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. 

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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. 















Postcards from Eastern Oregon

I'm soaking up every beautiful day in far Eastern Oregon at my Mama's home. The Wallowa-Whitman mountain range, the Snake River, Eagle Creek, Pine Valley, Oxbow, Brownlee... this place is heaven on earth. 

Pine Valley and Halfway, OR

The irrigation ditch on my Mama's property.

My Mama's barn.

The Snake River.

Brownlee Reservoir.

Oxbow Dam.

Imnaha River.

Remember to Play

I happened upon this lovely video by Michelle Housel and McKenzie Elizabeth Ditter about dolls and dollhouse making. The video, which accompanies a recent article in Taproot Magazine, depicts a step-by-step process for making a hand-crafted dollhouse from boxes, found objects, clay and paint. It's a great reminder that play is not only reserved for kiddos, but important for all ages.




Foraged Morels

One of my favorite things about visiting my mother's farm in Eastern Oregon is that her neighbors are always dropping by with fresh veggies from their garden or eggs from their coop. Today's surprise was a grocery bag full of foraged Morel Mushrooms. For a city dweller like me, who will easily drop 8 bucks for 5 morels at the Whole Foods, this was a miracle. Tonight, I'll be cooking up a mushroom feast for my family. And I'll probably do something like THIS. Thank you Oregon. Thank you neighbors. Thank you nature!






Home in Oregon Again

Some places are magical because of the curvature of the land, the quality of light, and the verdant energy inherent in the soil. And some places are magical because it's inhabitants. My Mama's home is both. My family and I are staying at my Mama's farm in Eastern Oregon for a month. It's a heavenly place and I love what happens to my brain and my body out here. I slow down. I notice things. I breathe deeper. And I feel truly "home". Here are three snapshots from my first day. And yes, that is a double rainbow at the end of my mother's driveway. A sign? I think so.





Interested in more posts about my Mama's farm? Click HERE.

In the Studio | House Portraits

I delivered another house portrait to a client this week! Such fun. I consider my house portraits to be little painted love letters. These homes shelter the hopes and dreams of the inhabitants and my goal in rendering them is to honor those dreams. They're are painted in acrylic on high quality archival paper, and they're usually commissioned to commemorate a new home, or sometimes even the selling of a home.  Learn more about my house portrait commissions HERE.








Morning on the Dock | A Conversation

For the past four years I have been attending retreats at Squam Art Workshops. My time at these art retreats have infused my life and my work with joy and renewed focus. That's why I was delighted when Elizabeth Duvivier, the founder of Squam Art Workshops, asked me for an interview as part of her podcast, "Morning on the Dock".


This photo is from my time at Squam Lake in 2014.


So here it is! Our hour-long conversation about creativity, theatre, art-making, partnership, parenthood, loss, imperfection, healing, and the sacred transformational power of living out loud. Thank you, Elizabeth, for creating such a beautiful space for this kind of deep-dive dialogue. Read Elizabeth's full article on her website HERE.


Storyteller Series | Cécile McLorin Salvant

Cécile McLorin Salvant has been playing in my house all week. My husband read a marvelous article about her in the New Yorker and we've been listening ever since. I am obsessed with her music, her tone, her wisdom, and her storytelling. And I have to also add that for me as an actor and theatre artist, I so admire Salvant's ability to completely embody a lyric and create a whole world with a song. Watching her sing is like seeing a masterclass in musical theatre. Wynton Marsalis said about Ms. Salvant, "You get a singer like this every generation or two." I must agree. She is a genius and I cant. stop. listening.




On the Road Again

In two weeks time, my family of four (plus a dog) will embark on a two month car-trip through Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, California, Arizona, and New Mexico. We'll be landing for long stretches in Eastern Oregon at my mother's homestead and also in my hometown of Paso Robles, California. 

I'm looking forward to spending time with my most favorite people on earth. But I'm also looking forward to getting out of Texas and out of my routine. The road always offers new perspectives, new views, and new ideas. Traveling always gets my creative juices flowing. I can't wait to turn down the noise of daily life and turn up the fun. 










