Maker Monday: Mary Beale Art

Happy Maker Monday! 

This week we are featuring Mary Clark or Mary Beale Art! Mary Clark, a Rochester, NY native, received her BFA in studio art from Skidmore College in 2012. Her work is easily recognizable by her playful style and complex palette. Mary’s artworks are an abstract representation of shapes, contours and vibrant colors found in nature. She begins her paintings with a loose hand and expressive marks. By deliberately layering color and shapes, Mary creates complex pieces bursting with excitement and rhythm. Read on to learn more about Mary and her work!

: Tell us a little about yourself.

: Hello! My name is Mary and I currently live and work in beautiful Saratoga Springs, NY. I split my time between painting and working at a local boutique – taking any day off or free night to work on my art. I have always been artistic, and always had the mentality that art would be my “side gig”. I even went into college thinking I’d pursue a degree in Chemistry and minor in Studio Art. I ended my freshman year and knew I wasn’t following my heart. So I changed my major to Studio Art, with a concentration in both painting and textile design and never looked back. Even though I graduated not having a clue what I would do with this degree, I always managed to keep up with painting. Since graduating, I’ve lived and worked in Rochester, Boston, NYC and now Saratoga Springs. I spent 3 of those years at an incredible company, where I worked hard to learn as much as possible, eventually becoming the executive assistant to both of the CEO’s. I owe so much to my time at that company, where I learned so much about myself.  I realized, ultimately, that I truly wanted to dedicate myself to art, so this past October, I left NYC and my full time job (EEK!).  It’s been the best decision I could have made. I am moving slowly and cautiously, really taking the time to think about how I can best create a future based around my art. I spend any free time I have painting and working on commissions. I am happier than ever and am excited for the future of Mary Beale Art!

: We love your paintings! How would you personally describe your own work/aesthetic?

: My work can 100% be described as “happy art” – it’s very whimsical, bright and floral. I try to limit my palette but always end up throwing more color onto the canvas – and I think that is totally ok! I never sketch out or plan my paintings, I just start painting. Ultimately, I want my art to make you smile – I want it to brighten your day and bring joy to whatever room it’s in.

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Our Favorite Place to Stay in Hudson: Wm. Farmer and Sons

We love a good day trip to Hudson, NY and although we normally go for just the day — we finally stayed over for the night and were so excited to check out Wm. Farmer and Sons. It’s not only a hotel, but they also have a restaurant and cocktail bar! After arriving to town, we checked into the James Louis suite and were blown away by how adorable and well decorated it was. Not to mention – this room just screams cozy. From the fluffy pillows, music playing, and comfy chairs — to the gas fireplace, clawfoot tub, and books everywhere, this suite is the ideal place to just hideaway for a weekend!

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Catskills Camp Style

BY CAILIN BURKE

We always love dressing for the occasion, so when we had a weekend trip planned to The Catskills we each put together a look for the mountain vibes! I personally love western inspired style, but wanted to be comfortable at the same time, so I threw on this waaay oversized shirt and tied it into a knot at the corner to get somewhat of a more fitted look! I paired it with one of those button down denim skirts, but I love how it’s lined with brown suede to make it a little different than the norm. And of course — My favorite gladiators to top it off! Plus, I had to throw on my go-to flat brim hat when we went exploring the nearby town!

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Maker Monday: NVillustration

Happy Maker Monday!

This Monday we are featuring Vaishali and Nayan of NVillustration! We love their incredible paper cut products. Each piece is so unique and crazy detailed! It’s so cool that Vaishali and Nayan work together to allow their artwork to be carried on with their customers through jewelry. Each piece tells a little story into their personal interests or a concept they wished to portray. We think you’ll love their Feature, so read on to learn more about NVillustration! You can also check out their Etsy to snag one of their amazing pieces for yourself.

: Tell us a little about yourself!

: Hey we are a team of two, Myself Vaishali and my partner Nayan.
We started our venture in 2015. Our professions are quiet different but our interests or you call it passion is what made us start this venture of ours.

