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Artist Spotlight: Marquin Designs + A GIVEAWAY

Last January, while I was very pregnant, sans baby and still had free time on my hands, I took a bit of time and studied some of my favorite interiors I had pinned on Pinterest. What I discovered was that one thing all those amazing spaces had in common was ORIGINAL ART,  emotion-evoking, dynamic art. After coming to this realization, I decided I wanted work towards bringing more original art into our home this year.
Over the summer, I had the pleasure of getting to e-know the lovely, Marquin Campbell, painter, entrepreneur and creative brains behind Marquin Designs. I adore her work and was excited to work with her on a custom piece for my dining room. I love the dream-like quality of her painting style and that she draws inspiration from landscapes near the charming city of Savannah, Georgia.
This was the first time I’d worked with an artist on a completely custom piece, and it was so much fun! Marquin had me send photos of my dining room, as well as asked me to peruse her previous works on Instagram to hone in on styles and color palettes I responded to. I gathered my thoughts and sent her a long, babbling email about my work-in-progress dining room (remember when the china cabinet was red?), a paint swatch, ideas for color palettes & styles, a rant on how I like “negative white space” and shimmery metallic gold, etc. Honestly, I rambled.
But Marquin kindly took all my thoughts and translated them into a stunning abstracted piece for our dining room china cabinet. I wish I could have you all over to see the depth it has in person. There are so many rich layers of earth tones that a camera cannot do justice! She got my requested “negative white space” just right, and her thick, textural brush strokes of metallic gold shimmer in the light as you walk by it. Ah–it’s the perfect bridge between the new cabinet color, brass lighting, and black dining chairs. Don’t you guys think?
If you love Marquin’s work as much as I do, and want some of her magic in your own home, then hop over to Instagram to enter our GIVEAWAY! Marquin is giving away a 16″ x 16″ print of the custom piece she created for my dining room! It’s SUUUPER easy to enter, so what do you have to lose?!
Marquin was generous enough to do a little Q&A and share a little about herself + let me pick her brain as to how she got started painting professionally and advice for budding artists. I hope you enjoy getting to know Marquin as much as I have this Summer!
1. Tell us about yourself and your creative business, Marquin Designs: 
I am married, a mother of two, and live in a very sweet little Southern town called Greenville, South Carolina. I have had this business since college and named it ‘Marquin Designs’ to give me flexibility because I did not quite know what creative direction I wanted to go: I’ve pursued a bunch of different areas in the arts.  
Currently I am painting originals, selling prints, wallpaper, fabric, and a few gift items (like acrylic trays) with my art reproduced onto the surfaces. 
2. How would you describe your painting style?
Ethereal and atmospheric: the last few years my pieces have largely been driven by abstracted landscapes inspired by the island I grew up on outside of Savannah, Georgia.  That scenery has caused a creative spark that lead to a series which has evolved over the past few years.  
If I had to categorize my work in ‘art terminology,’ it would fall into the ‘abstract expressionist’ classification. 
3. You recently launched a new painting series. Was there a particular influence or inspiration that steered the collection?
 My last body of work was inspired by color ways in vintage textiles and vintage Turkish rugs and abstracted lowcountry landscapes. 
I am currently working on a series of faces in collaboration with one of my favorite jewelry stores that is pushing me creatively.  I can not wait to launch the ‘Ladies.’ 
4. In addition to Marquin Designs, you also run the art school, Vino & van Gogh? Tell us about this component of your business.
 I started the concept seven years ago loosely based around the ‘Sip and Paint’ concept.  It has grown into a school in a very organic way: we now have a wide array of Children’s Art Classes, host Visiting Artists for multi-day workshops, and have one night classes that allow students to dabble in different creative areas.  It has provided the community with accessibility to very approachable art making. 
The studio also doubles as a place for my work to hang and to meet collectors.  This set up and overlap has worked out very nicely. 
5. How did you get into painting professionally? Did you go to school for fine art?
 I attended the University of Georgia and received two majors: Drawing and Painting and a minor in Art History.  I then went on to Parsons School of Design in New York City and obtained a degree in Fashion Studies which touched on everything from design to marketing.  
I think like most creatives, I could have found myself in a bunch of different artistic fields.  But the opportunities in Greenville lead me down the path of starting the art school and painting full time. 
6. What is the best advice you have ever received, and what is the one piece of advice you would offer a budding artist, maker or designer?
Be organized. I think planning ahead and creating goals are very important. Coordinating planned release dates for work with collaborations or bloggers is important. By being organized, you can better forecast your money, social media campaigns, email marketing, and have a clearer head. I think it is very important to also be flexible when plans change, but to always have a clear direction you are moving.


