pattern! (Yes, I'm that family member who surreptitiously photographs the half-bath during my visit.) Its too pretty not to share. This trippy Mushroom Forest Wallpaper can be found at Anthropologie

Back in the Studio

After 9 weeks away from home, I'm back in the studio this week. I can't tell you how delicious it is to walk back into the Continental Gin Building, open the door to my studio and take in the sights and smells of creative possibility.

My summer journey west took me through the Rockies of Colorado, the wilds of Eastern Oregon, the Central Coast of California, and home to Dallas via the wide open landscapes of Southern Utah and Northern New Mexico. During my trip I soaked up all sorts of inspiration (a took lots of photos) to bring back into the studio (like the one below). 

This week I'm diving into a few new commissions and finishing a couple of house portraits. I'm also prepping my studio for the Continental Gin's upcoming Open Studio event. I, along with all of the other artists in the building, will be opening our studios on October 20 from 6-10pm and 21 from 2-8pm. It was absolutely necessary to take some time away, but now I'm ready for the exciting work that lies ahead this fall. 

Listening to Bradford Loomis

This summer, my Mama and I went to a bar along the Snake River in Hells Canyon because we heard there was going to be live music and a rib dinner special. Because... who doesn't love a rib dinner? I knew nothing about the musician who'd been booked for the night, but it turned out to be Bradford Loomis. I hadn't heard of Bradford Loomis before, but his music has been a daily staple in my life since that evening in Hells Canyon.

So if you've never heard of him, please go strait to Spotify, or Amazon, or where ever you go to get your music and listen to his albums. I bought Into the Great Unknown and his newer album Bravery & the Bell. They're both fantastic. Loomis brings serious soul and experience to his music and he's made a me a believer. You can see some of his videos HERE, but I've also included some below. Take a listen:

Plein Air

After posting yesterday about artist Danna Ray, I got excited to take my work outside! Here are some lovely images of portable easels set up for plein air painting. Dreamy!

Featured Artist: Danna Ray

Danna Ray is a plein air painter whom I had the pleasure of meeting in the spring of 2016. She was teaching a guache class through Squam Art Workshops, and I was her student for the day. I love Plein Air painting. Leaving the four walls of the studio and experiencing the elements in person is a beautiful way to capture the movement of natural objects and the passage of time on a landscape. Of course the French Impressionists were famous for their plein air paintings, but it by no means a thing of the past. The tradition is alive and well. 

Danna's work is immediate and filled with the grace and mystery of nature. I so appreciate her use of color and the confidence of her brush strokes. Her work is completely gorgeous. I wish I had her sensitivity for shadow, shape, and form. If you don't already, you must follow her on Instagram. You can find Danna in her natural habitat, walking through the deep woods in the Black Hills of North Carolina, or on her website. Until then, here is a taste of her work. 

Screen Shot 2017-07-25 at 9.48.28 PM.png

Oh, and Danna is also a badass climber. She's basically a super hero.

Girl of the Limberlost

Remember Gene Stratton-Porter's beautiful book Girl of the Limberlost? It was published in 1909 and was one of many books, essays, and poems she wrote about the Limberlost Swamp near her home in Indiana. Over 100 years ago now, Stratton-Porter was bucking societal norms by living life as a scientist, naturalist, and writer. The images included below are inspired by her Girl of the Limberlost.

Art Nouveau Woodcuts and Prints

After my time in the Pine Valley of Eastern Oregon, I'm feeling very drawn to these Art Nouveau era images of forested places. Some of them are from Europe and a few from Asia. They put me in a wonderfully contemplative mood. 


Maura Enders: The Queen of Table Settings

No one sets a table like Maura Enders. No one. Her "more is more" philosophy gives every meal a holiday vibe. I don't know what happens in your home, but in mine, we're often throwing food together at the last minute. We barely sit down sometimes. Maura's table settings make a great case for the slow food movement and for making your meal as appetizing as possible. Cook slowly and fill your home with delicious aromas. Set the table with care. Sit down and take it all in. 

Michael Pollan, the food writer who brought us The Omnivore's Dilemma tells us that to properly digest a meal, the body needs time to smell the food and see the food cook. This process gets our salivary glands going and primes the stomach with the proper acids before introducing food to the system. If we just throw down a burger without notice, the body has a hard time digesting. 

Maura Enders' table settings inspire me to slow down and honor the food I prepare for my family. You can follow her on Instagram where she shares photos of her 1940s Cape style home in Princeton, New Jersey. There's also a great interview with Maura HERE

The Details of Daily Life

I'm currently visiting the beautiful town of Ashland, Oregon. The thing that strikes me about the homes I visit and the gardens I pass by on my walks is the abundance of cottages and craftsman homes. The cottage style seems designed not just for beauty, but also for optimal comfort. These vignettes remind me of the words of William Morris, the father of the arts & crafts design movement. He said, "The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life."

A New Home for La Maison Boheme

10 years ago, I began blogging at La Maison Boheme. Initially the blog served as an online dream journal where I could catalog my favorite design ideas and inspirations. La Maison Boheme quickly became a community where I met bloggers, designers, and people who would help me develop and more fully embody my personal aesthetic. 

Now the blog has transformed into a more personal place where I share my art process, my thoughts on parenting a special needs child, and other topics of interest like gardening, radical homemaking, minimalism, social justice, literature, and travel. 

The time has come for me to consolidate my online spaces, which is why I'm leaving the Blogspot platform. From now on, La Maison Boheme will continue via my website at www.sarahgreenman.com/blog. And of course you can always find it (as you did before) at www.maisonboheme.com

Thank you, dear readers, for sticking with me through the past decade! And cheers to a new home for La Maison Boheme! 

Cottage Green

I don't have a cottage, 
but I sure do love these moss, sage and kelly greens cottage colors.