Let us introduce ourselves. Hey I am Vaishali, a visual effects artist and an animator. I love exploring and illustrating nature. My art always try to express the beauty of nature in any form. Here at our studio I use my skills of art to create different type of products and artworks by combining different processes and technology with different materials.

Hey I am Nayan a Furniture designer; my interest includes exploring new techniques and materials for representing my work and art. As a furniture designer I got good amount of knowledge about material, technology and design. I use this knowledge to get art come alive in a form of different products.

: Your products are beautiful! How did you learn to Paper cut and decide to pursue a business with Paper cut products?

: Oh thanks for the complement, our journey of making Paper cut artworks started a year ago. We were working on a project with an Institute for making Miniature Architectural models that was a time where we use to do work with a lot of materials and processes for making different parts for models. While doing that we stumble upon the thought of getting our artworks cut in paper. From that day we started exploring the technique of Paper cutting and started making different products. We wanted our art to be with people forever and jewelry was the apt choice. So we started making hand painted Paper cut jewelry and never looked back, we love it more than anything we do.

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Feature Friday: Des Sottises

Happy Feature Friday!
Today we have the fun, bright work of Margot Tissot who designs just about everything for her brand Des Sottises. You can find her illustrations on cards, posters and prints, tote bags, and even as pins — one of her favorite products to create! Her shop is based in Switzerland and we love getting to showcase amazing creatives and shops from all over the world! The images she illustrates are largely based off of things that inspire her, or are part of her daily life, which creates such a personal product! And we can’t help but just love that she illustrates veggies and makes stuff like broccoli and lettuce look pretty cool. Des Sottises has such an amazing diversity of illustrations and products, so keep reading to see more and learn about the maker behind the brand!

: Tell us a little bit about yourself!

: I’m Margot, I’m a 28 year old graphic/web designer based in Lausanne (Switzerland). Over the years while I practiced graphic design, I developed a passion for illustration and I’m trying to develop my little brand “des sottises” since nearly a year now. Beside this passion for illustration I am fascinated by the whole magical universe (I’m a Harry Potter fan) and I would like to think I’m a sorceress 😀

: How did your shop Des Sottises get its start?

: Des Sottises started in between two jobs. Last year, I lost my dream job for economical issues and I had a few weeks of unemployment. So I took advantage of this time to create my Etsy shop and created a lot of illustrations. I started with the animal alphabet, I made one illustration for each letters and searched for various supports to put them on. The animal alphabet poster, bookmark and pennant were my first items to sale.

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A Luxurious Stay at Diamond Mills

If you’re looking for a luxurious stay in Upstate New York, look no further than the Diamond Mills Hotel & Tavern located in Saugerties, NY. Besides the fluffy robes, comfy beds and room service (all which Diamond Mills has) a hotel stay with a view always adds to the luxury experience. Diamond Mills also has this as it sits right next to the Esopus Falls! Each room has a furnished balcony so you can take in the view under the stars or in the morning while you sip your coffee.

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Feature Friday: Emily Keating Snyder

Happy Feature Friday! 

This week we are featuring artist, Emily Keating Snyder! We love her playful approach to her artwork and how she lets her pieces reflect the imperfections of the human hand. Katie was kind enough to tell us a little more about herself, her artistic journey and her pieces. She also made an awesome video to teach you some of the techniques she uses in her watercolor paintings! You have to check it out, especially if you’ve been wanting to get into watercolors, but haven’t been sure how to approach them. Emily will give you the confidence to give it a try and experiment – what artists do best!


“I’m a colorful artist, designer, and art party hostess in Los Angeles. Playfulness and a good sense of humor are huge in my life. My favorite materials to work with are paper, paint, watercolor, collage, and embroidery. I believe strongly in the importance of working with our hands and not being too precious with art. After studying art and art history as part of my custom concentration at NYU, I had a few different art world jobs then made the leap to independent creative (and doggie caregiver) a few years ago. I’ve been grateful to show my work in New York, LA, and other major cities and to be featured by Saatchi Art and The Etsy Blog… and here on Castle Foundations!