Favorite Gallery: There are oddly not a lot of galleries here, but they are coming.  Art and Light is airy, well curated, and filled with art made by with lovely people. 
Favorite Spot to Get Inspired: I love interior design and The Rock House Antiques is loaded with fabulous finds.  I am currently working on my master bedroom and they helped me redesign a pair of lamps I found in Savannah for a song.  I also purchased a pair of Faux Bois Garden stools from them that I could not live without. 
Favorite Dessert Place: I absolutely adore the dessert chef, Cynthia, at Augusta Grill, which is conveniently located right beside my studio.  If I’m working late, I love to pop next door and sip a glass of wine and nibble a slice of her Chocolate Sin Pie. 
Don’t forget to head over to Instagram to enter to win a Marquin Designs print! And if you don’t want to wait for the giveaway, you can also purchase an exact print of my painting here!
Photo credit for Marquin’s studio images: Angela Zion Photography
This post was created in partnership with Marquin Designs. I only partner with brands I personally use and love. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
1 In DIY

DIY Geometric Metal Wall Hanging

Add interest to your gallery wall with a geometric metal wall hanging. Get the tutorial link here!

I’ve been playing around with geometric metal shapes that I found on Etsy recently, and rather than making some kind of statement jewelry with them, I decided to make something pretty for my walls. I came up with this cool brass + cotton flossing wall hanging. A little bit boho and a little bit modern, it pairs beautifully with a mixed art grouping or on its own in a small nook area, and it’s one of my favorite things I’ve made in a while. Check out the full DIY tutorial I did for Sugar & Cloth!

  Add interest to your gallery wall with a geometric metal wall hanging. Get the tutorial link here! Add interest to your gallery wall with a geometric metal wall hanging. Get the tutorial link here!

Into this post? Share the love!

Add interest to your gallery wall with a geometric metal wall hanging. Get the tutorial link here!

In DIY/ Interiors

Mindful Design: Redefining Luxury with St. Frank Textiles

Apply the concept of Mindful design to your home through beautiful handmade home decor from St. Frank.

One of my most favorite design trends or movements at the moment is the concept of mindful design. Socially conscious by nature, mindful design is the push towards surrounding ourselves with unique, handmade pieces in our homes–ones that are made of high quality materials from ethical sources.

It’s knowing the stories behind our belongings: Who made them? Where were they made? How were they made? And I think it’s a new way of defining interior luxury. I’m always on the lookout for brands, like St. Frank Textiles, who resonate with this approach, deviating from the mass market and bringing something more meaningful to the table.

Apply the concept of Mindful design to your home through beautiful handmade home decor from St. Frank. Apply the concept of Mindful design to your home through beautiful handmade home decor from St. Frank.

I was first captivated by luxury home decor brand, St. Frank, and their extensive framed textile offering on Instagram.  The more I learned about their mission, the deeper in love I fell with their company as a whole. I think we can all agree that St. Frank’s one-of-a-kind pieces are the stuff interior dreams are made of. But beyond simply offering beautiful pieces for the home, they’re committed to curating product with a story. St. Frank works with artisan groups in 25 countries around the world with a goal of preserving traditional crafts within these communities. Their collection includes the most luxe framed textiles (my personal favorite!), soft goodsaccents, accessories anyardage.

Apply the concept of Mindful design to your home through beautiful handmade home decor from St. Frank. Apply the concept of Mindful design to your home through beautiful handmade home decor from St. Frank.

The framed textile I have in my living room is the Biddew Noir designed by fiber artist, Johanna Bramble. It’s constructed with labor-intensive Senegalese weaving techniques rarely used anymore, as it requires two weavers and meticulous attention to detail. It’s praised, though, as being the precursor for mechanized Jacquard weaving (an extremely complex weave structure!).

I chose the Biddew Noir for my home because I love to the graphic hexagonal, yin-yang design, but I later came to find out that in Senegalese culture, woven textiles like the Biddew Noir, are often presented at big life moments such as the birth of a baby. The hexagon is a universal symbol of wisdom, life, and health, and so with the arrival of our daughter, Sylvia earlier this year, this symbolic textile could not be a more perfect addition to our little home!

