art for the day: Conrad Jon Godly

I’ve recently been admiring the artwork of Conrad Jon Godly, a contemporary Swiss painter.  I had seen some of his pieces years ago and loved them then, but after seeing more of them recently, I find myself with a new appreciation for the mastery he possesses over his medium.  I think the primary reason for this appreciation comes from my own experience of creating art over the past few years.  However satisfied or dissatisfied I’ve been with my pieces, I’ve come to realize that appreciating the process itself is an integral part of being an artist, regardless of the result achieved.

Godly’s process requires a thorough understanding of the nature of oil paints.  Rather than working in the traditional manner with a brush and palette, Godly chooses a different method that allows the paints themselves to have a greater role in the process of painting.  His vividly three-dimensional pieces are brought about by piling paint upon his canvases and using a palette knife to create shapes, colors, depth and texture.  The sheer volume of paint used means that the oils move and spread across the canvas according to their consistency, which makes them a kind of agent in the piece’s creation.

I love this approach for a number of reasons.  I see these paintings as a reminder of the living, breathing nature of art and the wideness of the human experience.  Although oil paints are thought to have existed since 650 A.D., Godly’s work shows us that artists’ techniques are ever evolving and allow for endless diversity.  The fact that there is such variation contained within the same framework of paint laid upon a canvas is a real testament to the wholly unique being of every person.

Below are a few favorites of mine.  I’m astounded by how real and evocative these mountains seem; I can so easily imagine the feeling of the sun on my face in such bitter cold, standing in the brightness of the snow against the open sky.

Explore more of Conrad Jon Godly’s work on his official website.


makers of beautiful things: Mabo Kids

Today is June 20.  The first day of the summer.  Since we live in southern California, it feels like summer has laid its hand upon us for some time now. But seeing the quick phrase “summer begins” on our kitchen calendar reminds me that time is really and truly passing. The days are hot, the evenings are long, the landscape is permeated with the relentless brightness of the air.  Local farmers’ markets bring an abundance of sweet summer produce, from delicate zephyr squash to the most beautiful heirloom tomatoes to exquisitely, impossibly sweet berries.  The ocean is magnificent and blue and the time around sunset feels like a dream.

This summer is especially sweet for us: our baby girl arrives at the end  of the season. I know that she is growing stronger by the day from every gentle movement I feel, and growing along with her strength is our delight in her and our excitement to lay eyes on her this side of earth.  This time feels like a retreat for me.  A time to prepare, a time to grow in peace, a time to think about the adventure that lies ahead.

I’ve  naturally been thinking about things to purchase and to make for her.  While the timeworn adage “you can’t take it with you” is certainly true, and material goods are not the most important things in the world, I really do think that surrounding yourself with beautifully made things is important.  I want the things my children own to be significant and of good quality, with the ability to last long enough to pass down to eventual siblings or even their own children.  I love the idea of my children’s children wearing the same things I held precious in my hands years ago in my own first days as a mother.

I’m so thankful that more and more companies are recognizing the importance of quality, beauty and longevity in the things they make.  One of the companies I truly admire is Mabo Kids.   Their dedication to simplicity and comfort is one I share.  I also really respect their commitment to making clothing from natural fabrics in small batches in the USA.  I hope that this is the way of the future, and that more companies seek to share the same values.

Here are some favorites from Mabo’s current summer collection.  I’d love to clothe my daughter in such lovely pieces.


(All images from Mabo Kids’ website and Instagram. )