I’ve been making art my entire life and to this day the best creative advice I’ve ever gotten was from my kindergarten art teacher. Whenever we were working on a project and wanted to rip it up and start all over after one misplaced tempera paint mark, she would say, “Turn your mistakes into something else.” I don’t think it was purely out of encouragement or necessarily kindness. It probably had more to do with needing to ration an entire school’s paper supply, but it has always stayed in my head and helped curb perfectionism in my art for 25 years.

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Maker Monday: Juleco Design

Happy Maker Monday!

This Monday we are featuring Julie McClements of Juleco Design! We love her amazing and positive typography prints. Julie uses her creative passions to bring encouraging words to those who may need them. A kind word at just the right moment can be all a person needs during a challenging time and it’s awesome that Juleco Design is there to help you say it. Julie’s shop is also great for finding your next inspirational mantra. We are huge fans of creating a space that inspires you, keeps you motivated, uplifts and reminds you of who you really are. Funny that it’s a Monday, as Julie’s prints are definitely the kind that make you jump out of bed, grab that coffee and fearlessly conquer the week ahead! Read on to learn more about Juleco Design and Julie’s journey.

: Tell us a few things about yourself!

: I’m Julie McClements, the designer behind Juleco. I have always been a creative person, doodling since I was no age. You will often find me behind my laptop or with a guitar in my hand. I’m a lover of typography, guitar and singing… (and as you will see in my work, I love monochrome!). I currently live in Bangor, Northern Ireland, with my husband David and work full time as lead designer at a full service digital agency called Eyekiller.

: What made you decide to start your brand, Juleco Prints?

: In my full-time job at Eyekiller my main focus is designing websites for a wide range of clients as well as lead the design team. I really enjoy what I do. However, I was missing the creative freedom I experienced when studying at art college and how I was able to express myself through my work. This made me consider doing something different with my creativity in my free time. I have also been on an ongoing journey with fear and understanding my own worth. Throughout this I have had wonderful friends helping me with wise words and encouragement. Knowing how this helps first hand, I wanted to use what I have learned to encourage other people.

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Feature Friday: Artwork by Sahar

Happy Feature Friday!

We’re heading to the world of fine art for this one! We are so excited to share Artwork by Sahar’s story and give you all a look at some of the incredible pieces Sahar creates. We love how she’s always pursued art in her life and has constantly found an outlet for her creativity. Her outlook on her own work is amazing as well, and she truly wants the viewer to see her pieces in their own way and create a personal connection with it. We are always huge fans of artwork that can be interpreted however the viewer sees it! Sahar has a lot to share about her personal creative journey as well as her process for crafting her original artwork. Keep reading to learn more about Artwork by Sahar and see some of her pieces!

: Tell us a little about yourself.

: Hi! My name is Sahar. I work full-time at an advertising & marketing agency based in the Washington, DC area, but I’ve been an artist my entire life. I started taking art classes at the age of 6, and studied Studio Art (with Painting & Photography concentrations) at the University of Maryland, College Park. #GoTerps!

I am huge, huge Terps basketball fan and Washington Capitals fan – I love repping where I’m from! I live with my fiance – our wedding is this fall! – and our blue heeler mix, George Costanza. We love to spend time outdoors and veg out with Netflix marathons.

Between my full-time job, planning a wedding, and well – life in general – launching a business has been quite the endeavor.

: Since you were a child you’ve taken art classes. What about art made you stick with it into your adulthood?

: My parents put me in every kind of class you can think of – piano, tennis, swimming, tap – but nothing every really felt right. I wasn’t passionate about those other hobbies, and to be completely honest, I kind of sucked at them. Drawing, painting, creating in general – it made me happy. Everything made sense in my head.

Fast-forward to today, and it is truly my version of meditation. I am so grateful for painting in my life.

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Give Back Tee

BY TARA BURKE

This is a quick one, but just wanted to pop on here and let you guys have another opportunity to donate to Sophia’s Playground Project! As most of you know, my clothing line, Freely Clothing, gives 10% of our proceeds to a young person looking to make a difference in their communities.

This time we are helping Sophia, a 13-year-old girl from Watervliet, NY build a new playground for her deserving community. To learn a little more about Sophia and her desire to bring a safe place to play to her neighborhood watch the videos below!

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