Apply the concept of Mindful design to your home through beautiful handmade home decor from St. Frank. Apply the concept of Mindful design to your home through beautiful handmade home decor from St. Frank.

Into this post? Please share the love! Don’t forget to pin for later too!

Weaving photos courtesy of St. Frank.

This post was sponsored by St. Frank. However, I only work with brands whom I love. All opinions are my own.

6 In DIY/ Interiors

Francois Renovates: Nursery Sneak Peek

It’s been 6 weeks of renovation and the nursery is nearly finished! Today I’ve got a little peek of the room for you and want to talk specifically about the art we chose because it’s one of my favorite things in the room and honestly probably the easiest things to execute.

Once the old ice damage was fixed,  the board & batten and wallcovering were up, it was time to think about art, and we worked with Framebridge to make it happen.  Framing is their specialty, which means they have it down to a science, from the ordering process, to the personal note tucked in with each framed piece, to including the hardware needed to hang your specific piece. It’s obvious there’s a lot of thought and love that goes into their craft.

See the progress we've made with this week's "Francois Renovates." We're talking about art selections in this nursery sneak peek!

Continue Reading →

5 In DIY

Repurpose An Old Piece: Brushstroke Statement Art (Video)

So I think at one time or another all us Millennials had one of those large city skyline art pieces from Ikea hanging on our walls. New York, Chicago, London; they were $49 and so much bang for the post-grad’s limited budget.

I had the London one as an homage to the six months I lived there when I was 20. It was front and center over my sofa for several years, but all good things must come to an end. Our new house didn’t have a good spot for a large horizontal piece of art, and truth be told, I was over it; ready for something new brushstroke-y and abstract. The canvas and frame were still in great shape, so I was excited to give this oldie a makeover.

Repurpose An Old Piece: Brushstroke Statement Art | Francois et Moi

Here’s the hyperlapse of my creating the art.


Repurpose An Old Piece: Brushstroke Statement Art | Francois et Moi

  Repurpose An Old Piece: Brushstroke Statement Art | Francois et Moi


Here we go:

  1. Lay down a drop cloth and spray paint the frame black (about 2 coats). No need to tape off the canvas, as you’ll paint it next.
  2. Paint the canvas with gesso. Gesso stiffens and primes the surface so it’s ready to accept the paint. If you don’t have gesso, go to the next step. I think it’ll still work.
  3. Paint the canvas with 2 coats of white acrylic paint or enough to fully cover the original canvas. I didn’t want to tape off the frame because I think it’s a bit tedious, so I just did my best to keep a straight line where the frame met the canvas.
  4. Now we’re ready for brushstrokes! Take a deep breath and shake out your painting hand. You’ll make broad, sweeping strokes, and it’s best to be relaxed for this. Take comfort in knowing if you don’t like what it looks like, you can always whitewash and try again. If you want a little security, you can (lightly) pencil your route on the canvas, but you may lose some of the smooth spontaneity of the strokes.
  5. Mix your blue acrylic paint with a teaspoon of water to thin it out just a little bit. Load up your brush and begin to paint.
  6. For the paint splatters, lay your canvas flat and add a little more water to your paint so that it’ll drip off the brush. Load up the brush with the liquified paint and allow the paint to drip off in your desired places. For larger splatters, allow multiple drips in the same spot.

How to Make Large Scale Brushstroke Art | Francois et Moi

How to Make: Brushstroke Statement Art  Repurpose An Old Piece: Brushstroke Statement Art | Francois et Moi PIN-IT-later4 Repurpose An Old Piece: Brushstroke Statement Art | Francois et Moi

Want More? Check out my all time favorite home decor projects here.


2 In DIY

Maker’s Spotlight // No. 2

Hope you had a great long weekend! I’m excited to share an amazing round-up of makers this week in the 2nd ever Maker’s Spotlight! From screen-printed soft goods to hand-painted ceramics–there’s a whole lotta Continue Reading →


Dancing Mannequin Magnets

After a bit of radio silence during a non-stop busy week, I’m back today to #1) wish you a Happy Friday! YAY! And #2) share a fun interactive mannequin magnet project using mini artist’s mannequins from the art store Continue Reading →

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