Bon Voyage + An Update of Sorts

Bon Voyage + An Update of Sorts

Wave | Mixed Media Painting on Paper by Melanie Biehle Vacation time is here, and we couldn’t be more ready. This afternoon the Adventure Club will hop on a plane to Reykjavík. The first place we go after we land is the Blue Lagoon. We wouldn’t have planned on going right away but since we land at 6:30 AM and our Airbnb won’t be ready until later, we decided to go with it. This is pretty much our motto when we travel. We don’t plan out tons of activities and must-sees. We’d rather get up in the morning, ease into our day, and see where it takes us. Sure, we have guidebooks and we read up on where we’ll be, but that never leads to a detailed itinerary. Our favorite thing to do, no matter where we are, is to visit different neighborhoods and browse local shops, drink coffee, see some art, eat tasty treats (preferably those that are local to the area), and walk around to see what we can see. We like to immerse ourselves in where we are rather than stand in long lines for popular tourist attractions. I’m so happy that we get to take Nathaniel on this trip. I didn’t travel much or far when I was a kid. I was 20 years old before I even stepped foot on an airplane. Nathaniel was four months old when he flew for the first time. He’s a great traveler and he’s really excited about the trip. It’s so much fun to watch. By the way, this kid turned five last week. FIVE! I love that our Pacific Northwest son chose to go... Read More
Poolside Inspiration: Water I Want To Jump Into

Poolside Inspiration: Water I Want To Jump Into

A lot of my work over the past couple of months has the common theme of water. As I’ve been exploring more of my own influences and inspiration, some that started when I was just a kid, I’ve realized what a huge impact that being in or near water has made on my aesthetic influences, the places that I have chosen to live, and the art and design work that I’m both attracted to and create. This summer I’ve been working on a painting series called Poolside. The series is inspired by my teenage summers that I loved so much. It’s part of my history that contributes to my need to be in or near water and my obsession with California, long before I ever visited or lived there. I’m constantly inspired by images like the beautiful photographs shared above. Learn more about them and the talented photographers who created them here. Hotel Il Pelicano by Matthieu Salvaing for WSJ Magazine | Haciendas of the Yucatan by Preston Schlebusch for Conde Nast Traveller | Slim Aarons | Bondi Icebergs Club by Kenneth Simpson Want to be the first to know when my Poolside series is finished? Learn more about and sign up for The Creative... Read More
Jump First, Dive Later

Jump First, Dive Later

While I was working on this painting, I started thinking about the differences between diving and jumping. To dive is intentional. Deliberate. Your arms meet and point to your target. You have a plan. You know where you want to land. Jumping is more loose. Noncommittal. You’re testing the water. You know that you want to be in it, but you’re not quite sure how you want to get there. Yet. Every time I take out my paint I feel more confident. It’s starting to become second nature now.  The daily pattern exercise has turned into a habit. I’m on day 80!   For the past few years I’ve been jumping. Now I’m ready to dive. Would you like a high-quality print PDF of my Dive In painting? Sign up for The Creative Brief and you’ll receive it as soon as you confirm your subscription! You’ll hear from me a couple of times a month, and it’s the first place I’ll go to share my Poolside painting series as soon as it is done. If you’re already a subscriber, no worries – I’m sending Dive In to you this week.... Read More
Inspiration: Abandoned Spaces and Samantha VanDeman

Inspiration: Abandoned Spaces and Samantha VanDeman

Shadow Art by @melanie_biehle on Instagram In my last post I wrote about how excited I am to visit Spreepark, an abandoned and decaying amusement park in Berlin. I’m not sure if it’s the visual representation of the passing of time or layer upon layer of dust, dirt, earth, and life that draws me and others to places like this. Maybe it’s the lived-inness of it all, even when the spaces themselves are empty and stark. I love the work of Chicago-based photographer Samantha VanDeman. I first learned about her in the February/March 2014 issue of Aesthetica magazine. Tim Walker also explores this theme in some of his work, and I love the beautiful, cracked, empty spaces shared by photographer Johnny Miller. You can see more of Samantha’s images below. Are you inspired by decay? Share some of your inspiration with me by tagging @melanie_biehle and telling me about it on Instagram. Want to learn how to talk to your customers, stay inspired, or find out about new artwork? Learn more about and sign up for The Creative... Read More
Adventure Club Summer Vacation: Iceland and Germany

Adventure Club Summer Vacation: Iceland and Germany

We’re headed to Iceland and Germany next month and my brain is in vacation mode. In addition to making this collage, I’ve been on a pinning spree – discovering places for us to visit on our trip to Reykjavík, Hamburg, Cologne, and Berlin. Our hotels and airbnbs are booked, as is our day at the Blue Lagoon spa, but I’m just getting started on reading up on the amazing things we’ll see. It’s not going to be all fancy spas though. We’ll be visiting places like Spreepark too – an abandoned, creepy, overgrown defunct amusement park in Berlin. Oh yes…the Adventure Club is so there. In fact, there is going to be…wait for it…a kids music show during our stay. I can’t wait to photograph this place – or what’s left of the ruins, anyway. The rundown park was the target of arson in 2014 and some of the structures were burned to the ground. If you have any suggestions of places we should go, let me know on Twitter or send me an email. I’d love to get recommendations from locals or travelers who love design, coffee, contemporary art, swimming holes and pools, and have interesting suggestions of things to do with a five-year-old that parents will love too. Have a great weekend!... Read More