Copyright 2017, Kristin Johnson

Jewish Holiday Postcard Bundles are here!

It has been quite a journey this year, starting my new @ThePlumGrove art endeavor and each month finding a little time to make something new.  I’m so happy to be finally reaching the stage where I’ve made enough things that I am ready to bundle up my very first set of artwork for Jewish holidays and release it as a postcard collection. The encouragement from friends and family across the year has made a big difference!

Check out my postcard collection – available on Etsy and as a Jewish Holiday Gift Set and also a Jewish Lifecycle Gift Set:

Copyright 2017, Kristin Johnson

I’m thrilled that my latest 4 watercolor designs for Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, Yom Kippur, and Hanukkah are back from the eco-friendly Union printer that produces my cards. The soft watercolor patterns came out even better than I had hoped with these new designs.

My Rosh Hashanah original watercolor design:
Copyright 2017, Kristin Johnson

My Sukkot original watercolor design:
Copyright 2017, Kristin Johnson

My Yom Kippur original watercolor design:
Copyright 2017, Kristin Johnson

My Hanukkah original watercolor design:
Copyright 2017, Kristin Johnson

Thanks for visiting!

Thanks for taking a moment to visit my web site and check out my latest artwork here at @ThePlumGrove. As a new artist just getting started here in California, squeezing in art creation time around my main job of caring for my two energetic young daughters, it can be tough to make connections and reach people. If you know someone who might like my work, please spread the word!

I always love to hear feedback from people about things you would like to see, or suggestions for improvement, so please reach out to me with any questions or suggestions. Please consider following me on Facebook or on Instagram so you can follow my art and see what I’m up to!

Learn more about why I love postcards:

They conserve paper! Yes, my postcards are printed on 100% recycled paper – but it is still great to conserve resources. A postcard uses half as much paper as a folded-card, saving as much paper as possible while still creating the special experience of receiving a thoughtful note in the mail.

They save on postage! Did you know that postcards can use special less-expensive postcard stamps that are $0.34 instead of the typical postage rate of $0.49? Just ask for them at the post office (or order them online). If you have a long mailing list of friends and family like I do, you’ll see your postage costs go way down by sending postcards.

They fit envelopes too! What if you want to mail some 4×6 photos, a children’s drawing, and a newspaper clipping with your holiday postcard to grandma? These postcards are the standard “A6” size, so they fit all standard “A6” envelopes. You can always enclose and send them in an envelope whenever appropriate or preferred, which is why I also offer classic white envelopes to go with my postcards (the envelopes are also on 100% recycled paper).

They are fun! Postcards go well pinned up to a bulletin board, framed, or put on a refrigerator – making them easy to decorate with and enjoy for a long time.

My #ActivistPostcards are here!

This has been a whirlwind month of wanting to get engaged. Writing emails to elected officials is better than nothing, but direct phone calls and snail-mail packs a stronger punch, so I felt motivated to create a series of #ActivistPostcards.

American Flag Postcard

The first one I made is an original watercolor design, obviously modeled off of the American Flag, but definitely with an interpretive watercolor approach. This particular style of watercolor is achieved by painting the paper with plain water, and dripping/striping the color onto the wet paper and letting the colors seep naturally with the flow of the water on the paper’s surface. The overlay text is meant to energize and invigorate and be a hopeful look at the work we have ahead to move our country forward.

The second card I designed directly includes the quote from Mitch McConnell about Elizabeth Warren, when she was forcibly silenced when trying to speak out on the senate floor – this design is also the wet-paper technique, this time blending the blue and red paint together across a wet-paper surface.

She Persisted Postcard

I really wanted to create a third card that could be flexible and more customized – I also felt incredibly inspired seeing the different creative march signs at the Women’s March – this third postcard features an energetic stick figure holding two signs – the signs are meant to be filled in by you! Simply use any markers (waterproof recommended, any pen/water that is waterproof would be ideal), and draw your own signs! The stick figure facial expression and body can be left blank, or colored in any way you desire. This one was designed with copic pens and copic markers on marker paper.

Write-Your-Own Rally/March Postcard

All three cards are now available on my Etsy store! If you are interested, please support my work as an independent small-scale artist and consider purchasing a postcard bundle for your civic engagement needs. 🙂

Blue House Silhouette Watercolor

Throwback to Italy Watercolors

I am very fortunate to have been able to study watercolor painting in college. It was an incredibly special and impactful time, spending a full month immersed in an intensive painting program, with guidance from an expert teacher, seeing amazing and inspiring beauty all around. Plus… all the lemon gelato I could eat. 🙂

This particular landscape is a mixture of techniques and was painted on-location out with the class group early in the morning. I hope to begin painting more frequently again – if I can only find the time! This particular painting involves the process of painting in plain water onto the paper in the silhouette shape, placing color into the plain-water silhouette, and then waiting for that area to dry before proceeding to paint the nearby areas of the painting.

Landscape in Blues

Landscape in Blues

Recently I rediscovered this particular old painting when rummaging through old folders – it inspired me to pull together a whole selection of little projects and favorite clippings and postcards and decorate the entire wall of our guest room / home office room in our house.

With the August 2016 earthquake in Italy, the loss of life is painful and devastating. Some of the old buildings lost as well are a sad destruction of historical buildings that are unique to older styles of architecture that are part of what makes Italian landscapes so special and striking.

I hope to return to Italy at some point in the future. With young kids at home, international travel is out of reach financially and schedule-wise, but I can dream and it remains on my distant hopes-and-wishes to-do list.