Dayspring: A new series

My solo art exhibition opens tomorrow! Its not in a gallery or in a traditional art space. Instead, the exhibit is being featured in a Unitarian sanctuary - a first for me. And as many of you are not local to the DFW area, I'm sharing the work with you here.

If you are in the Dallas area, please feel free to some see the work in person and attend an artist reception next Sunday, May 28th from 3-4pm. We'll be in the sanctuary at Horizon UU Church in Carrollton and its open to the public. The pieces are all for sale and can be purchased in my online shop. Here are my artist's notes for the new exhibition, DAYSPRING:


In his poem simply entitled "Spring", Victorian poet Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote, 


"Nothing is so beautiful as spring—
What is all this juice and all this joy?" 

Each year, spring's special magic renews the human spirit on a cellular level - no one, no matter their origin, habitual proclivities, religion, or state of being, can escape it.  

Thank you to Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church for creating a contemplative space for my newest series, DAYSPRING. The pieces included in this exhibition celebrate the spiritual nourishment - all of the juice and joy -  that comes from living in right-relationship with nature. 

DAYSPRING is a meditation of color and pattern inspired by the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins and landscapes from both my native Central California and Ghost Ranch at Abiquiu, New Mexico. Inhale the smell of verdant earth and listen deeply for what Hopkins calls "A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning." Heaven is not in the hereafter. Heaven is HERE and NOW. Walk softly.    


"Let Him easter in us, 
be a dayspring to the dimness of us, 
 be a crimson-crested east."  
    
- Gerard Manley Hopkins


WHERE: Horizon UU Church
LOCATION: 1641 Hebron Pkwy, Carrollton, TX
DATES: May 21 - July 2, 2017

Time's Vast Womb  |  36 x 36 inch acrylic on canvas

Dappled Things  |  24 x 48 acrylic on canvas

Sun-steeped  |  36 x 36 acrylic on canvas

Kingdom of Daylight  |  24 x 48 inch acrylic on two canvases

Deep Decree  |  36 x 36 acrylic on canvas

Bent World, Bright Wings  |  24 x 24 inch acrylic on canvas

Her Earliest Stars  |  24 x 48 acrylic on canvas

Morning Mesa 1  |  36 x 36 acrylic on canvas

Morning Mesa 2  |  36 x 36 inch acrylic on canvas


Settling Into My New Studio

It's been crickets here on the blog. I've been single-mindedly moving into my new studio and prepping for my upcoming solo art show. As of this week, I'm all moved into the studio. I cannot quite express the feeling of having my very own space. It has been delicious. Yes... delicious is the word.

Tomorrow, I'll be loading in my exhibition at the Horizon UU Church in Carrollton, TX. But tonight I thought I'd check in here at La Maison Boheme and share some snap shots of the studio and some of the paintings that are part of the show. If you're in the Dallas area, please come see the new work! The church is hosting an artist reception for me on Sunday, May 28th from 2-3pm. Its open to the public and you can read all about it HERE











Everything Transforms

This is from a poem by James Broughton that was read during Easter services this year at First Unitarian Church of Dallas. These words have since lodged themselves in my heart and I cannot shake them. They speak to all I've been through (and perhaps you've been through) in the past few years. So I made a little image of these words superimposed on a photograph I took of the sand at Nags Head in North Carolina last year. Ashes to ashes...



Art Market TOMORROW

I'm trying something new this weekend. I'll be presenting a pop-up gallery at the Artisan Market at Oak Highlands Brewery in Dallas on Saturday from noon to 6pm. There will be live music, food from my favorite local taco joint, Resident Taqueria, and the taproom will be serving a full selection of beers and ales. The Artisan Market is happening inside the brewery and admission is free. Come visit my booth and say, "Hi". The address is 10484 Brockwood Road, Dallas, Texas 75238.





In addition to my original artworks, I'll also be selling prints, cards, notebooks, throw pillows, tote bags and more - all featuring my work! Here's a taste:















You can also find much of the merchandise pictured above in my Redbubble shop.