Summer Inspiration

Summers in Minnesota are short so I spend as much time outdoors as possible. I draw inspiration from wildflowers and plants growing along a nearby trail that winds along a creek through meadows and woods. My new Orange Grove art was inspired by one of those walks. Of course we don’t actually grow oranges in Minnesota but my branches needed a pop of color so they evolved into an orange tree! I guess that’s the great thing about inspiration, you can never be sure where it will lead you!

Travel always inspires me and a trip to Washington D.C. and Philadelphia this summer was a visual feast of monumental architecture, amazing museums and superb people-watching. I love discovering patterns in unexpected places when I travel, like a beautifully sculpted medieval coat of armor I spied in the National Gallery of Art that inspired some new geometric prints.

Clockwise from top left: Wildflowers along my favorite walking trail; new Orange Grove art; new geometric prints: Benday Stripes and Surf; Sculpture in the National Gallery of Arts; Visiting the Lincoln Memorial in D.C.

Clockwise from top left: Wildflowers along my favorite walking trail; new Orange Grove art; new geometric prints: Benday Stripes and Surf; Sculpture in the National Gallery of Arts; Visiting the Lincoln Memorial in D.C.

Flowers in Abundance

I’ve had a number of requests for floral designs lately. Maybe it has do with the brutal winter we’re having — I know I’m ready to start thinking about spring. I haven’t done alot of florals in the past so this has been an interesting challenge. It’s not that I don’t like florals, on the contrary. But since florals are such a popular and enduring theme for artists and designers I just wasn’t sure what I could bring to the party. But once I got going I had a lot of fun working with flowers. Here’s a sampling of what I’ve been working on.

(All products shown are mock-ups. Artwork is available for licensing.)

Cutting Garden by Kris Ruff-blog

Wild Flowers by Kris Ruff-blogPoppies by Kris Ruff-blogLazy Daisy by Kris Ruff-Blog

Toning it Down

It has been a busy few weeks since my last post. I’ve been working with a couple great companies developing new products that will be on store shelves this spring. Among them will be a line of coffee mugs (40 different mugs in all!) as well as my first quilting fabric collection. I look forward to showing them off as soon as I get samples.

In the mean time, I wanted to share a different look. The last couple posts featured lots of bright colors, which I love, but sometimes a more subtle color palette is just what you need. Warm greys and muted tones add a level of sophistication to products like accessories. And table settings in subtle hues are so versatile and allow your meal to take center stage.

While this monotone look may not have the same punch as more colorful options,  I don’t think you’ll find it boring either.

(All products shown are mock-ups and the artwork is available for licensing.)

Beach Bags ©2013 Kris Ruff Grey Placesettings 2 ©2013 Kris Ruff Grey Messenger bags ©2013 Kris Ruff Grey placesettings 1 ©2013 Kris Ruff

Vines

I’m tentatively calling this new artwork VINES. But are they vines, or do they look more like fronds or ivy? Or garlands? Or seaweed for that matter? Whatever the name,  I’m really excited about this new design. It pairs nicely with my PETALS and FLOURISH patterns and will look great on paper or melamine plates, mugs and paper goods.

(All products shown are mock-ups. This art is available for licensing.)

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Fun with Dots

Here’s a fun little collection I just finished. I can think of lots of different uses for these little gems. They’d be perfect for gift wrap, but wouldn’t they also be fun on paper plates, napkins, journals, bedding, upholstery fabric and placemats!

(All products shown are mock-ups. This art is available for licensing.)

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Chatterbox

There’s a great little neighborhood bar and grill near my house called The Chatterbox Pub. One side of the restaurant is a lounge area with sofas and coffee tables where you can relax, enjoy a drink and play the vintage board games they have on hand. The whole place is decorated with vintage artifacts and I think these pillows would fit right in.

Hence, this new pattern is dubbed Chatterbox. Besides pillows, this pattern would look great on placemats, kitchen towels and bedding.

(All products shown are mock-ups. Chatterbox is available for licensing in all categories.)

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In Love with Black and White

What is it about black and white? How is it that something so basic, so lacking in color can also look fresh, sophisticated and new? It’s a mystery to me. But when you consider the boldness of a Keith Haring design at one end of the spectrum and the amazing subtleties of an Ansel Adams photo on the other it seems like the potential for black and white is endless.

(All products shown are mock-ups. This art is available for licensing in all categories.)

Black-and-White-collection

Mosh

Meet Mosh. It has the same feel as my Whatzit pattern, but Mosh is a little more rowdy, making it a good choice for youthful products like backpacks, swim trunks water bottles and cell phone covers. I can also imagine it on skateboard decks, chalk bags, even snowboard jackets.

(All products shown are mock-ups. Mosh is available for licensing in all categories.)

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Easter Egg Fun

I had alot of fun decorating eggs with the kids this year. I love a holiday that involves surface design! I found that after dipping the egg into different colored dyes I could use a Q-tip dipped in dye to paint in some color details. My son thought that was cheating,   but I don’t think there should be any rules when it comes to egg decorating!  Image

(No, I didn’t make 3 identical eggs, just showing different angles of my egg.)

Mezo

Introducing Mezo. It’s a very intricate repeat pattern with hints of Mayan and Aztec carvings. It lends itself really well to upholstery and pillows. I can imagine it as upholstery in an upscale restaurant, especially one featuring Latin cuisine. It would look great in a silk or other fabric with a sheen.Image

Note: All products shown are mock-ups. This artwork is available for licensing in all categories.